Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Martha Martha Martha

So a friend convinced me to be in the audience for Martha Stewart and I am very excited because apparently, Jeff Daniels will be there! I am so glad because I was worried we would get a celebrity I would not really care for.
Now, I do not love all things Martha. Some of her recipes are too complex and her personality is not my favorite, but I can certainly appreciate her elevating something as simple as laundry to such a high standard. Her magazine is always a fun read and I envy her gardens like nobody's business.
Anyway, I will let you all know how the taping goes and what type of parting gift we get.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pig Vs Dog

This is so darn adorable and funny!

Pig Playing with Dog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hmmmm, Serious Thoughts Today

I try to keep any form of political discord out of my blog for numerous reasons but this article in the NY Times made me shake my head.

States Seeking Cash Seek to Expand Taxes to Services

In NJ, where I am, we waste A LOT of money by small little towns of like 100 people having their own schools, fire departments, etc. My own personal opinion is if town shared services that could help alleviate a lot of unnecessary duplication and could help bring taxes down. Instead, the state government here and more across the country want to tax services, cut jobs, and trim what they see as so called fat. All the while, the politicians lose nothing.
Maybe we need to tear down the infrastructures that have been in place for decades and rebuild them better. Mismanagement cannot be cured by taxing or lay offs and yet companies and government continue to act as if it will.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Renovations and Rejection

The dining room is now painted. It is like being in Tuscany and the photo I took does the color no justice but see for yourself.


We have also been encouraged by dear friends to let the true bungalow come to life and strip the paint off some of the wood. Four layers is what I went through so far. Yes, we are going to get a heat gun per a good friend's mom who has renovated over the years.


Here is one of my groovy green curtains with yellow and blue flowers in the green room. Yes, those are seeds I am starting on the radiator and no, the heat is no longer on.


Here is our new little composter and some daffodils growing randomly where our brier patch used to be.











Carina Press did not find my romance suitable for their catalog so I got a nice rejection from them. I am far from broken hearted, as I knew I could have written a better synopsis and query. Practice, practice, practice will only make me better.
This journey will not be a quick one I fear, but I believe I will have success in it. Maybe not John Grisham success since that his life path, but I know I will get in print. I am hoping it is with the novel I am working on now because I love it so. Then again, as much as I love it, I have to hope someone else loves it.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, March 22, 2010

Medical Humor

Singing anesthesiologists, always a good time


The Laryngospasms - Waking Up Is Hard to Do

Cheers!
MissFifi

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Birds

I had the distinct pleasure of having a bluebird in my yard the other day. This was the first time I have ever seen one in person and I was mesmerized by it's coloring.
What I love most about our area of Western NJ is when I take the dog out in the morning, I witness an array of ornithological beauty. Cardinals, Blue Jays, Hawks, Mourning Doves, Crows, Black capped Chickadee and a myriad of other birds I have yet to identify. We also have God's garbage men, turkey vultures, aplenty.
There is something lovely about the screeches, whistles and songs being the only noise I hear in the morning. Heck, I hear it all day unless I have music on. After living an urban life for most of my life, this is a very welcome change to the sounds of cars, fire trucks and screaming people.

Black Capped Chickadee

Cheers!
MissFifi

Friday, March 12, 2010

History

I finished reading "Bloodroot" the other night and yes my friends, I cried a little at the last few pages. These characters will stay with me for some time that is for sure and Amy Greene is making me work harder at my craft. I have decided to turn the novella, into a novel, Godspeed for me. But this post is not about me writing, it is about history.
I have an unusual fascination with Appalachia history. (The word is pronounced like "Apple-at-cha." ) I say unusual because I have no connections via ancestors nor have I lived there. There is something intriguing about the folks lore, the foods, the life of that area. America loves the Wild West. Cowboys and Indians and gold rushes. That is not for me. I find Native American culture interesting, but I am far from a Western gal. Give me my NYC/NJ Italian heritage and Ellis Island, but also give me our Southern heritage.
One movie that I love in regards to Appalachia is Songcatcher. It actually deals with a musicologist who researches and collects Appalachia folk music in western North Carolina. She lives amongst the people and her genuine respect and interest in them wins them over, though there are rough patches. I recommend it even if for the the music alone.
I have spoken of the blog The Blind Pig & The Acorn before. Wonderful storytelling throughout and there is also music.
Backcountry Notes is fascinating and gives one quite an education.
A historical education.
America is a vast nation and because of that, we don't really get to know every nook and cranny of our land in the classroom. You learn your own state, general revolutionary and civil war history all the way up until now, but the layers that make up America? You are on your own. Not that I am complaining, but unless you have a natural curiosity, there is much that is easily missed in this world. I am naturally curious, so I am lucky. I have an interest in other cultures and foods, but I also find our own American cultures interesting. We should be exposed to Gullah culture, Appalachia culture as well as all the dialects throughout our nation and where they originate from.
I am sure there are advanced US History courses in college that cover these sort of topics, but I think grammar and high school kids should have the opportunity to find our nation's diversity captivating. This is simply because these cultures are alive and around us and most important is that they should be given a broader audience.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Planning for planting

The snow has melted and now rain is coming. Nothing like Mother Nature to mess your yard up just when you think you might have a chance to get it ready for landscaping. We are not paying anyone to do it. Nope. We are going to attempt this ourselves. I can hear you all now, "Go with God Miss Fifi."
NJ is not cheap with much of anything. Landscaping just the front of our house would cost at least $3,000.00. Interesting that it is the same cost as the fence. Good times.
Anyhoo, we have chosen a few plants, Catmint, Goldenrod, Pachysandra and Dwarf Mondo Grass to name a few, and now we need to see when we can purchase them. We need the ground cover like pachysandra and dwarf mondo grass to go where the God-awful brier patch used to be. I also think I want to throw in a blooming bush or two over there as well. The front of the house will have lavender in the big pots and then goldenrod and catmint for abundance and color. We'll probably throw in some green as well. This of course can be altered at any time, but we are thinking it will look nice.
We are also going to rip out the poorly laid down walk way that goes from the street to the stairs and lay sod down. We are going to set up a pea gravel path from the driveway which is on the side of the house, to the front stairs instead. Again, we believe this will look much better and very nice. We will also be putting a rock garden on one side of garage that is all shady. There will be pictures at some point. I am all about the before and after.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bloodroot

While I am suffering through synopsis and query letter writing, thank god for agents, authors and publishers that share example and tell you what NOT to do, I am reading a fantastic novel called "Bloodroot" by Amy Greene.
A tale that takes place in Appalachia Country, it is fascinating so far. I recommend it highly.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Retronaut? That is me

As one who loves all things Edwardian, Victorian, clothes from the 1930's and Auntie Mame, the blog, How to be a Retronaut, is my motherland.
So if you are looking for me this weekend, I will be exploring the site with a beatific smile and a cup of English Breakfast tea.
Thanks to A Bloomsbury Life for posting about the Retronaut site.


Cheers!
MissFifi

Thursday, March 4, 2010

If only I had $27,000.00

I could have been the owner of a fine work by Roy Lichtenstein today. Alas, I am not rich, so there will be no fine arts works on our walls just yet.
A friend of mine was lucky enough to end up with complimentary tickets to The Armory Show in NYC. In a word - SUBLIME.
We discovered artists from places like Cape Town, Helsinki, Melbourne, London, Los Angeles, etc. It was truly remarkable to be amongst the art crowd. I even came upon a Damien Hirst, whose work I am not a fan of, that I really, really liked. Here are some artists I came across that I had never heard of and really liked.

Dorothea Tanning
Mark Innerst
Tomasz Kowalski Honestly? this painting in person is AMAZING

Also, there were some pretty well set up gallery booths of different artists that we enjoyed.

Tasende Gallery
Other Criteria
DC Moore Gallery
Marlborough Gallery

I will try and add different galleries as I post over the next few weeks so you can check stuff out yourselves.

Cheers!
MissFiFi

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I need a Muse

Not really.
I wish I could pay someone to write my synopsis, but in truth, I am enjoying this dreadful process. It has actually helped me edit my latest novella. I have changed scenes and even added one. My husband has been very helpful too because he is a captive audience and his suggestions and feedback has been invaluable. I also have to give a shout out once again to my friends who agreed to read the final draft along with their opinions.
Anyway, my futuristic/bounty hunter story has been fine tuned and now I need to type up the synopsis, I hand write them first in the notebook I use to outline the story, and then the agent query letter. I have narrowed down my agent list and will be following all the protocols I have researched so I don't muck it up.
No feedback regarding the Romance novel I sent out yet, but that is an 8-10 week waiting period. Yes, I am biting my nails.
I have my next story semi-outlined and I am excited to get working on developing that further.

Cheers!
MissFifi