October 17, 2008

6 Things About Me

Sarah over at Destiny of One tagged me to tell 6 random things about myself. So....

1. My favorite music types are classical, hymns, and some celtic.

2. My favorite sounds are fallen leaves crunching under my feet, rushing water, cats purring, birds singing, and wind whispering through the trees (my sister, who is sitting with me as  I type this, says, "You're so poetic!" - jokingly, of course *smile*).

3. My favorite scents are bread baking in the oven, roses, pine needles, ground coffee (or coffee in any form, come to think of it - except black).

4. If you can't tell, I'm going with favorites here - favorite colors: rose pink, pale green, lavender purple, various shades of blue, dark red... um... I think that's all!

5. I love sewing, especially historical outfits.

ONE MORE! I can do this!!!

6. Ummmmmmm....... OH - favorite flowers: roses, lilacs, irises, and apple and cherry blossoms.

There! I did it. Now I am supposed to tag 6 (ish) other people.

R.J. at Virtuous Girlhood

Miss Taylor at the Godly Girlhood blog

Raeanne Ailene



Well.... that was 6-ISH all right. :-)

Here are the rules for those I tagged (if you all want to do it, of course!) :
*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Post the rules on your blog.
*Write six random things about yourself.
*'Tag' six-or-so other people at the bottom of your post-
*And leave comments on their blogs letting them know they've been tagged.
*Let the person who tagged you know when you've written the post.

Have fun! :-)

October 3, 2008

Movie Review: Felicity

felicity movie My dad is out of town on business, and when he is gone we girls usually watch movies more than we normally would. Yesterday we watched "Felicity: An American Girl Adventure."

Though my sister and I are a little old for American Girl dolls now, several people we know had said the movie was good, so we thought we'd give it a shot since we love the Colonial time period, and we figured that since it was put out by American Girl and geared toward younger girls, it would be pretty clean (which it was).

On the whole, the movie was very well done, with much higher quality than I expected. There were some cute parts, notably the ones with Felicity's little sister, Nan, who is just so cute you could eat her up. But we found some major problems with the story line.

In the very beginning, Felicity "falls in love" with a beautiful horse owned by a grouchy old man, Jiggy Nye who abuses her. So the horse is mistrustful of humans in general, but Felicity determines to tame her. So far so good. But then the problem comes - Felicity sneaks out at night and feeds an apple to Penny (as she calls the horse). She does this multiple times, once getting caught by Mr. Nye. Then one morning Felicity's grandfather tells her that he saw her coming back to the house, and she pleads with him not to tell. He agrees, but admonishes her to not do it anymore because she is fooling with someone else's property. Felicity says, "Yes, grandfather." And I was thinking, "Phew, now she'll stop this nonsense."

Or not.

That night she goes AGAIN, despite her grandfather's command. Oh, and meanwhile she takes her father's apprentice's Sunday breeches from the mending basket, and rides Penny at night. Then Ben (the apprentice) catches her putting on the breeches in the barn, and of course demands a reason for her taking them.  So she takes him to see Penny, and while they are there, Jiggy Nye comes out and they duck behind the fence. Mr. Nye is in a temper for some reason, and is about to beat Penny, when she rips the rope and gallops off. Mr. Nye is in a rage and yells, "Well, anyone who can ride ye can have ye! I hope ye never come back!" and stomps into the house.

Now Felicity thinks she has the right to own Penny, because she can ride her. So she goes off and finds her, takes her home, and of course Mr. Nye shows up and takes her back. Felicity flees to the barn in tears. Then her father comes in and is all sympathetic. Instead of punishing her for stealing a horse, he praises her for "helping" it! And he tells her, "You've done everything you can."  She responds,"Not everything."

Here I think she has to be done sneaking out there, but noooo.... off she goes again in the middle of the night, and frees Penny - without permission from anyone.

Later Penny is found by some horse sellers, and Felicity's grandfather buys her for Felicity. That seems like it's fine, and now Felicity lawfully owns her but it's not. She let the horse go, not Jiggy Nye!

The other thing that had us disagreeing with the film was the whole spirit of independence that is promoted throughout the movie. I could call it feminism. When the subject of Patriots versus Loyalists comes up, Felicity's family is Patriot, but her grandfather (and best friend) are Loyalists. In bed one night, Felicity asks her mother, "Mother, what should I be?" And - can you believe this - the mother says, oh so tenderly, "You'll have to decide that for yourself." Uh, beg your pardon? She's TEN!

One other less noticeable, but still there problem was the dresses - Felicity's gowns are VERY low cut. Of course, she's ten, so it's not showing anything, but still... There are also older ladies in the film who have low dresses and there is some cleavage.

And one last thing we noticed - though it is VERY subtle - is the fact that Felicity and her father's apprentice Ben always "happen" to be thrown together - he escorts her to her lessons, and for the ball her father suddenly can't escort her, so Ben goes with her, etc. And while it's not that big of a part, you still get the impression that Felicity and Ben probably get married when they are grown up! And remember - she's TEN.

After we finished watching it, my mom said, "And this is the girl that is being touted as someone little girls should look up to?" I mean, in an hour and a half they show her breaking the 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th (you might even say the 1st...) commandments, and imply that it's okay! I wouldn't have minded it if she got a good hard spankin' after being found out, but instead she is praised!

Here's some comments from others that I found on Amazon's listing:

"...For [the] story's sake, it might embellish on some truths such as little girls disobeying their parents without retribution (although I'm sure most of today's youngsters will not follow Felicity's lead in this)."  
 Not sure where she gets that idea. Kids WILL follow examples, and there are many little girls out there who idolize Felicity.

"...I have been a costumes researcher for several period plays, and I can vouch that these costumes have been "modernized" (in terms of the low cut) as have the costumes worn by the actors in Williamsburg and most other historic sites. You can't judge by such sites. I have to agree with the two previous reveiwers who mentioned it; the mother's costumes in this piece are pretty far fetched, historically speaking. This point, btw, has got nothing to do with moralizing, but just being historically accurate. The upstanding mother of small children and the wife of a township store proprietor wouldn't dress like a floozey and get away with it (the townspeople would have more reason to boycott his store than loyalist politics!!)."
 Preach it! :-)

"...I have heard so many great things about this series, that I was really looking forward to sharing the movie with my kids. The sets and costumes were beautiful to look at, but I sat opened mouthed as I watched this little terror of a child in action. I don't see anything heroic or daring or admirable about her sneaking out of the house night after night to get into a pen with a dangerous horse, that isn't hers. She steals the horse, and when she is finally forced to return it, she lets it go. The consequence of her behavior? Her indulgent grandfather finds the horse and buys it for her. It just seemed like whoever wrote it was trying to fasten their ideas to historical characters, and it just sounded overtly preachy. I have a hard time believing a child in colonial times would have gone around sounding like a mini-Betty Friedan. Ultimately, Felicity ends up learning to do housework and drink tea, and gets all excited about getting dressed up to go to a I'm not even sure what message the movie was trying to get across, other that it is OK to steal from mean ugly people with Scottish accents."
 Had to laugh over that one... but she's right...

"FELICITY is a beautiful film and a loving recreation of an era which one doesn't often see on the screen. The cast is great and the film is entertaining. BUT the main idea presented to kids via the main character is indeed 'disobey your parents and all will turn out well'."
So, I suppose it is needless to say that I wouldn't necessarily recommend this movie. :-)