Saturday, February 27, 2016

Learning to Be Cultured: Charade

So, this is the first time I haven't posted a blog post every week. I was so excited to go to a big concert yesterday that I didn't feel like writing and then I got home at 11 and still didn't feel like writing so here I am today :)

Ekaterina and Elizabeth Anne (otherwise known as my southwest buddies or EandE) are starting a new blog series called Learning to Be Cultured. It's basically going to go through different areas of culture and encourage fellow bloggers to blog about and educate themselves on those areas. This month's topic is movies!! I looked through the provided list and found CHARADE starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant!!! I was so excited because I've already watched this movie and LOVED it! So here goes :D

(Also, I can't be the only one who mixes up Aubrey and Audrey, right?)

Charade is one of those movies where it's best to go in completely without prior knowledge so please go watch this first!!! (It's on Netflix in USA) I'll wait. Although I'll promise to be as careful as possible, I may throw in some minor spoilers!

Charade is definitely a very creepy, whodunit kind of movie. In fact, I've heard it called the "best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made"! It follows Regina Lampert and her quest to find 1) who killed her husband, 2) who was her husband, and 3) where is her husband's money? Throw in some ex-soldiers and a strange man who isn't who he seems and there you have it! (I feel like I've already used that exact phrase last week :D )
Cary Grant's Awkward Orange scene is pure gold!
Also, I've seen youth pastors play this game #awkies
Cary Grant is the star of this movie for me. He's older in this movie than in the other ones I've seen him in. And I think this is the only color movie I've see him in! As usual, his acting is impeccable, and he's hilarious!! It's so great because you don't know what side he's really on until the very, very end!

Audrey Hepburn is her wonderful, enchanting, mysterious self. Her character, Regina Lampert, annoyed me a bit though. She seemed to alternate between hysteria and practicality at an alarming rate. And what did she see in Peter Joshua?! He basically lies the whole movie!!!! And why would you marry a husband whom you knew so little about?!

I love the creepy elements of this movie such as the opening scene with a gun pointed at Regina's head. And the final chase scene is so deliciously scary and keeps you on the edge of your seat! Although I do have to say, a certain fight scene on a roof goes on wayyyyyyy too long... *yawn*

Oh and James Coburn is in this movie!!!! I've seen him in The Magnificent Seven where he throws knives and in The Great Escape where he's an Australian who learns how to say "I love you" in Russian...

Speaking of James Coburn, the bad guys in this movie are sooooo creepy!! *shudders*

As usual, Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe is "straight fiyaaaaa" to borrow a phrase from the kids.... (No, I have totally never used that in a conversation. Why would you think that?) I especially like her yellow dress, and her cream dress! (Her white hat makes her look Russian and that yellow coat looks like mustard depending on the lighting)

Can we just appreciate Mancini's music for a sec? Mancini, who wrote the theme Charade, also wrote the Pink Panther, which is sort of a scary-feeling song. I love the motif that's repeated at all the key tension points! It has words too! Although they're kind of hard to understand. I love Mancini's stuff sooo much! (He also plays or conducts an arrangement of As Time Goes By that sounds smooth and jazzy!)

Some of the cinematography is like "Say wha?", but overall, it's very clever and well done for an old movie. Especially the title sequence. You will never be so enthralled by opening credits! (Except for maybe the old Parent Trap with Hayley Mills) And the editing really adds tension to that last chase!

Overall, I love this movie! I mean for Pete's sake, it has Cary Grant, and I basically love all of his movies! It also passes the rewatchability test that I totally didn't just make up... I watched this sometime last year and basically forgot all the important plot points, making this viewing quite enjoyable! (I guess it only passes if you have a weird, selective memory like me)

P.S. Jean Louis needs a spanking.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Southwest Southern Gospel Music Festival 2016 Preview!!!

Well, this week is the largest Southern Gospel concert of the year for Phoenix, the Southwest Southern Gospel Music Festival. In fact, it's probably the only time of the year that most these artists come to Phoenix, which means I am super pumped! I went to this last year and had a blast. But that's a different story. Today, I want to take a look at all the people I'm excited to see! The event is three nights with five sessions, but I'll probably only be attending the Friday night one.

First off, Legacy Five. I've never heard Legacy Five in person, but I like a lot of their songs. I also can't wait to meet Trey Ivey! He's one of my favorite pianists, and you can read more about that HERE.

Then, the Collingsworth Family. GUYS do you know how long I've been waiting for this!!!!! Oh my word, this is gonna be so stinkin' great! And then I'll get to talk to Kim Collingsworth and attempt not to freak out, but you can see for yourselves how good of a job I'm doing with that....

Next is Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. I heard EHSS last year, and they were amazing. I even got to meet them all and get their autographs! This year, I want to talk to Tyler Vestal, their pianist. Originally, EHSS and the Collingsworths were on different nights, but now they're the same PTL!!!!

Cana's Voice is probably the newest group here, and I can't wait to hear them! I've watched them sing Jesus Never Fails so many times, and it always gives me goosebumps! This is gonna be one amazing group!

There's also a few other groups singing that night, but these are the ones I'm most excited for. I'm also excited to meet the Erwins, Stan Whitmire, and Tim Parton of the Jim Brady trio, even though they won't be singing that night!

All said, I can't wait for Friday night! Let me know if you're gonna be there!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Here's Looking at You, Kid!

This post is for Rose's 1940s week. One of the posts Rose suggested in lieu of a tag was a movie review! So here I am reviewing Casablanca, released in 1942 (thanks Eva for my giveaway copy!) After two watches, Casablanca ranks among my favorite movies! (What kind of excuse is that. The Force Awakens was a favorite after one viewing!)

Casablanca is a somewhat slow, yet still exciting, movie. It tells the story of refugees during WWII trying to get to America from Casablanca, in Free French Africa. Two of these refugees are Victor Laslo and his wife Ilsa. Victor is a Resistance leader and the German cronies who just popped into town will do anything to capture him. Tied up in all this is cynical Rick, a saloon owner who used to know Ilsa. Add a wishy-washy chief of police and some restaurant staff and you've got yourself a story!

Casablanca is a very dialogue-heavy movie. However, it's worth it to pay attention because the dialogue is so so snappy. Personally, I think some lines are delivered too fast just because they're all so good I want to stay in them forever! "Here's looking at you kid!" "I never drink with customers." "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." "We'll always have Paris." "I never make plans that far ahead."

"You despise me don't you, Rick? If I gave you any thought I probably would" (#BURN) Rick's cynicism lends itself to some nice sarcastic zingy lines :D

Ingrid Bergman is amazing and beautiful k? Like she is sooooo magnificent! Ilsa's story is so sad, and I feel so bad for her. She's already having a bad time and then she sees Rick and just no :( The scenes with her and Rick before everything are just so cute!

Dat trench coat and fedora doe...
Humphrey Bogart is great too. He's not necessarily handsome, but he looks different from anyone else! Kind of like Bing Crosby with a square face and a frown? I love Rick. He is very, very cynical, but I both embrace his sarcasm and overlook it for the things he does at other times....

Oh relationships! (I just realized I watched this on Valentine's Day/Happy Birthday Arizona Day!) The relationships are so convoluted in this movie. It's not necessarily anyone's fault, but it's very twisty. (I guess its the Nazi's fault?) Somebody has to make a hard, chivalrous decision at the end of the movie, but I know it will work out! Especially, as someone else pointed out, when you see the way a certain person looks at another person as he leads Las Marseilles La Marseillaise (I tried...) (Also, from a musical standpoint, La Marseillaise is a lovely song!)

Rick's face XD
Renault was a weak, wishy-washy man who looked like a squirrel... Like Rick, how do you swing from being cynical about everything to being best friends with a dude who has consistently served whichever master is more comfortable?! Come on, can we PUHLEASE get a happy medium!!!! Anyway, I didn't really like Renault, but I tolerate him.
"Why are you closing us down?" 
"Illegal gambling!"
"Here are your winnings, sir!" 
Makes me laugh every time!

"Play it, Sam! Play As Time Goes By." Can we talk about the music for a minute? This movie sort of revolves around the song As Time Goes By, which I plan to learn as soon as I finish this. I love Sam and his loyalty and hoW DARE RICK LEAVE HIM!!!! ahem as I was saying, I loved Sam and his piano playing and then La Marseillaise and basically all the music except for that weird Spanish song that was really high....

Side note: That German waiter is in like three other movies from the 40s that my family watched when we had TCM at a hotel once, including In the Good Old Summertime.

Basically the theme of the movie is self-sacrifice. Laslo sacrifices everything for a cause. Ilsa has sacrificed everything for her husband. And Rick. Oh Rick, who never does anything for anybody, sacrifices the one good thing that ever happened to him!!!! Now, I think he should have made his choice about twenty minutes earlier, but better late than never I guess! He's so noble and does the right thing and oh my goodness it's amazing!

And there you have it folks! You need to go watch this movie pronto! It's amazing and you basically need to watch it just to say you have! And also because it's so stinking quotable!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pianist Spotlight: Kim Collingsworth

Oh Kim Collingsworth! The Queen of the Keys as some call her! Kim is a HUGE role model of mine. She's one of the few active female SG pianists out there doing what I want to do. Her music always, always touches me in some way, whether it's big or fun or quiet. I would love the Collingsworth Family even if it were just singing, but Kim's playing adds a whole new dimension!

Here's Goodbye World Goodbye, that song that literally everybody plays. I mean everybody! But it's a good song, so I'm not complaining! And the orchestration, as on all Kim Collingsworth pieces is AMAZING! And what do you know, it's a variation on the basic formula: verse, chorus, fancier verse, improv chorus! (That was sarcastic, but it's still a fun arrangement!)

This is my favorite Kim Collingsworth arrangement! (CFam always has these really cool coordinating stage clothes) I really want to arrange this for myself someday soon! I love the jazzy sound and how it keeps going and going but you never want it to stop! I could literally listen to this song ALL DAY LONG! And those chromatic scales! #GOALS

Whenever Kim plays, you can see that she's really sincere about what she does. She plays from the heart. I really want to learn this arrangement! Part of it's in B though!!! Why would you write a song for yourself in B?! Oh well, I love the chromatic third scales she does for the key changes. I'm teaching myself those right now, and I recognized them :D

Here's a BIG song that Kim is known for. I watched this one "live" through Periscope, and it was UHMAZING! I tend to like less orchestration, but the piano still gets the spotlight most of the time, and I enjoy how big it sounds!

Finally, here's a quiet song. It's one of my dad's favorites! (I should probably arrange that too...) I like that while Kim can bang with the best of them, she's not afraid to play quietly on stage. I personally struggle with that. I also like that she never plays the song the same way. There's always a little variation in a melody or rhythm that I appreciate, because I struggle to play the song the same way every time. 

I love Kim Collingsworth as a person, pianist, and singer. She can do anything with the best of them! As a final treat, here she is on the song When He Carries Me Away. It's a powerful song highlighting her powerful voice! I can't wait to meet her next week!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Little House Week Wrap-Up

Awww it's done :( I had so much fun hanging out with you guys this week! Thanks for commenting and tagging and just being awesome! The winner of the giveaway is FAITH P! Congrats Faith! Also, shoutout to Ekaterina, Hamlette, and Naomi for writing guest posts that we all loved! You peeps are awesome!

I loved reading all of your tag answers. I believe I saw that twelve of you filled it out! Woot woot! Here are some of my favorite answers!

1. How did you discover Little House?
A lot of you discovered the books through family. A few of you even had the picture books which are so beautiful!

2. Which Little House series have you read? Which are you favorite? (Laura, Martha, Rose, etc.)

I have read the Laura and the Rose books. I prefer the Laura books, partly because they are the "originals" and partly because I like Laura's character better. - Rose
I CAN'T. (Choose. I can't choose.)
I'll have to go with Laura's. 'Cause they're all so fat, and they're all the classic ones. - Naomi
Laura's still remains my favorite, there's lots of adventures, spunk, and love to go around. - Michaila
Laura seems to be the general favorite, but a lot of you, including me liked the Caroline series as a close second! 

3. Have you read any "extra" Little House books? (non "canon", cookbooks, song books, craft books, little kid books, etc.)
...and a board book kind of like the picture books, except shorter and it has a button on the front cover that when you press it it (used to) play "Pop! goes the weasel". - Lydia
 I believe I've read a little bit of each. We do have a "Little House Cook Book" which my mom uses a lot. One recipe, apples and onions, (from "Farmer Boy) is a family favorite. - Ivy Miranda
Also, I have a board game that was based on the TV series.  And when I was like 8, we went to the actual site of their dugout home, where my parents bought me a bonnet that I still have. - Hamlette
Also, I heard that Faith and Ruth did/taught a Little House homeschool year! That sounds like so much fun!

4. Have you read any biographies/autobiographies about Laura or any of the Little House girls?
No. (If Wikipedia articles count then, yes) - Rose
5. If you could be in any character's place, who would you choose and why?
Probably Mary's place. I really identify with her, as she's the oldest and always expected to be good all the time. I would love to see what Mary was thinking when Laura thought she was just being exasperating. - Lydia  
I think I would want to be in either Caroline's place or Laura's place. I am most like them both, so I'm not sure which one I would want to be more. - Ekaterina
I have to say I'd love to be in Laura's place. Because then I could get to date Almanzo, and Almanzo is just . . . awesomeness. (Plus, I would really enjoy having Charles and Caroline for parents. Not that my own parents aren't even more awesome, 'cause they are. I would just enjoy being around Charles and Caroline, at least for a little while.)  -Jessica
6. What's your favorite Little House ship? (AKA couple)
Via Ivy Miranda
 I also love Rose and Paul. But, oh for crying to sleep, that never turned out. The ship, as they say, sank. - Naomi
MARTHA AND LEWIS. (I hope I'm getting his name right, correct me if I'm wrong :P) I ship them HARD. - Lydia
Ida and Elmer. They're adorable. And I like Cap, but I don't ship him with Mary Power. - Rosie
7. What's your favorite Little House book? Cover?

You all had different favorite books. The ones I remember seeing the most were Big Woods, Prairie, and Golden Years. As for covers, most of you liked By the Shores of Silver Lake or Golden Years cuz Almanzo!!
I really love the cover of On the Shores of Silver Lake because that image with Laura with the horse is just so beautiful, and I love horses. I also love the colors and covers of Little City by the Lake and Bachelor Girl, but they don't show the beauty of the wildness and independence of Laura alone on the horse riding. - Ekaterina
8. If you could invite any secondary character from any of the Little House books over for dinner, who would you choose and why?
Mr. Edwards – because he's so funny. Maybe he'd be willing to teach me how to spit... B-)  - Faith
Nellie Olson... because I think it would be interesting and it would probably humor me. - Lois
Why only invite one? Let's make a dinner party consisting of the entire De Smet youth!!  - Rose
Probably Royal Wilder. He was hysterical in "The Long Winter," but really any of Almanzo's siblings (although, Eliza Jane was terrible when she got older in the books).  - Ivy Miranda
Cap Garland, 'cause he's amazing. - Rosie 
9. Have you watched the Little House TV show? If so, do you enjoy it?
Yes, I have seen all of the show's episodes, and I love this TV series. It's hard to put the books and show together. They are both equal, but I like them differently somehow. Does that make sense? - Ekaterina
Indeed I have. Many times, many episodes. I used to be a huge, ginormous fan: but now I'm indubitably prefer the books to the TV show. The TV show still gives me warm fuzzies, and it will always hit home, and I there are so many good good episodes, but goodness - all the inaccuracies! A beardless Pa. The Ingalls's ADOPT THREE KIDS. I can't even proceed. - Naomi
You all have convinced me to watch some episodes! I'll probably start with the pilot cuz that was my favorite as a kid.

10. If you could watch a YouTube miniseries on any Little House book or series, which would you choose and how would the basic plot go?
The people have spoken! We MUST have a Little House web series. The teenage Laura books seem to be the most popular to adapt *hint hint* (Starring Tanner Gillman as Almanzo OF COURSE)
I would choose 'By The Shores of Silver Lake' and watch Laura kind of grow-up and learn to take on some responsibility:) - Hannah
I think it would be interesting to do a miniseries on Caroline Ingalls, from when she first met Charles to where she had Laura. And for the plot, well, it should be the same as the book, exactly, so when your watching it you know every bit is a true story. It would be the Mother of the Little House series brought to life.  - Michaila
Hmm, that's an interesting idea. ;) Maybe The First Four Years. I'd like to see more of what Laura and Almanzo's first years of marriages early were like, instead of the TV rendition. (I mean that's awesome, but not very much like the book. xD) - Faith
That was so much fun! I can't wait to do another one! (Well, maybe I could take a little break :P) Next week, Rose is running a 1940's blog party that sound so much fun! Hopefully, I'll get a very special movie review up for that! Thanks again for joining this week! I know you all are really busy and I appreciate the time you take to comment and even just read! Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Things I Love About Each Little House Girl

1. I should have put this post up at the beginning of the week cuz it's like an introduction. Oops...
2. Be sure to enter the giveaway HERE. I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow in my wrap-up post.
3. Thanks to you all for commenting! I love reading them :-D
4. That's all :-)

I love ALL the Little House girls. Admittedly, there's some I love more than others, but there's parts of each one that I love so much! And I can learn so much from each one! I did write a little bit about this in my wrap-up post for my Little House challenge last year, but I plan on getting deeper in this one :)
I really, really like this cover.
Take Charlotte, who's definitely not my favorite Little House girl! I love her sensitivity to others, even imaginary characters like that syrup bottle! I also love her imagination, again with said syrup bottle. She also learns to cope with so much change in a way that relates to my life right now. She learns that change happens, it may not always be good, but it grows you! I actually love Charlotte more for what she goes through than her as a person. Maybe part of that is because the Charlotte books take place when she's a lot younger, like 4-10.

This book: meh
This color scheme: <3 td="">
But still I love Martha even though her books take place with her as a little girl. She's so curious and wants to know why things are a certain way. She also lives life with a vitality that's so exciting to read. She also wants to help her family and servants anyway she can. She's usually cheerful, always laughing at a joke or story. Most importantly, Martha learns to be content. Like Grisie, her older sister, Martha struggles with being a laird's daughter. Grisie wants to be something more, something more social. But Martha wants to be just a regular farmer. In Down to the Bonny Glen, Martha learns to be content with her situation in life and to appreciate her father's position. It's a grand lesson that I need to remember a lot!
Have I already used this?
Rose for me was meh. Sometimes I liked her and sometimes I didn't. I did like her openness and readiness for life. She, and her family, basically took everything that was thrown at them without complaining. Rose is always looking for some opportunity, whether a library, job, or private school. She loves to learn and devours books. I think she reads more than any other Little House girl! She uses this love of learning to become a telegraph operator and learn like three years of Latin in one and to do so many other things! She's also friendly and unselfish to everyone! (Well, most of the time...) She gives the sled to Swiney and is kind to Blanche and is basically a great kid! And we'll stop there...
I love this color! And her dress!
Caroline was wonderful! I loved how she was always helping her family in whatever little way she could. She loved to teach others and to see them grow. She values her girls' education and teaches them whenever she can. She was also very practical and could solve anything, particularly on the frontier with Charles. She's also loves Charles so much that she would move across the country a bajillion times for him! She's steadfast and remains the same, the strong shoulder her family can lean on. She's literally the glue that holds the Ingalls family together. She learns to do what she doesn't like to with a smile and instills that in her girls. She gives up so much for her family, yet she's never bitter! Let's face it, Caroline Ingalls, even with her faults, was an amazing woman capable of so many things. She had that quiet strength that helped her get through anything!
This is apparently from Little House on the Prairie
Could I please have some context cuz this looks hilarious XD
Laura was blessed with many of the same qualities as her Ma. However, her sense of adventure, her passion for life, and her ambition come from her Pa. It's interesting to watch Laura mature and channel this passion and longing to restart into restarting her own life and farm several times. She and Manly face so many hardships it's almost unfair! There's a fire, a tornado, a child that dies, a drought, a mortage, soooo much. Yet they don't complain. They just go try to find a new way to make it work. They restart and they continue. Laura's fortitude is such an inspiration to keep going when it seems like everything your life was about is crashing down. Laura and Manly used these opportunities to regroup and to make their life even better. This kind of fortitude and perseverance is something I want to cultivate in my own life!

Well, there you have it. What I admire and learn from each Little House girl. So, what character qualities do you see in them?

Also, aren't you proud. This post wasn't in chronological series order XD

Why I Love the Little House TV Series // Guest Post by Ekaterina

Thanks so much Ekaterina for writing this post! Ekaterina is one of my best blogging friends. We live in the same area of the country, and I love her taste in books and movies! She doesn't have a blog yet, but she can write splendiferous posts!

Why I love the Little House TV series

By Ekaterina Yodis

The TV series is based on the Little House books.  The only show that is most accurately based on the books is the pilot, which follows the 3rd book of the series, Little House on the Prairie.  The rest of the TV series takes place in the town, Walnut Grove.  Some people might not like the TV show because it is not based on the books or because it’s a product of the era when it was made, which is why I would like to tell you my reasons why I love this series

1. It contains good morals and lessons.

This is one of the few shows that I know, which has lessons in every show.  Each show also has good morals and even though there are tough situations in some episodes, the importance of family is seen throughout the entire series.  I love how families are shown around the table talking and building relationships like healthy families do and also struggle together through tough times.  One of the things that I like most about the lessons and morals is how even the bad characters are portrayed.  For example, Mrs. Olson, “the mean person in the show”, is seen here and there throughout the series, showing that she really has a heart and is not always mean.  One cannot classify characters as either good or bad, but one has to see that all of the characters have flaws, and all of the characters are both good and bad, which is how people in real life work.  

2. The characters are pretty much the same.

Even though the characters don’t follow what happens in the book, whatever situation they encounter, they act the same way I image they would in the books.

3. I know that almost whatever episode I watch, especially if it’s an earlier one, I know I will have a fun time.

There are some dark episodes like Sylvia, which I would not suggest watching.  There are some sad episodes, which are sad but also very beautiful, like when the town got anthrax, but there are mostly happy episodes. 

4. I can watch the same episodes over and over again without getting tired of them.
Since I have been rewatching episodes ever since I was very young, I can say that this statement is very true.

Have you seen the Little House on the Prairie’s TV series?  Do you like this show?  Do you not like the TV series but like the books more? 

Thanks so much Ekaterina! I should probably rewatch some episodes! And I would really like to know your opinion too! So answer the questions :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Favorite OTPs from Little House

I LOVED Naomi's guest post the other day about Charles and Caroline. It was so cute and "squee-worthy" and YES! Here's my other Little House OTPs!

Martha Morse and Lew Tucker - A little background: Martha is the daughter of Laird Glencaraid which is a cool name. So she's sort of upperish class. Lew is the son of the village blacksmith. That's reason #1 their relationship is so cute! Also, Martha and Lew race and Martha almost beats him and it's so cute. (Ahh the position of fastest girl and second-fastest overall #SmallSchoolPerks) And then Martha is sick and stuck in her room and Lew comes over for something from Cook. Martha drops him a note through a hole in the floor and then he brings her stuff to make fairy dolls and it's soooo adorable. Also, Auld Mary tells a story about a Laird's daughter who married a blacksmith's son and I NEVER SAW THE CONNECTION!!!
Right via Pinterest Left via
Here's how I think this went down.
Ma: Charles......
Pa: Caroline, stop cramping my swag
Pa: whatev fe fe 
Pa: k
Pa: .....

Charles and Caroline - Naomi wrote pretty much everything about that HERE, but let me just say I agree with her sooo much! Especially when she first hears Charles playing his fiddle. And then the SPELLING BEE (I've been in that precarious position of co-best speller in the school. It's all fun and games until you compete from different schools. #Awkies) And then when they get their Little House!!! AHHHHHH Just the title, A Little House of Their Own is adorable!

Laura and Almanzo - Oh Manly and Bess! If you just awkwardly ignore the age gap, it's sooo cute. (I have age gap issues. Little Dorrit anyone?) Those sleigh rides by selfless, selfless Almanzo! Even when he learned she didn't like him and he kept coming. Oh man, that's character right there! And then the first buggy ride in spring through town! And those wonderful buggy rides out on the prairie! Especially when he's training the horses and Laura knows how to handle them! And the singing school. And finally, the tree claim and the house and the farm and ALL the hardships they go through! It's sooo not fair, but they love each other through it and stick together and keep going and for Pete's sake they have so much fortitude!

Rose and Paul - Sooo we all know how Rose and Paul worked out, but hey it was fun while it lasted! (That sounded really bad and callous, but from the reader's point of view it's true!) I love watching Rose and Paul growing up together and traveling across the country together and just being friends. Then they have that slightly awkward yet still cute Christmas scene! And their letters to each other. Rose is SUCH a good friend. Well, when she actually HAS good friends... Their dream about living at the train station and running the telegraph togther is so cute and I love it so much. It's seriously the best dream EVER! (Until Paul had to go get that attitude and mustache...) And then, the last hurrah, the boat trip. It's so cute and they keep each other company and love each other and why couldn't it last ahhhhhhhh (I mostly blame Paul actually....)

There's my favorite OTP moments. And yes, I didn't include Charlotte and Mr. Holbrook cuz they didn't really have anything cute like that, but they were nice I guess. Who is your OTP? Can you think of any other moments I've forgotten?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Yeah, someone that did something in history and had fun."

Quoting National Treasure during a Little House week. smh Ashley smh (I actually knew Riley Poole said a quote about history, but I had to IMDb it....)

I need to rewatch this...
Okay, before I begin, random Little House fact I just remembered about myself. When I was like in fifth grade, I decided to copy Little Town on the Prairie for some reason. (Idk man I was weird!) So I copied the whole first chapter because it's literally two pages and then I stopped...


The Little House books are ALL about history. And I'm a history buff! So here are some of my favorite historical moments mentioned in the Little House books!
Robert the Bruce
First Martha! The Martha books don't mention a lot of history, but there's Scottish history, including Robert the Bruce which reminds me of one of my favorite books In Freedom's Cause. (Henty anyone?) Basically, Scottish independence was a beautiful thing and terrible thing and I still haven't got over them not taking their independence last year when they could

(no offense to any particular Scottish reader though! I mean, idk, it might have been a bad economic discussion but I'm American so I'm all like FREEDOM!)

*ahem* Back to history, the US is mentioned in the Martha books. I think I recall something about Kentucky and then the War for Independence. It did take place around the same time. I love when I get a bigger view of history around the world and country. Sometimes I get tunnel vision and only think about one event at the time, but in reality, they all sort of intertwine!

"By Dawn's Early Light"
by Edward Moran
Ahh Charlotte! The theme of her books seems to be change, which is cool for history. There's the lightbulb and the Erie Canal and then the War of 1812 where Will goes :( Just some background, the War of 1812 was America's first chance to prove to the world that she could stand up to the bullies. And our capital got burned. But we got our national anthem, so it's all good now :D The above picture depicts the flag still standing after the night's battle. I'm assuming that's Francis Scott Key on the ladder.

Another Ashley fun fact: The President during 1812 was James Madison. I played his wife Dolly Madison in kindergarten for my graduation program :D

I realized the other day that I'm a bit rusty on history from like 1814 to 1860ish. The Caroline years actually help shed some light. There's not a lot of BIG historical events. Instead, it's the settling and history of small towns in the frontier. It's interesting to see the Quiners' town get roads and grow and have a fair and get neighbors (INGALLS!!!) Small towns were, and arguably are, the backbone of America, especially when she was still getting started! One big event I recognized was the gold rush which basically turns nice, funny Henry into a jerk... But he snaps out of it. Don't worry!

Melissa Gilbert was adorable!
I find it interesting how the Little House girls never have to deal with the Civil War. The closest it gets is that one cousin who's a little messed up who blows the horn. I always felt bad for him! Again, the Laura books don't have any BIG historical events, but like the Caroline books, they focus on growing America and the young Midwest. The Homestead Act is one of my favorite government acts. I just love how it opened the frontier and called to all the strong pioneers. It was sooo hard. The Ingalls and Wilders face so stinkin' many hardships, but they come out stronger people who are literally found the Western states! Also, the later Laura books taught me the history of Dakota. Just combine that with The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, and we're set! "Harrison says two new states...."

First run of a trolley car in San Fran
Finally, the Rose years. The Rose books seems to dwell more on movements such as socialism and the rise of working women. There's also a pretty big drought that caused a lot of people to move :(
As for the movements, I don't agree AT ALL with socialism, but now is not the place for that debate. I DO like the opening up of jobs for women in the early 1900s. For Pete's sake, thanks to those women, I can literally have whatever career I want as long as I work hard and it's what God has for me! (Y'all know where I'm coming from here #NotAFeminist) So I enjoyed seeing the role of women as telegraph operators and real estate agents. It was also interesting and ultimately devastating to see how Paul did not want Rose to work! nooooooo

Well, there's your American history lesson for the day! What are your favorite historical moments in Little House?

The Best Charles + Caroline Moments // Guest Post by Naomi

Naomi Bennet is a dear friend of mine whom many of you know from her blog Wonderland Creek. I am so excited she was able to write a post for this week. Thanks so much Naomi!!

The best Charles + Caroline moments.

Hi there, people! I’m DELIGHTED to pop into Ashley’s Little House week. (As I type, I cannot say that it’s marvellous, because it hasn’t started yet, but I’m SURE it will be because, duh, Little House.) If you know me, you know I’m a Little House fan. If you don’t know me, now you know. If you want to know me more, go and visit my blog, Wonderland Creek. Thanks.

I’m a Little House fan. Well, that’s an understatement if there ever was one. I LOVE everything and anything Little House. The romance, the genealogy, the traditions, the quotes… the whole Little House smell and feel just hits home to me. Today I am very honoured to be here to talk about my favourite Little House couple of all time – Charles and Caroline. I love Caroline’s sensible-ness and loving heart; I LOVE Charlie/Charles; the way he’s always singing and grinning. I love them together.

VoilĂ , my favourites Caroles moments. (Yes, I invent a ship name. Shut up.) These are in no particular order, although they should be chronological – if it’s a favourite one, I will mention it and get crazy in caps. You’ll see.
Of course, the first one has to be the one where they MEET. In ‘Across the Rolling River’ they meet as cute farmer kids in the woods on a Spring Sunday afternoon. (Pity Caroline’s nutty brother Henry had to be there. I suppose she needed a chaperone.) Of course, this might not all be 100% accurately true, but I like to THINK so.
He then gave a little bow, touching his finger to his brow as if tipping a hat to Caroline.
“Pleased to meet you,” he said.
Caroline suddenly felt shy under his clear blue gaze. She gave a quick smile and ducked her head.

And that’s how the book ends as well. Which is adorable.

Second, I loooove all their spelling-bee-scenes. Like, the way they compete against each other, but still do it with a good laugh added. (Unlike Anne and Gilbert. Hahaha.) These scenes are so priceless and soooo darn shippable, that I’m just going to let the snippets of ‘Across the Rolling River’ speak for themselves:
“Aw Charlie, you let a girl beat you,” Jamie called.
“I’ll get you next time, Caroline Quiner,” Charlie said on his way back to his seat. But he did not say it in a mean way. He gave Caroline his friendly grin, and his sharp blue eyes held a twinkle.

Caroline took a deep breath and glanced down the length of the table to where Charlie was sitting. Charlie was looking right at her. He had one eyebrow raised, and he was grinning.

Outside in the clearing, Caroline wanted to avoid Charlie. But he came right up to her. “I did it!” he said, laughing. “I finally spelled down Caroline Quiner!”
Caroline smiled and then raised her chin in the air. “You won’t do it again, Charlies the second!” she teased back.
Charlie let out a loud guffaw, then turned and rushed ahead to catch up to Henry.

I LOVE his ‘one eyebrow raised.’ :-P

Of course A Little House of their Own is BAM SLAP filled with Caroles moments, so I’ll TRY to narrow it down to less-than-five. Let’s see if I’m capable. I love this book to pieces. 
Caroline glanced and Charles and was surprised to find him watching her. For some reason she felt herself blushing again, and she politely smiled and looked away. It was strange, but she wasn’t sure, in all the time she had known Charles, she had ever realized how very blue his eyes were.
THE chemistyyyy.

“You were always good at spelling, as I recall,” Charles said. “You were always spelling everybody down, including me!”
“You were able to beat me once,” Caroline said, suddenly remembering.
Charles gazed down at her and his blue eyes twinkled again. “That’s right, I did beat you, but only one time!”
I love them. Okay?!!!

And when Charles walks her home from the store, and they talk about finding gold and bird books.
“You really don’t have to walk me all the way,” Caroline said.
“I don’t mind,” Charles answered. Caroline was glad they were not parting ways yet. She discovered she liked talking with Charles. It was as easy as talking with her own brothers, but it was different too.
YES. OF COURSE IT’S DIFFERENT. You’re going to marry him, Caroline.

And then good ol’ Eliza ships them like mad (just like me, of course) and then we have the CORNHUSKING. I cannot tell you how badly I wish cornhusking’s were still things. They sound so much ridiculous fun. And Charles made sure he could dance with Caroline, despite the fact that he was playing the violin. AZUIUREZUZIU. I LOVE IT.
Then Charles himself was standing before her, eyes full of mischief.
“May I have this dance, Caroline?” he asked, and gave a little bow.
Caroline’s heart seemed to stop beating altogether. The whole room of dancers had turned to watch Charles after he had given up his post, and now they were all waiting to see what Caroline would do. It was a little like being the one with the red ear. A part of her wanted to run and hide behind a hay bale, but a bigger part yearned to dance with Charles.
And Charles happens to be a very good dancer and it’s SO CUTE.

AND THEN. THE LAST SCENE OF THE BOOOOK. After the short split-up, Charlotte’s wise words, and all their visits and conversations… THEY ARE TOGETHER. I’m pretty much elated. They are together.
And Caroline knew, deep in her bones, that her heart would always be with Charles Ingalls.

The cute Caroles scenes are NOT over – there are plenty of them as a married couple. I love that they are different, but that they respect each-other’s opinions and live with it in love throughout their marriages. Ma travels to different places for Pa; Pa promises Ma he will settle down in the end and give their daughters a good education. And they love each other. They DO. (Caroline annoys me a bit, actually, as a mother. But Charles remains a good chump always.)
“Never mind,” Ma consoled him. “Just tell them how it happened. Likely they have mice.”
“There’ll be more important things to talk about,” said Pa. “No, better just let them think this is the way my wife cuts my hair.”
“Oh Charles, you wouldn’t!” Ma exclaimed, before she saw that he was teasing her.
Haha, Charles. :-D

There are plenty of other Charles+Caroline moments like that one that I love in the Little House books (like when Pa plays the song about drunk people on the violin to tease Ma and when Laura says Pa still likes her despite the fact that he can’t put his hands around her waist anymore), but I’ll leave it at this.

Thank you, Ashley for allowing me guest post!

And you guys; what do you think of Caroline and Charles together? AREN’T THEY CUTE?

I love this post so much, Naomi. It made me fall in love with Caroles all over again! Thanks so much! And everybody go check out Wonderland Creek for more awesome posts like this.