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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sweet Persephone

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Little Miss MoneyPenny Has A Message

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little Miss MoneyPenny

Little Miss MoneyPenny still looks good to be 9 1/2 yrs old. Here she is modeling her newest coat that Melinda made her.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Family Joke

I did this scrapbook layout about a funny story that happened to Kyle and Brett yesterday. So cute!

Getting Ready For Spring

I'm so ready for Spring! We live in SC so it's about this time that we begin to call it early Spring. We start to see crocuses and hyacinths.

Then we see the forsythias bloom!

Followed by the tulips and daffodils.

And the azaleas and dogwoods end our "early" Spring. After that we are into late Spring and then Summer.

With the brighter colors, the bright greens of budding trees and bushes, the new grass, pastels of flowers and baby birds and animals we get our palette of Spring.

I've often wondered if God knew we needed brightening up and encouraging after the Winter so he gave us the baby birds and animals and the colors of newness. Or do we just respond to these stimuli because it's the way it's always been. What if Spring brought the colors that we relate to Fall. We wouldn't know the difference so oranges, gold, red and rust would quicken our hearts and make us look forward to warm weather. Either way, we respond to the Spring colors, the babies and the newness of life. It's the reason that we dye Easter eggs (symbol of new life), we buy our children baby ducklings and baby peeps to teach them about baby birds. It's why we start thinking of warm days and picnics. It's why we decorate for Spring.

Let's make a list of things that we relate to early Spring:
The above mentioned flowers
Easter eggs, baskets, rabbits, ducklings, lambs, peeps, Easter grass
Baby birds
Nests with eggs (which crack to birth the baby birds)
Gardening (we begin to plant flowers, early vegetables, cleaning up after Winter, enjoying being outside again)
Going on picnics
Going to public gardens and trails for day trips to see the new flowers and bushes
Cooler clothes
New grass, budding trees
Our risen Lord

I'm sure there are others. But you get my drift. How do we translate these ideas into decorating our homes. You don't have to do a front to back changeover every season. (You can if you want!) But just adding a few touches can brighten us up and give our children memories. Here are some ideas I saw on the Internet:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

City Of Bones by Michael Connelly

City of Bones by Michael Connelly
A Harry Bosch novel

I got the book on CD and listened to it as I was running errands. A teenager's bones from 20 years ago, are found on a hillside in a neighborhood. His head was smashed so Harry Bosch gets the case. It turns out to be a teenager who went missing. Who could have wanted the boy dead? How did the body get up the steep hillside? Going back that far doesn't stop Bosch from using his instincts and finding the killer.

A light read but a lot of language that is never necessary. Bosch would make some leaps that were evidently based on his instincts rather than based on real clues that the rest of us could follow. But it made the time go by fast.

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Little 13 year old Susie Salmon is raped and killed by a neighbor. He dismembers her body. Only her elbow ever surfaces. She is the oldest daughter of Jack and Abigail Salmon. Lindsey is a year younger and little Buckley is only 4 yrs old when his oldest sister is murdered.

They lived in a suburb like hundreds of thousands throughout America in 1976. Much like my sisters and I did. We went through junior high and high school during the 1970's and lived in the middle income American split level suburban home. The family is a loving family and the girls have friends in school. But the murder of Susie is like an explosion ripping through the neighborhood and school. Susie watches from "her heaven" as everyone begins to build their life back. This rebuilding of a framework of relationships are the lovely bones.

Alice Sebold also grew up in the suburbs and was attacked and raped in college in 1981. She wrote about this in her book, Lucky. Then she started on Lovely Bones. It was published in 2002. From the beginning it was a hit, even making it as a selection for the Book Of The Month Club. It made the New York Times Bestseller's List. I remember when it came out and it's taken me this long to finally get it and read it. I made a mistake waiting so long. Knowing the movie was coming out, I wanted to read the book first so I put it at the top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile. Once I started I couldn't put it down. It's different, very lyrical, poetic. Haunting is a good word for it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Of course, I don't believe in Sebold's version of heaven. I believe in the Bible's version of heaven (although I believe that those who have gone on before are part of that great cloud of witnesses that watch us). But, using it as a literary tool, made the book that much more effective.

I loved the book, but I can't imagine how it will be as a movie. I don't know if I want to see the movie so as not to ruin my "book glow"! I could recommend this book for anyone over 16 yrs old. The rape and murder might be scary and graphic. A sexual scene later in the book may also be too graphic for younger teens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Stan and I had a good Valentine's Day. We went out with some friends on Saturday night and had a delicious dinner. Yesterday we stayed in and had a quiet day. He got to watch the Daytona 500. I had made him his card (I started making his cards myself and adding a love poem, about 10 yrs ago). I gave him a box of chocolates. Stan made BBQ chicken for supper. I finished off my Krispy Kremes. I hope your Valentine's Day was good!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, IL on October 23, 1942. He died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, CA on November 4, 2008 (66 yrs old). He was in treatment and doing well but unexpectedly died. He was 6'9" tall. This and his high intellect made him feel alienated as a young boy. According to his siblings he showed an intense desire to write at a young age. He attended Harvard to study writing but he had a problem with one of the professors and the English Dept so he switched to biological anthropology as an undergraduate, obtaining his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in 1964. Crichton then enrolled in the Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Harvard, obtaining an M.D. in 1969, and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton married five times, four of the marriages ending in divorce. He was married to Suzanna Childs, Joan Radam (1965–1970), Kathy St. Johns (1978–1980), and actress Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003), the mother of his daughter Taylor Anne (born 1989). At the time of his death, Crichton was married to Sherri Alexander, who was six months pregnant with their son. John Michael Todd Crichton was born on February 12, 2009.

Source: Wikipedia

CONGO, Knopf, 1980
SPHERE, Knopf, 1987
JURASSIC PARK, Knopf, 1990
RISING SUN, Knopf, 1992
DISCLOSURE, Knopf, 1994
THE LOST WORLD, Knopf, 1995
AIRFRAME, Knopf, 1996
TIMELINE, Knopf, 1999
PREY, Harper Collins, 2002
STATE OF FEAR, Harper Collins, 2004
NEXT, Harper Collins, 2006
PIRATE LATITUDES, Harper Collins, 2009

FIVE PATIENTS: The Hospital Explained, Knopf, 1970
JASPER JOHNS, Abrams, 1977
TRAVELS, Knopf, 1988
JASPER JOHNS (revised edition), Abrams, 1994

Published Screenplays
WESTWORLD, Bantam Books, 1975
TWISTER (with Anne-Marie Martin), Ballantine Books, 1996

PURSUIT, ABC Movie of the Week, 1972. (Director)
WESTWORLD, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973. (Writer/Director)
COMA, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1978. (Writer/Director)
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, United Artists, 1979. (Writer/Director)
LOOKER, The Ladd Company, 1981. (Writer/Director)
RUNAWAY, Tri-Star Pictures, 1984. (Writer/Director)
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, Columbia Pictures, 1989. (Director)
JURASSIC PARK, Universal, 1993 (Co-writer)
RISING SUN, Twentieth Century Fox, 1993 (Co-writer)
DISCLOSURE, Warner Brothers, 1994 (Co-producer)
TWISTER, Warner Brothers/Universal, 1996 (Co-writer, Co-producer)
SPHERE, Warner Brothers, 1998 (Co-producer)
13TH WARRIOR, Touchstone, 1999 (Co-producer)

Other Films From Crichton's Books
THE TERMINAL MAN, Warner Bros, 1974
CONGO, Paramount, 1995
TIMELINE, Paramount, 2003

ER, NBC, 1994 Creator, (co-exec. producer)

Computer Games
AMAZON, Tellarium, 1982
TIMELINE, Eidos, 2000
Source: http://www.crichton-official.com/aboutmichaelcrichton-biography.html

His book, Pirate Latitudes, was found in his computer as a completed novel. It is not known when he wrote it. It was found after his death and published posthumously. I've read Andromeda Strain, State of Fear, and Pirate Latitudes. I have his other books but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. Not having read all his books yet, I'm not sure, but it seems Pirate Latitudes may have been different. It's based in the 17th century Caribbean islands. A "Privateer" named Capt. Charles Hunter is in cahoots with the English Governor of Port Royal, Jamaica. The Governor got word that a Spanish treasure ship is sheltering at the island of Matanceros where the evil Commander Cazalla is. The island is nearly impregnable. The bay is protected by the fortress and there is a sheer cliff on the other side of the island that makes it impossible for anyone to land on that side to attack from the rear. But Charles Hunter is spurred by the treasure available on that ship. He puts together a motley crew of criminal seamen to try and steal the ship. The swashbuckling adventure begins and goes page to page until the last one. I enjoyed it. It was like a 17th century Clive Cussler and you know how I like Cussler! It's a short novel compared to Cussler's so it didn't take long to read when you couldn't put it down. I recommend it to anyone over 16 yrs old. There are some deadly descriptions and some sexual situations but nothing bad enough to stop me from reading.

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