Friday, November 24, 2017

A Must See Movie: Wonder (Updated with Book Review)

My husband suggested we go see this family movie and showed me the trailer which got my interest.  We saw it Thanksgiving morning and both loved it!  I was impressed with the cast, the multiple story lines and the insight into human nature that is portrayed in this film which is based on a book written by R. J. Palacio.

It is about Auggie who was born with lots of problems including some facial deformity that surgery couldn't fix.  Halloween is his favorite holiday because he can wear a mask and fit it like everyone else that day.  He wants so much to look ordinary so little kids are not afraid of him and other kids his age would quit being mean to him because of how he looks.  His parents ache for him to get out into the world and have a normal life but do not want to see him get hurt.  His sister loves him very much but feels her parents don't have time for her because their world seems to revolve around Auggie.

I really liked all the characters in this one and was so happy when Auggie finally became comfortable without the helmet on all the time because he was making some friends.  This has lots of great moments and is both heartwarming, inspirational and very relevant.  Many people tear up on this one; you can't help but feel for the kid.  The theme is to choose to be kind to others regardless of how they look but to also realize everyone is a wonder.  This is a wonderful movie and I look forward to reading the book because usually the book is even better than the movie.

If you've seen this, share one of your favorite scenes in the comments.  If you haven't seen it, go see it!

In this case, I enjoyed the movie more than the book, but the book was good too.  Here is my review of the book:  Wonder by R. J. Palacio is about Auggie’s fifth grade year, a boy with a deformed face who was homeschooled through 4th grade. Auggie has a rough start at the beginning of middle school, but shows courage and determination by not quitting. This is an emotional read that includes perspectives from several different characters. Themes in this are bullying, friendship and family. This book has photos from the movie, comments from those involved in making the movie and discussion questions in the back.

Teaser from page 227 after Auggie’s dog just died: And I wondered how it would feel to be in heaven someday and not have my face matter anymore. Just like it never, ever mattered to Daisy.

There are a lot of feelings brought out in this book, but the movie really brought it to life for me. In this case, I liked the movie better than the book. It changed just a few minor things and emphasized the teacher’s role more than the book did. I liked the changes that were made in the movie. The theme I carried away from reading the book is to be kinder than necessary and make the world a better place. I recommend this book to kids and the movie to everyone!  (4 stars)

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tired of Browns Bashing On Radio Every Week--Here's Some Positives!

Every Monday morning and even sometimes later in the week, The Ken Carmen Show with Anthony Lima sports talk show 92.3 The Fan hosts always pick on the Browns. I know they are have a very terrible season going 0-10; however, it’s like this radio show is beating a dead horse! No matter what, I think it is time to find some good in their games and start encouraging them a little bit. The least the hosts could do is acknowledge the good things such as:
• They do not get blown away and have actually been competitive with a chance to win into the fourth quarter in at least four games. Seven of the games were lost by two TDs or less.
• Last week against the Jaguars (a first-place team in their division by the way), the Browns defense played extremely well!
• Usually the Browns hurt themselves with tons of penalties but Sunday, they finished the game with zero penalties for the first time in 55 years against the Jaguars!
• The last TD was a fluke coming off a fumble by Kizer. Unfortunately, Kizer still had two interceptions (at least not in the Red Zone this time) and two costly fumbles. I feel bad for him. I think he tries very hard and has a fairly strong arm and quick legs with some good running moves. He is courageous and still learning. I wish the talk shows would give him some credit!
• It also was nice to see our receivers holding on to the ball for the most part.
• More good news was that our kicker made the extra point! This can never be taken for granted.
The Browns get to play the Bengals and Charges who are both 4-6 (not so great a record) but I really look forward to seeing them play the Bears who are 3-7 and seem to have similar problems as the Browns when it comes to winning.

The way I look at it, if Kizer can stay healthy and finish the season out as the Browns No. 1 quarterback, it will have been a successful season. He is very young and a hard worker. He will only improve if he gets to play.

I’d love to hear what other Browns fans think. I know it is hard to watch them because it seems every week they come up with new ways to lose, but I still have hope for the future with Kizer. I wonder what would happen if Hugh Jackson actually got an offensive coordinator instead of insisting on calling all the plays himself.

I just finished reading Relentless (Julian Edelman's memoir) and couldn't help but notice the big difference between the Browns and the Patriots organizations when it comes to coaching, attitude, work ethic and expectations.  I highly recommend this book to the Browns coaches and players!

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

"Muddy Fun"

When we went to Giant Eagle today I saw some bulbs for sale.  The pictures of the spring flowers on the boxes got my attention and on impulse bought four boxes:  Hyacinths, Snow Crocuses, Early Snow Glories and Grecian Windflowers.  I thought planting some bulbs would the perfect activity for a rainy Saturday.  I should have checked how deep to plant them though because some were only 3" deep but others were 8".  The box instructions were very simple:  dig (plant in area with good drainage & full sun to partial shade), drop (place bulbs in soil, pointy side up and water), done. 

Some bulbs were easy to tell the point; however, for the Grecian Windflowers it was just a guess.  They were basically kind of flat shaped like a triangle so I am not sure if I placed those in right our not.  I mixed them in with the Early Snow Glories just in case I goofed because the Snow Glories were obvious.  Since the ground was already wet and it is supposed to rain all day, I did not water them.  Hopefully we will have some pretty flowers in the spring!

I was glad I thought to put some old shoes on because by the fence along the drive we had to dig down 8" with the shovel and it was VERY muddy.  I also wore two hats, one to keep me warm and the other a cap to keep the rain off my glasses and face.  It wasn't very comfortable, but it worked!  The temperature was near 50 degrees so wasn't too bad.

Do you plant any bulbs?  We have daffodils that come back every year and a few crocus that pop up yet.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

My First Colonoscopy: Live and Learn

This is a big drink!
Last Friday, I had my first colonoscopy and a couple very good things happened:  (1) I put it off until now (age 63) and (2) the prep drink did not taste as bad as expected--there was a lemon flavored packet to mix in to make it taste sort of like lemonade.

Thursday, the day before the procedure, I could not eat any solid food except for Jello and had to drink lots of water to avoid getting dehydrated.  Then starting at 4:00 I had to drink a prescription concoction 8 oz. every 10-20 minutes until I had 3/4 of it done.   The doctor or pharmacist neglected to tell me that between every glass, I would be going potty!  Ugh.  It took me 3 hours to get through it all because I just couldn't do it every 10 minutes because I was hurting from so much wiping.  I had to finish off the jug 6 hours prior to my appointment which was 4:15 a.m.  (not too bad because often I get up at that time anyway--it could have been worse).

Here are my tips for anyone having to do this and to remind me for the next time:

1)   Do not plan on going anywhere once you start this big drink.
2)   Take these things in the bathroom with you and plan on camping out for a few hours:  the jug, a cup, a timer and a book.  Just sit on the toilet the entire time to avoiding having to wipe so much, after each 8 oz. drink set the timer for 10 minutes and read in between as you go.  (time may vary depending on your doctor's instructions)

Friday, everything went according to schedule.  The hardest thing for me was skipping breakfast.  I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight Thursday and nothing at all on Friday expect the rest of "the drink" starting at 4:15 a.m.  The doctor's assistants sang a "Happy First Colonoscopy Song" to me and the doctor congratulated me on doing the prep so well.  I got in a very nice nap (anesthesia assisted), everyone was very nice, I was comfy under a light warm blanket and woke up with not problem, no pain and no grogginess or nausea.  Poor Gerard had it much worse just waiting around in the small waiting room.

My Colonguard* test result was correct, the results were not very good.  The good news is I feel fine; however, the bad news is they found some hemorroids and one palyp that wasn't high enough for my doctor to remove.  He will do a biopsy to see if it is cancerous, but said it should be removed which means surgery.  I'll find out more in two weeks when I meet with him again.  Ugh!

 I am feeling disappointed that this couldn't have been taken care of all at once.  I only have 3 vacation days left and hope I won't have to miss a lot of work.  I dread having to go through this all over again, but at least I'll know better what to expect.  Please pray that God would give me peace about this and that I don't dwell on it or let it get me down.  I'm trying to stay positive. 
*The Colonguard test is done at home.  You get a little kit in the mail with instructions.  Poop into the container provided in the kit, follow the directions and mail it back to the lab in the same kit box using the return postage label provided.  My husband was fortunate that all he needed to do was this!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Boxes Are The Best! (by Spunky Doodle)


After living in our house 20 years, Karen finally unpacked one of the boxes that was in the den and was kind enough to let me have it!  After jumping into it several times, she brought it downstairs to my computer room where she set it upside so I could crawl inside.  I had a great time knocking it over because she set it up on the flaps so it moved easily.  Then Gerard moved it next to the wall on its side so I could walk inside easily. 

I'm guessing since it got so cold, this morning, Karen made it more comfy for me and made it look much nicer with a couple soft blankets from the Humane Society.  If you have a cat and want to give it something special, just find an empty box!  Be nice to your cat today.

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