Thanksgiving’s Revenge

bryans_turkey_derrick

Bryan's Turkey Derrick (photo by Bryan)

So karma got its revenge on thursday. For the first time in 11 years we did not travel to Southern California for Thanksgiving. With my new job at Starbucks and my dad’s new job and the fact that my mom couldn’t get the time off, we chose to stay here for the holiday. Bryan, my brother, decided to deep fry a turkey for the first time and man was it good. He kept slapping my hand because I was picking at it (he would smack Ma’s hand even though she started it).

When it was almost time to eat, I decided to sit before we all crammed into Ma’s kitchen. We thought her kitchen was big when they remodeled after their house fire 13 years ago, but it’s really not. I chose to sit in one of the comfy chairs, and it was a good thing Pa didn’t sit in it, because as soon as I sat, one of the legs split and I nearly fell backward. I grabbed onto the table with one hand while my mom grabbed onto the other. I unfortunately twisted weird and my back and hip cramped. I got up and moved out of the way so they could get the chair out and I could move around to lossen up my back and hip. Before they could get another chair out of the back room, my dad went to pull his chair up to the table and a splinter got him in the finger and drew blood. We decided that it was karma telling us that we should have traveled anyway, whether or not any of us could afford it. Dinner was served after that and shortly into the meal my mom twisted in her chair to get a more comfortable position and a broken wire caught the side of her pants and tore them slightly. We all looked at my brother waiting for something to happen. Karma liked him that night and decided not to include him in our torment.

Mr. Turkey (photo by Bryan)

Mr. Turkey (photo by Bryan)

On a different note, dinner was excellent. Bryan’s deep-fried turkey was a huge hit and we ate that entire bird that night with hardly any leftovers. There was plenty of ham and Ma’s roasted turkey left for sandwiches the next day. My gluten-free cornbread stuffing turned out great. I have never made stuffing before. I always made the cornbread and gave it to my mom to fix but she wasn’t feeling too well that morning and she gave me the stuffing mix (celery and onions already cut and mixed with parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage ready to be cooked) and I put everything together. Ma made her family favorite cranberry jello salad with apples and pineapple. My brother enjoyed my cornbread muffins (the only gluten-free thing I make that he’ll eat).

After dinner was over and before the tryptophan could kick in, Bryan and Papa decided to play pool (or billiards, whatever you want to call it). Bryan won two out of three and it was my turn. Bryan’s better than me, but I’m not too bad. I won two out of three only because of the damned 8-ball. Then we all sat down to watch a comedy ventriloquist. He was hilarious. At one point the ventriloquist messed up and you could see it in his face but he stayed in character. He meant to say polio and scoliosis but accidentally combined the two words and said poliosis. Pumpkin pie was served somewhere and my pumpkin tarts didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped but there were still good. The ginger cookie I used as a crust was too strong in flavor and drowned out the flavor of the pumpkin. I’ll keep tweeking the recipe until I get it just right.

As far as the chairs are concerned, I think we’ll travel next year for our own health. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and got to spend it with family and/or friends.

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Book Reviews: The Twilight Saga

“Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters? Did this mean every impossible fairy tale was grounded somewhere in absolute truth? Was there anything sane or normal at all, or was everything just magic and ghost stories?” ~ Bella Swan (New Moon, page 293-4, chapter 12)

 

Book 1

Book 1

 

Summary:

 

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

 

“I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”

 

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn.

With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back. . . .

 

First Review: When I picked up this book in the store, I didn’t have high hopes to tell you the truth, but once I started, I couldn’t put the book down. I love vampires and the different legends and lore. Stephenie Meyer’s vampires follow one of the myths that aren’t well known or told about the “creatures of the dark” and after a while you forget slightly that you are no longer reading a story about vampires, but rather an amazing love story and how being immortal can change the way you look at life and the ones you love. The entire series so far has kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more and I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be published.

 

Second Review: This was my second time reading Twilight for me and, as with the first time I discovered the novel, I loved it. Stephenie Meyer has the ability to make the reader forget what Edward and the rest of the Cullens are and focus on the different kind of love story while following a different vampire lore that most authors choose not to tell. Told in first-person, the reader is invited to absorb themselves in Bella Swan’s personal account of her bond not only with Edward but the rest of his vampire family and how her clumsiness can be dangerous. Twilight is a twisted (I mean that in a good way), and beautifully written, version of the classic Shakespearean tale of Romeo and Juliet — two lovers doomed to be seperated by life and death. The dangers lurking around every corner will keep you wanting more.

 

Favorite Quote from the Book: “It’s twilight…. It’s the safest time of day for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” Edward Cullen (page 232-3, chapter 11)

 

 


 

 

Summary: For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning. . . .

 

Review: While New Moon is a very good story, it is not my favorite of the books in the Twilight Saga. It has a little bit of a dull spot as most middle books do in a series, but it is better than others I have read. Bella reveals more of her love for Edward and how the difficulty of their relationship can be troublesome. Once you get past the typical depression Bella faces when Edward leaves her, trying to give her the normal human life he thinks she deserves, the story picks up. We are introduced to two new (or some-

Book 2

Book 2

 

what new) characters, both throwing Bella further into a world where more myths and legends are just as real as the vampires Bella has come to know and love. Trying to understand why Edward left, breaking her heart in the process, Bella hits a rebellious stage and breaks promises she made with both Edward and Charlie, but how far is she willing to go to get Edward back before she meets her death trying to prove something?

Favorite quotes from the book: “What I enjoy the very most is when my… enhanced abilities let me save someone who would otherwise have been lost. It’s pleasant knowing that, thanks to what I can do, some people’s lives are better because I exist.” ~ Carlisle Cullen (page 34, chapter 2)

“…Would fate take the last few shreds of peace left behind? That seemed unfair, out of balance. But maybe I’d violated some unknown rule, crossed some line that condemned me. Maybe it was wrong to be so involved with myths and legends, to turn my back on the world.” ~ Bella Swan (page 355, chapter 15)

 

 


 

 

Book 3

Book 3

 

Summary: As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob–knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

 

Review: Eclipse offers us a clearer picture into the pasts of two vampires in the Cullen family. All of them are so different and yet so much alike. Each one offers Bella a different view into what vampire life can offer her, if she chooses to become part of the family. Unlike New Moon, Eclipse only has a few small dull spots somewhere in the middle. From ancient werewolf legends and how they came to be to vampire battles and the choices between love and friendship, Bella’s story will keep you on the

edge of your seat not knowing what will become of her unusual life that has been caught in the middle of myths and legends. All of Bella’s challenges that she faces, any reader could relate to. I can’t wait to see how this story ends.

Favorite Quotes from this book: “Normal humans run away from monsters, Bella. And I never claimed to be normal. Just human.” ~ Jacob Black (page 112, chapter 4)

“I don’t care who’s a vampire and who’s a werewolf. That’s irrelevant. You are Jacob, and he is Edward, and I am Bella. And nothing else matters.” ~ Bella Swan (page 143, chapter 6)

“I don’t care who’s a werewolf and who’s a vampire. If Angela turns out to be a witch, she can join the party, too.” ~ Bella Swan (page 143, chapter 6)

 

 


 

 

Summary: To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs.

 

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed…forever?

 

Book 4

Book 4

 

Review: The conclusion of the Twilight Saga will have you scratching your head and wondering how Stephenie Meyer could fit so many myths and legends into one of the best series I have ever read. Like the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” and I’m sad to see the ending of this beautifully written and compelling series. While the entire series is written from Bella’s point-of-view, Breaking Dawn offers the chance to see someone else’s side of Bella’s story. There are dangers and surprises lurking around every corner and just when you think you have it figured out, you’re wrong. You never know what will happen as Bella is faced with the choice of life or death.

Favorite Quotes from the book: “I am truly sorry for the pain this has caused you, Jacob. Though you hate me, I must admit that I don’t feel the same way about you. I think of you as a… a brother in many ways. A comrade in arms, at the very least.” ~ Edward Cullen (page 341, chapter 17)

“It was sort of the pattern to my life – I’d never been strong enough to deal with the things outside my control, to attack the enemies or outrun them. To avoid the pain. Always human and weak, the only thing I’d ever been able to do was keep going. Endure. Survive.” ~ Bella Cullen (page 374, chapter 19)

 

 

Book Review: Marked (House of Night Novels, book 1)

Marked, House of Night Novels, book 1

Marked, House of Night Novels, book 1

Summary: The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire – that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

My Review: The Cast mother and daughter team captures you from the first few pages. I loved the fact that they incorporated Pagan views and traditions and not follow the typical, Hollywood steryotype society has placed on the religion. I was left wanting more. I cannot wait to see what is next for Zoey within her journey of becomming a vampyre and I’m curious to know what the Goddess Nyx has planned for this special fledgling.

Favorite Quote from the Book: “[D]arkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.” ~ Goddess Nyx (pg 41, ch 5)