Monday, November 29, 2010

The Last Day of November

Tomorrow is the last day of November. December, the final month of the year, is almost here. Where does the time go? How often have we heard that question? It's probably true that time flees more quickly the older one gets. I have heard that statement over and over again, but I wonder if it's as simple as that. As a teacher, I notice that young people are so busy and move so quickly from event to event that they seem to be living at a quick pace. I believe that life that once allowed for introspection and peacefulness is more difficult in our society today. I'm not sure how much we can change. I live in that fast-paced world now too. I have my cell phone, my I-Pod, my movements from home to work, to running errands, to preparing for tomorrow's work and back once again. I try to take the time to enjoy and contemplate, but I'm always preparing a lesson, or grading some papers, or entering grades, or doing something that has to be done. I'm not complaining; I'm grateful that I have that to do. I do, though, enjoy the idea of the peacefulness that comes with winter, the quiet snowy days and peaceful winter nights. In that regard, I look forward to December. I hope that it might bring a snow day or, at the very least, a snowy day that begins when I get home from work and continues throughout the night. I am starting Great Expectations by Charles Dickens with my AP English class. I always think that reading Dickens takes one back to a more introspective time--true a time with many social problems, but one that brings with it that Victorian time frame, that mood-filled immersion into a London of remarkable characters and image-filled pages that transport the reader into a winsome world. It's the little things that make the days memorable, whether they're moving quickly or not.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish each and everyone of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a holiday on October 3, 1863? He proclaimed that the holiday, a day of thanksgiving and praise, be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

President Lincoln said, "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

Let us count our blessings and thank all of our servicemen and women who are observing this Thanksgiving Day holiday while protecting our great country.

God Bless Everyone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally, An Update

It has been so long since I've posted an update. After a long, beautiful summer, I went back to work. I'm a teacher, and that takes up a great deal of my time. The Autumn is beautiful here in the Midwest. I went for a walk around the neighborhood last week-end and took some pictures of the nature area behind my house. The ducks are staying in the water in the nature area. People feed them, so notice how contented, not to mention, full, that the duck in the picture looks. Some of the cattails are starting to look like pieces of cotton. October is my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicago. . .At Interesting Angles

Today I went to Chicago with my son. I wanted to take some city pictures at different angles and not the usual tourist pictures. The first picture is of a restaurant on the way to the train station. The second picture is of the L, the elevated train line in Chicago. The last pictures are of the Wills Tower, the old Sears Tower. I know that's touristy, but I thought the angles were different.

Friday, August 6, 2010

August Flowers

This has been an extremely wet summer. I think it has had an effect on my flowers. They look fine, but they don't have that flourish that they usually have at this time of the summer. The grass looks fine blowing in the wind. The last two pictures are of wiry seed pods from my clematis vines. I didn't know what they were, but I saw a posting on Vicki Lane's blog, Vicki Lane's Mysteries. Thanks Vicki for posting your picture which was so beautiful with the rain on the seed pod.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jessie Rose Relaxing

Jessie Rose relaxes in her favorite rocking chair.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beautiful Horses

Coming back from my niece's house yesterday, I saw these beautiful horses grazing in their small field.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Concert with Bon Jovi

One of the great things about living in the Chicago area is that I have the privilege of experiencing some wonderful events. I have always loved concerts. Last November I bought tickets to the Bon Jovi concert at Soldier Field scheduled for July 30. When I bought them, it seemed as if July was so far away, and it was. It arrived however, and I had such a good time. I went with a friend, my sister, and her friend. Chicago is a beautiful city. Soldier Field was the perfect venue for a great band like Bon Jovi. It was sold out, and there were about 60,000 people there. Bon Jovi has been performing for 27 years. Jon Bon Jovi is now 48 years old, and Richie Sambora is 51. They were excellent. Kid Rock is a great entertainer as well. There was even a local band who had won a Battle of the Bands concert who opened up the show prior to Kid Rock coming onstage. This band was called 7th Heaven. Kid Rock is quite a performer. He sings, plays guitar, piano, drums, and scratches on a turntable. He was fun. Bon Jovi is a fantastic band, with Richie Sambora's beyond excellent guitar playing, and the ever-youthful, ever-beautiful, Jon Bon Jovi in great voice. What an entertainer! Needless to say, I had fun, felt young, and have recovered from the under the water feel my ears had all night. All in all, I am grateful to have been able to experience such a wonderful event.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Reading Addiction

I have so many books lined up that I want to read: The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Eat, Pray, Love, Deepwater Mountain, and so many more. I have one major problem; I suppose it can be called a problem, or maybe not. Right now I am addicted to reading M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin mysteries. I love Agatha Raisin. I read them quickly and then go the library and pick up more. My fear (horror) is that I will eventually run out of them; I've read many of the books, but happily, there are still a few left for me to read. The next one is not coming out until October 2010! There is, in addition, an Agatha Raisin Companion book due out in October 2010 as well. I feel as if I know every inch of the Cotswolds, the setting of the books. Agatha lives in a thatched roof cottage with a front and back garden. She has two cats and interesting friends. She solves mysteries. Even though the village Agatha lives in, Carsely, isn't real, the other towns mentioned are real. I love Beaton's descriptions of the towns and the countryside. I will read those other books. I really want to read them. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I just have to pick one up and get started and put my Agatha Raisin books out of sight. But then, maybe the time isn't right for those books. I really enjoy reading Beaton's books. As far as addictions go, I think this is a fairly harmless one, and after all, what can be wrong with reading about an intelligent, but abrasive, middle-aged woman, who has obsessive loves, likes to eat, and loves cats.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Barbara Stanwyck

I love movies. I have always loved movies. My favorite movies are the old classics, the ones that I watch on Turner Classic Movies, TCM. My favorite actress has always been Barbara Stanwyck. I enjoy going to the movies and watching many movies that are current, but no one today, in my opinion, can live up to the perfection, range, and emotion that Barbara Stanwyck brought to her roles. Her classic and arguably most famous movie was, of course, Double Indemnity, with Fred MacMurray. She played the perfect femme fatale. Fred MacMurray realizes this rather early in the movie, but of course, too late for him. The great irony of a femme fatale is that she's always beautiful and always fatal. Early this morning on TCM, the movie My Reputation with Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent was on. I taped it and I have that great movie waiting for me to watch tonight. I think that perhaps todays actresses and actors could learn a great deal from the class of some of the earlier stars, such as Barbara Stanwyck, Ginger Rogers, and Norma Shearer. Even when Barbara Stanwyck was older and starring in The Big Valley, she was a beautiful, gracious lady.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This sunset last night was so beautiful. It was rosy pink. I know the old wives tale is "Red skies at night, sailors delight; red skies in the morning, sailors take warning." Red isn't rosy pink, but it was a beautiful day today. It rained for about five minutes, and then the sun came out, and it's been glorious. What a night and day for a daydream!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Snowball is fast becoming the cat who wants to be with us all the time. He is looking like quite the pin-up cat. Here Snowball is sitting on top of a library table.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Steamy and Windy and . . .

It is a very hot day and very windy. We have also been having severe thunderstorm warnings. The clouds are closing out the sun, and potential is here for thunderstorms. I took some pictures behind and around my house of wildflowers, trees, and lillies blowing in the wind.