Sunday Bookends: Dick VanDyke, Noelle, sappy, predictable Christmas movies, and light reading

Bah-humbug to the crummy week this past week was.

And bah-humbug to:

  • the people who thought they could pay us almost $35,000 less for our house than we were asking so they could flip it (not very Christian but I wanted to flip something else at them);
  • the people who verbally trash houses so they can try to talk sellers down in price;
  •  photo sessions with drunk adults and parents, aunts and uncles all yelling at the kids to “look here” (at their cellphones!) while the photographer (me) tries to take their photos;
  • my husband to swerving to miss a deer and hitting a rock and popping a tire.

I’m not a drinker, but if I was, I’d be pretty sloshed by now trying to deal with all the stress from last week. Instead, I’m just gaining weight from chocolate consumption.

I already mentioned yesterday I’ve been binge-watching Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas romance movies to distract from the stress (help me!), but I’ve also been binge-watching the old Dick VanDyke Show from the 60s (yes, also on Amazon, but no! I’m not being paid by them to say this.) I’m watching these movies and shows while cleaning, cooking, or — uh, crying — by the way, so I’m not just sitting and watching movies and doing nothing else.

The Dick VanDyke Show is one of those shows that really holds up. One of my favorites is when Laura tells the world that Rob’s boss, Alan Brady, is bald. It’s in Season 5, episode 1, if I remember right.

I love the chemistry among the characters in The Dick VanDyke Show, especially Mary Tyler Moore and Dick VanDyke. The storylines are always so inventive and hilarious as well. It was definitely a forerunner for todays sitcom, although most of them can’t hold a candle to the superb acting by VanDyke and the rest of the cast.

In addition to Dick VanDyke and the cheesy Christmas romance movies, I also watched a movie that featured some pretty bad acting, but was worth pushing through to get to the message. The movie, called Noelle, (but first released as Mrs. Worthington’s Party), is an independent film with some beautiful imagery and symbolism.


It was written, produced and directed in 2007 by David Wall, who also stars in it, and who I can find very little information about other than he released another independent film last year called Gold Dust. Wall was pretty much the only competent actor in the movie, but again, it was completely worth pushing through it to reach the message behind it.

In the book world, I had very little time this week for reading thanks to the house showings, the cleaning, the rainy weather that wreaked havoc on my sinuses and the watching of cheesy Christmas romance movies.

I am still reading The Cat Who Lived High by Lillian Jackson Braun and The Hobbit (I will finish this book!), a book called Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrell, and with my kids, I’m reading The Misadventured Summer of Tumbleweed Thompson by Glenn McCarty and More About Paddington by Michael Bond. I read Paddington to my daughter each night, at her request, complete with all the voices, which makes it hard for my husband ever to read it to her because he can’t do a British accent.

I also run into trouble with this by playing Doc McStuffins with her, imitating the voices of all the characters as we play. Sometimes when I need a break from playtime with a 5-year old, my husband says “Can’t Daddy play with you?” She always says “No. Because you can’t do the voices.” I’m not sure who to feel more sorry for – me or my husband.

So how about all of you? What are you reading, watching, or up to? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to know!

Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at and


11 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Dick VanDyke, Noelle, sappy, predictable Christmas movies, and light reading

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Blog Roundup: Catching up on my blog and the blogs of others – Boondock Ramblings

    • They just hold up so well. They weren’t afraid to tackle topics that shows today now tackle without batting an eye at it. My husband is enjoying rediscovering them as well. When I was a kid, we only had four channels on our TV and PBS was one of them. At dinner time each night they would show Dick VanDyke and later they rotated it with Burns & Allen. I loved those old shows and still do!

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  2. My family loves the old Dick Van Dyke shows also! It really does help to bring some laughter into the hardest of days. I am keeping you in my prayers for the house-hunting-and-selling process. May God take care of you and your family!

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