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D. Blankenship RSS Feed (The Ozarks)

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If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages (Volume 6)
If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages (Volume 6)
by Carole P. Roman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a lot to be learned between the covers of this one!, July 16, 2016
Carole P. Roman has written and produced quite a number of children’s books over the past few years. These books are not only entertaining but all have one thing in common; they teach, and they do a wonderful job of it, I might add.

The book being reviewed here deals with what it would be like to be a child living during the Middle Ages, and is one of her most ambitious efforts so far and in my opinion, one of her best works. At over 90 plus pages, this one is for children a bit older than her normal targeted readership. She covers all classes of people during that day and time; the nobility, peasants, landowners, shopkeepers and those between. The author does not stray away from pointing out that life for everyone was not all that ideal and that living condition, even for the very rich, left much to be desired. She does in a gentle and mater of fact way which while telling how it was, does not leave the young reader horrified and depressed.

The author does a wonderful job in describing food, clothing, housing, recreation, work (sometimes rather brutal), family life for all classes, schooling, and law and touches on religion.

Now I am not a professional historian by any means; no, I am a life long reader of history and have for years specialized in this era. For the life of me I could not find any misinformation in the pages of this book. I was very pleased with the portrayal of clothing and housing. The illustrator (artist in this case), Mateya Arkova does an excellent job with her lightly done pastels and overall ‘washed’ look. This was quite fitting for the subject matter of this book.

The text is clear and precise and many, many new words are used. Actually, these are not new words, merely archaic and words that modern children will not know as they are seldom used but words they will need to know as they continue their education.

The author, per usual, has given us a great glossary of term and has included a brief gallery of famous people of that time.

I very much recommend this one and the others in this and previous series by this author.

Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, 6th Edition (Peterson Field Guides)
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, 6th Edition (Peterson Field Guides)
by Roger Tory Peterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.30
122 used & new from $8.46

5.0 out of 5 stars For me, this is simply the best choice by far for a field guide, July 15, 2016
Setting on my shelf as I type this I have no less than 40 different field guides for birds. Truth be told I collect the things. This does not count the over 100 different bird books I have in my collection. As a matter of fact I have quite a number of the different editions of Peterson’s guides dating back to when they were first published.

When I am actually in the field birding or setting on my porch doing the same, I always carry at least three different guides. The guides vary depending upon what I am attempting to accomplish on any given trip. The one book that is a constant though is the Peterson Field Guide. Sibley guides are great as is the National Geographic and of course various editions of the Audubon. Still and all, I find myself going to Peterson’s first.

Now this my be because it is more familiar to me than most of the others and it may be just simply habit..I don’t know, but I do know that I find bird identification much easier with this book than any other. The system Peterson developed, for me, is almost fool proof and I really do not know what I would do without it. Guides that use only photos simply do not do it for me as any given bird can look different at any given time depending upon season, lighting, background, time available to observe the bird, my declining sight year after year and age of the bird. Peterson is simply more reliable and faster than any other guide I have used in the past or use in the present.

Just as important, and this becomes more important as each year goes by and I get more feeble, is the fact that this is an extremely compact book and the lighter my load the better. It is rather amazing how much the difference a few ounces can make after several hours in the field.

It should also be noted, depending upon how far you range in your birding, that there is a large overlap these days of birds – Eastern v/s Western and birds simply look different from one area to another...same bird but slight differences. Peterson takes a lot of these variations in consideration and cuts down of entries in my log which read “Unknown LBJ.”

I started birding with Peterson and highly suspect I will finish with him.

This book is in my private collection.

Message To Medellin (Mack Bolan: the Executioner)
Message To Medellin (Mack Bolan: the Executioner)
by Pendleton
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop action and a high body count - The Big Warrior in Black is doing his job, July 15, 2016
“Sometimes, the exercise of duty demands a sacrifice. And sometimes, with a bit of luck, you have a chance to sacrifice your enemies.”

Mac Bolan

This is number 151 in the Executioner series and the Big Warrior in Black teams up with the guys at Stony Man, i.e. Able Team and Phoenix Force to rain hell down upon the head of The Medellin Drug Cartel. Yes folks, there is much death and destruction found between the covers of this book; indeed there is. Like most of the stories dealing with the exploits of the Big Warrior, the body count is pleasingly high.

This story takes Mack and friends from Panama to Miami in their never ending fight to not only contribute to Americas war on drugs, but to bring a very, very violent end to the scum bags who deal in the white death plaguing our nation.

The action in this one, like all Executioner books is almost non stop and swift and hard justice is dealt rather concisely; if not rather brutally.

Alas, Golden Eagle Publishing went belly up and is no longer publishing these books so fans need to grab up and save what they can....time to hit the used book stores and such...sigh.

This book is in my private collection.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry, 12 Count, 22 Oz
Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry, 12 Count, 22 Oz

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Grief...I love these things!, July 15, 2016
I don’t care how you twist and turn it, how you spin it, what state of denial you might be in; Pop Tarts are not classified as health foods! Nope, they are full of sugar and are the type of delightful stuff that the food police will have you hauled off to where every those people put people; people such as myself, who eat such things and lock the door and throw away the key.

I simply do not care. I like Pop Tarts and I like Strawberry Pop Tarts in particular – if they have frosting on them. I don’t heat them up but rather choose to eat them right out of the nice little silver bag they come in. I often tell my self I will eat only one (they come two to a pack) and save the other for later...HA! Never happens!

These are classic snacks and I have been eating them ever since my kids were wee ones...way back when they were fist invented. Way back in those olden days, I was actually known to hide them so the kids could not find them...not to protect them; no, but rather so I did not have to share! Now that the kids and grandkids have all left the house – well, they are mine! All mine!

For me these things are actually comfort food because not only do I like the taste and not only do they drive away those nagging little hunger urges, but they actually make me feel better as I eat them and after I eat them; sort of like Fig Newton’s use to make me feel way, way back when.

Seldom do I not have a stash of these in the house and when we take long road trips, I always have a goodly stash in he car with me.


Emerson: The Ultimate Collection
Emerson: The Ultimate Collection
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portable thought and wisdom...I am so happy this is now available to all, July 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Being something of a book geek and constant reader now for over 70 years, I must admit to having several volumes which are either devoted in their entirety to Emerson, or books which include Emerson’s work in them. I am also one of those people who is seldom without a book within reaching distance no matter where I am. Needless to say, having this collection on my Kindle is ideal for people such as I. I find that setting in physician’s offices, in my car waiting for this and than and simply traveling provides me with much reading time. I love the fact that I have a copy of Emerson’s work available at my finger tips.

Now this is not a book; or collection if you will, that I feel comfortable with reading cover to cover. No, this is one of those collections that I find I love to savor at odd moments and I skip from subject to subject as the whim hits me.

The wonderful thing about Emerson is that the words he wrote during his time pertain to our world today as much as they did at the time of their writing and indeed, before they were written. In many ways these words which cover quite a number of subjects are probably more hard hitting now that in the past as we have had time to judge their pertinence in relationship to historical events and changing attitudes throughout the years.

Take small bites of these works and savor them and think about them. We have been given a rare gift here and we should use it. And for the young reader....goodness, don’t let the word “transcendental’ scare you away from these them with your own open mind.

Wild Card (Executioner Series)
Wild Card (Executioner Series)
by Pendleton
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice high body count...Same plot...same bad guys...good read, July 14, 2016
Well I must say that I am in agreement with another reviewer here who stated that this is a fine Mack Bolan read but I fear at this point these Executioner books have beat the kill all drug dealers and smugglers theme to death. The plot is almost identical to the plot in at least 60 or more other books in this series and it is getting a bit old.

On the other hand, you got to have bad guys for Mack (The Big Man in Black) to kill and eradicate and I suppose next to terrorists, then drug dealers are the next best thing.

The location takes place, for the most part, in Miami. The plot really has little impact to the story which, lets face it, is more about action and a high body count than it is about a complex story line. And yes, this book delivers on the body count.

Alas folks...I am sorry to report that GOLDEN EAGLE publishing company has now gone belly up. They had a great run which peaked in the mid 1990s but for various reason...well, they are gone. They were an subsidiary of Harlequin Books and I suppose they simply could not compete with the other books published by this company.

Anyway, this is a decent and typical Mack Bolan read. It is number 140 so if you are trying to get through the entire series, you have a few hundred yet to go.

I would give this one five stars had the author had Mack obliterating some other group of really wetched bad guys...the drug thing simply has started boring me...just a bit.

Betrayal of Trust: A J. P. Beaumont Novel
Betrayal of Trust: A J. P. Beaumont Novel
by J. A. Jance
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.39
186 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read with a very realistic theme - Not a barn burner but good solid writing here, July 14, 2016
J.A. Jance, and in particular her J.P. Beaumont series has given me a lot of reading pleasure over the years and the book being reviewed here – “Betrayal of Trust” is no exception. Jance is a good writer and an excellent story teller and her talent shines through on this one.

Now I will be the first to admit that this is a ‘calmer’ story than many of her offerings but at the same time this one features a plot which is more complex than many of her other offerings. The underlying theme here is trust and this is addressed on several levels.

The story begins with what appears to be a ‘snuff film’ showing the death of a young girl which is fund on the phone of a young man who is the grandson of the governor of the state.

The plot widens and there is doubt at first if the film is real and then a body is found of the supposed victim and yet another film...

This is a story of a group of very spoiled kids from privileged families and kids from homes which leave much to be desired. It is a story of lying and breaking of trust –again, on several levels. The body count in this particular work is lower than most in this genre but reasonable. There is violence but it is not gratuitous and like the body count, within reason.

In this book the author gives us insight to Beaumont’s upbringing and childhood. I also approved of the author not dodging the fact that Beaumont is getting older and various body parts; in this chase his knees, are not what they use to be. This aging process is something everyone goes through if they get old enough and I hate it when an author portrays a middle aged person as an eighteen year old super ain’t like that.

Yes, there are a bit of politics in this one but the author is not trying to make a political statement; she just treats it as a fact of our current life. The author treats her characters well and all featured are quite believable; the good, the bad and the ugly. The story has a lot of twists and turns but the author does not throw in red herrings every other page and lets the reader figure things out for trickery here or last minutes characters thrown in just to complete the book.

This was a satisfying read and while it may not be my favorite Jance book, it is never-the-less one I enjoyed greatly.

This was a library find.

Ceaco Linda Nelson Stocks Peddler's Cove Jigsaw Puzzle
Ceaco Linda Nelson Stocks Peddler's Cove Jigsaw Puzzle
Price: $9.95
15 used & new from $9.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality puzzle which is pretty when finished and fun to do, July 14, 2016
Ceaco produces a very fine line of affordable puzzles and this one featuring the art work of Linda Nelson is no different. I am not sure how many different pictures and artists they feature but it is enough to keep the majority of puzzle fans going for years and years. The two primary brands my wife and I complete are Ceaco and Buffalo. Quality wise they are about the same and the biggest difference is that with the Ceaco puzzles the individual pieces are cut differently and in odder shapes than those use by Buffalo and the pieces in each puzzle are of different size. Both are good and both are affordable. The only change I wish that Ceaco would make would be that they follow Buffalo’s lead and include a poster with the picture printed; this is quite helpful.

The puzzle being featured here is overall a bit darker than the picture on the product page. Some will like this darker look; others will not – it is simply a matter of taste. We personally do not mind the darker shades used but then again, we have excellent lighting in our work space.

This particular puzzle is quite detailed but do note that you are dealing with a lot of like colors when you include sky, water and green grass.

The board which the picture is printed on is nice and sturdy and we had no problem with the picture pealing off. This one does have odd shaped pieces which were fun to deal with. The finished product is delightful to the eye. There were no missing pieces and all pieces fit together quite well with little confusion as to if it were the right pieces or not...a problem some puzzles in the price range seem to suffer from time to time.

My wife and I have been completing puzzles together for over 53 years now and now that we are retired we have more time to devote. Of course the work on the puzzle is only a small part of the fun. We spend at least 3 or 2 hours each morning working on the things, talking, drinking coffee or listening to books on CDs, killing two birds with one stone. It is an enjoyable time.

As puzzles are completed; and we do A LOT of them, we encourage others to tear them down, and donate them to local long term care facilities or the local public library where there is a great need for such thing.

This puzzle was purchased at a local hobby shop and the price here on Amazon is more than competitive.

Loew-Cornell 245B Brush Set, Pack of 25, Multi Color
Loew-Cornell 245B Brush Set, Pack of 25, Multi Color
Price: $9.54
22 used & new from $4.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Really junkie brushes and that is why I love them and use them, July 11, 2016
To begin with, completely ignore most of what is said in the product description. These brushes will not work with most media and they ARE NOT suitable for fine art work. As a matter of fact these are cheap brushes; so cheap I classify them as throw-a-way brushes and purchase them for just that reason.

I have several hundred brushes and some of them cost about what I paid for my first car over 50 years was not much of a car I grant you...I’m just saying. I do a lot with brushes that I simply cannot afford to do with my expensive brushes. Things like cleaning small parts on my guns, fishing reels and mower parts. Things like applying oil and solvents when my various projects dictate. Things like sticking them into the small mouth of old bottles I dig up at ancient trash dumps after soaking. I like painting silly pictures on rocks I find in our creek behind the get the picture.

These brushes will loose bristles and they will loose their shape very quickly. At less than .25 cents per brush I simply do not care. As I use them and throw the away, I simply buy another pack.

I purchase these things at a local big box store and pay about a dollar less. Were they not available at my local store, I would purchase them here.

Hey, for about less than the cost of a really horrible pizza, I get a lot of use out of these things, ergo, the five stars.

If you purchase these, do not expect anything less that junk. I will say that these would be great for toddlers to make a mess of without breaking your budget. Can’t start teaching the little ones creativity too soon you know!

GreenLife Everyday Value 12pc Cookware Set, Black
GreenLife Everyday Value 12pc Cookware Set, Black
Price: $59.00
11 used & new from $59.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very serviceable starter set very reasonably priced., July 11, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When purchasing this nice little starter set the buyer must realize that they are not going to receive a top of the line set of cookware. Good grief...I have some VERY small sauce pans that cost twice as much apiece than this entire set costs. Do these cook as well as the expensive sort? Of course not! I would hardly compare my now deceased 20 year old Chevy S-10 to a new Mercedes or new Doge Ram..different vehicles for different things and a big, big difference in cost. On the other hand, the old S-10 had about 500,000 miles on it before it was go figure.

Now that being said, then when my wife and I first set up housekeeping over 53 years ago we would have been delighted with this set of pots and pans. This would be perfect for any young and half broke homemaker or a collage kid off on their own for the first time.

I have used this brand of cookware a matter of fact, one of my favorite everyday pans for preparing our morning bacon, eggs and hash browns in a 10 inch frying pan made by GreenLife. I have cooks at least 100 breakfasts on it and it is still going strong and when washed properly still looks and behaved the same as it did the day it came out of the box.

I have very little problem with sticking; even if I mess up and burn something with these cooking implements. I like the fact that all but the frying pans have glass lids.

I have had NO problems with the finish coming off but I will tell you that all are hand washed using mild detergent with no abrasives what so ever and no metal instrument touches them. I always place paper towels between these and other pans that I store in our cabinets.

As for the implements that come with it, i.e. the spatulas and spoons and such...these are pretty run of the mill but work as they are suppose to work.

I really, for the price, cannot see how you can go wrong with this set of cookware. I grant you that it will never replace my cast iron stuff or obscenely expensive cook ware, but for daily use and quick use with little hassle as to cleaning...well they are good.

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