L. thyinos

Somebody landed on this blog today after entering the search term Lactarius thyinos into a search engine. As it happens this is something I’ve written about in the past. L. thyinos are a variety of milk cap mushrooms. I find them from time to time, usually when I’m not looking for them, and almost always around cedar trees. In fact they are the only edible mushroom I ever find around cedar trees.

They are beautiful orange mushrooms and when you break them, they exude an even brighter orange latex-like liquid. As a bonus, they’re really tasty. The last time I found them I was on a trail halfway down into a deep narrow canyon through which flows one of the loveliest brook trout streams you could imagine. It’s a stream that is loaded with small brook trout, but also holds some surprisingly big brookies as well as some very good brown trout, and as a bonus there are some large rainbow trout in there as well, which I believe must be escapees from the town mill pond above the canyon.

New Look

The other evening in Edmonton, I was talking about blogging with SME and Richard, and SME noted that I went through a phase of changing the look of my blog regularly. This is true. I have a restless imagination and I like to refresh the way this little corner of the cyber-swamp looks from time to time. I kept the last theme for some time. I liked its simplicity and the way it nicely featured the content.

Tonight I looked at 27th Street, though, and decided it was tired and in need of a face-lift. I tried out the WordPress 2015 theme and I think I’ll keep it for a while, although I may mess around with various header images (the current one is a night photo of one of the imagination stations out back – I snapped that pic this evening while out shoveling snow) and background colours.

A while back I wrestled with keeping or ditching the blogroll. I tried a theme that couldn’t accommodate one and curiously I was not flooded with complaints – but when I asked, some of my pals suggested I should keep one. I’m still ambivalent. In fact I haven’t even looked at it in some time and I’m certain it’s out of date. I think the blogroll was a feature that was more important a few years ago than it is now. It has a certain charm, and it’s true that some people find this blog from the blog rolls of others.

At our Edmonton MIRL (meeting in real life) dinner the other evening, SME reminded me that some of the bloggers we know who have managed to maintain friendships over the years, found one another by clicking the random blog button on the old Blogger platform. Does Blogger still have that feature?  There was a time I clicked that that button fairly regularly just to see what sort of personal blogs were out there. Many of the bloggers I regularly followed at that time have given up blogging. Some I’m still in touch with via Facebook, and I wish some of those folks would return to blogging because I miss seeing them there. Facebook is OK for keeping in touch but I still prefer blog spaces.

The heyday of the personal blog may be past, at least based on my experience with blog-friends who have abandoned ship along the way.  I’m OK with that. In fact I enjoy things that are a bit outside the mainstream. I still love painting. I play and listen to a lot of folk music, these days especially Old Time music, which had its commercial heyday a long time ago.

I like having my own corner out there, and I really appreciate the folks who keep dropping by. I hope you like the new look around this joint.

Not making this up….

IMG_2658Yes, it’s Birthday Cake flavour OREO cookies. Tuffy P is out at a work event this evening, but she was thinking of me…there was a healthy salad in the fridge….and a bag of these babies on the counter. If you’re wondering, yes they are very very very sweet. .

Back in Town

In all the years I’ve maintained this blog and the Mister Anchovy’s blog before it, one thing I can say is that I have been a very regular blogger. Somewhere along the way I’ve developed the habit of blogging and the understanding that there are all kinds of posts I can create, and some of them can be very casual and personal.

During the past couple weeks it seems I’ve lost my rhythm. In my defense I’ve had two work-related trips to Edmonton and I didn’t try to blog while away. I returned from the latest trip today, landing in the midst of today’s nasty snowstorm.

IMG_2645I like Edmonton, by the way, even though on the first trip the weather made things difficult. This morning I noticed something strange at the Edmonton airport. At 6 AM the bars in the airport were open and there were actually some people hoisting a few before getting on their morning flights. Too early for this guy.

Today’s flight was rocky, turbulent. The seat-belt signs stayed on for most of the flight. We circled Toronto for a while before finally landing. During the storm, landing and getting to the gate were two very different things. The plows were busy keeping the runways clear and we parked for an eternity before a path to the gate was plowed out. I was so happy to finally get home late this afternoon.

Although I wanted very much to have a nap, instead I suited up and me and the dogs went out to do some shoveling. IMG_2646Georgie loves the snow so much. In the back yard he runs around, bounding, just being a goofy boy. Memphis got in the act as well, and they staged a wrassling match, like Godzilla vs Megalon. Great times. Dogs of course don’t have to shovel.

I don’t think I have to travel any more before Christmas, and although I enjoy the adventure and the challenges of this kind of trip, I’m OK with staying put here in Hogtown for a while.

IMG_2650Meanwhile I haven’t thought much about Christmas. We have family coming over and I’m doing the cooking so I’m going to have to think about that. I’m taking the week containing Christmas off this year, and I’m thinking maybe it’s time I made a batch of cabbage rolls and some home-made pirogi. I’m not totally committed to that idea yet – it’s a lot of work, but those foods bring back Christmas from my childhood, when my mom would cook for days and we would have a feast, at that time normally on Christmas Eve.

Starting to look like a banjo….

A little progress on the salad bowl banjo…

IMG_2617I think the neck is still a little clunkier than I’d like so over Christmas I’m going to take it down a bit. I may shorten the end piece some as well. Still to do – drill and ream the peg holes, shape the pegs, stretch the goatskin on the bowl.  Getting there.

I call her #6

Nothing beats holiday cookie baking with your neighbour!
Nothing beats holiday cookie baking with your neighbour!

I knew her in her 80s…. she’s now renamed herself Amazing, and I buy that hook, line and sinker.  I also call her #6.

Here we are after the Long Branch Santa Claus Parade, baking Peanut butter chocolate cookies for Christmas. We have to take a break before baking the next batch (cappucino crinkles), while Amazing licks the spoons.   With Georgie, Memphis and Gracie keeping watch. Dec. 6, 2014.

more cats in a box….

Phyllis and Gracie

The other day, Tuffy P posted a picture of Phyllis and Gracie in a box…a recent one (they’re a year and a half now). Cathy P provided this delightful shot of the same lions as kittens in the box they traveled in on adoption day. As before, Gracie is driving, Phyllis is in the back seat.

Swamp Pop for a Friday night

Ever have a song sneak into your head which you actually haven’t heard in a really long time? That happened to me today. I’ve known the song for many many years but I can’t remember the last time I heard it. It’s by Rufus Jaganeaux and I think if you wanted to categorize it you’d call it Swamp Pop.  Here’s Opelousas Sostan….

Let’s stay with the theme….check out Betty & Dupree by Cookie and the Cupcakes….

Now here’s Kenny Tibbs novelty tune about Holly Beach – the Cajun Riviera – to the tune of Under the Boardwalk….

And finally let’s get out of this post with a visit to the Promised Land. Of course this is a Chuck Berry tune, but it’s Johnnie Allan singing with the mighty Belton Richard squeezing out the fantastic accordion breaks. Love this one!