Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prepping for the Big Move

So last you heard was the big engagement. Now, it's time for the big move. I have 21 days to pack up and move into JR's condo in beautiful Virginia. It's going to be tough (seriously you should see how much SCHTUFF I accumulate), but someone's got to do it.

The combining of the households is requiring a storage unit, because it just doesn't make sense to get rid of a perfectly good bed (the crappy bed frame, yes, the bed, no) and my perfectly good IKEA chair bed (also amazingly comfortable). So we've been packing boxes for a few weeks, separating things that are going to his place and things that are going into storage, while also getting my place in tip top condition so that I get my deposit back (I have a lot of things I want to buy with that deposit).

The combining of the household is also requiring an incredible amount of new storage over at JR's. Let's just say "WALL OF BOOKSHELVES" together! Now a little quieter we'll say "wall of miss-matched bookshelves." We have IKEA bookshelves ranging from Beech to Dark Brown. We'll see how it works...

In the meantime, we've been prepping for the wedding and cooking and I have been steadily researching plants to grow in next year's garden.

Right now all we have left in the pots are Silver Rose Garlic (which are growing quite nicely, we should be able to harvest a couple in the next few weeks) and some China Rose Radishes that are really FREAKING stubborn. I thought anybody could grow a radish! I planted the seeds when I supposed to and everything, but those DAMNED Radishes refuse to plump! We'll try again in early spring to see if maybe the spastic freezing is what's stunting their growth, but who knows.

So next year's garden (let me tell you JR is ober psyched about the new planters coming to his porch - emphasis on the ober) is going to be bigger, we're going to be moving some planters up onto the balcony railing to improve light-reach, and we'll get a few bigger pots for the balcony floor to grow some really tasty things.

The key to next year's garden is going to be edible. Everything will be edible. EVERYTHING (okay maybe some marigolds wont be, but everything else is edible). Burpee.com has become my new favorite website. I visit it basically every 20 mins. Who knows if there's a plant that missed my eye before! I have to see! I HAVE TO KNOW!

So! Next year's garden, I'm thinking:
Chives
Oregano
Basil
Scallions or Onions of some kind
Born to Be Mild Jalapeños
Cayenne Peppers
Sweet Flavorburst Hybrid Peppers
Bush Belle Hybrid Peppers
Container Corn (This is a thing)
Baby Boomer Tomatoes
Shooting Star Eggplants
Peas in a Pot
Caracas Carrots
More Silver Rose Garlic
More China Rose Radishes
&
Pineberries (currently have a plant to see if it can weather the winter, so far it's doing fine!)


I think we're going to need a bigger balcony....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where Have You Been!

Oh Goodness!!! SO much news!

So for starters, immediately after the last post, JR and I hightailed it for a week in Texas for him to meet all my friends and family out on the 'range.' I, of course, left my computer up in the Virginny so that I could rest and relax. Well... We were having just a rip-roarin' time that I'll be dagged if he didn't propose. (Shiz Son! - Sadie Sadie Soon-to-be married lady)

I said yes, because "hello have you met JR?" And we've been having a CRAZY, CRAZY last couple of months touring around planning the blessed nuptials, while also running around to some of our friends' weddings!

Don't fret though... I'm coming back shortly! Just planted our garlic for a "fall" crop and Tulips so that they can spring next spring!

Stay Thirsty My Friends,

L

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dark Chocolate M&M Cookies! - Cooking Post

Okay, so last week I had this grand idea that for our weekend baking extravaganza (that's right - every weekend we're baking a treat!) I decided that I just HAD to HAVE chocolate chip cookies, but I didn't necesarrily WANT chocolate chips, I wanted color... I wanted pizazz... I wanted M&Ms. So I enlisted the help of JR and we set to work. 

Once you go dark chocolate, you realize EVERYTHING tastes better with it


I had found this recipe online, and decided that it had a solid base. We tweaked it a little bit because I dont believe that nuts should EVER be in cookies, unless we're talking coconuts.  


Ingredients
2 cups dark chocolate m&ms
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup brownulated
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Directions1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, and at the last possible moment the m&ms. 




3.Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

JR is super helpful!!! 

4.Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.


I dont particularly like brown edges, so mine were a bit soft/fall-apart-y
So that's the recipe, but here's my main opinion... this cookie (and I can't believe that I'm about to say this) was WAY TOO SWEET. I recommend upping the salt by 1/2 tsp, and using dark brown sugar instead of the brownulated sugar that I used. I think that those two changes would definitely improve this recipe for the better.

Other than that... it turned out EXACTLY how we wanted them - tasty! Just because it was too sweet doesn't mean we didn't devour them, just put them with salted caramel ice cream for a delicious ice cream sandwich.

This weekend - red velvet brownies!!! We'll let you know how they go.


Happy Cooking! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Puppy-palooza! - Puppy Post

Contrary to what it may seem on this blog, I do not live with JR. I just pretend I do by using his porch as my gardening experiment. I actually have my own apartment about 4 blocks over in the Shirlington version of a ghetto... which is practically the least ghetto thing ever, minus the gun shots I heard one night, which was HORRIFYING!

3 am is the last time of the day one wants to be awakened by a couple of gunshots firing off into the night. 10pm, expected. 1 am, understandable. 3 am? Why are you not sleeping like a normal person. Drug deal or no, you need some shut eye people!

Anyway, so while I do not live with JR now, it has been discussed that I shall probably should the time come that it is acceptable for me to do so. It has also been discussed that when I do, we shall explore the world of puppy ownership!

I. AM. THRILLED.

I love puppies. I love their cuddly little faces. I love their cute little clumsiness. I love their energy. I love their little whines. I love their little poops (I probably wont when I have to pick them up...) I love their cute little games. I don't love disciplining them, but there always is a draw back isn't there?

So... yeah... I LOVE PUPPIES!

For a very, very, very long time I have wanted a Shiba Inu puppy... Trust me I had done the research looked into breed temprement, history, everything, but after some consideration. JR and I decided it might be best to look into multiple breeds of dogs in order to find the one that would be the best fit for our lifestyle and currently his home...

So here's the five breeds of dogs that we're looking into (Puppy and Adult Versions):

SHIBA INU



SWEDISH VALLHUND



























SCHIPPERKE

















NORWICH TERRIER



























HAVANESE






What do y'all think? Which one should we choose?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Prepping for the Fall Garden - Garden Post

Sorry about the post delay, had a busy week! But we're back on track. 

So I'm gonna be real, I thought that as soon as JR and my annual plants died at the end of summer that we'd trim back the left over herbs, move them inside and turn the rest of the dead plants into mulch.

Nope...

Apparently there is something called a Fall Garden.

Now granted we have a container garden... so everything is scaled back a bit, but I am going to be making preparations for this new gardening endeavor.

Step 1... Order my plants from Burpee! I set myself a $50 limit, which I wasn't expecting to take me very far, BUT I found a promo to get 15% off, and they were doing flat-rate shipping! So I lucked out and got quite a nice haul for our container garden.

Step 2... Brag about my great choices... So, womp, I didn't consult JR on these because I was just way too ober excited to explore more growing opportunities, but he thinks I made solid choices, which... haha... I did!

So in our garden we're going to be growing some actual food for a Fall harvest, and planting perennials and a fruit so that everything is hunky-dory in the Spring.

Here's the Plants:
  • Lady Lavender Seeds
  • Early Harvest Tulips Bulbs
  • Coreopsis Route 66 (they were on sale, I'm not crazy about them, but I wanted to plant an actual plant-perennial to see what happened over the winter.)
  • China Rose Radish Seeds (because how could I resist? I'm from China! I'm a Rose! Match, Set, Heaven)
  • Silver Rose Garlic Bulbs (Again those names just pull me in)
  • Strawberry Pineberry Plant, which has a really interesting history. So essentially some dutch scientists brought these plants back from near extinction, a few years ago. Sat around at their gardening complex, took the highest yielding plants (most only yielded 1-2 berries per plant when they first discovered them), cross-bred those over a few years and now we have Strawberry Pineberries again, brought back from near-death. Why do you care? Because these Strawberries.... taste like pineapples. Boom! 
Strawberry Pineberries
Step 3... Wait for plants. Burpee only sends you the plants right when it's ready for them to be planted in your region. We'll see... I shipped my father 3 pepper plants for Father's Day and they sent him withered pepper plants... so benefit of the doubt here - our plants will arrive; they will be perfect, and I will get to planting!

Step 4... Plant!

Step 5... Eat the things we've grow! We had our first dabble with this from the serrano pepper plant last week in some salsa - Yum-tastic!

Happy Gardening!

Anyone have other recommendations for the fall garden? Let me know!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reading all the Reads - Book Post

Since last I wrote about books, I had put a few on a summer reading list for all you lovely readers. Haven't quite made it to the ones on my list aside from "I Just Want to Pee Alone," by the Kick Ass Mommy Bloggers, and so far only 2 stories in, but they are just as hilarious as I imagined they would be!

Instead, I had heard about this book called, "Zoo," by Tara Elizabeth that was so far up my alley it surpassed all of the others. So after finishing "The Tenant at Wildfell Hall," I downloaded "Zoo" to my Kindle App and started devouring it. Finished it in 5 hours - not joking.

You see readers, I love and adore all things dystopian, I finished all of the Hunger Games books in 13 hours. Yes. That's right I read three books in 13 hours. (We're not talking about how long it took me to finish 'Tenant' - high English is just so rough to speed through!).

But "Zoo," "Zoo" is a winner.



It's the story of Emma, who in 2013 died in a horrible car crash, while texting - of course, only to wake up in the early 23rd century to find herself stuck in a people Zoo. The idea is that in the future, after WWIII, all of the world's peoples unite to form one world. This one world slowly changes the ideas of culture and self identity until the point that cultures no longer exist.

The heads of state essentially realize that without culture - people lose the beautiful things of the world like art, literature, music, and languages. So they require that when you turn 18 you identify yourself with a culture from the past, which you can study - by going to a People's Past Anthropological Center aka... People Zoo, which is where Emma finds herself.

This book has some great twists, turns, and definitely some movie potential. Touted as book #1 of The Enclosure Chronicles, Elizabeth seems to be promising some more titles down the road with similar story lines. Hopefully they come out soon, because I'm eager to see where she takes us!




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Snapper Time - Cooking Post

We had a literally the laziest past weekend, ever! Aside from JR scoring a great deal on a MacBook Pro at Best Buy (Black Friday in July anyone?), we pretty much just lazed about playing Rogue Legacy and watching Celebrity Ghost Stories (my choice, not his). I like it okay?! How can you not want to watch Tom Green tell you about the night he spent at a haunted museum, complete with re-enactments? 

YOU CANT!!!!

Okay, maybe you can, but then we need to re-evaluate our friendship... or non-existent friendship if I don't know you.

Any way.

So we did a lot of cooking this weekend and one of my favorites we made was beer marinated red-snapper with a toasted coconut topping. We started out with a gorgeous filet of quality snapper from our local fisherman's market, aka the Harris Teeter. I really don't know why they put that paper on the outside, they're not fooling anyone.


Then we filled a 13x9 pyrex with Bud Light - Platinum, because we had it in the fridge (Only top shelf American lager for us *awkward wink*), and the other option was an apple wheat, which probably wouldn't have melded with the coconut. 


Sliced the filet into single portions. 


And popped them, flesh-side down into the beer. 


While those were doing their Rumors-tango (as I like to call all booze-filled adventures), I started toasting 1 full cup of sweetened coconut flakes in a cast-iron skillet. Excuse my upside-down picture, but I'm not changing it. 


When the coconut had a gorgeous, golden-brown color, I popped them out of the pan (I'm not going to tell you how long it took, because, one - I dont remember, and two - you should be watching your food as you cook it), and let them cool/harden up in a bowl. 

After that I flipped the fish so that they were scale-side down so that that side had the opportunity to really soak up the bad-decisions, then I started our side dishes (some roasted baby corn and spicy corn and yeast rolls, because who doesn't love yeast rolls?!). Once I started the sides and the cast-iron skillet was cooler, I cleaned out the remainder of the coconut from the skillet, did a circle of EVOO, to coat, then heated it to medium-high. 

Unfortunately, I didn't think about taking a photo until I was in the middle of eating, so everything else is basically just instructions on fish cooking. 

After the fish have marinated for 30 minutes, total - 15 minutes on each side. Pat the filets dry. (I added a dash of cumin and paprika and some garlic powder). Then when the skillet is good and hot drop them scale side down. cook till you see the color on the side change from translucent to opaque about 3/4th of the way up, then flip. Cook another few minutes until done. 

Top with toasted Coconut, and Voilá! Near - instant delish! We had some pineapple to go with it, and it was amazing! Sorry for the gross picture, but if you wanted to see it finished, this was all I had... oops! I'll remember to take better pix the next time! 



It wasn't until we'd put everything on our plate that we realized everything was yellow/white... Probably the most boring color combo ever, but everything was pretty taste-tastic!

Happy Cooking! 

Stay tuned every Monday and Thursday for new posts!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Peeking at a Peck of Unpicked, Unpickled Peppers - Garden Post

So as last you heard, spider mites were tenaciously taking over JR's and my garden. They had latched onto all of the marigolds and essentially made it their cesspool of a house. Having NO idea what was happening, we had left them there for a while, thinking well... it's spiders, just hanging out building a web, but NOOOOOOO. Effing little spider mites surreptitiously took over my favorite flowers.

So into trash bags they went... then a week later, I noticed the stupid little flecks of vermin crawling on our basil and pineapple sage plants.

Be gone with you! Into a trash bag.

After that I started sniffing out any trace of the red devils I could find, and I found some on our Serrano pepper plant, but you know what else I found on our Serrano? A PEPPER! I FOUND A PEPPER! There was actually a single beautiful Serrano clinging for dear life to the plant. So since we had a beautiful few days this weekend, back out into the garden I climbed, eager to prune and feed all of our little plant-ies!

So FIRST! I put my new beautiful cover onto our Chaise Lounge, because seriously... Never knew how disgusting they got without a cover... and this cover is absolutely perfect, because I can take a shower, throw on a dress and let my hair dry Au'naturale via the gorgeous sunlight. And this cover was made 100% better by the fact it was on clearance at Target! Love Target - Love Clearances!



So now that the furniture was looking good, I watered our plants with some high quality plant food included. Gotta feed those peppers! Here's our Serrano as I first saw it. It's absolutely gorgeous. It was about an inch in this picture, and you can also notice another pepper forming in the upper left hand of the photo.

We've been leaving it to get a bit bigger and as I write this it's now about two inches... yes I've been naughty and haven't written about it in a few weeks, but I wanted to save it for the really exciting news...

Not only is our Serrano kicking ass, growing some tasty peppers, but our CUBANELLE and Banana Peppers are too!!!! The Anaheim is taking it's time, so I've started calling it the Anatime sucker. Soon (aka like 2 months) we'll have beautiful Cubanelles grown straight from our own (HIGHLY pesticided garden)... so... yeah... really concerned about eating them. THEN, I sprayed the ever-loving-hell out of every single plant with a heavy dose of organic pesticide, because, they all needed it.

Banana Pepper!!!! 
Why so in love with all this pesticide-y-ness, do you ask? Well first there was the "fungus," then the clear maggots, THEN spider mites, THEN aphids, THEN whatever pest is on it's way next, because serrrrriously, there's probably a swarm of killer bees coming our way carrying a flock of some bugs I dont even know about yet. Why killer bees you ask? Because they'd block me from going outside to poison the other bugs...

Because why would you even walk outside for a second if there were killer bees on your front porch? Me... I'd call animal control.

But back to the peppers... As you can see in my lovely photos (blurred ever so slightly by my phone case covering the lens... because it's waterproof, because you only drop your phone in a toilet twice, before you realize  it's time to protect your electronics).


 Our Cubanelle is a little behind the rest, but it's actually really exciting to watch the peppers form from the decaying flower buds. Seriously... if all flowers turned into tasty food stuffs, I would hoard flowers like you wouldn't believe... I'd be growing a veritable menagerie of flower-food. But since only a few do, I'll stick to the peppers!

OUR FIRST Cubanelle!!! 
So that's it for this exciting edition of what LoRo kills (hopefully not the pepper plants - though the anatime sucker does look like it has the ugly little flecks that appeared before the spider mites built their web - so we'll see). 

We are having some success with some of our other plants that are KILLING it! Seriously! We'll keep you posted! 

Happy Gardening! 

Stay tuned every Monday and Thursday for more posts!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Painting Addiction - I want ALL of the Sotskova's

I knew a long time ago, that I loved the arts - music, paintings, dance, poems, literature, etc... I love art. I love lyricality in all things. And I love lyricality in the things I bring into my life.

From a young age, I devoured literature. I ran through the library at my middle school grabbing books like, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Jane Eyre," and "The House of the Seven Gables," as a sixth grader. By the time I got to high school and had to read "Jane Eyre" for AP Literature, I'd already read it, at least 50 times. I loved the words that Bronte had put on the page, how they flowed, how they ebbed, how they wound a web of pure lyricism and waxing hope.

I thoroughly disapproved when my literature teacher tried to demand I break Bronte's beauty into harsh realities and find meaning in every place, person, and thing. I wanted to scream, "YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT!" You're missing the delicacy of Charlotte's descriptions, for example, after Jane Eyre has just encountered Mr. Rochester for the first time, in the darkening moor, Bronte writes, "The new face, too, was like a new picture introduced to the gallery of memory; and it was dissimilar to all the others hanging there: firstly because it was dark, strong, and stern. I had it still before me when I entered Hay,..."

The simplistic beauty of what she has written, lets the reader know (without having ever read the cliff notes) that this man is THE man for Jane. But did we cover that? NO! We butchered and hacked through the novel based on AP guidelines. Unfortunate.

But back to the point.

Art.

A year ago, I encountered an artist's work who was new to me. Lena Sotskova. I was on a cruise with my family, and it was the first time I'd seen an art auction on a boat since Park West did the nasty with client's cash. So I was curious to see how it was run, when I saw this painting:
Debutant - Lena Sotskova
I thought, how intriguing, I love the movement from light to dark, it's almost as if a battle is being fought for her soul. Who knows if that's what's happening, but that's what I felt. I thought, beautiful.

But when I saw this... I was sold.


I fell in love. I loved the hinting, Sotskova worked into her paintings. Just enough to insinuate. Just enough for the viewer to know what's coming next. I was hooked. 

I pretty much spent the next week, drooling over Sotskova paintings, that I almost completely overlooked one of my favorite painter's of all time's protegee's work. 

Favorite painter - Isaac Tarkay
Protegee - Isaac Maimon

We'll talk of them another time, the point of this post is - I'm addicted to Lena Sotskova's work. The lighting, the mood, the strokes. I feel like I'm looking at a modern, female's take on Vermeer, and while I may never own an original Vermeer. I definitely want to own an original Sotskova. 



Monday, July 22, 2013

Garden Post - WHAT'S A SPIDER MITE?!

So a couple weeks ago, I noticed that our marigolds were starting to... how do you say it.... look a bit under the weather... I thought, MORE WATER! HAVE SOME PLANT FOOD!

No avail..

They kept getting browner and browner...

and browner...

till finally today, I walked over to them to see what was going on...


and I thought, wow... is that a spider web? 

And it wasn't... 

What it was was even better (and by better I mean I'm officially the most grossed out person on the planet). 


Because you see all those little red specks?

Those aren't part of the web. They MADE the web. 

It's THIS!


This my kind friends is a spider mite... and they're ALL OVER OUR MARIGOLDS. 


I have the heebie-jeebies as I write this. I'm actually vomiting all over myself, because since discovering them. I feel like they're crawling all over me. The vomit is the only way to make me feel better... ugh. ugh. ugh. UGH. 

Lesson learned?
Spidermites like hot, dry climates. They thrive in them. Pro-tip? Water more often, because honey you can't kill them once you've gotten them. 

Now all of our marigolds are in white trashbags, to be thrown out Wednesday. 

I found out, so you didn't have to, 

Happy Gardening!

Stay Tuned every Monday and Thursday for new posts!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Eastern Market - Give me ALL the butter!

A few months ago, JR and I were wandering through my favorite weekend market (the great EM), when we came across the lovely guys that just cook and make you taste things, right on the corner before the flea market, past the farmer's market. You know the guys I'm talking about... they are catty corner from the guy that makes the wire giraffes. Got it? Good.

If you don't know who they are, I recommend visiting EM this weekend to explore.

Soooo anyway. We're standing there and the two cooks are all cooking and telling us how great everything tastes and waxing poetically about farm fresh butter...

I'm all for new things butter... love butter. I didn't get to my curvy figure, not loving butter, butter that's not the point (haha, see what I did there).

So we listen to this guy preach butter for 15 mins, and we were turned. We've been swayed to the religious-spiritual motherland that is butter not from the dairy case at your local supermarket.

He says, buy some of that Amish butter at the stand behind you (is he getting a kick-back?), go home, put a sliver of that on your tongue, then put a sliver of the stuff you've been buying on your tongue and tell me you'd ever buy the mass processed shit again.

I'm never buying the mass processed shit again. Unless I'm making mass baked goods or mashed potatoes (too much butter is harmed in those processes to use the heavenly nectar from the farming gods in those).

But I have a problem. JR and I have run out of the butter.
So I have a solution. EM this weekend! Can't wait.

We're going to pick up some butter, and I'm going to see if I can hunt down more pairs of my sweet, sweet felt-lined (you heard it here) faybans.

I love my felt lined faybans! LOVE THEM! It's like a hug for my face, and heaven knows I love me some hugs!

What else does everyone have planned this weekend!?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ya'll versus Y'all or the True War of Northern Agression

Once upon a time, a young, beautiful Texan who had a laugh like sunshine and hair that dazzled over miles and miles (this is me), learned, what one day would become her favorite word. Ya'll.

Being from the middle of nowhere Texas this lovely little Texan grew and flourished and used ya'll for the entirety of her existence. She wrote it on note books, she wrote it in papers, she wrote it on book covers, trapper-keepers, her hands, arms and pants. She wrote ya'll everywhere.

Until one day, when this gorgeous, effervescent Texan went to college in the northern south, or what she calls Washington, DC. In one of her first papers, she wrote the word ya'll and some crass and ugly teacher marked her down in points for it. She may or may not have used ya'll over 30 times in this personal essay and may or may not have gotten a C because of ya'll.

But it wasn't the word that the teacher frowned so deeply and rudely upon. It was the lovely Texan's spelling (I eventually wrote an essay discussing why ya'll is acceptable and for which the teacher gave me full marks for and fixed my previous grade). You see a bunch of nutty English people all the way over on the opposite side of the world wrote this dictionary that you might have heard of, the Oxford English Dictionary, and they decided that based on what they thought the contraction was used for was You and All or You-all or Y'all. These English loonies thought that they had the answer. And maybe they did... but they didn't. Webster, that sorry S.O.B. soon followed suit. And before the southerners even knew what was happening, their word had been wordjacked.

See, because the root of the word ya'll is not you all at all!

It's Ya-all.

See, down in the backwards south where this lovely Texan was raised and where her parents and teachers and family members, and friends grew up - they don't much care for the grammar, diction and syntax of those fancy northerners or those bizarr-o English folk. Case in point Boomer from King of the Hill.



Down in the deep south where A's become O's and E's become A's, they dont much care for that fancy quick pronunciation of those northern ninnies (not saying any of you lovely people are one, but they just dont give two shits in a bucket).

Time slows down in the south. Words slow down in the south. And all this slowing down means that words that once meant one thing now mean another thing. There are many origin stories for ya'll but what I postulate actually happened is the hybridization of the Scots-Irish and the Slaves at the time.

Ya'll wasn't popularized until after the words Ye, thee, thou, etc... fell out of favor. So hear me out.

If time is slowed down in the south, that means that ""ye" in the 18th and 19th centuries was probably still in use in the southern United States, due to heavy use of family bibles in the area (think about it, where do we hear those phrases now? Only in the Bible), which leads me to believe that there were people out there in boondock country using the frame Ye-all, which over time and use, became the southernized version Ya-all, which when contracted into the phrase Ya'll.

This explains why for the better part of the 20th century great American SOUTHERN authors (remember ya'll comes from the south) were using the word Ya'll instead of Y'all. It makes no sense why a group of people would contract You-All instead of Ya-all, when they like drawing out words SOOOO much they've found a way to make well, sprite, rats, etc... two syllable words. The only logical reason for them to create a contraction for a word, would be if that word has two of the same letters back to back - case in point Ya-All. The A at the end of YA and the A at the beginning of All join together when you say those two words.

So the delineation of the word Ya'll HAS to come from the contraction for Ya-all.

Here's my further argument.

At the point in time that this word was becoming popularized as a colloquial term, the majority of people in the southern United States could not read or write. Think about it. My great-great grandparents signed Xs on all of their documents and theirs before that, unless we're talking about the group that may or may not have owned people... So it's my fervent belief that when this word was finally put onto paper it was put on paper by southerners who understood where the word came from see - William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Carson McCullers, which is why when they spelled it in their novels and writings they used the original word Ya'll.

However, the confusion comes when people from outside the region attempt to construct a reasoning for why the word exists, which is where the terminology y'all comes from. And here's my reasoning for this conclusion. Whenever people try to box in phrases from another group in society, they often get the word wrong. Case in point any family that came through Ellis Island and had their names changed by people who didn't understand the language they spoke.

It's with this belief in mind that the majority of people outside the region who began to pick up the word ya'll as it slowly spread, began trying to put a definition to the word. These people being of sound body and mind and having never experienced the south in all its radiant splendor assumed that it had to be a contraction for you-all, and I can see where that assumption might come from. It is of reasonable assumption that the majority of people that first were introduced to the word heard it before they read it, which means that they learned it through oral tradition, but without the back story, so while they knew that it was the culmination of a term that meant a group of people, they were not aware of the history.

This fact leads me to believe that the word Y'all is a construct created when oral tradition was no longer the norm in the evolution of the southern-english language. And it's of this belief that leads me to posture that without written language this argument of Ya'll vs Y'all would not exist.

This furthers the belief that y'all is sincerely an evolution of the term ya'll as it is defined in a living language. Here is where the word y'all vs ya'll comes to play and here is why the fight is still raging. The fight is based in the historical culture of the south and all the words and terminologies that have come from it vs the modernization of this culture.

You will find that the people that use the term y'all instead of ya'll will be better educated or not from the region from whence this term came. The people that use the term ya'll instead of y'all will have roots that are firmly grounded in the southern culture and typically use this word on a normal basis. And the people that use these two terms interchangeably are more than like descendants of the south who have gone on to get higher education or have moved from the region and are struggling with the dichotomy of upholding one's heritage as southerners are apt to do vs growing in the modern culture of today.

It's with these facts in hand that I say that both are proper terms for the word. Y'all is acceptable and so is ya'll. These words are a piece of the continuing evolution of our language as it changes generation to generation and I think that it is definitely plausible that this battle between a simple placement of an apostrophe will continue to be fought for the next century. As the strong southern roots begin to fade, so will the word ya'll, and the backstory and the history of how this term came to be will fade as well, but as long as there are people you use the word y'all, the legacy will continue to thrive.

But here is the point of this entire rambling - Ya'll is the original spelling of the word, and will be until the end of time. Y'all is the modern evolution of the word and is considered the proper spelling by people who dictate spelling structures, but it is only because the people who put it in their dictionaries did not know how to spell it properly or the definition and origin of the word in the first place.

So you can spell it however you would like to, but when someone insists that it's spelled y'all because it's a contraction of you-all, you now have the truth. No. It's spelled y'all because someone with a dictionary spelled it that way. Either way you toss it, y'all is a contraction for ya-all and you can spell it any way you G-damn please, because in the south, that's how we do things.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Summer Reading List

So we're through the first week of summer and man have I been reading every chance I get. All that time at the pool with Hannah and Blair and Sam is really paying off for my brain. After devouring Jen Lancaster's new memoir, "Tao of Martha" I thought, everyone should read this book... THE WORLD should read this book, but then I thought... how do I tell all the people about it?

My Blog!

So that got me thinking, well I can't just post a book review on my blog, no matter how much I wanted to, because I cried, laughing so hard reading 'Tao,' so instead...

Reading List!
Because every good blogger has a summer reading list... dont they?

Here goes, my 2013 Summer Reading List, all the books that are books that you. should... read - this summer!



1. "The Tao of Martha" - Jen Lancaster
Just finished this book, and I cannot tell you enough how funny and how great reading a Jen Lancaster book is. I've devoured all of her memoirs, and this one is definitely a good book to have in your beach bag, because it not only has the hillarity I've come to expect in a Lancaster, but it also has this great overarching theme of bettering one's life through the Tao of Martha and the Tao of Maisy (her pitbull - R.I.P. Maisy).



2. Frost Chronicles - Kate Avery Ellison
So this is actually a book series, and should be on the list of anyone who loves dystopian society books. The latest release was "Bluewing," but the next book is due out in July, and it will definitely be on my Kindle as soon as it's released. It's about a girl who discovers a family secret that can help save her community. There's danger, love and freezing cold weather - it's not called the Frost Chronicles for nothing. The writing is great and is a definite for anyone looking to fill in the gap between the next Divergent book release.



3. "Divergent" - Veronica Roth
Dystopia - check. Danger - check. A great female lead character - check. A bizarre societal structure - check. So it's like Hunger Games but... not. This one has been out for a while, but if you haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, it's slated for a film release early next year, and if you love dystopian thrillers, this one is also for you. It's got a lot of twists and turns and the writing (once you get passed the first chapter) pulls you in and before you know it, it's 6 hours later and you've finished the book.



4. "I Just Want to Pee Alone" - Some Kick Ass Mom Bloggers
This one is next in my own summer reading queue. It's a collection of hilarious essays by some of the top mommy bloggers in the biz. They really had me with the cover, because I remember doing that (I mean, what kind of monster would throw a doll in the toilet). I'm a sucker for essay collections so add that plus mommy bloggers, and I'm sold.



5. "Bootstrapper" - Mardi Jo Link
This one just got into my reading list a few days ago. It's about a woman who does whatever she has to inorder to keep her family on the family farm. I love a good memoir and this one looks like it has the potential I'm looking for. It's a fight from broke to badass, but if Link can pull it through this one definitely has great summer potential.



6. "The Lost Girls" - Baggett, Corbett, and Pressner
You can't have a summer reading list without a book that involves traveling. There's something great about a good summer travel read and this one is really intriguing because it's about three friends traveling around the world. This will definitely be in my Kindle this summer.

So that's it. My official reading list for all you lovely people. I've also got a few classics on there to catch up with my Brönte sister novels, but I dont really think that's light summer reading, so I wont bore you with the details.

Hope you enjoy them, and as always - let me know what you think! Do y'all have any other books that you think I should add to my list?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fireworks Pizza - AKA, the worst pepperoni on the planet

I love pizza.

Since the moment I first laid taste buds on the cornmeal crust of a Peter Piper Pizza, I knew that I'd never again love another food as much again. Mazzios, Coal Fire, Ledos, 2 Amy's, Comet Ping Pong, the list of pizzas I have trucked through my body is never ending.

From every childhood memory of happiness to a night hanging with friends, pizza has been there.

And I'm pretty much a pizza purist - cheese, sauce, crust - done.

Why mess with perfection? However I will dabble into the realms of red onion, pineapple and pepperoni.

A few nights ago, I decided to dabble with my favorite pizza friend... the pepperoni.

Guys, I was so excited you can't even imagine. See I have traveled across this greater DC Metro tasting pies from every pizza place I hear of, and while I know Fire Works out in Arlington, VA has been here for a while, it was my first opportunity. I had heard great things.

They had a great wine selection, a great beer selection, and as I could tell by the 20 sorority girls, two-fisting wine glasses, a table over from JR and I, a sizable amount of sangria somewhere in the back.

We ordered garlic knots to start, and as I dipped the garlicky deliciousness into the marinara sauce, my nose tickled with glee, my taste-buds were anticipating the glorious eruption of pure happiness. I carried the doused knot to my mouth and chomped with the ferocity of a velociraptor in Jurassic Park.

BAH!

AACK!

EW!!!

The marinara sauce was enough to make me want to hurl myself into a pool of my own vomit. Seriously, because that would have been a welcome relief from the crap they clearly poured out of a bottle. If they don't pour it out of a bottle, their cook should be fired.

I was horribly disappointed. I had been waiting for Fire Works all day. JR had promised we could have pizza that night, and I always enjoy trying new places, and I always enjoy trying new pizza! Not this pizza.

Never again, this pizza.

You see, my pizza wasn't much better than the garlic knots. It wasn't the crust that made me unhappy, or even the overly disgusting sauce, or even the sweet gooey mozzarella sliding like leprechauns on rainbows of happiness that offended me. It was my pepperonis.

I have never met a pepperoni that I didn't like. I love sweet or spicy or bland or exciting or salty. I love them all.

But hammy?

Don't get me wrong. I'm thoroughly aware that pepperoni comes from a pig, but when was the last time you put a pepperoni in your mouth and thought Ham and Cheese Sandwich!

I was literally eating a ham and cheese sandwich and there is NOTHING on this world aside from spiders and ketchup that I despise as much as ham. I hate the smell. I hate the texture. I hate the concept. I hate, hate, hate it.

I love bacon. I love pepperonis. I hate ham. Sue me.



The presentation was lovely, but the product was... disgusting and overall horribly disappointing.

Next time someone asks for a pizza recommendation in Arlington, I'm going to send them to Ledo's.  They have a delivery only location in South Arlington! MADE MY YEAR! I can never move again! Want their number? Here! 703-521-5336 - Ledos S. Arlington, delivery only. Five stars for them! 

0 stars for Fire Works. In fact. Fire Works was so bad they get a black hole. A black hole of unhappiness. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sevin Snow - How to Kill Those Garden Pests

I have a love/hate affair with just about every kind of spider you can imagine. I love what they do, but I hate their entire little creepy being with all the living breath I have in my body. Because the ONE time I need them to eat little bugs to save my plants... They frolic with me in my bed instead.


I nearly had a heart attack last night from a spider crawling across the sheets as I watched Pretty Little Liars (LOVE IT!). I immediately started screaming my head off and JR came to the rescue!


However, on the upside this set me to thinking, since the spiders aren’t doing their job in our garden. I have done their job for them. JR and I went to the Home Depot a few days ago looking for pest killer. We found the Sevin Dust (also comes in easy to use spray - if you have a water hose, which we dont).





There will be no mother effin’ bugs on my mother effin’ plants.


After talking to just about every person I knew who grows plants they basically said that I had bugs or a fungus, but after seeing the creepy little clear maggot you can see here...


The maggot is in the upper right hand corner on the edge of the buried Jiffy Cup


… I decided it was bugs. The organic insecticidal soap I had been using was not doing the job, so Sevin Dust it is.


I DOUSED my plants in the lethal snow.






And then the rain came and washed it off.


And then I came back with a vengeance taking the death blizzard to a whole new level. I dusted EVERYTHING. The plants, the soil, the boards of the porch. EVERYTHING.




Those bugs have met their last day on this planet.


They will die.


I shall kill them for what they did to my plants...


I shall kill them dead.  


I also had gotten some advice that was essentially, pluck the affected leaves off the plant, which I did to the new basil plant We’d gotten to replace the one that the roofers destroyed, but every time I plucked off a new leaf two more were showing signs of deterioration.





Needless to say, that plant saw it’s last day. I literally plucked a plant to death. Don’t be like me.. don’t be a plant plucker.


So for our summer dead plant list, we’re now up to two.


R.I.P.
Thai Basil
Dill


Thai Basil, You'll Always be Remembered 2013-2013


I actually think that this plant is the one that originated the bugs, because it had the highest level of contamination, so it’s only fitting that the afflicted should be sent on to a better place. A happier place, where spiders do their effin’ jobs!

Only downside now...


We have to wait 14 days to eat the herbs


LAME!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Um... Yum, aka How I Made My Morning Yogurt Sinfully Delicious

Okay, so first off, I can't believe I forgot about Orson Welles' birthday! It's my national holiday! I actually went right by it without celebrating and I know that's why I've been having weirdly cinematic dreams... he's haunting me. 

That's right, Orson Welles is haunting my dreams. 

How do I celebrate this amazing man's birthday? With a cigar and copious amounts of drinking and womanizing people in the Sims. How else do you celebrate his birthday?  

The best picture of the great Orson Welles. 

So instead of celebrating when I should of, I will be celebrating tonight! Here's to you Orson! Thanks for Jane Eyre. 

But to the real point of this post. 

So I am head over heels for this new yogurt, called Liberté. It's originally from Canada and somehow it made it's way down here and OMG. It's amazing. If you hate yogurt, this is the yogurt for you. If you love yogurt, this is the yogurt for you. If you're swayed neither way... you guessed it.... this is the yogurt for you. 

Dear god is this stuff delish. 

It's a part of my morning ritual. I normally eat breakfast around 6 am, so by 10 am I'm starving, which is when I pop my Liberté out of the fridge and it keeps me full through till 1:30ish which is when I eat lunch. 

But lately, I have been eating dark chocolate like it's my job. I'm really digging the Hershey's special dark mix and the Ghiardelli Twilight Delight. So when it was time for my morning yogurt today, I was like... I wonder what would happen if I mixed them. 


So here's what you'll need to create a dark chocolate island temptation! 

Your Liberté Coconut Yogurt
2 Hershey's Special Dark Chocolates with Crisped Rice (it adds a great crunch)
A Sharp Knife
A Plate or Cutting Board, which I didn't have at work... 


I like a good santoku knife, which if you dont have, you need to get.
Those little pockets make all the difference when your doing quick chopping. 



Cut the chocolate into small toothsome pieces, I used kind of a shaving method/tiny dice method, which works great, but if you want more chunky pieces - do what you do! 

Then I dumped all of the chocolate into my yogurt and stirred it all together and boy was it amazing. Seriously... You could probably do this with your favorite coconut yogurt, but I'm biased, so use this one. Haha! Jokes! Use whatever one you buy, but just know that it wont taste as amazing as mine did.
This was gone in like 30 seconds flat. 


And no, this is not a sponsored post, I just seriously like their yogurt this much.