Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Pet Rant

Shopping for dog collars for Tasha inspired me... I saw so many $50+ dog toys while I was out (toys that were just going to get mutilated if the dog has any self respect at all), I've decided to dedicate this blog entry to insane things people buy for their pets.

How about Swarovski crystal pet collars? $75
How about a Swarovski crystal encrusted brush to match?But you don't want Fi-fi to get cold, so how about a $65 puffer jacket?
Tired of all that pet hair in the car? How about this $150 brocade pet blanket. I don't think I spent that much on my OWN comforter...

Not crazy enough yet? What about this automatic, programmable pet feeder? That's right... just in case you can't remember to feed your pet (or if you're just never home to be with your pet) this little whatsit feeds the pooch while you do whatever it is you do that makes you too busy to scoop out food. It can be set for up to 3 feedings a day!
To go with it, why not try this pet fountain that keeps water constantly fresh and aerated throughout the day? It filters the water, so you don't have to. Install a doggie door and, by golly, you never have to come home at all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Owen and Tasha

Remember a few posts ago... I said I really hope it
works out, Jazz? Well... it did.
However, I've also decided that Jazz is a terrible name.
Her new name is Tasha.

Owen and Tasha

The Bud

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Amanda's Garden Picks #3

Coleus is the best plant ever. No-- I'm serious. Coleus grows in the dark or in full sun and it's friggin' pretty.

Ivy geraniums. They bloom all season and love full sun.

Icelandic poppies. They are a full sun plant that I can't seem to keep alive for very long but they bloom all season and they are delightful. Not good for cut flowers though, as the blooms don't last indoors.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Amanda's Garden Picks #2

I can't wait for my gardens to come back! Things are finally reaching up through the soil, but not far enough for me to take any photos of my own garden so I still have to live vicariously through others.

Snapdragons are prob
ably the easiest annual to grow, right up there next to pansies. They need full sun.

German Bearded
Irises, as those who have visited SoKel in June are aware, are some of my absolute favorite things to grow. They only bloom once a season, but they are worth it. Another full sun plant.

Gladiolus are really ugly until they bloom and they are not a front yard plant as I discovered last year. If you have a garden for cut flowers, however, these look fantastic in a large vase and they are really tall and striking. (However, in the garden they flop all over the place and look messy) Full sun.

Peonies are a gorgeous perennial that sadly only blooms once a season. Another favorite, they also love full sun but mine are in partial shade and do just fine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Headed to NYC

I'm headed to NYC next Friday to visit my friends!!! I'm so excited!!!

There are few things as beautiful as Central Park in April.

I'm not sure what it is about New York that makes it so magical-- but it has a personality all its own. Even the dumb, touristy stuff is amazing.

Where are your favorite places in NYC?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Flower Garden Picks... part 1 of many

There are few things in this world that I love more than gardening. I am seldom happier than when my dog and I are wandering through my gardens. Though I don't have any pictures of my own garden (because Maine looks like death in March) I thought I'd post my favorite plants to get my spirits up. My first is bee balm-- though I haven't had tremendous success with it thus far. If you can get it to survive those first few years it spreads and is quite lovely. Like it's name suggests, it attracts buzzing visitors aplenty to your garden which is good for your plants.

Begonias are another favorite, though they prefer shade and will burn right up in the sun. I usually try to keep some along the side of my house and in my new shade garden out in the back yard. They are vibrant, ruffled, and continue to bloom consistently all season.

Clematis is a plant I haven't tried yet, but I am madly in love with them. I'm hoping to add a few to the garden this spring. They are available in a number of purples, reds, and blues and are happiest in the sun.

Coneflower comes in red, yellow, or purple. They are also a sunlover, but bloom all season long. They also attract bees galore, and are great for flower arranging because their stems are nice and sturdy. I've had a lot of success with them-- they're pretty hardy.

I have to say, I wouldn't reccomend putting a hydrangea in a wheelbarrow-- but they are really beautiful plants. I just got mine last year and I can't wait to see it bloom again! It was a consistent bloomer all summer (it's called an endless summer) and it needs a LOT of water. It can do full sun, but prefers partial shade and needs a lot of attention.

Gerbera Daisies are a great, easy to grow, bright, happy flower. Though they take a while to regenerate if unfertilized, they are a sun lover and once you cut one another one is usually about a week to two weeks from blooming. They're on the higher end of the price range for an annual,

but they are worth it.

Getting your hopes up...

Sometimes you can't help but get your hopes up-- even when you know you shouldn't.

I really hope it works out, Jazz.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Borders: A place filled with evil

Sometimes you just have a hankering to see a particular movie-- a thirst that can only be slaked by watching THAT particular film. Yesterday, I had such a thirst for Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic: with Steve Zissou."

Since I didn't own the film, I left my house in search of it. I tend to buy movies rather than rent them because of how expensive it is to rent and because there are some movies I can watch over and over again and never tire of them.

For some reason, I headed to Best Buy first. I was sure they would have it, but after talking to 3 sales people I was informed that they don't carry it. Royal Tennenbaums? Sure-- and for 15 bucks, Darjeeling Limited? Of course! But The Life Aquatic: With Steve Zissou??? No!

I left that filthy place, and headed to Borders... where I did indeed find a copy of Life Aquatic, BUT for $32.99. I laughed out loud and placed the movie back on its shelf and left. Now, I love Borders... I do. I can't help it. I love books and their selection is incredible-- but I couldn't bring myself to pay $32.99 for a DVD, no matter how much I wanted to watch it.

So finally, I went to Bull Moose, where I should have gone in the first place, and the special edition 2 disc set of Life Aquatic was *drumroll please * 22 bucks. So, I saved ten dollars and ninety-nine cents (and Bull Moose is on the way home) going to the smaller business AND got the version of the DVD that I wanted. So, I think to myself why would Borders do that? Are there really saps out there who will pay 33 bucks for a DVD???
And then I realized the awful truth... A few years ago, Hamlet came out on DVD and I went straight to borders and paid about 35 dollars for it. I wanted it so bad, I paid a RIDICULOUS amount of money for it. Well, you know what, Borders? You're mean and I don't think you're very ethical. There, I said it. I think that you charge way too much for your DVD's and that you should apologize: not just to me, but to every poor sap who spent more than they could afford on a DVD. Did you ever stop and think, Borders? Did you? Y'JERK!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Robin Williams

Robin Williams had heart valve replacement surgery a week and a half ago. He apparently was experiencing shortness of breath while on tour and they discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.
This man is, in my opinion, one of this century's greatest, and the thought of losing him inspired me to have a Robin Williams marathon this week. I kicked it off last night with "Death to Smoochy." Tonight I'm planning to change it up with "Hook" followed by "Birdcage." Tomorrow is "Dead Poets Society" and if I have time "What Dreams May Come."
What are your favorite Robin Williams movies? Have you noticed how many times the man gets to fly in movies? It's pretty astonishing. =)

Cantus, the Wandering Minstrel

My favorite muppet-- Cantus the Minstrel, performed by the late Jim Henson. The lyrics of his songs introduced me to poetry.

The most memorable one for me is, Let Me Be Your Song:

Music grows in the rose
Rock and rain and the blowin snowstorm
Everything seems to sing
Everywhere I go...