‘Tis the Season Cinema: Holiday Inn

This month Lisa from Boondock Ramblings and I, along with newcomer Katja from Breath of Hallelujah who is joining in, are having fun watching the same Christmas movies and then posting our thoughts. This week’s movie, Holiday Inn, ended up being not quite what we expected or remembered!

Before I begin let’s just address the elephant in the room. Some of you may have known this already, but I wasn’t aware and Lisa had totally forgotten about it, but this movie has a very problematic scene. It has a scene in blackface. I do not condone racism; in fact I am vehemently opposed to it. We are all aware now just how inappropriate and wrong this scene is, and there are versions now available to watch without this scene. However, this scene needs to be acknowledged. To not address it is to smooth over the fact that this and other scenes/acts in show business history had acts like this, and we can’t move on without talking about these things.

So, with that out of the way let’s talk about the rest of the movie a little.

It is very similar to White Christmas in some ways, especially considering the movie is filmed on the same set that White Christmas was. Bing also croons away on that old favorite Christmas song in Holiday Inn, which was filmed before White Christmas. Bing has a partner in entertainment, Fred Astaire this time, and Bing decides to retire away to the country and work his farm. That sounds good to me. However, he also chooses to do this after his fiance tells him she would rather be with Fred Astaire! Um, that sucks. So off he goes to his farm in the country, brokenhearted. He learns though that he can’t just leave show business behind, and turns his place into an inn that is only open for the holidays, complete with musical numbers. Fred Astaire does kind of steal the show in my opinion in this one. Sorry Bing.

Two examples of how?

First off, the famous firecracker scene. Super dramatic honestly. I loved it. I sort of wish I could just throw down a firecracker before I left a place or something for extra emphasis. Tap dancing is so cool too. I have always wanted to do it!

Then, the famous drunk dancing scene! In this one Fred Astaire is actually drunk – in order to pull it off, he took drinks between takes. I’ll tell you, if you look back on my wild youth, my dancing under the influence was not this graceful…

It was just cute and rather funny.

The movie itself is a more of a vehicle to show off the talents of Crosby and Astaire, which are considerable, and while it does have Christmas scenes, it is more of a musical that celebrates many different holidays.

This was an unusual one, that is for sure! But, it did have some good scenes and Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby are like a power couple. Did it have situations that were jarring and uncomfortable for someone of our time? Absolutely. But it does give us the opportunity to talk about them and talk about how it is wrong.

Moving on!

Yes! Next week we are talking about my very favorite holiday movie – Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas!! We are also going to be talking about A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is another holiday favorite. Both are so wonderful and I am so excited to watch them both!!

You can find Lisa’s thoughts here.

You can find Katja’s thoughts here.

Wednesday Morning Coffee Catch Up: Embracing the Imperfect

Good morning! Or afternoon or evening or whenever you are reading this! I am embracing my inner goblin this morning, drinking my coffee in bed while writing this. I just read this morning that the Oxford word for the year is “goblin mode” (although isn’t this two words?) and it is the anti-becoming a better person movement. Like instead of waking at 5 am and drinking a green smoothie, you would sleep in and have heaps of black coffee. I never get to sleep in, which should be a perk of homeschooling, but no matter how many times I explain that to Wyatt, he is an early bird. So heaps of coffee for me please, and goblin mode I guess.

Anyway, today I am drinking the Aldi Fair Trade Columbian because it has cute little turtles on the packaging. I am a sucker for packaging darn it. It’s not bad though so my impulsivity worked out.

Looking back over my weekend, it was apparently all about trees. I had no idea. I guess our conifers unit study seeped into my subconscious!

I made a little tree pillow! I think it turned out super cute. And jeesh, why is one pillowcase so wrinkly? Lol. Don’t look over there. That must be the goblin side of the bed. I like my little tree pillow though! I also attempted to make shower steamers. You are supposed to be able to throw them in the shower where they melt, releasing a scent like mint or evergreen, which will help if you are congested. They did turn out, just a bit roughly. I put them in a jar in my bathroom, where we can access them as needed. Tomorrow I plan on making tree soap, to continue my tree related projects.

And the most important tree of all! The Christmas tree is up! I love sitting in the den in the evening by the light of the tree. This year no matter how hard we tried we could not get Faye (the tree’s name) to stand up straight! So we have a bit of a tipsy tree this year. I think the Faye that we named the tree after would approve. She was a fun loving woman with a big quick laugh and an even bigger smile. She would definitely have had a good laugh watching us try to straighten it. Despite its lean though, it is covered in ornaments that are special to us. You know those ornaments. The ones you exclaim over as you take them out. “Oh look, the ornament we got in New Orleans on our honeymoon!” and “Aww, this is from when I was a little girl”. Or, “Wyatt, we got this ornament the year you were born, our little blue jay!” Ornaments we bought on a family excursion to Bronner’s in Frankenmuth. Ornaments that Wyatt has made. The ornaments that are really just memories of moments and Christmases past.

We put the tree up Sunday, listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and afterwards made homemade pizza. Or rather, Billy did. It was so good y’all. So good. We followed that up by bundling up in heavy clothes and trundling out to the porch, where we covered up with blankets and drank cocoa enjoying the cold evening. We didn’t stay out too long, before heading in and changing into pajamas and tried movie night with Wyatt take two. This time we watched Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and he LOVED it. So success! It is so far safe to say that it is his favorite Christmas movie of the season. We will see if Mickey gets dethroned – my bet is no though.

It was a pretty low key weekend, but a very very good one.

Hello, December!

Hello December!! And it sure started off busy – it took me six whole days to even get to this post. It’s all been pretty good stuff though.

I also can’t believe it is December already – wasn’t it just December a minute ago? Where did this year disappear off to?

Around here, it feels like Christmas. We have our house all decorated, the tree is up, the calendar is full of fun things we hope to do, the gifts are piling up in my special secret storage area away from little eyes – all that is missing is the snow! However the latest news says that the snowfall prediction for Christmas in our area “screams” snow. Which is good, I am tired of gloomy rainy December days. Yuck.

I am reading an Advent book right now called All Creation Waits, and I am loving it. I read most of the introduction and part of day one out loud to my husband in bed last night before I realized he wasn’t quite as excited about it as I was. The author, Gayle Boss, combines advent and solstice and the rhythms of nature with faith. Each day is a different animal, and the author asks the reader to think about what catches their attention in the passages for each day. So far, day one has been the one that has spoken to me loudest, all about a little pond turtle. How at some point they know it is time to start their brumation, and dive to the bottom of the pond and start their transition. Their bodies and hearts slow down, they snuggle down in, and wait. Wait in a certainty that eventually the sun and the warmth and the spring will return, and they will end their sleep and rejoin the world. I was also sort of tickled to learn that the author is a fellow Michigander!

I do feel like the winter is the same for humans, if you live in a snowy cold area. We sit in our snug homes, looking out at the darkness. We know that in a few months we will be rewarded with the longer days again, flowers will be blooming, birds will be singing in joy again, butterflies will be floating in and out dreamily. It doesn’t mean we have to simply endure the winter like turtles though. We can find joy in winter – in shared hearty meals, frosty adventures in the chill and the snow, quiet moments with your books and tea and cats (and lizards?) Family nights and nights with friends. The crunch of snow underfoot, the silence of the night.

I have some fun things ahead for Wyatt – a visit to Santa (will this be the last year?), Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village, an afternoon at the Immersive Nutcracker Experience, afternoons of baking and then eating what we made, making special gifts for loved ones.

The full moon is tomorrow night, the Full Cold Moon. When Wyatt was really young, I signed up for the Kids Moon Club. I thought it would be a fun way to learn about nature and the moon cycles and do it with a virtual community of like-minded families. He was really a bit too young to do a lot of it, but he did develop a love for the night sky, which was fine. He said one of his first words, snow, because of the moon club. When the year ended, the creator of the group offered lifetime memberships to our group as one of the first groups to go through the club. I signed up and really haven’t participated since. I think this year though, we will. Wyatt is at a good age to really do a lot of the activities and be interested and it will be fun to return. And I think we will start with this month, the cold moon. This moon is about quiet and peace, about shifting into a different season. I love the quietness of December’s moon, as it is followed up in January with the Wolf Moon. (incidentally if you ask Wyatt what the full moon of January is called he will tell you. It’s his favorite) I think finding this space of peace and solitude is important this month especially, when we can get lost in all of the commotion of Christmas. We need the balance. Have our fun but also take the time to find some quiet.

Homeschool Journey: Alaska, Cranberries, Evergreens (still)

It’s December and that means Christmas school in the homeschool world! Some people drop their entire regular curriculum and supplement with all Christmas themed special unit studies; I have done this in the past, but Wyatt is in second grade now, and I am not feeling like that is the best choice for him at this time. So, I am adapting our regular curriculum around the holidays. I wasn’t going to include Social Studies this month, but I decided to take one state and just run with it for the whole month. That state – Alaska! I guess the biggest state in our country deserves an entire month, don’t you think? And, it so easy to adapt it to our needs. We still have our The Good and The Beautiful math and language arts everyday, but for everything else we are sliding into Christmas school.

Where to start… let’s start with science as this was where I really focused the bulk of our Christmas themed studies. In our regular curriculum of Blossom and Root we are actually on conifers and evergreens, so I didn’t have to do much there. But then we are putting the rest of the weeks on pause until January to study a few more wintry botanicals.

This week we looked at studied cranberries in addition to learning about conifers. (I honestly had no idea that not all evergreens are conifers!) I tied it into Alaska with the help of The Museum of the North’s website. I find so much cool stuff on museum websites! I have a few different lessons that I printed from The Museum of the North, but the first one we did was the Berries and Animals lesson and collage. We talked about how important berries are to the animals that eat them, and tried to think of alternatives for what they would eat if they couldn’t find the berries. Then Wyatt used the template of animals and berries to make a collage.

This month I also wanted to add a baking component to our school – I have some different kitchen projects planned, but for our first one I had Wyatt make his very own sourdough starter. We read The Sourdough Man, which is an Alaskan folktale based on the gingerbread man. Sourdough Annie is doing well so far, and in a few days we will turn it into our little Sourdough man cookie (biscuits?). We also talked about how sourdough has a long history in Alaska, and how some strains have been around for 200 years!

We also read the book Berry Song, which is one of my very favorite picture books that I have read all year. We read it in August, and I liked it so much that I added it to our curriculum. Here is the book description:

On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries.

Salmonberry, Cloudberry, Blueberry, Nagoonberry.

Huckleberry, Snowberry, Strawberry, Crowberry.

Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade’s luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.

We also started a berry book, which I found on the Museum of the North website as well. We are going to continue working on it this week. And art – we are a bit behind! I plan on doing two art projects this week and since this is a bit more relaxed month with everything kind of flowing over and through the weeks that will be ok.

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

The Littlest Evergreen || Christmas Farm || The Sourdough Man || L is for Last Frontier

If you are interested in The Sourdough Man but can’t find it, I did find a YouTube video of someone reading it.

The Museum of the North

Sourdough Starter recipe

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Happy December! Last week was a whirlwind! I got busy crossing things off of my to-do list and I feel like although I was a whirling dervish I have a lot of things in motion and set up for a fun December for our family. I also took my mom Christmas shopping – in actual stores. I am so much more of an online shopper and maybe most people are now, as the stores were practically empty. I feel like in the past they would have been packed – however we were practically the only people in most of the stores we went to.

Read Last Week:

These two were just the relaxing type of books I needed last week! Outfoxed was good, but not my favorite in the series. And A Highland Christmas a was a short little read about one of my favorite fictional towns, Lochdubh.

Reading This Week:

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and my mom and dad both gave me some birthday cash, which has been burning a hole in my pocket for a while. I knew I wanted to buy books, since I rarely treat myself to actually owning a book but I always make my choices carefully as for what I want to put in my collection. I decided on a few different collections and editions of books, including a few of the Harper Collins Special Edition books. The first title I added was this Agatha Christie – isn’t it beautiful? I also picked up this gift edition of All Creation Waits, a sort of nature advent.

Posted Last Week:

‘Tis the Season Cinema: The Muppet Christmas Carol

What Wyatt’s Reading – November

Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up- Owls and Christmas Pictures

Watching and Listening:

We have been watching Christmas movies like crazy! We watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, Spirited with Ryan Reynolds, and The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special. Spirited was really good! I was sort of meh about watching it but then I ended up loving it! And we also really liked Guardians of the Galaxy. Mantis cracks me up. Plus Kevin Bacon!!!

Last night we watched Three Pines on Amazon – and it was fabulous. I can’t attest to its accuracy as I never read the book (I really should read this series!) but wow, it knocked our socks off.

In tv land, we have been watching Grantchester and the Ring of Power. I have to admit, Ring of Power is good but a leeeetle bit slow for me. I can’t watch them every night either. Grantchester is also a bit slow honestly.

If you were in LOTRO world, would you rather be a hobbit, elf, or a dwarf? Billy picked dwarf, I picked elf, and my brother picked the Harfoot Hobbits.

Anyway, that’s it from my little corner of Michigan! How are you all doing?

‘Tis the Season Cinema: The Muppets Christmas Carol

“Come in, and know me better man!”

This month Lisa from Boondock Ramblings and I, along with newcomer Katja from Breath of Hallelujah who is joining in, are having fun watching the same Christmas movies and then posting our thoughts. This week we watched one of my very favorites, The Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s not my absolute favorite, that is and forever will be Emmett Otter, but it is high up there!

Wyatt hasn’t been a part of many of these Christmas movie nights but for this one, of course he was. He was very excited, and snuggled down between us in bed with a giant bowl of popcorn for us all to share. Miso was also part of the group, purring away at the end of the bed. However, both Wyatt and Miso were asleep within 30 minutes. So, Billy and I watched it just the two of us, with our little slumbering companions scattered around us.

This movie never ever fails to make me smile and put me in a warm and happy mood. I always feel so full of the Christmas spirit afterwards, it is just so full of love. It follows the Christmas Carol storyline we are all familiar with, but with 99% of the characters played by muppets and their puppeteers. Kermit is Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy his wife, Fozzie Bear plays Scrooge’s first boss, and Statler and Waldorf play Marley and Marley. The esteemed Michael Caine plays Scrooge, and to this day and all of the versions I have watched of A Christmas Carol, Caine is still my favorite Scrooge. He is so believable in the beginning, cold and hardhearted, and by the end, you truly believe he has undergone a transformation into a loving, caring human, full of the Christmas spirit.

And the music in this movie! I love them all but the best in my opinion is It Feels Like Christmas, sung by the Ghost of Christmas Present (also my favorite ghost). This song perfectly sums up almost every feeling that I have about Christmas.

Billy told me that Michael Caine was in his fifties when he made this movie, and that he wanted to be in it because he had a 7 year old daughter at the time who hadn’t been able to watch him in anything. So he played Scrooge in this movie so that she could see him act. And Caine loved it. His joy is obvious. I also love that his singing is…average. I think it is appropriate to his character – I mean, I couldn’t see Scrooge busting out in perfect harmony. Apparently this was also the first movie he ever sang in (sung? why am I having a problem with this today?)

It also has this scene, which the phrase “It’s the British way” has made its way into the things Billy and I say to each often. We often refer to things as being done “the British way”. It never fails to amuse us.

This movie is just a fun, music filled, cozy, warm, lovey dovey, joyous version of a Christmas Carol, and one I highly recommend!

Check out Lisa’s post here!

Check out Katja’s post here!

If anyone else wants to join in, that would be fun! I will add your links to my posts every week as well. Next up is Holiday Inn and posts go up Thursdays.

What Wyatt’s Reading – November

I can’t believe tomorrow will be the first of December! This year flew by! We have had so many trips to the library this year; I am always so thankful for them and allowing me to check out like 35 books at a time. We go through so many books, especially this time of year! Not only do we have our homeschool books, but now we have holiday books too! I won’t share them all, it would be a crazy post, so I will share our favorites!

Granny Gomez & Jigsaw was one of my Wyatt’s top favorites this month. Granny Gomez loves her baby pig Jigsaw, and they are great companions. Until Jigsaw grows too big for the house, and has to move to the barn. The solution made me smile, and Wyatt smile too. It is a very sweet book. Wyatt has a thing for pigs right now so you will see quite a few pig books in this list.

The Pumpkin Fair is a fun, festive autumn book with an obvious emphasis on pumpkins. It was just a cute little read. And while I Want My Hat Back was pretty cute too, the end surprised us! Although maybe it shouldn’t have….

Every year, we read Thanksgiving in the Woods. It is our very favorite and we all talk about how cool it would be to actually have a Thanksgiving in the woods one year. This book is based on real life events – maybe I can crash their holiday one year.

Bowwow Powwow was a great book! I liked all of the representations of the different dancers. I liked this one more than Wyatt did. Same with In November. I love Cynthia Rylant though so I get as many of her books as I can get my hands on. In November, is just such a wonderful autumnal book to usher the month in with.

Yep – we have begun reading holiday books. Wyatt loved all three of these! I was not as much of a fan of the Peppa book but Wyatt loves Peppa so..yeah.

First, If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don’t! was hilarious. And who knew how closely a pirate could resemble Santa? Wyatt is also all about pirates right now, so it was cool to find a Christmas pirate book.

Christmas Cricket was delightful. We read it right before bed on a chilly night, and we were both feeling cozy and warm. This book is about a sad little cricket who escapes the cold rain by heading into a bright warm house. He feels tiny and insignificant, until he hears something that uplifts him.

Poppleton in Fall. This portly stylish fellow buys a new winter coat, tries to order pancakes, and watches the geese fly south. We also started the Heartwood Hotel series which is adorable. Wyatt really likes books with animals as main characters and this was a cute little read.

And that my friends, is a wrap of our favorite November reads!

Tuesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Hi everyone!! Was yesterday tough for everyone else or just me? We had five days off of our normal schedule and Monday morning and physical therapy came very early. I am a creature of habit so I like having a routine, it was just…jarring to be up and moving so early- and without coffee. Today we have a lot to do but I am still going to finish this coffee first. Maybe even have a second cup, to be honest. I am drinking Seattle’s Best Breakfast Blend today and it has a very mild taste and is really easy to drink. Although not as easy to find, with my Miso sitting there in front of it. But I loves her so it is ok.

Hmm. When I left off we had visited my cousin’s for a get together that left me all emotional and sentimental. I get that way around the holidays, as I imagine most of us do. That was the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. Wednesday found us out and about again, at an early Thanksgiving at Billy’s brother’s house. Mike works for border patrol at the airport and had to work actual Thanksgiving, so we celebrated early with them. The kids had a blast. And so did Grandma!

Thursday, Thanksgiving, we went to my brother’s for dinner. I put my phone away and just enjoyed the day. It was a great time with lots of food and laughter. I made a wild rice pilaf with cranberries and apples and it was really good. Billy was in charge of the turkey – unfortunately we are sort of newbs at it and didn’t take it out in time so it was very frozen. Lol. Most of those attending are vegetarians so the turkey was just for Billy, my mom, and me (Wyatt is a nope on turkey) so…Billy went to the deli and picked up turkey lunch meat and we had sandwiches with our sides. It made me laugh. Billy ended up making the turkey over the weekend and we turned it in to soup.

By Friday Wyatt and I were ready for some down time. That was a lot of socializing for us both! Usually our days are so quiet and while we had so much fun we were in need of just doing a bunch of nothing. So we did. I even let him stay in his pajamas all day! We played games, watched tv, read books, laid around and it was awesome. Poor Billy had to work but at least he got to work from home.

Then Saturday. Billy and I had a much needed “date night” – or at least a night where a grandma watched Wyatt and we went out without him. I am telling you all, it was a wonderful night. Billy and I always love going to the owl prowls at the metropark, and have been going literally years. Like maybe even 15 years or so. So, that was our date! The group Saturday night was small, 6 people including us, which was perfect (9 if you count the interpreters). Everyone was very quiet and into the experience, which is important. Too much noise made will obviously scare the owls and any other wildlife away.

One of my favorite things in the whole world is standing still and quiet in a dark wood at night in the winter. The stillness, the quiet, the peace of the night. I will close my eyes and just absorb the night, listening for the night animals, feeling the cold air sidle around me, smelling the leaves underfoot and the evergreens around us. Then I will open them, staring up through the arms of the trees, at the stars in the sky. It is perfect to me.

Some owl prowls, we see and hear nothing. Saturday however, was a busy night in the woods! The moment we stepped out of the nature center to head for the trails, we heard the flying squirrels freaking out – followed very closely by the hooting of the Great Horned Owl! He was the reason for their distress, and while we couldn’t see him, he was so close. And kept hooting! They have a hunting ground of five miles so that we lucked out and heard him so quickly and so close was awesome.

Billy and I have been going so long to this metropark that we have become friends with the interpreters. There is a good-natured joke/myth that if Billy or I are on the owl prowl, that the group will not see owls. Like we are a curse! Lol. However, that is only when we are on Kevin’s prowl, not Roni’s. And like I said, Saturday was an active night!

This little screech flew in right over my head and landed in a nearby tree, maybe only 4 feet off the ground. He was so close! And he stuck around for quite awhile, letting us take photos even. I guess he was as curious about us as we were about him! They are super tiny, only about 7 inches in height. Roni was able to get close and grab this photo for me with my phone. It was amazing and otherwordly to experience.

After our magical moment, we were all sort of excited and chattering about how cool that was, walking along, not really looking for owls anymore because nothing could beat that moment honestly. Until the local coyote pack started howling and yipping. I had never heard them before like that, so loud and in chorus with each other, blending their voices in their night song. That was almost as cool as the owl, but not quite.

We did stop and look for owls again later, calling them to us, and a second owl flew in over our heads and took up a spot high up in a tree. It is always so cool to see them respond and fly in. They have completely silent flight so you have to watch the treeline carefully to see them fly in, but they will often call back to the recording.

Billy and I felt so refreshed and happy and uplifted after our walk. It was a pretty awesome night.

The next morning I wanted to take Christmas photos of Wyatt at a nearby nursery. I love this place – in the spring and summer I buy all my plants from them and this year they have started setting up seasonal vignettes for people to use for photos. Which is absolutely brilliant because you come to take photos, and leave with your arms full of other things.

Wyatt was cracking me up with his poses.

But I did get this one and I love it. (I love them all actually)

Despite being surrounded by so much cute mushroom merchandise for the holidays, I refrained from purchasing any. I did however buy an evergreen swag for our door and a bunch of holly. We are learning about holly next week in science so I felt we needed it.

Coffee update: It took me two whole cups to write this today!

How are you all? Did you have a nice weekend? I would love to hear your stories!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Hello! I hope that everyone had a great week! Ours was super busy for days but we had a blast. I need to spend some quality time with my Christmas to-do list today – so much to bake and make and do and see! I am super excited and I know my boyo is as well!

Read Last Week:

Last week I finished up the two books I had started the week before, and then made inroads into a third.

I enjoyed Lovelight Farms – it was a cute little friends to lovers romance set on a Christmas tree farm. I enjoyed it but I am not sure I will read any others in this series.

A Study in Charlotte was a really interesting take on the Watson/Homes theme. I especially liked the Watson family guide to taking care of and understanding their Holmes. Lol. It was a fun read but also really well done.

And I am only a bit of the way into Outfoxed but I loved the previous two books in this series so I am sure I will love this one as well. There is an entirely fox themed gift store in this little town, which to me sounds like a wonderful place to shop. I am all about the rabbits and foxes!

Reading This Week:

I love these cozy mysteries set in the highlands of Scotland. Hamish Macbeth is a comfort series for me that I love to return to again and again. Lochdubh is a quirky, crazy little town, full of personality.

Posted Last Week:

‘Tis the Season Cinema: White Christmas

Wednesday Morning Coffee Catch Up

Homeschool Journey:Minnesota, Gwen Frostic, Evergreens and Boreal Forests

Watching and Listening:

For all the holidaying we did last week, we still managed to get in some down time together. Frankly, some days we were plopped lifeless in our bed recovering from the busyness but we were definitely happy and relaxed.

In movies we watched Enola Holmes 2, White Christmas, and See How They Run. I absolutely loved Enola Holmes 2. Millie Bobby Brown did a great job, the plot was interesting, and um, hello, Henry Cavill. However, I really enjoyed See How They Run! It is a movie that revolves around the longest running play ever, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie. Sam Rockwell is in it and I love him in everything he does and this was no exception. He didn’t have his quick mischievousness in this movie, but instead was a sad, drunk detective but also, a good one? Saorise Ronan played the constable who was the upright eager beaver with a great enthusiasm for her work. There was a Wes Anderson quality about this movie as well which we really appreciated.

In television we watched Derry Girls (the newest season), finished up the GB Baking Show, and that was it. Derry Girls cracks us up! It is funny and endearing and also very very moving. I usually finish up every season crying. It is set against the tumultuous political background of Northern Ireland, and while much of the show is mainly teenage hijinks and shenanigans, there is real depth and seriousness as well.

And that’s that from around here! What is going on in your world?

‘Tis the Season Cinema: White Christmas

Now that American Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is definitely in the air!! And maybe just maybe we will get more snow! We had some last week – this week though has been like springtime in Michigan and no, thank you. It’s the holiday season and I for one would like some snow. Much like the characters in this week’s movie, White Christmas!

Lisa from Boondock Ramblings and I have been watching the same movies and posting our thoughts on them since September, when we started with spooky movies. Now, to celebrate the winter holidays we have moved on to holiday movies!

Sigh. I LOVE this movie so much. I have watched it every year for as long as I can remember, some years with blankets of snow outdoors, some years, like this year, that I am dreaming of our own White Christmas.

Is there anyone alive that doesn’t know the words to all of the songs? I can sing my way through this whole movie, although only in the privacy of my own home. When I googled where I could watch this movie, I was happily surprised to see that I could go to the movie theater and watch it. How cool that the theaters are screening it! However, then I couldn’t be in my pajamas with my tea and a blanket, so I opted for watching it at home. And, I could sing if I wanted to. Which I did.

In case you haven’t seen it: It’s post WWII, and army veterans and buddies Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) have become a famous entertainment act, and a pretty darn famous one at that. They get a letter from another old army pal asking them to go check out his sisters’ act and offer any advice. So, they help a guy out and visit the show. Enter The Haynes Sisters – Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen). As they perform, both men become almost instantly smitten. Phil and Judy cook up a plan to get Bob and Betty together; meanwhile, Bob is learning that it was Judy that contacted them, not his old army buddy Benny. Anyway, lots of other stuff happens, including an escape from the police, and then comes one of my favorite scenes.

I dream of old timey train travel! However every time I have actually taken the train somewhere (Chicago a few times) it hasn’t really been very picturesque or idyllic. Lol. Maybe I have missed that golden era. The four are on their way to Vermont, and are dreaming of snow. Much like me today.

They arrive in Vermont though to find absolutely no snow! They head to the inn the sisters are performing at for the holidays, a quaint little Vermont inn that makes a living off of people seeking fun in the snow. When they check in, they are told they aren’t needed as there are no guests because, you guessed it, there isn’t any snow. They are all standing about when in walks another old friend and army pal, but not just any ordinary buddy, but their old General. Turns out he owns the place and the four resolve to help drum up business to help the General out. It gets pretty involved, with Bob and Phil getting their entire act to travel out to this little inn for a special holiday show.

Then lots of other stuff happens, romance and singing and buttermilk by the fire, miscommunications, and a special plea on the Ed Harrison show for any of the General’s old Division who can get to Vermont by Christmas to get there, “to give the nicest Christmas gift to the nicest man”.

Then my next favorite scene where all his men who did heed the call surprise the General and well, they sing.

This part always gives me goosebumps and makes me cry. From here we head into the final scenes of the movie, including of course, the iconic scene where they sing White Christmas and the set moves and you can see the beautiful Currier and Ives style outdoor scene, where it is indeed snowing, finally.

This movie is so perfectly heartwarming and lovely. All the actors in it play their parts to perfection, and you can never doubt the dancing skills of Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen or the beautiful voices of Crosby and Clooney. This is such a Christmas classic, you just can’t go wrong watching it.

You can find Lisa’s post here.

Next up is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies – A Muppet Christmas Carol. Yep, Muppets. When Lisa asked me to let her know what movies I absolutely needed us to watch, both of mine were intended for children. And done by Jim Henson. I’m not sure what this says about me but that is ok.