Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday...downton, gifts, etc.



I don't know if you have ever noticed, but at the top of my blog in the header, there are the words empty nest...full heart...full life. When starting my blog, those words just seemed to fit the theme I was going for and describe my life. Imagine my surprise, when my daughter Melissa had this pretty plaque made for me as a Christmas gift. She took the words from my blog and found a site on Etsy. These kinds of gifts, that show how much you are noticing the little things about someone, are so special.

While I have been reading, I couldn't really recall any really good books that I have read lately. Then I remembered that right before Christmas I read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This is the story of the trains that would travel from New York to the Midwest in the early 1900's. These trains would be filled with orphans looking for hard working Midwestern familes that would be willing to adopt a child. It is the story of one girl and the hardship she endured before finding a family of her own. Of course, being the book nerd that I am, I did some research after reading the novel and found this to be based on true events. There were no background checks and many of the children were placed in deplorable conditions. Many became little more than servants or farm workers. Do you do that too - delve into the actual history of the books you read?

Downton Abbey was definately a shock this week. I have been reading a lot of reviews and recaps of the episode and while I understand the anger towards the writers, I don't think this is out of the norm for the show. There have been other shocking events throughout the series, including the act that made Cora suffer a miscarriage. And, if you look at this in strictly historical context, this would have played out exactly as portrayed. This was not an unknown occurrence in a house of that size and the shame and judgement a women of Anna's class would have felt, caused her to keep it a secret. She most likely would have been blamed.


Happy Thursday!



  1. Such a thoughtful gift; and such a sweet daughter!

  2. Your daughter's gift is the best! I love this!

  3. YES . . . my heart ached for her . . . I am wondering about next week.

  4. Perfect gift from your daughter. I hope you recognized my comment above was in reference to Downton . . .

  5. I read the Orphan Train after my boss suggested it. I love history {I would have been a history teacher, but God had other plans} yet I had never heard of the actual orphan trains themselves. I enjoyed the book. I watched Downton Abbey and had tears in my eyes when it ended. My heart just broke for Anna.

  6. I've heard of that book--I need to check it out.
    WHY ANNA? She's my favorite aside from Daisy.
    I will be tuning in to find out what happens next at the Abbey...

  7. I love books like the one you've featured - history is always so interesting. It was a shock to see DTA this week, things like these always strike such a hard chord with us. Especially when we know and love the character.

    Hope that you are having a great day!

  8. It just proves you raised a sensitive daughter to really pay attention to what you like!!! I'm going to get that book its just sounds wonderful. My FAV show is Downton Abbey, don't ever want the series to end.

  9. Vicki.. thank you for the book recommendation. I think we have similar tastes. Altho I am way behind in my reading, I write down your recommendations. This one sounds like a great one. DA definitely was a shocker this week. But I still love the show. Everybody (not me) complained the opening show was boring now everyone is up in arms on the turn of events. Can't please everyone... have a great week!

  10. I never know what night Downton is on so I just "on demand" it..I think it's on 2 nights..I'll catch up this weekend..

  11. What a thoughtful gift...all the more special because it's from your daughter!

  12. I'm with you about Downton- afterall we never expected Sybil to die or Cora's miscarriage either. Poor Anna.

  13. That's such a wonderful gift! How neat that your family is paying attention to your blog. :)

    I've seen someone else talking about how great The Orphan Train is. When I was teaching we read a story about the orphan trains. Sad time in history.


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Michigan ➡️ Florida
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