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“…as he had stood in a shop on Bond-street he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty (foggy) morning, to be sure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of.”
I know, it’s not frost. But, we do have fog in the Portland area so it applies in a hazy way.
Of course the quote is Sir Walter showing off his intellectual prowess again. What is your favorite comment, observation, or aside from the Sage of Somerset?
I have to laugh when he asks Anne, on her arrival in Bath, if Mary still has a red nose. And goes on to say that, “If I thought it would not tempt her to go out in sharp winds, and grow coarse, I would send her a new hat and pelisse.” Such economy of thought and finance. And what a man to be protecting his daughter’s complexion AND his pocketbook at the same time.
There’s a reason he’s a gentleman.
In my YES column of “What I Would Like for Christmas” is this wonderful instrument originally designed, but never built, by Leonardo da Vinci. Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki spent four years building his own version of it and debuted the instrument at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland last month.
According to Gizmodo, this is how the instrument works:
In the place of a piano’s felt hammers, spinning wheels draw across the strings like a violinist’s bow. The player operates a foot pedal to spin the wheels, playing notes on a keyboard identical to a piano’s. But the sound, sinewy like a stringed instrument but with a piano’s direct, well-defined tones, defies comparison to traditional instruments.
The instrument would require a great deal of skill, as the performer would have to pump the pedal constantly and play the keys in the crawling style of an organ (since the pedal would not act as a damper pedal, allowing the tones to vibrate). I am an organist as well as a pianist, so I would dearly love a chance to try it.
What I find absolutely creepy is the new Lady Gaga life-sized doll. (Just in case you can’t tell, the real Gaga is the one in red. I think that one looks more like a doll than the others.) Santa can leave that off my list. Now, a life-sized Colin Firth as Darcy might be decorative . . . hmmmmmmm . . . no. Mannequins who look like living (or dead) people standing or sitting around the house are just too weird, even if they look as good as Colin Firth.
She rises also while it is still night,
And gives food to her household,
And portions to her maidens.
As you may know, I live with grown sons and a husband. And although I get up hours before dawn (as specified above) — to do laundry and get breakfast and lunches before work — there are no “maidens” to give portions to.
I am on the watch for those maidens, ever hopeful. I would gladly give them portions. But they do not show up.
Yesterday during my Thanksgiving Day cooking marathon — in my galley-style kitchen — I found myself giving thanks for each one of my modern appliances. And hot water. And functional plumbing.
Could these be my “maidens”?
I am also very thankful that I do not have to slap together a massive, intricate meal every single day. What the real-life Mrs Bridges and Mrs Patmores had to put up with was a lot!
While I’d like to socialize in Jane Austen’s world, I do not want to cook or clean there.
(Well actually, I don’t want to cook or clean anywhere, ever, you know?)
So in Jane Austen’s day, which would you rather be? Kitchen help? Or cleaning help?
We are gearing up for the Christmas season here at Jane Started It! so this post will be higgledy piggledy at best.
A few days ago I started messing with the gravatar for JSI. That’s the tiny avatar in the left-hand corner on the black ribbon just above the page. What you see probably looks like a green eye with a BIG pupil. It’s not.
A few days ago, Robin Helm bought a copy of that epic, cancelled-before-it-got-started SciFi adventure series, Firefly. I was reminded that I once did a post comparing Frederick Wentworth to Mal Reynolds. (You can read that HERE.) I’ve decided they’re both my favorite captain. Yeah, there is no number agreement in that sentence.
UPDATE: In honor of Thanksgiving, one of my favorite scenes in Everybody Loves Raymond:
Whether you live in the U. S. and celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, the sentiment is a good one to employ on any given day. Look around, take stock of the people and places that make up your life. Be thankful for them, and be thankful for the things that are coming. It is an ill wind that doesn’t blow someone good.
Be careful of you go out on Black Friday. It’s gonna be scary out there.
Take care–Susan Kaye
I love this song written by David Foster, Richard Page, and Carole Bayer Sager, and performed by Josh Groban. I’ve taught the song to my children at the local charter school in which I teach elementary music on Thursday and Fridays. I have 108 students there, in kindergarten through fifth grade. One of my fifth grade boys made an astute observation after we sang the song last week. He said, “I’m so glad we sang that song. People often just jump from Halloween to Christmas and ignore Thanksgiving.” That’s a good bit of wisdom for an eleven-year-old boy.People are looking for fun, parties, and gifts, and that’s not what Thanksgiving is about. There are no costumes (except in elementary plays). We don’t exchange gifts. There’s not much money involved. What we spend on the Thanksgiving dinner is about all there is to the holiday, other than spending time with family and having a day off work before the Christmas rush begins on Black Friday.
I’m a huge fan of Norman Rockwell’s work. His Four Freedoms are wonderful, and Freedom From Want has always been one of my favorites. The painting is more about the people than it is about the food.
If I could have anything I wanted this Thanksgiving, I would relive one of the Thanksgivings I had with my parents, siblings, husband, and children. The saying, “You don’t know what you had until it’s gone,” may be trite, but it’s true.
However, when I think of what I have instead of what I’ve lost, I’m very thankful. God has blessed me beyond all imaginings. I’m thankful that I’m healthy (and for the modern medicines that help me stay that way); for my husband, daughters, son-in-law, and my daughter’s godly boyfriend; for extended family, church, friends, and acquaintances; that I have the time to write; for our home, hot water, heat, and air-conditioning; for my five part-time jobs; and for music. Most of all, I’m thankful that God loves me, and I’m thankful for salvation.
For what are you thankful? What inspires in you that attitude of gratitude?
The husband and I were reading the Police Blotter in a local paper yesterday. There was an entry that screamed for a story to be written.
A woman came to the local police station and asked for her wallet and her false teeth back.
Where to begin.
First of all, the police station wouldn’t be the first place I would think to go when missing … ANYTHING. Clearly, she searched around the house, her car, maybe even her desk at work and found nothing but all those other things you’ve looked for in the past.
Next, it’s clear she’s been to the police station because the story said she went “back.” Either this was a first-time event, and maybe a one off. Or maybe she’s been building up frequent custody miles for a while.
Back to Phyllis. (Yes, I just now decided to call her Phyllis.) When our heroine didn’t find the wayward items, she obviously thought, “Hey, when I was taken into custody the other night, I’ll bet after calling the kids* to post bail, they released me and kept my wallet and teeth.**” IF she’s been a regular guest of the _ _ PD, she may know that bailing out the wallet and toothless to future frustration is a cruel trick the officers gleefully perpetrate, , laughing behind the backs of the accused. Or, more likely the _ _ PD are sharp professionals and Phyllis is shocked that such slipshod ways have creeped in unnoticed. Time to call a halt to this!
Either way, the return trip to the station is fraught with anxiety. What if she gets pulled over? She’s got no ID and talking without her teeth makes her sound inebriated. Maybe inebriation is what started this whole mess in the first place. Maybe having to go back to the police station and ask for her teeth is just the push Phyllis needs to get some help.
She can give this new resolve to the kids as a Christmas present! This will be great. In the future, the family will gather around and listen to Phyllis talk about how she got sober and became a beacon of hope for the whole _____ family.
2014 is going to be a GREAT year!
It must have been a terrible blow when the _ _ PD had to tell Phyllis they didn’t have her wallet. Or her teeth.
There’s a whole new story just begging to be written.
Okay, so what have you lost and would be embarrassed if it showed up in a police station?
While a bit off-point, just to prime the pump and show I am no paragon, I think I forgot a brasserie at a motel. Just last month. I’ve sent an email asking the innkeeper to check. *sigh*
Come on! Join in. Spill for the amusement of us all.
*It’s clear the woman is a little “older” as she has false teeth. I assumed the part about calling her kids for bail money.
**I was not aware that false teeth were removed from someone taken into custody. Biting hazard? Possible suicide aide? I’m not clear on rationale for this.