Friday, August 26, 2016

The Underrated Characters of Downton Abbey

We all love Sybil, Lady Grantham, and (duh) Matthew, but there are plenty of other characters often left to the backdrop of the story who I think are pretty awesome.

So here they are-- the five most underrated members of Downton:

*spoilers for season 2* 

5. Mrs. Crawley 

"I would be foolish to accuse you of being unprofessional since you've never had a profession in your life." 

I love this woman. She can be very rude and forward, which I do not admire, but I completely respect the way she throws herself into whatever her caring spirit finds to do. And her banter with the Dowager is hugely amusing.

her aruging-with-Cora face

4. Mrs. Hughes

"Now why didn't the poets come to you, Mr. Carson? They'd have saved themselves a lot of time and trouble." 

Everyone downstairs is like a big family in a way. (Except Thomas and Ms. O'Brien who mostly do their own thing.) And Mrs. Hughes is the cozy yet efficient aunt-figure of the metaphorical downstairs family. She's someone I feel I could always bring my problems to. 

3. Wiliam Mason

"I believe in this war. I believe in what we're fighting for and I want to do my bit."

When Matthew and he fought in the war together.

His "romance" with Daisy is super sweet even though she doesn't exactly return the favor. And he goes off to fight like the other gallant male characters(minus Thomas, who isn't gallant). Plus he plays piano, as Naomi pointed out, and if that's not an attribute to recommend someone, I don't know what is. ;) 

2. Alfred Nugent 

It's somewhat incredible that such a close relation of Mrs. O'Brien's can be so much friendlier. Alfred is quiet and stays out of trouble for the most part, which makes him easily forgettable. But I like him a lot. Unlike fellow footmen Jimmy and Thomas, he's sincere and passionate about his interest(cooking). 

I'm looking forward to seeing his actor, Matt Milne, in War Horse

1. Daisy 

She can be super annoying, I know. 

But besides her stubbornness and restless disposition, I actually respect her. The girl wakes up at 4 every morning, does chores, rouses the other servants, does more chores upstairs, recluses back downstairs before anyone from upstairs see her(perish the thought!!), prepares tasty food she can't eat, does even more chores, worries about Alfred/William/Mr. Mason/studying math, and goes to bed. 

That's pretty much her life. And how often do you hear her complaining about not getting enough sleep or working harder than anyone else? (hint: pretty much never) :D 


Oh, and one honorable mention: Mr. Molesley. He's pretty great. 

Who are your favorite underrated characters? 

Thank you, Naomi for the wonderful Downton week! I wish I could've posted more, but everything was fun, nonetheless! :) 

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Let the joyous news be spread!": In Which Downton Abbey Week Begins and I Fill Out the Accompanying Tag

Downton Abbey week is here! Click the button on my right sidebar to find more information. 

To start us out, Naomi has put together this delicious tag. 

For those trying to avoid spoilers, here are the questions you should skip according to which season you've finished:

nothing or season 1-  2, 3, 4, 5, 9, sorta 20

season 2-  2, 3, 4, 5

If you've finished season 3 or later, I think you're good.

1. Who introduced you to Downton Abbey?
My parents. They didn't exactly introduce me, but they watched it first which piqued my interest.

2. What Season did you (or: do you think you would) enjoy the most?
Season 6 looks really special, but my favorite thus far has been Season 2. All the drama and WWI background and Mary/Matthew stuff. 

3. Who wore the prettiest wedding dress?
Edith. If nothing else, I admire her sense of fashion. 

4. What plot twist/ scene came most unexpected to you? (Or do you pre-read all the spoilers?)
I was pretty surprised when poor Edith got jilted at the altar. :( 

This makes me hate Sir Anthony Strallan so much.  

5. If you could save one character from dying, who would you save?
Matthew! The show is not the same without him.

6. Who is your favourite Downton Abbey footman?

7. What typo annoys you more? "Downtown Abbey" or "Downton Abby"?
I don't really see either of those very much. But probably the latter, since "downtown" is amusing to me. 

8. Which character do you think developed the best throughout the seasons?
Hmmm, not many of them develop for the better through the seasons. I think Rose matures the most and is actually a better person after a few seasons than she was originally. 

9. Favourite Downton couple? (Okay, pick two, because there's too much cuteness to narrow down to one.)
Sibyl and Branson. 

Matthew and Mary. 

And I ship Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson hard. But I don't know if it will happen.

10. Which of Granny Grantham's one-liners is your favourite?
I don't think I could pick a favorite, but here's an exchange I really love.

Mrs. Crawley: "You're only saying that to sound clever."

Lady Grantham: "Yes, you should try it!"

11. How do you react when you meet another DA-lover?
Hmm. A lot of people watch the show without being a lover necessarily, so when I meet a Downton-watcher, I try to stay calm at first. "Oh yeah! I love that show." 

But if someone is a fan fan, we MUST TALK. 

12. Do you think the show should go on and on, or do you think it should have ended earlier?
Well, I haven't finished it yet, but I think it should have ended at Season 7 or 8 if not sooner for these reasons: 

1). It'd be sad if lots of the actors got tired of it and wanted to leave the show, since that would would mean all of their characters would die/disappear. 

2). If it went too far into the '20s or '30s, the actors would start to look way too young.

3). Now the actors can look for new acting opportunities.

13. Which room in Downton Abbey is your favourite?
The library! I wants it. But the staircase is also eye candy.

not the library, but I liked this part nonetheless xD

14. If you could be part of the story, would you rather be a person downstairs or upstairs?
Downstairs would be less dull than upstairs, but I think I'd choose upstairs because:

1). the clothes

2). the people (Matthew, Sybil, Lady Grantham)

3). I could choose what I wanted to do like Sybil and Matthew did, rather than be assigned by Mr. Carson

4). walking on the staircase

5). having one of those huge bedrooms

5). eating the food

15. Who would you rather spend an afternoon with, Mrs Patmore or Lady Grantham (Cora)?
I'm not really fond of either. Mrs. Patmore is too bossy and Lady Grantham is too whiny. I suppose Mrs. Patmore. 

16. Do you have any Downton Abbey inside jokes with someone?
Quite! My friend and I binge-watched Season 1 together and realized how many "unimpressed" faces there were. Particularly Mary and Thomas's. 


17. Describe the show in one word.

18. On a scale of 1-10, how much of a fan do you consider yourself?
I haven't seen the last season and a half and I don't remember all of the characters' names, so maybe only a 7 1/2. But when I do watch it, I get really into it, and sometimes it's all I want to talk about with my Downton friends. 

So when I finish it, maybe I'll be an 8 or 9. :) 

19. Do you sometimes forget who is who?
Yes! Especially Mary's potential suitors and Rose's lovers. There are too many! 

20. Finally, who is your favourite character (okay, pick three favourites, but no more than three - NO MORE), and why do you love them? 

~Matthew- I love Matthew because he's productive, kind, gentlemanly, and otherwise nearly perfect. He fought in WWI, reformed Mary, and stood up for her against that nasty Richard Carlisle. 

~Lady Rose- I think by virtue of being played by Lily James, she's awesome. And I love how she matures over the show and all her quirks. :D 

~Sybil- Her passion and dedication to whatever she's working at coupled with her kind disposition make her one of the most moral characters in the show. 


There you are! You can hope(or dread, as the case may be) for another DA post or two before the week is over. Thanks for reading!

Can you all see the pictures in this post? Otherwise please tell me, because if you can't I must fix it immediately! :D 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer Reading Goals: How I Did

*waves regretfully* 

It looks as though summer is saying its goodbyes, folks. Which means the odd delight of school supply shopping, the convenience of schedule, and the challenge of re-orienting are greeting you. 

Or, they're running at you in a full-on sprint while you're still clinging to summer. Either way, we aren't going to dodge them for long.  

But it also means that I should talk about how I did with the summer reading goals I posted a few months ago. 

I was going for completing six categories. Here are the finished ones: 

~A Book From An Author I've Never Read Before- Ivanhoe. I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy it much(and hence the call for a re-read someday). I really wanted to like it. :/ 

~A Book I've Been Meaning to Read for Years- The Great Divorice. Also somewhat a let-down.

~A Sci-Fi Novel- Cinder! Along with its sequel, Scarlet

~An American Classic- Jo's Boys. You can check out my review, right here

~An Intriguing Picture Book- Elsie Times Eight. Ehh. The reason it was intriguing is that it's authored by Natalie Babbit, whom we can thank for Tuck Everlasting. But this particular picture book was mostly just weird. 

~A Book from a Series I Haven't Finished Yet- Anne's House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, and Rainbow Valley. I think when I finish the last book I'll post a review of the whole series. 

My aim was to branch out and finally read those books I keep failing to get around to, and I think I mostly accomplished that. I branched out by trying The Lunar Chronicles and the picture book, and pounced on those other evasive titles. 

The categories I have left to still read are: 

~A Christian Romance Novel

~A MG novel

~A Mystery Novel

~A Best-Seller

~A Non-Fiction Book on a Topic I Haven't Studied Before

~A Humorous Book

~A Book Published Less Than A Year Ago

~A Mystery Novel

~Something by Steven Lawhead

~A Book I'd Been Unfairly Prejudiced Against

~A Book One of My Siblings Likes

~A Book That I Started And Never Finished


It's my goal to finish this list by the end of the year. So at the end of the December, or when I finish the list, I will tell you all which books I picked!

Were there any books you read which were out of your default reading categories this summer? Did you get any of those books you've been meaning to read since forever? How was your summer?? 

Friday, August 12, 2016

"I Grew Up With" Tag

My bloggy friend, KB, tagged me for the "I Grew Up With" tag! Clearly I'm not grown up yet, being a high-schooler and all, but I think I should have enough material to fill this out!

To make it easier on myself, I'll restrict my answers to my early elementary school life. :)


1) Use the tag picture. (optional)

2). Answer the questions.

3). Tag (at least) two other bloggers. 

Well then!

Book Characters I Grew Up With(list as many as you want!):

~Belle(Beauty and the Beast

~Dorothy(The Wizard of Oz)



~Jo March(Little Women)

Family Food I Grew Up With(at least three things, can be seasonal, and not always 'favorites'):

~Swedish wafer cookies

~salmon! (well, we do live in Alaska, after all) 



TV Show I Grew Up With: 

I watched pretty much no tv shows when I was little. But when I got older, we started watching The Cosby Show. For awhile it was kind of our go-to choice when we were going to watch something. 

Careers I Wanted While I Was Growing Up: 

I wanted to be lots of things. One of them was someone who worked in an orphanage. I was inspired by Little Men, even though that wasn't exactly an orphanage. 

I also wanted to be a writer, a teacher, or an Olympian. 


I tag: Abby and anyone who has read a book in the last 24 hours. :D 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Would You Rather: Olympics Edition

I was so happy to see that Cordy created this because during the opening ceremony I was looking for some excuse to talk about the Olympics. :) 

I love the Olympics, despite being completely uninterested in sports at any other time. Watching individuals who have devoted themselves to a passion makes me really happy. :) It's also beautiful to see athletes from all corners of the world coming together peacefully and in good will. 

But onto the questions! 

Would you rather preform in the opening ceremony of the hosting country (you can pretend your country is hosting), or carry your nation's flag as everyone walks in during the opening ceremonies? Definitely perform in the opening ceremony. Because I'm so un-athletic, I'd feel wrong carrying the flag, but I'd love to participate in the festivities surrounding the country's history.  

Would you rather have to play a game of beach volleyball, or water polo?
Beach volleyball! Water polo would probably kill me. :/ I've always wanted to try volleyball, even though I'd probably be terrible at it. 

Would you rather run, or swim, in a relay?

Swim for sure. I was on the local swim team for a few years, so I know some of the swimming jargon. And swimming is just more fun than running. 

Would you rather participate in archery or the javelin throw?
Archery! Five words: Robin Hood, Queen Susan, and Legolas. 

Would you rather high dive, or execute a synchronized swimming routine?

Probably the synchronized swimming. The individual pressure of diving would be...bad.

Would you rather be on a rowing or sailing team? (In sailing, they sometimes have teams.)

I don't even really know the difference! Sailing sounds fun(?). 

Would you rather fence or preform in an equestrian event?

Ooh, I'd have to go with fencing. 

Two words: Inigo Mintoya

Would you rather do the poll jump or preform on the (gymnastics) uneven bars?
Poll jump! 

When you were younger, was there an Olympic sport that you always wanted to compete in? Which was it? 

Definitely! I wanted to compete in swimming, gymnastics, or volleyball. I even considered archery for a little bit. I probably wanted to do gymnastics most, but, needless to say, those aspirations didn't really pan out. xD

Thanks for the fun questions, Cordy!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Things I Must Do Before August Ends

Ay, ay, ay!

Where has the summer gone?

Actually, this has been an epic and fulfilling summer that started quite early, so I have nothing to complain about. But that doesn't mean I don't have a thousand more things I must do before August closes. Thankfully, although school starts mid-August, it probably won't get intense till September.

As Nimrodel said, "one month more". :D

Here are the things I really want do:

~Finish the Anne books. Three more to go.

~Get everything ready to start teaching piano in the fall. I'm hoping to start teaching piano as a  part-time job this fall, but I need to start advertising, purchasing business licenses, yada, yada.

And if you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers that I get students. :)

~Organize my school stuff. It's that time of year.

~Read Cress

~Make a picture album-thingy from the pictures I took with our most recent visitors. 

Here's one of the pictures: I'm rather proud of it:)

~Finish Sense and Sensibility'95. This one partially depends on my mom's schedule, because we're watching it together.

~Finish my math book. Yeah, hopefully...

~Get to where I'm supposed to be for our church's women's book discussion group. All the other women are reading Knowing God. I started it, but I really need to catch up now.

~Practice at least 7 hours of violin. At least.

~Write a guest post for LoverofLembas's Blog-ust

~Finish watching Strangers on a Train

~Read more of this school year's books. I was hoping to read ahead on a few more school books than I did, but if nothing else, I got the hard ones out of the way.

~Paint my toenails. 

~Practice piano at least 10 hours. 

~Do the Downton Abbey marathon my friend and I have been talking about since the spring.  "Don't be defeatist, dear, it's very middle class..."

~Catch up on pen-pal-ing. 

~Watch an episode of one of those tv shows I keep meaning to watch.  Jeremy Brett's Sherlock HolmesRobin Hood, Father Brown, Merlin, Doctor Who, etc.
British television for the win. :D

~Spend at least an hour studying Latin. 

~Finish listening to Focus on the Family's Les Misérables audio dramatization. 

And speaking of Les Mis...

~Write at least two more posts at my Les Misérables Fan Blog.

~Watch War Horse. But it's okay if this doesn't happen, because I have a lot of other movie/tv related items on here.

~Catch up on the Jane Eyre read-along. 

~Read Fellowship of the Ring. It's a bit of a tradition for me to read Lord of the Rings at the beginning of every other school year. Who am I to break tradition?

~Enjoy the Olympics. I'll be in something of a frenzy these next few weeks working on all these other things, but I want to be able to enjoy some of the Olympics events without stressing about what I should be doing instead.


Yeah, I guess that's all I have. At the end of August, assuming I've gotten a respectable amount of all this done, I'll post an update. You all can keep me accountable to at least making a dent in it. :D

Thanks so much for reading!

What do you have to do before school and September start?