February 25, 2012

Seal the Deal / GBL Diary Entry

I have always loved the idea and look of sealing wax on a letter. It was at the Olustee Reenactment Festival (see Olustee blog below dated Feb. 20, 2012), in one of many of their sutler stores where old fashioned merchandise is sold, that I saw the stamps and wax. So, I splurged and got both a J and an M stamps for Jane Marie. In this day and time when hand written letters are becoming rare, it may seem an odd thing, but not in my world. Now, to whom shall I send a snail mail letter?  Ah, my dear friend Bonnie or the grandparents or an aunt or... Perhaps I'll need more sealing wax after all. That makes me happy!  
Practice #1
Practice #2

The Goodbye Lie Diaries 
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Miss Ella Dunnigan
Miss Ella writes: Oh, I am so pleased to hear such delights for you and necessities for us like sealing wax are still available and still in use by people who treasure tradition.  May it ever be so.

February 20, 2012

Battle of Olustee Photos

We were recent spectators at the 148th Anniversary Reenactment Battle of Olustee near Lake City, Florida.  Go back in time to February 1864 as you look at a few of the pictures I snapped.  Attending any reenactment battle makes a wonderful educational family event.  For more information on the history of Olustee, visit http://battleofolustee.org/

Alana Bishop poses while shopping at the one of many tent shops set up in Sutler's Row.
Confederate band plays antique instruments during Sunday morning period church service.
Yankees headed toward their camp.

Family tent living.

Washing up after lunch.

Gentlemen soldiers

a gathering of ladies- note little girl playing with hoop

proud posing

During the reenactment battle.
After the battle...

February 16, 2012

Another Lucy Moment- To Dehumidify or Not to Dehumidfy

Growing up in Pennsylvania, we had a basement that was always damp. To correct that, our father got a dehumidifier.  From an early age, I remember a hose running from the dehumidifier directly to a floor drain.  It has always been thus...until I moved away from home when all things humid left my thoughts... until I lived in Florida these last thirty years. Sure, my husband Bruce would always warn me, "If we don't keep the air conditioning on, our shoes will turn green." With that statement, he proved he is the obvious scientist in the house.  Well, I got to thinking. This often results in a decision that leads us on some sort of adventure...and so it goes like this:

"We need a dehumidifier," I declared.

"If you just leave the thermostat alone, the air conditioning will keep the house dried out just fine."

Naturally, I didn't believe him. So since I have the art of pestering aka nagging perfected plus a $15 coupon I found in the paper for the local hardware store, we bought a dehumidifier for our master bedroom and bath, which I might mention is at the back of the house and closed off from the cat who... well that's another tale. Okay, so we got the machine home, out of the box, removed all the tape holding its pieces-parts together, opened the instruction booklet, decided there were too many instructions to bother with, except it did say to let it run for twenty-four hours before you push the buttons, and plugged her in.  She purred like the kitten who was banned from the room.

We closed the bedroom door, the dehumidifier humming along, ate dinner and enjoyed the rest of our evening. I like white noise to sleep and drown out any activity, including the cat's and the bing-bong of the major grandfather clock in the parlor. To that end, I happily anticipated our machine would lull me to sleep.  When I entered the bedroom, I immediately noticed the room was warm.  It was so warm, in fact, I didn't turn on our electric blanket controls although it was near to freezing this particular night. (Bruce was still watching a movie in the parlor so I bundled him up in his hooded sweatshirt and covered him with a blanket.  I cranked his heated back massager pad to high and there he sat, snug as a sausage in a snowsuit sitting on a stove burner.  He's used to this sort of treatment because I like to keep the house cool in the winter.  Well, he calls it cold but I don't like the way the furnace dries out one's sinus cavities in the winter.  It can't be good for you.)

Back to the bedroom. It was so warm in there, I even turned the furnace off at the thermostat.  I marvelled how the dehumidifier would not only prevent mold in the house but it would lower our heating bills since it appeared to be a heater, too. Just before I snuggled under the warm covers, in the warm room, I applied my lip gloss as I always do each night.  I can report I slept like that baby we all hear about--for about forty-five minutes.  When I awoke, I realized my throat was dry and thought of all the money we would save what with the high cost of Kleenex for I wondered if I would ever again have to blow my nose.  My head felt so dry, I anticipate my brain exploding into flames by spontaneous combustion if I sneezed. And my lips were so dry, I tasted blood.  (Actually, that part isn't true but it sounds dramatic, don't cha think? Besides, they were/are really dry!) 

It was about that time Bruce came to bed. He also noticed the room was unusually warm. "Let's open the bedroom door and let in some cold air from the rest of the house."  The cool of the comfortably humid air was refreshing and I tried to get back to sleep but ...Well, that's why I'm up in the middle of the night writing this particular blog.  I think the only way I will get back to sleep is from pure exhaustion.  After I type this, I can check my research for Mark of  Man, (my next historical novel), make some clay wings for my fairy, design a leprechaun trap and paint fifty shamrock Secret Pebbles.  That should tire me out, me thinks. 

In the mean time, I recalled Bruce's words- remember he hasn't been in the bedroom long enough to feel his head turn to tinder. I expect he'll be joining in my creative clay sculpting activities any moment.  He said, "Tomorrow, I'll read the directions.  That's always a good place to start."  I told you he was a smart guy.

Now I'm wondering how to counter the powerful drying effects of the dehumidifier.  We could buy a vaporizer.  We could take turns showering and bathing hourly to make certain there was plenty of steam in the room or we could get a machine that is smaller for clearly this monster was intended to dry out a tobacco barn, not our little cozy cottage.  Lesson learned- When buying a new, untried appliance, always save your receipt and, in this case, have plenty of lip gloss handy so you can properly apply it with a caulking gun because you'll surely need it!  

February 14, 2012

Valentine Images

Valentine's Day to me includes the romance of style. I'm sharing photos of an antique and delicate over-dress given to me by a friend who thought I would appreciate it. And appreciate it I certainly do. It is very thin and meant to be worn "over" a full length frock, probably white.While it is clearly machine made, the detail is overwhelming and inspired by what once was fancy handwork. I have added a pink satin ribbon tied with loose love knots in the dangling tails. A pink rosette on the bow, it is on a pink satin hanger, which compliments this treasured garment.

May we forever find romance in the beauty around us... 

pin tucks (delicate seams)
cut work

February 12, 2012

Valentine Din-Din

Bruce and I often enjoy a special Valentine dinner at home. We avoid the crowds, have a chance to make special dishes for such a special occasion and save money to boot.  Here is what we'll have this year.  The recipes are easy and tried and true, the salad and veggie dishes coming from aunts in the family.  These recipes are on our 800 page website, www.GraciousJaneMarie.com, and the links are below.  Enjoy!

Jane Marie's Valentine Dinner Menu

*Aunt Suzie's 24 Hour Salad - http://www.greenlightwrite.com/24hoursalad.htm

*Aunt Jo's Au Gratin Potatoes - http://www.greenlightwrite.com/vegaugratinpotatoes.htm 

*Ribeye Steak by Bruce -  Sorry, we ate the steaks before I remembered to take a picture...

*Milk Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Sprinkles-

I nuked a couple of Hershey bars and dipped washed and dried large berries in the chocolate, holding the berries by their leaves.  Place them on waxed paper, add a few sprinkles, let cool and dry a good hour and then yummo!

Happy Valentine's Treats!

February 11, 2012

More New Friends!

(left to right) June, Lee, Jane Marie & Edith
choosing JM's hand painted Secret Pebbles

Beverly getting a copy of The Goodbye Lie for her sister, Melisa,
who loved Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow

I snapped a couple photos of new friends at a Book's Plus book signing today in Fernandina Beach, Florida.  It's always such a treat for me to meet folks and welcome them into my Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie world filled with suspense, family and romance and fun.  The excitement is contagious!
To join us, email  me at graciousjanemarie@yahoo.com and/or visit http://www.graciousjanemarie.com/ !
                                                  - Jane Marie 

February 8, 2012

Moon over Amelia-- Goodbye Lie Excerpt from the GBL Diaries

Nora Duffy

Goodbye Lie Diaries/Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Nora Duffy writes: I saw the full moon over the beach the other night and thought about Breelan, my cousin...

     Nora watched from the second story window of Dunnigan Manor as a man and woman walked up the drive leading their horses. She recognized Breelan's outline and suspected the man accompanying her cousin was not who he should be.

Full Moon over Amelia Island's Atlantic Ocean
   Turning, Nora crawled back into bed and curled around her pillow. In the dark, she smiled for the happy moments Breelan had stolen this night and imagined the parting kiss of the lovers concealed under a coverlet of soft clouds studded with stars.
Jane Marie writes:

Nora, I saw the full moon, too, and ran out and took a photograph of it for you.  So very pretty and so much bigger than it appears in the picture. Romance prevails with a moon like that, no matter the century...

February 5, 2012


Madonna is 53 years old and looks great.  I loved the costumes she wore for the Super Bowl half time show.  Yes, the entire performance was over the top but then we'd complain if it weren't.  It wasn't vulgar and that was a plus.  A few times she seemed to be moving in slow motion and her cartwheel was less than Olympic. Maybe arthritis had something to do with it. Then again, it could have been her 4-6 inch heels.  Over all, I enjoyed it, knew the music, had heard her newest single, Give Me All Your Luvin', on the radio today and, if nothing else, appreciate all the organization it took to get so many folks in the right place, at the right time, waving the right hand and kicking the right foot. It was fun!