Well, here we are at the end of another week! And tomorrow is December 1st! Advent calendars start, decorating gets finished up, baking increases, shopping gets busier…if we thought things went into full force on November 23rd, then this is going to warp speed! For my last November post for being grateful, I am so grateful for this season. To quote a lyric from my favorite singer, Josh Groban: “And even though this world needs so much more, there’s so much to be thankful for!” It’s so fitting that Thanksgiving and Christmas are close to each other, in North America at least. We remember to be grateful, then we’re reminded to spread goodwill to all. Fitting, isn’t it.

Well, it’s time to say goodbye to Martin Cummins Week. But we can’t do that without a #FlashbackFriday moment for Henry Gowen. When I asked for votes on which moment to feature, the consensus seemed to be the trial and the surrounding events. I thought about doing a highlight on an evil moment, but I didn’t think you die hard Henry fans would ever forgive me!

You know one thing I found interesting about this series of events is Bill’s attitude. He himself said to Abigail, “It’s my job to see the bad in people.” But when he hears of the judge’s reputation, he becomes very solemn, and tells Abigail the news with a very concerned face. But when the judge is extremely lenient, (even you screaming fan girls HAVE to admit Henry got off super easy!), Bill goes back to the same old Bill: “That man has more lives than a litter of cats!”

But seriously, he DOES! Was it Bill or Jack who said that Gowen always has a way of “landing on his feet”? I know it wouldn’t make for very good television to have Henry sitting in a cell for Season 5 and 6, but I really did want to see justice served…just a little. Yes, I do still believe in redemption, and I’m glad Henry isn’t behind bars. I just think Henry could help make up for his mistakes with a bit more of a severe sentence, even with a way to get out of it later. But oh well. He seems to have learned his lesson.

He BETTER have, with Abigail constantly sticking her neck out for him! But I think the trial was a good way for her to defend him, because she speaks both sides. She admits he’d made mistakes, and the situation looks bad because she seemed beholden. But she also gets the chance to say he deserves a second chance because there IS still good in him. (Now I sound like Luke Skywalker!) And in true Abigail fashion, she finds the humanity in the judge.

The very telling moment comes when Abigail visits Henry in jail. She asks why he stole town funds, which as the current mayor, I think she has every right to know. We see a glimpse into Henry’s past as the son of a share cropper. And we see more of the human in HIM when he admits his astonishment that Abigail “still seems to believe in him”…after everything he’s done. In the past, her efforts have fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes, but the culmination of her Good Samaritan kindness is finally rubbing off on him. He’s come a long way from the caged animalthat threatened, “I’m going to ruin you.” Now let’s hope he holds true to his promise to the judge to not make a fool of him.

Well, Hearties, I have some wrapping to do! My husband’s birthday is Sunday, and the anniversary of him proposing is tomorrow! We also get to be in our town’s Christmas parade tomorrow. Lots to do! So I better go, but I want to share something first. The pictures is a Kami Clements original. (HA HA!) I participated in a WCTH virtual camp this past summer hosted by Lee’s Plaid Pants. The challenge was to do an artistic representation of some kind depicting Gowen in Season 1, then Season 5. If nothing else, you can have a good laugh! I hope you all have an amazing start to December. Remember next week starts my new schedule, so I’ll see you all on Wednesday. And dear Mr. Cummins, if you read this, we all hope you had an amazing birthday week! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

 

              

It’s Friyay! I’m excited! My husband and I get to go on a little day trip to San Antonio. But it also means Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, so Christmas comes ever closer! Why does Christmas take SOOOO long to arrive when we’re children, but there aren’t enough hours in the season to get everything done as an adult? But we get to it eventually, don’t we?

And speaking of Christmas, let’s dive right in where we left off on Wednesday. But first comes the gratitude. I am so grateful for love, in all it’s forms. We’re talking mostly about romantic love in this post, but there are so many kinds! Love for parents, love for children, love for siblings, love for extended family, love for fellow congregation members in a religious sect, love for role models and heroes, love for teachers and students, love for acquaintances, love for best friends, and love for mankind in general. Of course there are a million more, but I think my list should stop there, or we’ll be here all day and night. I’m thankful for all of it, and I believe we can always use more of it in the world.

Well, for #FlashbackFriday, we’re flashbacking all the way back to Sunday. 😀 Really quickly, I want to talk about that father/son love with Ian and Andrew. Did you love the tux scene. If you saw Signed Sealed Delivered: To the Altar, then it was doubly meaningful. Why is it that men always feel the need to have their heart to heart talks while trying on formal wear? First Oliver and Norman, then Andrew and Ian. I guess trying on a tuxedo brings it home that the wedding is fast approaching. But most men don’t seem to like dressing in a “monkey suit”. Apparently, bow ties cut off the air supply, and they only wear tuxes “under protest”. I couldn’t help but laugh when Andrew told Ian he looked “like a million bucks,” because the thought instantly popped in my head that he’d look like 2 million bucks if he’d shave. 😀 I know, I know, me and my facial hair fetish. But seriously, do men NOT shave for REALLY important life events…like, I don’t know, proposing to the woman of your dreams, or marrying her?
Speaking of which, back to that romantic love between Miranda and Ian. They really are adorable, aren’t they? This is one thing I adore about sequels and series. We get a chance to really know a couple: see them grow, get comfortable in their relationship, and not just be brand new in love. And knowing there’s more to the story gives writers and actors a chance to take things at a slower pace, instead of cramming it together. It also gives actors a chance to really get to know each other, and how one another work, so they can look totally at ease on screen. One of my favorite examples of this is when Ian and Miranda are holding hands in the car and talking. Ian starts doing what I do, talking with his hands. 😀 But he doesn’t let go of Miranda. Her hand just moves with his.

My other favorite is when they’re talking about Uncle Charlie by the fire at the inn. Miranda has her feet up on Ian’s lap, (with red and green socks, which shows without words how much she loves Christmas now!), and he has his hand on her leg. AND he calls her “love” again! Hallmark doesn’t seem to use pet names very often, so I think it’s sweet when they do. There’s no ceremony, no grand gesture. It’s quiet and subtle, and shows a level of comfort and trust that we don’t always see with screen couples. It also makes them all the more believable, and we can lose ourselves in their world even more fully.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL for the grand romantic demonstrations, and there were plenty to look at! I’m what you’d call “old fashioned”, so I really love watching a man be masculine and chivalrous. Niall does that really well. Of COURSE we have the traditional wood-chopping scenes we all love! But my favorite is when he gets protective of her: “I’m not going to let anyone hurt you!” Is there anything more reassuring to a young bride? She sure sets her groom’s mind at ease with the joy she takes in his family traditions. In Engaging, she almost flipped when she got to be Mrs. Claus; and this time, she practically jumped up and down when they went to deliver baskets.

It’s so sweet to see them playful with each other. Probably the smallest example, (but in my opinion, one of the cutest,) was when Ian planted himself on the steps, making it look like he’d been waiting for her to get back days. Then when she planted a sweet kiss on him, he kept going with it: “Totally worth it!” Miranda gets in the spirit of things when she talks to Julia about how she looks at the bracelet Ian gave her. Then she thinks about him, and…ring, ring! Ian happens to call right at that moment, and Miranda totally plays it up. Remember that conversation? Miranda tells him his timing is impeccable, and when he asks what he did, she says he made her and Julia believe even more in Christmas magic. His adorable response? “With one phone call? Not bad!”

Okay let’s get to that wedding. No, it was no Jack and Elizabeth affair, but it was so gorgeous! I really enjoyed the fact that they incorporated clips from the other two movies. It made the wedding even more nostalgic. I couldn’t believe Ian was practically sobbing during the entire ceremony, but it was so endearing; just like when he got choked up when they were dancing. I felt sorry for him with all the trouble he was having with his vows. But I saw a slight change in his countenance when he was saying them. It looked to me like he threw everything out the window, and just spoke from the heart. The best line was the one Margaret unintentionally gave him, because he says it so adamantly: “You make me fearless with love!” Did you see how the camera cut to Margaret to see her reaction? You can tell she was pleased! And then I melted even further when Miranda talks about finding the answer to where she belongs; her lifelong dream. The writers really outdid themselves! And the designers do their part, and send the happy couple off in that beautiful coach decked in white translucent ribbon and white Christmas lights.

Well, everyone, hope you have one heck of a weekend! Love to you all! And please share your blessings with us! We all need a little more gratitude in our lives. Also, I’m still looking for a military Heartie to spotlight for the Veterans Day #MeetYouMonday, if you know anyone. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

            

I got my Season 5 collection yesterday! Yahoo! I can neither confirm or deny that I watched the bonus features…almost immediately.

Well, we’ve come to the end of our last birthday week of the month. Wow, that was a LOT of birthdays! And I found out there are even more birthdays to highlight next year! Did Hallmark hire EVERY actor born in October? Just about, it seems. 😉

So what Bill Avery memory did I pick for the Jack Wagner edition of #FlashbackFriday? One that’s not as “flashback” as many other amazing Bill moments: taking off for “boring town business” in Jack’s place with the impending wedding only days away.

We all know Bill’s a tough cookie; he’s seen his share of action, and he’s got a stare that could freeze lava. But the man is SUCH a marshmallow! It doesn’t matter how scary he acts! If you remember back a few months, I posted 2 self-gathered lists: Bill’s Top Tough Guy Moments and Bill’s Top Softie Moments. Funny how so many of his tough moments are soon followed by the softie moments, or how many involve someone he cares about. I don’t think this was in the list, but one of my personal favorites happens in the Season 4 Christmas special. You know the scene. Jack asks Bill to take over the home repairs for him for an hour or so. Bill thinks it’s Mountie business, but Jack confesses it’s so he and Elizabeth can go get Christmas tree. Bill grumbles, but acquiesces. “Go ahead. Consider it an early Christmas present…actually consider it your only Christmas present.” But you can tell he doesn’t really mind.

Well in this instance, he takes it a step further. When Ned brings the telegram, Bill makes an instant decision to handle everything himself. But he intimidates poor Mr. Yost enough to get him to stop being nosy with his stern, “I’ll see that he gets it.”

My favorite line has to be when Abigail reads the telegram asking for assistance in escorting a criminal to Cape Fullerton. She notices that the telegram is addressed to Jack, and Bill immediately jumps on it: “Jack’s not going to be escorting anyone but Elizabeth down the aisle. Now even though Jack is supposed to WAIT for Elizabeth at the END of the aisle, it’s still a lovely and sentimental gesture.

It’s hysterical when Jack inadvertently sneaks up on them, and they get jittery and nervous trying to keep the “boring town business” hidden from him. Does it strike anyone else as ironic that Jack threatens to “hunt down” Bill if he doesn’t show to the wedding, then Bill gets caught in a shootout? Funny, I only thought about that today after doing some…ahem…watching.

And speaking of said watching, I found a little golden nugget in the deleted scenes that shows even more of Bill’s sucker side. When the Mountie and Bill are waiting for nightfall, that poor rookie asks if Bill has anything to eat. He gives him a “are you out of your mind” look and demands, “What?!” But when the poor Mountie reiterates “I’m starving,” Bill slips ever so slightly. He still thinks this kid is way too green, but he reaches in his pocket, and says, “I’ve got some jerky.”

Well, Jack Wagner, we love you! Thanks for being “the James Bond of Hope Valley,” (his words, not mine! 😀 ), and we hope you enjoyed Jack Wagner Week in celebration of your birthday!

Have a great weekend everyone! Next week is Halloween, so I hope you’ll join me for a little mystery. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

          

Well, Niall, it’s the day before your big day! And lucky you! Your birthday landed on a Saturday! Hopefully with your schedule that’s still a relatively free day. What are your plans? I bet your “saint” of a wife and your two “bosses” are going to do something to make you feel special.

And to everyone else kind enough to tune in, WELCOME! And welcome to #FlashbackFriday, Niall Matter style. Obviously, we’re going to pinpoint a moment featuring Mr. Shane Cantrell. Given his disappearance, and the fact that some Hearties are rooting for a romance between Shane and Elizabeth, this may be an odd choice, maybe even a bit awkward. But the truth of the matter is that this scene is just too darn adorable to not highlight: when Shane asked Faith to dinner.

For starters, I love that Elizabeth gets involved in helping Philip and Faith bond; because let’s be honest, it’s always the kids of the widow or widower who need to REALLY be won over, right? Shane shows in the first two minutes of the episode how sensitive he is to the fact that Philip might not be ready. He won’t even ask Faith out for the very reason that he feels his son has been through enough. But Elizabeth, even though she’s feeling alone and downcast with Jack’s departure, cheerfully plays matchmaker. It’s Operation Get a Date, and it all starts with caterpillars. And good for Faith to not be a wimp concerning bugs. But I guess if a person can handle the blood and gore of nursing, creepy crawling things should be a breeze.

When they run into Shane, he has the perfect “Dad response”. Whoever wrote the line “Ah, is that for dinner?” had to have been a father. Then Philip starts singing Faith’s praises; then the ultimate “kids have no filter” moment: “ Are you going to ask her to dinner?” Shane does a really good job of handling… or trying to handle the very nerve-wracking silent moment or two. He tells Philip to go play with his friends. Usually, a happy-go-lucky boy would instantly say, “Okay,” and scoot. But a total turn of events, he innocently says, “But I want to hear what she says.”

Now, most adults would try to pass that off as childish antics, and talk over it. Or they might say how busy the other person is, and insist their son go play. But Shane has learned a thing or two recently about being a good father and having a real connection with his son. Not only that, I think he’s finally giving himself permission to move on, and an endorsement like that from Philip was just the right push. So Shane very sweetly says, “So do I.” And of course Faith, like any adorable woman who is totally smitten with a man, and wants to make a good impression on the family, plays along perfectly. She answers both of them, and replies, “She says ‘yes’!”

Such a great moment regardless of how future plot lines turn out. And such a great actor to watch and celebrate. Happy birthday, Niall! And Happy Weekend to all of you! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

          

Okay, Hearties, as promised! Let’s finish up Johannah’s Birthday Week! First, let me just say a big “heart”felt thank you to all of you who read the story yesterday. Your support means the world! I’ll be posting the whole story soon, so you can read it from start to finish. But I’m not telling you when, so keep your eyes peeled!

As for the Johannah Newmarch edition of #FlashbackFriday, I tried to pick a moment that was…a little less obvious. Do the words, “I adore meatloaf!” ring a bell? They’re from Season 4 Episode 8: Healing Heart. To set the stage – the railroad has just opened a commissary, so Abigail is considerably low on customers. Carson tries to get her to fire him, to which she refuses. So he does his part by handing out handbills for specials at the café. He just goes WAY above and beyond the call of duty, and drums up business by bringing a date! Lucky Molly! It’s funny to see Molly smitten, mostly because we’ve never seen it before. We’ve seen Florence and Dottie smitten, and we’ve seen Molly PRETEND to be smitten. But we’ve never actually seen her flirt with a man before now. From this we see that she has a very coy and revealing smile that makes her look incredibly silly; add to that half-closed dreamy eyes that make it impossible for her to look neutral; and she has no idea what to do with her hands after being asked out, so she just fans herself with a flimsy half-piece of paper.

I felt a little bad for Carson being so obviously ogled over the top of a teacup, then getting a VERY non-subtle hint from Dottie that Molly doesn’t like to “dine alone”. Nice one, Dottie! But Carson was so sweet to put his personal sadness aside, run with it, and ask Molly to dinner. He got business for the café, he saved Molly from an embarrassing situation, and he gave a lonely woman a lovely night out.

Molly does much better when she has time to prepare, because she was amazing on the date. She told Carson all about herself, but remembered to ask about him. When he says he doesn’t like to talk about himself, she’s intuitive enough to reply, “Most people who don’t like to talk about their past don’t because it’s painful. I’m guessing your heart got broken, and you’re still putting the pieces back together.” Then immediately after, she shows how classy and sensitive she is by assuring him he doesn’t have to talk about it, and takes the pressure off by telling him it’s okay for them to just be friends. She pays him a compliment too: calls him smart and charming. I think my favorite part though, was that Molly brushed aside the tense feelings and the drama with (in Abigail’s words,) “a little levity”. She says she’ll only be “just friends” if he’ll give her the meatloaf recipe. They have a nice chuckle, and go on with their dinner. Good going, Molly! (And speaking of levity, don’t miss the photo at the end for a little more. If you’ve seen Anything for Love also with Paul Greene, it’s a joke from there.) 

Well, that ties up Johannah’s birthday week with a nice little bow! Happy birthday once again, Johannah! You make a wonderful Molly, and we ADORE watching you! Come back Monday to find out who’s next! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Photo credit: Crown Media
Artistic credit: Sarah Nitsch