Saturday, November 2, 2013

October 2013 Reads

Obviously I've been super bad at updating my blog, not for lack of material though. I read some great stuff this October! Here are the details:

via Amazon
Among the Shoshones by Elijah Nicholas Wilson

This book was very interesting. It's about a white boy who went to live with the Shoshone tribe when he was twelve. The only issue have with the book is that I didn't get a feeling that it was entirely truthful. A lot of it seemed like it could be exaggerated. Read it, you'll see what I mean. He talks himself up. A lot.

via Kaboodle
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Likely you've seen the previews for the movie of the same title, I confess I read the book because of the movie. I won't be watching the movie, but I highly recommend the book.

It's the story of a successful, free, family man kidnapped and sold into slavery. This book is his autobiography. It is wonderfully written. I could really feel the truthfulness of his words. I think it's a great read for anyone who would like to read a first hand account of what slavery was like.

via Auxiliary Memory
Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

My mom recommended this book to me, before she had even read it. She saw it on PBS. So I checked it out and I loved it!  This book is primarily about the Comanches and Quanah Parker. It's a very graphic book because this was a very violent time in history.

I think it's important to read things like this (and the two books above) because there are so many things in American history that we aren't taught in the classroom. It's our duty to read and learn so that we don't repeat history. I also believe these people deserve to be read about. They are a great piece of our history and heritage.


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca is the story of a new bride trying to fit in at her new home where her husband's dead wife seems to have a hold on everyone. 

I snagged this book for a couple of bucks at the thrift store that I work at. I'd never read it before. I'd only seen Hitchcock's adaptation and I loved it. I thought reading the book would be fun and perfect for Halloween.

I was right. The novel is beautifully written, suspenseful and intriguing. I had forgotten the ending of the movie, so that made it even more fun. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good suspense!

Well that's what I've been reading. I just started An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Peanut Butter Brownie Popcorn Recipe

 I had planned to take a picture of the popcorn right after is was made... but I forgot and by the time I got to it this was all that was left:

I'm surprised I had that much left after five adults and two children got to it!

This was made because I really wanted chocolate popcorn with my peanut butter popcorn, but I couldn't find a recipe that I had the ingredients for. They all wanted me to have chocolate chips or corn syrup.

Then I remembered that I had a Ghirardelli's Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix. So I decided to dump that on top of the peanut butter popcorn. And it totally worked! The chocolate chips in the brownie mix melted on the warm popcorn and YUM!

Here is the recipe for you:

Peanut Butter Brownie Popcorn

8 cups popped popcorn (about 8 TBSP kernels)
1 cube butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 brownie mix of your choice

Melt butter, peanut butter and sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over popcorn. If you can, use a bowl with a lid so you can close the lid and shake the peanut butter mix all over the popcorn (preferably while listening to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass).

Once the popcorn is sufficiently coated with the PB mix, dump in your dry brownie mix. Close the lid, turn another Tijuana Brass song on and shake away!

Once it's all coated, dig in!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Playlist

We all know I love these guys:


With that in mind I made my sister a playlist because she doesn't know many of my favorite Dirt Band songs. Plus I didn't want to be held responsible when her kids grow up and realize I've been hording all the good music.

You've probably asked yourself several times, "Why doesn't Pam share with us a playlist of her favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band songs?" Well, your dreams are about to come true! Here is that very playlist for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!


Did I miss any of your favorites?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dom Deluise in Fatso (1980)

First let's just add Dom Deluise to my list of people I have a crush on that are dead.

via peerie

Dom Deluise is just awesome. He is hilarious, one of the greatest comedians. He is also just an incredible actor. I adore him!

Tonight I watched 1980's Fatso, written and directed by Anne Bancroft. 

via Tales of the Easily Distracted

This movie is the perfect heartwarming blend of comedy, romance, drama and reality. I'd be nearly in tears one moment and laughing the next! And it really showcases Dom's excellent acting skills, his character was so easy to identify with.

I highly recommend this movie. It's absolutely beautiful.

You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, just click here!

Has anyone else seen Fatso? What do you think?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Discovering My Love of Glen Campbell's Voice

Here is the youtube chain of events:

Dom Deluise in Fatso 
which led me to
Dom, Dean Martin and John Forsythe
which led me to
Dom, Dean and Jimmy Stewart
which led me to
Dom, Dean and Bing Crosby
which led me to
Dom, Dean and Glen Campbell
which finally led me to

 By the Time I Get to Phoenix

Anyway, apparently I like Glen Campbell. Who knew? I didn't until watching True Grit (pure awesome) and then listening to him sing By the Time I Get to Phoenix (and you all already know I love that song). I suppose when I see Glen Campbell albums at the thrift store I'll have to start buying them. My life is so hard! 

True Grit

 What do you think? And have you seen True Grit?

And did you watch any of the other videos? Hilarious!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Montana Camping Summer 2013 Reads

I just got back from a 5 day camping trip in Montana. As usual it was magic; no cell service, no electricity, lots of swimming, hiking, games, and great food!

I also got a fair amount of reading done, allow me to tell you all about what I read!

via goodreads

Legends and Lies by Dale L. Walker

This book was so interesting. It covers everything from the death of Meriwether Lewis to Crazy Horse to The Massacre at Mountain Meadows.

Walker doesn't tell you which story or conspiracy theory is the truth, but he gives you all the information so you can decide for yourself.

Very interesting stuff.

via goodreads

The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III

This book was my favorite of all of the books I read this last week. I will have this book in my collection some day!

It is the Lakota oral history of Crazy Horse. As I read it I felt exactly as though I was sitting with Marshall as he related these stories to me.

Aside from being really interesting, this book also gave me a lot of perspective. I always knew that what went on regarding the the native peoples of the America was wrong, but hearing the stories they tell their children and grandchildren made it really hit home. I even found some of it very relevant to things regarding America today.

Read the book!

via Creative Loafing Charlotte

Black Cowboys of the Old West by Tricia Martineau Wagner

This book is full of great old photos and fabulous stories of great cowboys.

These stories are of people who shaped the west. And they really are sensational stories.

If you like cowboy stories this is the book for you!

via amazon

More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Montana Women by Gayle C. Shirley

This book was so fun! These women are just awesome. They are from all kinds of backgrounds and did various things to influence and shape Montana and the nation.

I just love learning about inspiring people.

Apparently they have these books for for other states. I'm going to try and find the Idaho one.

I also started reading William Clark and the Shaping of the West by Landon Y. Jones. I am only 28 pages in and I already love it. I'm kind of a sucker for Lewis and Clark anything. I can't wait to learn more about William Clark.

Anybody have any other suggestions for books about the west? There is so much history out there, I'll never get to all of it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dean Martin: A Reflection FULL VIDEO

So, I spend at least an hour a week just bumming around the internet looking for Dean Martin stuff to purchase or watch. Surprised? I didn't think so. I stumbled across this gem yesterday and just finished it.

It is fantastic! It's an overview of Dean's life, loaded with fun facts and great video clips. They even have clips from an interview with Dean.

Check it out. Maybe you'll start to understand my being in love with a dead man 70 years my senior.

Sorry for the weird screenshot. It's from one of his Matt Helm movies. (hilarious by the way).

Dean Martin is marvelous at everything he does. The narrator guy agrees with me and he sounds really important.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Everyone knows the song Dream a Little Dream of Me right? Well if you don't, you ought to. It's a great song that has been covered by many great artists. Naturally I made you all a playlist with some of my favorite versions of the song.

My very favorite versions are The Mamas and The Papas, Dean Martin (you're not shocked are you?), and Doris Day.

And just in case you didn't want to deal with the playlist here are my very favorites, separate from the playlist.

via 991

via swingbossajazz

via solidether

Which one is your favorite? Did I miss version that should be on the favorites playlist?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Idaho Loners: Hermits, Solitaries, and Individualists by Cort Conley

via Good Reads
I've been wanting to read this book for a while. What more could a person want in a book? Loners (I'm kind of one myself) and Idaho! And naturally the mountains play a part.

Overall I enjoyed the book. There are stories of 12 people who chose Idaho to settle in and ended up living alone (either by choice or circumstance). Other than the last two stories being really long winded, the stories are interesting, just like the people in them.

I do feel a little guilty reading the book though, some of the "loners" mentioned in the book were still alive when the book was published. That mean they were given more publicity and probably more people bothering them. That makes me sad. Obviously these people are interesting, but they ought to be left alone. Maybe the book should have only been about those who had passed away or choosen to be in the book. Maybe that's just me thinking to hard about it!

Anyway it was interesting and I would very much like to be an Idaho Loner!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Crochet Confederate Flag Blanket

I keep getting asked if there is a pattern for this. I have no pattern. Get some graph paper and map it out. Also check out the comments for additional help. Feel free to comment if you need more help!

This is the most amazing crochet item I have even created. And I made most of the pattern myself. The only thing I didn't make up was the pattern for the star. I'm having trouble locating the exact pattern I used, but this one is very similar.

250 squares were crocheted.

The next step was to put them all together. I didn't plan the size very well (or at all) and it was hard to lay it out because I didn't have enough space.

The blanket ended up being a little over 3 yards by 3 yards. I stitched together each row and then stitched the rows together as I went.

I put a white border on it to bring it all together.

That's my couch under the blanket!

I am really proud of this blanket. I've only successfully made three blankets in my life and this one is the biggest.

I made this for a friend and hopefully he can find some use for a ridiculously huge blanket!

Next project: quilting!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday Carol Burnett!

via Masterworks Broadway

I really can't believe Carol is 80. She never looks 80 when I see her. Mind you, I've been watching reruns of the Carol Burnett Show for several months.

I cannot get enough of this lady. She is brilliant. I swear she can do anything.

PBS's American Masters did an episode called Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character. You can watch it on YouTube. And I think you should go watch it. Most of you probably have no idea how amazing she is.

Here are a couple Carol videos. Both addressing fan mail (unintentional I assure you, I just picked two that I really liked). Shirley MacLaine's birthday was earlier in the week, so I thought the second video was perfect. 

In writing this I realized I only have one post about the Carol Burnett show, I'll remedy that next week.

Carol Burnett just announced that she'll be doing more tours this year and releasing another book. I am delighted about both and hope that she'll bring her tour out this way!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald!

via TodOpera

It's Ella Fitzgerald's 96th birthday today!

If you don't know who Ella is you should go out of your way to find out. She has one of the most beautiful voices in history.

I am so grateful this woman shared her talent with the world!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Short Bozeman, Montana Adventure

My sister and I took a two day trip to Bozeman, Montana last weekend. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip!

 I love a Lewis and Clark reference! For those unfamiliar: Charbonneau was Sacagawea's husband. Lewis and Clark hired him knowing that he'd bring his wife along. Sacagawea knew they area the were traveling into and was invaluable to to Corps of Discovery on several occasions.

 An awesome old hotel sign in downtown Bozeman.
Delicious pizza and soup! I was so excited to learn they are building on in my area!

More downtown Bozeman!

The public school house in Pony, a sort of ghost town. They have a small population. 

From what I gathered this is the entrance into a wildlife preserve or something. Very cool. 

Nevada City. It's a ghost town that has been restored. You can even stay in the hotel. 

 Nevada City
And the grand finale of the trip! A sandwhich from Mountain High Subs in Lima, Montana! And a chocolate malt. YUM!

I should also note that a ghost town guide book printed in 1971 can be a bit outdated. We found that most of the ghost towns he listed in that area were much more populated than they were in 1971. But the book had a lot of good information. My sisters favorite bit of information from the book was that 190 people were killed in a seven month period in Virginia City. The book is Ghost Towns of the Northwest by Norman D. Weis. There are pictures and maps.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Help by Kathyn Stockett

via Across the Litoverse

So I finally got around to reading The Help (again, thanks to my best friend, E). And I loved it! Such a powerful novel about humans. My favorite line in the whole book is a revelation that Skeeter has while talking with one of her friends:

"We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."

When I first saw the film (amazing) a year or so ago I went to amazon to put it on one of my wish lists and read some reviews (I like to know what others are thinking). The majority of the negative reviewers were angry that Skeeter was the heroine and not Aibileen or Minny. I thought maybe I'd agree with these reviews after reading the book. WRONG. First of all the book doesn't really elevate any of the main characters (Skeeter, Aibileen or Minny) above each other. They are all humans. Learning humans. And all three of them are heroes, as is every woman who participates in the book or respects those around them (like Celia and Lou Anne). I think that sometimes people are looking for something to complain about and then they miss the entire point of the book. It wasn't to pit black against or above white or visa verse, it was to bring us together. Because we are all just people.

After the end of the novel Kathryn Stockett shares her story. Just like Skeeter did in the book. I love it. She is honest and you can feel it. 

You should read the book.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

via Random House

So my best friend, E, and I love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. We identify with the characters and love talking about the books together. I have been meaning to read the final book in the series for a while now and luckily E reminded me last time we went to the library.

I loved it. and hated it. It was a great ending to the series, but like most life stories it was unpredictable and very different than expected. Ann Brashares is great at addressing how people really react to situations and remained very true to each character. I cried my eyes out most of the book, but am really glad I read it!

I think the Sisterhood books are great books for friends to read together and even greater for role models to read with young women. There is so much to be discussed and learned through these simple stories of the lives of four girls.

Anyone else out there a Sisterhood fan? Have you read this book? What did you think?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant

via NPR

I enjoyed this book. Not as much as her mother's book Dear Cary, but as far as reminiscences (is it still a word if I put an "s" on the end?) go it was good.

It's not in any chronological order, but rather in subject order. Jennifer talks about how he father handled certain things (such as fame) and about things he taught her (such as budgeting). It is clear from her writing that Grant was a devoted father. Jennifer was his only child and came when he was in his 60s and had retired from acting. Grant had taken pains to save anything and everything from Jennifer's childhood. He even had recordings of her. She inserts small snippets of these conversations in the text of her book. The stories Jennifer tells are fun to read because this is a side of the iconic Cary Grant we've never seen.

If you are a Cary Grant fan (and enjoy reading up on him as I do) you will love this book.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant by Dyan Cannon

via My Books

I loved this book. First of all I adore Cary Grant (doesn't everybody?) and I've read another biography (Cary Grant: A Class Apart, I think). He was a brilliant man who shaped his own career beautifully. He knew who he wanted Cary Grant to be.

This book is a great look into his life with Dyan Cannon. I love the way she writes, it feels very honest. It's also easy to ride along with her. I found myself feeling excited for her at the beginning, then worried for her in the middle and proud of her at the end. It feels like you are listening to a friend tell you about her life. She's not bitter or angry, just grateful for her experience. Also she's just a good author. It was an easy book to read. 

If you like biographies about the stars of yesteryear you'll probably like this. I sure did!

Next up: Good Stuff by Jennifer Grant

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Library Book Roundup

I've been pretty much terrible at posting about the books I've been reading lately (which has been several)! So I'm going to do a quick roundup and I'll let you know which I like and which I didn't. Then I'll do better at reviewing the upcoming ones.

via forwolves

Go Tell It on the Mountain:
A Collection Of Essays, Stories, And Journal Writings By Fire Lookouts.

I loved this book. The stories only cemented my love of the outdoors. Also most of the stories are Idaho based, so that's fun!

via Eurospan Bookstore

Mountains of Memory: A Fire Lookouts Life in the River of No Return Wilderness

I really enjoyed this one as well. I've been to several of the places he talked about due to my work with DEQ last summer. I learned about this book from a PBS program about lookouts. It seems like a great job to have!

via A Ginger's

Cold Sassy Tree

I have to be honest, I didn't love this book. I know it's a big deal book (that's why I picked it up in the first place), but the story didn't really appeal to me and I wasn't a huge fan of most of the characters.

I guess I'll stick to To Kill a Mockingbird for a classic story about life in the south.

via New Lenox Reads

This Time Together / Laughter and Reflection

If I haven't made it clear that I adore Carol Burnett I'm so sorry, let me do so now.

I adore Carol Burnett! I think she's hilarious, kind, down to earth and brilliant. The book reflected all of this. It's a bunch of reminiscence from her rise to fame. I loved ever second of it and now I need to find her other book!

via VH1

A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father

I really wanted to like this one. I really did. I love Jack Lemmon. He's a brilliant actor. Sadly, I found this book by his son annoying. I muddled my way through all the way to the end and I just felt annoyed. The book seemed better suited for maybe a journal. Chris Lemmon just rehashes his favorite memories and tells us (on every couple pages) that his dad wasn't at the dinner table when he was growing up. I'm sure it really helped Lemmon to get all his feelings on paper, but I can't wait to read a real biography about Jack Lemmon.

Well, that's what I've been reading. Next on my list are two books about Cary Grant; Dear Cary by his daughter Jennifer and My Life with Cary by his ex-wife Dyan. I'll let you know what I think of them.

Oh and any recommendations for me? What have you been reading lately?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Destination Tokyo (1943)

via Sittin' on a Backyard Fence

 This was my first time viewing Destination Tokyo. I bought a set of Cary Grant films last year and this one was in it. I never watch movies unless I feel like it, so I hadn't watched this one until today.

I loved it. I can't even tell you how much I loved it. It is so well done.

The only complaint I have is the way they talk about the Japanese people, their talk is full of stereotypes and falsehoods. The film was made during World War II and was definitely propaganda.

via All Posters

I'm not sure that I've ever seen a war film that had me on my toes like this one did. Several times I dropped what I was doing to cover my mouth or my eyes. I found my self consciously trying to breath calmly during several scenes. The suspenseful scenes were done very well. The actors were incredible!

via Nitrate Diva

On top of the suspense the film is terribly heartwarming. The characters are so real. They're the guys you went to high school with, your brother, your cousins, and your father. They talk of their families, their sweethearts, their hopes and dreams. They are courageous. They excel because they work as a team and truth each other.

via tumblr
Their captain is obviously what fosters this type of crew. He is a husband and father whose "biggest kick of last year" was being at his son's first hair cut. He is fair and considerate. He encourages his crew and treats them with kindness and respect. He works right along side the men as they take care of important and necessary tasks.

via DBCovers

Has anyone else seen this film? What did you think? I would really love to hear your thoughts!

On another note (one that I cannot ignore) Cary Grant has never been more attractive than he is in this film. (At least to my knowledge, and I've seen a lot of Cary Grant films.)

via Sweet Fancy Moses