Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled"

The construction noise from next door woke me up very early again today. As I had no where to be (though there were things I could have done around the house), I decided to do some knitting and watch Braveheart. As a result, I'm in a very Scottish mood.

So, here is a poem on the subject, by the great Robbie Burns (visit Burns Country for translations and more):

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power-
Chains and Slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha, for Scotland's King and Law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Free-man stand, or Free-man fa',
Let him on wi' me!

By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!-
Let us Do or Die!
Gives me chills! I have had this book, Sir William Wallace, for a few years and am thinking of reading it finally (I have lots of books!). Having chiefly studied English history, I was always under the impression that William Wallace was some sort of barbarian. Rather, he was a sort of Ethan Allen, sort of like Benjamin Martin in the other Mel Gibson movie (which I also love), The Patriot.

Do you have any favorite Mel Gibson movies? How about movies set in Scotland? I so long to visit there someday. And, it doesn't hurt that this man is also from the land of Scots. (On a related note, GB is set to play RB in this. Hopefully they will film it sometime soon!)

(Crossposted at A Lady's Ruminations)

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I love spa recipes!

So, it is a good thing that Christine commented on my blog!

She has a great looking blog called Home Sweet Spa. I can't wait to try some of the spa recipes.

The latest is a Pineapple Olive Oil Mask.

I am quite sure I will be visiting a lot. Summer is a perfect time to try these.

Taco Twist Soup

I love to cook. One of my favorite recipes is a delicious soup called Taco Twist Soup. It is very easy to make, versatile, and tastes wonderful. One can adjust the ingredients to suit one's own tastes.

Here is the recipe:

Taco Twist Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Red, green, yellow peppers (to taste), chopped
3 tsp. olive or canola oil
3 cups beef or chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups salsa
1 cup uncooked spiral pasta
2 teaspoons chili powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup shredded cheese (for garnish)
3 tbs. sour cream (for garnish)

Additional ingredients: I like to add corn and either beef or chicken. You could use different types of noodles or use tortilla strips, etc.

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, salsa, pasta, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with cheese and sour cream.

This soup freezes very well. Just add a bit of water when reheating. We have found that the noodles tend to soak up a lot of the broth if left in the pot. To remedy this, we cook the noodles separately and add them to individual bowls of soup. The heat of the soup warms them up quite nicely. This recipe is also very easy to double or even triple and is a great way to feed a crowd. And, it tastes even better the next day.

If you try it, I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

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My First Comment!

Thanks to TLC who is the first to comment on A Lady's Diversions!

Go visit her blog at Send Chocolate (Great name! I absolutely agree!). She's a Jane Austen fan too.

Thanks, TLC!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Want an Invisibility Cloak like Harry's?

This is cool! I love Harry Potter! :)

Bloomberg: Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak Is Possible, Studies Say---

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- The creation of an invisibility cloak like the one used by Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling's books is theoretically possible, scientists said in two studies published by the online Science Express journal.

The key to making an object invisible is to surround it with a cloak made of ``metamaterials'' that are engineered to bend light around an object, continuing on the other side in the same direction as before, Ulf Leonhardt, author of one of the studies, said in a telephone interview. Sound waves, which have a longer wavelength than light, can be distorted in such a way, and light bends naturally in mirages, for instance, he said.
[. . .]
The two Duke scientists are now working on building the proposed material, and the first device would be a few millimeters across, according to Imperial College. When built, a final theoretical device would have just the same effects as the magical cloak in J.K. Rowling's books, the British school said.

``Just as in the Harry Potter film, nobody would be able to see an object if it was cloaked, as it's in a spacewarp, and that's exactly what our stuff would do,'' Pendry said.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

What excellent taste!

From The Sun-Sentinel:

Heat's Wade shows he is also adept at scoring with consumers

In his third season as the Heat's superstar guard, Dwyane Wade picked up some unexpected fans when he made Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice his recommended book as part of Penguin Classics' campaign to promote literacy in partnership with the NBA.

Wade, 24, who credited a schoolteacher with turning him onto the book he has read more than once, said its theme of class struggle spoke to him as a kid growing up in Chicago.

Some Austen fans who had never heard of Wade pronounced him their favorite basketball player. Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, is planning to make him an honorary member of the 3,000-member society.

It's another example of how Wade's exposure has multiplied dramatically -- his jersey is now the NBA's No. 1 seller -- and has expanded beyond sports' boundaries in the year since the Heat fell just shy of the 2005 NBA Finals.

"In choosing Jane Austen, he shows he's a very smart man," Ray said of Wade.
I couldn't agree more!

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How silly is this?

For the third time, the university I graduated from has sent me a check for $.05! FIVE CENTS!!! They want me to cash it. Can you imagine how ridiculous I would look, cashing a check worth five cents????!!!! It costs more to mail it. And driving to the bank to cash it probably costs more in gas than the check is worth.

How silly is this?

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Lady Jane

1. This is my first Thursday Thirteen.
2. I'm 25 years old.
3. I have my degree in history, minored in English, and have my teaching certificate.
4. I am quite an Anglophile.
5. My favorite author is Jane Austen.
6. My favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
7. I have a lovely dog named Dani---an Australian Cattle Dog-German Shepherd mix (she looks like a smaller German Shepherd).
8. I learned to knit in November and love it.
9. I attended a Jesuit high school, Gonzaga Prep.
10. I'm Catholic.
11. My birthday is April 21, the same as Queen Elizabeth II's and Charlotte Bronte's (if she were alive).
12. Some of my favorite tv shows are House, 24, and the Closer.
13. My political blog is A Lady's Ruminations. I love politics!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


No completely horrid noise this morning. No subbing. So, I get to watch a Jane Austen movie and knit my shawl. I started it last night sometime and it has gone somewhat well. Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete without some tangling of yarns and other little problems.

Ah, went to make my tea and found that I'm out of English Breakfast (a theme, you see: JA movie, knitting a shawl, etc.). I knew I had more upstairs, but upon arrival in that location could not find it. Near panic! :) I just wanted English Breakfast (Twinings, of course! JA used this brand. I'm quite serious.) Luckily, found a nicely-sized stash. Am brewing it now. Also brought down a lovely tin of Walker's Shortbread, the circular one, with Bonnie Prince Charlie on the front. Will be delicious.

Now, I just have to decide which Jane Austen movie to watch . . . so many to choose from! :)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On the Lost Season Finale

My goodness! Did you all see the two hour season finale of Lost??? There were certainly more answers (if that is what one could call them!) than there were in last year's season finale.

We know why the plane probably came down.

We know a lot more about Desmond. Is his former love's father some how involved in the whole affair?

We know what happens when the numbers aren't entered and "execute" is not pushed.

What else do we know?

There are also lots of new things we do not know about. I was beginning to get a bit tired of the show. The discovery of the hatch and all the conveniences seemed to detract from the "roughing it" of the show. But, now I'm quite interested again.

What did you think?

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Thwarted Plans

This morning, I was awakened much too early for my tastes (7:05am) by the construction going on next door (more about it here). As I was obviously not going to get back to sleep, I decided I would spend the day blogging, watching a Jane Austen movie (probably Persuasion or Pride & Prejudice (the 2005 version), and knitting my Lizzy Bennet Shawl for the Knit the Classics Pride and Prejudice project.

Alas, my plans have been thwarted. About two hours ago I received a call asking if I could sub three class periods today. I am happy to oblige. My movie-watching-and-knitting day will have to be put off until tomorrow.

Last night, I got new yarn to make my shawl with. It is called "Windsor Blue" and will do quite nicely. I am thinking of doing most of the shawl in the blue, with a few stripes of cream. The pattern I am going to use (I think!) is from a set of patterns my mothe gave me for Christmas. I'm using a different size circular needle and different yarn, but I think it will turn out well.

More later!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

House Season Finale!

One of my favorite shows, House, has its season finale tonight! Looks like a great episode. Hugh Laurie is absolutely perfect as Dr. House. Hilarious! I'm off to watch it and then I'll post about what I thought.

In the mean time:


House M.D. Guide

And, of course, Blogs for House. Liveblogged the season finale while it was on for the East Coast. Don't visit if you don't want to see what happened (I don't!!!)...


What an episode! I did not suspect the whole thing was a delusion, after House had been shot, until he was at the taco place for a second time. Very interesting twist! There were some very gross parts; I had to keep my eyes off the tv.

My sister taped it, so we can watch again and see if we can tell. I'm sure there must be clues. What a way to end the season!

What did you think?

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Not According to Plan

The shawl I am knitting for the Knit the Classics Pride and Prejudice project is giving me fits! I've had to start over twice (3 times?) and some how messed it up again. I am going to leave off the pattern I have been working on and make a very simple shawl, which I believe will better represent Lizzy Bennet. I must go buy some new yarn, in a color other than grey. What color I do not know yet. I'll save the grey yarn for next month, when we read another of my favorites, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. It will fit the Moors and mood of the novel perfectly.

Any suggestions on what color I ought to do my Lizzy shawl in? I will admit I am not much for very girly colors, like pink or purple. Perhaps some sort of yellow, as Jane Austen mentions in this letter? Only, I'm not a big yellow fan. I tend to like the dark colors, inconspicuous and all that. I would do a cream colored shawl (I do love cream), but I've already done two: one in the same pattern (and I'm wearing it at the moment). I shall have to have a look at the different yarns.

More later.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Knitting P&P

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, I recently joined Knit the Classics. These lovely ladies read classic novels (about 1 a month, I believe) and all knit various items that somehow relate to the novel.

I learned to knit back in November, after Thanksgiving, and have become obsessed ever since. It follows that, as I love the classics, I was very delighted to come across this blog. I've joined and am currently knitting a grey shawl for use when I take walks at the lake this summer (and any other time). I imagine Lizzy Bennet might have used one similar on all her walks. I've really only just begun. I'll post a picture as soon as I have more done.

In the mean time, head over to Knit the Classics and see what the other ladies are creating.

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A First Line

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
first line
I thought the first line from my favorite book in the entire world would be a delightful way to start of my new endeavour.

I have been blogging on politics (and other things) for almost a year now, and have finally decided to begin a new blog for my more diverting posts. You see, I don't always want to write about politics.

But, I would prefer to write about things such as books, movies, baking, and knitting away from A Lady's Ruminations.

And, so, I have created A Lady's Diversions.

A diversion is, as it says at the top of the blog:
Something that distracts the mind and relaxes or entertains.
This blog will be all about what distracts my mind, relaxes and entertains me. I do hope you enjoy as well.

I will be adding links and things along the sides in the not-to-distant future. I look forward to this!

Have a lovely day!