Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it is finally here. Christmas will be here next.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, don't eat too much.

My mother and son are here. My mom cooks most of the food, but I cook the macaroni and cheese and Clarissa and I made the pie. It is apple. She wanted to do the lattice top, it kind of looks sad, but I tasted the filling, ohhh is it good.

We are watching the Parade, and later we are going to watch 'Hanna' later.

I will enjoy today, I have to work tomorrow. But it will be empty there, so I plan to do my work and go home. No Black Friday shopping for me. I don't do that anyway.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenges for 2011

I am doing two Christmas reading challenges this year.

Starts December 1, 2011

 The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge
Starts November 21st until January 12, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have started reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King.  It is very good, and it is taking me a long time to read it. But I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m also reading “A Year Without Autumn” by Liz Kessler at the same time.  I probably won’t finish King until next year because I have my Christmas reads coming up.  It’s OK, it is on my Nook, so it will be there.

I can’t list my Christmas reads yet, because I’m not quite sure what I will be reading.  A few books are coming due from the library, but those are the only ones I do know.

  1. Christmas at Harrington’s by Melody Carlson
  2. The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck

Others that will be up soon are:

  1. The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
  2. The Christmas Singing (Audio) by Cindy Woodsmall

The ones waiting in the wings and will probably NOT get read this year

  1. Angels in the Snow by Melody Carlson
  2. The Gift of Christmas Present by Melody Carlson
  3. The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
  4. The Christmas Note by Donna Van Liere
  5. The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford (non-ficiton)
  6. A Christmas Star by Thomas Kinkade
  7. An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor

These are just a few that are waiting in the wings. The only one that I see getting read this year from this batch is #5. It is a non-fiction book about Charles Dickens and the Christmas Carol story and how it revived Christmas.  I can’t help it, I love non-fiction.

I love it so much that it takes me away from fiction reading.  So my goals for next year include:

  1. Reading less non-fiction, so I can read more fiction
  2. Read what is on my shelves (hard copies, Kindle, Nook)


There is no need to give synopsis’. They are holiday movies, feel good stuff.

Christmas Angel 2009
Cancel Christmas 2011
The Case for Christmas 2011
A Christmas Wish 2011
A Day of Thanks on Walton’s Mountain 1974
A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion 1986
Moonlight and Mistletoe 2011
Star Shall Rise/String of Blue Beads 1953


I started taking art classes. The last time I had any formal instruction was in High School, and that was a long time ago.  So you might see some stuff here from time to time that I am working on.

My son should be home Wednesday evening.  He’ll leave on Sunday. But that is OK, because he’ll be back for Christmas and for a whole month.

I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, but there is very little to do. I plan to start next Saturday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday Movies / Books

Thanksgiving will be here in less than two weeks. Time sure does fly. I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet, although I’m not buying many things.  My daughter is getting a laptop (her last one died), my son just clothes and money and I don’t know what I’m getting mom this year.  I buying my friend a book and her kids get gift cards. That’s it, I’m done. I have little money.

I am currently reading “11/22/63” by Stephen King. I downloaded it to my NOOK yesterday for $16.99. I cannot believe the hardcover is $35.  WOW! It is too big to carry around so I didn’t mind spending the $16.99.  I usually don’t buy books over $9.99, however, I knew this one was coming out months ago, so I made sure I allotted money for this.

I’ve been watching my holiday movies.

Mistletoe over Manhattan on the Hallmark Channel.

This was a nice, modern day movie.  Of course it wouldn’t be complete without Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf.  Nice family friendly film.  Mrs. Claus intervenes to bring two people on the brink of divorce back together. Can she help them recapture the Christmas Spirit?

Love’s Christmas Journey on the Hallmark Channel.

Jeanette Oke’s Christmas story.  I am not sure if this is part of her “Love’s Series” or  not. I don’t recognize the characters, however, it is still a great family film.  2 parts, 4 hours, so make sure, if you do watch it, you see both parts. 

Recently widowed Ellie visits her brother Aaron and his two children during the Christmas holidays.

Of course there is way more to it than this, but you’ll have to watch.

By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)

Starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, based on stories by Booth Tarkington.

Let me just preface by saying this is a musical and it is not a Thanksgiving or Christmas movie per se.

Marjorie’s boyfriend William returns from the Army after WWI.  They have an on-again, off-again romance. There are other family crisis going on, but it is mostly caused by Marjorie’s younger brother’s wild imagination.

Very light hearted and fun ‘Winter’ movie.  There is a Thanksgiving scene, which is funny. This movie takes place during the Winter months. 

One thing that did confuse me about this movie is the synopsis reads he is returning from WWI, however, when you watch it, the clothes seem to suggest a later period (1930s or early 1940s).

However, there is a horse drawn carriage, so I guess it is post WW I.  It is a very  charming ‘Currier and Ives’ scene that leads to another ‘Currier and Ives’ scene on an ice skating pond.

So if you are in to Classic movies (in Technicolor) and not in the mood for a full blown Christmas movie, this one would be a good choice. But you have to like music, because they break out in song.

I finished my 1st Holiday Book.

Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

A modern retelling of the Prodigal Son.  Luke Crisp is heir to a multi-million dollar Copy Center franchise.  His father wants his son to take over the company when he retires. Luke has other plans.  His father reluctantly gives Luke his Trust Fund, and what does Luke do with it?  Well if you know the story of the Prodigal Son, then you will know. 

Luke soon learns who his friends are and that good people come in all shape, sizes and colors.

Good people are usually taken advantage of, but good people are the ones who help out the most. Luke is ‘Good People’.

Richard Paul Evans writes a Christmas Story every year.  It doesn’t revolve around Christmas.  It usually starts around one Christmas and ends around another Christmas. It could be the following year or 10 years later, one never knows.

This is a fantastic addition to his Christmas Collection.  It is a quick read, like most Christmas stories, but packs a huge message.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Of course, I usually give his books that.

I will probably not read my next Christmas book until December. I am reading Stephen King’s book as I mentioned and oddly enough I have another time travel book in the library.

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler.

This is a children’s book, but I loved the synopsis, so I wanted to read it.
Jenni Green’s family vacation has finally arrived! Even though she has to deal with her annoying little brother, her slightly overbearing dad, and her very pregnant mom, she gets to spend a week with her bestest friend in the world, Autumn. But twelve-year-old Jenni’s world turns upside down when she takes an old elevator to visit Autumn and discovers that everything has changed: not only is her friend in a different condo, but tragedy has struck Autumn’s family, Jenni’s mother has had her baby, and everyone is a year older. When Jenni realizes that the elevator caused her to skip a whole year, she tries to go back, but soon finds that fixing things won’t be as easy as pressing a button. How can she alter the past and keep her family and Autumn’s from falling apart?

And if anyone is questioning why I’m reading a book for children 9 – 12, I will just say…Because I can!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Movies and Book Reviews

I signed up for Amazon Prime. I have one free month before I take the plunge.  $79 gets to streaming of movies (older) and TV shows.  Not unlike Netflix streaming. But now they have the Lending Library, from Amazon.  You can borrow one book a month and keep it as long as you like.  I thought it would be worth $79 for the year to give it a shot.  I already have the Roku box for my Netflix streaming, and I can watch the Amazon streaming on that too.

I plan to buy the Kindle Fire sometime next year.  My Kindle, though still working, is just getting old.  I have a Nook too, but as much as I read, I really do need them all.

This weekend I officially start watching my Holiday Movies.  I have a few Thanksgiving movies to watch, some of them are actually re-watches, but I liked them the first time, so I want to watch them again.  “A Family Thanksgiving” and “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” are on the list.  After a few hours of cleaning the house (tidying up for Thanksgiving) I am going to do nothing but watch movies.

I finally got “Lost December” by Richard Paul Evans from the library, they took forever to get it in.  No not really, in actuality, it came out later than usual.  His books usually come out in early October, this one came out in later.  But I was one of the first requesters, so I got it. That should take me a minute to read.  It is too early to use it for any Christmas reading challenges, but I don’t care. I read all of his Christmas books, whenever I get them, and that is usually October or November.  And since there is always a waiting list, I don’t have a choice.

Most Christmas books aren’t very long, so I would like to say I’ll get through one every other week in between my other reading.  And the fact that11/22/63 by Stephen King is coming out on November 8th, it might take up much of my time as it is 960 pages long.

Nano started four days ago.  And as of now, I’m on track.  1,667 words a day is all that is needed to make it to the endon November 30th.  I hope to be done before then, however, I am not as ahead as I usually am. I am literally right on track.  But I will finish this year. Last year I didn’t even participate.


Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

I read this because it was long listed for the Booker Prize.  The synopsis sounded interesting to.

Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner…

I thought this book was pretty awful. I have to say, I haven’t disliked a book in a long time.  It is told from the point of an eleven year old boy. Which in itself is a turn off for me.  However, I’ve read books narrated by young people, “Room” by Emma Donoghue comes to mind, and it was fantastic.  There was something about the language this boy used. It wasn’t endearing to me.  When the boy cursed, the writer would use f----- instead of spelling out the whole word. What was the purpose of that?  He may have been eleven, but a curse is a curse and if he said it, write it.  I also felt the protagonist seemed a lot younger than eleven.  He was talking about super heroes and such.  I think back to when my son was eleven and my daughter even, and they seem more mature than that.  Basically this book didn’t grab me until literally the last two pages.  Then it got good, and then it ended.

The most interesting parts to read were when the Pigeon talked. This was some of the most fluid and captivating language I’ve ever read.  I don’t know what happened with the rest of this book, it was a mess.  I give this 1.5 out of 5 stars.

The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

I found this book through Pigeon English if you can believe it.  Some how, this book came up in my search for Booker List books. It is not a British book, but it sounded good so I gave it a shot.

In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire , teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again.  For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day.  Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world….

I LOVED this book.  The synopsis does not even do it justice. There is no way they could put all that happens in this book into a short blurb.  This girls parents are absolutely whacked, her aunt has a secret, the guy she works for has a secret, the kids in her school tease her about the way she talks, she’s worried about a serial killer….OMG, how does she manage?
This was a super book.  I highly recommend.  I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Link to New Christmas TV Movies

NEW CHRISTMAS TV MOVIES FOR 2011 found at It's A Wonderful Movie Blog.

And just so you know, I'm typing this entry on July 29, 2011. Christmas in July! But I don't want to have to search for it in November, so here it is.

Also listed, are movies from years past. I know some of the channels, especially Hallmark, like to re-run them, so if you see anything on this list, look for it.

Edit:  This was edited yesterday.  This weekend, November 4th and 5th, the Hallmark Channel will be showing a lot of Thanksgiving & Christmas movies.  Basically for the whole 2 days.  Get your DVRs set.  None of this stuff is new, but some may not have seen it.