Saturday, May 5, 2018

Book Review: Kill Creek: A Novel by Scott Thomas


I recently finished Kill Creek by Scott Thomas.  The story is set just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. I didn't realize this at the time that I started reading the book but quickly realized that much of the information about Kansas was accurate.  I quickly looked up the author, Scott Thomas, and realized that he was in fact from Kansas - very cool.

Kill Creek is the story of four famous horror authors who agree to stay overnight in a supposedly haunted house and be interviewed as a publicity stunt. Each author has their own experiences in the house that sparks a fury of writing once they all return to their homes -- each aggressively working on their next horror novel. The authors begin to realize that they have similar strange ideas, eerie thoughts, nightmares while writing, that tie back to the Kill Creek house. They join back together again at the haunted house to find out what is causing these strange behaviors and what is really going on in the Kill Creek house.

I enjoyed Kill Creek.  I found some parts very predictable and others parts surprising. There is some edge of your seat suspense and a few graphic horror parts but overall nothing I couldn't stomach. One of my favorite parts are all the references to my home state and the towns of Lawrence and Kansas City.  It feels like a great book to make into a movie... I'll be interested to find out if that happens.  I'd definitely pick up another book to read by Scott Thomas in the future.

4/5 stars

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Kawaiian Island Update

Kawaiian Island News

Hello friends.

It has been awhile since I have updated on my side business, Kawaiian Island.  It is still around but I've not been able to grow it much this last year mostly due to the platform that I have been using for sales, Cafe Press.  It is incredibly hard for people to find my products but I'm hoping that will soon change.  I have recently moved my selling platform over to Amazon and have been getting t-shirts migrated to sell.  I will still be keeping my existing Cafe Press store but am hoping Amazon to generate more sales as well for t-shirts.  Check out Kawaiian Island on Amazon.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Literary Travel - US Literary Landmarks


This post is a long list of literary landmarks in the United States that I have been maintaining for my own travel and thought the rest of the internet might be interested as I have yet to see a comprehensive site with all this information.  I will continue to add to and edit this list as time goes on

Included in the list are places that tie back to an author or book such as a childhood home, statue, or museum.

A * signifies if I have visited the location.

Alabama 
Monroeville
    Harper Lee - Monroe County Museum - To Kill A Mockingbird
    Truman Capote - Truman Capote Historical Marker
Montgomery
    F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Fitzgerald Museum - Tender Is The Night
    Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald - The Fitzgerald Museum - Save Me The Waltz
Alaska
Arizona
Payson
    Zane Grey - Zane Grey Cabin & Museum
Arkansas
Piggott
    Ernest Hemingway - Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum & Educational Center
California
Big Sur
    Henry Miller - Henry Miller Memorial Library
Carmel
    Robinson Jeffers - Tor House
Danville
    Eugene O'Neill - Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site - The Iceman Cometh
Glen Ellen
    Jack London - Jack London State Historic Park
Martinez
    John Muir - John Muir National Historic Site
Salinas
    John Steinbeck - National Steinbeck Center
San Francisco
    Jack Kerouac - The Beat Museum
St. Helena
    Robert Louis Stevenson - Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Colorado
Colorado Springs
    Helen Hunt Jackson - Helen Hunt Jackson Pioneers Museum
Denver
    Jack Kerouac - My Brother's Bar
    Neal Cassady - My Brother's Bar
Connecticut
Hartford
    Harriet Beecher Stowe - The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
    Mark Twain - The Mark Twain House & Museum -  The Adventures of  Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
New London
    Eugene O'Neill - Monte Cristo Cottage - The Count of Monte Cristo
West Harford
    Noah Webster - Noah Webster House
Delaware
Florida
Cross Creek
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
Daytona Beach
    Stephen Crane - Stephen Crane House
Key West
    Ernest Hemingway - The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Vero Beach
    Laura Riding Jackson - Laura Riding Jackson Foundation
Georgia
Atlanta
    Alice Walker - The Alice Walker Literary Society
    Joel Chandler - The Wren's Nest
    Margaret Mitchell - Margaret Mitchell House - Gone With The Wind
Columbus
    Carson McCullers - McCullers Center - The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
Macon
    Sidney Lanier - Sidney Lanier Cottage
Milledgeville
    Flannery O'Connor - Andalusia Home of Flannery O'Connor
Savannah
   *Flannery O'Connor - Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
Hawaii
Haiku
    M.S. Merwin - M.S. Merwin Conservancy
Idaho
Hailey
    Ezra Pound - Ezra Pound House
Illinois
Chicago
    Upton Sinclair - Union Stockyard Gate - The Jungle
Galesburg
    Carl Sandburg - Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
Springfield
    Vachel Lindsay - Vachel Lindsay Home
Indiana
Indianapolis
    James Whitcomb Riley - James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home
    Kurt Vonnegut - Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library
Miller Beach
    Nelson Algren - Nelson Algren Museum
Oak Park
    Ernest Hemingway - Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home Museum
Rome City
    Gene Stratton-Porter - The Gene-Stratton Porter Historic Site
Iowa
Iowa City
    Kurt Vonnegut - Kurt Vonnegut House - Slaughterhouse Five
Kansas
Independence
Lawrence
    Langston Hughes - Langston Hughes Lawrence
Wamego
    L. Frank Baum - Oz Museum - Oz, the complete collection
Kentucky
Guthrie
    Robert Penn Warren - Robert Penn Warren Birthplace
Louisville
    Hunter S. Thompson - Hunter S. Thompson Childhood Home
Louisiana
New Orleans
    Francis Parkinson Keyes - The Beauregard-Keyes House & Garden Museum
    Ernest Hemingway - Hotel Monteleone & Carousel Bar & Lounge
    William Faulkner - Hotel Monteleone & Carousel Bar & Lounge
    William Faulkner - William Faulkner House
Maine
Bangor
   *Stephen King - Stephen King House and entire town of Bangor
Portland
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Wadsworth-Longfellow House
South Berwick
Sarah Orne Jewett - Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum - Deephaven
Maryland
Baltimore
    Edgar Allan Poe - Edgar Allan Poe Grave
Massachusetts
Amherst 
    Emily Dickinson - Emily Dickinson Museum
    Eric Carle - Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Boston
    Anne Sexton - Forest Hills Cemetery
    Charles Dickens - Omni Parker House - A Christmas Carol
    Edgar Allan Poe - The Poe Statue
    Sylvia Plath - Sylvia Plath Childhood Home 
Cambridge
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Longfellow House
    Julia Child  - Julia Child's House - Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Concord
   *Henry David Thoreau - Walden Pond State Reservation  & Thoreau's Cabin Site - Walden and        The Maine Woods
   *Henry David Thoreau - Sleepy Hollow Cemetary Author's Ridge
    Henry David Thoreau - Thoreau Farm
   *Louisa May Alcott - The Wayside
    *Louisa May Alcott -  Orchard House  - Little Women
   *Louisa May Alcott - Sleepy Hollow Cemetary Author's Ridge
   *Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Wayside
   *Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Old Manse
   *Nathaniel Hawthorne - Sleepy Hollow Cemetary Author's Ridge
   *Ralph Waldo Emerson - The Old Manse - Nature & Selected Essays
   *Ralph Waldo Emerson - Sleepy Hollow Cemetary Author's Ridge
Haverhill
    John Greenleaf Whittier - Whittier Birthplace
Lenox
    Edith Wharton - The Mount  - The House of Mirth and Ethan Frome
Lowell
    Jack Kerouac - Jack Kerouac Grave
Pittsfield
    Herman Melville - Herman Melville's Arrowhead
Salem
    Nathaniel Hawthorne - The House of Seven Gables - The House Of Seven Gables
Springfield
    Dr. Seuss - Seuss in Springfield
Yarmouth Port
    Edward Gorey - The Edward Gorey House
Michigan
Saginaw
    Theodore Roethke - Theodore Roethke Museum

Minnesota
Sauk Centre
    Sinclair Lewis - Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home
St. Paul
    F. Scott Fitzgerald - Fitzgerald in St. Paul
Walnut Grove
    Laura Ingalls Wilder - Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Mississippi
Clarksdale
    Tennessee Williams - Clarksdale Historic District & Clark House
Columbus
    Tennessee Williams - Tennessee Williams Welcome Center
Cummington
    William Cullen Bryant - William Cullen Bryant Homestead
Jackson
    Eudora Welty - The Eudora Welty House
    Margaret Walker - Margaret Walker Center
New Albany
    William Faulkner - Union County Heritage Museum
Oxford
    William Faulkner - Rowan Oak Home of William Faulkner
Missouri
Hannibal
    Mark Twain - The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
Mansfield
    Laura Ingalls Wilder - Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum
St. Louis
    Kate Chopin - Kate Chopin House
    William S. Burroughs - William S. Burroughs Childhood Home
Montana
Nebraska
Bancroft
    John G. Neihardt - The John G. Neihardt State Historic Site
Red Cloud
    Willa Cather - Willa Cather House
Nevada
New Hampshire
Cornish
    JD Salinger - JD Salinger House
Derry
    Robert Frost - Robert Frost Farm
New Jersey
Asbury Park
    Stephen Crane - The Stephen Crane House
Long Branch
    Dorothy Parker - Birthplace
New Mexico
New York
Austerlitz
    Edna St. Vincent Millay - Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop
Brooklyn
    Truman Capote - Truman Capote Apartment
Chittenago
    L. Frank Baum - All Things Oz Historical Foundation
Huntington Station
    Walt Whitman - Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site
New York
   *Dorothy Parker - The Algonquin Hotel 
    Edgar Allan Poe - Poe Park
    Herman Melville - Woodlawn Cemetery
Pocantico Hills
    Washington Irving - Washington Irving's Sunnyside
Sleepy Hollow 
    Washington Irving - Sleepy Hollow Cemetery - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
West Park
    John Burroughs - Slabsides
North Carolina
Asheville
    Thomas Wolfe - The Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Flat Rock
    Carl Sandburg - Carl Sandburg Home
North Dakota
Ohio
Cincinatti
    Harriet Beecher Stowe - Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Columbus
    James Thurber - Thurber House
Dayton
    Paul Laurence Dunbar - Paul Laurence Dunbar House
Oklahoma
Sallisaw
    Sequoyah - Sequoyah's Cabin Museum
Tahlequah
    Will Rogers - Will Rogers Museum
Oregan
McMinnville
    Beverly Cleary - Walking with Ramona Tour
Portland
    Beverly Cleary - Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden
Pennsylvania
Perkasie
    Pearl S Buck - Pearl S Buck House
Philadelphia
    Edgar Allan Poe - Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site - Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems
Pittsburgh
    Gertrude Stein - Gertrude Stein House
Shillington
    John Updike - The John Updike Childhood Home
Rhode Island
Providence
    HP Lovecraft - Lovecraft Arts & Sciences
South Carolina
Beafort
    Pat Conroy - Pat Conroy Literary Center
South Dakota
De Smet
    Laura Ingalls Wilder - Ingalls Homestead
Tennessee
Henning
    Alex Haley - Alex Haley Museum
Texas
Austin
    O. Henry - O. Henry Museum
Kyle
    Katherine Anne Porter - The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center
Utah
Vermont
North Bennington
    Shirley Jackson - Shirley Jackson Homes
Virginia
Richmond
    Edgar Allan Poe - The Poe Museum
Washington
Washington DC
Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
West Virginia
Hillsboro
    Pearl S Buck - Pearl S Buck Birthplace
Wisconsin
West Salem
Hamlin Garland - Hamlin Garland Homestead
Wyoming

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My Favorite Cross Stitch Resources



I'm obsessed with cross-stitch.  It has become a part of my daily ritual each evening either while watching TV or listening to an audio book on Audible.  Some friends have been asking me where I get cross stitching supplies, patterns, and etc. so I thought I would include a list of products and resources that I frequently use.

Patterns:

I am not a fan of prepacked cross-stitch kits. I think they are overpriced and usually not designs that I have any interest in stitching.  Etsy is my primary source of patterns as they are definitely more reasonably priced but also include such fun patterns.  These are the patterns that I have saved as favorites that include both finished patterns and ones I hope to do one day.

Books are also a great source of patterns. These are some of my favorites.







Cross Stitcher magazine is out of the UK but is my favorite cross stitch magazine right now, the designs tend to be more modern and fun to stitch.

I also like to make my own patterns and Stitch Fiddle is a great resource and it is free....

Hoops:

I am not a fan of the traditional hoop for stitching.  I find them awkward to work with and I like to shift my fabric around quite a bit.  A Q-Snap is a great solution for stitching, very durable, easily come apart for travel, and come in a variety of sizes and extensions - 11X11 Q-Snap, 6X6 Q-Snap, and Q-Snap Extensions

If you use a Q-Snap and work with white fabric then you know that at grime guard is required.  A grime guard protects the edges of the fabric from getting dirty from being held. Etsy is a good place to find a grime guard in a cute pattern.

Needles, Fabric & Floss:

I get all my needles, fabric, and floss from JoAnn.  I live only a couple of blocks away and it is super convenient for me to stop in plus they usually have great coupons.  I am not super picky about what brand of needles, fabric or floss I use.  What I do absolutely have to have is a needle minder to make sure I don't lose my needles.  Etsy is also a good place to find cute needle minders as well.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Literary Kansas



In anticipation of nicer weather, I have been looking for some day trips that my family can do over the weekend to shake things up a bit (or pull everyone away from their phones!)

As I was researching places to go, I came across the site, Map of Kansas Literature created by Washburn University that has a lot of information about writers who have ties back to Kansas.  It has a pretty good list started but would be great if it had more information about what is available to visit/tour in Kansas in honor of the writers.  I discovered some writers that I never knew were from Kansas originally. When driving on vacations, we typically do an audio book in the car for everyone to enjoy and then discuss. I am looking forward to seeing how we can fit some of the Kansas authors on this site into our excursions.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Baked Egg Dish (Low Carb)



I love eggs.  So thus I must post another egg recipe that I have had on heavy rotation lately.  It is low-carb of course but might be my new favorite way to eat eggs.  What is so great about this is that it is super simple and adaptable to your tastes depending on what ingredients you add and how long you cook the eggs.  I am personally a fan of an egg with a crispy edge so I like mine well done.  This recipe is for one large serving as I typically eat twice a day and this makes up both my breakfast and lunch.

Baked Egg Dish

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs real butter, slightly melted and used to grease the dish... yes, this is a lot of butter, yes it makes the dish
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs chopped green chilies
  • 2 Tbs chopped bacon (or any other meat you like)
  • 2 Tbs. crumbled goat cheese 
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small casserole dish, grease the bottom and up the sides of the dish.  Let the extra butter pool at the bottom of the dish.  Break open the four eggs.  Sprinkle the remaining ingredients across the top. Place in the oven 10-15 minutes depending on how done your like your eggs.  I go for the whole 15 to get a good crisp on the eggs.  Remove from oven and let cool.  These eggs are super hot and will burn your mouth like no other if you aren't patient.  Enjoy.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Jenny's Mini Cooking Show



I have a new Youtube channel that I have been watching lately.  Oh yeah, if you didn't know... I watch Youtube a lot.  I have several channels that I watch regularly as if it was a tv show.  My daughters do the same although the content is mostly different except when it comes to cute, kawaii things like Jenny's Mini Cooking Show.  It is just amazing to me the patience that this would take... not only to bake the food but to also make the utensils, ingredients, etc.  Jenny makes all of it herself, including the oven! I looked online to see if in fact anyone does sell mini-cooking supplies.  Other than an Easy Bake Oven, which was a childhood favorite and still is... no luck.  Still this might make for a fun winter afternoon of fun when stuck inside.  If you are interested in other fun foods to make check out my Play with your Food Pinterest Board.