Jane Austen-esque

Three Reasons Why Today’s World Can Never Be Jane Austen-esque

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I have no idea what brought this to mind, but I thought I would share.

1.      In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy goes on all kinds of mysterious errands. He comes and goes to who knows where. Facebook has kind of done away with all the mystery. “Mr. Darcy is @ Applebees with Mr. and Miss Bingley.”

2.      This one really only pertains to those of us living in small spaces. But think of the concept of “taking a turn about the room”.  It really only works if you live in a very large house. Which I do not. I’m picturing Miss Bennett and Miss Bingley in my apartment taking a turn..actually about 12 steps would probably do it.

3.      The men hate dancing. Hate might be a strong word, but many men today do not like dancing. At least back then they pretended to.

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how much Eyre is too much Eyre?

Right now, I say you can’t have too much Eyre. Or too much air. Ha. I wish you were all familiar with the literary classic, world renowned (I might be stretching now), wonderful, romantic, suspenseful novel called Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte also had a sister who wrote books. What do we learn from the writing of both sisters? [Apparently my memory does not serve me as well as I had hoped. I was thinking of Anne Bronte who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and skipped over the other sisters. Charlotte had four sisters actually. They both all had too much time to think melancholy thoughts and nothing fun or lighthearted must have ever happened in their lives.

Except for Jane Eyre. It’s a bit of a sober book, but it’s a well rounded novel and just so happens to be my very favorite book in the whole world. My lifetime goal would be to own a beautiful hardback copy of this book. I’m afraid my current copy is a testament to the many times I’ve read it–over 100 times (and I am so not kidding). For years I boycotted any Jane Eyre movie I heard about, for fear it would sully my imagination’s representation of this story. This year I finally buckled. There are many movie versions of this story, but so far I have only seen one version, the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton. I really enjoyed it (far more than I thought I would) and Timothy Dalton truly captured the way I pictured Mr. Rochester. I didn’t really like the actress they chose to play Jane.

All this to say: I am part way through another movie version of Jane Eyre. A review to follow….

On “nubby” and other things

Before I got married, I didn’t even know I cared about decorating. Or had a decorating sense. Or even had a sense of anything I liked. Hence, my dorm room was alternately decorated in “random snapshots taped to the wardrobe” and “Disney coloring book pages.” While my other dorm mates schemed and actually had a theme, I just nailed, thumb tacked, and taped stuff willy nilly wherever.

I knew one thing–I really like pictures and picture frames so I knew I could definitely put those up on the wall. As I created our wedding registry, I also found a piece of canvas art I really liked. It was a start. It’s important to note that I helped my mom decorate the house I grew up in, but I always viewed it as a very arduous task. Later I realized this is probably because she actually likes the pictures to be level (who knew?) and that takes time. I usually just eyeball the wall, pick a spot, and pound in the nail (I think I can hear an outcry from all the perfectionists).

As I browsed blogs looking for apartment decorating tips and inspiration, I discovered something about myself. I really like different textures. The way moleskin looks and feels (I used it to make fabric panels for my living room). The way a rug will “warm” up a room. The silky softness of my favorite blue throw. When I’m in a fabric store my fingers can’t help themselves–they want to graze the silkiness, the softness, the nubbiness…

Nubbiness? I haven’t officially accepted this word into my vocabulary. According to an online dictionary, nubby means “covered with small nubs, or lumps; having a rough, knotted surface; nubbly.” I have seen this word used several places—once when referring to a sweater and once referring to a brown blanket.

Anyway, this is a really long way of saying that I really like blankets. And throws. And all the different ways that blankets and throws come.

Like this Grand Chenille Throw from Pottery Barn

Or this Cable Knit Throw from Pottery Barn

celebration

You know how people often say they heard of something through “a friend of a friend of a friend”? Well, I discovered a special book through a blog of a blog of a blog.

This book by Shauna Niequist is titled “Cold Tangerines: celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life.” I started to get really excited about this book because just a few pages in, it was obvious to me that this book is very consistent with my blog “theme” and the way I want to live my life by finding joy in small things. Shauna Niequist puts it even better, “celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life.”

This book is a series of chapters (Niequist calls them essays) that journey through the author’s life as she finds celebration in the small things, in the everyday. Emotionally I found this book a bit exhausting to read and is best consumed in small pieces. Each chapter or essay is a short story unto itself with its own emotional/moral/spiritual punchline. Because the stories she tells are so personal and often painful, I felt I could only read so much at once.

Niequist understands people. Her honesty about her own emotions and growth is a huge selling point for this book. I am drawn to her humility. In each essay, Niequist finds something to “celebrate.” I like the idea, but felt that sometimes her punchlines were forced or bordering on cliche. Spiritually, this book is on the light side. Her references to God are sincere but quiet.

Overall, her stories drew me in and reminded me to celebrate even things that seem like obstacles. This is a book I would really enjoy having on my shelf and rereading. Because each of her chapters addresses a different stage in her own life, this book could be enjoyed by people in all stages of life or by one person over several years in their life.

I had to share just one quote from her book, one that particularly struck me.

“But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration.”