Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Walkabout

The Bag Lady was busy in her kitchen most of yesterday, canning tomatoes and salsa. When she finally finished in the late afternoon, she took a stroll around the yard for a much-needed breather. It was a perfect autumn day, warm and peaceful. Here are a few photos she took:



The temperatures are supposed to be very warm for most of the week, so she is going to try to get a little yard work done!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Recap

The Bag Lady had an enjoyable weekend. She spent most of Friday in town with a friend. The Bag Lady, if you recall, had a flat tire a couple weeks ago, but the tire shop that she deals with didn't have the right one to replace it, so they had to order it. (In the meantime, they gave her a different tire to use so she would still have a spare in case of another flat.)

She finally got her truck in to have the new tire put on, and met a friend for lunch while she waited. The (very busy) shop still hadn't finished with her truck when they were finished lunch, so she and her friend ran some errands and did some shopping. They giggled their way around town and the Bag Lady bought a few things that she probably wouldn't have otherwise, but were absolutely essential; honest! Like a super-duper new electric skillet that comes apart and can be washed in the dishwasher - woohoo! And some new pens and stationery supplies - the Bag Lady has an addiction to all things related to writing, so she cannot pass up an opportunity to purchase pens, or pencils, etc., and her friend is a retired school-teacher with much the same addiction!

On Saturday, more friends came to visit, and one of them repaired the fascia on the edge of her roof that had been blown off in a storm a few years ago. The Bag Lady and the Rancher are both afraid of heights, and the Rancher (the braver of the two) hadn't gotten around to fixing the fascia. Much beer was consumed (after the repairs were finished) and many of the world's problems were solved amidst much laughter. Even some karaoke was sung!

On Sunday, the Rancher and his brother did some repair work at their mother's house. Then the Rancher's daughter and her family came for a visit. Much laughter also ensued.

The Bag Lady processed a gazillion tomatoes yesterday, and will turn them into something interesting today. She will probably use them to make more salsa (this batch will be hotter), and will also straight can some of them for use in a variety of recipes over the winter. Spaghetti sauce is always delicious with home-grown tomatoes!

Remember when she started her tomatoes way back in the spring, and had just planted them outside when they froze and she lost most of them? One of the varieties that she planted was called Pink Ponderosa. And at least one of the plants that survived that frost in July was a Pink Ponderosa. Here is a photo of two different coloured tomatoes. Although it is a little difficult to tell from the picture, the tomato on the left has a decidedly pink cast in comparison to the tomato on the right (which, if memory serves her correctly, is a Sub-Arctic):


Her peppers are also ripening rapidly, and she will deal with them, too. Well, except for the Habaneros, because she is still afraid of them! One of her visitors on Saturday ate one of the Habaneros and pronounced it a little hot. Judging from the tears running down his face and the steam coming from his ears, the Bag Lady thought he was probably right!

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Quite a Peck

Remember the hard frost the Bag Lady told you about earlier this week? And how she said she had covered her pepper plants and thought they would be okay? Well, she was wrong. When she checked them later on that afternoon, the leaves were all wilted and sad-looking. So she picked a peck of peppers! Seriously, does anyone know how many peppers are in a peck? (8 quarts, for those of us who really need to know....so, okay, she doesn't have a peck of peppers. But definitely part of a peck.)

Here is a photo of her harvest:

Of course, this photo was taken after she used some of them to make hot sauce. She has never made hot sauce before, but decided against using the entire amount of peppers required in the recipe. And she thinks the hot sauce tastes exactly right. A nice amount of heat, but doesn't take the roof of your mouth off! Those little Super Chilies pack a punch. She doesn't know if you can tell from the photo, but there are also a few Habaneros in the bowl with the Super Chilies. She isn't sure what she will do with them.

Here's a photo of the hot sauce:


She still has quite a load of tomatoes (at least a peck, maybe even a kenning!) yet to ripen, and will wait for some of the peppers to ripen before she does anything else with them. Perhaps pickled peppers are in order! Maybe some more hot pepper jelly. Definitely more salsa!

In other news.........

Ummmm, gee, there isn't much else.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And the Winner Is........

GEOSOMIN!!

Email me at the address in my sidebar to discuss your prize!



Here is a different angle on yesterday's mystery picture. This is the Bag Lady's rain-collection system (actually an unused watering trough for animals). She took a close-up picture of the frozen surface early in the morning, and there was a slight reflection from the bush growing beside it. (Yes, that is a little frog sitting on the edge - when he's in the mood, he spits a stream of water into the trough!)



The Bag Lady had to do a little fencing yesterday, and while she was out and about, took a few pictures to share with you.
Here are a couple of different angles of the same dug-out:



She also saw a mule-deer yesterday, and tried to take a picture, but unfortunately, it didn't turn out very well. She was too far away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whee - a Wee Wednesday Contest!

The Bag Lady had to wait for the sun to come up this morning (which, sadly, is happening later and later all the time!) before she wrote her post. She had a fairly good idea of the sight that would greet her (considering it was already 0C at midnight last night) and wanted to be able to share it with you!



In case it's hard for you to tell from this rather uninspired photo, we suffered a "hard frost" this morning. When the Bag Lady crawled from her warm, cozy, cat-hair covered bed at 6:00 this morning, the thermometer was reading -5C (20F).

She is almost positive that it destroyed what remained in her garden, and she knows for sure that it ruined the flowerpots on her deck (which, in her haste last night, she forgot to cover.) She did cover most of her pepper plants, and thinks they will be okay - except for the one whose covering fell off.

She has a silly little contest for you now. She wants your best guess as to what this photo depicts:

(Go ahead - click on it to enlarge it, it might help!)

Didn't help? How about a different shot? Does this help?

If anyone guesses correctly, the Bag Lady will come up with a fabulous prize for you (some of her home-made salsa, perhaps? Hot pepper jelly? Or maybe some pluot jam to satisfy a sweet tooth....) If more than one person guesses correctly, she will have to do a random number generator thingy. {Ever heard of chicken-shit bingo? They sell numbers on a grid, which is laid out on a big piece of plywood, set a chicken upon it and wherever the chicken poops, there's your winning number! Chickens poop on average every 3.75 seconds, so it doesn't take long to play this game.... Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), the Bag Lady no longer has any chickens, so she'll have to do it the new-fangled way!}

So let's have your guesses in the comment section!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Asked For It....

So, the Bag Lady knows she has a "publicity" photo from her theatre days somewhere in her computer, but she can't seem to find it....at least, she can't find the one she was looking for. So, in it's stead, here's one from the late '80's. Also a publicity shot. From her 'days on stage'. Using the term loosely! She hasn't changed even a tiny bit since then, honest! Well, except her hair is shorter.....

And, since so many of you requested it, here is her all-time favourite picture:



There. (Yes, the curls are natural. And so are the Bag Lady's!!!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Show and Tell

Last week, Missicat posted a gorgeous "glamour" photo of herself from the '90's, and challenged her blog readers to post their own.

The Bag Lady, unfortunately, has never had a "glamour" photo taken - she is not, by any stretch of the imagination, glamorous! She has been trying to decide if she should post another picture of herself - she is quite shy, and has already posted more than one (Eeek!)

She dug through her archives and cannot decide whether she should post a "publicity" shot, taken when she was involved in amateur theatre, or if she should post her favourite picture of herself and the Rancher. Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, she finally got a batch of salsa made and is quite pleased with how it turned out. She used her Super Chilies, and confirmed that they really pack a wallop! Here are the peppers she used (the Super Chilies are the wee little red ones at the front of the bowl - she did not use all of these!):


And here are the tomatoes:





She also finished up a couple of other little projects she had on the go. Here's a picture of the Roman blind she made for her mother-in-law's dining room window:

And that's pretty much all she has to show for her weekend!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Confessions of a Lunatic

The Bag Lady has had some very strange thoughts lately. Oh, stop it! Not that kind of thoughts, sheesh!

She has been walking for exercise, and trying to increase the cardiovascular benefit by doing such things as swinging her arms, or kicking her legs out in front of her (rather like she's marching with the Russian army - it is the Russians, isn't it, who do that?)

She lives at the end of a dead-end road, so there's never anyone around to see her doing these things. But (and here's where the strange thoughts come in) she wonders occasionally about all those satellites that are trained on every inch of the earth. Do you think there's anyone around, monitoring those things, and laughing their asses off at that crazy old woman marching along on the gravel road down there?

Does anyone else remember "Candid Camera"? It was a television program where they would set up some crazy scene and lure unsuspecting passersby into doing ridiculously funny things without realizing they were being filmed. The program was on when the Bag Lady was very young and impressionable, and it set her up for life as slightly paranoid! That, and the idea that God was always watching was enough to keep the Bag Lady on the straight and narrow forever. Itchy butt? Don't scratch because someone might have a camera hidden in that spruce tree! And even if there's no camera, God can see you. Don't pick your nose, or fix your wedgie - even when you are totally alone, because there might be a camera. And God never sleeps.

So the Bag Lady wonders, if it's cloudy, and dark, and she goes out walking, swinging her arms and kicking her legs out, the satellites can't see her, right?

And God already knows she's a lunatic!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick Friday Post

It's Friday! Where did the week go? Again.

Here is a picture of the sunrise the other day:

And a picture of the river:

That's all the Bag Lady has for you right now. She will be hard at work again today, and may have a post later on....
In the meantime, have a great day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Salsa Time

The Bag Lady was really lazy busy yesterday, and couldn't decide on a subject for a blog post for today. Truth be told, she still isn't sure what this post is about.....

With the shorter daylight hours, and cooler temperatures, her thoughts turn more toward indoor activities, and cozy evenings spent cuddling in front of the woodstove. Of course, most of the cuddling part is with her cats and dog, because the Rancher is not much of a cuddler! Fortunately, this area has been experiencing a bit of a heat-wave - ordinarily, our temperatures at this time of year are around 16C - today's forecast high is for 24C, so no need to break out the hot chocolate and wooly undies quite yet!

The Bag Lady has a mountain of ripening tomatoes on her counter, and thinks there are finally enough ripe to make a batch of her world-famous salsa! This is the salsa that she has sold at craft sales and farmer's markets, and has had people hunting her down, begging for more! One fellow bought some at the farmer's market, then hunted the Bag Lady down at her regular job (okay, okay, not that big a deal - she worked in the General Store at the time and he stopped there for coffee fairly regularly - sheesh, she was just trying to make it sound good!!) to beg for more..... salsa, that is!

She has had several people ask her for her salsa recipe, and she has given this a LOT of thought. She has tweaked and fiddled around with the recipe for many years and, although generous to a fault by nature, has decided she is not going to post the actual recipe she uses.
(Does that make her a bitch? Oh, well.) Some secrets just have to be kept!

What she will do is post the basic recipe and a few hints. Remember, though, that this recipe is for canning, so it makes quite a bit (5 pint jars) and has to be processed in a boiling water canner for the proper amount of time.

FRESH VEGETABLE SALSA

8 jalapeno peppers
7 Cups prepared tomatoes (approx. 6 lbs)
2 Cups coarsely chopped onions
1 Cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can tomato paste
3/4 Cup white vinegar
1/2 Cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Remove seeds and finely chop jalapeno peppers. Blanch, peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. Measure 7 cups.

Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently, about 30 minutes or until salsa reaches desired consistency.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of rim, apply lids and bands and place in boiling water canner.

Process 20 minutes (at altitudes up to 1,000 ft - allow more time if you are at higher elevations)

Hints: the Bag Lady does not like cilantro, so she leaves it out. She also uses more garlic. You can leave some of the seeds from the jalapenos in if you want your salsa hotter, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

So there you have it. Salsa almost like the Bag Lady makes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Random Photos

A couple of days ago, the Bag Lady stopped for a minute down by the river and took a photo through a gap in the trees. This is not a place she ordinarily frequents, especially at night, because it is a party spot for the teenagers from town. Quite a few very bad things have happened there, but this day there was no-one around and she wanted to take some pictures.

She also took a picture of the other side of the highway, looking up the hill. The trees had started to turn and she thought it looked rather pretty.


Yesterday, she happened to be in almost the same place, and the trees have turned a little more, so she took a comparison shot:

Yesterday was a very nice day, and the heat ushered in a thunderstorm last night! Thunderstorms in September are rather rare in this area, so the Bag Lady was a little surprised. She thought about trying to capture it on film, but it was very dark, and she thought it would be a little boring to watch. There were some spectacular flashes of lightning, though, and a few fairly loud cracks of thunder.
The poor Princess unsuspectingly went outside in the dark, and almost tore the door down in her efforts to get back in when she realized there was a thunderstorm! She is not a fan of loud noises. To be perfectly honest, neither is the Bag Lady! She loves watching the lightning, but is afraid of thunder. Even though she is perfectly aware that it is the lightning that is dangerous and that the thunder won't hurt her. She doesn't have to be rational ALL the time, does she?

Oh, and speaking of crazy, here is a picture of the spinach in her garden. There have been several hard frosts since the beginning of September, but her spinach is very hardy, apparently! She went out to check on it yesterday and was amazed to find it still looking very good!
So she is still dehydrating spinach. She made a loaf of (Bunnygirl's) spinach cheese bread for her sister and her friends when they visited, and they loved it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

At Long Last......

Here is a little video the Bag Lady put together to show you the paint job at her mother-in-law's house.


video

There are still a few finishing touches needed, but most of the painting is done until Mother decides she wants the bedrooms painted, too!


For another video of the Bag Lady in action, check out her sister's blog, Sibu Pegasus Power. Reb has posted a video she took when she came up to visit the Bag Lady last week.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Report

The Bag Lady had a busy weekend, painting at her mother-in-law's. She and her sister-in-law painted the living room and hallway this time. The Bag Lady's sister-in-law actually did most of the painting in the living room, and the Bag Lady did the trim in the hallway, and the baseboards everywhere. There are 6 doors in that short little hallway! Two bedroom doors, one bathroom door and three closets. Whew - that's a lot of trim!

The Bag Lady will go back over today to do a few touch-ups and put a cabinet together for the almost completed kitchen/dining area. Her mother-in-law's house is getting quite a make-over, and when it's done, the Bag Lady will share some photos with you. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a lot of "before" photos, but there are a few that will give you a bit of an idea of just how big a change it really is!

In the meantime, she has a couple of photos she took on her way home last night. The days are getting much shorter now - the sun is setting at around 8:30 pm. The moon was up when the Bag Lady headed for home last night, and the sky was streaked with colour:


This was the sunset she encountered as she turned out onto the highway:



Yesterday was the Rancher's birthday, but the Bag Lady didn't see much of him. He was doing some work at their cattle lease during the day, then went straight from there to work, so they will celebrate his birthday another time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Kind of Dog Are YOU?






What kind of dog are you most like?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Golden Retriever

You are the classic hero, a Golden Retriever. Every loyal, trustworthy, and patient, you seek friends and love the world around you. Especially the water!


Golden Retriever


85%

Bernese Mountain Dog


80%

Australian Shepherd


60%

Staffordshire Bull Terrier


40%

Westie


40%


Friday, September 12, 2008

Edited Friday Edition

Those were the days my friend,

We thought they'd never end......
We'd sing and dance forever and a day.
We'd lead the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were YOUNG.....

and sure to have our way!

The Bag Lady and Reb circa 1986(?)

AND TODAY (at around noon MDST):

Haven't changed a bit, have they? (well, except they switched sides in this photo, just to confuse you.... and the hair isn't quite so big....and perhaps a wee bit lighter in colour.)

Quick Friday Notes

The Bag Lady has been quite faithful over the last eleven (holy crap, it's been almost a year!) months about posting regularly. Lately, though, she has been so darned busy, she's been slacking a little.
She ordinarily tries to organize her post the night before so that it is coherent and cohesive and all those other co- words. Some nights, though, she is just too darned busy, or has company (like last night!) and can't get to the important business of blogging!

Missicat posted a photo of herself from the 1980's and challenged her readers to do the same. The Bag Lady hesitated and hummed and hawed, because (truth be told) she has very few photos already in her computer from that time. There is one of her with her sister, Reb (who blogs over at Sibu Pegasus Power) that is quite good, but she needs to get her sister's permission before she posts it. (As soon as her sister gets out of bed, she'll ask her, but they were up quite late, partying and carrying on actually, Reb doesn't drink, which rather curtails the partying part, gossiping and giggling well into the night.) So watch this space for a photo a little later on today.

In other news........
Gee, there isn't much else right now. The Bag Lady just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know she is still alive and well and living the good life!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walk in the Woods

The Bag Lady has a couple photos to share with you. She took these yesterday when she took lunch to the Rancher, who was doing some work over at their summer pasture.

She and the Rancher took a little walk in the woods and saw that some of the leaves are starting to turn.

The Princess was in her glory, almost obscured by the brush, but trotting along beside her favourite human:

A little shaft of sunlight through the trees strikes the path, highlighting a rotting fallen tree:


She didn't see any snakes today, but she thought this twisted old willow looked interesting:


Peeking through an opening in the trees, you can see the sunlight on the swamp grass.


Into every life a little misfortune must fall, and the Bag Lady's truck had a flat tire.



Fortunately, the Rancher changed it for her.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What to do, what to do?

The Bag Lady is not into exercise. What do you mean; that's obvious!
She occasionally takes a spin on her stationary bike, but doesn't have an elliptical machine, a treadmill, or a gym membership. She does, of course, do a lot of walking, and a little gardening, and sometimes some heavy lifting.

In the cold weather to come, she knows she will be inside more often, and tends to go into hibernation mode because she hates the cold so much. She will go outside every day and feed her cows, but that is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a strenuous workout. She will sweep snow off her deck, or shovel it off her little sidewalk (if you can call three feet of sidewalk blocks a sidewalk!), and she will chop wood and carry it into the house to feed the woodstove.

She has decided she needs to find something to help her lose some weight. She has lost a teensy tiny amount this summer (the same 2 or 3 very sticky pounds - everytime she thinks she has shaken them, they reappear!) but she is loathe to go back onto a starvation diet as she has in the past, because obviously, they don't work well in the long-term. She has been watching her diet if she doesn't watch what she puts in her mouth, she slops it all over herself! and it seems to be helping a little, but she is afraid that with the cold weather and the slow-down in her activity level, those sticky little pounds will invite some buddies over to stay!

She is making a vow to do some sort of exercise on a regular basis, starting after she gets her garden taken off and all her canning done. Canning may not be demanding exercise, but it is time-consuming and tiring. She needs to get back to doing yoga, or jumping jacks or something.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuneful Tuesday?

Turn up the volume on your speakers - really poor quality video.......but mildly amusing.

video

Into everyone's life, a little weirdness must fall.....

**Edit - for an explanation of the video clip go here

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Weekend Review

The Bag Lady has been a busy little bee this weekend. Along with a multitude of other things, she turned these:

Into this:

And this:


Into this:


Here are her tomatoes:

And a few more:

When they ripen, she will make some salsa and pizza sauce, and probably just can some of them to use during the winter. Some of them will be pink, and some of them will be yellow, but most of them will be the traditional red. She still has a lot of gardening yet to do. She needs to do more of this:
But there is no rush. The weather has been unsettled, and the Bag Lady was getting tired of covering her tomatoes in case of frost, so she decided to pick them and get it over with! The potatoes can stay in the ground for quite awhile yet. As can the onions and garlic and carrots and turnips, which is pretty much all that's left. Oh, except for her exceptionally hardy spinach, which is still producing, and she is still picking it every day and dehydrating it. It takes a long time to get enough dehydrated to fill a bag........ but she is getting there.

Finally, here is some cuteness for you!


Friday, September 5, 2008

Holy Crap!

The Bag Lady has been extremely busy this week, and hasn't had much spare time to attend to the important things in life like blogging!
She has been running here and running there and gardening and...and....and doing all manner of things that needed to be done.
She went to the summer pasture today (where she was camping last weekend) to visit the friends who are still camped there. When she got out of her truck in order to open the gate, she caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye. When she looked again, she realized she had almost stepped on this:

(click on the image to enlarge)

Her immediate reaction? "Holy crap...that's a snake!"

The Bag Lady is not a screamer - she is not prone to hysterics or dramatics, but being that close to a snake gave her the willies! He (she? it?) stayed absolutely motionless, which allowed the Bag Lady to gather her wits enough to pull out her camera so she could share the experience with you!
For those of you who are not acquainted with snakes, this is (as far as the Bag Lady knows) a Red-sided Garter snake. The most common snake in North America. You can't see them in this particular photo, but there were red marks along the side of it's body. The Bag Lady knows this because she poked it with a piece of grass to get it to move so she could get back in her truck! When it moved, she could see the red marks. ~~shudder~~ The Bag Lady doesn't like snakes.

She just wanted to share this experience with you. Hope you appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Come Go With Me.....

Well, the Bag Lady finally got the video put together. Hope you enjoy it!




video

Whew. Doesn't that look like fun?
(Oh, and the Bag Lady knows how to spell 'making'....she just ran out of room. Really.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WHAT DAY IS IT?

THIS BLOG IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR RECOVERY PURPOSES. IT WILL RE-OPEN TOMORROW.

IN THE MEANTIME, HERE'S SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU HOW THE BAG LADY SPENT HER WEEKEND.



And here's an artsy-fartsy picture:



The Bag Lady hopes to have a full report for you tomorrow, complete with action video!