Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mr. Holmes - Definitely NOT What I Was Expecting


Ok, first off, let me say that Ian McKellen could fix me scrambled eggs any time he wants too.  Yes, I know he's gay and I know the odds of him fixing me anything after an intimate moment are far higher than me winning the lottery.  But I'm saying I think he's talented and sexy.  So.....

After the week I'm had, I needed a bit of something out of the house and Savvy and I hit the theater Sunday morning when we could pay the matinee price and there wouldn't be a crowd.  In fact, I think there were only 6 of us in the theater at the time.  I had a HUGE container of popcorn and a banana icee (which really isn't good even if you like fake banana-which I do) and a box of Milk-Duds and settled in for a bit of Sherlock Holmes.

We had both seen the trailers and by those I thought "Holmes last case", a little light hearted, nice way to spend a hot Sunday morning when you don't want to be outside.  AND BOY WERE WE WRONG!

Don't get me wrong.  If I were asked how many stars out of a 5 star rating I would give this movie, I would give it 6 or 8.  But it is not the light-hearted flick we thought we were walking into.

Sherlock is now 93 and is having some issues.  The main one being he can't remember the reason why he left London and stopped being a detective all those years ago.  It wasn't just that Watson got married and left, there was more to it and he wants to set the record straight.  Problem is, he is old and forgetting things.

One of the first things which lend themselves to this sense of fragility is when his doctor tells him to put a mark in a diary every day when he can't remember something.  And you see the pages having more and more marks on them.

Slowly, as the days go by as he writes and talks to the young boy, Roger (played by Milo Parker), bit and pieces of his last case come out.  He knows what Watson wrote of his last case is not the truth, but he doesn't know why.  And now he is realizing how cold facts and logic played out in a tragic manner in his last case.  

There is a trip to post-World War II Japan which ties in with the story, both past and present.  And bees.  The bees are important to the story and tie everything together.  But when Sherlock breaks down and cries because he realizes he is not all logic and facts and cares for Roger, I almost lost it.

Milo Parker, as Roger, is fantastic as a young foil to the elderly Holmes.  Laura Linney, plays Roger's mother, and is superb as a young widow whose son is her whole life.  Ian McKellan....just fantastic.  They did an excellent job of showing him as an older Holmes, pursuing his last case, and an elderly Holmes chasing fragments of his memory before they are gone forever.

Savvy and I left the theater and headed out to the car a bit dazed, feeling like we had been sucker punched.  I don't regret a dime I spent and would gladly pay the full admission price to see it, knowing what I know now.  Having just had the loss of 3 people I knew recently, this movie hit home and hit hard.  It punches you in the stomach and then rips your heart out.  Not a light movie for a Sunday morning by any means.  BUT ONE YOU HAVE TO GO SEE!  Just realize the laughs are all in the clips you see before you get to the movie.  And I still want my scrambled eggs, Sir McKellan.

Week in Review - July 26 - August 1

  • 5 pints of peach jam made - 1 was actually a peach/ginger jam
  • 3 books read
  • 32,701 or 19.57 miles walked - Christine kicking my butt the past few weeks
  • vitamins - remembered 3 days
  • went through huge stack of magazines
  • found a jar for my 'blessings'
  • 5 posts written
Lady K knows there are feathers in the jar and wants to dump them out and play with them.
  • tons of ideas for organization and Christmas
  • pre-planning for Nanowrimo underway - both for meet ups and my own writing
  • discovered artist name for Savvy's possible present
  • trip to Farmer's market and picked up the following:
    • green beans
    • new potatoes
    • leeks
    • garlic
    • basil
    • tomatoes
    • bell pepper
  • managed to make it to Cafe Zydeco for beignets 
  • tried a dry rub for BBQ chicken - really good
  • created some journal vision boards for myself on creativity, exercise and food.  forgot how fun and relaxing collage can be.
  • came up with a Christmas idea for kids I want do to (more details in coming months)

The week ahead - 

  • up my steps and water and vitamins
  • more peach jam
  • Chapter 2 of book
  • baby-sitting while Texter at orientation for school
  • some packing (if I can get boxes)
  • delving into my one-book-August (instead of one-book-July, more details coming)

The big 'event' for the week was the finding of this book - 

The first book I remember reading and loving and probably the start of my love of horses, was this one, Black Beauty.  It was probably the first book I was ever given a copy of for my own.  Over the years my copy fell apart in all the decades of moves.  I have been on the lookout for a replacement copy, mainly because I wanted to reread it 5 decades later.  But I didn't want to just go onto Amazon and buy a copy.  And this week, in a local used book store, there on the top shelf, was a copy.  Not only a copy of the book, but the exact edition I had.  That's MY book!  And for only $4.  Yes, Black Beauty isn't a sweet little 'horsey' book, but rather a sad look at the cruelty of people and the life horses had to live at one time.  I remember crying when Ginger died.  So I will be fitting a walk down memory lane into the schedule this week.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Textile Exhibit Highlights How All Things Temporary

So it starts like this.  I am looking for the name of an artist Savvy and I saw last year at a gallery here in town.  The 1+1=1 Gallery is delightful and is on my route between the library and Starbucks, so I am always at least sticking my head in to see what is going on.  But I happened to step in (total body rather than window shopping) and this is what greeted my eyes.

Note:  the rabbit sculpture in the mirror is covered with hundreds of tiny faces and created by Susan Mattson.  Coveting her work.  Don't know if I want a rabbit or fox.

Textiles!  Dozens of woven pieces and shibori.  

The artist is Carol Wilbur, who unfortunately passed away this past April.  This is her last show and all the pieces are already sold (or I would be begging on the corner for pennies).  I talked to Susan Mattson, another artist who was watching the gallery on Friday, and learned the story behind the exhibit and it really hit a note based on my current experiences.  Carol, it seems, had just lost someone in her life and was taking a walk when a leaf fell to the ground in front of her.  She thought about how that leaf will die and be absorbed back into the biosphere, never leaving a mark of it's passing.  Thus this collection was born.  The fabric/scarves, which are created using a shibori method, are dyed using natural plant dyes

This whole collection hit me on several levels.  One, I have recently lost someone with whom I have a long history with and will leave a hole.  Secondly, I have a couple of friends who dye with natural dyes, mainly wool, but also fabrics, and sometimes use a shibori-style method. Walking into this exhibit was like walking through the woods.

Having tried my hand at weaving decades ago, I know how hard it is.  I have managed to stay away from dying my own wools and fabric, but this exhibit makes me want to give it a try.  I love this exhibit and hate it the artist is no longer with us to continue to give to the world these lovely pieces.  But at least she has left her mark on the world and won't be forgotten. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Invasion of the Tearling

Back in September of last year, I read book 1 of the Tearling trilogy, Queen of the Tearling.  I thought it was a very good read and couldn't wait until the next one was published.  So flash forward almost a year and here I am finishing up book two of the series, Invasion of the Tearling.

Picking up where book one left off, Kelsea, as the new queen of Tearling, is on the verge of having her kingdom invaded by the Red Queen.  However, changes are taking place in Kelsea, both physical and mental. There are flash backs to pre-crossing time and what Lily, a privileged wife of the time, is having to live through in the old world.  Kelsea's closest friends and guards are concerned about what's happening to her, as well as what is happening in the rest of Tearling with the enemy at their border.  Lily's circumstances are shades of Margaret Atwood.

It took me a bit to become use to the switching back and forth between Lily and Kelsea.  It seemed a bit jarring, but then as events happen, they become more and more merged.  And stronger in personality.  

There was a bit of a struggle to get into the book and at first, wasn't sure if I wanted to continue.  But as the story further unfolded, I am glad I stuck with it.  Now to await the conclusion.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week in Review - July 19 - 25

  • 3 rows completed on Sophie's Universe (well, 4 actually, but had to rip one out and start over again)
  • walked - almost none at all
  • vitamins - 3 out of 7 days
  • water - a cactus would die
  • watched Lady K while Texter was working at NaguCon here in Helena
  • watered garden for co-worker while they are on vacation
  • mailed off swap gift to Michigan
  • completed a quilt top (mostly)
  • 5 posts written
  • 1 book read
Today is not a good day for me.  Well, actually yesterday evening it started downhill.  I found out a friend of many, many years had lost her husband and father both this week.  Her father passed at the first of the week and she lost her husband, yesterday.  And I feel a bit sad and heartachy I am not 2400 miles closer to try and help.  

Local Flavor Swap - Michigan

About a month ago I came across Chaotic Goddess Swaps and signed up for their Local Flavor Swap.  I was assigned Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm.  

Wendy lives in Michigan and just reading her posts exhaust me.  The woman is a ball of fire and doesn't slow down!  Supper for 200!  I don't even know 200 people, much less getting them to eat with me.

Anyway, yesterday I got my box in the mail.  First off, boxes in the mail are exciting to everyone here.  So needless to say, even with Texter and Savvy out of the house, I had assistance in the unwrapping.

and her favorite word is "MINE!"

The chocolate sauce (yummy) is also local to Michigan.  The pen and Michigan magnet where extra because she knew I would love them.  The pen is in my journal now (and out of little hands). 

This candle, along with the lip balm (which we use by the ton here) and the soap are made by her daughter and son-in-law.  The ingredients are organic and sustainable, right up my alley.

Lady K says this is her 'heart' and I had to put it up really high.  The necklace and earrings are made by a local artist.

Lady K is checking to be sure nothing was missed.  She has spent the past hour stacking and restacking the jars and soap.

While Lady K is not impressed with the Balsam Fir smell of the candle, I am loving it and can't wait to light it up.  And CJ will love it because it's not a 'girly' smell.

But Wendy and her husband are on a farm like I would love to have.  Organic farming!  And I am 'stealing' a couple of the things she is involved in.  I love the 'Film and Food' idea and the 'Wine and Book' club she participates in.  I might have to weasel my way in.  I am suggesting it to the library too.

And if you need help with weekly menus (me! me!) take a gander at her posts.  You will find menus, along with recipes.  I will definitely be stalking Wendy, but being a retired cop (both her and her husband) I have to be careful.  

This was a great swap and I can't wait for the next one which is a book swap.  Right up my alley, or bookcase, as the case may be.

UPDATE:  Bought some vanilla bean ice cream last night and had ice cream with the chocolate topping for 'dinner'.  It was yummy!

Update:  There is the link to Wendy's post on what I sent her.  Don't visit her blog if you are hungry!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Not What I Was Suppose to Be Doing

My first day of my weekend with Lady K, I thought I would clean house a bit and then settle down and work on an existing project.  No...

Instead I pulled out my layer cake of Comma from the Zen Chic line of Moda and started a Big Star quilt for CJ.

One of CJ's fears with the new house and being the only male in the bunch, we are going to get all 'girly' on him.  I think we are all too geeky and nerdy to do that, but I wanted a quilt for him to wrap up in that maybe didn't have flowers or pink in it.  The two stars are together.  Now I have to decide if I want to find 'something' to make two more stars or if I just want to stop with lap quilt size at this time.  I also need to get something for the backing.  But he will soon have a 'manly' quilt all of his own.

And speaking of 'girly' (and my lack of housekeeping skills), I am reluctant to throw these out. 

Being that Montana is so dry, I have these lovely dried peonies in my vase.  And they really are pretty.  So I think they will stay for awhile longer. 

So for today, depending on what Lady K lets me work on, I have an idea for a second quilt top and have the pieces ready to start stitching on.  Or I could go back to crocheting on Sophie's Universe or hand piecing on La Passacaglia.  I will have to see what the day (and coffee) brings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mid-Week/Mid-Summer Doldrums

[dohl-druh mz, dol-, dawl-] 
noun, ( used with a plural verb
a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art:
August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.
the doldrums
  1. a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of the equatorbetween the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic andPacific oceans.
  2. the weather prevailing in this area.
a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

This is according to  Personally, right now, being on a sailboat, stuck with going nowhere, actually sounds pretty good.  But hopefully, in three weeks, all that will be picking up and the 'wind blowing' as we get ready to 'set sail' to our new abode.

I don't want to starting packing yet, because I feel like it would jinx the process.  Plus, so much of what we have is in bins and boxes anyway, we can make trips to move stuff before having to put anything in a packing box.

Texter starts school shortly after the move (the end of August).  She's going into nursing and I hope things go smoothly.  But this is the first time, in years, I'm not the one starting school in the fall.  It seems so strange and I feel a little discombobulated over the prospect.  It's not like I don't have enough projects or 'to-do's' to keep me more than occupied.  I am the baby sitter on Tuesdays this fall while she is in school all day.  And I will have a lot more Lady K time while Texter studies in the evenings.

So new starts are just around the corner for all of us, and while that is exciting, today I am just in the doldrums.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

To Kill My Curiosity

So what does this pile have in common?  Conspiracy theory of the literary sort.  

You see, Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman was released last week and in standing around at the library, I admitted I had never read To Kill A Mockingbird.  But I was curious about some of the things being released about the upcoming book and how Harper Lee had not wanted it published way back when.

That's when a co-worker (not calling her a friend because of the reading pile I now have) told me about the 'theory' Harper Lee didn't write the book, but her friend, Truman Capote did.  After reading a couple of reviews of Watchman, I have to delve into the subject matter myself.  Thus the pile of reading I have set for myself.  

This should be some interesting reading in the coming week or two.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mandala Monday - Barely

I like the look of a portion of one of the rosettes from La Passacaglia I am working on.  Frankly, today, it makes it look appealing.  I think I am coming down with a summer cold and I am not liking it.  Too much to do.  But a terrible headache yesterday and today, a runny nose.  Sigh...