Sunday, March 1

This week in the Civil War: March 1, 1865

Lincoln's second inaugural address

Astride the momentum of a string of Northern battlefield victories, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in this week 150 years ago to a second term as U.S. president. Lincoln's second inauguration opened on a damp, muddy day on March 4, 1865, in Washington, D.C. Where his oath four years earlier had been administered amid a growing, warlike atmosphere, his second swearing-in came as many sensed war was nearing an end with the North prevailing. Tens of thousands gathered as he delivered his second inaugural address on a day with sun breaking from the clouds. He spoke in stirring words of healing a nation long divided by war. And he delivered the oft-recalled phrase as he concluded his speech: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nations wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

Saturday, February 28

Keene books

Momma and I not usually fans of updated covers for classic books, but We make an exception for these new Nancy Drew book covers.

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who's new to the series! We're releasing a stunning new edition of an old favorite: The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It's the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years—Nancy Drew has to help Mr. Crowly's friends find his missing will, before the evil Topham family steals his full inheritance. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won't want to miss!

My favorites so far? The Secret of the Old Clock #1 (of course!), The Secret of Shadow Ranch #5 (Arizona!) and the upcoming re-release of Nancy's Mysterious Letter #8.

What do you think of these new covers?

Friday, February 27

Set phasers on 'Weep'

What can I say about the death of my beloved Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015.

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend.... Live long and prosper."

"Of my friend I can only say this: of all the souls that I met on my travels, his was the most … human."

RIP Spock. Please give my regards to Bones, Scotty, Christine, and Gene.

Sunday, February 22

This week in the Civil War: Feb. 22, 1865

Another blow to the Confederacy: Fall of Wilmington, North Carolina

The Union army, in its latest blow to the Confederacy, captured Wilmington, North Carolina, this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The federal victory meant President Abraham Lincoln's troops had shut down the last major East Coast port of the Confederacy — and a critical route for supplies to the Southern army. The fighting that led to the fall of Wilmington began in mid-February of 1865 as Union forces confronted Confederates defending Fort Fisher. Union gunboats pounded the fort and Confederates ultimately had to pull out the night of Feb. 18, 1865, and early the following day as Union forces marched toward the rear of the fort. Between Feb. 21 and 22 of that year, federal forces put up relentless pressure as the fighting forced the Confederacy to remove its forces and retreat from Wilmington.

Friday, February 20

Rock Me Amadeus

I. Am. Outraged.

Outraged, I say.

Why? Grandmomma neglected to tell Us about next week's steampunk version of Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute.

Certainly, Arizona Opera's snake poster didn't alert us to this Wondrous Event.

Honestly, a steampunk version of one of Momma's very favorite operas and no one told us.

The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart which premiered on Sept. 30, 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre in Vienna.

Full of magical melodies and fantastic creatures, Mozart's beloved tale follows Prince Tamino and bird-catcher Papageno on an adventure to rescue Princess Pamina. As they face unexpected trials and challenges on their journey, audiences will marvel as the genius and imagination of the composer unfolds before their eyes. 

Arizona Opera captivates audiences with a new and innovative production of The Magic Flute, created by Metropolitan Opera stage director, Daniel Rigazzi. Set inside the world of Tamino's imagination, the scenic design is filled with allusions to dreams and the idea of nature vs science. Surrealist imagery, inspired by the paintings of Rene Magritte with a nod to Victorian-era "Steampunk" style take the audience to an exciting place where imagination and reality blend together in Mozart's masterpiece.

The perfect opera for families, Mozart's The Magic Flute is full of magical melodies, dreamlike characters and mythical woodland creatures.

Sung in German with English supertitles.

Running time: 2 hours and 56 minutes including one 30 minute intermission