Monday, November 28, 2016

A Classic

Love and goodwill. Such great themes in a story.
Yesterday I had the thrill of attending A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis.
I never tire of viewing the play during the holidays each year. Such a great way to start off the Christmas season.

Charles Dickens wrote the story. It was published  December 17, 1843. I wonder if he ever imagined folks would still be enchanted with his story all these years later?

I've often pondered how Dickens came up with the name Ebenezer Scrooge. Genius name. It just fits doesn't it? In the above book, P.J.Lynch illustrated the story and may have an answer. On the back inside cover he is quoted, "When I lived in Brighton, I used to walk daily past a gravestone belonging to a man called Ebenezer Robbins, who died on Christmas Day, 1842. In my mind, I felt sure that this man must have in some way inspired Dickens to create Ebenezer Scrooge in 1843..."

One never knows where inspiration will come from. I myself,  have ambled through a few cemeteries.
This particular cemetery in England handed me some pretty awesome brainstorm breakthroughs for a few scenes I am writing.

I quickly snapped a photo of the set before the lights dimmed and the play began. No photos or videotaping is allowed during the presentation. Rightfully so. Hard to see the set in this photo, but it mimicked the charm of English villages. "Snow" falling made it idyllic.

I can't decide who my favorite character is. Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, Topper, or Fezziwig. Who's yours?

So much work goes into learning the lines for such a classic as this. Kudos to all the actors and actresses. Go see this play if you ever get the chance. It won't disappoint.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks

Did you know we take about 23,000 breaths a day? I bet you don't even think about one of those breaths over the course of your day. Sadly, most days I know I don't. SIGH.

How many times a day do we go to our faucet,  turn on the water and a full stream actually comes out! There are plenty of places in the world where this never happens.

What's your favorite food? Chocolate? Pizza? Here in this country we have a smorgasbord to choose from.

Have you thought much about that warm bed you just rolled out of this morning?

Last night, I went to a Thanksgiving service with my family. I was reminded of all the "simple" things I take for granted every single day.

This past week I have learned of absolute heartache going on in the lives of people all around me. Things I can't believe people are actually dealing with. This is the stuff of movies...not real life. But, it is their life. And it's real, yet they somehow manage to get out of bed in the morning.

I am a strong believer in faith. But, I have to be honest. I'm not sure how I would deal with at least one of those heartaches. I hope I would pray. Alot. I hope I would give thanks for today.  Today is a gift. It's all we've got. I don't want to waste it, or any others I am so lavishly given.

Today is Thanksgiving. May I live my life like every day is Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your day today. Live it fully. Be grateful for those gathered around the table. For pumpkin pie with lots of homemade whipped topping. For table games.

For those 23,000 breaths you get to breathe today.      

Monday, November 21, 2016

New ad

I know it's early, but Christmas is coming!

While in England, we visited a Marks and Spencer.
A lovely department store with a cafe on the 2nd floor. I bought a scone. Ate the WHOLE thing! Notice the devonshire cream on the bottom, jam on top.  That's the proper way to spread a scone. Others may disagree!

I love this new holiday ad for the department store.

Brothers. Do you have one? I do, and sometimes it wasn't fun growing up with him. There were times I wanted to send him away. He could be pretty mean. I'm quite sure the feeling was mutual.

Watch the ad and tell me it won't make you think of your sibling in a new light.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pure joy

Forgive me. This post will be brief!

I'm elated. We're talking handsprings, jumping for joy, elated.

I just found out less than 24 hours ago I am a finalist in a writing contest. I wish I could explain how this feels...I just can't.

Thanksgiving just got a little sweeter. I am overwhelmed and so thrilled to have made the list.

I am so grateful.  

Congratulations to all the finalists.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A dream

                     "Come in! Come in, and know me better."
                                      -Spirit of Christmas Present
                                    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Last night I had the fireplace going and made myself a cup of hot tea.  I settled in to watch a movie.

One my favorite authors, Robin Jones Gunn,  has waited more than five years to see this movie to fruition.  That's a mighty long time to wait for a dream.

Finding Father Christmas.
You can find it on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel.

The book takes place in the fictitious village of Carlton Heath, England. The movie was in fictitious Carlton Heath, Vermont. Either place, it was idyllic! Vermont is a New England state!

Miranda is the main character. She goes on this journey from Seattle to Vermont. Her goal is to find out who her father is. She needs to know where she belongs. Such a great theme. We were created with a deep need to belong.

It's Christmas. A time of year Miranda never looks forward to. Her mother was an actress. She died while on stage performing her part in the play, A Christmas Carol.

She arrives in Vermont surrounded by Christmas. Snow, a quaint Inn, Carolers, scones, tea, and lighting of the Christmas tree.

I won't give the rest away just in case you might want to view it for yourself, but I was right at home there in the idyllic village of Carlton Heath. I could live there. My favorite author knocked this story out of the park. She has written now 93 books. Yep. 93! This one just might be my new favorite!

I heard this movie will be played 20 times throughout the holiday season. I will definitely be watching at least one more time! At least!

We all have them. Dreams. I'm waiting on a dream myself. Sometimes I want to give up, but there's a little fire in me that keeps its embers burning. It's good to have dreams. They keep us hoping and make us reach deeper and farther than we thought we ever had the guts to go. And just when we think its over and we want to give happens.
I can't even imagine what it must have been like for Robin to watch her book be made into a movie. A movie! What a thrill.
It couldn't have happened to a kinder author. No, I haven't met her in person (that's a dream-wink wink!) but I have written to her AND she wrote me back!

I would highly recommend the book. Watch the movie too!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thy Will

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory--forever and ever. Amen.


Monday, November 7, 2016

The fascination continues

Yet another British show has managed to charm its way into my heart!

Have you seen The Crown?

I started watching it last night.
The first episode did its job. Hooked me good!
The actor John Lithgow, plays Winston Churchill brilliantly.

A few things I noted in this first episode... (No spoilers here! We all know history!)

The word 'obey' was notably present in Princess Elizabeth (now queen) wedding vows.

King George VI smoked...ALOT!

The King had surgery to remove a lung.

Winston Churchill is elected for the second time as Prime Minister. He meets with King George VI and returns to 10 Downing Street. There, he speaks privately with his wife Clementine.
He tells his wife the King has cancer, to which she replies, "Who knows?"

"No one," said Winston. "No one knows. Not even the King." That Winston. Never missed a beat! Is that historically accurate? One never knows.

The Princess notices the sparks between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend. She would be correct.

Spending time with her father, Princess Elizabeth asks, "Does it get lonely?"
" must have the right person by your side...." the king replies.

The King takes Prince Philip duck hunting where he tells him a thing or two! Mostly, he is being a protective father. He spells it out..."She is the essence of your duty. Loving her. Protecting her..." The King was a good father.

Oh, how I love this show! Can't wait to watch the next episode!

Have you watched?  What do you think?