Monday, February 27, 2023

Monday Moments from a Thurs/Fri in San Saba

Enjoyed two days in San Saba Texas visiting Aunt Pat (yes - hello - you are famous!)
This is a color photo on an exceptionally bleak day ( Friday)
Creepy tree
okay - so, if we enter....what happens?
Happy sign of spring - cardinals were everywhere.  She is very generous with the bird seed.  Gotta love the spring  hope of color pop

Pat laughed that I was taking this photo.  I mean...truly - this is awesome.  Aging.  Weathering.  Pop art.   c'mon - tell me this isn't awesome. 

Have a  good week everyone!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Finally Friday - It's an Enigma

 shh - It's top secret.  The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is a jolly good read. 

1940 - Three women, Osla, Mab, and Beth end up at Bletchley Park in England. The best minds are working to break German military codes. Osla, debutante dating  Prince Phillip, knows German and works to translate decoded enemy secrets. Mab, poor East Ender, works the codebreaking machines.  Shy local girl, Beth, can solve puzzles like nobody's business. She's a brilliant  cryptanalyst. 

cover blurb - War, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the  three apart.

1947 - Royal wedding time. (No, not Osla). The three friends turned enemies are reunited by an encrypted letter. They must meet and crack one last code together to unveil an old traitor from their past. Each petal they remove  from the Rose Code brings danger...

Kate Quinn did  her research and her characters are based on real life women. She keeps the pages  turning  and history alive. The whole story of the Enigma machines and what was done at Bletchley is always compelling. The Rose Code is a worthy piece of fiction for that World War II era. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Sick of Frost Whimsy ?

Hey, it's February.  When else can I feature some frosty photos?
A little icy artistic moment. 

Hope your winter is a mere snowy dusting. Hot chocolate. Hearty soup. A dashing sleigh ride, perhaps. 

It's always lovely in the movies. Never those dirty ice clumps hanging on fenders. Never frostbitten fingers attempting to clear a windshield. Never the boredom of gray skies. 

Now sing, "Let It Go". 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Monday Moments - Surrender by Bono

Cue 40 songs by U2 starring the singer Bono

I  Will Follow

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Where the Streets Have No Name

With or Without You


Pride (In the Name of Love)

Beautiful Day

and so many more........beautiful tunes, fabulous lyrics, amazing guitar work, and showmanship

Surrender by Bono is a hefty book filled with a lot of hubris,  a lot of words, a LOT...just a LOT

The key is love. Love of four Irish lads - Paul Hewson (aka Bono), Adam Clayton, Larry Mullin , and The Edge who formed U2.  Love of his wife Ali and his children.  If nothing else, Bono has been loyal to his religion, to being Irish, to his lads, and to his family. Oh, he's filled with a lot of ego and it shines in this book.  And yet he's got the humor and the awareness to make it work. I think he knows he can be an arse, and he'll admit it and then keep on persevering as a singer, an activist, and an Irish lad. 

Roots - that counts for a lot, even when you are on the world stage.  

His mother died when he was fourteen. That affected a lot. He found family in U2 and has stuck with it for forty some years. That's quite amazing for a group. He's got a huge heart and does care about many causes - AIDS in particular and fighting for Africa. He's used his voice for a lot of dollars. He drops names in this book and that's okay. He can also step back and be in awe of what he can do and with whom. And then there's the songs, the music, the tunes, the tours that affect millions in the world. 

I liked Surrender by Bono. Quite a story and he keeps on fighting. Oh, he pretends to be humble. He's not. But I think he's sincere in his LOVE for family, U2, the fans, and the world.  He's freakin' Bono. 

Play the soundtrack.  


Friday, February 17, 2023

Finally Friday Book Review - The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

 It's Friday and I would like to hang out with Michelle Obama. Merely my opinion - she'd be fun, chatty, down to earth, smart, and not fancy. I think she was raised right with some common sense. 

From the memoir, Becoming, and now The Light We Carry, Michelle Obama still counts on her elderly mother as a solid presence. She also enjoys her big brother, Craig, and she can reflect fondly about her dear departed hard working father, who struggled with MS, but never let the disease be an excuse for anything. Her respect and love for her husband, Barack Obama is obvious. And her role as a mother for Sasha and Malia will not stop as they are young adults now striving to be independent. 

This book, The Light We Carry, offers practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today's highly uncertain world. (cover blurb.)  Michelle Obama offers her worries, her fears through examples and then how she tries to take a deep breath and work toward positivity. She has overcome obstacles and truly practices "starting kind", "going high", and embracing a "kitchen  table" of friends. 

This back blurb paragraph sums up a nice message. It takes work to be a light. But every bit can help in this world of uncertainty. I  enjoyed this book and had a lot of colorful page markers for excellent thoughts, humor, and common sense. I was happy to get this rainbow of words from my local library. I can only hope to embrace some good takeaways and be a light of some sort. 

Hey Michelle - call me sometime and let's hang out!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Heroes Soar

My friend Candice and I enjoy the kids program provided on a few Saturdays by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The show  is forty five minutes of  stirring classical  music according to a theme. Two Saturdays ago we celebrated heroes.  Can't go wrong with the March from Superman, some Star Wars tunes, and finishing with the William Tell  Overture - go Lone Ranger.  So fun!

 Afterward we strolled to Sundance Square. This big cowboy hat sculpture is temporary - last day of the  Stock Show.  We did enjoy lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Shared an appetizer and then had our own  slices of cheesecake.  White chocolate raspberry truffle for me, Mango key lime for  her. 

Splendid Saturday. We soared home on a sugar high. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Monday Moments at the Museum

A few Sundays ago, I caught up with a friend to enjoy A Knight's Tale at the Arlington Museum of Art. A close up  look at the decorative detail on helmets, swords, weaponry, and more were displayed. 

 This exhibit was from the Museo Stibbert in  Florence, Italy. Armor, mounted equestrian, etc  - 130  pieces from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and up to the 1800s.  It was all quite interesting and we spent an hour perusing. 

 I keep saying - check out the nooks and crannies in  your neighborhood - small museums are a delight. 

Happy Valentine's Week

Happy Valentine's Week
Hearts aflutter
I always post dear Ray with his heart cactus. Too cute

 He's always had my heart even back when we were young and really clueless. 

Love ya Ray. You make me laugh - that's the key. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Finally Friday - Knock at the Cabin

 Is it the end of the world?

Andrew ( a sensitive Jonathan Goff) and Eric ( tough Ben Aldridge) are driving up to a cabin getaway to enjoy the outdoors and time with their young adopted daughter Wen (an excellent Kristen Cui). The joy in the vehicle is summed up as they all sing to K.C. and the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes. 

Fun turns to suspense, dilemma horror when Four Horseman of  the Apocalypse show up led  by Leonard (a soft spoken intense Dave Bautista). Knock at the Cabin directed by M. Night Shyamalan asks what do you do when facing the impossible decision - save your family or save humanity?

This movie was very good and perfectly timed (100 minutes). I jumped. I worried. I questioned - what the heck is really happening? M. Knight knows how to tell a story with twists, turns, and a ticking clock. Perhaps a bleak theme, and yet in this day and age with the doomsday clock being reset seemingly daily, it hits in the gut. Very good acting and a tight setting - a cabin in the woods where you think you've "escaped" reality for enjoyment and then the solitude punches you in  the gut. 

I will not give away more, but Knock at the Cabin is worth a peek. A  good popcorn flick to start the year. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - More Frosty Whimsy

February 2nd was Groundhog Day and that rodent did not see a shadow in Texas. 
Brrr - supposed  to be last day of our big freeze

Our yaupon holly tree lost a big limb. Alas, ice was just too heavy on the leaves and berries
Haven't seen any birds. Guess they were smart and did head to Cancun for the winter. 

And that's another Whatever Wednesday - Whimsy Frost style. Stay warm as you write

Monday, February 6, 2023

Book Review - The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken (Yawn)

 The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken is an odd read. As I read it, I wasn't sure I really liked the narrator or her "hero". And yet, the story was compelling enough to keep me curious. And then, I'd easily put it down. But, I did want to see what was the point of the book. So, let's call me conflicted and not a quitter. 

Perhaps this book struck a bit too close to home in weird ways.  The narrator takes a trip to London to reflect on her late mother. The family home back in America is up for sale and the contents had been auctioned off. The narrator never wrote about her mother in previous works, referring to privacy and some inadequacy in actually doing her mother justice. 

cover blurb - This book is a searing examination of grief and renewal, and of a deeply felt relationship between a child and her parents. It ultimately becomes a lesson in what it means to write. At once comic and heartbreaking, with prose that delights at every turn, this is a novel of such piercing love and tenderness we are reminded that art is what remains when all else fails. 

That blurb is what drew me in to pluck this from the library shelves. The writing is good. Comic? No. 

People I could  connect to? No.   This book was quite short. That's a plus. I'm glad I did not purchase it. Hooray for libraries. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Finally Frosty Friday

You never know what the weather will  bring in North Texas.  Well, from 60s we plunged to 20s back  on Monday morning. With that, we got  thunder  sleet and  a nice glaze to paralyze the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Live wild - that's if you ventured on to  the highways.  No  thank you. 
Artsy photo
I love my little iron octopus art I bought this  summer in  Rehoboth Beach.  I bet he's not happy with this ice dusting. 
Artsy rocks

 And more winter/summer clash in my garden

We should warm up this weekend - back  to 60s on  Sunday.  And that's Texas winter weather in  a nutshell. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Winter Frost Whimsy

Baby, it's cold outside.  We've had thunder sleet and a nice glaze covering concrete, gardens, and roadways. 
I played with the tone of  this photo
Polar  Bear  Plunge,  anybody?
Well, this project will  just have to wait!