Friday, March 29, 2024

Finally Good Friday - Happy Easter Weekend

Greetings and Happy Easter.  Hope it's a grand weekend with family,  friends, or just you - eat bunny ears with no regrets.    This is a past  arboretum picture - tulip festival
More arboretum
An ancient pic of me and dad at the Morris arboretum.  This very vital man is now 92 and I don't know that he knows it's Easter.  Oh Dad!
And one of my Easter displays.

We'll be going  to Kevin's. The girls shall have an Easter egg hunt. We'll eat a nice feast.  And plenty of chocolate overload. 

Cheers to you and blessings.  And yes, while not religious, I appreciate and honor the lovely aspects of the religious season.  Peace.    Peace.  That's all I ask.  No judgements.    Just  peace for all. 



Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wacky Wednesday - Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

 Come and Get It by Kiley Reid is a very current, sharp novel that explores the choices we make, particularly for the things that can and cannot be paid for. (cover blurb)

2017  University of Arkansas.  Millie Cousins is 24, an RA at Belgrade dorm.  She's saving money, wants a house, and planning to graduate. (Yes, she is black)

Agatha Paul (white/lesbian)  is a writer/visiting prof who sees potential with Millie for her next current topic.  But the side hustle by Millie (letting Agatha listen to the dorm young ladies) ends up problematic.  A lonely transfer student, unruly residents, and illicit intrigue.  Oops.  How much trade off is warranted?  cover blurb

Potential suicide?  Gay exploration or exploitation?  Racism?  

A lot of current issues are explored in this extremely well written book. It's subtle. It's interesting. 

I enjoyed the characters, the college. the story lines.   Give it a chance. Go and get it (I got it from the library)   

Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday Madness - Book Review - Geena Davis

 Thelma and Louise,  The Accidental Tourist, A League of Their Own, Commander in Chief

Plus The Fly!

You know Geena Davis. Two Time Academy Award winner, world class archer, advocate for women. 

This incredible woman has written an amusing memoir - Dying of Politeness.  It's a very fun, interesting read.  She dishes a bit, is quite wacky (in a good way), and you'll absolutely enjoy her book. 

She's dated quite a bit, married a lot, and has worked hard for gender parity.  She truly fights for women everywhere and wow - I really appreciate her journey. 

She's a gem and if you don't really know her work - then read this book, watch her movies, and then applaud.  Kudos Geena Davis. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Finally Friday - Cute Kids

Spring break in Texas.  No, we did not attend a glamping event, but pictures were sent for us to admire. Sounded like they had a lot of fun.  This is younger son Kevin's crew -  Dakota, Skylar, wife Maria, and eldest Makyla
Dakota has her style

 They were with another family. Nice boys and yes, Makyla and Will are "dating".  Puppy love - aw.....

I'm proud of Kevin and Maria for giving these girls experiences.  They spend time, have adventures, and truly enjoy their girls.  It gives me fond memories of my childhood - not a spring break, but summer time trips.  Or a weekend when my mom hauled out the PA guidebook and we'd find a historical home to visit.  Lots of history within a short drive.   Aaah...memories. 

So, hooray. I'm happy to report that there are parents  that still travel with their kids, stay off their phones (except to send some cute pics!), and really do stuff - hike , camp, cook  s'mores. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Easter Prep

I quickly shoved St. Patrick shamrocks into a bin to make way for Peter Cottontail.  March winds are blowing, and the Easter bunny is getting ready to hop a trail. 
Spring is popping out in PA - forsythia from a past visit
And it's tulip fest at the Dallas arboretum

 This is a past fun Easter display.  Ray is currently working on a jigsaw puzzle at this table. I need to find other space for Easter decor. 

Happy Wednesday.  Hope spring is peeping around your corner.  Or our TX temps have indicated a complete surge into summer.  Yikes!   Chocolate eggs will melt - must eat quickly. Darn the bad luck. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

Monday Moments - The First Ladies

 What a nice surprise treat!  The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray gives us a novel insight into the friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune. Two women. What's so strange about this?  Well, back in 1927 this was the beginning of a life long friendship between a white woman and a black woman. (Swoon!)

Frankly, as I read this book, I did keep shaking my head. The segregation. The ridiculous treatment of Dr. Bethune is beyond fathom.  And yet, sadly today, still a bit current. From then, through the 1930s, the 1940s (WWII), and 1945 - the UN Charter these women grew to work together, to appreciate each other, and truly make life better for so many. 

I love how this book gives equal story opportunity to both characters.  We all feel we know quite a bit about First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a force to be reckoned with and worked hard on so many causes in the shadow of her husband FDR.   Mary McLeod Bethune is less well known, but should be. An activist and educator, she is a person to admire. 

Their friendship formed the foundation for the modern civil rights movement. 

Kudos to the author - one  white,  one black. Their  melded chapters flowed and like The Personal Librarian (another genius book) they truly give us a story for the ages.  Please read The First Ladies - learn and appreciate an amazing piece of history in novel form. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Finally Friday - Transition

So - 92-1/2   Dad's in  his new "apartment" in assisted living after 64 years in his old home. 

We kids grew up there.    But it was time.   Stairs - scary

Fixing meals, problematic

Taking correct meds - um, dang

Here's the old place
The den

 Yep - a rotary phone.  I have dibs on this thing.  Do you know how many years he's been paying rent?  Yep - crazy

An end of an era. Heartrending for all.    

Wish us luck that he acclimates to new surroundings. The new place is super duper nice with a chef that cooks amazing meals. 

The staff has been fantastic.  More power to nurses and aides who will do geriatric work. Patience and more.  Wow!

Wish us luck.  He's a sweet man. The old ticker is crazy good.  I hope the brain keeps up. 

I am not religious - but prayers. Voodoo.  I'll accept anything.     Thanks. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Zoo! Babies!

Lovely early spring weather.  Ray and I needed a break from our normal routine, so I suggested a Saturday visit to the Fort Worth Zoo.  What a delight.  Baby elephant!
Giraffe..  they are just amazing , freaky creatures. 
And here's a bad boy - Rhino

We had a good walk.  I did not post my pic of the baby gorilla since it wasn't very good.  But She was so damn cute.  At one point, she stood up and beat her chest like one would expect from a jungle movie. 

The Fort Worth Zoo is well done and the new African Savannah area makes us the ones behind bars.. Let these cool creatures roam free. 


Monday, March 11, 2024

Book Review - Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major

 Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major is a clever twist on a Groundhog Day premise.  

It's a Monday.  Emma is very preoccupied, constantly on her phone, and absorbed in her work life. Dan,  her husband,  is coping. Her son and daughter are existing. Even  the dog ignores her. 

Social media, clients "emergencies", groups for kid sports, school, playdates, and more. She makes her own day frantic and "busy".  But is that really life?  Is she in the moment and truly enjoying her family? No. 

Then it's her anniversary... there's a  screech of brakes...

cover blurb - Dan is dead

the next day, Emma wakes up...and Dan is alive. 

It's Monday again



She tries to change the course of fate.  Will she ever learn the lesson being taught in regards to the social media, to being with her children, to enjoying her husband, to really living her life?

This is a What If? story and I enjoyed it immensely.  It shall  make you appreciate setting down your phone  and truly being with your family or whomever you love. 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Finally Friday - Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin

 Finally Friday and here's a really good read for the weekend - Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin. 

You'll keep the pages turning on this one.  cover blurb: A scientist and reluctant psychic.  A little girl who haunts her.  Can she find the truth?  Everyone believes a little in something they can't see. 

cover: Vivvy Bouchet, age ten, saved a boy's life with an impossible prediction. Now she's an astrophysicist in Texas, devoted to science, and she tries to leave visions behind. 

She is called to help on a cold case of a kidnapped girl, and teamed with Detective Sharp, who questions her "skills". She's in the crosshairs of a conspiracy podcaster, haunted by her dead mother, and overwhelmed with dreams.  cover - Can she lure a kidnaper out of hiding, find a child who haunts her, and lay some of her ghosts to rest?

Whew! It's a lot to process. Heaberlin's characters are a hoot. The dialogue is snappy. And she keeps the plot tight.  Had me guessing until the end.  (I did read this in daylight...gets a bit creepy at nightfall). 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Almost Baseball

I don't think we can afford tickets anymore

 Remember the 2023 World Series Champions - Texas Rangers

Now back  to square one.   What have you done for me lately?   Ha!

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack....(also can't afford)

Spring fever Wednesday

Monday, March 4, 2024

Monday Moments - Book Review - Romantic Comedy

 Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld is very obviously loosely based on Saturday Night Live - the long running late night Saturday comedy show on NBC. 

Sally is a sketch writer for the Night Owls that airs on Saturday nights.  She's long abandoned the search for love. 

cover blurb: 2018 Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation - he's a guest and host for a show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying.  But this isn't a romantic comedy - it's real life. And in  real life, someone like him (super hot and famous) would never date someone like her...right? 

2020 - pandemic.  Noah reaches out via email to Sally. Communication turns into a trip to LA for her. Sparks do fly.  Is this real?  Is it "LOVE?"   

You have to read the book to find out, but the author does a great job with the neurosis-inducing and heart fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.  (cover blurb) 

I liked this book and was along  for the ride.  Well done. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Finally Friday - Jiu Jitsu Girls

New experience a few Saturdays ago for Ray and Me - the Dallas Jiu Jitsu World League.  What a zoo. Over two thousand entries of all ages.  We sponsored Skylar (age 8) and Dakota (6) with our Christmas present to them. 
Here's Skylar (left) facing off.  These little gals are tough
Dakota (left)  is a "beast" per her father
Silver medals for both and lessons learned.  It was interesting to watch and fun to cheer them on.