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.....

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Live In

My granddaughter, Bailey has been living with me since late August, I won't go into any detail about the whys because she wouldn't want me to, but needless to say it has been a journey for her. She has had her ups and downs but I see her getting herself back on track both physically and mentally. In the past year or so Bailey had gained too much weight but now she is being diligent in watching her calorie intake as well as going to the gym for cardio exercise every day. That's the physical part, and now the mental or emotional part which has been shall we say, a bumpy ride. Somedays good, somedays bad, somedays really bad. As much encouragement that I can offer, it has to be Bailey that makes her mind up to shake off the history and look to the future.

When I was in Phoenix in November with my Focusing On Life girls (we get together every year to have fun, take a ton of photos, talk and laugh) Bailey sent me a text with a picture of an adorable kitten.

She had been begging, yes, begging me to let her have a kitten. I kept saying no, I'll think about it, don't know how the dogs would do with a cat etc etc  Finally the girls (pictured above) convinced me that Bailey needed someone to love, someone to snuggle with, someone to grab her attention. So I relented

And now we have.....

His name is Boone with a middle name of Daniel, because everyone has to have a middle name.  He and the dogs sort of get along. Boone has these very sharp teeth and razor like claws (and yes, we have been talking about de-clawing, I know some people think it is in-humane but my furniture thinks otherwise) and sometimes he gets too rough and the dogs (kids) are not crazy about those teeth and claws. Telling a cat that he needs to lighten up on the claws and the biting is like talking to a wall. You cat owners must know what I am talking about.

He looks so innocent, but in reality he is ready to pounce.

But he has given Bailey that someone to love, someone to cuddle with and someone to look forward to coming home to.  And that is the reason we have "the live in."

"Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
- Mary Bly

Until next time....

Friday, January 1, 2016


Oh my, have I been neglectful of this blog, wow. No updates since October. It looks like I fell off the blogger wagon, which I did but with the New Year 2016, I hope to do much better. I'll admit I don't seem to take as many photos as I used to, no reason, just lazy I think.

Last week in church, our Pastor asked us to reflect on this past year, reflect on the good as well as the bad and that is what I have been contemplating all week.  Little snippets of the year have drifted in and out of my brain for most of the week.  I should have written them down, since the operative word in that last sentence is "out". Images and thoughts have wound their way thru my brain like snow, landing but either whisk away by the wind or buried by others falling from the sky.

This past year what has not disappeared is....

I have found delight in my travels, Paris being the highlight. And a close 2nd is Arizona. What a nice getaway each year.

I have become lazier, spending way too much time on my I-Phone, checking emails, facebook and instagram or playing some benign game. Time I should have been making pictures or writing a blog post.

I am beyond blessed with finding a church that has totally embraced me.

I am distraught over the violence in the world, one that I alone cannot overcome.

I am buried in books to read, only wish my eyes wouldn't tire so easily. To help resolve this I have begun to download audibles when affordable.  Read for awhile, then listen until the eyes regain clarity. (falling asleep while listening has also become a slight issue, it's nice that you can set a timer with audible)

I found this Christmas holiday a little sadder than usual. My calendar was quite full of lunches, breakfasts, celebrations, holiday musicals, church events, but in the midst of it all I felt a sadness that my sweetie isn't here with me, more so this year than in the past. No wonder they title this disease as "The Long Goodbye".

I am delighted that there is a toddler in our midst. Matilda Mae is just pure delight. So inquisitive, so focused, pure joy.

I am not happy about the increasing expansion of the waistline (probably due to the laziness issue, see above), the addition of more wrinkles (don't let anyone convince you that there is a product that removes wrinkles within a week, 10 days, 2 weeks. Not happening.)

This year our Fall was beyond beautiful. Colors so deep and lush, with some leaves hanging on until our first snowfall.  And the light was tailor made for photographing those lovely shades of yellows and golds.

I was introduced to Netflix last year which probably added to the "laziness" issue.  In defense, there are some darn good series on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Right now I am watching "The Man in the High Castle" on Amazon Prime. The premise is what the USA would be like if the Axis powers, Japan and Germany had won the war. Something to think about.

I presented my first book review last year and if I do say so myself, I think I did an admirable job. I belong to 3 book clubs.  Two of them we read a book a month and then discuss it, the 3rd book club is a luncheon along with one of the members reviewing a book.  I call it "the story-time book club." I kept the delivery quite animated which in turn kept everyone awake. Giggle if you will, but after a nice lunch and a comfy chair it's quite easy to nod off. The book I reviewed was "The Red Notebook", a charming story with Paris as the location and a main character a bookstore owner.

I participated in my 3rd Open House in November where I sell greeting cards and calendars created from my photography.  The profits of $576. went to the Alzheimer's Organization. Going to put my thinking cap on this year to come up with more ways to expand.

Family time is certainly the best time.  Thanksgiving brought my whole family together around our table to eat and give thanks for our many blessings.

I hope this new year of 2016 is good to us all.  No resolutions, no word for the year, I tend to fail miserably at both, so I am just going to focus on appreciating life and the goodness and love that surrounds me.  I wish new hopes will always be a part of your life. Happy New Year.

Until next time.....