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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Charming critter homes

Can you see the acorn debris on the ledge above and to the right of the holes? I love to walk in the woods in the wintertime. Cold weather is great for hiking, plus I don’t have to worry about snakes. Also, with the leaves down, much can be seen that is not visible in […]

Some winter angles on the abbey

While I was out with the camera today, I took some photos of the abbey from angles from which the abbey is visible only in winter, when the leaves are down. It’s not an easy job to build a photogenic house, but it sure is fun to live in one. The pile of debris is […]

Beans for breakfast?

What to have for breakfast is a constant problem. The exciting choices always seem to be very sweet (cinnamon rolls, pancakes, etc.) or high in fat and cholesterol (biscuits with gravy and eggs). So I’m experimenting with baked beans for breakfast. It’s easy enough to make a big batch in a slow cooker and then […]

Is it spring yet?

The snow slid slowly off the roof of the chicken house and curled up under the north-facing eave. It was a pretty serious snow here in North Carolina, but as the snowstorm heads north it’s being called a blizzard. I think I’m going to ignore the snow (and the kilowatt hours I’ve consumed so far […]

Hot cinnamon rolls

Serve them hot! What could be nicer on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning than hot cinnamon rolls. With coffee. I stopped drinking coffee more than a year ago, but this morning I made real coffee to go with the cinnamon rolls. They’re easy enough to make. Start with a basic yeast dough. I’ve heard of […]

Very homemade vegan hot dogs

Vegan meat analogs are becoming a staple around here. By varying the texture and spices, different analogs are possible: breakfast sausage, meat loaf, chicken nuggets, and, most recently, hot dogs. The texture can be varied by changing the proportion of the three basic ingredients: mashed soybeans, wheat gluten, and ground nuts (I usually use Brazil […]


Ken by the solstice fire The winter solstice was at 6:38 p.m. Eastern time on December 21. Ken and I observed the solstice properly with a fire followed by a hot meal and wine.

On roasting things

I was in the checkout line at Whole Foods on Saturday, and the woman ahead of me in line noted that I had two bags of brussels sprouts. “Do you ever roast them?” she asked. I replied that I usually did the same old boring thing — steamed them, then seasoned them with olive oil […]

Me? In the choir?

The choir’s final rehearsal in the empty church before the congregation arrives For years, I had wanted to do choral music. But, before I retired, there wasn’t time. Not only are there rehearsals to attend, but learning the music takes time. A friend of mine who sings in the choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church […]

Thinning the thicket

Ken Ilgunas has returned to Acorn Abbey. Yesterday the weather was terrible. We were snowed in. But today the sun is out, and the temperature is a balmy 40 degrees. Ken set to work clearing a thicket on the front side of Acorn Abbey. He is taking out the pines and underbrush. Right now the […]