Saturday, May 7, 2022

Five Things

1. Just finished a few books recently. The Queen's Fortune about Josephine Bonaparte. The next was Eternal about Italy during WWII. I didn't really know much about the Fascists or the Jewish laws there. The third book was Marjorie Merriweatehr Post about her life, marriages and philanthropy. All of these books were excellent! I'm half way through Wish You Were Here--Jodi Picoult's latest. I'm a huge fan of her books. I was a little disappointed in this one until a HUGE twist caught me off guard! I do love that about her books--you never see it coming! Anyway, it takes place during Covid, the lockdown and the overfilled hospitals. Can't wait to see how it ends.

2.  I had planned to watch several things at the beach while I stitched. I was going to binge Bridgerton but after just two episodes of season 2, I had to stop. I'm getting ready to say something that many will think is sacriligeous. I know that everyone is talking about this show. But for me, it's pure fluff--and goofy fluff at that. There's no substance to the storyline. No mystery and some of the acting "ain't so good." I do like the costumes and sets. Normally, I LOVE period pieces. Just not this one. The first season was downright boring to me. All that said, I'll continue to watch it just to be in the know. Plus, I always hope something will get better. I'm the same way about books--I'll finish it no matter what. I think there are only 6 episodes per season anyway, so I can get through it easily and not feel like I've wasted too much time. Actually I'm a little disappointed with Shonda Rhimes. She managed to come up with some amazing---absorbing series over the years--Scandal, Murder She Wrote, Private Practic and Grey's Anatomy--although, it's time for Grey's to "go". I expected more from her. To me, it seems that her goal with this show is to be inclusive of every ethnic and minority, identity challenged group to the point of ridiculous-ness. Okay, enough of that. 

On the other hand, I watched two really good movies. I had already read the books, so I had the movies on my list. Radium Girls--true story about girls who worked for American Radium suffering health concerns leading to death. They were diagnosed as having syphyllis by the company doctor rather than admit that AR was at fault. Definitely a case for work-place negligence in the name of profit!

The other one was Brain on Fire. Another true story about a young 20-something girl who started behaving erratically and having seizures. She was diagnosed as being schizophrenic and psychotic. She kept deteriorating to the point of being nearly catatonc. Eventually they did a brain biopsy and discovered a little know immune disorder. Doing a brain biopsy seems like a pretty extreme thing to do. But perhaps if it were done more often, there might be many mental health issues that could be solved. Immune disorders definitely manifest in the most unusual ways. My hives are just one way!!

I love true stories and documentaries. If you have Netflix, check out Fall-out about Boeing and the two planes that fell out of the sky within 5 months of each other, killing hundreds. Unbelievable!

3. There is so much happening in my garden---I don't know where to begin. So, I'm going to start with my most favorite thing. This:

I planted this Climbing White Hydrangea about 25 years ago. It has never bloomed. Never.
Look closely. Can you see the blooms starting. Here's a closer look:
I am beyond excited! And, I know exactly why it's started to bloom. Last year, when I was putting new plants in to try to mask the fact that the neighbor cut down all the trees between us, I planted a row of White Climbing Hydrangeas because I knew they would fill the fence. By doing that, "cross pollination" was able to happen. Isn't nature amazing?? I'll be sure to post a picture of it in full bloom.

There is really so much happening in the garden, but I'm only going to share one more thing about that so as not to bore you. Along with the hydrangeas along the fence, I added many more of these:

This is a Henryii Clematis. This one has bloomed consistently every year since we moved in--1995. It's beautiful and puts on quite a show.
There is nothing to show the size of these blooms, but think "dinner plates." Now go back and look at the first picture and I think you can "get it." What a stunning show! I can't wait for them to start blooming along the wrought iron fence around the pool. I'll love seeing them from the kitchen sink for sure!

4. Two weeks ago, I hosted Camp Mother-in-law. Greg had made a comment awhile ago that I have Camp Aunt Barb---what about Camp Mother-in-law? I decided to call his bluff! I planned a golf weekend for them. Butch was in charge and chose the location, restaurants and made the golf tee times. I planned the food and did the shopping. They played poker, grilled steaks, had happy hours, and had a great time. 

From left: golfling bear, Bruce, Butch, Nicky, Greg

Well, Justin was not able to go--weekends are nearly impossible for him as his work involves weekend events. Luckily, Butch was able to get Bruce to take his place. I'm pretty sure I've gained a new "son-in-law" although he's actually older than me!! 

Anyway, this all leads to the fact that I took Justin to dinner on Tuesday night since he had to miss the weekend. 

We went to Redlands Grill. Mindy told me that it was his favorite restaurant. When I was telling the other guys over the weekend that I was taking Justin and that he could order as many drinks as he wants (Redlands is not terribly expensive), Greg quipped, "Good, he's going to need it!" Implying that drinking would be required to spend an evening with me! Luckily, I can poke fun at myself and thought that was a great "jab!"

I gave Justin the mug that the other "boys" got on their weekend. You can "blow it up" to see what the mug says. It's just cute. We had a great time. I asked him a bunch of questions--as I usually do! Because I really am interested in him and his childhood. Afterwards, he texted me to thank me for dinner. He said he "had a blast." I read between the lines, because, of course, I'm fun!! Anyway, I responded that I thought our "first date" was a success! He replied, "me too!" So, I guess this is the beginning of many annual dates for us---at least until he's able to go on the weekend with the rest of the guys. 

5. I told Butch that we needed more cereal. He brought home this:

Holy Smokes! That mega box is huge!! I've never seen a cereal box this big. It's fat too! The Honey Nut off-brand Cheerios is a normal size box, so you can see the comparison. Butch said that the mega box would last a couple months. Heck no, I eat a lot of cereal--not only for breakfast. It's a good evening snack too. I have it with a half banana. It helps me maintain my health goals. And that's where I'm at, maintaining!! 

That's it for now.

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