Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A quick read - entertaining too!

Leslie suggested this one - so I put it on my Kindle.  It's not great art, but it is a compelling read - would be perfect for a long plane ride - I should have saved it for the upcoming trip.

It's a British novel - set in current times.  About a wealthy playboy who is injured and becomes a quadraplegic.  And the young waitress who becomes his caregiver.

Lots of drama - some exploration of mental health issues and family dynamics.

You might enjoy it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A controversy

This book was chosen by my book group for January.  I read it last week and thought it was pretty amazing.  The introduction says that it is a fictional account of a real experience - that the fictionalization was designed to protect the privacy of the people she claims to have journeyed with.

So after hyping it up to several people - "You really need to read this" kind of hype - I did some research and found that there is a definite belief that it is a fraud!  There were also some very critical reviews that the book was poorly written.  On that score, I'm not sure I agree.  It wasn't great art, but it was pretty clear and easy to follow.  

On the other score, that it's a fraud and that the author made it all up, the jury is actually out, although the author did apologize to a group of Aboriginal elders who traveled to the U.S. with the help of the Australian government to prevent the book from being made into a movie.

I read 3 or 4 online reviews that were very critical, basically accusing her of insulting all Aboriginal people.  But I also read a couple of reviews that pointed out that the book is now marked as fiction, and therefore the accusation of fraud is moot.  

I was fascinated by the story - it's a quick read and I was eager to get to the end "to see what happened."  And she made a lot of good points of a philosophical nature that I found compelling.  But it is much like that story of a few years ago about the man who claimed to be a drug abuser who told a fantastic tale - he went on Oprah and she touted the book as a great story - I've even forgotten the title.  He wrote it as if it was a true story.  Turns out it was fiction. 

I'm not sure why people make up stories, pass them off as true, and then wonder why readers are upset when the truth comes out.  Why don't they just call it fiction in the first place?

But that's probably fodder for another story!!

Read this story if you want to - it does have some interesting twists and turns.  And frankly, if she did make it up, she's got a pretty vivid imagination!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A new nightly fave on the Terrill forefront!

Hannah introduced me to this show when I was there for Rhoda's birth.  Turns out Harry had seen it and had tried to interest me in it!!  Sometimes I'm slow to get on board!!

But now we love it.  We are on Season 7 - apparently there is a Season 8 too.  It's about England and the war and a detective and his delightful driver - the actress is named Honeysuckle Weeks.  How could you not love a show with someone in it named Honeysuckle??  She does a great job too.

The stories are well done and pretty compelling.  I'm usually wrong about "who done it" but still enjoy the chase!!

It's a BBC production - of course!!

Give it a look-see!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jury Duty, 2014

I got my summons for jury duty in November - right around the time Hannah's baby was due.  So I postponed.  At the time, January 13th seemed very far away.

Times flies when you are having fun though, and the 13th came around faster than I had planned!!  At least I got called in at the beginning of the week, so I didn't have to spend a week doing sub plans every night.

I did the orientation online, so I didn't have to report until 9:30.  I tried to enjoy sleeping in, but I woke up at the usual time!!

I got to the Pasadena Courthouse and saw a sign saying "Public Parking All Day $4" and thought, well, that's nice and close - it's worth it.  Of course when I got up there, with cars behind me, the cost was $12.  But I had no choice.  I was hoping it was not a harbinger of things to come!

Got to the Jury Assembly room - where orientation was still going on - so they told me to come back at 10.  I got on an elevator to come back and got stuck - the doors would not open - took about 20 minutes for them to get us out.  Not an auspicious beginning to the day indeed!!

When I got there, they were all on a break until 10:30.  I could have come an hour later than I did - I hate that sort of scenario.  No wonder people dislike the idea of jury duty!!

In all my years of jury duty, I have never made it out of the Jury Assembly room - I've just sat for the morning, been sent to a very long lunch, and then dismissed.  So imagine my surprise when my name was called.  But there were less than 50 people in the room and they called 35 of them, so it would have been pretty lucky to not get called!  Such luck was not with me!

We took forever to get up to the 6th floor - the elevators are in very bad shape at the Pasadena Courthouse - and then they handed us numbers and had us get in line.  My number was 13.  I wasn't sure if I should be nervous or not!!

Once inside, the judge lectured us for over 30 minutes.  It was an interesting lecture, and the guy had a lot of personality, so it wasn't as bad as it might have been.  I was seated very close to the court reporter and spent most of my energy trying to figure out how she did it.  I could see the screen of what she was recording, and it was verbatim!!  That whole concept intrigues me.

The case was a criminal one - assault of some kind.

Then we were given a questionnaire to fill out and were dismissed for lunch.  I walked around and found a little hamburger joint that looked good.  While waiting for my lunch, I noticed that I didn't have my iPad in my bag!!  Panic set in - I grabbed my food and hustled the 3 long city blocks back to the courthouse.  Of course the office was closed, and I had to wait.  Fortunately someone honest had turned it in.  A bright spot in the day.

We returned to the courtroom, and the judge questioned each juror separately - at least the first 20 of us.  Then the attorneys questioned us.  I got lots of questions - about having a son who was a policeman, but mostly about my experiences with conflict as a special education teacher in middle school.

When the time came for the peremptory challenges, the first guy dismissed was juror number 2 - who was an attorney.  So I was instructed to move to his seat.  Then the prosecution dismissed me!  By then it was 4 p.m., and I was glad to see the day end!!

When I got to the parking lot, the guy wasn't sure where my car was - and they had the keys too.  I had a moment of wondering if the day was ever going to end!!  But he found the keys - and the car - and the traffic, though heavy, moved along anyway.

And NPR is always good company.

It used to be that you could be excused from jury duty if you were responsible for the care of any child under 14 years of age.  So I got excused for many years.  Then Noah turned 15, and the summons have been coming ever since!   I recall the first one I ever had.  Bonny was a small baby, and I was very worried.  Harry kept saying that they'd excuse me and not to worry.  But of course I worried.  So I went, with Bonny in tow, and indeed did get excused.  Apparently they don't excuse you for that so easily anymore.  But at least I don't have to worry about it!

And who knew Special Education was of interest to prosecuting attorneys!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A SoCal Tuesday - in Pasadena!!

I'm here in Pasadena - at the Court House - reporting for jury duty.  I followed all the instructions and did the orientation online.  Then checked in and was told to report at 9:30 this a.m.  So I came at 9:20 - and the clerk tells me that the orientation got a late start - maybe I should go down to the "cafe" and chill till 10 or so!!

I'm happy to do my civic duty - but every time I come for jury duty, it's a "hurry up and wait" kind of scenario!!

I brought a book and some crocheting - but the "cafe" is like a school cafeteria - I need a comfy couch!!  Not to mention all the lawyers who are consulting with their clients in here!

Trying to see the bright side - instead of making sub plans every night for a week until getting called, I only had to do it one night!!

If anything exciting happens, will let my readership know about it!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chilly - but "warms" your heart!!

Hannah and I had a "girls' night out" and went and saw Frozen.  It has a very snappy soundtrack and a marked resemblance to Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.

And we enjoyed it - in spite of the annoying high school girls sitting behind us and the quasi-annoying young children who kept walking in front of us to go to the restroom I assume.

Don't moms know about sitting on the aisle for that very reason??

At least I will be able to get the cultural references when they start popping up.  (I have never seen Finding Nemo or any of the Shrek movies, so I'm always missing references that get thrown out.)

Hannah and Robbie leave on Monday morning - trying to get in all the fun we can!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

A good show!

Hannah and Robbie are still in town, and Robbie had never seen the street fair, so we walked downtown, strolled around the farmer's market and the other attractions and decided it was a lot like the Eastern Market in DC near where they live!!

Then we had sandwiches at Cafe Merengue and went to the Krikorian to see Saving Mr. Banks.

It was a pretty good film, and Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Ferrel, and Paul Giamati did a great job.  I would recommend it.

Miss Rhoda acquitted herself well also and slept soundly through the whole film!
And now both Hannah and I want to watch Mary Poppins again!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

It's all about the hair!!

You've gotta love Lars' hair!!  (And the smile has special touch to it too!!)

He could be a 50's rockstar!!

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Terrill Grandchildren - such a happy crew!!

We had a photo shoot on New Year's Eve day - and the photographer suggested individual shots of the grandkids - and I'm glad she did - love looking at these wonderful kids!!

They started out in order, but then some of the uploads failed - so I'm just going to identify them - you can probably tell what order they go in!  

We start with Ara Grace - grandchild number 1

And her sister Esme Claire - grandchild number 4.

Annika Joy - grandchild number 6.

Henry David - grandchild number 3.

Calvin Hyer - grandchild number 8.

Agnes May - grandchild number 11.

Eve - grandchild number 5.

Porter Cardon - grandchild number 7.

Harry William - grandchild number 9.

Isla - grandchild number 13.

Theo Keith - grandchild number 10.

Ida Rachel - grandchild number 12.

 Lars Terrill - grandchild number 15.

Rhoda Primrose - grandchild number 18.

Ella Sophia - grandchild number 2.

Sullivan Terrill - grandchild number 14.

Deacon Sterling - grandchild number 17.

And sweet baby Jonah Adam - grandchild number 16 - always in our hearts, even though no longer in our arms.

We are truly blessed with these wonderful children in our lives.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Thousands of words going on here!!

We had a photographer come on New Year's Eve day to take some family photos.  It was tough rounding up 30 people, 15 of whom were under the age of 12!  But we pulled it off, and I will be sharing them here and there over time.  Here a few candids that were fun to see.  Last year we poured cement and did handprints of the grandchildren - so we thought we'd have them put their hands down again - it kind of didn't work very well!  As you can see - they did the handprints last year one at a time - and they don't all fit at once!

Calvin was getting tired of waiting I guess!

The lovely Miss Ida, with her sweet, shy smile.

When we didn't try it with everyone, it worked a lot better.

We keep trying playhouse shots - they don't always work but it's fun to try - as you can see, Lars wasn't into it!

The sibling group shots always invite some clowning!!

The gray haired matriarch with the snowy haired patriarch!!

At least it was a lot of fun - after the initial anxiety of rounding everyone up!!

Watch for more - if you're interested that is!!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Today would have been Jim's 71st birthday.  He has been gone for over 6 years now.  But he was a big presence in our lives for many years, and his influence lives on.

Happy Birthday Uncle Jim!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Look what the years have brought us!

The Terrill family holiday celebration usually begins on New Year's Eve day - with breakfast at Clocker's Corner - and watching the morning workouts at Santa Anita.  This year was no exception - and the wonderful SoCal climate certainly co-operated.

Always wonderful to have Bonny, Bruce and their 4 lovely daughters here with us.  And Bonny was one of the first to welcome the lovely Miss Rhoda Primrose - the newest Terrill grandchild.

Harry, Dawn and family - Porter is shown here with them - are local and we get to see them often - and consider that a blessing.

Phoebe and David once again made the trek from Oregon - with their 4 great kids - the party really can't start until Phoebe comes!

Eliza, shown here meeting the handsome Mr. Deacon Sterling, came with husband Matt and 3 great kids, all the way from Virginia - they are good sports about adjusting to long flights and time zone changes.

Looks like Hannah is having a serious conversation with husband Robbie - she is holding the lovely Miss Rhoda - they too travel from the DC area.

Noah once again is living with us, but in years past he has often had conflicts, so we are grateful that he's been with  us for all of the festivities.  He's holding the lovely Miss Rhoda also. She gets held a lot!

We had a photographer come the afternoon of New Year's Eve day - so hopefully we will have some wonderful grandchildren shots to show you.  We rang in the new year, the men in the group are doing a 30 mile bike ride tomorrow, we walked to downtown Monrovia for dinner at Rudy's, we had a Terrill Holiday Party with extended family, we did lunch at Souplantation, some of the kids and grownups saw Frozen, we had a first ever Family Film Festival that will become a new tradition I am sure, exchanged gifts, we wrote predictions for 2014, read the ones from last year - surprisingly many were quite accurate - others were just funny, enjoyed one another's company, and we are looking forward to being together for Deacon's blessing on Sunday.  

Phoebe had come on the 28th and needs to leave on the 3rd - after the men do their traditional Korean barber experience - and the women do manicures.  Eliza is here until the 8th, Hannah until the 13th, so we are looking forward to continuing good times!

Too bad school has to start for me on the 5th!!