Hosted by Jen Dayton
Hosted by Jen Dayton

Winter is not going gentle is it?  I have been thinking a lot about resilience this week.  Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. Tuesday was such a tease!  It just could not have been a lovelier hat-free, coat-negotiable day, and then to wake up to the lung exploding cold of Thursday?  Well, that was just plain cruel.  But just knowing that going forward Tuesday would soon be the new normal and Thursday a distant, unpleasant memory made it that much easier to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Also, this is a Full Moon Weekend.  This Full Moon has many different names:  The Full Worm Moon for the alleged thawing that is supposed to be happening but is not, the Full Crust Moon for the texture of the earth from the freezing and thawing, the Full Sap Moon which those of us who park on street under trees can attest to, and The Full Lenten Moon.  Whatever you call it the message is clear, we are nearing the end of this endless winter. So keep bouncing back People!  We are on the upswing!    Sweet Ann is asking us a question with her Words of Wisdom this week.  “Is that the best you’ve got?”  Let’s all show our better side, shall we?   This week we have a Boy-Toy and his boat, inside dirt, more Mars (still the planet not the God of War), emotional damage and some wooing. And of course, The Playlist!

Let us begin!

The Fab Babs B has finished watching All is Lost.  Here’s what she thinks.  “I really procrastinated watching this movie. Who doesn't love Robert Redford, even at 77, but watching him for over 1 1/2 hours with no dialogue?  Are you kidding? But!  I was very pleasantly surprised as the movie went by in a flash.  Redford is stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean on his sailboat after a metal container unit has slipped off from one of the colossal ships from the nearby shipping lanes and smashed into his boat.  His attempts to repair the craft and his equipment soon reveal that basically ‘all is lost’.  The ending of this movie can be taken in two ways because it depends on how you view life.  Is the glass half empty or half full? I loved this movie!”

Here are our new leader Alan’s thoughts on a fellow leader.  He has just finished reading Duty by Robert Gates. “When I was a kid, a neighbor asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and for some reason I replied, ‘I want to be the Secretary of Defense. ‘He looked at me like, ‘You’re never playing with my kids again.’ Well, that plan didn’t work out, but reading Duty by Robert Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense under both Presidents Bush and Obama, is the next best thing. If you’ve wondered what it would be like to hold an insanely important position at the national level, this will put you there. If you want the inside dirt on the politics, the bureaucracy, the in-fighting, the bravery of the men and women in battle and the obtuseness of politicians and some career military leaders, this insider’s view will give you that and more. This is strongly recommended.”

Steph has been reading about a different kind of bravery. “Over the weekend, I read The Martian, by Andy Weir. This book was a LibraryReads pick in February, and I couldn’t resist it after reading this blurb: ‘An edge-of-your seat debut thriller with laugh-out-loud dialogue mixed in. After a bad storm cuts his team’s Mars mission short, injured astronaut Mark Watley is stranded. Now he’s got to figure out how to survive without air, shelter, food, or water on the harsh Martian landscape until the next manned mission in four years.” I am so glad I picked it up! It was the perfect weekend read.  While the writing is nothing to write home about, and Weir is obsessed with explaining every aspect of every crazy new plan in a way that only a computer programmer could be, it’s quick and funny. It would be a great summer read, especially for fans for writers like Daniel Silva who want to try a thriller without any spies.”

Sweet Ann is reading Wake by Anna Hope.  “This is a first novel for Ms. Hope and I hope it will not be her last.  Set in 1920 England following the end of WW I, the country is alive with patriotism as the nation commemorates the arrival of the Unknown Soldier back from the shores of France.  The novel follows three women; Ada who lost a son in the war, Evelyn whose fiancé was killed and her brother Ed has returned a broken man and Hettie who will become involved with Ed and will soon discover the depth of his emotional damage.  This book was well written and captivated me from the beginning.”

I am reading The End of Always by Randi Davenport.   I specifically picked this one up because it is being published by Twelve which is a division of the Hachette Book Group.  The thing that is so cool about Twelve is that they only publish 1 book a month and what they do put out is amazing in its quality and scope.  The End of Always is a perfect example of this. Marie Reehs is the 17-year-old daughter of German immigrants living in the austere landscape of 1907 Wisconsin. By day, she toils at a charmless laundry in a job arranged for her by her brutish father while being ogled by the laundry’s manager.  By night, she is being secretly wooed by August Bethke, a neighborhood boy whom she first encountered when he helped carry her mother’s body home after she was stabbed. Marie knows how violent her father can be and she is pretty sure that he was the one who killed her mother.  Will Marie be able to break free of this cycle of poverty, violence and death?  I have to say that this is rapidly becoming an obsession for me.  I love Marie, I love the bleak unrelenting way her story is being gifted to me, and I am beginning to resent having to turn off my Kindle because I have to do things like go to work, make dinner, or sleep. It comes out in May. 

DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here with our weekly playlist.  She is the personification of resilience this week. She has had a bad time of it in That State Up North.  I could have told her no good comes from up there but she just would have gone anyway.  It’s always a fascination to meet someone more stubborn than myself.  Anyway, here are her thoughts on resilience. Take it away Patty!  “You can plan for a move. You can plan for spring.  You can plan to take a fabulous vacation with your family.  And then life happens.  The movers don’t show up.  A March snowstorm adds another school day to the end of the calendar year.  A family member gets sick or work gets in the way and the family does not get to share in the meticulously planned, much anticipated vacation.  Potholes happen. Luck or fortune or circumstances change the equation and we are presented with an opportunity.  The opportunity is to get back up, face another day, put one foot in front of the other and do it with enthusiasm, a smile and a kind word.  As a friend of mine says,  “Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.” Indeed. A little resilience can go a long way and I hope we all have a long, winding path ahead.  So, chin-up, cheer-up, and dance into the longer, warmer days ahead.  “


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