The Best Laid Plans of Mice And Men...Or The View From My Bed

The Best Laid Plans of Mice And Men...Or The View From My Bed

div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;"div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKDuWegU7fM/UN0hWwydGaI/AAAAAAAAJH4/k1XqCl5oYdU/s1600/norman+rockwell%252C+the+cold.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKDuWegU7fM/UN0hWwydGaI/AAAAAAAAJH4/k1XqCl5oYdU/s1600/norman+rockwell%252C+the+cold.jpg" //a/divbr /br /One of the most famous phrases in literature, as well as the title of this post,  comes from Robert Burns' poem iTo a Mouse/i, 1786. It tells of how he, while ploughing a field, upturned a mouse's nest. br /div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"br //divThe resulting a href="http://www.robertburns.org/works/75.shtml"poem /ais an apology to the mouse:br /blockquotediv class="meanings-body"/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iBut, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone] /i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iIn proving foresight may be vain:/i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iThe best laid schemes o' mice an' men/i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iGang aft a-gley, [often go awry] /i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iAn' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,/i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"iFor promised joy./i/divdiv class="meanings-body" style="text-align: center;"i.../i/div/blockquotediv class="meanings-body"The poem is of course the source for the title of John Steinbeck's 1937 novel - iOf Mice and Men/i./divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"You may wonder why at this festive time of the year I may be thinking about this famous line.  The answer is simple...I am sick as a dog, right in the middle of the holidays, and all my carefully laid plans have gone the way of the ashtray.   Luckily I was able to make it through my birthday  but soon thereafter the clear symptoms of a bad flu came on like gangbusters.  This meant my party with the neighbors and Christmas Eve with the grandchildren had to be cancelled.  At the rate I am going New Years Eve is up in the air.  Which got me thinking..../divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"What is a hostess to do if she comes down with the flu before a party?  /divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"In my case, the decision was rather easy.  I have often attended and hosted parties at the tail end of a cold, particularly if I had outside help.  The problem of hosting a dinner party on your own is that your little fingers are touching everything you are preparing to serve and you certainly do not want to be responsible for contaminating your guests.   If you are sneezing and coughing  guess what, all your germs are airborne!/divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"I was lucky that this year's pre Christmas Eve party was a small one with intimate friends.  On the morning of the party a phone call was made, the situation explained,  and both parties decided postponing for a day or two was the right thing to do.  Yesterday when I saw that my condition would not improve any time soon, the uncooked ducks were sent out to my guests, together with some of the hors d'oeuvres, wine and Christmas cookies.  I couldn't think of anything else to make up for the disappointment of having to cancel at the last minute.  I felt so bad, in a moment of delusion, I even thought of sending along some of the family silver./divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"Incidentally, had I contracted outside help,  I would have also honored my commitment, tip included./divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"This is the first time I have ever had to cancel a dinner party but, under the circumstances, I think I did the right thing.  Has this ever happened to you? If so, what did you do? I wonder what Elsa Maxwell would have done.  She would have probably gone on with the whole thing and received her guests in her boudoir wearing a fancy peignoir, a hilarious thought given her looks.  Which leads me to another observation..../divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"When I am sick and have to spend inordinate amounts of time in bed, I usually have two books going, a crossword puzzle and a movie to watch in between.  I don't know about you,  but nothing keeps my attention for long when I'm ill and cranky.  This time around I read a great book and a fun book,  both of which I highly recommend.  The great book is a href="http://www.amazon.com/Former-People-Final-Russian-Aristocracy/dp/0374157618/ref=sr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356665992&sr=8-1&keywords=former+people"Former People,the Final Days Of the Russian Aristocracy/a a real tour de force, well written and well  researched;  and the fun book is a href="http://www.amazon.com/Inventing-Elsa-Maxwell-Irrepressible-Conquered/dp/0312699441/ref=sr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356666335&sr=8-1&keywords=inventing+elsa"Inventing Elsa Maxwell, How an Irrepressible Nobody Conquered High Society, Hollywood and The Press./a/divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"Trust me,only a couple of page turners like these will keep your mind from thinking how bad you are feeling.  The movie was Hemingway and Gellhorn with Nicole Kidman and a yummy Clive Owen, an HBO movie about the writer's relationship and marriage to correspondent Martha Gellhorn, the only woman to ever ask him for a divorce.  Highly entertaining and the perfect kind of movie  for when you are sick in bed.  A no brainer.  Now if only I could find another one like it......br /br /Needless to say, the chances of getting a recipe from me before next year are slim, unless you are thinking of chicken soup and I just might do that./divdiv class="meanings-body"br //divdiv class="meanings-body"So that's the view from my bed on Thursday, December 27, 2012, Day 7 of the flu. /div/div

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