The Maggie Turner Challenge Event

The Bourdaloue; not a gravy boat.
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The sun shone yesterday!

I awoke this morning well before light. I am waiting. It is too early to tell if the sun will shine today. I can say though, that it is not snowing.

Yesterday we decided not to do a second firing in the masonry heater. It was cold outside last night, below -12C. This morning the temperature in the house was about 14C. Mist was not happy with us!

The first task of the morning was to light the fire, made ready yesterday by Attila. It always catches quickly and easily when the wood sits overnight in the warm wood box. Mist is already curled up in her basket and sleeping. Mist snores.

I am usually awake for hours and hours before Attila. He clings to sleep, enjoys it. I think I must be unusual. As soon as my conscious mind has even one thought, I am catapulted into the day, instantly alert and aware. I have never “slept till noon,” or “slept the day away”. It just isn’t possible for me to do so.

Growing up on a farm may have something to do with this. I have warm fuzzy feelings about awakening to bird call, just before dawn. I remember the sound of a breeze in the maple leaves just outside the window, just as the light was beginning to filter through the trees, and distant sounds of my Mother, busy getting the day under way in the kitchen.

I have not spent time with anyone who enjoys the mornings the way I do. There must be others out in the world, I may even have met them. But the people with whom I have lived have all been “sleeper inners”.

This “weekend” Attila and I are cooking with what we can find in the fridge freezer. This is by choice, not necessity.

Yesterday I found a little bag of frozen uncooked beef, mostly fat, that was shaved from a premium grade prime rib. It was a scrap being thrown out at a place where I once worked, so I took it home and threw it in the freezer. Yesterday, after thawing it, the fat was trimmed off, and it was cut into small pieces to make a quarter cup of small chunks of stewing beef. These chunks were seared in the cast iron dutch oven, then onions, carrots, potatoes, peas, vegetable broth, a little tomato juice and spices were added. Then the lid went on and the heat turned to low. Three hours later we had a mouth watering stew for dinner. It was light on red meat, but still enough to provide us with the complete protein we needed for the day.

There was also an aging bag of cauliflower in the freezer. Again the cast iron dutch oven was brought into play. After caramelizing a chopped onion in olive oil, I added a few potatoes, vegetable broth, a few carrots, some garlic and the thawed cauliflower. It cooked a few hours on low. The basic taste was good, although very bland. In went some vinegar, molasses, salt, and ground pepper. It is a very nice soup; it will be good for lunches next week.

Today Attila will make a casserole with about 12 ounces of cooked pork. It was leftover after a pork roast dinner, and so frozen for a future meal. The casserole will provide us with two delicious dinners for two.

And me, I will use the small container of frozen pineapple tidbits, that I found at the back of the freezer, to make a pineapple loaf of some sort. That will be good for snacks and lunches next week.

We are enjoying ourselves, making good use of all the resources that come our way. Of course, this is only possible because we both have a keen interest in cooking, and a sound knowledge of how to preserve and prepare food from scratch. It doesn’t hurt that I have three years of university training in food and nutrition. Little did I know, during my years in that degree program, that I would develop anaphylaxis; that my training would be basic to my own survival.

I love taking a few random ingredients and finding a way to turn them into something mouth watering!

Attila has been making his own salad dressing for some time now. I have yet to venture into this realm. Today was the day! After looking on the internet at quite a few recipes for ranch salad dressing, I took what I liked from each and made my own dressing. It seems OK, but the real test will be what it tastes like on my green salad, tonight at dinner.

And what have I been busy looking at today? Why, the Bourdaloue! I am not sure how I first came across this item on the internet. It is certainly intriguing.

What a boon to women this Bourdaloue must have been.

Today’s clothing does not command this type of solution.


There is a NEED in our society. What we need is an alternative to diapers for incontinence!

I challenge inventive minds to come up with alternatives for dealing with incontinence; alternatives that work, even for those in nursing homes. We need alternatives that allow people to maintain their dignity! We can call it the Maggie Turner Challenge Event, LOL. The only reward for winning this event is the knowledge that you have “made a difference”. Even if you’re only twenty years old now, if you aspire to a long life, this may well become a significant topic in your world.

Worldly Distractions


-12 °C
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -10.5°C
Dewpoint: -11.0°C
Humidity: 96 %
Wind: calm


“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
Michael J. Fox

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Salad dressing: lemon curd whipped with enough white balsamic vinegar to liquify it. Yum!

Little kitty snores: isn’t it funny how they snuffle when they’re asleep, and sometimes move their paws, too. I wonder what they’re dreaming about?

I, too, go “shopping” in the freezer. I have a bad habit of freezing something without labeling, and so occasionally dinner is not what I thought it was going to be.

Life is an adventure. Eat it up.


Bet you anything it’s an under-the-bed piss pot.


I’m one of those nighthawks that will stay up till her eyes won’t stay open, then sleep as late as she can get away with. Or was. I’ve decided to become an early riser because I’ve always loved the first hours of morning on the occasions I’ve been up for some reason, and I’m finding that the days simply seem too short in recent years.

The secret, for me, is getting completely ready for bed between 8 and 9 o’clock, teeth flossed and brushed and all. Not only does that keep me from snacking after supper, but when I realize I’m tired it’s so easy to turn out the lamp and go to sleep! Rather than putting off the getting-ready rituals because I’m already too tired and lazy, so I end up staying up later!

My radio alarm now comes on at 6:30. I’ve been setting it 15 minutes earlier at the beginning of each month, and will continue to do so till I’m getting up at 5 or 6 a.m. As long as I get my eight hours at night by going to sleep early enough, this is working out fine!