Strahbary's Fields

A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

Wishlist Wednesday #4 March 27, 2013

Filed under: Wishlist Wednesdays — dianatierney3 @ 7:52 pm

Forgotten Garden

This week’s Wishlist Wednesday is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

From Goodreads:
A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace – the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century – Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

Why I want to read this book:
This feels like a grown of version of the Secret Garden (which btw was a childhood favorite). I love fairy tales along with any twists on them in the modern world. Throw fairy lore in and I’m sold! A good mystery with some fairy tale elements is just what I need to distract me from this nasty cold.

Interested in playing along? Follow Pen to Paper, link to them on your blog and post a link to your Wishlist Wednesday to their blog.


At which I compare Final Fantasy to Tomb Raider… March 26, 2013

Filed under: Fan Girl Awesomeness — dianatierney3 @ 6:22 am
Tags: ,

Well catching kuddies a.k.a. the common cold from my husband helped me to achieve my goals this last weekend. I got caught up on Being Human, watched a number of Doctor Who episodes and made some decent headway in Tomb Raider.

So a few months ago having finished Assassin’s Creed and not interested in any of my husband’s sports games collecting dust in the back of the cabinet I picked up Final Fantasy IIV-III on sale at Target. Frankly after bringing it home I figured out why it was on sale. I will be the first to admit that I was dumb and that it was an impulse buy. I gave the game an honest go. Really I did. There were just two major factors that I just could not get past. The first being the ultra controlled, point click fighting. I never knew how much I loved my button mashing, multi combos until it was gone. It not only felt like the fun was gone but that I forced to do things the way the game wanted me to do it. I like a little creativity with my fighting style. The second thing that drove me nuts about the main character was that she was so very much a beta heroine. Yeah sure she did some fighting, but she was never the one leading the pack. She went by what everyone else said and let them call the shots. Now maybe this changes later in the game. I just do not have the patience to stick it out. As far as I am concerned why waste time on crappy games when there are so many good ones out there.

I started to think about Final Fantasy in comparison to Tomb Raider over the weekend. Some people were complaining that the violence against women in this game was bad. I have to admit, Lara took some cringe worthy beatings. But really she’s the hero; of course she is going to get the brunt of the violence. At least when Lara gets punched, she throws a few back. Though she took advice from others, she in the end made her own choices. Either way, at the end of the day, I would rather see the violence in Tomb Raider than the pseudo fighting beta female lead. Lara sends a better message to girls and women. She is a survivor who is not afraid to fight back. I am also really enjoying the reboot of her story showing how she became the strong character we saw in past games and movies.

I am almost finished with the game and the only major criticism I have is all the video scenes. Don’t get me wrong, some are alright but for goodness sake, there are so many in this game that I can literally knit about an inch of my Dr. Who Amy replica scarf in a sitting. The other annoying thing about all of the videos is that there have been a few times where I didn’t realize the movie had ended and I was supposed to start playing.

On another note, I am pretty excited I got the Doctor Who Lost in Time…Collection of rare episode. It’s such a tragedy that so many episoDr whodes of the show were lost from the early years, and it’s not just Doctor Who, other films were destroyed just because it was believed that they were not needed anymore. So much of our history was lost. Anyway, I am excited to delve into the episodes that we do have from the first and second Doctors.

Well with that, it’s time to take some more cold medicine and curl up with my current book John Satrunall’s Feast.


A Review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society March 23, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 10:48 pm
Tags: , ,

Guernsey book

Title/Author: Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

Genre: Historical Fiction


“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

There are certain books that are just made for book lovers; this book is one of them. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is the story of the power of books. It’s the love of books that brings a group of people together. It’s the love of books that helps those people make it through a German occupation all the while being cut off from the outside world. And it was the love of books that introduces a Juliet to the people of the island of Guernsey where her life changes forever.

Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey who found her name and address in one a book that he has.  In writing to Juliet he begins to tell her about his sleepy little island that was recently occupied by the Germans.  He tells her about how a group of people got together for an illegal pork dinner. They have too much fun and stay out past curfew. When they are discovered on their walk home one of the members, Elizabeth, cooks up a story last minute that they were at a literary society meeting. The Germans buy the story and the townspeople create the literary society to cover their tracks. Members of the society consist of a colorful bunch of characters, some of whom had never read a book before. You are soon pulled into their circle and fall in love with all of them right along with Juliet.

This is just a lovely story that kept me awake at one in the morning with a blatant disregard for my alarm clock the next morning. The story is told through a series of letters from one character to another. In the beginning it is a bit confusing but once you progress through the story you don’t notice at all.

“That’s what I love about reading: on tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book.”

Isn’t that just lovely? And so very true. That’s just one of the great passages of the book that reaches out and speaks to the book lover. Overall this is just a sweet story that can make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears.

I highly recommend this book to those who consider themselves compulsive book lovers as well as history buffs.


It’s Good to have Goals… March 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 7:52 pm

Well the husband is on his way back to a war zone and after a hectic two weeks of him being home I have to ask myself: What am I going to do now?

Well in the short term, minus a stint of retail therapy and dinner with my stepmom and sister, I shall be playing a fun little game called “How long can Diana stay in her Pajamas?” In this game we see how long I can manage to stay in my pajamas not doing much in the way of constructive activities. My record is 24hrs but I am hoping to break that this weekend. To help me in this endeavor, I will be catching up on my study of the classic doctor who series (still watching Tom Baker, but hoping to move on to Dr. 5 or 6), working on my Amy replica scarf and finishing Tomb Raider. I feel like a bit of a slacker because I haven’t finished it yet. Also I can’t get the new Bioshock until this one is finished (self imposed rule). It’ll be quite a lovely weekend, if I do say so myself.

Long term, however, is a horse of a different color. I am pretty excited about some events that I have going on with Slow Food Orange County. On the weekend of April 20th the Fullerton Arboretum will be putting on its annual Green Scene. It is such a wonderful event with all kinds of plants for sale, local artisans and our Slow Food booth, which as biased as this may sound, I personally think is the best there. But I like I said I am biased. I am also pretty excited, Slow Food Orange County, is going to be doing some mixers at local restaurants that practice the Slow Food philosophy. My first event is going to be in June at a wonderful little restaurant at the Irvine Spectrum called Tender Greens. Hopefully all goes well for I will be organizing more in the future.

And this is just the start. I am sure there is going to be plenty of Adventures that I will find myself in over the next few months until the Husband comes home again.


Wishlist Wednesday #3 March 20, 2013

Filed under: Wishlist Wednesdays — dianatierney3 @ 7:41 pm

Animal vegetable Miracle

So needless to say it has been a crazy few weeks, however, I do have a few moments to post my latest installment of Wishlist Wednesday.
From Goodreads:

Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

“As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

“Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . .”

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that’s better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

“This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.”

Why I want to read this:
Given that I spend my time in my day job reading and writing nonfiction, I am not a big fan of reading nonfiction for fun. However, this book looks like something I can get into based on my work with Slow Food. I love to garden and I find growing my own food to be extremely rewarding. Likewise, over the past year I have cut out about 75% of processed food from my diet (I just can’t give up my carbs!). Reading this families journey I believe will be inspiring, encouraging and entertaining. Who knows, maybe I can talk my husband into doing something similar when he comes home for good.

Interested in playing along? Follow Pen to Paper, link to them on your blog and post a link to your Wishlist Wednesday to their blog.


A brief synapsis of what I have been doing with my time… March 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 4:32 pm
Tags: , ,

I can’t believe it, it’s already mid March, I was just looking at the calendar yesterday thinking where did February go? (according to its publicist, Bermuda, if you were wondering)  So as I sit here with wiener dog curled up next to me and a cup of tea, I reflect on some of the awesomeness that has occurred as of late. Which has understandably kept me away from my laptop.

So as I mentioned before, the husband came home for an R&R. Which to those of you of non military, non contracting backgrounds, it means that some whirl wind project gets started and that everything that is considered fun is crammed into a short window of time. Well this project for this visit was pulling everything out of our Office/Reptile room and rearranging it. We have an awesome cubby system now for the snakes but we are still working on putting everything back in there in an organized fashion. And when I say “we” I mean mostly him. I tend to stay out of his way while this is going on, it’s just safer for our mutual sanity.

Last weekend was one of those weekends where at multiple times I just sat back and thought “damn, I am a lucky girl”

It started off with a Flogging molly concert in Pomona, with Chris and Amanda. I swear I laughed so hard that my sides ached. The concert, btw, was fantastic, as always. New band to check out: the Donots. They are German and are really good.  And remember kids, when you are at a concert, right hand floor, left hand drink don’t mix it up or your rum and coke will end up all over the floor.

So when we got home from the concert, I went to bed and the husband went fishing.  That night he went to bed and I hosted a game night with friends.  I have to say that Pandemic and Ticket to ride are way beyond your old school Monopoly and life.

And this weekend? Well, as I type we are getting ready for the annual Beerfest competition. I have very little to no coordination so I will be a ref/designated driver. 


Wishlist Wednesday! March 7, 2013

Filed under: Wishlist Wednesdays — dianatierney3 @ 6:52 am
Tags: ,


Well better late than never 🙂 I got a bit distracted with the husband coming home but here is my pick for this week:

Guernsey bookFrom Goodreads:

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Why I want to read it:

A friend told me about this book recently and I have been intrigued by it ever since.  This is story that exemplifies the power of literature in a dark world. The people in this book used books to protect themselves from the Nazis. What champion of the written word would not want to read this?

Interested in playing along? Follow Pen to Paper, link to them on your blog and post a link to your Wishlist Wednesday to their blog.