Posted by Jeanne Adams Mar 15 2014, 12:08 am in Attic, crystal chandeliers, Hidden gems, Jeanne Adams, Royal Typewriters, Treasure
Behind this innocuous little half-door is a magical, dangerous world….
Or so I would love to have believed.
I love attics, and basements, and other unexplored areas of the home. Big cupboards, hidden rooms, trunks and old suitcases. So much “Scope for Imagination” as Anne of Green Gables would say.
In this particular case, however, I thought I knew what was behind yon door. Our teeny-tiny-attic space with a narrow strip of flooring, which was jammed with mostly useless stuff. Ugh. It was dusty and dirty and I suspected that there might be mice. (Nearly 60 year old house, suburban area = possibility of mice) I hadn’t found mousies, nor traces, but….
Anyway. I finally decided it was time to make better use of this space. So the DH and I contracted our handyman to floor the ENTIRE space, not just the mohawk strip down the middle. Handyman was dubious. He wanted to SEE said space before quoting the price.
I told him he was going to have to guess.
“Guess?” he said, looking surprised.
“Guess,” said I. ”I’m only emptying that space once. And that once is going to come on the days leading up to you putting down the floor. I’m not emptying it just for you to look, then quote, then take another month to get to it. Once.” I declared this, hands on hips, very stern expression, I’m sure.
So, grumbling, he crawled up in there, bumped around, nicked his head on the nails protruding through the roofing boards, cursed. He coughed, he sneezed, he cursed some more, then quoted.
We said yes so fast I think he got whiplash. Three weeks and a lot of snow days, complaining and dusty, coughing fits of our own later, we have a floored attic storage space. Doesn’t look like the same space, does it?
Oh! But the Treasures we found! Now some things I knew were up there because I put them there. I feared, however, that they might have gotten damaged or bent or broken beyond repair.
Like Barbie’s Dream House. What a delight! I knew it was up there. I put it up there when I moved in. This was one of the freakin’ coolest things I ever owned as a kid. It had a murphy bed. It had bookcases and bunk beds. It had mini-Ken, Mini-Barbie and some friends for a swingin’ late seventies party! I’m telling you, man, it was happenin’! I loved this thing.
My sister had The Barbies – the real ones for whom my mother knitted sweaters like this one below, and for whom she’d made fur coats, and dresses galore.
I had the mini-me versions, for some odd reason. Anyway, it in no way diminished my fun. Had to have a bit of nostalgia over that one.
Then there was the chandelier.
Oh. My. Goodness. I had NO idea what was in the disintegrating box right up against the far wall. It’s a crystal chandelier, complete with strands of crystal drops, and….wait for it….neatly boxed lightbulbs. Seriously. The lighbulbs were all intact in little cardboard boxes. Love. It. No where in this house to PUT it, but love it and am keepin’ it! Ha! (I also discovered it’s VERY hard to take a picture of a crystal chandelier…just sayin’!)
The sled I had known about because I’d moved the dang thing a few times, and the kidney-shaped dressing table chair for the dressing table that’s under the bed. (You can see the sled’s runners and the yellow curve of the chair in the picture above)
The dog was UBER curious about all the goings on up in the attic. I couldn’t catch him at it, but he would stand on the landing of the stairs and put his paws up on the attic doorframe and peer in like this, trying to figure out what the devil we were doing in there with all that dust and yuck.
We recycled so many empty boxes! OMGosh. Speaker boxes. Stereo boxes. A box for a humidifier that looked 100 years old. Boxes for computers, rice cookers, and flattened and preserved moving boxes.
Then, we found some things that neither I nor the DH remembered seeing, any more than we remembered that there might be a crystal chandelier lurking in the attic. We found the 1930′s Royal Typewriter. A gorgeous thing which still works nicely, thank you. (And with which our boys are fascinated!)
Last but not least we found some artwork that should NEVER have been stored up here. UGH!! I’m hoping my local frame shoppe can help me with it, because I want to put up the two Swedish art pieces which belonged to my DH’s Swedish Grandmother. I have the place all picked out. :>
With the floor in, we carefully planned what went back in the attic, neatly and crisply fitting in between the joists in row on row of labeled, inventoried plastic bins. It’s a miracle of organization!
It’s brightly lit (thanks to two new light fixtures!), it smells of sawdust and new plastic, thanks to construction and new bins, and it looks like Martha Stewart might have had a hand in it. (Although if she really had, the bins would be all one size and would match in color scheme and the labels would be printed on matching or coordinating labels rather than done by a Sharpie on stickers on a multitude of odd shaped and colored bins!)
The magic and mystery is gone, chased by new lighting, new bins and organization. It’s what I wanted and needed, but I confess to a pang.
There will be no more discoveries of typewriters and tea cups and chandeliers. (Forgot to tell you about the teacups….) It was the best use of the space, and man, did we need the space, but….
What about you, Bandits and Buddies?
Have you ever found treasures in an attic or basement or closet or cabinet?
Have you had, as I always did, the belief that attics were magical places full of flotsam, jetsam and treasure?
What’s the weirdest or coolest thing you’ve unearthed in clearing out a disordered space? Gotta say, that typewriter is uber cool!!
Do you have a sled? We’re supposed to get MORE SNOW in DC on Monday. URG! May have to keep the sled down from the attic for now….
There’s the crumbling chandelier box, and you can see the camping lantern I had hung from a joist so I could see….
And I gotta say…OH! The stories I could make up about all this stuff. There IS still magic in that part of it, for sure!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Feb 8 2014, 12:10 am in curling, Jeanne Adams, luge, Olympics, ski jumping, Speed Skating
Nations! Arise!! It’s time for the OLYMPICS!!! WOOHOOOO!!!
Now y’all know I’m a sports junkie. You’ve heard us joke back and forth those of us bandits who are sports mad here in the Lair. But whether you’re a “regular” sport crazy person or not, everyone sports-fiend or not, seems to pay at least SOME attention to the Olympics.
If nothing else, the opening ceremony is something outstanding to see. This year’s opening ceremony was no less a spectacle than any other. Have to say that I enjoyed the Canadian/Whistler, British Columbia Winter Olympic opening ceremony to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. I did enjoy Sochi with the red balloon and the baby carriages and all the fabulous glistening lights that filled the arena as President Putin declared the events open. The Torch Lighting? Yeah. Always brings a tightness to my throat and a tear to my eye.
As to what I want to watch? Speed skating. I wanted to do this as a child. How fun is this, really. Ice (cold!), speed (Yay!), and good looking men. Grins. I loved the sheer graceful speed of it. The rush.
The only problem was that absolutely no one, in my younger days, taught speed skating in North Carolina. Ah, well. An olympic dream lost…
I would have loved to have skated too, figure skating, of course, although I liked hockey too, even in those early days long before North Carolina embraced its Fabulous Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Team.
Then there’s skiing. Oh, the soft shush, the speed, the delicious flash and fun of it. I loved it long before I learned to actually SKI. That I didn’t learn how to do until college. In North Carolina, you learn to ski on ice, for the most part. And if you can ski in North Carolina, you can ski anywhere.
Now when I moved, in ninth grade, it was to a MUCH colder clime. They tobbogganed in Cleveland every weekend from October to April. Grins. It ALWAYS snowed. Every winter. Snow. Yep. I loved that.
I learned more about those “unknown” sports that you ony see in Winter Games unless you actually play them…curling, biathlon, bobsled, luge.
(As much as I love snow and cold and speed, I have to confess I have absolutely NO desire to go racketing down an ice tunnel feet first on a wire sled. EEP!!!)
The other stuff though, I’d try it. Bobsled? Yep, I’d try it. Snowboaring? Yep, I’d go for it. Wait…I might not go for the whole down-the-hill-fly-in-the-air-ski-jumping thing. I can see waaaay too many opportunities for the agony of defeat on that one. Still, most of the rest – even curling – I’d be willing to try.
What about you? Do you love winter sports?
Do you ski, snowboard, or otherwise strap stuff on your feet and play in the snow? Snowshoe?
Ever ridden a snowmobile? Is it really like riding a motorcycle on snow?
Had anyone who plays with us ever done a biathlon? What is UP with that? Skiing and shooting….yeah….okay….
What about the ice? Do you skate? Curl? Slide? Grins.
What’s your favorite Winter Olympic sport? Are you Watching, Avoiding, or Ignoring? Grins.
And last but not least, have you ever been to RUSSIA??
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jan 23 2014, 12:06 am in Amazon Bestseller, Barbara Devlin, Brethren of the Coast, British Historical, Jack Ryan, James Bond, Jeanne Adams, Maxwell Smart, MY LADY THE SPY, Regency romance, Spies
The last time my dear friend Barbara Devlin was on the blog, she’d just begun her foray into publishing with ENTER THE BRETHREN. This is a MARVELOUS book, if you haven’t read it, go now and buy! Grins. It introduces us to the delicious world of The Brethren of the Coast, descendents of five Templar marinars, and the ladies who will capture their hearts.
And now, scant months later MY LADY THE SPY, Book Two in the series, is setting Amazon on fire!! It’s hit #1 on the Amazon bestseller list for Historical Fiction, is climbing the Romance charts like it was a monkey on steroids, and both MY LADY THE SPY and ENTER THE BRETHREN are #1 and #4 respectively on the Amazon HOT NEW RELEASES list! Grins.
With that fun going on right now – and an Amazon price deal! – I thought I’d have Barbara come back and tell us a little about herself, and about the books! WELCOME BARBARA DEVLIN!!
To get us started, here are five fun questions and Barbara’s answers!
What five words describe you? Bold, rebellious, stubborn, forgetful, humorous.
Jeanne: I would never have said forgetful….the others? Ohhhhh yeah. Grins.
What was the first story you wrote? The REALLY first one…the one that will forever stay under the bed?
A horrid little mystery featuring an old-world sleuth named Herschel Biltmore. But I was so damn proud of that goofy story. I think the murder weapon was a fingernail file. Seriously.
Jeanne: Fingernail file? Snork. I could make that work though….*ponders* Yes, I could make that work.
What inspires you? Life. Everyday people surviving extraordinary circumstances. Really interesting, seemingly inconsequential moments in history.
Jeanne: Life. Yes, that’s one of the many reasons we’re friends. As to the inconsquential history, I need to introduce you to our own Bandita Nancy….*ducks flung sabers*…Okay, okay, it’s NOT inconsequential!!! Sorry, jeeeesh!
What distracts you? Life, in general. My husband. Rufus, our very co-dependent Brittany. Any song by Pink—I have to dance.
Jeanne: Hahaha! Having met both your husband and Rooofuuuus, the Brittany, I can so get this. They’re both darling.
What’s your favorite story, right now, that you didn’t write? It’s a bit obscure. It’s the 19th Century American Gothic Hope Leslie, by Catharine Maria Sedgwick. On the surface, it’s an unapologetic look at 17th Century New England and extermination of American Indians. But at its core is a beautifully composed historical romance between the Indian Oneco and his “white bird” Faith, and their subsequent inter-racial marriage, which was quite controversial given the that the book was first published in 1827.
Jeanne: Obscure, yes, but it sounds fascinating!! I just read DB Jackson’s The Thieftaker, also set in the colonies, and it was quite engrossing.
And now, tell us about your writing…. We know about the ENTER THE BRETHREN, what else is available so far?
My current titles are the first three books in the Brethren of the Coast series: Enter the Brethren, My Lady, The Spy, and The Most Unlikely Lady. You can find them all on Amazon. But that’s just the beginning. Book 4, One-Knight Stand will be available in February 2014. Each book is set in early 19th Century England during the Peninsular Wars. As a fun note, for the sea battle in My Lady, The Spy, I consulted an expert in 19th Century tall ships for the appropriate vernacular and strategy.
Jeanne: Having read them all…even the ones that come later!…I can assure you dear Banditas and Buddies, a fabulous read. And, like me, I think you’ll be impatient for MORE.
Writing can be both fun and frustrating, as we’ve discussed many times. What’s your favorite part? What I love most about fiction is an author can write from their experiences or their research, yet the reader has no idea what’s real and what’s make-believe. Also, these stories, in particular, give me the opportunity to draw from the fun I had living in London, as an undergraduate. The first time I toured the Naval Academy in Greenwich, I fell in love with the splendor and elegance, so my work merges two of my great loves: history and writing.
What would your characters say about you? (Be honest because we’ll be checking on this!!) My characters would describe me as a ruthless perfectionist and bemoan the fact that every time I lose my way, they all contract the plague and die.
Jeanne: Seriously? You must bring them back….
Who would play your favorite character if they made a movie of their story? Eek! I purposely avoid putting models on my covers because that ruins my ability to relate with the characters. I want to think of them as I imagine them in my head, and that changes over time. Call me shallow, but if I don’t find the cover models attractive, I won’t buy the book. And I highly doubt anyone would ever consider a screen adaptation of my books, because it would cost a fortune. In short, it would never happen.
Jeanne: Oh, you never know! They made Master and Commander! (swoon!)
What’s next for the Brethren of the Coast?
Book 5, The Captain of Her Heart, is in the polishing stage. It’s the story of Alex and Captain Jason Collingwood. I had SO much fun creating their happily ever after. The remaining Brethren books are fully plotted. Also due to reader requests, I am going to write the stories of the five Templar Mariners, whose vignettes set the stage for each BOC novel. I’ve really come to love those Medieval guys. Also, I’ll be doing a short story detailing the courtship of then Lieutenant Mark Douglas and Lady Amanda Gascoigne-Lake in an upcoming anthology.
Jeanne: And now, as promised, I’m going to get someone to “tell” on Barbara! Since the Lair is a fairly magical place, I’ve invited Lady Rebecca Wentworth, AKA L’araignee, one of the most notorious and untraceable spies working for the Crown, to visit the Lair. She’s come through the portal and a nearly-swooning Sven has made her comfortable. Let’s get started.
Jeanne: Welcome to the Romance Bandits Lair, Lady Rebecca! I’m so glad you could join us today and spring a little surprise on my friend, your author, Barbara.
Lady Rebecca: The pleasure is mine, I assure you. This is a most…unusual place.
Jeanne (laughing): That’s an understatement, Ma’am. Do you mind if I ask you some questions?
Lady Rebecca: Not at all. Of course, do know that if the information is of a sensitive nature, I will not reply.
Jeanne: Understood. Even on this end of history, we know about that sort of thing. So, first off, which of Barbara’s fabulous books will we find YOU in?
Lady Rebecca: My story is featured in the novel My Lady, The Spy. It is a historical romance, with a tad mystery and suspense, as I danced a perilous waltz through society’s ballrooms to lure a traitor to the Crown. You see, my previous partner was murdered on the Continent, because he stole something of importance from one of General Bonaparte’s couriers. The turncoat believed I possessed the item and therein lies the heart of the tale. To protect me, Sir Ross Logan, the head of the Counterintelligence Corps, assigned Nautionnier Knight Dirk Randolph as my new partner in espionage, and we fell in love
Jeanne: How wonderful! This often happens to my characters, who are usually in peril, so I do understand how it can come to pass. Can you tell us a little about yourself? What should we know about you?
Lady Rebecca: I am the youngestchild and only daughter of Dawson Wentworth, fifth Earl of Calvert, and my mother was French. My parents were killed in France, in the riots of revolution. I joined the Counterintelligence Corps and became a spy as a means to avenge their deaths. As you can imagine, female spies were something of a novelty, which created all manner ofdifficulty in my personal relationships, because I am intensely dedicated to duty.
Jeanne: I can understand that – both the difficulty and the dedication! So just between us, what do you think of Barbara? She’s a lot of fun, isn’t she?
Lady Rebecca: Oh, she is quite the taskmaster. And we live in fear of writer’s block, as she infects her characters with the plague and kills the lot in a single blow. Of course, she resurrects us, but it is awfully tragic. Still, she draws on her experience as a law enforcement officer to portray the realities of such work, as well as the stress it can have on personal relationships. Men are often threatened by women who wear weapons.
Jeanne: Most are, but the best ones, the special ones, aren’t! How do you feel about your story, MY LADY THE SPY?
Lady Rebecca: Well, if truth be told, I would rather forgo the more brutal parts, but I suppose it was necessary, in the end, to tell the whole of it. War is a nasty business. And Dirk and I endured numerous trials, which made the finale all the more sweet, so I dearly love our tale.
Jeanne: I can understand that. Tell me, do you like being a character in a book?
Lady Rebecca: Actually, I am terribly proud of my role in the book, as I concur with the author that it is important to convey the contributions women made to the war effort. Not much is known of the women who spied for Wellington, except for the Spanish ladies he employed to seduce French generals. Even then, little is written about female spies. When the author first conceived the story, back in 2004, we were a rarity in our genre.
Jeanne: I remember hearing that, when, back in the very beginning, I learned from Barbara about the story she’d devised for you. Without giving anything away - which you, of course, wouldnt! – How do you see your future?
Lady Rebecca: I should like, very much, to enjoy a long, uneventful life. And I would dearly love to start a family with Dirk. My only impediment is my ability to break free of the underworld of espionage.
Jeanne: I can truly understand that! So, once MY LADY THE SPY is done, will we see you again?
Lady Rebecca: Oh, you will see all of the Brethren and their ladies in subsequent novels, as our world evolves with each successive tale. But I believe Dirk and I play a prominent role in Dalton’s story, though I am not at liberty to say more.
Jeanne, grinning: That’s a very secretive smile you’re wearing! I like it! Thank you, Lady Rebecca, for joining us and telling us a bit about your tale, and your author’s proclivities.
Lady Rebecca, also smiling: You are most welcome. Perhaps I could have a tour of your interesting…Lair, did you call it?…before I go.
Jeanne: But of course! Let me get Sven.
Well, now that I’ve sent Lady Rebecca off with our very own Sven, who will no doubt spill every secret we’ve ever had in the Lair to the most intruiguing lady, let’s get to YOU, dear Banditas and Bandita Buddies!
What five words describe YOU??
What is your favorite book – obscure or common – that you go to for “comfort” or as a re-read when you can’t find something else to read?
Have you read ENTER THE BRETHREN?
Would you ever date a spy?
Would you ever BE a spy? If so, who would you be most like - James Bond, Jack Ryan, or Maxwell Smart – and tell us why!
Barbara is giving away a free download of MY LADY THE SPY to one lucky commenter today! You can also find her at www.BarbaraDevlin.com and on Twitter and Facebook!
I can’t WAIT to hear some of these answers….
(Photos are Wikimedia Commons, my own, from the author, or from Photobucket with requested permissions)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jan 8 2014, 12:10 am in Edward Dulac, ice, Jeanne Adams, Pea Coat, Polar Bears, Polar Vortex, Snowbound, Staying Warm, Winter Storm ION
BRRRRRRR!! OMGosh it is COLD in the Eastern USA!!
I’m thinking it’s that way in MOST of the US – barring Fairbanks, Alaska which was warmer than either DC or St. Louis or even Raleigh today. YIKES!!
(Talked with a friend in St. Charles, near St. Louis…it was a raging 4 degrees there – a veritable heat wave! – and warmer than yesterday’s minus temps! Whew!)
The weather geeks are declaiming it a Polar Vortex. A cyclone of cold air which usually stays safely put at the icy pole, but this year decided to meander well south. *teeth chattering*
I don’t understand all the meterological mumbo-jumbo, but if you’re keen, here’s the listing from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex - long and short of it is, it’s mind-numbingly, toes-freezingly COLD.
So, debates about global warming aside – or the new ice age – I got to thinking today about ways to keep warm.
There’s your standards, of course. Heaters. Fires-in-the-fireplace. Wool socks. Big wooly boots with fabulous furry linings.
Oh, I love coats! I’m a coat-addict. I love barn coats, pea coats, formal wool outerwear, parkas with furry hoods, cute crop jackets (gotta have long johns on the bottom if you wear that one tho!). I’m not that fond of the trend for huge, quilted things. I am big enough on my own. Some of those big quilty things like the one at left, could make Victoria Beckham look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. But any other kind, svelte and delicious, wooly and warm, I’m there.
I have a serious love affair with boots as well, but that would take a whole blog on it’s own. (Aren’t those red mukluks fabulous???)
Of course, speaking of quilty things, I love blankets too. Now those of you who’ve been around a while know my penchant for linens and china and all that. I believe Cassondra and I might have had a battle about china…if not, we should have since we both love it. I’m betting she loves quilts too.
Big quilts, little quilts, thick and thin, I think they are combo works of art and practical utilitarian blanket. What’s not to love? I have quilts my great grandmothers and grandmothers made. I have one that my Aunt made – gorgeous thing! I have some my DH’s mother made.
This famous drawing of Edward Dulac’s of the Princess and the Pea is now public domain, according to Wikipedia. Isn’t it gorgeous? In this kind of weather, I feel like I’m UNDER those blankets, rather on top like the princess!
This kind of weather, you pile them up on the bed and get under a solid pound or two of covers and you’re set for the night. One of the other Banditas was saying that when it got cold when she was young, it was extra socks and more quilts! It was that way for us growing up too. Heating oil was expensive, so the thermostat stayed as low as you could stand and you just put on another layer – on yourself or on the bed!
When it comes right down to it, though, the absolute best way to stay warm is with a partner.
It could be that it’s a lovely, balmy minus-25 where you are – like it was in Bandita Susan’s Minnesota today.
I’m bettin’ there were people getting warm all over the Land of the (frozen) Lakes in the old fashioned way.
I’m also betting that Bandita Suz and Joan’s fellow nurses will be delivering a wholllllle passel of babies in about nine months from now all over the USA, from Montana down to Florida, and every state in between.
Seems to go that way, doesn’t it? Big ol’ cold snap and nine months later there’s a baby boomlet. People should be buying coats, quilts and condoms instead of toilet paper, milk and bread when it’s gonna get cold or snow or grow icy on the trees.
Do they just abandon protocol, or do they do it so much to keep warm (or from sheer boredom with TV and other indoor insanity) that they actually run out of protection? Do they just not sleep??
Its a connundrum, isn’t it? Grins.
Seriously! Do they not have any quilts, thick socks or blankets? I mean, c’mon people!
Gotta love those good old fashioned tradtions.
Cold outside? Snowy? Got enough toilet paper? Okay, then, let’s get it on!
What about you, Bandits and Buddies? If you had a choice, would it be quilts or “the old fashioned way” THEN quilts? Grins.
Do you know anyone (or are someone) who got it on during a locked-in-cold-snowy-snap and had a bundle of joy nine months later!?
How cold was it where you were today?
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, I SO don’t want to know that it was 95 farenheit where you were. Really. Just keep that smug “it was so warm today!” to yourself this time. :> We had a balmy high of 17 here in DC, which hasn’t happened for about 20 years.
Read any good books about getting snowbound? Read any good books today while you were snowbound? Grins
The polar bear at the DC National Zoo didn’t even want to stay out in the cold today, she’s become so acclimated to our area and our “cold” – usually no lower than the low 20′s on a “bad” day – that it was even too cold for her. On an up note, one area town’s parking meters froze, giving free parking to most of the commuters. Yay!
If it doesn’t ever get cold where you are, would you like to experience it?
If you’re in one of those “a-yup, we get a mite of winter” kind of minus-temps-are-regular states or provinces – Canada, Maine, North Dakota, Minnesota and such – where would you rather be today? Tahiti? Palm Springs? Bali?
Let’s get WARM!!
(All photos are Wikimedia commons, Yahoo Free Photos, or my own work)
Posted by Cassondra Murray Dec 24 2013, 12:42 am in Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, Christmas traditions, Food Fight, Jeanne Adams, stuffing, Turkey and dressing
Cassondra: I make these really awesome dressing balls.
Jeanne: Did you say balls?
Cassondra: Dressing balls. Like made out of stuffing. Stuffing that isn’t stuffed.
Jeanne: Snork! Dressing balls. Seriously? And I hate stuffing. Stuffing is wrong. Just…wrong.
Cassondra: Hey! I’m telling a story here.
Ahem…When I was a little girl, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we always had turkey. Never ham. And along with the turkey, we had dressing balls.
It’s basically light bread stuffing, but you roll it into balls—they’re about the size of large meatballs, and line them up on a baking sheet, bake them in the oven for almost an hour.
They’re crunchy and crispy on the outside, hot and soft and steamy inside. Yummm!
Jeanne: *distracted by the thought of this potential goodness* Okay…so those sound good, but…having a hard time imagining them.
Cassondra: I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of my balls, but–
Jeanne: SNORK! Well, one doesn’t usually photograph one’s balls. BWAHAHAHAHAH!
Cassondra: Ahem. As I was about to say…That picture over on the left? That looks similar to my dressing balls, but it’s not exactly right. Mine are…fluffier. Less like candy and more like bread.
I learned from my mom, and I carry on the tradition now, and make this every time I roast a turkey.
And here’s the thing. If it’s not my ball dressing, it has to be stuffing. NO other dressing is any good.
Jeanne: You’ve got to be kidding me. You won’t eat dressing? Just stuffing? You are SO my Twin in so many ways, but…anything that is stuffed in a turkey’s nether regions isn’t fit for eatin’. I’m just sayin’.
Cassondra: Will you quit makin’ me picture turkey nether regions and stay on topic? I’ve had a lot of dressing baked in pans. I don’t like it.
Jeanne: Bwahahah! Now c’mon. You mean to tell me you’d rather have balls ‘o dressing, or something that’s been stuffed in a turkey’s bum—
Cassondra: WHAT? How can you not like stuffing?
What’s wrong with stuffing?
Jeanne: Nothing if you don’t object to sloppy, gloopy nether-region breadcrumbs. Grins.
I can’t believe you, of all people, would rather have THAT than a good, yummy cornbread dressing all crumbled up and onion-y and sage-y. Or oyster dressing? Or cranberry and orange dressing with pecans? SERIOUSLY???
Cassondra: OMG! Oyster dressing? Blech! BLEHHHHH. RETCH!
Jeanne: Hahah! You sound like Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes when faced with eggplant casserole. You don’t like oysters? How did I miss this? I thought you liked oysters??
Cassondra: I love oysters! Fresh ones. Raw even. But canned oysters? And it’s always canned, by the way, if you’re putting them IN anything. I live in a landlocked state. Canned ones mixed in with…well…anything…and cooked…well..any way….GROOOOOOOSSSSSSSS!
Jeanne: Hahahah! Okay, I concede that they aren’t pretty. My former (as in first husband’s) Mother-in-Law and family ALWAYS made dressing with oysters. Much as I like oysters, I must confess, I didn’t love the oysters in dressing either.
Cassondra: Okay, I feel better. So…my sweetheart Mother-In-Law used to make the holiday meal. She made amazing cornbread dressing. Pans of it. Everybody loved it.
*hangs head* I didn’t like it.
I ate some, always. But not much.
Jeanne: Yep, you gotta eat it – at least a little. You are not country if you don’t like cornbread.
Cassondra: I LOVE cornbread. But not made into some kind of mush to be spooned out and dumped alongside the turkey!
Jeanne: Okay, I agree with you there. No mush. Bleeech. Ixnay on the ush-may. My dressing isn’t mushy and it isn’t balled or burlapped or spooned out of a turkey gullet.
Cassondra: (ignoring Jeanne) Here’s the thing. The stuffing I make is really simple. It’s basically just a foil to absorb all the yummy turkey juices. All steamy hot, it’s fantastic.
I like dark meat turkey too. Just sayin’.
Jeanne: Whew! I’m so glad you confirmed that we ARE Twins, I was beginning to wonder. (I love dark meat too!)
Cassondra: Bottom line? I like stuffing. And I’ve never had dressing cooked in a pan that I like. My dressing balls are crunchy and crispy and sage-ey and..yummm..
And I only have to make one kind. The same thing that goes in the turkey for stuffing, gets rolled into balls for the dressing balls. *grin* Easy.
Jeanne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Balls-schmalls. Whether you get the bread out of a bag, toast it yourself, make it with cornbread or not (or dress it up with oyyyyyyysters), dressing is just…saner. Slap that bread in a pan, stir up some onions, celery, oysters, add some turkey juice or chicken boullion, and so on. Yummy. Cut it into squares and plunk it on the plate…SLURP!!! Yes, it DOES soak up the yummy juices, but hey…so do the mashed potatoes. (Now I’m really hungry)
What about you, Bandits and buddies?
Which side of the Stuffing War will you join?
Do you have a special stuffing/dressing recipe that’s always in demand for the holidays.
Is it stuffing—as in stuffed inside the turkey to roast with the bird?
Or is it “dressing”—cooked in a pan as a side dish?
And what kind? Cornbread? Regular bread? Apple, raisin or rice?
Cassondra: What stuffs your turkey?
Jeanne: *smack* What GOES with your turkey?
And if you don’t serve turkey for Christmas or Thanksgiving, what’s your “can’t-do-without side dish?
What about oysters? Are they “the thing” for your dressing or are they anathema?
Cassondra: Anathema? Don’t you mean afishema? Blech.
Changing the subject, Have y’all ever had dressing balls?
Jeanne: You said balls…bwaahahahaha!!
Seriously Bandits and Buddies…where do you fall in The Stuffing Wars?
OH! Yeah. The Bandit 12 Days of Christmas is still happening. This is THE LAST DAY for the regular cool ornament! Comment to be in the drawing.
Posted by Jeanne Adams Dec 8 2013, 12:44 am in Beefcake, Captain America, Chris Evans, Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jeanne Adams, Jeremy Renner, Star Trek, The Avengers, Thor The Dark World
Don’t you love getting exactly what you want for your birthday? Isn’t that the best thing? Grins.
So, today’s my birthday and my boys – the DH, Eldest and Youngest Sons – did their best to make a weekend of it. It started Friday night when I got to go out with some girlfriends. (Their idea of “time-off for Mom”) This was indeed fun, but the REAL fun was yesterday.
On Saturday, I got a FABULOUS present. I got this on Saturday – the day before my birthday – because we’re supposed to get a major Winter Weather Event on my actual birthday. This is, of course, fine with me, since I’m the Winter Queen, but it does tend to curtail activity since no one ’round here can drive in messy weather. (This includes rain, by the way. Although DC drivers seem to be able to create havoc without any help from the weather!)
Back to the point, however, what, you might ask, did I get?
Yes, you read that correctly. My boys gave me something any gal would want. Delicious, beefy, yummy, wonderful-looking MEN!!! Bwahahahah!
Most of the day was fairly typical for a Saturday, including errands and kid stuff. However, after all that regular stuff we went to see THOR, THE DARK WORLD. Ohhhhh! The deliciousness of beefcake in THAT movie is just….just….yeah. First, of course, there is Chris Hemsworth. Total Hottie McHottie. That, however, doesn’t negate the sheer mesmerizing creative fabulousness of Tom Hiddleston, as the villain-turned-possible-hero-or-is-he?, playing Thor’s adopted brother Loki. Loki was the villain of the initial Thor movie and in The Avengers as well, seeking not only the throne of Asgard, but dominion over Earth as well.
Tom Hiddleston is brilliant in all these films. Sly. Creative. Devilishly attractive, even for a bad guy. Grins.
One of my favorite heroes also made a brief appearance – Captain America played by the most delicious Chris Evans. Triple delight. Hemsworth, Hiddleston and Evans. Oh, my!! (Photo of Tom is by Gage Skidmore for Wikimedia Commons)
Then after our wonderful fun of the movie, Hubby and I dropped the boys with the babysitter we had arranged and went out to dinner. Where did I wish to go? my darling husband asked. Buffalo Wild Wings to watch football. I got an enormous grin from my darling hubby. He knows me well.
So, with great delight, we ate sticky BBQ wings and watched football. After the incredibly high-scoring Auburn/Missouri game (WILD!) we watched simultaneous broadcasts of the Duke/Florida State game, and the Ohio State/Michigan game. Now those of you who are regulars know that I am a football fan. Actually that should be capitalized as FOOTBALL FAN. I lived in Ohio for a while and one of my brothers is an Ohio State grad. Then again, Banditas Suz and Donna are HUGE OSU fans. So I was keenly interested in that one.
Love me some Duke, but usually am rooting for them in basketball. This year – an historic year for Duke – they won, and won, and won…in FOOTBALL!! Amazing. Now, have to confess that they got stomped in the ACC Championship game with Florida State (probably revenge for how often Duke kicks their collective bums in basketball!) However, they played hard, and GOT THERE. Amazing for Duke. Proud of my team. Go Blue Devils!!
It’s been a great few years for movies coming out on my birthday and that has led to some ASTOUNDING Beefcake for My Birthday. Grins. I have been watching two fabulous shows on TV recently, one of which features a major piece of said beefcake in the person of Karl Urban. Karl played both Eomer, a Rider of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings movies – Yumbo! – but he also played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the reboot of the Star Trek series. DOUBLE YUM! And, although I had hoped HE – Karl Urban – would have been chosen for Thor, he’s fabulous as Bones, as well as in the new TV show, Almost Human. (Check THAT one out for some serious beefcake! Oh and Tom Mison in Sleepy Hollow as well….slurp!!)
All the LOTR movies came out at the holidays, and oh, my, was that fun. That’s Legolas, Aragorn, Boromir, Eomer….yeah. Beefcake. This year, the second HOBBIT movie is going to be out, featuring our perennial Lair favorite, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakinshield. Got to see his yummy self in the previews tonight since Hobbit comes out in a few days. That got us talking about The Avengers (Richard was in Captain America) and we got to see the trailer for Captain America, The Winter Soldier. MORE Beefcake! MORE Chris Evans!! Oooooooh!!! Scrumptious!! And of course, Avengers was a total beefcake movie – Downey Jr., Evans, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye….nummy.
We recently also saw Rise of the Guardians. Now this is an animated movie, but Chris Pine (beefcake), Jude Law (more beefcake), and the ultimate beefcake, Hugh Jackman. Siiiggggh! This has been out for a couple of years, but it’s total fun. Their voices are enough…mostly…for me. Grins.
So, it’s already been a good birthday and its hardly started. Weather permitting, we’re going to have a nice meal with friends and see another movie, FROZEN. This one too is animated – taking the kids! – and is evidently hot at the box office. Alas, no beefcake (not even in the voices on this one) but it should be fun!
So Banditas and Buddies, what’s the Holiday Movie Release you most looked forward to? LOTR? The new Hunger Games movie, Chasing Fire?
Do you have a “new favorite” holiday movie – something like Frozen or Rise of the Guardians?
What’s your old favorite Holiday Movie? (Mine’s White Christmas, must confess…)
Who’s your favorite beefcake? Someone listed or someone else? Grins.
Have you ever had Beefcake for your birthday?
Are you a fan of all the SuperHero movies? They’ll be introducing Falcon next.
Eldest Son and I are rooting for the Black Panther to be the next SuperHero to be introduced. I want Shemar Moore to play him…..ooooooh, plllllleeeeeeeaseeeeee!….. Grins. (And saying that gave me the perfect excuse to post a photo of him….ohhhh, yeah!)
Who’s your Beefcake?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Nov 8 2013, 12:10 am in Acorn Catalog, Alot, Commas save lives, Define Naughty, Hyperbole and a Half, Jeanne Adams, Keep Calm, Life is Good Catalog, Signals Catalog, T-shirt sayings
Y’know, I was reading Caren’s post from the other day and laughing to myself about the Acorn Catalog. (www.AcornOnline.com) I LOVE catalogs and delight in dreaming over the delicious furnishings and food and cool clothes. I often see things and think, “Oh, my friend so-and-so would LOVE That!!” When I win the lottery, I swear, I’m going to ACT on all those impulses! Snork! People will be sick of getting weird stuff in the mail from me that reminds me of them. Hahah!
Of course, I also spend time laughing my bahootie off at all the great t-shirts with fabulous sayings, like the one Caren mentioned in her post.
“Silently Correcting Your Grammar!” Grins.
I then realized that this year, there are MORE of the pithy or wise sayings showing up in the catalogs – pillows, wall art, and the inevitable tee shirts. And in this season of giving, what better thing to give a writer than a shirt or pillow with….you guessed it….
MORE WORDS!! Grins.
Of course, there are seasonal greetings like “Give Thanks” or “BOOO!” or one of my personal favs from the latest Pottery Barn Catalog “Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Grins. LOVE that. Of course, like the fabulous and famous Staples Commercial, I start singing that one in August, when the kids go back to school and I get a schedule again! Hahahah!! ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DComGO8JYo)
But I started laughing over and thinking about what kind of shirt-with-a-saying would I get for my Bandita Sisters? It didn’t take long to realize I could think of a saying for pretty much EVERY Bandita.
For instance, in the Signals Catalog, (http://www.signals.com/) there’s a shirt I need to get for Anna Campbell. It says:
7 Days Without a Pun Makes One Weak.
(Or, as an alternative….
“I feel Pithy, Oh, so Pithy!)
For Caren, who actually will be seen with me in public, the one above, about Best Friends, works well, or perhaps, since she is the Mistress of Haiku, she should have this one to the left.
If I were to get one for Bandita Nancy, it would be one with a photo of her favorite Stargate character, Teal’c and his favorite saying, “Indeed.”
Or for Jo and Nancy, who love to really DIG into history….
“History Buff: I’d Find You More Interesting if You Were Dead”
Or even better, for Nancy, a
“Richard the Third – He put the KING in ParKING!”
(Or the one about him being a Hide and Seek Champion….) *Ducks flying fruit*
And if y’all didn’t see Trish’s fabulous posts on her Facebook Page back in August with #30DaysofGeekGirlTees about her many amazing DragonCon and geek-girl shirts, you should go over there right now and check them out. They are hysterical!!
(I’d obviously have to get Trish a Supernatural tee, or something deliciously geeky which could appear in next year’s round up! Maybe something from Firefly or The Walking Dead…)
I’d have to buy some for me, of course. I couldn’t resist. Having the macabre sense of humor that I do, a good one might be:
“Let’s Eat Grandma. Let’s Eat, Grandma. – Commas Save Lives.”
Grins. Oh, what a different experience the lowly comma can provide!
Or for both Cassondra and for me, the one with a leg bone and the saying, “I Find This Humerus” Snork.
Then there were the LIFE IS GOOD Halloween shirts… ) a witch hat with “Be Witching” Or a picture of a zombie and the saying, “You Only Live Twice.” Or the other zombie shirt, “I Like You For Your Brains.”
I’d probably also have to go for: “Being a Good Writer is 5% Talent and 95% Not Being Distracted by the Internet.”
For Jo, Anna S, Nancy, and Donna and all the Banditas who are English Majors, teachers/former Teachers, and/or Grammar Police, I’d have to get:
“The Past, The Present and the Future Walked into a bar…It was Tense…”
Or “I Before E…Except when Eight Feisty Neighbors Seize a Surfeit of Weighty Heifers” Snork!!
Or even better, for all the Bandits…. “Keep Clam and Proofread!”
“There. Their. They’re NOT the same!”
Since all of us are book lovers, I could fall back on the perennial favorite,
“Next to a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Or the always popular: “So Many Books, So Little Time.”
For Kate, I was laughing over wine shirts – In Vino, Veritas! - but decided since her Brooklyn Wainwright is always caught up with the irony of the situation, I would have to get at least two shirts going for that….
One, which features a photo of an enormous grizzly bear and says:
“I Ate a Guy Wearing a PETA Shirt Yesterday, and Nearly Choked on the Irony.”
I know, I know, it’s verging on politically incorrect, but it reminded me of the irreverence of Brooklyn’s family. Grins.
Or another one, which I might have to get for both Kate and Susan because they always crack me up, which says:
“Irony. The Opposite of Wrinkly.”
For my Evil Twin Cassondra, and for myself, I should probably order
“I Drink Coffee for YOUR Protection…”
For Cassondra, I’d probably also have to order a shirt that says something hysterically funny and relatively inappropriate about secret squirrel organizations, or perhaps C4. SNORK!!
For the Golden Rooster, I REALLY have to get the t-shirt that says:
“I dream of a society where a Chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned”
Frankly, for OUR bird, I question anything he gets up to, including his motives for crossing ANYTHING! Ha!!
For the somewhat hapless Paolo, I might have to get
“If you Can’t Stand the Heat, Don’t Tickle the Dragon!”
Or “Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons…For You are Crunchy and Good with Ketchup”
For Suz, given her murderous proclivities, and medical knowledge, I would have to get a shirt written in Latin:
“Quondo Omni Flunkus Mortati!” (When All Else Fails, Play Dead!)
(She’d probably have to get an equally inappropriate but hysterically fun secret squirrel organization shirt, or something about labor and delivery and the general naughtiness preceding it!)
For Tawny and Anna S, I saw a shirt that said
“A New Pair of Shoes Can Change Your Life – Cinderella”
That one would be a must-buy. Grins. Again, here, there were SO Many choices…Johnny Depp, Shoes, Hockey….yeah, I could send these two Bandita’s a box of shirts a month and not run out of funny things to send them…
I know Donna already has the “Be Careful, Or You’ll End Up in my Novel” shirt, but I saw one that made me LOL and think of her:
“Everyone Remain Calm, I’m an Accountant.” And there was this one with a peacock, but the saying on it was NOT g-rated. SNORK.
For Joan, who is as you know loves her kittehs, but is also a nurse, there were so many choices! OMGosh….
“Do you want to talk to the Doctor in charge, or the Nurse who knows what’s going on?” SNORK!! Since I also have a sister who’s a nurse, and our Bandita Suz is a nurse, I love that one.
Joan would also have to get a fabulous shirt about Sacking Rome as well as something about the cats…. I could do the funny-cat-shirt for Joan, Christie, Caren, Cassondra, and Donna. Grins. (So many funny cat shirts, so little space on the blog…)
For Christie, Christina, and our other historical authors, I think I’d get
“Sorry Mr. Grey, I’m Sticking With Mr. Darcy”
(Take THAT, Christian Grey!) Christie would have this one I saw about Lord Baltimore too. Grins. And I saw so many about handbags, Christina, which would suit us both that I just ran out of time! Bwahahahah! (Christina, it’s an addiction, I tell you!) Oh, and Christina, there were two about being the mother of all boys (MOABs) which were beyond funny.
For Susan, whose wit is sharp as a rapier, I think I’d have to go for the Downton Abbey shirt, “Vulgarity is No Substitute for Wit.” Or this one:
“A GOOD friend will bail you out of jail. Your BEST friend will be sitting next to you saying, “DAMN, that was fun!”" Grins.
And, given that it’s the holidays, I think I’d have to get everyone one of my Bandita Sisters some Holiday pillows or shirts, like
And “Santa, I’ve been good! Really, Really Good!” Grins. (Take that however you’d like…)
So what are some of your favorites?
Do you have a favorite shirt-with-a-saying that you wear?
Is there one you’ve seen and laughed over?
Do you watch Downton Abbey? Would you wear a shirt saying “Do as the Dowager Countess Says”? Grins
What about other shows? Do you have a shirt or sweatshirt from Star Trek, Star Wars, True Blood or other popular shows or movies?
What T-Shirt would you get for the Golden Rooster? For other various Lair inhabitants? For Yourself?
(The I Care About this Alot is from www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/store and is fab! ALL Allie’s stuff is great! Also check out http://www.caravanshoppe.com/product-category/wall-art/ for some great wall art with words, and other items!(http://www.lifeisgood.com/clearance/women/ )
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 31 2013, 12:01 am in Ellen Dugan, Garden Witch, Halloween, Halloween Party, Jeanne Adams, Joyce Tabor, Mulan, Shakespeare in Love, Some Like it Hot, Tess Whitehurst, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Tootsie
Scared yet? Bwahahahahah!!!
Longtime Bandit Buddies know that this is my favorite holiday. Last weekend – the 26th – I hosted my annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party. It was raucous as usual. Here’s the view which greeted my guests….the theme this year was Things That Go Bump in the Night. Grins. We figured the Skellys trying to get in the house would probably do a little bumping, as they attempted the windows at night. Bwahahahah!!
It was exciting as always to welcome the crowd, but the real fun is today and tonight. Halloween is that day of the year when the “Veil” is thin between this world and the next….the Ancient Celts began their New Year on Nov 1 and so Oct 31 was the last night of the year. They believed that the ghosts and shades returned to make mischief, so bonfires were lit and house lights extinguished so that the ghouls would be drawn to the crowded town square and thereby cross through again, by the light of the Druidic bonfire.
The Romans co-opted the myth, and then the Christians added on as well, so that those crazy pagans would fall in with the Christianization more easily. All Saints Day (Nov 1) honored the Saints and Martyrs, and All Souls Day (Nov 2) honored the dead. But the whole dress up thing? Yeah, that’s a constant. The Celts dressed up to scare the ghosts, the Romans honored the dead as well as the Goddess Pomona – she who loves apples, adding that fruit to the Halloween panoply! – and the early Christians were urged to dress as the aforementioned saints and martyrs. Grins.
I have to say that I really, really, really love dress up!! I think the choice of costume says a lot about a person, and can even be a form of divination…almost like fortune-telling! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my palm and tea leaves read and my fortune told many a time. Each time this happens, I’m amazed at what comes out. Sometimes it’s so accurate, it’s scary – one of my BFF’s can read Tarot cards so well it’ll give you shivers!
And sometimes, it’s just funny/silly/ridiculous, like the time I had my tea leaves read and the person told me I’d marry a wealthy Italian and live abroad. SNORK!!! (My DH is about as English/American as you can get with a name like Adams, and DC is about as “abroad” as I want to live. Hahahah!)
But all the spooky of storytelling – Go, Bandits! – and the fun of the cards (Check out my pal Ellen Dugan’s new Tarot Deck!!http://ellendugan.com/13.html ), and even the wonder of a psychic reading can’t be beat by a good bout of dress-up-and-pretend.
What’s more fun that dressing up, for one night, and pretending to be someone else? Famous books and movies are based on just this premise! Think of Working Girl. Shakespeare in Love. Tootsie. Trading Places. Some Like it Hot. Mulan. Dave. The Scarlet Pimpernel. The Saint. Mrs. Doubtfire. Even the fabulous While You Were Sleeping is someone pretending to be something she’s not. :>
I’ve always thought that a great day rummaging in the costume shop will give you a hell of an insight into who you REALLY are or want to be. (However, if you ever want a psychic reading that will make you say HOLY WOW! BATMAN!, check out www.DonnaSpringGulick.com, the psychic for whom I used to work!)
Seriously, SuperHeroes, don’t you think that all those cats and vampires, cops and robbers, Elvises and Elivras are keying in on something really true about who they/we are? Cats are sleek and have their secrets. Vampires are powerful, but often underrated or slip into the shadows to do their work. Cops have their hero-powers, and robbers too. Elvis is Out There and Elvira laughs at it all - the spooky, evil, silly or banal. They’re a hallmark of who some of us want to be, if we could dress up for a day.
This year, my Eldest is Batman. He’s my “white knight” son, as opposed to The Black Knight. He’s the one who’ll step into a fight and break it up, or make a case for the underdog. And like Bruce Wayne, he’s handsome and charming and abhors injustice.
My Youngest is Iron Man this year. Did you see the movie The Avengers? When taunted by Captain America as to what he is without the suit, Iron Man/Tony Stark replies, “Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.” Grins. This pretty much sums up my youngest’s character. While I doubt he’d ever go to the playboy excesses of the famous Tony Stark, he’s already a charming, smooth-talkin’ smarty-pants. And he’d give you his allowance if he thought you needed the help.
Yep. Pretty accurate casting, and an interesting a self assessment.
In another “assessment,” I never wanted to dress up as a princess. I never saw myself in that role. A knight, yes. A dragon? (Props to Ermingarde…) Oh, hell yes! A princess – as then-princesses were depicted? Nope, not me. I might do it now, given how gutsy today’s princesses are! :> But not then.
Instead, I wanted to be a Brilliant Sorceress, a Mystic Elf, Wonder Woman, a female Green Lantern, or Sheena-the-Jungle-Woman who had a bond with all the big cats. Grins. Bat-girl was too tamed down, but Cat Woman? I’d've gone for her, even in her villany. I’d've turned Middle Earth inside out to be a Girl-Gandalf, or a Female Rider of Rohan. I also wanted to be the girl who rode National Velvet, or spunky Anne of Green Gables. (And yes, that’s me, sans witch hat with my faboo co-hostess for the annual Adams Family Halloween fest!)
But that whole princess thing? Nope.
Instead, I wanted to make magic. Break the spell. Fight the good fight. Be with the animals. Adventure through the worlds and be proactive, positive and out there on the front of things.
Funny how being a storyteller is all that and more. I’m living it all. My choices of costumes agreed with all those Tarot Readings and psychic predictions. I AM a storyteller. I DO make magic. And I have to laugh about the other bit too….in my house, you couldn’t be much more “ONE” with the animals! Hahah!! (Three dogs, three men…yeah, it’s Animal House all over again!)
So what about you Bandits and Buddies? Was there Prophecy in some of your early Halloween costume choices? (I’m not talking the last-minute, pulled together hobo or gypsy, but the ones YOU chose, the costumes you made or saved for….)
Do you read Tarot Cards? (Ellen’s deck now has an APP!! WOW!! There’s an App for that!!) Or have you had yours read to good effect?
What other ways of future-forecasting have you heard of, believed in, or used?
What other movies can you think of where the hero or heroine goes in disguise, or pretends to be something/someone else?
And the Veil is Thin Tonight….what handsome, hunky actor, living or now beyond the Veil, would you like to come trick or treating at YOUR house tonight?
Can’t wait for the answers!! (And comments on the picture of Jewelry Designer Joyce Tabor, Me, Author and Garden Witch, Ellen Dugan and Author Tess Whithurst!)
BUMP, THUMP! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 22 2013, 12:24 am in favorites, Food Fight, Jeanne Adams, Spaghetti
Yes, I know that the saying is that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But in my house that heart has a longing for pasta with meat sauce.
Of course, food in general is the way to my heart too, I must confess. Having read Tawny’s Favorite Things post, and Anna C’s post about cookies, over the last few days, I’m really hungry. Of course, I too am about to go on a cooking jag, as I’m prepping for the Annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party.
The perennial favorite dishes which I cannot do without – hordes of people complain if I don’t make these dishes for the party! – vary from vegetable to fruits to meats. Oh, and there’s a cookie too that cannot be done without.
My aunt’s asparagus casserole is, for one, a “must do” dish. This involves an entire stick of butter, lots of asparagus, crackers, cheese, cream of mushroom soup…..yummmmmy. Even those who don’t like asparagus love this dish. I’ve caught guests licking the spoon to get the last of it. Grins.
Then there’s my own favorite, a Southern staple of a Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet potatoes, not yams, mind you. Most Southerners use the terms interchangeable, but yams just aren’t right for this dish. Gotta be sweet potatoes. This dish also involves a full stick of butter, several big fat potatoes, eggs, milk, brown sugar and lots and lots of pecans.
And absolutely NO marshmallows. None. Zero. Zip. So put that right out of your mental picture. The cookie is a secret-recipe molasses/ginger cookie. YUMMY!!!
I was thinking about all this, and plotting out my course of cooking over the next few days, and I asked my husband and sons which were their favorites. Most of the “most requested recipes” hit the “do for the party” list, but in terms of general foodishness, they had some other favorites.
My youngest son told me he could eat my homemade yeast rolls “Until I explode, mom! I love them!” Okay, so this was actually news to me. He feels this same way about the coffee cake that my husband makes on Saturdays. A family recipe as well, that one. Good to know, since he’s my picky eater! He’d live on corn dogs, pineapple pizza and Cheerios if I’d let him.
Obviously, he got my carb-loving, bread-devouring gene. Ha!
My older son, who will at this teenaged point in his life, eat anything not nailed down, had favorites other than bread products. For him, his hands-down favorite is spaghetti. I make a lot of spaghetti because EVERYONE in this house will eat spaghetti, even picky Youngest Son. So, it seems fairly commonplace right?
Evidently not so much.
According to the Eldest Son, I make spaghetti differently than any other mom of his acquaintance. Now those of you who have kids – or were kids - and live in the suburbs know about this. There are always play dates. Often as not, as a mom, you end up feeding someone else’s kids for these events, either lunch or dinner, or at least snacks. As the boys get older, I find I make a LOT of food to feed growing boys. (The other moms do too, so it evens out!) Everyone of my son’s friends likes my spaghetti. Now THEY will ask for it, if they’re coming over. “Hey, do you think your mom will make spaghetti?”
Grins. I’m a hit! They like me – or at least my spaghetti! – they really like me! SNORK!!!
My husband describes it as “A lot of great lightly-spiced meat with some sauce and noodles.” Grins. Pretty accurate. That appears to be the way to most of these young men’s hearts. Ha!
Being a confirmed “Meat-a-tarian” I always prefer the meatier dishes and my spaghetti is no exception. Eldest Son claims he could eat his weight in spaghetti, and never get tired of it. And while he and my husband sometimes request chicken pot pie or beef brisket or I try and branch out, try lighter recipes or different things, they may appreciate or like the new things, but they always, consistently request spaghetti as the ”stand-by-favorite.”
Yes, meat-a-tarians all, in this family!!
So Banditas and Buddies, do you like spaghetti?
General meat with sauce, or meatballs and sauce? Or do you go all veg?
Parmesan cheese, or just sauce and noodles?
Do you get your sauce from a jar or make it homemade?
Bandita Nancy’s now-grown-son used to famously request “Plain Spaghetti” – bare noodles with butter. Is this a favorite with your kids?
Do you ever make spaghetti with something other than long, thin noodles? (I.e. shaped pasta instead of noooodly-noodles?)
What “sides” to you add? I can get my family to add bread, a salad, or edamame, but not much else. What about you?
Do you have, or were you, a picky eater? What was your staple food? Pizza? Marshmallow Fluff? Cheerios?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 8 2013, 12:08 am in Ancestor Hunting, Arlington National Cemetery, DC, FindAGrave.com, Jeanne Adams
Now y’all know I love cemeteries. I find them fascinating. Not only is the history of the world laid out in stone, but some of the most magnificent sculptures you’ll ever see are found in the hallowed grounds devoted to the dearly departed.
And what better time than October to talk about the Dead!!??
Now I’m usually Cemetery Walkin’ to find ancestors, not stories. Sometimes I’m even looking for MY ancestors. Grins. Recently, I’ve been haunting a cemetery in Washington, DC to get pictures for some genealogy buffs who live in far-flung corners of the country. They don’t have time or money, or sometimes the health, to come to DC and hunt down their own ancestors so I do it for them. This is a so-called “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness” where I look something up here, and hope that sometime, someone in a town where one of my ancestors are buried looks something up for me. Gratis. It’s the Pass-it-On and Pay-it-Forward method of genealogical research.
The stories I hear about those people I hunt up are often really cool too. For my Rock Creek Cemetery jaunt, I’ve been in touch with people in Idaho, California, British Columbia and Australia. One lady, her ancestor harbored Civil War Southern President Jefferson Davis as he fled Richmond. Another had family buried in Rock Creek who were “the rich folk in the family” while her line were the poorer cousins, but the poorer cousins survived to this century and the rich folk died out in the last one. Another was a military attache in Russia during the Cold War. There are Quisenberrys, Uphams, Chapins, Quattlebaums, Coblentzes and plain old Smiths and Joneses.
It’s just cool.
Now, I’m about to put up my own little Cemetery for my famous annual Halloween Bash. (The pictured one isn’t mine – it’s from Pinterest – permission requested) Mine’s pretty close to this, but I’ve not yet got the cool columns or the iron fencing….give me another year though and I will!
Somehow, though, no matter how spooky we try to make it for Halloween, our little patch out front doesn’t compare to the acres and acres of majesty at Rock Creek, or at Arlington National Cemetery, or at the fabulous Jefferson Barracks Military Cemetery in St. Louis. Or the crooked and creepy ones in Braintree, Massachusetts where all those Adamses are buried, or the deeply creepy ones in Salem, Massachusetts! (But it’s fun, and the kids adore doing the tombstones and deciding on eptitaphs like the old: “I Told You I Was Sick” one. Grins.)
Online, one of my favorite places to “play with the dead” as my sons call it, and do some Virtual Cemetery Walkin’ is a site called www.FindAGrave.com On this site you can locate ancestors, famous actors, politicians, playmakers, scandal-sheet-Scarletts and socialites galore. If you want to know where Bob Hope is buried, check it out. Or Boris Karloff. Or the aforementioned Jefferson Davis.
If you want to replicate Al Capone’s tombstone for your Halloween display, well, you can find a picture of it on Find-A-Grave!
There are also great stories on FindAGrave too. Most of the stories in my family are prosaic, compared to the “hide a criminal” stories, or “my ancestor was a famous judge who sentenced Jesse James to hang” kinds of things that I’ve encountered in my cemetery jaunts for others.
Then again, while wandering about, you find other stories as well. Sometimes the stories are laid out on the stones themselves, like this one on the right which tells everything this man ever did in his career, as well as that he was a beloved father, husband, grandfather and friend.
Sometimes, you just know….”there’s a story there….”
Like the plot that has fifteen elaborate headstones for one old family, tidily encased in an iron fence, only to see that one lone marker about 15 feet away that bears the same family name and says “son of….” or “daughter of….” or “Second wife of…” And you know there’s a story. Or the bronze angel on the stone of a sailor. Who was he to warrant such extravagance? How deep ran the grief which prompted such a memorial? There’s a story there too.
I can find hundreds of stories in every visit I make to the cemetery. From the tragic ones to the ones that make you smile (“Pastor Joseph lived to 93, and served as pastor of the church for 73 of those years, and blessed us all with his wit and fellowship!”)
Or you can see from the years and dates and names that the wife buried husband after husband. Or the husband buried wife after wife.
I must confess that these tend to make my inner writer go the direction of Blackbeard. And the wife burying more than one or two husbands gets my story-teller cap on for a black-widow-gone-mad, 1750s-style! Some of those things would have been so easy to pull off back then….no forensics…..no lawyers lurking….so many ax-wielding frontiersmen, Indians and gamblers. Or snakes. Or falling down the well….
Gosh! Lost another one! Better start looking for husband #32!!
What about you? Do you like cemeteries too? Or do you find them depressing and creepy?
Have you ever been on FindAGrave?
Ever gone to Graceland, or to the gravesite of a famous person? (Jane Austin? Ian Fleming? Margaret Mitchell?)
Anyone famous who’s tombstone you’d LIKE to go see?
Any fun stories like ”the family all died when the moonshine operation blew up” or “my g-g-g-grandfather was on the supreme court”?
‘Round DC you can’t shake a short stick without hitting a monument or stone or honorary marker.
Have you ever been to Arlington National Cemetery in DC?
What about where you live? Who’s the famous person buried in YOUR neck of the woods?
Is there a graveyard outside YOUR house for Halloweeeeeen?
Let’s talk about the Dead!!