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Latesst Posts From My Garden Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Thanks to and my trusty iPod, I have managed to usurp my innate hatred of reading and have managed to burn through three books in the last few weeks. I thought I'd take this opportunity (before I completely forget what I read) to tell you about them. So here goes:

First, I read Sammy's House which is Kristin Gore's (yes, daughter of Al) second novel, a sequel to her Sammy's Hill book that came out a couple of years ago. (thanks to Bibliophile and others for introducing me to these books). The basic story line revolves around a 20 something woman who's managed to get a policy adviser job for a presidential candidate (in the first book) and a vice president (second book). So, if you get off on things like West Wing where you can pretend you work in some interesting and high powered job in DC, you'd like these books. But, be warned, these books are an extra-light version of West Wing, probably closer to being chic-lit, actually. Beyond the working in DC part of the book, there's also a lot of gossip, relationship drama, and dumb behavior and decisions by the main character, and so on. Some of her (main character) idiosyncrasies get a big annoying, in my opinion, toward the middle of the second book. Also, her ability to be a dumb, hormonal, irrational, jealous girl gets to be a bit much at times too (and I say this as someone who can be all of those things at one time or another.) But, nevertheless, I enjoyed this book.... Its like half West Wing political goodness and half Lifetime Original Movie in its relationship drama and general dumbness but inescapability.

Next, I read Interpreter of Maladies, which I heard about due to its appearance on several best fiction lists (particularly, and I hope I'm right, from the NYT best seller list). So anyway, I was very excited to read this one. Unfortunately, I managed to either forget about or all together miss in the first place the fact that the book is a collection of short stories. I was a bit disappointed to learn that, no, I don't like short stories that much. Just about the time I'd get into the story, that story would end, those characters would disappear, and I'd be thrust into a new story with all together new characters. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great book with mostly really interesting and compelling stories. But, I wish it had picked to focus on one set of characters for more than a chapter or two. I guess I'm just not a short story kinda girl.

Finally, I read What Was She Thinking (Notes on a Scandal)... that's right, the book which lead to the movie. I never saw the movie, and only had a small understanding of the general plot, but I decided to go for the book based on what I'd hear about the movie. Somehow, I managed to miss the detail that the book is about a 30 something teacher in England who has an affair with a 15 year old student in her class. I dunno, I'm all for people doing what want and consenting adults and all, but this topic still kind of weirds me out. That being said, I am a total sucker for gossip, and this book certainly has it. It reminds me of having a long, revealing conversation with a friend in which your friend reveals the scandalous details of some piece of gossip worthy information. This book got me through an hour and a half delay on the blue line one day, so in terms of its pure entertainment, I can't say anything bad about it.

I'm now reading Death by Black Hole which is essentially a set of essays designed to explain certain aspects of astro-science and the historical evolution of scientific understanding. As you can probably tell, its a bit different than the previous three books I just talked about. It was a big shift; listening to gossip takes a lot less brain power to listen to someone explain Newtonian physics. But, it is very interesting and I am enjoying it. I think its good brain food, too. I'll let you know what I fully think of it once I've finished it.

That's all for now.

PS: just so you don't think that I'm completely crazy, the moon ransom post a few days ago was about a wash cloth that one of the E-Vegasvillians left at my house after their visit. I didn't know who it belonged to , so I thought I'd publish a funny post (well, I meant for it to be funny, anyway, although I think some of you were just confused) in an attempt to get the owner of the mr. moon washcloth to come foward. So, no, I'm not crazy. And, no, it didn't have anything to do with the luner eclipse (which I slept through a few days ago). ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Note: This will mean something to someone out there, although I'm not sure who that is yet. If it means nothing to you and is confusing, just ignore it. I'll explain it later. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Its A Boy!

My new "vintage" 1971 German Fiddle, that is... How do I know its a boy? Because I gave it a boy name... err.. actually I haven't settled on a name yet... I know I"m going against the grain here--its my understanding that musicians usually name their instruments girl names (same as cars and boats I guess??)--but my fiddle is a boy... a sensitive , well rounded, handsome, resonating boy... man?... male? I dunno... I'm monstly just being silly.

Soi yeah, her he (it) is in all its (his) glory

Its sort of a middle range beginner/intermediate instrument, although I must say (and I was surprised that I was able to tell a difference, because I have doubts in my knowledge about fiddles generally) that it sounds a hell of a lot better than the model that I'd been renting ...and I bought it from the same place I'd been renting and they let me put some of my rental fee toward the purchase, so I saved some dough too.

Now.... all I have to do is figure out how to make my playing reach the level of the instrument (ie: my playing sucks and the instrument itself does not suck). So, that's what i'm working on now... not literally now, cuz i'd need four hands for that, but now as in, I'll be starting a new round of lessons in a couple of weeks... that is, providing that I practice like crazy between now and then and make up for the four months of not touching a fiddle that was my summer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chicago Botanic Garden

Hi blog people. I wanted to give you guys a bit more detail (with visual aids) about the cool stuff I saw at the Chicago Botanic Garden. We saw many different kinds of gardens and displays, most of which are not represented here in these pics (like the Japanese garden or the Bonzi tree exhibit/sale). I seemed to be obsessed with the vegetable and fruit garden exhibits, so most of the pictures I took are from those. There's some other stuff thrown in there too. I look forward to being able to implement some of these ideas into my garden. I hope you enjoy the pics!

This is the coolest pine tree I've ever seen... I've never seen anything like it before.

Winding stream with ducks... I want a winding stream in my yard! (dude, my yard isn't nearly big enough for all the great ideas I saw at the CBG)

Grass alternative ground cover... doesn't require cutting... sounds great to me!

There's an entire water garden at CBG with tons of water plants. I love these water lilies! I want a pond!!!

Really pretty Canna Lily.. I have one of these in my front yard but it does NOT look nearly as beautiful as these.

Honestly, I didn't pay attention to what these plants are, I just liked the idea of creating a cool alternating color pattern... Wouldn't this look cool with alternating green leaf and red leaf lettuce?

I have no idea what these peppers are like to eat (how hot they are), but I think the plants are so beautiful... I think its the dark gren leaves with the red and PURPLE (my fav color) fruit. Love this.. yay.

Totally awesome (and I'm totally planning to steal this idea for my own garden) vertical planting method for herbs etc.

Here's a close-up of how they put it together... looks like a wood and wire frame lined with plastic of some sort (to hold in the dirt and plants)... I love this idea.

Apple trees being grown in cordons (I think is what they call this technique) where the trees are planted very close together and drastically pruned on a regular basis to force them to grow in tight vertical clumps... its supposed to be the most efficient way to grow fruit trees... and while usually I'm all down with big sweeping tree branches, I also think this is cool it its own right.

Less common Marigold variety. I think this one is awesome, but then again, I do have a larger than normal amount of affection for Marigolds... Maybe its a southern thing... I think these would look great in beds with veggies...

Really cool tomato cages (I want some, but don't know where to get them yet).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pictorial: A Tourist In My Own City

I love it when people visit, not only because it means I get to hang with my friends/family who I don't get to see that often, but also because it means that I get to be a tourist in my own city. This past weekend, I enjoyed a visit from five of my E-Vegas friends (VBG, Evilducky, the Bibliophile, the Apathetic One, and RabidMonkey). We played board games; ate tons of food; I feel asleep first (as usual); we did a lot of siteseeing, including three attractions that were knew to me. Here are some pics of our adventures:

First, we went to the Frank Lloyd Write home and studies in Oak Park, IL (just a mile over from my suburb). This isn't a picture of his actual home or studio, but this is a picture of an ENORMOUS house that he also designed located on the same beautiful tree-lined street that FLW lived on.

Here's another FLW designed house. Remember, people actually live in these homes. I hope they don't mind having their picture taken. LOL

Ok, its true folks. I've lived i Chicago for over three years now, much of that time I lived less than a quarter mile from the Art Institute. A year ago, I got married in the south garden of the Art Institute. But, until last Friday, I had never actually been inside (other than the pee on wedding day). So, I went, I saw, I heard (yay audio tour), I got grumpy b/c the Warhol exhibit wasn't out. This is an example of some of the "you must look at this cuz its famous" pieces I saw. When I saw this painting, there was an actual french person standing there looking at it with me... I found that amusing.

My favorite attraction (and the one I'm most upset about not having visited before) was the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Its like a huge park with really awsome gardens (and signs telling you what all the plants are). Here's a picture of the beautiful landscape, some flowers, and yes, that's me petting Nick's head.

The CBG is the home of an awesome vegetable and fruit garden exhibit (which I will have to discuss in more detail later) , also apparently including the world's biggest (and really beautiful) cabbage.

The sheer size of this cabbage gave it a slightly demonic feel.. so Evilducky + photoshop = this:

A pergola made of totally awsome and also freak'n huge grape vines.

We ate some awesome (apparently "awesome" is my word of the day) Italian desserts in honor of the RabidMonkey's birthday.

And now for some randomness... because she has yet to make it on the blog, here's a picture of our dog Maggie (with Bohdi's butt in the way... and some random legs and feet of people apparently.)

And a picture of the Bo-Dog

And, to wrap it up.. some kitty cuteness.. yay!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hi Blog People!

Yes, I am still alive. I've been really busy as well as a bit sick the last couple of days, so I haven't posted in a while. I've had this thing happen where I'll be going about my day and something amuzing will happen and I'll think to myself "I should blog about this" then I forget what I was going to blog about.

Oh, I just remembered one: Ok so the other weekend I decided to finally to through the assorted boxes of bathroom /toiletry products that had been sitting in the middle of our living room since the move. The highlight of this endevour had to be a tube of dog toothpaste that had an expiration date of 1998 and a back of pepto-tablets which expired in 2002.

Ok that's all I can remember for now.

Here's some bullet points to tell you what I've been doing over the past couple of weeks..
  • went to see Nickle Creek and Fiona Apple at Rivinia last week. Rivinia is an outdoor venue with a pavilion then with a large lawn area outside the pavilion where you can still hear (but, not see) the music... lawn tickets are much cheaper and the idea is that you bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy hearing the show. The NC+FA show was the first time I'd ever been to Rivinia. We got the cheap lawn "seats." Nick packed a great picnic dinner consisting of baget, cheese, tortilla espanola, fruite, chocolate, and wine. The place was completely packed. The show as good, but it was wierd not actually seeing the performance. We left a bit early, the beat the traffic, with the feeling that we had enjoyed our $75 picnic (food+tickts), but that we could have done the same thing in our backyard while listening to the radio.
  • became $200 richer thanks to Craigslist and strangers who wanted to buy our somewhat shitty old furniture for cheap. I said goodbye to the red futon (the one with the velcroe arms: some if you probably remember the red futon from my old apartments in Chicago and E-vegas) ... it was bittersweat.. but we definitely don't need three futons, and I always kinda thought that one felt like a pile of bricks to sit on.
  • Got a compost bin for the yard. Yay. Wish me luck with my vegetable decomposing skills.
  • Decided that Mandy Moore is my new girl crush, especially cuz she's curvey and not a size zero (at least, she doesn't appear to be) and she's totally cool with not being a twig
  • Saw the movie Once again, best movie this year. Word!
  • Have a house full of guests coming this weekend (word up to the E-vegas-ians) yay! I'm looking forward to a fun weekend! (and our first house guests to the new house.)
So yeah, that's about it... all that I can remember at this time. I think I'm going to have to start keeping notes of blog ideas as I get them, so that I don't keep forgetting them and resorting to possibly dumb bullet point accounts of my life.


PS: still have some stuff left to sell/give away to friends. Anybody want a rabbit hutch (I used it to hide the cat box from the dogs) or a kitchen cart thingy?

UPDATE: wow , that was quick. Ok, VBG called dibs on the kitchen cart. Sweet!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Non-Registered Users Now Welcome!

So, I finally decided to look through the settings/comments section of my blog and I realized that I can instruct the blog to allow non-google/blogger registered people to leave comments... which I have now done. So, now anyone should be able to leave comments, wether you have a google / blogspot login ID or not.

I hope to do an actual blog sometime soon.

Just started reading Sammy's House today. yay! for books on iPod