Monthly Archives: October 2012

Grateful

Even though Thanksgiving Day is still a few weeks away, I am so very grateful right now.  My dad was hospitalized this weekend with a thalamic stroke that confuses me.  He had just celebrated a birthday on Wednesday when he started feeling poorly.  By Friday evening, my stepmother had grown increasingly concerned with his erratic behavior and distracted talking, so she called his doctor and got him admitted.    He’s still in hospital, and for now, I’ll rely on my sister who lives in his area to help me stay informed, rather than make the long trip.  If she asks, though, I’ll be in my car before my husband can shut the door.  I’m grateful, so very grateful he’s still alive. I’m even more grateful that my stepmother, who is going through her own special health scare with a three-weeks-removed mastectomy, was on the phone with the doctor and getting him admitted before anything else could happen.  Thank you, Connie.

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Filed under dads, family, health, moms, sisters

One, Two, Three, Four…and More

Two things I’ve done this week – well, actually three that have to do with personal entertainment….hmmm, maybe four.  The first thing is that I finished that loong serial by Randy Wayne White – all 19 books – starring that hunky Doc Ford and his stoner friend Tomlinson.  While I’m glad I’m finished and ready for the next series (CJ Box’s Joe Pickett series), I sure hope there’s more adventures starring the Doc.  The second thing is that I’ve actually finished the first two Pickett novels, and enjoying his third, Winterkill so I’m well into that series now.  That Joe – he’s so…human.  Love his wife, too.  Great series – I can just about smell those Wyoming “hills” while I’m reading.

The third thing is that I think I mentioned that my husband gave me the Google Nexus 7 for my birthday and I’ve been having a heck of a ball with it.  I’ve filled that sucker up with all kinds of apps – both reading and games – but the one I’m enjoying right now is Jewel Quest Heritage.  I remember playing JQ several years ago on my husband’s big desk top computer and played that one to the bitter end.  Now, it’s a much smaller screen, but still just as sharp as I remember from the past.  This one has the same main character plus his wife and daughter and they are still trying to put the Jewel Board back where it belongs.  The graphics are good, but I just enjoy playing the game.  Unfortunately, it seems time speeds up while I’m playing and before I know it, hours have gone by.  Hours whereby I could have been reading. 

The fourth thing is – we saw Alex  Cross yesterday.  Great Movie!  I’ve not seen Tyler Perry in any previous movie (not a comedy fan) so watching him act out my fav detective Alex Cross was a treat.  I have read all of James Patterson’s Alex Cross books but it’s been at least two years so it was a fresh treat to actually see the beginnings of Cross’s life on the big screen.  I’ll have to go back and read Cross again.  If you’re a Patterson fan, don’t read what the critics are saying.  Just go and watch Perry bring Cross to life.  It’s a good movie, rated PG-13 mostly for the violence. 

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my friend, Alida.  She’s the librarian at my little neighborhood library and she’s a ball of fire.  This past weekend she spearheaded the library’s first birthday and it turned into a real party, complete with cake, barbecue, live band, silent auction and books, books, books.  We had a ball.  Alida, this one’s for you!  Thank you for all your hard work and your wonderful friendship.  I’ve met a kindred spirit and I’ve not had as much fun in years!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Pick up a book at your local library and chill.

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Filed under Life in general

It Happens Every Four Years

Nope.  I’m not gonna tell you who I’ll vote for in this election.  Not what this post is about.  I’m so grateful that we, as a nation have the freedom and wherewithal to elect our Commander-In-Chief.  I need to remember how we were formed – through the blood, sweat, and many shed tears of our ancestors, through the many battles hard-fought and hard-won on both our native soil and foreign battlefields, and through the many, many elections we have held on these precious shores.  There’s a reason why so many nations attempt to emulate our election processes.  They work.  And Thank God they do.

However, I’m about as politically savvy as a post-hole.  It would take a year of intense study for me to understand the political processes involved in electing our President.  I’ll rely on the political process to work, and I’ll exercise my precious right to vote.  I do have an opinion, though.  I don’t see the burning need for these so-called debates between a sitting President and an opponent.  Debates just make both parties seem mean and TESTY.  They are nothing but “civil” verbal brawls.  There’s just this sense of a boxing match – shake hands and come out swinging.  So, I’ve purposed not to watch, ever, any more, a political debate.  My freedom.  My choice.  And before you skewer me on not knowing where the candidates stand, I DO know how to read, and I DO pay attention to results.

I will say this about campaigning for anything – be it a candidate for any office, from the mayor, to the governor, to the President.  You can promise me anything, but I won’t believe until you deliver.  Forever and ever, amen.

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Filed under elections, Life in general, political processes

Windows and Books

When I was a child, we used to do this thing called “taking a Sunday drive”.  I remember riding in the back seat, looking out the car windows and into the windows of houses we’d pass by.  I would wonder about the people in the houses – who were they, what kind of lives did they lead, where did they go when they weren’t home.  And if I saw the people through the windows, I’d wonder if they saw us.  Driving was kind of invisible – like the lives inside the windows of the houses.  Now, I’m all grown up and guess what – I still wonder about those houses and the people in them.  We don’t do the “Sunday drive” any more – it’s more the “get there and back as quick as you can” thing.  Unless we’re going to the beach.  Then I enjoy the drive.

But here’s the analogy between books and windows.  Windows keep me guessing.  Books give me knowledge.  I actually get to know the people in the “book windows” – their names, their families, their lives.  Sometimes with serials, I’m permitted a longer perusal – I get a little more involved, like hearing their thoughts and seeing the consequences of their actions and their reactions to the same.  It happens whether the characters want it or not.  Books are my windows into the lives of strangers – safer and much more informative. 

Happy Monday!

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Filed under Books and reviews, family, Life in general

Actors, Movies and Books

I don’t know anything about his personal life nor do I know, without Internet searching, what movies he’s made throughout his life, but when I saw Liam Neeson for the first time in Schindler’s List, I told myself he would be someone to watch over the years.  Yesterday, my DH took me to see Taken 2, and I knew I had been right.  The guy’s a great actor.  I don’t care that it’s a sequel – because I hadn’t seen the first, I enjoyed the sequel all by itself.  I didn’t recognize Neeson’s role, Bryan Mills, from any books I had read, even though the storyline seems to be culled from a myriad of other “clandestine-spy-operative-covert-war-mercenary” stories out there in novel-land.  After all, that’s how James Bond got started 50 years ago in the movies.  (Sean Connery – be still my heart – he still has the moves even now.)  So, if anyone out there in bloggerland knows the books this movie was “taken” from, please let me know.  I’m not gonna search for Bryan Mills through the bazillion novels with the title of Taken.  I’ll just say I enjoyed the movie.

So.  While we’re waiting for the feature to start, we get a glimpse of new movies rapidly approaching.  My husband and I rate the trailers ourselves – “must-miss”, “must-watch”, “maybe”.  Most of what we saw in the trailers were “must-miss”.  Ouch.  I know the trailers are usually themed along with the feature and in this case, most of them were of the “spy-vs-spy” category.  I didn’t see anything that I wanted to put on my “looking-forward-to” list.  At least not right now.  But that doesn’t mean there’s not a good movie to watch.  After dinner last night, we watched Brigadoon.  That’s a wonderful musical love story with Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly and Van Johnson.  And yes, my husband watched it with me.  Payback.  I pick the Netflix movies, he picks the theatre runs.

Finally, one last actor – Tom Cruise.  I have absolutely enjoyed Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels.  In my mind, Reacher is a rugged 6-5, 250 pounds, so it’s a stretch for me to see Cruise as Reacher, no matter how pretty he is.  However, One Shot is one of Child’s best Reacher stories IMHO, so I’ll reserve judgment until I see the film.  Trailers just don’t do enough except tease the imagination.  And I do like Cruise as an actor.  Enjoy the movies!

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Filed under Books and reviews, cinema, internet, Life in general

NASCAR, Books and Everything Else

It’s Monday already.  What happened to the weekend???  Gorgeous weather here on the Gulf.  Husband out for daily walk in a sweatshirt of all things, and I’m doing the laundry.  So.  What happened this weekend?  A huge crash at NASCAR, here at Talladega, several books read, fun with cards and kids at the library, and church.  My glasses came in so I picked them up.  They feel odd.  It’s been 2 years since my eye surgery, so wearing them’s gonna take some getting used to on my part.  Still, those fuzzy objects in the background are a little sharper.  Going to the movies will be fun again – I was seeing movies in 3D without the 3D.  Painful.  I can still read my beloved books without the glasses so that’s a plus from the surgery.  YAY!   

Books.  I read several – did I mention that already?  Karen Kingsbury’s prequel to The Bridge (already preordered) was offered on Amazon so I snapped that and read it; Davis Bunn’s All Through the Night (awesome read!); Randy Wayne White’s Dead of Night and Dark Light; started Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, and White’s Hunter’s Moon.  I’ve requested the last four Doc Ford novels from my local library and then I’m done with that series.  I enjoyed those books, even with the ecology and environment preaching by White.  Since I’m not a scientist, some of the facts went over my head, but they were good conversation starters with a friend at the local library who’s a great advocate for the same causes.  There are so many good books out there that I sometimes wish I could just read by osmosis.  Then I could do several at the same time.  But what fun would that be?

I have to admit that I didn’t watch the NASCAR race, but my husband did.  When I mentioned that I knew Talladega is here in Alabama, he just looked at me and smiled.  I asked if he wanted to go to a race there, he said sure, someday.  Hmmm.  Christmas present to him – tix?  That got me thinking – Christmas is coming and I haven’t done a lick of shopping for anyone yet.  I’m confident we’ll get the job done, probably in one day.  Books for everyone!!  Wait – if you’re family, and you’re reading this – forget that!

My husband helped me put bookcase number six together for our bedroom and wonder of wonders, he agreed with me that we need a seventh.  HA!  We have a wonderful master bedroom with a huge window that would be perfectly framed by two bookcases.  Can’t wait.  Well, I can, but I don’t want to.  I’m not a patient person, which is surprising.  I always thought once I retired, I’d learn to sit back, relax and let life happen.  Nope.  But I’m learning.  If I can sit still long enough to read a book in one sitting, then something must be happening, right?

Happy Monday, y’all!!

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Filed under Anna Quindlen, Books and reviews, card making, Davis bunn, Randy Wayne White, sports, Talladega

Full Disclosure

I pre-ordered Dee Henderson’s latest novel, “Full Disclosure” from Amazon several weeks ago for my Kindle and promptly forgot about it.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see it on my Kindle yesterday, the day it was released.  Of course, I started it while eating breakfast.  Dee Henderson is a prime example of why I’m a serial reader and why I re-read her novels, not once but several times.  I now have 12 of her novels – all of the O’Malleys and the Uncommon Heroes series and this one.  So it was a delight to see how she tied all of these novels together.  I LOVED it.  A fictional novel of fictional characters who have fictional novels written about their lives!  I liked reading about previous characters and the fringes of their lives, and how they continue to interact with each other.  Six degrees of separation!  It’s a hard thing to finish any book and  realize I’m not privy to how their lives will continue.  I KNOW it’s fiction, but for a short while, they are my neighbors, friends and co-workers, allowing me a brief window into their lives.  It’s a joy to see they live on, somewhere.

Paul Falcon, an FBI agent, and Ann Silver, a cop, who just also happens to be a Midwest Homicide Investigator (and doesn’t THAT just ring my bells!), who get involved professionally and personally over a series of homicides.  Both, it turns out, are believers in Christ, both have very personal relationships with God, and both use that relationship with God to guide them in their lives.

This is a good read, either as part of the two previous series or as a stand-alone novel.  It’s wonderfully told with the message of a personal relationship with God woven throughout.  I’m surprised to find out it’s been several (5?) years since Ms. Henderson’s last piece of work, but I sincerely hope she continues this story with more of the O’Malley and Falcon families.  Now, I find I’ve got to go back and re-read all 12 of them again, in order and soon!

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Filed under Books and reviews, Dee Henderson, family, Life in general, Religion, romance