“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

live to see such times

Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring expounds Gandalf’s most significant message in the entire trilogy. Earlier in the film, Frodo had expressed his desire for all the evil to have never happened. So when Frodo stopped to consider his long and lonely journey ahead, Gandalf’s words came back to him: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

We Who Live to See Such Times in the Modern World




Throughout this whole past year, left-leaning voters have whined heavily about USA’s current President Donald Trump for being USA’s current president. They live to see such times demolished and destroyed, never to happen again. They refuse to play fair with the right-leaning thinkers who also live in the country.

But politics are of little concern here in Mary Loves the UK. What concerns us more are the nuclear weapons. Why do people in other countries hate and fight fellow people in neighboring countries? Why do people have an intolerance for anything different?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would never understand why men fight for power as they do. They live happy lives, growing what they will, taking on only simple troubles. And as elderly men live to see such times, they too begin to wonder why. Or else, they fall completely prey to the fight for power.

Deciding Our Course When We Live to See Such Times




People with strong faith in something greater than themselves normally have better perspective on what to do with their lives. Raised within the church and having read through the Bible, I know several proverbs that speak of men deciding where they shall go, praying and giving thanks for success, and the Lord leading them through it.

Too many people get caught up in the decision on what to do with their lives. Bad economies, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, oncoming wars, and much more can easily lead anyone to wish for better times. They also lead people to make excuses for not using their own, personal time wisely.

To use our best abilities for the best causes, we must first discover our abilities and learn about the most important causes. Faith in God should lead us to the Bible, which speaks greatly on the many ways to worship the Creator and to help each other. Local communities join together to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. A good paying job could serve a greater purpose. The choice belongs to us.

To Live to See Such Times in Tolkien’s View




J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood was spent in England, specifically when Germany bombed London to smithereens. Hopefully some biographies on Tolkien will shed some light on whether or not J.R.R. Tolkien took the northern trains during his childhood. For regardless of his situation, it was for certain that the Tolkien family desired to see better times.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings came from this young boy’s faith in something greater. Maybe it came from his traumatic and misplaced childhood during World War I. Whatever the inspiration, J.R.R. Tolkien assuredly inspired many to see what they can do when given difficult times in which to live.



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings vs. What J.R.R. Tolkien Said

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings

Who here had the great fortune to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as required reading in high school? I did! But I read the novels and some connected works several more times afterwards. And I realized what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings contradicts what J.R.R. Tolkien said about his masterpieces.

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Sorrowful Summary




Teachers have probably edited many great, adequate, and poor student summarizations to this 20th century masterpiece. And I cringe to hear the watered-down significance to this work, concerning both the plotline and the linguistics. However, the hastily-written summaries also help to explain the misapplied meaning behind the novels.

A summary from an uninterested literary student may read as follows: The Lord of the Rings is the fight between good and evil. Hobbits, elves, dwarves are on the good side. Orcs, wizards, and men are on the bad side. Some wizards and men can be good. There’s a ring that could destroy the world, so a group fights to destroy the ring. After a lot of fighting and traveling, the good guys win.

Terrible, miserable, and unacceptable! Anyone who writes such a summarization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s painstakingly detailed fantasy-world should fail the class. Yet, please consider, with this example now placed in mind, the wholly inaccurate meaning behind what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings.

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Made-Up Meaning




The Lord of the Rings symbolizes World War II.”

No! Wrong! Have you read his second edition’s Forward?! J.R.R. Tolkien specifically stated within his 1966 Forward to The Lord of the Rings that his work symbolized something wholly other than World War II (WWII). Don’t believe me? Let me show you:

As for any inner meaning or ‘message’, it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw out unexpected branches: but its main theme was settled from the outset by the inevitable choice of the Ring as the link between it and The Hobbit. The crucial chapter, ‘The Shadow of the Past’, is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted. Its sources are things long before in mind, or in some cases already written, and little or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

For those who grew up thinking J.R.R. Tolkien intended to symbolize WWII with his Middle Earth, please read the above carefully. This awe-inspiring author simply wrote for his own enjoyment. With the possible exception being….

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings –  The Untold Meaning




Far be it from me to say J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to symbolize God, the Devil, and Everything Inbetween. For this, I myself, at this point in time, struggle to see within the novels. However, based on an additional chapter within the second edition’s Forward, I can see where people draw this conclusion.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about how he had begun forming Middle Earth, and all its rich history, during his childhood. His childhood was war-stricken (from World War I) and desolate (from the London bombings). With so much destruction around him, it’s remarkable to see how this childhood genius made it into something wonderful.

With J.R.R. Tolkien’s text note in mind, I will continue to read The Lord of the Rings and lookout for similarities between his childhood beliefs and his adulthood beliefs compared to the text. Please join me on this journey. And, hopefully, we’ll reach the end before Amazon’s Middle Earth comes to our screens.



C.S. Lewis on the Church Body – How Demons Influence Us to See Each Other

Church body

Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like “the body of Christ” and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people the next pew contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy’s side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father Below, is a fool. Provided that any of the neighbours sing out of tune, or have shoes that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Common Phrases Heard Within the Church Body




Everyone within the church body, when they are being honest with others and themselves, can admit to having judgmental thoughts about their brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes these thoughts, when not shared in secret with bosom buddies, are shared in public. Sometimes even to the judged individual’s face. Examples of these nasty comments are listed below:

  • “Ouch, my ears! Is that guy trying to sing? We really need to go to a church where we can get some good tunes.”
  • “She looks like she’s from the 80’s. And he has sideburns down to his chin. Why can’t this church catch up to the times and show a little style? It’s so old fashioned and outdated.”
  • “OMG. Is she still eating? She shouldn’t be eating that. I mean, seriously, what a glutton. Does she even care if the homeless are fed?”
  • “The preacher thinks he knows everything. He probably hates us because we don’t believe everything he preaches. Imagine if he knew what we did the other night, ha!”
  • “Am I the only person who does anything good around here? Why can’t people help the poor minorities, abused women, and starving animals like I do?”

Do I return such judgmental thoughts, especially when someone makes them about my loved ones or me? Yes, I do! I’m just as hypocritical as the next church body member! Does that mean Christianity proves itself to be a false religion, creating only strife and discord? No, not in the slightest. But don’t believe me. Believe the God-inspired layman named Clive Staples Lewis.

Screwtape’s Instructions to the Demon-in-Training Regarding the Church Body




Quoted above is the big shot demon, named Screwtape, in C.S. Lewis’s novel, The Screwtape LettersAlbeit this paragraph portion showed up in only the second chapter, C.S. Lewis managed to pin a major struggle within the church body. A struggle that has separated church body members since the beginning of time: How church members compare their faith to other people’s faith.

Let’s use an example to clarify what C.S. Lewis wrote in the portion above:

Fred lives in a small town and works at the local bakery. Because he enjoys baked goods so much, his weight far, far exceeds what the BMI scale states as healthy. Unbeknownst to most people who enter his bakery, Fred reads Scripture every morning and night, prays everyday, gives food to the metropolitan homeless shelter, and serves in several positions at the local First Baptist Church. Paula doesn’t know any of this about Fred.

Paula recently accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She had been hungry for many years, and she always struggled to keep a roof over her head. Wishing to learn more about her faith and serve with fellow Christians, she stopped by at the town’s First Baptist Church to hear a sermon. During the sermon, she spotted Fred.



Fred was hard to miss. Due to his size, he breathed heavily and loudly. He also had a tendency to fidget, which made his chair squeak. When the pastor made a joke, Fred laughed loudly. But, despite Fred’s joviality and kindness in greeting those around him, Paula was disgusted.

For when Paula looked at Fred, she saw an obese man who did nothing but draw attention to himself. To her, his size indicated he had a poor work ethic ,and he had struggled very little in his life. It was a very long and pampered life, from the looks of it. She hated Fred. He seemed to represent everything she ever wanted, but was always being denied, because of people like him.

All who knew Fred, loved Fred. But people, who have only recently come to the faith, can see nothing beyond their own personal struggles. C.S. Lewis knew this. He also believed demons help influence the new believers to think in these ways. Let’s not mistake what makes a believer a new believer: Someone who enters the faith, proclaiming to know and love God, but never growing closer to God and maturing in Christ, will always be a new believer. C.S. Lewis recognized a new believer’s vulnerability to the devil’s lies, regarding all areas of life and belief.

Remaining Strong in the Church Body




Please don’t think that I have a final solution to this problem! Other than with the countless prayers and daily readings I try to maintain for my own faith, I’m incapable of maintaining pure thoughts toward anyone, let alone my fellow believers in Christ. Even when I pray, I find my thoughts turning scornful and judgmental. But, I have hope. Just as everyone who struggles as I do has hope.

The one, true God knows how His followers struggle. For Christians only have righteousness through Christ. So, when believers neglect God and fall and fail, they can always turn back toward God and find forgiveness. To take action against humanity’s propensity to judge each other, probably the best course of action, other than prayer, is to remember our need to love each other.



Love is an action. Our feelings sometimes contradict how we should behave toward someone, hence why we must choose love and respect. Even toward people we disagree with. So, whether you love or hate your church body, Christians need to recognize all people fall short of the glory of God. And this applies to all people.

Therefore, the next time you see someone in a negative light, reconsider how God sees this person. Christians and nonbelievers alike are God’s children. So, if someone in your own church’s body seems to exemplify the very things that you’ve grown to hate, reconsider whether you see the person correctly. Or if God can justify your hate.



Thanksgiving Festivities – Celebrating with British Thanksgiving Crackers

British Thanksgiving Crackeres

Cost Plus World Market has brought joy to many adults and children with their British Thanksgiving crackers. “Crackers?” my American reader asks. “What joy could small bits of crunchy, unleavened bread bring?”



British Thanksgiving Crackers
Small party favors found in the British Thanksgiving crackers

We speak not of the food! Holiday crackers, especially those made for Christmas, are small party favors handed out to guests. Many contain small toys for children to play with during the festivities. Others, favoring the adults, contain small, useful items, such as nail clippers.

Where to Find British Thanksgiving Crackers




Every American knows the happenings on Thanksgiving Day: Slave over the stovetop early in the morning, eat the Turkey, dressing, and potatoes and gravy in the afternoon, sleep until nightfall, and finish the day with some pumpkin pie. The same ole’ tradition year in and year out.

My husband and I decided to change things up a bit this year. For long before the holidays, maybe as early as September, Alex spoke about purchasing some crackers for Christmas. I, like many, knew nothing about this British tradition, but itched at the idea of celebrating the holidays in the British style.



British Thanksgiving Crackers
My fierce Pirate King husband!

During one particular shopping trip to Cost Plus World Market, we found them. “Oh, look at these, Mary! Thanksgiving crackers!” said Alex. I looked over, tired but interested. They appeared festive and fun, but my husband, as excited as he was, decided to overlook them and spare the expense. I refused to let that happen.

“God knows that if a product runs out, the store likely won’t purchase any more for the holiday. We should get them now in case we can’t get any for Christmas, ” I said. This convinced him, so we picked the only design available and bought them then and there.

How to Bring Festivity to the Family with British Thanksgiving Crackers




Sadly, my four-year-old niece was absent from our family’s Thanksgiving dinner and celebration. She might have enjoyed the British Thanksgiving crackers, especially the snaps upon ripping open the crackers. She certainly might have enjoyed some of the toys found within the crackers.

Nevertheless, after eating the pumpkin and pecan pies, I grabbed the crackers from their place on the entertainment center and let everyone pick their cracker from the box. Other than having some difficulty in pulling open the crackers, everyone enjoyed the crowns, toys, and jokes inside (the jokes being particularly clean-cut and funny).



British Thanksgiving Crackers
And me, showing off my card deck.

My mother was laughing and excited to put on her crown. Alex donned on all his toys and looked like a fierce pirate king. I freely expressed my own joy upon receiving a tiny card deck, with British royalty representing the joker. And even my father placed the paper crown upon his head.

Since my family isn’t the type to stay up and drink the night away, everyone soon retired for the night. Afterwards, Alex and I decided together to buy some of the Christmas crackers found at Cost Plus World Market (which only came out a couple weeks ago). Because, no such thing as too much fun has ever existed in our book!



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

global television rights to The Lord of the Rings

Cue the funeral dirge. For a company, which entertains complete disregard for the Christian faith, has acquired certain rights to Tolkien’s work. That’s right: Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Why Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings




We Christians cannot fully blame Jeff Bezos for acquiring the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. For the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust had presented these rights to him, as well as to other companies with wholly different views than J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Bezos merely presented the most attractive monetary agreement.

Why Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings requires little speculation: Jeff Bezos wanted more money. Whatever he paid for the right to televise The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) must have appeared as small change compared to the calculations for how much a LOTR miniseries would gain in profit. Jeff Bezos simply saw a great opportunity handed to him.

Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and What It Said About the Tolkien Estate and Trust




Declaring Jeff Bezos as the only greedy investor in this deal denies the greed working behind the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was wildly successful, and the Tolkien Society decided they wished for more such financial successes. A simple conclusion based on the common transactions and deals performed among organizations around the world.

Since Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, Christians need to pray for God’s help. Because if the Christian messages in the LOTR trilogy are to remain intact, God must perform a miracle. For it seems the Tolkien Society chairmen care little about the faith elements which J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated into his work.

Ethical Dilemmas Behind the Deals When Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings




Why do I conclude the Tolkien Society cares little about J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith? I came to this conclusion because, based on international news found on the Internet and in the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bezos supports causes that oppose Christian beliefs. To me, selling global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to a man who disregards God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seems like folly.

To maintain the integrity behind The Lord of the Rings, and remain faithful to the remarkable Christian author, we must hope Jeff Bezos instructs his crew to stay true to the books. Making Tolkien’s beloved characters perform in ways defiant to what is right and true would skew the beauty in J.R.R. Tolkien’s messages. As would also be true if the evil characters performed kind acts.

Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and We’re Going to Watch It




As a general rule, my family never buys from Amazon, unless someone presents us with a gift card. However, even spending someone else’s money given to Amazon feels wrong and dirty. Why? Amazon supports causes, such as gay marriage, that the Holy Bible informs Christians to recognize as an abomination. Therefore, we, as Christians, generally refuse to support liberal organizations when they adamantly hate us for our beliefs.

In this particular case, I will make an exception. Since this blog focuses predominantly on British food and British flicks, I will find someone who has an Amazon Prime TV and watch the LOTR miniseries with them. Then, hopefully, I will be able to report to my readers how Amazon remained true to the stories. Though, I highly doubt such will happen.

Who is excited for Amazon acquiring the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings? Do you think Amazon will do well and skew the story only slightly? Or do you think Amazon will use this opportunity to demean J.R.R. Tolkien’s work?



Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess – Critical Review

The Duchess

Actors Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes worked together in the worst movie plot I have ever seen, entitled The Duchess. Though two or three weeks have passed since I watched this movie, I dare not watch it again for a simple review. For The Duchess movie ought to disappear from the record books.

The Disastrous Plotline in The Duchess



The Duchess
Keira Knightley as “Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire”.
Photo by Nick Wall

Never before have I seen a historical woman so skewed in a movie to fit the feminist agenda. Though I have yet to acquire a book on the Duchess of Devonshire, I know just enough from online sources to realize the woman’s greater accomplishments. Other than those of surviving a bad marriage.

Keira Knightley played the young woman who became the Duchess of Devonshire. Carefree and flexible, she left her friends to elevate in social ranking by marrying the Duke, William Cavendish. Right from the beginning, the screenwriter showed Duchess Georgiana as being the poor victim who must produce a male heir for a despicable man.



The Duchess
Duke William Cavendish of Devonshire

How did the Duke show himself despicable? Well, he chose his wife’s traveling companion as his mistress. Expressing her anger at the relationship, Duchess Georgiana verbally spat at the Duke and proclaimed to never make love with him again. Upon which the Duke forced himself upon her, and then went back to Lady Bess Foster. From the rape came Duchess Georgiana’s first and only son.

When the Duchess found a childhood friend who loved her deeply, the Duke forbade any love affair, despite his own with Lady Bess. To remain in contact with her daughters and son with the Duke, she permanently disconnected with her friend, who later became Prime Minister Charles Grey. Lady Bess comforted her, so Duchess Georgiana soon stood down and allowed Lady Bess and the Duke to marry. From her one-time affair with Sir Charles came a daughter, whom the Lady Georgiana visited frequently.

Feminist Activists Seen at Work in The Duchess



The Duchess
Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire stars in THE DUCHESS, a Paramount Vantage release. Photo by Peter Mountain

Real-life Duchess Georgiana played a large and significant role in fashion and politics. Whereas the Duke seemed moody and disinterested in common affairs, the Duchess would actively participate in the political dinners and gatherings. Hence how she came across her childhood friend, Sir Charles Grey.

Moreover, Duchess Georgiana was anything but a saint. For in her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, she acquired massive amounts of gambling debt. This also served to prove her relations with the political heads, because gambling served as a frequent pastime among the ladies and gentlemen.

To finetune the plot, and keep the movie from showing as something unpolitical, more emphasis should have been placed on the social times. For during the time in which the Duchess lived, religion had a strong hold on how people behaved. Many things done today didn’t exist in England’s past. Therefore, to expect Duke William Cavendish to behave the same way as modernday husbands is ridiculous.

Recommendations for The Duchess




Movie critics loved this movie. Something which makes sense to me, considering the generally widespread liberal agenda sweeping across Europe and the United States. According to the critics, since this movie criticized men, it was a masterpiece.

As for me, I found the film completely unfair to men and historically ambiguous. The Duchess of Devonshire had power! She was no fainting damsel in distress. Consequently, I cannot in good conscious recommend this film. While the costume designer created beautiful garments, he failed to save the disastrous plotline. So, please, spare yourselves the pain and watch something historically and politically sound.



How To Properly Cook a Jamie Oliver Recipe – Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

I dared to argue with Jamie Oliver’s instructions on a certain meal once before, concerning his “Old Boy’s Omelette” recipe. This time was different. For this time, I presented two Jamie Oliver recipes at one meal, and one far outranked the other. Welcome to the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties.

Presenting the First Contestant: Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers



Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
All the ingredients laid out for the meal preparation.

Searching through Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain recipe book revealed an amazingly simple soup. After buying the ingredients at the local Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work on creating Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers.

Creating Fresh Tomato Soup first involved blending the main ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, basil, and so forth. Jamie Oliver provided me some freedom in how smooth I wanted the soup. So, I made the soup chunky, and I set it to boil.


Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Little Cheddar Soldiers straight from the oven.

As the soup began to boil, following the instructions, I cut some crusty bread and made Little Cheddar Soldiers with them. Allow me to cut straight to the chase with these Little Cheddar Soldiers: They were outstandingly good! I had followed the instruction to a T, adding good amounts of sharp cheddar, thyme, and Worcester sauce, and the resulting flavor was beyond my imagination. Every soup should have these elongated, cheesy croutons.

Returning to the Fresh Tomato Soup, I read the instructions and realized Jamie Oliver had provided me with more freedom regarding the sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. He wrote down the instructions to season to the cook’s taste. And that’s where the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties began….

Presenting the Opponent: Evening Butties Filled with Meats and Sauces




Within the breakfast section in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook existed a few paragraphs on the traditional Breakfast Butty. Reading the page gave me the idea of creating Evening Butties – an idea which Jamie Oliver suggested in his cookbook – to go along with the soup. The meat-filled butties looked particularly good, so I set to work.

Picking up some flavorful spicy sausage at Walmart, my husband sliced the links into manageable pieces and cut them in half. He grilled them on the stovetop. Earlier I had defrosted some Sam’s Club bacon from the freezer. Taking this, Alex sizzled the bacon in its grease and served them alongside the sausage links.


Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
My Evening Butty creation, with help from my husband.

After I sliced some rolls, I placed them in the toaster to make them even crustier. Popping up from the toaster as delightfully soft and crusty, I proceeded to add some Heinz ketchup and Worcester sauce on one side, and HP Sauce and Worcester sauce on the other side. Like Jamie Oliver had said, the sauces simply melted into the crusty bread, yet without turning the bread into something soggy.

To satisfy all those coming to dinner, I separated the bacon and the sausage and put them into separate rolls. This way the dinner guests had two sandwiches to choose from. But! Fresh Tomato Soup still had some throws to punch….

Why Salt Can Be  an Enormous Mistake in Cooking




You guessed it, I over-salted the soup. Thinking the Fresh Tomato Soup as good, yet somewhat bland, I poured in some sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. On the first seasoning round, the soup still tasted somewhat bland. Thinking some extra sea salt would solve the dilemma, I generously poured some in. Oops. One particular guest and I refused to finish the soup at the dinner table based on how miserably salty I had made it.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties presented for a table of four.

Meaty Evening Butties won the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties. The pure, unadulterated taste from Jamie Oliver’s recommended butties far outdid my attempt at creating flavorful Fresh Tomato Soup. Merely leaving out the salt probably would have done better.

Nevertheless, I recommend both recipes to every cook out there. The Little Cheddar Soldiers go fabulously well with the Fresh Tomato Soup, and the Evening Butties serve well during any time of day. As for me, I need more practice in seasoning soup.



Josh Gates Searched for and Found the Irish Banshee on Destination Truth

Irish Banshee




Lethal, fairy tale phantoms and creatures have haunted Ireland for centuries, according to the Irish townsfolk. In particular, they hold a special reverence for the Irish Banshee. Based on the mysterious happenings at a certain dilapidated medieval castle near the cliff-side, the screaming Banshee seems to have settled itself there.

Destination Truth producers sent worldwide adventurer, Josh Gates, to Ireland to search for the notorious phantom. Here he questioned the townsfolk. And after hearing about the medieval ruins, he set out to find this terrible phantom. Strange events happened there. Afterwards, leaving Ireland, Josh Gates insisted the Irish Banshee is more than a mere fairy tale. Or, are the Destination Truth producers selling tall tales?

Why Josh Gates Searched for the Irish Banshee in the First Place




People around the world watch, know, and love Josh Gates. He is a fun-loving, down-to-earth American who respects and honors other people and cultures. Fellow Americans – and I must assume other people from different nationalities – also hold an interest in Irish folklore. Having combined these two elements, specifically with the infamous Banshee, Destination Truth producers had the perfect episode.

I only question why Josh Gates acted so convinced about the Irish Banshee’s presence? Yes, mysterious noises permeated the otherwise silent night. Some odd shadows appeared inside the castle’s ruins. However, in every abandoned place, there exists wild animals. Some rustle in the bushes, others hide in dark crevices. Demons probably exist, as seen in Josh Gate’s Romanian episode, but they are known to harass living people. Why did Josh so readily believe in the Irish Banshee’s existence?

What Occurred as Josh Gates and His Crew Searched for the Irish Banshee




Little occurred in this episode regarding the Irish episode other than what normally occurs when people go ghost hunting. Inexplicable shadows ran to and fro, up and down castle ruins and yawning lawns. Sounds like a screaming woman – which can be very similar to a howling fox – resound throughout the empty and silent grounds. Bats and birds fly up unexpectedly. All of this spooked Josh Gates and his crew. And soon they “heard” the phantom chasing after them.

What really got the ball rolling was when Barry, who used to host Ghost Hunters International, trained everyone’s eyes on an object on the ground. We television viewers saw nothing, though the camera pointed down to the ground. However, Barry convinced everyone that the Irish Banshee had thrown the unseen object. And if anyone picked it up, they would soon meet their death. Hocus pocus, in my general opinion. They should have picked it up to verify the rumors of the howling Banshee.

Then came the part where Hallie entered the high tower alone, where the Irish Banshee had supposedly been seen, to do a ghostly interview. The metal stairs, which she had just climbed, began making noise, as if the lethal phantom was coming to meet her. She freaked out and began talking on her walkie-talkie. And Josh told her to come down the stairs and investigate what could have made the noise. Nothing else happened.

What I Learned about Josh Gates and the Irish Banshee




To be perfectly honest, I learned more about Josh Gates during this episode than I did about the Irish Banshee. Based on the performance given, Josh Gates serves as the overworked employee to the Destination Truth producers. Either that, or he wants to believe in Irish folklore. Whichever one be the truth, I’m surprised either way.

To the screaming Irish Banshee, where are your victims? What leads the Irish people to wholeheartedly believe they will die if they pick up a thrown item? The wind there howls at night. Animals rustle and hide in crooks and crannies. Shadows appear in odd places throughout the world. All of these could explain the Irish Banshee’s existence. Why believe in a lethal phantom?

This Irish Banshee interests me greatly in folklore. But, in the real world, I’m a sceptic and a naysayer about television’s adventure programs. So, only one question remains: What do you believe?



 

Sunday Afternoon Tea – Exploring Several Odds and Ends in UK Delectables

UK Delectables

Shopping at Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Market has filled our cupboards with UK delectables, including garnishes, sauces, and foods. Many of these items serve well in fancy meals or snacks with children. However, fancy meals and children rarely enter this home, which made the UK garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets far too comfortable in sitting and waiting in the cupboard. So, to solve this dilemma, Alex and I decided to have Sunday afternoon tea with all our odds and ends!

Preparation for Sunday Afternoon Tea with UK Delectables



UK Delectables
Preparing the Afternoon Tea – amidst the pizza from the night before.

Alex and I knew from previous study that a proper afternoon tea must have mini sandwiches and scones. Fortunately, earlier in the year, when Alex and I had visited Oregon, we stumbled across some marionberry scone mix. After church service on this particular October Sunday, we also went to the independent grocer in town and bought a cucumber, a red onion, some celery, apple vinegar, and canned chicken.

Using only some water, I quickly and easily prepared the marionberry scones. For the cucumber sandwiches, Alex sliced the cucumber while I mixed some light and regular cream cheese and made the sandwiches. Two chicken salads were made. One with apple vinegar, the other with light mayo. So, using the canned chicken, celery, red onion, and some grapes, together we made half a dozen sandwiches of each chicken salad.

UK Delectables Bought and Consumed on This Particular Occasion




We tried to follow the “British Code” in regards to Afternoon Tea. Unfortunately, on this occasion, America alone grew and packaged the ingredients for the scones and the mini sandwiches. But the aforementioned odds and ends were all UK delectables! The British and Irish foods and treats included in this special occasion for two are listed below:

UK Delectables
The table spread for the Afternoon Tea.
  • Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe
  • Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Original
  • Chivers Olde English Marmalade
  • Full Circle’s European Strawberry Fruit Spread
  • Devon Cream Company’s Luxury Clotted Cream
  • Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd
  • Candy Kittens’s Gourmet Sweets, Sour Blueberry
  • Farrah’s Rhubarb & Custard Candy
  • English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower

A special shoutout goes to Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe, Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd, and English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower. These three flavorfully unique tastes startled my husband and I with their wholly Irish and British flavors. Sealed tightly and imported straight from overseas, the products popped with strong flavors, freshness, and smoothness on their way down our throats. Buying these three products again became a certainty for the future.

Aiming to Learn How to Best Use UK Delectables



UK Delectables
Munching up the UK delectables.

As happened before in previous posts on the world’s beloved Facebook, I’m certain someone will criticize me on how I used these UK delectables. Therefore, I’m taking the time now to apologize for my ignorance on how to best use these foods and treats. According to what I’ve seen in movies, Carr’s crackers and the caviar would be best served in a party setting. Children would enjoy the sweets, such as the Sour Blueberries and Rhubarb & Custard Candy. But the creams, jams, and tea do seem proper for an Afternoon Tea. Am I wrong?

Thank you for reading! Alex and I had created such a large Afternoon Tea that we filled our bellies long before making any dent on the food. So, I look forward to future days with these UK delectables, and hope to invite friends over for future tea parties. How would you use these delicious garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets? Please comment below!



Testing Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom – Swagbucks and the UK Unite

Fragrances made in the United Kingdom

Swagbucks and the UK have miraculously managed to join together in my life. When I received a package from a Swagbucks partner, I found test bottles filled with fragrances made in the United Kingdom. Inspiration hit me hard. Suddenly, amidst all the retail work and home chores, I managed to find my way back here to tell you about the journey I’m about to embark on.

Hold On, Mary. What is Swagbucks?




I’m glad you asked! Allow me to explain how I’ve come to earn nearly 2,000 dollars, over the course of several years, right from my couch at home:

Back in the years 2009 and 2010, fresh out of college and dorm life, I was desperate to find a job and earn some money. Moving out into my own place was my number one priority, but the economy refused to work with me. So, I did the only thing I could think to do: Find money on the internet. Thus, in my searching, I stumbled across Swagbucks.



Completing surveys, watching videos, reading blogs, doing tasks, and shopping online can all earn Swagbucks. This term implies money, specifically one Swagbuck equals one penny in USA currency. Swagbucks are predominantly earned when the user interacts with advertisements from Swagbucks partners.

I highly recommend Swagbucks to anyone struggling to find work. This online company cannot replace any job, including part-time retail jobs. But they can provide reliable spending money for everyday expenses, as well as birthdays, Christmases, and other irresponsibly fun days.

What Arrived in the Mail – Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom




Coming home yesterday evening, my husband came up to me with a package in his hands. Expressing his confusion at having received such a package, since neither he nor I had ordered anything, he handed the parcel over for me to open. Reading the return address on the label instantly revealed a Swagbucks survey partner.

I tore open the packaging, excited to see what samples a survey had sent me. Surprise and delight filled me when I found five small, padded envelopes and instructions to use the fragrance samples inside each envelope on five separate days. I had forgotten about qualifying for a fragrance testing.

Anxious to see what fragrance I would try the next day, I carefully opened the first padded envelope and pulled out a small, clear bottle. The survey panel had labeled the fragrance sample as Z, and given other information in smaller print. Amongst the warning labels and ingredients, I saw the print, “Made in UK.” I was ecstatic.

Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom – Testing Day One, Fragrance Z




Don’t run away yet! I shall spare the details about every fragrance in the testing kit. But please, allow me to describe this first test bottle, labeled as sample Z. For the fragrance, which sprayed out an abundant amount for my wrists and neck, filled the air around me and changed the entire atmosphere.

Does this sound silly to my UK friends? For my limited experience with various fragrances have led me to believe American perfumes are less fragrant. Then again, maybe only the inexpensive fragrances contain less fragrance. Ladies who wear branded fragrances may receive stronger perfumes.

Nevertheless, upon spraying the fragrance sample on my person, I could smell the high class ingredients. This fragrance – whatever the name be – is likely sold in other places other than local pharmaceuticals. This fragrance smelled like money, like the fragrances found on older, well dressed, and expensively adorned women who occasionally walk into my small town’s local shops.

How I Will Respond to Fragrances Made in the United Kingdom




My husband, my father, my brother, and I suffer allergic reactions to strong fragrances. Whether the fragrances originate from candles, incense, or perfume, we start sneezing, sniffing, and holding our heads due to our pounding headaches. Did this high class test sample fragrance give me a headache? Sheepishly I admit, yes, it did. I also sheepishly admit to wanting more such fragrances from the UK.

This girl must have a screw loose in her head, my readers think. Yes, I do! However, knowing this does nothing to prevent me from desiring everything relating to the United Kingdom. So I shall wait for the day when I have earned enough money to experiment with more fragrances made in the United Kingdom. Until then, I shall keep these test bottles and remember to save my money for future UK experiences.

What do my readers know about UK fragrances? Do they tend to be stronger scented than American perfumes? Which do you prefer, strong or soft? Please comment below!