Sunday, January 19, 2020

Maine, Hollywood, Wyoming (Longmire)

Hope everyone had a great holiday season. Much as I enjoy the festivities and yearly rituals and gatherings, I also really like getting my house cleaned up and my schedule back to normal. In addition to reading, I also managed to complete four puzzles between Thanksgiving and last night.

Here's the last one I did--we're going to Maine for 3 weeks in August and I figured it was a good way to start my learning about the great state. My husband is taking a 2-week course on building a sailboat and we have an Airbnb rented near Brooklin, ME. While he's in class, I will do some days of work, and some days of hiking, sightseeing, beachcombing, blueberry picking, and reading, of course! I cannot wait to explore Acadia National Park.

I'm really liking the White Mountain puzzle these days.

Here's what I've been reading...

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, by Julie Andrews Edwards - this was a Xmas gift and even more enjoyable than her first memoir about her pre-Hollywood youth, which I read a few years ago. Loved reading about Julie learning her craft in real time while making Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. I have to say, though, that I don't envy Julie her life, not one little bit. Yes, she had tremendous talent and luck, but she worked so hard, sacrificing family stability, moving several times a year, juggling nannies and other support staff, and being married to a very volatile man. While reading the book, I had the notion that I would like to watch all of her movies in order. I started The Americanization of Emily with James Garner but disliked it so much that I couldn't finish it and promptly abandoned the plan. I hope she does another memoir about losing her voice and also becoming the Queen of Genovia in The Princess Diaries.

My husband has been reading the Craig Johnson series of Longmire mysteries for a few years now. He started after we watched the TV series, and since we recently rewatched the entire series  last fall, I decided to read the books as well, starting with The Cold Dish.  For the uninitiated, Walt Longmire is sheriff in fictional Absaroka county, Wyoming. His best friend is Henry Standing Bear, of the Cheyenne nation, and his staff includes deputy Vic Moretti, a tough-taking transplant from Philadelphia. The novels vary from the TV series quite a bit in plot--where the TV series developed its own story arc that included a casino on the reservation that causes all sorts of trouble for Walt as well as a rival for his office whose family is more than a thorn in Walt's side--the books are more episodic and don't carry a story line from one to the next. The TV series did an excellent job of representing the characters, however, and I see Robert Taylor as Walt while I read and especially Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry. Taylor, who is Australian, does a pitch perfect Western American accent, with my only gripe being he calls the other square state Col-o-rod-o instead of Col-o-rad-o.

If you like Westerns, this is an excellent mystery series, and if you liked Gunsmoke, the TV series will be like deja vu. 

Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear

Oh, and the TV series has some of the best music. Here's my favorite - Back in the High Life Again by Warren Zevon. Picture Robert Taylor riding a horse across a mountain valley with this song playing and you'll get a pretty good idea of the TV Longmire.


  1. Maine in August...sounds amazing! I hope you have the best time. :) I've always wanted to spend a week or two in Maine exploring Bar Harbor, and driving along the coast counting lighthouses, and even sailing on one of their tall ships.

  2. My wife does puzzles. They can be fun.

    I have read few Westerns but a good book is a good book. The Craig Johnson series sounds good.

  3. Jane, how exciting you'll be near Boston (Brookline) and Maine this summer. Maine is so beautiful and plenty to do near Boston as well.

    I like getting back to "normal" after the holidays as well. Cool puzzle!

  4. Happy holidays! The section of time that Julie Andrews memoir covers makes it sound like a fascinating read.

  5. I would LOVE to go to Maine! You are a lucky girl. :)

    I loved the Longmire series so much. I hated seeing it come to an end. I really need to read the books.

  6. Hi Jane, I hope you and your husband have a great time in Maine I have never been to Maine but I understand its beautiful.
    I have Netflix and have watched an episode or two of Longmire and I was impressed by Robert Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips' performances. I keep telling myself I must watch the series in its entirety and your post gives me the incentive I need.

  7. I’m sure Julie has another volume planned! Too bad the movie watching plan didn’t work out! Maybe just pick your favorites and re-watch those. I think I have ONLY seen The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Victor-Victoria. I have seen bits of The Princess Diary on T.V. but that’s it.

    I did like the Warren Zevon version of Back in the Highlife. The original by Stevie Winwood is a big favorite of mine.

    Love that you do puzzles. I have been doing them online lately which is advantageous in that you don’t have to sacrifice your dining room table AND all the pieces land right side up. It is quite addictive!

    1. OOh, I’ll have to check out the Stevie Winwood original of Back in the Highlife. Love that song.

      I have a card table that comes upstairs and resides next to the Xmas tree during my puzzle season. I cannot devote my dining room table to a puzzle, but viewing all the pieces with my current setup is a perennial problem.