Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Laurel and Hardy: Kings of Comedy

Just for a chuckle, I thought I would share this.  My siblings and I grew up watching golden oldies - the really, really old golden oldies.  These are some of our favourite comedians; our grandfather had a whole collection on VHS, which he has now passed on to us.  Unfortunately, my favourite episodes are not available through YouTube.  I think you'd have to either get them from your library, or buy them from Amazon.  I was able to find this, however:

- Utopia -

And this (which is one of my favourites):

- A Chump at Oxford -

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Damsel's Daybook IV

Outside my window - It's cloudy, but not sadly so.
I am thinking about - My next assignment...sigh!
From the kitchen - A chocolate cake!  Treat of treats!
I am creating -A cardigan.
I am reading -
  • Walking With Frodo: A Devotional Journey Through the Lord of the Rings by Sarah Arthur (highly recommended)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (therefore, I am in heaven :))
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (which is still wonderful)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (I started as a necessity - I haven't read it in far too long and was feeling quite deprived!)
I am hearing - Peace and quiet.
I am hoping - This stupid cold goes away!
I am planning - To have a nice relaxing time and maybe finish The Way We Live Now Tonight.
I am wearing - My PJs.  I was wearing my nightie, but I got it dirty.  Fiddlesticks.
Around the house - It seems as if everyone is napping!
My wish of the week - That we all get better really quickly!  I know some of my friends are sick too :(  So I hope they are on the mend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day (Belated)

I know this is a day late, but I wanted to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I spent yesterday evening at a wonderful party with many other wonderful university students.  We ate well, talked a lot, and danced to Irish music.  I'll put some of the music down below if you want to hear it.
I feel very happy to have some Irish in me (even if it is apparently a very small amount).  I can feel the Irish in me come out on St. Patrick's day.
I love to think of St. Patrick and all the good he did in Ireland.  I'm so glad he has his own feast day.  To me, St. Patrick's Day is not a day to get dressed up in silly hats, but a day to think of St. Patrick and thank him.
During the festivities yesterday night, I was touched that the ladies who had planned the party had also planned for us to pray for Japan before we left.  So we petitioned Jesus and St. Patrick to watch over the suffering and bring them solace and comfort.  All in all, it was the best St. Patrick's day I have ever had.
And wi' that, lads and lassies, Ah'll bid ye good day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Damsel's Daybook III

Hosted by Autumn at Storygirl
Outside my window - It's overcast, thinking about raining, and very, very windy.
I am thinking about - Different things that happened this week, including the new yarn I got for a new cardigan!
From the kitchen - Funny...I'm not sure...I know I smelt something good up there.
I am creating - Still the baby sweater, and I really want to start on my new cardigan!  I'll do a post later so you can see the colour yarn and the pattern.  They're so pretty!)
I am reading -
  • Walking With Frodo: A Devotional Journey Through the Lord of the Rings by Sarah Arthur (highly recommended)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (therefore, I am in heaven :))
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (which is wonderful so far; it has me dreaming about Indians and trees...)
I am hearing -Who Says by Selena Gomez, which is a very positive song, and I like it!  I'll probably over listen to it and get sick of it, though...I always do that with the pop songs.  Except I can't get sick of Taylor Swift LOL
I am hoping - I can sleep without worrying about assignments!!
I am planning - To have a nice relaxing time with my family after dinner, knitting or reading.  I love my family :)
I am wearing - Track pants, short sleeved shirt and a cardigan.
Around the house - All is peaceful, all is calm.
My wish of the week - I don't really have one!  Oh! I know.  I wish that I can write more on my novel that is currently the main one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Top Ten Favourite Books - #1

I borrowed this idea from Elise at Ribbons of Light and tweaked it a bit. :)  I'm a little scared to start, actually!  I love so many books.  I'm sure I'll regret picking one and wish I'd said a different one, or read a new book which becomes an instant favourite.  Well, despite the obstacles, here I go.  I'm afraid I'll have to start at the top.  I just can't do it any other way!

So, (as you can see), my number one favourite is The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery.  I've only been able to narrow it down because I finally decided that L. M. Montgomery was my very favourite author (we could have been bosom friends, I just know it) and The Blue Castle is my favourite of her books.  Strange, isn't it?  It's not one of her well known ones, but I think it deserves to be.  Much as I love Anne and Emily and all her others, this one in particular resonates with me.

It's the story of Valancy, a poor young woman who is on the verge of spinsterhood.  She wouldn't mind that so much if 1) at least someone had wanted her, once, and 2) her family didn't constantly remind her that she wasn't being courted and was very likely never to be.  Her mother is a very cold character, and it is doubtful that she feels any love toward her daughter.  The only comfort for plain little Valancy is her blue castle, a magical place she created, where she is stunningly beautiful and sought by many gallant knights.

Then, one day she learns something that overturns her little world and makes her realize that she has never really lived. She decides that she is going to and so throws away all of her timidness and shocks her family into realizing that little 'Doss' isn't as introverted or proper as they all thought her.

It was so funny, so sweet, and so moving, I laughed, cried, and smiled through my tears.  I was swept along through this beautiful little book and it touched my soul as no book had ever managed to before (yes, even the Jane Austen ones!).  I can relate to Valancy, because I tend to hold back things I want to say because I'm shy or just quiet.  I overthink things, and then when I've decided I'll say them, the moment has passed and the circle starts all over again.  I want to be brave like her and just say it and not be ashamed if I've said something a bit shocking (although, obviously, I would be sorry if I hurt someone's feelings).  I also have my little blue castle, which as you know, is more of a cottage and only has one gallant knight in it...who exactly I don't know yet!  He is noble and kind, I know that.)

I would put this on everyone's must-read list.  I just can't say enough about how wonderful it is.  I can't even express how much I love it!  So, if you haven't please read it for yourself and let me know what you thought of it. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Kindle For Your Computer!

I just discovered that you can download a Kindle application onto your computer free through Amazon!  *Jaw drops in delighted shock*  So, as you can imagine, I have been frantically going through all the free Kindle books and putting them on my new 'Kindle'.  I was so excited when I discover Northanger Abbey was free as well!  My favourite Jane Austen!  And it has a beautiful cover.  I also was ecstatic to find Ivanhoe, another one of my 'I have to have this or I will die' books.  Okay, maybe not that drastic, but close!  I've also been getting a lot of books that are on my to-read list, as well as some that I hadn't had on that list, but are now!  For example; The Rose and the Ring by William Makepeace Thackeray and My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell.

So for those of you who are interested, here is the download page: Free Kindle For PC and Free Kindle For Mac

Enjoy!  Here are some of the free kindle e-books I've found:
  • She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
  • Utopia by Sir Thomas More
  • The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy
  • Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde
  • English Fairy Tales
  • The Abbot by Sir Walter Scott
  • Lorna Doone; A Romance of Exmoor by R. D. Blackmoore
And my aforementioned books:
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Rose and the Ring by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell
You can also find the free ones by going to this link: Kindle E-Books Listed From Low Prices to High

If/when I eventually get a Kindle, I will already have an extensive collection!  I haven't read most of these, but they all look wonderful.   Happy adventures reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thoughts of Spring Blog Party

Another blog party!  I just get so much fun out of these.  And I caught it just in time, too!  I found this one through Kellie at A Maiden's Musings, who hosted the last lovely blog party (and I hope she does it again very soon, hint hint ;)).  She also has the dearest store (and I'm aching to get that Bibliophile button)!  Anyway, here I go!


How would people describe your personality? (If they could only use ONE word.) Are they right? Hmm...either quiet or romantic.  And yes, they would be right.

Who is your favorite blogger? Why?  Well, I'm (fairly) new to meeting people through blogging, and I don't know very many people very well.  They all seem so nice and I love their blogs! :)  But my favourite  blogger would be Elise at Ribbons of Light, because I agree with pretty much everything she says and her blog is so beautiful and welcoming.  Her blog posts make me smile. We've slowly become better and better friends and I really enjoy our talks. :)

What is your comfort food/drink? I love chocolate!  As to drink, Bengal Spice tea is the new favourite.

Be brave – tell us something very random and weird about yourself.  I used to sleep like Pippi Longstocking...but that isn't a current oddity.  How about this; I can't play the piano and talk simultaneously, but I can play the piano and sing at the same time.

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it? I would love to travel somewhere and stay there for a while, maybe a few months.  Then I could get a real feel for the place.

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres?  I love any movie that touches me and has good morals, characters worthy of emulation, and a good storyline.  If it can make me laugh, cry, smile, and leave feeling warm and fuzzy inside, it's a favourite.  However, the genres I tend to bend towards would be adventure/romance/period drama.

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material?  I absolutely love fairytale retellings, but I also love classics.  Eh, here's the list :)

Music: Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno? What are your favorite types?  I love classical music, soundtracks, Disney songs, Taylor Swift country,  swing, Celtic music; anything happy or beautiful or moving.

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?  Not to sound a goody-two-shoes, but I would give half of it away to an orphanage in Mexico for young boys.  I've been there and they need it so much more than I do.  With the rest of it, I would build my dream home, described in my last blog party post.

Name one weakness of yours (confession is good for the soul).  I tend to stay up too late...it's just that the night is so bewitching!  I love the quietness and calm and the beautiful stars.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go?  Nowhere.  I would stay right here.  I'm perfectly happy in our little house, with my family around me, my friends (most of them) close by, and no shortage of trees, brooks, mountains, or scope for the imagination.

Strange Talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or perform some other strange feat?  Ermm...I have double jointed thumbs.  Does that count?

What’s something you consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging, it’s acknowledging a God given gift).  Writing, I suppose.  I do need to practice more, though!

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?  Freshly baked bread!

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish: You would have talked more or You would have talked less?  Talked more.  Yup, I'm a shy one.

If money wasn’t a factor, what stores would you shop in? Amazon!  And Etsy shops :) And used book stores!

What is your greatest fear or strange phobia?  I used to be dead scared of the sound mosquitoes make.  But now, I'm mainly scared of the lack of morals in our world and how what morals are left are slowly deteriorating.  I'm afraid of bringing my children up in that kind of atmosphere.

What is your greatest accomplishment? Overcoming a long spiritual struggle.

What are your favorite animals?  Cats.  Lovely, furry, cuddly creatures.  And their purrs!  Heaven.

Are you a hopeless romantic?  I am a romantic in the extreme, but as Kellie has mentioned, not hopeless!

What movie or book character can you most relate to?  Good question!  Probably Elinor Dashwood; I tend to bottle my feeling up inside and vent them where no one can hear/see me.  Or Catherine Morland...I have an overactive imagination. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Damsel's Daybook II

Hosted by Autumn at Storygirl
Outside my window - It's sunny and there are fluffy clouds in a blue sky.
I am thinking about - Going for a walk!
From the kitchen - Well, we're going to have raisin bread for snack; yum!
I am creating - A baby sweater, although I am a little disheartened as I will have to undo a sleeve for the second time (I was knitting while listening to a conversation and apparently didn't pay enough attention to what I was supposed to be doing!).

I am reading -
  • Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke
  • Walking With Frodo: A Devotional Journey Through the Lord of the Rings by Sarah Arthur (highly recommended)
I am hearing - almost complete silence, except footsteps and voices from upstairs.
I am hoping - I can finish my assignments in time!
I am planning - To do my assignments, stop getting fluffy books from the library so I can read James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and The Swiss Family Robinson by Henry Frith.
I am wearing - Track pants, long sleeved shirt and a cardigan.
Around the house -We're all up to something; I'm just not quite sure what!
My wish of the week -To finish reading all my library books (and my sister's - she wants me to preview them for her).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beautiful, Uplifting, (or Funny) Quotes - Mostly from famous authors (3)

The family is a haven in a heartless world. - Christopher Lasch

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. - Thomas Jefferson

Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.  Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted. - Paul Pearshall

The love of a family is life's greatest blessing. - Anonymous

Families are the compass that guides us.  They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. - Brad Henry

There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind. - Louisa May Alcott

"What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?" - Lousia May Alcott

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Introducing: The Family Piano

 I would like to introduce our family piano to you.  We have never named him, as he was always there.  Our parents bought him from our grandparents before we were born (my aunt, who is a professional musician and music teacher of piano and harp, used to practice on it).  We all took piano lessons to a certain degree, but it was only my sister and I who really took off.  I took lessons all the way up to level 10, and she looks to go as far, if not on to her ARCT.  I still play, but I need lessons to be able to play the really difficult pieces.
Some of my favourite pieces to play are:
  • Liz on Top of the World  - from the soundtrack of Pride and Prejudice (2005)
  • Piano Suite - from the soundtrack of August Rush (2007)
  • Oh Danny Boy
  • My Father's Favourite - from the soundtrack of Sense and Sensibility (1995)
  • The Seaside - a duet from the soundtrack of Emma (2009)
  • Comptine d'un autre ete: l'Apres Midi - from the soundtrack of Amelie (2001)
  • Think of Me - from the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • My Heart Will Go On - from the soundtrack of Titanic (1997)
  • Carrickfergus - from Charlotte Church's album Enchantment (2001)
  • Across the Stars - from the soundtrack of The Attack of the Clones: Star Wars Episode II (2002)
  • Many Meetings, Evenstar, Rohan, and Aniron - from the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings (2001)
  • Theme from The Inheritance (1997) which I transposed to the piano
 Some of our music sheets/books.
 Liz on Top of the World:
 Me playing (by the way, the silver ring is my purity ring which I've had since I was thirteen; it reads True Love Waits):
Here is a really old video that I took of me playing Bella's Lullaby: I apologize for the sound...our camera isn't well known for its sound qualities!  I can't take any more videos unless I get a better sound setup.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Handmade Bookmarks

I must confess that last night I got a little carried away and found myself in raptures over my new idea (which might have had something to do with the recent discovery that I love cameos).  I decided I was going to make bookmarks of silhouettes.  So I found Jane Austen's silhouette and another lady's silhouette and proceeded to make these:

My personal favourites are the first two.  They just strike me more; especially the Jane Austen one.  I had so much fun!  I was upstairs cutting happily away, listening to soundtracks like Piano Lullaby from August Rush.  Which ones do you like?
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