Category Archives: angels

Sit-Com Stars in Hallmark Movie

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On another post, we had just been talking about 1989, when a few

of our favorite funny situation comedies originated. I could not

believe my ‘luck’ when I turned on the Hallmark Channel to find a

movie with a catchy title, “The Christmas Con.” There is an ensemble

cast of six famous actors from more than six situation comedies.

They show their talent and  versatility in this meaningful Hallmark

movie.

 

I will sketch the plot in, along with giving you the ‘who’s who’ of t.v.

series actors. If you are a fan of television trivia games, you may be

able to ‘keep up with me,’ in this essay about performers who have

been around television for years: one since 1982. Although the title

isn’t very pretty nor the story as simple as some Hallmark Christmas

movies are, it tells a meaningful story of hope and forgiveness.

 

There is a collection of outstanding, amusing actors who played

character parts in this story of ‘redemption.’ The movie has two

characters, an ex-convict who needs to change his way of dealing

with people, passing through his life ‘taking’ and never ‘giving.’ The

second character must face his addiction, he has to fall flat on his

face, embarrass himself, go to jail and then, find his way home.

 

The actor who plays the character of an alcoholic man, came from a

caring family, dramatic show, “Party of Five.”  My two daughters loved

the whole cast of this show. They would know this man who later left

this show to play an irascible red-headed doctor.  Although, you may

or may not,  have known the popular teenaged-cast of “Party of Five,”

he was, “Will Mc Corkle.” Then you may have seen him as the red haired

“pain in the butt” doctor from the serious show, “E.R.”  This character

was the head of the “E.R.” as, Dr. Archie Morris. “Archie” was disliked by

most everyone, (nurses and the E.R. hospital staff) which showed quite

a range of talent in this role played by Scott Grimes. It was nice to have

known him as a likable man in the first show, then respect his portrayal

of a ‘by the books’ doctor who sometimes went ‘head to head’ with John

Stamos, who played another type of character on “E.R.” Scott Grimes

went from “E.R.” to act in a few television movies, along with another

series, “Band of Brothers.”

Interestingly enough, Scott Richard Grimes made a ‘soft rock and roll’

album, (also described as  ‘popular rock’) called, “Sunset Boulevard.” He

wrote all of the songs and sang them, too. I have not checked this out

but it was favorably reviewed, in its genre.

 

Then there was the character of the  endearing ex-convict with a ‘heart

of gold,’ who plays Santa Claus, making a promise he nearly is unable to

keep for the son of the red-headed man. Scott Grime’s plays a father/

ex-husband who is unfortunately battling alcoholism. His son asks Santa

Claus to bring his mother and father back together again for Christmas.

 

Santa promises to bring this estranged father back ‘into the fold,’ becoming

part of the trio the boy considers his ‘family.’ The ex-con is played by Barry

Watson, who both my daughters had major ‘crushes’ on, while he was the

oldest son in a family of seven members being raised by a minister, known

as, “Seventh Heaven.” Barry Watson left “Seventh Heaven,” to battle in his

own personal ‘real life drama,’ Hodgkins Disease. My family, son included,

had Barry in our prayers for a few years. His attractive long-haired look in

the family show changed to a gaunt, bald look when he was interviewed

during this period of time. The producers allowed him to ‘spread his wings,’

by being behind the camera, in his writing plots and helping set up scenes.

 

There is a memorable scene, in The Christmas Con,” which paints a fairly

accurate picture of an A.A. meeting, where Scott Grimes’ meets Santa Claus,

out of costume. I feel capable of analyzing this subject, due to my own personal

experience of being married to an alcoholic, having attended one year of A.A.,

two years of Alanon, and taking my three children to Children of Alcoholics

meetings.

 

The man who is Santa/Barry’s best friend is played by, Jaleel White, who

portrayed the dorky, inept character named, “Steve Urkel,” in “Family

Matters.” His character has mended his ways of conniving and trying to

trick others, while also being a good and supportive friend to Barry’s

character. He gets to also romance Barry’s ‘sister,’ in the movie, using his

charming demeanor. He looks ‘nothing’ like Steve Urkel, has grown into

a handsome man.

 

John Ratzenberger’s in the cast of this Hallmark movie, playing a Grandpa,

and you know where he came from?  “Cheers,” where he was “Cliff Clavin,”

the mailman, the one who sometimes kept the bar stool warm for hours.

He was the stocky man’s (“Norm’s”) best friend, “where everyone knew

their names.” This series lasted from 1982 -1993. No wonder we felt these

actors were part of our family! John R. went on to make a few different

television movies, played guest character roles on shows and my ‘grandies’

love him in such familiar children’s animated films as the “Toy Story” series,

“Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where he plays (‘voices’) a rusted-out truck.

 

Another familiar character, where you may wonder, “Where have I seen

this attractive black woman before?” She has a unique character part,

as a female preacher in a church.  By the end of the story, you realize this

does not exist. It is a boarded up church, having been condemned. The

recognizable woman, who you don’t immediately ‘place’ or figure out

where she came from, is  talk show hostess, Wendy Williams. She ends

up being a fantastic singer, when she is caroling with church folks in a

neighborhood. I felt she was the Guardian Angel for Barry’s ex-convict

character.

 

The last famous displaced series player, is the actress, Melissa Joan Hart.

You got to know her as a teenaged witch in “Sabrina the Teen Age Witch,”

if you had children in the 90’s. (This ran seven years, 1996-2003.) Along

with Melissa’s more current role on  the show, “Melissa and Joey.” In the

Family Channel show, she is a town councilwoman and Joey (Lawrence)

is playing her ‘stay at home’ Nanny/Housekeeper. Can you believe Joey

was on The Johnny Carson Show, singing at age 5 years old? He is NOT

in this Hallmark movie, but was in one with Melissa Joan Hart, a few

Christmases ago.

(Yes, the plot for “Melissa and Joey,” resembles the one of “Who’s the

Boss?”)

 

Melissa’s character believes in her brother, the man who has just been

released from prison. You don’t feel he was a dangerous criminal and

are sympathetic to his character. (He had been a ‘grifter’ or ‘con artist,’

hence the name of the movie…)

Melissa and Barry make a believably good sister and brother team.

Melissa Joan Hart debuted as the director of this movie, which is a

new position for her to be in.

 

When Jameel’s character meets Melissa, he shows his debonair side,

which eventually they become close and they make a ‘cute couple.’

Their characters go about playing the ‘normal’ fantasy of carrying out

Christmas routines, as they decorate Melissa’s house, listen to Santa/

Barry’s quandary. Both Jaleel’s buddy character and Melissa’s sister

character cheer for the miracle of fixing the nearly irreparable marriage

and family together again.

 

Yes, I told you part of the ending.

The journey makes it worth watching.

The cast of recognizable people who have become part of our ongoing

landscape of television. Those people who come into our living room,

visit and stay awhile. They become more familiar than big screen

actors.

There are a few ‘surprises’ and twisting turns leading you to the

expected and satisfying ending. I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t

know since almost all of these movies come out ‘safe and sound.’

 

Hopefully, instead you will want to watch this more. Since it is the

way they handle the simplistic story, how they fulfill their duties as

characters which will help you admire Scott Grimes, Jaleel White,

Barry Watson, Melissa Joan Hart, John Ratzenberger and Wendy

Williams. In my mind, this is an ‘All Star Cast’ of television experts.

 

This is a treat to see, savor and remember. It shows me Christmas is

a time for all possibilities imaginable to come true.

 

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

Beloved Companions

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This is a simple post with some quotes and thoughts about pets,

especially the four-legged creatures that are pups and hounds.

If you are a cat-lover, as my dear friend Jenny is, you may still

enjoy the quotes. One had a photo of a group of pets, two dogs

and a cat looking out the window for their owner.

I believe domestic animals of many kinds, can be our ‘children’

or our ‘angels in disguise.’ Native Americans believe their are

special ‘spirits’ inhabited in wild animals, too.

 

“Some of our greatest historical and artistic

treasures we place with curators in museums;

others we take for walks.”

(Found with a photo of a beagle pup, leash in his cute

puppy mouth.)

~ Roger Caras ~

 

“One of our oldest human needs

is having someone wonder

where you are when you don’t

come home at night.”

(Accompanied by a photo of a cat, beagle and Labrador

retriever gazing out the picture window.)

~ Margaret Meade ~

 

“I always say,

Friends are the family

we choose,

Is it any wonder dogs are

called,

‘Man’s best friend?'”

(Anonymous. Accompanied by a photo of an Irish retriever

licking the face of an elderly man in a wheel chair.)

 

“Family Circle,” February, 2014 had this collection of

subscribers’ comments about the ways people cherished

their pets, who had passed on.

 

“In Memory Of. . .”

 

1. “We used her ashes on the two dogwood trees we

planted. Which you can see outside our windows.

She’s helping them grow.”

 

2. “I put his name tag on my key ring.”

 

3. “I donated to the animal shelter in her name.”

 

4. “I have his paw print and his picture in a frame.”

 

5. “I bought a beautiful hand-stamped, personalized

necklace with her name on it.”

 

6. “I made a memorial shadow box for our beloved

boxer.”

 

There was an interesting pie chart that included the figures

of how long it took to get another animal after the loss of a

beloved pet, labeled:

“Healing Heart.”

 

It was divided into four quadrants:

27% answered, “I still haven’t replaced my pet.”

26% mentioned it took them, “Over a year.”

26% said they were ready in, “A few months.”

Only 21% waited a ‘few weeks.’

 

It reminded me of my Dad, when he had taken our dogs to the pound

to get them euthanized. He was unable to come back home without

another dog or puppy in his arms. He had never owned a pet while a

boy. The house and walks in parks and neighborhoods, he felt, would

never have been the same without them.

Mom often says her dog, Nicki, who she got a year after my Dad passed

away, (when she had the veterinarian take her Cassie out of her painful

existence) will ‘break my heart when she goes…’

 

I only hope her heart will heal.

Fool’s Gold

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I was listening to the Beatles’ song, “The Fool on the Hill,” and then comparing it,

in my mind to, “A Fool in the Rain” sung by Led Zeppelin. All of a sudden, I realized

there can be a few ways that you can interpret the word, “Fool.” In the first song, it

means to be sad that you were made a ‘fool’ of, in love. The second song’s melody

is to a more upbeat tempo. Led Zeppelin’s song depicts being carefree enough to act

foolish. I like this idea of expressing your love through silly ways.

 

I like the idea of words and their interpretations. I have carried this out in a few of my

past different posts. (The Meaning of Regret, Patience, and others…) Definitions are

something I like to write and read about, especially  when I find out there are more

variations than I ever imagined. Also, the ‘roots’ of words interest me, too. I took a

course titled, “Etymology,” which I wish could have lasted much longer.

 

The definitions (and derivations) of fool:

(noun)- A person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person.

A more archaic definition (noun)- A person who was formerly kept in

a noble or royal household, for casual entertainer; also, ‘jester.’

 

(verb)- Trick or deceive (someone); dupe.

A more casual definition (verb)- To spend time idly or aimlessly, as in

‘fooling away’ time.

Another casual interpretation (verb)- To spend money or trifles (‘to fool

away’ or ‘fritter,’) without advantage. This was also characterized as to

meddle thoughtlessly or tamper.

 

(adjective)- Informal usage: Foolish or silly.

 

What a ‘fool’ she is over that man!

 

When I quoted how dogs accept us when we act like ‘fools’ on Wednesday, 9/16/14,

by Samuel Butler. It mentioned dogs don’t mind joining us in this frivolity, I started

thinking about writing this post.

 

I like this use of the word, “foolish:”

The clown wore a ‘foolish’ little hat on top of his bushy red hair! (Bozo or Ronald

McDonald, come to mind.)

 

I don’t like this use of ‘fool:’

Don’t fool with that loaded gun!

 

Unfortunately, Scripture leaves us with negative connotations of “fool:”

“Wicked,” “depraved,” “senseless,” and “dullard” are given references in the Bible,

implying to be foolish is all of these horrible things.

 

What about that delicious dessert labeled, “fool?”  Isn’t it too delicious to be

considered a part of the word’s definition? I love the layering of angel food or

other flavored cakes, with fruit and whipped cream… Yummy! I have to give

this interpretation a ‘positive’ rating!

 

What about the way we celebrate April first, “Happy April Fool’s Day!” Isn’t

this a positive and fun-filled day? I think back of the tricks I played and had

played on me, they seem more friendly and evoke happy memories.

 

In this same light-hearted manner, my grandkids like to say, “I fooled you, Nana!”

This can come when they hide something, when they play a ‘magic trick’ on me

or when they tell a ‘fib’ and it is usually ‘outlandish!’ All are positives, through

my starry eyes of love.

 

When I was in my teens, some of us would say, “So and so is “fooling around”

with someone else.” It usually meant ‘sex,’ but sometimes it was also, meant

to include ‘being unfaithful’ to another person.

How do you ‘view’ this expression?

Can someone be ‘tinkering’ with their car and still say they are ‘fooling around?’

 

I used to feel that this was a positive compliment, when a friend would say,

“We can’t ‘fool’ you, Robin!”

 

Sometimes I think of myself being sort of pitiful, in terms of, “He sure did ‘fool’

me, though. Never could have seen that happen!”

 

Other times, I would say what kind of ‘fools’ we all are, when we believe a

politician or a famous actor’s lines.

 

Fool’s Paradise = delirious happiness.

Fool’s Gold = pyrite.

 

Often expressed words,

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

 

“Fools rush in… where angels fear to tread.”

There are several references that come to mind, when I hear this quote.

The first one comes to mind, since I am a huge movie buff, along with liking

this movie plot is: “Fool’s Rush In.” This is a well done comedy, with several

serious underlying themes. First is, don’t do things while under the influence

of alcohol, or you may face consequences. The second is, you may find out

you like someone, once daylight hits, after all. Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek

are both interesting and amusing in this overall fun-loving movie.

The next thing that comes to mind,  is the song, “Fools Rush In (Where Angels

Fear to Tread,” written by Johnny Mercer, (1940). Yes, I wanted to find who were

the ones who sang this song, but my first memory of this song, was Ricky Nelson’s

version.

There have been dozens of famous people who have sung this popular song! The

first singer was Tony Martin. Then came The Glenn Miller Band,  with Ray Eberle

singing. Then came The Tommy Dorsey Band with Frank Sinatra singing this.

After that the remakes were about 20 years later, where it re-surfaced in 1960,

with someone named Brook Benton singing it. In 1962, (I would love this version!)

came Etta James. Also, in 1962, Doris Day sang a duet with Andre Previn of this

song.  Finally, the version that I know, with an upbeat tempo and a little ‘rock’

flair was sung by Ricky Nelson. (I still love his “Garden Party” song, don’t you?)

In 1971, Elvis Presley decided to include “Fools Rush In” in an album. There are

many more people, some I have never heard of, but needless to say, this is a very

popular song. I sure hope that the heirs of Johnny Mercer, collected some of the

royalties on this song!

 

I will sometimes remember how Eliza Doolittle says, “What a fool am I. . .” in the

song, “Without You.” (“My Fair Lady”)

 

A ‘shout out’ to my best use of matchmaking EVER: Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary,

Jenny and Dave! (My story about this is titled, “Love Found in a Video Store.” Yes,  I

found Dave, but had to call a few people to ‘identify’ him, while setting him up with my

good friend, Jenny.) Here’s to many more foolish times, fun and exciting adventures,

you two fun-loving people!

 

Hope you found more ‘gold’ here than ‘fool’s gold!’

 

I like to picture all my fellow bloggers  ‘fooling around,’ whistling, singing and enjoying

the sunny weather together! Let’s go on a hike with a picnic at the end of the trail. . .

 

 

When you think of the words, ‘fool’ and ‘foolish’ do you think of people who are young,

any age or elderly?

When you hear the word, ‘fool,’ does a song pop into your head?

Or if those questions don’t make you imagine something, can you remember a time you

felt ‘like a fool’ or ‘foolish?’ What age were you? If you wish to share a personal example,

feel free to give us one.

 

 

Critter Lovers

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My Mom and Betty White adore animals of every species and support their

lives with their extra money. My Mom has always been part of the ones who

would donate to any and all causes for animal preservation, prevention to

cruelty and local humane societies. They both use their humor and their

love of animals to ‘keep on going.’ Betty White is often on talk shows, in

movies and recently Hallmark featured her in a movie about a woman who

was waiting for her husband to come back from WWII. It is called, “The

Lost Valentine.”

 

Both women, although far apart in their professions, my Mom and Betty,

were widows and kept on their toes, with causes and interests. Betty has said,

she would have retired long ago, except that she wanted to continue to be able

to donate for animals’ rights. Both of these over 80 year old women, Mom and

Betty, live purposeful and meaningful lives.

 

Oh, and if you didn’t know this; both women ‘love’ Cleveland! You may see

Betty White performing and cracking her audiences up in, “Hot in Cleveland,”

on TV Land on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (Ch. 38- Central Ohio time)

 

If you were to live in Cleveland area, here are some extraordinary animal

supportive entertainment projects being carried on, forwarded from last

Sunday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Mom.

Everything from hummingbirds’ research and studies, which you may be

willing to observe and participate to “cat karaoke night,” are included in

this list of 10 upcoming events or fundraising projects!

 

1.  On Friday, September 262014: The group named,  “tails from the city,”

will hold “Karaoke for Cats,” at Paddy Rock Superpub.  This is located at

16700 A. Lorain Road. The group will take questions or donations at:

http://tailsfromthecitycleveland.org

 

2. The Northeast Ohio Circus Boycott Committee can be found on Facebook.

This organization promotes animals living in their natural environments.

They believe that animals should not be made to perform, should be able to

utilize their natural instinctive behaviors and not trained behaviors. Forcing

animals to perform is considered, “mistreatment.” There also is a phone

number for this organization: (440)-213-6342.

 

3. There is a New APP for smartphones that will inform the public of how to

help orphaned or injured wild animals. Free guidance can be found for the

group, Animal Help Now or

http://ahnow.org

 

4.  Do you want to show your appreciation for animals with a variety of

t-shirts with slogans?

The two organizations support animals:

http://sunfrogshirts.com

http://SmolasRescueRailroad/rescue

 

5.  This is so cool! Did you know humane societies and animal shelters collect

package weight circles from Purina Pet Food bags and products? Apparently,

Purina is like the Campbell Soup labels for education program and will reimburse

different non-profit shelters by their receiving labels for dogs, cats, bunnies, and

other domestic animals.

 

6. The National Audubon Society is asking for information about the hummingbirds

in your area. They are offering a free APP for people to contribute to their study of

hummingbirds:

http://hummingbirdsathome.org

 

7.  The Volunteer Vets and Valley Save-A-Pet organizations in Cleveland, Ohio are

working together by offering free spaying and neutering surgeries for dogs and cats

of low income owners. This outstanding joined forces group helped to perform more

than 1200 surgeries last year. Their program is titled, “Have A Heart.” They request

the participants fill out income guidelines and the animals be younger than two

years old and at least 35 pounds. If you wish to participate or donate:  Please Call:

(440)-232-CATS (2287)

 

8. September 21st the Annual Rainbow Bridge Walk and Run will begin at 1 p.m.

to honor and remember pets who have passed on into heaven. This is located in the

North Park, 3595 Grafton Road, Brunswick, Ohio.

Details for the Rainbow Walk can be found at:

http://rainbowbridgewalk.com

 

9. The Medina Pet Pantry is accepting pet food donations, leftovers from animals who

have died or newly purchased at: 6335 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio.

 

10. Going along with the #s 8 and 9, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio

will be holding their Pet Blessings service in remembrance of beloved pets who are living

and also, ones that have passed on, October 5, 2014 between 1-3 p.m.  More details at:

http://stpatrick4u.net

 

If you are an animal lover, you may already know about the fantastic veterinarian and

author, James Herriot. I loved his longer, autobiographical adventures for anyone from

middle school and older. They are rich in English countryside, customs and anecdotes.

Here is his beautiful list of books, which I have treasured for years:

1. All Creatures Great and Small

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

3. All Things Wise and Wonderful

4. The Lord God Made Them All

There are several more, including The Best of James Herriot but I am not sure, unless

you are a parent whose children adored animals and you were in the juvenile books area,

that some of you are aware of these special and meaningful story books. Each is illustrated

beautifully and my own children chose one of these to focus on in their growing up years:

1. Moses the Kitten (1984).

This was our first James Herriot book we invited into our home.

2. Oscar, Cat About Town.

3. Only One Woof.

4. The Christmas Baby Kitten.

This is kept in our Christmas book collection huge basket.

5. Bonny’s Big Day.

Horse lovers, this is about a special horse!

6. Blossom Comes Home.

People who have affection towards those doe-eyed cows, should

check out this sweet story.

7. The Market Square Dog.

 

There may be more books, your own personal animal stories you may wish to share

in our comments and responses. We all like animals, it is a true fact, babies and pets

are sometimes what bring smiles from even the ‘grouchiest’ people!

 

I will be shortly walking out of the library to see one of the biggest horse parades in

the United States. (Delaware, Ohio at 3 p.m. on September 7th.) I will be running into

a number of my friends, church members and neighbors. I will be sitting on a curb

soon, enjoying the community sense of fellowship and high expectation. In the past,

there have been diverse costumes, including Native American, (some represent the

history of this area, as descendants of the Mingo tribe), KISS band member look-alikes,

old-fashioned period costumes, Servicemen and women, Amish men and women with

their bonnets on, guiding their wagons and Clydesdales.

I will keep my eyes peeled, my camera ready to capture the horses with my coworker

and friend Amy, her ex-mother in law and daughter, riding together as a Trio entry in the

parade. The parade committee and guest judges will be choosing Best of Show, Most

Unique and other categories of winners for varied entries in this annual parade.

I have written about Amy’s horses, Spirit, Lokie and Sapphire. I have not been sure of

which ones they will be riding, one in all turquoise, another in all golden colors and the

third one, still up in the air, as of Friday. This means the headdress and blanket under the

saddle are of a chosen color, all in the ‘regalia’ of horse finery!

 

I am wearing this cowgirl on a horse, fall colors shirt, you can see in my avatar photo. No pants

today, since it is quite sunny and pleasant. Will be sitting on West Winter Street, with some

members of the family waving at the cowboys, cowgirls and children who are in this

All Horse Parade.

Supposedly, it is still considered, “The Biggest All Horse Parade East of the Mississippi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School’s Out for Summer!

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My two preschooler grandchildren had ‘graduation ceremonies,’ both

feeling mighty proud of themselves. They will be proceeding onward and

upward, to kindergarten! This happened last week, before my busy trip

taken to Cleveland, Ohio for Memorial Day weekend.

It was a fun event for Marley, since her preschool had a family picnic

held at Blue Limestone Park last Wednesday.

For Micah, it was a formal ceremony on Thursday evening, with his mother

and brother attending. Micah’s father was sick, barely able to get out of bed.

The only one in the household of four who was able to outwit the flu, or flee

from the sickness, had been Skyler.

Since I was heading to Cleveland to see my Mom, I had mentioned to the whole

family that I hoped the children would help to decorate my Mom’s corkboard

or bulletin board. I regularly ‘collect artwork donations’ so this was just

a ‘reminder notice,’ via texting.

When I had asked the children to help make ‘Get Well’ cards for my mother,

they were very cooperative. The parents all said the children expressed

concern and sent loving wishes for their Great Grandmother.

Marley made one with hearts, rainbows and some swirly lines. Micah made

his with an alligator in a swamp.

Marley’s picture had lots of “M’s” made into hearts by adding “V’s” to the

bottom of the “M’s.” She explained the process to me when I stopped by.

When I asked her to please add her name to it, since she is quite good at

writing her name, she put her little hands on her hips and told me,

“Don’t you know? I am out of school for the summer! I don’t have to do

any homework!”

I didn’t say a word.

Marley’s Mommy, my daughter in law, Trista piped up in a loud voice,

“Marley!”

Then she displayed her stern “Mommy look” on her face, peeking around

the corner at us at the kitchen table.

Marley picked up a crayon and added her name to her colorful artistry.

Micah, while at his home, had used watercolors and had had his Mom add

the word, “Alligator” with an arrow pointing to the area of the paper

which represented that critter. Then, Mom had printed, “Get Well, Great

Grammie O.!” Micah’s signature left a little to be desired (in clarity),

under the message.

Again, I did not say a word.

Makyah’s artwork came off my refrigerator since she had been napping at

the time of my visit. It had curly cues and little attempts at letters,

with some “M’s” included. It was mostly in purple and pink hues. She is

three and my Mom knew this was her ‘best work!’

Skyler had recently written a book report, which he felt Great Grammie O.

would enjoy reading. It had a drawing of Dr. Seuss, along with the words,

“Hop on Pop.” I thought the drawing and report would brighten her day and

said just that to Sky. He hugged me a lot, I hugged him back. I felt bad

that he had been the only ‘well’ person in the household, possibly he may

have wished for more fun and excitement. He was getting ready to head to

a friend’s when I stopped by.

Lara and Landen had also included their own personal messages, along with

handwritten cards. Both had expressed concern about my Mom’s hospital stay,

including different little symbols of this in their artwork. A thermometer

and a red cross on one’s card and a hospital gurney (or it could have been

a bed, I didn’t ask!) Lara can write in cursive, although it is not part of

her school curriculum. She had made very elaborate letters, saying this

sincere message,

“I love you, Great Grammie O!! I hope you feel better and your leg will

heal soon!! Get Well Soon! Love, Lara.”

I had stopped by, the week preschool had ended but the older ‘school kids’

had until yesterday, May 28, 2014, to complete their year out. They were

probably yelling and hooting a lot, celebrating that marvelous feeling of:

“FREEDOM!!”

Oh, how I remember how the endless days of summer seemed to stretch before

us, when we heard the final school bell ring and we rushed out the school’s

doors into Summer! Doesn’t that make you feel nostalgic?

When I was a teacher, the principal one year, over the loud speaker in

our Middle School, played, “School’s Out for Summer!” Alice Cooper’s

“escape anthem” was released in 1972! I remember the year it came out,

thinking this is a perfect way to celebrate getting out of school!

When I read the special message that was given to Lara, on her last day

at Schultz Elementary, I got teary eyed. Lara’s venturing onward into

Willis Intermediate School. She had a “Clap Out” and also, Graduation

Cake from completing her five years at the school. The next building

will house the Fifth and Sixth graders from Smith, Schulz, Conger,

and Carlisle Elementary Schools. It is a “Big Deal” to be moving ‘up

in the world!’

I am sure you will enjoy the following poem that was given to her parents,

with the poem typed on colored cardboard, a flower with a picture of the

child as the center of the flower.

In this case, Lara. It is a message that also applies to her, since the

words encompass so much in their simplicity.

It was a beautiful, endearing message from Lara’s teacher to her and her

Parents.

Mrs. Travis had been her teacher, from Fall until Spring. It was more than,

“Congratulations on Graduating Grade School!” The poem is a treasure to

remember, one that you may wish to believe in its powerful words, too.

“I’ve worked with your flower,

And helped it to grow.

I’m returning it now,

But I want you to know…

This flower is precious,

As dear as can be.

Love it, take care of it,

And you will see…

A bright new bloom,

With every day.

It grew and blossomed,

In such a wonderful way.

In September, just a bud,

January~ a bloom;

Now a lovely blossom,

I’m returning in June.

Remember, this flower,

As dear as can be,

Though rightfully yours,

Part will always belong to me!”

Signed,

Mrs. Travis

A Portrait of Garrison Keillor

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It is so hard to imagine life without Lake Wobegone or all the

assundry characters that Garrison Keillor created with his wild

and interesting imagination. He was born in August, 1942, in

Anoka, Minnesota. His dream was to be a ‘poet and a genius.’

Garrison Keillor is best known for his radio show and many

books written.

In Garrison’s plainly written words in the book, “The Keillor

Reader,” (2014, Viking Books, part of Penguin Group) you find

yourself looking up to him. You feel that he has wisdom to

impart. I think that Garrison could be considered a ‘feel good’

author! Listening to his stories can make you wish for the

‘good old days,’ where life was simpler.

While he describes the townspeople of Lake Wobegon,

“I invented a town where the women are strong, the men are

good-looking and the children are all above-average.”

In July, 2014, “A Prairie Home Companion” will celebrate its Forty

Years’ Anniversary!

This iconic Minnesota Public Radio Show caught my attention a long

time ago, when I heard it playing on our local public broadcasting

channel.

His program has been syndicated and listened to by people, around

the world!

Have you ever sat, with possibly your eyes closed, as I happen to

choose to do, and listened to Garrison Keillor?

I like to picture the various places in his town, with their clever

names like “Bertha’s Kitty Boutique,” “The Chatterbox Café,”

“The Sidetrack Tap (the local tavern), “Skoglund’s Five & Dime,”

and “Bunsen Motors.”

Garrison’s fine voice, with its unusual dialect, distinguished

in his readings to us. His words kept my interest, about the

people in the town that once had only been a figment of his

imagination. They must have been rolling around, among his other

young, diverse thoughts, just waiting to escape and come to life!

When Garrison applied for the early morning shift, he had been

one of only a handful willing to get up daily at 4 a.m.

His wry, ascerbic wit and sometimes darker version of the world

were not acceptable to those who were on their way to work, ones

who may have needed a second cup of java to get them going.

So, out of this understanding of his audience, Garrison became

“Old Scout,” the narrator and observer of a small town.

I liked the movie, “A Prairie Home Companion,” (2006) which believe

it or not, included Lindsay Lohan, amongst a wonderful, comedic

ensemble group! The list of actors and actresses alone, made it

worth watching this “B+” movie! I cannot help listing the ones

who were part of Robert Altman’s cast of dreams. (By the way,

this was Altman’s last film that he directed. His list of many

accomplishments is incredible! He died later in November, 2006.)

Here’s the list of “Who’s Who” in the movie: Lily Tomlin, Meryl

Streep, Woody Harrelson, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly, Kevin

Kline, Garrison (himself) Keillor, Tommy Lee Jones and Robin

Williams with his wife, Linda. There is an interesting “angel”

character, played by Virginia Madsen. At the end, when the play

is closed down and the theater no longer exists, there is a

special scene… (I won’t “spoil” this, if you choose to rent

this from your local library.) I just want to say, the scene

in a diner, was rather “fortuitous.”

I love Garrison Keillor’s book, I recommend it and it would

be considered a memoir, with some facts about his life and

the phases he went through, growing old while being the one

who told the world about the town that had once lived in his

mind.

I like to make lists so here are some of the things I learned

from his autobiography, including some quotations from his 2014

book.

“Life Lessons I learned While Reading Garrison Keillor’s Most

Recent Book”~

1. Incorporate a sense of humor in your day!

Garrison mentions the contrast of his own morning persona

compared to what was acceptable to his listeners.

“Irony and a dark world-view are not useful in radio early

in the morning…”

2. Be cheerful and it will help others to be happy.

Garrison explains why he created his character,

“Old Scout, who rallied listeners to rise and shine and face the

day with a smile.”

He goes on, “It was a good persona and in time I came to believe

it myself.”

3. Be nice in your town to friends and neighbors.

The town he invented has pleasantries, helpful and kind people.

Garrison’s people are respectful, despite their quirky natures.

4. Work hard, ‘make up for lack of talent.’ and forge ahead.

Garrison tells his readers,

“Soon I was forty, which is too old to die young, so I forgot about

immortality and headed down the long dirt road of longevity.”

5. Parents are important. Remember to thank them!

Garrison realizes,

“It dawned on me that the cheerful radio host I invented was derived

from my parents’ example.”

6. It is good to enjoy what you have and realize things could be

worse.

Garrison describes his parents,

“They were children of the Great Depression, John and Grace. They

knew how to savor their life and not complain.”

7. Don’t complain about how your children lead their lives.

Garrison reveals,

“They (his parents) never complained about me though I know they

hoped I’d go into a more distinguished line of work.”

8. Find what you like to do and continue doing it!

Garrison likes his life and his stories with comedy relief.

“I like it, (his choice of profession) though. Comedy does

give good value. There are so many discouraging facts around

for example, half of all people are below average, and jokes

relieve some of the misery.”

9. Sometimes making up parables can be amusing.

Garrison’s humor shows in this example:

“The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong nor

riches to men of understanding, but time and chance happeneth

to them all.”

10. As you grow older, you truly believe ‘age is wisdom.’

Garrison says this example is the ‘essence of comedy’ in

25 words or less:

“You’re fast, you trip and fall down: you’re strong and you

poke your sword in your left foot; you’re smart and you go

broke.”

At age 72 this year, Garrison Keillor has reached an age that

his words ring with truth and wisdom, leading us on in our

creativity and encouraging us to keep trying to find our way.

When he came up with the town’s name of Lake Wobegon, I wonder

if he was thinking that it was “woe-be-gone.” Telling us to

leave our burdens and turmoils behind us.

These are the lessons I received from reading his book, “The

Keillor Reader.”

I felt so blessed to have had a chance to ‘visit’ for awhile

and ‘listen’ one more time to Garrison Keillor.