Friday, August 26, 2011

Room - The Review



My book club has been on a sort of summer vacation.  Everyone gets so busy it's hard to find a time for everyone to get together.  In the meantime, we've read two different books and will discuss both at next week's meeting.  I've missed the girls!

So up first is the book,  "Room".  My neighbor, Nicole, said she couldn't put it down, so I was excited to read it.  Nicole was right.  The book pulled you in from the first few pages.  Without giving up too much of the plot...............the book is written from the perspective of a 5 year old boy.  Strange concept, and had I known that, I might have been reluctant to read the book.  But the premise worked.  The author, Emma Donoghue mastered the idea of describing the world through the eyes of a 5 year old, using that vocabulary.

As the story begins you gradually realize that the world of this little boy is not the same as the world you and I live in.  He's in Room. With his mother.  It's a dark, disturbing world, made less so through the extreme efforts of his mother. 

Don't want to say much more.............I hate it when reviews give away too much of the plot, like movie trailers that show all the best parts. 

If you're thinking of reading this book..............do so.  But set aside some time first.  The day I started reading it, I spent 3 straight hours before I could make myself stop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some Real Travel

James Lileks, my blogging inspiration, has just returned from a European cruise/trip.  His photos and prose are delightful as always........

The Bleat 

I'm having vicarious travel adventures............

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How To Tell Fall is Coming

There are signs all around that summer is coming to an end, and the best season of the four is ready to begin..........

You open your inbox and what do you find?


And you open your mailbox and get your first catalogue.


Oh, and it's not just a marketing thing that's happening.  The birds are starting their migration.  Huge flocks of them are showing up on the hill behind my house.  They fly off as a group, and sometimes land on the neighbors roof.  I think this is a group of Northern Flickers, but they stayed only a few minutes, and the lighting wasn't good enough to get a great look or a shot.


The other way I know fall is coming is because I'm ready.  Happens every August.  Done with the heat, bring on the cool.  I feel an Earth Wind and Fire song coming on...........no, not just yet.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Amazing Clouds

I love clouds.  I have whole file full of pictures I've taken of clouds.  When the sun hits them just so.........they can take your breath away.

Here's a good one I took from my patio.


Here's another good one.


Okay, one more at sunset.



Then today, I saw this amazing video and just had to share.




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When Families Gather

I come from a big extended family.  While I only have one brother, (younger by 5 years, so I call him lil' bro) the extended family is quite large.  My mother is the oldest of her siblings, 5 brothers and 5 sisters.

Sadly we have lost her oldest and her youngest brothers.   And we have lost 2 of her sisters as well.  One just a short while ago.  Many years ago, a cousin of mine drowned while swimming in Mexico with his brother.  Several years ago, a cousin of mine died of cancer.............but she had been removed from us for many years........and I barely knew her.

But as a family, we have certainly known loss.  When there are as many of us as there are.........I guess that is to be expected.

Today we gathered to celebrate the life of my cousin Jeff.  As reported here, he died, unexpectedly last Thursday, at the age of 48.  It still seems unreal, and seeing his two younger brothers, was the moment I dreaded driving to the church today.   They both spoke.  They made us laugh and cry.

Some of our first cousins are spread around the country, some we didn't really know growing up, some we saw only rarely.  But there was a core we saw all the time.......celebrating Thanksgivings, 4th of July's, weddings, anniversaries, and a few milestone birthdays along the way. I sat in the church foyer today, looking at many faces I didn't know.........all the many people my cousin touched in the small town where he spent his whole life.  I saw the funeral director from the mortuary, who was a close friend of my cousin.  I saw the same ladies from the church who arranged for lunch today, who were there a few years back when my cousin's dad, my uncle Rod had a funeral at the same church.  In the midst of the crowd, were my cousins.  Mostly boys.........no, sorry, mostly MEN.  We are older.  I'm no longer one of the few girls.........I'm one of the few women.  I looked around at all my handsome cousins and realized how very blessed I am.

We have always liked each other, we have always gotten along.  Whenever we gather there has always been more laughter than anything else.  I have watched "the boys" play basketball on the driveway, and football in the backyard.  When we were little I saw them running for Easter eggs in their little Easter suits.  I was often in the kitchen with the aunts,  cooking or washing dishes.  Yelling at the guys to take the trash out.  As we got older, there were birthdays, weddings and lots of football watching.............a few beers, and always............laughter.

Not everyone is blessed with the love of a large family............with people who come to celebrate, and who come to mourn.  Today we did both.

I made sure today, to kiss everyone on the cheek, and tell them that I love them.  Losing Jeff made me know that I can't take those things for granted.  The people we love.................we need to tell them.
The cousins determined to get together next for a happy reason.  As you grow older, there are so many reasons NOT to gather.  Kids, work, obligations. All of that.  We shouldn't let it stand in our way.

I am a very blessed woman.  I have people around me who love me. We aren't always with one another as much as we would like.  Miles separate us sometime.  But I have family and friends who love me, and I love them.  And when it matters............we gather.

In a recent post I shared a song from Carolyn Arends.  On that same album is a song that touched me deep in my spirit when I heard it for the first time in a showcase concert in Nashville. I share it here because I've seldom heard a song that felt like I could have written it, if I had one drop of musical talent, which I don't.  But Carolyn hit the nail on the head with this one.  And it feels like she was writng for me.

So loved ones who read this............this song means a lot to me.  On a better day I could figure out how to make it fit on my blog............but for today, click on it to go watch it on YouTube in full screen.

"We are reaching for the future, we are reaching for the past.  And no matter what we have, we reach for more.   We are desperate to discover, what is just beyond our grasp.  Maybe that's what heaven is for."






Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Oh No, Not Again

Just when I thought it was safe to go to Macy's..................

Marigold.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Seize The Day

For the last three days, I've been listening to the same album over and over.  I do that.  I pull out an album I've not listened to for a while, then remember how much I like it, and listen to it multiple times.  If the music is spiritual in nature (which most music is) when I listen repetitively, it's like it gets into my ears and then down into my spirit.  The album is by an artist, Carolyn Arends, a wonderful singer and songwriter I met a long time ago in Nashville.

And then this morning I got a message to call my Dad.  And he gave me the terrible and shocking news that a cousin of mine, Jeff, was out on a run last night, and suddenly died of a heart attack.  I think everyone in our extended family would agree that Jeff was the healthiest and most fit of anyone in the family.  It was just stunning news.  Jeff is the oldest son of my mother's oldest sister.  And he's younger than me by about three years. 

None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

When I got in the car to come home tonight, that Carolyn Arends CD was in the deck and started playing.  And in a moment, this song took on so much deeper significance. 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Concerning the Boys in Orange and Blue


Let's talk Denver Broncos, shall we?  There are a lot of us folks here in Bronco Country who are pretty excited about this season.  It's a fresh start for the team............new coach............and perhaps a new QB??  It feels like it's been bumpy for a really long time...........being a fan hasn't been easy in these lean years.  The ups and downs of all the QB changes since Elway's retirement.......holding out hope each season, only to face disappointment.  Granted we all knew it would be hard coming off back to back Super Bowl wins, hard to top that............actually we probably never will.  Being the first time and all.  But the hallmark of a Bronco Fan is eternal optimism.......what will the new season bring?

So I decided I should write a little about my attachment to the Denver Broncos......a brief history if you will, of how the Chick Voice and the Broncos first came to be a pair.  Only a select few (to include my Dad, my lil' bro and few others) will care.  But I am longing for the old days...........not just the Super Bowl wins, but the passion which all us fans felt.  The days when bumper stickers all over town said, "If God Doesn't Love the Broncos, Why Are Sunsets Blue and Orange?".

More to come.........

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Closer - Final Season

I guess we all expected a wild ride for the final season of The Closer.  Tonight's episode was no exception.  Thought they were going for that character development angle, considering there are rumors out there of a spin off..............so tonight we met Lt. Tao's son...........nice twist. 

But without giving tonight's episode away if you haven't watched..............I found this episode to be particularly dark.  Really gut wrenching and  I cried.  They are moving the overall story line ahead, but tonight's crime was particularly sad and ultimately disturbing.

Hope this isn't a trend.

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