Tag Archive: notes from rumbly cottage

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Starting earlier this year with the release of Son of God, it is being said that 2014 is the year of the biblical movie.

Just looking at a list of movies shows that there are at least four major motion pictures with biblical or faith-based themes to them.

Last week, an independent movie called God’s Not Dead starring Kevin Sorbo was released. The story is about a college student who feels pressured to give up his faith by an atheist professor. Instead of giving in, that kid played by Shane Harper (Spencer from Good Luck, Charlie), chooses to defend his beliefs and does so scientifically.

While the critics have not been kind, I am interested in seeing this movie. I want to see how they portray the conflict and how our main character, Josh, is able to defend his beliefs.

NoahThis week, the big production of Noah makes it to the big screen. Russell Crowe stars as the man who is given the task to build a boat that will save his family and many of the creatures of the earth. I became excited about the movie after watching several trailers showing water rushing down and the very human story of all those people being left behind.

It has been reported that the word “God” is not used in this movie. Instead other names are used, which actually is appropriate considering this is a story from a Jewish standpoint. In the Jewish tradition, you do not call “God” by his name because that word is so powerful. “Yaweh” is a more common term that is allowable. I also read that the director, Darren Aronofsky, has been wanting to make this film for years but it took his great success with Black Swan to make that possible.

In April, Heaven is For Real comes to the big screen starring Greg Kinnear as the father of a young boy who states he saw Jesus when the boy was very sick with appendicitis. Adapted from the book of the same title, I expect a very gentle telling of this story. I find Greg Kinnear can be very subtle and engaging, he is able to tell a story well. I wonder how they will deal with various parts of the book that show a family in crisis as well as the moments of joy.

This fall, Nicholas Cage stars in the remake of Left Behind. I wonder what kind of performance he will give knowing how intense this actor can be. Finally, we will go through Exodus starring Christian Bale (Batman series) as Moses and Ridley Scott in the director’s chair in the month of December.

Kelly Riley, Connor Corum, and Greg Kinnear in Heaven is For Real

Kelly Riley, Connor Corum, and Greg Kinnear in Heaven is For Real

What some might say is that Hollywood realizes there is some good money to be made by playing to Christian believers. But I believe these movies do not get made unless producers believe they will actually get their money back.

I also believe that there are people hungry for movies about faith and belief. Otherwise a movie such as Heaven is For Real may have never seen the light of day. Noah and Exodus are made for the spectacle they create. But movies like Heaven are made for us normal people to ponder.

Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.

The final post about the dog

Family Movie Night
by Karyn Bowman
We were in the back yard that is open to the side street since we do not have a fence.
A couple of kids were walking by when their voices became louder. “Burying your dog? Did your poor little dog die?”
By the sing-song tone of their voices I knew they were not being sympathetic. I knew they were trying to make a joke at my grieving family’s expense. So I gave them the look. The ‘mom’ look that let them know if they continued there would be trouble.
As some of you may know from Facebook, our black lab died suddenly at the end of February. We believe he had a heart attack. All I know is that I was there for his last moments, his last breathe. I patted his side and let him know it was ok.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur family was heartbroken. People cried or did ‘useful’ chores so as not to deal with the grief. But it has been very strange not to have the dog around prowling for food or sharing the couch with his humans.
A few weeks before his death my husband, the two younger kids, and I were on the couch watching a favorite tv show. The dog began pacing in front of the couch until he found just the right space to get up and join us. Once he was settled, the dog began slowly pushing off my daughter while making sure his head was on my lap. As far as the dog was concerned he was the favorite kid.
While we miss his companionship, we do not miss his food stealing or clothing eating ways. I found one of my husband’s favorite winter vests in the dog’s hiding place. Sadly, he had already chewed a piece of it off.
So now we must go on without him. Doing the daily walk, which I haven’t done in any sort of regular form since winter started, is going to be tough without the dog tugging and pulling for every squirrel and rabbit. Meal time seems strange without rushing to put everything away before we ‘let the dog out.’
I thought about him as my daughter and I watched Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. The story remains the same – boy meets girl and manages to offend her in every way despite his admiration for her. Only after she learns the truth about an unfortunate situation does she begin to realize his true worth.
Image from IMDb com

Image from IMDb com

The setting, however, is in India. And because this is a Bollywood production, the action can suddenly turn into a song-and-dance production featuring hundreds or a handful. The songs are fun, beautiful and always meaningful to the story. And who can deny the incandescent beauty of Aishwarya Rai?

As we watched the movie, I thought of how much Storm would have loved sitting with us, especially if there was the hope of eating some popcorn.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


This morning around 4:00 a.m., my husband woke me up to say he thought something was going on with our dog.

I smelled the smell of poop and thought the dog had been sick.

But it was worse than that.

He was dying as he tried to get up the stairs to be with Mom and Dad one last time. I sat with him until he breathed his last. I patted him and tried to be comforting. I told him it was okay to go on.

A google search suggested it could have been a heart attack or a stroke, especially since there had been no signs of problems in the last 24 hours.

Here is a better accounting from my husband’s blog called Rambles With Storm at his Stray Casts website.

Wishing the Best

Dear Jane,

Dear Jane,

Jane AustenAnother year, another birthday. If I could I would grant you a wonderful birthday, as I would to all of my friends and family.

I wanted to write you a nice letter, I really did. But those darn children of mine have given me a cold. I am a bit wheezy and coughing and having plenty of drainage in the sinus.

I am weak and miserable so I apologize for the not so great letter you are reading at the moment.

I simply do not have the energy or wherewithal to make witty comments and stunning put downs.

Not that there have not been a few opportunities.

The Tea Party Republicans have been making silly demands such as one senatorial candidate in North Carolina who thinks public schools should be closed and that women do not need birth control. Then there are the idiots in the House of Representatives who finally admitted they did not think the government shutdown would really de-fund the ACA, only after the government had been shutdown for 16 days.

Image from Wikipdeia

Image from Wikipdeia

When your Republican Speaker of the house finally says “You’ve got to be kidding me?” I think the faction might have taken things too far. Those goofs are about to find out how much they are not needed to get laws passed that needed to be passed.

But enough on politics.

Life at my house has consisted of Christmas activities and sickness. Our 16 y.o. had bronchitis while the daughter and I are in the midst of colds. I watched way more TV than usual today because what energy I had was zapped up almost immediately. Imagine getting winded from sweeping up the kitchen.

Picture by Mensatic.

Picture by Mensatic.

Soon it will be my birthday. I hope that you can stop by as I am sure there will be some delightful bit of cake. Perhaps over a wonderfully hot cup of tea we can discuss the plot points of my book that need improvement. It is nearly done, I need only one or two more chapters.

Then comes the fun part – editing.

Until next year, wishing you the happiest and a healthy birthday.

Your devoted fan, etc…

Dying Young

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Hollywood actors come and go.


Paul Walker F&FThey lose popularity, make some bad film choices that make people want to forget them, or die young.


When I heard the news about Paul Walker over the weekend, I knew that fans of the Fast and Furious franchise would be sad to see the passing of this man. He was the rock of the series, the one character who didn’t seem crazy. He held it all together even during the worst of times.


Walker also had a reputation of being a good guy off of the movie set as well. I read one story in which he paid for the wedding ring of a soldier’s bride-to-be when he noticed the couple were having difficulties paying for one while in a jewelry store. The toy drive and charitiable event he was at on Saturday was to help survivors of the typhoon that ripped through the Philippines.

Paul Walker Eight below

One movie critic friend, Peter Sobczynski, wrote on RogerEbert.com/Balder and Dash about how Walker gave a good interview for a so-so movie while sick with a viral illness. Sobczynski stated that Walker was more gracious than he had to be while talking about some of his goals for the future. Could have Walker matured into an A-list actor? The possibility was there.


At my house, it seems that should a Fast and Furious movie be on any TV network it will appear on my TV. My husband, who is not mechanical whatsoever and not much of a car guy period, will stop and watch this series no matter what. It was this series that propelled Walker to fame but he was no over-night-success.


Walker started acting as a child, slowly making he was through TV shows and made-for-TV movies. The Young and the Restless fans might remember him as Brandon Collins. Appearances in Pleasantville, She’s All That, and Varsity Blues built as career as a solid actor.


The movie I remember him for, other than the big franchise, was Eight Below. It is a story about a guide in Antarctica who is forced to leave his sled dogs during the bitterest part of winter due to a major storm. Walker spend the rest of the movie trying to find a way back to rescue his animals. It is a movie based on a true story that was sad and sweet in many ways.


Paul Walker HoursWalker has one movie scheduled for release this month called Hours in which he plays a man trying to save his newborn child during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Another movie, Brick Mansions, is scheduled for release in 2014. At the time of his death, the seventh Fast and Furious movie was in production. Vin Diesel has expressed his grief at the loss of a close cast mate but it will be in his hands as how the franchise moves forward.


In the meantime, expect a Fast and Furious marathon. Or better yet, rent some of Walker’s other movies to remember another talent gone too soon.



Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.


Dear Family, Friends, and Readers,


You may have noticed that I have been AWOL for some time. You might have seen that I have not posted for a while.

It is not because I am bored or lost my column or having a bout of depression. But I have been busy. Busy with kids, busy with extra work hours, busy with the novel. I took on some extra roles that require more time than I originally thought. I have a novel that is near completion. I have piles of sewing  and craft projects as well as some cleaning projects that require my attention.

Image by Patuska

Image by Patuska

So something needs to give and that something is this blog. Oh, I will start posting my column on a regular basis once more. But sadly, I am not visiting your blogs or replying to your comments as I should. My focus will be on finishing that novel, taking care of the craft and sewing pile, cleaning up some of the piles that have built up around my house.

My plan is to return on the new year and get back to regular posts and visiting of all of you who have supported this blog for so long. There have been many new visitors and, believe me, I plan to visit you as well.

Please wave if you see me speed by. Soon, very soon, I will have time to visit once more.



Looking for a Good Mystery

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Do you have a favorite type of book or movie?


Book Denise SwansonFor me, it is mysteries. Love them, can’t get enough of them. I am happy to read a number of book series including Denise Swanson’s Scumble River series featuring school psychologist Skye Dennison.


So how did I develop my love of mysteries? It started with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in the movie series of the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps it was because Sherlock was always certain, always sure. He was always a gentleman with the ladies, always stand up with the men. And Dr. Watson as portrayed by Nigel Bruce seemed to be a bit of a lovable bumbler. It made me wonder why such a sharp man would want to have Watson around unless it was because Sherlock never had to work hard to understand him.



Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Since the movies with Robert Downey Jr. that was directed by Guy Ritchie, it seems that we are in the middle of a Sherlock revival. The BBC has a new Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch who lives in modern day London. Martin Freeman plays Watson as a wounded war veteran who pretends he wants a boring life but is energized with every case Sherlock drags him on.


In America, we have Elementary starring Johnny Lee Miller as the consulting detective who recently came out of rehab. His Dr. Watson is played by Lucy Liu starting off as his ‘sober companion’ but has now become his colleague. She, too, is excited about the cases Sherlock follows, but more importantly she cares about Sherlock as a friend.


In the movie starring Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, the time frame is in late Victorian England but we see the rougher and dirtier parts where Sherlock solves his crimes and finds relaxation through boxing. Law plays Watson as a smart man with a gambling problem who is frustrated by Sherlock and yet needs to protect the detective.



Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

What all three have in common is that some of the layers of truly gentleman-like behavior have been stripped away from Sherlock. He is capable of having manners but he is so focused on the task at hand that using those manners fall by the wayside. This might strike some as completely rude behavior or perhaps a hint of Asperger’s Syndrome on the Autism spectrum. Some might call it being book smart and street dumb. I doubt that last remark because all three versions of Sherlock could take care of themselves if left on the streets alone.


In the kitchen is another matter entirely.


One thing I have been told is once you have seen Cumberbatch play Holmes, it will be hard to go back to watching Miller play Holmes on the CBS TV show. Well, I believe that one should not necessarily judge one version against another. You must judge how each version operates, you must judge the show by the rules it lives by, and if that version does what it sets out to do.


The goal of each of these new versions is to bring Sherlock Holmes to life with a modern sensibility of how people emotionally work. Two of these series makes it clear that Holmes uses hard drugs to find peace. All three show a man who is rude and abrasive but not totally devoid of human feelings. All three show a man who loves a challenging puzzle and works hard to solve it. All three show a man who has managed to attach one friend who is willing to go the distance for him.


To see that character fully formed is why I watch whichever version of the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes I can find.



Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.


Sweets for the Sweet

Getting around in the blog world has proven to be a bit difficult this summer.

I was considered under-employed by the Unemployment office which meant I still had to ‘look for work’ while collecting their check. They want you to go into business and ask for applications despite the fact that everything – and I do mean everything including filing for unemployment – is done online these days.

Image by Earl 53

Image by Earl 53

One job application required a survey to be completed as a psychological test. Because of my answers on that survey, I was given a note at the end saying they did not want me. I am not even sure what I said that did me in. To be honest, it made me not care anymore about finding a job because I felt certain I was no longer a wanted commodity.

But this past week, I worked too much even in my part-time part-time job and Unemployment cut me loose. While I had planned on that money, I also knew it was time to start looking in a different direction to get something that would suit my schedule and work with the library job which I really enjoy.

While I plan to rant and rave about how being unemployed really sucks at some other point in time, what I really need to do is share something that was shared with me. And it is something sweet from one of my favorite bloggers, The Daily Compost.  I go to Jennifer’s blog and never know what to expect and that is OK. I like being surprised. It could be photography or poetry or whatever she is thinking about.


Super Sweet Blogging Award

Jennifer has informed me there are several things I must do for this latest award.

First off is to answer some questions about sweet things.


  • Cookies or cake? Or both? It depends on the cake and the cookies but chances are I am going for the quick snack that does not require a plate and fork. I recently tried Gluten-Free peanut butter cookies that were the BOMB!
  • Chocolate or vanilla? I am a woman with a chocolate addiction. There is no other answer.
  • Favorite sweet treat? While I love chocolate, my favorite pie is actually Key Lime Pie. Go figure.
  • When do you crave sweet things the most? After any nasty day that starts with my husband asking me to do something three times within a ten minute span. At that point I turn around and tell him to do it if it makes him that anxious which leads to a fight which leads me to storm out of the house for a good cup of coffee and an apple fritter.
  • Sweet nickname? I do not have one of these, not sure why or if I care why. People call me by my name and I do what I can for them.


The next part here is to list a baker’s dozen list of blog that I feel deserving of this award. I am not justifying why I like any of them, it is simply going to be a list. I only ask that you visit the people and have fun at their blogs.

  1. Fashion for Lunch
  2. Prada for Breakfast
  3. Rufus’ Food and Spirit  Guide
  4. Caffeinated Politics
  5. Broadside Blog
  6. Loves and Stitches
  7. Lego-A-Day: Less often now
  8. The Crochet Crowd Blog: Knot Just Yarn
  9. 4Mothers
  10. Alec Nevela-Lee
  11. Another Stir of the Spoon
  12. Red Pen Mama
  13. 101 Books

By the way, when you get to these other blogs, tell them I sent you.

Who are you reading in the blogosphere?


Did That Really Happen?

Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
When one of your favorite critics says something that goes against your basic judgment in a movie, it makes you wonder why you like this critic in the first place.
I assume that people have that feeling about me when I give a thumbs up for a raunchy comedy. I love those things because they make me laugh and laugh hard.
The problem might be that critics are people, too. When we go into a movie we might try to not have any preconceptions but it is difficult. Especially if the movie is a remake, a continuation of a series or based off of the writings of Nicholas Sparks.
Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

When I went to the screening room on a regular basis, I can tell you the room was filled with men. When it came to romantic comedies or romantic dramas, well, their eyes would roll to the back of their heads.

Why do we have to watch this piece of crap?”
Which is my sentiment exactly on most – but not all – Adam Sandler movies.
I bring this all up because the husband and I recently watched the date-night flick, Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. The movie started its life as a Nicholas Sparks book in which a woman leaves her old life and runs away to North Carolina where she meets a great guy and falls in love. She has a secret and he is a widower with two kids.
When I read Richard Roeper’s review several months back, he made the comment that the last ten minutes tells you a lead character is either crazy or stupid. While the rest of the movie would have received two and a half stars from him, this last portion sent his rating down, down, down. It made me curious, but because I am not a Nicholas Sparks fan I was not willing to pick up the movie for the last ten minutes.
This past weekend, I told the husband to rent something while I recovered from working a rummage sale. So he picks up this movie thinking it might be a romantic comedy. I tried to be fair, waiting for the not-so-happily-ever-after moment that seem to accompany all Nicholas Sparks movies.
When that does not happen, I am surprised. This turns out to be a nice little crime/romantic drama in the same manner of Sleeping With The Enemy without the annoying dress-up scene. But then the last ten minutes happen and I have to judge if this makes the one character a crazy person. Does it change the whole tone of the movie?
Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

The answer is yes because there are some questions that were not answered for me. There were some issues that needed clarification that I did not get. It doesn’t ruin the whole movie for me nor do I understand Roeper’s completely overboard reaction. Perhaps it depends on how you accept the supernatural in your life, perhaps it depends how you think this event adjusts the rules of the movie.

Every movie is based on a set of rules, the ones that determine how the world works in the story. Vampires burn up in the sun, one person rules the town with an iron fist, two people hang out in different crowds and should not mix with each other. A movie goes wrong when the rules no longer matter and no longer direct the story.
Safe Haven changes one rule at the very end of the movie. But it was a rule that was somewhat consistently followed throughout the movie, we just did not know it. Does it ruin the movie? Not in my eyes but then again I live with a ghost dog in my house. I am used to life not always being what it seems.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle. 

A few weeks ago, I got into a dust-up on IMDb.com with someone who stated he could name 30 better animated movies that Despicable Me 2.

Normally, this would not bother me until the idiot put up a list. A list that was very incomplete and did not even include anything from Studio Ghibli.

So I am starting my own list of animated movies that are some of the best in regards to being a complete package type of movie coupled with animation style/techniques.  This list is subjective and based on what I have actually watched. I wish I could say they are in order of what I think is the best But I know some of the ones at the bottom should be closer to the top. But the next dilemma is who goes lower and that is not a question I want to answer today.

I am not explaining or defending any choice until the comment section, should anyone want to have that discussion.

Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

1. The Incredibles

2. Spirited Away

3. Toy Story Series

4. The Iron Giant

5. My Neighbor Totoro

6. Snow White

7. Cinderella

8. Beauty and the Beast

9. The Jungle Book

10. Shrek

11. The Adventures of Tin-Tin

12. Howl’s Moving Castle

13. The Lion King

14.  Fantasia

15. Tarzan

16. Up

17. Sleeping Beauty

18. Kung Fu Panda

19.  Ponyo

20. Aladdin

Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

21. Dumbo

22. Wallace and Gromit

23. Monsters, Inc.

24. The Nightmare Before Christmas

25. Coraline

26. James and the Giant Peach

27. Lilo and Stitch

28. The Rescuers

29. Monsters Vs. Aliens

30. Finding Nemo

What movies do you rank as some of the best in animation?


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