Readers’ Workout from St George Island

I’m mighty pleased I made it to Readers’ Workout today. I’m not at home and don’t have my computer so postvia tablet is always a challenge for me.
We are on a vacation at St George Island and I have been walking and walking and more walking.

Walking on sand can be tough, more strenuous, but our sweet doggie wanted to go walking the beach….so we did a few times. Besides eating lots of seafood I have also ingested poppers, pizza, chips and salsa 💃 and alcohol. Back on track when we return home.



How is our exercise weeks going?

Check out Readers’ Workout at Joy’s Book Blog!


Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson

childrenHow could I possibly write a negative review of one of my favorite authors? I love DCI Banks and almost all books in the series have been page turners…….but this book could have been much shorter.  Way too much detail and rambling.

Let me start with what I liked, move on to my complaints and tell you about food mentioned in this book.


The entire team of Alan Banks, Annie Cabbot, Winsome Jackman and the CSI folks.

Some of the food that is mentioned as they enjoy a pub lunch or a quiet dinner at home.

The mystery wasn’t a bad plot, just a bit long winded.  And far fetched, yes, let me add that but I certainly finished it.


It is actually one I could have skipped. Pains me to say that about Alan Banks. I have read this series from book 1, all in a row and not skipping around. This one started off at a good pace but lost me later on.  I persevered because I like the characters very much.  Too much supposition for this murder investigation and too many long-winded discussion on the “what-if” line of thinking.

Also, Banks has never been described as a hottie, someone women just swoon over, but in these past few books he seems to attract the attention of very attractive women.  These women are almost young enough to be his daughter and that leaves me scratching my head,  waaaaaaaa??  Perhaps our author will get DCI Banks a more age appropriate personal relationship in the future.  I’m not a prude, I know there are what you’d call May-December relationships  but I sure liked him with Annie better than the scenarios that have come up lately.


“There wasn’t much food in the fridge besides wilted broccoli and chicken tikka masala…”

Fish and Chips

“Banks ordered bangers and mash and an orange juice….”

Chinese takeaway

Rogan Josh, chicken tikka, aloo gobi and raita and naan

So…….I thought a good meal would be something more exotic than what I usually prepare.  Something Asian or Indian and definitely vegetarian (after all my naughty indulgences this past week).

I prepared Sesame Noodles with Tofu, Scallions and Cashews

For all the lovely photos and recipe visit Squirrel Head Manor.

Linking up with:

Foodies Read at Based on a True Story

The British Book Challenge at Tales of Yesterday

 Joy’s British Isles Friday


Readers’ Workout

So far April has been great.  We are still walking in the morning after a warm up with the dog.  Still getting up and stretching at 10 till each hour while at work and walking several laps after lunch.  Fortunately there is a covered parking garage at work so even if it rains, we can walk.  My stats have been over 10,000 for each day and my weight is remaining the same despite some naughty indulgences like Mexican food, chips and salsa and a cheeseburger.


Monday I was getting my bearings again as I was recovering from a colonoscopy.  Not much walking there and I was in a daze.  Those drugs knock you for a loop!

Plans for the rest of the week are to tackle some neglected chores around the house.  The driveway is recycled asphalt and when we get torrential rains (as we did last week) then the gravel starts collecting near the gate.  This means the labor of shoveling it away from the gate and redistributing along the driveway.  The gate is sticking open too much and I am afraid the UPS guy won’t be able to get in if it gets too much worse.

Plus there are branches to pick up around the house and field.

On the menu:

Cheesy Skillet Polenta and Eggplant Bake
Eggplant Parmesan with Carbonara Angel Hair pasta
Broccoli and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, hardboiled eggs
Grilled Grouper with leftover Broccoli and Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

How is your exercise going this week?

Check out Readers’ Workout at Joy’s Book Blog!


The Moth – The Art of Storytelling

mothI thought this would be a collection of short stories and was pleasantly surprised to discover a series of short memoirs. John Turturro’s story was particularly interesting to me as I am a big fan of his work.

These are poignant and insightful true stories that give you a different perspective of their lives. Well written and interesting, you may feel as if you are at a personal reading or sitting in their den as their story unfolds. I’m actually still reading some of the stories but so far I love this book.

Before getting this book I didn’t know about The Moth. It’s about the art of storytelling. Check out their site HERE.  There are free audio stories and they are just wonderful.

Here is The Moth’s Facebook page.

  • I received this book from the Blogging for Books Program.  All opinions are my own, I was not compensated.


11/22/63 by Stephen King…..not his typical genre style but I liked it.

11-22-63I had heard so much about this book that I just had to get a copy. I am not a fan of horror and so if Stephen King wrote it, I am not typically drawn to his publications. But this book isn’t horror at all. It’s a departure for King’s writing style (he says so himself in interviews) and has appealed to all sorts of readers, some who don’t share favored genres.

There is time travel and that was a hook for me. The star of the book is Jake Epping. He is a high school English teacher living in Lisbon Falls Maine. While working as a GED instructor he reads an essay that changes his entire life. Harry Dunning is a janitor at the school and signed up for Jake’s class to earn his diploma. Harry has a gimp leg and isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but the reason for his impairment is explained in the essay – it’s about a day that changed their lives.

The story is about Harry’s father and how he took a hammer to his wife and kids one drunken evening, killing them all but Harry. He tried to kill Harry too but only managed to get in a few swings, ruining Harry’s leg as the child tried to get under the bed. What an astounding essay.
The happy part of the story is Harry received his GED and became friends with Jake. They celebrated with a Fatburger at Al’s diner. Now fast forward 2 years and it’s 2011. Al asks Jake to stop by the diner for a chat. They weren’t close friends so Jake is curious as to what Al wants. Jake is shocked that Al has seemingly aged years in a short time. His hair is white, he’s lost weight and has cancer. How is this possible?
Al explains his appearance is attributable to his having time traveled and lived for years in the past. There is a time portal or wormhole and you can step through and transport to the year 1958. All this is revealed within the first few chapters so I am not giving out spoilers. One thing I must add is that no matter how long you stay in the past ( 10 minutes or 10 years) only 2 minutes elapse in your time period. Mind blowing!

Rather than hash out the story as it’s been in countless reviews I will just say it was a page turner. Ok, there was a period where Jake had a slow time and it was a little slow for me too. But overall – I liked this book quite a bit. Imagine having the ability to go back and change historical events. Prevent JFK from being assassinated or keep a horrific event from coming true on a personal level. The people you meet and your every action would change history. Sometimes for the best and sometimes hardly any change would happen…..but what about that Butterfly Effect? What would happen is JFK lived?

Here is a snap of one passage of the book. It echos a sentiment I have often expressed.  Yes, I love my blogs and I enjoy writing and all the modern conveniences of cell phones and computers……..but how my life would be simplified without any of it.

book passage

Besides the historical portions of this book we have the interactions of Jake with a small community of folks in Jodie Texas. How might he change their lives if dropped into 1960 something from 2011?

Not much food mentioned in this book but there was the Fatburger and milkshakes,  There was also mention of pound cake.  If you have read this book you will completely get the reference but if not….I can tell you if you aren’t going to read it…  Email me 🙂

Here is the recipe for a lovely lemon pound cake.



Spoiler below!  

Stephen King published an alternative ending on his official website on January 24, 2012, in which Jake finds a November 2011 news article where Sadie has turned 80. She had married a man named Trevor Anderson, with whom she has five children, eleven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. This ending was changed to the published version at the suggestion of King’s son, writer Joe Hill.

Linking up to the 2017 Monthly Motif Challenge at Girlxoxo.


Readers’ Workout – Let’s say Goodbye to March

I missed reporting on the exercise last week and this week has been a bit slack. The month of March has been filled with doctor appointments and all the fun stuff that goes along with them.  The final slam was a colonoscopy but hey….preventative care is preferable to finding out something is wrong later, am I right?

While I lost a few days of walking due to prep and then a procedure – my numbers overall weren’t horrible. The fact that I had to stay home for a while gave me opportunity to finish a book with 879 pages and that was good.  Have you read Stephen King’s book 11/22/63?  I am not a fan of horror books so I usually avoid King – this was not a horror book, it was about time travel.  I couldn’t put it down.


Anyway, my walking had a temporary decline but I plan to make April a kick-ass month.  We are taking some time at the beach in mid April and I hope to bump up the steps.

How was your month, fellow readers and exercise partners?
Check out Readers’ Workout at Joy’s Book Blog!


A Year Between Friends: Crafts, recipes and best of all….friendship.


A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart is a lovely book filled with craft ideas, recipes, letters and best of all – friendship.

Molly Wizenberg wrote the forward and it’s a great beginning.  She explained how she discovered a blog called  Port2Port where Maria (MAV) was an author.  This was over 10 years ago.  Molly and Maria were fans of Stephanie Congdon (SCB) on Flickr.

The ladies began collaborating with photo projects and craft ideas. They have been corresponding for quite some time and the result was deep friendship between Maria and Stephanie.

This book is divided by the months of the year. They each take photos of their respective locales – Maria who goes by MAV is in Portland Maine and Stephanie (SCB) lives in Portland Oregon.  In addition to photos there are recipes and letters.


My dear friend Mary Margaret lives in Alaska and I live in Florida.  About as far away as friends can be and still be in the USA. This book reminded me of our deep friendship and how the miles didn’t matter a lick.  I can still call her and talk to her as if I’d seen her a day ago.  This has been going on since the late 1970’s. (Yes, I am a senior citizen 🙂

What a lovely display of friendship this book is.

From Amazon:  Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes share a love of art and design, handmade pleasures, and a well-lived domestic life. Almost a decade ago, they began their first year-long project together, posting a photo from each of their mornings on their blog, 3191 Miles Apart, named for the distance between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon.

The inspired recipe from this book is soup. But we haven’t been eating much meat lately and so, while I planned on chicken soup….I diverted to a veggie chili.  Very different but one of the biggest components in this book features healthy eating.

I made a black bean chili with finely chopped zucchini, green onions,tomatoes, mushrooms and a little bit of water. Once everything started thickening up I added about 3/4 cup of brown rice.

The plus of our healthier eating (and additional walking) is the weight loss.  My husband has lost 22 pounds while I have lost 12 pounds. Yes, I keep up with him eating and drinking yet my weight loss has been considerably slower.  🙂  Oh well!

Good book with great recipes and craft ideas.  You will love flipping through it.

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series. The linkup for this week may be found HERE.

Also linking with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series.