Monday, November 30, 2009

Under the Dome

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Hardcover: 1088 pages
Publisher: Scribner
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439148503
ISBN-13: 978-1439148501
From Publisher's Weekly: King's return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King's earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.

Famous for writing horror books that contain vampires, ghosts, space aliens, the devil or demonic clowns, King has now given us something that is even more scarier - the human mind. What could be more scary than to have a large group of people confined to one area and shut off from the rest of the world?

The town of Chester's Mill gave me visions of the supermarket from THE MIST, only on a larger scale. Corrupt minds, religious fanatics and a thirst for power are capable of pushing certain people beyond the grip of what is normal. For those of you who thought there could be no one as evil as Randall Flagg (THE STAND), you haven't seen anything until you see 2nd Selectman Jim Rennie. Wrapped up in a religious package with a two-sided agenda, Rennie welcomes the mysterious dome that has enslaved his town. Now he has the opportunity to do the one thing he wants most in the world - control an entire town and have the people worship him as their savior.

Full of political maneuvers and corrupt law enforcement, with a little science fiction thrown in, UNDER THE DOME is a testament to the power of story telling that only King is capable of. Although 'SALEM'S LOT, THE STAND and THE DARK TOWER series will always be my favorite books by the master of horror, this new tome will have a place of honor with my King collection. Worthy of reading more than once, although you may have to fight carpal tunnel syndrome just to hold this book up while reading.

I am, and will always remain, a Constant Reader; and I thank you Mr. King for another great read!
Check out the many faces of Mistletoe:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the 10th prime-time animated TV specials based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Originally airing in 1973, it won an Emmy Award the following year.

This special opens with the iconic scene of Lucy enticing Charlie Brown to kick the football she is holding. We all know where this leads ...

Charlie Brown and Sally are preparing to go to their grandmother's place for Thanksgiving dinner when, in classic Charlie Brown fashion, things go terribly wrong. Peppermint Patty manages to invite herself - and several of her friends - to Charlie's house for Thanksgiving. Leave it to good old Linus to come up with a sensible solution - 2 Thanksgiving meals.

This Charlie Brown special has been a traditional viewing in our home since my children were little. I don't remember watching this one regularly as a child, but since 1984, we've watched it at least once a year. Of course, since VCR and DVD technology, now anyone can watch this classic whenever they want.

Here's to Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Amaryllis make a great gift for a gardener's Christmas:

Crafting Monday

(Adapted recipe for Turkey Noodle and Lentil Soup)

This is another useful gift that can incorporate all that left over turkey people have after the holidays: Turkey Noodle Soup Mix.

Turkey Noodle Soup Mix

In a quart jar, layer the following:
  • 1/4 cup powdered chicken broth (or 4 boullion cubes)
  • 2 envelopes onion soup mix
  • 1/3 c. split peas
  • 3 cups old-fashioned egg noodles

Place lid on jar. Add the following recipe card:

“Turkey Noodle Soup - Add 8-10 cups water, 1/4 cup butter, 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion, and 4 cups cooked leftover turkey. In a large soup pot, sauté veggies in butter until tender. Add water, turkey and Turkey Noodle Soup Mix. Simmer over medium heat until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes and enjoy.”

This recipe can be adapted for any kind of soup you may enjoy:

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Lentil soup
  • Onion soup

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

Where the heck did this week go? I cannot believe next week is Thanksgiving - I am not ready for the holidays!

1.) Every morning on my way in to work, I listen to Mix 94.5 on the radio - but what's up with starting Merry Mixmas so early this year? All week long, I've listened to Christmas music - and I've been singing along! As much as I had to see the holidays rushed, I can't seem to make myself turn the channel when "Holly Jolly Christmas" starts to play or when "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" comes to save the day. But there is one song I do have to change the channel for because it makes me cry, and it's the one where the little boy is buying the shoes for his Momma because "Momma Might See Jesus Tonight" - talk about a tear jerker!

2.) Finishing up my 2nd full week at the Ragged Edge and I'm loving it. The work is rewarding, even though I've had a few choice words at the horrible condition of the filing system. The only real problem with an afternoon job is it has cut into my writing time. I try to get up an hour early to write, then I write through lunch, but by the time I get home in the afternoon, I wiped out. I try to write a little before bedtime, but many times I end up nodding off before I get anything usable down on paper. Maybe once I get more in the swing of thing, I'll have a little more time - and I guess there is always the weekend.

3.) I was contacted by Arcadia Publishing this week about the possibility of doing a book about Harrodsburg - exciting! A friend of mine knows the acquisition editor and she gave her my name as a possible contact person. We've been exchanging emails and there is currently a package of information in the mail to me. I'm so excited!!! I have lived in Harrodsburg all my life and writing a book about my historic hometown would be awesome. I'll keep you informed.

4.) My friend Liz sent me a message this morning and I was the winner of an electric fryer she was giving away on her Easy Meals Examiner page! Whoopie!! Thanks so much, Liz - this is definitely something my family can use. You need to go check out Liz's recipes - she has some great one!

5.) I'm still working my way through Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME - I can't believe it is taking me this long to read a book. Granted it is a 1,100+ page book, but still - it shouldn't be taking me a week. So far, I'm loving it - I have always enjoyed his larger books with a huge cast of characters. This one is right up there with THE STAND, but in a way, this story is scarier because the setting is a much smaller place - instead of having the entire USA as a setting, this story takes place in one small town. It's almost like a daily soap opera addiction - I get to read about a few characters every day.

6.) Last night was my big TV night of the week - why do so many of my favorite shows come on the same night? I kept the DVR hot! First up is BONES, followed by FRINGE, then I have to wait until hubby goes to bed so I can watch VAMPIRE DIARIES and GREY'S ANATOMY - he's not watching either of these. So, yes, Friday mornings I'm usually dragging because I stayed awake too late watching TV - but it was so much fun!

7.) Yesterday was a kind of rough day for me because it was my sister's birthday - she would have been 44 years old. I still miss her so much, and I am so sad she will never get to know her beautiful granddaughter, Desiree. I know Amy is keeping an eye on all of us, and I can't wait until the day we are reunited again.

8.) My Mom had some bad news from her tests this week. I'm not ready to talk about it, but if you would all keep her in your prayers, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Check out the invasion of the lady bugs:
A great gift for the gardener on your list - Kentucky Gardener magazine:
Upcoming events at the Lexington Arboretum:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why do we need to rake fall leaves?

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, released in 2002, is the second film in the popular Harry Potter series, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling. The collaborative team of director Chris Columbus, screenwriter Steven Kloves, and producer David Heyman, all came together to make this 2nd film.

Because most people have either seen the movie or read the book, I'm not going into a lot of detail about the plot. I will say this was a close adaptation of the book and I enjoyed the movie very much. I was surprised at how closely this film followed the book. The only deviation I noticed - and I've watched the film and read the book numerous times - is in the effects of the Polyjuice Potion. In the book, the Potion causes the drinker to assume the exact appearance of the target, including their voice and any disabilities. In the film, while the potion alters Harry and Ron's appearance, their voices are left unchanged to reduce confusion. This alteration is not present in subsequent Harry Potter films, i.e., Harry's eyesight remains unaltered.

The following actors reprised their roles for this film:

  • Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Now entering his second year at Hogwarts, Harry faces the accusation that he is the Heir of Slytherin, and responsible for the attacks on fellow students.
  • Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, one of Harry's best friends. He takes his father's flying car to Hogwarts after he and Harry miss the Hogwarts Express.
  • Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, one of Harry's best friends. She investigates the cause of the attacks on students, only to be petrified herself.
  • Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, the Hogwarts headmaster and one of the greatest wizards of the age. He is removed from his position as the attacks increase. Harris died shortly before the movie was released.
  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father, and a former Death Eater.
  • Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts groundskeeper, who is initially blamed for the attacks and sent to Azkaban. Martin Bayfield plays him in the flashback scene.
  • Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall, the Hogwarts deputy headmistress.
  • Alan Rickman as Severus Snape, the Hogwarts potions master.

Newcomer, Kenneth Branagh, played Gilderoy Lockhart, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts; he was found to have lied about his accomplishments in the wizarding world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Castle and Heat Wave

One of my new favorite TV shows is the ABC comedy-drama series, CASTLE. It airs on Monday nights at 10pm and it really helps me get over the Monday blues of having to go back to work.

Nathan Fillion stars as Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist who is initially called in to help the NYPD solve a copy-cat murder based on his novels. Stana Katic stars opposite him as the young attractive detective Kate Beckett. Following his encounter with Beckett, Castle decides to use her as the model for his next book series. He uses his contacts and receives permission to accompany Beckett while investigating cases. While technically a drama series, CASTLE also features comedy and romantic tension.

For me, the sweetheart of the show is Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis Castle, Castle's fifteen-year-old daughter. She is notably more mature and responsible than her father and is a very bright student who enjoys school. Her social and interpersonal issues often parallel some aspect of the case Castle and Beckett are investigating.

Another scene stealer of the show is Susan Sullivan, who plays Martha Rodgers, a former Broadway actress and Castle's mother. She lives with Castle and Alexis, but also enjoys an active social life.

And because I am a sucker for campy entertainment, I am anxious to read HEAT WAVE, the novel the fictional Richard Castle wrote in the series. This book has actually been published by Hyperion. Written by an anonymous author under the name "Richard Castle", it is entirely in character from the dedication to the acknowledgments. The first half of the novel was released on the ABC website in weekly increments, but the book must be purchased to be read in its entirety. HEAT WAVE was released on September 29, 2009, and debuted at #26 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In its 4th week on the list, it broke into the top 10 at #6.
How to extend the growing season in the Bluegrass region:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crafting Monday

I thought with the holiday's fast approaching, I might offer my readers some simple homemade crafts / gifts to surprise your family and friends with this Christmas. With the economy trying to climb out of a recession and limited time due to family obligations, these ideas are fast, easy and fairy inexpensive.

This week I'm introducing you to Fireside Coffee - this one is always a hit and I even have people asking for it throughout the year.


--Pint mason jar, or any recycled glass jar
--Instant coffee mix
--Coffee creamer
--Hot chocolate mix
--Evaporated milk

In a large bowl, mix one cup each of the dry ingredients. Spoon into glass jars and replace lids. Apply a label to each jar with the following instructions:
Fireside Coffee
Add 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons to one mug boiling water. Stir and enjoy!

You can also attach candy canes or chocolate covered spoons to each jar as "stirring" sticks for added flavor.

Electric Fryer Giveaway

Check out what my friend, Liz Brooks, the Easy Meals Examiner, is giving away now! An electric fryer!!

Go get entered to win - and tell her Bobbi sent ya!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

1.) I started my new job this week at the Ragged Edge Community Theatre - I am the new Theatre Administrator. So far, so good - I'm really enjoying the work. This week I've mainly been trying to organize the office - it was in such disarray! - and I'm trying to update the filing system. Next week I hope to get into more of the day-to-day operations at the theatre. And if you happen to be in Harrodsburg during the week of December 3 - 6 or December 10 - 13, stop by the RECT and see our production of "It's a Wonderful Life." Thursday - Saturday shows are at 8pm and Sundays are 3pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.

2.) My youngest daughter, Christine, has strep throat - she missed school yesterday and today. Keeping my fingers crossed hubby and I don't get it, too - I can't afford to be sick right now!

3.) My new great niece, Desiree, is growing like a weed! It's hard to believe she is 2 weeks old already. So far, she's been a pretty good baby, but I think she has her days and nights mixed up.

4.) I got my hands on Stephen King's hefty new book this week - UNDER THE DOME - and it's a whopping 1,100+ pages! Not as large as THE STAND, but close to it. I must admit, I'm not even half-way through it yet, but my new job has interfered with my reading time. I hope to get caught up this weekend.

5.) If you're going to be in Harrodsburg tonight, come down town at 6pm and watch an encore presentation of "THRILLER" by the Studio G dancers. They will be performing in the Olde Town Park (the fountain park) on Main Street. This dance has been very popular with the citizens of Harrodsburg, hence the encore presentation.

6.) I have a meeting of The Community of Mercer County Writers - Nomadic Ink - tonight at 7p at the KY Ag Center. Anyone interested in writing is welcome to join us - we are always looking to add members to our group.

7.) It's Persimmon weather, er season - Persimmons are now available at the Farmer's Market and in grocery stores. If you've never tried one of these little fruits, you are missing a treat, especially when sweetened and made into pies and tarts. My Granny Sallee had a Persimmon tree on the family farm and she always told me Persimmons weren't good until after the first frost - something about the frost helps to sweeten them. I never appreciated these fruits when I was younger, but I my tastes have adapted as I've gotten older and now I enjoy these little fruits of autumn.

... and last but not least

8.) ... I'd like to ask for prayers for my mother, Brenda - she has been very sick and we aren't sure what the problem is. She is supposed to have a CAT scan as soon as possible. She has been living with Chron's Disease for over 30 years now, but this new problem doesn't seem to be related. Mom is the rock of our family and we're all praying for a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - aka Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the UK - is a 2001 fantasy/adventure film based on the novel by J. K. Rowling. Directed by Chris Columbus, it is the first in the popular Harry Potter films series.

The story follows Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), a boy who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard, and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his magical education. He meets his two best friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and the trio works together to solve the mystery of the Sorcerer's Stone. I'm not going into much detail on this movie because most people have either seen it, or read the book. To date, the Harry Potter 7 book series is the largest selling book series in history.

The film also stars Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Prof. McGonagall,), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Alan Rickman (Prof. Snape), Richard Bremmer (Lord Voldemort), and Ian Hart (Prof. Quirrell).

I love this book series, and although I think this movie was a good first installment for the movie series, I still think the book is better. Things I didn't like about the movie:
  • Peeves the poltergist was left out entirely.
  • The Sorting Hat song! I was so looking forward to this, but it was left out.
  • Mrs. Figg was also left out and she ends up playing a large role in The Order of the Phoenix
  • The detention scene was changed from the book, but it worked out okay for the movie.
  • And, the fate of Norbert the dragon was changed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't Forget to be Thankful

I realize I am usually the first person to begin chiming out the number of days until Christmas each year right after my birthday in August - for those keeping count we are T-minus 45 days - but even I think it is too early to start decorating for the season.

I know stores and malls begin decorating very early in order to attract the most customers, but why do individual home owners feel the need to begin the festivities before Thanksgiving has rolled around? Just today on my way into work, I counted no less than 8 homes already decorated for Christmas. I just wish we could slow the seasons down!

This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for and I intend thank God for all my blessings. This year has brought us three and a half new members to our family and an expanding family is one to be grateful for. First is our new son-in-law, Jason Wilham, and although he an Amber have only been married a few months, he is the perfect fit for our family. Our second addition is Mike Huntsberger, boyfriend of my middle daughter, Marie - their impending marriage is another joy to look forward to. The third addition is a brand-new great niece, Desiree Carter Semones, precious daughter of my niece, Ashley. Desiree is the first new baby in our family in over 16 years and we are thankful to be celebrating her first Thanksgiving. And you may be wondering about the half person - Marie and Mike are expecting my first grandchild next June and I couldn't be more excited! A new son, an upcoming son, a new baby and an impending grandchild – my family is truly blessed!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free Flowing Friday

Most of you have probably noticed my lack of posts this week - I've been under the weather. Not H1N1 flu, just plain old cold symptoms. Keeping my fingers crossed this swine flu passes over my family!

1.) My thoughts and prayers go out the the soldiers and families living at Fort Hood. It is inconceivable that an army psychologist could protest going to Iraq by killing so many people and injuring so many more. I'll continue to watch this story with a heavy heart.

2.) Two pieces of great news this week - first, I got the call from the Ragged Edge Community Theatre I've been waiting for - they offered me the job of Office Administrator! I was starting to get anxious that I'd blown the last interview, so my patience (and lots of prayers) paid off. I start my newest job on Monday.

3.) Second piece of great news - a story I submitted to NEW SOUTHERNER magazine for their latest contest was selected as a winner! It will be published later this spring. I am excited, overwhelmed and oh, so happy!

4.) Baby Desiree Carter is growing by leaps and bounds - heard to believe she will be 10 days old tomorrow. Of course, I haven't gotten to see her or hold her for 2 days because I'm afraid I'll make her sick. Hopefully this weekend I can see her again.

5.) Please keep my Uncle Curtis in your thoughts and prayers. He went in for a routine colonoscopy this week and they found cancer - taking him immediately into surgery. So far, so good, but it will be several days before we learn the biopsy results.

6.) I've been reading the House of Night young adult series this week by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin Cast. I have finished MARKED and will be finished with BETRAYED today. This is an interesting series about fledgling vampires and the school they go to. Call it TWILIGHT meets HARRY POTTER - very good fantasy fun.

7.) The Kentucky Book Fair is tomorrow in Frankfort and I was so looking forward to going. I think I'm going to end up having to stay home - I still don't feel 100% and I sure don't want to make anyone else sick.

8.) Last, but not least, Happy Birthday to my Mom - Brenda Carolyn Sallee. Happy Birthday, Mom - I love you bunches!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Electric Roaster Giveaway

Check out this cool give away my friend Liz, the Easy Meals Examiner, is having:

Along with information on how to be entered for this great give away - Liz is also offering her recipe for Herb Roasted Turkey - she even has a slideshow to show you how.

So, go on over, check her out - tell her Bobbi sent ya!

New Baby

Because it has been so long since we've had a new baby in our family - 16+ years - we were overjoyed last week to welcome Desiree Carter Semones into our family. Desiree is the daughter of my youngest niece, Ashley - Ashley is the only child of my late sister, Amy.

So, if you'll allow me one proud moment, I'd like to share a poem I work this weekend for my precious new great niece.

Amy Kisses

She spoke to me like a flicker of air swept by in a dream
Gentle kisses in the ear making me feel wanted and loved;
She’s been gone so long it’s been almost five years
And yet I can still feel her in my heart.
She caresses the inner sanctity opens my wounds with a flick of her wings,
Then she smiles and says, “thank you for being there today.”
Her first grandchild she will never know,
but will watch from her chair high above.
Every kiss, every prayer, every loving moment in time
Captured internally and filed away, ready to recapture the joy.
We will give her earthly love and vigor,
You will give her angel kisses;
She will grow and thrive and capture the light
Fulfilling her destiny unwritten.
She’ll have much hugged awards, atta girls, aren’t you sweet
But she’ll also have memories and history and cherishments.
Yes, we will raise her and see she does right
And she will know the grandmotherly love,
though the package may seem strange
She will know the love you are giving
You don’t have to worry we will make sure she knows,
That granny’s my sis and we all miss her so,
But she’ll live in your heart and your soul.