30 August 2010


The little girls and their parents were on a work-related vacation last week, and look what they found! LG has loved horses since she was quite small, so it's fun to see KF smiling on horseback.

20 August 2010


I've had my fill this week. First Dad is in the hospital in Peoria with an irregular heart beat, erratic blood pressure, and an UTI. At 89, he's worried. Doesn't take a lot to overwhelm him, and he's hurting besides. Then CA's mom got progressively sick during the week I camped out at her house, so that I took her to the hospital clinic yesterday a.m. She's fine and has the right meds now. After driving home midday yesterday, today I have my oft-rescheduled dermatologist appt. As I wait to be called into an examining room, I realize this is my third medical facility this week. All's well that ends well. Dad will have a bit of time at a skilled care facility for rehab, but no paceaker required.

19 August 2010


I'd like to be cooking with these lovelies...

13 August 2010


LG is growing up so very fast. Long arms and long legs, a ready smile, and a heart full of love. This week she very intentionally set out to master a two wheeler, telling her mommy many times that she was going outside to practice. Finally, on Wednesday she was ready for her debut and proudly rode her small bike back and forth from fence to gate, repeatedly, smiling the whole way.

And, she's been practicing her letters and sounds this summer with her mommy--the Slovak alphabet and phonetics. This week MK wrote out simple words so that LG could match the letters and the sounds of the Slovak language. Later when DM came home from work, LG proudly announced that she could read. She ran to get the paper with the simple Slovak words, and read out: tree, car, fence... Yep, just that way: tree, car, fence. Not: strom, auto, plot.

LG took her Slovak reading lesson and translated it for her daddy! That's our bi-lingual beauty.

10 August 2010


Baby NJ examining a small flower

LE: attacked by blueberry pancakes

LITTLE ROCKER: No more squishy little guy

For 3-1/2 he's a very serious drummer. And, you should see him on the guitar.

06 August 2010

A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT: Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles

133 minutes

Another French film. This one with Audrey Tautou, and a cameo by Jody Foster. A lovely film with twists and turns and single-minded fortitude by Mathilde.

Both epic and intimate, A Very Long Engagement reunites Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the star and director of the hugely popular Amelie. A young woman named Mathilde (Tautou, Happenstance) separated from her lover by World War I refuses to believe he's been killed and launches an investigation into his fate--an investigation that spins in all directions, creating dozens of miniature stories (including that of an Italian prostitute avenging the death of her own lover by elaborate means) that shift to and fro in time. The dazzling curlicues of narrative put brutality and tenderness back to back, shifting between crushing inevitabilities and miraculous rescues with deft storytelling skill and the lush visual style of the director of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. Through it all, Tautou--fierce and luminous--anchors the movie effortlessly. She's among the most emotionally engaging actresses in cinema, with the kind of expressive beauty that transcends language. A gorgeous, far-reaching film; the huge cast also includes Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Gaspard Ulliel (Strayed), and Dominique Pinon (Alien: Resurrection).

05 August 2010

03 August 2010


103 minutes

In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying to cover up that they are presently homeless. The niece enjoys romantic frolics with a soldier and a hidden guerrilla fighter. All of the principals are thrown into turmoil when one more guest arrives with considerable wit and unwanted advice.

Keeley Hawes is gorgeous as the innocent Lois. A very British film of the struggles with Ireland amongst the British-Irish. The end of an era. The end of innocence. Fiona Shaw as Marda is just the right mix of nostalgia, irony, and manipulation. A fading beauty ready to settle for less than she expected; this visit her last remaining bit of romantic possibility.

Cinematographer Slawomir Idziak does an exceedingly fine job of capturing mood, location, era.

02 August 2010


CA and I dolled up the screened porch and deck for JA and LE's visit a couple of weeks ago. The addition of the mini-Chinese lanterns was the cherry on top. Now every time we sit on the porch to read or share a meal, the fiesta continues.