Monday, December 31, 2012

Just WOW!

So I may have mentioned that I'm painfully and horribly with much frustration enthusiastically teaching myself how to play acoustic guitar.  I can play 6 chords.  No actual songs, yet.  But hey, that's 6 more chords than I knew how to play before, yes?  Yes.  New Year's resolution: practice and learn more!

My mum showed me this on her internet travels the other day.  Holy Smokes.  I want to get this good!  (It'll take six months from Never, but I'll keep working!)
*Insert other exclamations of flabberghastment here!*
It gets into your soul!  Love.  Lovelovelovelovelove!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


After a sleepless night (general insomnia), I heard the children wake up for Christmas morning.
After they had come downstairs and gasped with delight over their presents, there was paper everywhere and smiles and laughter and it was wonderful.
After the presents were all open, there was a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.  Simple, but so good.
After spending time playing games and setting up toys, it was time for them to go to their dad's for his visitation time.  They will be back on Jan. 1st.
After they were gone, the house was too quiet.
After I had lunch and cleaned up the downstairs, I decided to go see Les Miserables.
After I sat down in the theater, someone I hadn't seen in a long time found me and invited me to sit with them.
After the opening overture, I didn't stop crying until the credits rolled.
After the movie, we went to get a bite to eat and catch up on each other's lives for a couple of hours.
After I got home the weather turned downright nasty.  Glad to be snug and safe.
After a good night's sleep, I spent the majority of today job searching and submitting online applications.
After some general blogging, I discovered that my ex married his mistress yesterday.  I thought I would feel something one way or another, or have some sort of response since our divorce was only final Nov 28th, but I didn't.  I don't really care.  Huh.
After I helped my Gran with some stuff she needed, I went back to my job search and was interrupted by 3 different instant messages from good friends wanting to chat.  Gal pal Nikki lives in Savannah and is always ready to tell me how the city looks and what's happening there. I felt loved and cared about. :)
After writing this, I'm ready to go to bed and have a busy, productive, and happy day tomorrow, spending time in prayer, getting caught up on housework, sewing work, more job searching, and writing some long overdue letters.

I'm going to leave you with a great song lyric about "after".  It's by Mumford and Sons.  (Here's the full song if you want to hear it.  I'll likely feature it on a MM sometime later.)

And after the storm
I run and run as the rains come
and I look up, I look up
On my knees and out of luck
I look up...

There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
when love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see what you find there
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Blessings

It's been a lovely Christmas Eve!  I spent the morning making a special breakfast for the Cute Gremlins.  We'd found this marvelous book at the library:

which, at the end of the story, gives the recipe for the traditional British meal of Toad-In-A-Hole (which I first ever heard of in the movie "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" when I was a little girl, but had never actually tried.)  So we gave it a go and it was quite tasty!

Then we played board games and did some laundry/general hanging around the house stuff.  Friend Christina came by for a few minutes and dropped off some presents around the tree.  (She will come back over tomorrow before the CGs leave for their week at their dad's.)  She's only home 40 more days before a return deployment to Afghanistan.  Please, pleasepleaseplease keep her in your prayers!  She left to run errands before church, and we went into town and grabbed a bite of lunch, CG the Elder got a haircut, and we returned home to play more games and watch Christmas movies.  At 5:30 was the candlelight service at church, which was just lovely and filled my heart with such peace.  I do love my church family so much!  Home once again, we helped Gran fix a nice dinner and just enjoy the evening.

The CGs went to bed, "Santa" finished up by bringing the rest of the presents out of hiding and filling the stockings, and now I'm blogging to you, my wonderful friends- wishing you every wonderful Christmas happiness as I head off to bed.  (But not before, in my notoriously creative and last minute flash of artist personality, I finish making a few gifts for friends!!!)

Happy Christmas to you all!!!

Christmas Eve Music

I know I already featured Christmas music played on piano in last week's MM post, HOWEVER,  this post is dedicated to my top 3 favorite versions of Christmas songs and two of them are performed by The Piano Guys.  Have you seen their brand of awesome???  It is mind-blowing.  (The Piano Guys are actually a Piano Guy and a Cello Guy.  The first one is the cello piece.  Don't get confuzzled!)  Check these out and then follow them on YouTube/Facebook/Social media/whatever.  The third piece is "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo" and has been at the top of my "music to blast whilst I wrap gifts/decorate the house/bake cookies/fight traffic/live the month of December" list since it came out.  Enjoy!  And Happy Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Best Internet Christmas Present EVER.

I'm still (as always) pining away for SPG and all of their brand of awesome.  I live on the opposite side of the country, so making it to any of their shows between Thanksgiving and next May is not logistically feasible.  A harsh reality, but anyway, there it is.  However, I'm a true blue fan- if a long distance one- and I am always playing their music in a variety of formats whilst going about my daily life.  Their song "Honeybee" on YouTube is about to hit a million views.  (See below). It was put up by David Michael Bennett in February.  I don't know that much about YouTube traffic in general, but it seems to me that a million views in less than a year is pretty amazing!

Anyway, another fan took the song "Honeybee" and flipping turned it into a music box version!  I think my heart just esploded with all the fuzzy, melty, happy feelings.  :)  Happy Christmas to me! (And now you!!!) :) :) :)


(The above-mentioned almost-to-a-million-views-and-they-absolutely-deserve-it-and-more official Honeybee video...)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Santa: I STILL want piano lessons...

I love piano music.  Christmas music that's heavy on the piano is good too.  Here is a hodge podge of some of the stuff rotating through my iTunes/YouTube this month...

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Kyle Landry and Frank Tedesco tickle the ivories

George Winston's arrangement of Carol of the Bells

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane Austen (had she possessed some secret to endless longevity and not died in 1817) would have been 237 years old today!  To celebrate her birthday, I'm having a good cup of tea, a slice of angel food cake, and am cozied up watching the 2005 Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice.

I'm also posting conversations on the Facebook group I recently created to kick off a project called "A Year With Jane Austen".  A group of friends, who are fellow Janeites, and I are going to season each month of 2013 with reading her works together and discussing them, watching the movie adaptations and discussing/comparing them, sharing recipes and swapping baked goodies like scones and tea recommendations, discussing and sharing stuff on the culture and fashion of the Regency Era, and all sorts of other things related to Jane.  (If you are a fellow Janeite and want to join in the fun, friend request me on Facebook (Jenny Wallace Ray) with a message, and I will add you to the group!  Our "event" for January will be reading "Emma" and discussing it.  I've never facilitated a group or a book club or anything like that before, so I'm sure I won't be perfect, but it's nothing "official".  Just a bunch of Jane Austen fans letting our geek show. :)

I'm going to get back to my movie, but before I do, I thought I would share 10 of my favorite character quotes from film versions of her works with you.  (These are in no particular order, as the movies rotate through my DVD player as though it had a revolving door on it.  I love the books in their entireties far too much to pull any one quote from them.)  Enjoy!

1.  Knightly: "You didn't ask me to contribute a riddle, Emma."
     Emma: "Your entire personality is a riddle, Mr. Knightly; I thought you overqualified."
     (From Emma)

2.  Mrs. Bennett: "He danced the fourth with a Miss King, of little standing, and the fifth again with Jane."
    Mr. Bennett:  "If he'd had any compassion for me, he would have sprained his ankle in the first set."
     (From Pride and Prejudice)

3.  Charlotte Lucas: "Count your blessings, Lizzie!  If he liked you, you'd have to talk to him."
     Elizabeth: "Precisely.  As it is, I would not dance with him for all of Darbyshire, let alone the miserable half."
     (From Pride and Prejudice)

4.  Elinor: "Thank you for your help with Margaret.  She's much changed since you've arrived."
     Edward Ferrars: "Not at all; I enjoy her company.  She's planning an expedition to China shortly, and I'm to go along as her servant.  But only on the understanding that I'm to be very badly treated."
     (Elinor laughs) "And what will your duties be?"
     Edward: "Sword-fighting, obviously; administering rum, and swabbing."
     (From Sense and Sensibility)

5.   Sir Walter Elliot: "I must say, though, the worst of Bath is the number of plain women.  I frequently observe that one pretty face would be followed by five and thirty frights."
     (From Persuasion)

6.  Marianne: "When is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity do not protect him?"
     Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood together: "Infirmity?!"
     Marianne: "Did you not hear him complain of rheumatism in his shoulder?"
     Elinor: "'A slight ache' I believe was his phrase."
     Mrs. Dashwood: "If Colonel Brandon is infirm, then I am at death's door!"
     Elinor: "It is a miracle your life has extended this far."
     (From Sense and Sensibility)

7.  Fanny Price: "Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!"
    (From Mansfield Park)*

8.  Knightly: "I have some news. (slyly) And I know how you like news!"
     Emma (conspiratorially): "Oh, yes, I always like news!"
     (From Emma)

9.   Edmund: "Oh, don't be an imbecile."
      Fanny: "Oh, but imbecility in women is a great enhancement to their personal charms."
      Edmund: "Fanny, you're being irrational!"
      Fanny: "Yet another adornment!  I must be ravishing."
     (From Mansfield Park)

10.  Elizabeth: "Shall I call for some tea?"
       Darcy: "No, thank you."
       (incredibly awkward silence as neither one knows what to say next)
       Darcy (finally rushing out the door): "Good day, Miss Elizabeth.  It's been a pleasure."
       Charlotte (coming in): "What on earth have you done to poor Mr. Darcy?!"
       Elizabeth: "... I have no idea!"
      (From Pride and Prejudice)

*This quote was used in the film version of Mansfield Park, but is actually from a piece of Jane's Juvenilia work called Love and Friendship, written in 1790.

PS- I am (distantly) genealogically related to Jane Austen!  I should find that chart I finally finished that shows the connection and post it soon.... :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

National Soundcheck Day

This day, 12-12-12, won't come around for another 100 years.  The next repeated date day won't come around for another 89 years, on 01-01-2101.  So unless I live to be 120 years old, I shan't be around to see one.  We will be doing some 12 Days of Christmas themed stuff this afternoon to celebrate the fun of 12-12-12 while it's here. :)  But an added element of fun was shown to me this morning on my Facebook feed- broken down to single digits, this turns into:

Very clever. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Breaking the Silence

Hello, my loves.

Many of my regular readers have noticed that I have been "quiet" in the last 6 months, not posting much of anything personal, and mainly only loosely sticking to my blogging schedule by providing stuff I find on the interwebs that I know you'll love.  I stopped doing a daily "Attitude of Gratitude" list back in July, NOT because I wasn't counting my blessings, but because if I posted even a tiny percentage of what I was thankful for each day, in the face of all that's happened here recently, I'd have been a continual, blubbering, emotional wreck.  (That sentence seems to have entirely more commas than it ought, but I can't articulate it any better at the moment.  Bear with me.)

My blog is not a rant.  It is not a public journal where I vent whatever emotion is running high at the moment and then wait til later to think about how it came across.  I have striven to keep it a cheerful, beautiful place where there is always something to make my readers smile.  Some of my posts from last year are of a more serious and personal nature, but the majority since have been reigned in to be of a positive and happy persuasion.  I want to thank you all for the continued love you have shown.  My followers count is growing, which is thrilling!  I will be joining in with a "Grow Your Blog" fest in January (separate post about that, with all kind of links, to follow shortly).  I am humbled to have had nearly 70,000 pageviews on my sidebar counter.  Wow!  Your comments and letters (though I am WAY behind in replies again!) and virtual hugs have encouraged me and kept me pushing through the tough times- and there have been many tough times of late, to be sure.

So by now you are wondering what has kept me so distant.  Well, the biggest thing is that my divorce is now finally final.  He left us ("officially") this summer.  I fought so hard to save the marriage, spending more time than I can even recall literally on my face at the Lord's feet, begging for a miracle.  But both people have to want it, and according to him the entire marriage was a lie on his side.  Yes, there are sordid details.  Yes, he cheated.  There were lies on top of lies, on top of more lies, until things finally caught up with him.  But that's all I'm going to tell you about it.  The details are really no one else's business, and I'd just as soon bury the past as much as I can, as quickly as I can.  The end result and bottom line is that I am now a single mom of 2, starting my life completely over.

Where I had been raising his two children from his first marriage, as well as our two, and had referred to them all in my posts as "Cute Gremlins 1-4", with 1 being the oldest, etc., now he has taken 1 and 2 to Alabama with him (I never had ANY legal rights to them whatsoever.  Motherhood is, in itself, a thankless job.  This has turned out even more so.) and I am the primary physical custodial parent of our two.  Therefore, from here on out, anything related to the children is simply "Cute Gremlin the Elder" and "Cute Gremlin the Younger".  As above, that's the only explanation and insight you're going to get.

I will say this for the Year of Infomercials From Hell that 2012 has been: when stuff like this happens, you find out who your friends are.  And aren't.  When things are stripped down to the bone, you see who is true blue and who only pretended to give a crap about you.  You discover just how fragile and precious every moment of happiness, security (though admittedly, mine was a false sense of), and normality really is.  You either run to God, or from Him.  I am utterly dependent on Him, and though my faith was tested with the hottest fire I have yet encountered in this life, it held and I seek His face moment by moment.
How great is my comfort, to be hidden in the shadow of His wings! (Ps. 17:8 and 57:1)

I have many major choices ahead of me, including finishing school (Where?  What degree major? How to pay for it?  I don't fancy getting into massive debt...), getting a job (have been trying for 8 months- nothing yet.  Having been a SAHM for 8 years, and no degree, I have no marketable skills that will translate to a full time job that will support myself and 2 children.  But I'm trying.), what to do with Lucy Jane... the Etsy shop is growing, and I'm grateful for that.  But how to take it to the next level (so it becomes a viable source of income) and be worth the time investment? A lot of questions.  Some of them that raise more questions instead of answers.  However.  I know Who has ALL the answers, even when I feel like I can't even breathe.

So that's it.  That's the long and the short.  It hasn't been 100% heartache- there are several things that I have found happiness and worth in that I can't wait to share with you!  The personal growth has been a painful process, but it has happened, and continues to happen, and I have discovered more about my identity as a human being in the past 3 years than perhaps in the whole of my life prior to that!  I will share those joyful things with you, very soon!  But for right now, I feel like this post is long enough and complete in itself.

I'm back from hovering on the "edges".  This is my blog, my personal space, and I am ready to live in it fully again.  I will be posting personal triumphs and trials in the future, inviting you to come along for the journey.  I will keep this blog a beautiful and cheerful place and I hope anything it contains blesses someone's heart.  So many of you fellow bloggers have blessed mine.  Thank you so much for that.
Until later, my dears.  Thank you again for sticking with me.  It promises to be an amazing life from this point forward! :)


PS- I will be starting the Gratitudes list on the sidebar again in the New Year!! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Seasons Greetings Sung by Sinatra

Time for more of my favorite holiday songs!  You know by now that I love any song that Frank Sinatra sang.  Ever.  So, YAY Sinatra Christmas songs! :)

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

The Christmas Waltz

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We Like To Hike!

I used to watch this movie with my Grandmother when I was around 10 or 12.  The whole thing is funny, but this (starting at 3:40 on the YouTube video below) was my absolute favorite scene! I'm both grateful and disappointed that I never had a choir conductor quite like him.  :)  Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas music!!!

All of this month's Music Mondays will be my favorite Christmas songs! :D :D :D

First up, who doesn't love the Muppets?  Muppets at Christmas is just the glaze on the figgy pudding (so to speak)! 

And if that version of The 12 Days of Christmas isn't your style, try this one from the a capella group Straight No Chaser.  (I like the Oberlin Obertones version better, but couldn't find any sharable audio.  Drat it.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For A Fellow Creative...

I'm a member of the Letter Writer's Alliance.  In their blog the other day, they featured The Laser Lace Letters, a wonderful creative adventure of Steampunk fiction by laser cut felt artist Haley Moore.

Just one of the beautiful cameos in the series.

This is an AMAZING project (that I wish I was rich enough to pledge the max support of, but alas, am not.)  She only has 10 hours left in the Kickstarter and is very close to her goal!  Please consider helping her fund it!

UPDATE: With 5 hours to go, she reached the goal and the project has been funded!  I am SO EXCITED for you, Haley!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meanwhile, In The Late Cretaceous...

The score of this could have passed for a Music Monday, but the graphics and imagery are so lovely, I decided to land it on a Video Wednesday.  I adored this when the trailer came out and then was greatly disappointed the moment the dinosaur characters started talking.  Ruined everything.  Oh, well.  There's none of that in this clip, so sit back and enjoy the scene!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yoga Pants and Girl Scout Cookies

I laughed until my sides ached!  Enjoy these two, but here is the entire 2 hour show.  Watch it with someone you love to laugh with and it will be 2 of the best hours of your life. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The GA Aquarium, Or, My State Is Cooler Than Yours Because: This!

An extraordinary friend recently treated myself and the Cute Gremlins to the GA Aquarium.  Have I mentioned my love for all things Oceanic?  Once or a thousand times?  I thought I might have.  

Anyway, I haven't done any major photography in a while and capturing many hued, million-scaled sea dwelling critters looked like fun.  It was more challenging than I imagined, what with the many layers involved.  The light from above (regular room lighting) combined with the light within the tanks reflected off of the glass, the water, the rocks, the plant surfaces and the animals themselves.  Heck, even some of the actual fish gave off their own light (the neon tetras, etc.)!!

But even if the photos aren't "show worthy", I am still happy with the way a lot of them came out.  Here are 5 of my favorites.  If you'd like to see more, you can see the entire set on my Flikr album.

If you have not been to the GA Aquarium, PLEASE get there as soon as you can!  It is amazing! 

Photo (and facts below) from the GA Aquarium Wikipedia page

They have sea otters, river otters, whale sharks (the ONLY place in the USA that has them!), a Pacific giant octopus, leafy sea dragons, African penguins (photo above), manta rays, reef sharks, beluga whales, dolphins (who perform in a beautiful show, "Dolphin Tales", several times daily), a loggerhead sea turtle (photo above), butterfly fish, clown fish (Nemo!), big fish, little fish, red fish, blue fish... wait.  That last bit is a Dr. Suess book.  But there really are literally more than 120,000 of the critters spanning 500 different species, in EVERY color of the color-wheel, swimming/floating/splashing in over 8.5 million gallons of water!  **flailing Muppet arms**  It's wonderful!!!! :)

What's your favorite "Aquarium" type of animal??

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

He Who Would Pun...

I hadn't seen this in a while and a friend happened to share it on my social streams.  So now I'm sharing it with you.  *Raises glass* To Lord Nelson! (And Russell Crowe.  And Paul Bettany.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This Just Takes The Cake

What do this Octopus:

this Sea Turtle:

and this Burmese Python:

have in common??

THEY ARE ALL EDIBLE CAKES!!!  Those are some mad decorating skills!
Which one is your favorite?   I love all three, but I'm really loving that Sea Turtle in the middle.

Here's more info on the creators:
Octopus cake: Karen Portaleo of Highland Bakery, right here in Atlanta. Here's the bakery website.  Here's her Flikr stream with more amazing photos.  She modestly asserts that she's entirely self-taught. O_o  Well done, Karen.  Simply breathtaking!
Sea Turtle cake: Louise Hill of Love To Cake, in London, UK.  Here's her website. And here is her Flikr stream.  Look for a Harry Potter Sorting Hat that she did.  Fantastic!
Python cake: Francesca of North Star Cakes, in Kent, UK.  She made this cake for her daughter's birthday and (deservingly so) photos of her incredible creation exploded across the internet.  Here's her website and her Facebook page.

These artists inspire me to take what I love doing to a higher skill level.  I hope they have inspired you, too.  And while it would be nothing remotely close to as beautiful as these are, I'm also rather inspired to go bake a cake today (and eat it too!)

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I was at the one year anniversary celebration of the new library while this game was going on, so I didn't get to hear it.  Another win, though.  My Bulldogs seem to have gotten their lucky streak back on after that unfortunate loss to SC.  37-10 Final

Auburn update: Finally, a win! 42-7 against New Mexico State (who?).  War Eagle!

Next week is the GA/Auburn game.  The Bulldogs will stomp the Tigers like there's no tomorrow.  I've already sent my Auburn fan friends sympathy cards, the same way I did with the Tennessee game.  Sorry for your loss...
I love being a GA fan.  All the time.  But especially during a good winning season. ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Again, there is a lot going on here to where I sometimes can't catch the game.  I was sewing Halloween costumes for the Cute Gremlins and mostly there were personal things that I can't talk about yet that were crowding out everything else "normal".  Anyway, this image from my Facebook news-feed roughly sums up the big GA/FLA game:

Final Score: 17-9.  I love you, My Bulldogs! :)

Auburn Update:  Stomped by Texas A&M.  63-21.  Owie!  Not a good season for the Tigers at all. :(

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PSA For My Pre-school Mom Friends

Yesterday at the library, I let Cute Gremlin the Younger pick out a DVD as a reward for being a big helper.  It looked innocuous enough.  I mean, who doesn't love Hello Kitty, right?  Well, I did.  Until now.

Be advised.  This:

Will drive you batty.

The animation is cute enough, but the audio of Kitty and Mimi's high voices and giggles in stereo is worse than



And This

Maybe I can convince her to trade it out for a Barbie movie.  Please, please, please let her want the Barbie movie... O_o

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I had a very busy Saturday that included getting everything prepped for making a ton of apple-flavored- whatever from the bushel of apples I brought back from our trip to N. GA last weekend, sewing more stock for the Nov. 3rd arts show that's approaching way too quickly, and finally caving in, even though it was getting late, and actually making the first apple thing on my list- WASSAIL. (Mmmmm!)

So I didn't catch most of the game and relied mostly on friends' Facebook updates and an SEC mobile app to keep me posted on the score.  GA was down 7-14 at the start of the 2nd quarter (NO!), got their act together and got the lead by halftime (YES!) and held on through the rest of the game to win it 29-24 Final. (YAY!!!)

Next week it's WLOCP (World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party)- The big game against the Fla Gators.  While a lot of people I know hold this to be the biggest "rivalry game" with all manner of trash talk and hoopla, I'm rather indifferent.  As I've already explained, my energies and fandom are super concentrated during the face off against Tennessee (Done and won this year- I LOVE YOU, My Bulldogs!) and Auburn (still to come in 3 weeks time).  So the GA/FL game... of course I want my Bulldogs to win, but I'm not going to be hanging on the edge of my seat about it.

Auburn Note: Another loss.  Vandy beat the Tigers 17-13.  Well, dang.  This is just not a good year to be hollering "War Eagle". :(  Kind of makes me feel bad about rooting for GA on Nov 10.  (But only just.  :P )

52 Weeks of Mail: Week 2

Only one in the mailbox this week, but it was just lovely:

From my wonderful friend Cayla in TX, reminding me that in the middle of all of my current personal chaos, the Lord is my rock and my refuge and He's got all this covered.

I sent a reply out to Lucie-Jane B. in the UK, thanking her profusely for the amazing Jane Austen goodies she sent me last week.  I can't show what was in the package yet, because I don't want to spoil the surprise, but remind me and I will when I know she's gotten it.  It's a tiny thing, but unabashedly American. I think she'll get a kick out of it.  :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Grilled Cheese

Yesterday my friend Carrie posed a question on her Facebook wall:
"What is the best cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich?"
Almost instantly, there were well over 20 comments ranging from the classic (including my own suggestion of deli sliced ham and swiss) to the fancy ("marble rye and Gruyere") to the extremely creative that substituted cheese altogether ("melted banana, peanut butter, honey-cured bacon and cinnamon with fresh fruit"!).  There was even a nice representation of the range from healthy ("hummus, bean sprouts, white sharp cheddar and tomato on wheat") to utterly artery clogging ("Velveeta...that block of uber-processed goodness").

One of her commenters mid-way through the thread made the good point that "ALL THE CHEESE" is the best cheese to grill (agreed!!!), which of course prompted me to borrow an Allie Brosh drawing (copyright hers) from a meme creator page and tweak the text to create this:

Pretty sure I know what we're having for lunch now...  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Pink Scarf Project

My beautiful friend Vicki, of the blog "2 Bags Full", has created an AMAZING year-long event/project to raise awareness and support for breast cancer patients.  She is asking for donations of pink scarves from anyone and everyone in the blogosphere who will be kind enough to oblige.  She is generously giving away a GORGEOUS, one-of-a-kind wrap that she knitted especially for this project.  If you have ever seen her knitted nests, you know that she can't make anything that isn't just perfection itself.  (If you haven't been so fortunate as to have seen the nests, go here to see my personal favorite.)

I've always said I know only enough about knitting to be able to make a scarf.  Well, perfect!  I'll be sending her at least one of those.  I also know (marginally better, if I'm honest) how to crochet a bit, and I will be creating a scarf (or 10) by that method.  I'm not going to sugar coat it- I want to win that wrap! (Credit for construction will actually go to Lucy Jane, though.)

But much more than that, I want to help Vicki in this worthy cause.  Many of you don't know that someone in my family has had a brush with this awful disease- fortunately it was caught and removed quickly and without much fuss and bother.  But sadly, many, many women are not that fortunate.

So here's an extra incentive to Vicki's wonderful project:  Anytime you send her a scarf and post a comment on her Pink Scarf Project Page that you have done so, come here (there will be a button on my sidebar shortly) and post a comment telling me that you have done so, and you will have an entry to win this Lucy Jane Pennybright "Hope" elephant, complete with her very own pink scarf!  (The mailing address to send the scarves and all of the wonderful details are on her blog at the above link.)

The drawing will be held NEXT October 1st when Vicki's project ends, AND I will also accept comments on this Lucy Jane post about the project.  (But only one entry for the ellie per scarf made and sent!!  I'm just allowing you to choose which blog you leave your entry on!)

So what are you waiting for??  Go to Vicki's blog, find out all the details, and start knitting (or crocheting, sewing, or whatever it is you do) a pink scarf to send her way!!  Best of luck winning the wrap and/or "Hope"!

PS- Here is Lucy's first scarf to send.  What do you think? :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hugh Are Just Adorable...

We haven't had many puns around here, and I'm officially allowed 2 per day, so I thought I'd spring for one in the title.  You're welcome.  :)

Two of these Hughes were born in England; the other hails from Australia.
All three have speech accents that make my knees go all wobbly.
Hugh Laurie
Hugh Grant 

Hugh Jackman

Two of these Hughes have played Jane Austen characters (in the same film, "Sense and Sensibility"); the other currently has a famous Victor Hugo character, Jean Valjean, being added to his repertoire of "film roles involving/inspired by/related to classic literature".  (PS- if Jackman ever wants to join the "Been a Jane Austen gentleman" club with the other two, I nominate him for either Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, or Captain Wentworth!!!)
All three look amazing in 19th Century period costume.

Two of these Hughes are old enough to be my father (Grant and Laurie); the other (Jackman) not quite, but still a good deal older than I am (by 13 years).
All three sing and play piano. (Two play by choice and the other because he had to for a film role.)


Two of these Hughes (Jackman and Grant) were born in the fall; the other was born in the summer, the date before my own birthdate. (Hugh Laurie's birthday is June 11th.  Mine is the 12th.)
All three have amassed quite a collection of BAFTA, SAG, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominations and awards among them.  (Total nominations for above awards by the three Hughes = 28... Total wins for above awards by the three Hughes = 7)  (And they have all three won many other kinds of awards as well, I just didn't list them all here.  Go look it up on IMdB and do the math if you want to know a grand total.)

There's your pop culture eye candy for the day.  :)  Which Hugh do you like best?
Hugh are handsome.  Hugh are talented.  I will see Hugh at the movies soon. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

52 Weeks of Mail: Week 1

The first week of the new 52 weeks project was a great success!

A package to a friend from high school (but forgot to take a photo!  It was in a pretty pink bubble envie.)  Plus this letter:

A letter from a friend in Arkansas, which I did not get the chance to photo, but cannot wait to reply to!  Also, this amazing package from my pen-friend who lives on the Isle of Wight, another Lucie-Jane (I know, right!!!) who knows how desperately I wanted to be at the Jane Austen festival in Bath, England and (once again) could not attend (more's the pity).  (No, really, y'all.  It's just stupid sad and pitiful how much my heart pines for the UK and all things Regency.)

A lovely, long letter, the cover page of which is on Jane Austen stationery; her program from the Jane Austen festival; and a tote bag from the Jane Austen Centre which reads "Keep Calm and Read Jane Austen".  Best. Trip. To. Mailbox. EVER!!! :D :D :D

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And Who Doesn't Love Fairies?!

I'm sick with the stomach flu today.  Since about 4 a.m. my insides have been having a terrible row with the rest of my body.  Ugh.  It's cooled off outside quite a lot and really feels like fall.  Overcast and rather windy this morning, so I've made tea and am getting caught up on all my letters and Bible study homework and then tonight after Cute Gremlins are asleep, and also tomorrow afternoon, I will be in the studio with my headphones on, sewing up a storm.

One of the soundtracks that runs through my iTunes at random is Peter Pan, the live action version from  2003 starring Jeremy Sumter (Peter) and Jason Isaacs (Hook).  This is my favorite scene from the film (and, consequently, my favorite track, composed by James Newton Howard).

What little girl in their childhood didn't want to be Wendy in Neverland, flying under a glowing moon and surrounded by fairies?  I know I always did! :)  This version of J.M. Barrie's classic story also has my favorite take on Tinkerbell.  Super expressive and beautiful.  Even if a little jaded by her jealousy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

52 Weeks of Mail: The Rest of Year 1

Well, I managed to mail off one thing a week for most weeks of the 52 Weeks of Mail Project this past year, with a couple of exceptions.  I didn't quite make the goal.  Still, it was a fantastic thing to be a part of and I have made oodles of new friends all around the world!  I have joined in for Round 2 and will be posting photos of incoming and outgoing mail goodies on Saturdays each week.

This is the only "personal" thing I'm able to blog about at the moment. Which is so unfair!  :(  Eventually, I'll catch you all up to speed on goings on, but for right now, I can't.  So this will have to fill in.  I hope you are inspired and uplifted by the photos, and if you want to join in on the fun, be sure to follow the link above to the 52 Weeks Facebook page.

Here are the photos that I took of things I sent between the end of June and the 1st of October.  I sent more than this, and received some beautiful mail too, but I didn't get photos of it. (I'll try harder to document this time around.)