P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

13 May 2018

Marmee's Girls-Loving Little Women




"My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”

 "I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen"
  
I do not have any sisters, so perhaps that is one reason Little Women was, and remains, one of my "Best Books".  I have many copies-some with broken spines and yellowed pages, others just sit so I know I have them on the shelf.  I have watched and re-watched every film and screen adaptation countless times-my favorite wavers between the 1933 version with Katharine Hepburn as Jo and the 1994 with Susan Sarandon as Marmee and Winona Ryder as Jo. Tonight Masterpiece Theatre premiers a new adaption  with Dame Angela Lansbury as Aunt March-I cannot wait!!






“I want to do something splendid… something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all someday.”



Louisa May Alcott wrote her coming of age tale set during the Civil War and based on her own family stories, just up the road in Concord Ma. She was an abolitionist and an early feminist and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord when women were given limited suffrage in 1879.  You can visit The Alcott's Orchard House ,"Home to Little Women".  






"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship"

Like many  readers, I saw myself in each of the March sisters. Amy, who loved her family but was impulsive, jealous, fluffy ambitious and artistic who wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things, and as the youngest, despite knowing better,could be a bit bratty. Meg, responsible, good natured, practical and there for all her sisters yet holding her own longings for her own life.  Beth, painfully shy and so truly good, with a selfless tender heart that seemed always in need of sharing.   Jo, like many of us it is Jo I identify with most-ambitious, dramatic, sharp witted, creative, imaginative, frustrated, willful, stubborn always with her nose in a book, fighting change but longing for it, and never at rest confined to the limitations of being a girl in 19thc New England. She would not marry the "boy next door" dear Laurie, though I know they would always love one another, Jo dreamed big and knew there was more for her than being the wife of a wealthy man.
“Because they are mean is no reason why I should be. I hate such things, and though I think I've a right to be hurt, I don't intend to show it. (Amy March)”

For a book published in 1869 Little Women remains as relevant,and I would argue perhaps more so, than in the post Civil War age it was written.  Not simply because of its tales of siblings love and jealousy dealing with all the messiness of  growing up,coming of age and finding out who you are entails, but also because the characters remain real-they love, they scheme, they care, they hurt and they dream.  From Jo we learn that being a girl, no matter where you grow, doesn't and shouldn't stop you in place.  Marmee's girls may all be different but at their core is heart and Marmee raises them to be their best selves.  On Mother's Day, and everyday, is there a better way to celebrate Moms and Daughters.  Enjoy!!!



“My Jo, you may say anything to your mother, for it is my greatest happiness and pride to feel that my girls confide in me and know how much I love them.”




“Jo's breath gave out here, and wrapping her head in the paper, she bedewed her little story with a few natural tears, for to be independent and earn the praise of those she loved were the dearest wishes of her heart, and this seemed to be the first step toward that happy end.” 

all illustrations from gutenburg.org

12 May 2018

Keep it on Replay, The Mom PlayList-Happy Mother's Day


"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." ~ Robert Browning
" Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly." ~Ambrose Bierce

Let's just acknowledge from the start, much like Peter Rabbit we don't listen to our Mothers very well...not with our ears anyway. Momspeak after so many years can become the true Muzak of our lives. "Why are you wearing that?" is the hit single we can all dance to-But I promise you Moms, we may not listen...but we hear! 
How else do we grow up to sound just like you??



I consider myself to be a pretty independent woman....known for my strong will with my own opinions and vision of the world. Yes, even headstrong and truly stubborn at times.  "My Way" or "Don't Rain on My Parade"could be my personal anthems...but there are in fact other voices in my head...an endless playlist of Dos and Don'ts, How Comes and Why Nots,rights and wrongs...find the topic from which shoes to wear, to how to fold a bedsheet,roast a chicken or walk into a crowd-the voices on my playlist will show the way.

No matter what else a Mom does with her life her job is her children. For our Moms our "end result" is the product of their career...so of course we have been asked to get it right!! Our success is their success and for more than one generation of women that reflected "glory" or "failure" defined the women who raised us. We are the personification of their life's work-if we messed up so did they. I may have my days when I wonder if I will ever do it right, get it right, but I am a woman who cares a great deal about doing it right,and getting it right, because I was taught by the women whose thumbprints are all over me that it matters. Sure, I have picked my rebellions to drive them nuts...I never learned how to properly fold a sheet which drove my Nana up a tree. I consistently neglect to wear a raincoat on a potentially rainy day leading my Mother to exclaim that I truly don't know when to come out of the rain.



I have to come to realize,however,that I am my Mother's product. I am put together not with a selfishness or interest in making her mark, but with a complete commitment to her job. She is a Mom, this is what she does. Despite many other roles and abilities, being a Mom is who she is with every inch of her being. If I can stand back and look at the woman who raised me with any objectivity I will see that not every woman who wears the label Mother does that. With all due modesty, my Mother is better than your Mother-ha!
It isn't that other Mothers don't love their children, or that they didn't do a good job, but that somewhere along the growing up line they declared an end game. OK, so a professional might say that is healthy-forget it! Maybe I can't see how it is possible to retire from the most important job any human can have because my Mother, and her Mother before her, never put their feet up on the job-thank goodness! Even though my Grandmother is no longer here she would be happy to know that the Muzak she implanted in both her daughter and in me plays everyday! WWND?-What Would Nana Do? makes us smile,laugh and remember. By some string that will always connect us we do it her way, with our own twist, but Nana is in the building!  How lucky I am -I got stereo! There is my Nana's Muzak and there is my Mother's- not surprisingly very similar tunes.




Of course it is not just the "do it my way" tunes that I hear each day but more profoundly the emotional songs that have taken root from the bottom of my feet. These roots come from knowing without any hesitation or embarrassment that I keep playing those tunes because I need to hear the noise. I need the voice of the person who loves me no matter what! I may not always get it right but there is no auditioning here. Even when the raincoat is in the car keeping the car dry, I know that if I get wet there is shelter available.



I also have the innate comfort that my Mom's job is far from done-her daughter is a product in development and will continue to be, as Anna Quindlen wrote-"A finished person is a boring person." I'm not finished, and only a person who does not need to be loved, does not hear the Muzak or recognize the thumbprints, can be finished.



If you are lucky in this life the bond with your Mom is the simplest, and many times the most complicated, one you will ever have. I am THAT lucky! There is nothing simpler than being loved completely and knowing that her love sustains , motivates and grounds you. The string that runs from Mom to child is the most powerful and lasting connection there will ever be. We may walk through different doors sometimes but we are usually going in the same direction... together! (much like the time we discovered we were in adjacent dressing rooms in Bloomingdales!)




The definition of a Mom cannot be found in a Hallmark card, in an ad for cake mix, or on a rerun of a 70s sitcom. A Mom is defined by her life's work. She can be a Supreme Court Justice or a candidate for President, her Momdom is at the core of everything she does. Her success is not found in material success but in the knowledge that there is a work in progress out there that will always hear her music, always need her tune to be played, and always love her.


 Don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

 Happy Mother's Day Mummy...job well done,but never finished! I love you!

23 March 2018

Not One More!

“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”  ~ Martin Luther King,Jr.

 

March for Our Lives Mission Statement

Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives. 
March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns.  March For Our Lives believes the time is now. 
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard. 
School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country. 
Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear. 
It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard. 
Stand with us on March 24. Refuse to allow one more needless death. 
"There is no sound more powerful than the marching feet 
of a determined people."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

images via March for OurLives

04 March 2018

A Classic Kiss on Oscar Night

Roman Holiday, 1953
  It's March... grey, dreary, and that in between month when we don't know if mittens or mudboots are called for. The gardens at Camp MP are still sleeping in their messy beds. The world is not happy, the news is beyond comprehension and so much we need to Change! and March! for and CARE about...but sometimes it's OK to 
shut off the newsfeeds and curl up with a good movie!
I believe that what the world needs now...is a good Kiss!

  How to Steal a Million,1966


An Affair to Remember, 1957
 

"You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Rhett Butler

 

Lady and The Tramp, 1955
 So just in time for Oscar Night a romantic reminder of 
why I'm a Classic movie lover.

Thomas Crown Affair , 1968

Somehow we are missing Romance...we have robots, super duper super heroes,  galaxy fighters and things exploding and imploding but...romance??  Where did it go?

 Holiday, 1938

  “I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”
Bull Durham,1988

Have you noticed kisses don't mean as much anymore in movies.  When you watch a film these days how often is 
THE KISS
 just expected, ho-hum, gratuitous, superfluous and simply  an "is  what it is " non-event.  I think it is sad that romance has disappeared---we know what's going to happen and  it is rarely worth the ticket price when it does.

The Thin Man, 1934

 Maybe we have become jaded by too many kisses, too many scenes that are throw-aways, kisses that are just filling space.  Where's the chemistry, where's the heat, where's the  witty dialogue, where's the soaring music, the anticipation, the drama, the MOMENT.  

I want THE MOMENT!  (Sabrina,1954)

It Happened One Night, 1934 
 SO this Oscar Night I am celebrating with some of my favorite on-screen smooches and some of the best kissy quotes --interesting that films made in much less socially open periods are the ones we remember--iconic kisses that are unforgettable and keep us watching again and again.  So Hollywood listen up--take a lesson from classic films and don't just toss those kisses in wherever and whenever...save them, make them special... and give us back THE MOMENT!

 
Charade, 1963
 
 "Aren't you allowed to kiss back?" 
"No.  The doctor said it would be bad for my 
 -- thermostat.
When you come on, you really come on."
         "Well -- come on. "

Ball of Fire, 1941
 "I'm gonna show you what yum-yum is. 
Here's yum...And here's the other yum...And here's yum-yum."

Casablanca, 1942
"Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time."

From Here to Eternity, 1953
" Nobody ever kissed me the way you do."

Roman Holiday, 1953

Summertime, 1955


To Catch a Thief, 1955
 "I've been waiting all day for you to mention that kiss I gave you last night... 
Not only did I enjoy that kiss last night, 
I was awed by the efficiency behind it." 
She replied: "Well, I'm a great believer of getting down to essentials."

North by Northwest, 1959

The Way We Were, 1973

Moonstruck, 1987

Princess Bride, 1987

 “Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End.”

26 December 2017

A Breath Between


As New Year's Eve approaches we all start the annual rear view mirror exercise...and then we search for our crystal balls to see what will come. Not sure after 2017 I want that crystal ball.  What results- some regrets, some smiles, some sadness, tons of worry and fear tossed in too... As hardly a day went by in 2017 when we didn't find ourselves in complete and total  disbelief and now we step oh so gingerly into a new year with a whole lot of "what nows".  That's a lot to take in before midnight chimes. The month of December is one BIG blur.  It seems as if sometime around Halloween someone shouts GO! and away we're off to the races.  It's a whirlwind of plans, events, deadlines, GET IT DONES,  fires to put out just in the "Nick" of time... and a snowstorm of shopping bags, ribbon, stamps,cards, packages,flour,sugar,sprinkles, twinkles and...


 That is why I adore this week best of all.  The time between when all I need to think about, at least for today, is where my book is and whether I should watch Season Two of The Crown , The Marvelous (and it truly is!)Mrs. Maisel or read the gi-normous pile of books by my bedside that seem to  have been there since the summer...or maybe I'll knit a hat-giant pompom and all??? Sure there is mail to open, bills to be paid, dusting and laundry, closets and cupboards to clean out for donation boxes and...but for this week I'm taking my time in  between!  2018 will be here soon enough and with it a world spiraling and we will all need to be involved and CARE!  The New Year will come with us all walking without a steady road beneath us and with a whole new list of "DO ITS".   So while the phones and email are relatively still I will be too...No looks back, no projecting forward, just today.  Enjoy the time in between...comes but just once a year!  ...and may the New Year bring peace to all!

28 November 2017

#GivingTuesday

On this #GivingTuesday we are reminded that we must share our hearts everyday... Now more than ever organizations who work everyday to create change and transform lives need our help! It is critical to our own survival that empathy not be a casualty but rather thrive in this world... There is no end to the need and though one day of giving will not decrease the work that needs to be done, what it does do is make us Stop! ...Look outward, and believe in Hope! Please share what you can with those in need this season, and every season... and donate to organizations
 who work so hard to keep humanity moving forward.
  #BeKind #CareforOthers #Give!