Monday, June 30, 2014

Dr. Sandy M.B.

Hullo there. Today I have been asked to consult on an injury that Mama sustained last week while working in the garden. She says she stepped off a high step and landed on one leg and fell down. Let's see...

Mmmm... uh-huh... That is a pretty significant bruise you have there. And your leg looks rather chubby and swollen.

Let's compare... Oh yes, definitely swollen. At first I thought perhaps you had gained some weight (Mama rolls her eyes.)

Oh yes, yes... and even a bit of swelling going up the leg. I think it must definitely be a sprained ankle and a doozie at that! Possibly some torn ligament fibers as well. Tsk tsk...

Well, off to the first aid box...

Wow... sure is a lot of stuff in here... ***rummage, rummage***

Ah there it is...

A tensor bandage... that's the ticket. You want to keep an injury like that stable and try to immobilize it as much as possible.

Now... something cold, something cold...

Well, these are cold packs but not really suitable for ankle injuries. You want something that will conform to the ankle...

I could use the ever present, always dependable bag of peas but... that's not really good for the peas to go through a freeze/thaw cycle every few hours. They tend to turn into little ice cubes after a while...

Ah-hah!!! This is what I want... one of those super-duper cold gel packs.

Alright... cold pack, tensor bandage (which unravelled itself when I wasn't looking... hmmmm) and a tea towel...

You don't want the cold pack directly on the skin otherwise you will also have frostbite to deal with!

Now... the tensor bandage... they work best when they are rolled up... not unrolled!

Maybe Spooky can help?

Uh no Spooky... I said help me roll it up not... unroll it!

Sometimes good assistants are hard to find!

There we go... Now... Dr. Sandy says to stay off of your feet as much as possible, put your leg up and get your little bear to bring you hot chocolate. Maybe watch the FIFA World Cup or something. OK?

Mama!! I said stay off your feet!!! Sigh... some humans make beary bad patients!

(Note: A real doctor was consulted as well and concurred with Sandy's findings.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Garlic Harvest

Hullo! Today was a drizzly day but... after being away, some garden things need to be tackled. I sent Mama out in the drizzle to harvest the garlic scapes.

The scapes are thin stalks that grow off the top of the garlic and get all curly and eventually will produce a flower. But you want the energy of the plant to go into the bulbs sooo... you cut off the scapes and make pesto! This is all courtesy of Mama's pal Richard (he of the fruit tree pruning fame)... and Mama's tasted his pesto so she's game for this!

First you need to chop up the scapes into pieces - about 2 inches long - just so they fit in the food processor and don't try to squirm out.

This could be beary time-consuming for a little bear - so sometimes it's better to have your human do it...

Then, you put them in your food processor...

And turn it on and watch the scapes get neatly choppped up.

Next you need some parmesan and olive oil...

Hmmm... that looks pretty good...

And a quick sniff....

Oh yeah!!! That smells like garlic - whew!!

Now... a recipe... hmmm... it seems like a bit of a ballpark... do we have 1/4 lb or 1/2 lb of scapes?? Eh... we'll wing it with the olive oil and parmesan (that's what great chefs do - right Ben?).

Ta-dah!!! That is one jar of garlic scape pesto (we have two others in the freezer). I can't wait to taste some! Mama did some nibbles and says "Yup, that's garlic!"

Is anyone else out there growing garlic?? Or made a garlic scape pesto?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tough Mudder - Whistler

Hullo bears and not-a-bears! I am reporting to you today from the ski-mecca of Whistler, BC. Today, we are off to watch Tough Mudder 2014 - a 20 km (err...12 mile?) obstacle course designed by British Special Forces. It will be an adventure! I am going as a reporter and Mama is going as a spectator - we are going to watch Mama's partner and team compete!

In case you didn't know, Whistler hosted a bunch of the 2010 Winter Olympic events - this was the ski jump! It looks beary different in the summer.

After much preparation - they are off! There are 20 obstacles... this is #2  called Blades of Glory - it looks beary challenging. But they all got over it.

And then there was Walk the Plank - where they had to jump off that platform into 15 feet of cold water. Did you know that all the participants had to sign a death waiver?

Whew... it is beary hot out in the sun - and we can't see all the obstacles - only the first three, a middle one and the last three... so now we wait...

This obstacles is called Balls to the Walls... they have to climb up ropes and get over that wall - it was beary challenging. But the purpose of the event is to finish and not be first. It is to help teammates... and if you can't do an obstacle - then that is OK too.

The last obstacle was called Electro-shock Therapy and they had to run through hanging wires which had 10,000 volts - quite shocking! We watched many people go through and lots fell in the mud and came out looking beary dirty!

But our team did it!! They all got headbands - most of them because this was their first time. People who have done it before got different headbands with x2 or x3 on it... they are known as Legionnaires!  I don't think I will be doing this anytime soon - I don't think my fur would ever come clean!

Whew... and then a drive to Vancouver where we are staying - that is the Squamish Chief in the background - where people do rock climbing - that sounds like fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Apple Update

I wanted to go and check on the apple trees down by the burnt out farm. It's been a while since I was down there last time. Hmm... I just noticed in the last week that a lot of the grass is starting to turn yellow and brown. Even though I live in Canada, here on this part of the West Coast we sort of have two seasons instead of four - a wet season (Oct-May) and a dry season (June-Sept).

What a pretty flower!! It looks kind of like an onion. I wonder if it is?? let me check...
****pawing through plant book****
Nope, it is called Fool's Onion - it is part of the lily family. It is still pretty.

The other things that are out in full force are the spit bugs! Do you have them where you live? They can make a walk beary interesting... ick!

It is good to get out and hike around.

Oh look!!! The blackberries are blooming. You know what that means! In a few months there will be scrumptious blackberries. I have been scouting out some good patches so I will be ready in August.

And if you look carefully... on that upper flower, there is a bee! 

This is also a pretty flower - it is St. John's Wort. Gramma used to soak the blossoms in linseed oil for burns.

Wow... the grass sure has grown tall!

Oh my goodness!! A whole field of daisies!!

They are so pretty and cheerful. And spit-bug free at this point - which is good.

Ahhhh... sometimes a little bear just needs to lie back and relax.

And here we are... the apple trees. Well, there are some tiny apples growing - so that is good. But I think it will be September before they are ready. 

And this pretty purple flower is some sort of vetch I think.