lost in jane austen

Friday, December 28, 2012

The three-bite-rule loophole - Bio to Bs

Back in the dark ages, when I was growing up, my mom had the three-bite-rule. We had to take 3 bites of everything on our plates. I can still remember several meals where I sat at the table, for what seemed like hours, staring at those cold lima beans. The thought of them made me nauseous. In my six-year-old mind, it was a scene right out of the Joan Crawford biography, Mommie Dearest. Of course in reality, it was nothing like that, but I still don’t like lima beans.

Years later, my sister was sitting at the table, staring at her English peas…she told my mom that she would throw up if she took a bite. We all smiled at my sister, knowing she was exaggerating. My mom politely said, “just take three bites.” My sister then slowly put the fork up to her mouth and took a bite. She immediately threw up all over her plate of food.

Needless, to say, that ended that meal for the whole family.

From that point on, whenever my mom tried to enforce the three-bite-rule, all my sister had to say was, “remember the peas.” My sister had found a way to beat the three-bite-rule. That was decades ago, and I still wish I had had the foresight to go ahead and put those lima beans in my mouth and just let nature take it’s course…then I could have been the one to discover the three-bite-rule loophole.

Look for a version of this story in one of our upcoming Emma novels!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Decorating for Christmas on a budget Part2

Day 5

Start out with a nice garland and just keep adding stuff...you can rarely overdo at Christmas time. Once again, I combined the plastic and glass ornaments.

I had a basket that normally has an arrangement of yellow flowers. I left the ivy in the basket and threw in some poinsettias, red hydrangeas, berries and greenery and attached a red bow.

Day 6
I just added red ribbon and gold glitter leaves to the candles that are normally on the breakfast table. The bowl that stays on the table normally is full of pine cones and other naturals. I added some glitter to the pine cones and then added some berries, Christmas balls and a little greenery.

Sometimes just adding a touch of greenery is all you need. I love using Christmas balls in place of candles on candlesticks.

Day 7
I added some really lightweight ornaments to the palm tree.

Christmas balls were stashed everywhere...

Decorating on a budget may require a little more imagination, but it's still fun.

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decorating for Christmas on a budget

A few years ago when Hurricane Ike hit, it wiped out most our Christmas decorations. Although I was really glad that they were the only things lost, I was really sad, because I had been saving them for years. Our family thought of me as the Christmas fairy. So now, I am trying to decorate for cheap with ornaments from Walmart and Big Lots. In years past, I took a couple of days and decorated for Christmas. This year, we have way too much going on, so I'm just doing a Christmas project a day.

DAY ONE: Instead of buying a Christmas tree for our front door, I added "unbreakable" (I call them plastic) ornaments from Walmart. I added the glitter to make them more festive. And you can't tell it from the picture, but I also added a strand of 150 tiny white lights.
DAY TWO: I added white ribbon, to eighteen feet of garland along with white lights and attached it to the railing on the upstairs bridge. After putting it up, I realized that the white ribbon wasn't showing up that well, so red ribbon is now on my list of things to buy the day after Christmas.
DAY THREE: I used to do one of our trees in pink and white. Only a few of the ornaments made it. So I decided to do the entry with pink, white and gold. I displayed some of my original ornaments with some Walmart finds.
Guess which one is from Walmart?
The pinecone. I added the glitter. At Christmastime, anything can be made to look more elegant with glitter!
You can add ribbons to anything to make it more Christmassy.

DAY FOUR: For this arrangement...it was all odds and ends. I had one poinsettia, 3 pieces of beaded fruit, some greenery, gold leaves, glittered berries from Walmart and some peacock feathers that I use for weddings and some birds that I found on sale at Hobby Lobby, last year. The candles were plain, but I added double stick tape and sprinkled them with glitter.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Assaulted by Romantic Food - Bio to Bs

A couple of weeks after we were married, I decided that I would make a romantic dinner for my new husband. I got out the tablecloth with matching napkins and set the table with our new wedding china, silverware and candle sticks.

I spent the day getting the spaghetti sauce just right and made tons of meatballs, trying to get a few that were actually round and not too dry.

I showered to remove the garlic smell from my hair and put on a pretty, floor length dress. As the romantic music played on the tape deck (maybe I should have mentioned, this was back in the Stone Age), I dimmed the lights and lit the candles. Everything was perfect.

When Barry walked through the front door, I raced to hug him and show him what I had done. It was going to be a magical evening.

We sat down at the table and placed the spaghetti and meatballs on our plates. A few seconds later, I heard this chop, chop, chop sound. I looked over at Barry and he was chopping his spaghetti into tiny one inch segments. I smiled sweetly at him and said, "Honey, you're really supposed to eat your spaghetti like this." With my big spoon in my left hand and my fork in my right, I began to twirl the spaghetti around my fork. Then I held up my fork and just as I was about to take a bite...a long piece of spaghetti unwrapped and glued itself, with a massive amount of red sauce, to my cheek. I was horrified and so stunned, I didn't move and neither did the spaghetti.

After Barry realized I wasn't going to burst into tears, he started laughing hysterically. For years after that, anytime we would have spaghetti, Barry would ask, "Now, how am I supposed to eat spaghetti?" To this day, I still wince a little when I see spaghetti. And if you see me eating at your local Olive Garden, more often than not, you will probably hear a chop, chop, chop...coming from my plate.