June 29, 2010

Beware the Summer Cold

"I won. I won. I won!" No, I'm not doing my impersonation of the father who wins the major award of a leg-shaped lamp in the beloved movie A Christmas Story. I'm talking about keeping my husband Bruce's cold at bay and me not getting it! We all know that living in the same house with a person who has contracted a head cold, most times, means you will be the next victim. Au contraire, mon frère (I always used to say that before an argument when I was a little kid because it rhymed and I thought I was so smart to be able to speak a second language.) You see, I have my ways to control those nasty contagious germs of his. Okay. Control is too strong a word. Let's just say I happily dodged the germ-laden bullet this time. Here's how:
  • First and foremost, purchase that liquid hand sanitizer by the gallon. With or without a coupon, it's a must! Then, no matter how rude it may be, appear to be, or actually is, use the stuff. If someone sneezes, coughs, burps, or otherwise makes a noise of any sort, including talking and singing, instruct them to hold out a hand and spritz a generous sized blob into it.
  • Fill the air with the spray that kills 99.9% of germs. Don't be stingy about it. At the risk of succumbing to "Lysol" poisoning, take the chance. DO IT!
  • Wipe down all surfaces with those disinfectant wipes. Not only clean the table, but the kitchen counters, door knobs, toilet seat, jars, cans, mouse, steering wheel, whatever your loved one may have touched or is possibly thinking about touching.
  • Use all things disposable, where and whenever you can. In the kitchen, use paper towels. Generously making allowances for his fevered stupor, realize his better judgment will lapse. He won't remember your instruction about the paper towels. He will transgress and likely revert to his years-old habit of drying his hands on the kitchen tea towel. This is where your conviction to survive this insidious beast called cold will be tested. Dismiss your terry towel use. Whatever you do, don't touch that cloth! Don't allow anyone else to use it either as it is blanketed with the gnats of disease that lay in wait to swarm all over you as they have your loved one.
  • Don't shake hands or in any conceivable way touch the isolate, who by now, I hope you have corralled across the room, against the farthest wall. While this may sound callus, it is still permissible to speak to your bug-crawling mate, so long as he is at least, at least, 12 feet away, preferably more. Should you happen to live in a house with a west and/or east wing, keep him at the far end, with communication either by intercom or cell phone only.
  • Likewise, don't touch his clothes. Don't wear them. Nor his dishes, don't eat from them. Buy new ones. His books, don't read them or his CDs. Don't even listen to them since you don't know when last he listened, thereby, infecting the very case in which they come. Beware of his phone, the family phone, and most of all the TV remote. These are all harbingers. Harbingers, I tell you!
  • As for feeding him, well okay, you just sort of have to. With your added safety features of disposable gloves and a surgical mask, he can enjoy the same foods as do you, just not anywhere near you. If you're close enough to see him fill his face with food without the aid of binoculars then you are way too close! Back away from the scene! Do it immediately.
  • Lest you think I am hateful, may I defend myself by saying, what good will it do for me to sacrifice myself to the cold gods? Isn't it enough that I drop, by way of the leaf rake, his dirty sheets, towels, pants, socks and shirts into the hot bleach water to be washed on the heavy-soil cycle? Isn't it enough that I cook his meals to the point of volcanic bubbling, chancing a nasty burn to my person, just to make certain to kill any latent crawlies?
  • Further, isn't it enough I sleep in another room, in this case, the cramped office of Story Central on an aluminum cot whose legs collapse with the regularity of a swinging door in a prison escape? Do I complain when I am awaken as my forehead bangs against Bruce's wooden desk chair on one side of me or my hair tangles in the wheels of my computer chair on the other side? Certainly not. Sacrifices are necessary from everyone when a cold threatens.
Why do I do all this? Because I promised that "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage vow. When he's sick, I’m in health. Works for me.

And for those of you saying, "You're killing all the "good germs" and "what about building your immunity?" As Scarlett O'Hara says in Gone With The Wind, "I'll think about that tomorrow." All I know is that I don't feel punk and, darn it all, that's a better thing! Bruce doesn't call me Flo, short for Florence Nightingale, for nothing!

Gotta run. Time to wipe down Mr. Buzzbee, the cat, with a disinfectant sheet. I caught Bruce petting him with my spyglass.

Hugs and blisses,

Jane Marie

Scratches on CDs or DVDs?

I just heard that toothpaste, chewed gum, brasso or a banana will remove/repair the minor scratches on a CD or DVD. Who would have thunk it! I love to share!

Hugs and blisses,

Jane Marie

June 22, 2010

This One Is For Me!

Surprise on me.  My dear wonderful sister and partner, Nancy Kamp, emailed me unexpectedly to tell me about an article she wrote entitled Great Janes of Fact, Film and Fiction. Nancy goes on to say: Meet some of the Janes who've graced our world as we honor our own, Gracious Jane Marie!  http://www.greenlightwrite.com/jane.html

There are lots of Janes out there.  See how many you know, besides me, I mean. :-)

Thank you, sweet Nancy.

Love, Jane Marie

The hero in the photo is my handsome husband, Bruce.

June 21, 2010

WINNER of Velvet Undertow & Secret Pebble™!

UPDATE: And the winner in our First Day of Summer contest.  That lucky person receives an autographed copy of Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow and a hand painted Secret Pebble™. She is Marie Jane (can you believe her name?) from Mandaue City, Philyppines! Congrats and please enjoy!

Next contest coming soon.  Become my friend on Facebook under Jane Marie, author and/or follow me on this Gracious Jane Marie Blog Blog Blog to be entered  in our next random drawing!


Just sign up and become a follower of my new fun and silly Gracious Jane Marie BLOG  BLOG BLOG here at http://graciousjanemarie.blogspot.com/ and/or a fan of Jane Marie, author on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Jane-Marie/35558229108?ref=ts. Win an autographed copy of my latest historical suspense/romance novel, Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow, plus a hand painted Secret Pebble™, featured in Velvet Undertow. A random drawing will take place on June 21, 2010, the first day of summer! Good luck all and remember, for those deep thoughts, read between the lines!

June 20, 2010

Daddy & the Glider

Happy Father's Day to you dads out there! I was remembering my wonderful papa, Leo Michael Harkins, and laughed out loud about the repair to our old yellow glider.  For a chuckle or two, read all about it at my GraciousJaneMarie.com Gracious Living Newsletter, http://www.greenlightwrite.com/newsletter3.htm.  Scroll down to Going Home, October 2002 and enjoy!

Hugs and blisses,

Jane Marie


June 13, 2010

Anna Karenina's Candles

I recently saw the 1935 film version of  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy starring Greta Garbo.  Besides a tragic love story that left me crying, I found something particularly fascinating, something I had never seen. I was so taken with this, I called Bruce, my husband, in to take a look.  (He was reading the newspaper whilst I wept.) In it the butler lights just one candle of a round chandelier. The flame bursts forth then instantly travels along a horizontal ring of wicking that leads to the next candle in succession in the chandelier, thereby lighting all the candles with but one flame. It seemed an ingenious way of lighting all the candles using a connecting ringed wick. 

David O. Selznick produced this film as he did Gone With The Wind (GWTW) in 1936.  I'm sure he used the same great efforts to make it historically correct for the 1870s as he did for GWTW.  Odds are this clever candle lighting  was the real deal.

If anyone out there has more info on such a system of candle lighting, please let me know, comment here or email  me at graciousjanemarie.com, and I'll spread the word.  Wow, a great love story and a fascinating question to boot!

Here is the Amazon.com link to  the DVD of Anna Karenina - http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Karenina-Greta-Garbo/dp/B0009S4IIS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1276461629&sr=1-8

Vivien Leigh also made a version of this film, playing the title role of Anna.  It, too, is a wonderful adaptation but I don't remember anyone lighting candles in this fashion.

TATTTCMM! - short for These Are The Things That Clog My Mind! (pronounced Tat-Cum).  It can be our secret code for:  No wonder Jane Marie is so silly, fascinating and sometimes quite peculiar. :-)

Jane Marie


June 8, 2010

The Miniaturization of St. Nick!

Forget that it is now summer. I was thinking about Christmas and how my husband began the tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas to the family on Christmas Eve. Naturally, I began reciting the beloved poem by Clement Clarke Moore in my head.  Since I love words and the clever putting together of such, I thought hard about them as I mentally said them. 

To my shock, I heard references to St. Nick I had never realized were in the poem.  I'm referring to his size.  How big is St. Nick in Moore's poem???? See below all the words in red that indicate he is a small fellow, even elf-like!

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!  

SO, why did Moore make St. Nick so short in his poem?  Was it because the word little fit so smoothly into the rhythm of the piece?  Did it make St. Nick sound so much more cuddly and gentle? Did Moore do this on purpose or did he even notice how many times he used the word little.  How tall was Moore himself? Did he create a small St. Nick to sooth his Napoleonic complex if he, Moore, was indeed short? Clearly, research on this subject is demanded.

I could go on with questions for where there are few, there may be many ...  But I will let you invent your own queries now that I have introduced you to the subject of  the miniaturization of St. Nick.  dun dun, dun dun, dun dun ...

Enjoy the puzzlement my friends,

Jane Marie

June 1, 2010

Chicken Cheese Casserole

This recipe is from my friend, Donna Crocker. I had it at a potluck and as another friend says, “Yummo!” Thank you, Donna.

Enjoy everyone!

Chicken Cheese Casserole

2 chicken breasts (3 optional)
1 pkg. egg noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup (lite optional)
1 can cream of chicken soup (lite optional)
1 2 lb box of Velvet Cheese
1 can of Rotel tomatoes- original flavor
Non-stick spray

Boil chicken breasts in large pot and remove chicken when done. Use the broth to cook the noodles. Cut the chicken in to small pieces. Drain noodles when done and add all other ingredients to the same chicken/noodle pot. Stir over low heat to melt cheese. Pour mixture into a 3-quart casserole or any large baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake uncovered in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or warm in the microwave. This may be made ahead and placed in frig until ready to heat and serve.