We Dine At Half Past Eight

I mentioned last week that Diana Ross was on the list of people with whom I’d like to have dinner.

I also said that would probably never happen, and my friend and faithful reader, Lynn, reminded me to never say never!

She’s right.

It could happen!

And of course, it got me to thinking of others with whom I’d like to dine.

We dine at half past eight

Now, I’ve narrowed it to 7 people although I have enough dinner plates to serve about 80!.  Add me, and you have eight at the table, and honestly, who can abide an uneven table?

So here goes.

Miss Ross of course is there simply because she’s brought my so much joy via the airwaves for so long. I’m sure she’s a diva, but I’m also sure the conversation would be lively!

Diana Ross

I’d have to have Martha Stewart stop by a few hours early just so she could cook, or at the very least supervise.  Really, the woman has taught me so much on her TV show!  And why not have an expert so the dinner will be perfect.


It’s a good thing.

I’d include President Obama, even though I detest politics and politicians of all sorts, just because I have a few ideas I think he should hear.

Oprah Winfrey and John Grisham are on the list: I want my book published, and why not go to the mountaintop?


Jessica Lange would have to be there, because quite frankly, I’d pay to watch her walk across the street. She’s a fave!

Jessica Lange

And, last but not least, Dame Maggie Smith! I’ve loved her since “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” but, really, let her slip into the Dowager Countess role, and watch the conversation develop.

The Dowager Countess of Grantham

Who wouldn’t want that?

Who would you have at  your dinner?


Stop, In The Name Of Love!

50 years ago this weekend, “Stop, In The Name Of Love!” was the # 1 hit on the billboard charts!

50 years!


The Supremes were the first group I ever saw in person.

I’m a big fan.


And frankly, Diva or not, Diana Ross makes my top ten people I’d love to have dinner with.

Knowing that’ll never happen, I’m still back on the fact that it was 50 years ago.

And it still holds UP.




Meanwhile, Back At Downton Abbey…

The first mention of Piero della Francesca on Downton Abbey was in season one.

The Turkish “Gentleman”, you know the one who died in the saddle, was admiring the painting the 2nd Earl brought back from Italy during the French Revolution. He asked “Lady” Mary Crawley, “Is this really a della Francesca?”

She replied in the affirmative.

Jullian Fellowes is brilliant.  That little snippet was the fore-runner to Season 5’s encounter with Lady Cora and art historian, Mr. Simon Bricker.

Bricker was a dirtbag who put the moves on Lady Cora only to be cold-cocked by Lord Grantham.

It was a great scene, and a turning point in the relationship for the Earl and his Countess.  He realized that after 34 years of marriage, he’d lost touch, was dismissing his bride, and that he needed to wake UP.

But, I digress.

Piero della Francesca really existed.

He was an early Renaissance painter who was also a mathematician and geometrist and incorporated math and geometry into his art.

(Nancy Tyner – Please feel free to jump in at any time and correct any misconceptions I may have.)

Around 1452, della Francesca was ordered to Arezzo, where he replaced Bicci di Lorenzo who was painting the frescoes of the basilica of San Francesco.  The frescoes were finished prior to 1466 and include the cycle of frescoes depicting the Legend of the True Cross.  It is considered his masterwork, or at the very least among them.

The story in the frescoes depicts how the timber relics of the True Cross came to be found.  They were based on the Golden Legend of Jacopo da Varazze.

In the early 1800s vandalistic Napoleonic French troops fired damaging shots at his great fresco in the Church of St. Francis during their occupation of the city of Arezzo.

So much for French culture!

della Francesca didn’t just include math in his paintings, he included himself.

In The Resurrection, he is seen as one of the sleeping disciples at the tomb.

The Resurrection

He later used a close UP shot as his Facebook, instagram, and twitter avatar.

della Francesca

OK, I made that UP.

Aldous Huxley considered della Francesca’s “The Resurrection of Christ” the greatest painting in the world.

I’m not so sure about that, but it was a great work around which Jullian Fellowes kept us on edge to see if Lady Cora would take the plunge and cheat on Lord Grantham.

She didn’t.

And I was glad.

I was also glad that Lord Fellowes peaked my interest in della Francesca’s work.

The Thing Is…

I wrote this post on Saturday and was going to publish it Monday.

Boy do I wish I had.

Imagine my surprise today when my childhood friend, Marcia Evans, posted a link on Facebook that is practically the same.

I was going to write something else, and move on, but then I figured, “What the heck?”.

Great minds think alike!

So, here goes.

Jan is always asking, “How can you tell if someone’s really from Ohio?”

Well, here are 23 sure-fire clues that they are!


They know what a buckeye is.


The river in their hometown once caught on fire.

They use Michigan as a curse word.

They spell OHIO with their arms.


They include statements like, “…it’s 25 minutes outside of Dayton…” in their directions.

They don’t understand snow days unless there are 2 feet of snow on the ground.

Their school never started on time in the winter, and “2 hour delay” was a normal school day from December to March.

They think that other than a band from New Jersey, the Four Seasons are almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.

Their street has more construction barrels on it than mail boxes.

They root for the Browns even though they know they’ll never win.

They know it’s THE Ohio State University, not Ohio State University.

They know there’s only one big boy, and it’s this guy…

Frisch's Big Boy

This sign doesn’t bother them…

Gun control

They measure time by sporting events, “Oh, that was three OSU winning seasons ago…”

They know what cow-tipping is.

They don’t think they have an accent, but everyone else does.

They know the “Glee” isn’t even close.

They say “Please?” instead of “excuse me?”.

They drink pop.


They still think Jerry Springer is just a mayor with a TV show.

They can chicken dance.

They know where the “Birthplace of Aviation” is.

When they look for Athens, Oxford, Dover, Geneva, London, Ontario, Toledo, Russia, Versailles, or Lima, they only use one page of the Atlas.

They know that chili is really a topping for spaghetti.

Chili spaghetti


So, Jan, that’s how you tell.