Howdy, Hearties, from down here in Texas!

Well, it’s the end of an era: the last Wednesday before our summer vacation starts here. That being the case, and because it’s #WonderWednesday, I wanted to take the opportunity to touch base with all of you, my wonderful readers. I’m wondering about your wishes.

It’s been 6 months (and a few days) since I started this blog! I can hardly believe it’s been half a year already! Crazy how times flies when you’re having fun! And it HAS been fun; SO MUCH FUN! I hope it’s safe to admit to you that this blog was all my husband’s idea. Shocking, isn’t it; especially since he’s not even a fan of the show! But thankfully, he’s always been supportive of how happy watching the series makes me. I had recently (re)discovered my love for writing when I started trying my had at fan fiction; who knew? I started posting it on the fan page, then my dear friend Sarah and I started collaborating ideas, and creating stories together. Hearties seemed to like them, so we kept going. And now, thanks to all of you, we’re toying with the idea of authoring a book together. Look what you created!

Anyway, I’m digressing. My husband noticed how alive writing was making me, and he suggested making it a more permanent part of my life. I thought he was nuts! I had never even FOLLOWED a blog, much less written one. But both of us started doing lots of research, and here we are! I still have a lot to learn, but it’s been such a growing experience! 

In the spirit of “growing”, how do YOU think I can make the blog better? What are topics you’d like me to discuss? What are the movies you’d like me to review? What are your favorite moments and episodes you’d like me to flashback to, or expand? Would you, yourself, like to be a spotlight for #MeetYouMonday? Do you have an idea for a fan fiction story you’d like me to write, and see if I can capture your vision on #FanFictionFriday? Do you have any brilliant thoughts about how the blog should be expanded?

You, my readers, are the reason I still HAVE a blog; you’ve been so supportive! So I want to thank you by giving back, making it more about you. After all, you’re the ones reading it, right?

Well, lots of things to “wonder” about on this #WonderWednesday. But we’re moving into summer, and in so doing, my greatest wish is to move forward! And I want to do it with you! Good night, sweet Hearties! 

I bet that’s what the male stars of “Dater’s Handbook” have been saying to themselves since the Royal Wedding! Okay, probably not, but I imagine their minds have been reeling to some degree. They thought they were going to star in a simple TV movie with the actress from “Suits”. And to coin the phrase: “LOOK at her now!”

This was a cute film. I thought it would be a nice touch to add it to the princess-themed week we have going. Luckily, the woman who plays Meghan Markle’s mother is the same actress who played Elizabeth’s mother. So the movie actually DOES have a WCTH actor in it, and I don’t have to break my own rules! I have a legitimate reason to review this movie.

The basic plot line is this: Cass (Meghan) is a successful business-owner in a very unsuccessful, dead-end relationship, (another one!) At least this one only lasted 2 years instead of 5; but the jerk refuses to commit, won’t spend any time with her, won’t even go to her best friend’s wedding with her! Luckily, she dumps him in the beginning of the movie, and flies solo to the wedding. What starts out looking hopeless because she’s seated at the kids’ table, (who would DO that to their best friend?!) turns a 180 when Robert shows up. Instead of being upset about being at the kids’ table, he tells the kids they’re at the coolest table in the room, and orders “a round of Shirley Temples…on him”. They get along great, enough for Cass to steal Robert’s cake, but she slips away before he can get her digits.
A chance meeting at a dog park, (they both have dogs,) gives him the opportunity he needs. Gotta give the guy creativity credit; he asks her dog, Duke, for help! “Would you ask your mother if she’ll go on a date with me?” Ten points to him because it works! They decide to go miniature golfing, where they’re messing up each others’ shots, giving each other a hard time, just having fun. Probably my favorite thing about them is they call each other out on cheesy lines either of them says, and have a ball doing it.

Everything’s going great until George comes into the picture. He’s the head of an insurance company, and Cass’s company sells him paraphernalia with his logo on it. When she does a rush order for him, and he comes to thank her, he asks her out to dinner…to a French restaurant! Unsure of whom she likes better, and scared she’ll mess up like she has in past relationships, she takes her sister’s advice to follow the guidelines in a book called “The Dater’s Handbook”. She goes out with both of them, trying to figure out who she belongs with. George is a classy guy who takes her to a string quartet concert and art museums, but there’s very little chemistry. And he calls her Cassandra; not even her mother does that. She and Robert have a great time and a great connection; he’s fun and VERY thoughtful. He even scores tickets to an REO Speedwagon concert, and takes Cass AND her mother because that’s Mom’s favorite band. But because he didn’t know about her allergy to honey, she ends up at the hospital on his watch after eating some glazed wings. Horribly unfair if you ask me, but they count it as a strike against him.

Mom likes Robert, Sister likes George. And because Cass’s sister knows about the Handbook, and Cass is currently trusting said Handbook, she breaks up with Robert, and takes George onboard. I really like how they filmed that part, because it just shows Cass on the phone. The audience, along with her family, doesn’t know who she picks until she shows up with George to her nephew’s birthday party…which does NOT go well as far as introducing the new boyfriend to the family. He was way too stiff!

Further trouble ensues when Robert and Cass both end up at an auto shop, and Robert convinces her that going bowling would be far more entertaining than sitting around in the lobby. What he doesn’t tell her is his car is already finished. Sly dog! They totally kiss right after she bowls a strike, and she runs away. But when she tries taking George mini golfing, and spontaneously kisses him, there’s dead silence. And then it happens…the revelation! She’s finally honest with herself, finding she can’t BE herself with George, even though he’s the right choice according to the book.

Her best friend laughs in her face when she finds out Cass “went by the book”, if you’ll pardon the pun. Confused, Cass says she found the book in HER desk, and she wanted to be just as happy as her friend. Then the truth comes out: the book was a gag gift. Cass runs to find Robert at a Chinese lantern festival, and reaches him just in time to make him lose his lantern, call him out on another cheesy line, then finally kiss him for real!

And now she’s a princess! Still hard to wrap my own head around it. The most hilarious thing happened while I was watching this movie. Robert says, “I need to ask you a personal question…”. Without even missing a beat, my incredibly witty husband blurts out, “What does Harry have that I don’t?” Yeah, I laughed, I admit it. And speaking of my home life, I am happy to report that as of yesterday, I have a clean bill of health, and no more physical restrictions! Took my first hot bath in weeks just today, and it was HEAVENLY! My surgeon was bewildered but pleased when I told him I had posted on my blog that he was as sweet as Dr. Shepherd. It took some explanation since he’s never seen our show, but he took it as a high compliment. 

Hope you’ll return on Friday for one last royal blog. Night, night!

Hello, Hearties…and Postables! I get so excited when there’s a movie I can share with both sets of fans. Many of us are crossovers, since we love both series. But for those who aren’t, this is just another amazing opportunity to bring these two amazing shows, and two amazing GROUPS together! We’re all fans of uplifting, wholesome, family-friendly television! And let’s not forget QUALITY! We can never get enough entertainment with those traits!

Sorry I’m late again: another craaazy day with our family getting adjusted to having a new baby in the house. But I’m here now, and I thought that since Mother’s Day just occurred, it would be fun to review a movie that explores a mother/daughter relationship, and ANOTHER mother/daughter relationship where the daughter of one is the mother of the other. Did you follow that? Because it sounded complicated in my head! Anyway we have a great mix of cast and crew members from both series! From WCTH: Jimmy Townsend and Brad Krevoy as executive producers, and Lilah Fitzgerald (Jolene Miller) as Claire’s daughter Lou, (shout out to any of us who are Heartland fans!) A crossover actor in both When Calls the Heart and Signed Sealed Delivered is Paul McGillion (WCTH: fake Pastor Hogan, SSD the series: Henry Barrett, Danny’s (the artist father,) as Coach Reed. The other SSD actors include the man who played Clay the soldier in Truth be Told as Terry the producer. Sorry, I couldn’t find his name! And of course, the much-loved Geoff Gustafson (NORMAN DORMAN!) as Jonah the engineer. It also stars 3 very talented actors that make the movie: Kimberly Williams Paisley, Tom Cavanaugh, and Wendy Malick.

I am, of course, speaking of Darrow and Darrow: In the Key of Murder. It took me a bit to get it, which is sad since I’m a singer, but I did get it eventually. Miles’s sister is a singer accused of murder, so… you get it, right? You were quicker than I was. I blame the postpartum brain!

Anyway, this is the 2nd installment of what I suspect will be a multi-movie series. If you haven’t seen one, or the other, or either, I highly recommend them. They’re on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. The basic backstory is a widowed lawyer, Claire, has to deal with her very gifted but very awkward daughter’s new school, her critical and domineering mother moving back home, and a smooth-talking DA hitting on her. Now in this film, things are settled down a bit. Claire and Miles are “comfortably” dating, but haven’t kissed yet, at least not on screen. Then Miles’s sister gets in trouble, and it’s up to Claire and Miles to save the day. And they do!

Let’s talk about them! Can I just say how much I LOVE their chemistry? I love it almost as much as I love Jack and Elizabeth’s! But it’s completely different! They have such a dry, humorous banter. They also have incredible timing! It makes their conversations even funnier to listen to, and they’re not afraid to overlap their words, or cut each other off. It makes it all the more natural. One thing they tried to do was go a whole week without “talking shop”, talking about work. They made it 6 hours. In all fairness, his sister Phoebe ASKED for legal help.

Probably their best scene, (if I had to pick,) would be the reason for the title: the grape soda scene. If you haven’t seen it, Miles and Claire are trying to figure out a way to prove his sister’s innocence. It’s late, they’re tired, and thirsty. Claire offers Miles a drink; he declines, until she says all they have is grape soda. He literally throws down his pen, and goes on a rampage monologue about how much he LOVED grape soda as a kid, and still does. Then he has this hysterical eye-popping grunt when he takes the first sip; obviously the beverage has not lost its flavor on his pallet. To top it off, they have “a moment”. They stop talking, and start staring. Then as if he’s asking for more butter, (right, Postables?!), he says, “Now would be a terrible time for a kiss.” They almost do…and he gets up to leave. But he turns around, looks at her sappily, and comes back. She turns in her chair, obviously expecting a smooch, and then he…picks up his grape soda. Can’t forget that! And at the very end, he brings grape soda to celebrate the victory. I really hope they make it a thing, because that’s great stuff! My only hesitation was, Miles said he drank it all the time “as a youth”. Who says that instead of “as a kid”? It was just funny to me!

Time for mothers and daughters. I usually think that sequels are better when it comes to relationships. Everything’s established, the actors are more settled into their characters, and there’s more time to explore when groundwork is already laid. One moment I really like is when Claire and her mother are talking about her taking on a case of her own. Joanna is wearing a bright red top, and Claire is in a pure green top: the colors of Christmas. I don’t know if this was on purpose, but it reminded me a lot of them: completely different, but they just belong together. Even though Claire gets upset at Joanna for eavesdropping on her conversation with Lou about her baseball team, she can’t help but agree when Joanna says, “It saves time.”

But I’ll bet that all the Hearties, like myself, LOVE their conversations involving…wait for it…catching flies with honey!!! I thought it funny that the first thing Claire says to Joanna when she reminds her of the saying, is why would anyone WANT to catch flies? Question everything, that’s how those two tick. Joanna is trying to calm Claire down because Lou’s baseball coach won’t play her. She also says that to ignore the saying would be to ignore Benjamin Franklin himself because he coined the phrase. I wonder if that’s true. Research! Somebody look that up! Oh wait! I am the research department. Claire’s best comeback to her mother the whole movie is, “I give honey one week, no matter what Ben Franklin says.”

Well, Postables, our turn. Our sweet Geoff/Norman! He had a lot of the same mannerisms, facial expressions, and voice patterns that endeared him to us in SSD. Perhaps not so dear in THIS movie huh? Was it as hard for you as it was for me to watch him play a conspirator/murderer? I was glad his character wasn’t a cold-blooded killer, but a scared protector. I don’t know if I could have watched that! But it’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it? So tell me one thing: when they found Jonah in the garage, why didn’t they turn off the car, or open the garage door? That could have ruined Jonah’s plan very quickly huh?

Well, everyone, there’s some much more I could say about this film! But it IS getting late, and I better get some sleep before my darling baby wants to eat again. He’s 6 weeks old now! And if you’re dying of curiosity: I’m still slow and sore from the hernia surgery, but I’m healing a little bit more everyday. Postables, you’re welcome back ANY TIME! Hearties, I’ll try really hard to see you on Friday! Ta ta!

Good evening, Hearties! I have a surprise for all of you. This is, by far, the most unorthodox #WonderWednesday to date. May I introduce you to the newest Heartie-in-training! This little angel is Jonathan Darryl “Jack” Clements. He was born yesterday (Tuesday) April 3, 2018 at 5:42 p.m. He flopped into this world at a whopping 7 lbs. 7 oz., 21 ¼ inches long, and he was 2 ½ weeks early!

Like Julie Thatcher, he was trying to come into this world “feet first, no less.” So I did need to have a C-section. I am recovering very nicely, though. And now that Jack is out of the womb, he is such a good and calm baby!

 So, as you might guess, I can’t promise blogs for the next little while. I will do my best, but many of you know how it takes time to adjust to a new baby in the house. So have a great night, and I’ll see you when I see you.

 

Gooooooood moooooooorning, Heeeeeeaaaartiiiiiiiies! I know it’s not morning anymore by the time I post this, or when you read it. But who can resist such a jovial introduction?! I was s recently watching another series, (PLEASE forgive me!) and one of the characters said this: “Writing’s like putting a message in a bottle, and tossing it out into the ocean. You don’t know where it’s gonna end up. But when somebody picks it up, and it has meaning for them, there’s nothing like that feeling. It’s very powerful! I didn’t know how powerful.” I have to tell you, I really didn’t know how powerful writing could be when I was doing the writing. I thought that was for other people. But all of you, coming back here day after day, week after week, thinking what I have to say is important enough to read; I’m overwhelmed. So many of you have left encouraging and touching comments, saying how the posts have made your day or touched your heart. I just wanted you to know the impact it’s had on me, and I’m grateful!

We’re going to do something different with today’s #WonderWednesday, actually a few different things. We’ll spice things up. I know I say that a lot; just trying to keep my readers interested! 😉 So first of all, here are those long-awaited (yeah, right!) answers to the Season 3-4 “Whose Line is it Anyway”; the final edition…for now at least.

 

  1. Rosemary and/or Jack. Bonus is Rosemary’s column “Ask Mary Rose”
  2. Elizabeth
  3. Jack, Elizabeth
  4. Clem Besser, Jack
  5. Jack, Elizabeth
  6. Elizabeth, Jack
  7. Rosemary, Mr. Pope
  8. Rosemary, Lee
  9. AJ Foster, Bill
  10. Jack, Lee
  11. AJ, Bill
  12. Cody, Cyrus
  13. AJ, Bill
  14. Elizabeth, Jack
  15. Robert, Jack

Did you do better or worse this time? I know there was a lot of Jack and Elizabeth, but their lines were really good this time around; I couldn’t pass them up.

The second different thing I want to try is telling you about a special event: the South Texas Hearties Tea. I was privileged to get to spend a few hours with some very sweet ladies. The best part was how varied we were in backgrounds, current life situations, and ages; yet we were all drawn together by this wonderful program. I had never met any of them before; yet I was greeted with smiles and hugs. We chatted comfortably, getting to know each other, and ate at a beautifully set table. The admin of the group made us heart magnets, and another member had assembled small care packages of cookies and teas. I told her I would make good use of the herbal tea she had given. We each brought a teacup that had a story behind it, so we shared the different histories. They even let me read one of my stories out loud at the end of our visit. It was truly a rewarding experience, and I was so happy I was able to attend such a delightful event before my baby came.

The other thing I thought would be fun today is cover Kavan’s interview on Home and Family. I’ve included interviews before in other posts, but never really made them the focus. And this is a funny one to use as a first. Mark and Debbie, (and Kavan!) sure did use a lot of adjectives for Lee, and Kavan himself: handsome, dapper, talented, funny, “the town dandy”, splash of color. Between the character and his own personality, he deserved every one of them. I’ve noticed this before, of course, because I’m an actor as well. But it really struck me how different Kavan is from Lee. He really does create a new personality for the character; one more testament to his talent! And on a side note, they played a game where the teams are given clues, and have to name the proper super models. I thought he was dead meat, but he utterly shocked me, and held his own! I never dreamed Kavan Smith would be so knowledgeable about the wide world of fashion!

I loved his commentary on the clip and the show. He’s so funny! “Slamming the pants!”, “She’s been wearing the pants since day one!”, being forced into colorful clothing, and all that talk about being in competition with Pascale and the laughter! And if you missed it, Kavan talked about how he has a Twitter account, but the Twitter page of “Lee Coulter’s Plaid Pants” has more followers than HE does. He called it “an ego smack!” I don’t blame him; that really is a little sad!

I also really enjoyed him breaking down the work he does as “pretend to do stuff”. He didn’t think he’d be a professional chef (if he weren’t an actor,) because “the job is too hard. I’m an actor for a reason.” Those of us who have followed him outside of WCTH know that he played a chef in Hallmark’s Wedding Bells. (Maybe I’ll do that movie next Wednesday.) So I, for one, found that whole conversation hysterical!

 Did you know he could REALLY cook? I didn’t! But apparently he can! He grew up with a Thai nanny, (since he was 5,) and she exposed him to cooking. It’s even a tradition for him to cook for the cast at the end of every season. Debbie said he posts pictures of “beautiful food” that he’s made on Twitter, and he even cooked a Red-eye Gravy Ham and Grits on the show. My favorite part was when Kavan twirled the tongs. The rest of the cast was very impressed with the pistol-twirling action, that they asked him to do it again.    

Well, Hearties, it’s DEFINITELY not morning anymore. Hope you don’t mind. Did you like the change of pace? Well, come back on Friday, and see what’s in store! Good night!