Saturday, August 31, 2019

Field of Dreams Travel Review

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Thirty years ago, the Universal Studios movie Field of Dreams was released. It was a film about baseball, but, more than that, it was a magical fairy tale for anyone who has a dream they wish would come true. 


The movie makers used the century-old Lansing Family Farm location in Dyersville, Iowa, located 30 minutes west of Dubuque and two and a half hours from Des Moines. 

After the movie was done, the baseball field the main character (Kevin Costner) creates in his corn field (because of a message he receives “If you build it, he will come”) was kept by the property owners and turned into a tourist attraction. 

To this day, you can visit the Field of Dreams for free, bring your ball, bat & glove and play baseball on the field or watch a pick-up game from the stands. 

August is the best time to visit because the corn field behind the baseball diamond is at it's tallest and fullest prior to the Fall harvest. 


Our Visit to Field of Dreams


The year after the movie was released in 1989, we visited Dyersville, Iowa and saw the Field of Dreams. This past week we returned for another visit. It was just as enchanting as it was the first time. Especially for this baseball fan who loves the movie. 

A few changes have been made over the years. The original owners sold out to another owner who later sold the rights to the area to 'Go the Distance' Baseball, which has owned and preserved the site since December 2012.   A gift shop has been added (I bought a T-Shirt that says “Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa” (another iconic line from the movie), which brings in operating revenue for maintaining the site. The original house, in which several scenes were filmed, is now available to rent for the night. Plus, Go the Distance has hosted several events, such as the “Ghost Players game”, and have more events planned. Under this new ownership, attendance has nearly doubled to over 100,000 visitors a year. 


Our Day at Field of Dreams in Photos




Field of Dreams Outfield


Visitors  playing pick-up baseball
on the Field of Dreams

Wednesday Elf on the Pitcher's Mound

Field of Dreams view from the Cornfield
The cornfield from where (just like in the  movie)
Shoeless Joe & the White Sox Players
enter the field.
Farm House at the Field of Dreams

MLB at Field of Dreams


Just recently it was announced that in August, 2020, MLB will play a major league game (the first ever held in Iowa) at a temporary field being built for the event. Since the movie is based on the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella about Shoeless Joe Jackson of the 1919 White Sox coming to play (as a ghost) at this Iowa baseball field with his teammates, this MLB game will be between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. 

A new stadium, with seating for 8,000 fans, began construction right after our visit and will be ready next August for what is being billed as “MLB at Field of Dreams”

Don Lansing, owner of the Lansing Farm, was recently interviewed by Phil Roberts for The North Scott Press in Eldridge, Iowa. Lansing was quoted as saying he thinks the MLB venture will be a huge success.

Like Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) said in the movie to Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella:


"This field, this game, it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray, People will most definitely come."

Field of Dreams baseball field is here to stay! 





(c) Wednesday Elf  8/31/2019






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, August 30, 2019

Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review

Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Reviewed
It is hard to believe that Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis, was released almost 20 years ago.  Sixteen years later, Split was released which caused a resurgence of interest in Unbreakable.  

At first, it isn't obvious what the two movies have in common other than the fabulous M. Night Shyamalan.  However, hang on until the last minutes of Split and you will understand what they have in common.  And, prepare yourself, there is a third movie, Glass, that ties them all together.

In this post, I'm only going to review Unbreakable and recommend that you plan to watch Split & Glass also.  However, I will tell you in advance, Split is a much harder to watch due to content.  Keep in mind though, these are categorized as "thrillers" for a reason.  


Unbreakable Starring Bruce Willis Reviewed


 UNBREAKABLECheck PriceWhat do you get when you combine M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson?  A magnificent movie!

Samuel L. Jackson is Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass.  The opening scene of the movie is the birth of Elijah.  The baby has both arms and legs broken.  Sadly, he has a rare bone disease (Type I osteogenesis imperfecta) that makes his bones break as easily as glass, thus his nickname.

As a child, Elijah resists playing with other kids.  Partly because of his disease and the fear of more subsequent broken bones, but also because he doesn't like being mocked.  In order to encourage his outdoor play, his mother starts giving him comic books as gifts for going outside.  It is no wonder Elijah becomes a comic book story and art expert.

Bruce Willis is David Dunn, a security guard that seems to have a sixth sense about people he touches, intentionally or inadvertently.  He also has another unusual trait.  One that even he does not acknowledge or recognize until Elijah Price points it out to him.  Elijah Price becomes suspicious of what makes David Dunn different when David is the only survivor of a train crash that killed all of the other 131 passengers.  Not only did David survive, he walked away from the crash with no injuries.  

David's son, Joseph, adores his father.  He would rather spend time with him when he works out than to play football with friends.  Joseph is amazed, perhaps even mesmerized, by his father's physical strength.  When Joseph accompanies his dad on his initial visit with Elijah, he is intrigued by what Elijah has to say.  He can certainly see the possibility that Elijah may well be right.

Elijah has a theory that for every extreme, like his fragile bones, there must be someone of the opposite extreme that is unbreakable.  Elijah believes that person is David Dunn, and he befriends David for the purpose of proving his theory.  He likens their physical traits and limitations (or lack thereof) to comic book characters.  He encourages and challenges David to test his theory.  



My Conclusion & Personal Opinion of Unbreakable


I don't ever wish to give so much information in a review, or synopsis, that I ruin the movie for others.  It is my desire to give you just enough information that you want to watch the movie yourself.

If you enjoy thrillers, I highly recommend Unbreakable.  As a  M. Night Shyamalan fan, I generally like all of his movies.  Unbreakable is one of my favorites.  However, I will warn you in advance, you will also wish to watch the subsequent movies, Split and Glass.  I will repeat my earlier caution about Split, it is much harder to watch, but clearly an excellent thriller movie.

M. Night Shyamalan is a master of suspense and unexpected twists.  I can easily state that he is one of the most exceptional writers, producers & directors of our time.  He doesn't simply remake an old movie or produce mindless drivel.  He actually writes a gripping story with psychological aspects, and produces excellence for the screen for those of us who enjoy intriguing thrillers without extreme gore.





Check Out More Movie Reviews at
ReviewThisMovies.com





Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan - Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Next Right Thing - Book Review

Decision fatigue.  Who hasn't felt it?  Should I move or should I stay?  Is it the right time to start my own business?  Can I afford to take a leap of faith (or not to)?  Is it too risky to quit my job to write the book that is begging to be written?  Will I be able to come up with the money to achieve my dream?

Given that the typical adult is said to make about 35,000 decisions per day, we should be tired!  How can we know the right thing to do?  What if our decision options appear to be equally good?  Or, what if we have to decide between two equally bad choices?

In Emily P. Freeman's new book, The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions, we are provided with the kind of prompts, reflections, and reassurances that take much of the stress out of our daily decision wrangling.  For those of us who have always sweated it out like there is that one best decision we must find before acting, Freeman's approach to breaking it down and doing the one next right thing is a huge relief.

This is a book that works well as part of an ongoing reflective practice.  Instead of a decision list of pros and cons, we learn to approach things more organically.  We are reminded that we are making a life and that we learn to make good decisions by actually practicing making decisions.  And, gasp, not every decision has to be perfect.  Why, we can even offer ourselves grace for having made a bad decision in the past.

Freeman shares stories about her own experiences making both major and minor decisions.  Each chapter provides an example, which then leads to a reflective exercise, and finally offers up a prayer.  Though written from a Christian perspective, there is a universal benefit to approaching life one next right thing at a time.

What kind of impact can reading a book like this have in a life?  Well, for one thing, instead of resenting all of the decisions pressing down on me today, I feel gratitude that I have so many choices.  I think of all of the individuals in the world who live in regimes where nearly all of the decisions are made for them.  It is a privilege, and blessing, to be able to choose—to have free will.

Another benefit of this read for me was the focus on having an uncluttered soul.  I am providing my soul with more space to breathe these days.  Without this space, it is almost impossible to experience the serenity of a life built one right thing at a time.  Right things need breathing room.  When we pause to oxygenate our souls, we can more easily fall into a peaceful rhythm where right things become a natural way of being.

We can live a life where unmade decisions hold all of the power, or we can choose to harness that power for good.  For too long I allowed difficult decisions to hold a certain tyrannical force over my days.  They drained the energy I could have been using in creative, more fulfilling ways.  For anyone facing important decisions, or wanting to breathe more easily when choosing among the competing priorities of the day, reading The Next Right Thing may just provide the needed soul space where peace can lead the way.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Review of Heavenly Hunks: A Perfect Gluten-Free Snack


A Review of Heavenly Hunks: A Perfect Gluten-Free Snack
Heavenly Hunks at Almost Actual Size -  © B. Radisavljevic

I Love to Snack


I tend to graze my way through the day. But I don't want to eat junk food. So I try to find healthy snacks. I often eat nuts or crackers made with whole grains or seeds. Whenever possible I prefer gluten-free or organic snacks. Heavenly Hunks meet my criteria. For those to whom it matters, they are also vegan and dairy free. They are good any time of day, but I most often have them for breakfast.

My Strange Breakfast Habits


I used to be a big fan of breakfast. As I entered my last quarter of life I began to feel a bit queasy when I woke up most mornings. My routines changed when my medication changed and I had to take my medication schedule into account when planning my meals, snacks, and sleeping hours. I have to eat something before I take my medication, and I often have to take it within a few minutes of waking up. So I need to put something in my stomach before I feel like eating. Sometimes all I can handle is a soda cracker, so I have it as soon as the alarm goes off, take my medication, and wait until I have more appetite before eating much more. If I feel up to it, I might have a banana or some grapes.

I used to have a Heavenly Hunk, but then Costco stopped carrying them. I was delighted to find them back in stock again last week, so I picked up a few bags. One or two of them with a banana makes a breakfast I can tolerate and it goes well with my morning tea.
*
*

Each small tasty hunk contains oatmeal and dark chocolate chips as the first two ingredients. I get a gram of fiber, and a gram of protein. I admit I also get 7 grams of sugar, but they are good sugars. (Well, as good as any sugar can be.) I often balance those sugars with a handful of salted peanuts for another form of protein. It works for me. If I don't feel up to that much sugar, I have some BelVita Breakfast Biscuits, which I also keep on hand. They aren't quite as sweet.

Heavenly Hunks Are Tasty Snacks Anytime


They also are good for dessert when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling too guilty. You can always have a few nuts of your choice to accompany the hunks to feel more virtuous. Actually, an apple and a few walnuts would be perfect.

Heavenly Hunks are also a valuable addition to my emergency food shelf. The electric company has given fair warning that they may shut us down for days at a time during fire season. Hot foods or foods that require using dishes will be inconvenient, as will be freeze-dried foods. Water will be scarce.

So we are stocking up on nutritious snacks like the Heavenly Hunks, BelVita, dark chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, and trail mix. We will also have to rely on canned fish and vegetables more than we like. We usually have apples, oranges, and bananas that don't need refrigeration, and we keep whole grain crackers on hand. We will also have the protein drinks my husband likes and I don't like much. It will be a departure from our normal diet of fresh foods, but we won't starve. 

A Review of Heavenly Hunks: A Perfect Gluten-Free Snack
© B. Radisavljevic


You Can Now Find Heavenly Hunks at Amazon


I was happy to see this, since Costco is an unreliable source. That's a shame, since the treats are about half the price at Costco when they do have them. Amazon also sells smaller bags with different flavors, like peanut butter.

Wherever you get these, they are tasty morsels. If you get a chance, try them. Snack on them and keep them handy for emergencies. You won't be sorry.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Death of Amelia Marsh Book Review

Death of an Elderly Neighbor

appointment book
Amelia Marsh's appointment book was taken
image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Last week I read The Death of Amelia Marsh by MaryJo Dawson. My review follows in the paragraphs below. I first connected with the author in a group that I belong to for authors and readers on GoodReads. I'm finding some very interesting books to read by belonging to that group. It is a source you might try if you are looking for books that you might not otherwise discover.

Anyway, I should get back to the purpose of this post. MaryJo Dawson has written a series of Cozy Mysteries with The Death of Amelia Marsh being the first one. The series is called the Sally Nimitz Mysteries. Sally, if you haven't guessed already, is the main character and I found her to be a very likable amateur female sleuth. She is a widow with grown children living in a condominium located in a small town in Indiana. Being a Hoosier, myself, you might see why I was first drawn to read about Sally. 

Short Synopsis of The Death of Amelia Marsh  

As the story begins, we find Sally preparing to go to visit one of her neighbors, Amelia Marsh. The elderly woman had invited Sally over that afternoon and seemed anxious about something. Sally admires the charming woman with the white hair and English accent. When she arrives at the appointed time, Mrs. Marsh doesn't answer the door. Sally thinks at first that perhaps the woman had forgotten or maybe she was napping. She waits for a short period of time and goes back. There is still no answer and Sally becomes concerned. Sally goes to the manager of the condominiums and asks if he could let her in; she's worried about Amelia. From the title of the book, I assume you have figured out they find Mrs. Marsh on her kitchen floor, dead from a blow to the head.

Sally starts putting the pieces to the puzzle together of who killed Amelia with the help of her friend George and Amelia's friend Anne Carey. It isn't easy for the three because Amelia Marsh was a bit of a mystery, herself. She avoided talking of her past, didn't mention relatives and had very few items in her home that might help them with clues of where to look. What was Amelia Marsh hiding? Who would take the life of a sweet little old woman? Robbery didn't seem to be a motive because nothing seemed to be missing until Anne realizes that the appointment book that Amelia always kept handy was no where to be found. Whoever the killer was, must have been penciled in that book.

Did I like this Cozy Mystery?


Oh you bet I did! The story is very well written, moving along at a nice pace with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep you turning the page. The style of MaryJo Dawson's writing reminded my of the mysteries I read when I was younger. I enjoyed that! 

The characters are absolutely delightful and believable. Sally is someone I would love to spend more time with. Anne Carey, another elderly neighbor in the Condos is witty and interesting. I would love to sit and sip some tea with her. I could spend hours on George's porch talking with him and Sally. The characters are well thought out that is for certain.

I also loved that there was the mystery of who "done it" but also the mystery of Amelia Marsh and her past life. Sally and her friends have to figure out why their friend was so closed mouthed about her past. Why did she not have any memorabilia in her home of her life that was filled with travels? There weren't many photos of her past to be found which they felt was odd because people keep those things for the memories. As they work together to find clues, it seems every time they think they have found an answer they only come up with more questions. 

I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Sally's sleuthing. I think you will enjoy it, also. Give it a try, I don't think you will be disappointed in the least.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Handmaid's Tale TV Series Review

Gripping and disturbing are two descriptions which immediately surface when asked to describe the original television series The Handmaid's Tale. The television series is based on Margaret Atwood's 1998 book of the same name of which many are familiar.


The Story

The story of The Handmaid's Tale is categorized as speculative fiction or futurism. The disturbing reality of The Handmaid's Tale is the reality of history when any group, government, country or sector persecute any group of citizens who do not meet a defined criteria.

Gilead is the fictional world where woman and men are categorized into well defined roles. Offred is the main character kidnapped from the United States and transported into a dystopian society of which women who can bare children (handmaidens) are the only priority so the society can repopulate.

The handmaidens' are assigned to high ranked Commanders with wives unable to conceive. The handmaidens' role is to conceive a child by the Commander and then give the child to the couple after birth.

The complexity of the story further evolves with the emotions and interactions between the Commanders, the wives, the family, the handmaidens and all those involved in each Commander's goal to have a child. All are intertwined and though the characters are neatly categorized into roles, the emotions of each differ markedly as well as the varying interactions between the classes of Gilead and its' rules.


The Drama And It's Characters


The emotional and physical brutality of the television series I found difficult to watch. The powerful acting vests you into the plot and the characters. If you like strong character driven books, movies or television series you will vest in these characters as presented and for the future.

  • The dystopian society of Gilead is scary, thought provoking, disturbing and yet compelling.
  • Thought provoking to events of history and could it happen again?
  • Disturbing because of the violence and intolerance of anyone 'not like them.'
  • Scary to think of the power and misuse of power to propel unwilling members of society to an unwanted goal.
  • Compelling because of the acting which brings you into their world so effectively it compels you to think of the above questions and thoughts.



I highly recommend this original television series; however, viewing is not for the timid. Is it entertainment? Is it entertaining? I liken this to watching a disaster unfold, difficult to watch, but difficult not to watch.  

It is a pleasure to watch such powerful acting, but one must be in the mood to watch a serious television series as this is a series which provokes afterthoughts of past society and the future should power go awry.


Where To View A Handmaid's Tale?

This is an original series by Hulu, so a membership is required to view the current season or past episodes of season one or two. Season three began in June 2019.

However, Amazon members can stream seasons one and two and the third season will be released after its' first run on Netflix. The series is available here to purchase per episode or per season.


The Testaments


To date A Handmaid's Tale has over 14,000 reviews on Amazon, is a number one New York Times best seller and a sequel The Testaments is anticipated for September 2019.


The end of season one of the television series correlated to the end of the book. The Testaments is Ms. Atwoord's voice as to the future of the main character Offred and the society of Gilead.


Books Similar In Theme To A Handmaid's Tale


1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, August 25, 2019

7 Ways to Keep the Energy in Your Home Positive

7 Ways to Keep the Energy Level Positive in Your Home


We're all familiar with the power of negative and positive energy. They're both something we can sense and feel.

Living in the (dis)information world, it's becoming harder and harder to back away from that which doesn't productively serve us. In fact, it's safe to say there are forces working to draw us into the ugly side of life simply for profit.

Below are seven suggestions you can easily implement or work towards to keep the energy in your home positive. We've personally implemented all of them in our home.

1. Guard the Energy in Your Home - Keep Negative TV to a Minimum

Most TV packages come with a Zen or Scenery Channel. They feature glorious scenes from all over the world as well as soft background music. Although TV can be a vehicle for learning, it's also equally capable of sucking the good energy out of our home.

Of course, we all have our favorite shows, but if most of them consist of violence, crime, and hate, that constant connection to negativity isn't wise. In our home, we try to mix up the entertainment choices so it's not all about the dark side of the world.

As far as News channels go, they're rarely on in our home. We watch, catch-up then turn it off. I'm of the opinion that there are forces out there with one objective - to rent space in our head. Sorry, not going to happen.

In our home, during the day, our TV is mostly on the Zen Channel. It's peaceful. There's such a nice vibe in the house when that channel is on.

2. Keep Music Playing in the Background 

We keep the radio on in the kitchen pretty much all the time. It's tuned to a pleasant station and no matter who is preparing a meal, they cook by music.

There's an added bonus to music constantly playing: you'll find yourself unexpectedly breaking into song and dance. How nice for the kids to hear their parents singing. They may make sarcastic comments, but deep inside you know it makes a child happy to see their parents happy. If you live alone, there's nothing wrong with having your own private singing cooking prep-party. Be silly.

3. Avoid Social Media Battles

Yep, we've all read comments or posts that make us want to pound the keyboard like a maniac. If you feel a discussion of opposing views can be managed in a calm way, then perhaps enter into those sparingly. However, it's highly unlikely minds will be changed in cyberspace. This famous quote says it best:

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
By Buckminster Fuller - Author/Inventor (1895-1983)

Change the settings on your social media sites so that only certain things are visible. I've done this in spades. On Facebook, go into Settings and list various websites you never want to see posts from. If someone shares an article from one of those websites, it never gets to your timeline.


4. Dive Into a Project or Other Activity You Enjoy

Whether it's writing, cooking, gardening, biking, crafts, decorating or music (pretty much all the topics on ReviewThisReviews), it's worth doing to keep your mind in a productive place.

Nothing can compete with having a passion for an activity or task. It's never too late to learn something new.

For me, biking around the park near our home multiple times a day is absolutely one of my physical forms of meditation. That ten-speed and I are one. On sunny days, with a blue sky, a light breeze and the sounds of summer all around, I see beauty everywhere. So find your thing, and jump into it. Start today.

5. Realize that the Only Thing You Have Absolute Control Over is Yourself

As a mother, that's been hard for me. But at this stage in life, I get it. I'm there for all who need me, but I cannot walk anyone's walk. That's freeing and terrifying when it comes to mothering. Every pain they feel, I feel. It's a connection that never leaves, but at the same time, I remind myself that the kids too will realize that the only thing they truly have power over are themselves.

So when someone says to you, 'you need to let go' (used to annoy me), it's merely a reminder that you can only control yourself, and all the rest is out of your control.

6. Be Diligent About Blocking Negative Energy from Others

Do what you have to do to protect yourself from energy vampires. You don't have to be mean. I simply have a mental exercise where I put an imaginary white light around me with mirrors pointing outwards as a way to block their field from entering mine. I still help and advise, but my shields are up lol. Choose your own visual aid to create that field of protection. You'll find the conscious effort itself is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

7. Feng Shui Your Home

If you're looking for something a bit more tangible to invite good energy into your home, Feng Shui is worth looking at. Unsure what it's all about or where to start? I've put together this one-page summary covering the basics. Essentially Feng Shui teaches you how to tap into your homes good energy using your home's decor and property as the template to work with. Feng Shui can be quite extensive, simply start with something you can handle. Take a look at various ideas, and go with the ones you feel fits with your life.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax Book Review

The Vinyl Detective Book Review

The Vinyl Detective Series: Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel


Yes, vinyl is trendy. If you are not sure what I mean by vinyl you likely will recognize the old school terms for record albums and LPs. If you don't know what a record or an LP is, you likely recognized vinyl right away. I would bet that whichever term you use to refer to “a thin plastic disk that carries recorded sound in grooves” tells us a bit about your age.

Yes, the detective in this book seeks and finds records. I'm not sure if that is his official profession though he is not employed at any other task and is chronically broke but vinyl is definitely where his knowledge lies and a way for him to make a living or at least, earn some money.

Finally, yes, some vinyl is worth seeking and reselling. A lot of it has no value but a quick search of eBay sold items as seen if you click here will reveal that some are very valuable. The result I see on eBay as I write this post shows that almost 500,000 vinyl records have been sold though I am sorry I cannot tell you in what time frame that was. The results show a first impression Motley Crue Too Fast For Love album and a Japanese Pink Floyd album each selling for almost $5,000.

I am a reseller and yes, therein at least partially lies my interest in the subject matter of this book. I do look for vinyl to resell though I know little about the subject and have sold only a very few records. After receiving a turntable at Christmas in order to play our existing collection of vintage vinyl records, I now find myself looking for vinyl that I find interesting and that I would like to own and occasionally, I add something obscure to my pile with the hopes that it will be valuable. Only a couple of times have I returned home with a record that we already own (oops) and no, I have not found a record that is valuable yet.

The back of this book says that the author, Andrew Cartmel, lives in London with “too much vinyl and just enough cats” but I have no idea if the records and the extensive back story in this book are actually real, rare and valuable or if the whole thing is fictional.  There is, however, a lot to be learned about records and the related paraphernalia in this book. Do note, as the book points out, that we don't say vinyls.

What's Dead Wax?


Just in case you are wondering, Dead Wax is the area on a record that is left blank after the music or playable area and before the paper label. Apparently, the dead wax can have important information and, in the case of this book, messages. I did not know that there was a term for this space though of course it makes sense.

What's Offensive in the Book? 


There is sex, drugs and rock and roll between the covers but not in a particularly offensive manner. Oh and yes, there is murder some of which is not nice but then when is murder ever nice? Anyway, I did not find most of it particularly gruesome or gory. Moments were fleeting and skipped past quickly.  There were a few shocks when the murders happened.

Did I Like the Book? Do I Recommend it?


Yes, I liked the book though I disliked parts. I did not like the way one relationship dissolved and was immediately replaced by another and then that situation dissolved and was immediately replaced by another again though I was heartbroken at moments for the main character and wonder what heartaches await him in the next novel.

The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax was very readable and an interesting treasure hunt for a series of very rare jazz records. It was a peek into the dedication of a true vinyl enthusiast and his network and knowledge. This detective certainly knows how to search for and find vinyl records and yes, I do recommend this book.

Who Will Like This Book? 


Anyone who likes a detective novel with a set of unusual characters should like this book as well as anyone who is curious about the world of vinyl or who is interested in reselling. Bonus, if you love cats, the cute pair in this book loves to be petted under the chin. “They do. They do. Under the chin. Yes, that’s right. Under the chin.”

What Are The Names of The Other Books in the Series?


Up next? There are four more books in this series featuring The Vinyl Detective called The Run-Out Groove, Victory Disc, Flip Back and Murder Swing. Click here to find your copy of the first book, The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax on Amazon.


See you at the bookstore!
(Or maybe at the crates of records
at the next tag sale wearing your
crate-digging shoes.)
Brenda
Treasures by Brenda


Quick Links:

Buy The Vinyl Detective on Amazon.
Check out the vinyl I have in my eBay store!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, August 23, 2019

Coleman CPX 6 Easy Hanging LED Lantern Reviewed

Coleman CPX 6 Easy Hanging LED Lantern Review

The Coleman CPX 6 Easy Hanging LED Lantern is essential emergency equipment!

I was reminded a few nights ago when we experienced a 2 hour black-out of why I keep my Coleman LED Lantern next to my bed.  Even if I am sleeping, something always wakes me when the power goes out in our area.

Long before it starts getting hot because the air conditioner is off, I know when our home is blanketed in complete darkness.  I suspect there is a noise level that changes in our house when the electricity is out, but whether it is the absence of the low hum of the refrigerator, or the exterior lights shutting off, I note the difference and wake up.

The first thing most of us do when we are sleeping and sense something amiss, is to reach for a light.  I keep a flashlight on my nightstand, plus I have my emergency lights in the electrical outlets throughout our home.  However, if the power is completely out in our area, I reach for my Coleman lantern for a source of constant light, sufficient to light the room.  


My Preferred Coleman Lantern


Our Coleman Lantern of choice is the CPX 6 Easy Hanging LED Lantern.  For starters, it is a nice, bright light that illuminates a large area whether you are inside or outside.  It will light up most of our backyard if I need to step outside for any reason.

 Coleman CPX 6 LED Work LanternCheck PriceI should note, it is also perfect for the car.  If we should need to stop to change a tire, it would offer enough light to preform the job.  

Clearly, if camping, it will light the tent or the area surrounding your tent.  The batteries add weight to an otherwise lightweight unit, but that is a good thing.  You don't want wind to turn your lantern over if you need to set it on the ground.

The handle can be adjusted for hanging, or tightened for a more secure grip if carrying the lantern.  Since we use ours in our home, we keep the handle tightened down along the back of the light, therefore there is a short handle on the top instead of the longer loop you see in the image on the right.

The feet and the top edge are made of impact resistant rubber.  We all know how important that can be if you are actually using it while working.

All of the aforementioned features are fabulous, but my favorite feature about the Coleman CPX 6 LED Lantern is the length of time it will work without needing new batteries.  There are two light setting optionsThis awesome lantern will light your area for up to 65 hours on high or 155 hours on low.  Our recent 2 hour black-out was no challenge at all for this fabulous lantern.

If you don't like using batteries, there is a Rechargeable Power Cartridge available for this lantern.

In my opinion, every home should have at least one Coleman CPX 6 LED Lantern for emergencies, or just for lighting your own backyard or camp site when needed.

 






Additional Emergency Equipment Reviewed on Review This!


Power Failure Light ReviewPower Failure Light Review
Every home should have a power failure light that automatically comes on during power outages.
I have one of these lights plugged into an outlet in the hallways and main rooms of my own home.



Halo 800 Lumen Handheld Flashlight ReviewHalo 800 Lumen Handheld Flashlight Review
Flashlights come in all sizes, colors, and price range, but I would recommend the Halo 800 lumen flashlight above all the rest!

The Halo 800 Lumen flashlight is lightweight and small, with exceptional lighting ability.




Read More Product Reviews at
ReviewThisProductReviews.com




Coleman CPX 6 Easy Hanging LED Lantern Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review of Lighthouses Seen from Avery Point


On a July visit to Connecticut, we made a stop at the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to photograph the lighthouse that I had heard was located at the edge of the campus.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful campus that along with the lighthouse had some beautiful sculptures.  Just offshore of the campus we had a wonderful surprise when I located two additional lighthouses.  On this page I will share my photographs of all three lighthouses and some of the sculptures I saw while walking along the paths on the campus.

Avery Point Lighthouse



Avery Point is the last lighthouse built in the state as an official navigational aid.  It was completed in 1943 but was not lit until a year later because of concerns about a possible Nazi attack during WWII.

As I strolled along the paths of the university I could see the lighthouse in the distance.  It is a distinctive beige brick tower and is a beautiful icon overlooking the water.


New London Harbor Light


Across the water from the campus I noted what I thought might be a lighthouse.  When I put on my longer lens, I was delighted to find this stately structure, which I found out was the New London Harbor Light.


In reading a brochure on lighthouse cruises, I found out that this is the oldest lighthouse in Connecticut. It was said to help to guide colonial privateers who sought shelter up the Thames River during the American Revolution.

New London Ledge Lighthouse


In the water, not too far off shore from the campus, I spotted a third lighthouse.  This lighthouse has some rather unique architectural features.  I read that it is a French Second Empire structure that is architecturally unique for a lighthouse.  It is also reported to be haunted by a former keeper.


There were lots of sailboats in the harbor and I was able to capture one just before it passed the lighthouse.


Other Interesting Features on the Avery  Point Campus of UCONN


Here are some of the photos I took of a building and a few of the many sculptures on the grounds.




Zazzle Products from my Photos


I enjoy sharing my photos on products made at
Zazzle.  Here are a couple you might like.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Unplanned: The Movie, a Review!

Unplanned, is the most controversial Movie of 2019.  

Here's my Review!

Now before I get into the Review proper, I must tell you that I am a Christian and this subject is very personally repugnant to me.  But, having said that, I think this is a movie that should be shown to every "adult"  person.  Why?  Because there is so much misinformation out there about abortion.  There is also so much anger and polarization about this topic.  This review may seem one sided, but that is my point of view.  After seeing this movie you can make up your own mind. 

The Movie is based on the book Unplanned by Abby Johnson!  It is a true story and there is nothing added or taken away from her experiences.  The movie is very emotionally charged in all aspects. Happiness, sadness, anger, hope, joy and so much more.

 

I personally have not read the book, but have seen the movie and the book is on order. I like to read and re-read on this topic because I feel it is so important to be completely clear on all the information and implications. After all this is supposed to be helping women and looking after their health care. There is so much information that gets twisted by the emotional aspect of the subject.

Now you may be wondering what the heck the subject of this Movie and Book are.  Well, there's no easy way to say it's about ABORTION, and the whole abortion industry. (Make no mistake, it is an industry.)

Abby Johnson, the author, should know the industry better than anyone.  She worked for many years as a Director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas.  She had worked her way through the system from handing out flyers to college kids, working as a volunteer at the clinic and ultimately becoming the clinic's director.  She was so good at her job that she was awarded the Planned Parenthood highest accolades, Employee of the Year at their annual convention.

Coincidentally, this is the moment that Abby finds out that Planned Parenthood's  mission statement is a lie! In one meeting she goes from Employee of the Year to questioning everything she has always believed.

I don't want to give away too much of this story, because I really want you to see it!  Many movie theaters will not show this movie because of it's controversial topic.  Not to worry,  you can get to see it on Hoopla!

Hoopla is a free service and you can borrow movies, books, and so much more.  Tracey, one of our writers let us know about this service and I'm so thankful to her for sharing this with me.

I also don't like movie theaters telling me what I can and cannot see!  There are so many questionable movies out there that are readily shown to the public, but,  when a movie takes a moral stand, they deem it inappropriate and don't allow it to be seen in their venues.   So in order to understand this, I watched this movie using Hoopla!

Please be aware, you might want to watch this movie first before sharing it with your family,  It is a very emotional topic, but one that really needs to be understood from all sides.












Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Raspberry Danish Murder Reviewed

A Culinary Cozy Mystery

Raspberry Danish Anyone?
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
I recently read Raspberry Danish Murder and wanted to review it for you today. This book happens to be number 22 in the Hannah Swenson Mystery series. Written by Joanne Fluke and published by Kensington Books this is a mystery that could almost pass as a cookbook.

I am a little confused by the title. Certainly, raspberry danish is mentioned early in the book and there is a recipe for the danish but beyond that it wasn't mentioned again and I don't see the relevance to the mystery or the murder. Just an observation on my part. Although, I guess after 21 other books in the series it might have gotten tough to come up with new titles.



A Short Synopsis of Raspberry Danish Murder

Hannah Swenson lives in the small Minnesota town of Lake Eden. She co-owns a cookie and coffee shop called The Cookie Jar. The story opens in November when people are getting ready for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. We find out early in the book that Hannah is a newlywed but the problem is her new husband Ross has disappeared. Ross works or worked for a local television station and just left one day without his belongings or even his car. Hannah and her family keep hoping that he will return with a logical explanation any day now. In the meantime, Hannah has a cookie business to run and a whole lot of cookies to bake for the upcoming holiday season.

Hannah has some help in searching for her missing husband from the local law enforcement and her husband's assistant P.K. There is something about P.K. He is covering for his missing boss and trying to find clues as to where he can be but he has also taken over Ross's office and ends up driving his car when his has to go into the shop for repairs. No one seems to be able to discover where Ross has gone and then P.K. ends up dead after eating some candy that was sent to the office for Ross. Was the candy meant for the missing Ross or did someone plan to kill P.K?


My Review of this Cozy Mystery


I enjoyed the book, the mystery part. I mentioned earlier that it could almost pass as a cookbook. At first I enjoyed having recipes for cookies, pastries and savory dishes after the chapters they were mentioned in. After a while, I almost found it annoying. Don't get me wrong, the recipes sounded pretty good and the formatting of the pages was clever but goodness gracious they started to get in the way of finding out what was happening in the actual story. Personally, I feel that the recipes could have been included but perhaps a little note that states the recipe can be found at the back of the book instead of after every chapter. They would be easy to reference in a paperback but in an ebook they would be difficult to go back to after reading the book.

The mystery, itself, was well written and intriguing. I loved the characters and the different events that transpired, the solution to the murder and the explanation about Ross. Although, the Ross situation needs a whole lot more words. My guess is it will be addressed in the next book. This book stands alone quite well but I think I might enjoy reading the earlier books for the backstories on many of the characters. 

All in all it is a very good mystery and I think you will enjoy it. You might not have a problem with all of those recipes. Frankly, I like to put a recipe or two in my own books but they are always at the back and hopefully non-intrusive. I also enjoy seeing recipes in books but I prefer them at the back and as a little bonus but I don't need tons of them. If I want a cookie cookbook, I'll buy one. When I buy a Cozy Mystery...well, I want a mystery. I got one and it was a good one, I just didn't appreciate all those extra pages of cooking tips. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, August 19, 2019

Here to Stay by Mark Edwards - Book Review

Reviewing Here to Stay by Mark Edwards
On a sunny spring day in West Dulwich, an area in south London, Elliot opens his garden to the public during the Open Gardens event; self-guided tours showcasing the private gardens of residents. He had no way of knowing that he'd meet his future bride surrounded by his wisteria and tulips. And he had no way of knowing that beautiful Emma's family were the stuff nightmares are made of. Sometimes chance meetings and whirlwind romances are planned events with ulterior motives. By the time Elliot realizes this, the evil has moved in and is Here to Stay.

Warning: This psychological thriller describes the behaviors of cruel and/or dysfunctional people. This story involves threats, intimidation, and murders. 

Elliot - a 38 year old bachelor who lives alone with his cat, Charlie, at number twenty-six Cuckoo Lane. Socially clumsy, his dating life was nearly non-existent. He kept busy with remodeling his historic Victorian home and his career. Elliott is a good, albeit somewhat anal, guy. He is a science teacher who earned a significant amount of money selling an educational website. This income allowed him to start a non-profit that ran science workshops for underprivileged kids. 

Emma - The beautiful Emma. When she arrives at Elliot's open house (garden), he is immediately smitten. She reminds him of an American movie star. Little does he know that she carries a lifetime of scars, both outwardly and inwardly. She and Elliott very quickly fall in love.

The In-Laws - Emma's family consists of her brother, Stuart, and his family who live in a nearby neighborhood. Emma's Mom (Lizzy), Dad (Jeff), and sister (Chloe) are currently living in France but returning to the UK and need a place to stay.

Jeff and Lizzy are rude, intimidating, and dirty house guests. They immediately begin to foul up Elliot's immaculate home. Jeff and Lizzy are very quickly and easily disliked. Chloe is visibly ill. There is something very wrong with Chloe but Jeff and Lizzy keep her isolated rather than seek help. Anytime that soft-spoken Elliot attempts to make a stand, Jeff postures and physically intimidates. 

Fairly soon, innocent people are victimized. Dead bodies begin to turn up and when it is too late Elliot thinks he knows what the scheme is. Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Or is it only part of a plan created by a parasitic family who is trying to meet their own needs?




This author, Mark Edwards, has an increasing fan base and many online reviewers are raving about this story in particular. Some of the negative reviews state that the story line is unbelievable; that there aren't people like this (both naive Elliot and his evil in-laws) in the world. But there are. There are many, many people just like them. Naive people who are used as pawns and those who stop just short of leaving a trail of dead bodies in order to obtain what they want. This is the part of the story that kept me up and reading late into the night. This book may be for you if you like stories where the girl-next-door may really be something nightmares of made of.

Other Psychological Thrillers:

Stephen King's Misery is probably the best example of a plain, everyday neighbor who is someone you never want to meet. Someone who uses people to meet her own needs in a very sick way. While it is a bit hard to believe that good ol' Annie Wilkes is able to rescue a full grown man from a terrible car wreck and keep him alive despite his horrendous injuries, it is a gripping and frightening tale. Annie was able to get him "out of the cockadoodee car" and kept him alive in order to torture him until he completed a task for her. 

For more psychological thriller selections on Amazon click here.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X