Let's Get Aquainted!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dear Ruth Movie Review

'Lt. William Seacroft (William Holden), on leave from the Italian front, arrives at the New York home of Ruth Wilkins (Joan Caulfield), with whom he has been corresponding. Unknown to both Ruth and Bill, Ruth's younger sister, Miriam (Mona Freeman), has been writing the letters and signing Ruth's name as part of a program to keep up soldiers' morale. Although Ruth has just gotten engaged to a coworker, she agrees to see Bill and pretend she wrote the letters -- which has unexpected results.' From IMBd

     Let me begin this review by saying that we are preparing to leave on vacation and are running around like chickens with our heads chopped off, soooo this review will be very short and no doubt not do the movie justice! All I can say is watch the movie! My parents have not laughed this much at a movie in a very long time! The acting was superb, the story line excellent and it has William Holden so hey, there you go!

Favorite Characters

The youngest sister Miriam, was my personal favorite character. Her patriotic rants about members of the last generation, war bonds and keeping up the morale of our boys, coupled with her serious expressions and semi-monotone voice gave her such comedic relief.
My second favorite character is Albert Kummer, who plays Ruth's sensible fiancee, assistant to the assistant bank clerk. When Bill comes home and Ruth decided to play along with the charade till he leaves, Albert is less than thrilled and uses every opportunity to play chaperone! His comedic timing is amazing and without him the whole movie would fall apart in my humble, but accurate opinion!

Wrap up

I would totally recommend this movie to everyone; there are no inappropriate scenes, no bad language (that I can remember), and aside from some kissing, no romantic flimflam! I will say that Katherine and I both thought the actress who played Ruth could have done better at portraying more emotion, but she is still very good and it is not such a noteworthy complaint as to miss out on the whole film! I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear feedback if you have seen the movie or hope to in the foreseeable future!

Yours truly

Monday, July 30, 2018


     Miss Woodhouse, from Notes From a Hartfield Girl (https://notesfromahartfieldgirl.blogspot.com/), nominated Grace and I with the Leibster Award!!!  Thank you so much, Miss Woodhouse!  
Here we go!

Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award.

The lovely Miss Woodhouse from Notes from a Hartfield Girl!

Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.


1.) Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? Katherine - Extrovert:) Introvert

2.) Describe your fashion sense in three words- Modest, Stylish, Feminine. I don't know!

3.) Who is your current, or most recent, celebrity crush? (Mwahahaha) Oh, I'm far above such trivial things....welll.....oh, alright!  We are watching Sense and Sensibility right now, so perhaps Edward Ferrars; he counts as a celebrity right???? Why are you so mean to us? William Holden and Steve McQueen.

4.) Do you like social media, or is it a waste of time in your opinion?  I like to stay connected with friends/family, so for that reason I like the opportunity Social Media gives.  But I do think that too much is not healthy, and a waste of time.  Currently, I am not on social media and I do think it can be a waste of time and that it is geared to be a look-at-me-and-tell-me-how-great-I-am venue, BUT that does not mean it isn't a good way to connect with people.

5.) Are you a Planner, or a Pantser, (or mayber a Plantser) when it comes to writing?  Oh yes, I plan, plot and connive on a regular basis. Not really, I tend to have a spur of the moment idea that sounds like the best thing since soft spread butter and then I get a few pages in and have no idea what I am doing or why I thought this was a good idea in the first place and then trash it so, no, I am not a Planner! 

6.) Do you prefer milk chocolate, or dark chocolate (And if you say you don't like chocolate, I shall think you very odd indeed)  Milk Chocolate!!  I love chocolate!  :)  Yay, I'm not odd!! :) Milk chocolate all the way!!!

7.) If you could do anything you wanted for a career, without having to worry about money or anything like that, what would you do?  I would start a Theater troupe, writing and performing it's own plays!  I would absolutely ADORE doing that!! Either be an actress or open a living historical farm/ camp where little or big kids could come and spend a week or a couple of days, completely immersed in a time period, probably somewhere in the 1800's.

8.) What's the most recent book you read and what was your opinion of it?  We were just reading Moving Mountains by John Eldridge; I highly recommend it! Rainbow Island by L.M. Montgomery. It was awesome and I hope have such an interesting and imaginative family/children!

9.) Do you prefer skirts/dresses, or jeans?  Skirts and Dresses! Skirts and Dresses!

10.) Current favorite singer? I don't really have a single favorite :) It's a toss up between Hadley Fraser and Ramin Karimloo.

11.) If you could trade places with a fictional character for a day, who would it be and why? Only a day???  Okay, I guess I would get homesick.  Anne Shirley, so I can be around Gilbert, of course! Only one character??? Grace O'Malley, from The Pirate Queen Musical, so I could fight for God and Ireland and have Tiernan always by my side, no matter what.

Give 11 random facts about yourself.

1. What counts as random....I daydream of Buttercream frosting! I squealed for a good 5 minutes when I saw we were nominated, I love you Miss Dashwood!!!

2. My family has a connection to the Von Trapp family. Our great- greandmother taught some of the Kennedy boys French!

3.  My siblings were watching The Sound of Music while waiting for dear little me to arrive at the birthing center, and by coincidence I love that movie/play! I desperately love to dance and sing and sing while I am dancing!!!

4. Grace keeps criticizing my answers! I am both amazed and terrified by water! 

5. I love to re - read books (you know, just the good parts). I like to go to my room, sit at my desk, put on some inspirational music and stare at a blank piece of paper for a while, philosophizing about all the great things that have come from a blank piece of paper and what I could put down on said piece of paper and then I start writing and... well... let's just say the trash fills up quickly!

6.  I don't really see what the big deal is about....dare I say it?  Star Wars.  'Don't spear me!', (Sid the Sloth, Ice Age) Me and Katherine at the moment are quoting and singing songs from our childhood VHS tapes like Kingsleys Meadow and Little Bear and Geo Kids!

7.  I laugh at my own jokes...even when no one else does.  I used to want to walk down the isle at my wedding to the theme from Phantom of the Opera! ( I'll probably do it at the rehearsal!)

8. If you are telling me something, my face tends to mirror whatever emotion you are conveying. I absolutely adore reading books.

9. I love, love, love to hairdress!  (I daydream about hairdressing too!) My real name ~gasp~ comes from a plant that is a cure for maddness!

10. I love rain, and stormy weather. I was the first black-haired baby in a den of red heads and my mother called me a papoose!

11. I crochet (or as we like to dub it - krotchett)! I can be very jumpy and am a screamer!

Nominate 11 blogs.

1.  Jessie @ The Butterfly Moments

2. Naomi @ Wonderland Creek

4. Rachel @ Hamelett's Soliloquy

6. Ariel @ Scribes And Archers

8. Ann @ Ann Without an E

9. Mary Liz @ Sunshine and Scribblings

10. Catherine Hawthorne @ Working By Candlelight

11. Heidi @ Along the Brandywine

Give them 11 questions to answer.

1. What is your favorite quote?

2. Share you're most used recipe?

3. Are you a writer, and do you have any published works?

4. What are some of your hobbies?

5. Are you a fan of musicals?

6. What fond family traditions would you like to continue when you get married and start a family? Or if these           joyous series of events have already arrived, what have you implemented already?

7.  What is one particular character trait that you would like to train your future/present children in?

8. What is a boy's and girl's name that you like?

9. Tell us a favorite joke?

10. Recommend three books?

11. What is a period drama you love?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Big Doin's at Green Gables!

     For as long as I can remember we've had a family joke of getting a pool. When we lived in PA, we had a 40 degree-all-year-long pond on our property, as well as a big pond our neighbors let us swim in, so we had no real need for a pool. When we moved to MO, we bought a property that has 2 ponds, but well....let's just say certain things such as mud, pond scum in mass quantities, slithering creatures, as well as a lack of rain, have transformed both those ponds into glorified mud puddles! Katherine, Mamma, and I have been after Papa to invest in a backyard pool, so finally....WE HAVE A POOL!!!!! We haven't set it up yet, but we still have a POOL!!!

     In other, calmer news, our garden is going great guns! Our pumpkins and long necked squash are taking over the other raised beds, climbing up the tomato plants and down the other side. The tomato plants are producing very well; I made salsa yesterday with tomatoes and peppers from the garden and we are planning on making Chocolate Zucchini Muffins with....you guessed it - the zucchini!  After gardening for 19 years with my mother, I finally realize what she has been telling me all these years about how good it feels to grow and use your own food. It's awesome!

     ~Later~  Did I say it's awesome??? The end result aka. food is, but as they say - getting there is half the fun. Ladies and Gentlemen, I munch on cucumber and drink smoothie and take laptop in hand to tell you of the shocking events that transpired after I wrote that paragraph above:
     There I was, innocent as can be, finishing my breakfast and writing a blog post, when Papa entered the house and asked if I would help him redo some fencing. I gladly said yes, as we had been needing to do it for some time. We worked for about 20 minutes and completed the task. I returned to the house and my mother, for I knew we had a lot of cooking to do. As I gulped down leftover coffee and a quart of water she informed me that we needed to go out to the garden harvest a bunch, and I mean a bunch, of cabbage, peppers and broccoli. What can I do, but follow her lead? So we head out, in the heat of the day no less, and she pulls out two jugs of bug spray that I am to spray onto the tomato plants. Now, when we first moved here we went to an auction and bought a green hand pump garden sprayer that goes on your back, so we pour the bug juice in there and I go to work on the pump building up pressure. The pressure is all built up and we try the nozzle and nothing comes out.  We check to see if the nozzle is blocked....no it is not. Is the pressure build up thing working??... Yes.  Papa comes over and we conclude the hose must be blocked, so we take it off creating a geyser eruption from the built up pressure....right in Papa's face (!)....yes the pressure build up thing is definitely working! After 5 minutes, we conclude that the hose is not blocked and that the nozzle is adjustable and we had it on too tight, so nothing was really wrong after all! We pumped up the pump, and I hoisted it onto my back and felt like something out of si-fi movie. Papa said I looked like a ghost-buster! So I said "Who you gonna call? The Bug Buster!" Genius right?! I entered the natural sauna of the greenhouse and proceeded to spray bugs. The oddest thoughts enter your mind when you are spraying bugs....."Imagine if I made a blog post about a call to arms for all gardeners against bugs in the style of Mayor Shin from The Music Man....How in the world did I know that ghost-busters quote?.....How hot is it really in here?  120 degrees....You know Katherine was right when she said how nice it would be if you could shrink yourself so you could fit into a five gallon bucket, treating it like a pool; imagine diving off lily pads and riding frogs....♭Old Macdonald had a farm, e i e i o♭.....It is too hot out here, we should go in." So I go outside and tell Mamma we should go in before the heat gets to us (Ha, before). She agrees and we go in looking like a couple of muddy puddles ourselves! So, all those out there who are avid gardeners, I feel your hot, sticky, sweaty pain! More power to you, keep up the good work, 'cause you know what?  You can always come into the air conditioning when your done and eat a cucumber!!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pickleton Platue Part 3

Writer's Corner

~ Pickleton Plateau Part 3 (Finale) ~

     Character List
  • Rabbi Akiva Detwiler and his wife Rebbetzin Chava Detwiler
  • Mayor Mordecai Schapiro and his wife Julianne Schapiro
  • Mrs. Lydia Rosen- Prorpiter of boarding house
  • Mrs. Elvira Stern- Matchmaker
  • Mr. Isiah Babbino- Owner of general store
  • Mr. Nigel Churchill- Owner and editor of the Chronicle
  • Miss Vivian Silver- Switchboard operator 
  • Miss Katz- School Teacher
  • Miss Anastasia Mendoza- owner of small seamstress shop
  • Miss Ella Bach- Piano teacher
  • Mr. Hugh Michaels- newcomer

Scene 9
(Anastasia and Vivian are walking to the Hanukkah celebration)

Vivian- (Excitedly) Oh, Anastasia, I thought this night would never come. I'm so looking forward to the engagement announcement!

Anastasia- Now Vivian, before we go in, remember, after the choir has finished performing, the Latke Judging starts. That is when you sneak up to the roof, and when we all go outside for my speech on the stage, don't by any means release the doves until---

Vivian- (Interrupting) Doves? What doves? And what am I doing on the roof??

Anastasia- Oh, didn't I tell you? I bought some doves to be released right when I announce the engagement! They are up behind the chimney as we speak; I put them up there a couple of hours ago.  Oh, and be careful about that ladder getting up there.  Now as I was saying, when you hear me say "The new year will bring many happy things", that is when you let them out!

Vivian- Okay, but are you sure about this?

Anastasia- Of course, let's go in.

~ An hour later ~

Lydia- After much tasting, I have finally come to the conclusion that the winner is...

Julianne- (Whispering to Elvira) I can't wait to wipe that smile off Mrs. Astor's face!

Elvira- (Whispering back) Don't count your chicks before they hatch, Julianne.

Lydia- Mrs. Rachel Simmons! Come collect your prize!


Julianne- Rachel Simmons! Who is Rachel Simmons?

Elvira- They moved into town last month from Kansas.

Rachel Simmons- (Blushing heavily while taking gift card from Lydia) Thank you very much!!!

Lydia- Your very welcome.  (Turns to address the guests)  Let's all start to congregate outside around the stage, please.

(Anastasia spots Hugh Michaels in the moving crowd, and intercepts him)

Anastasia- Excuse me, I don't believe we've met.

Hugh- (Pleasantly) No, I don't think so. Hugh Michaels; I just started to work for Mr. Churchill.

Anastasia- Yes; I'm Anastasia Mendoza.  I own the boutique in town.

Hugh- Pleasure to meet you, Miss Mendoza.  I believe I passed by your shoppe the day I arrived.

Anastasia- Yes, you did...(catches herself) uh, I mean oh, is that a fact? 

Hugh- (A bit puzzled) Yes, it is.  Well, your taste is impeccable; I'm sure I'll stopping by soon.

Anastasia- Thank you.  I believe congratulations are in order, now that you have engaged your significant other!

Hugh- (Now mystified) My what???

Anastasia- (Smiling) Significant other? Soul mate... your better half???

Hugh- (Very mystified) I'm sorry I don't understand.

Anastasia- I mean your engagement to Ella Bach, naturally.

Hugh- Um, I think there has been a mistake; I'm not engaged to Miss Bach.

Anastasia- (Confused)  But, you must be. Vivian saw the ring box you got from Mr. Babbino!

Hugh- I never received a ring box....(Suddenly remembers) Oh, but my mother sent me my fathers pocket watch this past week....Perhaps, that's what she saw?

Anastasia- (Starting to get worried) Oh dear....., but no, Vivian said she distinctly overheard you say Ella's name right when she saw the ring....or the watch, rather.

Hugh- Well, your Vivian certainly is observant.  I was telling Mr. Babbino how Miss Bach had told me that I could find practically anything at his store which was good news to me, since I am a newcomer.

Anastasia- (Color draining from her face)  She...she did?

Hugh- Yes.  I met her that same day I passed your shop.  I was looking for the general store and she said she was going there anyway and would I like to walk with her?  Are you well, Miss Mendoza?

Anastasia- I...uh....I'm....(Tries to recover herself) of course I'm quite well.  I'm just...ah...astonished at this misunderstanding.

Hugh- (Suddenly concerned) Please don't think I'm speaking against Miss Bach!  She's been so kind to me ever since I moved to Pickleton Plateau.

Anastasia- Oh, of course not.  Well, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, I really am.

Hugh- Oh, it's quite alright, no harm was done.  At least this was just between us, and no one started planning an engagement party or anything, right?  We can at least be thankful for that.

Anastasia- (Feeling faint)  Party!  (Chuckles nervously)  No, just us...of course.....yes.....well, do excuse me, my speech is about to start.  (Leaves him and rushes over to Julianne at the punch table)  Mrs. Shapiro! Have you seen Vivian? Oh, what am I to do??

Julianne- I haven't seen her, Anastasia, what's the matter?

Anastasia- (Distressed) Oh, Mrs. Shapiro, a disaster beyond proportions has found it's way to my door!

Julianne- (Baffled)  What disaster?  Has Levi Swindolf started singing "Hava Nagila"?  I thought his wife had convinced him not to attempt it again this year?

Anastasia- No, Ella and Hugh Michaels aren't engaged after all!

Julianne- (Surprised)  Their not?  But I thought you saw the ring!

Anastasia- It wasn't a ring after all.  Oh, I have to find Vivian right away, where is she?

Julianne- You can't find her now; their all waiting for you to give your speech!  You go out, and I'll try to find her.

Anastasia- (Reluctantly) Oh alright.

(Walks outside and onto stage, where the Chava Detwiler stands ready to introduce her)

Chava- And now, we will hear from Miss Anastasia Mendoza!


Anastasia- (Nervous) Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen,...uh, honored guests and youngsters,....thank you so much for attending our Hanukkah Celebration. I, um, would just like to say that in this coming year, we... need to... Come down from the roofs of of our... distraction. Yes, and reign in the, the... doves of our self doubt! We must be strong! And we must re-dedicate ourselves so that we may be pure vessels that Hashem can use for His glory and delight! Happy Hanukkah and may we all have a blessed new year!


(Vivian rushes up to Anastasia)

Vivian- Oh, Anastasia. I heard the news, can you believe it? But, you were simply wonderful, Anastasia. Anastasia?

Anastasia- Oh, I feel faint. Oh, thank heavens it's over. I'm so mortified!  That could have gone so terribly wrong. Oh, just think of how embarrassed poor Ella would have been, let alone my own humiliation!

Vivian- I know!

Anastasia- Vivian, with you as my witness, for my new years resolution, I resolve to watch my tongue and not jump to conclusion!

Vivian- That's a resolution we should all make!

Scene 9
(Mr. Babbino's Store)

~ One Month Later ~

Mr. Babbino- (Exasperated) Vivian, if you keep starring out my window like that, you'll scare away all my customers. What a scowl you have! What's wrong?

Vivian- (Depressed) Nothing ever happens in Pickleton Plateau!

Mr. Babbino- How can you say that after your great Hanukkah party last month! What with all your female intervention in Ella's case, I would have thought you'd have had your fill of excitement?

Vivian- (Surprised) How did you find out?

Mr. Babbino- (Dusting his counter) Anastasia told me, in the strictest of confidences of course, last week when she put the finishing touches on my new coat.

Vivian- Oh, well, yes, it was exciting....,but that was last month and now everything is back to normal, and just as boring as ever!

Mr. Babbino- Be careful what you wish for, my dear, (dramatically continues) you never know what unknown disaster could be lurking right around the dark corners of this life! Anyway....will you watch the shop for me while I run to the Chronicle for a moment? That Englishman, Nigel misspelled all the French in my advertisement! I won't be long.

Vivian- (Dully) Of course.

Mr. Babbino- And do try to smile more, it promotes business...

Vivian- Very well, I'll try....how's this?  (Smiles broadly)

Mr. Babbino- (Disgustedly) Haunting!

(Mr. Babbino leaves, and a few minutes later the switchboard rings in her office)

Vivian- Hello, Number please?.....(Connects person to Monsieur Babbino's General Store, and then answers phone, ringing at the counter)  Monsieur Babbino's General Store?... I'm sorry I don't speak French, uh, no speaky frenchy....well I'm sorry, what else am I to do with you rattling off in French?....America is very informed about other cultures and their respective languages!...(Gasps) I understood that Monsieur!... No, I'm sorry he stepped out.....Bad news?.....Oh dear....Can I take a message?.....Oh, well alright. Goodbye, uh, Bonsoir. (She hangs up)  Hmmm, he spoke French, and had bad news, so bad he would rather call again than leave a message! Hmmm, how intriguing!  I think I just got my excitement!!!

~ The End ~                    

Hope you enjoyed this "Pilot" episode!  Let us know if you would 
be interested in additional episodes of Pickleton Plateau! :)     

A Survey For You!

A Survey For You!

     Basically we would like to get to know our followers, listed or unlisted, so here are some questions. (And Mrs. S... we know you are out there reading this, and we know where you live, so if you don't comment...!)

You can copy and paste the questions into a comment and if you have any questions for us feel free to ask them! We would love to hear from you!

  1. What is your name or non de plume?
  2. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
  3. Name three things that make you happy?
  4. Do you have a blog? If so, paste the link and tell us what it is about?
  5. Name three books that you would recommend to anyone?
  6. Do you like to cook? If so, what is your specialty?
  7. What is your favorite time period and why?
  8. Do you like to write?  What do you write?
  9. Do you have a favorite black and white movie?
  10. Are you a fan of musicals? Which one have you watched more than five times?
  11. Name a few of your favorite nonfiction books?
  12. What is your favorite saying, ie. "He's a few sandwiches short of a picnic!" ?
  13. Do you randomly break out into dance when listening to music?.....be honest now! :) 
  14. What are three of your favorite songs?
  15. What was or is your favorite subject in school?
  16. Do you have any hobbies? What are they?
  17. Name something from your bucket list?
  18. If you could go anywhere in the world for an all expense paid trip, where would you go?
  19. What is your favorite period drama?
  20. Did you tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Here are Grace's answers:
  1. What is your name or non de plume? My non de plume is Grace Avender
  2. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? One of them is Isaiah 43: 2-3 
  3. Name three things that make you happy? Swing music, The laughter of friends and family, Ice cream
  4. Do you have a blog? If so, paste the link and tell us what it is about? I don't think I need to answer this one ;) Our blog is about... uh... weeellll... read it and decide for yourself!
  5. Name three books that you would recommend to anyone? 1. Wings of Dawn by Sigmund Brower, 2. The entire Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, 3. The Cay by Theodore Taylor ( note to readers... this will make you cry)
  6. Do you like to cook? If so, what is your specialty? I love to bake more than cook, but I enjoy both. I don't really have a specialty, but I was always the one to make this molasses brownie called Hermits, we always ate.
  7. What is your favorite time period and why?  I like the Medieval time simply for the whole knights and princess thing and the early 1900's, WW1 and 2, for the fashion and all the changes that affect our society today.
  8. Do you like to write?  What do you write? I very much love to write, mainly adventure, some weak attempts at romance and a smattering of fantasy.
  9. Do you have a favorite black and white movie? Yes, I just can't think of the name right now... oh yes, Casablanca!
  10. Are you a fan of musicals? Which one have you watched more than five times? Yes I absolutely adore musicals. More than five times? The King and I, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady...
  11. Name a few of your favorite nonfiction books? The Encyclopedia, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. 
  12. What is your favorite saying, ie. "He's a few sandwiches short of a picnic!" ? 'Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back'
  13. Do you randomly break out into dance when listening to music?.....be honest now! :) Oh yes!!! Life would be so dull without dancing!
  14. What are three of your favorite songs? Beyond the Door by Hadley Fraser, Gang of Rhythm by Walk Off The Earth, Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. 
  15. What was or is your favorite subject in school? History
  16. Do you have any hobbies? What are they? I recently took up Crocheting and have been commissioned for an afghan by my 5 year old nephew! I play the piano and violin "very poorly", and dabble in acting and singing!
  17. Name something from your bucket list? See a play on Broadway
  18. If you could go anywhere in the world for an all expense paid trip, where would you go ?Scotland or France!
  19. What is your favorite Period Drama? Persuasion or the third Anne of Green Gables.
  20. Did you tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Yes... well... yes!

Katherine's Answers
  1. What is your name or non de plume?  Katherine
  2. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?  Hmmmm.... Proverbs 19:21
  3. Name three things that make you happy?  Rain, theater, my family.
  4. Do you have a blog? If so, paste the link and tell us what it is about?  Yes, you're here!  On our blog you'l find everything from daily life escapades, to our written "works", to food!
  5. Name three books that you would recommend to anyone?  Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson.
  6. Do you like to cook? If so, what is your specialty?  Yes!  Baking is my specialty, I'd say.
  7. What is your favorite time period and why?  The Regency Era, the Victorian Era, WWII.... oh, was it only supposed to be one?
  8. Do you like to write?  What do you write? Yes I love to write, Grace and I will have to post some samples at a later date!
  9. Do you have a favorite black and white movie? Stalag 17
  10. Are you a fan of musicals? Which one have you watched more than five times? Oh yes! Sound of Music, Oklahoma, King and I, Newsies, ect.
  11. Name a few of your favorite nonfiction books? The New Birth Order Book, The Five Love Langueges, Love and Respect; I confess I haven't finished all these books, but I still know they are good :)
  12. What is your favorite saying, ie. "He's a few sandwiches short of a picnic!" ? 'His cornbread ain't done in the middle'
  13. Do you randomly break out into dance when listening to music?.....be honest now! :) Oh no, never (while tap dancing to music)
  14. What are three of your favorite songs? The Other Side (The Greatest Showman), Time to say goodbye, and Santa Fe (Newsies).
  15. What was or is your favorite subject in school? History/Writing
  16. Do you have any hobbies? What are they? I enjoy cake decorating, writing and cooking.
  17. Name something from your bucket list? I don't really have a bucket list :)
  18. If you could go anywhere in the world for an all expense paid trip, where would you go? England, Austria (for the Sound of Music tourist stuff!), or Prince Edward Island (to see all the Anne of Green Gables paraphernalia!)
  19. What is your favorite period drama? Sense and Sensibility, Road to Avonlea, Under the Greenwood Tree... 
  20. Did you tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Uh......do you doubt my honesty???

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Writer's Corner: Pickleton Plateau Part 2

Character List
  • Rabbi Akiva Detwiler and his wife Rebbetzin Chava Detwiler
  • Mayor Mordecai Schapiro and his wife Julianne Schapiro
  • Mrs. Lydia Rosen- Prorpiter of boarding house
  • Mrs. Elvira Stern- Matchmaker
  • Mr. Isiah Babbino- Owner of general store
  • Mr. Nigel Churchill- Owner and editor of the Chronicle
  • Miss Vivian Silver- Switchboard operator 
  • Miss Katz- School Teacher
  • Miss Anastasia Mendoza- owner of small seamstress shop
  • Miss Ella Bach- Piano teacher
  • Mr. Hugh Michaels- newcomer
Scene 4
(Laidies Aid Society gathered for second meeting in Lydia's parlor)

Lydia- Did everyone get tea and cookies?  Good, let's begin with what we've accomplished this past week for the Hanukkah preparations.  Julianne?  You start.

Julianne- (clears throat) Well, the Plateau Players received my opera with great gusto and enthusiasm.  Oh, it's such a honor and privilege to live among such dear comradeship as fellow thespians!

Vivian- I managed to spread the word about the latke contest.  Mrs. Astor has already signed up.

Ella- I reserved Town Hall for the first night of Hanukkah, and also presented our request to the rest of the choir and they have accepted.  Last night we started working out a program which I'll bring next week.

Lydia- Excellant!

Anastasia- (Very dramatically) Last week I took up a collection and have sent away for a Parisian rose bush to be awarded to the winner of the latke contest!

(Exclamations of delight)

Lydia- Well, it sounds as though everything is coming together nicely.  There is just one more thing to be mentioned.  Decorations. 

Chava- I think I may safely say that there is but one here perfect for the task...Anastasia!

(Everyone agrees)

Anastasia- Oh, thank you all so much!  I will do my best and you won't be disappointed.

Elvira- (murmering) I'm disappointed already! 

Lydia- With the party a week away, do you think you'l have enough time?

Anastasia- Yes, indeed, though I wonder if you, Ella would assist me?

Ella- Of course, but I'll need Wednesday nights free for choir practice.

Anastasia- That's fine...perhaps we should go Bohemian!  When I spent a week in Bohemia----

Elvira- (interrupting) Nonsense!  A traditional white and blue theme will do just fine.  We want none of your frippery in our event, Anastasia!

Anastastia- Frippery??  I never-----

Chava- Ladies, honestly.  Anastasia, perhaps the town isn't quite ready for such a bold move as Bohemian, though Elvira, we all could learn to embrace new ideas....perhaps Elizabethan?

Anastasia- Oh, no! The collars alone!

Elvira- Never!  Not to mention the britches!

Chava- Then perhaps something more present day, hmm?

Julianne- Well, inasmuch as this little culture exchange is riveting, I must be going.  I've a prize winning latke recipe to hunt up, groceries to buy, and the there is the business of wiping that chronic smirk off Mrs. Chrysanthemum Astor's face!

Miss Katz- What chronic smirk?  She always seems nice enough to me.

Julianne- You don't know what she is capable of, Miss Katz!

Vivian- I heard that Mrs. Astor is entering a family cherished recipe that has been handed down for four generations.

Julianne-Well, my family's recipe has also been handed down, and for five years longer than hers, so don't you worry.  That Parisian rosebush will soon be gracing my parlor!

Ella- I must go as well.

Lydia- Oh, really, Ella?  I thought you didn't have choir on Sunday nights anymore?

Ella- I don't...something...came up!  Goodnight.  

All - Goodnight!  

(Ella leaves)

Vivian- I wonder where she's going this late.

Anastasia- Well, if I was her, the lateness wouldn't matter to me one bit.

Elvira- What are you saying, Anastasia?

Julianne- Yes, what do you mean?

Anastasia- You mean you haven't seen him yet?

All- Him!  Him, who??

Anastasia- The tall, dark, mysterious stranger whose slipped into town, and barely shown his face for a week, of course!

Lydia- You must mean Hugh Michaels, a very nice man from England.  He works for Nigel Churchill at the Chronicle.

Vivian- Oh, he must have been that voice on the switchboard I didn't recognize.  He made several calls this past week.  I knew that accent wasn't a native.

Julianne- So, your saying Ella's gone to meet him tonight?

Lydia- What makes you think that, Anastasia?

Anastasia- Well, Ella left my shop last Thursday, and bumped into the gentleman in question as she headed out the door.  Next thing I knew, they were walking off together.  And I've seen them together twice since then!  I'm convinced they are seeing each other!  Didn't you know about it, Mrs. Stern?  I assumed you would, being the matchmaker and all.

Elvira- (offended) Not a word of it.

Vivian- Why wouldn't she tell us?

Lydia- Well, whatever the reason, Ella's a girl of sense.  She wouldn't keep something like that from us without a good reason.

Elvira- Well, let's hope so.

Anastasia- When you're in love, nothing makes much sense.

Chava- Now, Anastasia, don't you think you're making more of this than there really is?

Anastasia- Why, Rebbetzin, why would you think I would do such a thing?

Scene 5
(Ella and Anastasia walking up Town Hall's steps)

Ella- Do we really need all this to decorate town hall, Anastasia?  It's not that big.

Anastasia- (opening the door, and walking in)  Of course we do!  We want to bring dazzle and sparkle to the hall!  We want our party to be the talk of the town, don't we?

Ella- (setting her crate on a table)  Not exactly; we just want it to be a nice party we all look back on fondly.

Anastasia- Fondly!  Is that all?  No, no, no, my dear, we must have razzle, dazzle, pzazz, and spark!  Now, you start tacking up the banner I made up in that far corner.  I'll unpack the tablecloths and, oh!  My Parisian rosebush is arriving today at the general store!  I'd better hurry and pick it up before it gets dehydrated.  You don't mind, do you, Ella?  I'll be back shortly, I promise!

Ella- Oh, not at all.  Take your time, better yet the afternoon!

Anastasia- Alright, Ella, I can take a hint.  I just want this party to blossom with exuberance!

Ella- I know, and it will.  Now, run along.

Scene 6
(Anastasia entering the Monsier Babbino's general store)

Isaiah- Ah, Madmoiselle Anastasia!  Just the person I wanted to see.

Anastasia- Yes, I came for my Parisian rosebush.  After three weeks, I was getting worried.

Isaiah- Well, that's the bad news.

Anastasia- Bad news?  No, no bad news, what is it?

Isaiah- Your se magnifique rosebush was lost en route, but they are sending you a full refund.  Here is the message Vivian copied from their telephone call this morning.

Anastasia- Oh, no, that is utterly dreadful!  What shall I do?......I'd better go; thank you, Mr. Babbino. I must now go find a new prize before my reputation is tarnished by this scandalous mistake!

Isaiah- Before you do that, Vivian demanded I "flag you down".  These American expressions.

Anastasia- Oh, all right.  She's back at the switchboard, I presume?

Isaiah- Oui, Madmoiselle.

(Anastasia heads back to Vivien's office, listening to her talking into her headset as she enters)

Vivian- Yes, of course, I know that you're the Mayor's wife, but that still doesn't change the fact that Monsieur Babbino is out of flour!  (sighs)....I'm sorry....yes....goodbye, Mrs. Shapiro.  (sighs again as she rips off her headset)  Oh, Anastasia, Mrs. Shapiro has been haunting her phone, calling every hour to check if the flour shipment has arrived yet!  It wasn't enough that she bought 5 bags yesterday; she has to have a sixth from the new shipment!  But anyway, you'l never guess what I beheld in this store only hours ago??

Anastasia- (glumly) What?

Vivian- Well, the dark, mysterious stranger you spoke of received a small velvet box here today!  I saw he and Monsieur Babbino speaking in hushed tones over the counter, and when he opened it...I saw a diamond ring!!

Anastasia- (Brightens) Really?  Oh, how wonderful!

Vivian- Shh!  Then, when I saw him leaving he said something to Monsieur Babbino, and I distinctly heard Ella's name!

Anastasia- He must be about to propose to her!

Vivian- Of course, he is!  And do you know what, Anastasia?  We should plan a surprise engagement party for them on the same night as the Hanukkah party!  They'd never see it coming!

Anastasia- What an inspiration; why it's positively brilliant!  They will surely be engaged by then; why it's two whole days away!  I'll broach the subject to the ladies tonight at our meeting after Ella leaves.

Vivian- Perfect!  By the way, I saw that Tilly Macantire wrote an article in the Chronicle about the infamous prize coming all the way from Paris to be bestowed upon the winner of the latke contest!  Now, everyone is talking about it!  I had to expand the sign up sheet for the contest to fit all the applicants!  What's the matter, Anastasia?  You look quite pale all of a sudden?

Anastasia- That's horrible!  Absolutely, positively, oh, what shall I do?

Vivian- About what?  What's wrong?

Anastasia- I must go talk to Mrs. Rosen.  Goodbye, Vivian!

Vivian- Goodbye!  (Buzz, Buzz)  Operator.  How may I direct your call?

Scene 7
(Anastasia arriving at Lydia Rosen's Bordinghouse)

Anastasia- Mrs. Rosen?  MRS. ROSEN??  WHERE ARE YOU??

Lydia- (coming around a corner) Calm down, Anastastia.  I'm not deaf!  What is the matter?  Come into the kitchen and have some tea.  Jemima just made her famous Benton cake, and you'l have some of course.

(Lydia leads her into the kitchen where she gets two teacups down from the shelf)

Anastasia- Oh, Mrs. Rosen, I'd love some, but I fear it would give me indigestion!  I'm so overwrought about the contest's prize!

Lydia- Well, I can see that, but I thought you had a Parisian rosebush coming.  The paper even did a spotlight on it.

Anastasia- I know, and now a monsoon has made the ship sink, so they are "unable to deliver Madam's package", and I'm left with no prize!  I'll never live this one down!  I can just hear Mrs. Stein gloating now!

Lydia- Anastasia, dear, I'm afraid you are spending to much time on this.  Just get another prize and everyone will understand.  (Pours tea into cups)

Anastasia- That's just it!  There's nothing good enough.  It's a hopeless situation!

Lydia- Anastasia, sit down.  (Both sit at kitchen table)  Why were you getting this prize?

Anastasia- Why, for the latke contest of course.

Lydia- And why are we having a latke contest?

Anastasia- It's part of the Hanukkah celebration; are you feeling alright?

Lydia- I'm fine, dear.  And why are we having a Hanukkah celebration?

Anastasia- Because we have one every year?

Lydia- No!  Because we are celebrating Hanukkah!  And why do we celebrate Hanukkah?

Anastasia- To remember the great miracles Hashem did for the Maccabees?

Lydia- And??

Anastasia- And...Jews like to eat, so this is another excuse to have a feast?

Lydia- NO!  Anastasia, Hanukkah is a time of dedication, remembrance.  We are to examine ourselves, and rededicate ourselves back to Hashem.  We remember the great miracles that happened and we go on trusting that just as Hashem rescued the Maccabees from the Greeks, He will rescue us in our time of need.  You are not focusing on the things you should be.  You are to caught up with the lights, the party, and your reputation.  You need to step back, Anastasia, and rethink what's truly important in all this.  It's certainly not  a Parisian rosebush, I'm sure.  Also, we are not meant to deal with life's problems all on our own.  God is our refuge and strength, our stronghold in times of trouble.  Do you understand?

Anastasia- Yes.

Lydia- Good, now drink your tea before it get's cold.

(Each take a sip of tea and are silent for a moment)

Lydia- And I think a gift card to your boutique would make a lovely prize.

Anastasia- (brightens)  Of course!  Why didn't I think of that?  Oh, thank you, Mrs. Rosen.

Lydia- Your quite welcome.  Now, let's see about that cake!

Scene 8
(Ladies Aid Society meeting in Lydia's Parlor)

Lydia- Alright, now that everyone has gotten some tea and cake, let's begin.  I'm very excited to announce that this is our last meeting before the party on Sunday night, just three days away.  Let's go around the room again, and say what has been accomplished this past week and what remains to be done.  Ella?

Ella- The choir has successfully perfected "Maoz Tzur", and "Oh, Chanukah".  I thought perhaps we could perform them right before the fireworks?

Elvira- Fireworks?!  Surely, we are not going to bring those deafening contraptions into the festivities?

Julianne- Elvira, honestly!  Your lack of embracing progress never ceases to baffle me!

Elvira- You speak many words for one baffled, Julianne.

Julianne- (obviously miffed) Ahem!  All prominent communities, including Rosington Falls, are lighting off fireworks on festive occasions.  It's high time we displayed the same prominence in our town!

Chava- Julianne, why don't you go next?

Julianne- Yes, I have the punch bowls procured, and the punch ingredients over at Town Hall already.

Lydia- Perfect.  Vivian, how many accepted our invitations?

Vivian- We had one decline, but it was only the Evans.

Ella- (abashed) Vivian!  

Vivian- Well, it's true!  No one has liked them from the minute they entered, or shall I say flounced into town!......Alright, pardon my saying it.

Elvira- I pressed the tablecloths and brought them over to Town Hall this afternoon.  The stage is going to be set up outside by the Rubin sons, and they told me they would have to start early Sunday, due to a busy week.

Chava- That will be fine.  Akiva and his brother Yitz'chak have agreed to see to lighting off the fireworks, and lighting the Hanukiah.

Anastasia- Well, the...hall has been...uh...decorated, and we've brought over the tables, chairs, forks, etc., and stored them in the closet.  I, uh, have one bit of sad news to, um, say to you all though.  The P-Parisian rosebush was lost in transit, and I've had to replace the prize with another.  I...I was quite desperate, and so I...um...well---

Lydia- (interrupting)  I suggested a gift card to Anastasia's lovely boutique.  I thought everyone would be just as thrilled with it.

(All agree)

Ella- I'm sorry, but I have to leave for choir practice.  Excuse me.

Chava- Oh, I think that was everything.  Goodbye, dear.

All- Goodbye

Ella- Bye

(Ella leaves) 

Anastasia- Ladies, before you leave, Vivian, and I must tell you about a certain top secret engagement party planned for the same night as our Hanukkah party!!

To be continued...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Poetry- music without notes

At Green gables, we have an old book of poetry on our cellar shelf. Growing up, I loved taking it off the shelf and reading aloud to my sister, remembering the fun ones and pondering the sad ones.  Here are a few of our favorites for you to enjoy:

An Overworked Elocutionist- Carolyn Wells

There was once a little boy whose name was Robert Reese;
And every Friday afternoon he had o speak a piece.
So many poems thus he learned, that soon he had a store
Of recitations in his head... and still kept learning more.

And now this is what happened: He was called upon one week
And totally forgot the piece he was about to speak.
His brain he cudgeled. Not a word remained within his head!
And so he spoke at random, and this is what he said:

"My beautiful, my beautiful, who standest proudly by,
It was the schooner Hesperus- the breaking waves dashed high!
Why is the Forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?
Under a spreading chestnut tree there is no place like home!

"Whence come these shrieks so wild and shrill? Across the sands o'Dee?
Lo, I will at thy right hand and keep the bridge with thee!
For this was Tell a hero? For this did Glesser die?
'The curse is come upon me' said the Spider to the Fly.

"When Britain first at Heaven's command said, "Boatswain, do not tarry;
The despot's heel is on thy shore, and while ye may, go marry.'
Let the dogs delight to bark and bite the British Grenadiers,
Lars Porsena of Clusium lay dying in Algiers!

"The sea! The sea! The open sea! Roll on, roll on, thou deep!
Maxwelton braes are bonny, but Macbeth hath murdered sleep!
Answer me burning shades of night! What's Hecuba to me?
Alone stood brace Horatius! The boyoh! Where was he?

When Freedom from her mountain height cried "Twinkle little star,
Shoot if you must this old grey head, King Henry of Naverre!
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue castled crag of Drachenfels!
My name is Norval, on the Grampian hills, ring out, wild bells.

If you're waking, call me early, to be or not to be,
Curfew must not ring tonight. Oh woodsman spare that tree!
Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on! And let who will be clever!
The boy stood on the burning deck, But I must go on forever!"

His elocution was superb, his voice and gestures fine;
His schoolmates all applauded as ha said the last line.
"I see it doesn't matter," Robert thought," what words I say,
As long as I declaim with oratorical display!"

Daddy Fell Into The Pond- Alfred Noyes

Everybody grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
'give me the camera, quick oh quick!
He's climbing out of the duckweed'

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently.
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.

O, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy fell into the pond! 

I Have A Rendezvous With Death- Alan Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air-
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me to his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath-
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill.
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

'Hope' is the thing with feathers- Emily Dickinson

'Hope' is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity -
It asked a crumb - of me.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device, 

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from it's sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung,
The accents of that unknown tongue,

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said;
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!"
And loud that clarion voice replied,

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,

"Beware the pine tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,

At the break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,

A traveler, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,

There in the twilight cold and grey,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And far from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell like a falling star,