Three Belles

There’s nothing like being sick to help  you catch up on your movie watching. I had planned on extending my Halloween viewing time into September and I still will, but being home alone and not really feeling like doing anything that involved moving, I decided it would be a good time for a Beauty and the Beast marathon.

It started with the French version that was dubbed in English. Very different as Belle had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. The prince was cursed for shooting a deer (spoiler alert) who also happened to be his wife and the daughter of the woodland god. It was an interesting take on it, and being that it was French, I wasn’t certain if it would end well or not. It did, thankfully.

The second version was the latest Disney release with Emma Watson as Belle. Aside from the bad singing, I enjoyed la Fou (who wasn’t as horrible as he was in the animated version). Kevin Kline was great as the dad, and I did enjoy this new version of Belle and the shallowness of Gaston. But, I truly have to say my favorite part was when the beast showed her his library and said he’d read most of the books, except the ones in Greek.

And then there’s the animated Disney version from 1991. This remains by far my favorite version. Sadly, I did keep comparing the others to it. The French version fared better because it was radically different story. The 2017 version wasn’t as favored as it kept close to the 1991 storyline and I knew that one by heart and missed some of my favorite lines.

It’s funny how some things become a yardstick to measure the next versions.

Until next time!

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They’re Up!

This weekend while taking the dog for his morning walk, the temperature dropped down to a brisk 78 degrees F. Yes! It was time to turn off the ACs and turn on the house fan. Then we could open windows and air out the house until 10 AM when the mercury was approaching 90.

And all the while I was happy dancing, because you know what that means.

It’s time to decorate for Halloween.

Yes, I said it. Halloween. To be frank, my son and I set up the miniature houses two weekends ago.

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But this weekend, we set up the rest of the decorations and I realized I need some ghosts and bats, with maybe a few witches, too. (We already have 3 black cats, so none of those)

And then we hung the lights outside. They are a mix of candy corn lights and purple and orange lights. (Yes, my front door is Tardis blue).

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Until next time!

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What’s Old is New Again

We have a channel that plays old black and white mysteries on Sunday morning. More specifically, they play vintage Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies. And while I didn’t grow up when these shows were shown in theaters, these two characters when my first introduction to mysteries and remain my favorite two actors in these roles. (although hat tip to Martin Freeman who made Watson into something other than a bumbling fool).

As they also play movies from the golden age of Hollywood, I wondered if perhaps I should explore another form of entertainment from that by-gone era: Radio shows.

Now, I don’t know much about any particular show, but I’ve decided I wanted to start with mystery series and have been looking at shows on CDs (they don’t seem to come in digital downloads). A variety pack seems the best place to start, but I’m open to suggestions.

If anyone has a favorite, please drop me a line and let me know.

Until next time!

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They Like Us Again

Our alpha cat has problems. She licks patches of fur off, sometimes until she causes scabs. So recently, we changed up her food.

We started with the wet food that we feed the cats.

None of our five cats ate it. None. The dog was delighted to receive their leftovers.

After 2 weeks, we returned to their beloved Friskies, and they ate. Ms. Alpha was still licking, so we switched their dry food.

Again, the cats went on a hunger strike. And what was worse, the feral outside wouldn’t eat it either. The birds loved it and cleaned up the dishes.

Grr. For 2 months we switched to 2 different brands with low grains, more protein, yada, yada,  yada. The cat was still licking but not as bad. But she was getting skinnier and she isn’t a big cat to begin with.

So, we switched back to the Friskies dry and everyone, including the ferals, are happy again.

Now, we are dropping anti-anxiety herbal remedies into their water. She’s still licking, but not as much. Here’s hoping we’re on the right track.

Until next time!

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Is This How Crazy Starts?

A while ago I purchased a few earring kits on clearance from Oriental Trading Company. This weekend, while I binged on Netflix, I thought I would make some of the sets.

Actually, all the pairs came in groups of six.

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Then I got creative and tried these chain link bracelets again:

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Now my fingers hurt. But I still have a few more sets of Christmas ones to make, so… Maybe this is the beginning of me being crazy.

Until next time!

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When Netflix Leads to the Kitchen, Part II

In addition to making bread, I also was intrigued by the way the hostess of Taste of the Country kept referring to family recipes when she cooked. Thanks to my oldest sister, I do have 2 collections of family recipes. I love it and one is so stained and dog-eared that it is hard to read some recipes.

So I thought I’d branch out. I pulled out a Dining During the Depression and Forgotten Recipes books, then I found a few cookbooks from churches. Does anyone remember when churches used to publish cookbooks as fundraisers? I have a few. I also have some from the State Fair, with winning recipes. {Our state fair no longer produces cookbooks:( }

Of course, I went right for the desserts. To be frank, it wasn’t completely my fault. My coworkers and I got to talking about how great cobbler is.

And Sprouts put peaches on sale.

Et voila:

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It was delicious. And yes, I did share with my friends at work.

Sadly, while the cobbler turned out wonderfully, my son’s cat took exception to me picking him up and peed on one of my church cookbooks. I don’t think I can get that smell out.

Ah well. Until next time.

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When Netflix Leads to the Kitchen

I have a coworker who’s always sharing her favorite Netflix show that she discovered. Recently, she shared her love of a show called Taste of the Country. The show is set on South Pond Farm in Ontario. I get cold just looking at the winter scenes.

But I was also fascinated by the scenes of them cooking bread in cast iron/le creuset dutch ovens.

Now, to me the best part of bread is the crunchy outside and the soft interior. And this looked like it produced the perfect blend.

So I set about to find a recipe. Le creuset delivered with this recipe, and I was fortunate enough to find one in another ebook. The ingredients were about the same, but the ebook had little kneading (sticky like biscuit dough) and 12 hours of rising time. I prefer the traditional bread dough:

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But in the ebook, you preheated the dish in the oven and, man, the tastebuds sang when the dough sizzled as it hit the hot pan.

It turned out wonderfully. And tasted better.

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Until next time.

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