Cream cheese and Maraschino Cherry Pinwheels

Okay – here’s a fun and retro recipe that I think I am going to have to try sometime soon.

Sid's cooking again...

Sometimes it’s just plain fun to make something retro.   Well, I think it is.    Cherry Cream Cheese Pinwheels are about as retro as you can get.

A few years ago, I was with one of my sisters when she instructed one of my nieces on the fine points of making these little pinwheels.   They’re a “60’s” or maybe even “50’s” type of canape, but oh so much fun to make, and eat.   You can gussy them up or just do them plain.    And no, you don’t use tortillas for these, you use bread.

See, now you’re curious and want to read more…

Mix two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese with one small jar drained chopped maraschino cherries, taste, then decide you need more flavour, so you add some Grand Marnier.   Maybe two teaspoons, mix together, taste and then  you can add some almond extract or some chopped nuts.   …

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Mortuary Professions for Ladies: 1889-1910

A little something to put you folks in the Halloween mood.

Mrs Daffodil Digresses

Josephine Smith, age 84, digging a grave at Drouin Cemetery, Victoria, c. 1944 Josephine Smith, age 84, digging a grave at Drouin Cemetery, Victoria, c. 1944

To-day Mrs Daffodil has invited that crepuscular person from the Haunted Ohio blog to discuss mortuary career choices for women. She frequently writes on the popular and material culture of Victorian mourning and is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead. One presumes she is au courant on these dismal trades of the past.

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While Mrs Daffodil has previously remarked on a lady undertaker, and, we know, of course, that women were often the washers and layers-out of the dead, today I present some less usual mortuary professions for the ladies. We begin with the funeral stenographer. From the late nineteenth century onward, it was considered bad form to read a funeral sermon from notes; hence the need for someone to take down the more-or-less extemporized eulogy.


There is a quiet young…

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Book Review #2 “The Tatterdemon” by: Steve Vernon

A good review is like a surprise gift. Always welcome. Thanks to Nova Scotia writer and bookseller, Peter Foote, for this fine review.

Peter J. Foote

In an effort to support regional authors, I’m reviewing books written by Atlantic Canadians. These reviews are from a laymans point of view, I don’t have any special insight, just like what I like.

There will be two conditions though:

  1. They will be “genre fiction”.
  2. I will have the author’s permission to post the review. I realize that I don’t need it, but I wish to maintain respectful ties with each of these talented authors.

Book Review #2 “The Tatterdemon” by: Steve Vernon

I should start off by saying that I’m not much of a “horror guy”, the biggest scare I’m used too is the price of gasoline before a three-day weekend, but decided to give it a try. I should also mention that I read it as an ebook, which was a first for me, since I prefer to hold a “real” book.

Set within rural Nova Scotia, the…

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27 Questions, Answered By Me

Okay, so I’m a little rusty on chain letters – but I got hit with one of those questionnaires going around on the internet. My wife sent it my way and I decided what the heck, I’m going to give it a go.

So – without further ado – here are 27 questions, answered by me.


1. Who are you named after? – Dunno.

2. Last time you cried? – I still miss my younger brother Dan. Fuck cancer, dammit.

3. Soda or Water? – Root beer.

4. What’s your favorite pizza? – Donair pizza.

5. Favorite flower? – Anything perennial.

6. Do you still have your tonsils? – Nope.

7. Would you bungee jump? – Nope.

8. Did you go to college? – The funny thing is, I worked in the Art College and I actually attended THREE different universities and I still don’t have a degree. I guess that I am just a really slow learner.

9. Untie your shoes when taking them off? – God put shoes on your feet just so you could kick them off.

10. Roller coasters? – I don’t care to roll my coasters, but I do like to frisbee them about whenever I get the chance.

11. Favorite ice cream? – yes please.

12. Favorite thing to do? Binge Watch movies or TV series with my wife. Or just binge watch my wife. She’s really easy on my eyes, unless she is punching them.

13. Shorts or jeans? – Cargo shorts. I rock them whenever I get the chance.

14. What are you listening to right now? – The whispering sound of an unmowed lawn.

15. Favorite colors? – Hawaiian shirt colors!

16. Tattoos? – I thought about them when I was younger, but I have always been too cheap to get one. Or too broke. Or both.

17. Color of hair? – Mostly shaggy. Often unwashed. What DO people see in me?

18. Color of eyes? – Is bloodshot a color?

19. Favorite thing to eat ? – I’ll have a hamburger please.

20. Scary or happy endings? – I love a good happy-ever-after romance, like in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

21. Android or iPhone? – You mean like Data, or the Terminator?

22. Favorite car? – I’m holding out for a jet pack.

23. Favorite holiday? – Christmas, hands down! I love Christmas!

24. Beer or wine? – Beer, please. Wine gives me heartburn.

25. Night owl or morning person? – I am a morning cat.

26. Favorite day of the week? – Any day that is off!

27. Do you have a nickname? – If I tell you I have to kill you.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Don’t Go in the Woods (1981)

Okay, so that recipe at the end sounds dangerous.


I remember the days of the neighborhood Mom and Pop video rental store fondly. Our little subdivision in Little Rock had a little store called Shows 2 Go. It was tucked into a small space in a strip mall, next to an insurance agency and, if my memory isn’t letting me down, a jazzercise studio. From what I gather from listening to other old farts wistfully recall those days of VHS glory, Shows 2 Go was a pretty typical place. Popcorn and candy were sold at the counter. The walls were plastered with movie posters. Cardboard promotional items were positioned here and there. (One little digression: the owners were generous with these posters and other items—I still have a cardboard hockey mask used to promote Friday the 13th Part VII.) Also typical was the movie selection on hand. While you could get the latest Hollywood product, there was…

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Back From Canada, and Back Up Your Files

Everybody ought to visit Nova Scotia at least once in their lifetime.

My visit has lasted over forty years, so far…

Sonora Taylor

I returned from my vacation yesterday. I’m ready to get back to the grind, but I still find myself thinking of all the places we visited in Halifax and Prince Edward Island. The views were beautiful in both sun and rain. I loved the red sand beaches, green cliffs, lighthouses, and wildflower fields (yes, I’ll post pictures).

I also had a small adventure that reminded me of a credo I oft repeat, and will do so here: back up your files. Even if you’re not a writer, back them up, and back them up in multiple places. If you write in a journal, make photo copies. If you type your stories, save them to various firmware, and also the cloud if you can. Back them up every which way, because you never know when one of the pieces holding your stories could be lost.

I emphasize this point because my…

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Writing process: How to write a novel fast

Crissi Langwell

Crissi vineyardAs I gear up for the release of Hope at the Crossroads (Oct. 24!), I thought I’d take a moment to share about my writing process. I always love reading how other authors crank out their novels, don’t you?

First, I fully admit that I’m not writing any books at the moment. My focus is on college and the Hope series book #2 release, so my main writing is journaling and class essays. However, writing is definitely on the horizon. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner (see more info at the end of this post), and I’m getting ready to start outlining my book project for that month.

In the meantime, here’s a look at what my writing process is like:

Before I’ve even started writing the novel, I have an outline to the story already in front of me, something that lays out every single chapter in as much…

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