Hello, Hearties. Welcome to another #FlashbackFriday. I apologize for it being so late today. Last week, the worldwide leader of my faith, (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) our prophet President Thomas S. Monson, passed away from old age. His funeral was LIVE today, broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah, and I knew I needed to watch it. It was, indeed, very emotional and very moving. So thank you for your patience so I could pay my respects.

Now for our topic: I’ve mentioned before that, like many of you, I started over so I could have everything fresh in my mind when Season 5 premieres. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, but I’m still amazed at how much I’d forgotten. I’ve had lots of new insights I’ll share in future posts. For right now,  you know how we’ve talked about a season having “all the feels”? Well, as far as I’m concerned, we don’t have to go any farther than Season 1 Episodes 9-10 to get ALL of them!

Think about it: These are the episodes when Julie comes to visit, Jack FINALLY asks Elizabeth out to a PROPER dinner, Gowen gets closer to hanging himself morally, (with the help of Abigail and Jack,) Jack gets reassigned, and the Tolliver gang strikes.  We’ve got excitement, trepidation, butterflies and nerves, ROMANCE, embarrassment, disgust, giddiness, cunning, plotting, surprise, fear, danger, heartbreak, deception, longing, gratitude, wondering, relief, anger, heroism, timidity, shame, regret, even sibling rivalry. I’d say that just about covers the spectrum.

These episodes are the reason I personally think Abigail can’t become a couple with Henry. Redemption and forgiveness, TOTALLY possible. But to become ROMANTICALLY involved with the man who knowingly caused the death of her husband and son, AND tries to bribe the authorities, AND steals money from the town. It just doesn’t fit with me. It would always be a dark cloud hanging above their heads.

Julie…hmm…Julie. How do I describe my feelings for her? Blatantly and bluntly put, I think she’s ridiculous! If I were to be diplomatic,  I would say she’s extremely naïve, and has SO much to learn. The best way to express my feelings would be a line from Elizabeth: “Do you even hear yourself?!” She only gets the picture after she’s been threatened at gunpoint, and held hostage in cabin.

Now the fun part, the dinner! Sigh! I still remember the first time I watched it. I was beside myself! And when he said, “Please consider this an act of courtship,” and kissed her hand! I thought I would melt right then and there! My heart skipped a beat right now just remembering it. When Elizabeth walked down the stairs dressed in all that finery, she looked just like a princess. Why couldn’t my first date with my husband have been that enchanting? Then to see all the effort he went through, and the evidence of how long he had been planning, (“How long have you been planning this?” Smile. “That’s a secret.”), it became very evident they were getting this relationship started, and the roller coaster ride was beginning. Of course, we knew something she didn’t know, i.e. the new orders; so that was the only dark spot in that beautifully candlelit café.

Did you think they were going to kiss? I was certain it would happen, but they kept us hanging on through all that heart-rending separation. Who cried when he left? Guilty! I thought it was an excellent touch that he had her picture in his journal/notebook. It was such a little detail, but it rounded out the character even more, and added one more insight into Jack’s mind and heart. Season 1, especially, was REALLY good at those small details. Plus it showed he was truly becoming devoted to her.

Well everybody, once again I could go on and on, but then I’d be writing all night. So I will exercise self restraint and stop here. I hope you’ll come back to read all those new insights I was talking about. It’ll be fun!


That’s what Elizabeth said to Jack. Well, good afternoon/evening, fellow Hearties who are desperately attempting not to foam at the mouth; or at least trying to contain the foaming inside the mouth. It’s difficult to wait for Season 5, isn’t it? But we must endure, and endure well! We’ll plow through this…together. Just like the title says, we HAVE been here a good long while, haven’t we? And we will also be staying “a good long while,” won’t we? Like many of you, I’m partially filling these empty weeks with all previous seasons, and I’m starting at the top with Season 1, Episode 1. I have no clue how many times I’ve done this, so we’ll go with umpteenth. But this time, I get to do it with my new set of DVD’s: my mother’s Christmas present to me! HOORAY!


One bit of fun trivia is I counted how many characters were in the very first episode, and are still a part of the series today. There are nine, which I think is a pretty decent record. There’s Elizabeth and Jack, of course. There’s also Abigail, Henry, Ned, Florence, and Molly. Surprisingly, there are also two children left: Emily and Anna. I do miss Cat Montgomery, though. I even had a dream a few nights that I was watching a WCTH promo announcing her return. But in the words of Sleeping Beauty, “And then…I wake up.”


I also admit to missing the portrayal of the townspeople. I miss the BEAUTIFUL period hats and hairstyles, and I especially miss the language: Ma, Pa, post, pleasant, fellas, etc. Those are some of my favorite things about Season 1. The town looks SO DIFFERENT from the 1st episode to now. I guess the sawmill was really good for its prosperity.



Let’s get to the specifics of this episode. It starts at the very beginning with the contrast in Elizabeth’s face. Her voice over talks about “stubborn pride”, and her face looks so serene as she gazes at the scenery. Then in an instant, her face twists into horror at a mere rock in the road. It only contorts further at the sight of the outlaws, and I LOVE how her voice quavers at the same moment she says “capable” and “independent”. That look is only rivaled by the look of horror and helplessness when the teacherage burns to the ground. A close 3rd is the look of fear and disgust at the outhouse. I had to giggle at that image since it’s what Brian Bird used to prepare us for the Season 5 drama that’s coming.


I just have one thing to say about Elizabeth: WHAT WAS SHE THINKING??? She didn’t have a single practical skill to survive on her own, she’d never done anything without servants, and there were no microwaves or washing machines back then. How was she planning to live? I presented the question to my husband, and his opinion was maybe she thought she could hire someone. Who knows, really?


Let’s go to her complete opposite: Abigail, homemaker extraordinaire. But looking beyond those skills, I love how she is immediately established as the nurturing one. My favorite aspect of that is how little of a snob she is. Even when people have started out like someone else, memory often fails them, and they think the new person should be just like them from the beginning. Abigail goes to great lengths to soothe Elizabeth’s troubled soul, and help her realize she started out just like she did. Plus, her makeup job even makes her look like she has traces of coal dust on her face, which makes her fit the role perfectly.


Now let’s move on to our Jack, BEFORE he was perfect. First thing’s first: his entrance. I’m noticing he gets most, if not all, of the dramatic entrances. He doesn’t even appear until 14 minutes into the 1st episode; but that really establishes Elizabeth’s character to us before…more complications arise. And something hilarious that I noticed: the child Elizabeth is holding gives Elizabeth a totally giddy “Teacher’s in lo-ove” smile when Jack rides off.


Jack’s emotions, though: WOW! They change on the face of a dime! Their first conversation, for example. Daniel Lissing said in an interview that Jack was really excited to meet Elizabeth. Pretty woman, she’s new in town, he’s new in town; he’s totally flirting! Then with a snap of the fingers, he completely resents her, and holds her personally responsible for his assignment change. Then when he shows up at Abigail’s front door for dinner all smiles and friendliness, and it instantly melts to a cold glare when Elizabeth answers…changeable! And so cocky! That “I was right” smile with the pinching shoes, tight dress, and not being disappointed…so infuriating! I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing Gabe was being truant either.


She throws it back at him though. Some of her best lines are: “I can take care of my own stubbed toes, thank you very much!”, and “You better get used to a steady diet of coal dust. I’m a Thatcher! We don’t run from a challenge.” My favorite lines of them playing off each other are: “Instinct is for Mounties, not for teachers.” “Students are for teachers, not for Mounties.”


Funny thing about Erin Krakow: she has a habit of playing characters who are very attracted to men chopping wood, (WCTH and Finding/Engaging Father Christmas). Can’t say I blame her! Somebody get me a cool cloth for my head! And thanks to her voice over, I found out what “P.S.” meant: “Post Script”.

See ya Monday, friends!


Hello, all! Once again, I “heartily” apologize for not posting yesterday; I know you were all waiting with baited breath! It was Christmas cookie baking, making sure my toddler didn’t destroy the house, falling asleep because the exertion and pregnancy overtook me, then having an early Christmas with my mother and a dear friend before they went out of town for Christmas. The blog kind of fell through the cracks. So welcome to the very first edition of #I’mSorrySaturday to make up for yesterday.

I thought the best, (and most logical!) course of action would be to have a #FlashbackFriday of Season 4’s Christmas movie. Sigh! Can you say magical??? And here’s a fun tip to start things off. Terence Kelly, who played the angel figure of Sam Bailey, was in a Hallmark version of Titanic with Kavan Smith (Lee) back in the 90’s. Cool, huh? It also starred Peter Gallagher and Catherine Zeta-Jones, if you’re interested in finding it.

So, back to our true topic. Once again, we get a true sense of community and real love in the face of opposition…as well as just how much pure caffeine affects Bill. The spark of energy in his eyes when he talks about tracking Billy the Kid with that “coffee from south of the border” is almost scary. But seriously, seeing all those adults stay up all night, and Jack and Elizabeth giving up the Mountie Christmas Ball, just to make sure the town had a beautiful Christmas was so inspiring. It reminds us nowadays that we shouldn’t give up so quickly, that hopeless situations can be possible with just a little bit of effort and creativity. Then there’s Cody…giving up his prized autographed baseball so Maggie could have her Bitty Betsy Doll; there aren’t many 10-11-year-old boys who would be so selfless.

One more insightful thought before I move to the humorous parts: Harper. Who could deny the impact of that adorable face, coupled with his sweet voice, and child’s wisdom? For him to be the one to get through to his mother when Pastor Frank couldn’t is so poignant. “Out of the mouths of babes,” right? His heartfelt speech is actually what gave me the idea for the first part of the story I posted last Friday. I love that he wants to healthily hold onto his father’s memory, and teaches that to his mother, who is unhealthily pushing those thoughts away.

Now to some of my favorite parts. First of all, how MEAN of the writers to trick us into thinking Jack was going to propose when he dropped that ornament, then asked her to the ball instead! Don’t get me wrong, the invitation to the ball was lovely, but…Grr! At least we can look back and laugh now that the ring is on the finger.

Rosemary just cracks me up in this one! First she tries to change the Christmas arrangements the moment she’s back in town, then she springs the news that she’s moving next door to Elizabeth, then the incident with the pin…the list goes on and on. Her expression when trying to describe her feelings about it to Jack: my belly shook like a bowl full of jelly! Then Jack’s lecture, including the fantastic, “You will act surprised and delighted!…You’re a very talented actress.” Just a classic moment! In fact, it inspired a real-life situation: I bought my friend Sarah Nitsch, (also a Heartie,) a spider pin for her birthday; she never saw it coming!

Well, dear Hearties, I’m sorry to not go on. Frankly, I could go on for pages and pages about how incredible this story is, but it IS Christmas Eve Eve! So much to do! And it’s only 2 more days until someone comes to town!!! I will be posting a very short blog on Christmas, then the reaction to the episode will probably be on Tuesday or Wednesday. Have a safe holiday preparation!