A Trial of Fruity Proportions

download (1)
Pineberry, also known as white strawberry.

Hey! Ever wanted to go out and try as many different types of fruit as humanly possible? Me too! Living in the Pacific Northwest I am afforded the unique opportunity to try all sorts of fruit that is available up here, that is not commonly available in other areas. Blame the weather, the geographical location or whatever; Portland has a lot of fruit. This got me thinking, we as consumers,  only have access to a few varietals at the grocery store. These varietals are ones that do not rot quickly, can take some abuse from travel and taste moderately good to the majority of the population. What other flavors are out there? When is an apple not an apple, but tastes more like a watermelon? This set me on the path of trying fifty different fruits one year. Fifty is not much. There are about a gazillion varieties of apples alone, but fifty is hard to find when you are trying to get stuff at the grocery store. I scoured every grocery store, fruit stand and farm I could find within fifty miles of Portland. I wrote down everything, I made my friends sample and be guinea pigs with me. It became a slight obsession for 2012.


Durian. King of the funk. 

I learned some interesting things. Firstly, it is really a shame that we have only a few varieties at major grocery stores. It teaches kids that all apples are Red Delicious, oranges are Sunkist, and watermelon is the red kind with the seeds that you spit out. Did you know that Apples come in every color imaginable and span the taste spectrum? I tried ones that tasted like celery to ones that looked like a watermelon but taste like an orange. My favorite orange fruit is bright pink and lacks the sharp acidic bite that Sunkist oranges have. Fingerling limes are way cool; it looks like caviar but is actually lime flavor explosions that pop in your mouth.

Horned melon, which is just really freaking weird tasting. 

Horned melon is something from another planet. It tastes like if beer and grass had a baby. I took this one to a friends house and made them suffer along with me for the sake of SCIENCE! Durian smells like week-old socks but tastes odd and interesting. Plumcots are amazing little bits of sunshine in a purple shell and kumquats are not good no matter how you eat them, roll them or beg them to be sweet.


It was a year of fruity adventure. Now that I have my garden going, I am putting in some strange fruits to try this year. Let’s see what I can do with white strawberries.


Start of my Tree Bucket List. Yes, Seriously.

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Warren Buffet


It’s a weird thought to want to make a tree bucket list. Weird enough that I am a little embarrassed about this. I mean, trees are trees, right? There are literally billions of them on Earth. What makes one more special than another? You could probably find some majesty in any tree. I suppose for me though it is a combination of aesthetic, history, and a sheer will to live.  Plus, I love gardens and pretty much anything that grows in the ground. I am an avid gardener, master gardener, and I went to school and graduated with a degree in landscape architecture; plants are my thing. When doing some research for my tree bucket list, I came across this article on stumbleupon.com.  The Most Beautiful and Famous Trees on Earth.  It became my starting point for research. What beautiful trees are out there and how do I get to them?

  • The Lone Cyprus Tree in Monterey California. -According to Wikipedia, it is one of the most photographed trees in America. When I spoke about the sheer will to live or tenacity, This is the sort of thing I was referring to. I may be attributing too much to a lone tree, but it is poetic how it faces down the ocean and still, it grows. Besides Pebble Beach is gorgeous; I would like an excuse to visit as often as possible.
Image courtesy of wikipedia.com
  • Ashdown Forest, West Sussex, EnglandThis totally makes me think of the Shire. I am a geek, and this makes me giddy.
Image courtesy of Colin Michaelis

I know that this is not technically a single tree, but a bunch of trees. i.e., a forest. But…



  • Rainbow Eucalyptus In Kauai, Hawaii – Please someone send me to Hawaii so I can see this tree and, um.. other reasons.
Image courtesy of wikipedia.com

“The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray. The colours of the bark are not as intense outside the tree’s native range” wikipedia.com

How cool is this? It is the Rainbow Bright of tree species.

  • Baobab Tree in Madagascar – This tree is so interesting; it stores water in its giant trunk and basically looks like something from Dr. Seuss. Some trees can store up to 32,000 gallons which they save for drought conditions.
Image courtesy of wikipedia.com
  • The Dark Hedges in Ireland – “The Dark Hedges are an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location in HBO‘s popular television series Game of Thrones, which has resulted in the avenue becoming a tourist attraction.” I have never seen Game of Thrones, blasphemy I know, but this looks like it could transport you to any number of fantasy novel locales. Let your imagination run wild.

    Image courtesy of wikipedia.com
  • Dragonblood Tree – Dubbed the worlds strangest tree. I mean, seriously look at it. It also “bleeds” red sap.
    Image courtesy of Wikipedia

    This is just touching on some of the interesting trees of the world. There is so much out there to see and to do. I’ll come up with a formal list at some point  I am sure. Plus, I have already seen a few awesome ones like the maple tree at the Japanese Garden in Portland or the Chamerops in Padua, Italy. I even have some cool pictures. What kind of trees do you like?

Lets Talk Christmas Trees

I love a good strange Christmas tree. Strange in the sense that this is not a typical red and green affair, but something different. To me Christmas trees are an opportunity to get creative, and shout “This is me!” Let that freak flag fly. My freak flag is covered in glitter and peacock feathers. To me, not only should Christmas trees be an expression of the families motto, but they should be as large as humanly possible. Covered with as many lights, and glitter as the tree can hold up and not fall over. Ever see Christmas Vacation? This movie is my holiday spiritual animal.

YAAAS! These are my people.

I think when I get around to decorating outside it will be the same thing. A little lovely, a little batshit insane and allllllll the lights that the power grid can handle. And lasers. Definitely lasers. Maybe a set of reindeer with a santa that throws glitter at passerbys.

Dat drop yo..

This is a roundabout way of coming around to my personal christmas tree. My tree is a curated and sculpted ode to the loveliness of all that is peacock. I love peacocks. They are loud and noisy and kinda prissy. Them with all their feathers and loud squawking.


I am a badass of the bird world.  Did you see my feathers?

It is my own personal work of art. It is my christmas “thing.” I also have a tiny little christmas tree that sits on the table that holds all the ornaments that would look gauche on my already ridiculous gauche tree. I am looking at you “Christmas Story” Lamp ornament. FRA- GI-LE.

Give me a pink bird, or give me death.



I have two, wreaths on this tree. Count them TWO. One as a kinda topper, and the other that is at eye level. One day I will have two large trees. One giant ten foot monstrosity, and maybe another dedicated to candy, or hummingbirds, or the desert. I dunno. But it is going to happen. Get yourself a giant tree and let that flag fly.

I killed a Smurf. Sorry, not sorry. 

As first attempts go, my first attempt at over dyeing a rug turned my rug a slightly blue tinge, but only in the right light. It also stained my tub like a smurf crime scene. I killed Brainy. He was annoying as hell anyway. Don’t tell anyone.

No one likes you.

I would deduce this as a pinterfail but frankly, I don’t fail pins. I do them twenty times till I have flattened my face by hitting a wall or I make the damn pin. I mean why buy a fifteen dollar lamp when you can make your own for two hundred.

I make other rugs jealous with my sexy ass. http://www.rugsusa.com

What I have learned from this disaster? Hotter water, I need caustic chemicals, and probably not RIT dye. But I swear on Odin’s Nuts my fifteen dollar goodwill rug will be a glorious shade of teal or I will fray it trying. I need to bring out the big guns here. I need to read some directions and God forbid follow some instructions and it will be blue. I need a blue runner. It has to happen. It is a thing now. I sound like a crazy person… Stop looking at me like that. I’m not crazy. (Tries to bite own ear)

Also Smurf blood is a really good indicator that one should clean their tub. Is this the rug of sadness? I think so..

Expert? Me? Nahhh

“And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”
David Wong, John Dies at the End

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples


Alright, alright I might be a very slight expert in “science fiction and fantasy” novels. But saying I am an expert in something makes me sound pretentious as hell. So lets just say I have read a hell of a lot across all sub-genres of sci-fi and fantasy, I used to run my own book club, and I cried when I got to hug Neil Gaiman. Like literal tears. Take what you want from that and I won’t feel like a douche. With all the reading I have done in sci-fi/fantasy, I feel like maybe I have tapped the genre for awhile. I have wanted a new challenge.

Become an “expert” in graphic novels you say?! Challenge accepted my friend. Last year I set a goal for myself to read 50 graphic novels. What that actually means is that I read 50 and than the series following the first book. Turned out to be a whole lot of freaking books. There were really… really bad ones. Twilight.


Courtesy of Wikipedia

Why did I do that to myself?

And some exceptional, incredible, not enough epithets in the english language for how good these books are, ones. Saga, and Transmetropolitan I am looking at you. It is a crying shame how much maligned this genre is. Ohhhhhhh comic books… how deep. You can suck it.

So of course, because if you haven’t noticed my not so buried neurosis about lists, you are starting to now. I found a list and started working on it. I want to finish it this year. I’ll write some posts about my favorites and see if I can turn a few of you to the dark side of comics/graphic novels and become and semi-knowledgeable person in the process.

My list as well as my running tally on all books that I have read can be found here:

My Goodreads Awesomeness

Here is the particular list I have been following as a primer. Best Graphic Novels

  1. Watchman
  2. The Complete Maus
  3. V for Vendetta
  4. The Sandman – Vol. 1
  5. The Complete Persepolis
  6. Batman – The Dark Knight Returns
  7. Batman – The killing Joke.
  8. Blankets
  9. Y – The last man.
  10. Batman Year 1
  11. Fables – Legends in Exile.
  12. The Walking Dead – Vol. 1
  13. Scott Pilgrims Precious little life.
  14. Bone
  15. Fun Home – A family tragicomic
  16. Saga vol. 1
  17. Sin City Vol. 1
  18. Ghost World
  19. Batman the long Halloween
  20. Preacher – Vol. 1
  21. Death Note – Vol. 1
  22. Transmetropolitan – Vol. 1
  23. From Hell
  24. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Vol. 1
  25. Batman Arkham Asylum
  26. The Arrival
  27. Black Hole
  28. American Born Chinese
  29. Hellboy Vol. 1
  30. Asterios Polyp
  31. Akira Vol. 1
  32. Locke and Key, Vol 1.
  33. 300
  34. Jimmy Corrigan – Smartest kid on Earth
  35. Kingdom Come
  36. Superman: Red Son
  37. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
  38. Habibi
  39. Marvel 1602
  40. Daytripper
  41. Death the high cost of living
  42. Marvels
  43. Allstar Superman
  44. Saga of the Swamp Thing
  45. Pride of Baghdad
  46. Astonishing x-men Vol. 1
  47. Runaways Deluxe Vol. 1
  48. Asterix the Gaul
  49. Palestine
  50. The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1
  51. X-men The Dark Phoenix Saga
  52. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
  53. Stardust: Being a Romance among Fairy
  54. Batman: Hush Vol. 1
  55. The Absolute Sandman Vol 1
  56. The Lone Wolf Club, Vol 1
  57. Chew Vol. 1 Update 2-23-16
  58. Buffy the long way home
  59. Stitches
  60. Epileptic
  61. Fullmetal Alchemist
  62. A contract with God
  63. The Crow
  64. Planetary Vol. 1
  65. We3
  66. Anya’s Ghost
  67. 100 Bullets
  68. Identity Crisis
  69. Pyongyang – A journey into North Korea
  70. Batman Dark Victory
  71. Persepolis vol 1 and 2
  72. The invention of Hugo Cabret
  73. Astro City, Vol. 1
  74. American Vampire, Vol. 1
  75. Shortcomings
  76. The Dark Tower, Vol. 1
  77. The Ghost in the Shell, Vol. 1
  78. The complete Essex county
  79. Promethea Vol. 1
  80. I kill Giants
  81. The Ultimates
  82. The Maxx, Vol. 1
  83. Goodbye, Chunky Rice
  84. Mouse Guard Fall, 1152
  85. Fire and Flight
  86. The Invisibles
  87. Ex Machina Vol. 1
  88. X-men days of future past
  89. Safe Area Gorazde
  90. DMZ, Vol. 1
  91. Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors
  92. Embroideries
  93. Wolverine: Origin
  94. The Rabbi’s Cat
  95. Top 10, vol. 1
  96. Blacksad
  97. 30 days of night, Vol. 1
  98. Ronin
  99. Castle Waiting, Vol. 1
  100. One Hundred Demons

Whew big list, right? I think it is a good place to start. Honestly, I will be no kind of expert when done with it. But, I will have a greater understanding of the genre and can move forward from there. I also notice some Fabbbbbbulous books /series that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Namely, The Boys by Garth Ennis.  Good Times to be had. If you have any books that you think might be interesting, I would love to hear about them. I am always on the lookout.




It’s a beautiful rainy morning..and it is time to try shit.

Since this is my first blog post, obligatory introductions are in order. My name is Elizabeth Tabler, you may call me Beth. I was brought forth into this world 35 years ago in the “not so big” town of Las Vegas, Nevada. I am married to a wonderful man named Mark, and I have a little girl. Lets call her, “The Viking.” Because damn if thats not the appropriate description for her.

I named this blog, “before we go,” because one of my greatest joys in life is trying shit. Whether it is Civet “poop flavored” coffee, some weird food, or some odd experience, It’s my jam. This all started when I was about 11 years old and wrote my first to do list. I actually have this list framed and hanging on the wall in my living room. Lists are my neurosis… I have 9k pins on Pinterest and find the most unusual stuff to try. If you would like to see some of my past projects, check out my Project Completed  folder.

Also, I will be tracking my life list (which is a full on book) and my yearly list.

  • Make amazing mac and cheese
  • Get all the Dr. Seuss books for the viking. Who am I kidding. Dr. Seuss is badass and it really is for me.
  • Read 100 books
  • Finish the 100 greatest graphic novel list found Here
  • Get all the Robert Sabuda Books. I have a thing for pop up books
  • Get all the Dresden File books. Because c’mon. Amazeballs.
  • Keep a strict keto diet for a month My god keto is amazing.. well BACON
  • Lose 80 pounds
  • Own a conch shell.
  • Own a little mermaid snow globe. Don’t ask, I just really want one.
  • Practice German for another year. ja ich spreche Deutsch ein bisschen. Schau mich gehen.
  • Practice guitar every day for a month.
  • Find a dooney and burke princess bag at goodwill. It will happen!

Along with these I’ll write up little things on whatever I am up to. It should be highly entertaining for me and my family who will read the blog. Tschuss.