Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Farewell, November

I've decided not to make this last day WIP Wednesday after all.  I think I've shown the most interesting projects, and as I hoped, I've made actual progress completing them.  I have high hopes for the entire waiting-for-its-turn collection of items.  I'll certainly put any completed items up, so you can say "whoa, she actually finished something".

I have an actual post for every day of the month, which was a goal.  My next blogging goal is to have 100 posts for the year.  If you look on the sidebar way way down you can see how many posts I have had each year. Pretty puny!  I think 100 posts over the course of a year should be a reasonable thing, particularly since I have so many things I can write about.

I also plan to give some attention again to my book blog and games blogs, which I also enjoy writing for.  So more of me, blah blah blah.

 For December I have in draft a favorite Christmas movies post, a compilation of some of the Christmas crafts I've seen on blogs, and a favorite Star Trek Episodes post that didn't make it into the November mix.

More TV and movie posts incoming, and I have the plot and basic draft of the next Casefiles of Detective Open-Shut.  Exciting stuff!

Thanks for stopping by this month, and see you in December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From The Casefiles of Detective Open-Shut

Detective Open-Shut And The Missing Beagle

I found a new cartoon maker for Detective Open-Shut, who was featured a few days ago in a cartoon here, created on the now-defunct-for-our-purposes Bitstrips.  Look at that little Clouseau-like figure. Perfect for a detective.  There was another dog that looked a bit more like a beagle, but this guy has the same silly bug-eyed look as the detective.  Awooo.

This cartoon was created on Toondoo.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Garden Planning For 2017 : Garden Mapping

Here it is, November 28th and it rained hard with thunder and lightening all day long.  It was 50 degrees and if all of that doesn't get a person in the mood for spring, what will?  Maybe we will have a short balmy winter.

When I'm on top of things in the garden I know every plant, and their common and Latin Names.

I have maps of the garden which include date planted, and notes if I've moved something or if it didn't survive the winter.

Planning next year's garden is fun, particularly the vegetable garden, which is all new every year.  I faithfully rotate my crops so nothing is grown in the same spot every year.

For the 2017 vegetable garden, I know which beds I want to plant a few things in, tomatoes need the sunniest spots, lettuces would like some shade and protection from varmints.

Many of my beds have lots of open spaces in my plan thus far.  I want to see what seeds I buy, and I'd really like to try the Square Foot Gardening method in a couple of beds next spring.    How I've managed to garden all these years without trying it, I don't know.  Perhaps because I've only been working on vegetables for a few years.  There are many techniques to try, and I'm excited to see what can be done.

Here is my vegetable map so far:

I'm not sure what varieties of beans, peas, peppers, melons or culinary herbs I'll plant, but I penciled those in at the side of the map as a reminder to look for varieties to fill the beds.  There is plenty of space in this garden for plants in pots as well.  It is usually my favorite area of the yard.

Time to dream of summer.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Twitter Notes

I found this old (2009) cartoon I had created in the now defunct Toonlet regarding Twitter Followers. 

I just don't get how people even find me to follow, particularly the Women In Thongs with their behinds raised to the camera...eeww, do you sincerely mind?  I also wonder why those accounts don't get popped by Twitter.  I've gotten so any new follower with a profile pic of a young woman with a certain look in her eyes...I don't look at the posts, I just hit the block button.

I haven't many followers even though I've been active for awhile now.  I could have more, Thong Women excepted--but my policy is to follow or block.  I look at the persons profile and posts and if I feel they're someone with my interests who might be interested in what I have to say, I follow them, if not, I just block em.  I also look at how many people they're following and are being followed by.  The folks who follow ten trillion people and are followed by the same number or a low number...hinky city.  If I looked at my own numbers, I think hinky city, lol.  Pay attention, people.

Followers aside, I find Twitter to be a much more pleasant place than Facebook ever was, there is a much more positive attitude, but maybe I only follow perky people.

This was all just an excuse to use my old cartoon.  Have a good day!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Night At The Movies: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

I've read and loved all of the books in this series.  They manage to be very suspenseful.

The concept of the Peculiars with their varied abilities inspired by strange old photographs which were included in the books is just so fascinating.  I loved that they used some of them in the film as well.

The film really explains the "time loops" the children and Miss Peregrine live in, which you'd think might be a difficult concept.


All of the actors, particularly Eva Green as Miss Peregrine were just spot on.  Rarely has a book been brought to life so charmingly and faithfully.

Asa Butterfield as Jacob portrays the boy becoming a man under the most frightening and wonderful circumstances.  His father was exactly the silly goof that he was in the book.  Kim Dickens from Fear The Walking Dead was an odd choice for the mom.  Maybe I just can't picture her in another role now.

It was a bit of a cheat to have Jacob's grandfather alive at the end.

A few reviews compared the Home For Peculiar Children to the X-Men, how ridiculous.  The children were always in the time loop to protect them, never to train their "mutant powers".  They were just all accepted as they were in the loops.

I hope there will be more movies from the series!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Five On Friday: My Favorite Country Singers

Yay! We made it to the last Friday in November!  For my final Five On Friday, I'm sharing my five favorite country singers.

Just as certain books shaped me as a reader, I think the music I heard as a child shaped my musical tastes.  My parents were totally country music fans.  They had a pretty nice record library, and frequently played the tunes.  Sometimes they danced on a newly waxed kitchen floor.  Mom actually would wash and wax the floor then encourage us to put on socks and dance/slide around on it to buff it up.  True story.

I loved country music for the melodies, but even more, I loved that practically every song told a story.  Mostly sad stories, but each was a short tale, and who loves stories more than I do?   Here are my favorite storytellers:

Patsy Cline

There has never been a singer like Patsy.  What a fantastic voice, with such range of emotion.  I even like the songs where she sort of yodels.  Her personal life was as tragic as any of her songs, and for such a sweet sweet woman, I wish her short life had been happier.  Because even her sad songs are infused with joy somehow.  She never let anything get her down, never lost that luminous spirit. Favorite Song:  Sweet Dreams

George Jones

Talk about an unstoppable force in music and life.  Such a wonderful deep mellow voice, so many great songs that he seemed to embody, particularly his many drinking songs.  Those drinking songs were sung with great relish.  His sweeter songs revealed the gentle soul within that he sought to hide and protect his whole life.  I read his biography and the scene that stands out is his driving a lawnmower into town to the liquor store when his driver's license and car keys were taken away.  Self destructive, yes, bolder than anything, yes.  I appreciated that he was a mentor to many new singers who were interested in traditional country rather than the pop music country that invaded sometime in the 70s or 80s.  Favorite Song:  Walk Through This World With Me

Ray Price

This man's songs are the quintessential country tunes.  He sounded as if he would break down sobbing after every song.  His rich, plaintive voice could take you to a very lonely place, but its ok, he was right there with you.   Sometimes its nice to just let the music wash over you, as you sing along to "I've got heartaches by the number", you bet.  Then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and enjoy the City Lights.  Favorite Song:  Heartaches By The Number

Marty Robbins

I used to watch everything on TV, including old westerns.  Marty Robbins sang many songs featuring life in the Old West.  Talk about stories told in song, ah, he was the master of songs of the west.  He is the only one of my favorites I've seen live as well, in Wheeling's Capitol Music Hall, where everyone sang along with Marty and uproariously rang the cowbells that were handed out as you entered the auditorium.  Favorite Song:  El Paso

Reba McEntire

I'm not such a fan of her later work, because she seemed to go Pop Country at some point, and her wonderful, wise, vibrant songs were no more.  Her early songs were not only beautiful, but they were very wise stories of the way modern relationships could be as heartbreaking in a Country way as anything from earlier decades.  Favorite Song:  Is There Life Out There?

Happy Shopping!

Be careful if you go out shopping today.  There are apparently loads of baddies waiting to peruse and lift your wallet.  Snuggle at home with cocoa and leftovers instead.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cryptogram Answer

A day late!  Thanksgiving week isn't the best for posting.  You're getting this instead of WIP Wednesday, which will finish out the month next week with a mind boggling array of unfinished works in progress.

From the book Time & Again by Clifford D. Simak:

The man came out of the twilight when the greenish yellow of the sun's last light still lingered in the west.


I have the book in hand and meant to re-read it before this week's answerI read all of Simak's books once I discovered him sometime in the 80s.  There is this wonderful, gentle humanity to his writing.  And he was from Minnesota!  In another life I could have met him and told him how I loved his books.

From the back cover:  

What would you think if you found an old book signed with your name--and learned it bore a date in the distant future?  It happened to Asher Sutton, and when he set out to investigate the incredible enigma, he found that book a passport and ticket to a galactic empire many thousands of years from now.

His story, his adventure, and the book he couldn't have written but somehow did, are but facets of this most unusual, gripping and cosmic of science-fiction epics.  It is a novel of robots, androids, alien intelligences, and a cosmic corporation designed to last a million years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quote of the Day

A large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything.

Laurence Sterne

Monday, November 21, 2016

Garden Planning 2017: Perennials

I've deconstructed and grassed over 90 % of my perennial gardens, so there isn't room for much.  I find myself wanting a few very large hostas nonetheless, maybe a couple of pink peonies, and in a rare sunny spot a rose or two.

Many of the garden catalogs that were in business when I was at the height of my gardening time are now gone.  Locally, most garden centers that I enjoyed visiting are gone as well.  I certainly miss them, particularly Linders.

There are still a few wonderful mail order garden sources.  I'm thinking of seeing what I can find next spring.

Song Sparrow   

Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery used to be just Klehm's.  They've always had a beautiful selection of perennials and peonies.  If I could only order from one company, they'd be it.

White Flower Farm

I ordered from them quite a bit in my early years.  Their selection has always been amazing, but I was not always happy with what arrived in the mail.  I saw an article recently on them trying to preserve a particular plant and its varieties, so I thought I'd try them once more.

Jung Seed and Plant

I waited a long time to order from Jung, and I wish I had not.  They have much more than seeds, plants, shrubs, trees, all very nice upon arrival.  Also a wide selection of garden supplies you wont find elsewhere.

Well Sweep Herb Farm

Well Sweep has a vast selection of herbs and perennials.  You'll almost certainly find what you're looking for here.  They offer soaps, oils and books to help you be successful. There are so many varieties of each plant type, it is lovely just browsing and dreaming.

Roses of Yesterday and Today

I don't know about you, but I've been in the mood to grow roses again.   With the demise of so many local nurseries, the selection of roses is almost non-existent here.  You might see those short cascading varieties....I can't think of the name.  No selection at all, if they even carry roses.

Enter Roses of Yesterday and Today with their lovely name and wonderful selection of roses from many eras.  I'm certain I'll find something to love here.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Word Search

Have a wonderful and safe week with family and friends.  Be kind.  Eat well.  Nap often.

Happy Thanksgiving



Googly Cookies

This week I found a big yellow notation upon logging in to DOA:

So, there have been some changes in cookies, particularly for my European readers (hai, if you're out there!)  Google seems to want me to do something too, but I haven't a clue.  Maybe this post serves the purpose.

On the plus side, it appears there is a SUPER SECRET SECURE https DOA so you can be assured you're reading in the utmost safety.  I think.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Man Who Came To Dinner

My nephew was in the play version of The Man Who Came To Dinner tonight.  I love old films from the 30s and 40s and the play was in that era.  I thought I had seen the film sometime in the past, but after seeing the trailer for the film, I realize I had not.  My mom talked about the film so much that I thought I knew it.

It's so icy out tonight that the theme of the play, a man coming to dinner and slipping on ice and making a resident pest of himself for six months seemed appropriate.

There were so many bizarre characters in the play, and each was brought crazily to life by the actors.   I felt sorry for everyone who came into contact with "Sherry" Whiteside, a man given to insults and blustering.

There's a little clip from the film version

It is so funny to hear the actors from long ago saying the same lines I just saw on stage.  I wonder if the play classifies as "screwball comedy"?

From Wikipedia  

Screwball comedy is principally a genre of comedy film that became popular during the Great Depression, originating in the early 1930s and thriving until the early 1940s. Many secondary characteristics of this genre are similar to film noir, but it distinguishes itself for being characterized by a female that dominates the relationship with the male central character, whose masculinity is challenged.[1] The two engage in a humorous battle of the sexes, which was a new theme for Hollywood and audiences at the time.[2] Other elements are fast-paced repartee, farcical situations, escapist themes, and plot lines involving courtship and marriage.[2] Screwball comedies often depict social classes in conflict, as in It Happened One Night (1934) and My Man Godfrey (1936).[2] Some comic plays are also described as screwball comedies.

I think fast paced repartee and farcical situations are right on the money for this one.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Five On Friday: Five Books That Shaped DOA Reader

This isn't one of those "most influential books I've ever read" lists.  It's about how a few books in particular shaped some of my reading habits.

Trixie Belden 

The Trixie Belden Mysteries were read and collected by myself and my friend next door in about fifth grade one summer.  We bought them and shared them and talked about them.  My friend went on to read other series, but this is the only one we both liked.

Reading about the series just now on

I see one of the series my friend became enthralled with -- Cherry Ames -- was also written by Julie Campbell, who wrote the first few Trixie Belden books.

Trixie lived in a rambling farmhouse and solved mysteries with The Bobwhites which included her brothers and her friends who lived nearby.  What could be more appealing than belonging to a mystery solving group and having adventures?   Trixie was bold and generous and unstoppable.

These books stayed with me, always, and made me want to read mysteries.  I just never found anything else like them, and was put off by the lurid covers on mystery paperbacks for adults.

A Wrinkle In Time

This is the first science fiction novel I ever read.  It was suggested to me by the school librarian in sixth grade.  I told her I wasn't interested in science fiction, with it's "spacemen and blasters." 

When I read it, I fell in love with Meg, who was much like me except that she was brilliant.  I could identify with her so well, which is probably what the librarian saw in her match of the book and the girl.

After I read it, we suddenly moved from the school I'd been in since third grade, leaving behind my best friends who were both in my class for the first time ever.  A great year turned into a terrible one when we moved to a new school, with truly terrible classmates, including a boy who peridoically turned around and slapped my face for no reason.  The teacher laughed it off when I complained.  Worst school year ever, and I wrote to my old friend that the people in the new school seemed as if they had been taken over by IT (the villain of A Wrinkle In Time).

Reading this science fiction book opened up worlds of infinite possibility.  I appreciated the mix of science and magic and faith and love that graced every page of the book.  Suddenly, I sought out as much science fiction as I could find, for the wonder and escape of it.  Somehow over the years "hard science" stories became my favorite, and my non-mathematical, non-logical self struggled at times to understand theory, but loved the idea, I think, that all of this could be.

Lord of The Rings Series

I don't recall why, but in the small college town where I got my degrees, for awhile everyone was wearing t-shirts that said FRODO LIVES and it would be scrawled in odd places as well.   A guy in one of my classes was not only an avid science fiction reader, but he read fantasy as well.   Naturally he recommended the Tolkien books.

I read the Hobbit first and loved it, never having read anything so detailed and fantastic before.

I had a very hard time when I started reading The Fellowship of the Ring because Bilbo and many of the characters I'd come to love were replaced by a host of unknown characters and I railed a bit at their intrusion into "my Middle Earth".  Then the Lord of the Rings calendars by the Brothers Hildebrandt came out and they helped bring the characters to life and I could get involved in the stories of these new people.

Just as A Wrinkle In Time set me on a grand adventure of science fiction reading, I read everything I could find in fantasy literature that even remotely seemed like Lord of The Rings for a very long time.

Before the Golden Age

Before the Golden Age edited by Isaac Asimov, offered by the Science Fiction Book Club, was another eye opener.

I had been reading short story anthologies of science fiction for ages, but nothing like these stories from the 1930s.  It is one of the best anthologies ever, with exotic worlds and beings beyond imagination.

This set me to looking for some of these authors, buying anything I could find by them.   I loved the autobiographical notes before the stories.  I wished I could have been a member of the Futurians.   This book probably did the last bit of broadening out my love of science fiction and made me the avid all-things-science-fiction lover I now am.

The Body Farm

I read Patricia Cornwell's  The Body Farm in 1994.  Then I went back and read all of the other books in the series, amazed at how intense they were and how compelling and driven the Kay Scarpetta character was.  Many of the novels were terribly suspenseful and even frightening for me.  They made a mystery reader of me at last.

After reading these, my old image of those lurid mystery covers went away and I just loved the trail of clues that mysteries provided.  Even though I seldom guess who is guilty, I love being led about by mystery authors.  Smart women detectives are my favorites, but I love any detective who shares his or her stories and becomes a character I want to spend time with.

I think my favorite Scarpetta was All That Remains, because I had spent a lot of time traveling to and from Ohio and slept at rest stops just to refresh a bit.  Eeek!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Classic DOA Cartoon

In the early days of DOA I did a lot of cartoons. I don't even remember this one, but I like it.  I should do more.  I actually like Detective Openshut. He may appear again.

Note: Bitstrips doesn't allow you to create cartoons anymore so Detective Openshut will look a little different next time.  Another favorite comic creator Toonlet also seems to be gone, alas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Christmas Cards

It's time to start making those charming handcrafted cards that everyone loves, loves LOVES to get in the mail.

Nobody could have more fun things to use on their cards than I do, because I have an eye for Christmas magic and all things ho ho ho.

This year I'm using cream colored cards rather than the usual red and green, simply because I ran out of them and haven't seen any others.  I also think a lighter background might show off some of my rubber stamps and sparkly things just a bit more.   Speak of magic, Michaels had some really cool foil accented cards they mean to be used as picture frames.  I think they will also frame some of my clipart and other little scenes I can create inside the frames.

I found some fun things in the Target Dollar Bins --which are now mostly Three Dollar Bins--but the price is still pretty nice.

Target has been offering all sorts of decorated clothespins, tapping into some deep well of clothespin love I didn't even know I had.  I can't resist any of them.  

The paper stripes in the package are supposed to be used to make paper chains.  Ha ha ha!  You might be able to get a couple of chains out of a pack.  These are much better for card making or scrapbooking. 

The little wooden Christmas trees, so cute.  Nice in and of themselves, but a fiend could also decorate the teeny things.  I bought a glue gun this fall that I haven't used yet but attaching wood to paper seems like a good job for it, right?  Or are we talking three alarm fire?  Oops.

Ah, really nice packs of green and red paper from Michaels, and an adorable little Christmas paper pad from Martha Stewart.

Happiness is...Christmas Crafts :)

Your card is in the mail, or will be soon....

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Return of the Cryptogram!

I've done these in the past, picking a first line from a book and using the Brain Food Cryptogram Maker to create the puzzle/coded sentence.

To get started, write out the alphabet on a piece of paper and look for recurring letters in the sentence below, then make educated guesses as to what the words might be. Then ponder what makes sense in an English sentence to help get the rest of the words. 


The answer will be posted next Tuesday November 22.  Good luck!

Note:  I'm halfway to posting once a day for National Blog Posting Month.  I've only been successful once, I think.  Once year I tried to keep three blogs that I was writing up with a post a day.  Ha ha, no chance!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Garden Planning For 2017: All America Selections

One way to find good seeds for your garden is to check the AAS (All America Selections) list.  Gardeners throughout the country test seed varieties in their gardens and report results.  This testing means that the seed varieties chosen have grown very well in all climates and conditions.  You know they will do well in your area and in your garden.

For each winner, there is a picture, a summary of the growing experiences of gardeners overall, details of plant growth and habit, and growing tips.   

Mission Statement

“To promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance judged in impartial trials in North America.”


To test new, unsold cultivars
To inform gardeners about the AAS Winners
To earn gardeners’ trust in the AAS Winners

Here's a list of winners from 1933 to 2012.   Not all varieties may be available, but it does give you a checklist to start out with.

 AAS Winners for 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Sunday Rebus

I haven't done a Rebus for quite awhile, so here's a quote that keeps popping into my head this week.

Click to enlarge.