March 2017

March 2017

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Movie Review – The Big Short

We crossed off another Oscar movie nominee, The Big Short, this morning. In case you haven't heard, The Big Short is about "the credit and housing bubble collapse in the mid-2000s. . ." And it's a movie well worth seeing.

While I still don't completely understand the cause of the collapse, I do know much more than I did before. But what I enjoyed the most about The Big Short was becoming familiar with the number of socially-awkward highly-intelligent people who predicted the collapse years before it happened. As I've said before, I absolutely love movies about extremely smart people.

It's my opinion The Big Short more than deserves its nomination. And it's easy to see why Christian Bale as Michael Burry was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

After recently enjoying The Revenant and The Big Short, I'm even more excited to see other 2016 Oscar movie nominees.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Good News From New York

My daughter-in-law is now 15-weeks pregnant and appears to be coming out of that rough period of morning sickness that resulted in two hospital stays. When I spoke with her Wednesday, Zuae said she was much better, eating and feeling more energetic. But, best of all, yesterday she got some results of the blood draw from a couple weeks ago and everything looks good!

Then this morning we got more good news from New York. My son starts a new job Monday with better pay and benefits, which he can work from anywhere with internet access. So Daniel and Zuae's move from New York to near us in Missouri is still on and their financial future feels much better. (Currently Daniel's a freelance tutor.)

The move is scheduled for May 2 and baby is due July 17. It's going to be an exciting spring and summer!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Movie Review – The Revenant

This was a tough one. Although the scenery throughout The Revenant is breathtaking to the point I found myself marveling at the wonder and beauty of nature, the movie's savagery is hard to take. In fact, I had my eyes closed at least 20-percent of the time.

But I can understand why the The Revenant has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards. It's an extraordinary film. The visual effects, the acting, the costumes, the screenwriting, and the set design were all top notch. If given the choice, I recommend seeing it in IMAX to truly appreciate the landscapes unfolding before you.

This time of year I'm on a mission to see most, if not all, of the movie nominees. We're now down to five, although I very much doubt I'll bother with Mad Max: Fury Road. I've yet to be able to sit through any of the Mad Max movies. Just not my genre.

No matter the cold, ice and snow, for me this is movie season!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snow Day Miracle

Schools were closed yesterday, so my daughter was home with both grandsons. Late in the afternoon, after wrestling with the boys and dealing with handymen all day, she finally took a break and laid back in one of their recliners. At the same time, Jonah was laying on the floor in front of the recliner watching shows on the iPad. And that's when the miracle happened.

Jonah's dear lovey, Cream Bear (a.k.a. Creamy), has been missing since January 2. Turns out, poor Creamy was stuck in the mechanism of the recliner for 19 days!

So how did Creamy get in that position? Well, Jonah's been known to walk around the house in the early morning hours when everyone else is still asleep. We suspect, during his January 2 early morning walk, Jonah laid on the recliner for awhile and Creamy slid down between the arm and seat cushion.

Jonah was unbelievably brave the whole time Creamy was missing. I asked him today if he ever cried and was told he did "inside." I, my daughter and Jonah's brother were not as brave. Emily said she cried three hours the first night. And Elliott and I shed a few tears too.

Today I gave Creamy a new festive bow. In the picture, you can see that bow as well as the creative patching I've done over the last six years. Creamy is truly loved and we're all so happy he's back.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow Day!

While a snow day isn't as welcoming to me as it was when I watched the grandsons (glad for a break), I still enjoy any excuse to just stay home. And my car covered with snow is as good an excuse as any!

Throughout the day I've been purging and cleaning kitchen cupboards and drawers in between cooking and stitching. I also finished this year's Valentine's Day cards.

Currently I'm addicted to cross-stitching on perforated paper. I can see the holes without extra lighting and finish projects quickly. Best of all, I can use the finished projects on cards, which I also enjoy making.

Yay for snow days!

Both grandsons are getting one
of these hanging cards to add
to my daughter's Valentine tree.
The rest of my Valentines
are getting tag-type cards.
I was able to easily turn the owl
into a girl with the addition
of a bow made from floss.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weekend Getaway

Breakfast is served!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a paid holiday for hubby, so we took advantage of the three-day weekend with a getaway to the Ozark area in southern Missouri. We stayed two nights at The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks, which turned out to be an excellent choice.

Students at the college fill all the positions at the Center and they did a fantastic job pampering us. We stayed in a Skyline View Suite that was equipped with everything we needed and more, including a sound machine in the bedroom and fireplace in the living area. 

Half of these oatmeal cookies are now
in our freezer and I'll be sad when
they're gone. So good!
When we first got to our suite, we found a bowl filled with a variety of snacks all made by the students, and Diet Coke and fresh milk in the mini-frig. Turndown happened around 6:30 P.M. and included a plate of freshly made oatmeal cookies as well as pillow chocolates. Then, in the morning, a continental breakfast was delivered to our suite at a time we specified. Did I mention we were pampered?

The Keeter Center also includes a restaurant called Dobyns that serves brunch on Sundays. We decided to indulge and, again, the students took good care of us. 

It was a great getaway that also included a tour of the Fantastic Caverns. And definitely an easy winter escape we'd consider again.

Fantastic Caverns
The first to explore Fantastic Caverns
were 12 women in 1867 who wrote
their names on a cave wall.
Fantastic Caverns

Friday, January 15, 2016

Oh baby!

This, of course, is grandbaby #3 due in July. I don't remember ultrasounds of my grandsons (seven and 11 years ago) being this detailed at just three months. Technology is truly amazing!



Monday, January 11, 2016

Enough Already!

It started the first week of January when my youngest grandson lost his favorite stuffed animal. Jonah will be six in March and had been carrying and loving Cream Bear (Creamy) for at least five years. To make matters worse, Creamy was first loved by my oldest grandson who kindly gave him to his younger brother in a first display of true brotherly love. I just keep imagining poor Creamy laying on a parking lot somewhere or, more likely by now, tossed in a heap of trash. It's so incredibly sad.

Then over the weekend came a flood of more sad and concerning news. On Saturday I learned my brother-in-law's brother died suddenly of a heart attack after getting an "all clear" from his cardiologist just days before. And yesterday I learned my best friend's dad had also died suddenly on Saturday. Although Candy's dad had been in assisted living for a few years, death had not appeared imminent.

But most concerning was finding out my pregnant daughter-in-law was admitted to the hospital on Saturday night due to severe morning sickness. A few weeks ago Zuae spent five hours in the hospital due to dehydration for the same reason. This time she'll be in the hospital until at least tomorrow while the doctor tests different medications to get her through this disturbing period. The baby appears to be fine, but obviously Zuae needs to start keeping food and drink down for her own and baby's continued wellbeing.

So this morning I find myself feeling extremely anxious as well as overwhelmed with grief and concern. In my head I'm screaming ENOUGH ALREADY! while also hoping someone's listening.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Purging Never Ends

Add one winter coat to this
pile and you have two large
trash bags for charity.
I've finally realized, like house work, purging never ends. I hate clutter and I'm not one to hold onto something for its sentimental value. Nevertheless, there never seems to be an end to household items and clothing no longer used, liked, wanted, or needed. I swear stuff multiplies and grows while we sleep!

Truth is, however, things simply lose their value with time and lifestyle changes. So, every six months or less, we'll always find something or some things we no longer need or want.

Today I went through a wardrobe that holds my knit tops and sweaters and ended up with two trash bags for charity. Those two bags along with another bag filled with old holiday decorations will make a worthwhile pickup for the Disabled American Veterans tomorrow.

And I now actually have empty space in my wardrobe I don't feel the need to fill. Another thing I've recently realized is I don't need nearly as many clothing items as I've owned in the past.

Purging might be a never-ending job, but I love how it makes me feel each and every time I do it. Lighter and freer. So let the first purge of 2016 continue!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Sweet Indulgence

For Christmas 2014, one of hubby's coworkers gave him a small bag of William-Sonoma peppermint bark. I was very interested to try it because I had heard for years how wonderful it is. OMG! I was in love at first bite. And, lucky me, hubby hates peppermint so the entire bag was all mine.

So this year, although I've drastically reduced my sugar intake, I decided to splurge on a tin of William-Sonoma peppermint bark during a short sale in early December. But I refrained from opening it until today. With our food inventory back to our healthy normal, this afternoon I finally cracked the lid. Then, using my kitchen scale, I carefully measured out one 1.5 ounce portion and hoped it would be as good as I remembered. It absolutely was!

There's a total of 16 ounces in one tin, so that means I can indulge roughly 10 more days, or more with smaller portions. A year ago I doubt I would have limited myself. But, after nine months of counting calories and limiting sweets, I know I will with no problem.

And yet another new holiday tradition begins!