Sunday, July 29, 2007

Call the Cops Gravy

Take one beef or pork roast.
Roast it.

Mix into a glass measure:
One heaping tablespoon Bisto (brown sauce mix).
Two heaping tablespoons of flour (I believe flour is quite universal and needs no explanation).
A whole bunch of salt and pepper to taste (also universal).
One tablespoon of beef OXO, or chicken OXO if you're doing pork (OXO being the equivalent to Beef or Chicken in a Mug).
Garlic powder is optional (depending upon whether you're having family over - or your boyfriend).

When roast is roasted, set aside - covered on warm ceramic platter.

Add water from potatoes and/or vegetables to meat drippings in roasting pan.
Heat on medium high burner to boiling.
Add to flour mix about one half cup of milk (to mollify the children).
Mix into a paste then add to water/drippings mix in pan.
Stir constantly with whisk on medium low until thickened.
Then, when the kids are not looking, add a tablespoon (or to taste) of fine red wine (as long as no one has already pilfered it - in which case, do not tell the children where you are going in order to replace it).

There you have it, Folks.

now hide the recipe

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Through the smoke of distant fire
Drawn into the dusky sky
Growing stronger - rising higher
There it met my eye
Its glow was sure - a firey red
A pagan sight it's true
From the sleeping sun it fed
And yet it was quite blue

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quick! Call the Cops! Mum's making gravy...

Where is our society headed?
Several weeks ago, I was making a lovely prime rib of beef for Sunday dinner, complete with yorkshire pudding, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. My gravy recipe requires a teaspoon of red wine, but I was unable to find the bottle of wine that I had stored in the pantry. I told the kids I was going to the corner store and that I would be right back. My ten year old daughter asked why, and I told her that I was going to purchase a bottle of wine. Her response was, "You can't feed us wine! That's illegal - you'll get us drunk! You know, I can call the police on you." I was stunned and subsequently outraged that my own child would think and feel that way. There have been other instances of my children attempting to take the upper hand - aka; avoiding doing what is asked of them... My older daughter also flatly refuses to pay rent, even though she is working. She told me that I am obligated by law to support her until she reaches the age of nineteen. That is incorrect, but my true point is that she has to help contribute to the family and learn to be a contributing member of society - laws be damned! Another time, I was feeling pushed to my limits dealing with the kids, so instead of taking it out further upon my children, I left and went to a friend's house just up the hill to relax and cool off. My cell phone rang while I was there and it was our local detachment of the RCMP. I was floored when I found out my children had phoned the police and the law said they could charge me with abandonment - what the heck is that all about? (In my own defence, the kids knew where I was, they knew how to contact me, I was gone up the street for a total of two hours and I did promise them I would be back). Society appears to be creeping into our living rooms and snatching away any of the empowerment that we, as parents, require in order to raise and teach our children to look after themselves and become accountable adults. The school system refuses to discipline our future generation (for fear of litigious repercussions) and the students receive no consequences for their actions. Or the teachers simply send a recalcitrant child home for the parent to deal with - in other words, a day off school for said student. The teachers are forced by society to pass the buck and force the parent to cope with an unknown situation - one that the school system should be dealing with themselves. We are not allowed to spank our children, raise our voices to them or oblige them to do anything they don't want to homework or household chores. I have a serious problem with this metamorphosis that society is going through. It is threatening our mere existence as responsible adults and the future of our children. Television, the media, internet, video games and any virtual form of communication is further removing everyone from the physical reality of life. Global communication is not all that it's cracked up to be and I believe we are isolating ourselves more than ever as a result. Humans are a herd animal and we will not survive without the rest of the pack. Our future is with our children - it is a simple law of nature. We have to be trusted to be able to nurture, punish, support and raise our own children in a way we see fit.
Or where will our society end up?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stuck Truck

Our vehicle in question was taken into the bush about a month ago and never came back...

Due to a mechanical problem (yet to be diagnosed) the truck could not make the return trip up the steep rocky mountain track.
The boys had to walk out in the dark of night, leaving their transportation in the forest deep at the bottom of a creek valley.

We made several hikes back in over the past weeks, attempting to extract it from that tight spot, but to no avail.
On our second sojourn into the valley, with another 4x4, we managed to tow the truck about 1.5 km up the precipitous trail but, when we got to the summit, we weren't able to negotiate the sharp right turn.
There the truck sat for another 2 weeks, until we were able to procure a tough little jeep with a winch attached.

Last Saturday morning 7 of us loaded up 3 vehicles that included 2 vans and a 4x4 pulling a trailer carrying the jeep.
There was the air of adventure with a taste of summer holiday spirit surrounding the event.
We even toted along a packed lunch containing sandwiches and various refreshments - of which water was most important in the 35-degree heat.

The jeep was manoeuvered into place in the thick undergrowth and the winch was hooked up through a pulley attached to the front of the waiting truck.
When the winch was first activated nothing happened - nothing but the jeep being winched back down the hill...
After anchoring the jeep to a stout tree trunk farther up the slope, the winch was wound tight once more.
Ah ha! The truck began to inch its way up the rugged incline.
Slowly, but surely, it made its final ascent - I held my breath during the entire procedure...
Amid hoops and hollers the truck finally turned over, fired up and was able to make its own way over the last hump at the top of the hill.

For the first time, after many treks into the bush, we were able to drive out of that place instead of doing it on foot!

Young Julian's first attemt at dragging the truck up the hill...

Eugene and Jerry hooking up the winch cable.

Jerry jockeying the jeep into place.

At last, an empty track where no truck should have been in the first place!

* The photos do no justice to the steepness of the slope. It was at least 45 degrees, making it difficult to negotiate even on foot.

Sticking my foot in it...

This lovely shot was taken along an old mining/logging road not far from here.
It was a beautiful, hot (37 degrees) day in the mountains.
Pretty white daisies lined the road, accented by scarlet indian paintbrush, purple fireweed and my favourite orange tiger lillies.

And no, I wasn't driving...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Apparently, I've been rather out of it lately...

Proof being in black and white on Gypsy Noir's blog!
There was talk on a recent post of hers regarding one delectible actor who has played a myriad of different character parts.

Johnny Depp has raised the pulse of many a girl and woman over the past twenty years and he continues to do so.
One of the more colourful portrayals Depp has created is one certain pirate captain who stalks the Caribbean Sea.

Now I have always prided myself in my ability to use words and my quick wit, but this time I was completely innocent of what I had written on Mme Noir's blog.

Last Sunday, while I was cooking brunch for the family, the hilarity of it all hit me broadside as my children were watching Pirates of the Caribbean; The Curse of the Black Pearl - for the at-least twentieth time.

It was then that my faux pas became clear to me.
I know that certain captain of the Black Pearl is named for a small bird that occupies most of the large land masses of the world.

My dear Gypsy pounced on that one when I mentioned Captain Swallow on her blog.
The porn version of the movie, of course!

I did not realise what she meant until I heard said captain's name mentioned during the movie - Captain Sparrow.
My children were not watching the porn version.

To that, I was reduced to laughing hysterically over my breakfast.
Cracking up over my omelette...
Crying in the bacon...
Giggling over my sausage...
Sputtering through my orange juice...

My children looked up at me, eyes round, "What are you laughing at, Mum?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Looking up...

The indelible tenacity of mother earth will endure...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Looking down...

A testament to the human condition...

Lovely flowers - even the view from behind - but then there happens some ugly human interference to scar the scenery.

Monday, July 02, 2007

As I Imagine Perfection ...

My day begins at seven o'clock in the morning. I stretch langorously, feeling the warmth of the sheets upon my skin. Rolling over, I snuggle close to my partner. There's a slight chill in the room - the embers in the fireplace dark, long-since burned down. Outside the window, in the gathering light, I see mounds of new-fallen snow clinging to the sills and railings of our high mountain cabin. As dawn continues to unfold, the valley below comes into focus - a broad monochromatic expanse of rock and tree and cliff and peak against a cold clear sky.

An hour later we are padding about our retreat, coffees in hand, while lighting the fire and readying our first meal of the day. On the menu is eggs benedict, topped with a creamy hollandaise sauce, accompanied by bacon, crispy-fried potatoes, fresh fruit salad and orange juice. There are sprinkles of love and laughter during the preparation. By the time breakfast is served, the sun is not long below the horizon and a spectacular view is revealed in its entirety through the large window by the table.

After cleaning and tidying our cabin, we bank the fire then don our thick underwear and socks, climb into our warm suits, buckle our boots and gather our hats and gloves. We shovel a path through the light fluffy snow from our door to reach our skis where they lean against the rough log of the outer cabin wall.

We can hardly wait - first tracks!

We swoop through the white, our laughter trailing behind us - face shots. We duck into the trees over to the ungroomed outer limits, then it's up to the summit for a simple burger for lunch on the deck. The temperature has risen to a comfortable minus three degrees by this time and the sun is hot upon our faces. The view of one thousand peaks steals our breath. After a morning of breaking trail through the trees and untracked powder, the food and warmth bring on a drowsiness - we come to with the sun in our eyes, ready to tackle yet more elevation.

It's four o'clock and we manage to sneak in one last run before the lifts close. The slopes are deserted and we take our time. In the waning light, we practice our turns - sorting out the odd kink in our techniques. Forty-five minutes later we reach the base. Breathless, we look at each other - eyes alight. We break into more laughter with grins splitting our faces ear to ear - tired yet happy.

Shaking the snow from our clothing, we stomp noisily down to the locker room, where we change into our jeans before heading back upstairs to the bar. Upon arrival, we wedge ourselves into the crowded room and order a couple of cool crisp, glacier fresh Kokanee beers. Our friends are already enjoying their drinks and we join them at the big table while the band pumps out a variety of cheerful beats.

Supper time - and it's beginning to snow again.

At the last minute, we decide to spend one more night and book a lovely suite with a balcony and hot tub looking out on the dark bulk of the sleeping mountain. The snowflakes are falling thick and fast. The lights on the trees twinkle in the dark. Sounds are muffled and our breaths waft thick on the air. A fine dinner at the five-star restaurant is a savoury seafood delicacy nestled in a fluffy bed of rice. Dessert - a wondrously decadent strawberry chocolate cheesecake. The wine - a fine imported Australian infusion. We take a bottle upstairs.

A warm crackling fire. A soft rug on the hearth. Snow falling silently.

Two wineglasses...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm supposed to be mowing the lawn...