Dec 28, 2010

Dairy magic

Made butter today with the help of my Kitchenaid.  Serious dairy alchemy.  One plain log and one maple flavored.

I'm working on a list of things I wanna have done before 2011 is here.  Almost like a before-year's-end resolution list.  And then of course there will be new goals and ideas for the shiny new year.  I love list making.

Dec 26, 2010

Less funeral

Fun Home is a graphic novel / memoir about one girl's childhood.  Fun Home refers to her family's funeral home business, and I thought it would be a whole lot more about that (a la Each Little Bird that Sings).  The book was far more literary and far less funeral home-ish.  I admit to a slight disappointment about that.  However, it was a good honest tale and I am glad I read it.  5 outta 10.

Dec 15, 2010

A little bit of odd

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers is about two criminal brothers in the 20's who suddenly find that they don't remain dead when killed.  Good premise, right?  I always like the bit of oddness tossed into a story.  I just never felt terribly intrigued about the character of the brothers.  Their are a few characters in this that are wonderfully complex (mostly one of the brother's girlfriend) and a wonderfully haunting zygote of a story told by a judge.  I liked it but didn't love it.  I give it a 5.

Dec 14, 2010


I have about a bazillion books on my to read list so why do I pick up books that tell me what other books I should be reading?  It's a mystery that may never be solved.  This one added about a dozen books to my list - not 500.  The grouping was pretty handy but all the book discussion questions were pointless.

White daisies

Dec 13, 2010

Collection of loveliness

I recently discovered Pinterest and am already hooked.  Find me pinning images here.  It's much easier observed than explained.

Dec 12, 2010


I shouldn't let myself wander through Anthropologie cause then I find myself wanting things like a lion butter dish.

Sandwich cubes and poop bags

Mary Roach has to be a coveted dinner guest.  Given the subjects of past books, she must have the best stories.  I love how she combines the informative with the funny and the all out gross.  Packing for Mars, her take on space travel might be my favorite yet.  The challenges of a gravity free small space are far more than I would have thought.  I loved this book.  I give it an 8.  Perfect distraction!

Nov 30, 2010

Not those Runaways

I think I heard about this series on NPR, and it's been a while since I discovered a graphic novel series that I loved, so I reserved it right away.  The Runaways follows a group of teens who discover that ther parents are super villains.  Great premise!  I'm surprised that this hasn't been movie-fied already.  I liked it okay - 5 out of 10.  I'm fairly certain that I'll pick up volume 2 and that's always a good sign.

Nov 29, 2010


Watched The Proposition.  A western film set in Australia - do we need a new phrase for westerns when they aren't in the west?  The landscape is stunning.  The music/sound to the film is amazing.  The story is about as brutal as it gets.  I found the brothers to be fascinating but the violence was at a level I found hard to watch.  I give it a 5 out of 10.

Nov 28, 2010

Checking it twice

DoBot To Dos app is helping me keep track of gift ideas and who's left on my holiday gift list.

Dresses make life so easy

And this one looks extra flattering.

Nov 25, 2010


 We went and caught the latest Potter movie at the wonderful and local Studio 35.  I liked it.  I think that someone watching this movie without seeing all the previous ones - even I had to think pretty hard to remember some of the previous plotlines.  Still I liked the moodiness of it.  I give it a 6.5.

Nov 22, 2010


Mary Oliver's Swan has some real gems in it.  I adore her poem "Don't Hesitate" which tells the reader, "Joy is not meant to be a crumb."  What a lovely sentiment!  Other poems I liked; some did not strike me.  A pretty mixed bag - but a pretty one.

Nov 21, 2010


Neil Gaiman has a way of making Norse gods seem like your oddball set of friends while still keeping their edge.  Odd & the Frost Giants is just a short story (with some fantastic illustrations), but it was nice to revisit Odin, Thor & Loki.  (And if you have yet to read his grown-up novel American Gods, I highly suggest that you do so).  7 out of 10.

Nov 20, 2010


I need to slow down on the true crime documentaries before I lose all faith in the justice system.  The more i see, the more I'm convinced it's more than just flawed - it appears to be completely broken.  Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is about the West Memphis 3, teenage boys who were convicted of killing 3 eight year old boys.  The teenagers' biggest guilt appears to be not fitting in.  Almost 20 years later, they are all still imprisoned - one on death row.  Just recently, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a retrial for one of them which may lead to the liberation of all three.  The whole thing is such a travesty. 

Other recent documentaries that have added to my anger - The Confessions, Death by Fire, and The Staircase.

Lingering effect

The 25th Hour is a book I started missing as soon as I'd finished it.  It's the tale of Monty who has 24 hours left before he has to turn himself over to be sent to prison for seven years.  The story is told through the eyes of Monty as well as his friends and girlfriend.  It's so damn sad and wonderful.  The ending was a total slice of perfect.  I give this book a 9.  It's going to haunt me for a good while.

Nov 19, 2010


for each thing, only once. Once, and no more. And we too,
once. Never again. But this
once, to have been, though only once,
to have been an earthly thing – seems irrevocable.
- Rilke, Duino Elegies

Nov 16, 2010

Frogs and crime

Manda Bala is a documentary all about the cyclical nature of political corruption and poverty-driven crime in Brazil.  They tell the tale through many interesting avenues - frog farmers, plastic surgeons, and criminals.  5 out of 10.

Nov 15, 2010

Couldn't we all?

I could use some good luck.  Verabel's necklace wouldn't hurt.

Nov 14, 2010

More gore

We've been on a bit of a zombie kick lately.  While the first one was amazing, 28 Weeks Later was just so so.  The zombies are scary and the gore is intense, but the story is super lacking.  Almost an afterthought, and not nearly enough to hold up.  Only a 4 out of 10.

Rainbow bags

The felted bags from Katieandme2 are so pretty.

Nov 12, 2010


Doesn't everyone have a favorite quilter?  Besides my mum, Denise Schmidt may be mine.

Nov 10, 2010

Paper gown

Nov 9, 2010


I'm a little bit of a sucker for anything that reminds me of the good parts of being a kid.  Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium managed that.  Loved the toy store and how imanitive all that was!  For me, the characters took backstage, and, while that might bug others, I didn't mind at all. 7 out of 10.


Nov 3, 2010


Hyperbole and a Half is one of the funniest sites I've found in a while. Loved God of Cake.

Nov 2, 2010

Pretty tunes

Take a listen to Clare Burson.  Thank me later.


Nov 1, 2010

It's important

I Vote
Originally uploaded by Fedje
If you live in the U.S., tomorrow is a big day. Go vote!


Want to watch something that'll make you mad?  Check out The Least of These about families being locked up in HUTTO while they await deportation.  It's something that is hard to believe happened in this country.  Children in jail.  Folks fleeing tortue and seeking asylum having to recount their horrors in front of their kids.  It's just awful awful awful.  I don't care where you stand on immigration, the way these families were treated was immoral.  6.5 for the film.  Much higher on the anger scale.


Totally up my alley.  Love all her bookmarks.

Oct 30, 2010


Currently loving Masked Rider Gunsmoke Red Wine.  Bought a bottle on a whim, and may have decided that this needs to be my new red wine of choice.  Quite delicious. 

Oct 29, 2010


I love having a little brother who surprises me with reserved books.  It's a Book is funnn-neeee!  It's a childrens book that seems more written for grown-ups.  It has good illustrations and a fun story.  Made me laugh ot loud.  I give it a 7.5.

Z addiction

It took someone else pointing it out to me, but I've come to realize that I'm a fan of the zombie genre.  (And if you haven't read World War Z, get thee to the library now!)

Anyway, I finally watched 28 Days Later the other night.  The zombie stuff is very very good and frightening.  Zombies who move fast are so extra terrifying.  The last half deals with a subject that I have a very hard time watching.  Still good - just hard.  Plus the original Dr. Who is in it!  I'm definitely checking out the sequel on this one.  I give this one a 7.

Oct 28, 2010

Introduced to the tardis

Consider me hooked.  Doctor Who season one did it.  Already off on season two, and not minding the change in actors as much as I thought I would.


Found this in my drafts:


I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I'm going to be immoderate--and volatile--I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant."

I think it's impossible not to love a book that contains the above sentiment.  Chocolat is a fantastic novel - different from the movie but in a good way.  Joanne Harris is master of the lovely turn of phrase and perfect sentiment.  Not that this is a treacley sweet book - far from it.  It's balanced just right between reserve and rampantness.  I really really enjoyed it.  I give it an 8.5. (I love my .5's).

Oct 27, 2010

So blue

My morning glories are finally glorious.  Just in time for frost but I'll enjoy them while I can.  The rose bush is having a second go of it as well.


Boy-o and I celebrated our 5th anniversary this month.  He went a little etsy mad (not that I'm complaining!)  My favoritest gift was this day of the dead piece:

I lurve day of the dead items and this little guy is awesome.  Cart Before the Horse offers so many cool dolls.  Love the robot girl they have listed right now too.

Year number 6 looks like it'll be chock full of new experiences for us.  I'm looking forward to it.

Oct 26, 2010

Perfect timing

October is the best month for creepy movies.  This one made me shriek and about jump out of my skin.  I would definitely watch the first one first.  7 out of 10 for heart beating out of my chest level.

Oct 25, 2010


Made this forever ago and I don't think I ever posted it.

1 part green creme de menthe
1 part crem de cocoa
1 part milk

Intensely minty.  The color is the best best part.

Oct 24, 2010


Freezer paper stenciling is so easy and fun.  This was my most recent creation.

Stuck in time

I actually grew up on heavy metal - something that didn't work in my favor in a mall small Ohio town.  While I was never familiar with Anvil, I did listen to a lot of Metallica & Megadeath.  This documentary follows a couple of 50-something guys trying to catch their long overdue big break. 

It was an okay film.  I'm sure it's supposed to be a lesson for sticking with your dream, but parts of it just made me tired and kind of sad.  I give it a 4.

Oct 22, 2010


Oct 21, 2010

Oct 20, 2010


Oooh - love bower birds and these prints.

Preparation and reminiscence

Out Stealing Horses is one of those stories that linger over you for a good while after they end.  It's about an old man preparing for winter and  remembering a particular summer as a boy.  I loved that both time periods had equal weight and flow.  It's full of many gorgeous words and descriptions.  When the tale was in winter, I felt the chill and sluggishness.  The summer memory was equally up to the task.  It just felt so perfectly balanced and right.  I feel like I'm having a hard time shaking this one.  It's a 9 by my scale.

I can't resist leaving you with a quote. 

If I just concentrate I can walk into memory's store and find the right shelf with the right film and disappear into it.

Oct 19, 2010

Everyone needs tools

Pretty cute.


About Alice is more of a long essay than a book.  It's a really touching piece about the author's late wife.  He writes with a great deal of humor, wit, and emotion and creates a beautiful tribute to her.  I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, and this one is really good.  8 out of 10.

Oct 18, 2010

Do not be scared

The "do not be scared" series by House of Navarone are awesome.

A very simple search

Hector and the Search for Happiness is a brief little book about a psychiatrist who decides to travel around the world to find out how to make people happy.  It's written in an overly simple style - something I like sometimes if say we're talking about number one ladies detectives.  It only works for me though if the tale has heart.  Hector and his search seem to lack that.

He travels all sorts of places and makes notes in his book.  I just never cared much about Hector or any of his friends.  Only a 3.  Apperently Hector will be searching for more things in upcoming books.  I'll be passing on those.


Oct 16, 2010


Hexagon blanket

Starting to wonder if this shouldn't be the winter that I learn to crochet.

Oct 15, 2010

Just saying

Water went where water goes

A title like What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us is hard to resist.  It's a collection of short stories about women unhappy with their situations and looking for something they can't define.  And the situations are magical - an actress who plays bigfoot in the wild for enthusiasts, a scientist looking for a rare flower around the banks of Loch Ness, and other women looking for something elusive.

Unfortunately, all the stories except the title story fell a bit flat and hollow to me.  Only a 3.

Oct 14, 2010


I love an art piece with a good story.

Slap something

Ugh!  I borrowed Slap Shot in honor of the beginning of hockey season - a big deal in my household.  I expected sillyness and a chance to appreciate the charms of Paul Newman.  Instead, I got a pretty snooze-worthy film whenever they weren't playing hockey.  Add to the boredom a sprinking of seriously offensive homo-phobic slurs and you get a big fail of a movie.

Only a 2 in my book and a big sad face that Paul Newman was in this one.


I love how thisneckofthewoods displays their pretty garlands.  Spot on.

Oct 13, 2010

Dance with the One-Legged Zantz

Don't Bump the Glump! is wonderful.  Who doesn't love Shel Silverstein?  Great illustrations and silly rhymes make me happy.  I give it a 6.

Oct 12, 2010

Happy pink house

So very cute.