From Zero to Hero – Days 9 and 10

Friday’s Assignment:  Follow five more blogs and/or topics.

Saturday’s Assignment:  Add and customize two widgets. For this task, you’ll add two widgets: one that adds a text-based feature, and one that adds something image-based.

On Friday I did search out some more blogs and I searched the topic From Zero to Hero. I came across some interesting new blogs and left a few comments along the way. As a result I’ve had some new visitors to my blog. When I first started blogging I routinely went to the Reader section and checked out at least ten new blogs a day. At one point it was suggested to me by a random blogger that to increase your readership all you have to do is click on the like button without even reading the post. I soon discovered that when people don’t actually go into your site and just click the like button it doesn’t register as a ‘view’. I couldn’t understand how I could have  10 likes and only 3 views on the same post. I have since made it a personal policy to only click like button after I have opened the post and actually read it.

Today I added a gallery widget to my already full sidebar. I love taking macro shots with my camera so I made a photo gallery of some of my favourite subjects, insects and flowers. I also updated my Milestones widget. I decided to make the topic this challenge, From Zero to Hero and my two goals for the month of January.

Day 10 – Task for the day

Other than cleaning the kitchen yesterday which is and should be a normal daily task, I decided to devote my time to spending an evening with my husband. No computers or extra cleaning tasks. After a nice meal we enjoyed a movie together, something I haven’t done with him in awhile. We decided to watch Rainmaker. It’s an older movie but we hadn’t seen it before which is surprising because my husband is a huge John Grisham fan. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a very entertaining legal drama, infused with just the right amount of humour from Danny DeVito’s character, plenty of well thought-out characters, brought to life by talented actors and interesting subplots. The reviews that I read were mostly positive. They weren’t outstanding but overall satisfactory.

Today we took turns chopping up the ice on the porch, stairs, walkway and sidewalk. It was considerably warmer today, well above freezing but the rain and warmer temperatures actually made the ice slicker and more dangerous. Once again we didn’t go for a walk in the neighbourhood. We did, however, drive over to the Junction and did a little bit of shopping for dinner. When we got home it was my turn to chop and clear some ice. K’s hands are pretty sore from the constant pounding of the spade onto the ice. He didn’t notice it at first until he went out a second time to do some more clearing. I will probably feel it in the morning.

Tonight I chose to clean one of the counters in my kitchen which had become quite cluttered and to organize the lower corner unit where I store a lot of food containers and vases.

I’ve boxed a number of bottles and old Tupperware containers that I don’t use any more. I’ll be making another trip to the thrift store tomorrow to drop them off.

I’m already into day 11 but the assignment won’t show up for awhile. Time to go to bed. See you in the morning.



My Two Cents

….on The Great Gatsby…..the movie

Last Friday, the ladies from my book club and I attended the screening of the latest version of The Great Gatsby. I have to tell you that when I read the book in high school I couldn’t relate to the novel and I didn’t like it. After reading it a second time for our book club, I did discover that I liked it a little bit more but I still couldn’t get my head around the excesses of the era. The lists of meaningless names, the extravagant lifestyle, the excessive drinking and the hordes of uninvited selfish party goers confused me and left me cold.

That said and after hearing some negative reviews I didn’t have high hopes for the movie.  In the first half hour, which highlighted the outrageous parties at Gatsby’s house and where we were introduced to the main characters, I thought my worst fears were coming to fruition. I had heard that the background music didn’t fit with the 1920s era and sure enough during the party scenes our senses were assaulted with hip hop music. I don’t know if the director did this to appeal to a younger crowd but it didn’t work for me and I like hip hop.

Not everything was bad about this movie, In fact I enjoyed most of it. Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, tells us the story through his written journal entries after he is encouraged by his doctor to write down his experiences of that fateful summer when he lived next door to Gatsby. We see how a naive young man is sucked into the lifestyle of high society, ambition and excessive alcohol consumption while remaining loyal to Gatsby and in the end being Gatsby’s only friend.

I also enjoyed the performances of Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan who played Daisy. Luhrmann’s Gatsby becomes increasingly more real as the characters become more developed in the last half of the movie. This is definitely not the Gatsby we studied in our high school English class. It is rare when I like a movie better than  the book. I gave the book a 3 out of 5.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5

My Happiness File – Day 5

…..spending the entire day with my husband brought many happy moments today

Today was my first day off the detox cleanse and I was able to enjoy my first coffee in four days. Heavenly!

P1000687My husband took the day off work today so that we could spend the day together. After our walk this morning and enjoying the first solid food I had in over three days we got into the car and went for a day trip north of the city. We had a great time checking out the Apple Factory and buying a few vegetables and some specialty items for our Irish dinner on Sunday and then we made our way to Spirit Tree where we had a nice lunch. I’ll write more about our experience in my next post.

After lunch we started driving around looking for the Cheltenham Bad Lands. K set his GPS on his new phone and off we went. We got so lost. I’m sure we drove 20 k in the wrong direction before we turned around. We did eventually find it. For the rest of the afternoon we found our surroundings pretty uninspiring. The one thing that did amaze us was how much snow was still on the ground just 30 k north of Toronto.

On our way home we decided to stop at the movie theatre and take in a show. We ended up seeing Zero Dark 30. I really liked it and I didn’t think I would. Before the show started I made K set his phone so I could play the interactive pre show on-screen game. I came in second and won a slice of pizza that I will probably never redeem. Made me happy anyway.

All in all it was a great day.


Life of Pi and Day 3 of the Cleanse

…..two more things that made me happy today

Earlier in the week two of my friends and I made plans to see the Life of Pi. Today was the day. It was a perfect day to see a movie. It was overcast and winter temperatures have returned. I guess old man winter is not done with us.

I was surprised that the movie version we were seeing was in 3D. I’ve never seen an entire movie with 3D glasses and I’m pleased to say that it was a very pleasant experience. In fact it was downright beautiful. Having the birds fly towards us and the fish swim in our direction was magical.

I read the book years ago and was curious how such an unusual story could be made into a movie. The animal scenes in the life boat were tastefully recreated but I know some people that would find them somewhat disturbing. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it was easy to see why it won four Oscars.

The last thing I’m happy about is that I completed the Dr. Oz Three Day Cleanse tonight. As you know I had to do the last two days on my own. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it without my husband’s support but it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Tomorrow I’ll explain the program and reveal my results.

Have you seen a good movie lately?