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throwback thursday: posts from picky's archives... with a little something new thrown in

August 17, 2017

so i know i've talked a lot about my great uncle and the monastery at which he had resided for some sixty years. it closes in about two weeks. he is ninety years old. he is not doing well. my parents have property in colorado. they drove up there this past weekend, and then drove to utah to see him, to get him situated in an assisted living facility.

this isn't how i wanted it to be for him. for them. he is the last of my grandmother's siblings to leave us. i wanted just one of those remarkable, charismatic people to go peacefully, and of the eight of them, he is most deserving of that. he's spent his life serving god, serving others. and now his heart is failing him. i'm not ready for this chapter of my life to end just yet. i'm not ready for him to go.

i was reading posts by others who are celebrating their blogiversaries. it made me want to dig into my archives a bit. the oldest post i've kept is from june sixteenth. nine years ago.

taken near holy trinity abbey in huntsville, utah

i took this photo a long, long time ago during one of my family's winter visits with my great uncle. i was riding in the passenger seat, running errands with a relative. i snapped this shot of a box elder tree on a ranch as we made our way toward huntsville from the abbey. there were cattle under that tree, but the snow was so deep you could barely see them. i call it reach. i wish i could reach into heaven and hug the greats one more time. i wish they were here. i wish that his passing would come more quickly, more easily. he's hurting, and we're all helpless to stop it.

the help

August 15, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because erin sent it to me years ago... and because one of the categories for her challenge was a book that had a yellow cover.

what i liked: she rubs the cream in my hair with both hands. i can practically feel the hope in her fingers (page 128).

"minny, i don't care if celia never lifts another finger for the rest of her life... i don't care if she can cook. i just want her here --" he shrugs. "with me" (page 162).

i turn out all the lamps, the television, every electricity sucker downstairs save the refrigerator. i stand in front of the window and unbutton my blouse. carefully i turn the dial to three. because i long to feel nothing. i want to be frozen inside. i want the icy cold to blow directly on my heart.

the power blows out in about three seconds (page 325).

i sit down at my typewriter.

but i cannot type. i stare at the tiny gray squares of the back porch screen. i stare so hard, i slip through them. i feel something inside me crack open. i am vaporous. i am crazy. i am deaf to that stupid, silent phone. deaf to mother's retching in the house. her voice through the window. "i'm fine, carlton, it's passed." i hear it all, and yet i hear nothing. just a high buzzing in my ears (page 331).

"going from hilly to celia must've been quite the change, johnny."

johnny shakes his head. "like living in antarctica all my life and one day moving to hawaii" (page 386).

what sucked: nothing really. i'd seen the movie ages ago, so i'm more partial to certain scenes in the film than i am to their respective parts in the book, but... it's a pretty solid story.

having said that: i like all the characters, save for hilly and elizabeth. but even they are well-developed. it's rare that an author can evoke such animosity for a character in me, and yet... i can admire the author her ability to have fashioned these women. hilly is a vile human being for all her hate and elizabeth is equally so for all her cowardice. i listened to it on audio, which is why i don't have as many snippets to share with you of the things i liked, and every time the disc ended (i borrowed it from the library, yall), i was both annoyed by the interruption and sad because the story had stopped. also, if you do the audio, octavia spencer reads minny's parts, and the gal who reads the secret life of bees reads skeeter's. it's a damned fine story. i'm glad to have read it.

tuesday topics: five. things you love about your state

photo by erich schlegel / dallas morning news
one. the spirit of aggieland. so this is what we look like when we're at our best. sixteen years ago. september twenty-second. the aggies vs. oklahoma state. tens of thousands of shirts sold so kyle field could look like this. tens of thousands of dollars raised to support first responders in new york city and their families. sometimes i think we've forgotten just how good we can be. sometimes i wonder why it takes tragedy to bring out the best in us. more of this please, america. less preaching, more patriotism. please, god, more of this. anyway... some of my happiest days have been spent at kyle field. it's hard not feel good about the world and your place in it when you're standing in that stadium.

two. the diversity of geography. there's a beach to the south, forests to the north, hill country to the west, and beyond that desert then mountains. yes, mountains. guadalupe peak's nearly nine thousand feet above sea level, yall. it's not pikes peak, no, but it's not some rinky dink hill, either.

three. dr. pepper.

four. whataburger. in-n-out burger can suck it.



five. the come and take it flag. flown at the battle of gonzales, the first military engagement of the texas revolution. october second, eighteen thirty-five. mexico wanted their cannon back.



what things do you love about your state? share them with me!

what's up, weekend?

August 11, 2017


so the things for which i am most grateful this week is the conversation i had with one of the gals at pappadeaux's. i've spent a significant bit of time this week typing up the pages i'd written in the past six weeks or so. pages, by the way, that i'd been happy to have written then, but upon review proved to be thoroughly disheartening. i ended up deleting half the shit i'd typed. why? because when i told her how much i was hating having to type them, she told me not to type them, then. and we got to talking about why i hated them, and she said that what i had one of my characters doing didn't sound like the sort of thing he would do at all. and she's right. it's not at all the kind of thing he would do. it's what i would expect most guys to do, but he's not most guys. my girl's the bitch in this book, yall. my boy's a sweetheart. he would never react the way i had him reacting, and THAT is why the pages were so shitty. THAT is why i was hating typing them. of course, i have yet to figure out how he WOULD react to this particular circumstances, but... at least i know it's not that way. it's like i was given permission to go against the grain on this one. like it's okay that my guy do things differently. i love that she called me out on it, or whatever. 

after i'd typed the pages i decided were worthy enough, i yanked every one of them out and wadded them up (i'm sure the folks dining in the booths behind me were thrilled... i was making quite the show of this... it felt so good to trash those pages, yall). i walked a majority of them to the trash can. i tried to throw the last two like i was shooting hoops. one of the bartenders was cleaning up the service bar as i did this and observed. i missed. both times. i didn't like that she called me out on that. whatever.

so anyway, while i'm mulling over how to fix this particular chapter, i spent the day binging on ncis: new orleans. i'd not watched much television the past few months, unless it was movies, so there are LOT of episodes stored. i killed blue bloods, ncis and ncis: los angeles earlier this week.

this weekend i plan on doing nothing but writing and watching elementary and madam secretary. and GAME OF THRONES. last week, yall. DAMN.

check out the peaceful posse on facebook, yall.

belated booksgiving

August 10, 2017


so a few months ago the bloggess wrote this post and invited her readers to participate in what she calls booksgiving. someone sent me a copy of furiously happy, but i don't know who was kind enough to do so. i don't need to know. the who doesn't matter. i've been meaning to acknowledge the gift, but i'm a forgetful gal, and expressing gratitude isn't my forte. but it made me so happy to see that book in my mailbox. so you, whomever you are, your having sent that book was a big bright spot. thank you for putting some sunshine in my day.

the fall film challenge: my list

August 8, 2017


one. starring anthony hopkins. howard's end.
three. about charity. megan leavey.
four. starring robert downey, jr. spider-man: homecoming.
five. about envy. snow white and the huntsman.
six. about faith. war room.
seven. about greed. the wolf of wall street.
eight. about hope. creed.
nine. starring jeremy irons. their finest.
ten. about justice. the book of henry.
eleven. starring kevin bacon. footloose.
twelve. about lust. don jon.
thirteen. starring ian mckellen. mr. holmes.
fourteen. set in a castle. elizabeth.
fifteen. about fortitude. room.
sixteen. about pride. the founder.
seventeen. starring alan rickman. bottle shock.
eighteen. released last year and reviewed on slothsandmovies.com. jackie.
nineteen. about temperance. gifted.
twenty. about prudence. the case for christ.
twenty-one. starring val kilmer. kiss kiss bang bang.
twenty-two. about wrath. logan.
twenty-three. set in an exotic locale. pirates of the caribbean: dead men tell no tales.
twenty-four. about gluttony. chef.
twenty-five. set in space. the space between us.

tuesday topics: six. best country songs

i stayed up late last night going over the songs in my collection, trying to whittle it to the six. i was at it again this morning, scouring lists. waylon and willie should be on here. hank. randy or george or clint. tim and faith. dolly or patsy. reba. i should've picked one singer, like garth, and made yall choose six by that one artist. that would've been a shit ton easier. in the end, i went through my list of the best hundred songs and pulled six country ones i liked most off that.

wolves. garth brooks.

i'm gonna love you through it. martina mcbride.


fire away. chris stapleton.

pour me. trick pony.


here's a quarter. travis tritt.

the song remembers when. trisha yearwood.


what country songs do you like best? share them with me!

motion picture monday

August 6, 2017

released: 1992.
starring: kevin bacon, tom cruise, jack nicholson.
what makes it awesome: the story and jack.

released: 1995.
starring: kevin bacon, christian slater, gary oldman.
what makes it awesome: the story and this is probably kevin's best role.

released: 1995.
starring: kevin bacon, tom hanks, ed harris.
what makes it awesome: the story and the cast.

four. sleepers.
released: 1996.
starring: kevin bacon, dustin hoffman, robert de niro.
what makes it awesome: next to the count of monte cristo, this is the best example i know of karma kicking ass. and the cast is one of the best ever assembled.

released: 1997.
starring: kevin bacon, jennifer aniston, jay mohr.
what makes it awesome: it's kind of silly, and after sleepers, silly is a wonderful thing.

released: 2011.
starring: kevin bacon, emma stone, ryan gosling.
what makes it awesome: emma and ryan.

seven. patriots day.
released: 2016.
starring: kevin bacon, john goodman, mark wahlberg.
what makes it awesome: the story.