Peaches Prattlings

{November 28, 2017}   I’m home and it’s date night!

It’s Monday, and after a great week and weekend, it was time to head home and away I went!

I boarded my first flight, settled in, connected to WiFi and started working. I worked and watched movies on both my flights, even caught a few zzzz’s, could be why I’m wide awake at 10:17pm Pacific Island time!

PSM was able to meet me at the airport, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other, just about 36 hours! On the way home, we decided we would get some dinner and then see a movie.

So, off to the movie theater complex and went to Gyu-Koku, Japanese BBQ, a few tasty treats for dinner and then a movie! We went to see Justice League and we both loved it!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about the movie, but right now, I think I need to pass out! I just sat down and my body is telling me what time it thinks it is!

That being said, have a great night!

{November 24, 2017}   Thanksgiving is over…right?

Nope! Ha ha!

Thanksgiving was yesterday, here we are on Friday, most people are maybe tightening their belts again after their Thanksgiving meals yesterday and some people are black Friday shopping. No thanks.

Ok, I can’t say that completely. We have PSM’s family Chanukah party tomorrow and we need gifts for all the kids, uh oh. But first…

I need to prep a turkey! I know, you’re like what? Aren’t you vegan JJ? Yup! The vegan is prepping the turkey! The family seems to love my champagne turkey, I’ve been doing it for years! Super simple recipe [1 stick of butter, cubed, under the skin, 2 apples halved, in the cavity, 1 tbsp garlic powder, put the turkey in a roasting bag, cover with 1 bottle of champagne, seal the bag, cook for about 3-31/2 hours at 350 and fall off the bone, moist turkey, enjoy!]

And I’ll explain about the turkey in a moment. As the turkey is cooking, I took a shower and then ran out to Five Below, a fabulous store where everything is five dollars or below, It’s better than the dollar store, pretty good stuff and I found something for everyone.

Back to the house, check on the turkey and spend time with the folks who have shown up. And what are they here for? Thanksgiving round two! GES’ b-i-l and s-i-l spend Thanksgiving with AS’ family and on Friday, they come to GES’ house for another Thanksgiving celebration. We were joined by J&E K, their kids and EJS had a friend over as well. I think there may have been more food than at the two meals yesterday! Crazy! What a wonderful afternoon spent with friends and family, the celebration and love continued.

After lunch, PSM and I headed out to K&D N’s house for an evening ‘with the gang’. K&D N and their kids, SC, S&B B and their kids, G&J B and their kids and there are always extra kids there or coming with the other families, it’s fabulous. There was food, drink, laughter, catching up and a few games of Pitch. This is a card game I was told I’d played before, but I don’t remember! But I will now! Apparently, I did alright, probably beginners luck, but I’m game to try again!

What a fun evening! Then it was back to GES’ house, I needed to make a quiche for tomorrow and wrap presents, we have the family Chanukah party tomorrow!

What a great day!

{November 23, 2017}   I’m Thankful For…

It’s Thanksgiving 2017 and don’t we have so much to be thankful for? I do! Where do I start?

There is so much to be thankful for, every day we should be thankful, I know am, but it’s interesting that we almost boil it down to one day, but that’s not even true, is it? It’s more like we boil it down to one day to shout it from the rooftops! We are all thankful in some small way each and every day, but may not express it to everyone. Today, we feel the gratitude well up in our hearts and want to share it with everyone and that’s why we gather together with friends and family to tell them how we feel and that’s what I’m going to do with you now!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving holiday? For me, typical, ha ha. Got up, spent a little time with the family before EJS, dad and ACS went off to the local high school for the big Thanksgiving rivalry football game. Now, this is what I call a rivalry, it’s been going on since 1882! Now, that is something! They came back at half time, apparently, the visitors were sitting in the shade and in Boston, in the fall/winter cusp, pretty cold!

GES, PSM, MGS and I had a nice breakfast of eggs and home made waffles, GES was prepping for what she needed for Thanksgiving dinner at S&T S’s house. GES and I talked about what to cook for tomorrow’s second Thanksgiving lunch with ACS’ brother and sister-in-law. Then…

PSM and I went to visit his family, first stop, was to meet his mom, aunt and grandparents in two lovely cemeteries, not far from my sister’s house. It was a nice tribute and a special time for both of us. He tries to visit at least once a year and he is faithful about it and this year, I was able to join him and visit their graves and hear wonderful stories, I was honored that he asked me to join him.

The next stop was his brother, SM’s house. There, it was several families for appetizers, then some of the family go to their aunt’s sister’s house and the rest of us stayed for a nice meal. His brother doesn’t care for turkey, so there is chicken and brisket. I had plenty to eat, don’t you worry! A great time talking, catching up, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company.

A few hours later, we left to go to S&T S’s house for their Thanksgiving dinner. My sister hosts the Jewish holidays and TS host Thanksgiving and wow! Do you see the cornucopia she made? And the Oreo turkeys? They have little kids, so it’s always fun to see what cute treats they are going to come up with each year. We always arrive at the tail end of dinner, just in time for a taste of the meal, then clean up, we seem to time that just right, hmmm. Then chatting and then dessert, sounds good to me! More laughing, talking, catching up, enjoying each other’s company.

Oh yeah, of course there was some football thrown in, along with Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. This is a Thanksgiving staple and I don’t feel the holiday is complete without it!

After dessert, eventually it was time to clean up and head home. Jammies, games with the girls, movies and bed. I think that is a full day.

Now, since I’ve told you about my day, I want to tell you what I am thankful for and I hope you will indulge me for a moment.

I am thankful for a job that I love that affords me the opportunity to learn new things, explore strange new worlds, to boldly go…just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Thankful that it gives me the opportunity to travel to see friends and family and explore new places. It’s brought people into my life who I value and now regard as friends.

To my friends who are my family, I am so thankful that you allow me to be a part of your lives, to accept me for who and what I am, and I know it can be trying at times, but you don’t throw it back in my face and hope you know I value and love you more than I could ever say.

My friends in Georgia, who make time for me when I come to visit, do you have any idea how amazing that is for me? The fact that we have stayed friends after I moved away, is a testament to the bonds we formed so many years ago and I cannot imagine my life without you in it. Actually, I refuse!

I am so thankful to have a group of people in my life that have stayed with me and reunited with me after the thing that brought us together is in the past. I have my kids, who I reconnected with after a very long time, who love me and make me feel welcome and loved. I knew the minute I met them that I wanted them in my life and I was lucky to help raise them and the memories they have. And that they want to spend time with me, now, that’s the real bonus!

My son, WCH, who is as wonderful, special and goofy, as ever, has brought a girl into his life and now mine who I am looking forward to getting to know better. My daughter, TYL, a bright, fabulous woman and amazing mother, has given me a grandson I get to spend time with, love on and spoil with hugs and kisses, what could be better!

KAB and CS, who first made me JJ! have given me four amazing, wonderful and very special grandchildren that I have spent the last six plus years getting to know, love and adore. Yeah, pretty special!

PSM’s family. To them, I am thankful to have been welcome and accepted as a part of the family, it was almost immediate and an amazing feeling. I am thankful to be allowed in to witness the love and affection they all have for each other and for PSM, how much they love and cherish him, yeah, wow.

To PSM’s friends, they couldn’t wait to meet me, but they were cautious, he is after all, their friend and we are all protective of our friends, especially the ones that are like family. I guess I won them over, because the love I feel when we are all together and that I am included in the events in their lives, pretty special.

To the extended family in Boston, I came as a package deal with my sister, but I was welcomed into the fold and never felt anything but a part of their worlds. I was auntie J to my nieces and why wouldn’t I become auntie J to all of their kids? I may have mentioned once or twice or a thousand times how much I love that! As my sister once said, you don’t have to be related by blood to be family.

LaLa came into our lives almost thirteen years ago and has been such a strong force in it since. The girls have a grandmother that dotes on them and when they get to spend time together, it’s definitely a treat!

Then there is my sister and her family. It’s not a visit when I come to Boston, it’s just a weekend, yup, I’m supposed to be there and it’s like any other day and that’s the way it should be, right? I sneak in late at night, kiss the girls while they sleep, big hugs when they get up in the morning, laughs, hugs, giggles, tickling, silliness. How long are you staying? Why can’t you stay longer? Oh man do I love to hear that! Sometimes it’s from GES and not just the girls! Big sister/auntie love!

My dad, what can I say about my dad that you haven’t already heard? He’s funny, goofy, smart, clever, a fighter, champion, granddad/Poppa extraordinaire. He is always in our corner, no matter what happens and will go to bat for us when we need it. GES and I were so lucky to grow up with a dad like him and I feel so fortunate for my girls that they have grandfather as awesome as he is. I am just thankful that he not only loves us, but likes us, just as we are. Oh, most thankful is that he got to pick my name! Ha Ha!

To PSM, my friend, my partner, my love. The goofy, sensitive, scary smart, talented, geeky, gentle, sexy, guy that took me to an Irish pub on our first date almost three years ago who has shared so much with me these past, almost three years! I am thankful for that brain, that heart, that love of exploring, new places, things, tastes, sounds, sights. I am thankful for his spirit his sense of indignation when someone is wronged and how he will go to bat for what he believes in, there’s a lot more, but I’ll save the rest for him. Mostly, I am thankful that he likes and loves me just the way I am, as frustrating as that can be sometimes! He said he’ll take it, and I think he means it!

Lastly, to you, my friends, I am thankful that you take this journey with me, almost every day. You are curious to what I have to say, what I want to share and sometimes, you just want to laugh and for those things and so many more, I am and forever will be grateful to you. You’ve stuck with me for almost five years and I hope you will continue this adventure wherever it chooses to take us!

{November 21, 2017}   Goodbye Friend

It is with great sadness that I write this post tonight. A friend from high school passed away today.

I don’t want to talk as much about the loss, but the life and the love for that life. CPG passed today after a long battle with brain cancer. What a force she was.

We weren’t very close in high school, but through the years, like with many, Facebook brought us together and over those years, we laughed, shared, bonded, cried, screamed, encouraged and lived. She was such a fighter, she gave the disease a serious run for the money, when they say she didn’t go down without a fight, they meant it.

It’s hard to hide things on Facebook and CPG didn’t, she chose to share her journey with all of us, sometimes looking for encouragement, love and understanding and sometimes to get some of the frustration and anger she was feeling out. There were things we agreed on and things we didn’t, but that’s what makes us all individuals, we have that right.

My sister is my hero and a survivor, I learned so much watching and being with her as she went through treatment. What it did was teach me how to handle certain situations, what someone might be going through on their own journey, their own battle. I remember how my sister rocked the bald, so beautiful and brave and when it was finally time for CPG to rock the bald, I was right there with everyone telling her how amazing she looked and she did. Beauty comes from within and she was a stunner!

CPG had been posting up until about two weeks ago and then I didn’t see much from her on Facebook. The last post I really remember was about November 8th, a picture she posted of her fur baby, Cooper, and then, nothing. A few days later, people started posting to her wall words of love, hope, faith, encouragement, prayer. There were pictures of friends together, memories throughout the years, Facebook memories, random thoughts.

On November 16th, her husband, sent us a message through her page that she was comfortable, getting great care and although she wasn’t reading the posts herself, her family was reading them to her, so thankful for the love, support, prayers and messages we were posting, she was hearing them and it was a comfort to the entire family.

Since then, such an outpouring of posts on Facebook, candles in windows, lights and love in every message, family photos, friends, and Disney quotes and images. The girl was a Disney fanatic! I thought I was one, I think I might have to bow down to her. What I loved about that, so many amazing quotes from Disney and images that touched us thinking about her.

This morning, at 9:41am, her husband posted that we all lost a friend today. As much as we mourn the loss of a friend and send love to her friends and family, we must also celebrate the amazing woman that she was and what a light she brought to all of us.

She brought so many people together, some that knew her from childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, mom’s groups, teams, school, the kids lives she touched, she was so honored they called her Homie G! she was a second mom to the kids she knew and her kids friends, people that kept in touch every day and some sporadically.

Just look at what she loved to post on Facebook and share with the rest of us. Family, friends, her kids, her husband, who was at her side every step of the way. Photos of him sitting with her on transfusion and treatment days, shaving her head, sharing her journey through this POS disease. When it was time to share with the middle school kids what she had been going through since 2013, what would it be like, the new love she discovered when that time came.

Her love of…everything! Her friends, family, fur babies, her photography, the photos that she submitted and won contests for, her blog posts, her journey through life, it touched us all and there was no better tribute than to see what people have been posting for the last few days. The lights shining for her, the Disney posts, the words of encouragement and love. She touched us all is so many ways and so many different ways.

CPG will be missed, but she will also be celebrated for a life lived to its fullest and that is what she did.

Thank you CPG for what you brought to my life, I will always think of you and smile knowing what you meant to me and everyone who had the honor to know you and maybe even count you as a friend.

{November 19, 2017}   ST2 O M G!!!

What am I supposed to do with my life now?!

I am, of course, if you have been living under a rock and just don’t know…talking about Stranger Things Season 2! I just finished binge watching season 2. I was hoping to binge watch it when it first came out, but my schedule just did not permit and Netflix was being a pita and not working on the downloads with me, grrr.

I watched the first three episodes sporadically, while I was on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym, but tonight, I had the time and finished the last three episodes and I am so glad I did, but now, I feel lost! What do I do with my time!

I am still kind of surprised that I liked this show, I’m not that into the supernatural and it’s got monsters and scary stuff, but there are a few factors I think that transcend. It’s a mini series, it’s centered around kids and they prevail, the heroes even, the bad guys get what’s coming to them, almost and it’s nostalgic, set in the 1980’s so those of us who lived through the 80’s can relate and it feels like there are more of us than kids today watching it. And, MP, a friend from college, said, “Any season willing to build its story around Dig Dug has me hooked for life! S2 was sublime”! I LOVE THAT!

He’s right! A series built around a 1980’s video game, but not focused on the game, works for me too. I was a huge fan of video games in the 80’s, mostly Ms. Pacman and Pacman, and Tetris. I played others, like Dig Dug, Frogger, Donkey Kong, but they weren’t my focus like Ms. Pacman.

I remember watching season 1 thinking there is no way they can top this, and they did! I am tempted to watch season one and two soon, but…I’m also tempted to just wait until season 3 comes out. What? I have to wait an entire year? THAT does not make me happy!

Now, there are things I didn’t groove on, and of course, these are strictly my opinions, of course. Some character development. Billy and Max[ine]…You eventually find out why Billy is the way he is, but there is no indication where these two came from and why they are in Hawkins at all. What purpose does Billy serve except to cause trouble and be a tool. Why was it important to introduce Max into the group? Did they need another female? Was the dynamic off because Eleven was gone? Was it just to cause tension between the guys? An adolescent thing? She helps, but did she need to be there?

Dr. Owens, is he good? Bad? Transformed? All I kept thinking was, is he going to change his mind? Is he actually going to do something positive? He definitely evoked negative feelings towards him. You have to have someone from Hawkins Labs to dislike, right?

Bob. Oh Bob. I think like a lot of people, we were skeptical of Bob, he’s interested in Joyce, but was he a spy or just a really good guy, one of the good guys, who really likes her and her kids. He’s an all around good guy geek, that was enough for me.

Kali, the lost sister. She’s in, she’s out. Yeah, that’s about it. Will we see her again? Can Eleven change her mind on the way she sees the world? Will they see each other again? Can she do good with her powers?

Mama, Becky. Eleven found them, now what?

Emotions for what was happening. The loss! I didn’t see some of it coming, did you?! I remember in the middle of binging, all I posted to Facebook was “NOOOOOOT BOB! NOOOOOOO” And the reaction I got was awesome! One person said who is Bob and what happened, I knew they had no idea, but the rest, priceless! Isn’t that awesome when you can post something like that and everyone knows what you’re talking about! I honestly thought he might turn up somewhere towards the end of the show. Of course, who knows what’s going to happen next season!

Plot questions…Hopper and Joyce? Max and Lucas? Mike Wheeler and Eleven, will it be able to blossom? Jonathon and Nancy? Did you cheer for that one? Is Steve going to be alright on his own? Billy and all the lonely moms? Did Dustin’s hair eventually do the trick?

I got done with this series and felt like I did at the end of reading the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, which I read pretty quickly in a row. What do I do now? I am lost, I was so focused on the show, nothing else matters! There have been others, binge watching doesn’t always help with giving yourself time to figure out what to do next or in between. You have it and it’s gone.

People have tried to fill in gaps on what they think I should watch, Game of Thrones, Vikings, Walking Dead, but none of them appeal to me. I’ll find something.

It’s hard to say if this series is for you, turns out it was for me. If you like mystery, intrigue, Sci Fi, exploration, powers, magic, the unknown, hope, kids persevering, goofy adults, believing in yourself and sometimes, when you can’t, others believe in you, friendship, love, truth, grit, inner strength, friendship. Yup I listed friendship twice, it’s that important.
Well, if any of that sounds like you, give it a shot, it’s only nine episodes, what have you got to lose, except a few hours and if you like it, you’ll be like me!

ST2…O M G!

And let me tell you why.

I hope as you are reading this, those of you that know me and some who don’t, please feel free to laugh as I am sharing all of this with you. I can assure you, I was not laughing at the time these events were happening, but we have to have a sense of humor in our lives, don’t we? And as I’ve told some people, they couldn’t help but laugh and that’s ok!

Last week, I was very happy, I believe I shared the one night that I cooked dinner and did laundry! Does that mean my life is so sad that laundry and cooking,which is a chore for most people is a treat for me? Ha ha. A little bit of normalcy is nice. Sometimes, things like this make me forget that I live in a hotel.

So, I was happy at the Homewood Suites, when I found out I was going to be in the same location the next week, I got right onto our travel port so I could book the next week at the same hotel, no dice. Every Hilton hotel within a 25 minute drive from the client site was sold out, seriously! And no one seems to know why! So…on a recommendation I went into Wisconsin, which this hotel was 23 minutes in the other direction from the client site. This is fine, I have no problem being a short drive away.

Now, where I was staying was near an outlet mall, great for shopping, but…there is nothing else in the area. At the outlet mall, there was a food court with minimal options, I was happy to have that one night and it wasn’t great. The rest of the area, fast food, pizza and sit down restaurants that had not a thing for me. Even the restaurant at the hotel, the best they could do was take stuff off their salads, leaving me with, um, lettuce and maybe radishes. Fun…

So, when I looked online for delivery, I found something and it had four restaurants it was associated with, either pizza, sandwiches or Olive Garden. Ok, I can do Olive Garden, it’s safe and who doesn’t like salad and bread sticks!

It said delivery, but couldn’t figure out how to do that, so I called. Nope, well, they do deliver for a minimum of $100, what? Then you need to contact this delivery service to have your restaurant removed. I think that night I ended up eating cereal. Ugh…

I had gone to the grocery store the first day for lunch and got things that I could have for breakfast and snack on at the hotel and during the day. Once night I ate cereal and fake bologna and cheese! No, not a sandwich, well,maybe a bologna and hand sandwich! Ha ha.

The reason for all of this, is there are some nights I do not feel like going out to dinner or driving to pick it up, please just make it appear in front of me! I hope laughter is happening right now!

I had checked with the front desk, ‘um, I’m not sure, we have pizza delivery’ ‘oh wait, there is a grocery store, almost like an oversized farmers market, they should have things you can eat’ great! I went, it was ginormous and surprisingly, had some amazing vegan options. Even vegan bento boxes, I was saved! I would have food for the week! Wahoo! I get this healthy basket of food, and by that, yes, healthier options, but a nicely filled basket. See that use of healthy, ooh.

I get to the register, self scan all my items and what? They don’t take credit cards? Debit and cash only?! Seriously!? There is a cash machine in the lobby, but I don’t carry an ATM card with me, it’s in my bag, in the hotel. grrrr Maybe she could have mentioned that?

I ended up at Noodle & Co, it was fine, not what I was looking for, but it was edible and I was hungry. At this point, I am on the phone with PSM just not a happy camper. “It took me frizzle, frazzle, frick, frack, to find food” and a few more choice expletives. He was very sweet, thought being empathetic would be helpful. Um…I do love that he tried.

So, that was the food saga. I’m so glad I bought food at the grocery store earlier in the week.

Now, the room…it was a nice room, a suite. It had a living room with a sofa, desk and tv, the vanity was in the middle on the right, toilet and shower on the left, then a separate bedroom.

All fine, pleasant, clean, just what I expected. What I didn’t expect was that when I turned the heat on and yes, I needed the heat, that didn’t mean when I turned it on, I expected to get an arctic blast, nope, didn’t expect that at all!

I thought it was odd, so I turned up the heat, eventually, I just turned it off. That was fun. Finally, on Wednesday evening, I called the front desk. The less than confidence inducing front desk guy came upstairs, suit too big unkempt looking and all he did was tell me to turn the heat off and let the hotel heat the room.

He told me that the maintenance guys come in at 7am and I can send them up. I informed him that I didn’t want anyone coming to my room at 7am, but I would be gone at 8am and they had free reign to it. Guess what didn’t happen…

When I got back to the hotel last night, I called the front desk, she saw the note, but said no one had been up there and sent up one of the housekeeping staff. His suggestion was to turn the heat up to 90 and leave it there, um…

Next thing I realized that every morning, the tv would turn on about 4am, what? There must have been an alarm set for it to turn on. It didn’t click until this morning, the morning I am checking out. Who does that?!

Not staying there again, we can agree on that.

Then…my flight tonight was delayed, not a problem, I wasn’t connecting anywhere, so no worries if we were late. But, that wasn’t the case for some of the other passengers. One in particular, the guy behind me. Talked the flight attendant’s ear off, as if she could make us get there sooner.

His frustration also included pushing my chair a fair amount and when I glanced back, he finally realized, stopped and apologized. Then, we land, the pilot had to tell people to stay seated, we weren’t even at the gate yet. Um, that was a good three or four times. Then, we’re at the gate and he is up and out of his seat.

This was a rather unkempt person, I was destined to meet a few this week apparently. He was up, out of his seat and practically pushing people out of the way. You could hear him, first on his phone talking to someone, that they had better have his bags wherever he was going, he had f’ing interviews and f’ing this and that.

He kept saying he had a connection and a few of our fellow passengers said they did too, but I guess his was more important than anyone else’s. It went on like this, him bouncing and complaining for a good five minutes, at least, then he almost pushed people down as he made his way to the exit. Fun, huh?

So, needless to say, this was not the most fun week I have had on the road, but I managed to get a lot of work done and a lot of good work done, so there is a plus and when you are out in the middle of nowhere, less interruptions.

Oh, my week did include holiday movies in the background and no one could say boo!

Here’s to a great weekend and next week, a new week and guess what is going to happen? I’m going spend the holiday with family and friends in Boston. Yeah me!

{November 14, 2017}   Murder on the Orient Express


Was that enough? No, not nearly! Dad and I went to see Murder on the Orient Express on Saturday afternoon. It had everything we like in a movie, mystery, intrigue, murder, comedy, suspense and a great story line.

Both of us happen to love Agatha Christie stories and this is one of her better ones. We both remember watching the 1974 version with Lauren Bacall and Albert Finney in the role of Hercule Poirot. I remember seeing it, but I didn’t remember the outcome, this brought it all back.

The story line is simple, so to speak. It’s about a murder on a train, everyone is a suspect and the famed detective, Hercule Poirot is tasked with tracking down and identifying the killer. Everyone is a suspect, but of course! And everyone has a secret to hide, but the celebrated detective has his ways and leaves no stone un-turned and will root out what they are hiding and turn the culprit in.

Now, let’s talk about the cast! Oh boy, talk about star studded! We start with Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, who also directed and cleverly and with style and panache. He was great with character development and background and intrigue. He really brought you into the story, emotions ran high, low, sideways. Dad and I agreed, he wasn’t our favorite Poirot, but he was a formidable character. Traditionally, Poirot is short and round, neither of which is our star, but he had the moustache, quirks and amazing use of those grey cells that he is famous for.

Johnny Depp is the creepy mobster, you instantly don’t like him, but you’re not sure why, you know nothing about him right away, but you don’t like the look of him. Josh Gad is his week assistant, comes off with bravado, but you know he’s all show.

Daisy Ridley, played Mary the governess, who you might know better as Rey from the new Star Wars series, was a fiery red-head with the smarts and a temper to match. Leslie Odom Jr was the doctor on his way home, confident, always offering a helping hand and inserted a bit of tension in the air for some of the other characters as the only person of color on the train.

Penelope Cruz was the pious bible thumper with a past, Derek Jacobi is Johnny Depp’s man servant, I was about to say just as he should be for that time, but he wasn’t. He was a servant, but he stood up to and talked back to his employer on occasion, he had his reasons.

There is a countess, ill and tired all the time and her hot headed husband, ready to knock anyone’s block off just for looking at his wife the wrong way. Dame Judy Dench plays a princess and every bit the obnoxious snob we hope royalty is not like and her lady in waiting, Olivia Colman, falling over herself to do what her royal demands.

The cast is rounded out by Michele Pfeiffer, who played the older American flirt who chatters on, giving off the air that she is looking for husband or lover number…I think she may have lost count and Willem Dafoe is the German professor with an attitude.

No one is exactly who you are led to believe, as with all good mysteries and it does leave you wondering at every turn…what’s going to happen next? Was it her? Was it him? Was it them? What are they hiding? No, that couldn’t be it, really?

And then the big finish, the climax when all is revealed and for this story, what a true surprise ending should be. A surprise!

I don’t know if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, mysteries, period pieces, a good story line, but this has all of that and so much more. The costumes, the sets, the locations, the lighting, the music the moods. The steam train itself inspired me, it’s something I have always wanted to try, the rail across the country, in an old sleeper car, how magnificent would that be!?

Dad and I both loved it and I would say we both give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone. Enjoy!

Oh what a weekend I had with my dad! Let me tell you all about it!

Now, sit back and relax, because I just spent a fun filled weekend with my dad and I’m going to share it all with you! And I got there Thursday night, so this is a full weekend sharing!

I got in Thursday evening, earlier than I thought I was going to be there, so I was quite pleased. Except for the long commute from the airport to dad’s house, now that was not fun. I went from Long Island to Brooklyn to Manhattan to Brooklyn to Staten Island. Seriously?! Argh!

I finally made it! Hugs, kisses, hugs and kisses, catch up and food! We ordered sushi, it was all veggie, wahoo! And yummy! Nice that we could share and he was good with veggie and not fish. whew! We ate, caught up, talked, laughed, it was great.

Then the festivities started. We put on comfy clothes and started watching Ghostbusters, the one that came out last year, he hadn’t seen it yet, good thing I own it! He liked it! We laughed a lot, I had forgotten how much I actually liked it! We didn’t get through the whole thing, it was late, so we turned in, knowing we would watch the rest Friday.

Friday morning came too early, no alarm, but I was still up too early! I started working when I got up, broke eventually for breakfast, back to work, break for lunch, back to work. I kept going until about 4:30, then it was time to go out and run errands. Bed, Bath & Beyond and Best Buy. Treats for all! Then on the way home, Chinese food for dinner at a very popular joint! At home, we finished Ghostbusters, then started watching Versailles and he sucked me in!

Saturday, I actually slept past 8am! Relaxing, wahoo! I watched a new baking competition show, breakfast, relax, hang out, then…movie date! Murder on the Orient Express. LOVED IT! Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about it!

A few more errands, Best Buy and Bed, Bath & Beyond again, we love those two places. Love my new slipper socks? Time for food, Mediterranean, it was nice to share the entire meal. Lentil soup, hummus, babaganoush, bean salad, shepard’s salad, couscous, doesn’t that sound fabulous!

Back home and more Versailles, it’s addictive, darn it! Dessert too! I brought my dad one of those cookie dough cups, he loved it, I knew he would. More Versailles, boy is it violent, the intrigue, the sex, the violence, the sneaking around, the sneaky behavior, the underhandedness, the you name it, it happened!

Sunday morning came and it was breakfast, pack and then next movie date! Thor: Ragnorak. LOVED it! We laughed and laughed and really enjoyed it! It was fun figuring out who the actors were, the previews, deciding if we’re going to see any of them!

Then it was a late lunch, finish packing and getting ready to head to the airport. Then…it was time to go, boo.

It was such a great weekend, I had so much fun with my dad, it was great spending time together, we laughed so much. I can’t wait for a repeat!

{November 11, 2017}   Happy birthday WCH!!

It’s actually CH, his given name is WCH and we just called him by his middle name.

Did you need to know all that? Probably not, but it’s my blog, ha ha! But what you do need to know is that November 11th is a very important to me. It’s the day my son, WCH was born!

I met WCH about a month after his seventh birthday and it was love at first site! We hit it off immediately, I get along with kids, but this one was special. His sister, TYL, now she was another story, a much tougher customer! She was very protective of her dad and brother and I respected that very much.

WCH was cute and funny and shorter than me! He was loving and sweet and a hugger and a love muffin and a snuggler, oh we all loved Saturday and Sunday mornings, they used to crawl in bed with me and we wild talk and cuddle and laugh and tickle and be silly, just like parents and kids should be!

It was such a treat to watch him grow up into this amazing man I see before me today. A very smart kid, on occasion I wasn’t sure if he any common sense, but I think that’s part of being a kid!

Today, seeing the amazing man he has become is so fabulous. He is a wonderful husband, a doting uncle and always a kickin’ brother! He is confident in the kitchen and everyone works for and with him respects him and values this relationship.

It makes me swell with so much pride to see him today and hope that I had a small part to play is his amazingness for the time we were together as a family when he was a kid.

Happy, happy, happy to a man I still think of as my baby boy! I hope today is as fabulous as you!

{November 10, 2017}   Happy birthday Saint J!

No, you didn’t miss a religious holiday! This is the birthday of family!

I have told you about Mr & Mrs B before, they are LBK’s parents. I even told you a little about them earlier in the week, they are KK’s grandparents!

Mrs. B worked with my mom for years at the same school. They started when I was a kid, so the two families became great friends. We celebrated holidays together, their house was the first time I decorated a Christmas tree! They had latkes and lit a menorah at our house. We’ve celebrated birthdays together and traveled together, as families when we were kids and adults with our respective families.

They are an amazing family and Mr & Mrs B are like another fabulous set of parents. They have been there through all the good and bad my family has been through, as we have for theirs. They remember every birthday, not only dad and LaLa, but GES, me, EJS and MGS and dad does the same for them and LBK and her kids. They are also catholic, hence, the reason we dubbed Mrs B as Saint J when I was younger.

I used to cal them by their first names and then as soon as I was in a class that Mr B taught, they became Mr & Mrs B to me. I even address their cards as ‘Mr & Mrs ‘The Bs’. I’ll never forget one day Mrs B said “You know, you could call can all us J & E”, um, nope! I tried, not going to happen.

Today is Mrs B’s birthday and should be celebrated! Mrs B is getting to do what she loves today, spend the day with her family! Happy birthday Saint J! I hope today is as fabulous as you!

et cetera