fiona's quirky creations


Quirky creativity is a favorite passion of mine.  And I love this artistic creation (above) by my granddaughter Fiona; in some ways, it seems almost like a self portrait.  There are many versions of Fiona, like the one below:



November Fiona


And then there is this one, which she captioned Bad Hair Day:



Fiona - bad hair day


She has no qualms about changing up her style on a regular basis.  Courage?  Creativity? Quirkiness?

Maybe all of the above.

When I started this blog in 2009, one of my earliest posts was on a Sunday…and Fiona, age twelve at the time, was watching over my shoulder, seemingly fascinated.  I wrote one of my earlier posts about her:  Sunday Morning Potpourri.

We have traveled so many Sundays since then, and I have added an additional seven or so blogs….(there were a few others in between then and now that no longer exist, but there are ten additional sites now).

And back to creativity…here is another version of Fiona’s creative explorations…this one was taken a couple of years ago.





What are some of your quirky obsessions?  What people inspire you to write posts about the topic?



Lily Davis, single mom and Manhattan dweller, is worried about her teen son. On impulse, she moves them to Sakonnet Bay, a picturesque town on the Long Island Coast. She hopes that small town life will be simpler, calmer, and will keep her son safer.

Renting a house, finding a job, and merging their lives with other villagers happens seamlessly. But just when Lily thinks that everything is going great, a series of incidents, beginning with a freaky dog bite, catapult her life into a complex drama. Suddenly she is reminded of everything she enjoyed most in Manhattan.

But because she also likes the quirky charm of the town, and has a new best friend, she hangs in. And her interest is piqued by a handsome cop who has his own appeal and helps her want to stay.

But when things start to heat up, and when a murder investigation, along with the irate protesters who are fighting about the deer in the village, bring Lily and her column into the center of it all, she begins to wonder if everything she has done lately was a big mistake.

In the process of sorting it all out, what will Lily learn about herself, her son, and what she needs? How will the gossip mill help turn the tide for her and lead to some defining moments?

The narration was fun and quirky; there were enough laugh-out-loud moments to keep me turning pages; but other aspects of the book just didn’t live up to my hopes. I would recommend it for those who enjoy a light read with funny dialogue, but don’t expect Ephron’s trademark style in Big City Eyes. I’m giving this one 3.5 stars.


Fiona's Superheroes

Perusing my folder of Fiona’s art led to today’s gallery of potpourri…and the new header.

I adore the artistic creations of my children and grandchildren, and they all seem to have some talent.  Somehow it skipped right over me, lol; however, some say that I got the writing bug.  And I do love blog design, but my stuff is more quirky than anything else.

Creations of any kind can be intense and lots of fun.

Fiona’s cartoon characters have a message.  I like that her characters show empowerment.  Something we all hope to model for our children and grandchildren.

My eldest son is a photographer, and his sojourn in Europe for more than a decade has yielded some creative results, too.  His Craig Robinson Photography site shows some of what he has done.

Here are a few photos he captured while the Berlin Wall was under reconstruction.

I’ve featured that one, and some of these others on my various blogs and posts.

And here are a series of photos taken at an abandoned sanitarium just outside of Berlin in Beelitz.

What images best showcase your passions in life?  Do you share these with your children/grandchildren/friends?


The two of them were polar opposites: Blake was a handsome, rich rogue who loved to play, while Maxine was a renowned psychiatrist called in to assist with traumatized and suicidal adolescents.

Despite their differences, they loved one another, had three beautiful children, and then divorced. Their differences finally did them in.

It would be many years before Maxine would try again, but Blake moved seamlessly through his jet-setting world with gorgeous women on his arm. None of them lasted, though.

Maxine’s romance with internist Charles West seemed like the perfect match. They had much in common, they were both grown-ups, and the only obstacles seemed to be her three children and her ex-husband.

Rogue is a charming tale of romantic adventures gone wrong, a world filled with beautiful people and beautiful places, and what can happen when two people pursue happiness from opposite directions.

So what catastrophic event will change Blake in a major way? And how will Charles react to the ever-present shadow of a charming ex? What do the three children bring to the mix? And how will unexpected events upend the lives of these characters?

Despite the predictability of a good part of the plot, I enjoyed this story more than many by this author. I liked the characters and the storyline that delved into psychiatric issues, catastrophic natural disasters, while balancing these themes with just the right touch of glamour to make the story feel like both a humanitarian junket and a red carpet event. Funny and charming dialogue at key points along the way made this story a quick and fun read. I’m giving this one four stars.


Movies Based on Books

I’m a big fan of books, but movies made from books run a close second.

Recent examples for me include the movie/book The Help.  I loved both versions so much, that I saw the movie twice at the theater, and now have the DVD.

Now I’m very excited about another movie based on a book.  Coming January 27, One for the Money stars Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum…and guess what?  Debbie Reynolds is the grandmother.

Since I hadn’t yet read this first Stephanie Plum book, and wanted to do so before the movie comes out, naturally I went to the Kindle store and downloaded it!

These are the occasions when having a Kindle comes in really handy.

I love this opener:

There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever.  Joseph Morelli did this to me—not forever, but periodically.

Morelli and I were both born and raised in a blue-collar chunk of Trenton called the burg.  Houses were attached and narrow.  Yards were small.  Cars were American.  The people were mostly of Italian descent, with enough Hungarians and Germans thrown in to offset inbreeding.  It was a good place to buy calzone or play the numbers.  And, if you had to live in Trenton anyway, it was an okay place to raise a family.

Since I just downloaded it, I wouldn’t necessarily be reading it right away, considering the size of my stacks, both in my office and my bedroom.  But you know I’m going to read it soon, just to beat that January 27 movie opening.

Probably I’m the only person who has read Stephanie Plum books, but hasn’t yet read the first one.  I started with number eleven, moved to number fifteen…and then stalled.  Again, I blame it on my stacks.

If the movie weren’t coming out soon, who knows how long it would have taken?

Have any of you read this one?  Anyone planning to see the movie?  I love Debbie Reynolds.  Her comedic timing is awesome.  From the trailer, I can tell I’m going to thoroughly enjoy it.  Come on by and share your thoughts…..


Tall Pine, Minnesota has a lot to recommend it: quirky townsfolk who share traits that can be defined as folksy, friendly, nosy, and any number of other adjectives. But what really connects the residents of this town near the Canadian border is their unique gathering place known as the Cup O’Delight Café, made famous for its delicious coffee made with a secret blend known only to its owner, Lee O’Leary.

We meet many of the residents in the opening pages, as they enter the café and order breakfast or lunch, or saunter in for polka night. Residents like Fenny Ness, who is “discovered” by a Hollywood producer, and who eventually stars in a movie made right in Tall Pine called “Ike and Inga.” Mary is known for her bad poetry and her many annoying ways, while Pete is the proprietor of the Shoe Shack and has his special place at the counter every day.

When the movie is shot in their little town, the lives of the residents will change forever. Some changes will include love alliances sparked during that time. What will draw Fenny to a recent newcomer in town known as Big Bill, and what will his presence in town do to the friendship between Fenny and Lee? How will the various comings and goings of the residents as they try to recover after a tragic event in the café ultimately affect the character of the town? And how will things finally settle into some kind of normalcy again?

Filled with colorful characters, The Tall Pine Polka (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) is reminiscent of other such tomes that spotlight a town as if it, too, is a character in the drama. Without the backdrop of Tall Pine, none of the characters would be nearly as interesting. And without the Hollywood presence, the daily lives of the characters might seem intriguing and quirky for awhile, but they would lack that special something. I thought the book went on too long and included too many unnecessary details of the movie-making process. Otherwise, it was pleasant, warm, and even memorable. Four stars.