Friday, April 28, 2023

Finally Friday - A Rant (plus pretty flower pics) About Parking Fees

Yep - I did not sit on any bluebonnets for this picture.  It's a sacred thing in  Texas.  Nothing  was harmed!

 And a wow shot of a field of Indian paintbrush. 

So -the rant.  You do not see me or Ray at the Sugar Ridge Winery and that's a shame. I was ready to sample and  buy some wine,  plus perhaps eat an  overpriced lunch in a pretty setting. BUT - as  we pulled in  it was Valet Parking only for $10.  

NO - that broke my spirit.  They were  taking full advantage of  the Bluebonnet Festival  audience. So they lost a bunch more business. 

It flat out pissed me off.

Parking has become a ridiculous price point in the DFW  area.   I'm curious what you are seeing in your area?

Opening Day baseball  parking  $50.  Regular day of no  consequence - $15.  Weekends  $20

Are you going  to wash our car?  Give us something.........

We are still mad  at Abby's high school graduation at Dickie's Arena in Fort Worth - we were charged money for a freakin' high school graduation............

Enough said. 

That's my rant.   I hope you enjoyed some more pretty flower pics - I'm the thorn in the middle - annoyed at the world! 

Cheers  and have  a super good weekend.   Watch  where  you park.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Ennis Bluebonnet Trail

Sunday - Ray and I headed southeast  to Ennis - a one hour drive.  Such fun - it's the bluebonnet festival time and we enjoyed a gorgeous adventure.  Kachina Prairie walk - 1/2 mile with a nice bison statue.  
A peak into a field of Indian paintbrush
OMG - glorious


Yes, you can  be sick of my flower posts,  but you have to understand - this is a fabulous April event in Texas.  The right amount of rain, sun, and  weather conditions allowed all of this to happen. 

Not too cold. Not too hot. Not too dry. Not  too rainy.  

It's a freakin' miracle and I'm sharing  it with you.    Thanks Ray for driving  me around the countryside. He's awesome.  And Mother Nature it too. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday Moments - The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

 Whoa!  The Housemaid by Freida McFadden is truly creepy and awesome and I can't tell you much. 

I just got this from the library and read it in two days.   Obsessive reading. 

Does that say enough?  

Millie, fresh out of prison, manages to get a job in Manhattan with the Winchesters.  Really rich folks - Nina and Andrew.  So, what  could go wrong?  Is Nina certifiably nuts?  Is the very young daughter, Cecelia, wacko?  Is the husband,  so dreamy, too good  to be true? 

Yes, yes,  yes. 

And does the attic bedroom door only lock  from the outside?  Yikes!!!!

That's it.  That's all I can say. 

Read it for yourself and find out what the heck happens....Enjoy!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Finally Friday - Let's Take A Walk

What do you do with a glorious spring day?  Wear shorts. Apply sunscreen. Head to the Colleyville Nature Center. And explore new paths
The last time we visited this place (only a ten minute drive), Ray was recovering from his knee replacement.  Thus, we only hit a teeny part of the park. 
Oh my goodness. There was a whole big loop of ponds we had missed. This  was a delightful revelation. 
The spring greens are so electric this time of year. 
Nothing like a little bubbling creek over some rocks to add to the atmosphere. 

Get up now from your computer. Get outside. Find a park. Unless you take some photos, put away the phone. Walk, listen for birds, nod to fellow trekkers.  Have a super good Friday and weekend. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Wednesday Whatever - Moyes Trilogy Finale

 I've been delighted so far with Jojo Moyes books - Me Before You, After You, and now Still Me

With the end of the trilogy, I feel sad saying goodbye to Louisa Clark. But after quite the muddling about and many kerfluffles, our young heroine has hit her stride and shall carry on. When I finished it, I pictured Mary Tyler Moore from her old sitcom, throwing her hat triumphantly in the air. And as the saying goes for New York City, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. 

So, in Still Me, Louisa arrives in New York but it's tough keeping a long distance relationship alive with Sam still in England. Fifth Avenue is a whole other world and she has to watch herself in this new world. Is her new employer her friend? Lou is still naive and has to learn how to navigate. But her bubbly unique self shines through and a treasure filled vintage clothing store helps her find her way. 

I laughed, I worried, I cared about Louisa (and Sam's) journey. Jojo Moyes writes so smoothly. She does not hit a false note and has created very rich fleshed out characters full of foibles and life. Still Me sums up the saga of Louisa. Very fun and entertaining read. 

(Thanks Linda Hoffman for finding these and passing them on!)

Monday, April 17, 2023

Monday Moments - Let's Review Some Easter Joy

Cute little girls before the chocolate mess on the pretty yellow dress
Dakota is 5 - she just bounced through the day, skipping, talking non-stop, and being adorable
Makyla is 14 - braces off and a cool young lady. She rolls her eyes at her younger sisters and gives more instructions than their mother. Ha!
Ray's family. The whole local herd. Sheer coincidence with all of the blue
The sons - Chris and Kevin. They've turned out darn well.  This was before the wrestling match. They are the reason I had footprints on a ceiling back in the day.  Boys!

Friday, April 14, 2023

Finally Friday Random

We were driving in the Hill Country and this contrail pattern caught my eye.  Which direction are you going?
I like this quote. Frankly the view in the above picture is rather magical. 

So look up, look down,  take your time to breathe. Sit on your patio or wherever this weekend and take time to find a secret. 

Cheers all!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Book vs Movie (Discuss)

If you love movies and you love books, this But Have You Read the Book? by Kristen Lopez is wonderful. Fifty two literary gems that inspired awesome films.  This is a good checklist to  review and fill in the blanks  for your cinematic and literary knowledge. 
Short descriptions discuss how films like Clueless by Amy Heckerling inspired by Jane Austen's Emma diverged from the original. Or One  Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest movie version shifted the point of view. 

back blurb  Lopez explores just what makes these works classics of both page and screen, and why each made for an exceptional adaptation - whether faithful to the book or exemplifying cinematic creative license. 

I personally plan  to revisit quite a few of these works - get the book  from the library, read, and then find  the movie and do my own  comparison. I've seen a LOT of  these as movies but how quickly one forgets. Same with the books.  Rebecca, The Joy Luck Club, The Talented Mr. Ripley....this is going  to be a fun project.

Anybody else want  to join in?   

Monday, April 10, 2023

Monday Moyes (again) - After You

 I enjoyed Me Before You and immediately launched into the sequel After You by Jojo Moyes. 

Louisa Clark is back and  she's  a mess after her six months with Will Traynor and his subsequent death choice hit her hard. She's working  in  the crappy airport bar and just slogging along. Then a horrific accident sends her  back home to recover and heal. Her mind and heart still  won't catch up to her body. 

She joins a support group, meets the paramedic that saved her, and slowly climbs back  to the land of the living. Plus, a figure from Will's past appears.  Quite the surprise and a lot  to deal with, but it also gets Louisa focused on more than herself. 

back cover How do you move on after the losing  the  person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Sometimes sequels are too much of a rehash, but After You is quite fresh. Jojo Moyes has a solid character in Lou and as a reader you are rooting for her all the way. Funny, romantic, poignant - I enjoyed this book and I'm moving on to the final in the trilogy. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter weekend to one and all.   And for those celebrating Passover - blessing to you too.  
Saturday will be Easter egg hunt day with this crew. They are older now and we'll have to get creative with our hiding. I just hope it's not raining - soggy eggs...that's no fun
Meanwhile, last weekend Ray and I went to visit Aunt Pat and enjoy the bounty of Hill Country wildflowers. 
The bluebonnets were popping
Just a glorious time of year - not too hot, not too cold. Just right for  spring flowers.

Cheers to you and your families in this time of year for  renewal. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Book Review - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a rom-com book with heart. It's one of three in a series and this first one is compelling. I'd seen the movie a long time ago.  A friend (Linda Hoffman!!) lent me this book and as I read it, the story returned to me.  (Note - I can't remember crap anymore - ha!)

Louisa Clark is very ordinary and has been told she's a bit daft and not destined for much in her small village. Her older sister, Treena, is the sharp one destined for a lot, except she did get pregnant and had to drop out of college. So, there is that. 

Louisa has a boyfriend, Patrick, who's life is health and training for marathons, etc - he is very into Patrick. But they've been together forever, so there is that. 

Louisa gets out of her comfort zone with a new job. She's been hired to aid Will Traynor, an ex-Master of the Universe kind of guy who is now confined to a wheelchair. He's agreed to give his his folks six months of life before heading to Switzerland for an assisted death. Lou wants to show him life is worth living. 

There are twists and turns, ups and downs, and strong emotions in this book. Some predictability and some surprises. The book will tug at your heart and keep you turning pages. You'll root for Lou as she grows a lot and learns about love.  (Yes, I sniffled a bit in spots)

Monday, April 3, 2023

Monday Moments - Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Oh, I love a new Kate Atkinson book - always a treat. Shrines of Gaiety does not disappoint, and once again Atkinson's writing style, word choices,  descriptions, and strong characters are on virtuoso display.

It's 1926 and London has quite the nightlife.  Nellie Coker, fresh out of prison, is back with her six grown children to rule an empire of nightclubs. cover blurb - But success breeds enemies, and Nellie's empire faces threats both from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho's gaiety there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost. 

Follow Ramsay, the dissolute idiot son. Or chapters with Shirley, Betty, and the sharpest one, Edith.  What about Frobisher, the inspector, who is determined  to clean up Soho?  And there's Freda (clever urchin girl) eager to get into show business. Will she avoid being murdered? Sadly, young girls keep being pulled from the Thames. What fiend is afoot?

Atkinson weaves a world of characters into a glittering and dangerous world. Laugh but stay wary.  

And enjoy a fine escape into 1926 London. Sip your cocktail slowly and stay alert.