Announcement on GR

I did a thing. I felt like we were far enough along in the process to let our original Outpost group know that we are actively working on something that we are hoping to group test with the 24T2021 game, starting in November. Go ahead & take a look at the announcement post over on GR, and offer any contributions.

Having said that, I do think that it is time to begin moving forward with setting up our final home. This site will remain open after we move over to the final home – The Secret Reading Room (or SRR) – as a place for the site admin team to work on things behind the scenes. When we open the new domain and start building, we are able to start from scratch with respect to the themes. We will also be adding the book database & Ultimate Book Blogger plugin to that site so you will all be able to see how they look. We have an idea of how we want to structure the organization based on how features have been able to be added to this site as we’ve been working through it.

If you want a preview, look at my site: All the Vintage Ladies. I am running the book database there now (I just started using it, so it is in the earliest of all possible iterations). You can see how posts looks on my Peril at End House post here. Note that terms like author name are live links, when you click on them, you will get any reviews related to books written by that author (give me a few days, and there will be more Christie posts). Also take a look on the header menu & click on the Review Index, which contains all of the reviews that have been added so far, and My Library, which is a list of all of the books I have added to my database, sorted by author.

MBD has also been using the book database much longer than I have – so check out her site as well to see how slick it is.

With respect to the site itself, we are planning on sharing the domain between MBD, me & Themis, so that there are multiple owners in case someone needs to drop out. I am also asking Mike Finn & Jennifer if you guys would like to join the admin team and help us out with site build and troubleshooting as we move forward.

There are still lots of questions to answer, so no one abandon us now! But I have really high hopes that we can build a really wonderful community here!

Prudence / Gail Carriger

Halloween Bingo 2021

For some reason, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the other Gail Carriger books that I have read. It still had the remarkable names, the comedy of manners, the spicy possible romance, and the antics of vampires and werewolves. Those details have always entertained me before, but it felt like I didn’t really understand the reasons for things until very late into the novel. Perhaps I’m just cranky. Perhaps this book suffered in comparison to the completely adorable Miss Buncle’s Book, which I just enjoyed.

Nevertheless, I liked this enough to finish it and to want to read the next installment. Rue’s soul stealing talents are fun, as she can become any supernatural creature by making skin contact with them. When she steals werewolf abilities, the resulting end product is an exposed Rue trying to somehow maintain some modesty. It becomes obvious that Rue simply doesn’t care quite as much as she is expected to.

Lord Akeldama has given his adopted daughter her own dirigible and sent her on a tea mission to India, seemingly to get her out of London and out of trouble. I was every bit as confused as Rue when all her instructions seemed to be missing the important bits and might even be misleading. In my opinion, there was a little too much of this dancing around the issues. Like Lady Maccon and Rue herself, I’m a pretty straightforward person. I would make a rotten spy. I haven’t much patience for this much fiddling around.

Carriger has created a fun world and is having fun playing with her characters in it. I love both Quesnel Le Fou and Percy Tunstell. Their mutual resentment is amusing and I can see either one of them being a match for Rue. Mind you, Percy would have a difficult time of it to break through his pseudo-brother status to catch the young woman’s attention. The only way to find out is to read on.

New Recipe

This is the Cheesy Cauliflower Beef bake that I made a couple of nights ago. However, I used ground pork rather than beef. It was not bad, but I doubt that I will make it again.

I’ve become rather obsessed with using my cast iron fry pan. I grew up using one under my mother’s tutelage, so I like those memories. Plus, I found this particular pan for $15 (and I’ve seen the same size pans sold for $100). So my inner skinflint is also delighted.

The recipe can be found here:

Site Avatars

MBD & were discussing an avatar or image for our site, assuming with go with the domain name Here are some ideas I threw together!

Fonts are completely interchangeable, so if you like an image/color palette but hate the font, I can easily modify. If you don’t like the frame, that can come off. If you like the look of the image that I cropped round, that can also be squared up.

If you have a completely different idea, post it!

My tea arrived! Let the black tea auditions commence.

Murder by Death
October 6, 2021

A couple of years ago, I discovered Tao of Tea would deliver to me in Australia, so I started buying my organic spearmint and chamomile from them in bulk, along with tea bags that make 1 gallon of tea, so I could make the iced tea that runs in my veins, and is thus necessary for life.

When I needed to re-order, I decided it was time to find a black tea I actually like drinking hot.  I used to love English Breakfast, but it’s become too tannic to my taste buds.  I mostly drink my chamomile, spearmint, and lavender blend, changing up the proportions depending on time of day, and I’d really like to add a pinch of a nice black tea to it in the mornings, along with an occasional mug of all-black.

So I went to Tao of Tea, loaded up every black tea they had in stock, read the descriptions and chose 4 that were all described as light, or fruity, or whatever (when did tea tasting get so posh?).  They arrived today! And thank goodness too, because I was down to one teaspoon of chamomile.

Added my favorite tea pot, bought from a local potter, and one of my favorite tea cups and my favorite tea strainer balls, bought at our local tea chain called T2.  For ambiance.

They are:
Wild Lapsong (the bamboo container):  Smooth and rich with sweet aroma and notes of Peach and roasted yam (?!)
Basic Orange Pekoe (that’s my baseline): Light bodied with balanced sweetness and astringency. Aromas of turbinado warm brown sugar
Neela Green herb, floral and citrus aromas. Full smooth taste with a subtle turbinado sweetness
Ceylon Black Tips Deep, full-bodied tea with balanced sweetness and astringency. Aromas of raw sugar and molasses give way to black cherry and dark fruit.

Uh huh.

So staring tomorrow, they’ll be getting auditioned, both alone and in my normal herbal blend.  I’m excited and hopeful that I’ll find one (at least) I love.