Thursday, February 4, 2016

Flowers, Audio Books, and Coloring Books (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know)

Whoop whoop, TJ's had ranunculas on it's flower cart yesterday when I stopped in after Bible Study. And there is nothing that delights me more on a cold, cloudy day in February than a fresh bunch of these gorgeous multi-petaled flowers.

And then to make the day even better they also had mini daffodils for $2.49.  Now how could anyone pass up these sweet petals of golden yellow?

When you see this you can't help but think that the promise of Spring will be here shortly. Well, possibly not shortly here, but somewhere.

And speaking of Spring, my blogging buddy, Jeanne, sent me a text on Friday inviting me to join her in the hill country of Texas in April for blue bonnet season.  A former photographer for Southern Living is conducting a photography tour of the area sponsored by the Dallas Arboretum, instructing us on photographing these beauties.  After that adventure we will head over to Fredricksburg and delight in all that's to see and do around that area for a few days. Can't wait.  Jeanne is originally from the Chicago area and now lives in the Dallas area, while I grew up in Dallas and now live here in the Chicago area. We met thru blogging and then met face to face a few years back while she was visiting family here. After that the 2 of us met in Charleston, SC a couple of years ago for a photography tour and had a great time together. Already have my plane ticket booked and Jeanne has booked our lodgings. Now Texas knows how to do Spring right, unlike here where it's iffy all thru April and even into May.

I've recently discovered a new sleeping pill.  No, it's not what you think, no drugs involved. It's called audio books. I have recently downloaded some audio books along with the read-a-long kind on my Kindle when the books & audio are a reasonable price.  No sooner do I turn that audio on, listen for possibly 15 minutes, and then I'm gone (asleep, that is). There is a 30 minute timer that I should set so the story doesn't get too far ahead without me actually listening. It's like falling asleep with a book on your lap that slips to the floor and you have no idea what words you last read or what page you were on. That's how I feel when I wake up and there is a voice reading to me and I have not a clue as to what I have missed or how much I need to back-up. Maybe I should be doing something productive while I am listening. Nah, I would rather fall asleep.

I ran into a friend at TJ's yesterday when I was gathering the beauties above, along with a few food items.  We have decided with the extra day in February, (the 29th) we are going to have an adult coloring day party. Won't that be fun. I just bought myself a brand new box of Prismacolor colored pencils, PS those are the best if you are interested in joining the coloring craze. I have 4 coloring books that are just waiting for those strokes of color. Have you joined the coloring book craze?


I know, I know, I am a terrible grandmother, but I did buy this for my granddaughter. She thought it was the best gift ever. Oh and she is 25 years old, so it's not like I gave it to a child. So while she is coloring swear words, I will be coloring Paris objects and flowers.

OK, I'm done (in more ways than one).

Until next time......

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Already

February already, hard to believe when I am still culling through Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas pictures. And the fact that our winter so far as been a "nothing" event. All that snow keeps dodging us. We were predicted for a snowstorm on Tuesday, but this morning reports are it will skirt us again. So no lovely snow pictures (again).

And speaking of pictures I entered an exhibit at one of our local public libraries today....not sure if I will be accepted, but it is my first time ever in doing this. I figured the best they could say is "yes" and the worst would be "no".  No charge, so no risk.  It is a Nature Photography Exhibit, so no domestic pets, (sorry, Cinder, Toby and Boone), and very little "hand of man" in other words, no buildings, barns, fences except if it is very obscure and not the main focus. These are the two I entered....

So, wish me luck.

Reports on the movie front....went to see Brooklyn on Saturday, good movie, sweet movie, but (in my opinion) not Oscar worthy.  Saoirse Ronan (please don't ask me to pronounce this) is the leading character, an Irish girl that sails alone to the US and lands in Brooklyn where she finds, a boarding house, work, school and love.  And if anybody can tell me where I have seen the Landlady that owns the boarding house in other works, (TV or movie) I would be forever grateful. You know how things come to you in the middle of the night?....well, it has been 2 nights and nothing has appeared. No aha moment. And it is really buggin' me.

Still reading "Pretty Girls" and yes, it is disturbing, but I will finish it just to find out who, why, how.

Pretty sad that Downton Abbey is down to the last wire. Last night we saw more blood than we have in the last 5 seasons. Julian Fellowes really decided to kick things up a notch. We are running out of episodes and there are too many loose ends to be tied up. At least Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson are wed, eventho he has already complained about her cooking, and looks like Mrs. Patmore may have a love shortly.  Things I will miss the most....the costuming (just wonderful) and Lady Violet's stinger remarks.

And btw, in checking out the website for "Downton Abby" I figured out where I had seen the "land lady in Brooklyn".  She was in another PBS series this past summer entitled Indian Summer where she played the part of an Englishwoman that owned the local social gathering place for all the uppercrust English when England ruled India.  So I can rest now. I just had my aha moment.

It feels like March instead of February, 46 degrees, no wind and the sun is shining. The kids are sunbathing in the front yard.  Hope February treats you well.

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." -  John Boswell

Until next time....

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some Ramblings

Again, I have been MIA for several weeks. I notice that when I click over to the blogger page, I continually lose followers. I don't blame them, why follow someone when there is nothing to follow. I do the same,

And now that I am back on these pages I am struggling with what to write. When I was writing daily it was easy to write about book I was reading at the moment, the TV show that caught my eye, or a movie that resonated with me.  And my intention has always been to use this space as a way of keeping an illustrative diary of sorts of my daily life. Well, if anyone wanted to catch up on my life they would think I was dead, or just barely alive. That is not the case, yet.

The pic of the bird above is pretty indicative of what life is right now.....brown and boring. We have no pretty snow, altho I am glad we didn't get the major dump that the east received from Storm Jacob. By the way, when did "they" start naming snowstorms?  And it's a long, long time until Spring arrives in the midwest.  The only color I could find was some dried up berries still hanging from a tree across the street.

I have seen some outstanding movies lately. I try to and see the nominated ones, so I can root for my best loved come OSCAR night.  My daughter always has a gathering with Chinese food (?) from their favorite take-out. We each pitch in a couple of bucks and then pick our favs to win.  So far I have seen "The Big Short" terrific movie but I have to admit all that financial jargon was a little confusing. "Room" you must see this to witness brilliant acting and the eyelashes of the young boy who spends the first 5 years of his life in the "room".  And finally "Spotlight" another terrific movie about a group of investigative reporters that uncovered the allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church and it's cover-up in Boston. All three of these movies are brilliant. Now onto "Brooklyn", "Carol" and "The Danish Girl". Hesitant about seeing "Revenant" because of the gruesome scenes, but I have a feeling Leo is gonna win the Big O this year for his performance.  I looked up the definition of revenant and the dictionary defines it as "a person who returns" or "as a person who returns as a spirit after death" for your inquiring minds.

OK confession time.  It has been years and I do mean years since I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" but I certainly remember the gist of the story.  Our bookclub choose "Go Set a Watchman" also by the famous Harper Lee who wrote TKAM. I was reluctant to read it, but having memory issues over the original TKAM and knowing Watchman was supposedly her first draft but her editor convinced her to change the whole time-line with Scout being a child instead of a 20 something young woman, I began to read. And I must admit that if I hadn't heard all the brew-ha-ha over this new release I would have thought it was the perfect follow-up to TKAM. And yes, I liked it. It was a short book compared to today's new releases (less than 300 pages) and I read it in 2 days time. Then I read "The Edge of Lost", don't bother. I kept waiting for it to get better but it didn't. Now I am reading Karen Slaughter's "Pretty Girls" a psychological thriller about a family torn apart by tragic occurrences. Supposed to be disturbing, I like disturbing every now and again. I read the first few chapters last night and it roped me in immediately.

See what happens when I don't blog often....I tend to ramble on.  I have been noticing Elvis Presley showing up alot on Facebook recently, just checked and "if" he was still alive he would have been 81 on January 8th. I remember the day he died (Aug 16, 1977) but I certainly don't remember the day he was born. And also January 28th was the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle, Challenger disaster. I remember that too.  I was standing in line at a Sear's store in the Washington DC area buying a small serve coffee pot when it was broadcast throughout the store on every TV operating monitor. Sometimes it's hard to remember last week, but somehow we remember where we were during those significant moments

I have rambled long enough. I hope the winter is kind to you, stay healthy, stay connected.

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.
–Marcel Proust
Until next time.....