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Becky (in NOLA) "Becky gardens" RSS Feed (Down South aways.)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Under the Stars: How America Fell in Love with Camping
Under the Stars: How America Fell in Love with Camping
by Dan White
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, thought provoking, historical and modern perspective on camping, April 28, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Under the stars is making me want to grab a cot and tent and take my aged self, bad knees and all, and go camp!

First, let me say this is an unfinished advanced reader's copy (ARC) and even so, the sketches, black and white photos, are so interesting. I imagine they will be even better in a finished book. Of all the pictures, there is one of a woman, in a long dress, uncomfortable shoes, and a rifle, trying to climb rocks. It just captures a moment so well.

In some ways this book is not what I expected. I expected discussions of camping history, a little drier, maybe a nod to "the long long trailer." instead I got everything from a camping trip with John Muir and "Teedie" Roosevelt and their divergent view on hunting and camping, to a fascinating story about taking kids from poorer sections of Miami to the everglades, and the lack of diversity among campers, something I never thought of.

The author has a great sense of humor and fun, but there is a real depth here also. The last few chapters also cover camping in a RV.

The sketches, quotes, and stories are spot on to move the book along and explain the culture, the fun, the scary, the challenges, and how America camped and camp now.

I mostly bought this book because I thought it would be a fun romp through the history of camping, and it is, but it's much more. It's philosophy, history, eco-history, socialism, but all done incredibly well and never so heavy handed that I felt preached to, but more informed and enlightened. I hadn't really expected a book on the history of camping to make me think so much and consider so much, but please, don't think this makes it boring or preachy or like sitting in a classroom, far from it.

This is fast paced, well written, and really interesting.Scouts, Victorian ladies, crazy campers, it's all here.


Hershey's Snack Size Assortment Box, 58 Ounce
Hershey's Snack Size Assortment Box, 58 Ounce
Price: $34.52

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Payday and take five in conventient smaller portions, April 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have liked paydays forever, sometimes I'm just not in the mood for chocolate, though rare. This take 5 was a new one for me though, I had never tried it. It's a chocolate caramel covered nut and pretzel bar, very very good.

This set up is geared towards an office, with the small wrapped bars and the dispenser, but it is also good at home. It's not that I can't eat a large regular sized candy bar, just that I shouldn't. The smaller bars help with portion control but still give that burst of sweetness.

These are also great for lunchboxes. Again, the smaller size makes them more appropriate as part of a lunch or snack.

I live in New Orleans so I did have some melting, mostly the chocolate coating on the take five. I simply stuck the box in the fridge for a few hours. The resulting product is a bit lumpy and odd shaped and I had to scrape a few off the wrapping where it had melted, I mean, I had to right.. get a good sampling.. hah! okay they are really yummy. but yes, in warmer climates they will be a little melty, but I've had worse from the local store.


Railhead
Railhead
by Philip Reeve
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.26
46 used & new from $9.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A mix of techno-punk, sci fi, and fantasy that really works, April 26, 2016
This review is from: Railhead (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Take sci fi at it's best and most imaginative, add a good shot of fantasy and stir in some techno- steampunk and you have Railhead. Zen is a thief who can't figure out why he's important to so many people, who seem to want to use him, or kill him

There are people made of bugs, semi (and more than semi) sentient trains, wormholes, androids, action, adventure and a real moral ambiguity about who is really the bad guy.

There is a British sensibility about the book, which makes sense, and it's very very readable. The action comes fast and furious. There are a lot of ideas thrown at one, the guardians, the angels, the trains, and some of the characters, that I had to occasionally slow down and reread to catch everything going on.

A truly good blend of genres that is entertaining, thought provoking, and best of all, engrossing and interesting.


DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Bone Pet Pillow Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, 50x60", Taupe
DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Bone Pet Pillow Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, 50x60", Taupe
Price: $26.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soft and cozy, April 14, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I'm trying to fold this pillow blanket I feel as if I'm attempting origami. I'm rather bad at origami. The zipper is also a bit small and catches, so it can be a bit of a challenge to make this into a pillow once it's unfolded into a blanket, at least for me.

On the other hand, I find this well made, very soft, good stitches and seam lines. There aren't loose threads. Izzy loves how soft it is. I like the material. It's very cozy and she had no problem snuggling up to it.

despite struggling a bit with refolding, I actually think this is a very smart idea for travel. The size unfolded is nice and roomy, but then, rather than putting it in a bag and having to find a place to store it, it folds into a pillow she can still use and snuggle against.

Schnauzer approved.


Joe's Solid 100% Leather Uniform Work Genuine Leather Jean Belt 32mm or 1-1/4" Wide (36, Brown)
Joe's Solid 100% Leather Uniform Work Genuine Leather Jean Belt 32mm or 1-1/4" Wide (36, Brown)
Offered by Belts*
Price: $27.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Real leather, April 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Jim says:

Great belt. Wanted a casual belt that would work with any pants I have. A lot of the pants I have will not work with a belt wider than 1 1/4" so this was perfect for my needs. For casual/work pants, bonded leather belts just don't last. Expect this one to last much longer just like the genuine leather belts I have previously owned. This is an attractive, solid, well made belt.


Wilderness Blue Buffalo Bayou Blend Dog Food, 4 lb
Wilderness Blue Buffalo Bayou Blend Dog Food, 4 lb
Price: $20.89
2 used & new from $20.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Good dog food, April 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Izzy is a swamp dog, she's had alligator jerky and nutria marsh chews. Bayou dog food just fit right in. Izzy also loves fish based food and treats, from catfish skins to salmon treats, she adores seafood and the Blue buffalo is no exception. I like that it's made in the usa. I also like to feed her food with omega 3, it helps with her sensitive skin and makes her coat shiny.

Izzy sniffed around when I opened this and no problem eating it. I mixed a little in with her regular food and then give her some as a treat. Her stomach has tolerated it well.


Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient Grain (Cooking Light)
Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient Grain (Cooking Light)
by Ann Taylor Pittman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.73
55 used & new from $9.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious treatment of grains, April 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have heard of many of these grains, seen them in the bins at whole food, but had not idea what to do with many of them. Put out by cooking light, this isn't really a "diet" book per se, although ingredients like reduced fat cheddar are used and the recipes do include the nutritional count.

There are lovely pictures of finished food to inspire, however, not every recipe has a picture.What does have terrific pictures is the definition of the grains. In the front of the book various grains are pictured and explained. The book also tells how to handle and cook these grains, porridge style, pasta style, or pilaf style.

I am familiar with millet, a little stalk with round heads I used to feed my birds. I never thought about eating it myself, but there is a recipe for millet cream, later used in recipes as a thickener, that is really cool, as is fried grains.

The recipes are interesting and varied. Smoked polenta with sage browned butter is delicious, yet comforting and somewhat familiar. One can stay in a fairly comfortable zone with chicken and sausage gumbo, or quick fried brown rice and shrimp with snap peas. Or, for me, I can explore the new foods like teff and rye berries.

I would not call this a diet cookbook, where possible the recipes call for 2% milk or reduced fat cheese, but the focus is more on grains.


Mother Knows Best (A Margie Peterson Mystery)
Mother Knows Best (A Margie Peterson Mystery)
by Karen MacInerney
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.99
43 used & new from $8.07

4.0 out of 5 stars fun,. frenetic read, April 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mother knows best vacillates between a light hearted romp, and deeper issues within marriages and raising children. Margie Peterson is a private investigator, who has discovered her husband has a penchant for drag queens, her daughter is deeply unhappy in her new fancy school, and she has a pregnant pig to take care of.

The mystery part was good, it was an interesting who dun-it. The pace of the book was a little frenetic, sometimes it seemed to work a little hard for the joke.

Overall though, it was an interesting read that kept my attention. The characters in this book are as important as the plot. There is as much private life going on as mystery and a few times I felt the focus shifted away from the mystery.


Liliane Collection Kitchen Dish Towels - Commercial Grade Absorbent 100% Cotton Kitchen Towels - Classic Tea Towels (13, Pink)
Liliane Collection Kitchen Dish Towels - Commercial Grade Absorbent 100% Cotton Kitchen Towels - Classic Tea Towels (13, Pink)
Price: $34.75

2.0 out of 5 stars fraying edges already, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These kitchen dish towels claim to be "like" those used in professional kitchens. They are not professional grade towels like one would get a good restaurant supply store, so be sure you know what you're getting.

They are very okay. Middle of the road towels. Absorbancy is okay, they are a good density, but narrow. For regular light kitchen work, drying hands, drying dishes, they would be okay bu you could buy a bundle and get fewer towels from someone else, spend the same, and get a better product.

The edges of a few of mine are fraying, not at the hemline but the fold line, threads coming out the material, showing this is not the best material.


Rubbermaid 2 Piece FreshWorks Produce Saver Set, Small/Large, Green
Rubbermaid 2 Piece FreshWorks Produce Saver Set, Small/Large, Green
Price: $19.98
2 used & new from $19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well made and work, April 4, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This set includes a large and small. You can also buy a medium. The small holds holds about a pint of produce, like the little packages of blueberries from the store, while large holds a head of lettuce. It also easily holds the bagged or boxed salad mixes from the grocery store. I have another "green" set. There is a big difference in cost, but there is also a big difference in quality of construction.

The rubbermaid is heavy duty, well made, the lids are sturdy. This set will be used over and over again. You can also buy each piece individually, if you would use more of the large, or medium for example.

These stack nicely and fit well in the fridge, the big one really is big so you could easily make a salad for a week. There is no off taste or the melted bits at the bottom I get when I leave my salad in the bag it came in. The taste is also fresh, While these might be a bit of investment in the beginning, they will keep fruit and veg fresh, cutting down on waste.


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