Happy Friday & Saturday, wonderful Hearties! Sorry for the delay. It was a very booked day yesterday, and I made an executive decision that my family needed to come before the blog. Hope you can forgive the tardiness, especially since this network is all about family, right? (Hint, hint) 😉 Also, my second watch party was this morning, so I thought today would be a great opportunity to share the pictures.

How was your week? Full disclosure: I composed part of this while sitting at the dentist’s office. 😀 Daniel Lissing’s Hallmark Channel Christmas movie “A December Bride” comes to mind – “Your dentist knows you better than that guy!” There’s your speck of humor for the day. You can now say that you at least laughed once today…or smiled…half…okay, barely smiled ruefully, but I’m counting it if the corners of your mouth twitched up the slightest bit!

Thursday: what a busy day! First of all, this little guy turned 3!

   

There are so many fun things about this happening, beyond the fact that he’s cute. We named him William Lee; so without meaning to, we named him after two WCTH characters! 😀 (That’s especially gratifying because my husband is not what you’d call “the show’s biggest fan”, and he chose both names.) The other fun fact is I was pregnant with him when I first FOUND this series, and his birthday coincidentally lands on Erin Krakow’s birthday. How fun is that?!

And that brings me to today. Time to finish out Erin’s birthday spotlight week with #FlashbackFriday. This choice of flashback may come as a surprise to many, especially at the end of a birthday week. But I felt so drawn to this moment, to explore it more fully. I think I gravitated toward this moment because of all the birthday tweets I saw; all of the comments about how kind and caring Erin is, how unselfish. So I thought, would highlight an Elizabeth moment when she showed the most selflessness: comforting Opal during her own time of ultimate grief.

We don’t need to be reminded as to why Elizabeth is grieving; we all know. And it’s the most heartbreaking time EVER! She’s completely beside herself…and so is Opal. The problem is, no one can figure out the problem with HER. Rosemary doesn’t know where or to whom she can turn…except Elizabeth. You hear Rosemary’s hesitation to even approach Elizabeth, but ever the serving one, Elizabeth beckons her in, and tells her to just get to the point and ask. She even asks who’s watching the children, something she’d been too numb to ask on the first visit, and she’s downright shocked to hear it’s Henry Gowen.

This scene is done so well, because it shows transition. Elizabeth isn’t wearing black, which implies she’s feeling a little more life-like, so her manner and speech are still very subdued. Then she asks about the children, even though she hadn’t been ready to go back on her first attempt. The best part though, is she reaches down, and thinks outside herself, even as she is blanketed with grief. She becomes immediately worried at the thought that something has happened to “dear little Opal”, and recalls in her memory, almost instantly, what she knows of Opal’s behavior. Then in the biggest act of unselfishness, she agrees to talk to the poor little girl. She just has to take a deep breath to gear herself up for the conversation.

At first I wondered why a scene as serious as this would take place in a “frivolous” place like the dress shop; it didn’t seem appropriate. But then I realized, maybe they were trying to meet on neutral ground; making it appear like a chance meeting so Opal wouldn’t suspect anything, and thereby, help her be more open.

Photo credit: Crown Media  

At last we have it, the scene that shows us the first big leap in Elizabeth’s healing process: helping someone else heal. She gently encourages Opal to talk without pushing her, and you can see the relief in her face at the discovery of the child’s inner turmoil. Because as a teacher, once Elizabeth knows what the problem is, she can fix it. And she does. Not only does she soothe Opal’s worry that Jack knew how grateful she was that he saved her life, but she shares a deeply personal experience to show Opal the commonality between them. She even has a small smile for the nostalgic occurrence. My favorite part of this scene, besides Elizabeth sharing her romantic memory of Jack saving her, is at the very end. It’s barely audible, but Opal sighs when she hugs Elizabeth. She is comforted knowing that her burden has been lifted, Jack knew of her gratitude, and she will forever have something in common with her beloved teacher.

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend. Here is the picture of the birthday cake I made to celebrate our lovely lady’s birthday. Do you think she liked it? Enjoy! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, it’s #FlashbackFriday, a regular one this time. But to quote “Mary Poppins”: “something is brewing, about to begin.” That something is the long-anticipated spin-off series “When Hope Calls”. I know many of you won’t be able to watch it; heck, I almost had to miss it myself because of funds. I do get the chance now, so we’ll see. But since it doesn’t interfere with the broadcasting schedule of “When Calls the Heart”, Mondays from September 2nd through October 28th will be #MondayMusings for “When Hope Calls”.

We’ll talk about that more on Wednesday, but for now, which flashback moment do you think we’re going to talk about? I’ll say this about it, this point in WCTH history got named more than any other when I asked Hearties what their favorite moment was. You’ve probably already guessed from the title, but it is that hysterical, yet infuriating moment WAY back in the very first episode when Jack is proving his detective skills to Elizabeth…by insulting her.

Elizabeth dishes it out too, though. She calls him a second-rate Mountie, lectures him on the need to investigate the church fire and mine explosion, but then defames HIM by insinuating that he hasn’t the capability to “deduce all sorts of facts that everyone else has missed”. So I don’t feel completely sorry for the very stubborn teacher when Jack very pointedly lists the imperfections in her wardrobe; my mouth just dropped open simultaneously with her at his impertinence.

This is only their second scene alone together; the end of the third time they’ve laid eyes on each other. And as so many of you well know, the proprietary in that time was key! So he struts his stuff like the early 20th century “Psych” with his “inquisitive” nature and the part of himself that “gathers information”. I just can’t believe he was so bold as to look at her waist, then declare it!

Then, none of us can help but let out an appalled chuckle when that smug little smile creeps onto Constable Thornton’s when he boasts his victory, “That was just a guess,” because Elizabeth revealed too much information about her sentiments. Frankly, I was shocked she said THAT much!

You can’t blame Jack too much. The post of his dreams was finally assigned to him, one full of adventure, danger, and the fulfilling feeling of bringing criminals to justice in Cape Fullerton. But all that is taken away in one fell swoop because “William Thatcher’s princess [arrived] in a town she had no business coming to.” And on top of that, he thinks he’s lost out on a potential courtship, because how could he even think of being attracted to the woman he’s supposed to babysit? 😉

Their first conversation and this one really set the tone for the fire that sweeps through both these people, as individuals and as a couple. We see a foreshadowing of events that will eventually cause Jack to say, “We’ll argue about that later.” They give them depth, and put a little salt on things to ensure they’re not TOO sickly sweet.

And with that, I leave you to have a marvelous weekend! I hope you don’t hurt yourselves, because you’ll have to take care of your own stubbed toes, thank you very much. 😀 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Whoa, what a whirlwind of a week it’s been, Hearties! But I did manage to get my daughters off to school for their first day yesterday! Phew! Now all I have to do is live through every morning of their grumpiness at getting up early, and CONTINUE to get them to school for the next several months. Piece of cake!

My little boy was feeling left out, saying he wanted to go to school too. Luckily we have this fabulous CD called “Sounds Like Learning” by Barbara Milne that teaches early skills like the alphabet, counting, and simple adding…all through songs! When Kyrah took to it, I decided to make visual aids, and I’ve managed to hold onto them. So today, Liam got HIS first school lesson. And Jack joined in. 😀

On that note, (Insert laughter at my corny joke,) I give you the Back to School edition of #FlashbackFriday to finish celebrating our Back to School Week. I asked my friend, Amy, (who was a teacher for several years,) what her favorite classroom or teaching moment was in WCTH. She only thought about it for a second before the bright flash of an idea lit up her eyes, and she said, “My favorite would have to be when Elizabeth worked with the dyslexic student. When she made the letters from dough, she really showed her repertoire of skills.”

We decided to watch the episode together. I wanted her teacher’s insight. The first thing she mentioned was one of the first things I noticed: “In my classroom I get to determine what’s fair, and isn’t fair.” A good teacher knows that different students have different needs. One of those students is the sweet, humble, and dyslexic Bo Grady. The one that the old teacher dismissed and called “too slow to learn”, but the innovative Miss Thatcher calls him, “Brilliant, simply brilliant!”

Between Elizabeth’s determination, her compassion, and her higher education, she pulled of what everyone else in town considered impossible, even Bo’s own father. Carl Grady is an amazing (and non-violent) example of how crippling fear of the unknown can be. Amy also pointed out that while he was afraid of Bo failing in the cruel world, what if Bo succeeded? Then Carl would have a son who was smarter than he. For a proud provider like Carl, what worth would he feel he was after that if Bo went on to become “a doctor, a scientist, or a teacher” like he and Elizabeth talked about? But he can’t express that, so he just lashes out, and gets angry at the mention of a “simple test”.

Even though Elizabeth manages to mix schoolwork with pleasure 😉 along the way, the journey is long and tedious, and very frustrating! Bo has to deal with failed reading techniques, James humiliating him in front of the class, watching Emily, (who is SO MUCH younger,) declare material he is struggling with as “too easy”. Even James looks sorry at that point.

Finally a breakthrough! Elizabeth figures out that Bo needs three dimensional models to help his brain function in reading, and she tirelessly works on making letters out of dough to help Bo feel like a champion…just in time to watch Bo walk into the mines with his father. How frustrating would that have been, just after an inspiration as huge as that?! But that Thatcher woman is full of fire and tenacity; she’s not giving up. Bo won’t take them, so she leaves them on the porch. The letters are glossed over kind of quickly, but they are true craftsmanship! Elizabeth took great care to create them…and in reality, whatever crewmember made them is a true artist!

Bo takes a cue from his persistent teacher, and tries…only to win! I’m taking a writing class to improve my story composition, and one thing my teacher pointed out to us very deliberately is, “Show, don’t tell.” Instead of a telling Carl Bo can read, she simply says, “Bo, will you please read for us?” And Bo drops the mic. 😀 He reads to his father and mother, and his father is so proud, he has no fear in asking his son what letters or words are.

Jack is right. “I guess it proves if you want something bad enough, you find a way to get it.” I hope you go after something with that kind of will, that kind of courage. And so I leave you with hopes of a fabulous weekend, and fulfilled dreams. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Welcome to #FlashbackFriday, everybody! How was your week? I wanted to send out a HUGE thank-you to all those who responded to my posts about your obscure favorite moment on WCTH. We got some great answers, and believe it or not, there was only one repeat. Good for all of you die-hard #Hearties for thinking outside the box.

So I thought, for the next several Fridays, I’d explore the moments you gave me. I do LOVE interactive participation here at #HookedHeartie. And all your ideas were fabulous! They deserve to get a proper spotlight. That brings me to Moment #1. This came from none other than my #MeetYouMonday spotlight, Pam Hyer, and we’re ACTUALLY doing a real flashback to an earlier season; not just taking baby steps back to our recently concluded Season 6. Pam wasn’t the first to respond, but her moment really made me think. It’s small, and while it can’t be forgotten, it might get looked over. But it’s moments like these that create the beautiful feeling of family and community in our show.
When I first saw this moment on my screen, it actually annoyed me slightly. But when I watched it again, and went over it in my head, I found it very touching…and effective. Here is a description of the moment in Pam’s words on Twitter:

“…one of the first smaller moments that comes to mind would be when Cody replaces Elizabeth’s vase that he broke playing ball in the house. It was so sweet.”

You’re probably wondering how I could EVER be so heartless as to let this moment annoy me. In the words of “The Princess Bride”: “Let me s’plain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” My heart positively melted when Jack gave Elizabeth that exquisite vase as a “housewarming gift”. But it was so much more. Jack had been a little on edge about his newly-settled-in love settling in to a new home of her own. Even though they had mutually resolved to take their time in their relationship, I imagine our honorable Mountie hadn’t pictured Elizabeth moving ANYWHERE until it was into THEIR home…and that gave him pause. But thanks to the cool-headed, smart-talking advice of Lee’s about “nesting”, Jack took her renting a home as a good sign, and bought her the vase as a physical and visible gesture that he was at peace with the decision. On top of that, he mentioned getting her flowers the moment she opened it, and called her perfect! Be still my heart!

The next time we see that lovely house decoration, it’s filled with blossoms, (whether by Jack or Elizabeth herself, we do not know,) and it’s comfortably settled on the furniture in the house…right before it’s shattered in a moment of carelessness. I was angrier than any of the three adult characters in the room, because I saw that vase as a symbol of love and acceptance, not just décor.

When Cody comes to replace it, first, he interrupts a kiss. There had been so few of those in Seasons 1 and 2, that seeing them interrupted always left me a bit miffed. Then when Elizabeth says thank you, I felt like she almost downplayed the value of Jack’s vase by saying Cody’s was every bit as nice.

Then I watched it again another time, and a few things really stood out to me. First of all, I LOVE Jack’s reaction. The two incidents were five weeks apart, so the writers could have easily let it glide out of our memories. But the moment that second vase comes into view, everything rushes back. I think it was like that for Jack. When he saw the huge gesture from this little boy, he was pleased and proud, not to mention he was reminded of the bonding experience he and Cody had shared that brought them closer together.

The other thing I realized is, I think in Cody’s mind, having to leave Hope Valley is a rite of passage of sorts. He sees himself as becoming a man, so he better act like it; and since he’s going away, he knows he needs to tie up looses ends. We also see that the vase has been on his mind almost everyday, since he’s been saving his allowance to buy one as nice as Jack’s. Furthermore, Cody takes one more step toward adulthood by making sure Jack will take care of Abigail when Cody is gone.

And that is what I think Elizabeth keyed into. She sees that he’s making every effort to be grown up, to take responsibility for things he’s done, and fix what he can before he goes. Even though he’s pretty calm when he talks to them, I think Cody is very stressed. Elizabeth, wonderful teacher that she is, validates his actions. His anxious mind can rest at ease, knowing everything he’s tried to do will have positive results, even if he’s not around to see it. Now, we know it all turns out alright in the end, but Cody doesn’t at this point. So that’s two less things he needs to be sad about until he receives the good news that he’s staying.

Have a wonderful day, and a fabulous weekend! Enjoy your last few of the summer, right? I’ll be back next week; but whether it’s Monday or Wednesday first, well, that’s a surprise. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hi, Hearties! Sorry this is so late. We had an impromptu family day, so I’ve been preparing for and attending a huge picnic. It was busy and tiring, but we had fun. That’s what’s important, right?

Well, we’ve come to the end of yet another birthday spotlight week. Loretta, it is this blogger’s hope that you had a marvelous birthday a few weeks ago, and that you approve of the week that in which we highlighted your charming self, and your prickly yet loveable character, Florence.

Which is the perfect description of Florence in our #FlashbackFriday today. I’m telling you, Season 6 must have been pretty good, despite the hiccups, because I keep coming back to it for moments to delve into. If you’re a real Heartie, you’ve probably already figured out which moment I’m going to review; or you have a sneaking suspicion.

As we all know, Florence has quite a breakthrough in a…certain episode; a few actually. When Fiona first shows her the new-fangled machine, it “sounds a little too modern” for Florence’s taste, (and notice the narrow-eyed glance down at Fiona’s scandalously high hemline on “modern”). But when she’s told it’s a great way to, in a nutshell, gossip about someone behind their back, she’s suddenly very eager for a lesson on how it works. Then she takes it a step further, and gets a job WORKING said equipment!

Photo credit: IMDB.com 

But as we know, it doesn’t go well. She tries so hard to act professional and competent, but the poor thing keeps coming up short. First it’s too much glee and excitement, followed by sharing a little too much information on the line when she’s on duty, then literally crossing wires, and incorrectly connecting calls. And then, the big BOOM!

I’d run out with embarrassment too. The thing is, I think this is quite a development for Florence. I don’t believe she’s faced with things that are hard for her very often, except the occasional substitute job for Elizabeth. 😉 And we all have seen how she’s handled that in the past. 😀 But on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t come up against things she does badly. But working with something so modern, AND having her first job outside her home, that presents her with several challenges simultaneously, and it all takes its toll.

What is it about looking vulnerable that makes moments so appealing? Because when Florence is on the verge of tears, hair mussed up, eyes wide with terror from the sparks, and voice high and timid, we go from laughing at her misfortune, to sympathizing with plight. This is big for a woman like Florence. She’s doing her best to step into the ever-changing, modern world, even though her sensibilities are VERY comfortable in the past. She’s trying to better herself, and improve her life, and she’s afraid of failure because it’s hard to change.

But instead of clamming up and stubbornly getting angry, she opens up to Fiona. Not only that, she lets a voice that’s younger, but more experienced in the field, comfort and reassure her. That alone makes her character grow in leaps and bounds. And in my opinion, we’re going to love her even more next season.

Have a great rest of your weekend! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!