Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Thank God for life!
There! A meadowlark sings! Do you hear it?

For the sigh of the heart,
The contagion of laughter,
For the longing apart,
For the joy that comes after,
For the things that we feel
When we clasp, when we kneel—
Thank God for the sharing,
The caring, the giving,
For the things of Life’s living.

Thank God for the riches
Of flowers in the ditches,
For the roof from the weather,
The fireside together,
For the step at the portal,
For the love we have treasured,
For something unmeasured,
For something immortal,
For our grief, for our mirth,
For heavens on earth,
For the things of the spirit!

There! A meadowlark sings! Do you hear it?

~Douglas Malloch, 1877-1938

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've Been Interviewed!

I recently did an interview for Emma Jane's new "Society of Literary Ladies." Here's the link. Be sure to explore the rest of her lovely and delightful blog (A Lantern in Her Hand) as well as checking out the interview and sharing your thoughts!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

L.M.M. & the Liebster (Tags)

Over the last two weeks I’ve been catching up on fun tags that occurred before or during the Emma week and today is the last of them. :) Do enjoy! 


First is a tag from Naomi’s blog Montgomery Love. I haven’t discussed L.M.M. much here to date, but she’s definitely one of my favorite authors so I set to work most happily on the tag. 

~ What is your favourite Montgomery book? The Blue Castle. There are pros and cons, but it’s definitely my favorite. 

~ What is your least favourite? Pat of Silverbush. 

~ Who's your favourite character (of any book) and why? Some of my favorites are from the short stories, but for a full length one—Barney Snaith. And because...(hem!)...well, because he's quite utterly and simply himself.

~ Why do you like Montgomery's books? Altogether her stories can be such a wonderful dose of sweetness while her descriptive passages are rich—often refreshing—and always thoroughly amazing. 

~ Share your favourite Montgomery (or one of her heroines etc.) quote(s): There being several hundred possible selections, I’ll go with the first two springing to mind (both from Anne of the Island): 

‘Of all sad words of tongue or pen the saddest are it might have been,’” quoted Priscilla tragically, lifting the cushion. “This cake is now what you might call a flat failure…” 

“Long after Pacifique’s gay whistle had faded into the phantom of music and then into silence far up under the maples of Lover’s Lane Anne stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when some great dread has been removed from it. The morning was a cup filled with mist and glamor. In the corner near her was a rich surprise of new-blown, crystal-dewed roses. The trills and trickles of song from the birds in the big tree above her seemed in perfect accord with her mood.”

~ What's your favourite costume of one of the movies? I love the late Victorian/Edwardian styles in the Anne movies and most particularly all the white ensembles, but my absolute favorite—the dress that started me off with a love of historical fashion at the early age of seven or so—is Diana’s peach going-away dress:

~ Do you like, love or adore her books/movies/style/you-know? I do have to be careful how much I read all at once (or internally I tend to go a little too mushy)—but, in short, I absolutely love it!!! 

…and this is practically perfect romance… 


And Joanna (from her blog The Squirrel’s Diary) tagged me with the Liebster Award! So here are my answers to her questions: 

1. Favorite book of the Bible ~ I actually purposefully try not to pick a favorite, but I do end up reading Ecclesiastes and some of Paul’s letters over a lot.

2. Favorite part of Christmas ~ Christmas music—in many wonderful and delightful ways, shapes, and forms.

3. Milk or dark chocolate ~ Dark.

4. Least favorite movie and why ~ One least liked and (I think) little known selection is The Story of Seabiscuit starring Shirley Temple. It was based on the real story of the racehorse and (as there is a difference between artistic license and a disregard of facts) we found it disappointing. Even as a story in it’s own right it was much less than we’d hoped for. Much less. There were some problems with character development and…yes, well…you see I have some issues with it. 

5. Favorite actor/actress ~ I have a lot of favorites, but two classic ones are: 

Richard Greene 

and Jane Powell.

6. Ketchup or mustard ~ Ketchup.

7. Ever been outside the US ~ Yes. Canada several times!

8. Dogs or cats ~ About equally.

9. Least favorite food ~ I’m not much of a soup person.

10. Favorite beauty product ~ Calcium (actually)—by a topical application. :)

Thanks again for the tag, Joanna!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Chocolate Book Tag

A couple weeks ago, Reyna Nicole (from her lovely blog A Peace of the Past) tagged me with the Chocolate Book Tag and (as it’s thoroughly delicious and bookish) I’ve greatly been looking forward to it. Thank you, Reyna!

Dark Chocolate (a book that covers a dark topic): Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (the Constance Garnett translation). I’d definitely only recommend it for older, mature readers—but it’s literally incredible in its exploration of what the effects of sin really are and also the appearance and coming of grace. 

White Chocolate (a light and humorous read): A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse and (by extension) really anything by P.G.W. Damsel, however, is one of my top favorite books of all time. 

Milk Chocolate (a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read): The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. The story of a temporarily invalided Scotland Yard inspector unraveling the centuries old mystery surrounding Richard III, his two nephews, and Henry VII. (Note: I’ve heard a lot of good about it, but I’m not recommending it yet, as I haven’t read it. ;)) 

Caramel-filled Chocolate (a book that makes you feel all gooey inside): Song of the Voyageur by Beverly Butler. The story of a young woman on the early Wisconsin frontier deciding where her heart and future lie: back to the polish and sophistication of Boston with the charming and urbane young man of the East, or further into the wilderness with—quite a different man (and I am sorry, but if I described him more I would totally give away the story—if I haven’t already. :)) 

Wafer-less Kit-Kat (a book that surprised you): Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. I vividly remember the first time I started it. My brother and I were on an airplane (flying to and from a cousin’s wedding) and I had no idea at the time it would prove so absorbing.

Snickers (a book you're going nuts about): A selection from the last year… Behold the Dawn by K.M. Weiland. You can read my review here

Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows (a book you turn to for comfort): Greenwillow by B.J. Chute. Lyrical and beautiful, I would describe this title particularly more like fresh strawberries, warm sun, and cold brook water—but I definitely turn to it for comfort. 

A Box of Chocolates (a series you feel has something for everyone): The Henry Reed books by Keith Robertson and particularly the first four: Henry Reed, Inc., Henry Reed’s Journey, Henry Reed’s Babysitting Business, and Henry Reed’s Big ShowIllustrated by Robert McCloskey and thoroughly down-to-earth, they’re lighthearted and often hilarious. 

Thanks again, Reyna—this was tremendous fun!

I’m not specifically tagging anyone this time, but if you’d like to do it I’d love to see your answers! I’ve copied the questions out for you again below and feel free to use the button at the top of my post.

Chocolate Book Tag 
Dark Chocolate (a book that covers a dark topic): 
White Chocolate (a light and humorous read): 
Milk Chocolate (a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read): 
Caramel-filled Chocolate (a book that makes you feel all gooey inside): 
Wafer-less Kit-Kat (a book that surprised you): 
Snickers (a book you're going nuts about): 
Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows (a book you turn to for comfort): 
A Box of Chocolates (a series you feel has something for everyone):

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Janeite Tag x 2

Before the Emma party both Joanna (of The Squirrel’s Diary) and Hamlette (of The Edge of the Precipice) tagged me with the Janeite Tag, and (as one can never have too much Austen :)) here are my answers!

First, I’m to list a fact about myself and Austen. Here’s an interesting one: I saw the 1940, the ’87, and the ’05 P&P’s—all three—before seeing the ’95 in its entirety.

Joanna’s Questions:

1. Which elder sister would you rather have--Jane or Elinor? ~ Jane. She’s such a delightfully sweet and caring confidante and mentor—and she makes such a lovely friend and older sister. (But Elinor has many of the same qualities.)

2. Least favorite heroine? ~ Catherine Morland. I know, it's a bit shocking (and hopefully Certain Friends will still speak to me after this ;)), but she really does irritate me at times… I need to reread it again, though.

3. Which friendship best describes you and your best friend? (i.e., mine would be Jane and Lizzie) ~ I actually have several close friendships and all of them (except maybe my friendships with my sisters) could probably be similar to Emma and Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston’s. 

4. Least favorite hero? ~ I don’t really have a least favorite, but maybe Edward Ferrars? I don’t dislike him, though—he’s just not as strongly developed.

(And note: this does not apply to film versions—in two of which I like him a great deal. :))

5. Would you rather visit Bath or Brighton? ~ “A campful of soldiers” or streets with “odd looking men walking about who are said to be sailors”? Bath. :)

6. Would you rather have dinner with Mrs. Elton or Lady Catherine? ~ Mrs. Elton. Such a dinner could be highly diverting.

7. Do you know any English country dances? (because I'm jealous if you do) ~ Yes! (And they’re very fun. ;)) 

Hamlette’s Questions:

1. Would you rather board with the Bennets or the Tilneys for a fortnight? ~ I think I would like the neighborhood of Longbourn…so the Bennets. 

2. Would you rather have Edmund Bertram or Edward Ferrars as your pastor? ~ Edmund Bertram. While I respect Edward (and think he probably has the following as well), Edmund has such a depth of character and clear-sighted concern for righteous living.

3. If you could play any Austen character in a play or movie production, who would you want to portray? ~ Lizzy, but I’d probably be best as Elinor.

4. Which Austen book makes you laugh the most? (Or do you not laugh over any of them?) ~ As a whole, I think P&P is the funniest, but Henry Tilney, Mr. Knightley, and Captain Wentworth are the three characters who’ve actually made me smile/laugh aloud while reading.

5. How many times have you read your favorite Austen book? ~ Generally, I refer to P&P as my favorite, but I’ve read Persuasion (my other top favorite) about three or four times.

6. Which Austen parents do you think do the best job of parenting? ~I’ve always been intrigued by the Wentworths (as in Captain Wentworth’s parents). We never meet them, but (minus CW’s conflict—out of which he comes very well :)) all their children (Mrs. Croft, Mr. Wentworth the vicar, and others you hear about at the end) are so warm and balanced. I think the Wentworths must have done an excellent job parenting.

7. If you could make a new movie version of any Austen book, which one would you adapt, and who would you cast? (Feel free to get as detailed as you want, or just cast the principals -- your choice.) ~ The 80’s version of Mansfield Park is very good, but I think we could also use another long version as well. Two ideas for the leads are:

Roger from Wives and Daughters (I think he could make a perfect Edmund)

and Peggy from Return to Cranford. While she does have brown instead of china blue eyes, I think she could do an excellent job portraying Fanny’s balance of simplicity, uncertainty, quiet observation, deep love, and strength of character.

Thank you for the tag/s, Hamlette and Joanna! Great questions!! :)

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