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Listening to Soundtracks and Remembering

I really enjoy soundtracks to movies that I love. For some reason, they help me to write. My favorites are the old epic movies like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. When I was about six years old, we were getting ready to move out of our little house on Llano Avenue and my Mom was selling all of our stuff in a garage sale on our tiny driveway. As a six year old, there was no point in asking me to help really, so she set me up in our living room with a movie. That movie was The Ten Commandments on VHS. I think the entire film is about 3 hours long, but I watched it all the way through, every time I put it in the player. The scenes and music are pretty much imprinted on my mind forever (See, that’s why watching bad stuff is not good for you, you’ll never forget it). I always loved Nefretiri’s aqua blue gown; she was like some sort of Egyptian angel being, floating around and hanging on Moses’ arm all the time. I just loved the romance of it, and still do.Look, I know none of that rom…

Thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

Just some thoughts on Hurricane Harvey and the President’s visit to South Texas this week:The waters literally rose over people’s heads this past in a flood of Biblical proportions this week, and the state is reeling from the horrific hurricane that took many lives. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose my home all of my belongings in a matter of days. There are just no words.On another note, President Trump and the First Lady visited Houston today, one of the hardest hit areas, and served food to evacuees and played with the children in a makeshift “Kids Zone” set up by the volunteers.The President took selfies with many suffering evacuees, men, women, and children who have lost everything, plus their communities. Two young black women took a selfie with him and said afterwards that it was exciting to meet him and that their perception of him has changed since the event.Can you believe that? It made my heart very happy to hear that they got to meet and shake his hand in one o…

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…