Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie

Firstly, the insomniac  would like to apologize for her tardiness in posting this week. She'd like to blame the delay on something exciting - you know, living the life of an incredibly busy socialite or something equally as glamorous (and if you knew the insomniac, you'd certainly see the humour in that  statement) - the boring reality being the three days spent painting in the real third-floor attic took its toll, and when Saturday evening rolled around she felt old and tired and sore, and chose to stay curled up in a semi-foetal position on the couch moaning about her aching knees rather than typing in front of the computer.

Whilst in our respective recumbent positions on our respective couches, the spouse flicked through the television channels looking for something to watch, stopping briefly at a station showing “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie” while exclaiming, “Oh look, it's The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie!” Which, as it happens, was filmed around eleven years ago in the Gothic Mansion. To summarize, the movie is about Charlie - a young man heading down that slippery slope towards Juvenile Deliquency. After being involved in one too many fights at school, his principal offers him a choice - either accept a community service job as handyman for an old woman everyone believes to be a bit crazy, or get expelled from school. Mrs. Ritchie puts Charlie to work in her garden, teaching him many life lessons along the way.

Preparing the yard for the movie took an amazing amount of work, and might one say the garden has never looked better - even if it was mostly fake. Being September, the risk of frost was great and the real plants had to be covered every evening to avoid being frostbitten. The driveway was closed off and quirky little pathways added, along with many fantastic willow structures and odd gewgaws, befitting the garden of a certifiable old lady.

This is how one has always imagined the garden should look.

You know, if we didn't actually need to use the driveway.

A lot of flowers to cover up
every single night for a month ...

The fence bordering the property was taken down
and the set extended up onto the hill ...

During the shooting of this movie, the offspring were pulled out of school and the family took a month-long road trip to the United States. And if forcing the offspring to take a month off school wasn't incentive enough, a trip to Disneyland was added to the bribe. Because the farthest the offspring had ever travelled up until that point was their great-grandparents farm in the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan.

The only problem with being gone during filming was the insomniac  wasn't around to “negotiate” which items she'd like left behind after the movie wrapped.

The gazebo with the stained glass? That definitely should have stayed ...

The duck whirlygig? Definitely glad that went ...

A few scenes were shot inside the house, and most of the larger props were our own furniture - unlike Heartland Ghost when all our belongings were moved out. Heaven only knows how the wallpaper managed to emerge unscathed with all the extra cupboards added along the wall, but there was nary a mark on it afterwards.

Our stove at the time was moved from the kitchen into the dining room - shortly thereafter the oven door fell off, and even though the spring was replaced, it never opened properly again. A dear friend moved it to his homestead in the Sault, but he never cooks and probably hasn't even noticed.

The Dining Room, now the Kitchen ...

The old dining room set ...

Awwwww - it's so cute!

If it weren't for the dusting involved,
the insomniac  could totally live with such abundance!

Seriously, that antler chair should have stayed behind, as well ...

The master bedroom, with the comfy and worn Sewing Chair
that now lives in the attic ...

The front entryway looking much nicer than it did
during Heartland Ghost ...

Like the sign says - Pro Veritas et Pro Amor

And while the spouse quickly flicked past the show, muttering something about trying to find a hockey game, the insomniac  really does like the movie and recommends giving it a watch - especially if you like gardening. She also recommends having a box of tissues handy, but since she has been known to cry during certain long distance phone commercials, perhaps you won't find it quite as moving as she did  ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

36 comments:

  1. That is quite a transformation that was made for the moviw. I will definitely have to look for that movie. Yes, the curled up fetal position, I know that one. Hope you are better.

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    1. The insomniac  hopes you enjoy the movie, Gracie - but please don't get your hopes up for a big Hollywood production like Gilbert Grape or anything! :o)

      Seriously, if one had only painted inside the turret even ten years ago, sore knees and aching muscles wouldn't have been an issue. But no, always the procrastinator - and now paying the price! :D

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  2. I must find that movie, and you must find some knee pads, I always wear them when kneeling, a good pair really helps save the knees

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Alastair! When the insomniac  was at Home Depot yesterday looking for varnish (which, by the way, they don't even call varnish anymore but Varathane - good Lord, one is getting old!), she saw some knee pads. Debated about purchasing a pair and decided against it, because she figured they were gimmicky. But if you use them and recommend them, then they're definitely on the shopping list next go around! :D

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  3. I read the other post about the Heartland Ghost too - wow, how exciting to have a movie filmed at your house! Do you ever get fans of the movie coming by to check it out?

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    1. It was exciting but also rather disturbing, Pixel Pixie. Sometimes having hundreds of people traipsing through your house while filming - especially when your belongings are still inside - is a little disconcerting! As for fans, well, they were very small indie films so there may not have been many fans! LOL

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  4. That garden is a dream come true!

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    1. Isn't it beautiful, Rhonda? The set decoration people definitely used their wonderful imaginations to create that garden! :o)

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  5. Hah, don't you just love how very personal the justice system and punishment are allowed to get in movies?
    I think it was deeply unfair that you couldn't pick and chose what things to keep, that garden looks amazing! And, not for the first time, I am wondering exactly WHY you guys are moving house..?

    I hope your knees feel better soon!

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    1. Apparently the movie is based on the director's real life story, so maybe back in the day the justice system was a lot more personal than it is now!

      Well, we did get some new window blinds out of the deal and we did get to keep two pieces of the willow, but nothing near as nice as the piece with the stained glass. And let's not forget the trip to Disneyland! Oh, and the set dec people repainted the Anaglypta wallpaper in a nice burgundy when they were done to cover up that baby-shit brown they used in the movie. ;o)

      Knees are slightly better, even after managing to give one a good wrench on Sunday carrying the vacuum up to the attic. :P

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  6. WOW! That's some garden they concocted! It's so neat that you've had movies filmed in your house. There's a mid-century house here on Staten Island that they use a lot for films and TV shows. And I believe our Victory Diner was in quite a few movies. I would be completely freaked out by strangers in my home, especially with all of my stuff still there! That must have driven you right mad!

    Hope you feel lots better. We're embarking on some serious spring cleaning, which includes painting our bathroom, and I'm already stocking up on Tiger Balm and Advil! HA!

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    1. It was definitely a beautiful set they created, Professor! But you're right - it is very creepy having total strangers in the house, and you know all the neighbours who you'd never invite in otherwise were all in here checking everything out, too! Which is why we haven't done another one since Mrs. Ritchie! ;o)

      The insomniac  seems to remember seeing The Victory Diner in some movie or other, now that you mention it!

      Oh yes, spring cleaning - that will happen after all the painting and last minute touch-ups to the woodwork have been finished. But as Alastair suggested above, the purchase of a pair of knee pads beforehand seems like a good idea. Along with more Advil! :D

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  7. Very cool! No one ever wants to film a movie at my house but thats probably because no one has ever made a movie about a lazy gossip who is a little too fond of the sauce. Sad, really.

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    1. Thanks, Marie! Although if someone did make a movie about a lazy gossip who was a little too fond of the sauce, the insomniac  would TOTALLY watch that movie. :D

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  8. OMG THATS SO COOL IM SO LOOKING THAT MOVIE UP RIGHT NOW!!! I can totally understand why your house was chosen, but you should been allowed to keep the props you wanted as a gift. :D But disneyland isn't bad either.

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    1. No Lesthi, Disneyland wasn't too shabby at all! And we probably never would have been able to afford to take the offspring there if it weren't for The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie! :D

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  9. Oh WOW, how amazing to have had your house as the star of not one but TWO films!! That is so cool!! :O

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! Two films, two commercials and the Hallowe'en episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! LOL

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  10. What? The Gothic Mansion was the site of yet another movie? It must really possess a certain mystique of its own that draws such special attention. I love the gardens, even though they were set up by the film crew.

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    1. The real draw for the location scouts is that the house in a back alley (no traffic to disrupt shooting) and at the base of an undeveloped hill (lots of extra space for their equipment)! But yeah, we like to think she has a certain mystique, Nightwind! ;o)

      Seriously, if one could have a garden like that, it would be most awesome! It'd be a tough choice which spot to sit in for afternoon tea every day! :D

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  11. I had no idea Hollywood scouted your abode and used it. Several times! I do hope you've included that fact in the description your real estate agent is using to sell the homestead. The closest I've got to The Beautiful People was the time I tried to sneak into the shooting of something or other on a street in Vancouver. Really, those security types are such a bunch of Bossy Boots.

    Ali

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    1. Oh, nothing so impressive as Hollywood, Ali - very small indie films! Although one did get a chance to meet Beau Bridges, and has a signed photo of both him and Henry Winkler (the Fonz) from Heartland Ghost. One believes those photos got packed up months ago. ;o)

      Unfortunately, during the day there didn't seem to be any security people around, and apparently EVERYBODY AND THEIR DAMN DOG got to look through the house. Would have liked to have some Bossy Boots around!

      Good point about using that in the description - must mention that to the realtor!

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  12. Wow! How awesome that the Gothic Mansion has been used as a film set, and on more than one occasion, no less! This is the first time I've seen a picture of the exterior and it instantly made me think of 'The Munsters' house, which I know you will understand is a compliment! :)

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    1. Biggest compliment ever, Little Gothic Horrors! **wide mouthed grin**

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  13. that definitely is a home that deserves to be in a lot of movies *_*
    <3

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  14. Amazing blog !
    Kisses from Poland;*

    http://linde-lo.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you, Linde Lou - hugs from Canada!

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  15. So so Gorgeus!!!

    Baci Baci!

    http://couturetrend.blogspot.it/

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  16. Ooohh, can I just pack up my things and move in right now, pretty, pretty please? This often surprises people, but, much as I adore all things vintage including mid-century decor and architecture, I don't have a particularly "vintage looking" abode. There are some pieces here and there (outside of my closet and bookshelves, I mean), but I actually feel very strongly pulled towards certain other decor styles even more - greatly including a subtly haunted Victorian style such as the one in these engaging images. There again, you wouldn't really know it to look around my house, but if I ever get my dream Victorian (or Edwardian) house, then you certainly will! (Not, of course, that one needs such a house to adore the inside in this style, it's just that being married to a minimalist decor loving chap, it would be easier to pull off if our home was from that era).

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I hope you don't mind commenting on an older post. I started reading through all those between your most recent and this one and was so caught up in your delightful writing (and the images you share) that I didn't even realize at first that I'd wandered all the way back to March.

    *PSS* You asked me earlier this week about the new medication I'm on, and though I replied to your question there a bit, I didn't specifically answer that question publicly on my blog. The med I mentioned is called Lupron Depot and is a drug (that was first used in treating cancer actually) that's administered by injection once a month to try and help combat some of the effects of endometriosis by putting the body into a chemically induced state that is extremely similar to menopause (I have severe endo - I just had surgery for it again this past spring). It has an insane amount of very serious side effects, some of which are not always reversible (such as bone loss) and isn't helpful for all women (by a long shot), but for some it can be, and is often the last (or one of the last) hopes before having really extensive surgery, such as a hysterectomy. I've only had two injections so far, but I'm feeling some of the side effects BIG TIME and not too much in the way of positives yet, but I'm going to try and stick it out a bit longer, in case it does stand do some good. Fingers crossed! :)

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    1. Well, you absolutely could pack up your things and move in immediately, except the house is up for sale so it might be a short stay! Maybe you'd like to move to Alberta - our summers are quite a bit shorter than yours. And we just had central air installed before we put the house on the market! :D

      Fortunately, the spouse's tastes have become exactly like the insomniac's  tastes over the years, so he's just as comfortable with a cluttered old house as she is now. No matter how much she's trying to downsize and become a minimalist herself for this move, it really is a difficult thing for both of us. We're sort of like hunters and gatherers of old stuff. And feel free to comment on any old post you'd like, Jessica!

      *PS* I felt badly about asking that question about your health and medication afterwards, and almost deleted the comment. The spouse also does injections (his are for rheumatoid arthritis and are also a cancer/chemotheraphy drug). They make him sicker than a dog, but like you, it's the last hope before the really serious stuff. I really hope the new med works well for you and your side effects disappear soon.

      *PSS* The insomniac  loves your blog and the positive way you write. It's a joy to read, Jessica! ♥

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