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Saturday, March 29, 2014


Mom said, "Don't fry bacon naked".  I can only wonder about the source of this advice, but some things are best left out of my imagination.  And just cuz she said it, I had to do it.  She was right, don't fry bacon naked... and now Mom is probably sizzling because I mentioned her.

I don't write about Mom much.  She thinks anything on the web is forever and an invasion of privacy.  Mostly I leave her be, but sometimes I poke her because it's kind of funny when she gets all perturbed about things.  Happy birthday Mom :)

Also happy birthday to Richard, Timmy, Riley, Franz, Craig, John, Mary, Jessie, Nick... and whoever else is right about now, especially anybody I've forgotten.  Seems like everybody was born around this time of year.

Now that Mom is hot and bothered, let me say she's the only thing that's hot around here.  March coming "in like a lion and out like a lamb" is a blatant lie this year.  It's actually snowing, and snowing a lot today and I'm just sick, sick, sick of it!!

In the spirit of naked bacon frying, the bad weather inspired me to get spring water and I was surprised to see that they were tapping maple trees this late in the year.  Apparently trees know better than me to hope for warm weather.  I snapped a couple of photos in the pre-snow icy rain then did the other most contrary thing I could think of which was to try out new cars while the snow started to fall.  (A+ for German engineering in snow.)

I gave up my contrariness and went home to my puppy foot warmer and blankies and looked up the Maple Fest.    I watched their slide show and thought "OMG is this Ohio!"  The kind of Ohio I completely take for granted and mostly ignore, but I have to say that it feels happy and comfortable.

When I used to ride the school bus everyday, we went past Nash's farm at the top of the hill.  I always knew when spring was coming because old man Nash tapped his trees in the front yard.  I loved those trees.  They burned a beautiful yellow, orange, red every fall and they were also the first signs of spring.  Developers knocked them down to build McMansions.  (sob)

Maybe I assume too much when I figure people outside Ohio know about tapping trees?  Maple trees hibernate in the winter.  When the trees sense spring coming, the sap inside starts to "run".  A tap is hammered carefully into the tree, just past the bark, so that the running sap is caught in the end of the tap and funneled into a bucket, or these days, into tubing that feeds into a big plastic bladder. 

Once someone has enough sap, it's boiled until you get syrup, or boiled more until you get candy.  If you sizzle it one second too long you're shopping for a new pan.  It takes 50 gazillion gallons of sap to make a teaspoon of syrup.  (Actually 40 gallons of sap = 1 gallon syrup)  If you do this inside your home, you also have to buy new wallpaper since the old stuff just got steamed off.  In case you're wondering if I've tried it, you've got to remember that I also fried bacon!


  1. My mom once said, "Don't go outside with wet hands." I asked her why and she said she didn't know, except it was something her family always said when she was growing up. Moms are great for that. Happy birthday to Linda's mom. :)

  2. As I sit here in San Diego, this blog brings back so many memories. Nash's farm is gone? This makes me sad, but we will always have the memories and I thank you for refreshing them! (I really love your writing and stumbling upon your blogs amid so much crap I see here, gives my day a huge boost!)...and Happy Birthday to your Mom. <3

  3. Happy birthday to your Mum Linda, it's Mother's Day here in the UK so we are celebrating our Mum's. I loved seeing the maple tapping...no wonder it's so expensive! Our clocks have sprung forward here so we lose an hour but at least it's going to be light still at 7.30pm. Hope spring arrives with you soon x

  4. My mom says "Don't go out with wet hair, you'll catch a cold." It doesn't matter that colds are a virus and have nothing to do with wet hair. Maybe someday the scientists will find the link between hair and colds? Did you notice that my maple tap is Canadian Rand?

    Sometimes I think my memories are just mine, but it's nice to see that I'm not the only one to remember Nash's trees Cindy. Now I'm having happy memories of you too :)

    Maple syrup is expensive even in Ohio Jane. I can only wonder how much it is in the UK. I'm hoping really hard I get spring soon too!

    Thanks everybody! I'll pass on the birthday wishes to Mom!

  5. My grandma wouldn't let us go outside till the dew had dried from the grass. Not sure if she thought we would catch our deaths or what. She also talked about the "poisonous night air."

    Those photos of the maple trees are really interesting to look at. I love all the shades of gray. Of course, what we're looking for right now is shades of green!

    Happy birthday, Linda's mom!

  6. Naked bacon and maple syrup and Happy Birthdays. Sound so cozy. I like the Canadian content on your sketch ;)

  7. Definitely looking for shades of green. All that snow is melting off fast which kind of makes me wonder if the whole purpose was to depress everyone a little bit more before spring? Thanks for the comments!

  8. Hilarious post. Lovely mélange of sacred (trees) and profane (telling stories). Ok, maybe the latter is also sacred....My mantra is never iron naked.

  9. Naked bacon and tapping trees, l never know what to expect of you! Yet that's the fun part. Nice drawing! Happy Birthday Jennie!

  10. My husband has started to use only sugar free syrup. And I on the other hand have forgone the log cabin and I'm now using only the real thing. Life is short after all. Glad you enjoyed my "Poor Dan" post!

  11. Spring is heavily overlapped by a reluctantly-leaving Winter here in Northern California, so I can totally relate to your state of mind. We'll go straight to hot and dry Summer after this phase, and feel typed out of our mellow, lush Spring. This seems to be the new weather pattern here, alas. Great pictures of maple tree tapping! I knew theoretically how it happened but having a mental picture now is a plus. And thank you for the associated birthday wishes, my dear…mine is April 1st for a big 61 years! Sending a hug and a grin from far away...

    1. ..."gyped" out of our mellow Spring, that is... :-) And Phil, I love your funny comment below this one!

  12. C'mon, you know better!. In the Great Lakes region, it's: "March -- In like a lion, out like a bigger, meaner lion". It's a cruel joke, just like groundhog day. We know that whatever that little varmint does, we're getting WAY more than six weeks of winter.

  13. Does this make us vampires from the trees' point of view?

    I do love me some coagulated tree blood, it tastes even better than bee barf!

  14. Oh great, now I'm a tree vampire! A older man at work told me that when he was a kid they used to slash a high limb on a maple and then a gaggle of boys would shove each other around, all with their heads back and their mouths open trying to catch the sap :) The telling of this story was really funny since he was acting it out at the same time and you just wouldn't think of this guy like that. Thanks for the comments everybody!

  15. This made me smile-my mom thinks the same thing about posting on the internet! AND not only do I agree about not frying bacon naked, but I can also tell you that painting while naked is also not the best of ideas.... But don't ask me how I know this.... :)

  16. Linda, such interesting peek into your environment with your illustrations and photos of tapped trees. Very nice!
    No maple trees here, so we enjoy the imported syrup from your country. Now I have the pictures with it! Thank you.

  17. I thought naked painting was good because skin is easier to get clean again than fabric. Maybe because I still have an annoying habit of wiping my brush on my thigh no matter how many times I tell myself to quit doing that.

    Thanks for the responses! Writing about maple syrup was almost an afterthought because I saw the buckets on the trees. I'm glad to share a little something with people who didn't know what the process looks like.