Archive for August, 2011


  Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!  RIP is here! Oh Yeah! Doin’ my happy dance!



Finally!  It’s time for Carl’s RIP Challenge!!!

Briefly put..in Carl’s own words:

Every September 1st through October 31st for the last 5 years I have hosted the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge, affectionately known as the R.I.P. Challenge. I began this reader event, I blinked, and now I am hosting this for the 6th time. Wow, that is so hard to believe.

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Dark Fantasy.

The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

It’s still incredible to me that I have come such a long way from not reading ANY of these type books to anxiously awaiting Carl’s announcement that indeed it is time to begin the RIP Challenge!!!

This year I am choosing Peril the First… which is to read any 4 books in the categories listed above.


Carl does enjoy when we make a list of books that we have to choose from (not that it matters if we choose from them or not).  And I love going around looking at all the lists myself.. it always makes for a longer wish list.. I am sure Amazon love’s Carl for doing these challenges!

Anyway.. here’s a look see all most of the books I can choose from:

1.  Mina by Marie Kiraly
2.  Irish Ghosts and Haunting’s by Michael Scott
3.  Oscar Wilde & the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth
4.  A Fine and Private Place by Peter S Beagle
5.  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
6.  20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
7.  What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
8.  What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen
9.  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley
10. The Mammoth Book of Victorian & Edwardian Ghost stories  edited by Richard Dalby
11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Randsom Riggs
12. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
13. The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
14. The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor
15. The Bone Magician by F.G. Higgins
16. Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson

Sixteen Books!.. eeeee-gads! There was a time when I didn’t have one book to my name that would fit any of Carl’s categories!

Then.. just in case I don’t feel like one of those I have a few others …

In Reserve:


I love the old two column writing!..



1.  The Works of Conan Doyle by Conan Doyle
2.  The Legend of Sleep Hollow by Washington Irving
3.  Grimm Fairy Tales by Grimm
4.  Bleak House by Charles Dickens
5.  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
6.  Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
7.  Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
8. Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
9. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

And then If all else fails, and I feel like my reads are not hitting the spot  I will fall back on two of my all time favorites:

1.  Drood by Dan Simmons &
2.  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

It’s time for RIP folks!!!…..

Time to be Happy!!!…………………

come join the fun over at Stainless Steel Droppings!


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New Life at the Pond

Three new *chicklets*..

(Moe..Larry..& Curly..”Hey, where’d everybody go?” )

Small TriColor Heron …*fishin’ *

Last nights sunset..

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The B F G by Roald  Dahl…(for his daughter Olivia.)

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Puffin (August 16, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0142410381

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Amazon.com Review

Evidently not even Roald Dahl could resist the acronym craze of the early eighties. BFG? Bellowing ferret-faced golfer? Backstabbing fairy godmother? Oh, oh … Big Friendly Giant! This BFG doesn’t seem all that F at first as he creeps down a London street, snatches little Sophie out of her bed, and bounds away with her to giant land. And he’s not really all that B when compared with his evil, carnivorous brethren, who bully him for being such an oddball runt. After all, he eats only disgusting snozzcumbers, and while the other Gs are snacking on little boys and girls, he’s blowing happy dreams in through their windows. What kind of way is that for a G to behave?

The BFG is one of Dahl’s most lovable character creations. Whether galloping off with Sophie nestled into the soft skin of his ear to capture dreams as though they were exotic butterflies; speaking his delightful, jumbled, squib-fangled patois; or whizzpopping for the Queen, he leaves an indelible impression of bigheartedness.

My *adopted* son Chris sent me this book. (and I am thankful for such a caring and giving son!)  After reading Roald’s biography I felt I needed to read more of his books. I had long ago read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach to my sons when they were young. (back in the stone age!)

Had this book been out when they were still young I would have loved to read it to them.  It’s a great book to read to young children! 

I loved the speech that Roald gave to the BFG.  It wasn’t quite correct and it made it all the funnier because of it.  I am after all I am a *human bean*..:o)

The amazon review says it all, I couldn’t say more about it.

If you have a young child or if you have a young grandchild this book is for you and you will always be glad that I let you know about it!!

I am guessing that no matter what his life was like (and it wasn’t all peaches and creme)for Mr Dahl, that a big  part of Roald loved children and loved never quite growing up.

This is a super book.  Get it and give it to some child for any reason you can find… they will thank you for it.

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The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press(March 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1416550534

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, April 2008: In her cinematic debut novel, Kate Morton immerses readers in the dramas of the Ashbury family at their crumbling English country estate in the years surrounding World War I, an age when Edwardian civility, shaken by war, unravels into the roaring Twenties. Grace came to serve in the house as a girl. She left as a young woman, after the presumed suicide of a famous young poet at the property’s lake. Though she has dutifully kept the family’s secrets for decades, memories flood back in the twilight of her life when a young filmmaker comes calling with questions about how the poet really died–and why the Ashbury sisters never again spoke to each other afterward. With beautifully crafted prose, Morton methodically reveals how passion and fate transpired that night at the lake, with truly shocking results. Her final revelation at the story’s close packs a satisfying (and not overly sentimental) emotional punch.

I read this book about 2 years ago.. I can’t say I was overly thrilled with it but then I had just come off of reading The Thirteenth Tale which I loved, loved, loved.   So I gave the books a second chance when I found it for .50 cents.

This time I like it a lot better.  It still doesn’t live up to The Thirteenth Tale but I did like it better and I liked both of her other books since this one… (another reason I have it a second chance)

It’s a tale of secrets that people in the service of the rich learned to keep.  A house with a family filled with secrets.  There were secrets of paternity, of love  and feelings of failure and disappointment and even a sub story of a love story that made me smile in the end.

All of it told by the elderly maid, Grace.  The story was mainly about the family that lived at Riverton, but it was also Grace’s story.  How at 14 she began working at Riverton and worked her way up to being a personal maid to Hannah, the oldest daughter of the house.

Over years secrets were kept and secrets were discovered… and in the end Grace passes on those secrets … but you will have to read it to find out what the secrets are and who they got passed on to.

I guess what I learned most was that it’s really hard to give a book my full attention when coming off of one of those rare, but extremely special, reading experience that one gets now and then. You know, one of those that you can’t say enough about and keep telling everyone that they have to read it… yeah those books.

So I am glad I gave this book a second chance.. it’s a good read.  There are secrets to be learned while reliving old England in a time when the rich were the rich and the servants were rarely anything but servants.

I look forward to Kate Morton’s next book, whatever it is.

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The pictures will tell the tale….

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Following Links

Michael Scott (of Nicholas Flamel fame) put a link up showing Puzzlewood Forest in Coleford, England.  It is supposedly the forest that gave Tolkien some ideas…. and if you check it out you will see why!  Fantastic place.. I must go there one day! …for as it inspired Tolkien as Middle Earth..so does it look much like my very own Kesterwood Forest!




From there I followed a link that took me to sculptures by David Goode’s site… gotta love his work!!  If you don’t like his work you don’t like Fantasy!


I want one of everything he’s made!!!..doh!  ok ok so I’ll settle for one.. as a pressie from anyone who wants to buy me one!

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A Hot Day at the Pond

Egret and Ducks

…below: the big Heron

Oh.. and I guess I should mention the new *tenant* in the pond..

I haven’t seen it out of the water yet but it’s not small like the last one! .. but not near full grown either.. big enough for all our birds to  watch out!

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