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Amy's The Dark Tower Movie Review: "I Kill with My Heart"

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I went to see the movie The Dark Tower last night which was based on the Stephen King novels and was pleasantly surprised. If I am skeptical about a movie, I always read the reviews from Focus on the Family’s website, Plugged In Online. Their reviewers tell each and every part of the films being reviewed, so you’re never walking into a theater not knowing what you are about to see. If I feel weird about the content after reading one of their reviews, I just don’t go.I’ve never read a Stephen King novel, nor have I seen any of the film versions of his books, so this was a new experience for me. His book, On Writing, was excellent however.Critics didn’t have much good to say about it, but I am going to assume they’ve all read the series of books and are comparing the film to them. Obviously, it is pretty much impossible to fit an entire series into one movie, so their displeasure was inevitable. All I knew of the story was what I saw in the trailer.The idea of a gunslinger intrigued me …

Book Review: Steinbeck's The Moon is Down

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I recently finished reading a book made up of only 8 chapters. Short? Yes, but man, what a read.John Steinbeck’s novel, The Moon is Down, centers around a small Norwegian town occupied by the Nazis during WWII. Although the novel never explicitly labels the occupiers as Nazis, the book was published in 1942, when things in Europe were pretty heated and Hitler was dominating anyone and everyone who didn’t bow to his twisted leadership.I learned from the introduction written by Donald V. Coers that Steinbeck wrote the book as a propaganda piece to help the war effort in America. His critics were unduly harsh towards the novel when it was published, even going so far as to question his patriotism and anti-fascist beliefs because they felt he was not hard enough on the Nazis.Steinbeck said of his critics, “The war came on and I wrote The Moon is Down as a kind of celebration of the durability of democracy. I couldn’t conceive that the book would be denounced. I had written of Germans as m…

Colorado

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A few months ago, we took a trip to visit my Aunt Kim who lives is Denver, Colorado. Dad bought a nice little trailer a while back, so we reserved a spot at Chatfield State Park, about 30 minutes outside the city.The park was lovely, very clean and quiet. Of course we were there during the week, so when the weekend did roll around, families started pouring in. But it was nice to sit in our fold up chairs watching the little kids driving their child-size ATVs around and riding their bikes.We brought Scout along and he had a lot of fun walking and sitting with us during the day in the shade of the trailer's awning. We were there the week of Mother's day weekend, so on that day we attended a "bird banding" at the Audubon Center. The event planners had laid out breakfast foods for attendees and after we ate, the tour guide took us down a path and into the woods where the banding was took place.The lady doing the banding took small wild birds native to the area out of tin…

The Fairy Pools

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The glen where the fairy pools cut their way down the mountain was also full of magic.We walked down they very steep hill, then up the other side, hopping over small streams as we went. The pools are numerous and quite large, and are situated like a staircase, each one lower than the other forming lovely waterfalls. There were so many of them that I had most of them all to myself for several minutes as we walked down the path beside them.The water is turquoise, yet blue like the Mediterranean, which I have seen with my own eyes. Although I have never seen colors quite like these. The temperature of the water wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, but I still did not jump in, unlike some of the other hikers who were braver than me.After perusing the lower pools for a while and admiring their jeweled tones, I continued up the path and past the pools on my own. The mountains before me were so majestic they took my breath away. I couldn't do anything for a while but sit on a bou…

Sheildaig with Caroline

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Lots of beautiful scenery today. The sky changes constantly. We drove past a man standing in his sheep pen with the black faced sheep gathered in a bunch at one end. He was old and wrinkled, wearing a tweed jacket and hat. He stood with his arms crossed over his chest, just looking out over the loch. The water moved slowly and the clouds hung low over the stacked brown, green, and golden hills.Everyone has a Border Collie here. They are beautiful and run ahead of their owners.On our way to Sheildaig on Wednesday night, we saw a young man with about four Border Collies in a field. It looked like he was ending his work day with them.Sheildaig was beautiful. A quaint little loch side village with white buildings facing the water. A few people sped by on bikes, but a few walked with small dogs off leash trotting behind them. We had dinner in the pub next to our hotel. I had crab cakes and chips. They were delicious!Our beds were large and soft. They felt like sleeping in massive marshmall…

The Old Man of Storr

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Today, I tried to walk up the (very) steep path to see the Old Man of Storr rock, which was scaled by a man named Don Whillans, an Englishman, in 1955 for the first time. The climb was steep and I only made it halfway before a German couple came down and met me on the path.I asked them if the clouds were covering the rock that day, making the Old Man invisible. They said yes and that we shouldn't try today. Wasn't worth the climb, so I went back down. It really tuckered me out, but we will try again tomorrow when we pass by on the road.The next day: We saw this rocky tower from a distance as we drove along. The day before it had been covered in clouds and was totally invisible.The golden eagle, the national bird of Scotland, used to perch high on the Old Man's head. It is 160 feet high and stands dark and foreboding against the pink and golden light of evening. I am so glad I got to see it.I was afraid I had come all this way only to be disappointed by a cloud.We passed th…

Dunvegan Castle and Kilt Rock

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Today, we drove to Dunvegan castle, where Flora McDonald and Sir Walter Scott stayed many, many years ago. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 14th century.The castle holds the Fairy Flag, a silk banner dating from somewhere between the 4th and 7th century, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s waistcoat, and a lock of his fine hair.Dunvegan was closed, sadly, but looking at it from the outside was stunning. It is built of dark stone and holds a commanding presence, like something out of a Gothic story or film. We stood on the edge of the water and looked at the castle, sitting on the edge of the water to our left. I could imagine Bonnie Prince Charlie in his tiny boat with Flora McDonald, on that dark night in 1746.As we drove along the edge of the island, we stopped and took in the sight of the cliffs near Trotternish that look like a giant kilt. These cliffs are straight up and down, and the formation of the rocks makes them look striped. The sun was hidden but we could see them clea…