Rane Aria

Just reading, drawing,crocheting and enjoying naps

 I love my family, as I know I'll be getting more of these cards all day. :P


The 16 Festive Tasks-Bodhi Day

Tasks for Bodhi Day: Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favorite, most peaceful place in the world.


When it comes to peaceful places, I tend to move around depending on the season, the weather and how long can I hide out in the bathroom to read this chapter before my family start to become suspicion. (Why, yes the bathtub with a pillow does make a great reading spot) In the Spring I tend to stay under my pecan tree with my cats playing around the roses, the Summer I throw myself by any AC vent to escape the heat. Autumn, I  throw open all my windows in my house letting in the cool air, but in the Winter I love to curl up with my blankets and being the Christmas season, use the Christmas tree lights to read by or just gaze up at my tree in memories of new Christmases and old. 


The 16 Festive Tasks-Advent

Tasks for Advent: 

Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to?



 When it comes to this time of year, it's not so much of "thing" or a gift so much but, an event that happens every year I look forward to. The cooler weather!

 For those who follow me will know when Autumn is on the way as their dashboards are filled with photos of autumn and later snowy landscapes for the cold Winter welcome.

 Living in the south it can be record breaking hot, so it's special when the cooler weather comes in,   For me there's a type of peace and quiet that I can only find in Autumn and Winter, and standing outside in my oversized coat with the cold wrapped around me and the stars and moon above me, shining brightly. Is something I love looking forward to every year!

 Yeah, this is a huge glass of NOPE! I've only ever seen this recipe on pages of old cookbooks and have never tried it before. Then again after this I still don't think I would ever try it.

Snow in S.TX (sorry for the potato quality)


  Sorry for the poor photos as I was dodging some snowballs! Here's a few pics I was able to get from last nights "measurable" snow in about 30 yrs in S.TX! 









The 16 Festive Tasks-Thanksgiving Day

Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for:


Catching up with my tasks after freaking out my family with all my color-coordinated boxes of X-Mas/Winter decor stuff and the more I have amassed this year. Hanging from the roof as I complain loudly about hanging up lights while my herd (my cats) climbs the ladder with me, sits on the roof and hangs on the lights.Plus, just enjoying the cold,wet weather and snuggling up with as many blankets as I want. 



To list just five things would be impossible for me as I've been blessed, gifted, lucky to have some many people,pets, things to be truly grateful. My family and friends who are family, who have been my anchor in many storms, whose been my lighthouse, my safe harbor when the days seem dark. Who understand better then I understand myself somedays. 


   To my dear herd: my cats, Sopy,Cry,Abra,Josh,Pete,PJs who always end up making me laugh as some crazy cat things they do and who give me extra love and cat head butts when am sad or happy, My little doggie Osc who doesn't let me skip our exercise days rain or shine. I better be like Rocky and get to moving! My other cankerous but kind dog Mia who steals my blankets when she feels like it, and my pillow,and my side of the bed...


   To the authors who let me escape into their world when I need a major break from the real one. The little keeper bookshelf that is being rebult ,better, stronger and bigger! The blank pages in my art journal ready for some idea to flow from my mind into my fingers, and pencil to paper.


  But most importantly, I was ever so grateful to have had my dear Smokey in my life. This year Smokey crossed the rainbow bridge in peace. Before "emotional support animal" was even heard of, that amazing cat was my anchor when I was at my lowest. I stop dwelling on the bad shit, the panic attacks and started worrying about this big grey cat who needed me. I wasn't in the best shape at the time, but he saw in me something I didn't at the time. Strength. Bravery to face down the bad crap happing my life. It's still not easy somedays, even more so because I miss him so much, and not a day goes by I don't think about him or cry a little. But I know to take it one day at a time and slowly it'll get easier because he loved and believed in me and made me believe in me!


       Thank you, thank you, thank you


The 16 Festive Tasks -Tasks : Verteran’s Day/Armistice Day

Tasks for Verteran’s Day/Armistice Day: –

Post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. 



In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


-John McCrae In Flanders Fields



The 16 Festive Tasks -Tasks : Guy Fawkes Night

Tasks for Guy Fawkes Night: Which kind of tea is your favorite? Tell us why.


I'm a huge tea drinker. I've love the warmth of a good cup of Lady Grey on a cold day and the freshness of Sun dried tea sitting out as it catches the sun rays in the summer.

So I have many favorites and picking one is tough enough, but of late there has been one that has caught my fancy: English Breakfast. 


Oh! English Breakfast where have you've been all my life??





  My brother gave me a box of Twinings English Breakfast tea and I have really loved this tea since!

   English Breakfast is a strong tea as it tends to be a combination of three black teas Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas, and sometimes Keemun. It's one of the few teas I can make a tea latte without losing the taste and strength.


    As any tea drinker it's also great to be sociable and environmentally aware of where your tea comes from in order to help those who help grow these amazing teas! 



The 16 Festive Tasks -Tasks Dia de Muertos



Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.


"Oh Heartbreaker, has broken my heart, but no my spirit for romance"


Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer

Now I've disliked some books and really hated the outcome for some. None though have disappointed me more then Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer. For me Palmer is still those classic romance writers that plays a heavy hand on drama with a well won HEA. I adored her when I was younger and still enjoy her older works.Then as the early 2000's rolled in, I started to notice a change or lack there of. With many of her stories carbon copies of the other down to the hair and eye color of the heroines. I felt she was forced to shell out one book after another by her publisher. 

Then her Heartbreaker came out and the phase we reader use of throwing the book against the wall or out the window was a very strong urge with this book. The strongest in this case.



The heroine was a doormat, the hero (or asshat as I call him) was just some Alpha male who wanted it his way or the highway and used women to get his way. I'm surprised the heroine didn't have even more emotional damage done to her with this guy mixed signals!




The 16 Festive Tasks -Progress Update : Completed

The 16 Festive Tasks -Progress Update

The 16 Festive Tasks -Progress Update

The Festive Tasks -Progress Update


Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin

 Another lucky find with this book filling in either task as it's a political thriller/dealing with political treason and takes place on the sea! :D Lucky,Lucky

The Festive Tasks in Calendar Form - December

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

Posting this just in case anyone else finds it useful. November is here.



Square 5:

Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR–

Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings.


Tasks for Advent: Post a pic of your advent calendar. (Festive cat, dog, hamster or other suitable pet background expressly encouraged.) –OR–

Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to?  (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)

Bonus task:  make your own advent calendar and post it.



Square 6:

Book themes for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht:

A Story involving children or a young adult book, –OR–

A book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) or with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover.


Tasks for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht: Write a witty or humorous poem to St. Nicholas –OR–

If you have kids, leave coins or treats, like tangerines, walnuts, chocolate(s) and cookies [more common in Germany] in their shoes to find the next morning and then post about their reactions/bewilderment.  ;)  If you don’t have kids, do the same for another family member / loved one or a friend.


Book themes for Bodhi Day:  

Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR–

Read a book which involves animal rescue.  (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)


Tasks for Bodhi Day:  Perform a random act of kindness.  Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.)  –OR–

Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.



Square 7:

Book themes for International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR–

Read a book written by anyone not anglo-saxon, –OR–

Read any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused. –OR–

Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the UN and UN World Court respectively).


Tasks for International Human Rights Day: Post a picture of yourself next to a war memorial or other memorial to an event pertaining to Human Rights.  (Pictures of just the memorial are ok too.) –OR–

Cook a dish from a foreign culture or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (The Netherlands); post recipe and pics.


Book themes for Saint Lucia's Day: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.


Tasks for Saint Lucia's Day: Get your Hygge on -light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.

Bonus task:  Make the Danish paper hearts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jur29ViLEhk



Square 8: 

Book themes for Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR–

Where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.  


Tasks for Hanukkah: Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. –OR– 

Play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read.

Assign a book from your TBR to each of the four sides of the dreidel:


  • נ (Nun)
  • ג (Gimel)
  • ה (He)
  • ש (Shin)


Spin a virtual dreidel: http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm

– then tell us which book the dreidel picked.



Make your own dreidel: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel, –OR–

Play the game at home, or play online: http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/play.htm and tell us about the experience.–OR– 

Give some Gelt: Continue a Hanukkah tradition and purchase some chocolate coins, or gelt. Post a picture of your chocolate coins, and then pass them out amongst friends and family!


Book themes for Las Posadas:  Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR–

Read a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a 'no room at the Inn’ situation.


Tasks for Las Posadas: Which was your favorite / worst / most memorable hotel / inn / vacation home stay ever?  Tell us all about it! –OR– If you went caroling as a kid: Which are your best / worst / most unfortettable caroling memories?

Bonus task: Make a piñata (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pi%C3%B1ata), hang it from a tree, post, basketball hoop, clothesline or similarly suitable holder and let your neighborhood kids have a go at breaking it.



Square 9:

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night:

Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.


Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book in one night - in the S. Hemisphere, read a book in a day. –OR–

Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page.  Post your results.  –OR–

Eat a watermelon or pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year, but post a pic first!.

Bonus task:  Read a book in one night.


Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter, –OR–

Read a book set in the Arctic or Antartica.


Tasks for Yuletide: Make a Yule log cake - post a pic and the recipe for us to drool over.


Book themes for Mōdraniht: Read any book where the MC is actively raising young children or teens.


Tasks for Mōdraniht: Tell us your favourite memory about your mom, grandma, or the woman who had the greatest impact on your childhood.  –OR– Post a picture of you and your mom, or if comfortable, you and your kids.

Bonus task:  Post 3 things you love about your mother-in-law (if you have one), otherwise your grandma.



Square 10:

Book themes for World Peace Day: Read a book by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.


Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us. –OR–

Tell us: If you had wings (like a dove), where would you want to fly?


Book themes for Pancha Ganapati: Read anything involving a need for forgiveness in the story line; a story about redemption –OR–

Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow –OR–

Read a book involving elephants.


Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR–

Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books.  (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!



Square 11:

Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR–

Read a book that has a Native American protagonist.


Tasks for Soyal:  Like many Native American festivities, Soyal involves rituals such as dances.  What local / religious / folk traditions or customs exist where you live? Tell us about one of them. (If you can, post pictures for illustration.) –OR– Share a picture you’ve taken of a harvest setting or autumnal leaf color.


Book themes for Dōngzhì Festival: Read a book set in China or written by a Chinese author / an author of Chinese origin; or read a book that has a pink or white cover.


Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite desert. (Recipes, as always, welcome.)


Square 12:

Book themes for Festivus: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc.  Books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional).  Anything that makes you laugh (or hope it does).


Tasks for Festivus: Post your personal list of 3 Festivus Miracles –OR–

Post a picture of your Festivus pole (NOTHING pornographic, please!), –OR–

Perform the Airing of Grievances:  name 5 books you’ve read this year that have disappointed you - tell us in tongue-lashing detail why and how they failed to live up to expectations.


Book themes for Saturnalia:  The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space.  –OR–

Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR– 

Read a book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR–

Read a book with a mask or masks on the cover.  –OR–

Read a story where roles are reversed.


Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it.  Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously - a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke.  Tell us about it in a post.  –OR–

Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would you want to go and whom (both fictional and / or nonfictional persons) would you like to meet?



Square 13:

Book themes for Christmas:  Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe).


Tasks for Christmas:  So. many. options.  Post a picture of your stockings hung from the chimney with care, –OR–

Post a picture of Santa’s ‘treat’ waiting for him.  –OR– 

Share with us your family Christmas traditions involving gift-giving, or Santa’s visit. Did you write letters to Santa as a kid (and if so, did he write back, as J.R.R. Tolkien did “as Santa Claus” to his kids)?  If so, what did you wish for?  A teddy bear or a doll? Other toys – or practical things? And did Santa always bring what you asked for?


Book themes for Hogswatch Night: Of course - read Hogfather!  Or any Discworld book (or anything by Terry Pratchett)


Tasks for Hogswatch Night:  Make your favourite sausage dish (if you’re vegan or vegetarian, use your favorite sausage or meat substitute), post and share recipe.



Square 14:

Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR–

Read a book set during summertime set in the Southern Hemisphere.


Tasks for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book. –OR–

Take a picture of your garden, or a local garden/green space in the sun (even if the ground is under snow).  If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, take a picture of your local scenic spot, park, or beach, on a sunny day.  –OR– 

The Romans believed that the sun god rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.  Have you ever been horseback riding, or did you otherwise have significant encounters with horses?  As a child, which were your favorite books involving horses? 


Book themes for Quaid-e-Azam:  Pakistan became an independent nation when the British Raj ended on August 14, 1947. Read a book set in Pakistan or in any other country that attained sovereign statehood between August 14, 1947 and today (regardless in what part of the world).


Tasks for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan’s first leader – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – was a man, but both Pakistan and neighboring India were governed by women (Benazir Bhutto and Indira Gandhi respectively) before many of the major Western countries.  Tell us: Who are the present-day or historic women that you most respect, and why?  (These can be any women of great achievement, not just political leaders.)



Square 15:

Book themes for Newtonmas:  Any science book.  Any book about alchemy.  Any book where science, astronomy, or chemistry play a significant part in the plot. (For members of the Flat Book Society: The “Forensics” November group read counts.)


Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family.  –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.).  Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.


Book themes for Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.


Tasks for St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day: Show us your boxes of books!  –OR–  If you have a cat, post a picture of your cat in a box.  (your dog in a box works too, if your dog likes boxes - I’m looking at you WhiskeyintheJar) - or any pet good-natured enough to pose in a box long enough for you to snap a picture.

BONUS task:  box up all the Christmas detritus, decorations, or box up that stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of, or donate, etc. and take a picture and post it. 



Square 16: 

Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black.


Tasks for Kwanzaa: Create a stack of books in the Kwanzaa color scheme using red, black and green and post your creation and post a photo (or post a photo of a shelfie where black, red and green predominate).

BONUS task: Create something with your stack of books:  a christmas tree or other easily identifiable object.


Book themes for Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day: a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc. –OR–

Read anything set in medieval times. –OR–  

Read a book about the papacy –OR–

Read a book where miracles of any sort are performed (the unexplainable - but good - kind).


Tasks for Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day:  Make a batch of shortbread for yourself, family or friends.  Post pics and recipe. –OR–

Light some sparklers (if legal) and take a picture - or have a friend take a picture of your “writing” in the sky with the sparkler. –OR–

Get yourself a steak pie (any veggie/vegan substitutions are fine) and read yourself a story - but take a pic of both before you start, and post it.–OR–

Make whatever New Year's Eve / Day good luck dish there is in your family or in the area where you live or where you grew up; tell us about it, and if it's not a secret recipe, we hope you'll share it with us.

MASSIVE HUGE BONUS POINTS if you post a picture of yourself walking a pig on a leash.  (Done to ensure good fortune of the coming year.)