Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I'm Reading....

I finally and sadly finished The Passage, by Justin Cronin. And I'm missing it!  I read that he's writing two more in this series, I just hope I live long enough to read all three.  Sigh....
I'm not tell the ending but it was a real, honest-to-goodness cliffhanger.  The old fashioned kind that leaves you with your mouth open and wanting to read the next chapter. Great great GREAT writing.
Oh, and by the way, I guess they did seem more like vampires as I read along.  There were more and more allusions to our idea of what a vampire is, anyway.  But please don't let that stop you from reading (listening to) this fine book. It's so much more about how people and society in general deal with a complete end to their way of life and how they form "society" afterwards.  I guarantee you'll love it.

Yesterday I started the second book in the series by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Fall.  This continues the story from The Strain which I read way back when, so I'm having to re-remember (is that a word?) the characters and story, but it's coming back to me.  Loved the first book.  Hoping to love this one, too.  As I'm listening, I'm wondering who will play these characters in the movie.  With Guillermo involved, you know there will be a movie eventually, right?

I'm obviously in something of a dark mood lately, with my book choices. But I can't help myself, I love a good apocalyptic book.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm....

KT's first trip to the tree farm!  It was a bit breezy, but a beautiful day.  
Honestly, this is the best little girl.  She just does not fuss, and she seems to enjoy seeing, doing and learning about everything around her. 

The last picture is her sitting next to a little, newly planted tree.  She was busy exploring the mulch when I called her name!

PS: I finally got to hear her say, "tickle tickle tickle."  It was priceless!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Movie Review --- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

The search for the remaining Horcruxes begins... 

I have to tell you, I really enjoyed this latest movie.  I was afraid that it was going to be too much action, all the time, because that's how I remember the book (which I read probably 3 years ago, or more?) but it wasn't.  They allowed the characters plenty of time to move the story along.
I wish I had re-read the book before seeing the movie because I have forgotten so many of the details of the book. Good thing John was there with me, because he remembers a lot more about it then I did.  
Part of the enjoyment of these movies is knowing that I've followed these same characters (and actors) since they were just youngsters, and they've all stuck with it and grown just as their characters have grown.
We lose several of the characters that we've grown to love in this episode, though, as they are all fighting for their lives and for the control of the ministry. Some of my favorite characters weren't even in this one, or were only there for a few seconds.
Farewell, Mad-Eye... farewell, Dobby...
The finale movie will be out in July.  Can't wait!

Thankful that....

I still have my momma!! 

 Lunch today with Mary and Andi, John, Mom and I.  We took her out to Cracker Barrel. They had a great Thanksgiving plate with all the traditional things, including a pumpkin with struesel topping pie.  Yum! It's always interesting with Mom.  You just never know what's going to come up.

Mom, looking around ... "Where's my mother?"
Me... "She's not here, Mom.  But your daughters are here."
Mom... "who?"
Me..."your daughters, Mary and Pat."
Mom.."oh, that's good."

Love you, Mom.... look at those blue eyes!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Update: Well, we did almost everything we planned except go to see the new baby (who finally arrived on Saturday afternoon...she is Ella Ryann Wren, 8 lbs and 13 oz! 
We didn't get the front gate decorated either, but Mom's little accident kinda got in the way (she fell and landed on her nose, two big black eyes, poor thing), so we'll just do that another weekend soon.  Sigh...back to work tomorrow.....

What is everyone doing to fill the 4 days?  We've planned so much, I'm very sure we're not going to get it all done, but we'll sure try.
Wednesday is still a work day, although John will probably get off at about noon.  
On Thursday, John, sister Mary and I are planning an early lunch with Mom, taking her out to eat at Luby's or Cracker Barrel, then we're off to Kyle, Texas, where baby Wren will most likely be introduced to the world sometime that afternoon! Can't wait to see that little girl!
Friday, it's turkey smoking day, fencing day (no, not the sport - the kind with posts, t-posts and barbed wire!) and perhaps Harry Potter day (I hope!) if there's still time.
The Saturday, it's decorate the front gate for the Christmas holiday -- an annual affair that usually is a tug of war and a war of wills between John and I -- very funny to watch! 
Sunday is the annual trip to the Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm where we'll pick out the Forsythe Family Tree...not sure if we'll take it home that day, but we'll definitely pick one.  Jeff and Colleen will be back and will join us for that fun.  KT's first trip to to the Christmas Tree Farm.  Very exciting!  I'm hoping I can talk them into a few other stops at the various antique shops up our way.  Then back to home for dinner.
It's a great start to the holiday season!
I hope you all have a great holiday too!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The driver's-side visor is broken, and....

...I have a small crack in the front window, but the 
Impala is all MINE!! Paid it off today!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Review -- Morning Glory!

Yes, it was a movie weekend!  
I went to see this one today with some girlfriends and this one was just too precious!  Totally loved it.
The story was so cute, and the characters all had such good chemistry together. All of the ensemble were great, from the weather guy, to the quirky members of the morning news crew, they made you care about them.   
Just a cute, predictable storyline with some great actors. 
Even Harrison Ford did a great job playing a curmudgeon, which was a relief that he wasn't trying to play the romantic lead any longer...he's finally playing his age.  
I recommend it, highly!! 

Movie Review --- Skyline

No no no....
Even though it looks pretty good by the preview and pictures, my advice is if you get free passes - give them away.
That's all I'm sayin'

well...I guess I'll add that it was LA that took the hit, which is not a real big loss, as the country goes.....

What I'm Reading....

or listening to, to be honest.  I have to say, now that I've found audio-books, I totally love them.  The problem comes when I have a book I'm so totally IN to, when I arrive at my destination, I hate to turn off the car and go in!
This book meets that quality - and then some!  The Passage, by Justin Cronin, came out in June, but I am just now getting to it.  It is mesmerizing!  I love a good apocalyptic tale, especially the "rebuilding" part.  Ever since I was introduced to Paul O. Williams way back when (geeez, when I tell you it was probably 25 years ago, I'm going to feel really OLD!) I've loved this kind of story.
On top of a wonderful tale, the readers of this one are fabulous!
Scott Brick (who's voice reminds me of Frazier Crane), Adenrele Oio, and Abby Craden.  Wonderful!
You really have to love SiFi for this one, and don't be put off by the reviews mention of vampires.  These are not really vampires...I won't tell you where they came from because that would spoil the tale for you, but vampires are nothing like the creatures in this book.
Read (listen) to it!  It's a long one (2 points at Audible!), but I guarantee you'll be hooked! 

"If you only take one book away with you this summer, make it The Passage. It's an absorbing, nightmarish dream of a book, a terrifying apocalyptic thriller, populated by believable, sympathetic characters. Once you start reading it, you won't want it to end." (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES )

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wonderful Birthday!

Okay, so, I'm over the hump.  Thanks to my wonderful family and friends, I've decided to enjoy being 60 and just go with it.

I just came back from a beautiful three-day weekend where Colleen, Jeff  and KT drove with us out to Marfa, Texas (the undisclosed location for Operation Mom's 60th Birthday).  Location - The Thunderbird hotel.  This was the coolest place ever - a re-invented 50's style motel done up in a Southwest Scandinavian minimalist style, complete with records and record players that you could rent from the office!  Very interesting.

So, I thought, this is going to be fun. Next thing I knew, Jeff, Colleen and KT come over to "see our room." As we were all commenting on how neat they were, comes a knock on the door. A deep voice - "room-service!"  Oh, good grief, I thought, they already ordered me coffee.  I'm really getting spoiled.
Oh no -- not coffee.  It was JR and Ashley!!  They had flown in and were already here - in the next room over.  The made the entire weekend just that much more wonderful!

We explored the city, ate some completely sinful Italian food a Maiya's, explored the Piasano Hotel in downtown Marfa, drove out to see the mysterious lights, and on Saturday we took a day trip out to Fort Davis, drove thru a truly spooky little town of Valentine, Texas (a so called ghost town, but in fact just plain scarey!) ate BBQ, explored downtown Fort Davis, and went back up to the Observatory for the Star-Party (it was cold!)

Colleen had brought a cake all the way from San Antonio for me and we celebrated on Saturday with 60 candles (very nearly setting off the room smoke alarm!) Oh -- and I got a nifty new lens for the camera, 50 mm.  

Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast (not easy to find in Marfa, Texas) but we found a really fine place called Cochineal, thanks to the determination of JR and Ashley. We had tried two places, one closed down and the other only takes cash!!  I mean, who travels with cash?? 

After that, we were all on our way back to real life.  Pics for the entire trip are in the usual place!  I expect that my photos will better after I get a chance to practice with my new lens!  I also have another trip planned by all, so more about that later!! 

I have to tell you, KT was a complete angel during the entire trip.  I can't believe how well she travels - she was just a doll.  I love, love, love my family!!

Taken with the new lens!  Focus in front/fade to back...very cool!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

My last day of age 59....

I guess I haven't been as appreciative of being only 59 as I should have been this year.  It wasn't until I saw 60 creeping up on me that I realized the I would soon be 60 years old..... 60!!  How did this happen?  I don't feel 60.  60 is for old people.   60 is more than a half century.. 60 is creeping up on a full century.   
I can't be 60.... I don't feel 60. (well, maybe I do, sometimes....)
I think because I've had such a fantastic year this past year, I was lulled into a false sense of security... Jeff and Colleen gave us our first grandbaby, KT, this year.  JR married Ashley this year.  We took a great road trip this year and saw some of the states northwest and got to visit with great friends in their "vacation home".  I get to babysit as often as I want.  John had another surgery and he recovered so quickly. I have had a fantastic year.  
Well, I guess its inevitable  I can't stop time.  So, instead, I'm going out to celebrate tonight and enjoy being only 59.  It's my last chance.  See you tomorrow on the other side.

I'll tell you where I am tomorrow, too.
It was a big surprise!  
(PS: I can't believe my family kept this from me... I never could find out what they had planned...it's not like me not to be able to sneak around and figure it out. I guess I am getting old.)