Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal weddings and Hitchcock.

I wasn't planning on writing about the royal wedding- this post was going to be about a Hitchcock film. But I couldn't resist mentioning it! :)

I'm not one of those people who's obsessed with the royal family or Prince Will and Kate's relationship. But I did realize that watching this wedding was like taking part in history (in a small way). Also, I am a little obsessed with all things related to Great Britain.

I did not wake up at 4:00 a.m. I woke up about 6:15, thinking (for some reason) that the actual wedding didn't start until 8:00. So I was pretty surprised to turn on the TV and see that they were already saying their vows! But oh, well, I got to watch the rest of it, as well as see clips of the beginning of the wedding.

I really liked Kate's dress (it would be perfect if the neckline wasn't quite as low). And the Prince's uniform reminds me of one of the old Disney princes in the picture below. :) And look at the little girl in the bottom left corner. She cracks me up!

I loved the trees placed in Westminster Abbey. It made the huge building seem a little smaller somehow. Plus, it was sort of like having an outdoor wedding while being indoors.

I also loved that the Queen wore yellow. But maybe I'm biased because it's my favorite color.

But most of all, I loved how enthusiastic the British people were in their celebrations. I know that a lot of people in England complain about the royal family, how much they cost the people, etc. Maybe they're right. But I think it's kind of nice to hold on to traditions like that. And it was amazing to see so many people waving their flags, cheering for the couple, and showing pride for their country.

I did not, however, love the hat that Princess Beatrice wore (on the right). When I first saw it, it reminded me of an octopus. Then I was just amazed at how it could possibly stay on her head. I read that the designer of the hats has designed hats for the Harry Potter films. Hm.

Okay, now on to Alfred Hitchcock. He was English, too, so this isn't such a big jump. :) The other day I watched Strangers on a Train again for the second time (it's on the Hitchcock set I got for my birthday).

I love this movie! It was even better than I remembered it being.

Robert Walker is so creepy as Bruno. And the ending, at the amusement park with the carousel, is one of the most visually stunning (and terrifying) scenes I think I've ever seen in black and white. Strangers on a Train could possibly be my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film that I've seen so far. You should go watch it!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wisdom teeth(less).

Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth out. It was a day of several firsts in my life:

-First time having any kind of procedure or surgery done (I've never even had a cavity before, people.)
-First time having my mouth numbed with a needle.
-First time having anesthesia.

These are all unpleasant firsts, of course. But everything went well, and I'm so glad it's over. I debated mentioning it on here before I had it done, but decided not to in case I chickened out and ate or drank something between 3 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning (which would have prevented me from being able to have it done :). I was especially nervous about the after-effects of the anesthesia. I imagined myself waking up believing that I was in a musical or stumbling out into the waiting room asking for Marmee (which is what I've taken to calling my mom lately, in tribute to Little Women).

But now that it's over, I can joke about it.

I can laugh about how me and Marmee sat in the waiting room, reading outdated entertainment magazines for an hour before I even got called back. And this did not make me happy, especially since I was already irritable from not having breakfast.

Or about how I felt an overwhelming urge to cry when I was taken back and had to sign all of these forms telling me that what I was about to do could cause anything from nausea to permanent limited jaw movement to cardiac arrest. This was the point where the CPR-trained me started looking around the room for an AED.

Or about how the anesthesia they gave me through an IV didn't knock me out or make me loopy. I was alert through the whole thing, even though I didn't feel any pain at the time. I did closed my eyes like they asked and tried to focus on the 80s music playing over the speakers instead of the unpleasantness happening in my mouth.

Or about how I was bleeding so much that I looked like the star of a vampire movie when I left the office.

Seriously. But I think everything went well. I'm not taking the strong pain medicine they gave me because I got sick to my stomach yesterday afternoon, but the pain isn't so bad right now. And the swelling just started today. My dad informed me that I looked and spoke like the Godfather (no, I haven't seen the movies, but I knew exactly what he meant by that). I told him to be careful what he said, because his wisdom teeth haven't come in yet.

So now I can relax and take it easy for a couple of days. I don't have class again until Monday, and next week is my last week of classes for the semester. So the only thing I have to worry about right now is tackling my "to read" pile and deciding which BBC mini-series to watch. :)

By the way, I recently watched the 1940 Pride and Prejudice for the first time. It was...interesting. I didn't actually feel like I was even watching an Austen adaptation. It was a lovely movie, in itself, but I don't even think you can compare it to the book.

First of all, it doesn't even really take place in Regency times. Secondly, Mr. Darcy is way too friendly and nice and doesn't even try to fight his interest in Lizzy. And finally- Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine in cahoots at the end? I don't think so! I thought I was going to fall off my chair. And it didn't have anything to do with the anesthesia. :)

Until next time,

Friday, April 22, 2011

The princess and the pea.

Yes, it's finally finished.

This is the "Princess and the Pea" embroidery pattern from Follow the White Bunny. I started on it nearly a month ago, somewhere around March 25th. I finished the final stitches last night while watching Hitchcock's Suspicion. Yes, I am that slow. To be fair, I usually only worked on this maybe two days a week. Still, this is hours and hours worth of work right here.

I'm sorry for the low quality pictures. Of course, it's very cloudy and dark here today, so the lighting is bad. I'll post more pictures after I frame it. I'm planning on putting it in an 8x10 frame. The finished embroidery is about 5x7 (when I was working on it, it seemed huge :).

This is the sleepless princess:

And here is that bothersome pea (under approx. twenty mattresses).

I am pretty proud of this. It's my biggest, most adventurous embroidery piece so far. And now I'm pretty confident about satin stitches and the long-short stitch (seen on the pillow, blue/white striped blanket, and the bed skirt at the very bottom).

I'm not sure what to start on next. Either the Pinocchio cross stitch, a canvas bag I've been wanting to embroidery (mostly to carry library books in :), or embroidering my pillowcases.

Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. :) And thanks to all of the people who read my blog- a few days ago, Sew Technicolor hit 100 followers. That's very exciting!

I was sad to read this morning that Madelyn Pugh Davis had passed away a few days ago. She and Bob Carroll, Jr. were two of the writers for I Love Lucy that wrote for the whole duration of the series. I Love Lucy is my favorite show, and I think her writing was one of the main reasons for how hilarious the show was. Lucille Ball always gave credit to the show's writers and often said she couldn't have done it without them.

Until next time,

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Today is my birthday. :)

I'm now 20 years old. It's funny how when I was younger, I thought that age twenty was so grown-up and mature. But now that I'm here, I don't exactly feel so grown-up and mature. I am glad to officially be out of the teenage years though. What am I now? A young adult? Hm.

Here are some of the lovely gifts I received today:

 {A stack of books: The Practical Guide to Patchwork, by Elizabeth Hartman, A Distant Melody, by Sarah Sundin, The Ordering of Love, by Madeline L'Engle, Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell, Home Economics, compiled by Jennifer McKnight Trontz, a sweet little copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter. Some movies: For Me and My Gal, Cover Girl, and a four set of Hitchcock films. Gorgeous Bambi fabric (even though Bambi is not one of my favorite Disney movies, the fabric is too cute), and that awesome clock I wrote about here. I also got some money, I Love Lucy coasters, and a few other little things.}

These two books that I got for my birthday have got to be two of the most beautiful books I own. :) You know those clothbound hardcover Penguin classics that I've been in love with forever? I got the Cranford copy! It is so pretty. The cover also has a great texture. And it has a ribbon bookmark made into it. It's actually smaller than I imagined them to be- it's basically a hardcover that's the size of an average paperback. And when I opened it, I was glad to see that, like my paperback Penguin copy of Pride and Prejudice, it has all sorts of helpful things like a chronology about the author, notes, and appendices. I've never read Cranford before. I love the mini-series, and I know that it's a lot different, but I can't wait to read the book!

On the right is an adorable little book called Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st-Century Household. It's full of all sorts of information about homemaking, and a lot of it is actually from vintage magazines and books. There are little retro illustrations everywhere. The book looks like it was printed in the 50s, and it is so cute.

I also got this vintage Donald Duck children's book. It was printed in 1948 and it's in perfect shape.

I didn't allow myself to work on anything for school today. I'll probably have to work on assignments all day tomorrow, but that's okay. The semester is so close to being over. I didn't write about this in my last post, what with all the critter talk, but yesterday was such a good day. We started our persuasive speeches in public speaking class, and I was so, so tempted to put it off until Monday's class. Two people gave their speeches and then we ran out of volunteers. The teacher was about to start randomly calling on people when I gathered up my nerve and got up there and gave my speech about homeschooling. And it's done. That was my last speech! Thank goodness. :)

Anyway, this morning I embroidered while watching For Me and My Gal. I loved it- Judy Garland and Gene Kelly are so lovely together. It makes me smile that Judy was so small that Gene looks taller when he dances with her. :) And he was so young and ridiculously handsome in this movie.

I'll probably watch a Hitchcock film this afternoon and embroidery some more. I am so close to finishing my "Princess and the Pea" piece. I should have pictures of it up tomorrow!

 Until next time,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rabbits and mice and bears, oh my!

A few mornings ago, I went out to the brooder house to feed and water the baby chicks. We keep the bag of scratch grain in one of those big plastic garbage cans. I took off the lid and found a big-eared little mouse looking at me.

He was balancing on the top of the open bag, trembling.

I, very loudly, said "Oh!" Not like, "Oh, there's a cute little mouse looking at me." Like the "oh" that Lucy Ricardo says when Ricky catches her doing something she's not supposed to be doing.

As I said this, I was brandishing the lid like a shield. Then I laughed at myself.

We stood still and looked at each other for some time. Then he jumped onto the garbage can and scurried off. Now I very cautiously peer over into the bag before I scoop out scratch grain.

There's also this rabbit:

He's been living outside around our house for months now. He looks like a pet rabbit, with one floppy ear.

Sometimes I go rabbit hunting. Which means I go out and stalk him, because he looks so soft and adorable that I just want to catch him and snuggle him. :) He won't let us touch him.

And yes. I can get *this* close. I know now why Beatrix Potter was so fascinated with rabbits and writing stories about them. This rabbit is so adorable. He was twitching his nose the whole time I was stalking him. Sometimes he sits very still and watches me out of the corner of his eye. Here's the weird thing: when I see him from my window, he looks huge. But the closer you get to him, the smaller he looks. My dad says that doesn't make any sense, but it's the truth. I think it would make a good story for a children's book. Maybe if I actually reached out to touch him he would disappear altogether? :)

Until next time,

{Okay, so there aren't any bears. Thank goodness.}

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Heart Most Worthy, by Siri Mitchell.

The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek? {blurb from Bethany House website}

I finished reading A Heart Most Worthy, by Siri Mitchell, last night. The story revolves around three young Italian immigrants who work at Madame Forza's gown shop. It takes place in Boston in 1918. I really enjoyed this book. At the beginning, Siri Mitchell includes a list of the main characters' names. I'm one of those people who likes to get everybody's names straight at the beginning of a book, even though it's usually hard to do. So I appreciated the list! :) I loved the characters, especially the three young women: Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana. I liked the way that the author told each of the girls' stories separately, until it came time for them to intertwine. I think Annamaria was my favorite.

I was also really interested in the historical context of the story. It brings up a lot of information, especially about the Great Italian Emigration and the discrimination that Italians faced in America. And I liked learning about the Italian culture, such as what was expected from the eldest daughter in a family, and how they would rather associate with their own people than other groups of Italians (sometimes, as in this story, taking it to an extreme).

In this book, the narrator sometimes speaks directly to the reader. In most cases, I felt that this worked really well. But occasionally, it felt overdone.

So, I really enjoyed A Heart Most Worthy. It was slightly predictable but very interesting, with characters that you come to care about. I especially recommend it to historical fiction readers! This was the third book I've read by Siri Mitchell. She Walks in Beauty is still my favorite, but I liked this book much more than A Constant Heart.

{I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was only required to write an honest review.} 

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

{Where she walks, no flowers bloom.}

Today's post will be all over the place. :) I want to do some structured posts soon {such as a continuation of my children's literature "series," which so far, consists of one post}, but I've been a little stressed lately with school assignments and that end of the semester rush. So this post reflects the state of my mind right now. :)

-I worked for at the college child care center for somewhere between 1 and 1.5 months last summer for work study. Long story short, I ended up getting a tax refund check a few days ago. For $8. The lady at the bank laughed at me when I cashed it. Then we had to run to Target. Mom send me to the back to get something for her, where I was inevitably sucked into the books/music/movie section {this happens quite often. I blame it on some sort of bizarre atmospheric condition}. Where I saw a bunch of movies on sale for $3.99, including Becoming Jane and the 1995 version of Persuasion. And guess what? I just happened to have exactly $8 in my wallet. :) Yeah, I bought them.

Becoming Jane is one of those movies I desperately want to love. I've seen it three or four times, and I like parts of it, but overall I'm still a little disappointed. I wrote some about it here. I bought it because of the dances, the scenery and music, Anne Hathaway, and because it's "based" on the life of one of my favorite authors.

Now to Persuasion. I had never seen this adaptation before. The only Persuasion movie I'd seen was the 2007 one (which most Austenites hate...I actually love it). I liked the 1995 one a lot. Is it just me, or does Captain Wentworth remind you vaguely of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in '95 S&S? Especially in this picture:
My main problem was with the Anne character's facial expressions. For most of the movie, she looks depressed and on the verge of tears. I've never seen a gloomier looking person. I thought I would never see her smile (but she was pretty when she did!). For the rest of the movie, she had a wide-eyed expression of fear, anxiety, and/or shock. I was concerned for poor Anne Elliot!
I loved seeing so many familiar faces, most notably Sophie Thompson as her sister Mary (also known as Miss Bates from '95 Emma) and Fiona Shaw as Mrs. Croft (surprisingly pleasant! I only knew her as the sour-faced Aunt Petunia from HP).

-Speaking of HP, I can't wait for Friday! I have to help out with something at the child care center that morning, but I am of course stopping by Target on the way home to pick up Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

-Jack, my cat, cracks me up. Right now, he's in a stage that reminds me of a teenager. Whenever I try to pick him up {this is no easy task- he weighs about 20 pounds} and love on him, he squirms and bristles up in embarrassment. But he's just so fuzzy and adorable that I can't resist. :)

Especially when he watches out the windows.

-My birthday is next week. I'm so excited. I don't have classes that day, so I plan on seriously enjoying myself. :)

-I have been listening to the Civil Wars' CD and Eisley's newest CD The Valley nearly nonstop since they were released. The Valley is a little different from Eisley's previous CDs. Much more rock-ish, and less whimsical. A lot of the songs were written during the time one of the members was going through a divorce, so they aren't exactly happy songs, but they are hopeful. And I just love the Civil Wars CD. It's sort of folk with a major country feel (and it's so hard to find clean country). It's amazing! These are two of my favorite songs from the two CDs.

{I learned about both of these bands on Natalie's blog. Along with the Avett Brothers and lots of other awesome music and books. She always has the best recommendations.}

Until next time,

Friday, April 8, 2011

Second viewing.

I enjoyed The Voyage of the Dawn Treader so much more the second time around.

That's right- the DVD was released today. Three of my favorite movies releasing within a month of each other (Tangled, Narnia, and HP) is not good on my wallet. :)

When I rambled here, I had just finished rereading the book minutes before seeing the movies in theaters. Every detail of the book was fresh on my mind, and I was frustrated with changes.

I just finished watching the movie. It was amazing. I love the Narnian world so much that there's no way I could dislike the movies. Watching VDT again reminded me of how much I want to reread The Chronicles of Narnia. These stories by C.S. Lewis are a part of my life in a huge way {but I'll write more about that in a later post}.

Some thoughts after a second viewing: Eustace is incredible (though I mentioned that before :). The green mist is still cheesy- there's no getting around that. I love the 40s feel of the Lucy temptation scene (when they play Glen Miller's "In the Mood")! The serpent scene still creeps me out ridiculously. I felt anxious during the whole scene- gnawing at my fingers like I didn't know how things turned out. :) And when you see its sharp ribs/bones/disgustingness? Ew. The ending is perfect in every way.

And again, thank goodness Prince Caspian finally dropped the Inigo Montoya accent!

I bought the 2 DVD set. The special features are okay. The deleted scenes and cast interviews (which were already available for free on iTunes) were the best ones- most of the others are just recaps of the different islands. I was hoping for some bloopers! And it's a little awkward that they packaged the DVD and the special features/ "Explorer Pack" DVD separately. So now I have two VDT DVDs taking up space on my shelf. I wish they had just made it a 2 disc set together like the previous Narnia movies.

In other words, I no longer have a grudge against the changes that they made from the book in the film. I can now watch the movie as just that- a movie, separate from the book. And enjoy it immensely, I must say. :)

So if at all possible, go out and buy it! In the words of Ramandu's daughter: "The fate of Narnia depends on you." If this movie isn't successful, the series (movie-wise) may be over. And that's a sad thought!

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I recently read this amazing little book: Stargirl. 

I loved it. Seriously. I kept thinking, why didn't I read this when I was in middle school or right in the middle of my teen years? I should have. The whole book was quirky and fun and heartbreaking and unlike anything I've read.

I loved Stargirl, the character. She was a homeschooler who begins attending public high school. This book follows her from the first day, when she creates amazement among the students, through her highs and lows of popularity. She's pretty much what I want to be: creative, (mostly) content with her oddities, joyful, and always seeking beauty. Her whole existence revolves around doing good for other people, little random acts of kindness. Like dropping loose change (I was reminded of Operation Beautiful, for some reason). Singing the birthday song to each student on his or her birthday, in the cafeteria and accompanied by her ukulele. She wears whatever she wants to wear. And I loved seeing Stargirl from the outside, through another person's perspective. (But can I just say that I hated that Leo was so quick to accept and choose Susan?)

And this is who I kept picturing Stargirl as. Luna Lovegood. Their personalities just seemed so similar.

Then I read the sequel: Love, Stargirl. At first, I wasn't too sure about this one. But it grew on me. I came to love the supporting characters, especially Betty and Charlie. I loved knowing what Stargirl was thinking and feeling. There were so many parts that by themselves would mean nothing. But because they're part of Stargirl's world and mean so much to her, I realized they meant a lot to me, too. The ending was perfect.

And today I surprised myself a little by buying this book. I usually don't go for the bestseller, popular books. I know that I mentioned I was going to get it from the library, but they didn't have it. When I saw it in Target today, I don't know what overcame me- maybe it was the cheap price of the paperback or the fact that it's been weeks since I bought a book. So I got it. I haven't started it yet. :)

Until next time,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm a nerd.

I know that I am, so I don't even try to deny it.

Ever since Tuesday, when I bought Tangled, I have been in one of those Disney music moods. Yes, I not only still watch Disney animated movies on a regular basis, but I actually listen to their soundtracks.

I even have a Pandora station called the "Alan Menken" station. In case you didn't know, he's the genius composer behind these movies, among others:

I was born during the time considered the "Renaissance" era for Disney. All of the "new" classics came out during that time: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, etc. So it's no surprise that those were pretty much my favorite movies growing up.

I have so many memories associated with all of them! According to my mom, The Lion King was the first movie I ever saw in theaters. I had a big Little Mermaid indoor tent that I used to play in, and a table with chairs. I had Beauty and the Beast figurines on my birthday cake. Somewhere around the second grade, I wore my Pocahontas outfit to school for Halloween: t-shirt with her picture, and lots of leather fringe and beads elsewhere in my outfit. I had a Jasmine doll. In other words, I have been a Disney dork practically since I was born. :) I know that some people don't have warm and fuzzy feelings towards Disney. But I can't imagine my childhood without my favorite characters and stories. And Disney World is still one of my most favorite places.

Some of the Disney movies that, in my opinion, have the best songs are:

-Beauty and the Beast (I mentioned this before, but the lyrics to "Gaston" and "Belle" are frequently going through my mind..."I use antlers in all of my decorating!" I have this soundtrack.)

-Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

-Sleeping Beauty (I adore "Once Upon a Dream.")

-Cinderella ("So This Is Love" and "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes"-love those)

-Alice in Wonderland (so many fun ones! I remember as a kid loving the flowers with faces in "All In the Golden Afternoon." And then of course there's the "Mad Tea Party" song.)

-Tangled ("I have dreams like you, no really, just much less touchy-feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny, on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone....Surrounded by enormous piles of money!" Oh, Eugene. We know you're not really like that anymore. :)

-The Little Mermaid (Lovely songs! "Kiss the Girl," "Under the Sea," "Part of Your World")

-The Lion King (Awesome songs, again. I actually own this soundtrack.)

-Aladdin (I love every song in this movie. But I bought the soundtrack just for "Prince Ali" and "Friend Like Me.")

-Mulan (These songs are amazing. "Honor to Us All," "Reflection," "A Girl Worth Fighting For," and "I'll Make a Man Out of You, despite my dislike for Donny Osmond.)

-Enchanted ("How Do You Know" and "So Close" are my favorites)

-Peter Pan (I love the "Main Title" off the soundtrack. This is one of the classic Disneys that has so much of those choruses I love, like the ones in Lady and the Tramp. You know what I mean? Those choruses just stand for "classic Disney" to me.)

-Tarzan (I love the songs Phil Collins did for this movie! There are some great songs.)

-and the list goes on and on. :)

There's also the songs from Pixar movies...especially the Toy Story trilogy with songs by Randy Newman.

What I really love about Disney songs is that they're not only catchy and get stuck in your head, but if you really listen to the lyrics, they're usually hilarious and clever. Especially those in Tangled, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc. And when I hear Disney songs, they always make me smile. They bring back childhood memories or remind me of scenes from my favorite films.

Honestly, I meant for this to be a short little post. But this is what happens when I'm writing about something that excites me: I ramble. :) While you're finishing off your sunny (I hope) weekend, here are a few of my favorite Disney songs. Slow down and listen to one or two of them. :) And if you're so inclined and some of my dorkiness has rubbed off on you, pull out your old Disney VHS tapes, or your DVDs, and relive your childhood for an hour or two.

By the way, remember the Little House book that I mentioned in my last post that I’m so excited about? You can find a giveaway for it here.

Until next time,

Friday, April 1, 2011

What I Read: March {Pioneer Edition}

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

I really enjoyed this one. It seems that lately I've been into futuristic YA fiction (I can't believe I'm admitting this, since I usually avoid "popular" teen series, but I was planning on getting the Hunger Games series at the library the other day. They were all checked out). As I was reading this one, I kept subconsciously comparing it to Matched. (There were some moments with a definite ick factor because of the way the society had become.) The whole story drew me in with its creepiness and mysterious characters and secrets.

A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle

I like memoirs (this is the second "living in France" memoir I've read this year), but there comes a point when I have to trudge through to finish them. Fiction is just my thing, I guess. :) Anyway, this memoir was interesting and humorous, with its insights into the French people.

Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I know I mentioned this before, but I am so excited about this book that releases this month. I really want to read it, but I want to read the Little House series first (I'm on Farmer Boy right now). I've been buying them at the Goodwill for about $1.50 each.

Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is the only Little House book that I definitely know I read as a child. But I was smitten with it! My old copy came from Goodwill, too, and I read it so much the cover fell off. I'm not sure why I never read the whole series. I know our school library had them! I do remember one thing about the series, though. For those public school kids, do you remember those Scholastic Book Club order forms that your teachers used to send home? The ones with pages full of cheap, lovely books? :) I loved those things! Still do, actually. I get them from the college day care even now and order picture books. :) But I remember once a girl who was a year older than me ordered the whole Little House boxed set. I remember her bringing the set home on the bus. And I remember being crazy jealous of that box of so many gorgeous, shiny books. :) Anyway, I'm really loving reading the series right now. Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing style amazes me. She can go from writing a very practical descriptive page about how Pa built a door to a beautiful description of something in nature, like this, for example:

The last color was fading from the enormous sky and all the level land was shadowy. The warmth of the fire was pleasant because the night wind was cool. Phoebe-birds called sadly from the woods down by the creek. For a little while a mockingbird sang, then the stars came out and the birds were still. Softly, Pa's fiddle sang in the starlight. Sometimes he sang a little and sometimes the fiddle sang alone. Sweet and thin and far away, the fiddle went on singing: "None knew thee but to love thee, Thou dear one of my heart..." The large, bright stars hung down from the sky. Lower and lower they came, quivering with music. Laura gasped, and Ma came quickly. "What is it, Laura?" she asked, and Laura whispered, "The stars were singing." - chapter 4, Little House on the Prairie

The song ended. No one moved or spoke. Laura and Mary were quiet, Pa and Ma sat motionless. Only the wind stirred and the grasses sighed. Then Pa lifted the fiddle to his shoulder and softly touched the bow to the strings. A few notes fell like clear drops of water into the stillness. A pause, and Pa began to play the nightingale's song. The nightingale answered him. The nightingale began to sing again. It was singing with Pa's fiddle. When the strings were silent, the nightingale went on singing. When it paused, the fiddle called to it and it sang again. The bird and the fiddle were talking to each other in the cool night under the moon. - chapter 5, Little House on the Prairie

Doesn't it give you chills? And make you want to sleep under the stars or listen to a birdsong or learn how to play the fiddle or something? :)

Austenland, by Shannon Hale

This is my fourth reread of the year, out of the 20 that I hope to accomplish. I read this book several years ago, at the time that my Austen obsession was just starting to become an obsession. :) I remembered the basic plot and a certain gardener, but honestly, I couldn't remember how it ended. So, in a way, it was like reading it for the first time again. I was satisfied with the end. :) This is a cute story for Austen fans, with little inappropriate content. Now I really want to reread Shannon Hale's YA stories, which I love more than her novels for adults.

So that's it for this month. I also finished rereading Preparing to be a Help Meet, by Debi Pearl. I wrote more about that one here, so I didn't want to write a lot about it again.

Until next time,