Monthly Archives: January 2015

Not Bad, For A Girl #LikeAGirl #YourTurnChallenge

Day Three

For a Girl

The Question: Something I think should be improved.
How can I choose only one thing? Let’s see. Okay what about the way women are perceived and presented to the world. Dumb Blonde. Ditzy Dame. Silly chick. Airhead. I’m sure you can fill in so many more derogative titles, all said with the pretense of humor.
I recently found this incredible video, sponsored by Always. Like a girl:

Here I am past 60, and I sat there with tears trickling down my cheeks. How many times had I allowed these words to be said about me? How many times had I toned down my activity, my strength, so I wasn’t thought of as not girly enough?
I finally said to hell with ‘them’ and lifted large bales of hay, mucked straw stalls, mowed the lawn, changed my own tires and batteries and oil. Yes, I was a girl but I was not less than.
Even today, when we should be in a better place; even in our first world society, we find girls still too often considered ‘less than.’ We still see salary disparities. And we still see elected officials interfering with the right to control our own lives and bodies.
What can be improved? Our own mindsets, and the way our children see each other. Not “Smart for a girl” or “Fast for a girl” or for that matter “Clever for a boy.” But Smart and Fast and Clever…and wouldn’t that be wonderful?

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Red Roses for a Blue Lady #YourTurnChallenge

Questions go along with this challenge. Yesterday’s was why am I doing this Challenge? I wanted to push myself back to blogging on a regular basis. As I was planning my blogs I realized I also wanted to examine some issues that had been bothering me for a long time.  Which led to today’s question: Tell something that’s important to me. The long term ongoing negative treatment of the female of ours species is a major issue for me. As I mentioned yesterday I was raised in an era of automatic male superiority, not to mention jobs divided by gender. Women cooked and cleaned. Men cut grass and worked outside. I really, really wanted to mow the lawn.

 

 

Continuing on my quest to demolish songs I thought I loved. Let’s look at Red Roses for a Blue Lady. Kinda schmaltzy but still seems sweet. Until we look at the lyrics. The crooning male is asking the florist to wrap up some red roses, since his girlfriend is sad (blue lady.) They had a “silly” quarrel and he’s hoping the flowers will make her less unhappy.
Who decided that quarrel was silly? The man? If the disagreement is profound enough to make her so unhappy she tells him to go away and leave her alone, then there is generally something serious going on. Yes, arguments can be trivial but there is generally some underlying factor. The man is hoping those pretty flowers take her blues away. Does he think if he throws some flowers at her she’ll go all googly eyed and forget whatever it was they were arguing about?
Oh, that’s right. It was a ‘silly’ quarrel.
Hey, mister. Have you ever thought about, just maybe, TALKING to her? Maybe trying to understand why she might be upset? Or do you have the standard belief system of a male at that time? From the lovely musical Camelot: “Never be too disturbed if you don’t know what a woman is thinking. They don’t do it very often.” (Merlyn talking to Arthur, in the song “How to Handle a Woman”)
Really? In 1960, we’re told women don’t think very often. Well no wonder that man thought some dead flowers would convince ‘the sweetest girl in town’ to get over herself and marry him.
My husband generally bought me rose plants. They lasted longer

Tomorrow’s question: Tell us about something that you think should be improved

Hoo Boy

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Of Mondegrens and Messages #Your Turn Challenge

I’ve signed up to participate in Seth Godin’s challenge to blog every day about things that matter to us. I submitted mine this morning, and while I wait for it to go live I thought I’d share. I’m bothered by the messages deluging us throughout our lives. How a ‘good girl’ acts. How to ‘be a lady.’ How to show proper respect. The messages are deep seated and insidious so this week I’m sharing some of what I’ve observed. Not everyone will agree with me, which is fine. Open exchange of opinions is so healthy.

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We all know about mondegrens…misunderstood song lyrics, some of which can be pretty darned funny. One favorite is “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” in particular the refrain: “There’s a warm wind blowing..” and then either “…the starts are out” or “…the stars around” I’ve seen it written both ways. Since this song was playing when my late husband proposed to me you’d think I’d know the words better.

I can remember the DJ explaining it was “Please LOCK me away” before he played “A World Without Love.” Now that goes way back. I haven’t listened to DJs since…well a long time ago.

Right around that same way back time I started listening to moody, bluesy songs, which often lamented the difficulties of lost love and misunderstandings. And though I was a young (very young) woman in a society where males were automatically leaders and Father always Knew Best, I found myself questioning lyrics.

Such as How Important Can It Be? I heard the next line as “That I tasted utterly,” and thought ‘Nonsense, like the male she’s moaning about hasn’t done it with multiple women before he met her.’ Just recently I pulled this song up again, and realized I had totally misheard. The actual wording is “That I tasted OTHER LIPS.” What??? She’s feeling guilty because she kissed someone before she met this current heart throb? And her community is ostracizing her?

What sort of message did this send to young people trying to find their own identities? Stay away from girls who are not totally inexperienced? Judge women to a higher standard than males? Pile on the guilt until you break a girl’s spirit?

And people wonder why women took up feminism to help with their identities. I’d like to think this is in our past but sadly I’m afraid it’s not. Which will be the theme of this seven days of blogging.

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Mmmm Biscuits #MFRWAuthor

In Teach Me To Forget, Jonathan tries to make amends with Bethany by baking biscuits for her the first morning at his secluded forest home (in case you’re wondering, no they didn’t get up close and personal right away…that’s for later)

Bethany stared. “You made biscuits?”
A mocking brow asked her who else there was to make them. She also interpreted it as questioning if she would have made them, or if she could. Flushing at the inanity of her question, she idled over to the sun-drenched breakfast nook, so appealingly set with earthenware dishes that matched the mugs.
Butter filled a crock beaded with condensation that glistened in the early morning sun. The same sun highlighted clear jars of
jelly, bathing the table in their hues of peach and purple. She slid hesitantly onto the bench across from Merritt, whose full attention seemed to be on the steaming biscuit he was hiding under layers of butter and jelly. He didn’t raise his head, but nudged the basket in her direction. She took a biscuit hesitantly, bringing it closer to her face to break it open and engulf her senses in its warm essence.
“It smells wonderful,” she offered.
He indicated the crock of butter, and pushed the jelly jars closer, obviously intending her to make herself at home. Such an offer did not need to be repeated, particularly when she discovered she was ravenous. The butter melted instantly, and the jelly was diligent in offering up its goodness. She took a large bite, closing her eyes in sheer sensual enjoyment.
“Where did you learn to bake like this?”
He shrugged, appropriating another biscuit and decorating it before popping a liberal portion into his mouth, followed by a healthy swig of coffee. She couldn’t stop herself from watching the action of his throat muscles, nor from imagining the path the biscuit took. From the outside, that path was well defined by dark chest hair that lessened as it tracked lower but never seemed to totally—she jerked her gaze away, wondering when it had turned so warm and striving to remember the lessons of her youth. Advanced deportment had never covered breakfasts with unshaven men who were practically bare chested and produced biscuits that could win awards.
“Did you mother teach you how to bake?” As a conversational gambit, it covered many areas. It brought in the opportunity of discussing his early life, which would be a good starting point for the interview. It also reminded him he had a mother who had instilled respect for floundering females along with the ability to cut shortening into flour.
He nodded.
She felt her temper—that distant, barely known part of her she kept segregated from her daily life—pull at its chains, demanding some time out in the world. She repressed it automatically.
“You must be excessively hungry, Mr. Merritt,” she said graciously. Mademoiselle would have been so proud of her. “Perhaps you are not a morning person?”
He smiled, finally bringing his devastating sky blue morning gaze fully upon her face.
“I thought perhaps if I filled my mouth with biscuits, I might keep my foot out of it for a while.”

 

Since I’ve gone Low Carb I can only taste fresh hot home made biscuits vicariously though if a handsome bare chested man was baking for me I just might succumb. Barring that, I make do very well with this recipe I found here: Maria Mind Body Health. She

Mmmmm Biscuits

Mmmmm Biscuits

also has a gravy recipe if you want to be very Southern. I don’t mess with this recipe except for leaving out the sweetener, and I end up with seriously yummy biscuits, well worth the time it takes to separate, whip, and fold.

If you scroll through the comments you’ll find more excellent hints on eating well and low carb. I’ve found cauliflower is my friend…seriously!

For those who have asked about more books from Mona (and thank you for the interest!) I’m waiting for first edits on a Romantic Suspense set in northern New Mexico, and finishing up a semi sequel to Teach Me To Forget. Semi, since my heroine is mentioned by Bethany. Both these current books are set in Willow Springs, New Mexico and I do believe Dr. Paul, Bethany’s veterinarian friend, is going to be visiting Willow Springs in the near future. I can’t wait to see what love has in store for him!

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Coffee Cake to Bring in the New Year #Am Writing #MFRWAuthors

Ahhh Snow

Ahhh Snow

Welcome 2015, and right on schedule the year’s first snow fall. Lovely in pictures, isn’t it? Not great for driving of course but it looks like it might clear for a while. In the meantime, what better way to occupy myself than by baking yummies to share with friends?

The foundation recipe is from my favorite site, All Day I Dream About Food, here: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Yes, it does taste as wonderful as it sounds. Being me of course I had to change it up a bit, not adding the cream cheese frosting, reducing the sweetener a bit (partially because I ran out!) and adding pecans. I love the taste of toasted pecans. Instead of a single yummy cake, I made three smaller ones so I could share with friends.

Some to Share

Some to Share

And yes I did share!

The coffee cake is great with champagne, and of course wonderful with coffee. It’s not low calorie but it low carb and very filling. Which means it should last a while. I store in a zipper bag in the refrigerator.

Now I really need to get back to Willow Springs. I just left my heroine having to face her past. Ah the angst.

Happy baking!

 

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