Friday, April 30, 2010

The Cricket on the Hearth

Book Share Friday: The Cricket on the Hearth
The Cricket on the Hearth is a Charles Dickens' story that I had never heard of, and I stumbled on it at a tag sale. I have the Dover thrift version, but a much older version is shown here. I have not read this yet, and it is a Christmas book, so it may be awhile before I get to it, but if you are interested, go here to read more about it. Here is a link to read it online.

This is the plot description from Wikipedia:
John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby, their nanny Tilly Slowboy, and a mysterious old stranger with a long white beard. A cricket constantly chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family, at one point assuming a human voice to warn John that his suspicions that Dot is having an affair with the mysterious lodger are wrong.

The life of the Peerybingles frequently intersects with that of Caleb Plummer, a poor toymaker employed by the miser Mr. Tackleton. Caleb has a blind daughter Bertha, and a son Edward, who traveled to South America and was thought dead. The miser Tackleton is now on the eve of marrying Edward's sweetheart, May, but she does not love Tackleton.

In the end, the mysterious lodger is revealed to be none other than Edward who has returned home in disguise. He marries May hours before she is scheduled to marry Tackleton. However Tackleton's heart is melted by the Christmas season, like Ebenezer Scrooge, and he surrenders May to her true love.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Share Friday's

This series of posts has now ended.

I want to try a post at least one Friday a month, where I share a new book discovery I have made. The book choices will not be limited to a classic author or literature, they might be anything at all, and I may or may not have already read them. Below is a list of all the books.

List of Books:

Literary England - Richard Wilcox
The Poet at the Breakfast Table - Oliver Wendell Holmes
High Life in Verdopolis - Charlotte Bronte
The Immense Journey
- Loren Eiseley
My Love Affair With England
- Susan Allen Toth
The Language of Flowers - Margaret Pickston
Charlotte Bronte: The Self Conceived - Helene Moglen
Introvert Calendar - Meg North
Shaggy Muses - Maureen Adams
Cottage Poems
- Patrick Bronte
Too Many To Mourn - James and Rowena Mahar
Must Have Done Something Good - Cheryl Corey
Cricket on the Hearth - Charles Dickens

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flowers At Your Feet

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Photo Credits:
"The Mailbox" by Vivienne Leibowich
"Lace Curtains" by Vivienne Leibowich
"Doing Laundry the Italian Way" by Stephanie Elenbaas

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lady in Green

lady in green we see that you pine
for that you desire shall not be thine
let not your heart heavy with gloom
shatter your sweetness and youthful bloom
gather up courage as you gather your gown
love once lost will not remain forever unfound
I got the idea for this post from Meg at Book Kingdom. She writes beautiful captions to art there, as well as her own original books and stories.
I am not sure if anyone will take me up on this or not, but I would love to see your words, your caption for this artwork. Any takers?

Artwork is by Frederic Leighton.

Beautiful, Beautiful

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lately Forgotten

"Pride and Prejudice," and "Jane Eyre" - two of my favorite books. Some of my favorite movie adaptations are about these two literature gems - I adore them! I wonder though, just how many film versions of one particular novel one actually watches before you say - enough! (It may actually be never!)

However, I would love to see some of the lesser known literature that is always overlooked in favor of Austen and Charlotte Bronte, come to fruition. Here are some I would choose:

1. Anne Bronte's "Agnes Grey." Let's give the third Bronte sister a film adaptation, for goodness sake!

2. Charlotte Bronte's "Villette" or "The Professor." Charlotte wrote other novels, too, I would love to see one, or all of them, on film.

3. An updated version of Henry James "The Europeans." This is such a great story, but overlooked.

4. Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne's House of Dreams." If Kevin Sullivan could recapture the magic of his first two Anne movies, "House of Dreams" would be the one to do it with. We all pretend the third Anne film was never made anyway. If done right, "House of Dreams" could bring the story altogether and tie things up as they always should have been - romatically and Anne-like.

5. A good version of any of the Willa Cather Stories, such as, "A Lost Lady," "Neighbor Rosicky," or "Death Comes For the Archbishop."

6. "Custom of the Country," by Edith Wharton. Or anything by Wharton. She is lately forgotten when it's time for adaptations, with the lovely exceptions of, "House of Mirth," "Age of Innocence," and "Ethan Frome."

7. Anything from Edgar Allan Poe.

8. "The Woman in White," by Wilkie Collins. I enjoyed the Justine Waddell version, but it doesn't do the book justice.

9. "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gillman. Happily, this one is coming true!

10. One of Louisa May Alcott's many stories - any of them that don't have "little" in the title! Although I love those, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sometimes There Are No Words

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee
One clover, and a bee, and revery
The revery alone will do if bees are few

~Emily Dickinson~

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Banner Trial and Error

After some trial and error of figuring out how to make them, I got a little carried away with banners tonight! We'll see how long the current one lasts!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Might Know Him

Rowan Atkinson, You might know him as:

Johnny English

Father Gerald

Inspector Fowler


Or Mr Bean.

Here is his bio from Wikipedia:
"Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is an English comedian, actor and writer, most famous for his work in the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean, and the satirical sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News. He has been listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.
Best known for his use of physical comedy in his trademark character of Mr. Bean, others of Atkinson's characters rely more heavily on language. Atkinson often plays authority figures (especially priests or vicars) speaking absurd lines with a completely deadpan delivery."

Some of his films include:
Black Adder Goes Forth (1989), The Witches (1990), Bean (1997), Rat Race (2001), Scooby-Doo (2002), Johnny English (2003), Love Actually (2003), and Keeping Mum (2005).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful To Me

I love old books, and often look for them at Goodwill, and at Saturday tag sales.
I also love finding vintage treasures to display in my home. On Saturday, I found these:

You might wonder what in the world they are because though not old, they look old, with the chicken wire and antiquish wooden frames.
These are handmade jewelry holders, intended as a functional resting spot for earrings, necklaces, and such, to be hanged on the wire. They are beautiful, not functional, to me! I won't be using them for jewelery, but will attach quotes, tags, and 'bookish stuff,' to them for display. Lovely trumps function!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Hundred Years Ago

This could have been me 100 years Edwardian/Victorian lady.

Or maybe a Medieval lady in Shalott:
(Photo Credit, Lady of Shalott - Iris Compiet)

Went out walkin' through the wood the other day
And the world was a carpet laid before me
The buds were bursting and the air smelled sweet and strange
And it seemed about a hundred years ago

~Rolling Stones

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank

From PBS:

The Diary of Anne Frank
April 11, 2010 on PBS
(check local listings)

A Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis pours out her heart to the only
true friend she has left: her diary. MASTERPIECE CLASSIC presents The
Diary of Anne Frank, the most accurate-ever adaptation of one of the
world's most widely read memoirs. Adapted by Deborah Moggach (Pride and
Prejudice starring Keira Knightley), and starring newcomer Ellie
Kendrick (An Education) as Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank premieres
on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 11, 2010.

* Visit Masterpiece Online for more on Anne Frank

- Twitter Event: Join other Masterpiece fans online during the
premiere broadcast

- Watch Online: See the program in its entirety starting April 12,

- Audio Slideshow: Star Ellie Kendrick on portraying Anne Frank

- Video Q&A: Frank's last living relative remembers Anne

- Screenwriter Interview: Deborah Moggach on her unique adaptation

- Resources: Find out more about Anne Frank and her legacy

* Masterpiece Video Diary Project
MASTERPIECE and the WGBH Lab invite you to express yourself on video.
Submit your diary (up to 3 minutes) about your life, how you've been
bullied or disrespected for what you think or believe. (The
MASTERPIECE Video Diary Project is funded by the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting.)

Learn more about The Diary of Anne Frank by visiting this program's
companion website:

Hope is the Thing With Feathers

One of my favorite old movies is "A Patch of Blue," with Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, and Elizabeth Hartman, which you can watch, in full, on youtube. The message is still timely today - there is hope, no matter your circumstances. The movie is based on the book by Elizabeth Kata.

We all experience things that can make hope flee, but it is always there, on the horizon, and will "perch in the soul" once again. One of my favorite quotes ever comes from Emily Dickinson, and is about hope.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poe - et

I know of Poe the writer of books, but I was introduced to Poe the Poet through recently through the poem, "The Village Street."
Here is a link to "Poe Stories," a site that has the text of his poems, if you want to read more, like I did, (The Village Street is not listed for some reason?).

In these rapid, restless shadows,
Once I walked at eventide,
When a gentle, silent maiden,
Walked in beauty at my side.
She alone there walked beside me
All in beauty, like a bride.

Pallidly the moon was shining
On the dewy meadows nigh;
On the silvery, silent rivers,
On the mountains far and high,--
On the ocean's star-lit waters,
Where the winds a-weary die.

Slowly, silently we wandered
From the open cottage door,
Underneath the elm's long branches
To the pavement bending o'er;
Underneath the mossy willow
And the dying sycamore.

With the myriad stars in beauty
All bedight, the heavens were seen,
Radiant hopes were bright around me,
Like the light of stars serene;
Like the mellow midnight splendor
Of the Night's irradiate queen.

Audibly the elm-leaves whispered
Peaceful, pleasant melodies,
Like the distant murmured music
Of unquiet, lovely seas;
While the winds were hushed in slumber
In the fragrant flowers and trees.

Wondrous and unwonted beauty
Still adorning all did seem,
While I told my love in fables
'Neath the willows by the stream;
Would the heart have kept unspoken
Love that was its rarest dream!

Instantly away we wandered
In the shadowy twilight tide,
She, the silent, scornful maiden,
Walking calmly at my side,
With a step serene and stately,
All in beauty, all in pride.

Vacantly I walked beside her.
On the earth mine eyes were cast;
Swift and keen there came unto me
Bitter memories of the past--
On me, like the rain in Autumn
On the dead leaves, cold and fast.

Underneath the elms we parted,
By the lowly cottage door;
One brief word alone was uttered--
Never on our lips before;
And away I walked forlornly,
Broken-hearted evermore.

Slowly, silently I loitered,
Homeward, in the night, alone;
Sudden anguish bound my spirit,
That my youth had never known;
Wild unrest, like that which cometh
When the Night's first dream hath flown.

Now, to me the elm-leaves whisper
Mad, discordant melodies,
And keen melodies like shadows
Haunt the moaning willow trees,
And the sycamores with laughter
Mock me in the nightly breeze.

Sad and pale the Autumn moonlight
Through the sighing foliage streams;
And each morning, midnight shadow,
Shadow of my sorrow seems;
Strive, O heart, forget thine idol!
And, O soul, forget thy dreams!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Walking in Bluebells

I want to walk in bluebells, the way some people walk in Memphis!

Top Photo Credit -

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dead Poet's Society

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. ~Dead Poet's Society

Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson

Edgar Allen Poe, John Keats

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Woods and Hoods

A girl wearing a hooded wrap, walks alone in the forest. She is frightened, but determined to accomplish her goal, a duty to help someone she loves. Little Red Riding Hood, you say?

Actually, I was thinking of this girl:

I am, most likely, late to the game of realizing how similar these two girl's stories are.
A mission.
Happy ending.

Don't you love how some of the best movies emulate books, or book characters. The Village is one of my favorites, and I'll never look at this scene from the movie again, without knowing it is Red Riding Hood retold.

Friday, April 2, 2010