Friday, October 19, 2018

An October Cryptogram

Here's the Cryptogram for October.   As usual, it's the first line from a book.
Look for the Answer on Friday, October 26.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

DOA In The Virtual Garden

Not my own, so much,  (until the garden catalogs start coming in) but Thursdays seem like a good day to share what I've seen lately that's garden related.

Via the Impatient Gardener, did you know there were are Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter cactus?  I thought there were only Christmas Cactus.

Via the Old Moss Woman's Secret Garden,  there have been some clever new ways to decorate with pumpkins lately, but a pumpkin pirate ship!  That's quite a sight.

Via Two Women and a Hoe, I can identify with this big time!

From John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds, I love these beautiful nasturtiums. 

I am also becoming enamored of all sorts of begonias.   Isn't this pretty from the Houseplant Guru?

From Avantgardens, a wonderful path, in form, though I'd illustrate it a bit differently.

Sold Out if you follow the link to their page, but this Sorbet Peony From Jackson and Perkins is stunning.

Jung Seed shows what a real pumpkin grower can do with a few seeds.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What's Cooking Wednesday

I see all sorts of recipes I'd like to try.   Here are some that looked good recently.

Betty Crocker Candy Corn Cookies

There's no actual Candy Corn in the recipe, though they mostly look like the tasty little seasonal candies.   It uses a cookie mix as the base, so they should be ready quickly.

 The Kitchn 10 Slow Cooker Soups For Fall

It has gotten cold fast!  Time for some nice soups.   I like the looks of the French Onion, Potato, and Lentil Soups.

Taste of Home's Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle

Hand me a spoon, please.  Come back later.

Smitten Kitchen's Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings

A whole pie is sometimes too much, but how about some nice individual puddings with a sweet sour cream top?

Via The Polka Dot Chair, a guide to Apples for eating and baking.  I'm kind of a stickler for Red Delicious for eating, but I think I should branch out.   This is definitely nice for getting the right apples for baking.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Comment Moderation

Just when you think it's safe to take Comment Moderation off, Spamula!   So it's back on, sorry.




This week's mystery involved the woman who was shot at the end of the previous episode.  Though she wasn't killed to shut her up, the NSA did take over the crime scene and took her body away to a creepy government facility where masked and gowned surgical types awaited her.

The medical researcher Saanvi is ahead of the feds, searching young Cal's blood for answers to what might have happened to the passengers and crew of Flight 828.  She finds a marker that turns out to be in her own blood now too, that may indicate everyone was near death and brought back.


This Is Us

The highlight for me was a dream sequence of sorts with all three Kate's together, with Jack stepping in after a bit.  The actresses playing Kate are all so wonderful.   The teen is so angry, while the youngest version is so sweet.

Huge: Beth loses her job just as Randall decides he's going to run against the North Philadelphia councilman who won't act to clean up the rec center.  So, they're moving from New Jersey to Philadelphia?  Does Randall plan to move into his apartment building?  Lots going on there.



Worst Judgement:  Jeremy

Favorite this week:  Mike

Toughest to to take down: Natalie

Most likely to leave by episode's end:   Natalie or Jeremy.    Jeremy!  He went right off the rails out of nowhere, was paranoid, was accusing people of talking about him.  Yikes.  It happens sometimes that people just crack.  Too bad, what a good guy.

Standout moments:

David wins Immunity!  Goliath goes to Tribal.

Mike was pretty interesting and surprisingly emotional.

Natalie was just impressive going to everyone and stating her case.  She's definitely a powerhouse, but hasn't shown it much, but she was there tonight.

Bi hurting her knee is bad news she's really a tough physical resource for the David tribe.  Odd little vibe, her laying on the raft with her head in Nick's lap.

Not a merge but a mixing of tribes next week.  That's not going to go well.


The Good Place  

Any worries about how Michael and Janet could make their way on earth with no skills, no monies, no idea of what they are doing here were quickly put aside.  Michael and Janet just use Janet's infinite knowledge base to win the Lottery by picking just the right ticket from a roll for Eleanor, and likely are doing the same for themselves.

Things just seem to be meant to break the group apart though, Tahani meets old friend Larry and plans to go back home and marry him.

Despite Janet's cautioning against it, Michael wants to sneak into the Judge's chambers!!!! and reboot things once again for the group.  That's going to go well.

Even more bizarre, Michael summons a door way in the basement but before he and Janet can go through, they see Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason standing watching them.  Oops!   How much did they hear, how is the glowing door explained, and what on earth are they all doing down in the basement?

Murphy Brown

Murphy has a pretty good episode with the MeToo movement as it's base.   Some awareness training at the station on appropriate behavior in the workplace brings up lots of conversations, and some hard memories for Murphy.   She has a good scene with Tyne Daly at Phil's talking about how women put up with a lot of behavior as part of "bad dates" back in the day.   Then, at home Murphy talks to Avery about an experience at college with a professor she's carried with her ever since.

Murphy goes to confront him, and his home is like some terrible stalker trophy den, complete with an award she won on display.


Van Helsing

My favorite episode of the series, it was spooky instead of gory.  It took a step back into the past with ancestor Lillian Van Helsing going undercover in an asylum called Renfield House.

There's a graveyard, a mad scientist, and a new type of vampire.

To top it off, The Elder psychically sends Vanessa back to Lillian's time at the end to experience an encounter from Lillian's time, as Lillian.

Next week should be great.


Doctor Who

The Ghost Monument

At the end of episode one, the Doctor and her three new companions were floating in space, just floating in nothingness.

This episode has the Doctor and Yaz aboard a ship with Epzo, hurtling toward an unknown planet that isn't were it's supposed to be.   There's much Doctor Who-ish  technical back and forth with the pilot about how to land without crashing.

In another ship, Ryan and Graham are with pilot Angstrom who thinks they're bonuses to help her win the race she's engaged in against pilot Epzo.

The pilots began the race with a huge competitive field and they're the only ones left, and the planet they've landed on contains the last leg of the race.

The pilots were both really interesting, and though you really had to be rooting for Anstrom to win, with her whole family at stake, I liked the shared victory at the end.

The Doctor's reaction to finding that the Ghost Monument at race's end was the Tardis was fantastic, as was her reunion with the newly self-remodeled ship.

Monday, October 8, 2018




There appears to be a mystery of the week aside from the larger mystery of the time traveling aircraft.  This week it was a touching story of a father from the plane trying to get help clearing his son of robbery charges.  The father had been on the plane for a single day trip to play with the Philharmonic.  He'd left his thirteen year old son with a trusted neighbor.  Then he disappeared for five years of his son's life.  Played by a real life father and son, they were a heartbreaking pair.

The episode ended with one of the survivors of the plane being shot while she proudly watched herself talking about the plane and the security circumstances on TV, though the government investigators had told all the passengers to talk to no one.


This Is Us

Kate and Toby try in vitro fertilization despite only a ten percent chance of success because of Kate's weight and Toby's long use of anti-depressants.      Incredibly Toby tosses his pills down the toilet without thinking out how to safely come off from using them.  He soon develops some odd twitches and behaviors, clearly going down a rough path.

Randall tries to save the world again by getting a local politico to help fix a local (North Philadelphia, where the heck does everyone live in this show?) rec center.   I was horrified he just dropped Deja off there to mingle with some kids he thought she might identify with.  He was gone driving around like the whole day, leaving her there.  There weren't any consequences we saw, but that girl is really in a tenuous place still, and abandoning her anywhere is a terrible thing to do.

The story lines come together at Kevin's film premier as Kate and Toby's effort to be the" only ones who can pass Jack's genes and self along by having a baby" insults Kevin and deeply wounds Randall, who is truly the best of all of them, and the most like Jack.



Favorites:  Elizabeth  and Christian

Most likely to leave by episode's end:   Jess or Natalie   Jess!


Jeremy   went through Dan's coat pockets where he found Dan's idol, then went out and found his own!

The Goliath "power girls"    Kara, Natalia and Angelina  figure they have the "boys wrapped around their fingers"  so they're all set.

Natalie    Tries to promote herself as harmless and old, and thus a silly target.  That argument could work later in the game, but not this early on.


The Good Place

Bad Place crud ball Trevor reaches earth and sets out to tear the foursome apart.  He is hilariously obnoxious.   They go out to dine at a horrible "American restaurant.

Ha!  The Judge catches up with Michael and Janet, really telling them off for their interference and describing their upcoming well deserved ill fate.   Somehow they escape back to Earth.

Murphy Brown

The second episode has Murphy trying to get into the White House press room because her son has gained access via a campaign trail alliance with Sandra Huckabee Sanders.

She is so competitive with him.  She miraculously gets in with a ridiculous disguise, which she sheds in a planter before going into the press room and castigating Sanders and everyone in the room before being shown out.

I thought she should have kept her disguise on to have at least a few moments of journalistic credibility, but she just plowed in and tried to take over the room.   This was a terrible choice, and if she is buffoonish like that all the time, my dislike of sitcoms having people do outrageous things to get a laugh is going to play out.

I hoped the show might get in some actual commentary on our society and politics, but that might get tossed aside to play to the laugh track.


Van Helsing

The uber grisly and grim vampire hunter is back.  The season last year ended oddly with little of Vanessa Van Helsing in episodes because she was pregnant in real life and couldn't do all the stunts and fights.

Vanessa is in fine form, and two big bads from last season were quickly dispatched by Vanessa and her sister.   Two more to go!

A show not for the faint of heart.  I'm borderline myself.


Doctor Who!  

A great day for Who fans.   Great cast, enjoyable episode.   I like seeing the emergence of a new Doctor.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell To Earth

I knew from the first moments of Jodi Whittaker's appearance on Capaldi's last Who that she would be a great Doctor.

Having watched the first Jodi Whittaker Doctor Who episode twice today, I was right!  She is a great Doctor already.

She has boundless enthusiasm and energy.   The fearlessness to tell any alien to just get OUT.  The quick brilliance.   Centuries of knowledge (after a bit of a reboot process) at her fingertips.   Unassuming bravery.  A love of humanity.  A definitely alien view of the workings of the universe.

The only thing I was worried about were her companions.  Three seemed too many to start a new doctor off with.   They're perfect, though, and work really well as a team and with the doctor.  I wish Grace could have joined them!  She was the best.

I might have watched all the seasons of Doctor Who from Eccleston to Capaldi within a span of months, rather than over a space of years.  I'd just get to really enjoy a Doctor when a new one would come on board, and I'd be sad to see the one I'd become attached to leaving, but in every case I loved the new Doctor as much as the old.   Each new Doctor seems to become my favorite.  I think that will be the case here as well.

My favorite parts:

The Doctor's surprising entrance through the roof of a train and her quick dispatch of a tentacled alien.

The alien's toothy face, eeeww.

The Doctor making her own new Sonic Screwdriver.

I'm the Doctor!

Graham's surprisingly touching eulogy.  The show doesn't often allow emotional heft in any scenes, but his speech, and the glory of Grace's great character made it special.

Off to find the Tardis, oops!

Monday, October 1, 2018


Despite not having a nice list of new shows to try this fall, I'm finding plenty to watch.



A new show where a plane takes off in April 2013 and lands in November 2018.  I thought the concept would be hokey, but the actors really pull off the shock of how it would be to have this happen.    The changes to the lives of everyone they knew and loved makes sense, but is just incomprehensible to the travelers.

There's a hint that there is a divine hand in things.  It's really well done, the pilot in any case.  We'll see how tonight's episode goes.


This Is Us

I love it so much.  My husband loves it too.  So much happens in an episode.  This cast, in all the time periods they write, are so incredible.   Heartbreakers!


Survivor  David vs Goliath

I can't resist this show most seasons.  Lots of good characters this time.  I'm not going to recap it this time around, because by the third episode everyone seems pretty mean, and I feel mean talking about them.  I thought I'd try a new format.  Just a few questions each episode.  For episode one:

Favorite:   Christian the Robot guy.

Most likely to leave:  Natalie or Pat    Pat left with a medical injury, oh so awful, seemed to have cracked his back on a rough boat ride back to the island from a challenge.

Least favorite:   Natalia   Mean Girl personified.

Laziest:  Tie Nick and Natalie

High Self Opinion   Natalia

This episode's pick for season winner:   Christian

David Tribe in Five Words or Less This Week:  Nicest tribe ever?

Goliath Tribe in Five Words or Less This Week:  Every person for their self.


The Good Place

It is hard to say why this show is so appealing.  They actually had a full hour episode.  All the characters are exactly who they are meant to be, no matter how many ways Michael the Demon tries to change how things go for them.   They're an endless fascinating experiment in what it means to be Good.

Murphy Brown

I have never seen an episode of Murphy Brown till this week.  I never watch sitcoms anymore, though I used to.   To my surprise, I liked the show, I liked Murphy Brown.   We'll see how long I watch given my dislike of sitcoms, and politics.   I particularly liked her interactions with her son.  I'm not so sure what I think of the others on her crew.   I liked Hillary's cameo.


Fear the Walking Dead

After a great third season, in season four they came back, tossed everyone out who might outshine Morgan's crossover character in any way, and it's a mess.

Even the introduction of new truly interesting characters doesn't make up an iota for the loss of the Madison and Nick characters.  I only watched the second half of the season because Aaron Stanford from 12 Monkeys, the hero and heart of that show, was going to be on.  Of course they wasted his talents and made him a selfish, whiny character nobody liked.  Not only that, they never mentioned him on Talking Dead, every single time crew was asked about the new characters, they went on and about about everyone else, but never said a word about Aaron.  They'll be back for season five, but I will not be.


Just looking around for something to watch with a cup of cocoa, I watched a couple of shows that have been on my list.

West Wing

I watched two episodes.   Too many people, I only like the President.  Might watch more, might not.

The 100

Interesting enough concept.  An ark in space made up of space stations from numerous countries who had one when the world was destroyed by nuclear war.    Overcrowding is now a problem because the life support systems are going down, and they're desperate enough to see if the planet is habitable only 97 years after the holocaust.

They send their teen children, 100 of them who are prisoners for minor infractions, down to the planet with life sign monitoring wrist bands to see if radiation kills them and how quickly.

Things go awry with the craft and it lands not where it was supposed to and communication is dead.

The kids go Lord of the Flies immediately, and are wild and and whooping it up, and acting like crazy people.   No thought they could be drawing down harm upon themselves.  No survival instincts.   Bad acting.   Might watch more, might not.

Friday, September 28, 2018

This Week I Liked...

Here's another weekly roundup!

I looked at Instagram, thinking if it had fun ideas and inspirations I might sign up.  Lots of the crafting blogs I follow have Instagram accounts.  They often say sometimes they post more regularly there because they can just take a few pictures, put them up without comment, and voila! content and updates.   It was started as an IOS phone photo sharing app, that's the intended audience.  I personally prefer to use a camera for pictures when I can, that I'd like to save.  So I think Instagram isn't for me at this time.

Pinterest!  Another site that comes up often when I'm searching for recipes, how-to-do-it information, and gardening ideas is Pinterest.  I thought because Facebook made me kill off my DOA account that Pinterest access was gone as well.  Ha, no, DOA lives!  I just never did anything with it.  Therefore, I'm willing to spend time finding things in my categories of interest, and use those things here in the future. Whoo hoo!



From the Cypress Textiles Blog, 8 Crochet Joining Methods for Square Motifs.  Believe it or not, I am approaching the point of joining on several projects, and these join methods can make a blanket look just that bit more beautiful.

The ever clever Polka Dot Chair has a timely post, More Than 25 Halloween Sewing Projects for those of you who can sew, or those who would like to get started with one of these projects.   I love the...

Witches Silhouette Pillow

...and the Black Cat Embroidered face pillow

From the Itsy Bits and Pieces blog, a post called Thrift The Look, where she and several other bloggers look at an inspiration photo from Country Living Magazine, then try to recreate it from thrift store finds that match the look and feel of the original.   Quite a fun idea.  Itsy Bitsy (can we call her that?) is very clever and has some artistic and crafting talents that make her effort pretty great.  She tells how she did it all.  This might inspire you to try to recreate something you see in a magazine.

The Original

Itsy's Re-creation


My mom made wonderful Chicken and Dumplings, but very rarely.  I've tried recipes over the years, and the dumplings and I never meshed.  They were balls of weird dough, or the dough dispersed into a liquidy mess once dropped in with the chicken.  Very sad.   Two Peas and Their Pod have a tasty looking recipe I may try.

I've come to like Chicken Caesar salad while dining out (though last night I had one that was gross and bore no resemblance to any other I've had).   This recipe from The English Kitchen looks really nice.

She also posted a Maple Cake  that reminded me of a cake with a Brown Sugar Penuche frosting I used to make, but this seems richer and yet more delicate.

I'm still craving chocolate cake, and may try this one next.  Another nice 8x8 pan recipe.


The wonderful Mystery blog The Rap Sheet has a list this week called Taking in the Sites.  It's his yearly list of the best mystery and crime blogs out there.   I have some of them on my blog list, and will be adding more to the Books and Authors section of my blogroll.

CrimeReads has many great reading lists.  This week I noted   

I always mean to read David Liss, and I love Lyndsay Faye.    I like other works by Robert McCammon.   Was unable to read The Alienist past the first few pages.     Anne Perry's The Cater Street Hangman is excellent.    I'll be most interested to look at some of the others.

 Beauty and Humor

Gardeners Two Women and a Hoe know their stuff.   I look like this with or without mascara.

Friday, September 21, 2018

This Week I Liked...

From the whirl of Social Media, here are a few things I marked as "liked" this week.

Patterns    From 50 Shades of Four Ply, a vibrantly colored afghan.  I really liked the combination of small squares and large.

From the Patchwork Heart, a nice color combination.


Agh, I meant to put these on the grocery list and look for them.  I'm not sure about the Peanut Butter one, but the chocolate, nice!

When I have a Chef, I'll ask for these by Smitten Kitchen in the mornings.


From IO9,  before season one has even aired,  Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is getting a season two.