• Getting Artsy in NYC

    This past weekend, our family took one of our yearly trips to New York City. We go up at least 2-3 times a year as my husband’s sister, her husband, and our nephew live on the Upper East Side. We stay in hotel not too far from them, and were excited to see the Downton Abbey Exhibition that is featured in Midtown. As the weather was a balmy 6 degrees (yikes), we also planned to visit the Michelangelo Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which also showcased the Rodin Exhibition that ended on Martin Luther King day. So, we were getting pretty artsy. If you love Downton Abbey and…

  • A Post-Christmas Letter

    Dear Readers, It’s January 2, and I haven’t blogged since Christmas. I hope you had a great holiday season and that your New Year is off to a tremendous start. It’s not that I didn’t want to blog, it’s just that I didn’t make time for it, if I’m being completely honest. I committed myself to the 2017 holiday season fully; I did almost everything I wanted to do, and most of it revolved around spending time with my family. Minus the mad rush of finishing up teaching my college classes, scoring students, and reading endless amounts of papers and reflections (which is all great in itself, but it gets…

  • Thanks for Leaving Me Melancholy, Mr. Selfridge

    Whoa. Last night, my husband and I finished watching the final season of Mr. Selfridge. We’re a little behind the rest of you who watched it unfold each Sunday night in real time. We recorded all the shows and spent the last couple of weeks watching an episode about every other night. A big fan of Downton Abbey, we also watch Grantchester, Call the Midwife, and Poldark all on PBS. The quality of programming and the level of acting in these series are superior. I’d taken the liberty of reading about the real Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American business man who opened the department store Selfridge & Co. in London,…

  • Coping with the Loss of Downton Abbey

    Yes, folks, it’s time to say goodbye. This evening marks the finale of six years of Downton Abbey on PBS in the United States. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with my Sunday nights now. The weeks ahead just won’t feel the same without this program to cheer up the dreary Sunday evenings—it was always something to look forward to on the eve of the dreaded Monday morning. Now Mondays will seem even bleaker. I should apologize. I’m supposed to be writing today to help us all cope with the end of this fantastic series, but I’m afraid I’m going to fail miserably at it. I’m having…

  • Some Highlights & Appreciation

    This past week began with a bang as viewers were treated to another outstanding episode of Downton Abbey. With Robert’s bloody collapse at the dinner table, we were left wondering if all will be okay in the great house in England. If you are like my family and me and are becoming sadder and sadder with each passing episode because there are only a few episodes left of this A+ show, you can become even more filled with grief because when it is over, you will no longer be able to read the wonderfully entertaining recaps written by Joe Heim at The Washington Post. Each Monday, my father, mother, and…

  • Call The Midwife

    That glorious show, “Downton Abbey,” sucked me in and, of course, I am awaiting the next season of it. It’s fabulously cast, perfectly written, and the settings make one want to jump on a plane to visit Highclere Castle. It is all about the rich, their servants, and the way in which they all communicate and live together under one roof owned by Lord Grantham. They are filming the next season now and won’t be back for a while. In the meantime, I am besotted with another group of English folks–the women, both midwives and nuns, who live in London’s East End, who are the main characters in “Call the…

  • Shoulda Woulda Coulda — Daily Prompt

    Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt entitled Shoulda Woulda Coulda asks us to tell about something you should do…but don’t. * * * So…here goes…complete honesty… I was going to write this post today and call it something else, but then I saw the Daily Post prompt, and I knew it was perfect for me. What I should do, but don’t do, is stop worrying about aging. Seriously. I think about it every day. It can often consume me. I’m not a fan of getting older, and the thought of the number 50 is just daunting. It’s two and a half years away for me, but I’m not at all enamored with…

  • Naming Your Home

    The idea of naming your home, manor, mansion, or castle came into play in Britain and is a custom for those who were incredibly well-off. Often, the home was linked to a place in which it was located. But it wasn’t just the rich folks who named their houses; you would also find tradesmen and merchants naming their homes as well. Soon, it became common practice that anyone could name his home. Here in the States, it is not a common practice to name our homes, although it’s more prevalent to see homes named in resort towns. In Duck, North Carolina, where my family and I vacation, we love to…

  • What Maggie Smith Brings To “Downton Abbey” was

    There is much hype as the anticipation builds for tonight’s season premier of “Downton Abbey.” Most of that spotlight has been grabbed by Shirley MacLaine, as she will be playing the mother of Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern), Martha Levinson. And while fans are looking forward to seeing the character come to life through MacLaine’s portrayal, this blogger desperately looks forward to Maggie Smith’s return as the Dowager Countess. The writers of “Downton Abbey” are ingenious. Maggie Smith gets all the brilliant lines, with Robert, played by Hugh Bonneville, in second place. However, I’m pretty confident MacLaine will come in to the picture with robust, enthusiastic dialogue that will make…

  • Downton Abbey and My Withdrawal

    *** It hasn’t even been 24 hours and I’m already going through withdrawal over our British friends who occupy Downton Abbey. I will be marking my calendar until it returns for more drama and excitement in Season 3. It’s been confirmed that Shirley MacLaine is in the lineup that also features prominent actors including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern. Season 2 was solid, minus last week’s episode where poor, sweet, innocent Lavinia came down with Spanish flu and died. As well, a series of strange occurrences made me question why so much was happening all at once. I was concerned that Downton Abbey had “jumped the shark.”…