Fun Old Movie

Half a Sinner, free for Amazon Prime viewers or as a free download from

Features Heather Angel, John ‘Dusty’ King, and Constance Collier as the redoubtable Mrs. Jefferson Breckinridge

I very nearly didn’t watch this one because of the title and the description: “Although young and beautiful, schoolteacher Anne Gladden fears a dull future. She finally decides to take a walk on the wild side in order to find adventure, which is just what she finds.”

She does find adventure, but really, she just had a case of spring fever, and her walk on the wild side is a shopping spree for a single expensive, gorgeous, non-schoolmarm outfit, letting the canary out the window, and going on an unaccompanied walk to the park on a sunny day.   It’s not really her fault that her little spree results in a much bigger adventure.

Of course it is wildly improbable and not a moral in how to find a husband, but it is charming and witty and a delightful way to pass an hour.  Dialogue is snappy, and while the tale is generally predictable, there are some very fun surprises.  Clean, sweet as a movie with gangsters and a dead body can be (you never see more than a hand from the corpse), and charmingly funny.

(link to movie is an affiliate link)



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A Dog and a Boy

Your feel-good read/video:



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No wonder I am so tired

For Reasons I distracted myself a bit ago by counting up how many children I’ve had here recently besides my 18 year old son who isn’t a child, and the Cherub who is forever a child.

18 in the last 10 days, almost continuously.
Blynken and Nod came for a week and were unusually destructive and uncooperative and argumentative even for them.
Out of town company came the same day Blynken and Nod left, just a couple hours later, really. Four kids- 15, 12, 10, 1. Really, the 15 year old was so quiet, I shouldn’t even count her.

Our amazing miraculous Baby Batman (now one) brought his parents over for a visit because we knew our guests when Baby Batman’s mama was, oh, 6 or 7.

Our out of town peeps were still here when some other out of town guests, but only from a couple hours away, arrived to talk about Charlotte Mason stuff. three moms, 7 children, including a newborn. Lovely visit, great kids. In one afternoon I think they dug out the boy’s old underground fort from the dirt of a five or six years of being washed out.

Striderling and Princess Peach and their two younger sisters also brought their mama over for a visit the day after everybody else went home. Or maybe the next day, I forget.

I was feeling frustrated because I’m behind on laundry, meal prep, sweeping and some online projects (I’m always behind but I feel behinderer, I’m really tired and not as clear headed as I prefer when working on online projects.
I thought I had accomplished nothing, and I have nothing tangible to show for it.

But 19 children in 10 days? Plus their parents. I think I had some conversations with Blynken which may bear useful fruit for him- small things, like how he can avoid his brother when his brother is trying to irritate him, how he can work on self- soothing without exploding, and how it might be useful to him longterm if instead of loudly going over all the loopholes, possible and wildly improbable in any set of instructions given him, he could try instead to invest the same energy in being cooperative.

I had good conversations with the homeschooling moms- I think we all benefitted from each other. And providing space to dig and catch toads and get dirty for the kids is not something to sneeze at.

We renewed fellowship and friendship with people we have not seen in 15 years. We were encouraged and blessed, and I hope did the same for them.

And of course time with grandbabies is always wonderful.

Some people can do all these things and stay on top of laundry, dishes, floors, meals, and projects. As a dedicated, deep down to the bone introvert, I am not one of those people. No matter how much fun I have, no matter how productive the relationships, I need loads of recovery and recharge time later. Something has to give, and it’s always going to be the house.

Although I would not say no to a housekeeper.

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Umbrella vs Husband

Is it a possible thing for a man to hold an umbrella over his wife’s hat, 1901 model, so as to protect her clothes and headgear and still not get the points tangled up in the hat?

umbrella GH 1901

Can a woman’s costume be so designed that she can maintain a more nearly even gait so that a man can keep near enough to hold an umbrella over her? My wife says if this umbrella holding device of mine were to be anchored to the hat, as in my sketch,  the first gust of wind would take a woman’s head off. Well, then, fasten it under the arms!  Martyr.

Good Housekeeping, 1901

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3 once popular authors you may not have read

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott books

The White Linen Nurse
Amazon Reader Review: Plot revolves around a graduating trained nurse who, though very ably transformed into an automaton of efficiency, is lamenting her lack of individuality and vitality. When she comes into a very different line of work, caring for an irritable invalid girl and her even more irascible surgeon father, this could degenerate into a trite romance but is saved by it’s sense of humor and pithy insights. Also enjoyable are the colorful period language and expressions and view into the worldview and customs of the era. They somehow find their way into my thinking, causing me to look at my own era and perspective, though in no part the possible intention of the writer – it was meant, I believe, as a happy jaunt through its own, contemporary, time and place. But its worth the side trip for a reader a hundred and ten years, or more, later…

Short stories collection: The Sick-a-Bed Lady And Also Hickory Dock, The Very Tired Girl, The Happy-Day, Something That Happened in October, The Amateur Lover, Heart of The City, The Pink Sash, Woman’s Only Business

Little Eve Edgarton, described by one reader as whimsical and witty.

Fairy Prince and Other Stories– modern (modern in the 19th and early 20th century, when written) tales of a 9 year old named Ruthy and her family, including Carrol, who is mute. Includes:
Fairy Prince
The Game of the Be-Witchments
The Blinded Lady
The Gift of the Probable Places
The Book of the Funny Smells–and Everything
The Little Dog Who Couldn’t Sleep

Excerpt from The Book of the Funny Smells–and Everything:
THE lady looked at her watch. It was a bright blue watch no bigger than a violet.
“This is all very interesting,” she said, “but at the obnoxious hotel which you run in this village, dinner is at twelve o’clock, and if I’m not there at exactly that moment there will not be another dinner I suppose until twelve o clock the next day. So-”
” Probably not,” I said, “So if you don’t feel timid at all about walking out with strangers, my brother Carol and I will walk home to the hotel with you and write our book as we go.”
The lady bit herself. She bit herself in the lip. She began to walk very fast. Carol walked very fast on one side of her. I walked very fast on the other. Carol carried the book. He carried it wide open so as to be all ready any moment. I carried the pencil.
” Can you tell me,” said the lady, “just why you and your brother have picked upon me as the first victim of your most astonishing interrogations?”
” Because you are the only lady we ever saw in our lives that we didn’t know who she was,” I explained, “And that makes it more interesting.”

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps books:

Gypsy Breynton
~Amazon Reader Review: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’ Gypsy Breynton is a precursor to Little Women, with a tomboy heroine whose adventures and mishaps fill the bulk of the narrative. I particularly enjoyed the chapter where she went sleepwalking right into a canoe in the family’s boat house, and woke up to find herself in the middle of the lake under the starry sky.

The ending is a bit abrupt, but the story is otherwise satisfying, perfect for people who are fond of nineteenth-century children’s books.

The Supply at Saint Agatha’s

The Gates Between

A Lost Hero

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John Herbert Quick (October 23, 1861 – May 10, 1925) was an American writer. Nationally popular in his heyday, his works are now almost completely forgotten.
He was “lauded for his accurate and vivid depictions of pioneer days on Iowa’s prairie.” He had polio as a small child, which left him with some sort of foot deformity which meant he had to stay inside a lot as a small child while other boys were outside playing.

Herbert Quick books:

Vandemark’s Folly, historical romance

Double Trouble Or, Every Hero His Own Villain

Yellowstone Nights

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