Category Archives: Entertainment

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Oops- Missed My Day

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Jillian here. I had been thinking about what I’d blog about this month and knew the 9th was my day, of course. I got derailed as my paralegal has been out all week waiting for results from her COVID test. … Continue reading

Blessings

First of all, a belated happy Fourth of July to our U.S. readers. I hope you were able to enjoy a safe and sane day/evening.

This shelter-in-place has been both a struggle and a blessing. Staying home so much has been hard, being someone who likes to travel. We are not going through what some people are, and we’ve tried to help where we could. I know we’re lucky to be able to wait out this virus until they have a way to prevent it. But that doesn’t mean my head and heart aren’t a little screwed up. I have dips into depression that I have to claw my way out of. This hasn’t been easy for any of us and I’ve been trying to journal the process for me, as well as what I see happening in the world.

On the flip side, one of the ways I’ve tried to keep myself positive is finishing things on my to-do list. I wrote about the 30 year crocheted baby blanket a couple months ago. I’ve also designed and made birthday cards for the rest of 2020. I finished an art project – monthly door signs. I’ve been digitizing all our family movies that are on VHS tapes. Sorting through things in closets. Paring down.

I’ve also been completing some series. In books, I finally finished the 20 book Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. (That’s a HIGH recommend from me for any romance readers.) And, more recently, I finished the 22 movies in the Avengers series, from Iron Man (2008) through Endgame (2019). (And yes, I cried.)

I think I’ve had more contact with friends and family than ever before through video chats.

And I’ve learned that I don’t have to be go, go, going all day long. It’s okay to take a break and read for a while. To slow down on my daily walk and “smell the roses,” so to speak.

To laugh with my husband.

So there are a lot of blessings in my life. And if I can’t travel right now, so be it. What I can do is pray for the world. So I’m praying and counting my blessings.

I hope there are many blessings in your life.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

 

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
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Spring in November

C12D3BB9-7B5A-432B-8959-31DD8D13C38FSince we won’t be going to Arizona this coming January we decided to take the month of November to get a respite from winter. By leaving the end of October we felt safe in changing the route we usually take and instead traveled along the Columbia Gorge to Boise and then cut down on Hwy 93 at Twin Falls.

I’ve been on 93 as far as Wells Nevada quite a few times but it’s been a lot of years since I’ve been on it into Ely.  We saw a smattering of snow and Ely was experiencing some really cold weather. We spent the night there and it was supposed to get to -7 the next morning.  Karen and I dug out sweatshirts and winter coats, but it didn’t last and as we got closer to Vegas we were on the side of the road getting back to t-shirts.

Travel traffic was good until we got to Vegas. Oh my gosh, we deserved a couple of gold stars for that part of the drive. Their freeway design looks like a bowl of spaghetti.  The navigation was almost continually pointing us to take exit this, then a left, then exit that, we finally landed off the freeway and found ourselves in a downtown area. The navigation was still trying to direct us back into the freeway system, but about the time we were ready to give it another go we spotted ‘Las Vegas Blvd.’. Ah ha, Luxor, where we were staying,  is on this street.  We turned north, wrong, and after what seemed miles we turned around and started south. Now at least the distance on the navigation screen was reducing, but it was still trying to get us back on the freeway.  7 miles out we puttered down the Blvd watching as the distance between us and our destination decreased.  All this time the navigation kept chattering. The bright side of our driving adventure was that Karen hadn’t been to Vegas for years and was enjoying the view. Me, all I could see was cars and more cars. It was early afternoon but it looked more like it was in the middle commute time.

So Vegas, we bought a bus pass that enabled us to hop on and off all day. The route took us down the Las Vegas strip. A friend had told Karen to be sure and see the Venetian.  I agree it’s a must see. If you go take a look at the shop area’s  ceilings.

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Another must is the Bellagio. The conservatory defies description. Pictures don’t do it justice, but here’s the link for them.  They change the theme with the seasons and the tigers were there when we were.  They are one of the animated displays.  We played a little and browsed the Conservatory gift shop.  Then had a drink at the piano bar under a ceiling of Chihuly glass.  Loved our time there.

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Linda (friend since second grade) and I were in Vegas in 2016 and had happy hour at Trevi an Italian restaurant in Caesar’s Forum shop area where the ceiling looks like the sky.  Karen and I found it on this trip and it was as good as ever.  I had a salad … the picture it says it all.  We had a Trevi Bellini drink, a repeat of  2016.  Believe me if you go to Vegas you won’t want to miss at least stopping at the Trevi for a drink. 0B6595E9-44FE-432A-A0ED-88F9A3BE83AD

 

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From Vegas it would have been a short day to Glendale even with going through Oatman.  It was Halloween and we expected to get in early and stop for candy but hit construction. They closed the freeway so it turned out to be a two hour detour.  Again, a real driving experience.

We’ll be heading back after Thanksgiving but have so loved Arizona in November we may do it again.  A lot of pool time and lazy days.

 

 

 

 

 

Hobbits, anyone?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a J.R.R. Tolkien fan.  I love The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. My brothers are the same. We’ve each read the books, ahem, a few times. And we went together to see the movies. I even sent them quiz questions for a week before the movie premiere. 🙂

Since I have yet to determine a way to visit Hobbiton, in Auckland, New Zealand, that doesn’t involve a 14+ hour plane trip (which I may still make one of these days), I have to get my thrills locally.

I haven’t been there yet, but there’s a hobbit house in Washington State. And, get this, it’s an airbnb rental! If you want to read more about it and see pictures, check this blog:

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Recently, I found out there was a real, live, hobbit house within easy driving distance, at The Brothers Greenhouses. So on a nice, sunny, warm day in mid-October…yes, Washington State gets sun in October…we took a drive with friends to check it out. And it was a blast. It’s tiny inside, not fully built out, but the door and the ambiance were amazing. After touring the tiny home, we sat enjoying the sun, then strolled through the many greenhouses filled with plants, as well as the gift shop, with all sorts of little hobbit and fairy village trinkets to purchase.

 

I did purchase a little something for my tiny whiskey-barrel hobbit house. A miniature whiskey-barrel (not pictured). 🙂 A little memento to make me smile. This was so much fun.

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Oh, and just as exciting…okay, maybe more exciting, my newest romance novel, Rudy’s Heart, released last week. You can find out more about it on my website.

Have a wonderful November, everyone. And, for those who celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving, have an awesome, tryptophan-filled, tummy-stuffed day!

For more information about Laurie Ryan:
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Coloring Books They’re Not Just For Kids Anymore

I did a dumb trick the other day. I downloaded a coloring app to my iPad. And now I’m having trouble getting my nose out of it. It’s like – – “One more color, then one more. Okay I’ll just … Continue reading

Movie Magic…

I love the cinema. It’s one of my favourite ways to relax. We’ve seen some really great movies lately, such as Rocketman, Yesterday and, unexpectedly, Mary Poppins Returns. Yeah, I’m still a kid at heart. It’s not unusual to find me searching for a young ‘un to drag to the cinema to watch the latest Disney, or in the absence of an appropriate little person my mother gets the job. She’s game for anything…some of you might remember the Aquaman experience?

Anyway, last week we saw The Lion King. I’ve never gotten around to seeing the live show at the theatre (secretly preferring the screen to the stage) and I wasn’t expecting such an amazing movie. How on earth these creative artists and technicians manage to capture such magic on film has my total and utter respect. It was incredible, and it wasn’t long before I was totally absorbed in the story.

Now, I’m pretty stoic when watching movies and during the sad parts I remind myself that it’s only a movie and focus on where the cameras are placed to get the right angle for the shot, and how the actors are depicting the emotion, etc. (the writer in me, of course, and a little harp back to childhood when I dreamed of being a movie director). Yes, usually I can cope with that little tightness in the throat at the sad parts and get through it.

The Lion King had me blubbing like a baby.  I mean, tissue to the ready kind of blubbing. It’s the animals, I’ve always been a sucker. Can I just say Lassie, War Horse, and let’s not even mention Bambi. Okay, let’s mention Bambi. I think this is where my sad-animal-film-blubbing took root. My lovely dad always liked to tell people that when he took me to see the movie as a child, I cried so hard when Bambi’s mother died that he almost had to take me out of the cinema because I was setting all the other kids off with my wailing.

It’s not just films that have this effect on me though, I also cry at TV ads that involve animals. What a sucker 🙂

How about you? What gets you reaching for the tissues at the movies?

 

Montesano Washington

220px-Grays_Harbor_County_Courthouse_03Last week Karen and I resumed out trips to small towns. It was a beautiful day to visit the Montesano courthouse and walk along the residential streets.

The courthouse was damaged in the 1999 earthquake and I didn’t know if it was open. It was, in fact, the work to repair the quake damage led it to be restored to its former glory. The courthouse today is considered one of Washington finest and is an important part of the state’s architectural history.

The entrance is through the side making the building look like it is closed. Karen and I took a self-tour of the building. The murals in the rotunda B6B29826-E0D5-448B-B6FB-2925752DC32Aare some of many throughout the courthouse.

Just seeing the courthouse is worth the trip but the town itself is an experience. The 1987 survey made by the state referred to the county’s collection of homes as “the richest in the state”.

It was a beautiful day so when we left the courthouse we wandered down some streets. Many of the homes looked to be in the process of renovation but the Hubble House was in perfect condition and is for sale.  The listing reads 5 bedrooms – 5.25 bathrooms and 5352 square feet.  It was built in 1903.Grays-Harbor-Historic-Homes-Hubble-House-Montesano-Historic-Homes

Of course, we finished off with lunch stopping at a Mexican restaurant recommended from people we met at the courthouse.

Visiting small towns are one of my favorite out and about days.

 

Sunday Drive

Happy Spring!!!

Back a week or so we were still experiencing snow. Then with not so much as a hiccup, we are into spring weather.  And Sunday was one of those days when a drive calls you outside.

Kennedy certainly was ready.  She got her first car on Christmas but they kept it in the house for her.  No problem because she couldn’t reach the pedal.  This girl isn’t even two and of course the recommended age as noted on the box the car came in, is way above that.  No matter, Kennedy doesn’t read yet and we are pretty sure she wouldn’t heed the age anyway.

This is Kennedy’s first time driving. Her daddy put a block on the pedal so she could reach.  The first ‘starts’ she makes reminds me of my first car and the horrible ‘clutch’.  🙂

The video tells the story far better than words.  You can hear mommy giving directions and laughing.  We do a lot of laughing with this wonderful little girl.

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Winter Cabin and my own Aquaman adventure

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We recently did our annual winter cabin with our children and grandchildren. There wasn’t as much snow, but there was enough. As always, the food was amazing, the games were fun, and the conversations…well, they’ll fill me with contentedness for … Continue reading

Adventures at the Movies…

I really love going to the cinema and get my fix twice a month during movie night with friends at our town hall. We see and enjoy a variety of movies ranging from romantic comedies to action adventures to the more highbrow art(y) films.

Last month, for a variety of reasons (ha!) I wanted to see Aquaman. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an available option at our local so I was happy to venture into the city (such is my fan-girldom for a certain Mr. Momoa) but none of my girls could make the dates. Not to be discouraged, I talked two of my neighbour’s little boys into coming with me. It was all set, until the oldest boy fell and hurt his leg putting him out of action (he’s currently doing very well, thank goodness, and well on the way to recovery).

Of course, I could have dragged AJ along, especially with the promise of some pick-n-mix chocolate-covered brazils to assist his long-suffering-ness, but couldn’t put him through it (he gets a kind of motion sickness watching action movies on the big screen). To be fair, he did bag me a consolation prize as you can see in the photo. 20190111_120440

So, I became resigned to going it alone with just popcorn and a fizzy drink for company. But then I was having a whinge to my mum about my forthcoming solo visit and “I’ll come with you,” she said. Now, Aquaman is not my mum’s kind of film and I felt compelled to point that out. Regardless, she was adamant she was coming with me. So, off we went. We had a lovely day in the city: shopping, having lunch, more shopping, afternoon tea and finally, with our (ahem) many purchases in tow, we headed for the cinema. We splashed out on VIP seats and settled in to watch the movie.

I knew my mum wouldn’t really be enjoying it, and checked in with her a few times, only to get a smile and a thumbs-up in respone. Satisfied she was fine, I got lost in the movie. When it ended, she asked if I’d enjoyed it. I told her I did and asked if she had enjoyed it, too. She looked decidedly mischevious as she smiled and said, “Well, it was far too noisy for me, so I turned off my hearing aid and had a little nap. Whenever I opened my eyes, I just looked at the screen. That aqua person was very easy on the eye.”

20181228_200148Gotta love my mum. She’s game for just about anything. And she was still smiling when I took this photo of her as we left the cinema foyer and I whisked her to the nearest bar for a well-deserved glass of her favourite vino before heading home.

Now, I’m counting the days before Aquaman comes to DVD 🙂