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Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Ray was content. He sat next to Hank riding home from the beet factory where they both worked the night shift this time of year and just experienced that contentment. It was cold and dark, a good time for reflection. One part of Ray’s mind responded to Hank’s conversation and made suitable replies while the other part luxuriated in his expectations of what awaited him at home.

Home! His home! How Ray’s feelings about where he lived, where he had indeed lived all his life, had changed over the last seven months. And all because of Livy.

For years after the deaths of his parents and then Danny, Ray had simply existed within those rooms that had once held such a happy family. Ray let the farm work take over his life and worked every day to exhaustion to avoid the feelings that threatened to overwhelm him. Good people from the church, Mrs. Pratt for instance, could see what was happening and did their best to keep Ray connected. But Ray wasn’t so sure that he wanted that connection. It had nearly killed him when Danny died. Just spending time in the house was a constant reminder of all that he had lost. Ray couldn’t bring himself to change anything and the house itself took on the bereft air of a once-vibrant, but now lost soul.

But Livy had changed that even before she arrived and Ray discovered that it was certainly God’s will that she do so. Why else would he put in the indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water if not to make life easier for the unwed, pregnant woman coming out to share his life under his protection? Ray’s plan was to marry this woman who needed his name, raise her child as his own, she whom he would grow to appreciate over time all the while protecting himself from the risk of loving and losing again. And then after Ray actually met Livy, suddenly there were reasons to make changes. To think about children. To dig that swimming hole. To put in a telephone. To read and take in new ideas. To take a new look at the cellar and the treasures down there.

Ray smiled to himself as he thought about his and Livy’s early attempts to get to know one another. How they each reached out, missed, and then withdrew into themselves. Livy, to avoid being abandoned yet again. Ray, unsure how to reach this woman who was so different from anyone else he knew. He marveled at Livy’s creating a home for him and now for Danny. She looked at the house as an extension of him and his family, using all kinds of things he’d had no use for, and turned his parent’s house into a real home again. Ray remembered like yesterday the unsuccessful recipes that Livy tried before she hit her stride, all those jalapeno peppers!

Ray shivered to think how he nearly lost Livy right after Thanksgiving and was again so grateful to Martha for talking to him plainly about what Martha thought Livy needed. Ray was so thankful that he professed his love to Livy that day she was planning to leave. Livy might have been abandoned physically by one man and then abandoned emotionally by another, her father, but she would grow to know that Ray was not like either of them. Ray loved deeply and well. Ray loved Livy and would stand by her, no matter what. And he would tell her that as often as she needed to hear it.

Ray enjoyed these rides home from work with Hank. They traded off driving so that Martha and Livy would be able to get out and about. It really was very remote out here and Ray wondered that Livy could be so very happy in a place so different from what she knew. But then he remembered that she said there were more people around than you’d think. Ray watched Hank and Martha together and he watched the other couples around him drawing in the ways they acted towards one another. It helped remind Ray of the way his father was towards his mother, and the way Ray wanted to treat Livy. All the ways that husbands and wives speak to each other without words. And Ray was a good learner because those ways had been there all along, waiting for the right person to tap into Ray’s whole heart.

Ray loved watching Livy learn her mothering skills. It was clear that this was all so new to her and, without her momma to guide her, Livy said often she appreciated Martha’s counsel. He loved that Livy might have felt awkward and shy as she nursed Danny at first but that she grew in confidence every day.

And Livy was working her magic on him, too! Even with the demands of a new baby, Livy was making every day special in small ways. Ray noticed that his coffee cup was always ready at hand when he settled down to do paperwork at the desk. Livy remembered that coffee from the day she found the old dugout and excitedly told him all about her discoveries as he sat at the desk working. Those mornings he came back to the house after the chores there was always a hot breakfast waiting for him – plain eggs and oatmeal. Mid-day there was a big meal waiting for him to share with her. Maybe when the weather warmed up they’d have picnics, too, Ray hoped. And then Ray knew they would have those picnics because Livy would know how much Ray would like them and she’d make it happen. And best yet, when there was an open seat next to him, it didn’t matter where -- at home, the church potluck, Martha’s and Hank’s – Livy was there.

Christmas, in particular, had been wonderful this year. The happiest Ray had been in years. He’d come on Livy one evening stringing popcorn and cranberries and the next day he drove down south to cut a small Christmas tree for the house. He remembered how surprised and delighted Livy had been with the tree and chuckled gently, prompting Hank to ask if Ray was thinking about Troy again as they drove home. And then Ray thought of how, after Ruth and the boys had left after cookie baking, he teasingly pulled her under the mistletoe and kissed her gently and that she kissed him back with her whole heart, blushing furiously afterward.

That little Danny had solved the issue of when Ray would join Livy in his parent’s bed! Neither Ray nor Livy had figured out how to handle that one…each hesitant so early in their new relationship and so soon after Danny’s birth. One night Danny just couldn’t be comforted and Livy’s walking Danny became Ray’s walking him, to Livy, to Ray…then silence as Danny finally fell asleep in Ray’s arms. In an attempt to avoid starting the whole cycle over again, Ray eased himself gingerly onto the bed where Livy slept the sleep of the exhausted and quickly fell asleep himself with Danny on his chest. The morning brought a warm and cuddly Livy burrowing into Ray’s side as he awoke and observed his little family. That was end of the bunk room for Ray! And Livy determined never to have brussel sprouts again until Danny was weaned!

Hank pulled up to Ray’s house. Ray thanked him, reminding Hank that he would drive tomorrow night. Hank watched Ray bound up the front stairs of the house and disappear quickly inside. Hank took a moment before heading home to Martha to note how welcoming the house seemed now. Hank loved his young brother-in-law and was so happy at the changes in Ray that Livy had brought with her. Ray knew he was loved and that he loved Livy, that much was clear. Even the kids had noticed how happy Ray was. Yes, both those wounded souls were healing, healing each other.

Hank shifted his thoughts to his own wonderful family and thought about the magic that Mother and Father Singleton had planted in their children’s hearts. Daniel had had it, too. Hank headed home grateful as he always was for the life he had and the people around him.

Livy would not be waiting up for him, Ray knew. Danny would have been fed and Livy would be sleeping all curled up in what had been his parent’s bed but with enough room for Ray to slip in and warm himself on these cold nights. Ray would be careful not to let too much of the frigid winter air in as he eased himself close to her, grateful for the warmth and her willingness to share it. Livy moved gently in her sleep, turning towards him, wordlessly telling Ray what he already knew. He was loved.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Mistletoe and Merriment

Posting this for Kay- her Christmas present to all the TMoODers--how appropriate for the occasion (Thanks to Kay for writing and MJ for the idea as well!). Have a Merry Christmas everyone! --SF
This story is a collaboration with MJ. She had so many good ideas -- Merry Christmas, everybody!--Kay

Christmas Eve, 1944

"Our first Christmas together" thought Livy, a smile crossing her face. She had never been happier, more content. She had a handsome husband who surprised her daily with the changes she saw in him. Gone was the shy, awkward man she had married. Since she and Ray had professed their love for each other, they grew closer everyday. The shared experience of Danny's birth had bound them together, even though it would be some time before they could truly become 'husband and wife'. Livy's cheeks flamed just at the thought. That was several weeks down the road, and they would deal with that when the time came. Other than that, they were like any other newly married couple...spending time together brought them sheer joy.


Ray came out of the barn and stopped in his tracks, sniffing the air. He swore he could smell the gingerbread cookies Livy was baking. Hank Jr. and Chester came bounding out behind him, rough-housing, and threatening to tackle their uncle and wrestle him down in the snow. Ray just raised his eyebrows...all three of them knew that wasn't going to happen! They started towards the house.

"Okay boys, settle down now. Remember, Danny's probably down for his nap. Your sister will be helping Aunt Liv with cookies and if you behave, I might even see that you get one!"

Chester snorted, "Well, good thing Ruthie's helping 'cause----" Hank, Jr. punched his brother's arm, and seeing the look on their uncle's face brought the boys up short.

"Hey now...Aunt Livy's not the greatest cook, but she's trying and I want you boys to tell her they're the best cookies you ever ate. There's a 50-cent piece in it for you, so....." The boys grinned.

"You bet, Uncle Ray!" said Chester. Hank Jr. added, "Besides, we owe you for taking us down to the pond to skate."

"That's my boys!" Ray slung an arm around each of them as they went up the porch.
"Now remember, I'm counting on you two..." the boys nodded eagerly.


After 'the men' came in, Livy sent them to the front room while she fixed hot cocoa and cookies. Ruth was icing some of the sugar cookies at the kitchen table. As they settled in front of the fire to warm up, Ray admired his living room. What a difference Livy had made. Not just adding her own touches to their home, but she had worked to make it festive for the holidays. The Christmas tree they'd decorated with popcorn and cranberries. The paper snowflakes she'd cut to tape in all the windows. There were bowls of fruit and nuts on the table and she'd even hung stockings for Ray, Danny and herself. He was so proud of her!

"Here you go, boys...Ray. I hope you're hungry, I made LOTS of them!" Livy was beaming as she carried in her tray of gingerbread men. The boys shot each other a look, helped themselves to a cookie and then slowly nibbled at it.

Ray was having a time trying not to laugh at the looks on their faces. He could hardly blame them...most of the cookies were...'well-done' was a polite way to put it. Finally, he couldn't resist.

"Um, Liv? What's with this little man?" He held a cookie up that was missing several limbs. The boys choked, trying not to laugh. Ruth looked up and just shook her head. Oh boy, Uncle Ray had done it now...

"And this one? Looks like this fella was a might too close to the fire..." The second cookie Ray held up was charred on one side, and nearly raw on the other. Livy stood before him with her hands on her hips.

"Raymond Singleton, you best keep a civil tongue in your head, or it'll be a long time before you get another cookie!" Ray bit his lip, then yanked at her apron strings.

"Promise?" he said with a big smile. Livy swatted him with her dishtowel. He couldn't resist pulling her to him and brushing at the flour that was sprinkled across her nose.

"Y'know? You're kinda pretty when you're mad..." and proceeded to kiss her with a loud smack on the lips.

"Ugh....Uncle Ray!! COOTIES!!"

Livy couldn't be mad at Ray, she had deliberately made some 'ugly' cookies to torment them with. Now Ruthie brought out the plate of 'good ones'. Livy laughed out loud at the relief on the boys' faces. She was having such a good time teasing them...especially her husband.


Later, Ray was in the hallway with the kids, preparing to take them home. Livy was getting her kitchen back in order. They'd put the extra cradle in the dining room and Danny was content, not yet fussing for his supper.

"Liv, sweetheart? We're leaving now. Didn't you have a tin of cookies for the boys?"
"I sure do..." Livy called from the kitchen. The boys had raved about her cookies, saying they were even better than Martha's. Livy was so proud of herself! Ray was at the bottom of the steps, hat and coat on. The boys had sat on the steps to get their boots on and now were peering through the railing, whispering behind their hands. Ruth stood by grinning.

The minute Livy looked up at Ray she saw why. The boys had filled the crown of his hat with sprigs of mistletoe! She fought a smile and Ray gave her a puzzled look.
"What?" Livy leaned up and gave him a peck on the cheek. Ray smiled, and as he turned, the mistletoe drooped over his hat a bit, but stayed put. This caused the boys to howl....

"Okay then, let's go kids..." Every time he moved his head or spoke, he jostled the mistletoe so that it nearly fell out, but didn't. By now all of them were laughing but Ray. Each time he looked at Livy, she gave him another kiss.

"Well, I don't know about anybody else, but I'm starting to like this...." Swooping Livy into his arms, he dipped her over his arm for a dramatic 'movie' kiss!

Mistletoe flew everywhere and the kids dissolved into giggles. Ray never let on that he knew it was there all along...


Christmas Eve was the first time Livy had been out with the baby. Everyone at church fussed and cooed over little Danny, but they were well aware of a new mama's nervousness, so no one asked to hold him yet. He slept through most of the service, but when the children began singing carols, he decided to join in. Ray and Livy slipped out of the pew to the back of the church.

"Liv, I've gotta run down and check the boiler....felt kinda chilly in there."
"All right, Ray, we'll be right here" Livy quickly shushed Danny, gently swaying with him...how she loved this sweet baby in her arms! She continued to watch through the glass door as the Sunday school classes put on the Nativity play. She smiled...someday their boy would be up there, too. When the children finished, Reverend Case began making some community announcements. All of a sudden, there was the jingle of bells, and with a hearty 'Ho, Ho Ho!' Santa Claus came through the side door of the church, carrying a large sack. The children's faces--the way they lit up, Livy loved it! Hmm....something about that Santa. She looked back at their pew....no, Hank was there with Martha. Across the aisle, Mr. Hansen was with his family, too. Livy saw the twinkle when Santa's eyes met hers...and she knew. Her heart swelled with love for this man and the goodness he carried for all.
On the ride home, Livy leaned over and plucked a small wisp of white cotton that clung to Ray's hair.

'Um....what's this?" Ray looked at her hand, then her face.
"Reckon it was just some dust...you know how dirty that old boiler is...." They smiled at each other. It was the perfect ending to the evening.


Christmas morning...

Livy stirred slightly. Wrapped in Ray's arms, his slow, steady breathing told her he was sound asleep. It was still dark, but he'd be up soon--a farmer's work takes no holiday. She hoped he could sleep just a bit longer though, he needed it. She put her cheek against his chest and closed her eyes. The steady thump of his heart and the comfort of his arms made her love him all the more. She thought of what they'd been through to get here. "I think this could work." Sighing, she knew she'd been given the best Christmas gift of all.......

Half asleep, Ray reluctantly opened his eyes, grateful the sun wasn't up yet. He turned slightly, tucking Livy closer to his side. Her breathing was slow and even, and he didn't want to wake her. Danny would do that soon enough and she needed her sleep. He brushed a soft kiss on her forehead. How right she felt here beside him, like part of him was missing until they found each other. "I think this could work." He closed his eyes, thankful for the best Christmas gift of all......


Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Magic

The Magic of An Ordinary Monday

Monday evenings during this time of year mean only one thing in my house...Monday Night Football! (As if Sunday and now Saturday games weren't enough.)

Well, I enjoy a good game just as much as anyone else and I certainly enjoy hanging out with my husband. However, I have noticed over the years that these NFL Monday night games seem to possess him. I'll observe him either screaming with anger at the tv or shouting with joy at it. Of course, this all happens in between his roof-raising snoring.

To cut to the chase...this past Monday set out to be no different from any other. Or so I thought. When I had all I could of Monday Night Football and its possession of my husband, I decided to leave my Prince Charming and watch tv in another room of the house.

Usually, I fall asleep around 10pm on most week nights, so I knew that whatever I started to view would help me fade into a nice sleep. Or so I thought.

As I flipped through the channels, I noticed that the pilot episode of "The Sopranos" was beginning to air as an encore. So I thought, what the heck...I'll check it out. I would be asleep before the show was over anyway. Or so I thought.

In this episode, Tony Soprano's daughter is in the kitchen having a conversation with her girlfriend and her mother. They were discussing spending Christmas vacation in Aspen. Suddenly, the girlfriend said, "It's so cool you're gonna be able to come to Aspen with my family at Christmas. Last year at Aspen, I saw Skeet Ulrich. As close as from where you're sitting. Oh, my god."

Immediately, my eyes widened...whoa, did she say SKEET ULRICH? Was I hearing things correctly? I know my brain has been held captive by all the recent updates and pics to the blog, but I was certain I didn't project his name into a Sopranos episode.

So I went to my computer and googled "sopranos pilot episode transcript" and scanned for Skeet's name. I found it. Oh my...I wasn't hearing things! I was relieved. It took me a couple of hours to fall asleep after that...but I did have Skeet Dreams that night. Magical...simply magical!

The episode was first aired on January 10, 1999.

For discussion...

What are your thoughts about this mentioning of Skeet's name in a Sopranos episode back in 1999?

How and why did the writers come to choose his name to be mentioned in that dialogue?

Looking forward to your responses.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Kong Photo

Here's another upper torso Skeet...(no smokes to be seen).


Monday, December 19, 2005

A few months back....

I meant to post this photo a few months back (hope it wasn't already posted). The label was :
r&r fashion, spring '05 .


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Nightmare to Ring - Ch 6

I am posting this for Kay. I suggest grabbing a box of tissues before you get yourself comfy for a nice fiction read today. Great job on this one Kay- thank you thank you!


December 9, 1944 10:00 p.m.

Ray opened the Singleton family bible and turned to the page marked "Births''. He wrote carefully and deliberately, ''On this day, December 9, 1944 -- born to Raymond and Olivia, a boy, Daniel Singleton II" He smiled with pride...a healthy baby boy...his son. He blew softly on the paper, making sure the ink was dry before closing the book. Pausing for a moment, he then drew out several sheets of blank paper and began to write again...

'Dear Mama, Daddy and Daniel,
It's been awhile since my last letter. It's been busy around here and there have been so many changes. For the longest time I wasn't sure things were going to work out. But now, I think I'm as happy as I've ever been. You see, I'm not alone anymore.

I told you all about Reverend Case coming to talk to me some months back. I guess I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to marry Olivia Dunne. I knew we'd have to work at a relationship, at a commitment to each other. It's just for the longest time, neither of us was willing to share with the other how we felt. We've had some rough spots, but once we started trusting each other, it got better and better. This last month has been so encouraging-- it seemed the more I tried to gain Livy's trust and affection, the more we opened up to each other. There was still possibility of her leaving hanging over us, but I was sure I could convince her to stay...to stay and be my wife in every sense of the word.

I guess I'm getting ahead of myself here....let me tell you what happened today...

Livy was prepared to go back to Denver to deliver our baby. I think without her own mama here for her, she was feeling scared and alone. I tried to tell her it'd be all right, but she seemed determined to go. My biggest fear was that once she was there, she'd realize what she was missing out here on the farm with me and not come back. I just couldn't let her go without telling her how I felt. I swear, it was like my heart was in my throat, but somehow I managed to get the words out. It was such a relief to finally admit to her how much I love her. At first, she didn't say anything. Then, when she said she didn't know if she deserved me, I knew she was carrying an awful burden of guilt and shame. It was like a light went on...all this time, she was worried that I couldn't forgive her past, her situation, when what she really needed to do was forgive herself. Well, I put the ring I got her on her finger, took her hand, and we sat down on the sofa--I just tried to speak from my heart. I told her...that was all before I met her. I felt she'd been taken advantage of when she was at the lowest point in her life. That she conceived a child, only to be deserted by it's father must have seemed like a cruel punishment to her. But God had a reason for bringing this baby into the world, and I told her it was to help us find each other. Mama, she was crying so hard, I was afraid she would be sick. I got her some tea, calmed her down, and held her in my arms. I just kept telling her over and over how much I love her and the baby. How good things would be for us, if she would just give us a chance. How I wanted to raise our family on our land, to grow old together. Finally she told me that she loved me, too, but didn't want to bring shame to me or my family. I told her that I was proud to be her husband, that she was a beautiful, educated woman and I knew that she would be a fine wife and mother. Daddy, I just want to be the kind of husband and father you were. I want to make you proud. You'd all love Livy so much....

Ray paused for a moment, then stepped into the hallway and peeked in on Livy and Daniel. He smiled...both were sleeping soundly. What a day this had been! He went back to his writing...

Livy had plans with her friends this afternoon, and Hank was picking me up to go to the beet factory. The last thing I wanted to do was leave her now! I knelt down before her, and took her hands in mine. I asked her to remember the words Reverend Case had said the day he married us...that we were bound by sacred bonds. That we were each other's strength and hope...that we were now united as one. I told her I wanted to repeat our vows in front of God again tomorrow after church. She smiled, oh...that smile of hers! I feel like I am the luckiest man in the world with her beside me...

I told her when we got home tonight, we'd go over and tell Hank and Martha the good news...that she was staying and we were going to be just fine. That we were going to rededicate ourselves to each other..to honor our vows and commitment to each other and to our baby.

Well, seems as though God had other plans...and it was His plan for our son to be born today! When Hank brought me home, Livy was burning some trash out in the cold. I didn't know what was going on, she was talking so fast, but I sure heard her when she said she was in labor. Hank hurried home to fetch Martha and I carried Liv into the house. This baby was in a mighty big hurry! I helped Livy change into a nightgown, but was afraid to move her any further than the front room. She was having pains at a pretty good clip. I kept rubbing her back, holding her close to reassure her, but think I hit a sore spot when I told her how many calves I'd helped birth...luckily, Martha and Doc McCutcheon got here soon after I'd made that remark. They were ready to hustle me out, but Livy had a grip on my hands. When she begged me to stay, there was no way I was leaving her. Mama, she was somethin' --her eyes never left mine the whole time she labored. I was so proud of her...her strength and her determination to get our baby here. When they handed him to me, to show Livy, I knew in that moment I would lay my life down for them. Danny, we named him after you, his uncle...I hope you know why. If he is half the man you were, I'll be very proud of him. It was Livy's idea, and it touched me deeply that she would honor you this way.

I guess I just need you to know that things have worked out. I'm a husband and a father and I am very happy. Livy and I have both had our share of loss and loneliness. I think that makes us appreciate what we have found together even more. I suspect I won't need to write any more letters. I've come to realize that all this time the three of you have been looking out for me. Now you can truly rest in peace knowing that I am happy and content. I love all of you and it's a comfort knowing you will always be watching over me and Livy and Daniel...thank you for showing me what a marriage and family should be...Always, Ray

Ray's eyes blurred as he re-read his words, then carefully folded the letter. He slipped it into the bottom drawer along with the previous letters he'd written over the past few years. He firmly believed that writing them had helped him survive the darkest, saddest days of his life. But he'd made it through, and he truly felt that Livy and Daniel were his salvation....his reward for keeping his faith. He listened carefully...the baby was beginning to fuss. He tightened the belt of his robe, turned out the light and went to see about his son. Livy was just starting to stir...

"Here, Liv...don't get up, I'll get him." Ray bent to get the tiny bundle from the cradle, and laid him on the bed. Livy shushed the baby while Ray made quick work of changing his wet bottom. He grinned at Livy...

"Auntie Martha made sure I could change diapers long ago -- I'm good at this!" He handed the baby to Livy who was lowering her gown to nurse. As Ray turned to give her some privacy, she called to him.

"Don't leave....I mean...'' She was having a hard time trying to tell him what she meant. "I'm so afraid I won't hear him, and...I want you here, too..." He pulled the rocker close to the bed and watched with awe as his son greedily ate his fill. Livy looked up at Ray as she smoothed the baby's hair.

"I can't believe how much I already love him, Ray..." She finished his feeding and Ray burped him and lulled him back to sleep, softly crooning in the baby's ear. Once Danny was settled, Ray helped Livy to the bathroom and straightened the bedding. She came back into the room, moving gingerly. She stopped at the door, gazing at their sleeping son.

"Our boy is something....we're really a family now, aren't we?" Her eyes were brimming with tears of happiness. Ray went to her, and taking her face in his hands, gently thumbed the moisture from her cheeks.

"We are, Sweetheart, we really are." He dropped his head, kissing her softly. Ray helped her back into bed, then went around to the other side, and turned off the light. He tossed his robe to the foot of the bed and climbed in beside his wife. She nestled in his arms, feeling safe, cherished. They both sighed deeply, knowing that this was how it was meant to be .


Saturday, December 17, 2005

SU Sighting - Smashbox Toy Drive

A one of a kind Toy drive that is. Thanks to Kay for the head's up. He's looking pretty smashing with the scarf, doesn't he?

Here are the close ups for your enjoyment :-)

courtesy of WI - Smashbox Cosmetics hosts first Annual Toy Drive "Babes in Toyland" - Dec. 15, 2005


Thursday, December 15, 2005



Last Saturday I was busy cooking in the kitchen, and when I do this I like to listen to music. I had Il Divo’s first disc on (love it, love it, love it!) and this song came on. I thought if Ray could sing, I imagine him singing this to Livy.

The Man You Love

When you look in my eyes
Do you feel it in your soul?
Do you not realise
You’re the half that makes me whole.
Everything that I am, I’ll give it all to you
Put my heart in your hands,
There’s nothing I won’t do
For the chance just to live inside your heart
And understand the woman that you are.

I only wanna be the man
To give you everything I can
Every day and every night
Baby for all my life
I don’t wanna change the world
As long as you’re my girl
It’s more than enough
Just to be the man you love
Be the place where you run
When the walls come tumbling down
Be the rock you lean on
When you can’t find solid ground
Be your love and your friend
And all that’s in between
From now on ‘til the end
It’s only you and me
I wanna hear your secrets
And your wildest dreams
Wipe your tears … kiss you tenderly
Just to be the man you love.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ITW GG Nomination 2006

Although I feel they deserve more nominations...Congratulations to ITW's inclusion for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV.

Here's hoping they'd win!

63rd Golden Globe Awards Nominations

Hollywood Foreign Press Association
2006 Golden Globe Awards
for the year ended December 31, 2005


a. EMPIRE FALLS (HBO)Mark Platt Prod., Aspetuck
& Stone Vialleg Picturs Prod. i.a.w. HBO Films
b. INTO THE WEST (TNT)DreamWorks
c. LACKAWANNA BLUES (HBO)Bellah Films, Good Shepard
Prods. i.a.w. HBO Films
d. SLEEPER CELL (SHOWTIME) Showtime, Anne Kindberg
f. WARM SPRINGS (HBO)Mark Gordon Prod. i.a.w. HBO

Special thanks to the those who have alerted the blog about this bit of news!

Keep track of the updates through the HFPA site.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

TMoOD and Hope Floats

TMoOD and Hope Floats - More in Common Than You Think

My mind was wandering the other day - I got to thinking about some of my favorite "feel good" movies - Naturally TMoOD was foremost on my mind, but another favorite of mine is Hope Floats - The more my thoughts ping-pong'd around in my head, the more it occurred to me that these two movies have more in common than you might think...........

Here's what I mean:

Each has a memorable dance scene:

Birdie and Justin tear it up on the dance floor

Ray gives Livy a whirl - she seems a little stiff, but that Ray is a hoofer for sure!

Each has the dark shadow of death:

Birdie's mom passes away suddenly

Ray shares his grief over brother Daniel, lost at Pearl Harbor

Each features some questionable home decor:

Oh my - Birdie's mom is a taxidermist and provides a menagerie of furry friends to adorn the porch

In her room design Livy opts for the more primitive ox yoke treatment over the fireplace

Each features a spectacular use of denim:

Justin shows us how jeans were meant to be worn - Rarrrrrrr!

The folks at Osh-Kosh are thanking their lucky stars - oh, what that Ray Singleton can do for a pair of overalls - enrollment in 4-H is up!!

Each features a faithful companion:

Someone frisky to chase the ducks brings a little levity to the daily grind

That Franklin has such star quality - the range of emotions he delivered so masterfully, loneliness, pain, delight.....and that loveable face - the new "atta boy"!

Each features a tranquil fishing scene:

Birdie enjoys a day of serenity and discovers what a charmer that Justin can be.......

Ray takes Livy out to the pond for some calming therapy - seems to do the trick for Livy, but Ray's quiet nature and smoldering good looks send fan hearts racing

Each features a humiliating event:

Birdie's husband and best pal announce that they have been having an affair - unfortunately they choose a national television talk show as their venue

The doctor confirms that Livy is indeed pregnant and soon the whole community will know that a baby is coming "early"

Each features a defining kiss that sets the wheels of romance in motion:

Birdie tries to escape the spotlight of the dance floor, but Justin holds her close and refuses to let her give up on romance.

Ray delivers one powerful kiss and an ultimatum - why it took Livy another 2 months to figure things out is anyone's guess - most women would have wrapped themselves around Ray's ankles as he stomped to the front door

Each features a leading lady in a grunge PJ style:

After tying one on the night before, Birdie finds herself scooting around town in a nighty and her barn coat - not her best look, but you have to admire her willingness to declare her own style

Despite her snazzy, big city duds from Denver, Livy finds that sweaters and jammies are just the ticket for those fall farm mornings. Exactly who's sweater she's wearing remains a mystery.........but Livy, here's a tip - you want to stay warm? Give Ray a kiss already!!!!

Each identifies the "Good Guy" with a white shirt:

Justin struts across the dance floor with all the confidence in the world.....and rightly so!

Ray never looked more handsome than on that Sunday - relaxing in a fishing boat - delivering that subtle smile and sideways glances.

Each features a sing-along segment:

Birdie's get-up would panic even a seasoned American Bandstander, but it serves it's purpose and our gal & her back-up singers bring a smile to the face of little Bernice

Lucky they were on a country road - something tells me this rendition by Rose, Florrie and Livy just might peel paint.

Each features a useless sister:


Birdie's sister is so useless she telegrams it in from LA - Birdie's nephew is left to weather his Grandmother's passing alone - ah but, Justin proves to be just the man every boy should have in his life!!

Abby's high society assessment of simple farm life proves to be a real concern for Ray - thankfully love prevails and Livy trades up - life on a remote beet farm with the best lookin' man in the county.

Each features a truck - oh,but not just any truck:

Justin's bucket of bolts says "I'm ugly and I don't care" - it does seem rugged and roomy though...

Ray's trusty "Beetbox" seems like a character itself - how many of the best scenes take place in or around this machine?

Each features a weasel:

Oh, that ex-husband of Birdie's - the man just can't drive out of town fast enough.

For all the pining that Livy did, Edward sure showed his true colors with just one letter.

But neither is complete without a wise woman:

Birdie's mother is strikingly beautiful, just a little bit crazy, yet solid & strong as they come - and Gena Rowlands is a fav actress of SU's - Coincidence? I think not............

Martha is the salt of the earth - a wonderful wife, a loving mother and the best friend anyone could hope for..........

Did I miss any?????


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Skeet Sighting--NY KK premiere

This group has a lot of great sleuths....Jojo, Kay, Skeetrray7 and JannM. Thanks for the head's up and always keep up with our Skeet surprises.
Here are better and bigger pictures for everyone.

Details of the red carpet follows:

The world premiere of UNIVERSAL PICTURES' "KING KONG"

WHO: "KING KONG" producer/director/writer Peter Jackson; producer/writer Fran
Walsh; writer Philippa Boyens; producers Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham; cast
members Jamie Bell, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Lobo Chan, Kyle Chandler, Colin
Hanks, Thomas Kretschmann, Evan Parke, Andy Serkis and Naomi Watts.
Plus celebrity guests including ...... Skeet Ulrich, .....
WHERE: Loews E-Walk
AMC Empire
247 West 42nd St. 234 West 42nd St. and 8th
WHEN: Monday, December 5, 2005
Press call time at Loews E-Walk and AMC Empire 25 4:30 PM
Celebrity arrivals 5:30 PM
Screening begins 7:00 PM

"KING KONG" opens on Wednesday, December 14, 2005.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Nightmare to the Ring - Ch 5

For those you who are pining for new fiction, I am posting this continuation for Kay. -- Thanks, Kay!

Chapter 5
Friday December 8, 1944

Though daylight was quickly fading, Ray Singleton was still chopping wood like there was no tomorrow. Indeed, one way or another, his life would change forever tomorrow. He split log after log, then stacked the wood up against the house. Physical labor had always helped him before...to deal with sorrow, with loneliness. To exhaust him so he could sleep through the night. Now it was helping him find the words to prevent his wife from leaving him. It wasn't often that a man held his fate in his hands, but Ray did. If he didn't open his mouth and tell Livy how he felt, she would go to Denver. And that might be the end of them, of their marriage. He did not want that to happen. It was now up to him to determine the course of his life...

While he had agreed to an arranged marriage, he'd meant every word of the vows he spoke before God. But he was realistic, too, and hoped that his wife would begin to care for him over time. He prayed that they would be able to learn love...that she would eventually love their land and home as he did. Who knew that he would end up losing his heart to Livy? He'd wanted a real family, and she and the baby were the answer to his prayers. From the moment he first laid eyes on her, he'd been awed by her beauty and grace. Then as the days flew by, they grew more comfortable with each other. Oh, it had taken time, no doubt. And as sure as he was about his own feelings, he was equally sure that Livy cared for him, too. He was aware of the little touches she added to their home, the warmth she brought to it. He also noticed the thoughtful things she did for him. Mending his clothes, attempting to make special dinners for him. Now he smiled as he crunched through the snow after evening chores. It made his heart swell knowing that when he opened the door, the house would be warm, not just from the fire in the hearth, but from his wife's shy, welcoming smile.


Funny, all her life, Livy Dunne had known what she wanted. She worked hard to excel in school, went on to college and finally graduate school to pursue her lifelong dream of being an archaeologist. Taking time away from her studies had been a necessity when her mother became ill. But her mother's death had sent Livy's life spiralling out of control. She'd given herself to a virtual stranger in an attempt to find love and comfort. Now here she was, at a loss as to what her future would be. After Abby's visit, she'd been adamant about going home to Denver to have her baby. But since she and Ray had come to terms with Edward's letter, things had been...different. There had been so many nice moments with Ray since Thanksgiving! She'd come to know him as a kind, gentle man. But in reality, he was only living up to his end of the agreement--marrying her and giving the baby his name. Well now, Livy Singleton was in a quandary. She didn't want to go to Denver...she didn't want to leave Ray and her new family. But she didn't want to stay if she couldn't have a real marriage...and how would Ray ever forgive her many mistakes? For while she had fallen in love with him, she certainly didn't deserve his love in return.

For the third time in five minutes, Livy pulled the curtain back to see if Ray was finally coming in for supper. She'd made his favorite casserole--well, Martha had helped her make it. She turned, sighed and rubbed her belly. The baby was not nearly as active lately, like it had run out of room to move! While she waited for Ray, she wandered through the house, as if memorizing everything about it. She ran her fingers over the lamps on the mantle. She was so proud of 'restoring' some of the Singleton family treasures! These had been covered in dust and soot but now looked perfect! She went upstairs, and yet again checked to make sure the quilt she'd made Ray hadn't been discovered. How she longed to give it to him herself, to see his face when he realized she'd made it for him. She paused, leaning against the doorway of Ray's room, closing her eyes and breathing in his faint scent. What would it be like...to be a real wife to him, to wake within his arms? To know he would always love and protect her? Her eyes filled with tears, thinking she might never know. She started, hearing him come in through the kitchen and hurried downstairs.....


Ray sat back in his chair, quietly observing Livy.

"Liv, you all right? You haven't taken more than a few bites of your supper..." Livy looked up from her plate.

"Hmmm? Oh, I'm sorry Ray. I guess I was just...thinking." They'd both been pretty quiet, knowing this was probably their last evening together -- for awhile....if not forever. Neither could voice their feelings, although both wanted to desperately. Ray stood up, and began clearing the table. He shushed Livy's protest.

"No, no... I'll get these. Come on, come sit, then I'll bring your tea in shortly, that be all right?" He helped her into the front room and stoked the fire, making sure she was comfortable.

While Ray washed the dishes, he went over the words he had rehearsed all afternoon. He would tell Livy how he felt...how he wanted her to stay and be his wife. He finally felt like he could say all the things he held in his heart.

Taking a deep breath, he fixed their tea carried it into the front room. He stopped and slowly shook his head. Livy was curled up on the sofa, sound asleep. He took the tea back to the kitchen and went to turn Livy's bed down. After checking the house for the night, he cradled Livy in his arms and carried her to her bed. He gently removed her slippers and loosened her dress, then pulled her covers up. He couldn't resist sitting by her bed for a few moments, just to watch her sleep. He held her hand in his, softly stroking her fingers. Finally he rose to go to his own room. At her doorway, he paused, turning for one last look, breathing in her soft scent. What would it be like? To be a real husband to her? To wake with her nestled in his arms? To always be there to love and protect her? His eyes welled with tears, thinking he might never know.



Thursday, December 01, 2005

Feeling Fresco

I know everyone is restless and probably bored...so here's a test of your skeet-meter knowledge.

There are seven images on this Italian Fresco. Instead of just viewing a mock mag on Fridays, let's take it a notch higher and get our Skeet senses a crank. I know it won't be hard to find Skeet but can you name the film each head shot was from? Most of the shots have clues mainly on the headgear to help you out but I know you all will be able to name the film even in your sleep.

I admit this Skeet-non-show is taking a toll on all of us fans. It's the end of the year, all fingers, toes and even legs are crossed hoping that the new year will bring news from our hibernating Skeet.

Frisky Friday TMoODers!