Morning | The Daily Post

For this week’s photo challenge, publish a new post with an image that means morning to you.

Source: Morning | The Daily Post

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Fresh and clean now after the rain…” Is that from War of the Worlds..?

A crisp sunny morning after a night of rain, everything does feel fresh and clean…a spider’s labour framed in dewdrops…time to start the day…

If we were having coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how great it has been having Mum and Dad come to visit for the last week…we even got some halfway decent weather…

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Leaving on the Northern Explorer, heading south…

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Louie found a new walking buddy

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A quiet spot in the sun

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Can’t keep some people out of the garden

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Dad discovers the media centre remote…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how great it has been having people to cook for the last week. Breakfast and lunch are pretty much self-help here but our dinner menu was pretty on to it:

Day One: Roast Baby Armadillo on a potato, kumara, parsnip mash. This is quick and easy. I only made half the recipe but added the full cup of milk to the bread which made it a bit gooey. I fixed this with a half cup of almond coconut meal (left over from almond coconut milk) which a. worked to soak up the extra milk and b. added an interesting flavour and texture twist to the meat loaf.

Day Two: South African Curry with brown rice. This can be made with meat or not but I had 500 grams of mice left over from the baby armadillo and, due to my currently congested fridge space, this was a good way of consuming it.

Day Three: Fruit Salad Curry with brown rice.

Day FourChicken and Potato Chowder. My plan was to have this with homemade bread but I got a bit careless and put into too much water. The result was a bread with a heart so hard it burst out of the when I tipped up the breadmaker bowl.

Day Five: Beets and Goat Feta on Black Rice. This was the first time I’ve made this with raw beets. These worked as well as if not better than the precooked one I snagged form the supermarket last time by accident.I did go over on the olive oil and had to up the honey and balsamic to compensate…it all worke don the day though..

Day Six: Curry Kumara Hash Browns with Salmon and a neat salad. These hash browns are really nice but I’ve never been able to find a decent side to go with them. In the past I have relied on a dodgy rocket salad but I’m not really a big rocket person. Last night I tried a bit of an experimental salad and sauce that worked really – both of them…more to follow on that soon…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how impressed I was when the train arrived 15 minutes early on Friday…but then it was almost 15 minutes late this afternoon – life balances out but the lesson is to wait in the cafe with your coffee and the crispy fire until it actually pulls up…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m humbled to have gained a seat on the National Park Community Board. Elections aren’t until October but the position wasn’t contested so it’s done and dusted. I’ve probably just signed myself for even more work but I’ve got some catching up to do getting into this community. I’ve lived up here since 2004 but it’s only been since I started to work in the Park that I’ve started to get involved…yes, I do miss the Defence travel sometimes but it doesn’t outweigh coming home each night…

If we were having coffee, I’d be telling you how excited I am to be getting into some new ventures in the Park…

Share Your World – 2016 Week 32

Here is the basic Share Your World format:

  • Answer three random questions each week.

  • Respond to a fourth item (I will randomly chose from this list)

  • Answer the bonus question which is always the same  “What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?”  Because we all need to be reminded that there are many things in our lives to be grateful about.

 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Coconuts. They don’t grow here so it’s not like I can grow my own and they are still pretty pricey at the supermarket but with a guaranteed supply, I’d be making all my own coconut oil, flour, milk etc even more than I am now…of course, in a few months I’d be over it and want an endless supply of something else…

What is the worst thing you ate this last recently?

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Tough question as I eat pretty well, if I do say so myself…I’ve been working to perfect a good (great would be awesome but I’ll settle for good) dairy-free latte. Non-dairy milks won’t ‘pull’ the same way as real milk…this is due to to a lack of protein so adding a half- teaspoon or so of protein powder lets coconut or almond milk froth up nicely using a mechanical frother. Last week, during the trial phase, I made an error in assuming the frother would also serve as a mixer for the teaspoon of protein powder in the bottom of the cup. It didn’t and my coffee was spoiled by a sand-like grit (it was pea protein not dairy) in the dregs  – normally the best bit where the final swirls of coffee and coconut combine…

Are you are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time?

Yes…years of practice…something called ‘hurry up and wait’…it’s easy to zen into a ‘park’ mode, still aware of what goes on but conserving effort and energy ’til whatever happens/arrives/departs/whatever…

List of Jobs You Think You Might Enjoy: Even if you aren’t thinking about a career change, it can be fun to think of other jobs you might enjoy.

Now that I’m back on the Mountain, I gaze longingly at the snow-covered slopes and wish I could ski or climb again…cold injuries are such a bitch and they never really go away…

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These are my favourites…Ruapehu’s too over=populated…

I’d like to have my own cafe…paleo-themed but not pedantically so…I drive past Ferguson’s Cafe in Whakapapa Village every day and the lost potential rubs me so badly…

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I’d love to fly but not for a living

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week, I’m grateful I finally took the plunge and applied for the next Pre-Hospital Emergency Care course. I’ve been avoiding getting back into this game for a while but the more I get drawn into the Park and the District, old flames rekindle. I enjoyed the debate during the Outdoor First Aid course last year and much as I’ve tried to steer away, I think now why not..? So a lot of study to get my head back in this…

I’m also grateful that I took the plunge to run for the National Park Community Board. Again, as a result of being drawn more and more into the District, I’m looking for ways to engage and contribute. Earlier this year I joined the Village Business Association and the Community Board seems like a logical next step…

Next week…I’m looking forward to my parent’s coming to visit for a week…the first time they’ve bee up here in quite some time…been a few changes to this place…DSCF9706.JPG

Also looking forward to some good outcomes from a tactical planning meeting with my lawyers on Monday…one way or another, the battle with the bank hasn’t got long to run…how it will go I don’t know but the new evidence we uncovered in the last week or so looks promising…

 

Burn | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: burn.

Source: Burn | The Daily Post

When they refurbished our woodburner, they took out the damper in the flue and opened up the air vent at the base of the fire box.

The net effect of this was that there was more air coming into the combustion chamber, more than the flue could handle once it was heated, especially a good burn with really dry wood.

So what would happen was that the heated air would go about half way up the flue – it is about 6 metres in length – before it created a vacuum behind it and came rocketing back down the flue. On occasion we would have jets of flame a metre long blasting out the air vent! Not only did we have to put up with a smoky home but the point in the flue where the hot air reversed flow would build up and block with soot…

The solution after trying everything else was to stop the air vent, opening by about a quarter inch so that the air coming in was proportionate to that amount that could go up the flue…

Curve | The Daily Post

For this week’s challenge, get inspired by the curves around you. From curves in architecture to bends in nature to man-made undulations, you have lots to work with!

Source: Curve | The Daily Post

A real score!! Le Spiral 016

Eight years ago, I stumbled across an auction on a local site for a rimu spiral staircase…there were no bids on it and even with only a few hours to go, we tossed a pretty large maximum bid in on it. In New Zealand, most rimu is recycled and exotic (the handrail is a single lamination) structures like this are few and far between, affordable ones even less…To our intense amazement we won the auction for the opening amount.

We drove down the Wellington to collect it and were even more amazed: the seller had only put it up for auction on the advice of a friend thinking he might get enough for a few beers for it: his original plan had just be to convert it into firewood! He also had a full set of rimu kitchen doors that he said we’d be doing him a favour if we took them as well. Only too happy to help there!!!

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The dismantled staircase languished in the garage next door for a year or some while we considered the best location for it. We decided to use it to replace our front stairway from the lounge up to the mezzanine. As you can see below, there is quite a drop down the centre axis and with small children running around…

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Despite his stated intention to burn it, the seller was a retired engineer and, despite himself, had meticulously named and marked all the parts in relation to each other. The joiner scratched his head with it for a while before deciding it would have to be assembled vertically and then installed complete. Away he went with all the parts to assemble in his workshop…as it came together in his front window, it became the subject of much interest, including a few offers that showed just what a good score it was…

Seven years later its curves are still as smooth and it still looks great…

Blank | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Blank | The Daily Post

Blank: something from which something else is created, raw material, what comes before the product…a piece of firewood perhaps..?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to look at firewood in quite the same way again…in some ways I’m reminded of the story that Trautman recounts to Rambo in Thailand..

There was a sculptor. He found this stone, a special stone. He dragged it home and he worked on it for months until he finally finished it. When he was ready he showed it to his friends. They said he had created a great masterpiece, but the sculptor said he hadn’t created anything. The statue was always there, he just chipped away the rough edges.

It’s known as the Full Circle speech and goes on further but it is always this bit that I remember…that an artist, a creator needs good material to work with and that you can never know what may be hidden away with a block of stone or a piece or wood or even a person if you look at it in the right way and with an open mind…

As I slowly work out from the house in tidying up this property, I often uncover chunks or hardwood, mainly rimu and matai, that were dropped to clear the way for the house or, much earlier, for the section of the old State Highway 4 that now forms the driveway after the road was straightened some decades ago. Until now, the fate of such recovered wood has been conversion to heat and light.

About a month or so ago, I picked up a chunk in the woodshed and realised “this is good wood” sowing the seed of “I wonder what I could do with this

Since 2014, I have been applying a ‘teach a man to fish’ philosophy and investing in tools so that I can be relatively independent in doing work around this place. So far, the cottage project has been the major beneficiary and recipient of this philosophy.

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Perhaps an unintended consequence of my green journey has been a growing revitalisation of my interest in ‘arty’ things. I ran a couple of these logs through the table saw to see how they came out and how thin I could slice them. At the back of my mind was a thought that perhaps they might form the basis for book covers or something similar…

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After some experimentation and confirmation that I could still count to ten, I had a small pile of sliced matai…

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I didn’t photograph all the steps but I used two strips to mount another six strips and dedicated a number of night in front of the fire to sanding them smooth and removing all traces of the saw blade. I had intended running this through the saw again to square up the edges but I quite like the way it looks…

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To bring out the grain and add some colour, I’ve rubbed a 60/40 mix of meths and linseed oil into the front and back…I’m assuming that I can darken it further but rubbing more of this mix into the wood…?

Still not sure what I’ll do with it but I have enjoyed using tools and my hands to get it this far…from a blank that was little more than a piece of firewood…

Edit…a day later

Someone at work pointed out that I’ve (so far) created a blank from a  blank…if i was sharper I could have done that “see what I did there” thing…

 

 

 

 

Brick | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Brick | The Daily Post

These one word daily prompts still strike me as quite lazy: possibly that is why I so often have a similarly motivationally deficient response in reverting to imagery for my post…

DSCF0139 Paving bricks that we pulled up from a pathway bordering the house to make way for a deck from the new (in 2007) bifold doors…the deck still isn’t in but the stacking bricks are becoming  a feature in their own right…DSCF0140

A build brick recovered from somewhere – we often still find things that were tossed off the old highway that is now our driveway – now home to a new strawberry plant, under a blanket of maple leaves…DSCF0141 Bricks in the workshop add weight to a laminating sandwich…

Misstep | The Daily Post

Source: Misstep | The Daily Post

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No missteps here…

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…fortunately…

Saturday morning was our first frost of the year and and timely hint to clean the summer’s birds nests out of the chimney cap…

As it turned out, the nest was actually in the flue itself so all this ladder work was unnecessary…a quick run of the rotary chimney cleaner up from the inside and voila!..

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…deconstructed birds nest…pretty sure it had long since been vacated…

Seeing corn in a new light…

…through a veil of tears…

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In Happy Endings a few weeks back, I described the origin of my green journey…further into that discussion, I offered a number of obstacles to my starting the journey…among these was “Without butter, how can I have corn on the cob with pepper?” The butter, of course is the enabler for the pepper to stick to the corn – you can’t beat home-cooked pepper corn!!

One of Bubble’s alternatives was drizzling basil oil (I didn’t know what it was either and had to look it up) over the corn in lieu of butter, or possibly even in lieu of the pepper…I’ve tried this and yep, it works however my key insights were that:

We need to load more basil flavour into the oil.

The taste gets stronger with the passage of time.

This tastes too damn good to only make up in 100ml batches…more to follow on this one as I (finally) have a surviving basil crop…

Bubble’s other offering for to-die-for corn on the cob was to use chilli oil, although she used a flash name for it, oilio picannte…I had to hunt for this: it’s not common in rural supermarkets and I had to get some when I was in the big smoke last week.

In my first outing with it, I thought it  quite mild and a tad disappointing…really? Trust Bubble, Bubble is always right is the rule…

Just substitute Bubble for Ivanoa and I think you get the message

Corn on the cob is cheap as at the moment and I had some for dinner tonight, intending to revert (regress) back to good old butter (it’s not pure poison, surely?) and pepper like I always had. I relented at the last moment and poured a little chilli oil along each corn cob. Feeding my delusion that this was a  weak oil with barely any heat, I peppered them up as well…

Ha…!

I wonder now if the oil is heat-activated..? I sure didn’t need the pepper for warmth…when the chilli kicked in, I took a deep cooling (for about 3 milliseconds) breath, spreading the love through my sinuses and nasal cavities in the same spirit as snorting wasabi…as I used to warn the twins…hot…hot…hot…

Once the tears cleared, I realised…we don’t need no stinking butter…

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Yeah, baby…