My New Microwave

For several days Jack and I have been grousing back and forth about the need for a new microwave. Our old one is 20+ years old and has all sorts of little quirks that make me nervous to live in a house with it.

One of the quirks was that the blasted thing would turn on an hour or two after being used. I kid you not. Yesterday we were sitting here watching the TV and all of a sudden the microwave turned on.

Well, that just sort of did it for me. I went on a measured rant about how this thing was going to cause a fire and we would all die!

I know, a little over the top. But honestly, this twenty-year-old machine that we bought for about $75.00 owed us nothing!

In the late afternoon, Jack was going to Lowes for some hardware to fix another household project, and I said, listen if you see a microwave that’ll work, why don’t you just buy it!

We took measurements and off Jack went. He called a while later and gave me a model number to lookup. The machine looked good. I said to go for it. However, he never said yes or no.

A while later the garage opened and I heard noises that indicated he was trying to carry something up the stairs. I opened the door and assisted him with the huge box!

Our new machine is installed and working great, with the exception of a rather curious coded way to run it. Apparently, in the modern world, we now live in using the words START and STOP are things of the past. They now use:
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This is what you use for Stop

arrowThis is what you use for Go.

Now, I’d like to think I am fairly bright, and usually I pick these things up pretty easily, (I was able to set the clock easily!) but the operation of this microwave is pretty convoluted. Tomorrow I will type up a cheat sheet for the things that Jack and I use a microwave for. Like full power. You’d think that would be Power 100 right? As in 100% power. Wrong. It’s Power 10.

However, it weighs less than the other machine by about half, does not turn itself on without programming and It really is much stronger power-wise than the old one. (That was a 1000 watt microwave and this is 1200 watt.)

Our next thing to learn is actually how to set this to reheat. I’m sure the setting is there, but who knows what series of keys I will have to strike for that?

The machine is nice and pretty and actually fits the space better than the last one did. So, all in all, I am happy about it and in six months I will have it all figured out.

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Throw Back Thursday

Harry & Meghan

Since it was announced last night that Harry & Meghan are basically quitting the Royal Family I thought I would take a look back at the beginning of their life together.

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Oh, it was all sweetness and light when Harry & Meghan made their “love” public and announced their engagement. Call me a cynic, but an actress who had been previously married and had several live-in relationships just didn’t seem like the kinda gal that would settle down with Harry and pop off the expected Royal kids.

Meghan just never really seemed to want to do the requisite charity work. Oh, she loves her title, but basically wanted to sit back and be served.

Eventually, little Archie was born and even that was weird. No showing off the baby and then not showing the baby with his Godparents. Well, it was just strange.

In Africa, Meghan was all for using little Archie for a photoshoot with Desmond Tutu. That was also when she was crying over being mistreated as a Royal!

Now I am sorry. You are given a mansion, completely redecorated, you have servants waiting on you (when they are not quitting to get away from you) and you have more money and things than most of us could ever dream of.

This includes private jet planes to vacation spots, a trip to New York to watch her friend play tennis, (without the baby) and then another weekend where she left her son with Nannies so she and Harry could go to a destination wedding.

19981972-0-image-a-38_1571658887882They made a documentary in Africa and said how sad she is, how hard her life is, and that no one cares about her? Yeah, just didn’t sit well with me.

1192408418Now they are leaving the Royal Family and moving to Canada and hopefully, they will find a way to make enough money to live. (That cracked me up)

Sorry, Canada. Looks like you are getting these two ingrates.

Jack Ryan

People have been telling me for some time that I should binge-watch Amazon’s “Jack Ryan“. Since I have enjoyed all the Hollywood movies to do with Tom Clancy’s hero Jack Ryan, I decided to take the plunge.

I asked Jack if he’d be interested and he said that he would. So starting on Saturday and ending the first season binge-fest on Sunday. We both thought that it was really well done. The script was awesome and interesting, the acting was superb and I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Tom Clancy’s books.

imagesJohn Krasinski as John Ryan was really an excellent casting. He is bold, likable and thoughtful. It’s interesting to see how Jack evolved, met his wife and, well, became the unstoppable Jack Ryan!

If you haven’t watched, give it a try!

Victoria

Before I start, there are **spoilers** from the last episode of Season 3 of Masterpiece Theater’s “Victoria“. So, if you are watching it on your DVR stop reading and come back later.

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Okay. There was so much going on with the International Expedition, Victoria’s rotten sister, and of course the Long-Suffering Duchess Sophie, who was locked up by her vicious husband and threatened with an Insane Asylum because he discovered her having an affair with a lowly footman.

How would they wrap it all up for Season 3?

As for the rotten sister, looks like Feodora will be hitting the road, now that Albert finally saw through her, and in many ways I am glad. The actress is too good at her part and had me totally disliking her! Ha!

Duchess Sophie knew the Queen would come to her rescue. Their conversation where the Queen basically told Sophie she knew that Sophie’s husband did not appreciate her, made her rescue of Sophie expected. I loved it when the Queen put it to Sophie’s husband and demanded Sophie appear at the Expedition.

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What we do not know, is will Sophie run off with her handsome footman, or will she stay in service to the Queen who rescued her, and be available to her own young son.

Albert and Victoria are getting along so much better than they did in Season 2, and I am thinking that they have rekindled their love. What does this mean? Well, probably more children. Had Albert lived, they more than likely would have had a dozen children!

I am enjoying the costumes, the scenery and the rather soap-opera-ish telling of Queen Victoria’s life.

The acting is marvelous, and the casting is quite good. In Season 1, I wasn’t sure that Albert was well cast, but he has grown on me.

Jenna Coleman is perhaps too beautiful to be playing Queen Victoria, but she is a wonderful actress and has made Victoria her own.

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Tom Hughes as Albert does a good job. As I said above, he has grown on me.

So now Season 3 has ended. Hopefully, there will be a Season 4! But for now, you can watch Season 1-3 on Amazon Prime. If you are into Historical Shows, this is a good one to get into.

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Thursday Thoughts

Well, they’re forecasting more snow. In some ways I guess I’m ready. Plenty of food, plenty of fuel for the generator, and plenty of dog food. So, on that front all is well.

Anneliese’s eye is so much better and I can tell she is actually feeling well. She is full of spunk and energy and this makes me happy to see.

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We have had one strange thing occur. Arnie and Anneliese have had their own beds since they were born. About two weeks ago Anneliese took possession of Arnie’s bed! No fighting or anything, she just took it over. And he let her!

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I’m reading another book on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This one, titled “We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals” by Gillian Gill is much better written and gives dates and times of events, which has spurred me to look up historical events for clarity. I like that. This book is encouraging me to learn more.

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Queen Victoria

After finishing my book on Queen Victoria, I was left feeling very disappointed. The book, which I had hoped to be a detailed biography was merely the writer’s opinion of the Queen.

Queen Victoria: Icon Of An Era, by Michael W. Simmons, promised so much, and yet really was a disappointment!

The book begins in Victoria’s youth and ends as Albert dies. However, there was no history, merely the writer’s opinions.

So, after watching Young Victoria, with Emily Blount and Rupert Friend (Homeland’s Quinn),

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I started watching the PBS version called Victoria.

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As much as I appreciate cinematic productions, I wish I could find a good true biography of this rather interesting Queen, who had an amazing impact on life during her times.

Oh well. At least for now I am enjoying binge-watching PBS’s “Victoria” on this frosty cold winter weekend!

Being Nice

Recently the movie “Grease” came on the movie channel on the satellite. I remember when it came out, just loving the music and of course falling for the romance in the movie.

However, the time has changed me, and as I started to watch the movie, I realized something I had missed all along.

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On the first day of school at Rydell High School, the “bad-boys” are seen knocking the books out of the smart boy’s hands, lifting the skirt of the smart cheer-leader and basically doing things that I would consider bullying to other kids. Also, Sandy wasn’t considered good enough because she was a nice girl. What’s up with that?

I think today they would be called on their bad behavior, but who knows. I think so much of what happens in schools in the USA happens and no one is accountable.

I know of many young mothers and fathers who are doing it right. (You know who you are!) You are teaching your kids to be respectful of their peers. You are teaching them that we are not all made alike, and that is okay. Rejoice in the differences! Vive La Différence!

I watch my granddaughter and her friends and I see the kindness which they show to one another. Kindness is a strength people, not a weakness.

Anyway, after a while, I turned off “Grease” and watched something else. I think from now on, I will listen to the CD of the music from “Grease” and just not watch the story.

The Child In Time

Last night I was sitting here crocheting, Jack was working on our income taxes, and I was the sole operator of the remote control. I was looking for something to watch on the TV, when I happened upon  PBS and Masterpiece Theater’s version of “The Child In Time“.

Now I had read Ian McEwan book many years ago when it was first released. The plot was such, that I felt I probably understood more than many the feelings of the main characters.

The Child In Time follows Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch), a children’s author, as he struggles to find purpose in his life after the loss of his daughter. His wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald) has left him and his best friends Charles (Stephen Campbell Moore) and Thelma (Saskia Reeves) have retired to the countryside, battling demons of their own. With tenderness and insight, the film explores the dark territory of a marriage devastated, the loss of childhood, the fluidity of time, grief, hope and acceptance.

I watched the Masterpiece Theater adaptation and I felt myself instantly, thrown back in time, in my own life, when my own daughter Katie, passed from this life, forever changing everyone I know in the process. For the loss of a child is the worst thing that can ever happen to you, and although you eventually find your way through to a new normal, a person is quite simply, never the same.

The acting in “The Child In Time” was amazing. I can see why people have been raving about Benedict Cumberbatch. He really was incredible. He quite literally, was the center of the movie. The supporting cast, was also excellent, not a bad actor among them. I can recommend this movie highly.

But I also recommend the book written by Ian McEwan. Author Christopher Hitchens viewed the novel as McEwan’s masterpiece. Writing about McEwan, Hitchens remarked the break out successes of “Amsterdam” in 1998 and “Atonement” in 2001 and but then said that “The Child in Time”  in 1987 was “still, in my view, his masterpiece”.

Having ready nearly all of McEwan’s books now, I can honestly say that “The Child In Time” is my favorite as well. For it touches so many places in ones mind and heart.

So go grab the book, it will not take you long to read through the 220 pages. Or watch for it on your local PBS station.

“SULLY”

The best part of our weekend was going to see “SULLY” at the movies. Hubby and I almost never go to the movies, but I really wanted to see this one. I made him promise not to say anything during the movie, should there be aviation inaccuracies, during the film. I said we could do a complete debrief  once we got home.

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Tom Hanks was superb as the quiet, gentle, yet capable, miracle pilot. As many people have stated, if not for Captain Sully, all of those people would have died.

The casting for the movie was really good. And I will tell you that one of the ferry Captains is the actual real life Captain from that day.

The writing of the screen play was true to form for what happens in a cockpit, and I will tell you  that Sully’s PTSD feelings and dreams, were presented in a very real and fair way.

Clint Eastwood did a fabulous job. He directed and produced this film. Hollywood hates him, because he speaks his mind, and goes his own way, but Eastwood is always true to his films.

Hubby was impressed with how well a cockpit experience was portrayed. He also liked the film. I do recommend this film for anyone interested in Sully, and the Miracle on The Hudson River!

HOMELAND

I was thinking yesterday, that my daughter knows me better than I sometimes think she does! For example, a few years back she mentioned that I should be watching, “HOMELAND” on Showtime. I sort of pooh-poohed the idea, and forgot about it.

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Then in June we received a letter from Amazon Prime, that our streaming would be affected on our 2011 Vizio TV starting September 1st and we would need a “Fire Stick” to continue watching programs.

Well, we  hemmed and hawed, but got the stick, and after it arrived, when I was learning to to use it, I discovered that since we had the “Fire Stick”, we could pair it up with our “Showtime Account” and watch some of their programming when we want to.

The first thing Hubby and I did was start watching “HOMELAND”! I figured that if I liked it , great! If not, then I wasn’t committed.

I soon learned I was totally committed to the program!

Not only is the show written well, but the acting is unparalleled! Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, Rupert Friend and Mandy Patinkin, are all incredible actors giving us characters that we can relate to in a variety of ways.

Claire Danes, as Carrie, is perfect as the incredibly smart, intuitive, hard working CIA Agent. Ms. Danes’ acting is top notch and I understand she has won many awards, Including Emmy’s and Golden Globes.

So, since the end of June Hubby and I have been watching an episode a night. That was until the ends of Season 3 and into Season 4! Suddenly we were watching 2 or 3 episodes a night, as we simply couldn’t turn it off, the stories were becoming more compelling and moving so fast!

Last night we realized that in 9 more episodes, we will have caught up with the Series and will have to wait until January for more episodes. Ugh!

I guess my point here is that, my daughter knew all along I would love this show, and she was correct!

I would also recommend this show to anyone and everyone. (Unless you are under the age of 18, as there is graphic language, violence and sex). Let me know if you give “HOMELAND” a try and if you like it.