Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bobcats

One day in late fall, we were cleaning windows when I spied a bobcat strolling along across the street.  Looked like he owned the whole street, and, in particular, a couple of neighbour's yards, the way he was strolling through all of them on his way to who knew where.

Well, next day I saw it again..this time with a full grown bunny in its mouth.  The thing was about the size of the cat... dragging on the ground... 

I watched it go around the back of the neighbour's house and so I emailed her to let her know...in case she came out and was face to face with it eating its prey. 

She wrote back to say.... 'it is a Mommy and she has two babies in the backyard'.  'That is their lunch'.  She asked if I wanted to go over and we could look out a basement window to see them.  YES please!!

Off I trotted with my camera.

Here are some of my photos of that day.... those babies were so darn cute I wanted to go out and pet them.... but, Momma was nearby cleaning herself at the fish pond... not a good idea.

The first glimpse of it carrying something...didn't yet know what.  If you are a bit squeamish, don't look at the second photo.  And, if you want to see closer....click on the photos.
















I couldn't believe the size of the rabbit compared to the cat... it was pretty darn big.   Poor bunny.  Neighbourhood cats, BEWARE>














Then, I got some pictures of the babies through the neighbour's basement window....awwwwwwww......... how cute are they?













Honestly, I just wanted to bring one home.  Fairly big babies ... but babies nonetheless... just lazing out after a nice dinner and sort of seeing some movement from us, but not concerned.













Mommy, tidying up after the messiness of feeding the kids.
















Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Miniature Gingerbread Houses

From a Cupcake Jemma Youtube video.

I have no clue about piping and have never made Royal Icing before.

so.... as you may or may not know............ nothing is quite as simple as it looks on Youtube.  Besides, she is a professional baker ..hahahhahah... silly me.

I always just expect to follow along and things surely must just happen as easily as they do for them on there right? .... nope.......

Every square inch of my kitchen was a disaster let me tell you.  Icing sugar is so messy even if a person is careful and I am very careful.   And...it just didn't come together like hers did at all.  She put in 3 tablespoons of water and barely had to add a bit more and it looked great.  Of course... seeing and 'feeling' consistency isn't quite the same.  I had to add about 6 tablespoons of water just to get it to be almost solid glue...and, yes...I measured the icing sugar very carefully... an exact 400 grams... by the scale.  Maybe it is a case of the lack of humidity in our homes compared to those in England.  Basically, we have none.

Anyway... very long story made somewhat shorter ..( many hours long if truth be told!@#)  finally I got some icing in a bag.  By then, I already had 3 spatulas with hard, crusty bits on them so had to keep tossing them and reaching for a new one... good thing I have many, many spatulas. .. (still could not get a tip small enough to do it properly either) and practiced on some parchment paper for a bit and then...onward with biscuits to build some tiny houses.  Tiny being the key word here....they are only 3.5 inches high...and, 2.25 inches across the front...only 2 across an end.

At first I was pretty disappointed with my results...but, on I went... and even if they are a bit more whimsical and not as tidy as Jemma's.... I like them.   she did have 3 colours ...but in the end...all I could manage was my white icing... not trying for 3 colours if I can't even make the icing pipe properly.

Mr. BumbleVee says I was trying to make a two story house look like a bungalow....aha....I didn't notice that really....not a wonder they don't look so great.   Not a wonder he is the designer.  I watched the video a few times...and, then...just went for it.  Some details escaped me I guess.  Next time I may draw out some door and window configurations before I  begin winging it.....

Also...I did watch a few more Julia Usher videos later...WOW !!  and, discovered my icing had to be much softer  ... no wonder my arms and wrists almost gave out after 5 houses and many hours of struggling.  We ate the 6th house and other extra roof and side pieces.  A good thing.  My arms wouldn't take any more ...nor would my back. And, that is the BEST and tastiest gingerbread recipe ever.  I love those biscuits.  She uses Golden Syrup instead of molasses ... which I don't like anyway... so I love the taste of them.

I want to take a cake decorating class now...to learn how to pipe icing properly.  What fun that would be.

Here are my cute little "gb" houses.... as my friend Muriel calls them.... in spite of all the pitfalls and my own limited piping skills....I do like them a lot.



















Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Cold and snowy and the brilliant sun is shining....

A new year .... so many possibilities .....

It has been so cold the birds are always searching for more seeds and the suet.. it is wild at certain times of the day.  As many as 3 and 4 Flickers hanging out on the wall of the patio and even clinging to the rocks on the side of the house..waiting their turn at the suet.
Sparrows by the hordes... plenty of chickadees and some nuthatches and Downy woodpeckers ...I think we may have a Hairy one too...but, not too sure about him...

This one is so cute.  The big and the small.... Northern Flicker and a tiny nuthatch.... these two don't mind each other on together.  The Downy on the other hand darts around to peck anybody on the other side...this is a bit fuzzy looking because the venetian blind was in the way but I didn't want to scare them off.  Just took the cute photo.




Just look at this cheeky guy.... trying to chase off the sparrow... who does look a bit nervous... he got pecked and just hunkered down for a second or two but, then, decided to get off.

















Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

to all my bloggy buddies.... I'll have to see if I can get more organized or more enthused about blogging in the new year...

Got the little chicken in the oven...the spuds mashed and put in the 'fridge 'til later.... carrots and sprouts are simmering away... hope you are all having a nice dinner too.

It is a wintery white day out there ... -20C ... the birds are having fun with the suet and seed feeders... quite a lot of action and entertainment today.

best wishes to all...






Wednesday, December 20, 2017

... a white Christmas..

.  ...   which of course, in Canada, would seem perfectly normal... but, our weather so far this 'winter', has been unseasonably warm and mild really.  It was totally green and crispy dry until a day or so of a skiff of snow happened... and, then, it melted.   But, last night plenty of the white stuff accumulated.  I shovelled for two full hours and still didn't get it all done.  Still the inside of a big patio to do and the sidewalk along the side of the house.  Yikes!! Somebody says we are going to have more today.  I'm not sure whether to cheer or say I'm sorry for hoping for a white Christmas.    Yaaayy..    yes, I know... motorists and people who hate shovelling will not like me much for cheering about that.  Heh, heh....














Somewhere in there is a heated bird bath and drinking bowl.... nowhere for them to perch to have  drink.  I fixed it though.... soon after realizing it.














They were a bit wary of the giant snow cone on top of the feeder too....













I love a white Christmas.  But, if is doesn't really snow til Christmas Eve and then... melts and is all gone about a week later...that's okay too.  I would even be cheerful about that.  But, usually around here we have plenty of snow from end of October til end of April.   Shovelling does become a pain..in the back, the arms, the legs and gut ..etc.  And, it does get piled so high it is tough to toss it on the piles after they are about 4 feet deep.   I'm spoiled this year.... so far.

Origami, some cute little mice and other fun stuff has been happening...so at least it is fun stuff that prevents much in the 'bloggy-sphere'...































I found some great gold and glittery paper this year .. there is glitter all over the floor and tables.  I
splurged on a $9.00 roll... it should last me til I'm at least 205 ....   even if Muriel helps me use it.  Still haven't found any of the perfect weight gold thread I used to be able to buy... I hate when they stop making perfect stuff.  Gold thread is just toooo darn thin.... and so difficult to work with  Plus... even the tiniest seed beads slip off the end...arrgghhh!!!  Good thing I am so patient...hahahahhahahahhahahahhahah  Anybody who knows me is laughing their heads off.... I have absolutely NO patience whatsoever.   Well, with some things... mostly people.