Apr 19, 2008

Daffy Weather & Daffodils

Calvin & Hobbes -

For those who are still experiencing snow, may this cartoon be an encouragement to you. Here in California, it is cool and breezy with temperatures behaving like someone is simultaneously pushing all of the buttons on an elevator!

Blog Highlights (arrived at by scrolling down)
  • 2 sweet Giveaway links (plus current Giveaways listed in the top right sidebar)
  • a post about modern manners
Speaking of daffodils...


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

—William Wordsworth, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," 1804

Apr 18, 2008

A Sweet Celebration & Giveaway

Rosemary of rosepetitemaison is celebrating her 1-year Anniversary with a generous Giveaway! When you see the display of goodies, you'll be convinced that spring has sprung! Hey, there's even some fairy dust sprinkled in!

I was recently fortunate to have won a French inspired ATC from her! It truly is a treasure!

Rosemary is a fellow Southern Californian with a heart for flea markets, antiques, decorating, gardening, and a humongous pitter-patter for romance. Her blog is chalk full of imagination which takes various shapes and playful directions.

She will be drawing the winner on Sunday, April 20th (a great day because it is my parents' 51st anniversary). All you need to do is post a comment after clicking HERE.

Apr 17, 2008

"Is there anything wrong with licking your plate?"

With no threat of being observed, she succumbed to the supreme pleasure of licking her bowl clean.

It's great fun to discover humorous vintage illustrations: especially when the images depict raw humanity during an era of emphatic social graces. Eyebrows were begging to be raised, and the above image would have evoked some meaty disapproval!

Victoria Mather, a social commentator, wrote an article in The Guardian entitled, "What's wrong with licking your plate?" A survey that same week revealed that British table manners are in a "parlous state" since many diners admitted to eating with elbows on the table and/or burping during meals. Emine Saner and Lucy Clouting then interviewed a number of esteemed etiquette experts by asking if table manners really do matter.

Peter York, a social commentator, spoke candidly...
There is a difference between class-based etiquette, which isn't so important - I don't mind if people don't know which knife to use in a restaurant - and courtesy, which is. I don't think people should blow their noses in their napkins, and talking with your mouth full is very unattractive, but common sense should tell you that. Don't leave the table until everyone else is finished - it's like saying: "I'm bored now." But getting upset about elbows on tables is a bit trainspotterish, a bit classist.

I use my fingers because, I'm afraid, I'm greedy. And I'll tell you a ghastly secret: when dining alone, I sometimes lick my plate - delicious gravy and juices! But I would never do it in front of someone else.

This was one temptation not worth overcoming.

Paul Burrell, a former royal butler, shared...
If you're faced with a regiment of cutlery and an army of glasses and you're unsure what to do, watch your host to see what they do. I was once on the Royal Yacht Britannia in the South Pacific and the Queen was hosting a dinner for a local prince. Dessert was served. The prince forgot to watch what the Queen did - instead, he popped the grapes into his finger bowl, then some cherries, then when the cream and sugar came out, he poured them in too, making a kind of fruit soup. I was standing behind the Queen looking horrified. He was about to raise the bowl to his lips to drink it when he looked at the Queen and realised he had made a terrible mistake. Not wanting to make him feel awkward, she picked up her finger bowl and took a sip. Now that's class.
In today's society, many people adhere to table manners as social courtesy or to maintain appearances, while others approach eating as a free for all. Much like Peter York, some of us have two systems of etiquette: public and private. Realistically, we're comfortable in our bodies and we will allow in private what we would never permit in public.

China's tradition of courteous belching has never become an acceptable part of Western refinement. However, I have observed an epidemic among young girls who treat belching as if it were a sparring match. Even a female friend of mine will casually punctuate a public meal with a belch, explaining that she doesn't choose to be uncomfortable.

As far as licking my own plate, yes, I have done this, err, I mean I do this—but not in public. My daughter and I have been known to lick or use fingers when the thought of discarding a delicious-something-or-other was more than we could bear.

Finally, Prue Leith, a cookery writer, stated...
I'm not concerned with table manners but I do think if you don't eat "knees under" meals with your children, you should not be surprised if they grow up alienated and uncivilised. Civilisation is about talking and eating together - not about whether you eat peas with your knife, or whatever.

All quotes and references are from The Guardian: Friday, October 13, 2006.

Apr 16, 2008

The Primitive Gathering Giveaway

In honor of it's 1-year Anniversary, The Primitive Gathering is hosting an extraordinary Giveaway that will bless multiple recipients! As you pay them a visit, you will be greeted by a bevy of gifted artists who freely express and celebrate primitive style. The greeting at the entrance to their website really sets the tone: "Come in, we've hand dids aplently; The Best in Primitives & Whimsy"

Regardless of your decorating style, there really is something for everyone at this pooling of creativity. To be sure, no two artists are alike. I encourage you to take a peek.

The drawing will be held on May 5th, so once you have entered, you'll want to check back on that day. To enter the drawing, click HERE.

Morning Has Broken



Morning has broken, like the first morning.
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird.
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning.
Praise for the springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven.
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden.
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning.
Born of the one light, Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise every morning.
God's recreation of the new day.

"The lyrics [1] were written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931 and is found in the hymnals of many denominations. The tune to which it is normally sung is called "Bunessan", based upon a Scottish Gaelic traditional melody. Before Farjeon's words, it was used as a Christmas carol which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald. [2] The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the hymn "This Day God Gives Me." —Wikipedia

"Writing credit for Morning Has Broken has often been erroneously attributed to [Cat] Stevens because of his version of the song which brought it out of obscurity." —Wikipedia