Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013 Round Up and Pinspirations

Dog image from 123RF. Rope frame by MandaBean (no longer available). Font is Kristen ITC.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I don't think I did much if any reading at all this month, except at the doctor's office. Still need to finish the third Lord of the Rings book. Maybe once May shows are over. You may have noticed that I tend to read in spurts. Maybe I should only include this question on months where I've actually read something? Or maybe I should include some good internet articles I've read? That might keep this space a little less boring! LOL

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: Just the usual stuff for the most part. I did watch my first episode of Rawhide. Actually, I watched two! It was interesting. Definitely bizarre hearing everyone call Clint Eastwood "kid" though (I think of him as an older gray haired man).
* New Films: We caught a few this month, all quite different from each other. We're nothing if not eclectic!
- Moneyball - This was a lot of fun to watch, especially when my husband is a Bill James junkie. All of the performances were really great.
- Absolute Power - It's worth watching just for the one major scene between Clint Eastwood and Ed Harris. I liked it. Clint Eastwood really is great, and we always love Laura Linney (an early roll for her).
- Men in Black III - The original is still the best, but this was fun to watch. (Not necessarily a great movie, but still fun.) Josh Brolin is simply *uncanny* as a young Tommy Lee Jones. I mean WOW! Absolutely amazing.
- The Iron Lady - This was good. Slow, but not in a bad way; it was very intentional. Meryl Streep is, as always, amazing.
- Space Jam - Not a great movie, but not bad. Some great homages to the classic Looney Tunes, some other sports and animation funnies. Enjoyable (once).
* Old Favorites: Rise of the Guardians, Paycheck, Willow, The Princess Bride

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
Meeting up with all of our college friends at a Georgia Tech baseball game while my best friend Connie was visiting was awesome!

Watching my brother be interviewed on television about his new book was super cool.

And we had the privilege of attending our niece's birthday party again this year. My SIL did such an amazing job on this party! I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I was largely confined to the couch (I was still fully on crutches at that point).

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
A friend at work took me out to lunch and gave me a gift card to our local movie theater as a thank you for all of my help the last six months. That was super-sweet of her! We also took gifts for both of our nieces when we visited them in North Carolina.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

My "ugly boots." That's what I've taken to calling my doctor "prescribed" high top boots. All he required was a supportive high top shoe that covered the knobs of my ankle. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, unless you're a woman with wide feet.

What new foods, recipes, or restaurants did I try this month?
Didn't do so well with the cooking, but we did try a new "fast food" hibachi place near our house. My parents have an excellent one near them, and we've been hoping to find one for a while. This one was okay. The quality of the meet was good, but the "hibachi flavor" I think of was largely missing. It was good, just not the hibachi taste I was after. And they use *way* too much pepper in their rice, to the point that I almost could not eat it. We'll keep looking (and eating at my parents' place when we visit!).

What Pinspirations did I try this month (besides any recipes above)?
I was barely even on Pinterest this month until the very end, much less actually trying to do something from there. Things are a bit of a whirlwind right now with work, and it is "throwing off my groove."

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
As great as our niece's birthday party was, it did have one not so pleasant aspect: Luke got stung for the first time.We actually have no idea what stung him. He came in from outside to find me on the couch, and said "Mommy, I think I got stung on my back." And I was thinking, yeah right, no way you would be this calm if that's what happened. I pulled up his shirt, and right between his shoulder blades as clear as day was a sting. There's really nothing else it could have been. There was no stinger left in it, so that was good. We dosed him up with some Tylenol and some Benedryl (just in case!), but he was fine.

In other news, I had a sore throat for three days that has now progressed to phlemy cough, I had been more or less keeping it at bay with Mucinex for the last few days, but yesterday and today I have gotten noticeably worse. If I start having difficulty breathing (and I predict I will soon), it will be off to the doctor for me, probably by Friday.

What were my accomplishments this month?

Click to biggify.

I helped conduct interviews for first time. I've never been an interviewer before. I was anxious about how I would know or decide who the best candidate is, but several people told me that I would "just know," and they were right. The best candidate was very obvious. He's only been with us a week, but so far, he's keeping up pretty well.

In ankle related news, I successfully managed to survive a 14 hour car trip when I was fully on crutches and not allowed to walk on it at all. That wasn't fun, but it got done. With purchase of the ugly boots, I have been freed from my orthopedic boot, which means I can also now sleep on my stomach again. It's like heaven! And I am going both up and down stairs on my feet. It's one step at a time, like a little kid, but so much better than crawling up and scooting down. My physical therapist thinks I am doing really well. He said that I exceeded the 2 week goals he had set for me by 50% in most cases. I am now either in or very near to the normal range for all measurements. But the biggest news is that I am OFF the crutches full time. It was tiring at first, and much more difficult than I thought to start walking again, but I am *so* happy to be rid of the crutches.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

Luke's reading does seem to be getting a bit better, but the struggle over getting him to read (even for homework) has not improved at all. He did pop up with another spontaneous movie quote, all by himself, one that DH and I had not used. We were so proud! LOL  There were several amusing Conversations With Luke this month. Why do they seem to come in batches? And we're continuing with soccer, though none of us are enjoying this new format/league as much as we did the old one. He has asked to go back to the previous organization, but he *must* be able to get his homework done in a reasonable amount of time for us to be able to do that! We'll discuss it over the summer and see what the fall brings.

What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
It was terribly hard to walk after a month of not doing it, much harder than I ever anticipated. I expected it would be somewhat painful, but I was not prepared for how unsafe and unsteady I felt on my own feet. I really had to concentrate for a few days on what I was doing. (No walking and chewing gum at the same time for me!) At work, I managed to mess up a spreadsheet so badly that I had to take it home and spend 2.5 hours fixing it. It had to be done by the next day, and it was, but wow, I haven't messed up something that badly in a long long time. And in small and ridiculous news, but disappointing just the same: DH and I were watching a movie that started with the 20th Century Fox logo and theme song. DH just gave a very short, rueful laugh, and said, "I guess the next Star Wars film won't start with this." Now I'm sad! :-(

Anything else noteworthy to record?
The Boston marathon bombing. I was shaken quite a bit by it, since it occurred literally just two blocks from where we stayed when we visited Boston in 2011. Every day, we walked past the faded finish line, still visible on the pavement 2 months later. It is terrible to think of all those people and the terror they endured.

Roger Ebert also died early this month. I thought I was going to write a full blog post about it, but I just didn't have the time. I can't say that I always agreed with his reviews; in fact, it was closer to 50/50. But I respected his opinions and his point of view, on movies and life in general. He was an amazing man with a great written voice and presence. I enjoyed everything I ever read by him, whether I agreed with him or not. Some of his best writing wasn't even about movies, but on his blog, which I always enjoyed. He will be greatly missed, though the influence of Siskel and Ebert will be felt for generations to come. The cartoon below is by Art Shirley, and it still makes me both smile and tear up.

Cartoon by Art Shirley; see more at ArtShirley.com

Monthly Round Up concept courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady, tweaked by me.
Currently feeling: rounded (a couple of weeks late)

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