Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Handy Helpful Hints


Now that we are into nice weather, it’s fruit time. And I love fruit, unlike vegetables, many of which are not friends with me. But along with good fruit comes a rather nasty side effect. I seem to have a fruit fly infestation at the moment and it’s driving me nuts! I googled how to get rid of them. Surprisingly, when you type in “getting rid of” – fruit flies is one of the automatic fill ins and there you go! I was reading some of the remedies and got quite a chuckle out of some of the suggestions. They really run the gamut. There is the:

‘Catch and release method

  • Drop a piece of rotten fruit into a large, clean jar such as a Mason jar.
  • Place the jar near the greatest concentration of flies, i.e., if they're hanging around the fruit bowl, put the jar in the fruit bowl.
  • Put a paper cone with a small hole in the bottom in the mouth of the jar. It should have the pointed end pointed downward. The fruit flies will enter the cone through the large end by the mouth of the bottle and find their way through the hole into the bottle. They will not be able to get out.
  • Release them outside when you have several, if you like.

This would be for those soft hearted who don’t want them hurt, only out of the house. Here is another kinder and gentler method for getting rid of them:

Make a bowl trap

  • Put a piece of old skinless fruit and some wine, or some balsamic vinegar in a bowl (think like the flies: what do you want for dinner?). A mixture of white wine and coriander seeds works very, very well.

  • Cover the bowl tightly (no wrinkles) with plastic wrap.
  • Poke many small holes in the plastic with a fork. The fruit flies go in and can't get out (if the holes are too big they will fly back out). Then you can release them outside.

Or yet a third:

Make a plastic zip lock bag trap

  • Place a few slices of an apple inside a zip lock bag
  • Leave an inch open to allow pests to enter. The little pests will soon be on and surrounding the apple.
  • Zip the bag closed and release them outside

Now that’s all fine and good for those tender souls who don’t want to take a life, any life. But I have this…credo… when it comes to bugs. If you are outside, that’s your territory. If you come inside, you are on my turf and you enter at your own risk suckas! That goes for spiders, ants, crickets (though I’m very squeamish when it comes to them. So the other suggestions I read are more my style:

  • Use your favorite vacuum cleaner: Fruit flies tend to congregate in certain areas, so if your vacuum is powerful and has a good filter (hepa or otherwise) you can easily suck up lots of them and send them packing.

(I love this idea!! Suck those puppies up! Seek and suck is what I say)

But once you get past the nice way, comes what I plan to do!

  • Use a fine mist bottle to spray mobs of flies and they will drop to the surface below. Because their wings are damp, they can not fly so you can easily squash them without them getting away.

  • Leave an empty bottle of beer open and unattended, they will fly in. recap and throw away.

  • Fruit flies sense quick movement. Approach them very slowly with a moist paper towel on bathroom mirrors, cabinets, etc. and you'll get them every time.

  • Hang a few of those old flypaper rolls over the area of infestation. Ugly, but effective. These are extremely poisonous though; use with caution and keep out of reach of children.

  • You can forgo the funnel if you put a small bit of dish washing detergent in the cup with the vinegar and stir. The fruit flies are still attracted to the vinegar smell, and the detergent traps them. The detergent actually reduces the surface tension of the liquid allowing the flies to more readily sink and drown.

I really love those blood thirstier methods. So watch out you scum bag flies – Kristie is comin’ to get you?


Monday, July 25, 2011

email time again

Here is a series of emails that went back and forth with a coworker. I'm still on the email loop of the department I previously worked in so by all rights I shouldn't even have got it in the first place


It works better for this if you start at the bottom and work up :-)

From: Kristie
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:44 PM
To:Tanya
Subject: RE:

Well, see – the theory goes that if I pass the song to you, it leaves my head and passes to you or whoever I send it to. But if that person doesn’t know the song, then it doesn’t work. You see – the song knows who know him or her and will not travel to an unreceptive brain. The song feeds on the brain cells of whoever’s brain it’s in. But it needs the brain cells to know it.

Does that make sense? It’s kind of like zombies.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSGaI_DtiMwwOw0szhbGeZNvTlG1jrH5c70lPum8eJJuuHQ5F40sVHYZ1w

Kristie

From: Tanya
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:32 PM
To:, Kristie
Subject: RE:

So if I tell you I do know the song, would that help?? (even if I didn’t)

From: Kristie
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:16 PM
To: Tanya
Subject: RE:

Of course now I have an ear worm going on in my head about that song by the Guess Who

Don’t you wanna rain dance

Don’t you wanna rain dance

Don’t you wanna rain dance

Don’t you wanna rain dance with me?

Fifi said to Don the baker
Can you show me how to bake another bun, Don,
And I’m still sittin’ with my next door neighbour sayin’
Where’d you get the gun, John?

Don’t you wanna rain dance

Don’t you wanna rain dance

Don’t you wanna rain dance with me?

Christopher was askin’ the astronomer
Can your telescope tell me where the sun’s gone,
And I’m still sittin’ with my next door neighbour sayin’
Where’d you get the gun, John?

>>>>
Don’t you wanna rain dance with me?
<<<<

Changin’ just a few things
Laughin’ when the bell rings, on the go
Changin’ just a few things
Shootin’ when the bird sings.

Don’t you wanna rain dance with me?

Now you are younger than me so you may not know this song. In which case I can’t really pass it on to you and get it out of my head.


Kristie

From: Tanya
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:03 PM
To: Kristie
Subject: RE:

You are TOO funny

From:Kristie
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:02 PM
To: Tanya
Subject: RE:

I wouldn’t mind discussing the weather and how we are going to get it to stop being so hot. While true, there are some oddballs who actually like weather this hot, I think more people would like to see it a bit cooler. I don’t think this particular agenda item will take up too much time. My suggestion is a group of us go out and do a Native Canadian Rain Dance to see if we can get rain which might cool things off.

MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]MC900155292[1]

(one can sometimes tell when I am bored)

Kristie

From: Tanya
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:50 PM
To:
Subject:

If anyone has any agenda items they would like added for discussion at our next meeting, if you could forward them to me by end of day July 25/11. Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday July 27/11

Thank you

Tanya

I'll probably regret doing this...



But I'm going to be politically incorrect and even risk raising the ire of people, but some inhabitants of the romance reading community are - well for lack of a better word - idiots who post stuff that makes them sound ridiculous.

I was reading some posts at a sight I visit, and a few of them, based on nothing more than a small excerpt on authors website, are almost trashing the author saying stuff like, 'I know I'll end up reading it but I won't be first in line to purchase it either at the bookstores or on my Kindle . . . might just wait and pick up at the UBS.' Or here is another quote, 'she's my favourite author but i must say, after reading the excerpt im not looking forward to it!' Exclamation point even. And yet another example, 'plus all these rumours about magic and such going ons in the coming series! why doesn't she continue doing what she does best, all this messing about has ruined her for me. Another favourite author bites the dust for me *sigh*'

To which I say - GIVE ME A BREAK.

This is a book that won't be out until 2012 and here are readers talking smack already. Come on people - you are being idiots. If your comments were based on a review then you might have some merit to complain or criticize, but you don't have a leg to stand on when you base your comments on such shaky reasoning. And you know what happens to people who do that? They fall on their faces and look silly.


And that's me being bitchy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recent Read

The Last Warrior by Susan Grant

Why this one: I love most of Ms. Grant’s books. Love. Them. They are futuristics, a genre I adore and can’t read enough of. But I had real issues with the last book of hers I tried to read; it was a departure from her usual style. So I was a bit leery when The Last Warrior came out as to what kind of book it would be, the style I’ve loved in the past or the style I couldn’t read. But since I’ve loved her in the past, I decided to dive into the Susan Grant book pool

Steam Level: Warm, not hot, but warm. But then it’s hot enough outside anyway these days. So warm is good!

Blurb: As a decorated soldier, the young General Tao knows only one kind of honor—to his people. But when his own king betrays him, he discovers that his sacrifices, his successes, may not have been for the good of the country at all.

Fate—and his enemies—throw him together with Elsabeth, a red-haired beauty who has served as the royal tutor. Her loyalties, though, remain with her father's people, the rebellious Kurel, who worship the old ways, even harboring the forbidden arks that brought the Kurel to this planet ages ago. When a threat greater than their peoples' war looms, intent on destroying the world they both know, the fierce warrior and the sensitive scholar must unite. Together, they must fight for their planet, for their world and for their love.

My Thoughts: Well!! I am SO glad I dove back into the pool as this is the kind of Susan Grant book I adore and adore this one I did!

It has everything going for it. Let me count the ways:

  1. A very intriguing world that is very well built - check
  2. A great cast of secondary characters that makes me want to read more about them – check
  3. An evil villain that you want to do away with yourself - check
  4. A heroine that I really like and admire – check
  5. A hero to die for – check

The setting for this Futuristic Sci/Fi romance is the planet (look it up). I gather the planet was colonized by the people from Earth hundreds of years ago and somehow all communication was cut off so they slowly drifted into various segments of society. There are the superstitious warrior class, known as the Tassagonians, who are exemplified by our hero General Tao. Then there are the scientific class known as the Kurel. There isn’t much mingling of these two classes as the Warrior class are very wary of the Kurel and consider all their advanced knowledge is evil magic.

The story starts out with the return of General Tao, a hero to his people for the glorious defeat of the Gorr, an animalistic group whose sole purpose is the elimination of the human inhabitants. Our heroine, Elsabeth is less than impressed though as she has a deep dislike of the Tassagoian people and in particular a hatred for their king ever since he was responsible for the senseless death of her parents. She is part of a rebellion against King Xim along with the chief of the palace guards and Tao’s best friend.

When Tao makes his triumphant return, King Xim is threatened by Tao’s popularity with the people and has him falsely arrested. Markham, his friend and chief of palace guards rescues him and hides him with Elsabeth and the ghetto town of the Kurels

That’s the basics of the story but that’s just bare bones. What I would like to say is what great characters both Elsabeth and Tao are. I wasn’t sure I would like either one at first but I LOVED them. Elsabeth has reason to be bitter but rather than wallow in it, she works to make things different and better. She could have let her hatred for the Tassagoian people take over, but she is very well able to separate her feeling for the king from the rest of the people. In fact she calls the king’s wife and sister to Tao a friend and is very fond of her. Elsbeth is smart, brave, does what she can to help but not in a stupid way and Wendy would really like her. Hint, hint. She has preconceived notions about what the Tassagoians are all about, but is willing to readjust her thinking when she sees that the role they play is valuable.

And Tao. Oh, yum, yum, yum!! What an incredible Ms. Grant has written in him. He is a hero to his people and despite this he remains remarkably humble about it all. He just wants to find a wife, using careful, well thought out methods and retire to his family vineyard. He has fought against the Gorr for many years despite still being a young man. When he is put into hiding in the district of the Korel, he is at first quite reluctant what with them practicing magic and all. But he slowly realizes what value they can be. And at first rather disgusted with their passive ways, he is impressed when they rise to the occasion when threatened. And the chemistry between Tao and Elsabeth is absolutely delicious. I just love how they slowly begin to love each other as they get to know each other and put aside their prejudices. Tao admires Elsbeth and treats her with a great deal of respect, even though he is totally hot for her.

This is a riveting story with very real and believable characters. There are a few places where I chuckled over Tao and his ‘duck out of water’ stay with the Korel. I’ve tried tightening up on my 5 out of 5 grades as at times going back I barely remember a book I gave a five too, but not so in this case. This is one I will remember and most certainly read again.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Monday, July 18, 2011

Recent Reads

One Lucky Cowboy by Carolyn Brown


Why this one: It was a good price on Kindle and had a nice cover. ‘both appealed to me.

Steam Level: Warm if I remember

Blurb: Jane Day is on the run from the paid assassin who had been her fiancé. In Wichita Falls, Texas, she meets Nellie Luckadeau, a spitfire of an old lady who desperately needs someone to work on her ranch. But Nellie's drop-dead gorgeous grandson "Lucky Slade" is sure he can spot a con artist a mile away. He's determined not to let some upstart like Jane fleece his granny.

When his signature intimidation methods don't convince Jane to leave, he pours on the charm to make her spill what she's up to. She's happy to play along, but she's not going to let this hot, hostile cowboy run her off his land when all she needs is a lucky break…


My Thoughts: So so books are the hardest to write aren’t they? You can’t get funny with the horribleness of them and you can’t rave about then as they aren’t raveable. So I will try and do my best with this book, but not sure how it will turn out. The best I can say is it’s OK.

During the recent RWA, one of the things that stood out for me is publishers are looking for Westerns. There was a lot of twittering going on and I asked if they meant historical Westerns or contemporary Westerns as contemporary Westerns don’t get me excited like their historical cousins. This is a good book as ab example.

The heroine was on the bland side. It was the eve of her wedding when she overheard a very disturbing conversation and as a result, hightailed it out of town, running for her very life. She ended up in a bus stop and was offered as a job as a chauffeur for Nellie an older lady who wasn’t allowed to do her own driving anymore. They get along fine but her grandson, Lucky, is furious with her for hiring a complete stranger and insists that Nellie get rid of her. I think we are supposed to find Nellie amusing, but I just found her annoying. And I’m not sure what we were supposed to see Lucky as – whether it’s a hard working rancher who had it rough as a child. Perhaps as a hero who is very protective of his granny. I suppose some readers might have seen that in him, but I just thought of him as rude. Some of the things he says to and about Jane are pretty harsh.

And I thought we were supposed to see the villains of this book as evil and intimidating. I just found them stupid, real stupid.

Although this review isn’t that positive, I didn’t think this was a bad book. I finished it and if I thought it were a bad book, I wouldn’t have. But neither did I really see anything to recommend it to other readers. It had a few moments of humor, but I’ve read funnier. Neither the hero or heroine popped at all for me and I found the secondary characters either lackluster or annoying.

Some may find this a better read than I did and I hope some have. As for me, I’m glad I didn’t pay a lot of money.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5



Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean

Why this one: I’m not really sure how this one came to my attention. I was checking out Kindle, think it was recommended to me by Amazon the price was right, it was a Western Time Travel and I was sold!

Steam Level: Hot!!

Blurb: HERO AND PROTECTOR
Former bounty hunter, expert gunslinger, and the toughest sheriff Dodge City has ever known, Truman Wade is a real man from the tip of his black Stetson right down to his spurs and leather boots. He’s never met his match in a gunfight, but he’s never met a gorgeous, gutsy woman from the twenty-first century either…

TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
Newly single after a rocky breakup with her self-absorbed fianc√©, newspaper columnist Jessica Delaney crashes her car in a lightning storm and soon finds herself dodging bullets in the Wild West. Before the night is out, she’s tossed in jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and if things don’t seem complicated enough, the impossibly handsome sheriff in charge of her arrest has danger written all over him - and a sexy swagger to die for. Jessica knows she needs to get home, but when
Sheriff Wade’s enticing touch sets her passions on fire, she begins to wonder if fate has other plans for her, and soon she must choose between the life she longs for in the future… and the greatest love she’s ever known.

My Thoughts: A time travel Western!!! Ke-wl. I’m guessing here, but I think this one is one of the the books in the new Amazon Line that Connie Brockway is part of and can I just say I am So In with this? I’m glad I have an i-pad with a Kindle app so I can read these books. A Western Time Travel isn’t a trope you see very often. Since I really like both, that’s why I was sold on this book right away.

In order to enjoy a time travel book, you have to be willing to suspend belief more that say a contemporary or romantic suspense or even some historical. Luckily I’m able to do that pretty well so I was able to enjoy this book quite a bit.

Jessica is a modern day heroine thrust back into the old West. Of course at first she has a hard time believing what’s happened. I found her reaction quite believable. I enjoyed her as a heroine. She was smart and intelligent and wasn’t intimidated by her situation.

And Truman Wade, our hero was just plain yummy-licious. A combination gunslinger AND a sheriff; one who wears spurs and a gun; one who has blue eyes and is strong confident, hunky and a sense of humour is very hard to resist. He doesn’t know what to make of Jessica, or Junebug as he calls her. She’s not like any woman he’s met before. He’s attracted to her but knows she is keeping secrets and is reluctant to get involved despite being very attracted to her, in case those secrets will compromise his job as sheriff. And Jessica is very attracted to Truman but she is also reluctant to get involved since she is determined to return to her family in her own time.

The resolution to this book was a bit unexpected and had me almost weepy. Not to worry though, it is a romance and has a HEA.

Amazon knew what they were doing when they put this one on my recommend list. I really enjoyed it. And at that price? My advice is to give it a try. It says on the site that this book will be available in print in August.

Grade: 4.50 out of 5