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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin EmperorThe Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

2015 Hugo Nominee.

This was a story that drew me in and suddenly I'm done with the book.  There are no epic battles, no cross country chase scenes, no mano a mano duels, no blustering rages wielding a massive sword.  It's one small half goblin-half elven boy who finds himself suddenly thrust into the seat of the Elven Empire without a clue of what he should do, surrounded by people he doesn't know, in a castle he barely remembers.

Which, really, doesn't sound all that interesting on the surface.  Just another rags to riches story.  But for some reason, this was different.  Perhaps it was a combination of the world setting (a goblin/elven world) in a steampunk setting (again, not my favorite, but it worked), written with a deftness that made the words just flow.

So, setting.  It's a "steampunk" setting but subtly so - there are airships to convey people to and fro, and this plays a part in establishing the plot, but once that's done, the steampunk-ness takes a back seat.  The reader does see a bit more when the clockwork people present their bridge idea, but that was about it. 

Plot.  As I mentioned above, this is a story about Maia. The fourth son of the elvish Emperor, banished to some remote fortress with a guardian after the death of his goblin mother when he was eight.  The Guardian has been taking his anger out on Maia the last 10 years, something which Maia cannot forgive him for.

Maia's assent ion to the throne is sudden and the first thing that happens in the book.  The rest of the story is about Maia coming to terms with the loss of a Father he didn't know, a Mother he desperately misses, betrayal on numerous sides, and the forging of friendships in a court where he feels desperately alone.  In some ways, this is a coming of age book, but sans the  epic quests we usually see in high fantasy.  Which was greatly appreciated.

My main complaint with the book was actually in the names of people and things.  I'm not a fan of long names, and tend to mentally shorten them right of the bat.  It also took me a while to figure out the honorifics being used - not realizing there was an appendix at the end of the book that explained it all.  That would have been nice at the beginning. 

Overall, a solid absorbing read with beautiful world building and solid character development.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Coop and Chickens!

Baby chicks are three weeks old today!  They are growing fast!  Tail feathers and wing feathers are starting to come in, they are fluttering about with gusto, and eating like well, chickens.  We are starting to see some early comb development, so we have some Leonard's, Sheldon's, and Howard's to go with our Penny's, Bernadette's and Amy's.  Not the best pictures, I admit, hard to capture the little buggers in low light conditions. 

Little fellow in the upper left is a Leonard.  I think.
Din! Din!

"What you lookin' at Bub?"  (I think he's a Leonard too...)

Progress on the coop continues. Two and a half walls are insulated and OSB and hardboard is up.  Left is the rest of the insulation, wiring, and the final wall (which is where The Husband is bringing through all the material).  His plan right now is to finish the coop enough to transfer chicks right from the parents garage into their new abode.

What you can't see in this top picture is the front window has been installed on the inside.  We'll finish painting when the weather turns nice again. 

Here we're looking at the front inside corner of the coop.  Screen door has been installed, so the front door can be left open for ventilation in the summer.  No worries, dear readers!  It has hardware cloth over the screen portion for extra protection.  Top left center is the installed window.  Hard board on the two center walls.  Insulation in the right side of the picture. 

There was a pause in construction activity this past Memorial Day weekend - The Husband rented a chipper and we chipped up 7 piles of brush and miscellaneous downed trees around the yard.  Those wood chips will go in the future chicken run.  As they decompose, they'll attract bugs and worms and things for the flock while protecting the ground a bit. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Remodel Update Week #8

This past week has been trim work in living room, dining room and the kitchen.  The bi-fold door of my small pantry closet gave the Contractor conniptions because it's not a standard sized door space.  As did the door to the basement.  Basement door is in, and he thinks he has a solution for the bifold door.

Imagine little 1920's farm house not having standard sized spaces!  Ah, the joys of having an older home.

If things continue smoothly, cabinets might be here end of this week.  Contractor said once cabinets are in, he can get us back into the house while we all wait for the counter tops.  That would be awesome!  

Sorry, no remodel pictures this week.   Here's a couple of some violets blooming in the garden.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Recipe Review from 5/18/15

There will be separate posts for chicken/coop update and remodel updates.  Easier that way. 

Meanwhile, life continues at our temporary living quarters.  This week I managed to make one new recipe that was very well received.

Low Country Shrimp and Grits (Ckng Lght May 2015)  gluten free
This came together in about 30 minutes - recipe said 24 so it was close enough.  I did so a couple of modifications:  I used regular polenta/grits and started them first.  I set aside and kept warm while finishing the rest.   I don't drink tomato juice, but I did have some tomato sauce in the freezer from a different dish so I substituted that.  It made for a some what thicker, tomato-y sauce, which was fine with me.  Honestly, ketchup would also work fine, but expect a sweeter taste and skip the sugar.  This made enough for four adults.   Recommended.

photo from
4 center-cut bacon slices, chopped 
1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
3/4 cup black coffee
1/2 cup lower-sodium tomato juice (I used 1/2 cup of tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch  
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp 
2 cups whole milk
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits (I used regular grits and started ahead of time)
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato 
2 green onions, chopped 

1. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.  [Heat oil of choice over med-high heat] Add onion, thyme, mushrooms, and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are golden brown. Add 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, coffee, next 4 ingredients (through red pepper), and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Add cornstarch, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add shrimp; simmer 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.

2. Bring remaining 2 cups stock, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; add grits, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk.  I cooked my grits according to directions on package, adding 1 tbsp of butter and about a 1/4 cup of grated asiago cheese. 

3. Place 1/2 cup grits in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 cup shrimp mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons tomato and about 1 tablespoon green onions.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Coyote by Allen Steele

Coyote (Coyote Trilogy, #1)Coyote by Allen Steele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Coyote is an astonishing discovery, a habitable moon in a solar system 40-odd light years from Earth. A despotic post-US government decides to colonise this precious find and constructs the starship Alabama. The ship is about to launch when it is hijacked by its own crew. Instead of the intended party loyalists, it is populated with malcontents and social dissidents who must learn to work together in the struggle to reach and then conquer their prize: Coyote. Vast in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of completely plausible events, Coyote tells the story of Earth’s first extra-solar colonists, and the mysterious planet that becomes their home.

Read for May 2015 book group.  I really wanted to rate this 2.5 between "it was okay" and "I liked it". 

I read an excerpt of this in Azimov's (or was it Analog?) years and years ago, and was annoyed with the book at the time.  I kept this in mind as I was looking for ideas for book group - sometimes a questionable book becomes a very interesting discussion.

While I didn't have the same "this book pisses me off" reaction, I wasn't exactly thrilled with it either.  The book is broken up into three parts:  escape from Earth, establish colony, the "next generations" personal thoughts as they reminisce being teens on a colony.  Taken as a whole, I had more issues with the plot than not.

Part one:  Earth's democracy is gone.  It's some kind of Republic lead by predominantly southern states.  Scientists have been dubbed "dissident intellectuals" if they disagree with the new Republic and they and their families are sent to concentration camps to be reformed.  A group of these scientists and families are secretly gathered up and manage a 45 person swap on the colony ship Alabama.  While the ship is being hijacked, four armed soldiers are in essence, kidnapped.  Right.  45 people are smuggled in under intense security and media, and only four individuals are sent up to stop a ship of 100+ from being hijacked.

Part two:  Purpose was to get people down to the planet and start killing them off.  This read a bit like an episode of Star Trek, except everyone but the Captain is a Red Shirt.  Our small group of armed soldiers still have delusions of something rather than sucking it up and helping colony with survival.

Part three:  Teenage angst and romance.  Coming of age story.  I had the most problems with part three.  You bring a bunch of teenagers (and adults) to a colony planet, you put a moratorium on new births, but you don't give anyone birth control.  WTF?

And this is where I will leave off, because anything more becomes plot spoiler. 

So I found this to be a fairly quick read, it has some issues with plot and character execution, and a few points that could have been smoothed out.  If you like exploring new frontiers, man against planet, colonization, this would be the book for you.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicks and Coop Update

Baby chicks are now a week and a half old (roughly).  We lost one chick (one of the Ameracuna's) to unknown causes, but the rest seem to be healthy and robust and are growing rapidly.  I noticed little tail feathers are starting to emerge and they are fluttering about with gusto.  Personalities continue to emerge as they establish a pecking order.

Hello!  Who are you?

I think we have who's who figured out:
- Little yellow or tan with stripe down back are Ameracauna's  (my name: Bernadette's)
- Black with white bellies are Australorps (my name: Amy Farah Fowler)
- Black with red beaks are Golden Laced Wyandottes  (my name: Penny)

Coop is coming along.  Roof is up and covered.  Flashing is up.  Now it's time to enclose the last two sides. The fence in front is our old dog kennel, which will be converted into part of the run.  We're renting a wood chipper next weekend and all the various piles of brush around the yard will get chipped for use in the chicken run.  A great way to get bugs for birds to eat!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Remodel Update Week #7

The flooring is in!

Living room looking at foyer

Living room looking into dining room
Kitchen looking at dining room

Dining room looking at kitchen

And Escher was Here! No, not really...foyer looking at living room (R) and kitchen (L)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Aunty Lee's Deadly Delights by Ovidia Yu

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials (Singaporean Mystery #2)Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials by Ovidia Yu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.

Few know more about what goes on in Singapore than Aunty Lee. When a scandal over illegal organ donation involving prominent citizens makes news, she already has a list of suspects. There’s no time to snoop, though—Aunty Lee’s Delights is catering a brunch for local socialites Henry and Mabel Sung at their opulent house.

Rumor has it that the Sung’s fortune is in trouble, and Aunty Lee wonders if the gossip is true. But soon after arriving at the Sung’s house, her curiosity turns to suspicion. Why is a storage house she discovers locked? What is the couple arguing about behind closed doors? Where is the guest of honor who never showed up?

Then, Mabel Sung and her son Leonard are found dead. The authorities blame it on Aunty Lee’s special stewed chicken with buah keluak, a local black nut that can be poisonous if cooked improperly. Aunty Lee has never carelessly prepared a dish. She’s certain the deaths are murder—and that they’re somehow linked to the organ donor scandal.

To save her business and her reputation, she’s got to prove it—and unmask a dangerous killer whose next victim may just be Aunty Lee.

Book two in the Aunty Lee series. 

Aunty Lee, Cherril and Nina are prepping for a catered event at the home of the Sung's at the behest of Mable Sung in celebration of Susan Sung's elevation to partner in the Sung Law firm.  Aunty Lee's sharp eyes note something is amiss at the party - there is unexplained tension between Henry Sung and Mable, Susan Sung is late to her own party, and an a uninvited guest attempt to break in.  Then the worst of all possible things, Mable and her son die after eating one of Aunty Lee's traditional dishes. Aunty Lee and her restaurant are shut down under suspicion of food poisoning.

This book, while enjoyable, lacked some of the charm that drew me through the first one.  The life observations were less, it was perhaps an even darker aspect to the book as relates to homosexuals in Singapore, and the theme of organ trafficking and to what lengths a person would go to to get a healthy organ. 

I also think there were too many threads and characters drifting about, which gave the book an almost cluttered feel.  There was the disappearance/suicide couple at the start; the Sung family dynamics (four of them), GraceFaith the secretary and her ambitions, Henry Sung's mistress, Dr. Edward Yong, WenYu the Chinese lady, the Police Commissioner , Detective Salim, Sergent Pashnal, Nina, Cherril and, well, Auntie Lee herself.  I'm sure I'm missing a couple of people.   

Plot-wise, the food poisoning aspect came across a bit thin.  The party was in full swing, people have been eating for a while, and while two people die, nobody else has any symptoms.  Add to that, shortly after the Police Commissioner is "suddenly" inundated with complaints about Aunty Lee's Delights restaurants and sanitation.  If that doesn't scream "suspicious" I don't know what would. 

I noted this complaint in the previous book review, how everyone's names are English.  I stand by that criticism here - I suspect that the author was advised to change names to accommodate English readers. 

Overall, a decent book with a few items I took issue with. If a third book came out, I would probably read it.

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remodel Update Week #6

Just a brief update for week 6 - I would have posted sooner but I didn't have my pictures ready.

Kitchen is painted!  Photo doesn't really capture the richness and warmth of this terra cotta color I've picked out, and much of this will end up being covered by cabinets, fridge, back splash and stove.  But what will be exposed will be just awesome. 

Dining room is painted! The original green we (and it was a "we" thing) picked out was waaay to dark for one of the darker rooms in our house.  This warranted a run back to Home Depot and a slew of new paint chips picked out.  I went a couple shades lighter in the green and yellow tones.  Turned out perfect in brightness and for complimenting the kitchen.  I will be able to re-use my curtain rods and will probably keep my original curtains as well.

fridge is in the living room...

I'm short on pictures because the battery in my camera chose that moment to die. 

We have picked out our faucet and light fixtures.  I'll go pick out cabinet knobs and handles now that we settled on a light design. 

We need to decide on trim for dining room and living room.  Kitchen will be oak.  Dining room and living room were priced out with painted (white) pine - it's what was originally there.  We do have the option for a bit more $$ to go with oak.  What to do...what to do...

And what you don't see is the flooring going in!   Very exciting! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu

Aunty Lee's Delights (Singaporean Mystery #1)Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could easily have become one of Singapore's "tai tai," an idle rich lady devoted to mah-jongg and luxury shopping. Instead she threw herself into building a culinary empire from her restaurant, Aunty Lee's Delights, where spicy Singaporean home cooking is graciously served to locals and tourists alike. But when a body is found in one of Singapore's beautiful tourist havens, and when one of her wealthy guests fails to show at a dinner party, Aunty Lee knows that the two are likely connected.

The murder and disappearance throws together Aunty Lee's henpecked stepson Mark, his social-climbing wife Selina, a gay couple whose love is still illegal in Singapore, and an elderly Australian tourist couple whose visit-billed at first as a pleasure cruise-may mask a deeper purpose. Investigating the murder is rookie Police Commissioner Raja, who quickly discovers that the savvy and well-connected Aunty Lee can track down clues even better than local law enforcement.

Wise, witty and unusually charming, Aunty Lee's Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship and home cooking in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities co-exist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface, sometimes with deadly results.

This one came recommended through a friend and I enjoyed it.

Set in Singapore, and revolving around the widowed Rose Lee's (Aunty Lee's) restaurant, the book is a mystery and a culinary exploration combined with little bits of wisdom and observations on people.

This had the feel of a cozy but it had darker undertones than a cozy usually does by addressing social issues of homosexuality in Singapore and Australia.  For a first mystery taking on this kind of topic, I thought the author handled multiple aspects with a deft pen.

I have two complaints with the book: one: there are a few to many sub-characters.  The daughter-in-law Selina (Silly-nah to Aunty Lee) and her husband Mark, the Australian with his own agenda, the Husband/Wife Australians on tour, the American, the disappearing maid, Aunty Lee's personal help Nina, the various police officers, the deceased girls and I know I'm missing a few.  I confess to getting people mixed up more than once. 

Two: everyone has English names.  Even the Singaporean's.  I'm not sure if this was intentional, or if people from Singapore Anglicize their names?  Or was this something the publisher did to make the book more palatable to Western readers?  The use of English names tended to bounce me out of the story and setting. 

Overall, recommended. 

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Recipe Review from 5/4/2015

A very productive and relaxing weekend.  Saturday the Husband worked on the chicken coop (rafters are up and roof partially done) while I tackled the garden. I weeded and tilled five vegetable beds, cleaned out three flower beds, cut the dead canes out of the raspberry patch and did some weeding in the garden paths.  I had enough energy left to put out a handful of my yard statutes. No planting though, not seeds or seedlings - we have a spurt of 30* (0*C) temps and rain coming and that's too cool for even my cold weather seeds.  I can wait. 

Since we are still living at my Folks place while the house is remodeled, I haven't been doing much in the way of meal planning.  The Mother has been making us a plethora of tasty slow cooked dishes, which gives us all a bit more free time to walk dogs in the evening.  Very much appreciated.

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet (Damn D
photo from Damn Delicious Blog
elicious Blog
via  Pinterest)
I found this on Pinterest and sent it to my sister, who is gluten free and needs higher protein dishes.  She made it that night with rave reviews.  I sent the link to my friend Tess who made it in her next meal rotation and she came back with rave reviews - her kids aren't fond of rice and they ate this dish.  She gave me the suggestion for the addition of shredded chicken.  So I slid it into the group meal plan, substituting brown rice for white and adding part of shredded rotisserie chicken, and it got good reviews.  Would have had better reviews if I had grabbed a can of black beans instead of the nasty kidney beans, but it all worked out. 

This is quick, it does not require finishing in the oven or under the broiler (but you could if you wanted), and is pretty versatile:  Use brown or white rice.  Use whatever beans appeal to you.  Play with the heat/seasonings.

This did serve four adults with enough leftovers for two.  I had a bag of Tostida's Scoops and picante sauce along side. 
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I used on bag of Uncle Ben's Brown boil in a bag)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, drained  (I used frozen corn)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup 1- 10oz can Old El Paso™ mild enchilada sauce (use "hot" if you want more kick or for adult tastebuds)
  • my addition - one little can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 cup Old El Paso™ mild green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano 
  • my addition - 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a large saucepan of 1 1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes
  3. Stir in rice, corn, black beans, green chilies, chicken, enchilada sauces, chili powder, cumin and oregano until well combined and heated through, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.

Friday, May 8, 2015

...and the Chickens!

Baby chicks arrived at the house at 730a this morning.  They were shipped from New Mexico on Wed, arrived at our Post Office at 7am on Fri, and the Husband was there to collect his box at 710am.  I stuck around to help unbox and introduce peepers to water and food.  They all looked healthy and lively and some were feisty right out of the box.  A very good sign.

The Husband ordered three varieties of straight (unsexed) run chickens:  Gold Lace Wyandottes, Australorps, and Ameraucana's .  The little black peepers "should" be the Australorps, but they could also be an Ameraucana.  The little multi-colored birds "should" be the Wyandottes, but they could also be Ameraucana's.   And they "should be" (biologically speaking) half of them males and half of them females.  I'm naming them all after females until I know for sure. 

Penny checking out her new home. 

Feeding Scrum!  Bernadette is the bright yellow one in the center.

And a small coop update.  Karl expressed his concern about the coop not having a roof.  The husband has fixed that problem.  ;)  Coop also now has four sides.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Narrows by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #10)

The Narrows (Harry Bosch, #10)The Narrows by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years, the one that tells her the Poet has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes--and apparently he has not forgotten her.

Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call, too--from the widow of an old friend. Her husband's death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep. Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel. Now the two are at odds with the FBI...and squarely in the path of the Poet, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own...

Read as an audiobook.

Ironically, I had no idea The Narrows picked up where The Poet left off.  A lucky chance that I read The Poet first!  I will say, it would be helpful to read The Poet before The Narrows - it provides a fair amount of background material that explains the motivations and actions of our protagonists and the FBI.

Ah, the FBI.  Let's start there.  An ornery, contrary, and a most disagreeable group as portrayed in this book. Secretive.  Self serving.  Arrogant to a "T".  The whole lot of them.  Even with each other.  Seriously, banning an agent to North Dakota for sleeping with a reporter who had full rights to be on an investigation?  I found that incredibly implausible.

And the FBI's effort to maintain intense secrecy with the investigation (both internally and externally) while Bosch goes around telling his contacts that he found and identified the antagonist?  Disconnect.   But oo!  The FBI can threaten to put Bosch in a dark little hole if he doesn't back down despite Bosch finding out more than they did!  Big Scary FBI!  Whatever... (rolling my eyes here).

I also didn't like the antagonism between Bosch and Elenore Wish and Bosch and Rachel Walling. Must our hero be such a disagreeable cuss that he has to argue with every woman thrown in his way?  Though, to be fair, Elenore wasn't exactly a peach to be reading either.   But good heaven's, Rachel was delegated to a sidekick with boobs, not the strong lead she had in The Poet.

I also had problems with the ending - in particular, the weather.  The reader is told it is a rainstorm of epic proportions, yet, when certain aspects of the final chase scene are described, it's as if its a clear night.  I found this disconcerting.  If it's pouring out, and the characters can barely see out the car windows, how is a character going to see something sitting on top of a hill?

So, somewhere in all of these personality and weather problems, there was a plot.  Bosch found, quite by accident, the location of the Poet.  The FBI, in their infinite wisdom (as portrayed in books), shuts the outsider down.  Bosch decides to investigate anyway.  We have a big climatic conclusion.

Recommended if you've read The Poet (McEvoy #1), A Darkness More than Night (McCaleb #2), and the previous Bosch books. 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Chicken Coop

And so, with an ongoing remodel, and living in alternate housing, the Husband is working to finish the chicken coop.  Baby chicks are expected to arrive Thurs morning!  Eep!  Or should that be peep!

Yes, the chicken house is not completed, but the fluff balls won't need the adult abode for about 4 to 6 weeks yet. 

This was started last Fall, and put on hold when temps in the Man Barn became too cold to paint. Progress resumed again after tax season was finished and we returned from Las Vegas.  The Husband made significant progress yesterday and got the front wall erected on the foundation. 

Looks darn good!

Stay tuned! I know everyone is eagerly waiting to hear what we will name the baby chickens! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Remodel Update - Week 5

Cabinets were ordered this week...twice actually.  Contractor put in the order and a couple days later got a call from the store with "good news/bad news".  Good news - she had put in the order.  Bad news - the color I wanted was no longer available.  As in totally discontinued with nothing even close to "medium oak".  Which mortified the saleswoman and perplexed the contractor.  Medium oak is  one of the most popular colors, how can a company discontinue a color line and not have something ready to replace it?  Saleswoman and contractor worked together to find me what I wanted - and in the end, I'm getting better cabinets!  Yay!

Sheet rock is in, muding is complete, paint picked out, faucet selected, and Husband and I are debating about light fixtures.  The one we could both agree on was not available in the store to physically look at.  We do have an Option B (a couple actually) picked out, but we aren't thrilled with the glass globes.  Which I said we could just replace with something else.  Meanwhile, I have an email into the contractor to ask about the feasibility of ordering online. 

wall to right will have sink and fridge

Table will go here, just to the left of the wall.  Small corner in front (to left of light switch) will be new cabinets and counter.

Corner for fridge, "dining" room to the right.

Husband and I also looked at refrigerators.  I'm just not wild about this bottom freezer style that seems so prevalent right now.   I don't have bulky items in my freezer (mostly have have small packages of things like flours), I don't like the idea of bending over to fetch things out, and I don't like how the space is designed.  A bit frustrated right now. 

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