VISITING THE FARM

Garry wanted pound cake for which I needed eggs. Our half and half was going “off.” With pound cake, we obviously will want coffee, hence we need fresh half and half. I wanted new pictures; Garry needed a photo airing too.

We accomplished it in one fell swoop (click here for a history of fell swoop), merely by driving around the block.

fresh eggs at the farm

It’s a dairy farm. Milk, eggs. Sometimes local honey. Today they had homemade jams and organic lip balm. The eggs come from the chickens wandering around the yards and are often fertilized. The milk is from the happiest bunch of cows I’ve ever seen. They loll around the green pasture which lies along the Blackstone River.

farm an windmill

There are several pastures. The pasture further down the road has a small creek running through it. They take the cows there in very hot weather so they can wade in the cool stream and graze on the wildflowers and weeds along the banks. It’s shady there. The calves have a pasture of their own and graze together along a hillside on the other side of the barn.

The milk isn’t homogenized or pasteurized, which means it’s very close to half and half, but you have to shake it before using because the cream rises to the top.

cows in pasture on the farm

I splurged on a jar of homemade elderberry jam. They had fresh corn, but I don’t need corn today. Maybe I’ll go back Monday, get some corn then. We don’t eat a lot, so I try not to over-buy things that will spoil and end up getting thrown out.

elderberry jamAnd we got pictures. I haven’t downloaded most of them yet. These are the first batch.

Here’s my recipe for pound cake. I’ll be baking as soon as the butter softens.

  • 1 pound (3-1/3 cups) flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 sticks softened sweet butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the real thing)
  • 9 large eggs, lightly beaten.

It makes two cakes in standard loaf pans. I’ll freeze one. We will happily devour the other. I can feel my hips expanding as I write.

The elderberry jam is delicious. And 2 pound-cakes are baking in the oven. The smell is … wow.

BONNIE’S BEST BUD

Bonnie -  7

Bonnie, the totally scruffy Scottish Terrier got groomed today. She came home looking like a proper Scottie, wearing a very feminine floral scarf which though technically appropriate, is about as un-Bonnie as anything could be.

Bonnie, for a girl dog, is really a guy. She always was.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There’s nothing girly about her. She’s tough and scrappy. A digger, a lover of dirt. She’ll take on anybody … well mostly … at least in play. She’s a very tough growly Scottie when she plays.

Here is our newly renovated girl, fresh from the groomer. Bonnie and her best bud Garry, on the deck.

GEESE ON THE RIVER BY Garry Armstrong

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.

These geese were not afraid of us, but they weren’t tame either. Nor were they “office park” geese who will boldly go where no goose has gone before. These were wild geese, willing to let us share space as long as we didn’t get too close.

We did our best to be stealthy. No door slamming, driving into the parking lot slowly, quietly. No talking. Getting the cameras out in the car, then walking softly, getting as close as we could without making the birds nervous. And having very long zoom lenses on our cameras!

THE GEESE WERE WAITING

72-Geese_11

We got to the little park along the river at around three. A whole flock of Canada geese were waiting for us in the parking lot.

72-Geese_03

Just gaggling around, being goosy. Garry spotted them and we went into stealth mode.

72-Geese_10

Driving very slowly into the far end of the lot and not even closing the doors to the car. Shh!

72-Geese_18

Tiptoeing around, we tried to convince the geese to hang around. They did for a while. Then, they conferred.  Discussed the matter between themselves.

72-Geese_35

And off they went, down the river. But not before we got a few pictures. These are a few of mine.

PIGEONS WATCHING PEOPLE, PEOPLE WATCHING PIGEONS

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 21

This week, just one subject: pigeons.

72-Pigeons_45

While at the party on Saturday, I became — don’t ask me why because I have no answer — fascinated by the pigeons on the roof.

72-Pigeons_44

They looked as if they were holding a conference, maybe doing a little people-watching and pigeon commentary on our fashion sense (or lack thereof).

72-Pigeons_48

Meet the pigeons. Shot with the camera’s telephoto at just about full extension, they are still reasonably sharp.

SHARING MY WORLD – PARADES, TRADITIONS, AND A JOKE – WEEK 28

Share Your World – 2014 Week 28

Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?

In 1992 and 1993, Garry and I were the honorary “King and Queen” of the Shriner’s Rodeo. I loved it. Wish we could do it again. We got to ride out at a gallop, then ride around the arena. The hardest part was controlling the horse and not falling off.

It was what got Garry interested in riding and for the next several years, we took lessons and went riding every chance we got.

ADJ150-RodeoGarMarHorseback

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I’m not fond of opera, though I like operetta, especially Gilbert & Sullivan. I wouldn’t sell the tickets. I’d give them to someone who likes opera. Ballet I would go to see. I originally planned to be a ballerina, but it didn’t work out.

Why did you start your blog?

Like so many others, as a place to show off my thousands of pictures … and maybe do some writing that someone other than family members and friends might read it. It turned to be a lot more than I expected.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

Pretty much all our personal traditions revolve around movies and shopping.

We watch “The Quiet Man” on St. Patrick’s Day. It reminds us of our honeymoon in Ireland, when we hunted down the locations where John Ford shot the movie. We watch the fireworks at the Boston Hatch Shell on the 4th of July (these days on television, in the old days from our balcony in Boston), then watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, we watch our favorites holiday movies including “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” Our own private film festival until we run out of holiday-themed movies.

96-ChristmasCommons-12-9-12_134

When Christmas is over, we go shopping. Got to love those post-Christmas sales. We get what we want at half price or less. It’s fun, something we can do together.

We also try to get into Boston at least once during December to see the Boston Pops concert and I can take some night shots of the city.

96-Pops2013_065

Speaking of traditions, we like to shop together at seasonal sales. Like we did yesterday for the big “end of summer” sales. Maybe you didn’t know summer is over, but in retail, it’s already autumn.

We didn’t buy much, but got stuff we like. We will enjoy using it especially because we paid 75% less than regular price. Garry and I were brought up to believe only fools pay full price. W exalt in our bargains.

AND NOW, IT’S TIME FOR A FUNNY STORY

Herb’s buddy George comes up to him after work and says “Hey, Herb! Have I got a deal for you!”

“What’s the deal?” Herb asks.

“I can get you an elephant for $100!”

Herb looks baffled. “George, buddy, I have no idea what in the world I would do with an elephant. What, ride him to work? Let him graze in the back yard? Don’t be ridiculous.”

And George says: “I can get you two elephants for $150!”

“NOW you’re talking,” says Herb.