Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Music Review - The Black Keys

My new favorite band. A friend sent me a link to a video and as soon as it started playing, I noticed this amazing music playing in the background and although the video itself was, ahem, "stimulating," it was the music that I was obsessed with. As with all videos on the internet, there was a place for comments. I took a chance that someone would mention the name of the band playing in the background. There among the critiques of the video and it's content, was the name of the band and the title of the two songs that played for the duration of the video. Yee Haw! After a quick google, I was at the band's website and listening to some of their music on MySpace. The song I really like is "Girl Is On My Mind." It's the first song on the video and is also on their MySpace page. I don't remember the name of the other song on the video but I do know it's not on MySpace. I could go back and look at the comments but I would get...distracted...and forget why I was there. :)

They are a two man band. Their music is largely self produced and has a wonderful, low tech, basic sound. When I first heard them, I immediately thought of delta blues being played in some backwater place. It's not flashy, it's just really good. Go have a listen and let me know what you think.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Carefree Beauty

Any Buck rose fans out there? If you're from Iowa and enjoy roses you've at least heard of them. They're the best roses for this zone. You can treat them like perennials, no fussing, no tipping, no protecting, just plant them and you're good to go. Apparently, the hard part for me is the planting part. I've had a Carefree Beauty sitting in it's original pot for 1.5 years. I bought it in May 2008. It managed to survive last winter sitting unprotected in my garage. Once it warmed up, it once again, sat patiently in it's container, on my patio for another summer. Today, it finally hit the dirt. After 1.5 years I finally got around to planting the damn thing. It's probably a death sentence. I have no idea how it will do since it won't have a whole lot of time to establish itself before winter and of course, I keep hearing "hard winter," as if the past two winters weren't cold enough. Ugh. I'll probably try to add some more leaf mulch later this month to give it a little more protection for the winter. I hope it does well.

Today was a productive day, in addition to planting the rose, I mowed the lawn, did poop patrol, took a couple bags of the mulched up leaves and grass clippings and put them around the plants I divided and replanted last weekend. I cleaned the outside of my office, my bedroom and the bathroom windows and cleaned the outside of the sliding glass doors. There is also new weather stripping on my office and bathroom windows. Tomorrow morning I will do my bedroom window.

Yesterday, I hauled out the ladder I borrowed and cleaned out the gutters. Yuck. I had my dad nearby to hold the ladder until I was comfortable with it. I really like this ladder and will definitely be buying one for myself. It's a Little Giant knockoff (Werner) so it's less expensive, although still pricey. It's also heavy! I don't need as tall of a ladder as the one I borrowed so hopefully the one I end up getting isn't as heavy. I was surprised at how well I did on it. I'm not a fan of heights, but it was nice and stable and I didn't freak out.

Also made applesauce yesterday. I had a bag of apples that I bought at the farmer's market last week. The first few were ok, but then I just wasn't really enjoying eating them. I'm not sure if it was the texture or what. I decided to try them as applesauce instead. I remember my mom mentioning how easy it was to make applesauce. I googled recipes and found that most of them called for very few ingredients. I ended up using peeled, cored and quartered apples (maybe 10?) the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 2 tbsp of cinnamon. I added the apples and lemon juice to a crock pot and cooked them on low for a few hours. I then added the cinnamon and stirred. By this point the apples were already well on their way to becoming sauce. A few hours later along with some stirring and mushing, I had chunky, yummy applesauce. It's really good. Tonight I even used some in a banana-blueberry bread I'm making. It's still baking. I'm eagerly awaiting my chance to sample some. I found the recipe online by googling "banana whole wheat flour agave." There were several recipes that came up. I chose to try the recipe with blueberries because 1) I have some and 2) I love blueberries! It's a vegan recipe so there's no eggs. Hmm, now I'm wondering what role eggs play in baking? I might have to reference my food geek book "On Food and Cooking" later to find out more. If you're interested in the recipe it's from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen blog.

Still no word on the Silos and Smokestacks photo contest. I did get frames for two of the prints though. Actually, the frames are basic black frames so I can put any of the prints in them. I currently have "The Scenic Route" and "Butterfly" in the frames. Now I just have to figure out a place for them and get them hung up.

Oops, I almost forgot to mention, in case you weren't keeping track, I finished 8 items on my list today.

Plant rose
Mulch garden by garage
Clean office window
Seal office window
Clean sliding doors
Clean bathroom window
Seal bathroom window
Clean bedroom window

I'm also going to count "paint trim around bedroom window" as completed. It really needs a second coat but I don't think it's going to be warm enough to paint again. It's been primed and has one coat of paint so it should be fine for the winter. The rest of the painting goals probably aren't going to happen either. I really should have thought through my list a little longer when I came up with it. There's simply not enough time left to complete everything. I'm ok with that though, just making the list motivated me to get so much more done than I would have without it. If it weren't for the list, the Carefree Beauty most likely would have spent another winter in my garage.