Ramblings And What Not ~

Hello Peoples! The weather has warmed up, the flowers are peeking their heads above the ground and the trees and bushes are budding! YAY! Spring is here.  🙂  Rick planted tomatoes and lettuce. I’m still walking everyday. In the mornings, I don’t see another human being, however, in the evenings there are people ~ that’s right people ~ out and about, usually walking their dogs.

Right now I’m reading ~

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This seems to be my year for reading really BIG books!  🙂 I don’t know how long it will take me to read this gigantic book, but I’ll see it through to the end. It’s really very good.

Your Favorites at the Cottage in April ~

April 16, 2020 ~ The Classics Club Spin!

April 16, 2020 ~ Hello Peoples! The snow is melting!

April 18, 2020 ~ Mystery Blogger Award!

April 8, 2020 ~ The Classics Club ~ Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

Jeff Daniels, Eva Marie Saint, Cicely Tyson, B.J. Hopper, Courtney Jines, Dave Matthews, Luke Benward, Elle Fanning, Nick Price, and AnnaSophia Robb in Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

AnnaSophia   Jeff Daniels  Cicely Tyson   Dave Matthews   Eva Marie Saint

Courtney Jines   Nick Price   Luke Benward   Elle Fanning   B. J. Hopper

Who doesn’t like a good dog story??? And! The dog is alive at the end of the movie! That’s right. Alive and well.  🙂  Rick and I watched Because of Winn-Dixie a few days ago.  Opal (Anna MarieSophia) and her dad Preacher (Jeff Daniels) are new in town. Opal’s mother left her husband and daughter years earlier. So, Dad is raising Opal alone. Naomi is a small community and Opal is lonely and prays for friends. Shortly thereafter, Opal and Winn-Dixie (dog) find one another in the local grocery store ~ the Winn-Dixie. Opal’s new furry friend helps her discover new friends in this little town. Nice story.

Much love ~



The Classics Club The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other stories by Robert Louis Stevenson


I have been rendered almost speechless. Other than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I had no idea this author wrote such unusual stories!

I don’t really know how to begin writing a review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I saw the classic movie, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) with Spencer Tracy. There are some differences, however, the film is a good book to film adaptation.

The story is short, although not a quick read.

So, it’s the story of one man, but two natures in one human being. Is that the word I want ~ natures? Dr. Jekyll the good man and Mr. Hyde the evil inside the same man. Dr. Jekyll in an attempt to abolish the evil within mankind, created a formula. He was searching for a potion that would eliminate the evil in the human being. Instead, he unleashed something very different.

The story begins with an attorney, a Mr. Utterson. He “was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile: cold, scanty and embarrassed by discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.” (p. 5)

Mr. Utterson and Mr. Richard Enfield are walking and talking when they walk near a home that had “the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence.” (p. 6)

The house, Mr. Utterson says, is connected “with a very odd story.” (p. 7) And so, the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde begins.

Mr. Utterson is front and center throughout the short book. He is following the story, deeply puzzled and distressed about the strange happenings going on around him. In pursuit of the puzzling situation and in an attempt to solve the mystery Mr. Utterson does meet the strange Mr.. Hyde.

“Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice . . .” (p. 18).

As the story continues, we learn more and more about the strange Mr. Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll at times seems deeply troubled about what he has done, while at the same time, he seems to crave Mr. Hyde and his dark ways.

I did like the story, I wasn’t unfamiliar with it though, but, in the end, I’m not sure how I felt about it. I wasn’t disappointed but it left me with a . . . ??? I’m not really certain the word I want.

I do recommend it.

Spencer Tracy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Spencer Tracy   Ingrid Bergman   Lana Turner   Donald Crisp   Ian Hunter

A Lodging For The Night


The reader finds himself in Paris on a cold winter’s night. I like the way the author describes the frigid darkness.

“The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence; sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air, silent, circuitous, interminable.” (p. 81)

The story is about “Master Francis Villion the poet.” (p. 82)

Villion and his nefarious friends are by the fire keeping warm on a dark, cold night. After a shocking incident in the warm house, Villion finds himself out on the streets in the bitter cold. He soon finds lodging, for the night, with a knight.

“A tall figure of a man, muscular and spare, but a little bent . . . ” (p.93).

This knight is a much revered military hero. Villion a thief. Villion must listen and participate in a discussion with the hero about ethics and a morally sound life, in exchange for warmth and food. Villion has his own code of living ~ he must steal to eat. The two men have quite an interesting discussion. Not a bad short story.

The Suicide Club ~ Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts

This is a strange story, but I think I get it.

In Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts, Prince Florizel of Bohemia and his more than able body assistant, Colonel Geraldine gain access to a secret organization where the individuals involved wish to end their lives. I personally think Prince Florizel and the Colonel joined the peculiar club to bring down the President and disolve the club.

The story did have an element of suspense in it, but I thought the story was odd and I’m not sure I liked it.

The Suicide Club ~ Story of the Physician And The Saratoga Trunk

My my my. I liked this story.  🙂

As the reader begins the story, we meet Mr. Silas Q. Scuddamore. Mr. Scuddamore is a young American visiting Paris from the New England area. During his visit, he becomes the victim of a cleverly plotted manipulation. However, our heroes, Prince Florizel of Behemia and Colonel Geraldine become involved, so it ends well. This would be a good Hitchcock movie.

The Suicide Club ~ The Adventure of the Hansom Cab

Intriguing! Lieutenant Brackenbury Rich goes out for the night. It starts to rain and he hails a hansom cabman. He tells the driver to take him wherever he pleases, so, off they go. And thus begins a creepy but interesting adventure. They arrive at a home that is having a gentlemen’s party. The Lieutenant always observing, notices some unusual behavior in the host. Soon, it is all made clear. Oh yea.  🙂  The host has been slowly scrutinizing his guests and asking certain ones to leave. At the end of the party the host has only a handful of people in the home. The few are to participate in a secret mission. The small group travel to an out of the way location and discover the full meaning of the nights strange events.

This is another good short story. It is creepy, however, because the story is short, the creepyness is good, but at a minimum.

“Almost immediately after the postern door was cautiously opened, a white face was protruded into the lane, and a hand was seen beckoning to the watchers.” (p. 177)

I love that sentence!!! Good story!

If you read the three short stories of The Suicide Club, I recommend you read them in order. When I finished reading, Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts, I was puzzled. However, after I finished reading the next two short stories in The Suicide Club, I felt I had a much clearer understanding of the first story.

Thrawn Janet

Hmm. What an interesting story. And! I need to say, the author wrote this story in the Scottish brogue, so, I did read it, but I had to do some research for a better understanding.

So! There is a new preacher in a village and he hires Janet to be his housekeeper. I thought she was going to be his wife??? That clearly reveals how much of the brogue I understand!  🙂   The people of the village believe she is a witch. A few of the women in the community try to dunk her in the river. The preacher saves her from drowning and insists she denounce the devil. Janet’s appearance is changed. She isn’t looking good at all. After seeing a man in the churchyard, the new preacher discovers Janet’s body hanging in her room. The dead woman chases him until he cries out to God for help. Janet’s body turns to ash and the mysterious man in the churchyard disappears.

This was my least favorite of the short stories.

The Body-Snatcher

Oh my word! I didn’t know Robert Louis Stevenson wrote stories like this one! Macabre! Morbid! Dark! Creepy! Unexplainable! As my neighbor was known to say ~ “never in all my born days!”

While attending medical college, two students Macfarlane and Fettes are assigned the duty of receiving dead bodies from sinister looking characters, and paying them for their services. The medical students dissect the bodies and after the work is done, the bodies are destroyed. Fettes, although suspicious, is innocent of the macabre work going on. These poor people are actually being murdered. When Fettes recognizes one of the victims, he’s told to continue his work and keep silent or pay the consequences. When there is a shortage of dead bodies Macfarlane and Fettes travel to a cemetary and dig up the body of a recently dead woman. While transferring her body something macabre and unexplainable occurs. This is without a doubt a horror story. It’s based on the Burke murders of the early 19th century. I recommend it if you like horror stories. I’ve never seen the film.

The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Body Snatcher (1945)

Boris Karloff   Bela Lugosi   Russell Wade   Henry Daniell


So, Markheim enters a shop, informing the proprietor he would like to purchase a Christmas gift for a lady. It’s Christmas day and the gentleman isn’t in the best of moods because Markheim has interrupted his holiday. As their discussing a mirror the proprietor suggests Markheim purchase for the lady, Markheim unexpectedly murders the man, stabbing him to death!

Then the author shares with the reader, the fallout in Markheim’s mind as a result of this murder. This mental torment goes on for several pages, when a mysterious man enters the store. Markheim is surprised when, through conversation, this mysterious seemingly supernatural man, seems to know Markheim

The visitor smiled, “You have been a favorite of mine,” he said; “and I have long observed and often sought to help you.” (p. 237)

Markheim thinks the man is the devil!

The two men have a somewhat lengthy conversation about Markheim. At the end of the story it seems clear the man is supernatural when he goes through a transformation, and the ending is . . . the ending.

Well! One thing is certain. I had no idea the author wrote such interesting stories. He’s a good writer and I am thinking about reading Kidnapped” and “Treasure Island” in the future.

Happy Reading!

Classic Movie Friday!

The Great Escape (1963)

Steve McQueen   James Garner   Richard Attenborough   James Donald   Charles Bronson

Donald Pleasence   James Coburn   Hannes Messemer   David McCallum   Gordon Jackson

This is a great film! Apparently, it’s a true story, however, because of time the film makers “condensed” it. There are a LOT of good actors in this movie. And! I watched it in color and the scenery in the film is beautiful!

The Allied POW’s are sent to this new camp. No one is suppose to be able to escape from this WWII facility. That’s a challenge right there. We’ll see about that! The prisoners working together ~ it’s amazing what can be accomplished when working together ~ they formulate and put into action a plan for 250 prisoners to escape! Comedy ensues during the first half of the film. It reminded me of the classic TV sitcom, Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971). The prisoners continually outwit the guards. I found myself chuckling at their antics. Hilts (Steve McQueen) spends most of his time in the cooler.” It’s amusing. He seems to always have that baseball and mitt with him. Hendley (James Garner) can find anything the prisoners need. Each man has a talent. These guys are there for one another!

The second half of the film is the escape. I was holding my breath and sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see the outcome of their plan and cheering for each one of the prisoners. These guys were willing to sacrifice themselves so others could escape. I don’t want to include any spoilers, however, I will say, it didn’t have a happy ending for everyone.


Nim’s Island (2008)

Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler in Nim's Island (2008)

Nim’s Island (2008)

Abigail Breslin   Gerard Butler   Jodi Foster

Be the hero of your own life story! ~ Alex Rover Alrighty.

Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her dad Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler) live on an island in the south Pacific! Jack is a scientist. He does research on marine life. His wife passed away, so he’s a single dad. Nim is getting a great education on that island with her father. She has made friends with the creatures she meets. She reads books about a man who has great adventures ~ Alex Rover! Jack leaves the island to do research, leaving Nim alone with her animal friends and Alex Rover books. She communicates with her dad via satellite. A storm hits the island and Jack doesn’t return. Nim can’t contact her dad and becomes scared and worried. And! A Buccaneer ship is headed for the island!!! While he’s away, Jack receives an e-mail from Alex Rover! Nim is excited to communicate with this great adventure hero. She’s actually communicating with Alexandra Rover, the woman who writes the books. Alexandra hasn’t been outside of her San Francisco home for months. She agoraphobic and germaphobic. And! Alexandra can see and speak to her fictional character Alex Rover. After Nim has an accident on the island, and after much prompting from her fictional character, Alexandra agrees to travel to the south Pacific and help Nim.

Rick and I watched this film a few days ago. It’s a good adventure film for kids. I do have mixed feelings about parts of it, but it is fun. Comical at times. I find myself chuckling off and on throughout the movie. Jodi Foster has some hilarious moments. Alex Rover is always at her side encouraging her on.



The Quick and the Dead (1987)

Weekend Western: Sam Elliott in “The Quick and the Dead” – Cowboys ...

Sam Elliott   Tom Conti   Kate Capshaw   Kenny Morrison

Hello Peoples! Rick and I watched ~ The Quick and the Dead ~ last night. The book is by Louis L’Amour. I liked the film, although, it was graphic. According to IMDB, it was a movie for TV, which surprises me. Rick has read almost all of the books by Louis L’Amour, especially The Sacketts. I’ve only read three of his books. I like the movies better.

Duncan McKaskel (Tom Conti) and his wife, Susanna (Kate Capshaw) are traveling, in a covered wagon, west with their son, Tom (Kenny Morrison). They have a heavy load in that wagon, so they are easy to track. They also have two great horses and four mules are pulling their wagon. On their journey, they stop in a small town where they meet a gang of nasty outlaws. Duncan angers the gang and they leave town quickly. The gang of nefarious men follow in pursuit to seek vengeance. Fortunately, a mysterious man Con Vallian (Sam Elliott) meets up with the family moving west. Seeing the situation, he decides to help them on their journey to ensure they arrive safely. Of course, the McKaskel’s and Con Vallian meet the gang face to face and there is tension between Con and Duncan.

Con Vallian was a good man. He was willing to help this needy family. They were needy because they just didn’t know or really understand the west. They were from Pennsylvania. Con knew there was a good chance the family would be killed if he didn’t help them, so, he was willing to help out.

Duncan was a man who was easily misunderstood in some ways. I think people saw him as weak. He was anything but weak! Susanna learned to shoot and protect herself and her family.

Good movie!



Ramblings And What Not ~ CC Spin #23

Hello Peoples! The Classics Club announced our “Lucky Spin Number” and it’s number 6!  🙂  After taking a gander at my list, I discovered I will be reading, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other stories” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. I saw the classic film with Spencer Tracy and my curiosity grabbed me.  🙂


I grabbed my virtual broom and dustpan and I’ve been doing some cleaning. I’ve been cleaning out my blog. I went back to the beginning. And! I should say, I think I I need to apologize for my early blogging. What was I thinking???  🙂   For me personally, cleaning was a good idea.  🙂

Today I’ve been in our garden in the backyard. I accomplished a LOT! Rick went to the nursery/greenhouse for a few plants and grass seed. He bought me a sunflower plant!  🙂  Sunflowers are one of my favorites. This will be the first time I try to grow one. Right now it’s a little thing.  🙂  All our neighbors are outside. I spoke with a few of them. The fence, the lilac bushes and the honeysuckle keep us far enough apart. I did learn no one has been sick.

Yesterday I finished reading ~


Conventions The Garden At Paris by R. J. Nello

It’s a good story. I liked it. I had been curious for a long time, my curiosity finally won and I ordered the book. I would recommend it for adults. I don’t think it’s a book younger people would be interested in.

My favorite bakery remains open. They are take out only, so Rick and I enjoy a hot chocolate to go occasionally.

Much love ~


Mystery Blogger Award!

Hello Peoples! Gail helped me out here. I was wanting to blog today, but I didn’t have anything much to say. Gail tagged me for the Mystery Blogger Award! A BIG thanks to Gail!  🙂  You can find her at ~



We have guidelines ~

~ Put the award logo on your blog.

~ Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

~ Mention the creator of the award.   Okoto Enigma is the creator of the award.  

~ Answer the five questions you were asked.

~ Tell the readers three things about yourself.

~ Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers.

~ Notify the bloggers that you nominated by commenting on one of their posts.

~ Ask your nominees five questions with one weird or funny one.

~ Share a link to your best posts.


Gail’s questions.  🙂

1.) Do you like reading or watching mysteries?

YES!!! I read mysteries and I watch mysteries. Most of the mysteries I watch are classic films!

2.) Do you know how much God loves you?

YES!  🙂  God is love! “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

3.) How has the COVID-19 affected your life?

I’m at home most of the time. I don’t see family and friends face to face like I did before the virus. I receive text messages and e-mails.

4.) Have you seen good from God in this pandemic?

I spend more time in prayer, but hindsight is 20/20, so, I believe I’ll see more when I’m through it and look back.

5.) Have you been able to find toilet paper?

That is a funny question. Yes. We had toilet paper when this pandemic started and we haven’t really needed to purchase any yet.

My Questions For The Nominees ~

1.) What are your plans for the spring?

2.) During this pandemic, are you able to get outside at all, or are you in your home all the time?

3.) Would you rather read historical fiction or a mystery?

4.) When able, do you enjoy hiking in the wilderness?

5.) I can crow like a rooster. It’s very realistic. Can you do any incredible animal sounds?


Three things about myself ~

1.) I wear glasses with purple frames.  🙂

2.) I love collies. They’re great dogs!  🙂

3.) I enjoy campfires. The scent of wood burning and the crackle of the fire, good stuff.

Share a link to my best posts.

I don’t know if I have any best posts, but the posts I enjoy the most, probably because I watch the movie ahead of time, are the classic films I spotlight every Friday. I really can’t link all of them, there are to many.


I really would like to nominate all of you, so, the first ten people who read my blog are nominated.  🙂

Much love ~



Classic Movie Friday!

Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz, and Brad Dexter in The Magnificent Seven (1960)

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Yul Brynner   Steve McQueen   Horst Buchholz   Charles Bronson

Brad Dexter   James Coburn   Robert Vaughn

A man (Eli Wallach) and his gang are tormenting the people of a poor village. They steal their food and murder. After some discussion of the villagers, three of the village men ride into the nearest town to hire men to deal with these villains’ and defend their community. After witnessing an interesting situation involving Chris Larabee Adams (Yul Brynner) and Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen), the men speak with Chris and hire him to defend their small village. Chris brings Vin into the plan and finds five other men to join them in this fight. So, we have the seven! While their reasons for joining the fight are varied, I believe they each had a sense of right and wrong and each man had a strong belief in justice. None of them wanted to hear of a defenseless community being bullied by a gang of men with nefarious purposes. So, not only do the seven defend the farming community, before the gang return, the seven teach the community to fire weapons so they are able to join in the defense of their village.

Well, although this is not my favorite western, I did like it. My favorites are High Noon (1952) and Rooster Cogburn (1975). I liked the spirit in the seven men. I was surprised that there was humor in this story. There were several moments, in the film, when I chuckled. I think this was the first film I’d seen with Yul Brynner. Horst Buchholz and Brad Dexter were both new to me. There are some gunfights in the movie, but it isn’t as messy as I thought it would be.


The Classics Club Spin!

Hello Peoples! I went for a walk early this morning and the streets and sidewalks are empty. The air is cold, crisp and great for a brisk walk.

The Classics Club is having a spin. To learn more about the spin, just hop on over to their blog.  🙂   The Link is below ~


Okay! I’m going to list 20 books from my classics list that I have not read. This will be my spin list.  🙂  On Sunday, April 19th, the classics club will post a number. I’m to read the book under that number by June 1, 2020. So! Drum roll please . . . here comes the list!  🙂

1.) O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

2.) Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

3.) The Hollow by Agatha Christie

4.) The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

5.) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

6.) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson

7.) The Turquoise Mask by Phyllis A. Whitney

8.) Crimson Roses by Grace Livingston Hill

9.) Detection Unlimited by Georgette Heyer

10.) Death Comes to the Arch Bishop by Willa Cather

11.) Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

12.) Easy To Kill by Agatha Christie

13.) Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler

14.) The Good-bye Look by Ross MacDonald

15.) The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

16.) Rainsong by Phyllis A. Whitney

17.) Frederica by Georgette Heyer

18.) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

19.) The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

20.) An Overdose of Death by Agatha Christie

There it is!  🙂  Have a great day.

Happy Reading!

Much love ~



Hello Peoples! The snow is melting!

I hope everyone is well and keeping busy. I did read a couple of kids books.  🙂  They were good. I enjoyed them.

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The VanDerbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser!  🙂

The VanDerBeekers are such a great family. This book is touching. I’m smiling just thinking about it! Loved it!

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Summer Ruins ~ The Field Notes of Gwen Bell by Deb Watley

Gwen’s summer plans are changed, by her parents, when it is decided she will babysit two boys for the summer at an archeology dig. I loved Gwen’s field notes. They were great.

I recommend both of these books!  🙂

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail (1998)

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Rick and I watched You’ve Got Mail. Some movies I never get tired of.  🙂  And! I love Brinkley the dog.

Much love ~