Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend projects

Built a few more oak tables now that Hans has ended his wood embargo.  Also, enlarged my woodpile.  Been using the new splitter every weekend.   Been burning a lot, was really cold this weekend.  17.8º here on Saturday night.  There was sleet this afternoon.  Got some good practicing in and finished learning Mallorca by Albeniz, quintessential lush Spanish romantic music.  Hung out with my neighbor, Dan, also John and Nancy.  .Despite the conditions, I did pry myself away from my comfortable chair by the fire to bust butt on the track.

I made a larger table for my bedroom with an lower shelf, where I can throw my travel bag on when I come in.  It's about 42" x 23".   I also made a small lamp table for the guest room to go with the comfy love seat I put in there.  It looks like a real guest room now.  I also replaced the busted pressure treated lumber handles on my wheel barrow with solid oak.   That should last a while.  

The best finish for the oak table tops is food grade mineral oil.   It doesn't have an odor and it really brings out the wood grain on sanded wood.   Also, all natural, non-toxic.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Notice the saw mill markings on the table top.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sewanee weekend photos

After a foggy cool Saturday, and a warm rainy Sunday, Monday was sunny and nice... mid 50sº.  So, I got some wood cut, some training on the track in, and some guitar practicing at home and in All Saints church. Just a small dash of color remains after the stormy Sunday... the day of tornados in IL.

Emma Visits

My cat Emma may be in her last year.  She had reached the skin and bones stage, weighing just 4.4 lbs before I brought her to the vet.  After being de-wormed and de-fleaed, she was given fluids and vitamin supplements.  She now has gained a half pound and is recovering and eating well.  I took her to Sewanee for the first time to keep an eye on her.  Wow, she is so tiny.  She'll be 16 yrs old in April.

New Recipe

I also made Kind Bars.  Amazingly easy and good.  Too good.  Can't make them too often because they're addictive.  Really much better than cake, cookies or flour based pastries.  Since they have no flour, they have no gluten and are low carb.... but high in 'good fat' and sweet.  Basically just dried fruit, nut and honey.  So much better to me than any traditional cookie, and so much more healthy... not to say this is 'health food' ... but relatively speaking.  Cooking with parchment paper was a first for me.  So easy to make, so good.   Looking forward to trying the apricot coconut almond variety.  Amazingly, after eating most of 2 batches of these, I didn't gain any weight.  Well, maybe a lb.  I gave some to John and Nancy P.  They totally approved.  The second batch came out more crispy crunchy.

Hope my cat makes it through the winter.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold snap

What a difference a day makes... look at my previous post.  Temps have dropped about 30º since yesterday and late this morning, a pretty good snow shower moved through Champion Cove.  Forecast is 18º tonight.   This afternoon, the clouds cleared and the sun came out.  The clear cold air and the sun angle made the colors really vivid on the moist leaves.

First snow of the season comes early.  No accumulation, but wow.  Supposed to be back up near 70º by Monday, thankfully.

The season's first snow shower

Sunny and cold

Monday, November 11, 2013

Picture perfect fall days

The last bits of fall color on this wonderful weekend in Sewanee.   

The weather on Sunday and Monday this second week of Nov. were nearly 10º higher than predicted.  This sunny facing bluff hit 67.5º today while stations in the towns of Sewanee and Monteagle struggled to get to 60º today.   Something about the late afternoon and evening thermals of this southwest facing exposure give this location warm fall and winter evenings compared to the town.  As I write this, it's 56º at 6:50 pm here at Sky Castle while Sewanee is reporting 49º in town.  The air is completely still, hard to believe a wind advisory is in effect for tomorrow and sub freezing temperatures for the next 2 nights.  Hopefully, the cold snap will arrest these lady bugs swarms we've been having.

Friday night was the awesome A. Shankar Indian music concert, and Sat., a great party here at Sky Castle with lots of musicians.   I think, out of 18 people at the party, all but 2 or 3 were musicians.   Great time, great music, and nice turnout.  We partied from sunset to late.  Should have taken some photos but didn't think of it.

Here are some of today... been really enjoying my evening tea by the fire on the porch.

Tea time - 4:00 pm

Monday, November 4, 2013

So, that's what it was!

In the Smokies at high elevation, two birds buzzed the tree tops at high speed creating a sonic blast.  I'd never heard anything like it.  Thought that it might have been a falcon or something.   I had no idea what I had witnessed, but now I know.... it was the dive of the Nighthawk.

Listen at the 18 sec mark of this video.  It was actually pretty frightening.  Privileged to have seen and heard it.  Twice.