Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

Someone posted an "On This Day" for my birthday over the weekend.  I had fun looking through the different events that happened on September 23, some good, some bad.

1. On the date of my birth in 1942, the Manhattan Project began. (I wasn't alive then.)

2. In 1957 (I wasn't born yet, not for 8 more years), Buddy Holly's song "That'll be the Day" hit #1.

3. In 1962, The Jetsons premiered.  It was ABC's first program in color.  I loved that show!  Fun fact - There is going to be a live action series, also on ABC.

4. In 1969, Marcus Welby, MD premiered on ABC.

5. In 1970, the first New York City marathon was held.

6. In 1977, sad day for Charlie's Angels fans.  Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett on the show.  Reportedly, she didn't want to join the show. Hmmm.

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7. In 1980, the Big Thunder Railroad opened at Disney.  Love that ride!

8. Also in 1980, Bob Marley performed his last concert

9. In 1986, the rose became the national flower of the United States.

10. In 1990, Saddam Hussein stated that he would destroy Israel.  Glad that didn't happen!

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11. In 1994, one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, was released.

12. In 2002, Mozilla Firefox was released for use by the public.

13. In 2004, Hurricane Jeane hit Haiti killing over a thousand people.  On my birthday!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

We were at the Texas Prison Museum two weeks ago.  This is 'Ol Sparky.
He is no longer in use, thankfully.
The inmates called it "Riding the thunderbolt." 
Very thought-provoking.

Wordless Wednesday

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Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy for Random Thoughts on Tuesday.

I had my birthday over the weekend.  It was a pretty good one, even though getting old is not for the faint of heart!  Creaky bones, aches in places I forgot I had, and an extra roll of cushion around the middle!  But seriously, it was a good birthday.  I got to spend time with my husband, son, one daughter, and my mom.  One other daughter texted and one called and sang happy birthday to me.  My sister called.  I even got flowers.  I was treated to two dinners and a lunch over the 3 days including yesterday.  I love the royal treatment.
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Oh, and, by the way, the world didn't end 9/23/17 as numerologist David Meade predicted.  Haha! He took back his words, well, some of them, two days before it was supposed to happen.  I'm pretty sure I trust NASA more than a "numerologist," and NASA says that Planet X doesn't exist.  I think they would know!

I've been working on a wreath with some friends.  Click on the link below to see.
Wreath video
It's been so much fun!  It will look similar to this when I'm done.  I plan to use shinier deco tubing and a different design in the middle.

I'm not even going to get into this football/National Anthem debate.  It's way too messy.  I am sick of it and ready to move on.  Why can't we all just get along?
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I hope everyone has a good week!

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sunday Synopsis

For Reasons Unknown (DCI Matilda Darke, #1)For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Michael Wood's first crime novel. The story centers around Matilda Darke, Deputy Chief Inspector of a township in England, who has returned from a 9 month leave of absence. Her long absence was due in part to her husband's death, and due in part to her botching a kidnapping case in which the victim was never found. I don't believe the author gave quite enough background information on the husband's death to explain the character's motivations and actions.

When Darke returns to work, she is assigned to work on a 20 year old cold case in which the killer, "for reasons unknown," brutally murdered a power couple leaving their 11 year old son as a witness. It was two days prior to Christmas. They were getting ready for a holiday event. Their oldest son was staying at a friend's house. The 11 year old, Jonathan, was supposed to be getting ready to go. He is sitting at the top of the stairs with blood on his hands when a neighbor eventually checks on the family. The father was stabbed in the back while preparing a speech for the occasion. The mother was stabbed multiple times, front and back, and left in a pool of blood. Only Jonathan was there, and he isn't talking. In fact, he won't speak for over a year.

Darke must go back and put the pieces together to try to solve the cold case. Meanwhile, another brutal murder takes place, and when the deceased is identified, it is clear that the cases are related. But Darke is butting heads with her replacement, and that may get in the way of solving either crime.

Parts of the story were slow moving. There were scenes in the rising action that did not really move the plot forward. Overall, it kept my attention, and I wanted to know what was going to happen. I can't say I was completely surprised at the end, because the author gave clues that led to the mystery being revealed. There was always a little question, as to whether I was using the clues to draw the correct conclusions. Overall, it was a good book, particularly as a debut novel.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One of My Favorite Photos

Follow the links below to participate in the Photo Fun!
I was fascinated by this goose!  He (or she?) reminds me of the sassy geese in The Aristocats which was one of my favorite movies as a little girl.  I took 4 pictures before I got this one.
(Click on the photo to enlarge it)

Link up with Image-in-ings and Wordless Wednesday and play along!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Random Tuesday

Link up with Stacy for some randomness!

School is in full swing!  After being out for two weeks due to Hurricane Harvey, being back is a good feeling.

There was a school that contacted us during the hurricane that said they would like to help us.  Most of what we lost in our classroom was personal items that make our room warm, inviting, and comfortable.  They wrote me back saying they didn't want to replace any items like that, only school supplies.  Well, we've already received tons of school supplies. That isn't what got ruined due to flooding, either.  I was quite taken aback.  I guess you just can't please some people.

My husband and I went to Huntsville (Texas, not Alabama) to see my son on Saturday.  We did a lot of tourist-y type things.  I had always wanted to go to the Texas Prison Museum, and since my son is majoring in Criminal Justice, it was good for him, too.  We went to see some of Sam Houston's actual building and homes.  Plus we visited the 67 foot tall statue.  I had fun!

Birthday number _ _ (when you get to a certain age, you'd rather not announce the number) is coming up on Saturday.  I'm trying to decide where I want to go for dinner.  I'd like it to be somewhere we don't usually go, so not Outback, not Olive Garden, not Cajun or pizza.  If you're familiar with the Houston area, particularly south Houston, I'd love to hear your recommendations!
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Of course, if David Meade is correct, the world will end September 23.  He is a "Christian numerologist," whatever that means, who believes earthquakes, hurricanes, and the eclipse are signs of the apocalypse.  You can read about it here.

Have you ever tried Skinny Pop?  I love this popcorn!  The plain, original kind with no weird flavoring on it.  It's so good!

How 'bout them Astros?  2017 AL West Division Champs!

So, what are you up to this week?

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Synopsis

Never Buried (Leigh Koslow Mystery #1)Never Buried by Edie Claire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This little mystery has some twists and turns, though it's not 100% believable. The main character is Leigh. She is moving into her cousin's Victorian house when she discovers a corpse. The history to this story dates back to 1949 to three unexpected deaths. Someone knows the truth, and they want Leigh out of Cara's house. With the help of their college friend Maura, a police officer, will the girls be able to solve the mystery and stay in the house?

For a free book, this wasn't bad. The author writes like an young adult author, but the storyline was not adolescent. The beginning was very confusing, but it all became clear in the end.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy for some random thoughts.

Just got back from Arizona this evening, and I return to work tomorrow.  So, I get home, I have to clean out the cat's litter box.  She made a mess while I was gone.  Had to do laundry, do the dishes, grocery shop, and so on.  Discovered about 8 PM that my AC wasn't working.  This is Houston, folks!  We're talking 90 degrees outside with 66% humidity.  No AC is not an option.
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Unfortunately, my husband is still in Arizona on business.  Luckily, we had a window unit in the closet from last time this happened.  My brother-in-law came and put it in for me, so I will survive.  His friend is coming over to take a look at it tomorrow.  Praying it gets fixed.
No Filter Needed
I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the Grand Canyon.  It was my second time to visit.  The last was in 2008.  It hasn't changed much, but I have!  LOL  This time, my husband and I stayed to catch the most gorgeous sunset.  Then we stayed to watch the stars come out.  It was incredible!  Living so close to a big city, we often don't see the stars to the degree that you can see them out in the open away from lights and pollution.  It was just amazing!  Unfortunately, our camera couldn't capture the beauty.
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Back to work with students tomorrow.  I haven't seen them in two weeks.  We had only been in school for four days when Harvey happened.  I'm glad to be getting back to a routine.
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Did you see the Miss American pageant?  I really wanted my home state to win, but I thought the young lady from North Dakota was adorable.  I was surprised at the questions they were all asked.  Every question had a liberal spin on it, in my opinion.  I agree with much of what was said, but I didn't expect the questions to be so political.  Oh well... they all answered beautifully.
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Having experienced a hurricane a few weeks ago, I'm praying for Florida.  If you consider donating, please give to UMCOR or Samaritan's Purse.
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That's all for now.  Have a great week!

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Remember 9/11

Sixteen years ago today, I was on the way to school, and the silence was deafening. Planes usually flew over our area at very regular intervals since we were 10 minutes from the airport, but absolutely nothing was in the sky. It wasn't until later that I found out why.

 I was working in my classroom preparing for the school day when the teacher next door came to get me to show me what was happening on TV. I didn't understand it. Was it a movie stunt? A joke? What? It took a while for it to really sink in what had happened... terrorists changed the face of America in a matter of minutes.

I will NEVER forget 9/11.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Live from Arizona! It's the Late Show!

Just kidding!  I'm not live, but I am in Arizona, and today my Sunday Synopsis is about a book titled The Late Show.

  The Late Show (RenĂ©e Ballard, #1)The Late Show by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Michael Connelly has written about 30 books, and I have read them all. He is one of my favorite authors. You've heard of The Lincoln Lawyer? Maybe even Harry Bosch? Love those books. But this one isn't about the lawyer or Bosch; it has a leading lady.

Renee Ballard is a detective in the Hollywood Division who works the Late Show, the graveyard shift. It was her punishment for accusing one of the other chief detectives of sexual harassment. She was in the right, but it's a man's world. Even her own partner didn't take her side.

Now she's working nights with a new partner, Jenkins, who is biding his time until retirement and who would rather be at home with his sick wife. He does the bare minimum, just enough to skate by. Ballard is more of a go-getter.

There are two cases Ballard is working on, even though neither case has been assigned to her. One is a transvestite who was beaten to shreds and left for dead. The other case is a multiple homicide, and the likely suspect is a cop. Ballard will get herself into situations that she may not be able to get out of.

I like that Connelly has started a new series (I assume it will be a series) with a female lead. I like that he is tackling tough subjects like hate crimes, gender identity, homelessness, and corruption in the police department. I like that he is able to write from a female perspective and do it well. I like that the reader learns some of Ballard's background, but not so much that there is nothing left to tell.

I didn't like... Well, there is really nothing I didn't like. There are some twists, turns, and surprises along the way. It's an edge-of-your-seat novel.  The writing style is compelling, and if you enjoyed any of his previous books (or movies or TV shows), then I'm certain you will like this one.

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Friday, September 08, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

A 13 line poem in honor of Thursday Thirteen and my first day back at school since August 24.

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First day back
since Harvey arrived uninvited,
10 1/2 hour day,
Flooded classroom,
Doesn't smell good,
Personal items destroyed,
but I'm Texas strong,
Students come Monday,
Can't let them down,
Can't wait to see them,
Never thought I'd say it,
I'm ready!

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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.
Well, here we are. Ten days after Hurricane Harvey brought rains like we've never seen before.  I really don't want to talk about it much except to say that I am so tired of reading posts from friends and friends-of-friends about how great they are because they worked on someone's house, or took meals, or did whatever.  I get it!  You are a fabulous person for volunteering.  But isn't it supposed to be for God's glory, not to toot your own horn?

And the last thing I want to say is that Texans and Louisianans are going to need help to rebuild.  The people who are still in shelters have plenty of food, formula, diapers, etc.  What is needed is money.  There are only a few people I would trust with my money.  The Red Cross is NOT one of them.  I've heard too many stories about how they are hindering more than helping down here.  And only 9 cents of every dollar goes to Harvey relief.  I also wouldn't donate via Go Fund Me.  It is too easy for anyone to set up a crowdfunding account, and you have no idea if they really even need the money or if they are just trying to supplement their income.

These are the charities that have boots-on-the-ground here in Texas, and are truly helping others.
Samaritan's Purse
Clear Creek Community Church 
Houston Flood Relief Fund organized by JJ Watt

Now, off my rant and on to my random:

I never thought I would be so happy to find milk in the grocery store until we were without it for 10 days!  Milk is certainly not my favorite beverage, but when you need it, and it's not there, it's a little sad.

I also never thought I'd be ready to go back to work after time off, but BOY!  I was wrong!  We had the best professional development prior to school starting, and I had a great first four days with my students, and I'm excited to see them and provide some normalcy to their lives and be a caring mentor to them.  I go back Thursday and the students on Monday.  Teachers will have missed 9 school days and students 11 days.

Besides, I'm getting bored just hanging around the house.  I've gone out a couple of times, but mostly, I'm at home with a very irregular sleep schedule.  I need my routine back!

Most of the house is clean and all the laundry.

And I watched a Christmas movie on the DVR left over from last year.  (Don't judge!  It's only about 16 weeks away!)

I did manage to get some crafting done!  And I colored.  Does anyone else enjoy coloring?

I've watched tons of kitten videos!  Haha!

And I've read two books.

It's time to get back to a regular routine! And hopefully, Coffee Chat will be back next week!  Have a great week!

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