Friday, January 21, 2011

Cypress on Ice

Taken January 2, 2011.

Click image to see larger version


  1. ... continued from last night.

    Ouch, Kelly! Stay warm! I guess I'm not going to complain about our balmy 8 degrees (wind chill -5).

    ... back today

    Oh yes I am. It's frelling cold out there. :(

  2. Good morning Andi,

    We didn't get any sleet last night from what I can tell. We're always just below the line where a lot of the sleet and snow will happen. The news said we're at 31F which for us is cold. Darn, now I'll have to put a coat on when I take George out. :)

  3. Morning Whit. Bundle up, your poor beleaguered True Southerner&tm;.

    Meanwhile, the weather gods are playing a joke on us and the temperature instead of going up, keeps dropping. Now it's down to 5 degrees. :(

  4. When I was in college, I'd ski in -20F. I think they cancelled ski class once when the windchill hit -60F.

    Meanwhile, in the here and now, the promised snow either failed or melted on contact. Oh well.

    I told the rental company I wanted a subcompact & they gave me a Tahoe. I guess I'll have a party, I got booze and a 'hoe. I figure some 375-lb dude on disability & oxygen got the subcompact.

  5. Ah foo, almost forgot. I posted a Friday Flash. Someone last summer said something about "grass-eating zombies" and I started writing. :-P

  6. Hiya FAR,

    I went skiing in Austria one time and I didn't have anything to cover my head. It ended up just about all my hair was iced. Someone told me to get inside, but I ignored it and kept skiing. One of the worst colds I can remember was from that.

    Besides the booze and 'hoe, you're also going to have a big gas bill.

    Andi I'm not a True Southerner because I do like winter better than summer down here. I need to find that sweet spot of weather and move there. Hah! Who am I kidding about moving. :~)

  7. That's really gorgeous Andi.

    Currently -20 w -36 windchill and Laura has vetoed snowshoeing.

  8. Gorgeous photo!

    Who can say that trees aren't living. Patient giants...

    My aunt and uncle stopped by 24 hours early. We weren't quite ready or expecting it but we had a nice visit.

    I was a bit unprepared and maybe frazzled so I hastily made some pumpkin muffins and they didn't turn out well at all. Turns out I used a CAN of pumpkin instead of a CUP. And I let them sit in the tin to cool instead of taking them out so they got soggy bottoms. Oh well. They had the consistency of cheesecake so Danni called them meefins.

    I guess you can tell alot about a person/family just by looking at their fridge. What's in it, but also what's ON it. My aunt looked at all the "schwag" on our fridge - most of it's anti-war and "books not bombs" as well as kid's grades and such. She read the JFK quote about liberals and what it means to be one... and she seemed to really like it.

    I learned something about my aunt. She once was a special ed teacher for the severely disabled back in the 70s. She said the conditions were so horrible back then. No one really cared. She said it "broke her heart". She worries about whatever happened to those poor children. She left the system. She said only a few people cared and were trying to change things. Said there are two types of teachers and only two. Ones who love children, love teaching and would do it for nothing. The other kind are the ones who shouldn't be near children at all. She said she couldn't even socialize with other teachers because all they did was complain about their jobs, complain about the children. It was a "I hate the kids" club.

    So... what did I learn? She said that instead of staying and fighting and helping make a chanup her love of teaching and her passion for helping children - she did the easy thing and left. She said, "Janet, I know that you would have stayed and fought and that's why I've always admired you and maybe even a little intimidated by you." She said that even as a little girl she saw that I had more strength than most of the adults. I was a reminder of how she gave up. In her family, they don't talk about things and try not to think about things.

    She said - very kindly - that she sees all this anti-war experiences but that I am very much a "warrior".

    I have an aunt who loves me.

    Stay warm, guys!

    Hey, anyone hear know about canning?

  9. Husband grabbed the shower before I could...

    Canning. Or should I go back to "Redneck" definition? Growing up food to table and hunt to eat near my grandparents farm - I thought "Redneck" meant people who worked outside, people who farmed, people who raised animals.

    I was very wrong. Some say "Redneck" can have some positive connotations. I don't think so. At least not anymore.

    The very things I felt the most disconnected from, farming, country life, are more in me than they were in the ones who raised me I think.

    Redneck can almost be changed to Sustainability activist:
    Raises animals
    Works out in the environment.

    I then learned that redneck was guns, god and anti-anything. It meant "mean". Intolerance. "You people" and "you're not from around here" and "you talk funny". It meant proud ignorance. I'm not even talking about Bars and Stars or the Civil War. I grew up in the bible belt of Washington state.

    Danni brought this all to a head during the funeral and reunion. She realized that none of the so called "country folk" gave a rats ass about the environment. They didn't recycle or compost. Which she thought was ironic. She tried to explain to my grandfather that landfills aren't conducive to composting as he claimed, "it doesn't matter it all composts in the landfill eventually."

    "Liberal Redneck"??? Is that possible? Of course not. :) Oh, a person who cares about farms, animals and the outside... but of course!

    So I am just now learning how to put up food. To can, preserve, jam. I grew up eating it but much of it - like gun safety - wasn't passed on. It's not just me, I hear it from many others. There's this whole book business of teaching people how to can because it's so much needed now.

    A generation went from stocking food to eating processed cheap stuff. We went from realizing good food has to be local and fresh to - I don't know where my food comes from and I don't care.

    As I have been reading and talking with co-workers we're realizing that maybe there was a difference. One was from necessity, we're doing it because of caring.

    Bummer though is that I wanted to can my fresh salsa. I have found that you can not do this. LOL At least not with the salsa I make. You have to cook the tomatoes. So I will focus on jams and drying herbs.

    But's almost comforting to look at these Ball and Kerr jars and be able to see so much more - about food but also how I grew up and am still growing...

    I've got the book "Put em up" but I'm going to get the Ball cookbook based on work recommendations. It's more like freakin' science, man! Anyone else just starting or an old grizzled veteran at this?

  10. Hi Janet,

    My grandmother and mother used to can ever year. Of course my grandmother did the most and it seems every new generation looses this art more and more. My grandmother had a room off the back porch that was nothing but shelves and canned goods. Living on a self sustaining farm, canning was a necessity.

    I wish I knew more about canning too. There are things I'd like to put up and be able to come back to. I do remember that you have to treat it like you were going into a surgical procedure. Sterility is one of the most important parts.

    I hope your adventure in canning comes out good, but the big thing is to enjoy.

    Take care,


  11. Farf, I am impressed. We've had temps down to -24 here and there's not way I wanted to do anything outside in that.

    Whit, I once went looking for somewhere to live in the U.S. that had 4 seasons but never got warmer than 80 or colder than 20. As far as I can tell such perfection does not exist.

    Thanks, Kelly. And I sure am glad that none of those temps decided to make a little trip south. Yuck.

    Janet, I live in Indiana, home of the Ball Canning Jar -- does that count? :)

  12. Hey there FM!

    (Now I have the "AM Radio" song in my head :) )

    My aunt brought me over some canning jars! Squee!

    they came over eary yesterday and today they are late....

    People at work have been talking about canning and putting stuff up. So many of us could not be considered "country folk" ROFL but in many ways we are. Locovore, sustainability - all that...

    We all grew up on canned items, beans, peaches, jams and jellies. Hell, I had canned smoked salmon all the time. Was poor but I had smoked salmon, artisan bread and huckleberry jam for my packed lunches. Imagine! But that was during the Wonder Bread times. The cool, rich kids were eating processed crap. Things flip flopped to the ironic moronic side.

    This can't just be a generation gap can it? But we are seeing a shift back to that - not even "back" to it more like an incorporating it into our lives. What happened during that generation? 70s, 80s and 90s. A disconnect. I think it happened with alot of things, just not how we eat. However, I see connections to many things ROFL...

    One worker said there was nothing from her past she wanted to embrace but that she wanted to incorporate putting up into her progressive lifestyle and teach her children another way of loving local food. This from the woman who started a community garden at ther apartment complex. So we're all learning together. However, there's this one young lady who knows everything about it and we're totally bugging her now :) She also knows how to crochet and sew.

    One worker nailed, "We're Urban Pioneers"

  13. Andi, Portland, Oregon gets to 90s at times. Every now and then we hit a few 100 days. Mostly our winters are wet and rarely get below 25.

    And!!! If you promise not to make canning sound like some uber hard magical thing that just happens cause it does, I would love to email you back and forth at times because some of these books including my grandmothers - seem to be missing some steps. I think cookbooks in general do this (a big topic at work) cookbooks sometimes skip details the chefs take for granted but the newbie doesn't understand.

    Is the water boiling or does it come to a boil?? Simple stuff. Not canning for idiots but complete guide so you can be a master.

    I'm going to start off with jams. More forgiving I hear. Plus if they don't set or are too runny, they make great waffle toppings or egads... blended margaritas!!! Schaawing!

    My young canning grasshapper, try to pull the tongs from my hands!

  14. Ding ding ding we have a winner to the what happened during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    My husband said - The damn TV!

    It started telling people how to live like other people. How to act, how to think, what to buy, what to wear, what to eat, what to buy, buy - buy and buy more of. How to be like everyone else but yourself.

  15. Eek, Janet! I actually don't know a thing about canning; I was just making a really bad joke. :(

    If I were going to leave Indiana, Portland would definitely be high on my list of places to consider. I love it. And I've had fine time hiking in Oregon too.

  16. Yeah, you can hike the coast, the rain forest, the Cascade mountains, hike along the gorge, hike the desert, hike through the Willamette valley of cheese makers, berry fields and farmland, hike through wineries and ...

    hike in the rain :)

    Oregon has everything!

    I figured you were for realsy LOL WHEN you do come by you can definitelly have some of my infused strawberry vodka. There's some things I am figuring out :)

  17. Hey Janet… here on Planet Georgia, the distinction is between the "good ol' boy" — willing to make changes if shown a good reason, and otherwise just wants to live his life, be left alone, and is quite willing to let others do the same — and the redneck. The latter is pretty much as you've described. The old joke is that you can tell the difference driving behind one: the good ol' boy opens the back window on his pickup & drops his beer can in the bed; the redneck just tosses it out the side window.

    Oh, canning. Yes, jelly/jam is pretty easy. I've got plenty of blackberry jam, jelly, and syrup (the latter being a boo-boo when we used Splenda with pectin that isn't made for that). If you want to use artificial sweeteners, the Sure-Jell in the pink boxes is what you want.

    I did cook my green tomato salsa, but that was a necessity… the smell and taste told me it needed some simmering to get the raw taste out & thicken it up a bit. (I had to do *something* with those pounds of volunteer tomatoes I picked ahead of the first frost!) But then the jars sealed right up.

    FM is right, sterilization is key, but it's not rocket science. Boil your jars and lids for 15 minutes, or use some B-Bright or similar stuff (you can get it at brewing supply outlets), soak and rinse.

    Planet Georgia has some of the last public canneries run by county governments. Mrs. Fetched's mom would take over the local one for a few days, bringing in vanloads of stuff (no exaggeration) and coming home with over 100 cases (12 jars each, again, no exaggeration). The boiler went down last year, and the stupid goplets running the county don't want to spare a measly $5000 to fix it but can dump millions into a new courthouse we don't need. So the closest operating cannery is now in Cleveland GA, about an hour away. Grumble mumble. Public canneries used to be everywhere, my mom remembers going to help her mom can stuff as a child, but they've all but died out.

  18. No danger of encountering the VGW these days! Late to the game, as always.

    Your temps make me cold just reading about them - and Kelly, you actually considered snowshoeing?? You are made of hardy stuff. Good thing saner minds prevailed! :)

    My whale-watching pix are not very exciting - mainly spouts in the distance, and one peek at a gray back. But when I figure out how to share them, I will

    I used to garden and can, make my own bread, soup, all that stuff. Now I pour my own milk into my cereal bowl, and call it cooking. :) But I used to love canning. It's not hard, Janet - just have to be careful to do it right, and not to poison yourself. It's really rewarding...

    I never heard of public canneries, Farf - what a great idea!

    Okay, off to do something constructive. Happy Friday, all!! Have a great weekend - stay warm!