Saturday, November 24, 2018

Rachels and Bhangra dancing!

What to do with all that leftover turkey. I didn’t want to be more stuffed than the bird itself, so I quit eating before I needed to be transported by truck. That meant that there would be leftovers from our traditional Thanksgiving meal. I have cooked for a living on occasion and haven’t totally forgotten everything I ever knew, not like with some things. I was mostly just a grille cook, so nothing fancy, but often tasty.
A Rachel sandwich is just a Reuben sandwich with turkey substituted for corned beef. Nothing to it.  A hot grille, a little marble rye bread, mayo, sauerkraut, turkey, Swiss cheese, and a little thousand Island dressing for tanginess and there you have it. Or as they say up north (and throughout the commonwealth), “Bob’s your uncle!” The big benefit is that I’ve used up some of the turkey, not that it would last very long, anyway.

Bahngra dancing! What the hell is that, you may ask. Well, I know little of it, but found it when I was checking out our northern neighbors, the Maritime Provinces in particular, a couple of years ago. It is a folk dance of India, specifically the Punjab region and is quite lively and celebratory. I hadn’t needed to watch it for a while, but I went to look it up again, what with the short days and gloomy weather. It is the kind of thing that makes it difficult to not smile and feel better about just about everything. It is athletic, colorful, and it seems to be spreading. It may be compared to Zumba or some of that, but its origins are hundreds of years old and it was designed for celebration, not just exercise. That said, I don’t think I could do it. It’s just too athletic for an old geezer like me! Not that I might not try it when no one is looking, though! Here is the first one I ever saw:
I only found a few out there at the time with this sort of thing, but there are a lot more now. There are even Bhangra flash mobs! 
Her is one from a halftime show at an NBA game. I suspect the audience is on life support, but the dancers are amazing!


The energy and smiles say it all. It makes Western pop videos look pretty lame to me. They have a group in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and in one of my excursions down there I would like to see it in person. Just do an internet search if you want more. Apparently it has a growing interest and deservedly so!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Early winter update

Winter is setting in now and the temperatures are staying below freezing most of the time. There is a rumor that El Nino will be contributing to a warmer winter for us which is a mixed blessing. The brutal cold tends to be less often, but it sometimes warms up enough to rain which is awful. The ground is frozen and so are the roads and when you put water on them you get a lovely sheet of ice that tends to stay until spring. No one is making a long term prediction for snow.

 The alpine ski hills in Minnesota are open as it has been cold enough to make snow so they are already up and running or will be for Thanksgiving in a few days. We do have a flat trail or two for Nordic skiing up here that are open. Those have to wait for natural snow as they are more about distance than elevation. I hope to get out soon if we get a little more snow without extreme cold. I have turned into a fair weather skier in my later years and don’t like going out when the temperatures are much colder than about 15F, or about -10C for you all in the rest of the entire planet. Since I usually go alone I need to be a little more careful.

Here are a few pics of life. A ship on the lake. Click to embiggen.

Here are some deer at midday on the second Saturday of deer season. Some people say there aren’t enough deer because the wolves ate them all. I beg to differ.

A little more snow as of today.

Those of you wanting to know about Vinny the cat will be pleased to see that he has adapted well to domestic life.

Here is one from a few days ago while he was on my lap. He is sleeping next to me as I write this and keeping one part of my leg warm.  It  shows better why I named him after Mr. Van Gogh.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Winter is back!

Winter has set in now. It was 5F this morning when I went out to feed the horses, but at least yesterday’s howling wind subsided. It blew away the 7 inches of snow we got here so there is just enough left to act as filler between the blades of frozen brown grass. I try to take a short walk on these mornings just to get the circulation going and see what’s what around the farm. Lots of fox tracks and a few deer tracks, although it is hunting season so I suspect most of the deer are in hiding from the Pumpkin People (orange covered hunters) wandering around the forest. 

My garage has been converted back into a place to park cars again after a summer of alternative uses. This is handy as it usually stays above freezing in there, except during a long cold snap. It fools the vehicles into thinking that it isn’t winter until the doors open and we back out into another climate. At least there is no scraping of ice and snow from the windshield and the block heaters don’t need to be plugged in.

Now for the potential TMI part of this week’s entry. I have had an ongoing battle with a little bit of skin cancer. Back in July of 2016 I had a chunk of my scalp removed to get rid of the basal cell carcinoma that was making a home there. The treatment wasn’t terrible and most of the offending cells were removed, but these things are not always completely fixed. A little has come back so I have been treating a larger area around the original chunk. After three weeks I get to stop putting on the fluorouracil  5%  which is sort of a topical chemotherapy. Now the healing begins. It has been covered and will remain so as it is kind of unsightly red burn looking thing. In a few weeks or months I will be beautiful again!

Next week is the Winterer’s Gathering (based on all those who have decided to winter here) at North House Folk School which is sort of an early winter celebration with activities, films, a winter gear swap, and a dance for which Over The Waterfall, including yours truly, will be playing the music. I really will post a song at some point when someone records one and I figure out how to embed it. I have been saying that I will do this for some time now and I really will. Maybe this will be the time I can pull it off. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Random Rants

Sure, just as I get used to getting up at a particular time and the horses and cats get used to being fed at a certain time, SOMEONE, and I don’t know who, decided we should set our clocks back an hour! They didn’t have eleven cats clamoring for their breakfast, fighting amongst themselves, and harassing me in a big way, for if they did they would have thought twice about doing such a silly thing! Does EVERYONE do this? I doubt it!

Yesterday, I was repairing the fence around the arena from a seriously strong wind that broke two posts a few weeks ago. After digging the post holes and setting the new 4x4s I went to lift a section of board into the position near where they needed to be. As I lifted I heard and felt something give in my right hamstring. I said bad words and nearly fell over and decided to call off the repair for the day. Fortunately, I could still get on the tractor and drive myself back to the house. It was one of those, “I don’t remember that ever happening before!  It was a not-too-subtle reminder of my mortality and possible stupidity. I need to stretch all my parts before doing any physical work. My quick morning walk wasn’t as quick this morning as the limp slowed me down a bit.  Oh, well.

Did you vote yet? Vote early and vote often, I always say! Since voter fraud is rampant against voters, in the form of suppression, the rise (again) of Jim Crow, and candidates overseeing their own elections(Georgia), to name but a few methods, it is extremely important to get everyone out to vote. This country has an appalling record of poor turnout, but indications are that it is much better this time, even though it is an “off-year” election.  Maybe people are waking up to the embarrassing and often frightening reality that is our current regime. I am hopeful for some meaningful change, but no amount of optimism will guarantee that we will get back to the (sort of) decency of our former selves. We vote by mail, so I already did it, but be sure that those of you in the U.S. get out and participate. Otherwise we will continue this downward spiral.  

One last thing. It takes me a long time to get used to certain changes in this world. While I am fairly adaptable, I do have issues with the date, the year, specifically. I am finally getting used to 2018. I still have a tendency to write 19 instead of 20 and the 18 part gets me all confused. So, after practicing for the better part of a year I am getting the hang of it. You know what? They (yes, THEM again!) are going to change it after the end of next month! Seriously?! I’ll have to learn to write 2019. Not only learn it, I will have to remember it each and every time I write the date!  Give me a break, people! You probably think it is an aging thing. Well, I can tell you that it isn’t the case. I just looked at an appointment card written by a young person a month ago. I have an appointment for this January fifteenth and they wrote 2018! Hahahahaha! See? It isn’t just me! 

Just so you don’t think I am always complaining, here are a couple of pics. The first is of a few Blue Geese that were passing through a few days ago and another of five of the cats being calm and peaceful. This is their sofa.