Soup Stock, and Coco

We always recycle, reuse, repurpose everything that we can here on Widder Island. We also create lovely piles of compost from our garden and kitchen waste. Everything organic, except meat, goes into the compost bins, and is covered in a layer of leaves, grass clippings, that sort of thing, then left to its own devices. We don’t turn it or add anything special. We rotate through three bins and when one is full we empty it on a compost pile to age some more, then it goes onto the gardens … to grow things that contribute their little bit to the on-going cycle.

Recently I started recycling our veggie scraps …

Anything that isn’t actually moldy or rotten

Anything that isn’t actually moldy or rotten

… and freeze them until we got a full bag …

Large-size freezer bag

Large-size freezer bag

… and then boil ‘em up for a few hours …

Bubble, bubble, veggie trouble

Bubble, bubble, veggie trouble

… I usually reduce 4 liters of liquid down to one liter of concentrated stock, then once it’s cool …

Ice-cube sized, for your cooking convenience

Ice-cube sized, for your cooking convenience

-oOo-

And now, about Coco, the Community Cat  …

Don’t worry she’s still alive

Don’t worry she’s still alive

Her person is a little old lady who has found she can’t keep up with the maintenance of her house and has moved into an apartment in town, taking Coco with her.

We miss her terribly

We miss her terribly

We do know, however, that when the time is right another cat will present herself to us, and we’ll be staff-persons again.

Coco, the Community Cat  … lived across the way with her primary staff-person, but acquired a collection of subsidiary residences along our end of our little road, whom she regularly visited for BBQ’s and cuddles and naps.

 

Mrs Widds has a new toy

It goes with this …

I am a Superheroine Helmet. I have built-in sunglasses, built-in headphones, dual-positional visor with hinged chin-guard, streamlined air vents ... and I might even do windows, if you ask nicely

I am a Superheroine Helmet. I have built-in sunglasses, built-in headphones, dual-positional visor with hinged chin-guard, streamlined air vents … and I might even do windows, if you ask nicely

I was planning on taking some pictures of her zooming up and down our road on her new toy, with her bright yellow helmet on, but alas, it is spring here in the Lower Mainland, and it is raining.

On second thought ... nope, don’t do windows

On second thought … nope, don’t do windows

Mrs Widds, like Coco the Community cat, does not go out in the rain.

Do not disturb ... unless it stops raining ... and I don’t do windows either, under any circumstances

Do not disturb … unless it stops raining … and I don’t do windows either, under any circumstances

Summer is Done, and I am Done with Summer!

Oh my stars! It’s dusty in here!

Hi there … yeah I know, I haven’t been around for a while. Blame it on the Summer from Hades! … I am.

I am so thankful that today is the Autumn Equinox.

Seriously, this is what my year has been … 3 months of snow, 3 months of rain, 3 months of searing temperatures and no rain. Throw in assorted migraines, wildfire smoke, (which went away then came back, just to make sure we weren’t missing it) 9 months of continually battling with bronchitis, (not quite. I’m sure there were one or two days where I felt marginally OK) and I’m ready to see the back end of 2017!

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to feel healthy.

2016 may’ve been the year of dead famous people, but 2017 is well on its way to be the Queen of WTF-uckery for this decade.

-o0o-

You ever notice the odd things you do when you’re under-the-weather?

Near the beginning of the year I treated myself to a box set of the Harry Potter books, and read them from cover to cover to cover, etc during my winter bout with the dastardly ‘chitis.

When the 30° temperatures and smoke turned up, ‘chitis used it as a perfect excuse to smack me around some more, and there I was, reaching for Harry Potter yet again, like comfort food.

I’m still in convalescent mode and I have good days, and not-so-good days where I give up trying and just stay in bed.

And here he is again, The Boy Who lived!

I’m on chapter 23 of The Half-Blood Prince, (book 6, of 7, for those who aren’t HP aficionados) so I suspect I’ll be my usual Widder-self in short order.

-o0o-

Another reason to celebrate the end of Summer is that Coco, the Community Cat has made a comeback. The very day the weather turned toward sanity, there she was a-knocking on the front door, announcing that it was cuddle season again.

Who are we to deny her cuddles?

(Coco the Community Cat is a lovely lass who lives across the way and visits (except in the heat of Summer) all the people in our lane who are bereft of feline company. She comes, she cuddles, (and sheds) and ambles off home when she’s all cuddled up 🙂 ) 

Tales from Otter Lake I

You might’ve noticed I’ve been a bit ‘missing in action’ this summer.

Assorted crappy health-ish things, combined with a couple of major self-publishing and Spirituality training summits managed to keep me otherwise occupied.

And then … Mrs Widds and I had our (what has now become annual) camping trip in our RV. This year we decided to scale down things a tad. (After our 2015 peregrination across the entire country, anything less could be seen as ‘scaled down’ –  If you want to read of our adventures, scoot over there to the right and check out the ‘2015 Road Trip’ category)

A lake with a view

A lake with a view

Otter Lake is set in a beautiful valley in the North (Canadian) Cascades about 35 minutes north of Princeton, here in British Columbia. Up in the hills the land is quite arid, but once you drive down into the valley, via one of those backroads that’s also used by logging trucks, a whole different landscape emerges. (try driving one of those winding mountain logging roads with an 8 meter (25’) trailer behind, and meeting a fully loaded logging truck coming the other way … on the narrowest part of the goat track. Nerves of steel, that’s us!!!)

Lots of room on this part of the road

Lots of room on this part of the road

 

I was reversing the trailer into the site and Mrs Widds was directing, when another camp-ee said to Mrs Widds as they passed by, “It’s a true test of a marriage,” to which Mrs Widds firmly agreed. We didn’t get any more than a bit scritchy with each other, but it was late in the afternoon and we were both tired, so only to be expected.

We got our trailer into our site with a minimum of fuss however, bought firewood from our most magnificent campground hosts, Betty and Jim, boiled the kettle and watched the local residents, a pair of squirrels and their spouses, or offspring, gather pinecones for the coming winter.

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

 

One day I was walking back from the pit toilet (the cleanest, best smelling one, this side of the Rockies, thanks to Betty) when I spied Mrs Widds acting rather furtive behind the truck. She mouthed something to me and pointed over the hood.

Not getting any closer ...

Not getting any closer …

... Maybe a little bit closer

… Maybe a little bit closer

Betty and Jim had mentioned there was a brown bear who used the campground as its highway from its foraging grounds to the lake for its afternoon ablutions. I didn’t expect to see one this close. Bruin was busy stripping berries from the bushes on the side of the road, and occasionally glancing at us to make sure we stayed put, then it ambled through a few empty campsites and trundled down to the lake.

Even in the midst of the heat and the pine-beetle devastation life continued unabated.

Mother Nature never wastes a pattern

Mother Nature never wastes a pattern

Itty bitty wild strawberry – we think

Itty bitty wild strawberry – we think

Different species got along rather well

BFF's

BFF’s

 

We had some trouble with the trailer battery, so a big shout-out to Ernie in Tulameen for helping us out.

South along the lake with Tulameen in the distance

South along the lake with Tulameen in the distance

We’re getting the hang of this RV camping thing, but I doubt my cellphone camera is going to be up to the task for much longer.

Of course, when we got home who should turn up on our doorstep, get in our faces, demand cuddles, and then head to the nearest bed for a nap?

Coco, the Community Cat!

Coco, the Community Cat!