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Chicken and Waffles – Pennsylvania Dutch

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles is not all about fried chicken! Not at all! Pennsylvania created the first version! 

My Story

My heritage is pretty boring. The family comes from a long line of people in rural Pennsylvania. Like real rural. Our town has had the same number of people in it for over 150 years. Granted it’s pretty big for a rural area (under 10,000 people), but very few people leave. People die, and their descendants move in. My aunt lived in the same house she was born in until she had to go to a nursing home. My family has lived in that town for going on 300 years. We have one grocery store, who’s headquarters happens to be in town. One hotel. The most popular restaurant is a hot dog palace, with five stools. We have history, but we are definitely small town America.

The biggest thing that we have going for it (outside of having the a first by Thomas Edison) is our Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. No, this does not mean we are Dutch, no matter what anyone tells you. We are German, through and through. And we are very proud of our Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and its cooking.

The History of Chicken and Waffles

Pennsylvania has lots of ‘war’ over the invention of foods. Whoopee Pies with Massachusetts is one. Our biggest one is Chicken and Waffles. There are two types, for those of you ‘not in the know’.  Read more

Easy Home Repairs – Without the Huge Expense

Easy Home RepairsEasy Home Repairs – Without the Huge Expense

My Story

I was forty-five, and I decided it was time to grow up and put down some roots, for the first time in my life. I grew up a military brat, was a veteran, married a veteran, and as a civilian had trouble keeping a job in one place. 

Amazingly, I finally found a civilian job where I fit in. I’d been there for eight years. I’d never been in one place eight years. I lived in an expensive area and decided to see if I qualified for a house, since I’d planned on retiring at a job I actually loved. What a shock, right? A job this diyhomegoddess loved! 

So I started looking for a house. For the first time in my life, I was going to own. I spent only a few weeks, but looked at probably about 40 houses. I got a townhouse! Unfortunately it was a foreclosure, and had a lot of work to do. There were only three former owners over its 35-year life, but sadly, they were diy-ers that had no clue what they were doing or did things on the cheap. Like putting flooring on top of the old. Like painting wrought-iron latex white! Or, my personal fav, covering the laundry room ceiling with vinyl siding!

 Easy Home Repair Skills

So I had to learn skills for easy home repairs fast! It’s been going on nine years. And I’m still fixing things. Yes, I still need to strip the wrought-iron. Or I will replace it with wood railing. I haven’t decided which would be better. But I’m doing it slowly. And what I can’t do, I am hiring professionals to do.

There are many things a diyhomegoddess can do on her own, to save a few bucks. Here are some easy home repairs you can do yourself. Read more

Libby Klein – Midnight Snacks Are Murder

Libby Klein

Midnight Snacks are Murder – A Poppy McAllister Mystery

General Introduction

Libby Klein has done it again, with Midnight Snacks are Murder. This story was totally different from the last book. That is a good thing. That means this was not a cookie cutter book. Nor was it based on a formula. I don’t like that there is always a love interest in a cozy, but at least in this series it’s not a cop! There is a thief going around in the middle of the night stealing knick-knacks and snacks from peoples’ houses. Then Aunt Ginny is accused of something much worse than this simple crime. Murder! It’s up to Poppy to prove Aunt Ginny is innocent, while fighting the police and her mother-in-law, who seemed to be trying to destroy the renovation of the B&B the gals are trying to open.

The Characters

These characters are fully developed. There were some very unique descriptions of the characters, such as “he was round and pink and looked to have the muscle mass of a canned ham”. You can picture what this man looked like, without having any actual pictorial description. 

There weren’t so many characters that you can’t keep track of them. I liked the fact that they seemed real to me. The old ladies were a hoot. I loved the scene where they kept growing in number as they were looking for Aunt Ginny. I loved how they all wanted to help. And I want to know what was in those cookies! Read more

Kate Carlisle – Deck The Hallways – A Fixer Upper Mystery

Kate Carlisle

General Information

Kate Carlisle has written several books in her fixer-upper series. This one is called Deck The Hallways. It’s about a charity fixing up a mansion to house those down on their luck, trying to get back on their feet. What an inspiring story in the first place. This is the 4th in the series, but the first one I’ve read. If you want any of my other reviews by other others, check here. FYI, a couple of these have been made into Hallmark movies!

Characters

There was a lot of different personalities in this story. And there were descriptions on the majority of the characters, so you could get a feel for them. Nothing cookie cutter here. But there was a LOT of characters. I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of all of them.

Settings

Most of the story took place in one building and the grounds, and we got a good idea of what it was like. Even though it was going through a renovation throughout the book. And there was lots of setting descriptions, which I thought was key to this kind of story, a fixer upper.

The Dialogue

There was a lot of dialogue in the story, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. You didn’t have a lot of problems understanding who was saying what. But since there was a lot of people in the story, the dialogue was predominant in the story. But like I said, it wasn’t overwhelming, because it wasn’t monologues, it was chatting.

The Plot

It did take 9 chapters to get to the murder, which seemed a little long to me. But at least the author kept showing scenes to add potential suspects before the actual murder happened.

And the indications in the books seemed to point this was an amateur sleuth, but I didn’t see too much of that going on in the story. Maybe I was reading it wrong?

The subplots were interesting, but I felt I should have started at the beginning of the series here. Some series you can jump in wherever, but I didn’t feel I could with this one.

The Pace

But, that being said, Kate Carlisle did a good ratio of dialogue, setting, exposition, and action.

Even though this didn’t seem like the typical cozy, the pace was pretty good. It didn’t drag at any one point in the story.

The one think I thought was neat was there was no normal hints like in other cozies. No lists at the end of tips on how search for antiques in those cozies. No fake ‘newsletters’ thrown at the end of some chapters like in fashion cozies. This was done totally different. The fixer upper tips were listed right in the story. When Shannon was discussing with Blake about drywall, they discussed the reason why it was hung horizontal instead of vertical. When she patched cracks with putty, Kate Carlisle (or the character) explained the process. How cool is that!

Kate Carlisle Author Information

You can find out more information about Kate Carlisle here.

Here is a list of the mysteries in her fixer-upper series:

  • A High End Finish – November 2014 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • This Old Homicide – January 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Crowned and Moldering – November 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Deck the Hallways – November 2016
  • Eaves of Destruction – November 2017
  • A Wrench in the Works – Coming November 2018

She also has a bibliophile series that I haven’t reviewed yet.

The Verdict

All in all, not a bad one, and I do have other ones in the series I will be reading.

4 Stars

Do you have any of her books? What did you think?

SaveSave

SaveSave

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Chicken and Waffles – Pennsylvania Dutch

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles is not all about fried chicken! Not at all! Pennsylvania created the first version! 

My Story

My heritage is pretty boring. The family comes from a long line of people in rural Pennsylvania. Like real rural. Our town has had the same number of people in it for over 150 years. Granted it’s pretty big for a rural area (under 10,000 people), but very few people leave. People die, and their descendants move in. My aunt lived in the same house she was born in until she had to go to a nursing home. My family has lived in that town for going on 300 years. We have one grocery store, who’s headquarters happens to be in town. One hotel. The most popular restaurant is a hot dog palace, with five stools. We have history, but we are definitely small town America.

The biggest thing that we have going for it (outside of having the a first by Thomas Edison) is our Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. No, this does not mean we are Dutch, no matter what anyone tells you. We are German, through and through. And we are very proud of our Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and its cooking.

The History of Chicken and Waffles

Pennsylvania has lots of ‘war’ over the invention of foods. Whoopee Pies with Massachusetts is one. Our biggest one is Chicken and Waffles. There are two types, for those of you ‘not in the know’.  Read more

Easy Home Repairs – Without the Huge Expense

Easy Home RepairsEasy Home Repairs – Without the Huge Expense

My Story

I was forty-five, and I decided it was time to grow up and put down some roots, for the first time in my life. I grew up a military brat, was a veteran, married a veteran, and as a civilian had trouble keeping a job in one place. 

Amazingly, I finally found a civilian job where I fit in. I’d been there for eight years. I’d never been in one place eight years. I lived in an expensive area and decided to see if I qualified for a house, since I’d planned on retiring at a job I actually loved. What a shock, right? A job this diyhomegoddess loved! 

So I started looking for a house. For the first time in my life, I was going to own. I spent only a few weeks, but looked at probably about 40 houses. I got a townhouse! Unfortunately it was a foreclosure, and had a lot of work to do. There were only three former owners over its 35-year life, but sadly, they were diy-ers that had no clue what they were doing or did things on the cheap. Like putting flooring on top of the old. Like painting wrought-iron latex white! Or, my personal fav, covering the laundry room ceiling with vinyl siding!

 Easy Home Repair Skills

So I had to learn skills for easy home repairs fast! It’s been going on nine years. And I’m still fixing things. Yes, I still need to strip the wrought-iron. Or I will replace it with wood railing. I haven’t decided which would be better. But I’m doing it slowly. And what I can’t do, I am hiring professionals to do.

There are many things a diyhomegoddess can do on her own, to save a few bucks. Here are some easy home repairs you can do yourself. Read more

Libby Klein – Midnight Snacks Are Murder

Libby Klein

Midnight Snacks are Murder – A Poppy McAllister Mystery

General Introduction

Libby Klein has done it again, with Midnight Snacks are Murder. This story was totally different from the last book. That is a good thing. That means this was not a cookie cutter book. Nor was it based on a formula. I don’t like that there is always a love interest in a cozy, but at least in this series it’s not a cop! There is a thief going around in the middle of the night stealing knick-knacks and snacks from peoples’ houses. Then Aunt Ginny is accused of something much worse than this simple crime. Murder! It’s up to Poppy to prove Aunt Ginny is innocent, while fighting the police and her mother-in-law, who seemed to be trying to destroy the renovation of the B&B the gals are trying to open.

The Characters

These characters are fully developed. There were some very unique descriptions of the characters, such as “he was round and pink and looked to have the muscle mass of a canned ham”. You can picture what this man looked like, without having any actual pictorial description. 

There weren’t so many characters that you can’t keep track of them. I liked the fact that they seemed real to me. The old ladies were a hoot. I loved the scene where they kept growing in number as they were looking for Aunt Ginny. I loved how they all wanted to help. And I want to know what was in those cookies! Read more

Kate Carlisle – Deck The Hallways – A Fixer Upper Mystery

Kate Carlisle

General Information

Kate Carlisle has written several books in her fixer-upper series. This one is called Deck The Hallways. It’s about a charity fixing up a mansion to house those down on their luck, trying to get back on their feet. What an inspiring story in the first place. This is the 4th in the series, but the first one I’ve read. If you want any of my other reviews by other others, check here. FYI, a couple of these have been made into Hallmark movies!

Characters

There was a lot of different personalities in this story. And there were descriptions on the majority of the characters, so you could get a feel for them. Nothing cookie cutter here. But there was a LOT of characters. I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of all of them.

Settings

Most of the story took place in one building and the grounds, and we got a good idea of what it was like. Even though it was going through a renovation throughout the book. And there was lots of setting descriptions, which I thought was key to this kind of story, a fixer upper.

The Dialogue

There was a lot of dialogue in the story, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. You didn’t have a lot of problems understanding who was saying what. But since there was a lot of people in the story, the dialogue was predominant in the story. But like I said, it wasn’t overwhelming, because it wasn’t monologues, it was chatting.

The Plot

It did take 9 chapters to get to the murder, which seemed a little long to me. But at least the author kept showing scenes to add potential suspects before the actual murder happened.

And the indications in the books seemed to point this was an amateur sleuth, but I didn’t see too much of that going on in the story. Maybe I was reading it wrong?

The subplots were interesting, but I felt I should have started at the beginning of the series here. Some series you can jump in wherever, but I didn’t feel I could with this one.

The Pace

But, that being said, Kate Carlisle did a good ratio of dialogue, setting, exposition, and action.

Even though this didn’t seem like the typical cozy, the pace was pretty good. It didn’t drag at any one point in the story.

The one think I thought was neat was there was no normal hints like in other cozies. No lists at the end of tips on how search for antiques in those cozies. No fake ‘newsletters’ thrown at the end of some chapters like in fashion cozies. This was done totally different. The fixer upper tips were listed right in the story. When Shannon was discussing with Blake about drywall, they discussed the reason why it was hung horizontal instead of vertical. When she patched cracks with putty, Kate Carlisle (or the character) explained the process. How cool is that!

Kate Carlisle Author Information

You can find out more information about Kate Carlisle here.

Here is a list of the mysteries in her fixer-upper series:

  • A High End Finish – November 2014 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • This Old Homicide – January 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Crowned and Moldering – November 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Deck the Hallways – November 2016
  • Eaves of Destruction – November 2017
  • A Wrench in the Works – Coming November 2018

She also has a bibliophile series that I haven’t reviewed yet.

The Verdict

All in all, not a bad one, and I do have other ones in the series I will be reading.

4 Stars

Do you have any of her books? What did you think?

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave