Tuesday, February 20, 2018

VIGIL AT THE TOP


Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY


Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:

-----That a good friend in physical rehab gets to come home soon! It has been a battle to get the care, testing and resources needed.
-----A sibling that is extremely ill. :-( :-( :-(
-----A couple who are going through some big life changes and, perhaps, changing their minds about other life changes. Decisions and CHANGE.
-----Employment situations.
-----I need to be in better physical shape and beat the symptoms of several thyroid problems. I am trying to rid myself of Chronic Fatigue, send Hashimoto's Disease into remission and lose gained weight. I have just received good news of some nodules being GONE!
-----Someone I used to know that committed crime and is now incarcerated. I am hoping that they come forward with any truths that may help victims and that they decide to go down the path of rehabilitation. I think that in this situation it would be great if the victims could somehow see that rehabilitation was occurring.

________________________

Note:
This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this post...you will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.




At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


 


Monday, February 19, 2018

A cute tie-dye Easter egg project. I want to take a photo with the paper towel as a background like they did, too.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I am soon to read and review...
"The Ripper" by Carmelo Anaya


Post-in-progress. I am waiting on a review copy of this book.

Genre: Mystery & Detective/Police Procedural

One hundred twenty-five years to the day after Jack the Ripper committed his first gruesome murder, a young woman is killed in a picturesque Spanish town. As if the eerie timing isn’t enough to unnerve Commissioner Carrillo, the murderer has mimicked the Ripper’s grisly method almost exactly.
Soon more women are murdered and their bodies horrifically mutilated. Tips and accusations fly wildly, sending the commissioner and his fellow officers chasing after suspects who might be innocent. Adding to the confusion, the killer is creating his own trail, carving mysterious signs on the bodies of his victims and texting the commissioner puzzling messages.
When the murderer reveals who his fifth victim will be, Commissioner Carrillo’s blood runs cold—he now has a personal stake in solving the atrocious mystery. Who is this villainous fiend posing as Jack the Ripper? Can he be caught before he commits his final murder?




EXCERPT:
I wonder if the women will appear to their killer in dreams, as they do in mine. Diana Carolina Mieles was a cleaning lady and carer. She bathed the elderly, picked rubbish off the ground, worked hard. She was deserving. Cristiana Stoicescu, Naima Medari, Sandra Okeke, Rosario Minguez -- none of them knew anything in this life but exploitation. Their flesh was eaten.
I know my life would be meaningless if I didn't stand up for every Cristiana Stoicescu,every Diana Carolina Mieles, Naima Medari, Sandra Okeke, Rita Oehlen and Rosaria Minguez.
The law is like a dam. Sometimes it saves you; sometimes it drowns you. It needs vents so justice can get through. We can't see it all. We can't know it all. If we knew about every horror happening around us, every minute of every day, we wouldn't be able to stand it. It's not a limitation; it's relief.
Page – 318



BUY IT ON AMAZON
(Kindle and paperback)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carmelo Anaya has published ten novels, including three previous books starring Commissioner Carrillo: The Yellow Earth, The Guardian of My Brother, and Baria City Blues. He lives in Almeria, Spain, where he works as a lawyer and a criminalist.

-----CarmeloAnaya.com
-----Facebook
-----Twitter: @CarmeloAnaya




-----Pesto Buttermilk Dressing. Now I am looking for a "Rainbow Veggie Salad" recipe (as was mentioned in the comments).

-----Pesto Ranch Dipping Sauce

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Full House Reading Challenge 2018






I am in the process of picking out some of the titles for my participation. You can sign up HERE. :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 Blogger Shame Challenge


Okay...this is an opportunity for me to tie up any and all loose ends. Let us see what I can find in bookcases, files and storage.



This is from a BlogHer Virtual Blog Tour in 2007. I found a blurb about awaiting its arrival and I have annotated the book. It is possible that I had review participation in the tour but it became extinct sometime after the end of the event. I know there were people I word-of-mouthed with. Anyway, I need to get something substantial up on the internet (I am just like that...11 years later or not, the book and author are going to get proper attention that sticks around). This one is interesting in that it can almost serve as a day book or workbook of figuring out problems/solutions...I think I will make a nice project out of this one for 2018.



Retold from a turn-of-the-century (1897) tale collected in Calhoun, Alabama. This story about a pesky trickster rabbit and a little girl working her garden, has delightfully illustrated spreads throughout.



American Emma Hanson came to England to study at Oxford, but joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force at the height of World War II. She is stationed at beautiful and historic Danesfield House west of London as part of the highly secretive Photographic Reconnaissance Unit.
Englishman Will Fleming is a handsome young artist who has been commissioned by the British government to record the changing landscape in paintings. His path intersects with Emma's when his real mission—tracking Nazi spies—leads him to Danesfield House, the target of a sinister plot.
Emma and Will become friends, but neither can reveal the true nature of their assignment. Can their relationship grow amid such secrecy? And can Will save Danesfield House—and Emma and her coworkers—before it's too late?










There will be more posted as I progress in this Challenge. :-)
You can join HERE. :-)

Book Date


Happenings and readings in my week. :-)
You can link up to the Book Date HERE. :-)

I am  taking advantage of everyone sleeping in to enjoy fried eggs, salsa verde and a read. My mother bought this when she in her 20s and probably made the clear dust jacket over it sometime in the late 80s. She was an AVID reader. I wouldn't dare to take off the jacket to see what the colors truly look like now for fear of disturbing delicate paper but putting it through HDR Max for this photo yielded a wonderful surprise for my 2D eyesight...I could EASILY see the perspective of the door almost opening when I hold my phone up...that is a big deal for someone with eyesight issues like mine!
Romantic Suspense is not usually my genre and I hope that the heroine doesn't fall in love with her "handsome, strangely disturbing" cousin (as often happens when dealing with authors from that time frame).
Thoughts thus far: The current hero is an emotionally messed up character...his emotional conflicts are kind of hard to believe at times BUT the peek into his conscience has been fascinating. It appears he must be the disturbed cousin mentioned on the cover and their will be another male hero. I think one of these males will likely turn out NOT to be a hero and I am guessing the cousin was introduced first for sympathy. Though who knows...a good percentage of the plot-line on the back cover hasn't come into play at all yet...a lot of story left to be told.
Another thought: I wish the times when people were familiar with the works of Haydn and such were not past.
This seems to be a Cinderella or maybe even double Cinderella story. Perhaps, probably certainly, an Ugly Duckling, too. The storytelling has been great thus far...I think I like this author.
PAGES READ: 29
This is to be completed by the end of January for the Read Your (Book)Shelf Challenge.




Watching Husband's artwork this week has been nice. :-)
More progress and drying for the first panel of a commissioned triptych. Hyper-textured. Right now, it is entitled something along the lines of "The Peaks of Prayer."



"Sarah's Easy Shredded Chicken Taco Filling" will be a permanent addition to my Taco Night repertoire. It ended up being very Mex-ish. Yum! Leftovers for lunch.
Adapted: 2 good-sized, diced purple onions. 5 big chicken breasts, cubed. 30 oz. tomato sauce. Homemade chicken broth (boiled and simmered everything in the recipe down). Hungarian Paprika, just a bit of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt.
Toppings: Sour cream, jalapeno slices.
(Picky Eater) Elementary Schooler gave it 5/5 but did not like the texture when leftovers were heated.

____________

Items in consideration for this week's menus...
-----19 recipes for homemade salad dressing. From Taste of Home.
-----Cowboy Corn Bread. Another Taste of Home recipe (I am a fan of the Comfort Food simplicity). This is a sweeter corn bread and half-and-half is one of the ingredients.
-----Creamy Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon
-----Zucchini, Cheddar Cheese and Chive Buttermilk Quick Bread
-----Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread
-----Hamburger Stew. Easily big-batchable, easily freezable. I don't know where my mother's Hamburger Stew recipe is...so, this will do as a substitute for me.
-----Cheesy Chili. Creamy, zesty, can double as a dip. I hope it is not too greasy. The kids are in a "I don't like beans" phase right now (when they did like beans before)...I am hoping this changes that for at least one meal.
-----Hearty Beef and Sweet Potato Stew
-----Veggie Chowder
____________

I have skimmed the entire book and picked out recipes...but now reading and considering more carefully. I almost always use a corn on the cob method from this book...it involves two boils, sugar and putting things in with the cooking corn....simple changes that make a difference for YUM.



Preschooler and Daddy finished the string art. Pink and blue.



I am on page 13. The story is told from the viewpoint of Marie Antoinette (who apparently left many documents behind...intending to write a memoir).


-----The BBC will have an adaptation of Les Mis. An all star cast will be included but it is expected to be very much an adaptation.
-----Roy Orbison is to go on world tour as a hologram.
__________

Commercial I have been enjoying (and book I would like to have):



Elementary Schooler wants to learn Thumbchuckz...should be fun. He wants a black pair and a gold pair..."mix and match." We will start this next month.
These were at our Walmart.




Elementary Schooler doesn't want Burger King crowns anymore...his reason why is pretty smart. He says that he loses them and then finds them broken and then throws them in the trash. "It's a waste."


My learning curve for 2018. Cell phone photography (which, of course, comes in handy for photographing books).
Criacr fisheye, wide angle, telephoto. KobraTech ProPic fisheye, kaleidoscope, polarizing/CPL, super wide angle, 0.63 wide angle that combines with 15X macro, telephoto, Bluetooth remote start, LED fill light. Chinese binocular for outdoors...no brand name at all, free...useless indoors.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge 2018


A book for each month.
Details of the Challenge are HERE. :-)



1.
I am enjoying this photo/book for a variety of reasons right now. My mother bought this when she in her 20s and probably made the clear dust jacket over it sometime in the late 80s. She an AVID reader. I wouldn't dare to take off the jacket to see what the colors truly look like now for fear of disturbing delicate paper but putting it through HDR Max for this photo yielded a wonderful surprise for my 2D eyesight...I could EASILY see the perspective of the door almost opening when I hold my phone up...that is a big deal for me! Romantic Suspense is not usually my genre and I hope that the heroine doesn't fall in love with her "handsome, strangely disturbing" cousin (as often happens when dealing with authors from that time frame). This will be a good choice for my blog and a 2018 Reading Challenge.
Thoughts thus far: The hero is an emotionally messed up character...his emotional conflicts are kind of hard to believe at times BUT the peek into his conscience has been fascinating. I wish the times when people were familiar with the works of Haydn and such were not past.
History lesson: When did people stop using the term "The Brazils?" 
PAGES READ: 25



Hmmm....and let me see what else is on this shelf (readable stuff, that is).
Trivia: The Little Golden Book is Mother Goose rhymes a present from my Mother to my son. The silver container is my Mother's crayons that the kids will get to use up when they are better at taking care of crayons (Grandma had this careful style to her coloring...so, the way the crayons were means something to me and I want to share that). Oh, and, of course, there is the movie to my favorite fiction...Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!



First thing I encounter on this shelf, which I am dusting and rearranging, is a big Roget's Thesauraus from my childhood...to be used by the kids in our homeschooling.
I'm obviously not reading that for the challenge but here is a picture of Peter Mark Roget (from the book)...



2. I am using the next book to flatten out a bit of damage to the Roget's cover. Though, I know books can't be preserved forever, I try to take meticulous care of mine. :-)
This is "The History of Henry Esmond" by William Makepeace Thackery. It was purchased by my mother for 50¢ in 1978.
Goodreads description:
"Orphaned in the England of the later Stuarts, Henry Esmonde is raised by his aristocratic, Jacobite relatives the Castlewoods.
As a young man he falls in love with both Lady Castlewood and Beatrix, her beautiful, headstrong daughter, and is inspired to join the ultimately unsuccessful campaign to reinstate James Stuart to the throne.
Thackeray valued Henry Esmond more than any of his other novels and it displays many of his own memories and emotions."



3. I need to get a clear, acid-proof dust jacket for this book...ideally, I will learn to make them someday.
Goodreads description:
"A novel about a state political boss, his co-workers and his loved ones. No black and white character, James Kirkland concealed his manipulations behind a front of social impeccability and devotion to his only daughter, Anne, tragically crippled by an accident."
Goodreads author description
"Novelist Agnes Sligh Turnbull was born in 1888 in New Alexandria, PA. After a dozen years as a short story writer, Turnbull wrote her first novel, The Rolling Years, published in 1936. In the 14 additional novels she wrote over the next 40-plus years, Turnbull built a thorough chronicle of the Scots who settled and farmed rural Westmoreland County. Turnbull died in 1982."


4.  A short, factual book that looks to read smoothly in places.



5.



6.
Amazon description:
With sympathy and understanding, this new novel by the author of The Outsiders tells the touching and meaningful story of a woman's return to the hometown she had run away from years before, and of her valiant efforts to make a place for herself there in the hearts of her kinfolks and neighbors. Set against the background of a lovely old New England village, the story of Deborah Brent is a drama of human relationships which illuminates the enduring ties that exist between people who live and work together in the small American communities of the present day.
---I have read that, due to the time period, this book may have some offensive parts.


Next, a pause to organize those catalogs and misc.:
---Figis
---Birchland Market (a lot like Figis)
---Pipes and Cigars. The cover features a tobacco called "Plum Pudding." The Christmas 2017 catalog and, while I was organizing, the mail person arrived with the January 2018 catalog.
---Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I love getting this catalog which always has a pretty cover! Today, I am interested in the Chinese Green Luobo Radish (Qingluobo)...pickles, relish, fried, fresh.
(Company's photo not mine.)


7.
155 pages. A book that belongs to, and I will be reading to, the kids...part of our second semester. #HomeschoolLife


8.
I tried reading this once before but started swimming on keeping track of some of the details of what was going on...time to try again. My mother purchased this on a Florida vacation and said that good books on Indians were easier to find in Florida.



9.



10.
Goodreads description:
"The life of Julia Pallister in 17th century England (1641-1670 with Prologue set in 1723) includes her grandmother's ties with Queen Elizabeth, her father's fighting for Charles II in England's bloody civil war and her first love in famous architect-to-be Christopher Wren."


11.
Over on the left are a couple of the paint colors Elementary Schooler wants for his bedroom...also a red and green...Avengers colors, of course. :-)


12. A big, boxed copy of "Portrait of a Lady" by James Henry Joyce.
There are many lovely pictures...



For now, the book shelf now looks like this. :-) Challenges help with tidying. :-)


______________________________________________

And here's a little more that Husband got me...to get a start on replacing some titles that have come up missing and because I love the storytelling and humor. Awesome gift!!!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017



An HBO (3-part) mini-series. Guy Fawkes. The time of the Protestant oppression of Catholics. England's relationship with Spain. I could do without parts of the soundtrack...I find repetitive music to build suspense or horror distracting. The interiors of the buildings are beautiful! I appreciated that multiple locations were featured. A time when family was obviously very important. Perhaps a few too many scenes in the largely unrelieved dark of night...that can make it hard to concentrate. Surprisingly, not much betrayal until the end.
My rating: 4.5-5/5 stars

"God alone disposes of kings...good or bad."

---The body of Queen Elizabeth the 1st at the beginning was somewhat creepy.
(Painting done sometime after 1620. Surrounded by Time, Death and angels.)

---Lost in Drama has a largely unfavorable review.
---What if the Gunpowder Plot had succeeded?


---Sir William Wade, the man who doggedly chases alleged conspirators, was a shareholder in the Virginia company. There are still people in The States who are descended from Wade's father.


---As you can see, Kit Harrington from "Game of Thrones" is the star. As with with "Lost" and "Mad Men," I have never seen an episode of GofT. From my understanding, Harrington is actually playing his distant ancestor.
---I wonder what Catesby's son grew up to be like. I haven't been able to find a clue. A quick glance at Wikipedia will tell you Catesby the elder's fate. This article tells much of how Robert Catesby was the actual ringleader of the Gunpowder Plot (vs. Guy Fawkes).



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph:Tuesday Intros


A bit of the first part of a book...and, would you read or pass?
Of my own personal interest...What advice would you give the author?



The book:
This is not my usual read but the book belonged to my mother (and thus will get read or skimmed).

The description from Goodreads:
The "New York Times" bestselling author and country music sensation presents her heartwarming debut novel.
Success on the musical stage is all Destiny ever wanted, and when she finds it, she feels as if her dreams have come true. But with the exhilarating rush of success comes a price-and a battle to recapture the traditions that were her foundation. Struggling to reconnect with the things that matter most, Destiny is putting an unexpected new spin on her own career-one that will redirect her professional and personal life in ways she never imagined. Written with genuine heart and emotion, Wynonna Judd's accessible debut novel is a celebration of family and friends, of love and loss, of success and surrender, and of one woman's inspiring path of self- discovery.



And an excerpt:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Book Date



It has been a good week though figuring out holiday plans has been a bit stressful (I succeeded in making Thanksgiving stress-free and wish the time leading up to Christmas could have been too...sigh). We took the kids to Star Wars yesterday and our elementary schooler said it "epic."
Announcer at the movie: Your commercial belongs up on the big screen.
Elementary Schooler: Commercials don't belong anywhere!
---Saturday was a cozy evening. We celebrated Philip k. Dick's birthday. Husband and I watched three episodes of "The Man in the High Castle." We also have a creme pie for soon (in lieu of birthday cake).
---I made Amish Slaw on Wednesday. Preparing the sweet and sour elements individually and then mixing them worked well. I prefer, and use, apple cider vinegar. Vinegar boils über-fast and is a strong smell...Husband said it cleared his sinuses. I am thinking of making another batch of this tonight!

I am on page 89. There has still only been one brutal, and perhaps historically accurate as far as practices, incident. Pocahontas is now going through puberty and I am hoping the book is not taking a turn towards the "passion" of some historical fictions. I have enjoyed all the details of the settings and the bravery of young Pocahontas. The book is going wonderfully for something where the reader may know many of the conclusions! The author is a distant relative of Pocahontas and also wrote a book about Sacajawea. I like the cover!



I am on page 106. The story is currently stepping back from baggage, pain and loss of the Civil War to when characters discovered each other and happier times. A book my Mother liked and I wish I knew a repair for the page that is trying to fall out and basically a split in the center of her copy. I hope this book proves to be a good read, even of selected passages, for when the kids get older (we homeschool).



Preschooler enjoyed this. :-)



I am on page 108.
John Jakes definitely has storytelling skills. I just finished a particularly brutal encounter but it fit into the story.



Music from my week:



Sign up for the Book Date HERE. :-)

:-)



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