Monthly Archives: March 2011

More Computer Woes

The mother board on our home computer crashed/failed/expired last week; I don’t know what the proper term is, but I think you get the idea.

My husband and sons have been trying to solve the issue with spare components because I’ve insisted we shouldn’t spend money on new toys right now. And as much as I enjoy having a handy-dandy computer right here in our living room, it is a toy. We don’t use it for work or anything vital. Therefore, it is expendable.

That being said, it seems to be up and running right now, even though it’s not up to the high standards of the men in my family.

Hopefully, now I can do a little better at posting consistently.

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Filed under Miscellaneous

Oddity

Yesterday Joe saw a Rolls Royce pulling into the gas station at Wal-Mart. He said the car was one of the vintage ones with the fancy grill on the front.

That’s Texas for you.

Eccentric millionaire? Chauffeur? Thrifty person who can afford a hand-built automobile after a lifetime of conserving money?

Obviously, not a snob.

Boy, would I like to know the rest of that story!

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Filed under Cars, Humor, Texas, Transportation

Happy Anniversary, Darling

March 17, 1973

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Filed under 1970s, Family, Saint Patrick's Day

Contentment at Home

Natasha Burns has a lovely post about her home and her attitude about it. It’s called “loving what I have rather than wishing it was more.”

And over at Domestic Felicity, Anna has written a thoughtful post titled “No Cost Home Improvement.”

They both reminded me of a story by Amy Dacyczyn in one of her Tightwad Gazette books. I’ve looked through them and can’t find it, so I’ll have to keep looking, then post it. She told about going to the home of an older person – their furnishings weren’t expensive or even nice, but the home was spotlessly clean and welcoming.

Just what I needed to hear.

As I about to go to sleep a few nights ago, I sensed the Lord nudging me about the stashes of clutter everywhere. It’s a lifelong problem that I have to deal with and I simply hadn’t been dealing with it for awhile.

So yesterday, I tackled 3 problem areas and cleaned them up. The difference was amazing and so fulfilling. On days that I’m home, I hope to clean out at least one more area per day. On bad fibromyalgia days, I might be able to do only one, but one is progress and it’s one more step toward a clean house and organization.

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Filed under Cozy, Home, Internet links, Making Do

Paddy Whack, Irish Jig

Taken from The Treasure Chest of Irish Songs (Jigs and Reels), 1943, Treasure Chest Publications.

Jigs are folk dances and the accompanying music. Go here for more information

Reels are folk dances; Irish reels are defined by the time (as in 4/4). It’s much more complicated than that and if you want further information, click here.

Go here for The Bells of Shandon.

Go here for I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.

Go here for Killarney.

Go here for Londonderry Air.

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Filed under 1943, Ephemera, Music, Printed, Saint Patrick's Day

The Bells of Shandon

Taken from The Treasure Chest of Irish Songs (Jigs and Reels), 1943, Treasure Chest Publications.

Go here for I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.

Go here for Killarney.

Go here for Londonderry Air.

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Filed under Ephemera, Music, Printed, Saint Patrick's Day

I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

Click on images to enlarge.

Taken from The Treasure Chest of Irish Songs (Jigs and Reels), 1943, Treasure Chest Publications.

Go here for Killarney.

Go here for Londonderry Air.

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Filed under Ephemera, Music, Printed, Saint Patrick's Day

The Grace Card

Ever complained:
That they don’t make decent movies?
That all the junk coming out of Hollywood is garbage?

How about trying an independent film made in Memphis?

If you’re sick of the typical, cynical Hollywood advertisements for depravity, I strongly suggest that you find The Grace Card in your area and go this weekend. (Go here to find it in your area; type in the name of the movie and your zip code.)

Go here to watch the trailer on the official website.

Secular reviews are being rough on it, but my husband and I thought it was really good. The pace is steady, the writing is fairly tight. A few of the actors could’ve used a little extra coaching, but Michael Joiner and Lou Gossett, Jr. are great.

A word of caution: this is not a movie for small children. Some of the action is tense and little ones are not going to understand the building tension in the plot. Michael Joiner’s character is tightly wound and ready to spring. He reminds me of some people that I know; he’s so good at his angry character, it surprised me to learn that he’s mostly famous for being a clean comedian.

And although I’m a woman and thought it was very good, it’s really a men’s movie.

So, please! Put your money where your heart is and go see this movie.

One more thing… Christians have a reputation as being really cheap tippers, etc… Buy an outrageously priced Coke. Think of it as a positive witness.

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Filed under Entertainment, Faith, Movies, Tennessee

Killarney

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Taken from The Treasure Chest of Irish Songs (Jigs and Reels), 1943 Treasure Chest Publications

Go here for the music to Londonderry Air.

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Filed under Ephemera, Music, Printed, Saint Patrick's Day

Books Read, February 2011

Non-Fiction
*Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (2009). This is the story of Deogratias, a Burundi refugee to the United States. Geography is not one of my strong suits, and I began reading this book not even knowing what continent Burundi was on. Rawanda and Burundi were both part of the Belgian Congo and have had similar … what? Struggles doesn’t even begin to describe the horror of the genocide.

Deo arrived at JFK with $200 and no contacts and no support system in 1994. He didn’t even speak English. A few years later he had graduated from Columbia University and enrolled in medical school at Dartmouth. By 2008, his lifelong dream of a medical clinic in his African village was realized.

Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize for Strength in What Remains, and deservedly so. It was hard to put down, but that’s exactly what I should’ve done hours before bedtime, because I couldn’t get to sleep until 4:00 a.m. Descriptions of the violence are graphic. If this sort of thing bothers you (it does me), you can skip over those passages when you see them coming.

Even so, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

Fiction – Mystery

*Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie (1936). Vastly superior to the film version with David Suchet, this is the story of a crime committed in the presence of 3 other people, but who saw nothing. Or did they?
RECOMMENDED

*Death of a Macho Man by M.C. Beaton (1996). A mysterious swarthy newcomer to Lochdubh has been done in and Highland police constable Hamish MacBeth solves the crime.
ENTERTAINING

*Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton (1998). Narcissism in television personalities, supporting staff and mystery writers are featured in this Hamish MacBeth volume. Miss Beaton writes with clarity and humorous insight about people who think a lot of themselves.
ENTERTAINING

Fiction – Juvenile

*When the Sirens Wailed by Noel Streatfeild (1974). While this book shares a common theme with the Shoe books (children who are separated from their parents), it’s a bit harder hitting and tells the story of World War II from a child’s viewpoint, i.e. the evacuation of London’s children to the countryside, the Blitz and the blackout. One of the things that surprises me about this book is it’s classification as juvenile fiction. It sits on the library shelf with lighter tomes such as the American Girl series. The American Girl series are lovely, interesting books, but geared to a younger audience. Many adult books are not as well-written as When the Sirens Wailed.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

*Party Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (1944). Also published as Party Frock. Streatfeild’s love of theater comes through in this story of a large family of children and their cousin during World War II. The cousin has been sent a party dress and shoes by an American godmother but under the bleak social conditions caused by the war, she won’t have an opportunity to wear it. So they brainstorm a suitable event and plan a historical festival with each child focusing on a different era. It reminds me of the Andy Hardy idea of “let’s put on a show!” and just reading it made me want to put one on, too. The problems of production are very true-to-life, including the director’s arrogance, prima donas, costuming, blocking and lots more. If you love theater, this is a fun book, even for adults.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

*Clues in the Shadows: a Molly Mystery by Kathleen Ernst (2009). War weariness on the homefront during World War II is the focus in this later edition in the American Girl series. Molly and her friends participate in a scrap drive and learn about combat fatigue and how the absence of fathers caused reduced circumstances in many of families. Some tough issues are focused on and give an opportunity to discuss what our military families experience, even now.

Go here for historical background information and some good photos.
RECOMMENDED

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Filed under Battle of Britain, Books, Children's, Current Events, England, Fiction, History, World War II