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A Few Downton Tidbits

Hello again, my friends!

I thought you all might like to check out these neat "Downton" sites, which Kim very kindly recommended to me. (Thanks so much, Kim!) One is a poll where you can vote for your favorite character from each episode. You actually rate each character by how much you "love or loathe" them. Not surprsingly, Anna is a fan favorite and, well, I bet you can guess who's at the bottom of the pile. ;)

The other site is a quiz that will tell you which Downton Abbey character you are. (Can you guess who I'd be? I'll tell you in the comments below.)

Also, I happened to notice that next Sunday's episode is preceded by an hour-long show called, Secrets of the Manor House: Life During the Edwardian Age. It sounds very interesting, so I've set the DVR!

Well, I hope you've all had a nice Monday ... I'm off to start the supper prep now. Nothing fancy tonight, just hot dogs and beans (nitrate-free, natch) with brown bread and tossed salad. I found some small and ripe forelle pears at the market this morning so I'll offer those for dessert ... though can't you just hear the boys groaning, "Fruit for dessert?" lol ... so I'll put out some molasses cookies, too. ;)

Have a nice night, everyone - see you again soon!


A Little Afternoon Quiz

I saw this at Donna's and just had to partake:

You Are Spring Cleaning
You are an organized and efficient person. You don't like messes or chaos.
You like simple, high quality things. You don't have room for clutter in your life.*

You believe that everyone deserves a clean slate from time to time... including you.
You tend to see a lot of opportunities in life, and you take advantage of them.

*I think Bill would beg to differ with that "no room for clutter" part and goodness knows - with three boys, a husband and two cats - "messes and chaos" are standard fare around here. :)
But speaking of Spring Cleaning, how's yours coming along? Mine is beginning in earnest this week - spread out over three weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. Actually, I should give credit where credit is due - Bill started in on the blinds, windows and screens this weekend. :)
Have a great evening, everyone ~ Please let me know if you do the quiz!

Game Night, Anyone?

Filed under: Well, whaddya know? :)

You Are Boggle
You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.
You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.
You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions
You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. You're constantly inspired.
Hat tip ~ Donna

These cold dark evenings set the perfect stage for a regular family game night, don't you think? While personally, I've never been a big fan of games (except for crossword puzzles which I find quite addictive), I do have fond memories of playing them as a child. My favorites were Sorry, Yahtzee and Life.

In this age of electronics and iffy economics, it's good to remember the value and joy of simple board games. What would be your family favorite?


You Are A Peanut
You are popular, even with people who tend to have picky taste.
Kids love you, as do dogs. From rednecks to snobs, most people have a place for you in their hearts.
As popular as you are, there are some people who can't be near you.
Don't take it too personally. There's just a few people you rub the wrong way.
*This quiz has been all over, so I HT everyone!*
On a separate, yet somewhat related note, we are shopping for hazelnut trees this weekend. Why hazelnuts, you ask? Well, I've always had an affinity for hazelnuts. I own a big British jam-making book and every other recipe, it seems, has them in it. Like Hedgerow Jam, for instance - how lovely does that sound? In lieu of hazelnut trees - which may be too big to grow in our yard - we'll be looking for crabapples. Or maybe elderberries (technically shrubs and not trees). I'll let you all know what we decide. :)
Have a great weekend, my friends. I'm taking a little time off, but will be back before long with the next Mittenstrings post (etc.).
See you all soon!

Happy Earth Day!

Your Life is 68% Green
You live a very green life, and you're aware of how your actions help the earth.
Of course, it's hard to be totally green. But when you make a tradeoff, you know why you're making it.
Still nursing my coffee this morning, so how about a few thoughts from last year? I'll be back with a "fresh" post before long ... :)
A few ideas for celebrating our lovely, life-giving earth today:
  • If weather permits, open your windows wide and exchange the stale winter air for the freshness of spring.
  • Make up a new spring nest for each of your loved ones (soft cottons sheets, light woven blankets, quilts folded at the foot of the bed).
  • Set up a small nature shelf for the children. Let them add little treasures they find like nests, stones, and blossoms.
  • Make up a basket for your field guides, and keep it handy!
  • Rise early and sit by an open window with a warm cup of tea. Listen to the new sounds and feel the new air - write down your thoughts in a journal.
  • Sit down as a family and discuss how you might be better stewards of the earth.
  • Carry canvas bags to the market instead of bringing home plastic. You can buy plain ones at the craft store and decorate them yourselves.
  • Find out where there will be farm stands this summer; try to buy local as much as possible.
  • Begin a compost pile.
  • Go on a neighborhood walk - bring a trash bin or bag, wear gloves and clean up trash as you go.
  • Plan to grow some food of your own this year.
  • Visit a natural foods store and look for environmentally friendly cleaners. (Even better, make your own.)
  • Look up your town's recycling guidelines; they might have changed! We just found out ours did - and there is much more we can recycle.
  • Read biographies of naturalists with your children.
  • Sit down with your grocery list (I use my store receipt) and consider each item you purchase regularly. How might you make a better choice (less packaging, better nutrition)?
  • Do an energy audit of your household. Where can you decrease your energy consumption?


Have a BEAUTIFUL Earth Day, my friends!

So what would it be?

Did you know that tomorrow is National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day? Really!

What a great creative writing exercise this could be for the kids; get the conversation started as they sit down to breakfast tomorrow morning. Or, you could help them conduct an informal poll of family and friends, graphing everyone's answers to the question ~ What holiday is your favorite of all?

Or, you could just take a quiz, like I did, and call it a day. ;)

You Are Thanksgiving
You are a bit of a homebody who enjoys being in the company of people you love.
It doesn't take a lot to make you happy. You're enjoying life as it is.
You have many blessings in your life, and you are grateful for each one.
You believe that life is about what you *do* have. You feel like you have enough of the good stuff.

What makes you celebrate: Family, friends, and the changing of the seasons.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The host of the party

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Spend so much energy preparing that it's a full time job
And it's my favorite holiday, too! So tell me, what are you?

Food Fun for New Englanders

I'm not sure how far and wide Dunkin' Donuts extends its reach outside of New England, butDunkin if you have access to one, today (2/26) from 1-10 p.m. you can get a small latte or cappucino for only 99 cents. That's a good deal! Though to be honest I've never actually tried their "specialty" coffees ~ it's always a regulah for me. ;)

Hmmm. I have to take Bookworm to the orthodontist this afternoon, and there just happens to be a D&D within walking distance ... Generally I just say no to caffeine after noontime, but maybe I'll make an exception just this once? Considering how early my Earlybird got me up this morning, it might be a nice little pick-me-up. (Thanks, Tara for the info!)

And sBrighams_2peaking of New England and good deals, here's a little online survey which will earn you a free quart of Brigham's ice cream if you take the time to participate. I think this is just for folks within the New England area, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. This is really good ice cream, folks - the stuff most New Englanders grew up on! (That, and Howard Johnson's of course.) I see you can mail order Brighams ice cream - to anywhere in the US! It might be worth the shipping and handling - it's that good. (Thanks, Wendy for the link!)

By the way, mark your calendars - July is National Ice Cream Month. (As if we need a reason, lol!) And while we're talking ice cream ...

You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.

You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.
I was strawberry last time I took this quiz; I guess I'm evolving. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Just for Fun

You Are a Comma
You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark
Hat tip to my friend KC, a colon. :)

What American city are you?

You Are Boston
Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block
*I hope I'm not snobby, but I do think Boston's the best! ;)
OK, no more quizzes. Off to get the day started!*

What should you be when you grow up?

You Should Be a Teacher
You are patient, optimistic, and good at explaining things.
You work well with all types of people, and you are a good role model.
Success and positive outcomes are extremely important to you.
You are both a good leader and instructor. People look up to and depend on you.

You do best when you:

- Can see the results of your work
- Are able to teach someone a new skill

You would also be a good nurse or non fiction writer.
*Early Saturday morning, nothing much to say yet, more coffee needed ... a quiz seemed in order!*

Scary ...

... how accurate this quiz is! Hat-tips to Jenn, Mary Ellen and Cindy.
What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on Memegen.net

Eastern New England. Whether or not you pronounce r's, you have the sound of Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine about you. You do think "don" sounds like "dawn" even though the people down in New York City don't.

If you are not from this region, you probably were thinking too hard about one of the questions.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

Fantastical Fun!

You Are a Mermaid

You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.
While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need.
Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.
You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.
I popped on over to tag Soutenus for the "Picture of Now" meme and spotted this quiz at her place!
Since Bill and I are heading out tonight to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I thought this would be a bit of fun for the day.
And, while I'm in this fantastical mood, Bookworm and I found a Harry Potter meme last night at Kelly's Big A, little a and we had a lot of fun with it. Here are our answers for any HP fans out there. :)
Have a great Tuesday!
(My answers are in orange, Bookworm's are in purple.)

1. Butterbeer or pumpkin juice?

Hmmm, that's a hard choice seeing as how I have no idea how either would taste. They both sound good, actually! But I think I'd go with pumpkin juice.

Butterbeer - it sounds much tastier.

2. What House would you most likely (or want to) be in in Hogwarts?

I'd want to be in Gryffindor, but Ravenclaw wouldn't be so bad.

Ravenclaw because I skipped kindergarten and I'm skipping 7th grade math.

3. If you were an animagus, what animal would you turn into?

A red squirrel - small, fast and feisty.

I'd want to say dog because it's my favorite animal, but I think I'd choose to turn into a falcon because they're a top predator like dogs and wolves, just below humans, plus they can fly.

Scratch all that. I would want to be a dragon.

4. What character do you empathize with, or resemble best?

Mrs. Weasley, lol. I worry about those kids!

I'd probably say Ron because he's pretty funny and doesn't have too much pressure on him, but he's still really helpful.

5. What position do you play at Quidditch?

Seeker, I guess - I'm not very athletic, but I can spot birds in the trees pretty well. ;)

I'd probably want to be keeper because I love being the goalie in soccer. I like to not have too much pressure on me as the seeker would.

6. Which teacher is your favorite?

Professor Lupin, because he was such a good friend to Harry.

I'd say Professor McGonagall. The funniest part was when she argued with Umbridge over Harry becoming an auror.

7. Any Harry Potter 7 predictions?

Well, let's see ...

  • Though Dumbledore's dead, he'll be able to talk to (guide?) Harry, possibly through a portrait.
  • We'll find out why Dumbledore trusted Snape all along, and Snape will ultimately fight for the good side. I think he might die saving Harry or Malfoy.
  • I think Draco will fight beside Harry before it's all over.
  • I'm not entirely convinced Dudley and Petunia are non-magical.
  • Ron and Hermione will be a couple in this and I refuse to believe that either one of them will die in this book.
  • I fear for Neville and I think he still may have a part to play in the prophecy.
  • I also fear for Hagrid - he might die saving Harry (or one of the kids).
  • I think RAB is Regulus Black and possibly he is an animagus.
  • I think, judging by the cover art, Harry and Voldemort end up in a duel of some sort with lots of people watching them. It looks like Harry has something around his neck (probably a horcrux).
  • I think Harry will ultimately defeat Voldemort, but at a great personal price.

There's going to be a Triwizard Tournament in it and it's going to be that Voldemort bets his last horcrux on it or the trophy is the last horcrux. And if it turns out that Aunt Petunia's a witch then it's very likely going to be that Petunia dies bouncing his spell back at Voldemort to protect Harry. Also, RAB being Regulus seems too obvious to be JK's work - it will probably be something else. I think Snape is good and it could very easily be that Lupin helps him prove that. Lupin just might come back and help Snape become good.

So there you are! If you do the HP meme (or the mythological quiz for that matter), please drop me a comment below. Have fun!