Monday, November 10, 2014

Garden Notes

This is what I'm currently dealing with in the yard, and all the leaves aren't even down yet.    I had a random day off today, so spent the time to get most of the rest of the garden to bed (the herb pots are still ok for the moment), and to at least get the areas we walk on raked out.

At least some of the yard is looking quite a bit cleaner.

Jeremy Poldark - Winston Graham

You know – I think the best lesson to take away from this series is that families are complicated, and life is complicated, and you’ll have to work at both all the time, regardless of when you lived.

In the last book, Ross was to be brought to trial for supposedly ring-leading the pirating of two downed ships that had foundered in a storm.    Never mind that whatever came from such wrecks had always been fair game for the locals, so long as they aided any sailors that survived.    But this trial was politically motivated – backed by the richest family in the area, who have hated the Poldarks for years.

It’s the trial and aftermath of the trial that inform the action of this book, as well as the lingering effects of the loss of Ross and Demelza’s daughter, especially when Demelza finds herself pregnant again.

I just really enjoy this series – it’s an interesting family saga, with that family including the people that live on the lands the Poldarks own.    You can’t help but be invested in how that community survives.

Boston, Massachusetts

We walked a good chunk of the Freedom Trail on Saturday for the first time in decades (between the BF, his brother C, and myself).   Finished up with the the Sky Walk Observatory (the 50th floor) at the Prudential Center, which I had never done before.     What a great view.

I love Boston.     It's so easy to find a fun thing to do for an afternoon.

Twilight's Dawn - Anne Bishop

This book of novella-sized stories rounds out the lives of the main characters of the Black Jewels books.    I’ll admit – I was a little surprised and pleased to see these.   

One thing about these books is that most of the characters are from some long lived races (the father figure is over 50,000 years old), but the woman that their life revolves around is short-lived – regular human life span, even though she’s technically the most powerful being in the Three Realms.     These stories actually go to the end of her life, and beyond, and show the fall out of others wrapping their lives around someone who will be in their lives for such a short period of time.   

I feel like there’s often a happily ever after feel to most stories of this kind, and to fully work out the ending to this series was actually really satisfying.   (Well, except for when the BF caught me crying on the couch.    I hate to be caught crying over books.     But really, that’s a pretty small problem in the grand scheme of things.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

RIP IX Reading Challenge 9/1/14 to 10/31/14

Well, it being the second to last day of the month, and while I am a fast reader, I am not that fast, I think it's safe to say I'm done with the RIP Challenge for the year.

The challenge was to read at least four books in the challenge categories.   I managed six:

 It's been a lovely Fall, and I look forward to repeating it next year.

Shade's Children - Garth Nix

Read for the RIP Reading Challenge.

In the future, humanity has been enslaved by a race of Overlords that use people as the raw materials to construct their armies.   Children are harvested on their 14th birthday.

Occasionally, children do escape, and some find their way to Shade’s hideaway.    Shade was once a man, but is now a personality trapped in a machine.     His sole purpose is to fight the Overlords, but with his soul gone, is he truly committed to this war?

Four of Shade’s children have come closer to any others to finding the source of the Overlord’s powers, but with Shade’s true intentions in question, will they be able to bring about the Overlord’s downfall?

I’ll admit, this book is fairly depressing, as post apocalyptic stories go.       The future world is terrible, and Shade is not a great ally.     What the four children (young teens, really) are able to do together is rather impressive, considering what they’re up against.     I have trouble saying it’s truly an enjoyable read, but it is satisfying.

Further Adventures in Domesticity

So what do you do when you have a batch of fairly tasteless apples, and you'd rather move on to the much better batch you bought at the farmer's market?    Make applesauce!

This is using the recipe from Canning for a New Generation.   Sadly, I did fall prey to my occasional issue where I only get about half of the batch amount it says I should.    I started with six pounds of apples.     This is not six pints of applesauce.    

At least it tastes good.