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Monthly Archives: February 2012

TODAY’S THEME………………..Candid

Well it finally happened……………….we got some FRESH SNOW!!!

Yes….I can well imagine you are as delighted as I was….though perhaps not for the same reason.

My wife had 3 days off and there was time to deal with the temporarily inoperative tractor having stood on the sidelines so long it didn’t want to start.

No matter….a bit of begging and a quick charge of the HUGE battery and we were off and blowing the white dandruff away.

Unbeknown to me my wife decided it would be a good time to grab a shot of me out in the cool while she pecked away relentlessly at her jigsaw puzzle.

Usually she packs her days off with more chores and duties than a sailor on leave but 3 days is a major treat and she took advantage of it.

This is near the beginning of my sojourn out on the tractor and I am, as you can see not heavily bundled as the weather was just below 0.

I’m sure that at least SOME of the men viewing this will be ‘slightly’ envious of my tractor ride…….fear not……c’mon up and I’ll let you drive my diesel and you can  clean my driveway….NO CHARGE!!

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………….PACKAGING FIRE

The other night although it was a tiny bit cool didn’t deter me from my culinary obligations.

My wife said SHE had purchased a nice rib steak and now I needed to do something with it to honour it properly.

That said I realized that stewing it was now out of the question as was cutting it up in little pieces for a stir fry or a Brochette……that left me only 1 choice…………………….the B.B.Q.

Here it is in all it’s delicious glory and take my word for it……IT WAS SPECTACULAR!

I guess made all the more ‘special’ by virtue of the ‘special’ attention I lavished on it during it’s cook time.

Rare, as is befitting a good steak and in no time, accompanied by some Asparagus and 2 baked potatoes it was over.

Not the first time and decidedly not the last we plan this as a regular pick-us-up during the winter blues.

Not a lot of extra effort and ABSOLUTELY worth the time.

PIG ON!

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME………………….Cool

This isn’t a very ‘exciting’ or dramatic post but it SO fit the theme that I couldn’t resist.

I took this picture last night and even though it’s not COLD….it is a little COOL.

Last winter we had a few days that went down to the mid -30′s but it looks like this winter is WAY milder….clearly by this picture.

This is mounted on the deck for our pool and visible from the sliding door although to get a better quality picture I opened the door.

I hope my Aussie friends are jealous now knowing how cozy the climes are up here.

Why……it’s nearly time to clean the pool!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………Dusk

This picture was taken the other evening looking west out my front door.

The late evening glow & reflection on the snow was very attractive so I did little more than crop out my barn from the left hand side.

Aside from that it is as I took it.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME………………….CHILDREN’S TOYS

Today’s theme is inspired by Tammy…who chose the same subject.

Unfortunately people must think my house is filled ( read cluttered ) with antiques or at the very least…old stuff….well…in a way it is but it’s ALL treasures I have collected over the years.

I used to be a HUGE garage sale fan…back when I lived in a big city and years ago there were LOTS of ‘treasures’ to be had by the then mobile suburban communities.

Today I live too far away  from these types of communities and as well the trend is less towards getting rid of ‘old’ things as they are replaced by new things, primarily as new stuff just simply doesn’t last the way old stuff did!

This adding machine was patented in 1939 and a brief search of the internet gave me some further interesting information.

Below is the inventor, who seems to have patented no other invention and the assignee…most likely the company that manufactured it or their law firm.

 

InventorLiaas J. Ritz
Original AssigneeWolver
Current U.S. Classification235/80; 235/69

 

It was made in 1941 by the Wolverine Supply Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It is very obviously a child’s toy and it certainly gives an idea of what a child MIGHT have found ‘fun’ in 1941…( before my time BTW )

Can you imagine a child today finding an ADDING MACHINE fun?????????????

As a sideline the Wolverine company apparently existed from 1903 to 1970 manufacturing primarily children’s toys and was founded by Benjamin Bain and his wife .

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………Mother Nature

I took this picture a few days ago and only today when I cropped and examined it more closely did I notice something strange.

Originally it was intended to be a ‘cute’ picture of 2 trees that grew VERY close together and a baby tree grew so close to them that I thought it looked like a ‘bush marriage’ with a baby.

Obviously the Cedar is the older of the 2 large trees and the Birch grew AFTER the Cedar was established already.

This is further indicated by the fact the base of the Birch is ‘inside’ the Cedar to some degree.

I thought it was cute that the LITTLE Spruce looked as if it were a hybrid offspring of two different species of trees.

Sorta cute…but when I looked closer today I realized that the bottom section of the trunk of the Birch is not a Birch…..AND it is not a Cedar……..AND it is not a Spruce.

What it DOES look like is the stump of a mature Poplar.

Maybe this is what happened….a broken Poplar or a near-dead stump had a broken piece of Birch branch fall on it with the open break down.

We have LOTS of windstorms here and broken branches are EVERYWHERE in my woods.

Conditions were just right and over time it grafted itself to the almost-but-not-quite dead Poplar stump and created this Hybrid tree.

You will have to press the ‘+’ to make my picture larger and THEN you will see what I mean.

Not as improbable as you might think as we have 3 fruit trees in our back yard, 2 apple and 1 cherry tree ….ALL OF WHICH were pieces of the fruit tree grafted unto an existing tree root.

My friend John used to be an owner of a family run & owned Apple orchard in Kelowna B.C. and tells me that this is ALWAYS how new trees are grown commercially.

BTW I PROMISE you this picture was not doctored in any way … just cropped.

 As Mr. Ripley said………..BELIEVE IT OR NOT!!

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME………………………..Damaged

Today’s theme is inspired by something I saw back in my woods today.

It MIGHT look like a simple ‘scar’ on the trunk of this tree but a closer look told me much more.

This damage is caused by a Porcupine and up here it’s called ‘ringing’ a tree.

Porcupines often use trees…particularly evergreens to sleep in at night and sadly they also use them for food when things are tough.

They eat the bark off the tree and unfortunately when the tree is completely ‘ringed’ in a particular spot it will die.

I have seen far too many of these in the back of my woods but as Porcupines are pretty shy I rarely see any around the house.

I know most people in small towns don’t like Raccoons but on my property the dogs keep them well away so they are absolutely no problem at all…..Porcupines however cause a LOT of damage to my trees AND they pose a huge, ANNOYING, PAINFUL AND EXPENSIVE  problem with my dogs.

Wally hasn’t encountered one as yet but I believe he will suffer if he does.

Jack had an encounter many years ago ( in 2000 I believe ) and after grudgingly letting us remove 1 quill he snarled, growled and let us know in no uncertain terms he would not permit us to touch him again!

A trip to the vet and several hundred $$ later the vet got MOST of them out.

Many were broken or too deep and he informed us they would work themselves out EVENTUALLY….which they did although he wears the scars in his mouth to this day!

I had asked him to roughly count them and he told me he STOPPED counting at 100 as it was interfering with the job.

Just for old tymes sake I have included a pic I took at the time of a VERY UNHAPPY dog…just prior to the veterinary clinic visit.

BTW…he learned his lesson.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME………………..GLOW

I took this picture fairly late the other evening on my way back from my buddy’s house.

He just got a new puppy and he’s called Marley….looks JUST like the one in the book/movie.

In any case the wires were coated with a sort of hoar frost not really ice but it was VERY thick as you can see from the shot.I guess sometimes life isn’t dreary enough on those sunless afternoons when it wants to snow but won’t and so made it worse with the ALMOST black & white style of processing.

I guess I was in that kind of mood and it did seem to suit it at that time.

Anyway it certainly DOES have a mood and tone to it…like it or not.

It should certainly go a long way to depressing a bunch of people….although that’s not what I had intended……sorry about that.

I hope you enjoy it for what it is  regardless.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………….Homemade

Today’s theme of homemade is based on a homemade food I have eaten and loved since my hippie days…..hummus.

In those years it was a strange and new middle eastern delicacy impossible to buy and without the internet, pretty hard to find a good authentic recipe….but we did the best we could.

Since then I have come to love both the delicate flavours AND the now obvious healthiness of it.

Consisting mostly of legumes….which are considered today as being an essential to good health the other ingredients are simple, easy to find and cheap.

Below is a picture of the ingredients I use….and many people would leave some out…..not me.

I’ve decided to include a basic recipe with the pictures in case anyone wants to make it that has never made it before.

It is SIMPLE to make and is done in about 10 minutes…start to finish and durties only 2 things….a food processor and a bowl.

To start open and drain 1 can of chick peas or garbanzo beans as they are sometimes called.

The next step is, in my version ESSENTIAL for a smooth and spreadable hummus.

Take the can of chick peas and put them in a large low pan…like a deep frying pan.

Then gently ‘massage’ the peas with a circular motion, pressing them against the bottom until they release their skins.

You may need to drain the skins and add more water and do it several times but PLEASE do it until as many of the skins as you can remove are gone.

I save them for soup or feed them to the dogs….but in the hummus they will only detract from the texture making it grainy and course.

Now…the easy part…put the cleaned peas in a food processor and have at it adding a LITTLE garlic ( optional & not usually found in authentic hummus but..)..if you like garlic…and I do….maybe 1/2 clove to start as it will become more pronounced as it is chilled.

By the way ALL the ingredients can be added at once and processed together except for the olive oil which will be explained later on.

Then add 2-4 tablespoons of fresh or bottled lemon juice….more later if you want a more pronounced acidic flavour ( which I do ).

Next 2 tablespoons of tahina or if you don’t have any smooth peanut butter will work quite well.

I add as well a few drops of sesame oil but it’s not at all necessary.

Lastly, as it’s blending  add bit by bit some olive oil….the best you can buy …. in this case a new ( to me anyway ) olive oil made and pressed in……wait for it…..AUSTRALIA!!!!

GOOD LORD….who’s a thunk?

It’s the BEST olive oil I have ever had and I will now buy no other except for general cooking but in salads and other areas where I will taste the difference that choice  now belongs to the Aussies.

The olive oil is added ONLY to achieve the texture you want….I like mine smooth and the same texture as warm peanut butter so it sometimes takes a few tablespoons but it’s completely up to your taste.

Lastly season with salt & pepper to your taste but USUALLY it requires a bit of salt since the canning salt is lost with the skin removal.

I hope someone who has NEVER made hummus will take the plunge and give it a go.

It’s SO EASY you cannot fail and final adjustments are easy with salt/pepper/lemon juice.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME…………………….ALONE

I took this picture the other day and although it doesn’t REALLY show exactly what the tracks are from I KNOW it was a moose.

They always travel alone unless it is a mum and babies but a mature males always travel alone.

These tracks could not possibly be anything else as Whitetail don’t leave tracks like this…single large footprints….they tend to ‘jump’ if the snow is deep and from this distance NOTHING else would show this large except a Moose.

I tried to see if I could trace them back to the road if he had crossed but it seems not.

He must have just strayed from the bush and headed off to destinations unknown.

I apologize for the unexciting nature of this theme shot but I had a busy day here and scrambled as I had no time to go out shooting today.

I’ll try and do better   :-(

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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