Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Choice ~ Nicholas Sparks (Book Review)

If you love Nicholas Sparks, his books or movies (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, etc.), you will love this book!  A great love story that spans from early love to marriage and family to an eventual ‘choice’ …Nicholas Sparks asks …”How far should you go to keep the hope of love alive?”  A beautiful story with a decision that will make you question yourself about your own love.  I wonder … hmmm … is there a movie in the making?  Definitely had me in tears!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lions Tigers and Bears … Oh My!

Sooooo … Alayna comes home and says “I just found out there is some kind hiking trails on the Corps of Engineers Property that you can get to right here on our street behind so and so’s house … it has little bridges over creeks and everything …11.2 miles of trails.”  Our neighborhood backs up to Army Corps of Engineers property … a lot of property (to say the least) … there’s an area that’s cleared for flying remote control planes, which you see flying over our neighborhood year round … some designated for a dog park … some designated for hunting … and tons and tons of densely wooded land.  We knew this 7 years ago when we purchased our lot and built our home.  However ….we did not know until now … today …that there were existing hiking trails back there.  We decided to check it out.  I needed to walk any way.  Well it’s a little after 7 pm and it doesn’t get dark til like 9, right?

We find the trail and at the point where we started there was an old … very old … concrete picnic table and an old tin roofed shelter … pretty cool.  We decide since its thundering way off and the trails are dense with trees and foliage … though the trails are proper hiking trails … in most spots you can even walk two by two … side by side … anyway, we decided we wouldn’t go far and would turn around real soon.  BUUUUUUTTTT curiosity got the best of us and we really wanted to see where the trail truly begins … and some 1.5 to 2 miles later we find it … whew.

Now you’ve got to picture it … these are dense woods … proper trails up and down and curving left and right and over creeks and a little pond this way and that …it was already darker in there than it was in our neighborhood when we entered it!!!

Then, at that exact moment … after satisfying our curiosity … it dawns on me … OMG … we’ve had black bear spotted in our neighborhood from these exact woods!!!  I say this out loud to Alayna … wrong thing to do … buddy she takes off running like there’s something chasing her … full out running I tell you … leaving me way behind!!!  I’m walking at a pretty good pace trying to be positive and think … “naw there aint no bear in here” when … ALL OF A SUDDEN …I hear this low guttural sound … the sound like large vicious dogs make just before they start after you … I turn around thinking “oh its just someone on the trail behind me with their dog” … I look (without my glasses … stupid me) and see nothing so I just walk on a little faster … much much faster.  Then not 2-3 seconds later I hear it again … I didn’t even stop to look or think about it … I took off running like my life depended on it … I’m scared!!!!  I’m so scared I want desperately to scream but think if I do the dang thing will chase me for sure. 

Finally when I’m a ways away (at least I think I am) from whatever the heck it is I scream for Alayna … she hears me and waits for me to catch up … me running full out!!!  I had to catch my breath so I could tell her what I heard … she just took off running again … leaving me in the dust literally … she wasn’t waiting to see what it was.  Course, I’m scared all over again and take off running full out again … I’m looking at the trees … trying to see if there are any I could climb … aint nothing but Georgia pines … not a thing I can climb… OMG where’s a good tree when I need it … well if I should need it!!!  I’m still running full out thinking this and then I come to a huge dip in the trail where they’ve put in 12x12 concrete pavers … side by side … since it is so deep and muddy … and what happens to me in my full out run … I fall face first into the mud … missed the dang pavers completely … this time I did scream and Alayna came running back for me … I’m covered in mud from my face all the way down to my ankles.  I get up as quick as I can and we take off running again … praying this time that we get outta there alive!!!  We were sooo scared and all I could hear in my head was that awful low guttural growl.

Georgia Black Bear
Once we hit civilization again Alayna and I swore we would NEVER EVER walk those trails again with just the two of us and NEVER EVER this late in the evening … heck a snake could have slithered across the path and we couldn’t have see it … it was so dark!!!

Its not til we get home that Alayna reminds me that we hear the coyotes back there almost every night … howling!  But I’m telling you … it wasn’t no dangum coyote I heard … this sound came from a much larger, huskier animal … a Georgia Black Bear …I’m just sure of it.

Lions, Tigers and Bears … Oh shit!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

the Help ~ Kathryn Stockett (Book Review)

Kathryn Stockett’s first novel which is now a major motion picture (I haven’t seen the movie yet)  A great book that I definitely recommend.  Those of you who were born in the 60’s or before will most certainly appreciate it and possibly relate.  Those born in the 70’s and beyond can learn a lot from this story.  Told in the first person by each of its characters … both sides … it takes you back to a time when there was a lot of misunderstanding …a lot of ignorance … but best of all …back to a time when things started changing … changing for the good …because of brave people who stood up for what was right.  Though it’s a totally fictional story its right on when it describes in detail the thoughts and feelings of a time gone by.  My only disappointment in this book …the dialect …most is correct at least in sentence structure …my issue? …the Southern characters pronounce their “ing” words with “ing” (i.e. swimming instead of swimin, cleaning instead of cleanin, cooking instead of cookin, you get the point) and pronouncing tomatoes … well … as “to-ma-toes” … mmmmm … I grew up in the South … we do not pronounce our ing’s on any “ing” words and we never say “to-ma-to” … it failed to spell out ‘our’ language phonetically as each character tells their respective stories…a pet peeve, I suppose.  Anyway … the Help is a powerful story, a great read and I loved it!  Can't wait to see the movie!!!