Person Of Interest

Person Of Interest





24 Festive Tasks: Sinterklaas/St. Nicholas - Task #1

Task 3: If your holiday family traditions should include bowls or plates filled with gingerbread, cookies, oranges / tangerines, chocolate, nuts and the like, share a photo with us!



I haven't baked holiday cookies for quite a few years, but our family that lives in Hawaii sent us this beautifully packaged and incredibly yummy assortment of chocolate covered shortbread and biscotti cookies for Christmas. Heaven!




 Served up with one of my favorite herbal teas in my new kitty mug. :)






24 Festive Tasks: Advent - Task #1

Task 1: Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade.


My family didn't follow this tradition when I was growing up, and I didn't consider doing an advent calendar until recently. I found this inexpensive Victorian style one on Amazon and got it for this holiday season. The doors have tiny little Christmas pictures behind them that are reminiscent of Victorian times. If I get really ambitious next year, I might try making a Victorian themed one myself.





24 Festive Tasks: Dia De Los Muertos - Task #3

Task 3: Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged.



I really wanted to do this one since I'm a fan of the Amelia Peabody series and have always loved Egyptology. Barbara Mertz/Elizabeth Peters passed away in 2013, so this is my little tribute to her, as well. Thanks MPM for creating such fun characters and giving me so many hours of reading pleasure. :D





Books on the left that are partially hidden:


Belzoni's Travels by Giovanni Belzoni - British Museum Press

Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries - A Year by Year Chronicle by Nicholas Reeves

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry by Carol Andrews

The CD is the sound track for the IMAX movie,The Mystery of the Nile (Spanish)



Elizabeth Peters signed bookplate: Ms. Mertz drew this design herself with Isis holding a Hershey bar and martini. :)




Many moons ago I created my own take on the same theme for this letterhead. Here the God Thoth and the Goddess Maat are offering a Hershey bar and martini to the Aten. :P




I also designed the card on the right using Phillip Singer's fabulous cover art from "The Mummy Case" and "The Snake, The Crocodile and The Dog".





24 Festive Tasks: Dia De Los Muertos - Task #4

Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.


So here's my quick and easy version of nachos; we prefer our chips on the side.

For this batch we tried a light garnish of the dried chiltepin chiles our niece and

her BF gifted us when they visited from Tucson this past September. We felt the burn! :) The Saguaro chili grinder is made of ironwood.




Chiltepin chiles and info:  



As the only wild native chili to the US, the Chiltepin is sometimes called the "mother of all peppers.” Common names include Indian pepper, chiltepe, and chile tepin, as well as turkey, bird’s eye, or simply bird peppers, due to their consumption and spread by wild birds. This chili grows naturally in canyons from West Texas through southern Arizona. The perennial bush can reach up to four feet tall and grows under vegetation such as mesquite, ironwood and hackberry which proves shade, moisture and nutrients for the germinating seeds and mature plant.


The Chiltepin has a long history in the US/Mexico borderlands, and has been traditionally used as a food, medicine, and vermifuge and mythic icon. There is considerable folklore associated with these plants. Historically, no kitchen table of Sonorans, Opatas, O'odham or Yaqui rural homes would be without a bottle of dried chiltepines. The wild harvest is a seasonal ritual in many rural communities to this day, where families make chili-harvesting camps in the mountains during the heat of September and early October in order to harvest the wild chiles.


The Chiltepin is a very small chili in size with an extremely pungent flavor. It is rated very hot—8-9 on pungency scales—and has a quite distinctive smoky bite. The Chiltepin is eaten sun-dried, added to cheese and ice creams, fermented into sauces, and pickled with wild oregano, garlic, and salt as a tabletop condiment. The green or dried red fruit are often mixed with range fed carne machaca from cattle or deer to preserve the meat, or wild greens and onions as a typical Sonoran dish.


Thanks to the efforts of agricultural ecologist and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan and botanist Jack Kaiser, the U. S. Forest Service has designated a 2,500-acre stretch of rugged Tumacacori Highlands in the Sonoran Desert where Chiltepin is found as the Wild Chile Botanical Area. According to Nabhan, it was the first botanical reserve for a wild ancestor of a cultivated crop.






Melbourne Cup Day, Task #3: It's Time for JELL-O! (part 1)

Task 3: The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?


Jello doesn't seem to get much love here at BL, so I'm going to share a little gem I have among my recipe books that may, or may not, confirm that opinion. ;) Personally, I don't mind the occasional jello salad or dessert. Now days I tend to reserve them for the holidays, though, in a half hearted effort to curb sugar/carb consumption; if I'm going to indulge in sugar, I'd rather have chocolate, cookies and cake. :D



  The New Joys of Jell-O



Forward: Gotta love the marketing spiel!



The perfect chapter for this task.




Great pictorial spread of the joys or horrors of jello.



 And my personal fav of jello's split personality: recipe on the right is a keeper

I've often used while the one on the left is a no-go.









Melbourne Cup Day, Task #3: It's Time For JELL-O! (part 2)


Task 3: The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?


Alvin adds a couple of things to jello that are weirdly cute. :)




24 Festive Tasks: Christmas - Task #1

I'd planned to participate in this year's 24 Festive Tasks of the Season, but real life got in the way - again - so I'm just going to toss up a few posts this coming week to earn at least a couple of points for the book charities. :)  



Task 1:  Post a picture of your Christmas decorations.



As much as I love doing Christmas decorations, my health issues make that difficult. These days we keep it really simple, so here's our bit of holiday cheer.





We plan to move the pine tree to an outdoor container after the holidays. I also got creative with the tree topper since this little pine had a duel top. The cross stitch pillow was a kit I never got around to making and had my BFF give to a fellow church member who does needlework all the time. BFF then gifted it back to me finished which was a lovely surprise!


This is Val kitty helping out with the gift opening. Hey Dad, this box is way better than your new slippers!


And these are our outdoor Christmas Decorations this year.



Our Chinese Pistache tree produces these beautiful red berries this time of year which the birds love. I was hoping to get some pictures of the crows at their annual holiday feast, but they were camera shy. :) And it wouldn't be Christmas without a few cyclamen for a pop of color. 


Merry Christmas everyone and all the best in 2019!






We're Safe

Checking in to say we're safe and emergency support for fire fighting, the National Guard, military, law enforcement, etc. began pouring into Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties yesterday which has been a big relief. The scale of these fires is so huge, and the conditions have been changing so rapidly that it's like being in a war zone.


We've still in our home with all utilities working, but things got tense yesterday when the neighborhoods just southeast of us in the hills bordering Annadel State Park were evacuated. We could see the flames on that ridge and got panicky when another hot spot developed below it with a huge plume of smoke, but word was eventually put out that it was a backfire started by fire fighters to help create a break for containment.


We're located on the east side of Santa Rosa with fires to the north, east and south of us. Fortunately both the winds and temperatures dropped overnight, so conditions have improved. Towns to the north and east of Santa Rosa have been evacuated, and they're predicting the winds will increase again by Saturday though, so the region is still under threat.


I'll be scarce but will try to check back in again when I can.






Our City Is Burning

Our neighbor rang the doorbell at 6:00 a.m. this morning and told us to be prepared to evacuate due to fast moving fires that started overnight here in Sonoma County, California. Thirteen hours later we're still hanging in and our neighborhood seems to be safe for now. There is zero percent containment at this point, though, so we're still on alert, and a curfew has been imposed from sundown to sunrise for the affected areas of Santa Rosa tonight.


The prolonged drought has brought devastating fires to Northern California in recent years, but this is still such a shock to the system. Just talking with our neighbors and a few of my hubby's co-workers, we know people who have lost their homes. The reported deaths are mercifully low at this point, but the property damage is going to be horrific.


















And the book selections read for each square.



 The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett,William DufrisSherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection - Arthur Conan Doyle,Stephen FryThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Hugh FraserThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow [Classic Tales Edition] - Washington Irving,B. J. Harrison,B. J. HarrisonIn a Dark Wood - Josh Lanyon



The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (9/17) - 3 Stars 

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (10/1) - 4 Stars

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (9/29) - 4.5 Stars

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (10/2) - 4.5 Stars

In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon (9/8) - 3 Stars










Halloween Bingo 2017 - Update

As usual I haven't been good about doing updates and reviews, but I am marking my card and following everyone else's progress. :)  I didn't have book picks planned for the various squares and have just been reading whatever fits from my TBR pile I'm in the mood for which has worked well. I'm leaning heavily towards my mystery related squares and avoiding the horror and paranormal ones, but I figured that would happen and I wasn't planning on trying to black out my card anyway. At this point I've actually got two potential bingos going with just 11 books/short stories read, so I'm happy.  All the posts and discussions about classic mysteries this year have been awesome too!











First Row

Romantic Suspense: **Open

Werewolves: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (In Progress)

Haunted Houses: **Open

Country House Mystery: **Open

Diverse Voices: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (9/21)


Second Row

Chilling Children: **Open

Vampires: **Open

Ghost: **Open

Witches: A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell (9/24)

Magical Realism: **Open


Third Row

Classic Noir: The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (9/17)

Locked Room Mystery: The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (10/1)

Free Space: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (9/29)

Terror in a Small Town: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (10/2)

In the Dark, Dark Woods: In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon (9/8)


Fourth Row

Murder Most Foul: Artists in Crime by Margery Allingham (9/27)

Cozy Mystery: Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (9/20)

Classic Horror: **Open

Terrifying Women: Don’t Look Now/The Birds by Daphne du Maurier (9/14)

Gothic: **Open


Fifth Row

Amateur Sleuth: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (9/14)

Serial/Spree Killer: When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris (In Progress)

Supernatural: **Open

Monsters: **Open

Darkest London: **Open


The Thin Man Progress Update: I've listened to 250 out of 355 minutes.


Okay, I made it past where Dorry asks Nick if her mamma is in love with him and we get that 'God no, she's a man hater' line. Then a few minutes later there's the ugly scene with Mimi. Whoa boy, so much crazy goin' on.  So I took a break and went looking for gifs.



Here's one for all you Nick lovers courtesy of Nora. ;)




The Thin Man Progress Update: I've listened to 65 out of 355 minutes.


OMG. How did I forget Nick is a total lush?! Is Asta the only sober one?


Who You Gonna Call?

Well folks, I'm getting all my Halloween Bingo 2017 stuff pulled together at my usual snail's pace, but hopefully my marker reveal was worth the wait. :)  Handing out trick-or-treat candy while watching Ghostbusters has been a Halloween tradition at our house for years, so going with a Ghostbusters theme was a no brainer. Then when the first bingo call to kick-off this year's game was the "Ghost" square I knew it was a sign!



















 So I'm fudging the "Read" and "Called & Read" squares for illustration

purposes, but here's what my card will look like. And I'm hoping to read a

 couple of short stories this week to catch up with all you speed readers!


Good To Go: Halloween Bingo 2017

I tried to weight my card heavily toward mystery since last year's Halloween bingo confirmed I haven't acquired much of a taste for horror. I still have a smattering of books that should work, along with plenty of ghost stories and a few vampires, werewolves and witches, so I think my TBR's will cover most or all of the squares. I've got my fingers crossed I hang in for the whole game this time. Third time's the charm!


And thanks to Moonlight Murder and Obsidian Blue for hosting what's shaping up to be another exciting game of Halloween bingo and fun buddy reads. The customized cards are fabulous, and Moonlight's design talents and production speed are amazing! :)







Heat Wave

Our weather suddenly turned hot yesterday, and the over 90-degree temperatures were literally frying the last of our iris blooms, so I rescued the best of the bunch and brought them inside to enjoy. They have a honey like fragrance that has drifted throughout most of the house and is simply divine. I added some mint to the mix for a bit of greenery and snapped these pictures to share here on BL. Enjoy!



The dark rust one is named Rustler.




And a 2nd photo was needed to include the country cat. :)