Monday, October 31, 2016

Non-Fiction November!

November Nonfiction is back!

I'm so excited to join in my 2nd year with the Nonfiction November peeps.
(is peeps still a word? I never can keep up)

This year NFN is hosted by
Katie at Doing Dewey

and Julz at Julz Reads

Mondays questions....

My Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

1. My favorite Non-Fiction of the year?

This is a hard question to answer, but I loved this one so much, and not just from an emotional standpoint.  I learned all kinds of facts and interesting stories about both bands, which I didn't know before, so I'll have to go with.....

Beatles VS Stones!!

I couldn't sit and read this thru at one sitting--it wasn't a cuddle up on the couch and read kind of book.  It was the kind that I had to share with anyone I could and say "listen to this..."  or "did you know?"

Beatles vs Stones.
It's an on-going argument in my household.
The book was great/amazing!  But the argument has not been settled yet.
(But everyone knows it's the Beatles, right?)

2. What nonfiction book have I recommended the most this year?

I think it has been a tie. I've loved recommending  When  Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams.
(it's hauntingly moving)

And I've recommended just as often, The Oregon Trail (which I discovered from last year's NNF. Thanks JoAnn) by Rinker Buck.

A combination of history and adventure
(as said by my friend JoAnn - but truer words were never said)

3. What is one type of nonfiction I haven't read enough of yet?
Can I write exactly what I wrote last year?

Obviously I read more on the lighter side of non-fiction, but I would have to say---Books on Social Justice written by progressive Christians. 

And that can be a tuff and really deep subject, so I tend to stay away and stick to easier nonfiction like memoirs and cookbooks.  But I  would like to read more of that type of nonfiction some day. 
It was true last year and it's still true today.

4. What am I hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?    
A ton of new titles to put on my TBR List!
Last year, thru Nonfiction November I was introduced
to so many great titles (and new friends), my eyes
were opened and I saw the light!
(because I hadn't been that aware of how much nonfiction or what kind of nonfiction I had been reading before.)
I am soooo  excited to see what what's coming up this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Get-Away Car by Ann Patchett

From Good Reads:
“The journey from the head to the hand is perilous and lined with bodies. It is the road on which nearly everyone who wants to write—and many of the people who do write—get lost.”

So writes Ann Patchett in "The Getaway Car", a wry, wisdom-packed memoir of her life as a writer. Here, for the first time, one of America’s most celebrated authors ("State of Wonder", "Bel Canto", "Truth and Beauty"), talks at length about her literary career—the highs and the lows—and shares advice on the craft and art of writing. In this fascinating look at the development of a novelist, we meet Patchett’s mentors (Allan Gurganas, Grace Paley, Russell Banks), see where she made wrong turns (poetry), and learn how she gets the pages written (an unromantic process of pure hard work). Woven through engaging anecdotes from Patchett’s life are lessons about writing that offer an inside peek into the storytelling process and provide a blueprint for anyone wanting to give writing a serious try. The bestselling author gives pointers on everything from finding ideas to constructing a plot to combating writer’s block. More than that, she conveys the joys and rewards of a life spent reading and writing.

From Me:
I wasn't really looking to find out more about writing as a career, so I'm not sure why I picked this up.  But I did and I liked it well enough. It was interesting to see a little bit into Patchett's life.
One fascinating connection--which I thought spoke to me, was that in Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic" and in Patchett's "Getaway Car", they both said  I a writer!  Even if this is all I ever do--write blog posts. Even is all I do is write old-fashioned snail mail letters.  
As long as I enjoy it and find satisfaction in it--I am a writer.  And I am creative--and I never again have to listen to a friend say to me "well, what DO you do then?"  (this said to me when I said I didn't like crafts, sewing, painting, making, anything.)
I do DO something.  I am creative!  I am a writer!

So there!

Thanks Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Gilbert.
Oh... I guess the correlation is that they are real-life friends, who basically said the same thing to me in different words.

Friday Friend Recipe #106 -- Ham Roll Ups or Lutheran Sushi

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #106!

Tracy's Ham Roll-Ups or  Lutheran Sushi
and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....

Believe it or not---Ham Roll ups are hard to photograph, but it's one of the easiest appetizers ever and it is always very  popular,
The nickname Lutheran Sushi makes me laugh---but when you think about it--I guess you could say it really is!

Ham Roll Ups (or Lutheran Sushi)
Tracy White

Spread  thick sliced ham lunchmeat with cream cheese.
Place a pickle sliced length-wise. Roll up and slice.

(Hmmmm... I guess I didn't read the fine print.  I just stuck a whole pickle in there. And to top it off--I can't remember if I used a sweet or a dill pickle.  It looks like a sweet pickle, doesn't it?  I guess you can use what you like)

I have to give you a little bit more background about the Friday Friends, as this is Tracy's first recipe in the cookbook that I've done.
When I first began the forum there were a core 30 who answered my questions each time and played along almost every day (I'd ask a question of the day),  there were another 10 who were close, but rarely answered.  I would always try adding people--some joined in over the years, some did not.
Tracy was one of the ones I added late and she rarely answered the daily questions BUT she did contribute to the FF cookbook.

My Tracy story?
She's one of the only people in the world --and there are just a handful-- who has heard me sing.
Every day I would stand in front of her and sing---and she'd join in.
Yep---In a 3 hour period each morning 5 days a week,  I would just begin singing in front of her.

In front of her and 12 little 3-4 year olds.

We taught pre-school together at Zion Lutheran Pre-School for a few years---about 15 years ago.
So, it is only fitting that she turned in a "Lutheran" appetizer.

I found this photo of Traci and I thought it was cute. I know she positioned herself so that the butterfly fit 'correctly'.  I like to think of her flying and flitting like a butterfly.
She passed away last year and she is missed.
She has a handful more recipes in the FF cookbook, so you'll be seeing her again. 

It was fun to sing with her in the mornings.

Weekend Cooking--this and that

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts!
Hosted by Beth Fish Reads!

It's a rainy day in Northern Nevada--again.  I just heard we are having the rainiest October on record. 
I like it.
I am spending today just going through new magazines that I received in  the mail this week.

I've always loved "Taste of the South" and plan on making those yummy looking  Pecan Pie filled thumb print cookies for the holidays. 
And this....the
First edition of Christopher Kimball's "Milk Street Kitchen", so excited to get it finally. 
I really like it.  I like the look of it a lot.   It's a teeny bit reminiscent of  Cooks Country, but I like that magazine too.

I'll probably get a subscription for the year.  It's good reading. If you like this kind of thing.

I've also been enjoying a little this book today:

A Foodies book of days. This is lovely, but not something you read completely  in one setting--it's one you read a daily passage of a few times a week.  Sometimes I'll read 7 days at one time, but never more than that as they are nice to ponder.

I'm also loving working my way thru (reading, not cooking, but I might do that someday too) How to Celebrate Everything.
This is the perfect cookbook--foodie memoir-- to read early in the morning!

There is a page in this  cookbook where Jenny Rosenstrach has a photo of   her husband's grandmother's cooking notebook. It has clippings from magazines and handwritten recipes, complete with yellow tape!
(I told you....Jenny and I have so much in common.)
The bottom is Rosenstrach's cookbook, the top notebook is my mom's.

I didn't know that this notebook of my mom's existed until after she passed away, but in it she too, has recipes clipped from magazines and some handwritten family recipes. I think she began this while she was in high school, as some seem to remind me of  pamphlets from Home Ec class.

I'll keep it forever...and probably never make Shrimp Elegante or Seaside Supper, but as  Jenny says "It's nice to know it's there" 

From Jenny's cookbook......

I said I'd never make any of these recipes but
serendipitously  (thank goodness for spell check) I found an old recipe that my mom used to make for my husband.  He once told her he loved it and she so she would always make it for him when we came to visit.  It was  a standard.  I'm not sure if he loved it as much as she thinks he did, but---maybe.   Anyway, he did tell her that (yay him for making my mom feel so good), so she would make this Teriyaki Steak with rice and peas.    A throw back to some 1960's international flare!
I think I'll make it for him--for nostalgias sake.  We'll see if he really likes it or not.
This will be fun!

And I just loved these people from this page in my mom's homemade notebook.
They are dieters for sure!

Having a good weekend.  How about you?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Magicians--Winner of my TBR List for October

October Winner

This is the 6th time I have I joined in a monthly meme hosted by Michelle at  Because Reading is Better than Real Life, in which we put up 3 books on the first Saturday of the month, and then you readers, vote on which one I should read, I read and then I write a blog post on the last Saturday of the month.

Today is the last Saturday of the month.
It's so much fun! I love participating in this monthly meme.

This time the winner was:
The Magicians
by Lev Grossman

I have a like/love relationship with Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
This one? 
I didn't love.
Maybe it was the timing? Maybe it just wasn't for me?
It is  402 pages long.  I read 244 and then...  I
Did not finish it. It me.... that nothing was happening.  
I have set it aside for a while.  I might pick it back up when the time is right for me, but for now, it's back on the shelf.

So that's it for me this month.

I'll  see you next week with another 3 from my TBR List.

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by
To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post to West Metro Mommy Reads!   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

My snapshots.....

The Handyman got pulled over this morning.  It has to do with his break light/blinker light in the truck.
It has a  short in it---he can make it work by  double tapping on his brakes.
He probably should just take it in and have it fixed, so he wouldn't get a ticket.
Or maybe....maybe....   Maybe he just likes having his picture taken with Officer Johnny Peoples!

We are really just 'fringe friends' with the Peoples, but every where we see him, he pulls the Handyman in for a photo opp. 

Wine Walks

Oh Emm  Gee!! The Handyman wears the same stupid T-shirt to ALL Wine Walks?
That's embarrassing.  He does have other clothes.

Retirement parties (with huge jenga games--I want one!)

So I thought it funny this morning when we got pulled over.
I had to take a picture!!  It was Johnny Peoples!
And the Handyman.
They  have a thing going on.

We were on our way to do a little dessert see an old Nevada ghost town.  Humboldt City.

By the way...he didn't get a ticket...he did the double tap thing on his brakes and then his turn signal worked again.
It's magic!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Food 'N Flix -- Banana Slush Punch

Food 'n Flix is a group of bloggers who get together every month to watch a movie, and then head into the kitchen and mix up something inspired by the flick. 

There is always room for another pillow in front of the tellie, and another chair around the table. So if you're a blogger who wants to join in the fun, please feel free to jump in at any moment.

 October's  Flick was chosen by  Deb at Kahakai Kitchen   She  chose  the movie Beetlejuice 
check out her announcement post here---and be sure and play along next month!
Chances are you have seen this 1988 Tim Burton-directed comedy-fantasy film, but if not, Beetlejuice is the story of a Connecticut couple Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Gina Davis) who get in an accident and wake up back in their home. It isn't long before they realize that they didn't survive. ('The Handbook for the Recently Deceased' that they find is a pretty big clue!) They also find that they can't leave their house-making it difficult when a new family from the city moves in. When the Deetz family and their designer Ortho take over and redecorate the house, Barbara and Adam try to scare them out and when that doesn't work they summon Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice and played by Michael Keaton), a "bio-exorcist" ghost for help--only Beetlejuice's kind of help wreaks complete havoc.

When I was telling my son and his wife that I needed to borrow their Beetlejuice CD and explaining to them that I had to watch it and be inspired--foodie inspired-- they both said, in unison, PUNCH!
They insisted that I make punch.
And then they insisted on watching the movie with me--because well --- Beetlejuice!!

What inspired me (foodie wise) about the movie? Well, how could I not get excited when those two young adults are so excited, laughing and saying 'see? you have to make punch!"

So...I made punch.

What they, nor I, until I really listened, is that the lyrics in this song say  BUNCH and not PUNCH.
It's talking about a "bunch" of bananas and the guy just wants to go home after the 'tally' man counts how many bunches he has stack.
  So, I made a punch with a bunch of bananas in it.

A frozen, slushy, banana flavored punch.
Perfect for kids.
Unless you top it with a splash of rum--which is what I did.
I always like a little splash of rum in my punch.

This rum/banana punch fit the theme, even if it was a little predictable.
It was a fun afternoon laughing at our lyrical mistakes.
The movie was just as cute and fun as it was years ago.
And that song?  You can't get it out of your head!

I handed one to the Handyman and he kept trying to take the little brown specs out of it, until I said those were banana seeds.

I've been AMAZED at the creativity my fellow Food 'n Flix friends come up with.  They are some of the most creative cooks I know.  I always have such fun stopping in at their blogs just to see what they come up with.

Banana Slush Punch

4 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
large can of pineapple juice
Rum...the recipe doesn't say Rum, that is my option.  But really?  You should.

Blend the first 3 ingredients and all the rest.  Freeze in a large bowl.  Add to cups and float a splash of rum (or maybe 7-up?) on top.

Book Blogger Hop, Fabulous Friday and This or That

Book Blogger Hop is hosted each week by

This week's question is:

You've been invited to a costume party and the theme is classic literature characters. Who would you go as?

and my answer is:
The same as it always is for bookish/Halloween/costume parties--
The Ghost of Jacob Marley.
It's classic!

I always thought that having my jaw tied shut would be a good thing with all that Halloween candy, but upon giving it a second thought--those chains would get old by the end of the evening!

Hmmmmm, so....maybe Lady McBeth?
Or I could always go as the clown as in Stephen King's
But being a clown right now is not really a good thing.  Clowns are very creepy tho.....but  I think I'll have to stick to Jacob Marley.
A classic literature ghost!


Each and every Friday, Michelle of the blog, That’s What She Read, shares what makes  Friday a Fabulous day for her and she has a Mister Linky where you can share your own post of what makes your own Friday fabulous.
Just click here to check it out for yourself!

As usual I have Friday off, so what's not fabulous?
But this one?
I don't expect all of you who don't live in the desert to understand how fabulous this is.  It's so rare for us.

And this dry lake bed in the photo below?  A short 30 mile drive from my house and there you are! 

That probably is not pretty, as there will be flash flooding, but... I'm not there today. I am warm and safe with a book and coffee, on my couch,  watching the rain fall.

I just realized how boring I sound.

Want to come join me?


Mention the creator of the tag.
Thank the person who tagged you.
Tag other people and spread the love.

Thanks to JoAnn from Lakeside Musing, for tagging me (and  also you if you'd like to join in) in the This or That Book Tag, and to Ayunda from Tea & Paperbacks, the creator of this book tag.

1) Reading on the couch or reading in bed?
A big comfy chair actually, but I can do the couch.
I sometimes take a book to bed and the Handyman laughs at me, because I just hold it for a while and then fall asleep without reading a word.
I'm one of those people who can fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow.

2) Main character: Male or Female?
I've never given this much thought.
My two favorite series main characters? One is a woman, one is a man.
I a fraught with indecision!

3) Sweet or salty snacks while reading?
Homemade snickerdoodles!  Or chocolate chip cookies.
Or brownies.  Or....
I guess my answer would be sweet snacks.

4) Trilogies or quartets?
Series that never end!

5) First Person or Third Person POV?

6) Night or morning reader?
All day reader, but my favorite time is morning.
I'm an early riser and I love nothing more than to grab a cup of coffee and my book and read for a couple hours (I'm a REALLY early riser) while the sun comes up.

7) Libraries or bookstores?
This is like asking me to choose between my children.  I have always told them in private that they are my favorite. 
They are on to me--but seriously, my love for each of them is different, but the same. 
I'm talking Libraries and bookstores here.

8) Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?
I think books that make you cry stay with you longer.  They have a particular appeal to me.
On the other hand---there is nothing better than a good laugh.

9) Black or white book covers?
Both book covers matter!

10) Character driven or plot driven stories?
If I had to choose, I would say character driven novels.
(with a good plot and setting of course)
The reason I like series is because of the character development over time.

What about you?
Consider yourself tagged if you want to be!

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...