Thursday, January 31, 2008



Jane Austen Regrets?

This Sunday, hmmmm what to watch? The never ending Superbowl commercials that are absolutely garbage or the premiere of the new biopic on Jane Austen's later years, Miss Austen Regrets. Check your local PBS listings. From the reviews I've read... Jane is approaching her fortieth birthday and still unmarried (She died herself at the age of 41 due to illness). When asked by her young niece, Fanny, to help her choose potential husbands, Jane's confidence is threatened as she finds herself looking back on her own previous suitors and the choices she has made. Based on the life and letters of Jane Austen, this movie tells the story of the novelist's final years, examining why, despite setting the standard for romantic fiction, she died having never married or met her own Mr. Darcy. Despite her talent, Jane is human. According to the movie (and the letters on which it is based) Jane liked to dance, flirt, and drink wine. While her words and actions are those of an independent woman, she is a product of her times. She cannot go out and make a living. She must depend on the men in her life (brothers) to act as her agents.

"The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love."— Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility

Actress, Olivia Williams is playing Jane in this movie and I rather like her look. She looks the age and the part.

Hmmm, so what to do until then? Make bread of course! I'm being lazy today and making Bridgford frozen bread - I LOVE THIS STUFF! So easy too. Right now my loaf is rising like a fluffy pillow! Hmmm, now what kind of soup to go along with it?

Updated... Hours later..........

My family agreed that Peanut Butter will top the first slices! Mmmm, I couldn't agree more!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's raining.... Satellites!

Updated to explain magazine cover: It is raining here today and when I went to the store I saw this magazine (I couldn't find that magazine when I got home so I googled to try to find it and found this older version that was better than the other magazine cover that had presidental hopefuls on it) at the check out area. Looks like it is raining Satellites too! Yikes - in July 1979, this cover above made the front page of TIME magazine so this one must be more serious than previous fall outs... right?

Currently though, there is yet another US SPY satellite has lost it's power and will most likely fall down to the earth sometime in the next month or so. The article says the satellite is roughly the size of a small school bus and may contain hazardous fuel if it doesn't burn up in the entry of the atmosphere. The largest historical instance of uncontrolled entry was "Skylab" which crashed and burned in 1979 in the Indian Ocean and some of it spread into the western Australian outback. Wow, I bet it looks like a meterior! I was telling my son about this and he said, "Like Superman did when his bed crashed into earth?" Exactly! ha ha Then we both agreed that we should watch the 1978 Superman movie.... so we did! Wow that brought back a lot of memories! As soon as the music begins you KNOW it's the Superman theme. Like Star Wars or Jaws, you instantly recognize it! Superman is packed with drama, action, romance, great special effects for it's day in 1978... remember the helicopter scene! Christopher Reeve is truly the one and only Superman and always will be for me. Margot Kidder is a fantastic Lois Lane, witty yet beautiful, she is great! Gene Hackman is hilarious as Lex Luthor along with his henchman and henchwoman played by Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrenie. I laugh every time I hear him yell, "MS.TESENMACHERRRR!!!" The late and incredible Christopher Reeve truly was built for Superman. He embodied the character and created two completely different people to the point where you believed a pair of glasses and a different part in the hair was the perfect alter ego. His Clark Kent was goofy, sweet and honest but completely different from the strength and character of Superman. His Superman was tall, larger than life, strong, still honest! He was perfect and he looked both parts perfectly too and he will forever be my THE Superman!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Zzzzzz Good morning

Greetings! I've been awake for 2 hours already because my boy is sick AGAIN. Poor boy of mine. He says his stomach hurts but other than loss of appetite and a little bit of a fever, there are no other symptoms. Thank God for that! He spent the day playing hard and having fun and then dinner time rolled around and he wasn't hungry and didn't want a treat. Yeah you know my kids are sick when they don't want a treat! This winter has been so hard on people in general this year. They have barely recovered from one illness and then another one rolls in. I'll be pumping up the vitamin C today.

Yesterday was a lovely day though spent with family and friends! Our children's Godparents came over to spend time with the kids while we had a dinner celebration for my husband. They are so wonderful! My girlfriend and her hubby arrived with a package of homemade cookies for my hubby! His very own batch of milk and white Chocolate chip cookies and her Italian chef (at least to us we think he is!) of a hubby, made me something too! I came home to my very own platter of creamy polenta! Yes, I am spoiled! I know! Go ahead say it, you wish you had some too. I think today I'll fry up some squares of it and cook it in a little olive oil and garlic. Mmmmm Or maybe heat some up with creamy melted cheese to go with my veal shank and gravy left overs from dinner? Either way I am a winner! Any other ideas? I'd love to hear about what you may have to serve it up!

Well tonight is the 3rd installment of the Jane Austen series on Masterpiece theatre and from the commercials I think this will be my least favorite. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy all the movies but it is really hard for any of these 90 minute adaptions to really capture the novels. A knowledgeable Jane fan can easily see the gaps of missed chapters and plots in the movies, yet someone who has never read Mansfield Park or the other novels would not even be aware of the omissions after viewing the films. But what struck me with this one is the actress who plays Fanny. She just looks tooooo modern in her looks (hair) and her strong jaw line/facial features take away from the image I have in MY mind of the character. Definitely a miscast for the leading actress in this particular story. But there's always a happy ending so let's hope this movie will be no different and make it worth while. Here is a teaser video for you!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Whom am I?

Sorry for the long delay since my last post, it's been a busy week here and I'm grateful that Friday night has arrived! It's raining, actually pouring rain here in Northern California at the moment. But I do not mind it at all, I love this season too. My sweet friend, Erin, wrote me the most witty victorian phrased Thank You note from the birthday tea on beautiful handmade paper/stationary and sealed it with her signature wax on the envelope! I loved it!

Well all week long I have been studying online victorian dictionaries and let me tell you, it is not as easy as I thought it would be to draft up a witty response of my own. The American English language is SOOOOOOO foreign compared to what was spoken by our beloved Jane Austen! I called her yesterday and again congratulated her on what a great job she did with it. I told her it was her education and she laughingly said, "No, it was my imagination." ha ha But alas, I think I have come up with something that I will compose tonight since I will see her tomorrow!

By the way... while I was perusing the web I found this fun quiz. Take a turn and click on the link to find out which Austin heroine you are!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tonight (Sunday) is Northanger Abbey!

I am exhausted from yesterdays party but it was worth it all, it was so much fun! Great memories for years to come!

Don't forget... Tonight at 9pm "Northanger Abbey" on Masterpiece Theatre/PBS is hosting Jane Austen's novels! Check your local listings as for the next 6-8 weeks on Sunday nights it's all about Jane Austen! Love it! Brew a pot of tea, tray a few treats and enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Melody... is Queen for a Day!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! You are invited to a Royal Tea Birthday Party for my sister Melody who is turning 45 yrs old this month! This is me ready to greet the royal guests! But first I must say to my other sister Elaine who could not join us today because she was sick with the flu....
we really missed you!

Let's make sure everything is ready! Napkins folded with a keepsake favor!

Prizes are ready!

Decorations are ready!

Tea Table is ready!
Hmmm, but is our Queen for a Day ready? But of course she is!
Allow me to present to you...
Queen Melody!
Isn't she lovely! Melody surprised her royal guests by arriving in a full length gown fit for...
a Queen!
Me and my sister Melody!
Our beautiful Mother and Melody!
My Mom, Melody and Me!
Our guests are now arriving and here is Jenifer! Love the outfit Jenifer! In fact, Jenifer is looking very much from the royal family today!
Erin arrives! Ahh, isn't she lovely! I love these hats!
My best friend Erin and me!
My niece Jackie who is wearing her own Tiara today as she is getting married next year and she will be using this Tiara as part of her wedding outfit! She is going to be a BEAUTIFUL bride!

This is my boy who is recovering from being sick the past 2 days. Look at those eyes! Seriously he needs to get a nap in tomorrow because he is not looking so good! Here he is telling me that this whole "girlie" party is ..... BORING!!!! ha ha

Well let the fun begin! This is Ann, one of my Mom's oldest friends, they have known eachother for over 40 years. We use to live across the street from eachother.

Well if you come to my house for a party, you can expect to play some games and today was no different! Our first game was how well did our royal guests know their stuff! It was a Princess Diana quiz because Melody was a big fan of her. A stalker really.... no just kidding, Melody! ha ha

And the winner is.... the Queen Mother!!! She knew 7 out of 10 questions! Fancy that!

Okay, who is ready for dessert?! Melody says... I am! I am!
That's my girl, let's eat the treats!

I made these delicious treats! It is a dark chocolate cup filled with cheesecake and topped with assorted berries!

Erin made these beeeeeeautiful Crown shaped sugar cookies! Isn't she the best?! Doesn't matter what kind of gathering we have, she always asks what can she bring or what can she do to help! She is so sweet, she'd give you a cavity!

Next up were chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting and sparkling sugar!

Here is my boy again after a little lunch and treats! The color is coming back to his face now! He thinks it's a great party now because he can listen to music on his sister's headphones.

Table talk.....

Melody is enjoying her birthday party!

Erin and my daughter having some quiet girl talk together. Adorable!

Well here I am looking very satisfied that everything is going better than I had hoped! Everyone is smiling and having fun. I think we are ready for another game!
Erin... are you ready to kiss a frog?

Huh? Excuse me? Did you say... kiss a FROG?

That's right! Think pin the tail on the donkey game... it's pin the lips on the Frog!

We were having so much fun I forgot to take a picture of the game but here is our winner.. Ann!

Here is Ann holding her tiara crown candle that I made....
(see previous posts for a more close up shot of what it looks like!)

Okay Melody - time to open birthday presents!

Here is a beautiful handmade card from Jackie to her Mom!

Next up is chocolate and a good thriller crime book!

Yahoo! A beautiful three tiered serving tray that folds up for easy storage too!

Here is Melody opening a small package.. Hmm, good things come in small packages!

Yes, indeed! Gold and Silver earrings from our Mom.

Thanks Mom, I love them!

And a beautiful Royal Albert china tea cup especially designed for the month of January!

The New Hat Society!

Oh and did I tell you?! Hostess gifts were up next! YES!!!!
Seriously though, I received beautiful and thoughtful gifts!

Jenifer got me these sassy English Quote cards!
For example... a "Fortenight" means a 2 week period. Here's another one... It's all gone Wonky! Which means things are unstable, not well! ha ha I just love them!

Yipee!!! Serving tongs!! I have this thing for appliances and entertaining items!

My final prize of the day was given for the best "Royal outfit". Jenifer captured my eye the moment she walked in the door as she just captured that very British Royal look. It's the hat, yep definitely the hat!
Well now that the party is nearly over, it's time to hand out the favors!

Thank you so much for coming to my birthday party!
Ah Thank You! It was a lovely time! When can we do it again? Perhaps the spring? A Hat Box party! Hmmm, we are on to something here!
Ah the guests have left and our Birthday Queen is plum tired out! Well Melody, did you enjoy being Queen for a Day? Her reply.... Absolutely!
Okay, well there is one thing left to do and that is clean up!
Oh and by the way.... Erin... you left your scarf here! Don't I look adorable in it?! ha ha