Monday, July 31, 2023

Momentous Monday - Wedding

Today, July 31 2023, eldest son Chris and Krystal will wed on Pensacola Beach, FL.  Ray and I will be there along with a small amount of family.  We are very happy to welcome Krystal to our crazy crew. She is a gem and I think she and Chris have gotten together at the right time in their lives. Some things just get in sync and I do believe this is one of them. 

She picked this date because it was her parents anniversary. They are both gone, but she honors them today as she says her vows. 

Send good thoughts around 6:30 pm  Eastern time.  These photos are from previous stuff and their engagement. 


Friday, July 28, 2023

Finally Friday - yep, More NC

A lovely jaunt to the Sandhills Horticulture Center.  Lots of wonderful statues on the grounds
A cool art installation
This park was free and sponsored by the community college.  We were there in the morning  to beat the heat. It  got a bit steamy by noon. 

I love botanical gardens.   More to see on Monday's post. Enjoy this trip with the gang. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - More NC

So, my gang of PA friends (2 from junior high, 1 from high school, and 2 from college) are celebrating...(gasp) age 65 this year.  We decided to gather in Pinehurst NC to celebrate. Our fancy dinner was at the Carolina Inn.  Really nice and yummy food!
Here's the place we stayed. Fortunately got a family deal - this belongs to an  in-law of one of the ladies. Absolutely delightful  And no - we were not very good at playing cornhole. 
Trish, Me, Helen, and Lisa.  Mary Ellen took this pic and  our "Flat Joan" got to participate in spirit.  Alas, some health issues kept her from coming.  A true reminder that we are getting older and happen  
Here, the gang cleans up pretty well.  Yes - we had a guy (Trish's husband Garry stayed with his sister in another home on the property)   He enjoyed his harem
Joan had fun in spirit.  She ate well.  Ha!   We do have laughs. And she was kept in the loop via text. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Monday Moments - North Carolina

I started a week in North Carolina with my college friend, Lisa, in Hillsborough. We walked the "speedway" trail - one of the first racing tracks that  begat NASCAR
They left an old car on the walking trail as part of history. 
At another site - a huge magnolia tree
Off to Pinehurst NC, a huge golf community. This sign in our home for the week was perfect for Ray. 

 and can't forget tall pines.  The scenery was wonderful and lush. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

Finally Friday - Flashback to the Fed

Way back in May, Ray and I did a road trip. A fun impromptu stop was right near our hotel in Cleveland. We visited the Federal Reserve of Cleveland. Checking up on the money!
Yep - I could be a model for the next one dollar bill
Money makes the world go round - that's a song from Cabaret. Money can be a drug,  a curse, a necessary evil.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Why yes, money can grow on trees (in the Federal Reserve)

 This building  was  beautiful.  The goal was to make it look rich.  People wanted to know there money was solid, taken  care of, protected, and worth the investment. 

Very interesting museum of money.  Well done, US Government.  Thank you Cleveland for doing your part in our economic system.   

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Wednesday Whatever - Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Fever by Mary Beth Keane is an interesting  little novel about Typhoid Mary. Since we went through our own little pandemic in 2020 and we know a lot more about germs and vaccines, etc. this book is an eye opener. 

At age fifteen,  Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland to New York City. She's an ambitious gal and is a truly talented chef.  She manages to become the head chef for some of the finest families. It's just a shame that she slowly leaves a trail of deaths behind her. 

A "medical engineer" manages to track her and expose her as the source of typhoid deaths. But she's hale and hearty. How can that be?

Mary has never been ill.  But the bloodwork done in  the early 1900s shows she has the typhoid germ within her.  She is put into quarantine for years.  This dramatic historic novel retells a forgotten life and you feel for our "deathly" heroine. 

Cough, fever, die!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Monday Moments - Hadestown

If you've followed this blog, my friends, you know I love the theater and Bass Hall in Fort Worth, TX.  We are very fortunate to get excellent Broadway touring  companies. Hadestown was no exception. I treated myself to a ticket for a Sunday matinee and was transported to the underworld. It was worth the trip. 
I did my homework ahead of time and reviewed some Greek mythology. This is the story of Hades - God of the dead and ruler  of the underworld. His wife Persephone is the goddess of the seasons. She spends half of the year with him causing fall and winter. The other half is spring and summer above. 

Hermes is the fleet footed guide and messenger of the gods. He transports the souls. 

Orpheus is a beautiful man - son of the muse of epic poetry, lyrical singing, and  plays the lyre. 

He falls for Eurydice - a tree nymph who's bitten by a snake and descends to the underworld where Hades falls  for her.   Orpheus manages to sneak into the underworld to rescue her.  A battle for souls ensues. 

The Fates - three goddesses determine the destinies of mortals.  The Chorus sing, speak, and dance in unison - representing the voice of the citizens. 

All in all  - this musical just hits the soul. The voices are tremendous, the acting superb, the production is tight.  There are a lot of underlying  themes going  on too - there's a lot to think about after it's over. But when it starts with "The road  to hell" and ends with "  Doubt comes in" - oh, you are in for quite a ride. 

Amen and Hallelujah!


Friday, July 14, 2023

Finally Friday - Past Lives Film

 If you are looking  for a lovely quiet film  to see this weekend to beat the heat, go see Past Lives. Nothing  explodes (well, maybe some hearts). It's a talking kind of film. Very low key. It does have some subtitles. And it will make you think as you come out of the theater. Excellent acting, story line, and execution. 

Twelve year old childhood friends are destined to be together. They compete in education. They walk to school together every day. And they are best friends.  But the girl and her family emigrate from Seoul, Korea to Canada. So that's that. 

Twelve years later, Nora (Greta Lee) is studying in NYC and working on being a playwright. She sees that Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) has been trying to find her on the internet.  They connect and Facetime. All grown-up and yet strangers. He's an engineering student in Seoul. Slowly, shyly they talk. You can tell that he has not forgotten her at all, but she can tell that she's moved on. And yet...there's a connection.  But, she's working on her career and declares, " I can't keep talking  to you.  Bye for now."

Twelve years later, we see her with her husband, Arthur, ( John Magaro) and also Hae Sung. Sung is visiting from Korea after so many years. From flashbacks, we see how he's been drifting and she met and married a Jewish man, and continued with her career - hoping  for a Tony someday. 

So, it's a fateful week that confronts destiny, love, and life choices. (wikipedia summary line)

Past Lives is truly well done. Big thumbs up from  me and my friend  Linda T. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - July Joy

July in Texas and out come the heat memes.  And they capture the moments. 
Meanwhile I am in Pinehurst, NC hanging with the ladies.  It's  the gang and we've converged to enjoy a week of laughs, chat, book club, and more.  Will Pinehurst ever be the same?    Ha!

This is the honest to God truth.  No real cold water out of the tap until  October. 

We are in training here for Hell.  I am ready!

Monday, July 10, 2023

Monday Moments Book Review - The Personal Librarian

 Wow and wow

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray kept me captivated for a weekend.  I tore through this book and savored the writing, the characters, and the impressive amount of research the authors did to keep this book  so authentic. Kudos. 

Belle da Costa Greene is a black woman passing as white in the 1900s.  She's brilliant in the world of art, books, and negotiating.  As  THE personal  librarian for J.P. Morgan, she  helps build and curate an impressive world of rare manuscripts, books, and  artworks for the new Morgan Library. 

Her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating made this a world class collection. 

Her secret is the story. 

Trust me. Just read this book and learn and appreciate an amazing woman.  Who cares  about her color? At that  time, she was a woman beyond it all.   Wow and wow and wow. 

Friday, July 7, 2023

Finally Friday - No Hard Feelings

 No Hard Feelings. 

I've read a few reviews that took this movie way too seriously. It's funny as hell.  Just lighten up people - not everything has to be an issue. 

Jennifer Lawrence has great comedic timing.   She plays Maddie - a woman who indeed keeps screwing up.   She has issues and can't let go enough to move on . By answering an ad from helicopter parents ( Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick ) she agrees to bring their nineteen year old son Percy ( Andrew Barth Feldman) out  of his shell and prepare for college. (Might it involve sex? Yes,  but it's deeper than that and becomes less weird - trust me) 

Yes, it starts out a bit creepy but turns into a film where both key characters  grow. Maddie really doesn't respect herself.   Percy is an idealist who actually respects her and  the idea of truly caring about someone.  They talk a lot and ultimately meet in  the middle.  One matures. One learns  about herself. 

You have to just go with it and be happy with the ending.  I was - have I ever let you folks down in a review?  Nah!   Trust J-Law - she's just awesome.    

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

 I am preparing to meet my PA gang in Pinehurst, NC.  We  all turn 65 and meet every five years to celebrate.  Plus we do our book club. 

OMG - this is always a noisy gathering. I've know two since junior high, one other since high school, and two from college.  Alas, we do have a member from high school who passed (Terri). 

So, our special gathering book club features Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin and it was an  excellent book.  

Sam Masur, Sadie  Green, and Marx are memorable characters. Genius kids who create video games. The book covers a world I knew nothing about, but ended up being fascinated by. 

cover blurb - This book is a dazzling and intricately imagined  novel that examines  the multifarious nature  of identity, disability, failure, and redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.  

I have so many markers for this book. Every page had a quote to save.   I loved this story,  the characters and the writing.  It's a wow. 

pg. 336  "What is a game?" Marx said. " It's tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. It's the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea is you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever. " 

Trust me. This book will  blow your mind. 

Monday, July 3, 2023

Monday Moments - Celebrate America for July 4th

Happy Monday - July 3rd.  Almost 4th of July   Here are some past pic memories
Table settings
Stars and Stripes
Crape Myrtle and umbrella poolside

 Plus pretty summer flowers. 

I admit - reading the paper,  one  worries about America.  But - in person, hanging  out - folks  just care about family, food, and living.   All the issues sorta disappear and we hit common ground.  What's best for children?

Me personally - read, know the history that got us here.  Appreciate all cultures, genders, races, and  lives.  We can  learn from everybody and everything.  Save and appreciate nature.  It's been freakin' hot in TX.  Let's protect our environment.  

I love blog world.  It's folks  who read, write, think, and care. 

Thank you - readers in America and around the world.  Happy 4th of July to all - Let Freedom Ring.