Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The exchange focuses on doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward.
This is how it works...
I am going to agree to send something fun, cute, & nice to the first 3 blog owners who post a comment on this entry. In turn, those three will post this information and pick 3 people they want to send something to and so on. Unfortunately, due to postage costs, I can only pay it forward within the United States. If you are interested in participating, be one of the first 3 blog owners to leave a comment!
The little something you send can be something you made, bought, were given or found. Just a gift that will make the person smile. There are no cost restraints, but don't go crazy!
If you'd like to join in, be one of the first 3 people to leave me a comment. You have to promise that you will then post about this on your blog, link to me, and then send something to the first three people who sign up to play along through your blog.
I hope people like this idea. It's a small way to bring a smile to someone's face!
In another effort to Pay it Forward, I thought I'd mention a few giveaways that are ending this week.
The big one this week is the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! A huge number of participants have already signed up to give things away on Friday, August 1.
Inis @ a Lovely Thing is sponsoring a Christmas in July giveaway with several participants. Drawings will be on Friday, August 1.
Funky Fairy Inspirations is giving away free products to their store for a full year! Drawing will be Friday, August 1.
Dena @ SunEGrl Loves to Shop is giving away a great bracelet, $50.00 Target gift card, and 500 entrecard points. Drawing on Friday, August 1.
Jayne @ Bunny Chic Boutique is giving away a $100.00 to Fairy Tale Jewels. Drawing on Monday, August 4.
The Handmade Showcase is a brand new blog meant to introduce you to artists and handcrafters working in a wide variety of media. There are a huge number of giveaways listed on this site!
The Giveaway Corral is also new and features listings of both handmade & corporate giveaways.
July 28, 2008
Outside my window is a dead lawn with crab grass and dirt patches. Because I live in a condo, we have a lawn service. I use the term lightly, since there is no lawn to service! Why aren't we planing a new lawn or stopping the service? HMMM...Maybe this is what I am wondering, also!
I am thinking that I am getting WAY too used to not going to a job each day! I'm starting to enjoy it again!
I am wondering why so many young men think that the straggly caterpillar over their top lip looks manly! It skeeves me out!
I am creating, sort of! Really, I am finally getting some decorating done! Since I can't do anything myself, I have a handyman who comes and does the manly things that a husband would do, if I had one. The great thing about a handyman is that he actually DOES the chore and it's done the way I want it! No arguing or "Honey Do" list! Once everything is done I'll post some pictures for you!
I am going to the doctor on Tuesday. Like I do every other Tuesday. BO-ring!
I hope that more people will sign up to host a Christmas in July Giveaway through A Lovely Thing.
I am thankful that so many blog friends stopped by my Beach Party last Friday!Thanks for showing the bloggy love with your comments!
One of my favorite things are sour drinks! I love Newman's Lemon-Aided Iced Tea, and Nantucket Nectar's Half & Half! They used to make a cranberry-lemonade that was my sour drink favorite.
I am reading The Beach House by Jane Green.
In the kitchen I have been making lots of salads with fresh local produce! Isn't this a great time of year?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
My mother, who is also an avid reader, and I were talking yesterday about some books that have become movies, movies about authors, etc. and of course, Jane Austen came up. Neither of us has read all of her books, but we have enjoyed the ones we have! We've both seen all the movies & miniseries of all the books, and read some of what I will call the "spin-offs". What we both want to know is, "What is the current obsession with Jane Austen?" Are we looking to hark back to what we perceive as a simpler time? Do people need more romance in their life? Do the crazy family members, money problems, manipulative neighbors/community members make us appreciate or hide out from our own, similar situations? I don't know why, but it seems like Jane has been everywhere for the past year or so, even down to the Which Jane Austen Heroine quiz that so many bloggers have posted! I thought for today I'd mention a few of the Jane Austen-inspired books that are out there, most based on Pride & Prejudice and the man many perceive as the ultimate, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. It totally blew my mind to see that Barnes & Noble has an entire Jane Austen section just for these spin-offs!
The first Jane spin-off I ever read was Pemberley: or Pride & Prejudice continued by Emma Tennant. It's exactly what it sounds like, life one year after the marriage of Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy. Christmas is coming, along with a flood of relations from both the Bennet & Darcy families. To top the strain of the holiday season, Elizabeth & Darcy are having communication problems & Elizabeth is feeling inferior because she has yet to conceive a child, while her sister Jane has already had her first baby. It is written somewhat in the old-fashioned Austen style, and the issues and characters seem believable and carried through from Pride & Prejudice.
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler is very well known, and a big best-seller that became a movie. Both were good, not great, at least for me. After seeing the movie, I felt like I understood the book characters a little more, which NEVER happens to me. Maybe I just wasn't as into the book as I normally would be, but I remember being excited to read it, because it was highly recommended by a friend who has similar reading taste.
Austenland by Shannon Hale is a modern-day romantic adventure about a New Yorker who has the opportunity for a 2-week full immersion vacation as an Austen heroine. Technically, it is probably "chick lit," but a reader will definitely enjoy it more with some background knowledge of Jane Austen's novels. I found it funny and a fast read.
The spin-off book that best held my attention was The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke. This is one of those "what if" books. What if Mr. Darcy the character, was based on a real man? Well, this book takes it one step further, throwing in a time-travel element. As you may remember from when I read Diana Galbadon's Outlander, I am not a time-travel fan, but it worked for me in this novel. The book flows easily from past to present, where a young NY artist is trying to piece together the mystery of a love letter she has found in an antique desk that supposedly was once owned by Jane. The strange thing that sets off her research and detective work is that the letter is written by a "Fitzwilliam Darcy."
I have not yet read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James, but it does look interesting to me. The publisher's synopsis states:
What if, hidden in an old attic chest, Jane Austen's memoirs were discovered after hundreds of years? What if those pages revealed the untold story of a life-changing love affair? That's the premise behind this spellbinding novel, which delves into the secrets of Jane Austen's life, giving us untold insights into her mind and heart.
Publisher's Weekly refers to the novel as "a pleasant addition to the ever-expanding Austen-revisited genre," and Bette-Lee Fox from Library Journal highly recommends it. I have put it on my TBR list, but I'm not rushing out to get it right now.
So these are my ramblings about Jane, her novels, and society's current uber-love for both! I'd love to know which Austen novels and/or movie versions are your personal favorites, and if you've read any of these "sequels" and "spin-offs"!
By the way, for those interested, you can purchase your Jane Austen ACTION FIGURE at the Library of Congress Shop.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
With my own real world getting smaller each day, meeting people online has been a blessing. I enjoy the contests & giveaways that many bloggers sponsor, and I try to publicize them when possible in my sidebar. I recently came across a fabulous blog for women, The Secret is in the Sauce! They have been doing 6 Weeks of Summer giveaways, and this week is the last one, a 4GB iPod! Last week it was a Sony digital camera! The neat thing about SITS is that it is a sisterhood where the members post the group logo on their sites, and always leave comments on sites where they see the logo. Also, the SITS main site has a featured blogger each day, which is another way of highlighting your own blog, or again, meeting other people.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This week I am showcasing 2 items from my dad's basement! I know you've been wondering if I actually had more stuff! Sadly, these items are stored in my basement now, as I have no place to display them, but in the past when I've had space above my kitchen cabinets that's where they would be living.
First up is a toaster that my great-aunt used up until her stroke in 1984. We assume it still works, but with all of the rust & dust from the last 25 years in basements, I'm sure not plugging it in! To use, the bread would have to be flipped so it toasted on both sides, but it is quite fancy because it can make 2 pieces of toast at a time, as you can see!
The next piece is a kitchen scale, made by Landers, Frary & Clark. It was my paternal grandmother's and my father remembers his mom using it all the time.New Britain, CT was once known as the Hardware City of the World due to all of the manufacturing of tools & machinery. It is best known as the home of Stanley Works. Landers, Frary & Clark was a major manufacturing company in New Britain from 1842 until the late 1960s. They made general kitchen items such as coffee grinders, egg beaters, etc. During the Civil War, when so many men lost an arm, L, F &C patented a combination knife & fork, which they continued to manufacture up until WWII. In addition to daily use items, after the Civil War in 1866, the company made fine silver and silver plate using this hallmark. During both World Wars they converted their factories to make armaments for the war effort.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
For example, we re-used our brown lunch bags until they fell apart, which we found embarrassing as kids, but now I say why not? My mom would rinse out the Baggies from snacks, turn them inside-out to dry, and re-use them. My favorite re-use, which I now admire greatly, is the Reynolds Aluminum Foil. My mom can get up to 6 uses of a piece of tin foil in which she cooks her awesome grilled potatoes! I could tell you all about her various money-saving efforts, but this post is really about being green, so I'll save the "savings" for a future post!
Going green isn't just about saving the planet for our children, it's about protecting human health and creating a sustainable economy where the entire biosphere, plants, animals, & people, can coexist. I've been skipping around the blog world, as well as the Internet in general, and I've found some interesting places I'd like to share with you!Grandma Goes Green is an AMAZING blog in the original tradition of an on-line journal! Here is what Barbara says, "In January 2008, I pledged to stop shopping for myself for one year. I am a 53 year old psychotherapist who realizes that I have to set an example for my children and grand kids in regards to consumerism and the environment. I am at a point in my life where I don't really need anything new, but I realize that I have gotten into a habit of mindlessly consuming things. This blog will record my journey through this year of no shopping. " I find reading about her journey so interesting and inspiring!
Low Impact Living is a great place to start learning about your individual impact on the environment and can help you make choices about daily practices and environmentally-friendly products. They even have a cool Environmental Impact Calculator that shows not only the carbon footprint but also energy, water, wastewater, trash, and stormwater runoff footprints of your home and lifestyle. It can recommend ideas based on your specific information that can save you money, reduce your environmental impact, or in many cases both at the same time!
David Suzuki's Nature Challenge is really cool! He gives you 4 top ways you can make a difference, one of them being to talk about your "green" living. So many of us bloggers have big mouths, that should be the easiest! By signing up you will receive monthly newsletters with green living ideas. This website is out of Canada & is written in both English & French.
So, have you switched to tote bags for groceries? Bought a hybrid or smaller car? Gone with organic foods & cleaning products? Switched to CFL bulbs? How is it working out for you? Tell us here in the comments!
Monday, July 21, 2008
July 21, 2008
Outside my window I am looking at the deck and thinking that I need to give the furniture a quick wipe-down.
I am thinking that I am glad I made my weekly to-do list before doing this week's Daybook. It lets me lay out my week, as well as prepare for this posting.
I am wondering how the bolts on toilet seats come loose if they are underneath. HMMM...
I am creating a fun blog post for Friday, which will be my 50th post. I am going to host a virtual Beach Party!
I hope to have a lot of visitors on Friday for my Beach Party, celebrating my 5oth post. Maybe some of you will host your own Beach Party that day! Let me know so I can link to you.
I am going to the big city of Boston on Friday to have some tests to see if my Graft vs. Host disease is getting any better. The good thing is that the results are instant, so I don't have to wait days or weeks!
I am thankful for my parents who will drop everything to come help me, and they live 2 hours away! My mom is going with me for my tests on Friday, and then taking me to do errands on Saturday. Can you believe that I can't even do general errands by myself?!
One of my favorite things are Dove ice cream bars! The chocolate is creamy and thick, and the ice cream stays firm and doesn't melt all over the chocolate. They are expensive, but worth it!
I am reading Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews. It is a light mystery that is part of a series I was reading a few years ago.
In the kitchen I am planning to make stuffed peppers for my mom when she arrives Thursday. It's something she loves, but never has because my dad doesn't like them.