Pet Photography

Remmibringonthestorm

I really need to have a bit of “zen” me time and as we had our first snow fall and it was cold outside, it was the perfect time to work on figuring out how to set up my indoor photo studio in the living room.. and then play with the back end photo programs..  In the above Remmi Photo, not only does that background and lighting have him just popping in this photo, (an O those eyes ) but we are working on figuring out distance of the subject from the background and its effects..

Utherbluemist

This one is a combo of photography (its Uther/background) but its also taking the photo and turning it into something new..  into a different form of art..  See Above the Art Version I am calling Blue Mist..  See the Raw photo below taken one frame snap away from the one above..

IMG_2663

Smudge decided that she was game for a photo session and some of the treats and pats and play of games that it takes to get them to pose..

smudgesmokeonthewater

This one is all about her, that dense plush blue grey(silver hued) fur, those eyes and those Whiskers!

smudgehocusposus

This one is just playful and fun!  If I could put a few stars, a little hat and call it Hocus Pocus! It just has that Magic feel to it for me..  she was just at the edge of the chair and so it creates that drop off feel to the bottom of the photo..  The angle of the photo itself is what creates the feeling of her ear blending into the background..

smudgesliveranlight

This one is all soft and dreamy, silver and light.. Same session, same lighting but very different poses, angles and hues for me to work with on what I wanted to frame an bring out.. which one is your favorite? an why?

Bellsmrstripy

This one of Bells Kitten was all about showing off his clean lines and stripes, that sleek tail with solid black tip, that Famous M.. and that he has grown from being a pudge kitten shape to starting to get his “little cat” teenage stage.. its a little crisper/harder edged then I would normally go but I wanted and needed it..

bellsslowglow

Then he turned and looked the other way and I took four photos rapid fire and I knew I had something I wanted to work with in a playful way.. Love how this one came out!

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the photo session I did yesterday and some of the results.. What is your favorite photo, what do you think of this new background ( I have a few new ones).. I like it very much! Loving having proper Studio lighting.. what a world of difference it makes!

Posted in pet photography | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

First Snow Fall

I adore this photo taken on the first skiff of snow with Remmi (this is about the same amount of snow we got overnight) and I like that its perfect for the post..

IMG_7807

Winter is here and keep on moving forward with FOCUS!

Well, winter is here both in terms of the start of the colder temps outside, the ponds have a skim of ice on them, the buckets are the same, time for the heated buckets, the big heated dog bowl for the barn cats, and the combo light/heat lamp has been put on for the laying birds.

Looking out my window, my landscape is White, Brown, Green and Red..  Christmas colors but in a all natural food forest.. White from snow, Green from the spruces, cedars, Brown from all the different small bird feeding seeds heads waving in the winds, and reds, Red branches on bushes, Red fruit on the hawthorn, and the tops of the high bush cranberries are covered in red fruit..

In between all that is flashes of colors, yellow, reds, blues as the birds are all a flutter from feeder to feeder.. We are running four feeders this winter, with the possablity of a 5th, we will see..

However there is a different take that wordings..  “winter is here”  since early spring of 2021, right up into late fall, I have over and over in different posts talked about expanding the garden, putting up, stocking up, prepping ahead as “winter is coming”

Well, that winter is here as well.. In so many ways.. but lets stay in the here and now..

So how was your BLACK Friday? (if you live in a part of the world that does Black Friday) I had to be on the road in mid morning as I needed to take Bells Kitten for his second set of vaccine shots, rabies, health check up (perfect bill of health) I was truly surprised at how crazy busy the roads were..

bellslovessnuggles3.5mage

You see it was raining, freezing rain, sleet and snowing in a steady back and forth and trust me, if I had not needed to keep that appointment for Bells medical needs, there is no way whatsoever you would have gotten me out on those roads so I was shocked at how many peaple were out.. it was not the morning or afternoon commute timing and I took the back highways that have a max 80km speed, as I did not want to be on the bigger high speed (and so many more big trucks)..

I finally went, it has to be peaple out coming and going for black friday sales, I watched on facebook as friends posted they were heading out for their christmas shopping and or folks that shared either that they were proud that they did NO amazon shopping and others that shared that they rocked it on amazon black friday sales..

We did not go out shopping, we did buy one thing on the sales.. What, O what could get us to fork over some of our hard earned cash, while saving a 100 dollars..

LOL fancy tooth brush systems.. while I will always keep regular old tooth brushes in the house, we are going to step up our system and see if it will help our teeth/gum health..

That’s it for us at this time.. a total 1st world, our life is still pretty normal choice..  It felt odd to read the news, to see all that is going on and then to do such a mundane buy..

Did you sit this Black Friday out?

Did you go out and shopped till you dropped?

Did you watch sales with a hawk eye and carefully crafted list by your side?

Did you spend less or more then last year?

Did you find the sales were there? Did you find what you wanted? Was there empty shelves, how was stock in your neck of the woods..

My mom went for a small sale in central alberta and all the shelves and sale areas were sold out at the canadian tire.. and yet my girlfriend in Alberta, was clearly very successful on her shopping trip.. It appears to be the same for other friends, depending on what you wanted, some things had lots and other had little amounts and went very fast..

Posted in At the kitchen table | 3 Comments

RIP Faith Kitty

IMG_2249

Poor Faith, such a freak way to be hurt, I am not going into details but it was truly a HOW did this happen and we were hopeful that maybe we could get lucky and we would lose a leg and get to have the sweetest three legged indoor house kitty..

IMG_1038

She always followed us everywhere we went..  If we were on the deck, so was she, if we were in the gardens, so was she, if we were working in the pasture/big gardens, on a fence post, or a rock or a higher spot.. faith would be talking up a storm and making sure you did a good job and maybe had time to give her a pat..

238562780_231282368800181_1296813976180660810_n

Faith loved her yard time and the small croft by the house yard, she was always a indoor/outdoor kitty and would turn into pretty much a indoor winter kitty..

IMG_6021

Sadly, it was worse then we first thought and that very hard choice had to be made..  The only good thing I can say is that we got to say goodbye and that she seems to understand that it was time to go..

We were able to give her a final resting place on the farm by one of her favorite spots.

IMG_0779

Lift a glass to the prettiest, sweetest, Fluff you would ever meet, she was shy as heck with peaple she didn’t know.. but for her peaple, she was the most gentle, loving, purrpot you could ask for..  I can not even get to the point of saying gone to soon.. because it does not fit..  I am still in shock..  Its going to take time to wrap our heads and heal our hearts.

IMG_0779 (2)

Posted in Life moves on daily | 13 Comments

Bees, Honey and Wax

IMG_9713

As most folks know I have a crazy amount of native bees of all shapes and sizes and that I am and have massively expanded my food forest and that has and includes more an more bee supporting native plants of all kinds.. 

One of the area’s that we are lacking on the farm is a 0 mile sugar, while I can and have tapped the sugar Maples, the one lot that I had permisson to tap has new owners and while they do not use their maples, they will not allow anyone else either, which is very sad indeed as they are big older trees that are outstanding.. then yet another area of bush that had sugar maples that I had forage/tapping rights on sold to someone else and they have clear cut the forest to turn it into yet more flooding crop land.. I used to within walking/wagon distance also had big huge old sugar maples along the creek and I sighed deeply this year in 2021 as most of them were cut down, sadly to be hauled away as fire wood.. 

Even if I planted on my own land (which is a issue as maple leaves and horses are not a great mix), it would take many years to grow the trees big enough to get to harvest stage, and I have limited land, but I have friends that have more land, run maple stands and sell maple syrup each year, I will support them. 

That leave me with sugar beets or honey bees.. I am going honey bees.. I have signed up for a two day training course, pre-reserved two nucs from a beekeeper up the road about 15ish min away, who has been raising and breeding bees for the past 30 years locally, while his first stock started out as Russian, he calls them super mutts at this point and they are bred to thrive right in my neck of the woods.. 

PERFECT! I am only need/want what one productive hive produces per year but there is a lot of reasons to go with two hives, ideally it means that I can harvest less per hive, still get what I need and have them feeding on their own honey and not feeding them..  If one is struggling, I can use the stronger to help the weaker, if one hive dies over winter, I still have the other and so on.. 

It does mean I will need to do some “swath” row planting in inner pasture areas for mass feeding plantings while other things finish being planted/grow but that is fine..  We will all learn as we go

I am excited to be adding in the hives, not because I need the pollinators, I have them in droves, but to get myself a 0 mile sugar source while using what we already have to support it..  

Lots of updates to follow as I share how it goes..  Do you have bees? How was your learning curve? How many hives to you keep? Are you further north? Do you overwinter successfully often?

 

Posted in 100 mile diet, Life moves on daily | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Avacado Pasta Recipe

This is a older post that certainly desires a little extra share, got one or two ripe Avacado’s that need to be used up.. Think outside the box, makes a excellent light but very tasty pasta sauce..

Just another Day on the Farm

Pasta Sauce

  • Two Ripe Avacado’s
  • Half a Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 TSP Light Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, Powdered Garlic, Parsley, Dill, a pinch of Italian Herb Mix

This can also be used as a veggie dip or as a sandwhich spread, example, spread this on a a flat bread roll up with a little diced peppers and some cooked chicken.. just yummy.  Can also have some horseradish added for kick and used in your sushi rolls.

Put in a container and blend with hand stick, makes a nice thick light green sauce. Cook a pot of pasta, whatever kind you like.. I did small shells for this one..

  • One large Onion-Peeled and Diced
  • One large Zucchina -Diced
  • 1/4 cup dried grape tomato’s (from our garden) cut in half..

Cooked Onions in a touch of olive oil till clear, add the rest, and cook for two min, then add the sauce above…

View original post 40 more words

Posted in Life moves on daily | Leave a comment

Sausage Stuffing

Honeygarliclambsausagecoil

Honey Garlic Lamb Sausage Full Coil

HarvestBeefanPorkblendsausage

Fall Harvest Beef/Pork Blend with onion, peppers, garlic/ginger

orangecranberryducksausage

Orange Cranberry Duck Sausage

moosehoneygarlicsausage

Added Bonus.. Gifted Delight.. Honey Garlic Moose Sausage.. So good!

Hanging, Smoking and Wrapping/Freezing.. I am looking forward enjoying these over the next few weeks/months.. and I love my new grinder that I used for both the grinds and for the stuffing, so much faster then my older (but still good) 5 pound manual stuffer..

Posted in 100 mile diet | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beef Breakfast Sausage Patties

We really enjoy a good sausage in this house and they come in so many versions, sometimes I like to make big ones, sometimes little ones, sometimes they need to be smoked and cured.. other times fresh is best..

Most of the time when folks think about breakfast, they think pork an little links.. but not everyone has the sausage skins, the grinder or the stuffer.. sometimes you just need to go more simple..

Breakfast Beef Sausage Patties

2 pounds of lean beef, you need fat, if your meat is extra lean, you will need to add a bit of fat to the recipe or it will be dry..

Spices..  So crazy flexable but start with 1 or .5 tsp of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, paprika and red pepper flakes..

or just go 3 tbsp Italian spice blend with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper..

Pinch off a itty bit and cook it up and taste it.. adjust upward as needed to get to the perfect spice blend for your family!

Like your meat a little sweeter? Sprinkle over and add in 2 tbsp of brown sugar or 3 tablespoons of maple syrup to the blend..  personally I like maple with pork and brown sugar with the beef.. however your family might love the maple with the beef 🙂

Mix the spices well though the meat. it needs to be even so that you get some in all your meat but at the same time, try not to mix to much as the more you do so, the more dense the patties will become.

Try and work with very cold meat, now I used my handy little small patty maker, I have a bigger burger one as well, the joy of them is that they are all the same size, which makes single tray freezing them and stacking them a dream for future use and makes cooking them very easy as they are all the same in the pan.. plus they are lovely flat and much easier to cook because of it.

beefbreakfastsausagecookedpatties

Med heat in a pan with a good amount of olive oil or lard or left over bacon fat etc..  my point is simple, do not put these in a heated dry pan and think you can flip them whole lol.. you need to cook them with a bit of extra fat.. 4 to 5 min max per side and ready to go..

Can be pre-cooked and reheated, perfect size for little hands or sliders as well.

If you want to freeze them, layer on a tray, freeze on the tray rapidly, then let them thaw just enough to pop them off, layer between wax paper ideally and stack and freeze, ideally double bagged and just grab as needed..  ideally the night before so they can just be popped into the fridge to thaw and ready for use in the morning..  they can be cooked from frozen but it does change the texture..

Posted in grass fed beef | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Do not “panic buy” Stop.. Think.. Take Stock..

By this time, we have all seen the posts, the pictures, the news shows and newspapers and heard it said over and over again on the radio.  Panic Buying, Rationing, Empty Shelves..

SLOW DOWN.. Breath.. Take another deep breath, yes I know maybe you are out of milk, maybe you are out your favorite fruit, maybe you are low on fresh bread..  Maybe even more concerning for some. you are saying.. no you can’t have that.. one portion at this time..

14086303_1092189524181026_5258737782550761237_o

This post is not meant at all for those that are out of their homes, stuck on the road but its for pretty much will work for everyone else..

Do not let the Media get you spun up

Do not let the Canadian Food Guide rule at the moment..

Do not worry if your family is eating half a cup of apple sauce daily for a week or two.. they are getting their fruit..

Instead of looking at what is missing.. take that deep breath and look at what you do have!

  • Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. and I do not mean open it and look at it.. I mean take things out from those dark corners, that can of lima beans, that jar of antipasto, that small tiny jar of jam that came in a gift basket..
  • Take Stock of your deeper pantry, be that a small walk in kitchen pantry or your where you keep your rice, flours, beans, pasta and so on.
  • Look into  your tea and coffee area often extras are tucked in that area, like hot chocolate, or herbal tea or perhaps a tea box set has extra has something extra in it.
  • Look over your spice/herbs
  • Look in your fridge, take a good hard look at the sauces, salad dressings and all the little bits and bobs you have
  • Look in your freezer, perhaps use the top, side or bottom freezer in combo with your fridge, perhaps you have a small apartment freezer.. take stock of what you have..

The odds are very good that you have far more then you think you do.. or if you are truly super lean, the odds are you do not need this post. you already live lean and are the queen of figuring out how to take a small amount of x combine it with broth for soups or pasta or rice to make full family meals out of it..

amishnuttlebean

If and when you do get to the store.. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO STOCK UP!

Stop.. just stop! Unless you are truly lean (as in extreme limited income/food bank/community support programs, you had time to put up a extra bag of rice or pasta, along with a few other stables after the lock down..  if you truly have made the past two years and you spent your money “supporting the local and ordered in” without a thought of bringing in at least a 14 day personal home lockdown stock up..

Well, honestly, I am going to shake my head at you while giving the stink eye..  and also welcome because you have clearly not been here long..

So if you are lucky enough to find items on the shelf, take only what your family needs and think outside the box but stay flexable.  if you can get a jar of apple sauce and have a working fridge, you can portion it out, do they only have the fruit cups, don’t get fuss right now.. you can find a way to use the cups somehow.. or maybe they only have soft apples.. that will only last a short time.. eat while you can, but be prepared to process iffy items instead of passing on them.

If you can get a bag of powdered milk or canned milk even if its just one, along with a smaller milk, if your house is a milk drinking.. keep the fresh milk for the littles, make the powdered for all cooking needed.. keep the canned for use as a rich way to replace milk..

Allow yourself to think outside the box. no butter.. consider Gee in a jar.. consider cream cheese, consider any kind of nut butter.. for certain things.. for cooking, baking etc.. move to oils or lards..

When you make your list.. come up with the backups and then come up with backups for the backups.. be willing to take the store brand, be willing to try new foods.. if you want fruit cocktail in a can and normal one is not there but the ones with papaya is.. take one jar and make it fun and adventure.. BUT if you know you will not eat it unless you are “starving” do not take it..

If you have a well stocked pantry.. stay home for a few weeks..

120552199_758487248329028_2948528982434866171_n

Keep track of what you are using most and they should be the items you are looking for to refill your own gaps as basic things become somewhat stable..  Hubby and I have made a list of lets add this list per once a month shopping trip.. its not a long list, and we are looking for one of each, its not something we are out of, it is something we use regular and this will mean that we will replace what we are using and rotate though oldest to newest.

We need to eat, of course we do.. but do we need to eat as much as normal? the odds are strongly no we do not.. I know, I know, I am totally a stress eater.. I get it!

However this is a area that we can STRONGLY look at.. over and over on so many media and blogs, its all about how to make frugal meals and I am right there.. but the truth is most of us N.A. eat far more calories then we need daily..

Could we eat 10 percent less calories per day for a few weeks, could we eat 25% less calories per day, could we make a “kitchen sink” type bits and bobs soup and have it with tweek’s for lunches.. its a trick used forever, add broth and make the bowls seems fuller then they really are, tastes good, makes us feel full..

Instead of looking to the stores or the supply chain or the feds to make everything “normal” .. its not normal times right now for tens of thousands and another storm is coming right at the other half of B.C right now..

Look inward to what you have and make it count!

Posted in Life moves on daily | 7 Comments

Roasted Parsnip Carrot Soup Recipe

parsnipcarrotsouprecipe

Roasted Parsnip Carrot Soup Recipe

Roast your Roots Veggies

  • 6 med parsnips, peeled and sliced into two inch portions
  • 6 med carrots, peeled and sliced into two inch portions
  • tbsp or so of good quality olive oil
  • cracked sea salt
  • Roast at 400 till tender to the fork, approx 20 to 25 min

Now you can make a lot more, I did, I made a big sheet pan of these, served half at the dinner table, tossed with a tbsp of butter and tbsp of maple syrup and a bit of cracked pepper..  Amazing, then I put the second half of the pan into the fridge and held the roasted sweetened parsnips an carrots to make the soup the next day.

Parsnip Carrot Soup.

  • 1 med to large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp of good olive oil
  • Six cups of veggie or chicken broth
  • Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
  • 1 tsp of a good no salt seasoning like Mrs. Dash or my med fine herb blended
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cream to taste

In a good heavier bottom soup pot, add your oil and the onions, (no garlic or ginger, you can use them but it will change the soups overall taste profile) cook till onions are clear, then add in the broth, if you want thinner soup, add more broth, move up to 8 cups.. add your precooked roasted root veggies, your spices and heat it up till simmer to blend the flavours..  Remove from heat, and use your stick blender to make it as smooth as you would like..

Portion it out into your bowls and just before serving, put a tiny swirl of cream on top with a few red pepper flakes, goes amazing with a good hearty bread for dipping and cleaning up the bowl afterwards

This makes 4 big hearty lunch or lighter soup bowls of soup..  but can so easily be scaled up in amounts, or down..  This soup lets those rich earthy flavour of the roasted parsnip and carrot stand out and they are perfect in their fall glory!

Got a bit left over.. do consider using it as a cheese sauce base, add a little more broth to thin it down just a touch if needed, grate a cup a cheese, warm the soup, add the cheese till it melts in and then use that as a topping for roasted Cauliflower or Baked potato or even just a bowl of Rice..

Posted in Soups and Stews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shifting Moral Sands Under our Feet

My Back to the Land Parents taught me young about shifting sands, on one hand I was allowed to flourish as a wild child, barefoot and bushy tailed, land, water, hounds at feet, wind running over me as I rode from a young age small and BIG horses, quads and moterbikes.. Honor the land, honor the animals that provided the meat, eggs and milk.. nurture the soil that crops our gardens and fills our pantry and yet the main source of income for my family.. pipelining..  my father worked the lines. 

Part of the reason we moved so much was following the pipelines, and part of the reason we lived for many years on the edge of the towns, in the bush, in the cabin, in the holiday trailer, why over and over things were sold and we moved with so little only to start again an again as the “across the tracks/new kid”  

We got to see the best in peaple and we got to see the worst, the peaple who would reach out and give a hand, who were kind.. and those that were not, taking labels off the cans at the small stores, and then selling them at a higher costs, you could get dog or cat food as likely as you would get peaple food..  peaple who would try and find a way to wring out that “oil” money from the workers in as many ways as they could think of.. there was a target on your back both ways, you were that “bad” pipeline but also you were.. they get paid lots of money, lets get our share of it..  Sigh.. 

It helped me grow up to fast, get jaded to soon and it also made me wildly flexable.. I can find a way.. this is a good trait to have, it makes me think outside the box, it makes me watch and quickly figure out how to fit in the box, learn how a group interacts and meld little things to fit in better.. 

It also made me see things in many MANY shade of grey, my world is NOT black and white.. but I still see good and bad in so many ways.. as I grew and aged, I make choices on what I will do in regards to my own personal life and how what I do effects the outside world.. 

One of the things I am big on is you can only vote for your local goverement or federal X times so many years but you can vote with your dollar every single time you open your wallet..  Voting with your dollar is FAR more powerful..  I still vote always.. I am aware of just how amazing it is that I was born to this country and this time as a female. 

The past 20 months and I have a feeling the next coming years are really pushing my compass.. I mean I am pro-vaccine if you choose to get it while I am 100% against it being done by force and yes that includes financial distress.  

I made the choice years ago that I would not support business that went cashless, this is a line for me.. I do not agree with a cashless Society as it supports some peaple while adding in to marginalization of others..   Even when I want to use the place of business, I make it clear that I not buy because I can’t use cash even if I was going to use my card.. 

I have made the same type of choices over and over in the past 20 months.. making choices to support small and local but also making choices to not support businesses that are splitting and marginalizing..  while its not their fault “they are following the rules” I am supporting those that are doing their best to treat everyone with respect, if you clearly do not care about those that choose not to get the vaccine or can not.. then I will vote with my dollar and you are not getting it.. I will find a business that does both and they will get my money.. 

More and more of these moral related subjects are coming up, my favorite clothing store contracted work to a company using peaple that are supporting N,K,  Now I grow my own tomatos’ but I do normally buy tomato paste in the itty bitty cans.. have I bought and supported a company that is using what must be called modern slaves in the middle of a slow genocide.. 

The list like these goes on.. more and more we see just how fragile our “world supply chains are” and just how much they are laid on the back of the poor..  I have over the years supports so many fair trade, so many co-ops, so many small businesses and I am glad I have and I will.. 

But I find its getting so big, so intertwined that its becoming brutally hard to make some of the choices, so many companies that were at one time small and local and supported local farmers were bought out and kept the name and the small friendly face while being owned by the big boys.. 

I am used to watching other countries media spin hard on many things and do not get me wrong, I have seen our counties spin for many many years as well..  I mean if you asked my friends after pretty much any movie afterwards I will make a comment, well that was a in support of X or done to make us more open to x or y or z..  If you have not figured this out yet.. watch TV and movie’s to see what the think tanks see coming down the line.. often you can get a glimpse into what they see as the next issues

Also margaret atwood is crazy good at looking at small things and figure out lines of thought patterns on what could be.. 

However the past two years have put the Spin so high in our own country, I no longer need to look outside it to see so many of the issues that we saw in other countries,.. because they are right here, right now and in our face.. 

11950179_754760414650673_6070149023369156543_o

I for one, do not have the answers.. I do not even know what my own answer will be.. what it would have been tomorrow or what it will be today is not what it could be tomorrow..  

So many peaple have become Ridgid, others are so loose on the moral end that they need to be given the eye, and marked in your head as “do not trust further then you can throw them”

At a time when we need to be as open to new information, open to new ideas, open to going backwards for answer, we are instead being driven to be guarded..  

Stay flexable.. it will serve you well in the long run.. do not let go of your core morals.. but for the rest.. be willing to shed it and grow a new version of you..

 

Posted in At the kitchen table, Life moves on daily | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments