Lazy (Sunday) Monday Thoughts

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Yep, it’s Monday not Sunday. This weekend was one of those weekends where All the Things were happening. We’ve had weekends and weekends where we do nothing and are bored with the nothingness and then Boom! everything. So I wasn’t near the computer much.

Warning: Navel gazing ahead!

However, this week is my birthday week and I’m turning thirty-something. I made a promise that I wouldn’t complain about getting older after I read an article celebrating a woman the age I’m turning dying of cancer. I thought, “Ugh, so young.” (I have complained, unfortunately, since, but I’m not going to anymore. Really.) That and some recent events have reminded me that my time is finite and I’ve got to enjoy it. I’ve taken a step toward a change in my life. I’m not sure where it will lead. We’ll see.

It seems as we get older the time rolls by faster. Wasn’t it just January yesterday? Why does that happen? It’s unfair. When we’re kids, it’s as if the time leading up to Christmas and birthdays and vacations is Forever! Now, it’s “Holy crap, Christmas is coming!” I’d like to slow down, please.

I can’t complain. I am healthy and the strongest I’ve ever been. I have a healthy family (knock on wood). A home. Enough to eat. Love. And enough money for the little luxuries like books. I wish I were more fearless though. I’m working on that.

someecards.com - I've been overthinking about otherthinking again.

I’ve been making a list of things I want to do or learn. I wouldn’t call it a bucket list, more a lifetime list. These aren’t crazy life altering things, like jumping out of a plane, some are pretty simple and some are big (for me).

  • Stay optimistic
  • Go zip lining
  • Travel (I’d love to go to Iceland)
  • Go out more (I’m a hermit)
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Finish the things I start
  • Learn something totally new and unexpected
  • Run a 10K
  • Learn to meditate and become more patient
  • Become more independent
  • Not worry what others think of me

I’m sure this list will get longer, but that’s what I have now.

What would you put on your list?

Pin It and Do It Challenge: Chinese New Year Snake

Chinese Snake crochet

I’m a little late on this one, but I crocheted this little snake for Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Snake, if you didn’t know. I’m not much for snakes but this little guy is pretty cute. If you want to make one yourself, the pattern is free on All About Ami.

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Thoughts: Re-Reading Pride & Prejudice (Audiobook)

I’m fairly certain you know what Pride & Prejudice is about but just in case…

The estate of Netherfield has been rented to a rich, eligible bachelor which is like waving a green flag in front of every mother with unmarried daughters in the 1800s. This includes Mrs Bennet, a woman with the unfortunate job of getting her five daughters settled. I had much more sympathy for her during this reading. After all, if she doesn’t get the girls married before the death of their father, they’ll be living in a van down by the river. That’s a lot of pressure. Of course Mrs Bennet flings her prettiest daughter, Jane, at the new tenant, Mr Bingley. Mr Bingley is a happy-go-lucky dude whose entourage includes his bitchy sister, Caroline, and his snooty bff, Mr Darcy. While Mr Bingley is willing to be entertained and pleased by anything, Caroline and Mr Darcy are too cool for school.

During a ball, Darcy insults Jane’s sister, Elizabeth, the less pretty but smart and sarcastic sister. He injures her pride and though she laughs it off, she tries to do all she can to get on his last nerve. What she doesn’t realize is that he kind of likes that.

Thoughts:

I forgot how funny Pride and Prejudice is! Mrs Bennet with her “flutterings” and Mr Bennet’s dry musings. Here are some the thoughts I had.

Mr & Mrs Bennet: Yes, Mrs Bennet is ridiculous and pushy and embarrassing but Mr Bennet is so mean to her. I kept wondering why he married her. Late in the story, it is revealed that Mrs B was quite pretty and he rushed to marry her. Later he regrets it. Still, he doesn’t need to be so nasty. (However, it underlines that appearances can be deceiving and there’s something for finding out a person’s character before marriage.)

Mr Collins: So much creepier than I remembered! Poor Charlotte. He makes for hilarious times though. When Lydia has her incident, he writes a carefully worded letter full of helpful advice. He regrets that Lydia didn’t die instead. He’s a real charmer.

Mr Bingley: What a wishy-washy guy. He changes his opinions depending on who is talking. The only time he raises his voice is one time after Caroline’s nastiness gets on his nerves.

Caroline Bingley: The Regina George of Pride and Prejudice. I can just hear her telling her friend Louisa Hurst that “fetch is never going to happen.” The letters she writes Jane are cringe-worthy. Jane takes them as a friendly warning. Elizabeth is much savvier. Sister, please, that girl is a bitch. regina george

Elizabeth Bennet & the Awkward Conversation: Lizzie has a lot of awkward conversations. She gives away personal information to people (guys actually) rather easily. Then there is a conversation with Colonel Fitzwilliam where he pretty much tells her he’s looking for a girl with money. Plus, knowing what I knew and she didn’t about Darcy and Wickham, the whole thing was hard to read. Awkward!

The Entire Bennet Clan: Bonkers. Lizzie has a face-palm moment at Mr Bingley’s ball when her sisters act boy crazy, Mrs Bennet loudly proclaims Jane practically married, and Mary & Mr B make a spectacle of themselves at the piano. Then there’s the whole Lydia Incident. What a crew!

I was glad to re-read Pride and Prejudice with my book club. I don’t know if I would have otherwise and it was the pick-me-up I needed. Very funny and well written, it doesn’t compare to anything I’ve read in a long time.

About the Audio: This version of Pride and Prejudice was a Librivox recording by Karen Savage. What an excellent narrator she is! Her inflections are lovely and her interpretation of Mr Collins and Mrs Bennet are just what I imagined. I would definitely listen to more of her work.

A Pinteresting Valentine’s Day

 

someecards.com - Take comfort in knowing your Valentine's Day as a single person will still be more romantic than Valentine's Day as a married person.

Yeah, that’s kinda true. We’ll probably get a pizza and watch Community. I’m not a very romantic person anyway, as you can tell by the card I bought for my husband (though I did order it early and everything, that counts for something).

However, I do like making things for every holiday ever, so I crocheted this mug cozy last night.

Valentine's mug cozy

I combined two of my Pinterest pins: Crooked Coffee Cozy and these crochet hearts. So that’s 2 Pins for Pin It and Do It (3 if you count that I pinned the Valentine card too).

Somewhat romantically I’m reading Pride and Prejudice, actually I’m listening to it. It’s for my book club but it’s so much fun. I’m enjoying Elizabeth’s take on romance.

Snowmageddon Readathon: Update 3

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I’m awake. I slept in since there’s nowhere to go anyway. The wind is howling. There is not a lot of snow out there but it is blowing around. I’m nice and cozy in my pjs. I actually started reading last night. The book I’m working on today is The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson. It’s an odd book but very entertaining. I’m just on page 66.

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The forecast calls for 45cm of snow. I have no idea how many inches that is. I’m a metric girl.

Right now, I’m waiting for waffles to be made and, of course, coffee. I need coffee.

I’ll update this post as the day progresses.

What are you reading today? Did you get any snow where you are?

 


Update #2

So we’ve moved onto freezing rain/drizzle. Everything is covered in a layer of ice.

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This is what it looks like out my window. Meanwhile, the Vikings are still doing what Vikings do in The Long Ships.


Update #3

Okay, I haven’t done much reading today…well, any. I’m about to change that. There’s still not much point in trying to go anywhere. The snow is still blowing around out there. I think we had more freezing rain than snow.

Through the window

I’m on page 155 of The Long Ships. I’m almost done with Part One: The Long Voyage. The Vikinging is slowing down. Mostly they’re just sitting around, talking to the ladies.

Snowmageddon! Readathon

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You may have heard that the northern east coast of North America is about to be smote by Mother Nature. Lots of snow is a-coming. Since I figure I’ll be trapped inside all weekend, I might as well take advantage of it and read like crazy.

Will you be snowed in as well? Want to join me in a Readathon? This is an impromptu readathon, so no fancy prizes or anything. Even if your weekend is snow free, you can join in and use this post as an excuse to do nothing but read.

What to expect from Snowmageddon! Readathon:

  • Reading updates
  • Gratuitous photos of snow, pjs, socks, and snacks
  • Weather reports

I’m not going to be formal. Just post in the comments if you want to join in. If I have more than 2 people join, I might think up a Twitter hashtag. I’ll visit all blogs that join. The snow is supposed to start here late Friday night. I’ll readathon Saturday. If your snow starts Friday, go ahead and start then. End whenever you get plowed out.

So, join me and have an interesting story for when you’re in the old folks home and everyone starts reminiscing about the Blizzard of ‘13. “I remember there was 18 inches of snow on the ground. The internet froze for 2 whole days; they had to bring in the army to defrost it. I read War and Peace.” (Exaggeration is required for a good snow story.)

A Passion for Fashion

Recently I’ve developed a hankering for fashion. Now this is not usual for me. I blame Pinterest. I believe that somehow from just pinning a pretty photo I’ll absorb that information and become the person my Pinterest boards want me to be. Yes, I have delusions of grandeur. This also applies to the crafty, baker and home decorator I think I can be.

I am trying to apply some of the things I learn about dressing my person now that I’m at an age where a pair of overall shorts (remember those?) just isn’t cute anymore. It’s not easy since clothes are expensive, especially the beautiful things I see on Pinterest. I’m trying to learn more though, just to be prepared. I read Go Fug Yourself and am obsessed with everything that Mindy Kaling wears on The Mindy Project (she has the cutest things). I also picked up some fashion magazines, much to the surprise of my ten year old: “Mom, why did you buy those?!” (with a look of fear and distrust).

Magazines

Note to magazines: Put a brunette on the cover and I’m going to buy it.

I was perusing one magazine, aptly named Fashion, when I discovered an article in the February edition on graphic novels. Yes, one can never escape books, they are everywhere! There are fashion graphic novels! I haven’t found a graphic novel I wanted to read in awhile, so I’ve added these to the TBR list.

So thanks to Fashion magazine for putting these on my radar. Are there any other fashion related graphic novels or just novels that I might be missing? (Shopaholic and The Devil Wears Prada are the only ones I can think of.)

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison: Review

In this memoir, Rose Harrison recounts her life in service, mostly to the formidable Lady Astor, an American heiress turned viscountess. Rose’s dream as a girl was to travel and when she told her mother of this dream, her mother hatched a plan. She did everything she could to get Rose into service as a lady’s maid, that was the way to do it at that time. A lady’s maid would have to travel with her mistress.

Rose didn’t start out with Lady Astor. In fact, Rose was sort of tricked into that position. Rose was aware of Lady Astor’s reputation and she didn’t want a part of that train wreck, but Lady Astor always got what she wanted and she wanted Rose. Things were unpleasant for Rose until she realized that she’d have to give as good as she got. Rose used the force of her own personality and often challenged her boss, which is what the Lady wanted anyway. Rose wasn’t a shrinking violet and because of this gained respect, but never thanks, from Lady Astor and a lifelong relationship began.

For all of Lady Astor’s tantrums and bullying, Rose did okay. The Lady depended on her and took her everywhere with her. Rose saw the world while travelling in style, met interesting people, and witnessed world events. It’s amusing to see these things through Rose’s eyes. Do you remember the story of Rasputin’s poisoning? How he supposedly survived a dose that would kill 10 men. There’s even a Boney M song about it. Rose learns the story through another servant who met a Russian prince claiming to have been there. Here is what she makes of it:

But, as Charles remarked, “It’s my bet they’d told that story for meals and drinks so long that they began to believe in it.” I’ve never found out whether what they said was the truth or not.

Rose was with the Astor’s during the Blitz. I can’t even imagine the terror she must have felt. The war brought the staff and the family closer together. Rose couldn’t see herself as anyone else’s maid after that. Lady Astor had become a heroine to her, even with all her theatrics. They had a relationship that is hard to fathom. It was almost a marriage.

Beyond the stories of Team Lady Astor and Rose, there are descriptions of what Lady Astor wore, her jewellery, the parties, and the trips that were made. It makes for fascinating reading. Rose doesn’t dish out the family secrets, anything she tells is in the public record. She doesn’t even reveal that much about her own private life.

Still, I didn’t neglect the romantic side by any means, and I got a lot of fun from it, but while it’s something I enjoy recalling, it’s a personal thing and in any case would make very dull reading.

Oh, Rose! Come on, I’m sure it wouldn’t be dull reading. This is typical of Rose’s writing. She’s very straightforward and no-nonsense. I did wonder though, if she was having a thing or two with some of the male servants she mentions. Wink-wink. Sorry, Rose, my mind is just going to go there anyway.

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor is a story of an interesting life by a woman who tells it as she saw it. I highly recommend this one, especially to Downton Abbey fans.

Ratings:

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Lazy Sunday Thoughts: Sybil, The B, and Elementary

Hey all! How is everything this week? Obviously after last week’s news things weren’t that great here, but life goes on and we have to get back at it.

I actually started reading again this week. Reading is a nice distraction. I’m reading Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison. It’s fascinating; I’m liking it a lot. Other than that, TV is taking up some of my free time and it’s not all happy-happy. Do any of you watch Downton Abbey? Did you see last week’s episode? Spoiler: Lady Sybil!!! Why?!! I kept thinking, “Okay, this is just Tom’s nightmare or something, right? Right?” but it wasn’t. Waaa! This same week 30 Rock ended; no more Liz Lemon. I’m going to miss her. AND bad news everyone Don’t Trust the B- in Apt 23 was unceremoniously cancelled with 8 episodes left. I am not happy and agree with Buzzfeed on their 9 reasons why it should be saved, especially #7. Mark and June have to happen. Good news though: Elementary has a special episode after the Super Bowl. Woot! More Holmes and Watson!

my emotions

Exactly my reaction to TV this week.

Let’s move on…

Trish is doing it again. Pin It and Do It that is. The February edition should be a quick one. I’m doing Pinterested instead of going all out with 8+ Pins. I am all into nails lately so I might do a few nail related pins. There could be hilarious results. Stay tuned.

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So that’s it. How’s your week? If you have feelings about the TV shows I mentioned, please share.