Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Daughter's Birthday

Once upon a time AW and I had two little babies. The first was a little boy --- a red haired, blue eyed bundle of energy, affection and temper. Then, three and three quarters years later we had our second child -- a little girl with big eyes, curly blond hair and precocious nature. It was every parents dream -- they were gorgeous, intelligent children with creative minds and robust personalities. I couldn't have been more pleased.

When they were small they did pretty well at keeping the Monster Sibling Rivalry at bay. They had their moments like one Christmas when the Star Wars boxes were larger than the Cricket boxes and the fussing ensued and the tears flowed -- if not kept in check, Christmas can really result in major meltdowns. For the most part, however, he played the big brother role quite well in saving her life and keeping her from getting lost and making sure that she got something new when he went shopping with his grandmother.

When they became school aged kids there was more competition -- mostly centered around school. However, this usually leveled out with both acquiring their share of ribbons and awards. This was the time, however, when the sibling rivalry was the most prevalent. He was almost a teenager -- she was a little sister -- she was annoying and he had a temper. There were times with much flailing of arms and legs and shrieks and banishing to separate rooms. We bought a van with captains seats so they didn't have to sit next to each other. That was a smart move. Mom's hair was getting much greyer by this point.

Fast forward to young adulthood -- a metamorphosis of sorts. She had evolved from a gangley girl to a lovely young woman, dancing her way through high school, excelling in her studies and becoming a serious thinker. His temper was waning and he learned patience and independence as only one can by living on his own and learning about life through experience. They talked. She ran to him in times of distress. He included her in some of his activities -- like going to the coffee house on Cooper. She spent the night in his apartment. They were becoming friends. Mom and Dad gave sighs of relief -- their children were becoming friends.

Fast forward to yesterday. My daughter will turn thirty next week -- a big day for her being met with a bit of trepidation -- so, in order to ease the moment for her, her husband, AW and I are hosting a party for her. Unfortunately, her brother and his family have a scheduling conflict which won't allow them to attend. This saddened my daughter because, even though they still have their moments of picking at each other, her brother is very important to her. However, her brother and sister-in-law rose to the occasion and tackled the issue head on -- they threw her a party! It was a lovely party with a gorgeous, dark chocolate cake made by SIL, party hats and a banner made by sister-in-law and nephew -- the artist in residence. Brother chose a well thought out gift which was a rousing success. It was a wonderful party and I got the joy of sitting back and watching my adult children be what I always hoped they would be -- close to each other -- doing something for each other and caring about each other. I guess at the end of the day that is what all parents want above all. It seems to me that she wasn't the only one to get a gift.
The Neglected Blog

It has been noted on Facebook the last several days how some of the more serious bloggers have succumbed to the allure of Facebook --- you know, short snippits of conversation feeding the instant gratification frenzy. It is wonderful, I have to admit, but it seems to have resulted in gross neglect of our blogs. Now, I love reading blogs. I don't know what is so enticing about them but they are some of my favorite reading around. However, with the advent of Facebook it seems much more schedule friendly to pop in, say a quick hello or update your status, letting people know you are still alive but there is little in the way of substance, photos or creative writing. Although I am not a serious blogger, I have let my blog go in deference to FB, as well. I am, therefore, going to take a step back and examine my priorities and put my blogging/blog reading first. After all, it just takes a couple of minutes to post your status, right?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Movies

AW and I watched two movies over the weekend -- one on tv and one a Netflix offering. Both movies were very good although very different. It seems that we managed to reach a happy medium in our cinema viewing this week.

The first, from Netflix, was "Ghost Town". A really cute movie with Ricky Gervais is sort of a "Ghost" in comedic form. I love Gervais in "The Office" and was thrilled to see him do such a good job in this movie. It was basically a love story and a ghost story, poignant and funny. It was entertaining and I recommend.

The second movie, "A Time to Kill" was older, circa 1992 or so, with Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaghy, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Sandra Bullock. It was centered around a murder case -- Jackson's character murdered two white men for the rape of his daughter--and the subsequent trial and unrest that it evoked in a small southern town. It was a really good movie with a great cast. I would definitely recommend this one -- let's just say the younger cast is easy on the eyes.

I have no clue what is next on my Netflix list but, after several weeks of movies that I wasn't thrilled with, I was glad that "Ghost Town" turned out to be so good!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Fairy Door

The Fairy Door has arrived! Now, I know I sound like an eccentric old bird, but I have always liked subtle, offbeat additions to my environment. So, when we put in the flower bed in the back, I immediately started thinking about what kind of "yard art" I could fill it with. Well, AW isn't a huge fan of "yard art" and he looks at my gnome with much disdain so I decided I better keep it to a minimum. After much internet searching, I discovered a site called Enchanted Gardens ( They have a lovely assortment of miniature garden doors, buildings, windows, etc. I chose, after much deliberating with AW, the Pixie door. It came yesterday and I am very pleased with it. It is darker than the photo shows which is ok because it blends in very well and isn't so "in your face". I am sure any self-respecting fairy would prefer to be tasteful. Now, I am sure I will never create an entire miniature village, although the idea is definitely enticing, but I might have to add a wee creature to the area -- if one doesn't come on it's own! Heh, heh --- my English/Welsh/Irish roots are showing.

Anyway, here are the photos! I have to say though that while I was out looking for meteors last night I didn't see any evidence of any fairies moving into my tree. Oh well, maybe the word isn't out yet that I have the coolest door!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie and Julia

I saw a movie. In a theater! It was "Julie and Julia". It was really good -- not a chick flicky as I thought it would be. The scenery was gorgeous. Just see it -- I think even husbands would like it. Really.
Netflix movie -- "Mongols"

Ok, I don't know what comes over me when I add movies to my Netflix queue. I am always trying to find something that AW will like, mixed in with all the chick flicks and historical fiction that I like. So, while perusing the vast options one day, I added "Mongols" to it figuring that it was something that the hubby would like. It has been a while ago, though, so I had sort of forgotten I had it on the list. It arrived a couple of days ago and we watched it last night.

Well, what can I say. There was dialogue but it was in whatever language the Mongols speak -- Chinese? It didn't sound Chinese. There were subtitles. The entire movie was subtitled. I am not a fan of subtitles but we went with it. It was a brutal movie. It was sad. It was long but it was pretty good. I didn't fall asleep in it which was good but it did have it's draggy moments. At the end, when all the text was scrolling, it did explain that it was the story of Ghengis Khan which, truthfully, we didn't know. I guess I need to read the synopsis a little more closely. Anyway, would I recommend? Yes, with reservation. Like I said, it is brutal.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Garden

Here is our completed landscaping project. Our thanks to Jathan of Glennscape for hauling large trees, dealing with rain and constant changes from us.
Fairy Doors --

This is coming to my house soon! I can't wait. I have a perfect place in the new flower bed for it and it is going to be very cute!

It is from I have been doing some looking at fairy gardens on the internet and, while I don't think I am up for creating an entire village, I have always wanted a door (introduced to me by my Aunt Velma). So, this one has been ordered and will be here eventually -- hopefully in time for fall because we don't want the pixies to get cold!
Was it Me or my Grandmother?

I am aging. I know this from the obvious signs -- greying hair, wrinkles, an approaching milestone birthday, suddenly sort of liking the color purple which I always, ALWAYS assigned to "old ladies". I did not, however, think I had an old attitude. If I don't look in the mirror, I feel 19. I still remember the words to the songs of my youth, I have a get up and go approach to life and I keep up with the here and now. So, I was shocked last evening when I saw what I saw and when I thought what I thought and suddenly my age closed in on me and I felt old.

AW and I were feasting on soup at one of our usual haunts and, being seated close to the door, we got a good look at all the patrons as they entered the eatery. As I was sipping my soup I glanced to the side and saw some black flats with rather wide grosgrain ribbon attached at the back and lacing around the wearers ankle to be tied in a large black bow. This wasn't a child's foot so I had to look up to see what was north of these outrageous bows. What I saw was a 40-something woman dressed in -- her slip! It was a pink number that was either faded or tie dyed -- not sure which. Under this little number she wore black undergarments and tied around her waist was a floral, floaty apron-like affair that tied in the back (with a large bow, I might add) and came to an assymetrical point to one side of the front. It only covered the front of this get-up, not covering her entire body so from the back she was dressed -- in her slip.

I was shocked. Of course, I had read about women wearing lingerie as outerwear, mostly in the evening and mostly black or white. I never thought I would see someone parading around at the usual dinner time in a family restaurant dressed in this manner. I was disgusted. This woman looked intelligent, carried a status bag and had a trendy hairstyle. I am certain she had something in her closet to wear that would have been more appropriate.

Then I thought about my reaction --- it was certainly not one of hippness, trendiness, or acceptance. It was an old woman's response -- I could see Grandmother Madge sitting there passing judgment on this woman and I realize then that my age was showing and I was equally appalled by THAT.

So, in the world of fashion I would have to say "to each his own" but I would be remiss if I didn't say it was the most laughable thing I had seen in a long time and an enlightening moment to myself -- fight the aging a little harder because it is creeping up faster that I realize.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Fill0Ins #139

1. Iced tea is my favorite summertime beverage. It is my favorite wintertime beverage too -- hey, I am from the south!

2. My favorite John Huges movie is yet to be discovered.

3. Fabric is something I love to touch.

4. The full moon reminds me of autumn.

5. I am getting hungry right now.

6. When daylight fades the soft dusky glow illuminates the spidery branches of the trees in the wood beyond the cabin.

7. And as for this weekend, tonight I am looking forward to another movie, tomorrow my plans include house cleaning and Sunday I want to do my usual Sunday thing.
Netflix Update

Slow to blog, here, but we just viewed two Netflix offers in the last week. The first was "The Women" with Meg Ryan. It is a remake of the 1939 classic -- I would like to see the original again. It was good, typical Meg, but entertaining and I would recommend it.

The second movie was "Valkyrie". Definite recommend and it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise being in it. It was a great movie -- enough action to keep it going and not so much gore to make it disgusting -- a rarity these days, it seems. I have always liked "war" movies (The Longest Day -- thanks JLSHall!) and this one did not disappoint. I would recommend and I might add it to my personal DVD library.