Friday, 30 September 2011

"The Help" You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important

We did something really unusual on Wednesday night, we went to the movies and we're so glad we did.
A two for one coupon from the local free newspaper was a nice incentive.
I have no idea where the time went..we just loved this movie "The Help" so much.
When was the last time that you were still talking & thinking about a movie days later?
This is just such a film.
 Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, "The Help" stars Emma Stone ("Easy A") as Skeeter, Academy Award®--nominated Viola Davis ("Doubt") as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.

Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, "The Help" is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, "The Help" is a provocative and inspiring look at what happens when a southern town's unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three courageous women who strike up an unlikely friendship.

 Pictures from here.

The Help trailer courtesy DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media.

I loved this delightful description in this paragraph from the Los Angeles Times
"The Help" is a delicious peppery stew of home-cooked 1960's Southern-style racism that serves up a soulful dish of what ails us and what heals us.
Laughter, which is ladled on thick as gravy, proves to be the secret ingredient-
turning what should be a feel-bad movie about those troubled times into a heart-warming surprise."

You can find the sound track here.

What spoke to me the most in this heart warming tale.. was the relationship between Aibileen & her "baby girl". Aibileen speaking to her wee heart telling her over & over:
 "You is kind, you is smart, you is important".
Doesn't the heart of every little girl need to know just exactly that!
So remember now, say it with me..


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tumbling Down Roses and Being Enough

It probably all began with a bit of a sag and then there was a bit of wobbling in the wind and then there was some slippage, after that there was more wind and finally a tumble right off the wall!!
They were nice old roses, growing on our sensibly high wall, grown so that we couldn't actually "see" the ugly Heinz Wattie factory that resides just a little too close for summer comfort over "there".  
 Larmarque was in the corner and sweetly scented. He would quite often bloom through the winter
 however, Marque unilaterally decided to become a rose "tree" and really, just had to go!
 Enough for a fire, quite soon, I should think.
Constance Spry has been rehabilitated quite nicely, but I am a little dubious about Alberic Barbier, whom, I believe grows on Sissinghurst Castle. I once read (after the rose was planted in my garden) that the annual pruning of castle-grown AB, required the collective energy of 3 men and an entire weeks effort to wrestle him in to shape!! At least the slipping event has cleared a lot of space. Room now for my peavine hay..makes such a useful mulch.
 I wondered why traffic was slowing just outside our house this week and it wasn't for the oranges out at the gate. No, it was for "ducks crossing"...slowly!
 Unusual & fascinating things can happen in spring, as the earth begins to redress Herself, petal by marvelous petal.
Last weekend, on my way home through Napier I came across other kinds of polished magnificence.
Rob tells me this beauty is a Ford.
 I wonder what is in the beautifully wrapped package on the back of this cabernet darling?
 I adore lilies, even the arrum kind. There is just something regal & dignified about their simple elegance.
 We have a pretty good selection of Op/thrift shops here in Hastings but nothing beats our Trade Me for the finding of unexpectedly wonderful blessings. More prisms!!! So reasonanbly "won" too..only worked out to be a few dollars each.
 We've had our beautiful lamp for nearly 30 years. It came with just the roses. We've added & changed round the prisms & as you can see Mr Clever has managed to fit a low energy light bulb in to the chimney part safely. He now has plans to make me some more Pollyanna strings of prisms to hang in more windows.
 Good chance to see the enormous amounts of dust lurking about..eek! & a pleasure to hand wash all the porcelain roses, aren't they precious.
 Yesterday morning we got up bright & early & headed off to a small church fair. I found this old hall runner for $2. It works quite well on the front porch..kind of makes it more of an outside room & the runner can be rolled up in a jiffy if needs be.
 I was attracted to these beautiful blue flowers. It is so generous of people to pick them from their own garden to sell. The lovely lady in the flower department was so amazed at my gratitude & enthusiasm that she gave me a second bunch for free..really $2!
 And so much joy!
 When I went in to town to collect our raw milk on Monday I called in to Seekers..a large warehouse that sells secondhand clothes..raising money for African charities. I always run through the curtain section. You just never know what fabric you might find. LIKE this "Roses & Peonies" Sanderson. There were two curtains, the lining not so great, so I cut that bit off, unpicked the hems, washed & ironed them & will sell one lot & make some pants out of the other. I love the soft colours. Sanderson made in to clothes wears & wears & wears....beautifully!
 I came across this old babies bath some months ago for $10 & contemplated using it to plant up with herbs, but changed my mind as it's quite a nice compact shape. Rob used his special rust stuff on the rough bits
 and I then painted it with a soft pink I've had for ages that I bought as a test pot.
You know all those wee bits of fabric that you just can't quite throw away? Well this is exactly what they are useful for! Oh dear all the outdoor furniture need a good wash again!

That's why I rather warm to this great poster.
There are sooo many bombarding messages that tell us daily we are not enough..I've had a week full of them, but I am holding myself to a standard of grace. Do you ever feel like that? I am enough & so are's truly, truly, true.
Have a lovely week. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wind in the Willows Grand Tour Begins

Did I tell you we're having visitors? Actually, they're already on their way. We've started preparing for their arrival as they're very special guests, accustomed to quite particular standards. I swept out the larder today. I think that they'll be most comfortable in there, as there are plenty of provisions right to hand & quite a bit of nice fresh air. We're getting pretty excited, although, we're not yet entirely sure of their arrival date. I guess they'll get here when they get here... best be prepared, however!
Who am I talking about?
 Why Ratty, Mole & Badger of course!!
 In fact, they left Denver by train about last Saturday!
 Their passports arrived from the Embassy in the nick of time.
Look here they go.
Pom Pom & Mags have everything sorted..which is so good of them.
Here's an update from Pom Pom:
  After seven or so stops around America, they'll fly to Ireland and from there Mags will launch them about Europe.  They'll voyage to New Zealand and Australia, too.  Lucky THREE!  Thank you for cheering them on!   Safe travels!
If you'd like to join in the fun just click on the caravan at the top of the page in my side bar to get an update on the journey..there may even still be time to have them visit at your house if you're keen.
And from Mags
 "The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs! Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing! And mind, this is the very finest cart of its sort that was ever built, without any exception."

Thus spaketh Toad on his first empassioned journey of Willows- and he remembered those words with glee as he hopped into his envelope in Denver today and snuggled down with Ratty and Mole for the first leg of their Grand Tour! The whole world really is before them this time!

Who would have ever thought that such a grand adventure would befall these three!
It's all pretty exciting really.
All infused with wanderlust, no doubt & far too excited to sleep much!
I wonder if they like asparagus?
Perhaps they may like to sleep in here:
from my book Shed Chic
Mean time, while we await the royal arrival, I thought you might "love to laugh!"
Every time I visit Pom Pom's I see her Mary Poppins with her umbrella & then I recall my favourite scene..
And lo & behold..there's a tea party on the ceiling with Uncle Albert!

Thank so much Pom Pom & Mags!!

Friday, 16 September 2011

There's a Lion in My Garden

I know it's not good manners to leave your clothes in someone else's house, but I think that the tea party season may have quite gone to my head! So successful was the initial tea party, that Ruth in her magnanimity decided to host another party with new guests the following Thursday afternoon. I was invited help! So, finishing up my gardening work, I popped in to the laundry at the back of the house to make a quick change into slightly more appropriate tea party attire, pinned on my pretty brooch & rushed off out the door. When I got home a niggling feeling crept upon me, now, where were my clothes? Oh dear, oh dear still in the laundry or did they blow away down the road!!
We decided the following day, while I was still squirming with embarrassment & giggling, that we should be "glad" that on our way home from retrieval of said clothes, we could have a lovely walk along the walkway by the Karamu Stream, an area under restoration & enhancement.
 This is a nice addition at the far end..stylized flax plants in metal. There are a great many clever artisans around Hawke's Bay.
How do the willows always know to come out first? They don't ever just forget do they.
 Isn't this the most perfect spring green.
 Across the riverbank we spied an interesting spectacle...he looks to have had a bit of a rough infancy I should say!
 On our way home we passed a mixed race family. Mum had a very stern eye fixed on me. I didn't dare climb the fence.
One of the best things about living where we do is being so close to "our" park...just around the corner. We walk in & through Cornwall Park hundred's of times a year. Walking through here again on Wednesday the light seemed just perfect... 
 & the lions appeared to come to life.
 These chaps have been restored a bit in the last couple of years. Originally a fountain, this grand monument was erected in 1911...a hundred years old, that's quite something round these parts.
 Isn't he lovely.
 There was something slightly familiar about him...ah yes! He reminded me of our new immigrant lion Earnest.
 Charlie (borrowed cat) was suspicious at first but soon realized that he had found a friend.
Someone new to play in the garden with..
 after he's finished sniffing the hyacinths that is.
 "Perhaps he'd like some of my biscuits", suggested Charlie.."look, you just put your head down like this"
But Earnest was was having none of it, he wasn't feeling very peckish today.
 Oh look there's Maddy. Where ever did she spring from? She must have had an inkling that there was a little furry afternoon tea gathering happening, even though she lives across the road. (We haven't figured out quite where yet).
 Secretly, I think she has quite a crush on "our" Charlie I just wish she'd be more careful crossing the road by herself.
 There are many things my garden doesn't grow well but I am ecstatic to find that it's at last being friendly to the bluebells.
Aren't these fascinating wee things? I found them at the Farmer's Market..they're limequats (not limettes as Mr silly called them) Not quite sure what I'll do with them but they're very decorative in the mean time, in or out of the garden.
Do look at this lovely lass spotted in a Willowpark Road garden this week. Isn't that a clever idea!
 There are sooo many kinds of blossom..all pretty!
Do you like my "new" teapot? It might be about as old as the lions in the park I think. It was so cheap on Trade Me...journeyed all the way from Gore, which is at the bottom of the South Island, some 1218 kms away! I'm sure with some lovely old roses in it, it'll bring a little magic to our next tea party.
When I grow up I want to look like this...these colours just make my little heart sing!

Lovely to see you my friends.
 I hope the things that you love make your heart sing today too!
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