Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Under A Rock

Under a rock

Not a bad place to be
If you're a bug
a worm

or me

I haven't crawled under one, 
but my inactivity in the big world 
may seem like it to everyone else.
Things are great
small, quiet and great.

Ben and Anam 
were here for my B-day 
and it was so lovely.....such a sweet time.
Did we do big stuff? Nope
He cooked a couple fab meals
(I prepared a great chicken piccata)
Ben repaired everything broken that he could find,
what a super son,
and we watched great films.
I even convinced them to watch Creator,
which they either enjoyed, or lied to me  hehe
We visited, noshed and wined
and not a photo to show.
(I do wish I had a chain saw one - up in the tree)
I was in the moment, savoring each laugh,
 smile and raised eyebrow.
I never left the house,
they did a "little Vegas"..

I had several B-day lunches with pals, 
received some great B-day gifts. 
My pals are so kind, 
but oh girls, the chocolates! 
I saved time and just rubbed 'em into
my thighs and butt.

This weekend I spent quality catch up time
 with a pal just returning from 4 weeks in Europe.
Another yummy lunch, more chocolate,
this time brought back from Belgium...
they know me well.

Polished off 10 books last week.
Battled wasps and more broken tree limbs
 from latest monsoon storm.

Pooch Howie sleeping atop my feet
under my desk right this minute

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with.....but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. 
― Victoria MoranLit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Haven't read the book but I liked this quote


Living the good life here under my rock

Flower Pot Bird Houses

The top pot is clay and affixed to a post or tree with a washer and hook bolt through the drain hole.  A long bit of threaded rod and a wing nut secure the plywood front into the "top" of the pot.  Another variation can be found here.
The bottom pot is plastic and painted to reflect heat, and I believe it is simply fixed to a vertical plank of wood with long drywall screws at the rim.  Another variation can be found here.

Logging in Alaska

I know nothing about this picture, other than it is Alaska, but I assume an orphan Moose was raised up and trained to pull a skid.  An amazing rig, that's for sure!

Update:  Snopes says the picture is a fake (see comment for URL), which may be true, but I am not fully saluting Snopes on this one, as there is too much documentation of Moose as beasts of burden.  In fact, Teddy Roosevelt even rode one -- see bottom picture!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dog Butt Walking Stick

Since I put up a collection of photos of dog head walking sticks this morning, I thought I would put up this picture of a dog's butt walking stick this evening. 
This is red deer antler with a terrier's hindquarters going down the "hole" at the base. I actually own this one!

Patterns of a simple life

One thing I really love about the simple life is that it encourages me to slow down and be mindful. I've stopped working on automatic plot and multi-tasking and now I concentrate on what I'm doing.  Focusing on my work has its own way of slowing me down. I don't think about what I'll do when I finish, I don't think about tonight or tomorrow, my mind slows right down and it's just me in a room

Dog Head Walking Sticks



Alaska for the Win

Want to see video of this?  Check it out!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Support local food, both fresh and tinned

Sometimes plans just don't work out. Yesterday I wrote a post on Irish soda bread and fresh pea and herb soup. A couple of hours later I checked the forum and came across Tessa's thread about how SPC Ardmona was petitioning the Australian Productivity Commission to place tariffs on imported tinned fruit and tomatoes. Just this year, three fruit processors have closed their doors. The iconic

HMart in Falls Church, Virginia






This is a grocery store
owned by Koreans which serves all.  Good produce at a great price.  The "H" in HMart stands for Han, an ethnic designation for Korean. Not much of a cheese section (Koreans tend to be more lactose-intolerant than most), different cuts of beef than we normally see (cut for Korean BBQ and stir fry), no sweet corn even though it is in season, but just about every other vegetable and fruit under the sun. Eggs are massive and very, very cheap.  This is the best place in the area for dried tomatoes and spices too.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SPC Ardmona petition at - UPDATED

Tessa posted a very interesting article over at the forum this morning about SPC Ardmona petitioning the Australian Productivity Commission to place tariffs on imported tinned tomatoes and fruits. They need the next 200 days so they can regroup and have a breather. My heart breaks when I see orange trees being burnt down and grape vines left to rot. When I grew up, many homes grew their own

Pea and herb soup with soda bread

The Irish folk who read here, and maybe those from the UK too, will know of Maura Laverty, but I have just discovered her. Sadly Maura died many years ago but her books live on. Currently I'm eagerly awaiting her book Full and Plenty, published in 1960, to arrive. She is my new inspiration.  This is from Full and Plenty:

Cooking is the poetry of housework. But it is satisfying in twenty other

Gideon Happy in the Field


Flutter Bye

Waiting for the dogs to locate is not too big a chore.  Butterflies for the eyes, and berries for the stomach.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Heading Out

Heading down the farmer's mowed path on the way to a little digging on the edge of the soybean fields.  The soy and corn look to be in top form this year -- a little rain makes a big difference! 

Painted Turtle Found on Road

Painted turtles are the most common and widespread turtle in the U.S., found from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Mexico to Canada.

This little lady was found in the middle of the road, and I stopped, turned around, and picked her up.  I think she is female, because she was found pretty far from the water and I think she may be returning from laying eggs.  

Unlike dry land box turtles, which are very territorial, Painted Turtles do well in any calm stretch of water, and so this 5.5 inch long lady is now a resident of my back yard pond.  If there's not enough sun for her there, she will head downhill to a neighbor's or to the Potomac River.