Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless (Almost) Wednesday

Very difficult for me to be wordless about this kid.

My firstborn...who will be 18 in just a couple of weeks.
A good kid...a smart tough cookie...
A survivor.  And a success.

I'm trying to let go; I promise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I feel like I'm repeating myself lately...and this week's Top 10 deals with a pet peeve of mine, movies made from books.  I think most book lovers would agree that climactic Hollywood renditions of  novels that have touched a person's life are few and far between. 
But, this week's Top Ten asks for 10 good movie adaptations...yikes!
Since as a rule I don't see many of these, this may be my most difficult Top 10 yet :/

I'll give it the old college try though...since you know I am a academic ;)

1.  Twighlight films - these have been done well...however you feel about the Twilight saga aside, these movies have attempted to meet the expectations of gazillions of romantically drunk teenage girls...and have succeeded in sucking the rest of us in with them.  A few of these intoxicated adolescent females have even read a book or two in the process...icing on the cake :)

2.  Little Women - Wynonna Ryder edition - I'm a Louisa May Alcott fan...yes, I am...I've watched many of the Little Women movie adaptions but this one is my favorite...even though it does stray from the book to a certain extent.  All of the actors...Susan Sarandon, Wynonna Ryder,  Claire Danes, etc...I can't think of one that was wrongly cast.

3.  Under the Tuscan Sun - even though this book and movie were very different from one another, I enjoyed both...I may have even enjoyed the movie more.  Diane Lane's honest portrayal of a woman who first thinks she has it all, to her deep depression upon finding out it was all a the rediscovery of her self through a new life is profoundly touching.  The book also is an incredible honorarium to the Italian countrysides...beautiful and serene as well as crazy and life altering.  Good stuff here for sure.

4.  Beaches - Oh my heavens...when CeCe sings the last song, I'm bawling like a baby...yeesh...a friendship of two opposites that lasts a lifetime...through ups and downs, marriages, divorces, and even death. 

5.  The Color Purple by  Alice Walker - When Celie sees her children again after so many years...across the meadow of flowers and swaying stalks,  I can barely breathe I'm crying so hard...I ain't kiddin'...and what a cast...Whoopie Goldberg, Oprah...a movie that will bring you to the depths of dispair at times but reminds you at the end that there is light at the end of the's all about survival.

6.  The Devil Wears Prada - In this rare case I actually like the movie adaption better than the book...go figure...I think it has something to do with Anne Hathaway's performance as the impish ingenue who stumbles into a job with the evil Meryl Streep...and then impressing her in the process. 
The soundtrack from this movie is also a serious distraction..but in a positive way.

7.  Bram Stoker's Dracula - sweeping scenes and period costumes are a necessity in my, movie :)  A forbidden love...doomed from the beginning but creating grey lines between good and evil.  The movie is not better than the book bc of added assumptions but a dang good interpretation of the original.

8.  Interview with the Vampire - Do not even try to tell me that Brad Pitt as Louis and Tom Cruise (before his attacking Brooke Shields days) as Lestat did not make this movie.  Elaborate costumes again as well as that ever present conflict between good and evil...lots of evil in this one though...I disliked the other movies in this series...they were almost a joke compared to the books they were based on. 

9.  Old Yeller by Fred Gipson - more sobbing from me every. single. time Travis picks up that shotgun..."He's my dog....and I'll do it."  Holy Moly!  I might like this movie better than the book as well...I can't believe I've said that twice in this list.  The movie adds detail, of course, to make it last movie length I guess, but I love every minute of it.

10.  Schindler's List - The scene from this movie that I can see vividly even as I sit here typing this is the one where the officer is having target practice from his window...on the unsuspecting Jewish prisoners below.  The book haunted me...the movie provided imagery that couldn't be ignored...and gives me shivers and nausea to this day.

Next Tuesday...
Top Ten Books I just Had to Buy...but are still sitting on my shelf.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mama's Middle Child

Show Choir competition consumed our entire weekend this past weekend.

While it is certainly not my first priority, and I am so NOT a stage mom...
it almost brings tears to my eyes to see my middle child own the stage.

She becomes a whole other person up there :)
The stage is a place where she shines and dazzles.

She is intense and wholly absorbed in the routines and performance.

She gives it her all and enjoys every second of it.

She is so sassy, isn't she??
Don't know where she gets that from.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Cooking - Butterfinger Cake

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.
I'm a little late as usual but I love this meme...
We've had quite a few pot-luck suppers at church lately so I thought I'd add one of my quick and easy stand-bys for my submission.

This cake is really simple, but the pan is always licked clean and I feel good for making something homemade instead of buying a frozen pie.

Besides some eggs and oil (for the cake mix), this is all you need to make this delicious dessert :)

All you have to do first is prepare the cake mix per the directions on the package.

Then, smoosh up one Butterfinger.

Use as much child labor as you can in the smooshing process ;)

and pour one of the smooshed Butterfingers in the batter.

Mix the Butterfinger and the batter well and then pour it into a 13x9 pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

Follow the cake package again for baking instructions...I cooked mine for 35 minutes...

and then let the cake cool for 5 minutes.

Take a wooden spoon and poke holes at 1 inch intervals halfway through the cake.

Pour the can of condensed milk all over the top of the cake

And then pour the jar of caramel ice cream topping all over the cake...drooling yet??

And last but not least sprinke that other smooshed Butterfinger all over the top of the cake.

Chill cake for at least 30 minutes

Right before serving spread cool whip all over the sure to buy the extra creamy kind...I mean, really, right?

Once the cake is all covered with cool whip I like to sprinkle more Butterfinger...just so the folks at church know what it is they're cutting into.

Now, my little homemade cake is ready to go :)