Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pretty Stoked

Can you sing Happy Days Are Here Again?  If so you should sing it with me because it is a happy, happy day for old Iron Bess.  Believe it or not we got ALL of our winter wood hauled, packed in, and piled, so our basement looks, and smells all wood pile like.  It also looks pretty impressive with the wood taking up all that room and truly looking like a place which is prepared for another winter season.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this winter will be somewhat the same as last winter which would mean that we won't have to burn the whole lot up so will be that much ahead of the game next year.  The best part is that with the basement full we even have the garage restocked we almost have a full row left out in the field which means that we already have a jump on next year.  So I am sitting here having a sip of wine (okay a glass of red grape juice, not quite wine but it looks exactly the same when you put it in a wine glass) and writing on my blog with a completely clear conscience.  It was quite a productive week this week, I even managed to apply for two jobs.  One full time :( and one part time :).  Guess which one I really want? 

It was an amazingly beautiful, warm, sunny, lovely fall day today so it was great to finish our push on the wood before hurricane Sandy makes landfall next week.  We also took advantage of the supposedly low gas prices ($1.20 a liter) to tank up the truck and the jerry cans for our misc equipment.  Have generator - will power, is our motto.  I know we are ready for the crappy weather but I sure hate to see these amazing days end.  I walked around in a tshirt and shorts all day today.  My old home in the Misty Mountains has over a foot of snow already and people have been out there shovelling.  I surely don't miss that at all. 

Well here at the Old Shoes And Tea Society it is time to say good night to one and all. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

More Wood for Bess

Well it looks like it will be another beautiful day here in the land of the east.  The sun was up and shining this morning and I am waiting for the frost to get all warm and dried up before giving the cat another kick in terms of packing wood into the house. 

Today is also the first day of hunting season so I will now have to wear bright, shiny orange clothing, and put a bright, shiny orange vest onto the Home Security System who I so fondly refer to as an Asshat.  Yes people around here are pretty crazy when it comes to shooting and are not apposed to shooting at pretty much anything which moves in the bush.  Ducking a bullet is not so much fun so an attire which frankly doesn't match my complexion, or hair, is the next best protection.  Hubby actually went out with his gun this morning and wandered around the back forty looking for Bambi to kill.  I did not.  I am not so much a fan of deer meat so find that I cannot get behind the need to kill off animals which are doing us no harm.  Of course I say this as a person who hasn't planted a garden yet.  Perhaps next year I will be singing a different tune. 

So having paid my house and land taxes this morning, made porridge, sipped coffee, and blogged around a bit I am now ready and willing to go a hunting for the elusive wood pile.  Wish me luck.

Alright I am back from my hunt and have to report a somewhat successful day, the wood is all woody and getting higher and deeper in the basement.  I can honestly say that I much prefer to be at this side of the process than at the beginning.  My arms, legs, and back do not like me right now and have been calling me names and being mean to me in various ways.  Fingers crossed, tomorrow will be the final push on the firewood process and the bunkers will be full, and ready for action.  The weather network, if it can be believed, is predicting bad weather starting on Sunday for the foreseeable future.  Apparently some hurricane is making its way this way and will start to rain on our parade.  Dam hurricanes.  If this bad weather pans out then hurray us for being smart enough to take advantage of the warm sunny days and get our wood moved into the house.  If the bad weather doesn't pan out then hurray us for being smart enought to take advantage of the warm sunny days and get our wood moved into the house.  Either way it is a win/win situation where we will be ready for the coming season of coldness. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cold Feet

I'm sitting here typing and my feet are freezing, this state is unusual for me because a) I never get cold, and b) I never get cold.  So how is it that my feet are cold?  Could it be because it is fall and the temperatures actually fell to below freezing last night and I only have a small fire on in the front room which is way on the other side of the house so it can't have warmed this room up?  No that can't be it. 

Yesterday hubby and I spent a few hours dragging in a row of firewood, and by the end of the row I was thinkng that I had enough, and so did the hubby.  Yikes!  So there I was thinking that if hubby was all done in then that wasn't a good sign for me.  That meant that there was a very good possibility that I would wake up and not actually be able to move today.  But interestingly enough I am doing relatively okay, a slight tinge in my back, my legs are a tiny bit sore, and my ass has a pully feeling to it, and that is all.  Well unless you count my cold feet that is. 

We now have half of our firewood sitting in the bunkers downstairs and three more rows still waiting to be lugged into the house.  Hopefully it will last the winter, I say hopefully because it really depends on how much visiting we will get from the kid.  You see my kid happens to be a changeling.  I am pretty sure that sometime while in the hospital after giving birth to her a troll, or a fairy, came along and switched her out with someone else's kid because she is ALWAYS cold.  And when I say always I mean it.  When I was in Mexico with her, and it was plus a thousand degrees outside, she had to wrap herself in a blanket cuz she was cold.  So that means if she is here during the winter and I actually want to be able to see her emerge from forty five layers of blanket then we will be forced to build fires which are hot enough to compete with the local sun in order to keep her warm. 

Well I think I'd better stuff some food into my face, and soon, because I have a class this afternoon and I don't want to be late.  Or cranky.  A hungry Iron Bess is not someone who is pleasant to be around, especially in class. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn Days Are Here Again

Today dawned sunny, cool, and calm, me thinks it will be the perfect day to trudge out to the back forty and pick up some wood, some more wood, and some more wood, and then wander on back to the homestead and throw said wood into the basement then pile wood into the wood bunkers.  And then do it again, and again, and again until my arms, back, and legs say stop.  Or as short and screamy would say, "Top!" 

I heart days like this, nice sunny fall days which beckon you out of doors and into doing stuff that needs doing without being chewed on by bad, bad bugs, or dying of heat prostration from the Yellow Face.  Even though the majority of leaves have given up the ghost and are no longer on the trees it is still pretty nice around these here parts most especially when I wander around and crunch through a thick layer of yellow, orange, and red. I love the smell of autumn, and almost everything else it has to offer, if I had to pick something I didn't care about it I would say, that what it portends.  I am not a fan of winter, less so when I was living in the Misty Mountains of the West. So the lake is much higher than it has been all summer and my beach is now at least a foot under water perhaps even deeper.  So basically things are the same as usual, status quo, consistent, and equivalent to what I have come to expect here on the other side of the world, and I am liking it.  More so because I now have no major responsibilities hanging over my head.  If I feel like doing nothing, going nowhere, and being a recluse I can do that.  If I feel like being social, wandering the countryside, and being active I can do that as well.  And I am loving the feeling. 

Well the door bell is ringing, my home security system is barking, and it looks like the world is intruding, so I must go.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back To The Races

Whew!  We are finally back to being all by ourselves here at the ranch.  Our final house guests departed yesterday and I am puttering around putting things back into the type of order it is in when you aren't worried about intruding on your visitors personal space while they reside in your domicile.  Iron Bess and family did a little family reunion in memory of our recently departed matriarch.  She did not want to have a funeral, or any kind of fuss, so instead we took advantage of the fact that one of the nephews was spending a few days in the country which meant that if everyone showed up we would have a for real gathering of the entire family for at least 24 hours.  Amazingly enough it actually happened, I have proof, there are pictures and everything. 

It has been a busy, busy, busy, busy four weeks.  Preparing for, seemed to be almost busier than the actual gathering.  You know you have a great bunch of crazies in your family when even after a whirlwind of gathering, and eating, and picture taking, and eating, and drinking, and embracing, and eating you get all mushy and sad to see everyone leave.  Did I mention how wonderful, fantastic, and fabulous my family is?  Cuz they are. 

Well almost everyone, some of the newest members may need to be beat with the "Grow The Fuck Up" stick, and hard.  Okay, maybe not some, maybe its just the newest member.  There seems to be a direct correlation with people who tell you how useful they are, and how much they don't want to put you out, with how useless they are, and how much hassle they actually cause you.  For example, not once ever did any of my brothers, or families, say to me that they did not want to intrude.  No what they did instead was help cook, helped to clean up, asked if there was something they could do, helped with the kids, ran into town to get stuff, played games, cooked meals without any dramatics, did laundry, etc, etc.  No one ever said a word about the food, games, or activities we had planned unless they were, or were not, so inclined.  It was easy, smooth, no hassle, wonderful, and fabulous to have them around so we could all catch up.  What did the newest member do?  Well to begin with she skulked around acting like everyone had the plague and making people feel uncomfortable because she "did not want to intrude".  She also loudly proclaimed around 8000 times that she was a vegetarian and had special dietary needs that only highly trained chefs who only used organic foods which had all died naturally from old age in a loving environment surrounded by their family was capable of making a meal for her.  Well here's a news flash for you.  Chicken and turkey are not vegetables, they are meat!  AND it doesn't matter how loud you tell everyone that you consider them to be the vegetables of the ocean, mussels, clams, and scallops are living, breathing, animals.  So in the world of Iron Bess you are not in fact a vegetarian you are just a picky eater acting like a spoiled nine year old. 

When someone asks me if I would like a helping of brussel sprouts my typical reply is, "No thank you I do not like them," and then I don't eat them.  If someone asks me if I would like a glass of wine my answer is, "Ugh, no thank you, I despise wine," and then I do not drink it.  EVER.  I do not make up stories about how I find it morally reprehensible about consuming anything I do not like and then eat, or drink them while trying to justify it with the lamest reasoning.  Personally I do not care if a person is a vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, or someone who will only eat cheese and drink the urine of non-menstruating virgins, what I do have issues with is if I look in the dictionary under hypocrite and see their picture there.  Nuff said.  Maybe just one more word...arrrggghhhhhhh! 

Oh well, I guess it just can't be all sunshine and puppy dogs.  Every family needs Crazy Uncle Bob who lives in the basement and now we have ours.  So on goes catch up day, and clean up day.  That's if I can get the motivation to actually do anything.  I seem to be in a bit of a mental fugue, probably too many late nights and early mornings and not enough vegetables of the sea. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Flash The Day

Well where in the hell did this day go?  Seems like I woke up, did about five minutes of stuff, then poof it is night time again and almost time for bed.  It is a good thing that I went for a short little walk this morning with hubby and hound other wise I wouldn't have even seen the out of doors. 

I'm trying to get ready for fun with the family this week but I just can't seem to get my shit together.  Lucky for me I have a hubby who is like the energizer bunny and cannot sit still for long periods of time.  He finally turned the walk in closet into a closet today, up until this point it has been disguised as a room for the youngest.  We have one fake bedroom left which is slated to become the en suite.  I'm kinda, sorta, really looking forward to the day that happens because one bathroom just doesn't seem to cut it.  Most especially when everyone living here is on the same schedule, if you know what I mean. 

Funny thing about putzing around all day, it just seems to wear a body right out.  So here at the Old Shoes and Tea Society it is lights out and beddy-by time. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Time Traveling

The other day when the skies were blue and the ground was hard the hubby and I decided to drag a few bucket fulls of wood into the basement to store for our winter use.  As we were busy piling the wood at the very back of the first bunk I mentioned to hubby that the wood was kind of like time travel.  Of course he gave me one of those looks which he reserves for only me.  It says, "Hmmm, my wife just said something truly bizarre and I'm not sure if she is saying it just to yank my chain or if this is actually what she thinks and perhaps it has finally come to the point where I will have to start medicating her."  You may think that is a bit of a stretch for only one look, but we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, so a look could potentially be a lot more.  I can imagine that someone you have known for a long, long time has many layers to just one look.  I'm betting that the top layer is easily decipherable and probably only showing a few dozen words like above, but then there must be all these underlying words which have been added to the look over all the years together which are not as obvious.  Like, "I'm married to a nut bar." or "I wonder if anyone else notices just how crazy she is?" or "I think she just said something I should just nod my head and smile." or "I should pull my boat higher up on the bank before the back end fills with water." 

Anyway so there we were piling wood and I was saying it was like time travel, which by the way the more I think about it, it is.  You see next spring sometime when we finally get through all the wood and to the back of the bunk we will be using up the wood that we just piled.  As sure as shit I can see us saying to each other, "Remember when we were stacking this wood last fall?  It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the air was warm but had just a touch of that fall coolness to the breeze, and we were stacking this wood saying that the next time we see it will be next spring."  Don't you think that is a bit like time travel?  It's like looking into the future, and then when we arrive it will be like looking back into the past. 

Speaking of the past, this coming Monday is Thanksgiving Day here in the land of beaver and moose, so I have done the proper buying of a turkey and getting prepared to cook me up some bird.  For some reason this year reminded me of my very first Thanksgiving supper which I cooked all by my onesies.  It involved a fire department and bleach.  You see we officially became "trailer trash" when we moved out west as young silly people who were all excited about becoming adults and being thousands of kilometers away from the parental units.  The trailer we purchased came with two of the appliances in their glorious golden hues.  Both the fridge and stove were completely functionable and quite adequate for people who knew how to make chicken noodle soup from the can AND from the box. 

I had even gone so far as to read the instructions on how to use said stove and fridge.  The stove turned out to be what they called a, continuous clean, unit which according to the instructions meant that it was supposed to clean itself as you used it.  It also stated in great big bold letters that under no circumstances should you use oven cleaner on it.  So of course what that meant to me was "Woo-hoo, I don't have to clean the oven."  Which I did not do for over a year.  That year saw old Iron Bess go from being able to cook virtually nothing to being able to whip up a supper of pork chops and mashed potatoes with the best of them.  So along comes Thanksgiving and a nice fat juicy turkey slated for dinner.  Well about half way through the roasting of the turkey the stove started to develop a small stream of black smoke coming from the vent.  Which as you can imagine alarmed me a bit.  A quick investigation showed that alas the continuous clean golden goddess of stoves was not all that clean, in fact it was down right grunge-o-rama, and said grunge was beginning to burn away in the long cooking time required for a turkey.  After a bit of pondering and head scratching I realized that I could not stop the cooking process at that point seeing as the turkey was still on the dangerous side of raw.  And the smoke was starting to get worse instead of better so the best option would be to keep the oven on and open the window next to the stove and allow the turkey to finish roasting while allowing the smoke to issue forth into the great outdoors where it would harm no one. 

I was quite proud of my vast abilities of deductions and Chef Boy R Dee-ness and happily went about preparing the rest of the meal.  I decided that after the turkey supper was over I would have a look at my high tech oven and see how one actually went about cleaning it.  Imagine my surprise when I looked out the front window only to see a crowd of people gathering around my house on wheels and a firetruck screaming into the trailer park.  Chagrined is the word that comes to mind. 

So I learned three things that day.  1) Never buy a continuous clean oven.  2) Smoke stains need bleach to get the stink out of them.  3) Take the paper bag of yucky turkey bits out of the bird before stuffing it. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tank Tops In October

You gotta love the east coast in autumn it is truly beautiful.  I remember just a couple short years ago when I was slaving away in the coal pits of the Misty Mountains wayyyyy on the other side of the world and watching the snow accumulate all day long and being bitter about it then sending my brother a picture of the shit only to receive a set of pictures back from him showing apples on green grass and a thermometer reading in the high twenties and thinking he was a jerk.  Well now here I am taking walks in my shorts and tshirt with the sun shining hotly over the land and thinking that I love this weather. 

We did a walk out to the back forty today which was more like a slow meandering stroll because of the time it took to take some pictures.  The back forty has sprouted a plethora of mushrooms after the last couple of days of wetness.  So without further ado here are a few pictures of my mushroom patch. 

I have to tell you that this next picture was of a some mushrooms that were growing in just the coolest bunch.  I quickly took this picture and was just getting into position to take one in a better light which would show off the coolness that comes from the ability of fungi knowing when and how to grow and knowing how to take advantage of all that moisture, and probably bear shit, when along comes Thing One and trots over all of them leaving it in a pile of useless detritus.  Let me tell you old Iron Bess swore like a pirate locked in a pit of coal miners listening to country music.  Plus I was sad too.  So you are stuck having to look at something not quite as amazing as it really was. 


And here at the Old Shoes and Tea Society we also thought that adding a picture of Iron Bess and one of the Poop Brigade would be appropriate to finish off the gallery of shrooms.