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.

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.

This is the Week That Was: August 19, 2022

Tidy Friday

It is ever so easy to just keep putting things off, especially when you are retired and deadlines are mostly a thing of the past! That was the impetus for my declaration a few weeks ago that Fridays would be Tidy Friday – the object being we would ‘rehome’ stuff that had been ‘unhomed’ during the week. You know what I mean – that pile of unfolded laundry, work surfaces that you can’t work on because of the accumulated clutter, etc, etc.

That is working out rather well – so well, in fact, that I have taken it one step further with One and Done Wednesday. Wednesdays are going to be dedicated to finishing all those little projects that never quite got finished, but when they are done, they will never have to be done again! (There are lots of these types of things here at the ‘House of the Never Ending Reno’!) This past Wednesday, The Car Guy finished the baseboards and window trim in two rooms!  I removed the dead lower branches from ten more spruce trees.

Many Thanks to Family Tree Maker

Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.
– Author Unknown –

Way back when (2004) I purchased the Genealogy Program, Family Tree Maker. Last week I finally decided to upgrade it so that I could use the new ‘tools’ it offers. I was disappointed to find, however, that though the new program could import all the ‘people’ data I had saved, it could not read  the family tree charts I had made.

I contacted the company that owns the software (Mackiev.com) and was impressed with how quickly they responded to my concerns, how much help they offered me and finally how promptly they refunded my money when we agreed that the software was not going to work for me!

What I really would like now is Family Tree Maker 2005. It is an upgrade to the program I have, but still reads all my charts! No luck so far in finding a copy for sale online!

How Many Things Aren’t as They Seem?

A Peanut is not a nut – it is a legume.
Koala bears are not bears – they are marsupials.
A guinea pig is not a pig, but a rodent.
Bulls don’t charge a matador’s cape because it is red; they charge it because it is moving.
Adverse Weather events are not proof of Climate Change.  I mention this because the Province I live in, Alberta, had another hailstorm last week. It dropped the largest hailstone ever seen in Canada. Though some claim that this one hailstone is proof of climate change, no one knows if the ‘mother of all hailstones’ actually fell in a farmer’s field at some other time and no one was there to celebrate its arrival!

Another Kind of ‘Cult’

Turning the Tables on Vegetable based Meat (Satire)

Thinking Outside the Box

You Don’t Say!

A Musical Interlude: Barcelona Guitar Trio + Paquito Escudero – Billie Jean (Michael Jackson ) (flamenco guitar) For more of their videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/MaestrosdelaGuitarra/videos

… and That was the Week That Was…

gHosT the Dog – Woodworking

Update from gHosT the Dog

somedays i am a shop dog i am into, woodworking as you can see i custom. craft small logs i debark and shape, i am like a planer and a sander and a drill all in one.  it is hard work all i ask in return, is some biscuits and peanut butter. and a walk preferably in the ditch not on the road and a clean. bowl of water with no. dead flies in it!!!

two-legs who i live with and two-legs car guy are doing. woodworking, too they are making wood boxes. with bows and ribbons. made of wood they use lots of tools but best. of all is all the sawdust. they make then i lie in it. and roll in it

two-legs who i live with named her wood things website. after me The Rustic Ghost. she isn’t selling. any of my sticks they are priceless. i think but also hard to find. when i am done i hide them or two-legs gamma puts them. in the chipper pile she thinks i don’t know she does that. but i know

two-legs gamma gives me a biscuit. after our walk in the ditch. she makes me lie down. and stay then she breaks the biscuit. into three or four pieces and hides them, around the shop then i look for them which. is hard because i didn’t see where she. put them and the biscuits don’t have any smell or maybe, they do smell but it is the same as sawdust which. is mostly what the whole shop, smells of.

if you want to see, the other things i’ve written or things that have been written. about me just go here gHosT Dog. i’m done this story so two-leg gamma will finish things up:

A boy can learn a lot from a dog — obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
– Robert Benchley –

Every snack you make,
Every meal you bake,
Every bite you take…
I’ll be watching you.
– Unknown Dog –

Handle every situation like a dog. If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.
– Author Unknown –

If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
— Phil Pastoret –

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That’s almost $21.00 in dog money.
— Joe Weinstein –

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
— Groucho Marx –

This is the Week That Was: July 22, 2022

$200 and Change

The Car Guy informs me that it cost him just over $200 to put fuel in his truck this week. That’s the bad news. The good news is that he can  make about 80 trips to the lumber store before he has to refuel again.

Are You Listening… or Waiting to Talk?

It took my husband less than a minute to tell me about the cost of gasoline. It will take me over 20 minutes to write this post about gasoline (and other things), which is why I think this next visual is true!

I Like the Bunny Slippers

This was apparently taken at a branch of RBC Wealth Management – a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Dress like you own the bank. Not like you need a loan from it.
— Louis Raphael –

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
—Mark Twain –

If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties?
– Linda Ellerbee –

The Jumbo Jet

Do you know why the Boeing 747 (the Jumbo Jet) has that hump on the top? Apparently Boeing felt the 747 would be quickly rendered obsolete as a passenger carrier, so they designed the plane so that it could be converted into a freighter. A cockpit up in the hump would make the conversion easier.

This, and so many other interesting facts can be found in Bill Bryson’s book, ‘Made in America – An Informal History of the English Language in the United States’. Though it was written in 1994, many of Bryson’s observations about social and cultural change read like current events. His writing is, as usual, peppered with wry humour.

Until 1916, New Hampshire had a stream called the Quohquinapassakessamanagnog, but then the cheerless bureaucrats at the Board on Geographic Names in Washington, D.C., arbitrarily changed it to Beaver Creek.
― Bill Bryson, Made in America –

The Cone of Uncomfort

The Grand-dog, Ghost, had to have a lump removed from her leg. She was spared the ‘white plastic cone of misery’ because of the mental anguish it causes her. It renders her immobile – so while it stops the licking, it stops her from doing anything else too. She just stands there.

The vet put a flexible cone on but it was too small  –  it didn’t prevent Ghost from investigating her owie. Fortunately the bandage did the job.

Acrylic Pouring – Smooshing in the Round

In the ‘too cheap to test new ideas on good canvas’ school of frugalness, I have been pouring paint on computer CD’s. There is no shortage of those, and music CD’s, in our house!

For my first attempt I prepped the CD by taping the centre hole closed (on the shiny side of the CD.) . Then I poured these Arteza Pouring Paints on the label side of the CD: Brilliant Red, Forest Green, Carnation Pink and Titanium White. (Forest Green is a deceiving name…)

‘Red Poppies” Arteza paint on a CD

After pouring, I laid a piece of parchment paper (you can use a wet paper towel or wet knapkin) over the paint, gently rubbed the surface (smooshing) then lifted the paper up from all four corners.

Smooshed Red Poppies on a ceramic tile.

Then I laid the painted parchment paper onto a white ceramic tile and then carefully lifting the paper off by the four corners.

“Iris” – Arteza Pouring Paints on a CD

On the second CD I poured these Arteza Pouring Paints: Phthalo Blue, Titanium White, Coral, Gold and Neon Purple.

“Iris” on a white art backing board.

I used the same ‘smooshing’ process and pressed the paper onto a white art backing board.

For the third CD, I wanted to eliminate the centre hole indentation. I taped the hole on the back side, then filled the indent on the front with wall plaster. When it was dry, I sanded it then applied two coats of gesso and sanded again.

For this pour I used these Arteza Pouring Paints: Cerise Pink, Titanium White, Coral; and Artist’s Loft Pouring Paint: Aqua Green. I used the same ‘smooshing’ technique.

When I smoosh, if I lift all four corners of the smooshing paper by the four corners, then the design will look different than if I peel the paper back from one side only or from two sides at once, etc.

If you can think of catchy names for any of these pours, please comment below!

My other pours are at this link: Acrylic Pour Paint

Revelio Invisibilis and Other Useful Spells

Recently I was surprised to find that my blog was invisible to the search engine I normally use – DuckDuckGo (DDG). It was also invisible to Bing. (I had typed my URL, amusives.wordpress.com, into the search box and neither search engine listed my blog in the results list.) Next I tried Google Search and my blog showed up on the top of the list. Strange, right!?

I discussed this with another WordPress blogger and he wondered if his blog (which was invisible too) had been ‘shadow banned‘ because he sometimes wrote posts that challenge the prevailing Global Warming narrative about Arctic Sea Ice. I couldn’t think of any reason why my blog would be made invisible.

I contacted a WordPress Happiness Engineer, Tiffany, who told me that WordPress has some ‘tools’ in place that ensure that WordPress posts are indexed by Google. (I’ve called these tools the Revelio invisibilis spell…) WordPress does not have these tools for any other search engines. Tiffany reminded me that there are things I can do to increase my visibility with all search engines. This includes blogging frequently, using appropriate tags and categories, leaving comments on other blogs, sharing posts on social media, etc.

So – if I perfect the spells for Postus Writeitselfus, Tagus Popularis, Categora Bestus, Commentor Briefus Witticarious or Socialus Followlinkus – I’ll share them with you.

Other Possible Spells, Charms and Chants:
If you know the AlbiAlbeAlbu spelling charm, let this person know:

Only two things I know about Albuquerque – Bugs Bunny should’ve taken a left turn there. And give me a hundred tries, I’ll never be able spell it.
– Jimmy McGill –

Is there a spell that will make every man sit to pee in a stall toilet?
This calls for an Unspendus spell.
A dry spring and heavy pollen. It has been an incredibly ‘yellow’ few weeks here. Fortunately it has started to rain. Unfortunately this much rain in such a short time will lead to flooding. We need a Rainis Notsomuchus Sofast spell.
If only there was a spell for this!
The only way to open those plastic bags is… scissors.

Watching Them Watching Me

Gary Larson , of  Far Side Comic fame, invented a phobia –  Anatidaephobia. He defined it as “the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.” (Anatidaephobia comes from the Greek word “anatidae”, (referring to ducks, geese or swans and “phobos” meaning fear.)

If I was inclined to have a phobia, it could certainly involve geese and ducks! Every spring, a pair of Canada Geese stand on the rocks behind our house. They do this every morning for several weeks – assessing, I suppose, the probability of whether there will be a slough around the rocks this year. I watch them and they watch me.

If the geese aren’t on the rock, then Mallard ducks might be. They watch me and I watch them.

On the other side of the house, Ma and Pa Mallard settle down on the driveway each morning. I can’t begin to guess why they do that, but… I watch them and they watch me.

The Geese and Ducks certainly don’t make me fearful, but if I try to approach them – they fly away. I suppose you could say they have Anthropophobia (fear of people)!

While I don’t have any phobias and I don’t think I Hate anyone or anything,  I really dislike certain creatures like Snakes, Scorpions and a certain politician.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
– Douglas Adams –

Silence is golden…duck tape is silver.
– Author Unknown –

I heard the Secret Service had to change their commands. They can’t say “Get down!” anymore when the President is under attack. Now it’s “Donald! Duck!”
– Joke during the Presidency of Donald Trump –