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    I'm sitting quietly at the kitchen table working on the three book reviews I have due by Dec. 15. Just ignore me. I'll be into the living room by the fire with the rest of you when I'm done. I'm keeping fresh coffee in the pot for everyone--just help yourselves.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017
    The man in the moon was full tonight watching me pick my way through the snow. I had on a pair of Huron snowshoes and crunching through on top of the soft snow was a little bit like walking on spongy air. I heard an owl hoot wondering what this was coming through the glen. It's just me, I thought, come to spend yuletide at the lodge.

    I knew it wasn't far away. I would never plunk myself into a story where I had to do a lot of work. I get my share of that already. Just enough to feel the blanket of snow that's always around the lodge and just enough to feel that cold and see my breath and remember being alive where I have actually walked numerous forests and even in snowshoes and even at night, so that weaving a moment like this is just as full of real memories as it is me using my imagination.

    Speaking of remembering, I make a mental note to stop by the barn and say hello to Daisy and Mae, the heavy horses that live there. I had a great sleigh ride with them last year, and even though I've never been on a sleigh ride in real life, I can still remember what my mind saw when I went that starry night last year.

    Like a person writing a little story and then remembering that story later or sharing their little story with someone and then both remembering it later. It's just a made up story but the part it now plays in the two friends life is real. Just like the two apples in my coat pockets are real. I'm going to feed them to Daisy and Mae.

    I know the lodge is already open this year and that the fireplace will be crackling before this night is much longer in the tooth. My backpack is stuffed with christmas goodies like tins of Belgian chocolate cookies and truffles and shortbread and even some marzipan santas to try. I've always had a sweet tooth and I still can't decide whether to quit and try to save what's left of my teeth or go to town until the wheels come off. My backpack has that answer in it too. Along with a bag of Walnuts and a nutcracker. There's something about a nutcracker and christmas that goes to my marrow the way Aurora Borealis does with Lindy Who Twenty Two.

    The Clydesdales nuzzle my hand with their massive rubber lips and breathe steam into the cold night air. They have tartan covers on I've never seen before. "Write us a better part" they seem to be smiling chomping on the tart, sweet apple. Later guys.

    I look up but the full moon tonight is blocking most of the stars. I can't see a cloud in the sky and bending down to unbuckle the snowshoes, I stomp my feet outside and open the big, oak door to the lodge.

    I could just be here anytime but walking in at night is what feels right to me. It's like having that nutcracker around. I don't actually like walnuts that much. Just like having a few tangerines around, it's what feels right.

    I'd prefer to feel happy - or even joyous. I remember feeling joyous. I remember looking around and loving the moment I was in. Laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. Surrounded by people and moments I thought were going to last forever. They didn't. I was wrong. But I did; and while some people consider being the last man standing winning - I don't think those people thought the thing through that well.

    I get over things. It just takes forever. I don't get piles of christmas presents anymore or piles of family at dinner or piles of friends wanting to hang out; but, I can still get piles. From having everything to just being grateful I don't have piles. It's not much but I suppose it's a start.

    The truth is my world has expanded even as it's shrunk. I have an experienced range of humanity I never dreamed of or wanted, and because I earned that in pain is irrelevant to that truth. We grow in adversity is as trite as it is right - and while I would like to kick that idea in the head repeatedly like a Rockette in Radio City on steroids - I'm actually the beneficiary of it.

    I'm a very slow learner. I'm usually busy following my brilliant plan and then stumble over the thing that actually works. As often as not I just come away from the thing having no real idea what actually happened or how I got to where I ended up.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017 edited

    That's the thing about life. Just as you're getting used to something it changes like a storyteller with ADD which would matter more on a planet where the entire audience isn't being encouraged to interpret everything the way they want to all along anyway.

    I don't know the answers to these things. I do know that every good thing from inventions to books to scientific discoveries all began in the same imaginated place which is in the giant brain every human being has been given - to flourish, to endure, and to reinvent. What a pain in the butt. In any halfway looney outfit, the writers would have been fired by now.

    I've put out the goodies, the tangerines, and the large bowl of nuts with the all important nutcracker. I put the screen in front of the fire and take a bottle of wine from the pantry. I'm going to give it a hot bubble bath in my room. Later I might run through the halls singing Barber Of Seville in falsetto, or I might just open the window and howl at the full moon. I haven't decided yet.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2017
    Hey everyone. I brought smoke salmon, cream cheese and crackers for anyone who might enjoy. Had to wade through the snow and shake myself off before I came in. When I started out coming here it was just those big white flakes, but it is snowing quite hard now. My cheeks are quite rosy I think. Glad to see there is room by the fire for me.
    Also, I got my on-line name back, almost.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2017
    Thanks for the story update, Wolf. Reminded me of when I was about 3 years old the snow was about 4 feet deep but crusty on top. I had bright red snow boots and was walking on top of the snow. What fun, until I fell through and the snow was over my head. Daddy reached down and pulled me to safety.

    Lindyloo, our lovely Lindyloo. So good to see you! That's just what I.was hoping for for breakfast. Yummy. I love it here.
    Just stopped in for a quick cup of coffee before starting my day. It was so nice to just sit and vegetate and watch the snowflakes falling outside on the pines. I fed Fluffy and Mousebane, so they are set for awhile. Well, back into my magical flying car and home to oatmeal, dog walking, and the pre-Christmas routine.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2017
    Stopped by for an Irish Coffee after dinner. Fluffy and Mousebane look so peaceful all curled up together in front of the fire. They said their tummies were full from the goodies elizabeth brought. I said hello to the horses. If we get a few inches of snow they might like to go for a sleigh ride. Right now they just wanted to snuggle and nibble some carrots. They have beautiful new blankets.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2017
    Hey, bhv. Would you like to take a walk along the carriage road that goes around the lake? If we stride along maybe we can leave behind all the chaos that lives as much inside us as outside of us. Afterwards we'll be breathless, have rosy cheeks, and be ready for a cup of hot chocolate (with or without something added), and sit in front of the fire. Life asks too much of us sometimes for too long. Anyone else wish to join us for midwinter hike? There are boots and down coats all hanging in the "mud room", seemingly there for the asking.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2017
    That sounds like just the ticket. Lord knows its been years since I wore a down coat. I found a white fur muff and a red hat with white fur trim.
    Hbs youngest son lives just north of Houston. They had SNOW last night. Their 1 year old daughter didn't know what to make of it. Cute video on facebook. At this point I might be in the same boat.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2017
    Daisy and Mae wanted to go.for a walk. So we took a meander around the pond. Softly.snowing. quiet. Daisy kept coming up behind me and putting her head on my shoulder for a little pet. Her breath warms my hand and my ear.
    Hello everyone. SO glad to see the lodge is open again this year. And lovely to see everyone as you come and go. I love this place! So cozy, warm, and accepting.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
    Was sitting here next to the fire, looking out as the sun set behind the mountains on the far side of the lake, watching bvd leading, it looked like, two large horses down the bridle path. And my hands were softly stroking the silky fur of a cat. A cat???? I have allergies. Oh no. I must have startled the cat because it lifted its head, opened its eyes and stared at me. After a while it put its head down again, closed its eyes and began purring. I took a deep breath, didn't wheeze and thought, oh, this is the Christmas Lodge at the Edge of Forever. There are no allergies here. So I'm still sitting here, still stoking this beautiful animal. I have no idea if it is Flluffy or Mousebane or what its gender is. Clues anybody? I actually feel quite honored to be the lap of choice.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
    Hi Katherine. Good to see you here. I've been enjoying your Sunday musings on facebook. Especially about chickens. And painting. And views of the sea.
    Lindylou, it was a nice walk with the horses. I was feeling sad because so many horses died and were hurt in the fires nearby. It was horrific. So we comforted each other and said a prayer for the lost ones.
    I spent the day upstairs in the sewing room. Made a pieced pointsettia ornament for the tree. I have never done such tiny half square triangles! It was quite the challenge. It was a little kit door prize that's been sitting there for two years. Something completed.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2017
    Lindyloo, So glad you are enjoying the Lodge. Fluffy is the white one and Mousebane is the dark one. When they curl up together, they are yin and yang. No allergies here, but as usual, cats rule, so we mere mortals feel it is an honor to have a cat on our lap.
    They poop candy canes, so nobody has to clean a litter box.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2017
    ROFLOL, Elizabeth, and then ROFLOL again.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2017
    I don't care what anyone says. I'm not licking one of those. Mental note to self: no candy canes - nix - nadda - zero.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2017
    Elizabeth, can we magic the cats back into creatures that don't involve themselves with candy canes, but rather go through the pet door and use their little box out in the shed? I've been thinking about this a lot. To me it was like Mousebane, calmly sitting in my lap, had turned somehow into the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland with no warning whatever.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2017
    Cats who have access to the outdoors do not need a litter box in a shed. They use the great outdoors, just like wild creatures.
    Hey there, Lindyloo, just magic them however you want. I certainly have no ownership rights. I just fly up in my magic car and sit and pet them once in a while. Very soothing, and Bandit doesn't seem to mind.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2017
    There were some days and nights so dreamy and magical that Disney and Pixar teamed up couldn't have improved on them.

    I remember one where we rented a cabin just outside Algonquin Park in the dead of winter. There were numerous feet of snow everywhere and it snowed all day. The sky was that warm grey that makes everything feel like it's covered by a dome. We were there to ski cross country and we were on the 16km/10mi trail. We'd waxed the skis properly and could get a grip cross hatching uphill and still get good glide sliding through the downhills. We were in a largely pine forest. All the boughs were weighed down with snow and all the ground was rounded and smoothed bumps of bluish snow. The air was full of heavy snowflakes falling lazily but steadily. We glided through that inviting gloom on the trail where no footprint was seen anywhere. We were with another couple we often went outdoors with and took turns going first for a while since that person had to ski through snow up over their boots. Soft snow, but you had to watch to make sure you were following the trail. Glide off the trail and you likely sank to your waist or deeper.

    We stopped at the top of a small hill and still had to stomp around on the skis and make a small area more compact to mostly hold us up. There was no coming off the skis unless you were right on the prepared small trail. But there was mulled wine and hot cider in thermos and there was a bag of trail mix and the steaming breaths and the silence of the forest blanketed by winter. The occasional bird call and some curious birds checking us out. We spoke in hushed tones like in a cathedral. We wore numerous thinner layers and some of us had our nylon jackets off and our down vests open because after a while the body goes into another gear and warms up. We watched the snow falling and listened to that winter forest silence passing the hot drinks around and knowing there was something special about that moment.

    Once we drove back to our cabin we got a fire going in the fireplace and everyone went to their rooms and stripped off all the layers and put on something comfortable and came back to the kitchen opening bottles of wine and beginning the controlled chaos of cooking dinner with four opinions and only some of the appliances, utensils, and pots and pans one might reasonably expect.

    I can't remember what we ate but I do remember that fire building up to a good size and stepping out of the cabin to get more wood. I remember how crisply cold the air was and how black the sky was and how bright all the stars were before my eyes watered over and the tears started freezing. I got an armful of frozen wood and looked around again before opening that door and stepping into every Disney movie everywhere. Sheila was in some kind of bunny pajama outfit with boots and a touque on. The fire was blazing. They were sitting on the couches pulled closer to the fire, talking about something. The cabin was a riot of colors like a Van Gogh only richer. I thought about that Robert Service frozen north outside with it's midnight ink sky and diamond stars and the snow covered Ent woods and picked up my wineglass and joined the conversation. Later Dianne and I snuggled close in bed to keep warm and I teased her by sticking my cold nose into the back of her neck. She cried out and the cheeky couple next door informed us there was no doing anything because you could hear absolutely everything. The walls were apparently made of cardboard.

    The next morning we negotiated with the other couple through the cardboard walls about who was getting up in the freezing cabin and going out into the living room to start the fire while the other three stayed in bed. I have lots of times I remember from growing up to working for almost 30 years in different companies and all the people and times I knew. This day I talked about isn't my favourite, and I've told a shorter version before, but it's right there in the kinds of places and memories the lodge idea at christmas came from.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2017 edited

    I asked the widow friend when we went out if she found herself remembering things more now that she seemed more settled in her spirit. She did and so I reminded her of some of the things the four of us experienced together. They used to book a group campsite in Muskoka and for a few years some twenty to thirty of us set up a small tent city for the long weekend. At night around a roaring campfire we had two guitar players and some people could sing and we told stories and then crawled into our tents usually half drunk to do it all again the next day.

    I don't live in the past. It lives in me. I don't mind. For some time I would have liked to have a larger penis. I never told my mom that of course when she asked me what I wanted for christmas, but for some time I believed I was inadequate. No one had explained that all teenagers feel that way for some while. I got a good memory though. I do think talents have serious range and are handed out pretty randomly. One person gets great breasts while another can teach themselves piano. It all gets mixed into a bag and you don't know what talents you have or don't until you do them. Then there's the mix. The world's best structural engineer can't get the bra off the debutante to save their life, and so on.

    All I know sitting in front of this fire with my feet up, is that I'm still here and I can almost feel that fire warming the bottom of my socks. I've done it so often. And I sit back and ponder that there are always good things. For example Bruce Jenner is finally sliding off the radar and out of my reluctant purview. I don't want to know what he's going to do next but I'll take "getting more attention" for $400 there, Alex. Speaking of nuts, I wonder if that bowl and nutcracker are still around.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2017
    Wolf, your description of skiing at Algonquin Park was just beautiful. You described the snow covered trees, crispy cold air, bright stars, heavy snowflakes falling, so perfectly. It brought me back to my hometown in northern Ontario - that's exactly how it was. I remember those beautiful clear night skies - the stars were always so visible. We also did some cross country skiing, but never at Algonquin Park. We skied at our local provincial park. Thanks for the wonderful memories - that felt good..... ah.....
    Snow covered trees, crispy cold air, bright stars, heavy snowflakes falling...yes...that would be Bandit and me on our night walks. He loves cold and snow--would be out there pulling a dogsled with the huskies if he were big enough.
    Hello again everyone. I have checked in for the duration like the last few years. In real life, I am spending Christmas alone again so it is wonderful to have this lodge and all of you for the holiday season.

    bhv thank you about my Sunday Musings. So nice to be connected there.

    Wolf I loved your cabin story! I was right there with all of you with the rich descriptors. I can relate on so many levels having lived many years by myself in a cabin on a lake in the interior of B.C. And Algonquin Park - I grew up in Ontario and as a family we rented summer cabins near there.

    Elizabeth - love the candy cane idea. :-))

    Love hearing from everyone else too. Best of the season on this gloomy western Canada day.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2017
    Katherine. I forgot to say my name is Bonnie.
    Hi Bonnie. Thank you.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2017
    It's good to see you again, Katherine. Trust all is well with you. Are you still living in the same spot?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2017
    Thank you Mary. Yes, still living in same place. Happy holidays. :-))
    • CommentAuthorCarolVT
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2017
    What does "ttt" mean?
    It means "to the top." They are just bringing a thread "to the top" so it isn't lost down in the wilderness of all the old threads (and the spam that is showing up now.)
    Thank you Elizabeth. I was worried it was some kind of code suggesting I was not welcome to post since people typed it in after my last two posts.
    Live and learn. :-)
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2017
    I finally got in the mood to try Christmas Carols. I took the sheet off the piano and shined everything up. Took out the books of Christmas music I have been playing since I was a teenager. I am so rusty. My fingers don't remember so easily where to go. Better practice some more. I found that I still feel my Mother's hands on my shoulders as she sings along, even though the last time she did that was about 1979. I remember where she told me to allow her a breath. Pianists don't have to worry about such things. Her favorite was Birthday of a King. Sometimes I have a hard time completing the stunning finish through my tears. She was just 60 when she died.

    Started and ended with my favorite arrangement of Away in a Manger. I have never heard it performed this way. This arrangement is really slow and haunting and lovely. Oh, and Silver Bells. Mom loved to sing that one with me. I could harmonize that one.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2017
    Been sitting here at the lodge listening to your piano, bhv. It is so lovely, rusty or not. I have been playing classical music at home on my boom box, but have not even dared to try the Christmas music. It is so calm here, and it matters not if a few tears gather in my eyes. So play away.
    I think it is time for me to visit for a while. I love the peacefulness of the lodge. I always wanted to go somewhere similar in real life. It is wonderful when everything miraculously appears. No struggling to get the decorations done, the meals planned and entertaining a lot of people. Here we can just come and everything is already there. WE just open the fridge and there is all the food we could want. I even found my favorite wine just waiting there! I love sitting by the fireplace and listening to bhv playing the piano. So peaceful!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2017
    Here, would you like some walnuts? I seem to be making a mountain of shells over here. Maybe I should get up finally and go see what's in the kitchen...or, maybe I should think about that some more. Let's see where was I? Oh yes, making the spectacular basketball play I never made and bumping into the cheerleader. Cut! Wait, I should have better hair and more muscle. Ok. And...action! Wait a minute. What's that look I want on her face? Oh yah, the look they all gave Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife. Like that movie Michael with John Travolta where all the women thought he smelled like baking cookies. That doe eyed look is perfect for the cheerleader scene that never was but could have been if I'd been athletic and handsome.

    I make a mental note of the 192nd question I want to ask St Peter at the gate. Why are some people so good looking while others have what you could only describe as unfortunate features? How does that work? Do you draw randomly out of a hat? Is someone blind folded at a dart board? What's the point of that again?

    The cheerleader I bump into is the perfect looking girl that I secretly wanted in high school who dated all the most popular and good looking boys and then wrote me when she went to Carleton University in Ottawa that she would love for me to come for a visit after barely talking throughout high school. I threw that letter away because I was already engaged to Dianne. I never bumped into her although I was on the basketball team and she was a cheerleader, but that scene is my way of keeping that moment when the door opened to everything I had wanted so badly - and I didn't go through.

    I've come to a decision and I've decided not to get up and go see what's in the kitchen and instead lounge here in front of the fire listening to bhv playing the piano. Some moments pass and some don't. I can go into the kitchen and find something later - the cheerleader? Not so much.
    Just stopped in for a minute with Bandit. He is sniffing at Mousebane and Fluffy, and I will just help myself to eggnog and a Christmas cookie. Yes, Christmas cookies for breakfast, and bhv's musical accompaniment. I love the Lodge! Good morning, everybody.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017 edited
    Wolf's Holiday Feast

    I don't know how I stayed alive those years my wife was in the NH. I ended up writing down what I ate each day because my diet really dropped off right behind my plunging interest in cooking for one. It's taken years to get back on my feet enough to stop writing down what I eat and have enough inside to invest emotionally in my own welfare without the training wheels.

    I never forgot how to cook anymore than we forget how to ride a bike. I lost the ability to care about almost everything except keeping going. I still have to work at becoming more emotionally stable in this completely mundane, post-apocalyptic world that was force fed down my throat.

    I understand enough about life to know that many things are open to most people who invest themselves emotionally into them. Unfortunately, I also understand that our experiences severally damage our ability and desire to emotionally invest. Finally, I understand life enough from verifications that all the things we are emotionally invested in work even while the rest of the wheels have come off and are flinging into space.

    Do you feel like the wheels have come off? Do you feel like you're lost? Then who's paying the bills on time? If we could just get a meeting with the swiss watch part of us and the floundering part of us, we could have swiss watch you manage floundering you.

    It doesn't work that way much. With that said, on we go.


    As a single person cooking for one I have three main challenges: product dating, fresh food, and not endlessly just pounding my head against a wall. I meant to say my third challenge is budget. So, on with the menu.

    Baked glazed ham

    I buy the 800gm/1.75lb ham that comes in foil wrap when it's half price ($7). I bake it in the oven at 350 for just over an hour. I score it about a half inch deep in rows and then in cross hatch. Then I cover it in a honey glaze made simply from two tablespoons of ketchup, one tablespoon of yellow mustard, and one heaping tablespoon of brown sugar. I'm sure white sugar would work. I put the ham on an oven plate and glaze the ham with my tablespoon. When I have the consistency right, the glaze doesn't run that much. When the oven is preheated, I pop it in an set the timer to one hour.

    With the ham now in the oven, I cut a large, washed, russet potato lengthwise ($1) and then in slices. I put that on a microwave plate and nuke the potato for 3 minutes on high. While that happens I slice up an onion and some green onion if I have it. I get out a small oven baking dish and I slice up a couple of mushrooms ($2).

    When the microwave goes off I take the plate out and put it on the stove for the potatoes to cool off a bit before I touch them. I take a dab of butter/margarine and with my fingers or a paper towel, grease the oven baking dish. I want about three layers of potato so it should be quite a small oven dish - otherwise I can go to two layers of potato. I throw in a couple of small dabs of butter and then layer the bottom of the dish with potato. Then a layer of my rough cut onion, then some sprinkling of green onion, then a layer of sliced mushroom.

    Then a second layer of potatoes (none of the layers have to be complete - you're just mixing up the ingredients). Then more onion and more mushroom and then any potato left layered over the top. Then I pour in enough milk to cover over half the layers and place it in the oven with the ham. The potato is largely cooked but will absorb some of the milk. If the potato dish seems to be overcooking you can add more milk.

    My veggie is likely frozen, uncooked peas boiled in water and since it's a feast, I might add a small can of nibbed corn in with the peas with maybe ten minutes to go. I can also build the scalloped potato idea out with cheese. I add most onto the bottom layer and then some on the second layer but not over the top.

    When I take the ham out, I slice off the outside which has one whole side with baked glaze. Then I start slicing off all the nubs I scored at the start and pile those cubes of goodness on my plate beside that first slice. Then I add my scalloped potatoes and drained veggies and I have a good dinner in front of me.

    I can use any leftover potatoes heated up the next day with a few thin slices of ham browned up in a frying pan using that pan to scramble some eggs. I might julianne the ham and fry that up with some more mushrooms and onion and cover that with an alfredo sauce ($3) on some egg noodles ($1).

    On the third day, I will likely grate what's left of the ham and make a sandwich spread with some mayonnaise and green relish. I will likely eat that on toast with a bowl of soup ($2).

    That's somewhere around $16 for three meals where I used a bit of milk and grated cheese and onion and perhaps spices that I buy anyway.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    Bonus recipe: Wolf's Caesar Salad

    If you don't want to wash and dry romaine lettuce, buy the prewashed romaine packages and do a visual inspection that they look in good shape first. This recipe makes a large bowl of caesar salad well coated and I mean well coated. When I eat caesar salad, I eat the entire large bowl (serves 6 in salad bowls) and likely with a sandwich. Make the dressing in the large bowl and then spoon into a small glass jar what you don't need. If it's kept in the fridge sealed, it will likely last for several months.

    2 egg yolks
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    2 good sized cloves of garlic minced through a garlic press or finely chopped
    1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon squeezed lemon
    1 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Everyone into the pool except the cheese and mix thoroughly. Add the cheese in increments and mix. Watch for the mixture to thicken up with the parmesan somewhat. Taste the dressing. If it's too bland add a touch of wooster or mustard or vinegar or pepper. If it's too sharp add vegetable oil and/or cheese. Wait for a few seconds after tasting before deciding. Let the taste and the garlic subside and then decide what to adjust.

    I wash my lettuce and spin it dry. If I'm going to save some lettuce I dry it more and get a few more days in a bag in the fridge. If I buy the romaine pre washed, I just use how much I want.

    I never measure except with rice. For me everything is guestimated and then I taste. I believe these measurements are quite accurate though.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    Hi Wolf, your story reminded me of Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers". I suspect, even with the Alzheimer's torture, you did better with Diane than you would have with the cheer leader.
    "The Bishop's Wife" was my all time favorite movie. I almost refused to see "The Preacher's Wife", but they are both beautiful. It seems to me they must have used our pond for those movies! And when we have a skating party and you waltz us all around the pond you look very much like Cary Grant, but, more importantly, you are just as charming.

    Cooking for one, or even two, try this with veggies like green beans,.carrots or broccoli. I got this basically from a green bean package. I put a couple handfuls of veggies in a bowl, nothing else, and microwave for 3 min. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and grated ginger (powder or fresh) in a.skillet on med-high. When veggies done use a fork or something to scrape them into the skillet, leaving any residual water in the bowl. Saute for a few min til veggies are done to your liking. Sprinkle with some soy sauce and stir a few times before serving.

    Have you tried roasted cauliflower? Turn on oven to preheat to 425. Use a med sze bowl and put in some olive oil. If you want to measure try 2-4 Tbsp depending how much you are making. Add some garlic powder, basil, cayenne pepper and mix a bit. Cut up a head of cauliflower in big bite size pieces (they will.shrink somewhat). Put them in the bowl. Use two soup spoons to mix it up to.cover.the cauliflower. Line a.baking sheet with nonstick foil. (You can also spray regular foil, but nonstick works better.) Spread out the veggies and put in oven for about 20-25 min.

    You can do this with broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, but cauliflower tastes like candy done this way. And, drum roll please, you can even do it with frozen veggies. Once I mixed frozen green beans and some fresh carrots. Came out perfect.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    It is cold tonight, but not windy. Daisy and Mae want to go for a sleigh ride to warm up before bed time. I am trying my best to figure out how to do the harnesses. They are gettng impatient with me. I have some hot chocolate thermoses and some faux fur throws to wrap us up in. Anyone coming? When we get back let's.make some popcorn the old fashioned way in the fireplace. And some warm spiced cider.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    Count me in. I've got my muff and hat. But I too have never dealt with harnesses. I'll feed Daisy and Mae apples while you figure things out.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    Hey buddy, you're up late. This is going to be fun.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2017
    Wait. What is that shimmering in the sky to the north? Look. There are some green flashes just above the horizon up there. Could it be?
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2017
    Oh my goodness, Wolf, bhv, everybody. Isn't this amazing? Ice is forming at the corners of my eyes from tears of joy. Oh, can you believe? Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? The Northern Lights on a snowy starlit night at the Christmas lodge. The only sounds are sleigh bells and the clomp of horses' feet.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2017
    What a beautiful evening! The horses were so happy sometimes they were prancing and sometimes they would toss their head and neigh in our delight. We were oohing and aaahing at the lights. What a ride.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2017
    Two links for those that want a bit of christmas:

    The first is a fireplace with more laid back and amateur christmas music. This is a live feed. It has no end until you close the page.

    The second is the traditional carols we know with a nice christmas tree and a fireplace in the background. It's two hours long.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2017
    Gonna spend Christmas eve here, in front of the fire, watching the snow fall, having a sip of eggnog, with friends who need/want to be in a quiet safe place. Last year I remember chopping vegetables and making a fish casserole for everyone. Tonight just cheese and crackers and eggnog with friends. :)