Thursday, January 29, 2015

Regencies, Cleopatra After Actium", The Vicar of Wakefield and Lucullan feast.

Yesterday I downloaded an E-book entitled "Petticoat Rebellion" By Joan Smith.  It was a lovely light fluffy Regency with the usual handsome rake/Duke, a schoolmistress chaperoning four teenagers at a house party, a theft, the mandatory misunderstanding between lovers and a kidnapping.  The usual.  One of the characters, Lady Penfel was the Dukes Aunt.  She was quite a quiz as they say in the Regencies.  She is enjoying her widowhood by wearing costumes that resemble an aging light skirt and her hair, once auburn, is now  somewhat augmented to a frizzy rouge to match her raddled face.  Part of the plot involves the schoolmistress, Miss Addie Fairchild's wish to review the estates Da Vinci portfolio which is under lock and key. Once Lady Penfel determined Addie was an artist she insisted that Addie do her portrait as in the fashion of "After Actium". With her dog Cuddles at her feet instead of a lion.  The picture was described as Cleopatra resting after the battle of Actium, gazing off into the distance amongst her dying soldiers.  The mental picture of this caught my imagination so I Googled the title.  I did not find "After Actium" but I found something that looked similar to what was described in the book but this was entitled, "Cleopatra testing poison on condemned prisoners". (see above)  Ahhh, uh huh.  and she had a leopard at her feet. Back to the book, the thievery got solved, the kidnapping got solved and the portraiture was put off until after the Duke married the Schoolmistress.

I have gone off to find other things that caught my interest in books before.  Once after reading "Little Women"  I decided to get a copy of the Vicar of Wakefield to see what the hubbub was all about, why did Aunt March give Jo such a hard time for reading The Vicar.  Was it considered trash or what?  So I eventually found a copy and managed with much effort to read the thing.  I couldn't figure out what was so objectionable about this book in 1865.  The only thing I got out of it was that part of the plot involved the Vicar having to do to debtors prison and while there he converted a few inmates to Christianity and the Vicar was a well liked fellow.  Ok.  Of the other literary references in Little Women about Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan I have never read.  So.

This then reminded me of a phrase that has haunted me since the late sixties.  I once went with my friend, Judy to apply for a job at the post office.  We had to take a test.  I distinctly remember one of the questions.  I had to choose the definition of a Lucullan Feast.  (A person who has not had a classical education would not get this correct...duh).  So I remember choosing the answer that the Lucullan Feast happened when the troll ate your feet when you slept in his bed overnight, or something very similar to that. And I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  But the Internet did not exist then and I would have had no idea where to start looking.  So periodically and more lazily, I would think of Lucullan Feast as the years passed.   One time I heard the phrase Lucullan Feast on television but it turned out that was the name of a cookery story somewhere in New Orleans.  Hmph, not much help there. A decade or so later, I became acquainted with a columnist who lived in the Northwest, somehow the topic of Lucullan Feast came up and he told me all about it. In short, Lucullus was a famous Roman general who held fabulous parties with gourmet food.  He was said to dine the best when he dined alone.  So, had the internet existed prior to 1965, I would probably have passed the Post Office test and be retired from the postal service even as we speak.  Ain't life strange?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Blogger won't pick up my picture of a big fat white duck! DUCK!

Last night I dreamt a very domestic dream. I was in a house, cleaning I think, and there was family there, none of who I recognized. At one point I was looking out the bathroom window that overlooked a nearby good sized creek. I could see dozens of little yellow ducklings being herded hither and yon by their very large white duck parents. I also saw two rather large ducks floating in mid air. They were scooping ducklings out of the air into their mouths sort of like some fish species who suck their tiny fry inside their mouths at times of danger. I couldn't see the ducklings inside because the mouth was screened with a white cloth like device that irised open and closed. It was very odd looking into the gullet of the larger ducks.
Dream site interpretation:

To see ducks in your dream represent your spiritual freedom (if flying) or the subconscious (if swimming). They serve as a connection between the spiritual realm and the physical world. Ducks are multi-talented animals in that they can walk, swim and fly. Thus, a duck indicates your flexibility and your ability to blend and adapt in various situations. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you are setting yourself up or being set up for the kill as associated by the phrase "sitting duck". Are you being targeted? Also, the duck may be a pun on "ducking" some issue or situation, instead of confronting it head-on. Consider the phrase, "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck". Some things are too obvious to deny.  (Thank you Dan Rather.)

To see a white duck in your dream signifies falsehood and deceit.

I will have to sleep on this one...Hah! SLEEP she says.

Curiously enough there was no culinary interpretation.  I ate duck once many years ago.   The then husband had gone duck hunting and brought back many dark oily ducks.  I may have eaten a bit but I really don't remember actually cooking the thing.  Now having watched many years of Food Network I would willingly try some rare duck fried in duck fat.  I came close in my youth, a young man I was dating took me to a pub and asked me what I wanted and so he ordered Cold Duck, it wasn't until we left that I realized belatedly that I had DRANK the cold duck not eaten any.  Hoo boy!  One of my many tales of innocent and ignorance.  Ah me.....

Sunday, January 4, 2015



Admittedly I do not watch much network television. Lately I have been catching myself watching Big Bang Theory. I googled the cast members professional pictures versus their character pictures. My what a difference a little make up makes.

I was curious as to what Ms Amy looks like. She is the criminally smart neurologist.

The actress' working name is Mayin Bialik. She is rather striking looking and manages to project a great deal of devoted neuro-geekness in her role.

I have also peeked at the other cast members and they ALL improve with glam photographs. Hooray for make up artists and superior camera work.

See, she could get away with walking around outside without being recognized by the paparazzi. But if she puts on glasses and an ugly sweater, she is toast!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I think I may be over medicated.

Very strange dream: Last night I dreamed of Mom, a Mom that I certainly never knew. She was dressed in a dark blue power suit and held some sort of important job. She had called me in to tell me that I was not her oldest daughter. There was another oldest sibling. Hmm, I knew she had a wild streak as a youngster when, as a teenager, she confided that she had stolen ten pounds of sugar during WWII and deposited it in her mother's kitchen. Don't know the sex of the sibling, doesn't matter. Still shocking to think of a possibility and Lordy Lordy where did my mind come up with that!?!?!
Also was attending a conference in a very crowded hotel. The venue had multiple stories, many levels and a few secret doorways. Also as I was leaving to catch a plane home, Monica K my old boss in Barrow was there in the airport waiting area. She asked me to save her a seat, she would be right back. The area immediately filled up with a lot of men who seemed to want to take that seat, so I hovered over it determined to save at least the seat next to me. The men were very interested in a football locker room sort of manner. Ew.

Will query Mom at dream interpretation site to see what mundane thing that has cropped up inside my head.
To see your mother in your dream represents the nurturing aspect of your own character. Mothers offer shelter, comfort, life, guidance and protection. Some people may have problems freeing themselves from their mothers and are thus seeking their own individuality and development.

To dream that you are having a conversation with your mother denotes a matter that has preoccupied your mind and you are not sure how to deal with it in your waking life. It indicates unresolved problems that need to be worked out.

I'm gonna have to blame this on the apple/chilies/cheddar crust pie.....

Friday, January 2, 2015

Routine kinda....

Morning routine:
Every morning the radio comes on at 6 a.m. in my former life I leapt out of bed and began preparing for the work day. These days it is much the same but with a bit less urgency other than toiletry. Ahem.
I come back, make the bed, get dressed or not and go downstairs.
I then prepare breakfast, fill my meds up and sit at the computer and consume toast, bacon, cereal either cooked or flake, coffee is flavored or I drink Constant Comment tea. I allow the cats to lick the crumbs off my paper plate.
This morning I dragged out the vacuum, tipped over the lounger in the living room and hoovered up all the debris under the chair. I picked up 60 cents in change and stored that in an empty pill bottle and put it in the National Bank of Grandma Horn's Old Butter Churn. I also got down on hands and knees with scrubby, soap, rag cleaned up numerous coffee stains from the carpet. Now it doesn't look so much like a hoarders reality show.
Got up, sighed, took my outer pants off and laboriously tugged the heavy duty warm tights like garment, persuading a good six inches of material to defy gravity and go higher to hold in the cellulite at the highest level possible. There may be some back sliding by the end of the day. Update; yeah, much black sliding to the point where I shucked them off...ah freedom.
Also went downtown to pick up a couple of prescriptions as well as supplies to make pie. I watched an episode of Unique Eats. There is a pie shop in San Francisco and one of their specialties is an apple pie with chilies and cheddar cheesy crust. Hmmm, that actually sounded kind of good. I purchased four Granny Smith apples, a small can of chopped green chilies, peel and stick pie crust. Peel and chop apples, open chilies, mix together, add 1 cup Splenda sugar ,1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice and cumin. Put bottom crust in pie dish, sprinkle in shredded cheddar. Pour in apple chilie mixture, top with remaining pie crust, sprinkle on more cheddar, dab on mixture of milk and beaten, bake at 350 for one hour. Turned out pretty good. It was watery of course and I should have added some flour for thickening. Yum!! The heat factor is mild but tasty and the cheddar bits in the crust are excellent.