"Oh, for Peat's Sake!"
Pete was a substitute for "Oh, for Christ's Sake." A Euphemism to express frustration, etc. without the need to use God's name. Well, that's what one blog tells us. I, for one, think this is as good as we'll get for the origin of "Oh, for Pete's Sake!" For more on this, try: the Sporcle Blog's explanation. That's fun, but that's not where I'm headed with today's blog.
Steve and I burn wood we gather from the timber on our property. It keeps us cozy and warm and heats our entire home. It also helps to keep the cost of propane gas down too. I know that in Scotland peat is sometimes used to burn, so I thought this would be an interesting topic for us.
So as I started to research burning peat, it turns out, there are numerous pages on the web out there that will discuss the use of peat for whisky. I've often said: "That whisky is just too peaty for me." Tastes like a mouthful of coal. But I've never wondered about burning peat. At least, not until I was standing in the timber, in single-digit temperatures, listening to the roar of Steve's power saw cutting through an old tree that would soon be in our wood burning stove.
I did find one great source online to tell us more about the use of peat. According to the website on Old and Interesting - history of household paraphanalia, there is a wealth of information about using peat in the home!
Peat is traditionally cut in the warm season, cut into what are called turves. They are then dried and then stacked and stored. I associate peat to use in Europe, but even North Americans have used peat for cooking, heating and providing a background light. And the use of peat outdates written history.
"Keep the home fires burning" is an old saying that might very well apply to peat. In Scotland, Ireland and part of England, this has been a common practice. Smothering the fire at night with a block/turve of peat would allow the fire to stay active, but not go out. In the morning, stirring the ashes would bring the fire back to life in time for morning heat and meals.
Apparantly there are different qualitites of peat based upon depth of the peat, the color of it and the age of the peat. So I wonder, like a good aged wine, is older peat better?
So now that you are completely intrigued with peat, you can visit this wonderful website to see a video about cutting peat, learn about the Turf Spade, and much more about peat than you could ever imagine! So try the website: http://www.oldandinteresting.com/peat-fire.aspx
And just in case you'd like to spend our time reading about peat in the use of Whisky, try this one: What, Exactly is Peat and How Did it Get in My Whisky? From the Men's Journal.
Do You Want to Go to a Highland Game?
Clan MacFarlane Worldwide has a number of Delegates who help to host a tent at various Games areound the U.S., and Canada. We are currently building our calendar of upcoming Games where you will be able to find us.
Starting this weekend, you will be able to attend a Game with us at the Northeast Florida Games.
Please stop by the CMW tent and visit with Lorrain and Terry Sandeen and Bill Lennox. The Games will be held at the Clay County Fairgrounds, Green Cove Springs, Florida. Gates open at 9:00 this Saturday. For more informaiton about this Game, check out the Northeast Florida Games website: http://www.neflgames.com
And, if you want to see the entire Games calendar, check it out here: https://www.clanmacfarlane.org/public_html/events/calendar.html
But... we are constantly updating the calendar and adding more games. Hope to see you at a game soon!
Let's Go RVing!
Photo from VisitScotland.com
That's a common statement for those of us in the U.S. Backed by such companies as Good Sam and Camperworld, KOA, Passport America and many more. Steve and I have the "bug" and own a Fifth Wheel that we pull behind our pickup. If you are not familiar with the various types of RVs (Recreational Vehicles), ours is attached to the bed of our pickup truck and we can unhitch when we stop and still drive our truck.
in 2017, we had a long trailer (what you normally think of, something dragging behind you from your bumper). We drove from Kansas to Ontario, Canada for the Annual Members' Meeting held at the Games in Fergus, Ontario. It was a challenge, but we did it. Then we drove it down to Niagara, New York, on to Pennsylvania to do some geneaology research on Steve's Robb family. We drove south to our Civil War battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg. Then we took it home. Well, we almost made it home. By the time we got to Kansas City, we had talked to enough fellow RVers to realize that what we really needed was a Fifth Wheel and not a trailer. So we traded up into our current fifth wheel. I love it! It isn't too big, but it is comfy and cozy.
Since 2017, we have hauled the fifth wheel to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, down to several stops in Texas: San Antonio, Waco, Salado. We used it to provide a private place for family who were visiting from Florida. Needless to say, I'm a fan. I'm always certain the sheets are really clean. I can make my own meals. I can leave the dog behind and NOT pay the $75 non-refundable pet deposit (sorry... it isn't a deposit then, is it). I've used it as an office when Steve and I were living in a small 1 bedroom home. I'm sure the nosy neighbors wondered what was going on when they could see the lights on in the fifth wheel as it was parked in our driveway.
And now, as we prepare to sell our little farm and retire, yet again, we are considering the full-time life in our RV. I know folks who do this. They cast aside all their worldly posessions and live with what they can stuff in their rolling home. We have personal friends who are currently living on the Gulf Coast of Texas in their very large fifth wheel. They love it. Not sure we will do the same. The place they have chosen to park appears to be "God's waiting Room" based on the average age of the residents. Steve and I are MUCH too young for that. We'll likely head out to see the U.S. and park in state parks, Federal parks, beaches and the occasional paid convenience park.
So how do I connect this to Scotland? Well... yes, you can indeed go RVing in Scotland! Our old friend, the VisitScotland website lists 10 places to go camping in your Campervan tour:
1. Jedburgh and Lauder
2. Isle of Skye
3. Glencoe to Fort William
4. Blair Atholl
5. Assynt to Sutherland
6. Loch Ness
7. Glasgow to Machrihanish
8. Scone Palace
9. Edinburgh to St. Andrews (remember... golf!)
10. Rest and be Thankful Pass
And, if you are looking for a Driving Tour and Scenic Route, try this: https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/tours/driving-road-trips/
How about the new North Coast 500 Route? It is 516 miles and takes about 5 to 7 days to complete. https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/tours/driving-road-trips/north-coast-500/. This even has an interactive map! It will help you plan your own trip to one of 5 regions: The Black Isle; Caithness; Easter Ross; Inverness-shire; Sutherland; or Wester Ross. There is much to read here and the page helps you plan your trip: https://www.northcoast500.com/explore-the-route/
There is a wealth of information out there for the eager camper. So happy travels and happy camping! And don't forget your whisky!