Friday, 29 December 2017

The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman

So what the title would suggest, this is a cookbook for those wanting a more minimal or simpler way through one's kitchen and making meals. Which to me is making that move for some. There is in the introduction, information about minimalism and how to bring it into your kitchen. There is a checklist of produce, with a key of images of what season they would fall under being good in season. There are images of the recipes, so you get an idea of what they should look like. There is a good secretion of categories of items you can make – from breakfast to dessert. I liked the set and presentation of this book.
With each recipe, she shows you how long it will take and how much the recipe will yield. Of course, it has the ingredients and how to make it. At the end of each recipe, it will have a note and some have an ingredient tip. At the beginning of each recipe, there is a little statement she has for the recipe and way she would have it in the book or make it for herself and family. There is a seasonal produce guide and metric equivalents. The index is divided into two different sections – one being the recipe index and the other a subject index.

The Healing Powers of Tea by Cal Orey

Nine parts with chapters within. At the beginning of each chapter is a quote relating to tea. Talks about the different forms of tea (bag, loose, etc). It is very informative and a selection of information. It has recipes whether it is something to eat along with tea or tea infused. A whole chapter of the recipes is later but there are a few randomly put in the book. Two parts are labeled as black tea and white tea. Those cover a variety of teas that would fall under that. There is talk about other varieties of teas as well. As well there is a section on tea cures – 50 remedies, quick go through. The last part is resources, and they are quick. There are not many resources (retailers, specialty shops, and tea-related organizations).
A very nice book. A bit of history and a bit of information that can be helpful if want to bring tea more into your life.

Secrets of Aromatherapy by Jennie Harding

Talks about essential oil historical background and about essential oils and carrier oils. After the chapters about what it talks about practical aromatherapy. It talks about buying and storing oils – which can help with getting the best out of the oils. Randomly it will have a small key of a 'key essential oil' that will have a line about an oil. It has charts to help with different things one being oils for skin and hair. And there is a treatment section. Then there is information about different oils – so it would be a paragraph about the oil and then a datafile – plant type, oil form, botanical name, etc.
There are pages of different blends, like perfumes and facials. Later there is a section about how to do different massages. There is a small section on self-massage. And does have information scented bathing and at home. A glossary and further reading are at the end. As well and some useful address.
Overall it is a nice book. For those who do not want a book about massages, this one may not be for you because the massages do cover what seems to almost half of the book.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli

I could not get into this book, I get the concepts that are being written about. But I have seen them written in a way I like and can connect to. The writing I am not huge on and how the points are stated. The connection is what I am lacking in this book. The chapters are quick and there are fifty-two chapters like the subtitle suggests. But I have to give the author credit – it is informative. It is straightforward and to the point, which can be counted as a plus for me in this book. As well, there is a connection to previous and future chapters.
This is a short review for me because I could not grasp to anything that I could not fully connect better to in other books.

“Robin Hood's Dawn Book 1,” by Olivia Longeville

This is a YA/teen read. At the beginning, there are a few pages that cover family lines and shields to cover any mentions in the story. This book takes place over a few years but any jumps are dealt with in a nice way. It may be jumpy for some readers. There is a glossary at the end of the book, which I find interesting for works of fiction. I am used to seeing maps and flow charts in books.It looks at the relationship between Robert (Robin's real name) and Guy, the book goes between them and at times other characters introduced. It does have a good connection between Robin and Marian. Within the book of meeting the Merry Men – Robin meets Little John first and shows the relationship Robin has with the kings of his time – John and Richard.
There is a telling that Robin does have a slight fall from his position, as well as Marian but ends up that they are still in their positions at the end of the book. Considering that this is book one of a series. It does have a look Marian as her own person and not just the love interest of Robin – which is nice to see.
If you like Robin Hood or any aspect of telling his story this is an interesting take on the story of him. Due to some first telling of his story is told by Disney. It has the familiar characters we are used to. It shows the rise of Robin Hood and just the Robin many of us know.

Plant-Based Nutrition 2nd Ed by Julieanna Hever

This book is part of the Idiot's Guide book series. But it can still be a stand-alone book, like the other books in the series. Like other Idiot's Guide books it is a starting resource with simple explanations and information. For example, you get some definitions of words randomly in the book. It is very informative – the information is quick, easy to understand and not fully delve into in detail information. You get information explained in lists and tables, like a table about Vitamin A food and how much is in it.
It explains different terms and foods of a plant-based diet – like sodium, oil, sugar, fruits. It does not cut out meat completely but lowers the count of it in your diet. Different steps/information like metabolism, eating, and the section's called 'the dairy dilemma' and 'no perfect diet.' There are chapters that are about shopping and exercise with both having an impact on one's nutrition/eating. She does talks about plant-based nutrition and additions to pregnancy, babies and kids, and seniors – so from birth to death, there is a brief information about each general stage of life. There are recipes involved in this book at the end of the book, also having the nutritional facts along with them.
There are a glossary and three other appendices that include sample meal plans, nutritional charts and resources

Goal Round Up

Goal roundup time. Earlier this year I posted some of my goals on this site. I am going to update you on these goals. Here we go.

Now the goal to Australia with my sister is being postponed a few years. This is because she has moved to the west coast. So the plan is to visit her there and my plan to go to Bavaria, Germany within the next two years. So there is a plan to travel with her. I have met my goal to donate blood this year. So that is a positive. I have now read over forty books this year. I am still working on my Ludwig book and have participated in all three Nanowrimos.

I have recorded a few videos outside on my channel. I have recorded an amount for my channel and have finished this year's YouTube Pagan Challenge. As of writing this (December 22), I have reached over 160 Instagram followers and 79 subscribers on YouTube – 82 as of December 28. I hope that between writing and posting this it hits the goals that I originally had. But I am so happy and glad about what I have gained this year. And in the coming year, I plan on growing more and happy with any result.

When Samhain came, I spent it alone, the way I wanted to this year to prepare more for the coming year. I had celebrated Yule this year, by spending a few minutes outside and getting myself a few items from Michaels.

I have donated and used up over fifty items, which was one of my goals this year. As well I have a list of even more books to read in the coming year to exceed what I have done this year. Next years YouTube Pagan Challenge came out and I am planning on that.


Fire is active and penetrating and considered masculine in nature. Corresponds to our conception and birth and our very life force- the "spark" of life, also of inspiration. It is a light, active element and is contrary to Water. It is associated with the qualities of brightness, thinness and motion. Fire, unlike the other elements, does not exist in a natural state. Its physical form can only take place by consuming some other element. Fire is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into other forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke.
The Fire element is associated with the sun, the giver of life, it governs passion, intensity, desire, intuition, understanding, imagination, and possibilities. Fire cleanses and purifies it is also creative and destructive, and it can consume everything in its path, it is the only one of the four elements that cannot exist without feeding on something else. It offers warmth and cooks food, but can get out of control, it has the power to transform everything it touches.
Fire personalities are charming, charismatic and passionate, they live life to the full, and rely heavily on their instincts and intuition. Their strengths are creativity and leadership, they are daring and bold in their career, and love life, liking stimulation, and challenge, in both areas. Too much fire can be destructive because no boundaries are imposed, leaving the fire entity worn out and off balance. An overabundance of fire leads to selfishness, egocentricity, and unrealistic expectations of others. Too little fire leads to low energy and a lack of motivation.
The deities associated with Fire are Re, Sekhmet, Apollo and Lugh. Re was a creator god worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, he brought order out of chaos, and his tears formed the first human beings. He was reborn each morning, and journeyed across the sky in his solar boat, each night he entered the underworld to do battle with the cosmic serpent Apep. In Greek mythology Apollo was the god of medicine and music, he guided the sun across the sky, and represented light, truth and clarity. He was a patron of the nine Muses, the mythical embodiments of the creative imagination. Lugh the Celtic sky god, was a deity of the sun and the weather, his spear was seen as a fork of lightning.

ALCHEMICAL SYMBOL: upward pointing triangle
ANIMALS: Lion, tiger, lizards, dragon, cat, horse, snake, cricket, mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, Phoenix, coyote, fox, praying mantis, shark
ASSOCIATIONS: Action, the will, passion, sex, lust, anger, desire, energy, work, purification, destruction, strength, protection
BASIC NATURE: Purifying, destructive, cleansing, energetic, sexual, forceful. Heat is a manifestation of this element.
CHAKRA(S): Solar Plexus
COLORS: red (from the colour of flames), orange, gold, yellow, gold, crimson, white
DAY(S): Sunday, Tuesday
DIRECTION: South – the place of heat
GENDER: masculine, projective
GODDESSES: Brigit, Pele, Vesta, Hestia
GODS: Agni, Hepaetus, Horus, Promtheus, Vulcan
HOUR: Noon
INSTRUMENTS: Guitar, string instruments.
LIFE CYCLE: Youth and adolescence
MAGICAL TOOLS: Athame/knife, Sword, Wand, Staff, Candle, Flame, Scourge Dagger, censer, lamp, incense, herb burning, paper requests
METALS: Brass, Gold, Steel
ON PENTAGRAM: Lower right
PLACES: Deserts, hot springs, volcanoes, ovens, fireplaces, bedrooms (for sex), weight rooms, locker rooms, saunas, athletic fields
PLANETS: Sun, Mars
PLANTS: Celtic trees - Thorn, Holly, Oak. Herbs - Basil, Cinnamon, Garlic, stinging, thorny or hot, as thistles, chilli peppers and bouganvillia; desert-dwelling, as cacti; stimulating, as coffee beans; generally seeds. Other plants - allspice, angelica, basil, bay-laurel, beech, buttercup, carnation, cedar, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, deer's tongue, dill, fennel, garlic, juniper, heliotrope, lime, marigold, mustard, nettles, nutmeg, red peppers, onion, orange, peppermint, red poppy, rose geranium, rosemary, sassafras, sunflower, tangerine, tobacco, woodruff.
Dagger, Oaks, Juniper, Sunflower, Chiletepin
QABALISTIC SEPHIROT: Netzach/Victory, Geburah/Judgement, Chokmah/Wisdom
QUALITIES: hot, dry, light, active
RELATED PRODUCTS Fire oil, Fire incense – olibanum, copal
RITUAL FORMS: Burning or smouldering; heating.
RUNES: Thurisaz, Kenaz, Naudhiz, Sowilo, Ingwaz
SEASON: Summer – the time of heat
SENSE: Sight
STONES: Amber, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Citrine, Diamond, Garnet, Ruby, Tiger's Eye, fire opal, agate, Red or fiery, as in jasper; volcanic, as in lava; clear, as in quartz crystal
SYMBOLS: Flame, lightning, heated objects (stones in particular), volcano, rainbow, sun, stars, lava, heat, a heated object
TAROT SUIT: Wands, (Swords)
TAROT TRUMPS: Sun, Strength, Emperor, Judgement, the knights
TATTWA SYMBOL: upward pointing red triangle
TREES: Alder, Ash, Cashew, Cedar, Chestnut, Fig, Juniper, Mahogany, Oak, Holly, Rowan, Walnut
TYPES OF MAGIC: Banishing (negativity), Exorcism, purification, tantra, sex, empowering, protection, success, courage, energy, strength, authority, Burning objects, wood, paper, heating, preparing decoctions, cauldron work
TYPES OF MAGICK RULES: Candle, storm, time and star.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Projective
ZODIAC SIGNS: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius – the fire signs

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Energetic, enthusiastic, courageous, daring, faithful
NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Stubborn, greedy, jealous, angry, resentful
OVERBALANCE: Dominating, egotistical, violent
UNDERBALANCE: Apathy, boredom, feelings of inferiority, laziness, lack of energy

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

“Liornabella,” A.E. Outerbridge

We first meet Elle, the main character, in the town of Seraphina in the land of Liornabella. The main city is Casleton where she is determined to go to Eidden University. The book is the first book in this young adult fantasy series. This book is sixty-six chapters long. But they are not fully long. There is a steady pace of the book. And not a huge climax and resolution, but there is that within this book, do not worry. There is a good flow of the writing.
She is accepted into the university and is on the horse riding team – Eowyn her horse. She leaves her friend Martine to go, but as the story unfolds he is brought into the mix. As well her new roommate Naomi. Things take a turn for Elle and her friends when discovering documents of the princess (Sinead) who disappeared a few hundred years ago (documents, memory, dreams in italics or bold). It is within these documents she finds something darker. When she is delving into the history beyond her history report she feels she is being watched especially after getting from the abbot. She is doing this with her friends all while keeping up with school and riding.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Apps for Your Personal Library

Here are some apps to help sort/ catalog your home library, if you like to have an electronic version of what you have. Some of these are free and others you do have to pay under five dollars for. You have to have a look at each to see if you actually want to get the item – especially for those you purchase, look at the reviews to see if it will make you. It is going to be you that uses it. Have fun organizing and interacting. Happy readings!
If you know of any other apps that I missed looking up, post in the comments below. Or if there is another way for those who want to sort/ catalog online.

1. libib: This app allows you to organize your books (plus movies, music, etc.) via tags. The app is basically limitless size (up to 100,000 items). This app also includes tools for measuring how much you’ve read, as well as the options to review items in your library and to make those reviews public.
The app has scanning abilities, to make cataloging quick. You can import or export your libraries, so if you’re swapping apps or need to back up your valuable inventory, Libib is perfect for that. Libib libraries can also be made public so you can share your bookshelves to the world.
2. iBookshelf: It has a built-in borrowing status for every item, it lends itself well to tracking the current location/guardian of each book. There is a barcode scanning feature for easy use, and the fact that this app automatically calls up available info on each book by the ISBN you enter.
3. Libri: This is a very basic cataloging app, which allows you to input simple information about each item (author, title, publisher, year, ISBN, simple annotation). Its features are pretty limited, but that’s what makes it so easy to learn. I haven’t yet figured out a trick for tracking book lending in this app.
4. My Library: Can be similar to iBookshelf. You can input information via barcode scanning or ISBN, and it allows you to catalog all kinds of media (not just books). It also has built-in features for tracking borrowing/loans, allows you to rate items, features streamlined backup options, and can handle up to about 8,000 items at a time.
5. Book Crawler: This is another app that allows input via ISBN or barcode scanning, and it automatically generates associated information (including basics like title and author, but also Goodreads reviews) for each item. This app is specifically designed to export to Dropbox for easy backup.
6. Home Library: This app not only allows you to catalog and track the loan status for each item in your library, but it also allows you to send “polite reminders to friends who haven’t returned your books.” It also accommodates wishlists. It allows you to easily track the books that you’ve checked out from the library, and that it sends you reminders before they’re due (farewell, late fees).
7. iCollect Books Pro: Key features in this app include barcode scanning or manual UPC/ISBN entry, automatic cover art and bibliographic information (via Google spidering), genre sorting, tracking loans and borrowing, wishlists, and preorder cataloging.
8. Delicious Library Delicious Library allows you to catalog a large collection. It also gives you tailor-made recommendations based on your collection and items that you rate from other libraries. Another feature is the charts, which, shows you the value of your collection.
9. LibraryThing This is an app for the more casual collector. If you have a large collection, this app is not for you because there doesn’t seem to be a known limit for the number of books LibraryThing can store. However, if you have a small collection, then this simple app will work great for you! If you’re using LibraryThing, check out Tiny Cat, which is also made for small libraries and can be linked to your LibraryThing account.
10. Shelves This app stands out among the others in that your digital book collection is actually displayed on shelves! The app was developed by one man, and is now an open source project, so if coding is your thing you can really personalize this app and tailor-make it to fit your collections.
11. Book Crawler iTunes Book Crawler is the app for aesthetic lovers. Across reviews, users comment that this app has the most pleasing interface, so if that’s something that’s important to you and you’re a Mac or IOS user, then this app could be your perfect personal library match.
12. Goodreads A personal library app list would hardly be complete without the classic Goodreads. The app is highly rated, easy to use, and full of all the best features, like barcode scanning. Plus, Goodreads is the largest social network for bookworms!
13. Readerware: “The easiest, fastest way to catalog your library, nothing else comes close. Have a large collection? Readerware auto-catalog lets you feed in a list of ISBNs or barcode scans. Readerware then does the rest, building your database for you.”

“Brigid of Kildare”

This book at moments, I had to push my way through to the end. But overall it was a pretty neat read. If you are looking for a book that is focused on Brigid, whether it be goddess or saint, it is not fully.

In the book, it looks at three main characters in two different time periods. One being Brigid and her movement from being a pagan girl to a bishop/abyss (the church not like this). So if you want a Goddess Brigid book, this is not one. In the same time period is Decius – going there to be a scribe, who's part is pretty well written in the frame of him writing letters to his brother and the later interactions Brigid has with him – in her point of view. The third person in the book is Alex who is doing some work for the church and looking at manuscripts to see if there is any value to them/research them.

Eventually, Brigid and Decius's story merge and later Alex finds Decius's writings. It is Alex finding these documents that there would be a his name on them. If she finds his name on the documents there can be that connection to Brigid then other manuscripts that the monastery that employed her can have.
This book is more of a book relating to Brigid as a Christian woman and not a Pagan woman. It is not full of Christian fiction reading, one can find this in the fiction/historical fiction section of a bookstore. Overall it is a neat book to have a read through. It does go in between the three characters, if you are a fan or not of different perspective view books. If you have read any Jodi Picoult books, this one does move along like those. Through the different perspectives, the story does move forward and not in one place until all voices are heard.

“365 Days of Crystal Magic,” Sandra Kynes

Each month is a chapter (chapter two to thirteen, chapter one about preparing and using crystals). The introduction has some history and good information. Does talk about cleaning/cleansing crystals – for those who do not do this or believe it is necessary, it is talked about. Same goes when she talks about charging crystals.

Within each month, the set up is the same. There is a small section of the month. It has a list of birthstone – American, British, Others and European 15th - 20th c. It has the months full moon as well. Within the chapters, there are different topics for each day – each that can be categorized into different categories. Like other 365 day books, these categorize would be at the back of the index.
The categories include runic half months, Celtic tree months, sabbats and so on. Some days have quotes/information in italics, or a figure – a rune for the days about runic half months. At the end of each month, there is a page for notes. In the book, there are a number of crystals used, and some used on different days.
This book is for those like to incorporate crystals into their life or for those who like 365 days books. There are a few books out there that have the same set up where there is something to do on each day of the year, including February 29. Which means you can use this book in any year you want to use it and for any day you want to use the book. There are different things in this book that are useful. It is a really nice book to have a look at.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Making a Personal Library

I love books and reading. I have recently been looking into ideas on having to grow my own library. Here are suggestions/ideas that I have found to grow your own personal library. Hopefully, both you and I learn ways to get books and build our own library.

Here are some recommendations to consider:
Know what you want and keep a record/catalog of the books you already own. There are apps and other systems that you can put in place to know what books you have and even the ones you loan to others. If anything were to happen, you have that list to rebuild or get any type of money back. As well as a record to show family and friends what you have.
Build Sturdy Bookshelves. Consider what you are using /as shelves. Make sure that the word or other material will last awhile.
Read a good book on the subject. Many such exist. But don’t get overwhelmed. If no definitive list exists. Create your own.
Define and Prepare a Space – Decide on a size, Big or Small? This depends upon the physical space available to you. And the patience of your spouse. Determine where and how you will store your library. Do you have a free wall? Or a spare room that you don’t use very often? What about creating a room just as a library room. That’s what I did in our dining room. We eat instead in the Kitchen/Great room.
Make sure that it’s comfortably appointed as well. Big stuffed chairs, a library table, warm lighting, favorite photos, paintings, or sculptures all make it your special place of beauty and peace.
Build Upon the Core of your Library (of what you already have). How? Answer a couple of questions:
  • What am I passionate about? The answer will give you a prime section of your collection. That’s probably what your core already consists of.
  • What would I love to learn or know more about? You’ve got your second section.
  • What has always fascinated me? You’ll need a section of good books on the subject.
  • What might give me some insight into . . . ? (people, places, ideas, occupations)
  • If you are like me, you’ll want a section just for leisure reading as well.
Begin modestly. You don’t need a ton of books of all kinds unless you’re a hoarder vs. a collector. Locate and purchase the very best three to five books in each field of interest or passion. You might like to begin with an anthology or bibliography. This will lead you to recommended reading which comes from a variety of authors who have all weighed in on that subject. I read an autobiography of The Beach Boys’, Brain Wilson. In the back was a bibliography. From there I collected several more books including their discography (I wanted a history of their recording career along with the background history of their recordings). Bibliographies and Recommended Readings in the back or appendices of a book often provide you with exactly what you need to build your core.
Hardback or Paperback? What is the goal for your library? How much do you have to spend? Will you read your books more than once? If not, you don’t need a library. You can borrow from the public free library. But if you plan on the long term to read them and refer to them frequently, or to dialog in the margins (write in them) then you may want to consider hardbound for the majority of your books.
Look for bargains. Most libraries cull their stacks often. You can usually find hardcovers for $1. And paperbacks for .25-.50 each. It doesn’t take long to build a library at these prices. But be selective by sticking close to your plan. Otherwise, you precious space will fill up with junk that doesn’t further your goals and overall plan.
Stick to your Core plan. Once you’ve decided on a plan of collecting, stick with it! Enough said.
Adopt your own set of “Simple Rules.” Mine is below as an illustration of the point.
Love beauty. Certainly, a person who does not love beauty can build a library. One who values ugliness, falsehood, destruction, and banality could collect books, but who but the base and lifeless would want to read them? Or write them?
Love of beauty forms character and generosity of spirit. These will, therefore, affect the character of what you will collect and share. One character is in place my other two rules apply.
Collect what you enjoy. You must allow your library to evolve according to your interests and passions. Your interests have probably guided you this far. Your passions will form the core of your collection.
Choose carefully only the books you KNOW you care enough about to read.
Read what you collect. No matter how long it takes, read your books. They will teach you and speak to you. They will inform and expand your thinking and experience.
Share what you read. Let others enjoy what you have enjoyed. Share your library. Then be a lender to the people in your life who you know share your love of books or your core passion. Of course, make sure that those who borrow appreciate some understanding of the care and collecting of books.
QUESTION: What is the core of your personal library? Are you working a “plan”?

Ways to Collect Books
Below are some tips on keeping and maintaining your own library. I hope they help:
-First, you have to read a lot. A lot. Read when you fly, read when you wait for doctors appointments, read when you’re eating, read before bed, take breaks from work and read. Every chance you get, read.
-Buy, buy buy. Books are an investment. I understand they cost money upfront…but that’s how an investment works. You gotta spend money to make money.
-Oh, that sounds like a lot? Average student loan debt for the same period was about $30k. If you don’t like that equivalency, what’d you spend on cable, movies and bar tabs? What are the chances of that ever turning a profit? The books have more than paid for themselves (if only in improving my life and outlook and providing pure enjoyment, to say nothing of their ideas, inspiration, and lessons).
-I’ll be real clear about the benefits of owning physical books: You own them. They are there, physically, in your house. You cannot forget about them. A different app is not one click away. You can see patterns. You can gauge your progress. You can show off your efforts (and you should–reading is something to be proud of). You can look for what you need, find it on the shelf and satisfyingly say “Ah, here it is” and find the exact passage you marked for this purpose.
-The books on your shelves represent literally thousands of years of cumulative human wisdom. This is wisdom that you can reach out and access at any second. It also stands there, also, as a reminder of the pettiness of so many of our problems and complaints.
-Organize, organize, organize. I do themes (moving messed them all up, but it was fun to start over).
-Have a “LIFE” section – for books that changed your life or books to live your life by. Return to these often.
-Aesthetically, I prefer to have them arranged in order descending by height. The height gives it a sense of order and symmetry which you notice only when it is not there.
-Pick one off the shelf every now and then and flip back through it.
-Having a personal library in your house functions as a good litmus test for people who come over. If their first question is “WOW, have you read all these?” it says something about them. If they immediately start looking for books they like, or start inspecting the titles like it’s a bookstore and they’re looking for something to pick up, that says something too. You can tell a lot about a person based on their relationship to reading.
-But it takes up so much space! Just wall space, really. We fill up our living spaces with so much crap, I have to think books are maybe the least bad thing.
-I understand that keeping a library of books puts you the minority or at least part of a dying breed (like someone who started a record collection in 1998). Whatever. Of all the “old” traditions to stick to, a three- or four-thousand-year-old one strictly observed by basically every smart and accomplished person ever seems like a good one to go down with.
-Treat them like shit. Books are made to be broken–literally or figuratively.
-The author signed it? Cool, it’s still for reading.
-We all know that public libraries are calming and quiet. Having books displayed–or better, a room dedicated to it–brings a little of that effect into your home.
-Become a resource for others. Recommend books to others. Nothing builds a connection with a shared book or author.
-Refer back to them! If you’re writing a memo, see if you can’t include an anecdote from a business book. If you’re working on a blog post, citing a book you’ve read. If someone you know is going through something, try to track down that quote you vaguely remember. The more you do this, the better your recall will get.
-The point of owning the books is to use them. Make sure you take notes and keep a commonplace book. It will change your life.
-Books are no substitute for human contact, but it is still beneficial, to be in the physical company of the greats.
-Don’t be afraid to quit books that suck. Our lives are too short to suffer through crappy books. There are too many good ones out there–put it down if you stop getting something out of it. If they really suck, sell them back to Amazon, donate to charity or throw them away.
-Don’t collect for the sake of collecting. Leave that for hoarders. Get rid of the stuff you don’t like or have no real use for. When I moved I got rid of two full boxes…which I have subsequently replaced with better stuff.
-Don’t loan. If you love a book, you can buy the book for another to read ... or just bother person until you get it back and they buy their own copy.
-If you need ever a reminder to read, the constant physical presence of books near you in your own home is quite helpful.
-It’s all about the IKEA shelves. Why? Easy, cheap and you can get rid of them if you need ‘em. Higher is better (so if they have the extenders), put the books you need the least at the top and you’ll save room.
-Collect the unusual.
-If you want a cheesy library joke, refer to your books as the “[Insert Your Name] Memorial Library”
-Is it really that much of a pain to carry books around? I never got this argument. Only once in my life after like a month on the road was I so overloaded that I had to mail some home (and I read way more than the average person). Suck it up, the benefits are worth a heavy suitcase.
-Go through other people’s libraries.
-Having a library keeps the information fresh in your head.
-Try to find those books you remember as a kid. It’s nice to have and every once in awhile it will make you think or smile.
-List Your Favorites. Sit down and make a list of the best books you have ever read. Pick the ones that you love to read again and again. The classics that changed your view of the world, the romance novels that made your heart pound and the definitive works on your favorite hobby. Once you have an idea of which books you want the most, you can shop for exactly what you need.
-Pick a Number. How much can you afford per month on books? $200?$25? Whatever it is, stick to it. Knowing how much you want to spend keeps you from overspending.
-Pace Yourself. Don't try to get your whole list in one sitting. If your budget is $20, don't sneak in an extra $7.50 for your favorite Hemingway novel. There are other (probably cheaper) copies of The Old Man and the Sea in the world, you don't need to overspend for anything.

“Modern Tarot,” Michelle Tea

The book has an introduction, but no conclusion which for some could be put off if you are one for conclusions. It is the first person written for those who like third person writing. The illustrations are done by Amanda Verway and for myself, I did not really like the imagery. For some readers, they may feel the same and would be put off looking at the images. The content itself in the book is good information. After she talks about the card, there is an exercise(s) relating to the card.
If you have read many tarot books, you may not find the information useful. The information at times is repeated and nothing new is put forth. But I was not engaged in her telling/view of the cards and description of them. She gives examples of situations of how you would be that card – example: Justice, if been a victim of a crime, you probably feel tons of righteous anger. The Justice card recommends to move it into activities that are healing for you and for others.

“99 Keys to a Creative Life,” Melissa Harris

This is a Llewellyn book, so in some store, it may be in the new age section. The book is small and so easily can be placed in a purse or bad and be read on the go. It is a book that has different ways to embrace, emerge or jump-start your creativity. You do not have to use all of the ninety-nine ideas. These are ideas of what you could do. The book is divided into three sections – awareness, intuitive or heart based and spiritual or soul-based keys. Each trying to help you out in some way that relates to the section. The ideas are about two pages in length, and are not on there own pages – she just continues on to the next key when ended the one before. There are a few brief personal examples of the key but are quick to relate to the key and does not go on a tangent. There is a short conclusion and then there are three pages of recommended reading for those who want it.
It is quick to read and you do not have to read all keys in one go. If you want you could or maybe on a section at a time and jot down what keys you want to or mark the page with a post-it note like I did.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Travel Bucket List

These are only five places I would love to go to in the coming years. I want to travel and would love the opportunity to go to theses places and more. For me, I would love to travel the world.

Bavaria, Germany
            Because I want to tour the sites of King Ludwig II (castles and death site). I would like to visit other areas of this region of Germany. I would like to be there for Oktoberfest, as I have lived in a city that has had celebrated it for many years as well. Like where I live, I would also like to see the Christmas Markets that are put up in this area. The ones there last a month or more, where here it is only four days. Yes I may go north to the rest of Germany but the main focus for me is the southern part of Germany.


            I would like to see Kildare and sites of Goddess Brigid and those connected to her as a Saint – which many be that of that. For me Ireland would be the first place for me to see in the United Kingdom. It would be fun to almost go counter clockwise visiting that part of Europe. Ireland looks nice and fun to go to. I would like to visit other areas of Ireland as well.


            It would just be interesting to see the natural world that the country has to offer. As well as the history it has to different composers and the country as a whole. It would be interesting to compare what Germany and Austria are like. Yes there are going to be obvious and other differences between them. But how they treat the people, nature and other aspects of life.


Australia and New Zealand
            For me I would like to give both countries a go in one trip. But I know that is doubtful due to the fact both countries have a lot to offer. I may not cover all of Australia but seeing some of it would be a delight to see. The nature and sites to see in both countries would be great to see with my younger sister. Also the attraction of being near the coast and beaches would attract her anyway.

Personal Library - Where to Get Books

Places to get books

Yes, you can go to chain bookstores like physically in stores – Chapters or Barnes & Nobles or electronically through sites like Kobo or Kindle. But there are other ways to get books cheaper. Here are ways to get them. If you have any other places to get books comment below and I have a list of websites where you can go to get books.


Where to Find Free Books

Books from these sources won’t cost you a cent, but will require some of your time. You’ll need to request books, write short reviews or earn points to convert to gift cards.

1. Review Copies From Publishers

Bloggers in any niche can get free copies of soon-to-be-released books from major publishers in exchange for reviews on your blog or social media.

For example, Book Look Bloggers requests a 200-word review posted to a book retailer’s website before you can request your next book. Library Thing, First Reads, Bethany House, and Tyndale House Publishers also have programs that offer free books in exchange for honest reviews.

2. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia can get a free book every month from the Dolly Parton Foundation. You must live in an area that offers the program; click the “register my child” link to see if your child is eligible. If you don’t qualify — or you don’t have kids — why not share this opportunity with friends or family members who might?

3. Swagbucks

This isn’t exclusively a way to get books, but as a member of Swagbucks, you can earn virtual cash doing simple everyday things like searching the web, checking your credit report and shopping online.

Redeem your Swagbucks for genuine $5 gift card codes on Amazon. Once you’ve built up a few of these cards, you’ll be able to pre-order your favorite author’s latest release, instead of joining a waiting list with 29 other library patrons.


Where to Get Nearly Free Books

For just the cost of postage or fuel, trade an unwanted book — or one you’ve finished reading — for one that you’d really like.

4. Little Free Libraries

The premise is simple: take a book and leave a book in one of the small boxes in various locations around the world. If you haven’t seen Little Free Libraries’ book houses around your town, check out their website to see if there’s one in your community — or even start one.

5. Paperback Swap

This online community boasts an ever-changing inventory of more than 4 million books with more being added every minute. When you join and list 10 books you’re willing to give away, you get two credits to request books from other members. Each time you send a book and the recipient marks it as received, you get a credit.

6. BookBub. This site shows discounted or free ebooks. With an email address you can choose to download your chosen book through Kobo or Amazon.

7. Craigslist

The advantage of Craigslist is that you can find rarer books, like first editions, sometimes cheaper than regular books. The price often depends on the urgency of the buyer. Since it is more or less a kind of modern-day trade post, the price isn’t necessarily fixed, which gives you the ability to possibly lower it if the seller can’t find another buyer.

You can also check the “free” section of the site to see if anyone is trying to just get rid of books.

Lastly, this isn’t necessarily a tip, but you can also ask for gift cards to bookstores or specific books for birthdays, Christmas, etc.


Finding Cheap Books

To maximize your ability to participate in the Little Free Library and Paperback Swap programs, invest a few dollars in bargain-priced books by popular authors or bestsellers so that you can trade them for books you do want to read and keep long-term.

8. Scholastic Reading Clubs

Scholastic Reading Club. Check with your child’s teacher to see if they’ll make the book orders available, or sign up if you’re a teacher in a public, private or home school. As a bonus, teachers who organize reading clubs earn points to redeem for free books.

9. Thrift Stores

The kind and quality of books you’ll find in local thrift stores vary by the store and region. I find that the best books are at thrift stores in more affluent neighborhoods or towns. Goodwill and Value Village are examples of great stores to look for books – they are relatively cheap. Most of their paperbacks run in the $1-3 range. Hardcovers are around $5-6, though you’ll want to check individual store prices when you go in. Often times you can find real treasures there, since unlike a book store they don’t price the book based on its print edition or age.

Almost all thrift stores sell used books, but the selection varies from a few good choices to a goldmine. Prices vary by store. For example, Goodwill sells books from 50 cents to a few bucks each depending on the location. Go to and, find some local stores, and take a Sunday or two finding the best spot.

10. Garage Sales

Again, you’re not guaranteed to find anything you like, but if you’re looking for children’s books, keep your eyes open for garage sales held by retiring teachers. They usually have immense classroom libraries and often just want to pass on their books to eager readers as they downsize and enter retirement. A bonus is that there is no tax to them.

11. Library Sales

To make room for all their new books and generate money to pay for guest lectures and programs, most libraries have book sales once or twice a year. For the best selection, be there when the doors open on the first day. On the last day of the sale, prices are usually slashed even further, allowing you to get a bag full of books for just a few dollars. These are another great place to go because libraries generally sell their books for a lower price.

Local libraries clear out their inventory at least once a year, offering hundreds — sometimes thousands — of books at cheap prices. The library may price books individually at first, but as the sale days run out, they often begin selling them by the box or bag. Go early in the beginning so you get first dibs and pick up any must-haves. Then go at the end and pick up more at bargain-bin prices.

12. Online Stores. Amazon and Ebay being two, there are other websites that offer discounted books. routinely offers 10 percent off $30 and $50 orders via its newsletter coupon.

13. Used Bookstores

Stores like Half Price Books usually have a value rack in each book section with novels for one dollar.

Sometimes you can find literary gems at stores, too, if you are willing to invest the time to look for them. These stores also have sales, so you can always check out their website to see if there’s one going on.


Other ways to get books

14. Ask smart people for recommendations. Smart people read, people who read become smart. End of story. Find out what worked for other people. It’s a great conversation starter too.

15. For your next birthday or gift giving situation ask for the givers favourite book to be the gift. Or maybe just ask for a gift card to your favourite bookstore or online site.

16. When you read a book, mark down the other books it cites either in the text or in the bibliography.

17. Walk into bookstores – pretty obvious. Whether you’re in an airport, walking down the street, traveling in a foreign country–try to find bookstores and poke your head in. Even if you use Kindle or iBooks, do this. Discovery is important.

18. Books to never buy new

Books by Stephen King, Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, E.L. James, Augusten Burroughs, and John Grisham — in other words, popular authors — always seem to end up in thrift shops, so don’t buy them at full price.

19. Buy cheap “placeholder” books

In some instances, you might want to get a crummy edition of a book you can’t wait to read, and keep an eye out for a better copy later.

20. No more teachers means more books for you

When school lets out, student books get donated. I stacked my sections of plays, literary theory, and classics by scoping out thrift stores at the end of the school year. The thrift stores there always had a better selection and a higher turnover rate. Even better: Duplicate copies are more common, allowing you to pick the one in the best condition.

21. Expand your interests

Think of subjects you’d like to know more about and keep an eye open for a book. You’ll cheaply add sections to your library and enrich your mind.

22. Compare prices and editions

Used bookstores’ finer selections will include some gems, but comparison shop before you check out. If you have a smartphone, download an app like Shop Savvy to scan the barcode and compare prices.

Favourite Songs

Here are a few of my favourite songs. I am going to share five with you.

Here I Am – Bryan Adams
            This song introduced me to Bryan Adams. It is a song in the film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” I would after that try and listen for it on the radio. Then I received the soundtrack as a gift and I was so happy.

Straight From the Heart – Bryan Adams
            It is hard for me choose a favourite Bryan Adams song but this is a song that is up there. For some reason I like it. To me it is saying, say the things you want to say now or you may not get a chance later on. If you do are you willing to still say those things and still mean them. Or on the other hand find new meaning in that situation or relationship and say it if you get the chance to vocalize it and not keep it hidden.

Imbolc – Lisa Thiel
            This one really connected me to Brigid. It might not be for others, and other songs might be for them. But it connects me to her and what that day could be about.

Mary Did You Know – Kalan Porter
            It is his version of this song that I heard first. But after that I heard a few other versions, but only liked one or two more. Never thought I would really like a Christian/Christmas song but again I like his version. It is a nice soothing and meaningful song.

Ross Roy -  Jacob de Haan
            I had my first solo in honour band in this song, one person who did not come to practice and class that it came to me. The song is up beat and so much fun. If you are one to play it, it may look scary or not possible but it is possible and so much fun.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

“Supermarket Sabbats,” Michael Furie

           This book starts at winter and goes to autumn. I guess going seasonally with the start of the year, but does start with Yule. Before going to the seasons (split into sections with one or more holidays). There is more of an introduction – a basics and background. How to prepare things like brews and incenses. Information and recipes are not separated but in one chapter within the season section. Recipes for that holiday or time of year, where some other books may separate food, incense, spells and other types of recipes into their book.

            Within each chapter there is witchy wisdom section and at the end of each chapter there is a shopping list of the things needed in the chapter. The list is not exact measurements due to that some items are in a number of the recipes. Each chapter relates to one holiday/time of year relating to the sabbat. Like the title says, the chapters do include each sabbat within each section of the season. In section five – after going through the sabbats, other dates are talked about like moon dates and February 29. There is a small afterward, not a full conclusion. At the end there is two tables of correspondences – colour and ingredients.

            The book itself is like a cookbook and spellbook into one. For those just wanting recipes – food and meals, this book is not that. It has a few recipes as well as other items to make. This is more of a mix of a few recipes into one book. The rituals that are in this book are solitary, but could be adjust slightly with two or three people, maybe a few more but not a lot. Many books with rituals are more geared towards a group and not adaptable to solitary practitioners. This is a nice addition to other recipe books and books that make brews, incenses and other products. If you do not like having multiple books that are not brews or incense  - the book has that but there are (food) recipes. This book is a mix but not overwhelming with either topic.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Other Buildings of King Ludwig II

            In 1872, began construction for a special festival theatre dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, in the town of Bayreuth. A few years later, he watched (alone, with no other public performance) early versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas there.

            Ludwig also outfitted Schachen king's house with an overwhelmingly decorative Arabian style interior, including a replica of the famous Peacock Throne. There are stories, a possibility of truth or not, of luxurious parties with the king sometimes reclining in the role of Turkish sultan while handsome soldiers and stable boys served him as barely clothed dancers. Ludwig selected a unique setting with a view of the Zugspitzmassif for a mountain lodge. The wooden building with its modest exterior hides a hall on the upper floor fitted with oriental splendour. He sought the seclusion of the mountains to celebrate his birthday and his name day in the lavishly. The King's House can only be reached on foot, either from Elmau or Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
            Another planned castle – on the Falkenstein, "robber baron's castle" – was never executed. A painting by Christian Jank shows the building as an even more fairytale version of Neuschwanstein, perched on a rocky cliff. He planned for it to be on the Falkenstein near Pfronten in the Allgäu, a Byzantine palace in the Graswangtal and a Chinese summer palace in the Tyrol. By 1885, demolition for the beginning of the project was underway, and the road to the site had been graded.

            After his his death the Winter Garden, Residenz Palace, Munich was demolished in 1897 because water leaking from the ornamental lake went through the ceiling to the rooms below. Photographs and sketches still record this marvellous creation which included a grotto, a Moorish kiosk, an Indian royal tent, an artificially illuminated rainbow and intermittent moonlight.

            Lack of money prevented Ludwig from continuing to build ongoing or new buildings, and somewhere he had to find money. Everything was sacrificed to his fixation for his buildings. He made an entry that “I must build or die.”[i] All funds for the buildings had come from Ludwig’s private income was ignored. The money he gave to Wagner came from Ludwig’s Privy Purse, as there was no grant from the government. With the combination of spending money on both, his officials turned against him. They accused him of being incapable to carry out his duties as King, and soon the Bavarian government was discussing abdication and Regency.

[i]               “The king of hearts ludwig II of bavaria,” This story published 04/19/99, Written by Ursula Grosser Dixon,


Herrenchiemsee dates back to 765 when a Benedictine Abbey was build on the northern part of the island (Herreninsel - found in Lake Chiemsee) on the orders of Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria. By 969, Emperor Otto I gave the land to the bishops of Salzburg. The bishops had converted the abbey into a monastery for the Canons Regular (a different kind of monk) who lived under the Augustinian rule of poverty and seclusion. Then by 1215, the abbey-turned-monastery had another change in management. Under the orders of Pope Innocent III, this one-time simple residence would become the cathedral of the Bishopric of Chiemsee, a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic rule lasted until the early 1800s, when the Abbey became a secular place and the bishopric was disbanded. The new, non-religious owners had little need for a cathedral. So they destroyed it and put up a brewery in its place.

And by 1873, the entire island was slotted for deforestation. Luckily, Ludwig had stepped in and put a stop to any further demolition. He preserved the remaining structures as the “Old Palace” and began to construct a new one. But Ludwig sadly did not live to see the New Palace completed. A year after his death, the palace was opened up to the public. Construction stopped just after the king’s demise and many of the unfinished sections were later demolished.[i]

            On 21 May 1878, the construction his Versailles replica Herrenchiemsee (or New Palace) began. This castle was meant to outmatch Versailles in scale and luxury. The world that was lived by Louis XIV of France, the “sun king” and who famously declared “l’état, c’est moi.” Ludwig would have loved to have had such power since power was ceded over to the Prussian Kaiser, Wilhelm I. This reality pushed him away and into the world of his castles and their building. Up until his death, only a select few were allowed to marvel at the proportions of the Hall of Mirrors at Herrenchiemsee. This continues to this day where only a select few are permitted to see this room.

                It is located on an island in the middle of the Chiemsee. Most of the castle was never completed, due to Ludwig running out of money. He had lived there for only ten days before his mysterious death. He would not see the fountains in action, and after his death they were taken out. The fountains were reconstructed at the end of the twentieth century and now are highlights for visitors on the island. Beyond the Latona fountain lies the Chiemsee. Apollo was one of her children. He is the god of light and the sun, spring and the arts. Aspects that Ludwig tried to bring into his life and his country. The Latona fountain was created by Johann Hautmann in 1883. during the construction the king's impatience became legendary; he even had the unfinished bits of the terracing rebuilt in a kind of Potemkin village where he could escape into his dream world before the castle was finished. The arrangement and theme of the statues on the edge of this fountain in the park at the castle echo their models in Versailles. They symbolize the major rivers of France. It is interesting to note that tourists come from France to view the recreation of the famous Ambassador's staircase. The original Ambassador's staircase Versailles in France was demolished in 1752. The Council Chamber is based on the Salle du Conseil at Versailles. Having this shows that Herrenchiemsee is not and was never intended to be just a copy of the French castle. Ludwig had left behind a large collection of plans and designs for other castles that he planned to build, as well as plans for further rooms in his completed buildings. Many of these designs are housed in the King Ludwig II Museum at the castle. Herrenchiemsee's Hall of Mirrors was once lit by over two thousand candles when he came on his nightly visits. Unlike Versailles, no parties were thrown, he preferred to bask in the glory of creation on his own. The ceiling and upper wall in the Hall are smothered in frescos and stucco. They depict the deeds and actions of King Louis XIV of France.

            The bedroom is the core around which the castle was literally built. Embroidery was begun on the tapestries before the basic framework of the buildings had been erected. The particularly lavish embroided wall hangings in the State Bedroom began before the shell of the castle was built. He never wanted to actually sleep here, for him it was simply a homage to the Sun King and to the court protocol of “lever” (to rise) and “coucher” (to bed) when he received the first and last audiences of the day. Om the fireplace on the Bedroom is a statue of the sleeping Ariadne based on a figure at the Vatican. In German her name means “most holy one.” the huge candelabra next to the State Bed, its candles create the right atmospheric lighting. The many “arms” of the candlestick have given rise ti the German word “Armleuchter” (branched or poor light) which in colloquial use also means “dimwit.” In addition to the State Bedroom, more theatrical backdrop to sleep, he needed a bed to lay his weary head. He had a sumptous bedroom built in his living quarters or the Small Apartment. The blue nightlight is another legendary item in the castle, Ludwig's artists had to experiment long and hard to find the right shade of blue Ludwig was satisfied with. By way of embellishment to his bathroom, ludwig had “Diana at her Bath” painted after the work of French artist François Boucher. Ludwig's version was executed by Historicist painter Augustin Geiger. The eighteen-arm chandelier of Meißen porcelain in the Dining Room holds 108 candles. At Ludwig's express wish all of the moulds and models were destroyed to avoid this work to ever be copied. The mirrors in the Small Gallery create many interesting and unusual perspectives. The niches contain statues of the four continents of Europe, America, Africa and Asia. The Petite Galerie of Louis XIV in Versailles, which this is based, no longer exists. The five glass chandeliers hold 180 candles which are reflected in the many mirrors inserted into the walls.

                It is complete with furnishings, paintings, a bed/reception room and a Hall of Mirrors. Here, he could sit in front of portraits of his beloved “sun king”, Ludwig (the “moon king”) could imagine himself doing – and building – whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. In the study the astronomical clock shows the hours, minutes and the position of the sun, moon and stars. The voluminous glass chandelier with its ninety-six candles, mirrored around the room, once provided him with an impressive light by which to work by night. On the mantlepiece in the bedroom in the Small Apartment (his private residence there), stands a marble bust of Madame Pompadour – who was Louis XV;s mistress and the first 'official' royal concubine in France, even having a handbag named after her. The long sides of the State Staircase are decorated with various frescos. “Agriculture” depicts the harvesting of the grape and the grain. Ludwig also had thousands of lilies and roses strewn about the staircase on his rare and meticulously timed visits to this part of the castle. Outside gentle jets of water splash the figure of Roman goddess Latona, Zeus's lover who bore him the twins Artemis and Apollo. He was not able to enjoy the fountains because they were not finished until 1886. The ridge of the roof above the court d'honneur is crowned by statues representing war and peace. Fama triumphs over the two allegories, a laurel wreath in her hand in readiness for the departing of good tidings to people all over the world. The Latona Fountain in the park has a grand total of seventy-four statues which spew water.

In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location for his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace). Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built as a "Temple of Fame" for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired.

The actual building of this "Bavarian Versailles", which was begun in 1878 from plans by Georg Dollmann, was preceded by a total of 13 planning stages. When Ludwig II died in 1886 the palace was still incomplete, and sections of it were later demolished.

State Staircase

The highlights of the large state rooms are the State Staircase, the State Bedroom and the Great Hall of Mirrors. The king's own rooms were in the intimate Small Apartment, designed in the French rococo style.

In 1876 Court Garden Director Carl von Effner completed the plans for a large garden resembling that of Versailles. When the king died, only the sections along the main axis with their famous fountains and waterworks had been completed.[ii]

State Bedchamber

The main rooms are some of the best examples of nineteenth-century interior design in existence, and are much more splendidly furnished than those in Versailles. No other porcelain collection is so comprehensive or of such high quality, and the magnificent textiles are equally unique. One of the artistic ideals of the nineteenth century, the "perfection" of historic styles, was realised in its finest form in this building.

The park modelled on Versailles by Carl von Effner was originally intended to cover a large part of the island. When Ludwig II died in 1886, only the central axis with its splendid fountains was carried out. The palace remained uncompleted.

King Ludwig II-Museum

The museum is housed in twelve modernized rooms on the ground floor of the south wing and was opened in 1987. It documents the story of Ludwig II’s life, from his birth to his tragic early death, with painted portraits, busts, historic photographs and original state robes.

The king also has a place in the history of music as the patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Portraits, written documents and theatre/stage designs record this aspect of his life.

The royal residences of Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace and Herrenchiemsee Palace as well as Ludwig II’s other building projects are also covered. Highlights of the museum include the magnificent furniture that originally stood in the royal apartment in the Munich Residence (destroyed during the Second World War) and the first state bedroom in Linderhof Palace.

Elaborately handcrafted items, show-pieces that were commissioned by the king, document the European standing of Munich art in the second half of the nineteenth century.[iii]

State Rooms

Herrenchiemsee was to be the Bavarian Versailles. It has its own Hall of Mirrors, which is even larger than that in Louis XIV’s palace. Ludwig’s admiration of Louis is evident here as well, particularly in the ceiling paintings which are of none other than the Sun King himself.

The State Staircase is another impressive, unforgettable room in Herrenchiemsee. The State Bedroom and the Small Apartment of Ludwig are also highlights.

Castle Gardens

Much like the palace itself, the gardens were also intended to imitate and pay respect to the lovely grounds of Versailles. One of the fountains is an actual copy of the Bassin de Latone statue found at Louis’s palace. But the garden also has many of Ludwig’s own personality, with his penchant for fairy tales and the fantastic.

You’re likely to see dragons, legendary warriors and other mystical beasts as you stroll these grounds.

Ludwig Museum

The castle plays host to the Ludwig Museum. You can come and learn all about the rather tragic history of this Romantic Bavarian king. The museum holds some of the “mad” king’s portraits and documents from his collaborations with the famed German composer, Richard Wagner.[iv]

[i]           Herrenchiemsee Castle Was Mad King Ludwig’s Versailles Of Bavaria,
[ii]          Herrenchiemsee New Palace,
[iii]         Herrenchiemsee New Palace,
[iv]         Herrenchiemsee Castle Was Mad King Ludwig’s Versailles Of Bavaria,

“A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft,” Deborah Blake

          This is a book that brings in small ideas to help the reader have a magickal life. Yes there are other books out there but this is another read. For me Deborah Blake is writing books around this idea to have practical ideas and items to add to your life. In this book you do not have to do everyday if it does not resonate with you. Overall, the book is a very nice book and a quick read due to the fact that ninety-nine percent of the days are less than a page. There is an introduction and no conclusion to wrap it up. So that may turn some people off if you like things summed up. If you want you can try and find it at a library or share it with a few friends.

            In the book it has some good ideas, and similar to the Llewellyn Spell-a-Day almanac and other yearly almanacs and datebooks. So if you like that set up, the book is familiar and in this book it is all her content. She brings in different categories and not copy and pastes how to relate to that category. She puts into the book different quotes from other people, colours, goddesses, crystals and a few other topics. With each day, there can be a sense that she has tried to relate many of the topics to that time of year or season. I would recommend this book to get ideas for your day to day life. It is a nice quick read even though you may be looking at the four hundred plus page count. Do not forget that there is an introduction and a categorized index at the back. The index is nice if you want to see or have the topic in one snippet (like recipes, about nature or what goddesses she talked about).

            It is not year specific which is good because you can use this book in 2018, 2019 or 2025. I goes from January first to January first including February twenty ninth because when/if you choose read this book you can use it in a leap year. Within the book she brings in something about the day and activity and put more of the things to do in the “try this” section at the bottom of each page. The “try this” page always relates to the topic above and continues on what she wrote about – like doing rituals, spells or recipes relating to that day. The dates and time of year is connected to the Northern Hemisphere but can be translated to the Southern Hemisphere to your date and time. If you get a physical copy of the book and not an ebook version there is two pages of lined paper at the end of the book. To me, I am not a person that does not write on the pages of a book. I sticky note almost the hell out of some books, which would have likely happened if I had this book physically because there is good ideas that you can adjust if needed to your situation.