Monday, October 17, 2011

Tortilla Soup

In July we went to Herbfest.  Among other interesting things we saw there I found someone selling packaged soup mixes that appealed to me.  I do make soup from scratch but there were some interesting ideas among her products. Determined not to buy more than one, I finally settled on the Tortilla Soup mix.  It contains nothing but good stuff:  dried black beans, dried corn, red and green bell peppers, spices, salt, garlic and green onion.  All you do is add some canned tomatoes and water and within half an hour you have a very tasty soup.  We put some broken tortilla chips and grated cheese on top and enjoyed it very much as our supper last night.  This package, by the way, comes from Victoria Epicure Inc.

I'm now searching for a recipe to make my own.  If I don't find one I like as much, I'll be ordering in a supply of their packaged stuff. I like it that much!

Meanwhile stand by for Chatelaine's issue with the great Christmas cookies I tested a couple of months ago.  It should be out anytime now, as they just contacted me to see if I still wanted to test recipies for them.  I'm looking forward to the next culinary adventure.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hats and Hosta updates

You may remember that during the summer I got invited to sit and paint in a  beautiful hosta garden as part of a fund raiser. People who would also be going for a lovely tea in a local church basement toured the garden throughout the afternoon.  I had never tried to paint in public before, and decided, since acrylics dry much too fast for me outdoors, that I'd work in watercolour.  Well, I didn't think it would be very interesting to have others watching paint dry, so I got three different hosta paintings started before I arrived, and then worked on which ever ones were dry enough to proceed.  It was an interesting day for me, and I hope those wandering through enjoyed it too. 
I never would have had the courage though, if it had not been for the fact that we were supposed to wear hats, since the event was called Hats and Hostas.  I have a hat that I thought would get more attention than anything I was painting, so that gave me courage. 

Summer is over, but I thought I should share those paintings, now that they are finished.  Tell me, do you like one better than the rest? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Creative Spirits

Halloween is coming, and that means lots of different kinds of spirits are floating about. The artistic spirits in Merrickville just held their 27th annual Artists' Guild Studio Tour and I had to go check out a couple of my favourites.

Claudette Hart, also known as the Gourd Lady, used to be a potter, but now she has turned her hand to gourds instead. Before that she was a teacher, and in this segment of the CTV Ottawa Morning Show, she proves that she still knows how to get even the biggest kids to do as she tells them.

Claudette had guest artist Heather Snow at her house during the tour again this year.  Heather is a highly imaginative artist and you never know what she will come up with next.  Last year there was a tower of teapots that totally fascinated me. This year she was working on a gauntlet made entirely out of old silver spoons and forks.  What is she going to come up with next?  You could keep an eye on her webpage to find out.

In keeping with all this creative spirit, I decided to try my hand at a multimedia piece myself.  While I'm not known to be one of "the artists" in these parts, I had a lot of fun and it didn't turn out badly for a first attempt.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Trend Micro Update

I have been using Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security for a month now It has generated a monthly report, to let me know what it has been able to prevent.  In the past month it has apparently blocked 9 Web Threats and terminated 1 Unauthorized Change.  It has also eliminated well over a hundred cookies I didn't set up.  It left the good ones though, and I was still able to be recognized by all my favorite sites.  This report can easily be expanded to see exactly what has been eliminated.

This morning I decided to finally do the System Tune up. I had been putting that off as I wasn't sure just what it would change.  But I see it created a Restore Point, so if I find things don't work as they should, I can always put the computer back into the state it was before it got tuned up. 

Well, the tune up freed up 4.07GB of space.  That's a lot, and I'm impressed.  But it also got rid of what I consider to be my good cookies.  I find I now have to log in to the many sites I go to that require a password, as the system no longer automatically recognizes me. I hope I can remember all my passwords, or I'll have to have those sites e-mail them to me.  Once I'm in, of course, their system will remember me again....until the next tune up anyway.  Trend Micro lets you schedule that for once a month, but I'm not sure I'll allow that yet. 

Another thing I notice is that I now have to type in the URL's I go to on a regular basis.  I have not had to do that in a long time, as Internet Explorer 8 remembers those for you, and auto finishes the web address. Well, I'll have those all reestablished soon too, as I do tend to go to many of the same sites day after day. 

One wonders though, since I now see the green highlighted go ahead and click links quite clearly, how I managed to hit so many possible web threats.  Well, okay, so I get a lot of newsletters with links and yes, I enter a fair number of contests, and.....okay so I admit I did hit a few of those grey links as well as the green ones. I did see some links highlighted in red, and avoided those though.  One has to wonder how much trouble I got into before I had Trend Micro to protect me!

I am a BzzAgent and this has been an update on my original blog posting on this product.  If you should happen to want to try Trend Micro Titanium yourself, use the discount code "BZZ30"