Hello, hello, hello! Happy Hump Day! I hope your week is going smoothly, and you have the fortitude to make it to the weekend. Before we get to today’s topic, there’s a list that I thought you might be “wondering” about, or at least slightly interested in. I’ve been watching “Psych” lately, since it came on Hallmark’s Movies and Mysteries, (and I heard Pascale Hutton was in the pilot). I can also watch it without my husband grumbling too much, hee hee. Anyway, to my surprise, “Psych” was filmed in Vancouver, not California. And you wouldn’t believe how many WCTH actors are in this show, never mind Hallmark regulars. I’ve just finished Season 5, and here’s the list:

 Pascale Hutton (Rosemary) – S1 E1
 Steve Bacic (Spurlock) – S1 E4
 Anne Marie DeLuise (Aunt Caroline) – S1 E4
 Chelah Horsdal (Cat Montgomery) – S1 E13
 Terence Kelly (Sam Bailey) – S2 E7
 Karin Konoval (Aunt Agatha) – S2 E12
 Jill Noonan (Carla) – S3 E9
 James Brolin (Judge Black) – S4 E3
 Lynda Boyd (Mrs. Thatcher) – S4 E3
 Devon Weisel (Viola) – S4 E9
 Alex Zahara (Beau’s Father) – S4 E14
 Adam Greydon Reid (Mr. Stoneman) – S5 E3
 Derek Hamilton (DeWitt Graves) – S5 E5

Quite a list, isn’t it? This crowd really gets around. And add this to the mix: in S2 E1, the character of Shawn says, “For the love of Lori Loughlin!” while watching a particularly frustrating part of a TV show. It made me giggle so hard!

Now for today’s #WonderWednesday movie. On some recent visits to the official fan page, I noticed quite a few people were re-watching Erin’s movie, “Chance at Romance”, or were seeing it for the first time. It seemed to have a very good impression on several, so I thought that would be a fun choice. And who doesn’t love Patricia Richardson with her quick wit, loveable sarcasm, and motherly nature?

First of all, can you believe Erin plays a CHEF! After WCTH and “Cookie Cutter Christmas”, we’ve seen her be pretty incompetent in the kitchen. Then here, she plays someone who makes 48 pot pies in one sitting, and starts an online Pot Pie of the Month Club. I bet she really enjoyed portraying someone with that specific skill. Those pot pies would definitely be worth $3 each at an auction, and they might even beat out Rosemary’s chicken fried steak. Watching those scenes made me crave one horribly. And Sam (Erin) works at a café of all places! The very beginning, her bustling around with a coffee pot, it reminded me of something Abigail said to Clara: “Keep the coffee cups filled, and they won’t squawk.” That looked to be exactly what she was doing. But the plot doesn’t tip the scale too much, as Erin’s character is incredible with kids!

What a whiz kid he is! You only come across a genius 12-year-old once in a blue moon; and on top of it, Donny is a ruthless schemer! That’s a very dangerous combination! And when a father is aware of how crafty his son is, is it a wise decision to put him in charge of a website? You got to give him credit though. He knows how to pick ‘em, and he can sweet talk a woman better than his dad…at least at first.

And that profile he came up with! It reminds me of a resume for a secretary position. But Donny is very business-minded, so I guess it fits. I was actually curious as to what was on Sam’s personality profile that deemed her “PERFECT” in Donny’s eyes. It’s only flashed for a second, and all we really see are a glimpse of his written notes/reactions. So I paused the movie at just the right moment, and here’s what I found:

 Sam likes baking, tulips, black licorice, and art. Donny wrote “Yes!” (I had wondered how Donny knew her favorite flower and candy since that’s never mentioned.)
 Sam’s eyes are blue. Donny wrote “good”.
 Sam has no allergies. Donny wrote “great!” (Very helpful for living in the country.)
 Sam likes classic country music, classic rock, and top hits. Donny put brackets around country music, and wrote “Nice”
 There’s no comment attached to this one, but I found it amusing. Under “Dislikes”, Sam put: “Men who are too attached to their mothers, bad dates.” Both must stem from her string of bad luck, especially Joel.

Ryan McPartlin was a surprise choice in this role for me. I’ve only ever seen him in roles where he’s a perpetual Peter Pan, or slightly on the ditzy side. Here, he’s a widower, a father with a career, and even slightly famous. It just took me a moment to get used to it. One thing I totally LOVED was the scene when he shaved. So many male actors, (and the characters they play,) are covered in scruff. Whiskers seem to be “the thing” in several films, especially Hallmark films. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a clean-shaven girl. I can’t imagine a man who doesn’t have an actual beard not shaving before his wedding…or that kind of thing. So I very much appreciated Heath (Ryan) shaving as part of his “dress to impress process”. But how disappointing that he was named after the candy bar instead of Wuthering Heights. Hee hee.

I’ll end with a note about the photography. Whoever they hired to snap those shots was a good choice. They really captured an already-beautiful woman, and made her exquisite. She wasn’t a bad model either! Heath’s favorite picture was the one of her in the pink shirt looking down. That one is gorgeous. I think if I had to pick one, I’d pick one with the pies since it’s her favorite thing to do.

Well, lovelies, the time has come. I hope you’ll come back on Friday, because I’ll be posting another short story! And it might be the last for a while because I like to fill in gaps between seasons with my stories. Make sure you read last Friday’s story first though. Toodooloo!

 

Hello, Hearties! How was the weekend? Do anything exciting? I finally finished my WCTH marathon, from the pilot to “The Wishing Tree”, so I’m officially ready for Season 5. But, it only took me about a month, and for a mother of 3 kids who love the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, that’s GOT to be some kind of record!

So on to today’s topic! I thought it might be fun to break out of the box a little bit. And Jack Wagner needs a turn. On a side note, does anybody else find it hilarious that he basically talks to himself every time he calls Jack’s name? Buh dum ch!

Anyway, I recently watched an interview with Jack Wagner, and he called Bill “the James Bond of Hope Valley”. That is a very interesting way to put it, and one I never would have thought of. Thank goodness none of James Bond’s behavior of indiscretions is present in the series, right?! Whether or not you think of Bill as Bond, we all know he’s the resident tough guy….besides Jack. So here are Kami’s personal choices for Bill Avery’s Top 11 Tough Guy Moments, (nope! No cliché Top 10 here!)

  1. This one is a “softie tough guy” moment since he’s standing up for a child. Any guesses? Season 3, when Bill dares Robert to have a problem with him being a musician. That sure gave Timmy confidence!
  1. This one doesn’t last long, but it teaches people new to town that you don’t mess with Bill. Season 4, when Dr. Strohm accuses him of favoring Carson after breaking up their fight. His reply: “You accusing me of not doing my job?” That line said with those eyes staring you down…the good doctor made the right call.
  1. Since we’ve never seen Bill in the uniform, we sometimes forget, (at least I do,) that Bill was a Mountie. But we are very soon reminded of that fact with Bill’s quick reactions when the Tate boys tried to rob the bank of the railroad payroll in Season 4. And that demanding voice insisting, “Drop it!” would intimidate any criminal.
  1. This involves different scenarios, but all centered on the same theme: Inspector Houston. There are a lot of different moments when Bill went head to head with Houston in Season 2, so I’ve put them all together. Houston thought he was so smart and sneaky. He should have known better than to go up against the dynamic duo of Hope Valley. My favorite line that illustrates Bill’s attitude toward Houston is: “We both know who’s guilty.” Menacing and gravely voice!
  1. Whenever there’s revenge or a vendetta to achieve, get out of the way! And when that involves a man’s best friend and the late husband of a woman that man is trying to impress, run and HIDE! That was Bill being a huge tough guy when he caught Garrison in Season 3. Thank goodness Jack stopped him from being an even bigger tough guy, and spending the rest of his life behind bars.
  1. All undercover agents have to be tough guys; it’s part of the job description. Bill embodies this perfectly when he goes under cover as a counterfeiter in Season 2. He never lets his face flinch for a moment. I have to admit, I had no idea whether Bill was a hero or a villain at that point. Talk about tough!
  1. This one is quite amusing, but there’s no denying that Bill is very intimidating here. You’ve heard the expression “Kiss the cook”? That is NOT likely to happen when Bill is wearing the apron, or holding a rolling pin. Because as we know from Season 4, Bill gets “really steamed” when his cooking gets criticized. I feel sorry for those poor men who didn’t have a clue as to who they were dealing with.
  1. Villains always need to be challenged; things need to be shaken up for the bad guy. They need to be reminded who is in charge. Gowen gets served in Season 1 after he sends his goons to beat Bill up. Bill shows Henry just how much of a tough guy he is by telling him, in so many words, that he was going down! “I like worms; good for fishing.”
  1. Speaking of villains, have you noticed that lots of them are wealthy and greedy? In Season 2, we see an example of how low a wealthy man will go to have power over someone. And Clara was the victim. What does Bill do? He insists on handling the case, even though Abigail wants nothing to do with him. Then he swoops in and gets Clara out with his razor-sharp eyes, low voice, and very convincing words. Total tough guy.
  1. It was hard to not give this one the #1 slot. Season 4, and two words: AJ Foster. ALL his dealings with AJ scream “tough guy”, she even calls him that. And boy, does she need it; she just doesn’t learn her lesson.
  1. OK, here’s the #1 Tough Guy Moment. Watching this scene is actually how I got the idea to do this list. It’s a very serious moment; very intense and menacing, and frightens the crook out of his boots. Want to guess before I reveal? (Theme from Jeopardy playing.) Season 3, getting Dottie’s money back from that thief of an insurance agent. It’s the perfect blend: he’s menacing but not violent, he knows exactly what to say concerning legal matters, and Dottie gets her money. It’s perfect!

 Tune in next Monday for the next edition of this series.

 

Okay, Hearties, here you go!  It’s #FanFictionFriday, and it’s a biggie!  This is the first story I’ve written to be published straight to the blog.  This is one way to envision Jack’s permanent return home.  This one has been a long time in the making.  Sarah Nitsch and I strated playing with this idea at least 3 months ago, if not longer.  So have fun reading “Halley’s Comet”, written by Kami Clements and Sarah Nitsch.

 

Elizabeth sat on her porch, wrapped in her favorite shawl, staring at nothing in particular. These nights with Jack gone seemed to weigh down her shoulders like an anvil of loneliness. The darkness seemed endless, pushing into her face. She anxiously waited for the stars to appear to pin it back in the sky where it belonged. A few stray tears trailed down her cheek. Elizabeth brushed them away, blaming the chilly night air for the sting in her eyes. She ruefully rolled her eyes, and shook her head. Of course she was fooling herself. The melancholy heartbreak she’d experienced since Jack left after Christmas reminded Elizabeth of those sorrowful days when he’d briefly been reassigned to Cape Fullerton. She hadn’t known then if Jack would ever come back; at least she knew now. A few more days, Elizabeth coached herself inwardly. Just a few more days, and THEN he’ll the home. “For good,” she added aloud.

There had been an article in the newspaper that the syndicates and gangs up north had surrendered, and the fighting had finally come to an end. Then, just a few days later, Elizabeth had received that long-anticipated telegram that STILL filled her with unspeakable bliss: Jack was coming home! She’d broken down right there in the mercantile, and shed MANY tears of relief. Of course, Abigail’s shoulder had been readily available to absorb all that moisture; as was her sister Julie’s!

Elizabeth finally smiled as the memory of her sister’s astonishing arrival mingled with the sounds of her moving around in the guest bedroom upstairs. What an ironic turn of events, Julie turning up unexpectedly two times Jack was forced to depart Hope Valley. Strangely enough, that familiar twist of fate was very comforting to Elizabeth now.

Preferring “comforted” to “downcast”, she closed her eyes to soak in all the familiarity around her: a few horses nickering as they settled in for the night, the wind breezing its way across the pond, Lee and Rosemary laughing next door, Julie humming to herself upstairs. Yes, she felt comforted. Now all she needed to feel completely at peace was to have Jack home safe and sound. Why was it that she felt his absence more acutely now that she knew he was headed this way? Maybe it was the anxiousness settling in, or the fear that something would happen to him when the danger was supposedly passed, and he was traveling home alone.

“Breathe,” Elizabeth reminded herself. Maybe a short walk would help clear her head of all this fretting. She made her way down the steps, but when her feet touched the path, she became distracted by the stars starting to appear. Each one was a bright spot of hope, reminding Elizabeth to keep the faith, and put her trust in God. She repeated this thought in her head as she breathed the way Jack had taught her to when she needed to settle down: in through the nose, and out through the mouth. After a few repetitions, her breath came in normal, regular intervals. She smiled fondly at the memory, and went back to star-gazing.  

“I thought Halley’s Comet only came by every 75 years,” said a voice behind her. Elizabeth knew that voice! Its familiarity washed over her like warm water. She inhaled excitedly, and turned to gaze at the voice’s owner. There stood her hero in red serge, removing his riding gloves. To Elizabeth, he’d never looked more handsome. “Or is that just another excuse to wait out here in the middle of the night?” he added mischievously. They both smiled broadly. Jack dropped his gloves to the ground, and opened his arms. Elizabeth let out a cry of pure delight, ran to him at full speed, and leapt into his outstretched arms with such force that they spun in a circle.  Jack chuckled warmly near her ear, and Elizabeth felt a shiver of excitement shoot down her spine.

Even when they slowed to a stop, and Jack had removed his hat, he wouldn’t loosen his hold. Elizabeth wasn’t objecting; she was in no hurry to let go of her fiancé. Nothing made her feel more content or at peace than having this man envelop her; and it had been so long!

“I missed you so!” Jack exclaimed. He finally eased back to look at her, and put a hand to her face. “You are a sight for sore eyes!” His thumb traced the same path where tears had been only minutes before. “So beautiful.”

Elizabeth smiled bashfully, and reached up to clasp Jack’s hand. He only moved their hands to his heart. “I’m so glad you’re back safely!”

“You worried I wouldn’t be?”

“Maybe a little,” she responded coyly.

“Just a little,” he countered teasingly.

She pretended to be insulted, and push him away. “Don’t push it!”

Jack’s eyes suddenly turned serious, his voice gravely and passionate. “Too late for that.” And then he kissed her. Elizabeth felt her heart catch on fire, as if the pieces were fusing together, where before, they had laid separate and broken. Her heart felt full and complete. And by the way Jack was kissing her,  it felt like life was being breathed back into the hollow cavity of his soul. Elizabeth thought she was going to faint from dizzy ecstasy when she heard a surprised, “Oh!”

Startled, Jack and Elizabeth broke apart to see Julie darkening Elizabeth’s front doorway. While looking a bit on the stunned side, she looked devilishly pleased. “I thought I heard something out here.”

Suddenly self-conscious , Elizabeth eased away from Jack as Julie skipped down the steps, and took both Jack’s hands in her own. “Jack! So good to see you home uninjured!”

Jack good-naturedly held her hands for a few moments, and cheerfully answered, “Julie! Lovely to see you again. How long have you been visiting?”

“About 3 weeks. Elizabeth was sounding so glum in her letters, I was afraid she just might wither away without me. So I came on the first stage I could catch.”

“Well, that was so kind of you,” Jack said as he released Julie’s hands, and slipped an arm around Elizabeth’s shoulders. “Thank you for looking out for her,” he added, giving Elizabeth a small side hug.

“Oh, it was nothing; my pleasure really,” Julie passed it off with a wave of her hand. “I took it as my family duty to aid my sister in her time of trial.”

Elizabeth tried not to snicker at her sister’s dramatic monologue. Despite the theatrics, she knew Julie meant every word. She also knew that she and Jack weren’t ready to say goodbye for the night, and would rather not have an audience. She lightly cleared her throat and widened her eyes, hoping Julie would take the hint. She took it alright, and very obviously yawned; then she announced, “Well! What a  day it’s been, and I am positively fatigued. I hope you two will excuse me?”

 “Sure,” Jack said with a smile. Julie flamboyantly, but graciously, turned and floated inside. As she watched her go, Elizabeth caught sight of Lee and Rosemary excitedly peering out the window. 

 Rosemary appeared like she’d like nothing better than to bolt out the door to welcome Jack back herself.  Thankfully, Lee held her back. They both gave a final wave, and disappeared. Jack and Elizabeth smiled, and waved back; then Jack turned Elizabeth around to kiss her again,  both smiling all the way. 

Jack paused, and just drank in her presence, their faces close together. Elizabeth relished his nearness, loving that their foreheads touching wasn’t merely a dream. She finally inched backed just enough to look at him. “So, it’s really over?” she inquired, searching his eyes.

“It really is. The fighting has stopped, and my posting has been terminated. It’s all over,” Jack’s last words came out heavily, as if they themselves carried great weight. Elizabeth touched his face. “And how are you? Really?”

Jack’s smile faltered slightly, and his eyes turned dark for a moment. Elizabeth’s heart started to pound. What had happened? What was wrong? Had he, indeed, been hurt? She was just about to voice these questions when the light came back into his eyes, and his smile returned. He cradled her hand in his own, and kissed her engagement ring the way he did so often; she never tired of it though. Jack put her hand back on his heart, and answered her. “Don’t you worry about me, Miss Thatcher. I’ll be fine. It was hard up north, I’m home now, safe and sound. It WILL take time to get used to life away from all the fighting, but I’ll do it. With you.”

Elizabeth threw her arms around Jack, and held him close. “And I’ll be right here,” she murmured into his shoulder. She pulled back, and looked him square in the eye. “Right here,” she reiterated.

Overcome with emotion, Jack pressed his lips to hers, anxious to show her just how much her words meant to him. “I love you, Elizabeth!” he whispered as their lips parted. Then he looked HER square in the eye. “You are my life!”

Elizabeth smiled, tears and nostalgia shining from her eyes. “And you are everything to me!” she added.

 

Hey, everybody! How are you all doing today? After looking at the official Facebook fan page, I can’t help but notice that there is a certain amount of angst (I love that word!) among Hearties regarding a particular man in red serge. I’ve never seen so much panic surrounding one single character in my life…probably because this is the only TV show with which I’m involved on Facebook. That MIGHT have something to do with it. But seriously, I thought this subject was worth addressing, given the amount of Heartie concern there is. It’s definitely something we’re “wondering” about.

Now I admit: amidst my plethora of emotions during Season 4 Episode 7, (the proposal,) my mother and I were speculating on all the possibilities of why Jack/Dan was departing. Was there a family emergency while they were filming, and he had to leave hastily? Was there a scheduling conflict for another project, and he had to go film elsewhere? Then, when we didn’t even see a shot of him on the battlefield, or ANYTHING for the rest of the season, I let my imagination run wild. WAS he leaving the show??? It couldn’t be.

I calmed myself with talking it out logically. There’s no way the writers and producers would be so cruel as to make us wait THAT long for Jack to propose, only to kill him off! That just wouldn’t happen! Hallmark doesn’t work that way! But, it WAS scary, and I wondered if we would see Jack again.

Imagine my relief when I read online this past summer that our beloved Mountie WOULD be back at Christmas. Phew! I could breathe again. And even though I already knew, I had to giggle when I saw an interview, and Dan said in that adorable Aussie accent, “Spoiler alert! I’m back!”

So now, several fans are asking the same questions: Where is Daniel Lissing? Is he leaving the show? Is he coming back? How can he do this to us?

Well for anyone who is still wondering, or you just need extra reassurance, let me be the one, (or one of the ones,) to give it. Daniel Lissing aka Jack Thornton WILL be coming back to Elizabeth, back to Hope Valley, and back to us – his viewers. How do I know this? I could be cute, and say I’m psychic, but I won’t. I have seen photographic evidence that he was there filming Season 5. Dan, Erin, and others have posted MANY pictures and videos on various social media sites that feature Dan in both scenes being filmed and behind-the-scenes “antics”. And many of the scenes seem very normal and calm, not just dramatic plot-twisters.

So rest assured, my friends, Season 5 will not be Jack-less. I confess I don’t know HOW much he’ll be in, given the fact that, after viewing previews, he’s probably not there at the start; but he WILL be there.

Just remember the immortal words of our dear Papa Heartie aka Brian Bird, one of the executive producers: EGBOK. Everything’s Gonna Be OK. So let’s all remember to breathe. Actually it will be more like panting while we wait for mid-February to finally get here. But still, let’s just breathe; and when the time comes, let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy watching our favorite show!

And tune in on Friday! I should have another short story ready.

 

I’ve gone back and re-watched all the seasons before, but lately, it’s just been a favorite episode here and there. I forgot how much FUN it is to watch the whole series from start to finish. There is SO MUCH that I’d forgotten, or that I’d forgotten I wanted to watch again. And I’ve gotten so many ideas for this blog too! One thing I noticed in particular is how often Jack sticks his foot in his mouth, and how adorable he looks while doing it! Most of it happens in Season 1 too, right in front of Elizabeth; and he’s trying so hard to be authoritative, and make a good impression. Poor man! So here are my personal Top 6 “foot-eating” episodes from Seasons 1-3. I know it’s customary to do the Top 5, but what a cliché! And besides, there were too many good ones!

6) S3 E3: A Time to Speak. Here is this Mountie trying to do a good deed by taking the boys on their almost-cancelled camping trip, and the girls come marching in. Jack handles that pretty well, but then Elizabeth totally shows him up by singing songs with the girls instead of telling ghost stories like he did, and all the boys end up terrified in his tent. It only lasts a few moments, and he’s able to laugh at himself, but he definitely eats a little crow.

5) S1 E10: Love Comes First. This one doesn’t happen WITH Elizabeth, but it definitely involves her. Jack leaves to take his new assignment in Cape Fullerton. He pulls out his paper with Elizabeth’s picture marking his place in the book, and attempts to write her a letter. The way he tries to sound cheerful and casual, then throws it on the fire…Aww!!!

4) S2 E10: With All My Heart. I went back and forth on including this one since Jack doesn’t actually say much, but the panic in his face was too good to pass up. What am I talking about? “It’s the other knee.” He’s just put his hands all over forbidden territory, then finds out that X didn’t mark that spot; and he’s absolutely terrified! Perfect and classic moment, not to mention a favorite of all of ours.

3) S1 E11: Rules of Engagement. What is a surefire way to make a man stumble over his own tongue? Put his former fiancée directly in front of his current girlfriend with him in the middle. AWKWARD! And he loses his words lots of times in that episode. My two favorite are when Rosemary first arrives, and when he’s standing below Elizabeth’s window.

2) S3 E9: Hearts in Question. What could possibly be worse than being caught between two girlfriends? Being caught between your girlfriend and your mother! Then on top of that, tell them both they can’t cook. Salt and pepper, or ketchup and mustard with that foot, Jack?

 

And the #1 choice is…………….drum roll please……………………….

1) S1 E7: Second Chances. It was REALLY hard picking the order for the top 3, but I just HAD to pick this as the top choice. The biggest reason is he bumbles 3 different times in just this 1 episode. This is just after the scoundrel, Billy Hamilton, got caught. At first, he calls her spellbound, a fool, and desperate, all in 30 seconds, (not to mention he called her a goat in the episode before!) He loves baseball, right? That’s good, because 3 strikes and he’s OUT! He tries to make amends by asking her to dinner, but that doesn’t quite work out either, does it? He’s going to look like a cow with a jaw full of leather! Then if that wasn’t enough, he couldn’t pay Elizabeth a real compliment. Luckily, he was able to pick up the mess after that one.

Until Wednesday, everybody!