Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Flicks: The Perfect Gift

The Perfect Gift (2009) is part of the "Perfect Stranger" series of Christian movies, written and directed by Jefferson Moore. They ask a "what if?" question: What if Jesus was here today in modern America? What would he do? How would he interact with people and what would be his take on the social issues we all face today?

The Perfect Gift depicts what it might be like if Jesus arrived in a town during Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 Things I Love About Christmas

1: Jesus Birthday -- The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

2:  Christmas cards -- I love giving them and I love receiving them. I like the ones with beautiful designs.

3: Christmas movies -- The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Perfect Gift, A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas...

4: Christmas candy and cookies -- I miss my grandma's Bourbon Balls and Million Dollar Fudge, and my mom's Butterscotch Yule Log.

5: Christmas carols -- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Angels We Have Heard on High; Carol of the Bells; Good King Wenceslas, Do You Hear What I Hear?, We Three Kings...

6: Christmas tree -- I love the smell of the pine, the beautiful lights and decorative ornaments. I put  little white doves on my tree.

7: Spirit of Love -- This time of year people show more kindness that usual to others; helping at food kitchens, donating toys to needy children, donating clothes and food, giving gifts to each other.

8: Turkey dinner -- With all the fixin's!

9: Poinsettias -- The red leaves are breathtaking! I see God's amazing handiwork in these lovely plants!

10: Children -- Their joy and excitement thrills my heart.

One more:

11: Wrapping gifts -- I love to create beautiful packages for my loved ones with pretty paper, ribbons and bows.

What do you love about Christmas?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Good King Wenceslas

This song is so much fun to sing. I love the story of the Good King who helps the poor.  A wonderful Christmas message of ministering to others in need.

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Comedy Rule of Three

I am currently in the throes of writing comedy sketches for our Valentine's Day Dessert Theatre. I'm talking about fast and furious one-liners, short jokes and short sketches. All comedy, all the time.

I enjoy writing humor and have done it for years. In fact, one of my humor pieces is in an actual book called "Laugh Your Shorts Off" - a collection of humor compiled by my good friend and humorist Margie Culbertson.

For years I've written comedy sketches for our drama troupe, the Sunnyside Players. And I own an arsenal of books on comedy writing, as well as books by comedy writers (Steve Martin, Woody Allen, etc.) I guess you could say I take comedy writing very seriously.

One of the fun things I've learned over the years is the Comedy Rule of Three. This rule works both on stage and in print (humor columnists use it all the time). In a typical gag you have the set up and the punch line. But the rule of three includes three elements. The first two set the pattern, and the third line breaks the pattern with an unexpected twist.

My son is a gifted athlete. He plays football, basketball and checkers.

Coffee, tea, or me?

So what's for dinner?  Braised salmon, beef Wellington, or Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks.

Professor Hinkleman has assigned the reading list for this semester: War and Peace, The Grapes of Wrath and Poetry for Dummies.

Post some of your own. I'd love to read them!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Flicks: The Homecoming: A Christmas Story

 I was in high school when The Waltons were on TV - this show was one of our family favorites. John Boy played a part in encouraging me to pursue my own dream of being a writer. The scene where he explains to Mama about what writing means to him always brings tears to my eyes.

Funny scenes:
Hawthorne Dooley (Cleavon Little) with John Boy at Miss Mamie's and Miss Emily's trying to borrow a car.

Charlie Snead (William Windom) - the turkey thief.

The missionary giving away toys to children who can recite a Bible verse ("Thy two breasts are like two young rows that are twins which feed among the lilies. Solomon Song Chapter 4:5")

Goodnight, John Boy. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Winter Wonderland

Christmas with the Rat Pack. Lovin' Dean Martin's version.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Big Krause-bowski!

Hubby is a bowler. He loves the game and has been bowling for decades. He's very good at it, too.

Well, last year, he talked me into getting my own bowling ball and bowling shoes. I agreed and my game improved quite a bit. I used to search around for a house ball and could never find one that felt right. Now I have a custom made ball and it's great! Of course, hubby has been coaching me for years, showing me how to stand and where to aim for the strikes and spares.

But yesterday something happened that has never happened in the history of the universe: I won a game against hubby! I've NEVER beaten him in bowling. This was a first and it was so strange. Hubby was conflicted. Part of him was proud of me for doing so well, and the other part was upset for losing! He's very competitive and he had to deal with losing to his wife. C'est la vie!

He's a good sport, though. All through the game he was showing me what to do and how to throw the ball. He was teaching me a new technique involving throwing a curve ball. I won, but if he hadn't helped me, I don't think I would have.

I learned about the Killer Shot and I got three! Yay, me.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Flicks: A Charlie Brown Christmas

I was eight years in 1965 when A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on TV. This show was one of my best childhood memories. I loved Linus the best! He was the voice of reason, kindness and compassion.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Christmas Carol

For the past several years, I've begun a tradition of reading Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" during the month of December. It's my favorite Christmas story and from the amount of movies based on this Victorian tale, it's inspired others as well. My favorite film version features Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.  What are your Christmas traditions?


Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Tuesday Tunes: Angels We Have Heard on High

The Christmas season is the perfect time to feature some of my favorite Christmas songs on Tuesday Tunes. I'm a huge fan of the Mannheim Steamroller and own all of their Christmas albums. This group is amazingly talented and totally INSANE! Happy Holy Days!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Friday Flicks: The Black Stallion

A beautiful, heartwarming story. This is the kind of movie I would make if I had the resources. Boy meets Horse. Horse afraid of Boy. Horse and Boy become friends forever. The images are stunning; each frame is a work of art. The film embraces the themes of courage, freedom and love. The long sequence of silence on the deserted island depicting isolation and loneliness is similar to Castaway  (2000).  However, in this case, the castaway has a flesh and blood companion rather than a soccer ball.

I really enjoyed Mickey Rooney is this film. He was made to play this role.