Carrot Muffins

The sun was shining again this morning. The light breeze tickled the leaves, they laughed gently and cast frivolity across the living room floor. It was cool, which was refreshing after the recent spell of heat and humidity. Clouds appeared on the blue canvas above, they slowly coloured the sky grey as the day wore on.

A quiet day is developing.

A few days ago I made chili, for dinner that night, and some to freeze in mason jars, two servings in each jar, to enjoy as quick suppers at the Rideau Camp. Dishes like chili lend themselves to the adventurous use of food odds and ends, things found in the refrigerator that will go bad soon, if they are not used up. The recent chili included onions from an older bag of onions that had been sitting far too long waiting for inclusion in a recipe, and part of an older bag of carrots. The bag of onions was emptied into a large metal bowl, all of the soft onions were separated into another metal bowl for the compost, and the remaining sound onions were either used for the chili, or stored in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. The entire bag of carrots was trimmed, peeled, and reduced to small granules in the food processor. Two cups of carrot bits were added to the chili, and two cups were placed in a container in the refrigerator. This morning the carrots in the refrigerator were added to a muffin recipe, and the resulting muffins were very pleasant.

When it is cool I can bake in the morning, my favoured time of day for projects. I am a morning person. The summer time-of-use hydro billing allow me to bake at mid-peak prices for electricity, so I take advantage of this to do my baking at a time of day when I will enjoy it, rather than it feeling like a chore. When it is hot outside in the summer, I tend not to bake at all, since the heat from the oven would necessitate hard work from the air conditioning. It seems pointless, and expensive, to heat the air with the oven, while cooling it with the air conditioner. If I need to bake on a hot day, I will resort to using the Nesco on the back porch, and the air it heats will not need to be cooled.

The crocheted “water balloon” project continues. I have been following the pattern using my laptop, which is not really convenient. The laptop is five years old now and not so portable as it was, the battery does not hold a charge for very long, so that the unit needs to be tethered to an electrical cord and outlet. I like to carry my project bag with me to the back porch in the morning, so a printed copy of the pattern seemed just the thing.

My printer has been misbehaving. I haven’t taken the time to figure out why the new black ink cartridge would not print properly, a few feeble attempts were made to remedy the problem, but it persisted. A few hours of fiddling around with it, and having a google around the internet to see what other’s were saying about this particular printer, and the problem was solved. Apparently ALL FOUR ink cartridges have to have adequate ink in them, to print black and white. Two of the three colour cartridges were spent, making it impossible to print in black and white. I had been using the cartridges that came with the printer, but they were small volume sample cartridges and were spent easily. Luckily I had ordered full sized cartridges from 123 Ink Cartridges when the printer was purchased, so I was able to replace the spent cartridges, and print my one page of black and white text. It will be interesting to see how much Costco will charge to refill the full size colour cartridges, when the time comes.

Attila and I have been talking about getting a water gun. It is a child’s toy that will shoot a stream of water quite a distance. Last summer a red fox circled us for an entire afternoon, boldly coming towards us as we ate our lunch, and our then our dinner. Attila would scare him off, but he would sit in the shadow of the trees watching us, and return again. The neighbours told us about the nearby cottager on the lake who feeds the wild foxes, teaching them to approach humans for food. I regard this as highly disrespectful of wild animals. We eventually had to throw rocks at the poor thing, to get it to retreat into its own world of the forest. At the time I researched possible solutions, and many people experiencing similar issues recommended a water gun.

Canadian Tire have water guns on sale at the moment, so off we went after work last night to buy one. It shoots a stream of water 38 feet, which should give the fox lots of warning that his/her company is not wanted.

The last time we stayed at the Rideau Camp we could hear coyotes, more than one, yipping and howling nearby. It did not seem that they were actually on our property, but we knew they were close. I had been reading about various problems with coyotes in southern Ontario, e.g. Oakville and Mississauga, and feel that we had best be prepared for the worst case scenario, no matter how unlikely it seems. We surmise that the local coyotes are hunting rodents, and young farm animals from the surrounding farms. Last summer we passed a dead lamb, partially eaten, at the side of the highway near the camp. Our guess was that it was coyotes, who were scared away from their kill by traffic. The water gun will be a part of our strategy if coyotes come too close. We will also be purchasing bear spray, which will probably never be used, but will be available in the unlikely event that a coyote or bear becomes aggressive when we are in the bush. We already own a bear horn, but luckily did not have to use it when we lived at the country house.

I actually posted a query on Facebook about water guns, and was mildly mocked by a few of my urban friends; not all, Teri responded with thoughtful and useful information. This type of mild mockery of cautionary measures has happened to me many times in my life, because I do take the unlikely seriously, which many people would rather not do, rather not think about. I can think of many, many instances where those who mocked ran into the very situation they assumed was unlikely, and were unprepared to deal with it effectively. I have never offered them my sympathy. I don’t say “I told you so”, I just quietly give myself a little hug of appreciation that had it happened to me, the outcome would have been more positive.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 22 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 18.5°C
Dew point: 12.3°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: WSW 8 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Seeing The Light

The big adventure of the day began when my glasses fell to the floor. Out popped the left lens. I need my glasses.

I phoned Costco, they said they would try to put the lens back in for me, no charge, and were quite pleasant on the telephone. It is 40 km drive to Costco, not ideal.

The attempt to fix the glasses myself began with trying to find my glasses repair tools. They have not been used since the move, almost two years ago. The search spanned two hours, and was finally abandoned. A small screwdriver that came with the sewing machine, and the matching brush, were fished out of the sewing equipment.

The light was inadequate for the job. The only available working glasses were quite old, and not as helpful as they were when new. It seemed the time to setup the magnifying lamp, purchased many years ago. To setup the magnifying lamp the desk where it would be attached had to be cleared off. To clear off the desk the front bedroom needed to be organized so that the items on the desk could be put away. First the room was organized, then the desk was cleared, then the lamp was installed on the desk. It was time for lunch!

After taking refreshment, an attempt was made to place the lens back in the glasses frame, using the sewing equipment. The screwdriver was too large for the screw head. Another extended search for the glasses repair tools began. An hour or so later, the tools were found at the bottom of a satchel, at the back of the linen closet.

Begin again.

On close examination, with the aid of magnification, the glasses frame appeared to need cleaning. This took about an hour. Finally, the attempt to insert the lens into the frame began. It failed.

Time for a another break.

An hour or so later, I returned to the task. After repeated attempts, I finally secured the lens in the frame. It is not in there quite the way it should be, but it is in, and I can now wear the glasses.

DSCF0728 Maggie’s Awesome Glasses Repair Workshop. Magnifying lamps are amazing and really worth having around for finer work when aging eyes just can’t manage the job on their own. The little white screwdriver was too big for the job, the longer one was just right.

As a treat to myself, I crocheted a second water balloon for the Grandbabies. Yesterday I crocheted the first one, tried it out in a bowl of water, and decided that it was worth my time to create a bunch of these balloons for the Grandbabies to play with on hot summer days.

DSCF0732 Water Balloons. These are crocheted using a 9 mm crochet hook, Bernat Blanket Brights yarn, and a pattern created by Left In Knots.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

20°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Friday 16 June 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 20.2°C
Dew point: 16.9°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SSE 14 km/h
Humidex: 25
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Mahatma Gandhi