Happy Friday, all! I hope your week is turning out the way you want it. This was the last week of school for some of you, I know, so maybe that will help. It’s funny. When Kristoffer Polaha was kind enough to bring me on as a guest on his weekly Instagram LIVE video, Polaha Chatauqua, he asked me if having the kids done with school would make things easier or harder. I said, “That’s a really good question.” I didn’t have an answer at the time, but now I think I do. It’s a different kind of harder. My girls did have something to do with school work, it’s true, but I had to stay right beside them to read assignments to the kindergartener, and make sure the 3rd grader actually DID the work. So, even though I have to be a little more creative, we don’t have deadlines, and I don’t have to keep the boys away from the girls as long. 😉 But, involving all 4 children more often makes for more arguing, so I guess you give a little, take a little.

So moving on to this week’s #FlashbackFriday, the third part of the incredibly odd, but incredibly strong friendship between Elizabeth and Rosemary. We started at Bumpy Beginnings, passed through Reluctant Respect, and now we’ve arrived at:

Part 3: Feisty Friends
Admittedly, this is a tiny step up from Reluctant Respect. There’s still teeth-gritting, and “dealing” with Rosemary’s antics, but this time, there are genuine feelings of care behind those forced smiles. Take the Mountie Christmas Ball, for example. Elizabeth is less than enthusiastic to borrow a gown from Rosemary, but she’s still comfortable enough to accept. (The fact that Elizabeth is BORROWING a dress instead of buying or ordering one shows what a Hope Valley woman she’s become.) Rosemary is more than happy to play fairy godmother, but she shares a little too much information dealing with alterations, remember? Then Rosemary tries to push herself onto the Christmas festivities, but Elizabeth “handles her” by assigning her menial tasks like stringing popcorn. Elizabeth knows she can challenge Rosemary because Rosemary doesn’t want to be outdone. They push each other’s buttons, but they wouldn’t hurt each other for the world. And despite the slightly rough journey, it sure has a beautiful ending result!

Another instance when Rosemary’s overbearance is done completely out of love, when you want to shake her and hug her at the same time…it’s Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding. Oh, Rosemary! We love you for being so passionate about wanting to make this long-awaited celebration sensational, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to the bride and groom? But, I will say, that passion and drive came in very handy when tragedy struck, and Hope Valley pulled together to create another wedding, almost from scratch. Who was in the middle of the group giving orders, albeit gently, and even took apart her own wedding dress to save Elizabeth’s gown? Maybe Rosemary is “a little much”, but in this case, it’s a good thing. It got the job done.

Okay, last one. This is where I really gleaned the “feisty” from. If you recall, a certain, VERY determined woman who couldn’t wait for proper lessons in…transportation nearly caused a very damaging mishap. And when said woman refuses to take responsibility for her actions, she flies into a fury, announces she’s staying with Elizabeth, then proceeds to beat up her hostess’s pillows. Then Elizabeth takes the kids gloves off and for only the 2nd time up to that point that I remember, she tells it like it is. Elizabeth finally gets it off her chest that Rosemary “can be a giant pain in the…side.” I bet that felt good. The way Elizabeth rolled her eyes as it came out, you know she’s been holding it in for a long, LONG time. But Rosemary needed to hear how good she’s got it; she needs the reminder of what a wonderful husband Lee is to her. And Elizabeth is glad to oblige! I really think this is a turning point in their relationship. Elizabeth boldly states what Rosemary needs to hear, and Rosemary actually listens. Now, THAT’S friendship!

Well, everyone, it’s been real! In the spirit of friendship, especially after reading this, let’s all remember what true friendship looks like, and how we should be treating one another. Take care, everyone! Love to you all! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

When Calls the Heart': The Show's Costume Designer Dishes on How ... Photo credit: Showbiz Cheatsheet 

Hello, my friends! Here we are again at Flashback Friday. I sincerely hope this finds you all well; it’s been a trying couple of weeks. There’s so much turbulence out in the world right now, and some of you haven’t even finished up the school year yet. I imagine you may be feeling very overwhelmed. So, take this time to sit down, lay your head back, close your eyes, take a breath, and escape on another trip to Hope Valley. Take a break from all the tension, and continue on this journey with me where we explore another aspect of the relationship that is the friendship of Elizabeth and Rosemary. This second stage is the one I find the most humorous. They’re not enemies, and they’re not one another’s competition. Elizabeth isn’t calling Rosemary names like a destructive comet anymore, and Rosemary isn’t sabotaging Elizabeth’s romance with Jack anymore. But they’re not quit confidantes yet. There’s still a certain amount of…dealing going on between these women.

Part 2: Reluctant Respect
This level, I think, has the most aspects to it, besides our currents one. It’s the stage that takes the longest to get through; and in some cases, can be even more grueling than those “Bumpy Beginnings”. Here, they’re kind of thrown together; yes, they are friends, but there’s still a certain amount of “dealing” going on. The first time I personally felt the relationship take a REAL turn, instead of merely dodging a bullet, was in the mercantile when Rosemary is trying to decide her path. Never would she EVER believe that a school teacher could give a famous actress such sound advice as to follow her heart, but she reluctantly admits that the educator taught her a lesson. But attitude wise, that’s pretty mild.

Take, for example, the writing of the wedding place cards. This scene is just a BIT more emotionally charged. Rosemary was getting on Elizabeth’s last nerve. By the way Elizabeth gruffed, “How about THIS one?” who knows how many labels she had written already?! And Elizabeth was just not living up to Rosemary’s standard of calligraphy. They still like each other…just not right now.

Elizabeth looked positively mortified when she found out the Coulters were moving right next door to her. All that boisterousness she had managed to endure, and now, it’s about to become part of her daily, and nightly, life. I don’t know which is worse: the handwriting exam, or the “paper thin walls” Rosemary feels the need to tear open so often; and so often, it’s when Elizabeth and Jack are having a moment. Yeah, I would have locked her my door too! I don’t know why she never did.

There are a million other examples, I know, but that would make for a pretty long blog. Let’s end with when Rosemary becomes a true Hope Valley woman through deeds, not just words. And she’s definitely reluctant! But I think Elizabeth, and everyone else for that matter, gains a deeper respect for this flamboyant woman who has dropped herself in their midst. You know what I’m talking about; when the almost-Mrs. Coulter gives up her first-class wedding to aid her fellow townspeople and the refugees by the river in First Aid treatment and nourishment. Not only did she act unselfishly for the sake of all those involved, she found out for herself that she had it in her, that she could act in someone else’s best interest, and not just her own. With that revelation, Rosemary becomes a true Hope Valley woman, and is therefore able to be on more friendly terms with all of them. But we’ll talk about that next Friday. 😊 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!


Interview: Pascale Hutton | Where calls the heart, Heart clothes ... Photo credit: pinterest.com

Happy Friday, all! How are all of you doing? My girls just had their very last school event yesterday, so we’ve officially started summer. The idea IS a little daunting, given the fact that we don’t know what the conditions of summer will be like, as far as social distancing is concerned. But we’re going to be like the Light Brigade, and forge ahead, right?!

Before I start the post for today, I just want to acknowledge a few dates. Yesterday was a big day for one Mr. Brian Bird; the Big Man, the Master Pot Stirrer, and our beloved Papa Heartie. So, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to drop him a note of some kind. Speaking of birthdays, TODAY is a very special day for someone dear to me, and to you. It’s Mrs. Kaycee Simpson’s special day, one of my lovely cohosts on the When Calls the Hallmarkies: Heart to Heart podcast. So happy birthday to both of you. You touch our lives in very different, but very profound ways.

And, it’s actually thanks to Kaycee that we have this post. She and I were chatting about possible future blogs I could do, and she helped me come up with the idea of this lovely little series we’re going to chat about for the next several Flashback Fridays. So, today we start Heart to Heart: Friendship in Hope Valley. We’re going to explore all different kinds of friendships that take place in “our dear little hamlet.” And if those words sound familiar, like they could spout from the mouth of a certain Rosemary LeVeaux Coulter, you’re right; and that is with whom we are going to begin. We’re starting with Elizabeth and Rosemary, mostly because it’s the one that’s gone through the most drastic transition. And, as you can probably guess, it’s going to take a few posts. 😉

Part 1: Bumpy Beginnings

We all know that the friendship between Miss Thatcher and Miss LeVeaux was not exactly…smooth sailing. The very first glimpse of our red-clad thespian causes Elizabeth’s eyes to bug out, and she and her sister can do nothing but pass a bewildered look between them. Despite the shocking first impression, (dramatic curtsy and all!), Elizabeth is still polite and friendly, eagerly speaking with the new arrival…even if she becomes a bit distracted. Then Rosemary’s eye lands on a figure similarly dressed in crimson, and her true motive for travel becomes crystal clear. And if you’re like me, you wanted Rosemary to get back on that stagecoach and hightail it out of town after the first five minutes, pantaloons and all!

My Devotional Thoughts | “When Calls the Heart” Season One Review Photo credit: mydevotionalthoughts.com

Elizabeth probably felt like someone had punched her in the stomach, and no matter how hard she tried in the following days, she couldn’t get around Rosemary’s very imposing presence. Elizabeth’s face would take on what I use to call the “Rosemary Smile”. It pushed its way to her teeth every time Rosemary was around because Elizabeth was always trying to deal with her. Watch for it. It happens quite often in those first episodes.

Every time Elizabeth almost gets a leg up, Rosemary uses it to lift herself. Take the meeting about building the new church. Elizabeth was gaining the advantage, since Rosemary seemed quite appalled that Jack had spent reward money on the church. Then things looked up even more when he talked about “someone very special”. And what does she do? She snags the attention, proclaiming, “Thank you, Jack.” Who does that? Not to mention the lady does everything she can to outshine Elizabeth’s meager cooking skills with her superb chicken fried steak. Low blow! The one thing that saves the situation is Jack takes his life into his hands, and consumes the burnt food. That’s love! And it sent a very clear signal.

But, probably the worst thing she did was pitting Jack and Elizabeth against each other by eavesdropping then blabbing about Elizabeth’s job offer back East. She couldn’t let Elizabeth tell him herself, or let them work things out. In the beginning, the woman was, in a word, devious.

Jack’s words to Rip never rang more true: “I think it is safer in here with you than out there, boy.” That, and his declaration to Rosemary herself: “Your presence could sidetrack an army.” Not the best way to start a friendship, but I’ve seen worse…I think. Luckily, we know everything turned out okay. But, we’ll talk about that another day, another time. Have a great weekend friends! I’ll see you next week! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hey, Hearties! I’m back! WOW! I cannot believe it’s been an entire WEEK since I’ve actually…blogged. All of you who are bored during this quarantine, you are MORE than welcome to come to my house. You will not suffer from monotony in the slightest! 😉 But school is finally winding down for us, so my laptop will no longer be commandeered by my girls for their schoolwork.

Well, this is a big day! Not only am I back for the first time in a week, but I am debuting my first music video! If you love Hallmark, (which I suspect you do since you’re reading this,) and/or you’re feeling a little trapped by current circumstances, this video is for you! But first, let’s talk Nathan. (The reason for this discussion is in the video, but you’ll have to watch it to find out 😛 )

So, let’s get the “vegetables” out of the way first, poor Nathan’s flirting misfires. First of all, thank you to everyone who weighed in. That really did help me a great deal, and saved me a whole lot of time. Truthfully, I like Nathan’s flirtation failures. They make him human and relatable, and they make us smile. I’m inclined to believe that even diehard Lucas fans have a soft spot somewhere for the Mountie. But we can’t deny that these romantic mishaps cause us to react like Allie: palm our foreheads and shake our heads, but we’re still smiling. So here are, in the Hooked Heartie’s opinion, the Top 5 Nathan Flirting Failures.

 


5) The “Great” Triangle. When Elizabeth catches up to Nathan to try and engage him in conversion about Allie’s Queen Victoria book report, he misses a big opportunity to flirt. Instead he gives answers that are a couple words long. Then things get super awkward when Lucas approaches, thus the “great triangle”.


4) Dinner Invitation in the Stables. This is an interesting one. There isn’t an actual person interrupting them like in the school, and Elizabeth is geared up to say yes. So pull her outside, and finish your sentence, my friend!


3) “Just Getting Warmed Up”. Oh Nathan. You started out with such pure intentions: winning your niece a fishing rod at the strong-man competition. And you accepted the loss until the pretty teacher walked up eating popcorn. Then you had to show off. And it backfired. Good thing Lucas bombed too, or else it could have been REALLY embarrassing.


2) The Wave at the Party. Oh my gosh! How do you spell awkward? W-A-V-E. And the way Nathan tried to backpedal by putting his hand on his neck…you can’t help but feel sorry for the poor guy. At least Elizabeth smiled at Nathan first. We can say that much.


                                                                                 AND


1) “The Founders Would Be Proud”. I don’t think this one needs explanation. Elizabeth and Allie’s faces say it all. Nathan even admits it “just came out”.

 



Okay enough of that! Let’s skip to dessert: Nathan’s flirtatious advances that make us shout “Bullseye!” Or some kind of equivalent. 😀 He may have plenty of flirting failures, being the shy and tongue-tied man that he is, but in these instances, he hits the nail on the head.


5) Hands Brush. I put this one last because it’s semi-unintentional; a happy accident, if you will. When the library shelves collapse, and Nathan helps Elizabeth pick up the fallen books, their hands brush, and there’s definitely electricity. Didn’t hurt that in the moment before, he had very sincerely complimented her with, “You’re quite the teacher.”


4) “You Matter to Me”. I know what some of you diehard #TeamNathan fans are saying right now: “How could that be #4, not #1???? I promise to reveal my reasons momentarily…one of them right now. I love that actual feelings in the form of words pushed their way out of his mouth; we all know how difficult that is for him. I remember gasping, and yelling, “He said it, he said it!” I just think the moment ended abruptly. So while the emotion is genuine, and we all held our breath, there are other moments that play out more fully.


3) Invitation to Dinner. He finally got the words out. We were all so proud of him! He probably felt the urgency to ask since he was leaving to transfer the prisoner, Elias, and he didn’t want that loose end to remain untied. So good for him for taking a deep breath, and seizing the moment by the throat. Now we can only hope we get to see that dinner at the café in Season 8.


2) Holding Jack/Funny Faces. Okay, guys, I STRUGGLED with this one. Should it be 1? Should it be 2? I even asked my husband and my best friend to weigh in on it; that’s how stuck I was. This moment melted me into a puddle, and my heart was pounding with joy at those hilarious faces. Rarely is there any gesture more endearing than a man holding and playing with a baby. What it came down to was that this scene showed more of his good character, and why he might make a good choice for a stepfather. Number One, however, shows more of Nathan’s personal intent toward Elizabeth.

                                                                   AND NUMBER ONE IS…………………………………………


1) The Engraved Wooden Plaque. There are so many levels to this gift that some write off, or dismiss as “simple”. First, Nathan remembered that Emerson was her Elizabeth’s favorite poet. Then he took the time to choose a quote appropriate for her; which with Emerson, that is no easy task. But he doesn’t write it down. He becomes a craftsman, carving it into a beautiful wooden plaque with his own hands. He doesn’t have the means to match the generous gift of the library that Lucas can afford to do, but he offers what he can to the cause.

Okay, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the first exclusive look at my first music video project, “Do You Wanna Watch TV With Me.” I had the great honor of singing this song I created for Kristoffer Polaha in his Friday night Instagram Live video: The Polaha Chautauqua. First thing he asked was if I had put it on YouTube. Well, I finally did! But I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without my husband and cameraman, Will, my dear friend Jess who edited, my piano player Shaleen Wilding, and yes, my children, who loved playing themselves on camera. Enjoy! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

 

Okay, everyone, we have some HUGE news for you today! This is BIG! Thanks to all of you wonderful, supportive people, (and maybe even thanks to the quarantine for making so many of you bored enough!), Hooked Heartie now has 100 FOLLOWERS! Actually, the total is 103! What a milestone! I remember how excited I was when we hit 50, and now it’s more than doubled! Thank you all SO MUCH for your laughter, your tears, your indulgence, your patience when I miss a day or am late, and your SUPPORT! I can’t begin to show you enough gratitude!!!

But I’m going to try! I’ve got something special for you today! Call it a #FlashbackFriday and a #FaceOffFriday mashup! And in celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, it’s something VERY appealing to all you ladies out there, as well as something everyone’s favorite WCTH mom Elizabeth gets to experience: the best of Mr. Lucas Bouchard and Constable Nathan Grant.

There’s got to be a moment when you decided which team you were on, something special one of the men did to steal your heart. Or did one of them do something that made you conflicted? What was the one moment when one man or the other sealed the deal for you, or made it harder to decide? Well, what I’ve done today is present the two moments I think made each man the most desirable; when each of them really hit a homer for me. It leaves poor Elizabeth with quite the conflict, but she’s a mom. She’ll make the right decision for her and for her son. So here we go!

Nathan Moment #2:
This is more of a fun thing, but it makes Nathan very appealing: chopping wood. Any fan of Hallmark knows there are few things more attractive in a Hallmark man than watching him succeed at the chopping block. Why is that? I don’t know exactly. It’s one of those “you had to be there” things. When I started making a huge deal about it, my very practical husband said, “Sweetie, I’ve chopped wood.” It’s not that sexy…and those logs are pre-split.” I know THAT, of course! But there is just something about a man splitting logs (on TV at least) that shows off an old-fashioned display of strength and masculinity. A girl knows a man that strong can protect her, and a good look at those arms makes her want to feel them around her!

Lucas Moment #2:
This moment is quite small, especially compared to the grand “not a date” on which he takes Elizabeth. All of that is INCREDIBLE, of course! But there is one point where he becomes the most desirable, mostly because he’s not trying. When the desk clerk at the hotel calls Elizabeth “Mrs. Bouchard”, there’s no playing along, no moment of teasing, not even a smirk. Lucas IMMEDIATELY corrects him, and clearly calls her “Mrs. Thornton”. Then add some icing on the cake: he booked her an entire SUITE, while only booking a single room for himself. No appearance of impropriety, AND gives her the royal treatment. That makes him pretty desirable!

Lucas Moment #1:
Yes, I’m doing this order on purpose. Lucas has a moment that I’m sure everyone, even #TeamNathan fans, must admit makes Lucas a very desirable man. I have a feeling Elizabeth had a very hard time not melting into a puddle at this great act of kindness, generosity, and yes, affection. That moment, in my opinion, is when Lucas gave Elizabeth the library. We all know how dear literature is to Elizabeth’s heart, as is the drive to use it to inspire her students’ minds. But “more important” town matters, as well as the town’s unwillingness to pay, leaves the town without a library. I wonder if that’s part of the reason he gave it to her: his noise-making ruckus pushed back the library discussion at the town meeting. Regardless, giving Elizabeth the means to fulfill her dream of a town library, and at no additionally cost… that definitely bumped Lucas up several points on my scale.

 



Nathan’s Moment #1:
Turn around IS fair play. Although Lucas made several strides, especially in Season 7, there is a very significant step in which he is lacking. And who voluntarily picked up that slack? Our mild-mannered Mountie. Can you guess what step that might be? It’s the one moment that made Nathan everybody’s main man, even #TeamLucas fans. And that moment happens the instant Nathan took Baby Jack into his arms, and melted our hearts with those amazing goofy faces. Any time a man voluntarily holds a baby, he instantly wins brownie points. And when he’s as handsome as Kevin McGarry, he becomes the most attractive man in the room! Then if that wasn’t enough, he pulls out the tactics, AND makes the baby laugh. Sorry, Lucas, but you have yet to even hold Elizabeth’s little man.

 



So, do you agree with my picks? What are YOUR top moments that make each man the most desirable? Think about it, and keep the picture in your head this whole weekend. Have a Happy Mother’s Day all you mommies out there! And YAHOO! OVER 100 FOLLOWERS!!! Please keep ‘em coming, and please keep clicking ads, sharing, retweeting, and shopping on Amazon through our site. It helps so much! Thank you SO MUCH! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

 

 

Photo credits: Crown Media