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Lisa Brunette
Wherever my iPhone thinks I am.
I write, therefore I play.
Interests: Mystery, Writing, Novels, Games, Books, Yoga, Nia, Pilates, Spirituality, Healing, Nature, Farms, Lifestyle, Poetry
Recent Activity
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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
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Brunette Games has had the honor of working with top developer Jam City for a full year now, on five different titles either in release or still in development. One of our projects together gave me the chance to write new script content for the popular mobile game Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. As a scriptwriting major in college, working on a franchise like Family Guy was the stuff of dreams, and now here I am, writing about the quest for stuff! Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2020 at Brunette Games
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This spring I joined with 186 other participants in a research project called Shutterbee. Without needing to meet in person, we will conduct a study of the bee populations in our gardens. Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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I've got a short one for you this time - I know; you're probably like, "Really, Lisa? Because you're a big fan of those longform blog posts (TL;DR)." But this time I just want to do two things: 1) Show you our beautifully rehabilitated peony and 2) offer you some free plants. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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We're nearing the end of year three here at the Cat in the Flock farmhouse, and that means a lot of the native plants we've either added ourselves or that have seen fit to volunteer are blooming. The saying with natives goes, "First year sleep, second year creep, and third year leap," and we're now in the leap year on many of these flowering plants. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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We're proud of the work we've done on this front with our clients and want to take Juneteenth as an opportunity to honor the characters we've created together. We support the campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday, and it is already a recognized day of observance in our headquarters state of Missouri. We've decided to join with other companies in declaring it a day off. However, we also want to stand in solidarity with all those in the game industry who recognize that the work must continue. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2020 at Brunette Games
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We inherited three 'knock out' rose bushes, well established by the time we moved here in 2017. Three is a more than enough for us, especially considering this ridiculously common ornamental doesn't produce rose hips, and most pollinators don't seem to take much notice of it, either, except for the domesticated European honeybee. We removed one of the rose bushes last fall and trimmed back the remaining two, and lo and behold, this spring they exploded with more blooms than we'd ever seen before. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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As a casual game player who grew up on a farm and played a lot of card games, Brunette Games' latest collaboration hits especially close to home for me. New from Tuyoo Game is Solitaire: Farm and Family, also known as Solitaire Tripeaks: Farm and Family! Tuyoo Game came to us with an engaging concept that showed a preference for grounded storytelling. As often happens here at Brunette Games, they asked us to rework their existing script draft as well as further develop beyond that start with much more content. The result is an app that we think pushes the boundaries in casual game storytelling. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at Brunette Games
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We've latched onto the idea of "permaculture" here at Dragon Flower Farm, drawn to the movement's emphasis on independence through a garden stocked with human-use plants. So rather than only enjoying the sight and smell of the spring season's plethora of petals, we challenged ourselves to make use of them as well. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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My father is a very handy man. He's the type of guy who sees a brick patio and thinks, "I could do that." And then he figures out how to do it. And actually does it. And it looks awesome. As his son, it is both heartening to see what can be done and discouraging when you see how often your attempts at doing something awesome falls short. But as my grandfather used to say, "It's good enuf fer who its fer." It took me years to translate that from his Oklahoma twang to my more prosaic American standard into, "It is good enough for whom it is for." I always liked Grandpa's attitude towards life. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Suffice to say, when Paul Nelson of Israel-based Supergaming reached out to us about adapting Austen's work to the solitaire game format, we were excited to say yes. Paul and his team smartly wanted to base the launch game on Pride and Prejudice, easily Austen's most recognized and cherished work. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Brunette Games
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Early spring is known for remarkable shifts in weather. One minute it could be a brilliant, mild sunny day, and a moment later, winds drive in a hail storm that lasts for 20 minutes. Some spring days will take you on an adventure through all four seasons in a 24-hour cycle. This is the energy of early spring, and our emotions may follow a similarly pattern of extraordinary mood swings during this season. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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It's been a strange spring in a lot of ways. The season has seemed to last a lot longer than usual - our utility bill was cut in half over the last month because we've needed neither the furnace nor the A/C. Spring here in Missouri can sometimes go by in a blip so that you barely have any windows-open days before it's time to shut the place up and turn on the A/C. So a long spring is a welcome thing. But up until this week, it's been dry, unlike last year's mushroom-encouraging daily deluges, so we've been grateful for the rain barrels to water the direct-sow seeds going in now. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Ye olde farm yarde is exploding with blooms this spring, and the photo above is a good cross-section example. Here you see a native serviceberry in the foreground, with our vintage lilac behind, and a carpet of violets on the ground. Breaking up the floral hues is that smattering of electric-green hostas beneath the lilacs. Those will bloom later in summer, white flutes on tall green stalks. Here's a closeup of those gorgeous lilacs. Our neighbor next door says he gets strong whiffs of their intoxicating aroma clear up to his balcony. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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In late March, just a week or so into the quarantine lockdown due to the coronavirus, we had quite a scare here at Brunette Games HQ when a fire broke out just one building away. Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2020 at Brunette Games
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It's been three weeks since the fire, but it still smells like smoke at Dragon Flower Farm. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Back in January, I'd asked mystery author and wildlife biologist Ellen King Rice to help me ID some of the mushrooms I'd found growing in the woods and here at Dragon Flower Farm. As you might recall, we ended up turning the post into a series of tips on how to ID mushrooms, which is something no one should take casually, at least if you're looking to eat them. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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Tell your friends: When they sign up for the Cat in the Flock newsletter, they'll receive a coupon code for a FREE copy of the entire Dreamslippers Series - all three books plus a novella - on ebook. The coupon is good through Smashwords, and the ebook will download to any type of reader. The ebook boxed set normally retails for USD 6.99. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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You might have noticed: We updated our blog banner... again. Here's the story. Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at Cat in the Flock
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I'm an herbalist, so why did I relegate herbs to part 2 in this series? Because without giving time and attention to everything I outlined in part 1, herbs will be nowhere near as effective as they could be, if they are effective at all. If we aren't taking in the basic building blocks to support healthy immune system function and implementing necessary lifestyle practices such as a well-balanced diet, adequate sleep, stress reduction, and movement, we are really expecting a lot of the plants. They are not magic bullets. We have to do our part so they can do theirs. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at Cat in the Flock