Thursday, September 30, 2021

Thursday 13 Special Days

 Now that my birthday is over, I can focus on some special days coming up in the month of October, because October starts tomorrow!  Can you believe it?

October 2 - The most important event for this month is my nephew's wedding.

October 4 - National Taco Day.  First observed in 2009.  Do you prefer soft or crunchy tacos?  For me, it depends.

October 6 - National Noodle Day.  More food-related fun!  So many choices!  Macaroni, spaghetti, pappardelle, fettuccini,  fusilli, ramen, lo mein... the list goes on and on.  What's your favorite noodle?

October 6 is also Come and Take It Day, particularly here in Texas.  I taught in Gonzalez, Texas one year, and this was a VERY important holiday in town history! It commemorates the first shot of the Texas Revolution in 1835. Troops camped near Gonzalez put a sign on their cannon that said, "Come and Take It."

October 8 - World Egg Day.  I don't need an excuse to eat eggs! 

  • I can eat them by themselves,
  • I can eat them with other food,
  • but I will not eat green eggs, I said, 
  • unless I'm in the mood!

October 9 - Fire Prevention Day.  This observance began in 1920.  Remember EDITH. Exit Drills In The House.

October 10 - World Mental Health Day.  Coincides with the anniversary of my father's death. First observed in 1992.  Let's work to reduce the stigma of mental health issues.

October 12 - This coincides with the "day" above.  The 12th is Moment of Frustration Day.  Let your frustrations out in a healthy way.

October 12 is also National Gumbo Day!  Our favorite place to eat gumbo is BB's Tex-Orleans Cooking. New Iberia, Louisiana hosts the World Championship Gumbo Cook-off.

October 13 - National Train Your Brain Day.  Work some puzzles or solve some riddles, any way you can exercise your brain!

October 14 - National Dessert Day.  That's dessert with 2 s's because we always want seconds. Who doesn't love dessert? Cake, ice cream, pie, cobbler, cookies, pastries, candy, so many choices!

October 15 - National I Love Lucy DayI Love Lucy was one of the best TV memories of my childhood.  Once, I got to be in the infamous candy scene during a show at Universal Studios.  So fun!

October 16 - Global Cat Day (used to be National Feral Cat Day).  In shelters, cats and kittens face euthanization at a higher rate than other animals.  Getting cats spayed and neutered (even strays and feral cats) could significantly lower overpopulation and euthanization.

Keep track of all special days via these two links:  National Days and Holiday Insights.  I only covered half the month, but this is Thursday Thirteen, so... Visit the link for more fun lists of 13!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Fun Photos

 These photos are some scenic views from 

The Big Texas Birthday Tour 

(as I am calling our vacation last week).

Enchanted Lake

Picnic Spot by the Lake

Visit image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday for more fun photos!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Birthday Week is Over

 And boy, was it a blast!  We did the "Texas Triangle" with an extra stop in a little town called Cat Spring before heading to San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and back home.  I call it "The Big Texas Birthday Tour!"  TBTBT, for short.

Our first stop was Cat Spring (approximately where the Interstate sign is between Houston and San Antonio on the map above). It's a tiny, sleepy blip on the map where there is a bed and breakfast ranch.  It was so peaceful!  We stayed in a cute little cabin, got to feed lemurs, go horseback riding, take an animal safari, use our private hot tub, walk to the lake, picnic, S'mores, and so much more. 

 We did my birthday dinner at Texas de Brazil.

  I love these types of restaurants!  It was fun to splurge.

 We also got to spend time with some family that no longer lives nearby. It was all-around a great vacation.

And now...

As my age is increasing...

This is my kind of omelette!


This is a valid question...

And last, but not least...

It too me a while to see both!  Which do you see?

I'm linking up with Stacy and Sandee today.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Sunday Synopsis

 I'm back!  With lots to catch up on next week!  But for today, I have a review of a book called Mulholland Dive by one of my favorite authors,  Michael Connelly.  It is a collection of three separate tales that could have been part of some of the books he has written, especially "Two Bagger."

Mulholland DiveMulholland Dive by Michael Connelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love Michael Connelly, and I was very disappointed in these three stories. He is so good at weaving complex details into the plot that it made them seem unfinished. One, in particular, sounded like a scene from a book by Connelly that I had already read.

The first story is called "Cahoots," and it is about a cheater in a backroom poker game being caught. The second story, "Mulholland Dive," a man deciphers codes and investigates fatal car accidents. Last is "Two Bagger" about a cop who is tailing a recently-released convict he believes is up to no good.

These short stories end abruptly without a definite resolution to the conflict. The reader is left wondering. These could easily have been worked in as subplots to his novels rather than languishing in a book on a shelf.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Synopsis Picoult's Small Great Things


 Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually find Picoult's books to be thought-provoking, and in a way this one was, too, but there were things about this book that can't get me past a simple, "I liked it" 3 stars. I can't say I REALLY liked it or that it was amazing. Let me explain why.

First of all, there are three main perspectives, and each one is a stereotype, one-dimensional in characterization. There is Ruth, the black labor and delivery nurse who went to prestigious schools including Yale, paid for by her mom's employer. She is the quintessential black character who doesn't "act black" and occasionally gets called out on it. She gets asked not to touch a white baby at her job, and something unimaginable happens.

The next one is a do-gooder public defender who ends up asking to take Ruth's case yet refuses to mention race which was clearly the reason for the debacle she is in. Kennedy, the attorney, claims she doesn't see color, then toward the end of the book claims she can see her own white privilege getting in the way.

Then there is the white supremacist couple who ask the hospital not to put their baby with an African-American nurse or doctor.

Ruth is thrown into an emergency situation where she MUST watch the baby, and shortly thereafter, the baby has complications. The white supremacists think she did something, but of course, she is just a scapegoat. Each of these characters are one-dimensional. They are role players in the story.

Next, the title comes from a quote by Martin Luther King that says, "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." I don't feel like the title fit the story.

Also Jodi Picoult is a white woman writing from the perspective of a black woman, and not really doing a great job with it. This annoyed me. It is not easy to put yourself in the shoes of someone else whose life has gone completely opposite of your own.

It is supposed to become a movie staring Viola Davis as Ruth and Julia Roberts as Kennedy the Attorney, and I would love to watch that, but I sure hope it moves more quickly than the book. If anything, I questioned my own attitudes about the topics presented in the novel, so that's a good thing. But I also don't feel like Picoult accurately gave the African American viewpoint and it was very presumptuous of her to try. I cannot claim to know how to write from a POV of a black person.

I kept reading and reading thinking there would be this great climax to the story, but I was disappointed. I enjoyed 19 Minutes, My Sister's Keeper, House Rules, and A Spark of Light much better.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Fun Photos

 This week's theme is animals!

My son and his goat Kuzko back in 2013

My son, his pig, and his sponsors, 2014.

My cat, Lacy.

Two of my granddogs!

Rhino at the Abilene Zoo back in 2015.

See  you later, Alligator!

Find more fun photos at image-in-ing and Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Random Tuesday, Here Comes Nick

 Wow.  Hurricanes and tropical storms do not usually scare me, but as I sit here listening to the wind whip against my house, and the rain come down in literal buckets, I'm feeling a bit uneasy.  It's not often that school is cancelled, doctor's offices close in the middle of the day with little warning, grocery stores look like they did during the "Great Toilet Paper Quest of 2020," and even pizza delivery is put on hold.  And apparently, flights are cancelled as well, which, by the sound of the wind, I would hope so.

Tropical Storm Nicholas is set to make landfall some time tonight.  I only live 35 miles north of Galveston, so we are accustomed to coastal flooding and strong winds.  The past has shown that a tropical storm can cause as much damage as a hurricane.  There is a fine distinction in wind speed with tropical storm winds slightly lower than those of a category 1 hurricane.

Am I scared?  Not really.  I've always felt an abiding faith that I am going to be okay.  The noise is a little disconcerting right now, though. And poor Louisiana!  They are set to get much of what we are getting and they are still recovering from the previous storm.

The storm surge is a cause for concern.  It is unpredictable how much the seawater will rise above normally expected tides.  Thirteen years ago, the storm surge from Hurricane Ike caused almost $25 Billion (with a B) in damages.

Iconic Ike Photo from my area

Although Texas and Louisiana have declared states of emergency, we are not under an evacuation order.  I trust our city leaders to  guide us during times of crisis, and I trust God to guide me personally, so I am not freaking out, just a little uneasy with the sound right now and praying for anyone who is actually suffering during this storm.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so....

I could get this for my husband!  Gotta love him!

This always bothered me when I was teaching.

This isn't just a southern thing, right?

One more difference between dogs and cats

And last, but not least,


I'm linking up with Stacy for Random Tuesday Thoughts and Sandee for Happy Tuesday.  Have a great week!


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