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Showing posts from 2009

Happy and Healthy

I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy 2010 and if God forbid you are faced with something difficult, may you find the strength to adapt, heal and move forward.
All the best,
MissFifi

Slap Shot - Newman, Ontkean, Hanson Brothers

Slap Shot is one of my all time favorites movies and as a sports movie, it is fantastic and hilarious. Paul Newman and cast delivered phenomenal performances. The following segment makes me laugh like hell every time. "Dave's a mess."

SLAP SHOT - HANSON BROTHERS

At some point I will do a list of my fave sports films with clips, for now. Enjoy!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Sometimes It's Good to Cry

Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton

Holiday music rules most houses until after the New Year usually. While there are many fabulous holiday songs praising togetherness, Jesus, driedelsand more, I have been revisiting many a song that has brought a tear to my eye or a full out bawl. In honor of those who are talented in a realm that I am not, here are some songs that have moved many and few, took us through heartache and pain and at the end of it all, gave us something that elicits an emotion with the first note. Romance has never been easy.

Pavarotti - NessunDorma- One of the best arias. The longing in this performance kills me every time. Here is the translation.

Judi Dench - Send in the Clowns - Sondheim was a genius.

"Johanna" from Sweeney Todd - Beautiful.

Janis Ian - Seventeen - A national anthem for many high school girls, whether they know it or not.

Sarah McLachlan - Angel - This needs no explanation, but yeah, I've been there.

Tracy Chapman - For you - Just wow.

E…

Thoughts about storytelling

I know it is almost Christmas and I admit I am not feeling it this year. Not really sure why. I feel like, while I had a very good year, 2010 will be much better. Of course, my feelings could just be hopeful or maybe I do have a sixth sense that I will finally flourish, I have no idea. Mostly I want to feel as if I have contributed during this life of mine somehow. We are all very fortunate to know the people we know, the people we no longer know and the people we still have to meet. Like it or not, people we hate or no longer speak to have helped make us the people we are along with those that have loved us and cheered for us. All the people that have flowed in and out of my life are responsible for the woman I now am. The best and worst traits of my family and friends have touched me and have imprinted themselves on me. I will always be grateful for this because without it, I am not sure if I would have had the courage to take on the monumental life change in choosing to be a stor…

Snow and Writing and Men

We have had a delightful foot of snow where we are. Delightful I say because our town was quick in clearing the roads and a neighbor plowed our driveway. Such a refreshing change from where we had originally lived. People who would only shovel up to their property line and wouldn't even speak to you if they saw you outside.
The snow has also made our dog, Isadora, giddy with power as she wheels around and eats snow. I will have to get a picture up of her to show what a true snow puppy she is.

As my quest in writing continues I admit I need a serious refresher course in proper use of punctuation. I also think I could benefit from learning more about "Description" as well. I get caught with that sometimes, unable to express what my character is really feeling of doing. Sure dialogue is the best for that, but certain scenes that do not call for dialogue need to be able to transport the reader with a damn good description. I am hoping to save up my pennies and one day take t…

Cashback - the movie

Recently watched this little gem on a whim and it was a great drama/comedy/romance. There is nudity, based on the fact that the lead character is an artist and it is used with how he sees the body. There are also discussions about the first time they recognized the female form and of course that is funny as well. Watch the trailer, see if it interests you.

CASHBACK


Cheers!
MissFifi

Superb Quote

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” –Mark Twain


I will do a proper post tomorrow because now I am about to finishing painting the office. Then we will put up shelves and I can set up my books and writing and sewing space. Amen!

Cheers!
MissFifi

New discoveries

This is what I look like as I sit and type my blog....just kidding. Only I wish I wasn't.

Things are good here at the homestead. A dear friend let me pick through her bolts of fabric so I can once again, make curtains. Oh yeah, we chose nice pretty fabrics for living room and dining room, but the art room and office? Fun patterns you will hopefully all enjoy once you see them.

Here are recent goodies I would like to share

Natasha Wozniak - an artisan jeweler who does superb work.

Lucky Scent - I have been fortunate to receive some sample vials from a friend who orders from here. Some of the most unique perfumes I have ever smelled. You can order samples for $3 and $4. A steal.

Rustic Cabbage Soup - DELICIOUS!!

FactCheck.org - Did the President say that? What about those vaccines? They cut through all the crap and give you unbiased reporting. Wonderful.

American Duchess, 18th Century Fashion - Yes please.

I am late to the party on this one, but 1001 Rules for my Unborn Son is a fabulous…

Stephanie Plum no more

A few months ago I had the pleasure of discovering the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. The first one had me howling with laughter, so when I finished it, I was ready for more as I loved the concept behind it. I devoured the next one and the next one, slowly becoming annoyed by the ineptitude of the main character, but hung in there. I just finished reading "Eleven on Top" and that's it. I'm done. While I am a huge fan of fun, light reading, I am having a hard time sticking with a series where the main character, Stephanie, is not progressing one iota. For the love of God, how does she not know how to hold a gun by now? Her instincts have not improved at all and every ending is "deus ex machina". Just when it seems she may die or get maimed, WOOSH! here comes Ranger or Morelli. That is a whole other story line. A crooked love triangle between Stephanie and two attractive men, Ranger and Morelli. If I was one of these guys I would have had a kick …

So this is what money looks like

Doing research for my writing has brought me to some interesting places. I am currently looking at LA venues for a wedding that takes place in my story. Let me share what I have come across. Honestly, I would love to just throw a party in one of these places

Private Estate Wedding Locations


The Payne Mansion - I know it's in San Fran, but I couldn't resist

Marvimon House

Lobo Castle

Rancho Sol Del Pacifico

Cheers!
MissFifi

Holidays and Home

I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday! We were fortunate enough to visit a few friends in NJ and PA for the holidays.

We were also very fortunate in locating a pair of wing back chairs and an ottoman on Craig's List for $50! At some point the chair will need to be reupholstered since the fabric is very faded, but the chairs are HUGE and sturdy. I have always loved wing backs so this is the deal of the century. In the meantime we will seek out slipcovers for them and that will suffice until we can afford the reupholstering as it is about $400-500 a chair not including fabric!!
Here is the ottoman:

Here is one of the wing backs:

I've also begun painting the hideous knotty pine room. Currently I am in the middle of adding the first coat of white paint that has a slight tint of blue to it. The picture I have is just when it was primed.
We like the look of the antiquish white. Not perfectly done with some wood showing through so that is what we will stick with. As I look around the r…

Music

Been busy doing house stuff, will post pictures on it soon. In the meantime, here are some songs I cannot get enough of!

Losing My Religion - Tori Amos - best cover song I've heard in a long time
Only Time - Enya - just lovely
Saturdays - Chevelle - this song has been getting my creative juices going
Naked - Assemblage 23 - dance groove
Not What You See - Kutless - Rockin' tune
The Mummers Dance - LoreenaMcKennitt - ethereal, haunting
For You - Tracy Chapman - have always loved the simplicity and emotions in this song.

Enjoy!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Romance Anyone?

What is it about Romance movies and novels that make us swoon? Is it the alluring, dark stranger? The clandestine meetings and glances when it is forbidden? The Handsome prince we want to whisk us off our feet? The beautiful woman who is so desperate for love she would move half way across the world for her desire? Is it the unrequited aching that we all relate to? Or is it just that we want to be taken back to some of these wonderful emotions we have had and can relate to? Probably a little bit of everything.
I have never been one to be all swoony. It seemed sort of silly to think there was a Prince Charming out there, though I was hopeful. Then when I was in high school, Sixteen Candles and the rest of the films like it showed me I was not the only one who thought I was too awkward, nerdy, silly and lovesick. For that, I would like to thank John Hughes, RIP, for reaching in and understanding some of us teenagers. As I got older, the Gothic soul in me preferred the "You will pin…

Tis the season has arrived.

Hello, hello!

I have come across some interesting gift ideas via magazines and other places and wanted to pass them along in case you were looking for something new, fun and interesting.

Happy Tape - this stuff looks like fun to use.

Karmakraft- design your own fabric. I may have to do this as I bet it can get addicting.

Wrist Cuffs by Waterrose. I have knit wrist warmers and cuffs, but these are quite beautiful.

My wedding anniversary is on the Day of the Dead. Think I should buy one of these from Artisans A GoGo to honor it.

Over 20 months, a set of 25 colored pencils are delivered to the collectors door. Nice idea Social Designer!

Happy Owl Glassworks have some interesting and lovely nightlights and other glass goodies.

These paintings by Julie Beck are beautiful.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Mad Chase indeed

Domestic Felicity is one of those blogs I enjoy because it gives me insights to a world that I am not really a part of, SAHM and deeply religious, but I am still welcome.
Anna's post today was spot on for me. It is called The Mad Chase After Degrees and there is a plethora of interesting commentary you must read.
As someone who has worked 15+ years as an administrative/executive/office assistant in different business realms, it is extremely disheartening to not even get an interview for over a year. My experience should override some college grad who has never been in the workforce, but at this point, who am I really competing with? Someone who is a laid off hedge fund exec? CFO? COO? CPA? Who knows anymore? Amusingly, companies actually list Bachelor Degree or higher now for Administrative Assistant positions, as well as second languages, and all for a crappy salary of $35,000 sometimes. Talk about being underpaid and over qualified for a job that requires organizational skills, …

A Steady Rain

My husband, amused and aware of my love for Hugh Jackman, got us tickets for our anniversary to see the Broadway play, A Steady Rain. Hugs is starring in it along with Daniel Craig aka Bond, James Bond.
I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the acting chops of both men, but Daniel Craig blew me away. Why you ask? Well, I have only ever seen him as the steely 007. It was great too watch him in the flesh, so animated and intense, doing a Chicago accent and the chemistry between him and Jackman was fantastic.
The story is dark, riveting and depressing. Jackman plays a nasty cop who gets in a bad situation, Craig is his partner and best friend who always backs him up, but then find his own strength and self after Jackman's character gets out of control one too many times.
At the end of the show, the gentlemen spoke to the audience and thanked us for not having cell phones on, this got a laugh, and then proceeded to let us know that this evening they would be collecting donations f…

Best Art Studios and more

Hope you all had a great weekend and got lots of candy.

I went on Etsy this weekend and came across a FABULOUS pair of artists and their blog, Best Art Studios. Their paintings are really amazing and I love, love, love that they also make jewelry out of their stuff as well.

These Short Series rings by ├ůsaLockner are quite beautiful.

Need some fun fabric and interesting gifts for the holidays? Badskirthas some great stuff for you.

You can surprise some little lady and make this simple, yet lovely bandanna dress.

Mmmmm, pie in a jar .

Cheers!
MissFifi

Civility and Etiquette are on their way out

OH THE HORROR!

Let's be serious though, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the internet in general have created an underbelly of people who need their mouths washed out with soap and then sent to the Emily Post school for social graces.
Intelligent debate seems to have fallen to the wayside on most matters.
Don't agree with an adoption article in the NY Times? Then comment in such a nasty personal way that you end up fighting with people whom you have never met and most likely never will.
Hate the health care reform bills? Make sure you throw out an -ism or two in your comments, regardless if you understand the inherent differences between Socialism, Communism, Libertarianism, etc.
YouTube has some of the most foul exchanges I have ever seen, especially under music videos. A friend recently told me he was watching a Turkish musician online and then when he scrolled down to the comments, there was a full blown potty mouth battle going on between two people, one from Turkey, the other …

Linkety, link, link

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to enjoy this sunny Sunday.
I also want to give a HUGE Congrats to Kristy at The Chocolate Peanut Butter Gallery on her engagement! Good news like that is always welcome and wonderful.

Let the Links begin!

Fiery Denim Rose Scarf - this is stunning and really screams Auntie Mame.

Currently enjoying Hobby Farms online.

Made Pasta with Butternut Squash and Pecans the other night. It was fantastic.

Pretty Little Things is a great vintage blog.

Eddie Ross, please come decorate my house.

WatchedPineapple Express, James Franco and cast were HILARIOUS.

Cheers!
MissFiFi

Layer away!

It is icky out today. I don't mind this weather actually. I knit, drink tea, read, write and pretty much enjoy myself regardless of the grey skies. Of course, I do get chilly. To keep our heating costs low, we have a programmable thermostat so the heat comes on only at specific times. So this means I layer like a champ. I knit myself a shrug last year out of Lion Brand Homespun yarn. It came out lovely, but it is not a good look for a busty, short waisted lady like myself. It is a good thing to have though when one is chilly and is not looking to fund a small country for heat.
I bring this up because I read this article on how do we stay warm during the fall months, without turning on oil or gas yet. The comments are helpful and the link to the Re-nest site with ways to help cut costs is too. Enjoy!

Cheers!
MissFifi

NJ, welcome to your Civics lesson

Property taxes has always been the bane of all NJ residents. It is all we bitch about. So much so, other states know our woes very well. This piece of info nearly knocked me over: Basically, New Jersey is sliced into so many local fiefs - 21 counties, 566 municipalities, more than 600 school districts - that it's just about falling apart. WHAT THE HELL??? No wonder we have such high taxes! But being the brats we are, places like Clifton, Nutley, Chester, Voorhees, etc all have their own schools, police force, etc. If we combined public services, it could help defray costs. Hell, for all I know it could knock down taxes beautifully. This article, called "State of Distress", in the NY Times is one hell of a civics course and insightful re: NJ's issues. Enjoy!
Cheers! MissFifi

Education is always key

I am one of those people who wishes they had been really studious and a National Honor Society student in high school. Had I been a smart, dedicated kid, I would have gone to an Ivy League school and would be ruling the world about now. Yale was always a fave, but George W Bush sort of tainted it for me...I am not sure why I have a sick, useless obsession with Ivy League schools, but I do. I have this irrational belief that Ivy's challenge you better than other institutions. Harvard or Cornell would not just teach me math, they would teach me to think about it in a more concrete fashion and show me some secret ways to do it that was forbidden in high school. My school fantasy life is rich eh?
Thanks to me being a shitty student, I did get to go to college, but it was not the Ivy League. Bradford College, which is now-defunct, was a lovely experience where I met wonderful people and got bitten by the fiction writing bug. Then I went on to Community College where I finally understoo…

TGIF Thoughts

That photo is of Glacier National Park. Breathtaking isn't it? I have always wanted to go there, but for now, this photo will have to do. When I do get there, I have a feeling those mountains are going to look even more majestic. Amazing that the United States has such beautiful diversity in its land. This is also why I want to road trip one day. Our country has A LOT to see and what better way to do it then by traipsing across it in a vehicle? One day, one day...

Last night we had the pleasure of attending a friends wedding. They are already married but her hubby, who went to Fordham for his Masters in Theology, fell in love with the Catholic faith and intends to make it more user friendly, so they renewed vows in the Catholic Church. It was a lovely experience and a cocktail hour followed at the fabulous Park and Orchard. Theirpierogi are hand down some of the best I have ever had.

I have the pleasure of meeting a friend for lunch today at a Diner. Comfort food at its finest right…

Look at my view...

The Brier Patch that was. Yes, on Friday the arborists, from Advanced Tree Care, came and made our land happy. Removing diseased and dying trees, rhododendrons and stumps. I am thinking that my compost pile would be best in this area above. Fix that falling fence and put it right in front. Behind the fence is where I will be weeding today and spraying more Poison Ivy killer o nthat nice fuzzy snake crawling up the tree in the back. It had been severed and I sprayed on Friday, but it was raining so I figure I will go and give it another spritz.


Without the Yews and Rhodies, our house looks bare, but they told us to let the ground rest and plan for what we are going to do. I need to get fence estimates since the plan is to turn the whole front yard into garden space. Yeah, that is right, I have lost my mind and have decided to become a Master Gardener without any training. I have a vision and will be paying someone to help me realize it, I am no fool, so this process should be fun and …

Sita, elbow and food

Sita Sings the Blues is absolutely fabulous and if you love art, jazz and a good story, you MUST watch it. I would like to thank Mark for telling me about it and PBS for showing it. I am a tad obsessed with the shadow puppets and their banter, it works beautifully in the story.

My gardening elbow is still bad, I also worked on a massage client this week so that did not help, but I go to the doctor on the 16th to get it taken care of. Celebrex, cortisone, physical therapy, who knows what will be prescribed, I just want it to heal and be healthy.

We went to Lambertville this past weekend to walk around and relax. We stopped to grab a snack at this little joint called Baker's Treat which donates 100% of their profits to programs for women in early recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. In addition, women in recovery are given employment at Baker's Treat, where they are trained in baking, cooking, retail sales and office skills.

That is all for now. Cheers!
MissFifi

Damn boo boo

My tennis elbow aka lateral epicondylitishas not gone away so I shall be paying a visit to my orthopedist and either get Celebrex or a cortisone shot. I am not excited about having to do either, but the cortisone did assist with my wrist. I do massage my muscles around the elbow area to help release the tension and it does work. I am also doing the ibuprofen regimen to see if that works. That being said, I will be staying off the computer for a few days and doing my best to take it easy for the weekend to help healing begin.

Until we meet again,
MissFifi

Cahokia Mounds

Never even heard of Cahokia and its earthen mounds(Proof US History classes need some revamping) This looks like some place pretty interesting to visit. Apparently it is one of 8 cultural UNESCO sites in the US, how cool.
I just read about Cahokia which was occupied until about 600 years ago while reading "Against the Grain." Check the book out and info on Cahokia.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Day out for a friend's birthday

My friend Nancy was born September 27. So instead of buying her something boring and no fun, I arranged for her to come down to my house so I could take her out and about for the day. My only requirements for her were to wear sensible shoes and bring a camera.

First stop was CocoLuxe Fine Pastries in Peapack. Luckily it was beautiful out so we sipped coffee and ate pastries outside. Then we trotted over to Liberty Park down the street and Nancy took pictures of the swans. There was also a beautiful old Catholic Church, St Brigid, and I took a picture of her in front of that.

Second stop was Natirar. A beautiful park that has a stunning 33,000 square foot home overlooking the land. There is a stream you can walk along and look at the pretty little waterfalls. Richard Branson has leased it to open The Club at Natirar.

Third stop was the Leonard J Buck Garden. Absolutely beautiful and the suggested donation is a mere $3.00. I had no singles on me, just change so I put that in the donati…

Banned Book Week Baby!

C'mon now, read To Kill A Mockingbird because it is brilliant and apparently will piss someone off.
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to ReadSeptember 26−October 3, 2009Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.Here is the Classics list, enjoy it and go buy some!Cheers!MissFifi

Be back soon!

The in-laws are back in town for a few more days, so it is fun and hectic.

Electrician comes back tomorrow for final walk through with the inspector and Saturday we are part of a HUGE Multi Family garage sale at a friends house. If you need stuff, ANYTHING,
come on by! Here is the ad:

Goodness ME - you should see what we've found in our closets!!!!

Several families are gathering in one location for an ENORMOUS garage sale....lots of treasures to be had.

GREAT deals....many items in the original packaging....we want to sell EVERYTHING so we have no leftovers at the end of the weekend!!!!

Furniture
Art Supplies
Candles
Jewelry
Hand-Made Greeting Cards
Picnic Set
Frames
Rugs
Stuff
AND MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE!!!!!

8-3P on Saturday SEPTEMBER 26
9-12 on Sunday SEPTEMBER 27
205 East Valley Brook - Long Valley

Just off of Rt 24 near the border of Chester/Long Valley

Look for the Yellow Barns
PARKING AVAILABLE ON BOTH SIDES OF STREET

Cheers!
MissFifi

Bye Weekend, Hello Monday

The weekend was a good one.

Painting prevailed. We painted the floor of the porch white. Just to take away the dinginess and the den/art room is a stunning tropical green known as Bermuda Grass. That took 2 coats and today I will be painting the trim, white.

Saw "The Informant" and loved it. Matt Damon never disappoints.

Went to Morristown with friends to attend Church of the Redeemer and it was wonderful. Good choir, packed church and fiery, relevant sermon. The reverend basically spoke of how we go to Church, learn the lesson and forget it when we walk out the door. The readings were Proverbs. One was how "women are more precious than jewels" and the other was how Jesus said "children will enter the Kingdom of Heaven first". She was "cranky", as she put it, because the least were to be first and they are still not. Women and children still suffer and are still not valued in society as they ought to be. I wish they posted her sermon because i…

Religion

I have been toying with the idea for months and months about getting back into a church community. We have been fortunate that some of our friends are active in the Episcopal Church so we have participated there a few times. It is similar to Catholicism, which I was raised as, except it is more open minded and liberal. This of course makes being an Episcopalian much more appealing. The only fault I have found in some of the churches is that they have awful music and choirs. I know, I know, you all think I am crazy, but it is true. When I was a kid in Catholic school, the nuns voices were superb and we, the whole congregation, would belt it out. I am well aware that lack of attendance and growth is be part of the issue. A lot of these churches do not have young members like the mega churches do, hence there is a small talent pool. Certainly wealthier churches have better resources to cultivate excellent music programs and even do more outreach.
Community is what I am ultimately …

Thank you Southern Living Magazine!

Southern Living Magazine always seems to have some darn good recipes. I have made this Praline-Apple Bread twice and it is amazing! I highly recommend you give it a go.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Garden Planning continues

Thanks to a friend I am currently reading Mrs. GreenthumbsPlows Ahead. Now, because of that book, I have begun to rethink how to landscape the front of the house, the sides and even the back. I never wanted a fence, but now I am considering a low wooden one. Not to be "private" per se, but to set up a sort of oasis. A courtyard, a place to sit and revel in the flowers and greenery. I like her idea of setting up garden "rooms" as the English Cottage gardens do.

Who wouldn't want to walk to the side of a house and come upon this?
How lovely this would be by the road as opposed to just lawn.
Ahhh fences AND trellises for everyone!
What a wonderful spot this seems to be for reflection and a glass of wine.

What at first seemed it might be easy, gets more exciting and more intensive. Pictures will follow as we begin to transform our little piece of paradise. I am no fool, I know this can take years, but how lovely it will be!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Read, read, read

I have discussed how much I love to read on this blog before. I have always loved how a writer can give you the tools to form the scenes and see the characters as you like. Interesting for me is that the more I have been reading, the more vivid my imagination is becoming. I do wonder if it is the quality of the material or just that I am getting older so I am using more life experiences, not sure. I feel like this also helps me in my writing, though a dear friend who is proofreading a short story of mine right now may not agree and be cursing me!

I've currently gotten sucked into the Stephanie Plum series and I LOVE IT! By the third page of the first book I was laughing so hard that I knew I had a winner. I now worship at the altar known as Janet Evanovich and am proud.

Prodigal Summer is also on my nightstand and at first I was like, "eh, not into it", but then something in Barbara Kingsolver's voice sucked me in and I cannot put it down. It involves 3 diff…

Weird NJ

I set off an a drive earlier today, headed out to Godlewsky Farms as I was unable to make it to the farmer's market this weekend. I went online, read the directions, did my own mapping and of course, passed the street I needed. So I proceeded out a bit further into Warren County than I needed, but I came across a street with the oddest name that I nearly slammed on my brakes.

Shades of Death Road.

Only in NJ my friends, only in NJ.

I did find the farm, which was HUGE and had stunning black earth everywhere. They also had rows and rows od gorgeous mums. I got a wonderful bounty at the farm. For $10.00 I got 6 ears of corn, 2 bunches of purple Kale, 2 yellow squash and a quart of tomatoes. Take that conventional gross produce suppliers that call themselvesgrocery stores!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Overdoing it

This past Friday, my hubby and I did a bunch of yard work. I have been a little obsessed with pruning the very overgrown hedges. I used our hand pruner and then got out the large tree pruner. I puled vines, we cut down tons of weeds that wrapped around the hedges, all good stuff. My arm was very sore when I was done and I realized I had proceeded to give myself lateral epicondylitis aka tennis elbow.
It is better now, thanks to ibuprofen, my hubby doing cooking and taking dog out and my ace bandage. I am still a little sore, but I need to not get so overzealous when it comes to doing some of the yard work. This statement will make my husband very happy :)
Then yesterday we went to a civil union ceremony of good friends of ours, had a terrific time, eating, dancing and drinking a little too much. Today I was hungover, but did not get sick thank goodness.

So Cheers! to a good weekend!
MissFifi

A Link a Dink A Doo

Howdy!

I promise a more in depth, personal like post over the weekend, but for now, here are some interesting links to check out.

A Lady living like it is the 1940's.

Questions about Quakers? Check out Quaker Anne.

Oilcloth looks like so much fun!

The Spirit Animal collection of jewelry from K Brunini are amazing!

Wal-Mart is pretty much a gritty, depressing store to me. Apparently there are some like minded, amused people out there. People Of Walmart is genius.

We are interested in eventually incorporating a rain barrel into our yard.

Lauren McAdams has some very interesting sculpture pieces that I covet.

Cheers!
MissFifi

We Are A Nation of Guilt

Just now on the Today show, they were discussing all sorts of coffee drinks and energy drinks and how many calories they have and what their food/sweet equivalent are. Then I thought, why do we continuously make food the enemy? There is no food culture in this country except for larger portions and diet foods. This is ridiculous. I am not going to make someone feel bad for ordering a latte or for drinking a Red Bull. I don't eat meat, but I certainly don't threaten those who do.
Why is it the nation as a whole is very comfortable telling you what you should and should not eat diet wise? We have only gotten fatter not healthier with all this advice. How about a show where we say "Hey, you want that Big Mac, okay, go exercise for an hour every day and then go for it." I knew someone who was very healthy and he had a "junk day". A day where he ate pizza and corn chips and ice cream, without guilt. He believed if you deprived yourself it made it worse so p…

Someone else gets me

Rhonda Jean at Down To Earth posted an answer to a question a reader asked about "How to live like her?" As I read her post I realized she says everything I have wanted to say, but couldn't express it. Sort of sad for someone who wants to write, but I think a lot of it has to do with judgment. I am somewhat worried my friends will find me mad and chide me for not continuing looking for a paying job. I do in a sense, I am writing to submit to contests, massaging clients when I can and still trying to get Lia Sophia off the ground, though I think that one is going to crash and burn.
My reality has changed over the time I have been job hunting. We have become home owners and I have been writing much more. The idea of working in an office no longer appeals to me, but I do miss the camaraderie, but I get that on Jezebel and Facebook.

Here is what she wrote that struck a chord with me:
"There was a part of me that wanted to create so I knew knitting, sewing and writing …

Grateful

A fantastic weekend was had because it consisted of hanging out with various friends, all different and all lovely. Here is how it went.

FRIDAY: The hubby helped a friend move from Bergen County to Morris County.
I proceeded to meet up with our friends from PA who so graciously let me stay at their farm. They were coming for the weekend to stay at a good friend's house up the road. That night our neighbors knocked on our door at 11pm and we went to their house to play bocce, darts and drink wine.

SATURDAY: A friend came down to our house and the three of us ventured off to Princeton. We were invited to dinner at the house of a lovely couple we met at the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down. The dinner was vegan and superb. Quite possibly the best lasagna I have ever had. They were gracious hosts and it was a wonderful time for all.

SUNDAY: I went to a dear friends baby shower. It was hot as hell, but it had a tea party theme and it was just charming and fun.

Today I went to the Hackett…

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!

We had an Arborist come out to give us an estimate on what we want done in regards to tree maintenance and brier patch clearing. I must go to Lowe's and get Holly Tone and Preen for those that are going to stay with us. Let me take you all on a pictorial tour of how our land will be transformed when we hire him in the next month or so.

We tried to save this pine, but the giant vines and blasted ground ivy strangled her, so she must perish.

One of 2 cherry trees that are also being cut down. They are both dead, most likely due to lack of love and care.

The peach tree in front is being saved. I have weeded around it and laid down landscape paper. The brier patch to its right is getting completely cleaned out, Sorry bunny!, and the lilac tree behind peach tree is going to be pruned and weeded.

Yeah, this one is fun. This is a Black Gum tree covered and strangled by Poison Ivy. The vine is going to be removed and then I he recommended I use Round Up Poison Ivy. Considering how much …

Checklist

Lists.
I am a huge fan and usually have a few going at a time. I thought I would share what is on my current house list. Now and then I stray from just home stuff, but it is still a good thing to have.

Research more on raised beds for the garden
Call Brinks for consultation re: security system
Slip cover at Target for 80" couch
Rubber feet for marble pastry board (I only need 3 but I they sell them in a pack of 4 or less)
Check out IKEA's Lazy Susan inserts and Liatorpfor living room.
fungicidal paint for where trees were cut
Zoetrope deadline is October 1
Call arborist to help remove, save, clean up back yard.
Sand side table(s), clean up, for bedrooms

There will most certainly be more added, but for now, that is what I have going. I'll let you know if I get any of it accomplished this weekend!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Day of the Triffids or Day-o?

These charming plants live in our yard. It is actually next to a pear tree and in the area of where our cutting garden will be. In July, my friend Nancy came over and we tore out one of these was brown, dead, rotting. It had a root system that blew me away.
I weeded this weekend and decided to go back over there and clean out what had been left behind. This is I pulled out with a hoe, a shovel and my hands.


Massive, thick and unruly they are. I still have more to clear, but this is what the area looks like now.


After doing some research online, I think this may be a Yucca plant. There are two more in the yard. Actually, there's just one. I pulled one out the that was not faring well on another slope. An explanation as to why anyone would think to plant tropical foliage at random throughout the yard would be helpful. There is no rhyme or reason to their placement, it is as bad as the fruit trees, but that is another post. I am waiting to hear from our extension office, they owe…

Updates

This week has been filled with much to do.

Apparently we will be doing stuff on the house until the Second Coming of Christ. We have our lists of what we want to tackle individually as well as separately. We need to decide on paint colors for the living room, dining room and den. It has been decided that the den will one day morph into a mudroom/laundry room and have half the staircase moved to help utilize space better. We can paint it any insane color we want as it will change again one day. My brother is most likely cringing. He wants us to paint everything white and use accessories to bring in color. God bless his little soul.

I am still trying to set up my Lia Sophia Starter show. My poor Unit Manager...I may be the
first person who can't get a starter party set up. I am shooting for August 20th now. fingers crossed!

The October 1st deadline for the writing contest looms in my head. I still need to rework one of my current stories or start a whole new one. I am hoping to…

Farm Sanctuary

(Happy, sleeping pigs)

Had a fabulous weekend networking, bonding and learning effective activism at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen. Big, shout out and thanks to Miss Filomena who took me there!
They held a fantastic Hoe Down Saturday night and fed us superbly prepared vegan food all weekend.
It is easy for me to respect people who are compassionate and passionate for animals rights. Farm animals are a particular contingency that has no voice, no respect and seen only as a cheap commodity most of the time. I am not a vegan, but this weekend helped me see that I am getting closer to that healthy way of life.
Please check out these speakers that were fun, well spoken, fun and most important, educated in their beliefs and for their cause.

Child and family advocate, Amy Hatkoff is also a parenting educator, author and filmmaker spoke about her new book, "The Inner World of Farm Animals".

Chef Alexandra Jamieson gave a cooking demo and is also available for consults to help gui…

Planning, well trying to

I feel like my life is in various stages.
Then again, who's life isn't?
Here are some of the projects I have rolling around:

Which story(ies) ideas to submit to the upcoming Zoetrope contest.
Layout of our yard, where the gardens will go, which plants to use, etc.
Working the Lia Sophia sales position to help put money away for house and to bankroll my ability to stay home and write.

These projects are started and they do not require an actual deadline. Well, the writing contest does, but my novel does not. These are all things that need to be nurtured and not rushed.

Planning.

My impatience would usually be at an end, so this is actually good for me. The gardens will take about three years to get just right, maybe longer. Writing is writing, you can't just bang out a book a month. Oh I wish you could, but the more I work at writing, the better I am getting, thank God. It may not show in my blog at all times, but my dialogue and descriptions of gestures have greatly impr…

The Library

You all know my love of libraries, so let me have this moment to rhapsodize about our local library here in Long Valley.

I walked in to get a library card today and the librarian proceeded to tell me all the wonderful things they offer.

There is a network of over 20 other libraries in Morris County that allow me to walk in and use my library card. How superb!
I can log in to our local library web site and Place a Hold on a book/DVD/CD, etc and then choose a date to pick it up.
They offer classes and talks on everything from cooking to arthritis lectures by a doctor, along with an awesome selection of magazines as well.

I am going to go and enjoy my books I pulled out today and relish the next time I get to visit my well appointed and friendly staffed library.

Cheers!
MissFifi