Sunday, June 27, 2010

Humor is fun

So a funny woman named Molly decided to blog about what life is like in a catalog.

Knock yourselves out people, Catalog Living is choice humor.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I read the book in two nights.

I laughed, I cried, I yelled out. I laughed so hard at one point my hubby thought I was going to bust a gut.

I LOVE THIS BOOK.

When your narrator is a dog and I understand where he, Enzo, is coming from, you have done your job as a superb storyteller. The story was wonderful, just wonderful. Thank you Garth Stein, thank you.

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

Cheers!
MissFifi

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Please teach your son to cook

I have no children.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let me be clear, I have no children, but I have been observant so much so over the years of friends with kids and strangers with kids that if I did have them I know what I would do and not do. I am certain every parent to be says this and then the nature of the child gets in the way.
One thing I am certain of though is mothers needs to teach their sons there is nothing "girlie" about knowing how to cook, clean or be considerate. This is something sorely lacking in our boys training and I am a little ticked off about it.
Most very devout religious blogs are clear on the roles of boys and girls. Boys learn to be the breadwinners, work the land, know how to do repairs, fish with buddies and be all around providers. The girl is taught to be a help mate, mommy, clean, cook, sew and do everything possible to keep the household functioning while always looking neat and pretty and giving it all up to our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I am fine with that if that is your chosen lifestyle, but I am not a Titus 2 woman and let us be honest, if you have children, you will want a hand. I do not care if it is as simple as the father playing with his own kids or doing homework with them. You BOTH chose to have children, you need to share responsibilities. Too many mothers I know do more than their share of raising the kids and I find that sad. Mom needs a break, to reconnect with herself and the kids need to connect with their father.

What if you do not have kids?
Well then, this is where it gets tricky. If you both work, whichever person gets home first should start dinner. Does not matter what it is, just start the meal.

What if the woman is a stay at home wife?
You can still offer to do certain chores she may not have gotten to. Walk the dog, put in a load of laundry, fold it or even, yes, start dinner.
This of course will never work and all of it looks great on paper. The question is then, why do we, as women, fail to instill in our sons the need to really participate in their marriage as more than just a paycheck and love slave. (Hope you all chuckled here)
Men can do more then just take the dog for a walk or take out the garbage.
There seems to be this lack of concern for the burnt out mother or housewife. Do you really believe we live to wash dishes everyday? I love to cook, but that does not mean there are not days where I wish my hubby would get inspired to make one of his fabulous Indian dishes.
Society tells us we have to tiptoe around the working man, but not the working woman. Men and women have it very hard. There are distinct roles given, some unfair, some not balanced at all. The bottom line for me is that I think boys and girls should not be set in gender roles nor should they shy away from something if they have an interest. If I had a son he would know how to make bread from scratch, so would our daughter, but she would also know how to use a drill. Knowledge is power and I think we all fail to remember that sometimes.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lonny

So I am late to the party on this one, but this design magazine from ex-Domino employees is pretty fun and awesome.

LONNY

I like that you can browse it like a regular magazine. Have fun with it people :)

Cheers!
MissFifi

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Forget to hydrate? Check!

So we went on our usual 8 mile bike ride and there are many foolish things we are still doing.

We have yet to buy helmets. Yes we are on a trail, but we should wear them since kids do ride past us.
We never have water with us. This makes us dumber then dumb.

The second thing is what almost took me out and to the ER today. It was hot, really hot, but we went riding around 10am and the trail is very shady. When we completed the trail we walked our bikes across the street and me thinking I had not gotten ride of enough toxins in my body, decided to huff it back to the house. Huff in the sense that I hauled butt up the small hill that leads to our house very fast and in serious heat. This is a one to two minute trip MAX. We get back I start to feel woozy and light headed. I come in the house and try to catch my breath and throw myself on the couch. I still cannot breathe so I open the refrigerator and grab a bottle of seltzer and pretty much drop to the ground. I laid there, my cat breathing next to me as I tried to get a natural rhythm back to my breathing. She leaves me and goes over to the seltzer bottle hoping for free water. My husband was outside cleaning the bikes off. When I finally sit up I shut the fridge, grab the bottle and drink. When I get my bearings I tell my hubby what happened and he said, "This is like when you pruned the trees and kept pushing yourself. You are going to get hurt."

He does love me and he is right.

So when it is hot, there is no reason to push yourself when you already have had a good ride. And do not forget the water!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kitty!

Tabby's Place is a charity that we have been supporting for a few years now. The irony is, where I live now puts me a bit closer to it and so I really need to get in the car and visit there one day.
What I like the most is they care for all sort of cats, healthy, sick young or old and you can sponsor a cat as well. Check out the pictures, read some of their awesome stories and smile.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Small bathroom redo

As most people know, we have a horrible, hideous pink bathroom. the toilet is RIGHT NEXT to the wall and grout is all over the floor.

*I no longer have a toilet seat cover since a friend told me they harbor bacteria.

Anyway, we knew when we bought our house this room would be the first renovated once we had the money. Trying to find a design we like had been hard because most bathrooms are the size of a small apartment. We have no desire to blow out any walls, just reconfigure. Lo and behold, the newest issue of This Old House has the bathroom design we have been looking for. I do not know if I would use the same tile they are using in the Shoe Box Bath design, but the layout is exactly what we want.
My husband and I like a streamlined look for bathrooms. Simple, clean lines. Modern yes, which is unusual for me because some modernist designs are so cold, but the bathrooms are usually the one area of modernism I like. Dwell has a slew of modern bathroom accoutrements. Kitchen Bath Ideas has some interesting designs as well. When we do get to finally do the renovation, I will make sure to post photos. I am going to try and get Dear Genevieve on HGTV to come do it, but just in case we do not get chosen, it is good we have a backup plan. :)

Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, June 14, 2010

Artists and their schedules

Recently a good friend of mine wrote a fantastic post on her blog, Pink Velvet Bird, about creative overload and how does one find the time to tackle every project out there. She listed what a typical day is like for herself and how we need to fire Monday and add more time. I like that idea. Simply because when anyone decides they want to immerse themselves in the arts, time is a thief. There are so many great arts and crafts blogs out there that you can get lost just trying to read them all.
I wanted to add something to her post and that is, if you are fortunate to work in your art field, not many will respect you for it either, unless you are famous or make a lot of money. As my husband said, "No one sees writing as a hard day's work." Amusing since many people love to read, but have no idea how difficult, insane and rewarding the process can be to a writer.
I know most of our friends wonder what I do all day since I have chosen to pursue writing. Now, truthfully, I am old enough now to not give a crap what anyone thinks, but I thought it could be interesting to do the same post as Pink Velvet Bird. Thanks to Filomena for the inspiration!!


Most mornings I get up between 7 and 7:30, take dog out and then bring her inside unless she feels like strolling around the property which she prefers on nice days. I will then check the veggie garden, weed in and around it, then check on all the other flowers and water everything.

8:00 to noon or 12:30 - Writing/housework. Housework meaning laundry, vacuuming, dishes or whatever else.

Noon or 12:30 until 1:30 0r 2:00 -Gym/Lunch/take dog out, check veggie garden and flowers again. Chipmunks have been a bit of a nightmare as of late in our front yard with the flowers.

2:00 to 5:30-6:00 Write until dinner time. Do some more housework if necessary.

Sometimes I even write at night if I am really on a roll, but I try to keep that to the daytime. I have also been knitting a MASSIVE blanket out of king size sheets for my godson. He is special needs and these types of blankets are good for tactile reasons and comforting. I would like to get that done so I have added that to my daily list of tasks.

I try to give myself eight hours a day, as I would in an office, but sometimes appointments come up or distractions and I have learned to work around them. The goal is to write 2,000 words or more daily. Not always easy, because I get caught up in re-reading and editing, but I try to hit the mark best I can. Some days I get up earlier and start writing earlier, it all depends.

So there is my day and trust me, there are times where I wish I could get up, put on a good flick and just write and write. As I have quoted this before from the scene in Frida when after showing Diego Rivera her work, Frida asked him if she should continue painting.
"What do you care about my opinion? If you're a real painter, you'll paint because you can't live without painting. You'll paint till you die. "

THAT is how I feel about writing.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tasty Snack

We had invited a friend over for dinner the other night and while I had chips and salsa as a snack for us, I wanted to add something else to the mix. After a little research I came across this recipe for Rosemary Roasted Cashews and they came out quite well. My hubby thought they were a tad salty, but I was addicted and so was our friend.
Enjoy!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Retro

I do love retro. I don't like overdoses of it, BUT there are times when it is done really well. This kitchen is a good example of that for me. I have an unhealthy desire for a farmhouse sink. Especially when it comes with a drainboard like the one below.

Of course, spending $1,330.00 on a sink is not what I am looking to do right now or ever to be exact.

Check out this array of retro kitchens. Over the top is not even a thorough enough description. Thanks to the Desire to Inspire blog for this.

These 1950's outdoor furniture sets from Torrans Manufacturing Co are choice.

Vintage reproduction fans from Restoration Hardware are lovely.

I also dig this Modern Tulip Dining Set.

This is not retro but I LOVE this Pipe Dreams glass sink by Kathleen Ash.


Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, June 7, 2010

Southern Living

Spanish Moss which I adore

I realize that I have a very unhealthy obsession with the magazine Southern Living. Their garden ideas are always drool worthy and the recipes are pretty darn choice as well. I also love their house design sections. I covet this kitchen like nobody.
Which has made me consider, what is it about places or cultures that are so different that attracts us to them? What is it about going to another state or country that draws us to them and makes us never want to leave? I enjoy where I am now and where I have grown up, but I do sometimes Wonder what would it have been like to have lived in the Outer Banks of North Carolina or San Francisco? Yes, I have been lucky enough to visit these places, as well as many others, but each of them have touched me differently. While I am not so sure I would bode well in the South for various reasons, I am drawn to certain areas and parts of its traditions. That may be what attracts me most. College football aside, there is many wonderful traditions and fascinating pieces of history from Virginia to Louisiana to Alabama. We have discussed making North Carolina our home one day so maybe I will be able to explain then why I am drawn to Southern Tea and Magnolia trees.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain Barrel

Yes, we have finally purchased a rain barrel. Now to get it hooked up.

Fiskars Rain Barrel


Check Spelling
Cheers!
MissFifi

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Resentful

There is a word that conjures up ugly visions.

But I am.

I am very resentful of my handicapped dog and I hate my whole being for it.

I have mentioned before she has cerebellar hypoplasia. She does have a wheelchair to get around in, but when she is not in that, she is on the couch and becomes the couch police. When people come to visit, we put her in her wheels, she barks incessantly because she wants them to know she is here and she hates when people get up and move as she does not comprehend they will be right back. All I really want is for everyone to understand this. She is not mean, she is not bad, she has issues, she is handicapped.
Before she had her wheels she would roll on the floor and hit her head. She does have concussions and Lord only knows what that has done to her little brain. It is not just her disease I resent, I resent that no one we know really likes our dog because of her little yapper and her lack of training, yes we tried, but obviously not hard enough.
She has been called vicious, crazy, and a myriad of other names. I call her the Jack Russell Terrorist, but I only feed the machine, I am not helping.
We put off numerous trips to people's vacation homes, even visiting family and friends in Europe or California because no one can or will watch her. I try to convince myself that it is okay, I have been fortunate to travel a lot in my life, but there are days where I just want to scream until my lungs burst.
Some may say see if the vet can take her and watch her. Kennelling costs an arm and a leg so the next best solution is to just take her with us. We are hoping we can rent a place in North Carolina next summer that way she can come with and we can have an actual vacation.
I am always terrified to bring her to other people's houses because there is already a preconception that she will bark too much, maybe bite and just be an all around pain in the ass. I help facilitate that as well as I will not go places or being her anywhere for fear of never being invited back.
My own in laws hate our dog and so they are not keen on us coming to visit because we would bring her. The comment usually is, "She barks too much."
I have friends with special needs children and I am sure they have ten times the aggravation and stress I do. I know what they go through with people staring, judging and trying to get through the day to day with children that cannot vocalize is heartbreaking. This makes me feel like an ass for even venting on a blog, but I have to. I cannot really complain to anyone because they do not have an inkling what this has been like for us. Not everyone wants to stand in someone else's shoes.
We love our dog, love her to pieces and it sucks that she cannot just stand up and go get water or go outside. She has no idea she has an issue, she was born this way. As much as we have tried to quell the barking it has never worked. She is smart, she knows her perimeters on the property, knows not to go in the street. She knows her name, but she still has moments of uncertainty and her behavior can turn from nice to fresh. And yet, I have begun to resent her. Because no one else sees her as anything but a pain, a burden. What a wonder it would be if someone would just see she is pretty cool and not that bad. When people see her picture they think she is so cute and they feel bad for her. A photo is easy. They do not have to interact with her and so they do not hear her bark.
I hate the people who forced her on us and never helped out once, one of them was even a veterinarian. We no longer speak to them due to different circumstances, but I hate them for this just the same.
This is not an end of the world situation, I know that, but it has taken a toll on us more than it should. At least it has on me and I just needed to get that off my chest.

Cheers,
MissFifi

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This land is my land

So due to my rechargeable batteries being crap, we did have some major yard work done yesterday and had overgrown "trees"removed. Seems the original owners planted them for "privacy" and never took care of them. These are the bad bushes.




The greatest thing was the tree guys moved a bird's nest into another tree for me and the mother found the nest and is caring for her babies. :)

Anyhoo, here are pictures of the yard, but the veggie garden has grown a lot since I took the photos.

SNOW PEAS

They are much larger now, but I am proud of them.

Raised garden bed that my hubby built.

Cool thing is my marigolds had died and on a friends recommendation I deadheaded them and they all came back. Whew!

My peonies. I am a tad obsessed with them. They were here when we moved and I ADORE them to no end.


That is all for now. I will try and take more photos soon.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The novel is done

Those are the strangest four words I have ever typed.

At almost 75,000 words, I have finished and my emotions border on celebration and death. Today I sat down, added a thing or two and then knew I was done. There was no reason to go any further.
When I realized this, I set up the chapters and then sent it out. I did forgot to spell check, but will get to that after I get my feedback. The folks who will read the novel will be seeing it for the first time. I may ask those who read it as a novella if they would want to read it in its current form. If so, great, if not, no worries. There is no obligation for them to do so and I hope they would not feel obligated. They had given me stellar comments and I incorporated most of them into the novel. I made the main character stronger, better description of what the world has become, I am pleased and nervous too see what the thoughts are on all of this.
My new task is to go back to the agents I have researched, find their clients and read those books. This way I can see who has written anything close to what I have and I can bring that to the attention of the agent. I will also be working on the query letter and synopsis. This needs to be done with the utmost care so I have a clear idea who and what I am dealing with.

I still cannot believe I am done. The hardest thing is waiting on the feedback. You get excited to see what people like, hate, don't understand, etc. Once I get that I will see what should be taken into consideration and applied. Also, saying good bye to these characters that I have created with care and love will be hard. I have enjoyed telling their stories and will miss them
.
The next novel has its own notebook and has already been started. The truth is, the idea came to me awhile ago and I had done a sort of outline, so now I get to hunker down with it. I am excited, but I may not start on it until next week. The rest of this week will be the agent research and client reading.

I finished Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne which had come highly recommended. I have not had a book give me nightmares in years so that was a plus. Very hard to put down as it kept you riveted. Fantastic.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure so far, it will be interesting to see how far we go.

Cheers!
Miss Fifi