Thursday, April 28, 2016

One Year of Blogging

One year ago today, a nervous young woman going under the pen name of Miss March pushed the publish button on her newly acquired blog and sent her very first post out into the world.  

And in this case her expression was like that of Maria's, not Lizzy's.

Because you must understand this was a very drastic measure for her. She had never blogged before, nor even commented on anyone else's blog.  She was a total novice and very nervous about having complete strangers read her writing.  And yet, she pushed that button anyway.  (Ask me not why.  For I cannot say.)

She wasn't scared.  Not at all.  Just a little nervous. 

...And terrified.  And panic stricken.  And "I can't believe I just did this!!  Hide me, someone! Quick!"  (Okay, so it wasn't that bad.  But you get the idea.  It was very nerve-wracking.)

Miss March had been reading blogs for quite some time, and having discovered that there was a fun community of girls with similar interests and values as herself, she began to think it might be fun to join the group and have a blog of her own.  Not that she felt confident about actually becoming a part of the group.  That would have been silly, considering that her confidence level was--and is--extraordinarily low.  But that being said, she  must have scrounged up some courage somewhere, for she managed to overcome her fear (momentarily, at least), and clicked that dreaded publish button...running off immediately afterward and banging her head against the wall in disbelief at her own daring.  (Just kidding.  She didn't actually do that.  I made that part up.  But she probably felt like doing it.)

However, that's not the end.  The story of Miss March's bravery is not yet over.   

Being an unreasonable sort of lass, though she dreaded the thought of anyone ever reading what she had written, still at the same time she very much wanted someone to read it (talk about fickleness, and inconsistency, and all that), so the very day after publishing her first post she went and did something which was equally momentous.  She commented on another girl's blog!  I mean it!  She really did!  She felt that she must do it or risk losing her chance of ever becoming a part of the blogging community, so she clicked on a certain blog which she had been reading and enjoying for quite some time, and with her heart pounding furiously typed out a hesitant comment introducing herself.  The dear sweet girl to whom she addressed this comment (who was, of course, none other than Naomi Bennet) replied within the hour and was so kind and welcoming, that Miss March was quite overcome.  And then get this!  Naomi went and left a comment on Miss March's blog and...and immediately become her very first follower.  (I know!  Like, what?  She'd only ever read one post!  How did she know she was going to like it?)  But, oh!  It made Miss March very happy indeed.

And then our jittery, new blogger was further blown away by the receipt of two more comments--that very same day!--from two lovely young ladies named Natalie and Olivia.  And they were so kind and welcoming, too, and...ahhh!  Words fail me.

I'm going to have to switch to first person because I can't do justice to this subject talking as some strange unconnected individual.

First, I just want to say thank you so much to Naomi, Natalie, Olivia, and Evie.  All four of you hold a very special place in my heart, because you were the first to comment on  my posts and gave me that encouragement which I so needed to start out with.  I probably would have given up long ago if it hadn't been for you!  :D  Thank you, girls!

And then to all the rest of you who have commented on my posts, followed my blog, and encouraged me in so many ways.  Cordy, Emma, Rosie McCann, Miss Meg, Jillian, Rae, Heidi, Rose...and so many more!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You all mean SO much to me!  And I'm so glad I met you! 

And now, I'm going to include a few stats, because I think they're fun to look back on later.

Pageviews:  8471  (Most of which are probably mine.  I have a bit of a twitch when it comes to checking my blog.  ;))
Number of Posts Published: 44
Number of Posts in Drafts:  18 (...because I have a problem with not finishing things...)
Most Viewed Post:  Memory Nest with 153 pageviews (Heehee. I'm not sure if that was on account of the popularity of the post, or simply because Rosie and I were having too much fun conversing in the comments.  :)  Me thinks these stats can be rather deceiving.  ;))
Followers: 18 (Nothing deceiving about that!  I have eighteen followers!  Wow.  Thank you all so much!!!!  I can't tell you how encouraging it is to know that people actually like reading what I write!)

So.  That's that.  One year gone, and another year before me.  While I'd like to say that I've grown a lot and have gained a good deal of the confidence which I lacked when I first began blogging, I'm afraid that wouldn't be strictly true.  There are still far too many days when I feel like a little nobody--the new kid on the block--scrambling to find my place.  Worried that I'm failing at this whole thing.  That my posts are boring.  That if ever there was a blogger who had no idea how to do things properly, it's me.

But I know those thoughts are just my insecurities and lack of self-confidence speaking, because I have never received anything but overwhelming and heartfelt encouragement ever since I began this little blog.  And so thank you all very, very much!

And, uh, while we're on the subject of boring posts and any of you have suggestions for posts which you would like to see more of (or less of) in the coming year? 

Here's a small list of possibilities:

1. Movie reviews
2. Book reviews
3. Games
4. Random life stuff
5. Humorous/Sarcastic posts (like this one for example) 
6. Favorites posts (such as favorite heroes, heroines, and the like)
7. Or something totally new that I've never done before.  Got any ideas?  I'd love to hear them!

Okay, I guess that's all I had to say.  So long everyone!

(And now I shall go and worry about what a horrible post this is, because, well, it's tradition.  And one must never mess with tradition.  ;))

Friday, April 22, 2016

30 of my Favorite Movies

Naomi did a post about her favorite movies the other day, which was inspired from a post written by Eva back in February.  Clearly the inspiration has spread, as I am now here with my list of favorite movies.  :)  (Thanks for the post idea, Eva and Naomi!)
It's a hard thing for me to choose favorites.  I love all the movies on this list, but to varying degrees.  Some I gush over, some I don't.  Some are very special to me because I grew up on them, while others are newer finds.  This is definitely not an all comprehensive list--I'm sure there are more I could add--but it is what it is. 
Here they are.  (And just so you know, they are in no particular order.  I couldn't even begin to list them least to greatest.  Nope.  That is an utterly absurd idea.  Absolutely impossible.)
1.  Pride and Prejudice

2. Amazing Grace

3. Jane Eyre

4. Emma 2009

5. Sarah Plain and Tall (and Skylark)

6. Random Harvest

7. It's a Wonderful Life

8. The Happiest Millionaire

9. The Fighting Prince of Donegal

10. Anne of Green Gables

11. Boys' Town

12. Saving Mr. Banks

13. To Kill a Mockingbird

14. Mary Poppins

15. Little Dorrit

16. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

17. The Scarlet Pimpernel

18. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

19. Across the Great Divide

20. The Apple Dumpling Gang

21. The Shop Around the Corner

22. Miss Potter
23. Captain's Courageous
24. Sergeant York
25. Robin Hood
26. Pollyanna
27. Oliver Twist
28. Old Yeller
29. Swiss Family Robinson
30. The Sound of Music
Okay, so I'm pretty sure there are more films I could have added which I like equally as much as some of these, but I was trying not to go over 30 and had to draw the line somewhere.  

 How many of these movies have you seen (or not seen)?
Are there any of your personal favorites on this list?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thoughts of Spring

Spring is here!  At last.  Yesterday was a deliciously warm day.  And while there are no guarantees it's going to stick around, considering the weather's recent habit of jumping back and forth between spring and winter--and apparently being unable to make up it's mind what season it wants to be in--still, it's here now!  So let's enjoy it!

I don't know why, but a change of season always makes me feel nostalgic.  (There's that word for you, Cordy.  You're welcome.  *wink*)  And the coming of Spring, especially, has a  remarkable way of throwing me back to my childhood, and filling my mind with wistful, happy memories of bygone days.  

["Heehee.  She's trying so hard to sound poetic."  "Oh, hush."]

You know.  The kind of memories which are more feelings than anything else.  You feel the memory rather than think it.  It's hard to describe, but it's like a beautiful, haunting piece of music, wafting over you in a golden (there's a word for you, Naomi!), delicious dance of exquisite joy.  Indescribable feelings, and yet so real.  And so familiar. 

["Did you notice?  You put 'golden' and 'delicious' together.  You're making me hungry."  "What are you talking about?"  "Golden Delicious.  That's a type of apple."  "Oh, please."]

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Spring feelings...

Happy, contented, comfortable feelings.   

The sort of feelings that go along with reading a good book while sitting in a warm patch of sunlight on your parents' bedroom floor.  Or getting up early, going out onto the porch to eat your breakfast, and basking in the warmth of the morning sunshine with no walls or windows to separate it from you.   The sort of feelings that bring back thoughts of carefree days when you were little and had nothing more to worry about than how Sibling no. 1 wouldn't play with you when you were "so bored";  and Sibling no. 2 wanted to play with you too much, and  you were just plain "tired of it."

You feel young when Spring shows up.  Young and adventurous and invigorated and happy.  It's as if Spring is intrinsically linked with all the best and most joyful memories of your childhood, and every time it makes an appearance it brings those memories to the forefront of your mind.  Brightening your life with the remembrance of them.  

["Uh, pardon me, but is that the proper use of the word "intrinsically"?"  "I don't know.  It sounded good, so I used it.  Now, please stop interrupting.  I am attempting to convey some very beautiful thoughts and you're messing me up."   "Sorry."]

Now, of course, there will always be a slight twinge of sadness that comes with these memories because the act of recalling those happy days gone forever does have a way of bringing the threat of tears to ones eyes.  I know this from experience.  And I suppose I could follow Flora Finching's example and not recall them at all, but then...well, she wasn't very good at following her own advice, was she?  So why should I?  (You know. "Those dear, dead days gone forever, never to be recalled"...except perhaps six-hundred-thousand times a day.  'Hem.)  Anyway, I enjoy being sad sometimes, ["and this is turning into a veeerrry sad post, because she's making veeerrry little sense"] and I think the happiness of these sorts of memories far outweighs the sadness of them.  Don't you?  ["You lost me.  I have no idea what you're talking about."  "Well, if you would stop butting in, it might make more sense."  "Highly doubtful, my dear."]

Now, as I've decided not to follow Flora's example and make believe that I am squashing the memories that are so dear... ["...but, alas, so dead."  "You're on a roll today, aren't you? Blabber-mouth."] Ahem.  As I was saying, I've decided not to follow Flora's example, and so I'm afraid you're all in for a very boring recital of what Spring fever does to my brain.  ["A-hem.  What brain?"  "I refuse to comment on that remark."  "Only because you're stumped and haven't got a good comeback.  Haha!  Very good.  I win!"  "Oh, honestly."]

Moving on...


Oooh!  How I love it!

It's a time for doing lazy things in the mornings, like playing board games with your siblings, running in and out of the house for no reason, relaxing on the swings while talking carelessly about simple every-day nonsense.

It's a time for organizing one's room.  For sitting on the floor with your older sister and going through all your miscellaneous junk...I mean...miscellaneous treasures.  Talking and laughing uproariously, and every so often breaking out into a pretend fight over something ridiculous just because that's a fun thing to do; all the while letting your voices rise higher and higher until finally your dad calls up the stairs, saying something about "those silly Bennet sisters," whereat you decide you'd better tone things down a little or risk losing your good reputations forever.  ;)

Springtime and babies.  They go together.  Don't ask me why, but a good solid spring morning is just the ticket for whisking my thoughts back to memories of holding my newest sibling in my arms--smelling the sweet scent of him, and feeling the comfort of his little bundled form pressed against my heart.  Oooh!  Seven years is too long a time not to have a baby in the house. 

Those dear, dead days gone forever...

...but forever to be recalled.

Spring is also a good time for re-watching all one's favorite, most nostalgic movies.  For recalling all the fun you and your siblings used to have pretending to be the characters in those films; and for laughing over how the older siblings always got the first choice of who they wanted to be, while the younger ones had to settle for characters like Lydia Bennett...or Josie Pye.  (No, I'm not bitter.  Honestly.  Even playing the bad girls can become a fond memory.)

Speaking of playing, that's another thing about Spring.  There's something in the air which makes me want to enjoy all over again the games which as a child used to be so thrilling to me.  Paper doll games, dress-up games, tag around the house.  And yet it's true, those days really are gone.  I've grown up.  ["And grown boring."  "Yes, exactly."]  I can't play those games anymore.  But I'm so happy for all the fond memories of them; and I will continue to be happy every single year when Spring rolls around, bringing with it a fresh sense of thankfulness for all that I've been given.  

I am extraordinarily blessed. 

["Even with me around."  "Yes, even with you, you little annoying second voice in my head--which isn't really annoying because I have too much fun with you.  But don't tell yourself I said that."  "Oh, I won't!  Mum's the word."]

"He has made everything appropriate in its time.  He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor--it is the gift of God."
~Ecclesiastes 3:11-12

 Happy Spring, everyone!!

How's the weather where you live?
What sort of feelings do you get when you catch that first whiff of Spring?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Disney Films Screencap Game ~Answers~

Hello, hello, hello! 
And here are the answers to last week's game!  Thank you all so much for playing!  You've made this game a HUGE success.  I was surprised and delighted by how many of you participated, and I had so much fun reading all of your answers.  Really, I had no idea how many of you would be familiar with these movies, but it thrilled me exceedingly to know that every single one of these films was recognizable to at least one of you.    Call me silly, but it makes me ridiculously happy when someone "knows" one of "my" movies.  ;D
(Oh, right.  The answers.  Sorry, I suppose I really ought to stop babbling and get to the point.)

#1:  Old Yeller

#2:  Kidnapped

#3:  Pollyanna

#4:  The Sword and the Rose

#5:  The Happiest Millionaire

#6:  Robin Hood

#7:  The Swiss Family Robinson

#8:  The Fighting Prince of Donegal 

#9:  Mary Poppins

#10:  The Apple Dumpling Gang


Cordy:  80
The Girl with the Gold Pen:  80
Heidi:  70
Emma:  60
Miss Meg:  60
Olivia:  50
Morg:  50
Naomi:  30
Rosie McCann:  10

Congratulations, everyone!  And thanks again!  I can't tell you how much fun this was for me!  :D

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Inkling Explorations ~The Fisherman's Lady~

It's time for another Inkling Explorations Link-up over at Heidi's blog, Sharing the Journey.   The subject for this month is:  A description of a lady in literature. 

I've selected a portion from The Fisherman's Lady by George MacDonald.

The glow of a young summer morning pervaded earth and sky and sea, and swelled the heart of the youth as he stood in unconscious bewilderment before the self-possession of the girl.  She was younger than he and knew far less that was worth knowing.  Yet she had a world of advantage over him--not merely from the effect of her presence on one who had never seen anything so beautiful, but also from the readiness of surface thought and polish of her speech which gave her an assurance of superiority over the man she now favored with her passing conversation.  As to her personal appearance, the lad might well have taken her for twenty; for she looked more like a grown woman than he, strongly built and tall though he was, looked like a man.  She was rather tall, slender, finely formed, with small hands and feet.  Her hair was of a dark brown, her eyes of such a blue that no one could have suggested gray, and her complexion was fair--a little freckled which gave it the warmest tint it had.

Have you ever read any books by George MacDonald?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Disney Films Screencap Game

What-ho, readers all!  (Yes.  I've been watching too much Jeeves and Wooster lately...)  I hope you're in the mood for a game, because I am!  Thinking about some of my favorite Disney films the other day I began to wonder how many of these movies would be familiar to the rest of you, and so...curiosity being the mother of invention (or was that necessity?  Whatever)...I decided a screencap game might be in order.   I've only ever done one game before on my blog and that was quite a while ago, so I can't guarantee this will be a success, but let's give it a try anyway, shall we?

The rules are rather obvious.  I probably don't even have to mention them, but for the sake of being professional, I will.

The Rules:
1. Guess the title of the movie belonging to each screencap and leave your answers in the comments. 
2. 10 points will be awarded for each correct answer (100 points being the highest possible score).
3. Answers coming next week!
4. Oh!  And have fun!  That's an order.  (Haha!)
# 1

# 2

# 3

# 4

# 5

# 6

 # 7

# 8

# 9

# 10