May 2018

May 2018

Friday, February 28, 2014

Another Academy Award Movie Nominee

We checked off another Academy Award movie nominee this evening. This time from the comfort of our home thanks to Amazon Instant Video.

Nebraska is about a son dealing with aging parents. It's amusing and sad at the same time. And it's disturbingly real made more so by being shot in black and white.

Everyone responsible for the making of Nebraska deserves recognition for a job well done. But I would still give the Oscar to Dallas Buyers Club.

However, I would give the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award to June Squibb for her role as the mother in Nebraska. Plan to see Nebraska if for no other reason than to see 84-year-old Squibb's outstanding performance.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Good Lunch, Good Movie

Today we had lunch at a new-to-us restaurant, Brio Tuscan Grille. We arrived around 12:30 p.m. and had to wait 10 minutes for a table. The space is very large so, right away, we suspected the food must be good.

We started with the Bruschetta Quattro, a $14.95 item we got free by simply submitting our email address through their website. (Well, actually, we started with the complimentary bread basket which was a little bit of heaven!) For entries, hubby got the Shrimp Mediterranean and I got the Risotto and Insalata. For dessert we shared a single serving of vanilla gelato as a final indulgence. Absolutely everything we ate was beyond delicious. We will definitely be back.

After lunch, we saw another one of the Academy Award movie nominees, Philomena, which is based on a true story. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but never expected we wouldn't. Has Judi Dench ever made a bad film? The only people I can imagine not liking Philomena are diehard narrow-minded Catholics. Fortunately for us, we're not one of them. But as good as Philomena was, I still feel the award should go to Dallas Buyers Club. Just one more week until we find out what the Academy thinks.

The snow is gone, temperatures are rising, our bellies are full with good food, and our minds and hearts have been challenged and touched by an excellent film. What a great day!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our Young Public Speaker

This Tuesday, my grandson, Elliott, will be one of the handful of students from his school speaking to 200 educators attending the region's Leader In Me symposium. Elliott just turned eight and is only in second grade!

As is not unusual for children with above-average intelligence, Elliott is super sensitive and emotional, which sometimes causes, what we call, "breakdowns." With maturity, however, he's gotten much better at managing frustrations. A five-step approach the school counselor taught him has also been a big help. In fact, he's been doing so well this school year, Elliott is now mentoring two younger students with similar challenges, which is why he was chosen to speak at the symposium.

From very early on, it was obvious to me, his papa, and his parents that Elliott is a leader. Now it's obvious to many others, too. And I just love imagining the possibilities for Elliott's future.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The 3D Experience

In a continuing effort to see all the movies nominated for a 2014 Academy Award, today hubby and I saw our first 3D movie. At this point, it's getting harder to find a nominee in a theater. The AMC closest to us brought back Gravity for a short showing, but only in 3D. So we decided it was a good opportunity to experience 3D for ourselves.

First, the movie. The special effects were amazing as was Sandra Bullock's acting. But as much as Bullock's reaction to her situation was believable, the movie's plot was not. I believe Gravity was justly nominated for several awards, just not the one for best movie.

Now, regarding 3D. I don't believe it added anything to this movie. I definitely feel it wasn't worth the higher ticket price. Plus I found placing 3D glasses over my own glasses slightly annoying.

All in all, however, Gravity was an entertaining 91 minutes. And now we're left with just five nominees to see before the Oscar show on March 2. But unless at least four of the five become available through Amazon within the next two weeks, I don't think we're going to make it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Elliott!

Eight years ago today, I received the best Valentine I could ever want – my first grandson, Elliott!

Since Elliott turned six, I've had trouble accepting and adjusting to how fast he's growing. Elliott's more a young man now. Yet, thankfully, he's still extremely affectionate and caring. He's also passionate. Elliott loves Lego, cub scouts, video games, and learning. And he's extremely intelligent, scoring well into the fourth-grade level in recent state testing and even a PHS (post high school) in language.

I'm proud to be Elliott's grandma. Happy birthday, Elliott!

First Place winner of this year's Pinewood Derby!

Monday, February 10, 2014

When It Rains. . .

First the heater needed a $300 repair. Next, my recumbent stationary bike quit and it cost $150 to replace it. Then the vehicle issues began.

Late last week, the windshield on hubby's truck cracked. I'm guessing the repair will cost at least $300. And, on Saturday, I found one of my tires flat. While my car was in the shop, I had them investigate a new noise that had developed. Turns out I had a significant leak in the power steering pump. (Wondered what was causing that puddle in the garage!) Total cost of repairs, including a new tire, was nearly $700.

And, as if that wasn't enough, yesterday the garage door cracked beyond repair. A new one will be installed on Wednesday for $900.

Yep, when it rains it pours. Pray it lets up soon!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another Good Jonah Day, Almost

I mostly had another good Jonah Day.  That is all was good until I dared to give Jonah a hug and kiss as he was leaving.

Jonah hates being kissed and hugged. He never even gave "baby kisses." Those open mouth first attempts at a kiss nearly all babies give. Jonah's older brother was especially good at "baby kisses." As soon as he was able, Elliott would "baby kiss" your face every opportunity. And, thankfully, he's still extremely affectionate.

Anyway. . .

The rest of the day was good and even included a nearly two-hour nap. Here are the projects we did:

Valentine butterflies made with toilet
rolls and hearts cut with my Cricut. 
Milk carton transformed into a Valentine house.

Like it or not, as long as I can catch him, Jonah will get grandma hugs and kisses. But, boy, is that kid a challenge!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And Another (Half) Snow Day

As expected, the snow started falling heavily around 11:00 a.m., so school closed at noon. If we get the predicted eight inches by midnight, tomorrow may be another full Snow Day.

At this point, I'm the only person I know who's not tired of snow and winter. As long as our heater keeps working and none of our utilities fail, I'm still very content staying at home. I do wish my new recumbent bike was here, but fortunately I got a great gym workout yesterday morning.

Before my daughter picked up Jonah today, we had great fun working on Valentine's Day cards and decorations. We also strung Cheerios on pipe cleaners shaped like hearts to hang in the trees for the birds. It was a good Jonah Day and I'm one very happy grandma!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tackling The Oscar Nominee List

Today we saw another 2013 Academy Award nominated film, Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew McConaughey dropped 47 pounds for his role as the main character, an activist dying of Aids. What I hadn't heard was Jared Leto also dropped a chunk a weight for the film, nearly 40 pounds.

The severe weight loss certainly made both men's characters more believable. But it was their performances that were awarding-winning.

For sure Dallas Buyers Club is a tough film to watch. First there's the disturbing observation of people living self-destructive lives. Then comes the education about how government gets in the way of people helping themselves; of letting people make their own healthcare decisions. But if you enjoy films that open your eyes to other worlds and are filled with exceptional acting, I recommend Dallas Buyers Club.

To date we've seen three of the films nominated for a 2013 Academy Award – American Hustle, Captain Phillips, and Dallas Buyers Club. All good films with great acting. It's been a long time since the Oscar race was this good.