Friday, February 27, 2009

Zambia Cricket Union

My album cover....

Wow, this is pretty fun, and I thought my font and color choices gave it just the right touch. Here's how to make your album cover:

1. Go to Wikipedia, select a random article: first article title on the page is the name of your band.
2. Go to Quotations Page, select a random page of quotes last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
3. Go to Flicker, select an interesting photo third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Now you try it, and post a link so I can see!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Linnea's Memories

I started a project this week that I have had in mind for some time. I called my Grandma to ask her questions and record her stories. But let me back up.
A couple years ago Grandma sat down out on her deck with a tape recorder and spent some time sharing her memories and a bit of family history. After filling up the time, she went into the house only to discover that the soft breeze she had been enjoying outside sounded like a loud roaring on the tape. Her voice couldn't even be heard, and she gave up on the project.
Fast forward to last fall, when we visited Grandma. She is very hard of hearing these days and her vision is getting worse and worse. But I did realize that she could hear pretty well over the phone. It was then that I developed my idea to call and record some chats with her, in order to preserve her stories and pick her brain. My husband and I bought a little device at Radio Shack that hooks from the phone line into the computer, and I set up a time to call Grandma.
(This is a picture of me with my Grandma and Grandpa, taken about 1977, when I was about 10 years old.)
What a great experience. I am so thankful she is willing to indulge me in this endeavor. For an hour she told me stories, some clear and some hazy memories. Our main focus was on her dad and his boyhood growing up in Sweden. She started of with names and dates, and I soon told her we have all those things. I want to know what his personality was like. What his family was like. And what characteristics may have been handed down to me and my children.
Grandma also spoke a little about her childhood in Salt Lake City. A few things I did not know-
Grandma spoke only Swedish as a girl. She remembers going to her first day of kindergarten and not knowing any English. She remembers her Father kindly leaning over against the piano where her teacher was seated to introduce her.
My name, Lynnae, is an Americanized version of her name Linnea. What I did not know was that she was named after her father's little sister who died in childhood.
Great Grandma and Grandpa went back to Sweden for three months for their 25th wedding anniversary. They also took Grandma's younger brother, but Grandma was a young wife at the time, pregnant and unable to go. So they gave her a car.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, and it was only our first phone call. I am really looking forward to next week. I would recommend this project to anyone as a great way to do family history.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why It's Called "The Little White Attic"

In Jane Austen's novel, Mansfield Park, the heroine, Fanny Price, is given the attic to be her bedroom, by her cruel Aunt, Mrs. Norris. Far from the luxurious chambers of her cousins, her small unwanted room was beyond even the servant's quarters. The room is referred to as "The Little White Attic".
Mansfield Park is a novel brimming with symbolism, particularly when it comes to locations and their inhabitants. The name 'little white attic' is symbolic of the heroine, Fanny price. The attic is small, plain and unwanted, like Fanny herself. However the color white denotes purity, and the location of the attic above the rest of the household represents Fanny's superior moral values in a household full of selfishness and unprincipled motives.
So welcome to The Little White Attic, my tribute to my favorite Austen Heroine, a model of sweetness, perserverance, and above all, the determination to do right, come what may.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Go Girl...Don't take life sitting down.

Last night I was in the middle of posting a touching little Jane Austen related sentiment on my blog, when my husband burst in and directed my attention (and browser) to this:

The "Go Girl" website.

The Go Girl device is made so women can "go like a man". Ahem. Because thats what we all want, to give up bathrooms with stalls, let alone sofas and a lounge area, in able to fumble with this little device that enables us to go standing up. Their motto...Don't take life sitting down.

This Product is NOT to be confused with the "Go Girl" Energy drink!

Here's my idea for a cross promotion... Your lucky energy dring could contain a FREE female urination device!!!!

The website also has testiomonial videos and promotional "Go Girl" Tees and silky white shorts. Theres even a "Go Girl" mini cooper. I don't know what to say about this product.... do I tie in something witty about our time versus Jane Austen time? Is it a 'you've come a long way baby' moment? Anyway.....Really, I'm pretty much speechless but at the same time just had to share.
It's pretty much free advertising for them, so go, enjoy the videos, buy a cute "Go Girl" baseball cap, and don't take life sitting down.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jane Austen Tea Party

As I mentioned last week, I decided to throw a little Jane Austen Party for my siblings, nieces and nephews over mid-winter break. It was great fun having everyone over and my guests were all great sports at playing along, being my guinea pigs in learning a dance, and reading my Jane Austen script. Here I sit with one of my sisters. She is in the blue gown, and I have the strange feather headpiece that photographs more like a static electricity problem than an adornment.

We started with a 'cocoa and punch tea party', then we performed an 'amature theatrical' dramatic reading of my adaptation of Jane Austen's Juvenile work "Love and Friendship". I assigned parts and doled out an ample supply of felt sideburns and mustaches for the male parts. This was a good laugh and It was fun to see my adaptation come to life.

After that we tried our hands at some English Country Dancing. I taught several couples the 'Hole in the Wall' dance and we got through it several times with music, and felt quite elegant, despite the small number of couples and cramped quarters in my living room, which served as the assembly room.

Thank you all for coming! I hope in the future to be hostess of many such events!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Janeites and the Jane Austen Language

On Monday I am hosting a family Jane Austen Tea Party. I am adapting parts of Love And Friendship, by Jane Austen, into a little readers theater. Since we are not tea drinkers it's going to be a cocoa and punch tea party, and we will try a little English Country Dancing as well.
Well, I am not the only Janite in my family, and the comments back and forth from my invitation have been fun and full of fun Janeite language, from recieving a response from the Lady of "Rosewood Parke", which is really the name of a neighborhood, to an offer to let someone's baby sleep in Mrs. Jenkinsen's room, "for she'll be in nobodys way in that part of the house".
When I read some of the comments, I think "LOL"........ however, since we are Janeites I suppose we should say "Excessively Diverted"......But I think 'E.D.' is already being used for something.

I'll post some pictures after the party.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh Chocolate, My Chocolate

My hubby and daughters have gone to a daddy daughter dinner and dance tonight. It's quiet around here. I just had a bowl of Raisin Nut Bran for dinner and I'm in heaven. I love not making dinner and not feeling guilty about not making dinner.
So, last week my husband took my to the Chocolate Festival for an early Valentines date. I know, I know, right now everyone is saying- "What? There was a chocolate festival and no one told me?"
Yeah, there was and you missed it.

But you could not possibly love chocolate more than I do, and my hubby knows that too, so he sprayed on his Axe Dark Chocolate body spray, and off we went!

I completely expected it to be something a bit more like a cross between heaven and a romance novel, with flying cupids and maybe a gospel choir singing odes to chocolate, but modified my expectations to include the idea that it was just the indoor exposition hall at the fairgrounds, with booths and vendors and the usual thing, plus a few twinkle lights.

But there was chocolate. Samples of Chocolate truffles from Oh! Chocolate, where my discriminating husband gets my chocolate gifts from, plus there were chocolate fountains, chocolate toffee bits, spicy habenero chocolate (yes!).

Part of the festival was devoted to wine, and not being a wine drinker, I felt completely justified in going through all the chocolate sample lines repeatedly.

We did stop consuming chocolate for a moment in order to share a bag of hot mini donuts drenched in cinnamon and sugar. For those of you who know I do Weight Watchers, I will say that taking a hint from top polititians and their taxes, this day was strictly "off the books".

We wrapped up the evening with a little seminar from "Oh Chocolate". A member of the owner's family demonstrated chocolate dipping techniques, and talked to us about using chocolate in our daily lives (I'm way ahead of you!). After dipping and serving us a lovely tray of strawberries, he talked about the experimental side of his job in the chocolate industry. Then he proceeded to dip little balls of goat cheese in dark chocolate. Now, my hubby and I like goat cheese, and just seeing this gave me the chills. After the samples hubby said "We are going home and making this tonight."
So, needless to say, we spent the evening rolling goat cheese truffles, peanut butter truffles, and anything else we thought would work well. I can't wait to do more.

Long ago as a child my Grandma told us the bedtime story of flying to chocolate town where everything was made of chocolate, even the people.....

Is it any wonder that in the middle of a boring drive I'll fantasize that just around the corner a hot fudge truck has overturned, and it's rich cargo is pouring out over the road..... I slam on the hazard lights as I stop the van, kick off my shoes, and wade in.....

The chocolate festival was KIND OF like that.

Forwarding a Giveaway

Hey ladies.....
One of the blogs I read regularly is having a great givaway.
heres the link.....
I know that if you try it will lessen my chances of winning, but I love my readers. (plus, she said if we linked to it she's let us try twice.)
Several very cute prizes, contest goes until feb. 15. I have serious mental vibes on the apron, but everything is cute!
Good luck

Monday, February 9, 2009

Art of the Week

"Art of the Week" is sort of a joke, because I don't produce art every week. I used the second page of this particular sketchbook. On the first page was a quick pencil sketch from the fall and penciled in comments on how I was going to do a sketch every day. I drew this picture on Friday while messing around with my old oil pastels. I haven't touched them in years, but I am excited to try something a little larger so I can get the details the way I want them. Oil pastels are messy. And making a mess is fun. It was a good day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

He's a what? He's a What? He's a Music Man!

If you read that title in rythm then you will totally get me....
Last night for some reason (my own ditsyness) I happened to arrive at rehearsal for Music Man an hour early. While waitning for the rest of the Pickalittle ladies to arrive, I sat in where the men were rehearsing the opening scene...the famous train sequence "CASH for the merchandise, CASH for the hard goods..."
The men were short a few people so they asked me to read one of the parts. That was so much fun! According to Julia Cameron and her Artist's Way program I've been telling you about, getting in touch with your childhood dreams and play is very significant to artistic recovery. And I just love that scene. So I moved over to the rows of chairs serving as the train, and had some fun.
Flashback to 1977...I'm going over to my friend Stacy's house, clutching the large "Music Man" record album in my hands. Excitedly I explain to her the plot, just as my mother had probably told us. Remember this was back in the days when a show like that was on once a year if you were lucky, and probably during the holidays. We start up the well worn record with a quarter on the needle so it wont skip. Then the magic begins. We climbed up on her big girly canopy bed and start the train scene. Song after song we work our way through the album until it's time for dinner and home. Stacy was an only child. At home we were wall to wall kids, no fancy canopies, and I'd always get stuck with the boys part.
But at home we were experts at acting out soundtracks. Especially Music Man, Man of LaMancha, Saturday's Warrior, and Fiddler on the Roof. We'd dance and sing around the room. If Dad was home and he heard a note of Fiddler, he'd be stomping around singing "If I Were a Rich Man" for an hour.
That's where I'm coming from. But I tried not to squeel with delight and yell 'Pick me, pick me', instead I calmy smiled and said, "sure. Well, I'll give it a try".