dual personalities

A bushel and a peck


Just a sample of all the goodness that was my weekend. The daughters (and Nate) head home tonight, so I’ll have time for a longer post tomorrow…In the meantime, enjoy your Monday!

Marked as Christ’s own for ever


It’s been a busy, busy week what with lots of stress at work, our first foray into babysitting the wee babes (just the OM and moi), and daughter #1’s arrival on Wednesday night. Daughter #2 and Nate arrive tonight.

All are arriving for the baptism of the wee babes on Saturday where we will each renew our own baptismal covenant:

Question: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God? Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God? Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God? Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior? Answer: I do.

Question: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love? Answer: I do.

Question: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord? Answer: I do.

(Incidentally, it is Mother’s Day on Sunday–bonus!)

Fun facts to know and tell

Did you know that both Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin were born today?

Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and became a full-time professional, either composing, arranging, or conducting, when he was fifteen.  Steiner was referred to as “the father of film music” and played a major part in creating the tradition of writing music for films. He composed over 300 film scores and was nominated for 24 Academy Awards, winning three: The Informer (1935), Now, Voyager (1942) and Since You Went Away (1944). Besides his Oscar-winning scores, you might remember King Kong (1933), Casablanca (1942), The Searchers (1956), a lot of those classic Errol Flynn movies, and Gone With the Wind (1939).

Tiomkin (May 10, 1894 – November 11, 1979) was a Russian-born American film composer and conductor. Musically trained in Russia, he was best known for his western scores, including Duel in the Sun (1946), Red River (1948), High Noon (1952), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Rio Bravo (1959), and The Alamo (1960). He received twenty-two Academy Award nominations and won four Oscars, three for Best Original Score for High Noon, The High and the Mighty, and The Old Man and the Sea, and one for Best Original Song for “The Ballad of High Noon” from High Noon.

Well, I thinks that’s interesting–two of the all-time most famous movie composers sharing a birthday!

And, oh, what’s that you say? The Cardinals are in first place?! No kidding, you nay-sayers!


Don’t let the turkeys (and the haters) get you down, Big Mike!



Death of a sidekick

The New York Times headline reads, “Don Gordon, Steve McQueen’s Sidekick Onscreen and in Life, Dies at 90.” Kind of rude, I think. And not really true, guys.


Don enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was only 15, having convinced his mother to sign a statement saying he was 18. He went on to receive 11 battle stars. After the war, he went to drama school. He was never a star, but he was a working actor for many, many years–and long after Steve died in 1980.

It just seems to me that he deserves a little more respect than the brush-off designation of sidekick. And it’s not as if he were in a ton of films with Steve–he was in three. He wasn’t Gabby Hayes.

Well, “respect” is not something that is in great supply these days.

So anyway, I suggest we toast Don Gordon tonight and watch Bullitt (1968). Sounds like a plan to me.

“All who confess his name, come then with hearts aflame”*

Well, this weekend was beautiful–70+ degrees and sunny. Gorgeous. We needed it.


I had a very busy weekend–estate sale-ing, attending “an event,” working in the yard, dining with friends (ordering a cocktail!), going to church, and so on.

Two of the estate sales I went to were at homes of people I had known and loved. This is always sad and a bit awkward. Both were at homes where the husband had died suddenly and the wife had been whisked off to an assisted living home immediately afterward. Both wives are suffering from dementia and I wonder if they had any idea what was happening to their homes. Maybe that is just as well.

I did rescue two embroidered/needlepoint bricks.


This weekend I also read a fair amount of the two books I am currently reading.


I found Whip Hand on a basement bookshelf and brought it upstairs to read. Written by Dick Francis, the British steeplechase jockey and prolific crime fiction writer, it is the second in the Sid Halley series about a former jockey, who has been crippled in a racing accident and now works as a private investigator. The novel received the Gold Dagger Award for Best Novel of 1979, as well as the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 1980. I am really not a big fan of the crime fiction genre, but I am enjoying this book as much as I did back in 1979 when I read it for the first time. It is Dick Francis at the top of his game.

I had to interrupt Dick Francis when Elizabeth Strout’s new book, Anything is Possible, arrived in the mailYou may recall that I loved My Name is Lucy Barton, which was published last year, and this book, which is sort of a sequel–in that Lucy Barton is a character in this new book. She has written a memoir (My Name is Lucy Barton) and we read about the people in the small town she has written about and how they react to the book.  It is wonderful and I am racing through it. Strout is such a good writer, it is kind of unnerving.

The boy and his wee family came over for Sunday dinner, forcing me to close my book for awhile.

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And I saw a flicker close-up on the patio.


(not my photo!)

Weekend complete! Have a good week!

*Hymn 478, F. Bland Tucker

“You are the music while the music lasts”*

The weeks certainly do fly by, don’t they? At this time last Saturday the DH and I were on our way to scenic Vermont to attend son #3’s senior recital.

It was a beautiful day and the performance went perfectly — at least if you don’t count that idiot who took pictures (aka yours truly). This is the BEST photo I took.

Tim is the blur at the piano and his friend, Roland, is the blur with the violin.  Despite my photo-fail, I had a wonderful time. The music — all original Tim Melville compositions — was great and ranged from conventional piano, guitar, violin pieces to much more experimental works, including a very cool digital composition and an avant-garde a capella sound piece performed by six singers. I confess that when Tim told us that things would get abstract, I pictured the first part of the great piano scene from Green Card (watch it all), but I’m happy to say it wasn’t anything like that. I know I’m his mother and I don’t know much about music, but I was very impressed! He sure makes his parents proud.

After all that excitement, we packed up the car with some items from Tim’s apartment and went off to a main street deli for some much needed sustenance. Tim’s girlfriend, and her parents and sister, who kindly drove up for the recital, joined us, but I took no pictures because I was having too much fun. However, this is what main street looks like.

We’ll be back in Vermont next weekend for Tim’s graduation — this time accompanied by good photographers who can record the event without shaking! And guess who the graduation speaker is going to be? Yep, Vermont’s most famous son, Bernie Sanders. I can hardly wait…

I will miss those car trips to Vermont, the antique stores, and the beautiful scenery.

But at least we’ll get to see more of Tim and his cat — at least for a few weeks.  Stay tuned for part II, or “Weekend at Bernie’s”.

*T.S. Eliot, “Dry Salvages”

“Twas in the merry month of May when green buds all were swelling”*

I am so sick of rain! But I am cautiously optimistic about the weekend.

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Dare we hope for a little sun?

I hope so, because it will be a relatively busy weekend. Tonight we have the annual Print Fair and preview party at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, which is right up my alley, as you can imagine. What could be better than strolling around, wine in hand, checking out “thirty local and national fine print and rare book dealers presenting a broad array of exceptional materials?” Last year I even won something at the silent auction.


Then there’s a book fair at our local library and a few estate sales to go to. And I’ve got to get my house ready for daughters #1 and 2 who arrive next week for another quick visit–the wee babes are getting baptized next weekend! Nate, the fiancé, is coming too, so we’ll have a full house.

May is whizzing by, isn’t it?

Have a good weekend and let’s hope we can sing Here Comes the Sun. I tried to find a Youtube video of this song, but I guess there is an issue with Beatles songs. I have always liked this song, ever since I went to a concert my sophomore year at Smith College featuring a lot of acapella groups from other Ivy League schools. The Williams College Ephlats sang Here Comes the Sun. The soloist was a very cute guy with long blond hair. When I arrived as an exchange student at Williams the following year, this same guy literally climbed in my first floor dorm window on my first day. I took that for a good omen.

Enjoy your weekend!

*Barbara Allen, traditional Scottish ballad


Waitin’ ’round the bend

Today is the birthday of the lovely and talented Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993). I mean, who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn? And if you don’t, what’s wrong with you?

audrey-hepburn-breakfast-tiffanys-sunglasses-hat.jpgOf course, she starred in one of my top-five favorite movies of all time–Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)–but I like her in anything. Indeed, she is like John Wayne in that she makes even an average movie worth watching.

She only made 20 American movies and they weren’t all Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But some of them are pretty darn good:


The Unforgiven (1960)


Charade (1963)


Paris When It Sizzles (1964)


How to Steal a Million (1966)

I prefer her movies from the 1960s. The movies she made in the 1950s–when she was in her 20s–frequently match her with co-stars who are old enough to be her father. Think Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire–kind of creepy, don’t you think? What were they thinking?

Anyway, it’s a no-brainer what to watch tonight while toasting the wonderful Audrey.


Any one of her films will do (even those ones from the 1950s!) What’s your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie?

“The water prevailed upon the earth”*

Good grief–more “historic” flooding in flyover country.

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Our hands-on governor fills sandbags.

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The scene in downtown Eureka

People were just beginning to recover from the December 2015 flooding and now we have another “100-year” flood. In fact, we’ve had three 100-year flood events in the last five years! Crests now are expected to reach or surpass levels from the December 2015 flooding.


The Gasconade River


Eureka High School

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The Meramec River in Valley Park

And now this:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 1.33.47 PM.pngZut alors! I can’t like this.

God of compassion,
you hear the cries of all who are in trouble or distress;
accept our prayers for those whose lives are affected by storms and flooding:
strengthen them in their hour of need,
grant them perseverance and courage to face the future
and be to them a firm foundation on which to build their lives;
this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.


*Genesis 7:24

The photos are from STLtoday.com.

“Socks up, boss!”


Last night I watched Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) on TCM–a comedy about postwar Japan. Marlon Brando plays Sakini in a bit of casting which these days would be considered extremely offensive.


Marlon Brando, Paul Ford and Glenn Ford

I”m sure Brando just thought he was “acting” and meant no offence.

The original play and movie satirize the U.S. occupation and Americanization of the island of  Okinawa following the end of WWII in 1945. It is all pretty silly.

Daughter #1 appeared in her high school production of the play when she was in the 9th grade.


There she is, the second from the right.


Her little sister and two admiring 4th grade friends congratulate her after the play.

Heavens to Betsy! How innocent/oblivious we were in 2000.