Villains in Novels

In Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine de Bourgh is considered by most readers as comical. However, she is also the villain. Haughty and arrogant, she looks down her nose at anyone who doesn’t measure up to her aristocratic standards.

When she hears rumors that her nephew, Mr. Darcy, is engaged to Elizabeth Bennet, she sets out in a huff to confront Elizabeth at her home (Langbourn). When she arrives, she imperiously bids Elizabeth to walk with her in the garden. She demands to know whether these rumors are true.

Elizabeth tells her: no, there is no engagement. Her ladyship is pleased.

“And will you promise never to become engaged to him?”

But feisty Elizabeth is more than a match for her; she’s had enough of her ladyship’s interference and tells her in no uncertain terms that who she becomes engaged to is her business and no one else’s. She will make no such promise.

Lady Catherine is incensed, telling Elizabeth that by marrying her nephew she would be quitting the sphere in which she had been brought up. “On the contrary,” Elizabeth replies, “Mr. Darcy is a gentleman. I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal.”

“True,” says her ladyship, “but who are your uncles and aunts?”

Whatever her connections are, Elizabeth ripostes, if Mr. Darcy does not object to them, why should Lady Catherine object to them?

“Mr. Darcy is engaged to my daughter,” says Lady Catherine.

“If that is so,” Elizabeth replies, “you can have no reason to suppose that he would make an offer to me.”

Elizabeth walks back to the house, Lady Catherine following behind her–still ranting.

Before entering her carriage, she delivers a devastating and comical one-liner. “I am seriously displeased!”

Have you ever had someone try to break up you and a significant other? Comment below with your thoughts and experiences!

Too Late for Regrets For Sale at Boulder Book Store

Thanks to readily accessible self-publishing services and independent publishing companies, having your e-book featured on multiple online platforms is now a viable option for all aspiring authors. But there is something very exciting about seeing your work featured on a bookshelf–a physical bookshelf!

Thank you to Boulder Book Store in Boulder, CO for featuring Too Late for Regrets in their Recommended section. If you won’t be making your way to Boulder to ski this season, you can also order a physical copy on their website (link below)!

http://www.boulderbookstore.net/9780692229668

TLFR Bookshelf 2TLFR Bookshelf 3

Glorious Roses

Ask not for whom the roses bloom,

Climbing pink "America" and red "Champlain"

Climbing pink “America” and red “Champlain”

they bloom for thee.

English Roses

English Roses

Christmas is around the corner: the season of good cheer, excess, and the opening of gifts (MORE STUFF!). After the last guest has departed, why not collapse on your bed with a handful of rose catalogs, pen and paper in hand and choose the roses you want to plant in the next coming year. In Colorado, it’s wiser to wait until all danger of frost is past before planting.

The photos will whet the appetite and serve as an inspiration to anyone who has ever wanted to enter the wonderful world of this garden aristocrat–the rose.

Climbing Rose

Climbing Rose

Tips for Roses 

  • Prepare the planting with plenty of compost and manure.
  • Provide adequate water; approximately one inch per week.
  • Fertilize 1st of May, 1st of June, 1st of August

Recommended Roses:

English Roses – “Gertrude Jekyll,” “Graham Thomas,” “Abraham Darby”

Floribundas – “Iceberg,” “Carefree Wonder,” “Betty Prior”

Musk Rose – “Ballerina”

Canadian Roses – “Morden Blush,” “William Baffin”

Yellow "Graham Thomas"

Yellow “Graham Thomas”

The problem with growing roses is that no matter how many one has, it’s never enough. Like Oliver Twist, we want more. At the nursery, it’s better to entertain the idea of buying another rose than to actually buy it. But what the hell–as the Duchess of Windsor always said, “Nobody can be too thin or be too rich–or have too many roses.”

For more leisurely reading about roses, see Too Late for Regrets page 251!

Pink Gertrude Jekyll

Pink Gertrude Jekyll

Climbing Rose - Red Blaze

Climbing Rose – Red Blaze

Gardening Tips (On the Lighter Side)

The holiday season is a busy time. Sometimes it seems like everything that can go wrong will, so here are a few household tips and tricks to get you through the next couple of chaotic weeks ;).

Pruning mania:

Never allow an enthusiastic but inexperienced partner loose in the garden with a very sharp pair of hedge cutters. In a short time, an 8-foot shrub will be reduced to three twigs and a few tired-looking leaves.

Avoiding kitchen disasters:

Never go into the garden for just five minutes, leaving a pot of soup or stew boiling on the stove. Two hours later you will return to a smoke filled kitchen and a blackened pot with three pieces of slime stuck to the bottom. Here’s how to deal with this disaster.

Get down on your knees and apologize to the firefighters.

How to clean a blackened pot:

  1. Into the pot pour one cup of vinegar, one of toilet bowl cleanser, six denture cleaning pills, a pinch of curry powder, and several squirts of foaming shaving cream (unperfumed).
  2. Allow pot to stand for two days.
  3. Empty pot of liquids; pot still black.
  4. When no one is looking, throw pot into garbage.
  5. Buy new pot.

Getting the lawnmower ready for summer in eight easy steps:

  1. Assemble tools needed: wrench, oilcan, duct tape, screwdriver, and glue.
  2. Make sure gluggles and whatsits are free of dust. Brush off spiderwebs, including spider’s victim. This is a moth so large, machine guns could have been mounted on its wings.
  3. Oil fluger, being careful not to contaminate exstimbulator.
  4. Using wrench, tighten all dribbets, doodads, and dactyls.
  5. Fix loose handles (more or less) with duct tape and glue.
  6. Empty out fuel tank. Then refill.
  7. Order family and animals to stand well back (especially nervous cats).

Test by pulling cord 89 times. When five minutes away from hernia rupture, load the &*$#inh machine onto pick-up and take to a professional!

Gardening Tips of the Week

  1. When buying annuals, perennials, or vegetables, avoid leggy or wilted plants. inexperienced gardeners will be disappointed at their lack of success; disgruntled, they will rush back to the nursery with their pathetic purchases, their dismay matched only by the gloom of the sellers.
  2. To prevent squirrels or other miscreants from digging up newly planted bulbs, throw a few mothballs into the planting hole.
  3. A pair of kitchen scissors is a useful garden tool. Deadheading, decapitating copulating slugs, digging out shallow rooted weeds and cutting string are among their many uses.
  4. Tie a colored ribbon around your small tools; if you lose them in the unmown grass, they’ll be easier to find.
  5. If you are stung by a bee or hornet and are allergic to them, elevate the limb and apply ice packs to the area. Contact your doctor.
  6. Please yourself; that way you’ll be sure of pleasing at least one person.
  7. Livening up inexpensive clay pots. Wipe the exterior of the pot with a damp cloth. Attach masking tape vertically to make as many stripes as you want. Paint the entire pot white (including tape). When the paint is dry, remove tape. The result will be a white pot with perfectly straight orange stripes. Plant with either boxwood or with annuals or perennials of the same color. Line several of these pots against a wall or along a path for a striking look.
    Healthy alyssum and petunias.

    Healthy alyssum and petunias.

    Vibrant flowers surround a fountain.

    Vibrant flowers surround a fountain.

    Great choices make for healthy flowers.

    Great choices make for healthy flowers.

    Potential DIY project for the spring - decorating a simple clay pot!

    Potential DIY project for the spring – decorating a simple clay pot!

Outdoor Spaces: Lloyd and Jody Wilcox’s Deck

With minimal effort, a deck can become a pleasurable outdoor space all summer long. Windowboxes, hanging baskets, and containers planted with annuals can transform an ordinary deck into a bower. When viewed from inside the house, the profusion of flowers is an especially pleasing sight.

Lloyd enlarged the original, average-sized deck in order to accommodate all the features that he and Jody were planning. He also designed and built the seats and attached the window boxes to the railings. The unusual shape of the deck adds to its charm as well as the unimpeded view of the mountains. Jody maintains all the containers with meticulous care, watering the sun-loving annuals morning and evening. She pays special attention to deadheading. She favors wave petunias, blue lobelia, alyssum, and diascia because they are the most rewarding. Large containers burst with marguerite daisies and petunias. Nestled in a corner of the deck, a burbling fountain with a background of ferns is surrounded by masses of color. Lloyd’s building skills and Jody’s eye for stunning color designs have made this deck into a delightful outdoor space.

Alyssum and petunias spill over a window box.

Alyssum and petunias spill over a window box.

Colorful annuals surround the fountain.

Colorful annuals surround the fountain.

A peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of tea.

A peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of tea.