Monday, November 30, 2009

What are we doing these days?

When we aren't training the littlest cowboy...

Or hunting pirates...

We're kicked backed reading or...

falling asleep trying to.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I mentioned briefly in my photo shoot post that I have Rheumatoid arthritis.  That may have surprised some of my regular readers since I haven't written about my life with RA on this blog.  I'm changing that now.

As a newly diagnosed patient in 2000, I scoured the web for information about Rheumatoid arthritis.  Other than the Arthritis Foundation, I didn't find much.  And other than in their forums, I didn't find ANY personal stories.

So, for my regular readers and any newly diagnosed RA patients who have stumbled across my blog, I am sharing my story now.

Rather than create another label for RA, I'm going to use this article as a list of all my disease related posts.  As they are published I will link to them from here.
If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one on TV. This post is intended to tell my experiences NOT to serve as medical advice. If your symptoms sound similar, please consult a physician.

Disclaimer: I have not been asked by a pharmaceutical company or any related organizations to write these posts. I have not been compensated for these posts in anyway (including money, medication, or medical treatments).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moderating Comments

Dear Regular Readers,

I have been receiving spam comments on some of my old posts.  I have been going into each post, deleting the spam and closing comments on the individual posts.

Unfortunately the amount of spam is increasing and taking more time (and annoyance) to delete.

As a reader, I prefer to see my comments immediately, because of this I have never moderated my comments.  But the spammers have driven me to it.

For now I will set comments to be moderated.  I'm truly sorry about this.

Thanks for understanding!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ben and Cows.

"Do cows pow you in the stomach?"
- Ben, 3 years old.

Picture from our trip to 
my parents farm in Arkansas, May 2007.

On fence is Will.  Ground is Ben.  And the grown-ups are my brother and sister-in-law.

I found this gem in my draft folder dated from last year.  I don't know why I never published it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little Women the Movie

I decided the 5 Minutes for Books book club on Louisa May Alcott was the perfect excuse to indulge in a "girl" movie. So I searched my library's on-line catalog to see if I could bring it home for free.

Low and behold I found not one version of "Little Women" but four (and brought home two)!

1. 1933 by Radio Pictures, produced by David O. Selznik. Starring Katharine Hepburn. Winner of the 1933 Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation).

2. 1949 by MGM Pictures. Starring Elizabeth Taylor. Winner of the 1950 Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color.

3. 1978 NBC Universal. Winner of 1979 Outstanding Art Direction for a Series. Nominated for 1979 Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Made for TV.

4. 1994 Columbia Pictures. Nominated for 1995 Best Actress in a Leading Role - Winona Ryder.

I watched the 1978 NBC version first.

It's long. REALLY long. I didn't realize it was a mini-series, though that became apparent when I saw the breaks where commercials should have been. The case says it's 194 minutes long (almost 3.5 hours!). Truly over an hour too long.

I also found it hard to disconnect the actresses/actors from other roles they've played. For example:
Honestly, William Shatner as a German professor was just too much for me. Once he came on the screen I just couldn't get into the movie.

The movie as a whole really felt melodramatic to me. I'm all for drama but Beth's death lasted over 30 minutes. It was all a bit much for me.

My recommendation: Skip the 1978 Television movie.

Next I watched the 1949 MGM Version. I'm so glad I watched it last so that its story is what's in my mind!

Once again big-name actresses were used but this time I didn't have any mental connections with them. Other than Elizabeth Taylor, who I didn't really enjoy in this film but more because I don't enjoy the character of Amy.

One detail I found interesting is that the March home in this film is identical to Orchard House. So much so that William (6 years old) wandered in, watched for a few minutes and asked about the house being the one we toured.

Another detail is that they switched Amy and Beth in the age order. Apparently the girl that wanted to use for Beth was younger than Elizabeth Taylor so they just switched them. Annoying, but I can live with it.

Overall I enjoyed this version MUCH better than the 1978 one. But, I think that in both movies the producers/writers try to include too much of the first part of the book and not enough of the second part. Beth seems to take a long time to die but Jo's love for "her Professor" kind of springs out of nowhere.

Now I'm wondering if I should bring home the other 2 movies for comparision. Purely for research purposes of course. Not because I enjoy a girly movie every once in a while. {grinning}

My recommendation: Watch the 1949 version.

What do you think? Which Little Women Movie is your favorite?

*** This post is included in a series on Louisa May Alcott.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Little Women the Musical

As I searched my library catalog for the "Little Women" movie I stumbled across "Little Women the Musical."

I had no idea someone had made a musical of Louisa May Alcott's beloved book!

According to the blog, the Broadway production appears to have toured from about August 2005 to August 2006. I didn't take the time to read through the blog but it is full of pictures of the cast and crew.

I recently listened to the original Broadway cast recording on CD. It made me want to go see a Broadway show!! I always enjoy a good musical.

Though I enjoyed the music on the CD, I found it difficult to follow the story. No dialogue is included so if you aren't familiar with the novel already you will be totally lost by song number 3.

From what I could gather, the musical begins with Jo in New York rejected. She then starts writing and flashbacks to the "good" years before she left home. During the flashback we hear several songs of her dramatic over-the-top early writings. Then we are brought back to her present and find her at home in Concord, Massachusetts.

In all honesty, I didn't enjoy this CD as a representation of "Little Women." Too much liberty was taken with the story for my liking. And the songs just don't fit with the personality of Jo March.

But, if your library happens to have a copy you can listen to for free then go for it! If nothing else, it'll make you dance around the house (or wish you could dance, depending on your dancing abilities).

Had you heard of Little Women the Musical before? Did you see it on tour?

*** This post is included in a series on Louisa May Alcott.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!!!

Because I am a slacker sister-in-law and NEVER get a card mailed in time for Jennifer's birthday, I'm writing this post to make up for yet another late card.

In August Stephen (my brother) and Jennifer came from Arkansas to visit us. We met Addi for the first time, they met Sam for the first time, we celebrated Ellie's 3rd birthday AND we went to the zoo.

It was a fun time!

Here we are trying to get 5 children and 4 adults to all look at the camera at the same time. Impossible! And yes, Ben has a scraped forehead and nose. He had a bicycle accident a few days before. Funny thing, he was wearing his helmet at the time.

Can anything be cuter than these two cheerleaders? I don't think so either!! :)

Happy birthday, Jenn!

We hope your day is filled with fun, food and family!! Maybe we can celebrate with you next year.
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