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  • Holiday Inn – ‘Tis the Season Cinema

    Holiday Inn – ‘Tis the Season Cinema

    I was all ready, getting the final touches ready to put up my review of It’s a Wonderful Life, for ‘Tis the Season Cinema with Lisa and Erin and I went over to Lisa’s blog to get the link for her review and saw that she’d reviewed Holiday Inn. It’s been that kind of week; it’s a wonder I get anything done correctly some days!

    Anyway, because this is 2022, I went online to see where I could see Holiday Inn. I’m sure there are pirate sites that are easy enough to find, but I just went through Amazon for the “rental”. It’s the first time I’ve done that, and it worked out pretty well.

    It’s no wonder that this isn’t the film that was the launching point for the success of the song “White Christmas”. It features a lot of music and dancing, which was more common in films made in 1942, and if that’s

    Movie still/promo shot – (not my work)

    There are a good number of similarities with White Christmas which was a ‘Tis the Season Cinema pick a couple of weeks ago, but where it’s similar, it’s not quite as good. Both have silly stories, but even though there’s some attempts at “manipulation”, amongst the characters in White Christmas, it’s more understandable, and everyone is portrayed as being pretty good at heart. (Though this isn’t the fault of the filmmakers, the fashion of the 1950s is so much more iconic and recognizable and still holds so much influence over women’s fashion today that even the women’s outfits, though beautiful, don’t seem as nice.)

    This film, on the other hand, ends up with the five who are the main characters all being pretty manipulative of each other, and while the end may be the happy ending, I hardly know if it’s actually a “triumph of love”.

    As in White Christmas, there’s the “show within a show” aspect. This time, though, each is holiday themed, as Jim (Bing Crosby’s character) wants to run a venue that is only open on the holidays. It may have been the case then, but talking about a farm in Connecticut made me chuckle. I realize that a fair amount of Connecticut is within the New York metro area (and some people even commute!) but to imagine that there was an area that was there that was so backwoods that it was hardly suitable to have cars on is a little wild.

    The biggest thing, though, for modern audiences is the show for Lincoln’s Birthday. The number sung is an ode to “Abraham” sung by, I’m assuming, former slaves. The thing about this, though, is that Jim (Crosby) and Linda (Marjorie Reynolds) put on blackface to do it, and there’s even a scene where Jim helps put on Linda’s makeup. For that reason, I’m surprised that the movie is as widely available as it still is.

    And that’s a whole can of worms these days. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I would have never have dreamed of doing anything with blackface, and it shocks me to see people like Justin Trudeau, who is not all that much older than I am, in pictures partying with blackface on. That being said, this movie came out in 1942, and attitudes were different. Even with Linda’s over-the-top outfit for the number, it’s obvious that the film is not out to denigrate African-Americans. First of all, the freeing of the slaves is presented as a good thing, even among the elite of the film and theater industries – there’s no sarcastic comments about it or anything. The housekeeper is black, and nobody ever treats poorly or speaks down to her. In fact, her speaking her mind to Jim becomes the key to him chasing down his happiness.

    In any case, this was a movie with excellent dancing, music, and acting, but a questionable premise and scenes that certainly haven’t aged well. It may be a movie I’d revisit sometime, but not for a very, very long time.

    The thing with the calendar on Thanksgiving was hilarious though. Mind you, the film was released in 1942. In 1941, FDR declared that Thanksgiving was a national holiday and that it would be commemorated on the 4th Thursday of November. Before this, it had always been the last Thursday, and a good number of people resisted the change (done mainly to help Christmas sales – I kid you not). Therefore to see the turkey run back and forth between the dates was very amusing.

    I am interested in Lisa and Erin’s takes… Once I hit “post”, I’ll go over and read their opinions, and you should too! Lisa’s review is here: https://lisahoweler.com/2022/12/08/tis-the-season-cinema-holiday-inn/ and Erin’s is here: https://crackercrumblife.com/2022/12/08/tis-the-season-cinema-holiday-inn/


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  • Wordless Wednesday #10 – Not Last Year

    Wordless Wednesday #10 – Not Last Year






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  • Sunday Gratitude – #10

    Sunday Gratitude – #10

    I’m tired. And it’s time to start working on getting the Christmas decorations up. Not “it’s time” as in tonight, but just it’s that time of year.

    I am grateful that we made it to church today (albeit late) and that all the kids came. Technically, they don’t have the choice, but it’s not like I can carry kids into the car who are almost as big as me!

    I am grateful to have made it through this week.

    I am grateful for my kids, that they are here and that God takes care of them.

    Window “stalagmites” glittering in the sun

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  • Songs of the Season – Bing Crosby & Michael Bublé – White Christmas

    Songs of the Season – Bing Crosby & Michael Bublé  – White Christmas

    I remember, in 1991, when Natalie Cole released a version of her father’s hit “Unforgettable” that garnered a lot of attention because the song was a duet with her father – who had been dead for over two decades. Things like tape splicing and manipulation have been around forever, but this was notable because the technology had advanced to a point where she could do duets with her father and the quality was so good that it sounded as if they were singing in the same room.

    The technology has advanced quite a bit from even then, and now, not only can you make an audio recording of two people using old tape, it’s possible to make it look like someone like Michael Bublé has jumped back in time on the television. This bit is from a few years ago already, and it’s a nice little spin on Crosby’s classic.

    In addition to the “Carol of the Bells” playlist, I’ve started a general playlist of Christmas songs that will include pieces mentioned here, for anyone interested.


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  • Wordle #536

    Wordle #536
    Wordle #536 game board

    Never played Wordle? Check out my Wordle strategy page!

    Wordle explanations are posted a day late to ensure that no one accidentally sees the solution before playing.

    Line 1: So… “Amber” gets me nothing. Oh well.

    Line 2: Interesting. “T” in the correct spot in the end, and an “S” that belongs somewhere in the middle. I wonder if I put it next to the “T” to end the word in “ST”, if that might help… and since we have “ST”, sometimes “OU” precedes that, though most of those words are longer… However, there is one that I can think of that is five letters…

    Line 3: “Joust”!

    Did you get this Wordle? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Happy Gaming!


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  • Songs of the Season – Joshua Lee Turner & Allison Young – When I’m With You (Christmas Every Day)

    Songs of the Season – Joshua Lee Turner & Allison Young – When I’m With You (Christmas Every Day)

    Josh Turner (Joshua Lee Turner, because there’s another “Josh Turner” with a record contract) is one of my favorite “up and coming” musicians. He’s fantastic with just about any stringed instrument, and has been plugging away at the music “business” since establishing his Youtube channel when he was 15 – half his life ago!

    He’s got some fantastic Christmas stuff on his channel to begin with, and I was planning to include at least one video this month (his Christmas medley on lute is amazing) but he’s just released an original Christmas song with Allison Young. And when I say “just released”, I mean Monday. (It’s mindblowing how the new media can work!)

    This song isn’t religious in nature at all, but it reminds me of something that maybe would have come out in the 1950s. Definitely an antidote to hearing too much Mariah Carey on the radio these days, and of much better quality than “All I Want For Christmas is You”.

    In addition to the “Carol of the Bells” playlist, I’ve started a general playlist of Christmas songs that will include pieces mentioned here, for anyone interested.

    Are there any other new Christmas songs you would recommend?


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  • Wordle #535

    Wordle #535

    Never played Wordle? Check out my Wordle strategy page!

    Wordle explanations are posted a day late to ensure that no one accidentally sees the solution before playing.

    Line 1: On the bright side, I got one letter, and it’s in the right place.

    Line 2: Hmm.. There is an “A”, but not in the second spot. I’m going to try the first spot because I don’t know that there are very many words with the “AE” combination or which end in “EA”.

    Line 3: And… that worked out nicely! But once again, I need consonants! I wonder if what’s missing is an uncommon letter… hmmm.

    Line 4: I got one at least! “R” is just very common as a final letter.

    Line 5: “Amber” Beautiful! 🙂

    Did you get this Wordle? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Happy Gaming!


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  • Wordle #534

    Wordle #534

    Wordle #534 game board

    Never played Wordle? Check out my Wordle strategy page!

    Wordle explanations are posted a day late to ensure that no one accidentally sees the solution before playing.

    Line 1: Not quite both my “problem children” but close, with a misplaced “O” and misplaced “E”

    Line 2: They didn’t stay misplaced for long! Now just to get some consonants here!

    Line 3: Going through more consonants…

    Line 4: Is it? Not quite.

    Line 5: “Woken” One can almost forget that this is a word in itself, having to do with the current use of the word “woke”. Now I’m wondering if there are instances where “woken” wouldn’t be interchangeable with “awoken”. Hmm… Another rabbit hole to wander down?

    Did you get this Wordle? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Happy Gaming!


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  • Songs of the Season – Anthony Stehlin – O Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly / O Kto, Kto…

    Songs of the Season – Anthony Stehlin – O Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly / O Kto, Kto…

    Happy St. Nicholas Day!

    Although St. Nicholas isn’t usually a big deal in the US, in Germany and in most Eastern European countries, it is. (I can’t really speak to other places, because I don’t have the experience.) On the Orthodox Christian side, there are two sets of songs that are common for Christmas – and although we’re still in a fasting period, St. Nicholas is kind of the celebration to whet the appetite for Nativity. One set is the church “songs” – the pieces that are part of the church services (particularly in Orthodox practice) that are proscribed for the time of year and the particular feast days and such.

    The other set are “kolady”, that is, the carols, which get sung when people get together to celebrate. I remember, years ago, after a weekday Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral just after Christmas (still in the Nativity season) where, after Liturgy, there was a group of about eight of us, including Archbishop Job, who hung around for another half hour or so after the Liturgy was over singing all the kolady we could think of. (I don’t think it was limited to Slavic carols either.) It was chilly outside, but the sun was bright, and the windows there are quite unusual for an Orthodox church, as they are done in art-deco geometric patterns, but they have the effect of diffusing the sunlight and making the inside of the church almost glow in golden rays when it’s sunny.

    The St. Nicholas kolady don’t exactly belong to Christmas, but at the same time, they don’t not belong either. The most famous is “O Kto, Kto Nikolaja l’ubit“, which is usually just referred to as “O Kto, Kto” (O who, who loves Nicholas’ shortened to ‘O who, who’).

    I like this version because it’s got the English and… whatever other language it is (Russian or Ukrainian or Carpatho-Rusyn) and both languages are easy to understand.

    There’s a joke that there’s a missing last verse that goes like this:

    Arius, heretic most hated
    For he taught that Jesus was created.
    Seeing that he fell from grace,
    Nicholas punched him in the face.
    Holy Father Nicholas!

    Anyway, I wish you all a happy feast of St. Nicholas! Enjoy the music!

    In addition to the “Carol of the Bells” playlist, I’ve started a general playlist of Christmas songs that will includes the pieces mentioned here.


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  • Lilla Rose December 2022 Update

    Lilla Rose December 2022 Update

    For the latest Lilla Rose posts, please check out the following:

    The author of this blog is an “independent stylist” with Lilla Rose. Purchases made through this link <https://www.lillarose.biz/katja> will earn the author a commission.

    Christmas is getting closer, and Lilla Rose has some beautiful stuff both for the season (Christmas, winter, Hannukah), but also in general. The Nativity Flexi (#4557) is sold out in all but the two largest sizes. I got one for a friend early on, and I’m glad I did! There’s a red and silver cross (Carissa #4551) that I really like – it doesn’t scream “Christmas!) but would probably coordinate with just about any red, white, or green outfit. Also, there’s a Flexi Sport combo with dark red, forest green, and white flexi sports and coordinating U-pins (#4591). I like my Flexi Sport a lot for the times I do go back to wearing a ponytail – it’s been about 9 months since I quit using elastics for ponytails, and I think it has helped with the fullness of my hair over the entire length. It was kind of ridiculous how it got to be so thin for the bottom 1/3 or so, and while there still is tapering (some can’t be helped) I’m not having tons of hair break at the shoulder anymore. A few more of the new releases can be seen here.

    Lilla Rose’s promotion this month is really good too – 20% off orders of $50 or more!

    And the month’s DIY designs

    Beautiful designs, evocative of snow, but certainly not something that is just limited to one season!

    I will be back very soon with more – so please keep a look out! 🙂

    https://www.lillarose.biz/katja/


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  • Wordle #533

    Wordle #533 game board

    Never played Wordle? Check out my Wordle strategy page!

    Wordle explanations are posted a day late to ensure that no one accidentally sees the solution before playing.

    Line 1: “O” and “R” today, but in the wrong places.

    Line 2: I didn’t find the home for “R”, but “O” is where it should be, and I managed to find an “E” correctly as well. Could this word end “ORE”?

    Line 3: Why, yes, it does! Now just to find what the word begins with. Not “CH” at the very least. Considering the letters left out, I wonder if there might yet be a vowel to find.

    Line 4: Not “amore”? How sad! I mean, who doesn’t want to get the song “That’s amore” stuck in one’s head the rest of the day due to Wordle?

    Line 5: “Adore” As in “O come let us adore Him…” Nice.

    Did you get this Wordle? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Happy Gaming!


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