Archive for November, 2013

Alien Mind Control Efforts

Posted on November 29, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun | Tags: , , , , , |

Alien 3

Well, he can try, but the alien is barking up the wrong tree.   Charlie might look like he is taking in the hypnotic mind-control mantras of the alien, but Charlie has a mind of his own!

After this session, Charlie went off on his merry way completely ignoring the instructions given.  I have known Charlie for 7 years now and I have tried all manner of mind control on his little peanut brain.  I could have told the alien to give up the cause.  Charlie is his own man.

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Mountain Hiking – Big Small Contrasts

Posted on November 26, 2013. Filed under: Photography, Switzerland, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Swiss GrasshopperThis large green grasshopper greeted me along my way hiking in Switzerland.  I’m sure he was congratulating me on completing a very hard ascent and descent of the Fenêtre d’Arpette of the Tour du Mont Blanc.  I had to stop and admire his gorgeous green with black accenting.  He actually had big expressive eyes for a bug!

Travel - Swiss Fenetre

One of the things I love about hiking in the alps is the wonderful contrasts of enormity and the diminutive.  I am a slow hiker partly because I am overwhelmed by the environment and I cannot rush through it.  A hike here is not just a good workout in nice surroundings to me, but rather a chance to really step outside of normal life and lose myself in a place.

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Rushing the Season?

Posted on November 25, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , |

Photography - SnowfallThe snowmen are for sale
in September.
Jingle bells plays
before Halloween.
I close my eyes, I cover my ears.
It is fall, it is fall, IT IS FALL!

And now THIS this morn.
Even nature conspires to put me
in the holiday mood.
Thinking of a cocoa
with a peppermint stick.

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A Cork Tree?

Posted on November 23, 2013. Filed under: Plants, Switzerland, Travel | Tags: , , , , |

Travel - Cork Tree 1 Travel - Cork Tree 2

One of the surprising and fabulous plantings of the Promenade Fleuri in Montreux, Switzerland along Lake Geneva.  I have never seen a cork tree before!  I was amazed by all the tropical plants growing here.  Maybe there is a micro-climate around the lake?

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The Alien Talks to Hudson

Posted on November 22, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun | Tags: , , , |

The Alien Talks to HudsonHere is Hudson just wanting to escape from the world in his kennel.  Breakfast should be coming any minute and it’s a nice place to hunker down and wait.

But here comes that pesky Alien!  He’s confused about who is in charge here.  The humans serve food to the dogs and pick up their waste.  The alien has gone straight to the supreme leader here!

Hudson is having none of it.  He refuses to talk at least until he’s had his breakfast.

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Peregrine Falcon

Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , |

Photography - perregrinfalconFamously fast falcon
You graced my woods
On the cool, fall day.

Your feathers puffed
Against the cold
Eyes piercing
the gray day.

Where is your quarry?
Wait – window movement?

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Wheatless Pumpkin Pancakes

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Breakfast Made Simple, Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , |

Food - Pumpkin Pancakes

These were quite a treat for Sunday morning with a side of fresh pears and maple syrup both locally produced, of course!

Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 1      cup milk (or coconut/almond milk)
  • 1      can pumpkin puree (or equivalent cooked/mashed fresh pumpkin/winter     squash)
  • 1      egg (or 1 Tablespoon chia seeds added to a little water and stirred to gel)
  • 2      tablespoons olive oil or good farm lard which is soft enough to use unmelted
  • 2      tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2  cup almond flour
  • 3      tablespoons brown sugar or buckwheat honey
  • 2      teaspoons baking powder
  • 1      teaspoon baking soda
  • 1      teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1      teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2      teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated if possible)
  • 1/2      teaspoon salt


  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, fat and vinegar (and honey if using). Combine the flour, brown sugar if using, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Just a couple closing thoughts:  Leftovers of these were excellent today with a fried egg on top.  Also, I recently saw a recipe online for pancakes which called for stevia, a natural non-sugar sweetener.  This is silly.  You don’t add a little sugar product in pancake batter for a sweet taste!  The small amount of sugar is in there because it produces a crispy outside to the finished pancakes.  And lastly, give up the packaged mixes.  Pancakes and waffles of all types are easy to make from real ingredients you throw together yourself.  Save money and cook/eat real food without any preservatives/additives!

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Humane Society Craft Day

Posted on November 17, 2013. Filed under: Art, Just Fun | Tags: , , , |

Humane Society 1Can you find Mr. Naughty in the craft supply bins?  I popped to the basement for something and when I came up he had that red goose feather trim out of the box and already chewed!  I had to shoo him away almost the whole time I worked.

Yesterday was my day to put together items for the boutique at the Washington County Humane Society Festival of Trees:

Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th at WCHS

Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for senior citizens 60 and older and children ages 3-12

It is a lot of fun and a great kick-off to the holiday season.  Unfortunately for someone like me, who doesn’t like to rush the season, this means I have to get going a bit earlier like now to get ready for it.

Here’s how my efforts ended up.  Everything is animal-oriented, with a lot of dogs and cats sprinkled in.  I hope someone wants to buy this stuff.  The animals need the financial support.

Humane Society 2

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The Cool Shops of Rome

Posted on November 16, 2013. Filed under: Art, Italy, Rome, Travel | Tags: , , , , |

Rome -  cool shop 1In Rome you will be immersed in the ancient.  And then you will be smack up against the here-and-now when you enter one of these contemporary design shops!  Italy is known for excellent contemporary design and to walk through these shops is a visual treat.  The contrast of the old and new is a nice break for the eyes.

Rome -  cool shop 2

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What is the Belvedere Torso?

Posted on November 15, 2013. Filed under: Art, Italy, Rome, Travel |

Travel - Rome TorsoPeople go to the Vatican Museums in Rome to see amazing things like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the Pietà, and the Laocoön.

You might walk right by this sculpture fragment known as the Belvedere Torso, but it was known as a favorite of Michelangelo himself.  It likely dates to the 2nd century BC and who it depicts is unknown.  The powerful musculature, though, was studied and incorporated into other works by many artists over  the centuries.

It gives me a feeling a bit like time travel to be right there in the same space as this piece of marble that was so inspirational to Michelangelo. Legend has it when the Pope asked him to remake the limbs and head he said, “No, it is too beautiful to alter.”  One wonders if this response was truthful in sentiment or a way to wiggle out of an unpleasant job!

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