Wednesday, August 26, 2009


When my child was born I had two names picked out; Charles Andrew and Danielle Megan. Charles it was and he was never called Chuck, it was mostly Charles or Charlie and for a very brief period he was known as Chooch. I never did get to use Danielle Megan and during the c-section one of the nurses asked me about names and when I told her, she exclaimed brightly, “Oh, my dog is named Megan”. So….

One of the prettiest Scandinavian first names is Elvi. Elvi was a classmate of mine in college and had a lilting Swedish accent, very charming lady.

During college during my computer class (the ancient and now probably dead PL1 ) the assignment was to prepare a stack of punch cards to spell out a simple list of alphabetized names. One of my names was the most common first name in the world, and the most common last name in the world; Mohamed Wong. While this may have caused a giggle from the professor in the mid 70’s, I Googled Mohamed Wong and got 1,750,000 hits.…ah progress…

While working at my hometown hospital, I filled out my share of birth certificates. There was a set of girl twins born and the only reason I can even remember them to this day is a rhyme I made up:
Chastity Anne and Trinity Sue…were born in 1982. And to be sure the Anne and Sue may be paired with the wrong names and that is simply the way I remember the names. Sorry Chastity and Trinity.

I have always been fascinated by place names. Occasionally I like to look at maps and ponder. Did you know there is a Blue Earth, Minnesota? Please don’t reply and tell me it is a drug zone or a mining ghost town. I prefer a little misty romance/ignorance.

While working in Alaska at a remote location during the 90’s, I had occasion to fill out many MANY birth certificates. It was not at all unusual for some mother to name her child in honor of a deceased relative or friend. The most unusual name I ever submitted was the little boy who had FOUR first names; Ryan Brian Cory Craig. I don’t think that is the exact order but you get the idea and I did use the name as my character for Princess Giggle’ rotten boy cousin who stole her solar powered flying carpet.

Lastly, while working in my current place of employment I have found that my favorite name for all time is that of Dolly Dimple Icenogle. Repeat after me…Dolly…Dimple…Icenogle. It just sort of flows and one of these days I will have to write a story and use that name in the story. May hap I should try my hand at a Regency Romance and some harridan will publicly reprimand Dolly.

Need a few more plot elements however.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thinking about evolution of ice skating

Here is what might actually be an original (if inane) thought. Did I miss the event where some restless creative skater decided to strap a pair of ice skates to their hands as well as their feet and then proceeded to turn cartwheels on ice and then posted the video on U-Tube? I mean Icecapades has been around for a couple of decades, have they not explored this possibility?

It might happen. It might even be touted as the next sport for the Winter Olympics. Let's call it Gymnastic Skating.

I would imagine that the triple jump attempts would look bizarre but failing IceCapades in Space and skating in zero gravity, I'm telling you, this is the next best thing.

The four skated person could perform a self contained death spiral, or an inverted final pirouette while opening and closing their legs in different configurations.

How about someone fixing an ice skate to a helmet and wearing that and attempting a head spin?

Four skates would make pair skating or ice dancing either very dangerous or very exciting, you pick!

I think Circ Du Soleil would attempt it if they had an ice rink and some well muscled skaters, doncha think?

Picture the Clown Car rolling onto the rink, out spills an endless supply of clowns attired with skates on hands and feet. I see mayhem up ahead. Getcher pop corn here, getcher pop corn!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Allow me to introduce Paul Bettany playing the part of Dustfinger, a character from the book Inkheart. Dustfinger is a fire juggler. Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirrin and a host of very interesting stars are in this 2009 production.

The book is about a man named MO who is a silver tongue. When he reads from a book aloud the characters enter the reader's world in the flesh. He discovered his ability by accident when he read from Inkheart to his wife. She disappeared into the book and the bad guy escaped. (A kinder looking bad guy would be hard to name). The search ensues for another printing of Inkheart so that Mo can read the characters back into the book.

Dustfinger is one of the characters trying desperately to get back to his family in Inkheart.

The bad guy needs Mo to read him some treasure. He already has a reader who has an unfortunate stutter so his characters come out wrong with print on their faces or missing bits or extra bits...erk.

I may have to breakdown and read the book, I enjoyed the DVD.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Husband asked me if I wanted to be spontaneous and go visit the community yard sale early? You betcha! It was held at Sturdivant park by the river, parking was scarce so we parked across Highway 42 South in the DMV parking lot and schlepped across to the park. We then wended our way through about 50 booths of pure treasure and pure junk. Lots of people selling very sharp pointy knives and guns etc. Lots of antiques and produce!

This an exact picture of the coach bag I purchased at the Saturday August 15, 2009 Coquille Community Yard Sale. It is known as the Coach Stewardess bag and lists for $268.00. I snagged mine in mint condition for FIVE BUCKS! Woo Hoo!

Husband and I strolled about and scored 4 perfectly ripe peaches and a huge Hermiston cantaloupe for five dollars and a genuine French baguette made by a genuine French woman for Two dollars. Tasted great later sliced in half lengthwise, spread with olive oil and sprinkled with shredded Parmesan. Baked until toasty. Yum!!

I also lost my mind and made fried chicken and banana, pineapple, marshmallow, shredded sharp cheddar cheese salad. Guess what I'm having for lunch today?

Shoulda dones. I shoulda grabbed all FIVE of the Coach bags....dang!

It was a beautiful sunny day in Coquille, I can't tell you how rare that is in the summer. We South Coast Oregon residents don't do well in extended periods of sunshine, all that glittering sunlight strobing through trees on the highways has been known to cause disorientation and MVA's. We do better driving in over cast conditions.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I was very busy in my dreams last night, I woke up only remembering something about a Waterfall Festival. Hmmph, I know there are hundreds of festivals world wide so lets see what the web has. The picture is from Quanzou province china, very pretty. This Festival celebrates the actual falls with emphasis on tourism.

I also got hits on a local organic farm produce celebration in California, there is an artsy fartsy one in Holland, another Waterfall Festival in India and many more.

And to round it all off,I decided to check the dream interpretation site and found:

To see a waterfall in your dream, is symbolic of letting go. You are releasing all those pent up emotions and negative feelings. The dream may also represent your goals and desires. In particular, if the waterfall is clear, then it represents revitalization, regeneration and renewal.

And finally, this old groaner...

Imagine yourself walking into the lovely cool green forest.
The sun is shining,the song birds are singing.
A gentle breeze blows fresh air all about you.
Up ahead you hear the sounds of water.
There before you is a waterfall splashing into a lovely pool.
The water is clear as a bell.
You can make out the features on
the face of the person you are holding under the water.

There now...don't you feel better?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Review of the DVD Babette's Feast

I am only aware of this foreign film because it was mentioned in another book, "Legend" by Jude Devereaux. In the book, the heroine is a chef whose favorite movie is "Babette's Feast" naturally I was compelled to purchase and view this work. I have done the same, when Jo March (Little Women) sneaks around her Aunt to read "The Vicar of Wakefield", I managed to read the good Vicar's story as well. A small aside, Little Women has held up well since it was written, I have often thought that some literary scholar should write an annotated "Little Women" explaining everything in the book of which no one in 2009 has any idea.

Back to Babette's Feast, this is straight from Wikipedia. I really enjoyed the menu. Nom Nom Nom.

Babette's Feast starts with a portrait of two elderly and pious Christian sisters. The sisters, Martina (named for Martin Luther) and Philippa (named for Luther's friend and biographer Philip Melanchthon), live in a small village on the remote and beautiful, but also barren and chilly, western coast of Jutland in the 19th century. Philippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martina (Birgitte Federspiel) are the daughters of a pastor who founded his own strict Christian sect. Though the pastor himself has long since died, and the sect draws no new converts, the aging sisters preside lovingly over their dwindling brood of white-haired, rural resident believers.

Next the film drops back in time to depict how each sister was, in her youth, a ravishing beauty. Each is courted by an impassioned suitor visiting Jutland: Martina by a charming but dissolute young officer of the Swedish cavalry, and Philippa by a recuperating star baritone from the Paris opera. Each suitor falls desperately in love, and develops grand plans both for himself and the "angel" he imagines by his side on the road to worldly renown. But each daughter eventually deflects her pursuer, choosing, instead, a life of quiet piety and Puritanical simplicity in their father's footsteps. Their father has long considered his daughters to be his "right and left hand", and he has spent much of his life ensuring that no one remove his vital appendages, as he is of the belief that marriage and happiness as such is a falsehood.

Many years later, when the sisters are in their fifties, Babette Hersant (Stéphane Audran) appears at their door. She carries only a letter from Philippa's former suitor, the singer Achille Papin, explaining that she is a refugee from counter-revolutionary bloodshed in Paris, and recommending her as a housekeeper. The sisters take Babette in, and she spends fourteen years as their cook, a modest but benign figure who gradually eases their lives and the lives of many in the remote village. Her only link to her former life is a lottery ticket that a friend in Paris renews for her every year. One day, she wins the lottery of 10,000 francs which would surely allow her to return to her former home in adequate style. However, she instead decides to use the money to prepare a delicious dinner for the sisters and their small congregation on the occasion of the founding pastor's hundredth birthday. More than just an epicurean delight, the feast is an outpouring of Babette's appreciation, an act of self-sacrifice with eucharistic echoes; though she doesn't tell anyone, Babette is spending her entire winnings on her gesture of gratitude.

The sisters agree to accept Babette's meal, and her offer to pay for the creation of a "real French dinner". She leaves the island for a few days in order to return to Paris, as she must personally arrange for supplies to be sent to Jutland. The ingredients are plentiful, sumptuous and exotic, and their arrival causes much discussion amongst the clan. As the various never-before-seen ingredients arrive, and preparations commence, the sisters begin to worry that the meal will be, at best, a great sin of sensual luxury, and at worst some form of devilry or witchcraft. In a hasty conference, the sisters and the congregation agree to eat the meal, but to forego any pleasure in it, and to make no mention of the food during the entire dinner.

The last and most relevant part of the film is the preparation and the serving of an extraordinary banquet of royal dimensions, lavishly deployed in the unpainted austerity of the sisters' rustic home. The film, previously showing mainly winterly whites and grays, gradually picks up more and more colours, focusing on the various and delectable dishes, a feast for the spectator as well.

Martina's former suitor, now a famous general married to a member of the Queen's court, reappears as one of the guests (his aunt is the local lady of the manor and a member of the old pastor's congregation). He is unaware of the other guest's austere plans, and as a man of the world and former attache in Paris, he is the only person at the table able to comment on the meal. He provides the guests with abundant and explicit information about the extraordinary quality of the food and drink, culminating in a brief reflective speech based on Psalm 85: "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other". He pronounces that the feast reminds him strongly of similar fare he has enjoyed many years before at the famous "Café Anglais" in Paris. He describes how the chef there was renowned for her extraordinary culinary skills.

Although the other celebrants do their best to reject the earthly pleasures of the food and drink, Babette's extraordinary gifts as a Chef de Cuisine and a true connoisseur, so characteristically French, breaks down their distrust and superstitions, elevating them not only physically but spiritually. Old wrongs are forgotten, ancient loves are rekindled, and a mystical redemption of the human spirit settles over the table — thanks to the general elation nurtured by the consumption of so many fine culinary delicacies and spirits. The eucharistic, albeit mundane celebration around the table shadows the "infinite grace… [that] had been allotted to them, and they did not even wonder at the fact, for it had been but the fulfillment of an ever-present hope."[3]

The menu responsible for their pleasure features "Blini Demidoff au Caviar" (buckwheat cakes with caviar and sour cream); "Potage à la Tortue" (turtle soup); "Caille en Sarcophage avec Sauce Perigourdine" (quail in puff pastry shell with foie gras and truffle sauce); "La Salad" featuring Belgian endive and walnuts in a vinaigrette; and "Les Fromages" featuring Blue Cheese, papaya, figs, grapes and pineapple. The grand finale dessert is "Savarin au Rhum avec des Figues et Fruit Glacée" (rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits). Numerous rare wines, including Clos de Vougeot, along with various champagnes and spirits, complete the menu. Babette's purchase of the finest china, flatware, crystal and linens with which to set the table ensures that the luxurious food and drink is served in a style worthy of Babette, who is none other than the famous former Chef of Café Anglais. Babette's previous occupation has been unknown to the sisters until she confides in them after the meal.

The sisters assume that Babette will now return to Paris, and when she tells them that all of her money is gone and that she is not going anywhere, the sisters are aghast. Babette then tells them that dinner for 12 at the Café Anglais has a price of 10,000 francs. Martina tearfully says, "Now you will be poor the rest of your life", to which Babette replies, "An artist is never poor". Philippa then tells her that in paradise Babette will indeed be the great artist God intended her to be.