Strahbary's Fields

A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

Top Ten Bookish Bucket List Items March 24, 2014

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 11:35 pm



Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Bookish Bucket List Items. I love bucket list. The husband and I have had a bucket list for years that we have worked towards checking items off of it. The husband’s is a bit more extensive than mine. His has involved certain fish. One of his major ones was going to all of the habitable continents, one of mine was going to Macchu Picchu. When we got off the plane in Lima, Peru he said “Hey honey do you hear that?” I looked around and was like “No what is it?” He said “It’s the sound of an item falling off of my bucket list.”

When we were in Macchu Picchu I found a lovely little spot to look out over the valley, watch the tourists mill about, small birds fluttering about (probably eating all of the butterflies that should have been in the butterfly house…but I digress) and just meditated on the importance of where I was.


I don’t have many bookish bucket list items parse. There are two major ones that are bundled in with my overall bucket list. The first of which is reading all of the books on the Pulitzer Prize fiction list. There are approximately 85 books on the list, theoretically growing every year. Some years there are none awarded with the prize as was the case in 2012. so this will be a bucket list item I will continue with for the rest of my life. Where am I at? I have read 13 so far and am working on my 14th one (The Shipping News).

The other major Bookish Bucket List Item was to read all of the Shakespeare plays. I am about halfway there and getting ready to read “The play that must not be named” fairly soon.

So that’s it, that’s my Bookish Bucket list. There isn’t much there, probably because what is there is pretty hefty in and of itself. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog and then post a link them from your blog.


Spring Gardening March 23, 2014

Filed under: The Urban Garden Space — dianatierney3 @ 1:22 pm

Now that we know that we will be staying put at least through the summer I gave in to my gardening itch and began to rebuild my little garden. It’s not lofty or exceedingly ambitious. Just some basic staples to get me through my farming fix.


In this photo we have golden and regular zucchini growing. Most people grow zucchini for the vegetable…I grow it for the flowers. They are excellent sauteed with garlic and olive oil.


My own little Alice in Wonderland/Doctor Who mash up guarding my chamomile and daffodil flower bed.


My little turtle here is surveying my 3 heirloom tomatoes and basil plant. I love heirloom vegetable, tomatoes, they taste better and are far different from what you find at the grocery stores. Which makes growing the vegetables all the more fun.


My little fairy garden shaded by my artichoke plants and surrounded by swiss chard which at present seems to be the king of the garden bed.


What Italian garden is complete without at least one fennel plant?


My sapling fig tree. One day I will have gorgeous figs…


And how can I garden without my little helpers?


A to Z Blog Theme Reveal! March 21, 2014

Filed under: A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014 — dianatierney3 @ 10:03 pm

FINAL A to Z Theme Reveal






I almost forgot today was the big reveal day it has been such a crazy whirlwind few days (the husband got a job, we started celebrating, I am speaking for a friends class) so better late than never.

Drumroll please!

My theme will All the Things that Make My Geeky World Go Around. From Alice in Wonderland to Geeky Fashion and even Zoos. Everyday (except for Sundays) during the month of April I will be blogging on a specific subject corresponding to a letter of the Alphabet. We’ll look at what makes them great, in some cases how to get involved in the fandom.

There’s still time to sign up for the A to Z Challenge if you want to join in on the fun.


The Hand Me Down Groceries Challenge March 20, 2014

Filed under: Adventures in Diana's Kitchen — dianatierney3 @ 11:04 pm

Earlier this week, my friends had to take a last minute trip so I got the groceries that wouldn’t keep for while they were gone. These were the initial supplies I had to work with:


I felt like I was on Master Chef with a mystery box. Pictured above are asparagus, grape tomatoes and mushrooms. I added a few staples to the mix:


I added cooked frozen shrimp olive oil and garlic. What isn’t pictured here is lemon juice and white wine.

So the official recipe:

1/2 bunch asparagus chopped

about 9 mushrooms sliced

grape tomatoes chopped in half

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

3 healthy tablespoons of lemon juice

3 cloves of garlic.

1 package spaghetti cooked per the package.


Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the Asparagus and cook until the asparagus is tender but still crisp (basically you can actually bit into it without feeling like you are chewing bark) about 5 minutes or so.

Add the tomatoes and mushrooms let them cook for about a minute or so then add the shrimp.

Add the wine and lemon, making sure to get the good stuff from the bottom of the pan.

Saute for about 10 minutes while the shrimp and veggies are cooked through.

And this is what you get:





Book Review: I Shall Be Near To You: A Novel March 19, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 11:21 pm
Tags: ,

I shall be near to you

Rosetta’s husband/childhood sweetheart leaves her to join the Union side in the Civil War. Left alone and feeling alienated from those around her, she comes up with a plan to disguise herself as a man and join the army as well. This will accomplish two things 1. allow her to be closer to her husband and 2. with them both making money from the army they can afford to get the farm of their dreams. Rosetta joins the army and manages to get into the same regiment as her husband and some friends from their own town.

My thoughts:

I was expecting this to be a heavy romance but it turned out to be much more of a historical fiction piece than heavy romance. Erin Lindsay McCabe’s attention to historic detail is astounding. Though there was an actual Sara Rosetta Wakeman who dressed as a man who went to war in men’s clothing, there were many other women who did the same thing just to be with their family members (husbands. fathers, brothers etc). I have never really been a big Civil War history nerd but this has actually peaked my interest. (I’ve always been more of a Revolutionary War history girl)

As far as the story goes, I really enjoyed Rosetta. For a military wife I could relate to her 110%, it would have been more if I had actually served in the military alongside the husband. As I have stated, it’s not really a romance perse, it shows an actual devoted real marraige between a husband and wife. The supporting characters are strong interesting characters in their own right, giving us a glimpse of what life was like for the Union Soldier for the war.

I highly recommend this book to history buffs and military spouses alike.




Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my spring to read list March 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 9:42 pm



It’s spring again and with that it means that it is time to start looking at what I am going to be reading this season. So without further ado here are the Top Ten Books on my spring to read list:

  1.  The Unaccustomed Earth. A story about family and gardening. How perfect. Plus it has been way too long since I read a Jumpha Lahiri book.
  2. Silver Borne because I just have to keep up with my Mercy Thompson fandom.
  3. Climbing the Mango Trees. This is a book club pick for my Slow Food Book Club for the month of April. Plus it sounds like a really interesting memoir.
  4. Stormdancer. A friend was telling me about this book, it has the most interesting premise.
  5. Cinnamon and Gunpowder because let’s face it, its pirates and food how can I not like it.
  6. The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton’s books always remind me of spring.
  7. Andersonville. I have to keep up with my goal of reading all of the Pulitzers
  8. North of Boston. A Seaside mystery perfect to escape in.
  9. Department of Speculation. Gotta have a little romance to go with a spring day.
  10. The House Girl because I need to read at least one historical fiction book a month.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog and then post a link them from your blog.


What to do with Jam that Doesn’t Set March 14, 2014

Filed under: Adventures in Diana's Kitchen — dianatierney3 @ 6:51 pm

Unset jam seems to be plaguing me this week. Having made approximately 3 dozen jars of jam I have been dealing with several jars that haven’t set. Which leaves me with the decision: do I fix it or move on?

In most cases I will fix it but in other cases I don’t fix it. For those jams that I don’t fix I use them in some tried and true recipes.



This Sidecar consists of soda water, light rum and strawberry jam syrup. Very delicious if I do say so myself.

Last summer I made aprium rosemary jelly and yes it does taste as amazing as it sounds but it didn’t set. So my go to, I don’t know what I am going to make for dinner tonight dish has been chicken breast cooked in white wine and aprium rosemary syrup with extra sprigs of rosemary.

There is also the possibility that one of your failures can surely be a triumph in disguise. Case in point:

I experimented by making strawberry banana jam which of course didn’t set. However, I stumbled upon the best syrup ever.


When it comes cooking sometimes the best recipes occur by accident…