Sunday, December 4, 2016

Books of November

A book by Margret Atwood that is part of the Hogarth Series, modern takes on Shakespeare's plays, this one based on The Tempest.  A failed director stages his own take on The Tempest in a prison with prisoners as actors to get revenge on the people who deprived him of his job.  B+.

A beautiful and inspiring book about the author's experiences as a hospice chaplain.  I bought a hard copy after I read it on Kindle.

The blurb on Amazon called it emotional thrilled..  I thought it was disgusting, my pick for the gross book of the year.  Don't waste your time.

A true crime story about the Yogurt Shop murders that took place in Austin in the Nineties.  The first part was engrossing, the second part about the trials of the alleged killers was boring, and the conclusion is that no one knows what really happened.  My interest lasted for about 1/3 of the book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Widowhood and the Holidays

Thanksgiving is over and hopefully everyone has finished the leftovers.  December is almost upon us.  No matter whether we celebrate Chanukah or Christmas, this is a difficult time for many of us who are widows.  How do we manage?

Of course we're all different.  Everyone faces grief in their own way.  There isn't a time table or a specific series of steps that everyone goes through in lockstep.  When my husband had been dead for about a year, I remember people asking, "How long did it take you to get over it?"  The answer is, I didn't.  I just learned to live in a different way, in what I called The World of Re: Re-flect, Re-vive, Re-frame, Re-invent, Re-emerge.

Which brings me back to the holidays.  Which makes you feel better--celebrating the holidays as you and your spouse always did or Re-inventing them with new traditions.  You could get together with others who might be alone for a holiday dinner out or at home.  You could Re-member your loved on with a gift to a favorite charity.  You could spread holiday joy by bringing small gifts to a nursing home, homeless shelter or by volunteering at a hospital on the day when most people are home with families,  It's amazing how spending time with others can Re-invigorate you.  \

If you're invited to a party, should you go?  To be honest, I have to force myself, but, again, we're all different.  Getting out and about may be just what you need to Re-charge.  The important thing is not to worry about what other people think or what advice they give.  It's your own personal decision.

Several years ago I attended Camp Widow, a gathering sponsored by Soaring Spirits, an organization for widows of all ages.  The keynote speech was given by the founder of the organization.  She wore a somber black dress as she told us about her husband's unexpected and tragic death n an accident.  She said that everything she wore during the first awful days was black, down to black underwear.  But when she decided she'd try getting out again, she thought a change of color would help her feel braver.  Then, right there on the stage, she slipped off her black dress and underneath it, she wore a bright red outfit!.  Everyone applauded.  So there's a thought.  Wear something bright.  It will brighten your mood.

May your holidays be filled with peace and friendship.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving

I hope all of you have friends or family to celebrate with and I wish you the blessing of peace at your table and in your life.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Houston: Parts Unknown

Recently Anthony Bordain visited Houston for his Parts Unknown TV show.  A chef, he focused on food and cooking.  But I thought today I'd point out some sights of Hidden Houston that visitors and even residents may not know.  People don't think of Houston as a destination city, but it has unknown wonders for those who choose to visit. Here are 5 and if you want to add more, please do.
Built in 1927, the Cistern was an underground drinking water reservoir.  It was forgotten until recently when it was rediscovered and is now a tourist mecca with tours of the beautiful underground structure.  
A huge bat colony lives beneath the Waugh Street Bridge and emerges each evening around sunset.  Quite a sight.  Okay, Austin has a bat colony, too, but I bet ours is better.

Ever heard of a house completely covered with beer cans?  You can visit the Beer Can House in Houston and brag about seeing it to your unbelieving friends.
Who ever heard of building a monument to a fruit?  You can visit one in Houston, the quirky Orange Show.
Houston has many museums and so do other cities, but a museum devoted to funerals?  Yes, Houston's Museum of Funeral History is probably the one and only such museum in the world.

You might also want to visit the Art Car Museum, David Addicks' huge statues of the Beatles, the "big bubble" beneath a downtown bridge and as you're exploring the city, drive past the Astrodome, America's first domed stadium, now languishing in disrepair.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quote for the Week

Life is like a 
CAMERA
You focus on what's
IMPORTANT,
capture the
GOOD TIMES,
develop from the
NEGATIVE,
and if things don't work out,
TAKE ANOTHER SHOT.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Books of October

If you google Hogarth, you will see that it is a series of novels based on Shakespeare, with modern takes.  Vinegar Girl is a contemporary Taming of the Shrew.  It's a bit cartoonish but quite funny.  A quick read.
 

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