Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Echoes of Christmas Past

Jon and Lynnae Dining OutThe Holiday season this year bore a strong resemblance to our First Christmas as a couple.

Twenty-three years ago when my husband and I got married he was in the Air Force. He had been serving in Japan for a year, and he came home two weeks before our wedding. We were married in Salt Lake City in October, and then traveled to California for the trip back to Japan together.

  After a few days spending time together and seeing the sights around San Francisco, it was time to pack up and go to the base for the flight back to Japan. Only there was a problem with the paperwork, and I couldn’t go. And he had to.

Some quick arrangements were made for me to stay nearby with his brother’s family while he went home to get the papers done properly from there.

Thus began a pretty miserable month and half away from my new groom. His family was very accommodating and nice to me. I tried to be helpful but I’m afraid I was brooding and quiet most the time. I cried myself to sleep every night in my nephew’s little bedroom. When Thanksgiving came I was homesick for my family and caught a ride back up to Utah for the week. The return trip was snowy and cold and I got carsick. I missed my sweetie.

December seemed to stretch out forever. I helped my new nephews with Christmas decorations. As the days slipped by, soon I had the word that I was going to Japan.

One long plane ride later, I found myself in a foreign country with Jon, exhausted and very happy.

Lynnae at a Mall in Japan Christmas 1987 It was only a few days before Christmas. He brought me in to the house and showed me the tree he had decorated. There were candles and the table was set awaiting our first meal in our new home. our newlywed Christmas TableJon set our table and when I got there he made frozen dinners and set out the Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Those first few days were a blur. I had an extreme case of jetlag and could not get going, and Jon was anxious to show me people and places.

Visiting the Morgans Christmas 1987 We drove around, visited some friends, and went shopping. He wanted to take me to church to meet people but I couldn’t wake up and get going. By the time we drove past the building it was over and people were leaving. We had a laugh and drove back home.

Our first Christmas was nice. Quiet, compared to the way I grew up- with a house full of hyper little brothers and sisters, and a larger gathering of relatives for a  Christmas Eve dinner. But we were making our own traditions now and starting our own family.Christmas morning JonChristmas morning Lynnae 

This year, after seventeen years out of the service my husband joined the Army Reserve. We had a quiet little anniversary celebration, and for a month and a half he’s been at Ft. Sill Oklahoma for training. This was my first Thanksgiving without him since we were separated as newlyweds so long ago. It was miserable for different reasons. My two college daughters and a boyfriend were traveling home through the snowy weather. I was fearful for their safety and problems did arise that I needed my husbands help for. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with them and our other family that visited, only to be fearful for their trip back home. With computer browser tabs filled with maps, satellite views, and traffic cams, I postponed their return trip for two days, until I thought it was clear, and once they left I could not breathe easy until everyone was safe and sound where they belonged.

IMG_0963For Christmas my girls arrived home from college on plane flights, and I began counting the days until my girls and my husband would be back home with me. I was amazed at how many Christmas songs included separated loved ones longing to be together. My mind kept going back to that first Christmas of ours and how happy we were to just be together.

Before Army Christmas Party 4 The greatest gift for me this year……Being together with my beloved family and celebrating the birth of Him who made it possible.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Jane Austen portrait

Hi Friends!

It’s been a bit slow over here I know, so I have to apologize for that. My blog readers don’t know this but my husband recently came home after a month and a half of Army Reserve training. Things have been pretty busy here without him, especially over the Thanksgiving holiday, and with so much to do I just fell behind on my blogging. My house is half decorated and half boxes and bins everywhere, but I would like to get some pictures up for you when I’m done.

In the meantime, today is Jane’s Birthday!!!! Yay!

Here is a great post by Vic over at Jane Austen’s World, along with a list over other blogs celebrating Jane’s birth.

Merry Christmas and Happy Jane Austen Day!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Leavenworth, Washington

IMG_3427 Last week my daughter’s middle school choir took a trip out to Leavenworth, Washington. It’s a old fashioned Bavarian themed town a few hours away, nestled in an Alp like setting in the Cascade mountains.


I was a chaperone for the activity. We had a couple hours to eat and shop before the choir needed to ‘warm up’ (in sarcastic quotes because they sang outside and it was freezing).

IMG_3391 My little one and I trying on hats in the hat shop.

IMG_3392 Oh! The Christmas cheer!

IMG_3407 Lovely store windows.


IMG_3423 Inside The Gingerbread Factory, a cute little house just off the main street.

IMG_3419 Plain gingerbread men labeled ‘Skinny Dippers’.

IMG_3425“Your days are numbered, Snowman!”


Once the hypothermia set in things really got silly.

IMG_3437The choir singing at the town square.


And a very special visitor at the end of the day- Saint Nicholas.

After posting a few of these pictures on facebook I was accosted with family asking why we hadn’t taken them to Leavenworth before. It’s a great place, and now I think we’ll have to take more of our visitors out there. Ever since a visit to the Scandanavian town of Solvang when I was very young I’ve loved the idea of themed towns. In fact it would be fun to travel across the US visiting all the quaint and kitchy foreign themed towns along the way.

But back to Leavenworth. It’s lovely in the spring and summer, but this was the first time I’ve gone at Christmastime, and the visit was just the thing to get those Christmas feelings flowing!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Janeites, Get Out Your Crayons…

… And click on over to The Graphics Fairy for a page of lovely Regency ladies for your little holiday guests (or you) to color. It might be a fun activity to celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday next month. And nothing beats stress like taking a few minutes to relax and color.

While you are there, browse the categories on the right sidebar. I love using graphics from her blog on craft projects. Now I have a full page of Lady Catherines and Lydias to decorate in holiday colors.

Now where are those colored pencils?????


Monday, November 22, 2010

One Of The Few

It’s not very often I get a post that fits in both the Jane Austen category and my conservative politics blog, but my husband, who’s been gone with the Army Reserve, provided me with one today with this message….

One of the few……


...M16s in the world being dismantled and cleaned accompanied by the Mansfield Park soundtrack.

This task, combined with that vibrantly luscious classical music score must have been a beautiful thing.




You can hear a sample of the beauty here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

For Henry Tilney Fangirls

The Jane Austen Society AGM opened with a fun, lively panel discussion by ‘Team Tilney’ and the special guest was Henry Tilney himself, played by Joe Homes. He started with a Henry Tilney style parody of the Old Spice commercial. By the time I frantically grabbed my camera I could only catch the ending, but here is the text written by Heather Lawrence:

Hello ladies. Look at your Mister Darcy. Now back to me. Now look at Captain Wentworth. Now back to me. Sadly, those gentlemen are not me. But if they knew enough about muslin to buy their own cravats and were more nice than wise, they could be like me.

Look down. Back up. Where are you? You’re in the Lower Rooms with the gentleman your gentleman could be like. I’m asking you to dance. Unlike some gentlemen who refuse to dance, I love to dance, and you are handsome enough to tempt me.

What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. I’m reading that novel you love. I’m reading it to my sister.

Anything is possible when your gentleman is Henry Tilney.

I have a puppy. (Arf!)

[whistle Old Spice theme]


All the details on the creation of this delightful event can be found on this post on Austenblog. Maggie Sullivan conceived of the event, and she and her fellow ‘Team Tilney’ fangirls did an excellent job!

Here are a few more selections……..

I hope you enjoy these. Please read the link on Austenblog where you can learn all about the talented creators of this fun event.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Living Room Before and After Pictures

before I finally finished painting my living room and moving my furniture back in. Above is the BEFORE picture, and below, the AFTER.


What do you think?

Here are a few more pictures…….



Painting this room was a dream come true. It made such a difference.

Signed….I Love Color!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Painting The Town

Or at least my living room……………………..

But first a brief note to Mr. Tilney fans from the Jane Austen Society AGM.

I happened to capture some of ‘Mr. Tilney’s’ dialog on video during the Team Tilney presentation. I am hoping to get the video pieced together and uploaded for your enjoyment some time tomorrow, so please check back.Mr. Tilney

And now for my living room makeover.

IMG_3168 Before

I love my living room. It has been a work in progress and still needs some essential furniture pieces to be complete, but for a while now I have had the dream of painting it turquoise, and finally I am making it happen.IMG_3190 During…….

As I write this I am in complete and utter exhaustion from bending, reaching, and climbing ladders dozens of times over the last two days.

The final coat is drying now. Tonight I will peel the tape, and tomorrow I will post the ‘AFTER’ shot.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Having A Ball

I have many great pictures from the Jane Austen Ball last night. I also took some video, which I will post when I get back home, so stay tuned for that.

Today, before our selected breakout sessions, we heard from Juliet McMaster, who along with her Many other accomplishments, is the founder of Juvenalia press, publishing many of Jane Austen’s minor works along side her own illustrations.

IMG_3070We also slipped away for a trip (pilgrimage) to Powells book store. With floor after floor of new and used books, it was hard not to send the whole day there. This picture is deceptive. It is one corner of a store that includes several (stories pardon my pun) and a whole city block.IMG_3069 A shelf of Austen and Austen related books-IMG_3068 And another,

IMG_3067 And another.

IMG_3077After two more talks it was time to get ready for the ball.

Before the Ball[2 cropped] The overall effect was more ‘Lydia’ than ‘Elizabeth Bennett’, but that was OK with me.

I wish I could share all my pictures, but here is a sampling. Remember that in addition to the Jane Austen theme, this was also a Ball Masque, so many participants are in costume.

IMG_3092 IMG_3096IMG_3109IMG_3114IMG_3120IMG_3121IMG_3122IMG_3123 IMG_3104 IMG_3130IMG_3097 IMG_3128 Even the purse table looked very elegant.

 IMG_3146 I had a great time and I am especially glad my mom could share this trip with me.

I Love you Mom!

And Happy Anniversary Jon, You’re the best!