“Hello, is this the Downton Abbey hotline?”

The staff.  Downton Abbey.

The staff. Downton Abbey.

Last night I called my daughter, Kiah, with a Downton Abbey question.  (As every one of you surely knows Downton Abbey is a very popular PBS Masterpiece Theater Classic that has millions of us following the thrilling adventures weekly.)

“Hello, hello! Is this the Downton Abbey hotline?” I asked her message service when she didn’t answer the phone.  “My name is Kathy and I’m looking for information about Downton Abbey.  Could you please tell me what time it’s available for watching on the Internet tomorrow?  Can you watch at 8 a.m.?  Please call me back at your earliest convenience at (906) xxx-xxxx.  Thank you very much.”

The Downton Abbey hotline returned my call several hours later.  I believe she announced that her mother was whacko.  And she didn’t know what time Mama could watch the Grand Finale of Season 3.  She informed me that some people have to work and she’d be watching at her usual time after laboring for the day.

I went cruising on-line to discover the answer to this fateful question and stumbled upon–oh no!–a site that contained a spoiler about the current episode. Grrrr.  Second time this season an episode has been spoiled by tell-it-all wagging lips.  Note to self:  do not cruise on-line looking for answers to silly questions.

Matthew and Mary, Downton Abbey

Matthew and Mary, Downton Abbey

Now am charging the Kindle Fire and awaiting the appropriate moment to faithfully watch.

Before that, probably driving to Houghton for the day. I think.  Depends if it’s snowing. Bringing Ms. Ellie, the laptop computer, and settling in at a coffee shop.  Have FOUR milk cartons of catalogs from the school to recycle and am tired of driving around with them in the trunk.  Also must shop at the Keweenaw Co-op.

Am also bringing my camera.  I think.  (It’s hard to make these kinds of decisions.)   Perhaps some of you know that it’s been very hard to take photos this past year.  My heart isn’t in it.  My heart took pictures for four years and then just got tired of taking photos.  Fortunately, there are four years worth of photos in these computer files to illustrate blog posts like these.

Beautiful Winter Scene

Beautiful Winter Scene

Yesterday I downloaded this winter scene photo and put it on Facebook and 48 people have paused to “like” it.   Two hundred seventy-one have viewed it on the Lake Superior Spirit page.

Here’s the dilemma.  Should I keep taking pictures because others seem to enjoy them?  Or simply cease because my heart’s not in it?  (The advice I would give others is:  follow your heart.  But is that always true when others get enjoyment of what you might share?  See–life isn’t always black and white, is it?)

When Ms. Ellie the laptop computer and I arrive at the coffee shop we will continue to respond to comments from yesterday and the day before and, heck, maybe even today.  The problem with posting blogs day after day after day is that I spend all my time answering comments and not reading other people’s blogs.

Another Beautiful Winter Scene.  (ha ha, this one's from 2011)

Another Beautiful Winter Scene. (ha ha, this one’s from 2011)

What else is the news from the shores of Lake Superior?  A winter storm advisory hath been posted for tonight.  Four to eight inches of white stuff headed here from northern Minnesota.

There is no school today.  It’s Presidents Day here in the US of A.  Heck, there might not even be school tomorrow if a huge snowstorm falls.  Which would not be good because most of the schools in our neck of the woods have used up all available snow days and now must make them up in June.

Wishing you all a delightful week.  What will you be doing?  Anyone else watching Downton Abbey today?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to “Hello, is this the Downton Abbey hotline?”

  1. sonali says:

    Kathy you’re so funny! You did that on the voice messenger? LOL! Oh well, its hard to go against your hearts wishes & follows the others heart. But, the photos would be lovely to see. Do you have any idea how hot the weather is in India right now? Ooooffff!!! Terrible heat! Cannot be captured into photographs.

    • Kathy says:

      It was fun to leave that message, Sonali! Wishing that I liked to take pics more now because I know how much you love them. Well, we’ll see. Stay cool!

  2. Colleen says:

    Good morning to you. I did watch Downton Abbey last night and am sorry you saw the spoiler but at least you are prepared. I was sitting stunned, saying no no no loud enough to wake up Rick.
    Thank you for the good week wishes Kathy and wishing you the same 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, I was so stunned when I read the spoiler that I felt physically sick. No wonder you protested. Intend to watch this afternoon when arriving home. Nice to see you this morning.

  3. P.j. grath says:

    DO NOT GIVE ANY DOWNTON ABBEY SPOILERS, PLEASE!!! We watch only as episodes come out on DVD, so we’re way behind the rest of you. Tonight we’ll be taking a trip to the Highlands, and I don’t want to know ahead of time what’s going to happen, let alone what happens after that!

    • Kathy says:

      Pamela, I would not allow a spoiler to be printed here, I promise you. (although someone could spoil it in between when I’m recycling or shopping. If they do, it shall be immediately deleted.) However, truly, I don’t think any of this audience would write the spoiler. They are way too classy. To the Highlands we shall go!

  4. Stacy says:

    I took so many pictures of my daughter that finally I said, “I’m tired of living on this side of the camera. I want to live on the other side. Norm, you take the pictures.” So even when I lived overseas, I missed a lot of good pictures because my heart just wasn’t in it. (Thankfully, Norm is an avid photographer.) Sometimes I wish I had just bucked up and taken the darn photos! Then sometimes, the photos in my mind are enough.

    But it would have been nice for others if I had just taken the camera along. Double-edged sword, I guess. But you’ll do the right thing. You always do. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      It IS a double-edged sword, Stacy. When I’m taking pics I don’t mind it. Sometimes even get really excited–which causes onlookers to think I like it. But there is something special about just experiencing an event directly and not taking pics of it. Know just what you mean. We shall see…both of us…what develops for us (ha ha, get the pun?)

  5. jeffstroud says:

    Follow your heart in this matters, you have expressed yourself about not being into taking photos right now, your blog followers are aware, so you can move on.

    Downton Abbey Hotline!!! Too Funny! I watch for three and half hours only to be stunned! and to be greeted by a friends status on Facebook which had only one word “No” . I knew immediately what she was referring too, my response was OMG!

    We are having a freeze once again here but no snow… i

    We all know you (the blogger) well enough to know you have shifts or cycles of writing, attending to response, playing on Facebook, clearing your heart and mind, leaving us all wondering is she going to come back, when is she going to write again, share her voice, her photos? Our own Lake Superior Spirit drama !

    • Kathy says:

      Well, Jeff, you are so right about those shifts and cycles in blogging and Facebook. I never thought of it as drama, though! Always thought of heading off as the opposite of drama. Maybe it is for me and the opposite for others. lol. Will be watching Downton Abbey this afternoon or tonight in the snowstorm. You stay warm, my friend. And glad you liked the little joke with Kiah on the phone.

  6. There is a style of painting that I sometimes do, that I love, but that gets tedious after a while. But those paintings do sell well, and people ask about them. My answer is, “I’ll try.” Sometimes, once I give it a chance, I find myself in love with that style all over again, and that it’s not tedious at all. Sometimes it still feels like I’m standing on a production line in a factory…and I can’t work like that. That is what decides it for me, every time.
    Have a wonderful day in Houghton!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, thank you, your comment was so helpful. That sometimes we don’t want to do the same-old-thing but when we actually do we discover that there is still the magic there. Thanks for your well wishes. I think going to Houghton for us is like going to the mainland for you. 🙂

  7. I guess one day I will watch all the Downtown Abbey episodes but I did not start in the beginning and hate to start in media ras.

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, I didn’t start watching until recently when said daughter urged me. Now she’s probably regretting it. Fortunately could get all of Season 1 and 2 for free on Kindle Prime and watched all of Season 3 on the PBS station. You may be fortunate you weren’t caught up in the crazy wave.

  8. Dawn says:

    I can’t get into that show – I’ve tried three times to watch it. I know, what can I say – odd one out again. Take care in the snow.

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t it kind of satisfying, in a way, being the odd man out? It’s great when our individuality takes us off the beaten track, Dawn. Glad you commented. I was thinking about you in the middle of the night. Barry says I must be on the way home by early afternoon before the snow hits. Thank you.

  9. Kathy – Surely this must be a sign. You’re the bazillionth person (slight exaggeration) in the past week who’s mentioned DOWNTON ABBEY. I’ve been told I can see it online and/or get the first season(s) on DVD from the library.

    think, Think, THINKING about it…

    • Kathy says:

      It is very good, Laurie. It also very addicting. I suspect you are a person that can handle addicting better than many of us. I do not think you are exaggerating when you say bazillionth. I am sure that is 100% accurate.

  10. msmcword says:

    I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t watch “Downtown Abby”.

    I just noticed that Dawn wrote that she can’t get into the show-but at least she actually watched some of it three times. I have never watched it at all.

  11. Well at least you are addicted to PBS shows Kathy. I used to be totally hooked on “Fringe” a FOX Sci Fi series that ju

    st ended after five years. I think I’m going to have to check out D.A., as like msmcword I’ve never seen it but keep hearing about it.
    If your heart ain’t in it, don’t take the pictures. It’ll make you resent blogging if you have to do something you don’t want to do.

    Just haul out some old ones. Believe me, I ain’t checking “properties” to verify that you REALLY took ’em yesterday ! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, when did you become not so flat? lol! You are so right about getting resentful if your heart isn’t it. I rather like hauling out the old ones and showing them again. Most of the readers don’t remember so it feels safe. Thank you.

  12. Carol says:

    I’m watching Downton Abbey but am way behind. I’ve only seen episode 1 of this season, but it waits quietly at Amazon. As to the pictures, you know what I’m going to say – follow the heart.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, you are one person I can count on to always say “follow the heart”. It usually knows best, doesn’t it? I have only 30 minutes left of watching Downton Abbey. Am taking a break to answer some comments before returning to the exciting finale which is already spoiled, darn it.

  13. I probably have the dumbest question in the world about Downton Abbey (which I’ve never seen). Is it like the old “Upstairs, Downstairs?” That’s what I think when I see the service staff in uniform.

    I take my camera along with me places because I’ve been disappointed when I haven’t. Your photos are so good, Kathy! But just take what you want to film. That’s why we like your photos — they’re yours!

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, that is not the dumbest question in the world. (I could have asked it as well.) Answer: I don’t know. Never watched Upstairs, Downstairs. I would say it’s probably similar. Thank you for liking the photos. Wished I liked to take them more. Instead I am madly, passionately, wildly in love with writing and telling stories. That could change though. Couldn’t it?

  14. Lori D says:

    In answer to your question about taking photos, I have a suggestion. Perhaps take your camera with you as you would when your heart called you to take photos. Then, if you see something that calls to your heart for a photo you will have it handy. If nothing calls to your heart, then leave it be. Just a thought. Do with it what you will. Stay safe and warm.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, back when I had the old point and shoot Sony Cybershot it felt so easy to bring the camera along. It felt intimate and small and inconspicuous. The big Canon Rebel feels like hugging a huge heavy instrument. Yes, that’s part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that to progress I need to learn more about photography and have never had any incentive to learn any more. But thank you sincerely for your advice. Guess what I did? Walked out of the house today without the camera, go figure. Luckily, the sun wasn’t shining anyway and the snow looks kinda brown and gray before the storm.

  15. Kathy, I am assuming you are in Northern WI, I am in the lower portion (Kenosha) you all have had more snow than us down here. I like Downtown Abbey, but I Have DVR and that helps me catch up, hubby doesnt like it so I have to watch when he isnt around, I am about 3 weeks behind so please dont spoil. hope you are able to get out of the snow they predict, saw forcast and you are in for a doozy we on the other hand are in for rain, on top of the left over ice, oh this should be a fun drive home tonight. then snow Tues morning :-).

    • Kathy says:

      Deborah, we are a bit further north than that. I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along the shore of Lake Superior. Guess what, I watch when my husband is gone, too. Since he’s gone ice fishing a lot, that’s been a perfect arrangement. Don’t worry I would NEVER spoil it, not a teeny tiny bit. Don’t like spoilers. Hope you get home safely tonight with no ice on the roads.

  16. I made it through Downton Abbey last night without a tear, so I was proud of myself. Or surprised. Or maybe I was in short supply? Whatever. The Wife bought the DVDs from our PBS station and watched them right away weeks ago – but didn’t spoil any episodes for me!

    Following our heart is great advice, but I find that there are occasions where it just isn’t possible. And that’s hard. As far as you and your camera go, though – by all means, do what you want, what your heart tells you. Have a great day, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Sid, I haven’t seen you FOREVER! Where ya been, buddy? I have one half hour left to watch but am taking a break and responding to comments. I am impressed you did not cry. I will probably wail like a banshee. You’ll hear me all the way to Potter Park. We’ll see about the photography conundrum. One of these days everything is bound to become 100% perfectly clear. Won’t it?

  17. Heather says:

    It looks like everyone else has you covered in the suggestions for photography department, so I’ll just ask: can I go to the co-op too? Normally at this time of year I want lots of comfort food, but we’ve fallen in to a much healthier style lately. This is not to say that we always eat well, but it does mean that I am craving fresh veggies much more than buttery mashed potatoes!
    I don’t follow D.A. but I *do* despise a spoiler. I hope it didn’t ruin the entire episode. We always turn movie trailers off early because I often feel like they’re showing the whole movie.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Heather, you may go to the co-op, too. DID you stop by the co-op when you were in Hancock? Did you find it? I bought some weird things today like fennel bulbs and bok choy. mmmmm….. Have one half hour left to watch DA. Am taking a break before the finale. Will. not. peek. again. at. spoilers. honest.

      • Heather says:

        I didn’t even think to stop while we were up. Don’t worry too much about me though – I have beets to roast and a pile of zucchini 🙂 I like bok choy, but I am undecided about fennel.

  18. lisaspiral says:

    I’m having the same conundrum about photography. Somedays my heart is right there and I want to go out and buy a camera that can do what my heart would like and then other days it’s too much trouble to snap a photo on my cell phone. It’s good you have the archive. That way you can follow your heart and satisfy those of us who love your photos.

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad, Lisa, to hear that another person shares this photography conundrum. It makes me feel less alone. Lucky to have that 4,000 photo archive! OK, it’s probably not that many, but it’s a lot. And I know that everyone hasn’t seen everything. Thank you.

  19. susan says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Well I was glad to see another person here thinks she’s the only one in the world not watching that show. You are not alone, I don’t either. Not that its not a fine show – I just limit the tv watching. So more snow huh? We have YET to get anything to shovel here. Amazing!

    • Kathy says:

      SuZen, limiting TV watching is a good thing. Said the lady who doesn’t have a TV. They still say we’re getting 4-12 inches. However, the radar loop isn’t showing it yet, so who knows. Just think of the shoveling you’ll be doing NEXT winter!

  20. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, I am another person who has not watched any episodes of Downtown Abbey. Cannot watch too many videos on my ancient computer because they usually cause my computer to have a fit. And when I watch TV, it’s with Alex so the movies and programs are suited to his taste. We watched a movie this weekend called “Red Dog”…based on a true story from Australia and we really enjoyed it! I would love to have a copy of my own.
    As far as the photo dilemma, I say follow your heart. I see no harm in sharing photos from the past. But please don’t let your photography gift die completely. My son, Ben has been blessed with amazing art and music skills. He did so much with the art in his childhood and school years that by the time he was in college, he couldn’t stand it at all. So, even though many people still ask him for drawings or designs, he still says no. Too much of a good thing ruined it for him. And I’m afraid music is almost at the same place for him. He was so busy with the band and the music business that it soured him on playing music so he quit the band. Right before they go on tour. He’ll still get royalties from the album and he will continue to write for them. But he’s had enough of the performance part and certainly enough of the business side of the industry. So, I believe the key is balance. Keep everything in balance…in your life and in yourself.
    We’re supposed to get snow later today…probably not enough to be worried about though. It will get bitterly cold again…from 34 today to 4 tomorrow! Winter is not over yet.
    Enjoy your day away…drive safely. ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh darn those computers that have fits. Ms. Ellie has a fit when we try to stream a movie onto her, too. She’s getting old(er). We must be gentle with her. As to photography gift, that is kind of you to say. I feel like I have a writing gift but am never sure about photography. People LIKE the pictures but my heart is always strung up with words. Am passionate about words. Love the little darlings, adore them, feel passionate about them and blessed that they come through so eagerly. If someone said, what does your heart want to do? Write or take pictures? You can only do one. I would throw the camera in the river in six seconds. However, we never know, do we? In six months I could be passionately in love with photography again. So hard to gauge. And I guess we don’t have to decide. There are so many options in life, if we’re lucky.

  21. Elisa says:

    ewwwwwwwwwwww i hope that snow is going north past buffalo….oh wait i should be sorry I hoped that buffalo, i’d like to avoid more snow

    took z to attend a bio class at K’s college today yay he liked it!
    hope you had a good day too. tired. grateful for bright sun and warm car for driving

    • Kathy says:

      I wish you more snow, Elisa. Me–I’m crying after watching the grand finale so am probably not writing coherently. Glad Z liked the lecture. We’re still wondering if snow will blow our way. Not yet.

  22. I have to say I’m kind of proud of myself where Downton Abbey is concerned, Kathy. I watched the finale Sunday night, but was recording it for Tim who was busy working. I went through the whole day Monday without spoiling it for him! I acted like nothing was out of the ordinary, even though I was still reeling from the shock on the inside. So he wasn’t even anticipating anything extraordinary was going to happen when he sat down to watch it Monday night.

    We took a class about how to use kitchen knives correctly last night. I was surprised at how much I didn’t know. So we’re taking stock of our knives and seeing which ones to recycle and which ones to keep, and what kinds of knives we don’t yet have. Learned about cutting boards, too. Other that we need to run some errands as the next storm approaches us for the weekend.

    I always love your pictures, old or new. Yes, please do follow your heart!

    • Kathy says:

      Congratulations, Barbara! That would have been hard–not to even give Tim a tiny little hint about What Happened. I am so proud of you! Also congrats about learning how to use kitchen knives correctly. I am the world’s worst kitchen-knife user. Could probably use a few tips. Thanks for the *heart* message.

  23. shieram says:

    Downton Abbey! I love that show, Kathy. The writers are so good, I keep watching the show even though they broke my heart after what happened to Sybil. And the finale, well, I didn’t know one show can break your heart more than once and still make you love them.

    On a lighter note, I do love your photos. There is always a story behind each one. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Shieram, I so agree with you! Glad to hear there is another Downton Abbey fan on the other side of this planet. Glad you like the photos, too. Good thing I have 4,000 of them to show you!

      • shieram says:

        I have a bunch of friends who are fans of this series. I learned about it last year from one of them, and became a fan after watching the first episode.
        As for the photos, I’d say keep them coming because I love reading about the stories behind your beautiful shots. But I’d totally understand you taking a break. Not that you need permission from me, or should I say us, your readers. 😀

        • Kathy says:

          I’ll keep posting pics, Shieram, just don’t know how many will be new ones and how many will be old ones. You would think it was very beautiful out today. The world looks all white & magical outside the window.

  24. Georgia Mom says:


    • Kathy says:

      Mom, we’ll have to talk about this on the phone. If you tell me what happened, I can tell you whether you just watched the most recent one. I am so enjoying this series!

  25. Karma says:

    I very quickly scrolled through to the bottom of the comments because I don’t know if anyone gave any spoilers away in the comments about Downton Abbey. I am a late-coming fan. I just finished season 1 on Netflix the other day, then I was scrambling to figure out where the heck I could see season 2 because it isn’t on Netflix. Hubby’s Amazon Prime account to the rescue – now I’m set for Season 2. Hoping I’ll be able to watch Season 3 that way as well!
    As far as photos – take them when it pleases you.

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, good thing you scrolled. You may have read a spoiler from Season 2. No one spoiled any secrets about Season 3, though. I was watching Seasons 1 & 2 on Amazon Prime but they started charging for Season 3, darn them. Luckily, Season 3 is on PBS until early March. You’d have to watch Day and Night to catch up by then! (But then you ARE off work this week, aren’t you? What else is there to do beside watch DA?)

      • Karma says:

        I’m about halfway through season 2 now. I have been doing a lot of watching this week! Thanks for the tip on season 3; I will have to check the listings on PBS and see if I can record it.

  26. Val says:

    Ah… Downton Abbey has passed me by (and, I hope, will continue to pass me by). And yes, I KNOW it is from my neck of the woods, but y’know, there must be programmes from your neck of the woods that don’t exactly thrill you, too. These days I long for action, for loud music, for – well, I watched the new Bond movie last week and want to watch it again, very soon, so I guess that should tell you why programmes like Downton Abbey don’t exactly do it for me…

    Oh and avoid Wikipedia if you don’t want spoilers… I looked in there for a film I watched recently and it gave me the whole plot… which was very annoying. (I stopped myself reading right to the end of it, but had already read too much.)

    Don’t take photos just for your readers, honestly, don’t. Your heart really needs to be in it for both photography and art. I had a photography blog a couple or so years ago and after the initial flush of excitement with my new – fab, I thought – camera, I eased off taking photos. Then I started feeling that I had to put my photos on the blog and it just lost me the desire to take more.

    I do think blog posts need photos, but if you have loads that haven’t been posted before, you’ll still achieve a good balance of images to text-content. I think if you hold off on posting new ones, you’ll soon discover that the lack of pressure from other people (which is mostly in our own minds as an ‘other’ part of oneself) will help bring back the desire to take new ones. Eventually. But there’s no hurry.

    • Kathy says:

      Val, thanks for the kind words of support about not taking photos if the heart’s not in it. I DO like to post pictures, though, mostly to break up the text so it’s more readable. And I do like looking at old photos and remembering… It will be interesting to see if the desire for photography ever returns. I know I’ll take pics in the future (who knows, maybe even today?) but it hasn’t been imperative lately. Love the thoughtfulness of your comments. You are really a great commenter. One of the reasons I miss you when you’re away.

  27. So many people have been touting the merits of Downtown Abbey. Last weekend I watched an episode kind of peripherally while playing Yahtzee with my mother-in-law. I love British dramas and comedies so I think this is something I could really enjoy. I think I might just have to ask for the first couple of seasons for my birthday. 🙂

    As for your photos, they have been beautiful and interesting and enhance your blog posts. I certainly don’t mind if you recycle old photos instead of taking new ones if you aren’t in the mood to take them. Photography, like any art needs passion in order for the picture-taker to get the best shot. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, withershins, I am wondering if it’s possible to watch Downton Abbey AND play Scrabble simultaneously? But seriously, do ask for the first couple of seasons. I don’t suspect you’ll be disappointed. Thank you for understanding my lull in photography passion.

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