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text 2018-12-10 20:56
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 3 (Holiday Treats)

Here's my assortment -- this year's edition:


The traditional Christmas-y stuff:

"Christstollen" (Christmas loaf cake), "Printen" (spicy, crunchy gingerbread bars), "Frankfurt Bethmännchen" (round marzipan and almond cookies), "domino cubes" (chocolate-coated cubes filled with gingerbread mass, chocolate and jelly), and chocolate-coated almond gingerbread cookies


-- and the not-necessarily-Christmas-y-but-melt-in-your-mouth-sinfully-delicious stuff: white chocolate and crushed almond tartuffi (pralines) and dark chocolate pralines (both Italian)


... and a chocolate Santa, and two snowmen wearing chequered scarves and red winter bonnets, just because!


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text 2018-12-09 21:57
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 4 (Book Featuring Children Rescued from Peril)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain,Guy Cardwell,John Seelye
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Black Stallion - Walter Farley,Keith Ward
M - Jon J. Muth

I suppose Harry Potter and just about every children's / YA fantasy (or mystery) series would fill this bill, but big HP and Three Investigators fan though I am, let me offer these for consideration instead:


1.  Mark Twain: The Adventure of Tom Sawyer -- Tom and Becky Thatcher in McDougal's Cave (rescued thanks to Tom's tenacious search for an exit), and Tom and Huck Finn up against Injun Joe; inter alia, listening to Joe's and his cohorts' plans at the peril of their own death in case they are discovered, and Tom incurring the same risk by speaking up at Injun Joe's trial (after which Joe escapes through a window).


2.  Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden -- At the beginning of the book, Mary is sent to England to stay with her uncle to save her from the cholera epidemic that will shortly thereafter kill both of her parents, who have remained in India.


3.  Walter Farley: The Black Stallion -- Alec and "The Black" become friends when they help each other to survive on a desert island after being shipwrecked.


Honorable mention:


"M" (screenplay, not book): A chillingly creepy 1930s movie,  concerning the hunt for a pedophile serial killer -- starring Peter Lorre (pre-Hollywood) as the pedophile and directed by Fritz Lang.


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text 2018-12-06 18:40
Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas Day-24 Tasks


Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas Day
Task 1:  Write a book wish list to St. Nick.
Dear Saint Nick,
I apologize in advance for the number of books that I want. I can't help it though, I love books. I do want to say that my goal for 2019 is to read more books by women and men of color. Thanks in advance for helping me out with that!
BecomingNot That Bad: Dispatches from Rape CultureThe Wedding PartyThe Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)
A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)On the Come UpThe Key to Happily Ever AfterThe Right Swipe (Modern Love, #1)
Lies Sleeping (Peter Grant, #7)The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in AmericaThe Everlasting Rose (The Belles, #2)
The Downstairs GirlHere and Now and ThenWhat We Talk About When We Talk about RapeMagical Negro


Task 2: You are King / Queen for the day and can have 3 ‘wishes’:  one for yourself, one for your community (however you define it), and one for the world: What are they?


Wish for me-I wish that I could take a fantastic trip to a different country in 2019. 


Wish for the community-I wish that we could have an open and honest conversation about race and religion and have people stop trying to shut down things. I loathe that we still have states in this country that like to pretend still that the Civil War was over states right. I loathe that we all act like Jim Crow laws were not a thing. It makes me seethe that we had a whole Civil Rights Movement that took place in the 1950s and 1960s and people act like we have come so far, though not really. I hate that if I say black lives matter, I get people screeching about me about the police and how black lives matter is a hate/terrorist organization. 


Image result for civil rights movement


Wish for the world-That we stop sugarcoating it when people are pushing racist ideologies the world over. Call them out, call them racist. Call it a lie when someone uses an obvious terrible talking point. It seems scary to me that we seem to be hell-bent on going around and blaming immigrants for everything in the U.S. with some factions in Europe doing the same thing. At this point I wonder if people just want them to be pushed out to sea to fend for themselves or what. 


Task 3: If your holiday family traditions should include bowls or plates filled with gingerbread, cookies, oranges / tangerines, chocolate, nuts and the like, share a photo with us!


I probably will have to skip this. Will see if I am up for taking pictures to post. 


Task 4: List your 3 favorite books involving children being rescued from serious peril.


1. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, review can be found HERE

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, review can be found HERE

3. The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1) by Rick Yancey, review can be found 




Book: with an orange or red cover or with nuts, chocolate or coins on the cover, set in The Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with canals or beer on the cover.


Daughters of the Witching Hill

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text 2018-12-05 18:47
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1 (Book Wishlist)

Ummm ... St. Nick, are you sure you are up for this one? (http://themisathena.booklikes.com/shelf/wishlist?by=date&order=desc)


Actually, dear St. Nicholas -- if you'd just pick one of these (and I mean any one), I would be totally over the moon!  Thank you so very much!


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text 2017-12-05 21:27
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Sixth Square - Sinterklaas / Krampusnacht / St. Nicholas's Day & Bodhi Day

Sinterklaas / Krampusnacht (December 5th) / St. Nicholas Day (December 6th)

Saint Nicholas, also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey).  Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker.  His legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus, through the Dutch Sinterklaas.  Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of everybody from sailors and merchants to archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and students in various cities and countries around Europe.  The best-known legend associated with him is his secret nightly gift of money to a pauper whose daughters would have had to remain unmarried if their father had not been able to pay their dowry.  According to one version of the legend, in order to remain undetected, St. Nicholas dropped the final bag of gold down the chimney.  According to another one, the daughter who was the intended recipient had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into a stocking. – Gifts that children find in their shoes (or stockings) on Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas Day include tangerines, walnuts, chocolates and cookies.


In German and parts of Central European folklore, St. Nicholas has a companion variously known as Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus.  While Knecht Ruprecht is a human, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure, half-goat, half-demon, possibly of pre-Christian origin.  During the Christmas season, this companion punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts.  Children can avoid punishment by, inter alia reciting a short piece of memorized poetry to St. Nicholas as a sign of good behavior.


The Reading Tasks:

Read a story involving children or a young adult book, or a book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) –OR– with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover.




Other Tasks:

Write a witty or humorous poem to St. Nicholas –OR– If you have kids, leave coins or treats, like tangerines, walnuts, chocolate(s) and cookies [more common in Germany] in their shoes to find the next morning and then post about their reactions/bewilderment. ;) If you don’t have kids, do the same for another family member / loved one or a friend.



Bodhi Day (December 8th)

Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.  According to tradition, Siddhartha – an ascetic born as a prince in the Northern part of the Indian Subcontinent, in an area today partly in Nepal and partly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (India) – had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.  As the morning star rose in the sky in the early morning of the third watch of the night, Siddhartha finally found the answers he sought, became enlightened, and experienced Nirvana (in Buddhist belief, the ultimate state of release from the cycle of birth-and-pain-and-death).  As a result, he became a Buddha or Awakened One.


The Reading Tasks:

Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue. (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)




Other Tasks:

Perform a random act of kindness. Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.) –OR– Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.


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