Wednesday, November 9, 2011

early morning pheasant hunt

i just walk along.....to enjoy watching the DOG!  don says, "DODGER - you're the hunter....I'm the shooter".  i don't think dodge has made the connection yet with WHY we're out there in the field yet.  we NEED to take him to a place where we FOR SURE GET/FIND birds (even if we have to pay for them).  he LOVES the gun - very responsive to that...but no linear thought of ....BIRD - BANG - FIND - BRING.

oh - he's brought us a bird (his first grouse was last year)...but - i think he flushed it by mistake.  his M.O. seems to be run around and stomp on something.  he instinctively runs left and right in front of us....but he may be smelling mice and rabbits for all we know....for all he knows....

here's a shot of some LONE OAKS....  have you noticed that a lot of oak groves are dying?  their tap root is SO DEEP....and the water tables are changing....the deep water - disappearing....


Thursday, October 27, 2011

TWO essentials

FRIENDS...(those of you who know me - i'm a bit geeky)  YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:

http://preyproject.com/  PREY.  installing this bit of FREE programming on your mobile devices does this....IF YOU LOOSE YOUR DEVICE...or MORE IMPORTANTLY....IF IT'S STOLEN.  A laptop/phone with a camera on it will REMOTELY ACTIVATE THE CAMERA and GPS tracking on the device...it will start emailing you the location and images of the thief as soon as they go online with it.  even if the device doesn't have a camera - it will still locate itself.

LASTPASS https://lastpass.com/  i've looked at other programs like this in the past - but they've been "bulky". Lastpass is also FREE.  isn't it "convenient" for windows to automatically save your passwords for websites you like?  did you know anyone with a flashdrive and a little "program" would take about 5 seconds to grab every one of those off your computer?  LASTPASS grabs them in about equally that amount of time and encrypts them.  it installs right in the head of your browser...

Friday morning too soon

Friday morning is going to come all too soon. still at work 9:15 pm.

We have a NEW LOCATION (http://dsignsd.com/index_directions.html) The place is finally looking "official". The builder finished up the driveway - widened it - brought TONS of gravel in, dozer, skidsteer, and roller. He also redid the grades on the black dirt around the place. (oy - we're going to have a wet spot in the back of the building though) through no fault of the builder. The dirt "material" just doesn't seem to drain - we need a ton of sand mixed in with it maybe. And as our building is primarily East/West - we're going to have quite a bit of dirt back there that never sees direct sunlight.

We have NEW CAPABILITIES (heatpress, large-format Epson) ohhh and a new scanner too: 12.5 x 17.5 - full tabloid.

BUT...with all this upgrading going on around here.....tonight the issue was trying to install new RIP software (for the soon to arrive Epson)....but mainly to get it running for the EXISTING large-format JV3.

ports, serials, com settings, media, cutfiles, queues, oh my!

uploading this - while I'm downloading software updates.....

Monday, September 26, 2011

HJC Sy-Max II Helmet Failure - webBikeWorld

HJC Sy-Max II Helmet Failure - webBikeWorld

Yes this happened to me...total latch failure!  Returning from a ride...midway the latch would not catch.when I'd gotten home and could examine further...3 screws fell out.

This p's me off to no end...hjc has taken my life into there hands if something had happened.

Their cavalier ' boxed' response is...it's out of warranty though it has very few MILES in it!

MY LAST HJC HELMET...AND ALL MY FRIENDS TOO IF I HAVE ANY INFLUENCE

Thursday, September 15, 2011

pilgrimage

so...i think it was 2 years ago now that i asked mom what she wanted for xmas/birthday (they're close together). she said she wanted to go to COOKS CORNER. cooks corner is a big KITCHEN OUTLET kinda store.

between her not wanting to travel unless weather conditions are PERFECT...and me WORKING...we FINALLY SCHEDULED AN APPOINTMENT. yesterday.

so - last week, mom and i were discussing the upcoming trip....and she asked if we could go visit " MARY " ????? there's a little place up in CHAMPION WISCONSIN that the virgin mary has been seen, miracles performed and is SANCTIONED by rome (the only place in north america!)

who knew!!! now - people who know me, know i'm not a religious person...in fact i'm a "bit" ANTI-DOCTRINE. but.....i know that this is important to mom.....she's "gone to mary" many times in her life for strength.

so - a trip to cooks corner was now a PILGRIMAGE!

i picked her up in the dark of morning (6 am)...and we're off. first stop - MARY. though i don't put a name to the goddess energy - i still appreciate it - i picked a bouquet of garden flowers and brought a gift of honey to lay at her altar.

mary was cool. i sat and appreciated the energy of her presence...i thought of life and growth in it's many forms.

for those of you seeking this place - google: OUR LADY OF HELP, champion, wisconsin.



Cooks corner was fabulous - kitchen tools, gadgets, "gourmet" items - that you never knew existed and didn't realize YOU NEEDED! :) ha ha

then....mom asked - is there a "U-BAKE" up here? googled my droid - got directions and off to U-BAKE appleton we went. bought flours for baking bread...and some stick in the oven and bake sweets for my sweetie.

FUN FILLED MORNING....

then off to lapps bee supply in the aft to pick up jars (for my OTHER business - dsbees.com)...and to do some LABEL BUSINESS with mr. lapp (for my REAL JOB - dsignsd.com)

whew!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cough cough

450 miles away...the boundary waters of northern minnesota are burning and the smoke has made it all the way here.  I closed the house this morning...thinking one off the neighbors was burning garbage.

hazy...nauseating all day.   Down in the ' valley' of fond du lac proper...it was even worse...the ' ledge' trapping it below...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The house

The house still hadn't gotten over the smell of salsa from last week...here's batch number 5...chunky....


Tough

Ahhh...the life of a domestic cat.....


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

deception pass closed forever

...that's the last line from the book, RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE by ZANE GREY. i read this book (because it was free (ipod)....but) moreso because it was my dad's FAVORITE BOOK. i have remembrances of him on a warm summers evening sitting at the kitchen table with a zane grey book cracked open. he had the COMPLETE HARDCOVER COLLECTION.

Riders of the Purple Sage...was the most "broken in"....and he at one time commented that it was his favorite.

...i'd read another zane grey book. the author is quite descriptive (and loving) of "the west" - he really takes you there. his characters are rich and complex.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winter stores

Potatoes are small this year...but plentiful


Our first apples

These are the first apples we've gotten off our trees in 10 years!  We inherited these trees with the house and they were infested.  I'd always thought they were yellow delicious...but they're granny smiths.

These last years they've gotten trimmed in the fall...and chemicals in the spring....this year I think I finally kept up with the bugs.  I make my own sprays...


Monday, July 25, 2011

...i was AFRAID

a scene from childhood....the kitchen smelled of BOILED DINNER. mom made this treat when cabbage started to come from the garden: pork roast, garden cabbage, garden carrots, garden onions, and garden potatoes....mmmmm. AND SHE MADE IT IN THE PRESSURE CANNER.

i remember the sound and sight of the little pressure "thing" releasing steam.....but now that i'm "grown up"...i think mom MAY HAVE BEEN a little over the top when she expressed to me, DON'T GO NEAR THAT - IT COULD BLOW UP! ..and so it was that i was instilled with FEAR of the pressure canner.

I CANNED FOR THE FIRST TIME YESTERDAY WITH THE PRESSURE CANNER!!!!!!!!!! i've done a fair share of "pickling" type - water bath type canning....but never LOW ACID before (this requires processing in the pressure canner)

AND I DIDN'T EVEN BLOW MYSELF UP!

so - now i'm reading through all my low-acid canning recipes. i came across a recipe for a dessert in the pressure canner....called a BROWN BETTY (kind of a bread crumb-apple thing). i've got my eye on this recipe when our apples come ripe. THE FIRST TIME i'm going to get apples off our trees in 10 years! by the way.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Half!

My Sweetie put this back together again...it was a wreck...he's an autobody guy.

I love how it turns off at a stoplight...goes stealth I call it.  Everybody else is burning money...

We've cut our gas bill in half.  I wish there was a prius TRUCK!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shots from the backyard

We leave most of the yard go ' wild'....it's interesting how the yard changes from year to year...

New this year...catnip patches, 6 foot tall milkweed, wild bergamot, teasel, wild sunflowers






Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bearding

The bees are bearding...this is normal...they're saying, "it's hot"

A storm is brewing in the southwest...it's muggy and they're hanging out on 'the porch'.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Too cool

I'll be sharing more...just downloaded the blogger app to my phone...

Herb harvest has begun. Time spent in the dog days of summer...makes for presents come winter...




Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's funny

It's funny reading previous posts...after TIME has progressed.

Re: SORE THROAT....I'm VERY GLAD TO BE "OVER" WALKING DEATH! It's been forever since I sought treatment for anything...and boy how "medical technology changes!"

I walked in with a SORE THROAT - doctor took one look and said, "YUP - throat infection" - walked out with a prescription - filled it right there.

ONE Drinkable DOSE thingie! 24 hours - GOING... 48 hours - GONE!!!!

yes - one 4 oz dose of antibiotics in a "banana/cherry milky" substance thing. TIME RELEASE! how do they do that????


Spring 2011

Everything but the temperature outside is SCREAMING
S P R I N G !!!

The animals are starting to SHED (the vacuum and broom tell me so), the trees are BUDDING and have been for some time. The migratory birds are back and there's SPRING BIRD SONG in the air....and of course there's the FIRST SIGN OF SPRING...the arrival of ROBINS (some weeks ago). (regarding which I recently heard an "old wives tale": The robin's nest has to be snowed on three times before Spring truly arrives.) This weekend makes THREE!!!

So far - it looks like I'm bringing 2 out of 6 hives through winter. (that's not great). But what IS GREAT...is that I've just REALIZED something about these bees.

They're my ORIGINAL STOCK from 4 years ago. WISCONSIN SUPER BEES!

So - my #1 goal for the 2011 season is...MAKE QUEENS - SPLIT HIVES - BRING THESE GENETICS FORWARD!

I'm going to sacrifice PRODUCTION for STOCK...

Monday, February 21, 2011

How many times do you swallow during the night?

About once an hour...because that's how many times I'm up so far tonight.

SORE THROAT....SO VERY VERY VERY SORE...RAW BLOODY RAW....DRY - RIGHT AT THE BACK OF MY MOUTH....My Ears Hurt, My Jaw Hurts, My Teeth Hurt. When I swallow I want to HOLD MY HEAD together.

The last time I had this - this bad was IN IRELAND! About half-way through our week and a half get-away....my throat turned RAW like this - I figured it was from the "canned" airplane air.

I just HAD to get up for ibuprofen....I must be feverish now too...tender across the kidneys.

SO - NOW - all of you can appreciate the fact that you swallow about once an hour while you sleep. The animals think it's pretty neat that I'm up. Ryder (the cat) is purring along. Dog curled up on my side. Thank goodness "daddy" is on the couch with his own "back problem" tonight - or I'd be DRIVING HIM CRAZY....

)(#*$...I'm driving ME crazy.... come-on IBUPROFEN!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

It'll grow back...


This is my second donation to LOCKS OF LOVE. Mom managed to grab 16"....it'll take me about 3 years to get this back - grows pretty fast. I figure when it reaches my BELT...it's time to go. Time for someone else to enjoy it.

For those of you who are crying, "OH NO" for my loss....IT'S STILL LONG ENOUGH!!!!

Daddy and Dodger take a Break at work

This is Dodger's FAVORITE. He's not a "rub my belly" kinda dog.

He's a "SCRATCH THE FRONT OF MY HIND LEGS" kinda dog!

He straightens out his hind legs and points his toes (like a ballerina on point)

Works as doggy hypnosis every time.

it's ALIVE!


My first batch of "DUMP MEAD"...meaning - I took (what I thought) was an appropriate "proportion" of honey - added water and yeast.

No real measuring. I just wanted to "see" if it was relatively easy to make alcohol...and IT IS! There's no doubt that humanity stumbled upon this process by accident....I'm sure a barrel of apples filled with water from a leaky roof...and WHA-LAH....apple jack!

It's BUBBLING AWAY like a science experiment!

I didn't bother SKIMMING the honey water this time - I want to see what this does to the flavor (skimming is: warming the honey water and SKIMMING off the white foam that rises to the top...over and over and over 'till - I guess - the result is "clear" honey water.)

Meanwhile in the background of this brewing process...I'm going to STUDY UP on what some of these brewing additives are actually chemically DOING to the wine. There's stuff to add for "PECTIN CLOUDING" or to "AID IN CLEARING"....WHAT to add, WHEN and WHY are my current underlying questions.

oh and - I didn't mention...that I ADDED - LOOSELEAF CHAI TEA to the mix....for spice.

bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Curing


A Batch of Pear/Ginger Soap...curing. I'll wrap them and make them "pretty" this weekend.

I was afraid to make soap...I studied for a couple of years from the books - seemed complicated and maybe a bit "dangerous" with the LYE and all. Now - I could whip up a batch in my sleep. It's more "forgiving" than you may think.

So easy....

Johnny BEE Good

Thanks Jim - for my BEE pillow for Christmas. (for the big kid in me ;)

He's the perfect height for resting a book in your lap....the wings cradle your book.

He's very soft and cuddly...a good pillow for when you have a headache and your whole head just hurts....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Re-purposed


Remember this little glass BEE (skep shaped) candy jar? At least - I'm guessing it's a candy jar because there isn't a cut-out for the dipper.

It's been re-purposed for the counter. It's now housing HONEY BUTTER.

mmm....HONEY BUTTER....the best of two worlds.

Ratio: 1:1 Soften (don't MELT!) some butter, squeeze in some honey and mix well....place in a covered dish...and ENJOY!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

THEIR ingredients

It's probably been a 5 year campaign to just GET RID OF/USE UP all the "chemical stuff" in the house.

SO....I grabbed a couple of done-in products from the depths of the cupboard...and read the ingredients list and examined the packaging. I found it to be INTERESTING.

Go ahead - follow the links - I linked them to wikipedia and you can see for yourself what we're putting ON OUR LIPS and INGESTING!

PURE & NATURAL - ALOE VERA LIP BALM (in a tube) Ingredients: Padimate O, Oxybenzone, Ethylhexyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone. (spell check is saying these are SPELLED WRONG) - "pure and natural" ingredients!?

here's another one: LEMON TWIST - LIP BUTTER (lip gloss) Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Butyrospermum Parkil (Shea Butter), Beeswax, Bis-Diglycidyl Polyacrylamide-2, Flavor, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Petrolatum, Sodium Saccharin, Tocopheryl Acetate. MAY CONTAIN: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 30 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Blue 1 Lake - WOW! I recognized a COUPLE ingredients....the price we pay for beauty.

my ingredients: Olive Oil (Pompeian - that you can eat), Beeswax, and flavor/scent - "cosmetically safe" - DIBUTYL PHTHALATE FREE!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 2011 Resolution


I AM going to learn everything there is to know about TREES! I've dabbled with this subject - coming back to it here and there....

I'm not just after the IDENTIFICATION factor - I'm also after the FOOD and MEDICINE and LORE factors.

In the "background" I'll be running the program of learning the 13 TREES of the CELTIC YEAR...that's like doing the "tree of the month" I figure. Then I'll be filling in the daily/weekly studies with identification. A good place to start? My own back yard. Yes - I've got a good idea of what they are....but I'm going to take a CLOSER LOOK this year. What are the branch patterns - whorled? opposite? alternate? buds - pointy? rounded? clustered? singular?

Walking past the crab tree in the backyard this morn - YES - IN THE COLD...I noted that it's buds are starting to come.

Sunny Sunday Morning!



a trip to the beehouse with the STETHOSCOPE reveals 3 (of 6) ROBUST-SOUNDING hives. i didn't hear the others - but it could mean - i didn't LOCATE them. they could be snuggy in a corner. i need to add a rubber ring of some sort to the stethoscope. i'm IN SEARCH OF a nice FAT rubber band (small) - that i can stretch around the outside.....the rubber would help QUIET the surface to the wood.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Designed by Nature

The first rule? LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION....Robin made a good choice here. Their nest has a natural ROOF! (a piece of bark fallen into the crotch of the tree)

Bundle up and Head out


-5 degrees...and my thoughts go toward the beehives in the backyard. I hope for their sake there aren't too many of these MINUS degree days in row!

Watercress


Though the rest of the creek was frozen - you can always count on this WINTER TREAT (Watercress) at it's head.

The "rule" here is: Watercress is good in months with an "R" in it.

December, January, February, March, April, September, October, November

see the pattern? every month but the hottest summer months.

We pick just enough to "spice up" some eggdrop soup. Gives it a nice green, peppery flavor.

A Visit to MY Favorite Tree


A frosty cold morning visit to MY favorite tree. (-5 degrees). Oh how I'd realized I'd missed our chilly seasonal walks. Bundling up and heading out is kind of a tradition in this house...a Christmas walk...and a New Year's walk.

This year we were kept indoors. My husband in walking the dog behind the house Christmas morning this year....inadvertently let the dog bunny hunt in the neighbors junk pile (which was covered in snow). Dodger came back with about a 1" wide and 1/2" deep gash on his hind leg just below his "elbow".

NOT good timing, NOT a good place to try to keep wrapped! AGHH! kids! It's taken him almost a whole month to close up. BUT - now that he's back to full speed...here we were - at the foot of MY favorite tree.

It's always been in my mind to visit this tree in it's 4 seasons and make and print a large format collage (part of what I can do as part of my REAL job). So - I've made this one of the 2011 resolutions....to get back to this tree in the spring, summer and fall.

On my next visit - I need to take a tape measure - I'd guess it's 12 feet in circumference. A perfectly symmetrical OAK. I'll get what info I can from it and see if it's already on the States Registry for Remarkable Trees....if it's not - I'll see if I can add it.

It's on State Land and protected. I'd guess it's somewhat hollow....(there's a little "fairy entrance" at the base) so far as I could tell - no one living in there...no footprints in the snow.

Historic Trees of Wisconsin


For Christmas, I received one of the books on my Amazon wishlist - thank you Terri :)

Every Root An Anchor - Wisconsin's Famous and Historic Trees, by R. Bruce Allison.

This book was not an identification book - it was about THE VALUE OF TREES to the human psyche...the landscape and environment. Humans are intimately connected to trees - trees provide, warmth, shade, shelter, food and medicine.

It starts out with the sad story of Dutch Elm Disease. (from the picture in the book) It was hard to imagine being the TINY LITTLE MAN pictured at the foot of a HUGE Elm - knowing today, how many of them only grow to a circumference of 12" before dying (and if you're lucky - giving way to a stash of morels!). It was stated, "A Sawyer County elm, only 15 feet and 6 inches in circumference, which blew down in the Flambeau River State Forest in 1952, was 352 years old. WOW...that's longevity...

Trees have HISTORY: trees planted IN MEMORY of someone, or trees that were bent as saplings to signal DIRECTION to Natives traveling to council, or trees that are reminders of dark days in human history....HANGING TREES.

One tree even had a "pioneering" history - the COFFIN TREE of Rusk County. The SHORTENED story from the book....2 loggers in 1926, dispatched to clear a parcel of trees - attempted cutting down a BASSWOOD tree - hitting something solid in it's core. The SOMETHING SOLID - was the mummified remains of Captain D' Artagon (according to his papers)...a member of the Marquette-Joliet party of 1673. Apparently he wedged himself in there to SHELTER or GET AWAY or HIDE from something (or someone)...only to NOT BE ABLE TO GET BACK OUT!!!! Flint lock rifle, pistol and coon skin hat all intact...a tree story worthy of your next Halloween campfire!

Friday, January 7, 2011

the latest find...


my RECENT bee-related FIND at a local antique mall. This mall is a DESTINATION...for those of you who love doing this sort of thing... http://www.columbusantiquemall.com/ (me?? i can only take so much of this sort of thing - i hate shopping)

you can EASILY spend an ENTIRE DAY....i'd forgotten HOW HUGE this place is - not having been there for at least 10 years.

i think this is a candy jar - because it's missing the cut-out for the dipper.

i was actually surprised that i didn't find more bee-stuff....found (1) honey pot too.