Friday, May 31, 2024

Pearl S. Buck home

While I was in PA, I visited the Pearl S.  Buck home. It's a lovely estate and the docent gave us a very thorough tour. 
Ms.  Buck won the  Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for The Good Earth.  She also won the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature (1938) for "her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life  in China. And for her masterpieces - two memoir-biographies of her missionary parents."  
The grounds are gorgeous
She was renowned for her activism for women rights, and also her work on racial equality and mixed race adoptions.  

One faces the future with one's past  1942

Race prejudice is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on What America Means to Me 1943

One cool side note - my mother, as a child, remembered Pearl S. Buck - a woman in a housedress, with a lot of kids running  about. My mother's family farmed in the area and sold produce to the estate. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Oh George

 RIP George Crowther   July 1931 to May 9, 2024

Very hard to believe my dad is gone.  But at age 92 - it was a long life with a lot of friends and family that loved him.   I know you, in  blog world, followed his tale as I visited him through the years. 

He was the Best! the diary that we all carry about with us - Oscar Wilde

Good memories  for all of us - me, David, and Lori.  And thanks to David's wife, Cherie - she helped dad a lot. 

We did play "Over the Rainbow" at his graveside.  He loved all sorts of music,  but Judy Garland was a fave.   Maybe she's singing in a lounge above, and he has a front  row seat. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!   A time of  remembrance and a salute  to  those who died in war

and of course, a time to welcome summer pool season

 Fly the flag, enjoy picnics, but honor the fallen

And blood in torrents pour

In vain - always in vain

For war breeds war again 

        John Davidson "War Song"  1899

Friday, May 24, 2024

Finally Friday - Bathing Beauties

Blast from the past and my dad's art portfolio.  He  liked the  ladies 

Bathing beauties back in the day

It's getting hot enough here in Texas and it's Memorial Weekend - time for the pool to open

Have a safe and fun weekend

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - My Dad's Drawings

During house cleanout - we all reviewed my dad's portfolio.  He liked drawing the movie stars, back in high school days
Esther Williams
Veronica Lake
Betty Grable

 Gene Tierney ( I  think)

Happy Wednesday everyone

Monday, May 20, 2024

Monday Moments - Mom

When you clean out  your childhood home, the trickiest part is photo albums.  My sister  took home the stack to store for all of  us.  I snapped  a  few on my phone just for my own reference.

Here's my mom on the left, next to  baby brother Rick, and older sister Jane. Uncle Lee is  the eldest. 

And an oldie of my grandparents with Lee, Jane,  and my mom - the "baby" at the time. 
And older - Lee, my mom, the "baby" Rick, my grandmother, Jane, and my  grandfather

 And  Elmer on the farm. My grandfather looks like he's out of Grapes of  Wrath.   Stoic man. 

I remember  him as a kindly man in suspenders who'd walk me to the five and dime to  pick out candy.  

I'm a week late, but Happy Mother's Day to all.  My mom's been gone over thirty years. She is still remembered and missed. 

Friday, May 17, 2024

Finally Friday - The Black Box by Michael Connelly

You can  count on Michael Connelly  to  write  a  good detective  thriller. Harry Bosch is back in The Black Box and he's trying  to  solve a twenty year old murder.  

A Danish reporter, Anneke Jespersen,  is found shot in an alley during the LA riots.  Now Bosch is working on unsolved cases and this one has bothered him forever. A gun surfaces. It's tied to some other murders. All the players seem to be united from Desert Storm. But how is Anneke connected?

Bosch has to find the "black box" - the one piece of evidence that will bring justice and closure to her murder. 

You will keep turning  the pages and rooting for Bosch to  get the  bad guys. Whew! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - Farewell to Childhood Home

Drove to PA in April to help clear out  the childhood home.  Sixty three years here of good memories. Here I am on the front porch.  This was tough, but my siblings and I worked together and all went smoothly.  No drama. 
This is a gorgeous dogwood  at my brother's house. PA  in spring is fabulous
In the clear out, we found the blonde doll head. My Aunt Jane had  given me her doll head named Helen.  My mom wanted my sister  to  have the blonde one, but Lori never took it. We found it amongst stuff and Lori declined it again.  I accepted her and  now  they are united in Texas.  I hope they don't join forces and come alive. Yikes!
Aah - the old  clothes basket came up from the basement one last time.  It hauled  a LOT of laundry loads upstairs and  down and out to  the clothesline.  My poor mother!
And another orphan.  "You can  take it".  "Nope,  you can."  I drew the short straw and got Charlie McCarthy.  My mom  worked  at an auction gallery a  long time ago. She came home with Charlie as a present for Lori  who was around eight years old.  Lori  found him creepy.  

Yep - we found  the box with Charlie in the basement.  I've got him in  Texas now, and I hope a friend can sell him at a toy show.  

So  - that's just a few of the farewell stories.  More  posts  to  come. 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Murder Mystery Monday

 Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorp and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? (cover  blurb)

In The Mysterious Affair at  Styles, Agatha Christie, once  again pulls us into small village intrigue with a unique cast of  characters led by the brilliant  detective Hercule Poirot.  There's a new husband, two stepsons, a housekeeper, and a nurse, along with a best friend, and a questionable doctor who's specialty is poisons. 

I can't say more, of  course. I am enjoying my revisit into Christie world. So darn tricky. I am fooled every time. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

Finally Friday - Tennis Anyone?

 It's finally Friday. If you are looking for some frothy frolicking fun - the movie  Challengers could heat up your life.  You don't have to know a thing  about tennis.  

Zendaya (so good, what can't  she do?)  is Tashi, a former HOT college tennis phenom. Mike Faist is Art, Tashi's husband now and struggling on the tennis circuit. She's his coach and books him in a small challenger match to boost his stats and give him a boost.  Alas, he gets to face his former best friend, Patrick - now a nemesis. 

The movie  goes back and forth in time, rather like a match. Oh, there's quite the little history triangle  with  Tashi, Art,  and Patrick. It's steamy,  seamy, and director, Luca Guadagnino, knows  how to serve up some HOT action. Slice here, some Love there. 

Game,  Set, Match - who gets burned?


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Wednesday Whimsy

 "Hey, who's the new guy?"

Photo taken yesterday as I sat on the patio.  I did not even get up. Just looked up and the two doves seemed to be talking about our wacky bird sculpture. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. 

Monday, May 6, 2024

Monday Moments - Canary Girls by Jennifer Chiaverini

 The Great War. 1914. Slowly men left Britain's factories to enlist and arsenals hired women to replace them. The slogan: Be the Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun. 

Canary Girls by Jennifer Chiaverini is well researched historical fiction that engages the reader with a slice of history one might not know.  Former cooks, maids, shop girls, and housewives sought better wages and more independence than they ever had.  The "munitionettes" worked grueling shifts, handled explosives (TNT), and endangered their health for the sake of their nation. (cover blurb)

Identified by their yellow skin and hacking cough, the Canary Girls prove resilient in their work, friendships, lives, and play in the arsenal ladies  football  club, the Thornshire Canaries. The bosses wife joins the administration and is a staunch advocate for the ladies. 

This book is interesting  and entertaining. I cared about the ladies and their situations - worries about children at home, husbands on the front, and managing to live in tough conditions. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

Finally Friday -The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner

 Jennifer Weiner is a reliable author and when I pick up her books, I know I'll get a good tale, an interesting character, and be entertained. The Breakaway is another  winner.

Abby Stern is thirty three, comfortable in her  plus-size skin, does gig jobs, and has a childhood sweetheart. Good friends, her bike, and a Philadelphia cycling club keep her busy. 

cover blurb: Yet Abby can't escape the feeling that something isn't right...or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously.  

Abby gets a last minute invite to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls - a chance to get away and think about her life.  cover  blurb - things get complicated fast. Sebastian is on the trip, and her mother Eileen (body shaming past inflictions) shows up. 

Over two weeks and seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl unites riders...and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love. 

Hop aboard this bike trip and see what happens. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Whatever Wednesday - The Year of Second Chances by Lara Avery

I picked up The Year of Second Chances by Lara Avery on a whim at the library. The blurb sounding in intriguing:  I read the words on my laptop screen, "Before you freak out, it's really me."

Robin Lindstrom is reading an email from her dead husband, Gabe, who signed her up for a dating app a year after he died. She's thirty three years old and has been hibernating at their old Minnesota farmhouse. 

She gives the dating  world a whirl, opens up her heart to some strangers, makes some weird friends, learns to trust the world, and still loves Gabe with all her soul. However, she knows she won't lose him.  She'll gain more in life too. 

This book is funny and poignant and Avery captures the horror of dating again, and also the opportunities to engage with others.  Can Robin emerge from her cocoon to rediscover all the messy, wonderful, horrible things in life?  

Take a chance and read this book to find out.