Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Deep in the Heart of Texas!

I'm in Texas! I'm on vacation. I flew down to vist my brother and sister-in-law yesterday. It was a fabulous flight. It was cold and dreary when I left home, and the airport. Three minutes after take off we were above the clouds into the sunshine. That never ceases to amaze me. The flight was smooth as glass all the way here. I didn't "white knuckle" once.
Today is a beautiful day. Bro thinks it's cool out, but I think it's wonderful. I am headed for their deck as soon as possible. I slept wonderfully last night. I guess I am used to this bed by now having visited several times before, and it was quiet and cool, which also added to my good sleeping. But, I think just being here, safe in the arms of those who love me, makes the difference.
I think we are going to the Home Depot or Lowes today and maybe the local library, but otherwise we will just hang out and enjoy each other's company.
I will keep in touch, and keep you all updated, and just remember, I am on vacation!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

What I Read #32

Power Down by Ben Coes: This novel by new author, Coes, had me spending a whole day reading. It is believed that it's the work of terrorists that is wrecking some of the U.S.'s major energy sources. Former Delta soldier Dewey Andreas is taxed almost beyond human endurance to bring the bad guys under control. Murder and mayhem are by-words for this story.
Author Coes, a former White House employee, knows the facts and how to present them.
It was a good thing yesterday was a rainy day. It assuaged any guilt I might have about spending the entire day reading Power Down from cover to cover. I recommend this novel to any of you that like a political thriller! This is it! At it's finest.

Happy Reading,

What I Read #31

The Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman: Ellen Wood, a young and recent widow, is searching for a way to keep the family home. She decides to take in boarders. Sabine, a German business associate of Ellen's sister, Hannah, Allegra, a writer of "bodice ripper" historical fiction, and Matt, a writer for a bawdy men's magazine, all move into Ellen's spare rooms.
It becomes complicated when Allegra calls on Ellen to help write her latest novel, and Matt seems to be falling in love with her. Add her eleven-year-old son Charlie to the mix and you have a hilarious mix of people living under the same roof.
At times, this novel was quite touching, and other times, had me rolling with laughter.

Happy Reading,

Sage Advise revisited

I had a recording of this monologue once, but I can't find it. It really moved me then, and now it seems like,, since I am growing older, the advise given in 1999 by Baz Luhrmann, is even more appropriate for today. That's why I took the license to change the first line. This is for everyone, no matter what your age or stage in life. Enjoy!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the year, 2011,
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen…

Friday, April 22, 2011

Culinary Excellence

When I lived alone, I seldom prepared a meal for one. I was a proponent of Lean Cuisine or what ever frozen stuff was on sale, plus sandwiches and for a treat, a dish of ice cream. I ate when ever I wanted to, because no one was there to tell me differently. I still eat that way when Prof and Kiddo aren't home. Today was an example.

My sandwich of choice for today was:
2 slices of bologna with grated Parmesan cheese between
a thick slab of onion, prefer Vidalia, but they're out of season so I used a sweet, white.
a slathering of Miracle Whip
a big dollop of Dijon mustard
served on two slices of soft, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth whole wheat bread.

Cost of said sandwich...priceless!

Happy eating

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What About Disney Films.....

I lifted this list and edited it. Let's hear your opinions !

Which Disney film is your favorite?

Mary Poppins is by far my favorite. No particular reason, I just like it. Peter Pan ranks right up there, too. Saw it in 3rd grade, the school actually bussed to a local theater to see it. We "played" Peter Pan on the playground for weeks afterwords. Those were the days!!!

Which Disney Princess” Disney Film is your favorite?

Was Belle a princess in the end of "Beauty and the Beast?" If so she was my favorite.

Which Disney film makes you cry the most?

Cry at a Disney movie? Probably "Old Yeller."

Which Disney film makes you the happiest?

Again, Mary Poppins.

Which Disney film has the best music?

Mary Poppins

Which Disney film has the best love story?

Probably "Lady and the Tramp" but "Beauty and the Beast" is contender for first place.

Who is your favorite Disney Princess?


Who is your favorite Disney Prince?

Schmaltzy as it sounds, I liked the prince in Cinderella

Who is your favorite Disney animal sidekick?

Jimney Cricket

First Disney movie you saw?

Snow White

Were you frightened by any Disney Films?

Snow White’s stepmother

Who is your favorite Disney main character animal?

Donald Duck or Goofy

Which Disney movie do you dislike?

Haven't seen them all, but I didn't care too much for Little Mermaid.

Who is your favorite villain?

Either Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters, or the Queen in Snow White

What is your favorite Disney song?

The "Stay Awake" lullaby from Mary Poppins. I used to sing it to my children when they were small and loved to be rocked to sleep.

Dumbo's "Baby Mine" is my all-time favorite song from an animated film.

Friday, April 08, 2011

What I Read #30

Dead Center by Joanna Higgins: Ben Weber is arrested for the murder of his friend, Pete Hyland. The murder took place over twenty years ago. Pete's parents were never convinced that it was an accidental death, which it was proclaimed by the coroner at the time. They are ones that are pursuing the case.
There is some material evidence, but most of the people from the area at the time of the death are either dead, or have moved away.
Was it revenge? Was it an accident? Or was it a suicide?
Higgins did a remarkable job of presenting this story from the victim's two daughters' points of view. I think she could have done it in less words and chapters. Some of the dialogue was pretty mundane and the detail about blood spatters and mists and so on, went on and on and on.
All in all, I would give it a 3 star rating.

Happy Reading,

I Believe...

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

I found this today. It's one of my favorites and some days I need reminding of a few things. Maybe we all need to think about this.

by Robert Fulghum

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not
at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.
So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned - the biggest
word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about
three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments
had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are - when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.

What I Read #29

Think of a Number by John Verdon: I've had this novel finished for a few days but have been deciding just how and what to write about it.
Retired NYPD cop Dave Gurney, and his wife Madeleine have moved to upstate New York to begin a "new" lifestyle, far from his old life of fighting crime. An old friend contacts him in fear, because he has been receiving weird notes in the mail, that become more threatening with each contact. Can Dave help him find out who is playing with his mind, and why?
Think of a Number was a good read. It was a thinking person's novel. I can't say that I didn't like it, but I had a hard time sticking to reading it. I would read a few chapters, then lay it down, and try to digest what I had read. It took me longer than my 2 day average reading time. In the end, I was glad it stuck with it, though.
Well written, and interesting, Verdon's first novel is worth the reading.

Happy reading,