About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Netflix Escape

(Our hostesses for this week's Fun Monday are Jennifer and Emily over at Mothers of Brothers . They want to know about the word or words that mean a great deal to us. After all, they say, words can be our building blocks to communication and understanding, our stepping stones, even our salvation. For this time in my life, I'm going with "Netflix". Here's why.)

For last week's Fun Monday I shared some of the challenges I'm currently working though with my older sister's medical issues and loss of her home through a fire in her apartment building. Over the past month I've moved her over 300 miles from her lifetime home to live in my city so I can provide the care and support she needs. She'll live with me for several months, at least, until we can find her a suitable new apartment. I'm so grateful to all of you who shared your insights and experiences in dealing with this all too common dilemma last week. You did indeed provide some pearls of wisdom.

Last week I spoke of living on the fringes of my home and the challenges of nose to nose living 24:7 for someone who's accustomed to privacy and the company of only Willie the pit bull. Willie doesn't demand conversation, need my bed, forget to clean up after himself. Nor does he watch game shows or the home shopping network nonstop. Why he hardly ever demands control of the remote except for Dog Whisperer episodes (he thinks Daddy puts on airs)or Houston Animal Policeon the Animal Planet(he gets misty over a good pit bull rescue story).

Here's where my favorite word,"Netflix", as in Netflix Escape comes in. A couple of months ago I signed up for movie delivery at home service thinking it would get me through the summer dry spell of TV reruns and bummer pilot shows. Even before all the Sis drama came up, I was loving the opportunity to have four great movies lined up at once to watch at my leisure (which is most of the time since I'm retired). Over the past couple of months I've watched over 30 memorable movies--British dramas, all the Jane Austen productions, obscure independent films that deserved more attention, and blockbusters that I missed when they were playing locally.

What you see here is my Netflix Escape spot. When every nerve screams for privacy, I retreat to this corner of my home, and go to another place in the world--maybe even another century by popping a DVD in my computer. If you look closely at these photos you'll see why this place is such an escape. First, Willie always sleeps on his yoga mat under the desk--he'll stay up as late at night as necessary. If I look over my desk, I can see the huge map of the world with places I've been and other places I'm going soon. When I look over to the left, there's some of my watercolors and pen and ink drawings done in a calmer, more creative time.

Stacked on the desk are books that I'm currently reading and favorite DVDs that I watch over and over. There's also photos of some much loved dogs and my current actor hotties--Colin Firth posing as "adorable casual" and Richard Armitage as John Thornton in
North and South who's almost replacing Mr. Darcy in my affections. Yes, this raises some questions about the maturity of this 60+ year old, but I did say it's an escape, right? And, I do assure you that I didn't have to hide fan pics of the Jonas Brothers before taking this photo!

See the big blue pilates stability ball under the desk? It makes an excellent foot prop for leaning back and watching movies for hours on end. And, do you see the two small purple pilates balls to the left? Their names are Paris and Lindsay and are highly recommended to sit on for long drive times--takes the pressure off your "brain", if you're still with me? I traveled over 2,000 miles in a couple of weeks in July and they were lifesavers.

Now here's my five favorite Netflix Escapes from this past month:

1. North and South--an adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel off the clash of north and south in the midst of England's Industrial Revolution. Northern mill owner, John Thornton, and southern parson's daughter, Margaret Hale, wage a major class battle until they come to an understanding, as you can tell from this scene. Do you even need to ask why this one is #1?

2.Veronica Guerin--Irish newspaper reporter fights drug dealers and crime bosses through her investigative stories when no one else dared take them on.

3. Darjeeling Limited--three grown American brothers travel across India to find their mother. They regularly do each other in, but come through in the end to act like brothers. Very, very funny.

4. The Songcatcher--an uptight music professor travels to the Appalachian Mountains in the early 1900s and discovers the purest of English ballads and friendship from the people who shared their music.

5. What a Girl Wants--delicious fluff! 17 year old American girl ,Daphne, heads off to England to connect with her father, the uptight Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth). The chemistry is great between the two and music just makes you happy.

So, for this month my magic word is Netflix as in a handy way to escape from my day to day concerns and let someone else do the plotting, planning and worrying for a couple of hours. Hope your magic word does the same for you. And don't forget to check out the other Fun Monday wise words.

(Hint: if you're like me and are always interested in other people's book piles--or if you need to see the lovely John Thornton up close and without his cravat--just click on the photos to embiggen.)


Jan said...

Interesting post. We all need a place to escape, either regularly or occaisionally.

Re: your comment. Create your own word graphics at Wordle: http://wordle.net/create. I also used the Mosaic Maker: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php. Have some fun, you deserve it.

Big Momma said...

Thanks for sharing your safe place with us.

I am also a Netflix subscriber. I have not seen any of the movies on your list. I would add them to my que, but my hubby is in charge of that. That is probably why most of the movie I see are man movies or Japanese anime. This is also why I generally can't stay awake to watch an entire movie. Poor me!

Alison said...

great post Faye..I am glad you have found a corner in your house for some peace and escapism.

Sauntering Soul said...

This is an awesome post and I'm glad you have an area of your home that really is yours and yours alone. I'm so sorry to hear about all that you're currently dealing with.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such wonderful comments while my life has been so chaotic as of late. You have no idea how much that has meant. Unfortunately I haven't managed to return the favor and I'm behind on a lot of blog reading. I will remedy that. :-)

Hugs to you and your sister.

Pamela said...

I saw North and South just recently. I think it was on my daughters netflix. (:

You've nearly got me convinced ---

ps. Hope things go better with the nose to nose living.

jientje said...

I had never heard of Netflix before, but I can understand why you need a little spot of your own! I wish you the best of luck and lots of courage to get through this.

SwampAngel65 said...

Love your post! I've never tried Netflix, but have been thinking about it. It's nice you have a place to escape. I am envious!

Colin Firth is my man...

Irish Coffeehouse said...

I must sign up with Netflix. I don't know why I keep putting it off, but your post could be the perfect advertisement for them! :)

laurie said...

sigh. sigh. sigh.

NORTH AND SOUTH. ah yes. sigh sigh sigh

MR THORNTON sigh sigh sigh.

here's something you might want to rent: "slings and arrows." major lust bunny with paul gross, but also the best written tv show i have ever seen. (it's canadian; that explains it.)

i'll tell you no more. it's available from netflix and i think you will love it.

netflix is great because you can get all those cbc and bbc shows that you can't get on your regular tv.

dmw said...

Lovely post explaining your hideaway and all the comfortable bits and bobs there for you. Thanks for it! JT and RA are two big faves for me as well, Mr. Thornton having brought me to the bigger body of Richard Armitage's work. If you can, see Sparkhouse, where his role is small, but powerful, or The Impressionists, which is just a beautifully filmed miniseries (and Netflix available i believe) - take good care

Faye said...

jan--thinks for wordle link. I'll definitely explore.

big momma--maybe you could sneak in a little John Thornton in the lineup if hubby could see Margaret Hale?


sauntering soul--glad to see you posting again--hang in there.

pamela--still a Mr. Darcy holdout? BTW, I try every week to comment on your blog and keep getting that blasted red stop symbol--what do you think I'm doing wrong?

jienje--I'm sure there's a Netflix counterpart in Belgium--highly recommend if you love movies.

swampangel165--wonder if Colin Firth realizes how many women he's stringing along? Somehow. . .

laurie--I remember when you were exercising with Mr. Darcy you also mentioned North and South, thanks loads."Miss Hale will not have me. . ." Will definitely check out the Canadian recommendations.

Dmw--North and South has interested me in Richard Armitage--checked out his web page and several interviews. Impressed by his modesty, quiet humor, and dedication to his craft. Have The Impressionists to watch this week.

Ari_1965 said...

Love Netflix. I've been watching silent films: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, etc. Tonight I'm going to watch the 1925 silent version of The Wizard of Oz, with Oliver Hardy as the Tin Man.

Tiggerlane said...

Great choice! I used to adore Netflix, until I got DVR with my satellite...however, I tend to DVR "Dog Whisperer," so maybe I could watch with Willie? I love "North and South," BTW....

Anonymous said...

I love it - I wrote about the word sanctuary you have highlighted the same sentiments but under netflix escape spot - brill

Hootin' Anni said...

Good evening Faye! I love the whole shebang of your FM. Looks like THEE most pleasant place on earth for you right now. I love it. And movies? Yes, yes, and yes. Love 'em myself. You've made some good choices for this month too.

Thanks for stopping by my FM earlier...hope your week treats you well.

storyteller said...

Wow ... you seems like a real fan of this service. I've not tried it but my friends speak highly of it. If I was a movie watcher I might be tempted ... but until that happens methinks I'll leave it to folks like you. Interesting response ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Molly said...

I am glad that you have found an avenue for escape. Sometimes, when I watch television or rent a video, the purpose is either for escape or my method of being anesthetized from the stresses of the day.

I hope that this answers some of your need for solace. Take care.

Cruise Mom said...

We all need a corner to escape to, and something pleasant to escape with.

Thanks for stopping by earlier, I'm really late getting back to everyone this week.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Places to escape are very very important.

Faye, I've posted a Morph update for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Faye - thanks for your comments. The music is Watermark by Enya it's one of my favourites. I got it from Imeen.com. Judyx

lisaschaos said...

Yippe for Netflix! How funny that it has become a favorite word. I'm glad you at least have you corner to use as a portal to escape.

Debs said...

I do hope your sister is coping. What a horrible experience for her and not much fun for you either.

I love your Netflix Escape spot, it looks very tidy to me.

Love the pic of Richard Armitage. That's from the end (or nearly) of N&S isnt it? Love, love, love it and him of course, so can understand why it's your #1.

Faye said...

gay married with cat--great to hear from you--I've been wondering how your summer is going.

irish coffeehouse--if you love movies and convenient viewing, Netflix would suit you.

ari-1965--I see you enjoy Netflix for the same reason I do, being able to go all out on a particular genre--silent films for you, British period drama for me.

tiggerlane--some day I'll catch up with you and be able to talk "DVR". BTW, can't get the image of WT's pirate panties out of my head. . .

tea4two-two4tea--welcome to my place, hope you'll visit again. Your "sanctuary" post had just the right tone--loved seeing your particular retreats. Thanks for letting me know the artist for your background instrumental--lovely.

hootin' anni--glad you're making it through the storm. If you're still hunkered down, hope the power stays on and that you have a good movie lineup.

molly--Agree with you. A well chosen book or movie can provide that "Calgon take me a away" feeling every time.

cruise mom--I hear you. Sometimes it's a challenge to get around to all Fun Monday posters, but always well worth the effort.

aoj and the lurchers--Morph on holidays in Wales with his pack? Good for him!

lisaschaos--another Netflix fan? Wouldn't you just love to get a peek at everyone's queues? Almost as good as scoping out their bookshelves.

debs--my escape corner serves the purpose right now, but I need a SHED like yours!

Lane said...

I love your double desk and if I had space for one, it would look exactly like that - books, notebooks, paints, favourite pictures and a dog underneath. Perfect.

Embiggening the photos I see you've been/are going to, an island in the middle of the Pacific and New Zealand!? You've been to a lot of places Faye!

I haven't seen North and South (I must) but sat up took notice when Mr Armitage made an appearance in The Vicar of Dibley and he's soon to join Spooks, one of my favourite TV series.

Love to you and your sister.

Sayre said...

NetFlix is a lifesaver. Not only for you, but for my parents. They live way out in the country and with the price of gas these days, can't really afford to jaunt into town for their entertainment. So they NetFlix. My mother can sleep through it however many times it takes for her to actually SEE the film and Dad can put his feet up and relax.

I'm glad you've got a hidey-hole to go to when things are overwhelming!