Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books was published on this day in 1813 .  In honor of that I borrowed the following from Flavorwire.

Four Things Jane Austen Actually Teaches Us About Love


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1. Don’t get stuck on your first impression — whether positive or negative.
You can’t trust your first impressions. Elizabeth Bennet thought the patently terrible Wickham charming when she first met him, and as we all know, neither she nor the famous Mr. Darcy was too fond of the other at first blush. Same goes for Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon. As William Deresiewicz, author of A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter explained, “For Austen, love came from the mind as well as the heart. She didn’t believe you could fall in love with someone until you knew them, and then what you fell in love with was their character more than anything else — whether they were a good person and also an interesting one. So I guess that means, date someone for a while before you commit, and don’t get so carried away by your feelings that you forget to give a good hard look at who they are.”
2. Don’t settle.
Austen’s ladies are constantly winding up in less than pleasant situations after settling for a husband because of his wealth: Mansfield Park‘s Maria Bertram marries Mr. Rushworth because of his fortune, and because she just got snubbed by Henry Crawford — she winds up living in sin, then divorced, then stuck shacking up with her Aunt Norris “in another country.” Likewise, in Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas marries that dummy Mr. Collins because she doesn’t think she’ll get another offer (much to the disapproval of our heroine Elizabeth), and winds up organizing her life around seeing him as little as possible. Sigh.
3. Be honest, and tell your crush how you feel.
There’s no need to pull an Isabella Thorpe, but you can’t be too shy either. As Rebecca M. Smith, author of Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas explains, “Jane Bennet almost loses Mr. Bingley by being so reserved. He has to know that her feelings for him are more than lukewarm. Similarly, you must be sure to show what Mr. Darcy called ‘symptoms of peculiar regard.’ Don’t embarrass yourself or act out of character, but ensure that he or she can see that you really care.” So, don’t play hard to get, then? That’s what we thought.
4. Think for yourself.
If the exploits of Austen’s heroines will teach you anything, it’s to go with your gut (once you’re past that tricky first impression, of course). Persuasion‘s Anne Elliot breaks off her engagement with Frederic Wentworth on the advice of Lady Russel, to the effect of years of heartache. Emma‘s Harriet Smith is totally into Robert Martin until Emma intervenes. Harriet had it right the first time, though — and both ladies end up pretty happy that she figured that out.
Words of wisdom from one who truly understood human nature.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Really Hated It

Wild, a book by Cheryl Strayed, loved by many, made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, supposed to be great book.  Well I hated it for so many reasons.  Not the least is the fact that even though it's supposed to be nonfiction I believe she made most of it up.
Let's start at the beginning, this book tells the story of Cheryl Strayed (took that name after her divorce because she'd strayed) who upon the early death of her beloved Mother (lung cancer in her early 40's) more or less has a break down.  She starts cheating on her husband, the love of her life,  with various and assorted people, decides she has to tell him what she's done, may or may not divorce him, doesn't finish college, goes off to Oregon/Washington, gets involved with another guy, starts doing heroin, sees a brochure about the Pacific Crest Trail and decides to walk it ( it's about 2600 miles long and she plans on doing about 1,000 miles of it, on her own) and turn her life around.
Has this lady ever done any long distance hiking, NO.  Does this lady try out her equipment before going, NO.  Does this lady talk with anyone who's ever done this trail, No.  Does this lady train for this walk, No.  Is this lady a complete idiot, YES.
Her story is not the least credible.  I'm supposed to believe she carried a pack that most of the men she met had trouble lifting, that with little or no orientating skills she managed to use a compass and not get lost, that every time she used up her money, and she was stupid about her money, others helped her out.  Of course being blonde and female everyone wanted to help her out.  We won't even go into her sexual reaction to everyone she met, too, too cliched.
In fact a good bit of the book was cliched and repetitive.  She's supposed to be a good writer, but I didn't like her writing style at all.
At the end (spoiler alert) she tells how now all that is behind her, no more sleeping around, no more doing heroin, no more wild adventures, yeah right, I'll bet she's  still the mess she  when she walked the Trail.
I didn't read a lot of reviews of this book until I finished it and I would say that those who liked it, really liked it and those who didn't like it, like me, really didn't like it.  Some complained that there wasn't enough about the Trail itself, but I was ok with that, I realized the story was of her personal journey, not the Trail.  But it wasn't even that, it was, as others have said, a long, boring whine fest.  I'm sorry she lost her Mother, she's not the first, won't be that last.  I say she was a mess long  before her Mother died, and in fact I wonder about her Mother-- she'd left her abusive husband, was scrambling to support herself and her 3 kids when she decided she had to buy a horse, give me a break.
So glad I checked this book out of the library and didn't waste any money buying it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Cooking

Well yesterday it was an old fashioned southern lunch:  Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn and White Gravy.
Probably about a 2,000 calorie meal, but sometimes you just have to do it.
Today it's old style Spanish, we're having shrimp and rice, not to be confused with shrimp and grits which is southern.
For this you start by boiling potatoes and onions together.  While that's boiling merrily away heat 2-3 teaspoons of oil and enough paprika to color the oil, when it's sizzle hot pour it into the potatoes.  Now add about a cup of rice  and a dash of saffron.  Let it cook till the rice is almost done, now add a can of shrimp, juice and all.  If your liquid gets all absorbed by the rice you can add more.  My Spanish Mother-in-law taught me to make this and I guess it has a name, but I don't know what it is.
Great dish for a cold, windy day, thank goodness we're not getting the storm the northeast is getting.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Tale of Two Shows

The other night while waiting for Downton Abbey to come on we watched Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner and a 19 year old Debbie Reynolds.  We've seen parts of this movie, but never the whole thing.  Was it dated, I mean it was made in 1952, sure it was.  A classic though and considered the very best Hollywood musical ever made and that's a well deserved tribute.
It was funny, it was witty, if you like dancing the dancing was incredible.  Made us realize we need to see the whole movie.
Then we watched Downton Abbey a show I
usually enjoy, but not that night.  I'm use to gloom and doom with Anna and Bates, but this episode had Mrs. Pattimore unhappy because her nephew who'd been shot for being a coward couldn't be on a War Memorial and she roped Mrs. Hughes into trying to convince Carson to put him on the local one---you knew that was never going to happy-- so more unhappy people.  Then the police are sniffing around Bates over the death of the valet Green so Mrs. Hughes and Lady Mary are upset and Lady Mary after a week with Lord Gillingham wants out of that relationship.  Cora is feeling unhappy, so then the Earl is unhappy and of course Edith was unhappy---when has she not been?  Cora's maid is unhappy, Thomas disappears.  It just went on and on.
We almost turned it off and went back to watching Singing in the Rain.  The Abbey had better lighten up.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Debate

When we were down town this week I went into the ladies room at the restaurant, something I almost never do, use a public bathroom and no Dr. Freud we won't be discussing this, when  I noticed that they had the toilet paper coming off backwards.  I'm a firm believer that toilet paper should come off the front of the roll not the back.  It was only my distaste for touching anything in a public bathroom that I don't have to touch  that kept me from switching it around.  And it's bothered me ever since, guess I should have changed it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

And What Have You Been Up to My Dear?

Good southern lady that I am I haven't been whistling Dixie nor wandering around muttering Fiddle dee dee (Scarlet I'm not), but I have kept myself busy,  besides visiting my doctor.
I've managed to crochet  a couple of hot pads, and Lord knows I needed them my old ones are too raggedy to even pass on to Goodwill, sewed up a couple of springy pillows for the entryway, changed the look of the kitchen table we never eat at---the place mat are courtesy of my daughter who loved the material and made them for me for Christmas--and spent some quality time with the puzzle that's trying to send me round the bend.  It looks so easy---Ha, ha, ha.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Good Day in Savannah

Up in the wee hours or at least that's how it seemed in order to drive to the far side of Savannah to meet with my retina specialist.  My eyes are doing well and considering the number of things wrong with them that was good to hear. We'd  also promised ourselves that each month this year that we'd do something special to celebrate our wedding anniversary ----50 years and he's promised me at least 20 more--so we went out to lunch.
We decided that when we went out that we needed to try some new places so today's lunch was at Corleone's, an Italian restaurant we've been meaning to try.
It was great, but we ordered WAY too much food.  We both had salads and we shared an antipasto plate.  Mac then had a chicken parmesan sandwich and I ordered lasagne.  We always share so we each had a bit of everything.  Even doing that though we had to bring a bunch home.
It was a  good day indeed.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh Mr. Rogers, It Is Indeed a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Our dock, haven't taken our boat out in forever
The sun is shining, the temperature is near 70ยบ, who could ask for more in mid-January?  Wandered around the back yard, pulled up a couple of oak trees (with my back squealing at me), got the small rake and uncovered more bulbs coming up---more daffodils and some hyacinths--the freesias are up, but not blooming yet, Mac's Fava beans are hanging in there and there's lettuce growing in tubs, too small to eat, but nice to see anyway.  In fact it just feels great to be outside.

Fava Bean
Island in the lagoon out back







Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pooh Day

Scriptor Senex at Rambles From My Chair  says that today is the birthday of A.A. Milne and in honor that January 18 is Pooh Day.
I'm a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, definitely identify with short, fat and proud of it, not to mention being stuffed with fluff and being a bear of very little brains.  So here are a few random Pooh quotes pulled from the internet.








And best of all, " How do you spell love?"  "You don't spell love, you feel it."


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Painting

I'm in shock!  I sold a painting!!!  Mac sells regularly, but I've only sold one or two paintings, so when one sold yesterday I was about in shock.  Painted it a few years ago, still love the colors and frequently paint beach or boat scenes.
It left today for a new home in California.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Computer

As predicted my new computer showed up about time for Happy Hour on Wednesday, so about all we did was bring it in the house.  Yesterday we were running all over the place: oil change, donations to Goodwill, pick-up money for a painting Mac sold, go to Kroger's.
So it was this morning before Mac set my I-Mac up.  Of course there's not a whole lot of setting up to an I-Mac, plug it in, connect to internet and off you go.  Most of my time was spent reseting my Bookmarks.  Tomorrow we hook up the new printer and the disc drive, you can no longer just stick a disc in a Mac, you have to have an external device to do that now.  We had the printer and the computer sitting next to each other for a day or so, hoping they could become friends because printers are such fussy little devils and won't just print for anyone.  My retired (with honors) computer has a 19 inch screen and the new one is 21 inches, but much thinner, which I didn't think was possible.  Any thinner and it will be invisible.
I've noticed as I typed this that it doesn't just underline a misspelling, it shows the correct spelling just below the error.  I've made a few errors intentionally just to see what it would do. Like having an English teacher hanging over your shoulder.
Out in the garden the plants are pretending it's not winter and the daffodils are in bloom, while in the laundry room the paper whites are blooming and smelling wonderful.



So flowers in the garden and a new computer inside, life is good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm Waiting

My computer is due today, UPS is delivering it----some time.  I've checked their site, it went out for delivery at 7 am this morning.  But it didn't get delivered this morning.  Will probably be this afternoon, probably during Happy Hour---that's what we call our afternoon nap.
I can hear the clock ticking, I wish they'd get here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

Decluttering, yes, but not all the time, what else have I been up to.  Well, I try to find time each day to play the piano, finally teaching myself to play was a major step for me and I want to keep it up.  Though my back is still not right, and probably won't be till it warms up and dries up here,  I still walk a couple of miles each day and exercise.
Then Friday, with other things sorted out, I sat down to order a new computer.  Mine has not died, but it's about 8 years old and in computer years that's about 800 years, so it was time for a new one.  I was tired of going to sites and being told my system was too old.  I couldn't even put Skype on my machine.  Anyway I went on-line, found the I-Mac I wanted, it had to be a Mac, we've always had Macs and even though they're a bit more expensive they're worth it, Macs don't die, they just get old.  Next I contacted a company we'd done business with before and called them up, ordered what I wanted,  and then it got complicated.  They no longer do their own financing and sent me to another site.  Now I could pay cash, but if a company will give me 6 months same as cash I save my money and go that way.  Several calls later, many misunderstandings and I cancelled my order, I was not happy.
I then contacted Apple directly, ordered my Mac and it will be here Tuesday or Wednesday, no problems, no hassles, just a quick sale.
Today it's raining, in fact they've forecast rain for most of the week, grumble, grumble.  Other than an umbrella I have no rain gear, no waterproof anyway.  So when we went to walk this morning, I got wet and I grumbled.  It's not that I mind getting wet, it's that I hate changing clothes!  I'd have been a terrible Edwardian (watched Downton Abbey last night), I'd have worn the same clothes all day and people would have thought there was something weird about me.
But anyway, I'm in dry clothes now, getting ready to go make some Springy pillows, work on the puzzle that's trying to drive me round the bend and work on a new painting --- I have one started and I'm going to start another. Hope you have a good week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's That Time of Year

You know, time to clear out all the clutter that's been collecting for months.  I started with my art area, haven't painted in months and it was very disorganized and cluttered.  It looks pretty good now and I even have a couple of ideas for paintings.
Yesterday interrupted the cleaning, how sad, instead we had a load of errands to run: to the bank to get a paper notarized, next to get the oil in my car changed and the tires rotated and while that was being done we went for a walk in the park---beautiful day, then off to post--had to mail some papers certified mail, next I needed a new military I.D. card and finally grocery shopping.  Made for a long day, but nice to have it all done.
So today it was back to cleaning and we tackled the computer room.  Mac cleaned his side and I did mine.  Feels good to have a desk I can actually see the top of again.  We sorted out stuff to be thrown out, stuff to be burned, stuff for Goodwill and stuff I need to take upstairs.
Tomorrow I have to tackle my craft room and closet upstairs.  I've warned Mac that if I don't come back down he'd better come looking for me.

I'm taking part in two reading challenges this year and the first one is from Modern Mrs. Darcy and is : 2015 Reading Challenge and includes:

•     a book you've been meaning to read

•     a book published this year

•     a book in a genre you don't typically read

•     a book from your childhood

•     a book your mom loves

•     a book that was originally written in a different language

•     a book " everyone" has read but you

•     a book you chose because of the cover

•     a book by a favorite author

•     a book recommended by someone with great taste

•     a book you should have read in high school

•     a book that's currently on the bestseller list

I've started on the first one and I'm reading The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and so far I like it very much.  I've read one of her other books, Affinity, and I enjoyed it too, really like the way she draws you into the story, her heroines are always a bit flawed and I like that.  I've been meaning to read this one for a while and finally my library let me know that I'd reached the top of the e-book list for it.
Haven't completely decided what the other books will be, I told Mrs. Darcy that I'd have trouble with books your Mom loves because my Mother has been dead for a number of years and though she loved to read I don't remember what she liked to read.  Mrs. Darcy suggested I find another Mother, fictional or real, and pick one of their favorites and I thought that was a good suggestion.

As to my other challenge, it's Deal Me In and involves reading a short story a week.  I'm not a big short story reader so I thought this might be a good way to make myself read a few more.
My first was "The Wrong Problem" by John Dickson Carr and is from The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries.
I like mysteries, I love locked-room mysteries and I usually like John Dickson Carr who is considered the master of the locked-room mystery, but for some reason this one left me a bit flat.  Oh, well hopefully I'll like my next short better.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's Done

Mac and his buddy Mike worked like crazy dismantling the heavy parts of the piano to turn it into a bar.  Mike was so fascinated that he's now looking for a piano to do the same thing to.
To those of you concerned about "destroying" a piano, Mike, who among a million other skills, is a piano player of long standing and he says that, lovely as the piano was---and it was--it would have taken $5,000 to $7,000 to restore it and no one was going to spend that much on a piano that was nearly 150 years old.
Anyway, they finished it, lugged it up 2 flights of stairs, by that point it didn't weigh that much and put it in Mac's pub at the end of the tv room.  I think it looks pretty spectacular.

The first pictures are the dismantling process.










Friend Mike at work

This is what it looks like now, still a few things to finish it off, but looking great!

























Thursday, January 1, 2015

Five on Friday

I'm joining in with Amy (and others, check the list at the bottom) at Love Made My Home for the very first Five on Friday of 2015.
We live in an area in Georgia known at Red Bird Creek, named for the beautiful red cardinals that live here year round.  Since we've moved here I acquired a few things that have these lovely birds on them and they will be my Five on Friday.

First is a pair of paintings Mac painted for me to hang in our entryway.



Next is a set of small glasses Mac gave me for Christmas one year.


This year April gave me a set of cups with my cardinals on them.



Mac and April were thinking on the same line and both gave me Cardinal dishes
this year, one to holds bits of this and that, one to hold a tealight.



And lastly this gorgeous plate


That's my five, check out the other ladies and see their five.


Wendy from September Violets
Leanne from Today's Stuff
Alison from Saver of Suburbia