Grace's Mosaic Moments

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Florida Odd


  Coming soon. 
 Also, my latest Regency Gothic, Shadows Over Greystoke Grange.

~ * ~

Bulletin from the Space Coast:

To see a video of the Dragon Capsule launch on December 20, 2019, click here.

Although the launch of the Dragon Capsule, designed to take astronauts into space, was a success, the capsule failed to make it to the space station, due to what sounds like an avoidable error involving a clock! The astronauts destined to fly on her quickly announced that if they had been aboard, they could have easily corrected this minor error! Fortunately, capsule and cargo were recovered; the cargo will be sent to the space station via a more tested means.


I used to post oddities that happened here in Florida on a regular basis—until the really "bad stuff," like the Pulse nightclub massacre, began to overshadow our lighter moments. Happily, Sunday morning's Orlando Sentinel (12/29/19) provided me with a few bon mots that are more smile than gloom.

On the front page of the Local section:  our governor, Ron DeSantis, holding a football made of python skin! It seems that the fame of the Great Python Hunt* has now spilled over into a football bowl game called The Python Bowl.

*For newer readers, the Great Python Hunt is held each winter in the Everglades, which is being overrun (eaten out) by pythons which were dumped by their owners and bred like rabbits in the "foreign" setting of the Florida Glades. There are currently thousands of pythons in the Glades, with the State desperate to find ways to get rid of them.

The remainder of today's odd tales come from Disney's annual report of misadventures at their theme parks. Below, a brief summary of the more weird ones.

A woman from Peru was in line for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom (a notoriously long line) when she felt something wet on the back of her leg. She turned around to discover a man urinating. He was apologetic—he couldn't hold it any longer but didn't want to lose his place in line. Disney's action:  the man was banned from Animal Kingdom for the rest of the day, the woman given fresh clothing.

In an incident at the Magic Kingdom, a woman from New Jersey cut into the line for Space Mountain and ended up in an argument with a couple from Canada. The fight became physical—pushing and shoving. (Evidently, Security did not catch them & matters did not escalate at the time, as the Disney report skips to after they all rode Space Mountain.)  Unfortunately, the adversaries left the park at the same time. The woman told her husband (who was in a wheelchair) what happened, and he promptly began to chase the Canadian couple in his wheelchair, hitting the man in the chest with his cane. Disney's action:  the man in the wheelchair was banned from Disney World. The Canadian couple did not press charges.

Also at the Magic Kingdom, a woman eating a turkey leg was admonished by a stranger for allowing bits of meat to fall on the ground. This ended in a shoving match. (No disciplinary action recorded.)

From personal experience - at Animal Kingdom:

Having grown accustomed to people's kindness toward someone with a cane, I was astonished on my trip to Disney last spring when riding a "scooter" through Animal Kingdom to discover how many people seemed to have left their manners at the gate. NO attention was paid to the fact that someone was riding a scooter in their midst. Almost no one gave way or made any attempt to allow me through the throngs of people flooding the walkways. One mother even shoved her little boy straight in front of my oncoming scooter, evidently because she wanted him to see something on the other side of the sidewalk and I simply did not exist for her. Believe me, it's a good thing those vehicles stop on a dime! I had so many close calls that day I doubt I'll go back to Disney World, as much as I enjoy it.

So, Grace's Advice:  see the Parks while you're young and nimble!

~ * ~

For a link to Blair's website, click here.

For a link to The Abominable Major on Amazon,  click here.

For a link to The Abominable Major on Smashwords,  click here.   

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Holiday Recipe x 3

A 2019 Holiday pic taken at our annual pilgrimage to the Singing Trees at First Baptist Church in Orlando.

Joys of the Season to You & Yours!

A HOLIDAY RECIPE - in 3 Versions

I tried this recipe at Thanksgiving, but in my own version, using Puff Pastry (Recipe 2); then ended up using the leftover ingredients in an entirely different way (Recipe 3). The photo below is of the original version, found in the King Arthur Flour catalog. Don't be fooled by the "pizza" label; it's more of a fancy appetizer or hors d'oeuvre. (I will be making Version 3 for our Christmas Eve party.)

Cranberry-Brie-Onion Pizza*

*I am skipping the part for making the pizza dough from scratch, as refrigerated pizza dough is readily available. (If you want to make it yourself, the recipe can be found at - "Caremelized Onion and Brie Pizza" (For my European readers, the "grams" are courtesy of King Arthur's original recipe.)

Recipe One

2 tspns vegetable oil or butter (28g)
4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (2 lbs./910g)*
1 tablespoon (14g) red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (25g) sugar, divided
¼ tspn salt
1 cup (99g) fresh or frozen cranberries
14-16 oz. (397-454g) Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into cubes
freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary, thyme, and/or sage, finely chopped**
½ cup (50g) sliced almonds (optional)

In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter over medium-high, then add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they're translucent and browning on the edges, about 20 minutes. 
(Grace note:  I keep the heat a bit lower than recommended.)
Add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and salt, and cook until evenly browned and the liquid is evaporated, another 10 minutes or so. Remove the onions from the heat and transfer them to a plate or shallow dish to cool. While waiting, toss the cranberries with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

Backing instructions adjusted for purchased dough:

Unroll pizza dough onto lightly oiled baking sheet. Roll or press out to desired size.
Cover the dough with the onions, then scatter with the Brie cubes and sugared cranberries. Grind a sprinkling of fresh black pepper over the top, then sprinkle with fresh herbs and sliced almonds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (or time specified on refrigerated pizza dough can). Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

*I used a mandoline cutter to slice the onions very thin. For easier chewing, I would suggest slicing the rings into smaller pieces after cooking.)

**As you can see from the photo, the rosemary is pretty much whole, so don't get carried away with the chopping!

Recipe Two

Proceed as above, except use two sheets of Puff Pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm.)

Spray two muffin tins or use paper muffin cups. You will need 18 muffin holes.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 squares. Fit the squares into the muffin tins, pressing down to make room for the filling.

Layer filling as indicated above. Bake at 425° for c.15 minutes. WARNING: Start checking at 12 minutes!

Recipe Three

Proceed as in Recipe One, except use two sheets of Puff Pastry.

Spray two baking sheets or use parchment paper.

Unroll one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured cutting board. Layer ingredients as indicated above. Roll up pastry jelly-roll style.* Cut into half-inch slices. Lay out on baking pan. Repeat process for second sheet of pastry. (It might be wise to have a third sheet handy for leftovers.)

*Grace note:  The larger cranberries may pop out when rolled. I just picked them up and shoved them into the cut dough!

Bake at 425° for c. 15 minutes. WARNING:  Start checking at 12 minutes.

Note:  Both Numbers Two and Three above worked very well for me and were a hit. (I have to admit the "pizza" one is easier, but I'm partial to puff pastry!)

~ * ~


No matter what your religion, please spread 
the message of Peace and Goodwill, 
not just to those who think as you do, but for ALL.
~ * ~

Special Note:  Making Magic With Words is complete, except for indexing, but the holidays aren't a great time to upload a work of Non-fiction, so the Pub Date will be early January, exactly nine years after Mosaic Moments was born.

For a link to Blair's website, click here.

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Borders for Fleece

Singing at the Florida Mall

A subtle reminder - posted to Facebook by a clever friend from my choir

Falcon Heavy launch, 12/5/19 - photo by Susie

Below is an adapted version of the Borders Booklet I made for my Fleece Workshop. The finished results are warm, toasty, and lovely to look at. I hope some of you out there will take the plunge and try your hand at Working With Fleece.



ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
sp = space
join - sl st in stitch cited
weave in ends - using a smaller crochet hook or a yarn needles, weave yarn ends under stitches on the wrong side (3/4 - 1"). Cut off excess.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  In addition to the photos in this booklet, how-to videos of crochet stitches of every variety can be found online. Just google the one you want. 


1.  Overcast Stitch

Knot thread. Using yarn needle, pass thread through holes (made by rotary cutter). This will make a slightly slanted border around. If no rotary cutter is available, it is also possible, with some effort, to pass a pointed steel needle with yarn through most fleece. 

2.  Blanket Stitch 

Please note the three stitches into one hole at each corner.  

How to do Blanket Stitch:

Special note:  If you do not have access to a rotary cutter, any border can be built on top of a layer of blanket stitch. Blanket stitch around first. Then begin with the single crochet row, using an I hook (5.50mm). If you are working with pre-cut holes, use an H hook (5.00mm).

3.  Chain 4 Border:

Row 1:  Single crochet around entire blanket, placing 3 sc in each corner hole. Join to first sc with slip stitch.

Row 2:  Single crochet in joining stitch. *Ch 4, skip 2 sc, single crochet in next stitch.*  Repeat around, skipping one to none sc at each corner. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

How to Chain & do Single Crochet & Slip Stitch (see also online videos).*

*Photos are from a Brit book. Note the bottom photo where it states that "double crochet" is the American "single crochet."

4.  Picot Border

Row 1:  Single crochet around the edge, 3 sc in each corner stitch. Join to first sc.

Row 2:  Sc in joining stitch.  Work picot (ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook). Sc in next 2 sc. Work pattern of picot & sc around, placing picots closer together around corners.
Note:  You can also put 3-5 sc between each picot, if you wish.


1.  V-Stitch Border (3 rows)


 How to do Double Crochet:

Directions for V-Stitch Border:
(as seen in pink baby blanket above)
V-Stitch:  (dc, ch 2, dc) in specified stitch

Note:  for the pink border above, use Rows 1-3 only. The border also looks good with only Rows 1 & 2.

Row 1:  With right side facing, join yarn with slip stitch in center of any sc. Work a row of single crochet around, 3 sc in each corner. Join with slip stitch.

Row 2:  Ch 5 (counts as dc & ch-2 space), dc in same st. *Skip next 2 sc, V-stitch in next sc.* Repeat around, adjust space between V-stitches as necessary at each corner. Join to 3rd ch of beg ch 3. (Optional finish here)

Row 3:  Sl st into Ch 2 space; in same sp work (ch 3, dc, ch 2, 2 dc); *in next ch 2 sp work (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc)*. Repeat around; join in 3rd ch of beg ch 3. (Optional finish here)

Row 4:  Sl st in next dc and into next ch-2 sp; in same sp work (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc); *in next ch-2 sp work (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc).* Repeat around, join. Finish off, weave in ends.

2.  V-Stitch Border, using all four rows:

3.  Ruffle Border (5 rows)

Row 1:  With right side facing, join Color A with slip stitch in any sc. Single Crochet around, working 3 sc in each corner. Join with sl st to first sc.

Row 2:  Sc in same stitch as join. *Ch 3, skip 2 sts, sc in next sc.* Repat around, ending last repeat:  ch 3, skip 2 sc, join with sc in beg sc.

Row 3:  Sl st in first ch 3 space; in same sp work (ch 3, 4dc); dc in next sc; *in next ch-3 sp, work shell of 5dc, sc in next sc.* Repeat around; join in 3rd ch of beg ch 3.

Row 4:  Ch 3 (counts as a dc); dc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc, dc in each of next 2 dc, sc in next sc; *dc in next 2 dc of next shell, sc in next sc.* Repeat around, ending last repeat with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Finish off Color A.

Row 5:  With right side facing, join Color B with sl st in any sc. Ch 1, sc in same st; *sc in first 3 dc of next shell, ch 3, skip next dc, dc in nxt 3 dc of shell, sc in next sc.* Repeat around. Join with sl st in beg sc. Finish off. Weave in ends.

4.  Double Crochet Border (3 rows)

Row 1:  Right side facing, single crochet around, working 3 sc in each corner.

Row 2:  Ch 6 (counts as a dc & ch-3 sp), dc in same st; *ch 3, skip next sc, dc in next sc.* Repeat around, ending last repeat with ch 3, join in 3rd ch of beg ch-6.

Row 3:  In next ch-3 space, work (sc, ch 4, sc).  Repeat around. Join with sl st in beg sc. Finish off. Weave in ends.

* * * *

Special Note:  Since this is a hasty retype of the original, please use Comments to point out any errors. I will update immediately.

~ * ~

Blair's three tales of Christmas:

Thanks for stopping by,