This is a rather informal tag, as Naomi didn’t follow all the rules when she did it, and I’m not either, so it’s basically just a bunch of interesting/random questions, the kind that I love answering.  To begin…

The Sound of Music (1965)

1. How many siblings do you have?  Seven!  And this is where you’re supposed to go all Maria-from-The-Sound-Of-Music on me and say “…but, seven?!”  Yes, indeed.  I have two sisters and five brothers, which often gets crazy, but I’m the oldest, which helps. *wink*  And, yes, I can remember all their names AND ages.  Who would’ve guessed?

2. How many kids would you like to have?  *shrugs* I’d like a large family, though I think I’d be happy with whatever number God blesses my husband and I with.  I think five or six would be a good number, but Mom’s proved that she can handle eight, so I could probably do the same.

3. Favourite colour for a horse? Pinto.  Specifically, brown/white pinto.

Watching... reminds me of my Mom cuz she loves horses and so do I...

4. Last food you ate?  A rather delicious muffin, made with coconut flour and cinnamon, among other things.

5. Last book you read?  Well, I got a good way into Juno before having to put it down because soldiers do tend to swear quite a bit; I really didn’t want to give it up, because it was almost as good as The Longest Day (though not as epic in scale) and it’s the first book I’ve read that focuses on the Canadian contribution to D-Day.  Anyway.  The last full book I read was Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, which was fascinating.  I learned that nearly everything in Little Women (and, to a lesser extent, Little Men) was taken straight from her life.  I also discovered that she wrote Jo’s Boys over a period of seven years (as opposed to writing LW in ten months), mostly while she was quite sick, and wasn’t happy with the finished result.  Hmm. (While I’d wholeheartedly recommend LMA: TWBLW, the author did get some things wrong, mainly facts about LMA’s works – for instance, she stated that Daisy and Demi were JO’S children.  What???)

6. Favourite colour?  Purple.  Any and all shades.  Soft lavender, the kind you just want to hug.  Deep, dramatic tones full of passion and awe-inspiring beauty.  Majestic middling shades touched with spirit and loveliness. (I’m in a rather poetic mood.)


7. Favourite movie?  ARGH.  What a question.  It usually varies, depending on my mood, but I think The Longest Day is up there to stay.  Followed closely by Laura, The Magnificent Seven, Stalag 17, and Ocean’s 11 (the 1960 version).  Yep, I love my movies.  Not quite as awesome as books, but pretty close.

8. What do you most want to do this summer?  Start writing Original Stories again (hopefully, a novel, for the first time in months and months).  I’ve been simmering ideas around in my head for quite some time, in the midst of writing oodles of fanfiction, and I have high hopes that I’ll get back into the groove of coming up with fresh characters and plot lines and dialogue.  Fanfiction is great, but I need to write stories that are absolutely mine again.  I’m craving it.

9. Do you like to dance?  Hehe.  I came up to this question while listening to “I Won’t Dance” by Frank Sinatra.  Not kidding.  And that’s pretty much my answer.  I’ve never danced, and I don’t want to…unless I could waltz around to “Moonlight Serenade” with whoever my husband turns out to be, ’cause that would be indescribable.  I’m getting those fangirly shivers just thinking about it. (My disinclination for dancing doesn’t mean I don’t love watching it, though.  All those old movies make it look delightful.)

Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire

10. What is your favourite flower?  Irises.  All that purple.  When my family lived on a farm for three years, we had a tiny patch of irises that the previous owners had planted, and that’s when I learned to love them. I just wish they’d stick around longer than they do.

11. Do you like eating or gathering wild edibles?  Eh…no.  Not really.  Berries and roots and such aren’t really my thing.

12. Which do you like better: Walking in the woods or watching hot coals/fire?  Hot coals/fire, definitely.  I’m a homebody, so sitting by and watching a cozy fire sounds heavenly.

13. Where do you live?  Canada.  Best country in the world, and it doesn’t get a fraction of the recognition it deserves.  Whenever a movie or TV show or book mentions Canada, my siblings and I all get super excited, because it’s so rare. *sigh*  If you’re wondering just why Canada is The Best Country Ever, come visit me!  I’ll take you to all the best places and show you the coolest sights, okay?

Kilometres, kilometres.

14. Which do you like better: Tea, Coffee, or Hot Chocolate?  Hot chocolate, with coffee a close second, and tea a distant third.

15. Are you scared of spiders or do you think they are fun pets?  I used to ‘own’ three spiders: Thenardier Jr., Annette, and Chauvelin.  And then two of the three had kids, five of them, which I named Troy, Moffitt, Tully, Hitch, and Dietrich (if you get that reference, you’re awesome).  They’ve all disappeared now, but I still have rather fond memories of them – the babies would huddle around above the shower stall and the three adults had the rest of the bathroom to themselves.  As long as they didn’t come into my bedroom, they were fine and we had a perfectly congenial relationship.  So…fun pets?

16. Do you own a harp and if so may I play it?  Nope.  I think hardly anyone owns a harp these days, except professional orchestras – alas, the Regency days are over and gone. (Mary Crawford, you know.)

17. Which do you like better: candlelight or electric light?  Candlelight is more romantic, but electric light is more practical.  Plus, if I lived by candlelight, my eyes would be a hundred times worse than they already are, and I don’t want that to happen, so electric light it is.


18. Would you prefer to own a dog or a cat better (if any)?  I don’t fancy ever owning a pet, really.  Too much fuss and bother, even if they are (for the most part) adorable.

19. Do you have chickens?  Used to.  My family owned about thirty when we lived on The Farm, but our dog got loose one night and killed a bunch of them (ran most of them to death, I think – we were all away at church when it happened, so nobody really knows) and the rest died off slowly.  When we moved, there weren’t any left.  Mom would like to get some more sometime, but I’m not sure when or if that’s going to happen.

20. Do you know any languages besides English and are there any other languages you would like to learn?  I’ve studied Spanish off and on for three or four years, but besides some vocabulary and verb tenses, nothing much has stuck with me.  I have a (very) sketchy knowledge of both German and French, mainly because of Combat!.  Elisabeth and I have become experts on enlightening each other as to what the Germans say, or knowing what the French guys and girls are talking about before Caje (or someone else) handy-dandily translates for everyone’s benefit. *grin*

21. Do you plan to start your own business? If so, then what sort of business would it be?  I don’t have any plans along that line…yet.  That might change when I get older, though, but I’m not sure what kind of a business it would.  Probably something to do with writing.


Taking my cue from Naomi, I hereby tag anyone wearing purple or turquoise.  Have fun!



friday finds {#13}

Sad to say, this will probably be my last Friday Finds post for quite some time.  The Internet situation at the new house (which we’ll be moving into this Monday!!!) is quite different from what I’m used to (there’s very little connection out in the spot where we’re moving to), so until I get a schedule worked out, picture-heavy posts like this will be a thing of the past.  Unfortunately.  But I do love doing these, so I’ll get back on track as soon as possible.  And that’s a promise.


Oh, the accuracy…


Jeremy Jordan, Corey Cott, Dan DeLuca…

A soldier reads a letter from home.

Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Joey Bishop clowning around on the set of Ocean’s 11. (THESE GUYS.)

I’d totally read this.

Love them both. 🙂

There’s nothing better than Shakespeare.

These bright colors on Audrey are fantastic.



interview with Elisabeth Grace

My next interview post features Elisabeth Grace, who blogs over at The Second Sentence.


1. Favorite book series? The Anne of Green Gables series. I’ve re-read all the books multiple times and am very fond of them all (the first two and Rilla of Ingleside are my favorites).

Vintage editions of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series BEAUTIFUL!

2. Favorite animated movie? If short films count, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. I watched it so many times when I was little that I can still practically recite it by heart. (“Someone’s pasted Piglet on my window!”)

3. Favorite food? You know, it’s probably apple pie. Because I’m always in the mood for apple pie, and it always seems to have disappeared before I’ve had my fill of it (I’m not the only one in the house who likes it).

4. Favorite actor? I’m always terrible with this question. I’m not sure I have a #1 favorite, and if I do, it changes from time to time. I will say, I pretty much always know it’s going to be entertaining watching Humphrey Bogart.

Humphrey Bogart

5. Favorite actress? Even harder. Hmmm…well, I’ve always rather liked Dorothy McGuire.

6. Favorite TV show? The Virginian. That is to say, the few dozen episodes I’ve seen are my favorite TV episodes to watch. If you want to pick a show where I’ve seen almost the whole series, it would be The Andy Griffith Show.

7. Favorite author? I think it’s kind of a tie between O. Henry and B.M. Bower.

8. Favorite colour? Coral.

l-echappee-belle: lotus-bl0g: All the doorknobs in my apartment look almost exactly like this! I love them. ☪ Lotus ॐ Blog ☪ *

9. Favorite fictional couple? Currently, I’d say Bibbs Sheridan and Mary Vertrees in The Turmoil by Booth Tarkington.

10. Favorite real life couple? I don’t know a whole lot about any famous couples, so I’ll pick an obscure one from the memoirs and history books I’ve read: Walter and Nannie Alderson. From the bits about them throughout Nannie’s memoir A Bride Goes West, they sound like a happy and devoted couple, and there was a fair bit of romance in the way they met and got to know each other.

11. Favorite quote? “The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves—say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” ~ Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

12. Favorite female character? I’m guessing this means movie/TV characters? Miss Pole from Cranford.

13. Favorite male character? By the same criteria, Randy Benton from The Virginian.

The Virginian - a bunkhouse serenade by Randy

14. Favorite band/singer? The Sons of the Pioneers.

15. Favorite song? Right now it’s “Skylark,” performed by Glenn Miller and his orchestra.

16. Favorite birthday? Hmmm. Most of my birthdays have been very happy, but my sixteenth birthday was a memorable one—my parents took me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, with live music played on a grand piano during dinner for entertainment.

17. Favorite holiday? Christmas.

18. Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate.

Super rich, smooth and creamy Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream!

adventures with Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  You should also read her biography, Invincible Louisa.  It's amazing to read about how poor they really were and how they really lived.

For the past week or so, I’ve been reading, watching, living, and breathing the adventures of the March family.  I’ve read Little Women and Little Men before, of course, but it was quite a while ago, and this time around, the whole experience was so much richer.  Every so often, I get the urge to read a homey, comfortable, charming book, and Little Women is definitely that.  I gained a new appreciation for certain characters – namely Laurie, Amy, and John Brooke – and enjoyed each moment spent reading about the joys and trials of the four sisters, their parents, their friends, and their loves.  Laurie stole my heart by sending for Marmee when Beth is so ill (he probably sent her the money for her fare, too), by being there for Amy when Beth dies, and by talking to Meg at the ball, like a real brother would.  Amy impressed and inspired me with how much she matured and changed through the course of the story.  And I like John a lot.  I think he gets a bad rap based mainly on all the on-screen portrayals of him, but he’s a great husband, father, and brother-in-law.  His relationship with Meg is lovely to read about.

And, no, I don’t ship Jo and Laurie.  At the point in their lives when he proposed, he was too immature and Jo was still such a spitfire, and it wouldn’t have worked out.  I think Amy completes and complements Laurie, and the same with Jo and Professor Bhaer. (I have a bit of a crush on Professor Bhaer.  He’s wonderful, with how he encourages Jo to be her best for herself and not other people.)

Little Men, junior deluxe editions 1955, photo by Scott Lindberg

After reading Little Women, I had to go ahead and re-visit Little Men.  I didn’t like it better than Little Women, but both books have their own special place in my heart, and I couldn’t really have one without the other.  Both of them are full of little episodic moments – Little Men more so – which I don’t really mind, but it would’ve been nice to have a more cohesive plot.  Anyway, I think the main reason I enjoy Little Men as much as I do, is because of the characters – I love them all, just as in Little Women.  Jo and Frederick are still their warm, happy, kindhearted selves (Jo has tamed down quite a bit, but you still do catch glimpses of her indomitable spirit).  Laurie is as fun-loving as ever, and all the new characters – the boys (and Daisy and Nan) – are wonderful.  Demi, Ned, Emil, Nat, Tommy, Ted, Rob, etc., etc.  And Dan.  Especially Dan.

I LOVE DAN.  He tries.  He really tries.  After those first few incidents with the fight and the cow and the fire, after he goes away and runs away and then comes back, he tries so hard to be good and stay at Plumfield.  His interactions with Teddy melt my heart every time (just as they do with Jo).  Yes, he’s rough and a little wild at times when he can’t help it, but he’s one of Jo’s boys, and she never gave up on him, so I don’t either.  The ‘Damon and Pythias’ chapter stood out to me the most when Mom read Little Men to me and my siblings when we were younger, and it’s still my favorite chapter.  And the part where he tames the colt. (Oh, what a metaphor…)  Out of all four books in the series (if you count Good Wives as book 2), Dan is my favorite character, and as these few sentences are frightfully inadequate for explaining just why that’s the case, look for a post all about Dan coming soon(ish).

(I highly recommend this fanfiction, and this one if you’re also a fan of Dan.)

Good Book. Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott. Love this one best of all her books...except maybe Under the Lilacs

Then, it was time for Jo’s Boys.

Me reading Jo’s Boys:

*opens book* Ah, I can’t wait to re-visit all the characters from Little Men.
A few chapters later: It’s kind of boring, but all the boys are still awesome, especially Dan.  But he has a beard.  That’s weird.  Oh, well, I’ll just ignore it.

Later: Wow, this is really boring.  Too much moralizing.  Whole chapters of it.  But at least the Josie-wanting-to-be-an-actress thing is interesting.  I wish Alcott would focus more on Dan everyone else, though.  And am I the only one who sees definite similarities between Nan and Tom’s relationship and Jo and Laurie’s (from Little Women, that is)?
Still Later: Nat’s going to rack and ruin in Germany?  Meg won’t let him marry Daisy?  Emil’s shipwrecked?  AND DAN’S IN JAIL FOR MURDER???  WHY CAN’T THERE BE HAPPINESS ANYMORE?
*picks up book after abandoning it for several minutes* Emil’s awesome.  Well, at least Nat’s getting his life turned around for the better now.  Why’s everyone suddenly getting engaged?  Why does Alcott stop the story to talk about women’s suffrage for chapters on end?
Rest of the book: Well, everything’s turning out okay.  Dan’s back home, everyone’s happily married or engaged.  EXCEPT DAN.  Who, it seems, will never get a happy ending.  WHICH IS NOT FAIR.  I’m soooo glad Nat and Daisy are going to live happily ever after, though.  They’re both sweet.  Now she’s wrapping up the story and-DAN DIED.  DAN. DIED.  DEFENDING THE INDIANS.  NOOOOOOOOO.
*spends the rest of the day moping around the house because DAN*

All the above is an absolutely accurate account of my thoughts and reactions.  Nothing is exaggerated (NOTHING).  I hated the book but I loved certain parts so, suffice to say, I’m still feeling very conflicted about the whole thing.

Little Women

And then there were the two film adaptions I watched recently (as in, yesterday and the day before that).  In my opinion, there hasn’t been a definitive version yet, and I don’t think there ever will be, but the ’49 and the ’94 adaptions did excellent jobs nonetheless.  There were things about both that I adored, but neither movie got all the casting or the script quite right.  For instance, although I love Professor Bhaer’s casting in the ’94 adaption, he and Jo would NOT have kissed anywhere except under the umbrella.  Because he thought he had no hope of winning her and that she would never see him as anything but a father figure, so he definitely wouldn’t have kissed her.  In terms of everyone else’s casting, I think the ’94 adaption is better, overall, but they got Younger Amy wrong.  She’s more…sophisticated than that, even as a child.  But I can’t decide between Peter Lawford and Christian Bale when it comes to Laurie.  I just can’t.  I think the ’94 film captures the tone and mood of the book better than the ’49 one, but both adaptions have their good and bad points, in mostly equal amount.

My recommendation: Read the books.  Watch the films.  They make me feel happy every time, and I’ll bet they’ll do the same for you.


P.S. I know there was supposed to be a Friday Finds post today.  But I started writing this post and time got away from me.  Next week, though – I promise!

more favorite screen characters

I had so much fun with the Ten Favorite Screen Characters Tag that I decided to write a follow-up post with a few more of my favorite screen characters (I was trying to be quite exclusive with who I chose,  so I didn’t end up with quite ten).  As before, I’ve stayed away from real life people portrayed on-screen (with one exception that I couldn’t leave out) and characters in film adaptions of books I’ve read.  After all, I have to have a few boundaries, or I’d be here all night!

~Kirby (Jack Hogan) from Combat!

The first episode of C! that I watched was “Forgotten Front”, in which Kirby was a Grade-A jerk.  I remember glowering at him (if looks could kill…) and thinking that I liked Caje and Saunders MUCH better.  The next few episodes did little to change my opinion (particularly “Far From The Brave”), but when I got out of Season 1 episodes and started to skip around, Kirby steadily rose in my estimation until he became my second favorite C! character.  Sure, he’s annoying at times, but he has his good qualities too (so many, actually).  I’ve got pages of stuff written up about him in my C! notebook, theorizing about his background and the way he looks out for Tate (one of the kids in “The First Day”) in a grudging sort of way, and what he’d do after the war (ASK ME ABOUT.  I’ve got two headcanons and they’re both awesome.).

~Tully (Justin Tarr) from Rat Patrol

this is Tully's

Tully’s the best.  He’s got a great Southern accent (not a drawl…it’s clearer, but still lovely), a smile that lights up the desert, fabulous hair, and shooting abilities that would put Sergeant York to shame.  He loves The Jeeps, can drive like nobody’s business (picked it up running moonshine in Kentucky as a kid), and is bffs with Moffitt.  *siiiiiiigh*

~Britt (James Coburn) from The Magnificent Seven

According to various sources, Britt is the character most like his Japanese counterpart in Seven Samurai than any other of the remake’s characters, which makes sense because James Coburn was a huge fan of the original film. (He went to see it FIFTEEN TIMES when it first came out.)  He obviously put a lot of work into making Britt such a great character and had a lot of fun with the role, and every time I see Britt napping, leaning against the back of the fence, I always get a grin on my face. (He does the same thing during the festival, only it’s a tree, not a fence.  Everyone’s partying, and he’s napping.  Introverts FTW!)  Aside from the fact that he died, I wouldn’t change a thing about Britt or Coburn’s performance.

~Henry Jones (Sean Connery) from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

My brothers introduced me to the Indiana Jones films a few weeks ago, first with The Last Crusade (which I loved) and then Raiders (which was okay), and I’ve been a fan ever since, though I wouldn’t say it’s one of my top fandoms.  I haven’t seen Temple of Doom or Crystal Skull yet, and I really don’t have any wish to because 1) I’ve heard they’re not all that good and 2) neither of them include Henry Jones in the cast of characters.  Now, Indi is all well and good and I do like him, but I like his dad more.  Last Crusade is the only film I’ve seen Sean Connery in (besides The Longest Day), and I loved his performance.  So much fun.  He gets a ton of good lines (“We named the dog Indiana!”) and his relationship with Indi…ah, it’s great.

~Lovat (Peter Lawford) from The Longest Day

Favorite Peter Lawford role.  Hands down. (Admittedly, I’ve seen him in a handful of films, but STILL.)  The real Lord Lovat was an epic guy, and I think Lawford did an excellent job bringing that across in his (very) few scenes.  As far as I can tell, his portrayal was remarkably accurate (thanks in no small part, of course, to the script): from his white sweater (Elisabeth and I love that sweater) to that crazy Frenchman with the champagne to Lovat’s apology for being late, it’s all straight from Real Life.  Very cool.

~Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) from Marvel

Bucky Barnes reporting for duty.

Poor Bucky. *sniffffff*  I still haven’t gotten over The Winter Soldier.  I know there aren’t too many fans who liked The First Avenger, but I love it, and the first time I watched it, I was heartbroken over Bucky’s ‘death’. (He’s really such a sweet guy.  And then HYDRA had to turn him into some kind of MONSTER.  UGGGGGH.)  At the time, I know nothing about the MCU, so when I watched the trailer for TWS (which came out just a couple of days after I watched TFA for the first time), I didn’t know that Bucky had actually survived.  So I was quite downcast about his apparent demise for some time, and then I found out about him being the Winter Soldier, and I got feels-attacked.  Again.  Anyway, I wish more people would talk about pre-serum, pre-metal arm Bucky, because he’s wonderful with his protectiveness toward Steve (even when Steve doesn’t need protection anymore), and his loyalty and…yeah.  I loved him back then, too.

~Ari Ben Canaan (Paul Newman) from Exodus

How do I explain Ari?  Well, for starters, he’s an amazing hero.  One of my new favorite fictional heroes.  He’s courageous – he’s not afraid to stand up and fight for what he believes in, even if everyone else is against him (or, in this case, the whole British empire).  He has a wonderful relationship with his parents and his sister.  He’s a gentleman.  He cares about people (but he doesn’t let that impede his judgement).  In short, he embodies most of the qualities that I’d love to see in the guy I marry, and I think that’s pretty awesome.

~Damian (Farley Granger) from The North Star

Damian is young, but he’s brave, too.  He has a beautiful relationship with Marina (when he danced with her AND when he asked her for a kiss? *heart melts*) and the rapport between him and his brother, Kolya, is PRICELESS.  I love The North Star and all the characters, but especially Damian, so I was greatly relieved when my dire predictions about certain characters’ fates didn’t come completely true (me to Elisabeth: “They hugged [Damian and Kolya].  At least one of them’s going to die.  Probably both, though.  But at least one is going to die.”).  I was worried for a bit, but it did all work out in the end. (Besides the fact that he DOESN’T HAVE A BROTHER ANYMORE.)

~Hymie (Dick Gautier) from Get Smart

I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about including Hymie on this list until a couple nights ago when my siblings and I were watching Get Smart and he showed up in an episode and I freaked out, in a fangirl way (I really did – just ask Elisabeth).  ‘Cause that showed me that I did indeed like Hymie enough to feature him amongst all the other great characters I love.  I know it’s kind of weird to like a robot so much, but I guess it’s the same as liking R2-D2 or C-3PO, right?  Hymie’s a lot of fun, with his rather unique outlook on everything, so it’s always super when he’s in an episode. (I almost included Parker on this list as well, since I adore his enthusiasm for all the weird stuff he invents, but I thought two Get Smart characters might be pushing it.)

Honourable mentions include Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) from Grapes of Wrath, Pat Gilbert (Dana Andrews) from State Fair, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) from Marvel, Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman) from the Kung Fu Panda movies, Hobart Kemp (Josh Duhamel) from Ramona and Beezus, and Demitrius Gans (Marc Gomes) from Sue Thomas: F. B. Eye.  (And a bunch of other characters, but that’s just a given.)

Did you see any favorites on this list?


adventures at the local flea market

{This post will be illustrated with randomly nice pictures of colourful clutter and interesting antiquities – not photos from the flea market I frequent.}

5 Kitchen Things You Should Always Pick Up at a Flea Market — The Kitchn

So, my family has the tradition where every Saturday, Dad takes one of us kids to the flea market that’s about a half hour drive from our house.  The whole thing started because of eggs: there are ten people in my family (including me), and we eat lots of eggs all the time (scrambled, fried, egg salad, in cooking and baking…) so it isn’t economical to purchase the several dozen we consume each week from a grocery store.  There’s a great place at the flea market that sells several dozen eggs in one big box.  Dad went by himself at first, but as there’s tons more to see/do at the market than just buy eggs, he realized that it would be a great way to spend time with each child individually (something that wouldn’t happen a lot otherwise – he’s pretty busy).  It’s become a fun routine, even for my introverted self (okay, I’ll admit I don’t always want to go when my turn comes around, but I’m usually glad I went afterwards), and I thought I’d share some of the flea market’s idiosyncrasies, since I know them so well and I just went recently, so it’s all fresh in my mind.

To begin with, I suppose I should describe the market a little so that you can see it in your mind’s eye…

There are three large barns: one for bargains, one for antiques/collectibles, and one for junk.  The categories tend to overlap a LOT (particularly the junk part) and it makes for an interesting experience, as you never know quite what you’ll find (food shouldn’t really fit into any of those barns, but each one has a least one food stall).  The barns are all roughly grouped around a large area in which outdoor booths are set up if it’s spring or summer or fall.  The ground is a mixture of sand and gravel, which is muddy in the spring, muddy and snowy in the winter, and rock hard in summer and autumn.  All the barns are bright and warm, but not really bustling, because everyone tends to poke around if they’re a customer, or, if they’re a vendor, sit and chat with other vendors.  Like I mentioned before, there’s quite a bit of junk mixed into nearly everything, but there are some good finds, if you search hard enough.

Paris Flea Markets: Marché aux Puces St.-Ouen de Clignancourt...I want to wade into this market waste deep and shop until I drop!  Too fabulous for words!

Dad usually starts off with buying the eggs (usually one case, but sometimes two) and taking them back to the van, and then we make The Rounds.  Pretty much the only two stalls that can offer consistent quality are the Lego booth, and the coin booth (rare coins, precious metals, stamps, etc.), so we always go to those two first.  Dad likes talking with the guy who runs the coin booth – and it can get pretty boring – so I go and wander around the Lego booth and the antiques/collectibles barn at large.  

Most of the books sold at the flea market are trashy romances (ugh) or pulp thrillers, but I have seen a few classic volumes and there’s one stall that sells a bunch of Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Cherry Ames/Trixie Belden books.  There are actually several people that sell books – since there are so few buyers, nearly everyone has to supplement their main product(s) with a bunch of trinkets and unrelated items. (At least that’s my theory.)  Anyway, I haven’t found a Jack Cavanaugh book there yet, which is always my goal at places that sell used books, but once I do, you’ll be hearing about it.

I don’t actually find much of anything worth my money whenever I go, but the last time I went, I did.  At one of the outdoor stalls, sandwiched between Bridget Jone’s Diary and Mean Girls, there was a DVD that had a collection of four WWII movies on it – and one of them was The North Star, starring (hehe…no pun intended) my beloved Farley Granger and Dana Andrews (who happen to go together like bacon and eggs).  Awesome, no?  I snapped it up right away (obviously).

Flea markets are always exciting. I feel like it allows me to experience a bit of the past while I anticipate finding a hidden gem.

And now to discuss the People Of The Flea Market (my favorite part)…

There’s a guy who runs the Lego booth, who shall remain nameless because I don’t know how to spell his name I don’t really want to name names here, who kind of weirds me out…because I’ve never seen him!  Everyone in my family (except Mom, who rarely goes to the market) has a story about him, can imitate him, can describe him, but not me because I’ve never seen him, in all the years I’ve been going to his booth. (He gets his mom to fill in for him sometimes, which explains a lot, but STILL.)  As for the booth itself, it has a really nice selection of minifigures (which I collected once upon a time) and used sets and Lego-themed books, which makes my brothers + sisters very happy. (And Dad’ll buy a set or a figure semi-regularly; he has nice little collection himself.)

According to my sister, there’s a woman who sells heavy, knitted hats and scarves year-round, even when it’s summer and stepping into one of the barns feels like stepping into a pressure cooker.  She (my sister) has never seen a single person buy anything from that booth, which kinda makes me feel bad, because it’s obvious that the woman has put a bunch of effort into everything she sells…but pretty much nobody ever buys anything from anyone, so it’s not a unique story.

Stil in #Berlin: Shop in Berlin: Arkona Platz Flea Market More information on Berlin: visitBerlin.com

Then there’s this one real estate agent who’s managed to write himself into the Schonhaar family history (which basically means we’ll always remember him and most likely tell our children about him) because his stall is, in a word, odd.  Like I said, he’s a real estate agent (sells golf courses, stuff like that), and while he does hand out business cards with alacrity, his booth is crammed full of random knick-knacks, which somewhat lessens the effect.  Lids for missing cookware, cookware with missing lids, old Christmas ornaments mixed in with gold-panning equipment (I kid you not), and on and on it goes.  Weird, huh?

But there’s one person that trumps everyone else: The Neo-Nazi Guy.  THIS GUY.  IS CRAZY.  When you walk into his booth, it’s like bearding the lion in its den (Elisabeth and I did it once – I don’t really want to again).  The guy’s got heavy metal music blaring from speakers, and the further you penetrate into his lair, the more Nazi-ish it becomes.  Revolution-type Neo-Nazi magazines from the 70s are stacked on rickety chairs, photos of Hitler (and other top ranking Nazi leaders during WWII) are plastered to the walls, he has genuine German helmets and bayonets (WWII) for sale, and swastikas everywhere.  How does he even stay in business?  It beats me.


Sounds interesting, right?  If you ever come up to visit, and you want to see The Illustrious Flea Market, let me know and I’ll arrange a visit. 🙂  It’s open every Saturday and Sunday, except for the major holidays, so getting in shouldn’t be hard. (And in case you were wondering, I’ve concealed the actual name of the market for privacy purposes.)


P.S. I believe this is one of the first posts I’ve written that offers a peek into my family’s life, and if you all enjoyed it – and want more – let me know and I’ll see what I can do about sharing some more.  There are a lot of us, so there are always Interesting Things happening.

friday finds {#12}

Queen Elizabeth’s wedding cake. // WOW.


I love this picture!



The first Walmart store opened in 1962.

Couples celebrating Germany’s surrender. Love it!

Combat! cast going through Basic. (again, for most of them)

One of my favorite pictures of her.

NASA before Powerpoint.