Archive / July, 2010

Doing Hard Things

Several years ago (when I thought I’d have more time to write seriously), I set a goal for myself:  to complete 100 sonnets. I’m under no illusion I’ll be able to “master” the form, but perhaps the effort will permit me a reasonable level of proficiency. I love the sonnet form, and writing 100 of them should be good training. With a few sonnets already written, I gave myself a year.

Didn’t make the goal, but I’m pretty relaxed (for better or worse) so the objective remains with an open time-frame. (I know, management gurus like Peter Drucker and his followers would despise me!)

To date, I’m more than halfway, and I have several in progress, so I’ll keep striving. It may not happen till I’m breathing my last, but I will reach this goal! (Can you envision me on my death-bed furiously penning the last couple of sonnets? Don’t take me yet, Lord! The final stanza needs some fine-tuning!!!) Continue Reading →

Movie Night

As long as we remain on the Netflix queue, there will be movies to watch and talk about. Wednesday night is a movie night here, since our grandson (who lives with us) isn’t working. Last night, we watched The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Cute movie. Before we cued it up, I wasn’t sure whether the two guys (husband, grandson) would make it to the end. The blurb on the jacket called it a “romantic comedy.” I thought if it resembled The Lake House, another Bullock film, I’d probably end up watching the movie by myself. Continue Reading →

Keep the Electoral College

The Founding Fathers established the Electoral College (EC) to resolve an unfair advantage the more populous states enjoyed over rural (sparsely populated) states in the Union. Electing a president based on electors (rather than popular vote) allowed a slightly greater voice for the small states. The framers considered this an appropriate trade-off to protect minority states from the majority.

Article II, Section I of the Constitution instructed each state legislature to determine how their electors are appointed. If not for the EC, four states (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York) could have easily overruled the smaller states on every issue.

Here’s the rub. The Massachusetts legislature has enacted a bill this week to bypass the EC, favoring instead the award of all their electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote. Yes, even if that candidate did not win the majority of Massachusetts votes.

Five additional states (Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington) have previously approved legislation similar to what Massachusetts adopted. For an individual to be elected president, he/she needs at least 270 electoral votes. These six states have a total of 73 electoral votes (27% of the number required). Continue Reading →

Whimsy and Music

When it comes to “film reviews,” I defer to my younger daughter or my husband for their savvy. I watch films and enjoy them … or not. Movies with a story-line related in some way to music will usually get my thumbs-up, even if they’ve been panned elsewhere.

We watched The Legend of 1900 this past weekend, the story of a boy who is born (in 1900) aboard a cruise ship and lives his entire life on board this ship that sails between Europe and New York City.

Some reviews describe this film as a “fable.” That’s the way it should be viewed, a twentieth century fable; otherwise, it’s a meaningless tragedy. The film is whimsical and sweet. The biggest stretch of credibility (for me anyway) is Tim Roth cast as the central character; he played a 27 year old but was actually in his late thirties during the filming. Continue Reading →

My Mom, Ruthe

In the summer of 2006, we held a surprise birthday party to honor my mother who was celebrating her 80th birthday. Just before Christmas that year, she suffered a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). We might have lost her.

MomDiagnosed with a genetic blood disorder, she received appropriate treatment which seemed incidental:  a small incision in Mother’s jugular vein, an Inferior Vena Cava Filter (IVC) implanted to avert pulmonary embolism, and daily anticoagulants. I think she got two stitches. In reality, the condition was not so incidental, and when my mother vaulted off the hospital bed to leave, the doctor gasped, fearful one of the clots might be loosed and immediately strike her dead … but my mom refuses to live in fear.

Watching TCM‘s Shirley Temple features the other night (Heidi and The Little Princess), I realized both story-lines parallel Ruthe’s early life. In both films, the central character is suddenly displaced, but she never despairs … she keeps her chin high, her shoulders back and a smile on her face. She brightens the corner wherever she is. In another film, The Little Colonel, the main character (played by Temple) receives an honorary regimental commission. Throughout her film career, Shirley represented the model “soldier” for boys and girls everywhere. Continue Reading →

One of My Heroes . . . RIP

Today is my Daddy’s birthday. Were he alive, Norman would be celebrating 88 years.

My dadHe was the first man who won my heart. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he loved my mother and did his best to provide her and their children a good life. Never having finished the eighth grade, he made his way with hard work and perseverance.

Norman served in the Army in World War II, one of the many who landed (and survived) on the beaches at Normandy. The emotional trauma of D-Day took its toll and he suffered what (in those days) was termed a “nervous breakdown.” Refusing to be sent home, he received hospital treatment and drove a supply truck back and forth to the front lines until the War ended. Continue Reading →

There Was Blood

I’m not a dog-lover. I tolerate the black, four-legged creature (BL) who lives under our roof because he is a devoted friend and companion for my husband.

BL is the offspring of my son’s chocolate Lab (CL) and my daughter-in-law’s yellow Lab (YL). So, we have a mutual understanding:  when they (or we) go out of town, we (or they) watch over the critters. (It gets more complicated when there’s a family outing where we’re all leaving town.)

Out-of-town happened this week. They left town to help a relative suffering from cancer. The dogs came to our house, and with the temperature blazing and little shade in our yard, there was no choice but to shelter the animals inside. (I may dislike animals, but I’m not totally heartless.)

When keeping the dogs inside, they usually remain in or close to the laundry room (tiled floor, air-conditioned and out of the way). The laundry room is down a long hallway that leads to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Continue Reading →

Beginning . . .

Some years ago, I read Hugh Hewitt’s book BLOG:  Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World. Hewitt laid out the case that blogging (for Christians and conservatives, and I am both) is imperative. He convinced me.

As a lifelong writer and someone who can scarce await the occasional invitation to voice my opinion on any number of topics, blogging seemed tailor-made for my inclinations. So I began blogging immediately, right?

Not exactly. There were a few feeble efforts. As a writer, I’ve never been short on words and I’m not someone who feels the need to be “inspired,” but (as John Lescroart admits in a recent World Magazine article) there were “socks to be sorted.” A lot of socks! And I’ve been sorting and re-sorting far too long.

So here goes … the launch of Wise Blood. If you’ve somehow stumbled across my blog, I welcome you to this glimpse into my soul.

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