Thoughts: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Went to see the latest of the Hobbit movies last night and it was good. The scenery was outstanding, the costumes were fantastic, and the special effects will definitely afford it awards the next time they are presented. Aside from all the obvious trappings that made the movie, along with the music, the scripting, etc..,  I couldn’t help but find more meaning about the characters, especially Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit himself, who is paid a surprise visit by a wizard named Gandalf and a group of displaced dwarfs. Gandalf has chosen Mr. Baggins to assist with a great adventure to take back their stolen mountain home from an evil dragon.

You see, Bilbo is rather content to stay put in the safety of his familiar home, neighbors, land, furnishings, and garden. He really fights the plea to go along with the others on a dangerous mission. Gandalf does his best to convince him but the decision is left up to Mr. Baggins and yes, he does decide to go. The next day that is. Seems he his courage is slowly emerging and will be burst full force later in the movie as he saves the life of  Thorin.

What do I see in the Hobbit? I see someone who doesn’t recognize his potential, who is afraid to try and get out of what’s commonly called that blasted “comfort zone”. Bilbo does grow as each day passes and each situation arises whether it’s trying to outsmart some wretched trolls or telling riddles to escape an underground cave. He learns to use his smarts to survive and with that my hand is extended to him. In this movie, he only kills once, but in self defense.

The other dwarfs who accompany Thorin on his mission to go back home where they will belong again, is powerful. Loyalty, faith in one’s ability to come through, and not backing down no matter what the circumstances. They respect him for fighting the enemy and not running away and for trying to rebuild the home that once theirs.

Mr. Baggins tells Thorin, “I’m not a hero.” Well, maybe not, but you were just doing what had to be done and you had great timing. Funny how there many more Bilbo Baggins in this world today, hesitant at first to break out of their  usual routines, but man when they do, the relief and freedom one feels, is incredible. I should know I am one of them. I took a chance and wrote a book and although it didn’t sell many copies, eight to be exact, it was a chance worth taking. And I’d like to try again. Now to put it all together.

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Remaining Silent

Today our nation took time out to be quiet, to reflect and to remember twenty-six innocent victims of a tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. Most hadn’t even begun to live and even the ones who had been around a while still had so much more time on this earth. Seems that today we are united, to take care of one another and to try to reach a satisfactory agreement that will help us all.

I am watching the snow blow around outside my window, with the bitter cold wind aiding its movement, and thinking, that the earth is at rest now. It’s taking a break to get ready for another year to come.The white blankets of snow that will fall during winter will cover the grass that sprouts up in spring and summer, the colorful flowers that scatter all over the yards and fields. The victims will hopefully be looking down and enjoying the view. They are no longer frightened of the scary man who barged in on their routine school day.

The survivors will in time recuperate, although I doubt they attend the same school again. I don’t know that I would suggest that. Another school, with different surroundings, to make a fresh start, and maybe tear down the other and place a memorial in honor of those who were killed. At least it would be a positive. We are a strong country and we do care, and now is the time to start caring even more.

Think I will pet my dog and enjoy his expressions on his face. Maybe glance out the window, listen to the wind. Rest in peace, little ones. Rest in peace, the adults who tried to shield them. You are always in our hearts and memories.

Why Another?

Once again, someone gained access to guns who had no business doing so. And the consequences turned deadly. Innocent lives that were just beginning have now been ended and the mentors who tried to save them as well. Gun advocates will say that guns don’t kill people, well, they don’t unless a person has it in their possession and uses it.

Why has this nation become so careless with  obvious danger? Guns are left out and kids and adults are hurt or worse, killed. The so called responsible parties are left greiving and then thinking to themselves, I should have locked it up. Now, let me state for the record that no one deserves to lose a loved one. Thinking ahead could save lives though.

I can remember working as a cashier and customers leaving thier little ones in the cart at my register and other registers where other employees could see them. Mom goes in one direction, Dad another, and there we are, stuck, unable to leave for fear that the child will be kidnapped. Recently, at a grocery store, I saw a woman leave her daughter in the cart just inside the entrance while she ran outside to retrieve something from the vehicle. I just stood by the girl and waited for mom to return , which she did.

Where are the brains of these inviduals? What will it take to make them realize they are endangering innocent lives by being stupid. You don’t leave your children in a locked car, van, etc.. while taking a few minutes to go inside a store. Take them with you. Definitely don’t leave a pet in the vehicle either. This is abuse.

There are many unanswered questions regarding the Newtown, Ct. tragedy, and one I’d like to know is, did the mom know her son had serious mental issues? And if so, why keep the gun collection within his reach? Of course, she’s gone too, so she can’t speak now. Neither can the victims. It’s cliche to say this but why does it take a tragedy to wake us up to fact that something has to be done about safety in schools, workplaces, and anywhere else we gather.

I’d like to know why gun advocates say it’s okay to have guns for purposes other than for hunting? Hunting is a noble sport, and practical, within the seasons, as you can feed your family with what you find. But get real, assault weapons? Seriously, what purpose can they serve in the private sector? Oh, and feel free to explain your reasons to the families who are suffering right now. I’m sure they won’t listen.

Sisterchicks in Gondolas – A Review

sisterchicks

”Not done yet” is how the main character, Jenna, feels in this book about friendship, and finding out what your true talents are. Jenna receives an invitation to stay in Italy for a few days while helping with a men’s retreat group. She takes her sister-in-law, Sue, who has some issues of her own. And Italy proves to be the right cure for what ails both women.

Jenna discovers what she can do, where her gifts lie and how to use them. She ministers to others by being there, by being helpful particularly when speaking to the locals for Sue. She has felt like failure due to a divorce and having raised a daughter on her own. Sue, on other hand, is still trying to find acceptance from the accident that left her husband in a wheelchair. Sue discovers she too can heal not only through cooking, but by laughter.

I like how Jenna tells Sue at one point during their stay, “Shame off you.” Isn’t that the greatest! To be relieved of an unnecessary burden that kept you down, to know that you are okay and are strong. Seems that Sue returns the favor and says the same to Jenna. The moment I knew both had arrived, was during the mattress sliding, down the stairs of the “palace” they had been staying in. Giggling, relaxing, finally letting go, and to paraphrase, mercy and grace definitely had a hold of both. Five thumbs up, Miss Gunn!

I received this free copy in exchange for reviewing it.

For more information: (including author bio and where to buy)

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781590525050