Friday, December 26, 2008

Slightly Scandalous - Mary Balogh

Slightly Scandalous (Slightly series #3) Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
More of the same. I read this and Slightly Married back to back. It was a little too much for me. What's with the communication breakdown in these books. Both books were fun, but I wouldn't recommend reading them (or the other books in the series) too close together.

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Slightly Married - Mary Balogh

Slightly Married (Slightly series #1) Slightly Married by Mary Balogh

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Why? Why did Jill recommend these books? Addicting, silly romance novels set in the early 19th century. Complete with tight breeches, heaving chests...well, you know. Fun, quick read, but be warned, you'll have to admit to reading ROMANCE.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Pictures coming later...

I can't believe the crazy December weather we've had for over a week now. Having grown up in the Portland area, it's never ever been like this. Snow on the ground for 9 days and no sign of it going away any time soon. My patio table has at least 16 inches, the driveway is undrivable, and the local highways require tire chains (for the last 4 days!)

Last weekend in Renton, it snowed a little, but Pat and I managed to drive to Portland on Monday (12/15). Portland area was much worse, lots of snow in Beaverton with a weather forecast showing it to continue. After a meeting on Tuesday, Pat high-tailed it north and I hunkered down.

Jill flew in during a short let up in the weather on Thursday, we managed to do a lot of shopping on Friday, then the snow really came. By Saturday mid-day we had about 5 inches and it never stopped until yesterday (Monday) afternoon.

I don't have chains, no a snow shovel, so even the trusy Subaru in the garage is doing me no good. Lots of walking to the local Starbucks, grocery story, movie store, and Walgreens. Also, lots of reading (got a stack of books at the library on Friday). So many people out, I wish it was always like that. And way too much fun watching the crazy drivers slide, even with chains.

We intended to take the bus to the movies, but all the local bus service was cancelled, so we just walked around the neighborhood. I've taken lots of pics which will be posted soon.

Today, we're taking MAX to the airport. Jill's scheduled to fly out at 4:30. And again, good timing. Most flights have been cancelled for the last 4 days, but today, they're moving again. Need to get that girl home for the holidays. First married Xmas and all. Wish us luck.

The Sweet Far Thing - Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Definitely the best of the three books. The first two were too much set up, not enough substance. Lots of time in The Realms and much more supernatural activity. Fun read.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

West African Chicken-Peanut Soup

6 c. Cooked Chicken Meat, diced
2 White Onions, diced
3 T Minced Garlic
1/4 c. Sesame Oil
3 T Curry Powder
1 T Crushed Red Chiles
1 T Black Pepper
1 T Kosher Salt

In a large pot, saute' all above ingredients until onions are soft.

Then add...
5 quarts Chicken Stock
1/2 c. Tomato Paste
1/2 #10 can Diced Tomatoes
4 c. Chunky Peanut Butter

Stir until all the peanut butter is evenly distributed. Do not boil, but be sure to bring to 165 degrees. Check salt & pepper levels.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of my favorite books this year. Very Jane Eyre-esque. Young female biographer is asked to record the life story of a famous mysterious author. Book Stores, Manor House, Moors, ghosts.... what more could one want. Huge thumbs up.

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Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits Recipe : Ina Garten : Food Network

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits Recipe : Ina Garten : Food Network
I saw this episode on Food Network the other day and really want to try ig.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives - Pamela Grim

Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives: Tales of Life and Death from the ER Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives: Tales of Life and Death from the ER by Pamela Grim

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Interesting book about being an Emergency Physician. Unfortunately, it was pretty depressing. The author is an unhappy, cynical person and working in the ER has not helped her.

There are many stories about emergency cases and a couple sections about her work with Doctors Without Borders in Bosnia and Nigeria. I found the ER stories most interesting.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another trip to the south

I visited Jill & Nathan last weekend. It's always so much fun. Aren't they cute all dressed up for church?
Can you see the love of books?

Nathan and I played golf at Indian Wells Celebrity Course. Check out the Eagle. He got a 2 on a par 4!!!

We played golf on Friday, then over the weekend we went to church, ate, watched movies and cooked. Sunday was a cool day so we made bread and a great soup from Joy of Cooking, Sweet Potato with Peanut Stew.
Fun times.


We had a fantastic family Thanksgiving with 23 people. I made the turkey and two kinds of stuffing, sausage and mushroom (vegetarian). Our guests made everything else. We had a lot of great food. Several salads, a couple kinds of sweet potatoes, and way too many desserts.

The Way of the Small - Nicolas Hays

My Rating 4 of 5 Stars.
Great book. Living in the moment and appreciating where you are in your life. There are some wonderful nuggets. Recommended.

Rebel Angels - Libba Bray

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars.
Second book of the series that started with A Great and Terrible Beauty. This one was a little better. There is less set up and more story, but I still can't give it more than 3 stars. I'm not even sure I'd recommend it, there are so many other, better books.

Monday, December 01, 2008

When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedars (Audio Book)

When You Are Engulfed in Flames When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another hilarious book by David Sedaris. I listened to this audiobook read by the author while driving the Seattle Portland slog three times in 10 days. The drive flew by with other drivers looking at me as if I was crazy laughing hysterically all by myself in the car.

I highly recommend this book and anything else by Sedaris. During the holidays, as must read is Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and the story 5 to 8 Black Men. It will have you in tears.

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The Lake, the River and the Other Lake - Steve Amick

The Lake, the River & the Other Lake: A Novel The Lake, the River & the Other Lake: A Novel by Steve Amick

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I selected this book for my book group December read. It was recommended by the owner of Sunriver Bookstore. An interesting slice of life in a Michigan resort town. The characters range from locals to wealthy summer folk. Their interactions and activities through a single vacation season are fun, and sometimes tragic.

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