Jan 31, 2011

Garden plans

Sharing my garden plans with you all in the hopes that you'll share info on what you're growing this year.

- Lakota Winter Squash
- Carrot Parisienne (free gift from Bakers Creek)
- Five Color Swiss Chard (cause pretty counts and I lurve chard)
- French Breakfast Radish but I may need to get a couple of other varieties. They grow so fast that it's so possible to grow several kinds.
- Water cress
- Flamingo feather celosia I want more cutting flowers this year.
- Radish Helios
- Japanese Pickling Eggplant
- Tonda di Parigi Carrot
- Candy Mountain Foxglove

Will pick up butter lettuce seeds and snow pea seeds and pepper plants from the local guys, tomatoes from my tomato guy, and a few other odds and ends. Any suggestions for an interesting zucchini to grow? Probably should stick to tried and true but I love experimenting. Also considering another variety of eggplant and loads of poppies. Also more cut flowers. Inspire me with your garden plans please.

Romance and infuriation

Frenchman's Creek is Romance (note the intentional capital R).  It's classic romance in all its charming infuriating ways.  After thoroughly enjoying Rebecca, I thought I should read another of Du Maurier's books.  This has none of the creepiness, it's a romance about a lady and a pirate.  You read that right.

It's actually a somewhat sweet book.  A rather improper lady meets a pirate and breaks from convention by secretly taking part in his world.  That pretty much sums it up.  The infuriating bit is woven throughout.  Her relationship to her young daughter being my pet peeve.

It's classic fluff for the most part.


Every year, I would like to have a better informed opinion on which should film should get the Oscar for best picture.  Every year, I fall a little short.

For 2010, I have seen:

- Black Swan
- Inception
- The Kids Are All Right
- Toy Story 3
- Winter's Bone
- True Grit

Before the awards, I intend to see:
- The Social Network
- The King's Speech

I'm unlikely to see:
- 127 Hours - because of the infamous scene I need to watch this at home where I can cover my head with a pillow while it's going on. 
- The Fighter - boxing is pretty high on my list of so brutal it's hard to watch

Right now, I have to say I would pick True Grit for my choice of best movie of the year.  I very much doubt that it will go that way at all though.  What do you think?

Jan 30, 2011

Orange delight

I made orange pound cake the other day.  Delicious - seriously so.  Recipe found here.

Not easy

Jan 29, 2011

Moon & stars

Some summer I will grow moon and stars watermelon.  I just love their look so much.

(And I have no idea who to attribute this gorgeous photo to.  It's all over the interwebs.  If you know, point me in the right direstion please.)

Project-finishing spree

Tan wreath
Originally uploaded by Crow Girl
Ever have fits of finally finishing projects? I'm having that fit right now and it's so satisfying. I highly reccomend it.
This is one of two wreaths I've finished up recently. 


Jan 28, 2011


The Vintner's Luck is a novel about a man who is visited once a year by an angel.  They become friends and then they become lovers.  I was sucked in by the story which only really checks in on our two main protaganists once a year - their annual meeting.  I liked how the author could tell you of their meeting and give you an idea of the year without long expositions.  I thought it very clever story-telling.  Also I love books about Italy and vineyards and wine.  What's not to like?

Well for one, the cover:

Pardon the obviously borrowed image, but I had to show it.  This angel is supposed to be stunning.  The man on this cover is disturbing to look at.  In fact, he reminds me of one of my college professors which adds another level to that.  Maybe it's just me, but everytime I looked at the cover I just felt some mild distaste to be parading that pale man-chest about with me.  (And there are other editions with far far better covers, this just happened to be the one the library reserved for me).

More importantly though, I never felt that this book really deserved any of it's angst.  I never really felt that any of the characters really cared all that much about eachother.  Also, there's a side story / mystery that I thought would play a larger part in the story, but it doesn't really. 

Gar!  I finished this book, but with great annoyance.

Apparently they have made a movie based on the book - with Vera Farmiga in it.  Who knew!  I will very much not be watching that one - even with cute little baby donkeys running through scenes.


Jan 27, 2011

Outdoor dreams

I saw the most perfect living space in Architectural Digest.  Donna Karan's property in the West Indies is amazing.  I love my city, but if I could trade it in, it would definitely be for a climate where outdoor space was liveable year round.

Traveling on

Jan 26, 2011

Lucky you

I'm trying out a bunch of new podcasts lately and getting hooked on some.  My most-recent addiction Slate's Culture Gabfest.  I love their frequency and the mixed bag of topics.

Out of touch

Jan 25, 2011

A matter of high importance

I have to confess to an addiction to Wonka Sluggle Gummies (shaped like Slugs!).  My favorite candy.

So the other day I picked up 2 other kind of Wonka Gummies (a) because I was curious and (b) because the cornor store didn't have Sluggles.

Meh!  I gotta say Sluggles are way way better.  Not gonna make that mistake again.  And now back to your refular programming.  :)

New kings

How genius is this kind of book?  It's a collection of well-written news stories that have no connection except Ira Glass likes them.  The New Kings of Nonfiction was such an interesting read.  The articles ranged from WWII to an interview of Val Kilmer to soccer hooligans.  Quite diverse!

There's an article by Michael Pollan in there that really got me motivated to change some of our eating habits.  And I know, the whole world was on top of that a bazillion years ago, but the first Michael Pollan book I picked up felt like he was speaking down to the reader so I tossed it down in disgust.  This article was smart and treated the reader like they weren't idiots so I actually read it, and it has me determined to make more focused attempts to buy our meat (and other products but mostly meat) at the local farmers markets.  And I went ahead and did so this past weekend - I'm a fast operator on some things.

The WWII article resonated with me the most, and you can read it online.  The book is very worth picking up.  I must confess that I skipped the article on poker cause I cannot be made to care about the poker craze no matter how well it's written.

Jan 24, 2011


The Wedding Banquet feels a bit dated and yet still ahead of its time - so does that make it current day?  The story of a Chinese immigrant desperately trying to hide his boyfriend from his visiting parents.  The beginning scenes had me worried that the whole thing would be seriously cheesey, but I ended up really liking this film.  Everyone is just so darn likeable and you end up rooting for everyone.

Note to self

~Passion RED Poppies~
Originally uploaded by KimMetcalf
2011 is definitely the year to give into that urge to plant a ridiculous amount of poppies.


How cute!

Jan 23, 2011

Mid century style

Love this we just don't have the right size rooms for this kind of thing.

I'll always pay attention to perty dresses

Did not watch the Golden Globes but I did surf the pictures of the gowns afterward.  Eva Longoria's was my favorite.  Kinda of glam old Hollywood and so dramatic.


Everyone needs more sunshine, right?


Jan 22, 2011

Can't come soon enough

Very excited about the seeds I recently purchased - candy mountain foxgloves.  So pretty!  Srpingtime, I'm waiting on you!


I'm not a writer, but I thought this piece from The Guardian was really interesting - 10 Rules for Writing Fiction.  Anne Enright's tips are my favorite.



Jan 21, 2011

Brain jitters

Black Swan is gorgeously constructed and the costumes and makeup are divine.  Also, it creeped the hell outta me.  I covered my eyes way more than I'd like to admit.  I went into the movie knowing very very little about the plot.  I wish that were possible far more often, but in the land of movie-trailers-giving-away-entire-plots it is very difficult.  My brain remains in a jitter over this.  And nope - I'm not giving the tiniest bit away.

Interesting article about the costume designers.

Jan 20, 2011

Nice combination

These earrings are so grittily sexy.


Something happens to me in January.  The greyness and cold and the feeling of being somewhat trapped inside gets my fingers itching for seeds and soil and the opportunity to sit on the stoop and watch things grow.  To concole myself in the meantime, I usually read books about gardening and peruse seed catalogs.

The documentary A Man Named Pearl turned out to be added winter therapy for me.  It's about a self-taught gardener who does amazing topiary structures.  Topiary has never been my thing; I prefer gardens that have been encouraged to run wild and crowd and over-grow their neighbors.  More of a mildly neglected garden that the constant attention that topiaries require.

However, you don't have to appreciate the form or even gardening so much to like this film.  The gardener and his wife are so genuinely likeable and it's interesting to see how one man's hobby / obsession becomes an entire town's hopes for attention and a tourism industry. 

Jan 19, 2011


Very cute.


Oh Fables - why did you have to choose the most uninteresting character for your spin-off?   I keep reading the Jack of Fables graphic novels in order to see how the other charcaters pop in and out, but I must admit that I'm starting to resent Jack.  The Bad Prince didn't help that problem the least bit.  It's just more of him getting into scrapes and telling his backstory.  Only giving it a 2.

Jan 18, 2011

Lady of the lake

Quilts like this make me want to learn. So pretty!


Mystifying combination

Mary & Max is a mystifying combination of sweet and gross and harsh.  I feel a great deal of affection for it and it's characters.  It's an Australian (I think) animation about a very unlikely friendship.  The portrayal of each character is pretty unflinching for all that it's done in clay sculptures.  I really enjoyed it.  Thanks Kristen for the suggestion!  I give this one a 7.

Jan 17, 2011

You don't know it yet

Modge podge

Upcoming listyness totall inspired by Allison at Create Positive Spin.

Reading: The New Kings of Nonfiction - and loving it all particularly "Losing the War."

Watching: Persons Unknown via Netflix

Contemplating: Ways to be more thrifty this year in order to accomplish some honking big (and very exciting) new goals.

Today's to-do list: Consists of ordering seeds for the veggie garden, reserving some library books, sweeping the very hair-ball covered floors, and watching a movie.  Sigh......it's winter.

What I may do instead: Surf the interwebs for garden daydream inspirations.

Very much in need of: New music.  Link me up some good stuff please.  :)

Jan 16, 2011


Pretty much the perfect combination of pattern and color.


Okay the book I forgot to blog about is one I'm stunned that I forgot to blog about.  Under the Banner of Heaven has been on my to-read list for forever and a day.  It frames a tale of the murder of a mother and baby around the tale of the history of Morman religion and more specifically the fundamentalist segment of the Morman religion.  Jon Krakauer can weave a good story.  I left this book feeling a little more informed about the basis of one of the world's largest religions and aching for those women who have been caught in abusive relationaships rationalized by fundamentalist reasonings.  I give this one a 6.

Jan 15, 2011


These owl wing head bands are lovely.


Imagine a story that exists midway between The Walking Dead or 28 Days Later and No Country for Old Men.  A book that tells a tale of endurance and fate and zombies.  The Reapers are the Angels is a very good read.

In this book, zombies or "meat slugs" are a fact of life.  There's no horror at the start of an epidemic because the main character has only ever lived in a world where the dead walk.  Her world is all about survival and maybe a little bit of miracles and sight seeing.

The best part of this whole novel is the language.  I love how the characters speaks.  (And I love the coincidence of how the same quote that this book's title was pulled from made an important appearance in a recent read - which I somehow have neglected to post about.  Tomorrow!)

Take the opening lines from the novel, "God is a slick god. Temple Knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe."
I read this book in a single day - mostly because I couldn't leave the story sit.  Really good read that I'm giving an 8.

Jan 14, 2011


Very much hooked to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.  Smart and fun!


I like it!



Jan 13, 2011

Makes me smile

Ferris wheel



The Awful Truth is pretty adorable.  It's a comedy following a divorced couple who attempt to sabotage each other's relationships.  Cary Grant has long been a favorite of mine, but Irene Dunn is a new discovery for me.  She's wonderful!  (Although I see she was in My Favorite Wife which I liked, I guess she just hadn't stood out so much to me before.)  I loved how throughout the movie, the two characters never failed to crack each other up.  Giving this one a 6.

Cads and misfits

Georgette Heyer writes such wonderful comedy of manners.  They are like palate cleansers for the brain!  Black Sheep, one of her regency romances, is full of witty banter and doesn't slow down ever.  It's quick and fun and generally what I refer to as fluff reading - although Heyer is always the highest form of fluff.  It follows an aunt trying to protect her niece from the attentions of a fortune-hunter.  The entire story takes place in Bath so the reader gets the wonderful background of the town's society.  I give it a 6.

Jan 12, 2011

Bright colors

Autumn Sun felted brooch
Originally uploaded by gypsy colours
Oooh - just what I need on a dreary January day!

Sad girl

Oooh - I may need to get this.

That makeup

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a documentary about her life.  It's rather interesting especially when it gets to the church scandal, and it did make me a bit sympathetic towards her.  Sympathetic at a distance cause the woman was a good bit of crazy as well.  (Her pitching stories to the tv exec was so strange and awkward and wrapped up her personality pretty well).  I give this one a 5.

Jan 11, 2011

Fresh start?

Gar!  Bloglines has been revived and is up and kicking but I pretty much hate the new format.  Must I resign myself to google reader is is there something better out there?  I've lapsed so bad on my blog reading and would really like to get back into the swing of things.  Suggestions?


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake has a great premise - a girl who can taste the emotions of the folks who make the food.  I wanted to love the book, but I couldn't.  The writing has this too-aware-of-its-own-cleverness feel.  The characters all seem to talk alike - every single one of them.  And the book is linear but it's confusing.  I would imagine we were months ahead of the previous scene only to find out that it was just a day later.  Or the author would jump years ahead but always have to go back to the previous years to explain one more thing.  I don't need stories to take place chronologically, but I do like them to be organized and not so hard to follow along.  This felt kind of sloppy.  I just can't feel much affection for this novel.  Only a 3.

Jan 10, 2011

Creepy creepy

Memories of Murder is so very good!  It's a Korean film about a serial rapist/murderer.  It sat in my house for over a month before I popped it in the dvd player because I have a very hard time with that kind of violence in film.  This film follows the cops investigating the crimes - one a bit of a doofus and the other insightful.  The film gave me the chills and made me laugh, and the ending is awesome.  Definitely worth watching.  I give it an 8.

Art in motion

The Secret of the Kells is the prettiest movie I've seen in ages.  The animation blew me away.  It's so pretty and different from anything happening at other studios.  It reminds me of the old Lord of the Ring animations.  The pictures had me oohing and ahhing the whole time.  I would hang illustrations from it up all over my house if possible.  However, the story wasn't quite as wonderful as the art (which would have been super hard given the gorgeousness of it).  I give it a 6.

Jan 9, 2011


The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming is a fricking delightful children's book.  Lemony Snicket needs to write loads more books because they never fail to make me smile. I give it an 8.

Dirty dealings

The Art of the Steal is pretty much guaranteed to piss you off even if you are no big art buff.  It's a documentary about one of the greatest art collection's in the world and how a bunch of politicians and businessmen schemed to get their hands on it in spite of the collector's will and instructions.  It may sound dry, but it is far from it.  I give it an 8.

Jan 8, 2011

More cookies

I made these Reeses Pieces chocolate peanut butter cookies a few days agao and holy cow are they good.


Oh man - have I neglected to post about the George R. R. Martin series I've been wrapped up in?  A Song of Ice and Fire is insanely engrossing.  It's a sprawling series - mostly about war and power and family but with some fantasy elements tossed in.  I'm currently listening to the fourth in the series - A Feast for Crows.  The stories are sometimes unberabley violent and cruel, but I love how none of the characters are one-sided.  There's no good and evil (well maybe a bit of evil here and there).  The characters are multi-faceted and interesting and the tale has yet to get predictable.

The series is a solid 9 from me right now.  I picked up a compilation of artists' renderings from the books which was pretty interesting as well. 
The Art of A Song of Ice and Fire is a mixed bag (and in my mind Jon Snow is not a pretty boy.)  Pretty interesting though.

HBO is working on a tv series based on the novels so I suspect we'll be hearing far more about the books.

More bird stuff

Oooooh - love this rug.

Disclaimer - I do not have a thing for peacocks - just peacock design.  My grandpa had peacocks on his farm when I was little, and I distinctly remember my dislike of them.  They were loud, not very bright, and they pooped all over everything. 


A house down the street has a lit up peacock that I desperately covet.  I've tried searching the internet for its source with no luck.  I think I shall have to leave a note with my email address since the lady is never outside (not that anyone could blame her since its insanely cold out).

I did however find this picture:

(Found here.) Wowza!  As a non-Christian, I love festive light displays that have nothing at all to do with Christmas.  I just love the lights.
I have yet to abandon my search though!

Jan 5, 2011


Saw True Grit Saturday and loved it.  Rooster & Matty are just about perfect.  Matt Damon is a bit odd and distracting in the film though.  I'm such a fan of just about anything the Coen Brothers come up with.  This one didn't disappoint.

Jan 4, 2011


Oh so cute.


I don't mind giving up a book that doesn't grab me, but I usually don't rate them.  It doesn't seem fair because a book may stink in the beginning and turn out amazing.  I'm breaking my usual rule here.  Quiet, Please was just awful.  I stopped reading about 5 chapters in because I got tired of reading about how superior the author was.  Everyone he meets is an idiot or insane or a bitch.  I think working in a public library is an interesting subject matter, and I liked the format of the book.  I just couldn't stand the author's attitude.  Giving this 1 star out of 10.

I suggest Free for All instead.

Jan 3, 2011


Coneflowers are one of my favorite varieties of perennials.

Orange is my favorite color.

So how do I resist this echinacea marmalade variety:

So pretty!


After You'd Gone is about a woman in a coma remembering pieces of her life in a scrambled order.  It also tells snippets of her mother's and grandmother's lives.  The books jumps all over the place - perspectives, timelines, first person to third person narratives - it's a total modge podge.  And it really works.

I really liked how the layers of the story unfurl.  Even though you know some big stuff at the beginning, there's still revelations tucked in throughout the novel.  I loved the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that the mother's character is revealed.  I was less pleased by how the main character's portrayed as irresistabley attractive to every single man she meets - in what world is that realistic?

Overall, it was a very satisfying read.  I give it a 7.