Sunday Bookends: Reading Books, Long Old Movies, and Snow . . . Again

Welcome to another Sunday Bookends where I share what I’m reading, watching, writing, eating, seeing, smelling — no, wait. Only what I’m reading, watching, writing, sometimes what I’m listening to and a little about what we’ve been up to. Feel free to let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments.

What I’m Reading

I am really enjoying the two books I’m switching back and forth between: Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon and Maggie by Charles Martin.

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Home to Holly Springs is the story of Jan’s Mitford character Father Tim returning to his hometown to confront his past relationship with his father. While there he will stumble on a family secret that will shatter the view he had of his father and other members of his family. He takes this journey at the age of 70, which puts an entirely different perspective on things for me, thinking about a man at this late stage of his life learning how much of his past was a lie.

It is written in the same charming way Jan writes all her Mitford books. I pretty much love it, in other words, and don’t know why I never read it when it first came out and my husband bought me a beautiful hardcover copy of it for Christmas.

Maggie is the sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance and takes the reader down the road of healing in a marriage and of a couple who suffered the loss of a baby in childbirth. These are the first two books Martin wrote, on his way to becoming a NY Times best seller, and he’s a master writer and storyteller.

Here is a quote from Maggie I really enjoyed: “Love has its own communication. It’s the language of the heart, while it has never been transcribed, has no alphabet, and can’t be heard or spoken by voice, it is used by every human on the planet. It is written on our souls, scripted by the finger of God, and we can hear, understand, and speak it with perfection long before we open our eyes for the first time.”

I don’t have plans for what to read after these two books because I’m just enjoying getting to know the characters in both of them. Maggie is a little heavy in spots,  so I try not to read that one before bed.

What I’m Watching

Last week I watched a movie with my mom. I’ve been trying to do this on Sunday afternoons to give my mom a break from all the politics or news stuff of the world. A little escape for her and me, I guess you’d say. So last week I decided we would watch Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly (1945). My husband and I had watched it before years ago. Apparently, it was so many years ago that I forgot how blasted long that movie is. It was like the movie that would not end. I mean, it’s pretty entertaining, but how many times do we have to watch a Gene Kelly movie and be subjected to half hour dance scenes. Frankly, I would have preferred to have more scenes with Frank in them, but oh well, Gene was the movie star back then.

My mom has a cataract she will eventually need surgery on, and I always worry it will affect her eyesight but so far it hasn’t. This was proven to me again last week when she noticed in the beginning credits that Dean Stockwell was in the movie. I was like, “How old is that guy that he was in this movie and was still acting in the 90s on Quantum Leap.” I couldn’t imagine who he had played in the movie so, of course, I Googled it, imagining it was a different Dean Stockwell. It wasn’t. It was the actual Dean Stockwell and he played the 5-year old little boy in the movie. Apparently, Dean started as a child star in several big movies of the 40s.

One interview with him that I found said he didn’t enjoy the experience on Anchors Aweigh because he was supposed to be tutored during the filming but was usually only tutored for 15 minutes every few hours and worked 8 to 9 hour days for six days a week at a time. He also didn’t like working with Gene as much as he liked working with Frank, but that’s not new. I’ve read that from other co-stars of his, but Dean said that like most movie stars, Gene didn’t like playing opposite children because the child inevitably got all the attention. He said that Frank didn’t care about that stuff and was more down to earth and had fun with him.

So, there is your movie trivia for the week. If you do choose to watch the movie, just be warned that it is long and to be ready to skip past a few dragged out Gene Kelly dance scenes. You will, of course, want to pause in your fast-forwarding for the infamous scene where he dances with Jerry, the cartoon mouse from Tom and Jerry and any singing scenes with Frank.

While watching the movie my daughter said, “Hey! That guy sounds like that Frank Sinatra we listen to before bed!” She’s never seen a photo of Frank, but we have listened to him before bed almost every night (when we don’t read Paddington) since she was a few months old.

I also watched a couple Hallmark-type movies this weekend but I don’t want to talk about them. They were too stupid to mention.

What I’m Writing

I finished The Farmer’s Daughter last week and then started ripping it to shreds and rewriting/rearranging it for when I throw it up as an ebook in February.

I also started The Farmer’s Son and a story about Liz which will be called The Secrets We Hold.

I wrote a couple of blog posts this week:

Photos of the Week

Randomly Thinking: The Weird Things Children Say and Do and other Random Thoughts

The Farmer’s Daughter Chapter 37 (final chapter).

What’s Been Occurring

Snow fell this week and I hiked up behind our house, trespassing on our neighbors’ land to take some photos of the snow all over the trees.

Little Miss hiked up behind me, complaining part of the time that she was cold (it would have helped if she had buttoned her coat) but then enjoying collecting snow to roll into snowballs that we eventually placed in our freezer in the garage. I don’t know why we are collecting snowballs and mini snowmen in our freezers, but I guess because Little Miss wants to hold on to her happiness a little longer and she’s happy in snow.

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Zooma The Wonder Dog was very happy that day because I let her off the lead so she could run all over in the snow and sometimes jump up and smack Little Miss’s snowballs out of her mitten-covered hands with her nose.

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Hubby was not as happy with the snow because the car wouldn’t go up the driveway, he fell twice trying to get in the house and then got stuck in the spot across from the driveway the next morning.

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I fell on our sidewalk taking snow photos when my foot slipped into a crack between panels, which I couldn’t see because it had been covered by snow. It was one of those fall where you know you are falling and you can’t do anything about it. I told my husband I toppled over slowly like a toy top, but I guess it would be better to say I toppled over slowly like a toy soldier. Either way, the slow fall was good because when I slammed my elbow into the hard sidewalk, it didn’t hurt as much as it could have.

I will share a few more photos tomorrow for my Photos of the Week post.

So that is my week in review. How about you? What are you reading, watching, writing, listening to, or what have you been doing? Let me know in the comments.

Published by

Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer, and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things here on my blog. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an eclectic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on. I'm also the author of three books with a fourth on the way.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Reading Books, Long Old Movies, and Snow . . . Again

        1. That’s all we can say too! I don’t think any of us thought we’d really get the top of what they were saying. The National Weather Service had so little confidence in their totals yesterday they said we’d get anywhere from 8 to 20 inches. We got 24!! Yikes!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. First, our grass is green. But we are expecting snow Wednesday… Reading? Today I might try a series new to me by Margaret Coel (Native American murder mysteries). Watching? Last night I watched a Christmas episode of The Love Boat. I kid you not. Er, yes, I had had a little wine. Writing? This. 😉 Listening to? Chill music via Mixcloud. Doing? Not. That is the plan for today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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