Goose… Plant… Book… Space…

The Bloggy Part:

It is the height of this craziness and we are all still “exiled for the good of the realm” or “keeping everyone out of melee range.” This particular week has been rough and has taken quite a toll on my mental health. Because of that, I want to make a note of some things which have been making me smile lately:

  • Spending quality time with The Great Husbando
  • Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep (a cooperative Lovecraftian tabletop game)
  • Snuggles with the best director of human resources ever
  • Video and text chats with my cousins
  • Untitled Goose Game (a fun console/PC game where you play the role of a horrible, mischievous goose)
  • Surprises in the mail and surprising my friends
  • The outpouring of love amidst a tragic loss
  • Having closure
  • Waking up next to someone I love every morning
  • Having the sun pour through my office windows and shine down on my house plants
  • John Krasinski’s SGN show
  • The loud AC unit in my office window
  • All of the “new coworkers” in my office
  • Skincare masks (particularly the peel-off kind)

 

Something I’m OBSESSED With:

Like most humans, I like to categorize things to better sift the information my face is bombarded with. When it comes to social media, I’ve noticed my brain has been grouping the posts on my various feeds into “new hobbies my friends have taken up during this quarantine.” Mainly these different categories:

  1. “BAKE ALL THE THINGS.”
  2. “Our dry bar is stocked full. What can I make you?”
  3. “I just bought my weight in fertilizer because I’m buying out all of the local nurseries.”
  4. “I’ve finished all of Netflix.”
  5. “Don’t bother me when I art.”
  6. “Are you following me on Tik Tok?”
  7. “I haven’t slept in two months because video games is why.”

While I am poking fun, I actually think it’s great. We’re falling back on old hobbies or picking up new ones. We’re (for the most part) taking a step away from technology so we can enjoy something we can make or nurture with our own hands. We’re enjoying media with our family and friends via the internet.

Early on, I bounced around between group two (stopping short of alcoholism) and group four. It seems, though, I’ve settled into group three pretty nicely. Well… I’m not known for having a green thumb. In fact, my thumb is pretty brown with root rot but, so far, my little guys have been staying alive.

I haven’t planted anything of use, however.  Instead, I have “embraced” the art of succulent care. Embraced with the grace of Elmira from Tiny Tunes. I’ve named them all after Lovecraftian gods (but shortened to avoid any of the names I was uncomfortable with). So, let me introduce, the greenest team members at the DeVore Freelance and Podcasting Office:

  • Cxax, Nug, and Yeb (not pictured) were, at one time, one elephant bush which has since been split into three different tiny pots.
  • Abby is an Echeveria Apus.
  • Yogs is a string of pearls.
  • The Creeping Terror is a string of pearls and a temp; he’ll be going to a friend.

The newest members of our staff are four air plants. After a long flight from California, they had a soak in the public bath.

Then, after letting them fully air dry (yes, I know they’re not yet fully dry in these pictures), I set them up on their stands. I had some leftover wood, fabric, and foam board so I made a couch, hammock, and beach chair for them. Here are the loungiest air plants in the world:

Star Mother is an Ionantha Guatemala.

Shoobs is a Tillandsia Ioantha Rubra.

Yarra is a Tillandsia Tenuifolia Emerald Forest.

Gloon is a Spanish Moss.

He is currently being held by Dion, my wooden mannequin/lay figure, so he can be as much of a creeper here as he is in the wilds of Florida.

 

30 Day Challenge Update:

I’ve started this month’s 30-Day challenge late so, I’m opting to finish out the rest of the month by reading as much as I can and watching as little TV as possible. With the addition of an additional TV in the DeVore Business and Industrial Park, I’ve been a little too “glued to a screen” then I’d like.

For May, my goal is to finish:

 

A Drink Recipe from The Two-Headed Calf:

Backstory: The Two-Headed Calf is the dry bar we have inherited from The Great Husbando’s grandparents. While it’s not healthy to romanticize the “drunk writer” lifestyle of yore, it’s still fun to do. Not be a drunk. That’s not fun. But romanticizing your passion or career can be fun if no one is getting hurt. Besides, a little libation can (sometimes) get the words flowing when I find myself feeling hindered.

 

“The Color Out of Space”

When it comes to mixed drinks, I’m a big fan of white rum. This particular white rum recipe is one of my favorite specialty drinks at The Two-Headed Calf (as in, drinks we’ve modified or made up). It’s a great spring or summer drink with chunks of refreshing fresh fruit. I’ve modified it from a generic punch recipe and while it doesn’t have a ton of alcohol in it, you can add as much white rum as you like. I’m not encouraging you to add the whole bottle. It’s in a collins glass, so you can cut back on the ice to leave room for one more shot.

Things you’ll need:

  • 2 strawberries
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 oz white rum
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz pineapple juice

What to do with those things:

  • Muddle the fruit together in a mixing glass.
  • Fill the mixing glass halfway with ice.
  • Put in white rum, lime juice, and pineapple juice and shake.
  • Carefully pour into a Collins glass
  • Enjoy (responsibly) with a thick straw or with a straw and spoon
  • If you’re a Lovecraftian fan, I suggest watching the latest film iteration of The Color Out of Space (no “u”) with Nicolas Cage. I highly recommend it!

The DeVore Business and Industrial Park

The Bloggy Part:

I put a yellow and green striped necktie with a tear-away collar on my dog and promoted him to the position of Director of Human Resources of our home, which I’ve dubbed the “DeVore Business and Industrial Park”. Now I’m not saying the COVID-19 quarantine has driven me to do this. In fact, before his promotion, he was already the Productivity Manager of my home office. However, since the new [REDACTED] office moved into the room down the hall, it felt like the natural thing to do: give my dog a promotion.

The DeVore Business and Industrial Park is like any other industrial park, of course. There is the [REDACTED] office on the second floor, next to the DeVore Freelance Writing and Podcasting office (where I work). The first floor is all about dining: The Writers Brew Coffee Bar and Joy’s Airport Diner which is not located at an airport but does serve popcorn at all hours of the day.

But after a hard day at work, we don’t head straight for the coffee bar or eat at the diner. No. We go to The Two-Headed Calf, which is the dry bar next to the theater. It is named in honor of “Doc” Carl Trenton DeVore, The Great Husbando’s great uncle, who was one of the most talented large animal veterinarians in Montana. The Harden Historical Museum has several artifacts from his estate including his Ford Model A, various veterinary accouterments—Oh, and the pelt of a two-headed calf that he delivered. The Great Husbando has informed me it is NOT stuffed like I had imagined, but instead, a pelt. Like a bearskin rug. Except it’s a calf. With two heads. Not creepy at all…

Luckily, that will be the only mention of a doctor today as we have been staying healthy.  We are staying healthy by fighting scurvy (Gin & Tonics with LIME), washing our hands, and have yet to kill each other. Our backyard has yet to become the DeVore Cemetery, so I think we’re doing just fine.

Having a new tenant in the building isn’t bad. I was used to working alone during the week and having my dog—I mean, the (then) Productivity Manager—to talk to. While I can’t chat with the new tenant during work hours, it is nice knowing there is another human being in the building. Also, my office and the [IRS] office have the same breaks and lunch so now we can meet down at the Airport Diner for some cucumber tea sandwiches or fried rice or their daily special: leftovers. Mmm… Scrumptious.

Since I worked from home before we were all “exiled for the good of the realm” due to COVID-19, this hasn’t impacted me or my work life much. I didn’t see people during the week and I don’t see anyone now. I do realize I’ve taken “social interaction” and the “choice to go out and intermingle with others” for granted. I miss being annoyed by the general public. I’ve also realized that, since I only talk to The Great Husbando now, I no longer know how to people anymore. The times we have gone out to buy groceries, my interactions with people are awkward, my conversations bumpy. It’s like I’m learning how to ride a bike all over again, which is troublesome because I never learned how to ride a bike in the first place. Figuratively or literally. I just wish I had a helmet.

Something I’m OBSESSED With:

The Succulent Bunch (gifted to my niece)
(Front) Octopus with banana (Back) Octopus with heart

I’ve been dabbling in needle felting lately. Previously, the only exposures I had to the hobby were those ridiculously realistic depictions of animals that (while beautiful) freaked me out a bit.

So of course, my creations are mostly chibi Lovecraftian gods, plants, or tiny octopuses. I’m still learning but it’s been pretty fun and so far I haven’t turned myself into a giant pin-cushion.

I feel like it’s similar to sculpting, only this is sculpting with large chunks of wool that shrink down like how 50 tons of spinach cooks down to a tablespoon of veggies when you stick it all in a frying pan. (WHY?!) I’ve since made a rendition of my spirit animal (a blobfish), a Cthulhu idol, Nyarlathotep, and a few My Little Cultists (though they still need cutie marks). Why these things don’t freak me out is beyond me. Maybe it’s those big ol’ eyes. Or the pink cheekies. Who would be afraid of pink cheekies?

 

30-Day Challenge Update: 

April has been such a cluster that my 30-day challenge for this month is strictly staying alive and healthy. So far, so good.

 

A Drink Recipe from The Two-Headed Calf:

The Classic Old-Fashioned

I recently watched Crazy Stupid Love for the first time (which, I loved, by the way). I kept wondering exactly what Jacob Palmer kept making/drinking during the movie. Of course! It’s an old-fashioned, with the biggest orange twist I’ve ever seen in a rocks glass. It looked amazing (even if it wasn’t Hannah’s drink) and upon some investigation (for science!), I realized that I really do like them. Of course, I went into this knowing that bourbon is one of my favorite spirits so…

Anyway, here is my favorite Old-Fashioned recipe for your enjoyment.

Things you’ll need :

  • Old-fashioned, tumbler, or rocks glass
  • A gigantic ice cube or a couple regular sized ones
  • A muddler
  • 1 ½ oz Bourbon
  • A couple of dashes of Angostura (orange) Bitters
  • 1 sugar cube (this is the only reason we have sugar cubes in the house)
  • Some plain water (filtered, if you have it)
  • Orange twist
  • Maraschino cherry

What to do with those things:

  • Put the sugar cube in the glass and drip the bitters onto it. 
  • Add a splash of the plain water, then muddle it until it’s dissolved.
  • Add the ice cube(s) and pour the bourbon over it.
  • Take the orange peel and twist it, sliding it along the rim of the glass afterward.
  • Give it another final twist before dropping it in the glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry or (if you’re in our house) fifty cherries. Because cherries.

 

‘Til next time.

*hugs*
Joy

Poplar Cove Season One Trailer

Poplar Cove Season One Trailer. A new resident in Poplar Cove. Also a telenovela.

 

Like what you hear? Check out all of the available episodes and audio extras at the PodBean site or on iTunes. Like, comment, share, download, or follow the pages to show your support.

 

Music:

“Greta Sting”

“Neo Western”

“As I Figure”

 

All of the music was composed by Kevin MacLeod. (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What is Poplar Cove?

“Poplar Cove: The Podcast” is a biweekly podcast with full length episodes that are uploaded once every two weeks. Though, you may notice a few fun extras in between episodes. The borders at Poplar Cove, WA open on July 18th, 2017.

 

You are about to enter Poplar Cove, Washington. Visitors are allowed access for one week maximum, with each trip ending no later than the following new moon.

Poplar Cove has a strict code of ethics and a stricter set of consequences. The result is a peaceful, enclosed community filled with log cabins, talking spiders with nicotine addictions, elk, and the occasional angry mob. Meet the residents, mingle with the witches, sip on some coffee, fall into comas, and get to know the narrator.

Town bylaws which each citizen, cult member and visitor must follow include:

  • Handguns are not permitted. Other types of weapons (including crossbows, large wooden globes, sharp tongues, staplers, and large anvils) are permitted as long as they are not aimed at the mayor.
  • Do not question the authorities. Do you know what farce means? Good.
  • Never leave valuables unattended. Keep them on you at all times. We are not responsible for the burglaries that happen at the local bed and breakfasts. Our mosquitoes and bees have learned how to pick the locks and we no longer have full access to their mind control chips.
  • Do not anger the elder gods. The fire department is incredibly undermanned and they won’t help you anyway.

 

If you are applying for residence, hand deliver the completed application (below) to the man in the tall tower.