Friday, November 27, 2020

MOVIE WEEKEND: HILLBILLY ELEGY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Has anyone else watched Hillbilly Elegy (2020) on Netflix streaming? I'm a little confused by it.


Hillbilly Elegy is based on the 2016 memoir by J.D. Vance, a book I haven't read in which I now feel interested. Glenn Close (Mamaw--Vance's grandmother), Amy Adams (Bev--Vance's mother), Gabriel Basso (adult J.D.), and Owen Asztalos (young J.D.) inhabit their roles––an ability I admire tremendously. Everyone else in the movie is great, too.  Ron Howard directs.

Adult J.D. has to leave Yale Law School, where he seeks a summer internship with a prestigious law firm that will pay him enough money to allow him to stay in school, to return to the town where he grew up, because his mother overdosed on heroin. We also see numerous flashbacks to J.D.'s younger years as he struggled to deal with his abusive mother and the addictions that apparently began when she was a nurse in a hospital and stole pain pills.

Young J.D.'s crusty, tough grandmother took him in and scared away his bad friends. She demands he pay attention to his schoolwork:

Mamaw: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.

So, what bothers me about the movie?

Does it magnify stereotypes or reflect real life? Mamaw and Bev deal with abusive men, never have enough money (it bugs me that Mamaw smokes like a chimney yet lacks funds), spout profanity constantly, and are quite nasty themselves. Mamaw gets rid of her cruel, drunk husband, but he lives down the street and they spend some time together. Bev goes from one bad man to another. 

Real life: physical and emotional abuse exist and the cycle is hard to break, lots of people remain addicted to smoking no matter the consequences, drug and alcohol abuse are a never-ending problem, many people curse, and plenty of people are nasty. Mamaw and Bev probably would have been Trump supporters. 

I hope you can see why I ask for your opinions of the movie. 'Tis a conundrum for this Junebug. 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 


: I don't care you hate me. I ain't in it for popularity. You gotta take care of business, go to school, get good grades to even have a chance.  

Thursday, November 26, 2020

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM A GRATEFUL JUNEBUG

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Everyone knows that 2020 has been a tough year. We're all afraid of getting the Corona Virus, but we're tired of wearing masks. We're tired of the folks who refuse to wear masks or who put on the masks but don't cover their noses. Some of us have even lost a family member or a friend to the horrible virus. The United States went through a tough presidential election. Those who voted for Donald Trump are disappointed. Businesses closed––some never to reopen. Unemployment rages. Plenty of people can't pay the rent or the mortgage. Some don't have enough to eat. Food banks struggle to help. 

I have it relatively easy. I have food. I can pay the mortgage. I don't go to stores unless I must, which has happened only twice in the past month. Franklin and I continue to go for walks to the neighborhood park, where we can stay well away from peeps. 

I have many reason to be grateful, including the following:

  • We'll have the vaccine soon. Healthcare workers will receive it first, which is as it should be. I have no fear of getting that shot.
  • Joe Biden was elected. That says it all for me about the election.
  • After two-and-a-half years, I resigned from my job. When I applied and Human Resources questioned my experience with Janie Junebug Righting and Editing, so many of you emailed HR to let them know that, yes, I assisted you with your writing. I'll always be thankful for that. Now I'm glad not to be there anymore. I prefer editing. Maybe I'll come across another job with health insurance.
  • Favorite Young Man and I will eat Thanksgiving dinner together today.
  • I'm on a different antidepressant, which improves my mood.
  • I love my children. I love my friends. I love Franklin and Penelope. I love you.

Here's something cool. Sherry Ellis of Mama Diaries sent me a copy of her second middle-grade book, Bubba and Squirt's Mayan Adventure, published by Dancing Lemur Press. I love Sherry. I love her writing. I'm thankful she allows me to edit her work. She presents a great learning experience for young readers. I hope you'll consider ordering a copy for your favorite- or not-so-favorite child (I don't earn anything for promoting the book; I'm happy to do it).


Doesn't the cover look great?

I'm super-proud of Sherry for her persistence in getting her work published.

Now, how about the rest of you turkeys? Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving today, why are you grateful? What will you eat for dinner? I pray that each and every one of you has a safe home, a good meal to eat, and someone to love.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Monday, November 9, 2020

PARDON MY ABSENCE

 My friends, I appreciate all your well wishes regarding the election. It seemed as if we'd never have a winner. 

I've been glued to MSNBC, but I'm starting to come out of the election fog.

I'll see you again soon.


Janie Junebug

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

THE BIG DAY

 Dear Hearts: Will it take until this baby is grown up for us to have an election result?

Will Bernie Sanders become president if you don't vote? I swear Robyn wouldn't vote if it meant that her beloved Bernie could be president. 



But I suspect that a lot of us have already mailed our ballots or dropped them in a ballot box. I voted early by mail and was able to confirm that my vote was received and counted.

It's still an important day, though, so if you aren't among those of us who have voted, please get your butt out to your polling place.

I wish Carol had run for president. She'd be the best one ever.



Carol has already voted. Now, how about you?







Monday, November 2, 2020

A NEW ROUND OF DOGGY TOY SNEAKERY

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's been a while since I wrote about the game of Doggy Toy Sneakery, but this is a good time to bring it up because the game changed Saturday night. We have a new player.

Doggy Toy Sneakery has always been a game between Franklin and me. Each autumn when it cools off––as it is now––Franklin picks up a doggy toy. He's furtive about it. Very sneaky, as if he's a secret agent.

He takes the toy to the backyard. I go out to pick it up and bring it back in the house.

Sometimes I don't see that he's taken a toy, but I discover it when I go out back. As usual, it comes back in the house so he can take it out again.

Saturday night, Franklin picked up a green ring toy. I watched with joy as he took it outside.

The game had begun!

But Penelope also watched. Within minutes she marched outside and brought the toy back in, where it has remained thus far.

I shall keep you apprised of any updates on the game.

It's been a joy to finally see Penelope gain confidence and develop relationships with other people. It started with the lovely lady who lives across the street. Penelope allowed herself to be touched because the lovely lady kept her back to Penelope but held her hands behind her. Penelope responded by touching her hand. Soon she allowed complete petting.

Then Penelope bloomed while Carol was living with me. Penelope trotted in and out of Carol's bedroom all day long. Carol responded by sharing snacks with Penelope. The snacks and love from Carol helped Penelope to open up the same way my tea roses do.


Isn't this the sweet face of a happy little girl?













And here's the face of a sneaky boy.

It's time to shop for Penelope's winter wardrobe. She'll be pleased to have new clothes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

You know what to do this week if you haven't already done it:






Friday, October 30, 2020

A HAPPY MEMORY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm pretty sure I've written about this memory before. But that post was a long time ago, and happy memories should be shared as often as possible.

When I wrote the ill-fated and now repudiated post about second cousins I brought up my Grandma Goltz: Frances Esther Weber Goltz. She was the oldest girl in the Weber family and second oldest in a family of 14 children. Seven boys and seven girls.

When I was but a wee brat, we usually used my dad's two weeks off during the summer to visit my mom's mother in Minnesota. Then we'd make a short trip to visit my dad's parents in North Dakota––hey Dakota friends, I know you're suffering with this big uptick in the virus. It's scary, isn't it? Hang in there and wear your masks. Don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary. 

Grandma's mother was still having children when Grandma had my dad and his sister, so my dad had a few uncles who were the same age or younger than he was.

I find it interesting that Grandma and Grandpa both came from very large families, yet they chose to have two children. My mom said that every time she and my dad had a new baby (six of us), Grandma would write to them and say, Aren't you through yet? 

Grandma and Mother didn't get along very well. She seems to have been quite critical with my mom.

I don't remember much about Grandpa. I don't know if he ever spoke to me.

But one summer we went to their house and actually spent the night there. Mother said that Grandpa was going to sleep on a cot and I would share Grandma's bed with her.

I was frightened. I was going to sleep in a bed with someone I didn't know very well. 

Early in the morning, I awoke to Grandma stroking my hair. She seemed kind and loving. Then she said, Wouldn't you like to live here?

I knew what was expected of me. Yes, I said.

Then I went back to sleep. I knew we would never live there. My dad called his hometown Godforsaken country. I was sure that Mother didn't want to live there and be picked on by Grandma. 

But I loved that feeling I experienced with her. It spoke of a love and intimacy that I had never before experienced. It was so beautiful to have someone stroke my hair and look at me with love.

I'm not sorry that we lived in Kansas and seldom went to North Dakota. Mother told me when I was much older that Grandma and Grandpa never forgave my parents for not coming to run the family farm after World War II. She said, They would have controlled all the money and given us some in dribs and drabs. 

When it was time to leave, Grandma gave my sister and me each a little card in an envelope with five dollars. 

She kissed my sister on the lips. Then she kissed me on the lips.

And we got in the car and drove away.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug



 

 Please exercise your right to vote. It means more than ever now.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

THE TRUTH ABOUT COUSINS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I made such a mess of the post about second cousins. It was too long and too complicated. At first I thought I'd rewrite the post and break it up into two posts and then do third cousins.

Then I realized that we'd all be better off if I share the comment made by 

Jean, who blogs at  DelightfulRepast.com and describes herself as "an amateur genealogist from way back."

She simplified the cousin issue for me, so I can simplify it for you.

Here's what she said:

Sibling 1----------------Sibling 2 = Siblings


Child of Sibling 1-----------Child of Sibling 2 = 1st Cousins


Grandchild of Sibling 1--Grandchild of Sibling 2 = 2nd Cousins


Great Grand of Sibling 1-Great Grand Sibling 2 = 3rd Cousins

Now how about if we say thank you to Jean and leave it at that? We're all cousins of some sort.

Thank you, Jean!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug