Not my Jayne. My Jayne would crawl into the pantry and eat goldfish crackers straight out of the box and get them all over the floor.

My Jayne

My Jayne

And then she would look up at me with those cute pig tails and get away with it.

No. The Jane.

Ms. Austen, to be more exact.

I was at my sister’s home the other day and I saw a book on her bookshelf titled, “What Would Jane Do?” and knew that I must have one of my own.

I Simply Had To Have It.

I Simply Had To Have It.

I ordered it from Amazon and as soon as I had opened it, my daughters snatched it from me. I had to fight them to get it back.

Ms. Austen has gotten me through long winters and hard times, and I love her for it.

I have seen a lot of people posting on my facebook wall lately this little hashtag thingy:


Referring to essential oils, but I have to say I think that sometimes I think a better one would be:


Seriously. When I am having a bad day, there is nothing quite as soothing as a hot bath, chocolate and Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne:

“I can listen no longer in silence.  I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach.  You pierce my soul.  I am half agony, half hope.  Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.  I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago.  Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death.  I have loved none but you.  Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.  You alone have brought me to Bath.  For you alone I think and plan.  Have you not seen this?  Can you fail to have understood my wishes?  I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine.  I can hardly write.  I am every instant hearing something which over powers me.  You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others.  Too good, too excellent creature!  You do us justice, indeed.  You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men.  Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in”
“I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible.  A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.”


It transports me and I feel better.

Or what about if I am mad at John?

Several items come to mind:

What are men to rocks and mountains?


Angry people are not always wise.


I have not the pleasure of understanding you.

I also take comfort in this piece of wisdom:

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.




It doesn’t end with Ms. Austen, of course. The first page of The Belgariad is an old friend:

The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor’s farm. For all the rest of his life he had a special warm feeling for kitchens and those peculiar sounds and smells that seemed somehow to combine into a bustling seriousness that had to do with love and food and comfort and security and, above all, home. No matter how high Garion rose in life, he never forgot that all his memories began in that kitchen.

It’s almost as if part of me was raised in that kitchen. And no matter what is going on in my life, when I read those words, I am in a place and time that never existed in reality, but is more real to me than some of my own memories.

Josephine March is as real to me as my own sisters, and I have read and reread her adventures and been inspired by her, and commiserated with her:

A quick temper, sharp tongue, and restless spirit were always getting her into scrapes, and her life was a series of ups and downs, which were both comic and pathetic.

Yes, Jo and I are kindred spirits.

Narnia is just as any place on earth, and, in fact, sometimes moreso.

(We even have a room called “Spare Oom” in our house right now. It does not, however, contain a wardrobe.)



Growing up, I imagined I was a queen of Narnia, and that no matter what happened, I should act like one, because “once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.”

One of my biggest teenage crushes was Sherlock Holmes, the literary character.

I still love being able to read Beatrice and Benedick whenever I get upset with my husband:

Benedick: “What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?

Beatrice: Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?”

I sometimes wonder if I have been through a lot over the last few years, because it doesn’t feel like that much compared to other people.

But my friends say….and John says that I have.

And when my friends also tell me my “adrenals are shot” (Is that a thing now? Because everyone tells me that…and from what they say causes adrenals to be “shot” mine are long dead these many years…) and my neurologist gives me unpleasant news, and when I am really lonely for Joy, sometimes it’s not an oil or medication or a trip to Fiji or whatever that I need.

Some Of My Favorites

Some Of My Favorites

Sometimes I just need a good printed paper book and some quiet in a nice comfy chair and a snack.

I don’t know if there are any studies on what that can do for your adrenals, or your endorphins, and I am not sure it helps with someone’s “poor gait,” but it may.

Maybe it’s because most of my problems are in my head (literally! 🙂 ), that I feel like distracting and inspiring my mind actually changes my emotions and feelings and somehow actually physically helps….

For me, it’s some of the best therapy in the world.