Saturday, January 24, 2015

Some Beach Thoughts and More....

Well hello.  How are you?  I'm fine, thank you.  Been a might busy doing fun things and then there is the wasting time thing that I am sooo good at. I really loathe (not sure if I like that word or hate better) myself when at the end of the day NOTHING has been accomplished, not even a blog post. And to top it off I haven't been out with my big girl camera lately.  I have been satisfying my photography thirst by taking pics with my I-Phone, something I said over and over again I will NOT do.  Thank goodness I can eventually bend and embrace something new....but I still can't take cucumbers or brussel sprouts.   Hop over to my Focusing On Life post that I wrote yesterday about this new found passion and some tips on some of my favorite "apps".

A couple of weeks ago (yeah, it's been that long) I took Cinder to the vet for her yearly check-up and shots.  After $200 worth of shots, tests, and for Dr. Minor to tell me that she is in good shape except she needs dental work desperately with a $350 - $550 estimate as to the cost, I took the time after leaving this place that seems to be sucking away at my money to drive through a forest preserve with camera in hand.

OK the first thing I spotted, even backed the car for this one, was this scene.  If the snow would have been tan, I could swear I was at the beach and just over that hill was the ocean.


 
And then I came upon this....


Just like those fences that I seek out when I do get to the ocean....never expecting to find them in the next town over in a forest preserve with no ocean in sight....


PS I took this at the beach in Galveston in October....I obviously had beach envy rattling around in my head on this cold, snow-covered day.

I found this purty tree....


And this...not so much beauty here just interesting with the outline of all the trees....


A couple of things to recommend.  I saw "Whiplash" - terrific acting by J K Simmons, hard to watch at times, but brilliant acting by both Simmons and Miles Teller (the drummer & student).  And I finished reading "Orange is the New Black" for bookclub.  Now I will admit that in hearing and reading about the Netflix production I was a bit hesitant to read this, but it was actually quite good. Very little "language", no Lesbian encounters, just the story of a pretty, white, well-off, supportive family, and well educated woman that made a mistake who was sent to prison and her life, her relationships, her support system and her realization of the injustices to women caught up in the prison system.  One of my friends has been watching "Orange is the New Black" and said it is like watching porn....I guarantee the book is NOT anything like the TV show.

Now I am reading "The Girl On the Train" what a page turner.  I am about 1/2 way thru the book and can't wait to return which I will do later today.  Next up..."One Plus One" by Jo Jo Moyes, I absolutely loved her last book, "Me Before You" so hoping this one is as good.

Hope you are having a good year so far and hope you all stay well....having the flu at Christmas was not fun.

Until next time.....





Monday, January 12, 2015

Days....

I actually wrote a post last week, but because I had absolutely no images I never published the post and old news is stale news. No one wants to read that Christmas remains upstairs when it should be all packed and stored downstairs.  We were even midly stranded last week with the frigid temps and snow.  The kiddos around here were off of school both Wednesday & Thursday, but Friday which had the absolute worst wind-chill of all the days prior, that's when the "powers that be" decided to send them back to school.  Go figure.  I met my girls for lunch on Friday, I about froze my whats-it off just walking from the parking lot to the restaurant entrance. And that was with my big fake furry coat that only comes out of the closet on the coldest of days. This week has started out in the balmy 20's, with predictions of a warm-up (30's) by week's end.  Spring might be just around the corner.

And speaking of Spring, yes the tulips are in full bloom at Trader Joe's standing in wait for us that are starving for color after the brilliant colors of Christmas are sadly gone for another year.


It was a whooping 9 degrees last Wednesday and believe it or not I took a drive over to the Arboretum to see what beauty awaited me.  I will admit that most of my shots were from the car window, I didn't spend a whole lot of time outside of my warm car (with heated seats).  At least with the extra chilly weather there was some sun with the blue sky peeping through.  And drats because of the cold our brand new Bible Study was cancelled along with our "Downton Abbey" lunch.  We "Downton" groupies gather for lunch to discuss the "what-if's and the maybe's" along with the fashions and the newest love interests.  But not to fear, both Bible Study and our luncheon has been re-scheduled for this Wednesday.




I called my friend Bonnie last week and asked her out on a date....my calendar had been pretty empty since I was so sick during the holidays and I was ready to break out and do something fun. We decided to go to a movie and dinner after.  After narrowing it down, we finally decided to see "The Imitation Game" the true story of Alan Turing and his brilliant breaking of the German coding system during World War II which in turn shortened the war due to his discovery.  Brilliance always seems to come at a price.  Benedict Cumberbatch is superb in his portrayal of Turing and I was disappointed at the Golden Globes last night when he did not win "best actor".  But then I haven't seen Eddie Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything" where he portrays Stephen Hawking who did win.

I finished reading "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" a coming of age, discovery book which we will discuss Thursday at book-club.  I thought it was ho-hum, so I will be interested in hearing the feedback from my fellow members.  Their insights might change my mind, which has happened before.  Also about half-way through "Bellweather Rhapsody which has a group of characters that are a delight.  A little romance, a little comedy, a little mystery, fine reading. Next up...."Orange Is The New Black", a book-club choice.  Little hesitant but I have heard the book is better than the series...oy!!  

Hope your week is filled with joy, peace and harmony.

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."  ~Flora Whittemore

Until next time....


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Four Days Into the New Year....


My goodness we are already into day 4 of the New Year and I can't say I have accomplished little of anything.  I need to put my Christmas decorations back in their boxes and bins and get this home back to normal along with life in general.  Holidays are wonderful (altho mine not so much this year) but aren't you ready to get some normalcy back?  Put away all those lovely gold ornaments and buy some spring tulips at Trader Joe's, that's what I need.  Altho I will hang on to this pretty pink poinsettia for as long as I can.  And no, I am not one to try and keep them alive until next year, putting them in darkness for so many hours in the day, and all that other stuff that goes with trying to hang on to something that only cost me $4.99 at Loews.  I have bigger challenges to conquer.


We had our first significant snow-fall today which reminded me of a line from a book I am currently reading.  The book is "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" and in chapter seven June (the main character) who loves to walk in the woods behind her school says this, "after a snowstorm is one of the best times to be in the woods, because all the empty beer and soda cans and candy wrappers disappear. Plus there is just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on."  I can identify with that beauty.  I have to agree that untouched snow that covers up all the dead grass and leaves and dog poop (sorry) is really magical.  But with my 2 kids, that magic disappears in a flash.

 
Which brings me to another something that I love...a hot cup of coffee on these wintry afternoons. I have a little personal Kuerig and I stock up on de-caf coffee so I can enjoy that one cup as the sun drops quickly toward sunset.  But hallelujah, we are gaining light with each passing day, minute by minute. By the way today is National Trivia Day and to add to your trivia knowledge during the month of January we will gain 49 minutes of daylight with 33 minutes added at sunset and 16 minutes at sunrise.  Funny, somehow I thought it would be evenly distributed between sunrise and sunset.  Just add that to your wealth of trivia knowledge.

And is anybody excited about the return of "Downton Abbey"?  My gosh this TV winter break just about drove me crazy.  I did watch a couple of limited TV shows....remember when they used to call these mini-series?  "Mozart in the Jungle" on Amazon Prime was quite delightful about an eccentric NY Symphony orchestra director and the "behind the scenes" life of its members.  And I also watched "Missing" on Starz, quite disturbing about a child kidnapping. The acting was outstanding and the eventuality and changes in the lives of those effected (or is it affected?) was staggering. Tonight many of my favorites are returning with a couple of new ones to be added to my list.  During these cold winter months I have a habit of going to bed early and watching TV in bed.  I am going to blame it on my "kids".  They can't wait to crawl in bed to fall asleep all comfy and cozy.  The only time they perk up is if I happen to go down to the kitchen to grab a little snack for myself.  But when they realize it is not for them, back to sleep they go.  And honestly it is so much warmer snuggled in bed than it is sitting downstairs.  Remember how I mentioned there are some advantages to living alone...this would be one of them.

So stay warm, stay healthy and be content.....!!! 

Until next time....