Acrylic Pouring – Why Paints Do Surprising things

A few more of my Acrylic Pour Paintings:

‘A Sinking Feeling’

This pour was a contest between the white  base coat paint and the colours I poured over top. The white paint was not as dense as most of the coloured paints. The result was the coloured paints tended to sink into the white rather than sitting on top where I wanted them to be.

‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’

Chameleon Cells is the fanciful term used to describe what you get when you dot wet water based paint with drops of silicone oil. The silicone pushes some of the paint away, which creates ‘cells’.

‘Stompin’ Grounds’

This is another example of Chameleon Cells. I think it looks like a footprint, which reminds me of the song “You Done Stomped On My Heart”

You done stomped on my heart
And you mashed that sucker flat
You just sorta stomped on my aorta…
– Mason Williams –

The song was recorded by John Denver, but I first heard it at a live performance of Paul Hann. I suppose Paul’s version of the song is particularly memorable because he was performing in our small town and he had lunch at our house (our Performing Arts Council was on a very tight budget…)

Other crowd favourite Paul Hann songs were “Doesn’t Anybody Do it Straight Anymore?”, “Love is Like a Hockey Game” and “I’d Like to Make a Movie with You.” His impish grin delivered more meaning than the words did, which was just as well because it was a family concert.

Quirky Quips and Quotes – Did You Know?

Be careful when you blindly follow the Masses. Sometimes the ‘M’ is silent.
– Author Unknown –

Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet.
– Author Unknown –

Every woman’s dream is that a man will take her in his arms, throw her into bed… and clean the whole house while she sleeps.
– memionscom –

If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.
– WallingfordSign.com –

If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question.
– Ronald Reagan –

It’s not what we don’t know that gets us in trouble. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
– Mark Twain –

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
– Author Unknown –

It’s possible to feel full when it comes to more vegetables, but not full when it comes to a piece of cake.
– Cynthia Copeland Lewis –

One thing you can learn from your dog is when to go lie under the dining room table and await developments.
– Robert Brault –

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.
– Alexei Sayle –

This is the Week That Was – Here We Go Again

The next installment of the Revolt of the Appliances: 

The evil Chief of all Appliances said to the heater of the garage, “what sayest thou about another season of keeping the cars just above freezing all winter?” And the little furnace said, “I am BTU’d out.” The Chief of all Appliances smiled with anticipation of yet another costly installation, though it later became apparent that the price paled in comparison to the estimate for some major window replacements…

Stop Bugging Me!

The Six-Plume Moths (that were released when the furnace was replaced) are dwindling in numbers. There is, however, an uptick in black house flies, spiders and ladybugs who have moved indoors looking for warmth – I predict the spiders will win if the species cross paths.

The Wheels Go Round and Round

Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers.
– George Carlin –

Funniest EV Spoof: The Mercedes AA Class – 9648 Batteries!

It doesn’t matter how old you get, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9 year old was given $100.
– Unknown –

The Car Guy tells me if I try to put one of these in any of his vehicles, I might as well take my crochet hook and find another place to live…

In 1903 the Wright brothers invented airplanes, because in 1902 they took a road trip across the country with their family.”
– Bill Engvall –

Road trips required a couple of things: a well-balanced diet of caffeine, salt and sugar and an excellent selection of tunes—oh, and directions.
– Jenn McKinlay –

Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.
– Jerry Seinfeld

Well, we’re not in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it from here.
– Thelma and Louise –



What are the words to Footloose?

Canadian Thanksgiving – the Traditional Wokadoo

A Really Brief History: Canadian Thanksgiving is a stat holiday that is now observed on the second Monday of October. The first official Thanksgiving was celebrated on November 6, 1879, but long before that the First Nations celebrated fall harvest – even before the early French settlers initiated such an event in 1578.

You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, ‘Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they’ll never leave.’
– Dylan Brody –

Family Traditions: Our family cooks a Wokadoo (turkey). Many, many years ago our very young nephew christened all such birds in the oven ‘Wokadoos’. He couldn’t remember the word ‘turkey’ but he had a general idea of what sound a turkey made, (though he was actually thinking of a rooster.) The closest he could get to saying “Cock-a-doodle-doo” was ‘wokadoo’ and from then on, all my turkeys were referred to as wokadoos.

For the past few years, most of our family feast days have taken place at one of our children’s homes – the passing of the turkey baster, you might say. I don’t mind. Our home was turkey central for over forty years.

Thanksgiving: when the people who are the most thankful are the ones who didn’t have to cook.
— Melanie White –

This year, a Son-in-Law (the one with a smoker large enough to accomodate a turkey)  cooked an excellent bird. After dinner, when we traditionally take turns talking about what we are thankful for, the Daughter introduced a twist on the theme. She gave each of us a LEGO kit and tasked us with building what we are thankful for.

This is the kit we each got – and this is what I built the next day after I sort of followed the instruction manual. These critters are very different than the ‘thankful things’ we built the evening before!
These are my Thankful things. Can you guess which ones represent family, friends, nature, a roof over our head?
This is The Car Guys ‘Thankful things’. More people, home, nature but also  the answer to the question ‘how high can you build before it falls over’.

What are your Thanksgiving Traditions?

Hungry for more quotations? Thanksgiving and Turkey Quotations

Invasion of the Six-Plume Moths

In what I can only describe as perfect timing, I witnessed the initial attack of what I now call the ‘Invasion of the Six-Plume Moths.’

We were getting a new furnace installed and I happened to be in the furnace room as the installer was removing the filter from the old furnace, an action that released hundreds, perhaps thousands of tiny moths. The insects had decided to spend the winter in the relative warmth of the air intake duct (mid efficiency system). They had not been able to infiltrate the house (because of the filter) but once the filter was removed they were free!

The furnace man was fiercely batting them away from his face, but that only helped to disperse them more quickly. The moths are now in every room in the house and though they are very small (only 1.2 cm or .47 in from wing tip to wing tip), they are very persistent and annoying little critters.

Every day we do a ‘Moth Sweep’ with the vacuum and suck them off the surfaces they have landed on. I’d like to say we are winning the battle, but as I sit here typing I’ve scooted three moths off my monitor screen. On several occasions I’ve scooped them out of a beverage. There are usually a few of them on my pillow when I go to bed. They keep crossing the line from being a tolerable house guest to being unwanted pests…

Our moths are likely the Alucita montana or Six-plume Moth. The moths in this family are quite unique in that their fore- and hind-wings each have about six rigid spines with flexible bristles, which create a structure similar to a bird’s feather.

one thing that
shows that
insects are
superior to men
is the fact that
insects run their
affairs without
political campaigns
elections and so forth
– Don Marquis, “random thoughts by archy,” archy s life of mehitabel, 1933 –

The Flutter Files
Name: Six-plume Moth
Species: Alucita montana (Family Alucitadae)
Native to:  southeastern Canada and western provinces and states from central Alberta to western Texas (but not in desert regions.)
Date Seen:  September 2022
Location: North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Notes:  pale grey with faint, transverse banding of dark brown and tan, more distinct on the forewing, especially the costal edge.

Aspen Oyster Mushroom – Also Quotes and Quips

The Aspen Oyster Mushrooms in the following photos were growing on our dying/dead aspen trees. Some of the mushrooms were growing near the ground and some many feet up the trunk. The clumps were ‘many inches’ wide and each would have been enough for several meals if I had been so inclined. Which I wasn’t.

All mushrooms are edible. Some only once.

Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.
– Shirley Conran –

Never crowd a pan with too many mushrooms. They give off an enormous amount of moisture. And there’s nothing worse than a braised mushroom, other than a lot of braised mushrooms.
– Simon Schama –

Kids are now eating things like edamame and sushi. I didn’t know what shiitake mushrooms were when I was 10 – most kids today do.
– Emeril Lagasse –

Mushrooms… are the closest you can get to eating dirt.
– Tom Colicchio –

…but I also can’t prove that mushrooms could not be intergalactic spaceships spying on us.
– Daniel Dennett –

Advice is like mushrooms. The wrong kind can prove fatal.
– Charles E. McKenzie –

Marriage is like mushrooms: we notice too late if they are good or bad.
– Woody Allen –

Not being ambitious of martyrdom, even in the cause of gastronomical enterprise, especially if the instrument is to be a contemptible, rank-smelling fungus, I never eat or cook mushrooms.
– Mary Virginia Terhune –

Mushroom ‘Groaners’:
Help me – I’m in truffle.
Questionable morels.
Please scoot over – there’s not mushroom.
Why did the mushroom go to the party? Becaue he’s a fungi!
-Louis Tomlinson –

In all institutions from which the cold wind of open criticism is excluded, an innocent corruption begins to grow like a mushroom – for example, in senates and learned societies
– Friedrich Nietzsche –

A mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most impeachable freshness and genuineness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoed with mushrooms; a township or two of tender, yellowish fat gracing an out-lying district of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place.
– Mark Twain –

… we have spotted a roadside sign: ‘CHAINSAW CARVED MUSHROOMS’. Troubles promptly forgotten, Stuart falls to gawping at the road ahead. What could it all be about? ‘As one victim to another,’ his body language seems to marvel, ‘What’s a mushroom done to deserve that kind of abuse?’
– Alexander Masters –

Plant Profile
Common Name: Aspen Oyster Mushroom
Scientific Name: Pleurotus populinus
Growth: Saprobic (lives on decomposing dead or decaying organic material which it uses as food); grows in shelf-like clusters on dead and living wood of Populus species, primarily quaking aspen.
Location: Prairie/foothills region north of Calgary Alberta

I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t like eggplant parmesan. Isn’t that awful? I’m also sick of portobello mushrooms. People are like,” A vegetarian’s coming to dinner,” so they serve those.
– Candy Crowley –

The TSA must think we’re mushrooms. You know, the way they are trying to keep us in the dark, and the way they keep feeding us a fertilizing agent that comes from the south end of a north-bound cow.
– Douglas Wilson –

Compared to a novel, a film is like an economy pizza where there are no olives, no ham, no anchovies, no mushrooms, and all you’ve got is the dough.
– Louis de Bernieres –

Acrylic Pouring – Also Some Quips and Quotes

Some more of my Acrylic Pour Paint projects. The two round ones were poured on CD’s. (The white borders and dark ‘frames’ are computer generated). The photos really don’t do justice to the texture of the paint and the sheen of the Polyurethane topcoat.

I don’t think of myself as an ‘artist’. I just pour some paints on a surface, push them around a bit and the paint decides whether it is going to flow a bit or if it will rise or fall in relation to the other colours. (Different colour paints are different densities).

Mashed Tomato,  Kiwi and  Pumpkin

I’m not performing miracles, I’m using up and wasting a lot of paint.
– Claude Monet –

A Study in Orange – but not meant to depict Marmalade, Halloween, Traffic Cones, Life Rafts or Cheetos.

Red Bubbles

Red Supergiant Star Betelgeuse

Red and Blue Betta Fish

I couldn’t have that painting hanging in my home. It would be like living with a gas leak.
– Dame Edith Evans –

Another One Bites the Dust

And the Chief of all the Appliances in the house said “Who among you feels not up to the tasks demanded of you?”

And the Washing Machine (a mere 4 years old but beginning to wonder if there was more to life than water in, water out, water in, water out) said, “I feel not so desirous of being bubbly this week. Might I take a rest?”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you striketh against the Tide Pod and so you shall rest for a while.”

And so it came to be.

And the Chief waited a suitable amount of time – until the human inhabitants of the abode were lulled into false security.

Then the Chief asked, “Who among you cannot face another winter of being a burning inferno?”

And the Furnace said, “I feel I am cracking up after 30 years of faithful service. Might I take a rest?” “Me too, me too”, chimed in the Air Con and the Water Heater. “We know not how much more of this we can take before we leak out vital fluids.”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you and everyone in the darkness of the basement are given a full and lasting retirement. You need never work again.”

And so it came to be and the humans in said abode faced a costly HVAC and Water Heater replacement that exceeded the price they got from selling ‘Wanda, the BMW’. And the Chief was pleased that it had successfully granted the wishes of the inhabitants of the basement underworld AND found a new and happy home for Wanda, which wasn’t even in the game plan!

Flush with success, and before the new inhabitants of the basement even arrived, the Chief approached the Refrigerator. “Are you tired of being cold, cold, cold while everyone else is basking in the heat of this very warm summer?”

And the Fridge, also only 4 years old and unaware of the expectations of how long a fridge will perform, said, “If I see one more bag of Sugarsnap pea pods, I think I am going to barf.”

And so the Chief caused the ice in the ice maker to melt and run onto the floor and all the cold to flee and the Fridge felt warm and cosy for the first time in, well, 4 years.

The Chief, well satisfied with what it had achieved in a mere 4 months and humming the tune ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, contemplated how long to wait before approaching the Dishwasher,  the Clothes Dryer the Deep Freezer, the Water Pump and/or the Septic Pump.

Understanding Quotations

A child is a person who can’t understand why someone would give away a perfectly good cat.
– Author Unknown –

Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.
– L.M. Boyd –

As I grow older and wiser, I’ve begun to understand how little I understand.
-Author Unknown –

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.
– Grossman’s Law –

I did not fully understand the dread term ‘terminal illness’ until I saw Heathrow Airport for myself.
– Dennis Potter –

I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you.
– Author Unknown –

I don’t understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it.
– Author Unknown –

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
– Robert McCloskey –

I’m trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a sixteen-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week.
– Erma Bombeck –

I stopped understanding math when the alphabet decided to get involved.
– Author Unknown –

It isn’t easy being the parent of a six year old today. However, it’s a small price to pay to have someone around the house who understands computers.
– S.D. Sisseton –

I understand the concept of COOKING and CLEANING – just not as it applies to me.
– Author Unknown –

Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
― Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book –

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
– Hal Borland –

People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand there must be a reason for this.
– Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader –

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
― Francis Bacon, The Essays –

Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.
― Bob Dylan –

Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t understand, goes to the store for a quart of milk.
– Joel, Northern Exposure –

What part of s = sqrt{frac{1}{N-1} sum_{i=1}^N (x_i – overline{x})^2} don’t you understand?
– Author Unknown –

Cooper’s Hawks in our Woods

The Cooper’s Hawks nested in our woods again this year. They built their nest high up in one of the tall spruce trees (though it was probably the male who did most of the work.)

The Hawks are stealthy and quiet. We don’t even know they are around until the baby birds have fledged. Then the parents get very peevish if we venture too close to their home base.

The two ‘youngsters’ (pictured below) are still being fed by the adults. They are always hungry. Their calls for food are almost non stop all day long. The parents  feed them medium-sized birds and small mammals.

Cooper’s Hawks are very agile, powerful birds that pursue prey in the forest. They are very adept at threading their way through tree branches at top speed.

Both birds are venturing out further and further and are becoming very good fliers.

In a few months they will head for warmer climates. They are generally short to medium distance migrants which means they might winter somewhere in the central United States.

The upside to having hawks as summer residents is that they keep the rodent population in check. The downside is that we don’t see many mid-sized birds in our woods… except a family of crows that nested in our woods too. I don’t like crows very much. They are so noisy and their ‘caw, caw, caw’ is not a pleasant sound.

Here is my other story about a family of Cooper’s Hawks – Cooper’s Hawk near Calgary, Alberta.