Nominated Movies


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Today I am grateful for nominated movies.  We usually watch almost all of the movies nominated for best picture, but this year we are way behind because we were gone for two weeks.  We have seen Hidden Figures(fantastic); Fences (Very Good); Lion (Brilliant); La La Land (I expected it to be better); Hacksaw Ridge (Fantastic, but bloody, but a beautifully written story line); and right now we are watching Arrival, but it’s too soon to comment.


We double dipped at the theater today and saw La La Land and a horrible movie that Matt Damon must be weeping about, The Great Wall.  Very stupid and I’m glad it was the second half of our double dip.  Himself owes me for that one.


Tonight I talked him into Hacksaw Ridge because of the stars it got and we both loved it.  I must be getting jaded to the horrible violence since watching Game of Thrones, because there was a lot, but I loved it anyway.


I’m hoping to watch Moonlight tomorrow, but we won’t see Hell or High Water because I can’t find it anywhere, nor will we watch Manchester by the Sea because of the mixed reviews from friends, with most of them saying it was gloomy and I’ve had enough gloomy for a while so I don’t feel up to watching it for entertainment.  I’ll watch it when it comes on HBO.


Gotta go.  I’m already intrigued by Arrival and I’ve barely been watching.  It looks like it deserves my full attention.  See you at the Academy Awards.  (In my dreams!)

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Today I am grateful for bluebirds.  After I taught the little darlings to swim this morning I high-tailed it over to a friend’s house because she is loaning me a book I need to read for my book club.


She got the book a while ago to read after a knee replaced, then realized that she wouldn’t be reading as much as she thought, because it’s hard to focus, especially after that surgery.  At least for a while.  I know from experience.


I sat and chatted with her in her beautiful country home, getting up-to-date on her recovery and assuring her she was doing great.  Two weeks is nothing with knee replacement so just the fact that she came to the door when I knocked is huge.


Looking over my shoulder as we caught up, she said, “Oh my!  Look!  Is that a bluebird in the tree?”  She pointed out the window behind me.  I’ve heard blue jays referred to as bluebirds in the past so I almost didn’t bother to look.  But did anyway, because as a teacher I doubted she’d make this mistake.


With its bright blue back to us and turned ever so slightly for us to see it’s bright orange belly, it sat there in fluffy splendor pondering peace.  I’m sure.  Okay, maybe I made that part up, but I’d like to think it was a sign anyway. Only once before have I seen a bluebird and that was probably 25 years ago.  What a gift.


“I hope it builds a nest in my tree,” my friend said.  So do I.    I can’t wait to see the babies.  I should be long done with the book by then.  BING!  Heartprint.

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Home & Exhausted


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Today I am grateful to be home, because I am exhausted beyond my wildest expectation.  I slept 10 hours the first night and 8 the second and I just woke up from my second nap this afternoon.  I think I am emotionally, politically and physically beat up.  So you children play nicely among yourselves tonight.  I’m going to have another nap before bed.

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My Perfect World


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Today I am grateful for my perfect world.  We drove home from Wisconsin on Sunday and Monday.  Thankfully there was no bad weather and driving through Chicago was a breeze.


After a 14 hour day we fell into bed exhausted at the gorgeous hotel in Youngstown, Ohio.  Neither of us were looking forward to getting back in the car for another 5-6 hour drive so we dragged our asses in the morning, especially me.  When on a road trip, we stop for a lot of pee breaks.  It’s okay because while Himself is doing his business, I rest my eyes and even nap a little.  But sometimes even I have to go.


Walking out of a rest area in Pennsylvania, I noticed three young men standing at the open trunk of their cram-packed car.  They were eating fruit and drinking water, which I thought was interesting.  They were also of three completely different ethnicities, which I found encouraging.  One was tall, skinny and black with boinky, short dreads; one was a pudgy Asian with poker straight bangs; and the other was a very short Hispanic, with gorgeous wavy hair.  Once a hairdresser always a hairdresser.  I noticed the hair right off.  But I also noticed something else.


They were laughing.  A lot.  And having fun, fiddling with some device to get the music going.  By the time it was playing at a decent decibel, I was at my car.  They started dancing, watching me as I was about to get in behind the wheel.  They watched me as though wondering if I was going to tell them to turn it down and knock it off.


They weren’t very good dancers. . .nothing “So You Think You Can Dance?” about these three.  Their feet moved a little and so did their arms.  Hips not so much.  I paused at my open car door.  Himself was already in the passenger seat.


I wish you could have seen their faces when I broke into a well-timed, if a little bit frantic dance, behind my car. . .with them. . .in the parking lot of a rest area!  “Hey Mama!” they yelled, clapping and laughing as I gave them my best moves. . .not great, but I think they learned a few!  The moment lasted maybe 30 seconds.


Before pulling out I lowered my window and said, “You guys made my day.  You really made my day!”  They jumped up and waved as though they were bringing in a plane on a runway, and said, “You made ours!!!”


Driving away, bawling, of course, I realized that this was the world I want to live in. . .where three young guys of very different cultures, can have a goofy moment with a too-white old lady at a public rest area.  That’s my perfect world.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Today I am grateful for Marge.  When we moved from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, so that Himself could work at American Olean Tile Company, Marge and her husband Ray were among the first people we met.  The connection was instant and lasting.  For over 30 years.

We lost Ray a while ago and have missed him ever since.  Actually he is the reason I went to Indonesia with Himself, because I sure didn’t want to go and balked at the idea.  But Ray said, “You HAVE to go!”  I asked him why?  Other people had long distance relationships, why couldn’t we?  “If you don’t go, who is he going to holler at when he comes home after a bad day?”  That made more sense than any argument I had heard, so I went.  I blamed/thanked him for that decision many times.


After Ray’s passing, being the only “single”, Marge might have isolated herself from the group, but she didn’t and joined us for dinners and lunches and Christmas celebrations and great conversations over red wine.  When she had to leave her apartment to go into assisted living and could no longer drive, she and I went for haircuts together, laughing the entire time.


Sitting in her tiny room, I asked, “So Marge, is what it comes down to?”  She smiled and said, “Yup.  One room!  All of those beautiful things I had and now I have only this room. . .and I am lucky to be here, even though this small room makes me crazy!!!”  She laughed. That was Marge.  Always cheerful.  Always positive.  Always grateful.  Even when most of us would have become surly or irritated, she was kind and pleasant.  Always a joy to be around.


The last time I saw her she had been upgraded to a larger assisted living apartment.  I sat with her and another friend of hers and we chatted and talked politics and laughed.   She showed me the original paintings she owned that were done by a mutual friend, heel-toeing it around the room in her wheelchair.  She was chipper and beautiful and sassy.


The decline happened fast.  Too fast.  I tried to see her but was sent away because she was having such a bad day.  I felt a bug coming on and it would have been irresponsible to visit, so I didn’t.  Then we had to go to Wisconsin because of my own mom’s illness and I never did get to see her again.  It’s okay.  I like remembering her chipper and sassy, giving me that sideways glance, then chuckling with a wicked grin.


I got the call this morning when I was at breakfast with my sister and her family.  Marge is gone.  She passed peacefully at 1 a.m..  I am sad, oh so very sad.  A bright light has dimmed.  The pain of loss is palpable, but temporary.  The love is real. . .and lasting.


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Poetic Justice


Friday, February 17, 2017

Today I am grateful for poetic justice.  I do most of the driving whenever we go anywhere.  Himself is forever enlightening me when I am over the speed limit or do some otherwise stupid maneuver.  It’s a lot of fun.


Sometimes I respond to his, “You know you didn’t stop all the way there,” comments with, “I don’t think they mean me on this road where there is not another soul at this time of night.”  He smirks, just waiting for me to get pulled over, lead foot and all.


So today while we were hanging pictures at my mom’s new apartment, I shagged him out to have lunch someplace.  He came back with a full stomach and a “warning” citation for going ten miles over the speed limit in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.


I’m surprised he even confessed, but it was a female cop and I think he turned on the charm and was a little proud that she didn’t give him a real ticket.  And she gave me poetic justice. . .the sweetest citation of all!

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today I am grateful for talking.  Yikes.  Talk-talk-talk.  With friends at lunch, then friends in a larger group visiting another friend in the place where she lives and more talk-talk-talk.  Then back to one of our kids house and more talk-talk-talk.  So much talking, so little time.  I confess that even I need a little silence today.  I think I might have run out of words. Until I bump into someone interesting today and talk-talk-talk!

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