Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Big Pumpkin

by Erica SilvermanS.D. Schindler (Illustrator)

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Blurb: The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

Book Details:

Format: Paperback Publication Date: 9/1/1995 Pages: 32 Reading Level: Age 4 and Up

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689801297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689801297

Find on Amazon and Goodreads


My Thoughts:

As soon as we saw this on the Halloween table at Barnes and Noble, we had to grab it. It a book about a witch who grows a giant pumpkin! She plants the seed and watches it grow with plans to make a pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin is so gigantic, she can’t even remove it from the vine. The ghost thinks he can help, then the vampire, then the mummy, but not one of them is strong enough. Will a little bat be the answer? Follow along in the story to see if they can devise a plan as a team and finally enjoy some delicious pumpkin pie and good company.

We loved the story and colorful illustrations which aren’t scary at all. It has the perfect amount of text per page for young readers. It’s great with or without the audio and if you’d like, you can see and hear the book on YouTube. The ending is a wonderful surprise.

My rating on this one is 4****

4-stars


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler”

Music Monday: Faith No More “A Small Victory”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

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This week’s song pick is:

Faith No More

“A Small Victory”

I was around 15 years old when this album came out. I had enough money to purchase three CD’s from my favorite place in the world at that time–Hegewisch Records. I ended up purchasing Faith No More’s Angel Dust, Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten. The lead singer of Faith No more, Mike Patton, has always been a favorite and his voice captivates me. The band has been together since 1979, became Faith No More in 1982, and they still perform today.

 

Lyrics:

A hierarchy
Spread out on the nightstand
The spirit of team
Salvation is another chance
A sore loser
Yelling with my mouth shut
A cracking portrait
The fondling of trophies
The null of losing
Can you afford that luxury?
A sore winner
But I’ll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no
It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t
But it does!

The small victories
The cankers and medallions
The little nothings
That keeps me thinking that someday
I might beat you
But I’ll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no
It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t
But it, but it does!

It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!

It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
(It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no)
It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
(It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t)

If I speak at one constant volume at one constant pitch
At one constant rhythm right into your ear, you still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear

Continue reading “Music Monday: Faith No More “A Small Victory””

Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976

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To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Witch Poems

by Daisy Wallace (Editor)Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)

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Blurb: Small, tall, nasty, nice, old, and young witches by prominent poets. Eighteen poems about witches by L. Frank Baum, E.E. Cummings, Eleanor Farjeon, and others.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1976 and definitely in shabby shape. My edition is very worn and a previous library book with stickers and markings. This is another book that my dog Winston got to when he was a puppy. He ate the corner and I had to do a duct tape repair on it.


My Thoughts:

This book is one of our favorites to read around Halloween time. There are witch poems from multiple poets including Shakespeare, L.Frank Baum, Myra Cohn Livingston and a few anonymous.

One of our favorites is written by Myra Cohn Livingston. It’s titled “Lazy Witch.”

Lazy Witch

Lazy witch
What’s wrong with you?
Get up and stir your magic brew.
Here’s candlelight to chase the gloom.
Jump up and mount your flying broom
And muster up your charms and spells
And wicked grins and piercing yells.
It’s Halloween! There’s work to do!
Lazy witch,
What’s wrong with you?

–Myra Cohn Livingston

What makes this book so atmospheric are the illustrations. They’re all black and white and remind me of Pam Smy’s illustrations in Thornhill.

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It sets the mood and makes this a perfect book for Halloween. There is actually one semi-nude illustration in the beginning of the book, but the book is labeled for children ages 3 and up. We enjoy all eighteen poems.

My rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (December 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823402819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823402816

 


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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976”

Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

Books 1-3

1- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore (Scary Stories #1)

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Blurb: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl; 1st edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397319266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397319268

My Thoughts:

This is a great collection of short scary stories for kids to enjoy. It’s a book that I enjoyed as a child and can now share with my own kids. Some of the stories are pretty scary and best for older readers, but a few of them can be read to younger readers as well. There are plenty of traditional ghost stories, retellings and folklore to enjoy. The black and white illustrations add even more eeriness!

A few of our favorites include The White Wolf, The Guests, The Wendigo, The Girl Who Stood on a Grave, and The Attic.

I really enjoyed reading the references in the back of the book which explain the tales and where they originated.

5 Sterne


2- More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #2)

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Blurb: All those who enjoyed shuddering their way through Alvin Schwartz’s first volume of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will find a satisfyingly spooky sequel in this new collection of the macabre, the funny, and the fantastic.Is it possible to die — and not know it? What if a person is buried too soon? What happens to a thief foolish enough to rob a corpse, or to a murderer whose victim returns from the grave? Read about these terrifying predicaments as well as what happens when practical jokes produce gruesome consequences and initiations go awry.Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even a scary song — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397320825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397320820

My Thoughts:

Here’s another scary story collection that’s perfect for this time of year. Some of these are downright horrifying, but so much fun.

A few of our favorites are: Something was Wrong, The Cat’s Paw, Ba-Rooom!, which includes the simple sheet music we enjoy playing on the piano, Wonderful Sausage, and One Sunday Morning.

One of my favorite sections in the book contains the sources which explain the tales, adaptations, retellings and even different variations. Some even have a little history with them which explains where these tales were heard and when. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are perfect and never disappoint!

5 Sterne

Irish Washerman Tune – “Ba-Room”

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The Cat’s Paw

Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3”

Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Creepy Pair of Underwear!

by Aaron ReynoldsPeter Brown (Illustrator)

 

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Blurb: Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!

My Thoughts:

We loved Creepy Carrots, so when we saw that Creepy Pair of Underwear came out, we couldn’t resist and had to grab it!

The story begins with Jasper Rabbit as he heads to the store with his mom to pick up some new underwear. He notices a new underwear section featuring creepy underwear and mom agrees that he can purchase them. He’s feeling so grown up and can’t wait to wear them to bed that night.

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When his mom shuts off the light, he notices that the underwear actually glows in the dark. He realizes that they are a little TOO creepy and becomes afraid! Jasper is a big rabbit and convinces himself that he’s not scared, or is he? He tries to hide the creepy underwear with the ghoulish glow in multiple places and even sends them to China, but they keep coming back.

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Follow along in the story and discover if Jasper can find a way to overcome his fear of the creepy pair of underwear.

We loved the illustrations and the story is adorable. Our rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!”

Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia

I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!

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I missed Flower Friday last week and didn’t realize it until the weekend. I’m back this week with a special picture of a zinnia we grew together from seed. My 7-year-old daughter took this picture with her tablet. I was quite amazed by it. It reminds me that kids can do some pretty constructive things with their tablets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia”

TAG: The Playlist Shuffle

I was tagged by Claire @ BrizzleLassBooks for The Playlist Shuffle Tag. I’ve never done a tag like this and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to do one either! If you haven’t been to Claire’s blog, please go check it out. You’ll find wonderfully written book reviews, music, blog tours, and more. Claire’s also a great friend and I’m glad to know her.

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The Rules

  • Put your music on shuffle and list the first 15 songs to play (no cheating).
  • Tag 10 others to do it as well.

Here we go…

My Shuffle

Seether – Driven Under

 


Alice In Chains – Would?

 


Stone Temple Pilots – Sex Type Thing

 


Imagine Dragons – Demons


Pearl Jam – Release Me

I want to talk about this one. This is one of my favorite songs of all time by Pearl Jam and I had plans to use it for Music Monday. I went ahead and picked this alternate video below because the song is in the movie and this movie is at the top for me. If you haven’t seen “Out of the Furnace” yet, you might want to check it out. It is a violent and emotional movie, but great.

 


Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

 


Pantera – Walk

 


Drake – Hotline Bling

 


Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

 


Linkin Park – Numb


Soundgarden – Rusty Cage

 


Cold War Kids – First


Creed- One Last Breath

 


Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One


Metallica – The Shortest Straw

Continue reading “TAG: The Playlist Shuffle”

Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector Book #1)

by Dot Hutchison

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Blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

My Thoughts:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison is a captivating thriller. The collector a.k.a. “The Gardner” begins collecting girls and tattooing them with beautiful designs.  His plan is to keep them until they reach a certain age and then make them permanent fixtures in his garden for all to see. The girls know their fate, but it’s a mystery exactly how and when it will come about. Maya is one of those girls, and the brave one. The Gardener sees something special in her and it might be more than he can handle as she devises a plan of her own.

I liked the characters and felt they had good development. Maya is tough and the main character throughout the story as she’s interrogated by the FBI while giving her side of the story. The Gardener isn’t completely understood, but what serial killer is? Here we have a man who’s living a separate life in his fantasy garden, and it works. When reading the book, I had flashbacks to some of my favorites like The Silence of the Lambs and Kiss The Girls. 

I wasn’t sure if I liked the format of the writing, but still remained fairly fascinated with the story. I found it difficult to read at times and even nightmarish, especially when Keely comes into the picture. It’s definitely not a book everyone will enjoy as it contains rape, kidnapping, and other sick and twisted events, although it seemed that some details were spared and it wasn’t overly gory. There were many twists and turns and it didn’t feel predictable at all.

There is a weird twist toward the end, but unfortunately, the ending was too abrupt and I wasn’t thoroughly satisfied with it. I still give this one 5-stars for captivation and a unique story.

This is one of my favorites for 2016.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison

After last Wednesday’s Breakfast and Book, my week sort of fell apart. This week is much better and I hope everyone else is having a great week too. I’m back with a new book and recipe that I hope you will enjoy.

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Last week I mentioned that I was back to gluten-free again. It’s actually been close to a month now that I’ve not allowed myself to have any baked goods at all. I’m not supposed to have gluten, yet I’ve learned that a little bit won’t kill me, but my problem is moderation. Gluten causes me to have horrible sick feelings and headaches like you wouldn’t believe. So, I’ve pretty much stayed with salads, smoothies, and juices for the past four weeks or so and all is working out well. I’m still eating eggs and nuts too to help keep myself satisfied. My body is refreshed again and I’m feeling quite well.

One of the books I’ve been using is titled Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies which I’ve already introduced to you in a previous Breakfast and a Book post featuring the Funky Monkey Smoothie. I have that smoothie nearly every day and love it so much. If you haven’t tried that smoothie yet, give it a chance because it’s my new favorite smoothie of the year!

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I thought I’d share one more favorite recipe from this book today as I’ll be reviewing it hopefully later today or tomorrow.


The juice recipe I’m sharing today is titled “Sweet Golden Sun” and it’s very delicious.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 inch of fresh turmeric (I’m using fresh dried turmeric)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 of a pineapple

That’s it! Three ingredients!

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Directions:

Wash and peel all produce. If you’re using fresh turmeric, start with that and juice everything after it. This allows the sweet potato and pineapple to push all that wonderful turmeric goodness out of the juicer and into your cup.

Why do I love this recipe so much? It’s packed full of nutrients and turmeric is a huge anti-inflammatory. This is a great start to your morning and a great cold/flu fighter.

*This can be adapted into a smoothie very easily. Just cook the sweet potato first, then blend everything in the blender. This is a great winter smoothie.*

Here’s what I did:

Wash, chop, and peel. I already had some pineapple in the refrigerator ready to go.

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I’m using some smaller size sweet potatoes. One garnet yam and two Japanese sweet potatoes. Japanese sweet potatoes are my absolute favorite and they’re so sweet.

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I’m using fresh dried turmeric that I dried. It’s so easy to do and I’ll do a post on that soon.

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Put the produce through the juicer alternating with pineapple and sweet potato. Save the dried turmeric for after the juice is complete.

Mix in about 3/4 tsp dried turmeric to your juice.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison”

Music Monday: Alice In Chains “Nutshell”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

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This week’s song pick is:

Alice In Chains

“Nutshell”

I’ve had a rough week with a few unexpected events that I’m struggling to get past and just about the only thing I feel like I can do to help myself is listen to music. I know I’ve mentioned this song on previous posts before, but Alice In Chains is a fave and this is just one of my go-to songs. I chose this song because it’s been a favorite since the moment I heard it for the first time, it’s written by Layne Staley, whom I miss dearly, and it helps me release my emotions. It’s one of my best loved songs of all time.

 

Lyrics:

We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

Continue reading “Music Monday: Alice In Chains “Nutshell””

Shabby Sunday: Frankenstein by Ian Thorne – Monster Series 1977

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Today is my 8th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


 

Today’s shabby share is:

Frankenstein (Monsters Series)

by Ian Thorne

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The cover on this one features Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster in “Ghost of Frankenstein.”
Blurb: Briefly discusses the origin of the Frankenstein legend and the portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation in films. Also presents a synopsis of the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1977, my birth year. This entire series is actually quite rare and expensive to build. As of now, I only have two of the entire set which includes King Kong and this Frankenstein book featured here. I’m not even sure how many there are in the set, but so far, these are the titles I’ve located online.

The Blob
Frankenstein
Frankenstein meets wolfman
The Wolfman
King Kong
Mad Scientists
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dracula
The Mummy
The Deadly Mantis
It Came from Outer Space
The Murder in the Rue Morgue
The Invisible Man
Godzilla

My Thoughts:

The Frankenstein installment in the “Monsters Series” begins with a fairly complete summary of the very first “Frankenstein” movie from 1910. There are many photos from the original film with captions that explain what’s happening in the picture and also gives the character names. It even explains facts about the original creator of “Frankenstein” –  Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin aka Mary Shelley, and how the story came about.

As the story moves on, readers learn about subsequent Frankenstein movies, the actors who played the roles in the films, and even a little bit about “The Munsters” – one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. It ends with a synopsis of the 1974 TV version “Frankenstein: The True Story.”

Overall, I love this “Monsters Series” edition and I’m happy to have it. My edition is really shabby with markings and stickers as it was a previous library book that I picked up at a sale. I can still remember reading this series in grade school and we always called them “the orange monster books.” I hope to complete the entire set in the future. My rating for this edition is 5-stars.


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Series: Monsters Series
  • Library Binding: 46 pages
  • Publisher: Crestwood House; Library Binding edition (June 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913940666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913940662

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Frankenstein by Ian Thorne – Monster Series 1977”

The Fall Book Tag!

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I’ve been seeing this tag everywhere and couldn’t wait to do it. This tag was created by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm. All of the graphics used belong to her. I’d like to thank her for creating such a wonderful tag! This is my favorite time of year and I really enjoyed this. Here are some of the blogs I’ve seen recently that have done this tag…

The Introverted Book Nerd

Kristin Kraves Books

Thrice Read

Book Chanted Blog


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The White Raven

by Carrie D. Miller

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I just read this last month and I loved it! It isn’t like any other book I’ve read this year and the story revolves around witches and magick. Perfect for this time of year!


 

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The Kind Worth Killing

by Peter Swanson

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This is a psychological thriller that I really couldn’t figure out until the end and I was fairly shocked by it! I listened to this on audible and it’s one of my favorite books for 2017. I was late on this one.


 

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The Bear and the Nightingale

by Katherine Arden

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I’m going to go with The Bear and the Nightingale. I read this one earlier in the year when it was still wintry outside and it was just perfect. I loved it. Sadly, I didn’t feel the same way with the second installment.


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The Pumpkin Cookbook

by Edith Stovel

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How about The Pumpkin Cookbook? I just bought this not to long ago and it’s one of my favorite cookbooks this year! It contains tons of recipes using pumpkin. Love Love Love!


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Dark Matter

by Blake Crouch

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It’s hard to pick just one book for this, but I’ll go with Dark Matter. For me, I just couldn’t put this book down and I raced to the finish. It was a pretty crazy ride!


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I definitely can’t just pick one! I have at least ten books that I’m highly anticipating, but I haven’t been able to get to them yet due to current reading responsibilities. These three are literally calling my name from my shelf and I look at them everyday.

Continue reading “The Fall Book Tag!”

Meet The Reader Series with Trish

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I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others, so I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.


Meet the Reader Series

Today’s Featured Reader:

Trish

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Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

Sadly, I come from a family of non-readers. That means that I did get some of those thin Disney books when I was very little because they were colourful and what my family knew from movies, but I never had access to what I call “real information” (meaning that there was nobody who could have introduced me to beloved classics). However, despite the lack of books at home, the bookshelves in the department store (back then they still existed even here in Germany) always called to me like sirens call to sailors. Whenever I’d vanished from my mother’s side, she’d know where to find me and, thankfully, my grandfather saw no fault in my passion so he often sponsored me by buying books even if it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas. That means I had to go with what the store had (again, making me miss out greatly) but at least I had books. Coming from a family of non-readers is a bit like being the only witch or wizard in a Muggle family like the Dursleys – people don’t get why I’m so passionate about some written words. That clash of views manifested itself when I was around 4 years old because I wanted bedtime stories but my mother hated reading (especially reading out loud) and was tired from work too. At some point, I was so exasperated with those adults and their pitiful attempts to skip chapters (as if I didn’t know the story by heart! the blasphemy!) that I started teaching myself how to read. Freedom!

As I mentioned before, I didn’t know any classics simply because I didn’t have anyone telling me about them, there was no internet around back then, and Germany has a very different library system (not to mention that it never occurred to my mother or grandparents to take me to the one we have in our town). Thus, the books I read back then were the afore-mentioned books with the Disney stories or I also had a book with 365 stories about forest animals, one for each day of the year.

Later, when I was about 9 years old, I saw a gloriously majestic book about ancient Egypt that my grandfather bought for me (sadly, I cannot remember the title and some other kids in school flushed it down the toilet so the janitor consequently threw it away). That marked the beginning of my obsession with Ancient Egypt and its mythology. But I also loved the stories of the black stallion by Walter Farley and now I’m reading up on all manner of classic stories like “Charlotte’s Web“, Roald Dahl’s books (“Matilda” for example), “The Wind in the Willows” etc. to make up for lost time.

What are some of your favorite books this year or last?

Phew, that is so insanely difficult, it’s not even funny anymore.

I’m usually very lucky with my choices (there is only a small number of books I don’t like). Also, for 2016 I can leave you with the link to my summary of the year – 2016 was the first time I had heard about Goodread’s option to review one’s reading year: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1859513710

For 2017 I’d have to name several to give every genre a chance:

The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews for UF.

In the Humor/Fantasy category, Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gentley series (yes, it took me this long to discover it, shame on me). 

For sci-fi, The Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers,

 

We Are Bob (a trilogy) by Dennis E. Taylor,

 

“Dune” by Frank Herbert (another classic I had missed out on so far),

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and  “Children of Time” by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

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“Monstress” by Marjorie Liu for comics,

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld for satire/fantasy, 

(Please click on Discworld above to see all Discworld installments)

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“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman (him being a category of his own; it was a re-read, by the way, because of the TV show being available now). 

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But there was also Seanan McGuire in the novella category as well as a number of really engaging non-fiction books. *sighs* And that is only the year so far! I bet there will be more on this list at the end of December. As I said, I’m usually very lucky with my reading choices.


What are your favorite book genres?

It used to be historical fiction (mostly crime stories set in Ancient Egypt like Paul Doherty’s Amerotke series) but one of my goals for 2016 was to branch out and give every genre a chance and I’m so glad I did because it made my reading life so much richer! Thus, I now try to read books of any genre, every year.

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There will always be genres I can’t get into as much (biographies) and some that almost always hold favourites (fantasy + scifi), but it’s more a case of liking the author/story than the genre.


What are some of your favorite authors?

This is much easier to answer (though there, too, is quite a number of them).

Neil Gaiman is always great – I discovered him very late, but now I read basically everything he publishes; Terry Pratchett was a master as well; Paul Doherty for his sense of history; J.K. Rowling, Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente for the magic; Philip Pullman; Ilona Andrews; George R.R. Martin; Jane Austen for giving us the perfect love stories that are about so much more than “just” love; Roald Dahl; Stephen King for the creepy explorations of human nature. And I have to name Cornelia Funke because she is a fantastic author AND German! But there are also a bunch of newer (often self-published) authors that are great like Jodi Taylor, Evan Currie, D.J. Molles and Sean Gibson (to name just a few).


How many books are on your TBR shelf?

849 on today’s count, but those are books I generally want to read, not books I already own and could start any moment. Also, I’m cheating a little because in addition to the TBR I have the “maybe” shelf. 😉

Goodreads has definitely been the wolf in sheep’s clothing regarding my TBR. While I read more books than ever before, I also get exposed to many more than before, what with everyone throwing their favourites at me and all of them sounding so interesting.


What’s an emotional book, or one you won’t forget that you’ve read this year or last?

I’m generally very emotional as I had to discover. I can start sobbing over a story more than anything, it’s ridiculous (and embarrassing). Reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels (see above) was insanely emotional this year. Originally, I had put off reading the series because of the author’s death and me being so emotional about it, but it’s a group-read and we’ve agreed to read the entire series in publication order, one book per month. Hence, “Mort” (August’s book) was especially emotional for me because it’s about Death (the character but also in general).

Another one that was very uncomfortable was the “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife” (last year) and its sequel, “The Book of Etta” (this year), simply for the themes explored in them.

In general, it’s very easy to make me sit at the edge of my seat – once I’m invested in the characters of a story, I want them to survive and end up happy so reading goes from recreational to heart attack-inducing.


Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

Oh yes. Like I said: biographies are just not for me. There can be exceptions (as happened this year as well), but I’m definitely not into the super whiney description of a movie star’s life. Thus, Anna Kendrick’s biography (at her age!) was simply torture.

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But I had another 1-star review this year: “Control Point“, which is the 1st volume in the Shadow Ops series by Myke Cole. At first, I thought it was the audio version, but while going over what the story had been about I realized that there had been a lot of other factors as well.

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When I decide to give this kind of rating, it’s not that I want an author to fail (biographies are different because there we’re talking about the people themselves and with some you just cannot get along), but I need to realistically and honestly review the story, even if I’m sad for the author (or not because having had to go through such a bad book made me aggressive and the review is my outlet *lol*).


What are you reading now?

Today I’ll finish another nonfiction book called “Nicht jeder kann ein Kätzchen sein” (translation: “Not everybody can be a kitten”) which is from a German biologist from the town where I work about animals that might be deemed ugly but still have one hell of a technique when it comes to survival.

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I’m also reading (but not finishing today) “Stephen Fry in America” of which I’ve seen and loved the mini-series.

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They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

Another tough one. I try not to judge. Just look at poor Ilona Andrews (see link above) and the covers their publisher slaps onto those UF titles. All my IA-reading friends on Goodreads always say how awful these covers are and it’s true! We also know that such covers can make people pick up other books instead so we’re actually sad for the authors. Therfore, I usually try not to look at the cover but just read the blurp. That is not always easy though. And it works the other way around as well: some books have gorgeous or interesting covers but reading even only the opening sentence is torture.

The good thing is that I get most of my buying impulses online (Goodreads mostly) so when I check on certain websites, I can check what kind of covers are available and choose the one I like best or fits with the rest of the series (that is very important to me, I hate it when publishers suddenly change the cover design or book size mid-series). So yeah, I shouldn’t, but it is important to me that my books have pretty covers as they deserve.


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Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

No, I don’t. I don’t think I’m a blogger, to be honest. First of all, I probably wouldn’t have the time due to work, sports, reading etc. I started posting irregular science updates on Goodreads a while back and can’t even always keep up with those! Also, I don’t think I’d have much to say. I can discuss topics, answer questions in a conversation (digital and in real life), no problem, but in a separate blog? Just not for me, I guess.


Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

I’ve written two short stories back when I was in school. Just stuff that popped into my head back then. Funnily enough, my teacher (whom I had asked to read the two stories) said they were good but he got concerned there was something in my private life, something dark, that I needed to talk about. *lol* Which I didn’t, honestly!

What I see online is that everyone tries to be a writer. I don’t know if it is a new phenomenon like I perceive it or if I’m exposed to it only now. Either people want to make a ton of money and nothing else, or they style themselves the new Shakespeare despite them not having enough talent for a groceries list.pexels-photo-210661

Of course, there are also those that really have wonderful stories to tell and now, thankfully, have the possibility to self-publish for which I’m also grateful as a reader because otherwise, I would have missed out on some great stories.

I really don’t need to add to the noise, however. I’m really more a reader and, thankfully, many ideas that swirled around in my head at some point or another usually get addressed in one book or another by authors I know (maybe I make them write them? wouldn’t that be a cool superpower? :P).


Which do you enjoy more, e-books or physical books? How about audio books?

Along with my resolution to try any genre, I also promised myself to try different formats. It started in 2015 when I found some BBC dramatisations of Terry Pratchett’s & Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” as well as Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”. The BBC is simply brilliant.

Also, I have a very close friend on Goodreads who reads almost exclusively in audio form and kept nagging me about it.

Originally, I was against audiobooks. I had the “Harry Potter” audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry but had always fallen asleep after about 30 minutes (not because they are bad, on the contrary: they are brilliant). No idea why I had such problems.

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Then the BBC stuff got me curious and a series I discovered thanks to a Kindle freebie was adapted by Audible too so I gave it a chance – and loved it. It’s very hit-or-miss with me and completely depends on whether or not I can connect with the narrator but I read a lot in audio format now because it means being able to cook simultaneously and not having to stop reading while doing chores.

Other than that, I’ve had a Kindle ever since the first version of the device was available. It was just easier than transporting a doorstopper on my daily commutes. In the meantime, I often use my iPad instead (also because I’m now getting books via Netgalley and some of them are comics/graphic novels that don’t get displayed well on the Kindle I have).

However, nothing will EVER substitute a “real” book for me. If I have an e-book or audiobook and really love it, I buy the paper version (sometimes even hardcover, it depends on how much I’ve loved it). I could also not live in a house without physical books around me, it’s just not the same. Not to mention that I’m a book-sniffer. *lol*


Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

The problem is that I live in Germany.

While we still have some libraries, most have never been the way British or American ones are. Also, they are getting more and more rare, old, and often only stock old copies of Shakespeare and art books – basically they are waiting for someone to let them die. The bigger cities still have more up-to-date ones but take Karlsruhe, for example: It’s the seat of Germany’s Supreme Court and therefore has a fairly big library – and yet the library only has one Stephen King book and only one copy of that (it’s not even a well-known one). It’s really sad.

 

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Karlsruhe – A city in Germany

 

The stores do get better (years ago it was a nightmare for me trying to buy a copy of a book that way) since they have to keep up with certain well-known websites. However, I need to almost always order my books – either because of my afore-mentioned pickiness when it comes to the cover design or because they just don’t stock many books in English (I read books in their original language because too much gets lost in translation). Since I’d have to order them anyway, I have to admit that Amazon is usually cheapest and fastest. And it has books I sometimes cannot even get through the bookstore. But don’t pity the stores, they are big chain stores so they are doing just fine (there are almost no independent little bookstores left here). Therefore, I don’t feel bad when ordering on Amazon, I’m just sad that I miss out on the experience of shopping in a store.

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My audiobooks come from Audible (also belonging to Amazon).

One could say that I basically have my own library in the meantime (last count, and I have neglected my list for several months, was over 1300 physical copies).

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Trish”

Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

 

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Blurb: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts:

Nick and Amy Dunne are preparing to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary when suddenly, Amy disappears and as the investigation unfolds, it appears that the marriage wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. Others begin to wonder if Nick could be the perpetrator and the book will leave you wondering what really happened to Amy throughout.

I loved this book, and honestly, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen because the plot was completely twisted. I went in completely blind and that’s what I would recommend to everyone else. You will more than likely be shocked. It’s one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read, slow at times, but the story picks up and then you’re in for the ride. To me, the characters were fairly unforgettable!

I admire the way Gillian Flynn writes and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. I mixed the book and audible for this one and I did enjoy the narration.

My rating on this one is 4 stars.

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You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307588378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588371

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – October 5th- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Hearts Invisible Furies – Vitamin C Smoothie

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Here’s a new recipe and book for this week!

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Last month I had to go back to strictly gluten free and have been making mainly juice and smoothie recipes. Last time I shared the ‘Funky Monkey‘ smoothie, and let me tell you, I’ve had that smoothie nearly every day since! I love it. I can’t say enough about the book where I found this recipe- Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies. This is a five-star book for me and I’ll be reviewing it this week!

So, today’s recipe is one that I’ve made for years and thought I’d share it because some people don’t like banana in their smoothies and this one is bananaless! It’s chock-full of vitamin C which we could all use a hefty dose of this time of year as the colds and flu sweep in. I’ve already heard of a few cases of flu near my home state, so why not be prepared?

The Recipe: Vitamin C Smoothie

1 cup of milk of your choice – I’m using coconut, but almond works great too.
1 cup of strawberries (frozen preferred)
1 cup of pineapple
1 to 2 oranges (a few tbsp of orange juice concentrate work well as a sub)
1 slice of ginger
1 Tbsp of raw honey
Supplements of your choice* See below
1 cup of ice or a little less if you’re using frozen strawberries

Directions:

Put everything in the blender in the order listed. Ice is always last.

Here’s what I did

I didn’t have coconut milk, so I basically just add in dried coconut and water and make my own. I used about a 1/3 cup of coconut. This brand does not contain sulfites which is why I buy it.

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I added the coconut to about a cup of water. I’m not going to blend it yet and will add everything before blending.

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Add everything else in, ending with the frozen ingredients. The pineapple I chopped up includes the core. Don’t kick out the core! It’s a very healthy addition that can be blended. It contains the highest concentration of bromelain, which helps reduce pain and inflammation in the body. The Vitamix has no issues with shredding the core up.

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Use frozen strawberries for a nice thick smoothie. To freeze strawberries, just put them on a cookie tray so they’re all separated and freeze for about 6 hours or so. Then take them out and store them in a bag.

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Also, store the remaining pineapple in the fridge in a jar or other container. I like using glass whenever possible when it comes to storing cut produce.

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Peel the ginger and add.

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Add the honey. I love this Great Lakes brand honey I found at Costco. You know it’s raw when it won’t slip off the spoon.

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I added a few supplements: Lucuma powder, Maca Powder, and Bee Pollen – about a teaspoon each.

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Maca is a superfood and great for regulating hormones. Lucuma is also a superfood powder that’s great at removing inflammation from the body, helps maintain skin health, and promotes physical endurance.

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Bee Pollen – Some people are allergic to this, but I have severe seasonal allergies and I’ve never had any issues with it. It’s so close to being a perfect food as it has all the nutrients that humans need to survive. Here’s what Dr. Axe has to say about Bee Pollen…

“Bee pollen is wonderful for natural allergy relief and is responsible for the many health benefits of raw honey. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids and fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids and bioflavonoids — making it an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent that strengthens the capillaries, reduces inflammation, stimulates the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels naturally.”

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Blend it up!

You can click on the pictures below.

The smoothie is done in 40 seconds or less!

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This one is very sweet and has a tropical flavor. Delicious!

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – The Hearts Invisible Furies – Vitamin C Smoothie”

Top Ten Favorite Tom Petty Songs

As most of you already know, Tom Petty passed away yesterday unexpectedly at the age of 66. Like many, I’ve been listening to Tom Petty since I was a child and he’s been a favorite music artist throughout my life. I can remember countless times as a child riding in the car listening to Tom Petty on the radio and as I grew older and started going out with friends on the weekend, you always heard Tom Petty tunes. He was pretty much a staple and some of my very first songs I learned on my acoustic guitar were Tom Petty tunes.

We lost so many talented and amazing artists this year. I thought I’d post my top ten favorite Tom Petty songs to celebrate his life in music. Maybe some of these are songs that you enjoy as well.

Some of these music videos are the greatest of all time and every one of them is worth watching. It was hard to pick just ten, but these are some of my favorite jams.

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Don’t Come Around Here No More

 

Into The Great Wide Open – Featuring Johnny Depp

 

The Traveling Wilburys – Handle Me With Care

 

You Got Lucky

 

You Don’t Know How It Feels

 

I Won’t Back Down

 

Learning To Fly

 

Free Fallin’

 

Running Down A Dream

Mary Jane’s Last Dance

Continue reading “Top Ten Favorite Tom Petty Songs”

The Frightened Little Flower Bud by Renée Paule and Godfrey R. Hewitt – Book Review and Author Interviews

I had the pleasure of reading The Frightened Little Flower Bud last month, a children’s book by Renée Paule and Godfrey R. Hewitt. Below, you can see my thoughts on the book and also read the interviews with  Renée and Godfrey.

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The Frightened Little Flower Bud

by Renée Paule (Author/Illustrator)G.R. Hewitt(Author/Illustrator)

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Blurb: The story begins with a seed landing in a pretty garden where it begins to grow and eventually forms a little flower bud. But, the little flower bud becomes frightened of things she ‘hears on the wind’; such as the sun that might scorch her petals, the rain that might spoil them, the wind that might blow them away – so the flower doesn’t want to bloom. However, all flowers must bloom, and as the little flower bud opens her petals she overcomes her fears one by one.

The more we think about our fears, the more they overwhelm us. This book teaches children (of all ages) that fear is just a feeling that holds them back from living their lives to the full.

To add to the fun and develop observational skills there’s a ‘Did You See’ activity page at the back with objects from the book that children may not have noticed whilst reading it. There are also some simple questions that can be asked of children, encouraging them to think about what they’ve read. The skill level required is ‘easy’.

My Thoughts:

The story is about a little flower bud who is afraid to bloom because of the rumors she’s heard “on the wind” about how she might be scorched by the sun, drenched by the rain, blown by the wind, and stung by bees. She also worries if she’ll be good enough and asks herself, “Will I be beautiful like the other flowers?” As time moves on and she continues to change, everything that she worried about becomes a thing of the past and she blooms into a beautiful flower until it’s time for her to pass on her seeds for new flowers the following season.

The book’s crucial message couldn’t have come at a better time. In this day and age, our children are becoming more influenced by their peers, the media, and even family. Passing some of our own negative fears and beliefs to our children is also possible as we ourselves, at times, are dealing with our own set of stresses and negative emotions. The story reminds us that we don’t need to harbor these negative thoughts at all. By the time I got to the end of the book, I realized this has to be one of the best children’s books I’ve read with powerful messages for all ages. What were some of the messages we took away from the book? Don’t ever be afraid because of something you hear. No matter what somebody else says, don’t let it get in the way of your goals and live your life to the fullest. Most importantly, be yourself!

The book can be read by children entirely on their own, but really strikes up good conversation and for younger children, I believe it’s best read with an adult. It’s very thought-provoking and children will begin to think about some of their own fears. I think school teachers can incorporate this into their curriculum as well. My children who are ages four, six, nine, and eleven, all enjoyed it and even my 17-year-old enjoyed discussing it with us.

We thoroughly admired the bright, colorful, and detailed illustrations. These illustrations give us a nice sense of nature which is something many of us have lost touch with as our lives have become electronic and sometimes disconnected from Earth. There’s even a section for young readers to go back throughout the book with a ‘look and find’ list of animals and children will learn about a what type of flower the frightened flower bud is.

I appreciated the addition of the authors’ notes in the back of the book where you can read about the authors’ thoughts on the book and also learn a little bit about them. I’m so pleased to have this added to my home library and believe this book should be in every school and library so that all can enjoy it, not just children, as it’s a book for all ages!

My rating for this book is 5*****

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You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon. There are two different spellings. Find the British spelling book HERE and the American spelling HERE.

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: RPG Publishing; American Spelling edition (September 27, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993509843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993509841

A few illustrations from the book:

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BeFunky Design

Did you enjoy reading as a child? What are some of your childhood favorites?

Renée I never read much as a child – I found the task tedious and preferred to remain with my own thoughts.

Godfrey I enjoyed reading Enid Blyton amongst others. My favourite children’s books have always been ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame and ‘Winnie the Pooh’ by A. A. Milne.


What influenced you to write this book?

Renée Like with most people, the idea just popped into my head and Godfrey and I developed it from there. There are some beautiful places to see in Co. Leitrim and lots of flowers coming and going. The symbology is always clear (life is a cycle).

Godfrey I was invited to co-write and illustrate it – so I thought ‘Why not?’


What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Renée – As you know, I usually write for adults so had to start thinking about how a child would receive this book and whether or not the ‘bees’ or ‘dying’ image would scare them.

After speaking to teachers, we were reminded of the horrors that our children read all the time – such as ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ – so what we were tackling was mild in comparison.

Godfrey– Knowing when it was finished and needed no more tweaking.


How long did it take you to write it?

Renée – It took six months to get it just the way we wanted it – the illustrations are intricate.


What message would you like people to take away from The Frightened Little Flower Bud?

Renée – Never be afraid of anything, particularly your own thoughts.

Godfrey– Things are never as bad as they appear to be.


What do you think makes a great children’s book?

Renée One that can reach them and encourage them to think for themselves – better still, a book that encourages them to think for themselves and leaves them feeling happier than they were before.

Godfrey– One that children can get lost in – the return to reality is a disappointment. One that stays with you all day and you look forward to getting back to reading it. One that leaves you with a great sense of loss when you turn the last page.


Was anything edited out and did you have alternate endings for the book?

Renée – An image of a mole was removed because we wanted to keep the book Irish and there are no moles in Ireland – we replaced it with a rabbit.

Godfrey– There was no possible alternative ending.

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Who designed the illustrations and cover?

Renée – we worked on the illustrations together. Godfrey did most of the landscapes but also helped me with expressions and ideas. We work very well together. Godfrey designed the cover.


Do you have future plans to write more children’s books and can we expect more illustrations?

Renée – Yes … saying no more at this stage. I am, however, also working on another adult’s book so time is precious right now.


Do you have any favorite children’s book authors and do any influence your writing?

Renée – We’re influenced by everything we read whether we want to be or not.

Godfrey– As I said above, I always loved Enid Blyton’s books – also Roald Dahl, Kenneth Grahame, Philip Pullman and others too numerous to mention.


How do you publish and market your books?

Renée – We are taking it into garden centres, schools and book shops – and anywhere else we can think of – and pushing it ourselves. It’s a hard slog and why time is precious right now. This book was rejected by 16 odd publishers and also by distributors, even though they enjoyed reading it. We still have a lot to do.


Do you have any advice for others on publishing and marketing?

Renée – Never give up. Never take ‘No’ for an answer. If you believe in what you’re doing don’t allow others to reject it in your own mind.

Godfrey– I agree with Renée. It’s also important to have your book edited. If you self-publish be prepared to work hard and get your book known – there’s a lot of competition!


Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Renée and Godfrey – Thanks for the chance to talk about our book. We had a lot of fun putting it together.

I’d like to thank Renée and Godfrey for taking the time to complete this Q&A.

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Continue reading “The Frightened Little Flower Bud by Renée Paule and Godfrey R. Hewitt – Book Review and Author Interviews”

Music Monday: Tangerine Dream “Loved by the Sun” from the film “Legend”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday!

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This week’s song pick:

Tangerine Dream

“Loved by the Sun”

This is from the movie “Legend” with Tom Cruise, Mia Sarah, and Tim Curry from 1985. I chose this song because “Legend” was a favorite movie growing up and the song really is beautiful to me. The vocals are by Jon Anderson. The video quality isn’t perfect on this one, but we purchased the Blue-ray movie from Amazon and it’s quite amazing and roughly $10 which I thought was fairly cheap.

-Lyrics-

I’ve seen the mystics play there
Once or twice but I knew they had a reason
Enchantment plays it’s cards all right
Hand in hand with the workings of the seasons

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun, loved by the sun
Loved

Two and two go so close together
Whether there is hope that is torn apart
In the words of all that’s singing
Hand in hand the beginning is at the start

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun
Loved by the sun
Loved

Who sings of all of love’s eternity
Whose shines so bright
In all the songs of love’s unending spells

Only lightning strikes all that’s evil
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Hear the music of love eternal
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake

Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man.
To believe in the good in man.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Tangerine Dream “Loved by the Sun” from the film “Legend””

Shabby Sunday: A Child’s Garden of Delights – 1987

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Today is my 7th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

A Child’s Garden of Delights

by Bernard McTigue

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Blurb: Eighty-five selections from the collections of the New York Public Library. Includes Mother Goose, “Wind in the Willows,” Pinocchio, fairy tales, Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Blakely, and other treasures.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1987. It seems to be quite rare and not very popular. I think anyone who has children around or who are interested in children’s literature would enjoy this book.


My Thoughts

A Child’s Garden of Delights: Pictures, Poems, and Stories for Children is an anthology of children’s stories and more from the collections of the New York Public Library.

“The Charm of the anonymous early English and American selections proves that in the field of children’s literature there was a genius shared by all its practitioners, from the humblest to the most illustrious. To browse through this collection will be a voyage of discovery for young readers and a happy voyage of rediscovery of beloved favorites for older ones.”

This treasure trove has over 80 stories, poems, fables, and nursery rhymes with original illustrations. The illustrations are a mix of color and black and white. It’s an enchanting book. I love that it begins with selections for the youngest readers and progresses on to more difficult readings for older children.

There are tons of authors and great artists including: Rudyard Kipling, Alexander Calder, Charles Kingsley, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Nathanial Hawthorne, Clement Clark Moore, Louisa May Alcott, William Blake, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Pushkin, and many more.

Stories include some of our favorites like: Pinocchio, Old Mother Hubbard, Humpty Dumpty, The Elephants Child, The Ugly Little Duck, Millions of Cats, Aesop’s Fables, A Visit from St. Nicholas, The Wolf and the Dog, The Lion and the Puppy, The Selfish Giant, The Woodcutters Dog, and so many more.

I know well that only the rarest kind of best can be good enough for the young. – Walter De La Mare

This is a book I’ll never part with. It’s such a gem. I feel so lucky to have it!

My rating on this book is 5*****


 

Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N Abrams; First Edition edition (September 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810907917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810907911

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: A Child’s Garden of Delights – 1987”

Cynder’s New Life With Puppies

I thought I’d do a quick update for those who are interested in how Cynder is doing with her three new puppies. It’s hard to believe that they’ll be three weeks old on Tuesday. They’re doing great and getting huge!

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Cynder has adapted well to motherhood, but she needs a lot of breaks. I thought that having puppies might slow her down a little bit, but she seems to be even more hyper with an abundance of energy. She was already back to playing and herding the day after having the puppies. It’s like she never had puppies.

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We have names for the three pups. The merle puppy that reminds of us Winston we decided to name Bowie. She’s the biggest out of the three, although not by much. We can already tell that her eyes will more than likely stay blue like Winstons. This is the puppy we chose to keep. Here are some pictures of her below.

Bowie

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Her eyes both opened last weekend. She’s already starting to play and growls and barks a little bit. This is a picture from a few days ago. Her eyes are already lighter.

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The second pup born is a boy and it looks like he’ll be tricolor. Mainly black and white, with some brown above his eyes and a little on the sides of his face. He’s so different! His eyes are dark and we think they’ll stay amber/brown like Cynders. We named him Fig.

Fig

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The third pup born is the runt, or should I say ‘was’ the runt. She’s a little smaller than the first too, but huge compared to what she was when she was born! She’s just about the same size as Fig. We named her (Little) Lotus.

Lotus

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She had one eye left closed that just finally opened a few days ago in the picture above. It appears that her eyes will most likely be brown. She reminds me so much of Cynder and I think she’ll look just like her.

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They’re doing well! They’re still not able to get out of the kiddie pool. When that happens, we’ll move them to a different location. I’m thinking maybe 2 weeks tops and they’ll need to be moved.

Winston enjoys checking on them throughout the day, but he still isn’t sure of them.

Continue reading “Cynder’s New Life With Puppies”

Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums

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I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!


Today’s flower pic is of my sedums which went into full bloom a few weeks ago. The butterflies were all over them and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums”

The Book Blogger Test

Happy Friday! I thought I’d do a tag this morning to switch things up a little bit. I found this tag over at ThriceRead and enjoyed reading their answers. Be sure to check out this blog if you haven’t yet for tons of reviews, tags, and discussions.

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Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  2. Answer the ten questions asked on this post
  3. Nominate at least five people to do it also
  4. Let your nominees know you nominated them

 


 

Describe your perfect reading spot.

My current favorite reading spot is in my room where it’s dark. I love my cozy chair and have a cool reading light next to it. It’s my favorite place to be, but I would be in heaven to have a reading spot such as this one below!

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Tell us three book confessions.

1. I can’t read while riding in a car. I get car sick really bad.

2. On more than one occasion, I’ve been late making meals for my family due to being engrossed in a good book.

3. I love reading YA and even children’s books.


When was the last time you cried during a book?

I think in July when I read Bernard Jan’s Book A World Without Color.

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How many books are on your bedside table?

About fifteen, but I have a mini-shelf built into it.


What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?

Right now, I love these coconut clusters that I picked up at Costco. They are so delicious and perfect with a hot cup of tea. Great for reading…

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Name three books you would recommend to Everyone

The Pull and Kick Murder – A good who dun it mystery…

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Until Tuesday – A very important book about a wounded U.S. veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan and his service dog.

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The Hobbit – I’m currently reading this with my 9-year-old and we’re taking our time on it. We love it so much. I think even those who don’t like fantasy that much would still enjoy it.

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Show us a picture of your favorite bookcase on a bookshelf.

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This is my favorite bookshelf because all of my other shelves are a mess and not organized at all. This one isn’t necessarily organized, but the shelves are mostly hardcovers and matched into color groupings. It pleases me to look at it and it’s where I keep my figures and a few other trinkets too.

Describe how much books mean to you in just three words.

Books Mean Everything!

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Continue reading “The Book Blogger Test”

Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

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Blurb: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

My Thoughts:

I started A Little Life sometime in January, but had to put it down a few times due to time restrictions on other books. Plus, this book is colossal. It’s a smidge over 700 pages.

I’ll start by saying that I can’t recollect the last time I felt so connected to characters in a story. I was so consumed with the four main characters seeing as how it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with them, especially Jude and Willem. ♡ They’re so complex, it feels like you’re living the story and you’re associating with all of them. They’re memorable.

I cried a few times, and laughed a few times. The further I read, the more shocked I became, ending with a feeling of devastation. With that said, I thought it was written well and it kept my interest. There were a few times I put it down and walked away, but I had to come back.

I remember the first time I saw “Million Dollar Baby” with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. I was sick about that movie for more than a day. In fact, the next day I still felt depressed. Well, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book, but it’s going to take me a few days to get over it and I’ll never forget it.

I gave this book 5*****


You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1St Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385539258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385539258

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 28th – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara”

Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…

When I was little, my grandfather would always tell us kids to be thankful for everything because this is what the Scripture tells us. I couldn’t tell you how many times he read the Bible, but often he would quote Scripture and use examples. We were constantly reminded to count our blessings.

 

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Me and Grandpa – November 22nd, 1979

 

Every now and then, my mind goes into another direction. It’s true that I’ve suffered anxiety and depression in my life and sometimes I have a hard time pulling myself out of it and I start to think about the glass being half empty, rather than half full. I always try to stop and reflect on what my grandfather always taught us.

Fall is such a wonderful time of year and usually by now, we are harvesting pumpkins from our patch to sell or gift to family and friends, canning tomatoes, and making our last minute jams for the winter cupboards. Typically, spring is full of growing and lots of hard work. Here’s a picture of our greenhouse from Spring 2016.

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Except this year is very different, I decided to downsize my gardens and we only grew a few pumpkins for ourselves. I cut back on tomatoes and didn’t grow much from seed this year.

As I was walking around outside by the gardens, I was looking at all the weeds and thought to myself how lazy I’ve been this summer. I started feeling pretty sorry, but this summer, I wanted to spend more time with my kids, read, and relax, and so I did. I didn’t keep up with everything like I normally would and we did have fewer yields because of it, but as I looked around, I saw so many beautiful things. Just look at this hibiscus flower which comes back every year.

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These flowers are huge even surrounded by weeds!

I also realized just a few weeks ago that we won’t meet our quota for the canned tomatoes required to get us through until next year. Normally, I put up about 125 quarts or more of stewed tomatoes for chili, spaghetti, and soup over the winter. With what I’ve canned so far and with what’s left to still harvest, we will probably get about 40 quarts of tomatoes.

 

 

Then, one of our friends that my husband works with decided that he and his wife didn’t want to can this year. He told my husband to come over and take whatever we wanted. We received three more five-gallon buckets of tomatoes for canning including some beautiful green peppers to mix in.

And there’s plenty more where that came from. We will meet the quota after all. Not only did they give us tons of tomatoes, but also 4+ buckets full of apples for canning. It’s truly amazing…

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I didn’t plant sunflowers this year, but there were some beautiful volunteers which will leave plenty of seeds for next year.

Our peppers were fairly small and we didn’t get as many as usual,

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But we have some great spaghetti and winter squash.

I couldn’t help but pause to look at the sky either. Fall is here…

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The sedums are in full bloom…

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There’s so much beauty if you just stop to take the time to look.

Then, this morning the most amazing thing happened! We were out in our woods looking for one of our cats that’s been missing for a few days. We noticed this huge pumpkin vine growing way out in the back of our woods where we used to have our compost pile. All of our pumpkins from previous years would get dumped here. A seed decided to grow and the vine is growing all over and up into the trees.

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Continue reading “Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…”

The Mystery Blogger Award #2

I was nominated by Janie @ Authentically 50 for the Mystery Blogger Award. I just did this award not too long ago, but why not do it again? I love doing these tags and have fresh answers with this one! Fun!

Thanks, Janie!

If you haven’t checked out Janie’s blog, please do. She has blog posts on various topics and I always find them thought-provoking.

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What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“The ‘Mystery Blogger Award‘ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” ~ Okoto Enigma.

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 10 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Myself:

1 – I’m totally psyched for fall!

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2- I love gardening!

 

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3- I love tea!

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Five Questions from Janie:

1 – What is one thing that is on your bucket list (or thing you really want to do in your lifetime)?

I want to ride on a Segway city tour and what better place than New Orleans!

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2 – How would you describe yourself in a few words?

Funny (I try), caring, and compassionate.

3 – What is your favorite book genre? Your least favorite?

This is hard, but I’ll go with non-fiction in general. I love a good memoir. My least favorite is sports, although, if it’s a book about the Patriots, I’m in!

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4 – Describe the perfect relaxing evening.

Hanging out with my family, watching a great show on Netflix, or reading.

5 -What is your guiltiest pleasure?

FOOD! I love to bake!

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Link to my best post:

I chose the YA book rating post last time because it was fresh and seemed to be a topic many people wanted to comment on. This time, I’ll choose my post regarding Carol Buckley. Carol is the founder of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and also founded Elephant Aid International. I did an interview with her and you can see the post HERE if you are interested. You’ll learn about her elephant Tarra and where she is now, as well as what Carol is doing to help elephants around the world.

Continue reading “The Mystery Blogger Award #2”

Music Monday: Eminem “Guts Over Fear” Featuring Sia

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday!

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This week’s song pick:

Eminem

“Guts Over Fear”

I picked this song because I love its meaning. It’s about Eminem’s struggles as an artist and speaks a loud message about courage. I especially love what’s happening in the video. The story is about an aspiring boxer who’s dealing with many issues including money, a pregnant wife, a job he hates, and his dad who obviously has a drinking disorder. The message to me is never give up, persevere and overcome life’s obstacles while ignoring the negative.

The song features Sia singing, but in the video, it’s Chantelle Brown-Young aka Winnie Harlow, a Canadian fashion model. “Guts Over Fear” was also used in the movie “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington. It’s one of my favorite movies. I’ve included both videos here for you.

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This following video includes clips from “The Equalizer” which can spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it yet.  

 

Lyrics

Feels like a close, it’s coming to
Fuck am I gonna do?
It’s too late to start over
This is the only thing I, thing I know

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is
Find different ways to word the same, old song
Ever since I came along
From the day the song called ‘’Hi! My Name Is’’ dropped
Started thinking my name was fault
‘Cause anytime things went wrong
I was the one who they would blame it on
The media made me the equivalent of a modern-day Genghis Khan
Tried to argue it was only entertainment, dawg
Gangsta? Naw, courageous balls
Had to change my style, they said I’m way too soft
And I sound like AZ and Nas, out came the claws
And the fangs been out since then
But up until the instant that I’ve been against it
It was ingrained in me that I wouldn’t amount to a shitstain I thought
No wonder I had to unlearn everything my brain was taught
Do I really belong in this game? I pondered
I just wanna play my part, should I make waves or not?
So back and forth in my brain the tug of war wages on
And I don’t wanna seem ungrateful or disrespect the artform I was raised upon
But sometimes you gotta take a loss
And have people rub it in your face before you get made pissed off
And keep pluggin’, it’s your only outlet
And your only outfit so you know they gonna talk about it
Better find a way to counter it quick and make it, ah
Feel like I’ve already said this a kabillion eighty times
How many times can I say the same thing different ways that rhyme?
What I really wanna say is, is there anyone else that can relate to my story?
Bet you feel the same way I felt when I was in the same place you are

I was afraid to
Make a single sound
Afraid I will never find a way out, out, out
Afraid I never before
I didn’t wanna go another round
An angry man’s power will shut you up
Trip wires fill this house with tip-toe love
Run out of excuses with every word
So here I am and I will not run
Guts over fear, (The time is here)
Guts over fear, (I shall not tear)
For all the times I let you push me around
And let you keep me down
(Now I got) Guts over fear, guts over fear

Feels like a close, it’s coming to
Fuck am I gonna do?
It’s too late to start over
This is the only thing I, thing I know

I know what it was like, I was there once, single parents
Hate your appearance, did you struggle to find your place in this world?
And the pain spawns all the anger on
But it wasn’t until I put the pain in songs learned who to aim it on
That I made a spark, started to spit hard as shit
Learned how to harness it while the reins were off
And there was a lot of bizarre shit, but the crazy part
Was soon as I stopped saying “I gave a fuck”
Haters started to appreciate my art
And it just breaks my heart to look at all the pain I’ve caused
But what am I gonna do when the rage is gone?
And the lights go out in the trailer park?
And the window that was closing and there’s nowhere else I can go with flows in
And I’m frozen cause there’s no more emotion for me to pull from
Just a bunch of playful songs that I made for fun
So to the break of dawn here I go recycling the same, old song
But I’d rather make “Not Afraid 2” than making another mothafuckin’ “We Made You” uh
Now I don’t wanna seem indulgent when I discuss my lows and my highs
My demise and my uprise, pray to God
I just opened enough eyes later on
Gave you the supplies and the tools to hopefully use it to make you strong
And enough to lift yourself up when you feel like I felt
‘Cause I can’t explain to y’all how dang exhausted my legs felt
Just having to balance my damn self
But on eggshells I was made to walk
But thank you, ma, ‘cause that gave me the
Strength to cause Shady-mania, so many empty that stadium
At least I made it out of that house and a found a place in this world when the day was done
So this is for every kid who all’s they ever did was dreamt that one day just getting accepted
I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song
Everything you’re scared to say don’t be afraid to say no more
From this day on forward, just let them a-holes talk
Take it with a grain of salt and eat their fucking faces off
The legend of the angry blonde lives on through you when I’m gone
And to think I was gone

I was afraid to
Make a single sound
Afraid I will never find a way out, out, out
Afraid I never before
I didn’t wanna go another round
An angry man’s power will shut you up
Trip wires fill this house with tip-toe love
Run out of excuses with every word
So here I am and I will not run
Guts over fear, (The time is here)
Guts over fear, (I shall not tear)
For all the times I let you push me around
And let you keep me down
(Now I got) Guts over fear, guts over fear

Continue reading “Music Monday: Eminem “Guts Over Fear” Featuring Sia”

Shabby Sunday: Poldark by Winston Graham – 1977

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Today is my 6th Shabby Sunday! To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


 

Today’s shabby share is:

Poldark

by Winston Graham

 

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Blurb: A gorgeous new release of the heartwarming and hilarious first novel in the Poldark series, the subject of the landmark BBC series

Ross Poldark is a heartwarming, gripping, and utterly entertaining saga that brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters and one of the greatest love stories of our age.

Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers that his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, having believed Ross dead, is now engaged to his cousin. Ross must start over, building a completely new path for his life, one that takes him in exciting and unexpected directions . . .

Thus begins an intricately plotted story spanning loves, lives, and generations. The Poldark series is the masterwork of Winston Graham, who evoked the period and people like only he could, and created a world of rich and poor, loss and love, that readers will not soon forget.

I chose this book because I love the entire saga and my Poldark edition is 40 years old! The actual publication date of Poldark is 1945.


My Thoughts:

It’s 1783, and Ross Poldark is returning home after fighting in the American Revolutionary War. When he arrives he learns that his father is dead, his copper mine is failing, and his sweetheart Elizabeth, whom he loves, is engaged to his cousin Francis. Not only that, but the servants haven’t been keeping up with the estate, and it’s in shambles. His joyful homecoming is crushed and everything is a mess with chickens scattered around in his living room.

 

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Nampara

 

Ross plans to get back on his feet again, but his finances are a mess and he struggles to fit back into society. The future is looking fairly grim. He meets a fourteen-year-old girl named Demelza, rescues her from her abusive father, and gives her a job as a kitchen maid at Nampara where he resides. As time moves on, Demelza grows up into a beautiful young woman, their relationship changes, and they get married against everyone’s wishes. There’s hardly a single soul who approves of their marriage and Demelza will have to prove that she’s a worthy wife. Not only does she struggle with society, she struggles with herself because she knows Ross still loves Elizabeth and Demelza is the one who wants to be number one in Ross’s life.

 

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The book is full of memorable characters with Demelza being my favorite. Winston Graham has a way of making the wind, sea, weather, and landscape connect to the feelings of the characters and the imagery of Cornwall pulls you in with all the vivid details.

“He felt he would like one more look at the sea, which even now was licking at the rocks behind the house. He had no sentimental notions about the sea; he had no regard for its dangers or its beauties; to him it was a close acquaintance whose every virtue and failing, every smile and tantrum he had come to understand.” 

The book started off slow for me, but once I got into the story I loved it and couldn’t wait to read the other books in the series. I ended up reading every single book in The Poldark Saga and highly recommend it to all that enjoy reading historical fiction.

 My rating on this is 5*****

5 Sterne

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  • Mass Market Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Ballantine Books Edition edition (April 12, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345256549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345256546

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Poldark by Winston Graham – 1977”