Thursday, June 30, 2016

Denim and Diamonds

Denim and DiamondsDenim and Diamonds by Debbie Macomber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nice easy summer read by Macomber bonus story by Raeanne Thayne.

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Keep my hair under control

 Finally finished my Spring Spirits kerchief!  Sewed it to an elastic headband instead of those pesky strings to tie.
This was the free pattern and free yarn that came with May's Simply Knitting magazine

Planters on the steps are filling in nicely!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Curt's been good.... Shortribs

Spent 4 hours making braised boneless spareribs on Tuesday, served over mashed potatoes/cauliflower (about 50/50 with butter, garlic, sour cream and chives) and steamed string beans.  Sooooo goooood!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Warriors of the Storm

Warriors of the Storm (Saxon Stories, #9)Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! Cornwell's writing takes you back to the 9th century, you can, see hear, feel, smell the story unfolding. Britain's history was bloody, with many different peoples trying to control the island. This story takes place after King Alfred's death, there is an uneasy peace, his son Edward (whom we don't actually meet) rules Wessex and seems to try to hold back his sister Aethelflaed who rules Mercia. The main character of the book Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg, has given his oath to Aethelflaed, but is frustrated that she won't advance north to Northumbria, leaving northern Mercia prone to attacks. He protects the northern area from fortified Chester. There hand is forced when Norseman led by Ragnall Iverson take one of their harbour towns and makes it clear he wants Mercia. Uhtred is somewhat conflicted because his daughter Stiorra is married to Ragnall's brother and he is unsure where that leaves his daughter.

The book is just about war and battles, it is about Christians vs Pagans (Uhtred was born Christian but became Pagan often fingering the gold axe he wears around his neck and he prays to Thor and Wooden, pointing out that Easter was originally Eostre's feast, referring to Christ as the nailed god)His daughter and second son are Pagans, but his eldest is a Christian priest. Uhtred fights on the side of the Christians trying to unite the English speaking part of the island into Englaland (King Alfred's dream) but he also wants to take back Bebbanburg, stolen from him by his cousin (that apparently led to him spending time as a slave.)

Picked this book up on a whim at the library, it is book 9 in the series, I already requested book 1 to read and catch up.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Succulent tower

My original concept of a vertical succulent garden had some issues after the first year, soil washed out is was hard to water, everything died.  SO now vertical succulents 2.0

 Started with yet another run to Derring's in Roxbury.
 Took two deck stair stringers, used 4 railing spindles and screwed in 4 window boxes. (Not worried about the pressure treated wood - it's enclosed soil under it - just flowers and pachysandra underneath) Put some gravel in for extra drainage.

Did about 4 or 5 arrangements before I found one I liked, then cactus soil and a good water.  All the plants I chose are hardy to -10F, the brick wall in theory should radiate heat (what there is in the winter) back at the box at night.  If it seems like it will be colder, maybe toss a moving blanket over it??  will probably put mulch over as the green dies back in the fall..

Monday, June 13, 2016

Finished the plants in front.

How funky is that begonia??

Really love this corkscrew grass - but it needs it's own pot - it's the only plant that wants wet roots. Maybe someday if I have a water feature, I can get a bunch!

Will have to take a picture wen the geraniums actually bloom, and the 2nd from the top should end up with blue flowers.

Anyone who has seen my pictures in the last few years knows I'm in love with portulacas (the pink and white in this box and the pink on the top step in the previous picture) and whatever the name of those yellow and orange daisy like flowers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Every Day Whole Grains

Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient GrainEveryday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice, Includes Every Ancient Grain by Ann Taylor Pittman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm definitely trying 37 recipes out of this book. I've been eating mostly whole grains, and sometimes it is challenging to adapt a recipe from what I've been used to, and this book definitely helps with that. Also, the stare down at the market, when I see grains that look good but have no idea how to work with them ( I'm looking at you Teff!!)

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This should give you an idea of how much I like this book:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Some garden pictures

 Herb pyramid filling in nicely.
 Eggplant flowers!!
 Spaghetti squash!
Trying celery this year!

Monday, June 6, 2016

For Everyone Who Thinks NASCAR Needs Rain Tires at Pocono

While rain tires may work for some tracks - I don't think it will here.  The track is literally on the sliced off top of a mountain. When it rains you are in the cloud.  This was the view from our canopy.  You couldn't see 20yards much less expect spotters to see from the spotter stand to the front stretch and the Long Pond Straight  could vanish and they wouldn't know!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Secrets of the Highlander

Secrets of the Highlander (Highlander, #6)Secrets of the Highlander by Janet Chapman

Discovering the story of Jack Stone - bringing First Nations lore into the story - great story, read it in one sitting.

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