Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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February 2019
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01/31/19
10 Below and Still Smiling
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 8:33 pm
This kind of weather certainly puts me in a count my blessings state of mind! We have family, friends, food and we’re warm, safe and happy. I am thankful I was born in the USA, rather than south of the border. The Groundhog’s shadow will be announced Saturday morning and we Pennsylvanians expect another six weeks of winter, though likely no more of this record breaking cold after tomorrow. 
 
My husband is completely retired as of January 1, 2019. What change for both of us! I have to admit it’s great having home all the time, I think he’s enjoying it too. 
All the Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year, and I downsized by one less large box of decorations to save for next year. It is a start in our much needed downsizing goals for the coming year!
We returned January 27th from a ten day trip south to Hilton Head, S.C. We met my two sisters and their husbands at the condo we shared. We had a wonderful time and the days slipped through our hands like water. Wearing a guilted vest was all we needed most days. We had several invigorating walks on the beach, Seafood diners and one dine-in extravaganza when Sallie Ann Robinson, the Gullah Cooking Queen, came to the condo and prepared a feast for us. Our friends who winter in Hilton Head also came for dinner. Everyone had a roaring good time! We met Sallie Ann last year when we toured Daufuskie Island with Sallie Ann’s Tours. She still lives on the island and was one of Pat Conroy’s students when he taught school there. Sallie Ann is also an accomplished author and remained a close friend of Conroy’s throughout his life. (She wrote his tribute obituary for Life magazine the year he died.) She sang Gospel songs for us after dinner, we all clapped our hands to the rhythm and sang along. Such fun!!
We went to two good movies while there:
 The Upside, we loved it, one of the most fun movies we’ve seen in a long time. Also gave us plenty to think and talk about after the show. So good that the audience spontaneously started to applaud when it ended. Based on a true story.
Vice was not fun. Another true story. But it was an exceptionally well done movie, a bit more political than we prefer, I love Christian Bales acting, he amazes us the way he becomes the person he plays. I can’t help but wonder what that does to a person’s psychological well being…
Little Women from Netflix, the one with Susan Dey, Greer Carson, Dorothy Maguire, and young William Shatner. It was our book for Book Club and since I’d miss book club due to our vacation,  I watched the movie rather than reading the book again. I loved it!


We listened to three audio books during the drive to and from Hilton Head:
Texas Ranger by James Patterson. Fiction. Fabulous writing, I could understand why he’s so phenomenally successful. It was a great book to listen to on a long drive. I didn’t see the surprise ending coming! 
Innocent by David Baldacci. Fiction. An exciting  gripping story as all his books prove to be. Another great story by a master writer.
Jurer #3 by James Patterson with Nancy Allen. Fiction. The reader for this book was perfect and made a great story even better.
Loved it and my hats off to these writers - wow! Didn’t see that ending coming either.
I read: 
70 Things to Do When You Turn 70, and found it quite interesting. It is an anthology of 70 essays by a diverse group of people. Some were exceptional and some so-so. My favorite was by May Sarton. She begins: “If someone else had lived so long and could remember things sixty years ago with great clarity, she would seem very old to me. But I do not feel old at all…  I look forward with joy to the years ahead and especially to the surprises that each day may bring.” 
The Mercy Oak by Kathryn R. Wall. Fiction. Another in her Bay Tanner Mystery series. Loved it. I encourage anyone who hasn’t read her books to check them out. There are 15 books in the series. The all take place in the Hilton Head low country area. Library Journal states: “Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky and Marica Muller… quintessential writers of the modern female  private eye novel. Wall, in a quiet and unassuming way, has produced a body of work of equal quality . Highly recommended.”
My review of The Heir by Fran Hawthorne was posted on Story Circle.org:  http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/heirs.shtml    It would be especially interesting to Jews of Polish ancestry. 
Till next month, keep reading my friends. 
Later, Ann

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