Monday, October 23, 2017

Hello Neighbor

Are you able to read Gladys Taber's words above?

She was writing to her friend Barbara Webster in their book

Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge

back in 1953, Gladys living in Connecticut and Barbara in 


Blogging has brought me neighbors who some

would say I've never met. 


Why, they're right down the road.

"It has nothing to do with proximity, it's a state of mind."

 Today I wear the cozy colorful blanket of friendship 

wrapped around my shoulders.

Until we talk again, dear neighbors,

and Gladys.......

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This one's for you, Tammy!

In my recent attempt to purge old emails, I accidentally deleted one from my dear blog friend Tammy. When you told Poppy and me about loving an old 1962 movie called "Rome Adventure" I remembered that I had once written a rough draft for a blog post on the very same movie, just another example over the years of the many books and movies we both love. 

Some of what we both love can be classified as great literature or classic movies. Rome Adventure isn't one of them, is it Tam? But we both have to watch it every time it runs on TCM. So here's my old notes on it, that never made it into a blog post. Please add yours to it, Tam, the things you wrote about in the email I accidentally deleted. 

Because, who says a blog post can't be an email, right? I'm becoming more of a blogger who chooses to make her own rules about her own blog. On with it...

"Rome Adventure," starring Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette. Sorry, Suzanne, you were mostly forgettable in your role as Prudence. If Natalie Wood had not dropped out at the last minute, maybe Prudence would have stood out better in my memories of this movie. This movie for me is all about Troy. Well, Troy and Italy.

What girl didn't have a crush on Troy in 1962? Even being a newlywed I still retained my crush. When he appears on the Rome scene in light colored slacks, a red v-neck sweater and white dress shirt, collar open...let's just say there was no way I was turning this movie off. I mean, how Troy Donahue was that outfit!

By the way, do you remember him and Sandra Dee in "A Summer Place"? Where he and Sandra are holidaying on an island with their families and meet, fall in love and she gets--(whisper) pregnant? One of my favorite chic flicks of the early 60s!

Back to Rome: there's Angie Dickinson who tries to keep her twisted clutches on Troy during the whole movie. She is at her most beautiful, mysterious, cruel best in the movie. She reminds me of Mad Men's January Jones in her first season on the show. Didn't Angie have her gorgeous legs insured back then for $1 mil by Lloyd's of London?

Another memorable female character is Daisy, the American who owns a bookshop in Rome. There's a whole movie waiting to be written expanding her intriguing part, don't you think, Tam? And I loved seeing Constance Ford play her part because it helps me think of her sympathetically rather than as the frigid bitch mother of Sandra Dee in A Summer Place, which she did masterfully well. 

Rossano Brazzi, another heartthrob, is Roberto before he inspired Mitzi Gaynor to wash that man right out of her hair. His memorable quote from Rome Adventure:

"Woman's most important function in life is to anchor man."

Good grief, and double gag!

But the man is one handsome Italian sophisticate in this movie. I mean, Rossano Brazzi and Troy Donahue? With those two, it doesn't even matter that Al Hirt wasn't handsome. He is funny in his small cameo part and does he ever play that trumpet!

And then there's the song, right, Tam? I fell in love with "Al Di La" as sung by Emillo Pericoli and I know you did too, as per the accidentally deleted email.

Italy and the music were the actual stars of this film. 

And Troy Donahue. Sigh.........

Tammy, maybe we can take some Italian classes like our Greek Goddess and her daughter?

I wonder how old Troy Donahue is now?

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Wild thing, you make my heart sing"

Happy Anniversary to my wild man!

We were young marrieds when England's The Troggs
gave us this 1966 version of Wild Thing......

" make my heart sing.
You make everything groovy.
Wild thing,
I think I love you."

Even in high school I was attracted to this guy
who I thought was a hood.

All these years later I'm still in love with this man
who thankfully is not a bit prissy,
but is still a bit of a wild thing.

Where all our neighbors mow their lawn like it's a 
G.I. haircut, my man didn't think twice before 
agreeing to my request for a large patch left wild.

At first grasses just grew to seed there.

Soon other wild things grew.

You might call them weeds,
I call them wild things.

My man stood up to the power company who wanted
to cut down a long length of hedgerow
that gave us privacy from the road.

It is there that wild roses grow among cedars.
Blackberries thrive and seed pods form.

Deer already nest in our wild garden,
rabbits run safely out and in again.

A strange thing happened during our first summer
here at our new home.

At first RH brought home bright colorful annuals,
oranges, reds, yellows.

I picked out blues and purples and whites,
perennials whenever possible.

By August, after I'd a thousand times pointed out
how much more pleasing my colors looked
with this old 1935 cottage than his,
I think he began to come around,
without even realizing it--
and honestly, isn't that the best way where 
husbands are concerned?

He came home with 12 pots of these...

He had fallen in love with Northern Sea Oats.
I did too. 

You'd have to be there to appreciate them.
They whisper when the wind blows,
they move gracefully,
nodding and waving as we sit by them.

They're planted all through the new butterfly
garden RH built for me,
to see from my big kitchen window over the sink.

But one plant went in an old pot from the old house
that had lost its bottom.

He planted purple butterfly bushes and purple lantana
 and the butterflies came to flutter and feed.

I chose one white coneflower that he insisted
would die but it hasn't.
Next year I want more of these because
the butterflies and bees love it too.

There's still far too much mulched area
that I hope will gradually shrink as the plants spread.
My wild man has still not given up his mulch
obsession from his early garden center days.

Both of us are now obsessed with Autumn Joy,
only one plant went in the butterfly garden but it has
been so lovely as it's turned from white to pink
and now in October to red,
that we will transplant the three that went in the
front garden here next spring,
where the deer won't be able to get to them.

The previous owners had already planted four 
varieties of ornamental grasses around the property,
and they are tasseling pretty now.

So we have added to them with others.

Because I think I've convinced my wild man
that it is these kinds of subtle earthy plants that suit our
1935 cottage that is far from a dainty storybook one.

When all but two rooms and the bathroom are
paneled in 11 inch knotty pine boards,
ceilings too,
this is not a dainty cottage.

It is an earthy one,
home to a wild man and his wife.

Excuse me while I go wake him up and ask him
if he's forgotten that he promised me a path
and small terrace by the butterfly garden
out of that stack of Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone
that's been sitting there for a month now.

Otis, would you remind him of that?