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Joanne Bourne
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I have to say that the virtual ... cake? ... looks lovely. What kind is it? And does it go with Veuve Clicquot?
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Happy Ninth Anniversary to Us! at Word Wenches
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I have to admit it's hard for me to read a Historical Romance that is just plain inaccurate. I'm fine with a book that doesn't give much historical detail. I'm okay with the occasional book that has its characters acting in a very modern way. But when it comes to the equivalent of the hero reaching for a can of beer, I just get kicked out of the story. That's very *sigh* for me because I WANT the book in my hand to be good. I am on the author's side in all this. Thank goodness there are a lot of good books out there.
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Thank you for the kinds words. (jo wriggles like a puppy, which is something better mentioned in words than observed in real life, perhaps.) I'm going to second your praise of JAK, (and Sherry Thomas and Mary Jo.) JAK and Nora Roberts bring me great joy. I open the book and hang my worries and pains at the doorway and enter a world where I do not have to think. The skill that goes into creating these stories just awes me.
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Oh thank you so much. (jo brightens up and feels as if she's been given an extra cup of expresso, just reading that.) You'll notice I didn't contribute to that wonderful blog up top. I kept reading the other wenches entries and thinking about it and being quite unable to make a good and useful contribution. The best I can say is that some writers bring me joy by being historically accurate and realistic and thoughtful. Some bring me joy by writing bright dialog and tossing me around in their persiflage and making me laugh. Give me good writing, you author folks, and I will follow you anywhere.
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Oh, thank you. Y'know ... my editor doesn't very often ask for a re-write. But she looked at my (perfectly adequate) original scene and sent it back saying, "Hawker needs better than this." So that scene's a second go. *g*
Toggle Commented May 11, 2015 on Is X-Rated Over-Rated? at Word Wenches
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I'm enjoying the thought of ye olde period toothpick twigs. I'm quite certain there were favored species. I can see a medieval goodwife laying in a store for the winter.
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That is such a fine, touching story. (But I suspect your dad might have found something else to strike up his conversation. He sounds like a determined man. I have always wondered why we use toothpaste that tastes sweet. I mean, doesn't that leave sugar on the teeth to do its dread work of decay? So maybe your dentist had something there.
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I think the traditional reason for the 'acid?' rinse was to get the last of the soap out of the hair back in the days when folks did you soap rather than detergents and lauryl stearate. If so, vinegar would work, or lemon, or -- this has always struck me as so odd -- beer. And if one must smell of any of those three, let it be lemon.
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Candied ginger is just the sovereign remedy against nausea. (Tastes good too.) I've had ginger ale recommended but it doesn't seem to work as well for me somehow.
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I'm with you on the cleaning products. The final quick wipe of the wood floor is dilute vinegar. I like the way it cuts through all the pollens we have up here. I, too, try to buy artisan soap. It's lovely stuff and I want to encourage the crafts. Etsy has a fine selection.
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Hi Jenny -- I don't think it can ever have been exactly genteel to pick your teeth in company. *g* I have one of my characters (Doyle) carry an ivory tooth in a little case and use it when he wants to look particularly vulgar. But private use ... I will venture to say it was probably pretty universal. Just not so much mentioned.
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Sounds cool. I have to wonder what it's made of and whether there's a tradition behind that. I recently discovered Shea Butter to mend the skin of my hands -- so sensitive -- and had occasion to wonder who Shea is. Turns out it's the name of an African tree. Apparently not just traditionally used to protect skin. Anciently used for that.
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Ooooh. Picking a book is a hard one. You might see if your library can get hold of 'Home Comfort: A History of Domestic Arrangements' by Christina Hardyment. It's pretty readable. Some of the grand storytellers who paint the details of their age so delightfully were late Victorian or Edwardian, rather than Regency. I'd put Margaret Powell's 'Below Stairs' and Flora Thompson's 'Lark Rise to Candleford' in that group.
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I've heard archeologists (on TV) talk about how ancient peoples didn't have many cavities because they didn't have much sugar in their diet. Says something about our modern eating habits. I think in the Regency period sugar was still quite expensive and most folks probably ate very little of it. I'm going to hope all my favorite heroes and heroines escaped tooth decay that way.
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Contemporary references deplore bad breath, so I imagine it was uncommon enough to be unacceptable. Your Regency person probably chewed mint or cloves for sweet breath. Then there were 'comfits'. These were little strong-flavored treats that delivered a wild taste kick -- kinda like tic tacs. You had yer anise, yer caraway, yer fennel seeds and so on. The central flavor morsel was dipped again and again in a thin sugar coating and let dry. Fancy little candies. There were also pastilles which were ground herbs or spices and sweetening pressed together. Anyhow, there were obviously just lots of emergency measures to deal with too much garlic in the bouillabaisse.
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I am always wary of the idea of hydrogen peroxide myself. It sounds so very chemical. I am not amazed to discover the expensive tooth strips are the same old home remedy in new packaging. No, not surprised at all.
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You have given me information and thereby enriched my world. I am going to have to go locate some of this and use it so I can put myself in my heroine's half-boots.
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I see tooth powder in some small, old-fashioned drugstores in the South. Baking soda and salt, I think. I've always wondered if lemon juice actually did do anything to hair color ... and yet it's traditional.
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And all through the Middle East and East Africa you can still buy bundles of those twigs and little sticks in the market place. They seem to do a perfectly fine job. Sassafras is quite a lovely taste and smell. Maybe I should lay in a supply of that kind of root for cleaning the teeth.
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My sisters and I made potpourri, but we just used dried rose petals, I think. And maybe cloves from the kitchen. Nothing too ambitious.
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My mother used to rinse our hair with lemon juice after she shampooed it. I suppose that was sort of a homemade beauty aid.
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What did Regency folk use as toothbrushes? Well ... They used toothbrushes. Taking into account the sad fact that our Regency folk didn't have plastic and were therefore unable to make their dental implements in screaming magenta and electric green stripes, they still did pretty well. The business end of toothbushes were of stiff boar bristles or — like this one over on the right — horsehair. The handles were ivory, wood, or bone, carved for a firm yet graceful grip. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Word Wenches
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As I say elsewhere -- I'm not a fan of driving. I do it to get somewhere, not to enjoy. But I have a friend who drives across the country, plotting her books as she goes. Loves a long trip. Nothing so strange as folk.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2015 on Driving ... Left or Right at Word Wenches
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That seems like a good system. May I say I envy you the trip to Tibet. How fascinating.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2015 on Driving ... Left or Right at Word Wenches
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I don't know whereas I would switch sides of the road just for the fun of it. But if you ever find yourself relocating and you have to drive wrong-sided, as it were -- Have no fear. You'll get used to it. I complain a lot but it's not as intimidating as it looks.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2015 on Driving ... Left or Right at Word Wenches
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