Mrs Widds Goodie Basket Seasonal Baking Begins

Mrs Widds rose a little earlier than I and yesterday and put her nefarious plans in place.

Because we live in such a little cottage I awoke to a tantalizing toffee-and-melted-butter aroma that gently lifted me from my recumbancy.

Although I’m not at my best before my first cuppa tea, I hastened to the kitchen to be greeted by this …

Pastry and filling and butter, oh my!

Pastry and filling and butter, oh my!

She waved her magic rolling pin, and in a great act of alchemy transformed these base elements into ….



I quelled my beating heart for I was about to face my greatest test ..

Quality control ...

Quality control …

I girded my spleen, also pancreas, and bravely hoisting my tea, sallied forth to do my duty …

Going ...

Going …

Gone, in a sugar induced haze of glory ... if I should fall in service to the season, bury me where the wild tarts roam!

Gone, in a sugar induced haze of glory … if I should fall in service to the season, bury me where the wild tarts roam!

One of the ‘playlists’ on our ‘Wunder-Lusters’ video channel is going to be about cooking these sorts of things with a propane oven, dutch oven, campfire, all sorts of RVcooking in general really, because we do love our food, we does.

Mrs Widds Eviscerates

I have occasionally featured Mrs Widds and her exceptional baking skills on my blog as ‘Mrs Widds Bakes’ – prime examples of which can be found by doing a search for Mrs Widds Bakes, where you will find such gems as THIS.

Due to her expanding skill-set she is now also our resident Fixer-Upper.

But first … on a personal note, I was promised snow the other night. It didn’t happen. I am … disappointed.

For those new to my blog one of my little, quirks, lets call them, is an (‘over’, some might say) enthusiasm for snow. It’s in my genes.

I was born in the northern hemisphere, (in a little town called Rochford, in the county of Essex, England) but for reasons that were never adequately explained to me, my parents chose to emigrate to Australia when I was 2. Had I been able to voice an opinion at the time I would’ve voted for the alternative destination, Canada.

The ways of one’s parents are inexplicable.

It took me 42 years but I did manage to get here (Canada) by 2004. Having been so long deprived of snow I have since discovered a deep well of (insanity, some might say) joy when the fluffy white stuff falls from the sky. …

… back to Mrs Widds and her evisceration-ing.

Out little cottage used to have a real fireplace but a previous tenant used the flagstone hearth as a base for his firewood splitting endeavours. Needless-to-say the owner wasn’t at all impressed with the mess he left behind and removed the fireplace.

Mrs Widds and I grew up (separated by the Pacific Ocean) with fireplaces, so we decided to use the old fake-it-’til-you-make-it principle, and, as all our power here on Widder Island is sourced from electricity, we bought ourselves this fabulous electric fan heater.

Although you can't really see it at all in this hasty photo, the flickering light is rather lovely to stare into on a cold winter's eve whilst sipping one's chai-latte

Although you can’t really see it at all in this hasty photo, the flickering light is rather lovely to stare into on a cold winter’s eve whilst sipping one’s chai-latte

Then a few years later, it suddenly died!

Wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard across the land!

Then it started again.

Great rejoicing was heard, you guessed it, across the land.

Then it died again.

… deathly silence …

All was not lost however, because Mrs Widds, fresh from her triumphant carburetor replacement on the generator. (which can be found HERE – you have to scroll down a bit, and HERE) swung into action.

I on the other hand, retired to my computer with chai-latte in hand and proceeded to work on my ‘How to become a YouTube video-making Mavern’ (not real name) course for our Wunder-Lusters adventures next year.

Meanwhile, appropriate tools were sought, and with a few sub-sonic mutters, Mrs Widds reduced our faithful heater to it’s component parts …

Upside-down, back-to-front, and eviscerated

Upside-down, back-to-front, and eviscerated

… and isolated the miscreant …

Corrosion of the miscreant-y kind

Corrosion of the miscreant-y kind

It turns out one can’t just replace these tiny wires by themselves, or even with the plate they’re connected to, no one has to buy the whole assembly.

Some reassembly will be required . The bit at the front is the heating element and the round thingy at the back is the fan

Some reassembly will be required . The bit at the front is the heating element and the round thingy at the back is the fan

The upside is that Amazon carries many of these gizmos that are slightly less powerful and fairly cheap, (and probably will fit, probably) but to get one exactly the same as this we have to pay pretty much double the price.

We are currently quandary-ing the odds, and consulting the bank balance … will update soon.

Have You Ever … Gets Weird …

Time is weird

Time is weird

… been busy minding your own business when suddenly whatever it is you’re doing feels like it’s a déjà vu moment from your past but you remember it happening in a dream so it’s really a forward déjà vu moment because it actually hasn’t happened yet and so you start spinning your wheels about the meaning of time and you feel like you have a new understanding of time-travel and maybe you could use it in a story so you open Scrivener but another program you’ve been waiting to update finally finishes and your computer needs to do a restart and you automatically click on the restart button and the fleeting time-travel idea you just had has now disappeared but you think you might find it at some point in the future because a déjà vu and time-travel are the same thing?

Nah. Me Neither


It was either this or the Time Warp song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I’ve always had a soft spot for this song after I accidentally started watching a spooky horror movie called Fallen, in which this song features heavily …(I usually avoid horror movies like the plague but this one had Denzel Washington in it so I thought it might be … interesting – it was

Marie Kondo Opens An Online Store – Full Of Junk

Tasteful junk, I’m sure, but  does anyone else find this, at the very least, ironic?

For those who haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, she’s an ‘organizing guru’ who advocates getting rid of stuff around you that doesn’t give you joy. (here’s her bio from Wikipedia)

I present for your perusal the first two items on her ‘Collections‘ page. (click on the green bolded word ‘Collections’ to see the whole thing) An $86 (USD, I presume) candle, a $68 Palo Santo (scented wood related to frankincense) holder.

Scrolling down the tastefully boring … erm I mean understatedly stylish page, you come across this wonder of modern technology …

Actual pic from the site - look at all that lovely, tasteful, white space ... go on, guess what it is ...

Actual pic from the site – look at all that lovely, tasteful, white space … go on, guess what it is …

… it’s a $12 shiatsu stick (I wish I was kidding) with, and I quote, ‘both pointy and blunt ends’. Seriously, 12 dollars for a bit of wood? I’m in the wrong business!

Let’s be clear here, I’m not knocking shiatsu as a therapeutic massage, nor am I taking the piss out of the cultural elements that are referenced in the little blurbs for each product.

What I am doing is highlighting the hypocrisy inherent in the entire concept of someone who had built a brand out of convincing people to get rid of their unwanted junk, who then opens a shop selling (tasteful, which justifies the price-gouging) junk.

Also, unfortunately, I’m not surprised.

Women of a ‘Certain’ Age

What do the movies Wonder Woman, Dark Fate, The Force Awakens, and Halloween, (the most recent one) have in common?

Women who went from ‘princesses’ to warriors, from one end of their acting careers to the other.

In Wonder Woman, Princess Buttercup (of The Princess Bride’ fame) becomes General Antiope. In Dark Fate, Sarah Connor, the waitress, becomes Sarah Connor the Terminator killer. Princess Leia becomes General Organa in The Force Awakens. And Laurie Strode, teenager, becomes Laurie Strode, grandmother, and Halloween serial killer, killer.

Robin Wright, (Antiope/Buttercup – Wonder Woman) is 63. Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor – Terminator: Dark Fate) is 63. Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa – Star Wars: The Force Awakens) would’ve been 63 too. Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode – Halloween) is 60. (Happy 61st Birth Day for the 22nd Nov, Jamie)

So, to those of us ‘of a certain age’, may we continue to train the new age of women warriors, beat the snot out of time-travelling androids, set an entire galaxy that’s not as far away as we think afire with rebellion, and stand firm against masked men armed with petty agendas … thusly emulating our beloved elders …


Rebels, one and all

Rebels, one and all

(I have no idea who created this image, but I thank you)

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot …

Although we (Mrs Widds and I) celebrate the beginning of Winter at Samhain (31st October, here in the northern hemisphere) it doesn’t really ‘feel’ like winter until the Summertree is bare.

A light dusting of leaves on the emerald grass

A light dusting of leaves on the emerald grass

There’s nothing like taking photos in the late afternoon light at this time of year.

Believe it or not, well over a third of her leaves have already fallen

Believe it or not, well over a third of her leaves have already fallen

We made a nice fluffy pillow around her feet for all her beasties to overwinter in without disturbing them too much. The squirrels however, were quite put out that they’d have to relocate their larders from all over the lawn to their new home before the bluejays and crows descended to ‘relocate’ them themselves.

The Summertree hath spoken - Winter is upon us

The Summertree hath spoken – Winter is upon us

This afternoon Mrs Widds raked up the last of the leaves and put them on the garden beds that border the house, so they’re all tucked in too. Although, as is the way with such things, a few strays escaped her rake, and, of course, we await the fall of the Last Leaf, which will grace our altar at Winter Solstice.

Thus does the Summertree become the Wintertree.

Have You Ever … Encore Presentation …

A sad and sorry sight

A sad and sorry sight

… dropped a can of WD-40 and accidentally knocked the nozzle off while you were working on a winterizing project in the back yard and even though you looked everywhere for the little bugger you couldn’t find it so you carried on without it for the next couple of hours then went inside with your spouse for bracing cups of tea (Widds) and coffee (Mrs Widds) while you got your evening meal together and then as you were kicking back in your armchair sipping your beverage you looked down and saw the nozzle in the cuff of your track pants?

Nah, me neither … but Mrs Widds did!!!

The dastardly disappearing nozzle

The dastardly disappearing nozzle