Saturday, May 31, 2008


Veronica Lake

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

Coco Chanel

One Kitten, Two Kitten...

Elizabeth Taylor

We have a new batch of kittens--the first in a long time--that are exactly one week old today. There are five of them and we're pretty sure there are three girls and two boys.

We've never really been cat people in our grandfather has always hated cats...I mean hated cats, so growing up my dad, being the typical boy and wanting to be just like his daddy, hated cats too. It wasn't until we moved here to our small farm and got a few of our own outdoor cats that he realized how nice they can be. I would still say we are dog-people, but I do really love my kitties. There's just something about a week old kitten that crawls right up into your heart just can't help liking the sweet small things.

You'll have to help me think of some ideas for names for them. Right now they are nameless...and even though I'm not sure which ones or how many we're going to keep, I just hate the thought of it. *smile* We've had such a wide variety of names for our cats over the few years we've been here we've just about run out of ideas at the moment. We've had half-way normal sorts of names like Willum (and his namesake, Wilhemina), to the down-right silly ones like CryBaby, to the whimsical, taken from a beloved childhood storybook, Violet Pickles...

Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks to You...

Just a note to let you know that I'm still here...

I've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to post the good, newsy, thoughts-of-my-soul, sort of post I've been longing to. I love to hear from you...for me, there is nothing quite like the thrill I get when I see an email proclaiming "you have received a new comment" sitting in my inbox waiting for me. The honest-to-goodness reason I have comment moderation enabled is not because I am worried about inappropriate comments, but is because I am afraid of missing one! *blushes*

I'll be sharing more about my life can count on it! Even if I'm the only one reading it, it does wonders for my soul to tap out the thoughts that are stirring in my head and refuse to be quieted; it's somehow heartening to see them neatly typed out and in print.

Thank you so much for the support and encouragement you continually give to me! Truthfully, I've considered abandoning my blog a good many times...mostly because of how time consuming it can be, and as embarrassing as it sounds, if I get an idea in my head that my writing is boring and not up to par, or that I have no one caring to read, I can easily get discouraged and think that it's not worth the effort. I'm always encouraged to keep going, though, by your sweet comments...I think I'd really miss writing here if I ever decided to stop. Who knew blogging could be so much fun?

Much love,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

War Posters...

I stumbled across these lovely posters from World War II the other day and I thought you might enjoy seeing them as much as I did. These are all aimed towards the women left behind and cover a wide variety of topics, from keeping up the morale of deployed soldiers to getting a war job, and I have to say, they certainly have me convinced! *smile*

Isn't she lovely? The look on her face is perfect and I really like her blue uniform.

It's probably the romantic in me talking, but don't you just love the scene depicted in this poster?

This is my definite favorite out of the bunch.
I think they perfectly captured an ideal American woman of the time.
Beautiful, patriotic, faithful, and hardworking...what more could you want?
(And don't you just love her red scarf?)

I enjoyed seeing this poster from the Ladies Auxiliary, promoting letter writing to keep up the morale of the soldiers. I treasure war letters (especially those from WWII) and since I enjoy corresponding with a few of the modern day counterparts to these American military men, this poster was doubly special to me.

This is terrible...but something about the phrasing of this poster makes me want to giggle! Can't you just hear them reading this in a husky, dramatic tone?
I really like this one, except for the fact that the women look almost exactly alike except for their hair. Were they supposed to, or was the artist just a bit on the unimaginative side?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Curly Top...

Shirley Temple

Isn't she simply darling?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guess and Guess Again...Answers...

Here are, in order, the remaining three movies that Sarah's "Guess and Guess Again" quotes came from.

* * * * * *
#5 The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

"I made plans, Will, matrimonial plans."
"Now you ain't ever heard me say the word matrimony."
"Well, now, I'm willing to overlook that."

Paul Newman is Ben Quick in this 1958 movie that accurately captures that lazy summer feeling. Ben Quick is a man not liked by many. Run out of several towns after complaints that he was the one setting fire to neighborhood barns, he meets the Varner girls as he starts his life all over again in a new place with a whole set of new people. Clara (Joanne Woodward, Newman's future wife) and Eula Varner (Lee Remick) "belong" to Will Varner (Orson Welles, their father/father-in-law), the big man in town who just happens to own most everything in it. He owns a big white house and when he wants something he expects it to be done.

Both men are cut out of the same cloth and strike up an odd sort of friendship. Ben, ambitious and willing to do anything to get where he wants to go, and Will, pushy and too used to getting his own way, are soon plotting and scheming all sorts of hi-jinks.

* * * * * *
#6 A Place in the Sun (1951)

"I'll go on loving you for as long as I live."
"Love me for the time I have left. Then, forget me."

Montgomery Clift is brilliant as George Eastman in this 1951 movie. Also starring Elizabeth Taylor (as Angela Vickers), Shelley Winters (as Alice Tripp), and Anne Revere (as Hannah Eastman). George visits a wealthy uncle who had promised him a job opportunity in his large factory, and though he does receive the job, his uncle promptly forgets all about him.

George then falls hard for Angela, a high society girl who is beautiful and charming, but who doesn't take the least notice of him. There is Alice, though. A drab, fellow factory worker who, it is plain to see, thinks George is simply wonderful.

It's interesting to see this story develop; to witness how what might have been a beautiful love story for the characters, ends up being a sad, intriguing story, filled with "what-could-have-been's", as it takes a dark turn when each character simply doesn't notice what the situations really are, or forsakes their morals.

* * * * * *
#10 Ballad of a Soldier (1959)

"He might have become a farmer,
or a great doctor, or a wonderful father.
Who knows what such a boy had it in him to be?
But he was, and will remain forever in our memory - a soldier, a hero, and our friend."

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...

I wrote a review for this movie previously...if you would like to read the rest of it, you can see it here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

And So We Remember...

The pages of the calendar have flipped past and Memorial Day has come again. On this day, more so than other days, my thoughts have turned with gratitude to the men and women who gave their lives so that we may be free. How can I ever express what I truly feel in my heart?

I see them in my mind, one long, seemingly never-ending line marching past as far as the eye can see. Soldiers of all classes of life, of all races, with all sorts of unique interests and lifestyles, all united by the stark, terrible, reality of death. Death too soon, too sudden. These are the men and women who made America great.
If we forget where we have come from, where will we be? If we forget our soldiers, we forget a piece of ourselves. At the end of the day, the lives that were lost, the blood that was shed, and all of the pain and sorrow will have been for nothing--will have been pointless--if we let their memory die. The dead have paid the ultimate price, and they deserve no less. I value my freedom and my rights so much and I don't think there is a day that goes by without my thinking of the men and women who enabled me to have them. I want to live my life in a way that will honor them. I want to live my life in a way they never had a chance to. If we forget...who will remember them?

Their words whisper to us across the decaying effects of time...and remind us that we've forgotten how much we really have to be thankful for. The very least we can do is support our soldiers. We owe it to them and all those who went before them.
In reality, my feet never touched the manicured lawn of a cemetery today. I don't have any close relatives with military honors to mourn. But in my heart I knelt at the foot of a forgotten soldier; I stood on Mount Suribachi where that immortal flag was raised; I reverently roamed the beaches of Normandy where the blood of so many was spilled. And I wept. With gratefulness and real sorrow. I may not have known these soldiers, but they are my heroes just the same.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guess and Guess Again...

My darling sister Sarah loves old movies as much as I do (well, at least nearly as much ☺). She had so much fun with the movie quote guessing game that I posted awhile back, that she just had to make one up herself. She doesn't have a blog of her own, so I was happy to post it here. She came up with some great quotes...from some definite favorite movies. Have fun guessing! are her quotes!

1. "As the months went past, he came to see the light once more as well as to feel its warmth; to see first the glory of the sun, and then the mild splendour of the moon, and at last the evening star. And then one day, when our firstborn was put into his arms, he could see that the boy had inherited his own eyes as they once were... large, brilliant and black." ---Jane Eyre (1944), guessed by Emma

2. "Remember that night at the Garden, you came down to my dressing room and said, 'Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson.' Remember that? 'This ain't your night'. My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart!" ---On the Waterfront, guessed by Clare

3. "I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies I couldn't possibly meet anyone else."

"Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know." ---Charade, guessed by Elisabeth

4. "The truth of God's love is not that he allows bad things to happen. It's His promise that He'll be here with us when they do." ---Love Comes Softly, guessed by Meghan

5. "I made plans, Will, matrimonial plans."
"Now you ain't ever heard me say the word matrimony."
"Well, now, I'm willing to overlook that."

6."I'll go on loving you for as long as I live."
"Love me for the time I have left. Then, forget me."

7. "That is exactly what he should be! Would you want to marry a wicked man?"

"Well, I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't." ---Anne of Avonlea, guessed by Emma

8. "If you take your nose out of the air for one second you'll see you're designer, I'm vintage. You've got a mansion, I've got a five floor walkup. You're a snotty little miss cranky pants and I go with the flow." ---What a Girl Wants, guessed by Meghan

9. "....and you sittin' there waitin' for him, jes' like a spider! " ---Gone with the Wind, guessed by Elisabeth

10. "He might have become a farmer, or a great doctor, or a wonderful father. Who knows what such a boy had it in him to be? But he was, and will remain forever in our memory - a soldier, a hero, and our friend."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer...

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) is a sweetly endearing movie starring Shirley Temple (as Susan Turner), Cary Grant (as Richard Nugent), and Myrna Loy (as Shirley's sister Margaret Turner). My sister and I adored Shirley Temple as children (actually I still do) and would watch all of her movies over and over again, but this was the first of her movies that we had ever seen that showcased her as an "older" girl...though in all reality, she was only nineteen. We easily fell for the lovable and kooky comedy of the storyline and I savored the delicious dialogue that was generously sprinkled with the slang of the day and with lovely made up words like...sklonklish.

For a quick synopsis from IMDb...Myrna Loy plays serious-minded Judge Margaret Turner, who always pays strict attention to the facts in every situation (personal or professional). She has guardianship of her younger sister Susan (Shirley Temple), a young girl who develops an instant crush on a roguish art lecturer Richard Nugent (Cary Grant) when he gives a lecture at her school. In order to help her get over this crush, Margaret--urged by her uncle Matt (Ray Collins)--gently blackmails Richard into being Susan's beau until the crush wears off. What ensues is a delightful comedy of errors as Richard squires Susan around town, while struggling to deal with an assistant district attorney (the suitably uptight Rudy Vallee) and Susan's own ex-boyfriend Jerry (Johnny Sands) as he falls in love with Margaret (and vice versa).

After first watching the movie as children, my sister and I went around for days quoting the dialogue below. It's just a fun bit of nonsense that goes 'round and 'round again, and even now, every once in awhile, one of us will start it up again...

Richard Nugent: Hey, you remind me of a man.

Susan Turner: What man?
Richard Nugent: Man with the power.
Susan Turner: What power?
Richard Nugent: Power of hoodoo.
Susan Turner: Hoodoo?
Richard Nugent: You do.
Susan Turner: Do what?
Richard Nugent: Remind me of a man...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love you, Mommy...

Ingrid Bergman and Son

Today is Mother's Day, and while my family doesn't generally tend to celebrate the "Hallmark" holidays, this one was too important to pass up. My mother is one of my best friends, she is my biggest supporter, my listening ear. I don't know what I would do without her. She encourages me when I am feeling down, she can tell what I am thinking before I speak, she lets me know that she believes in me; that she knows that I can do or be anything I want to. She listens to my tumbled thoughts and is patient with me when I am less than patient myself. How important that all is to me!

I guess all that I'm trying to say, Mommy, is...I love you. No gift is good enough for my thanks, nothing I can say will truly express how thankful I am that you have always been there for me. Know how truly dear you are to me...


Friday, May 9, 2008

A Blue Jean World...

"It seems there's just no room left for elegance in this paper-plate, blue-jean world. And I, for one, think it's a shame."

Joan Fontaine


I thought I would share a favorite excerpt from one of my "letter" books. I'm fascinated by letters, especially old ones. War letters, love letters, everyday letters, I cherish them all, but war letters, by far, hold a special place in my heart. I have a continually growing collection of "letter" books that I read over and over and I am still touched by their poignancy and depth every time.

I like the fact that you can reach past time and death and get a glimpse of a man's soul from a letter he wrote fifty years ago, when he was still young and unsure. I like the fact that most of the letters in my favorite books were written by ordinary men--men that were brothers and sons, men like the boy down the street--and not by politicians who had all the time in the world to perfect their words. These were battle scarred boys who had never been far from home and were dealing with the harsh realities of war and the enormity of death and dying. These were letters that they scribbled down from a foxhole or bunker, exhausted and soul-weary, but wanting to write home to loved ones just the same.

I like the fact that somehow you can reach down into someones private thoughts and catch a glimpse of their lives--that is so meaningful to me. In this modern world of hustle and bustle with people too busy to sit down and write a real letter, these glimpses have become all the more important.

I always laugh and cry every time I read over my collection again, and there are a special few that send shivers up my spine. There is simply no better way to learn about history--history books are fine in their own right--but I'd rather learn from the men and women who were really there; I'd rather see things through their eyes and be able to feel a little snatch of what they felt when they describe it in their own--sometimes faltering--words.

Somehow, they make me thankful for how truly blessed I really am. Reading their stories, feeling their pain and sadness, joy and fear and uncertainty, somehow lets me feel connected to them in a way that I could never have imagined. It helps me to remember them; to feel that in some small way I am honoring their lives and thanking them for the many things they have done for me--for all of the things I wish I could find the words to say. It makes me proud to be a part of this great country; proud to have "known" such great men.

"This letter is for your reading only; or to others at your discretion; but under no conditions to my Mother," twenty-six-year-old Corporal William "Bicky" Kiessel wrote on November 13. 1943, to a favorite uncle who had fought in World War I. Kiessel had just survived the invasion of Italy, and he thought his uncle would understand what he had been through. "We were the first Americans to hit Europe," Kiessel continued in his hastily typed letter.

"I could go into vivid detail but I've said too much now," Kiessel continued. "You'd better say a little prayer for me." (One can understand why he thought his mother might be less than thrilled to read the letter.) Nine months later, Kiessel, who would ultimately survive the war, was preparing for another invasion--this time into France. The letter he wrote to two college friends right before the assault offers a revealing glimpse into the thoughts and emotions of a young man about to charge into battle.

...We're not yet on the boats. But I know what it will be like. I remember so clearly from the last time; iron folding cots, four tiers high and jammed so close that you can hardly pass in the narrow aisles, especially with your life belt on. Down in the holds its dark and hot and smelly with sweated unwashed bodies. There is the warm sickening stench of food. The boat is so crowded there is always a line eating and the heavy air is mixed with all sorts of odors--none of them pleasant....

The energetic chaplains are busy holding services all hours of the day on the various dock levels. Fellows are trying to catch up on years of neglected religion in a few days. And it can be done--and is! The Catholics have Mass, Communion, and Confessions while the Protestants preach little, pray much, and sing the favorite hymns of the Church. And then there are Jewish services for members of that faith. At all these sacred gatherings there is a sincerity and informality that makes for a better and greater fellowship and gives a deeper sense of the intangible value of friends, home, and the eternal verities of life. Were the world to live in this rare state of grace there would be no wars. In those services we all wish we'd lived better, been more complimentary and less critical, written home more lovingly and more often, etc. We are finally face to face with life; tho reality of it is so tremendous an effort....

I don't pray, nor do I want others, to pray for my safety or return. That is not of prime importance. In life we too often emphasize the wrong things. We don't put first things first. We become satisfied with the good and don't press on to the best values in life. No, safety isn't the ultimate goal. But true examplary conduct is. What is important is that whatever does happen to me I will play my part as a man and do absolutely nothing that will shame my character or my God. To me the supreme words, the finist and highest commendation in the whole wide world is, "Well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast fought the good fight, thou hast kept the faith. Enter thou into the kingdom of Heaven."

Sorry if I seem to be getting dramatic. Don't mean to. I fully expect with God's Holy Will that I shall come through. Wanted you to know my reactions preceding this greatest of all invasions. Lets hope and pray that the lives lost will be worth it; as if any price can pay for a life. I want to get home; we all want to go home and though it will mean never for some, for most this will mean a much closer path through time to those whom we love and who love us so dearly.

Must crate the typewriter now. Was lucky to have it this long. Its late in the morning now and most of the fellows are down on the beach. Will join them and have fun and who can tell might start a seeming spontaneous song service. And so I bid you adieu. Christians never say goodbye. Sooner or later we all meet again.

~ Grace Under Fire by Andrew Carroll

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I believe in living today. Not in yesterday, nor in tomorrow.
Loretta Young

Muffins, Ice Cream and Pancakes, too...

Yesterday was my birthday and I had such a lovely day...

My two sweet sisters woke me in the morning with freshly baked raspberry muffins (yum!) and a house decorated with colorful balloons and paper chains (compliments of Elizabeth). There were wildflowers on the table, an out-of-print book from Sarah that I have been aching for, and some lovely handmade gifts from Elizabeth...

Later we drove into town (about an hour and fifteen minutes from home) to do some shopping and go out to dinner. My Daddy works in town, but was too tired after a long day to go with us (and he's not too partial to shopping), so he headed for home as we headed for Bob Evans. *smile* We hardly ever eat at Bob Evans, but when we do for some unexplainable reason I'm always drawn to the pancakes. I'm not even a really big fan of pancakes! I like them well enough, but I certainly don't love them...but for some reason they always seem so good from there! So that is what I ate for dinner. *tee hee!*

After dinner we went shopping! We rarely make it into town and when we do we don't often go shopping, so it's always so fun to me when we are able to--especially if Barnes and Noble is one of the stores...

By the time we had enough of flip flops, sunglasses, movie, and book browsing I think we were all ready to hit Baskin-Robbins. Cake has never really been one of my favorite desserts, but the last few years I've really grown to rarely care for it. Ice cream is my dessert of choice and Baskin-Robbins Mocha Cappuccino Blast is so delicious--the perfect ending to a perfect day!

*sigh* Could anything be lovelier?

P.S. All right, I have to admit....I did give in...I bought another season of I Love Lucy. It's one of my guilty pleasures. But it was my birthday, right? *shhh!*

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How Wonderful It Is...

Not to live for the day, that would be materialistic - but to treasure the day. I realize that most of us live on the skin--the surface--without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive at all.

~Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Secret...

"I'm sorry for that man," said Mrs. Merrill suddenly. She had not hitherto spoken, standing by her husband, a gaunt, square-built gray woman in wind-whipped calico and check apron. "He's well-to-do and I've always felt he looked down on us because we were poor. But we have our boy...and it don't never matter how poor you are as long as you've got something to love."

Anne looked at Mrs. Merrill with a new respect. Mrs. Merrill was not beautiful, but as her sunken gray eyes met Anne's, something of spirit kinship was acknowledged between them. Anne had never seen Mrs. Merrill before and never saw her again, but she always remembered her as a woman who had attained to the ultimate secret in life.

You were never poor as long as you had something to love.

--L.M. Montgomery Anne of Windy Poplars