Good morning to all you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Hearties! (cough, cough). At least we’re trying to be on a Monday morning, right? So who out there has children or teachers starting school THIS WEEK? Best of luck to you! I’m afraid to admit just how much I’m loving having my girl in all-day school, but it is SO MUCH EASIER getting daily tasks done. Absence also makes the heart grow fonder, so I get to actually miss her, and rejoice when I see her in the afternoon.

But enough about me! You came here to meet someone new, didn’t you? And that someone is Natasha Naquin. Natasha is a member of the South Texas Hearties Facebook group of which I am a part. I have yet to meet this lady in person, but I like what I hear about her. So I present to you, Natasha Naquin!

1. Where are you from? If you’re living elsewhere, where are you living now?
• I was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, raised in Erath, Louisiana, and now I live in Kaplan, Louisiana (Sounds like Louisiana is the place for her! But we’ll keep her in the Texas group. 😉 )

2. Tell us about your family.
• I have one sister and two brothers. (Hooray for even numbers! That’s how my kids are.) My parents are still alive and still married. (WOW! Congratulations on both counts!)

3. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? What are you studying/did you study in school?
• I don’t work. My hobbies are spending time with family and friends. (Ooh, woman of mystery! I like it! Those kind of hobbies are the best to have!)

4. How did you find/discover WCTH?
• Just flipping through the channels. (Talk about luck!)

5. What is your favorite episode? Season?
• The engagement and the wedding. (No! You don’t say! 😀 Always a favorite!)

6. Who is your favorite character? Star of the show?
• Erin and Lori (Good choice! 😉 )

7. Why are you a Heartie? Why do you love the show?
• The show is down to earth, caring, and loving. (Good adjectives. Although I must say the romance has lifted me up to the clouds a time or two.)

8. Anything else you enjoy, or anything you’d like to add?
• I would love to go see the set, and meet the cast members. (Only my dearest wish!)

Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself, Natasha. We always love knowing others like us out there who have GREAT taste in television!

                                                                           

Now to the poll I mentioned. With Back to School week, I didn’t review the latest Garage Sale Mystery movie: The Mask Murder. And so far, I have not seen a single WCTH star in any of the Summer Nights movies. What are the odds of THAT happening??? Especially after #JuneWeddings when there was at least one in every single film. Go figure! So my question is: which GSM movie would YOU like to see reviewed this #WonderWednesday? The Mask Murder from a week ago, or Picture a Murder from last night? Happy decision making! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

Which GSM movie would YOU like to see reviewed this #WonderWednesday?

  • The Mask Murder (67%, 4 Votes)
  • Picture a Murder (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Happy Friday! Wow, that phrase means a WHOLE lot more now! 😀 Here we are at the final day of Back to School Week, our #FlashbackFriday. Well, my girl got through her first day alright, and I got SO MUCH done! For kindergarten and 1st grade she was in a half-day school, so this all-day thing is tripping me out. I think we’re going to make it through though. How have you parents and teachers made out? For those of you to whom the start of school doesn’t apply, I formally apologize for the spike in traffic.

So, as I was saying, welcome to #FlashbackFriday. Let’s celebrate the end of a crazy week with a sweet back to school moment. Any guesses? As far as I know, there’s only one episode when it’s the official first day of school, and that is “Heart of the Family” in Season 2. If you’re unsure which episode that is, that would be the one on the homestead. It also shows Frank just starting out as the town’s preacher, and giving his first school tribute. And of course, we have Jack and the cowbell! The whole scene just fills you with a sweet, peaceful feeling, full of hope for the future.

I love Frank’s words. He’s not a flashy or uppity pastor; he’s simple, I’d even say slightly gritty. So it fits that his words to begin the school term would be short and sweet, and not full of flourish. He gives great advice to kids nowadays too: “Keep your eyes on your books, not out the window.” It’s as if he’s a grown up kid himself. And he even covers possible smart remarks when he reminds the children, “This may be God’s house on Sunday, but it’s Miss Thatcher’s house during the week.” Although those smart remarks are highly unlikely, since Frank already knows Elizabeth’s reputation: “I’ve heard that NO ONE messes with Miss Thatcher!”

Then the bell! How can something so clunky be so romantic? Probably has something to do with the people handling it. 😉 They set the tone so well! Elizabeth gets that dreamy look on her face before Jack even appears on the screen. And then she does this adorable little swing back and forth like she’s a student herself. Part of me wishes they had gone on to get her an actual school bell since Jack says he ordered one, but I can’t deny that the cowbell is poignant, then becomes very special. But the look on Elizabeth’s face when she opens then rings it…PRICELESS! By the way, I’m seriously starting to suspect that Jack put Nellie and Patrick up to changing Gertrude’s name to Lizzy! He takes way too much mischievous joy in the revelation to be innocent!

Enjoy your weekend, Hearties! And remember: May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well hello there! How’s everyone doing? Welcome to the #WonderWednesday edition of Back to School Week! Our district starts TOMORROW!!! YIKES! But I think we’re just about ready, so that’s one good thing. My friend Sarah and I put our heads together to come up with the perfect topic to discuss with you today, and we think we found a real gem: Summer of Dreams. Do you know it? It stars 80’s super pop star Debbie Gibson. It also happens to have LOTS of our favorite people in it too. Marcus Rosner (Charles), Ken Tremblett (Mountie Patrick O’Reilly), Lane Edwards (that same unnamed man that tipped Jack off about Rosemary), Mitchell Kummen (Gabe), Keenan Tracey (part of the Tolliver gang), aaaaannd…Pascale Hutton! Do I really NEED to say who that is? 😉 Even the writers, Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky, wrote 4 episodes of WCTH.

So how does this fit with going back to school? Well, if you haven’t seen the film, Debbie Gibson stars as Debbie Taylor, a down-on-her-luck pop star who gets dropped by her label, and is forced to go spend some “quality time” with her estranged sister Denise (Pascale) in Ohio. Denise just happens to be the assistant principal of a high school that just happens to need a music teacher for an after school program. She discovers a purpose for her life, and a little romance too.

The title is an interesting choice because all the action takes place during the school year; three months to the end, but the school year nonetheless. Pascale’s character even pulls the old “It’s a school night” line when her sister and her daughter are talking a little too long. That, and the 3 main characters are a guidance counselor, a new teacher, and an assistant principal.

I have to say, this is the most “non-Rosemary” role I’ve ever seen Pascale play. She’s the “Elizabeth” of this story, only more subdued and straight-laced. And she downplays everything! Can you believe that? Shows her talent. The first thing she says when Debbie shows up at her door is, “Is anything wrong?” Protesting, Debbie asks if something has to be wrong to visit. Denise’s answer? “Yes.” Despite the fact that she grew up in a performer’s shadow, she is kind and helpful to her sister in her time of need, even though she can’t understand how the money ran out. But she doesn’t let her sit around either. When Debbie finally confesses she’s not just on “vacay”, and Denise agrees to formally take her in, she promises to do laundry and get up earlier than 1:00 pm. I love Denise’s response; she goes into mom and principal mode. “Yes, you will…because you’ll be working.” When Debbie insists she can’t be a teacher because she knows nothing about kids, Denise comes back with, “They’re teenagers. No one does.” And when Debbie tries to back down out of sheer terror outside the classroom, Denise smoothly counters, “You cannot be nervous. You played Madison Square Garden.” It was so funny, but so great seeing Pascale in this kind of role. And she had GREAT chemistry with Debbie Gibson! Which is great because: Newsflash! Next month you’ll be seeing another review like this; there’s a sequel coming! Wedding of Dreams.

Which reminds me, let’s go back to that guidance counselor. I don’t know when I’ve seen a male love interest who is so kind from beginning to end. Usually there’s drama or head-butting in the beginning, and denial in the middle, but Noah Burns (Robert Gant) is an absolute sweetheart! He runs into Debbie while grocery shopping, something she CANNOT due. Rather than judging or giving her a critical eye, he just gets the cart unstuck for her, then shows her where the pineapple is. During the course of the movie, he listens to everything she has to say, keeps her identity a secret as requested, helps her figure out solutions to her problems, then rejoices with her when her label offers her a fat new contract, (even though it kills him inside.) One of my favorite scenes with them is when Debbie is dealing with the cancelation of her program. She charges into his office; he assures her that he’s already heard the news, and opens his candy jar to her. She shakes her head, and says, “I’m gonna need something stronger,” so he offers the licorice jar. It’s totally adorable.

Well, as usual, I have to go before I’m finished. I’ve got at least another page of notes I could comment on, buuuut my daughter does start school tomorrow. Summer of Dreams is going to air again on Saturday the 25th, so you should definitely check it out. This is Hooked Heartie signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom.

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Helllllooooo, Hearties! And a very warm welcome to Back to School Week here at hookedheartie.com! This is a big week for us here in the Austin, TX area. As of Thursday, I’ll have a 2nd grader on my hands, and that 2nd grader is starting the year at a new school. She’s only been to half-day school up to this point, so she’s a little nervous, but she’s really excited about getting lunch time and recess.

So in honor of the run on school supplies in every major store, the masses of people making the pilgrimage to classrooms everywhere, and all those commercials pushing products teachers desperately need, we’re celebrating a few people and stories about education. Step one: #MeetYouMonday starring Shannon Rolfe, a teacher. I happen to personally know that she’s a great one too. She taught several kids that I’ve had in Sunday School; plus she’s a great friend of the family. So cheers to her, and take it away, Shannon!

1. Where are you from? If you’re living elsewhere, where are you living now?

*That’s an interesting question. I grew up as an Air Force brat so we lived everywhere! However, I consider my grandparent’s ranch on the Montana/Alberta, Canada border home. Currently, I live in a suburb of Austin, TX.

2. Tell us about your family.
*The only kids I have are my students. This year I’ll have nearly 100! However, I come from a large family. I am the oldest of a blended family of 10 kids—five girls and five boys.

3. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? What are you studying/did you study in school?
*I teach middle school English/Language Arts. I spend most of my free time reading Young Adult fiction but I also enjoy painting, singing, drama, and I’m adequate at playing the piano. I am also in a Masters program in Curriculum and Instruction. (She’s much more than adequate, take it from me.)

4. How did you find/discover WCTH?
*I discovered WCTH the summer after season one. I found it on Netflix. When I saw my Canadian prairies and mountains, I was hooked!

5. What is your favorite episode? Season?
*My favorite episode is the proposal episode—it was so romantic! My favorite season is the second.

6. Who is your favorite character? Star of the show?
*My favorite character is Opal—I just love her! My favorite star is Paul Greene—shout out to my Alberta boy!

7. Why are you a Heartie? Why do you love the show?
*I’m a Heartie because I love the wholesome values and the way love and marriage is portrayed in the show. In today’s world, it gives me hope that family values and true love is still celebrated.

8. Anything else you enjoy, or anything you’d like to add?
*I’m just grateful for Hearties around the globe that have created such momentum for WCTH! We are a force for good!

That we are, my friend! Thanks, Shannon! She’s at work even as we speak getting her classroom ready for those eager young minds…cough, cough.

I hope this gets your week off to a roaring start. Take care of yourselves! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

            

 

         

Well, we have reached the end of another week! How did it go for you? I’ve heard many schools around the country, (this one anyway) have already begun! Wow! That seems incredibly soon! I remember my old elementary school picture calendars had September with the back-to-school illustrations. Now August has them, and September has autumn pictures, even though we’re still in the pool in the afternoons.

So that being the case, I thought it might be fun to do a school-related #FlashbackFriday. THAT is the theme of the month. So…which one to do this week? Tick, tock, tick, tock…well, since MY daughter hasn’t started school yet, (that’s next week! Ah! My last weekend!) I cannot do a first day of school, etc. No, my choice is the absolute very beginning of Season 2, the 1st words spoken, in fact. Do you recall what they are?

It’s a group of children: Pockets/Albert, Rachel, Emily, and Ephrim (Carla’s son). They greet each other, spot Elizabeth, and run up to her. She inquires if they’re enjoying their break, they say yes, but then here’s the clincher: the children are impatient to get back to school, and desperately want to know when it’s time to resume.

This encounter is quite brief, but I think there is a lot of power behind its simplicity. There are 2 things I really love about this interaction. The first centers on the children. They have truly come to love their Miss Thatcher. They’ve bonded. And who can help but love that beautiful smile, friendly voice, and compassionate demeanor? But more than that, they enjoy her teaching methods, and now have a thirst for knowledge. Before Elizabeth arrived in town, it was the humdrum, day after day, bleak and coal-dusted future ahead of them. Then add another log, actually several logs, on the fire with most of their fathers being taken from them. Talk about hopeless! Now they have choices, and they don’t want to stop learning. “When can we go back to school?!”

My second reason for connecting with this #FlashbackFriday is Elizabeth herself. As we are all WELL aware, (you may not call yourself a Heartie until you are,) Elizabeth is making her way down the street to have her first riding lesson with Jack. They just recently had their first kiss, and she is undoubtedly more than eager to have some alone time with the handsome Mountie. But Elizabeth doesn’t shoo the children away with a brusque “I’m busy; we’ll talk later,” does she? No.

They say, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.” I’ve also heard “Teaching isn’t a job, it’s the calling.” I was a substitute teacher for 5 years. I was also a performance and voice teacher for 5 years; I’m still a piano teacher, and the children’s music teacher at my church. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about children in general, they LOVE interacting with their teachers outside the classroom; it humanizes them, makes them real. I remember being with my mother at Sam’s Club, and coming upon my kindergarten teacher. I never fathomed the idea that she went grocery shopping! Then she stopped to chat for a minute, which made me feel very important. That’s what Elizabeth does for her students here. Of course, it’s a lot easier running into a teacher on a daily basis in Hope Valley, but all the same: she takes the time to talk, and have a real conversation with them. In fact, they say goodbye first, and the whole group skips away all the happier. Then and only then does she become love struck, doe-eyed Elizabeth, and turn her full attention to Jack.

If you’re a teacher or parent who’s already started back, keep breathing! If you start next week like we do, good luck! And if you start later than that, or you don’t have to deal with situation at present, the odds were definitely in your favor! 😀 See you Monday! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off!