Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Recipes from Fiction Books That I Want to Try

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Honestly, it’s been years since I read a book that included actual recipes in it, But I do love stories that describe food, especially when they goes in great detail about it.

All of these dishes seem simple enough to reverse engineer recipes for, so I figured that’s close enough for this week’s prompt. 🙂

A strawberry tart with whole, fresh strawberries piled on top of it. Tarts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

In the next moment, her eyes fell on the White Rabbit that was serving the court as a herald and was reading the accusation that the Knave of Hearts had stolen the Queen’s tarts. In the middle of the court, a large platter of tarts was on display.”

(In my imagination, they’re strawberry tarts!)

Roasted potatoes from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

“Dickon made the stimulating discovery […] there was a deep little hollow where you could build a sort of tiny oven with stones and roast potatoes and eggs in it. […] Very hot potatoes with salt and fresh butter in them were fit for a woodland king—besides being deliciously satisfying.”


A blueberry pie sitting on a wooden cutting board Blueberry Pie from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White:

The children ran for the kitchen. ‘Just in time for a piece of blueberry pie,’ said Mrs. Zuckerman.

Clam Chowder from Moby-Dick

“However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

This entire amazing meal from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg:

“Idgie and Ruth had set a place for him at a table. He sat down to a plate of fried chicken, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, and iced tea.

Is anyone else hungry now?

Top Ten Tuesday:What I’m Thankful for

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last year I used the Thanksgiving prompt to discuss Native American authors and books. This year I decided to share some of the things I’m grateful for.

Answer #6 mentions Covid-19, so feel free to skip it if that’s a sensitive topic for you. I’m sending virtual hugs to everyone who has had their heart broken by this awful illness this year.

1. Canadian Healthcare

I grew up in the United States in a family that sometimes struggled to pay medical (and other) bills, so it blew my mind to immigrate to a country where you can make an appointment with your family doctor (or even a specialist) without ever having worry about how you’ll afford to pay for that visit.

Canada definitely isn’t a perfect country, but I love the fact that everyone here has the ability to get that suspicious mole/lump checked out or find out that they have high blood pressure/diabetes/other chronic health conditions before those diagnoses balloon into something life-threatening and very difficult to treat. I wish everyone on Earth had this same access to decent medical care.

Drawing of the phrase Happy Thanksgiving on a wooden sign. The sign has some leaves flanking it and a pile of squash, tomatoes, and pumpkins sitting below it. 2. Jana, Top Ten Tuesday, and You

Thank you, Jana, for hosting Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog hop, and I’m grateful for all of you.

3. A Quiet, Warm, Safe Place to Live 

4. A Kitchen Filled With Food

5. Clean Clothes and Comfortable Shoes

There are far too many people in this world whose basic needs aren’t being met. I do what I can to help them and only wish I could do more.

6. My Parents Surviving Covid-19

Both of my parents caught Covid-19 this year. I am so grateful that they are still around. May next year bring a vaccine that will grind this illness to a halt.

7. The Internet 

How many of you remember what life was like before most people had access to the Internet? I do, and I’m glad we have ways to digitally reach out to one another during this pandemic. Life would be much sadder and more isolated if we were all stuck at home without it.

8. Humorous Pet Videos and Gifs

This list needs something silly on it.

Humorous animal content brings so much joy to my life. When my parents were sick earlier this year, I relied heavily on stuff like compilation videos of cute baby rabbits  to distract me while we waited for updates about their health.

Purple, blue, and yellow overlapping bubbles. The largest bubble is purple and has the word Thank You written on it. 9. Front Line Workers

I deeply appreciate all of you. Thank you for working so hard to keep everyone healthy, safe, and stocked up on all of the necessities of life like food and medicine.

You are the true heroes of 2020.

10. Exercise 

A good workout does wonders for my mind and body!

11. Dairy-Free Treats

2020 has felt like it lasted a decade, so I’m sneaking one last item onto my list.

I love the fact that there has been a surge of companies offering dairy-free ice cream, cookies, chocolate bars, and more. These items used to be much harder to find, so it’s marvellous to have such a big selection of them now when I want a treat.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Funniest Things That Have Happened To Me

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Wooden sign with polka dots and the words "did you smile today?" written on it I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories! This is one of those WWBC topics I’ve been looking forward to all year long.

Story #1

My extended family is interracial and multiracial. Various versions of this conversation have happened multiple times over the years, and I hope I always see the amusing side of them.

(Yes, I do share relevant details with medical professionals or friends. I simply choose not to explain the intricacies of my family tree to every nosy stranger in the world).

Them: Who’s that person?

Me: They’re my <cousin, etc.>

Them: But they’re Black! <Cuban, etc.>

Me: They sure are.

Them: Okay, I get it. You’re biracial.

Me: No, I’m Caucasian.

Them: Are you sure about that? I mean, you do have curly hair.

Me: Yes, white people have curly hair, too.

Them: So are they biracial then?

Me: Nope. (Well, not in most cases).

Them: I’m confused. Are they your real <cousin, etc.>?

Me: Yep.

(repeat ad infinitum).


Story #2

This happened at the end of an exhausting holiday shift right before Christmas at a retail job I had years ago. Normally, I would have been much more responsive, but my brain was fried from the long hours, rotating shift work that made it impossible to get enough sleep, and frantic workflow for retail workers in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. This customer had been inspecting our pans for a few minutes before she waved me over.

Customer: Excuse me, do you sell adamantium* pans?

Me: Sorry, we don’t sell them.

Customer: Do you know where I can adamantium pans?

Me: I honestly have no idea!

*That is to say, the fictional metal alloy used to coat Wolverine’s skeleton and claws in Marvel comic books. (And I still have no idea what she meant or why anyone would want to make baking pans from that material if it really existed).



Story #3

The most recent story of them all. A few years ago, I noticed a weird-looking mole slowly growing bigger on my body and decided to ask my dermatologist to take a look at it.

The dermatologist asked me a few questions about the history of the mole and then brought out some specialized tools to peer more closely at it.

He was silent for a moment and then exclaimed, “your mole is bland!” It looked a little odd,  but it wasn’t cancerous like I’d feared it might be.

I still chuckle at this memory ever so often. My name is Lydia, bearer of bland moles. Ha!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Name a Pet After

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

What a fun topic! I also decided to include the species I’d use the name for, and I tried to cover as many different types of pets as possible.

The titles in parentheses will tell you where I found these names if any of them are unfamiliar to you.

a white maltese puppy sitting in a field of grass1. Cujo (Cujo by Stephen King)

I think it would be amusing to give this name to a small, friendly dog.

2. Bunnicula (Bunnicula by James Howe)

For a rabbit, of course!

3. Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)

Honestly, this would work well for any species.

4. Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Okay, so sparrows aren’t generally kept as pets. I’ll bet a budgie, finch, or canary would be well-suited for this sort of moniker.

5. Simba (Lion King)

A big, fluffy cat might appreciate this name.

6. Rocky (the film Rocky)

I’d bet there are lizards, turtles, and other cold-blooded pets out there who would fit this name perfectly.

7. Tinker Bell (Peter Pan)

A spider or large, intimidating dog named Tinker Bell would be delightful.

two bunnies eating daisies while sitting on a tree stump8. Elsa and Anna (Frozen)

The vast majority of rabbits are happiest when they live in bonded pairs (or larger groups). If I had two or more rabbits, I’d pick names for them that matched the same theme.

9. Moana (Moana)

This seems like a nice name for a fish, turtle, or other aquatic pet.

10. Remy (Ratatouille)

Last but not least, we can’t forget rats, mice, hamsters, and similar furry friends. Remy seems like a great name for them.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Movies That Were Better Than the Books

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A wooden bowl filled with buttered popcorn I have three answers for this week’s prompt.

Several other WWBC participants are also fans of Lord of the Rings, so I might horrify some of you a little by admitting that I think the films based on them that came out in the early 2000s were better than the books.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a wonderful storyteller, but he could be longwinded at times. This was especially true when it came to his descriptions of settings. I’d much rather see a windswept hill or an ornate hall in a castle than read pages of descriptions about every little detail of them.

As much as I liked the original novella version of The Shawshank Redemption, the details and character development added to it when it became a feature length film made it even better. Stephen King had the opposite problem that Tolkien did here. He didn’t spend enough time describing things in this novella for my tastes. 

Honestly, I want to lock King and Tolkien into a room together and have them rub off on each other a bit. 

My final answer is Children of Men by P.D. James. The novel spent a lot of time focusing on the psychological burden faced by all humans on Earth once we stopped being able to have babies.

It worked well for the original form, but this story became even more compelling to me once the thriller elements were added. I’m saying that as someone who generally enjoys introspective fiction! There does come a time when characters need to step away from their ruminations and spend more time directly dealing with their problems.

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl For the sake of this post, I’m going to pretend like the Covid-19 pandemic is not happening since some of my hobbies aren’t currently safe or even possible to do. Someday that will change, and for now I’ll enjoy the rest of them. Visiting museums I especially enjoy art,… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: How I Decide What to Read Next

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year. Figuring out what to read next is pretty simple for me. The Toronto Public Library allows patrons to place holds on up to 30 ebooks at… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Halloween Treats

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Okay, so that title wasn’t super bookish. Let’s amend it to be My Favourite Halloween Treats While Reading. Sometimes there’s something to be said for snacking on festive foods while reading something spooky. My mind has decided that all orange foods are vaguely Halloween-ish. It’s made the same association… Read More