Thursday, April 28, 2016

With Sympathy

To the Entertainment World

And all the lives touched by an entertainer's talent.

In His Memory We Wear Purple

It is never too late to express and share condolences. We are late with this and our efforts in this tribute aren't nearly as good as those from earlier this year. So many songs missing from our clouds.
But with heavy hearts we have remained in a purple mood ever since last Thursday when we heard Prince died.
It was a very sad day and we texted Sister Stereo right away as she is a HUGE fan of his work. When she shared her love, Xyra became a bigger fan too. 

We've been tuning in to Sirius XM station 50 now and then. It has been Prince music only (written or performed) since last week. A great legacy to leave. 

We send love and prayers and sympathy to Prince's family and friends and to the fandom.

Much love and sympathy to the world,

PS. We've updated our Book Review post to reflect the April 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review: The Mystery Series #1

The Mystery of Smugglers Cove

by Paul Moxham


We subscribe to a couple of newsletters that tell us of really good bargains on eBooks. If the price is right, it gets downloaded to our Nook. The Mystery of Smuggler's Cove was one of those great deals. It is book one of "The Mystery Series." There are six full length mysteries and eight short story mysteries.

Let's see what everyone thought.

Girls' Reviews


The cover art kind of reminded me of The Railway Children. That's the only resemblance, well, the author uses "The Queen's English" in this too. So if you do pick this up to read know that a "torch" is a flashlight.
I think I'd like to explore the caves along the beach like these kids did. What they found was exciting and scary at the same time.


Definitely not set on the lower east coast of the United States. 
We don't have cliffs or caves...maybe in Maine, but that's northern east coast.  :-) The boys were nice, but they were also annoying since they didn't seem to think the girls could help in dangerous situations. Let's just say...they got served. 


Wow! What starts out as a harmless outing and picnic on the beach turns dangerous. 
The full story takes place over several days. Kind of reminded me of The Goonies, but without Mouth or Chunk. A great group of friends looking out for each other and one of their parents.


Will, Joe, Amy, and Sarah are great characters. 
They are normal kids who have to use their own wits to solve the mystery and save the day as well as Will's dad. 


Can you imagine walking around carrying a ladder? 
I can't remember exactly how far it was from the Spencer's house to Chandler Manor, but that had to look strange to any passersby. Miss Marple would have quirked her eyebrow. (giggles)


If you only read stories set in the present, it would be hard to get into this book. 
The four main characters spend hours roaming around the beach, caves, and an abandoned manor house without any way to get in touch with a parent or emergency responder if something went wrong. And it did! One was trapped in a cave for hours!


A good compass would have been handy a few times. What an adventure?
In many chapters Will and Joe were the only ones talked about. The best parts happened when all four were together and worked to interrupt the plans of the bad guys.

Xyra's Review

The Mystery of Smugglers Cove (The Mystery Series #1)The Mystery of Smugglers Cove by Paul Moxham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fun read. I really liked the action and adventure. I also liked that there was a disclaimer at the beginning with regards to the setting and language. Going into the book knowing I was to read the Queen's English and not American English is helpful.

Also important to the reader is the era of the setting. While not specifically stated one can determine the era to be the 1950s. The children are on holiday and left alone a lot with no means of communication other than running or biking back home to find a telephone. Today you would be hard pressed to find a group ranging in ages from 8 -11 allowed to roam around on their own without a cell phone handy. Plus the boys are want to let the girls help. Today the girls lead as much as follow.

This was an interesting mystery that started by exploring caves by the beach and an abandoned mansion. They run into a band of criminals. From then on it is a race to save themselves and stop further crime.

One thing I learned is to never underestimate a young person or their determination. The children who make up the main characters in this book are not fearless nor do they have super powers to help them out while in a crisis. However, they do use their heads and all the skills available to them.

A very enjoyable read.

Kid Lit Blog Hop

It's hop time again! When you get a chance, check out a host page for this month's blog hop. (Note: Links have been updated to take you to the April Hop. There are a ton of good things listed there now.)
I always find a few things to add to our "to read" list and sometimes a new blog to follow. The books featured range from young reader picture books to YA, but you'll also find author interviews and much more.

Have you read anything good lately? If yes, what was the title?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Gardening 2016

Surveying the Grounds

Ha! Grounds makes it sound like we live on a country estate. Nope. 

Kaya, Kirsten, Lanie, Lea, 2 or more, pups

The weather is finally nice enough to uncover the gardens.
Are you sure?
Yes. In fact, we might be a little late judging by how big the sedum is already.
Oh. Okay.
I think we should split up and tackle more at one time.
Sounds good to me.

Dividing the Tasks

Lea and Kaya, you work over here with the leaves. I think the two of you will be great at this. I'm going over to clear leaves by the boulder. Kirsten, organize the potted plants and we'll help you finish those off later.
Sounds good!
Where are Grace, Haley, and Melody?
Working on a language arts presentation.


There are a lot of leaves.
Yeah. Glad we're working together. Will make it go faster.
What do you think, Tatlo? You going to help too?

Hostas can Breathe

Well, Tris, I've got some leaves to clear here and old stems to get rid of too. Let's get busy.
Arf. (tail wagging)

"The Potting Shed" Sort Of

Let's see, Lena. I've got the tools ready, potting soil, and watering cans. Looks like everything is ready for when the others are done. Shall we go for a walk?
Yip! (panting, tail wagging)

Working Together

Done! We're ready to help.
Kirsten, you start separating the soil. Lea, you'll add the seeds. Kaya, you can make the stake tags. I'll try to keep the pups occupied. (laughing)
We've got flowers, herbs, and fruit. What's first?

Let's start with the petunia.
Okay. This is a lot of soil. Is it too much, Lea?
(chatting, giggling, some singing, pots passing down the line)
Whew! Done.
Seven different pots, filled, planted, watered, and tagged.
We spilled a little. (laughing)
Yeah. But the water will dry on its own.
Hey, that one tag...(giggles)
I know. (giggles) I did that on purpose. Had to add spice with the herbs. (laughing)
[Can you see what Kaya did?]

Cleaning Up

Kaya, this area looks great. You can see the fern sprouts now.
And the hostas look happier. Four hands made the job easy.

Those yellow tulips are beautiful.
Yeah, they have the ruffles. Or are doubles. I forget how that works.
The hostas look happier over here too.
Love my hosta!

Well, girls, it looks like it is up to us to move the pots into a sunny spot.
Good thing we have the wheelbarrow.
This will be perfect. (giggles) 
Lena, you're not supposed to be in the wheelbarrow. (hops down)
Done! (laughing) Oh, Tris! You really shouldn't be in there.


  • All "growing kit" pots were found in the Target One Spot section.
  • Lanie's gloves, the trowel, cultivator, anvil pruner, gnome, potting soil and blue watering can are from the Our Generation Way to Grow set.
  • Wheelbarrow, spade, and pink watering can from The Queen's Treasures (retired).
  • A huge thank you to my/our followers! Creating this post was fun and educational. I finally found out the name and purpose for a mystery tool in the garage. It's an action or  stirrup hoe! Should make weeding easier now. :-D

Do you like to garden? Do you prefer flowers or vegetables?

See you again soon! So glad you stopped! Have a nice day! Tchau!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl, Our Generation, The Queen's Treasures, or Target. All items used in creating this post are from our collection. Any links provided are for educational and informational purposes only; no purchase is required or suggested.

Ps. Not sure what is going on with the spacing today. The draft looks fine. :-D