Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Anniversary Mr Bailey!

Here's to the wonderful life we get to share!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Quick #197: Stories of song and camels

  1. Life these days is as crazy of the weather! While part of me is in denial about everything that has to get done in the next week, another part of me is enjoying watching the kids being excited the Advent activities we and their schools are doing.
  2. Liam's pageant was great fun with a couple of songs and the kids doing a great job with their lines and retelling the Nativity story.
  3. Lisbeth's concert was also wonderful.  The music was beautiful as was the Nativity play. Adding to the fun playing the role of Baby Jesus was the one month old daughter of her teacher last year.
  4. Unfortunately what is getting bumped this year is any sort of O'Antiphons activity with the kids. I'd love to but I also know my limits.
  5. Shopping for the kids was a bit more tricky this year as Lisbeth's list include high price items such as x-box and power ranger weapons that were no-goes ~ and Caitie kept changing what she wanted.  Liam kept adding to his list but by this point I regard that as S.O.P.
  6. Carols getting a lot of airtime in the car; Mary, did you know?, Emmanuel, and Jingle Bells.
  7. Have a good weekend and have fun lighting all four candles!!
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Friday, December 4, 2015

Quick Takes #196: Advent Happenings

  1. After a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family where good food was shared and the kids had a great time with their cousins; we headed home and are jumping on the Advent train.
  2. Actually started letting the kids open windows on their calendar on Sunday when we lit the first candle on the Advent wreath.  We always forget a night here and there ~ and now we are already ahead a night or two.
  3. We are again using the prayers from Welcome Baby Jesus by Sarah Reinhard when we light the Advent wreath candles. Except this year Lisbeth is reading the prayers!!!
  4. Check these excellent posts on Advent observances in these 'in the trench' days: 
  5. Have started the two books in the last two categories I need to read to complete the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge. Am not sure that I will be able to finish both this month but am proud of myself with sticking with and meeting the challenge. 
  6. Liam is a camel in his school's Christmas Play; I'm a bit disappointed it not a lobster. Name the movie :)
  7. Plans for the weekend includes a bit more decorating and getting together with friends and perhaps the first fire of the season.
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Monday, November 23, 2015

Daybook ~ Late November

Thinking about:
    Getting serious about Christmas shopping so as not to leave it all for the last minute. What additions I might make to how kid-wise we observe Advent.

Excited For:
   Thanksgiving and getting together with family and watching the kids play with their cousins. An Outer Banks trip my sisters and I are starting to plan for next summer. Haven't been in almost five years!

Wearing: Mostly jeans and clogs or skirts and boots; still in the 60's most days so have not really had to break into the sweaters much but as of this weekend that is about to change.

   Bulbs are all planted. Most of the leaves from nearby trees are down so hopefully coming down the homestretch on raking/bagging.  Have already done a bit of pruning but want to do some more once all the leaves are down.
My View:

Reading:  All fall Charlie and I have been reading or rereading parts of the Vorkosian saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. A friend started us on the series a few years ago towards the end but enjoying it Charlie has since bought all the books and so having reread everything I have read before I thought I would read one I haven't yet.

Watching: Blindspot, and the North&South mini-series. I read the book earlier this year and recently borrowed the DVDs from my sister. I really enjoyed it; felt like it was well acted, faithful to the book and so fun to see Brendan Coyle in another role.

Cooking: Spinach Quiche and otherwise trying to eat down the freezer ahead of the holiday.

The Kids: Elisabeth is still crazy about dinosaurs! Becoming a stronger reader all the time, is going to find some chapter books featuring her favorite Fancy Nancy under the tree.

Liam continues to enjoy Pre-K and all that he is learning about letters and numbers.  He is by far the smallest in his group at gymnastics but seems content to keep trying despite a weekly bump or bruise.

Caitlin is as much if not more of a talker than Lisbeth was. Favorite show is currently Max and Ruby.
Still enjoys drawing everywhere but is slowly learning to resist the temptation walls provide.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Quick Takes #195 Life these days

  1. Really enjoyed participating in the 31day posting challenge last month but clearly needed a break afterwards but now want to play a bit of catch-up.
  2. Halloween went well in the end with Elisabeth happy with how her Elanor ( a superhero of her own creation) costume came together and I finally figured out that costumes frightened Caitlin and she wanted to wear her own clothes. So I put on her longest princess dress and added a pink cape for warmth ~ Lisbeth dubbed her 'little pink riding hood' and we were off without a hitch. 
  3. November has stayed at the warmer end of the fall weather spectrum which I have appreciated as I raked and bagged ~ and I'm sure the kids appreciated as they pile jumped and we even managed a few more playground playdates with friends.
  4. The All Saints Pageant at Lisbeth's school went well and it was nice to be able to follow-up this week by acknowledging the feast days of Saint Margaret of Scotland who her best friend had chosen to research and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary who Lisbeth had chosen.
  5. After the attacks last week a few people have asked after my family and so I want allay any fears; nearly all of my family on my mom's side live in Belgium and so were not near the attacks. They are of course (as am I) heartsick about the perpetrators ties to Belgium. I think one of the hardest lessons we are learning as we hear of Americans radicalized and young women disappearing from good neighborhoods in London is that it can happen anywhere.
  6. Weekend plans include meeting with a Pre-Cana couple and going to a birthday party for a friend's son. What ever yours includes, have a good one!
  7. A Picture from Halloween; better later than never right?

    Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QTs

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In remembrance and thanks!

In Flanders Field by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

WWRW: November 4th

Recently finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I read as part of the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge. I don't remember what I read instead of this in high school but better late than never, right? Anyway; I'm glad I have read it ~ the childhood recollections and reflections of Scout Finch a young girl growing up in rural Alabama are touching without being saccharine.  With only a couple of exceptions no character is all good or all bad but rather the full spectrum of neighbors are shown at their best and worse.

Currently reading Jesus Feminist which is a nice change of pace after reading 33 days to Morning Glory. Both excellent in their own way but after reading Michael Gaitley's preparation for Marian Consecration with it's deep questions and profound theology which raised as many questions for me as it answered I needed something a bit lighter. According to the introduction Sarah Bessey intend Jesus Feminist to be a 'sitting around the campfire', sharing of experiences and putting aside the hurts and misunderstandings, and for a bit focusing on the fact that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.  I'm only about a third of the way through but so far really appreciate Bessey's pacing and easy prose.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

And in the end I give Thanks!

It's the 31st which means our journey through old movies is done, at least for the moment.  It also means that it is Halloween and perhaps I should offer something scary but anyone who knows me knows I don't do scary. Besides I really do want to take this chance to thank all of you who have read along and commented over the last month.

Hopefully I introduced you a few new (old) movies.  I certainly had fun brainstorming what some of my favorites are.  Did I miss any of yours?

While I am looking forward to not having to try and get a post up everyday; I am also headed into November with a lot of gratitude for all of you.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 30: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

I'm actually going to quote for this movie, cause this is one cool, complex 1956 movie starring Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones as a married couple making peace with the past and planning for their family's future.

"Tom Rath lives in Connecticut and commutes to work every day in Manhattan. He's happily married and has a loving wife and three children. Money is a bit tight and when the opportunity arises, he applies for a public relations job with a major television network. During his long commute to work everyday, Tom reminisces about the war. Although 10 years have gone by, he is still haunted by the violence and the men he killed. He also thinks of Maria, an Italian girl with whom he had an affair while stationed in Rome. At his new job, the head of the network Ralph Hopkins takes an immediate liking to him. Tom soon realizes that he will have to choose between becoming a wholly dedicated company man or maintaining a healthy work-life balance."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 29: The Thin Man

There are actually six movies in the series; personally I think the first two The Thin Man (1934) and After The Thin Man (1936) are the best but they all have their charm as former detective Nick Charles solves the mystery du jour. William Powell's comic delivery is as dry as the martini's he enjoys and Myrna Loy as his wife Nora Charles is the perfect counterpoint in her naivete but willingness to follow along.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 28: Indiscreet

   Another light and lovely one for you dear readers. In Indiscreet (1958)  Ingrid Bergman plays an actress living in London tired of life who meets an American economist, when thinking she was away her brother-in-law and his guest make use of her apartment to change for an evening engagement. The economist played by Cary Grant decides to take a job with NATO in Paris and so begins a delightful romance which is charming and very funny by turns.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 27: Maureen O'Hara

   We loss one of the great ladies of film this weekend when Maureen O'Hara died at age 95. Likely the first movie of her's I loved was The Parent Trap (1961) though as a kid I was more focused on Haley Mills performance. As an adult I came to appreciate her amazing talent especially when paired with John Wayne.  Earlier this month I posted about the third movie in a John Wayne/John Ford trilogy; Rio Grande (1950) is the second and features Wayne and O'Hara as a married couple separated since the Civil War trying again on the frontier.  The other Wayne/O'Hara movie not to be missed is The Quiet Man (1952) where Wayne moves to Ireland to retire his boxing career and the course of true love runs hilariously amiss.

This of course is only a small offering of the many wonderful movies by this amazing actress.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Love Story

   Happy Monday! Anyone still following along? For this last Modern Monday I thought I would share Love Story. Based on the Erich Segal book; Love Story (1970) tells the story of two students from Harvard and Radcliffe (as girls were not yet allowed to attend Harvard officially) who despite being from very different backgrounds fell in love and even at the cost of being disowned by his family decide to marry and pay their own way through law school.  Being a girl from Cranston myself this movie has always held a place in my heart.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 25: Ben Hur

When it comes to Charlton Heston and  Old Testament Movies people are either Ten Commandment (1956) fans or Ben Hur (1959). Well put me in the Ben Hur camp! This is a big movie (and long) but the journey both in distance and in faith that Judah Ben Hur makes is so very impressive.  Heston plays a Jewish prince who is first thrilled that a long-time friend has returned to Jerusalem from Rome but the cultural divide proves too big and after a tragic accident this becomes an amazing tale of revenge, forgiveness and redemption.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 24: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

How about something light and fun for a Saturday afternoon? Based on the memoir of Jean Kerr Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) is about Kate and Larry McKay, and their four boys and what happens when he gets a big promotion and she decides they should move to the country. This is Doris Day at her loveliness and David Niven's at his wittiness; add a good supporting cast and cute kids this film is a delight.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 23: Strategic Air Command

Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson did three movies together and they are all wonderful in their own way; this is my favorite.  Strategic Air Command (1955 ) tells the story of Dutch Holland a St Louis ballplayer who had stayed in the reserves after the end of WWII and is called back to serve in the nearly formed Air Force.  This movie is a fascinating look at the beginning of the Cold War when our commanders were discerning what a 'not at war but high alert' status would look like; as well as the move from big bombers to smaller jets.  This movie also looks at the strain and uncertainty this high alert mentality asks of family members.

Fun bit of trivia about the film at one point, Dutch refers to his old aircraft as a B-24, not B-29, as mentioned earlier in the film. A perfectly understandable mistake, since Jimmy Steward commanded a B-24 Liberator during WW II, flying 29 combat missions.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 22: Gentleman's Agreement

Today's movie Gentleman's Agreement (1947) was an amazing look at anti-semitism and is alleged to be part of why it's director Eli Kazan and other performs were asked to testify before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee  ~ it also won 3 Oscars. Gregory Peck's Phil Green seeking to do an expose on anti-semitism pretends to be Jewish for several weeks. Further complicating his new romance with Dorothy McGuire.  John Garfield and Celeste Holms and Anne Revere as his mother also star.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 21: Now Voyager

Today's selection is another Bette Davis film; Now Voyager (1942) stares Davis as a Boston spinster dominated by her mother who on the recommendation of a her sister-in-law attends a sanatorium and later goes on vacation in South America where she meets Paul Henreid.  Bette Davis's performance and transformation is truly amazing and I really appreciate the honesty of this film that life may ask you to make tough choices but there can be great peace and happiness in those choices.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 20: Woman of the Year

Having posted yesterday their last film together I thought today I would feature Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy's first film Woman of the Year (1942 ). They play reporters on the same paper who after a whirlwind courtship marry; however they have very different ideas of what their lives together should look like.  It's pretty standard high-brow Hepburn but Tracy plays the perfect subtle straight man and result is not to be missed.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 19: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner

This Monday I'm featuring another Sydney Poitier film, Guess Who is Coming to Dinner (1967). This is a wonderful movie about how parents played by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy react to their daughter's sudden engagement to a black man.  The amazing cast also includes Beah Richards , Isabel Sanford and Cecil Kellaway. The performances are all amazing and the knowledge that this was to be Hepburn's and Tracy's last film together (he passed away 2 weeks after filming finished) adds an amazing poinancy to his speech at the end of the movie.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 18: Lilies of the Field

This Sunday I'm talking about Lilies of the Field (1963) starring Sydney Poitier as an unemployed handyman traveling to CA who stops to get water for his overheating car and ends up helping build a church with a group of East European nuns in the desert. I love how Poitier's character and the Mother Superior played by Lilia Skala learn from each other and come to appreciate each
other but remain as formal with each other as when they first met.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 17: Santa Fe Trail

Today I'm featuring another western.  Santa Fe Trail (1940) stars Errol Flynn as Jeb Stuart and  Ronald Reagan as George Custer  as they first encounter John Brown out west in the late 1850's before war was thought inevitable.  The scene that always almost brings me to tears is when a bunch of officers meet with a medicine woman who in telling their futures tells them that they will all come to be great generals but they will be fighting each other. Fast forward a few years and these men who had studied together at West Point and fought together in the West were taking up commands in the Army of the Potomac (Union) and the Army of the Confederacy. Olivia de Havilland plays the love interest of Flynn with her usual grace and style.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Quick Takes #194: Musicals Edition

Sharing some of my favorite musicals ~ seven of them actually.

  1. Sound of Music (1965) While I'm glad we own the DVD and I can watch it whenever I want, I will also always cherish the childhood memories of excitement when this movie came on once a year and bedtime was suspended this one night. 
  2. Gigi: (1958) When I introduced Charlie to Gigi he couldn't believe we watched it as kids but truly all the sexual inferences went over our heads and the music is wonderful!
  3. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: (1954) Still remember the first time I saw this movie and fell in love with Jane Powell and how she rides herd on Howard Keel and his six brothers
  4. Mary Poppins (1964) Another childhood favorite that I'm now having some much fun introducing my kids to. This was the first Beta (!!!) tape we owned and my sister's and I probably had it memorized at some point. 
  5. Bed-knobs and Broomsticks (1971) Perhaps not technically a musical but definitely an old movie I love to watch with wonderful songs to sing and enjoy.
  6. The King and I:(1956)  Definitely a darker movie than the others on the list and my introduction to the idea that not every movie has a happen ending. The chemistry between Yul Brenner and Deborah Kerr is subtle and substantial and the music beautiful!
  7. Bride and Prejudice (2004) ~ while not an old movie it was my husband's answer when I asked his favorite and since this Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice is a lot of fun and the musical numbers are wonderful it made the cut.
Please head over to Kelly's for more Quick Takes!!
Link-oberfest question of the week: Favorite blogger discovered thru Quick Takes: really hard for me to remember back but I believe I discovered both Martin Family Moments and House Unseen from Quick Takes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 15: The Grass is Greener

The Grass is Greener (1960) stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as a married couple living in one the stately homes of England who to make ends meet opens their house a couple weeks a year to the general public and one of those tourist catches the eye of her Ladyship. Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons co-star as well as Moray Watson as the requisite butler who gets to second both participants when dueling ensues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Five faves of Clark Gable

Today I'm linking up with Jenna and sharing my five favorite Clark Gable movies. 

During this month of old movies I of course wanted to feature Gone with the Wind but also wonder if that is all people my age and younger know him for and that would be a pity.
  1. It happened One Night (1934) in which our hero helps a runaway heiress in the hopes of getting a good story for his paper ~ and ends up with a whole lot more.
  2. Wife vs the Secretary(1936) in which Myrna Loy allows jealousy to get the best of her and nearly does in her marriage. Jean Harlow plays the secretary and Jimmy Stewart in one of his first films her beau.
  3. Gone with the Wind (1939) Love this movie or hate it please acknowledge that Clark Gable's Rhett Butler alternates between irreverent and tender masterfully!
  4. Test Pilot (1938)  Gable and Spencer Tracy are pilots in those early days when records were broken and limits were tested regularly. He and Myrna Loy try and find out if that kind of life and marriage mixes.
  5. The Tall Men (1955) One from later in his career where he is driving cattle and romancing Jane Russell.

Any favorites of yours that I missed?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 13: Destination Tokyo ~ Operation Petticoat

Featuring two 'war' movies today to compare and contrast not just comedy and drama but how we portray the conflict during and later.

Destination Tokyo (1943) released during WWII features a submarine crew headed for Tokyo bay and the problems they encounter getting in and getting out. The views expressed about the Japanese people seem excessive to me but perhaps a apt accounting of how people felt at the time.  Cary Grant plays Captain Cassidy in cast that also includes John Garfield and Allan Hale and John Forsythe.

Operation Petticoat (1959) again finds Cary Grant as a submarine commander with a perhaps a bit less spit-spot crew. Though in their defense they are trying to save their ship and the war does send rather bizarre challenges their way. Tony Curtis is a less than fully committed Lt. JG Nicholas Holden, also watch for a young Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 12: Butterflies Are Free

Another more modern pick on a Monday morning. Butterflies are Free (1972) is a quirky fun movie centered around a blind young man renting his first apartment and the free-spirited young woman who lives in the next apartment. Originally a play 90% of the movie happens in the two apartments. Goldie Hawn is fantastic and Edward Albert plays the perfect counter point to her zaniness.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 11: Magnificent Obsession

While this movie is not overtly religious there is a very strong message of redemption and that anyone who is willing to give of their talents unreservedly can find forgiveness and even peace.

Magnificent Obsession (1954 ) is a beautiful love story with so many fits and starts that it is only because of the wonderful performances by Jane Wyman (for which she was nominated for an Oscar) and Rock Hudson in his first leading role, that it is worth hanging in there for the pay-off.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 10: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

John Wayne and John Ford made many a western together and this is my favorite.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) has us for the third time spending time with Captain Nathan Brittle, this time at the end of his career. This movie is funnier than previous Wayne/Ford westerns but still with plenty of action and danger; and that deep undercurrent of honoring the day to day work of a calvary soldier. One of my favorite scenes is when quiet but profound respect is paid to a former Brigadier General of the Confederacy who chose to continue serving his country even though it meant being demoted and known as Trooper John Smith.

What are some of your favorite westerns?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quick Takes #193 ~ Link-oberfest Fun!

  1. Celebrating along with Kelli and Jen the anniversary of Quick Takes. I started posting Quick Takes January of 2009. Almost 200 posts later I continue to be so grateful for the format and community.
  2. The week has been a treat with Dr Daddy gone for much of it and the kids schedule filling with dentist appointments, book fairs, and school carnivals. "Sufficient onto the day'' was my largely successful mantra.
  3. Went apple picking last weekend with friends and it was wonderful. A bit chilly but the kids all had fun picking, Charlie found this favorite kind of apple for pie and we all got together for dinner Sunday and had a dessert buffet featuring apple raisin cookies, apple cake, a tart and a pie. Delish!! 
  4. If you would like to follow along I'm posting some of my favorite old movies all month this month.
  5. Prayers for the victims of the shootings and the flooding!
  6. Charlie and I are presenting at Pre-Cana this weekend. Would appreciate prayers that we are articulate and that the couples are interested and receptive. Thanks!!
  7. And answering the Link-toberfest question of the week; this is my 193 Quick Take post!
 Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 8: Come Live with Me

In Come Live with Me (1941) Johnny Jones played by Hedy Lamarr is a refugee from Vienna whose visa is about to expire and so in return for supporting him while he finishes his novel Jimmy Stewart's Bill Smith marries her. The beginning of this movie is charming but when she tries to end the marriage and he takes her home to meet his grandmother, arguing that it is okay to marry a stranger but you need to really know someone before you divorce, this movie moves to a whole new level of fun and sweetness.

You'll never look at lightening bugs the same way again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 7: Mrs Miniver

Mrs Miniver (1942) is set in England in the early days of World War II including the Battle of Britain and the evacuation at Dunkirk.  Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon are wonderful as they individually and together shift from focusing on the day to day cares of life to coming to understand the dangers and sacrifice of war for them and their children.  Filmed and released during the war the tone is clearly to keep up morale but the excellent performances give the film a substance that stands the test of time.

Downton Abbey fans watch for the plot line that perhaps Julian Fellows knowingly recycled in Season 1.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6: All about Eve

All about Eve (1950) is a tough film for me and one I'm apt to fast forward through parts of if I'm watching alone as self-destructive angst can be annoying at times. The performances are wonderful from Bette Davis to Anne Baxter, both nominated for Best Actress, to Celeste Holm, to George Sanders as the conniving play critic (he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) so it is understandable why the movie overall won Best Picture.  Plus you get to see Marilyn Monroe in one of her first film roles.  I'm confident that by the end Margo Channing has learned a few important life lessons but I always wonder about Eve Harrington.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 5: Barefoot in the Park

In honor of Monday how about something a bit more modern and in color. Barefoot in the Park (1967) is a fun romantic comedy about newlyweds moving into the first apartment and those first weeks of marriage. Starring Jane Fonda as the free-spirit, adventurous wife and Robert Redford as the quieter, steadier husband. Add an eccentric neighbor and a the requisite mother-in-law and you have a fun little film!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Day 4: Keys to the Kingdom

As we journey through old movies this month I thought on Sundays I would share movies with  religious themes.

This first Sunday I want to highlight a wonderful little film called Keys to the Kingdom (1944). A young priest, Father Chisholm played by Gregory Peck is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend (played by Vincent Price), also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles. He encounters hostility, isolation, disease, poverty and a war, but these make him more determined than ever to succeed. Over the span of many years he gains acceptance and a growing congregation among the Chinese, through his quiet determination, understanding and patience.  Truly a lovely little movie!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 3: Little Women

Knew this one had to be near the top of my hit parade. Little Women (1933) was my introduction to the story, Hepburn and old movies. It has been a long, happy love on my part.

This version holds fair to the book and the performances are wonderful from the four girls (Hepburn plays Jo) to Marmee, to the Grandfather, to Prof. Bhaer.  It is sweet, kind, funny and very touching ~ just like the story it is depicting.  All of the actresses have to mature their characters but Joan Bennett has the biggest challenge and does a wonderful job maturing Amy from a vain young girl to a mature young woman.

What was your first favorite old movie?
Was it also a book made to movie?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 2: Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday (1953)
If my favorite actress of that bygone era is Katharine Hepburn, a close second is Audrey Hepburn.  And in her first film role she is just amazing; perfectly capturing the innocence of a very shelter princess who escapes her handlers for a day and explores Rome. The handsome Gregory Peck playing a down on his luck reporter is her tour guide aided by the funny Eddie Albert.

Their romance is lovely and definitely more sweet than bitter but not such much so as to give you much of either a tooth or heart ache. The transition from girlhood to womanhood is often bumpy but in the case of this movie such fun to watch.  BTW the 'mouth of truth' scene is a wonderful example of Peck's expertise paired with Hepburn's freshness.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days ~ An Exploration of Old Movies

   I have over the past few years joined in the adventure of 31 posts in October usually by following the writing prompts of others. Have enjoyed this I thought this year I would take it up a notch and try my own theme. I have for years enjoyed old movies purely as a fan ~ I never studied film or wanted to be in the movie industry.  So I'm going to share some of my favorites here over the next month starting with my favorite of favorites:

   The Philadelphia Story (1940) staring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.  Hepburn plays Tracy Lord a blue blood from Main Line Philadelphia about to remarry, Grant her ex-husband and Stewart the reporter sent to cover the wedding in return for not writing a nasty story about her father.

   It is amazing watching these three greats at the top of their game! Plus a wonderful supporting cast and you have an amazing story; funny and poignant and heartfelt all at the same time!

Please follow along this month and share some of your favorites!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Things to remember about when the Pope came to town

   By the time most of you read this Pope Francis will be home, and we will be returning to the day-to-day routine of the week -- in my case with a bit more hope and a renewed sense of purpose.  Attending the Festival of Families last Saturday was exhausting and amazing, as so many things are when you share your days with little people.

  Getting out the door, having checked and double-checked that we had what we would need and were using in the right size bag for security was just the first of many challenges to meet and overcome.  However as I watched the kids marvel at the bus and subway ride and the excitement of being in the city, my excitement also returned and set the tone for rest of the afternoon and evening.

  And as life would have it, that's exactly what Pope Francis spoke so movingly about at the end of the Festival. Family life is challenging, and exhausting at times, and so very worth it if we can see the fun that is to be had with each challenge met and tackled. For example, by the time we arrived at the Festival, they had closed the gate to the seats until the Pope's motorcade had passed (an hour or so later). Initially this seemed to be quite the set-back, but in fact allowed us more time with friends, and meant we got to watch and take pictures of the Pope going by in his pope-mobile.  Later, we were allowed in to find our seats, where we enjoyed the rest of the concert.

Taken by Lisbeth sitting on my shoulders.

  So this Monday finds me back in the car-line and catching up with the laundry, but as this post suggests, remembering to smile a bit more, treasuring my kids (especially when they walk miles without complaint and thank me for a soft pretzel as if it was the tastiest thing EVER!!), and recommitted to the ideal that Pope Francis suggested in his wonderful closing statement: at the end of the day, even with all its miscues and missteps, make peace with those you love and who love you back.

And so happy that the Pope came to town and shared his warmth and wisdom with us!

Linking up with the ladies of CWBN; please visit and enjoy other reflections on the Pope's visit.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quick Takes #192: Popes and links

 Sharing some of the wonderful posts I've enjoyed during this Papal Visit and WMOF week.

  1. Firstly Julia Walsh of These Walls as graciously lent her site as a launching site for posts from the many bloggers of the CWBN of the Mid-Atlantic. Go and enjoy A Walk in Words With Pope Francis.
  2. Kelly writing about the World Meeting of Families
  3. Rachel writing about celebrating from home
  4. Abigail sharing her experience of the Papal Parade with her family.
  5. Mary about the Communion of Saints and grieving.
  6. I've enjoyed watching the coverage thus far and sharing with my kids. Upon watching the Pope's arrival at Andrews Base; Liam asked when he was coming to our house. I explained that he was coming to our city and we were hoping to see him at a celebration there.  He allowed that going to a festival might be as fun as a playdate here.
  7. Any great links that I missed??
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

five faves: fall reads

Linking up with Jenna and inspired by this reading list I thought I would share some of my 
favorite fall reads

  1. Anne of Green Gables series: While I love to read and almost always have a book with me in college I was reluctant to start anything new until I had a sense of what the required reading of various classes would be and so every fall I would reread the series. It would be impossible for me to pick of favorite among the eight but for the purposes of this list Anne of the Island (#3) and Anne of Windy Poplar (#4) are especially fun to read in the fall.
  2. September by Rosamund Pilcher; nothing like being swept away to Scotland, London and Ibiza with interesting people as they go about their daily lives, heal old wounds and prepare for a big birthday bash.  I truly enjoy how Pilcher juggles many characters and plot lines bringing it all to a very satisfying conclusion.
  3. Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris; a memoir of her time as artist in residence at a monastery where she is a Benedictine oblate and then transitioning back to the everyday at home is a wonderful read at anytime but as it begins in the fall I enjoy starting it then too.
  4. Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswick Journal four book collection is a wonderful read and while the first two Circle of Quiet and Summer of the Great-grandmother belongs to the summer; Two-part Invention belongs to the fall. A memoir of her husbands battle with cancer is also a lovely remembrance of a long marriage well lived.
  5. Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold; a great space opera turn later in life romance between two people who thought they had their lives all figured out and then life with its many plot twists intervenes.

What do you love to read in the fall?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Quick Takes #191

  1. This was the first week all three kids went to school or in Caitie's case play group and while juggling three drop-offs and making sure had everyone has what they need is a challenge ~ 2 kid-free hours may very well be worth it.
  2. The 'me-time' as it were is very valued this week as Dr Daddy is on hospital duty and so I'm largely soloing and while overall it has been a good week I will admit to being a bit envious of a priest friend who recently was on a silent retreat.
  3. One of the fun things of being part of a blogging community is when another blog takes the words right out of your keyboard as it were and post something right out of your head and heart;  like this Martin Family Moments post.
  4. Pope Francis is arriving in about a week and after over-reacting a bit the City of Brotherly Love is finally finding the balance of getting ready and havin some fun: exhibits A and B.
  5. I have not watched The View in years and so boycotting would be a distinction without a difference. That being said over the past 20+ years I have been a nurse I have heard all kinds of crazy stuff but never has anyone insinuate that the stethoscope I was wearing was a doctor's. #nursesunite!
  6. For those following along with the tales of our frustrated artist toddler she had quite the week; the computer, the keyboard, some wall, some floor, and another piece of furniture.  Current consequence she sits in 'time-out' till Mommy is done cleaning whatever requires cleaning. Updates as warranted, tips welcomed!!
  7. The weekend has me soloing and gardening but hopefully some bike riding with kiddos.
Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Birthday Bike!

First Day Smiles!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 things about Liam at 5!

In honor of the newest 5 year old in the house some of his favorite things and mine about him

  1. Still very much a Transformer fan; in the last year he has discover Robots in Disguise and so we are becoming acquainted with bunch of new 'bots. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have also hit his favorite list and was the chosen theme of his party with Mikey ranking as top turtle!
  2. Liam continues to have a great appetite so much so that he is on occasion referred to as a 'mouth with legs'! A wonderful weird challenge this summer was keeping enough fruit in the house to keep up with him.  He will eat soup year round (why???), loves mac&cheese, green vegetables, sausage, and ice cream.
  3. While certainly not as outgoing as his big sister he has very much grown in confidence this year and is much more social with family members and other kids. We had a lot of 'school talks' this summer but when September came he started his new school without a bit hesitation and is having a blast.
  4. He has a very kind and loving disposition and will tell you many times a day that he is glad to be with you. Daddy still ranks as his best buddy but he is also very kind to his sisters (mostly) and has begun to make neighborhood/school friends.
  5. According to him his favorite things are: running, playing legos or imaginex, cooking with Daddy, and riding his new bike!

So excited to see what the coming year has in store for my 5 year old buddy!

Now please head over to Jenna's for more five faves

Friday, September 4, 2015

Quick Takes #190 September's Start

  1. So September is off to a good ~ and so is Lisbeth's school year. She reported good days both days this week and seems excited about the coming year.  I'm glad for the staggered start if you will and the chance to ease by into a routine.
  2. Liam's classroom visit went well and I hope began to ease some of his worries about starting a new school.   His first full day is next Tuesday.
  3. It seems a bit odd to be thinking about shifting towards fall outfits as it has been in the 90's much of the week but this and this post have me thinking and planning ahead.
  4. And now an update on the Toddler in the House: I'm now convinced that I will spend much of the time that the older two are in school cleaning up after her. Just a phase I know but I'm so ready for the Frustrated Artist ~ Draw on every surface Phase to be over. Good thing she is cute!!
  5. The recent deaths of refugees has me heart-sick and unsure what to do beyond prayer. One of the jobs for this weekend is to explore giving options but if you have a favorite option ~ shout it out! Thanks!
  6. Today I'm starting 33 days to Morning Glory as part of the Stella Maris book club hosted by Micaela and would really appreciate prayers that I am able to complete the retreat with purpose and intent.
  7. Have a wonderful weekend and please head over to Christy's hosting this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WWRW: September 2nd

Between Heaven and Mirth by Fr. James Martin SJ is an interesting look at how joy, humor and laughter intersects between everyday life and our prayer life. I found the beginning dry and slow-going though in fairness Martin does a good job defining terms and explaining the role humor has played in various religious traditions. Once the focus shifted onto how to better incorporate joy and happiness into our lives today I enjoyed it much more. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Thessalonians.  While I thought not good as his earlier My Life with the Saints; I am glad I read it and may from time to time re-read portions.

The Grand Tour by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer is the sequel to Sorcery and Cecilia and picks up where the first left off with our two heroines leaving with their new husbands on a grand tour/honeymoon. While this book isn't quite as memorable as Sorcery and Cecelia, I still really enjoyed it. The characters are still charming and the dialogue funny.  The way the plot moves is different than its predecessor, and not as suspenseful at least to me.  Cecy's entries are part of an official document she must write, while Kate's entries are from her personal journal; these two styles tie together very well but I missed Cecy's reflections on marriage and her improving magic skills.  There is apparently a third book to the series which I will likely hunt up at some point.

The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman was my selection of a book from a genre I don't usually read for the MMD book challenge.  Contemporary mysteries are still not my 'thing' but I will admit that my husband choose a good one for me and I may even ask him for another recommendation from the series.  The series in general follows the police work of Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Police Force; in this book he is recently retired but teams up with the newly promoted Lt. Jim Chee when the skeleton of a decade old missing person is found.  The pace of the plotting was good and I enjoyed the many references to the different Native American cultures found in the Four Corners region of Arizona and Colorado.

Now please head over to Housewifespice for more WWRW

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Quick Takes #189 Summer Recap

This is in a sense our last full week of summer what with school and September starting next week for us. So a few thoughts.
  1. Swimming was the great fun surprise of the summer ~ the kids all loved their swim lessons and made wonderful progress. This will go down as the summer that both the older two learned to put their faces in the water. Lisbeth is now swimming without any floatation aids and Liam very nearly is. 
  2. "Summer work" as I called it went as well as could be expected and even better than I had anticipated. Liam had fun with his workbooks and only resisted actually writing letters and numbers a bit. Lisbeth did all her summer reading with only a bit of complaining and her book reports with none at all.  The quiet of the older ones working also allowed for Caitie's to nap more times than not.
  3. I was able to keep reading which I really enjoy and hopefully sets a good example for the kids. I mixed a few ought to's with some fun want to's striking a great balance. Charlie and I were able to read a couple of books together and I honestly can't remember when that last happened.
  4. This summer has also seen the end of the high chair according to Caitlin. While she happily went back to sleeping in her crib after vacation she is much less happy to sit in the high chair, or rather much more interested in sitting at the little blue table her sibs eat at. Which I admit is very cute if lacking the advantage of keeping her buckled until I can wipe hands & face.
  5. A quick reviews of the different camps the kids attended finds Liam liking Tot Lot and his week at the gymnastic camp; Lisbeth was less impressed with Kid Lot and her week at gymnastics camp. She did however really enjoy the enrichment week at her school.
  6. The staycation never came together so unfortunately the number of unpacked boxes in our office/guest room was only reduced by a few. I did manage to get some painting done in Liam's room. Lisbeth largely learned how to tie her shoes but teaching Caitlin to use the potty got deferred to the fall.  We managed to grow a lot of mint and grape tomatoes and a nice bunch of basil. 
  7. And now onward: what with the start of three school years, Liam's birthday and a Papal Visit to our fair city ~ September is likely to be quite the fun, crazy ride!!
And for more of this week's Quick Takes please head over to Kelly's

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quick Takes #188 Vacation Days

Sharing 7 things I don't want to forget about our vacation this year.
  1. Dr Daddy was able to leave a bit early on Friday and so our plan to split the trip over two days actually came to be. The kids seem to appreciate the shorter drives and it allowed us to spend the afternoon with my aunt and uncle in New Hampshire and still make it to Maine by Saturday evening.  The kids had great fun playing in their yard and pool and the grown-ups really enjoyed catching up after not seeing each other in a few years ~ as in this was their first time meeting Caitlin.
  2. We discovered when we got to G-ma's that Caitlin was not going to fit in the Pack&Play up there and so with crossed fingers and a quiet prayer to her guardian angel we tucked her in with Liam in a queen size bed which while lovely is also quite high up.  She did great and tugged at my heart strings night after night as she went to bed with her sister and brother in a Big Kid bed!!
  3. As hoped the big kids had a blast swimming and performed amazing feats of swimming underwater, doing flips, and in Liam case by the end of the week taking giant leaps off the edge into the water.
  4. As various family members scattered to different activities Lisbeth and I had the change to go miniature golfing. Always so much fun to get one-on-one time with one of them and be able to really focus and listen to their ideas. 
  5. The ocean always soothes my soul and brings me back to myself and this year was no different. It was also during our time at the ocean I was able to quiet the noise and really just be as I watched the kids. Liam in particular as he laughed and raced in and out of the waves seemed to turn 5 (actually in a couple weeks) right before my eyes.
  6. The food was delish; Charlie outdid himself and cooked brunch most mornings and many a morning I was able to sit out on the screened porch with my mother & sister-in-law with our tea or coffees, talk and watch the hummingbirds. At our favorite ice cream place the flavors of the year according to the kids were Dino Crunch and Strawberry Lemonade.  The kids also really enjoyed the night we made s'mores and I will cherish the night I got to indulge on a yummy lobster while I watched the kids go to town with clam strips.
  7. And now the photo dump :)

Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

As Traditions Evolve

Hello again ~ we are back from a wonderful vacation week in Maine with family,  of which I will tell you more later, the end of which involved sitting through many a long traffic jam in Connecticut. Given the slowness of progress and the diminishing of patience as the hour grows later and they grow more tired starting at Waterbury we were treating to many (MANY) questions about how close to New York we were? ~ and why weren't we in New York yet?

Because you see as of about 6 months ago whenever we travel into New York we play this song:

Which got me thinking about traditions and what of these days will my kids carry with them and reflect on in days to come.

Will it be the song we always play to mark a certain point in the trip or the favorite ice cream place we always go to. Will it be gathering kindling for the s'more night or picking blackberries on Blackberry Lane.

For me growing-up traveling north always meant stopping for an ice cream cone somewhere in Connecticut, playing Battleship with my sisters in the car and Crazy 8 at the cabin. Going to Galilee Beach and eating clam cakes after playing in the water. Mirror Lake, the Swift river and loving our rides along the Kancamagus Highway.

What memories or places say summer vacation to you?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Quick Takes #187 of the random linkish kind

  1. Happy August! So far that has meant getting the car inspected and big tuition payments; looking forward to the other thing it means ~ our trip to Maine tops the list!
  2. I've decided to extending my offer of modeling for you lovely reader my romper/jumpsuit from days of yesteryear if my Facebook page reaches 100 post for another month. And if you haven't yet had the chance head over to Rosie's for her fun-filled romper post.
  3. Congratulations to Hallie and Anna!! New Babies and life renews itself!!
  4. Caprese salad; we are growing tomatoes and basil this year ~ maybe by next year I will know how to make mozzarella cheese and it will be completely homemade.
  5. The local press on the upcoming Papal Visit has been all over the map but for sharing useful information in a humous way this post gets my vote for the week.
  6. Baby Book Moment: As of this week when Caitie jumps ~ her feet actually leave the ground!
  7. Happy Weekend!
Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WWRW August 5th

A Town like Alice  by Nevil Shute; I read this as part of the MMD challenge for the category 'a book my mom love' only to find out later that she loves the movie but can't remember if she has ever read the book. Well I have now and really enjoyed it. It's actually three books in one.
A young Englishwoman receives an inheritance and tells the story of her experiences in WWII in Malaya where she was a POW of the Japanese with a group of women and children who trekked from one camp to another and another.  She decides to use part of her inheritance to thank the village women who gave her group shelter when they were left stranded after their last guard died.
She reminisces about another POW, an Australian who is driving a truck, who helped her group with stolen food, soap, and medicine. Their deepening relationship is built on small telling details that grab your heart.
    Sgt Joe Harmon is the kind of hero you'll love and remember for the rest of your life.
After her stay with the Malayan women, Jean decides to visit the outback town where Joe had lived; small and rough, with nothing to offer its young people, nothing at all like Alice Springs, a thriving boomtown. Her story here would be a completely satisfying romance novel by itself.  All of those is told from the perspective of an elderly lawyer back in England who serves as the major trustee to the trust set-up surrounding her inheritance.

Historical aside: This is a work of fiction but based on the actual events that took place on Sumatra during WWII.

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer; I received this book for my birthday and I have already hit up the giver to see if she had the sequel (which she did and I'm happily taking on vacation).  This is a delightful regency mystery told in a series of letters exchanged between two cousins one attending the Season in London and one back at home with just a bit of magic and wizardary thrown in. Sweet, funny, well paced with just the right about of suspense and trepidation thrown in.

Currently reading Fr James Martin's Between Heaven and Mirth, more on which I will say next time.

Now please head over to Jessica's for more WWRW.