Sunday, August 30, 2020

Dogs and Cheese and a Blogging Break!


Hi Everyone 😊

I hope you're all doing well! I made a Jarlsberg cheese this past week. This cheese is SO good! It's currently aging and will be ready in about 5-6 weeks. I love how milk turns into such yummy good cheese.

My beautiful wheel of Jarlsberg...ready February 15th 2020....gone and eaten by February 20th 2020!

The last time I made this cheese was last December and this is what it looks like when it's all aged with big Swiss-style "eyes"! I can't wait to eat this again, it's my most successful cheese! 

There is a grouse couple living in the trees on my acreage, right next to the house. They mostly hang out in the birch trees. 

Even though the nights are getting cool here, around 10C, the days are still very hot. I made this gif from photos I took when I was walking Jack and Charlie. It's so windy lately, I felt like Jack might take off as his ears picked up the wind!


The skies here are definitely stunning. 


Well my Friends, I finally did THE TASK. I sat down and did a brutal assessment of all the work that needs to get done in the next 2 months. This is just some of it. There is also finding a better home insurance plan, redoing the budget, figuring out Alex's studio, putting up curtains, canning tomatoes, I have 2 doctor's appointments, we have an appointment with our lawyer to draw up our wills, monthly meal prep and shopping, pet care, day to day stuff and ME time. Plus Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween are coming up quickly! I feel a bit overwhelmed!

I've decided to take a Blogging break for at least a month until I can get a handle on my life here. I'm still going to host the weekly art date though! And I will try to participate! So I will see you on Thursday for our art date! The theme is The Old Masters. πŸŽ¨ Thanks for understanding! ❤️❤️❤️

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Still Life and Paint Party Friday!



Hello Friends, 😊

Disclaimer: Blogger is messing with the formatting again, if my links bring you to a redirect page, don't worry, just continue on and click on the link.

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Still Life. I caught Bugs Bunny in a very artsy moment while he drew and painted his version of Still Life. I guess this is his idea of a nice, quiet evening. 😊


I'm also linking up with Paint Party Friday tomorrow.


I watch a lot of the show "Moonshiners"...and thought that those guys basically lead the Still Life...ha ha...a little play on words. I did this doodle with pigment liner pens. The thought did occur to me that one day I'd love to try my hand at making whisky. I know...it's not quite legal and probably very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. I drew this last weekend before this happened:


Those of my Friends who follow me on Instagram know it's been an emotional week here. Our neighbour's house burned down on Monday. I was on my way out to get some groceries when I saw that billowing black cloud. I called 911 immediately. It's been so dry here...and his house isn't more than about 300 meters from ours, our acreages meet in the back forest...I was terrified the fire would start a forest fire and we'd lose our home. I wasn't the only one. Neighbours from about 1 km in each direction showed up...all of us with worried faces. Not only were we concerned for our neighbours, but understandably for ourselves too.

Apparently Robert was working on his car, welding, when a spark flew out of his open garage and set a pile of wood on fire very quickly. It spread to the forest and became a blaze. Luckily there was very little wind that day. There were fire trucks from three counties that arrived. In two of those counties, the firemen are all volunteers, bless them πŸ’•. But the water trucks kept running out of water and they had to speed off to the river and pond to refill over and over. Robert and his wife had burns on their arms but they are okay. They lost everything though. 

The fire was supposed to be out but a few hours later a neighbour called to say that it started again and the fire department had to come back. All of the neighbours gathered around again. This time the firemen doused it with water and fire retardant. A helpful neighbour drove his giant backhoe to the scene and helped to dig through the debris to make sure there weren't any embers. After weeks of drought, it finally rained on Tuesday...one day late for those poor people. We all breathed a sigh of relief though.


I was walking the dogs this morning, trying to work through my overwhelming feelings of empathy...when I saw this rock shaped like a broken heart. I always carry matches with me, and I decided to create a still life piece out of Nature. I fiddled with the photo for the effect in Photo Explosion. This expresses how I feel these days! 


Despite the tragedy, life goes on. The clouds reflected a beautiful sunset that night.


Last night I saw a rainbow...actually it was a double, there is a second one just above the first one, this brought hope to my heart. πŸ’“

So, that's all for now folks. Please check out the link gadget below to see more Still Life art; and join me on Sunday for my food, pets and home post. And please stay safe, check your smoke alarm batteries and always practice diligent fire safety!

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September 3rd: Next Thursday's theme is The Old Masters. 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! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Cow, A Quiche and a Foggy Rainbow


 
Hello Friends! 😊😊😊

I'm a little late with my Sunday post today...so much has been going on. Have you ever seen a rainbow in the fog? I haven't! I wonder if there's a pot of gold beyond those trees? 😊 


Alex and I went for a walk last night. The sky was so beautiful, the Waxing Crescent Moon was bright in the sky!


There were very few clouds in the sky, but they reflected the sunset beautifully.


We sat by the river for a while. I thought the reflection of the clouds in the water was pretty. We heard coyotes too.


I'm linking up today with Eileen's Saturday's Critters post. If you want to join in or check out other posts, just click on the link!


Cow! Not mine! 😊


Sleepy Jack - he's mine and in my heart forever! πŸ’•


Raccoon tracks?


This was such a delicious meal...Cauliflower and Jarlsberg Quiche. Quiches are simple to make. As long as you have a good crust recipe, all you need to do is layer your veggies, a mix of milk and eggs then load it up with the cheese of your choice!


If you have fresh basil to use up, try making my Sundried Tomato and Basil Pesto. It's really good on crackers with a little Cheddar shredded on top!

I found a tomato farm last week and I scored a great price on 120 pounds of Roma tomatoes that I'll be canning for the winter. I have to call the owner of the farm tomorrow to see if they're ready. Fingers crossed this drought hasn't affected them too badly!

πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ… I will be adding this to my posts for a few weeks: Please contact me via my contact form on the right side bar of my blog if you want to be on my Christmas card list! And also please contact me if you have been previously so I can give you my new address! πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ…

If time permits, I'll be posting a small garden update on Tuesday, if not, I'll see you Thursday for our art date, the theme is Still Life! 😊

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Night Scene and Paint Party Friday!

 
Hello Friends! 😊😊

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Night Scene. I did something very different for my Looney Tunes tribute this week! I drew Tweety Bird looking up, then I cut him out and placed him on a black sheet of paper. I took a photo then transferred that to my starry background using a VERY old version of Photo Explosion. I am not good at doing stuff in photo software (actually I'm just too impatient to learn); so this was difficult for me! I just wanted him looking up at the stars and I didn't have enough black Sharpie ink to fill the background in myself! 😊

Aurora Forest (acrylics)


I wish I could show you how this REALLY looks! No matter what I try, I can't photograph my artwork in a realistic way. There is always some kind of glare or the camera doesn't pick up on certain colours, sigh. I've tried taking photos outside too!😣 I'm toying with the idea of getting some good photography lighting equipment. The photo above is close to what I painted, but I used a lot more vibrant greens in the Auroras than what is shown here. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with this piece! Just not how it photographed.


I'm also linking up with
Paint Party Friday tomorrow!



A fun Night Scene...Fairy Godmother turning the pumpkin into a coach so that Cinderella can get to the ball to meet her Prince Charming. 😊  This was a quick scribble done with pen, ink and graphite pencils.

I was fooling around with the exposure setting on my camera. Your eyes may see a brilliant Full Moon at night...it was actually the sunrise! Sneaky huh? πŸ˜‰

This is the real Moon shot (taken a few nights ago)! 😊 It's currently a Waning Crescent, and for those who are spiritually inclined, it's a good time to let go of what doesn't suit you; and prepare for new beginnings!

πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ… I will be adding this to my posts for a few weeks: Please contact me via my contact form on the right side bar of my blog if you want to be on my Christmas card list! And also please contact me if you have been previously so I can give you my new address! πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ…

That's all for now folks! Please check out the link gadget below to see more Night Scene art! And join me on Sunday for my food, pets and home post! 😊

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"Sip, Munch and Draw"


August 27th: Next Thursday's theme is Still Life. 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! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Garden News - 😞


Hi Everyone! 😊

I have been meaning to post a garden update but honestly there isn't much to report sadly. Arun over at Jaipur Garden Blog has a weekly link party called Garden Affair. That motivated me to post something today! I'm also linking up with Angie's Mosaic Mondays link party. I'm really having fun blogging lately! Please check out those links if it interests you or if you want to join in! 😊

Bad news first? When Alex and I realized our well was dry at the end of June, we had to have a new well drilled. I'd already put in all of my raised beds and the well had to be drilled very close to half of them. All of those beds that were near the new well got covered in rock dust. All of the plants in those beds either died or have stunted growth. My Buttercrunch lettuce (that normally thrives) is the same size it was at the beginning of July and hasn't grown an inch. I lost all of my herbs, strawberries, spinach, Iceberg lettuce, beets and green onions to the rock dust contamination, sigh...okay onto some good news:


Butternut Squash: one little lady is growing! Because of our move, I couldn't start my seeds indoors like I normally do, I had to plant seeds directly into the raised beds in June, so I'm not too sure what kind of harvest I'll have this year!

Spaghetti Squash: there are two of these growing, I love this squash! So far the deer haven't found my garden, and I'm hoping it stays that way!

Tomatoes: they are finally starting to pop up on all of the plants! I'm so excited about this! My potato bed is filled too, I'm looking forward to a great potato harvest!

I love the skies here in New Brunswick, I'm so blessed!

This is the trunk of a huge Douglas Fir tree by the river. I thought the colours were fantastic so I wanted to share that with you! 

Marlene, Charlie and Jack

Do you think Jack is fed up of me stopping to take photos? 😊 See you all on Thursday for our art date! The theme is Night Scene.

πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ… I will be adding this to my posts for a few weeks: Please contact me via my contact form on the right side bar of my blog if you want to be on my Christmas card list! And also please contact me if you have been previously so I can give you my new address! πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ…

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Days and Nights With Nature 🌲🌲


Hi Everyone! Happy Sunday! 😊😊

I hope you are all happy, healthy and living life to its fullest! We are! We spent a lot of time in Nature the last week and it was a much needed break. I mentioned on my last post that we followed a very dirty sandy road for miles that led to a bog and protected wildlife area. Along the way we found this secluded little spot by the river. We had to climb down quite a ways, but it was worth it. We spent a few hours here enjoying a picnic lunch that Alex made for us. πŸ’š


I'm linking up today with Eileen's Saturday Critters!


We were lucky to see lots of wildlife on those excursions like this bullfrog.



Look at this beautiful turtle. We saw it on the road and had to stop to bring it over to its pond.

There are some BIG birds in this area, we saw some eagles, falcons and herons. 



In this area of the bog, we heard a buck deer rut call. I tried to capture this with my silly little cell phone microphone but all I could capture was the wind and the occasional "did you hear that Alex?" LOL...


This is the sound we heard. It was coming from the trees in the back of the logged woodlot, every minute or two. (For some reason this video doesn't always play but you can click on the "watch on You Tube" link, the sound is at 1:15.)


We were fascinated by these sounds, we stood on these logged tree trunks for nearly an hour just listening and enjoying what we were hearing!



We decided to head home when the sun started to set. I personally don't like driving at night, but we specifically came out to see wildlife and the best time to see/hear them is at dawn and dusk.


Some of you have seen this photo, I posted it last week. On the drive home, we saw a black bear cub running across the road, his mamma was waiting for him in the ditch. Our first bear sighting!


We had to drive very slowly because every few hundred yards, these little brown rabbits would shoot across the road.


When we got home, we sat outside to watch the Perseid meteor showers. This was the second night we sat outside. I was fooling around with my camera and yes Monica, I pulled out the tripod this time 😊! I got a nice photo of the Big Dipper.


I can't be sure, but this could possibly be part of the Milky Way. I still need to learn more about night photography, but this is pretty darn cool!


The days have been so hot and humid! Here I am with Marlene, swimming in the stream. Our Marlene is getting older and she feels more confident when I hold her in the water. By the way, no bathing suits here! I was in there in my shorts, t-shirt and hiking boots!!!


I was SO PROUD OF MY JACK!!! With Alex's encouragement, he actually went for a swim, but we had to throw the ball in to entice him! Although...we discovered that a leech was heading right for him. If you look at the tall green weeds to the right-bottom of this gif I made, you can see a black worm-like thing snaking through the water, that's the leech. I can't believe I got it on camera. I was kind of freaked out a little, but I do realize there are leeches in so many waterways, we just have to be careful and check ourselves and the pets when we jump in the drink!


Not so good pet news...as many of you know, I post a few times a year about Charlie's allergic reactions to (what we think are) spider bites. Well, it happened again. Poor girl, her face balloons up and her eyes swell shut. The telltale sign is that she scratches her snout mercilessly just before she starts to swell. When we see that, we have only a few minutes to pump her full of Benadryl while she can still swallow. It's FREAKING SCARY...but the Benadryl works and as I type this she's completely back to normal. Oi.


Oscar is such a sweet cat...he's so affectionate and easy. Whenever he purrs, he REALLY vocalizes...it always makes me smile to hear him so happy! I was cleaning the bathroom when he decided to join me and show me some love! πŸ’“


I haven't only been frolicking by the river lol...I spent three days taking down the old curtains that were left here, washing windows and installing our sheers and curtains. The house will take a while to become our own, but we are slowly getting things installed, repaired and organized!


My Sunday post wouldn't be complete without some food photos! Every month on the 14th, Alex and I have a fondue dinner - we celebrate our monthly "anniversary" that way. It's been 7 years and 5 months now, and we had our favourite Smoked Cheddar and Apple Cider Fondue. We had it with a nice wine from the Puglia region of Italy. (See Linda? We don't follow any rules for "pairing" wine either!! 😊)


After one of our Nature days out, we wanted something hardy and comforting...pasta it is with lovely and delicious fresh shredded and "petaled" Parmesan!


Last night I made Chinese food: Stir Fried Rice, Garlic Noodles and Sweet and Sour Cauliflower (served in a pineapple!).


Oh strawberries and cream! How I love thee! πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“

Thanks for stopping by my Friends! See you on Thursday for our art date, the theme is Night Scene! PS: I wanted to let my Friends know that I'm back to responding to all of my comments! During the move, I couldn't find the time, but now I do because I love it so much, so check back for a response. Sometimes it takes me a week, but I will always reply!!

πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ… I will be adding this to my posts for a few weeks: Please contact me via my contact form on the right side bar of my blog if you want to be on my Christmas card list! And also please contact me if you have been previously so I can give you my new address! πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ…