Friday, November 29, 2013

Mountain Slides In

This was a large sette with five or six eyes, and a very large raccoon inside. The raccoon was released for another day.  John M. and Nate from Brooklyn joined me in the field.  A good time was had by all.  At the end of the day, the wife and I saw Maurice Hines at Arena Stage. Not a bad way to spend Black Friday!

Rorke's Drift Dick

A white fox terrier by the name of "Dick" was owned by Surgeon John Reynolds of the Army Medical Department and both dog and doctor were part of the carnage that occurred on January 22, 1879 when 5,000 Zulu warriors surprised and annihilated and a smal band of British foot soldiers at a location called "Rorke's Drift." 

While Reynolds fearlessly attended to the wounded and dying, his dog stayed at his side unmoved by the hail of shots and spears falling about him.

When the Zulus finally retreated, Reynolds was among the living and he was awarded the Victoria Cross and his dog, Dick, was specially mentioned in the dispatch for "his constant attention to the wounded under fire where they fell."


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Weekend reading

Happy thanksgiving to all my American friends. May your day is full of family, friends and good food.

Quick Tip: If you need ice over the Christmas holidays and you have room in your deep freezer, start making ice now. Whether it be cubes or blocks of ice, you've got three weeks ahead to get it organised. I'm making two litre blocks using a tall 2 litre plastic container. The made blocks are

A Whale of a Tale

A Sperm Whale that died of natural causes and floated up on the shore of the Faroe Islands is opened up by a man who got a little more than he bargained for. Rot inflated gases in the whale's stomach, and it did not take much.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Leaving work - how do I decide?

I received an email from Amy last week asking about working outside the home. I'll contribute my two cents worth and with Amy's permission, I'm bringing this to the blog because I'm sure there will be many great ideas come in through the comments you will leave. This is what Amy wrote:

When did you know it was time to "retire" and come home? Have you ever thought that if you had known sooner

Fixing the Blog

This blog has been operating using the original blogger interface since 20004. I have never updated it and, as a consequence, I have lost some of the newer functionality that is available from blogger.

Things came to a head when the email feed went out a few months ago. I have been too busy to mess with any of it, but with Thanksgiving upon us, I am now going to take some time to get things up and running.

Hopefully, things will look OK in a week or so. In the interim, bear with me.

Let Us Give Thanks for Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkey Feathers. This is a repost from Nov. 2008

Let us give thanks to the Wild Turkey, America's largest ground-nesting bird.

Back when my grandfather was born, the Wild Turkey was teetering on the edge of extinction. Today we have more Wild Turkeys in America's woods than existed in pre-Columbian times.

How is that possible?

Good question. But before we get there, let's dwell a little bit longer on the miracle.

You see, it generally requires a lot of forest -- 2,000 acres or more -- to maintain the kind of food crop and cover that Wild Turkey need to thrive.

The reason for this is that in the dead of winter, Wild Turkey depend on acorns and other nuts and seed for survival. This food is only produced in abundance by mature hardwood trees -- oak, beech, dogwood, cherry and gum.

So what's the big deal? We have a lot of forest in America.

True enough now, but not as true a century ago in the Eastern U.S. and much of the Midwest. Back around 1900, virtually all the big stands of large trees had been logged out in the Eastern U.S. and across much of the Midwest as well. As the trees vanished, Wild Turkey populations plummeted.

Wild Turkey populations were further pushed to oblivion by rapid improvements in gun accuracy, and weak game laws that had yet to catch up to the changing dynamics of landscape and technology.

By 1910, there were fewer than 30,000 Wild Turkeys left in America.

Then, an amazing turnaround occurred. That turnaround started with passage of the Lacey Act in 1900. The Lacey Act ended commercial hunting of wild animals.

Commercial hunting is not sport or recreational hunting -- it is the opposite of that. In commercial hunting, the goal is not having a fun day in the field to fill your own freezer with wild meat, but a full year in the field to fill the freezers of 10,000 people whose primary concern is the price per pound.

To put it simply, commercial hunting is to sport hunting what gill-netting is to fly fishing. One comes with a factory ship attached; the other a simple wicker creel.

No single action has done more to improve the status of American wildlife than passage of the Lacey Act. Prior to its passage, commercial hunters bled the land white, shooting everything that moved. Wild game merchants sold pigeons for a penny apiece, and ducks for only a little more.

Hunters, using cannons loaded with shrapnel, would shoot 400 ducks in a day in Maryland's Eastern Shore marshes, while market deer hunters would set up bait stations near roads and shoot 20 deer in a night.

The Lacey Act helped put an end to this kind of unrestricted slaughter of American wildlife, but it did nothing to restore badly degraded habitat.

Wildlife without habitat is a zoo.

Habitat without wildlife is scenery.

America -- still a young nation -- remembered when it had both, and it wanted it all back.

The second steps on the road to wildlife recovery occurred between 1905 and 1911. It was during this period that Theodore Roosevelt set aside 42 million acres as National Forest and created an additional 53 National Wildlife Refuges as well.

It was also during this period that Congress passed the Weeks Act authorizing the U.S. government to buy up millions of acres of mountain land in the East that had been chopped clean of its forest in order to obtain wood for railroad ties, paper, firewood and timber.

With the Depression of the 1930s, and rapid migration of millions of people from the rural countryside to the city, more and more marginal farmland began to revert back to woody plots.

Spontaneous forest regeneration in Appalachia, along with tree-planting by the U.S. Government-funded Civilian Conservation Corps, helped restore more than 6 million acres of hardwood forests on denuded land purchased under the Weeks Act.

In 1937, the Wildlife Restoration Act (aka, the Pittman-Robertson Act) initiated a new tax on rifles, shotguns and ammunition, with this dedicated revenue going to help fund wildlife conservation.

Pittman-Robertson Act funds were used to purchase millions of acres of public hunting lands and to fund wildlife reintroduction efforts for Whitetail Deer, Canada Geese, Elk, Beaver, Wood Duck, Black Bear, and Wild Turkey.

In the case of Wild Turkey, initial restocking efforts were not successful. Turkey eggs were collected from wild birds, and the poults that were hatched were released into the wild. Unfortunately, these pen-raised birds were quickly decimated by predation and starvation.

New tactics were tried. A few adult Wild Turkeys were caught in wooden box traps intended for deer (picture of deer trap at right). These Wild Turkey were then moved to suitable habitat, but these adults birds also perished under the onslaught of predation.

The reintroduction of Wild Turkeys was beginning to look hopeless.

After World War II, game managers began to experiment again. This time, cannon nets -- large nets propelled by black powder rocket charges -- were used. These nets enveloped entire turkey flocks at once.

Moving an entire flock of Wild Turkeys seemed to work. The first few flocks that were relocated out of the Ozarks (the last stronghold of the Wild Turkey) began to thrive, in part because regrown forest provided more food stock for the birds to live on. The millions of acres of mountain land purchased in 1911 under the Weeks Act had, by now, become large stands of maturing hardwoods in the National Forest system.

Turkeys caught in a cannon net.

Systematic restocking of Wild Turkey continued through the 1950s and 60s, and by 1973, when the National Wild Turkey Federation was formed, the population of wild birds in the U.S. had climbed to 1.3 million.

With the creation of the National Wild Turkey Federation, more sportsmen and private land owners were recruited for habitat protection and Wild Turkey reintroduction.

Today, the range of the American Wild Turkey is more extensive than ever, and the total Wild Turkey population has climbed to 5.5 million birds.

Wild turkey hunting is now a billion-dollar-a-year industry, with 2.6 million hunters harvesting about 700,000 birds a year.

And so, when we are giving Thanksgiving this Thursday, let us remember not only the Wild Turkey and America's hunting heritage, but also such "big government" programs as the Weeks Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Pittman-Robertson Act, the National Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Clean Water Act.

Without Uncle Sam -- and your tax dollars -- much of America's wildlife would now be gone.

It was Uncle Sam -- and Mother Nature's natural fecundity -- that brought back the Wild Turkey, the Beaver, the Elk, the Whitetail Deer, the Black Bear, and the Bald Eagle. Ted Nugent and the National Rifle Association were nowhere to be seen, and neither were Bass Pro Shops or salesmen pushing Yamaha ATVs.

So next time you are in forest or field, remember Uncle Sam, and thank God for Mother Nature. Whether you know it or not, your hunting and fishing has always depended on both of them.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Billion Dollar Vaccine Scam

Line for rabies shot, Chicago

Nothing has done more for dogs than the rise of vaccination.

It's hard for folks today to understand how devastating distemper was just 60 years ago when going to a dog show was often the precursor to losing entire kennels, with one sick animal serving as a disease vector to hundreds of other fine animals.

Thanks to Britain's fox hunters the world now has a decent distemper vaccine, and other vaccines have continued apace -- parvo, adenovirus, and parainfluenze to name the four most important.

I have written in the past about how to give a vaccine and how to obtain vaccines for less. Now, let me turn to another topic: the continuing scam -- and medical danger -- of over-vaccinating dogs.

Most people have the attention span of a sand flea, so let me cut to the chase and tell you what Ronald D. Schultz, chairman of the University of Wisconsin's Department of Pathobiological Sciences does with his own dogs.

This man is one of the world's foremost expert on dog and cat vaccines and, as he wrote in the March 1998 issue of Veterinary Medicine:

"My own pets are vaccinated once or twice as pups and kittens, then never again except for rabies."

What? Never again, except for rabies?

Is this man crazy?

No, he's educated, and he knows a simple truth: After a booster shot at the age of one year, dogs and cats have lifetime immunity from parvo and distemper.

As for other vaccines -- Corona, Lepto, Lyme, Bordatella -- those vaccines should generally not be given at all due to their lack of efficacy, relative danger, or the rarity of the disease and the ease of post-infection treatment.

Only in the case of rabies -- because it is a legal requirement -- is a booster shot needed, and in that case it is only needed once every three years after the first year.

But, what about all those booster shots? "My vet has been sending me reminders every year, and I have been paying a small fortune..."


And you have been ripped off.

The information I am giving you here is NOT NEW; it is old.

Let me quote directly from Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI (Small Animal Practice), page 205, which was published in 1992 -- more than 16 years ago:

Annual vaccination is a practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years, allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune response to toxins requires boosters (eg: tetanus in humans), and no toxin vaccines are currently used for dogs or cats. Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response as a result of interferance by existing antibody (similar to maternal antibody interferance).

What's that all mean?

Let's start with the first line: "Annual vaccination is a practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification."

What that means is that dog and cat re-vaccination is an old scam.

From the beginning, vets have known it was bunk.

Think about it. Vets love their children, but they have not been vaccinating their kids for measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox and polio every year, or every three years, their entire lives, have they? No. By the time a kid is an adult, he is also through with vaccines.

Line for polio shot, Chicago

That's the way it should be for dogs too, but there's no money in that.

And absent regulation, veterinary care is all about money.

Besides, over-vaccination does not appear to be obviously bad medicine to pet owners, while it appears to be obviously good business for both vaccine makers and veterinarians.

How good a business? Well, let's do the math.

A "booster" shot requires an office visit, for which you will typically be charged $75.

In addition, there will be a $15 charge for a distemper and parvovirus combination shot.

Doing only 2,000 of these a year will generate $180,000, for which the vet will pay about $3,000 for the vaccine, and about the same for the postcard reminders.

A nice business!

And, for the record, I am being very conservative here. The "nonsense billing"at this veterinary practice (see link) will set you back $165, as they are bundling their vaccine protocol with a worthless stool sample (you can worm your dog yourself for $2) and a worthless Snap test which will, no doubt, be used to drum up more testing of a perfectly health and asymptomatic dog.

Of course, the vet is not the only entity in business here. So too are the vaccine makers.

A key part of the vaccine scam is that vaccine makers have taken a page from the playbook of antibiotics salesmen, and "short-listed" their vaccines in order to generate more business.

Shortlisting an antibiotic is done by putting a short expiration date on the bottle -- typically one year after manufacture.

But, as I have noted in the past, research by the U.S. military shows that all non-liquid antibiotics are effective for many years past their printed expiration dates. By shortlisting the expiration date, however, antibiotic manufacturers are able to get scores of millions of people to throw billions of dollars of good antibiotics down the drain every year. The result, of course, is an artificial boost in sales, and never mind the public health and environmental consequences.

Vaccine makers do essentially the same thing, shortlisting the length of immunity provide by their vaccine. By saying a dog vaccine is good for only one year or three years, vaccine makes increase product sales anywhere from 4-fold to 10-fold.

How pervasive is this scam?

Consider this: even when the law requires a booster shot, as it does for rabies, the drug companies are still cheating you. Pfizer, for example, sells an identical rabies vaccine formula under two different labels - Defensor 1 and Defensor 3 - depending on a state's vaccination requirements.

If you happen to live in Alabama -- an annual rabies vaccination state due to the easy larceny within that state's legislature -- your dog will be jabbed every year with a three-year vaccine labeled as a one year vaccine, and never mind that it will provide your dog with no more protection than that given to dogs just one state over, where the three-year vaccine protocol is in effect.

Perhaps now is a good time to stop and explain how vaccines work -- and why modified live virus vaccines generally work for life.

The short story is that humans, cats and dogs inoculated with modified live virus vaccines, end up creating "memory T-cells." Memory T-cells are cells that contain the recipe or code that the body first used to fight off the attenuated (weakened) infection when it was introduced to the boyd body in the form of a live virus vaccine.

If a body is challenged by the same infection later on, Memory T-cells swing into action and, using the old code, generate a vast reservoir of new antibodies to fight the infection.

This is how ALL vaccines work, and how they have worked since cowpox was first used to fight off smallpox back in 1796.

Not only are "booster" shots never needed except for rabies, but over-vaccination is actually dangerous, which is why it is considered very bad medicine to revaccinate your children again and again outside of a clear immunization protocol.

Not only is infection a possibility, but so too is a the possibility of over-stimulating the immune system, which can trigger rather serious autoimmune disorders. In addition, jabbing any area with needles increases (however slightly) the chance of a cancer occurring at that spot.

While the science of vaccines has been known for a long time, it was not until the advent of the Internet that consumers began to understand the degree to which their pets were being over-vaccinated -- and the health and financial ramifications of this practice.

Thanks to the information and work of folks like veterinarian Jean Dodds, folks began asking questions, and as a consequence a lot of vets "punted" from an annual vaccination schedule to a once-every-three-years vaccine schedule.

But three year vaccines are a ruse too. This protocol has not been embraced because of any proven efficacy, but because it is a transitive business model for veterinarians once dependent on annual vaccination income.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, for example, will not come right out and say your dog or cat should be vaccinated at all after the age of one. Instead, they have issued a "guideline" suggesting every three years might be a good idea, but they note that vets are free to "develop individualized vaccine recommendations with the input of their clients for every patient."

What's that mean?

It means every vet is supposed to size you up as a possible mark, and then play you as they see fit. AVMA offers no real treatment protocol after the first year, because they know it's all bunk. If a veterinarian wants to rip off his or her customers every year, they can. And if they want to rip them off every three years, then they can do that too. And if the customer is really smart and knowledgable .... well find something else to bill for!

The AVMA knows the truth: That after age one, distemper and parvo protection is for life, and that aside from a rabies shot every three years, no other shot is ever going to be necessary.

But, of course, they want to keep this information secret from the customer base.

But secrets have a way of leaking out.

In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) published their Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature. This report was only made available to veterinarians, but copies have gotten out, and right there on page 18 it tells the truth:

"We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper and vaccinations last for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies, and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.”

Lifetime immunization. There it is, in black and white.

As the truth about the billion dollar vaccine scam has leaked out, needless routine dog vaccination has plummeted, and a tightening of purse strings has occurred in many veterinary offices.

What to do?

The answer, of course, is to invent more junk billing.

And so, just about the time that vaccine revenue began to fall off, vets suddenly began encouraging annual teeth cleaning, with expensive lab work attached. Veterinary trade journals shameless suggested that veterinarians should bill-pad more by offering to "check on thyroid levels" and by pushingn regular "deworming." Titer levels could be checked on old vaccines (and never mind that low titers are not an indication of lack of immunity). And, of course, keep those three-year vaccines going. In fact, you might want to spread those vaccines out a bit - give the rabies vaccine one year, and the parvo the next, and the distemper in year three. That way a dog or cat will have to come in every year just as before. Brilliant!

Across the board, the advice of the veterinary trade associations has been simple and direct: It's time to rip-off the rubes and find a new scam to replace the old one (annual vaccines).

How do you, the customer, fight back?

Simple: Get informed and don't be afraid to say NO.

Ask questions, "use the Google," and draw a line through unnecessary charges that are put on your "prospective bill."

Finally, let me close by saying this: If you want to vaccinate your dog and cat every year, or every three years, or every two weeks, then go right ahead. It's bad medicine, but it's still a free country, and you are free to waste your money and increase the chance of serious negative health consequences to your pet for no health benefit whatsoever. As I have noted in the past, more pets are killed every year with a can opener than any other tool.

By the same token, you are also free to give your animal the whole panoply of worthless and/or dangerous vaccines a vet might try to push your way: Leptospirosis (the least effective and most dangerous vaccine), Lyme, Giardia, Bordatella, and Corona. Probably nothing bad will happen to your dog, and all you will lose out of the deal is money.

Vets, of course, will continue to push worthless vaccines. It's a proven fact that it's easy to scare patients into additional unnecessary veterinary charges, and it's a proven fact that a lot of people think that the more they spend on their dog or cat -- and the more jabs it has gotten -- the healthier and safer their animal will be.

But just remember this: No doctor in the world would vaccinate their child the way they want to vaccinate your dog.

Yes, it's a good business practice for the vet to over-vaccinate your dog, but is it a good health care practice?


And on that point, there is no longer serious debate.

Related Posts
** Veterinary Trades Say It's Time to Rip-off the Rubes
** Vaccines for Less
** A Quick Guide to Common Canine Diseases

** The Billion Dollar Heartworm Scam
** The Billion Dollar Lyme Disease Scam
** Rimadyl: Relief From a Swollen Wallet
** SuperGlue to Close Wounds
** Antibiotics for Less Without a Prescription
** Saving Big Money With a Ball Point Pen
** Bitter Pills and Veterinary Care
** Health Care Basics for Working Terriers and Other Dogs

Monday, November 25, 2013

Criminal Prosecution Under Migratory Bird Act

The U.S. Department of Justice
Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming today to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. This case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects.
Not said: If you are looking for repeat violators of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the place to start is with feral cat colonies.

Ready for the Next Iditarod


Robotic Herding "Dogs"

Now we have this:

Roboticists at the University of Sydney designed and tested a remote-controlled robot that can herd cattle. The advantage of the robot is that it moves slowly, permitting the cattle to move at a reduced pace and thus decrease the likelihood of injury through overexertion. Human cowboys in 4-wheel drive vehicles, in contrast, tend to rush and occasionally hit cattle while herding them.
Video here.

I see cloned dairy cattle being herded by robots into robotic dairy sheds.  That's all possible right now.

Frugal food - savoury mince

Often when you have to save money on food one of the things that suffers is flavour.  This is a good dish that uses a small amount of meat but it's still very tasty. About 300 grams/10.5oz topside mince will feed four, including hungry meat eaters. Along with the meat, you'll use whatever vegetables you have on hand. I used two carrots, two sticks of celery, a quarter capsicum/pepper, a small

Goshawk Flight


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Household cleaning - bread boards and brushes

As the days move towards Christmas and the end of the year, it's a good time to do a few small cleaning jobs. Many of us will have visitors over the holidays and getting everything clean and tidy before they arrive will give us the opportunity to relax and enjoy the season just as much as the rest of the family and the visitors do.

This is one of my cleaning brushes but it was still clean

Veterinarians Routinely Rip-Off

The ABC TV show 20/20 has finally gotten around to telling consumers what this blog has said for years: Veterinarians are rip-off factories where dog owners are routinely sold medically unnecessary procedures, some of which are actually bad for the dog

One of the most common, expensive, and dangerous procedures heaped on customers at veterinary offices are dental cleanings involving anesthesia and "cleaning" by people who, in fact, have almost no training whatsoever.

Another routine add-on are vaccines that are not needed at all, other than rabies, after the first year's round of puppy shots. Veterinarian Marty Becker notes that annual teeth cleaning are not necessary, and that the AVMA and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends vaccines only every three years, but he leaves off the fact that the AAHA and AVMA is actually run by the vaccine industry (see here) and that their protocols are also a fraud.  AAHA is not only funded by the vaccine makers, it actually sells veterinarians vaccines and other medicines directly through its MarketLink web site, which means it is fully incentivized to perpetuate the lie that dogs need to be routinely vaccinated.  In fact, after that that fist year's round of shots, your dogs do not need a distemper vaccine ever again.

Related Posts:
** Veterinary Trades Say It's Time to Rip-off the Rubes
** Grifting: The New Veterinary Stock in Trade
** How to Go to the Vet
** The Billion Dollar Heartworm Scam
** The Billion Dollar Lyme Disease Scam
** The Billion Dollar Vaccine Scam
** The Billion Dollar Dental Cleaning Scam
** Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Dogs
** Vetering Pricing Has Nothing to Do With Care
** Is Your Vet Clean? Don't Count On It.
** Flea Powder for Less and Canine "Dry Shampoo"
** Low Cost All-Worm Treatment
** Lyme Disease: Hard to Catch and Easy to Halt
** Ring Worm and Toe Fungus Among Us
** What's Your Vet Charging You?
** Canine Influenza Vaccines are the Latest Scam
** Saving Big Money With a Ball Point Pen
** Rimadyl: Relief From a Swollen Wallet
** A Business Plan Based on Fencing Out the Truth
** Veterinary Billing Without Oversight or Regulation
** Veterinary Notes From the Field
** The Price of Putting on the Dog
** Veterinary Care Reaches Human Care Cost
** Attempted Veterinary Extortion
** Murder by Can Opener: How Pet Owners Kill Dogs
** Get Over It: Bagged Food is Fine for Fido
** Dog Food Secrets "They" Don't Want You to Know
** SuperGlue to Close Wounds
** Rimadyl: Relief From a Swollen Wallet
** A Business Plan Based on Fencing Out the Truth
** Small Vet Kit for Pack
** Antibiotics for Less Without a Prescription
** Year Round Dosing for Big Veterinary Profits
** A Season to Every Thing

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bumping The Recipe

The light in the house today, 
a rainy dark day, is so perfect for me.
This is always my favorite light...
A hot cup of coffee,
warm snuggly clothes,
gentle music and a good book.
Join me?

It's 10 a.m. and yet the trees look like early evening.
Justice photo bombing.

I didn't adjust anything in the shots.
This is the "temperature" in my home most days.

I finally had to turn on the heat.

Up there?
Top of the stairs?
My studio

I'll be there all day.
Bumping the recipe from earlier because the light
 is just too delicious today.


Introducing the Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

I needed to replace my teapot recently and knew exactly what I wanted - a Falconware 1.5 litre cream teapot. I'd seen them online but when I went back there they had sold out so a search began to find that same teapot at a good price - nothing over $35. And that is how I stumbled upon Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, and what a great day that was. I wasn't sure what I was seeing at first.

Made the News Today


Crockpot Bella and Pot Roast Revisited

I posted this recipe
and it is still a go-to when 
chuck roast is on sale
Remember Bella?
I love her

All the ingredients are here
This time I used ketchup with balsamic vinegar 
All in one bowl

Spicy Wine Pot Roast
3-4 lb beef pot roast- I use chuck
salt and pepper
1 small red onion chopped
1 package brown gravy mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper - place in crock pot.
Combine remaining ingredients -pour over meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
I serve over buttered noodles.
Super Simple

If you wish - take the broth that is made
and mix with a little flour/milk to thicken 
Perfect for the rainy day we had yesterday.
Lots of leftovers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weekend reading

Thank you for your visits this week and for your comments. The comments create a point of interest for me, help me build up a picture of you and they remind me that we're all in this together. Enjoy your weekend, friends. I'll see you on Monday.

If you're a new knitter, treat yourself to Fringe Association's Beginning to Knit series.

And, hot off the press, if you're already knitting and

Darling Daughter - Dearest Son

This week and 
my two favorite people 

Hannah at work on
She is Production Designer on the film.
You can check it out at the link above.
oh, and like it on facebook if you wish.
Lots of photos there.
They are working so hard on this independent 
film and we all should support independent films.

Ben creating the signage 
for the wedding of his two friends.
According to his girlfriend,
they were the hit of the party.
He cooks, designs, writes, works in film media,
does standup, repairs broken 
everything for me.

One very lucky Mama
And they're home in a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I giggle just saying it.

Tools and Terrier

A one shot with tools and terrier.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Can't Wait!

You Don't Know Jack Shirt

Order the shirt before November 26
Limited time offer for some stupid reason.

A Few More Touches

Justice has a habit of sleeping behind the wing
chairs in the living room.
A few days ago she got under and behind the chair 
and while trying to leave, got turned around,
confused, and ended up trapped 
and howling under the tree. 
She nearly toppled the tree,
and thank goodness I was home.

 I borrowed this fencing from my pal Sue last weekend.
It needed to be repaired so after a bit of surgery last evening,
I placed it around the tree to prevent any more mishaps.
It touches the back wall preventing her 
from getting under the tree in any way.

I loaned a few bottle brush trees to Sue
for her to use this year, 
and when I saw how many I still
had in the box, well..
a few more showed up here and there
 at oldgreymare.

The ones above are tucked into crystal door knobs.
I also loaned out some garland and some bed springs...
She liked what I had done with some in the table boxes.

Tis the season to share with our friends and family

Note to self: make the most of every day

Picture this. It's 5.00pm at the end of a busy day. I grab a cup of tea and prepare to sit down and watch the news on TV with Hanno. I sit down, the phone rings. On the phone is the Maroochydore Library asking for a favour. The person booked to do their talk on Creative Writing is sick and can't make it. Everyone booked via email, so they have no phone numbers to phone participants to cancel.

The Last Hours of a Rabid Woman

Heather Swain: The last hours of a rabid woman by The Story Collider

When Heather Swain is told she has rabies, that turns out to be the least strange part of her experience.

"Who wants to grow up saying their mother died of rabies, like I was a raccoon?"


Ghost in the Hedge


On Leash

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Digging on the Dogs

John M. took this photo at the first dig of the day.  The dogs were certain there was a groundhog home, but it was buried deep and had not moved for a few days due to the weather. 
At this time of year, the groundhogs will wall themselves in behind a dirt barrier, and their heart rates and body temperature will start to drop from 80 beats a minute a minute, and a body temperature of 98 degrees, to as low as 5 beats a minute and a body temperature of just 38 degrees. 
Locating a groundhog underground when they go dormant and have walled themselves off in a side tunnel with as much as a foot of dirt between them and the main pipe, is a very hard task for a dog. I have worked groundhog in the snow, and in December, January and February, so it can be done, but I think when that happens it's often because a groundhog has come out of torpor to go topside to defecate. They will still do that every once in a while, even in deep winter.

Coffee and Provocation

A 500 Year Old Clam?
A living clam collected from Iceland in 2006 has been ring- and carbon-dated to over 500 years old, making it the oldest living animal ever found.

420,000 Gallons of Horse Urine a Day:
Over at the PaleoFuture blog, we find this sentence: "New York City at the turn of the 20th century was a pretty pungent place. Piles of garbage, millions of people cooking food, and about 2.5 million pounds of horse manure emptied into the streets per day will do that to a city. And don't forget the 420,000 gallons of horse urine flowing through the streets each week. But some forward-thinking New Yorkers had an idea to clean up the city: establish a citywide central vacuum system."
Sprinkle Caffeine on Your Eggs?
Yes, caffeine now comes out of shaker so you can caffeinate anything you want, including your morning eggs!
Stopping Pandemics with Social Media: 

Rescue Animals as Fundraising Brands
In a world where children are dying for food, clean water, shelter and a bar of soap, the animal rescue world has decided to fight over the "branding" of animal names for fundraising purposes.  Stop giving for "celebrity" animals, and this crap will stop.
Going Broke From Getting Fat?
Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, among people younger than 65 drives two-thirds of medical spending. About 85 percent of medical costs are spent on people younger than 65. Price increases -- not increases in demand -- account for 91% of cost increases. The biggest-spending disease with the fastest growth rate was hyperlipidemia — high cholesterol and triglycerides — for which spending grew by 14.4 percent annually. Personal out-of-pocket spending on insurance premiums and co-payments have declined from 23% to 11%.


Monday, November 18, 2013

It is the journey that enriches us

This is the view from my work room window, taken yesterday morning.

I've had three emails in the past week from people who are a little confused about simple life. One said they're not doing everything Hanno and I are and asked if that's okay. The second said they've just started and were asking how long it will take them to set themselves up in this lifestyle. The third thought they had to

Got Cats?

For those with cats, this repurposed vintage chest was made by removing the drawer boxes and attaching the drawer fronts to a new hinged piece of plywood. A pet door was placed in the side. The litter box is inside, for the cat to use, but the smell is contained even though the litter tray is easy to access.

Family Room

Those of you who have been around oldgreymare awhile 
know that I always use containers to decorate my tables 
during any Holiday. In a moments notice it can be whisked
off the table and out of the way.
Makes for super easy entertaining.
Each year I change it up, but always using
 the same materials I have gathered over 30 years.

Last year's box

My folk's old firkin

The tree in this room is all green ornaments
I start with green frosty berry picks,
tucked in all over the tree.
The required birds nest is in here also.

Lots of big flocked cones and TaDa!

Still more to come and lots more to do.
Stay tuned

I have to take the time to address this one last time
 because it seems to happen to me quite frequently now.

"No reply comment blogger"
There is a new RANT over in the 
**** It Bucket

erin's art and gardens has left a new comment on your post "Family Room": 

i'd like to point out, in case someone doesn't know, that if you change over to "Google +" you will have a "no-reply" e-mail...i have switched back to Blogger because of that. 

Erin made a good point.
 I'm confident that many Google + users are unaware of that fact.