Monday, February 25, 2013

The Oscars - Very Random Bits and Pieces

I actually sat down to watch the Oscars last night and was planning to try and make it through the whole thing, but the little one had other plans. Just as well, my interest level might be greater, if I managed to see some of the movies.

My impressions from what I did watch were...

For one, that it seemed a little thin on stars. Perhaps an odd observation about a show that is all about celebrities. But where was everyone? Seemed like they were struggling to find people to talk to on the red carpet. Do only nominated actors attend? Have I not noticed this in the past? Was I not watching closely enough? For example, no Brangelina. Maybe there were resting the leg. Was that a year ago?

Redemption for Ben Affleck? Guess I am out of it? Maybe, because I tend to mix him up with Matt Damon or perhaps because I never saw Gigli, I wasn't aware he needed redeeming. Here's a guy with a beautiful wife and kids, cool friends, a ton of money, an Oscar already. Many would consider it a wonderful life, and he's in need of a major redemption, that only another Oscar can provide? Ah Hollywood.

Speaking of redemption - Miss Stewart walked the red carpet almost alone, a set of crutches kept her company. Not a bad accessory. I think they made her seem somewhat sympathetic and she was called a "trooper". Trooper is a lot better than most of stuff she's been called this year. Maybe they just reminded me of Bella making her way into the prom.

Anne Hathaway wins big but also annoys big. Have to say, while I really liked her in Rachel Getting Married, I'm not completely mystified that she has spawned "I Hate Anne Hathaway" Facebook pages. Maybe she's just over exposed of late.

Helen Hunt's choice of an H&M dress is a topic for discussion. It was simple. She pulled it off and she looked a lot better than many of her couture clothed counter parts. More than I loved the dress, I loved her for wearing it.

Her choice made me think, that maybe the Oscars could solve it's dilemma on what tone the show should strike, by not trying to "dress" it up. Maybe, they could forget all the schtick one year and just give out the awards. Then there might be enough time for acceptance speeches without the Jaws theme.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tunnel of Love

I saw this amazing natural tunnel a while back and thought it would make a perfect Valentine's post. This is no photoshop trick, but the work of a slow moving freight train that makes it way along this stretch of train track to a factory in Klevan Ukraine each day.

It's become known as the Tunnel of Love. When the train is not making its route, people come to walk along the tracks and make a wish under the trees.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Satisfied

Okay, it may not have been the "massive" snow event that was giving news casters something to do yesterday, but there is a healthy amount of snow on the ground. Now, I'm trying to gear up for the sledding I promised the little one. Luckily, she is still sleeping. Time for cup of coffee number two and a little quiet before the sled comes out.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Where's the Snow?

Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm disappointed that the big storm seems like a big bust. I'm sure people living areas where they are going to be shoveling ten inches of snow tomorrow would disagree, but I was hoping for a little more snow.

My daughter's homework assignment this weekend was to play in the snow. I was expecting to wake up tomorrow to some deep snow and all prepared to get the sled out and brave some hills. Last time I checked it was snowing lightly and the grass was still peeking through the snow. So much for the big blizzard.

Oh, and how crazy is this image of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in Japan? Now that's snow.

Put it in Ink for Valentines Day?

Would you? Is your love eternal enough for a tattoo? Or do you imagine your arm with a bunch of names crossed off? These tattoos wisely avoid names and would continue to work even if the relationship didn't.

I'm fascinated by tattoos, but really can't imagine ever getting one. I'm wise enough to know I'm too indecisive for this type of commitment. And old enough too worry about sagging ink. But I do enjoy seeing them on the young and brave.

Images from

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter Friends

The horse corn mentioned in the previous post was purchased for some of our winter friends. It is sometimes also called deer corn which is exactly who we intended it for. Some people think of deer as just pests and believe me come summer, I will be at war with these four legged lawn mowers. The battle lines will be drawn and I will be searching the garden center's for new and more potent forms of deer repellent.

For now though we are the best of friends. There are no tomatoes, string beans, parsley or sunflowers to defend and I'm not one to quarrel over who eats the bird seed. It's as much of a pleasure to see a deer or squirrel at the bird feeder, as it is to watch the birds. No bird watching purist here.

When we got home we threw out a few ears and later in the day were rewarded with a visit from a group of males of all ages. It always strikes me as odd that boys hang together, maybe that too is a winter thing.

Later the girls and this years babies showed up, including my favorite female (pictured). I think I know her by her features now, but it may just be her boldness. She is forever passing by looking in the back windows to see if I am around. When she spots me, she gives me an inquiring look which is generally rewarded with an apple, piece of bread, or now in the deepest winter, an ear of corn. I like to think she views me as a friend.

The Honor System

We went to our favorite farm stand the other day. It is closed up tight for the winter but you can still buy cider that is frozen solid, wood by the stack and horse corn on the honor system. Just tally up your total, place your money in an envelope and slide it under the door.

I love this country approach to tending the store. I first encountered the honor system at a farm stand in Vermont, where you could buy vegetables and flowers by leaving your money in a tiny metal box. The box was left unlocked with all of the days proceeds in it, so you could make change. Of course. No worries, right? There was a scale for weighing and paper for tallying and a whole lot of faith in human honesty on that rough wooden counter.

Photo found here on flicker.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rushing into Spring

Okay it seems like Puxatony Phil and everyone else is ready to rush into Spring! The stores are starting to fill up with pastel and neon bright clothing and there are gardening supplies and seed packets displayed in the supermarket.

I can't blame this "Jump into Spring" mentality solely on consumerism. I'm sure since ancient times people have had a longing for signs of Spring at this time of year. Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are less than two weeks away and the count down to Easter begins. Easter is undeniably a spring holiday.

But what about the last of winter? Maybe because I'm a February baby, I like winter and want it to feel well, like winter. I would probably be as eager for spring as everyone else, if this winter really felt like a winter.

Yes, it was cold for a couple of days and there was a little snow. The flu thrived, but so did the parsley and pansies in our garden. Maybe, I'm not so eager for spring, because this whole winter has felt like a cold spring. I feel like I am living in a warmer climate than the our zone 6 USDA designation calls for. Come on February bring it on!

Photo via A Blog with a View

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Less Is More: Book Exchange at the Our Library

One of my goals for the year is to clear out a bunch of old stuff including books. I love books and used to squeeze them all in shelves along my living room wall. When I moved they were packed away in boxes. Some I thought I could part with, were put in paper bags, and headed to the art store that buys old art books.

In the craze of the move I never made it to the book store. I was however still determined to lighten my literary load. Anyone whose moved a few times with lots of books can appreciate the benefit of paring down.

So, hurray for the book exchange at our local library. I felt a little silly leaving a bunch of art theory books among the romance novels but hey, maybe I raised the literary bar a little. Anyway they were not there when I visited again.

And honestly what a relief to be rid of them. Books can be part of our identity and therefore hard to part with. Yes, I read a lot of art theory in graduate school, but do I want to read it again? Not really. I'm not sure I enjoyed reading it the first time and it didn't really make art making any easier. Bye, bye old school books. I feel so much lighter!

The photos of cool book exchanges are from tumbler.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happiness is...

Wow, just looking at his photo makes me happy. Happiness is...Dolphins.

Photo via Organic Green Roots. This facebook page has lots of images to make any nature lover happy.