Tuesday, December 29, 2009

70% sweater back

I took knitting with me tonight when we visited the city family crew. It was brilliant! I know it's a bit dicey to knit in public, or so I gather from debates about it on knittinghelp, but it sure was good for me even if it may not have been as good for others. This image was taken before an evening of fine dining, lots of knitting.

11-12 minutes a row. 18.75" and 20 rows equals 4" It's a painful sport for the immediate gratification folks.

Edit: Apparently things are improving on the speed front. I hadn't checked in a while, but I did today. 8:10 per row. 30% better. I'll take it. I feel so much better... not!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Guitar and amp info

Here's some useful information on guitars and amplifiers. I thought this was brilliant. I wish I'd found this earlier.


From Rich at http://www.voxamps.com
This series of articles is exceptional - very readable with a wealth of information, covering guitar amps, effects, p/ups, valve v solidstate, power v volume, creating your own tone, effects order & much more - in fact, pretty much everything most folk ask about will be in there somewhere! Plus it has its own FAQ section.

Gustav Becker

I got to play in the shop all day. Tough to call it work when you get to go old school.

Missing wheel tooth on a winding gear in a very nice little Gustav Becker wall clock


Dovetail cut


Plug to fit


Plug sweat soldered in place


Tooth cut. Not a very flattering shot. Bah.


Botched and failed wheel solder job, not mine


Wheel shaft cross drilled and pinned




Christmas fun

Some Christmas highlights.

Rosy finally got a decent dog bed. After many years of lying on a frozen floor she's got a comfy place to lie down. It took her about five seconds to adapt to it. It's easy to wash too! It took the cat about 30. Patches is a little dim.


I finally figured out why we had never had sugar cookies. PU thought they were anemic things, but I knew them to be different. They have sold really well. Hasn't helped my waist (waste) line at all.


Santa is getting pretty hip apparently. I'm not sure they will be as flattering as I first thought. They certainly were a surprise in my stocking on Christmas morning.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A house full at Christmas

The girls made it home safely and in good time today. We changed up the meal from the past few years and PU focused her considerable strengths into preparations for a classic French meal. A prime rib roast done to perfection was the feature, but the trimmings were pretty darn good too. There were several courses and some good fun and conversation were the prefect spice. These are my people.

There were Christmas carols enough to see us through the small mountain of clean up and three part harmony was heard. I'm yawning so badly I can't write. Time to try and recoup some energy before tomorrow. Having the crew together again is a great feeling. The vibe in the house is tremendous.
Kids rock.

Merry Christmas all.

Holidays, chickens and yardage

The holiday celebrations are upon us again. The chickens are laying so poorly that I'm buying eggs. Bah. It's been ages since I was in the city so haven't caught up with anyone there in ages. Bah. Life on the farm is fabulous. Yeah! I love shortbread. I miss my family. My mother in law is a boat load of fun to have around. I have lots of work. All the laundry is done. I get to have all my girls home tomorrow.

Knitting is clipping along. It's meditative. Well it's meditative after a certain amount of learning has been accumulated. I'm quite certain my first sweater project won't be too small. Whether I have enough wool to complete it or not is still in question.

Dad send shortbread. He's good. He's very good at making shortbread. Marmalade too actually. I'll have to figure out where to buy some Seville oranges here.

Zenshine tweet of the day - Own it baby


If you start to think the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem. ~Stephen Covey

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Knitting - highs and lows

Everytime I do part of this project over I learn something valuable so I won't snivel at having to begin again. It looks ugly though doesn't it? Today I got a hand with an M1 stitch that's far less obvious when completed than a simple yarn over. All I had energy for tonight was to cast on again.


Sweet little wooden knitting needles from Quebec. The patina on the working parts was very attractive.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Racing backward through the knitting

Nothing replaces the value of experience, or wisdom is something you get after you need it. Whichever it is, I've been getting it in bucket loads as I try and wade through the necessary skills required to knit a sweater. My knowledge is coming, but wowzer, is the learning curve steep in the absence of a knitting friend close by to lean on. I'm about eight hours into this project and am still left with only a ball of yarn to show for my effort.

I can no longer count the number of times I've ripped this out. My yarn and tension comes up short so I'm having to adapt the pattern to the fabric I produce and that's meant a whole other realm of the knitting game that wants learning. I'm encouraged to know that so many bases are being covered, but it's getting to be time to actually produce some fabric now.

The first time I got almost this far it turned out I was making a sweater that was too small. This time it was obviously going to be too big. Maybe now the porridge will be just the right temperature. Sheesh. I can't believe it's all got to come out again.

I am really excited to see how tight and regular the stitching is now though and this keeps me motivated. If I can ever see my way through to the end of this project it's going to be a sweater I will love to wear. I love the yarn and the look of the knitting. I'm going to have nightmares about sleeve length before I'm done I'm sure and maybe neck hole size too, but my dance card is full with getting the back made and that's the easy part!

I wasn't happy with a simple yarn over to add stitches to the last row of ribbing, but I think I've found a local knitter to help show me the ropes of what is required to change that the next time through. Yeah!



East of Eden - Journal of a Novel

John Steinbeck's East of Eden holds a special place for me. It's where our last name, Timshel came from. This book remains one of the most potent pieces of literature I've read. I'm long over due to read it again.

I saw a quote this morning from a journal of Steinbeck's that reminded me how much I love this book.

John Steinbeck - Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters

"I am choosing to write this book to my sons. They are little boys now and they will never know what they came from through me, unless I tell them. It is not written for them to read now but when they are grown and the pains and joys have tousled them a little. And if the book is addressed to them, it is for a good reason. I want them to know how it was, I want to tell them directly, and perhaps by speaking directly to them I shall speak directly to other people.

One can go off into fanciness if one writes to a huge nebulous group but I think it will be necessary to speak very straight and clearly and simply if I address my book to my two little boys who will be men before they read my book. They have no background in the world of literature, they don't know the great stories of the world as we do. And so I will tell them one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest story of all - the story of good and evil, of strength and weakness, of love and hate, of beauty and ugliness.

I shall try to demonstrate to them how these doubles are inseparable - how neither can exist without the other and how out of their groupings creativeness is born. I shall tell them this story against the background of the county I grew up in and along the river I know and do not love very much. For I have discovered that there are other rivers. And this my boys will not know for a long time nor can they be told. A great many never come to know that there are other rivers. Perhaps that knowledge is saved for maturity and very few people ever mature.

It is enough if they flower and reseed. That is all that nature requires of them. But sometimes in a man or a woman awareness takes place - not very often and always inexplainable. There are no words for it because there is no one ever to tell. This is a secret not kept a secret, but locked in wordlessness. In utter loneliness the writer tries to explain the inexplicable. And sometimes if he is very fortunate and if the time is right, a very little of what he is trying to do trickles through - not ever very much. And if he is a writer wise enough to know it can't be done, then he is not a writer at all. A good writer always works at the impossible. There is another kind who pulls in his horizons, drops his mind as one lowers rifle sights. And giving up the impossible he gives up writing. Whether fortunate or unfortunate, this has not happened to me. The same blind effort, the straining and puffing go on in me. And always I hope that a little trickles through. This urge dies hard."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Miracle of a Locomotive

I like machines. I like steam powered machines and I loved this little glimpse into the past. This short silent film really puts the task in perspective. The engineering is remarkable. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to set up to manufacture this type of thing, but the tooling is sure big in the footage.

The Miracle of a Locomotive (Associated Screen News, 1928)

U of W student looking for a place to live

Middle daughter is looking for a place come January first. Anyone have any leads on a student place for a clean, quiet, budding educator type?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm a runner. Yeah I'm different

If you're uncomfortable with a fit man's bare bum, you will be uncomfortable with the first image in the sequence. I hadn't seen this ad campaign for Adidas, but I sure related to it when I saw it this morning. It was posted to a thread on the Running Mania board.

I'm craving a run. Yes, it's a fridgid -27C out there, but it's been a week since I ran and I don't think I am fit to do it yet. I've hurt my knee. I'm not even sure exactly how, but last Saturday I did something on the stairs I think and now running seems like it's a ways away from my mainstream. So sad! Physio in my future? I think so. It's still tender to the touch. It seems strange to me that there would not have been some twinge to tell me what I had done wrong, but I guess I could have missed it. Bah. I suppose that this is all just a good excuse to knit more or do more core work. I wish I was closer to a pool.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The most expensive liquids

This is why my printer and I have never really connected well emotionally.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Laura's Wild Edible Adventure

The vegan woman that hosts these things is a lot of fun and brimming with passion about living lightly and eating the jewels that Mother nature cultivates for us in the wild. I've taken part in this twice and both times I was amazed at the value of experience. It's cheap compared with what you come away with. Bring your questions! Laura is a fountain of wisdom regarding wild edibles and medicinal herbs.

The May Adventure

wild adventure poster_Gardenton_May'10

The July Adventure

wild adventure poster_Gardenton_July10

Sunday, December 6, 2009

For the love of winter

It's after 23:00 on a school night and here I am feeling the need to write. The days aren't long enough and I'm betting that life is going to be too short too. Some crisp tortilla chips and some of the hot sauce I canned this fall and I should have a good sweat on shortly. That should seem me through. At Ted's prompting I have taken to eating the hot sauce as salsa. I won't lie, it's dang tasty if you like the flavour of peppers and don't mind a bit heat. Yummers.

It's winter again finally. People around me complain, but I'm not feeling the winter hate this year at all. Autumn was so very graceful and the transition to winter was so very civil. There were no big ugly winds that brought dangerous ice storms. There was no early dumping of too much snow. It's just been brilliant.

It's been a long time since I felt welcoming toward the winter months. The winters of 1995/96 and 1996/97 really took all the fun out of it for me. Heading into the winter of 95/96 our ground was frozen solid on October 15. We saw temperatures as low as -50C that year. I was tending to a herd of goats in the barn back then and had a lot of outdoor work to do for them. That was the year I got a big fur hat. Spring was slow to come and it was just plain tough to get along.

My hat is something like this. The sides and back come down for better coverage if need be.

Our resident master trapper and all round country gentleman, Joe got hides for everyone of us, knowing we needed real warmth to cope. The kids got racoon skin hats and PU got an amazing beaver. I got a coyote and if it's not -50C I can't wear the darn thing or I'll cook, it's so warm.

The winter of 96/97 produced a big spring flood in the Red River basin. We had snow drifts behind the barn that winter that were as high as 4.5 meters. On one week shortly before the holidays, I over extended myself and ended up getting a really bad flu. I arose from the flu ordeal with a back injury. It took me ten weeks to get back to work. I was one very cantankerous guy for most of that time. That was, until I realized that I might have to live the rest of my life like that. Once that was understood, I lightened up considerably and set to work learning some silly John Prine tunes. It wasn't long after, that things began to look up.

A chiropractor saved me from myself and surgeons steel. I was referred to the chiropractor by a well respected surgeon, which I thought was outrageous. I'm not a believer, but I was compliant, earlier rather than later, ate shovels filled with crow after he saved my bacon and now I submit my respect. I still don't believe, but I've got a big stripe of oppositional behavior between me and most things.

Thirteen years it's been since winter looked to me like a good idea. I still don't have a snow blower that's working to it's potential and still I don't feel any anxiety with the forecast looking like we're headed for some quite seasonably cold weather. I love it. I love the smell!

There was a day last week where the humidity was snowing out of the clear blue sky. The wood will be tinder dry in no time at this rate. My thumbs are already developing fissures, but I really don't mind. I have my home made magic fixxy cream to glue those back together anyway. I just can't seem to shake the feeling that it's going to be a wonderful winter. Crazy right? I think I've finally lost my grip on the rudder. It feels fantastic though so don't pee in my oatmeal if you happen to dread the season of the dark. I'll be outside finding something to do there.

That sauce isn't going to last worth a darn.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seasonal favourites

I've been grooving on classic audio books. Mp3 players are wonderful. Librivox has been seeing the most action. I sifted through the top 2700 downloads (UGLY!) and came up with the list below. Here are a couple of gems for the season.

The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

I've got a half dozen books downloaded. There seem to be many mundane tasks in my life that are better when I'm being read to. Some of my warmest memories are of being read to as a kid. It's like when someone else does the cooking. It's most often a pleasure for the differences in style. I'm heading into chapter nine of A Picture of Dorian Grey just now and loving it.

So many of these titles would never make the list again for me, but only because there are so many good books out there to read that I seldom re read anything. This is a great way to taste some of the classics again and not bite into my scant reading time.

Next is definitely going to be The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the haunting.

Image from Gore Girl's Dungeon - Hear Evil, See Evil, Speak Evil





















































Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snow blower

A detailed and lengthy effort to prepare a machine prior to it's duty cycle is no guarantee that it will be fit for service when required.

Machines can be vexing. Outside input is required. Fail.

It ran well enough to complete clearing the drive way, but the internal stresses were growing. On me! I stink like exhaust. Bah. Tea time. Watch and clock work is so much cleaner.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Predictably human

I've been thinking about some of the observations Snoot has made about human behaviour at school. I found these links interesting.



I'd love to discover the source documents for those that are interested in manipulating various groups of people. In particular I'm interested in predictable responses.

The TV show called Lie to Me has been very stimulating to conversations here since we first became aware of it. It reveals many predictable human responses to situations that we predictably "tell" maybe without intending to. I find it all fascinating. Little tucks of the chin or maybe pursing of the lips being interpreted to indicate particular emotions that may or may not be in sync with other elements of the message being presented really piques my interest.

I happened to be sitting in the company of some border services officers for an hour or so today and could not keep myself from thinking about their training and what those manuals had for primary source documents. Terminally curious as always.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Raglan trial

I bought a big bag of wool I was pretty happy with, thinking that I am ready to bite into a real live garment. It's two ply worsted wool and has turned out to be a bit of a bust. I'll have to return it. I don't suppose I'll ever learn to follow a recipe to begin anything. Usually I just go out and buy the horse and then worry about what I'm doing about a fence, but that's part of an older story.

I tried much smaller needles and much tighter knitting, but there is no way I can make my gauge. I tried with other known weights of wool and didn't have any problems so, although it might be me, I'm guessing not.

I'll return the seven skeins of untouched wool and buy what's prescribed in the pattern and be done with it. In the mean time Karen's acrylic yarn has come to the rescue again. It has served to model a trial of the new stitches learnt for a raglan sweater back. I'm so jazzed! It looks so much more like real knitting. ;^) It's not entirely pretty technically, but I'm a long way from having my ten thousand hours in too. For the time invested I'm very happy with the results. Now lets get out of the pink and into something manly!



Recently I got stuck in a situation where I was desperate for a book to read. I needed it to see me through a boring night where I had to be up through the wee hours. I can't remember a time where I've had a book in hand that's been as poorly researched and as poorly written.

I finished the poor novel and then retreated back to Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin once I got home again. Right off the top I felt like I'd come home to a much different class of writing with this gem:

"She died before I was born, but from what I've heard she was as smooth as silk and as cool as a cucumber, but with a will like a bone saw."

With that, I felt like I was safely back in the arms of brilliant craftsmanship.

I've been fielding images of the conviction of a bone saw ever since.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Double yellow headed Amazons

This is for Lorne & Mich, to try and get the web bots and spiders to find their site. They raise and sell beautiful birds. They have some crazy videos posted to youtube. This is one of my faves.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ian plays school teacher

There have been moments in my life that have given me cause to shake my head. At 7:40 Monday morning I was doing the shake thang. One's perception of ones self and that of others, combined with whatever evolution of personality and habit, lead to some odd checks and balances every now and again. School and I didn't get along very well when I spent time there as a student.

I taught school on Monday. A full day. Grade seven social studies and English in the morning and grade nine English in the afternoon. My day finished with a graphics communications class in the computer lab which was definitely a freebie for me.

I've got teachers all through my life. My Mum was a teacher and primed me well for entering school. I didn't measure up to expectations there, but that's a story for another day and no reflection on her teaching or parenting. My wife teaches, my middle daughter is headed to teaching and my wife's family is all about the teaching in one aspect or another.

Earlier in the fall I was asked if I would assist with the influenza preparedness plans by agreeing to substitute teach if it became necessary to reach out beyond the usual circles for teachers to fill in. I was a little taken aback. I'm not exactly rich in an appreciation for protocol, formalities and straight lines. Kids seem to "get me," but the adult world most often leaves me feeling grateful to be well off the beaten path. Hypocrisy still irritates the daylights out of me in just the same way it did when I was a teen. Most seem to learn to live with it. I never have.

I'm often prone to invoking discomfort by having read too broadly, thought too long or experienced details that are either lost on many grown up types or willfully ignored by them. In short, I'm often deemed a bit of a loose canon I think.

When I got the call to come into school the other day to fill in for a teacher I have the highest regard for, I was shocked at first. Then I was in disbelief that they were not bluffing when they told me I might be called. I never really thought they would. My second thought was about how ill prepared I was to do the job. I think good teachers are the bomb. It's performance art in my eyes and a very grueling gig it is. Once I succumbed to the invitation, I quickly began to put together my plan for survival.

I'd have taken my guitar if I thought I could have kept it secure. I'd have worn some t shirt emblazoned with images of many of the world's most wicked looking pythons too, but instead I only took my A game of my love of kids. That extends mostly to the low end and cast a ways of the social strata, but not exclusively so. I think many kids like me because I'm as respectful of them as I would be to anyone else. I don't assume the negative, for the most part, and I really like the vitality that is inherent in young minds. This is all to say that I escaped the day without being crucified or permanently maimed.

The grade seven class was a horror show of lethargy. Just plain old, never really tried firing on all cylinders, bad fuel, cloudy day, seen it all, dead in the water at 13 years old... duh.

It was painful. Except for the bright eyed trouble maker in the back corner. She made the whole morning fly by with many laughs and great banter. Mr. X. might not be entirely impressed with the class output under my guidance, but I was very grateful that nothing got broken, no one had to go to the office and many students actually got quite a bit of their work done in class. Amazing.

What a difference two years makes. After lunch the grade nine crew came in, promptly sat down and read. What a routine! Everyone should take twenty minutes to read after lunch. The entire school shuts down to read. Brilliant!

The down side of the grade nine class was that it was painfully obvious that hormones were raging in some parts of the room. I was happy for their distraction and that the energy went places other than trying to skin me alive. In high school I was one of those back row kids that sent the weak teachers packing, in tears, or flailing their arms about in some kind of high blood pressure incantation designed to induce myocardial infarction. My grade five teacher referred to our back row crew as the future park bench sitters. True to his prediction, all of that crew, save me, are dead or in jail.

Teachers are a special breed. I had some very generous interventions through the day from several staff at Shevechenko. I felt like I had the support I needed even though I was woefully unprepared to be a professional.

It was the craziest adventure I've been on in a while. I had a gazillion forms to fill out in an attempt to get paid and I suppose someday I might find out whether it was worth it financially. I certainly don't have a clue what it was worth just now. Likely about a clocks worth. eheh It was certainly worth it to be able to peek into a world that I'd only ever seen from the other side of the desk.

Anne Stefanchuk and her Easter Eggs. One of the many gems of the area. Referring to both Anne and the eggs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Emotional Hokey Pokey

I don't know much about this budding site yet, but Katie Hahn's bit of writing there struck a chord with me this morning.

McSeeney's seems to be forecasting a place where I'll be very comfortable. The archives are fun to browse.

I'm torn about travel plans just now. It won't be for a while, but the planning has begun. So far it's San Fransisco, where McSweeney's is focused, and Portugal that are most distracting to me. My Portuguese is nowhere at all and McSweeney's has now made me homesick for a place I've never been. Just for the record, it took more than this piece of writing to do the deed and real live human contact has been established there for quite a while now.


You put your heart in. You put your heart out. You put your heart in and Ashley in accounting, beautiful Ashley, shakes it all about. And then she asks, "Why do you put your heart out so much? Why can't you just leave it in? It would help our relationship." And you say, "Because you shake it, Ashley." You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around—slowly, slowly, so she can't see your tears. That's what it's all about.

You put your deepest self in. You put your deepest self out. You put your deepest self in and you shake all about from the vulnerability and you start sweating and regret what you've done. You do the hokey pokey—is anyone watching?—and you turn yourself around so you can reject people before they reject you. That's what it's all about.

You put your naked anger in. You lash out. You put your naked anger in and you shake it hard—reliving your father's rejection and your boss's criticisms until you don't know your own name, or where you were born, or if you are a person or a jaguar named Maurice, or why it didn't hurt to jump through the plate glass window into the liquor store. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around until the police come. That's what it's all about.

You put your pure joy in. You put your pure joy out. You put your pure joy in and the world shakes it all about like a great white shark does a seal before swallowing it whole. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around and don't recognize the person you see in the mirror anymore. That's what it's all about.

You put your disappointment in. You put your disappointment out. You put your disappointment in and you leave it there, intending never to look at it again. You do the hokey pokey and then think about what you are doing and don't bother to turn yourself around. What's the point? As if you can really leave that disappointment behind, as if it won't stare you in the face for the rest of your life and hasn't changed you forever. That's what it's all about.

You put your resentment in. You take your resentment out on the person standing next to you. You put your resentment in and with your hands free you shake the person standing next to you all about. You make them do the hokey pokey, moving their arms like you are a puppet master, saying, "I am the puppet master!" You turn yourself around and it feels really, really good—better than you ever imagined. That's what it's all about.

You put your dreams of greatness in. You put your dreams of greatness out. You put your dreams of greatness in and everyone starts shaking you down saying, "Can I get a loan since you're going to be so rich?" You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, knowing one day you will do this all alone, because that is what happens when you are super successful from doing something no one else understood early on. That's what it's all about.

You put your hope in. You put your hope out. You put your hope in, and it starts shaking and shivering on the cold tile floor of the rec center. You are about to pick it up and put it away deep, deep in your soul where no one can hurt it. Then you see that everyone else has put their hope in too. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, pretty sure no one will take your hope while your back is turned since they all have their own. That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Glasses on line

I've never bought glasses before and by many peoples standards I don't really need them. My prescription is very slight for sure. The mild error hasn't stopped me from being very frustrated at the theatre, opera and especially with my vision when driving at night. My depth of field sucks! I've been unable to justify a large investment to restore my sight with prescription glasses until I began to look at buying glasses on line. Buying on line is cheap, but like most things like this it required that I learn a few things become I could become an informed consumer.

I bought some flexible, rimless, progressive bifocals with clip on sun shades and anti reflective coatings for $71.00 with the shipping included. At the optometrists I was quoted prices that ranged between $700 and $1000. From what I've learnt from others that have made the transition to buying eye wear on line, the quality between the two sources compare well. At these prices I'll likely invest in other more specialized glasses. Especially reading glasses with a longer focal length for clock work. The possibilities are nearly endless.

My eldest bought glasses from Coastal Contacts recently and was thrilled with the results. They ship from Canada which is attractive to many here.

Edit: They ship from the NW USA.

Earlier this year I sought out some resources to begin to narrow down the options when buying glasses on line and came up with two big ones that have finally helped me pull the pin on this project and put my money down. They are related sources. The Glasseye blog has a lot of resources for answering many of the common questions about buying on line and their support forum has proven to be a wonderful place for me to get answers to the questions I had that I couldn't find answers to anywhere else.

I'll start with this choice and maybe get straight reading glasses later. Having flexible frames while reading in bed is going to be sweet, but I suspect I'll want a little longer focal length on my readers than they prescribed. It's been an interesting process so far. I'm so excited.

One of the things the optometrists try to keep out of your prescription is your pupilary distance. Knowing these pupil distance details is critical to ordering effectively on line. They reflect the distance each pupil is from the centre of the bridge of your nose and the total distance between your pupils. I've read recently that Walmart, Costco and Sears will often willingly measure for and provide those numbers for you if you ask.

I measured my own and had the opportunity to check my measurements against the professional tool results and I was bang on with the optometrists measurements. So it's not impossible to do with the many on line tutorials. With the need for bifocals, I also had to come up with the pupil distance for viewing far away objects and the reading distance measurement. The most common measurement is the far focused distance. Mine was 67mm. The close focus will be slightly less, as your eyes tend to cross slightly and come closer to each other when viewing objects closer to you. Mine measured 64mm.

Fun eh? I know... Mr. Distractable strikes again. My pupil to centre distance differed from eye to eye by 3mm. I've been told that symmetry in facial composition is key to the perception of beauty. I lose. :P

their 1.67 index lenses are from Seiko

Investigative report


fit - ordering

reviews with details I like




From Zenni:
"Dear Ms./Mr. Timshel,
We have cancelled this order, since we do not process glasses with discrepant mono PD 35.0/32.0"

Disappointing! My second kick at this cat is with Coastal Contacts. I couldn't include the relevant input when I placed my order on line, but they were able to include the detailed changes over the phone. More will be revealed I'm sure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Timeline: The secret history of swine flu

A brief over view of the evolution of influenza through the years.

I once heard an in depth account of the 1918 pandemic from a client in St. Pierre. It was a brilliant little peek into that part of our history. I guess I'm dancing naked through this one. Here's hoping we see you all on the other side.

I noticed the mention of the Guillain-Barré syndrome trouble in 1976 in the provided link. Then there was the Thalidomide trouble while my Mum was busy with me. She's a smart woman, but I digress.

16 August 1957: a nurse at Montefiore Hospital gets the first Asian flu vaccine shot in New York (Image: Associated Press)

Flu: Respitory assist

The mechanic in me likes this. It's simple, it makes sense and it requires no special tools other than a table. I do so love to fix things. I'm not crazy about the style of this web site, but some of the content is prime distraction territory.


When the flu passes, how about building a spooky Tesla radio?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Men's work - knitting

This is some sock yarn I bought when I was on the coast. I'm really pleased with it. It's wonderful to work with natural fibre.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Feed, dust, manure, mold and a dead pressure system

OK, that's it for the heavy lifting for the week. I hauled 13 half ton loads of wood out of the bush and today I unloaded 620kg's of chicken feed into the barn by hand. That's enough already.

I'm so congested that the neti pot was hopeless at getting anything through my sinuses tonight. Nasty. I hope I don't get sick before I can get cleared up.

We've rented out the East field to a young local farmer. He spent ten hours in the past two days dragging a large gang disk through the old over grown land. After so many years of watching it grow in it's wholly bizarre to see it all tilled up into dirt. We'll be enjoying about three thousand gallons per acre of liquid hog manure on it in the spring. The farmer seems intent on not wasting any ammonia to evaporation so hopefully it will be all worked under promptly. More will be revealed.

Snoot went for a long ride in the big tractor (375hp) yesterday and remains a kid. Thrilled she was.

I suppose the freshly tilled earth would release a plethora of spores, so maybe it's not just the ground grain that has me so plugged up. A little rain would help things I think. My left ear is wonky. Sleep is needed and one more time for good luck. No more heavy lifting for this week!

Climbed out of the shower after two hours of total immersion in grain dust and the pressure system gave out. Water being as popular as it is, I'm sure to be looking into getting that back running tomorrow. I really just want to goof... really.

On the upside, the sock wool I bought on the coast is looking fabulous in a scarf. Snoot is making noises about it already. I win!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wood is home. Hearth be warm.

The fall has been graceful and I have been grateful. I'm very happy the wood is all finally in the yard. Tomorrow I'll have to shift a thousand kilos of grain into the barn to carry the chickens through the winter. I'm slowly making my way through the fall work and I'm sleeping deeply.

This represents thirteen half ton loads. I'll be curious to have it stacked up so I can calculate the cubic feet and thus how many cords this is. I cut and split more than I thought.

Here's a link to a similar image of Snoot sitting on top.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knitting patterns

Along with all the other demands on my time this fall, I'm still knitting. Karen's generous gift of a large box of yarn has given me a lot of room to play. So far I'm still learning things by repeating the scarf pattern I was first playing with. I've changed up my needle size and yarn type, but other than that I've been pounding the same road. I've also learnt how to put a fringe on these projects.


I'm now well into another one done in a deep burgundy yarn. The yarn dye is staining my needles. This doesn't bode well for my motivation. I may well bail out and head into some wool at long last.

I'm still looking for ideas and trying to learn to read patterns. I found a decent archive of free patterns here:

I've been monitoring this help forum:

I still can't read a pattern with any hope of getting through even the simplest ones without coming across terms I'm not familiar with.

My current dream project:
Knitting Pure and Simple pattern #991

Yesterday I noticed that small breaks during the day, taken to clobber out another half dozen rows, was becoming less interesting. It's taken 6 meters of knitting to slack my thirst a bit. I smell a new project on the horizon. The last big hurdle was the casting on. My most recent try really came away very well. There is a lot of similarity between tying knots and knitting. I finally had the light go on with that a bit more and was able to tie up the casting on in a very regular fashion.

When I began, my mentors repeated the importance of "seeing the knitting," so one knows how it works and thus how to trouble shoot the inevitable errors that show up. Heaven only knows how many rows I've ripped out in the past month. Some days it has been challenging to make par.

I hear a wood pile calling my name. To the bush I go. The forest is rich in the smells of fall, but soon that will be gone so I'll take it while I can.

H1N1 Virus information

I've been interested in how the media has been spinning the information regarding the flu pandemic. In particular, I was missing the southern hemisphere trends that should be a harbinger of what's to come for us. I had time on the weekend to delve into the topic a bit and came up with a couple of links that seem agreeable to me.

If you have places on the web that you're enthusiastic about, that cover a different aspect of influenza, please share them with me.

These are the global trends. Of note was the difference between Canada and the U.S.. The rates of infection in the states seem to be much higher per capita.

I'll be taking my chances with my immune system at the helm and not getting the flu shot. Be the club. Neti pot!

Here's the hard data on what's happening globally:

Here's some information on the various vaccines:

Monday, October 19, 2009


I broke up three kilograms of garlic tonight in preparation for planting. I'm really happy with how it's cured up. The bulbs are incredibly tight and the cloves have good heavy skins on them. I'm quite certain this round will keep a full year if treated to dry storage. After all that my hands don't even smell. I'm pumped. Next year I'll have to jump on the onions the same way and get them tucked up tightly for keeping too.

The bed is tilled for next years garlic crop. I'll get some chicken manure out of the coup and till that into the bed and then plant densely like I did last year.

The carrots are put by and the potatoes dug. The carrots look more like turnips. Brutes. Five loads of fire wood have been hauled. Who needs to run?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mustard and Pepper Sauce

I've been thinking about the hot chili pepper sauce I canned the other day and although I intimated that it would rest a couple of weeks before tasting began, I don't think I made 24 hours, I love it.

I learned a new trick from a friend today too. If you mix that hot sauce in a 3:1 ratio with a good quality dry mustard the sandwiches for lunch will be really hot. I'm on a tear. I'm using the pepper sauce straight as a dipping sauce like one might use salsa. Lovely.

How long do you think it will take to give away and consume the stuff? I'm betting that three liters are not going to be enough. There is one more bag of peppers in the outside fridge. If someone wants to speak for them they should speak soon or I'm going to brew them up into more of the same.

We have a glut of tomatoes looking for a new sauce to put away. Why are there almost no variety in Katcup? Yuk. It could be so much better Maybe I should "wing" one and then just document what I did to I can find my way back it if works.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Carnivoire Chicken Festival of Gore

Please join us in celebration of lives lived well. Commercial lives not lived, and care and attention to the "free range".

Anyone prepared to explore more about being a carnivore by helping put our birds in the freezer is welcome to join us this Saturday. Come early (8:30) and be prepared to work your tails off, and please, please dress for winter. Last year it was a party in the sun, but this year it looks like it's going to be a challenge to keep from freezing.

We need all the help we can get. There's a good crew all ready committed to all tasks, but many hands make for light work and there will be no shortage of work. There will be the usually bounty of fine food available to sustain the hardy workers. I suspect that many pounds of hot ribs are in the works.

There are a full range of work positions available on kill day. Everything from clean up and food preparation in the kitchen, to how ever close to the action you want to be.

It's going to be cold. Please layer your clothes well with at least three layers. If you're not accustomed to spending a day outside at 8C, please feel free to tag me for instructions on how to dress for happiness.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Impatiens seed pods

Our youngest introduced me to some fun I'd been missing out on. The impatiens that PU planted around the oak between the summer kitchen and the house have gone to seed. The seed pods explode when pressure is applied. It reminds me of some kind of silly jumping bean show. We could drop them on the walk way and have them spring into action too. Who can't use more fun?

Simple pleasures.

Hot sauce

One of the main reasons I began to play with a home recipe for hot sauce is that too many of the commercial varieties are so salty that they ruin much of the pepper flavour. I like pepper flavour and so far this recipe has proven to keep well, when canned, and taste good to me and a few others. I'd be interested in how anyone else makes out with this if any of you play with it.

15ml pickling salt

2.5ml dry mustard to help emulsify the mixture

300ml vinegar per liter

I washed carefully and then sterilized 200ml jars in oven at 200F for ten minutes

Put lids in boiling water for ten minutes to sterilize them

Filled the jars to 1cm from their tops

Canned the filled jars for 20 minutes in boiling water

I washed and sliced the peppers, membrane, seeds and all. I discarded the tops.

I put the salt, vinegar, mustard and a couple cups of sliced peppers into the blender. Then I added and ground up the sliced peppers until I had a liter of finely mixed contents in the blender.

This year the sauce will no doubt have a different character than the sauce I made last year. This year the variety of peppers included in the sauce is mixed between the scotch bonnet, bird type and the ever popular jalapeño peppers.

Last year I was able to develop this recipe with bright red scotch bonnet peppers only, and the results had a very good pepper character.

Due to the vagaries of gardening in our part of the world the peppers didn't show as much red colour as they did last year so the resulting sauce is quite green in comparison. I have to be grateful for even having peppers this year. September allowed for many of them to mature so at least we got some quantity. Whether the quality is there I don't know, but we'll have a taste test in a couple of weeks. They all had good moisture and the plusher kinds had wonderfully thick walls.

After putting by three liters of hot sauce I have done a load of dishes without gloves, washed my hands with soap carefully, used industrial hand cleaner as per the instructions and now I'll have a shower and use my brush cut head as a scrub pad in another attempt to rid my hands of the hot oils. Hopefully sensitive membrane on my body will be safe from these hands again soon.


Saturday, October 3, 2009


I can't believe that we've had such a gentle autumn when the summer was so miserable. The leaves are still on the oaks for crying out loud. I had to light the first fire of the season yesterday to dry out and warm up the house a bit before PU got home. She's been away a lot and besides the smell of baking bread, a fire says almost as warm a welcome.

The two stick slow fire.

I really love the transition from summer to winter. The smells, the violence, it's all good. We've been battered with wind and then after days of that beating, last night it was quiet. I mean roaring ears quiet. Lovely.

Chickens will be butchered next weekend. It would be very nice if Mother Nature could see her way into pitching in too and providing some weather that won't freeze our hands off.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moen cynic

How difficult can it be to send what was requested?

< lateral slide >
Like thinking about making money when you buy, rather than when it's time to sell, it's all about the hiring rather than the firing.
< /lateral slide >


Asked for the one little part and was shipped 15 bags of parts and some other random bits that had nothing to do with my conversation with customer service at Moen. The phone convo left no doubt in my mind that the correct terminology and part numbers had been communicated.

Tight ship Moen.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pleiades rising

The Pleiades - Seven Sisters (M45) are peeking through the haze on the eastern horizon when I take the dogs out before bed. Soon it will be joined by Orion and the fall hunt will be on. Time really does march along at a good clip.

The Pleiades are better viewed through binoculars mounted on a tripod or steady rest than through a telescope. I love seeing them again as they mark the passing season for me. In the summer it's the amazingly dense M13 star cluster over head in Hercules that defines the season. It's way better in a scope. In winter it's always Orion that keeps me company even on casual outings.

The fall is a comfortable time to be out viewing the night sky. Let me know if you're interested in losing some sleep. You can scan some charts and set you agenda and we'll go hunting the sky together sometime. Tonight looks like a good night to be out if I could keep my eyes open!

The water is so low in the river that it's soundless from the house. It's glorious to have this warm dry spell after so much cold and wet weather. I'm basking in it regularly like a lizard might depend on it for sustaining life.

knitting a scarf in plastic

First project is done. I learnt a lot doing it, but I've got a long way to go before any of it is second nature. I finished this five footer the day before yesterday and am well into the next one. Eventually I'll graduate to an honourable fibre. Thanks to Karen for the yarn, Mum and Rita for the painful (for them) introduction.

6mm kneedles.
Cast on 30+
- Row 1 & 3 Slip one as purl, purl one, * k2 p2
- Row 2 & 4 Slip one as knit, k1 p2 k2
- Row 5 Slip one as purl p1 k2tog without slipping from the needle then k first st again and take off needle p2
- Row 6 Slip one as knit, k1 p2 k2tog as row 5 k2 remaining at the end of the row.

* = repeat
tog = together
p = purl
k = knit


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Visting the folks

I've been home for three and a half days and it feels like many more. I took a few days to visit with my folks on Vancouver Island last week. Fall was in the air there, but although a little on the cool and damp side for most of my time there, it was obvious that it had been a scorching hot summer. Any grass that had not been irrigated was parched to a deep brown.

Mum and Dad are healthy and active. Dad's off every morning and sometimes twice a day to visit with a machinist friend. I joined them one morning and got a peek at a nice old Case tractor model under construction. Dad's still doing a bit more hoarding than consuming of the shop materials, but he's got some fine taste in wood, I'll give him that. He's got an impressive array of small exotic pieces for consideration. My shop is too small to wield a sheet of plywood, so the smaller projects have more appeal to me.

Mum and I have a number of common interests, and remain distinct from each other in our tastes. That always makes for good conversation fodder. For the first time in months I took a break from playing guitar and singing. Their house didn't seem up to my volume levels. Maybe some other time when I have a brother there to help overwhelm the norms. Instead I took advantage of the two master knitters in my family to take a few lessons from them. I'm not the quickest study, but I did finally manage to learn a simple pattern after Dad helped, by taking some of the bluntness off the large needles I was using. Last night I finished up a simple scarf in some miserable yarn at the five foot mark. It's not perfect, but I don't have my ten thousand hours in yet either. I gather that Mum and Rita are well beyond that threshold.

I was pampered with food. Wild sockeye and local prawns started me off. It was followed by a dinner of fish and chips at Fish Tales which was as good as ever.

We caught up with some fine improvisational jazz at the Old School House on Tuesday afternoon until we had to scram and do the preparation for a stir fry that night. That community is loaded with talent.

Even shopping for groceries is a treat. The "Qualicum Foods" store is jammed with goodies. The freestone peaches and the new Macintosh apples were highlights. The apples landed in a Scotch apple pudding. I ate one of the peaches in a crowded waiting room in the Calgary airport on the way home to envious glances. It was a "running down your forearms and off the elbows" type of peach. Qualicum Foods is very involved with community support and it seems to be the default setting for many of the people in Qualicum beach, at least in my parents circle of friends it is. People routinely offer up garden produce, seafood and whatever else they have to offer. It makes for an abundance of smiling faces. Fresh figs are not unheard of. Oh my!

The tea Mum sent me home with is comfortably put away and this morning the roses she cut and sent with me for PU have begun to drop their petals. The fine weather isn't enough to distract me from a bit of sadness at being far away from them again.

One of Mum's most recent water colours:

Child on feet

Some crazy fine knitting of Mum's. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera when I spent the afternoon with my aunt Rita. I'd never seen big spools of fine fibre like she had on hand. What an output!


Light shawl?

Here's the set of images of some Mum's work. From the link, just click on the images to get a better look.


Monday, August 31, 2009

The Ten Commandments of Rugby

More of my girls are showing an interest in playing rugby. These, apparently are the ten commandments they strive to live by. They're a course crew like us.

1. Thou shalt not hesitate at the breakdown, but be mighty to get your rightful ball; for, though it is written, that the meek shall inherit the earth, it was a poor translation. The meek shall be trampled into the dirt.

2. Thou shalt not speak profanely of the Whistler, nor question the purity of his birth, even though he be blind to the transgressions by devils on the other team at ruck and maul, and whistles them not.

3. Thou shalt not smite an opponent with a clenched fist, yeah, even in retaliation; for it is written that the Whistler and the Flag Waver shall assuredly miss the cowardly first punch and see the avenging second. Believeth that what goeth around shall surely cometh, and verily, evil men will be found at the bottom of rucks.

4. Thou should not kiss thy teammate on the mouth when he scores; for such is an abomination unto God, especially kisses in tongues, unless you play football with the round white ball, and thus it is expected.

5. Thou shalt not take the Word of the Coach in vain, for blessed is the Word of the Coach. Instead, wonder at his mighty wisdom and sticketh to His Game Plan, lest the Coach acquaint you with his disciples coaching lower grades.

6. Thou shalt not chip nor kick for touch, if thou be a prop or wear any jersey number below that of 9; for this is an abomination unto the Coach and surely you will be His at training, perhaps everlasting.

7. Thou shalt not run across the field with ball in hand, but runneth straight; for it is written that the touchline is the best defender.

8. Thou shalt not kick the ball to thine enemies unless it bounceth; for the Spirit of the Bounce of the Ball may cause confusion unto them, and if thy heart be pure, make it bounceth back unto you.

9. Thou shalt not pass the ball to a teammate about to be smashed by the mighty enemy, unless he owes you money, or has rodgered someone dear to your heart, in which case all is forgiven.

10. Thou shalt not vomit on they teammates after the game, for this is unmanly and they could do it unto you.

Mmmm sweet, thick walled peppers and sauce

How's this. I should have weighed this thing. It was plump with water and fragrant like a pepper should be.


Dinner was the unknown fresh pasta dish, although I cheated tonight and used the store bought carbs (spaghetti).

Here's the deal. In the morning add olive oil and saute onions, garlic and a good whack of bruised basil together until the onions are "just" sweet. Toss in a 5ml of dry mustard to help emulsify the sauce and another generous splash of Paprika for colour. Add crumbled (small bites are what I like for size) feta cheese until you're happy with the quantity. Depending on how much salty cheese you put in there, add pickling salt to help break down the tomatoes. I used our abundant cherry tomatoes today. They were very sweet. It was a nice balance with the hot peppers I added.

Turn off the heat leaving all the ingredients in high live colours still and walk away for the day and let it stew. I add some fresh ground pepper too if I feel like it.

Once it's stewed several hours and you've stirred it, tended it and tasted it. Cook your pasta and heat your sauce only enough to make it quickly hot and then serve with imaginative breads, cheeses, wine and company.

I have no idea what this stuff is supposed to be called. I have just evolved this way. Please enlighten me if I've stolen and idea from the classic repertoire. It's a fresh summer tomato sauce.

Freedom to choose in soft drinks

How much fun would this be?

I'm not really that big into soft drinks, but the idea of such a wide variety hosted by such a well invested lover of pop, thrills me. My curiosity is on fire.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scotch Apple Pudding

Haven't had any of this for a while, but I have a hankering. This recipe comes from Barb Curtis of Bowmanville, Ontario via The Harrowsmith #1 Cookbook. It's a popular desert around here. Maybe some of you would enjoy it too. We like it best when it's made with frost sweetened root stock crab apples.

Scotch Apple Pudding

2 (480ml) cups sliced apples
1/2 cup (120ml) white sugar
1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup (120ml) milk
1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) salt
1/2 cup (120ml) brown sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) rolled oats
1/2 (120ml) cup flour
2 tsp. (10ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (120ml) vanilla
1/3 cup (80ml) butter

Arrange apples in bottom of buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour over apples. Bake at 350F (175C) for 1 hour or until it's a beautiful golden brown on top.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Patches the calico cat

I have been asked if we are starting a cat ranch. PU got spooked and brought this one inside before the inevitable dwindling of their numbers begins. We need more indoor pets. There are only the two fish tanks, one pit bull and four cockatiels in the house just now. Apparently this kitten has a soft spot for people. There are nine better lookers at the ranch just now if anyone else is interested. This is a limited time offer, harsh as that may seem.


Monday, August 17, 2009

West Coast Tour Dates

I'm headed to the west coast to visit my folks in September. If you need me to fetch, carry or dutifully visit, please place your orders now.


New music keeps coming up strong

No doubt some of you will be tired of me proselytizing. It's what I do. Please share your passions.

I don't know how much my own experiences with riot police in Detroit play into this, but I can't get enough of this video.

The Sam Roberts Band

I think this should be called reckless endangerment.

And if that wasn't dark enough, this one is on the music stand just now.

Amelia Curran

I have to wait until next March to see this woman perform again. I'll be there early for a front row seat.

There is so much good music and great song writing out there! I'm so happy not to have died before I got old.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I remember summer

I want the inside of my nose to burn with heat when I inhale.
I want my share of above average temperatures and below average rain fall.
I would welcome some chapped skin.
I crave the need to blink more often just to keep my eyes wet.
I'd settle for a little sunburn.
I'd like to check the well water level to find it begging for conservation.
I'd like to have to spread out the laundry loads to span several days to conserve water.
I'd like to be driven to late evening swimming at St. Malo park as the sun sets.
I'd like to be driven to eat dinner outside to escape the heat of the house.
I fantasize about the root cellar having a dry floor.
I feel the shortage of grass hoppers.
I want to be plagued by huge pails of string beans, topping and tailing well into the dark hours.
I want warm sweet tomatoes off the vine, splashed into mayonnaise, pepper and toasted City rye bread.
I wish my prickly pear cactus had survived.
I would like to have to leave the dogs at home while I run because they can't sweat and cool off as well as I can.
I could live with more dust from the gravel road.
I'd like to scout around on the lawn tractor losing track of where I had cut and not cut grass.
I'd like to have to haul water every day to keep my chickens alive.
I'd like to be face first into a musk melon.
I'd like to drive my truck back into the bush and bring in my wood without fear of sinking in mud.
I'd like to crank the fridges up and maybe have a freezer fail from over work.
I remember what hot burnt lawn smells like.
I want to run 90w oil in the mowers.
I want to rise at 4:30 and shut all the windows and draw all the blinds to keep the house cool during the day.
I want to make tea in the sun by the gallon and drink it, savouring the lime or lemon, ice cold after work.
I want deviled eggs and potato salad with sharp green onions from the garden because it's too hot to cook.
I want gallon jars of fresh water dills perking on the kitchen counter.
I'd like to see my wife dressed in a little next to nothing, doing some canning while sweating up a storm.
I want to look to the west and hope the rain is coming this way.
Thinking about getting up to work early before the shop becomes intolerably hot is appealing.
I get nostalgic for train rails snapping shut as the mid day sun sucks up the expansion joints.
I could stand a healthy brush fire and some rushing to finish ice cream before it melts.

One of Boo's cool desert shots at Grasslands. Can you spot the grass hopper?


Friday, August 14, 2009

Last year's garlic and hail

The fruit was superb and the drying conditions were excellent. We have never had garlic keep through a full year before this, although we've tried. This is the last of what was harvested in August of 2008. It's all about the food.

Walking on the sunny side of the street is best when living with what Mother Nature doles out. I'm trying, I really am. Yesterday we had a hail storm that delivered hail the size of ping pong balls that were dancing off the ground like stones dropped on a drum skin. It was a bit disheartening for the gardeners.

We saw cars today that were not up to that type of abuse and some were looking severely pocked. Maybe we can squeeze out a paint job or two on claims here too. We only had 10mm of rain though which is 10mm more than we needed, but not nearly as much as many others had. Cutting the grass every three or four days in August is getting a bit tiresome. Moanin'


Thursday, August 13, 2009

humidity and beans

The humidity index must have been well into the upper reaches of the scale today. Snoot and I set out for a run and immediately felt the heavy air working against us. We took it slowly and enjoyed the time out.

We took the dogs with us and when Rosie came in afterward, she just fell to the cooler floor with a thud panting to beat the band. Snoot and I played some football after dinner and dishes tonight and that's when I noticed that hydration issues might have to be addressed. It's been ages since I have been caught short on fluid, but today I missed my levels by a country mile. Suffice it to say that urine should not bring paint colours to mind.


Brenda G. was gracious in getting us some beans. Ours seem to be rotting before they can be harvested in any serious quantity. I French cut what we had and they went into the freezer. PU put another four bags away today, but we should be swimming in beans and we are not. Not a single cuke yet either. Normally I'd have four liter jars of fresh water dills brewing on the counter by now with the larger culls in abundance. Having peas in the middle of August is a bit weird too, but the taste fabulous!