StoryBook Club visits Beauty & The Beast

Are we crazy to believe in Love?

Is there more to life than beauty?

Is there a love that transcends time and attractiveness?

What IS attractiveness?

These are some of the themes that we explored last night at our StoryBook Club. A group for adults only that have a children's joy de vivre!

Beauty and The Beast is a traditional French tale first published by Gabriell-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. A time when it was breaking conventional for women to be a person on their own account and their own accord. It was actually published in a women's magazine at the time.

How do we feel about beauty in our society? Is it only those who are handsome or beautiful that have worth? Or could there be something more within? Is a person who is attractive on the outside but corrupt on the inside still a beautiful person? Is a person who got hit with a fugly stick or someone who has a disability worthwhile? Of course we all as individuals must traverse this ground if we are to see people as more than skin deep.

Beauty IS as Beauty DOES.

On the other hand, there was some notation offered, off the original topic that Belle could've actually been schizophrenic. She heard voices. She was odd. She was a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe Gaston wasn't really a cad but was trying to save her from herself. Maybe it was all a reaction to the grandiose discrepency of distribution of wealth and a class society and her need of wanting to fit in and have more. Maybe the Beast really never changed, but her attitude did when she accepted him as her Lord and Master and became wealthy too?

Who knows?

It was all fodder for discussion and discuss it we did! And ate WELL. As usual!

Being a French tale, we devoted ourselves to the task with aplomb!

Here is our table centerpiece last night at Squirrel Haven!
Complete with Books, Teapot (Mrs. Potts and Chip :) a Rose Garden, a Magickal Rose, a mirror and Luminere! A Belle doll even graced our table too.

Our menu of delights included: Soup du Jour (Black Bean Soup), Onion Gruyere Dip with baguette, fresh French bread, Coq au vin Blanc, Quiche (Cheese Souffle :), Cream Puffs, Red wine and Tea.

It was tough to take, but someone had to do it :)

Dinner was followed by a showing of Disney's classic "Beauty & The Beast" which we all watched with new and more discerning eyes :)

Next month we look at a German tale and another community of characters, and try to decipher who they are, and how they are perceived, and what they have to offer us when we discuss

The Bremen Town Musicians!

Harry cooks!

Been changing our dietary habits here at Squirrel Haven. Trying to add in way more veggies, fruit, whole grains. Doing with less white flour and sugar (altho' the occasional dark chocolate has found it's way into my system with some red wine...)

I'm not buying meat.
Haven't bought meat since before New Year's.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love meat. I am a carnivore by nature. But I am trying to be more of a Vegetarian by heart.

But the fact remains that I still love steak and bacon.

What to do?

Well, the other night I got some huge Portabello mushrooms and marinated them in some Balsamic vinegar, a little soy and Worschestireshire Sauce and sauteed them in EVOO. Added a baked potato with some sour cream and some steak sauce and it was FABULOUS. The mushrooms cut like steak and the flavor was really good!

But what about the bacon replacement? Hmmmm.

I bought some of this:  Tempeh/Tofurky Bacon.

Yah, I know it's not bacon. But then again....why not try it IN something?

So this morning, Harry and I cooked together. I took pictures because he never cooks with me and I was happy that he helped.

I like to use what I have on hand, and so looking through my fridge I found a lonely tube of refrigerator biscuits, fresh local eggs, some red pepper, mushrooms and mozzerrella cheese.

So here's what we did:

Sprayed a pan with some Organic Olive Oil.

I had Harry smush some biscuits down.....

we added some of the Tempeh "bacon" already fried,

some red pepper,
some mushrooms,

cracked some fresh eggs in on top,

and shredded cheese to top it.

Baked it at about 400 for 18-20 minutes

and Voila!!

It certainly didn't suck~ Actually, it was pretty fabulous.

Just had to add coffee.

Harry had seconds. Me too.

Try substituting some of these meatless variations in with your cooking. They cost a little less, there is less saturated fat, less calories, good flavor...

and well.... Nobody dies. :)

Accountability Temperature Check....

 Here I am looking back to a YEAR ago when I wrote the following here on my blog:

My writing teacher told me about a book out there that is a daily life journal,...
but its different in that it has today's date for 3 years in a row.

Like it has a daily spot for entries on:

It's for tracking goals, dreams, problems...then after a year or two of journaling, you can "look back" at what you were going thru, what was good, and how you wound up the following year from the choices you made previous.

Interesting, huh?

This all made me remember my Gramma James. She was 86 when she died.
After her funeral, we found many black & white composition notebooks filled with pages and pages of a Daily Journal she'd been keeping for 50 years!
It was a record of the daily weather.
She did this habit diligently for all that time!

That was freaking amazing!

I don't know. But it was a simple daily habit that she connected with.
Now, I don't know if I have it in me to do 50 years worth of it like she did....
But I do have enough will power to try TODAY.

So, I customized a personal template and started that yesterday. For giggles.
I will track certain emotions, information, weather (thanks to Gramma :) Blood Pressure, Weight...

My template looks like this on a single page:
I will put copies of these pages in a 3 ring notebook and see how I like doing it for awhile.

Date 3/11/12 Weight BP
Current Project or Book that I'm reading:

Date 3/11/13 Weight BP
Current Project or Book that I'm reading:

Date 3/11/14 Weight BP
Current Project or Book that I'm reading:

Both these journals (Food and Life) should give me an interesting, fun, accurate way to track myself and my cycles and progress....

as well as a longer view of my life.

Where we wind up tomorrow is because of the choices we made today.

Just thought I'd share it with you, for what it's worth.

Shakespeare, that great Journalist....had it right:

So it's been a YEAR now!


I have DONE THIS project!
A whole year now, I have been getting up, taking my blood pressure and weight and writing down the weather (temp and what kind of weather) and jotting down my day's events in a 3 ring binder.

Tomorrow I turn the last page entry and go back to the beginning of my notebook and start the entries for my 2nd YEAR of doing this!
I think it will be interesting to see my daily entry from a year ago, and what I was doing/feeling and compare it to where I am at on the following day a year later....or TWO years later if I can keep it up!


Thought I'd share :)

Also note worthy is that my Gramma James's birthday was on March 7- 103 years ago yesterday
She died 3 days after her 86th birthday on March 10th, 1986. 
I started my daily 3 year journal in her honor around the anniversary of her birth and death day.

I think some traditions are worth implementing and carrying on. :)

Have a great year of days out there my friends!