Happy Independence Day, everyone! For citizens of the United States, July 4th is a major holiday. And while most people agree upon the singular historic event in American history that it commemorates, celebrations are conducted in diverse ways. Let’s look at some…Read More
Happy Post-Thanksgiving, Everyone!
Or, should I say, Happy Black Friday?
Nah, that’s merely a self-proclaimed sales opportunity in celebration of consumerism. Okay, maybe that’s a bit too lofty and self-reverent. Let’s put it this way…if you need to save some money via discounts on this day, more power to you and best wishes for safe shopping. If not, and you’re like me, it’s a wonderful day to spend on the couch binge-watching programs stored up on my DVR while sipping hot tea or cocoa. Oh, and let’s not forget all those yummy leftovers from Thanksgiving!
How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was marvelous and spent with friends and loved ones while sharing a host of tasty dishes. Here’s what we had for dinner…
I catered a tasty smoked turkey, courtesy of a local barbeque restaurant named JT’s BBQ. The cream cheese corn complimented thing very well, the creation of my good friend Jimmy.
I made the classic green bean casserole topped with those wonderful French’s dried onions. The cranberry dressing (stuffing, some call it) is my favorite dressing of all time, and was prepared by my dear friend Jessica. She also made the most decadent version of baked macaroni and cheese casserole, which melts in your mouth. Jessica’s mother made the perfect sweet potatoes in syrup and topped with a thick layer of marshmallows.
The dinner rolls were of the easy thaw and bake variety but tasted like they were homemade. And the desserts were AMAZING, compliments of Jessica! She baked a cherry pie, pecan pie, three pumpkin pies, and a big batch of chocolate chip pan cookies. Oh, I was in dessert heaven…and will be residing there for a number of days, actually.
Thank the Goddess for leftovers!
What did you have for Thanksgiving dinner? Did you go traditional or something completely different? Leave a comment and let me know.
What’s that? *cupping my palm close to my ear*
I hear a plateful of leftovers and my couch and DVR calling, so I better get to it. My two kitties are ready for snuggling, too. It’s the best…
Oh, and did I mention that – for the FIRST TIME in my life! – my Christmas shopping is already COMPLETE? Yes, that’s right, there’s NO hectic last-minute shopping for me. All that I have to do between now and December 25th is: put up a few decorations, send out my holiday cards, and make a leisurely effort to enjoy the three weeks leading up to the big day. Ahhh, this feels great!
If you’re just kicking off your holiday shopping, be careful in your travels, and proudly display your “good will toward others” for all to see and experience.
Oh, and be sure to check out my official Jaz YouTube channel for the latest video on my newest furry addition to my family, Patches the rescue kitty. Click here.
Until later, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Shopping…oh, and reading! Peace.
Can you feel it in the air? The Halloween spirit is alive and well. At my college office, we’re like busy bees collecting Halloween décor items, and we’re decorating as soon as we have new things in hand. Take a look below at what we’re already set up. It’s awesome! (The photo at the top of this blog post is a picture that's just been hand-made and is hanging in my main office area. Thanks to Crystal for that!)
I even have some small items on my office desk that bolster my cheerful Halloween spirit. The autumn has FINALLY arrived around here and I couldn’t be happier. Below you can see a sample of the beautiful scenery around my college campus. It was such an amazing day when I took this photo late last week!
Recently, I noticed that there is a place on the web where you can create a Peanuts cartoon character in your own image. They’re promoting the upcoming Peanuts movie that’s coming out in November, which I can’t wait to see because I’ve been a Charlie Brown fan since I was a kid. There was always something so identifiable about Peanuts that resonates deeply inside of me. Every holiday has a corresponding Peanuts animated feature to help bring us into the mood. I’m watching the Halloween special very soon, in fact!
Below you can see how I’d look as a Peanuts character. If you’d like to try one out for yourself, CLICK HERE .
Finally, my latest YouTube video for the week of October 4th is up and ready for your viewing! Watch it by CLICKING HERE . Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. I talk about the pending Halloween season, my upcoming Halloween costume, some of my past costumes, and my review of two popular TV shows in a segment that I’m calling “Like It or Spike It.”
Until later, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Reading! Peace.
Wow, it feels like I just finished eating Thanksgiving dinner, and yet, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have also come and gone. And let’s not forget the other litany of pithy slogans for other days that give merchandisers another reason to draw you to their shops and websites for holiday promotions and discounts. There was Shop Local Saturday, for one. Did I leave any out? How about Tip-Toe-to-Our-Sale Tuesday? Or perhaps Sin-if-You-Miss-It Sunday? Wassailing Wednesday? Tinsel Thursday? Frosty Festival Friday? *shaking my head*
As for me, I’m keeping the holidays simple. Yes, I’m giving gifts to a number of people, though most likely it will be of the plastic gift card variety. Honestly, what can we all really need? And besides, who really knows what each other needs? In the end, I’d like to think that, health and food notwithstanding, most of us really only need the compassion, support, and fellowship of each other to make the holidays fulfilling and special. I’m planning get-togethers with family and friends to celebrate the holidays; time spent with those I care about is always a gift worth savoring, don’t you agree?
For many people, between the holiday sales, baking schedules, and preparing for social gatherings for relatives and friends, there’s not a lot of discretionary time left to really sit and bask in the warmth and magic of the season. And isn’t that really such a shame?
Well, not me, I tell you. I’m already relishing mugs of hot cocoa and hot tea, thanks to the unseasonably cool and drizzly weather conditions that we’ve had in recent days. I’ve started watching my favorite holiday films and specials, including the classic Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Oh, and I plan to re-watch each and every Doctor Who holiday special to date, all leading up to the Christmas Day Doctor Who special starring Peter Capaldi. This will be Capaldi’s first Christmas special as the 12th Doctor. Frankly, given how stoic Capaldi’s Doctor has been portrayed, I’m not sure how many warm fuzzies Steven Moffatt can believable sell in the script. As such, I’m not expecting many moments for either heartwarming dialogue or sentimental tears. *Suddenly missing David Tennant and Matt Smith*
Are you doing any reading right now? I recently finished reading a short novella by Neil Gaiman, Doctor Who: Nothing O'Clock: Eleventh Doctor. It involved Amy Pond and a mysterious entity called the Kin. It was highly satisfying and conveyed fantasy in a manner that is nearly magical for Mr. Gaiman. Suffice to say, I highly recommend it! You can read my review of it on Goodreads.com at <click here>
Well, best wishes on your holiday preparations and celebrations. I have some public events coming up later this month, so please check in on my website under EVENTS very soon. For now, I’m off to watch some college football while sipping some tasty hot cocoa. The weather outside is cool and overcast, as well as occasionally drizzly with rain. Ah, tis the season!
Oh, and Tabby my cat says, “Meow-lo!”
I recently watched the 1995 BBC six-part miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It was my first exposure to any of the films and specials based upon Jane Austen’s books. And while I’d never read the actual novel in question, I absolutely loved the miniseries. The costume design and settings were wonderfully historical and the cast did a marvelous job immersing me in their characters and storyline. I particularly liked the nearly six-hour length miniseries format because it enabled a fuller introduction to each character and grounded me more fully in the central plot, subplots, and circumstances. Based upon a number of other viewer comments that I’ve read, I understand that this miniseries presented nearly every minute aspect from the original novel on-screen for the viewer. I really appreciate that level of detail, enabling a complete presentation of Austen’s material. I only wished that more films, especially those based upon full-length classic novels, did the same.
Do you know of any other extended-length period novel adaptations available in film out there? I’d really appreciate your recommendations, so please leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thanks! Oh, and way to go, Mr. Darcy!
On the way home from my day-career the other day, I stopped by Kohl’s to take advantage of a 20% off coupon and use the $20.00 Kohl’s Cash that I had accumulated. (I simply love Kohl’s Cash, don’t you?) I eagerly browsed through the store looking for something that I either needed or wanted. While passing the coats and shoes area (not many good sales on shoes, I noticed), I remembered that I wanted some entertainment dishes for my next social gathering. As I passed a number of stocking stuffer displays – which I had to dodge like the Millennium Falcon in an asteroid field – I made it to the kitchen and appliances area. As holiday music played overhead, I came upon the Food Network collections. Oh, the Food Network puts out some of the most marvelous pieces and sets of kitchenware and home entertainment dishware! I selected a set of four white porcelain Ramekins and a four-dish serving tray with square white stoneware serving dishes. Between the two sets, I’ll easily be able to serve finger snacks such as olives, nuts, fruits, dips, crackers, and maybe even a crème brulee, if I get the nerve. Heck, I’m still trying to take the time to bake some banana bread and pumpkin spice muffins. Hmm…maybe I’ll try that later this afternoon.
At any rate, now my home will be better prepared for guests who stop over for a visit during the holidays. Did I mention that I just love Kohl’s?
It’s the final stretch for the last week of NaNoWriMo. Did you take part? Regrettably, I wasn’t able to as I had too many day-career related obligations and special events. For those of you who did, my congratulations. For some, you’ll be able to create at least the primary written structure of a novel or novella. That being said, I realize that a number of you may only have written a portion of a project. However, there’s no need to feel discouraged. Take heart…you’ve made an impressive start. Before long, you’ll have a completed manuscript. As often as writing is a pleasure and an escape, many times it can also be a real grind. Take it in small efforts and reflect on how you’re doing so that you can make adjustments as you progress toward the finish line. Occasionally, you might even feel as though you’ve hit a brick wall with your creation. That’s when taking a brief break can open up new ideas and pathways. As only my kitty, Tabby, can convey from the photo above, there’s more than one way to accomplish your objective.
Rest assured, she finally snatched her toy, only to perch on her cat tree to cheerfully chew on it.
My thanks to Ms. Sara Heiss and her senior high school class for the marvelous video conference that I took part in last Wednesday afternoon. We talked about my novel, Gwen Reaper, which everyone read as part of their class reading assignment. Everyone made me feel very welcome and I especially appreciate Sara’s huge alligator, who represented the character Chewie from the novel. Way to go, Sara! I just love props. Oh, and Tabby made a period appearance throughout the conference. It was a LOT of fun and I hope that they invite me back again sometime!
Thanksgiving is almost here! I can’t wait for turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce. Oh, and let’s not forget those tasty pumpkin and pecan pies. Are you preparing for the upcoming holidays?
I particularly adore a cold winter-like November day.
Today is one of those days, complete with blowing snow flurries that melt onto the pavement but stick to the newly dormant grass. Ah, I feel very happy as I sit inside all warm and toasty and sipping on a steaming mug of hot cocoa while gazing out through my picture window. It’s moments such as these when the holidays come alive in beautiful and wondrous ways.
It is moments such as these when I’m not only feeling my happiest but also most contented. These are the truly lovely moments in life worth savoring.
Today, I’m remaining indoors to write on Sunset Rising, the fifth novel in my Sunset Vampire series. I’m also getting a head start on my Christmas shopping, including some gifts for myself. (Those are gifts from my cat, Tabby, of course. She said to order an item or two from my Christmas list. She’s so very kind. If only she had her own credit card and bank account…)
Tabby’s also appreciating the cold weather from the safe, warm interior of our home. You may notice in the photo that she’s comfortably lounging in the basket of her cat tree that I recently assembled for her. She’s really enjoying that cat tree of hers. I’m so happy that she likes it.
Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Thankfully, I have my list mostly completed, so I’m already beginning my purchases. Have you noticed how retailers are starting their online Christmas sales earlier and earlier each year? I recently heard on a world news report that retailers expect the weekend before Thanksgiving to be as busy as the typical Black Friday and Cyber Monday following Thanksgiving. In addition, more and more stores are opening earlier on that actual Thanksgiving Day either during the morning or by mid-day. Radio Shack opens at 8am on Thanksgiving morning. *pausing* Though I honestly don’t have a clue what I might need from them. Perhaps a spare set of batteries? *shrugging* I dunno…
One thing is for certain: I won’t be out fighting the crowds on Black Friday. For those of you who will, may the Goddess rest your souls and protect you. By contrast, I plan to be at home watching either some college football games or streaming some movies or Doctor Who episodes.
Have you seen the movie Interstellar yet? It’s really good! The storyline was compelling and engaging, and Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain all did an excellent job with their roles, as well as the amazing supporting cast. The special effects were out of this world (pun intended) and the depiction of a black hole was impressive. I give it five stars and two thumbs up. It’s a must-see that I highly recommend. I particularly appreciate the manner in which the writers took the time to develop the situation on Earth and present the characters in a multi-dimensional manner without rushing either. It made for a much more immersive and sympathetic audience experience. Way to go, Christopher Nolan…you did it again!
How are you preparing for the upcoming holidays? I’d like to hear from you, so enter a comment and let me know.