My Photo
Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 A Year of Reading

This year was a personal all time high number for my reading.

However, I will admit, that until last year I never kept a list to know what or how many books I read.  But until last year I can tell you it was maybe a book or two a month at most. 

It wasn't that I didn't want to read more, I was just unable to.  I was pretty busy taking care of my disabled brother. And when I wasn't doing that I was (for 3 yrs) writing  my own fantasy story.  Now, I can't write anything publish worthy, but there was this story inside me fighting to get out.. and so I wrote.  Then I edited. and edited. and edited. (sigh)

Then about two years ago I went and discovered Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings .  I met all sorts of people who enjoyed reading!    When First I discovered Carl he was holding a challenge to read Fantasy Books.  Fantasy books were "my thing!"   So, I began clicking on the link left and reading all the reviews by so many nice people.

And my wishlist began to grow.

...and grow.

And my TBR pile, which up until then was maybe 3 books, began to grow.

...and grow.

...and grow.

...and grow.

I wound up with a list of at least 50 (more actually) blogs that I'd visit everyday and read their reviews.  And when they didn't have reviews, I read their blogs then too!

I "adopted" a son!

I made a good friend, across the pond.

I made more friends and lots of people who's blogs I really enjoy!

Last year was the first year I kept a tally of the books I read.  I believe it was 72.  That alone blew me away.  72!!  I was shocked!

There were many people who read many more books than I did, but that's ok.. I am very happy at the amount I do read.  I'm not a speed reader and I don't push myself to read more.. I just read because I enjoy the books. 

This year I surpassed the 72 and read 101 books!  I am once again amazed!

Most are Fantasy Fiction, but not all.  I also enjoy a biography or autobiography now and then, and enjoy reading about the early days of making motion pictures and the stars of that era, and I learned that I like some Gothic mystery along the way.

I did something else this year that I promised myself I would do and that was to reread some of my favorite books, which I did! 23 of the 100 books were books that I reread this year.  I still have some more old favorites that I plan to reread this year, but probably not as many as last year.

Of the new books  (I have to say that because of course I'd choose all the reread books.. duh, that's why I reread them because I really like them!) I read this year there are some that really stand out.  This doesn't mean they are for everyone, but they were good for me, and I know one day they will be books I will reread again.

Some of them are (in no specific order):

1- James A Owens books: Here There Be Dragons, The Search for the Red Dragon and the Indigo King.

2- Johathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy: Amulet of Samarkland, The Golems Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate.

3- Laurie R. King's Mary Russell books: The Beekeeper's Apprentice,  Oh, Jerusalem, Monstrous Regiment of Women,  Letter of Mary,  The Moor, Justice Hall, The Game,and Locked Rooms.

4- Diane Setterfield: The Thirteenth Tale

5- Simon Louvish: Stan & Ollie

6- Laura Amy Schlitz: A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama 

7- Clare B Dunkle trilogy: The Hollow Kingdom, Close Kin and In the Coils of the Snake.

8- Elizabeth Kostova: The Historian

9- Cornelia Funke's Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath

10- L.M. Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables

Of these I think my favorite came as a real surprise to me...  it would be Stan & Ollie by Simon Louvish. I still can't quite get that book out of my mind.  Running close to being a tie for first place would be Johathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy.  Also, I would add The Thirteenth Tale which I reread this year and enjoyed every bit as much as the first time I read it.

The one (or two) books I'd put on the worst read list are: On the Edge of the Dark Sea by Andrew Peterson and Runemarks by Joanne Harris.

Of all my read only 6  were nonfiction.

42 were written by women!  Wow, I never choose a book by the sex of the author, but a big part of this was because I reread several McCaffrey/ Pern books and more Laurie R King, Mary Russell books.. oh and Cornelia Funke.  They pretty much took over the bulk of my reading this year.  I have a few more Pern books to reread this year and sometime this year Laurie R King comes out with yet another Mary Russell book!!

The only books I read by both a man and woman authors were my rereads from Dragonlance... 6 books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

So there you have it... that's my year of reading.

and now on to 2009!..


Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 22, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061474339


From Publishers Weekly
An explosive prologue sets the stage for Nix's riveting continuation of the story begun in Sabriel and Lirael. While newcomers might find the intricate plotting and the rituals of the Charter Magic off-putting at first, Nix rewards their efforts. Returning characters Lirael, former Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr and now an Abhorsen-in-Waiting (the Abhorsen's "birthright and charge [is] to maintain the borders of Life and Death"), and her nephew, Prince Sameth, along with Disreputable Dog and the mysterious white cat, Mogget, are ensorcelled in the Abhorsen House by a Dead creature, Chlorr of the Mask, who is in league with the evil necromancer Hedge. They break out to try and rescue Sam's old friend, Nicholas Sayre, who has been tricked by Hedge into digging up Orannis, the Destroyer; if Hedge's plan succeeds, the evil now contained by two separate hemispheres will join and annihilate all life. The grotesque imagery of the Death realm provides a haunting note, which Nix offsets by the brightness of the main characters' quest to defeat the Destroyer. At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this thought-provoking fantasy also resolves the true identities of the popular Dog and Mogget characters-and suggests that Nix may still have more tricks up his sleeve.

The Abhorsen is the final book in this series, by Garth Nix.

I enjoyed book one, Sabriel, and was saddened when book two had very little of her in the story.   A jump of 14 years is not what I expected!

But, truth be told...I enjoyed book two, Lirael.  It took me  a few chapters but I found I liked Lirael and Sam, the two young people who did not know why they felt so out of place and wondered where life would lead them.

In book 3, Abhorsen, we find out where life leads the two young people, and much more.  Throughout the story there is a cat named Moggot and then a dog both of which you get the impression there is more than meets the eye, and in the final book you also finally find out about them.  The evil in book 3 has no name until the end of the book which made it more scary since you were never sure what sort of power you were fighting. This series of books was different from anything I've read.... but it had some interesting characters, and that's generally what keeps me reading.

Also in both Lirael and Abhorsen, Sabriel and Touchstone have small parts, but at least they aren't just dropped from the story.

This was a good trilogy.  I can't say I'd call it one of my all time favorites, but I did enjoy them.  I had no trouble wanting to continually pick up any of the books and read more, and after a fairly long stretch of reads that were not satisfying at all, this was a welcome read! 

Thank you Chris for sending me Sabriel which put me on track to reading this series of books!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Journey to the Moon

Since many seemed interested in the fact that I had ordered From Earth To The Moon I thought I'd post my old website here on my blog...

It's a day in my life I will never, ever, forget.........

August 13th, 2005.. A day that dreams are made of.
Gathered in one room were many Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo flights into space. A number of them stood on the moon looking back at the "Blue Planet" known as Earth, while others took space walks, learned to dock at Skylab, and lived in space for countless days. They are my "Hero's" one and all.

Photo 1: Mr. Alan Bean (born March 15, 1932).
1966/ Capcom for Gemini 6,7,& 11/ Spacewalk. 1969/ Apollo 12/ 2nd man to walk on the moon. 1973/ Commander of Skylab 3/ in space for 59 days.
A published book of Mr. Bean's paintings is available: Apollo: An Eyewitness account by Astronaut/ Explorer/Artist/ Moonwalker by Alan Bean & Andrew Chalkin

Photo 2: Mr Richard "Dick" Gordon (born October 5, 1929).
1966/ Gemini 11 Pilot/ 2 Spacewalks. 1969/ Apollo 12 Command Module Pilot.

Photo 3: Mr.Buzz Aldrin (born January 30, 1930).
1966/ Gemini 12/ Pilot/ Spacewalk. 1969/ Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot/ 2nd man to walk on the moon.
Mr. Aldrin has a book out named: Reaching for the Moon.

Photo 4: Mr. Walt "Wally" Schirra (born March 12, 1923).
1962 Mercury 8 Pilot. 1965 Gemini 6 Command Pilot.
Look for Mr. Schirra's book: Schirra's Space

Photo 5: Mr. Walter Cunningham (born March 16, 1932).
1968/ Apollo 7. Performed rendezvous exercises, propulsion tests and system tests.

Photo 6: Mr. Russell "Rusty" Schweickart (born October 25, 1935).
1969/ Apollo 9/ Spacewalk and tested Lunar Module.

Photo 7: Mr. Edgar Mitchell (born September 17,1930).
1971/ Apollo 14/Lunar Module Pilot/ 6th man to walk on the moon.
Mr. Mitchell authored a book called: The Way of the Explorer.

Photo 8: Mr. David Scott (born June 6, 1932).
1966/ Mercury 8 Pilot. 1969/ Apollo 9 Command Module Pilot. 1971/ Apollo 15/ 7th man to walk on the moon.
Mr. Scott wrote of his explorations, look for: Two Sides of the Moon.

Photo 9: Mr. Scott Carpenter (born May 1, 1925).
1962/ Mercury-Atlas 7/ second manned flight.
Mr. Carpenter's book is called: For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut.

Photo 10: The Small Blue Planet.

These are the men I'd run home from school to watch blastoff or splashdown. I'd cry with each successful mission.

These are the men that walked on the moon. ... a real science fiction story come true!

These are my hero's.


Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs who have since passed away ....

Charles Bassett Gemini program (no flights) 2/28/1966 training mission plane crash
Roger Chaffee Apollo 1 1/27/1967 Apollo 1 fire
Charles 'Pete' Conrad Gemini 5 & 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2 7/7/1999 motorcycle accident
Gordon Cooper Mercury 9, Gemini 5 10/4/2004 natural causes
Donn Eisele Apollo 7 12/2/1987 heart attack
Ronald Evans Apollo 17 4/6/1990 heart attack
Theodore Freeman Gemini program (no flights) 10/31/1964 training mission plane crash
Edward Givens Apollo program (no flights) 6/6/1967 automobile accident
Virgil 'Gus' Grissom Mercury 4, Gemini 3, Apollo 1 1/27/1967 Apollo 1 fire
Jim Irwin Apollo 15 8/8/1991 heart attack
Stuart Roosa Apollo 14 12/12/1994 pancreatitis
Wally Schirra Mercury 8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7 5/3/2007

Alan Shepard Mercury 3, Apollo 14 7/21/1998 leukemia
Donald 'Deke' Slayton Mercury program (no flights), Apollo-Soyuz 6/13/1993 brain tumor
Elliot See Gemini program (no flights) 2/28/1966 training mission plane crash
John Swigert Apollo 13 12/27/1982 cancer
Edward White Gemini 4, Apollo 1 1/27/1967 Apollo 1 fire
Clifton Williams Gemini program (no flights) 10/5/1967 training mission plane crash

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

I guess since others are posting their Christmas gifts I will do the same!

First are "blogger" gifts that I've shown already but deserve a second look (especially because the candy will be gone really quick! )

This consists of "ladybug" poppet from Carl, luscious Belgian candy from my adopted son, Chris , and a lovely picture book of Dartmoor, from my newly acquired "sister" in England, Cath!

I've read my little book a few times already, Ladybug has made herself at home, and as you can see.. the candy is almost gone!  heh..

My son George and Kat, his wife and Brent my grandson gave me a gift certificate from Amazon (gee, now where could they have gotten an idea like that???).  I have to use web photo's because what I purchased is "in the mail"

When I went "shopping" I made out really, REALLY ,well!

First I chose a book I knew I'd get sooner or later because I absolutely love Christopher Plummer called In Spite of Myself.    Then I thought I'd look around in the books on sale and found Scarlet, which is book 2 of Lawheads King Ravon trilogy.  It was on sale from 17.98 down to 8.99!! Oh yeah! We do like sales on books we want anyway!!

The paperback of David Copperfield was also on sale for only 8.95!  It's not one I am going to jump right into but I've been wanting some Charles Dickens and so I chose now to send for it.

Then I found the biggest deal of all !...

From Earth to the Moon... This is the HBO mini series that Tom Hanks did.  It's five dvd's and originally was selling for 59.95... it was on sale for 19.99!  I knew the chances of my ever getting it for 60.00 wasn't very good but I kept it on my wish list anyway.. and there is was... 19.00.. ohhhhhhh yes!  It called to me!   All of that and all I had to add to my gift certificate was 7.00!!  (can you see me smiling?)  I just love anything to do with the early space program, and most especially  Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo and our journey to the moon, and the men that did it. 

So it won't be long and the three books will be added to the HUGE pile of TBR books I have and I will have 5 dvds to watch!!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas, lots to eat, fabulous company and lots and lots of goodies to open!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Lirael by Garth Nix

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 22, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061474347 Review
Fourteen years have passed since the necromancer Sabriel bound the Greater Dead Adept Kerrigor beyond the Ninth Gate and helped restore King Touchstone to the Old Kingdom throne. Now she rules at his side as Abhorsen, the sole necromancer of the Old Kingdom, keeping the people safe from the dark power of Free Magic. But this is not just Sabriel's tale. It is also the story of Hedge, a mysterious necromancer who is digging up a monstrous evil that could utterly destroy the Old Kingdom. And it is the story of Prince Sameth, Touchstone and Sabriel's only son, who would rather fight an entire army of Dead than disappoint his beloved parents. And Sam's friend Nick, who has unknowingly loosed Free Magic into the Old Kingdom, blissfully ignorant of its complete malevolence. But mostly, this is the tale of Lirael, the only daughter of the future-seeing Clayr who does not possess the Sight. Burying the pain of her Sightlessness in the Clayr's great library, Third Assistant Librarian Lirael's insatiable curiosity will soon lead her to an unbelievable destiny that may even be connected with that of the great Sabriel herself.

Once again Amazon did a good review of the book..

When I began book 2, Lirael, I was disappointed that the story seemed to be about someone new and not a continuation of Sabriel, who I felt I needed to know more about.

But instead it jumps ahead 14 years!  It was probably close to half way thru the book before  we see Sabriel once again, but by then I have gotten myself involved with Lirael and Sam. 

Both young people wanted different things then what was being handed to them from life.

Sam did NOT want to be the Abhorsen in Waiting... he was afraid of death , and afraid to go into death. (it sounds strange but you'll understand if you read the books)

Lirael was the daughter of a Clayr, but no matter how many years passed she did not get the "sight" that the other Clayr had, and though she was showing other talents, she was very unhappy not having the Sight.

Strange happenings send Lirael out into the world to help and she happens upon Sam who has run away to try to help his friend.

Lirael moves along with many more things going on than in book one with Sabriel and upon it's ending left me ready to jump right into book 3, Abhorsen.  

I can't say that this is an all time favorite series for me, but only because I am not into characters that are similar to the walking dead or vampire types.  Thankfully there are enough  "normal" (??) characters to keep me interested.

I am thankful for this series since the last few books I've read before getting into this series has been less than satisfying. 

Now I hope the Abhorsen is a good as the first two books and I will be quite satisfied with this series!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sleepy-time Pal

The weather outside was too much for BooBoo.. he decided to chill out and take over my bed!

Winkey thought he should share the bed .. he kept his eye on her!

No matter where she went... there he was watching!

They both decided they needed a nap!

Maybe when they wake up it will be Christmas!

I just want to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.. I hope the Holidays are even more than you wished for!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Inkheart the Movie

I've been waiting for this movie since Last March... no, that's not true, it's been a lot longer.  Ever since I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Serkis (of Gollum fame) in California at a convention and talked with him, I've waited for this movie. 

You see, Andy Serkis plays Capricorn.. the evil villain of the movie.  And after meeting him and finding him a real sweetie, this part will be so not like him.  But then... neither was gollum!!   

The movie first was slated to air last March.  But it never happened.  This concerns me greatly because the trilogy is so good, and I'm guess they hope that if this movie does well that they would follow with the other two books/ movies.  Which makes perfect sense... however, there's this nearly year delay.. which means young Meggie has gotten a year older, which doesn't bode well for the second movie if she is outgrowing her part.

But I digress...

The movie is once again up for release!  It will be release in the UK before we get it but it is due to open here in the states on January 23rd.

Wanna guess where I will be on January 23rd?!   If you guess at the movies you guessed well !

Below is the trailer from Inkheart.  You even get to see Andy!  Can you tell I am thrilled?!  It seems I've waited forever to see Andy in this movie!

Along with Andy,  Brendan Fraser plays Mo, Megs dad, Eliza Bennett as Meg, Paul Bettany as Dustfinger, and Helen Mirren as Aunt Elinor.

It's a safe bet that I am soooooooooooooo looking forward to this movie!!  If they delay it again I will scream!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Turner Classic Movies

Turner Classic Movies does it again!  In The Good Old Summertime  1949

I know the title of the movie but I can't remember seeing it before and I find that incomprehensible! I mean, duh!  It has Judy Garland, who I love. And a great great cast!!
Van Johnson (who just passed away) and two big favorites of mine, Spring Byington and S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall and it even has a smaller part for Buster Keaton!!

This was a MOST ENJOYABLE movie!!  If you like old movies, and of course like Judy Garland singing.. well.. then it's a must see!

Plot summary for In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

It's turn of the century America when Andrew and Veronica first meet - by crashing into each other. They develop an instant and mutual dislike which intensifies when, later on, Andrew is forced to hire Veronica as a saleslady at Oberkugen's music store. What the two don't know is that while they may argue and fight constantly throughout the day, they are actually engaged in an innocent, romantic and completely anonymous relationship by night, through the post office.

Judy, Judy, Judy... there is only one Judy Garland!!


Van Johnson recently passed away.  It always amazes me when people who claim to love movies don't know his name.. I mean.. well.. he did make 123 movies!!


Besides all her movies, Spring Byington went on to have her own television show called December Bride... ahhh, I remember it well!


S.W. "Cuddles" Sakall... there's a reason his nickname is cuddles!.. 'cause any female would want to cuddle him! lol.. with his deep Hungarian accent and his loveable charm it was hard not to enjoy this man in anything he did.

   (1884 - 1955)

From silent movies to talkies Buster Keaton was a star when it came to comedy.


I hope everyone gets to enjoy an old movie now and then...

TCM... it's the best!!



Turner Classic Movies Remembers those that the movies have lost...


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Tis the season for unexpected Pressie's!

The other day a package came all the way from England!  And what should it contain, but a book of pictures of Dartmoor!  (you have to have read The Moor with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes to appreciate it.. well maybe not, but it does make it appropriate!)

So now I have this darling little book with gorgeous photo's of Dartmoor!   Thanks to my "sister" in England, Cath!

And then yesterday yet another package arrived!  This one came from the states, Missouri to be exact.... 

It contained a poppet!!!

..she is finding her way around the house just fine!

..she just has to convince Kester and Woody that her name really is Ladybug!

I am now the mama to 3 poppets!!! 

You really shouldn't have Carl..

no, really.. you shouldn't have.

.... however, I'm not sending her back!

Thank you so verrrryyyy verrryyy much!  I thank everyone very, very, very much!

Wow, this has been a really big Christmas and it hasn't even arrived yet.  I've gotten Wonderful candy from my adopted son, Chris, a book from England from Cath and a Ladybug from Carl!

It doesn't get much better!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Post of Many Things..

So I'm writing this on Friday morning.. and waiting for snow to happen.  It could be a few inches, it could turn to rain.  So I don't know what we will actually get.

10:15 am.. the snow has started and it's coming down fast!! within minutes you can see snow beginning to stick to the car and sidewalk outside..

11:30... one hour later same area..  the car moved.. you can see where it was.

12:30  I co uld go on but I'll quit after this one!.. needless to say.. it's pretty white outside now!   You can no longer see where the car was parked and few cars are out and about.


So cool !, not the snow...

I entered a contest over at Thursday Thoughts and I won!! 

I get a book from Amazon!  (my tbr pile needs another right?! lol)  

I haven't won anything in ages so this is a treat.  I entered the contest for a memorable Christmas, which I did selfishly because it's not my best Christmas this year and any nice memory helps.

From what I see Sheri runs contest regularly there so you might want to check out her site!  Thanks Sheri !   Oh, and Sheri also has a second blog called A Novel Menagerie. which you may also be interested in.


I've also been given an award from LadyTink!!  (yep ladytink is spreading that fairy dust again)  This award surprises me, but not for the reason you might think.  Tink is quite young and yet loves the old black and white movies.... and so do I (just not young anymore).  I

It always shocks me when a  young person enjoys the old movies.  Not because the movies aren't excellent! They are ! But just because they are old and black and white, and the stars in them aren't all well known by the young folk, and so the movies have less of a draw for them.

Heck, I remember reading articles about young directors and producers.  When approached and asked why don't they use this star or that one (all old stars) the director didn't even know who they were!  And this was a person in the biz and should know old stars as well as new!  

So, show me someone young like Tink who can tell you names of the old stars and writes about how much she enjoyed this old movie or that one... and yes, it will always surprise me!

For anyone not a fan of the old movies or old actors, let me tell you one thing.. you are missing out on many (MANY) excellent movies and just as excellent, actors and actresses!

One day when you are sitting in front of your television and say, "gads 300 stations and nothing good is on"... try turning on TCM !!! Watch an old movie!  Find a new star!  Every movie doesn't have to be in color.. and every movie doesn't NEED special effects!

Try it.. you might like it!


Since I am covering a group of things here I want wish those who celebrate Chanukah  a very happy Holiday that begins this Sunday!!  I know it's a day early but I'm old and forgetful, so I have to do things when I think of them! 

Happy Chanukah !!

Friday, December 19, 2008


 Majel Roddenberry  Feb. 1932- Dec. 2008

Waking this morning and finding out that Majel had passed was a shock to me.  I hadn't read anything that she was suffering from leukemia.

Gosh, I was lucky , as were many that went to Star Trek Conventions, because Majel was often a guest. 

If she wasn't on stage then she was in the dealers room selling memorabilia from her Lincoln Enterprises business.

There was never a time you couldn't just walk up to Majel and chat with her.   She always had a smile for you to make you feel welcome and never tired of answering the same questions time after time.

I think it fitting to borrow this below photo of Majel and Gene sitting on the deck of the Enterprise... 

You will be missed by many Majel.  I'm sure your star is shining up there along with Gene's and DeForest and Jimmy's. 

Below are two places that Majel supported with her love and donations. 

Precious Paws
18034 Ventura Blvd., #430
Encino, CA 91316
(818) 304-5595

P.O. Box 56631
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 685-9980

Thursday, December 18, 2008


 Sabriel by Garth Nix

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 22, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061474355 Review
After receiving a cryptic message from her father, Abhorsen, a necromancer trapped in Death, 18-year-old Sabriel sets off into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands. Unlike other necromancers, who raise the dead, Abhorsen lays the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him--and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father's title and duties--to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible exhaustion, violent confrontations, and terrifying challenges to her supernatural abilities--and her destiny.

Well.. ummm,  yep that about tells what book one, Sabriel, is all about!   The amazon review does leave out the fact that at her fathers house in the Old Kingdom she meets up with a cat (?) named Mogget, who comes with Sabriel to help her.

Once moving along in the Old Kingdom Sabriel helps to bring a man back from the "near dead".  He is called Touchstone, and becomes another who travels with her on her journey deeper into the Old Kingdom and it's perils.

Although it is her (Sabriel) hope to save her father from what she believes is his death and bring him back to life, she sortof knows that this might not be possible.  But, she has to try.

I can't say that I've read many books that talk about death as much as this book does and if it hadn't been given to me by my adopted son Chris, saying how great the book is, I might never have given it a try.  

As much as it seems like "not my thing" the book has kept me constantly going back to it, unlike recent other books.  So I can say that I did enjoy it Chris!!   Way different from anything I thought I'd like!  

Now I am onward and upward to book 2 of the series called Lirael...

So far so good Chris! (thank you again baby boy!)


The peanutbutter cookies came out!  Woo-hoo! I am 2 for 2 so far!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baking After 20 Years..

I decided to try to bake and I had set in my mind something that my X and kids really liked when I made them.. but it has been over 20 years since I baked! 

Could I do this?

You do loose the knack after a while, so I was skeptical. 

But I gave it a go and this is what transpired...

I got out the cookbook (my mother in law gave me for my b'day in 1971!!!)  and then the ingredients and started measuring them out...


Oh! I guess I should mention that I am making Creme Puffs!

So next I made the "dough", which doesn't look very pretty.

After that was mixed and cooled eggs were added and then dropped by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet, baked for about 40 minutes ... they came out looking like this:

As they cooled I cooked the creme filling in a double boiler...

then added 2 beaten eggs and vanilla and let it cool..

then you cut a small section to be able to put in the filling..

and then...

and then....

(along came Jones??) no.. heh.. then you fill them!

and lastly... sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top...


I really had my reservations that they would come out.  You have to do some baking to know that no two cookie sheets bake the same, no two ovens seem to bake the same etc.. and I've had times when the "puffs" have burned the bottoms off and yet the tops look normal.. so I don't have any great secret...but this time it worked!!! 

So... that's what I did the other morning.  Today I may try some peanutbutter cookies for David since they are his favorites.  Maybe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


 Brisingr (Inheritance Bk. 3) by Christopher Paolini


Hardcover: 784 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 20, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0375826726

From Publishers Weekly
The much-anticipated third book in Paolini's Inheritance Cycle continues to rely heavily on classic fantasy tropes. The novel launches with magician and Dragon Rider Eragon, his cousin Roran and the dragon Saphira on a quest to rescue Roran's betrothed. The cousins soon split up, and Roran undergoes his own series of heroic tests, culminating in a well-choreographed and intense fight against an Urgal (a ram-human hybrid). Eragon, at the same time, encounters treacherous dwarves, undergoes even more training with the elf Oromis and gains a magical sword suitable for a Dragon Rider. The silly revelations about Eragon's background in the previous book, Eldest, are given a new spin near the end, but the change is neither unexpected nor interesting. Predictably, the book concludes with even more character deaths and another battle, but those expecting a resolution will have to wait until the next novel. The cliched journey may appeal to younger readers of genre fiction.

Let me begin by saying that although I found some things in the first two books that didn't exactly thrill me, I did think there was a viable story being told here and that the author was not great, but on his way.

I am writing this in 2 parts.  Right now I am about 400 pages into the book and it's dragging badly.  Normally, I am all for not rushing into things and liking to find out more about the characters in the books I read, but I have to admit that up to this point so little is happening that I am amazed he took 400 pages to tell it!

(days later) Well... I finally finished the book.

I guess I'm glad that I didn't give up... but I still don't have a lot good to say about this book. 

The first two books I found better paced, and more interesting.  For all the 784 pages this book has, it could have done without most of them.  By sticking it out I will say that the last 200 pages picked up and got a whole lot more interesting.  In those pages Eragon learns about his father, revisits the elves that have been training him,  gets a new weapon to aid him,  and looses someone who means a lot to him.

It's the first 400 pages I could have done without. (well, maybe not "without" but it could have been trimmed down severely!)  Although things continue to happen to Eragon there was little to make me want to keep running back to the book.

At the end I found out there will be a 4th book... ahem.  I am uncertain at this time if I will want to read it or not.

I do like Eragon and Paolini has made some interesting characters but he has drawn out the story longer than needed.  And for me to say that is disheartening, since when I like characters and the story line, I rarely, if ever, want the story shorter!

So, I guess... depending on how much you liked the first two books (I liked them, but they weren't "wow" books) would depend on if you will enjoy book 3.  Be prepared for it to be long and drawn out, but in the end it builds nicely and makes you want to find out the conclusion that will only happen in book 4.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Most Memorable Holiday

It's a most wonderful time of the year.......

Thursday’s Thoughts: is holding a contest entitled: Your Most Memorable Holiday.

I think that, as a child, one of the most memorable Christmas's would have to be if you received a real live puppy or kitten.  I had one of those.  I don't remember my age (CRS) but I know I was under 8 yrs old.

Our Christmas's were pretty sparse when it came to presents, since my mother was raising my brother and I all alone.  She had divorced before I had any memory of my father.  Often Christmas presents were bought at the  soda shop store in our little town, they also carried a little bit of everything that they could, including cheap toys.

This one year was different though.. I had heard my mother talking to my older brother a few times about what we weren't getting or doing for Christmas, and so I expected.. nothing.

Sometime during the night a noise woke me.  I stayed in bed (my mothers bed that I had to share with her) and tried to go back to sleep.. when the  noise happened again.  It sounded a little like a babies cry. 

Finally, I crawled out of bed and quietly tiptoed to the doorway to the livingroom, from which lights still were on.  As I peeked around the corner I saw my mother and brother giggling and something jumping all around...

It was a puppy!

My mother spotted me and realized that the puppy would no longer be a Christmas surprise and so let me into the livingroom to see the puppy.

I was in love!

It was a little brown and white puppy with curly ears and little brown spots on it's white muzzle.  She was named almost immediately.. "Freckles" !

Now.. let me tell you a little about Freckles...  the puppy was given to my mother, free.. by someone at her work, who my mom knew had a Cocker Spaniel dog... and Freckles certainly looked the part of a Cocker Spaniel.   Well..  that is.. she looked like a Spaniel until she was 6 months old, at which time she resembled her father... who was a Great Dane!

But, when it came to Christmas, the year Freckles became my Christmas Present, it was nothing less than wonderful.  I was allowed to take her to bed with me and let her sleep under the covers curled up in my arms.   No one could have given me a more memorable or wonderful Christmas Present.  She didn't cost a penny and came with plenty of love.  Somehow my mother always managed to pull off some sort of Christmas for my brother and I.

Freckles will always remain one of those very special Christmas's that I've never forgotten.  May this be a Special Christmas for everyone......