Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just a little note

Hello, my dear readers! : )
   Well, it's been a beautiful week and I have had a simply wonderful time carving pumpkins, working at the stand and playing with the bunnies, watching John Adams and Northern Exposure, reading True Grit  for the second time (it is absolutely amazing!), drinking hard cider, and eating lots and lots of muffins and peanut butter cookies. Oh, and school too. : ) We're having a hayride on Sunday night and I'm so excited!!! : ) I carved two little pumpkins last week and I have three big ones to carve this week. I just love fall!!!! : )

Me holding Twinkletoes

Sadie holding Twinkletoes. He gets the most attention because he's the cutest. : P
 So anyway, this is just a little note to say that I will not be around for the next few days because we are taking our computer to Miracle Max so that he can work his magic on it (because WEIRD things are happening.....it's a wonder I'm even able to type this now). I'm not sure how long it will take, probably just a few days, but the last time we took our computer to "the shop" it was there for about two weeks before we got it back. I wanted to let you all know in case I don't have access to internet for a long time that I haven't forgotten about you! So if you start wondering why I haven't posted or commented or whatever, that's why. And like I said, I'll probably be back in a few days anyway, so I will catch up with reading and commenting and emailing and whatnot then. I also hope to have a review of the John Adams miniseries we've been watching up before the end of the month, as well as some other random fall posts and fun stuff like that. : ) 
  I also want to thank all of my followers/bloggy friends for being such a blessing! You guys mean so much to me! Thank you so much for following my blog and commenting and for being such nice friends. I am so blessed to have found so many wonderful friends since I began blogging early this year, and I am so grateful for you all!
  So goodbye for now, my dears! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the rest of autumn! Talk later! : )

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Party Wire: Part 2

(I was thinking-- which is something I do a great deal of-- and I realized that the title The Party Wire really doesn't have anything to do with this story. Any ideas for a new title?)


     The man did not appear to be on the run from the authorities, for he seemed to be moving at an uncommonly slow pace, which made the situation all the more puzzling. Jennie and Betsy each held their breath as Deputy Stone and Constable Rhodes both approached the stranger, who turned around and, after realizing what was going on, stopped walking and simply stood at the side of the street as the officers both got out of their cars.
     "I wish we could hear what they're saying," Betsy lamented. "Suppose we should walk down there and find out?"
     "No, I think the Constable would prefer it if we stayed here," Jennie said sensibly. "I'm sure he'll tell us everything once he finds out what's going on."
     Constable Rhodes had been speaking to the man, but now it appeared that the Asian man was talking. He made no move to escape, and after a few minutes Deputy Stone returned to the patrol car and Constable Rhodes handcuffed the man and put him in the backseat of the patrol car before getting into Betsy's old sedan and driving back up Dewdrop Lane towards Betsy's house. The patrol car drove back towards the police station.
     "Well, I never!" Jennie exclaimed, thoroughly surprised. "Looks as if they will lock him up after all, or at least further question him. My, aren't you glad we called Constable Rhodes?"
      When the constable had parked Betsy's car back in her garage and opened the door to get out, the two ladies were simply bursting with questions.
      "What did he say?"
      "Is he the same man who robbed Mr. Hadley?"
      "Are you going to lock him up?"
      "He told me his name is Howard Weinstein," Constable Rhodes said after the ladies had calmed down a bit. "Apparently he and his two brothers Bob and Harvey are a criminal gang stationed in Mayors Income, Tennessee, who have been at large for several years now. And yes, it was him who robbed Ed Hadley's store."
      "He confessed all that?" Jennie was astonished.
      "That and more. It seems he has quite a record of thefts around these parts."
      "So why did he not try to escape?" Jennie wondered. "What was he doing back in Blue Island anyway?"
      "Well, it is rather a long story," Constable Rhodes said, taking off his hat and absently scratching his head.
      "Oh, well, perhaps you would like to come in and have tea while you tell us everything," Betsy suggested, and so the three of them went into Betsy's cozy little kitchen and Jennie and Constable Rhodes sat down at the table while Betsy prepared the tea and a plate of scones.
      "Well, this Weinstein fellow told us that he and his two brothers have been criminals for near around five years now," the constable began. "He's the youngest of the three, and apparently he's always rather followed in his brother's footsteps, but he said that several months ago, around the time he robbed Hadley's store, he began to contemplate the meaning of his life and the meaning of being an outlaw. Leastways, that's what he said. Apparently he felt so convicted about his lifestyle and so guilty for all the things he had done that he decided to mend his ways, and he went back to all the people he had stolen from and paid them back for everything he had taken. He said he was just on his way to Hadley's now to return the money he took, so I told Deputy Stone to escort him there and then take him to the police station."
    My goodness, what a story!" Jennie exclaimed. She and Betsy were both very moved by it, and Betsy brushed away a tear from the corner of her eye.
    "Are you going to lock him up, then?" Betsy asked.
    "Well, the man has confessed to everything, even telling us the whereabouts of his two brother outlaws, and it seems he has reformed his ways. We'll keep him at the station today to question him further, but then I suppose we'll have to get a judge to come to town for a fair hearing and trial."
    "Oh. How thrilling", Betsy said reverently.
    "Thank you so much for telling us all this," Jennie said. "We both very much appreciate it, don't we, Betsy dear?"
     Betsy nodded. "We're so grateful you came when you did, even though it looks as if nothing would have happened. You are a credit to your profession, Constable."
     The constable blushed modestly and rose from his chair. "I'm just glad it all worked out fine. Thank you every much, ladies, for the tea and scones, and I hope to see you both again very soon."
     Jennie and Betsy walked with the constable to the door, where he remembered that Deputy Stone had taken the patrol car, and Betsy assured him he could drive hers and return it the following day. They thanked Constable Rhodes once again, bid him goodbye, and went back into Betsy's kitchen after he drove away.
     "Well, what an adventure!" Betsy sighed, taking the teacups to the kitchen sink. "I declare, that is the first time I have ever seen an ex-criminal-- and an Asian one, at that-- walking the streets of Blue Island!"
     "It has been a very eventful day, indeed," Jennie agreed. "I'd better return home now, Betsy dear, but I'll see you tomorrow. And perhaps we'll go down to the police station. I think I'd like to meet this Howard Weinstein."
     "Oh yes, most intriguing," Betsy agreed as she dried her hands on a dish towel.
     "Goodbye, Betsy," Jennie said as she embraced her friend.
     "Farewell, Jennie, and good night."
      Jennie returned to her own house and went in through the kitchen door to find her cat, Cimarron, waiting for her on the rug.
      "Hello, Cimarron," she sang out as she turned the lightswitch on and made her way over to the stove to heat up some soup for supper. After she had put the soup in a small saucepan and had given Cimarron her supper, she went over to the telephone on the wall and lifted the receiver from its hook.
       "Let's see," she said aloud. "Who shall I call first?"

                                                                  ~THE END~

    That's all, folks! I hope you enjoyed the story! : )

Friday, October 18, 2013

It wasn't THAT hard, was it?

 Well, here are the answers to last Friday's Quotes Quiz. Apparently this game was so hard that none of y'all wanted to play it! But that's alright. I guess I didn't realize I had made it so tricky, and I apologize! Personally I think some of these are really great quotes, though, so I hope you enjoy reading them! : )

Quote #1
   Aunt Juley: All the Shlegels are exceptional. They are British to the backbone, of course, but their father was German, which is why they care for literature and art.

   Answer: Howard's End (1992)

Quote #2
   Trainmaster: What are you fixin' on doin'?
    Jim Younger: I ain't fixin' on doin' nothin', I'm doin' it!

Answer: The Long Riders (1980)

Quote #3
   Sir Richard Carlisle: I'm leaving in the morning, Lady Grantham. I doubt we'll see each other again.
    Lady Grantham: Do you promise?

Answer: Downton Abbey: Season 2

Quote #4
  Ralph Nickleby: Husbands die every day. And wives.
   Nicholas Nickleby: And brothers also.
   Ralph Nickleby: Yes, and puppies too.

Answer: Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Quote #5
  Queen Victoria: Lord Melbourne, that is not what is preached from the pulpit.
    Lord Melbourne: No it's not, and that's exactly why I never go to church. One always hears the most extraordinary things.

Answer: The Young Victoria (2008)

Quote #6
   Charlotte Selton: You have done nothing for which you should be ashamed.
     Benjamin Martin: I have done nothing, and for that I am ashamed.

Answer: The Patriot (2000)

Quote #7
    Reginald Anson: Well, we've made measurements with those two hills, and we already know the height of Newton Beacon and Whitchurch hill....
    Thomas Tupp: But how were they measured?
    Reginald Anson: The same way, by comparing them with other hills.
    Thomas Tupp: But who measured the first hill?
    Reverend Jones: God. God, my boy. God.

Answer: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995)

Quote #8

    Hyacinth Gibson: I don't know what you mean by proximate.
    Dr. Gibson: Well, go into the surgery and look it up then.

Answer: Wives and Daughters (1998)

Quote #9
   Lancelot: This is not Rome's fight. It is not your fight. All these long years we've been together, the trials we've faced, the blood we've shed....What was it all for, if not for the reward of freedom? And now when we are so close! When it is finally within our grasp-- look at me! Does it all count for nothing?

Answer: King Arthur (2004)

Quote #10
    William Wilberforce: That winter, we should have won. With the evidence we had collected, by natural justice we should have won.

Answer: Amazing Grace (2006)

Quote #11
   Sir Percival Blakeney: I must apologize for my tardiness. 'Twas next to impossible to find a carriage. Sink me if everyone isn't so equal in your society that no one wants to do the driving.

Answer: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

Quote #12
   2nd Lieutenant William Bush: My uncle was a blacksmith. I know what happens when metal overheats.
    3rd Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower: I believe they call it the co-efficient of expansion.
    Lieutenant Bush: I call it bloody dangerous.

Answer: Horatio Hornblower: Retribution (2001)

Have a wonderful day and God bless! : )

What kinds of games would you like to see in the future?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Party Wire

 Normally I don't post things related to school on this blog, because, y'know, who really wants to read about that anyway? But last week in my history there was a lesson about the great American painter Norman Rockwell, and the writing assignment for the lesson was to write a short story about one of his paintings, namely one that had been shown in the lesson. I love writing little stories, especially silly ones (although sometimes when history assignments are concerned they can get a little too silly.....;D) so I had fun with this one. So anyways, since I am rather pleased with my little story, I thought I would share it with y'all. The painting my story is based on is called The Party Wire and was featured as the cover of a Leslie's magazine in 1919. I haven't given the story a proper title yet, so for now let's just call it The Party Wire.
  First, though, let me explain about the characters. Most of my "silly stories"-- that is to say, the ones that I tell to my sister in bed at night, the ones that consist of more laughing than talking, and not the ones I write down-- have many of the same re-occuring characters. The Weinstein brothers, Harvey, Bob, and Howard, are trademark characters in my stories, and they are always the villains. (I have no idea why I picked these names-- I believe it all began with Howard Weinstein after we watched Father of the Bride--which is why they're all Asian-- but then I added Harvey and Bob as his brothers. Kudos if you actually know who Harvey and Bob Weinstein are!) : P You may notice that Jennie Wren and Betsy Priggs are both Dickens names-- I kind of just picked the names on the spot because I didn't really feel like coming up with my own.
  Also, just a note, I don't mean to imply in this that all strange Asian men are cause for suspicion, so if you are Asian, please know that I mean no offense! Keep in mind that this really is meant to be a nonsensical story and is purely for amusement.

With all that said, I hope you like the story! : )

  ~ In a little town called Blue Island, in the state of Illinois, there lived a middle-aged widow named Jennie Wren who lived by herself in a small but comfortable cottage that had been in her family since Abraham Lincoln was president. Although she lived alone, Jennie was rarely lonely, for she had a great many friends in Blue Island and whenever she was not out paying calls, running errands about the town, or tending to her little house and garden, she could usually be found standing in her cozy little kitchen, talking on her telephone.
   Jennie Wren loved gossip, and everyone knows that small-town gossip is the very best. She knew it was a sin, but she just couldn't help herself, so she figured the Good Lord would surely forgive her as long as she meant well and her intentions were always for the best. And her intentions were indeed always for the best, for Jennie Wren had never been known to say an unkind word to anyone and she always held other people's interests and feelings in a very high regard. The only problem of it was that she just couldn't keep a secret, at least not for more than twenty minutes or so, so if something was told to Jennie Wren, it was likely that everyone in Blue Island would have heard of it before the day was passed.
   One of Jennie's closest and dearest friends was her next-door neighbour, Betsy Priggs. Betsy had lived in Blue Island for nearly as long as Jennie Wren, and she was also a widow so the two of them spent lots of time together. If there was one person in the entire town who loved to gossip more than Jennie Wren, it was Betsy Priggs, so between the two of them they knew pretty much everything about everyone in Blue Island.
   One morning in late summer as Jennie was standing in her sunny kitchen washing the breakfast dishes, she happened to glance out the window and noticed a tall man with a long dark braid walking down the street. Right away she could tell that he was a stranger, and an Asian one at that. Jennie knew it was probably very xenophobic of her, but she couldn't help feeling the slightest bit wary around strange Asian men ever since Ed Hadley's store had been robbed by one last June. Could this be the same man, come to rob her and her neighbours. There was only one thing to do, and that was to call Betsy.
   Jennie dialled her friend's number and waited nervously as the telephone rang.
   "Hello, Betsy dear, it's Jennie. I'm afraid I may have some unpleasant news."
   "Whatever do you mean, dear?"
   "Well, I was just washing my dishes at my kitchen sink when I looked out the window and saw a man walking past. He's a stranger, Betsy, an Asian gentleman with a long braid and foreign-looking clothes."
   "Heaven help us!"
   "No, Betsy, we can't be certain what he's up to yet", Jennie said, trying to be rational. "He may be a perfectly harmless travelling salesman, or perhaps he's even visiting friends in the area, but considering that misfortune at Mr. Hadley's caused by a man of a very similar appearance, I really do think that maybe we ought to call the authorities, don't you?"
   "If you say so, dear," Betsy replied nervously. "Oh, dear. Can you see him now? What is he doing?"
    Jennie leaned toward the window, stretching the telephone cord as far as it would go, and saw the Asian man turn down the next street past Betsy's house.
    "Oh, Betsy, he just turned down Dewdrop Lane. I can't see him anymore. Now calm down, Betsy, here's what you must do. Go downstairs to the cellar and get Ephram's gun--"
     "Ephram's gun! Why, I never fired a shot in my life! Besides' I don't want to hurt anybody, Jennie, can't we just--"
      "Oh, pipe down, Betsy. You don't have to fire it, but just in case the man does try to enter your house, he will see that you are armed and then with any luck he'll leave without causing any trouble. And besides, he probably won't even try to come in, but it's best to be prepared. Now I'm going to phone Constable Rhodes and tell him to send a car--no, that wouldn't be right since we don't even know yet what the man's up to. I'll just tell the Constable to come to your house, and then I'll be over in a jiffy."
      "Alright, dear", Betsy said. "Oh, you're so much better at handling crisis than I. I'll go right now and get Ephram's gun. Goodbye."
      "Goodbye, Betsy." And Jennie hung up.
      After she had put the telephone back on the hook, Jenni scurried to the window and leaned over the sink to see if she could catch another glimpse of the mysterious man. She couldn't see him, so she went back to the telephone and hurriedly dialled the police station.
     It rang for a few seconds before Constable Rhodes answered. "Hello!"
     "Hello, Constable Rhodes," Jennie said. "It's me, Jennie Wren."
     "Jennie! How good it is to hear your voice." The Constable was always a very cheerful and polite man, admired by all the townspeople. "Is this a call of a business nature or a social one? I do hope you have good news to share."
     "I wish I did have good news, Constable," Jennie replied. "The fact is, I believe I may have just seen the man who robbed Ed Hadley's store walking down Dewdrop Lane. That is, he looked very like him. Betsy Priggs and I are both very anxious to find out what he's doing back here, or even if it is the same man, so I had hoped you would come to Betsy's house and perhaps find out what all this is about?"
     "Certainly, Jennie. I'll be there directly. If it is the man who robbed Hadley's we ought to lock him up immediately. He's part of a chain gang and is wanted in seven states for theft and attempted murder, you know."
      Jennie thought she had better not tell Betsy that bit.
      "I'm sorry, Jennie, I really shouldn't have told you that. But don't you worry, I'll be there immediately." And with that the Constable hung up.
      What a relief to know that the Constable will be here soon, Jennie thought. What a nice man he is.
      Jennie went to the hall closet to fetch her shawl, and then hurried out the back door to go to Betsy's. When she opened the back door of Betsy's house, which was just across from Jennie's back yard, Jennie found her sitting at her kitchen table with her late husband's 40-caliber Springfield repeating rifle sitting on her lap, anxiously sipping tea. She smiled nervously when she saw Jennie come in.
     "I called Constable Rhodes, and he's on his way here now," Jennie said. "Have you seen anything more of the Asian gentleman?"
     "No, thank goodness." Betsy set her cup back in its chipped saucer-- nearly two-thirds of all Betsy's dishes were either chipped or cracked, thanks to her twelve cats-- and laid the large rifle awkwardly on the kitchen table. Just then they heard a car pull up in front of Betsy's house.
      "That must be the Constable," Jennie said as they both rushed to the kitchen window. Sure enough, there was the Constable's patrol car, and out came Constable Rhodes, along with Deputy-Constable Hiram Stone. Jennie and Besty went outside to meet them.
     "Constable, I'm so glad you've come!" Betsy exclaimed. "We didn't know what we would do if the Asian man tried to break in, and I confess I was rather frightened of what might happen, but now you're here, thank the Lord!"
     "Never fear, Mrs. Priggs, all will be well," the Constable assured her. "Now, Mrs. Wren, where did you last see the gentleman?"
     "He was heading down Dewdrop Lane when last I saw him, which was maybe about fifteen minutes ago. He was only walking, though, so he can't have gotten far."
     The four of them went around to the back of the house where they could see down the street, and there, walking slowly down the road and looking as though he had no particular destination in mind, was the Asian gentleman.
     "Well, I'll be," muttered Deputy Stone, who hadn't said a word up until now.
      "Is it him, Constable? Is it the man who robbed Mr. Hadley's store?" Betsy was practically jumping up and down with anxiety.
      "I can't tell at this distance, Mrs. Priggs, and besides, I'm not sure I'd recognize the back of his head, but Mr. Stone will drive the car to the end of the street and, if I may borrow your car, I will meet up with him from this direction so that he cannot escape."
      "Oh, certainly he can, can't he, Besty dear?" Jennie prodded.
      "Of course, Constable," said Besty, and in a few moments Deputy Stone had drive around the block and was now driving up Dewdrop Lane while Constable Rhodes was driving down towards the Asian man. Jennie and Besty stood at the edge of Besty's lawn, waiting and watching.

   TO BE CONTINUED........

Stay tuned for Part 2! : )

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Quotes Quiz!

 Today we will have another quotes quiz! I made this one a little trickier than the last one, but I hope it's not too difficult. There are 12 quotes in all and five points will be awarded for guessing the correct movie, and five points for guessing the character who says the line. If there are two characters, ten points will be awarded for guessing them both correctly. The blanks are where there are characters' names, and in one case I left a certain phrase blank because 'twould be just too much of a giveaway. : ) Leave your guesses in a comment and answers will be posted next Friday! Have fun! : )

Quote #1
    Character 1: All the _______ are exceptional. They are British to the backbone, of course, but their father was German, which is why they care for literature and art.

Quote #2
    Character 1: What are you fixin' on doin'?
     Character 2: I ain't fixin' on doin' nothin', I'm doin' it!

Quote #3
    Character 1: I'm leaving in the morning, _______. I doubt we'll meet again.
     Character 2: Do you promise?

Quote #4
     Character 1: Husbands die every day. And wives.
      Character 2: And brothers also.
      Character 1: Yes, and puppies too.

Quote #5
       Character 1: Lord _______, that is not what is preached from the pulpit.
       Character 2: No it's not, and that's exactly why I never go to church. One always hears the most extraordinary things.

Quote #6
       Character 1: You have done nothing for which you should be ashamed.
       Character 2: I have done nothing, and for that I am ashamed.

Quote #7
      Character 1: Well, we've made measurements with those two hills, and we already know the height of Newton Beacon and Whitchurch hill....
         Character 2: But how were they measured?
         Character 1: The same way, by comparing them with other hills.
         Character 2: But who measured the first hill?
         Character 3: God. God, my boy. God.

Quote #8
        Character 1: I don't know what you mean by proximate.
          Character 2: Well, go into the surgery and look it up then.

Quote #9
      Character 1: This is not _______'s fight. It is not your fight. All these long years we've been together, the trials we've faced, the blood we've shed....What was it all for, if not for the reward of freedom? And now when we are so close! When it is finally within our grasp-- look at me! Does it all count for nothing?

Quote #10
       Character 1:That winter, we should have won. With the evidence we had collected, by natural justice we should have won.

Quote #11
        Character 1: I must apologize for my tardiness. 'Twas next to impossible to find a carriage. ____ ___ if everyone isn't so equal in your society that no one wants to do the driving.

Quote #12
        Character 1: My uncle was a blacksmith. I know what happens when metal overheats.
           Character 2: I believe they call it the co-efficient of expansion.
           Character 1: I call it bloody dangerous.

Happy guessing!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Joys of Autumn

  When the pumpkin yellows
  And the standing corn
  Is pale with frost, and cobwebs
  Hang silver in the morn,

  When Orion rises
  Over fields cut bare,
  And the fallen apples
  Smell cidery on the air,

  Then comes the witches' Sabbath
  Of the flocking crows;
  Standing by the barn door,
  Every farmer knows

  When he hears that clangor,
  Hears that windy flight,
  Winter soon is coming,
  Cold, and early night.

           ~Elizabeth Coatsworth

    Hello, dear readers! It's been several days since last I posted, owing to the fact that it's been a very busy season and besides that I've been sick for the past few days (yesterday I watched Lonesome Dove in its entirety-- it was completely epic!) Thankfully I'm feeling some better now and hope to be back to feeling like myself very soon.
  The weather in my neck of the woods has been just beautiful these past few weeks! The leaves have turned every imaginable shade of red and orange and russet and yellow, the pumpkin patch is ablaze with color, and the cornfields have turned brown and glow almost gold in the sunshine. Everywhere I look there is a reminder of God's glory and power and creativity in creating this beautiful earth. I've been toying around with ideas for a post about why I love autumn so much for about a week. There's really not one single reason why I love it, but many reasons, and so this post is dedicated to all the things I love about my favorite season: Autumn.

 Hard from the southeast blows the wind
Promising rain.
The clouds are gathering, and dry leaves
Tap at the pane.

Early the cows come wandering home
To shadowy bars,
Early the candles are alight
And a few stars.

Now is the hour that lies between
Bright day and night,
When in the dusk the fire blooms
In tongues of light,

And the cat comes to bask herself
In the soft hear,
And Madame Peace draws up her chair
To warm her feet.

    ~Elizabeth Coatsworth

 Things I love about Autumn are.......

~The chilly weather. Something about the change in weather from summer to winter makes me feel so exhilarated and excited! This is the season to begin wearing sweaters, boots, scarves, hats, and mittens.

~All the beautiful colors in the landscape. I think this is the most beautiful time of the year, with all the leaves turning colors and falling through the air and the fields changing from green to brown and gold.

~Reading novels in the woods and in the haymow. There are few things I enjoy more! : )

~ Chrysanthemums and other fall flowers.

~Pumpkins! I love pumpkins! From carving them into "pumpkin moonshines" to decorating them or even just looking at them, I just love them! : )

~Apples of all different varieties and apple cider. These days I eat sometimes two or more apples a day, and I can drink almost a half-gallon of cider in a day. By myself. : P

~Nutcracker rehearsals! Most people think of The Nutcracker season as being in December, but if you're a dancer performing in it, it really begins in October! This year I am really excited because I have better parts than the two previous years I've been a part of it. (It's rather a long story....) : P

~Writing and receiving letters from friends. This is something I do year-round, but since I took up writing to my cousin again last fall after a few years of not writing letters, and around the same time I started exchanging letters with another friend who is away at college, it seems extra special to me around this time of the year.

~Hayrides. I'm not sure if we'll have one this year, but I really hope so! : )

Sylvie Ann with her pumpkin moonshine from the Tasha Tudor book Pumpkin Moonshine.
 ~Pumpkin and apple pies made by my Grandma and great-aunt. Unfortunately since I went gluten-free I can no longer eat the crust (unless Sadie makes it with rice flour), but I can still enjoy the filling!

~Thanksgiving! I know that isn't until November, but I still count it as part of fall. Every year we go to my aunt and uncle's house with my grandparents and several of my other aunts and uncles and cousins for a great big meal and celebration! This year Sadie has it in her head to make pies (one gluten-free for me- isn't she sweet?) and other contributions to the Thanksgiving meal. I love getting together with my family, and besides Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

~ True Grit and The Blue and the Gray. It's kind of become tradition (cue Fiddler on the Roof music) to watch True Grit in October, and I'm looking forward to watching it again because it is the best western I have seen to date. And believe me, I've seen a good many westerns! We watched The Blue and the Gray for the 2nd time last October too, and right now I've a hankering to watch it again, since it is my favorite Civil War movie (or miniseries, if you prefer) and war movie in general and basically one of my favorite movies ever. Am I the only one who associates movies with certain seasons? : )

~Scented candles. Several weeks ago I finally worked up enough courage to light a match, something I've long wished I could do, and now I can't believe I was ever afraid to do it because it's the easiest thing ever. I love candles even more now that I can light them myself! Someday I hope to make my own candles.

~Cleaning the house. Don't laugh. : P Actually, sure, go ahead. This is perhaps the strangest thing I love about Autumn! The reason being that a few years ago (in the fall), after much frustration and bemoaning about the fact that dust does collect on the floor and things like grass and leaves do find their way into the house unbidden, and nobody in my family seemed to care as much as I did, I taught myself to use the vacuum and have since become an expert with the blessed machine.

~Walks through the cornfields and the woods and romps through the creek, getting wonderfully dirty and not caring in the least.

~Indian corn! I am the head  of Indian Corn Bundling at my family's produce stand, a task to which I find I am very well suited, and one I thoroughly enjoy as well. I love un-husking the hears and the surprise at seeing what colors each one is, because you can never tell until you unwrap it!

~Dressing up in costumes with our cousins and going to my grandparents' house on Hallowe'en!

  This was two years ago, taken in front of our sign with one of our wonderful employees. Molly dressed as a cowgirl, I was the Phantom of the Opera, and Sadie was Constance Mozart. The picture below is from last year, taken at my grandparents' house. Back row, from left to right: Peter was Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, I was Mattie Ross from True Grit, Mary was Edward Scissorhands (her costume was spot-on, was it not?), and Sadie was Mary Boleyn. In the front row are Henry and Molly, who didn't really dress up. As for Henry, I'm not really sure what he's supposed to be. : ) 

    And those are just a few! 'Twould take far too long for me to list them all, but these are a few of the many things I love about Autumn.
  Here is one of my favorite Bible verses, from the book of Ecclesiastes:
  To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven
  A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
  ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

  "I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."     ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

  "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the succesive autumns."     ~George Eliot

"Every leaf speaks blisss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."   ~Emily Bronte

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!"   ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

 Have a wonderful day and a wonderful Autumn! : ) God bless!

What are some of your favorite things about Autumn?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Allow me to set the record straight

It occurred to me that, in the time since this blog came into being in February of this year, several of my views on a variety of different subjects have altered considerably. I have written things that I now feel differently about, and so I decided it would be a good idea to write a post addressing some of the areas in which my views have changed.

  In this post, written back in April, I said that I was not very impressed with the television series Christy, based on Catherine Marshall's classic American novel. I would now like to rebuff that. I'm not sure why I went through a stage of disliking the show- perhaps it was because I watched it with my family so much as a child that when I got older I grew kind of bored with it. I would now like to say that I think the series is practically perfect in every way, and I absolutely love it. Nobody could have played Christy better than Kellie Martin, and Christy Huddleston is now one of my top favorite literary heroines.

  Another thing is Downton Abbey. I wrote a review of the first season  in March, just after I watched it for the first time, which I now believe was unwise of me. When you watch something for the first time, at least when I do, my initial reaction or first impression is not usually what ends up being my final assessment. For me it takes time to think about it for a while. (I know, I wish it weren't so complicated! I just can't help reading into the matter so much.) Since that time I have seen the 2nd and 3rd seasons of Downton Abbey, and watched the 1st one and half of the 2nd over again. It is a truly amazing series (I really could rant on about it for pages and pages) and one of my favorite shows, and the characters are some of the most memorable I've ever encountered.
  Most of what I wrote in my review is not what I would write now. I won't go into all of it, but for starters, I don't really like Mr. Bates anymore.

 I admit, I did like him very much the first time I watched season 1 (in my neck of the woods we call them seasons), but now he's mostly just irritating. (Plus I can no longer seem to keep a straight face around him, but the poor man can't help that he isn't the most attractive person.) He is a nice man and all, but sometimes it seems as if most of the trouble he runs into, and he runs into a LOT of trouble, is more or less his own doing. Besides that, he hardly ever speaks up for himself and tells the truth when everyone else is jumping to conclusions about him and his past. Sometimes I just want to shake him! In a way, he's a lot like Elsie Dinsmore (humor me on this one): he's constantly being wrongly accused, and he refuses to defend himself.
  Also, I was overly hasty in my judgements of Thomas and Miss O'Brien. Yes, they are both nasty and conniving and cause a great deal of trouble, but if you look hard enough, neither one of them is entirely evil. Miss O'Brien may be rude and unpleasant and uncaring and just downright mean, but she has a heart. She genuinely cares about Cora, even though sometimes she gets angry with her and acts like she doesn't (and calls her a filthy ungrateful cow. Ouch.) In short, I think Miss O'Brien is nasty and mean, but she is not entirely without human compassion, even though sometimes it may seem that way. 
 Thomas isn't as horrible as I used to think either. He's a bully and a coward, but I actually have sympathy for him, because as Mrs. Patmore says, he is a troubled soul. I'm not trying to defend him, but he's not as solely evil as I used to think. He does care about some people- when Sybil died it was plain that he genuinely cared about her- he's just all mixed-up inside and perhaps being nasty is all he's ever known. Thomas is a very complicated character and I still haven't really figured him out yet, but my first assessment was not a fair one.
  I also wrote that Edith was "the boring sister", to quote myself. I'm not going to go into the character of Edith in detail right now (because I simply don't have the time and I would probably bore you all to death anyway), but let it never be said that Edith is boring! And what I wrote about Mary was not very fair either. And I didn't even hardly mention Mr. Carson or Mrs. Hughes! My goodness, maybe I really should write another review. : )

 Another thing to set straight is my list of Top Ten Literary Heroines, my third post written in February. This was something that I had seen on other blogs and I was so excited to do on my own when I created my blog. I was so excited about it that I didn't really take the time to think through the list, so if I were to make another list now it would not be the same. I don't think Elinor Dashwood is my favorite literary heroine, although she is one of them. Now I would probably put Christy Huddleston somewhere near the top of the list, and Mattie Ross would most certainly not be number ten! I'm not going to make another list, but I just wanted to set the record straight on that. Also, that was a list of my favorite heroines from classic literature, so a list of my favorite heroines from any books would be quite different.

  Also, in this post  from July, I sounded really whiny. And just downright silly. I'm not sure why I was so whiny that day, but I would like to apologize!

  That about covers it, for now anyway. I really wanted to write this post to clear up anything I might have said that I would disagree with now, and searching through my archives, those were the four main things I came up with.

 God Bless,

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