Saturday, April 26, 2008


Warning: The following may contain material that you may consider inappropriate.

The book hereafter described as TTTW is the one you see lying against the pillow in yesterday's photo. (Yes, I am purposely being vague. You may have to click on the picture to see it more clearly.) The author is A.N. (Yes, I've already explained that I am being vague...on purpose...I want no Google searches to land here.)

TTTW...I adored it and I LOATHED it. You, no doubt, have all heard of the "willing suspension of disbelief." The willing suspension of disbelief is more pyschological than anything and simply means that in order to enjoy much of literature or to appreciate movies like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, one must set aside the normal, rational objections one would ordinarily have. Watching Psycho in a darkened theater is likely to set the emotions on edge as one "gets into" the story even knowing that it isn't real, that nothing seen before you has actually happened. (The most recent thriller that I've seen is Secret Window...substitute one that works best for you.)

So, yes, to enjoy TTTW, one must employ a willing suspension of disbelief, which was not my problem.

Have you also heard of the willing suspension of BELIEF? It is a phrase that C.S. Lewis coined to explain what Christians/Believers must often do in order to appreciate the arts. He explained that as a professor of English Literature (his specialty was medieval literature), it would be impossible for him to enjoy some literature if he were analyzing it through the eyes of belief or faith. Lewis specifically mentioned Rabelais who was a Franciscan monk living during the French Renaissance. Rabelais's stories of Gargantua are filled with the most bawdy jokes imaginable. (I can't stand them, but Lewis could enjoy the humor.)

So what does that have to do with TTTW? I'll tell you! This story began and ended as a love story of the highest order, which is exactly what I want when reading a love story. Somewhere along the way, after I was completely hooked, the "language" began in earnest. It appalls me that the description of intimacy descended to the level of four-letter words for body parts. I don't want words rhyming with bunt, slit, shock, truck, etc., to be a part of the story between two people whom I have grown to care about. PUHLEESE, is NOTHING sacred anymore? Ever? I don't want to read graphic descriptions of sex. I don't want to be taken to anyone's bedroom...ever...well, maybe not ever, but you know what I mean, right?

Did it add to the story in ANY way? NO. So why does the author do it? Either because she thinks that that is the way that people think about sex or because she thought it would sell books. Would her novel stand without the language. Absolutely. So, instead of selling books, perhaps she's actually causing people to say, as I did, "Sorry, that book I recommended to you turned out to be a whole lot of trash." This is a shame because, otherwise, this first novel by A.N. is well crafted and beautiful in many ways. Nevertheless, I won't be reading her second.

So, in the end, I was unable to willingly suspend my belief. Sigh.

(And, yes, I realize that I may just have sold a number of books for A.N. Double sigh.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday and All's Well

Though I've not left many comments, I have been trying to keep up with everyone. I know who's reading, who's buying gadgets, who's sharing photos of babies and of journeys, and who's keeping it short and sweet.

I've been reading; now I'm thinking about buying a gadget; I've been journeying and taking photos, but now I'm keeping it short and sweet.

Check back tomorrow for a bona fide rant about one book I've been reading.

A wonderful Friday to you all...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Share your favorite teatime recipe for sweets or savories. Tea sandwiches, scones, and dainty desserts all count in this category. Give credit to the originator of the recipe if possible. Post a picture if you can. This is sure to make everyone hungry for a delicious tea time treat! Ideas for recipes to post this week are: scones, crumpets, shortbread, cookies, baby cakes, tarts, tea sandwiches, soups, salads, fruit treats, jams, jellies, curds, and creams.

Garden Patch Sandwiches


* 8 oz cream cheese

* 1/4 cup mayonnaise

* 1/2 cup finely grated raw carrots (use coffee filters to drain excess moisture from the carrots before adding)

* 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

* 1 TBS finely chopped green pepper

* 1 TBS finely chopped red pepper

* 1/2 TBS grated onion


Cream together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Spread on a fine sandwich bread such as Pepperidge Farm. Remove crusts, cut into triangles, fingers or unique shapes using a cookie cutter. Enjoy!

*Garden Patch Sandwiches Printable Recipe*

Cocoa Dreams

This is a recipe that's been around in my family since my mother was a teenager. It makes the most delicious bar with a shortbread style bottom and a gooey chocolate top. It's always been one of my very favorites!

Bottom Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup brown sugar

* 1 cup flour

* 1/2 cup butter


Press the above three ingredients in the bottom of a 9-inch pan. Set aside.

Topping Ingredients:

* 1 cup brown sugar

* 2 1/2 TBS flour

* 1/2 tsp baking powder

* 3 TBS cocoa

* 2 beaten eggs

* 1/2 cup walnuts

Method: Mix the above ingredients all together and pour over the bottom.

Bake @ 350º for 30 or 35 minutes. Allow to cool, frost with your favorite buttercream frosting, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top, and enjoy!

Hope that you find many recipes and ideas at La Tea Dah's The Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy!

Barbara Wins the Demise of the Snowpile Contest

And Barbara wins! That little spot in the picture is no larger than my palm; right now the wee bit of ice is no larger than my thumb. I'm jumping the gun; however, with the temp already in the 60s, I know I'm safe. Congratulations, Barbara! Can we chat about betting on horses? (Barbara wins so many of these contests that I am amazed!)

Off to do my official happy dance...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Minutiae

This is not pretty craft day; it's practical craft day. I had need of a tote that would hang easily on a hook in my closet. I have many canvas totes, but they're too stiff. Unless placed on the floor, they have little use for my purpose, which was a place to stash extra sewing materials. Besides, I'm all out of floor space in the closet.

I remembered that Judy had made one right *here* and she also gives the link to Martha Stewart's tutorial. All I have to add to this is that I sewed more of the folds to create two outside pockets and I used a fleece pillowcase. The fleece was probably a big mistake and I do not recommend it since it was difficult working with all the added bulk. Nevertheless, in the spirit of using what I have, that's what I decided upon. (Never use a fleece pillow to actually lie on, gals! They create too much friction on the hair and pull it out. Same story with flannel.)

Let's see, what else? Oh, I know, I've decided to give a daily report on the witch of a melting snowbank. Today is Linds' day...not sure...but it could happen.

Someone asked about an electric broom. This is one attached to a machine; ours from the local hardware is attached to a broomstick, which is attached to a human arm. I'm hoping my niece's. ;> (My apologies for not properly sourcing this photo.)

Guess that's it for a lazy Monday...hope that all is well in your world...I'm off to visit my figs here shortly.

Edited to Add: Is anyone else having major problems with Blogger today? Unable to leave comments without incredible delays, etc.? Perhaps it's just my computer, which is a scary, scary thought. (Lots of error messages, too??)

Edited to Add Again: With confidence I can say that Barbara is more than likely going to win. I stayed up until this late hour...4 minutes past midnight to document that snowpile. Wouldn't you know that it was melting like crazy and is now down to this. I didn't dare to go to bed as I thought it might melt between dark and now. It didn't, but oh so close, Linds!

I'll make it official tomorrow morning with plenty of fanfare. :D

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I'd Rather Have Jesus

Some days ago I was mindlessly humming "I'd Rather Have Jesus." The melody is by George Beverly Shea and he often sang the song at Billy Graham crusades through the years.

Did you know that Mr. Shea is still with us? He was born in 1909 the very year that my grandmother was born and that makes it all the more special to me. This is a photo of Mr. Shea and Cliff Barrows at a rally just last year. He still sings!

That's an amazing part of his testimony — he still sings...

I'd Rather Have Jesus
lyrics by Rhea F. Miller
melody by George Beverly Shea

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

Clicking on the lyrics will take you to You Tube where Mr. Shea sings the song at the 1987 Fargo Crusade. Nothing sounds as sweet to me today. (The video was removed and I have replaced it with another. That is fine as on this older video Mr. Shea shares how he came to write the music to this song.)

Enjoy your Sunday!

Edited to Add~April 23, 2013: And the story comes full circle in a wonderful post by Dotsie ***here***  Though Mr. Shea has moved to Glory, I know that he still sings!

photo source (allowed to stand)