Micro, by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Mental Note *Read This Book*

Blogging for a Good Book

From watching Jurassic Park it seems plausible that Michael Crichton thought, “Hey, what if dinosaurs and people had been around at the same time? People are so helpless. We are small, with no claws and teensy teeth.  We’d just get eaten!”  Which made an exciting (albeit gory) story.  I am guessing that the idea for Micro started in a similar way.  Michael Crichton thought, “What if people were as small as insects? We’re just soft and squishy.  No exoskeleton and only two legs.  We’d just get eaten!”

And sadly for the characters, that is exactly what happens in Micro.  Not for the faint hearted or the weak stomached, Micro is extremely violent and extremely gross. Have you ever seen a nature documentary where the parasitic wasps lay their eggs in the caterpillars, then the larvae hatch and eat the caterpillar from the inside out?  Yuk!  You can’t get much…

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The Beauty of Fresh Flowers – Who Said Diamonds Were a Girl’s Best Friend?

As all of us witches are aware, Imbolg is drawing to a close and Ostara is swiftly approaching.  Ostara is a very special time for the Celtic Wheel of the Year; when the celebration of Eostre, the Goddess of Spring, is celebrated along with the Vernal Equinox.  Ostara is simply brilliant, being the perfect balance between light and dark and (the point I was attempting to make at the beginning of this post) a time of SOWING!  There is nothing in life that leaves me entirely jubilated and saturates me in full-heartedness more than FRESH FLOWERS adorning every sq.ft. of my home (and externally, too!).

With that bit said and somewhat done, I have taken the liberty to do just that – Sprint out to my home away from home, yes, my beloved Fresh Market.  I waltzed through the mechanically enhanced front doors that give you a false sense of prominence, feeling rather intoxicated from the smell of semi-cut roses and bouquets of colorful brilliance (be it the unbelievably reasonable prices or the actual faux scent previously showered upon them earlier in the day, because let’s face it, flowers don’t actually smell like flowers?  Do they? Ha!) I was in a state of pure (but temporary) bliss.  So, I bombarded the flower section like a fly on shit (pardon my not-so-french) and almost sprung a leak from the onset of perennial anxiety, which soon passed due to the lady that I had originally concluded, spoke to plants, much like myself, and brushed it off as such, only to realise she was indeed actually asking her ‘pocket pooch’ which bundle she should get?  A dog in a grocery store where your food is stored and sanitized is one thing, but a minikin toy breed, shivering and terrified, in a PURSE, drew blood with me.  Needless to say, I will keep this post mostly PG and assert that I threw a very nasty look in her direction.

Bigotry aside, I decided I would spend money I don’t have (no I typically do not resort to retail therapy, I believe in no such blasphemy) but you can blame Global Warming for teasing me and my unhealthy obsession with flowers for that bit.  I stood, contemplating my next move.  “Should I waste money on this?”; “I’ll just grab one bunch and walk away, yeah, walk…. away.”; “Ok, these are beautiful…Oooo, ooooooooo ORCHIDS!”; “MUST HAVE! Ok two, that’s it, THAT’S IT!”.  *silently eeeeeeeeee’s*  Yeah, I went a bit haywire.  These were the first bundle of darlings I snagged…

Of course I had to ‘shabbify’ them with my Mason treasures and some Rose ribbon.  Cut off an inch at an angle and filled ’em up!

Here is my lovely Orchid I doubled back for.  What do you think?  She’s quite the natural beauty.  I think she would give Toddlers and Tiara’s a run for their money, aye?  No, really, that show should be outlawed.

Last, but certainly not least, I decided to indulge myself in a bit of ‘light spring cleaning’ in attempts to simplify my life momentarily.  Let’s face it, we’re women, we all go through phases, just like the moon, except a bit more erratic and unannounced.  No thanks to our beloved Red-Headed Stepchild. Speaking of the Crimson Wave, she may or may not have something to do with the extra Chocolate Dipped Pretzels coated in Sprinkles, M&M’s, and Peanut Butter Chips that I ‘accidentally’ tossed in my reusable bag (don’t worry, I will rant about bags in another post, but you will be spared… for now).  In all sincerity, peruse the isles of The Fresh Market and hunt them down if you must, they are bloody brilliant (most likely pun intended).  They are referred to as ‘Fretzels’ or ‘Fractured Pretzels’ and they will make you want to slap a kitten (I’m just kidding, who slaps a kitten, really?).  http://fretzels.com/  Don’t worry, you can Thank me later (or share my blog *winks*).

Ok, ok, I know… this post is becoming painstakingly lengthy, but I have one little treat left for you.  HYDRANGEAS, people, Hydrangeas.  If you really want to perk up that entryway or foyer in your lovely abode, grab an old basket, visit your local nursery or flower shop for any colour Hydrangea you can wrap your fluffy little palms around (Who am I talking to, my Husky?) and rest her upon (in my case) a vintage vanity chair that is older than myself, a tin bucket, old wine cask; anything your creative side can stumble upon.  It’s a great way to prepare your home for Spring and add some new life into that stuffy ol’ space from the winter months.  Alas….

Until next time,

Yours Truly – The Witch Kitch’ (Missus R)

How to Make Garlic and Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Who doesn’t like to make their own array of specialty olive oils?  I know I do!  This is just one small ‘foodie endeavor’ I generally love to embark upon every few months (or sooner – I tend to run out hastefully).  This is especially true during the onset of Spring and our beloved (H)erbs are sprouting and things are budding all around you, providing loads of colour and the lot of ‘Eeeeeeeee’s’.

First (and excruciatingly simple) step, is to pluck a lovely old (or new) glass bottle to funnel your standard (but good quality) Olive Oil into.  For exmaple, I use ‘Filippo Berio’ or another light quality from Fresh Market or Whole Foods, maybe even your local Co-Op, which ever is best for you.

Then, we prepare the bottle and smash 2 cloves of fresh glarlic over your cutting board with the flat side of your blade and toss them into the bottle.  Place the small funnel over the top and let the Olive Oil flow until nearing the top (don’t fill it to the rim, as you will need to add a sprig of Rosemary after).

Be sure to soak up some Vitamin D whilst picking your Rosemary; be it in ground, from a pot, or from your windowsill.

Fill it up, rinse and toss in the fresh Rosemary sprig and let it ferment for a few hours before use, Enjoy!  Also keep a keen eye out for other Olive Oil Blends and Concoctions in the near future.

Yours Truly, The Witch Kitch’.


*Update:  DO NOT smash the garlic, just ‘break’ it.  Also, be sure to peel them (I did not specify this earlier).  .:THIS IS JUST FOR QUICK USE:.  For an extended use: warm the olive oil in a sauce pan until it bubbles lightly, follow the aforementioned steps and pour it in and let sit in Fridge for an extended amount of time.  Also, you may want to consider roasting the garlic ahead of time, if you want it to keep for awhile. *

The Ever Inquisitive Palate..

So… here’s the debacle (well some manifestation of the sort).  I’m in a debate between which pumpkin is better:  Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin or So.Tier Pumking – My conclusion, is that they are VERY unique in their own style.  You simply can’t compare the two, for one aims for that pumpkin pie spice/graham cracker  (freshly baked) crust and the other is a robust mouthful of fresh pumpkin.  So, the question is of the aforementioned; Do you want all spice and intoxicating aroma?  Or a more vegetal, but still light on spice and balanced pumpkin?  I personally believe (as does my trusty palate) that both of these breweries have done everyone a favor by concocting these two pumpkin ales that are just as diverse and profound as we are as humanbeings.  Brilliance is at play here, my good lads and lassies, and these two breweries may be in a bit of a competition, but in my mind, they both take home the gold.

Now to stop dawdling about on a silly blog and get back to, what’s the word? Being… Kings of Pumpkin‘productive’?  Oh, yes, right… Cheers!  Slainte!  Prost! Salute!

Juventus vs Chivas: Carter Finley Tomfoolery

Me Pre-Match

It has been known, as of recent, Dustin (fiance’) and Myself, attended the Juventus vs Chivas match in Raleigh at Carter Finley (the last place I thought I would be sitting, seeing as they are ECU’s largest Rivals) but, nonetheless, I took the grotesque colors of the colossal “Home Of The Wolfpack” sign in stride (and by stride, I mean baby steps).  Regardless the discontent I have harvested over the years of wearing Purple and Gold during our intense match-ups with State; I left the pollution of those games behind and embraced a new ‘spin’ on things.  The atmosphere wasn’t stagnant as it has been in previous times, whilst my visits at Carter Finley, but instead… electric.  Tailgating Chivas fans were overwhelming, but as friendly as ever.  Fiesta! Fiesta!  It only reminded me of why I love Soccer so much; A fantastic sport that should be embraced with open arms here in the States, yet is still frowned down upon, even though it is a globally known, well achieved and respected sport.  Mind you, the stadium wasn’t overflowing with fans, it was still a ‘breath of fresh air’ to see just how many people did actually show their support for the sport we are so quick to put aside after World Cup. Putting it all in perspective, I would say that I have obtained my futbol ‘fix’ for now… but am biting at the bit for another chance to see “The Most Beautiful Sport In The World” live in the stands… wherever that may be.  The final: Juventus 1-0.