Sunday Drivers - Off to Walton and the great beyond...

On Sunday we decided to head out and explore some uncharted coastline.  Our wanderings took us through Hants County and all the way to Truro in Colchester.  On the way we passed through Walton and took a few snaps.

This sign is on Highway 215, north of Brooklyn.  Interestingly, the halfway point lies on the 45th parallel- this places us on the same latitude as Bordeaux, France; Turin,Italy; and, Hokkaido, Japan.  We're even on a more southern latitude than that of Portland, Oregon!

The light at Walton.  Although it is difficult to tell from this photo, it was absolutely freezing cold!  Prairies "dry" cold. Out East is "humid" cold.  It doesn't really seem to matter to me - dry or humid - cold is cold and it was FRICKIN' cold!

The strand at Walton.

 Walton's condemned wharf. It was far too frigid to take more photos, as I was completely unprepared for the weather, but we really must return with the truck on a more pleasant day.  The beach was carpeted with generously sized, flat, blue rocks.  I would love to pave the floor of my shop with these amazing stones.

On our way through Wolfville, we stopped at Pete's Fruitique for a wee snack and a bevvie.  For those who are not familiar with Pete's, I think it could be described as Mark's and Spencer meets Whole Foods, with a dash of Herrod's (but mostly just the prices!)   All of us selected a portion of sushi and a fruit juice.   In passing I spotted a barrel of the most beautiful chestnuts I've ever seen. The sign indicated they were from Italy and I was immediately taken back to my Christmas trip to Switzerland in 1998.  It was during this trip that I fell in love with roasted chestnuts offered at Christmas markets in every town square.  I simply could not get enough of them at that time and was so delighted to find such a quality product again. Because I am the only person in our household to enjoy this early winter treat, I only purchased a pound of the delicious little devils.

Our day ended in Truro, where Laura was delighted to find a Taco Bell.  While the boy and I enjoyed some popcorn chicken, Laur was quite happy to order tacos.  The time was just after 1pm when we decided to head home - and what a fortuitous decision it was, too.  The first little snow squall of the season meant the roads had deteriorated markedly by the time we were safely home!

I popped the chestnuts into the oven and when they were ready, we all sat down with a treat and concluded our adventure with an episode of Doc Martin

Fresh Italian chestnuts!

 Slice an X on the flat side of each nut, roast at 425 for 20-30 minutes.

Once the skins begin to roll back from the X, roast for a few minutes more, then wrap tightly in a towel to steam.  The shells should peel quite easily away from the nut inside.

So good!


Back with a vengeance!

Hello again my dears! I do apologize for the lapse in blogging, but it's been a busy couple of months. What with guests and my brain exploding, I've been rather preoccupied.  That said, Occidental Acres is back with a vengeance!

I've had a rather creative bug up my arse lately. I've completed a couple of projects and have another on the go.  To that end, I whipped up a set of saddle bags for Brandy.  And I just realized I should probably get a photo of that before I start talking too much about it. Once the weather clears a bit, I'll get over there and take some snaps of the ol' Brandster - her feet are looking fantastic and we've been putting on a few miles together. 

Because it's hunting season, we've been taking it easy on the backwoods stuff.  Sticking to the roads has been a bit of a bore, but it's only a couple more weeks before we can start wandering over hill and dale once again.

In the meantime, I finally busted out the forge this afternoon and pounded out a primitive hoof-pick.  It felt pretty good to pound some hot metal although I am incredibly rusty!  Shaping keg shoes is nothing compared to using your imagination and creating something with a bit of artistic flair. That said, this simple hoof pick will be serviceable, if lacking in panache

 Forge, blasting away.

Farrier's anvil and Grandpa's ball-peen hammer. I do have Grandpa's Peter Wright, but want to get my skills back up to snuff before busting it out. I know... it's an anvil, right? I'm only going to make hammer and anvil sandwiches, but there is a bit of ceremony and respect to be paid to those who've gone before me.

And of course, the chickens had to come over and check out what was going on.  Some really crappy snapshots of the girls and their curiosity.


 Attila and Hillary (she's my favourite!)



Did you know that a chicken's right eye is near sighted and left eye is far sighted?  You can tell in the photos of Penny and Blanche that I was quite far away when snapping the shot (well, you can tell because it's a really blurry/grainy snap, but also because they are looking at me with their left eye). Whereas the photo of Hillary tells you that I was quite close and that I had something interesting on my boot!  I recently read an interesting article on how chicken's see the world - check it out on Fresh Eggs Daily.

Glad to see you back, hearties! Come back soon and I'll be sure to get back on track with regular blog updates!

Oh yeah and your dose of From the Mouths of Babes:

"Momma, do you wiggle a little bit if your butt itches?"