Movie Night: Collateral

Collateral_2004_movieIMBd Link:

Rating: R

Synopsis:  A cab driver (Max) finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer (Vincent) as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles.


Review: This movie was something I turned on for background noise while I wrote. I didn’t think I’d actually like it so I was pleasantly surprised. What kept my attention was the dialogue and interaction between the two main characters. Vincent might be a killer, but he has class. He’s clever; befriending one target right up until the moment he takes his life. Vincent understands killing is his job; this is what he chose to do. Max is a dreamer and has aspirations of being something more than just a cab driver, but never does anything but talk about it. Vincent berates Max several times about his lack of commitment to his dream, and it’s this alone that final prompts Max to take a stand against Vincent.

One thing I really appreciated with this movie; no extended final fight scene. I despise movies where the bad guy (whom everyone thinks is dead) makes one last ditch to kill the good guy. There were a couple things that bothered me, but nothing that really took anything away from the movie. Overall, it wasn’t all that bad.


4 out of 5

The Knitting Project: Wrist Warmers

knittingMy socks project a bust, and the pattern I had for wrist warmer was another bust, but I’m not giving up! I will have wrist warmers with this yarn!


new yarn

I tried creating my own pattern that had a cable, but after a few testers I scrubbed that idea. The first tester I did, everything was fine until I got to the thumb hole. I casted off twelve stiches and then the whole thing was too small for the fingers.

Meh…I suck at designing my own, so I went online and found a simply pattern. So far, so good.



Maybe when I figure this whole thing out, I can design a pattern of my own. Until then, there are plenty of patterns out there already. The problem is finding one that I like.

State of the Garden: August 1, 2014

I just wanted to post some pictures of how the veggie garden is coming. I’m not sure how I did it, but the whole thing exploded. So much so, we’re thinking of extending it another four feet next year. Click on the picture for a closer look.








My biggest surprise was the zucchini and cabbage. Had I thought they would get to be so big, I would have made other plans. I’m not sure when to harvest either the cabbage or the Brussels sprouts, and I’ve harvested several large zucchini already and a few onions.








I’ve never seen tomatoes grow like this before.








And this is how Brussels sprouts grow.








My herbs runneth over….








And the barrels are producing fruit, once Sitboy stopped mowing over the vines…









IMG_20140724_194007 IMG_20140724_194044



State of the Garden; May 8, 2014 [with pictures!]

Wow, what a difference two weeks can make!

Front Garden

Front Garden


Our front garden is looking good and there are some sprouts popping out from the ground. Husband bought me some shears last week and I went to work trimming up the apple tree and rose bush. I did a couple other trees on the property, but it was the apple and rose that really needed it.








Side Garden

Side Garden


Tulips still haven’t flowered, but I checked them this morning and there are flower buds on some.










Well Garden

Well Garden


The brown leaves on this one and the floppy leaves makes me wonder if the late spring isn’t doing some damage.










Apple Tree

Apple Tree


Buds on the apple tree. I took a bunch of suckers from the lower branches and trunk. I’m only so tall so I couldn’t get them all. I’d love to know what kind of apples grow on this tree.









Lilac Tree

Lilac Tree


Lilac tree is budding nicely. I have some Facebook friends who have posted pictures of their lilacs already in bloom. This makes me anxious for ours.












My sedum. I need to remove the old growth. I don’t know why but I always leave it until I see new growth.










Backyard Trees

Backyard Trees


The three other trees in our backyard. And look at that grass. I mentioned to Sithboy that he might need to get out this weekend and mow.










Shade Trees

Shade Trees


These are our shade trees. That branch has been broke since the December ice storm. It took out my clothes line too. The whole thing is coming down but the one behind it stays.












My peonies. I’ll mess with this as it grows. I may need to re-align the tomato cage. This is an old plant. We originally got about six peonies from my husband’s grandmother. That was about fifteen years ago, and they were close to thirty years old at that point.








So far, I’ve seen only three perennials return. I don’t know if it was the hard winter or what. I have a feeling Husband killed the daisy-looking one when he trampled on it. It tried to kill him so no love lost there.

Bachelor Buttons

Bachelor Buttons


Bachelor Buttons. Such a pretty blue/purple coloured flower. These things are indestructible.










Fern-like plant.

Fern-like plant.


This is a fern-type plant. I can’t remember the name. I think the flowers are pretty. We’ll have to wait and find out.













This is some kind of phlox. I got it from my MIL garden when she was getting ride of her flowers. I’m hoping it flowers before the peonies gets too bushy. This is an old plant too, but I don’t think it’s as old as the peonies.









No pictures of the veggie garden. It still looks like crap.

This time of year things start to grow like crazy. I bet in another two-weeks there will be flowers! That is, if the snow stays away. Seriously Mother Nature, enough all ready.

Gardens? Hello gardens? Are you there?

It’s coming up to that time of the year, folks. My gardens are SCREAMING for some attention. We have plans for all the gardens this year, but whether or not we do them is another matter. Husband has been doing a lot of side jobs this last year and he can’t seem to shake the habit. I took these pictures yesterday.

Garden - veggie, April '14This is my veggie garden, but right now, it’s a mass of weeds, dead crops from last season and a couple buckets of ash from the woodstove. That white thing you see is part of a clothes rack we had for drying clothes by the woodstove. I can’t remember what reason Husband put it in there.








Garden - front, April '14This is the front garden. That big green blob are Bachelor Buttons. They’re a nice purple/blue and I planted a few of them, but this is the only one that survived. That other green blob farther up and to the left is a ferny kind of perennial and I think one of the two we have to relocate. There are two that get so tall they crowd out everything else. My peonies, that light brown blob at the top of the picture, haven’t bothered to poke their buds out yet. I don’t blame them.






Garden - side, April '14This is the side garden. For years I would get down on my hands and knees and dig up the grass and other stuff. I’m not going to bother anymore. I think I’ll plant spring bulbs in here and let them go wild. The former owner dug up all the bulbs before she moved (bitch), but she missed a few and they multiplied. We tried planting some evergreen shrubs but because the dryer vent is right there, they died off. The plant that’s there is called a spirea and has beautiful white flowers all over it.






Garden - well, April '14This is the well. I planted tulips on three sides one year and they still keep coming up. I was going to have a whole slew of spring bulbs around it, I still may too.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can get out and make them look a little better. Husband has a great idea for the barrels this year and I’m excited about experimenting!

Are you gardening this year?

The Organic Mushroom Hat – DONE!

Look at this!



I made two, the first wasn’t as full as I hoped, so I extended the pattern and it came out looking much better. I might even extend the pattern again to see how that looks. It’s not the warmest hat, but that might have more to do with the yarn I used, and I have to secure it with a couple bobbypins, but at least I don’t have to worry about it falling off.

Anyway, here is the original patter if you’re interested in making it. It’s quite simple.

The Scents of the Season

One of the things I love about the Holidays, are the aromas. Not just the smell of cookies and turkey, but of pine and cinnamon, orange and clove. I love the smell of wood as it burns in the woodstove, or the crisp, wintry air.

Potpourri is one of the best ways to induce the holiday scents. They are simple to make and I find, are a better aroma than any store-bought, brand name holiday candle. Not only that, you use ingredients that you normally have around the house! Here are a few that are simple and wonderful.


Holiday Stove Top Potpourri

1 orange

1 lemon

1/2 c. fresh cranberries

1 Tbsp. whole cloves

3 sticks of cinnamon

Dash of ground cloves (optional)

Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)



Thanksgiving Holiday Potpourri

½ cup apple cider

1 tbsp pumpkin spice

½ tsp grated/ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1 cinnamon stick.


You can mix ingredients together depending on your preference, or use essential oils to enhance the smell. One note about essential oils, add only a few drops and ONLY when water is simmering, as the oil will burn off quickly in boiling water.

What are some of your favourite smells? Do you make potpourri to enhance the holidays? 

Foodie Alert! Watch those temps!

meatI’ve noticed a strange and somewhat disturbing thing happening on a couple of recipe sites I frequent. Incorrect cooking times. Now you might not think this means much, but these temperatures are for meat; something you should always check and recheck. For example, I did a pork roast in the over a while back and used the temperature the recipe gave me. The cut of meat I used was the same as what was called for, and being the trusting person, I didn’t think anything more about it. After all, the person who posted the recipe has tried it and would know if there was something wrong, yet when I took it out of the oven and checked it, it still needed another thirty minutes. Not a problem; I always leave the oven on after I take meat out, just in case something like that happens. Afterward, I chalked it up to me reading the temperature number wrong on the website. When it happened a second time, this time for beef, I went back and looked over the webpage carefully. Turns out I didn’t see wrong at all. There was only one temperature given, and from the way the recipe was worded, it was for all sizes of beef.

I have a meat thermometer and I did use it (I really need to use it more), but what bothered me was there was no disclaimer. How did they know this temperature was right for the size of roast I was using? From the instructions given one could easily assume that the temp was for all sizes, when we all know you gauge the cooking time by the weight of the meat. This is constantly drilled into my brain by my husband (who hovers when I get into the kitchen), but what about new cooks who don’t think about things like this? I can see you shaking your head and saying

“But Darke, everyone KNOWS to use a meat thermometer or gauge the time by weight!”

Not always, and that’s why this bothered me so much.

Please, please, please, as the Holidays are quickly approaching, if you have a recipe for meat and it gives you only one time, check to make sure it’s the RIGHT time for the size of meat you’re using. It takes just a few minutes to go online and look up the right times.

Here, are a couple web pages that can help.


Happy Cooking!

Knitting Project; Arm Warmers

And they’re done!


I love them too. They were really easy to knit up and I did them in less than two weeks. Here’s the pattern if you want to make them.

Now to finish up the hat I’m making to go with it.


I found this nice lace pattern hat and I think it’ll go very nicely with the arm warmers. I’m just not sure how it’ll turn out as I’m using the wrong needles and not the yarn that was suggested. So far it looks good, but we’ll see when I’m done.

And now…the end is near…

…end of the growing season, that is.

I did have pictures for this post, but I forgot to take them off Husbands phone.

Fall is in full bloom up here. The leaves have turned and most of the trees are bare. The nights are much cooler and the birds are flocking together. I’ve even had the wood stove going a few times. I live in a small farming community so the field equipment is out in full force too. So here’s how my growing season racked up.

Veggie Garden

What a mess. I lost complete control of the veggie garden right around the middle of July. I had good intentions and didn’t buy as many plants as before, but we had two weeks of rain followed by one week of good weather, then another two weeks of rain. By the time I got back out to the garden the damn thing had gone wild. My tomato plants took up half the garden (I couldn’t find my cages anywhere) and the vine plants too up the other half. Anything in the middle was either choked out, or in the case of my carrots—munched on.  I really thought I was going to have a good crop of carrots, but something came and ate the fleshy part of the stalk where the stalk meets the root. All of them, gone. The squash we planted gave several fruit, but we had an infestation of some kind of aphid-looking bug but that that was that. By the time they were ready to be harvested, all but one had holes in them. I’m not even sure I want to do a veggie garden next year.

Flower Garden

Another out of control garden. Last year when I planted the perennials, they looked good. This year, they took over so much that you couldn’t see the annuals I had. A couple plants were so tall that when it rained they leaned over the walk way and Husband almost wiped out. We’re going to transplant them this weekend (weather permitting). They need more room than the small area in front of the house.

How was your growing season?

%d bloggers like this: