• Reading

    Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party Tag

    I thought I wouldn’t have enough mental space to be able to participate in Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party, but I’d forgotten about the tag, and this year she made it so much more interesting, I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers!

    Isn’t it romantic to be serenaded?
    Depends on the situation, I can imagine some I’d love (whispering or softly singing a song that I like in a quiet moment), but quiet frankly, most of the times I’ve seen it or that people think it should be done . . . I’d either die of embarrassment or laugh in his face.

    Isn’t it romantic to have pet names for each other?
    Ugh, ugh, ugh. NO!

    Edit: I’m assuming pet names such as “Benny-Boo-Boo” or whatever from How to Lose a Man in 10 Days (though this isn’t used seriously and so is absolutely hysterical) or “Molly-wobbles” from HP. NOT terms of endearments such as “my love” and “honey” and “my darling.” Those I do find romantic, unless of course they include, “mon infant” and “Monseigneur” used in such a way, UGH.

    Isn’t it romantic if he wants you to look him in the eye?
    Probably, and he will probably have to tell me. What is this referencing? “Look back at me?”

    Isn’t it romantic to be carried across the threshold?
    I guess it could be, it’s so overused though.

    Isn’t it romantic to receive flowers and chocolates?
    I love flowers and chocolate and will always take them, but I think the cliche takes away the romance, plus my mom gets us candy at every holiday, so its not only for romance.

    Isn’t it romantic to get caught in the rain?
    Maybe more funny or adventurous. But the funny and adventurous IS more my kinda romance.

    Isn’t it romantic to dance?
    It can be. I think this plus singing softly is the most traditionally romantic thing on the list for me.

    Isn’t it romantic if he asks for your parent’s permission to marry you?
    No, its more just the polite/correct thing to do.

    Isn’t it romantic to be rescued?
    Or its just chivalrous of him?

    Isn’t it romantic to stargaze?
    Maybe, maybe just more fun.

  • Handicrafts

    Brijee Patterns Casey Skirt Pattern Testing and Blog Party

    In June I participated in a pattern test for Brijee patterns. She is currently hosting a pattern giveaway on her blog here.

    I made my skirt from Robert Kaufman Superlux Poplin in navy. I’ve needed some more business formal looking skirts (the color is darker than the photos, but I wanted the skirt to be visible). I shortened the the skirt, and I tried my hand at bound button-holes.

    I’m not crazy about the waist-line, I might use a rounded one and I need more fullness in the back skirt (but not waist), but I will definitely be using the pattern again with adjustments. This is so flattering for my body type!

  • Reading

    Little Women Blog Party Tag

    I’m joining Molly Rebekah’s A Ramble Through the Woods Little Women blog party; Abby from Lavender Spring is her co-host. I think the focus is mainly on the 1994 film version, so that is how I will be answering the tag questions (also, I strongly advise listening to the soundtrack Molly uploaded whilst answering the questions). I’m a glutton for punishment; Jo and Laurie’s ending is one of the most devastating storylines in literature.

    1.) Is there anything from the book that you wish were in the movie?
    Well, I wish nothing had been changed (that I liked; I would totally be okay with the directors putting Laurie and Jo together). The John and Meg proposal scene is one of my favorite proposals in literature. I love the chapter “Secrets” and the ensuing results (note: the Anne of Avonlea movie plagiarizes part of this chapter as well as other parts of Little Women; I’ve been meaning to go into that into more detail, and I even purchased the screenplay just for that purpose . . . one day, one day).

    2.) If you could change one point of the plot, which would it be?
    I think we all know my answer to this one. Jo and Laurie. I think I need to re-read and devote an entire post to this.

    3.) In Chapter 13, the March sisters and Laurie talk about “Castles in the Air,” basically their unrealistic but lovely hopes and dreams. What is your castle in the air?
    I’m pretty sure mine is basically like Meg’s.

    4.) What would you most like to see in a new adaptation of Little Women, whether in book or film? Any specific actors, setting, or time period changes?
    An accurate portrayal with actors and actresses the CORRECT ages (most of those girls looked way too old or weren’t even girls anymore). I would prefer better costumes, they were very underwhelming.

    5.) What is your favorite dress from the movie?
    The peach one Amy wears when she gets her letter about Beth. This one; I cannot for the life of me find a better photo that shows the lovely skirt. I also love her hair style.

    6.) Which March sister(s) do you relate to most?
    I’m probably like all of them, except Beth. I have Jo’s temperament with Meg’s domesticity and wishes and Amy’s taste and some of her wishes.

    7.) Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Little Women?
    I like parts of 90’s film (music and Laurie) and part of the 30’s one (most accurate John and Meg proposal scene).

    8.) What is your favorite quote from Little Women? (Movie quotes count!)
    Hard to pick and I’m too lazy to get out of bed, walk two steps and grab the book, and peruse it. So I will grab a light one from Goodreads and hope it is accurately quoted.

    “Jo’s nineteen hair-pins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable; but, dear me, let us be elegant or die!”

    9.) Do you have a favorite scene from Little Women?
    I’m going to go by book “scenes.” The proposal as before mentioned; the whole saga of Jo submitting her story/Laurie’s secret as before mentioned; the picnic . . . yeah the book is better.

    10.) Aside from the March sisters, who is your favorite character from the story?
    Um, LAURIE!!!!!!! I do like John Brooke in the book though, the movie doesn’t get him at all right.


  • Reading

    A Lovely Blog Party Tag

    I’m joining up here.

    Jo and Laurie: Name a couple that should have stayed friends…or did stay friends…
    I disagree . . . most emphatically on the Jo and Laurie friendship point. And I’m not coming up with anything; I feel that I usually agree with couples or I dislike a first couple but they break up/don’t work out, and I like the next couple (you know like Roger and Cynthia changes to Roger and Molly or Charlie and Rose changes to Mac and Rose). Or I feel that if I don’t like a couple I don’t like the book. I mean there may be ones that fit this question, but I cannot think of any right now.

    Jane and Mr. Rochester: Name a couple that looked like the chances of a happily ever after were next to none!
    Owain and Regina in Dawn Wind. Paul and Knife in Knife.

    Jane and Mr. Bingley: Name a couple that is just sooo happy!
    Creel and Luka in the Dragon Slippers Trilogy.

    Mattie and Guard from Friendly Persuasion (a favorite).

    Kit and Ella: Name your favorite fairytale couple
    Um, Kit and Ella or their literary doppelgängers, Peregrine and Amethyst from An Ordinary Princess.

    Azalea and Lord Bradford from Entwined.

    Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley: Name a couple where the woman is basically ignored by the suitor until the end of the story (frustration at it’s finest!! 😛 :P)
    Well, Tom doesn’t exactly ignore Polly in An Old-Fashioned Girl, but he is stuck and oblivious to his and her feelings until the very end.

    Philip is totally clueless as to Elnora’s feelings (and stellar comparison to his idiot girl) in Girl of the Limberlost.

    Sarah and Jacob Witting: Name a couple that found love later in life
    Sir Tristram Shield and Sarah Thane from The Talisman Ring. Well at least HE is old and decrepit according to HER. They were the best part of this book.

    Lucy Snow and her French professer in Villette.

    Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon: Name a couple from a musical
    Margy and Pat from State Fair.

    Adam and Millie in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (one of my favorites).

    Phil and Judy in White Christmas (oh, yes, they ARE a couple).

    Anne and Gilbert: Name a couple that didn’t start out on the right foot
    Jamie and Molly from Keeper of the Bees started in a very odd way, and then had a quite a bad time for their first “real” moment.

    Anna and Declan in Leap Year. Oh, my word do they get off on the wrong foot . . . and remain off-kilter for quite a while which of course leads to a TON of funny moments.

    And of course, Simon and Nicole in How to Steal a Million (one of my favorites). Shooting and meeting a burglar, that doesn’t sound like a great start.

    Faramir and Eowyn: Name a couple with the sweetest love story
    Ray and Livvy in the Magic of Ordinary Days. A couple that wasn’t supposed to be real, that wasn’t supposed to work.

    Ivanhoe and Rebecca: Name a couple that should have been together
    Laurie and Jo!

    Jo and Anya from Roman Holiday (another favorite).

    Max and Liesel from Book Thief.

    Spiller and Arietty from The Borrowers series (wow, those books left off in a very unsatisfactory way; I’m not sure that was supposed to be the end or that is how bad it felt).

  • Reading

    Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge

    I discovered this challenge from this blog.

    I have a book of my own (or Mom’s; I think she let me have it or I pulled it from a give-away box? Probably should check on that, lol) that I wanted to read as part of my attempt to read all the books I own. This book is Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler: The Rediscovered Writings.

    I will probably also see about reading some books from this list the challenge hostess provided. I’ve already read Pioneer Girl (the original manuscript for the Little House books). I’d also like to read some of the books Rose Wilder Lane wrote (questionably) utilizing her mother’s manuscript.

    I grew up a “pioneer girl.” I loved the Little House books (the shorter children’s illustrated versions first) from a small age. I dressed up in what I considered “pioneer” fashion and sewed sunbonnets from The Little House Sewing Book. I played the computer game “Oregon Trail” over and over. I read the Kirsten books and used the cookbook and play book and poured over the craft book (the first named is on my shelf, I’m not sure what happened to the other two, should find that out).

    A couple years ago we visited Laura, Almanzo, and Rose Wilder’s house in the Ozarks, and one day I’d love to visit all these places this blogger mentions as well as all the other sites.

    Note: the hostess is offering a giveaway as well, one option is a Laura Ingalls Wilder cookbook!!!!!

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Beauty and the Beast Week Kick-Off Tag

    I’m participating in Meredith’s Beauty and the Beast week. At least, I’m going to do that tag and read a bunch of posts. 

    1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast?
    As a child I watched the Disney princess movie and read our large blue Disney Classics book (Mom just got this again for my sister who remembered adoring it as a child). I cannot remember how young I was, but this was one of the Disney princess movies I watched most (along with Pocahontas and Cinderella).

    2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast?
    Beauty by Robin McKinley, Beastly and the Disney animated movie.

    3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the  Beast?
    In the animated movie, probably Gaston. He is hilarious. Lumiere and Cogsworth are fun too. Um, the couple? Well, the Beast is disturbing and underdeveloped (yes, I know it is a Disney movie . . . but Flynn he’s ruined me for anyone less) and Belle is annoying.

    In the book (Beauty), every character is lovely (Beauty has an interesting family). Beauty is a much more worthy heroine, but I still wish the Beast was a little bit more developed. However, in the book he comes off as mysterious which is good.

    4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast?
    I prefer the tracks “Prologue” and “Transformation” to the singing.

    5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be?
    A side table in an abandoned room where I could be left alone until all was well.

    6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.) I just cannot pull anyone together quickly; I don’t know enough about enough actors and actresses to do this easily.

    7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play?
    Belle could be fun or perhaps an enchanted maid. Most preferably, someone in the audience. I’m not a theater kid nor EVER wanted to be.

    8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times?
    Yeees. But I need to be careful. Since adulthood, if I read books (or watch movies) too many times and too close together, I sicken of them.

    9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change?
    Develop the Beast’s character a bit more, give more detail to his back story, give more detail to the love story after the transformation.

    10. Are roses your favorite flower? 
    One of my favorites. Not so much store roses as homegrown ones, though. We had at least six in our yard as a child. Not those Knock Out roses that fall to pieces the minute you touch them.

  • Reading

    Hamlette’s I Love Austen Week Tag

    Here is the link to the tag.

    1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
    The 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Mom then borrowed the book from the library. I think I watched most of the classic versions (the Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale Emma is the classic one to me) before reading the novels.

    2.  What is your favorite Austen book?

    Well, I’m in the middle of re-reading all of them. I have a hard time picking one favorite. I think that Persuasion, Mansfield Park (I know lots of people don’t like this one, but I just started re-reading it and I just like something about the style and situation and I just like Edmund), and Pride and Prejudice are my favorites (?).

    3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best?

    Apparently all the ones that aren’t remotely like me. Fanny, Anne, and Elinor, oh and Jane. They are sweet and good without being self-righteous. My least favorite is Emma because she is so conceited and dishonest and insincere.

    4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best?

    Wow, this is HARD. Right now, Edmund Bertram. I don’t know, I just like Edmund. The way he always looks out for Fanny. In real life I would probably like Henry Tilney best because he is so funny. Or maybe Mr. Knightley. I feel like the film versions have really affected my opinion or understanding of Mr. Knightley unduly. But none of the characters are super developed.

    5.  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen’s work?

    Pride and Prejudice is the most accurate. But the 2009 version of Emma is just so funny (although the one I call “my” version is Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale, its waay too short though). And we enjoy the 2008 Sense and Sensibility . . . well Dan Stevens as Edward. And my sisters and I love to swoon over Rupert Penry-Jones in the 2008 Persuasion but that version overall has some extremely awkward moments and film techniques (although I love how they blended the two endings).

    6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)

    I don’t adore them like I used too. I prefer greater depth of story and character. Also, characters irritate me more on second and third readings (i.e. Emma and Lizzie and Marianne).

    7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
    I have the really pretty Barnes and Noble hard back collection of the novels. I would love to buy jewelry with Captain Wentworth’s proposal.

    8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

    What is the rest of the story of Sandition!!!!!!!! And please finish it. Why do I get the feeling that it would have been one of her best novels with an especially charming hero?

    9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

    I was just watching Little Dorrit. I love Matthew McFadyen in that and in MI-5, but I HATE him in ’05 Pride and Prejudice, and I guess it is because he is so WRONG for the role (nothing fits with anything in that movies although it is good for laughs). I was trying to fit him to a JA role and realized how perfect he would be as Colonel Brandon. And I do mean perfect. The sweetness and patience of his face and manner (oh, how I love him as Arthur Clennam).

     I hate all the Colonel Brandon’s. One of my sisters pointed out that Mr. Knightly is often younger or pleasant and he is a year or two older than Colonel Brandon. The films always make Colonel Brandon ancient and creepy. Why? I think that is part of why I cannot warm to him in the books although I adore Arthur Clennam who I think is similar of temperament and situation (everyone abuses him and he is sweet and patience and good).

    I don’t know enough actors of any one set or generation to do a very good job at casting a movie, certainly not quickly. 

    10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

    Too hard and involved.

    Mr. Knightley’s arguments and rebukes of Emma offer some excellent moments.

    Captain Wentworth is definitely the most romantic. Nothing can outdo that letter.

    Mr. Bennet and Mr. Tilney’s sarcasm is humorous.

  • Reading

    An FBI Interrogation Book Tag from An Odd Blog

    I’m not exactly sure of the origin or title, but I got the list of questions here. I love that this list includes some unique questions (e.g. cookbook) and library questions. So much reading is mentioned online but so few library mentions. I LOVE the library. I’m writing this post on 1/7

    1.  Favorite childhood book?
    I enjoyed the Boxcar children, the American Girl books, and The Little House on the Prairie books plus many of the books from Five in a Row and Beyond Five in a Row (the homeschool curriculum Mom used in our earlier years; I want to use that myself as it helps foster a love of reading).

    2.  What are you reading right now?
    Today I just finished Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John D. Inazu. Starting off strong! I shouldn’t boast, watch me read only the fluffiest fiction the rest of the year. Speaking of, I’m planning on starting The Laughing Cavalier by Emmuska Orczy

    3.  What books do you have on request at the library?
    ~Four Novels: Complete and Unabridged by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve been “trying” to read Hemingway for awhile now. And by “trying” I mean ordering his books from the library and then reading other, lighter books
    ~Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday. Apropos well  . . .
    ~Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell. I need to CLEP economics, but I also need to better my knowledge, period.
    ~Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    ~Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
    ~The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
    I also have 3 calligraphy books and a test prep book requested.

    4.  Bad book habit?
    I will dog ear library books . . . :/

    5.  How many books do you have checked out from the library?
    20. Blood Feud by Sutcliffe; Liberty’s Refuge; Christmas in My Heart (1,3, 5); 84, Charing Cross Road; Barnaby Rudge; Calligraphy 101; a book on my state’s history; Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference by Inazu; The Core Program: Fifteen Minutes a Day That Can Change Your LifeDaddy-Long-LegsIdylls of the King and a Selection of Poems (because I’ve been “trying” to delve into poetry reading); Jayber CrowLetters from Father Christmas by Tolkien; Pioneer Girl: The Annotated AutobiographyThe Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart; Simply Calligraphy; and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

    6.  Do you have an e-reader?
    I have a Kindle app on my computer which I use infrequently.

    7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
    It depends. Sometimes I will have several started but get absorbed in one. Sometimes, I won’t have any going.

    8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
    I’ve found more to read.

    9.  Favorite book you’ve read this year?
    I’m going to choose from last year. As usual I have several favorites. I’m proud of my nonfiction: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. This book is so data packed and interesting plus almost 1,000 pages! As far as fiction I enjoyed Rosemary Sutcliffe’s Dawn Wind and Frontier Wolf; L. M. Montgomery’s Magic for Marigold, A Tangled Web (hilarious), and Jane of Lantern Hill; Natalie Lloyd’s A Key to Extraordinary (I liked it better than her first book; I think that is often unusual); and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (emotionally exhausting).

    10.  Favorite place to read?
    My bed

    11.  What is your policy on book-lending?
    I hate it, and I will remember.

    12.  Do you ever dog-ear books?
    See #4

    13.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
    No, I don’t usually write in them, but I want to start writing in the front the dates of when I’ve read and reread the book like my grandmother does.

    14.  Do you break/crack the spine of your book?
    On purpose? No, but my paperback of Jane Austen novels broke, so I just separated the halves. I will be using that paper, once I finish my rereads, to make garlands and such.

    15.  What is your favorite language to read in?
    English. I would like to learn French to reread Villette and understand everything. Actually, French would help for any older novel that includes a few phrases (Villette included more than a few). But I’m going to focus on becoming fluent in Spanish in the near future.

    16.  What will inspire you to recommend a book?
    If I loved it.

    17.  Favorite genre?
    Classic and homespun romance (whether technically considered a romance or merely mainly about a love story) like Blue Castle and Laddie. Juvenile fiction about everyday life or fantasy or both like The Penderwicks for the first, 100 Cupboards for the middle, and Harry Potter for the last. Fantasy like the Faerie Rebel trilogy and Swift and Nomad duo. Historical fiction if brilliantly done like Sutcliffe novels, The Book Thief, and All the Light We Cannot See. Mystery when wittily done like the Lord Peter Wimsey novels and Sherlock Holme’s stories.

    18.  Genre [author] you rarely read but wish you did?
    I think I could read more historical fiction.

    19.  Favorite (auto)biography?
    I have problems with pop nonfiction as well as pop fiction, but Roald Dahl’s Solo is not a pop autobiography.

    20.  Favorite cookbook?
    Grandma’s German Cookbook

    21.  Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
    Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America.

    22.  Favorite reading snack?
    Good chocolate like Dove or Ghirardelli and whole milk to drink.

    23.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
    I try to avoid hyped books. Formal reviews ruin experiences for me whether good or bad.

    24.  How often do you agree with critics about a book?
    See #23.

    25.  How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
    See #23.

    26.  If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
    French, see #15.

    27.  Favorite fictional character?
    That is so hard to choose. I will pick some couples to do both boy and girl. Valancy and Barney from Blue Castle. Rudy and Liesel. Martin and Ivy.

    28.  Favorite fictional villain?
    I like conflicted ones. Martin from The Faerie Rebels trilogy and Swift duo. Draco Malfoy. Probably others.

    29.  The longest you’ve gone without reading?
    During my teen years I hardly read, I merely skimmed. I had a reading (OCD) “crisis” around 14 in which I “determined” I didn’t know if I was reading every word silently, so I had to read every word aloud (I think my siblings may have sarcastically remarked about me or another sister having to read every period). Naturally, that put a damper on reading. Yes, I’m nuts.

    30.  Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
    I’m going to pick The Inheritance because its far better than the book.

    31.  Most disappointing film adaptation?
    All of them except the above?

    32.  The most money [you’ve] ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
    Probably over $100. At Half-Price. I’m trying to curb my book ownership, focusing on hardbacks and reference books and utilizing the library.

    33.  Do you like to keep your books organized?
    Yes. The nonfiction (I have more of these) is organized generally by category and my fiction is organized alphabetically by author.

    34.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
    I try to avoid buying books I haven’t read, and to focus on books I love. I gave some paperbacks to my sisters when I decided to focus on hardbacks.

    35.  Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
    Heavy classics like War and Peace and scary classics like Dracula.

    36.  A book that you didn’t expect to like but did?
    There have been books I’ve been uncertain about liking. I dismissed the Harry Potter books when my sister was reading them because I thought they were probably silly (I was the silly one). Previously of course, like every homeschooler at one point, I had thought that they were bad.

    That was fun

    I need to remember to do this as its annoying to have to copy and paste and then delete the other person’s answers . . . but then I format the same way!
    1.  Favorite childhood book?  
    2.  What are you reading right now?  
    3.  What books do you have on request at the library?  
    4.  Bad book habit?
    5.  How many books do you have checked out from the library? 
    6.  Do you have an e-reader? 
    7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? 
    8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  
    9.  Favorite book you’ve read this year? 
    10.  Favorite place to read?  
    11.  What is your policy on book-lending? 
    12.  Do you ever dog-ear books?  
    13.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?  
    14.  Do you break/crack the spine of your book? 
    15.  What is your favorite language to read in?  
    16.  What will inspire you to recommend a book?  
    17.  Favorite genre?  
    18.  Genre [author] you rarely read but wish you did?  
    19.  Favorite biography?  
    20.  Favorite cookbook?  
    21.  Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? 
    22.  Favorite reading snack?  
    23.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.  
    24.  How often do you agree with critics about a book? 
    25.  How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?  
    26.  If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? 
    27.  Favorite fictional character?
    28.  Favorite fictional villain?  
    29.  The longest you’ve gone without reading? 
    30.  Favorite film adaptation of a novel?  
    31.  Most disappointing film adaptation?  
    32.  The most money [you’ve] ever spent in the bookstore at one time? 
    33.  Do you like to keep your books organized?  
    34.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? 
    35.  Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?  
    36.  A book that you didn’t expect to like but did?  

  • Daily Life

    Blogmas 2016

    I enjoyed Blogtober, I think prompts and link-ups like that are fun . . . if I can pick and choose. Also, I like the idea of Christmas posts but felt too pressured by my 12 days of Christmas all in a row. So, I was pleased to find this Blogmas event going on. I will follow along, picking and choosing at my own will. Today I’m going to do the tag.

    Whats Your Favourite Holiday Movie?

    I love White Christmas. I feel like I haven’t seen enough Christmas movies to have a “favorite” plus I’m more of a “favorites” person.

    Whats Your Favourite Christmas Color?

    I think it depends. I am not usually a fan of only red and green together; I like have more neturals and metals to soften the effect.

    Do You Like To Stay in Your PJs Or Dress Up For Christmas?

    I like pajamas in the morning when emptying our stockings and then dressing up when we go to Mamau and Papau’s for lunch. 

    If You Could Only Buy One Person a Present This Year Who Would It Be?

    I couldn’t do one person, that wouldn’t seem fair. I like buying for my littlest sisters.

    Do You Open Your Present Christmas Eve Or Christmas Morning?

    We celebrate with extended family on Christmas Eve, immediate family on Christmas morning, and grandparents at midday on Christmas. My brother is now married and my sister will be married by next Christmas, so we will probably adjust some. And since Christmas is on Sunday, this year will be different too.

    What Do You Like To Do On Your Christmas Break?

    Usually, try to get myself into a sugar coma and binge on Hallmark and work on last minute Christmas and sale shopping. I’ve still got finals, so I cannot see past Wednesday, but I do want to purge (haha), watch a list of Christmas movies plus Hallmark, read some Christmas stories, and bake Christmas goodies. I also have baby and Christmas knitting I need to work on.

    Any Christmas Wishes?

    A good year? A fun Christmas? A Boyfriend for Christmas (ha, and I’d take that boyfriend).  

    Favorite Christmas Smell?

    Peppermint, chocolate, cinnamon, its hard to pick.  

    Favourite Christmas Meal Or Treat?

    Dad makes home-made cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast. For sweets, peppermint fudge, truffles, and meringue Christmas trees (all home-made of course). I prefer ham and deviled eggs for my Christmas protein. And we usually have plenty of lovely sides.

    What are you doing for the holidays this year?

    All of our family is around here, so we stay.

    What’s your favourite holiday drink?

    Hot chocolate. I don’t like cider and cannot remember trying eggnog.  

    Candy cane or Gingerbread men?

    That’s hard, I would probably go with cinnamon candy canes. We had those years ago, and I loved them. I need to get me some at some point.  

    What’s your favourite holiday/Christmas song?

    I have favorites and of course cannot think of them all (I want to make a list because I don’t even know all the titles).

    What is most important to you about the holidays?

    I enjoy picking out gifts (and I’ve gained a family reputation for being good at it, but that’s because I’ve developed it; trust me, over-thinking can backfire). I enjoyed the food and family time and watching gift-opening (we always wait turns and watch and its so much fun and really doesn’t take too much time).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Classic Hollywood Celebration: Friendly Persuasion Review

    I am linking up here again.

    Former friends introduced me to Friendly Persuasion years ago. I watched it by myself first and enjoyed it and then more recently watched it several times with my mom and sisters. This 1956 film features actors Gary Cooper and Anthony Perkins and actress Dorothy McGuire (whom we’ve seen in the 1960 The Swiss Family Robinson which we also love). The film is very loosely based on Jessamyn West’s novel of the same name.

    The story is set in Civil War era Indiana and features a rural Quaker family trying to live in a quiet way and being forced to come to terms with the fact that the forces of war are approaching close to home.** Each of the mature or maturing members of the Birdwell household has his or her own particular views and connections to the war, and this produces some familial discord. Despite all this family love, faith, and honor prevail.

    Although the overarching plot leads to conflict with marauding Rebel troops, much of the film depicts the day-to-day struggles, activites and idiosyncries in this Quaker household. I love the depictions of the familial, neighborly, and outside world interactions of the Birdwells and how differently each member reacts to their Quaker responsibilities. Each person is a distinct individual and yet the conflicts tend to be small and humorous (until the end) and are always resolved.

    As an older movie, the film posseses some drawbacks frequent to this period including noticeably fake scenery, not noticeably period accurate clothing, etc. The music underwhelmed me, nothing unique or heart-stirring. The plot is more a string of vignettes leading to a climax as the war touches the Birdwells with graduating intensity than a perfectly wrough plot, so at times some scenes can feel a bit random. Nevertheless, I love the portrayal of the simple, homespun daily life interspersed with plenty of humor and a little love.

    If you need drama or a comprehensive Civil War plot, this movie is not for you. But if you enjoy simple, sweet stories and are interested in this unique perspective of mid-19th century American life and its gentle perspective on the war, you may enjoy the film. I had no knowledge at all of the story (a level of ignorance which I often love for books and movies) and love “homey” stories and so I appreciated the simple portrayal of Quakerism** and the war. Nothing too complicated or nuanced needing an intellectual conversation, but resting sweetness and simplicity.

    I loved the movie, so I got the book from the library, but after looking through it, I could see very little connection to the story I liked and decided I wasn’t interested enough to try reading it.
    **Because I must ALWAYS give a history lesson, I must point out that Quakers were not traditionally formal pacifists; they did place a greater value on overall kindness and humanness, but the stringent pacifism came far later. I learned this from Albion’s Seed, and I truly cannot recommend that book enough.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    A Celebration of Classic Hollywood Week: Film Review of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

    I’m linking up at An Old-Fashioned Girl for A Celebration of Classic Hollywood Week. Since I seem to be either criticizing or incoherently fangirling or only noting a few details when I write about movies, I thought I’d better look up some more formal guidelines for movie reviewing. I found two printouts from the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University (this and this). I just used the first handout and very generally, but I found it helpful.

    My sister and I watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at a sleep-over with friends as young preteens or teens. I felt a bit shocked at what I then considered its coarseness (“Bless Your Beautiful Hide . . .”). You have no idea, little me. I don’t think I warmed up considerably as the film progressed either. But later, after hearing others mention it, I tried it again, and then even later watched it with my mom and sisters. I own it now, and we love it.

    Anyway, this 1954 musical features Jane Powell and Howard Keel (I’ve watched him in Annie Get Your Gun recently, and he looks SO different without a mustache) as well as several Broadway dancers and singers and an actress who later played Lois Lane in one of the Superman films (this we discovered after watching it with extended family and an aunt recognized the actress; I love how movies can be such an interactive experience). The film’s main plot revolves around the unconventional (what an understatement!) wooing of “seven slumachy back woodsmen” e.g. the Pontipee brothers in frontier era Oregon Territory. The brothers of course run into conflict with the proper townsmen, but eventually all the (wild, sometimes lawbreaking) boys marry their (incredibly fickle) girls.

    This movie is so silly, fun, and hilarious. Several of the songs are quite humorous and others are quite sentimental (these are NOT our favorites; we skip some out of boredom). Because Adam marries first, his wife Millie takes on the first part of civilizing the brothers, with considerably mixed results! The boys’ own ladies complete the polishing work. Millie, Gideon, and Hannah teach Adam his own separate lesson. I love the hilarity of course, but I also like the sweet familial and romantic scenes mixed in all the drama and fun.

    As is typical of old musicals, this film is short and the story is simple. Only a few of the brothers and only one of the wives show any great characterization. The film focuses on singing, (melo) drama, and humor. It is a light, short, fun film for when you aren’t in the mood for intensity of any type.

  • Reading

    Anne of Green Gables Week and Tag

    More Anne of Green Gables things?! Yes, why not. Evie @OvertheHills is hosting a Anne of Green Gables week, and here is the link to the tag.

    1. How did you get introduced to Anne of Green Gables?
    Friends of our got rid of some of their books, specifically, 2-5 and 7. I grew up with Anne of Avonlea.

    2. Are you more like Anne or Diana? Why?

    I can be as extreme as Anne (you know that conversation with Marilla about soaring and plunging) while I can be rather too literal like Diana.

    3. If Rachel Lynde called your hair as red as carrots how would you react? 

    Probably almost exactly like Anne did.

    4. Gilbert or Morgan Harris? 

    I disdain to answer this.

    5. Honest opinion on the third Anne film. 

    Raving, maniac hatred. Let’s please not think about it.

    6. Have you seen the New Anne film? 

    No. And isn’t there a Netflix series coming too? I think that will be more professional than the movie. Probably not more book accurate than the first series though.

    7. What in your own words is a Kindred Spirit?

    Someone who share similar connotations; you don’t have to explain everything you mean in childish detail. Someone you can trust.

    8.  Movie Gilbert or Green Gables Fables Gilbert?

    Yes, yes, yes, to this question. Green Gables Fables all the way. He combines the humor from the adult Dr. Blythe with the practically but romantic young Gilbert. The other one was a poor spoof on Laurie.

    9.  Does anyone know where we can watch Road to Avonlea online?

    10. Favourite book cover? 

    Well, in the “original” ones I grew up with, I like Rainbow Valley (even though the children are not all and not accurately displayed), because while I like the style or posing of some of the others, the colors and hairstyles are just awful, not at all the like Anne who had excellent taste. I love this new covers series (although Blue Castle wins the entire series) best and feel it really accurately expresses the books aesthetically.

    11. The Films or The Books?

    The books. What a question. The films had some serious imitation plagiarization problems from the novel Little Women. Seriously, the books are nothing alike.  And the characters aren’t either; Anne is nothing like Jo and Gilbert is not Laurie. The films take a small section from the novels and stretch it, change it and simplify it to cover Anne’s whole life. They don’t show her as an idealistic, romantic dreamer, but a immature, hasty, eccentric. She wasn’t an immature eleven year old her whole life people.