Friday, October 24, 2014

Friut flies are not my friends !

It's grape harvesting season here in my neck of the woods.  You can smell the sweet fragrance the minute you step out of your front door - yummy !  When you're driving down the road you're likely to see all sorts of grape-y equipment, trucks, tractors, pickers, etc...  The trucks are lined up in front of the processing plants loaded with tons of sweetness.  However, along with all this sweet goodness comes what I like to call, the scourge of the harvest - the awful, horrible, pesky, creepy, yucky fruit fly.  They are EVERYWHERE !  To say I hate them would be an understatement.  Now, before all the bug-lovers of the world start freaking out, I don't begrudge their existence.  They just need to exist outside, not in my kitchen!

I have learned not to leave fruit out during this season.  The little buggers can converge on a bunch of bananas like, well, like flies on fruit.

This is how I handle them.  I've looked on-line for solutions. If you've looked you have probably found the same well publicized DIY solution.  The cider vinegar in a bowl thingy.  If that worked for you - great.  It was not effective for me.

I started thinking...if they attack a bunch of bananas as ferociously as they do, why not just give them fruit?  So, I smashed up a piece of over ripe banana and put it in the bottom of a paper cup. At this point I tried the paper cone method that is used in the previously noted vinegar trap.  Again, didn't work for me.  This is what I ended up doing.  I stretched a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the cup.  I used a round toothpick and punched about 12 holes in it.  Then I stretched a second piece over that one and punched 3 or 4 holes through both layers.  I wiggled the toothpick a little to make these hole a smidge bigger.  Note: If you try this, don't make them too big.  Fruit flies aren't the sharpest critters and will easily find their way in but seldom find their way out, unless the holes are too big.  I made the mistake of making them too large the first time and watched the little buggers fly in , eat their fill, and fly right back out again.  Then I take a rubber band and put it around the cup to hold the plastic wrap on.
Caution:  the next picture is gross!  Really creepy !  So if bugs creep you out, don't look. 
This is what my trap looks like:

The grape-y color around the bottom are the grapes I used as bait, getting all nice and ickey.
And here's a shot of the numerous little devils that fell victim to my trap.

I keep my trap on the back of my sink.  Did you know fruit flies are also known at drain flies?  Apparently they like to live in sink drains. When it really starts to gross me out, I just throw it away (in a ziplock bag just to make sure there are no escapees) and make a new one.  I used grapes this time as bait but bananas seem to work the best and one time I tried tomatoes.  They were not as successful. 

Let me know if you try this method and how it works for you. It's not the most attractive kitchen accessory but it does the trick for me!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Winner

Unfortunately, I haven't heard from the original winner and I don't have any way of contacting her so I redrew and came up with a new winner.........
You're the new winner!!!!  Yeah!!!!!
Please contact me with your address so I can send your book out to you right away!!


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Winner !

 The winner of the book giveaway is .......

Rebecca Maney !!!!  Congratulations  !

Please contact me with your mailing address so i can get your copy in the mail to you.  Happy Reading!  (If I don't hear from you by Oct. 15, I'll have to give the book to the next person on line)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer - a book review and a GIVEAWAY !

This story is about a young girl, whose troubled upbringing, colors all her decisions and influences the choices she makes.  She is raised in a brothel in Chicago in the late 1800’s.  She makes a bad decision, misguided but with the best intentions, that will change her life forever.  It affects her self image and her ability to accept the idea of a loving God. She feels flawed. She has a dream, that she pursues, but must be deceitful in order to accomplish it.  She dreams of becoming a Harvey girl.  Harvey girls must be of good moral character and must always behave accordingly.  In her quest to pursue this dream she meets a young man who also feels flawed because of a physical ailment.  However, he has a deep rooted faith in God. 
This is a story of forgiveness, redemption and discovery. 

This is a quote from the publisher:
A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all

Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs? “

While I enjoyed the story and characters, I felt it to be a bit too wordy. At times it seemed like the content was not crucial to the story.  That being said, I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it.  I have always enjoyed this author’s books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Now for the giveaway!!! I'm giving away a copy of 'Through the Deep Waters'

All you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite TV show is.  I use a random number generator thingy to determine who has won and this giveaway will close September 30, 2014. Actually, you don't really need to tell me, this is just my shameless way of trying to find new viewing material.  You'll be entered whether you tell me or not.  Appropriate material is so hard to find anymore.  I'll start by tell you some of what my husband and I have been watching lately.   We're a big fan of Heartland and Murdoch Mysteries.  Unfortunately, since we are in the US and these are CBC shows, we have to rely on our Roku player to see them.  Make sure you leave me an email address so I can contact you if you've won.  In order to combat spam use this format      "myemail   at     email    dot  com"  Ok, now, if you're so inclined, it's your turn......ready........go!

 I'm linked up here:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - a book review

This book has everything I look for in a Christian historical romance.  It has humorous moments, intrigue, mystery, faith and romance.   The main character, Nicole, is the daughter of a prominent businessman. While he loves her, he has made no secret that he would have liked to also have a son to carry on the business.  To that end, he sends Nicole on a quest to find a suitable husband.  While she is on this journey, she is also safeguarding a family heirloom which another family claims is theirs.  They try to steal it from her, and in the process, she loses most of her money and is forced to look for a job.  This is where the plot gets interesting, as far as the romantic aspect.  She finds a job as a secretary to a rather brusque scientist.  He eventually begins to admire her tenderness and intelligence.  She, on the other hand, is determined to fulfill her father’s wishes. 

The author did a great job of balancing humor, romance, danger and faith. As I’ve said before, I prefer to read novels that transport me to another time and are straight forward in their message. I don’t want to spend too much time looking for a deeper meaning.  I like novels that I don’t want to put down. This is one of those books.

The publisher says this about it:
When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?”

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.  It’s a winner!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BethanyHouse through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Four Weddings and a Kiss - a book review

Four authors come together to tell stories of love in the old West,  Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher.

This is a delightful telling of four independent stories that are connected only by the prologue and epilogue.  The prologue introduces us to a group of ministers traveling together.  While on their journey together they give counsel to one of the younger of them, who seems to be troubled about his relationship with a young woman.  He feels she is totally inappropriate to be a preacher’s wife, but still loves her.  They give  him advice by relating stories of couples they have known who seemed to be opposites but who end up happily in love.

The publisher’s website says:

"Spitfire Sweetheart" by Mary Connealy

Maizy Place
is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

"Love Letter to the Editor" by Robin Lee Hatcher

Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper's owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He's resolved to change Molly's mind about him--as an editor and as a man.

"A Cowboy for Katie" by Debra Clopton

Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie's mind?

"Courting Trouble" by Margaret Brownley

Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive--or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn't interested in the case--until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.”

These four novella’s will amuse you, touch your heart and refresh your soul.  There are scary moments, humorous dialogs, touching scenes, and interesting characters.  Each story reminds us that God’s ways are often mysterious and unexpected.

I really enjoyed this book because each novella is a story all it’s own.  When you finish one you can put the book down without feeling as if you haven’t finished it. If I have any criticism it’s that the epilogue was too short.  I would have liked the story of the preacher and his shocking and reckless lady to have been a little more developed.  It just seemed to wrap up too quickly. 

There are discussion questions at the back of the book for each story to aid reading groups.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mark of Distinction : Price of Privilege Trilogy by Jessica Dotta - a book review

This is the second offering of Jessica Dotta’s Price of Privilege Trilogy.  I read and reviewed the first one, Born of Persuasion, and liked it.  However, I was a bit disappointed in this one.  Her writing style didn’t change, it is still very descriptive and interesting.  You really do get a feeling of what life was like in that time period.  There is still a thread of mystery and intrigue carried over from the first book.  Dotta does a good job of keeping you guessing and throws a surprise in every once in a while.  There is still a key group of characters but there are also many peripheral ones that at times gets a bit confusing. 

Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.”

This book begins from the viewpoint of the main character, Julia, as an old woman remembering her life.  She recounts some of the events from the first book, however, I didn’t feel there was enough explanation that would make this a good ‘stand alone’ novel.  If I hadn’t read the first one, I would have been very confused.   I was still very confused at the end.  While Julia does find some happiness, there are alot of unanswered questions which I assume will be resolved in the last book of the trilogy.  As it is, I still have no idea who the good guys are or who the bad guys are.  Of course, that’s making me want to read the third one when it comes out, which is probably the reason for all the unresolved issues.

As far as being a Christian novel, as was the case in the first book, you won’t find this preachey.  The mentioning of faith and Christianity are more a statement of historical background and personal character development rather than any attempt to convert the reader.

 All in all, if you like Jane Austin type novels, you’ll probably like this trilogy.  I was a bit disappointed but I tend to like a neat a tidy finish to the books I read.  I will definitely be looking for the third in the trilogy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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