Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summer -- the Beginning

Summer began for us, as a family, early this year and both my daughter and her daughter were out of school last Friday. This is the first time my daughter has been done with school before June. 

In addition to school being out, things at church have wound down as well.  The choir is on summer hiatus and Sunday School is done for the summer.  Our Sunday School program for the littles is The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd begun by Maria Montessori.  It is a wonderful program and the children just love it.

I am continuing to read toward my Goodreads goal.  Right now I am reading "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil".  I bought a copy while I was in Savannah but I am reading it on my Kindle after checking it out on Overdrive from my public library.  I am nearly done and will review.

The Hubs has had a couple of projects to deal with.  One involves shimming up my bookcase in the bedroom.  It is a large bookcase and I never had a problem with it leaning before but the carpet in my new bedroom is very thick and the bookcase just leans and honestly, it pretty much scares me to death because it is tall and heavy and the thought of it falling isn't pretty.

And, I had an idea for a knock-down play house for Hubs to build out of PVC pipe and cover with sheets.  This is it.

I found the plans on the internet and it works well.  It is rather huge though.

And then, the Fairy Gardens have been planted and here they are -- ta da!

this one isn't quite finished

this is the main one

We did this quite early this morning as it is really hot right now in North Texas.  The mosquitoes almost carried us off and the heat got us really quickly.  So, by 10 a.m. the gardens were planted and dressed, we were showered and ready for a quiet day indoors!

Tonight -- we will work on a puzzle! We haven't done that in a while and it seems like a nice thing to do after dinner!

Summer is getting off to a nice start.

Friday, May 25, 2018

New Old School -- AKA Old Dog Learning New Tricks -- for me anyway

I have a love/hate relationship with my crock pot.  It is a good crock pot.  I can brown meat in it on the stove.  It cooks a mean pot of beans.  The crock is removable so cleaning is relatively easy.  So what is my problem?

Everything coming out of it tastes the same.  I recently made a recipe of orange chicken.  It was dreadful -- and I couldn't tell the chicken from the roast I cooked last. 

I prefer the oven but......what if I leave the house.

My mother would have never left the oven on and left the house so, as a result, it never occurred to me.  I do remember one time that I programmed the oven to come on and heat a lasagne while I was at church but that was walking on the wild side for me.

So, I want to cook a roast.  I don't want to put it in the crock pot.  I want to slow cook it in the oven.  I am going to be brave and put in on low (300) and then go get the g-daughter from school.  I am going to leave the oven on. 

This is ridiculous -- I am sure it will be fine. 

I think I am too old a dog to learn new tricks!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Little Women

Did anybody watch the Masterpiece Theater (PBS) adaptation of "Little Women" last night?  I waited for weeks for it, I was so excited!  Seems my neighbor decided to talk on his ham radio last night which caused a good deal of interference with my antenna so it was a dicey viewing.  I was upset.

Aside from that, however, it was very enjoyable.  It was much different than either of the movie versions I have seen multiple times in my life.  The casting was was well done.  None of these girls looked like glamour queens (i.e. Elizabeth Taylor) -- they all looked quite representative of young women the ages they were playing.

I am always interested in settings when I watch anything.  I like to look at the backgrounds of photos as well.  It was filmed in Wicklow, Ireland which I find to be a bit strange.  To be such an "American" story, I would have thought it would have been filmed in Massachusetts where the book was set.  The setting is gorgeous, as you would expect, but the viewer (if watching such things) gets the feeling that the setting isn't quite right.  It is beautiful however, so no points lost there.

Angela Lansbury does a bang up job as Aunt March.  She defies her age.  It was a treat watching her in this role.  I still watch re-runs of "Murder She Wrote" so I am a big Lansbury fan.

I completely enjoyed this show -- despite the interference from the annoying neighbor --and am looking forward to the second part next week.  All of this and the Royal Wedding as well!  It will be a good weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Homebody or Recluse?

I am noticing that, as I am aging, I am changing in ways I never imagined.  Oh yes, the obvious things like the hair, the waistline (or lack of ),  the newly acquired purple Hurrycane....


These aren't the things I am talking about.  I am talking about my change in interests and habits and such.

When I was young and when my children were young, I enjoyed all the things younger people enjoy.  I liked going shopping and chatting with the neighbors (sort of, I am an introvert after all) and I absolutely loved going to bookstores.

Well, now the kids are grown, I don't care for shopping anymore, don't really know my neighbors yet (that might be ok!) and the bookstores are all gone.

Online shopping has squelched any desire I had to shop -- I mean, why bother when you can just click a button and it arrives at your door.  Maybe.  Or is dropped by a drone.  Speaking of drones -- we saw one in the neighborhood across the street spying on the traffic at the intersection.  It was scary -- on the same level as those big white wind turbines. 

I digress.

So, have I become a homebody or a recluse?  Seems I don't really want to be anywhere but home.  I like my house to be clean, quiet and sort of dark and cool.  It isn't always that way because of the g-kids who come around but for the most part, I really like it to be serene. 

In our old house we had plantation shutters on the windows.  In this house we have venetian blinds that need to be replaced.  Hubs wants more shutters.  I like the blinds.  They let in more light and they remind me of my youth.  My mother was an ace at making our house seem peaceful and serene and a lot of it had to do with those
blinds.  I am afraid a lot of my reading about minimalism has stuck with me.  I like these minimalist blinds. But, I want new ones, I want my OWN blinds.

I have a routine these days.  It is rather slow and deliberate.  It is almost imperative because of my gimpy knees but it makes me feel like I am in control.  Not much gets set around on the tables and such.  I don't buy magazines anymore so I have eliminated the clutter of that.  The bookstores are all gone, for the most part, so I buy books or check them from the library on my Kindle.  I absolutely love that.

It just seems like I have settled into this odd existence.  So different that it used to be.  But, I like it.  I like the quiet.  I like the world being "out there" with the dreadful traffic and the horrible problems we see everyday in the news and on social media.  I like me being "in here" to keep things simple and serene. 

I wonder what is wrong with me.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Made In Savannah -- Cozy Series by Hope Callaghan

I have just finished the last available book in the cozy mystery series "Made In Savannah" by Hope Callaghan.  There were 9 books in the series with a 10th due out soon.  I am looking forward to it.

This series was delightful to read and held my interest, clearly.  The books are clean yet not squeaky --they do involve the Mafia, after all! They are not long books and are really quick reads. 

The characters are not as fleshed out and complex as they could be but it is very easy to identify with Carlita's plight trying to keep her children on the up and up -- pretty difficult for a Mafia wife! And Elvira -- what a character -- the kind of you love to hate but end up really liking -- just because.  The character of Mercedes could have been developed more but I suspect that is going to come in the next book. 

If you have any knowledge of Savannah, Georgia, you will be able to identify places with changed names, events and activities that are associated with the city, and the architectural descriptions.  However, I think the settings could have been expanded upon.  If you don't have a good working knowledge of Savannah, it would be hard to develop a mental picture of the area.

The plots are good but could have a few more twists and turns.  They are safe and straightforward but would be more engaging with more intrigue and complication.

With all this said, however, I do recommend these books.  If they hadn't been good I would never have stayed through the entire series.  I am looking forward to book 10 and hope it is out soon!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Doodling Again

 In case anybody is wondering, it is supposed to be an iris.  My husband said he didn't know what it looked like.  Blah.