Monday, December 18, 2017

Winter Wonderland Tag

I've been tagged!!  Cordy tagged me for the Winter Wonderland Tag which was created by Amaris of The Storybook Journal.  Thank you so much, Cordy!!!  I was quite in the mood for a good tag!  :D
The Rules:
1)  Link back to The Storybook Journal 
2) Answer the questions; think Winter-y thoughts! Include pictures, if you like.
3) Tag at least 3 other bloggers, or more if you're feeling ambitious. :)
1. Name a few things you love about Winter, and a few things you don't love so much about it.
Things I love:
~Beautiful snowfalls.
~Cold nights when you get to pile extra blankets on your bed and be enormously cozy and snug.
~The "necessity" of sitting in front of a heater and soaking up tons of heat.
Things I don't love:
~Freezing my hands off while dusting snow off my car.  (Okay, so I wasn't wearing gloves.  My fault.  :P)
~The hassle of having to put shoes and a coat on every time you go outside.
~The sad, sad feeling when the heater decides the room is hot enough and turns off on you before you've entirely finished roasting yourself!  I mean, how is one to survive such a tragedy?  (Waaaaah.  You can't do this to me!  Come back on, you heater!  Do you want me to freeeeeeeeze?)

2. When you were a child, did you "believe" in Santa Claus?

Oh, no indeed.  Perish the thought.  In fact, my siblings and I were those obnoxious kids who made it our business to convince other kids that believing in Santa Claus was utterly ridiculous.  (Because we were just sweet like that, ya know?  Always thinking of others and looking out for their best interests.)
3. Is there a book or movie that you really love to read in the Winter as opposed to other times of year?
I actually can't think of any particular one at the moment.  Sorry.

4. Is there a particular Christmas movie that you watch EVERY year as tradition?

It's a Wonderful Life.  Love that movie! 
5. Do you usually get a real tree or a fake tree for Christmas?  Who's in charge of decorating it at your house?

A real tree.

As to who's the official decorator...I don't really know.  Probably my mom.  She usually does the majority of the decorating, though we're so laid back about the whole thing that there's never much of a system to it really.  Kind of a slap-happy sort of thing.  Different ones of us do different things depending on who's in the mood for it.  Like for instance, this year my mom and one of my brothers strung the lights on the tree, then two other brothers hung lights in the kitchen one random evening when they were at home, and a few days later more lights went up in the dining room when my sister finally managed to convince some of my other siblings to help her.  (I confess I dodged on that one.  Made myself scarce, you know?  I just didn't feel like hanging lights.  I did put a couple of my ornaments on the tree though.  That was impressive.  Ha.)
6. Does your family usually stay home or go visiting (relatives, friends, etc.) on Christmas Day?

We stay home and the family comes to us.  Namely my two married siblings and their families.  We used to get together with my dad's side of the family (always went to my grandparents house for supper), but my grandpa passed away a couple years ago and the tradition has pretty much ended now.  It's sad, but that's kind of what happens once the grandkids start growing up and moving out.  It's so much harder to get everyone together.
Our stocking display.  We've almost run out of steps.

 7. What does your family usually do on New Years Eve?  Any traditions?  Do you ever stay up till midnight?

Nothing really.  It's pretty much like a normal day.  And no, we don't have any special New Years traditions.  As to staying up till midnight, we don't make a point of it.  We do that often enough on regular days, that doing it on New Years Eve just isn't all that special. 
8. Do you get snow where you live?  If so, have you ever built a snowman and named him Olaf?

Yep, we get snow.  Some years not so much, but we usually have at least one or two good snowfalls in the year.  I'm sure I made a snowman at one time or another when I was a kid, but that was many long years ago (and before Olaf's time), so no, I've never named a snowman Olaf.  :)

Isn't this a darling picture?  I love the little boy's face, and how gingerly he's working to place the carrot nose just right on the snowman's face.  Also the little girl's polka-dotted hat.  Isn't it adorable?!  (I rather love polka-dots.)

9. If it's snowing outside, would you prefer to go outside and build a snowman and enjoy it, or would you rather stay inside with a  blanket and something hot to drink and maybe a movie or a book?
I opt for staying inside.  The snow is very enjoyable that way, too, you know.  And a blanket, with a warm drink, and a movie or a book sounds delightful!!  :D

10.  When do you start looking forward to or getting excited about Spring?

When I start to catch those early whiffs of the changing season.  That's when I really get excited.  :)

And now, I'm going to be very naughty and not tag anyone.  *ducks head*  Sorry.  But this post has already taken me far too long to write and...and...and...

(Okay so maybe I don't have a good excuse.  What do you think of that?  ;))

Hope you're all having a marvelous December, my friends!!
Christmas is only one week away!! Can you believe it? 


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

For what it's worth

So I finally went ahead and updated my blog for Christmas.  Probably a pointless endeavor as I have a strong suspicion I won't be writing many posts this month and thus you won't even be seeing this layout enough to make all the work that went into it  really worth it.  But whatever.  That's the story of my life.  Putting way too much effort into things that don't really matter, and far too little into those that do.  (It's called wasting time.  Ever heard if it?)

Anyway, for the sake of future reference here's the new header:

And the new background:

What do you all think?
(Tell me it's great, okay?  I spent a lot of time on this.  Haha.)

Well, I must be off.  I was giving myself till 11:30 to work on this post and it is now 11:34.  Eek!  Must skedaddle. 
See you around!
And just in case I'm not back before the 25th of December...
Got any special plans for the forthcoming weeks?
Tell me what you've been up to!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Random life stuff + some possibly exciting news. (Wait for it.)

Well, friends, it appears my plan to post more often by giving myself a break from commenting did not exactly fly sky high.  Here I am over a month since my last post and I find myself entirely out of the blogging rhythm. 
Where do I even begin?
There's so much I need to catch up on that I find myself opting for the 'all or nothing' plan. Which sadly tends to fall heavily toward the 'nothing', if you know what I mean.  Making plans for getting caught up on everything simply has a tendency to paralyze a person and then there's nothing for it but to do...nothing at all.  (I'm quite good at that, I have to admit.)
But anyway, I'm here today to write something.
And something today I shall write.
So for what it's worth (if it's worth anything) here goes.

Work.  Jobs.  Working at my jobs.  You get the picture.  I've been doing a lot of that recently.  Not that to some of you it would seem like all that much probably.  I mean I only work around twenty hours a week on average, which isn't all that much really, but to me...whew!  It wears me out!  

I will keep this brief because you're probably super tired of hearing about this never-ending job saga of mine.  And super confused too over all the different jobs I keep mentioning.  (By this point you probably haven't a clue whether I'm working at MacDonald's or starting a career in nursing!)  Well, it's true.  It has been crazy.  Quite a jumbled, confusing mess at times really.  But thankfully I think I'm finally beginning to settle into my jobs a bit more, so hopefully I will be staying put for the foreseeable future. 
Allow me to fill you in quick.  Last you heard I was working two jobs.  One at a Retreat Center and one at a local café.  Well, since then I've gotten another job.  I am now also working at a small motel which is actually right across the street from the café.  The people who own it attend our church so that's how we got connected.  (Also my older sister works there two days a week which is what gave me the idea to apply in the first place.)
I am not, however, working three jobs.  Though you may have thought that was the case, due to the fact that two jobs plus one job does usually add up to three jobs.  Isn't that right?  Well yes, but you see I quit my job at the Retreat Center so now we're back to two.  *grins at my superior math skills* 

It was kind of sad leaving the Retreat Center, but at the same time I think it was the right move.  They were cutting back hours anyway so it was a logical time to do it and working three jobs would have been ridiculous!! One of the main reasons for this change was because I wanted a more consistent schedule, and so far that's been working out pretty well.  I am now working Wednesdays and Thursdays at the café and Friday and Saturdays at the motel.  Plus occasional Sundays at both places. 

I still fret about having to go to work some days.  *Insert my family rolling their eyes at me*  But look!  That's just something we're going to have to learn to accept, okay?  Because honestly, what person in their right mind would actually prefer going to work over staying home?  Like really!  (Okay, I know there are some that would, but I just happen not to be one of them.  Call me lazy if you want.  I prefer to see it as the result of a higher and nobler calling.  People put a lot of effort into making homes comfortable and pleasant.  Somebody ought to be enjoying them!)

Job update.  Done.
Let's move on.
I started a new book recently, and as usual I've been taking my sweet old time getting through it.  I'd like to share a snippet with you because when I come across something witty I like to share it.  And this was definitely witty.
This is from the book Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carol (first Lewis Carol book I've ever read).  And here's a quick background on the scene:  My Lady's obnoxious son has just been bodily removed from the room by the Lord Chancellor...without my Lady's knowledge.  The rest is as follows.
"But where is my precious child?" my Lady enquired, as the four took their seats at the small side-table devoted to ledgers and bundles and bills. 
     "He left the room a few minutes ago--with the Lord Chancellor," the Sub-Warden briefly explained.
     "Ah!" said my Lady, graciously smiling on that high official.  "Your Lordship has a very taking way with children!  I doubt if any one could gain the ear of my darling Uggug so quickly as you can!"  For an entirely stupid woman, my Lady's remarks were curiously full of meaning, of which she herself was wholly unconscious.
     The Chancellor bowed, but with a very uneasy air.  "I think the Warden was about to speak," he remarked, evidently anxious to change the subject.
     But my Lady would not be checked.  "He is a clever boy," she continued with enthusiasm, "but he needs a man like your Lordship to draw him out!"
     The Chancellor bit his lips, and was silent.  He evidently feared that, stupid as she looked, she understood what she said this time, and was having a joke at his expense.  He might have spared himself all anxiety: whatever accidental meaning her words might have, she herself never meant anything at all.
Now you know the kind of thing that strikes me funny.
We had a grand old Thanksgiving celebration this past Thursday.  My one brother whose living out of state now wasn't able to make it home, which was sad, but we had everyone else together including my married siblings and their families.  All told, 21 people.  It felt like a real celebration especially as my other brother--whose been away at Marine boot camp for the past three months--arrived home just in time to celebrate with us.  :) 
We had a lot of food of course, and we estimated that the turkey was about 30 pounds.  Did NOT eat the whole thing though.  We're not such huge eaters as that.
Family is the best!! I am so, SO grateful for mine!!
~Get Smart.  This is the currently popular TV show in our house these days.  Funny though.  We were watching a lot of Get Smart last November, too.  (I remember because it was a huge distraction from NaNoWriMo.)  You may be interested to know that it's just as much of a distraction this time around.  And just as entertaining.  :)
~All Creatures Great and Small.  This one is sort of an ongoing thing.  We're currently working our way through the first season for something like the third or fourth time.  Great show!
~Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town.  Watched this last Saturday night.  Hilarious!  (And my brother has since been perfecting his "Pa Kettle" voice, which has proved to be quite amusing.)
~Boy Meets World.  Started watching this show at my brother's house several weeks ago.  It was a lot better than I was expecting!  I'm looking forward to seeing more.
~Beauty and the Beast.  You know what I mean.  That new live-action thing that came out recently.  Yeah, that one.  My opinion of it? wasn't bad, but it was kind of lame, too.  What do you say to my writing a review of it?  (By which I mean, a post where I lay into it and criticize everything I can lay my hands on?  Good idea?  Let me know in the comments!  :) Heehee.)
~In other news~
Alright, so the title of this post.  You may have noticed that I said something about some possibly exciting news.  Well, are you ready for that?  (No skimming ahead now.  Read things in order.  That's the way it must be done!)
Okay.  So...
(Patience my friends.)

To begin with...
(Don't read so fast.  Good things take time, you know.  Good news will keep and all that.)
Okay.  I think I'm ready for this...

*clears throat*


*shifts about in chair*


*looks sheepishly and nervously about*




Alright fine!  I'm doing this!


My dear friends...

What if I told you that it hasn't been just my jobs that's been keeping me so busy lately?
What if I told you that I've been absent on far more pleasant business?
What if I told you that this has been one of the most whirl-wind, exciting months of my life?

That I have in fact met someone?

A very special someone.

A young man who I just might be a little bit in love with and who's the sweetest, kindest soul imaginable.  And whose become my very dearest friend.


There could be wedding bells before too long.  (Maybe.  Who knows?)

Wait for it...

What if I told you all that?

Would you believe me?

Or would you simply remember that I'm a chronic joker?

Who has no business being a part of civilized society.
Yup.  It was a joke, people. 
The whole thing.
I don't have a boyfriend.

Not even close.
But HAHAHAHA!  Wasn't that a marvelous gag?  I totally pulled that one over on you didn't I??  Come on now.  Tell me you didn't squeal a little and get all excited at my "news"?
Congratulate me on my cleverness!! Aren't I so very funny today??

See the source image
La-la-leelalee.  Miss March is so very funny!

(Okay.  I kind of get the feeling that you're all glowering at me right now.) 

Don't look at me like that. 

Can't a lonely single girl have a little fun with her lonely single state? 

I thought it was fun. 


I'm ashamed of myself. 

Punish me, please!  Shoot me.  Kick me.  (Only you can't because you can't reach me, mwahaha!)  Banish me forever from the blogging world then!  I deserve it. 


*waves a sorrowful and "last" farewell*

*but really just goes off chuckling*

Monday, October 16, 2017

Two Tags

Hello, my good people!  (At least I hope you've been good.  You haven't been naughty while I've been away have you?  Dear me, I turn my back for one minute...)

Anyhow.  I'm here today with two tags which are long overdue.  And when I say long, I mean long.  Indeed, I shudder to think how long it's been since I was tagged for these...

*checks to see when it was*

Oh goodness.

It was back in April and May!!! 


I'm such a failure.  Why am I even a blogger?
But this is no time for moping and wailing over past failures.  Let's forget all that!  Let's be optimistic!  Let's pretend for the time being that Miss March is actually good at something and let's move forward!! 

 I present to you...

The Book Tag
(or whatever it's called)
1. You must be honest.  (Indeed you must.  Honesty is the best policy, people!)  
2. You must answer all the questions.  (Why of course!  Even if you don't have an answer.  Because it really doesn't matter what you say just so long as you say something.)  
3. You must tag at least 4 people.  (Oh.  Well, we'll see about that one.) 

I was tagged for this by both Hamlette and Elanor.  (Thanks, girls!)  You can check out their answers to the tag here and here.
Now onto the questions!

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
Probably my NIV illustrated children's Bible.  In it's blue and red case.  It has been a prominent fixture on the left end of my bookshelf for a good many years. 


And yes, I know.  The professionalism of my photography skills is astounding.  *bows*

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

Current Read: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I read this one years ago but figured it was about time to reread it. 

Last Read: Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope.  It doesn't quite make it onto my favorite's list, but it was still good.

Book I'll read next: that's a bit more difficult to answer.  Maybe North and South?  Watching the movie recently made me want to read the book again.  But then...I don't know.  It all depends on the availability of the book at the time (I have to get it from the library) and just my overall mood once I'm finished with Wives and Daughters.

You get the idea.

3. What book did everyone like but you hated?

Well apparently a lot of people must have liked Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea because it became a classic.  (Don't ask me how that phenomenon occurred.)  Personally, I call it boring.

And Emma agrees with me!  ;)
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Well, I don't usually tell myself that I'll read anything because I don't like to go back on my word--shows you how much I trust myself when it comes to my reading habits *coughcough*--but, well...maybe War and Peace could count. I've been thinking I'd like to read it ever since my dad and brother read it the other year and said that it was good, but I have a feeling that with regards to that book I may never move beyond the thinking stage.  It's just a hunch.
5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Dear me.  Who thinks that far ahead?  One more question like that and you're going to make me feel old!

6. Last page: read it first or wait 'til the end?

Oh!  I never make a point of reading it first!  No indeed.  I always wait until the end.  Always.  (Unless of course things get altogether too suspenseful and I just have to know what happens...or, on the other hand, if things get too boring and I just want to know how it ends without having to read all the dull stuff in between.  You know.)
7. Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Well the word "acknowledgements" certainly doesn't sound very interesting, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a waste of paper and ink because the acknowledgements are really for those people who are being acknowledged in them, right?  And I'm sure they all appreciate it. ;)
8. Which book character would you switch places with?

How about Meg March (Brooke)?  I should like to have my own little home and my own little family.  On second thought though, maybe I'll just stay here and wait for that to come naturally in it's own good time.  (Very wise, Miss March, very wise.)
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

This one.  I received it as a Christmas present in 2003 (wow!  didn't realize it was that long ago!).  I just remember how happy I was to find that it fit snuggly in the large pocket of my new purse (also a Christmas present) and how thrilled I was to be able to conveniently carry both presents along with me to my grandparents house that evening.  Ah!  The good old days!  :) 
10. Name a book you acquired in an interesting way.

Umm.   I actually can't think of a specific one at the moment.   Sorry about that.

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person? won't believe this.  But I can't think of an answer for this one either.  (Strike out number 2.  We are now on our way to being a very boring post indeed.)

12. Which book has been with you most places?

I guess my Bible.  Not that I carry it with me wherever I go, but more so than any other book probably.

13. Any required reading you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

Oh dear.  Nothing's coming to mind for this one either.  (What's wrong with me today?  Lost my thinker?)  Anyhow, I'm guessing if there was a book I hated I probably never reread it.  Why would I want to give a hateful book a second chance anyway?

 14. Used or brand new?

Either or, but I probably have more used books than new books just because...they're cheaper, don't ya know?!  (And I'm not so abnormal as to turn up my nose at a good bargain.)

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.  Ain't never even heerd of him.  No doubt it's the result of my lack of edication.   I ne'er was ter college yeh know.

(Don't ask.  Just don't ask.)

(And no, I am not educated in how to speak uneducatedly so...oh never mind.  Just forget it.)

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Maybe Captain's Courageous.  The book has a bit too much sea lingo in it--tends to drag a bit sometimes (at least the last time I read it, it did)--but then...I don't know.  They're almost completely different stories really, so it's kind of hard to compare them.   But no.  I think I do like the movie better.   There.

17. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Cookbooks included?  Well then, yes!  Not that I've actually read this one, mostly I've just looked at the pictures. But that was enough.  ;)

My siblings and I used to love to get this book out and go page by page choosing which dessert on each page we liked best.  Talk about teasing oneself with unattainable pleasures!

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My own.  Haha.  ;P 

Probably most any one of my siblings.  (Though even some of my siblings have odd taste in books sometimes.  *shakes head sadly*)

And look at that!  We've come to the end of the questions. 

I've decided after all not to tag anyone today--far too lazy--so instead we'll just move on immediately to the second tag.  I was tagged for this one by MovieCritic who was in fact the creator of this tag.  Cool, right?  You can check out MovieCritic's original post here.

And now.  The tag.


 1. Be honest.  (When am I not?)
2. Put an asterisk next to the ones you have read all the way through. Put an addition sign next to the ones you have started.  (And I'm going to be put two asterisks next to the one's my dad read aloud to me, because even though I didn't read them myself I feel like they ought to count.)
3. Tag as many people as these books that you have read.  (*gulp*  Something tells me I'm going to be breaking rules again...)
Thanks for the tag, MovieCritic!  This should be fun!  :D

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
2. Gormenghast Trilogy - Mervyn Peake
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*

4. Temple of the Golden Pavilion - Yukio Mishima
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*
6. The Story of the Eye - George Bataille
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. Adrift on the Nile - Naguib Mahfouz
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens*

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott*
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Rhinoceros - Eugene Ionesco
15. Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino
16. The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata
17. Woman in the Dunes - Abe Kobo
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Feast of the Goat - Mario Vargas Llosa
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gogol's Wife - Tomasso Landolfi
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. Ferdydurke - Gombrowicz
26. Narcissus and Goldmund - Herman Hesse
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
33. Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn - Mark Twain*
34. Emma -Jane Austen*
35. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
36. Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Naomi - Junichiro Tanizaki
39. Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino
40. The Joke - Milan Kundera
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. Labyrinths - Gorge Luis Borges
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. Under My Skin - Doris Lessing
46. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery*

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. Don Quixote - Miguel Cervantes

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Absalom Absalom - William Faulkner
51. Beloved - Toni Morrison
52. The Flounder - Gunther Grass
53. Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*
55. My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
56. A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens*
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Idiot - Fodor Dostoevesky
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
64. Death on the Installment Plan - Celine
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas**

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens*
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Metamorphosis - Kafka
74. Epitaph of a Small Winner - Machado De Assis
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. The Light House - Virginia Woolf
80. Disgrace - John Maxwell Coetzee
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens**
82. Zorba the Greek Nikos Kazantzakis
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Box Man - Abe Kobo
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. The Stranger - Camus
88. Acquainted with the Night - Heinrich Boll
89. Don't Call It Night - Amos Oz
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pychon
94. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
100. Metamorphosis - Ovid

Okay so I've read/listened to thirteen of these books.  That's not hugely impressive (if they'd only included more Jane Austen and Charles Dickens I would have been set!), but it's a comfort at least to know that I've read double the amount BBC expected of me!  *pats self on back*
This was quite fun and it's making me want to read more.  I don't care for most of the titles on the list, but I really should read The Wind in the Willows, and Alice in Wonderland sometime.  Middlemarch probably wouldn't be a bad idea either.  Also, there's that War and Peace again...
Thank you so much for the tag, MovieCritic!!  I enjoyed it! 
And now I must be off.
Farewell my friends!  Go and read a good book!

Yours as ever,
Miss March

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Doctor Thorne // movie review

I watched this movie for the second and third time just the other week so while the memory of it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd give you some of my thoughts on it. 

I realize this is the soundtrack case not the dvd case, but I liked
it so I decided to use it anyway.  :)
~The Story~

(Following summary taken from the back of the DVD)

Doctor Thorne lives a quiet life with niece Mary in Greshamsbury, home of the Gresham family.  Unbeknownst to others, the Greshams have lost their fortune and the snobbish matriarch Lady Arabella has a scheme to regain it via an arranged marriage with her son and an American heiress.  However, her son is in love with Mary, which complicates Lady Arabella's plans. 

(Poor Lady Arabelle.  <cough>  Not.  Actually, seeing her plans thwarted was an absolute delight and pleasure.  ;))

Doctor Thorne is based off of the novel by the same name written by Anthony Trollope, a contemporary of Charles Dickens.  I'd never actually heard of Anthony Trollope until my brother introduced me to the movie, but apparently he wrote an enormous amount of novels.  And apparently they're really good, too, because he is now a new favorite author of my brother and sister-in-law.  :) 

Anyway, about the movie.  I like this movie.  It doesn't come up to the standard of Pride and Prejudice and Emma of course (for one thing it really should have been longer), but there's a lot of excellent characters in it and the story itself is entertaining.  It has a bit of a comedic feel to it, some of the characters being more exaggerated and caricatured than in other period dramas, but there are definitely some serious and touching moments as well. 

The main plotline is centered around Mary and Frank's romance and Lady Arabella's attempts to keep them apart (as stated in the above synopsis).  Mary has known the Gresham family all her life and has practically been an adopted member of the family, which makes it all the worse when Lady Arabella suddenly turns against her because of her love for Frank.  It was all right for Mary to be a childhood playmate for the Gresham children, but to be the wife of the Greshams' only son?  Never. 

Despite the fact that Mary and Frank's romance takes center stage throughout the film, Doctor Thorne would really be considered the main character.  (Which is cool because how often do you have a middle-aged single man as the main character?  Am I right?)  I guess you could say that the story is sort of seen through Doctor Thorne's eyes, and as he's involved in all the characters lives he naturally becomes involved in all their secrets and intrigues. 
There's much more to story than what I'm mentioning here, but I don't think it's quite the thing to tell the entire story in one's review so...I'll refrain. 
~The Characters~   

Mary Thorne

I like Mary, though I do think her character could have been a bit more fleshed out.  She's very sweet and very kind (which is how she's supposed to be of course), but sometimes her reactions to things seemed a bit cold to me (like her response to a certain gentleman's death for instance?).  Perhaps though that's simply in keeping with her character and personality, as she does seem to be the sort of person who stuffs her feelings in an attempt to be strong for everyone else.   (Still, I would have liked to see a bit more emotion from her all the same.)
Frank Gresham

Oh!  I love Frank.  He's just cool.  The first time I watched the movie I admit I thought of him as more of a one-dimensional Mr. Nice Guy, but on a second viewing I discovered a lot more depth to his character.  He's actually quite funny.  And I love how doesn't care a fig about money.  He wants to marry Mary.  So she's poor.  So what?  <spoilers> And even when he discovers she's a rich heiress it makes no difference to him whatsoever.  He doesn't get awkward and start the whole "now I'm not worthy of you because you're richer than me" thing.  No indeed.  <end spoilers>  He loves her and if she'll have him he'll marry her.  It's as simple as that. 
Augusta Gresham
I didn't care for Augusta at first.  For one thing, she's a tattler and sides with her mother against Frank and Mary.  But as the movie goes on I do start to feel for her somewhat and to root for her.  And yeah, they definitely could have had a more satisfactory ending for her in my opinion.
Beatrice Gresham 
She's the nice sister.  She stands up for Frank and Mary from the first and doesn't seem to be overly concerned about the family's position or whether they're able to save the estate or not.  
Lady Arabella Gresham
Everybody's favorite person.  (Not.)  She's a very strong-willed woman with a  very high opinion of herself and her family's position.  Which is why it's so hard for her to come to terms with the fact that they owe practically the entire value of their estate to the neighboring baronet, Sir Roger Scatcherd, who could call in the debt at just about any moment and take over their home without a second thought.  That is why Frank must "marry money".  It's essential to the well-being of the family.  And Lady Arabella will not rest until she sees that mission fulfilled.  (Poor Frank.)
Francis Gresham
Squire of Greshamsbury.  Father to Frank, Augusta and Beatrice.  Husband to <gulp> Lady Arabella.  (Such a happy couple they are.)  (Yes, that was sarcasm.)  Mr. Gresham has unfortunately spent his money recklessly and foolishly over the years and is therefore much to blame in the family's present uncomfortable circumstances.  He's a kind hearted gentleman though.  And a good friend of Doctor Thorne's.  He feels badly about his wife's treatment of Mary but doesn't have the gumption to stand up to her, especially as their ill-fortune is the root of the problem, and that was mostly his fault.
Countess de Courcy
(That other lady we all love so much.  Ha.)  She's married to Lady Arabella's brother, the Earl de Courcy, and has made it her mission to help Lady Arabella in saving the Gresham family from ruin.  In other words she's picked a wife for Frank and she's going to keep at him until he "does his duty."  Some of the scenes with her are actually quite funny because she treats Frank like a little boy that must be guided in his every move and Frank, finding it hard to be patient with her, can't keep the sarcasm out of his voice much of the time.
Earl de Courcy
(Sorry.  Couldn't find a very good picture of him.)  Anyway, this is the Earl de Courcy, husband to the Countess de Courcy, brother to Lady Arabella, and...that's about it.  There's not much more to know about him really.
Lord Porlock
Son of the Count and Countess de Courcy.  Cousin to Frank.  Admirer of Miss Dunstable (who I haven't mentioned yet), and yeah, I think that pretty much covers it.  I haven't much of an opinion on him because there isn't much to have an opinion on.  (But pray, what kind of a name is Porlock?!  Sounds like "potluck" or "pork chop" or "poor luck" or something.)  (Did you have poor luck finding a pork chop at the potluck my good Porlock?  Mwahaha!  I'm so funny today.  ;P)
Lady Alexandrina
Daughter of the Count and Countess de Courcy, and *shivers*...just as bad as her mother.  Such an annoying person.  Let's not even talk about her.
Mr. Moffatt
Augusta Gresham's rich fiancé.  (Temporarily at least.)  (Ooops.  That was a spoiler, wasn't it?)  Anyway, he's a "thorough-paced reformer".  (A "thorough-paced reformer.")  A horrible public speaker.  And I don't know.  I don't really care about him that much, but I do feel sorry for him when he steps up to make his speech.  *gulp*  Poor man.  That was so incredibly awkward.
Miss Dunstable
A rich American heiress and Aunt de Courcy's chosen bride for Frank Gresham.  She's great though.  She jokes about her lovers and all the proposals she's expecting to get and then comes right out and tells Frank to admit it, it's not her beauty but her dollars that is so attractive to men.  She's very down-to-earth and refreshing, and she and Frank actually become friends.  But oh! poor Aunt de Courcy.  She sees them talking and laughing together and is sure everything is going according to plan.  How was she to know that Frank was telling Miss Dunstable all about Mary and Miss Dunstable actually encouraging him not to give her up?  To come so close and to fail so dismally.  Sorry, Aunt de Courcy.
Sir Roger Scatcherd
He's a complicated character.  Rough and prideful and not much caring of other people's feelings.  He drinks too much and is harsh and rude to his wife; and yet now and then you do see some glimmerings of a kind heart underneath.  There's a lot more to his story but I'm not sure how much to say for fear of spoilers.  I don't mind spoilers myself but some people seem to think they ought not to be revealed.  So.  We move on.
Louis Scatcherd
A charming fellow.  (Okay, maybe not.)  He likes to think he's charming but I'm afraid he does very little to prove it.  Sadly he takes after his father in the matter of drink and being rude to his mother, and for most of the movie he makes you very nervous because you're not sure what horrible thing he's going to do.  Naturally he decides he wants to marry Mary, and (naturally again) she doesn't share is enthusiasm.  So he's mad.  And jealous of Frank.  And all that.  And we just wish he could go jump down a well, right?  Uh, yeah.  That is until you start to realize that he really did have a lot stacked against him growing up with a father like Sir Roger.  And then when his last scene comes...but, 'hem, no spoilers.  All that to say I was totally feeling sorry for him by the end and I wish things could have been different for him.
Lady Scatcherd
Such a sweet, adorable person.  She has a hard time of it, considering the men in her life, but she's a sweet soul.  And what's really cool about her is that she loves her husband and son very much despite their ill treatment of her.
Doctor Thorne
Last, but certainly not least!  Doctor Thorne.  Ohhhhh!  He's the best!  Literally my favorite character in the whole movie.  (Well he is the hero after all.)  He's such a wonderful person.   So calm and reasonable and considerate.  And yet at the same time, he's not perfect.  He does get angry and he's not entirely immune to holding grudges--for a time at least.  But then he's so forgiving too.  His friendship with Sir Roger is a huge example of that.  <spoilers> Because Sir Roger killed Doctor Thorne's brother, but Doctor Thorne is reasonable enough to look at the case from all angles, to concede that Sir Roger didn't mean to do it, and to look past it and see the good in Sir Roger despite everything.  That's just really amazing to me.  And I love that about Doctor Throne. <end spoilers>  He's very tender-hearted and considerate of other people's feelings.  When Louis Scatcherd tells of his plans to make Mary his wife, Doctor Thorne doesn't douse him right off the bat, he merely cautions him to take his time and not rush into anything.  (Even though we all know that the doctor would never want Mary to marry Sir Louis.)  He let's things take their course and gives advice only when he thinks it's absolutely necessary. 

Well, I guess that covers just about all the characters.  I hope that proved somewhat interesting.  And now I find I haven't much else to say so I'll draw this post to a close.  I highly recommend this movie if you're looking for a new, fun period drama to watch.  And if you're one of those people who watches movies more for the costumes than for the story itself well, here's a few pictures to get you interested.  :)
I'd say there's some pretty dresses in there, wouldn't you? 
Caution: On the subject of dresses, there are a few with very low necklines.  Just wanted to make you aware of that in case that's something you're uncomfortable with.  (Of course if you watch movies like Pride and Prejudice and Amazing Grace I think I can safely say this one would be okay, too.  :))
A final picture of Mary and Doctor Thorne because it seems fitting to end on them.

 And now, have you seen this movie?
What did you think of it?
Do you have any good suggestions of other period dramas I should see?