Thursday, May 31, 2012

Miss Reet Loves Company!

About 25 years ago, an incredibly clever friend of mine, Stephanie, told me she dreamt that I opened a restaurant and called it Miss Reet Loves Company. I like that. I don't think I have the reserves of capital or heart that it would take to pour into opening a restaurant, but I do love company. I'd love to have friends over more often, but mine are far and afield, and it's a bit of a production for everyone to get down to my neck of the woods. I'm really grateful for the closeness of our little tribe and how much we all really love and (and thrive on) getting together.

Interestingly, I just came across an article that says extroverts are longer-lived. I think this makes sense.

I think this ties in more than a bit with the idea that laughter is the best medicine. Phlegmfest is this weekend and I am so looking forward to it. Himself has vowed he'll not exert himself and/or overheat but will sit talking and laughing, and will just generally enjoy being in the company of dear, loving friends.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guilty pleasure: Pam from True Blood

Recently we've been watching the Gothic Southern-fried soap opera True Blood, and I absolutely adore Pam. Maybe it's because she's ruthless but still manages to care about not mussing her favorite shoes. Maybe it's because she's just plain ruthless.

Or maybe it's because she wears too much pink.



However, Lafayette is actually my favorite in the series, and I don't appreciate Pam menacing him.
*******

Light posting whilst getting ready for Phlegmfest. The crisis I alluded to last week was this. Himself's pericarditis was quite a surprise, but the important thing is that he's well on the mend and that the whole episode was not, in fact, as serious as a heart attack. Life is busy and you have all the things you think you're going to fit into your day. Plans. Goals. Druthers. Then things come along that transform what is most present in your mind. Those druthers have a way of falling to the wayside and showing themselves for the peripheral details they are, details which often blur into the background, anyway. The important thing is he's getting better, and dear friends are here and on the way over the next several days. There will be lots of talking, laughing, good food and good drink.

I can't wait to see the tribe, and at this point, I sort of don't care that my cage needs hosing out. I don't think anyone will need a tetanus shot to enter the house, and I'll do all I can to make everyone comfortable. I'll try to pull focus from the mess by the clever staging of cute shoes and the deployment of heart-stealing puppies. :)

Yay. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

just another night

Any day you walk away from is a good day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I loves me some Taj Mahal

See him if you ever get the chance.  In the  meantime, enjoy Squat That Rabbit.

crisis managed, somewhat.

There were goings-on here this week of an urgent and grave manner.   Things have been managed and all seems to be settling down nicely, to everyone's relief.

Thanks to friends and family who have been supportive, and your warm thoughts and gestures are deeply appreciated.

Phlegmfest will occur as scheduled in about a week.  Seeing everyone will be a tonic to Himself, myself and teh puppets.

XOXOXO

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

See Praline chortle. Chortle, Praline, Chortle!



Praline is longing to go out and play fetch with the pink piggy Nostrildamus, but the piggy sessions are fewer in number and briefer in duration than she would prefer.  Praline has become quite vocal about her wish to play with the toy out back.

I have no wish to torment the little beast, but I do find it incredibly cute and sweet when she is so beside herself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

sorry for light blogging...

AEPilotJim is here as he had business in this region. He's helping get stuff ready for Phlegmfest while Himself's paw is all stoved up.

The puppies are doing their usual musical beds routine they favor when we have company, and last night they visited uncle Jim on and off.  Chuy, ever the gracious host, was apparently overly excited from the visit, and puked, but saved that magic for my bed, rather than the sofa with Jim.  I told Jim to thank me for the retch-around.

Other convo involved Himself saying something about things outside one's OODA loop.  Jim then said to me "that's a geek thing" and I said "I know what it is.  I've seen Willy Wonka."

Having fun. Hopefully we can get the place in a slightly better state before folks start arriving next week.  Temperature Wednesday and Thursday is supposed to be 100 degrees or higher.  Nice to have Jim here to see what a great difference the insulation he helped install next year has made in the heat.  This house is so much cooler. :)

And my friends are super-cool, too.  :)

I owe you a puppy post, but Blogger App wouldn't let me upload a picture.  I have pup pictures backlogged, so I'll try to get one up on Tuesday.  Hope you're having a great week. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

very cool late 70s Brazilian music



Uniao Black  - Bandana

Superb bassline on this one. 
Heart of the Beat has compiled some exceptional and rare tracks.  Worth checking out and giving  a lisen or three.

Friday, May 18, 2012

currently digging to a profound degree:

Okay, you know that Fiat commercial from last night?  Okay, I remember very pretty legs, red/black dress, tousled up-do, the scolding/cajoling purring of Italian by a ridiculously comely lass, and then beginnings of a wickedly good song.

Turnrs out the song is by Willis, called Smokescreen. 

I'm so digging on Willis right now.


Love. Love. Love.

And just for giggles, here's the full version of Smokescreen - worth the listen - incredible vocals, smouldering in a way that should, frankly, happen more often.  This one goes to 11 on the yummy quotient scale.

Hayley Willis' voice is suffused with such a swampy stank that I marvel she didn't crawl from under a log in Louisiana.  Her band compliments these qualities note for note.  Great stuff.  I'm loving it.  Truly soulful.  Truly rocking.  Something new and delicious to enjoy. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

vase detail

a continuing fascination with glass

Something nice happened about a month ago. Due to an hideous misunderstanding on my part, I thought I was going to have to pay taxes this year. Therefore, when I found that not only was I getting a refund, but it was a fair one, I decided to splurge on this lovely vase I found in a local shop. Yes, it's an indulgence, but a very pretty one.

Tuesday night I started farting around wi

th my good Canon Rebel for the first time in a while. This image is sepia toned, maybe not the best photo ever, but you get an idea of the vase. For some reason, Blogger won't let me add another photo to this. I'll try to do another post.

The shop also has some vases like this with illustration plates of birds from old books, coupled with curlicues and lovely old writing. I may indulge in another one, but for now, I'm happy to have this pretty maid for my own.

Please excuse the praline fur on the surface of the headboard-- I wasn't thinking of dusting before I snapped the photo, but having a more decent camera means that sometimes it picks up things one prefers it had not. Double-edged sword, that.

[vase is made of glass-- sorry! I didn't clarify that]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

left rock garden

Over on the left I have several plants I'm watching most anxiously.

The twiggy thing at about 10 o'clock is a Texas Star Hibiscus. This thing will probably get about 8' tall, and will have big, 5 petal dinner plate sized flowers that sort of make a star. This will probably have about 6 or 7 canes the first year. I'll let it die to the ground in winter, and then in spring, I'll clear away all the dead old growth as a much larger number of canes emerge from a well-established root system. Then it will pretty much be a perennial here, and may thrive with little to no care from me.

Up at about 1 o'clock is a very nice indigo colored salvia. 3 O'clock is a "Purple leaf sage" which I chose for its brilliant scarlet blossoms. The leaves don't look purple to me at all, but I'm wondering if they'll change later on.

The scraggly looking plant at about 5:30 is Achillea Paprika, a variety of Yarrow.

Finally, over at 8 o'clock is a very nice Agastache. All these plants in bloom should be nigh irresistible to hummingbirds and butterflies. I'm really hoping for a major contrast to show you in just a month or so. :)

I still have a lot of weeding to do, and I need to lay down a lot more mulch. More to come


************************

To my great relief, I got a B in Anatomy & Physiology. To say I'm pleased would be a vast understatement. I'm glad that's over, and I'm seriously going to earn (and make) an A in part II in the Fall.

Monday, May 14, 2012

right rock garden

I have two huge rocks almost flush with the yard, and I'm trying to get them rolling with heat-hardy perennials. This is the one to the right of my driveway. At the upper back of the rock you can see a very nicely established Rock Rose which I planted my first summer here. It's survived and seems to be thriving this year. On the upper left is a little mound of Silver Germander, one of my favorite perennials which I also planted 2 years ago. All the other perennials I planted around this rock did not make it into the second summer, but they were mostly herbs and probably too tender for the raw heat with no shade and the continuous after dark baking afforded by a big hunk of stone in the ground. The Silver Germander was a pitiful little sprig through the year last year, but it seems to be happy, as it is finally blooming, and it seems to be expanding rather rapidly. Over the past two years, I've painstakingly picked back the grass and weeds as they tried to choke out this plant, and I think it's finally well-established.

I fell in love with Silver Germander when I frequented an organic gardening purveyor in McKinney Texas about 1996-2000. It was a lovely place and they specialized in organic gardening of the native perennials I prefer. At the Green House[sadly, defunct], there were several large silvery mounds of something with grand lavender colored flowers which struck my fancy mightily. The owner didn't have a specimen of this for sale, but he gave me cuttings which did not take. I have planted this in several gardens since and it never survived, so it's a big deal for me that this one is surviving and seems as though it will make it. He touted this as a local native that required no care-- he said he never watered it or anything-- and it just carried on. I like a self-motivated plant!

In Dallas on Saturday, I went to Redenta's at Oram and Skillman, which is where I frequently shopped for garden goods when I lived on Palo Pinto. They have a great selection, and it's a beautiful place just to visit and look at all the superb plant specimen. I controlled myself and only bought $50 worth, and that's saying something. There I pickedup the Sandpaper Verbena on the lower left (with the purple flowers). Then the red plant is a Penta Ruby Glow which should be a favorite with butterflies and hummingbirds. The last one to the right is a longtime favorite, Lavender Verbena (verbena bonariensis). I'll have some more from my shopping trip to Redenta's to show in the coming days. Hopefully these will all be the start of bigger and lusher growth in my plantings this year.

Anyway, I know it doesn't look like much, but I'm hopeful that in a month or two I'll be able to show you some dramatic growth. I have always said that gardening is a matter of finding the plants that thrive on your level of neglect. Some of these may not make it, but I hope they all do. I can see what a lovely mosaic they all will be together. :) I'm also quite particular to pick plants to lure butterflies and hummingbirds. Next time I'll show you the left rock garden.






Sunday, May 13, 2012

Relaxing with puppies. Or at least a puppy

Having concluded finals on Thursday, After work on Friday, I decided to sort of nap on the sofa. Chuy was down with that plan, but Praline seemed to think I might burst into motion at any moment and she wanted to be ready in case there was any fun to be had.

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: a doggie love story

A-dog-and-his-girl act win Britain's Got Talent

I'm pleased to learn that Ashleigh and her lovely canine companion Pudsey have won Britain's Got Talent. This little dog is whip-smart, and he's obviously thriving on the close interaction with his Mistress.




I love the video of Ashleigh's 11th birthday when she opened the box and found baby Pudsey. She has devoted all her free time to her puppy, and the connection really shows. :) Here's to the special bond between us and dogs. I think the human race has man questionable traits, but the fact that dogs like us may be the best indicator that there is a whit that is worthwhile about us.

Bless dogs for being our friends, and may be worthy of their devotion.

Pictures of my own pups coming later today. :) In the meantime, hug a pup, if you get a chance.

current favorite karaoke rotation

Living in the mid-south area as a child in the 70s, I heard a pretty great variety of music on the radio stations from Memphis, particularly WMPS and WHBQ and there was very little I didn't like. There was also an album rock station I'd listen to, but mostly I listened to the stations which played a broad mix from funk to pop to rock. Music was this huge a la carte thing to me, and I could pick and choose what I preferred without slavishly throwing in with one genre or another.[I can't say often enough this is one thing I find vastly superior about a lot of radio stations in England-- you'll hear the latest from the current supreme pop-tart, and then you'll hear a 60s Mowtown classic, and then an obscure track by Big Country-- good music is good music and lasting, and not pushed permanently aside just because something new has been written. No wonder English musicians tend to be so much more soulful than Americans.] One particular favorite song from that era is one I've discovered I can kind of sing the shit out of at karaoke, so I'm loving it. Particularly because the first line is "looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy." Good stuff, any way you slice it.

Listen to that ostinato setup of guitar and bass establishing a driving line that presses the whole piece forward, and in the most organic sense, I thrill to the sound of the guitarists' fingers on the strings. This is earthy music. Visceral. This music has teeth and though it be cultured, it is a paen to the reminiscence of the time when the only culture they knew was the stuff growing between their toes. Here we have brilliantly orchestrated support for a sublime vocals. Okay, I take that back about singing the shit out of this--I'm humbled if I can convey a teeny shred of the original brilliant energy of the song. I just love to sing it. It feels good to me, and people are asking me to sing it again, and that feels good, too.

I Wish by Stevie Wonder


Saturday, May 12, 2012

I think some sort of reward is in order.

Yes, indeed.

It just happens that Irregular Choice has a pair of shoes on sale for which long I have lusted.
Impeccable timing, innit?


Yes, a pair is currently wending its way to me.
To say I am excited is a wee bit of an understatement. This will surely give me comfort as I bide the anxious hours awaiting the results of my semester grade. Thank goodness the world affords such comforts to anxious soles.

At this rate, I may take orbit. *WHEEEEEEEE!*

Friday, May 11, 2012

all your karaoke are culminating with us

Grade for A&P I should be posted by 5PM today, but I spent a lot of Thursday anxious, nail-biting and frequently flying to my inbox on the university site. Caught a ride into the neighboring burgh for karaoke Thursday night and proceeded to drink several fishbowls of margarita.

Not by me, but someone sang Jimmy Buffet. Someone may, at some point, have stepped on a pop top and blowed out a flip flop.

But I may be mistaken.

Okay, still slightly teenyishly wired, but with the help of St Margarita, I may sleep tonight.

Still anxious about the grade.


I sang, like, a million karaoke songs, too. I sang some Loretta Lynn and something from Cats (a mistake I shan't soon repeat), and I got a mulligan on an Amy WInehouse song and they let me switch to another, thankfully. Then I was finally on the right track with I Wish by Stevie Wonder, and the whole room was with me. It was a hoot. In an escalating fit of daring tunes, I finally concluded with Minnie Ripperton's Loving You. A table of Ecuadoran busboys at the back of the room were so into it, cheering along as I sang. I don't know what this means, but I'm okay with it. I even pretty much hit the high notes.


So then I got on my cell phone blog moderation and had a comment from Squeaky that she was feeling nostalgic for the NRA Convention, where we did a stirring street duet of the Queen Of the Night's vengeance aria, and then the whistle tone series passages of Loving You. It was a hot mess, but it was fabulous all over. I really must tell you soon about all the lovely people I met at the NRA convention very, very soon.

Still awaiting that grade. Even though school is not only not out forever, it's not even out for summer, it still feels like a relief. I just hope it still feels like a relief when I see my final grade.

*fingers still crossed, but hoping for high marks*

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm wired.

Himself broke a metacarpal in his right paw, and I have beef stock cooking slowly overnight so I can get him some goodly dosage of collagen and the like while his bones knit. I'm thinking this stuff will help with my ankle, too. It smells amazing. Thanks to LabRat for the links to some great stock sites. Going to make more a habit of this. Also going to get my bones from a local Mexican meat market-- it's hard to find bones suitable for stock in the white-bread grocers.

My written Anatomy & Physiology final is in 7.5 hours, and I'm bouncing off the walls. I need sleep, but I'm ever-so-slightly spazzy.

*sigh*

I'm very nervous. I think I'm more nervous because I don't feel I've studied enough and I don't feel worthy of a good grade. :( I have studied quite a bit, but I could have studied more.

*more sighs*

Obliquely related, Netflix delivered Burke & Hare to me on Wednesday, so we watched it last night. Timely, wot with its anatomy tie-in.
I'll be so relieved when the test is over. I hope. *nail biting*


Wish me luck.

*************************
11:00 AM UPDATE - I think the the test went fairly well, but I'm still on tenterhooks about it. I was flooded with relief to have it done. You can measure the crest of the adrenaline wave I've been riding by the fact that I came over a hill today about 5 seconds after someone on the opposite side of the road had an accident after hitting a very large dog and it didn't even spike my freakout response. Smoke from the tires was still boiling off the pavement and the handsome beast was flailing on the road, long bushy black tail flashing in the early light. I drove through Starbucks for my green tea, and (being me) drove back to the highway to see what the situation was, and someone had taken the dog away, hopefully to an emergency vet place in town. I was relieved I didn't have to make a decision to be late for my exam or try to save someone's dog. The dog would have won.

Fingers crossed on the exam, though.

I did learn a few minutes ago that I made an A in Psych. YAY!
Thanks for all the well-wishes, folks!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I think this is funny

When the musical wrapped up a couple months ago, I started attending yoga class religiously. Tuesday and Wednesday I go to a local studio for a Slow Flow class, and Sundays and Mondays I go to a more rigorous class up at the university. They both are a workout and I'm seeing an increase in my range of motion (coupled with looser trousers!) which is encouraging. Poses which were a struggle a month ago are getting to be almost easy for me. I love the way several places in my neck/back pop when I'm in a forward fold position, too-- this feels amazing! (forward bends are the best!)

Tuesday night before class, one man was talking to me and said he couldn't help noticing how flexible I am. I thought this was funny, considering he is at the front of the class and I'm always in the back right corner farthest from the door. Apparently he noticed my form on side triangle pose and that made me feel pretty good. The cool thing about yoga is that the moves are not that difficult, but the better you know the poses, the more challenging they become because you're trying to focus on good form and alignment and proper breathing. Believe it or not, once you get yourself into this position, one of the biggest challenges is looking up at the ceiling, but I've been getting more steady and stable. It's fun. The time also passes quickly. I never quite believe nearly an hour has passed when we finally go into corpse position and lay still and quiet at the end of the class. It's wonderful exercise and very good for you.

So, anyway, it felt good for a long-time yoga devotee to compliment how I'm doing in the class.

I was leaving the class and another man was leaning on the front of the building outside, waiting for someone else to come out. He said "you're quite a noodle, aren't you?" I said "what?" and he said "you're very bendy!"

Wow. Two people in one night saying I'm very flexible. I'll take that as a compliment but if they think I'm flexible now, they've got another thing coming. I'll be doing inverted pretzel* in no time.

*no such pose, I made this one up

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Glad hosannas and all that stuff!

And Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

On the lab portion of my A&P [Anatomy & Physiology] final, I thought I'd crashed and burned. This is 25% of the final grade. I figured I'd do well if I got 60%, and was fearful that I had effectively scuttled even getting a B. Turns out, I got 78 out of 100, which is not even close to sending my B down in flames. The written final Thursday might, though.

Back to studying on that score. Just the same, I'm a teeny bit relieved. Frankly, I missed some things that were embarrassing not to know. I'm vowing to do better in future. (Everyone is repentant on the gallows, right?) *whew*

one to go.

My psych final was last night. I finished the semester with an 88.18 average, so a nice solid B will have to do. I don't know how I didn't end up making an A, after all, but *shrug*. I'm happy to have done with it.

My anatomy written portion is Thursday morning. I'm nervous about that. I'm going off to study now, and let luck be less of a factor.

Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, May 07, 2012

If it ain't broke...

Why do some people with perfectly, well, perfect features have to dink around with them? I was looking at this photo of current day Robert Redford and thought he looked awfully long in the tooth in the literal sense. He has always been known for a fetching smile. I think his teeth look too uniform and at least a couple of millimeters long for his face. I googled for an early image of him, and sure enough, his already se

emigly perfect smile was apparently not good enough at some point, so he had veneers added at least to the lateral incisors.

In all fairness, if there was a structural problem with his teeth, it would make sense that in a lifetime one might need to have a tooth removed utterly and have some cosmetic dental work done, but with the kind of dosh he must have, if that were the case he would easily have been able to afford the work that would emulate the contour and proportions of his original and very pretty smile.

I'm disappointed, because I think the teeth are one of the most distinctive things about our faces, and it's weird how unrecognizable some people are from their original smiles, including Cher and David Bowie. Meryl Streep's central incisors appear to have been moved forward (orthodontics?) from their position 30 years ago, but they still look like her home-grown teeth and in proportion with the rest of the ivories. Hillary Duff is now sporting a set of chompers that looks like she raided Martha Raye's crypt for her dentures. Wow.

Patricia Arquette's natural teeth are part of what makes her so fetching, imho. I can't help noticing that when I googled Patricia Arquette smile that she is flashing her teeth in very few of the photos. She's beautiful and looks like a real person.

Robert Redford is widely considered to be among the most handsome men of his generation. I wish he were still gracefully sporting the features which won him such high acclaim.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: twue wove!

Yes, it's a case of twue wove bewteen Praline and Nostrildamus. This punching bag is 5'5" at the top, and even that is not enough to keep my girl away from her beloved piggy. At first she'd boing into the bag and knock piggy off, but then she refined her process and bounces deftly into the air and plucks it from the top, hardly disturbing the bag at all on the way up.

Clever girl!


Here's mud in their eye!


Good horsie!
I normally don't pay attention to horseraces, but I saw this picture of Kentucky Derby victor I'll Have Another and something about this marvelous beast reminded me of Praline. He started the race from a position from whence no horse has won previously, and strided solidly in the middle of a pack moving at a blistering pace. He's filthy. He's covered in mud and he's happier than clam at high tide. I found the video of the race and it really is exciting, actually, the way this horse seems to bolt forward to take the race by more than a length in the last quarter mile. I'm not saying I'll be watching horse races, but it is exciting to see a powerful, intelligent athletic animal put through their paces. Praline, after a squirrel kill, is covered in blood and breathing heavy, at her very happiest. She resents when I clean the blood off her. I like it to imagine this is because she earned her war paint. Anyway, it's a lovely sight to see this horse covered in mud and wearing it so well.
GOOD HORSIE!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

WOW.

I love what this young guy does with Minnie Ripperton's classic Loving You. Minnie's astonishing vocals really took center stage and it was easy to lose sight of the artistry of the composition in and of itself. Here Sungha Jung plays an acoustic version of same which I think you'll likely enjoy, if you let yourself:





In this setting, the bones of the song reveal such lovely melodic line and pleasing structure. Very nice rendition of a very nice song.

RIP, Adam Yauch



I'll always remember you this way.

and this way, too:



Thanks for the reminder of what a good and free thing it is to be young.


Friday, May 04, 2012

One down, two to go.

Last night was my A&P I lab final. I think I did middling at best, but hopefully it was enough to pass. I really need to hit the written portion out of the park next week though.

Monday or Tuesday I have to take my Psych final online, and I'm not at all worried about that one. I think worst-case scenario on that would be a B, and that wouldn't kill me by a long shot.

Except for the A&P final, all the running into town and to classes is done, so that is one be exhausting factor off the table, at least. Now I can spend that time studying and reviewing. I'm so glad this semester is almost over. I'm also gratified it's generally gone as well as it has.
*******************

Fiddling with plants and flowers tomorrow and cleaning. I'll try to post some photos for you. :)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'm planning to do some sewing soon

I'm quite taken with a sewing blog called Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. She has lots of great information on sewing, and her style sensibilities are impeccable.

I love love love what she did with a wiggle dress.

A&P I lab final exam tonight. I'm nervous, but I'm looking forward to having done with it.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

All registered for summer/fall now.

I'm all set for classes in the summer and fall. It's going to be intense, but having nearly made it through this semester helps.

Someone stopped me in the hall at school today and asked how I was doing in the class. I said I'd been effectively an A until the last test, and I think I'm going to have to be happy with a B. She snorted and said she's made 67, 66 and 68 on the tests.

She went on to tell me not to go nursing school there-- said the first semester would be easy but the others would be hard, the program is disorganized and poorly led by staff. :( She said to go to the program through the community college instead.


I deem I'm not making an A because I should have studied more. The fact that I won't make an A falls squarely upon my shoulders. I'm nervous about what she said, though. I'm going to ask people I know who work in the industry if they've heard anything to this effect.

Then again, if she's doing so much worse than me in the class, how much regard should I have for what she said. What she spoke of was tempting, though, because at the community college, I'd finish a full 6 months sooner, and it would cost about half the price.

I don't have to decide now or even very soon, but this bears investigation.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Galaxy Quest, take me away!

The semester in in the throes of its final, pitiful sputters. Yes, I'm pretty much of a vegetable lately, but I think I'm poised to finish well for the term. That said, I've been in a grind of a schedule, so I needed something that could be assured to make me laugh in abundance.

I watched Galaxy Quest spaced over a few days, and it's always a scream. :)