Monday, March 26, 2007

Travel Fever

After reading "Moosehill Journal" recently and reveling with the author's visit to California and Yosemite National Park, I felt the deep down tugging of my travel heart. I, too, was ready for a journey, not necessarily the usual ones taken to see grown children.

It was prophetic that I received a call from Sis telling me SHE was ready for a trip and did I want to hike the trails of Santa Fe? She knows as well and I that we aren't gen-u-wine hikers, but we have been walking a mile a day for the last three weeks to slim our torsos. That very day I checked Elderhostel for their April 15-21 trip to Santa Fe and Abiquiqu and signed up. Now Sis and I are walking four miles a day, hoping to meet the Level 5 guidelines, which seem daunting for novices. We figured we could bluff our way with a hiking stick, backpack with a water pouch, and a floppy hat as part of a hikers uniform.

We are dressing as most catalogs indicate. I remember an event many years ago that still brings smiles to the faces of my husband and me.

I was working with a young man new to my company, and my husband, after my encouragement, asked Joe if he wanted to play golf with him and his friends that Saturday. "You play golf, don't you?" To which Joe responded, "Sure."

The threesome waited that morning for Joe to arrive, two asking R about Joe's handicap. R simply said he didn't know and they'd all have to find out. Just then this figure, decked out in typical English golf fashion--his argyle socks pulled to the knee where they met his knickers, a jaunty knit hat ( with a red ball, no less)askew on his head, looking like a golfer of ages past. Joe didn't know anything about the clubs he owned, how to line up the ball, hit it or retrieve it. His stroke off the tee carried 200 feet rather than 200 yards. An embarrassment for R, who had to endure teasing from his coworkers the following Monday.

Sis and I will have the appropriate gear. Our legs will be in fair shape, our hiking boots will look worn, and although our clothing will appear to have been ordered from the Eddie Bauer catalog, they will not be brand-new. We'll fit in with other hikers discovering what the New Mexico landscape can reveal us in six days of exploration.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Is in the Air

Such beautiful blooms wave at drivers from the dozens and dozens of Bradford Pear trees that Madison residents have planted! Accompanied by warm, sunny days, this is the best time of the year for Mississippians. Soon the dogwoods will show their pink or white dresses. Daffodils have been swaying in the breeze for about two weeks. My one camellia bush, which always flourishes in February, still is laden with pink faces.

I couldn't resist snapping the blooming pear trees lining a cemetery. A quiet scene.

And the Louisiana Strawberry Man is back. Ahh, Spring is wonderful.

Grocery Shopping

Amazon has a new service: grocery shopping.

Where were you, Amazon, when I had three kiddies hanging onto my legs?

Where were you when I was holding down three jobs (well, depending on who's counting: mother, wife, teacher) and hating every minute of Saturdays figuring which hour I'd spend traipsing the hallowed halls of the local grocery?

Now you appear, Amazon, just when I need you less. I hate to shop for groceries. I'll waste precious minutes any day of the week hum-hawing about leaving. I make out a list too long and then leave it still on the table at home. I stop by the library and engage a friend in conversation, watching the minutes tick away as I inwardly fuss at enjoying myself. Then I'm faced with the hanging responsibility. GET THE GROCERIES!! I take a deep breath, enter the car, take an extra few seconds to buckle the seatbelt, slowly turn on the engine, and glide into the grocery's parking lot.

Two hours later (yes, I read labels) I'm home exhausted. What's for dinner, He asks. Check out the bags, I reply.

I know, I got everything I needed except something for dinner.

I'd like to get Amazon to buy and deliver my groceries, but wouldn't that be cheating? Nowadays, I've no responsibilities that matter which warrants my using such service. Perhaps I should let other harried housewives and working women try the new method first.

But that doesn't mean I won't investigate.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Oscar Winning Movies

This is the first year in a long time that I've seen so many good movies. There was a dry spell for over five years that I'd not darken the doorway of a movie theatre. When our little community of Madison finally got its own theatre, located only a few miles from my house, I was estatic. No more going into the capitol city with my eyes darting left and right, expecting to have my purse snatched.

My sister and I have been movie and stage play aficionadas since our pre-teen years. We had a method after attending musicals in our early days: see the movie, buy the music on vinyl records, play repeatedly until we had learned the words, then on Saturday nights during "Hit Parade" sing along with the television music. As a result we can still sing when oldies are played on satellite radio. My sister kept the ball rolling, learning the words and music to Broadway shows that began in the 1970's. I faded then.

Nowadays after each movie we sit in the car or in a cafe and discuss the plot, characters, costumes, and geographical places. We usually agree with few disagreements.

Since January we've seen nearly all the movies nominated for an Oscar, missing seven.

Here are our recommendations if you happen to want a night out or an afternoon treat:

"Babel"(the four plots until the end keep you wondering why so many stories; you are surprised near the end to find the relationship of the characters in the various plots)
"Dreamgirls" (remembering the Supremes with original songs; tremendous casting; excellent acting and singing by JenniferHudson and Eddie Murphy, who should have won an oscar)
"Notes on a Scandal" (J Densch gives searing performance in this British movie)
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (great casting, seeing the other side of the taking of Iwo Jima reveals similarities to American soldiers-- subtitles)
"The Queen" (unbelievable Murren plays Q. Eliz perfectly)
"Volver" (subtitles--glimpse of Spanish customs still prevalent today)
"The Devil Wears Prada" ("Ugly Betty" tv show patterned after this one. Streep superb)

Eventually, if only through Netflix, we'll see the remainders: "Blood Diamond," "The Pursuit of Happyness," "Venus," "Half Nelson," "United 93," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "An Inconvenient Truth," although the latter not worthy of standing alongside the above movies. It should have been in another category.

This week we'll see "Wild Hogs"(old fellas trying to emulate cycle riders), "Black Snake Moon," featuring an old blues singer helping a frightened abused girl-good blues music,"and "Zodiak" about that killer we heard about years ago.

Thank goodness for $5 senior tickets!