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Victorian Romance

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

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Meeting the President

President Barak Obama speaks about jobs and manufacturing while visiting the Linamar Corporation plant in South Asheville Wednesday afternoon. (John Fletcher 2-12-13)

We live in Western North Carolina, and it seems that President Obama has fallen in love with our beautiful area and it’s tasty Barbeque.  Last week President Obama made a visit to the new manufacturing plant where my son works.  When the Secret Service rushed the employees though a surprise question of “Do you want to bring a guest?” and my son, caught off guard said, “I don’t guess so..” and the Secret Service had moved on before he had time to think of how much it would mean to “old Mom” to meet the President. I didn’t get to go.

My son works at Linamar, a new Canadian based plant that makes engines for various companies. Last spring, he heard about a new plant moving here that was looking for machinist.  The local community college offered a course,in order to train prospective workers.  My son quickly signed u for the 3-month course,applied fro the job, and since he already had an Associates Degree, he was hired the next day!  When Obama chose Linamar as an example of new companies, even from other countries, beginning to take an interest in coming to the US where there were well trained workers looking for jobs, he chose Linamar as a great example of what determination to get a job , willingness to work and take classes to get the job and dedication to your career could do.

My son (with our family’s help in babysitting) made sure to take advantage of an opportunity to further his eduction,never missed a class, filled out an application and was hired quickly and has worked 6-7 days a week , 2nd shift to get his machinist job with good pay and benefits. There are opportunities out there for jobs that pay a living wage if you are willing to go back to school and possibly work something other than second shift, at least to start with.  My son’s experience gives us hope in knowing that showing up a at work, having a good attitude and  working hard to learn everything you can still pays off in this country.

My son appeared in the local newspaper right behind President Obama.  It wasn’t a great photo of my son, but if you know him, you could tell it was him.  His kindergarten-aged son got to show off a picture of his daddy with the president.  My son got to shake the president’s hand, and even though he isn’t “Obama fan” like I am, he was honored to meet the current President of our country.

Our newspapers website is: http://www.citizen-times.com.  His photo appeared on the front page on Thursday, February 14, 2012, if you would like to see it.

Though a politician often takes some flack for “spending tax payers money” on such trips. That has some validity. still, I think it helps to highlight the opportunity our country still has to get an education, work hard and move up in life. Most do not, have this opportunity and few ever will . I am proud of my son and thankful to have been given the good fortune of being born here and living in freedom.

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Four Delicious Cookie and Icing Recipes!

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

¾ cup Jif Creamy Peanut butter
½ cup butter flavor Crisco
1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
1 ¾ cups plain flour
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine peanut butter, Crisco, brown sugar,  milk & vanilla. Blend well with beaters. Add egg. Beat until blended, combine flour salt and baking soda, cream together at low speed. Drop by heaping teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten tops of cookies with a fork dipped in flour to make a fork pattern,  Cook at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, let cool about 3-5 minutes and remove from sheet with spatula.

This recipe can be doubled.  If you double, you can use 3 eggs. A recipe makes about 2 ½ to 3 pans of cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies the recipe I printed before said
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies)

¾ cup Butter Flavor Crisco
1 ¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla.
3 cups Quaker Quick Oats
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet-or spray with Pam. Combine Crisco, brown sugar, egg, milk & vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer. Combine Oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Stir in Rains ( and nuts if you use them)
\Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven when lightly brown and leave on pan to cool-they continue to cook as they cool.

Remove to paper towel on counter. Recipe can doubled. Makes about 2 dozen
cookies.

My Aunt Phyllis’s Chocolate Icing

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa  (you can use 1 tbsp of dark chocolate cocoa and one of regular or 2 tbsp of dark chocolate cocoa)
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup Crisco
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Mix ingredients and bring to boil in medium sized pan. Boil for one minute (I bowl it for several minutes). Beat with a fork as it cools. Ad vanilla. Add powdered sugar until the icing gains some thickness, You can pur it right onto a cake baked in a 13 x 9 pan and smooth in quickly to edges.  You may also add a little more powdered sugar and ice a cooled two layer cake, putting icing in between the layers.  This recipe can be doubled for thick icing or a large cake.  It can even be poured into a buttered pan and used as fudge! Delicious!

Mary’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees/
Mix in a bowl-
1 cup shortening
(Butter flavored is ok too)\
¾ cup white sugar
(brown sugar can be used as well)
1 tsp.vanilla
½ tsp water
2 eggs

When thoroughly mixed at low or medium speed with mixer, add almost a teaspoon of baking soda and almost a teaspoon of salt.

Slowly mix in two heaping cups of plain flour. Add 12-14 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips. Stir in and spoon by heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheet.
Cook at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, remove from baking sheet with spatula to a paper towel. Makes 3 dozen big cookies.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Reader Appreiation Award

Thank you, http://grandmothermusings.wordpress.com , for nomination me for this award.  I am honored that you read my blog and like it enough to call attention to what I write.

The rules to accepting the award include telling fellow bloggers 7 things about yourself, and nominating 15 other bloggers for the award.

I will go with the 7 things about myself first:

1.My family has lived in the North Carolina Mountains since before 1780.

2. I enjoy recording the genealogy of my family.

3. My blog is my therapy.

4. I love to read mysteries.

5. I have been writing since I was a young child.

6. I have learned a lot about the internet from blogging.

7. I am definitely still learning, so be patient!

Bloggers I would like to nominate:

I just can’t dig up 15, but I will go with a few favorites:

vb’s reverbs

Contoveros

Everyday Asperger’s

Switter B & Fly Fishing

Lucid Gypsey

Finally a Writer

Comments (12) »