Living in America too

Living in America Too. Oddities spotted along the way, and often I think, a display of my ignorance. You will probably enjoy this further glance into our life in Green Bay WI.  Oh yes, and a trip round my mother’s garden back home in Scarborough, Great Britain.

Do forgive my silly approach.

Let’s start with Yard work (that’s gardening to you Brits).

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I made this work table myself.

I love Heidi’s Wood-burner and was real pleased when Dale and Lynn brought us along another stack of logs.

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It might be a bit summery for lots of firelit evenings, but I do get to have a fire sometimes when the weather changes. While clearing out the garage I came across this pile of birch bark, and it crackles lovely.

Of course, hung up in the garage is all the flax, grown to turn to linen to weave to cloth.

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While rummaging about in the garage or basement you do find some strange things.

I don’t quite understand the approach to recycling here.

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There’s at least one thing me and Elvis Costello agree on.

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It has been a good year for the roses.

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And for hedges.

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Not sure what they are, but they are beautiful.

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“What’s that?” – “Ah they are Physiocarpus and Spirea.”

(Notice I am trying to coppice them, so they gradually intertwine. In a couple of years they will be a hedge.)

We bought some fairly expensive shrubs (Aren’t they always).

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And found some old seeds in the garage.

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Some might work.

We thought, lets feed the birds

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And the birds are like, ‘Why didn’t you get one of these in the winter when we really needed it!’

This feller is waiting for me to clear the bed around the now planted shrubs.

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Oh god look, across the street! It’s bin day!

Dwayne and Dian brought us these lovely flowers.

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They brought them along on memorial day, to recall those who fell and those who came back broken.

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This next feller has a tale to tell.

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And see, I did get the shrubs in.

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I told a friend about the above over the phone and I said it was a dwarf spruce in a weeping willy style. I don’t think I got that quite right.

(It looks like a bird’s nest by it’s finished btw)

This next little buddy will grow a bit taller so she will be hiding the gas meter.

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And I am very pleased with my new toy. There is a lot to catch up on, don’t even get me started on buckthorn, so this is a way to catch up. I am hoping, once I am fitter that I can do most by hand. For now though, lets get radical.

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In my sexy boots

And no I am not having a wee in this one.

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I am going to need a big shovel.

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Back to that hedge.

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Shrubs to plant.

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The rhubarb plant cost a small fortune but I feel I have done a good job of protecting it with potting soil, the a topping of cardboard covered in a home made mulch.

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Same with the raspberry canes. they are out the back so didn’t need the fancy mulch stuff. And the rhubarb will serve as ground cover and the leaves as green manure.

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They are supposed to be late fall rasps but they have flowers on already.

Some days you really need to water, and others not so

We didn’t water this day.

The weather is changeable here in America, well OK I only really know about Green Bay. There might be a hint in the name though.

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Now other people’s outdoor shots that have caught my eye.

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This wonderful Norwegian stave church was captured by Rune Lyseth.

I am not sure where I got this beautiful image from. If you let me know I will be grateful.

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I don’t know where I half-inched this next one from either but it is of Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway and I feel homesick.

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(I guess Green Bay is my home and my other homes are Scarborough and the home of my chieftain.)

Now come with us now on a walk to the hardware store (among other places).

I think we passed this house with a tower at just the right time, while all the folks with bows and arrows were on a meal break.

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Then just down the road was an example of unrestrained novelty gardening.

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The two big deep-voiced brusque blokes were huddled on the stoop deep in planning. “Do you think we should get another pink flamingo?” “Ah yeah, you can never have enough pink flamingos.”  There is a lesson in life to be learned here.

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We window shopped.

Then I got lost

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The we passed the Hydrant Pizza place.

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Hydrant Pizza!

Come on, you can think of a better name than that. It is hardly appetising is it! And how are people going to find you? Where is that place? Oh it is by the hydrant.

If you need water to fill your hose there is a river nearby (I think it’s the Fox). It currently is in full spate. Spate is a thing you ever in fully, never in a mild spate.

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As for this tree stump

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I just like this tree stump. I have nothing to complain about it at all.

Now here is something I am very happy about. Tea grown in Yorkshire.

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Yorkshire Tea

And no, you don’t ever have cream in tea.

These I was intrigued by.

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(Crackers)

It just doesn’t ring right. either it should be animal crackers or the crackers should be in brackets. Crackers!

Then to my horror I opened them. I had my cheese and chutney ready and my marmite. I was hanging back slightly though because I have noticed very small seashells to throw in your soup being called crackers, so they might not be big enough for my chunks of cheese.

I had after all  heard the song; Animal Crackers in my soup.

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Wild

After asking which animal was which I realised the great bounty I had discovered. I had to put away the cheese and chutney, for these were biscuits! Proper biscuits, like what we get in Britain. Not weird bread you put white sauce on and call it gravy. These were like Edinburgh shortcake. Wow I will be finding custard creams next.

We nearly went in here, for the free gifts.it is impolite to say toilet paper here, so people say TP.  Oh I said it.

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It is wrong to say toilet, but it is OK to say back-side. I am learning, I am learning.

I am not sure saying, you are going to need toilet roll, is a good way to advertise your food outlet.

We passed a jewellery store but I don’t think the decorations outside gave the right level of sophistication.

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Plastic beads instore perhaps.

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I don’t understand how making your religion part of your business sign helps keep the jobs coming in. Might other faiths be put off? And isn’t the main point good roofs?

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The above reminds me of all the businesses in Britain who, as soon as we left Europe, put out England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island flags. Less than thirty per cent of the voting public voted for it. Don’t they want those people in their pubs and cafes?

Rant over. (Rant one)

I didn’t understand this little garden ornament I saw for sale.

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See nothing, Say nothing and Hear nothing. Or is the middle one Smell nothing?

What so everybody stops? I was stood here for ages.

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Heidi was calling and calling for me to come on, but it said stop.

I told my pal Rob that he was welcome anytime.

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When he heard about Gus’s Gun Bar he said he was bringing all the lads. Having eight pints of beer and then being able to buy an automatic rifle was their idea of a great night out.

(BTW I am thinking of going in this place and criticising their use of apostrophes, what do you think?)

Maybe I should just have a drink of water instead.

Is this outside the Waterpump Pizza place?

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On our way to the hardware store I noticed this.

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On our very first ‘almost’ date I walked Heidi into this. We made it to the store this time.

Now, I get very cross about the fact that it is called Martin Hardware, when it should be called Martin’s Hardware,  but they do have a very nice little history section.

And as for Hardees.

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Come on, are they charred or boiled??

Drainpipes aren’t the same here. They don’t go into the drains. so maybe they aren’t called drainpipes. Lawn waterers or something. I dunno. I do think this is a good use of an old paddling pool (there is one in the garage so I am wondering about digging a big hole).

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We could get frogs. Maybe otters?

While we are on this walk to the hardware store I was wondering if we should get some vodka? For her.

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At first glance she might not look thirsty, but she does come as part of a set.

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Cone-cat survives the raccoon attack.

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“Soon as I get this thing off I am sneaking back out there.” Mr Stumpy considers revenge.

But he does have delicate moments, he is seeking a lot of fuss and support.

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Egbert is happy some of the time. Eggroll! Eggroll!

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Or is he just trying to escape from Bumper-cone?

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He has started using it as a battering ram to move everyone out of his way.

Did I mention revenge?

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(We let him out of his cone for five minutes and he is ready to kill.)

His ‘girlfriend’ Giffa sometimes has to get away from him.

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She stays away from him for a very long time.

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Viking Section

Not sure where I got this pic (So am happy for comments and corrections) but I like these hog back stones.

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The ones in the Yorkshire Museum in Museum Gardens in York are described as burial stones, but I don’t think so. Tell me if I am wrong but I reckon no bodies have ever been found under them; so they are memorial stones.

I will take advice on these too.

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Can I cook them or burn them or anything?

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That’s it for Vikings in this edition.

Artwork

Heidi’s late husband Arnold designed this t shirt (and the album cover too) and I thought a few of you might have heard of the band.

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That’s all the art I have for you this time.

Oh no hang on. I just spotted this amazing piece of art of a hero of mine. Such feeling and character. I hope my wonderful friend Linda doesn’t mind me sharing her joyful skill.

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by Linda Hunter

Now artwork from the family in the Zoom family quiz. We had to recreate some classic pieces of work with only as few minutes to see it and then sort it.

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I pinched this one too.

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Before the distasteful pictures of chicken’s feet etc here is a feature from Scarborough, Yorkshire, Great Britain.

No, before the garden, here are a couple of old family photos. Carefully preserved by my sister.

My Mum and Dad and Ginny my sister. Circa 1957.

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From around the same period, four generations of women. Toddler, (Ginny), mother (Connie), Nana, (Mary) and my great grandmother.

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(Oh yes and a duck.)

My Mum’s Garden

Ah, but first here is a pic I got from the Facebook page I Love Scarborough of way back when a whole hotel fell into the sea.

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Stories are that they knew there might be subsidence so they charged the guests at supper time. Other’s say that guests were eating breakfast and were told the hotel was actually moving and people sat and finished their black pudding and beans etc before running for their lives.

A guy who used to drive me to the hospital told me he worked there and it wasn’t erosion from the sea it was subsidence from above. The beck or stream or creek had been built over and the water went down into the lime stone and eroded it from under the hotel.

Anyway my mum’s beautiful garden which looks up at the castle above.

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I think there is a glimpse of the castle up at the top. There’s my mum’s palm tree behind her roses. This is the top rank and then there is grassland, then woodland, then the castle.

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I am most pleased to see the marigold, I put seeds all over that wild banking and at least this one came up.

Note the bunting all over the gooseberry bushes, this is to keep the birds off the fruit.

These lilies were kindly planted in memorial for my father.

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We get more every year.

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This next plant is doing very well, and I don’t think mum is very pleased about it. It started off as a tiny rock plant when I bought it (For less than a pound.) and it turned into a monster.

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I think we are indoors for this beauty.

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This next one is adorable.

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As is the whole garden (Well done Heidi Two, er I mean Kirsten. Mum gets their names muddled up all the time.) A great job Kirsten.

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And this amazing shot from the Facebook page I Love Scarborough this amazing shot of just along the road from mum’s. the boat is just off shore from fifteen minutes walk away.

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I think this was taken in Scarborough. this is an example of taking social distancing too far. You could never hit the pan standing that far away.

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Below this link – The final section; the food section, perhaps needs to come with a warning. I’ve been trying some horrid food!

For the first edition in the series click here Living in America

Now I am hoping this is just what I’ve been looking for. Back home in the UK I love a Chinese curry sauce. They come under the extras list, and my go to dish is crispy duck with fried rice.

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The hot takeaway deli had some great food, I wasn’t too sure about this ‘ocean going fish’ but I had to try it. It wasn’t worth five dollars.

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We also got these ‘cute’ ready to eat fish in a basket.

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Now what do we have here?

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Talk about feeding the two thousand.

Then on to the wonderful Mexican store, great stuff and real friendly.

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These are caught in droplets and flash frozen. Well that is what I am guessing.

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At last I found baked beans. It was a Pick and Save I think. Look what was in them.

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We had this given by a first nation hunter girl and are unsure what to do with it; it is bear fat.

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(I wondered if it could be used in anything Viking related?)

Have a look on YouTube for Cooking with Lu for some really great recipes; especially Chinese and Mexican related foods.

This is my attempt at her wonderful Crispy Beef recipe.

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I told you about horror food.

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Yes it is chicken’s feet.

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Who star in their own adult themed monster movie.

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And to finish, it is the turn for dogs. I am not sure if I should include this pic. It is the stuff of nightmares. I stole it, I think from Chloe and it is the dog toy to end all dog toys.

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For the first edition in the series click here Living in America

For the third click here

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Saying Thank You

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