Friday, December 23, 2016

Favorite Christmas Movies - 2016

This post could really be titled a smattering of my Favorite Christmas Movies because Christmas isn't half done yet and there are still so many to be found! Beginnings are lovely things though and I couldn't wait...

'Tis the Season for Love (2015)
One of Hallmarks talents is showing gloriously everyday people in their stories and in my personal opinion the romance between Beth, a hopeful Broadway actress coming back home for Christmas, and Dean, a fireman in her hometown, is one of the sweetest ones EVER. Really, I like them very much indeed.

A Cookie Cutter Christmas (2014)
There is a close tie between this and 'Tis the Season over which features my favorite Hallmark couple, but the ending of this makes me cry every time, so that is that my friends.

The Twelve Trees of Christmas (2013)
A romance set in New York City between an old-fashioned redheaded librarian Cheri, and Tony a developer, is one of the most unlikely you are like to find; including the most hilarious elevator scene ever. The atmosphere is cute and fun and the couple is altogether astonishingly adorable.

Lady on a Train (1945)
Brimming with tinsel, falling snow, and Deanna Durbin singing, this feels like a perfect capsule of a New York City 1940's Christmas even including a murder mystery. However, this is about the coziest film noir one could imagine. My favorite character during my first viewing (and all the others thrown in for that matter) is one of the prime murder suspects, and quite convincing as one too, so watching it for the first time as I desperately hoped he would not be the one, is still one of the most suspenseful story experiences I've ever had.

Samantha: An American Girl (2004)
The most charming view of Americana you could imagine. You know those grand houses you catch glimpses of in Anne of Green Gables + The Sequel? This film is as if you went up one of thoses steps and entered into the lives of its people. The friendship between the "upper class" Samantha and young servant Nellie is simply the dearest thing, besides which Uncle Gard and Cornelia are sweet together as well. Altogether the entire thing is cozy and heart-warming and I just want to pop into it.

What are some of your favorite Christmas films?
Are you a lover of Hallmarks?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Of Christmastide

Life’s ironic isn’t it?

The more life you live to write about, the less time you have to write about it.

For weeks you struggle for words, and then they come to you when you’re in the shower and they suddenly spill  over like that fabled magic penny:

Hold on tight and you won’t have any; lend it spend it and you’ll have so many they’ll roll all over the floor…

Super elegant, I know, but oh so true!

However, one thing is also true, magic penny or not, I need to spend all my pennies on a Secret Christmas Project. I also made slight diversions onto some other things (which can be read here and here). Besides which, reading being fire that heats this particular copper penny, words and I are much in each other’s company right now which I need because of the Project… :)

I may be back on here before Christmas, I may not. Either way, I’m going to say it now because I love you people and they are some of the truest words in the world…

Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 24, 2016

His Mark Endures

Men rise with power that we could never ever surmount, but we take comfort in the fact that God in His great power can overcome all, but then this morning I had a sudden thing come to me.

Yes, He is all powerful, but He doesn't need to extend it to overcome the nations. He created them and He doesn't even need to lift His little finger to bring them smashing down again.

It is for men to struggle and rise and fall in their pride. Jesus had one supreme struggle and now it is over. He rules while bunches of sorry rebels throughout the ages try to make their little mark on the sliding sands of time before they get washed away in it, but we Christians don't need to.

Our mark is made.

It endures.

His Kingdom is our future.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Two Events of EPIC Proportions

Hello old friends! I'm trusting my blog post record that I've really been gone from here as long as it says because it hardly feels that long. Dear September kept me whirling in a crazy dance and I would be in severe doubt that it was really an entire 30 days except that each one was so packed with things to do and jolly moments.

Now for the two events: Heidi and John got married (more on that anon) - which was pretty great and leads very much to the other thing... I've met Olivia and Natalie.


I can still hardly believe it, except that it just feels so right. I admit I was rather nervous, over-the-moon-excited yes - but a little nervous all the same. We were such good friends on the internet, what if we didn't click in real life? And then Friday morning came and I saw Natalie (she arrived first) and... I hardly know what to say except that... GOD IS SO SPLENDID! Then Olivia came and we all hit it off from the first, sure we hadn't met each-other before, but we knew each-other all the same. :)

The whole weekend was a tingly I'm-just-taking-off-my-shoes-and-will-go-till-my-feet-take-flight sort of dance and that literally happened several times. And there was laughter, so very much laughter.

Oh yes, and I met Rosie and Jessica, too!!! Didn't I say something about this being a crazy weekend? :) I didn't get to talk with them very much, but seeing them at the wedding was very fun.

My family stayed at the hotel over the Wedding days and one of the best parts was randomly running into the girls; just the happiness you know?

My cup overfloweth with all the splendid memories. With happiness taking wings as we danced together with a  band of little ones at the wedding. Then there was the Great Movie Shindig with pizza and leftover ice-cream from the rehearsal dinner. Belle was the choice and it was amazing. (The part where he starts shouting "Yes I love her!" is rather startling and oh so sweet that I can hardly believe it.) 

The whole visit had so many group hugs and gripping of hands when the excitement became too much (which was quite often. :)) and I'm just SHRIEKING INSIDE RIGHT NOW!!!

Natalie and Olivia are as sweet and warm and caring and brimming with fun in real life as they are through their blogs. Being side by side with them was truly the best thing in the world. Here is to it happening again girls! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Wisteria Writing Tag

Is not that the dreamiest title? The moment I saw it on Hannah of The Relentless Daydreamers page I suspected it was something I wanted to be part of and when I saw her questions, everyone of which I tingled to answer, I knew it.

Do you get distracted by new story ideas in the middle of writing? If so, how do you handle them?
Oh most certainly, yes! And with new ideas for old stories, too. I usually fly with them as I find it makes my main project all the more splendid and alluring in itself.

Do your characters misbehave often, or do you mostly control them?
We get along at varying levels. Never outright fights, mind you, but sometimes there are silences which can be very awkward to work through and around.

When do you usually write? (in the morning, at night, etc)
At night. The darkness... the mystery of twinkling stars and the moon soaked world, fireflies -- thousands of twinkling fairy-lights -- the entire world transforms into a fairy-land.

Do you outline?
I rather want to and have tried it, but it's never exactly worked out well for either me or the story.

Have you ever done Nanowrimo? Do you plan on doing it this year?
Not once, though the idea charms me. However, because I'm in the middle of something and mostly because of my answer to Question #1, I think I would find myself drowning dizzily during the entire thing. 

How many words do you normally write in a day?
Let's not speak about that shall we? No, it really depends. Sometimes it is scraps of gritty dialogue *Éowyn pauses to laugh heartily at her own imagination* and sometimes it is pages that send me off into dreamy satisfaction.

Have you ever had a dream about your characters?
One of my very favorite stories (What am I saying? I have no favorite children) came from a dream I had and the particular thrill has never vanished from it.

Favorite thing to describe in your writing? (Appearances, surroundings, emotions, etc.)
Appearances. I adore appearances. There is so much magic in how the perfect word, and arrangements of them, can reveal so much about a person. Description in general is one of my delights.

Who inspires you to write?
My sister Arwen actually came up with the idea for my current WIP and we are constantly bouncing story strings back and forth between us. My favorite authors people with their stories, my people, my horse and fresh air and changing vistas and everything in fact spread forth from God's glorious imagination which somehow He sprinkles into mine.
Why do you write?
Because my people are my friends and I hardly feel right until I've visited with them and joined in their joys and sorrows and dreams, and because somehow I know that all the little scraps of papers and stories will someday, someway I can't even begin to dream of, be worked into something perfect by the One who created me.

These questions are so nice that I'm not going to make up my own, but if you want to answer them do pop over to Hannah's blog (hey, do it anyway!) and I would love to hear if you join in!

Thanks Hannah for all the fun. :)

What is your favorite way to create? Baking, drawing, gardening... I'm really eager to know.  :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Movie Review: High Noon (1952)

Thank you once again to the two lovely girls who are hosting this Legends of Western Cinema Week (and also incidentally two of my favorite people) Emma and Olivia!!! I almost didn't join in again, but as usual I'm glad I did!

So between Eva's and Olivia's reviews this film is practically the movie of this year's western week. I've even talked of my feelings for it here before (every word of which is still as true this moment!). Yet even so, folks, it is a train, which, with the Insp. bubbling with my pure love of the story, could not but bring me here. So here I am because I love it. I still remember standing in the church hallway going batty over the trailer for it literally years ago, and that bit of giddy delight which is all its own has never quite left me.

First of all, the theme song - the first panorama with its spectrum of simple western scenery, the first chords of the song, and - be still my heart - because it starts pounding madly every time I hear it.

A really neat fact is that this movie was filmed in real time as in the length of the story is the length of the movie and the tension which comes with that is as taut as might be expected.

Gary Cooper was well-known as a silent movie actor and oh is his talent ever shown here as Will Kane! I'm not sure if it was not he who first made the strong silent type my Ultimate Ideal, yet I do know that he is the measure to which I compare all other heroes I meet. Olivia mentioned that she thought he was very Christ-like in how he stood alone against evil with all the town deriding. I had never thought of it before but I totally concur. (Dear Olivia, you have my gratitude. :)) He tells the people, they think he is a fool, and he protects them anyway, even against their will. His entire character though is summed up in the line I always remember of my brother's (and which I've quoted on the blog before here actually), "He's a tough guy that doesn't have to prove it to anyone."

Amy seems to get a bad rap sometimes and it is so not fair, people! She is rather hard on Will at the beginning (how could she with him looking down at her like that?) However, I think the line that is somewhat slipped over and forgotten is the one where she tells Helen how her father and brother were shot and I really think that would color one's outlook on life, especially when it comes to your husband of 10 minutes. So altogether I think her emotions are terribly realistic. Besides which her running back scene is the BEST EVER!!! I get fireworks of tingles. Every. Single. Time.

And then there is the quiet hug, which one suspects might be a little trembly around the edges, and so the snapshot of their story ends, fading away with a touch of wistfulness which is also strangely satisfying as one's thoughts linger over it.

It's not flashy or fast-paced; it's rather simple, direct and made for savoring and lingering of the imagination. There are other westerns I love with almost equal passion, many that I even feel like watching more often than this, but it matters not, High Noon was the beginning for me and it will always be so.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Things of Beauty May - June

So it is the beginning of a new month and time for another collective, May and Junes that is. Yes that is correct, you may all laugh people, because it is rather funny. :) However... it was a complete month ago so I'm afraid it's going to be very simplified and holding of only the best things.

                                                                Very Favorite Things 
Going to the greenhouse with Arwen, a Sunday evening spent scrolling through Kellie's old blog posts (wowza is she ever inspiring!), our local town's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (the best show I've ever seen, bar none!), and Charleston SC with a topping of Hilton Head.

I wrote a little here and there in painful bits on TSWL, then (SPOILER. :)) come July, I chopped most of it out, but like most pruning it's beauty shines all the purer for it. :)

So once upon a time I had this great and grand Summer Reading Scheme and then I discovered Mary Stewart and her Nine Coaches Waiting and Airs Above the Ground and oh did that scheme tumble! Because reading two books about five times each doesn't work very well in gaining numbers of books finished.

A gloriously long Spring and Wild Roses; mounds and mounds of roses.

I can't exactly recollect what particular streak I was upon... but I did learn (again) how fun it is to mess about in other people's kitchens. :)

The Atlantic
The quiet, powerful swish and pull... A pier spearing out into the sea... the lovely imaginative color of all the pastel beach cottages (oh do they know how to style it out there!)... and a fishing boat, its lights alone in the sea against the lavender grey of the evening sky.

Hunting Island SC
We just passed through, but the entire thing is pretty much pine trees, gigantic palmettos and white sandy shores with water grasses and bright seaward views. It was as if we had stepped into To Have and to Hold or Yankee Buccaneer.

And we see saw one Alligator soaking itself in a pond; it was really rather adorable. :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh, Where, and Oh, Where Is My Highland Laddie Gone?

I always hear the tune for that old folk song tripping through my head when I think of my absence from the blogosphere and my friendships therein, but there, I'm afraid, it's accuracy ends because I don't have, and never have had a highland laddie. I hope no one is too disappointed. :)

I nearly didn't write this post because I'm so near to my next collective post, but I was just feeling it, so though updates on deep happenings will wait till then, this will be a taste of their aura.

So where have I been?

Home and it's lovely. Travel blooms deep within my heart, but just going out on the town for this and that is really stretching for me at any time and nowadays... Let's just say I'm loving the stability that having those dishes to wash, floors to scrub and horse to feed brings.

Especially that horse.

I have always had my work to do about the place, but this Summer, for one reason and another (read: craziness all round) it has really become mine. And the peace of not trying to get certain other people to do it and knowing that the duty is my own is very peaceful, inside at least. :) Besides work is really altogether good for the equilibrium.

Not that I don't have plans, but wonder of wondrous Gifts, for certain ones especially, this is the most inspirational place right now for them, for not only do they fit their niche, they're expanding that niche like crazy. 

Yes people, it's a good place to be.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Summer Reading Challenge

I've been the mood for some serious reading, yet lacking in the concrete insp. (is that somewhat of an oxymoron? :)) Things being thus, when I ran across That Polkadot Girl's summer reading challenge it seemed like pure perfection and now my mind is buzzing with ideas!

I will update this post with the book names and, if I do them, reviews, as I go along. Note: that I may not be able to wholeheartedly recommend EVERY book below, so read at your own risk and whatnot. :)

On a rather random note: I'm on vacation to Charleston at this very moment so my heart sang with the perfection of the picture above when I discovered it on my Pinterest board!

2016 Summer Reading Challenge
A Book You Have been Meaning to Finish: Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery
A Book from the Library: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christe
A Book Borrowed
A New Book
A Classic: The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins
A Book You Own but Haven't Read:  Keith of the Border by Randall Parrish
A Book that was Made into a Movie
A Book You Pick Solely Because of the Cover
A Book Your Friend Loves
A Book by an Author You Have Never Read Before: He Fell in Love with His Wife by Edward Roe
A Book with a Color in the Title
A Book Set Somewhere You Have Always Wanted to Visit: The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge
A Book of Poems
A Book that will Make You Smarter
A Book with a Blue Cover A Speckled Bird by Augusta Jane Evans
A Book Everyone but You has Read
A Book Based on a True Story
A Book that is a Century Old: The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey  
A Book that Takes Place on a Island: Downright Dencey by Caroline Dale Snedeker 
A Book that is Guaranteed to Bring you Joy
A Book that is More than 600 Pages
A Book that is Under 150 Pages
A Book Translated to English
A Book by a Male Author
A Book by a Female Author: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart 

Do you enjoy reading challenges?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Things of Beauty: March - April

 Very Favorite Things
Napping kittens curled up on the living room floor (who even as I wrote this ceased as the Marmalader jumped up on my keyboard to ask for some cuddles), postcards from a very dear friend, this post from another dear friend, TOY STORY 3 (so much cuteness! I really think it might be my favorite of them!), quiet mornings when my mother and I are the only waking ones in the house, my baby lettuce plants and NOW my own homegrown lettuce for lunch!

Huge amounts of time sprinkled between times of not much at all, but they were really good stories, some of which will likely be appearing on my review blog in the coming weeks!

She looks very much like Elise. :)

Some really good days and other... not so delightful ones. I've discovered my current secret though, I need to get started early enough in the day that my rush of post first-opening-the-document-inspiration doesn't come when I'm laying in bed. Also, while blogging was somewhat sparse I did do several posts, here are two favorites, this and this, the photo flow of the second giving me particular thrills. :)

Purple violets (and white too!), rainy days and cool afternoons drenched with sunshine and breezes. The grass is running riot now, and my garden is growing! It's the first year ever that I've really grown lettuce and not only is it thriving, but perfectly delicious too! Besides which my brother got me two trays of various seedlings for my birthday! Plants = one of the best presents ever. :)

This isn't cooking persay, but is making... my avocado mint chocolate pudding, for breakfast every day. I keep telling myself I should branch out more, but it's so crazy good and healthy too. :)

 Do not be overzealous when it comes to exercise! 
I became excited about a new workout idea, overexerted myself and was quite fatigued for two weeks straight having then to drag myself around for a third. I simply didn't have time to be really sick or I would have. :) So trust me peoples, don't do it. I have now returned to tried and true favorites, a reformed and wiser character.

Gardening is super rejuvenating for me.
The quiet time while keeping my eye on a pair of crazy, tumbling kittens, conversations with my horse in her corral not far off, my fingers in the soil, my heart bubbling over with gratitude... every sense of it is pure joy.

What were some of the delights of your March and April?

I don't want to say good-bye

via pinterest My word for this year is daring,  - dare to do that thing that scares me, dare  to take that first step into that imposs...