May 29, 2016

Women of WWII

This post is in honor of all the women who served in so many vital positions during World War II, to bring victory to the United States and her allies. Thank you for your service from all of us. Freedom rings loud and true because of you.

(I took this photo inside the wonderful National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force located outside Savannah, Georgia. For info, please click on the link above.  -jmm)

May 24, 2016

Quite the Quote

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
- Neil Gaiman

May 20, 2016

Ye Olde Rubber Band Trick

You are probably looking twice at the picture above. This is the inside of my purse.  You see some gum and a tube of lipstick within a zippered pocket.  And the only blue in the photo is a rubber band wound tightly around the gathered pocket fabric, closing off the hole in the corner.  While this may be less than sightly, it certainly is functional, until I either sew the hole shut or buy a new purse.  

I have my father to thank for this easy repair tip.  I remember him showing me the rubber band at the tip of the pocket in his trousers.  When the rip occurred as he was teaching school, he quickly solved the problem like this.  Thank you, Daddy.  Good one!


Goodbye Lie Diaries
Fernandina, Florida 
late 1800s

Grandmother Peeper writes:  I pronounce yur trick ta be Peeper approved, Jane Marie.  I been a-doin' the same thing with string once er twice myself, especially durin' the war.  My bonnet's off ta your pa.  Glad ta see you a-carryin' on his tradition.


Note:  Peeper is the ever-thrifty grandmother who walked into Dunnigan Manor on Amelia Island, Florida in the 1860s, home of the beloved Irish family in The Goodbye Lie Trilogy, and never left! 

May 14, 2016

Wake Up and Smell The ...


Here is Abby, our blog-dog, singing, joke-telling and ever-surprising Chihuahua.  I will expand her resume and give her the title of Official Flower Sniffer. We needed somebody/something to fill this position at Gracious Jane Marie because we already have a video up of our Captain Fancy Patch of the Rosey Freckle reading my Martha Bear teddy bear and friends story, The Great Amelia Island Sniff Off!  Bring the kiddies of all ages together and take a listen to this silly bedtime story, read by the captain, himself.  Enjoy! 

Click on the link below and listen:
Captain Fancy Patch and the Great Amelia Island Sniff-Off

Captain Fancy Patch and his crew, (left to right) Wink-E-Bear (yellow teddy), Swiney (pink piggy on shoulder), Teddy O (photo on mantle) Airbourne (grasshopper on white bear's head), and Martha Bear (white bear)
P.S. Captain Fancy Patch is featured in Amelia Island's Mark of a Man  set in north Florida in 1898.  Yes, the skipper has been around for quite a spell... 

May 9, 2016

New to Me, a Gone With The Wind Photo

If you didn't know, I'm a long time Windie.  This means I love all things Gone With The Wind. (Perhaps that is why my Goodbye Lie novels have been compared to this classic in tone and appeal.) Over the years, I've read and seen much on the subject.  I was happily surprised the other day when my daughter, Barbra, send me this photo of the great author, Margaret Mitchell!  I had never seen this shot before.  What a treat! 

I don't know where it was taken or by whom. To me, it appears the writer is sitting on either a radiator  or plaid window seat cushion because she's leaning against an open window.  I think those are bushes beyond her right shoulder.  Note the jaunty hat and corsage, the fancy dress, too. It's more than a house dress.  It looks sheer.  I dare say this is part of the publicity for the book (released in 1936) or the film (first shown publicly on December 15, 1939).  Who wears a hat inside? Maybe for a tea or luncheon?  (You might catch me wearing a crown, but rarely a hat indoors, unless it's for the press.  Then I'll wear whatever they want me to, within gracious reason, of course.)

If you know the origin of this picture, please email me at and I'll update this post with the info.

I love discoveries!  Don't you?

May 6, 2016

Tips from Mom

flowers from Laura Brown-thank you!
Happy Mother's Day!

I learned so much from my mother, Marie. A home economics (home science) teacher, she had the social graces of Emily Post, the advice of Ann Landers, the culinary talents of Betty Crocker and the overall family devotion of Donna Reed, Carol Brady and Stella Dallas, combined. 

I got to thinking about those everyday lessons from Mom and these random tips popped into my mind:

Always close kitchen drawers when you are cooking or baking to avoid having to clean out any falling crumbs.

Turn the top sheet hem back over the blanket when making the bed to keep the blanket clean longer, since you change the sheets more often than you do the blanket. 

When you finish using the oven on those cool or colder days of the year, leave the oven door open a few inches to release the expiring heat into the room.

To prevent stretching out the tops of your socks, tie each pair of socks into a simple knot rather than stuffing one inside the other. 

Ever have a cake come out of the oven and be high in the middle? To help keep a baked cake flat, push the raw batter toward the sides, leaving a shallow hollow in the center, then bake.

If your sheets have a printed side and a plainer side, in the summer, when it's hot, lay the printed side up so the pattern shows when you've no need for a blanket.  In the winter, face the printed side of the top sheet down and cover it with your blanket.  Then, when you turn back the covers, the pretty pattern will be seen. 

Sure you can buy pre-made cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on toast, but you have no control of the amount of sugar.  Save an empty shaker bottle and make your own, lessening the sugar or adding more, for that matter!

Store household extension cords in toilet or paper towel tubes.

Save shelf space by hanging your toilet paper. Find an old paint can lid, punch two holes in that lid with a nail, thread an eight foot cord/heavy string through and tie it securely against the lid.  Take an old fashioned clothespin and tie it to the other end of the cord.  String your rolls of toilet paper over the closespin and hang your contraption  on a nail inside the linen closet!  (We still use one of these at the family home and it brings a smile every time I see or even think of it.)

There you have some of Mom's common sense teachings.  I know you have more from your mother and some of your own.  Send them along to and we'll add them to our list of helpful hints.

P.S. Readers often ask me if the characters in my novels are copied from real people I know.  The answer is no.  However, I will say that my dear mother was the inspiration for Miss Ella, the matriarch of the Dunnigan family of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida in the late 1800s...

May 3, 2016

Tagline Origin