I Don’t Want a Lot for Christmas, There is Just One Thing I Need

Merry Christmas!

For more Christmas, go to You Know Me So Well

For more book posts, go to Bookish Thank You

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Just Jane

So you all know that I love Jane Austen, she’s the best.

So whenever I find anything that has to do with Austen I snag it.

So one day I was perusing the local bookstore on my day off. The day before had been an extremely hard day so I wanted something to help me feel better.

You know nothing makes me happier than reading.

As I was perusing the shelves, I spotted a book about Jane Austen and just had to purchase it and read it.

I then put it on my to-read pile and forgot all about it.

But as I was moving, I went through my to-read pile and had to read it.

Just Jane (Ladies of History #2) by Nancy Moser

So the book begins with Jane Austen as a young lady at a ball and her infatuation with Tom Lefroy, the man she based Mr. Darcy and Captain Fredrick Wentworth, going all the way to her death, following the completion of Persuasion. 

The book is an intense delight and I recommend it for any Austen fan. Moser is able to blend the historical context, the quotes from her letters, and out it all together in a fun and intriguing narrative that I couldn’t stop reading.

We get to see inside Austen’s head, and view her process and take the path of her life and creation of her amazing books.

We get to experience her heartache, sadness, grief, etc. I love how Moser captures her essence as a girl trying to figure out her future, try to find love, find her place in her family, and worry about what she can do to help her household along with her as an author-the creative struggles, the pains and long journey of bringing an idea into a real novel, and the sorrows and joy of printing process.

We also get a great view of her family, the research done well and bringing certain things I had not known to my attention, and blogging of course.

Moser never claims that one fictional character is solely based on Austen or those she knows-instead she leaves it open to the reader as there is a delight in spotting what real life situations or people could be different characters or events that occur in the book.

It beautifully shows the Regency period, the things we see in films that makes us want to go back, along with detailing the realities that we are happy we no longer have to face.

There will be many posts that have come or will be coming in the future that have to do with something that caught my eye in the reading.

So once again, let me say-if you love Jane Austen and you want something that has life over just the facts, this book is for you. It was a great read and kept you wanting to see what happened next and read more about Jane’s real life and her family.

“Four, five people have been so honoured?’ She shook her head. ‘Tis deplorable, Jane. Hundred, yea even thousands, must enjoy your work.” pg 117

For more on Jane Austen’s life, go to Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

For something interesting from Just Jane, go to By the Sea

For more Regency Era, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 2, The Ties That Bind

Baked Apple Slices

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

This year I have a lot to be thankful for-1) Being alive-my ex-husband was abusive and tried to kill me; 2) My 5-year restraining order and the fact that my divorce was finalized 10/24/18-thank you California!; 3)My friends, family, and faith who have gotten me through this; 4) And this blog and all you readers!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday however you spend it. I am course am going to spend it with food:

So what would Jane Austen be eating if she was celebrating the American holiday?

Last year I shared a recipe for apple pie, I thought this year I would share one for baked apples which make a great breakfast, side dish, or dessert.

This comes from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 Granny Smith Apple-Peeled, Cored, and Sliced
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Cornstarch or Flour
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Pinch of Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spread the apples slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Whisk the water and flour together, and pour over the apples and gently stir.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Cook for about 15 mins.

 

 

Delicious!

For more Thanksgiving posts, go to Are Dean Winchester and Jane Austen Kindred Spirits?

For more recipes, go to Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

For more holiday posts, go to Life Seems But a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

Mata Hari Stops At Nothing. Nothing Comes Between Mata Hari and What She Wants: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Mata Hari stops at nothing. Nothing comes between Mata Hari and what she wants.

This is one of my favorite Doris Day films. It is so hilarious. My mom is a huge Doris Day film so when I was growing up we watched practically every film she has been in.

Out of all of them this was her favorite.

The film starts off with widow Jennifer Nelson (Doris Day). During the week she works at NASA in the PR department and running tours. On the weekends she dresses up as a mermaid and helps her father’s tourism business of a Glass Bottom Boat in Catalina.

One day she is doing the usual performing when she is caught by super genius and millionaire, Bruce Templeton (Rod Taylor).

Bruce is smitten with Jennifer and has his people research her. She lives alone with a menagerie of animals, including her lovable dog Vladimir. She also fills her time after work taking different classes-such as baking (she learned how to make banana cream pie)-and is currently taking writing classes.

Bruce decides that he will do all he can to get her and hires her to write his biography that NASA and a few publishers have been after. He also pretends to like all the things she does to win her, such as banana cream pies even though he actually hates them.

Now this is incredibly messed up behavior and he is a total jerk to do this to her, but it is Rod Taylor. It is hard to look at such an amazing mass of gorgeousness and hunkiness and stay angry. *Sigh* I could just look at that man for days.

Anyways, Bruce is working on a super secret weapon GISMO and his security chief, Homer Cripps, is paranoid that Russian spies may have infiltrated NASA and discovered what Bruce has been working at. And who does he think is the top spy? Jennifer.

Homer Cripps has been watching her and thinks all the classes are questionable, the mermaid thing odd, and above all the calling of Vladimir everyday.

Russian name = Russian spy!

Well Bruce won’t hear it, he and Jennifer have been progressing their relationship.

Meanwhile, Jennifer’s schedule has her out early and not come home until late. In order to ensure her dog has exercise she calls the same time everyday and just talks to her answering machine-her dog going wild jumping and running at the sound of her voice.

Meanwhile, Homer and other head honcho Edgar Hill are trying to convince Bruce that Jennifer is a spy, which she happens to overhear. So not only does she find out that they believe her to be a spy, but that Bruce had her investigated and has been lying about things he likes to date her-insulting her banana cream pie.

Not the pie dude.

Oh Jennifer is angry, she furious and incredibly livid. So she decides to get even.

Bruce and NASA have a big gala at Bruce’s amazing modern “house of the future”. There Jennifer pretends to be a spy-playing with the minds of everyone.

Jennifer Nelson: The recognition signal is: “Vladimir Sent Me”. Over!

But unbeknownst to her, there is a spy infiltration at NASA. Someone is after the secret formula Bruce has been working on. The spy is dressed as a woman and hides the plans in her purse. When Jennifer goes into the bathroom, the two switch purses and Jennifer ends up with the plans.

The spies then go after Jennifer, believing she is a spy working for someone else.

What ensues is hilarious hijinks in a fantastic movie, which you must watch for yourself.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Doris Day, go to You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

For more spy films, go to I Just Read Books: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Plot Twist

Plot Twist

I am getting a divorce.

Yes my husband turned out to be abusive. He abused me physically only a few times-mostly financial, verbal, and so on. We were only together a little over a month when I left.

I never realized how many facets there were to abuse of what it really meant until my counselor showed me this wheel. I had always say it just as someone hitting you, or like what they show in the media.

People always ask why do women stay with people like that and going through it there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Most of the time I was in shock like I couldn’t believe it was really happening to me, that it was my life.

Help me! I’m confused!

The way that keeps you off guard is how they change so quickly. They can be one way and then a couple hours later, completely different. Making you question yourself as to what is going on. And of course they never doing that in front of other people. also kind of makes it almost unbelievable that it is real.

I think Sarah Dessen described it best in her book Dreamland. Like I can’t believe I stayed with him as long as I did. I can’t believe I even married someone who treated me so wrongly. I see things now that should have been flags, but I never ever imagined that he would abuse me. And being apart from him I feel as if I woke from a dream. And just like Caitlin, I had to put the pieces of my life back together again.

And a lot of women can’t leave, they don’t have the money or support. I was blessed that I had support and he tried to use up all my money, in fact have a bunch of his debt as he took my credit card and just charged it up. But I am free (or will be when the divorce finalizes).

And it is so much better being away from him. I still have times of grief over how he treated me and what he did to me but now there is hope.

Just moving on and moving forward.

And I want to share this wheel to help others:

By the Sea

So I was reading Just Jane by Nancy Moser and at one point in Jane Austen’s life she traveled to sea. Later she, her mother, sister, and friend actually moved by the sea and lived there for a while.

They talk about sea-bathing and the sea-bathing machines they would use.

Sea-bathing machines? What?

So sea-bathing started in the later 18th century, prescribed by two eminent doctors, Dr. Russell and Dr. Crane. By Regency times it was super popular.

So like in today’s world, when people go swimming, or sea-bathing, we just jump right in, or tread a little in the water. But not back in Regency times.

wow

Instead they would go into a bathing machine, a large carriage like structure. There the bathers would change into their bathing suits and a horse would pull the carriage into the water.

When the reached the desired depth, the horse would be unhitched and go back to land, or take a carriageful of bathers that had finished back to land.

As the women and men would change in the machines, they were not shared by the sexes but divided between the two. Most often men and women bathed on completely different beaches as women wore muslin shifts, and men wore drawers or were naked.

By 1815 there were 40 bathing carriages and were busy nonstop between 6am-12pm every day.

Doctors prescribed being dipped into the water for one’s health. Often sturdy women were the dippers, traveling with the bathers in the carriage and dipping them so many times under the water. Kind of like being baptized, but more than three times.

For more information, go here

For more on Jane Austen’s life, go to The Curious Case and Crime of Jane Leigh-Perrot

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

So you know me. I love tea.

There is nothing better than starting your morning, afternoon, evening-or every hour with a wonderful cup of tea.

You may or may not know that I also love smoothies. I get up early every day so it is nice to be able to run out the door and drink my breakfast on the run.

So as I was looking through Pinterest, I found a recipe Berry Colombo Smoothie, from RefuTeaI don’t have Colombo tea, so I had to use a different brand and I didn’t have strawberries, so I had to leave them out. Oh well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup of Earl Grey Tea

Directions:

  1. Brew the tea, using 1 tbsp as you need to have the tea be strong.
  2. Blend all together until smooth.

I thought it was pretty good. I couldn’t really taste the tea really, but it was still good.

For more recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

For more tea posts, go to Teatime is So Much Better With a Teapot

For more blueberry recipes, go to Irish Blueberry Scones

For more Earl Grey Tea, go to London Fog Smoothie

Right Away I Know I Won’t Like You

So as mentioned a few weeks ago, I will be going through the books Northanger Abbey and Persuasion this year as both are celebrating their 200th birthdays (they were published in one book).

I know I already did a post on the beginning of Persuasion, but that was a while back-so I’m starting from the beginning again.

Have you ever had someone you met right away and just know you won’t like them.

They may barely talk, or you just spend five mins with them-and that’s it. You are done. You know you will not like them no matter what.

Well that’s how I feel about Sir Walter Elliot, our main character Anne Elliot’s father.

Why you may ask? Simple:

SIR WALTER ELLIOT, OF KELLYNCH HALL, IN SOMERSETSHIRE, WAS A MAN who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage…”

He doesn’t like to read? Except about himself?

It’s like, what’s wrong with you? How can you not be interested in it? Like who are you?

And to make things worse-Sir Walter, a baron, only reads the Baronetage. That means the only book he likes to read is really about himself and the history of his family.

“…he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favourite volume always opened…”

So doesn’t read and the only thing that interests him is himself?

Ugh

I don’t need to read any more-I know without a doubt that I will not like this self-centered character at all.

But hey that’s okay-it happens there are always those characters you love to dislike.

For more Persuasion, go to You’ve Persuaded My Heart

For more on Sir Walter, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to London Fog Smoothie

London Fog Smoothie

So even though it is summertime, you all know I will not give up my tea.

Not for nothing or nobody

And pinterest knows this so they send me lots of tea recipes.

This one I found sounded very good, London Fog Smoothie. I love London Fog lattes, I love smoothies, why not combine the two?

The picture with the ingredients was saved from a site called womansbust.com, but when I clicked on the link there was nothing about tea on it, only enlarging a woman’s breasts.

Oh well.

Tea first!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/3 Cup of Almond Milk (I don’t like almond so I used regular)
  • 1/3 Cup of Earl Grey Tea
  • 1 Cup of Crushed Ice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey

Directions:

  1. Combine all and blend.
  2. Serve.
  3. Top with whipped cream if desired.

This was better than the Fauxccino as I think having the cup of tea added to it better than the ice cubes. It came out a bit watery so I really thinking combining the two would work best. It didn’t come out super sweet with the Greek Yogurt and regular milk, so I added French Vanilla Creamer to sweeten it up. Regular yogurt would have been a better choice. But I know for next time. The cinnamon was very strong too, I would have done way less-just a dash.

Otherwise, it was very good. And a great tea drinking method for the summertime.

For more tea posts, go to Got Tea?

For more recipes, go to London Fog Fauxccino

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to You’ve Persuaded My Heart

You’ve Persuaded My Heart

So we all know that Northanger Abbey is celebrating its 200th birthday. Well it isn’t the only one. When Northanger Abbey was published in 1818, it wasn’t published singularly like the other novels. Instead it came as a 2-for-1 deal, published jointly with Persuasion. 

Her brother Henry published this one and like Northanger Abbey, chose the title. We will never know exactly what Jane would have called it. But it doesn’t matter, it is a great book whatever it is called.

It is often called a wish fulfillment as old lovers broken apart are reunited years later, something Austen herself hoped would happen with her love, but never did.

The technical aspects of the navy seem to be based on Austen’s brother Captain Austen, and one of the main characters wives, based on her sister-in-law. That’s pretty cool and sweet of her to include them.

Hmm…

She also uses a strong irony in this as Anne was rich when she turned down poor Wentworth, but when he returns Anne is poor and Wentworth rich. I simply love this book because it seems so real, how the characters react and treat each other are the emotions they actually would.

Austen also does a great line about women being portrayed as a “femme fatale” so often as men are the writers of these novels; therefore the view is biased. Great book to check out, and we will be! We will be going through the book ourselves and checking out the great character of Anne Elliot:

And Captain Wentworth

And a whole crew of great characters!

Along with going through the book I will also be reviewing the books that are based on the novel or “rewrites” or “twists” on it.

 

Books:

Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends #2) by Juliet Archer

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues by Christina Boyd

The Lady Anne Elliot Wentworth, Duchess of Glastonbury by Timothy Figueroa

Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #3) by Amanda Grange

The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz

Persuaded (The Jane Austen Diaries #3) by Jenni James

Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes by Regina Jeffers

None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #1) by Susan Kaye

For You Alone  (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #2) by Susan Kaye

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund

Anne Elliot, A New Begining by Mark Lydon Simonsen

Possibilities (The Austen Series #6) by Debra White Smith

 

 

Film:

Persuasion (1960)

Persuasion (1971)

Persuasion (1995)

Persuasion (2007)

For more on Persuasion, go to Jane Austen Bridal Shower

For more on Anne Elliot, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

For more on Captain Wentworth, go to I’m On a Boat