Sunday, December 04, 2011


We've had a lot of boring grey skies lately that lay across the sky like a dark cloak. Good for sleeping in late...but not today, I guess.
This was yesterday afternoon.
I forgot to show you my very first Christmas card. You may recall that Leah helped her best friend, Amber, make her wedding invitations a few years ago. That got Amber hooked and since then she's turned into a card maker, too. Leah and Dagan went down to southern Minnesota one weekend recently so Leah could help Amber make her Christmas cards. This card came tied up in rough twine like a present. (I didn't get a picture because I was too anxious to see it--LOL!) She used packing paper, added the poinsettia, folded it up...
...added the red paper lining to the inside and all the various stamps, snowflake, and the puppy holding the stocking stamp (they have a dog named Blixie). This was so cute Amber! I appreciate all the work that went into these! Thanks so much. Nothing like getting a handmade card. ;)
Cashwise came yesterday with my groceries for the month.
Karma sat on the bags. (I do recycle them.)
I made my big stamp order to USPS, ordered my 2012 weekly desk planner, and made a small order to for some more templates/stencils and some misters. They are so much cheaper on many things--wow! I'll show you when they get here.
I haven't mentioned movies for a while. A while back I watched The Tree of Life. Still am not sure what to think of it. Even in their brief description on IMDB where it says, "The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence", I am not sure what incident they are referring to? Could be a couple things, I guess. I didn't know that was supposed to be the gist of the story. In fact, I wasn't sure what the main storyline was or what the message was. It was a strange, disjointed movie. Each of the various parts were interesting in and of the beautifully portrayed section that I assume was about the beginning of life and I felt like I was watching Nova on PBS...or the smaller moments between the family members. But they didn't necessarily all pull together in any cohesive manner for me...or Dagan...or Leah (she thought it was a total waste of time).
I never understood why they even showed the oldest boy as a grown man (Sean Penn) because he just wandered about looking pensive and added nothing to the storyline that we could tell. The middle son died, but you are never given any information as to how, why, where? There seemed to be a struggle between good and evil in the oldest boy. The boy's father (Pitt) plays more the evil role, but isn't all bad and loves his family in his own way. The oldest boy seems to be the evil one and the middle boy (who mysteriously died) seemed to be the good one. The youngest one is practically a non-entity in the well as the later grown oldest son. Are we supposed to wonder if he turned out good or bad? The movie gave me no clue. He was successful--but that could have been by using and stepping on people? The ending...all I can say is it made me think about forgiveness and made me cry. But that was more for my own personal reasons than because of the movie, per say--LOL!
One of the weirdest, vaguest movies I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot of odd movies. I'd be curious to hear what anyone else thought of it if you have seen it.
And nothing I have said here would be much of a spoiler. There's nothing to is atmospheric and beautifully photographed...but it is a movie that cannot be explained to someone else...has to be experienced. Oh, and there's not a lot of talking. Before it starts it says to play it loud. Well, that's because there is whispering. I watched it in the middle of the night, so I tuned on the English subtitles so that I didn't get blasted by the louder parts and didn't have to strain and rewind to hear the whispers. To me the movie was like seeing a puzzle with over half the pieces missing. Well, enough said. Let me know if you have seen it.
Another movie I watched was Water For Elephants. If you find animal cruelty, wife abuse, and the random killing of employees very upsetting, I think I'd suggest maybe you pass on this one. Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind or something, but the cruelty of the circus owner was so unrelenting that I was emotionally exhausted by the end of the movie. I don't think mine was the usual response...even though it was a pretty good movie, well done, and I actually liked it well was draining. Anyone seen that one?
Well, those weren't the most chipper reviews, eh? LOL!
I've been busy working on Christmas cards and letters. That's what I'll be doing all day today, too. I need to finish so everything is ready when the postage stamps arrive this week. :)
It's 20 degrees with a chance of snow flurries this morning. No white stuff yet. The ground is still brown and bare. The Christmas TV programs started right after Thanksgiving, but until we have keeper snow I'm just not quite in the mood yet. We actually need some snow, they say, because retail sales are effected negatively when we don't have snow up here. Guess we all start humming "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and people don't shop enough? Well, Black Friday sales were higher than last year, so I don't think they have to worry too much yet.
Me, I'm never out shopping, but I am waiting for snow. Jealous of those of you who have several inches already. I love December and snow. A brown that is depressing to me. I don't start singing and humming the caroles as often and loudly until the white blanket covers the ground and the flakes are dancing through the air.
And, of course, Miss Karma is waiting...but for entirely different reasons--LOL! ;)
Have a sweet, sweet Sunday! :)
"If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought."
Peace Pilgrim


betty said...

That homemade card is adorable! I do admire you all that have talent to make such creative things like that!

I have not heard of the movie Tree of Life, but honestly reading your description of it, it made me think of the story of Adam and Eve from the Bible; the oldest son seemed like Cain, the middle Abel, and the younger Seth, but when I heard the title Tree of Life, it made me think of the Bible/Adam/Eve. Of course in the Bible, Adam/Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but there was a tree of life in the garden too. Anyway, interesting movie. I'm not sure I'd want to see it, but good review of it!

I have heard good things about Water for Elephants, both the book and the movie, but maybe I'll pass on it. I think I would have your reaction too if I saw it!

I do hope you have a white Christmas!!

enjoy the day today!


carol l mckenna said...

Your Xmas card is excellent ~ love it ~ and love Karma sitting on the bags ~ so cute ~ enjoy the day ~ hugs, Carol ^_^

DJan said...

I saw Tree of Life and had many of the same feelings you did. Strange, disjointed movie in many ways. The Sean Penn character was totally unnecessary, I thought. Brad Pitt was an excellent portrayal of a father caught in his own belief system. One thing I can say, though, is that scenes of the movie kept emerging from my mind for weeks after I saw it. And it was too long...

I liked Water for Elephants, but I had already read the book so nothing was much of a surprise. When I think of the movie, I remember the elephant's revenge more than the cruelty to the animals. It wasn't a great movie, but it followed the book quite closely and therefore I enjoyed it. The book was MUCH better.

Rita said...

Betty--Yes! That was a clever idea Amber had with the using packing paper like that!
I didn't think of Cain and Able, but they never did say how the middle boy died at nineteen. Maybe the oldest one killed him for all we know--LOL! I was never sure what the message was supposed to be, to be honest. Strange movie.
I had a hard time--even if I know they wouldn't really be hurting the elephant in the movie--with them using that hook and stabbing it...things like that. And the owner is so pure evil you just hate him. There wasn't much shown of any other side to him, you know? He respected nothing and no one. Psychopathic!
Have a wonderful, peaceful day!! :)

Carol--Amber came up with a clever card. I wish I had taken a pic before I untied the twine. Oh well.
Karma...she parks herself on top of anything thing she can. ;)

Djan--I know! Dagan and I were like--what was Sean Penn even in there for at all?! You kept waiting to see something happen with him or learn something about him...nada! But the separate pieces were sometimes mesmerizing. And I agree that Pitt did an excellent job of walking a fine line between being horrible and loving. Not an easy task!! But you get done watching and go--what was that all about? I still don't have a clue. LOL! I remember you talking about this movie, too, in a kind of perplexed way.
With WforE, I'm curious as to whether in the book they ever had you feel any kind of empathy or understanding toward the owner of the circus? To me he was such a horrible person without any redeeming qualities in the the point of being unreal, almost a caricature, you know? And in the movie, I never had a sense of the elephant kind of never forgetting and waiting for revenge, either. Or a strong enough bond with the girl to be protecting her. Even if I was glad to see him get his, shall we say. Maybe it was the way in which they directed and filmed the movie? I should read the book one day. :)
Have a good bird watching day!! :):)

Rubye Jack said...

It sounds like Sean Penn was in the movie only to draw an audience in. They seem to do that a lot lately with these quicky movies.

That card is so cool. I was wondering though how it got through the mail with twine wrapped around it. It's such fun to get homemade cards in the mail.

Rita said...

Rubye--Oh, sorry! It was all inside of a bigger regular envelope.
Yes, I agree with the smaller parts for bigger actors to draw them in, but they already had Brad Pitt. He's a big name draw. Made no sense--LOL!
Happy, happy day, Rubye! :)

Serena Lewis said...

Amber did a lovely job on that card, Rita! Hand-made is my fave too although I don't think I'll get a chance to do hand-made cards this year.

The Tree of Life sounds very disjointed...I don't like those sorts of movies at all.

I don't think I'll bother watching Water For Elephants as I can't stand seeing cruelty to animals. It can stay with me for weeks and is emotionally devastating to me. Thanks for the warning.

How funny that snow effects the sales. I guess people don't feel like it's the Christmas season until they see lot of snow. DownUnder, we don't get snow at this time of year, only heat and real Christmas markers at all. Yep, we have the Brown Christmas but then, we're used to it. lol

Have a lovely week,

Serena xo

Toriz said...

The homemade card sounds really cute!

I think I'll skip both movies; one sounds confusing and like something where I'd lose interest and turn it off, and the other sounds depressing.

I love that quote!

Toriz said...

Oh, and I'm jealous of the people with snow already too!

Rita said...

Serena--Amber has gotten quite inventive, I think. :)
I was thinking of you, as I know how very upset you get when there's animal cruelty. Even though I know they didn't actually hurt this elephant in the making of the movie, I found it very upsetting, myself. Don't watch it, Serena.
Brown--no! It must be green, green, green there isn't it? Christmas summer?
Have a lovely week, too!! :)

Tori--The one is confusing-yes. The bad guy does get his in the other one, but 98% of the movie was rather depressing.
You and me both re: people with snow already. ;)

Beth said...

The hand made card is lovely. What talent!!
No snow on the ground here yet and I could do very nicely with no snow all winter. LOL Fresh snow is beautiful but you have to clean it off the car, drive in it and then it turns to ice.
I hope you are having a lovely day.


Gwen said...

I find I can't watch anything which depicts cruelty to animals. I am so sensitive these days.
How marvellous to have all your groceries delivered.
Have a good week!

AliceKay said...

The card you received is really cute. So creative. I haven't started writing out my cards yet, but I've received six of them already.

Looks like you're well stocked for the month. Karma always enjoys the shopping bags on the floor, doesn't she? :)

I've never heard of "The Tree of Life" so I watched the trailer. It looked like a pretty good movie from watching that trailer, but then sometimes they are misleading. I did hear this line while watching the trailer..."Unless you love, your life will flash by". I thought that was interesting. If it happens to come on one of our movie channels, I might watch it.

I've been looking forward to "Water For Elephants" and just mentioned to Karen while in Walmart yesterday afternoon that I'd like to see it. I'll take your review into account before watching it.

Speaking of Walmart...that place was like a zoo yesterday. People everywhere, and mostly in the way of where you wanted to go. We're gonna try to go to the Arnot Mall north of Elmira (New York) after my appointment in Sayre on the 14th...unless we're getting a snow storm. Ryan had his picture taken with Santa while at the Lycoming Mall on Monday, but she might try again at the Arnot Mall next week.

It's been very windy here the past few days, and even though the temps are mild for this time of year, the wind still had a bite to it today. Not looking forward to snow or winter this year at all.

I hope you had a restful Sunday.

Rita said...

Beth--LOL! We can keep all the snow up here. That's fine with me. ;)

Gwen--I just don't know, I was very sensitive to it watching this movie for some reason. Was so hard to watch. It was just hard to watch the circus owner at any time.
I've been getting my groceries delivered now for maybe six years. Costs $7.00, but it's so worth it for me! Can't afford to have delivery more than once, though. So I'm always eating my salads and bananas and such at the beginning of the month--LOL! ;)

AliceKay--Oh yes, Karma loves those grocery bags! She knows she doesn't get them for long--hehe!
You'll notice even in the trailer it is hard to figure out what is going on. It's quite enigmatic. Be curious as to what you might think of it.
You'll be forewarned about the cruelty and deaths and such. It's well-made and the acting is good and all that. I liked it. Just left me kind of feeling emotionally exhausted, for some reason.
I know most people don't look forward to the snow. I would love it if we had snow from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day...after that...LOL! ;)

Susan said...

Pretty card!
I picked up the movie Water For Elephants at the video store, and then put it back.... nope, can't handle animal abuse!
We're having lotsa grey skies here too.
Just stoppin' by and sayin 'Hello'... checkin' to see if you have any new Mandala's too =)

Carol C said...

What a great hand made card you got! And I'm the ones you've been working on are also wonderful. A brown Christmas, huh? Well, I hope you get some snow and I hope we don't!!

Annesphamily said...

I like that quote at the end of the post! My hubby said to me today, when we were discussing the presidential candidates , remember when Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy, "You must never let the bad witch have your shoes. She wants them badly and therefore they must be very powerful." He related it to the candidates running for president. What a thought to think about!
I see you everyone and your blog photo reminds me of my own childhood. SO here I am!
Come visit soon.
Take care and enjoy your week!

Rita said...

Susan--Aha! Makes me wonder what it said on the box. Nothing new on my mandala yet. I have been working all weekend on getting Christmas cards ready to mail. Almost done, though. ;)

CarolC--That's okay! I'll take the white up here. ;) LOL!

Anne--Seems like anything powerful is lusted after by many. ;)
I shall visit your blog. Have a good week! :)

Gwen said...

Hi Rita it is me again. Paint is a photograph editing device in Windows.
It should be readily available for you on your computer. I have Windows 7 and it comes with the package. It is where I crop my photographs. Hope this is helpful

Dee Ready said...

Dear Rita,
I'm passing on both these movies. I don't do well with anything about animal or child abuse, even if everything ends happily. And moody movies tend to bring out my melancholy. Thanks for the reviews. Now I won't get the DVDs from the library.

Like you, I need snow to help me get in the Christmas spirit. Living in Minnesota for 38 years did that for me!

I so liked the quotation you added today. I'm glad you've started adding them again. They give me sort of a mantra for the day.


Deanna said...

I read Water for Elephants and had to see it when it came out. I thought it an amazing show, but you are right about it being draining. The impact of the abuse was overpowering.

Did Karma help you put all of those groceries away????

Have a great week.

Gwen said...

Rita, I used Windows Picture Manager to alter the photograph...

Intense Guy said...

*giggles at karma the bag kitty...*

She had more bags she could make a mountain of them and jump into them like leaves!

*Hums "I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas" really, really loudly to drown out the snow lovers*


Rita said...

Gwen--Sadly, I probably have something on my MacBook Pro but have no clue how to operate it. I know nothing about how to alter videos or pictures--none of that. Dagan and Leah have never done anything like that and have no interest in it, so I have nobody to show me. I'm not even very good at following what programs tell me to do that other people find so "self explanatory"--LOL! Maybe I could find videos on youtube, but I think I'll just stick with what little I do know. With me the pictures and videos are just as is. ;) Thanks, though.

Dee--It's funny, I can usually watch some pretty dark, oppressive movies and they don't effect me that way. Something about this one that was so unrelenting that the last bit of happy didn't help. ??
I knew you wanted the quotes back. Glad you're enjoying them. :):)

Deanna--Yes--impact is a good description. There was such hopelessness, joylessness, defeat...except in the last couple minutes. Draining.
Karma is the grocery supervisor. She watches to see I put everything where it should go--LOL! ;)

Iggy--Yes, Karma would love it if there was a huge pile of them! She'd burrow into them and hide--LOL!
I can hear you all the way up here! Keep singing, laddie! Aren't Christmas wishes supposed to come true? ;)

Serena Lewis said...

If we're lucky it might be green up here in Queensland but that would depend on getting rain for the grass between now and Christmas. Usually, in summer our grass turns brown from being burned by the lawn is already like straw in areas. :(

Anonymous said...

I almost never watch TV or movies... which is why I can never complete a crossword puzzle. So many of them are about TV shows, movies, actors, or even commercials. It is also surprising to me how often people say, "did you see that commercial?" No, I didn't even see the show but when I do watch TV I never watch the commercials. I just can't stay in one place that long since my legs start twitching. RLS keeps me from ever going to the theater. I do love to go to the local theatRE though... I love to watch the various dances and I can even stand up there.

Love that card you got! I really need to get thinking about what i am going to do! I just am not in the mood. I'm having a really hard time this year missing my mom and it isn't helping any that her birthday is the 8th. I usually put my tree up on my birthday or the day after Thanksgiving on the years my birthday comes before the holiday but this year it still isn't up. I just don't feel the spirit of Christmas yet....although it is NOT for the lack of snow. We are having some bizarre weather right now!

Rita said...

Serena--Bummer! Your summers are brown! I thought with all the gorgeous greenery and flowers in your pics that it would be green all summer. Hot and dry...bleh! You must be praying for rain! I hope you get some. :):)

Donna--I was a TV kid of the 50s. Love TV and movies. I think I'd be more restless never getting out if I didn't have things to watch on TV...especially on those painful bad days where it can take my mind off it. Well, I'd probably be reading up a storm--LOL!
Sorry about your mom. I'm sure she would want you to be happy, though, and for your boys to be making memories of good Christmases, right? Can you hear me singing Deck The Halls?!! ;)
Hope you have a spirit lifting week!! :):)

Queenie Jeannie said...

Well we know who rules your roost - KARMA!! LOL! Love that she "claims" stuff!!!

I really liked Water for Elephants, but I understand what you mean about it being draining. I felt no sympathy for the circus owner, no matter how broken he was. People who act out like that deserve what they get, and they usually don't get it badly enough!!!

I didn't see the other movie, but I refuse to see ANY movie that has Sean Penn in it on personal grounds. Bad-mouthing our troops at the beginning of the Afghan invasion gets you on my SH*T list forever!!!

Rita said...

Jeannie--Karma claims everything she can as quickly as she can. ;)
Glad you liked the movie. It is very popular and rated highly, I believe. The evil just kind of wore me down.

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

what a nice handmade card!! and i agree...getting one that someone put their time in to make... beats a store bought card anytime! BUT since i don't have the time to make all the cards i like to (snail)mail...then store bought ones are the ones i send! ugh!

i haven't seen either of those movies...sooooo i've got nothing to add there! but it sounds like the really weird one..Tree of Life...did make some kind of an impression on you...whether you understand what the point was or';re still thinking about it...and that's what they wanted you to do! some movies just don't make any sense at all! ha!

karma and her new bed of bags! CUTE!'s hoping for a white christmas for you...the sooner the better, huh?! so you can start SINGING those carols!!

happy day Rita & karma! be merry! :)

Rita said...

Laura--It does take up a lot of time to make Christmas cards...and birthday cards, too. They have some gorgeous ones you can buy. Can even go to and buy handmade ones that somebody else made--ROFL!!
The Tree of Life does linger. Just so odd and almost mystical in places. Disappointingly fascinating. ;)
Still no white action up here. Supposed to get down to zero or even below tonight (Th)--too cold to snow.
You two and Milo be merry, too!! ;)