July 31, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens review

We just saw Cowboys and Aliens.  I am happy to report that Daniel Craig is still good lookin'!  He and Harrison Ford did some hard horseback riding themselves and Craig took many a tumble during his stunts. Yes, ladies.  There is a kiss.  The aliens are slimy and ugly and none too friendly.  This was fun entertainment on the big screen for a hot, hot summer afternoon, especially at matinee prices.  When a large popcorn costs $8.50, you need the matinee price. In any case, go see it and and while away two hours and 18 minutes. Oh, no need to stay through the credits waiting for a short extra scene like in Pirates. There is none.  Enjoy the show!

July 30, 2011

Controversy Over Goodbye Lie Series

By now, you have probably heard that the tag line for my historic suspense/romance series, The Goodbye Lie, is where Little House on the Prairie meets Gone With The Wind...  I have been contacted by several readers who disagree.  They think is should be where The Waltons meet Gone With The Wind. You know, they might be right.  My characters have been known to say goodnight at the end of a day.  Guess they've got me!

July 24, 2011

Meet a Real Harry Potter Fan

author Kate Brown
Kate Brown, young author of Rose Legends, recently wrote a blog about the meaning of Harry Potter in her life. We all have our obsessions.  Read about hers, below. (Link to Ms.Brown's blog: http://strangerandomocity.blogspot.com/)

Friday, July 15, 2011

It All Ends Today

Four words which may have changed a lot of people. It All Ends Today.
But there are simply two words which changed my life eleven years ago.
Harry Potter. Those two words, that name, inevitably changed everything
I would be obsessed with in the future. Now, I'm not talking about the
kind of obsessed where I draw pictures of the terrific trio and put
them on my wall or stalk the actors who play the characters in the
films. I mean the kind of obsessed where it literally changes my
personality.

Think about it. If I'd never cracked open Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer's Stone, I probably would not have found the love of reading
which I have today. There's something fulfilling about reading a new
story about a new group of characters in a new world. Something
wonderful and exciting about getting to leave your own world, even if
it's just for a few minutes, to visit Hogwarts or Middle Earth or
Alagaesia or even just Lawrence, KS (if you've never been there, that
is). But what is it about Harry that makes his story so intriguing to
children (and now adults) everywhere? The story of Harry Potter
transcends generation, gender, and so much more. But why?

Sure, Harry is destined to be a hero and we know that, one day, he will
have to stand up to the man who murdered his parents in cold blood. And
we follow his story in the meantime when we could choose to read other
books. Harry himself is no extraordinary person, if you think about it,
is he? He goes to school, he makes a few friends and a few enemies and
he goes through the stage which all young adults go through; teenage
angst. So why is he so amazing?

The answer is simple: It's not Harry that's amazing. Or rather, it's
not just him. It's everyone else with whom he surrounds himself.
Hermione Granger, the intelligent, bushy-haired, sometimes overzealous
young girl. Ron Weasley, the fiery-haired, lovable friend who's always
there for our hero... well most of the time anyway. The rest of the
Weasleys who seem to adopt Harry as their own, not because he's famous,
but because they know family is the most important thing. They teach us
that throughout the books. Without the Weasleys, Harry might have
befriended Malfoy and I'm sure we can all imagine how that might have
turned out.

But not just Harry's friends. What about his professors? McGonagall,
the wise, sometimes funny, stern, but caring professor who was there
the night Harry was left with his aunt and uncle. Snape, the man who
hates Harry because of Harry's father, but loved Harry's mother so
much. We see Snape's true colors in the final installment of the films
and the novels. And let's not forget Dumbledore. Dumbledore: the man
who, in truth, raised Harry like a pig for slaughter, but who did truly
care for the boy nonetheless. A man revered by the wizarding world and
loved by his students. It is partly because of Dumbledore that Harry
was able to defeat Voldemort in the end.

I'm getting a little rambly and I apologize, but if you saw the film,
you'd understand. There's just so much going on in my head right now.
Voldemort is dead. My childhood is over. My mischief is, sadly,
managed. What do I obsess over now? I'll tell you what. I'm going to
continue writing and taking cues from my favorite authors and hopefully
my books will be half as loved as Harry Potter because no author could
ever trump JK Rowling.

JK Rowling is my idol. Without her, I would definitely not be where I
am today. So I say thank you, Ms. Rowling. Thank you for thinking up
Harry Potter on a train without a piece of paper and sticking with the
idea long enough to do all you've done. Thank you from the bottom of my
heart and, if I ever meet you, I think I'll be too in shock to speak.

Kate Brown
Author of Rose Legends (http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Legends-Book-One-Found/dp/1456080598/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311557999&sr=1-1

July 21, 2011

The Goodbye Lie Diaries- Aunt Noreen

1880s July

Fernandina, Florida

Aunt Noreen writes - I don't understand why Ella can't discipline her children a little more.  Here we were, eating some of my delicious peach cobbler that I'd made special and carried over to Dunnigan Manor and Mac says, "I'm done."  Ella smiled that smile of hers and I just had to correct the child.  "Turkeys are done, young man.  You are finished. Now how hard is that to remember."  You'd have thought I'd said a bad word from the hateful look Peeper threw at me.  Sometimes I wonder why I endure those family dinners over there. Sometimes, too, I feel almost unwelcome.  Well, I must do what is necessary for family harmony.  Mother and Father would expect that of me. 

July 19, 2011

An Invitation to the Royals


The following is a copy of  the actual letter I sent to Prince William, Duke Of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge along with two Secret Pebbles™ -

Your Royal Highnesses,

You are cordially invited to say at our house, Stately Malcolm Manor, the next time you cross the Pond and visit North America. Please give us 3 months notice of your visit to be sure our guest room is available. We live on Amelia Island, Florida, often referred to as paradise, so vacancies  are rare, particularly in the summer. I'm thinking when the kids are in school would be best.

My thoughtful husband, Bruce, has offered to remove his clothes tree, the already read stack of Louis LeMoure books and even the extra pairs of shoes in the corner of your room to make more space for you. If you'd like to sleep with a cat, just leave the door open. You will have to remember to drop the toilet lid each time you powder your noses to prevent the cat from bathing in that particular water. (Please refer to my July 10, 2011 blog entry entitled From the Cat at ttp://graciousjanemarie.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html.) We will be serving Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce, a family favorite. We can not abide fussy eaters, so clean your plates. Mr. Ocean is two blocks away. Follow your noses to the scent of sea water. Oh, your security team is permitted to set up a tent inside our courtyard. However, we ask they conceal their slingshots to stay incognito.

Enclosed are two of my personally hand painted Secret Pebbles™ as wedding gifts as well as enticements to lure you back to America. The secret in the pebble is what you two share. Could your secret be love? I'm thinking so.

At your earliest convenience, please email me at GraciousJaneMarie@yhaoo.com so we may pencil you in our registration book. And remember, the latch string is always out.


Secret Pebble™
 samples
Sincerely,

Jane Marie Malcolm
silly person and author of The Goodbye Lie historic suspense

 

July 18, 2011

American Legion

Meet Bruce Malcolm, the newly sworn Chaplain of American Legion Post 54, Fernandina Beach, Florida. I am so proud of my husband.  I know his mother, grandmother, daughter and sons are, too.

For God and Country,
Jane Marie Malcolm
American Legion  Auxiliary
                                                         

July 17, 2011

Lost Art

Whilst walking about Wally-World the other day, I inquired of a young lady, mayhap two and twenty years old, "Where might the cross stitch supplies be? The floss, in particular."

Her reply? "I don't know what you're talking about. Do you mean yarn?  My great grandmother used to use metal sticks and make sweaters with string or yarn or something. The only floss I know about is dental floss.  If we have any of that, it's probably over there," and she pointed toward the toothpaste aisle.

Oh my, oh my, my. Dear ladies and gents. So much has gone by the wayside- crank telephones, typewriters, black and white TVs. Let not the art of cross stitch join that group. Please, please, in the name of all that is handcrafted, if you know how or know of someone who knows how to cross stitch, crewel, heirloom handstitch, candlewick, knit, hook, tat, quilt or sew, please, please, teach another.  Keep these leisurely arts alive in this day of instant everything.

July 14, 2011

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper

1800s July
Fernandina, Florida

Peeper writes:  I seen three orange beaks apeekin' outa the nest in the small pine tree out front. The mama and daddy birds just keep awatchin' us human folks. It's a sad shame for certain we cain't talk bird talk and they can't talk people talk ors they wouldn't have ta be afrettin' we might hurt their babies. If'n I or any of the children gets too close, then in comes mama aflyin' and aswoopin'.  She'll hit our heads if'n she has to ta keep us away. We all start alaughin' though when she attacks the back end a the cat. Oh, little Mac asked me how come the mama don't sit on her eggs ta make um hatch.  I'm aguessin' it's bacause it's so dang hot outside, there's no need fer it.

July 13, 2011

Barbra's Chickpea Summer Salad

My daughter, Barbra, loves to cook food that is good and good for you. She's one intense athlete so does lots of research when it comes to chowin' down.  She sent me this recipe. Yummo!

Barbra's Chickpea Summer Salad


I eat this salad as often as possible while training. It has all the food groups without weighing you down and is loaded with fresh veggies that are raw, so vitamin packed. You can vary any of the ingredients (including the chickpeas but beware, the beans are the main ingredient in order to get ample protein and chickpeas are easy on the tummy, if you get my meaning…if you substitute others like black beans, I suggest you add them in sparingly to the chickpeas, keeping an eye on fiber content). This is a lot of fun to make and makes a ton! Enjoy and keep it moving!                             

- one bag dried garbanzo beans or several canned (if dried, cook on low overnight in a slow cooker to the consistency of canned…they come out perfect every time)
- chopped: zucchini, yellow squash, fresh tomatoes, hot banana peppers, cucumber, green, red or yellow peppers
- 1 container light Feta cheese
- chopped kalamata olives or sliced black olives
- chopped sundried tomatoes without oil


Toss with a bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and lots of red apple cider vinegar (or your favorite Fat Free Italian dressing), all to taste. Add a dash of salt (and pepper if you like).

Note from the creator: I am not a believer in fat free options and would normally opt for all full fat options, but this will weigh you down, tire you and defeats the purpose. There is plenty of flavor with the lighter versions. The beans and olive oil fills you up nicely without the weigh down. With that said, if I was having company over, I would surely go for “full tilt”, as my mother says!

Variations include: types of veggies, types of Feta, types of dressing, types of beans to infinity!
                                                                                                                          --Barbra

July 10, 2011

From the Cat

We have lots of wonderful company on vacation, particularly in the summer when the sea breeze invites visitors to the beach to sun and swim. A friend used to work for Disney and told me, "Once folks cross into the Disney park, they lose their brains," meaning they're on vacation and don't pay attention to many if any the necessities. All that is fine and good unless you have a catling named Button aka Little Naughty. For those who don't know of Button's antics, let me elaborate.

One of her favorite activities is to play in toilet water. The necessity here is to put the toilet seat and lid down when finished doing what needs to be done. This will, in turn, prevent her from frolicking in the less than completely sanitary H2O. As an assist in this process, we have installed automatic slo-mo toilet seat descenders, which mean all you have to do is gently push down on the top edge of the lid and it closes quietly. Our intent is to make the closing of the lid as near to effortless as is humanly possible. We explain this to our brainless guests, complete with demonstration. The rub here is that memory is required and without brains, can there truly be memory? Since Little Naughty has trained Bruce and me already, this lack of memory accords our buds an application to my Three Second Memory Club. Their repeatedly leaving the seat and lid up is proof the they quality for membership.

To make matters worse, we were mildly surprised to see where Button has taken to writting notes and taping them to the inside of the toilet lids. Aha, her diabolical messages thanking humans for leaving up the lids, did just the opposite---for 24 hours. Soon, the notes became invisible to those humans, still on vacation, and Little Naughty was once again playing in the toilet water. Oh, what  clever cat thou art. Her latest message of scoff demonstrates how we of two legs are good for but three things, feeding, stroking and cleaning her litter box. Sigh. See her  "Button note" below and advise as you see fit.


Jane Marie Malcolm, cat lover and  germ freak

PS I may be late in replying to your emails at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com  because I am in the throws of finding the best sanitation company in which to invest. Might as well. I spend enough cash on the sanitrate stuff personally.

July 9, 2011

July 8, 2011

Summers Remembered

Before this Blog, Blog, Blog, I began a monthly newsletter in 2001 for our now 800 page website, http://www.graciousjanemarie.com/.  I thought I would revisit a "newsie" from the archieves for those new friends or for those friends belonging to my Three Second Memory Club.

July 2002  

My Own Treasured Friends,

There is a waterslide not far from my home and if the wind is blowing just right, I can hear the kids squealing with delight as they rush down the thrilling curved incline to ker-plunk at the bottom in a pool of refreshing aqua pura. Swimming and pool high jinks of a safe sort are all part of summer.


Naturally, this reminds me of the exciting summers with my sisters and brother and all the neighborhood kids.


We found our backyard most appealing. While others had larger yards in which to play kickball or swings sets from which to hang upside down, our yard was the favorite on the hottest days of the year. Why? Because our father bought us a swimming pool. Not an in ground fancy thing with a diving board, but a light blue, plastic pool whose edges were held upright on a simple round white wire frame.


The first time I laid eyes on it, I thought our pool was huge. I mean really huge! I was probably about five or six and was required to wear an inner tube around my middle for safety's sake. I now realize that it was probably 12 feet in diameter and only about 18 inches deep.


We took turns holding the garden hose to fill the pool. It seemed like hours until the water was up high enough for swimming, but we didn't care. We just knew that fun was to be had if we were patient. I can't count how much time we spent in the pool or the games we invented - our favorite was Captain of the Ship, so named for the sole survivor who remained on the inflated lounging raft after everyone else was bounced off. We often splashed so much water from the pool we had to refill it, but the wave action we produced would have made Popeye himself jealous.


In order to keep the pool clean, we had a bucket of water stationed poolside. We always stepped in to rinse our feet. Needless to say, we sometimes had thoughtless guests who ran and jumped in with dirty feet, but that was ok because every few days we drained the pool and started all over. We'd remove the plastic sides from the wire fencing, and watch the water rush out. Of course, it was much more fun to step on the edges to speed the process along. While engrossed in this exciting activity, you could occasionally hear a scream from some poor kid who'd fallen victim to a bee sting, which was prone to happen when we ran barefoot in the grass.


Eventually, my sister, Nancy, and I graduated to actual swimming lessons. We'd ride our bikes to the closest high school that had a pool, which seemed to me as if it were 25 miles away. I guess it wasn't that far, maybe 2 or 3, but it sure wore a little kid out.


When we arrived, we would don the required bathing caps. Note to anyone who is unfamiliar with that particular instrument of torture - when you tried to get it over your head, it not only felt like the rubber was pulling out every last strand of your hair, but it also made you look like a golf ball in the process. And for your pain and suffering, it never even kept you hair dry!


Oh, and how about the added allure of nose plugs? You know, those pink pinchy things that kept you from getting water up your nose, but forced you to swallow chlorinated water instead because you couldn't breathe through your nostrils. Imagine if you will, the entire becoming picture. Had we known any better, that specific humiliation would have set the bar for all future degradation. To my knowledge, no one has a photo of us dressed in our swimming garb. If they did, how could they keep themselves from blackmailing us with the thing? Horrors!


Those were fun, wonderful days in this child's world. Our only concern then was whose turn it was to ride on the front of the raft in the pool. Now when I hear the happy summer sounds of children, I find myself thinking of landing just one good thump on that bully who always knocked me off and held my head under water. That's what dreams are made of.


Hey, I'm not the one who decided I was gracious. Remember, it was Nancy who bestowed that title upon me. What I will admit to is being human! But as always,


Love from Amelia Island,

Jane Marie

PS Wahoo! July 19th is Flitch Day! For those few persons out there who are unaware of the occasion, it used to be that once a year married couples were given a slab of bacon as a reward if they could prove they had lived harmoniously during the previous 12 months. Sadly, very few couples "took home the bacon.”

For more Gracious Living Newsletters, visit http://www.greenlightwrite.com/newsletterarchive.htm.

July 7, 2011

the Goodbye Lie Diaries - Peeper

1880s July
Fernandina, Florida

Peeper writes:  Little Mac found a nest in the pine tree out front a Dunnigan Manor two days ago. He come arunnin' ta tell me. He was wantin' ta remove them three eggs to show me when the mama bird come aflyin' down straight away. After I splained how he was not ta be abothering them eggs, he was a good boy and dun-did what I said. Now we can hear them babies atwitterin' and atwitterin'.  It's a happy day. Old Monstie cat best not be abotherin' them birdies neither.

July 6, 2011

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Aunt Noreen -added thought

1800s July
Fernandina, Florida

Aunt Noreen writes:
I forget to mention the July 4th festivities.  That is what some of the family called them.  To me it was torture. Everybody insisted on riding out to Amelia Beach to shoot fireworks and bottle rockets out over the ocean.  Except for the horrific noise, the screaming children, sand in my shoes, a hole in my stocking, and the sticky night air, it was a wonderful time.  I must remember to feign illness next year to avoid this unnecessary discomfort.

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Aunt Noreen

1880s June
Fernandina, Florida

Aunt Noreen writes:
My Grandmama used to say if you give children sugar before bed their gaylin' will soon turn to wailin'.  Right she was. That old Peeper made sand tarts with almonds and it wasn't two minutes after they ate that the babies were running about and screaming. My head is splitting. Mac tripped over Blackie White Spots and skinned his shin almost to the bone.  He did not much care. He was proud of all the blood. It made me sick. What a disgusting little creature Mac is. Just like his Uncle Pat. He may be my nephew but I only claim Pat Dunnigan as such because everyone knows we're blood. I realize it is dangerous to write these things down but sometimes a woman must let her sufferings out. 

Year of Living Graciously

Each month I suggest an easy fun or interesting thing to do to make life fun. Scroll down this blog and look on the right for a list of other ideas. The list is beside the picture of some "lady with a blue face."

Here is July's tip - Spend the afternoon reviving a beat up piece of furniture or other object with several different colors of paint and put it outside in your garden. Example: My faded flamingos are no longer pink.  Now they have black, gold, blue  green and purple spots!

July 4, 2011

Independence Mobile

Happy July 4th, America!  Our little town of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida has a parade and we'll be in it! Check out our Independence Mobile below that will carry our grandchild!  What freedom we enjoy to celebrate as we choose.  God Bless America!


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