Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Are You Watching: Summer Television

I use to love TV.  As a kid, my grandparents never bought a TV guide; they just called me.  I was usually more accurate.  As an adult, I just seem to DVR a few and then ignore the rest.  Dr. Who and Sherlock are favorites, but they flutter briefly across my screen, and then I must wait for the next season. Walking Dead is a must, but right now is a long time until October.  I do DVR Castle, but I don't rush to watch it every week.  I am getting into Grim this summer, and since school ended in May, I have watched season 1 and 2, and I am looking forward to 3 in October.  That is one good show, and I have inhaled it. 

Summer viewing is different and fun.  I can stay up longer with the kids.  I can actually sit down and watch without worrying about if my Things have their homework.  I can DVR and watch in my nightgown at 10 AM.  One guilty pleasure is Paranormal Witness.  We love to watch this show as a family, and then do our own commentary.  Have you noticed it is the weird and strange that lures us in? 

Speaking of strange and weird, I have seen two new shows this summer:  Mistresses, on ABC and Under the Dome, CBS.

Mistresses is like a bad train wreck.  The characters are cardboard and difficult to tolerate.  One actress is so wooden, I almost feel like I am watching a high school production instead.  The 4 female leads are successful, beautiful, and quite frankly, stupid.  I am wanting to watch the original British version to see if they are equally stupid;  I bet they are.  I think I am going to tune in for one more episode, but I may not follow up with this drama.  It just seems like an urban rip-off of Desperate Housewives, but less fun.  There is no comedy or quirk.  Well, one character does possess a few zingers and wants to be the comic relief, but unfortunately, she is morally reprehensible, so you don't really want to pull for her.  She sleeps with her married boss for better real estate properties to sell.  She uses sex as a weapon and leaches off of those around her.  I know, I know, some may say she thinks like a "guy", and I apologize to my guy friends for that comparison.  It is just a nasty stereotype for her character and men,  in general.  The gorgeous Australian husband is a plus, but beauty will only take you so far.  There has to be more to the plot and flat characterization.  I really wanted to like it because I am a fan of Allysa Milano.  At least the clothes are beautiful.  I guess that summarizes it:  Beautiful but no heart or substance. 

Last night, we watched Under the Dome.  Now, that did cause me to jump a few times.  It was gory, scary, and everything that makes you want to watch again; yet I don't know if I really care. The intrigue is there, and the acting wasn't that bad.   I think I will set up my 4 episode rule and see what happens. 

Oh, I know I didn't mention True Blood.  I am just catching up to last season, thanks to no HBO.  So, sssshhhhh on spoilers.  :)

Well, that is my TV viewing habits in a nutshell.  What are you watching? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What I Am Listening To Today

Okay, to know me is to understand I am an old soul.  I am not dressed everyday in vintage, but it swirls around me in how I furnish my house, to the luggage I use, to the utensils I have in my kitchen, and yes, the music I play.  Now don't get me wrong, I love the modern stuff, too, but more often than naught, my Spotify targets crooners and long forgotten recordings from the '20s. 

Now with that background info. out of the way, it should come to no surprise that my new favorite album belongs to the multi-talented Emmy Rossum.  For those of you saying, "Hey, that name sounds familiar!", she is better know for her work in the film Phantom of the Opera and the television show, Shameless.  I discovered this gem by accident this week with a visit to Barnes and Noble.  As I cruised around the store with my pretentious drink of choice from Starbucks, I completely became entranced with the music playing.  I forgot about the book in my hand, and had to ask the clerk what CD was playing. The vocals are almost perfect.   I find her interpretations pure, sweet, and sometimes heart wrenching,  as in the case of "Autumn Leaves".   The songs are the old standards you will recognize, but instead of retooling the formula for modern ears, Ms. Rossum is content to play tribute to  the glamour and beauty of long gone days.  It works.  This is a CD my granny and I could have enjoyed together. 

This album is a perfect way to end a long summer day.  Sit on your porch, wine glass in had, and let the "Summer Wind" transport you away to 1944.  This is one is one "Sentimental Journey" worth taking.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Never Know What You Will Find

As I mentioned yesterday, my granny died in December.  It seemed liked the final chapter of my childhood just closed.  My parents are now in the house, and we began sorting through eighty-six years of memories.  Loving all things retro, I received the dishes from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Little odds and ends, have found their way into my home, but the real treasure came in an Aigner shoebox, circa 1978.

I was going through the linen closet, an odd place for some of the items she stored.  Her organizational methods were changing as she aged, and you didn't know what you would find and where.  It made sense to her.  I pulled out this and that, and noticed most items belonged to my grandfather.  I modeled my papaw's fez for my husband.  Squealed in delight as I found several books that we once read together.  Then just as I was going to close the door, shoeboxes caught my attention.  Pulling them from the top shelf, I wondered what I would find next.  To my surprise, it was years upon years of my grandfather's sermons.

He wrote out his ideas on index cards and clipped them with paper clips.  I remember playing under the kitchen table as he worked on Saturday mornings.  If he could finish in time, we would watch Bugs Bunny together.  One particular morning, I made a request.  I wanted my own sermon.  I wanted it to be specifically on King David.  He was/is my favorite Biblical figure, and I wanted my papaw to tell his story.  This was 1976, and I was four.

Papaw wrote my sermon, and he found it very difficult to write.  He wanted to make special for me, a preschooler, but he also wanted to make it relevant for his congregation.  I told my husband the story, and I wondered how if I would be able to find the sermon in this burgundy box.

That evening I put the box on my bed and just stared.  How would I find it?  There were hundreds of packets of cards, and how would I find that particular one.  The only hope I had was faith and a little bit of hard work.  I stuck my hand inside the box and pulled out one sermon, and then my little miracle took place.  In my hand was a sermon from 1976 entitled, "The Bible's Biggest Sinner".  It is was a sermon on faith and redemption and grace.  It was mine.  My sermon.  I couldn't believe it.  I had my papaw's gift in my hands. 

Miracles aren't always grand and earth shattering, and sometimes they are found in quiet, simple places.  A little burgundy shoe box is my miracle.  It was a reminder, twenty years after my grandfather's death, that I was loved.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

So much....

So much has happened since my last post.  In the words of Dickens, "It was the worst of times; it was the best of times."   In the stress of dealing with good and bad, I lost the urge to blog and share.  I lost the urge to write, but with school out and the computer on, I once again want to explore, read, write, create.  I am not that good at it, but it is an outlet for me, and I feel like it does make me a healthier person. 

I think my grandmother's death in December silenced me for a while.  It was too traumatic and raw to even explore.  She died suddenly the weekend before Christmas, and my children and I were visiting.  My mother went to check on her and she was just gone.  I am so thankful my babies didn't find the body, but my daughter, who is certified in CPR, did rush in and tried to revive her, as we waited for the paramedics.  I want to protect her from the world, but when our world was falling apart, she stepped up and showed me the woman she will one day become.

It isn't all doom and gloom.  In April, I married the Flatlander.  He and I met April of 1993, so it seemed fitting to elope during our spring break.  We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Tennessee, on a clear, warm day, next to a waterfall.  It was simple, sweet, and just what he and I wanted.  We were fortunate enough to have all four of our children with us, and we celebrated afterwards with laser tag.  Well, they did.  A long dress usually isn't the best attire for such activity. 

Now, I am still using coconut oil at night as a face cream.  I am still making my own detergent, and Paul and I are now thinking about making our own candles.  No garden this year because of the lack of time, but I am still looking for new recipes to try.  In fact, I am making a peach custard pie tonight.  I found the recipe in Redbook, and I cannot wait to see the final product.

So, that is it for today.  Do I dare try again tomorrow?

Perfect Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Today was a very busy but lovely beginning to our Halloween Festivities.  My husband and I went to a Farmers' Market that was featuring ...