Monthly Archives: July 2013

On the Road Again!

Humidity. Heat. Beautiful corn fields. Illinois summer at it’s best.

Just like the view outside my hotel

It’s a little strange being in my hometown. It’s been ten years. Lots of change. The sun is more intense than in Alaska but less so than Utah. I swear the Utah sun is crazy hot. If I didn’t have a hat on I literally had to cover my scalp when walking from the car to a store. Sheesh! In the words of the pitiful Gollom – “It burns us!”

The heat hit early and strong this year in Utah and AK, but southern Illinois has been rather wet which makes for lovely green grass on the rolling hills. You would think with all the mountains around my home that I wouldn’t miss the hills. But I do. It hits me anytime I visit Illinois. And the cornfields. It’s been so long since I’ve seen corn growing. Wow-it brings back lots of childhood memories.

I have to give a shout out to my friend Anita and her husband, Tom. They have pretty much been babysitting me since my plane landed-late I might add. Bless their hearts they stuck it out after working all day .  Then they probably only got a few hours of sleep before they were at it again. Note to self: get earlier flights when asking friends to sacrifice their time to shuttle you around. Better yet-rent a car so you don’t have to bug anyone.  Thanks again to the Maxsons! You two are troopers!

St Louis Arch
The Arch

Another thing that struck me about being here was sighting the St. Louis Arch. It still takes my breath away and makes my knees weak. Tecninally it’s on the Missouri side of things, but it’s still a huge part of what I consider my childhood home.  My parents both spent many years working in St. Louis and getting Cardinal tickets as rewards for good grades meant we zipped over to Missouri quite often as a family too. Go Red Birds!

I don’t have any books to report on — still addicted to HGTV. Don’t worry I’ll get my fill of that and go cold turkey when I get home – no cable. Such a wise decision! It keeps me from being a complete couch potato! Now that just makes me want to exercise. Sweat here I come!


Here’s What I Think

For some reason it’s SUPER quiet. Oh yeah, the chicakadees are off camping with a ton of girls for the next few days. I’m hoping they’re having an excellent time. I on the other hand am doing laundry after pulling myself away from my latest “DIY-Crashers” shows. I cannot watch only one episode, seriously. It’s BINGING at it’s worst. No kidding. Crashers! Check out the link.

Now that I forced myself away from the television I can blog! I was reviewing what I wrote last time and realized that I never published my Man of Steel post. It was just hanging in the draft box. So I just stuck it out there for your viewing pleasure despite that it’s out of chronological order. The OCD part of me doesn’t like the disorder, but I’ll get over it.

On to the books. I finished both of the books I talked about a few days ago.

The Innocent was good. I have to say it is a bit unsettling in a few spots because one of the characters is/has been involved in the exotic dancing scene. Not my favorite subject for sure. The chapters in the book that included descriptions about this material were not graphic, but still could prove to be uncomfortable to read for some. It’s just a scary, sad lifestyle that was important to the plot. If you don’t want to wade through that, I wouldn’t read this book. I plan to check out another one of Coben’s books soon to see if his style is the same and if he always writes about uncomfotable themes. I’ll get back to you on that. I did really like the main character – Matt Hunter. Coben had me routing for him from the get go.

Gifted Hands was, as I mentioned before, inspiring. I’m still mystified that hemispherectomies work. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Dr. Carson has written other books. I believe this was his first. It covered his childhood through then 1990s? It was published in 2005.

Dr. Carson is an excellent example of believing in yourself, living up to your potential, and humbly acknowledging God’s support and guidance. I have no doubt that this man is living up to his potential. None. I believe that many people, including myself, tend to be burdened by our disappointments, mistakes, and negative energy in general. We too often doubt our value. We too often get in our own way.

Gifted Hands has made quite an impression on me. I am pondering my talents, experiences, and relationships because of it. I plan to hang on to these feelings to affect positive change – where needed – in my life. And to support the positive things that I’m already about. Excellent book. It’s about 240 pages, but allow yourself time to ponder as you read. Don’t zip through it like a novel. You’ll be glad you didn’t.

Man of Steel

(I don’t think I ever published this blog-it was supposed to go out sometime between June 22 and July 9. )

I went to see Man of Steel tonight with my chickadees and my husband.

Man of Steel (2013) Poster

I must say – it was action packed for sure. Whew!

All of us liked it. They cast a perfect Ka-el/Clark Kent/Superman. I feel particularly proud of their pick because I picked him for my movie too. It’s not an actual movie, not yet anyway.

I read this series of books called The Great and the Terrible by Chris Stewart. 

After reading the the books I wanted to watch the movie, but there wasn’t one. I decided to cast it myself. So I grabbed my computer and started picking out actors I thought could handle the parts of the main characters. You know how you read a book and form opinions about what the characters look like-even beyond the description on the page? Well, I just took that to a new level with my virtual cast. Some of them came easy-Gary Sinise, as the father. Sela Ward as the mother. Funny right? I didn’t know they were on a show together until I cast them. Even Chris Hemsworth made the short list. It’s hard not to like him as Thor and Capt James Kirk’s father.

Anyway, I was looking for some strong, young soldier-type for one part and guess who I picked? Yep-our new Man of Steel-Henry Cavill. He was someone I’d never heard of before, just found him on imdb. He was perfect for my cast.  Too bad it wasn’t real. Maybe someday I’ll get to cast a real movie, or actually have a screenplay that not only gets attention but becomes a motion picture. A girl can dream! And maybe one day meet “Superman”.

Henry Cavill Picture

Having a list and checking it twice

It’s been almost two weeks since the last blog. Way too long.  I’ve been occupied with happily crossing off items on my list! I told you I would, and now it’s time to REPORT.

I’ve completed most everything on my TO DO list, with few modifications. I’ve run into a bit of a snag due to seasonal allergies flaring up-stinky pollen!

For the most part I feel content with everything I’ve been able to do and experience. The chickadees have had an enormous amount of fun with only minor homesickness here and there. We’ve even got E considering a move to be closer to all the family we’ve been getting to know.  That’s quite an accomplishment!

E & G-Happy cousins

We were lucky to attend our niece’s wedding events. She was beautiful and glowed with happiness. Here’s a picture. You’ll see what I mean.

Wedding Day

The chickadees went to Bear Lake for girls camp and are prepping to go to their second girls camp on the 15th of this month, July. Two of their cousins will be joining them. They are getting excited.

I only have a week left here. Seems like it’s gone by quickly. My sister is coming tonight. Woot! Woot! For a few days my siblings and I will be in the same state.  Should be fun. Hasn’t happened since…I don’t know the last time that’s happened actually.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Now-onto books. I have finished one and started two more. This first one was  by Mary Higgins Clark

I’ve read a fair few of her books. They are usually quick reads and involve some type of murder or other serious crime. I liked this one except the dialogue of the 3 year old twins seemed a little advanced. Other then that it was a good read.

The other two books are very different from each other. One is about a doctor-nuerosurgeon, Ben Carson.

Product Details

It’s very interesting-inspiring actually.  I’m about 3/4 way through. I’d recommend it. It’s got me thinking about what to do with the rest of my life. Check it out.

The second book is by Harlan Coben

Product Details

I haven’t read any of his books before. I’m really liking this one. It’s about the consequences of one event and how it can change your course in life. I’m about 1/2 way through it and my mind is rattling with possible outcomes for the main character, Matt Hunter. I’m excited to see what happens next.

Mr. Coben has an interesting style of writing. His characters think out loud in order to get backstory. I’m not sure if this is how all his books are, but it’s effective. Every chapter seems to switch to a different character’s part of the story. It keeps you wanting more and frustrated when you have to pull yourself away to deal with your real life.  It’s definitely worth checking out. I’ll let you know how I feel when I finish The Innocent and Gifted Hands. I’ve got a good feeling about both of them.