Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wednesday Whatever - Painting with a Twist

Saturday October 16, Trish treated me to Painting With a Twist. Basically you are provided a blank canvas, acrylic paints, and an artist guide who walks you through your creation. There were twelve fellow  artists in the room.    Phase one - lay down  some  sky
Phase 2 - road and grassy areas
Phase 3 - sidewalk, trees
Phase 4 - fountain, leaves

 Voila!   Finished products.  It was fun to see everyone's interpretation  of our autumn scene. Two hours of art and laughs. You could bring a beverage of your choice - some folks had wine,  etc - but there was no time to sip.  Salut!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Moments - College Ball Energy

Saturday October 22, Ray treated me to a college football game. TCU vs. Kansas State.  What a day!

TCU came in undefeated. The pre-game party started at 4 with Frog Alley filled with booths, games, and giveaways.  Then the Frog Walk - cheerleaders, mascot, and players paraded through the quadrangle in front of the stadium. Tail gate tents were filled with food, drink, and laughter.  It  was a gorgeous day and the energy level was amped to 11. 

Inside the stadium, we walked around. Here's the TCU Horned Frog hand sign
And the Horned Frog mascot.
Quite a stadium, quite a game (we Won!!!!), and our seats at the end zone were really good. 
Here's a quote from a former undefeated coach. College football is serious business. Ray and I enjoyed witnessing the loyalty, the game, the energy, and the fun. It was a full day of sport. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday Festivities - Happy Birthday Lori

Happy Birthday Lori - my baby sis in front of her home
Lori on the Brooklyn Bridge
Lori with Dad and  our sister-in-law, Cherie, in Asheville for Dad's 80th birthday trip.
Lori and me this summer
Lori and her DE crew - there's trouble

Always a smile, always a smart comment, always  there to help dad. She's the best sister and I always joke, the best turkey, we could  have been blessed with in November. Cheers, kid!   Love ya. 

Happy Birthday Hugs

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Wednesday Pop UP

 I wasn't going to have a Wednesday post this week, but I follow the Gwynedd Preserve. It's right down the street from my father's home.  I truly hope the fall colors and this pic live are still there when I go to visit before Thanksgiving.  Dad snoozes in  the afternoons. Thus,  I can sneak  out for a stroll in some preserved nature grasslands.  How lovely!  PA is a gorgeous state if the colors are popping. 

Anyway - Happy Wednesday. Hope your week is going well. Cheers all! 

Plus I need to walk, burn  some calories, and earn the right to eat an  extra helping stuffing. 

Thanksgiving feast in PA with Dad and  my sister. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Let's have a week of Thanksgiving

I am actually in PA visiting Dad and family.  This is a past Texas turkey. Ray knows how to get that Norman Rockwell look. I hope he and his crew have a good  feast
Gobble Gobble
The annual fireplace decor

 Thanksgiving  time means Lori birthday time. Here she is from 2021 with Dad. We'll celebrate her on Friday. 

I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Thanksgiving week. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Finally Friday - frivolous

Downhill slide for 2022. Howled through Halloween. Now trudging toward Thanksgiving. And cruising  to Christmas. 

Let's take a moment and breathe.   Random pics from friends, years, and stuff that caught my eye. 

Any beach, any time is calming.  This is a recent pic from a friend in  NC - Outer Banks

A past PA pic. I'm running through leaves as your read this
Thankful for so many folks that have been in my life and always in my heart
 Finally Friday - look for a lovely sunset. This is a desert view pic from a cousin. 

Feel calmer?   Float into your weekend and take time for yourself.  Enjoy

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Whatever Wednesday - We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu

 We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu is a cheeky, energetic, humorous memoir  by a young man who has hit his stride. This book is just the beginning. It's his immigrant superhero origin story. 

cover blurb - The actor Simu Liu shares his own inspiring and unexpected origin story from China  to a place called Hollywood. An immigrant who battles everything from parental expectations to cultural stereotypes, Simu struggles  to forge a path for himself, rising  from the ashes of a failed accounting career (!) to become the world's first Asian superhero. 

This is a really good, well written memoir. Simu Liu has quite a story and it gave me more respect for the dreamers. His folks struggle to leave a family life in China and seek more as educated degreed engineers. Then they were ready (maybe) for their four year old son, Simu, to leave the comfort of grandparent care, and come join them in Canada. Was Simu ready? Did he always feel uprooted, restless? Lots of conflict ensued through the years. 

Liu is very fair in his life story. He recognizes his flaws and lays it out on the pages. His journey is quite a mix of his Chinese background and Western life. How did he get to become Shang-Chi, a Marvel hero?   Read this book and  find out. Now I look forward to seeing what else Simu Liu will do.

Keep dreaming

Monday, November 14, 2022

Monday Moments - Sandra Cisneros

 Sandra Cisneros is a well rounded author (books - House on Mango Street, poetry - My Wicked Wicked Ways, and memoir I reviewed - A House of My Own). She's back to poetry after twenty-eight years. Older, wiser, living in Mexico, reflecting on her ancestors, and humorously contemplating being a woman artist. 

cover blurb Woman Without Shame is a moving  collection of songs, elegies, and declarations that chronicle her pilgrimage toward rebirth and the recognition of her prerogative as a woman artist. She explores the essential nature of love, memory, and desire. 

I love Sandra Cisneros' humor and her obvious 'won't take crap in life' attitude. She's fearless and truly plumbs the depths of human emotion. 

p. 12   a stanza from Remedy for Social Exposure

                    Consume a cool glass of night

                    Read poetry that inspires poetry

                    Write until temperament 

                    returns to calm

That gives just an inkling of this wonderful collection  Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Finally Friday - French Braid by Anne Tyler

 Opening an Anne Tyler book means you are welcoming an old friend into your reading room. Tuck in with an afghan on your lap and a cup of something tasty within reach. You are going to meet a memorable family, journey with them through decades, and enjoy the ups and downs of reality. French Braid proved to be a delight and I hated to see it end. 

From the 1950s to our present, follow the Garrett family in Baltimore. Mercy aspires to paint. Husband Robin doesn't want change. Daughters - Alice, always common sense, Lily, boy crazy and drifting. David, the youngest, just wants to escape.  Book blurb - As these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation. 

p 232  "Oh, a French braid," Greta said.   "Undone, hair would still be in ripples, little leftover squiggles, for hours and hours afterward."

"Well," David said, "that's how families work, too. You think you're free of them, but you're never really free; the ripples are crimped in forever."

And that's Anne Tyler's effortless writing and descriptions. She pulls you in and engages you. French Braid is solid writing, storytelling, and observations on life. Thanks, Anne Tyler. 

Shout out to Becky Thorne - see, I did read this book from the library. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Whatever Wednesday - Louis Vuitton Tour

Alvarado Texas - forty five minutes south of the DFW area. A two hundred acre property - Rochambeau Ranch. Cows.

Would you believe Louis Vuitton has a production facility there? Who knew?  Well, I read a special announcement of a rare tour. I signed up immediately, and was accepted for a time slot - Sunday October 16 at 3 pm. Ooh La La

Linda and I rolled up, showed  our IDs, and were granted access to this very modern, light, airy facility. Greeted with champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Quite fancy. There were twenty of us on the tour for an hour. 
Here's a photo of the current headquarters for Louis Vuitton. The house on the left belonged to the creator. 
Here's a trunk from the 1800s - the original LV designed product. It was beautiful 

 No pics allowed in the actual plant. But we were introduced to the various artisans who hand sew, paint, and trim the LV leather purses. It was a young vibrant group of employees who greeted us proudly, eager to show their master craftwork. I was  very impressed. 

Tres bien! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Troubled Times Tuesday

 Election Day (seemingly again - Texas has lots of elections, runoffs, and then more. But this is the real November one)

I did early vote - got it over with early.   Yes, voting is a privilege. It was quite easy at our local library. I thanked the worker bees who were checking folks in, manning the machines, etc.  We had no kerfluffles or crazy.  Then again on a Tuesday morning in October, the key was to not trip over a senior on a walker. 

I came out feeling  sad about the choices. But, life, fortunately shall continue just fine in a blur of pickleball, reading, movies, and walks. 

It's the bigger picture. 

Anyway - I included this Oscar Wilde quote, since I'm on the bandwagon of not banning books. Parents should be aware of what their kids choose to read and it should encourage discussions. I don't want any groups usurping my power to choose a book. At this juncture,  our local library has not been affected.

I think more reading and critical thinking should be encouraged and at least available. It would build knowledgeable citizens. 

Good Luck America!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday Moments - Musical Movie Drama - Tar

 Dramatic, artsy, a bit long  but compelling - TAR starring Cate Blanchett is a film I had dismissed until I read rave reviews. 

The story isn't necessarily original. A maestro with a huge resume is about to complete the full Mahler symphonies with a live recording  of the number 5, considered a tour de  force assignment. The movie follows the conductor and all of the backstage life drama, backstabbing, machinations, loves, histrionics, and breakdowns. 

The key is the conductor - Lydia Tar played by Cate Blanchett. This is an Academy Award performance and I will be shocked if she is not nominated in 2023. She is on screen one hundred percent of the time, and she is remarkable. She is canny, imperious, brilliant, scathing, and superb. Her face - the eyes, the smile,  the cheekbones - all on  subtle display. She delivers her lines smoothly with undertones of the madness within. 

Bravo, maestro! 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Finally Friday - Feeling Alive

Tuesday November 1 - post Halloween candy crush, Day of the Dead.  It was a glorious day to be alive and take a hike.   Ray and I visited Lake Mineral Wells State Park (about an hour drive for us)
Calm, clear day
We did not choose to rappel. We just looked up
Who stacked those up there?

 Um, you go first.....

I love  the variety of Texas State Parks. We've only hit a few and each one  is different. This rocky path hike took an hour and was a challenge for my feet.  Whew!  We earned our Gatorade and lunch snack. 

Hope your November is sunny and bright. Go explore some  nooks  and  crannies. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Wednesday Whatever - Ticket to Paradise

 I love a good rom-com and Ticket to Paradise filled the heart. It was set in Bali - fabulous scenery. It had a solid cast - George Clooney (David), Julia Roberts (Georgia), Kaitlyn Dever (Lily), Maxime Boutier (Gede), Billie Lourd (Wren), and Lucas Bravo (Paul). It had a nicely predictable story that was executed well. Plenty of laughs, plenty of drama - all in under two  hours. 

I wanted to be entertained and I was, coming out of the theater smiling.   Clooney and Roberts were effortless, tossing off lines so easily. You can tell they were having fun  together  on the screen. As a bickering ex-couple trying  to keep their only daughter  from dumping her law career and marrying a guy she just met to live in Bali and work a seaweed farm, they were hilarious. 

As for Dever and Boutier, they were an earnest young couple in love, full of hope, and completely sincere. You rooted for them and had faith that this would pull together - families and cultures. 

Oh there's mishaps, miscommunications, and very tidy solutions. That's a rom-com. 

Punch your Ticket to Paradise and escape our  world for a few hours. Trust me.