Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cinema Sunday: Nick and Nora

One of the cutest film couples ever is Nick and Nora Charles, of the "Thin Man" series.  Played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, Nick is a hard-drinking retired detective, and Nora, a wealthy heiress. On paper, they don't sound particularly cute. Or lovable.  But on screen, they are pure magic.
Powell's Nick is hilarious, sly and droll, and if he drinks a little too much, well, he can be forgiven, because he's just so likeable. And Loy is absolutely darling, equally as funny as her screen counterpart, well playing a ditz who really isn't quite a ditz.  The two flirt outrageously and banter wittily, all while solving crimes, drinking, dancing, and keeping track of their wire-haired fox terrier, Asta. Oh, and they even manage to have a baby, Nick, Jr.
The first title in the series, "The Thin Man" was based upon a book of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, supposedly based upon his relationship with the playwright, Lillian Hellman.  I read the book long after I had seen the movie for the first time.  Usually, movies based upon books are very loosely based; I was surprised that there are long stretches of dialogue taken directly from the book.  And what dialogue it is!  I can quote much of it verbatim, and still laugh out loud at many of the conversations between our witty couple, even though I've heard them dozens of times.
The mystery in these movies, although entertaining, is secondary to the wonderful chemistry between Powell and Loy.  Although the quality of the films diminished with each successive movie, Nick and Nora remained funny and charming, absolutely delightful from beginning to end.
So, if you're having a bad day, if you need a pick-me-up, pick up the "Thin Man" series.  If you only have time for one, the first one in the series is the best, but they're all fun and entertaining - great for a lazy Sunday afternoon!
Thank you for stopping by, and for leaving your comment.  I love to hear from you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tomatoes, a Dilemma and an Award

How's that for a blog post title?

As I said in my last post, the garden has been pretty much a nightmare this year.  In my defense, this is my first summer living in Central California.  I am accustomed to the milder climate of Southern CA, and even though I KNEW how hot it would get here in the summer, I just didn't realize exactly how much water it would take to keep everything alive, how much that water would cost, how miserable it would be trying to weed when the thermometer says 110 degrees, and just how fast those darn weeds grow!!  So, my first year gardening has been a bit of a disappointment.  The cilantro that was doing well just disappeared one day (snails?), the chives never came up, the tomatoes have been eaten alive by bugs (at least I hope it's only bugs), the spinach did not do well as we got very little rain this year and summer weather came way too early in April, and most of the flowers either didn't come up or they fried when it got extremely hot a couple of weeks ago.  I still have hopes for the bell pepper, though. 
So, I learned a few lessons that I can remember next year.  Hopefully, I'll be working full time by next spring, and will be able to spend a little more money on the garden, and will be able to afford to have my lawn guy pull the weeds for me (this year, it was gardening on a shoestring!)
I went out to water today and to get rid of some of the rotten tomatoes, and much to my surprise, I found a couple of tomatoes that the bugs hadn't gotten to yet, so I enjoyed home grown tomato with my dinner.  I'd like to think that the healthy organic tomato offset the unhealthy frozen dinner that I heated in the microwave, the chocolate chip brownie that I had for dessert, and my ever-present Diet Coke, but alas, those tomatoes aren't magical.  I really DO need to start cooking more often, and to start eating more healthy foods. That brownie was darned good, though, and it WAS homemade. Does that count as healthy? : )
I will never be a great food photographer.
Now for the dilemma part of my post:
As you can see from the photo above, I have crepe myrtle growing in the middle of the bushes out in my front yard (well, the planter on the side of the driveway).  Anyway, these are the white ones in bloom, but I also have one in a deep rose (no longer blooming). They're volunteers from the house next door.  I love free plants (let's face it, I love anything free), and I love crepe myrtle.  Last year, when I bought the house, the neighbor's trees (large bushes?) looked like this:
They had three different colors: deep rose, a purpley-pink and white. They're gorgeous in full bloom, and they are plentiful here in Tulare County.  So, what's my dilemma?  Do I:
a)  Try to pull out the crepe myrtle from each bush and plant them elsewhere, thereby taking the risk that none of the plants will survive the ordeal (the ground is pretty hard here, so it's going to take a huge amount of digging),
b)  Plan to get rid of either bushes or crepe myrtle, so dig accordingly,
c)  Save myself a lot of work, leave them all alone and see what happens.
Personally, I like choice "c" the best, but does anyone have any feedback for me?
As for the award part of my post, I need to thank Evi at Sexta-feira for passing on the One Lovely Blog award to me (well, to my blog anyway).  If you want to see beautiful pictures of Greek beaches, or just want to read about movies, check out her blog. 
I'm not sure what the etiquette is for passing on these awards.  I know some people notate that their blog is "An Award Free Blog", and I always want to respect that. And since I'm pretty ignorant of this stuff, ignorant of why some people like the awards and others don't, and since I don't want to do anything out of line or be disrespectful of anyone's wishes, I say that all the bloggers on my blogroll deserve an award and just leave it at that. Blogging is hard work (a lot of fun, but still a lot of work some days), and all of the other bloggers do it better than I do. So, go visit everybody!!
Hope everyone has a great Friday.  I finally have a day off.  (I can't complain though; I've needed the extra hours.  Maybe this month, I can pay the bills on time for a change!)  And to anyone who has said a prayer for me or offered good wishes for the job situation, I give a HUGE thank you.  It does seem to be getting better.  I really like working in the cash office; it is inspiring me to try to take some accounting/bookkeeping classes.  I'm getting more hours and doing something I like. 
Thanks so much for your visit, and for all your comments.  I love reading them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm baaaack!!!

I'm back!  And I have missed you!

I never intended to be gone from blogging for so long (it's been TWO months!), but it took awhile to come up with the money to get the computer fixed.  I've hated being without a computer!  I've missed visiting your blogs, and I've missed posting on mine.

I have been using the time productively, though.  I've taken on a new position at work (same company), but instead of cashiering, I'm working in the cash office.  It's a lot better, although I'm still not fully trained (still feel a bit stupid at times, so I take my notes home to study in my free time), and I still don't have full time hours.  I AM getting more hours than I was previously, though, and I don't have to be on my feet for 4 or 5 hour stretches (or deal with cranky customers) so things have improved a bit.  I'm still continuing to look for a full time job, though.

I've also rented out one of the bedrooms of my house, and because the tenant has a 4-year old son living here, I've had to childproof my house a bit.  Okay, actually, A LOT!!  So, much of the china has had to find temporary homes out of reach.  And anything that I don't want to see broken, smeared by sticky fingers, written on, etc. is now stored in the garage.  To be honest, I'm not thrilled about having to rent a room to anyone, let alone someone with a young child.  I'm not used to living with someone (I've lived alone for half my life), and it is quite difficult living with a 4-year old that you can't discipline.  I also seem to spend an awful lot of time cleaning up after a child that isn't my own.  But, I know that I could have gotten tenants that were far worse, so I grit my teeth and bear it, because I don't have a choice.  I only hope that I will make more money in rent than I will have to spend in cleaning and repairing stuff.  I don't remember my nieces and nephews EVER being this messy or destructive. Or whiney. 

Unfortunately, much of the garden has gone to ruin  -  the weather has been so hot that I can't even think about going out to weed. And because we got so little rainfall this year (and water is VERY expensive here), much is dying, including my backyard lawn (of course, the WEEDS are drought resistant!) So, fall weather can't come soon enough for me.  I'm looking forward to getting the backyard and the planters weed free and ready for next year's planting (and a few autumn plants). And I'm hoping for a very cold, rainy, foggy winter.  The fog here is legendary in these parts; I was very disappointed that it was so mild last winter, because I LOVE gloomy weather!  And yeah, I know all you Midwestern women who read this are rolling your eyes at this native Californian, because I don't have a clue about REAL winter weather : )

Well, I have no pretty pictures to share today.  I was just so excited to be able to post, and I can't wait to read all that I've been missing on your blogs.  I also have more than 300 e-mails to plow through! Ack!

Hope to have a Cinema Sunday post this weekend, as I've been watching A LOT of movies lately, since I haven't been able to play on the computer.  And, at some point, I'll also have to share photos of a couple of decorating/craft projects that I've been working on.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  And thank you for your visit!  Can't wait to visit all of you!