Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Welcome to Janathon 2014!!
What's a Janathon you ask? Well, I just found out about it and it's basically a challenge to run or do some sort of exercise every day for the month of January, and then blog about it. What a great incentive to get up off my butt and work towards that first 5K in the spring.
Want to challenge yourself too? Go to the official Janathon 2014 page and sign up. It's free!! Add the name of your blog and then join the participants list. I've set up a separate TAB at the top of my blog for my daily Janathon posts, so all my daily results will be posted there and on the Janathon FB page. You can join in the challenge even if you don't have a blog, so don't be shy.
Come on - challenge yourself for 2014!
Monday, December 30, 2013
1) Product Review - e Salon
2) Tye Dye With Acrylic Paints
3) Book Review - Impressionists on the Water
4) Book Review - Vegetarian Everyday
5) Book Review - The Sanibel Captiva Handbook
6) Book Review - The Happy Home
7) Prayers for Mom's Surgery
Getting the Old Folks Out
9) My Special Smoothies
10) Guest Post - Learning to Run
I'd like to thank Rizzoli Publishing for affording me the opportunity to review so many wonderful books this year. Thanks to my guest posters and most of all, thank you to everyone who stops by and leaves comments. I've made so many wonderful friends through blogging and it's been great getting to know each and every one of you. Happy New Year!
Friday, December 20, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
If you missed my book review on Wednesday, go back and read it here.
Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. I hope you enjoy my chat with Jessica....
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
When I was approached by Jessica Dotta and asked to review her debut novel, Born of Persuasion, I will be the first to admit that I hesitated. Categorized as both gothic and Victorian in nature, I gave pause for 2 reasons. First, I didn't think I'd care for gothic literature. Second, Victorian era meant British and I've never read any British literature either. Did I really want to spend my time reading a book that was so far outside of my usual genre's? I could not have been more wrong! Let me repeat that - I could not have been more wrong and I was captivated from the beginning.
Born of Persuasion is the first book in a trilogy. The paperback edition of book one is 448 pages of pure bliss. Chapter one starts out with a bang and almost every page thereafter drips with mystery, intrigue, drunken rages, violence, love, suicide and deception. Jessica spins a tale of thickly interwoven plots and deftly drops nuggets of information like bread crumbs along a forest path. Just when you think you've figured out what is going on, she spins on her heel and take you off into another direction. It's a wild ride.
From the book jacket : The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.
With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.
Jessica's characters are well rounded and crafted with interesting backgrounds. Your mind will reel as you try to figure out how the players are connected. But Jessica shines in her narrative. She has a way with words that beautifully describes a scene and puts you in the center of the action. You will sense the coldness of the dark estate corridors, hear the electricity crackle between Mr. Macy and Lady Foxmore as they pursue their self interests at the expense of others, and wonder if Julia will succumb to seductive advances as she tries to piece together the unexpected puzzle that is her life.
Born of Persuasion is easily one of the best fictional books that I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time. I couldn't put it down because I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I had several ah-ha moments and times where I actually thought to myself "Wow, I didn't see that coming!" or "Oh, that was excellent!" I think that I'm usually pretty good at figuring out who did what, but this book kept me on my toes and on more than one occasion I found myself frantically flipping back to double check something as I tried to piece it out. Book two in the trilogy, Mark of Distinction, doesn't come out for several months. I don't know how I am going to wait!
Born of Persuasion is available on Amazon. I don't think you necessarily need to be a fan of "British or Gothic" literature to appreciate this book. Jessica spins an intricate web of murder, mystery, intrigue, secrets, hidden agendas - what's not to like? The plot and characters are so good, and the themes of loss, conviction and faith intertwine like three cords in a braid. Pick up the book and unravel the mystery.
Please come back on Friday and join me. I have an interview with Born of Persuasion author Jessica Dotta all lined up. She shares her thoughts about the book, her writing process and offers a little advice to aspiring writers. See you then.
Please go visit Jessica Dotta's FB page and her website.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
1 stick unsalted butter
3 cups chopped, cooked turkey
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups turkey broth - I just boiled the legs and wings for an hour to make a broth
1 cup half and half
24 oz. frozen peas and carrots
1 small onion, chopped
2 large boiled potatoes, chopped into pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
1 refrigerated pastry crust - top and bottom pieces
Melt butter in a pot. Saute the onions, peas and carrots briefly in the butter and then stir in the flour and cook for two minutes.
Slowly add the broth and half and half
Add turkey and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spray a casserole dish with Pam and lay out the bottom crust, pulling it up the sides of the dish. I did not pre-bake the crust.
Pour your turkey mixture into the dish and cover with top pastry. Crimp around the edges and make
several vents for steam to escape.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, or until pastry is cooked and golden.
Check it out....
You're welcome and enjoy!!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
We pre-programmed the cameras to send the photos directly to Lou's email. Each camera was coded with a different number so we could easily tell which camera we were getting photo's from as the emails came in. The emails usually came through to us within a minute of the photo being taken.
The camera's are super easy to set up. We took them out to our deer property and set up 2 of them in different locations. We set up one camera with 10 batteries and one with 4 batteries. They worked equally as well, but the one with 10 batteries lasted longer before the batteries had to be replaced. This is what the inside of the camera looked like as we were setting it up to grab the satellite signal...
Our deer property is in a very remote area where we don't always get good cell phone reception, so we decided to use the Code Black Booster Antenna.
The booster antenna is an extra accessory and we needed it at the deer property. We initially tried one camera with the antenna and one without. The camera without the antenna kept losing the signal, but once we attached the antenna, it worked just fine. Back at the house, where signal reception is better, we didn't need the antennas at all and the cameras sent photos easily. So I would say to determine your location and how good your cell phone reception is and then get an antenna if you're in a more remote area. The antenna is well worth having.
So here's a couple of shots of the cameras set up in the field. Can you see them?
If you look at the bottom of the photo you'll see the date and time stamps, moon phase and temperature...
We were really excited to see these turkeys on more than one occasion.....
The camera sends great pictures no matter what time of the day or night....
We moved the camera's around a few times and were surprised to see how much action was taking place along one of the trails....
Here is the Code Black camera product information direct from the Covert website:
The Covert site is nicely set up with video's to show you exactly how to set up their cameras for use. You can purchase all camera's and accessories directly from Covert. With Christmas right around the corner, Covert cameras will make an excellent gift for the hunter in your life. Imagine how great it will be to view your stands from the comfort of your own chair instead of running out to your property to grab the SD card and bring it home? Another plus is that you won't constantly be trampling through your deer stands to get to your camera's anymore.
One more thing. Covert camera's aren't strictly for hunting either. They are excellent for surveillance around the home. Imagine the peace of mind to have one set up at your home when you're out of town. You can get pictures sent to your email almost immediately for any activity going on around your house. I may take my Covert camera's and set them up around the lake house so I can see what is going on there in the summer when we aren't at the lake.
If you want a basic trail camera, then Covert can supply you with several different varieties, depending on what type of feature you're looking for and what price range you're interested in. But if you want the thrill of viewing your hunting property on your computer or phone, then the Code Black camera is an excellent choice.
In order for the cameras to send the email, you do have to purchase a special SIM card and pay for a monthly text plan thru a GSM network. We used AT&T. They have several plans available and we picked the unlimited text plan for $ 20.00 per month, which gives us unlimited photos. The nice thing about it is that you don't need a contract and can purchase it on a monthly basis. So if you only want the cameras activated for certain months, it's easy to do so. And even if you don't use the text plan, then the camera can still be set up in the field and take regular pictures on an SD card that you can retrieve and view at your leisure.
I'd like to thank Covert Camera for giving me this opportunity to review the Code Black camera. I did not receive payment for this review, nor did I agree to give a positive review. Aside from information supplied from the company website, the opinions are my own.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Chablis removed an old hinged shelf from the interior, removed the hardware handles, filled in all the holes, and sanded the entire thing down....
Then she painted it with a couple of coats of blue paint...
She gave it a very light distressing and now the tool chest sits at the end of her bed and holds a blanket and some pillows....
She said one of these days she's going to stencil something on the lid.
I think she should stencil Mom on it and give it to her mother. What do you think??