Monday, February 06, 2017

La La Land-- A Review


La La Land is a great movie, a visual delight, an artistic masterpiece.

The opening scene immediately tells you that this film is something new, something original, something beautiful. There is a traffic jam on a Los Angeles freeway ramp. Traffic is at a standstill. Everyone is frustrated. Then someone gets out of her car and starts dancing. Tens of other people follow flash mob style until there is a full scale musical number happening between, on top of, and all around the cars. The colors are captivating, the dancing delightful and lively. Director Damien Chazelle has taken a situation that everyone finds extremely frustrating and turned it into a beautiful work of art. I turned to my husband and said, "That was adorable." And that was just the beginning.

Finally, at the end of the number, the two main characters, Sebastian and Mia, played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, exchange looks as Sebastian honks his horn at the distracted Emma.

In many movie experiences there is a favorite scene or some particular event that's portrayed especially well, and one will look back and think how they loved that part. In La La Land every scene is like that. Every scene.

Damien Chazelle, the young director and writer of the original screen play, has artfully used innovative techniques to present a colorful, gorgeous film that tugs at the heartstrings. Every scene is an experience of color, light against dark, captivating music, and beautiful cinematography. Seeing it a second time just made me appreciate it all the more. This is a film that, in my humble opinion, has been made by a master.

Parents should know that there is virtually no sexual content, although there is implied cohabitation. Very mildly implied. Children might well miss it. There is one obscene gesture and perhaps one F-word. For a rating of PG-13, this is a pretty innocent movie.

The music is wonderful. The cinematography is amazing, almost mesmerizing. The acting superb. What a delight to see a movie that is so skillfully and beautifully crafted and also quite wholesome, uplifting, and entertaining.

I recommend you see it. More than once.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Random Thoughts on This Inauguration Day

I always feel proud on inauguration days. Proud of my country's commitment to freedom and democracy. Proud of the peaceful transfer of power.

Other random thoughts...

How on Earth did a man with no experience in elected office get elected president? (I am not suggesting any nefarious influence.) God has a plan. Let's pray for Donald Trump.

One great lesson of this election is that sometimes ALL the pundits will be wrong.

Melania Trump is one elegant woman. Very classy to have brought a gift to Michelle Obama at the White House.

Democrats who refused to attend the inauguration are exhibiting petty partisan politics and an astonishing lack of personal dignity.

Nice to see George W. Bush's winning smile again. The man always looks content. 

Hold on to your hats. I have a feeling this administration is going to be one of a kind, hopefully in a good way.

God bless American today and always.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Today would have been my father's 92nd birthday. He left this world just over 10 years ago. Doesn't seem nearly that long.

This photo, taken just months before my father's death, was at Lorien, a group of cabins in Alpena, Michigan, where my father vacationed for many years with our whole family. He loved it there, soaking up the time with his children and grandchildren. Although he had great trouble going up stairs, he went every day that week to St. Anne's Church where my son John had received permission to play the piano. He sat for several hours in the wooden pew, listening to John practice. Needless to say, hearing John play was one of my father's favorite things to do. I remain grateful to St. Anne's for affording him this great pleasure in the last months of his life.

How my father would love to be at John's concert tomorrow night at Eastern Michigan University, Pease Auditorium where he will play the following:

Sonata in Eb Major, Op. 81a, Ludwig van Beethoven
English Suite in A minor, JS Bach
Toccata Op 40, Robert Casadesus

 Improvisation
Das Geistershiff, Op 1c, Carl Tausig
Sonata No 2 in Bb minor, Sergei Rachmaninoff, edited by Vladmir Horowitz


I pray that Dad will be there just beyond the veil between Heaven and Earth. (Concert is free and starts at 7:30 if anyone else is interested.)

Eternal rest grant unto my dad, Oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him May he rest in peace.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A New Grandson! (Warning: Gushing Grandma Words and Photos)

The breathtaking beauty of new life. And when it's your grandson...add euphoria.

 This was part of the group waiting and supporting Esther in prayer as she worked to bring Joey into the world. I think Elle took the picture.

Here's Elle with two sis-in-laws. So exciting to be awaiting the arrival of new life! A new member of our family!

Uncle Jim entertaining nephew Blaise. Soon Blaise would have his first boy cousin...and first cousin at all on our side of the family.

And here he is....Joy! No other word....

                                                         Joey with Aunt Anne...

Blaise meets Joey!!!

Look at this face! Cuteness!!!!
The little Christmas baby!!!!

                                             Mother love. Her heart is forever changed.

                                                                   A family!!!!!
                                                   
He holds her finger. And she holds him in her heart for all eternity!!! God is so good. Another miracle.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A year and a few days ago I became a grandma! Words cannot describe the joy that has been added to my life.  Now the Little Man is turning one.


Is he not the cutest little guy you've ever seen. OK, I may be a little biased.

When your birthday corresponds with New Year's Eve, there will always be a party to go to. Nice.

Blaise with his godparents....Auntie Mary (my daughter) and Uncle Ian (his father's brother).

I hear the the only thing better than being a grandparent is being a great grandparent. Here is Blaise with his great Grandma! (Blaise is blessed with two other great grandparents too!)

The theme of the New Year's Eve/Birthday bash was "Time flies!" Perfect!
And isn't that the truth!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Below is the table set with my mother's fine china and a mixture of her crystal and mine. My mother left this world more than 11 years ago but it still pleases me to see some of her things on the table, a reminder of everlasting life and of her love that endures. (Photo compliments of my daughter Mary.)

We started the celebration early since my oldest daughter, a nurse, had to work the afternoon shift. While watching the parades on TV, we had the following hoers oeuvres. Mary made the lovely cheese trays with grapes. The stuffed mushrooms were my mother's recipe and we have them at every important holiday.


There were ten of us together. Mary, again, kindly took the picture. Feeling very thankful that so many of us are living nearby. No one on the other side of the country anymore, no one across an ocean...

My oldest son, who lives in Indiana, is awaiting the birth of his first child and so was not able to travel home for the holiday.


So Mike and I traveled to visit them on Friday, bringing along our leftovers. We watched the Michigan/Ohio State game at a local restaurant where this father-son photo was taken. Feelings were strong in our family about this game. I am a Michigan graduate, as was my father and grandfather, as is one of my sons. One of my daughters is a current student. (I will leave commenting on the fairness of the reffing for another time. Ahem.)

Prayers appreciated for my son, my dear daughter-in-law, and soon to be born second grandson who will be born in December.

I hope you all had a thanksgiving celebration as blessed as ours. God is good.

Monday, October 10, 2016

You Are Not Truly Pro-life If You Think Abortion Should Be Legal

This image is from the Priests for Life website.

The personally-opposed-but-pro-choice position is logically inconsistent or an example of barbarism. It must be one or the other.

Here's why: If a person believes that human life begins at conception, then the unborn are individual human beings deserving of rights and protection equal to that of a human being already born. If one recognizes that reality, then one cannot also say that it should be legal for people to kill those human beings. The unborn are not entitled to rights and also not entitled to rights.

The question is not a matter of making an individual choice that belongs to another. No. Some choices are allowed by law. Other choices are not. When a law forbids a particular action, that is not a matter of making a person less free. All of law limits behavior based on our collective agreement of what is right and wrong. To say that the unborn are human beings is to say that their lives must be protected just as all human lives are protected by law.

If one believes that the unborn are human beings, as is the case with declaring oneself pro-life, and to also believe that a mother ought to be able to legally choose to end that life, is to embrace barbarism. If one is pro-life, an unborn baby is no less human than a newborn or a person of any age. To say that it ought to be legal to kill another person, of any age, is barbaric. To take that position is no different than proposing the legality of killing newborns. Remember we are talking about people who describe themselves as pro-life, believing that human life begins at conception. You cannot believe that the unborn baby is a human person and also believe that it should be legal to kill that person without embracing a certain barbarism.

That being said, let's remember that the waters of this discussion have become very muddied. Those who support abortion so-called rights have wrapped the issue in questions of freedom, personal autonomy, and medical privacy. These are all smokescreens that have caused a great many people to become confused about the sanctity of human life and our responsibilities as moral beings. I believe many people have not really given the issue much thought. It's a very important issue. I pray for the day that the clouds will be lifted and people will actually think this through and see the issue clearly. The biology is obvious. The unborn are human individuals and their lives must be protected.