Sunday, December 29, 2013


Have quite a bit of left over pork from Pam's Christmas crown roast.

Friday was Pork on spaghetti squash (my own) and sauce (my own, too):

Saturday morning say an omelet with pork and asparagus.

Sunday was Pork Pizza, with broccoli (have a head I'm trying to use up), pepperoni (ditto, trying to use it before it goes bad), seven Italian cheese blend, my own sauce & dough:

Tuesday we finished it up with a pork and salad :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I've been a bad, bad boy Constable...

Continuing to binge watch Doctor Who to catch up with the current series...and Christmas night was the episode to introduce Amy Pond. In her "Kissogram" police uniform. :)

Which started a Googling session on Doctor Who finding this great Fourth Doctor scarf:

And these cosplayers (this and the scarf from Deviant Art

And this great little scene (that I haven't watched in the show yet) of when fashion choices finally push women too far:

Editing to add in this one by Uncalar from 2012 I just stumbled across:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Curtains, Closet, Cooking, and other stuff...

Replaced the chandlier that used to be above where Mumu & Papu had the dining table (and that I periodically hit while taking off a sweater or such) with a set of track lights. Not my favorite choice, but I just couldn't find a simple light fixture I liked the other looks of better without going to a lighting store and/or spending a lot more.

Over the last week or so I've managed to paint the three windows and hang new blinds and valances. Thought the blinds were navy blue, but once I realized they were black I decided they would be OK with the red valance I was planning to get anyways.

Tore through the closet this weekend like it ain't never been torn through before.

There is a reason I have fruit in the closet -- I keep the bedroom door closed often, which makes it the coolest room in the house (nice for sleeping), and especially after I put the doors back on the closet I figure this is the coolest place I have to store winter squash from the garden and the unblemished apples I picked up the day before the orchard closed for the year. The blemished apples went in the fridge to eat soon.

Also I realized I can never bust a woman's chops over her shoe collection in the future once I saw all my ties laid out in the new tie rack -- nearly 30 of them. And I haven't had a job that required me to routinely wear one in over 15 years...I might have a problem.

Plaid may be another problem.

A *very* well done Pepperoni pizza. The crust didn't rise at all after being frozen, but did make a nice thin crust.

Sunday (when I made the pizza) I also made up a nice vegetable soup:

And last Wednesday I made up a SPECTACULAR Butternut Apple soup in the crockpot!

My camera can't really take good low-light shots, I took dozens over several different days and this is the best I got of the Christmas lights on my bookcase:

My wood splitting setup this year -- the tires over the chopping block really speed things up since I don't have to reach to set blocks up again, and they catch the ax if it clears the woods. The PA-20 splitting hatchet is made by Ilitis Oxhead in Germany for Stihl -- it was my splurge on firewood stuff this year. It is nice for making the extra small "cook wood" splits I use when wanting to get the fire going in the morning. I use my trusty Fiskars ax to split the log into quarters then go to town with the hatchet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mom, Jake, and Tamarack...

Couple photos found this evening...and I ran out to Kohls for frames to hang them, too. Would be the night to go Christmas shopping, roads are still OK but the stores are dead with the snow moving in!

First one is Mom & Jake, probably from '99.

Second is from Tamarack Lodge sometime around '97 judging from the size of the kids, and darn if I know what got us all down there! I'll have to ask Mom.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mailbox rebuild...

Back in November I pulled down the mailbox post, sanded it, stained it again, replaced the carriage bolts at the bottom with regular bolts which let me tighten them better which seems to have helped with the "lean" it always used to develop, put a turnbuckle in the rear chain that keeps the pole even, and repainted the pole.

Sometime this winter (or in the spring...) I can bring in the box and re-paint it and put new stickers on it:

(This design lets me take down the mailbox before snow storms, and slide the pole back so it is out of the way of mirrors on plow trucks.)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ham Chowder!

And I didn't take a photo of the crock pot before I ladled it into jars!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Black Dog

3:38..."The black dog can be an incredible teacher"

Couple old photos...

Found these while looking for something else...

This one I believe was fall, 1988. It was before I took my first state fire class, because I'm wearing a cotton duck coat still -- I got Nomex when I needed better gear for the state class. It was on the curve on Route 6 just east of where I live now. I kept this clipping on my desk for years.

The second is a photograph I had forgotten about. That is Locutus meeting Oscar for the first time, so May of 1999:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nice Dinner!

Not that I eat that badly usually anymore...but if only all my meals were this healthy, diverse, and tasty! :) And the breading on the baked salmon is the only wheat I've had today. Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash to round it out:

Saturday Pizza

By far and best pizza, ever!!!

Preheated the oven, including the pizza stone, to 425º.

Liberally spread corn meal on the pizza peel, liberally floured my hands and the rolling pin and rolled out the dough.

My own sauce I had canned earlier in the year, pepperoni, broccoli, mushrooms, and six italian shredded cheese.

15 minutes baking.

Dough I had made that morning:
4 cups bread flour (though this was 2 cups graham flour to use up some old stuff, and 2 cups bread)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
Mix the dry then mix in:
1-1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

Makes two crusts.

I let it rise all day, though I think it's supposed to be ready in an hour.

Higgins Armory

Finally went to the Higgins Armory...only have known about this place and driven by innumerable times for 20+ years. Bad Matt, Bad Matt.

But Sunday it was a drizzly day, and I decided a good one to finally go.

It was awesome. And unfortunately the building is closing December 31st, and the collection is moving to the Worcester Art Museum and I doubt the exhibition space will be anywhere near as cool.

The building was built 1928-1931, with the top two floors being the museum, and the bottom two the offices of Worcester Pressed Metal Company -- factory tour encouraged with museum visit. (Company closed in 1975).

Suit on the left is actual battle armor, middle is ceremonial armor, and the right is jousting armor. I believe these were owned by the same knight originally.

There is a catch-button that you press to release and lift the!

Japanese arrow heads. The top ones had specific uses, the bottom ones were decorative for gifts.

Kids getting a guided tour:

Someone had a sense of humor:

Amazing detail work:

As if Dalmatians already weren't prone to delusions of grandeur, you go dressing them up in armor! (This guy is in the foyer greeting visitors)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Pies

Made two pies...the crusts weren't amazing, but they were competent for homemade crusts from someone who doesn't bake them often :) I think I could've used a bit less butter, and chopped that butter up even finer before mixing the dough.

The bacon crumb apple pie was...disappointing. I think the bacon "smoked" in the oven, and next time I used the oven, I had a problem where gunk dripped off the ceiling of the oven onto a pizza stone I was warming up. It definitely didn't taste good...but now I want to experiment. I'm thinking adding the bacon afterwards on top of the crumb, and forgoing the cheddar cheese called for in the recipe would work better. And as I type that, I'm wondering if the cheddar I used made a difference -- I grated some off a block, perhaps shredded cheddar in a bag would've acted differently in the oven.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Passion, wits, and dreams... plans any day. Provided, of course, your wits are sharper, your dreams are bolder, and your passion is stronger.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apple Pie Filling

3 1/2 Pecks = 11 Quarts...and I ended up over-filling the jars and having a canning disaster so let's call it 12 quarts per 3 pecks?

Each quart took three ladel fulls of hot "juice"...probably 2 or 2-1/2 with fewer apples.
I also found making the Thanksgiving pies, I didn't use all the juice I made to can them with, either discarding some or mixing freshly cut apples in with a jar of canned ones.

Thumbs up on the Norpro apple peeler! Made my work much faster!!!

The completed product...I could can 7 bottles, I wasn't prepared to do another batch that night -- plus as soon as I started removing jars from the water bath I could tell they hadn't sealed right. So the next day I repacked them in plastic and put them in Mom's freezer.