For more Christmas, go to You Know Me So Well
For more book posts, go to Bookish Thank You
So Christmas has come and gone:
And I don’t know about you all, but I got just what I wanted:
Yes! You know how I love tea!!!
Sweet!! You know me, Jane is the best-anywhere and anytime
And then the cherry on top!
So I had one fantastic Christmas! I hope you all did as well!
For more on tea, go to You Know You Really Love Tea When…
For more on Jane Austen, go to All I Want for Christmas
For more Back to the Future, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes
So I know this is right in the middle of our 30 Day challenge, but I wanted to take time out to do one more Star Trek post.
This year I was hoping to do more as it was its anniversary year, but I just wasn’t able to.
Yes, I’m sorry. I hope you all had a very Star Trek-tastical year. I did:
And even though Star Trek didn’t really celebrate Christmas, I don’t care. I had a lot of fun coming up with that song. I wanted to add another line about Kirk and the Enterprise, but couldn’t come up with any more rhymes. 😦
But I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!
And may the spirit live on through the next year:
So my goal was to post 25 Christmas carols leading up to Christmas, but things didn’t quite go as I planned.
First I actually added a few extra posts so we will have 28 Christmas Carols instead of 25.
And I haven’t been able to finish them all. I have eight posts still to do, so I most likely won’t have every song posted on here when it is published.
But don’t worry, I will continue to post them as I make them up. Just like I did in Horrorfest V.
So our final Christmas Carol, Deck the Halls. The earliest known version of this carol dates back to 1862 by Welsh John Thomas, while the music comes from the Welsh New Year’s carol Nos Galan from 1794. The English version most know today comes from Thomas Oliphant, a Scottish musician.
I chose the Bing Crosby version as you all know how much I love hearing him sing.
So I hope you enjoy you day, and the carols I choose this year!
As Long As There’s Christmas by Various
Away in a Manger by Bing Crosby
Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley
Carol of the Bells by Various
Christmas Needs Love to Be Christmas by Andy Williams
Deck the Halls by Bing Crosby
Dominick the Donkey by Lou Monte
The First White Christmas by Various
Good King Wenceslas by Bing Crosby
Go Tell It On the Mountain by Mahalia Jackson
Home for the Holidays by Karen Carpenter
I Believe in Santa Claus by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Karen Carpenter
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Celtic Woman
Last Christmas by Wham!
Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys
“Miniature Overture” from The Nutcracker by Ilyich Tchaikovsky
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Nat King Cole
O Holy Night by Josh Groban
O Tannenbaum by Celtic Woman
Run, Ruolph, Run by Chuck Berry
Silent Night by Celtic Woman
Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards
Trim Up the Tree by Various
We Need a Little Christmas by Angela Lansbury
We Three Kings of Orient by Hugh Jackman, David Hobson and Peter Cousen
What Child is This? by Josh Groban
So this recipe is borrowed from my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. Anytime she has a recipe that goes with Jane Austen (being time period or great to eat with her books/films) I’n going to post it on here.
So this comes from the same magazine that the Harlem Tea Room Baking Powder Scones were in, an old O- the Oprah magazine.
The article gave three versions of the recipe: Baking Powder Scones, Cheddar-Thyme Scones, and Raisin Scones. As I already did the Baking Powder, I thought I would try out the Cheddar-Thyme ones.
- 8 Tbsps (1 Stick) of Cold, Unsalted Butter, Cut into Small Pieces, Plus Extra for Baking Sheets
- 3.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour, Plus Extra for Later
- 2 Tsp of Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 Tsp of Salt
- 2 Cups of Grated Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Tbsp of Fresh Thyme, Chopped
- 1.5 Cups of Sour Cream or Buttermilk
- 1 Egg, Beaten, or Milk for Brushing Scones
- Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat two baking sheets with butter.
- Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt into a large bowl.
- Add butter, using fingertips to combine until mixture takes on texture of fine cornmeal.
- Stir in 1.5 cups of grated Cheddar cheese and 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh Thyme into mixture.
- Add sour cream or buttermilk and stir until flour mixture is just moist and dough begins to stick together.
- Gather dough into a ball and knead lightly until fully integrated.
- Place dough on floured work surface and roll with a floured rolling pin to 3/4 inch thick.
- Dip a 2-inch cutter into flour and cut out scones as close to one another as possible.
- Place on prepared baking sheets with space in between.Let stand ten minutes, then brush the tops with egg or milk.
- Sprinkle tops with an additional 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese before baking.
- Bake until golden brown, 10-12 mins.
- Serve warm with butter, clotted cream, fruit preserves, or jam.
- Makes about 1.5 dozens.
Were very good. All they need was a bit of butter
However, the thyme took forever. Like an hour to chop, but I made them another time with dried thyme and it wasn’t as good as fresh. It may take a long time, but it is worth it.
Absolutely delicious and I will make again and again.
For more scone recipes, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones
For more on Peter Pan, go to It’s Always Tea Time
And for weekly recipe reviews, go to Mysterious Eats
The song for today is As Long As There’s Christmas from Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
This song was written for the film by Rachel Portman and Don Black; and sung by the cast.
The thing I like about this song is the message it brings, no matter what as long as we celebrate Christmas we celebrate the hope the holiday brings.
For more on Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, go to 25 Films of Christmas
For more Christmas Carols, go to Xactly Why I Think Beastly is An Xcellent Story
I couldn’t think of anything, of any name that had an X in it. I decided that I would just shelve it for now and come back to it later.
But then the days passed and we grew closer and closer to the 24th and I had no idea what to pick.
But then my friend returned my book Beastly, by AleX Flinn, that I had let her borrow. I looked at it and I knew!
This was the book I was going to use for my X.
So I don’t know exactly how I stumbled onto this book. But I read it, loved it, and then went on to read everything else Flinn wrote.
Flinn is a master teller at taking fairy tales and rewriting them in modern times with youth audiences and characters.
Now I read this years ago, a few years after it was published and just absolutely loved it. Then I heard the movie was coming out based on it, and tracked that film; so excited to see it on the screen and dragging two of my friends with me. But then I saw it:
It was horrible. I did not like it one bit. They just cut the heart and soul of the book leaving a shadow of what it was. The book was much better.
Now when I first read the book I had only previously seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and read the tale it was based on. Since then, I have seen a few other things and I have noticed that Flinn pulls from both La Belle et la Bête
And the Beauty and the Beast TV show from the ’80s.
In fact one of the characters is called Lindy in the book and Linda Hamilton played “Belle” in the TV show. Coincidence? I think not. Plus the way he looks, the way he protect Lindy, havoc on the subway, etc.
Well that’s enough of that, let’s check out the book.
So we start in a way I have never seen a retelling of a fairy tale start before. With IMing between a bunch of different fairy tale characters. We have the little mermaid from The Little Mermaid, the Bear from Snow White and Rose Red, the frog prince from The Frog Prince, and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, And who is the chat room run by? Mr. Anderson.
No, not that Mr. Anderson. Anderson as in Hans Christian Andersen.
So then we flashback to how our Beast, became a beast.
Kyle Kingsbury is a freshman at a private school, Tuttle, and the son of the very wealthy news anchor, Rob Kingsbury. Kyle is a perfect dreamboat, utter perfection in height, looks, etc.
But while the outside is a treat, how he acts is the exact opposite.
All he cares about is his looks and popularity, hurting and being cruel to others around him. This year they are getting ready for homecoming and have their election for freshman Prince, of which Kyle is nominated. As they start voting, one person speaks out.
Kendra Hilferty is not what most would call beautiful. She has a strange green hair, is rather plain, and dresses in black “gothish” type clothing. She is upset about how this contest is all about looks instead of who they are, telling Kyle he is ugly where it really counts.
Kyle is angry over what Kendra said so he decides to play a trick on her. He invites her to the Homecoming dance, all the while planning on going with his real girlfriend, Sloane, and roasting Kendra.
When Sloane hears that Kyle will be going with Kendra, she is livid, but Kyle calms her down when he tells her about his “joke”. Kyle doesn’t really like Sloane, she’s really annoying and bratty, but she is the hottest girl and after tonight is going to let him come to her house while her parents are out…well as long as he brings an orchid.
Kyle goes home and tries to talk to his dad, but he doesn’t care. Kyle doesn’t have a mom as she left years ago and has never tried to contact him. His dad is super shallow and only cares about himself and his needs, never thinking of his child or the example he is setting.
That night Kyle is ready to go to the
ball, dance I mean (I’m reading too many fairy tales), when it turns out his maid Madga didn’t buy the orchid but bought a single, white rose. Sloane is furious about there being no orchid and refuses to have the rose. However, there is a scholarship student taking the tickets who exclaims over its beauty. Kyle gives it to her, the only genuine, nice thing he has ever done.
When Kendra arrives and discovers what he has done she tells him he will pay for what he has done and will be as ugly on the outside as he truly is on the inside.
Kyle is upset, and scared, but continues to do what is expected as Prince of Homecoming. But at twelve o’clock that night Kendra appears to him and reveals she is a witch, and Kyle is turned into a beast.
When Kyle’s father discovers the transformation, he carts him all over the United States to see what they can do. But nothing can change him.
He cuts his hair, it grows back. He slices his skin, it instantly heals. Kendra gives him a magic mirror that allows him to see anyone he wants, and she uses it to “call” him throughout the book. Nothing can destroy him, and nothing can change him back except if he could find someone to love him in this bestial form. And he has two years, because of his gift of the rose, to find it or be stuck as a beast forever!
And this is what I don’t like about the film. They just give him a bunch of tattoos, but that isn’t as hard to love as something that doesn’t even look human. Plus they cut out how long he has to be a beast, removing his first year of angst, anxiety, and depression and being pushed apart from the rest of the world.
Yes, Kyle’s father can’t stand the sight of him and ships him off to an old brownstone in Brooklyn which has old windows that can’t open and no one can come in and see him. He sends Magda to take care of him and things to amuse him.
Kyle decides that he is no longer Kyle. After careful consideration, he chooses Adrian as it speaks of his new nature. He tries to find love online, but Kendra warns him that won’t work.
After deciding he will spend the rest of his life alone, he blackmails his father into providing him a tutor. The father complies, but selects a blind tutor, that way no one will hear of what his son is.
Will, the tutor, comes into Adrian’s life and he and Magda become his only friend, besides those who also have been transformed that he IMs. This is really interesting as they follow what occurs in those stories too.
Adrian discovers that Will used to have sight, but lost it as he aged. Magda had a family, but they weren’t allowed into the country so she is alone now. Adrian calls Kendra and works a deal that if he finds his love to break the spell, Kendra will grant the wishes of the others.
Adrian begins to read and study as he has nothing else in his life.
Something else he does with his time is watch people from his former life and school. One day he looks up the girl he gave the rose to, Lindy. Lindy is from a poor neighborhood and is a scholarship student. Her father is a drug addict and pusher, and she tries as hard as she can to take care of him. She spends as much time as she can reading, the library being her refuge.
One night everything changes. Adrian hears a crash and discovers that someone is trying to break into the house.
He goes to protect it and threatens the man with police. The man, in fear for his life, offers to trade his daughter for his life. He shows Adrian a picture and it is Lindy.
Adrian is horrified that he would do such a thing, but accepts as he wants to protect her and has hope that maybe she is the one to break the spell.
Lindy moves in, and things do not go according to Adrian’s plan. Lindy is furious and wants to leave. Will at first feels the same way, but after meeting her father agrees with Adrian’s solution.
After giving him a lot of time, Lindy starts to come around as she is just as lonely. At first she is weirded out by Adrian’s appearance, but as their friendship grows she begins to enjoy being around him.
Adrian begins to care more about Lindy’s feelings than his own desires to have the curse broken and gets his dad to rent them a place in the country where they are freer to roam and hangout. He also decides to release Lindy from her commitment to stay with him, and she decides to remain there.
However, one night Lindy says how she is worried about her father and Adrian shows her the mirror. When she looks into it, she sees her father, sick and shaking. She leaves to go take care of him and promises to return.
Months pass and no Lindy.
Adrian starts to become depressed and decides that he will be a beast forever.
They move back to the brownstone and still no Lindy.
Adrian watches her in the mirror but she never comes to him. All have given up hope except Magda, who keeps encouraging Adrian. It comes down to the final day and still no Lindy.
Then at night Adrian hears Lindy scream and looks her up in the mirror. She is being held up for money owed by her dad. Adrian takes off in the subway, not caring who sees him, but going to her aid.
When he arrives, the other pusher is so freaked at his appearance he shoots Adrian, who continues to run at him tossing the gun aside and saving Lindy. As Adrian starts bleeding, Lindy says the words he has always desperately wanted to hear:
Instantly, he is transformed into Kyle again.
The police come and after they deal with that mess they return to the brownstone. When they get there it is revealed that Magda is really Kendra.
She too had to serve a sentence and Kyle’s breaking of his spell has allowed her to return home to her family. Will’s eyes are healed and three pick up their lives; Will teaching at Tuttle and Lindy and Kyle attending. They continue to live at the brownstone, a happy family, with Kyle being a better person.
In the end we hear from the chat group how each has completed their own journey, some with happy endings and others with ones that were not quite what they expected.
It was a great book and I just LOVE it.
I highly recommend it for any fairy tale fan.
To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451
For the previos post, go to There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
For more Alex Flinn, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders
For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen
For more Audrey Hepburn quotes, go to At Midnight, Your Coach Will Become a Pumpkin Again, and the Animals Will Regain Their Original Shape Until Your Next Ball: Ella Enchanted
For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to I Will Not Bend, I Will Not Break
For more G. K. Chesterton, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write
Let me just start with this, George you will be missed.
So as this book is about true and false love, I decided to go with the song that has been on the radio nonstop, Last Christmas by Wham!
I love Wham! I’ve been obsessed with them for a looong time. This isn’t my favorite by them, for the longest time I didn’t even like this song; but after hearing it on the radio constantly I grew to really love it.
It was written by the late, great George Michael and tells the tale of someone giving their heart to someone, only to have it broken as they were unfaithful.
But luckily they find someone to give their heart to that will protect it.
It has been extremely popular and been constantly redone by other artists. Wham! is my favorite, not just because I love the band, but because it is nice to hear the broken heart from a guy’s point of view instead of always a woman.
For more ’80s music, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)
For more Christmas Carols, go to It Looks…as Though We are Being Kidnapped: Five Were Missing
I was first introduced to The Wizard of Oz because of the film. It was one of my mom’s favorites and we would watch it over and over again.
I first read the book when I was first in my early teens, and was surprised how much of her journeys and the things she had to go through were taken out of the final production.
I then went on to read the whole entire series, 14 books. Out of all of them, the best of course is the first: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I love this book and have read it over and over again.
The story of The Wizard of Oz follows the adventure’s of Dorothy Gale as she, and her dog, Toto, are accidentally transported by tornado from her uncle and aunt’s home in Kansas to the magical land of Oz.
When she arrives, it turns out that she has crushed the Wicked Witch of the East with her house. The Munckins and the Good Witch of the North (not Glinda) are so thankful for her help in stopping the evil witches control of their land, they give her a banquet, but all Dorothy wants is to go home.
They tell her to follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard and ask him for help. The Good Witch of the North gives Dorothy a kiss on the forehead to protect her and gives her the silver shoes the Witch of the East was wearing. Yes silver. They changed the color in the film as they wanted them to stand out.
Dorothy continues her way to the Wizard when she comes across the Scarecrow who has just been made that morning. He comes along with her as he hopes to get a brain.
They later find a woodsman made out of tin, rusted in place. The tin man used to be a real man and feel in love with a munchkin girl. She lived with a witch who cursed his ax, so when he tried to cut down a tree, he cut a limb. He had one made out of tin, and this continued until he was completely made out of tin and no longer wanted to marry the girl as he has no heart. He joins the group in the hopes of getting a heart and they continue on.
They run into a Lion who knocks them all aside and out of the way. He tries to get Toto, and Dorothy comes up and smacks him on the nose. It turns out that the lion is just a coward, trying to be tougher than he is. He comes along with the group to try to get some courage.
They continue on their trip and run into a poppy field. As they journey through it, all but the Tin Man and Scarecrow fall asleep.
They save Dorothy, but can’t carry the Lion out. However, when they reach the other side the Tin Man saves a mouse who turns out to be a Queen. She helps them by getting her mice to carry the remaining group out.
They continue to the Wizard, where they are forced to wear green glasses; entering the Emerald city of Oz. They each go see the Wizard, but he appears in different forms: a beautiful woman, fireball, giant head, a horrible beast. He tells them he cannot grant them anything, until they kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
They head out to get her, although they don’t really want to kill anyone, but here we go. When they leave, the glasses are removed and it turns out that the things they thought they were wearing that were “green” were actually white.
They head out to find the witch, but she spots them with her telescopic eye. She sends wolves to kill them, but the Tin Man stops them all. She then sends out crows out to kill them, and peck them up; but the scarecrow stops them. Then she tries to send bees, but the Tin Man destroys them. Next are the Winkies, but the Lion’s roar, scares them off. She then uses the golden cap to send for the Winged Monkeys.
The monkeys destroy the scarecrow and the tin man; carrying off the lion, Toto, and Dorothy. Dorothy becomes her slave, and the Lion is put in a cage.
The Witch wants the shoes, but can’t do anything to Dorothy while she is wearing them. The only time Dorothy takes them off is when she bathes and sleeps, water and the dark being the two things that frighten the Witch the most.
The witch tricks Dorothy out of one of her shoes, and Dorothy, so angry, throws water on her. She melts.
The Winkies are so excited to be free they help repair the scarecrow and the Tin Man. They are extremely good at metalwork and ask the Tin Man to return to rule them.
The group now face the problem that they don’t know how to get back to the Emerald City as they were carried by the monkeys. They call the Queen of the Mice, but she tells them to use the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys.
Dorothy now controls the monkeys, and they take them to the Wizard. The King of the Monkeys reveals they were put under enchantment by the sorceress, Gayelette, when they played a prank on her and her fiancé. Dorothy can use them two more times.
They return to Oz, only to discover that there is no great Wizard.He tells them his story about how he came in a balloon and everyone thought he was a Wizard, and he just continued with it; having no one see him as he didn’t want them to know he was a fraud.
He thinks about how to grant everyone’s request and has them each return the next day to help them. First he makes a brain for the Scarecrow out of bran, oats, etc. He mixes it with water, and using pins puts it in his head.Then he makes a pillow heart, and cuts the tin man placing it in; re-soldering the body. For the Lion he makes a disgusting mixture and has him drink it. All that is left is Dorothy.
The Wizard decides to make a hot air balloon for him and Dorothy, leaving the Scarecrow to rule in his place. They then decide to set out, but Toto chases a cat and Dorothy takes off after him. The balloon goes off as the Wizard can’t go back down, he doesn’t know how to really work the balloon. He flies off….but don’t worry he comes back in book 4, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.
They use the cap to call the Monkeys, but they can’t travel out of Oz. They then are told by one of the Emerald City’s soldiers that the only thing left to do, is see Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. They head out having to pass a forest of fighting trees.
They then pass through a china town, that is a town made purely out of China figures. Dorothy tries to take one with her, but she begs to remain in her town where she can stay alive.
Then they pass through a jungle ruled by a horrible spider beast. The Lion destroys him, and they ask him to return and rule them.
Afterwards they see an impossible mountain to cross, and use the last call to the Monkeys to see Glinda. Glinda sees the shoes that Dorothy is wearing and tells them that they can take her anywhere. Glinda asks for the cap and uses her first call to send the Scarecrow back to Oz, the second to send the Tin Man back to the Witches castle in the Winkies’, and the Lion back to the Jungle. She then frees the monkeys.
She tells Dorothy all she needs to do is click her heels three times and she will be home again.
As she travels, Dorothy loses her shoes. She runs home to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, glad to finally be home.
Here are a few things I noticed this time that I hadn’t really thought of before.
A fantastic book and one that I just love to read many, many times. Don’t try and take it away.
Earlier this month, we had a tea party and each had to create our own table. The theme was shoes to represent the journey we had been on through the year. My friend and I decided to do The Wizard of Oz.
This is our table. For cups we did Mason jars in Gingham ribbon as people in the Midwest don’t use glasses, but mason jars. Each person who came got a poppy hair piece and red sparkly heart ornament. I put two black and white straws in each cup, with red shoes made out of Swedish fish. In the center we have a runner that is decorated like the yellow brick road. In the middle I put books for height and color, with the one standing up being none other than my copy of The Wizard of Oz. We had sparkly shoes, but they weren’t ready yet so I substituted my own to place everything on the table.
My friend then painted a scene of the Emerald city, the glasses we choose being similar to the design of the city in the book illustrations.
And lastly, King Monkey
I choose to make the monkey out of black and white striped socks as those are what the Wicked Witch of the West wears in the film. I don’t make monkeys really that much as I am rather slow sewer, but if you are interested I learned from this video and she sells Sock Monkeys. She might make you a winged one of your own if you request it.
To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451
For the previous post, go to It Looks…as Though We are Being Kidnapped: Five Were Missing
For more on The Wizard of Oz go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year
For more tea parties, go to It’s Always Tea Time
For more on Llyod Alexander, go to She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985
For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra
For more Oscar Wilde, go to Austenland
So as Dorothy really wants to go home throughout the book:
“I cannot understand why you would wish to leave this beautiful county and go back to the dry, gray, place you call Kansas.’
‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. ‘No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”
Leaving me to choose the song: Home For the Holidays. The music was composed by Robert Allen, while the lyrics were written by Al Stillman.
I choose the version by Karen Carpenter as I think it is one of the best.
For more Karen Carpenter, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore
For more Christmas Carols, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!