Storing tomatoes

Posted January 2, 2017 By Ruth

Ran across an interesting article on long term storage of tomatoes in dry (sifted) wood ash.  Digging around a bit more and it turns out that this isn’t actually a new idea, and that it actually works.  Science abstract here (gotta track down the full text, they tried various levels of moisture).  Additional info here.

Kinda cool.  My problem with trying it here is the moisture content.  I gotta see if I can track down the full article from the testing to see what moisture levels weren’t worth it.  We tend to be pretty damp here through the fall at least.

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Catching up

Posted January 1, 2017 By Ruth

The holidays went ok.  My MIL has been diagnosed with one of the colitis’s (I’m drawing a blank on the exact name) and until it’s under control she’s staying close to a bathroom and not eating much.  So the holidays themselves were fairly quiet, which isn’t a bad thing.  We got another new Cutco knife, a set of flannel sheets, and lots of gift cards.

Course, then on Tuesday, while making myself a sandwich, I sliced off a nice sized chunk of the finger pad of my left middle finger (with the same knife I nicked myself with a few years ago in fact).  Not quite sure what went wrong, I wasn’t in a hurry, wasn’t being stupid, wasn’t distracted, but the knife slipped and I was running for bandaids.  I managed to get it to stop bleeding without medical intervention, and then had to figure out how to bandage it so as to keep it clean and protected at work, your average fingertip bandaid just not cutting it.  Turns out there’s this nifty bandage type called a “teragram“, I’d used the padded versions several times, but never noticed the unpadded ones on the shelf (likely because they’re located with the actual wound-dressing bandages rather than with the regular bandaids).  I have now added several boxes to the first aid kit.  It’s basically a clear piece that almost looks like saran wrap, sticks to the skin but not the wound, waterproof but breathable, flexible enough to wrap around a finger tip without added bulk.  A layer of gauze over that for padding and we’re all set!  Its healing nicely, the only remaining issue is that it’s incredibly tender and without the gauze the slightest touch to it feels like someone is stabbing my finger.  With the gauze light pressure is ok, but lifting and carrying (or, shaping bread loaves) is even more painful.  Which is making work interesting.  But I’m coping.  Wish I’d found these over the summer when I got myself with that drill bit, but oh well!

We’re headed into the slow season at work, which means I’ll have lots of time off.  I have a not small woodworking project planned, we’ll see how it goes.  I intend to take lots of pictures so I can post about it when I’m done.

Winter wise we’re definitely in for it this year.  We did have a thaw for Christmas, but then it promptly snowed again and everything is once again white.

Otherwise there’s not much going on.  Quiet is good!

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Dear 2016

Posted December 29, 2016 By Ruth

Go away…..

 

Course, 2017 isn’t likely to be much better.  The large majority of the big name deaths this year come from the same generation……

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RIP Carrie Fisher — Strangled by her own Bra

Posted December 28, 2016 By Ruth

Carrie Fisher died yesterday.  Well, I expect the soul was gone when she had the heart attack and that they were just gathering her family before pulling the plug.  But the official statement was yesterday.

I grew up watching Star Wars on VHS, alot.  My dad’s a huge fan.  Princess Leia strangling the bad guy with the chain he tried to contain her with is a huge favorite scene of mine.

I’ve read a couple of her books, and enjoyed them alot, though they’re not my usual fair.

In her book Wishful Drinking she states:

“George [Lucas] comes up to me the first day of filming, and he takes one look at the dress and says, ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress … because there is no underwear in space.’

“I promise you this is true,” she added, “and he says it with such conviction too! Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties or briefs anywhere.”

“So, what happens if you go to space and you become weightless,” Fisher wrote. “So far so good, right? But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn’t — so you get strangled by your own bra.”

“Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit — so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

So be it.

 

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Posted December 25, 2016 By Ruth

Random bits and thoughts

Posted December 23, 2016 By Ruth

The upside to having my mother now on Facebook is I no longer need to send her photos and what not separately, she can see them and show them with my dad and it’s much easier.

The downside to having my mother now on Facebook is that she freaks out every time I gripe about getting sick, and every time I gripe about work, and…..

*sigh*

 

Speaking of Facebook, there’s a video going around of a Comcast worker doing work on the side of the road and a bunch of cars almost hitting him.  The general FB opinion is that the Comcast worker is EVIL and why didn’t he put out more cones, and OMG!!!  GONNA BOYCOTT COMCAST!!!!  Meanwhile I’m looking at this video thinking those morons are going WAY TOO FAST for road conditions and they better hope their insurance companies never see this video……

 

A few months ago I ordered custom muzzles for both dogs.  Arty needs one for vet visits, and I’d been trying to train Apollo to wear one just in case but hadn’t been able to find a premade one I liked.  The company offered the option of matching leashes (both leashes and muzzles made out of biothane), so I ordered one for Arty (we’re really picky about the leashes we use on Apollo).  Everything arrived, and I love the muzzles.  The leash….well, the biothane is awesome, but the clip they used is cheap crap (one reason we’re picky about Apollo’s leashes).  Since its technically a custom piece I decided it wasn’t worth griping at the company, I’d just replace the clip at some point with something heavier.  But I figured the cheap one would last the winter at least……

I was wrong.  Last Saturday, while I was at work and Husband was taking the dogs out for one last potty before he left for work, the clip on Arty’s leash somehow popped open (I suspect ice in the spring, and the cheap spring not being enough to keep it closed anyway), resulting in him taking off in mad-cap zoomies down the road.

Apollo saw him taking off, got all excited, and bounced off the end of HIS leash (another reason why we’re picky about his leashes), at which point HIS COLLAR CLOSURE popped open and he took off after Arty.  They were easy enough to catch, they only got a couple houses down the road before the excitement wore off, so everyone’s home and safe.

We’re not quite sure what happened with Apollo’s collar, in theory it’s possible that we just caught a large enough chunk of fur in the closure, resulting in it not closing properly.  However this collar is 4yrs old and I’m having a hard time believing that we’ve never gotten large chunks of his fur caught in it before.  Which makes me think that even if we DID get fur caught in it the closure itself is failing.  Which wouldn’t be a huge shock since it IS 4yrs old and gets put on him and taken off him multiple times a day.  But it is frustrating.  So until I can find a new collar I like for him we’re double collaring him.  His current collar (which, when closed, can’t slip over his head) and his old martingale (which, even when fitted properly, he’s proved he can slip out of if he really wants), in hopes that the double collar will be enough to keep him restrained.

And no, neither dog has all that great of a recall.  Normally we do have a GREAT emergency recall.  But Arty was in psycho zoomie mode cause he’d been cooped up in the house due to the cold, and Apollo wasn’t letting him go by himself.  We’re back to using Arty’s old leash, not the end of the world, but annoying.  Lotsa fun….

 

My work has been typical Christmas madness.  This is the time of year when I tend to really hate people in general.

And then I had to explain to a casual acquaintance that the use of “frenzied beasts” (by a mutual acquaintance) when referring to Black Friday/weekend crowds was not racist.  Her argument consisted of “but it’s OFTEN racist!!”.  I pointed out that context matters.  She asked if there were any terms that I thought were ALWAYS racist.  I said I always consider “nigger” to be racist, but if the community as a whole really wanted it taken that way they needed to stop using it in media.  To which she responded that it’s alright if black people call each other “nigger”, cause context mattered!  To which I responded “so why are we having this conversation again?  Cause you just proved my point”.  She hasn’t spoken to me since.

 

Speaking of retail, and people in general.  Please take some thought as to how you treat people in front of your kids (or grandkids or random children around you).  A while back I had a lady approach me looking for a particular product.  She was pushing a cart with a kid in it, probably less than 5yrs old, though I suck at guessing ages.  Kid called her gramma.  She told me that she was looking for two specific products, either of which would work for her project.  I told her that I wasn’t familiar with the one, but the other is right over here if you’ll follow me.  As I turned to lead the way I hear the kid say “you must be new here if you don’t know….” at which point gramma shushed him.  I pretended to not hear, though I’ll admit that what I wanted to do was snap at the kid about manners (which wouldn’t have been useful, but yah).

But someone in this kid’s life has said that to people who are trying to help him/her.  And not just once, likely it’s been said multiple times.  The kid rattled it off word for word.  5 yrs old or less and he already thinks that’s how you treat people who’re trying to assist you.  Oh sure, he doesn’t understand the context of it.  Doesn’t matter.  With that as his guide how do you think he’s going to grow up?

Winter

Posted December 20, 2016 By Ruth

Arty gets cold faster than Apollo, and the single digit temps we’re already getting this winter are a bit much for him, but he has fun for as long as he lasts.  Apollo on the other hand doesn’t understand why we can’t spend all day out there!

We’re definitely getting a much more normal winter this year, instead of the incredibly warm one we had last year.

Small Business Promo

Posted December 15, 2016 By Ruth

I mostly try to avoid putting up identifying information about me and mine on here, though I know if you really wanted to find me it wouldn’t be hard.  But sometimes it has to be done.

My mom has been trying her hand at selling her handi-work, with the idea of using it as a 2ndary income after she retires.  If you’re in Massachusetts proper you may be able to catch her at a local fair.  But she also has an Etsy Store.  She’s also on Facebook (Carolyn’s Jean Bags) if you prefer.

Now, I’m working with her to try to get better photos of everything, it’s a bit hard long distance, but I think the ideas are getting across.

She’s been making purses and bags (and clothing, and halloween costumes, and at least one prom outfit for me) for as long as I can remember.  Her stuff is well made, and should hold up well to abuse.

As you’re buying gifts this holiday please consider buying from small business and local craftspeople.  Sometimes it costs more, sometimes it doesn’t.  But it means so much more to them!

Home On The Range Blog?

Posted December 9, 2016 By Ruth

Last post I remember seeing she said something about taking a break from blogging.  Which is completely understandable.  But I didn’t realize she was going to lock down the blog either.  Anyone know how to contact her?  It sounds really shallow, but I’d never bothered to download at least a couple recipes…….

 

But his tail was wagging!

Posted December 8, 2016 By Ruth

I actually started this post a couple years ago.  Got distracted and never finished it.  So here it is.

I was following links this morning, as is my wont when I’m bored.  Where I ended up this doesn’t really matter to this story.

They were talking about a fairly recent incident that made major news about a dog attacking a child.  Again, which incident doesn’t matter (though I’m sure most of you saw it, the kid’s protector was unusual), but one of the comments caught my eye: “maybe my dog body language skills aren’t up to par, but the dog didn’t look aggressive, he was even wagging his tail!”  Ok, I paraphrased, but you get the point.

It’s a fairy common comment on dog body language “he’s wagging his tail, so he must be happy to see me!”.

After I wrote the above I had to go to work, and never finished the rest of this post.  Recently the next video came across my feed.  It’s a long video, and although it’s not bloody, it’s the stuff that horror movies are made of if you have an understanding of canine body language.  Just watch the first 30 seconds, don’t torture yourself with the rest of it.

Those dogs were playing.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they still thought they were playing when they were dragged away from mother and child.  And yes, both mother and child were bitten.  If you do watch the whole thing please don’t tell me what the mother SHOULD have done.  Watching the video it’s easy to tell what she SHOULD have done.  In the heat of the moment?  With her child to protect?  I understand exactly what she did.

One more video.  This one is my Apollo, at about the age of 1.5-2yrs of age.  Watch it first without sound.

Tail’s going a mile a minute.  Gotta be a happy excited dog right?

Now turn on your sound, turn up your bass (or if you’re watching on a mobile device, plug in your headphones, or you won’t hear a thing), and watch it again.

He was watching the cat I called Evil Kitty out the window.  If you look you can actually see the cat at one point.  He was actually quite pissed.

A wagging tail has more to do with excitement than friendliness.  The dog might be wagging his tail hard cause he’s excited to see you.  Or he might be wagging his tail hard cause he’s over-stimulated and excited to play and can’t stop.  Or he might be wagging his tail hard cause he’s pissed and mad.

And for some reason this is something that many dog owners can’t seem to understand.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a madly excited charging dog, with the owner shouting behind “Oh, he’s friendly!”.  Well, his tail was wagging, but that doesn’t make him friendly, sorry……

Dogs bite for a huge number of reasons.  Actual aggression, fear, pain, prey drive, play…….a wagging tail isn’t a good indicator of whether a bite is likely to happen or not.  The whole dog and the entire situation has to be looked at.