June 2013 recap

June was month filled with great blessings. Good personal news. Enjoyed some good movies with hubby. Took a few drives and enjoyed beautiful scenery. Visited with friends. Read a few good books. The month ended with a glorious sunset. (pics at end)

We were also treated to a visit from one of our local deer. Actually she visited across the street. Since I stopped planting pansies (aka: deer salad bar), the deer don’t visit our yard as often. Love watching them, but she didn’t like me watching her. Taken in very low light, at sunset, no flash and I was farther away than my lens is built for, still turned out okay.

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Movies:
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We enjoyed a James Bond home marathon, but still have the Daniel Craig movies to watch. It was nice to get reacquainted with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton (both of whom were better than I remembered), and Pierce Brosnan (who I think was the best Bond). The Bond films with Craig are a bit darker, and so we keep putting off watching them. Actually we saw Casino Royale in the theater when it was released, and disliked it so much we’ve never watched Quantum of Solace. We did go see Skyfall in the theater and enjoyed it—so hopefully as we finish our home marathon for this series, we’ll find a different point of view on Craig as Bond.

~Star Trek Into Darkness: LOVED IT! Totally loved it. Saw it in 2D, and there were a few shots where I almost got ill. I’m assuming in 3D they really jumped off the screen (and I *would* have gotten ill.)

JJ Abrams is my hero for what he’s done with this series, and I’m looking forward to what he does with the new Star Wars movies. FWIW, I’m a fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars. I don’t care for all the ST movies, and I don’t care for all the SW movies either. I’m an equal opportunity disliker. 😀

We gave Star Trek Into Darkness 8 out of 10 stars.

~Epic: Visually beautiful, but a blah story. HOWEVER, if you are 8-10 years of age (and especially if you are a young girl), then you will most likely totally enjoy EPIC. At our theater the young girls applauded and cheered at the end. The 2 boys behind us were bored and talked through most of the movie. And most of the kids groaned at the one spot near the end. I was with them. Totally cliched moment and I thought it was stupid for a kids movie. I’d also say that avid movie watchers will look at many scenes and say “rip off of ___”.

We gave Epic 3 out of 10 stars.

~Oz the Great and Powerful: Wasn’t bad. The CGI was close to overdone, but it was *well* done. The colors were grand, and that’s on our older TV. Bet it’s super in 3D (if you can handle 3D). The cast was great, although the only one we recognized was Rachel Weisz. James Franco was just smarmy enough to be Oz. Loved the nod to the original with the B&W opening, and the transition to color was nicely done. Wish I could compare it to the book(s), but I’ve not yet read them. They are, however, now on my Kindle.

We gave Oz the Great and Powerful 7 out of 10 stars.

Books:
I was so sad to hear of the death of author Vince Flynn. He was a great author, a most decent human being, and a true patriot. I think this article is one of the nicest tributes on the web:

Requiem for Vince Flynn by Julie Kramer

Book #13: Pray for a Brave Heart by Helen MacInnes
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 334
Recommend
Set in the early 1950’s, we follow William Denning as he prepares to leave American Army Intelligence and return home. His path takes him to Switzerland, as he helps a friend and colleague recover the Herz diamonds. Perhaps not her best offering, still it has suspense and intrigue, and held my interest to the end.

Book #14: The First Commandment by Brad Thor
Genre: Thriller/Spy
Pages: 528 (chunkster)
Recommend
Another timely offering from the pen of Brad Thor. Terrorists. A personal vendetta. “…nonstop adventure full of international intrigue, twisted betrayals, and ultimate revenge.” Best of all, just as with Takedown, the ending leaves the reader asking, “What’s next?”

Book #15: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Genre: YA
Pages: 296
Recommend (a top read of 2013)
The story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle (Chickabidy), her gramps and gram (Gooseberry), her friend Phoebe (Peeby), a trip cross country, a story within a story, and life in all it’s various stages is played out. I found the characters captivating, believable, and lovable. I saw my own family and friends in the story. I made new friends with every character in the book. Considered young adult fiction (ages 12-18), the story has enough depth for most adults who simply enjoy a good read. Finished this the afternoon of Wed, 6/26. Sobbed for a good 30 minutes. Walk Two Moons is one the best books I’ve read this year, and it’s one of the worst books I’ve read this year. I recommend it, and do keep the tissues handy.

The Sunset:

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Looking NW across the bay

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Looking west across the spit.

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Looking SW at the sea wall.

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