Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Post Turkey Trot - Chill Out

So, we've enjoyed Thanksgiving...eaten that wee bit too much, didn't exercise quite as much, and now  we are fretting over the next holiday countdown.  Baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating and more. 

We all have those checklists. I have truly cut back  on the holiday stressing and's easy to get sucked up into the whirl.   So, this post is your final November whatever - chill  out my friends. 

I nabbed these photos from a  FB  friend's beach trip. Aaah!

 Isn't this just way cool?  
This is from October 14th - our solar eclipse.   Saturday dawned glorious - blue skies, windy bluster, and sunshine. Then around 10:30ish things changed. You could tell the light was changing.  

Unlike a former leader, we did not go  out and stare into the sun.  Duh!   Ray had his pinhole papers and that was  cool.  But he discovered that our leaf pattern out front showed a very nifty crescent view of the eclipse without burning our retinas

This shot I took at high noon was at the peak of our eclipse in North Texas.  Quite nifty. 

So - the point is - chill out and embrace any moment of nature you have in a day. That's very important. A little walk around your block to shake off any cobwebs is good for you.  Yes, you can be composing another list as you stroll, but stop and inhale that November (soon to be December) air.   Enjoy

Monday, November 27, 2023

Monday Moments - The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

 What happened to the girl you left behind?

back blurb:  France 1916, Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe while Edouard fights at the front. The  town falls to the Germans in the midst of WWI. She is forced to serve soldiers dinner at her hotel. The new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by her artist husband - a dangerous obsession is born, one that will lead Sophie to make  a dark and terrible  decision. 

A century later, Sophie's portrait hangs in the house of Liv Halston. A  battle begins  over its troubled history. As the layers of the  painting's shadowy past are revealed, Liv's world is turned upside  down again. Her belief  in  what is right is put to the ultimate test.  

JoJo Moyes writes a very layered story and handles the past and present well.  The WWI setting proves interesting and she obviously did research about this time period. The Girl You Left Behind is an excellent  read and I cared a lot about the characters. It kept me guessing until the end, in regards to the fate of the stunning painting. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Finally Friday - Turkey, Birthday, Holiday Season

Happy Holiday season kickoff everyone. Hope you enjoyed a turkey feast yesterday. I hope it was a peaceful time with family or friends. 
Saturday is my "baby" sister, Lori's, birthday.  Happy Birthday!!  Hope you enjoy your weekend with lots of treats, good food, and fun with friends.  Let there be cake!
Meanwhile, Ray is probably down in San Saba for the big hunt.  Here he is with Aunt Pat raising a new flag at Uncle James' gravesite up on  the  hill.  Dear Ray - have fun, but you don't have  to bring  back any deer. don't.   Thanks
And fall in Philly, in my dad's neighborhood. Crisp air
I am thankful for many things - Ray,  my Dad, my family, so many good friends, decent health. And here's  to new friends and adventures since I retired. Pickleball has been a blast - this is the First Methodist Church of Hurst Wednesday gang. Lots  of laughs and plenty of exercise. 

I'll also give a shoutout to my YMCA water aerobic ladies - no swimsuit  pics  allowed.  Ha!

Tis the season - take a moment to reflect on what you are  thankful for, and take time  for yourselves too.  I thank my blog readers for reading my blather.  Cheers everyone. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Whatever Wednesday

 I am still recovering from three weeks in PA.   Back to the Y and exercise.  Back to Ray.  Getting ready for holiday countdowns.  Yowza.   Time flies. 

Can't go wrong with a Maya Angelou quote. 

You are welcome. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Monday Moment - Yoga my way

 Howdy - I am back from three weeks in PA. Must do laundry and get back to the YMCA to exercise. No doubt I've  grown sluggish. 

Tuesday is my yoga day.  Can I still balance, bend, and be a tree?  Hmmm. 

This meme sums up my true talent. 

Are you with me?   Namaste

Friday, November 17, 2023

Finally Friday - New York City

This was a zillion years ago. I came into NYC. Dad and my sister Lori rode the train up from PA to meet me for a show.  So fun.  

Now this year,  I'm going on an NYC bus trip with Lori and her friends.  It's just for the day, but I plan  to cram my face with a bagel, cheesecake, and we have dinner at Carmine's.  Oh yeah!

NYC is just magical.  I love the energy, the people,  the lights, and the overall size of this city. 

I could  live here if I had a ridiculous amount of money. I'm watching "Billions" on Prime - that's the way I'd want to do NYC. 

I visited NYC in September of 2001, right before the attacks  and the towers fell.  Still so profound - something I will never forget. 

New York, New York - every song about it rings true. We are going to have SO much fun. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Time

 It is mid November and my three weeks in PA are almost up. Will I have accomplished anything? At least I will have kept my dad amused with reminiscing and some laughs. We'll have had some good meals, and watched the same movies over and over. 

It is mid November and almost holiday time. Are you ready for this downhill slide to finish another wacky year?

There are years when nothing happens and years when centuries happen - Carlos Fuentes on the new world disorder, July 1993

Ah! the clock is always slow...It is later than you think.   Robert W. Service, Ballads of a Bohemian 1921

Monday, November 13, 2023

Monday Moments - Greek fest

It was a dreary Thursday - what the heck - movie matinee and some popcorn. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 is ridiculous, silly, unnecessary, and I enjoyed it. Don't expect anything new. Expect stereotypical behavior - noisy nosy Greeks in everybody's business and pushing food the whole time. The plot line is unoriginal - the father died and now it's time to go back to his hometown in Greece and have a reunion. Try to find any of his original living friends to pass on the father's journal. 

Nia Vardalos is the writer and star and she's very personable. She's not "movie star beauty" and has used  her Greek background and ethnic beauty to her advantage. John Corbett as her husband, Ian, plays the white guy outsider with good humor. Lainie Kazan is the matriarch and they stay in touch with her via zoom. Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula is the eccentric fun elder.  

Greece is a gorgeous backdrop, as is the quaint village and the food. It's a fluff short movie with funny lines and a message of FAMILY FIRST, and that's nice. It's probably streaming by now -  eat, drink, and dance...loudly in your own home.  

Friday, November 10, 2023

Finally Friday - Long Shadows

 Long Shadows by David Baldacci is book seven in the Memory Man series. 

Nice to have Amos Decker back in the mix, but he's not convinced he's in the mood. He definitely doesn't want a new partner, "Freddie White". He also just received a letter from the Cognition Studies who monitor his condition. The news isn't necessarily stellar, and Amos can tell his memory can be a bit off at times. See - he had a football brain injury that gave him perfect memory - he can remember everything, every detail, every thing he sees or reads. He also has color sensory - bright blue is murder. 

cover blurb info: Well the bright blue is searing in south Florida. Decker and White are investigating the death of a judge, along with her bodyguard. One was brutally stabbed, the other shot. What was the timing? Why? Who was the real target? Gang members, drug dealers, and smugglers, a resentful ex-husband - all become involved. More bodies pile up as they try to piece together a very interwoven tunnel of secrets, crimes, and scandal. 

Baldacci writes a good thriller and kept me guessing until the end. Decker and White prove to be quite a team. So much for a beach vacation - ha!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - A Haunting in Venice

 Kenneth Branagh is Hercule Poirot in the latest Agatha Christie film, A Haunting in Venice.  Alas, he's weary of solving murders, but is brought to an ancient castle in Venice on a stormy night (of course).  There is to be a seance. Tina Fey, an author, wants him to disprove the medium (Michelle Yeoh) who is going to talk to  the daughter who died in this home. There are of course a family of three, assorted help, a policeman, some new immigrants - all with tics, suspicious behavior, and demons. 

Thunder, lightning, and murder. I'm not  going  to say who or how many bodies prove dead. But doors are now locked and Poirot is questioning everyone. Shifty eyes. A scream.  Red herrings  galore. 

It's an entertaining film and richly produced. Branagh, as director, has a good eye for settings and pace.  It was a fun matinee to see with a friend and we were amused.  No doubt it will be streaming  soon and I recommend it if you are killing time. Cue a bolt  of lightning!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Monday Moments - The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt

 The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt is a very low key read that I can't recommend purchasing or spending time with for free (I did get this out of the library). It was so-so. Good writing, but I kept waiting for a tad more. I did start skimming. 

Bob Comet is a retired librarian in Portland, Oregon. He reads. He walks. He really has no friends. On  a walk  one day he comes upon a woman who appears lost. She has a tag around her neck that directs her back to a senior center. Bob guides her back and ultimately begins volunteering there. 

cover blurb - Bob's experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsize players to welcome onto the stage of this life. 

Hmm. I can't say I chuckled at all. And a slight twist that's thrown in  about the woman Bob found - eh I say with a shrug.  Consider this a public service post.  I often like books with a library or reading theme. This one - not so much. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Finally Friday - Serenity

I am currently at my dad's in PA.    This is a filler post to wish you a calm weekend.  This photo was taken by friends in South Padre, TX.  I nabbed it off FB
My cousin  Mark and his wife have been gallivanting  all over Europe.  What a view - I believe this is in Austria.  They bike and hike and say Prost! at the end of the day. 

I'll be hanging out with  dad, no doubt taking a walk around the block (just me), fixing him some decent meals, and there's plenty of snoozing that occurs when you are ninety-two years old. 

Have a good one everyone. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

 I love Colson Whitehead's writing, and I enjoyed his character, Ray Carney, introduced in Harlem Shuffle. Now Carney is back and trying to stay out of trouble in Crook Manifesto

1971 - Ray Carney is out of the  stolen goods business. His furniture store is thriving and life is good. But his daughter wants to see the Jackson 5. Carney checks in with an old police contact, a fixer. But Munson has his own  favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated - and deadly. (cover)

1973  Carney's best long time buddy, Pepper, takes on a side gig doing security for a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. It's a freaky world, and we follow  Pepper on a trip to the underbelly. Adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook - to their regret.   (cover)

1976  Our crooked duo, Carney and Pepper, have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.  (cover)

Whitehead captures the era in Harlem. He writes with humor, his characters are loyal family/friend people, and you can't help but root for Carney to find his way.