Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I reviewed It's A Wonderful Life (click HERE for review), I mentioned that I might write a post with details about the great Jimmy Stewart.  In keeping with my new policy of attempting to kind of follow through with my mentionings, here's the Jimmy Stewart post. Some of this info is stuff I happen to know, and some of it comes from Wikipedia.

James Maitland Stewart was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, on May 20th, 1908. His father owned a hardware store. Jimmy was expected to take over the store one day. It didn't happen. Instead, Mr. Stewart eventually displayed his son's Academy Award in the window of the store.

  • Jimmy's first experience with acting came during his prep school days at The Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. You might recognize the name of this school. It is The Hurricane's alma mater; she also acted for the first time at the academy. 
  • When Jimmy Stewart was a student at the academy, it was a boys' school. No girls allowed.
  • Jimmy went to Princeton following his prep school graduation. He majored in architecture, but soon found himself drawn to the theater department.
  • He graduated from Princeton in 1932. 
  • Jimmy had parts in some plays on Broadway. Most of these productions were not successful.
  • MGM signed him to a contract in 1935.
  • Jimmy Stewart made ninety-two movies. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1941 for The Philadelphia Story.

Jimmy Stewart with Katharine Hepburn in
The Philadelphia Story.

  • Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were close friends.
  • Jimmy married Gloria Hatrick McLean in 1949. They were married until her death in 1994.
  • He joined the Army Air Corps in 1940. My dad was a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. Jimmy did not need my father to teach him how to fly. He was already an excellent pilot.
  • He flew many missions and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve, as did my father. 
  • Jimmy became a Brigadier General in 1959, the year I was born.
  • He died in 1997 at age eighty-nine.
Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite actor. He made so many movies I love that I can't possibly recount them all. It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite movie. My favorite Hitchcock movie is Rear Window, which starred Stewart and Grace Kelly. 

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
You Can't Take It With You
Destry Rides Again

Oh, how I love Harvey, the rabbit only Elwood P. Dowd can see. I think my children's favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is The Spirit of St. Louis. They discovered it on AMC and insisted that I watch it when it came on again. I had never seen it. There's no such thing as a Jimmy Stewart movie that I don't love--except I've never liked Vertigo, so let's not talk about it.

In his later years, I remember Jimmy Stewart sometimes reading his poetry on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

The poem Beau still makes me tear up.

God bless you, Jimmy Stewart. I'm grateful I can still watch your movies, you tall drink of water at six feet, three inches, just like Favorite Young Man. I think I miss Faulkner as much as you missed Beau.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, January 26, 2015


Hello, Darlings,

Sonya Ann, who blogs at at A Mom, Money, and More, announces the completion of her book, Stratagem A Life Perceived

For five days, she's very generously offering the e-book for free. Go HERE for the free download, or if you don't have a Kindle, download a free app HERE. The app allows you to download the book to your computer. To celebrate, Sonya Ann is having a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway.

Big time congratulations to you, Sonya Ann. A book is quite an accomplishment.

Best wishes!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

As we welcomed the new year, clad in a disposable diaper (the new year's baby--not us, well maybe some of us), I let you know in a post that I had to cut back on my blogging time. I had to make other parts of my life priorities, including editing, writing, reading, and taking better care of myself.

With those goals in mind, most of my blog posts have decreased in length; I don't respond to all comments, just a few by email; I don't comment on as many blogs as I did previously; and although I read as many blogs as time allows, I don't read as many as I did before.

Since I initiated these changes, I've noticed that my page views have been cut in half, but the comments have continued to arrive.

What do you think of the adjustments I've made?  Do you feel neglected if I don't comment on your blog? Are you brokenhearted when I don't respond to your comment? I can't imagine that shorter posts would upset anyone.

I'd love to know what you think. If you have suggestions for ways to improve my blog, or if you can't stand me, then please tell me so I can ignore you.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Image courtesy of fishducky.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I was rather shocked to learn that author Ann Patchett married her dog, but it was in The New York Times so it had to be true. They reviewed one of her books and mentioned "her stabilizing second marriage to her beloved dog."

I understood Ann's feelings. Dogs never let us down.

But then I discovered this letter she wrote to The Times:

Puppy Love
To the Editor:
I was grateful to see my book “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage” mentioned in Paperback Row (Oct. 19). When highlighting a few of the essays in the collection, the review mentions topics ranging from “her stabilizing second marriage to her beloved dog” without benefit of comma, thus giving the impression that Sparky and I are hitched. While my love for my dog is deep, he married a dog named Maggie at Parnassus Books last summer as part of a successful fund-raiser for the Nashville Humane Association. I am married to Karl VanDevender. We are all very happy in our respective unions.
Lord, help us. We can't even trust The New York Times to get their commas right.

Image courtesy of fishducky.

If you're look for a good book to read, I recommend Bel Canto, written by none other than the accused dog marrier, Ann Patchett.

 Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Ole! Do I have a great movie for you today (Ole! Tengo una gran pelĂ­cula para usted hoy). 
It's Chef (2014; Rated R; Available On DVD; Written and Directed by, and Starring Jon Favreau).

Prominent Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) disagrees with the owner (Dustin Hoffman, who comes off as a real doofus) of the restaurant where he works about the menu to serve to a well-known food critic (Oliver Platt). Casper gives in to Doofus's menu commandment, even though the chef should be in charge of the kitchen, and receives a lousy review. After Casper has a confrontation--to put it mildly--with the critic and it goes viral, Casper no longer has a job. His life is in disarray. He has virtually no relationship with his young son Percy (Emjay Anthony), and he's divorced from Percy's mom, Inez (Sofia Vergara).

At first Casper rejects Inez's suggestion that he start a food truck, but when he gives in . . . well, you have to watch it to see what happens.

I love this movie. I love the screenplay. I love the way it's shot. I love the acting. Favreau is perfect. The kid who plays Percy (I could make fun of the name Percy, but I won't) is a great help to his dad, but not in that obnoxious kid is superior to parent way. I don't watch the TV show with Sofia Vergara and have no idea what it's called, but she seems like someone who would be your friend and wouldn't care that she's gorgeous and you're not (although I am). I love the concept of building I can't tell you what because it would be a spoiler, and I enjoy the Cuban culture in the movie.

Chef earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Whoop-Di-Doo Approval because it's fun and cool and all sorts of good things. I did not watch this movie with Willy Dunne Wooters, but I know he'll love it. I'll probably order it again from Netflix, or buy it when the price comes down, so he can see it and I can enjoy it again.

I don't think Chef was nominated for any Academy Awards, but some critics had it on their lists of movies that might be nominated for Best Picture, although it would be a stretch.

Happy Viewing!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A few days after Christmas, a text exchange with one of my favorite nephews (they're all my favorites, except one) made me happy. His mom, my sister-in-law, has dementia and now lives in a care home. She has always been very thin. Her already-small appetite pretty much disappeared when she learned her diagnosis.

From my past work in the nursing home, I know that many people will continue to eat sweets, even if they've given up on everything else. As long as they don't have diabetes, they might as well enjoy their treats.

So I used 1-800-BASKETS to send a few goodies to my sister-in-law. My nephew texted me that when he left her on Christmas Day, she was happily munching on some chocolate popcorn. That made me so happy.

Then my nephew texted that I am his favorite auntie. I replied, No I'm not. I'm not rich enough.

He wrote, Well, I do need a dumpster for my mom's house from Auntie L____, but you are my funniest and most intellectual auntie.

Does a better compliment exist? Happy, happy, happy.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

her head is in a spin
she's not sure who she am
her fingers leave no prints
her life's work is a sham