Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sick and A Cemetery

Our little guy had a fever and sniffles two weeks ago. He seemed better but then in the last 24 hours he got this cough and I began to feel ill. I did not send him to school today. Instead we went to the pediatrician who proceeded to tell me our son just has a cold and from now until May this is cold and flu season for all kids in daycare and preschool. Apparently the runny nose is normal for about two weeks and I was little early on the cough as they are not concerned with coughs in toddlers unless they run over a week or more. He also told me that the hubby and I will be getting sick more often now too since our son is in preschool. Aces. Petri dishes unite! LOL

I feel bad he missed class today but hey it is preschool and another day of just chilling, this means trains and iPad and reading, should help us both.


Last week as he was in school I decided to walk around town and visited an old cemetery. New Jersey has lots of history thanks to George Washington and his troops coming through as well as early settlers.

I love cemeteries. There is beauty and sadness there. The tombstones themselves amazing records of history and some of them are pretty amazing design wise. I felt fortunate to come across some very old graves. For those who live in Europe, these will seem relatively new considering.

I love mausoleums and this one had lovely stained glass.



I am only using my phone for photos and the sun was making it hard to get a good shot. This one was from 1762 and I love the angel carved at the top.

A marker for those who died of smallpox on the site. 


The following crypts were fascinating as one had what seemed like a long piece of Scripture carved into the stone and the other told of what killed the young man. 




 
Close up of cause of death.


To some this would seem incredibly creepy and morbid but not me. Cemeteries can be the best places to reflect and meditate as well as show respect to people who have probably not been visited in a century.

Well I am off to rest a little. At least the best I can with a two and a half year old.

Cheers!
MisFifi


Monday, September 29, 2014

Small Rant on Lawns

Domestic lawns bother me. Not the little patch of grass type lawn. No. I mean the huge swaths of green that is manicured and sprayed within an inch of its life. Sure it looks nice, but I do not care for them in any way, shape or form. I sound like I have a vendetta against grass, but that is not the case. Yes, I prefer flowers, ground covers and hardscaping and I prefer lawns to just be and not have them mimic a football field.

My ire of lawns has come about due to the care they require. Most people near me use lawn services like Tru Green and that is where my rant starts.

Last week I was sitting in my son's playroom with the windows wide open when a foul chemical smell hit me. I raced to close the windows and headed out onto my porch to see the little TruGreen truck down the street.

Shit.

All this talk about pesticides and the damage it does to people and animals, hello, bee colony collapses, somehow has evaded being cared about among the "I need a perfect lawn" community.

I do not understand the desire to have a perfect lawn that will never be used. No one lays out there, no one picnics, no one runs through their lawn, except little kids. I must be mindful as to where my kid decides to run because the companies put signs up that say do not allow kids or pets on/near these just sprayed lawns for 72 hours. Aces. Is the perfect lawn all about curb appeal? Probably and if that is your thing, who am I to say anything, but there are other ways to make your property look nice and not need serious poisons.
I am not completely insane, if you have an estate, large house or McMansion, lawns are part of the deal, but there have to be better things to use to maintain that lushness one so desires.

As for my own lawn, it would most likely be considered a crappy lawn. Filled with violets, clover and random grasses, it is not a lush green nor is it weed free and that is fine by me. Bees feed off my clover, but when that pesticide is taken into the air and brought five houses down to my abode, well shit, you are messing with my small piece of pesticide free land man. I want to yell out the comical "Get Off My Lawn!" at the pesticides not people. :)

I seriously feel like The Lorax about this.




Of course I doubt anyone will give a rat's butt what I think, but can't we embrace a little clover in our lawns and a little less pesticides?


Cheers!
MissFifi




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Binge? What Binge?

While a lot has been going on here, the usual housewife-y, I am a repressed novel writer, get kid to preschool stuff. I have somehow found a way to watch episodes of a show called "Supernatural". I am incredibly late to this party, but how have I not seen this before?!?!? Can I say I love it even though I am still in season 1? Yes, yes I can.


Demons, Urban legends, mystery, all sorts of awesome!! These two brothers, Sam and Dean, are "Hunters" of all things supernatural. Their mother was murdered when they were young by some unknown being and since I am a Wikipedia cheater, I know exactly by how and what as well as everything that is happening up to Season 9. I can do that and still be excited to watch it all unfold.
Normally I am hooked into some BBC brilliance, currently The Aristocrats miniseries is on my plate and very good as well, but "Supernatural" is a nice change of pace content wise.

Now here is the best part. I am going to share why I started watching "Supernatural". Pinterest. Yes Pinterest. Somehow I ended up on a page where there were nothing but pictures of the two actors who play the leads, Sam and Dean. Of course there were various comments under certain pictures and memes made in regards to certain things about the show. It piques my interest and I decided I would give it a shot. Netflix had also recommended it to me and at this point I figure,d "Why not?"  So there it is. The power of Pinterest ladies and gentlemen, it can get you. ;-)

Cheers!
MissFifi

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Didn't have the cheese, was still delicious.

Oven Roasted Broccoli by Alton Brown


Cheers!
MissFifi


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Planning

September has come and brought us a heatwave. Now she is giving us fall temperatures. No wonder all of our plants are so darn confused! Trees have begun to drop some leaves and it makes me sort of sad.

This is the last of my garden. I will miss it when it has completely given itself back to the earth.


Below are some "just blooming now" marigolds. The seeds are from the Alhambra in Spain and were a gift. I adore the colors and hope they come back next year from whatever deadheads go into the ground.

We have decided that we shall be adding a second garden and with a mix of flowers vegetables. This means I have already made a wishlist on Victory Seeds and am promising myself that I will plan the layout of the garden better. The current garden will stay as a full on flower garden and my fingers are crossed that all those perennials will self seeds like mad. Of course I am going to add compost this weekend to help nurture that ground and in the spring, buy a $5.00 bag of ewe poo from the local creamery.

I enjoy the fall, but I will miss my summer blooms. It was my first year attempting anything from seed and I have to say it was easier than I thought it would be, even with the few fails.

In other exciting news, our little one started preschool back at the co-op this week. Just 2 days for 2 hours. They are transitioning them right now so it is not the regular full 2 hours until next Thursday. The teacher is nice and the kids are sweet, there are just 8 of them which is wonderful and two of them he had been in the Mommy and me program so that is a big plus. He seems to enjoy it, except I noticed a few hours ago that he is coughing a lot and has the sniffles. Ahh the joy of immersion into the giant petri dish known as school. Kids are walking virus and bacterial machines.  Let no one tell you different. God love the little booger heads.

Cheers!
MissFifi


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Black Bean Burgers

Hands down these were the best black bean burgers I have ever had and ever made.
Let me tell you what my modifications to the recipe were.

I used two cans of beans so it is just under 3 cups and it made no difference.
I made smaller patties and got way more than 8. Yea for leftovers!!
On a recommendation from someone, I used cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper in stead of liquid smoke and lemon pepper. I think you can have a lot of fun swapping out flavors so by all means, go wild.
I also added some cumin to the onions while cooking. What a wonderful, warm smell in the kitchen.
We ate these on regular whole what sandwich bread with ketchup.
I made roasted corn on the cob to go with them and it was perfect.

Now go and fetch thee The Prudent Homemaker's recipe for Black Bean Burgers. I highly recommend you make them for a meal soon. Best part is it is not an expensive meal to make and it is nice and healthy.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Few More House Projects Done

Isn't it lovely when you can check off the list of ever growing things one must take care of around the casa?

My hubby decided he was up for another project while on vacation so he made a version of these DIY Nautical looking shelves for our pink bathroom. Now, while I loathe that bathroom it will be quite sometime before we can afford to fix it up so I bought a new hideously bright and colorful shower curtain, thank you IKEA, and he made the pretty poplar shelf. Honestly, it makes the sad, poorly built room look much nicer. He was going to paint it, but I like the natural look.


I want to add a decorative something on the top shelf, just not sure what yet.

Next we have a very loooooooooooooooong living room. Original owners knocked down a wall and framing for an old, tiny bedroom and hence, you could probably park two cars in here. This also makes it a layout nightmare. One wall over the couch has three giant Charlie Harper posters. Then there is a beam and a blank wall. We have not been able to figure out what to put there. Recently my husband decided a desk would be a good idea. While we wanted to get one in a particular style, we had one already so we brought it down from the guest room and placed it against the wall. Still, what to do about the blank space? I suggested a mirror, but hubby was not feeling that. Then he saw a set up at IKEA where you have this wire connected to a curtain rod and hang artwork. Done. We had extra curtain rods since we have been converting most of the window treatments to roman shades. He put it up and I scrounged around for art we have that I have been wanting to hang. Love it! I still think a mirror above this, all dramatic and gothicky, will work, so we shall see in time.

 *Artists from l to r: PinkyToast, A German Poster for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, and Lori Earley

I wish I could afford an original Lori Earley, but that is not happening at this moment.

These next two are at the top of our stairs. The top oil painting was done by our fabulous friend, Nancy. She based it on the character of Mrs Trotter, played by Gemma Jones, in The Duchess of Duke Street. The bottom one I did a few years back and I stuffed the dress with fill to keep the body and those are pages from the novel "Cousin Bette". Can you guess that I am a frustrated artist on many levels? C'est la vie!



And that is just some of the stuff we have gotten done kiddos. Also, I recently relocated some plants and they seem to be doing well. Hooray for this gardener!

Cheers!
MissFifi


Monday, September 1, 2014

One Hit Wonder - Stabilizers

For some of us, music defines certain moments in our lives. You hear the first few notes and it all comes flooding back. Where you were, what you were doing and who you were with. In the case of the one hit wonder, the inevitable, "What the hell happened to them?" follows as you crank up the song and bounce around like a lunatic. At least I do.

We have a Sonos Play 1 wireless speaker and I love this thing to no end. I use the app on my phone to go to Radio where an obscene amount of music and talk radio stations await to be chosen. I have been having a lot of fun and flashbacks with the Got Radio Retro 80's station. Which also has a website here if you want to check it out. They have played so many great songs that I had forgotten about that I would crank it up so loud I believe my neighbors must think I am insane. Eh, who cares? LOL

The 80's had a lot of talented and creative bands. Also, genres were a lot more defined where it is not so much now. Crossover music, see Run DMC and Aerosmith, was not as common and almost shocking in some cases. There was also a HUGE amount of one hit wonders. The Outfield, The Vapors, Soft Cell, Tom Tom Club and so many more. The station I mentioned plays all of these. Heaven!!

The other day I had the station on and a song started and I nearly tripped over my own feet to race over and turn up the volume. A band that had one hit and one album and was gone. Wherever these guys are now, I have no idea, but dudes, thank you for making a song that should have been used in so many movies from back in the day and capturing the 80's better than most. Friends, I give you the Erie, PA band Stabilizers and their one and only smash, "One Simple Thing".  Welcome back 1986.

** Piece of cool trivia, David Fincher, THE DAVID FINCHER, was the director of this video. Rock on!

Cheers!
MissFifi