Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Few of My Favorites...

Here are, in order, the movies that the rest of the "Can you Guess" quotes came from. They are some of my very favorite, and too good to not know about!

* * * * * *
#1 Monkey Business (1952)

Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is a research chemist working with chimps in search of a formula that will restore youth. His lovely wife Edwina (Ginger Rogers) is there for him every step of the way and rather unexpectedly gets caught up in what has to be one the most zany and fun "experiments" of all time. Marilyn Monroe stars in a small part as the secretary of Barnaby's boss, and it is she who inspires Edwina to shout that wonderfully delicious quote.

If you haven't seen this movie yet you really should try to find a copy to view. It gets me laughing every time, and it's so much fun to see the usually demure and sophisticated Ginger Rogers acting the complete opposite. It's worth it just to see her "hall dancing" routine!

* * * * * * * *
#2 The Longest Day (1962)

The Longest Day is the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II on June 6th, 1944. Seen from the perspectives of the Germans, U.S., Britain, and the Free French, it places you right there with the men who took part in the five invasion points that made up the operation. There are so many wonderful actors who took part in this movie, it's easy to miss them if you blink! These include John Wayne, Rod Steiger, Sal Mineo, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Richard Burton, and many others--supposedly 42 international stars!

Though a bit on the long side (just shy of 3 hours) this wonderful movie is well worth seeing just for the fact that it pays tribute to the men who fought to preserve our freedom--men who were great, men who were willing to give everything for a good cause--men who's memories we should always keep alive.

* * * * * * * *

#4 Twelve Angry Men (1957)

Henry Fonda stars in this captivating and thought-provoking film as Juror #8. In what appears to be an open and shut case against an eighteen year old boy accused of murdering his own father, it quickly becomes apparent that there may be more to the story than what lies on the surface.

Full of great debating and wisdom about the truth behind people's motives, this movie is one on my "must-see" list. Lee J. Cobb is brilliant as Juror #3, and this was the movie that made me really start to like Henry Fonda.

* * * * * * * *

#6 A Lady Takes a Chance (1943)

This deliciously fun movie stars Jean Arthur as Molly J. Truesdale, a city girl on a bus tour of the West. Her trip is irrevocably changed when she runs into Duke Hudkins, a handsome rodeo cowboy with a disarming grin, who makes her forget all of the beaus she's left behind...and the time.

What follows is a hilarious series of "happenings" that Molly certainly was not planning on...

* * * * * * * *

#7 The Wild One (1953)

The Wild One stars Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler, the misfit leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, a gang that rides into the town of Wrightsville one day and sets it on its ear. They didn't mean to start any real trouble, but it happens nevertheless, and a group of overly-eager citizens are on the hunt for Johnny, ready to make him pay for crimes he didn't commit.

Mary Murphy is just lovely as Kathy Bleeker, the girl Johnny just happens to fall for, without knowing that she's the daughter of the local sheriff...and Johnny despises the law. I love everything about her...her hair, her makeup, her should see how often she has to run in those heels!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Can you guess?

Clare posted this on her blog awhile ago, and it was so much fun I thought that I just might take a stab at it. The only problem was skimping my list down to the ten you were supposed to have. I easily had double that to start off with! *sigh* I guess I'll just have to do this game again...

Here are the rules:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

*And here are my quotes:

1. I heard what he said, you peroxide kissing bug! I'll pull that blonde hair out by its black roots!

2. I don't have to tell you the story. You all know it. Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts. You guys are the Fighting 29th.

3. Randolph, your father's warned you. If you make another bomb, you'll get spanked. ---Bye Bye Birdie, guessed by Meghan

4. Brother, I've seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day, but this little display takes the cake. Y'all come in here with your hearts bleedin' all over the floor about slum kids and injustice; you listen to some fairy tales; suddenly you start gettin' through to some of these old ladies... well, you're not getting through to me, I've had enough! WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU GUYS? You all know he's guilty. He's got to burn! You're letting him slip through our fingers.

5. That's a good idea. Four unidentifiable high school students lost their lives early this morning when their toy rocket exploded. ---October Sky, guessed by Kaila

6. Remember what you told me? "Women is like socks... you gotta change 'em regular."

7. I don't get you. I don't get your act at all, and I don't think you do either. I don't think you know what you're trying to do or how to go about it. I think you're stupid. Real stupid and real lucky. Last night you scraped by, just barely; but a man's dead on account of something you let get started even though you didn't start it.

8. Well, that makes it necessary for me to stop in again. Matthew 5:39. Don't bother looking it up, it's the bit about the other cheek. ---Guys and Dolls, guessed by Mandy

9. But Pop, I've seen things that I know are so wrong. Now how can I go back to school and keep my mind on... on things that are just in books, that-that-that aren't people living? ---On the Waterfront, guessed by Clare

10. Oh... one other thing. If you guys ever have kids and one of them when he's eight years old accidentally sets fire to the living room rug... go easy on him. ---Back to the Future, guessed by Kaila

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Seize the Day...

"Opportunities don't often come along.
So, when they do, you have to grab them."

~Audrey Hepburn

Lazy, Crazy, Day...

Elizabeth had a friend over this weekend. A sweet little girl that she considers another "sister". It was so nice to hear the sound of their laughter and to feel content knowing that Elizabeth would be getting her fill of dolls, dress-up, and such.

Somehow they get all sorts of ideas into their heads that would be "fun" to do, that (not so) surprisingly calls for big sis Em to help! I don't really mind, though. We don't get too many visitors way out here, so even if it's just a friend of Elizabeth's, it's still a nice change of pace.

They begged for me to take them down to the "swamp" to "collect snail shells". It's really just a marshy area down a hill in our woods, but they can easily spend hours there searching for the old shells that can be found there in abundance. They looked so cute, each wearing a pair of much too big galoshes, and carrying old, empty coffee tins. One carried a beat up, old butterfly net over her shoulder, while the other had her hands full enough with other essential tools they might have need of. I followed close behind, armed with a chair and a book or two to keep an eye on them and to be sure they wouldn't get into any trouble.

My thoughts kept straying from my book, though, as the sound of their laughter and their exclamations over "the pretty shells" reached my ears.

It made me almost wish that I was ten again; when life was still so completely carefree, when I was still young enough to think that hunting for snail shells was the most glorious way to wile away an afternoon. Sometimes growing up doesn't seem so wonderful after all...

Friday, April 18, 2008


Elizabeth Taylor

One can never consent to creep when one has an impulse to soar.

*Helen Keller*

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ballad of a Soldier...

Ballad of a Soldier is a sweet Russian film made in 1959. It tells the story of Aloysha, a nineteen year old boy serving in the Russian army during World War II, and Shura a girl he meets on his journey home to fix his mother's roof.

He rather accidentally merits a medal for a heroic act he commits on the front, but he asks for a few days leave to visit his mother instead. This movie is definitely one of my favorites and so absorbing that you forget that you are reading subtitles!

Though, really only covering a few days in Aloysha's life, you really get a good glimpse of his character and (at least for me) this movie is easily a tear-jerker. It shows how much you can touch a person's life just by a kind word or a brief meeting. Aloysha seems to belong to one of the class of diminishing men...kind, thoughtful, sweet, shy...his character is a favorite of mine.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, I would definitely recommend it. It isn't easily found, but worth the hunt!

A Girl Should Be...

Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

Coco Chanel

Tied up in brown string...

I love writing letters. The good, newsy, old-fashioned kind where you actually use a pen and a piece of paper to jot down your thoughts to a friend or loved one.

Some people think it's silly and a waste of precious time and money when there is email so readily available and free, but I think it shows that you put more thought and care into it; that the person you are writing to is important enough to squeeze a few minutes out of your day for.

I have a list as long as my arm right now of people that I'm writing to, or need to write to, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. I like to make the envelopes and stationery myself out of sweet or unusual papers that I have found, and after I have written my letter I like to seal them with some pretty colored wax and a stamp with my initial on it.

I love the whole experience of letter writing. The tumbling of words in your mind as you try to perfectly describe a situation for someone who is hundreds or maybe thousands of miles away, the eager anticipation as you wait to see if you will get a reply, the quick, running trips out to the mailbox to see if anything interesting has arrived with your name on it, the scritch-scratch of pen against paper and the smell of new ink before it has dried; these are the things that for me, can never, ever be replaced with modern technology. Besides, who has ever heard of anyone stumbling across a dusty, interesting-looking, tied-up-with-brown-string, packet of printed off emails up in the attic? *smile*

Monday, April 14, 2008

Otherwise Known as Freckle Face...

These are the days when my Daddy starts to remember my age old nickname...

When the snow has melted away and the grass starts turning green once again, and everything seems to revel and bloom in the warm sunshine, I start to bloom, too. Not in the typical sense, mind you, but more freckles make their appearance across my face and the ones that had already been there, grow stronger.

I can't remember a time when my Daddy hasn't called me "freckle face". When I was a little girl, I used to love that moment when he would first notice my new freckles; when he would reach out one finger and trace the path they made across my face. With my hands clasped tightly behind my back, I would lean close and beam up at him, hoping he would notice the freckles that tripped lightly across my nose and were sprinkled across my cheeks like cinnamon, without my saying anything. "There's my freckle face," he would finally say. "You look just like your Mother." It was one of my proudest moments, and I would sigh in blissful content. *smile*

It's almost a rite of spring to me. Sun, Spring, Warmth, equals...freckles! I always hurry with my work on the first nice day, just so I can rush outside and feel the warm sun against my face once more. In my eagerness, I always seem to get a bit scorched...but I really don't mind. It's worth it, just for those few blissful hours.

When I was little I used to think that freckles were some fun, magical, sort of one of those t.v. commercials that profess that you can make a quick and delicious dinner if you will just add water to their product...only with freckles you just add sun! I would rush in from outdoors after a few hours, to see if the sun "worked". And sure enough, it always had. There's still some of that wonderment in me...I'm still clinging to the thought, silly or not, that freckles are just plain, honest to goodness, no-doubt-about-it, magical.

For quite awhile I loved my freckles, then I hated them, then I loved them again. I think I went back and forth between those two thoughts, many, many times growing up. But I really do love them, and I'm going to keep on.

So...once more Spring has come. And once more I ran outside and lay in our hammock just to feel the glorious warmth on my face. My small sister begs me to come and play with her, but as pull her down beside me to feel Spring, too, I laughingly tell her, "Not now, I'm getting my "freckle soak".

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
~Mark Twain

She's Seeing Things...

Elizabeth is ten and one day she would like to be a photographer....

* * * * *

She snapped this photo the other day of two vintage spools of thread on one of our old chests and I liked it so much I had to "steal" it and post it here for you to see, too!

She is a sweet little sister and is always so creative and imaginative...I know she'll be able to do anything she sets her mind to.

If you'd like to leave a comment for her, I know she'd be thrilled! *smile*

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Goodbye, Chuck...

"For an actor, there is no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can't part with you, which is why I won't exclude you from this stage in my life. ... For now, I'm not changing anything. I'll insist on work when I can; the doctors will insist on rest when I must. If you see a little less spring to my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you'll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway."

(From a taped announcement concerning him having symptoms of Alzheimer's disease)

* * * * *
Charlton Heston
Born: October 4, 1924
Died: April 5, 2008
* * * * *

Charlton Heston was such a great actor, and he seemed like such a nice man. His story closely touched my heart, as he suffered from Alzheimer's disease, like the mother of a close friend of our family did. We helped care for her as the disease progressed; we were there to see her as she changed to just a mere shadow of her former self; we were even with her as she slipped from this world to the next. To see them go is hard, especially like that, but at the same time we can be grateful that they no longer have pain, that they are once more well and whole again...

I guess I just wanted to long, Mr. Heston. We will always love you!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Best Years of Our Lives...

This beautiful and thought-provoking film is about three returning servicemen who fight to adjust to life after World War II. The story revolves around Al Stephenson (Fredric March), Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), as they are reunited with the people they left behind. It deals with so many of the issues that servicemen face when they find they are suddenly home again after being gone for months or even years, and realize that their life is suddenly completely changed from what it had been. It won seven Academy Awards, including those for Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Harold Russell), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Harold Russell was a war veteran himself...not an actor. He lost both of his hands in a ship explosion and was actually "discovered" when director William Wyler saw an army training film called "Diary of a Sergeant" that Russell had appeared in about the rehabilitation of injured servicemen. Besides the Oscar he received for Best Supporting Actor (which surprised everyone very much that he actually won) he also received a special Academy Award at the Oscars for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives", making him the only person to win two Oscars for the same performance. He is definitely my favorite character in the whole film--his performance broke my heart...though he wasn't an actor, he played the part much better than one could have, because he had experienced and felt so many of the same things his character did. Just for his performance alone this movie is worthwhile.

Wyler also pulled the rest of his crew from the ranks of WWII veterans--props, mixers, grips, etc--to give the film more of a documentary-style realism. This movie is definitely a must-see.

[after Peggy tells her parents that they never had any trouble in their relationship]

Milly Stephenson: "We never had any trouble." How many times have I told you I hated you and believed it in my heart? How many times have you said you were sick and tired of me; that we were all washed up? How many times have we had to fall in love all over again?

Peggy: What d'ya do before the war, Fred?
Fred: I was a fountain attendant...soda jerk...Surprised?

Peggy: Yes, a little. I betcha you mixed up a fine ice cream soda.

Fred: You're darn right. I was an expert behind that fountain. I used to toss a scoop of ice cream in the air, adjust for wind drift, velocity, altitude. Then wham, in the cone every time. I figured that's where I really learned to drop bombs.

Homer: What about us? We're all right, aren't we?

Wilma: No, listen to me, Homer.

Homer: I'm listening.

Wilma: You wrote me that when you got home, you and I were going to be married. If you wrote that once, you wrote it a hundred times. Isn't that true?

Homer: Yes, but things are different now.

Wilma: Have you changed your mind?

Homer: Have I said anything about changing my mind?

Wilma: No. That's just it. You haven't said anything about anything...I don't know what to think, Homer. All I know is, I was in love with you when you left and I'm in love with you now. Other things may have changed, but that hasn't.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Anne Frank and Friends

How true Daddy's words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
~Anne Frank

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Walking in the Rain...

I looked out the window tonight, as dusk was just starting to settle over our land and rain was pouring down in great sheets, and I had such a desire to be out of the house and out in the weather.

I hurried to put on my raincoat, with a grubby sweatshirt and a pair of old jeans underneath, only stopping for a moment to stumble into a set of blue muck boots. As I stepped out the door, the air smelled so fresh, and clean, and new to me, as it always seems to when a hard rain has come.

I started off with the hood of my raincoat tied tightly about my head, but before I knew it I had untied the knots that held it there, and let it slip forgotten to my back; the rain making my hair curl in tendrils about my face, and the wind gently tugging open the edges of my jacket. Our puppy Holly went with me, too, happy to be let loose in the outdoors, bounding and playful with pent up energy.

My hair and jeans were soaked by the time I came in, but I really didn't care. It was worth it to be alive and well, alone with my soul and my God in the the great outdoors. Holly romped playfully at my feet, stopping occasionally to wait for me to catch up, or to take a happy-go-lucky nip at my raincoat.

We scared up all sorts of rabbits and birds, who would look up in surprise at seeing a "people" out in the wet, and then would dash off to hide once more in the underbrush, their dark eyes following our steps closely.

We stumbled across a small pool looking just like something from a fairy story, in amongst the trees that line the path that we walk. It hadn't been there before, but had come with all of the rain and was now near knee-deep. Holly was happy to run about in it, splashing and joyful with her tongue hanging out, trying to get me wet, too, but I was so overcome by the unexpected beauty of it, that I could only stand there, reverently touching the moss that clung to an old weathered oak, while the rain collected like dew on my eyelashes and ran in rivulets down the bridge of my nose. All that I could do was lift my face to the heavens and thank God for being alive.

Before long, as the sun fell in the sky and the rain began to seep through my clothes, I started to get cold, so we headed for home, the mud pulling noisily at our feet.

There's nothing quite like coming indoors all wet and tired, and changing into warm, sweet-smelling clothes...