Tag Archive: Jane Austen


Witchy Women

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Valentine’s day provides a much needed break from a bleak cold winter.

 

As red and pink abound, we are reminded that life is not all about chilling winds and blinding snow storms. We remember to celebrate love in all of its forms.

 

Maybe that is with flowers or chocolate or a special meal of a special time together. Maybe a special craft will come home from school or candles will be lit over a special homemade meal.

 

Like Mardi Gras (which takes place at the end of February) it is a chance to chase away cabin fever after being stuck indoors because of the cold weather. Our snow count has not been much this year but I did notice weather people counting the cloudy days we’ve had so far.

 

Ugh.

 

I watch a ni-married-a-witch-bannerumber of movies and there are times that I want to watch something different from the usual choices for these various holidays. Those favorites are good and we love them, until we have seen them too many times and want something else. We want something that goes in different directions.

 

This week I watched I married a Witch from 1942. This comedy stars a 19-year-old saucy Veronica Lake, with the peek-a-boo hairdo, and Frederick March. She is a witch who was burned and her spirit is locked in an oak tree. March is the Puritan who put her to death along with her father as witches. But before everything she curses the man’s descendants to marry women who make them unhappy.

 

i_married_a_witch-vampire-magic

Image by vampire magic

Lake is freed from the tree 250 years later from a freak lightning storm. Her first order of business is to make the descendants of her tormentor miserable. But that task is being accomplished by his spoiled brat of a fiancee. So Lake decides to make the man fall in love with her and she can do the job personally.

 

Well, of course, it doesn’t all run smoothly. Things go awry in the making the man miserable department. But it is humorous and amusing as Lake and March show their stuff in a classic light comedy from the 1940s. Safe and clean but it may be more for adults to enjoy.

love-and-friendship-poster
The other movie I watched was Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckingsale as the delightfully manipulative Lady Susan. Jane Austen fans will recognize this name from the self-titled unfinished novella. This is not good for younger children although teens could comfortably watch this one. Lady Susan is the impoverished recently widowed Regency woman doing her best to marry off her daughter to to a rich but dim-witted suitor while trying to steal away the most handsome man in all of England from his rich wife.

 

Lady Susan is cruel and indifferent to those around her. She can charm most men and easily explain away most incongruities in her story. Unafraid to use her sex appeal or seemingly goodness, this woman can and does get away with everything while being wily and resourceful. I am not sure why I like her. Whenever she speaks it is surely a lie. Even the most crazy things are suddenly clear with her explanations. But then aglove_and_friendship_kate_beckinsale_ain, the people around her are insufferably good with the exception of her best friend, Chloe Seveigny. Her piety or lack there of begins to feel more real, more human.

 

I guess that is a part of her charm. She, is after all, Lady Susan – the biggest flirt and breaker of hearts in all of England.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Another Birthday, Dear Jane.

Dear Jane,

Another birthday has past and yet you do not look a day older than 40.

Your nighttime routine must do wonders (snarkity-snark-snark).

birthday-cakeWell, happy birthday anyway.

It has been cold and snowy at times here. I drove home in snow that wasn’t quite snow, not quite sleet. It kept trying to freeze up on my window, i had to drive with the front defroster and window wipers constantly going.  Otherwise my windshield would have been a solid layer of ice.

Well, the good news in my life is that I start class for the Library Technical Assistant certificate in four weeks. The bad news is nothing right now. There are a few hick-ups but we are managing. Christmas may not be a shower of presents but that is not the important point.

I always ask about you and the responses are few. I hope wherever you are, you are getting fair swipes at the hypocrites who managed to get into the best rooms. Done here, Jimmy Bakker is selling heavenly mortgages and food stores so you have something to eat in heaven. The man is scamming people once more. All I do is hope I will never be like that. Gullible, I mean.

I can be taken in by a good story, especially if there is any bit of plausibility. A good story is a good story whether it is true or not.The thing is, I never want to be so cynical that I look at every story as if it could be false. That is not how I want to live. Oh, I love a good conspiracy theory every now and again. But to live on that on a regular basis is crazy.

donald-trump

It is next to impossible to find a good picture of this man.

I feel the same way about our current political climate. I am not a fan of the President-elect but I have a feeling he will not be thwarted by the Electoral College. So the next four years are going to be filled with constant strife and degradation. The money that man will make of off the office of the President will be legendary by the time he is through.

Oh, but that stuff is boring. I predict Hollywood is going to make many comedies and musicals for the next few years to take our minds off of the mess that is going to be Washington D.C.

One of the most disturbing things I have found in post election life is the use of the word snowflake. Trump supporters are using that word, along with cupcake, to belittle democrats who are protesting Trump’s win. Every time I hear them say ‘snowflake’ I can’t help but feel that they are a bunch of sore winners. Do they realize how they make themselves look – which is meaner and more stupid than they all ready are – when they use these derogatory terms? Probably not.

Well, I have bored you enough. Best wishes and I hope all is well wherever you may be.

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays,

your devoted friend, etc.

 

 

Thoughts on the Austen Project

As regular readers of this blog may know, I am a Jane Austen fanatic.

I have read all of the six, several times. Years ago my mother gave me a collected edition but I also love my little Barnes and Noble copy of Sense and Sensibility as well.

I have read various fan fictions and have not been impresses. The language is too stilted or the action is unbelievable in an unbelievable manner. My favorites are the Jane Bites Back series by Michael Thomas Ford and Austenland by Shannon Hale. In regards to the former, the book is ten times better than the movie.

Harper Collins is in the middle of the Austen Project in which they hire currently famous writers to re-write those classic novels in modern settings. The order of publication is Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollpe, Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, and Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. But let me tell you what I loved and hated about each one in order of least to best.

Austen Project Emma

The one I liked the least was the novel Jane loved the best. However, there was something missing from this retelling. McCall Smith, who writes with much charm in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency, failed to understand Emma and her circle. This despite writing long and complicated back stories for the majority of the characters we never understood before.

From Mr. Woodhouse to Mr. Knightly to John Knightly to Mrs. Goddard and Harriet, we received more back story than necessary. That leads to a hurry-up-and-tell the story affair that made me wonder why Mr. Knightly would even consider Emma. I questioned why she wanted to hang with Harriet who was clearly her lesser. Frank and Jane were an even bigger bore.

But stranger than that to me was how the extra hired help questioned why Emma was not in the kitchen helping to make the meal for her big dinner party. The setting was still England so despite the modern ramp up and various changes in society, I could not see that being probable. Nope, Emma would not be in the kitchen making the sauce or cleaning the silver.

Austen Project Sense and Sensability

When I read Joanna Trollope’s foray into this project, I have to admit I really enjoyed it. The update has Eleanor in college for architecture, Marianne as a talented home musician, and Margaret was in that frightful stage of middle school. We learn that their parents never married as their mother was ‘the other woman’ and the two hippies settled in without the paperwork.

So when Mr. Dashwood dies, John inherits all. His wife happily gives the other Dashwood girls that unwelcomed feeling till Mrs. Dashwood and the girls find a new home. Sir John Middleton is happy to be their hero by giving the girls jobs as models in his outerwear catalog and finding Eleanor a great job in her field of study. Eleanor is the grown-up dealing with heartache of grief and total loss of their old life style while the rest of her family flip out in their own special way.

The modern touches of how facebook and phones are fundamental parts of our lives was wonderful. The problems I had were that characters, especially the Dashwood sisters, were more crass. Hippie or not, I expected Mrs. Dashwood to not allow that kind of behavior in her girls. While Coronal Brandon is still fabulous, I am not sure if he was too wonderful. And there was one portion at the engagement party where Mrs. Ferrars’ reaction was correct. It is hard to laugh at her silly desire to be right at all times despite being wrong when she is actually in the right.

Austen Project EligibleThis next selection just left my hot little hands, so I may be in the mulling stage yet. However, Eligible really is close to being a good update to Pride and Prejudice. To make it work, Curtis Sittenfeld has aged the characters and moved them to Cincinnati.

Jane is 40, a yoga instructor, and looking at a sperm donor for thee child she wanted and never had. Liz, at 38, is a successful magazine writer with a crush on colleague Jasper Wicks. He is married and promises to leave his wife someday. The older two girls live in NYC while the younger three live at home still. Mary is 30 and working on her third online Master’s degree. Kitty, 24, and Lydia, 22, are gym rats and Paleo diet fans.

What no one knows, until Liz ferrets out the information from her dad, is that the family home, a Tudor style house in the Hyde Park neighborhood on three acres of land is mortgaged to the hilt. She finds this out after she and Jane come home to help Dad recover from a heart attack and broken arm. Liz also finds out her parents have no health insurance.

Enter in Bingly, a gorgeous ER doctor who was also a contestant on Eligible, a Bachelor-like show, and Darcy, a neurosurgeon working at a local stroke clinic. Soon events are going in the direction we expect with a few twists here and there.

Again, this is a lovely update, the satire was stronger than in the other outings. There are some adaptations that are well suited for this update and questions are raised  about interpretations that are interesting. I love the modern take, the simplifying of some relationships while others take on a more physical nature which may or may not be appropriate for our times. I also wonder if Sittenfeld was watching The Holiday  as she wrote this, too many similarities.

Austen Project Northanger AbbeyBut my favorite of all of the adaptations is Northanger Abbey  by Val McDermid. To begin with, the setting is switched from Bath to Edinburgh for their annual arts festival. Filled with accidental meetings and the excitement of seeing an old friend, we experience Cathy’s happiness at being in the middle of a happening art scene.

She and Isabelle are soon as thick as thieves. But happenstance allows her to meet Henry and Eleanor, growing a relationship. Once she receives the invitation to come to the Abbey, it is not long before Cathy imagines vampires everywhere.

This is a fast pace read, filled with teen references, Facebook and messaging technology, and the drama that fills that age group. It embodies Austen’s love for the Gothic novel that she satirizes. Cathy morphs into a modern teen into a bit of a fairy tale existence with her protectors and yet she feels as fresh and naive as she did 200 years earlier. I would read it again or perhaps give it to my daughter to read so she can see that Austin is not just for the costume drama fans.

What are you reading?

My Austen Obsession

Just when I think I am off my Jane Austen kick, it comes roaring back.

I know that I should read other pieces of fiction that have nothing to do with Austen. And I do. Recently I read China Dolls by Lisa See, Without You there is No Us, and Escape from Camp 14 in a fit of need for knowledge about Asia. I have one more book to read about an American soldier who defected to North Korea during a period of homesickness and depression.

JA Death Comes to PemberleyBut ever since my book group read Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James, I have found my self lost in a round of Austen that is not even written by Jane. I have even delved in to the Austen Project by Harper Collins.

In this book, we are back at Pemberley but it is six years later. Darcy and Elizabeth are deliriously happy with two little boys. Georgina still lives with them but has shown interest in a busy but successful lawyer. Jane and Bingley live nearby with their children.

Life couldn’t be happier as they prepare for the annual Autumn ball that is held in the memory of the last Mrs. Darcy.

But on the night before the ball Lydia comes to the front door, screaming that Wickham has been killed and They must do something about it. Well, he is not dead but his friend, Denny, has a nasty blow to the head.

Here is my problem with this book. It is stiff. The language, the action, the formalities between people who should like each other and feel at ease. The story is told from Darcy’s viewpoint most of the time and perhaps that is one reason for the constant formal atmosphere. Except that Elizabeth has taken on some of that as well.

This was not a favorite and nor shall I be reading it again anytime soon. I liked the story but some of the relationships seemed a bit preposterous. It was a mystery and not a comedy of manners in the way of Pride and Prejudice. in this book the problems of the past could not be laughed away. Instead there was too much analysis.

JA Sense and Sensibility_trollope_Well, having failed that my other faux Austen adventure was sinking into the new versions of Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility. Harper Collins has put together a group of modern-day writers who take on of the six and write it in the modern era. That means there are constant references to iPhones and texting.

Joanna Trollope took on Sense and Sensibility. For me, this should have been a slam dunk for Joanna. If you have read her novels, you know that she has a knack for describing the human heart and it’s layers of feelings. I have enjoyed her writing over the years.

In this book, mom and dad never got married so Norland goes to John. Fanny comes in with plans to make the old manor home into a B&B. Elinor is yanked out of her architectural program, Marianne is an asmathic, and Margaret is a sulky pre-teen.

Thank God for cousin Sir John Middleton who offers them a home on his estate near Exeter. He owns a clothing company and uses members of the family as models for his catalog. He also finds Elinor a job in her field and introduces the Dashwoods to Col. Brandon.

I enjoyed the pace of this book, I enjoyed how Trollope worked around various parts of the story that made sense in 1802 but not 2014. I did not enjoy how rude the girls became to one another. I never felt that until Elinor gives up her secret, Marianne was nothing more than a selfish little twit. Margaret wasn’t much better but she is 12. Worse was Mrs. Dashwood who never understood Elinor’s worries and was the example that Marianne seemed to live by.

If it wasn’t for the fact that Alexander McCall Smith is working on Emma, I might have to give up on this series.

JA Murder Most PersuasiveIn truth, I find the best adaptation stay away from the source books with only a tiny bit of a story working its way in to whatever the main plot turns out to be. At Christmas, my mother sent me a newer mystery series by Tracy Kiely. Here our detective is a Jane Austen devotee. She quotes Jane Austen whenever possible. It is a sickness shared by her favorite aunt who has a B&B in Martha’s Vineyard named after Longbourn.

While some portion of the story has characters lifted from the canon but given different names, the murder mystery often has nothing to do with that bit. I have read all but one book in the series. Sadly it ends at number four, which is too bad because I think Kiely was hitting her stride at no. 3, Murder Most Persuasive.

In this book, Elizabeth is helping out her cousin after the death of a beloved uncle. That is when the body of a former friend of the family is discovered. Worse yet, he is the former fiancee of the cousin’s older sister. Soon one of the plot lines resembles Persuasion and Elizabeth’s sister is almost word-for-word like Mary.

What I love about this series is that it is light and breezy, a great read for summer time or anytime you want something quick. They have been great when I need my mind to focus on something other than my father’s death. And my daughter has picked them up. I was able to get the rest of the four book series through my library. We are in Austen heaven for the time being.

JA Jane Austen and the Maddening Lord ByronNext on my list to read is Jane Austen and the Madness of Lord Byron by Stephanie Barron. When I read Barron’s work in the past I found the language too formal and the relationships too casual.

However, I have a huge crush on Lord Byron. I would never want to  be married to the man as he has way too much baggage. But to be in his circle for even a short time would be something.

I will get to this book as soon as I am done with the latest book club book. Then I can get back to my Austen Obsession.

What books have you been obsessing over?

Dear Jane,

Happy Birthday and all that. It is another grey day here.

Joanna Trollope, S&SWell, I had just written a lovely letter talking about the new Austen Project that Harper Collins is working on when my computer decided to lose everything. I had a link for you( http://theaustenproject.com/) and a little discussion on it all. But so much for that. I have neither the patience or the time to rewrite everything.

The first book in the series is Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope, yes, of that Trollope family. Why did they need to use the exact same titles I do not understand but there it is. I have request a copy from the Library and hope to get it soon so that I may devour it. Then, and only then, will I come back with a full review.

Jane AustenWell, I would write more but the shower awaits and then I am off for the day to do numerous errands before showing up to work. This is a long day at work, which I do appreciate. Lord knows the money is helpful. I will tell you about my novel which is going through various re-writes before I send it off to my beta readers. I only have five chapters to go. Perhaps someday I will see it published but that is next year’s goal.

Once again, wishing you happy, happy. Have a lovely day, doing whatever it is you do there in heaven.

Yours, etc.

Karyn

Wishing the Best

Dear Jane,

Dear Jane,

Jane AustenAnother year, another birthday. If I could I would grant you a wonderful birthday, as I would to all of my friends and family.

I wanted to write you a nice letter, I really did. But those darn children of mine have given me a cold. I am a bit wheezy and coughing and having plenty of drainage in the sinus.

I am weak and miserable so I apologize for the not so great letter you are reading at the moment.

I simply do not have the energy or wherewithal to make witty comments and stunning put downs.

Not that there have not been a few opportunities.

The Tea Party Republicans have been making silly demands such as one senatorial candidate in North Carolina who thinks public schools should be closed and that women do not need birth control. Then there are the idiots in the House of Representatives who finally admitted they did not think the government shutdown would really de-fund the ACA, only after the government had been shutdown for 16 days.

Image from Wikipdeia

Image from Wikipdeia

When your Republican Speaker of the house finally says “You’ve got to be kidding me?” I think the faction might have taken things too far. Those goofs are about to find out how much they are not needed to get laws passed that needed to be passed.

But enough on politics.

Life at my house has consisted of Christmas activities and sickness. Our 16 y.o. had bronchitis while the daughter and I are in the midst of colds. I watched way more TV than usual today because what energy I had was zapped up almost immediately. Imagine getting winded from sweeping up the kitchen.

Picture by Mensatic.

Picture by Mensatic.

Soon it will be my birthday. I hope that you can stop by as I am sure there will be some delightful bit of cake. Perhaps over a wonderfully hot cup of tea we can discuss the plot points of my book that need improvement. It is nearly done, I need only one or two more chapters.

Then comes the fun part – editing.

Until next year, wishing you the happiest and a healthy birthday.

Your devoted fan, etc…

Belated Birthday Wishes

Dear Jane,

Please accept my belated birthday wishes to you. I meant to get this letter out much sooner but you know how it goes with a busy family.

I hope you were able to celebrate in high style. A trip to London, high tea, a night at the theater, perhaps a stroll in the public gardens; these are great activities in my eyes. My birthday is in a few weeks, as you well know, and I have no idea how we will celebrate that event.

Jane AustenI have been thinking of you lately as I work on my first novel. I try to write 500 words a day and right now I am at Chapter 8 of 15. But recently, I looked back at Chapter 2 in order to present it to my writing group. I have not sent anything in for a while despite making real progress on the book. While going over the pages to take out any passive verbiage and tighten it all up, I realized that most of this chapter is terrible.

More truthfully, it sucks.

I am now considering re-writing it or ditching the chapter all together. It does not seem to fit or make sense with the rest of the novel that I have written. I think that I have not introduced the problem soon enough. Worse yet, I no longer love my heroine.

Did that ever happen to you? Elizabeth is so lively and charming that I would find it hard not to love her. Elinor, on the other hand, I can imagine getting a bit weary despite her wonderful qualities. Then again, she was a poor woman in Regency England who had known a better life. Her sadness at the loss of her father and potential husband must have been great.

Since working on this novel, I notice how I read a book has changed. I no longer simply enjoy the prose. I am paying attention to how characters are introduced. I listen to how different characters speak. I look at when the problem becomes a problem. The dead body does not always seem to show up by the end of Chapter One but one issue or another is presented that eventually leads us there.

I do no enjoy reading novels any less. I recently finished Kipling’s Captain Courageous and enjoyed the transformation of the rich boy saved by a fishing boat crew. Right now I am re-reading Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford in which you are a vampire.  I am discovering little things I did not notice before and quite enjoying it, which is the whole reason why I re-read books. Sometimes in my rush to read a book, I miss details.

Book Cover Image from Amazon.com

Book Cover Image from Amazon.com

One book that has been quite difficult for me to get through is Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. I know her writing is wonderful and I enjoy the descriptions. I know the book was ground breaking for talking about mental illness – battle fatigue in particular – and making that character sympathetic as opposed to a maniacal fool.

It is the stream-of-consciousness style of writing that gives me a headache and I have to put the book down after a page or two. The jump between characters happens so quickly that I am not always so sure who is speaking. I hope that the book I am writing does not give others headaches should I ever finish writing it.

I appreciate any words of wisdom you can send me in this matter. And please let me know about your birthday celebration; I want all of the juicy details.

As always, your devoted friend, etc.

Related Posts:

Wishing the Best on Your Birthday

Wishing the Happiest of Birthdays

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Jane,

 

Image by Melodi2

I wanted to take a few minutes out of this holiday season to wish you a happy birthday on the 16th. If it is possible, I would love to share tea time with you but when is always the question. With all of the events flying around our family, I scarcely get a moment to breathe and think.

 

Last night, our daughter and her Girl Scout troop sang carols at a senior living facility. Later in the evening, our second oldest played in a band concert. I had to run youth group at church and missed out on the concert. Tonight, half of the family will take part in the 4H Christmas party while I attend my daughter’s band concert. Friday night is my office party.

 

My house is getting quite messy. Toys or pieces of toys are strewn about and the dog insists on shedding. Dust is everywhere. I am hoping to spend some time cleaning on Saturday morning before heading to the stores to buy a birthday gift and a grab bag gift suitable for a boy or girl. My daughter is voting for candy although one of her classmates is diabetic.

 

Saturday afternoon my daughter heads to the birthday party while I am off to a Christmas party for children at my church. Then there is a singing time at my church from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. Our church choir will sing four songs and our youngest member will do a solo of “Emmanuel.” Then I plan to go home, eat some soup and go to bed. I am hoping to stay there till New Year’s but you and I know that is not practical.

 

Book Cover image from barnesandnoble.com

I am being quite rude as I have not asked how you are doing or if you are working on anything new. I look in the stores and hope some forgotten manuscripts have been found but I am always disappointed. I am hoping to begin work on the series by Rebecca Ann Collins which looks at the lives of various characters after “Pride and Prejudice.” Perhaps that will be my goal for the new year.

 

Please let me know when we could have tea together. If it cannot be in December, perhaps we could get together in January. Life slows down considerably and my biggest concern will be cleaning out the ‘closet of doom.’

 

Your devoted fan wishing you the best on your birthday,

etc….

 

Related Posts:

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Curling Up with a Good Book
Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Wishing the Happiest of Birthdays

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: My Dream Casting Wishes for Jane Bites Back 

Notes From Rumbly Cottage: Austenland – My Dream Cast

Curling Up With a Good Book

Product Thursday

For those of you who have been long time fans of my blog, you know of my love affair with Jane Austen.

I have read her works, even the unfinished novels and her juvenilia. I tried a few of the copycat books but had a hard time getting into those that tried too hard to get her tone.

Picture by Karyn Bowman

The Austen rip-off I find I love more than anything are the ones that take a distant aspect of a book or fandom. I would like to believe I am a fan and not a fanatic although I did buy a tea cup and saucer set last year because it looked like one from the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version of Persuasion.  

Last year I became enamored with Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford.

What a delicious book.

We find out that Jane Austen is alive (sort of) in upstate New York and running her own bookstore. She has a novel that has been rejected by several publishers and wonders if she had only those six or seven novels (if you include Lady Susan which I do) in her to write.

But then an Austen ripoff artist finds out the truth about the bookshop owner. she doesn’t remember a thing but we do. And so starts our journey with Jane Austen, vampire. It was a jolly good romp and I was eager for the second book.

Image from Barnesandnoble.com

Last week I finally picked up my copy of Jane Goes Batty that I ordered it through a local book store (Paperback Reader in Kankakee). A second book in a series can suffer because it has to live up to the liveliness of the first, the freshness of the new world we are seeing and characters we grow to love.

The problem is becomes how to enlarge the space you have created without breaking consistency. How do you broaden the worldview of the characters without destroying everything your readers loved about the original world.

So I started reading the book and I had the book finished within a day. I loved just about every moment. We learn new things about vampires – new skills and new members. Jane, Brian and Walter remain true to their characters although new details are added to Jane’s history that I am not sure matches what we already know.

And then there is the addition of Walter’s mother, Miriam. She is a Jewish mother who knows when her child is lying just by looking at him. Oh, and Walter forgot to mention to Jane that she is converting. Luckily, she finds an understanding rabbi who tries to help Jane help herself.

If that isn’t enough, they are making a movie out of her bestselling book  in her hometown and a rival writer is working on the screenplay. Then there is the evil new editor trying to get Jane to write a book as great as Valley of the Dolls.

What I love is still there: the sarcasm; the wit; the constant drama. Byron remains a lover of any bit of fun and willingness to hog the spotlight but he also displays how he has managed to stay around so long. Walter is the consummate antique home restorer and good-guy boyfriend.

It makes me hungry for the third book, Jane Vows Vengeance, as we get to know Miriam better. I have a feeling there is a little more to Sherman than meets the eye. And Jane has a lot on her plate as she and Walter finally tie the knot. But I am really curious if she will ever tell Walter the truth.

I will probably read the book at least one more time. I am running the church rummage sale this weekend and I will need something to escape to afterwards.

I am soooo looking forward to it.

Getting Stirred Up

This past week I have felt myself get hot and bothered over a number of things that just piss me off royally. I can feel compassion for the people who have been hit by a tornado or other natural disaster. These things happen and there is no control over them.

Picture by Cohdra

People purposefully acting stupid, cruel and plain evil get to me. Some I want to spit at, others I want to slap and some, some I wish could find out what waterboarding is all about because I think they deserve that kind of torture to even out what they gave to their victims. I might want to be a pacifist but I am not very good at it, still.

So let me share a few.

I learned that the First Responders Bill, the legislation forcing our government to help out those people who came to ground zero to help clean-up after 911, has been hi-jacked by idiotic politicians who sought to tack all sorts of amendments on to this bill. If you apply for the health care relief you might need because you are dying of cancer and do not want to leave your family in debt, first you have to prove you are not a terrorist.

While that is a long term plan at best – living in this country, helping with a terror plot and then applying for medical aid to the government you sought to destroy ten years earlier – I bet there are some terrorists jumping for joy at being able to destroy our country by getting money from it. Thanks for that goes to Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida.

Picture by Grafixer

Then there was the whole Donald Trump congratulating himself for getting the truth about Obama’s birth certificate out of the way. Now let’s look at his academic records, Trump says. Really?

You want to investigate the college records of a Harvard Law School graduate? A man who was the editor of the Havard Law Review which only goes to a top student? A man who worked as a professor at a law school? You want to pick a fight with a man who is that much smarter than you?

Hey, Donald? Can we look at the books for your businesses? I hear stories about you losing money for your investors. Perhaps we need to check that out. You know where there is smoke, there is sometimes a blazing hot inferno.

Which leads me to the Birthers and Tea Party members. Where were you guys when we wanted to know if President Bush had really served in the National Guard as he stated? Few pictures or records tell the story on this one. Your dogged determination should have set the record straight on that mystery.

Hey, where were you guys as this war with Iraq went on and on, long after President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished?” Billions have gone from the treasury to pay for this war. We even learned we were lied to about there being weapons of mass destruction. Not a peep out of you people about that or the first round of stimulus money given to the banking industry with no way to track it during the final days of President Bush’s term.

I am not even sure I have heard you people complain about the bombing of Libya all that much. Just the bombs alone covered  NPR ‘s annual budget at least three times. So let’s be honest – do you really want responsible spending OR do you just want to get President Obama out of office?

Now the next thing had me going all day yesterday. Really hot and angry. The news on Sunday reported that a man raped a six-year-old little girl while her brother watched, terrified. This man was a friend of their father’s. He comes into the room and rapes a six-year-old girl.

There are a few choice words for a person who does such a thing. SCUM comes to mind. I could go off on a torrent of swearing. But the one I hope describes him best is DEAD MAN WALKING. It won’t be me who does it. But I hope his life is living hell from now until the moment he does meet our maker. I know Jesus saves but this is going to be tough.

I haven’t told the saddest part of the story yet. This “shitbird,” as one blogger called him, had been turning his life around, making things better. Now he is in jail and his five children are in protective service. All seven of these children need our prayers.

Jane Austen, enhanced portrait by Cassandra Austin, source unknown

Now, remind me again why I prefer to work in my garden and read Jane Austen novels? Why I would rather spend my days quilting or making a fabulous meal or having fun with the kids? Why I would rather stick my head in the sand than listen to this stuff on any given day?