Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Due to the fact that there won’t be a new episode airing on Sunday, and that it’s Spring Break, I probably won’t be posting anything on Monday, or it will be super short. But like I said on Wednesday, let’s be cautiously optimistic, and distract ourselves. Go have some fun, get some sunshine, watch a good movie cuddled in a cozy blanket, do whatever you need to do to bring you a little happiness.

And speaking of happiness, I found out that it’s someone’s birthday today, someone who brings a LOT of happiness to us #Hearties. I posted about it on the main fan page, but in case you missed it, it’s Elliott Wallach’s birthday today. Elliott, who is the president of Edify Films, and brings us so many amazing products for our enjoyment. He doubles as a comedian, entertaining everyone he talks to with his quick wit and thoughtful words. Okay, so it’s not an ACTUAL job, but with his proficiency at it, it SHOULD be! 😀 So Happy Birthday Elliott! We #Hearties love you, and all the swag you provide!

Speaking of birthdays, we have a little bit of unfinished business to tie up, don’t we? Last Friday, we celebrated #FlashbackFriday with a Hickam Highlight. 😉 But it was someone else’s birthday last week too! So now it’s Faith’s turn! Time to feature Andrea’s lovely talent!

Let’s flash back to Season 3, when Faith splashes onto the scene, and makes her first appearance in Hope Valley. She certainly caused a stir! Everyone sees her as the competition. Elizabeth just can’t “trust her with Jack”, and Rosemary seems to think her incapable of caring for Lee’s injured foot.

Then Faith shows us not only her spunk, but her creativity and ingenuity. She’s there to do a job, and she’s very committed to her work, not to mention competent. However, someone quite…persistent is in the way; someone who “played a nurse on the stage”, but thinks she knows more about treating patients. But Faith out foxes her, and in such a way that everyone, except Rosemary, can’t get mad at her. Lee is so delighted for a break from her “helicopter nursing” that he laughs out loud! And Faith, at least for a moment, makes Rosemary feel very clever with wanting to test the bell. But to quote the old 1982 British Jane Seymour classic “The Scarlet Pimpernel”: “Alas, a moment was all I could spare.” That’s all Faith could spare before locking her out of the room so Lee’s foot could be properly treated. Well played, Nurse Carter!

Well Hearties, time for me to jet! Spring Break has begun, and I promised my kids some fun! By the way, my Facebook account was NOT working properly on Wednesday, so I wasn’t able to share the second half of the Ben and Andrea interview in as many places. So be sure to go to Wednesday’s post after you finish reading. And as for my signature farewell, I think we need it now more than ever. So, this is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hi, everyone! Welcome to a very special day, because…IT’S FRIDAY!!! And as we’re celebrating the birthday week of two very special people, I thought a #FlashbackFriday was in order. Today we’ll spotlight Ben, then next Friday we’ll take a look at an Andrea moment.

So today, let’s travel back in time, all the way back to Season 2. Which episode, you ask? Answer: S2E6 “Awakenings and Revelations”, when dear sweet Hickam builds Rosemary her rustic stage in the woods so she can impress Lee into building a theater in Hope Valley. Hickam really is a puppy dog when it comes to Rosemary’s beckon call. He’s so willing to do anything she requests. You can tell he’s scared to death! Lee has just gotten to town, and Hickam hasn’t had the job at the sawmill very long. Everyone is still basically on trial, and he doesn’t want to lose such a coveted job. When Rosemary insists she doesn’t want Lee to find out the surprise, poor Mike looks like he’s about to be sick! He says, “Yeah, me neither.” He sits up a little straighter when Rosemary promises she won’t let Lee fire him, but he’s still shaky. However, resistance IS futile. Hickam realizes this when they strike hands on the bargain, (him very reluctantly,) and he says, “Miss Rosemary, you are one hard woman to say ‘no’ to.” Good thing he didn’t see Lee coming out of Abigail’s with Jack, or he may have dropped dead from a heart attack then and there!

She lied! Rosemary lies to the man! She specifically says, “It’s just this one favor.” That’s NOT true. Hickam gets roped into being her stage hand too! Literally! He has to draw the curtain open. And start the music on the Victrola. And applaud on the sidelines while the sparks fly between Rosemary and Lee. You can see his trepidation as he timidly parts the curtain, and confesses his involvement. I can only imagine the character’s relief when Lee says he’s not upset; like an anvil had been lifted off his back. Thank heaven Lee is empathetic to the situation of trying to deny Rosemary anything! At least they’re warmer than Rosemary is in that strapless gown. You can see her breath the entire scene! I don’t know how she kept herself from shivering!

Well, Hearties, it’s short and sweet today. Have a lovely weekend! Maybe this has inspired you to revisit an old episode or two. And of course, enjoy the newest episode coming our way soon! See you Monday! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

It’s Friday! And we are OFFICIALLY less than a month away from the return to Hope Valley! I am, of course, very tearful at the fact that we won’t be seeing Daniel Lissing in said town; but I truly am curious, and, dare I say it: excited! I’m excited to see where they’re going to go with the turn of events, as well as the new characters. And in this Heartie’s opinion, if The Greatest Christmas Blessing is any indication, Jack will not be forsaken or forgotten in memory, nor will his death be harped on too much for comfort.

That actually brings me to my topic for today. I’ve touched on this subject before, but not with the same point of view. My dear friend from college, who is also a Heartie, has just finished Season 5. She watches the show on Netflix, so I have to be careful what I say around her. I’m sharing all this with her permission. When she sent me this text, I was completely torn on my next move:

“I am finally watching season 5 of When Calls the Heart. It has made me laugh, cry, and everything in between already. I had forgotten how much I liked it.”

What do I do? I couldn’t tell her, and ruin it! Then again, I didn’t want her to come crashing down. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to answer her. A few days later, she sent me this message:

“I really wish you would have warned me that Jack dies! All my memories and emotions came flooding back until I was crying my eyes out…It was as bad as Matthew Crawley [a main male character on Downton Abbey who also met with a tragic demise]. How could you stand it?”

You see, friends, this darling friend of mine is a young widow. She lost her husband in a car accident four years ago. Her son was 6, and her daughter was only 5 months old! She lived through, in real life, what our characters experienced in Coal Valley; and she faced the frightening prospect Elizabeth did of raising a child who would never know their father. I told her my reason was I wanted her to fully enjoy the wedding, as well as not getting the chance to answer. Thankfully, she seemed to accept that, and doesn’t hate me now.

But the real reason I wanted to highlight this painful point in the series is to, once again, praise Erin Krakow’s acting skills. However, this time, we’re looking at it with fresh eyes: the eyes of someone who JUST watched the finale for the first time, and a true widow who lost her husband far too soon.

We all know Erin is an exceptional actress, but she’s never lost a spouse. So how would she know how to act, except for sad and depressed? I don’t know if she did it on instinct, research, or personal experience with a family member or friend, but my friend says she was “spot on. That’s how I acted.” She went into detail of how full Erin’s performance was. She first mentioned her walk. The slow, stiff way Elizabeth carried herself was how she moved; just trying to put one foot in front of the other. She then talked about the blank look that plastered itself on her features, as if she couldn’t see or hear anyone, she was only walking in a personal fog…that’s when I started to tear up. What struck me most about what she described, was the way Elizabeth crossed her arms over herself, holding herself since there was no one else to do it now. That had never even crossed my mind!

The most in-depth answer she gave me was her interactions with other people. I was in Texas, and she was in Idaho, so I could only talk to her on the phone…when she felt up to it. So I didn’t see her around people. But she said the way Elizabeth was silent around people, even around her friends and students, was very accurate. She was cold and silent, conveying that she was not ready to talk to people. And the first time she met with Molly, Florence, Clara, and Abigail, her expression said, “I know what you’re trying to do, but it’s not going to make me feel better.” That’s how my friend act around people too, or so she tells me. Conversely, when Elizabeth IS ready, and she receives that beautiful quilt, her face tells us that although she no longer has her ROMANTIC love in her life, she is surrounded by love nonetheless.

And then, the real clincher; something that really put one of my own opinions to rest for good! When I talked to my friend, I told her I was severely on the fence about Elizabeth having a baby. On the one hand, her baby grows up without his father, she’s another widow of Hope Valley, and she has to raise this baby almost totally alone. On the other hand, the baby is a piece of Jack to keep with her always, a symbol of hope and life moving on, and the whole town is there to support her. I couldn’t decide which story I would have liked better. Then she offered her insight. She told me that her son was pretty independent at age 6, and didn’t need much. But her sweet baby girl, so new to this world, was completely dependent on her. “If I hadn’t had [her] to take care of, I never would have gotten out of bed in the morning.” So Elizabeth is forced to take care of herself, since she’s caring for another life. That set my mind to rights.

She did have one criticism: the peace Elizabeth achieved by the end of the episode took her about a year to grasp herself. Of course, (since we met in the theatre department,) she understands that TV magic, passage of time, and consolidation is in order. I think she was just slightly jealous of Elizabeth. 😉

Well, my dears, here’s where I leave you. I hope you have a marvelous weekend as we crawl closer to the Season 6 premiere at what seems to be a snail’s pace. But “if we promote it, it will come.” 😀 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Good evening, all! How are your first few days of January going? I had a special time today when my girls asked to watch The Greatest Christmas Blessing this morning. The boys were still sleeping, so it was just me and my girls with Elizabeth and “the girls”. I even noticed things hadn’t seen before. That’s one of my favorite parts about watching things over and over again.

Wow, it feels like an eternity since I wrote an honest-to-goodness #FlashbackFriday post, but I have one for you tonight! It really reviews two different moments. Actually, I found the connection very humorous when I thought about it.

Let’s think back to the Season 3 New Year’s Wish special. I know having a Christmas episode on Christmas night has become a special tradition, and it’s one that I love! But I must admit that I adore having one episode that highlights New Year’s. We’re able to go beyond Christmas, a transition of sorts. So, who am I talking about in the title? None other than Mr. Coulter himself. Who remembers Lee’s resolution? It’s said quickly and in passing, but it’s also hard to miss because of how hilariously true it is. “My resolution this year is to learn how to say ‘no’ to that woman.” Of course, he’s referring to the one and only Rosemary LeVeaux, the force of nature. We’re all very proud of him later when she indignantly demands, “Lee Coulter, you take that BACK!” And he stands there, hands on hips, and insists: “No!” He did it!

Fast forward to last Christmas, (Season 5), when a certain big white beard comes out of a bag in the Coulter home. Lee tries to say, “No! I’m not going to be Santa Claus!” Problem is that it doesn’t quite have the same effect that it did before. On the beard goes amidst lots of female giggling, and the most Lee can squeeze out is “Bah!” I could have sworn he was going to add, “Humbug!” onto that, but I guess that would have been a little too much while wearing St. Nick’s beard. Well, that’s one goal he couldn’t keep. Better luck next year, Lee!

Well, friends, I hope this has been a nice and snuggly bedtime story for you, or something to give you fun motivation out of bed in the morning; or anything in between. Don’t forget to tune in to the first movie of Winterfest tomorrow: Winter Castle. It stars one other than Kevin McGarry, who we will see next month as Mountie Nathan Grant. See you Wednesday! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy New Year again, Hearties; especially since this is the last post before New Year’s Eve or Day. What are your New Year’s resolutions…besides to be patient, to be kind; not to envy, but to trust? One of my biggest ones for the coming year is to do some serious work on the novel Sarah and I are writing. It’s certainly not going to write itself. 😀

So, on to Part 2 of The Greatest Christmas Blessing. It’s a #FlashbackFriday of sorts…all the way back to Tuesday! I was told that my lack of words about Mr. Henry Gowen left some, (namely #TeamHenrigail) wanting. So I will now devote a paragraph to the ever-evolving Gowen; I just can’t make any promises about the length. 😀

I thought the parts with Henry were very sweet. There I said it. My mom commented, “Is he a full-on good guy now?” 😀 I certainly seems to be leaning that way. But seriously, it was very heartwarming. I don’t think we’ve ever seen him interact with a child one-on-one, but who could resist Millie’s sweet face? Hickam certainly couldn’t, beckoning her in from the cold. He even figured out that she wanted the book read to her. Then Henry took it from there, and started reading. I certainly wonder what the sisters’ father looked like if Henry bears such a strong resemblance. I admit, I wondered if Millie was going to get shooed away. However, my crusty shell against Gowen got a big hole poked in it when he told Millie that his Christmas wish, (despite “not having one” in the beginning,) was that she would read to him. I saw a fan theory wondering if he might switch over to When Hope Calls with the connection he had with Millie. It’s an interesting question; one I’m sure we’ll find the answer to very soon.

Let’s move to a few of the men, specifically Carson and Lee. Was that a cute technique to get Millie to make noise, or what? I did wonder about his question of “Who moved the barn?” upon awaking, but it sure did work. And when he gave Elizabeth his scarf so she wouldn’t “catch a chill while…following orders”? I may or may not have let out an audible “aww”. That’s when my mom spoke up again, announcing that she thinks Carson and Elizabeth should end up together. Well, thank you, Mom! Only time will tell.

Then there’s Lee. Oh, Lee. What a sweetheart he is! His all-encompassing laughter at the first look of Jesse in his suit made me pick up the remote to rewind it, and watch it again. But the best part was when the 3 not-so-wise men are searching through the snow for the 3 lost (and laboring) women. His concern is so touching, and when he sees the baby! Oh my gosh! The other 2 are cute, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Lee! His joy was so full! You know he’s beyond excited to be that child’s uncle, or godfather, or whatever role he’s needed to fill.

Oh yeah, the baby…the actual Christmas blessing. Did you have a guess or an opinion as to the gender? I honestly didn’t know which way they would go; I thought it could go either direction. But IT’S A BOY! And we all know there’s no question as to what his name is! It’s just a crying shame Elizabeth had to go into labor in the car, then walk through the woods. But it all turned out with little Jack coming into the world.

The highlight of the feature: the matching pajamas for the orphans! I love how the Christmas specials bring out the humanity and the goodness in everyone in town. To watch how the children of Hope Valley took the orphaned children under their wings to make sure they had an enjoyable holiday; my spirit soared. And Opal took a giant leap! No more Brownie! How is Hope Valley going to survive?! But she knew he would make Millie’s Christmas. She’s really growing up! They all are! Can’t wait to see how they’ll grow and learn in Season 6.

Have a fantastic New Year, my dear Hearties! Snuggle up with some hot chocolate and a warm blanket while you write those resolutions. And most importantly, ENJOY! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!