Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November is here!

  Hello, my dear readers! : )

     November is here! (Yes, I know, it has been here for a few days now.) It hardly seems possible that autumn is almost over! It feels like it was only yesterday when I was so excited about its coming. It's a rather melancholy feeling, but fall comes and goes every year and each one is special and wonderful in its own way. Besides, I love each season, so I'm never really that disappointed at the end of any one of them because it only means another one is coming! : P November has always been one of favorite months because it's when fall is turning to winter and the weather turns cold and the first snow comes (although this year the first snow came on Oct. 24th where I live!), my second-favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and of course, it's when we can start thinking about Christmas coming.

   I haven't posted very much in the past couple of weeks for two reasons: one being that our computer was down for a week or so, and two being that I haven't really felt like it for the past few days. Also there's been a lot going on and I've been pretty busy, but today I thought I would tell you a little bit about all the things that I've been doing this past month. So, as they say in all those old western songs, "kind friend, if you will listen, a story I will tell"! : )

~  One of the things I've been doing a lot of this fall is reading. As in, almost more than usual. : P  In October I re-read True Grit by Charles Portis (I read it for the first time last spring), which is one of the most amazing books I have ever read and definitely one of my top favorites. In just wish it was longer! There were times after I'd finished it when I wished I hadn't, so that I could keep reading it! It's that good! I almost think I may have forgotten how hilarious much of the dialogue is. I think I may have enjoyed it this time even more than I did before!
   Another book I re-read in October is The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet. My mom read it last year and then I read it and absolutely loved it, so a few weeks ago I had an impulse to read it again. It's actually a very short little book, but my, what a clever story! Don't be intimidated by the fact that it's about the devil. : P The story is about a man who, after an unending string of misfortunes, impulsively declares that he would sell his soul to the devil if he could, and so then the devil shows up at his farm and makes him actually go through with it. Then, regretting his careless decision, the man goes to Daniel Webster and asks him if he can help.It's a classic American short story that I think everyone ought to read, and if you don't get a kick out of it, then I can do nothing for you. : P Here's my favorite line from the book:

     "You've certainly give yourself the devil's own row to how, Neighbor Stone," he said, but I'll take your case."
     "You'll take it?" said Jabez Stone, hardly daring to believe.
      "Yes," said Dan'l Webster. "I've got about seventy-five other things to do and the Missouri Compromise to straighten out, but I'll take your case. For if two New Hampshiremen aren't a match for the devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians."

  Now that just tickled me to no end! : )

  ~ Last week we went to a craft fair and I bought this lovely new dress for my doll Millie. I haven't played with Millie for several years so basically all she does these days is sit on the dresser and look pretty, and this dress was so adorable that I just decided to buy it. I don't think I shall ever grow too old to find amusement in dolls!

Our current desktop, courtesy of me. : )
  ~ A few weeks ago my mama bought the entire Dr. Quinn series! We've owned the first season for years (and, consequently, have pretty much exhausted the episodes by watching them over and over), but we've borrowed the other seasons from a local church library. However, the arrangement was kind of inconvenient since we're not often able to go there, and this summer someone had all the seasons out all at once (which makes no sense at all). We've been wanting to get the whole series for a while, so when mama and I found it on sale we just bought it without a second thought. Such things are indispensable. : P

 ~ A few weeks ago I watched  The Long Riders for the second time with my mama and daddy and my western-loving younger sister. (My western-indifferent older sister caught bits of it too.) My goodness, what a movie! I love westerns, movies from the 80s (well, most the time), James and Stacy Keach, and making fun of the Carradines (hey, I'm just being honest), and since I also have a great interest in Jesse James and his band of rebel outlaws, I think this movie is pretty awesome.

   (Oh yes, and we've also been plowing our way through this awful John Adams miniseries-- review coming very soon!)

  ~The first snow of the year came on October 24th! It didn't stay long and by midday it was mostly melted, but it was beautiful at around six-thirty when I took these pictures!

   ~ Sadie and I have been learning, playing and singing western ballads and Civil War songs out of some books that we borrowed from the library a couple weeks ago (and we don't really want to give them back....) "Remember what I promised you, as we set side by side, beneath the old persimmon tree, I said I'd be your bride....." Suffice to say, I know a whole lot more western ballads now than I did a month ago!

    ~ Sadie and I each carved three pumpkin moonshines this year, two small ones and one large one each.

My big cat "pumpkin moonshine"

~ In a roundabout way, I inherited quite a lot of old dollhouse accessories including a lot of furniture kits, so I've been working on re-furbishing my dollhouse and putting together the furniture (although Sadie is much better at putting things together than I am.) : P

This is the newly- refurbished parlour

   So, with school and housework and ballet and Nutcracker rehearsals and everything else, I've managed to keep occupied. : ) I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and reading the two new Linda Byler books I just bought, having company this weekend, and watching Daniel Deronda again with my sister Sadie. (November always puts me in a mood for costume dramas-- in the summer and fall I generally feel more like watching historical films and westerns and things more of that sort, but then November seems to put me in a more refined and elegant mood, and that's when I feel like watching Wives and Daughters and Daniel Deronda and things like that.) : )

    Also, I'm thinking of changing my blog design for November, since my current header looks more like summer and early fall, plus it's beginning to wear on me. : P But perhaps I will just wait until later in the month and then change it for winter. Or perhaps I won't be able to wait that long and just change it anyway. : )

            So what have you all been up to? I'd love to hear your comments! : )


  1. I have the whole Dr. Quinn series too! Got it for like $40 during an awesome Amazon sale a few years ago. Such a delightful show.

    Can you believe I've never seen The Long Riders? I've put it on my wish list just this minute. I love Stacy Keach! Ever since I first watched The Blue and the Gray as a child, I have really dug him, and I would love to see him in a western.

    I've been finishing my Christmas shopping, watching a few westerns myself (most recently "The Desperadoes," with a deliciously young Glenn Ford), and finishing off my first YA western novel. Which was way more fun to write than my previous non-western novels, and I'm eager to write another :-)

    Other than that, I've been reveling in the glorious autumn colors. I do love fall! Not as much as winter, though.

  2. Hamlette,
    Oh, you must watch The Long Riders! It's such a classic! Yes, Stacy Keach is pretty awesome, and it's fun to see him act with his brother James. (One of the coolest things about the movie is that all the brother outlaws are played by actual brothers!) *Sigh* I love western outlaw movies. : P
    Conratulations on finishing off your novel! : ) That's so exciting! So are you a real, honest-to-goodness published author?


  3. I am a real, honest-to-goodness published author. But I haven't published a novel yet. I've had articles published in magazines like Guideposts and The Lutheran Educator, and I've had several short stories published online. That was all before I started having kids, though. I'm actually working on a couple of short stories that I hope to submit to some ezines and anthologies when they're finished.

    I've written a lot of fanfiction too, mostly for a 1960s TV show called Combat! that's about American soldiers in WWII. That's all available online at a site called Fruit Salad that a friend and I co-maintain (my call-sign there is White Queen).

    This novel I just finished is my sixth, though it's both my first YA book and my first novel-length western. I'm letting it sit until January before I start revising it, so I can get some distance and perspective on it. But I do hope to one day get it published.

    Whew! I kind of rambled on there, didn't I? All done!

  4. Oh. My. Goodness! I have the same dollhouse! Although, it's not so well decorated...
    I have a Millie doll as well!

  5. I just started looking this page around midnight not to long ago and now I just love it. You seem so casual yet deep and inspirational. I too have felt like an old soul.


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