Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Unrequited Love

No, not mine (this time).

Ellie Mae has a suitor hanging around the property. I've named him 'Romeo'. Sometimes he sings love songs to her and regularly squirts his cologne around the back steps. Since Ellie was spayed more than six years ago, he's wasting courting time here. He most likely comes from one of the nearby farms.

Scruffy and love-sick, Romeo waits in vain for the lovely Ellie Mae.

Untouched by PhotoShop, this really is Ellie Mae's eye-liner colouration.

Captured mid-yawn, she looks like she's laughing at Romeo's intentions.

Viewed from my couch, this bit of snow quite resembled a cat woman's face.

Both crows and ravens live in my area. Cleaning out my refrigerator, I put out phyllo pastry and pats of butter for them. The offerings were quickly accepted!

Alert to possible danger, a pair of crows dig through snow for food.

Half again the size of a crow, a raven gathers up discarded phyllo pastry.

Atop my large-bird excluder contraption, McNutty asks that I replenish his peanuts.

I love Reddy's cute little hooked nose profile as he nibbles down a peanut.

In my previous post, I mentioned my experiment with a whole foods, plant-based diet, excluding meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Well, after almost three weeks of this, my blood pressure did not reduce enough to stop taking my beta blocker prescription. (sigh) On the plus side, however, my energy levels have improved as well as my mood and sleep. Also, not a meat lover anyway, I do love the delicious soups, stews, chili dishes and smoothies.

A trick I picked up is 'apple pie without the pie': Slice and core an apple. Microwave for two minutes, then sprinkle on a little cinnamon. So flavourful and satisfying!!

Micro-waved apple slices with cinnamon and walnuts. Yummy!

Soon after my parents were married, they bought a Findlay Oval wood burning cook stove. It was locally manufactured in Carleton Place, Ontario. Years later, an electric stove was added to the kitchen. The electric ones wore out and were replaced a few times. The original wood stove is still here and working perfectly. Not long before the turn of this present century, my parents passed away. They had enjoyed a long and happy partnership. Their youngest offspring (yours truly) is the present occupant of their farmhouse.

The Findlay Oval stove is a bit of a time capsule. With a fire going, it's sounds transport me back to childhood. When the fire is young, it crackles and snaps. When it gets quieter, it might need another stick of wood or two. Sometimes, perhaps owing to draft or humidity, it groans. I love the simmering sound a kettle makes on the stove top. Just like an electric stove, the wood burning one has different temperature settings. The two lids on the left (over the fire box) have the highest heat. The two lids in the middle produce a medium heat and the far right lids are perfect for keeping food warm. Up top, there is a warming closet. There is even a hot water reservoir on the right hand side. Mom used to bake in the stove's oven. And of course, in the event of a power outage, I can still have a warm room, perk coffee, cook food and even make pop popcorn!

Almost a century old, our Findlay Oval cook stove still works perfectly.


  1. Crustless apple pie is on my menu for today. Looks great. Thanks. That is facinating about the different heat areas on the wood stove. I always wondered if that was possible.

  2. No matter how easy it is turn turn a switch, have an electric heater, heat pump, or other, there is something about a wood firte that is extra special. And the best, company with the noises and flickering flames, heat when the power is off, and look at those tops, extra hot, medium and cool. I can truly say that older appliances, like stoves, tractors, cars and sewing machines, were made to last forever.Scuffy, hope he has a good coat of fur to keep him warm, maybe one of the breeds that like cold weather.

  3. The stove is amazing. Your kitty is so gorgeous.
    Good recipe.
    Good for you for trying with your diet.
    "Romeo" SNORT! You are witty.

  4. Oh you’ve transported me back to my grandparents house in Maberly, Nl. The wood stove, very similar to yours, was the hub of the house. The top was sectioned just as you describe except my grandparents always had a large pot of tea sitting on the “warming “ area. She also had a clothes line rigged above and behind it to dry clothes in winter or wet mitts, etc.
    I also read with interest your “diet” results. I am 10 days without coffee and experiencing the same results as you which I like. We are also limiting meat. Anyway, thanks Florence, as always for a wonderful post.

  5. What a bit of luck that I popped in here; that apple slices recipe is just what I have been looking for. Thanks.

    I too love watching the birds in the garden and round the feeders. I can stand and stare for ages. Mind you, I also watch for the many cats invading my garden and, I am afraid, I chase them off. My birds are too important to be dinner for cats. Besides, the cats all look well fed anyway.

  6. Florence, I'm sorry that it took a visit from you to remind me to visit your wonderful blog. You really share some wonderful photos & stories! Loved the cat-tail oops I mean tale about Ellie Mae & Romeo, and the backstory behind your terrific stove. That was special.


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