Monthly Archives: March 2015

March Madness: Jane Austen Style, round four — Ladies Sweet Dozen

Jane Scoreboard

As suspected there was some serious court action over who would rank as top male player for each Austen book. There was much debating and deal making. But here, dear readers, is the tally for the last round…

Austen March Madness both sides


I know you are as surprised as I am that the last slot reads “Benwick” and not my beloved “Wentworth” but much lobbying was made for the fact that Benwick is persuasively kind and tragically romantic through out the book, while Fredrick only comes around at the final buzzer.   I can’t argue with Austen’s dramatic telling of the tale, and the payoff is always a delight, but I bow to Maggie on this one.

Jane ball

And now on to super exciting Ladies Sweet Dozen. (Maybe that should be Darling Dozen?) Anyway, same deal… choose your top female character for each book.  Deadline for picks for this round: Tuesday at 6pm EST.


Now, I suspect some of you:

  • are busy so maybe you haven’t had a chance to send in your picks.
  • might be confused about how to fill out a bracket. (HINT:  just send me a comment with your choices.)
  • are annoyed that I’m matching Austen with Basketball in such a jovial way.

But I’ve noticed a bit of lackluster participation on your part.  And I wanted to let you know that it isn’t too late to get in on the fun. Unlike other brackets that are set in stone  before the whistle is blown for the first game of March Madness, our bracket is evolving and you are welcome to join at any time. So if you don’t want something like the great Benwick/Wentworth fiasco of 2015 to happen again I strongly urge you send  me  your picks.

Cheers, Rita

Austen Jersey

I’m also running out of ideas for Basketball related images that I can make Austen-y. So let me know if you have any suggestions. [I picked 13 because Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813.]



March Madness: Jane Austen Style, round three– MEN’S Sweet Dozen

The results are in for the ladies in for round two.


We may have had a few surprises here (look at the first selection for Emma) but over all not too surprising.

Austen March Madness both sides

Now things get a little harder as we choose are top favorite for each book in the male category. Are you a Brandon fan or do you pledge your heart to Edward?

Jane ball

Get your picks to me by Sunday at 6:00 pm EST to be counted in the tally.

Austen Jersey[Wondering why I picked Austen 13? Brownie points to any one who can guess.)

March Madness JANE AUSTEN style Round two… the ladies

Austen JerseyAfter an exciting first round in the men’s division it is time to turn our attention to the ladies. Same deal, pick your favorite character from the pairings (you’ll come up with two characters from each book).

Below you’ll find the revised bracket showing the winners for the first round.

Austen M M both 2 [Frankly, we didn’t have a lot of participation on this, but I’m committed to going all the way to the final buzzer on this, so get those votes in. Jane — and I — are counting on you!]

Jane ballLastly… Maggie reminded me that Mansfield Park’s Pug was probably a female dog, but, as she had puppies and one of them was surely a male,  the bracket stands.


March Madness… Jane Austen Style

Jane ballBam! I’m throwin’ down a little Regency on y’all. Get your court face on… it’s time for some Jane Ball.

The other night I was watching some TV and a came across a commercial for March Madness Basketball. In it the announcer shouted into the living room reminding the world at large that “You’ve got your team!!!” And I thought, uh, no, no I don’t. I don’t really watch college hoops, and I couldn’t tell you who was favored to win or even be in the sweet sixteen.

That announcer made me feel kind of bad. Was I missing out on some major bit of Americana that EVERYONE else was enjoying?

Then I thought… wait a minute… I DO have my team. I’m on TEAM AUSTEN.

That pretty much spiraled into this fantasy basketball bracket thingie and I thought my fellow Janeites might like to play along.

So here’s one more bracket for you to fill out this March Madness season. Lets see how you do!

Simply pick your favorite character from each pairing and get back to me by 6 pm MONDAY, March 30th. I’ll tabulate the results and post selections for the next round. The characters with the most votes go on to the next round.

There are no right or wrong answers. If you aren’t familiar with one of the books just skip it.

There is just one rule… don’t play ahead.

Round One… The Men. Pick your favorite from each pair (there are two pairings for each book).

Austen March Madness both sides

Top 10 reasons Winter is AWESOME

SPOILER ALERT: Winter happens every year!
And just as predictably (in these parts at least) it gets COLD and SNOWS.

Last August was a hot one.  Many, many people bemoaned about how miserable the weather was… how they couldn’t wait for winter because they couldn’t take one more hot, sticky day of summer. (You know who you are, don’t make me go back on your FaceBook feed for evidence.) Now that we’ve been slogging through some serious snow every one is complaining about winter and longing for the beach again.

Dear friends, I say to you… don’t fritter your days away pining for “better” weather. Find something to enjoy about the NOW.

 In the  Richard Rodgers and  Oscar Hammerstein classic My Favorite Things  Maria  finds lots of lovely wintery things to help her keep positive. So we’ll start there…



1. Warm Woolen Mittens


English: By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007.

English: By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


2. Sleigh Bells



3. Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes


Honey 1744


4. (Thanks Maria, I’ll take it from here) Fluffy Dogs who want to curl up on your lap


5. Hand knit socks

6. Hot chocolate

7. Baking days

8. Reading by the fire

9. Snow men


10. (back to Favorite Things) Silver white winters that melt into Spring.
Because a little patience yields some beautiful things.






Snow Ice Cream!

  • 1 big bowl of fresh snow (mixing bowl)
  • 1/4 c Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Flavoring

While you are shoveling off the drive (again) send the kids into the yard to collect a big bowl of fresh snow (making a snow man is optional, but will get some of their energy out as well.)

Inside split the bowl of snow into two separate bowls. In the first bowl slowly add the Almond Milk (regular milk will do if you don’t Almond Milk) until you get it to a smooth Ice Cream consistency.

Add Maple Syrup and Almond Flavoring to taste.

Add more snow if you necessary.

Divide into serving bowls and enjoy.












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