Monday, March 26, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Official Teaser Trailer

To Fully Understand. . . (Bella post Twilight)

I gently squeezed my husband’s hand and curled up into his lap. He gently brushed down my hair with his hand and I quietly began to break the red seal on my letter.

“What does it say?” Edward asked for a second time and I sank back down to the bed, putting my daughter’s letter aside. We would open that when the time was right. When Elizabeth was old enough to understand what had happened to her grandfather.

Dear Bella. . . The letter began as so many regular letters do. But this letter wasn’t an ordinary letter. No this was Carlisle’s last words. His last words to me. I softly traced the lettering written by his hands. I may not have known Carlisle as well as the others had, but he was still my father in law. A father figure to me. What would I have done if it was Charlie who had been killed? The idea made my heart stop.

“What is it?” Edward asked always noticing everything about me. I smiled.

“Nothing.” I said quietly going back to my letter. Carlisle warned me about becoming a vampire because of the impossible long life I would lead after the fact. But, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to become a vampire for that reason. He said he would give me his blessing if I wanted to become a vampire because I could not bare to let Edward face life alone. Perhaps, that was the real reason why I wanted immortality. No, that wasn’t it either.

If all of these things were not why I wanted the life I had chosen then what were? Perhaps Edward was mostly the real reason why I wanted to be vampire, but I didn’t think he was the only reason. At any rate it did give me something to think about. Something to consider.

“Well? Are you going to to tell me what the letter says?” Edward asked yet again. I laughed.

“He thanks me for making you realize that you are not a monster. Because Edward?” I said softly crawling back up into his lap and twisting his fingers into mine.

“Um?” He asked.

“He’s right you know. You’re not a monster.” I said gently. Edward smiled softly at me.

“What else did it say?”

“Just that I should think about why I want to be like you.”

“He’s right. I wouldn’t want this kind of life for you or for Elizabeth.” I shook my head.

“You promised.” I said softly touching his face.

“I know.” Edward answered. “I know I did. Is there anything else in the letter?”

“Only that a vampire life is a lonely one and not to decide until I was certain.” I added. Then smiled up at Edward again.

“But Edward, I think I am certain that this is what I want.” I said quietly. “ I want you, and Elizabeth. I want us to be together forever. Neither of us should face life alone.” I said gently entwining my fingers with my husband’s hands.

Orange Muffins with Sweet Preserves

Orange Muffins with Sweet Preserves
From: The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook



Yields 12 muffins and 3 cups of preserves

Muffins:
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup of orange juice
2 sticks of melted butter
2 eggs
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preserves:
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup white sugar
2 ½ cups of orange marmalade
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil muffin pan containing 12 regular sized muffin cups ( Joanna’s note: I highly recommend using muffin cups for this)

2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and both sugars in a large bowl. Stir in orange juice and 1 cup of melted butter and eggs.

3. Pour batter into 12 muffins cups.

4. Blend 1 tablespoon melted butter, dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake in oven at 350 F for 25 minutes or until inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

5. Mean while, for preserves, stir juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add marmalade, cloves and pumpkin pie spice; bring to boil. Reduce heat back to medium for 5 minutes and then simmer on low until mixture is reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Cool. If storing, cover and chill in refrigerator. Best if made a day ahead.

(Joanna's note: Okay, so I am sure you are wondering why my muffins ended up in cups. My dad and I went to turn over the muffin pan to dump them all out, and they kinda came out crumbly. The tops broke off and then I just had the bottom of the muffin lol. So we put them in plastic cups with the preserves on top. The muffins are so yummy but very rich and filling. So I highly recommend using muffin cups instead of greasing the muffin tins.) 

The World of Downton Abbey Book Review

The World of Downton Abbey



Amazon Book Description:
April 1912. The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear that it seems as if the way it represents will last for another thousand years. It won't.

Millions of American viewers were enthralled by the world of Downton Abbey, the mesmerizing TV drama of the aristocratic Crawley family--and their servants--on the verge of dramatic change. On the eve of Season 2 of the TV presentation, this gorgeous book--illustrated with sketches and research from the production team, as well as on-set photographs from both seasons--takes us even deeper into that world, with fresh insights into the story and characters as well as the social history.

Joanna’s book review:
This book isn’t so much a novel as more of an informational book. It’s a brilliant book in itself and covers a great deal of subjects that took place during the time periods that Downton Abbey takes place in. And as I loved the show and the time periods, this book was simply perfect for me. It covered a good many things I didn’t know about. Mentions Mrs. Beetons’ book, Titanic, talks about World War 1 and how England dealt with that. It covers the servants and cooking and many other things. It makes you want to watch Downton Abbey all over again and then go for anything else relating to the era that the show takes place in.
Highly recommended for Edwardian and Victorian fans as well as Downton Abbey fans.

Rebecca Mystery: A bundle of Trouble (book Review)

Rebecca Mystery: A bundle of Trouble



Back of book review:
Rebecca likes taking care of the neighbors’ baby, but with a kidnapper on the loose in New York City, she can’t help feeling a bit nervous. When a strange boy shows up asking a few too many questions, Rebecca starts to worry. Could the baby be in danger? And is Rebecca’s own brother hiding a dark secret?

Joanna’s review:
The book starts out with Rebecca meeting her new neighbor’s baby and then her mother offers to take care of the baby. Because the new neighbor’s are trying to move into a new apartment and the poor baby will not stop crying.

Rebecca then, meets an Italian immigrant with a baby that looks just like the neighbor’s baby. The two girls let the baby’s play and then the whole story moves from there. Somehow the baby’s get switched and at first Rebecca thinks her new friend is a kidnapper but it turns out that the new friend isn’t a kidnapper and someone else is the kidnapper.

As I used to love American Girl books as a child, I only recently started reading them again. The mysteries are really good so far. At least the ones I have read are. And this one is really exciting to read. It keeps you on your toes and you have no idea who the kidnappers are because there are so many possibilities. I highly recommend this book to American Girl lovers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Samantha’s Brunch Punch

Samantha’s Brunch Punch

From: Samantha’s Friendship Fun



Ingredients:

3 Lemons ( enough to make ½ cup of juice)

5 Oranges ( Or enough to make 2 cups of juice)

¾ cup of Pineapple juice

2 cups of chilled soda

Ice cubes

Orange slices for garnish

Instructions:

1.Have an adult help you cut the lemons and oranges in half on a cutting board.

2. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons and orange halves by turning them back and forth on a juice while pushing down. Pour the juice through the strainer into the pitcher.

3. Measure the sugar and water into the saucepan, and stir. Heat the mixture over medium- high heat until it boils, or bubbles rapidly, for 5 minuets.

4 . Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minuets.

5 .Have an adult help you pour the sugar and water mixture into the pitcher. Then add the pineapple juice and stir well.

6 . If you are not serving the punch right away, refrigerate this mixture until serving time. Just before serving the punch, measure 2 cups of cold cub soda and pour into the pitcher with the juice mixture. Stir gently to mix it all together.

7 . Pour the punch into punch glasses Add 2 or 3 ice cubes to each glass and garnish with a slice of fruit.



Clash of the Kings Book Review

A CLASH OF KINGS



A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles. (Review from Amazon)


Joanna’s take;
I greatly enjoyed reading Game of Thrones and I loved watching the series on HBO. With the second season coming up, I wanted to read Clash of the Kings before April 1st. And George R. R. Martin did not dissapoint me. If anything the second book was almost better than the first.
So many things happen in the second book. Everytime something acts as if it is going to close to an end, it takes another twist. And while I wont explain everything here. I highly recommend the book. I recommend the HBO series too. Very rarely does a tv show or movie based on a book get everything right. But this one has.
So if you liked Game of Thrones you should defaintly read Clash of the Kings.

Oh to be young again (Nora Post Twilight)

I leaned up against the wall, watching a bunch of kids (who would have been near my age had I been alive) dancing in the streets. It was late in the night on a Saturday. The kids were from the poorer neighborhood of Denver of which I was prowling, looking for my usual meal. I sighed, as the music got more and more and more. . . More what? I had no idea.

“Hey you!” I heard someone shout towards the corner I had sulked into. I stared.

“Yeah you know I’m talkin’ to you.” The voice continued. So much for cover. Maybe Charlie was right. I was terrible at blending in. You would think that after a hundred years I would be better at it. Maybe it was just that I wanted to belong so badly that the stupid teenager noticed me. I slowly moved out of the shadow.

“Me?” I asked. Wearing a purple plaid shirt, pair of tight ass jeans, my old riding boots I had from the good old west days and my cowboy hat. Yep. The original one. Jean jacket and all. I looked real hickvilleish. If that was even a word. But the man- - - no teen, whistled.

“Yeah you.” He said. “Come on, I wanna dance.” His skin was the color of midnight. My father would be horrified with me for simply talking to him like a human being.

“Nah, I don’t dance.” I lied letting him take my hand.

“I somehow, don’t believe you.” The boy said. “Come on. I know you can dance.” I looked at him for a moment and pretended to follow his moves.

“Man, look at that chick, she’s foolin’ you.” One of the boy’s friends said. I laughed. I could dance circles around them if I wanted too. I heard a very fast movement and noticed my brother standing in the shadows. I ignored him.


“Why did you lie?” The boy said. I shrugged.
“Thought it was best.”

“Test the waters before you trend them?” The boy said.

“Something like that.” I answered him. “I shouldn’t be here.”

“None of us should be here. But here we are. We should embrace the moment.” I smirked. Seemed to me, I had something along those lines once. “So you gonna tell me your name?”

“Nah.” I said. It wasn’t

hat I didn’t want to give him man. It was that I knew I shouldn’t. Especially with Charlie watching.

“Okay.” I can take that.” He said. “Hey, where you going?”

“I gotta go. But thanks for the dance. I needed that.” I said. Needed what Nora? A chance to feel normal for once? Yeah so what? I was after all still 16. Sometimes I wanted to act like it. And as much as I wanted to stay for the rest of the night, I knew I shouldn’t. Things could either get bad or really bad had I been human, I probably would have gone off into some hot little corner with him. But, that wasn’t such a good idea. No, it was best for me to leave.

“Well, maybe I’ll see ya around.” I shrugged.

“Maybe.” I said.

“Can I have at least a kiss?” The boy asked. I laughed. Alright, I thought. I could kiss him, and I did. Then danced back into the shadows and where Charlie sat high up on a roof top watching me.

“What was that about?”

“Don’t you ever wish you could be a kid again?” I asked
.
“Not really. But then I was 22 when I was turned and not 16. Nora, I am sorry for turning you so young.”

“Don’t be. I was dying. You saved me in a way. Besides, I didn’t cross half of the USA, to find my brother just to lose him because I was going to die.” I laughed. “Come on, Billie is probably wondering where we are.”

“Shall I not tell him you danced with that guy?”

“That would be a good idea.” I laughed.

Photos and shopping request (Alice Post Twilight)

When we had left Volterra, I had felt as if perhaps, I could deal with what had happened to Carlisle. I was certain I would be able to face coming home without him in the house. However, when we got home, it was quite like there was a hole in my chest that wasn’t ready to close up. I had found that try as I may, I couldn’t get over the fact that my father wouldn’t be coming home from work at a certain hour. He wouldn’t be sitting in his office, working late into the night. Nor would he be there to ask for advice. No, instead there was an empty chair at his office desk. His clothes still hung in the closet space he shared with Esme and every place I turned, there was a reminder of where Carlisle should have been.

So, when I by chance found myself completely alone, I pulled out my photograph albums and began to sort through them. I had of course taken loads of pictures throughout the past sixty years I had been part of the Cullen Family. There were pictures of all of us in the 40s on up. Some of them were fun, some were solemn memories. Others were goofy. Like the baseball games we sometimes attended. I was so absorbed in the pictures that I didn’t notice when Baby Elizabeth crawled over my pile of pictures.

I laughed when she gurgled and picked her up. She tugged on my short hair. Then traced my necklace with the Cullen Crest and reached out for Bella whom had walked into the room. Most likely looking for little Elizabeth.

“I’m sorry she disturbed you.” Bella said softly taking the baby out of my arms. I smiled at my new sister in law.

“Elizabeth never bothers me.” I said picking up a photo of Carlisle and myself, right after I had finally meant him.

“Alice, I’m really sorry about what happened to Carlisle. I mean, I know I wasn’t as close to him as the rest of you were. But I’m really going to miss him too.”

“Of course you are Bella.” I said still staring at the photo.

“Do you want me to leave you alone?” Bella asked gently.
“No.” I said, and in truth I didn’t want to be alone. When I was with someone, it made it less likely that I would think about Carlisle. I wondered briefly if Esme felt the same way. Or if maybe she wanted to be left alone to deal with her grief. “It’s easier when someone else is nearby. Especially, you.” I said trying to smile.

“Maybe we should. . . I can’t believe I am going to say this, but maybe we should go shopping. Go out and have some fun? It might help. Charlie could watch Elizabeth.” Bella suggested and I couldn’t help but blink and stare at her. Was this the same Bella that I could barely get into a decent outfit let alone take shopping? I laughed.

“If you are actually suggesting we go shopping, than I better take you up on the offer.” I said putting my photos away. Perhaps shopping would help take my mind off things. Besides, Carlisle wouldn’t want me to be so sad. He’d want us to keep living life as we always did. And Bella asking if we could go shopping was a rare thing indeed.

“We can take the Porsche too!” Bella added. “And I know Charlie would love to see you.”

“Sounds good to me!” I said. “Come on, I’m going to dress you and Elizabeth up before we go! Have a perfect makeover for the outing.” I giggled.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Mrs. Beeton!

So I am sure many of you dont know this but today is Mrs. Isabella Beeton's 176th birthday! Mrs. Beeton wrote a very famous book in Victorian London during the 1860s which soon became the stable book of every Victorian household. Think, Betty Crocker Cookbook of today. It was called Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. And even today is a very popular book.

In celebration of Mrs. Beeton's birthday I watched a wonderful and fun documentary about her life which you can find on youtube.


Anyone interested in Victorian London, and cooking would really enjoy this documentary as I did. It's only a crying shame that Mrs. Beeton didnt live past the age of 28. Here is also a link to her website. Which holds a world of information from her book for those of you dont own it. http://www.mrsbeeton.com/

A weekend of American Girl Crafts

Location: Bedroom
Music: Tripping Upstairs (Upstairs, Downstairs cd)
Book: Clash of the Kings
Mood: Chipper


So over the weekend I found several of my most recent American Girl magazines and decided to make a few crafts from the magazines. I had lots of fun doing this. I hope you enjoy the pictures lol. I even made Apple Brown Betty from Samantha's Cookbook. It turned out really well. 

The first craft I made was this cute little owl out of a paper towel roll. Of course my mad art skills came into play here lol. I think I should have used better colors. But oh well. It turned out cute. Here is a picture from the magazine article I used. The instructions can be found in the March/ April issue of this year.


Next I attempted to make an ice skatting outfit for Skye which turned out to look more like a fairy outfit by the time i was done lol. Oh well. I think mainly it was the shoes that makes her look more fairy than ice skatting. But the outfit is still pretty cute. 


The idea for this outfit came from the January/ Feb. Issue of this year. Here is a photo of those instructions too. 


And before I made all of these I found an interesting idea in the recent issue of AG Magazine. Using ducktape and a canvas. 


See, a cheap way of making new art for my room lol. Here is the photo from the magazine for the instructions.
 

And finally, the last project I made was a memo board using a picture frame. I've seen this idea all over the internet this month and thought it would be fun to try. However, I think I may need darker color markers for mine lol. It turned out really well. 



And here is a picture of the Apple Brown Betty I made. I'm not going to put the recipe up simply because it would take too much work to do that lol. But there are loads of recipes all over the net for Apple Brown Betty. But be warned. It is very sweet. 


Dear America: The Land of The Buffalo Bones: Book Review

Dear America: The Land of The Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota: New Yeovil, Minnesota, 1873



Mary Rodgers follows her family to Minnesota to start a new life, but she finds Minnesota hasher than she ever image and she must find the courage and strength to face the troubles that lie ahead.

The Rodgers family leaves England where they are persecuted because of their religious background. Mary’s father is the minister of the small Baptist church that her family and friends belong too. Her father gets his whole congregation to move west in hopes of a better future. However, they find the land bleak with winter, harsh and cruel. Plus there are Native Americans at every turn. Danger seems to follow them wherever they go and eventually the Rodgers family leaves New Yeovil in search of a new home somewhere in America.

I greatly enjoyed this book as I have most of the Dear America books. It’s story was really interesting and entertaining. I found the characters very believable and the history to be quite accurate. I always enjoy the history tibits in the back of these books as well.

I also read this book as part of a Downton Abbey Reading Challenge (http://reading-extensively.blogspot.com/2012/02/2012-downton-abbey-reading-challenge.html)  I recently joined. I thought it would be an interesting twist as the character leaves England to come to America. Rather than leaving America to go to England as a few of the characters in Downton Abbey do.

I think anyone who likes this era in history and the Dear America books will enjoy this book as much as I did.

An Almost Great Christmas (Lilac Post Hogwarts)

The presents Lilac had received for Christmas lay about her room, while Rosie tumbled about in the left over paper. Chewing up the Christmas paper like a dog might a chew toy, making Lilac truly wonder if her piggy was supposed to be a dog instead of a pig. She laughed when her pig buried herself inside a big pile of paper and couldn’t find her way out. Lilac scooped the piggy up and twirled around the room in her new dress that her aunt had made for her.

“Isn’t this just the best Christmas ever? Well. . . Almost the best Christmas ever? ‘She asked, the piggy.

“is it better now?” Will asked coming into her bedroom. Lilac turned around, it was her fault that she had left the door open. She smiled.

“Almost.” Lilac replied softly.

“You want something else?” Will asked. Lilac nodded.

“Sometimes, I miss them. Sometimes I think about them. Especially on days like this.” Lilac said and shrugged.
“Lilac, it is good to miss them, but no sense in wishing things that you can’t have.”

“I know. But I can’t help it. You wouldn’t understand.”

“No, I don’t understand, but you have people who care about you. That’s what matters.”

“It is.” Lilac said and smiled at Will.

“And you have friends too.”

“Yes. Friends are always good. Will?”

“Uh-uh?”

“Thanks for coming. I’m glad my aunt let you.”

“Well, it seemed like she wouldn’t let you stay for Christmas. Despite my mother’s pleading.”

“Christmas has always been special to her I guess. My mother’s favorite holiday.”

“Do you remember your parents much?”
“Yes.” Lilac said, noting wanting to talk much about them, she snuggled Rosie back into her. Will took the cue.

“It’s alright; you don’t have to talk about it. Until you are ready.”

“Thanks. Hey, let’s go see if there is any desert left. Hopefully my cousins didn’t eat everything up. I want some Butterbeer.” Lilac said taking Will’s hand and leading him down the stairs while holding onto her piggy.

Carlisle Tells his story (2009 flashback Bella Post)

“Ah, no, I can't say the London of my youth was a particularly happy place to have grown up. I was born just before the civil war, and grew up in a time of great political and religious upheaval. . . has Edward told you this story already?”

“No, he hasn’t. That’s why I asked.” I laughed. “That and I don’t want to do my homework.”

"I would hate to contribute to your neglect of your studies, but . . ." my stern expression melted into a smile, "It's probably about time you heard the family history anyway. I am just surprised Edward hasn't told you already--he knows it as well as I do, after all. Please stop me if anything I say troubles or upsets you."

“Edward hasn’t told me a lot at all about you or the others. He’s told me bits and pieces of course. I’m pretty sure I can handle anything you throw at me.” I said with a little shrug. Sure I might have nightmares later, but I wanted to hear Carlisle’s story regardless.

"That's very considerate of Edward to keep our secrets." He paused, looking over his shoulder at the paintings on the wall for a moment before turning back. "My creator isn't around because my creation was very different than Edward and Esme's. I was assisting my father, who was a pastor, hunt for monsters."

“People seriously did that? I thought those were just stories. The vampire hunts at least, I mean. Everyone knows the witch’s hunts were very real.” I said. “Did you join those hunts?” I asked now the meaning of Carlisle’s words suddenly clicking. I couldn’t image Carlisle hunting for “monsters”

"Reluctantly. I did approve of my father's methods, and I felt that most of the monsters he sought were innocent people. Things like mental illness were very poorly understood back then, and people who were deemed in any away strange were often targets. The one blessing of taking over my father's work--he was a pastor, by the way--was that I could do things my own way. I was very careful and would never accuse anyone unless I was certain. Of course, all this attention to detail led me to find real monsters: vampires. Although we didn't have the word back then. My father and the other religious leaders simply called them blood-drinking demons."

I stared at Carlisle for a moment. Of course I had known about witch hunts and such, but I never guessed that people really went on monster hunts or blood- drinking demon hunts. What a different life we live today. I thought. “So that’s how you were turned? You were hunting for vampires and one turned you?” I asked.

"Yes," he said, his hand tugging at the scarf around his neck. "I'm still not entirely certain how I made it out . . . alive, or whatever it is that we are. He should have killed me. I can only assume my creation was an accident. I never saw the vampire who changed me again."

“If your creator wasn’t around when you woke up, how did you know you were a vampire? I mean, did you just know because of the thirst or something?” I asked. I had always assumed that a vampire who was created woke up with his or her creator. And that creator mentored them into becoming what they were. But how would you know you were a vampire when you woke up from something like that?

"Yes, the thirst made it pretty obvious. .. but beyond that, I had studied these creatures thoroughly. Of course most of the information I had was false--I'm sure you've discovered that most of your beliefs about vampires are not true."

“Yeah, I figured that out pretty quick after Edward saved me from the van. I didn’t know what you were at first. But I knew it wasn’t. . .Natural. Then the stories. . . I researched too.” I said.

"You and I have that in common then: having a glimpse into this world while still being human. I'm afraid it was all quite a shock to the others. At least I had some sense of what had happened to me."

“It would be pretty scary, waking up and being something not human but not dead either and having no idea what that something is.” I said glancing at the time and down at my homework. I sighed. I was getting A’s of course but if I continued to dodge my homework, those A’s would quickly turn to B’s and then C’s. Pretty soon, I would fail and I couldn’t have that. “I should probably get back to my homework uh?” I said. Not that I wanted too.

"It was a very dark time for me--and yes, very frightening. But happily I am quite content with my life now." Carlisle glanced at Bella's homework with a small smile. "And yes, you should attend to your studies. I don't get to say that often enough: it all looses a bit of meaning when my 'children' have all been through high school multiple times."

“That has to be so boring. Repeating the same subjects over and over again.” I said shaking my head and then I opened my own book.

"I don't envy them that, but allows us to stay in one place longer, and helps them practice restraint. But I shall leave you to it. The others will be home shortly and I had promised Esme I'd go through the pile of journals I've left on the coffee table downstairs for far too long." Carlisle stood and rested one hand on Bella's shoulder for just a moment before he left the room.

(Written with Carlisle)

First Day with the horses (Nora Post Twilight)

I had put my hair up off my neck, to get it out of my way. Lately, I had taken to wearing it down as seemed to be popular in the trends now a days. However, I knew that if I were to be working with horses, it would just get into my way. So I rounded it up into a braided bun at the back of my head and then down into braided pick tails and tied the braids with a ribbon I had from God knew when. I wore a pair of jeans and flannel t-shirt. My riding boots and a hat. The same hat I had worn on my trail days, Billy wasn’t the only one who had kept his things. Even my boots where the same, I popped on a pair of leather gloves, and made my way towards the barn.

“Nora. . .” Charlie started to say. I smiled at my brother. “ If it doesn’t work. . .”

“It will work, Charlie, and if it doesn’t, I will sell the horses and move on to something else. But at the moment, I think it will work.”

“I know how high you set your hopes on certain things- - -“

“Oh shut up Charlie.” I said rolling my eyes. “Give it a rest. I will be fine.” I said and gave my brother a bright smile, letting him know I wasn’t angry with him. He shook his head, but his eyes were laughing.

“Alright then, go and play with your horses.” Charlie sighed.

**********

I slowly opened the barn door to where the stables where. I found myself standing in front of the horse’s stalls. The mother horse began to freak out, I slowly began to hold out my hand but she reared back. I sighed.

“It’s alright, girl. I’m not going to hurt you.” I said very gently and quietly. My eyes were on the female’s eyes. I gently and lightly stepped towards her. Eventually, with every step as soon as she began to look into my eyes, she gradually calmed down. I stared at her for a moment, not thinking that it was going to be that easy. She gently nudged my hand for the apple in my other hand and I gently gave it to her.

“See, I told you that I wasn’t going to hurt you.” I said very softly, she looked into my eyes for a moment and reared back. I gently looked into her eyes yet again, and watched as she calmed back down. There was something in my eyes looking at her eyes. I stared at her.

“Sh..” I said gently and grabbed the bridle.

“See, that wasn’t so bad, now is it?” I asked the horse.

“Um. . . Perhaps I should name you. . . Yes a name. . . Now I need to think.” I said, gently keeping my eyes on the horses.

“No, perhaps a name shall wait. You still do not trust me yet.” I said softly, I could still sense the horse’s mistrust. I would not name her until she completely trusted me. I gently rubbed her neck.

“It will be alright. You will soon trust me.” I said softly to the horse and then silently and quietly made my way out of the barn.

The Smell of Smoke (Alice Post, Twilight)

I could smell the smoke rising up from Carlisle’s ashes before it was announced that our father was dead. I felt myself whimper despite wishing to remain calm and brave. I felt Jasper squeeze my hand.

“Sh. . . It will be alright.” He whispered into my ear and I knew he was trying to keep me calm. Trying to keep all of us calm, probably trying keep

us from doing something stupid. I held his hands tightly.

“Carlisle. . .” Esme whispered. I didn’t dare to look at her for fear of breaking down myself. I kept my eyes straight forward. I knew Jasper was keeping his eyes on me. I leaned into him. What would I do if I ever lost him? Unlike Esme, I had spent time away from Jasper before I meant him. I had known about him of course from my visions. I supposed I could live without Jasper, as I had once before. But it would be terribly hard.

Esme on the other hand, had never lived without Carlisle as a vampire. I did not know how she was going to handle not having Carlisle around. Yet somehow, I knew she would endure it. She would endure it better than any of us could because she would have us with her. I closed my eyes, trying to see something of Carlisle. But he had vanished from my visions.

“Jasper. . .” I said quietly.

“Sh.” He spoke softly into my ear. “I’m right here. I am surprised they didn’t have us watch this.”

“Me too.” I said softly my eyes filling with tears, and truly I was surprised yet at the same time I was thankful. Thankful I did not have to be subject to my father’s death. I glanced over at Esme for a moment, and then back at the wall. Trying not to look at my mother in case the panic I had felt rising during this whole trip finally rose up out of me.

“Alice, I am right here.” Jasper said reassuring me. I leaned closer into him. At this point, Aro came through the arches holding a pile of belongings we knew were Carlisle’s.

“I am terribly sorry about this my dear children.” Aro said, I glared at him. “However, the Volturi do not bend the law for anyone.”

“He didn’t do anything!” Rose hissed under breath. If Aro heard this, he did not comment on it. Instead he handed Esme the box of Carlisle’s belongings. I didn’t want to see this, so I turned around and looked into Jasper’s eyes.

“Sh. . .” He said softly. I knew this was just as hard for him as it was for me. But he had at least known his real father. Carlisle was the only father I had ever had.

“Oh Jasper. . .” I said softly.

“It’s alright.” Jazz said leaning his forehead into mine. His eyes only on mine. His arms wrapped tightly around me.

“I want to go home.” I choked out looking up at him. Jazz nodded.

“We will.” He said softly. “I promise.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gingerbread Men, Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas Recipe

Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas;


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe





In the movie, Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas, Mandie and her friends make Gingerbread Cookies. The movie came with an activity guide that has the recipe Mandie used in the movie. Ever since I saw the movie, I’ve been wanting to make these cookies. But I just haven’t had time until last week. The cookies were really yummy, and my dad and I ate them up within the week. Lol. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
Half a cup of butter
Half cup of sguar
Half cup of molassess
1 egg yolk
2 cups sifted flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar until smooth

Beat in molasses and egg yolk

In another bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices.

Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter egg mixture

Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (this makes the dough stiff and easier to work with)

On a lightly floured board roll the dough to a ¼ inch thickness

Cut into gingerbread men or other desired shapes

Place cookies about two inches apart on an ungreased sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Cool.

Makes three dozen cookies.
(Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas Activity Guide page 8) 


An Empty House (Flashback 2009. Bella Post Twilight)

I took my jacket off and laid it on the chair near the door, the house seemed very quiet for a house with six vampires inside. Normally, the TV was going, or the boys were playing some kind of game, or there was music or something. But instead, the house was silent.

“Edward?” I called, but there was no answer. I soon was wandering the house looking for my boyfriend, and when I found he wasn’t in his room, I decided to try other places.

“Edward?” I called again. Still no answer, I wandered down the hall and found the door to Carlisle’s office opened. I hesitated before I opened the door.

“Hello Bella.” Carlisle said without looking up from whatever he was doing.

“Hi, Carlisle.” I said. I felt a little awkward, the only time I really had much to do with Carlisle was when he was stitching me up. Which, with my klutziness, was quite a bit, but besides that, I had not had much of a chance to talk to Carlisle.

“Edward went on a hunting trip with the others. I am a bit surprised he did not tell you he was going.”

“Um, I guess he probably thought he would be back before I came. How come you didn’t go?” I asked.

“I was at work. I came home early.” Carlisle answered. “They should be back soon; you are welcome to wait if you like.” Carlisle said motioning to the chair in front of his desk. I sat down letting my book bag drop to the floor. I was supposed to be doing homework with Edward. I pulled out my history book.

“Homework?” Carlisle asked, shutting his laptop. I nodded.

“Yeah.” I said opening up the book. “Edward was going to help.” I said with a shrug. “Hey, Carlisle?” I asked.

“Yes?”

“Edward told me you changed him, than Esme. . . And you changed Edward around 1918. Carlisle, how old are you? I mean when were you turned, and how come your creator isn’t around?” I asked. This story would be far more interesting. For a moment, Carlisle looked as if he wasn’t going to tell me and then he changed his mind.

“I was changed in 1663, I was 23.” Carlisle began.

“Wow!” I said quietly, Carlisle was over 300 years old, I had never meant or seen anyone or thing that old before. It was utterly amazing to me.”So you must not have been turned in America?” I asked.

“No, I was born in London.”

“That explains the accent.” I smiled. Carlisle smiled back at me.

“Yes, I am afraid I have never quite managed a full American accent.”

“What was London like in the 1600s?” I asked. “I bet it was pretty scary uh? Filthy. . .”

The Idea of Fun (Alessandra Post)

I stood leaning up against the doorway, watching Petrus helping Skye with her homework. His big gentle hands turning the pages, I knew that being that close to her must have been driving him mad with thirst. But he was getting better at taming his desire for human blood. I wondered, clasping my hands together, if he would- - - If he truly wanted to be with me, I doubted I could be with someone who kill humans for their blood. No, I decided I could not be with someone like that. Not that I considered Petrus a monster, but it was the point of it all. He looked up to see me, and smiled.

“Alessandra! Petrus has been helping me with my homework. Where have you been? I was looking for you all day.” Skye said smiling.

“I was out.” I said simply.

“Hunting?” Skye asked. I shook my head and laughed.

“Skye, a vampire doesn’t always go out alone to hunt.”

“I know, but it seemed like the obvious thing you would be doing. What were you doing anyway?”

“I needed some space is all.” I said. In truth I had gone for a walk in the woods which had changed little since I had last been in them. I had to clear my mind. Lately all I could think about was Petrus, but at the same time the scenes from my past which I had been able to put behind me for a little while, continued to plague me. I contributed it to the fact that I suddenly was living on the very land where these scenes took place.

“Oh. You know what I think your problem is?” Skye asked.

“What?” I replied. I didn’t have the slightest idea what Skye thought my problem was. There were a million things Skye could think.

“You’re too serious. You need to have fun.”

“Fun.” I said shaking my head. I wasn’t sure if I knew how to have fun. Sure Petrus had tried to teach me how to have fun; even Alice had tried to take me shopping with her once. But, I could never concentrate on what we were doing for long. The past always crept in.

“She’s right, Alessandra. You know she is. We should do something. All three of us.” I shook my head.

“Petrus. . .” I started.

“Alessandra, come on. When was the last time you had fun?” Petrus asked. I shrugged, trying to think back through the years. Possibly, I had some fun when Petrus tried to teach me how to roller skate. But even that. . .

“Two thousand years?” Skye asked. “What did you like to do as a human?” I smirked. As a human, I loved parties, sex, clothes, shopping, being rebellious. “Come on. . . You can tell us.”

“Skye, what do you know about Ancient Rome?” I asked.

“That the Romans fought one another in big battles and that the gladiators killed the lions.”

“And that’s all?” I asked a bit stunned. Skye nodded.

“Oh and Ceasar killed Jesus.”

“That was in Jerusalem. Not Rome.”

“So it did happen?”

“Um, perhaps.”

“You’re dodging the question.” Skye said.

“What question was that?” I asked trying to play innocent.

“”What did you do in Ancient Rome to have fun?”

“I was a Priestess, we weren’t expected to have fun.” I said eyeing Petrus who smirked. I knew full well that he had been told countless times what kind of fun I had.

“Uh-uh.” Skye said. “I somehow don’t believe that.” Finally I rolled my eyes.

“I went to parties thrown by the top officials in Rome at the time, I had slept with just about everyone of those officials, rebelled against the rules of my sacred calling, kept my hair long instead of shaving it. Had sex, instead of remaining a virgin. Walked the streets at night…”

“Wow you were a rebel.”

“She still is.” Petrus said. “She doesn’t do anything Aro tells her to do.”

“Aro is not my Master. He can be everyone else’s Master. But he will <i>never</i> be mine.”

“But he isn’t that bad is he?” Skye asked. I sighed, I wasn’t sure if I could manage to have fun but if it would get Petrus and Skye to stop talking about Aro, I would try.

“What kind of fun do you have in mine Petrus?” I asked looking up at my. . . At Petrus.

“Skye?” Petrus said smiling at her.

“I think we should go out into Rome, see the sights. I mean I still haven’t seen half of the things in Rome, get something to eat. . . For me, and then watching a movie or something! Going shopping, you know having fun!” I sighed.

“Alright. Skye, how would you like to see Rome, the way Petrus and I see Rome?” I asked.

“I would love that!” Skye said happily, bouncing on her toes.

A chat about the Volturi (Nora~ Twilight)

“I still do not see how this is going to work.” Charlie was saying as we drove the horses home. I had bought two beautiful Nez Perce ponies. One was a female the other it’s foul. I had remembered owning a beautiful Nez Perce horse once upon a time. When my pony had died on the trail, I was able to trade for a horse. But these horses were so much more beautiful than the one I had. “Those horses nearly would not get into the trailer for me.”

“It will work Charlie.” I said to my big brother. I had all the confidence in the world that I could tame these horses to eventually trust our kind. The Volturi did it, why couldn’t I?

“I just don’t want you to be disappointed if it doesn’t work out the way you want it too. I know how you get your heart set on things Nora.”

“Charlie, the Volturi managed it.”

“Yes, but that is the Volturi.”

“Have you ever even meant the Volturi?” I asked looking at my brother.

“No. Nor do I plan on it.”

“Why not?” I asked suddenly. I had always wondered why, I mean really why everyone was so afraid of the Volturi. They surely could not all be as bad as what everyone said. Even Carlisle had seemed to fear these Volturi and he had lived with them.

“Do you remember what Carlisle said at all about the Volturi?”

“Yes of course I do.” I said rolling my eyes. “That they had no compassion for humanity, that they were cruel and cold and blah blah blah. But Charlie, people are afraid of them, I mean there must be a reason why no one has ever tried to uproot them.”

“Someone did once. The Romanians. However you can guess how that went.”

“Because, they don’t exist anymore?” I asked.

“No they do, only their numbers are much fewer than they once were. Nora, I want you to promise me that you will never have anything to do with these Volturi.” Charlie said much to my surprise. I sighed. I couldn’t possibly promise something like that. What if I did happen to cross paths with one?

“Charlie you know I cant promise something like that.”

“Okay, than promise me you wont go searching for them.”

“I cant promise that either. They’re the only kind of law we have. What if we need them one day?”

“Nora, we’ll never need the Volturi.” Charlie said with absolute certainty.

“Never, say never.” I said quiet. “Charlie, we’re immortal and so are they. Never, is a word that should not exists for us.” Charlie sighed.

“I don’t understand why you are being so stubborn about this Nora. The Volturi are not people to be trifled with.” I shrugged.

“I just don’t want to promise you something that I may not be able to promise you. Besides, what’s important right now is getting our new horses home and in the stables.” I smiled at my brother. Charlie sighed again.

“You have a point there.” He said glancing back at the trailer where the horses currently were.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Stair Case Book Review

okay, here is something I have thought of doing now for some time, and that is book reviews! I've been going through books like water and I thought it would be a good idea to start doing some reviews. It might also even be a fun way to keep my blog going. So here is the first one!


Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase:


Nancy is asked to investigate the Twins Elms Mansion which is thought to be haunted! While investigating the mansion, Carson Drew, Nancy’s father goes missing and there is something sinister about Nathan Gomer. Will Nancy find the ghost of Twins Elms Mansion? Will she find her father and what is wrong with Nathan Gomer? Check out the book to find more!

When I was a kid, I was never interested in reading the Nancy Drew books because I always thought the Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard, where far better than Nancy Drew could ever be. However, as the years past, I really began to find that I loved all things Nancy Drew too. For instance, I adored the 2007 movie of Nancy Drew, I really enjoyed the tv series that they had on Nancy Drew and I also loved the original 1930s movies.  The PC Nancy Drew Games are always entertaining, so I decided it was high time, I read a Nancy Drew book. 

In this particular book, Nancy is asked by a friend to investigate the Twins Elms Mansion which is owned by Mrs. Flora Turnbull and Mrs. Rosemary Hayes. Mrs. Flora thinks that the mansion is haunted because of certain noises she has been hearing. Mrs. Rosemary is skeptical. 

Nancy comes to the rescue and after several strange things happen, Nancy finally comes to the bottom of the mystery. There are at least two other plot lines going on in the book as well and towards the end, everything comes together. 

I actually enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure if I was going too or not. But I did, and had I read it as a kid I am sure I would have loved it, if you enjoy mysteries, I suggest reading this book, and it is perfect for children. Though if you get the original 1930’s blue cover, you may want to read the book to your child. There are several racist slurs in the original book because of the period it was written.