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.


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?