Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Armchair Book Review

My book club just finished reading, "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese. This book was a best-seller in 2009. It is an epic novel, very well written, with wonderful characters and Ethiopia as the backdrop. It centers around identical twin brothers Shiva and Marion. Their mother, who is a nun, dies giving birth and their father, a skilled surgeon, disappears as soon as the babies are born. The boys are raised by two loving people, and other people who are close to the family. The boys both grow up to be in the medical profession, although Shiva is not a certified doctor. The boys' biological father comes back into the picture later in life and it seems that there is a purpose for that. The author has a medical background, which is evidenced in his description of some of the medical procedures. At times, one might think it was described too well, but the majority of the book is so good, that you could easily overlook those few parts. Mr. Verghese draws pictures when he describes Ethiopia; he compliments all your senses. You can hear the raindrops hitting the tin roof, see the countryside bursting with yellow flowers, smell and taste the injera, which is a sponge-like bread used to scoop up the meal. The way this author ties up the loose ends and relates things throughout the book is totally ingenious. I am definitely going to read this book again, at a slower pace, and enjoy it all over again. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Signs - Uncontrollable Laughter

I am not going to admit if this actually happened to me. (It might have.)

For more fun signs, visit Lesley here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Loving Lily

Last weekend Jim and I went down to see our daughter, Jess, son-in-law Dave, and granddaughter, Lily. There were Christmas festivities in town.   Santa was in town, so we had to see him. I couldn't believe there wasn't a line to see him, but it was almost time for him to go. He was appearing in the real estate building. We had to coax Lily to go see Santa. She would only go if her Mommy went with her. Then she told her Mommy to sit on Santa's lap. While I'm sure that would have made Santa's day, my daughter was like, "Uh, no thanks!"

Lily loved this sled and didn't want to get out for the next group of people to sit in it.

With Mommy and Daddy

Their church had a Christkindlmarket where Lily made a gingerbread house.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hate when I get full before my plate is empty! Happens every Thanksgiving! Wait! There's turkey left! And potatoes! Stuffing! You can do it! No, no I can't. Obviously I need to put smaller portions on my plate. What a concept. But then, within an hour, it's time for dessert. Of course there's room for dessert! I didn't go overboard on the desserts. Sure there were pumpkin, banana cream, chocolate, and apple pies to choose from, and chocolate chip, crescent and our famous Italian "SOS" cookies. But I hardly had room for much dessert. That didn't stop me from taking some home, though! *wink*

It was fun to see the little cousins get together, from age 12 down to 2. There were 9 total, 8 of which were my sister's grandchildren.  My granddaughter, Lily, who will be 4 in January, was the other one. Of the cousins there, three of them -  Taliah is almost 3, Brooklyn is 4 1/2, and Gracie is 3 1/2 - are all bigger than Lily.When you see Lily by herself, she doesn't seem small. But comparatively - she is just a little sprite who doesn't stop talking.

Jess, Dave and Lily spent the night at our house. Lily was very excited to spend the night at Grandma and Papa's house. At one point I brought Jess into my bedroom to show her some of the Christmas presents I bought. Lily told the guys that "Mama and Grandma needed alone time." Then when we let her come into the bedroom she played on my bed. I asked her what she wanted to do. I suggested different toys. She said, "I want to play with a Dora puzzle." I just so happened to pick one of those up for a Christmas present. I looked at my daughter who shook her head "no". I just shrugged and said, "What the heck! It's a special night!" I rummaged under the bed and grabbed the puzzle. Standing up, I held the puzzle behind my back and then said, "It's magic! Here it is!"

What fun!

The three of us sat on the floor and put the puzzle together. Believe me - it TOOK all three of us, even though it said ages 4-6 on the box! It's one of those lenticular puzzles. Yeah. Like you know what THAT means. Even spell check questioned it! (Of course, JIM knew! damn it!)

According to there are three definitions:

  1. Of or pertaining to a lens;
  2. Biconvex; convexo-convex (huh?)
  3. Resembling the seed of a lentil in form - lentil-shaped.
In laymen's terms, the picture moves when you move. Capice? Here. I took a picture:

Then I moved a little to the left and the picture changed. I took another photo.

Believe me, it's not easy to put the puzzle together when Dora has 4 feet! When we finished the puzzle, I told Lily to move a little to see the puzzle change pictures. So she wiggled her butt.

Lily told us that it was "girls only" in the bedroom. She said, "I know that Papa is a good man, but he can't come in here!"

On Friday Lily made a gingerbread house with Papa. We decided to do this again because her dogs got a hold of the last one and ate it. Although the dogs aren't wholly to blame. We think the cats were in cahoots and jumped up on the counter, knocking the house down onto the floor for the dogs to eat.

Papa is instructing Lily how to make the perfect house.

Of course, after each piece of candy was attached,

there was a lot of this:

You may have noticed that she changed clothes in between the last few photos. That's because they started making the houses in the morning. Then the house collapsed because they didn't wait long enough for the frosting to harden. That's when Lily said, "I think this is a bad idea." After waiting about an hour, they continued.

All in all, it was a wonderful couple of days with my family, especially our funny, wonderful, loving granddaughter!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Let us all give thanks for everything we have; family, food, shelter, hopefully a job. Let us not forget those who are struggling, especially the people on the East Coast who were in Hurricane Sandy's path. Please donate to the Red Cross. You can donate $10 by texting  the word REDCROSS to 90999, or you can make a donation by phone or by mail. For more information, check out their website here:

It is so nice to be home for the holidays. We are spending Thanksgiving at my sister, Linda's house. There will be a total of 26 people! How much turkey does it take to feed all those people? Well, let's see. She has a 20 pound turkey, plus two additional turkey breasts. That ought a do it! Plus 15 pounds of mashed potatoes, 10 pounds of sweet potatoes, dressing, green bean salad, corn, olives, cranberry sauce, and buns. Then come the desserts - fudge, chocolate chip cookies, Italian "SOS" cookies (shaped into "S" and "O"), crescent cookies, pumpkin pies, chocolate pie, and banana cream pie, and a holiday cake. Linda is the baker, although my other sister, Pam, and I helped bake the cookies on Tuesday.

Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

How about some giggles?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Signs - Smoke What?

I saw this sign on a truck while we were driving on the highway. (I was a passenger and was able to take the photo!) This made me smile.

For more signs, please visit Lesley here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I bet you didn't know.....

that the Michelin Man's name is Bibendum.

Do you remember Guy Smiley from Sesame Street? Pseudonym? Bernie Liederkrantz

Remember playing with the game "Operation" when you were little? Did you know that the patient's name is "Cavity Sam"?

Remember the TV show "Gilligan's Island"?

Just sit right back 
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip, 
That started from this tropic port, 
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man, 
The Skipper brave and sure, 
Five passengers set sail that day, 
For a three hour tour, 
A three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough, 
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.
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The ship set ground on the shore 
Of this uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan, 
The Skipper too.
The millionaire
And his wife, 
The movie star, 
The professor and Mary Ann, 
Here on Gilligan's Isle.

(you can thank me later for that earworm!)


Skipper's real name? Jonas Grumby

And the Professor?  Roy Hinkley

Mr. Clean actually had a first name - "Veritably". He was awarded that name from a "Give Mr. Clean a First Name" promotional contest held back in 1962. Huh. And Veritably won? Gosh, I hate to see what the losing names were!

If Peppermint Patty was in school,

she would be called Patricia Reichardt

And finally, another Sesame Street character - Snuffleupagus has a first name. It is Aloysius.

If you want to find out more information on this topic visit the Mental Floss website here.

Now what you are going to do with all this bit of trivia is up to you. Me? I have a terrible memory so I'm going to forget it as soon as I finish writing this post!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Signs - A Word of Advice

I saw this sign at a gas station.

For more signs, visit Lesley here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Naughty Jokes

I Went To The Pub Last Night (R)

I was talking to a girl in the pub last night.
She said, "If you lost a few pounds, had a shave and got your hair cut, you'd look all right."
I said, "If I did that, I'd be talking to your friends over there."

I went to the pub last night and saw a fat girl dancing on a table.
I said to her, "Nice legs."
The girl giggled and said with a smile, "Do you really think so."
I said "Definitely, most tables would have collapsed by now. "

I was telling a girl in the pub about my ability to guess what day
 a woman was born just by feeling their breast.
"Really" she said, "Go on then...try."
After about 30 seconds of fondling she began to lose patience.
"Come on, what day was I born"?
I said, " 

This girl looked at my beer belly last night and sarcastically said, "Is that Corona or Blue?"
I said, "There's a tap underneath, taste it."

(Received these in an email. Had a good laugh and wanted to share them with you. I hope I didn't offend any one. Don't want to receive any hate mail. Yes, it may seem sexist. It's just a joke! Laugh a little! :) )

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Let's Get Artsy-Fartsy Part Deux

Continuing on with my visit to the Art Institute of Chicago......

These are things that caught my eye.

Here is a miniature version of Flamingo by Alexander Calder

Here it is in the real world. "Flamingo" is ensconced in front of the Federal Building in Chicago. The bright splash of color really stands out against the stark monochromatic buildings. The sculpture weighs 50 tons.The color has been known to be called "Calder Red". Photo credit: internet

This is the miniature of the sculpture With Standing Beast by Jean Dubuffet

Weighing in at 10 tons of white fiberglass, 29 feet tall in places, and representing a standing animal, a tree, a portal and an architectural form, here the sculpture sits in front of the James R. Thompson Center and across from the Daley Plaza. Photo credit: 20 Letters via Flicker

I loved this fireplace cover that was in the American Decorative Arts, 1920-1970, section:

Some painting from famous artists:

Renoir - Young Woman Sewing

Bordighera - Claude Monet

Poppy Fields - Claude Monet

The Shelton with Sunspots, NY - Georgia O'Keeffe.

Ms. O Keeffe said, "I painted ‘the Shelton with Sunspots’ (New York) in 1926. I went out one morning to look at it before I started to work and there was the optical illusion of a bite out of one side of the tower made by the sun, with sunspots against the building and against the sky. I made that painting beginning at the upper left and went off at the lower right without going back." cited

Farm near Durvendrecht - Piet Mondrian

Time Transfixed by Rene Magritte. Ms Magritte was a surrealist artist from Belgium. This painting was done for Edward James, a supporter of her work. The literal English translation of the title is called, "Ongoing Time Stabbed by a Dagger", and the artist was supposedly not happy with the "Time Transfixed" title. She wanted Edward to hang this painting at the bottom of his staircase so that the train would stab the people walking by. Instead, he hung it above his own fireplace. (Wikipedia)

Lady Gaga didn't invent monsters......

Invention of the Monsters - Salvador Dali, another surrealist painter. (Remember the Venus de Milo statute from my last post?)

What does this look like to you?

I thought it was a couple of big toes. A worker there laughed and said that when she first saw it, she thought it was a couple of thumbs!

Know what it really is?

Two penguins!

No, seriously!

The black arrow shows where the beak is. Head is pointing down. You can kinda see it, right?

I call this the "Ha-Ha" statue. I have no idea what it's real name is......just look at the expression on this man's face and the way he is standing. Doesn't it look like he is throwing his head back and laughing? "A-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

This is a replica (reduced in size) of the Art Deco sculpture Ceres, the Roman Goddes of grain and the patron saint of corn traders that sits on top of the Chicago Board of Trade building. You may notice that the statute holds a sheaf of wheat and a grain sample bag, which is an example of the type of business that happens inside the Board of Trade. You may also notice that she does not have any facial features. This is because at the time she was placed on top of the building, the Chicago Board of Trade was the tallest building around. It is said that the sculptor, John Storrs, didn't believe it was necessary to put facial features on the statue since no one would see them anyway; no buildings would be taller than that!

There she stands - 3 stories high -  in all her glory - 6,500 pounds of aluminum

A quick little video clip with more information:

One of the famous lions in front of the Art Institute. (there are two)

The tour has concluded. Watch your step getting off of the tour bus; and, oh yes, you may tip your tour guide!

Ha ha!