Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Moon, Sun and Stars

"That's one small step for (a) rabbit...one giant leap for leporidae"

Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Moon, Sun and Stars. I love to paint night scenes. There is something about a night sky that I find so beautiful and there are so many ways to paint them!

I think Bugs Bunny is the first of his kind on the Moon! I did this painting in acrylics.


Actually Alex got an action shot of me painting it!


Watercolour Sun. The sunny days are still with us here in the mountains, though the nights are really starting to get chilly. Fall seems to be so close and my tomatoes are still green! Eek!


An acrylic starry sky. :) I painted the Pisces Constellation, which represents my Zodiac sign. Do you sky watch? One of these days I'd love to get myself a really good telescope. Maybe I'll discover the Rain Comet! :)


I just wanted to share a little of the Nature that is all around me - it's so beautiful in the mountains!


Ham and Jarlsberg sandwiches with fries...so delicious with a honey Dijon mustard!


This dish is so fresh and so easy to make: Tomato Bocconcini Pasta. I made the Bocconcini myself and it pairs so well with tomatoes. We didn't have any basil, which I usually use, so I substituted fresh from the garden green onions instead.



Recipe Notes: I'm spending some time over the next few months - maybe throughout the winter - to re-write my recipes on the Rain's Recipes Page and include a printable version of them. This might mean that links won't work so if you are looking for something, please send me a note (Contact Form on the sidebar) or leave me a comment!

That goes for Rainy Day Cheese Making as well. I totally re-designed that web site last week and it looks pretty good! Cheese recipes may be missing as well, so again, let me know if you can't find something!!


Jack - waiting for a snack. Such a beautiful hound dog! :)

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My first cartoon drawing in January of 2018

August 22nd: Next Thursday's theme is Comics/Cartoons. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Patterns


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Patterns. I'm not really a fan of Andy Warhol, but I thought that borrowing his idea might just turn into a great pattern of Tweety and Sylvester! I was just doodling with Sharpies and Prismacolor Pencils for this one!


The patterns in Nature are all around us! This is a grassy shore by the river done in watercolour.


This was my challenge for the art date! I followed a tutorial to make this 3D drawing. (Kind of makes me want a Spirograph!!) About halfway through I was cursing myself for choosing "patterns" as the theme lol...it was hard on my hand but I'm glad I challenged myself!


There is a behavioural pattern forming in my home...I can't stop making cheese lol!!! I'm really enjoying it this time around. From left to right: Monterey Jack, Jarlsberg and Parmesan.

The Monterey Jack just came out of the brine and it'll be ready in a few months.

The Jarlsberg is a few days old in this photo and you can see the rind is starting to form. This is also ready in a few months (fingers crossed the "eyes", or holes, will form on the inside!!).

And the Parmesan...it SMELLS LIKE A PARM!! And it's developing quite the rind! That's a 6-monther. I didn't have a big enough pot so I had to half this recipe...that's why it looks so flat! I now have 6 wheels of cheese aging! :) I'll be posting all of the recipes and photos on Rainy Day Cheese Making very soon! In fact, I wanted to just let my friends who follow that blog know that I'll be revamping it in the near future, so if it goes offline for a bit, don't worry, it'll be back!!


BCLT's and fries. (That's bacon, Cheddar, lettuce and tomato) I love these dollar store fry cups! The red and white patterns are very diner-style and I'm sure it made the fries more delicious presented this way! :). In case anyone is curious, the little round thing on the top right of the photo is a chewable multi-vitamin. We each take one with dinner, so that's why you see them in a lot of the food photos!


I've been spending as much time outside as I can. Yesterday, I had a little quiet time, sitting in the sun, reading and sipping on a spritzer. The yoga continues to help my sciatica and piriformis pain I'm happy to report! I made the mistake of skipping it one day last week and I really felt the difference - never again!


In fact, I wanted to share this with those suffering, or those who know people suffering, especially of piriformis pain. Get yourself a tennis ball and do a self-massage! It REALLY works! (And it ALSO works on a tight BUDGET for those like me, who can't afford physio-therapy)

The tennis ball self-massage hurts a bit at first, but it's a great way to really get deep into that muscle, I find almost instant relief when I do this each morning. The video above is very informative. The therapist explains how sciatica develops, how to self-massage using both a foam roller and a tennis ball, how to stretch the piriformis and how to strengthen it. I do all of these things daily. The only problem I have is that Jack thinks it's a game of hide and seek with the tennis ball!


Dog days of summer? Jack, Marlene and Charlie snoozing in the sunshine. (The huskies are shedding...oh, the horror...) Seize the day my friends...life is short! :) (I wish I could have told my 20-year old self that!!!) :)

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August's Waxing Gibbous Moon (I love my zoom setting!!)

August 15th: Next Thursday's theme is Moon Sun and Stars. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Another Cheesy Weekend!


Hello Friends :)

How are things with you? Things are great here, busy but great! I've been into the cheese making again. The above photo is a Parmesan that I made yesterday, it's brining as we speak, then I will age it about 6-9 months.


I'm also in the process of making a Jarlesberg. I'll age that one about 6-8 weeks. If I can pull off a "Swiss" style cheese...there will be LOTS of fondues in my future!! :) 

I'll post about these two cheeses on my cheese making blog in the next week or so!


I also made some Boursin style cheeses. One with a mix of herbs and garlic, one with green onions and one with my cherry coulis. (See my post on Rainy Day Cheese Making for the recipes!). This meal was so good, the berries are so sweet! I love summer eating! :)


More cheesy goodness...Asparagus and Fontina Tart.




Could Baby Oscar be MORE lazy??? He's cooling off over the A/C in my office!


Leo and Charlie asleep on the front porch. For anyone interested, this Thursday's Art Date theme is "Patterns"! Hope to see you there! :)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Thursday Art Date: Green


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is Green. Considering that it is summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere, I wanted to come up with a few colour-based themes to keep things cheerful! All I see from November through to May is snow...snow...and more snow. I want to keep my world as colourful as possible before the whites, grays and browns take over!

I had a lot of ideas for Bugs and Daffy this week but I was in a pickle as to what I should do...After talking about The Picklesburgh Festival with Joyce from Octoberfarm I decided that Daffy must be portrayed as a dill pickle; in fact Joyce is my official "joke writer" for this cartoon. I RELISH your sense of humour Joyce, thanks for the gag! :)


I often go back to Bob Ross' videos to remind myself that paintings don't need to be complicated to do! This is my Green Forest oil painting. I feel as though I walk along that path every morning with the dogs!

Speaking of green, here are a few photos of my container garden! Things are growing!!



Could it be a little pumpkin growing???




Today is day 6 of the sciatica recovery program I created for myself. I'm still going for walks each morning with the dogs. I'm also doing yoga daily as well. I joined on online yoga site and they have 5 programs specifically for sciatica and piriformis pain. I've stuck to one of them every other day and I'd have to say my pain went from a ten out of ten to a four. Very good progress! I have to drive this morning and I fixed my car seat so that it's ergonomic. I hope the pain doesn't get worse with the driving!


I also make sure that I don't sit all day long. I'm quite active outside, in the garden and in the kitchen, but on really hot, humid days, I'm inside a lot with the a/c going. Plus I have to think of winter too - when I'm stuck indoors pretty much 23 hours a day! I tend to get carried away reading blogs, doing recipe searches and watching informative videos. That keeps me sitting a lot. Alex is lending me his laptop stand until we can get a second one and this is my current set up. Not ideal! But the second laptop stand is on its way and when we get it, Alex is going to build me something like this:

From Upright and Caffeinated


It'll just sit on top of my current desk so I can get up anytime I need to. It'll be much more stable than the game boxes lol! Actually, I'm spending most of my computer time on my feet now. I just have to make sure I protect my back and keep my posture!


The squirrels aren't coming around as often as they used to! I guess that day was coming! We still find empty nut and seed shells in the cage each morning though.


I saw this on Pam's blog and I had to do it! :)

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August 8th: Next Thursday's theme is Patterns. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Mostly Food!


Hi Everyone :)

I hope your weekend is treating you well. I remember when weekends meant something more to me - a time to get away from the hustle and bustle...Well, I stopped working in 2003 due to burnout so I consider Monday to Friday my weekends and I hide away on Saturdays and Sundays to avoid the loud weekenders!!!

Oh burnout...not what it seems...it was a LONG recovery and I only really started to feel better in 2011 after suffering years and years of anxiety, depression, panic and physical pain that seemed to manifest from nothing. I still have my daily challenges, but I'm very grateful for my quiet country life with my pets and Alex. I mentioned on my Thoughts Blog the other day that I stopped walking the dogs in early July because there was a dangerous loose dog that attacked Jack. The owner was absolutely self-righteous so the police got involved. Once the law was there, there were fervent promises to tie up that dog...I hold no grudge against any animal, it's the human behind the incident that I don't trust. So I stopped walking my dogs out of fear, sigh. Don't worry though - Jack is okay. Marlene (to the right), the sweet, timid, insecure Marlene - WAS A WOLF protecting Jack, it was a little scary but I'm glad I have HER on my side!!!

My friends know that one of my most favourite, spiritual and healing activities is walking the dogs in the woods, so I was suffering depression for a while because I didn't feel safe walking in those woods anymore.

Yesterday I decided EFF IT!!! 😊 I went looking for a new spot and I found one! A very quiet road, one house only, no loose dogs and a rather barbarian entrance into the woods. There are old snowmobile trails there after you get through the thick brush to enter, so I walked the dogs there and I will continue to do so every day until the snow stops me! I have to drive about 10 minutes to get there and park on a deserted road (which suits me!) but at least I FEEL SAFE so life is happy again for me! :)




I also mentioned on my other blog that I've been suffering really bad sciatica that became unbearable lately. Sitting or lying down for more than one hour is excruitiating. I was told that I had to wait four months to see a doctor...REALLY??? Free medicare isn't all it's cut out to be, trust me. I decided to take my healing into my own hands. I am now on a gentle daily yoga program. I also have learned how to properly sit in my chair, my car and my bed. I do exercises a few time a day to help my muscles and joints and I hope that by Christmas, it will be either gone or at least manageable without pain killers. I refuse to let this conquer me. I think that stopping my daily walks made everything worse so I'm happy that I'm active again - seriously! SITTING is BAD. Wish me luck! I'll keep you all posted on my recovery!

So let's talk food!!!


Pizza-ghetti, with a new Puglia wine from Italy called Vanita Primitivo - mmmm! Puglia is my favourite region for wine!! The wines are from the Primitivo grape which was cloned and brought to the States to make their wonderful Zinfandels.


I started to pick the green and yella beans. I only planted 6 plants of each this year and they produced so many beans. I also picked some green onions.


I made a nice fresh Green and Yellow Bean Pasta Salad.


This picture is really bad but the dessert is awesome....it's an ice cream sundae. I made a Cherry Coulis and poured it on top of vanilla ice cream and chocolate cake. (Cathy, it's such an easy recipe...and really good on ice cream!)


I had fun with this meal! I made a Roasted Tomato Soup with Pizza Twists! The pizza twists are messy to make, but they're really delicious and fun to eat!


To satisfy my sweet tooth...chocolate covered Oreos. You just melt your favourite chocolate and dip in the Oreos. I put them in the deep freezer to set. You guys know I'm not a fan of anything processed and I strive to make everything from scratch...but Mr. Christie sure does make a good Oreo cookie! :) (One fine day, I tried to replicate the Oreo and failed miserably!)


Thanks so much to everyone who has enjoyed the posts about the squirrels! They are out in the big wide world now. We do see them daily though. Algie and Frasier stick close to each other and we know it's them because they visit us together. Spunky - the most independent of the triplets...is a loner, but he sleeps in the cage every night! (Alex has been watching with binoculars!) Here's a video of Spunky coming into the cage and taking a peanut! They are so sweet!

Spring Peeper - rare find this time of year!

Thursday's Art Date Theme is GREEN. Please click on the link for inspiration and ideas and I hope to see you then!! :)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thursday Art Date: X-Ray/Negative Image


Hello Friends! :)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date! Our theme today is X-Ray/Negative Image. I hope anyone who participates this week thought of this theme as a challenge, I know I did! When I started this art date in mid-May of this year, I wrote down a few dozen ideas for themes and I didn't think about how challenging one would be over the other. But I did find this one challenging.

Not the X-Ray part, to me that's an obvious one! And Dr. Bugs Bunny (PHD of Wise-Quacks) seems to know what he's doing! Do you think that Daffy agrees? ;) By the way, did you know that the round thing on Bugs' head is a head mirror? It's supposed to provide shadow-free illumination, once used to examine ears, noses and throats. I didn't know that, I just thought it was standard wardrobe in old movies! :)


I did another version of X-Ray in watercolours. Sea creatures through an X-Ray lens. But I wanted to find out more about negative space in art.


I looked up the definition of negative space and negative images in art and got the general idea that the negative space is the space that surrounds the object of an image - it's just as important as the image itself in defining your piece. I don't know if I got this one right, but I tried! :) As my friends know, I love fairy tales and I've done a lot of Red Riding Hood pieces, this one was fun. I painted this in acrylics.


As I was mixing my black and white acrylics to make a gray colour, I noticed a face in the puddle of paint, do you see it? Maybe this is also a great example of a Negative Image! :)


On the home front, we released the squirrels on Tuesday. Spunky was the first to leave the nest and it only took him about 2 minutes from the time Alex cut the hole in the back of the cage. He definitely had cabin fever.



He ran up and down the trees in the back yard like a pro!


Algie and Frasier though, seemed reluctant at first.


Within about 15 minutes they were all out, climbing trees and rocks and chasing each other around the woods. We are sad to see them go, but we are also so proud of them! We watched them most of the afternoon on Tuesday and they stuck close to the back yard, and all three very close to each other!


Spunky seems more of a loner and he wanders off alone. Algie and Frasier are always together still. On Wednesday we called them when we went outside and within about half an hour, all three were back in the yard running up and down on the trees. Once in a while, we'd see them hovering around the cage. How nice that they come when called! :)


I've had a little more time now that the squirrels are out on their own, so I was able to add two more Cheddars to my cheese making venture! We'll try the Cheddar I made last week in about 3 months, the wheel on the left will age 6 months and the other 9 months. At some point, it would be really nice to make cheese every few weeks so we always have a nice supply of Cheddar - it's the cheese we eat the most. I think my next cheese will be a Colby and then a Monterey Jack.


We've been trying to eat the fresh lettuce from the garden as much as possible before the slugs get at it. Last night I made a Cheddar and Cauliflower Soup with a Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Caesar Dressing.


Of course, we always need something sweet handy! :) I haven't made Cinnamon Crunch Knots in a long time, they taste just like a really good doughnut, I love this recipe!


Speaking of sweet things, Jack loves to groom Oscar - he licks his entire face, especially his ears. It's very cute and Oscar loves it! The video is only a few seconds...I need to get a longer one!

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"Green Forest" (Acrylics)

August 1st: Next Thursday's theme is Green. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! :)

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes.

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! Please don't include a link unless you participate in the art date!

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