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text 2019-01-01 03:13
24 Festive Tasks: Dia De Los Muertos - Task #3

Task 3: Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged.



I really wanted to do this one since I'm a fan of the Amelia Peabody series and have always loved Egyptology. Barbara Mertz/Elizabeth Peters passed away in 2013, so this is my little tribute to her, as well. Thanks MPM for creating such fun characters and giving me so many hours of reading pleasure. :D





Books on the left: that are partially hidden:


Belzoni's Travels by Giovanni Belzoni - British Museum Press

Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries - A Year by Year Chronicle by Nicholas Reeves

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry by Carol Andrews

The CD is the sound track for the IMAX movie,The Mystery of the Nile (Spanish)



Elizabeth Peters signed bookplate: Ms. Mertz drew this design herself with Isis holding a Hershey bar and martini. :)




Many moons ago I created my own take on the same theme for this letterhead. Here the God Thoth and the Goddess Maat are offering a Hershey bar and martini to the Aten. :P




I also designed the card on the right using Phillip Singer's fabulous cover art from "The Mummy Case" and "The Snake, The Crocodile and The Dog".





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text 2018-12-30 02:36
24 Festive Tasks: Dia De Los Muertos - Task #4

Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.


So here's my quick and easy version of nachos; we prefer our chips on the side.

For this batch we tried a light garnish of the dried chiltepin chiles our niece and

her BF gifted us when they visited from Tucson this past September. We felt the burn! :) The Saguaro chili grinder is made of ironwood.




Chiltepin chiles and info:  



As the only wild native chili to the US, the Chiltepin is sometimes called the "mother of all peppers.” Common names include Indian pepper, chiltepe, and chile tepin, as well as turkey, bird’s eye, or simply bird peppers, due to their consumption and spread by wild birds. This chili grows naturally in canyons from West Texas through southern Arizona. The perennial bush can reach up to four feet tall and grows under vegetation such as mesquite, ironwood and hackberry which proves shade, moisture and nutrients for the germinating seeds and mature plant.


The Chiltepin has a long history in the US/Mexico borderlands, and has been traditionally used as a food, medicine, and vermifuge and mythic icon. There is considerable folklore associated with these plants. Historically, no kitchen table of Sonorans, Opatas, O'odham or Yaqui rural homes would be without a bottle of dried chiltepines. The wild harvest is a seasonal ritual in many rural communities to this day, where families make chili-harvesting camps in the mountains during the heat of September and early October in order to harvest the wild chiles.


The Chiltepin is a very small chili in size with an extremely pungent flavor. It is rated very hot—8-9 on pungency scales—and has a quite distinctive smoky bite. The Chiltepin is eaten sun-dried, added to cheese and ice creams, fermented into sauces, and pickled with wild oregano, garlic, and salt as a tabletop condiment. The green or dried red fruit are often mixed with range fed carne machaca from cattle or deer to preserve the meat, or wild greens and onions as a typical Sonoran dish.


Thanks to the efforts of agricultural ecologist and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan and botanist Jack Kaiser, the U. S. Forest Service has designated a 2,500-acre stretch of rugged Tumacacori Highlands in the Sonoran Desert where Chiltepin is found as the Wild Chile Botanical Area. According to Nabhan, it was the first botanical reserve for a wild ancestor of a cultivated crop.








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text 2018-11-08 21:08
24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos, Task 4 (Mexican Food)

Mini beef tortillas with potato wedges, sourcream, and a dip that's half salsa and half guacamole.


Ordered in, not my own creation ... I couldn't be bothered to cook, having had to go into Cologne because my iphone was on strike and Apple STILL doesn't have location in Bonn where there are actually technicians as well, which pretty much killed my entire afternoon.  (Stopping by IKEA on the way home for another bookshelf, for the "leftovers" I hadn't been able to give a home in the big shelf makeover the other week, was child's play in comparison.)


I hadn't been planning on any dessert, but after Wanda's mouthwatering "Orange Gingerbread" post decided to treat myself to some of these, in the spirit of the Mexican theme:


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text 2018-11-06 17:25



Task 1: Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice.


Ode to Mary Yellan (Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier)


She arrives at her family's inn

And is almost beaten and done in

By her uncle who is a nasty guy 

While her aunt stands idly by

She realizes that she is not on stable ground

And proceeds to walk all around

Meeting men wherever she goes

And finding out a secret that leaves her low

She eventually makes it out alive

And runs off with Jem who is vile

Task 2: Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one).


I adore the below because of the pettiness involved. 




May eternal damnation be
Upon those in Whaling Port.
Who, without knowing me,
Have maliciously vilified me.
May the curse of God 
Be upon them and theirs.

According to local folklore, Mary was at odds with her neighbors in Whaling Port over the number of cats she owned. The neighbors went to court to try to get this headstone changed or removed, but the stone carver had a signed contract and payment in full, so he had to fulfill Mary's wishes.




Task 3:  Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it.  Inclusion of book cover encouraged.


Apologies for how this turned out!



Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.



Ordered this for my lunch today! Yum! Spicy mini tacos. I could have eaten 6 more. 

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review 2018-11-05 15:24
Took a Little Bit to Get Going, But Really Loved This One
The Pale Horse - Agatha Christie

The non-Poirot or Jane Marple books are usually hit or miss for me. However, Christie does a great job with this one. The book is slow moving at first. We follow a man named Mark Easterbrook who narrates the majority of the book. Initially we don't exactly know what's going on, we just know that there are some deaths that are somehow linked to a place called "The Pale Horse." It took me til about the 20 percent mark to get really into the book. I liked Easterbrook and was delighted with Mrs. Oliver for popping up too. She gets strong armed to sign some books at a village fete by Easterbrook and makes mention of not liking fetes after what happened at the last one she was at (Dead Man's Folly).  


"The Pale Horse" follows Mark Easterbrook (who appears to be a historical writer or novelist....still unclear on that) who seems to be drifting through his life. He has a steady relationship with a woman named Hermia who he is slightly fond of, but who he finds dull. When he witnesses two young woman tousling over a young man at a coffee bar; he finds out one of the woman's names (Thomasina Tuckerton known as Tommy Tucker) and learns later that she died after reading her obituary. The book then shifts to Father Gorman who is called to give last rites to a woman who is dying. Whatever he learns disturbs him so much he goes off and writes down names. Too bad for Father Gorman that someone ends up murdering the man, not realizing that he tucked the list of names into his shoe. When the police are called up, they are flummoxed about the list of names. They realize some of the names are of people who have died, but have died of natural causes. Then we switch back to Mark and him getting pulled into the investigation. 


There are a lot of characters in this one, but Christie does a great job with all of them I thought. I liked Mark. We get some reveals about his backstory that surprised me. I did like that when he ends up realizing where The Pale Horse is (near one of his relatives) he acts as if he isn't interested in going there after what many of the inhabitants say about the three women who work there. When he realizes that Hermia is not taking his concerns seriously, he goes to the local vicar's wife who believes him and also ends up getting assisted by Mrs. Oliver who gives him some suggestions about forming a partnership with Ginger Corrigan (a young lady he met when he initially came to visit his relatives). 

I really enjoyed Ginger a lot. Her and Mark definitely realize something is up with The Pale Horse and refuse to just let the police do their investigation.

I also liked how Christie did foreshadowing in this one. We have Mark, Hermia, and Mark's friend and his date talking about MacBeth and the three witches and how unrealistic they are when you get into their speech and how actors portray them. I liked how Mark's friend said what would be more scary would just be three ordinary women in a village who many have come to fear. When Mark meets Thyrza Grey, Sybil Stamfordis, and Bella Webb, I got why he felt uneasy around them. Here are the three modern witches that his friend warned him about and Mark becomes afraid they do have real power to cause someone to get sick and die. 


The writing was very good and I have to admit that I didn't see the ending coming at all. Per usual, smartly done by Christie. 


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