Friday, January 22, 2016

Things of Beauty: November - December

November and December were months of longing and tears and deep God-given joy in life. Of course, all joy is given by Him, but this time I realized a new depth in it.


Very Favorite Things
Teaching our current bottle calf to drink from a pail (so much satisfaction!) and I did it while wearing my mud boots and 40’s trousers, which made me feel very neat and story-ish indeed). Snow on the rolling hills of Montana. Christmas lights strung everywhere around the house. Hiking in pine forests and along lakes with my Pappy. Visiting with family and friends of old. Putting up Christmas lights + decorations with my sisters, cousins, and my cousins’ crazy chocolate lab (So. Much. FUN!). Going with my Grammy and parents to visit and talk with my 103 year old Great-Grandma (she is one amazingly strong and fun spirited lady). Every day of that vacation was a highlight of my year, but that day was a highlight of highlights. :)


Reading
In one title... The Daughter Pays by Mrs. Baillie Reynolds. I sighed over, thrilled to, and stayed up reading that book until midnight (which is something I never do, if I can help it, but I couldn't :)). And oh, was it totally worth it, because I spent the next day in a glow of joy, which shows what a treasure of story it is. BTW: I picture the heroine almost exactly like Lily James’s and I really think she would be perfect in the role, hence the significance of the photo above!


Writing
I didn’t miss a day on Clarkson and Elise, except for one. It was the day we left my Pappy and Grammy’s, and I was simply so sick with sadness that I just plain forgot. Yes, I was feeling truly awful.


Out-Of-Doors
It felt quite different from other recent years. It was brown, chilly, and there was a height to the wind and sky that told of adventure.


Cooking
Stuffed Southwest Sweet Potatoes from Everyday Detox -- these are utterly scrumptious -- and my chocolate breakfast smoothie. It went through several variations during the year, but that thing was definitely my #1 most loved and eaten recipe of 2015!


(Re)-discoveries
Blogilates
I’ve known of Cassey Ho for years (literally, I first read of her on this post of Rachel Heffington’s) and I’ve done one or two of her workouts before. However, I first started doing it regularly on my trip. And fell totally in love! I completed the calendar for December and am now into January. Her workouts make you feel so toned and strong yet nicely sore at the same time and oh, am I relishing it.

And this is the big one…

Learning that, even while your heart is aching with terrible longing for one place and people you can still be perfectly happy and content somewhere else. That’s Grace for you. This is one that you certainly must keep learning over and over again and sometimes the ache leaves almost no room to think of other things, but grace flows on and that’s the miracle of it.

So that is my last collective for 2015!!! And I enjoyed writing all of them and your comments on them so much that I’m definitely planning on continuing them in 2016!


Friday, January 8, 2016

A Cinderella Dream...


Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby


Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh oh


Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me


Oh, somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,
Oh why, oh why can't I?


Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?

by E.Y. Harburg

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cinderella Tag!

The Cinderella Party is now in progress!!! Those words are so exciting! I confess that when Heidi first told me her plot for the party, I wasn’t extremely thrilled, but all the sparkles and fun have ‘got’ to me and oh am I tingly about it now! So are you “at” the party? If not, you really should come as (going through the end of the week) it is really like one of those terrific house party affairs you read about in old books. :)


In the vast array of fairytale heroines, what particular character qualities most define Cinderella?
Kindness, hidden strength, and true joy in her work.


What are some of the deeper, big picture differences you see between retellings where both stepsisters are nasty and others where one is nasty and one is kind? How do you think the two takes differently develop/illuminate/affect Cinderella’s character and also the overarching story itself?
(Very funny question Heidi. :)) I think that having the entire family nasty makes Cinderella’s situation more heart-breaking and acute as she continues living by the virtues taught her by her parents, even as she has no one to love her. And that is very much how I like the original story told. But, having just had a debate about this with my brother, I have a clearer view of both sides of the matter than I used to. :)


Are you an animal lover? Would you eagerly count mice, lizards, cows, and geese as friends? Dogs and cats? I have yet to meet any geese personally and mice do make me a little jumpy and dogs do turn me into a Mrs. Bennet sometimes (“Oh my poor nerves!”), but I love them all the same. :) However, yes, yes YES to every single one of them!


After asking question #3, I realized how remarkably many of the adaptations I’ve seen have Cinderella either horseback riding or involved with horses. Have you ever ridden? If so, have you ever ridden sidesaddle or bareback? 
This fact is, indeed, what makes Certain Cinderella’s some of my favorite movies EVER!

And I have! Western, five times in my entire life (I think I have that correct), English once (and loved it – so very elegant and movie-like!), but bareback is the only way I ride my horse.

Your favorite Cinderella dress/s?


This pinky coral number from Slipper and the Rose. Isn’t it the dreamiest thing ever? I sigh with the loveliness every time I see it. So light and summery; it would make the most perfect dress for a garden party.


Then I also really like her smoky blue one…

Finally her wedding attire –


The silvery crown and delicate flounced sleeves, finished with the pale pink and yellow rose bouquet..! So utterly royal and innocently girlish; the ensemble is just perfect for her character.


Connie’s ball dress in First Love-- aren’t the sparkles the most delightfully happy thing? I actually love all of her outfits, but this one is the most SPLENDID!

And in The Inheritance


First there is Edith’s brown dress with the pale pink roses on the bodice and plain tan skirt, worn with her mother’s delicate pink scarf. Doesn’t the entire ensemble look like something that Laura might have worn in Little Town on the Prairie? I always thought Laura’s clothes sounded so beautiful. :)


And her brown ferny one. So rich and with such satisfyingly simple beauty, but one of the major reasons I love it is that it looks like some of my mother’s dresses I used to play dress-up in. :)


But the outfit I desperately wish for (and it’s not even technically a dress) is… Edith’s riding outfit. 


Oh, how I love this! Classy English tailoring with a touch a femininity and just enough ease and hardiness that it could be worn in the wilderness. And the hat is simply the finishing touch. Yes, I could so picture this as my uniform. :)


Do you ever think of Cinderella while doing your household chores? :)

I used to more than I do now. Honestly though, I work for such a surprisingly thankful group of people and my duties (mainly cooking and animal work) being things I love so much, I’m afraid I don’t really.


What major character traits do you think are essential in a faithful prince?
Loyalty, honesty and being a strong support to both his people and his princess. I’ve seen princes that have different variations on this throughout their story – the Beast for instance (in Beauty and the Beast) – but if Cinderella’s prince lacks them it seriously breaks me up. That’s why Kit is my favorite. :)


Your top THREE favorite fairy tales (as in the original folk tales, not adaptations). Beauty and the Beast – Forever and a day…
Cinderella – this one comes in a very close second. I just love how the themes of these first two are/can be found in so many different stories!
Twelve Dancing Princesses – Sometimes I love it… sometimes…I don’t. However, this morning I came up with the most thrilling retelling of it, so currently I’m really excited about it.


Your top FIVE current favorite fairy tale/legend type films (BESIDES any Cinderella adaptations).
Pocahontas II – Thanks to Heidi for letting me put this in here, because it one of my Very Favorites.
Tangled – It’s golden, romantic, hilarious and totally crazy.
Sleeping Beauty (1959) – My first love of the “Disney Princesses”.
Sleeping Beauty with Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg – Magical and utterly breath-taking. Ballet lover or no, you really should see this!
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955- 1960) – One of my oldest and dearest friends, I knew it must be upon this list from the beginning.


If you could play Cinderella and the story could be set in any region of the world and any time period, what would you pick? And what would your dream ‘ball gown’ for it be like? 
More on this anon… but for a dress that makes me think “Cinderella” whenever I see it (and of course, there are many of these, on Pinterest alone there must be millions), but I always remember this one. :)


Lady Marian wears it in the episode The Little People from The Adventures of Robin Hood w/Richard Greene. It’s covered with sparkles, has that really neat lacing across the bodice and elbow sleeves. *sigh* It has everything!


And (purely for fun :))… what color/s do you immediately associate with Cinderella?

Blue and pink and gold and just SPARKLES. All of them shimmering with the twinkle of winter stars or the warm beauty of fireflies in summer.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Goals + Green Smoothies

Yesterday I was feeling quite opposed (even antagonistic) to the idea of New Year’s Resolutions -- even though, especially in the latter part of this year I’ve not only benefited from, but really relished making monthly goals (POPilates calendar every day of December!). So what is the matter?

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Fast forward to this morning. I was listening to Kimberly Snyder’s newest podcast (BTW: though I think VERY highly of much of her information I cannot 100% recommend this one or any of the other podcasts, so use your own wisdom when researching) where she was talking about not making great spreading goals, but rather making Little Step Goals that challenge you, while also giving satisfaction along the way. The illustration she used was that instead of making it a goal to drink her GGS every day for breakfast, failing, getting discouraged, and giving it up altogether, why not make it a goal to drink it three days a week and then when that feels good build up from there? Funny thing is that I had that exact difficulty! I was drinking the GGS, got tired of it (perhaps trying to drastically reduce the fruit in the tasty, but already very green smoothie had something to do with it?) and proceeded to not drink it for months.

Then… PING it clicked! Why not use that idea for everything?! (I know it is a very simple one, but something about the way she phrased the matter, just clicked for me. :)) This is by no means everything I have to work toward. It is also not the things I have been doing regularly in 2015 and aim to carry on, nor does it contain seasonal ones, but I think they are the ones that will be of the most interest to my readers.

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- 10 minutes blog work, correspondents, etc. every day. This is an area of which I am inclined to be terribly neglectful of, even though I greatly enjoy and value the blessing it is. Talk about an oxymoron.

- 10 minutes every day toward finishing my GED (I should be able to do way more, but I want to keep it in the definitely manageable zone for any day.)

- Sew three days a week.

- In addition to any other reading, read one Zane Grey or L.M. Montgomery book every month as I find them to consistently be my #1 most inspirational authors.

- Work toward my handstand. (I’ve nearly mastered a plain headstand!)

- Write down three things I am thankful for every day.

And I had to throw this one in for good measure, because I truly was thinking of it already,

- GGS three times a week for breakfast. :)

Throughout the year, more Insp. for things to be accomplished will no doubt be given to me, but those are the basic, practical things I have thought of so far.

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The others things upon my list are a little different -- such as travel -- that are more subject to change. And of course, there is so much spinning around in my head that (while it may not be exactly connected to the beginning of the calendar year) is quite applicable to it. Living with a vim and gratitude for what is and what is to come, with eyes and heart open with thankfulness for all the little and great bits of adventure God spills into life.

So that’s it my friends. :) What of you? What are some of your goals for this year? I’d dearly love to hear!


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