Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

December 25, 2007

Oops! It snowed!

We listened with skepticism to the forecast of mega-snowfall. How many times have these predictions yielded little or no snow?? I had consulted John Dee's site and said "Oh, sure.....". I now need to report that I was wrong!!

did you notice the snow on the grill above??? It was bare before the snow started on Friday night. There must have been 8-10" of snow when I went out to plow the driveway at 9:30 Saturday morning, and it was still snowing quite strongly. I went out again at 4:00P.M. to go over it again and there were 2-3" of fresh snow on the road.

We had hauled a defunct clothes dryer out of the basement, and the old dishwasher from the kitchen, and Friday I decided to load them into my truck in anticipation of giving Rueben's a Christmas present. At least they are somewhat concealed now....

And, of course, along with the plowing comes the treat of raking the snow off the roof so it doesn't melt up above and then freeze at the eves, causing water baking up under the shingles. The degree to which this happens is inversely proportional to the amount of insulation in the roof.....

Here are a couple of views of the dining room, all ready for the Sunday dinner when we would have our mini-Christmas eve eve dinner and gift exchange with kids and Peg's mom.

As it turned out, the snow was deep and widespread and Chris and Ashlee and Hailee were unable to make it up here at all, and Rose and Bryn showed up about 1:00 Monday afternoon, and we all headed to Donna'a house at 3:30, but that's another story.....

I know this is a poor image, but I just had to take this picture of the game on Sunday. It illustrates so well the usual position and condition of the packers, 3rd and long somewhere near the Bear's goal line... but weren't the Bears just great?? Yeah, Go Bears!!!

Sunday afternoon I made two pie crusts in preparation for the events to come. One would be for our get-together at home, one would be for transport to Donna's on Monday.

Here are all the necessary ingredients for the now famous Carlo's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. And yes, the wine is a necessary ingredient, just not part of the pie....

Cook it all up, fill the shells, lick the rubber scraper and you're done! By the time I thought about taking a picture of the final product, one was gone and the other looked like this.....

Oh, yeah, that's what I'm talking about....

Happy Holidays, one and all!

December 23, 2007

Mid-December shenanigans.

Major snow storm in central Wisconsin. That was the forecast, and boy, were they right!! It's late Sunday right now and I have plowed the driveway twice today. I'm guessing we got a foot or more of snow, but I'll take some measurements tomorrow when I'm shoveling. Because of this snow, none of our kids made it home from Milwaukee, Wausau and Friendship. So I'm filling some 'snow day' time trying to catch up on this blog..... here goes.

Peg has been wanting an indoor exercise opportunity and has been checking out the new "elliptical" machines. Kind of like a Nordic Trak only
different ;-). So I went to Fleet Farm and bought one.

The thing had a lot of parts, and, of course, it was a packaging disaster! The thing weighs a ton and I got two days worth of exercise just getting it in the house and up the stairs. Then I had to assemble it no less!!

Here is a front view of it as it sits in the North room upstairs, commanding attention as you walk by. It has a screen that shows speed, rpm, heart rate complete with target settings, programmable exercise routines.... I need a copy of "Ellipticals for Dummys".

Here is the side view, which is not any more appealing than the front view. I will have to admit that a person can get a really good work-out on it. I have been having some trouble with my right foot (getting new orthotics soon, that should fix that) so this thing will let me get some exercise with out killing my foot. Maybe.

Ah, yes, the great Christmas tree hunt... last year I posted pix of Peg and I getting a tree. This year I was on my own, and I found one on some land of Peg's brother, Jim. He has kept some trees sheared, some kind of wild. The one I got was probably last sheared a year or so ago, so it's a little wooly, but not too bad!

The photo work was my responsibility as well. One of those days when the high was about 10° and breezy, but I didn't have to be out long to get the tree which 'just' fit in the van.

I got the tree home, measured the height and cut a little off the bottom, got it attached to the stand and got it standing straight up. Peg and I hauled it into the living room and got it adjusted for straightness again, and positioning it with the best side showing.

I went to the lodge to recuperate and Peg got going on the trimming. She enjoys that part of it way more than I do and she does a great job of getting the tree looking great, along with the rest of the house actually.....

Oh, by the way, Peg got a new-to-her car, a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. It will replace the Festiva, one of the best cars ever made. Well, except for the Fiesta, which was the best car ever made. I think.

More later, we've got news on the snow, pie making, etc.

I gotta go, Carlo

Scandahoovian goodies.....

It all started when I saw these things at Donna's (Peg's mom) house. "What are these?", "They're for making sun buckles" (I thought that was what was said). Turns out they are sand bakkels, a scandinavian cookie. Donna said she had not made them for years cause the dough is stiff to mix and there's lots of pressing dough into tins....

So I announced that I was going to be on vacation as of 12/14, so we made a plan to make some of these things on December 17th. You can see how messy I was with mixing the dough, got some flour in the toaster!! We ended up making two batches and Donna was right, it took some doing to mix that stuff.

Here's a better shot of the mixing. I had done a search on Scroogle and found lots of different recipes, but we used the one from Donna'a old cookbook. Here is a typical list of ingredients:
1 c. shortening (1/2 butter)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 c. flour

Here are some tins needing refilling, and some ready to go. The idea is to press the dough into the tins thinnly and evenly. Just thick enough to hold together while baking and removing from tins.

A batch ready to go into the oven. They need to bake 8-10 minutes, until they start to turn tan. Kind of like making pie crust. We tried putting brown sugar in the second batch and we think they tasted better??

Here's a batch just out of the tins. You need to let them cool a little before "banging them out of the tins", other wise they break and then sag a little in shape.

We ended up with a fine tin full of 'sand bakkels', which were then stored in the garage where no one would notice them. These will be appreciated by Peg's siblings, who know how good they are. I'm sure the bakkels will disappear in short order on Christmas eve.....

I gotta go, Carlo

December 21, 2007

'Twas the Friday before......

Hey, I found this idle blog and thought I would take over.... a while ago there was some discussion about cubes, how ugly they were and who had the worst. This is the last view from my office at work, now I'm in a cube as well. This is a great little single cup coffee brewer that I use at work. You can get one for free if you visit this site! It's a great brewer and would be about $70 if you bought one for real. You get a bunch of coffee pods and you only pay $15 for shipping.

Also at work, we have this wonderful banner in the shop near the office and employee entrances. It's about 8' by 10' and speaks for itself.....

On the other hand, we did have a drawing for a pair of Packer game tickets. December 30th, Lions at Lambeau.... Rosie is nuts for Packer games, so I put my name in, didn't win. I did, however, win this fabulous Packer glass and $20 in Phillps Chamber Bucks!!

We had a series of beautiful sunrises in early December. This is one of them, and, obviously, it's on a weekend. I know that because the first two weeks of December I started work at 5:00am, worked til 2:15 and then hurried home to work at the logging job. Chuck and I wanted to finish for the year, and as soon as possible.

Here's a pic that Peg took one morning.... anyway, my last day of work at Marquip for this year was the 14th, we finished the logging on the 16th, Sunday. Now I'm off until January 2nd of 2008

That last weekend of woods work was a frosty one. Temps 0-15°, but that's O.K. for woods work, you just don't sweat as much. The trees looked a lot better in real time, and it was awesome when the sun came out and made the trees shine.

The lodge was quite appealing on the weekend, but I didn't really have time to sit around. Maybe that will happen after Christmas, I haven't made any plans to go anywhere or do anything, so I'll keep a fire going in the lodge and hibernate.....

It was cold enough to keep a bunch of ice on my beard and mustache, but it was nice working weather.

Chuck takes another load out to the pulp piles by the driveway. This kind of machine makes possible in days what used to take weeks. The time spent working is still as hard, you just get more on the pile per hour?????

Here are the last views of wood piles that you will see on this blog.... you can see the garage in the background, and these piles have gotten big.

We got a truckload of hardwood pulp, three truckloads of poplar pulp and a load of sawbolts. Should help a lot with bulldozing and general runway construction costs. So I will be posting fairly often until I get caught up, so you're stuck with more drivel in the near future.....

November 23, 2007

It's deja-vu all over again......

This post is in reference to the broken window episode recorded in April of 2006...... You may have to click on some of these pix to get a better look.

You may recall the day I posted about this broken window on the west side of the Lodge.

This is the actual posted photo, complete with photoshop cirles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each.... oh, wait, that's Alice's Restaurant... Anyway, this mess could not be blamed on Lucy, for she says in a comment:

"From the "OLD SQUIRREL HUNTER" - Stating the caliber of the bullet (correct word usage?) seems like Gene has incriminated himself. This hunter uses "only" the trusted 410."

It must be so, 'cause as you can see, she had gotten a personalized license plate. The question was, "what gun gets it done for squirrels?" She says, "410 duz"!

Today I noticed a different look to that window. More cracks! More glass fallen out! What the hey, anyway? And what is that laying on the ground????

Hmmm.... a "ruffled" grouse has crashed into the same window!!! It's dead, the window is really messed up now. Last winter Ivan said, "You haven't fixed that window yet????!!!" Now I'm glad I didn't.

Go figure....

November 22, 2007

Got time for this? Then you can zone out....

The U.S. has land in 9 time zones, as indicated above.
Time Zones are quite interesting, and there is a lot of info on the web about zones. This article gave up the below items.

While most of the world is familiar with time zones that differ in increments of an hour, there are many places in the world that use offset time zones. These time zones are offset by a half-hour or even fifteen minutes off of the standard twenty four time zones of the world.
The twenty four time zones of the world are based on fifteen degree increments of longitude. This is so because the earth takes twenty four hours to rotate and there are 360 degrees of longitude, so 360 divided by 24 equals 15. Thus, in one hour the sun moves across fifteen degrees of longitude. The offset time zones of the world were designed to better coordinate noon as the point in the day when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
India, the world's second most populous country utilizes an offset time zone. India is a half-hour ahead of Pakistan to the west and a half-hour behind Bangladesh to the east. Iran is a half-hour ahead of its western neighbor Iraq while Afghanistan, just east of Iran, is an hour ahead of Iran but is a half-hour behind neighboring countries such as Turkmenistan and Pakistan.
Australia's Northern Territory and South Australia are offset in the Australian Central Standard Time zone. These central portions of the country are offset by being a half-hour behind the east (Australian Eastern Standard Time) coast but an hour and a half ahead of the state of Western Australia (Australian Western Standard Time).
In Canada, much of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador are in the Newfoundland Standard Time (NST) zone, which is a half-hour ahead of Atlantic Standard Time (AST). The island of Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador are in NST while the remainder of Labrador along with neighboring provinces New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia lie in AST.
One of the most unusual time zone offsets is Nepal, which is fifteen minutes behind neighboring Bangladesh, which is on a standard time zone. Nearby Myanmar (Burma), is a half-hour ahead of Bangladesh but an hour ahead of offset India. The Australian territory of the Cocos Islands shares the time zone of Myanmar. The islands of Marquesas in French Polynesia are also offset and are a half-hour ahead of the rest of French Polynesia

Here is an interesting read on the history of time zones.
So, there you have the definitive word on offset time zones. Hope you enjoyed it, time to go, Carlo

November 21, 2007

It's TURKEY time!!!!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Turkey doings..... this photo is what turkey hunters are looking for--turkey sign.

And this is where this turkey sign will lead you, a turkey farm. It's a pretty gruesome looking affair. I'm much more in favor of getting a wild turkey, which has worked out pretty well the last few years.

At a turkey farm you can get "up close and personal", if you want to????? This one looks like he just got out of the army.

Here's a good shot of carving the Thanksgiving turkey.

And here's another type of turkey carving.......

Here's an Aztec turkey.....

And here is Audobon's contribution to the whole thing.

This is from an article on the web. "....the sleepy-turkey myth lingers around each year because it sounds so logical. Turkey does have tryptophan. But all meat has tryptophan at comparable levels. Cheddar cheese, gram for gram, has more. While cheddar isn't the most exciting cheese in the cheese cellar, no one connects it with sleep. Turkey gets singled out for no other reason than being eaten during the biggest meal of the year." Read the rest here.

And, of course, Bush had to go through the stupid "pardon the turkey" routine.... I can't stand it.
I gotta go..... Carlo