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Lisa Brunette
Midwestern USA
Gardening for the Future
Interests: Garden, Home, Lifestyle, Native Plants, Permaculture, Pollinators, Wildlife, Homesteading
Recent Activity
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Jeannie once pulled me aside to say she "sensed" the physical pain I was in, and that surprised me because I didn't think I showed any outward signs. Maybe I did and didn't realize it (I'm not known for my poker face), or maybe Jeannie really was "in tune" with this kind of thing. But either way, she did me a real kindness: She gave me a poem called "Putting the Pain to Sleep." In it the speaker sang a lullaby to her pain, as if singing a child to sleep. It was maybe a little hokey for the edgy youth I was at the time, or at least fancied I was, but it helped. I've thought about that poem a lot over the years, and I've tried to put to sleep many a pain. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cat in the Flock
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Our head honcho here at Brunette Games was recently named a 'top influencer' in the game industry by UserWise. Lisa Brunette was included in a roundup of experts, along with the likes of Rovio lead designer Harshal Karvande and industry vet Lloyd Melnick. "Gaming experts know it takes business, math and engineering skills to make a great game," writes author Mike Moran, "but the real pros have made the industry into an art form." Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at Brunette Games
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It's like the old saying goes: Trying to design a major hit game is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. If there were one sure formula, everyone would have a hit, right? While many ingredients make a game popular with players - from a well-designed match-3 puzzle to the right blend of customization and progression pacing in the decorating element - it's our opinion at Brunette Games that a quality story is key. Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Brunette Games
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In September 2019, we made the choice to ditch social media, and after a year without it, neither of us plans to go back. Here's why. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Cammie Middleton is an accomplished stage and screen actor, voice-over artist, jazz and blues vocalist, and stand-up comedian. She's worked with Brunette Games for more than a year, with credits in both Jam City's Wild Things: Animal Adventures and Pride & Prejudice: Jane Austen Solitaire by Super Gaming. She's actually an old friend of Brunette Games founder Lisa Brunette; the two go waaaay back. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2020 at Brunette Games
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This fall marks three years since we purchased our home - a 1904 World's Fair-era house on 1/4-acre just outside the St. Louis city limits. Those of you who've followed this blog since then - or even before that time - have witnessed a series of trials and triumphs as we've worked incredibly hard and enjoyed the fruits of our labors. While the to-do list continues, and with gardening it seems the work is never done, we feel we've already achieved much toward our vision: a productive, wildlife- and pollinator-friendly garden bursting with native plants, beneficial non-natives, and edibles. Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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We're thrilled to announce G5 Entertainment's newly released game Crime Mysteries™: Find Objects. The Brunette Games team edits the dialogue and offers advice on United States culture and law enforcement conventions. Congratulations to G5 Entertainment on their excellent new game! Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2020 at Brunette Games
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It's cold, overcast fall day here in the River City, and we've got congee slow-cooking in the crockpot. The recipe for this gentle, satisfying Asian rice porridge comes from my sister-in-law's awesome video series on Chinese food therapy. It was great to stumble across Lindsey's recipe for congee; I've been a fan ever since trying it for the first time many years ago in a restaurant in Seattle's International District. It's just one of many excellent "food medicine" cooking demonstrations in Lindsey's series on Chinese medicine food therapy. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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I'm of the opinion that few of the things manufactured since, oh, let's say 1975, are of sturdy, high-quality construction. You know what I'm taking about, right? A major reason we love antiques is because truly, they don't make 'em like this anymore. Take the above glider chair as an example. The structure is heavy-duty steel, and the slats are real wood, each one fastened with a steel bolt. It's called a "glider" because it gives you a smooth, rocking-chair motion as the seat glides forward and back. Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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When it comes to providing more habitat for pollinators, it really doesn't take much to see results. My brother's been amazed to find monarch caterpillars after adding one milkweed, and swarms of bees supping from a sole aster. Here at Dragon Flower Farm, it's only been two years since we kicked off this project in earnest, and we already feel as if we live in a nature preserve. All of the photos here are from this spring and summer. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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We’re looking for an experienced, talented voice actor who can provide a wide range of female voices and regional accents for casual mobile games. Our in-house team of game writer/designers will provide scripts with direction. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2020 at Brunette Games
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Ah, the Germans, a lovely people with a lovely language. For example, did you know the German word for daisy is "gänseblümchen?" It just rolls off the tongue. The Germans created a method of gardening in which they cultivated plants on top of a constructed mound made up of logs buried in the earth. They call it hügelkultur - literally mound or hill culture. The theory is that as the logs decay, they provide nutrients to the plants growing on top of them. In addition, the mound shape provides a sort of natural rain drainage. Plants on the top that need less water get less, and those nearer the bottom get more water. You can also use the hill shape to vary sunlight. Plants on the sunny side get more light; plants on the opposite side a bit less. Finally, the hill itself is supposed to provide a bit more growing space. Imagine the mound as half of a sphere. If the mound was not there, you would be planting in a circle with an area based on the diameter of the sphere. But with the mound, you have a planting area half the surface of the whole sphere. Assuming a mound with a 10-ft. diameter, you are roughly doubling your growing space (if I did the math correctly). Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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In our work with casual mobile game developers, we like to talk about three main aspects of storytelling: conflict, mystery, and connection. Through these three narrative elements, we've worked to push the genre forward, and that's evident in the top five gamesoin our roster. I'll break each one down for you. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at Brunette Games
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Welcome to Farmer Bob’s Garden on Whidbey Island. While many folks are sprouting green thumbs during the coronavirus pandemic, Farmer Bob’s turned green many moons ago. But first, a bit of backgrounder about Farmer Bob - who also happens to be my husband. Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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One of the benefits of removing the turf grass in our entire backyard - which constitutes the majority of the 1/4-acre plot - is that we have a lovely carpet of native violets growing over most of it. I've raved about viola sororia previously on the blog, and the best part is that the violets arrived of their own volition, free of charge. And with them, came edible mushrooms. Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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In March of this year, the hot yoga studio I attended closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing my practice homeward. This was the case with yoga studios across the United States, of course. Our spare bedroom was already set up for my daily physical therapy, so I tweaked it for yoga. Since I'd been practicing the style formerly known as "Bikram," which is the same 26 poses done every session, it was relatively easy to make the shift to home, as I had the sequence memorized. I even purchased a space heater to take the chill off the room, though it doesn't even come close to the 104°F temp of your average hot yoga studio. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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This month marks our sixth wedding anniversary; here we are at our wedding in Seattle back in 2014. I chose this image to front the post because it captures the secret to our success as a couple: We both have a good sense of humor, and we're not afraid to laugh at ourselves, either. Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Yes, that is the tragic remains of the once... well, "glorious" might be a bit strong, squash tunnel (which included beans and cucumbers as well). Regular readers (both of you) may recall the post about the construction of the tunnel - How to Build a Squash Tunnel out of Bamboo - for Almost Nothing. Ah, yes, those were times of innocence. As one can see by the above image, the squash tunnel is no more. The Midwest weather decided to toss us one of its regularly occurring storms, and the high winds did in the bamboo. I know, I know, you're thinking, "Isn't that the point of bamboo? It's supposed to bend in the wind?" Apparently, even bamboo has its limits. Ironically, before the storm hit, I was about to put together a post critiquing my own design. I'll do that briefly just in case someone else wants to tilt at this windmill. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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If I had to sum up my first real vegetable garden season here at Dragon Flower Farm in one phrase, it would be this: It's all information, and information is good. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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They look like life forms from another planet. But they're very much terrestrial. Cedar-apple rust is a fungus that is very common throughout North America. Remember that row of evergreen screen trees we planted along our fence line? That was in the fall of 2018, when we had a little help installing a row of nine mature eastern red cedar 'Taylor' trees. This past spring, I discovered massive galls attached to the twigs of many of the trees. Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Every food plant you see pictured here in this post was grown from seed. Unfortunately, for every one of those, there's another plant that was supposed to have grown from seed but did not. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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As you might remember, I was scheduled to speak at GDC 2020, but then the conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2020 at Brunette Games
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We're not at a loss for daylilies, AKA 'ditch lilies,' here at the Cat in the Flock farm. They're overgrowing a sidewalk near the house in one area and have obviously spilled over a circle in what is now the orchard, where they'd been planted with hostas. They're also popping up seemingly of their own accord in a back corner. Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Anthony and I have spent a lot of time and consideration on how much of the garden we want to allocate to native plants that aren't a direct food source for ourselves vs. traditional orchard and vegetable plants that do feed us. So far we've tried to learn as much as we can about native edibles and have designed the garden to include them. But it was exciting to learn through the Shutterbee program (read more about that here) that native bees can make great use of traditional vegetable and herb flowers as a pollen source. That's right: As part of our training as citizen scientists conducting bee studies in our own yards, we were instructed to include the flowers in our vegetable patches and herb gardens. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at Cat in the Flock