Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit Reviewed

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival KitProtect Yourself in Public Restrooms! 


My husband and I enjoy making day trips as well as traveling. What I hate most about traveling whether for a day, or even a week, is the necessity to use public restrooms.  

By now, we have all heard that you should use a paper towel to open the bathroom doors since so many people do not wash their hands before touching the door knobs.  As if that is not enough to make you cringe, I was recently told that drug addicts will clean their needles by poking them in the toilet paper in the restroom stall.  This takes things to a whole new level of contamination concern.  

To be fair, I did check Snopes to determine if needle cleaning in public restrooms is a valid concern and found that none of the health services questioned had ever heard of that happening.  Still, it made me hesitate to trust the provided toilet paper in public restrooms.

For me and my family, I have decided better safe than sorry.  After all, we know there are germs in any restroom.  With the flu, a multitude of viruses, and the concern for cleanliness, why take the risk if not absolutely necessary? 

Some might consider this an extreme and unnecessary precaution.  Perhaps it is.  But, like any other precautionary measure, if it gives you peace of mind, why not.  You are certainly not hurting anyone else by carrying your own public restroom survival kit.


Items Needed for Your Public Restroom Survival Kit

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit
I assemble my own public restroom survival kit.  I include individually wrapped toilet seat covers, my own toilet paper in a sandwich bag, flushable single pack wet wipes, camp soap sheets, and a few of my own paper towels. 

I carry two different types of toilet seat covers.  One is the typical paper cover that you see in many public restrooms.  The other is a plastic toilet seat cover.  The plastic seat cover is not flushable, but I find it required in some public rest stops.  Even though it is made to encase the seat cover, I simply lay it on the seat.  If I won't sit on it, I certainly will not lift that seat to "gift wrap" it.

You all can stop laughing now!  No, I am not a germaphobe, but over the years I have truly seen some pretty nasty things in public restrooms.  I won't go into the graphic details and descriptions.  Suffice it to say, I've seen enough to know I believe in the proverbial "ounce of prevention".  In this case, I would alter that saying slightly to state an ounce of protection.

If you think I am alone in this concern, allow me to point out that Amazon.com even offers a pre-assembled public toilet kit.


In a pinch, I would totally invest in that "go bag"!  Because I have time to prepare my own survival kits packed with my preferred supplies, I don't mind putting them together myself.  

If you plan on traveling by plane, you may prefer a clear bag for supplies in your carry-on.  There are no liquids in my public restroom survival kit, but a clear bag might keep baggage inspectors from opening it and touching everything.  Hand sanitizer would need to go in your clear liquid carry-on bag.  If you are traveling by car, you can choose any tote bag.

I prefer a tote bag that will clip to my jeans belt loops or my camera backpack loops.   This is a nice inexpensive trio that I found.  I only need the medium sized bag in this set for my restroom survival kit, but I can always find different uses for the other two.
 

 

How Do I Know I Am Not a Complete Germaphobe?


A real germaphobe would recommend two more items!  After all, the dirtiest places in a public restroom are the floors, the toilet handle, and the faucet.

Eek!  Perhaps I should rethink this!   After all, I do wear my shoes in the car and in my home!  And, those gloves and shoe covers are disposable.



And if you really want to do things right, be sure to include your Poo-Pourri! It was previously reviewed by Dawn Rae and would make a fabulous addition to your public restroom survival kit. 
 

When you are out and about, be sure to be prepared, stay safe, and "rest" protected in those public restrooms!

 




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Friday, March 13, 2020

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed

Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Review
Exercise is not my favorite pastime!  However, like everyone else, I need to exercise regardless of the weather.  Few exercise machines work for me because I have a severely curved spine (scoliosis), therefore strain on my spine causes a great deal of pain.  

Over the years, I have tried several exercise regiments and different low impact machines.  Until I discovered the recumbent exercise bike, all exercise ended in pain.  

While I would be the first to say there is no substitute for walking, I am grateful to have found an indoor exercise machine that actually works for me.  By the way, I have tried other types of exercise bikes, but the backless style puts too much pressure on my spine.


The Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Information & Features


 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent BikeCheck PriceOriginally, I planned to purchase a exercise bike made by a company that is renowned for quality bicycles.  My husband suggested  I go to a local store that has them set up and allows you to test them.  I am so glad I took his advice!  The one I thought I wanted was uncomfortable, which means I would end up not using it.  

When I sat on the Pro-Form Recumbent Bike, I was shocked at the difference.  The seat is supportive and quite comfortable.  Because the seat will move forward, I was able to set it for my leg length with my back pressed against the seat back for support.   
  
It is recommended that you exercise 5 days a week, for 30 minutes. I am easily able to peddle for 30 minutes without experiencing any pain, during or after.  That is amazing!  

There are 18 difference workout settings which emulate riding on various terrains, or you can simply peddle at your own pace and preferred resistance level. 

For example, I can take it slow and easy, with no resistance, for 30 minutes and burn 150 calories.  A real workout would obviously yield greater results. 


Additional Features

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Requires 4 D Batteries for Monitor (a power adapter is sold separately)
  • Monitor shows time, speed, watts, & calories burned
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • Built-in Audio for Ipod
  • Adjustable Cushioned Seat
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Quiet (almost silent)
  • Approximately 5' long & 2' wide
  • 275 lb. Weight Limit


Other Considerations Before You Begin

It takes a few hours to assemble the exercise bike and having a second person to help is preferred.  You don't want to rush the assembly time!  

You will also need a carpet piece or mat underneath the bike to avoid damaging floors when exercising.  

Plus, be sure to buy your batteries or the AC adapter in advance.  You will want to be able to test everything immediately after it is assembled. 


Entertainment While Exercising


ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed
Most often, I feel like I should be doing something instead of dedicating time to exercise.  After all, real bicycling allows you to enjoy your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, and the beauty of the great outdoors.  It is a totally different experience than just plain exercising.  

Frankly, I need a distraction when I exercise.  The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike has a slot in front of the monitor for an iPad or Kindle.  Instead of watching the monitor, I watch a movie, read, listen to an audio book or to music.  Before I know it, the 30 minutes have passed.

Of course, you would set your own workout length of time and preferred resistance.  Just be sure to bring your water bottle and entertainment along for the ride. 

   





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Friday, March 6, 2020

March is National Craft Month

Reviewing the Wonderful World of Crafting!

March is National Craft Month
As an avid crafter, I am thrilled to have a month for celebrating crafts.  Since March is filled with cold days kissed by spring, it seems like the perfect month for crafting.  

It is exhilarating to look out the windows at the beautiful days.  It fills us all with the desire and energy to do something.  However, March weather is not often cooperative, or conducive to outdoor activity. 

In my region, you never know what weather you will wake up to on any given day.  Some days we have beautiful spring weather bursting with new life in our flower beds.  Then the following day we can find ourselves thrown back into winter with ice and snow.

The spring days make you want to go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and have fun "running with the wind".  Unfortunately, when those days are followed by freezing weather, you find yourself stuck in the house still feeling that desire to do something.  I turn to my crafts and harness that energy while I wait for the warm weather to return. 


Fun Crafts - There's Something for Everyone


The wonderful thing about crafts is that there is a craft project for everyone.  For those of us who love needlework, there are a variety of options.  Sewing, quilting, cross-stitch, or embroidery fall under the category of needlework.  The beauty of many needlework kits is that they are often small and portable.  

Several of my fellow contributors enjoy crochet and working with yarn instead of thread.  That is also a craft that is portable.  Both Wednesday Elf and Dawn Rae have Etsy stores where they sell their beautiful creations.  

Avid crafters, like myself, tend to skip from one craft project to another.  Not only do we enjoy needlework, crochet or knitting, but we also explore the world of stenciling, painting, decoupage, flower arranging, latch hook, mosaics, beaded crafts, and many more.  

Regardless of the craft, it is always a creation made by our own hands.  Hours of love are often poured into whichever craft we choose and many finished projects turn into treasures for a lifetime and passed down for generations. For such a worthy endeavor, a month is not really enough time to celebrate, but it is a great beginning.

Here are a few websites you might enjoy visiting when you are ready to select a craft, kit, or pattern.  The tutorials on Crafter's Kingdom will make it easier to learn a new craft too.



The Business of Crafts


Because of my own love for a variety of crafts, like Wednesday Elf and Dawn Rae, I also opened an online store 19 years ago.  My craft supplies store is on eBay, which predated Etsy.  I love both sites and highly recommend either for selling or buying.



All of the craft kits, patterns, or books featured in the introduction photo, are available in The House of Sylvestermouse eBay store






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Friday, February 28, 2020

Refrigerator Onion Storage Keeper Reviewed

Refrigerator Onion Storage Keeper Reviewed
Onions in the refrigerator are not always welcome! 

We all know it is not necessary to refrigerate onions before they are cut, unless you wish to extend their shelf life.  However, once they are peeled, sliced or diced, they should be refrigerated. 

Whether refrigerated or not, the great temptation is to store them in a plastic bag due to their strong odor.  However, according to the National Onion Association, you should never store a whole onion in a plastic bag.  They actually recommend wrapping them in paper towels or newspaper and placing them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.  That allows for air ventilation.  

But wait!  Air ventilation for the onion is exactly what the rest of my food does not want.  Not only does the other food not like it, I'm not real keen on onion smell permeating my refrigerator, kitchen, or my pantry.  Therefore, it became necessary for me to seek out a different method for onion storage.   

I've tried keeping onions in a Tupperware containers, refrigerator sandwich bags when diced, Saran wrapped plates, tucked away in the refrigerator drawer, and even sitting next to an open box of baking soda.  I still smelled those onions!  Plus, I really hated that residual smell in my Tupperware, which I use for many other things.

I finally found a solution that works for me!


Refrigerator Onion Keeper


 Hutzler Onion Saver, YellowCheck PriceI will be the first to admit that I was really surprised when this inexpensive onion keeper actually worked.  Now before I go too far, the keeper itself always reeks of onion smell, even after being washed.  But, once it is closed, sweet nothing!  No more onion odor!!!  Made me want to buy 5 of them.  I have no idea what I would do with 5 onion keepers, but I was so pleased with the results, I somehow wanted to show my great appreciation to the little "onion".

I also love the looks of my onion keeper.  I know exactly where my onion is now.  It is no longer hiding in plain sight disguised as a Tupperware bowl. 

The Hutzler Onion Saver is dishwasher safe, but the inside still smells like onion after it is washed.  That is fine with me as long as it blocks the odor in my refrigerator, which it does!  I have washed it several times on the top rack of my dishwasher.  My onion keeper still seals properly and works perfectly.  You can safely store an onion, whole or cut, in the refrigerator for 7 - 10 days.  The Onion Saver has a circular grid in the bottom that keeps the onion elevated for better air circulation within the keeper.  Obviously, that is not as well ventilated as open air, or a paper towel, but it beats the odor!
  

I doubt seriously that the Hutzler Onion Saver will last for years, but sometimes we are pleasantly surprised.  Regardless, it cost less than a box of refrigerator sandwich bags and doesn't have to be thrown away after each use.




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Friday, February 21, 2020

The Perfect Lego Display Shelves Reviewed

You've just finished the next great Lego masterpiece!  Now what?

The Perfect Lego Display Shelves Reviewed
The biggest problem for any avid Lego builder is where to display their finished objet d'art.  After spending hours, often days, building a Lego design, you're pretty excited and wish to set it in a place of distinction.  Any open, flat surface is subject to being seized for Lego display.

Many Lego builders don't plan to play with their creations.  They have the heart of an artist, or an art collector.  For them, the completed project is a valued treasure that should not be tampered with or dismantled.  

I have often felt like the Lego masterpieces that our son has made deserve to be placed behind museum ropes, never to be touched again.  Perhaps an alarm should be set up to alert the household if anything, like a dog's tail, gets too close.  

While ropes and alarms would be extreme, the reality is that we really don't want the finished Legos to be thwacked.  I suspect all Lego builders have had the horrible experience of helplessly watching their masterpiece literally break to pieces.  That experience is neither fun, nor desired.

Therefore, Lego treasures need a safe place for display.  In my most recent search, I found a set of shelves that is perfect for Lego display!



Lego Display Shelves


 Ameriwood Home Hazel Kids'
4 Shelf Bookcase, White
As you know, Lego projects come in all sizes.  Even mini-figures are extremely popular and collectable.  Finding a way to display everything together, in a way that each piece can been seen well, is very challenging.  


With standard shelves, the back of the sets tend to be blocked by the shelve just above them.  An observer must contort their bodies, or hunker down to be able to see the complete finished Lego.  Even then, you're not getting a really good look and are tempted to pick it up so you can really see it.

With the tiered shelves, it is no longer necessary to struggle to see the larger Lego completely without touching it.  Only the bottom shelf sitting on the floor seems to be tucked away & slightly hidden from view.  However, the front wood piece does keep feet from accidentally kicking whatever is displayed on that lowest shelf.

Bookcase Shelves for Lego Display

As you can see in the picture above, the shelves are deep enough for those Star Wars Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer, the Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator and tall enough for even the Imperial TIE Fighter.  My son used the next shelf for a collection of Lego Rebel Starfighters, including Luke Skywalker's X-Wing.  The very top shelf was reserved for the tallest in this group, his combined Jabba Palace & Rancor Pit set beside the Jabba Sail Barge.

It took us approximately one hour to assemble the shelves. The bookcase was very heavy broken down and in the box. Once they were assembled, the shelves were easy to slide across the carpet and into place.


Additional Ideas for These Bookcase Shelves


These shelves would be awesome for displaying anything.  As a matter of fact, I am considering replacing the shelves in my craft room with several sets of these bookcase shelves.  I love the tiered design that allows you to easily see the back of each shelf.  They would definitely allow for better organization.

They would also be awesome for actual books!  Like Legos, books come in many sizes.  It would be so nice to have my bookshelves organized with the smaller books on the top shelf of the tiers and the largest on the bottom.  Sure would make scanning the titles easier!

Last, but not least, the bookcase shelves would be great in a kids room for their toys.  I haven't actually tried to climb on the shelves myself, but the tiered design would certainly make these shelves less likely to turn over.

 


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Friday, February 14, 2020

Togo (2019) Movie Review

Togo (2019) Movie Review
Soundtrack Image/Link
Are you familiar with the name "Togo"?  What about "Balto"?  Does that name ring a bell?  What do you really know about these two dogs.  

I readily admit, I was surprised by the real facts when I recently watched the Disney movie, Togo, which prompted me to research the true history.  My previous knowledge of the legendary serum run to Nome was clearly very limited and had been shaped around the stories of Balto.  Imagine how shocked I was to learn the truth.

Since I love dogs, I am often drawn to movies about dogs, especially when they also feature a favorite actor like Willem Dafoe. When I saw the awesome dvd cover for the movie Togo, I was immediately drawn in and had to watch the movie.  The dvd picture is only the introduction to Togo and Leonhard Seppala.  Just look at that dog!  Isn't he gorgeous!!!  The real Togo was every bit as beautiful as the dog in the movie.  After hearing his story, all I could think was, who wouldn't want that fabulous pup!

One note of warning, ladies get out the tissues!  This is a real tearjerker that even guys will watch with you. Actually, come to think of it, bring extra tissues for them.


Togo The Lead Sled Dog of Leonhard
RDShahriar [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]



Togo (2019) - Disney Movie Synopsis


The movie is based on the true story of Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog, Togo.  Unlike many movies, Togo seems to follow the truth closely, if not completely.  It dramatizes the challenges, the sacrifices, and the risks this team took in order to bring a life-saving serum to the children of Nome, Alaska, as well as gives us a factual account of the real Togo's life. 

Togo was the runt of the litter and expected to die.  Leonhard Seppala thought it would be kinder to put the pup down, but his wife did not agree.  She personally nursed the puppy to health and Togo repaid them with a deep love and devotion that only a dog can give. 
 
Leonhard Seppala was a renowned expert musher and trainer of working sled dogs.  Due to his small size and health issues, Seppala was certain Togo could not be useful.  He actually gave him away twice, but both times Togo was returned, or made his own way back home.
 
Togo was determined to be with Leonhard whether he wanted him or not.  Much to Seppala's surprise, the other dogs were willing to be lead by Togo, even into mischief and against their masters commands.  When Seppala relented and tried Togo as the lead sled dog, they were both rewarded with a win-win compromise.  


Size didn't matter to Togo.  He had the heart and spirit of a born leader.  

In 1925, when Togo was a mature 12 year old dog, the town was hit with a diphtheria epidemic. The children of Nome, Alaska desperately needed medicine.  Due to the weather, an airplane was not an option and the train from Anchorage only went as far as Nenana, Alaska.  The city council asked Leonhard Seppala to make the trip to Nenana to pick up the serum.  

Now, think about that for just a minute!  Over 650 miles round trip, in −30 °F weather with a wind chill of −85 °F and white out storms that no man could possibly see in, on a dog pulled sled.  Only an animal with a fantastic ability to navigate a blizzard could survive.  At 12 years old, the trip alone would most likely kill Togo, but Seppala knew he was their only chance of getting through to Nenana.  No other dog in his kennel possessed the drive and ability needed in such an intense storm.  But could Seppala knowingly sacrifice his beloved Togo to save the lives of the children and adults in Nome? 

Leonhard Seppala, with Togo in the lead of his dog sled team, set out for Nenana.  While in route, the city council set up a relay to intercept Seppala and shorten the length of time it would take to get the medicine back to Nome.  


The Facts about Balto & Togo


Balto was hailed as the hero because he was the reported lead dog that brought the serum into the city of Nome.  In the end, over 20 men (mushers) and 100 dogs were involved in the relay.  Most, including Balto, ran approximately 30 miles of the trek, but they all deserve credit for their part in the mission.  

Leonhard Seppala & his winning dogsled team
during 9th_All-Alaska Sweepstakes dogsled race

University of Washington [Public domain]
Ironically, Balto was also owned and trained by Leonhard Seppala.  Seppala's wife allowed another musher, Gunnar Kaasen, to borrow Balto for the relay.    

Togo and Seppala, along with the rest of their dog team, ran 260 hard miles.  They were the team that crossed the dangerous iced-over Norton Sound and endured 3 days of blizzard weather. The team survived due to Togo's exceptional ability to navigate to safety in a ground blizzard.  If not for Togo, his dog team, Leonhard Seppala, and the serum would have been lost and dead.

Even though they passed the serum off for the last miles into Nome, I think it is clear who deserved the credit for getting the lifesaving serum to Nome.

You can watch the factually accurate movie yourself to see if you agree. 

One note of interest that the movie did not include, is that Seppala had an 8 year old daughter at the time of the serum run.  I have no desire to take away from Seppala, but as a parent myself, I suspect the fact that he had a child affected his decision to make the run for their lives and to use Togo as his lead in spite of the dogs advanced age.  After all, he had the option to use Balto himself.

At the time of publishing this review, Togo is only available for viewing on the Disney+ subscription channel.  No DVD release date has been announced.

The phenomenal music from the movie is available for purchase and downloading. 




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Togo (2019) Movie Review Written by:
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Friday, February 7, 2020

The Liberty Bride Book Reviewed

Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 6 in the Series

The Liberty Bride Book Reviewed
I've never found a series of books that I enjoyed more than the Daughters of the Mayflower series. 

Every book is based on the life of one of the female descendants of a married couple from the Mayflower ship.  Each descendant plays a part in a pivotal moment in American history.  

Just as each book has a different main character, each book is written by a different author.  Together, these books make a magnificent historical fiction series.

In The Liberty Bride,  Emeline Baratt is sailing home to America after the death of her aunt in Brighton.  Unfortunately, that voyage is during the War of 1812, which is fought between America and the United Kingdom.  

Her allegiance to America is greatly tested when the unthinkable happens. 


The Liberty Bride

1814 Baltimore - The War of 1812    (Jun 18, 1812 – Feb 18, 1815)

 The Liberty Bride
Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 6
Check Price
In spite of the ongoing war between America and Britain, Emeline's father has sent his best ship, under the command of his most experienced captain, to bring his daughter safely home from the United Kingdom.  However, even a privateer ship is vulnerable to capture in wartime.  They are simply no competition to a heavily armed warship.

Emeline, the captain and his crew are taken captive when they are attacked by a Royal Navy frigate, the HMS Marauder.  Being a prisoner on a warship and being forced to work for the enemy is not something anyone would desire.  But, there is obviously an even greater danger for a female.  

Realizing her perilous plight, and with the encouragement of her companion, Emeline makes the decision to tell the Captain of the Marauder that she is in fact a British loyalist following her father's demands to return to America.  She convinces everyone, including the crew from the American ship, that her loyalties lie with Britain.  As such, she is given tremendous freedom onboard the Marauder.  She hopes to be able to gain military plans and information that she could somehow pass along to American commanders.  What she doesn't realize is that there is already an American spy onboard and she has just make an enemy of a much needed ally. 


More about The Daughters of the Mayflower Series


If you have read my previous reviews on books in this series, you already know these books are not only historical fiction, but they all have romance woven throughout the pages.  However, in the case of Emeline Baratt, she has no desire to marry, which is the basis of her conflict with her father.  She would prefer that men stop pursuing her and her dowry.  She wishes to be an artist, not a wife tied to a home and domestic chores.  I very much enjoyed the way the author, Mary Lu Tyndall, developed a romantic plot in The Liberty Bride.


Previously Reviewed Book from the Daughters of the Mayflower Series

 
The Mayflower Bride Book ReviewThe Mayflower Bride Book 1 Reviewed

True American History woven into the fabric of fiction! An excellent historical romantic fiction about the Mayflower voyagers: Separatists & Strangers.



The Pirate Bride Book ReviewThe Pirate Bride Book Review

At the innocent age of 12, Maribel Cordoba's life changes forever. Her formative years & education are guided by nuns, but she never truly forgets the pirate who stole her heart.



The Captured Bride Book ReviewThe Captured Bride Book Review

An unlikely team is assigned a mission that is fraught with danger. It becomes necessary to trust a previously perceived enemy. I highly recommend this historical Christian fiction.



The Patriot Bride Book ReviewThe Patriot Bride Book Reviewed

After enduring several life tragedies, this wealthy young widow finds the strength & needed alliance to serve the patriots as a messenger. Highly recommended!









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Friday, January 31, 2020

Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed

Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed
With the release of "The Mandalorian" on the Disney channel, Star Wars fans have gone crazy over the adorable "Baby Yoda"!

In the The Mandalorian episodes, "Baby Yoda" is simply called "The Child".  After all, he is not Yoda.  He looks like Yoda to fans, therefore he is widely known off-screen as Baby Yoda. 

One look at "The Child", humans & creatures on and off-screen are smitten with his enchanting personality, as well as his looks.  A slight tip of the head is all it takes for "The Child" to have you under his spell.  You, too, will wish to hold and protect him! 
  
The featured Child plush will not be available until May of 2020.  When the option is available, you will wish to pre-order your own baby. 
"The Child" that is available now is shown at the bottom of this review.



 

Star Wars:  The Mandalorian Series


 Star Wars The Mandalorian Poster BookCheck PriceMandalorians are an elite group of trained warriors who never reveal their own identity.  In the series, "The Mandalorian" is a bounty hunter for hire.  When a bounty hunter is commissioned to track, find, and capture a target, opinions of the target are not his concern.  However, when the Mandalorian sees the child, he doesn't have a clue about his species and wonders about his clients intent for this youngster.  As the story progresses, what becomes obvious to him is that "The Child" needs protection from his client.

To break the Guild code of conduct and steal the child in order to protect him, the Mandalorian must choose a lone existence, which makes him the hunted as well.

At times, he finds aid from friends, as well as a few who don't mind alliances as long as they are paid.  But every step alone this protective path has dangers.  The Child is fortunate to have a true warrior by his side and the Mandalorian finds out just how fortunate he is to have The Child by his side.

This is a fabulous Star Wars series that I highly recommend!  As a matter of fact, just reviewing it makes me wish to stop and watch it again.  I can hardly wait for season 2.  Beware though, "The Child" will steal your heart!





Season 1 is available to watch now on Disney Plus.  Season 2 is already in production and will release in the fall of 2020.







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Baby Yoda (The Child) & The Mandalorian Star Wars Series Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Friday, January 24, 2020

The Gregory Sisters: While Love Stirs - Book 2 Reviewed

The Gregory Sisters: While Love Stirs - Book 2 Reviewed
The Gregory sisters were all strong willed, independent thinkers, and activists who were ready to challenge the social norms of their day.  Even though they were not prepared to be financially independent, when their supporting parents died, by necessity, they faced that challenge head on with determination and action.

In my last article, I reviewed the first book in the series, When Love Calls, that focused on the oldest sister, Hannah.  In this review, I'll tell you about Charlotte, the middle sister and the second book in the series, While Love Stirs.

Each of these books is categorized as a historical romance.  While that is true, the stories are so much more than simple romance novels.  They are about women who must survive in a time that females were not expected, in many cases not even allowed, to work outside of the home.  They each must find a niche that will allow for an income and is acceptable in their society.


While Love Stirs Book Synopsis


 While Love Stirs
(The Gregory Sisters Book #2)
Although an independent thinker like her sisters, Charlotte Gregory's interests follow a more traditional role for a woman in the 1910's. She loves to cook!  Believing that the only job for her would be a chef, or chef's assistant, she heads to a renowned restaurant in a local hotel. After all, she is a graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery.  Surely an esteemed hotel/restaurant establishment would recognize her value and give her a chance.  

After being directed to the side entrance of the hotel designated for unaccompanied women, she quickly discovers the head chef's "not a chance" attitude toward a woman being employed in the kitchen.

Then, when she visits her sister in the hospital, she is disgusted with the lack of concern for proper nutrition for the patients.  She tries to explain to the doctor how the right meals could help patients get well sooner, but she is once again met by the steel wall of male dominance and superior thinking.  Not to mention the hospital's very limited budget and inability to make changes.

Dejected, distressed, yet still determined to get a job cooking, Charlotte returns home to consider what other options might be available to her.  When she finds a newspaper article advertising a contest being hosted by the gas company promoting gas ranges, she believes she has found her answer.  If she can just win that contest, surely she would be recognized as a real chef with an education in nutrition and be able to find suitable employment.  But, there are other women who wish to win that contest too and will stoop to deceptive levels to accomplish their own personal goals.



And, that is the limit to how much of the plot I will divulge.  You will simply have to read the book to find out what happens!


My Thoughts & Opinion of "While Love Stirs"


I admit, it had not occurred to me that a woman would have trouble finding a job as a cook in the 1910's.  This book gave me a new appreciation for the plight of a single women who did not wish to be forced to marry just to survive.  I believe I have taken the vast opportunities for granted in my lifetime.  I've always had the right to vote, I've always been able to wear comfortable clothing, I've always been allowed to walk through the front doors of public places, I have always been able to get a job when needed, and I was most certainly allowed to make my own marriage decision.  

While this series has been entertaining to read, it has also been somewhat educational and thought provoking.  I knew the history of the suffrage movement, the history of fashion in America, and the history of etiquette.  But, I still found it enlightening to read how it could have affected individual lives.  I have no doubt the real life stories would be far worse since there is not always a happy resolution in reality.








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Friday, January 17, 2020

The Gregory Sisters: When Love Calls - Book 1 Reviewed

The Gregory Sisters: When Love Calls - Book 1 Reviewed
I recently read a delightful series of romantic fiction books set in the early 1910s.  The books provide a clear picture of what life in America was like for women a hundred years ago.  Specifically, women who were not married and clearly needed a way to earn a living.  They serve as a reminder of how thankful I am that I was not an adult female during the Progressive Era.  What a difference 60 years can make!

The Gregory sister's lives are turned upside down when their parents die.  Not only are they grieving the death of their parents, but they cannot afford to payoff the mortgage and family debts.  They are faced with losing their home while having to make major life changes and decisions that will effect the rest of their lives.  Neither sister has a husband, fiance, or even a prospective husband.  And, neither sister has a job.  Actually, they are all still in school, albeit, the two oldest are in vocational schools.

The first book, When Love Calls, provides the background information for the series.  The 3 sisters are in all of the books, but each book has a primary sister character.


When Love Calls Book Synopsis


 When Love Calls (The Gregory Sisters Book #1)
A Novel
When Love Calls focuses on the oldest sister, Hannah, who is in law school.  When her parents die and the family home is repossessed, Hannah makes the difficult decision to leave school and go to work.  After all, someone has to earn money for rent, food, clothes, etc., for all 3 girls. 

Hannah feels extremely blessed when she is hired as a "Hello Girl", a switchboard operator for the telephone company. Unfortunately, the very thing that would make Hannah an excellent attorney, is the part of her personality that makes her a problem by company standards.  Hannah has a mind of her own.  She doesn't make a very good conformist follower.  Still, she tries hard because she really needs the job.

There are so many changes all at once in Hannah's life, it makes it hard for her to know who she can trust.  When the very attorney who represented the bank in their home foreclosure seems to keep turning up, Hannah isn't sure if he is trustworthy, yet she needs his help.  As it turns out, they have a lot in common.


My Opinion of "When Love Calls"


I suspect this book was named "When Love Calls" because Hannah is a switchboard operator.  However, it could easily reference how she changed the entire direction of her life because of her love for her sisters.  She answered the "call" to care for her sisters instead of finishing law school. 

Because of her life changes, she meets someone and falls in love.  Of course, he does call her on the phone occasionally.  Regardless, what is clear is that love dictates Hannah's actions. 

There are many changes in the Gregory sister's lives over the course of the series.  The one thing that is consistent is the bond between sisters.  Regardless of trials, failures, fortune, or life choices, these girls remain committed to supporting each other.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a wholesome and uplifting story of love and family.








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