Monday, December 30, 2013

Gratitude Monday-- A Good Year

I am grateful for the year I had and for the year ahead.

We had a lovely trip to the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania in late May and early June.
It was a pleasure to see those former Soviet bloc countries and to hear the stories of the people who lived through those times.

And for me it was a grand treat to have pickled herring for breakfast.

My husband had a rental house he fixed up and sold. Rental income is fine, but this is a headache we no longer need.

My best friend and I went to Portland, OR for the weekend in August to see a local theatre company's "Star Trek In The Park."
They put on "The Trouble With Tribbles," and it was a blast.

As readers here know I got off my prescription heart meds back in November. I only take daily low dose ASA  now. My cardiologist said this was non-negotiable and I am totally cool with it.

An independent publisher in the UK has offered me a book contract. The papers have yet to arrive as I write this, but it counts and it's a win.

It was a great year. I am sure some not-so- great stuff happened, but I have long forgotten. This is also a win.

Life in 2013 was good.
In 2014 it will be even better.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- An Evening in the Sun

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A young house finch enjoys the setting sun of a warm spring evening.

 It has the right idea.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Help Wanted

Today I woke up full of love and completely clueless as to why and what to do about it.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Merriest Happy, and the Happiest Merry

Merry Christmas to all and a very Happy New Year.

For all those who celebrate something else, may your Something Else be the Something Elseiest.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gratitude -- Each In Its Season

On the whole I have to say I am grateful for everything.
Each event adds its own special spice to life. Good, bad, or indifferent, as we perceive it, it is all different.
It is this difference that makes the difference.
Without change, without adversity, and diversity, and a good dollop of plain old fashioned boredom thrown in from time to time, we'd have no baseline for assessment.
With no way to assess our lives we'd never change or recognize that we must.
Thus my reasons for being grateful for it all.

What do you think?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Looking to the Light

Happy Solstice all.

Full disclosure, the above is actually the moon, but it gets the point across.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday --Good Morning, Moon

This was yesterday at about 7:30 a.m.
It started like this:

And then this:

Then it got really interesting:

One last freaky bit:

Then it went all normal again.
It lasted less than five minutes. I suspect there were some particles in the air having a bit of fun with us.
This is with my new Nikon. It has a night landscape setting that I used for most of these.
The last image was done at 3200 ISO.
All photos were handheld rather than with a tripod.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- A Different Handle on Things

A handle came off a saucepan quite some time ago. It sat, waiting, in an inconspicuous spot in the kitchen for many a month.
One day I decided to see if glue would work to fix said handle.
It did not.
But it did move my husband to construct a replacement handle over the weekend. A bracket, a pipe, and assorted nuts and screws later we have it: Frankenhandle.
It is strong and sturdy and will outlast everything else in its class.
It hardly took any time to do and I am grateful for my husband's creativity, skill, and abilities in getting this done.
 For comparison:
 The original handle on a pot from the same litter.
The new, improved will-last-until-the-end-of-time handle.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Wagon Wheel at Fort Assiniboine

Bus Kids 008 Fort Assiniboine constructed a fort many long years ago. It includes a community meeting centre and a museum. Outside it the worlds largest wagon wheel and pick has been put up as a tourist attraction. The photo looks toward the north and west toward the school and the edge of town.
And a very happy Friday the 13th to all my blog guests.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Caught in the Act

I've been on the receiving end of a few good deeds lately, and I am very grateful.

We've had a stupidlot of snow. Last week along we had nearly a foot (in the Old Tongue) and it snuggled on top of what was already there.
On the weekend we had even more.

Last Tuesday I ventured to the store for big deal percentages off days. I was going to alter my usual behaviour and turn north out of the garage heading up the alley. At the last moment, intuition be hanged, I went south as I usually do.
My car trip went south along with it.
I tried to dig out, but couldn't so asked a neighbour for help. He dug and sanded and sanded and dug and eventually I was free. I backed up, turned around, and headed north like I was supposed to.
He's a very kind man. I owe him sand at least though he insists he wants nothing.

Yesterday with fresh snow on the sidewalk and husband out ploughing the highway I caught my next -door neighbour shovelling the sidewalk in front of my house.
She was smiling.

I didn't let her see that I'd seen her. When people do a good deed for the sheer joy of doing good in the world they don't like to be caught. It's embarrassing.
I will thank her when I get a chance anyway,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday --Chickadees At Sunset

Nikon Test 126 I get that this is very similar to the photo in the post below, but this one has birds.
If you look on the branches you'll see two chickadees resting between feeder forays as the sun goes down.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Sunset

Nikon Test 120 Because December sunsets are beautiful.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Roots

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An icicle as it melted from the roof  in the afternoon sunshine Saturday.
For this I used my Pentax.  It was feeling lonely.
As of Saturday I've lived in Rocky for 25 years.
A quarter-century is a long time to be anywhere. It's important to like where you are, and I do. For that I am grateful.
I recall clearly the day I moved here: Wednesday, November 30, 1988. It was a mild day, no snow on the ground, and sunshine, blue sky, all in all a pleasant autumn day.
After the last load was hauled up to my third floor apartment my mother said to me, "Maybe you'll put down roots here."
Good call, mom.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- The Old Home Town

Bus Kids 024 Part of Main Street Fort Assiniboine, Alberta. We're heading east down the street to the store.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Feeder Action -- Out My Front Door

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A chickadee digs in to the feedball. 

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This downy woodpecker is a frequent guest.  

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Mama deer is hungry, but perplexed by the feeder.

No after the fact enlargement done on any of these photos.
I was playing with the features on my Nikon CoolPix like B&W (top) and vivid colour (centre) along with the telephoto. I am pleased to note the zoom did the above all by its lonesome.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- New Camera Edition

My birthday was Friday as noted on that date here on the blog.
I am grateful for many things in my life and among them that I've lasted this long.
I had a good birthday which included brunch and dinner on Saturday. It was way more relaxing to hold over the celebrations a day.
I welcomed it because it let me have a double birthday.
Among my gifts was a Nikon CoolPix. I've wanted a good point-and-shoot for quite some time as the Pentax gets a little heavy on the neck when we travel.
I picked out the camera few weeks ago. It's lightweight, has more features than I may ever use, and the zoom equivalent is 675 mm in the Old Tongue.

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It's added colour to my life.
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And I really think it's helping me branch out.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Birthday Bookends

This is me, on the left, at age two, with my sister, Dawn.
Please note I am smiling.

Dawn and Me


This is me a few months ago in Estonia with my husband Mike, age 54. Still smiling.

Today is my 55th birthday.
I haven't changed much since this photo from last spring. Some may argue I haven't changed much since the top photo either.

I say the photos serve as reasonable bookends for my life to date.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gratitude Moday -- Renewed

Two weeks ago today I tossed aside my prescription heart medications.
I haven't felt this good in years.
This was a goal. I set out on it a few years ago. I slowly and methodically had my beta blocker dosage reduced from 200 mg a day down to 25 mg a day. The 25 mg was cut in half with 12.5 mg or thereabouts twice daily.
It was good enough, but I aimed to do better.
The digoxin was already at the lowest normal dosage.

I still have atrial fibrillation. It will likely take invasive medical intervention to cure it.
This does not interest me.
I take a low dose ASA. I am investigating mineral supplements to make me even healthier.
A-Fib, as we in the know call it, doesn't stop me from doing much except maybe shovelling snow.
This is not an issue for me.

My cardiologist said I could throw away the digoxin, but I have to keep the metoprolol (the beta blocker) around in case I have a  problem like shortness of breath.
I have no intention of having any problems.

I feel mentally sharper and physically more energetic. In short, renewed.
For this, and for having had the medications and for all they did for me, I am grateful.

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I  feel as bouncy and agile as this goat.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Turtleford

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Mike and the turtle at Turtleford, Saskatchewan.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Melt

November Melt

We had cold.
Now it's warm.
Later it will get cold again.
The sun beat down mercilessly on this icicle Monday afternoon causing it to lose integrity and melt into the frozen water underneath. The steady drips wore a hole in the ice.
I thought it was interesting. It shows we must proceed as Nature dictates and hope for the best.
When external forces win, then we can only bow and let them ride over us until we can regain our position.
Lessons are everywhere, even in an icicle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gratitude Monday --Thanks


This is my mother, Pauline Thomson Utas.
She served in the Canadian Women's Air Force during WWII where she, among other duties, learned to tap dance.
She attained the rank of Leading Air Woman, a natural progression rather than a promotion proper.
It also progressed naturally to the standing joke,  "Follow me I'm a Leading Air Woman."

This is my dad, Eugene Utas.
He was conscripted to the army in WWII at 22.
It is said Canada had an all volunteer army and I am here to tell you this is nonsense.
Dad was given three opportunities to sign a form that said he volunteered.
No one was punished for not signing, but neither was one promoted.
Dad respectfully declined each time on the grounds he did not volunteer and would therefore be lying.

Thanks, folks, for all you did.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Let Sleeping Dogs Sleep

This dog looks so happy and comfortable snoozing away on the grass.
I wish I could do it, too.
The flower in the foreground is something in the general calla lily family.
My husband took this photo during our vacation in Guatemala.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Another Day, Another Chance

It's another day above ground.
The rest is gravy.
It's another day to make things right or screw them up for another day.
The point is the day is here, open, and ready to accept whatever we choose to throw at it.
We can make the best of it or make the worst of it or muddle about in between.
It is an opportunity to do something, anything, or even nothing, but it is an opportunity, and for that I am grateful.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Camping Cuisine

We didn't get out camping this past summer.
Now with November upon us we won't have a chance again until next May.

I missed out on campfire cookery this season.
This photo is my way of remembering.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Gratitude Monday --Snow Day

Assorted II 232It snowed yesterday. Assorted II 234

 I've already mentioned I love the change of seasons.
 Many people do, and many of them exclude winter from their love.
 Not me, It's there it exists. it is the time of rest and renewal.
It's here by look, but not yet by season. It has snowed, and I am grateful.

The second photo shows the snow falling a bit better that the first.
Your welcome.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday - Colour Guard

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The trees along Highway 11 stand tall and show their colours.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Date Day

Mike and I had what I can best describe as a date day Saturday.
We went to a rock and gem show in a town just over an hour away and held ourselves done to ten items.
We drove the few miles on to Red Deer for lunch and did a wee bit of shopping ( he got some fall bulbs) and we then bought my birthday gift.
I have to wait a month to use it, but when one gets a camera it's best if the one using it gets to select it.
Then a movie and dinner.
The movie was Gravity and we saw it in a big deal city theatre in 3D.
I hadn't seen anything in 3D since the days of cardboard and plastic. These were like actual glasses. Cool.
Dinner at a big deal restaurant followed and then the hour- long drive home.
It was a long day, but it was wonderful, and I am grateful.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Fall Along The Highway

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Autumn along the David Thompson Highway west of Rocky Mountain House.
Thrice click for full screen if you so desire.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- This

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It's Thanksgiving and I am grateful for many things.
Today I am grateful that I live a short drive away from the above and sights like it, and I am grateful I get to share it with you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Please click thrice for full screen.
You will not be disappointed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Skewered

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It's a big deal skewer meal with meat and veggies, a plate of veggies, and a dish of rice.
It was on the menu in a restaurant in Lithuania. Wei-Ning Ho, above, an adventurous woman who embraces the whole travel experience with joy, tackled it and won.
She left the rice.
We all agreed it was a sensible approach.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

True Democracy Includes The Right To Not Vote

I never thought I'd take the part of someone who doesn't vote, but I do.
It galls me that people are so lazy or careless they take no interest in who rules over them.
But I will not live in a world where one is compelled to vote.

I used to look to the Australia model and think it was wise.
In that fair land a voter who doesn't vote is fined. I was told by an Aussie mate this was to ensure that no one would ever be intimidated into not voting.
I accepted this at face value. I even thought it was okay.
I've even suggested we ought to do it here.
I am now heartily ashamed of that stance.

The true measure of democracy isn't being free to do what you want: it's being free to not do it.

Why the turnaround?
My husband and I visited Latvia, Lithuanian, and Estonia last spring. We met people who lived under the Communist regime, among them our tour guide Simona Vasilevskyte and her mother, Ona Sagevičienė, also a tour guide.
One evening in Riga Ona Sagevičienė's tour intersected with ours and she joined a few of us for dinner.

She told us stories of her life under Soviet rule.
Drunken college students* sang a song one night about how Lithuania would one day be free.
They disappeared.
A man she was in University with was usually drunk and he never seemed to do any work. It was commonly believed he was there spying on the students.
He had few friends.
Ona Sagevičienė

This brings me to elections.
On election day the ballot was ready and waiting for you to post. If you didn't, then you were never seen again.

I sat across a table from a woman who had friends and acquaintances disappear. It chilled me to my marrow.

We have no such worries here. We are free to ignore elections with no repercussions.
That is freedom and I will have it no other way.

In a final note there are those who say they don't vote as a gesture of protest.
Not voting is an exercise of freedom, not a protest.
While I'd rather you voted, and I will be casting my assorted ballots in the upcoming general election, if you don't want to, then you have my full support in this exercise of our freedom.
In a related matter here's a joke we heard about Soviet election life:
A citizen once opened a ballot and was told he couldn't do that.
"But I wanted to see who I voted for."
"You can't," the citizen was told. "It's a secret ballot!"


*I erred in the fate of the college students. Ona S. has told me via email the two successful third year students were dismissed, not disappeared.
They finished later through distance education.
I apologize for the error. We heard many stories of persons disappearing. I remembered this wrong.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Seasonal Thanks

Tunnel2013 014

I've always loved the change of season and I am especially fond of autumn.
The trees put their very best colours out in a last hurrah before the wind and snow strike them bare and put them to sleep.
I feel the best in fall. The playful nip of frost in the air awakens me. I am my most alive when the rest of my world closes in on itself.
Perhaps it is the quiet of life this time of year. It's life, but calmer and inward-seeking.  It is the meditative season before the sleep of winter, and I am grateful for it.
The photo is a familiar one to long-time readers.
It's a tunnel under a train track by the river and each fall I go through it as my own personal passage to my best season.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Protected

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Our guide explained these stairs at the Copan, Honduras ruins are covered to preserve them.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- The Carrot Patch

Photo does not include the carrots I am storing in the fridge.

These bags, some 20 of them, are filled with carrots.
Husband grew them. He brought home nine and a half five-gallon buckets full of them on Saturday.
He washed them. I chopped them.
I still have to blanch them and find room to freeze them.
It's work, but it's good work, and I am looking forward to homegrown carrots through the winter.
I love carrots and I am grateful for each and every one of them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Grazing

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 A Bighorn Sheep enjoys some tender summer grass on a hilltop south of Hinton.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Wee Bit of Wisdom --Rhymy Style

We leave behind what we no longer require
so that we have room for what we desire.

This wee bit of wisdom came to me this morning during my personal writing time. It's nothing revelatory. It's commonly said we have to get shed of the old to make room for the new.
But the way it coalesced suggested to me I needed to remember it, record it, share it with all who happened by.
And so I do.

It's tough to do. I am not good with throwing things out. I have books I picked up at recycling that I decided against reading. I've been meaning to return them so others can read them.
I'll do it.
But they're books.
They're safe with me.

Physically getting rid of items I don't want and won't use is hard enough. Leaving behind ideas and beliefs and the notions one has held on to for years is even more difficult.
But the Universe has just told me to get it done already so I will.

What about you?
Is it hard for you to make room for new stuff, or does throwing out, sending to recycling, or even dismissing an idea from your mind come easily to you?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Ahh, Malarkey

Lamb Malarkey

Yesterday was the first day of autumn and it felt like it.
I've always loved and appreciated the change of season. Each has its own charms and reminds us to be grateful for the weather we have because it is going to change whether we like it or not.
A wee bit of fall feeling hiding underneath a reasonably sunny day made me think of comfort food for colder weather.
I chose lamb and decided it was time to dust off my mental recipe file and see about making a one-pot meal, thus the above.
I am grateful for the change of seasons, the cooler weather, and the chance to make comfort foods to warm us and fill us.
Why the name?
Glad you asked!
It was the Harvest Supper in Fort Assiniboine circa 1968. Plenty of turkey and the trimmings and other foods as well, I think there were even cabbage rolls. I hope so because whoever made the cabbage rolls at those suppers was truly gifted.
One dish was a rice and tomato mixture. It may have had hamburger in it, too. I don't know because I didn't take any of it.
But Randy Brong did. He was a year ahead of me in school and right in my line of vision as I sat down to eat.
He'd taken the rice dish. He looked at his heaped plate, eyes focused on its deep red goodness, and said, "What is this...malarkey?"
From that day forward I associated the dish with the term.
When I started making one pot meals like the above I couldn't help myself: It's all malarkey to me.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Side Track

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This is down a side street in Old Tallinn.
I love the guided city tours. We see all we are supposed to see, but it's good to look around and see the other sights.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gratitude Monday-- Anniversary

Fifteen years.

Wedd 003

And I am grateful for every one of them.

Our anniversary was yesterday. Mike worked on his rental house.
I helped.
Later we went to dinner.
Life is good.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday--The Old Home Hamlet

From the back.
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The above is Fort Assiniboine and it's where I'm from. Rather than show Main Street or the like this is the view of something new. Well, new to me anyway.
The emergency services building. It contains five units for rescue as the bush is quite popular during the summer long weekends.
Beyond it to the right is the school.
When I was in school there was a house in the field immediately west of the school. If it were in this pic it would obscure the school. West of that was field.
But places grow and times change and the old home hamlet has grown up around the back.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's Up?

Atomic Red, that's what.
Further to the earlier seedy post this is what a red carrot looks like.
Younger versions of them still looked orange to me and I'd read that they turn red upon cooking.
I am pleased to tell you that I dug this out today and it was red as you please.

The above photo is with flash while the other is without. I posted one of each to show you it is not a trick of the light. It is real.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Bus Kids

I barely recognized many of the people I saw back home in Fort Assinboine on Saturday, but many of them recognized me. That's just one of the many things for which I am grateful.
People who rode a particular school bus driven by a particular gentleman decided to have a bus kids reunion. The fellow, Clyde Evernden, drove from 1951 to the 1965/66 school year.
That's a lot of former kids. As the main organizer noted some of those former kids are gone.
He drove me for Gr. 1 and 2. That's 48 and 49 years ago and my excuse for having to look at name tags and then ask the bearers of those tags for further details.

Bus Kids 031
Bus kids and others

Organizers opened up the reunion for other locals who wanted to drop in and visit. That was a grand thing to do and I am grateful for it.
I saw people I hadn't seen for decades. We ate. We talked. We laughed.
Someone organized horse and wagon rides for touring the hamlet. I went. I am glad.
A fellow I went to school with gave a fine commentary. He's on county council and the fire department and knows a great deal about the area. He's also the grandson of the above-noted bus driver. I hadn't known that until I asked him why he was there. In fairness I may have known once and forgotten, but that's as good as not knowing at all.
I spoke to the woman who taught me in Gr. 4 and a bit of Gr. 6. She told me I was sharp in those days and noted how I'd  come at things in a different way than others,  but I was right. It was good to hear and I am grateful for it.
It was a wonderful day and one of the finest reasons ever for a reunion.

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Fort Assiniboine
It's a three hour drive from here to there and the same again back. It was long day, but a good one and for it I am grateful.

ETA: By popular demand here are the names of some of the people in the photo.
Front going clockwise Dorothy Utas, ?, Bob Janssen, Jean (Utas) Janssen.
Second row from left: ?, Dorene (Stauffer) Williams, Louise Borg Patrick.
Third row from left: Gary Davidson(?), Hilda Storseth Froese, not sure but possible her mother Florence Storseth.
Fourth row from left: Orriel (Olson)Vobeyda, not sure but could be Ruby(Olson) Schmaus or Avis(Olson). Far right between Dorene and Louise may be either Bev (Evernden) Kluin or Shirley (Evernden) Ashby.
In the kitchen on the left is Laurie (Graham) Budney.
If anyone can supply missing names or can correct my mistakes please do so and there's no need to be gentle about it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Moody Mountains

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South of Hinton, Ab.

 A moody look to the Rockies on a summer's day.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Case of the Confused Carrot

Herewith a seedy tale:

This is a carrot plant.

It's an Atomic Red variety that I planted in my garden this year.
About two dozen grew. I'm okay with that as my husband has carrots out in his garden. They are destined for the freezer while mine are destined for the table now.

Or they were.

I was surprised to find the other day one of them had gone to seed.
Carrots are biennial. They aren't supposed to go to seed in their first year of life and I had no intention of keeping them around long enough for it to happen.

Bemusing as it is, I am tickled silly over it whilst husband is beside himself. He's always wanted carrot seeds from actual carrots as opposed to a package.

We don't know why it happened. It's near some parsley, also a biennial, that I left in from last year in order to get the seeds. Perhaps it gave the carrots the idea.

However it happened, it is there, it exists, and a few more of the carrots are setting seeds as well. We will collect them and see what we get next year.
Meanwhile,  we've eaten a few of the non-seedy ones. They are tasty though none of them have turned red on us yet.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Thank You, Workers

It's Labour Day.

People fought their employers.

Workers died for our eight hour work day.

Unions are the reason we have benefits and a decent wage.

Thank you to ever man, woman, and child labourer who stood up, and especially to those who died trying.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Photo-Finish Friday -- Beside The Point

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Columbia Icefields Glacier. Popular, beautiful, receding at a steady pace.

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And this is the scene to the immediate left of the glacier. The road takes the buses to the top where tourists board the snowcoach for a glacier tour. It's just as beautiful, but doesn't get nearly the press.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Voodoo in the Doughnut Shop

I posted earlier about the popularity of Voodoo Doughnut in Portland.
The lineups are long and constant. We had much to do and see and none of it involved waiting in line.
But we still wanted to try the doughnuts. We'd seen the pink boxes from the store everywhere.
Fortunately we were cater corner from the shop with a window from our suite looking right over it. Keeping an eye on the line was simple.
Voodoo Doughnut is open 24 hours a day almost every day of the year. One could logically reason out there must be a slow period.
The first morning in Portland I looked out the window at about 6 a.m. and discovered only a few, maybe four, people in line. The lineup didn't get serious until about 9 a.m., but it stayed serious all day.
My friend and I decided whoever awoke in the night would make the trek to the shop. We'd already sorted out what we wanted so the mission would be quick and easy.
I woke up around 1 a.m. peeked out the window and found the line was still about a half-block long.
At 4:30 a.m. I was awake again, looked out the window, and found no line at all. People were about, some even stepped out of the store carrying the pink box of treats, but no waiting.
The front of the hotel was in the opposite direction of the store so it made for a two block walk and a good slice of life. It was still warm, if a bit windy, and really quite pleasant.
Behind me and across the street I saw some homeless people.
Across from me I saw members of the general population out enjoying the morning
A fellow in his twenties popped out of a doorway in front of me and listed to starboard for a few lurching feet before taking refuge in another doorway.
Just before the shop door there's a pedway with picnic tables. One table was filled with young people hunched over the boxes enjoying the contents.
There's tape across the floor at the shop with instructions to wait until you're called. I didn't have to wait long until my 'Doughnuteer,' Colt, pictured here, called me in.
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Colt was tickled I wanted his picture and posed for me.

Music blared. I could seen a few younger people behind the racks of doughnuts working away and talking. I am sure they were having fun.
Colt was sorry to tell me that one of the doughnuts I'd ordered, the Voodoo Doll, wasn't ready yet.
I've nothing else to do at that time of day so I asked how long it would be.
Turns out they were just ready as he asked.
Can't ask for much fresher than that.
I took some pictures, got the goods, and made my way back home.

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Clockwise from top left: the Diablos Rex, Voodoo Doll, Bacon Maple Bar, Gay Bar. 
They're tasty enough, but different from what we get in Canada.
Here a doughnut is light and fluffy to the point if you held it in the palm of your hand and blew it would probably fly away.
The above were substantial. Fluffy, yes, but had some heft to them.
I'm glad we had them, and I am glad for the experience of going out early in the morning. It was fun.
At no time did I ever feel threatened.
But I must say they are only doughnuts. They've been given some character, they are marketed well, and I can only conclude waiting in line is part of the experience.
I don't mind missing out on that part of it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gratitude Monday -- Juiced

The nanking cherries are processed into juice and in the freezer.

Assorted II 125
Nanking cherries (Prunus tomentosa) in bloom in the front yard
It took me about six hours to take care of the six one-kg buckets of cherries my husband picked.
Normally he does the juicing as well as he's the one who uses it. It goes on his morning steel cut oats.
He's busy.
He'd stored the collection in the freezer with the intent of doing the work himself. But I need more room for beans now and carrots soon.
It's a simple matter of boiling them until they split and then draining off the liquid.
All it takes is time.
It also involves the big pots for boiling, colanders, containers to catch the drainings, and even more containers to store the juice in.
By the time it was done I had a huge stack of dishes to tackle both from the processing and from having to rearrange the freezer. After the containers were out I decided that I needed to re-contain (may not be a real word) some other items with the idea of making even more room.
I did that.
It led to more dishes.
What's important is it is done. We have plenty of nanking cherry juice and I am grateful.