Saturday, May 31, 2008

I wish I had written that . . .

Every once in awhile you run across a song or a poem or a story or a piece of art that just grabs hold of your attention. It's different for everyone. Something that I find absolutely amazing is probably boring or cliche to someone else. I say that but, personally, I'm never bored learning new things about other people. We're all so different and yet so much alike. Indisputable proof, in my opinion, that there is a God.

Back in 1998 the movie Practical Magic came out - great movie, better book - and there was this song on the soundtrack that totally captivated me. To this day I can hear that song and feel so . . . in tune. I can't explain it. There's something universal and true in it that speaks to me. Anyway, here is Nowhere and Everywhere by Michelle Lewis. I wish I had written that.

*The image to the left is a leather mask designed for carnival in Venice. I wish I had saved the artist's name, but it definitely ranks as one of those "wish I had made that" treasures.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fabulous Friday: Portrait Safari II

I've decided to go with a Ladies in Blue theme today. All three of these portraits were painted by the artist de Laszlo. I wasn't able to find much biographical information about them though.

Countess Dénes Széchényi (nee Émilie de Riquet, comtesse de Caraman-Chimay)

Mrs. Elinor Glyn, the original romance novelist. Now we know who to thank/blame.

Lady Alistiar Graham, who reminds me of Shakepeare's Ophelia in this painting.

Reading my sister's blog this morning gave me quite a laugh. She reminisces about our eccentric family and one of my more creative but less practical artistic experiments - the painted sofa.

I hope you all have lovely weekends. I'm off to see the Sex and The City movie this evening.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Mad Tea Party

`Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
`I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can't take more.'
`You mean you can't take LESS,' said the Hatter: `it's very easy to take MORE than nothing.'

Mother's Pride has tagged me to show my tea cups.

The first is my day-to-day stoneware mug that is a good size for any warm, soothing drink. Functional but not very interesting.

This is my rose tea cup and I do actually use it. Perhaps I shouldn't but it seems silly to just look at it. It is perfect for a nice cup of Twining's Lady Grey in the morning.

I also drink a lot of Japanese green tea (matcha) and have an assortment of tea cups. The lack of handles means you have to wait patiently for your tea to cool before you can drink it. The cast iron tea pot was made in the Year of the Dog and has a little Shiba, like my Wasabi, on it.

And so I tag Liz, Jennie, Kathi and Jennifer.

"Clean cup! Clean Cup! Move down! Move down!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sardonic Manor

I'm pretty sure the fact that I find this
funny makes me a HUGE geek.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Literary Patrol

"Sir, that's the second time you've used a double negative without satirical or ironic intent. I'm going to have to ask you to put your hands behind your back. You have the right to a grammarian. If you do not have a grammarian, one will be appointed for you by the court. You have the right to remain silent and you are strongly encouraged to do so if you are unsure of noun/verb agreement . . ."

Saturday, Officer B invited me to join him on patrol which both surprised and delighted me. His patrol car strikes me as being his office and I worried about getting in the way, but he quickly put me at ease and we were flying through town with lights and sirens blaring. Quite an exciting change from my usual Saturday evening.

There were mad people behaving madly, and drunks drinking (and consequently driving through fences and into trees). My overall impression was that law enforcement would be far less busy if people wouldn't drink to excess . . . and take drugs. Less alcohol and drugs would be advisable.

Oh, and it is very hard to find time to eat. That radio never shuts up!

And police officers are very funny, albeit a bit gross.

And the police doggies look very sweet but can't be cuddled or spoiled on duty.

So, remember don't leave your modifiers dangling and pay your library fines - you never know when the Literary Patrol will be on the streets!

*I honestly don't remember where I found the picture, but it makes me laugh every time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fabulous Friday: Portrait Safari

I went on one of my hunts for new portraits this week and hit the jackpot, so instead of just one painting I thought I'd give you a sampling of my finds.

Countess Ada Lovelace, the "first computer programmer". I had no clue that she was Lord Byron's daughter.

The lady in the photograph below was listed as the Duchess of Manchester. I couldn't find out any biographical information but I thought including her was appropriate given Manchester United's win this week.

I found a new portrait of one of my all-time favorites,Princess Zinaida Yusupova

And then there was this gorgeous photograph of Consuelo Vanderbilt.

Wishing you all a happy and relaxing weekend and a pleasant Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Man. Utd. 6: Chelsea 5!

That's no IKEA!

I was indulging this morning in my favorite vice of "Royal Watching" and ran across this amazing dress worn by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at the welcome banquet for the state visit from Greece to Sweden. She is pictured to the left with her brother, Prince Carl Phillip. Interesting fact, Victoria is the only female heir apparent in the world. Sweden amended its constitution in 1979 so that the eldest child of the king inherits the throne, regardless of gender.

Royals are always dressed stylishly, but this dress is fabulous - simple yet elegant. Plus, it's cleverly made. The picture below shows the detail better, but the bodice is pleated to contour to the body. Coupled with the graduated color, the effect is very slimming (not that the princess needs any optical illusions to look slim).

For those interested, she is wearing the Baden Fringe Tiara which was a wedding gift from King Gustav V to his bride, Princess Victoria of Baden in 1881. Just a little family heirloom from grandpapa! :)

*photos by PPE and IBL respectively.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I had such a wonderful time this weekend. Liz, of Mabel's House fame, generously invited me to attend her youngest sister's high school graduation. Despite car troubles, nearly every moment was filled with sparkling conversation and humor. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much or felt so instantly at ease as a guest. Being around Liz and her sisters, I couldn't help but be remind of the Dashwood girls from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, or the Marches from Little Women. It is rare that siblings get along so well and are all so talented.

My thanks to Liz and her family for being such vivacious hosts.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fabulous Friday!

I am away for a much needed weekend get-away. Wishing you all a restful weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Thin Blue Line

I try not to blather about what my husband does for a living. Certainly not for lack of pride, but because it strikes me as something similar to the wives of military officers wearing their husbands' medals to the grocery store (it happens). It is Officer B who puts on a bullet proof vest every night, holsters a sidearm, and goes to work. I just bake him cookies. This week is Police Week though, and as the spouse of an officer, I hope you'll take the time to thank the law enforcement officers who safeguard your community.

I'm going to take this opportunity to thank my personal police officer for maintaining a positive attitude about your job, for being At Home when you're at home, for mowing the lawn on your day off, for showing up to check out strange noises, for making sure I know where the flashlight is when the weather is bad, for always being there for me no matter how tired you are or how bad a night you had. I am also grateful for the brave men and women that you work with for being good at their jobs and always being there to back you up. I worry a lot less because of them.

I saw this article and was really touched, Fallen Officers Honored at Vigil in D.C. Almost 200 officers lost their lives in the line of duty last year and I think it is important to acknowledge the sacrifice both they and their families made to our communities.

The Thin Blue Line

God bless,
Those that accept the call,
The comrades who stand beside them,
The families that support them.

God bless,
The noble hearts that beat,
The sharp eyes that witness,
The strong arms that defend.

God bless,
The belief in justice,
The devotion to duty,
The struggle to do what’s right.

God bless,
The earth that receives them,
The tears that mourn them,
The ones who fill their posts.

God bless the line

Mrs. Fox

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hodge Podge

So, the creamed cabbage never got made. That sore throat turned into a nasty cold and I spent all weekend coughing like a consumptive. Kind of made for a crap weekend - except for the part where I called and gossiped with my mom. That was fun.

Don't you just love this painting? I found it yesterday when I was researching the Stuart Kings. I just finished a book about Mary Queen of Scots and I like to put faces to names. Anyway, she's got a sly little smirk and I can't help but think that Lettice Knollys must have been quite a character. Rather pretty too. You always read about these great historic beauties but the paintings rarely back up the accolades. I ran across a painting of Anne of Denmark, who married James I, and recoiled from the screen a bit. I know; I'm terrible.

Officer B and I went to see a movie yesterday - on a week night. The truth is our days off don't coincide so we hadn't gone to see a movie since he switched shifts back in January. We saw Iron Man, which was surprisingly good. Sadly, court fell on his other day off so he isn't getting much of a break this week. He had to get up early, put on the ol' uniform, and spend the morning listening to drunks and speeding soccer moms explain to the judge why they don't think they deserved a ticket. 'Cause, you know, the law applies to all those "other" people. I'm glad he likes his job, but it would make me insane.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Stream of Consciousness V:
Dragon Mama

Gather round dear friends,
There is a story to be told,
And though you will not believe it,
I am the child of a dragon.

You see her there,
Glasses perched upon her nose,
Wisps of steam issuing from
Between sharp teeth,
Scales shining in the moonlight;
That beautiful creature
Has shown me the recipe for
Making stars.

Her wings have carried me
Through the Gates of Imagination,
Silvered claws cut through Ignorance and Fear
To craft for me a new world.
In her eyes smolder the Fires of Creativity,
Her voice is the Song of Inspiration.

In her native tongue
There is no word for “can’t.”
A dragon’s life is filled with possibility,
Limited only by the will of the individual.
Success or failure, merely a point of view.

Born in distant mountains,
Nurtured by magic,
Schooled in the fantastic,
I am a dragon’s child.
And that, my beloved companions,
Ought to explain a few things.

December 22, 1998

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Family Secrets

Ugh, I finally succumbed to post-nasal drip and ended up with a sore throat. Aspirin and gargling Listerine have been the hobby du jour.

In unrelated news, during one of of our chats while my sister was visiting the following exchange took place about kitchen fiascoes (I preface this by saying that recipes - at least the good ones - are rarely written down in my family.):

Sis: . . . Yeah! The last time I made mom's German potato salad I forgot the to put the bacon in!

Me: Dude! That's the best part! How do you forget the bacon?! [Yes, I say, "Dude." It is a reprehensible conversational habit that I have never been able to shake. For the sake of authenticity I expose myself to ridicule. ]

Sis: I know! I took a bite and thought, "This is kind of bland." (boisterous laughter)

Me: Wait, . . . you've got mom's recipe for potato salad?

Sis: Yeah, well sort of, I've got Grandma A's recipe for it. It's pretty simple really you just boil the potatoes . . .

Me: I know that part! What about the vinegar and sugar? I could never get the proportions right.

Sis: [Comments edited to protect family recipe]

Me: Are you sure?

Sis: I think so. I'll check when I get home and let you know.

Me: What about the creamed cabbage? Do you have the recipe for creamed cabbage?

Sis: I think I've seen it.

Me: Damn it! That was my favorite! I love the creamed cabbage! I've looked everywhere for that recipe. There is nothing out there even remotely like it . . . Can I have it?

Sis: Sure.

And so, today my darling, clever, sweet little sister (to whom I am eternally sorry for telling her that the gypsies wouldn't buy her from mom because she was so bad) delivered on the goods. There will be creamed cabbage this weekend! And I will eat it all by myself, and get a stomach ache, and lay about like a beached whale bemoaning my gluttony, and life will be good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weekend Re-Cap

I enjoyed watching the Derby on Saturday right up until the part where the beautiful, second place filly had to be put down because she broke her legs - and I thought, "I don't think I can watch this anymore." There are a lot of things wrong with modern horse racing - track safety, poor breeding, cost and profit issues - and I'm not sure what the answer is but I think, for now, I'm going to switch to steeple chase or eventing. At least in those sports the horses are raised for overall confirmation and not just speed.

My sister flew home on Sunday. I got paranoid about her flying alone, but then I reminded myself that's she's 25 years old and quite capable of traveling without me holding her hand. We had such a nice visit with lots of good chats. There are times that I absolutely cringe at how horrible we used to be to one another. It is strange (but nice) when your younger siblings grow up and become your friends. Makes you regret all those tricks you used to play or, worse yet, the terrible things you used to say.

By the way, Annie, Gerrard and Sabi wanted me to tell you that they miss you and that I'm mean because I don't jump up and let them back in the house when they start whining. They're working out a deal with the mailman to post themselves to your house.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fabulous Friday - G.R.I.T.S.

Driving in Officer B's big ol' truck this morning, the CD in the player was his "Upbeat Country" mix. The first song in the cue was Miranda Lambert's Kerosene, and I've got to tell you it wasn't a bad way to start the day. Embedding was disabled, but it's definitely worth a listen if you need an angry girl anthem to put some sassy in your day.

I laughed at myself driving in that truck, country music blaring, singing for all I was worth. Despite all my poetry and pretentiousness I'm still a Girl Raised In The South (G.R.I.T.S.) . So, here's to wherever your from and being proud of it! Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The First Saturday in May

This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby (for those just joining our story, I love horse racing). Saturday will find me with a fancy hat on, screaming and jumping in front of my TV as 20 of God's most beautiful creatures strain muscle and tendon to reach the finish line first.

In past years I have scrutinized bloodlines and race videos to choose my horses, but after several years of choosing third place horses, this year I chucked it all and picked by name.

My top three picks are Pyro, Big Truck, and Gayego. I'm not much of a gambler, so I like to play any of the three to win, place, or show.

In honor of Saturday's race I offer a poem written the year I attended the Derby. Like most years I had researched my picks for weeks. Officer B chose War Emblem that day of the race based on the name. My horse? Came in 7th. B's choice, War Emblem, won the race. :)

War Emblem

unforgiving sun
bourbon fumes & cigars
the techno-color confetti
tossed and lost on the breeze
feral beauties and
smartly dressed hooligans
perched atop their seats
the simultaneous
“They’re off!”

the thunder of hooves
the fever pitch of greed
edging down the first turn
all eyes to the boards
and in the distance the steady
beat of probability

at last
the herald’s cry
“Here they come!”
dirt flies
whips raised
the keen of the breaking point
green and white silks lead
roar past
the leader
bursts across
the finish line

cheers of delight
and the sun
down on
the twin spires
128 years
in the blink
of an eye.

May 2002