Jane Austen is The Man!

The Hubster and I watched a really cool Netflix film yesterday. "Becoming Jane" is a 2007 BBC film, starring Anne Hathaway and James McEvoy. It chronicles the real-life story of famed romantic novelist Jane Austen, author of "Pride and Prejudice" among others. Now I know where she got all her story ideas!

Jane's father was a country vicar in a small parish of rural England. Jane had three siblings: two brothers and a sister, Cassandra. They lived a modest existence with no servants, tending their own garden and livestock. One brother was deaf, another a soldier and her sister (and best friend) was engaged to a missionary. Jane's parents were counting on her to marry well and care for the family.

Soon after learning that her parents had agreed for her to marry a local noblewoman's geeky nephew, Jane met the love of her life, a dashing albeit poor Irish lawyer, Tom LeFroy. Tom had money problems of his own. He lived in London with his cranky uncle, a judge. The apprenticeship he earned from his uncle went home to Ireland, to feed his impoverished family.

Jane knew she wanted to write from an early age, however nice young ladies of the time were expected to marry well and have babies, not careers. She fell hard for the young LeFroy, as he did for her. They loved to spar over literary works and their merits. In the end, cooler heads prevailed and they parted company: he to practice law under his wealthy uncle, and she not to marry the noble's nephew, but to earn a fine living as an author of romantic novels.

"Sense and Sensibility" and "Emma" are two of Ms. Austen's most beloved works, along with several others. She lived a short, but prodigious life. The Hubster and I are really fond of "Pride and Prejudice;" I've read the book at least 10 times. If you are interested, try to find the film based on the book, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen. It's such a tender love story, but not too mushy for guys. By the way, it's rated PG. The soundtrack is amazing, too.

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Carol, the Techno Geek is at it again! I'm trying to learn how to use a new gadget. In my family history research, I have been interviewing lots of my mother's relatives, and the old box cassette tape recorder from the 80's just isn't working. Last week, Amazon delivered my new magic wand, a Sony ICD digital voice recorder. It's half the size of a cell phone, with USB capability and 512mb of flash memory! Yep, I just make 'em talk into the magic wand, plug it in to my computer, and shazam! Ain't technology grand?

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I am moving back up to 30-minute workouts, after several weeks of feeble attempts. I went through a real setback in May, when I found myself on a plateau. Stuck at the same weight I always get down to, but not able to move down the scale any further. During June, my workouts dwindled to one or two times per week. Now I'm back to 30 minutes, four times per week.

The Hubster bought great new exercise equipment for our home last winter, so I am working out at home now. When I start feeling better about my progress, I'll go back to the gym. I just want to hang in there and not give up. Quitting is not an option!
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