Saturday, August 22, 2015


Just noticed that the last time KES was over here and playing with my bric-a-brac, apparantly McCarty Bunny was crowned QUEEN and all schnauzers were forced to genuflect. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Beast Fiend

Happy Birthday to my Daley-Dale. My BFF. My partner in crime. My soul sister, my art mentor. The friend that pushes me and encourages me and sometimes even can force me out into the public somewhat willingly. The friend that also knows she can find me outside in a quiet corner when she has lost me in a maddening crowd. The permanent (amazing) mother of my temporary kids. The inspiration for what has become my supercool collection of vintage elephant planters. One of the top 3 reasons I moved to Ocean Springs. The reason I was not afraid to pick up this desk at which I am sitting from the side of the road, or buy that piano in my sunroom for $75 at a garage sale. The reason I love popcorn and M&M's. And amaretto festoons.  The person with whom I invented view-mail. The one I can count on to be awake at 1am to tell me how to do some art thing, and can count on me to be awake at 1am to help her pick a photo for a contest whose deadline is 1:02am. The brave, just-go-for-it girl to my hesitant doubtfulness.  The nothing-is-ever-wrong girl to my constant hypochondria (yeah we should really work on meeting in the middle on this one).  I art you my Dale!! You complete me :).  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Oh Neal Stephenson, I Still Adore You Even Though You Broke My Heart A Little

Click here to see my review on Goodreads

It breaks my heart to rate this only 3 stars, because I SO ADORE Neal Stephenson, but this book seemed like such a departure from his "norm" to me. There was just very little character development or actual STORY. It was soooo much "tell me instead of show me". Long passages where he just says "then this happened then that happened". The long science passages didn't bother me at all. They were interesting, and I'm fine with that. The book almost seemed like more of a set-up for the possibilities of many stories rather than any real fleshed out stories. Let's have a whole novel about Julia, or Sean, or Ivy or Dina or any of them. Let's have whole novels from the perspectives of the Diggers, Pingers, Reds, Blues.... you get my drift. This book was classic Stephenson as far as amazing world building, science, and scenarios, but where's the true heart? I don't feel really connected to a single character.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Garden Bug is Biting

FINALLY!!!!!  I am getting my gardening bug back!  I can't explain why, but I couldn't be happier to welcome it!

A landscape architect is in the process of drawing up plans for my front and side yards.  These plans are going to give me the bones of a garden that I need to proceed.  Otherwise, I am just overwhelmed.

I did, however, plant some really cool stuff last fall that survived the winter.  All of this is in the little courtyard off my living room:

Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight'

The remains of a foxglove.  How cool is that??

A rare Doodle.  

A last Foxglove

Colocasia 'Electric Blue Gecko' 
Colocasia 'Coffee Cups'

A Giant Ligulaira

A Giant Schnauzer

Figs I will have to fight critters for
The last of the Johnny Jump Ups

About to bloom

My Friends May Know Me Too Well

Got this email from my friend Charlotte about a door she thought I may be interested in. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

1st Quarter Reading (well, 1st Quarter plus April and a bit of May)

Why yes, I read a lot.  And YES, I consider listening to audiobooks "reading".  (Holly, I'm looking at you). HOWEVER, I will tell you that after several months of ONLY listening to audiobooks, I am really missing the touch, feel, focus, and more total immersion I can get with a physical book, so I have several "real" books on a real "to read" pile on my nightstand.  Should I submit this to the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks? 

It's a real thing.  And it's hilarious.  Check it out.

So far this year I have been in a pretty completely psychological thriller kick.  Again, I blame Holly. Holly is my cousin.  We grew up spending a lot of time on our grandparent's farm together and she, being WAY more adventurous and brave than me, has always challenged me to try to not be such a wimpy nerd.  She makes me get out of my comfort zone - from when we were kids and she was dragging me though woods on a three-wheeler, to now when she forces me to take photography classes and (*gasp*) try to "exercise", she has pushed me and I appreciate it. Sometimes she leads me astray, but usually only into things like a psychological thriller reading kick rather than into something like smoking crack, so I forgive her.

Plus she abhors crappy writing and storytelling as much as I do so we usually agree on books.

Most times we try to read the same things at about the same time.  The great thing about reading psychological thrillers with Holly is that in her "real job" she is a licensed clinical counselor AND an ER nurse, and she knows her stuff about mental issues.  She can unravel and diagnose allllll the nut jobs in the books we are reading.  It's like having my own on-call psychological consultant. It's awesome.

So here's the list - too long for an in-depth description of each.  If you want more info on a particular book, I highly recommend this amazing thing I found called "the Google", or

Really though, I use Goodreads pretty much exclusively, though I am behind on updating it as much as I am behind on anything else on my life.  Which is a lot.  So, whatever.  Here's the list so far, complete with length of audiobook and date of purchase:

1>    Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance         Jeff VanderMeer - 26 hrs and 14 mins - 12/31/2014
2>    Dept. of Speculation Jenny Offill - 3 hrs and 10 mins       - 1/11/2015
3>    The Paying Guests Sarah Waters - 21 hrs and 28 mins - 1/12/2015
4>    Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)      10 hrs and 9 mins - 1/17/2015
5>    The Girl on the Train: A Novel Paula Hawkins - 10 hrs and 59 mins - 1/25/2015
6>    The Long Road to Freedom           Nelson Mandela - 27 hrs and 44 mins - 1/25/2015
7>    Into the Wild Jon Krakauer - 7 hrs and 9 mins - 1/25/2015
8>    Don't Let Me Go Catherine Ryan Hyde - 11 hrs and 17 mins - 2/19/2015
9>    Crash & Burn Lisa Gardner - 13 hrs and 27 mins - 3/3/2015
10> Descent Tim Johnston - 11 hrs and 31 mins - 3/11/2015
11> Six Years Harlan Coben - 10 hrs and 37 mins - 3/19/2015
12> Gilead Marilynne Robinson          - 8 hrs and 59 mins - 3/22/2015
13> The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America's Most Powerful Trial Lawyer     Curtis Wilkie - 13 hrs and 45 mins - 3/26/2015
14> The Stranger Harlan Coben - 9 hrs and 43 mins - 3/29/2015
15> The Good Girl Mary Kubica - 10 hrs and 38 mins - 4/1/2015
16> The Silent Sister Diane Chamberlain - 11 hrs and 39 mins - 4/5/2015
17> The Hypnotist's Love Story          Liane Moriarty - 13 hrs and 6 mins - 4/7/2015
18> Wolf in White Van           John Darnielle - 5 hrs and 22 mins - 9/28/2015
19> The Girl with All the Gifts M. R. Carey - 13 hrs and 4 mins - 4/10/2015
20> The Room: A Novel Jonas Karlsson         - 3 hrs and 27 mins - 4/12/2015
21> The Kind Worth Killing Peter Swanson - 10 hrs and 18 mins - 4/14/2015
22> What You Left Behind Samantha Hayes - 10 hrs and 17 mins - 4/20/2015
23> The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro - 8 hrs and 13 mins - 4/23/2015
24> The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Leslye Walton - 8 hrs and 32 mins - 4/29/2015
25> Bird Box: A Novel            Josh Malerman- - 9 hrs and 8 mins - 5/1/2015
26> Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder      Jerry Bledsoe --20 hrs and 8 mins -     5/3/2015

My favorites of this bunch were the Mandela Autobiography and Wolf in White Van, which is a great, disturbing but weirdly hopeful novel about a guy who just happens to be a game nerd.  You may love it even if you AREN'T a game nerd. The Bird Box and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender are also both really great.  And both kind of depressing.

Ooops - End of 2014 Reading

Uhhh..... yeah I forgot to finish the 2014 list, so let me do that before I post 2015.

Where were we.....

73> was The Boy Who Could See Demons...but apparently I put the 1st list of 2014 in reverse chronological order some some bizarre reason, so #73 was actually Fourth of July Creek

74> The Luminaries- Eleanor Catton: I actually liked this one way more than I thought I would.  

75> World War Z -  Max Brooks: Sooooooooo much better than the movie.  So much more about the politics of a worldwide crisis.  

76>  Faithful Place - Tana French:  I really so enjoy her books.  Sort-of mysteries/ psychology studies, and well written.  

77> Apocalypse Z - Manel Loureiro:  I like a good apocalypse zombie story.  I won't apologize.  

78>  We Were Liars - E. Lockhart:  a young adult novel that is just WOW.  

79>;  All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr: It was ok.  Well written, but the story just was a little too Davinci Code for me, I guess.  

80>: Stone Mattress - Margaret Atwood:  I usually LOVE Margaret Atwood, but this one just didn't stick with me. Perhaps I will revisit it later.  

81>; Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel: I love a good Apocalypse story of pretty much any kind.  

82>; The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton:  If I had never read and Neal Stephenson, I would have loved this book.  I did still really like it, though.  

83>; Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguru: Meh.  Story just didn't sit right with me.  Too "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet", and I liked that better.  

84>; Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes: Too "Hannibal, the TV show".  

85>; Yes, Please - Amy Poeler: Way better and more interesting than I expected.  

86>; Already Dead - Charlie Huston: Zombies are fun.  

87>; To Rise Again At A Decent Hour- Joshua Farris: Liked it

88>; The Vacationers- Emma Straub: Good story about a marriage and a family.  I liked it.  

89>; The Martian - Andy Weir: Never ask your scientist husband to read a book you liked.  He will point out every flaw.  

90>; Bossy Pants - Tina Fey: Also way better and more interesting than I expected.  

91>; Slouching Toward Bethlehem - Joan Didian:  Meh

92> Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng: It was just ok, although that may have had something to do with the fact that I was deeply engrossed in the SERIAL podcast at the time I read it. There are some similarities between the stories, but Serial, being TRUE and ON-GOING, was/is way more fascinating.  

OK so that's it for 2014.  92 books.  Not a record, but no too shabby, I think?  The most important (and surprising) thing to ME, anyway, is that I actually remember reading them haha.  There were only a couple of books in 2014 that I started and just could not complete.  Both involved animal cruelty and I just cannot even.  Those were:  Salvage the Bones, and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.  They both got great reviews and my opinions should not count against them.  I just can't read those kinds of things.  The horror of them gets stuck in my brain and plays on a loop for eternity.  And LAWD, I don't need to add to the things already on the loop.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Office of Redundancy Office

From the responses we received on a questionnaire:

"Additionally, the [financial institution] has sufficient earnings to increase rates on the product should deposits need to be retained as rates rise to retain deposits."