Archives for the month of: August, 2012

Foxtails.

Don’t let your dog eat them.  They get stuck in the back of their throat and cost hundreds of dollars to get removed.

Ted’s fine but still quite dopey… poor guy.

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The last requirements of the contract to sell our house were a new hot water tank and range hood for the stove. As of today they are done, paid for and the paperwork dropped off at the real estate office. If it falls thru at this point we get to keep their deposit.

I know it’s not over til the fat lady sings, but it’s getting close now. Good thing too cause we’ve officially reached the end of our home improvement budget!

Lesson group #3 arrived today! New textbook, workbook and a pinning & service kit. Glad to see the workbook in this set is more substantial. 🙂 So far I’ve spent more time waiting than actually working on the course. Enjoying it quite a lot though.

Next lesson gets deeper into lock designs and how they actually function, then after that it’s more about master keying. I like how the coursework keep circling around to re-cover topics in greater depth. Means it doesn’t matter so much if you didn’t entirely understand something the first time round.

The next morning my syrup base had almost gelled.  It wouldn’t fit through the sieve!

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I added a bit of water & heated it up and thus solved the problem, but I did wind up with slightly thinner syrup than I had hoped because of this.  Strained it out, then squeezed every last bit of sweet sugary goodness from the plant matter.

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I was left with a rich purply-red concoction.

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After simmering 20 minutes it thickened up.  Mixed in a couple spoonfuls of brandy to help preserve it and then let it cool.  For all of this I got about 2 cups of syrup.  Next batch will be bigger for sure!!

The syrup turned out absolutely delicious, and unique.  The fireweed gives it a flavour you simply don’t find anywhere else.

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Goes GREAT on French Toast!

Success!

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Above you see pictured the ingredients for the syrup I (finally) started making today.  2 cups each frozen cranberries and dried fireweed flowers (and some rose petals, but mostly fireweed).  2 cups of cane sugar, 1 cup of water.  That’s it.

Here are the working instructions I cobbled together from a couple of different recipes in The Boreal Herbal:

I tossed all the ingredients into my trusty enormous frying pan and slowly, slowly heated them up, mashing periodically.

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Took about 20 minutes to go from partially frozen to gently simmering.

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Now the infusion has to sit in the fridge overnight.  I took a sneak-preview taste though and was blown away!  Complex, intense flavour in this syrup.  Can’t wait!

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The Tiny Tim seed packet said 8 inches tall.

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We planted accordingly but no one informed the seedlings. Today (measured from the top of their containers, ie “ground-level”):

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Overgrown would be an understatement. They’re even trying to crawl out of the window!

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Unfortunately the roots are starting to look kind of scungy and a couple of the plants have actually died due competition.

Those that remain stubbornly insist on creating new flowers.

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Since we’re going to be moving soon and I think they’re coming to the end of their natural life-time anyways, I decided to focus on the fruit that’s already formed.

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I topped off all the plants at the branch just above their highest fruit and pruned off all the dead leaves.
Before:

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After:

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I’m hoping this will get the remaining fruit to ripen before we have to take them down.

The financing went through!!  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  I have this wonderful light floaty feeling at work tonight knowing the finite number of shifts that remain.  My mind is in overdrive thinking of all the things I need to get done and organized.  Another part of my mind is running in circles babbling that this is a horrible idea that’s all going to go terribly wrong, but I don’t really believe that.

I’m really -really- looking forward to having personal finances in the black again.  This time I will fight tooth and nail to stay out of debt.  I’d rather live in a shack than have a mortgage chaining me to a job I hate.

At the very least it shall all be a grand adventure which will provide plenty of fodder for blog posts over the next few weeks.  Won’t have much to do with hydroponics I’m afraid, but oh well.  That topic’s going to be an ongoing unifying thread over the life-time of this blog, but hardly its primary focus all of the time.  Hopefully it will at least be interesting.

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Fogged in this morning.

Waiting waiting waiting. Laundry & dishes. Dogs rough-housing. Cat sitting imperiously on the table. Time frozen, momentarily.

Got another offer on the house. Conditions have to be removed (mostly re: financing) by August 15th. Fourth time’s the charm?

Incidentally the Venus/Uranus/Pluto t-square is exact that day. She will conjunct my natal Moon/Mercury conjuntion while tPluto conjuncts Neptune on the other side of the opposition. Make of that what you will.

Did I mention I periodically think in astrological archetypes? Result of hanging out on the Elsaboards for years.

Makes communication of thoughts challenging cause most people don’t take astrology seriously enough to bother learning its language. (understatement)

Usually I just keep that sort of thing to myself. But since I’m essentially talking to holograms anyways, I might as well speak freely.

Maybe this will somehow compromise Gnomeland some day in the future. Or myself. Employers, etc. OTOH maybe staying true to ourselves is what will one day make us great.

I’m working up to telling “real life” acquaintences about this blog. I’m cracking open my shell and peeking out. I wonder who will remain.

Now I’m rambling. Anything to keep my mind off of real estate.

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