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Archive for the ‘~ Thursday Thirteen’ Category

This week’s TT features 13 of my favorite feel-good, fluff movies. By fluff I mean that these movies are simply fun, they aren’t meant to convey a deep message and change the world or win an Oscar. These are the movies you watch when you put on your sweats, get yourself a bowl of ice cream with your favorite toppings and settle on the couch with a comfy blanket and your cat and escape for a couple of hours.

As is usual, this list is in no particular order 🙂

1. 13 Going on 30 – I love this movie 🙂 Who as a child hasn’t wanted to be magically older? When Jenna’s wish comes true, things aren’t the way she thought they’d be. She realized that some decisions she made when she was 13 didn’t turn out so well, and she has a chance to change it all. Pure fun 🙂 I did find one of my favorite parts of the movie and have to share it with you here 🙂

2. Music & Lyrics – I’m not a Hugh Grant fan, but I wanted to spend some time with some of my girlfriends, so I decided I could handle watching a Hugh Grant movie. I graduated high school in 1983 and was in love with New Wave music, and when the movie opened with this video, I was hooked!

3. While You Were Sleeping – This has to be one of the best fluff movies of all time. Take an improbable story line, add the charm of Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, along with a wonderful, warm and slightly crazy family, and you have this wonderful heartwarming classic.

4. Bring It On (the edited for TV version) – What fun!!! Great cheers, a rousing tale of cheerleading rivalry, and it closes with that cheerleading anthem by Toni Basil, Hey Mickey:

5. Clueless – Who would have guessed that taking the Jane Austin novel “Emma” and moving the setting to modern-day Beverly Hills would work so well? But it did, and quite well! There was even a TV show with some of the original cast from the movie, and it was very enjoyable, too.

6. Sweet Home Alabama – Fun! Reese Witherspoon is charming as a young woman who is trying to ignore her roots and attain all her dreams of the high life, but she can’t quite get away from who she really is. You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South of of the girl 🙂

7. Miss Congeniality – What is not to love about this movie? A female FBI agent has to go undercover at a beauty pageant to stop a serial killer, but she has no interest in anything feminine and is actually quite crude and graceless. In order to stop the killer, she has to win the pageant, and in order to win the pageant, she has to be completely made over. Watching her try to fit in with the contestants has some very hilarious moments, and the end scene where William Shatner’s character is singing the song for the winner is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.

8. Never Been Kissed – Awww, so sweet!!! Drew Barrymore plays a newspaper editor who was the class reject in high school. Echoes of her nickname ‘Josie Grossie” still haunt her. When she has a chance to go back to high school on an undercover assignment, things change and she has a chance to do it all over again. The expected happens, though, when she’s attracted to one of her teachers and he’s attracted to her. He thinks she’s a student, though, so this romance seems to have no chance. But as with all good fluff movies, it has a happy ending 🙂

9. Legally Blonde – Come on, could this happen in real life? No!!! But is a fluff movie real life? No!!! So it can happen! Elle is a sorority queen who has it all, including the perfect boyfriend. But when he dumps her to go to law school, she decides to pursue him and ends up getting the job he wanted and graduating at the top of the class! Pretty good for a bubble-headed blonde who really isn’t so bubble-headed after all.

10. Return to Me – This movie has one of the most heart-breaking openings I’ve ever seen. I was crying and devastated! But it only gets better, and true love can come again. The music, the characters, the story all make this one of the best fluff movies out there. And if you can’t imagine an Irish-Italian restaurant, check this movie out 😀

11. Ever After – This is not your ordinary Cinderella story! She’s not helpless, waiting for fate, a fairy godmother, some mice and birds to help her, this one takes charge, steps out and takes risks! She even rescues the prince! The wicked stepmother is so very wicked. There’s one scene with her that nearly breaks my heart, and one of the stepsisters gets her just desserts, while the other stepsister gets a wonderful reward.

12. Blast From the Past – Oh, no list of favorite fluff movies is complete without this wonderful, impossible story of a young man born in a nuclear fallout shelter to Sissy Spacek and Christopher Walken, a couple who took shelter there in the 60s during the Cuban missle crisis, convinced that Los Angeles had been bombed. After 35 years, when their supplies are running low and the lock on the shelter finally opens, Brendan Fraser’s character finally goes above ground for the first time in his life. He’s sweet, innocent, seemingly naive, and a very good swing dancer! (yes, Brendan Fraser really is a dancer!) He not only gets all the supplies they need, he finds himself a potential wife. This is a wonderfully funny movie, and the characters played by Sissy and Christopher are priceless.

13. Bride and Prejudice – This movie is another Jane Austin remake, and it’s wonderful! Who would have imagined that Pride and Prejudice set in modern India and Southern California done as a Bollywood musical would be so well done? But it’s not only well done, it’s lively and bouncy with great music, color and atmosphere. It pulls me out of my chair and gets me dancing! Plus, there is the handsome Naveen Andrews 😉

And there you have this week’s TT. If you were wondering what to do this weekend, now you know!!! Watch one or two of these absolutely wonderful fluff movies…I think I’m going to be watching #13 this weekend…that video has me hankering for some Bollywood 🙂

Please be sure to visit the official Thursday Thirteen site to see other fabulous TT lists.

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This week’s TT features cat-related websites. If you like cats, I think you’ll enjoy this list >^..^<

1. Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers – If you also enjoy Celtic music, then this site melds the best of both worlds. Mark Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards has rewritten many well-known Celtic favorites with lyrics about cats. You’ll hear great songs like What Shall We Do with a Catnipped Kitty, Lord of the Pounce, Black is the Color (of My Cat’s Fur). You can hear some of these tunes at his website, linked above. Marc’s CDs are available at CDBaby.com. There are two CDs with cat songs, the rest are Celtic and are quite enjoyable. Marc also has a podcast, titled “Cat Lovers Podcast”, available free through iTunes.

2. I Love Cats – This site is a great resource for the cat lover, from breed information to clip art to games, names, funny videos and news.

3. Cats – Orisinal.com has some of the most imaginative games you’ll find on the internet. Cats is one of their best. In this game you have a few rows of cats. All the cats have to follow the action of the leader; if the leader sits, you have to make all the other cats sit. If the leader walks, make the other cats walk. As with all their games, this has wonderful graphics and music, and can be very addicting!

4. Stuff on My Cat – Have you ever been tempted to put stuff on your cat while he’s laying down, sleeping, or just being still? So have many other cat owners as you’ll see on this site. Some of these cats are incredibly patient, or they’re busy plotting their revenge 😛 Cats in Sinks – Speaking of sinks, how often do you find your cat in a sink? It seems some people find them in their sinks quite often!

5. Cats.com – The leading site with information about cats. You can learn about cat care, research health information, learn about cat behavior, and more. They also have a great question and answer section.

6. Math Cats – A great way to teach math, with very cute graphics 🙂

7. Rate My Kitten – This is another addicting site, where you can rate the photos of cats uploaded by people around the world.

8. The Infinite Cat Project – This is a fascinating premise. There are over 1,500 photos on this site, and each photo is of a cat viewing the photo of the cat watching the cat before it, and on and on until you get back to the cat that began this site, Frankie. Don’t understand? Visit the site, you’ll get it 🙂

9. CatsPlay.com – The ultimate shopping website for cat stuff.

10. Cat Coloring Pages – The name says it all…great coloring book pages with images of cats.

11. Mutts & Rose is Rose – Ok, I had to put my two favorite cats in comics on this list, and since they’re both in comics, I think they count as one. In Mutts, Mooch is a cute little black cat who loves pink socks,

Mooch

Mooch

and Peekaboo is the darling of Rose is Rose 🙂

Peekaboo

Peekaboo

12. I Can Has Cheezburger – This is probably the best site for cat photos and captions on the internet! You’ll spend your time laughing at these great photos and (often) hysterically funny captions.

13. And just in time for Halloween, Kitty Litter Cake! – This is a great recipe guaranteed to gross out your friends and family, but if they can get past the initial reaction, this tastes great 🙂 I made it for work one year, and the reactions of my coworkers were very funny 🙂 Here’s a photo of the one I made (and yes, everything was brand-new, never used, and washed 😛 ):

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Thursday Thirteen >^..^< Please feel free to leave links to other great cat sites in the comments, and enjoy other TT sites here 🙂

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This week’s TT features 13 of my favorite Christian fiction authors:

1. Tamera Alexander – Tamera’s books are historicals set in the American West. It’s hard to pick one favorite, all her books are excellent. Remembered is the one I read most recently, so I’ll say that it’s my favorite…right now 😛

2. Colleen Coble – Colleen’s books are contemporary romantic suspense and many are set in Hawaii. I really enjoy a tight, well-written romantic suspense novel, and all of hers fit the bill. Abomination is one of her more recent releases. If you like romantic suspense along the lines of Karen Rose Smith, you’ll like Colleen’s books.

3. Lori Copeland – Lori’s books are great! The stories contain plenty of humor, and the characters are believable. She’s written historicals set in the American West as well as contemporary books. Stranded in Paradise is one of her contemporary stories set in Hawaii and is a humorous story of learning to let go.

4. Lyn Cote – Lyn writes both historical and contemporary romances with rich characters. Autumn’s Shadow is one of her contemporaries, 2nd in her Northern Intrigue series.

5. Liz Curtis Higgs – Liz is a great writer. I’ve only read her contemporary romances and have yet to read her historicals, but I’ve heard good things about her historicals and am looking forward to reading them. My favorite of her contemporaries is Mixed Signals, a story about a woman in the world of radio broadcasting.

6. Deeanne Gist – Deeanne burst onto the Christian historial fiction scene with A Bride Most Begruding, a story set in Virginia in 17th-century Virginia.

7. Robin Jones Gunn – Robin writes the most wonderful contemporary romances for adults, teens and pre-teens. Sunsets is my favorite of her books.

8. Cathy Marie Hake – Cathy writes some of the funniest and warmest historical fiction I’ve ever read.  Letter Perfect is one of her best books.

9. Dee Henderson – Dee is a fantastic writer who doesn’t shy away from a difficult storyline.  Her best series is the O’Malley series, about a family of orphans who adopted each other as siblings when they were kids.  The stories are amazing with strong, honorable men and women.  The Healer is my favorite of the O’Malley series.

10. Tracie Peterson – Tracie is a very prolific author who began writing historical for Heartsong Presents and quickly proved herself to be one of their best writers, soon moving on to single titles for other Christian publishers.  Her latest series is the Ladies of Liberty series, and A Lady of Hidden Intent is the second of that series.

11. Gayle Roper – Gayle’s books are contemporary romantic suspense, and she’s written for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line as well as released single titles.  One of my favorite series is Seaside Seasons and the best book in that series is Spring Rain.  Spring Rain touches on the topic of homosexuality and treats it with wisdom, love  and grace.

12. Debra White Smith – Debra has written some wonderful contemporary romances, including a couple of series.  The books in one of her series are contemporary versions of Jane Austen novels, and another series, the Sister Suspense Series, feature seven women who (if I’m recalling correctly) attended college together and became lifelong friends.  Picture Perfect is the story of Kim Lan, a young woman of Vietnamese descent who’s become a supermodel.  She finds herself on a missions trip to Vietnam that changes her life.

13. Susan May Warren – I know I keep repeating myself, but it’s hard not to do so when talking about so many fantastic authors of Christian fiction.  Susan is yet another, and also writes romantic suspense.  My favorite is Tying the Knot, which is the story of Anne Lundstrum and Noah Standing Bear.

I hope you enjoy this week’s TT, and please be sure to click on the links to the author websites to find out more about each author, their books and the ones I’ve featured here.

Happy Thursday!

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I hope this is a fun TT for everyone…13 of my favorite 80s New Wave (mostly) videos! (no particular order)

1. Der Kommisar – Falco
The German version is the best!

2. Kiss Them for Me – Siouxie and the Banshees
Great music 🙂

3. Planet Earth – Duran Duran
Oh, I love this song and video!!!! This gets me dancing every time.

4. Stand and Deliver – Adam and the Ants
Romantic highwaymen 🙂

5. Poison Arrow – ABC

6. Reap the Wild Wind – Ultravox

7. Fascination – Human League

8. Always the Sun – Stranglers

9. Forever Young – Alphaville

10. The Killing Moon – Echo & the Bunnymen
I wanted “Silver” but was unable to find the video on Youtube. This is a good second choice.

11. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy

12. Lies – Thompson Twins

13. Lovecats – The Cure

And a bonus video, because no New Wave list is complete without a bit of fun:

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane 🙂  You can see lots of other Thursday Thirteen blog entries here.

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Today’s thirteen is about Apple Hill and why I love to visit it every autumn. What is Apple Hill?

The Apple Hill® Growers Association, located in Camino, CA, was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, a micro-brewery, Spa and vineyards.

Come to the Apple Hill® ranches and find a day filled with old-fashioned fun. Plan a picnic on the lush land that surrounds these exciting ranches. Their doors are open and the growers have gone the extra mile to ensure your family a day that they will remember.

You can read about the history of Apple Hill here. It’s a wonderful part of California history, and if you’re ever in the area you should visit.

13 Things I Love About Apple Hill

  1. The petting zoos. Yes, I admit that I’m a still a child at heart, and I love the petting zoos. There are so many neat animals there, including my favorites, pygmy goats. They’re so adorable with their little knobby knees! One day I’d love to own a couple, maybe even a larger goat and learn to make goat cheese and soap.
  2. Crafts. They’re everywhere. You can buy all sorts of crafts, from magnets made with flour dough to blown glass created in front of your eyes.
  3. The Fudge Factory. This is an adorable little candy store located at High Hill Ranch. I love the fudge they make on site. They have so many goodies it’s hard to settle on just one!
  4. The food. Yum! It’s everywhere. Fresh kettle corn, apple pie, apple crisp, apple donuts, apple bread, just about anything you can make with apples is available. Chinese Chicken wraps, hamburgers, teriyaki steak sandwiches…there’s something for everyone. And if you want to picnic, there are plenty of places to do that, including Grandpa’s Cellar, which has a beautiful orchard covered with green grass and plenty of shade.
  5. The scenic drive. There’s nothing as pretty as driving on winding country roads in the foothills on a Saturday. Most people visit the ranches near Highway 50, so the backroads are generally not too busy, which suits me just fine.
  6. Time with my mom. I always visit Apple Hill with my mom once each autumn, and it’s always enjoyable. My sister and her kids used to go too, but my sister is of the opinion that the kids get too bored with it. Maybe they do, but I don’t think so 😛
  7. Getting out of town. Yeah! Getting out of the house and doing something that’s simple and enjoyable. No housework involved.
  8. Home made jams and jellies. There’s a woman who sells the best homemade jams and jellies at Bolster’s Hilltop Ranch, and she always has samples available. Candy Apple jelly is tasty, and the White Zinfandel jelly is interesting.
  9. Train ride. There’s a small train at El Dorado Orchard, and when my niece and nephew came along, we always rode that train. It goes around a small pond with quite a few ducks and geese.
  10. Pony rides. Again, this is something that I did with my niece and nephew. There’s a pony ride across the street from El Dorado Orchard, where the ponies are led along a trail as the kids get a ride, and straw cowboy hats are available for a low price. There’s also a pony ride at High Hill, but it’s one where the ponies are tied to a ‘merry-go-round’ and can only go around in a circle. Poor ponies 😦
  11. Fresh air. Ahhhhh…I love it! We’re above the dirty air in the valley, so it’s fresh and clean. Aromas of food fill the air…barbeque, grilling, apples, cinnamon…mmmmmm.
  12. Music. There are musicians playing at some of the orchards. My favorite is a couple that play at High Hill. They play wonderful celtic music, just perfect for a trip to Apple Hill.
  13. The apples! I can’t forget those 🙂 There are so many unusual varieties available at Apple Hill. My favorite is Arkansas Black, a dark red apple with a tart taste.

And there you have this week’s Thursday Thirteen 🙂

I’ll be posting more about Apple Hill in the next couple of weeks. This Saturday I’ll be going there with my mom and I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos and get more specific information about the celtic artist couple who perform at High Hill.

Be sure to read other Thursday Thirteen blog entries at this link.

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Thursday Thirteen #1

My First Thursday Thirteen list:

Marriage Quotes

1. Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. ~Martin Luther

2. Marriage vows are a promise to give to your spouse, not a statement of what you’re going to get. ~Dr. Laura

3. Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. ~Simone Signoret

4. Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich

5. Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

6. Husbands are like fires. They go out when unattended. ~Zsa Zsa Gabor

7. You can never be happily married to another until you get a divorce from yourself. Successful marriage demands a certain death to self. ~Jerry McCant

8. What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. ~George Levinger

9. Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid. ~Harlan Miller

10. There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. ~Martin Luther

11. The most important marriage skill is listening to your partner in a way that they can’t possibly doubt that you love them. ~Diane Sollee

12. If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it’s because they take better care of it. ~Cecil Selig

13. For a marriage to have any chance, every day at least six things should go unsaid. ~Unknown

I just married in January this year, and I think these quotes contain a lot of wisdom, not only for newlyweds like me, but for oldyweds, also

You can visit other Thursday Thirteen lists at the 162nd edition of the ThursdayThirteen.com

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