Entries in Blogging (133)


Seven Years and Full Confessional Friday! 9/6/2013

Today marks Mrs. G's seventh year spilling virtual ink on this blog. Seven is her favorite number for two reasons: one, she was 7-years-old when she was allowed to go see Young Frankenstein and commence her lifelong love affair with laughter and Madeline Kahn, and two, when she writes the number 7, putting the slash through its torso makes her feel all Continental European.

Seven. A good run. We've had some tip-top times, haven't we?



But, hey, it's Friday, so let's get to it.

Little Girl Jumping in Party Dress

Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister.  


Like Chapter 11, but for poorer people

Simple Valentine free creative commons

Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and while Mrs. G. tends to avoid it for fear that she will stray into the problematic vicinity of plagiarism, in this instance, she is pretty sure she is in the clear.

A few weeks back, the Bloggess (if you don't know her, you should) wrote a post called Like Oprah, but for poor people in which she listed her favorite (mostly) affordable things and asked her readers to share the same. Mrs. G. spent a hefty chunk of time over three days reading the thousands of comments and writing down interesting items she would like to try. She jotted down several of them for future Christmas, birthday and Mother's Day wish lists.

Mrs. G. thought it would be fun to do the same thing here at the Manor.

Mrs. G's Current Favorite Things

~Acure Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo ($8.79) and Conditioner ($8.79)...Mrs. G. is always on the lookout for hair care products that combat frizz. Once a week, she works a liberal amount of the conditioner into her hair, puts on a bandana and leaves it in overnight. The next day she rinses it out (no shampooing) and her hair feels soft, silky and less frizzled. This stuff smells great too.

~Trader Joe's Fig Butter ($2.29)...Pour this over brie cheese to spread on crackers or sliced baguette and you will win friends and influence people. For those who don't have a Trader Joe's, Mrs. G. feels your pain. You can probably find something similar at your local grocery store (fig jam or preserves would do the trick) or purchase it for a ridiculous price at Amazon.

~Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking ($9.00-$26.00)...Indian food is a favorite at Mrs. G's house and this (according to Mrs. G's friend from Mumbai) is THE cookbook every Indian food lover should have in her kitchen. Mrs. G. can attest it is a great cookbook for shitty cooks ambivalent chefs.

~Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Sandwiches ($3.99 each)...Pricey but have you ever wondered what God tastes like? Here's your answer. Mrs. G's favorites are the Lemon Cookie with Honey Lavender ice cream and the Chocolate Cookie with Salted Caramel ice cream. 

~Jenny Lawson's (The Bloggess) book Let's Pretend This Never Happened ($12.09)...Easily the funniest book Mrs. G. has read this year (and, frankly, beyond). The chapter where Jenny's husband Victor stops to collect a dead rattlesnake out of the middle of the road is worth the purchase price alone.

~Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Soaking Solution ($4.89)...Mrs. G. takes her hydrotherapy seriously and this is her favorite bath product and it is so reasonably priced for a 3 lb. bag. It's good for relaxing, easing aches and pains and moisturizing skin. It also comes in other delicious flavors and looks pretty in an apothecary jar. You can find it at most chain drugstores. 

~Netflix...it's still the best deal in town. Here are Mrs. G's current much loved picks: Murder in Suburbia, Call the Midwife, Top of the Lake, The FallSafety Not Guaranteed and The Lie.

~Straight Up Food...Mr. and Mrs. G. are straight up carnivores, but they are trying to eliminate some meat from their weekly diet. Mrs. G. loves this blog. She has tried enough of the recipes to recommend it to those of you who want to add more veggies to your diet.

~The Feline Arts Council...just that it exists makes it a Mrs. G. favorite.

~Humans of New York Facebook Page...Mrs. G. gets something humorous or meaningful from this page every day.

~Second Skin Moist Burn Pads ($6.99)...The G. house is never without these in the first aid kit. If you get a minor burn, these pads will eliminate the pain (almost immediately) and help the burn heal. Mrs. G. has a runner friend who puts these on blisters so she can keep her crazy ass running without discomfort.

~ The Hugh Jackman Bra...still in the pre-production phase.


OK, your turn. Give it up for your favorite stuff.




Kathryn Fritz Special Collection Photo San Diego California

It's going to be even slimmer pickings around here until the middle of August. Mrs. G. is heading to California with her daughter, returning home to start a new job and sending her son off to New York. It will take her a few weeks to get into her groove and find a balance in her empty nest but rest assured, she will. She'll continue putting up the confessional, so everyone can stay in touch.

Mrs. G. will see you in a few weeks! Please stick around.


Pure Zest!


Welcome our latest Derflet, Penny, held in the arms of her clearly ambivalent grandmother Diane Carol!

This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven. ~Rick Bragg



Originally published April, 2008

When Mrs. G. went to meet all her new blogger friends last week, she spent more than three minutes her usual amount of time deciding what to wear. After much consideration and heavy sighing, she chose her favorite pair of Chico pants and a simple black shirt. Mrs. G. had every intention of losing 27 pounds in the two weeks prior to the gathering, but due to lack of diet and exercise for a number of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. She lost approximately zero pounds, so she was faced with two choices: amputating a leg or wearing the new pair of Spanx underwear she purchased after hearing Oprah go on and on about how these power panties had changed her life.

For those who don't watch Oprah, Spanx are the world's first line of performance underwear to combine the comfort of regular panties, the feel of hosiery and the power of a shaper. According to Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, these underwear provide body-shaping control that's both comfortable and flattering. According to Mrs. G, these underwear took close to a half an hour to waggle and writhe into and, other than limiting her ability to bend and breath freely,

made no significant difference to her body's original pattern and design. These were clearly poorly performing performance panties.

Perhaps Mrs. G. was too optimistic in her choice of size C rather than D, but midway through her dinner with these wonderful women, Mrs. G. had had enough. Her stomach hurt, her ass was numb and her thighs were itching from unnatural constriction.


So she excused herself from the table and went into the ladies' room. She stood in a bathroom stall and realized that for the sake of her physical comfort and her enjoyment of such a special evening, the underwear needed to go. Mrs. G. considered taking her pants off and removing the Spanx old school style, but she was concerned that one of the other bloggers might enter the bathroom, see her naked ankles or spy her physical struggle to remove the offending underwear through the stall door's cracks and wonder why on God's green earth Mrs. G. was in the ladies' room wearing no pants. The possible interpretations of such a scenario were unsettling.

So Mrs. G. reached into her purse, which is really a small book bag she uses to carry school papers and supplies and took out...
these children's scissors that she carries around at all times just in case. Just in case she needs to snip something out of a magazine, trim the ragged edges of a piece of spiral bound notebook paper, or saw off her $36 underwear.

Mrs. G, without removing her pants, cut her way down each side of the Spanx and, in what can only be described as a Chippendale dancer's move involving magic, defying the earth's gravitational pull and a mighty yank, freed herself from the jaws of death underwear and discreetly buried the Spanxremnants underneath some paper towels in the trash. She washed her hands, slid on some lip gloss, left the bathroom to rejoin the group and spent the remainder of the evening breathing and laughing with abandon.


Mrs. G. is pretty sure she will not be an active member of the Spanx Revolution. She experienced more of an uprising of her flesh. An insurgence of her thighs. All in all, an underwear insurrection.

Only Connect, Seven Years Later

Illustrations, mostly paired comparisons, showing correct and incorrect postures for various household tasks. Date ...

Derfwad Manor is seven-and-a-half years old and Mrs. G. often wonders when it's time to let it go. Blogs have seasons and hers has been, with great highs and lows, a lengthy one. This afternoon, she was combing through her archives and came across this post written in November of 2007...

Click to read more ...


Mrs. G. Loves It When the World Gets a Little Smaller

Crowd of women carpenters who work for Government contractors in France

Crowd of women carpenters who work for Government contractors in France

Dear dear Heather,

I am so in awe of your tireless efforts to build a joint for women. Your posts are so raw and honest, as well as highly entertaining - though we've never met, I feel as though I know you. I wonder if you realize the far reaching effects of your collaborations?  Something magical happened over the weekend that I'm planning to blog about, but since it started with you, I wanted to share it with you first. Forgive the ramble, as I haven't yet consolidated this into a cohesive story...

My youngest son goes to college on the east coast, and while there, met and started dating a girl who hails from Portland. They've been as inclusive as they could be in meeting and introducing each other's families, considering the distance between us. Though we've not met, I'm Facebook friends with his girlfriend and even with her mother!  

Back in February I read the post you shared from Ri-Len Leukens about Women Build 2013. I could relate to her cause, and because of my trust in you, even though I'd never met her, I felt as though I knew her.  I wanted to help, but my only connection to the Hillsboro, Oregon area were my son's girlfriend and her mother in Portland.

I took a chance and shared your post with them, but never had any feedback.  I just assumed they were too busy, or not interested....

But this weekend, that assumption was blown sky high. I received a lovely private message from my son's girlfriend's mother (this would be so much easier with names).  She wanted to thank me. It seems she and her other daughter had been looking for some creative outlet that could also help others, and the Hillsboro Women Build was something they would have never considered if I hadn't brought it to their attention.  She, her daughter and some other women were on their way to paint the interior of a home built by women for a woman and her daughter.

It strikes me that you set in motion something that traveled via the Internet, through channels of women's trust, and though not one person in this scenario has ever met in person, there was a collaboration that ultimately provided shelter and safety to a mother and daughter, neither of which any of us will ever likely meet in person either.

There is a story in there, well, a happy ending anyway - I just have to work backward to find the tale!

At any rate, thank you Heather, Mrs. G, Head Derfwad, this is only a small example, on a small scale of what can be accomplished if we lock arms and hearts.  Long live the Women's Colony!

Linda Thomas Anderson 


P.S. Thanks Ri-Len for sharing the project with us.



A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry: Let's Take A Moment To Brag About Ourselves or Our Families


Mrs. G's daughter, who is footloose and mouse free, had three job interviews in one week and doesn't even graduate until May.


Mrs. G's son just received his first acceptance letter to college. Four more are due to land in the mailbox any day now.

What's brilliant about you and yours?