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Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.8

DA season 6 poster

Hello my friends, and Happy Tuesday! Time for our second-to-last Downton recap!

I'm going to try a different format this time since I don't have a lot of time for condensing this morning, so here are my notes, as is, from last night's viewing - kind of a live tweeting thing, lol! I hope it makes a little BIT of sense, but I understand if it's not your cup of tea. :)


Boy, I'm going to miss these opening credits ... that soft music, the bell ringing, the dog's sweet behind. :)

Opening conversation between a strolling Cora and Edith. First thought - is this the two sisters together? But then - no way is this Mary and Edith walking together, they'd never do such a thing ... and isn't that kind of sad? I almost feel like the director started with this far away shot so we'd have this very thought. And then I paused the scene so I could stare at their parasols and dresses. (So pretty.) I can hardly believe Edith is grappling with this issue - how is there any question in her mind? Telling Bertie the truth about Marigold? There's no way she can allow such "a lie at the heart of her marriage."

Ok, here's the Sargent come to see Mrs. Patmore - and didn't I CALL IT? That was an adulterous couple staying at her inn! Oh the poor woman - her B&B labeled a house of "ill-repute" and it's been hardly open a month!

Wait a minute - who died of malaria now? Edith's beau Bertie Pelham is out of a job? Lord Hexham (the dead marquess) was his employer. Wait, he was his cousin ... ? WOW - so Bertie's the new Marquess! "Golly gumdrops, Edith would outrank us all!" crows Robert. And Mary is ... speechless. (Fuming, more like.)

Anna and Bates laughing at Mrs. P's situation (everyone's laughing) and Molesley needs time off for his classes.

Lord Merton comes to see Isobel to talk about the family issue - he thinks his daughter-in-law (to be) is a "kind and gentle soul?" Hahahaha ... he's not a very good judge of character is he? (Anyone else think of Hermione Grangier's cat when they say, "Cruikshanks?")

Anna and Mrs. Hughes still laughing over Mrs. P. ... and now Mary, too. Ok people, you've had your fun. Let's be a little sensitive to Mrs. Patmore's distress!

But Daisy got high marks! Good for her. I'm still sore over her recent poor treatment of, well, everyone, but this is a nice thing for her.

Carson was kind of ugly to Mr. Molesely abut his needing time off to teach. "What makes you think he would be good at it?" What an ass he can be! (Sorry.)

The sisters and their beaus ...  now it's going to be even harder for her (Mary) to accept marrying "down" when her younger sister will be marrying up ... way, way up.

I kind of feel like Edith should know her potential betrothed well enough to trust that he will be accepting of Marigold. How well do they know each other anyway? She doesn't know his family. She's so concerned that any outcome will be "regrettable" and I think we all can see the writing on the wall. Mary will confirm her suspicions of Marigold's parentage and use the "secret" to ruin her sister's chance at such happiness.

Best line of the night goes to Robert: "Poor old Edith who couldn't get her dolls to do as she wanted."

(OH, I laughed so hard over this!)

Mary and Tom out "agenting" and she seems distracted - is she mulling over Henry or Edith? Or both? In conversation with Tom, and ... ACK she finds out. Yep, now she's getting ugly. Turning on Tom. Come on now, Mary - your friendship with Tom is about all that's redeeming you these days!

(Robert and Rosamund again at each others throats. It's a sibling thing.)

We have "reason" coming back into it - Tom speaking with Mary and Rosamund speaking with Robert. But in each case "reasonable thinking" is pushed away for "the way things were done." Mary's clinging fast to the old ways.

Bertie shows up and wants Edith to accompany him to the funeral. I still don't see the rationale here ... will Edith then lie to Marigold her whole life? Allow her to think she's an orphan with no natural mother or blood relations? Won't this affect her ability to "marry well" someday? Worse than lying to Bertie is lying to Marigold, I think.

Thomas, the poor man - still no luck in his job search.  And Mr. Molesley having a harsh time of it at the school. To be fair, this is a tough age group.

Edith and Bertie are having a nice talk - she wants him to know she understands if he needs to look "higher" than her. His mother sounds like a tough biscuit. A cock-a-hoop? I think I'll refrain from googling that term.

(Note: Have the Downton grounds ever looked prettier? And again with the parasol! Must have been a mid-20s thing.)

Ooh and here comes Henry! Woo hoo! Go get her, Mr. Talbot!

Carson and Mrs. Hughes speaking with Mrs. P. - and oh come ON Carson. Making Mrs. Patmore feel worse and insinuating she wasn't being careful? He's so full of hot air - like he couldn't have made that mistake. He can be so awfully pompous. It's no wonder Mary's his favorite.

Puppet show for the children ... too funny. I'm going to sound rather Victorian and say how lovely it was that this simple kind of entertainment was all that was needed to keep children happy, once upon a time ... (And now I'm drawing up plans for a puppet theater in the library.)

Back to school now, and oh no, Mr. Molesley! He has lost complete control of the classroom! (Like we don't all see that coming.)

Oh my gosh, this is an awful scene with Mary and Tom and Henry. I don't know if he's doing the right thing with this sudden appearance or not. He's fighting for them, insisting on it ... and boy is she resisting. Ugh. I STILL like him for Mary because she needs someone like this in her life. She needs someone who doesn't give a FIG where they stand socially - he loves her, end of story. But she just hates being told what to do and feel ... and now I think she'll get nasty. Yup - the scene in her parent's dressing room? Nasty. I think we'll all hate her a bit before she redeems herself somehow ... Shame on you coming from Tom - yes! Oh boy, Tom is ticked! In the stairwell now with Henry ... oh he's being honest. "Aren't you better than that? Rather small not to marry a man for his lack of riches?" Ooh, he's hitting her where it counts - the truth! But Mary's still smarting from Tom's comments, feeling cornered ... and slash! Out come the claws!

Later, Anna nails it:

"She loves him but she can't control him. That's what frightens her. He's stronger than she is, really." 

And Bates in response:

"She's a bit of a bully, your Lady Mary."

(But there's another side to Mary and Henry sees that. That's what love does.)

Next couple. We have Edith and Bertie now, in the hallway. She: "My life is not that simple" which begs clarification, but still - the answer is yes. YES, she'll marry him ... but no mention of Marigold ...

Next morning Henry's gone. Good for him. Mary seems stunned. And now we have a very injured and downcast Mary, sensing the air of happiness about Bertie and Edith ... she's about to strike you can see it coming ...

And yes, it came ... ooh. She can be so awful. The proverbial cat's out of the bag.

Well done Mary. Now, who else can you make miserable?

Later now, and what a nice idea from Rosamunde and Cora. Great thinking, ladies! They'll do a family lunch at Mrs. Patmore's establishment thereby lending their good name and approval. Another example of how they all do truly care for each other. The upstairs and downstairs. Despite stations and class, they root for each other. (Except perhaps for the outcast, Thomas.) 

Edith and Bertie having the dreaded conversation before he gets on that train. Well we all knew what would bother him was that she wasn't honest with him - not their difference in station or her past. She didn't trust him as she should have done. And so it comes to this: he can't marry her because he can't trust her. Goodbye, we shan't meet again and Edith's off to London.

      (Please excuse the weird formatting here - I attempted to insert a vocabulary definition and the copy-paste went awry.)
      Ok, and here's Mary and now Tom is going to have it out with her. Go Tom!
      "Don't lie - not to me!" and then, "You just can't stop ruining thing for Edith and yourself!" but best of all, "You're a coward. Like all bullies you're a coward."
      (Yes - unfortunately, yes - to all this.)
      (Wait, what's going on with Thomas ... he doesn't look so well.)
      And here we have Mary and Edith's confrontation. Right! They have to have it out and BOY do they have at it! And there it is -  the B word! OH MY the b-word again! Go Edith! So much wisdom in her parting shot. Gah. That blow-up was a long time coming ...
      Mrs Patmore is summoned to the library. Whenever she or Daisy are called up in this way I'm always struck by the stark plainness of their uniforms (hair and makeup etc.) in contrast to the fancy decor and family dress.
      But I loved Cora calling out Carson ... and this, another "best line of the night" from Robert:

"Mrs. Patmore has been loyal to this house and now we must be loyal to her."

BRAVA, Robert! And God bless her, Mrs. P. is crying!

But here come more tears I fear (mine) as something bad is definitely happening with Thomas.

Baxter notices Mr. Barrow's in a funny mood. (Thank goodness someone worries for him.) Go Baxter! Get to him!

But, oh no ...

Oh my gosh, SAVE him please - Andy get help! Go get the doctor. Oh dear ... oh no. Thomas has slashed his wrists and is unconscious in the tub. I am sobbing. Thankfully it appears he will survive ... surely this will wake them all up to his despair?

Over to the school now - and Daisy is listening in to Mr. Molesley's teaching. Talking with the students - confessing his roots - clicking with them. Good stuff.  Loved Daisy's words to Mr. M. "You're a kind man Mr. Molesley. It's about time you were rewarded for you kindness."

Now Carson informs the family of Thomas's predicament, and they are all suitably affected. How very sad. Mary WAKE UP ... but nope. She's still lashing out ... at her father. Throwing about guilt because she's needing to hurt others right now.

A bit later on Mary has a kind of breakdown with Anna as she readies for bed. She looks terrible and feels worse, clearly. I think she's realizing how awful she's been and how wrong she's been. She's miserable. But apologizes to Anna who clearly, means so much to her. 

Now we have Edith with her editor, and this "Cassandra Jones" is coming for tea. But who is this secret personality? Was anyone expecting Spratt?? Lol, what a surprise! I guess looking back now we can see he was always looking at the paper and definitely had a secret to hide. But what a laugh this was. Bananas, indeed!

Mary bringing little George to visit Thomas was very sweet. And how similar these two characters have been! Lonely, angry, sad. Isn't this often the root of outwardly ugly behavior? What he said should ring very true with Mary. (Master George is so adorable.)

Now this next scene with Carson (bemoaning the adulterous situation at the B&B) and Mrs. Hughes (pointing out there have been "adulterers" upstairs) was sweet. Because Carson's crusty behavior has been tiresome, but when he asks his wife if she's gone "off" him she responds with a kiss. Because he may be a curmudgeon, but he's "her curmudgeon." This was sweet and honest. Don't we all have moments like this with our loved one? They can drive us crazy sometimes but they're ours, and true love means loving through faults. :)

(This will be an important lesson later on I think. Hello Henry and Mary and Edith and Bertie!)

And hooray, the Dowager is home! And thank goodness Grandmama is here! The conversation with Mary was so necessary. Mary breaks down and we knew this was coming - all her fears and grief over Matthew. Their love (and his loss) was enormous and left its impact. I love the respect Mary has for her grandmother, and that she (Violet) helped her (Mary) figure out her truth. She knew it - she just needed to hear it from the right person. Another "best" line from Lady Violet:

"First make peace with your sister, and then make peace with yourself."

And yay, Mr Barrow can stay! I'm glad Carson and Robert acknowledged they'd been unfair. "I didn't credit him with any feelings." Well duh, Carson. He IS human. How often we don't look past someone's outward behavior to see what is lacking inside.

So Mary has sent for Henry ... but will he come? I'm half expecting him to refuse her at this point! Honestly I think she has a bit of a nerve sending for him - she should go to him!

But first, a visit to Matthew's grave ... what a sign this series is nearing its end. What a touching scene, as Mary talks with Matthew and then Isobel. Blessings are given and the path seems open now ... we just have to hope Henry has not gone off this whole thing!

Cute scene with the Granthams at Mrs. Patmore's establishment ... right down to the paparazzi outside!

Ok, and now here's Henry. Good man. Tom excuses himself, "I've been part of this courtship for long enough." But I fear this is too easy. Will this go as Mary is hoping? Ok maybe it will .... his heart is pounding! That's a good sign, right?

And they KISS!! Yes!! And woohoo they can get married - like, tomorrow! So oh MY GOSH there's going to be a wedding! But where they heck is Edith? Oh - here she comes!

And now the sisters have the moment we've been waiting for ... apologies and confessions, and this:

"Because in the end you're my sister. And one day only we will remember Sybill or Mama or Papa or any of the people of our youth. Our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike."


And that's being practical and honest. I think Edith made this easier on Mary than she could have ... but to forgive is divine and so the truce has been called and it's on with the wedding!

Pretty setting (must go aback and absorb details) and Mary looks lovely. Camera panning all the pews ... and all these dear faces .. how I'll miss them!

But now we must wait to see how Edith's story turns out ...

The previews gave away nothing but there are lots of smiles, so that seems hopeful. And I was thinking - if there is a marriage for her and Bertie it's kind of nice they left it till the end ... Mary had her big wedding with Matthew, now this will be Edith's turn in the spotlight ...

We must wait two weeks (sigh) till that two hour finale (sob), but in the meantime, the "manners" show look interesting next week! :)


Well my friends, I know this was awfully long and probably quite tedious to read. I apologize I was not able to summarize things better - but time is just not mine today! (Both younger boys were up earlier than usual and there was a bit of a peanut butter incident in the kitchen ... and the hall ... and the family room ... that commanded mama's energy first thing this morning.)

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have time ... and as always, I thank you for stopping by!

See you here again very soon ...

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.7

DA season 6 poster

Happy Tuesday, my friends! I hope you are all doing well ...

I am in need of one more viewing to fully discuss this week's Downton Abbey, but I wanted to get the chat post up in case anyone was itching to talk about it! :) I did watch it Sunday night but I confess it was with a half-asleep toddler on me so the sound was turned down and I didn't catch much dialogue! I am going to re-watch it tonight and compose my thoughts in better form for tomorrrow ...

But please feel free to start the conversation in the comments below, if you'd like. You won't spoil me - as I said, I think I got the gist of most of what happened. It looked like a good episode with lots of developments - some better than others!


And here is where I try to make sense of my notes! :)

Lady Violet - I love how she ferreted out the truth about Miss Cruikshanks’ true motivation! I loved watching her “at work” and I loved how this showed what a truly good friend she is to Isobel. Nobody messes with her own! Also, I have to give her credit for realizing she was angry and that she needs a little breathing space. Isobel admires this too: "Your self-knowledge is an example to us all.” What a GREAT quote! But even better was this: 

Isobel (on Miss Cruikshanks): "I suspect she's quite a tough nut.”

Lady Violet in return: "And I'm quite a nutcracker.”

Haha! Isn’t that the truth!

And that scene with Miss Cruikshanks was absolutely delicious. Lady Violet was just not having it: "You’re a cool little miss aren’t you? I should feel sorry for Larry if I didn’t dislike him so much.” Oh my! And when the tart little Miss C. acknowledges things might be awkward in future meetings (since they shall meet again - inferring herself in the Grantham's circles) Lady V. returns:

"Not if I see you first.”

Ooooh … BURN!

I also loved that the Dowager Countess told Isobel she will write only to Tom, as "He’s the most sensible.”

Note: I’m getting tired of the snippiness between Edith and Mary - aren’t you? Enough already, from both of them! Act like grownups for goodness sakes. I don’t have a sister, nor do I have daughters, so I guess I can’t really speak to this type of relationship but honestly, I find it quite tiresome. 

Now, most importantly perhaps, we have the Mary and Henry situation. I can’t help it - I like him. I really do, and I think he IS right for Lady Mary, despite all the opinions to the contrary. He’s wearing his heart on his sleeve - inviting her family to the race, showing up at dinner, calling her in distress because he MUST know where he stands - and it breaks my heart that she broke his. I think she is holding onto her deep-rooted snobbishness - thinking they couldn’t possibly match up - but more than that, I think she’s just plain afraid. I think she does truly love him (or is getting there quickly) and the idea of losing a loved one again is too much for her. I didn’t like it that Anna nixed him - I think that impressed Mary a lot. (Solidified her apprehension.) But so what if their lifestyles don’t mesh? Times were changing then! (This has been the theme all season.) And there's much attraction and care for each other. Her very conflict over his racing (and worry) suggests she does, in fact, care for him very much. The crash was awful - so sad for his jolly friend, Charlie Rogers - and I think a big part of why she broke up with him was her fear. But I guess we can’t blame her - after everything with Matthew. Had Henry not pressed her as he did, given her a day or two, maybe her decision would have been different?

Tom (who I suspect, has a bit of a man crush on Henry!) was so disappointed. Acknowledging her fear (aligning it with his own) but insisting it's ”... no reason to give up the man that’s right for you.”
{Ok, remember what Lady Violet said about who she would write to ... and why?}
Speaking of Tom - are we to suspect they’re lining him up with Edith's editor? She seems to be his type, I guess, but I hope we get to know her a bit better if this is in fact, her role. She reminded me a little of that Miss whateverhernamewas, that awful teacher from the village who enraged ... well, everyone. Only with less edge of course.

And so Edith’s beau (finally caught his name, Bertie Pelham!) proposed. But, though clearly thrilled, Edith didn’t say yes and she also didn’t tell him the truth about Marigold. Will that be a problem for him? (If it is, I say good riddance - but I don’t think he’s like that.) However, will he accept that Edith wasn’t truthful with him? That might pose more of a problem ...

And now, Mrs. Patmore's opens her inn - and it seems to be going so well! I’m so happy for her! But you know, there has to be some kind of complication ... so who was that man lurking outside with the notepad? A roving restaurant reviewer? Or maybe a private investigator spying on the couple staying at the inn - are they having an affair perhaps? Will whatever he’s up to mean trouble for Mrs. Patmore? (Next week's previews suggest it does ...)

Note: Can I just say how much I love the friendship between Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore? Well, I do … I just love it. It’s been such a nice example of true camaraderie and caring … remember when Elsie went through the cancer scare? 

As for Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson - I’m finding their situation a little tedious. He’s been something of a jerk to be sure, but the whole injured hand thing was a bit contrived. And a bit underhanded. I don’t know … I guess it was meant for laughs but I wish it had been something else that made him realize (if it worked) he’d been unfair to Elsie, and that domestic duties are not as effortless as he must have thought them.

Unfortunately, Daisy is still a pill. I didn’t forgive her for her snottiness even though she confessed she’s anxious over losing Mr. Mason’s love. Because she hasn't had much of it before. I thought she was intelligent? 

As for the kind hearted Mr. Molesley - well he OWNED that exam! And he’s now been offered a teaching position - how fabulous! I saw this coming I will admit, and I’m so glad. “I never think I deserve anything! Perhaps I’ve been wrong all along.” Aw. I’ve always like him!

(And might this situation open a job up at Downton which would allow Thomas to stay on?)

Finally - a new puppy for Robert? How wonderful is that? I never even wondered when or if they might get a new dog, but how nice that his Mama was the one to think of it.

Final note: I really wish hats would come back into fashion. I'm in LOVE with these hats on these women. Hats are long due a return. I remember my grandfather always wore hats and a dress coat when we went out … and my grandmother had a fascinating closet full of hat boxes … so stylish. :)

Now, before I go - how many episodes are left? I think I might be off on my episode numbers. I have this recap as the seventh installment in the sixth (and final) season, but PBS has it listed as episode six. And I believe there are nine in all? Hmm. My main concern is, when do we have to say goodbye??
Well my friends, I  must be off - I hope this made a little bit of sense and I'd love to hear from you if you have a moment or two. But as always, thanks so much for stopping by!
I'll see you here again very soon ...


Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.7

DA season 6 poster

Happy Tuesday, my friends! I hope you are all doing well ...

I am in need of one more viewing to fully discuss this week's Downton Abbey, but I wanted to get the chat post up in case anyone was itching to talk about it! :) I did watch it Sunday night but I confess it was with a half-asleep toddler on me so the sound was turned down and I didn't catch much dialogue! I am going to re-watch it tonight and compose my thoughts in better form for tomorrrow ...

But please feel free to start the conversation in the comments below, if you'd like. You won't spoil me - as I said, I think I got the gist of most of what happened. It looked like a good episode with lots of developments - some better than others!


Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.6

DA season 6 poster

Happy (Shrove) Tuesday, my friends! Will you be celebrating Mardi Gras today? We'll be doing so here, in our own simple ways ... shoveling out from the storm, glad for the power still holding, thinking about paczkis and pancakes!

So, I sat down and watched Downton last night and enjoyed it very much ... but it's such a bittersweet feeling, because the more I settle in and enjoy these episodes, the harder it is to accept that this dear show is coming to an end. Just two more to go, I believe? sigh

But enough of that ... here are my thoughts on this week's developments!


So this time out we had "Open House Day at Downton Abbey" - what a crazy idea! And this came from Mary and Tom - so it seems all slick and smart only, it was a bit of a fiasco, wasn't it? Seems they hadn't quite thought it all through. Thankfully, Edith's beau stepped in and made some last minute suggestions that at least kept the crowd in control. I wondered about this whole spectacle though - a way of presenting the house as this kind of inanimate, impersonal thing. An oddity, questioned all over by the curious visitors. Why this? What's that? Who was this? And the family really didn't have any answers ... it was quite comical. Their lack of knowledge made them seem so superficial and separate from the house. Almost proving they're not quite as attached to this home as we'd think, which worries me. I feel like they're preparing us for a big move. As the little boy (cheeky rascal) who burst in on Robert asked: Why not move somewhere cozy? And Robert seemed to think he had a good point ...

 Meanwhile, there was much forward movement with the hospital business ... with the merge going through and Cora being named the new president AND Lady Violet being asked to step down. Eep! I thought the conversation between Cora and Robert about her accepting the position was interesting ... Robert suggesting she's not "like Isobel" in that she doesn't need a job, Cora taking a little offense to the notion she couldn't handle it. I think this will be good for her, but I wonder if it will drive a wedge between them ... remember how he reacted during the war? And especially with Mama on the warpath.

Then we had more Daisy drama and honestly, can they make her any less likable at this point? Well, I suppose she can slight Mr. Molesley next after all the help he's given her. She is SUCH a pill! So jealous and indignant and selfish. Trying to sabotage the friendship between Mr. Mason and Mrs. Patmore - going so far as to throw the note in the rubbish! And making Mr. Mason uncomfortable when he brought a beautiful basket of produce to Mrs. P. Ugh, I'm done with her. I don't care how she does on the exams, to be honest ... though I am rooting for Mr. Molesley to do well! Wouldn't that be nice for him to have a different future in education? And perhaps that would open up a door for Thomas to stay on at Downton ... ?

Although, goodness, poor Thomas. What a sad final scene that was, with him sobbing all alone in the darkness. I mean, I can understand that people are wary of him because of the ugly things he's done in the past, but now they assume he's taking advantage of Andy when of course we all know he's helping the younger man learn to read. He is such a lonely and sad character ... but look how kind he is with the children! There is so much good in Thomas but someone has to take a chance and show some confidence and trust in him. (As in Carson or Robert, the men he respects so much in spite of his poor behavior.) Or maybe he's just going to leave Downton and find his future elsewhere ... I really don't know how they're going to wrap up his storyline in two more episodes, but I hope it's happily. 

Now, next we have Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes and boy-oh-boy would I like to give that big old butler a shake! How Elsie hasn't lost her cool with him yet is beyond me! This is really serving to point out Carson's less likable side - the picky, perfectionst, snobbish side ... but honestly, he needs to be told this is just not right. A new husband does not encourage his bride to seek out another woman's help in learning how to manage "his" home "right!" I mean, this is a bit comical, but mostly my feelings are truly hurt for Mrs. Hughes. 

And thankfully Anna is ok after a little scare, but that served us well in getting Mary to London! And to see Mr. Talbot (at the expense of Evelyn Napier who looked none too pleased to see her leave with Henry at the end of dinner). She looked absolutely stunning in that long green dress! That whole scene was so shimmery and swanky ... but the scene in the alley way? Oh my, so swoony! I hope Mary is changing her mind about Henry - they make a great match. Or really, about that particular prejudice in general. Tom seems to be the voice of reason to which she'll listen!

(Speaking of Tom - does he know about Marigold? I can't remember for sure. Mary will be LIVID when she finds out that they were all keeping this from her.)

Well my friends, that's all I have to say for now - I'm wrapping this up with a 2 year old clinging to my back, lol - but I'd love to hear your thoughts! What are you thinking about all of the latest developments? Please leave a comment if you have a chance!

And as always, thanks for stopping by! I hope your day's going well!

See you here again very soon ...

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.5

DA season 6 poster

Happy Tuesday, my friends! And holy moly, what an episode that was!

****** SPOILERS AHEAD *****

Now, I will have to add to this post a bit through the day - I did in fact watch the whole episode but I was not taking notes or working on a draft - I was holding and rocking my little Little Bear who had an awful tummy ache. :( He's still sleeping as of early this morning (though he slept fairly well through the night) so we'll see what this day holds when he wakes. May I ask for your prayers that he will feel better soon?

Well ... so much happened last (Sunday) night! Here are a few points to discuss:

So, is Mary falling in love with Henry Talbot? Or ... not so much? Last week I thought there was a real love match happening here but now she seems to be dragging her heels. Is it really all about status? Oh, Mary. Why do you have to be so Mary sometimes? I do remember she felt this way about Matthew in their beginning. She doesn't want to (or "won't") marry "down." But will she listen to Tom's advice (marry for love, ignore stations) or find out Henry has some hidden prestige that will make it all right? Or will she end up with Tom after all ... ? I just can't get a good read on the situation at this time. I will say I don't like how she is figuring out the Marigold issue ... what will she do with the information and will she actually be hurt that she was left out of the loop? (And am I wrong in thinking the staff all suspect Marigold is Edith's but don't know anything for sure ... ?)

And then we have Thomas, reminding us once again that he can be likable and kind. This time, to Andy who can't read and needs help if he's to become the pig farmer he hopes to be. Do you think he will be paired up with Daisy? It seems rather convenient, but Daisy is being a real pill at the moment.

Because, ugh! Sniveling, annoying Daisy! She is really stretching my patience this season. Between the way she acted over Yew Tree Farm and now sniping at anyone who's "pestering" her Mr. Mason. Um, hello Daisy - he might like a few friends other than you! And Mrs. Patmore would make such a nice match for him, too - she's lonely and he's lonely and boy he was happy to have her bustling about his kitchen!

The Baxter storyline sewed up quickly. What an odd side story that was. And the Denker-Spratt storyline, too. Ooh, she is an awful woman, isn't she? I thought I didn't care much for Spratt ... but that was before Denker came along!

And hooray for Edith! She finally has a nice fellow for herself and I'm excited to see where that goes. I bet Mary will be so jealous that Edith has found both independence and a nice man to love her. I'm eager to see how she reacts to this development, especially in light of her own touch-and-go romantic situation.

But oh my GOODNESS, we all know what we want to discuss most of all - and that was the biggest and most gripping scene of the night - something so shocking and emotional! I was sobbing as poor Robert lay there, shaking and covered in blood! What a graphic and (what I would guess to be) realistic scene - Robert vomiting blood all over the table - all over Cora! - as his ulcer burst and he fell to the floor, seizing. Gosh, that was just awful - but the tender words between him and Cora ... oh in that minute, so much can change ... and he's whisked off to the hospital, away from his home, those who depend upon him watching helplessly from behind ...

Will this change Granny Violet's mind at all? Will her own son's near-death experience remind her how important it is to have the best possible care available - and close at hand?


Well, this is as far as I think I will get for now ... but I'd love to hear your thoughts! I will add more in the comments as I can. The little guy is still not up so I don't yet know what my day will look like! But before I go, I want to mention this and see if any of you are planning on subscribing? I think I will and would love to discuss the series as it goes along. This all kicks off in April so we have time to recover from Downton's end. One would hope, lol. ;)

What else are you watching these days? Anyone watching Mercy Street? I'd love some suggestions if you have them! But for now, I'll be off, and wish you all a very good day. Thanks so much for stopping by!

I will see you here again very soon ...

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.4

DA season 6 poster

One day late! But here are my thoughts on last night's episode ... so many plotlines trucking along, some more speedily than others. But not many more episodes to go? They have much to do before it all ends - though how I wish it would never end, and I am not exaggerating that feeling one bit. 

Anyway. A great episode last night! I like that so much of the action revolved around the House itself and luncheons and homecomings and such. Very domestic and visually delicious!


Well, it's so good to have Tom back, isn't it? I just love his character - he might be my favorite of all, so dependable and kind. I missed Sybil last night, as did the family ... she was so wonderful and together, they made such a beautiful couple. I wonder if there will be a new love interest for Tom before the series wraps up? I would love to see him find happiness in that way (though he seems pretty darn happy as it is now). I don't think that will be Mary who called him brother (aw), and especially not now that the dashing Henry Talbot is on the scene ... !

And not to sound old-fashioned, but DEAR ME was it nice to see Mr. Talbot back "clicking" with Lady Mary - and having watched Mary now for several years, we could see she was definitely swooning beneath that aloof exterior! (I love that actor, by the way, Matthew Goode - have you all seen Leap Year? Oh, you must! A lovely movie which would be especially appropriate viewing this year!) Henry's chemistry with Mary was clear to everyone including themselves. I had to laugh at Lady Violet and Lady Shackleton's conversation, watching their young relations with a speculative eye. "Mary needs more than a handsome smile and a hand on a gear stick." Ha!

I'm betting though, that Henry's profession will be a difficulty for Mary - whose husband, as we all remember, died in an awful car crash. I think that will be a potential fly in an otherwise very nice ointment.

Now, on to Thomas - and, well - this was "first season" Thomas all over again, wasn't it? Here we are, all feeling badly for him lately, and then he goes and reminds us just how vicious he can be. And pompous. And vain. But that line to Baxter: "You're wrong. I do care what people think of me." Well, it makes me sad (even though I wanted to smack him for embarrassing Gwen). He clearly has such issues - he wants to belong, and be liked, but he just can't stop biting the hands that try to feed him. Or pet him. Or whatever. He's like a wounded animal that can't help being mean. But the scene when Mrs. Patmore told Baxter that Sargent Willis was looking for her - and Anna quipped to Bates that it was nice that for once he wasn't looking for them - well, Thomas spoke up and reminded them that it wasn't very funny for Miss Baxter, after all. So he does have a clue about being kind ... or protective, I guess. Remember how he saved Jimmy? And how he was with Sybil? And how he is now with the children. sigh I really hope he gets himself on a better path emotionally before he has to find himself a new job.

As for Baxter herself - she reminds me of Anna in some ways - they're similar characters. And because of her past, she has issues too, though she has kept her softness whereas Thomas has only hardened. Being asked to testify against this Peter Coyle character was a hard decision for her, but I'm glad she will do it. We all knew she would ... because she is for others first, herself last.

Oh, and about Gwen - what a lovely scene that was! Except of course for Thomas's cruelty and Mary's being all snootily affronted. As she recounted how she made a life for herself - with Sybil's kind intervention - it showed the Granthams how things have changed (and should change). This young woman worked and lived in their house for two years and they never spoke to her - hardly recognized her! But then you had Sybil - so ahead of her times - looking past society's norms and befriending Gwen. Helping her because she was in a position to do so ... and wasn't that quite the wake up  call for them all, especially Mary. I loved how the camera would find Tom's proud, smiling face as Gwen spoke ... and I seethed when Mary thanked Barrow for alerting them to the "truth." Arggh ... hang it up Mary! Enough of the snobbery!

But so happy that everything is all right for Anna - and kudos to Mary for taking charge and getting Anna to that doctor straight away. Mary was feeling (and perhaps rightly so) ashamed about Sybil's behavior in comparison with her own ... but she really does have a heart. "I realized how much better Sybil was than I am ... It was quite chastening." Mmm-hm. And I would have loved a more intimate scene for Anna's big "reveal" to Bates, but I guess that's how things were for the "downstairs" crew at the time. Your lives are constantly put on hold, secondary to the House's agenda. And today's was welcoming back Carson and ... Mrs. Hughes. How funny that they decided to keep the names like that. Again, what works best for the House ...

And UGH - Daisy. For goodness sakes, she's acting crazy this season and I've had enough. I can't stand that they're having her act like this but I guess she's always acted irrationally if we go back to the Jimmy thing. She's young, I get that ... but she's supposed to be smart. She's perhaps a symbol of how the lower class were getting sick and tired of coming last. But honestly, she had it all wrong about Lady Cora - and she's fortunate it didn't play out as she envisioned (challenging Cora about "duping" her). But thankfully, Mr. Mason now has a new home and job ... and did I perhaps detect a little romantic interest on Andy's side towards Daisy? He said he loves the countryside ...

Speaking of new jobs - who do you think Edith will hire as editor? They kind of dangled that out there ...

Now, onto the Hospital thingamabob. Boy, am I growing weary of that storyline! It's the same argument each week with just one more voice lent to the fray. This time it was Lady Violet's friend, Lady Shackleton, who found it hard to argue with reason and support an opinion without knowing all the facts. "That's never stopped me," cries the Dowager. Lol! She gets all the best lines. But you can see her defense (or is it an offense?) is crumbling. And I have a feeling that Robert's "indigestion" is reaching a boiling point - and that will be just the dire medical situation to show the Dowager Countess how important it is to have the very best, modern care at their disposal. I don't think anything less will do it. Certainly not reasonable argument! But I will say Rosamund's "funeral" comment to Robert is haunting me ...

*Quick note before I go - and I could talk about the clothes again because as usual, they were gorgeous - but I wanted to mention how especially lovely the house seemed in this episode. More homey and less grand. (Though it's still, obviously, quite grand.) There was a scene in which Cora was heading upstairs when Mr. Molesley asked to speak with her and the pause here - the way you could feel the lateness in the day, the comfort in the routine ... and then we switched to a scene downstairs with Daisy and Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen ... and it all just looked so cozy. Quite late in the day, supper getting on, lights low, a quietness about the place ... this was a real home to these folks. All of them. And not just a manor, but HOME. This is part of what I'll miss about the show. They really know how to set an atmosphere!

Well my friends, I thought I'd write a shorter recap than this, but I do hope you enjoyed it! And I would love to hear your thoughts on this week's installment ... are you enjoying the final season so far? Do you have any predictions for what is to come? Drop me a note below if you have the time!

I will be back later today with a few photos - a Tuesday Tidbits post I put together late on Monday - so I'll see you here again very soon! :)

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.3

DA season 6 poster

Good Monday morning, my friends!

Well, I am eager to hear your thoughts on last night's episode! I enjoyed it very much and was pleasantly surprised with one particular turn of events! I do need to re-watch the episode because I'm sure I missed a few things, but wanted to pop in and throw down a few thoughts. (It just so happened Little Bear stayed up later than usual last night, so we were getting him to bed just as I was finishing up Downton!).

Now remember ... SPOILERS AHEAD!


So Anna is pregnant ... I think? Or she suspects she might be but it's too soon to tell. (These were the days before CVS and EPT!) Mary wants to whisk her off to see the London doctor but Anna is ... tentative? Anxious? Or something. Mary looked disappointed things weren't going her way. (Imagine that.) I think I was on a "clean pajamas hunt" at that point in the show so I'm not exactly sure how that whole scene played out.

Now except for the ugly scene in her bedroom, finding "the staff" trying on her clothes, I appreciated Cora this episode. I love how she resolved the wedding tension by bringing all interested parties into the room and letting them speak their minds. Good for Mrs. Hughes for being honest, and I'm glad Mary apologized for her interference. I think she apologized anyway ... I remember she said something about wanting Carson to have all he deserves. I had to laugh, though, at her calling Cora a snob!

I also liked that Cora took the hospital business in hand and went off on her own to see the involved officials and hear from them directly. When she reported back to the local "team" there was of course, a mixed reception. Isobel was thrilled and Violet was appalled and Dr. Carson somewhat disgruntled. But Cora was the one who did what needed to be done - learn the facts and consider the big picture. 

Edith saved the day by throwing out her angry, arrogant editor and managing to get the magazine off to the printers. This man who helped her - I'm trying to remember when the met before but I missed the part of the conversation where they covered that - Rose's coming out in London, I think? He was awfully nice and I'm going to guess that there will be  a love interest here ... :)

(And can I just say here how lovely Edith looked in this episode. I sound like a broken record but I just love her clothes and the softness of her makeup and hair. And those HATS! Seriously, where might one find this style of dress? I just created a new tag for future posts called, "Fashion & Femininity" ... I think this would be fun to discuss as we move closer to Spring! I'm ready for some grooming chat and a little wardrobe renewal, how about you?)

But - back to the show! Poor Mr. Barrow, I really do feel badly for him. And what the heck is going on here? He wants to leave because he fears cuts are coming but also he feels nobody wants him around. And to a point that is all true ... but some of the staff are clearly fond of him - Baxter, Anna, Mrs. Patmore to a degree. He had been friends with the new footman but then the younger man was warned away? Is that right? Is it because of his sexual orientation (and the mess with Jimmy) or because he's done some not-so-nice things in the past and is not to be trusted? I can't quite put my finger on what is going on here. That "interview" scene was so sad ... I think that was meant to represent the decline of that kind of lifestyle. Nobody really lives like they all (or the upper class) once did ... and this is what happens to a "great house" left in the hands of an aging, dwindling family.

And then we have Daisy ... ridiculously irritating Daisy. Lol, I wanted to smack her! I know she's young and just so eager to have things settled for Mr. Mason but GAH ... why can't she have a little discretion and sense about this? I'm thinking Cora was NOT able to secure the Drewe's Farm position for him, and Daisy just took that tiny bit of hope and ran with it. And now Mr. Mason is believing this to be true ... ugh ... this could be so messy. But if I know Julian Fellowes, he will make this all right somehow!

Oh! And how about that crazy side story with Spratt and Denker? What the heck was that all about, lol?

But finally the day of the wedding arrived - and wasn't it lovely? I'm so happy for the new Mr. and Mrs. Carson! I love how this episode reminded us how much the staff and family care for each other ... Cora apologizing to Elsie and giving her the coat, Baxter staying up late to hem it, everyone doing what they could to help out and take part. Even Thomas, grabbing a boutonnière so he could be an usher, too! And gosh, didn't the schoolhouse look lovely? How blessed they are to have so many family and friends!

But the best - absolute BEST - moment of the night came when ... TOM AND SYBBIE returned home! Oh, how wonderful! They (the show) kept that such a secret, I had no idea they were coming back to the Abbey! What a touching and happy scene ... I admit, I had tears on my cheeks! 

Now, what do we think about Tom's reappearance? Will he take over the Drewe's farm? (Remember he comes from a farming background and always had a good way with it.) Or will he step in to help Edith at the magazine? And will something happen between him and Mary? I know it gets hinted at from time to time, but I can't really see that ... they are close friends for sure, but I don't think they're a good romantic match. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

I can hardly believe we only have a few more episodes! I am so eager to see how it all wraps up and yet, I don't want it to end ... I really wish the show could go on ... even if just in occasional specials or perhaps a spin-off?

Did the previews hint at much for next week? I will have to pay more attention when I re-watch the episode tonight! (I think I might have spotted another familiar face returning though ... ?)


Well my friends, I would love to hear what you thought about last night's show ... if you have a moment, please leave a comment below. I know I'm missing things here and there but such is the result of watching with a little one in your lap!

Thanks so much for stopping by ... see you here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.2

DA season 6 poster

Happy Monday, my friends! A blustery start to the week here in New England ... and snow on the way tomorrow ... but enough with the weather, here we go with episode two!

And, as usual, there are SPOILERS ahead! You have been warned ... ;)


Ok ...

So, the wedding between Carson and Hughes - it's coming up and soon! Like, next episode, maybe? Anyway, now that they've gotten the important things taken care of (their feelings for each other, and hopes for their marriage) the reception venue is causing some strife ... and I can honestly see both sides. At first I was like - Oh for goodness sakes, Carson get over these people! Marry Elsie somewhere where you can relax and be yourselves! Let her have her day!

But then ... it really does mean something to him, doesn't it? This house and this family - where they met and live out their days - and while Mrs. Hughes doesn't want to marry there, he really doesn't want to marry just anywhere. Well, he really wants to marry at Downton, to be sure. And of course, Mrs. Hughes bristled a bit at Lady Mary's "generosity" ... we all know Carson has a particular soft spot for Lady Mary, so this should prove a rather delicate situation going forward. I will be very eager to see how it all resolves!

Now, Mary as Agent ... I am loving it because it really does make the best use of her assets! She was born to be in charge, lol! She does rather like to dispense advice though, doesn't she? In this episode, to Carson, Anna and even her godfather, Lord Merton - giving him a bit of (false) hope in regards to Mrs. Crawley.

But do you know what? I really wish Edith would tell her that Marigold is her daughter - Mary's own niece, for goodness sakes! The parents both know the truth, but they fear Mary would "use" this information against Edith. (What a realization to accept about your own children! No, not children - grown women!) But we all know Mary has her own skeletons tucked tidily away - Robert knows that, as does Cora - so why wouldn't they impress upon her that it is in her - everyone's - best interest to accept the truth and leave things alone? If for nothing else, they should stand up to Mary for Edith's sake! They can exert some influence over Mary can't they? Why would they be just let it pass that Mary can be (and often is) so cruel to Edith?

That scene with Marigold gone missing was tough to watch. I know it was brief and we all knew who had her pretty much right away and since this was Downton Abbey and not CSI:Yorkshire I figured it would all end OK. But it tugged on my mama heartstrings, this scene ... for Mrs. Drewes, to be honest. I felt bad for her and her loss. SHE should be told the truth, if Mary never is ... it would give her peace at least, I think, to know Marigold is growing up with her own relations.

And poor Thomas, my heart breaks for him. He's so sure no one is on his side. Such a lonely man. Why are they all being so (unintentionally I presume) unkind? Are they afraid he'll make moves on the new footman? Are they harboring resentment over past behavior? Has he not redeemed himself? I liked it when Baxter told Moseley that she was kind to Barrow despite the fact he wouldn't return the favor. She knows that means he needs it all the more. She's a lovely woman with a very good heart.

And the hospital "situation" is moving forward ... I find the lines being drawn interesting, but not surprising. I am glad to see Cora getting involved, though - let's give Cora something to do! She simpers an awful lot but she wield power when she chooses to, and she sneaks in little comments here and there ... sometimes in a motherly tone and other times with a gentle reminder that she is, after all, American. :)

Robert has not always been my favorite character (I STILL haven't forgiven him for his near-discretion with that maid, Jane or whatever her name was) but I love when he treats people - of all stations - well. His kindness to the Drewes was wonderful. If that family moves on (as it seems they should, given Mrs. Drewes strong attachment to Marigold) would this possibly be a place for Mr. Mason? Could this be Cora's plan, the one she mentioned to Daisy?

And then we have Anna, seeking out medical help - with Mary's benevolent intervention - for her infertility. Bill asked me if this was a procedure women still had done today or if it was something the medical community came to realize was unwise. (Like so many other early interventions.) I told him I am not sure, myself ... I do know some women can't carry an established pregnancy due to womb issues, but I don't know if stitching is still the prescribed remedy. That would suggest a more structural problem rather than hormonal, I think? Anyway ... I'm hoping it be a blessing for Anna and that she and Bates - in one way or another - will find happiness as parents.

(I really enjoyed the scene in Mary's bedroom when Anna was helping "m'lady" dress for dinner - first of all, what a gorgeous room. That felt like such a sentimental scene, looking back - when Mary said "You've earned it fair and square. Keeping my secrets. Hiding that fearful Dutch thingamajig and carrying poor Mr. Pamuk down the gallery at the dead of the night." That was such a sweet and funny moment between them - filled with reminiscence.

Now, what am I forgetting then? Hmm. Oh yes! I wanted to mention again, the look of the show ... as lovely as ever. Of course the plot is always absorbing but I just cannot get over how beautiful the series is once agin, this year. The scenery for one thing, but especially the way they are dressing the main (upstairs) cast. I am just loving all the fabrics and styles and shades and the hair-dos. What a feminine time in fashion history! (Aside from the menswear look, that was big, too - but still done softly and prettily.) That scene at the Fat Stock Show (what a name, lol!) was all done in such gorgeous tones ... everyone matched - even the buildings and pig pens!

Now, in closing -  here is my favorite line this week, and it was said by Isobel Crawley:

"I'll come with you. We must give them time to gnash their teeth alone."



Thank you, my friends, for stopping by and I would love to hear your thoughts on Downton this week! I hope to see you here tomorrow for tea, but I will see where the day takes me!

Blessings to all, and see you again soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Downton's Last Season! (updated)

DA season 6 poster

Happy Monday, my friends! Hope your week's off to a great start!

Now, you might notice that this post is rather brief ... and that would be because, as I feared ... I just could not stay up late enough to watch the whole show! #tiredmama #babyinbed #sleepcomesfirst! I WILL, however, be watching tonight, so tomorrow I will update this post with my thoughts ... but I wanted to put this up in case anyone would like to get the discussion rolling! So you are welcome to share your thoughts on the first episode of season six in the comments below. I won't be popping in till tomorrow so don't worry about spoiling me!

(Can you believe this is the FINAL Downton Abbey season???)

(And p.s Did anyone catch the new Sherlock? What did you think?)

See you all tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by!


(And here are my thoughts, now that I've caught up! I'll join you in the comments a bit later on ...)

Well, that was a wonderful final first episode! I loved stepping back into this beautiful world, but how bittersweet it is to remember this is the last season ... I miss it already! And so here are my thoughts ... I took notes as I watched last night and this morning (with but a few sips of coffee in me!) I am attempting to make sense of them!


So happy for Anna and Bates, that their troubles finally seem to be behind them. In the beginning of this episode, as Anna was crying and Bates was consoling, all I could think was: Gosh, are they ever going to get a break? Maybe once her stress lessens, she will relax and be able to conceive. I found it interesting (sad, really) that Anna's assumption was that she was the one who "couldn't get pregnant" ... it points to how for so long, throughout history, it was women who shouldered the blame of infertility. 

Interesting how lovely Thomas is with the children ... how they have taken to him. And he worries he'll be the one to be let go. When he said that nobody wants him there, I immediately thought, despite his past misbehaviors, they obviously trust and rely on him. To allow the little ones to be in his care for so many hours.

Now, about the whole Carson-Mrs. Hughes "how married will we be" drama ... it was sweet and real, and I loved how it was resolved. That final scene was beautiful. I'm still befuddled, however, that Mrs. Hughes asked Mrs. Patmore to speak to Carson about her intimate anxieties?? Did that not seem strange to you? I mean, I know they're all friends, and it did provide some humor, watching Mrs. Patmore struggle with her task ... and the look of Mr. Carson's face when he realized what she was asking! But in the end, such a sweet, even swoon-y, scene ... the love and admiration Carson professed for Mrs, Hughes (and she him) was just lovely.

(Side note - if they marry and live elsewhere will they still run the household? Just as Anna and Bates do I expect?)

Then we have the hospital situation unfolding ... so the "Royal Hospital" wants to take over the little local hospital that Isobel runs and the Countess oversees. I must say I'm relishing this drama because as much as I love the friendship that has blossomed between them, I relish their sparring very much!

Best line of the night:

"Does it ever get cold up there up on the moral high ground?" (Lady Violet to Isobel Crawley)

And I can see this situation has stirred up the potential triangle between Isobel, Lord Merton and Dr. Clarkson once again. I detected a little "fire" between Isobel and Clarkson and might that be the spark needed to change their friendship into something else?

Then of course we had the whole Mary blackmail drama. She's being quite "Mary" again this season, all aloof and snooty and picking at Edith. But boy did I want to smack that little snit who was following her around and harassing her. Another symbol of the changing times - Mary's power and station didn't impress or intimidate this working class woman. But I loved how Lord Grantham took care of her with finesse and resolved this particular pickle for Mary - stepping in to take care of his daughter, but also acknowledging she is no longer a child. And so Mary moves forward as agent of the estate ...

And all this talk about downsizing ... because houses like Downton just don't exist as they once did. Is this all about money or just that too much extravagance is unseemly? In the Grantham's particular situation, is Robert worried about appearances or money?

Now, that scene with Daisy at the auction ... just ... UGH. I was so upset with her ... and for her! I  know she was acting out of love and outrage, but honestly. She's a very smart young woman - emphasis on the word young - and she really should have known better. What an awful way to handle things! She was fortunate not to have been dismissed (and I'm sure in another house she would have been) but I worry now for Mr. Mason. What on earth will he do? 

Edith's storyline is interesting and I like how she's carrying herself. (And I must say I like how she presents herself as a mother, much more than I do Mary: "Come to Mummy, George" makes me cringe.) So she's considering a life in London with her daughter ... I think this all sets a certain tone of movement and change among the classes and genders. Both she and Mary are now working women - working mothers! - without men in their lives. Each of them strong in their own way, and resolved to live their lives fully without a man if needs be ... but you know of course, there must be men out there just waiting for another episode to appear. I'm hoping that handsome race car driver whom Mary met at the end of last season returns ... I love that Irish actor, Matthew Goode. As for Edith, well - she's certainly due some happiness as well! Does anyone wonder if Michael Greyson might return "from the dead" at some point? Or is he really and truly dead?

There were mentions of Rose being quite happy in New York and Tom and Sybbie well-situated in mostly Irish-Boston. Wouldn't it be nice to peek in on them? Might we get a look at their lives in America at some point, I wonder?

Oh my goodness, and can we just talk for a moment about the CLOTHES this year? Too gorgeous! And the hats, especially ... love the little cloche hats. I find myself needing a little hat just like that this year ... :) I'm hoping Victoria Magazine or some other similar publication will do a sizable spread on Downton fashions once again before the series wraps. The 20s were quite elegant and feminine ... While I think of it, I have a really nice book to recommend if you are also enthralled with 20s fashion:

Vintage Notions: An Inspiration Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Fashion, Sewing and Fun

And finally, I was once again endeared to the Grantham family by how they live with, and handle, their staff. There is a distinct separation, of course, but also, a true partnership, with real respect on both sides. I love Mary and Anna's relationship especially - protective, honest and open. I like who Mary is with her - just as I liked who she was with Matthew ...

And I loved the final scene when they all gathered for champagne to toast the end of Anna and Bates's trials ... I really think this closeness set Downton apart from other houses of the time. The "upstairs and downstairs" rely on each other, but also, deeply care for one another as well. How funny was that scene with Robert snooping in the kitchen! "Is this the fridge?" he asks Cora. :)

 What this episode did for me more than anything is remind me how much I adore this show, in all aspects, and how much I am going to miss it ... it is a true treasure, and I aim to savor every last minute! Will you join me?

Ok, so week one is a wrap! I would love to hear your thoughts if you have the time ... I will be back again next week to talk more, and I will strive to be ready on Monday! I'm now off to poke through some of my Downton books ... I think I'll be turning to them often for "a fix" as the series winds down ...

Thanks so much for stopping by, my friends ... see you here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday (on Wednesday!)

Indian Summers

Happy Wednesday, my friends! How's your week going so far?

I think this will be the norm, unfortunately: me posting a Masterpiece Monday - on a day that is definitely not Monday! Lol. At this time in our parenting life, Bill and I just don't have the stamina to stay up so late on a Sunday evening! Also, we are watching with our Little Bear, who definitely slows up the process! Earlybird goes to bed by 8, so we start the baking show around then, and then we try to stay up as long as we can to catch either or both Home Fires and Indian Summers. Needless to say, we'll not often be successful!

How fantastic are both these shows, though?? I am thrilled to have two new programs to look forward to each week. I think we can swing watching one show each night and I will aim to get a reaction post up by mid-week. 

Also, I find I need to re-watch the episodes to catch it all - we often miss things when our toddler is dancing in front of us or demonstrating his dinosaur roaring skills. (And really, who would miss out on that?) So if you'll bear with me, I would love to share my initial thoughts on these shows and would REALLY love to hear what you all thought!

(Spoilers ahead!)

Home fires

Home Fires

Oh I am just adoring this show already. ADORING it! I love the look, the feel, the setting, the characters ... I think we're in for a very good show here. And how lovely to see so many familiar faces from Downton and other British shows! I find it interesting to observe pre-war (WWII) England - how some of them are in denial about what's coming, and how much the first world war haunts them and weighs on their minds. Who do you like so far? I'm loving that cow-woman, lol - the one who said she didn't want to join but showed up with a cartload of ladies, anyway! She's going to be fun. And the sweet housemaid, Claire, who was fired by the ahem rather cranky old rich lady, Mrs. Cameron - fired for speaking up, mind you! - but then hired by the fantastic Frances Barden. I like her moxie. :) But I wanted to smack that flirtatious Spencer - "Officer Wilson" I should say - for yanking her around like that. After fixing her bike and showing a real interest ... but perhaps that was his sister whom he promised a drink ... ? I guess we'll have to wait and see. This will be a six part series, so we have a lot more to look forward to!

Now, onto ...

Indian summers 2

Indian Summers

Well, this is definitely an intriguing show! There is so much going on, and we only know half of the story ... the plot continues to pull me in, even if I'm not sure I know what's what, and the setting is just gorgeous. (As is much of the cast!) So this week we saw a little tension between Alice and Ralph - they have an odd sibling dynamic, which I guess can be understood since they've been apart for so many years - and maybe a connection between Alice and Aafrin. I definitely see a relationship between those in the near future (a forbidden one, I assume) even though he does seem to love his sweetheart, Sita. I'm a bit confused about why they can't be together - Aafrin and Sita, I mean - is it because of religion or class or both? His mother absolutely refused to speak to her, but apparently she is/was his sister's friend. I do like Aafrin very much - he seems noble and good-hearted, and goodness is he good looking! Also good looking, in a whole different way, is Ralph ... but boy, does he have some baggage. What on earth is going on with him? Is he using Madeleine (for more than one thing, I mean)? And what is his deal with Cynthia, the owner of the club. Is she like a mother to him - they're obviously close - but with an agenda, certainly ... 

(Question - Madeleine lied about her age as indicated by the pilfered medical files Cynthia shows Ralph. Am I right in thinking she's significantly older than she's presented herself?)

Sarah (wife to missionary, Doug) is A PILL and I can see she's going to wreak havoc on Alice's life. And probably her husband's as well  ... what do you think about him? Is he having an affair with Leena (the beautiful orphanage employee)? Perhaps emotional if not (yet) physical.

 And what on earth was the deal with the man who shot Aafrin - his name eludes me, the older man in jail? What was the connection between him and Ralph - what on earth was Ralph doing? Framing him? Setting him up? Letting him die with "dignity?"

It's all a bit confusing - and this is why I need to re-watch the episodes! - but that's ok, I can be patient. I have a feeling this one will be worth the slow unraveling! So those are my thoughts on these new shows so far ... if you have time, I'd love to hear yours!

But thanks as always for stopping by and reading ... I will see you here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Indian Summers

Indian Summers

Anyone watching this?

Last night - with the Supermoon rising outside our window - we watched the premiere of Indian Summers, the newest Masterpiece Theater program ... and we were intrigued! A beautiful setting (India, Summer of 1932) and a cast of colorful, intriguing characters. I thought it might be fun to share our thoughts each Monday morning, just as we once did with Downton?

(Speaking of that moon - did you see it last night? WOW!)

Let me know what you think if you have a moment ... in the meantime, thanks for stopping by and I will see you again soon. In fact, this afternoon I have a dinner menu post to share! I finally got a weekly plan in place and I will share it with you later today. :)

Be well and take care!

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 5.2

DA season 5

Good Monday morning, my friends! I hope this post finds you well and enjoying a lovely start to your week ...

So I must confess right off ... I only kind of watched Downton last night because a certain little Little Bear was awake through the first half, and a certain sleepy Mama was half-asleep through the second half! But despite my inattention, I wanted to get this post up early so we could all start chatting ...

Some key plot points to discuss (if my foggy memory serves) ...

Mary and Tony (and Charles) ...

Daisy and Miss Bunting (and Tom) ... 

Edith and Marigold and the Drews ...

Rose and the Wireless ...

Lord G. and Carson and the War Memorial ...

Cora and Some Art Guy ...

Violet and Isobel and ... ? Quite missed what's happening there.

I'm going to re-watch the episode tonight so I'll hopefully have some more "thoughtful" thoughts to add to this post tomorrow! But please, if you'd care to leave your impression of last night's show, I'd love to hear it and get the conversation rolling!

Before I go though, may I show you something first?

O project 11 (2)

Today is my birthday and yesterday after church, my folks came over for breakfast. Bill brewed coffee and my mum made French toast for us all as well as bacon and fresh raspberries and a lovely lemon-glazed gingebread. This beautiful Irish sweater was my birthday gift from Mum and Dad and I don't think I've ever owned anything finer - I love it so much! And the little guy on my hip snuggled right up against it. It's quite soft and warm. :)

Ok, on with the day now ... I am typing this up in the dark of the wee hours ... a second cup of coffee is in order, I think (and possibly a third, we'll see). If my birthday holds true to form, there will be snow today ... and maybe a little more cake.


Have a good one, my friends ... see you here again very soon!

Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 5.1

DA season 5

Well, my friends, Happy Monday!

Now, I wasn't sure I was going to revive my Masterpiece Monday posts because I don't know that I'll be able to catch Downton "live" each week, but as it happened, Little Bear fell asleep right before 9 p.m. so we were able to watch the episode in its entirety last night ... so here I am! I'm still processing it all, but there is clearly a lot to discuss, and I would love to know what you all thought! I jotted down a few notes of my own ...


I also must ask, if anyone else caught the new PBS show that aired right before DA (in my market, anyway) ...

* The Great British Baking Show *

Oh my, I loved it and am abslutely hooked! It's like all my favorite things rolled up in one show, a beautiful location - a bunting-bedecked tent set up on the grounds of a gorgeous English manor - and inside, a baking competition between 12 home bakers. Now, normally I do not care for reality shows but I am going to brave the cringe-worthy moments and unnecessary melodrama in order to follow this show. It is GORGEOUS. And inspiring. And talk about eye candy, lol!


Ok, but onto some DA chat ... here are my scattered, barely-caffeinated thoughts:

Tom and Miss Bunting - I don't like her! I don't like her one bit! I know she is playing a part in resurrecting Tom's (political) passions, but I simply do not like this character at all. She is rude and brash and pushy. So there. That's how I feel about that, lol.

Mary and Tony - So, hmmm. I need to remember how things ended last season (I meant to go back and re-watch before the new episodes began but that was pretty much a  pipe dream). Tony ended things with this fiance (or almost fiance?) and told Mary he'd wait for her ... but what happened with Charles? The other one (whom I actually preferred, last season anyway ... Tony is growing on me). Is Mary torn between the two of them or just not ready to commit to a new man after Matthew? It does seem as if they foreshadowed a physical relationship beginning between Tony and Mary very soon which will surely complicate things! (Especially if Papa finds out!)

Isobel and Mr. Merton/Dr. Clarkson - This is a cute triangle (quadrangle?) with Lady Violet working her own meddling magic to make things happen for all interested parties. I remember being disappointed when Isobel originally spurned the Doctor's advances ... but I'm wondering if she might be more receptive now?

Jimmy - Well it looks like the scamp might be out of a job! Caught with that woman for whom he once worked (and by whom he was relentlessly pursued). Of course, I couldn't help noting - rather irritably because, really, fair's fair - though I'm not fan of Jimmy's - that Lord Grantham once nearly dallied with a maid himself, if we all recall season one (or two?). I still haven't forgiven him for that! He really can be such a hypocrite.

Baxter - So she finally confessed! Was it what you expected? I was not expecting thievery! There's something more there, though ... And once again Thomas worms his way out of a bad situation and solidifies his place with the family. (After saving Edith from the fire, which, admittedly, was quite couragous of him.)

Edith and Marigold - Oh my goodness, I just love that name, Marigold! It's a tricky situation to be sure, but I'm wondering ... is there something happening between her and the farmer, or was the wife off-base? She doesn't know the true connection, of course. (Though he figured it out as we all knew he would.) And what was that mysterious book about? The one Gregson left in the Downton library? Was that a clue of some sort?

Daisy - She wants to improve her mind so she can run the Masen farm more responsibly, so that's a good thing. But it's sad that she feels so badly about herself (yet again). I hope this character finds some happiness and strength in this series. I'd love for her to experience a true romance as much as I hope she comes more into her own as a woman and valuable member of the Grantham household and the village as a whole.


Ok, I think this is all I have time for at the moment ... my own household is stirring. I'm down here in the kitchen preparing the breakfast and while there are no politely ringing bells, I am shouting up the stairs for certain older children to get their sleepy selves moving! There's trash and recyling to get in order and lessons to get on with today!

So if you have time, please drop me a note and let me know what you thought about the first episode of Downton's new season as well as if you caught the Great British Baking Show ... my new Anglophile obsession. ;)

Have yourselves a great Monday, and see you here again very soon ...

p.s. Thank you all for your very kind comments about my planner ... I'll be popping into that post a bit later today to chat more with you all about that. :)

MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Finale

Da season 4

Good morning, everyone!

Well, as usual, I have not yet watched last night's episode, but wanted to get the conversation started because I know many of you did. Hopefully, if the kiddoes nod off early tonight, I'll be able to catch up and join you in the comments tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I'm avoiding internet spoilers as best as I can! 

Hope you all had a nice weekend ... see you here again very soon!


My Downton Thoughts ...

Good Tuesday morning, my friends! Hope this "note" finds you well.

Now, I left my Downton comments beneath yesterday's post, but I wanted to post them here, too, in a more visible way. I so enjoyed this week's episode, how about you?

Before I get to my thoughts, though - I also wanted to show you my Downton Abbey page-a-day calendar. I'm having such fun with it!

Da calendar

Da calendar 2

Every day is a different scene or definition or description from the show/era. It's a wonderful way to get "a little Downton fix" every day! And the back of the pages are perfect for notes, shopping lists, etc.

It's just a little thing, really, but it makes me so happy! :)

Ok, now for my ramble-y re-cap:


What a wonderful episode!!

First thought - it was a beautiful episode, a real treat to watch! Shades of the first season, too, in all its soft opulence. - the church bazaar with its village camaraderie and all that glorious eye candy! Even the dresses the women were all wearing - though more modern in style - reminded me of those soft pastel shades from those classic first season pictures. (Remember the rose competition between Violet and Cora?) Seriously, I could (and may) go back and re-watch the scenes from the bazaar just to get a closer glimpse at all the stalls and decoration.

Ok. Bates-Anna-Green. Call me crazy, but I'm not convinced he did it. I half-thought he might be in York buying a ring or something for Anna. I mean, we're obviously meant to think it was him, but y'know ... it was all kind of done before, the whole - did Bates commit murder scanario? Maybe Green just tripped, maybe Bates got revenge ... I don't know ... but it seems perhaps that storyline is over, apart from Anna's continued healing.

(Who here wouldn't love for them to have a baby???)

Mary and her "desire" of suitors ... I'm loving it! It's perhaps a bit overdone - the men are all SO smitten - but I'm still enjoying the heck out of it and can't wait to see who waits her out. I'm thinking Tony is truly deeply in love with her (though I still think that was fast) but Blake is feeling more than just flirtatious as well. I like them both - Tony is safer but Blake might be better for her. I'm not really counting Evelyn Napier in all of this because he doesn't seem to be of any interest to Mary, not like the other two.

Rose and Jack - I kept saying to Bill, I hope she's not using him!! I had a feeling. I do think she liked, maybe even loved him, but she was using him. I was glad of that scene between Jack and Mary because I didn't want to see him get hurt - and I was glad to know he was aware and already resigned to the cold hard facts. He was a great character though and I wish his part wasn't over (of course, maybe it isn't, who knows).

And for the record, Rose still irks me. Lol.

Edith and the pregnancy ... I *loved* it that Violet figured it out. She's such a smart lady and has seen enough of human nature to know a cover up when she sees it. I also loved that she was so supportive of Edith. Edith's plan to give the baby to the farmer - does he have a wife? we haven't seen her - seemed rash. I still can't believe anyone in this family would want to see their flesh and blood raised in a lesser situation than what they can offer. I guess propriety rules over ... well, everything. I wonder if this Swiss plan will come to be or if there will be another option. And how far along is Edith? She can only be a month or two, right?

Tom and that new lady teacher ... not a fan of this pairing ... yet. I just don't like her. And that might be partially because she's not Sybil, but I find her brash and snobby in a reverse kind of way. I think it's obvious she's going to be a love interest for Tom - whom I do hope finds his footing soon, I like him so much ... but I hope that she softens a bit.

Very glad to have the Ivy-Daisy-Alfred situation cleared up at last. (We're discounting Jimmy at this point, right? He's such a tool.) And I was so proud of Daisy - so glad to feel good about her character again. And the love Mrs. Patmore showed for her - when she said she could not be prouder if she was her daughter - that made me tear up! The love and support the staff shows for each other is just beautiful and brings us back to the roots of the show. They are always there for each other ... remember Mrs. Patmore's blindness? And Mrs. Hughes breast cancer scare?

Isobel and Lord Merton (sp?) ... how lovely is this?! I had been thinking she needed a good storyline ... and perhaps a little triangle of her own, if we involve the good doctor who has expressed interest in Isolbel before? Hmmm ....

Well, I think I addressed most of the plot points. Overall it was a fantastic episode - could be my favorite this season - and the peek at next week looks wonderful, too! So sad to think it's almost over again for another year, though.

I'll just finish by reiterating that the whole bazaar was a splendid feast for the eyes and a nice link to the show's earlier sense of sweetness and light.

So until next week, then!


MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 7

Da season 4

Good Monday Morning, my friends!

I so wished to stay up last night and watch the new episode, but in hindsight it was a good thing we got to bed when we did. Little Bear had us up ... then Earlybird ... then Little Bear again ... and now our day is beginning bright and early. (Actually it's quite dark out at this time of day!)

Anyhoo ... please come on in and share your thoughts on last night's show in the comments below, and I will jump into the conversation just as soon as I can ...

(Can't believe we're already nearing the end!)


p.s. Are any of you watching the Olympics? I'm only watching in snatches, but I'm really enjoying them overall! I especially enjoy the figure skating events and what a wonderful performance by Meryl Davis and Charlie White yesterday! I love watching them skate and am really rooting for them today!


MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 6

Da season 4

Happy Monday, my friends! Time for a little Downton chat?

I'll join you just a soon as I catch up, but please get the ball rolling! I'm doing my best to avoid internet spoilers today ... will jump into the comments once I'm up to speed.

P.S. On another note ... we watched the final Sherlock this weekend and OH MY what a sendoff. A very surprising twist there at the end!



I have watched the episode and added my comments below!


MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 5

Da season 4

Good Monday morning, my friends!

Well, same deal as last week I'm afraid - I'll have to add my comments once I catch up (hopefully tonight). Bill was busy watching the Superbowl last night, while I was busy watching the inside of my eyelids, lol. By the way, any Sherlock fans here? I'd love to know what you think about that show, too ... I think it's brilliant, but I SO wish they would make more than three episodes per season! 

Anyhoo, please feel free to get our conversation rolling below and I will join you just as soon as I can ...



My comments are now below. What a great episode!

MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 4

Da season 4

As usual, I am behind! The children are sick with a nasty cold and so "downtime" has been hard to come by. We went to bed early last night and it's a good thing we did because Little Bear and Earlybird were both up from 2 a.m. onwards!

But please get the conversation started! And I will join you with my own comments just as soon as I can ... for now, it's back to bed!



I've watched the episode and have added my comments below! Hope you'll check in and join the conversation!

Have a nice Tuesday, my friends ...

MM: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 3

Da season 4

Good Monday morning, my friends!

And here is where I would be sharing my thoughts and opinions on last night's show, only - as predicted - I just could not stay up to watch! I was out like a light by 9 p.m.

Have I mentioned that Little Bear's been waking every two hours at night for the past couple of weeks? And that Earlybird's been rising each day before four?


But I wanted to get this post up early so that the conversation can begin ... I plan to watch the episode this evening and will type up my reaction just as soon as I can. Please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts on the latest DA developments ... I won't peek till after I've watched!

Enjoy your day, everyone!


Ok, I have watched the show and have added my thoughts in the comments box below. It was a very good episode, I thought, leaving me a little dissatisfied with, yet understanding of, a couple of characters' decisions ...