Archive for October, 2010

October 19th, 2010

I’ve Been Tagged, Join the Fun!

by Gwen


Earlier this year I participated in the SITS 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge. Well, saying that I participated is really a stretch, but let’s go with that. It was a great chance to meet some cool bloggers that were out of my regular sphere and one that I have stuck to like glue is the wonderful Maranda of My Camo Colored Life

Now this is a Diva that I probably would have never met in my day to day life. She is an Army wife, has a beautiful little one, and rocks a mean Espresso-Walnut Cake. These are things that I know NOTHING about and that is what I love about her blog. New perspectives are important to me and besides, she loves to read!

She tagged me and since I have never been tagged before, I am thrilled to comply. Maranda asks the questions and here are my answers….



1. What is an amazing book that you have read recently?

   There are two great books that I read this week after a long dry spell of so-so books. The first was At The Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance- a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire. It looks at the Civil Rights Movement from an angle that most historians overlook, the women! White men were busy raping black women and not suffering any sort of consequences, so unlike what happened when a black man was accused of raping a white woman.

The second book is Julita’s Sands by Emily Placido. It is a touching memoir of the author coming to terms with her senile mother and making the best of it. Both sets of my grandparents suffered from either Demensia or Alzheimers, so this was a gut wrenching read but at the same time, so uplifting that Emily took it all on and loved her mother so much. If you liked the movie, The Notebook, this is right up your alley.

2. Seen any good movies lately? If so, what was it?

     I haven’t seen any movies lately!

3. What are the last 3 songs you have listened to?

     Horse with No Name by America, Hands All Over by Maroon 5, The Glee Version of Bad Romance

4. What is the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

    I roll over and grab my diet coke and my iPod to check email.

5.  Do you have a ‘before bed time’ routine? What is it?

     Not much of a routine, just brush the teeth, grab the ipod since I use it to read in bed.

6. What is your favorite snack?

     Lately I have been on a total nut kick. If it has just nuts, mostly nuts, or is rolled in nuts…..I inhale them.

7. Do you order the same thing off the menu every time or do you change it up?

     I always get cheese enchiladas or a veggie burrito when we go to Mexican places. Other than that, I will eat differently at other cuisines/restaurants.

8. What is your favorite hobby?

     Uhhhh, reading, painting, cooking, sewing, decorating, jewelry making, gardening, it never ends!



Now, in the spirit of not leaving anyone out. I tag each and everyone that reads this!



October 18th, 2010

Field Guide to California Agriculture by Paul F. Starrs and Peter Goin

by Gwen


One can’t live in California for very long without realizing that a vast portion of the state is all about agriculture. An estimated 300 to 400 different crops and agricultural products are created, grown and tended in California; and it is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food and agriculture commodities.

Starrs and Goin have created a sort of encyclopedia of California agriculture by including sections on the individual products, regions, growing times and most interestingly, the history and people of agriculture. There is a vast amount of information to digest with growing dates, ranks, Latin nomenclature, the history of how each product came to California, and the accompanying pictures tell the very colorful story.

However, this is not a traditional field guide. If the reader is looking for a book that is going to help him or her identify crops as they are flying along Interstate 5, like a bird guide will help you identify birds flying over your car, this is not the book. It will leave you with a better understanding of what makes California a contender in the world’s economy and a grasp of what those vast fields mean to all of us.


Field Guide to California Agriculture by Paul F. Starrs and Peter Goin

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520265432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520265431


    October 16th, 2010

    Show Your Love of Books ~ The Great Kindle Cover Search

    by Gwen

    I have had my Kindle for about three weeks and yes, I know that I should have been telling you what I thought about it. The thing is, I am not sure yet. It doesn’t do what I thought it would do and I am learning to utilize it in its own way, as opposed to my way. (I can never remember the grammar rule, should that have been “it’s” ???)

    I will get to my thoughts at a later date, but I have learned one important thing. It needs a cover. It has been out of the house three times so far and I was always worried about scratching it or something. Did you have to do that child rearing project in high school where you carried around an egg to symbolize a baby? Or do you at least know what I am talking about? That is how I feel carrying the Kindle around. It needs a car seat or at least a protective onesie.

    And so we begin the Great Kindle Cover Search on Let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. Most of them are sleeves, which are great I’m sure. Still they don’t protect your kindle while using it and honestly, the last thing I need is another case to keep track of while I am out and about. Let’s see, there’s the backpack, the camera, the camera case, my wallet, suitcase if necessary, with the liquid stuff in its own ziploc bag, you see where I am going with this?

    I want a cover that stays on.

    Alexander Henry Cover

    Alexander Henry Cover, by Britgal Designs, $30 Love the fabric

    Encyclopedia Case

    The New Educator Encyclopedia Case, by Vintage Covers, $27.50 Recycled!

    Courdoroy Cover

    Oliver Twist Corduroy Cover, by Dana Designs, $13.50 Bargain!

    Chinese Ornament

    Chinese Ornament Case, by Cover 2 Cover, $24 

    So what did I decide on? I cheated. Here is what I bought.

    Padded Pattern

    Padded Cover Pattern, by Birdful Stitches, $6

    I have tons of fabric that I love and am not to bad with a sewing machine, so why not get exactly what I want by making my own? Wish me luck!


    Don’t forget, I have two Giveaways going right now. The Lucifer Code Giveaway ends Tuseday, October 19th at 11:59 PM and the Pillsbury Pie Giveaway ends Wednesday, October 20th at 11:59 PM. Enter or I will feel that no one loves me:(


    October 15th, 2010

    A Bit of Me(Me) ~Let’s Get this Party Started

    by Gwen


    It is time once again, to step out from behind the book and get to know one another better.

    We all have a story and a life beyond the book and thanks to Danielle from There’s A Book, we get share. She asks the questions and we get to answer.

    This Week’s Question: Which songs make your foot tap?

    It would be easier to ask me what type of music doesn’t get me up and grooving. My music collection is much larger than my book collection and most would call it eclectic.

    My top ten most played on my iPod right now-

    Misery by Maroon 5

    Tempted by Squeeze

    Get Freaky by Missy Elliot

    How Deep is the Ocean Diana Krall Version

    Monday Monday by The Mamas and the Papas

    Self Esteem by The Offspring

    Feeling Good Michael Buble Version

    Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

    These Are The Days by Jamie Cullum

    At Last by Etta James


    That is it folks, those are the top ten songs right now on my iPod and they do more than get my foot tapping. The motivate me, give me exercise, and make me jump up out of my seat and sing!



    October 13th, 2010

    Apple Picking, Central Coast Style & Giveaway

    by Gwen

    The weather here has been wacky for the past month or so; some days it is well over 100 degrees and the next day pouring rain and/or fog. While it was nice to finally have some summer weather, all of those changes weren’t great for the apple orchards.

    It seems that apples fall from the tree when there is a heavy rain and if they aren’t picked up quick like, they god bad fast. Many of the orchards in the See Canyon area were running u-pick specials, 1 bag for $7. The difference was that you were picking them off of the ground instead of from the tree. Off we wentto the See Canyon Fruit Ranch.

    see canyon

    Where we dug though the piles of apples, passing on the bruised ones and snatching up the good ones.. while dodging the yellow jackets.


    Now what is one to do with all of tose apples?  Luckily, MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury came to our rescue. They sent me a kit that included everything I needed to make my first apple pie!

    pillsbury pie  crusts_final

    You can see all of the great pies we have created at the "Love the Pie" Facebook Page and even better, you can enter to win your very own “Love the Pie” kit right here. (thanks to MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury)

    Before you enter, I will show you my very first apple pie that I didn’t purchase in the freezer section of the grocery store. She may not have been beautiful, but she was scrumptious!

    apple pie 2



    To cover my rear- I need to tell you that my kit was provided by Pillsbury via MyBlogSpark and the giveaway prize will be too.