French Vanilla and other French stuff.

The French are good at a lot of things, you know?

Bread, chocolate, art and literature, the Statue of Liberty (thanks, guys!), science (way to go Marie Curie!), the list goes on and on.

Where would we be without our French brothers and sisters? Not drinking pasteurized milk, watching movies, scuba diving, driving around on inflatable tires.

And, of course French vanilla, though French vanilla isn’t from France. (Most vanillas are named from their country of origin.) It’s a way the French made vanilla ice cream. Richer, caramelized, and with egg-based custards. Whatever the reason, again I thank France for their contribution to the wonderful taste of French vanilla.

(thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

The Color Blue — Who Knew?

An enormous portion of the world we see is blue, between the sky above us and the oceans and lakes that cover the earth. It’s no wonder that most people love blue.

But the thing about the ocean and sky is that the color can’t be bottled up—unlike flowers, rocks, and all the other things people historically used to make dye. The color blue is all around us, but for so long it was out of our reach.

Today, thanks to the modern science of dying things, we can all dress like queens and emperors every time we throw on a blue t-shirt!

(thanks MissouriQuiltco.com)

Flower Petals

Lovers scatter them and flower girls line wedding aisles with them, but beware, a stray flower petal could get you in big trouble.

One flower shop in England found themselves in court after a passerby slipped on a single fallen flower petal and sued for 1.5 million pounds!

Maybe you should think twice before scattering petals across the path of your beloved, you wouldn’t want to end up with a lawsuit!

(thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

Poor Grant!

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” —Benjamin Franklin

I love a good sale, and it makes my day when I come across one I didn’t expect. But some sales aren’t good news for everyone.

Like recently at a grocery store in Canada, there was a sale on frozen french fries, with bags of fries piled high and a large yellow sign advertising that they were only $1.00, but the somewhat petty sale sign also announced that this was the “Grant Ordered Too Many Fries Sale.”

 Poor Grant! One case of poor planning and he just couldn’t catch a break. But at least plenty of people got a good chuckle and some cheap french fries!

(thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

Groundhog Day, the Movie?

If you’ve seen Groundhog Day or 50 First Dates, you’re familiar with the idea of someone waking up to the same day over and over. If you could repeat your best day, which day would you choose to relive? A fun-filled day spent with your sweetheart or your favorite little ones? A rowdy road trip with your friends? Whatever your ideal day, go for it!

(Thanks, MissouriQuiltCo.com)

Every child should have wonderful memories of long ago days

One of the most important things about childhood is that you should always know someone who lets you play in their jewelry box. My favorite aunt let my sisters and try on all her jewelry, which we often took advantage of on a slow Sunday afternoon.

She had a mesmerizing pink pearl ring, lots of very long necklaces, and even a ring with a special, tiny storage compartment you could pop open. (We used that one to pretend to be a very elegant spy who put sleeping powder into villains’ drinks!)

And then there was her butterfly ring. It was a very delicate, thin metal band topped with one tiny butterfly done in metal and red stone.

I loved it. My aunt must have known, because many years later she gave me her butterfly ring for my birthday, and wearing it brings me back to my days as a little girl playing pretend.

So what memories of childhood do you cherish?

(thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

What is the best point of view to use when writing a multi-character novel?

  1. First, what’s the genre of the novel? Some novels are so often done in one view-point or another that stories written in any other viewpoint will be ignored. Not read.
  2. IF you have a choice because such novels can use any of a number of viewpoints, then you continue the process to figure out which will work best for you.
  3. Of course, the first step in the process is figuring out if there’s a particular viewpoint that you do best. If there is, then go with that viewpoint because, no matter what other viewpoint might seem best, any story is best told the way that works best for the writer.
  4. If you’re okay with any viewpoint, then look at your story. Check out the characters to see if one of them stands out from the others. Maybe because he/she is important, but perhaps because he/she is in the story in such a way as to be privy to most/all of the plot as it unfolds. If so, go with that character.
  5. Remember that the viewpoint character will slant the story one way or another. In other words, the story you end up with will be influenced by the viewpoint character. So a second thing to consider is what kind of story you want to write. Choose the viewpoint character that best reflects the theme of the story as well as being able to channel all the action because he/she is privy to most of the plot.

This works because I’ve never seen a story yet where all characters are equal in all ways or where the viewpoint character does not, in his/her actions and reflections, mirror the theme of the book.

Human Octopus

How many times have you thought in exasperation “I only have two hands.” Take heart, those of you who truly need more than those two hands because your time has come. T

he YouBionic company now makes a pair of two prosthetic hands that you operate with one hand, so with two prosthetics you could potentially be using four hands at the same time, two per arm! In theory, you could brush or comb your hair, feed the dog, pour cereal for your kids’ and frost that wedding cake you promised a friend and never got around to producing. But think hard before you place your order for those wonderful prosthetic hands because some things are better done with the care and attention that a pair of just two hands can give.

And, if that doesn’t give you pause, remember that when we wish for something and then actually get it, we all too often change our wish to become a wish for more of the same because what we got just didn’t seem like quite enough.

So consider — at what point would four hands not be enough and you’d want eight? Or sixteen? And so on. Octopus, anyone?

(thanks MissouriQuiltCo.com)

ℜ𝔢𝔩𝔞𝔵𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔖𝔞𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫?

ℑ 𝔰𝔲𝔰𝔭𝔢𝔠𝔱 𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔞𝔵𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔦𝔰 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔫 𝔪𝔬𝔯𝔢 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔦𝔫 𝔱𝔬𝔡𝔞𝔶’𝔰 𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔩𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔱 𝔴𝔞𝔰 𝔦𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔭𝔞𝔰𝔱. 𝔅𝔲𝔱 𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔞𝔵𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔦𝔫 𝔞 𝔭𝔬𝔬𝔩 𝔣𝔲𝔩𝔩 𝔬𝔣 𝔰𝔞𝔨𝔢, 𝔠𝔬𝔣𝔣𝔢𝔢, 𝔤𝔯𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔱𝔢𝔞, 𝔬𝔯 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔫 𝔯𝔢𝔡 𝔴𝔦𝔫𝔢? ℜ𝔢𝔞𝔩𝔩𝔶? 𝔜𝔬𝔲 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔦𝔫 𝔍𝔞𝔭𝔞𝔫, 𝔴𝔥𝔦𝔠𝔥 𝔪𝔞𝔨𝔢𝔰 𝔪𝔢 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔩𝔦𝔷𝔢 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔡𝔦𝔣𝔣𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔫𝔱 𝔠𝔲𝔩𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢𝔰 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔟𝔢 𝔣𝔯𝔬𝔪 𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯. ℑ 𝔪𝔢𝔞𝔫, 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔡𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔶 𝔨𝔢𝔢𝔭 𝔭𝔢𝔬𝔭𝔩𝔢 𝔣𝔯𝔬𝔪 𝔡𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔨𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔲𝔣𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔶 𝔞𝔯𝔢 𝔟𝔞𝔱𝔥𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔦𝔫? 𝔖𝔠𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔪𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔯 𝔶𝔢𝔩𝔩𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔦𝔰 𝔯𝔢𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔡 𝔦𝔫 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔠𝔲𝔩𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢 𝔞𝔰 𝔞 𝔴𝔞𝔶 𝔱𝔬 𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔞𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔢𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔬𝔫. 𝔄𝔩𝔩 𝔨𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔭𝔰𝔶𝔠𝔥𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔰𝔱 𝔱𝔶𝔭𝔢𝔰 𝔯𝔢𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔡 𝔦𝔱. ℑ𝔱’𝔰 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔫 𝔤𝔬𝔱 𝔞 𝔫𝔞𝔪𝔢. 𝔖𝔠𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔪 𝔗𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔭𝔶. 𝔅𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔟𝔢 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔟𝔩𝔢𝔪𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥 𝔱𝔥𝔦𝔰 𝔭𝔞𝔯𝔱𝔦𝔠𝔲𝔩𝔞𝔯 𝔱𝔢𝔠𝔥𝔫𝔦𝔮𝔲𝔢. 𝔄𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬𝔩𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰 𝔱𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔟𝔩𝔢𝔪𝔰. ℑ 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔡 𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔩𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔡𝔞𝔶 𝔦𝔫 𝔞 𝔟𝔩𝔬𝔤. 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔟𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔤𝔢𝔯 𝔰𝔲𝔤𝔤𝔢𝔰𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔦𝔣 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔩𝔦𝔳𝔢 𝔦𝔫 𝔞 𝔥𝔢𝔞𝔳𝔦𝔩𝔶 𝔭𝔬𝔭𝔲𝔩𝔞𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔞𝔯𝔢𝔞 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔡𝔬𝔫’𝔱 𝔴𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔭𝔢𝔬𝔭𝔩𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔠𝔞𝔩𝔩 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔩𝔞𝔴 𝔴𝔥𝔢𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔶 𝔥𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔪𝔦𝔫𝔤, 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔪𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝔠𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔦𝔡𝔢𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔢𝔱𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔶𝔬𝔲’𝔯𝔢 𝔱𝔯𝔶𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔱𝔬 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔞 𝔣𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔫𝔡’𝔰 𝔞𝔱𝔱𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫. 𝔖𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔩𝔶 𝔶𝔢𝔩𝔩 𝔞 𝔪𝔞𝔡𝔢-𝔲𝔭 𝔫𝔞𝔪𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬𝔬𝔫 𝔶𝔬𝔲’𝔩𝔩 𝔥𝔞𝔳𝔢 𝔞𝔩𝔩 𝔨𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔭𝔢𝔬𝔭𝔩𝔢 𝔥𝔢𝔩𝔭𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔣𝔦𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢𝔬𝔫𝔢. 𝔚𝔥𝔬 𝔨𝔫𝔬𝔴𝔰, 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔪𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔫𝔢𝔴 𝔣𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔡𝔢𝔞𝔩. 𝔗𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔴𝔬𝔲𝔩𝔡 𝔟𝔢 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔩𝔩𝔶 𝔤𝔬𝔬𝔡 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔰. 𝔒𝔯 𝔡𝔬 𝔴𝔥𝔞𝔱 ℑ 𝔡𝔬. ℑ’𝔪 𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔲𝔫𝔞𝔱𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔩𝔦𝔳𝔢 𝔦𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔫𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔥 𝔴𝔬𝔬𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔐𝔦𝔫𝔫𝔢𝔰𝔬𝔱𝔞, 𝔰𝔬 𝔴𝔥𝔢𝔫 𝔩𝔦𝔣𝔢 𝔦𝔰 𝔞 𝔟𝔦𝔱 𝔪𝔲𝔠𝔥, ℑ 𝔰𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔩𝔶 𝔴𝔞𝔩𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱𝔰𝔦𝔡𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔨𝔢𝔢𝔭 𝔤𝔬𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔲𝔫𝔱𝔦𝔩 ℑ’𝔪 𝔟𝔢𝔶𝔬𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔶𝔞𝔯𝔡, 𝔴𝔥𝔦𝔠𝔥 𝔦𝔰 𝔡𝔢𝔣𝔦𝔫𝔢𝔡 𝔟𝔶 𝔴𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 𝔴𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔭 𝔠𝔲𝔱𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔤𝔯𝔞𝔰𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔳𝔞𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔣𝔯𝔬𝔪 𝔶𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔱𝔬 𝔶𝔢𝔞𝔯, 𝔡𝔢𝔭𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔫 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔞𝔪𝔟𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔲𝔰 𝔴𝔢 𝔞𝔯𝔢 𝔟𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 𝔦𝔰 𝔞𝔩𝔴𝔞𝔶𝔰 𝔞 𝔡𝔢𝔪𝔞𝔯𝔠𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔟𝔢𝔱𝔴𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔶𝔞𝔯𝔡 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔱. 𝔄𝔫𝔶𝔴𝔞𝔶, ℑ 𝔧𝔲𝔰𝔱 𝔨𝔢𝔢𝔭 𝔴𝔞𝔩𝔨𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔲𝔫𝔱𝔦𝔩 ℑ’𝔪 𝔦𝔫 𝔤𝔯𝔞𝔰𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱’𝔰 𝔨𝔫𝔢𝔢 𝔡𝔢𝔢𝔭 𝔬𝔯 𝔡𝔢𝔢𝔭𝔢𝔯 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔞𝔪 𝔰𝔲𝔯𝔯𝔬𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔡 𝔟𝔶 𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔢𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔧𝔲𝔰𝔱 𝔪𝔢𝔩𝔱𝔰 𝔞𝔴𝔞𝔶. 𝔘𝔫𝔩𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔦𝔱’𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔪𝔦𝔡𝔡𝔩𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔴𝔦𝔫𝔱𝔢𝔯 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔰𝔫𝔬𝔴 𝔦𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔯𝔢𝔢 𝔣𝔢𝔢𝔱 𝔡𝔢𝔢𝔭 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔱𝔢𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔢 𝔦𝔰 𝔚𝔄𝔜 𝔟𝔢𝔩𝔬𝔴 𝔷𝔢𝔯𝔬. 𝔗𝔥𝔢𝔫 ℑ 𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔞𝔱 𝔞 𝔴𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔬𝔴 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔯𝔢𝔪𝔦𝔫𝔡 𝔪𝔶𝔰𝔢𝔩𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔦𝔱’𝔰 𝔞𝔟𝔰𝔬𝔩𝔲𝔱𝔢𝔩𝔶 𝔟𝔢𝔞𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 (𝔴𝔥𝔦𝔠𝔥 𝔦𝔱 𝔦𝔰!) 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔲𝔫𝔞𝔱𝔢 ℑ 𝔞𝔪 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 ℑ 𝔡𝔬𝔫’𝔱 𝔥𝔞𝔳𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔤𝔬 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔦𝔫 𝔰𝔲𝔠𝔥 𝔯𝔦𝔡𝔦𝔠𝔲𝔩𝔬𝔲𝔰𝔩𝔶 𝔠𝔬𝔩𝔡 𝔴𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔱𝔩𝔢 𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔞𝔩 𝔢𝔵𝔢𝔯𝔠𝔦𝔰𝔢 𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔨𝔰 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔯𝔶 𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢. 𝔖𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔦𝔰 𝔤𝔬𝔫𝔢! (𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔫𝔨𝔰 𝔐𝔦𝔰𝔰𝔬𝔲𝔯𝔦𝔔𝔲𝔦𝔩𝔱ℭ𝔬.𝔠𝔬𝔪)

The sun burns hot and fast

The sun is the brightest star in our sky, but that’s just because it happens to be the closest. Deneb, a star a couple thousand light years away, is far brighter than the sun but because it burns so much brighter, it will also burn out much faster than the sun. Our sun will last 1,000 times longer than Deneb. Which makes me think of my recent husband. Like whomever Edna St Vincent Millay wrote about in her poem, he lived life fully. Burned his candle at both ends. Wore his body out. But he enjoyed every day. Every minute. Every second. I’m different. I live slowly, always did. I suspect that in the final reckoning we’ll both have had about the same amount of actual living during our times on earth.