Friday, December 5, 2014

What to Wear When You Don't Want to be Hugged


Monday, December 1, 2014

Need for Mead

Last Spring, a friend took me to a local meadery.  At first, I thought she said, "Meatery" and was wondering if I would like being in a place with that much meat around.  But once I figured it out, it was quite wonderful.
Complex and amazing flavors, courtesy of our good friends, the honey bee nation.

After attending a seminar on how to make mead, which left me completely confused with its combination of science, cooking, and the ever-befuddling tools, much debate among friends led to the eventual first attempt this past weekend.

The problem, as far as I can discern, is that there are so many variances in recipes for the "basic" recipe of mead, as well as the differences of opinions of technique.  Since I'd just been through this with making a turkey, which also has a vast array of techniques and recipes, I was really too tired to wade through them.

But that didn't stop us.  We went for it anyway.

Here are the non-honey ingredients - interesting things like "yeast nutrients" and something else I can't remember or read from the blurry picture.

And here it is transferred into its home to (hopefully) begin to bubble and ferment:
Yes, another blurry picture, but this has nothing to do with actually consuming mead (not ours, the professionals'), which was done by two of the three of us to keep us motivated and hopeful.

It's currently in Pat's pantry (not code) where we hope no explosions occur.  Of course, we tend to always hope no explosions occur of any type at Pat's, but this is just one more possibility.

Here's hoping for good mead with no bitterness.  There's enough of that in the world.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Ain't No Bus Stop

It's been awhile since I published anything (at all), but specifically, under the category of Things I See Along the Road.  That's right, an innocent walk with the dog(s) reveals all manner of trash, like the dumped roof shingles that have been piled up for over a month.  However, that's not really noteworthy.

But this was:

Perhaps some kind soul has seen me walking the dogs and thought I may need a soft place to rest.  Tilly did give it a thorough inspection, and didn't react to any hidden drugs.  Of course, she doesn't really have any training in that area. 

There was another piece of this sectional just about 50 feet away, and it was upside down.  So the question remains, was one tossed and one placed carefully upright?  Did they both fall randomly from a truck?

This could be a caption contest.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Fun Requires the Right Gear

It's not been a good summer for swimming.  It's been busy with a lot going on.  All of which, it seems, have required many pairs of socks.

Monday, July 7, 2014

More Summer Fun....and Weirdness

Ah, the bounty of what the earth will yield - black raspberries:

The wonder and deliciousness of lush basil turned into pesto:
Finally, the completely weird and random items found in a second hand shop window.  Also, completely non-PC.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Adventures and Unexpected Treasures

Just getting out of town and looking at new things stimulates the brain, making life that much more interesting.

This little gem is a bird's nest ball.  It is the dribs and drabs of alpaca yarn stuffed into a ball for birds to gather to feather their nests.  Wouldn't that be pretty (and soft!)?

A little shop in Grand Rapids, Ohio sold these, along with other rather impressive products.  Grand Rapids was a charming town that is well maintained and scenic as well.

What's next?  MEAD MAKING SEMINAR!  Woot!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ain't No Party Like a Pork Rind Fest Party

....and that may be a good thing.

Arriving at mid-day with family members, there wasn't much to recommend the festival devoted to the lowly Pork Rind.   Sure, the table to purchase bags of fried pig skin was long, but other than the other food booths, and an odd spattering of misc. booths, there wasn't much going on.  

Later in the day, there was live music.  At the spontaneous phone call of a friend, it was possible to return later in the evening to check out a very different scene, and a very different crowd.
The fried random food crowd now added Budweiser to its offerings.  I can't remember the last time I drank a "Bud."

Recognizing other people who are also in attendance at the Pork Rind Festival is a combination of "hey I know someone" and "I don't want to be seen here" (especially if you're in the beer tent).  But it's sort of a bonding experience, "yeah, I am here and I am only semi-ashamed."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It is Cliche. It is Delicious

Some have great disdain for people who post food and drink pictures on their blogs and Facebook page.

This, however, is laughable.  Food and drink blogs and pages are incredibly popular!  Why?  Because 1. it looks good and 2. you can bet it tastes good and 3.  the detractors simply have the jealousy.

That is why I bring you, dear reader, the purple aura:

While it had many delicious sounding ingredients, I strongly suspect similar results could have come from Grape Fanta and vodka.

But, the name is good, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring 2014, an Update

It's still Spring.  It's still 2014.  And, it's still cold.

But, a local park's wildflowers were up, so I'm assuming that the season will progress. Eventually.
In these difficult days of being teased by the calendar, it is necessary to make one's own fun, even out of the dreariest of circumstances.  That's why I got this last week:
No, it was not the occasion of my annual exam, but an inspection of animal labs.  I mean, you really have to liven these times up.  And no, there were not ants the size of Match box cars anywhere.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014 aka "Like We Thought It Would be Warm"

Okay, so the first day of Spring didn't really turn out like one may hope.  But, it wasn't as bad as this picture, taken off my back porch.  Looks like someone needs some gutter work done.

Last weekend was the local St. Patrick's Day parade, of which I've never attended, but made a point to this year.  After the usual beginning of the emergency vehicles (I just don't get it), the county's HazMat van went by.  That was also impressive.  Then, the float made by the POW/MIA people.  Did I mention that anyone could enter a float?  The grand marshal went by on possibly the nicest flat bed truck bed I've seen, complete with what looked like high school marching band players.
Not too bad, so I kept looking for the Irish dancers.  It was naught to be.....but there were plenty of bars who had their own flat bed truck/trailer/bus/beat-up pick-up/van with entries.
Eventually, something cool crept by.
We're off to a great start out here on the Gold Coast.  Can't wait to see what fun and weirdness is yet to come.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Unexpected Wonderfulness, with a dose of terror

Most people don't make lists of things to do in a year.  But, if  you are a chronic planner (with a bad memory), lists are extremely helpful and also give a person something fun to look forward to in life.

Yet, one of the most fun things I've done wasn't on the list, but it should have been.  In Columbus, a friend suggested we go to the Brothers Drake Meadery.  After the initial confusion as to why my friend wanted to take me somewhere that sold a lot of meat, I realized the correct pronunciation (I wasn't the only one confused by the conversation, and I was keen on going to this meat place too).


The only problem is that mead has 13-14% alcohol and sipping these lovelies (and a bonus one, thank you Brother Drake of Unknown Name), my face began to feel numb.  Of course, that's not a really big problem.  Unless you are driving home.  Then it's a different problem with legal implications.

Meanwhile, in East Texas where Mardi Gras is a serious celebration:
By the way, I've seen this monkey without the mask, and he is far more terrifying.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

14 Things in '14

It takes a deliberate act to make life interesting, whether you live in the city or country.  At the beginning of the year, I made a list of 14 Things to do in 2014.

The first one accomplished was a birthday party with some friends - just to celebrate the mean feat of staying alive one more year:
Then, going tubing at Mad River Mountain, despite it being five degrees.  It was fabulous fun.
Last night.....hoho....last night:
There he is.....Spike the Walleye
At the Toledo Walleyes Hockey Game.  For $15, one can't have a better bargain.
And it's only March....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life's a Grind

Sue and I were talking about the value of home made slash hand crafted gifts.  With the abundance of mass production and limited availability of interesting stores in a small town (though there are more popping up), unique and interesting items are at a premium.

Recently, Sue got her grind on and made home made peanut butter.  But she didn't stop there.  She stepped it up with almond butter, then....wait for it....the crème de la crème....cashew butter.  E-yum!  That Bullet sure can do some cool things.

Well, so can the air popper.  Though all directions warn that it is not to be used for any purpose other than popping corn, it also can be used to do this:
That's right, roasting coffee beans!  Sure, I charred my thumb and almost caught a wooden spoon on fire, but dang my house smells fabulous! 

And the gift recipients were all thrilled by their gifts.

Of course.