Saturday, December 27, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Several years ago I spoke to a young person who said she had never seen It's A Wonderful Life. Horrors! Moreover, she swore she did not know who Jimmy Stewart was. I was appalled, simply appalled. My children did excellent Jimmy Stewart impersonations by the time they were eight years old. Thus I began my one-woman campaign to encourage everyone on God's green Earth to see It's A Wonderful Life (1946, Unrated, Available on DVD and shown on television every year during the Christmas season).

Don't be fooled by this color picture promoting the movie. It's a black-and-white film, although that so-and-so Ted Turner colorized It's A Wonderful Life. The movie's star, Jimmy Stewart, was one of many to join film industry professionals who opposed the colorization of movies.

Stewart plays George Bailey, a man who longs to go to college and travel the world, but ends up running his late father's Bailey Building & Loan with the assistance of his bumbling Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell). George is married to Mary (Donna Reed). They have four children. One day Uncle Billy goes to the bank, owned by nasty old man Potter (Lionel Barrymore), to deposit $8,000 for the Building & Loan. He accidentally hands the money over to Potter, who does not return it. Now the money is lost, which leads to a crisis and the possibility that George will be sent to jail. George stands on a bridge and he jumps in the water, not to commit suicide as he had intended, but to save the life of Angel Second Class Clarence (Henry Travers), who longs to earn his wings.

Clarence grants George the unique opportunity to see what the world would have been like if George had never been born. And the rest is history.

Of the ninety-two movies Jimmy Stewart made, this one was his favorite, and George Bailey was Stewart's favorite role. Director/writer/producer Frank Capra's choice for his favorite movie among the many he made was It's A Wonderful Life. It's also my favorite Christmas movie, and my all-time favorite movie.

It's hard to resist a film in which the characters' prayers for their beloved friend/family member George Bailey are answered in person by an angel. I also love a happy ending.

Some people think this movie is corny (hence the term Capracorn), but I think it's sweet and beautiful and well made. The acting is ideal.

My favorite scene is one in which George sits in a bar and begins to pray:

Capra did not shoot this scene as a close-up, and, of course, computers and CGI and all that weren't available at the time to help Capra change the shot. Thus, he used an optical printer* to gradually enlarge the frames so we slowly see a close-up of George Bailey.

My favorite lines from It's A Wonderful Life are when George tells Mary:

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?

It's a Wonderful Life makes me happy for so many reasons, and I hope you'll allow it to make you happy, too. On another day, perhaps I'll write more about Jimmy Stewart. Though my favorite contemporary actors are Johnny Depp and Ryan Gosling, my favorite actor forever and always is Jimmy Stewart. He was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for It's a Wonderful Life. He didn't win that year, but he's never been anything less than a winner with me.

It's a Wonderful Life earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Joyful Approval.

Happy Viewing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*The optical printer was invented during the early 1930s and wasn't readily available for use until the mid-1940s. It allowed the director to do almost anything he wanted with the film. The optical printer is a movie camera and projector that face each other so individual frames from the film can be rephotographed and changed. In addition to making a medium shot into a close-up, an optical printer could achieve many effects including the following: create a freeze frame or a split screen, change the speed of the action, create transitions such as fades and dissolves, and add title credits

Friday, December 26, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.

To join the blog hop or to see the list of other participants, please visit The Armchair Squid.

My book choice for December is Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy And Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford.

I doubt if it comes as much of a surprise that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were not the first Commander in Chief and White House intern to become "involved." However, when President Kennedy deflowered young Mimi, she managed to keep it a secret for many years:

In the summer of 1962, I was nineteen years old, working as an intern in the White House press office. During that summer, and for the next year and a half, until his tragic death in November 1963, I had an intimate, prolonged relationship with President John F. Kennedy.

I kept this secret with near-religious discipline for more than forty years, confiding only in a handful of people, including my first husband. I never told my parents, or my children. I assumed it would stay my secret until I died.

It didn't.

During 2003, an oral history at the Kennedy Presidential Library was unsealed, along with other documents. The oral history revealed some of the affairs the president had. Although Mimi Beardsley's name wasn't mentioned, it didn't take long for members of the press to figure out who she was. Then they stalked her.

Marion "Mimi" Beardsley Fahnestock Alford decided to tell the truth when asked point blank if she was the intern who was intimate with President John Kennedy. Then she wrote a book to explain their complicated relationship.

I like this book, in spite of its rather salacious nature, because of the parallels to Clinton and Lewinsky, and because of the details Alford provides about the president's extracurricular activities. Jackie Kennedy would leave the White House with the children, and the inmates took over the asylum.  

Only a few days after Alford began her internship, President Kennedy himself served as her tour guide around the White House family quarters. The tour included Kennedy pushing Alford onto a bed and taking her virginity. Alford also describes JFK's now well-known skinny dipping pool parties, and the pressure he put on her to provide oral sex to one of his friends--in his presence.

This information makes me wonder more than ever about the characters of the men we've elected to the highest office in the United States. Alford's affair with the president cast a shadow on her first marriage, which ended very unhappily.

Mimi Alford's story is not a pretty one, but she wanted to tell her side of the story, and to set some facts straight. Her book is well written.

Once Upon a Secret earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Happy reading!


Janie Junebug

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Buon Natale

I'd Miilad said oua sana saida

Sretan Bozic

Glædelig Jul

Vrolijk Kerstfeest

Feliz Navidad
Maligayang Pasko
Hyvaa joulua

Joyeux Noël

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Kala Christouyenna!
Selamat Hari Natal

Nollaig Shona Dhuit

 Kurisumasu Omedeto

Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!

IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Feliz Natal!
 Pozdravlyenie s Rozjdyestvom i s Novym Godom!

God Jul

Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Chuc Mung Giang Sinh

Nadolig Llawen

Monday, December 22, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Welcome to the first ever bloghop hosted by yours truly, Janie Junebug,  and Cherdo on the Flipside. We want to know your favorite Christmas memory. We hope you'll visit the other participants in the hop and leave a comment on their posts. It's not too late to sign up. Go to the bottom of this post to join us and to find the blogs of all the participants.

Here's my favorite Christmas memory:

The nursing home felt sad and lonely throughout the holiday season. Christmas carols played over and over sounded tinny, and could barely be heard. Decorations didn't do much to spruce up the building. It was called a nursing home, but it was no home.

I always volunteered to work my seven p.m. to seven a.m. shift on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so someone who had young children could have the time off. We had been promised food for Christmas Eve, but by the time I arrived on Christmas Eve, the sandwich makings in the employee kitchen looked unpalatable. The lettuce turned brown. The cheese had a crust. The bread had gone AWOL.

I went about my rounds, as usual. All my patients were settled in bed. We had almost reached midnight when I entered Josie's room. I needed to check the flow of her oxygen and turn her from one side to the other in an attempt to prevent bed sores.

Josie was still awake. She looked sad, as she so often did. As I worked, I chatted and questioned her about the past. I hoped to bring out a happy remembrance of the holiday. Her memory was spotty, but she valiantly sought words so she could talk to me.

I wish the Lord would take me now, Josie moaned. I just want to die.

I remained quiet. She might tell me what troubled her.

When I was young, she said, I had a baby, but my husband wouldn't marry me. He married me later, but he wouldn't marry me then. I lied to all my friends at church and said I was a married woman. I . . . I . . . was embarrassed and scared that people would find out.

I couldn't take it anymore after a while, and I tried to drown myself because I was so ashamed. But it didn't work. My daughter knows about it. She says, Why didn't you leave him? I tell her I didn't have anyplace to go. Where would I go? 

A lot of women have that problem, I said. 

I've always been so afraid that God won't forgive me for having a baby when I wasn't married and for trying to kill myself.

We talked more. Josie opened her heart to me as she continued the story of abuse by her husband. He came in occasionally for visits. He didn't appear very nice. Josie's daughter was notorious for her nasty attitude toward staff members and her mother. The daughter came in for lunch every day. When she thought no one saw, she ate the food from her mother's meal tray.

When Josie stopped talking, I said, You know, it's Christmas. 

It is? she asked, surprised.

Yes, it is, and I can promise you that God forgives you. As soon as you ask his forgiveness, he grants it. You don't have to ask him over and over.

I didn't know that, Josie said. Her eyes grew wider. She seemed more awake and in control of her faculties.

I had to move on to my next patient. Merry Christmas, I told Josie as I kissed her soft cheek.

Merry Christmas, she answered. And don't tell the other girls what I did.

I won't tell anyone, I promised.

I left her room and spotted a handsome young man at the nurses' station. We rarely had a visitor in the middle of the night.

I hurried toward him. May I help you? I asked.

I'm sorry to come in the middle of the night, but it's the only time I can get here. I want to see my grandmother. Her name is Josie W______.

I'll take you to her, I said. She's awake.

I ushered him to the door of her room. I saw a smile--a real smile--cross her face. I had never seen her smile before.

I heard the scrape of a chair as he pulled it over to sit next to her. 

Their voices became murmurs. 

I thanked God for the gift of the grandson's visit. I had never seen him before, and I never saw him again. 

After that night, Josie seemed more at peace. It served her well when she developed a bed sore on her leg that led to the amputation of the limb. She was still alive when I had to quit my job to move away.

I've always prayed that death came quickly to Josie, to wrap her in the arms of a loving Christ and a forgiving God.

That's my favorite Christmas memory because I knew that God sent Josie's grandson when she needed to see him--needed to see him desperately. Through God, all things are possible.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I look forward to reading your posts tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 22nd) about your favorite Christmas memory.

You still have time to sign up. You can even sign up tomorrow and participate.

It's hard for me to decide on a favorite Christmas memory. I can think of so many happy times on Christmas.

See ya tomorrow. Be there or be square.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Hi Hi Hi hihihihihihihihihi Every Buddy! Do you know that Kissmas will be here soon?

Mom likes to sing Christmas songs. She sang this one: Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please to put a penny in an old man's hat. Please to put a penny in an old man's hat. If you have no penny, a ha'penny will do. If you have no ha'penny, then God bless you. If you have no ha'penny, then God bless you.

I decided to sing, too, but I changed the words (snicker snort): Kissmas is coming, Willy Dunne Wooters is getting fat. Please put five million dollars in Mommy's hat. Put five million dollars in Mommy's hat. If you don't have five million, a million dollars will do. If you don't have a million, then no cookies for you. If you don't have a million, then no cookies for you! snicker snort snicker snort snicker snort

I sang my Christmas carol about a million times. snicker snort

Mom told me to stop or I would get a time out. snicker snort

I didn't stop. snicker snort

I kept singing in time out. snicker snort

I sang the song about a million more times. snicker snort

All of a sudden Mom said, Franklin, if you don't stop singing that song, you might not get Kissmas presents.

I'll be quiet now.

Merry Kissmas!

Okay I love you bye bye

Franklin the Bordernese

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I was never much of a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons fan. I never saw the musical Jersey Boys on stage. I didn't know if I would like the movie. But I did, I really did. Now--much to Willy Dunne Wooters' delight--I can't stop singing "Willy, Willy baby, Willy, Willy baby, Willy, can you come out tonight? Why don't you come out with your red dress on?" I guess it might be irritating the one thousandth time.

I like Jersey Boys so much that I watched the DVD twice before reluctantly mailing it back to my dear friends at Netflix (2014, Rated R, Available On DVD, Directed by Clint Eastwood).

I like many aspects of Jersey Boys in addition to the music. The strong focus on the relationships between the original Four Seasons is interesting because even when they reached the point when some of them couldn't stand other members of the group, they took care of each other because it's the code of their neighborhood, the code of their Italian background, and the code of the mob. Yes, they had ties to organized crime--something I didn't know.

Frankie (John Lloyd Young) is out with a woman who asks, Why do you have a girlfriend when you have a wife? He answers that family is everything. That's the key to this movie. It's not just family as in the people to whom one is related. Family is a broader and more meaningful term. One could also say that three of the Four Seasons are stereotypical Italian men.

I didn't know most of what's in the movie about this unique group of young men. I did my research and learned very little of it is not true.

Stuff I like:

  • The main characters take turns narrating the movie. One of the Four Seasons might turn to the camera and break the fourth wall to add narration in the middle of a song.
  • Three of the four actors who play the members of the group played their parts on Broadway.
  • All the actors are good. I'm not a Christopher Walken fan, but he's better than usual as a mob boss.
  • The actors sang live. No problems with matching recordings to the movement of their mouths. 
  • The movie has a great finale that made me feel as if I were watching the show on stage.
As much as I enjoyed Jersey Boys, I don't see it as a movie that will get a lot of Academy Award nominations. Maybe Vincent Piazza will get a best supporting actor nomination for playing Tommy DeVito. He's perfect in his role. He's the only "member" of the group who didn't appear in the stage version. It seems Clint Eastwood was wise in his casting choice.

John Lloyd Young won a Tony award, but I'll be surprised if he's nominated by the Academy.

This movie has a lot of profanity and extra-curricular activities that you don't want your children to see. Perhaps older teens who want to learn more about the history of music will join you for Jersey Boys, which has The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. Willy Dunne Wooters didn't rate the movie. He said, "I liked that. It was good."

Don't you want to sing along? Frankie can hit some notes higher than I sing, and I'm a first soprano.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Recently I received a call and actually answered the phone, which I don't do all that often.

I mumbled a hello and heard SJAIEMLAISQUMIBIRBLRI.

I have absolutely no idea what you said, I replied.

The woman took a breath and slowed down to ask, May I speak to E____ M_____?

She doesn't live here, but I'm a friend of hers, said I. May I help you with something?

Oh, no! Jabberwocky said. I'll take this number off our calling list.

I texted E____ M_____ to tell her I'd just received a phone call for her. She texted back "Even salespeople associate us with one another."

I answered, "I'm surprised she didn't ask for Middle Child."

Here's a favorite photo of Little Middle:

All she needs is a mermaid's tail.

If you don't know Dixie of dcrelief yet, you should meet her, and in particular, check out this post: Dixie writes the sweetest poems, and she has a beautiful video in this post. The violinist reminds me so much of Middle Child that I watched the video three times and felt Middle Child had visited me. It brought tears to my eyes.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, December 15, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

That rotten no-good showoff Andi at delusions of ingenuity hasn't blogged much lately. I miss her even though I'm jealous of all the cool stuff she does. Andi can find a crappy piece of furniture that someone has thrown out and turn it into a showpiece. A while back, she had a chair that needed a booster shot, so she painted it with fabric paint. It looked ab-fab, sweetie baby.

My dining room chairs hadn't looked too good for a couple of years (I kept the white fabric seats in pristine condition for more than ten years, but then I allowed children to enter my house--big mistake! huge!). I decided that I would pull an Andi and paint the seats because having them reupholstered is more of a challenge than I'm willing to face, and I don't have the bucks to pay someone else to reupholster them.

So I went online to trusty Amazon and bought cheap inexpensive fabric paint. I'm not sure how many months the package of various colors of fabric paint graced my dresser because I was too lazy concerned that I wouldn't do a good job so I didn't do anything at all I spent long hours pondering how I would use fabric paint for the first time in my life. The chairs continued to look like this:

Then on a day early in November I decided that the package of paint had gathered enough dust to make me want to try the project. The sun shone, so Franklin and I dragged the chairs out to the deck.

I picked out four colors because I wanted to paint each of the four chairs a different bright, cheerful color. I applied the paint with wet sponges. A brush didn't work well. I quickly learned that one little bottle of paint wouldn't completely cover the seat of a chair.

Change of plans: Franklin and I decided that each chair would have a base color for the main part of the seat, and a complementary color on the edges of the seat. It didn't look all that great.

Another change of plans: I'm a Jackson Pollock fan, so I took the little bit of paint that was left in each bottle and squirted some on the chairs.

Franklin and I agreed that it was fun to splatter paint around. We think Jackson Pollock must have had a pretty good time––aside from being an alcoholic and dying in a car crash when he was drunk and driving a young woman to her death.

Frankie and I are a good team. We liked the chairs.

Frankie Pollock (not an alcoholic)

We let them sit outside for a while. Then we dragged them back in the house and forbade everyone from sitting on them. That means me; Franklin; and on part of the weekend, Willy Dunne Wooters (who was pretty darn enthusiastic about the chairs and thought they looked like sunrise, sunset, a forest, and my ass  something else I can't remember).

I worried that the blobs of paint would come off after they dried, but they didn't. We sat in the chairs for the first time when we ate Thanksgiving dinner. Favorite Young Man joined us. He liked the chairs, too, or at least he was smart enough to say he liked them. This is what the table and chairs looked like on Thanksgiving before we put food on  the table and our butts on the chairs:

Thanks in advance for telling me that the chairs are cool.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Recently I had 242 followers. Then I had 241. Then I had 240.

I bemoaned the loss of followers in a post and before the day ended, I had 250 followers.

I couldn't see that anyone had disappeared, and I don't see anyone new.

Life is a wonderful mystery.

You still have plenty of time to sign up for the Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop on Monday, December 22nd. Sir Shady, have you signed up yet? If you haven't, someone will come to your door to give you a spanking.

Sign up after you accept my infinities of love, dear friends. I can't wait to read your posts.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, December 12, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Our dear friend Joanne Noragon who blogs at A Cup On The Bus has a request. She wants to know how to do the linky thingy, and yes, that is the technical term.

I was scared of the linky thingy. I thought it might tun into an evil doll that attacks me in the middle of the night, or it might bite off my fingers, or I wouldn't be able to figure it out.

The linky thingy I've set up for the Cherdo and Janie Junebug Favorite Christmas Memory Bloghop (coming your way Dec. 22nd) is my first ever linky thingy. Linky thingy was much easier to use than I thought it would be.

If you are an experienced, many time linky thingy user, then please feel free to add to my simple-minded explanation.

Start by clicking on LINK. When you're there, you get step-by-step instructions. Linky is free for thirty days. After that, I don't know how much it costs.

On the right side of the Linky Tools page to which LINK will take you, near the top you'll see a box that says "New? get started." Begin by clicking on "sign up," unless you already have a linky account. If you have an account, click on "Log In", which is jut below the pink bar at the top of the page.

When you have an account, you can go to your dashboard. On the right side, you should see an arrow with a drop down list. On that list, you'll probably want to click on "Basic" for your type of linky. Linky recommends that new users get used to linky by choosing Basic, so that's what I did.

Fill out the form that comes up. You have to answer some questions about how many columns you want your linky to be (I chose two because that's what linky recommends). Of course, you fill in some basic information such as the title of the bloghop, and you write a little section telling what the bloghop is about. You also click next to a box that says what kind of blog you have: i.e., Blogger or Wordpress. You choose when you want your linky to start working, and when you want it to stop working.

After you've filled in everything that's required, your dashboard will have a new list. Click on "get the code." The code will appear, or it should--mine didn't at first, and I don't know why. I entered the information again, and voila! There was the code. You highlight the code and copy it (on your keyboard, hold down Control (crtl) and tap the letter "C" or right click and choose "Copy"). Now go to the blog post where you want the linky.

At the top of the blog post, the first two boxes say "Compose" and "HTML." You need to click on HTML. Go the bottom of your post and paste the linky code there (hold down ctrl and tap V or right click and choose Paste). Then you can click on Compose again. You won't see your linky, but when you publish the post, the linky magically shows up.  Linky will also let you make the code available in case other people want to put it on their blogs.

I have been putting the code on the bottom of almost all my posts so followers will see it and be able to sign up. My linky doesn't end until the day after the bloghop in case anyone sees the bloghop and wants to participate at the last minute or even the next day.

The linky page has instructions galore. I referred to them as I created the linky.

At the bottom of the box that says "new: get started", you can click on "Quick & Easy demonstration here" and get exactly that. The demonstration goes pretty fast, but you can always pause it while you absorb the information, or watch it more than once.

I hope this information helps. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me and I'll try to help. As I said, the Christmas Memory Bloghop is my first linky so I'm definitely not an expert, but it didn't take long to create the linky thingy.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Hi Every Buddy! Hi Hi Hi! I love you! I love you so much! I just got home from a fun walk around the park. I saw lots of friends.

Today I want to tell you about The Original Dog's First Christmas. Mom loves to tell me stories about him. Just in case you're new to our show, The Original Dog was a smooth collie named Faulkner.

Faulkner's first Christmas with Mom was in 1998. He'd never celebrated Christmas before, but he knew exactly what to do. He helped take the wrapping paper off the gifts. He got a squeaky ball. He loved that squeaky ball. Mom tossed it up in the air for Faulkner to catch, over and over and over. He loved his squeaky ball.

Mom says Faulkner also got a basket of chew toys, and some peanut butter drops that were his favorite treat.

I'm here because Faulkner was so smart and so beautiful that he made doggies irresistible to Mom.

I know I will get presents for Christmas, but now I'm the only dog. I would give back my presents if I could have Harper with us again.

Harper was my very bestest friend. I miss him lots.

I'll do everything I can to help Mom have a happy Christmas. I'll even kiss her toes.

Okay I love you bye bye.

Franklin the Bordernese

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I hate to bring up assaults on children, especially at "the most wonderful time of the year," but it's not a wonderful time in the United States for the one in four girls and one in six boys who are molested. And those numbers only account for attacks that are reported. The Children's Assessment Center estimates that seventy-three percent of children keep their devastating secret to themselves. The same organization reports that children are victimized at a much higher rate than adults, but the rape of an adult receives far more attention than the rape of a child.

Knowledge is power, so I present two documentaries this week. They should not be watched by children, though you should certainly talk to your children about boundaries that no one should be allowed to cross.

The first movie is Awful Normal (2004, Available on DVD).

Director Celesta Davis documents her own and her sister Karen's confrontation with a man who molested them in 1978 when they were young children.

I'm amazed by the calm manner in which they meet with Allen, who obfuscates and claims not to remember many events, though he does not deny that the abuse occurred. He also does not apologize.

I suspect that in the awful normalcy that is the lives of Celesta and Karen that they continued to think of Allen as a friend in spite of the misery he caused them. When they told their parents about Allen, they did not report him to the police, nor did the friendship end. They continued to see Allen, his wife, and their children regularly. It was normal.

This documentary is brilliantly made. It doesn't sensationalize the events. Instead, we follow Celesta and Karen on a quest that leaves them with even more questions, especially about their late father.

Since the documentary is ten years old, I'd like to know how the sisters feel about their rapist now, and how their lives have changed--or perhaps stayed the same.

Our second documentary is Deliver Us From Evil (2006, Available On DVD).

Filmmaker Amy Berg tells the story of Father Oliver O'Grady who spent the 1970s molesting the children in his congregations as his superiors moved him from one church to another in a desperate attempt to cover up his crimes. A number of the now adult children and their parents are interviewed.

Berg also speaks with O'Grady, whose behavior in many ways reminds me of Allen in the first movie. O'Grady admits to his crimes to a certain extent, but somehow can't seem to remember many details. Like Allen, he doesn't seem to feel guilty. However, his crimes seem even more egregious than Allen's because he exploited so many children, and because I sensed that he enjoyed recounting what he is willing to reveal about his evil deeds. This is not a repentant sinner.

Because of the persistence of his victims and their parents, O'Grady eventually went to prison for seven years and was then deported to his home country of Ireland, where he mixed with children, unknown as a child molester.

These documentaries can be learning experiences. We glimpse the minds of two child molesters, and we learn how they "groomed" their victims before raping them. We also witness their complete lack of remorse and absence of concern for their victims. Awful Normal and Deliver Us From Evil earn the Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Sad Approval.

Watch these documentaries after your children are in bed. The next evening, bake cookies with the kids, watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, and do what you can to gently teach them about what some people do to children that is so terribly wrong.

And listen. Be sure to listen. Sometimes children can't tell their parents about molestation because they don't have the vocabulary. Listen for phrases such as "he touches me too much" and "he tickles me", seemingly innocuous descriptions that may indicate a problem.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Let's finish this post by talking about happy memories:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I have lost two followers, but you escapees from the insane asylum can't ruin my Christmas spirit.

On with the Eighth Annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour. To read PRIMERA PARTE, please click HERE.

These are the five houses we visited on Saturday:

Photography was not allowed inside the homes, and neither were high heels. We had to cover our shoes with booties before going in some of the houses. Carol and I laughed that we needed some scrubs and masks to go with our booties so we could provide medical care to other visitors on the tour. Not a life was lost on the home tour with Carol and Janie Junebug at the ready.

If you're impressed by size, then the house at the top in the middle of the photo is the place for you. We were not allowed to visit the second story of this house, and I don't think we saw all of the first floor. This house is on the edge of the historic district, but it's not vintage. Although it has the look of a plantation house, it was completed earlier this year. The house itself is nine thousand square feet. If you add in the porches, decks, and patios, it's twelve thousand square feet.

I enjoyed the antiques and Christmas decorations, but do I want to live in such a large house?

No, thank you. Carol and I wondered how many people it takes to clean the house and care for the grounds.

This place also had the one item on the tour that made more than one person shudder. A doll that belonged to the owner's mother lounged in an antique cradle. The doll's face wore out, so the owner added a photo on fabric of her daughter's face to the doll. I swear to you, this doll is the kind that will creep around at 2 a.m., on the prowl for her next victim.

The view from one side of the house:

The best shot I could get of the second story porch:

I was surprised that we didn't see a single screened-in porch. The mosquitoes would make it impossible to sit outside. Carol opined that everyone stays inside with the AC running.

Let's move clockwise around the circle of homes in the photo. The next house was the smallest, and it was my favorite because the owner has put in ten years of do-it-yourself work to expand it and create unusual storage spaces. The kitchen is brilliant. Cabinets have been added under the stairs, and other cabinets slide out instead of having doors that open. A bump out provides a place for the large sink. The lovely island has the range on the top, and cabinets and shelves below.

This Old House magazine awarded this house a Best Redo of Living Space in 2012 for the attic that has been turned into a master bedroom and bathroom. We were allowed to see this house in its entirety, though it was a bit of a squeeze to get visitors up and down the staircase to the bedroom (the attic used to be accessed by pull-down stairs). I also love the house because it's cozy. It looks as if someone actually lives there. The owner added traditional Swedish stenciling on the walls throughout the house, and her mother's woven art works (made me think of the talented JoAnne Noragon, who has an Etsy shop now) hang on the walls or grace some shelves and tables. We even visited the guest cottage in the back, which is so beautiful that I want to figure out a way to make friends with the owner so she'll invite me to stay a while--or forever.

The owner now works as a consultant for people who need to solve storage space problems.

The third house in the circle was built in 1857 and is known as the Railway House because railroad employees once lived there. The owners also own the house next door, which they intend to turn into a restaurant called Indulgence. Carol and I hope to return next spring to indulge in Indulgence.

House Number Four was built in about 1873, and five generations of a family have maintained the house and added to it. It has beautiful glass panels in the doors. Someone pointed out how tiny the closet was in one of the bedrooms, but to have a closet in the original house would have been unusual for that time. People had to use wardrobes or hang clothes behind a curtain or sheet.

The final house, the yellow home on the left of our circle, was built in about 1903 and is owned by one of the first female tugboat captains, who is now retired. She and her husband raised and home schooled their five children on a tugboat. Items from their voyages around the world are on view. The family was featured in New Yorker magazine and pictured on the cover, a framed copy of which hangs in the house. The family still owns two tugboats, which are managed by some of the children who grew up on a tugboat.

Carol and I loved this tree. Instead of cutting it down, someone had the smarts to build a narrow road on each side of it:

And finally, I had to take a photo of this house that's for sale. I love the carousel horses on the porch:

It has eight bedrooms, so if you need a little more room for family and guests, cough up a mere two million dollars and it's yours.

I have a thought about the major difference between the houses on the tour and my humble bungalow: throw pillows. All of those houses have a ton of throw pillows on the bed. Some throw pillows came with my comforter. Those babies are on the top shelf of the linen closet because I won't spend my valuable time placing throw pillows on the bed. Thus, my house will never be part of a holiday home tour.

Although I'm disheartened by the loss of two followers, I'm heartened by the folks who have signed up to participate in the

If you haven't added the title of your blog yet, you can do so in the linky thingy below my infinities of love.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Carol and I spent Saturday enjoying the Eighth Annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour. We were allowed to tour all or part of five beautiful homes in Fernandina's Historic District. Each had been decorated for Christmas by a different florist on the island.

Here's Carol at the beginning of the tour:

Here's Carol at the end of the tour:

Here I am in front of one of the houses at the beginning of the tour:

Here I am at the end of the tour:

Gawd, I am beautiful. Sorry, Carol.

The day began with a heavy fog, but as we toured, the sun came out. The temperature was in the low eighties.

I hope that tomorrow I'll have time to tell you a bit about the houses, but we have to start with the really important part of the day. We met three puppies who are in training to be service dogs. I didn't take photos of them because it might have distracted them. They were so good in spite of everything around them. Two were Golden Retrievers who will help autistic children.

As we admired the puppies in training, along came the Parade of Paws, which consisted of about forty dogs in Christmas attire who hauled along their people in a fundraiser for the Nassau County Humane Society. We were in the right place at the right time. The dogs were a hoot, and they all looked so happy to show off their wags.

The tour included free trolleys to take us from one house to the next, but they weren't around much. Most of the time we walked. Carol and I began the tour at about ten and finished at three-thirty. Carol had already picked out a lunch spot, and this is what we looked like before we headed home to Jacksonville:

I'm not sure which of us is which, but this is another shot of us:

Now, sadly, I must scold you. More of you need to sign up for the Favorite Christmas Memories Bloghop that Cherdo and I will host on Monday, December 22nd. I'm not interested in excuses. Get your rears in gear.

Sign up below the spot where you accept my infinities of love.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug