Thank you all for your patience on Wednesday and today; you know how family stuff can go. Now, where were we? Ah! The love triangle with the two men. 😀 Let’s talk about Grant first. When Missie is having the frontier equivalent of girl talk with Marty, Marty remarks, “He sounds like a fictional hero from one of your novels.” And indeed, he seems so. His family owns the railroad company, he travels with his extensive library and beautiful gramophone, he has a surrey with a driver, he immediately tells Missie he is interested in her, he invites her to dine at the hotel restaurant with his own beautiful dishes, and he seems very kind on top of all that.

Missie seems very eager to please him, and make a good impression. When he asks her if he can speak to Clark about courting her, there’s no hesitation. And she definitely has stars in her eyes, as well as makes a compelling argument for why she should marry him. But then when the giggling stops, the words that come out of Marty’s mouth are ones that I’ve never forgotten. She says that Missie needs to consult “not the feelings of [her] heart, but rather the thoughts of [her] heart” need to be consulted.

When she does consult the thoughts of her heart honestly, she finds that Grant would honor her as his wife, and treat her like a queen, but he wouldn’t see adversity “as something to get through together”. The thoughts of her heart take the wise counsel of her father, “Never despise meager beginnings”, and she chooses Willie: “the boy who stole [her] hair ribbons, and dipped [her] braids in ink” as the man for her.

Just like Clark, Willie is the quiet hero in this movie; only in this case, it’s meant quite literally. Willie is very soft spoken, and a man of few words. He only says 1 or 2 words the first several times we see him. But he saves Clark’s life, and the family’s farm.

Clark is still the amazing father we saw him as in “Love Comes Softly”. He and Aaron (Marty’s baby born in the “Love Comes Softly” are chopping and loading up wood. Clark is in mid-swing when Aaron cries out. Clark is distracted, and slices his own leg. But instead of being concerned about himself, he hobbles over to Aaron to make sure HE’S not hurt. He tries to get Aaron to wrap his belt above his knee to stop the bleeding, but Aaron panics, and can’t follow instructions quickly enough. Instead of getting angry or scolding, Clark just whispers, “It’s not your fault!” before he passes out.

Willie saves the day. He hears Aaron crying, rides over, ties the belt himself, and drives the wagon to the homestead. Even though he rides off without a word, he watches the family, (particularly Missie) toiling with plowing the field without Clark, and he comes back to take over. He saves Clark’s leg and life when infection sets in, he stays on to plant the crops, and even carves Clark a cane out of “a sturdy piece of oak”.

He does all this while he’s dealing with his own personal tragedy, and trying to face the ghosts of his past. When Willie was a young teenager, his younger brother, Mattie, followed him when he was setting traps for their father. It got dark, they got lost, and poor Mattie froze to death. The family tore apart, their mother left, their father still hasn’t forgiven Willie, and Willie spent 6 years away because he couldn’t forgive himself. But he is finally able to get past all of that, and on the day he and Missie get married, his father shows up. He stands off a little ways, but he does shake hands with his son.

While I wasn’t able to speak to Michael himself, I was able to chat with Cindy Kelley, who wrote the movie with him. She shared some of her favorite moments. She was a big fan of the little things. Here’s a little of what she said:

“I loved seeing the depth of love between Clark and Marty and how much she had grown in her role as both a wife and mother and partner for Clark. One of my favorite small things was when Willie and Missie sit down to dinner with her family and he reaches for her hand under the table.” A woman after my own heart! Those were two of my favorite moments too!

One story she shared with me was quite remarkable. She has a very strong memory of Mackenzie Astin, who played Grant. He “was such a gentleman to everyone. I heard him call everyone by name – from the craft services people, to the drivers, to the guys hauling equipment. When I commented on it, he said because he’d grown up in the business (his parents are Patty Duke and John Astin, his brother is Sean Astin) he was taught at an early age that ALL the people on the crew were of equal importance – and everyone deserves to have their name remembered. He was such a nice guy. MLJ and I have written numerous projects together over the last twenty years, but the “Love” movies are still my favorites.”

Thank you, Cindy! First hand experience and experience is the best! Well Hearties, NOW, we’ve reached the end of Michael Landon Jr.’s birthday spotlight week. I hope you had a marvelous birthday, Michael! And I hope you Hearties have a marvelous weekend. I’ll be back on Wednesday. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, we have indeed arrived at #WonderWednesday, the last one of the month. Wow, in some ways, June flew right by! Amazing how that happens! Well, today we finish up the spotlight week for the fearless leader, Michael Landon Jr. I put the question out there to you Hearties on social media, asking what your favorite project of his was, (outside of When Calls the Heart, of course!) Thank you to everyone who answered. Frankly, it was a landslide! The overwhelming choice was “Love Comes Softly”.

Watching that movie for the first time was the first time I had heard Michael’s name. I knew who his father was, of course. I better after all the reruns of “Little House on the Prairie” I’ve watched over the years. So when I saw Michael Jr.’s name, I let out a tender and sentimental, “Ohhh!” I knew I was in for a treat!

So I would be more than happy to review it! There’s only one problem: I already have! 😀 I’ve included the link to that review in the comments. Then, what shall I discuss for Michael’s birthday spotlight? 😉 Well, after the actual movie, “Love Comes Softly”, several votes said the series. I think that makes the most natural choice the second movie in the saga, “Love’s Enduring Promise”. The original is always the best, but this one is almost just as good; it has most of the original characters, plus a few wonderful additions.

This installment was released a year after the first, in 2004. Funny story about this: one of my childhood friends took the time to record both “Love Comes Softly” and “Love’s Enduring Promise” on DVD for me as a birthday present. I was in my twenties, and home from college for the summer. Another friend was staying with me for a few days, and we were trying to figure out what we should do one night. I suggested trying the first one, and we ended up staying up half the night so we could watch both! We loved them! And we didn’t realize that one was a continuation of the other until we saw the same actors in the beginning. So, naturally, we had to keep going!

This movie, like its predecessor, did not disappoint. The plot picks up probably nine years later. (SPOILERS AHEAD if you have yet to see it!) Marty’s declaration of, “What a wonderful life you’ve given me, Clark! What a wonderful life we’ve made together!” definitely rings true! They’ve built a larger house, expanded their farm, and even added a son to the family they’d blended.

Missie, who was a wild, almost illiterate tomboy, has grown into a beautiful and refined young lady, who by her own admission, spends “an exorbitant amount of time reading.” We recognize her by the locket around her heck Marty gave her at the end of “Love Comes Softly”. The first time we see her, she misses breakfast because she’s too busy acting out “Pride and Prejudice” in the barn. Clark and the boys leave without her, she rushes past them on horseback, and we soon discover she is the town’s schoolteacher. Imagine THAT transformation!

Here’s where things get interesting. We meet two men: 1) Grant Thomas, a wealthy land surveyor who spies Missie in his transit, and leaves no doubt that he’s very taken with her, 2) a handsome (VERY handsome! You should have seen our 20-something reactions to him at the time!) mystery man who keeps appearing and disappearing, and won’t say his name at first. It turns out his name is Willie Nathan Leheigh, a boy Missie knew in school. He’s going by Nate so no one from home will recognize him, and to escape his past. (This is very meaningful to me because I ended up marrying a man named William who went by Willie as a kid, and he has a younger brother named Nathan!)

Hearties, I’m afraid something has come up, and I have to close for now. So looks like we will get a full week for Michael’s birthday spotlight week; I’ll finish this up on Friday. Thanks for understanding! Good night! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Wow! I thought October was hopping with birthdays! But June is a pen of bunny rabbits! I was just finishing up Pascale’s week, and POP! Up comes the birthday of one of them who started it all! But since his birthday was also on my anniversary, I decided to give myself a little break, and give him a proper highlight week this week. Since he doesn’t play a character, and he hasn’t been available for an interview, we’ll stick with a #MeetYouMonday and a #WonderWednesday post.

Sometimes I think, because he’s not as involved on social media, this amazing film creator is overlooked a bit. But so many of us love his projects, not to mention we just enjoy the fruits of his inspiration. Plus, I feel geographically connected to this man…he lives in Austin, TX after all! My home! 😀 I have yet to meet him, I must have missed the memo as to where he and Daniel Lissing were meeting for dinner when Dan came for a visit in December. 😉 But I’m still a great admirer from close by!

Who is this Superman of a media maker? You hit the nail on the head if you guessed Michael Landon Jr. (Or if you just looked at the title.) This man has been winning his way into our hearts since 1977 when he guest starred on his dad’s well-known and beloved TV show “Little House on the Prairie”. And even though he moved behind the camera after only six acting jobs, he’s continued to bring us chicken soup for our souls in the form of visual masterpieces!

Michael Jr. was born on June 20, 1964, in Encino, California to Michael Landon and Marjorie Lynn Noe. Here’s something interesting I never knew before: his middle name was originally Graham. Sounds nice, huh? Michael Graham Landon. I don’t know if he uses it anymore, at least not professionally, but it’s fun to know! As you might imagine, he has several siblings and half siblings, (thank you Wikipedia for the full list!) So here they are in no particular order. If you’re reading this out loud, you might want to take a deep breath!

1. Mark Fraser Landon
2. Josh Fraser Landon
3. Christopher Beau Landon
4. Leslie Ann Landon (who played Ms. Plum, the school teacher, later in “Little House”)
5. Shawna Leigh Landon
6. Jennifer Rachel Landon (she’s just a week younger than I am!)
7. Sean Matthew Landon
8. Cheryl Lynn Landon

Quite a mouthful! Quite a family! And to add to that list, there was another young lady in his life that was basically another sister to him: Melissa Gilbert, (Laura Ingalls in “Little House”, his dad’s TV daughter.) Fun fact: Michael took Melissa to her senior prom! If he didn’t, then IMDB lied to me! 😉

I don’t know if any of them joined him on this journey, but apparently, Michael Jr. converted to Christianity at the tender adult age of 18; so about 1982 or so. Then he found even more happiness when he married Sharee Annette Gregory on December 19, 1987. That’s especially heartwarming to me because December 19th is my late father and my mother’s anniversary. The similarities just keep piling up! 😀

Want some entertaining trivia about his lovely bride? How many of you cuddled up with your parents, or your kids, and watched that AMAZING, star-studded, show-stopper of a CBS TV special “Alice in Wonderland” from 1985? We had it recorded on VHS, and I almost wore it out with how many times I watched it. And I was too young to recognize anyone except John Stamos, so my mom had to tell me how they were all famous.

Anyway, Natalie Gregory did the fantastic job of playing Alice. So what, right? Well, Natalie is Sharee’s little sister, and Sharee played her big sister in that TV special! No wonder it looked so natural! How about that?! But the MOST amazing production either Michael or Sharee did was the one they did together: creating a beautiful family together! They have three children. Two daughters, Ashley and Brittany, and one son, Austin. I wonder if that’s a coincidence?

From what I can gather, Michael’s first projects were to honor his father. He produced and directed the 1991 documentary “Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love, then wrote the story for the 1993 TV movie “Bonanza: The Return”, (that was his father’s famous TV role before “Little House”) and finally wrote and directed the 1999 TV movie “Michael Landon, the Father I Knew”. He loves his father so much, doesn’t he?!

Then he found his other passion: faith-inspiring films, rural period pieces, sometimes a combination of the two. And we know he felt particularly drawn to Janette Oke. 😀 But I am not going to go into any further detail tonight. Gotta save SOMETHING for Wednesday! 😀 So good night, sweet Hearties! And happy Belated birthday to you Mr. Michael Landon Jr. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, it’s #WonderWednesday, the final day of Pascale’s birthday spotlight week. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. There was so much I didn’t know about our beautiful Rosemary. By the way, before I forget, a Happy Belated Father’s Day to all our male #Hearties, whether you be past, present, or future fathers; as well as uncles, big brothers, friends, and father figures. I hope it was a glorious day for you on Sunday.

So, have you been able to guess which non-WCTH project of Pascale’s I’m going to review? Let’s have some fun! Think of your guess, NO SCROLLING DOWN! I’ll give you a second to think of one, because as we know, there have been several!

 

 

 

 

(Insert “Jeopardy” theme music)

 

 

 

 

 

If you said “Fantastic Four”, you would be…incorrect. Although, I did watch it, seeing if I could find her. No luck so far, but I haven’t given up yet. If you’re one of the #Oncers, (I think that’s what they’re called,) then you’re burning hot! Ding Ding! Did you know Pascale was in two episodes of “Once Upon a Time”? I saw those episodes, but it was before When Calls the Heart, and I didn’t retain her face in my memory. Then months and months later I saw the picture you see below on Pascale’s Twitter, and I realized, “Oh my gosh! She was Queen Gerda (Anna and Elsa’s mother)! So I finally got the chance, (for this blog post!) to go back and watch the episodes with full knowledge of who was playing the queen. That is always a fun experience! And not only did we get to see her as the queen, but as a princess as well.

Photo credit: elizabeth-mitchell.org 

If you’re familiar with “Once Upon a Time”, you know it’s fairy tales for adults…that’s the simple way to put it. Really, the writers go deep into fairy tales, creating histories we as readers never thought about; not to mention we get VERY different perspectives on very well-known stories…some of which can be a little scary. I remember watching the season 3 finale when only the back of Elsa appeared, and I thought, “Oh geez! What are they doing with ‘Frozen’?!

The season 4 premiere begins with the storm that claims the lives of Anna and Elsa’s parents, a scene that took all of 5 seconds in the cartoon, if that. It was a very intense and gripping manner in which to begin. We see the crew struggling with the vessel, and then we see the queen come into her cabin. It was quite difficult to see Pascale’s face with the lightning and the water flooding into the place, but it was her. She comes in to find her stationary box, and begins scribbling a quick note. The king finds her, and urges her to leave, but she insists, “I have to finish this!…They have to know! We might not make it home, but this could.”

Photo credit: Once Upon a Time Wiki 

The next shot is the king and queen on the deck about to throw the bottle containing the note out to sea. He asks her if she’s sure they should do this. The wind is howling, the waves are crashing, and the rain is pouring down in sheets, but she blinks through it, and replies loudly, “Anna and Elsa must know the truth. It’s the only thing that will save them!” The king hurls it as far as he can into the ocean, and they hold each other as their last shred of hope, their last connection to this world, is carried away.

Okay, can I just insert a quick sidenote here about actors who play live versions of cartoon characters: actors are trained to, and judged by how well they make their world real and believable. But I have to give extra credit to these actors who take their portrayal of these kinds of characters so seriously that you feel like sobbing. Seeing a live human, instead of a picture of one, changes things, at least for me. But they could choose to keep their acting very surface, and I have so much respect for those that choose to make their audience emotionally invest in them, even in only five minutes. That’s what Pascale’s performance did for me. When they watch the bottle fly away, it reminded me of the moment Clark Kent’s parents watch his ship fly into space right before Krypton is destroyed in the 1978 Superman film. There’s hope, longing, but most of all, despair. It broke my heart!

Just so everyone knows, I’m about to completely divulge lots of spoilers concerning this storyline. So if you want to go to Netflix and watch for yourself, leave a comment, click on the add, and we’ll see you Monday. The plot is very complex, tangled, and involved, so I won’t be giving everything away, but be prepared anyway.

We find out that Gerda had two older sisters: Ingrid and Helga. Ingrid has the same powers, and accompanying struggles, that Elsa has. When the princesses were little girls, and the powers manifested themselves, Helga and Gerda promised to never look at her as a monster. This continues into young adulthood, and we get to see Pascale in that beautiful gown, decked out in jewels. There’s one moment when Helga and Gerda twirl each other around, trying to convince Ingrid to come to the ball with them instead of hiding upstairs. The “Rosemary Smile” totally shone through! It made me giggle with glee!

Photo credit: pinterest.com

The plot thickens when we find out the mousey Duke of Wesselton is Helga’s suitor, but being the weasel he is, he tries to seduce Ingrid. Helga comes upon them, and completely takes Ingrid’s side, but her powers come out with the tense situation. The Duke threatens to expose her, Ingrid, lets him rile her, and shoots an ice blast at him. But she misses because Helga accidentally gets in the way. Her heart gets frozen, her body follows, then the ice crumbles.

Then Gerda walks upon her. The horror strikes, and no matter how much Ingrid sobs, insists it was an accident, and begs Greta to help her, her pleas fall on deaf ears. This is where Pascale’s skills really shine! She shows absolute shock, horror, and feelings of betrayal so thoroughly and completely. Then she has the impulsive idea to shut Ingrid in the magic urn they got from Rumpelstiltskin. You can see the regret and sadness at what she’s done, but then there’s the determination to move forward, and do what needs to be done.

Photo credit: pinterest.com  

Then her final scene that explains everything. Gerda comes to Grand Pabbie, decked out in her Arendelle cloak with her beautiful red hair braided just like Anna. She asks him to make a potion strong enough to make the whole kingdom forget Ingrid and Helga ever existed, “for the good of the kingdom”. Once again, you see Pascale’s commitment to fleshing out a minor cartoon character: the pain and guilt in her eyes, the stiff upper lip to move forward. Everything comes full circle, and we receive a huge amount of insight into the life of Elsa, and her mother.

Photo credit: onceuponatime.fandom 

 

Well, that about wraps it up! Happy birthday week, Pascale! Best wishes for a happy and successful year! And for all of you, I hope the rest of your week sails along peacefully, or as peacefully as possible. My anniversary of eleven years is tomorrow, so I’m daring to hope for some cooperation from my kids, and some fun going out with my husband. What are your plans? Tell me in the comments. I’d love to hear! And don’t forget to click the add. 😉 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

IIIIIIIIIt’s Monday, everyone! Hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend watching Hallmark movies and spotting random WCTH guest stars in said movies. 😀

And now, welcome to the #MeetYouMonday segment of our new and unorthodox birthday week for the beautiful Pascale Hutton! So we can get to know her a little better, I’ve pieced together information from several sights: IMDB.com, Heightline.com, Twitter, Facebook, Hope Valley Highlights from WCTH bonus features, and interviews with both Kurt Manwaring and Ruth Hill.

Photo credit: verimedinfo.Com

 

Pascale was born to two teachers, (her mother being a drama teacher,) on June 14, 1979 in Creston, British Columbia, Canada. Even with her mother’s line of work, acting wasn’t what she wanted to pursue. But she did study theater at the University of Alberta, thinking she’d go that direction. But fate, it would seem, led her to the screen anyway. The first role she got was in a TV movie called Hollywood Wives: The New Generation, starring Farrah Fawcett and Melissa Gilbert. Not a bad way to start! That led to guest roles on several TV shows like Stargate: Atlantis and Smallville, and even a small role in the 2005 film Fantastic Four. My favorite is that she scored a role in the Psych series premiere!

Even before all this happened, Pascale found a different kind of happiness. She married the love of her life, Mr. Danny Dorosh, in 2002. The two even both appeared on the science fiction series The 4400. They decided to settle in Vancouver, and now have two adorable little boys, (from what I can see in pictures on Twitter.) One of their birthdays was May 14, 2015, which means she was pregnant during filming of Season 2.

Photo credit: Pascale’s Twitter 

Photo credit: Crackday.com 

Funny story about that; Kavan told it at the most recent HFR (Hearties Family Reunion). I saw a video, but can’t remember who posted it. Remember the vintage motorcycle Lee very smoothly rode into town? He described it as a “bicycle with an engine the size of a sewing basket”. But even with a prop as weak as that, the crew was going to take no chances with the wellbeing of a pregnant woman, and the motorcycle was pulled out of frame by a measly little rope.

Photo credit: Crown Media 

Speaking of Rosemary and Lee, did I get some fun tidbits! First of all, there was no chemistry reads or trials. Many times, when a screen or stage couple is in the making, there is a test to see if two look and feel compatible, usually acting out a scene from the script. But no such procedure happened in this case, and Pascale calls their compatibility a “serendipitous pairing”. She even went as far as to say that she has “better chemistry with Kavan as an actor than anyone else I’ve ever worked with, on camera and off camera”. They have the same sense of humor, and both she and Kavan “find our own personal selves highly amusing”. Their families even have barbecues and get togethers quite often. Can you imagine the laughter the neighbors overhear during such occasions? And to make matters even better, Ruth Hill has received confirmation from both Kavan and Pascale that they have a new Hallmark project in the works, just starting the beginning stages. EXCITING!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know one of my favorite questions is “What is your favorite episode/season/moment?” I’m really into favorites! Well, I was able to find out what Pascale’s favorite Rosemary moment was…in Season 6, at least. I definitely have to agree. When I watched this scene, I laughed my head off! The things Rosemary will say to try to get away with things! Here are Pascale’s own words about that favorite moment from Twitter:

Trying to convince Lee that phone ringing was actually ringing in his ears! I had a hay day teasing @KavanjSmith about his age during that scene! #Hearties #WCTH #oldmansmith

 

Even though these next moments aren’t necessarily her favorite, they are definitely worth mentioning. Like any committed actress, Pascale likes to perform her own stunts. She has, however, developed a bit of a reputation for said stunts taking an endless amount of takes. By her own admission, both the bouquet toss in Season 3, and catching the runaway balloon in Season 6 took FOREVER to capture the moment correctly. Now it’s Erin and Kavan’s turn to tease, and they take full advantage! They love giving her a hard time about how long these things take her. Good thing she can take a joke as well as she can dish one out!

It really is amazing how far Rosemary has come, and how much we love her now. I admit to being very different from Ruth Hill: she claims she loved Rosemary from the very beginning. I was the one who said, “Who does that woman think she is?! Get her out of here!” And to my surprise and glee, I found out a little secret Pascale let “slip”. Here’s what she said: “This was supposed to be just a two episode arc. I think we all quickly realized a character, like Rosemary, that got the (#Hearties) so fired up needed to stick around.” And aren’t we glad she did! Otherwise we wouldn’t have Baby Jack’s “favorite auntie”.

Have a lovely evening #Hearties. See you Wednesday for the final post of Pascale Hutton’s birthday spotlight week. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!