Tag Archives: cherry tree

Still Learning in 2010…

Taking the lead from my blogging friends, Todd Pack, Izzie Darling, and Lady Justine, here’s a list of the things I learned this year…if you want to read the full story on any of these lessons, search a keyword or click the appropriate tag in the sidebar:

1. Our dog thinks porcupine poop is dessert.

2. Hope loves Jake enough to share her toothbrush with him.

3. Homemade rolls don’t have to be “pretty” to taste good.

4. Egg cartons are not good containers to start plants indoors in.

5. Dogs love to destroy egg cartons with seedlings in them.

6. Jim’s parents are our biggest supporters.

7. Bleachers are hard things to sit on for more than a couple of hours.

8. I am really out of shape.

9. Seeing a toy from your childhood 40 years later brings you right back to that time in your life.

10. If the winter is mild enough, spinach from last year can survive.

11. Maple vinaigrette makes spinach salad a beautiful thing!

12. There’s no such thing as “too many bird feeders.”

13. Squirrels can do amazing tricks to get to a bird feeder.

14. Some people keep their toilet paper in the breadbox.

15. Mothers-in-law are often right.

16. More people in Saint John knew when the new Costco was opening than were aware of the city’s 225th birthday this year.

17. Rhubarb runs amok if left to grow unchecked.

18. Orthodontists make more per hour than most of us.

19. Sometimes plants get a lot bigger than the seed package says they will…my five-foot sunflowers ended up being seven or eight feet tall!

20. I like portobello mushroom/swiss veggie burgers.

21. Our dog enjoys eating Popsicle sticks.

22. Cosmopolitan was a literary magazine back in the early 1900’s.

23. There is only one kind of hummingbird which frequents New Brunswick: the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

24. I love Mint Crisp M&M’s.

25. I learned what a “fisher” was, after seeing one cross the road in front of our car.

26. Before you construct a really big birdhouse, figure out where you’re going to put it and how to get it up there!

27. My dad’s a good singer, and I’m not the only one who thinks so!

28. They sell live ladybugs at Home Depot.

29. Right after you purchase twenty tomato plants, the forty you started from seed will rally.

30. Ladybugs aren’t always red with black spots…sometimes they’re brown with cream spots.

31. As long as they’re under warranty, Vogue Optical will replace glasses which have been chewed by a dog!

32. We have a cherry tree, and eight high-bush blueberries I’d never noticed before.

33. “Beaver Tails” are too expensive to buy now.

34. Hope really likes getting muddy.

35. Wallpaper is nearly impossible to find.

36. Hummingbirds are fearless.

37. The Chinese cabbage I planted is not the “head” type.

38. How to make good piecrust…the secret is lard.

39. Some people will ignore a sign that says: “Danger – Do Not Touch.”

40. Deer can be aggressive.

41. Organic broccoli often goes to seed faster than I can harvest it.

42. I love rutabaga!

43. I found out what “purslane” looks like.

44. It’s never a good idea to put a chicken burger into a toaster.

45. I don’t hate all sci-fi…I enjoy “Eureka.”

46. You can purchase a sailboat on the Internet.

47. Ripe canteloupe is not a good lunchbox food.

48. Picking things from the garden in the dark is really difficult.

49. I suck at “Musical Chairs.”

50. The blogging community is full of incredible people…I am so happy to have made their online acquaintances!

I’m looking forward to learning more in 2011!


Filed under blogging, cooking, family, food, gardening, memories, nature, self-discovery

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!…

I have to preface this post by saying that I’ve never been a very observant person…

I used to watch “Gomer Pyle, USMC” every day after school…I loved it when Gomer said: “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”  I’ve had a few surprises this week:

"Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!"

On Monday, I went out to read on the deck…the sun was out, and it was very hot, so I took a lawn chair down under the trees in the back yard.  I looked up and was startled to see loads of beautiful ripe cherries hanging from a tree that I had been saying all this spring I was going to Google to find out what kind it was!  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I ran in the house and got all three girls and brought them outside to show them!  Then I got a bowl and started picking all I could reach (Hope helped for a while, but the other two went back to their laptops).  I got a good-sized bowlful, but could see lots more higher up.  Off I went to the garage in search of a ladder.  There was a big wooden stepladder, but it was behind a bunch of stuff.  Being the lazy sort, I grabbed the small 2-step ladder off the wall.  Setting it up in a level place in the grass under the tree, I mounted the first step. It was at that point that I made my second discovery…my balance at age 49 is shot!  I looked like one of those blowup punching Charlies we used to have when we were kids.  I didn’t fall off the ladder, but that’s because I didn’t venture any higher than the first step (I blamed it on the wind)!  Totally defeated, I put the ladder away and took my bowl of cherries into the house.  “What are you going to do with them?” Jim asked.  “I guess we’ll just eat them,” I said dejectedly.  There weren’t enough to make a pie or anything (and that’s assuming I could make piecrust, which I can’t).  The discovery prompted me to check on the progress of the wild red raspberries beside the back deck…they were ready too…I ate them all!


Last night, Jim and I watched a British sitcom he downloads called “The IT Crowd.”  One of the major characters is getting a massage when something totally unexpected happens…I knew something was going to happen, but never would have suspected that in a million years…the title of the episode is “Something Happened” if you want to find it yourself…be prepared to laugh yourself silly!

The IT Crowd...

Tomorrow is Jim’s 48th birthday.  Anna and Brianna had hatched a plan last night – they wanted me to get Jim out of the house so they could make him a birthday cake with fondant icing – they’d seen a video on how to do it, and wanted to try it.  Today was the day.  I offered to take Jim to see a movie – it was “Reel Deal” day – only $5.99 per ticket.  We decided on “Inception.”  The folks at rottentomatoes.com gave it an 85%, and I’m always in the mood to watch Leonardo DiCaprio (Joseph Gordon Leavitt was in it too – the funny kid from Third Rock From the Sun).  Jim also wanted to show me some of the new furniture he’d been looking at for the living room.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt in a scene from one of my favourite movies...500 Days of Summer...

We were getting ready to go, when Jim looked out the window and noticed that some of the leaves on the flowering crab were kind of yellow.  It has been really dry, so I suggested that perhaps the weather had something to do with it.  I said I’d check them out while I was waiting for him.  “Hmmm…don’t know whether that’s dryness, or some sort of crabapple tree disease…I’ll have to Google this,” I thought.  At that precise moment, I glanced over at the eight bushes lined up beside the crabapple tree…they were covered with berries that looked strangely familiar…one of them was blue!  I yelled at Jim, “No way…these are blueberries!  And not wild ones, either!”  I called him over to see the berries, which were huge.  I’ve never seen high-bush blueberries before, and these would not present a problem to pick without a ladder!  Did I mention I’ve never met a berry I didn’t like?

We got in the van as I babbled excitedly about all the blueberries I would be able to put in the freezer.  I made plans to go and pick blackberries at my favourite secret spot on our next holidays in August (we’ll have some blackberries in our patch beside the rhubarb, but not enough to satisfy my appetite for them).


We were halfway down the road when I realized I’d forgotten my cell phone.  We were at the theatre when Jim remembered he hadn’t brought his insulin – no chocolate for him!  We got a popcorn to share, and Jim bought a big diet Coke (I never get a drink at the movies – it just makes me have to pee!).  I munched on some Junior Mints too.

Junior Mints..."They're Delicious!"

The movie was okay, although it was very confusing, and there was a lot of violence!  There was no expense spared in production costs for sure!  Jim liked the “science fictiony” aspect of it.  It had good-looking guys, and a couple of laughs, so I was good too.

After the movie, we stopped at a couple of furniture stores.  One saleswoman confided that she’s lost 40 lbs. when she first started working there…maybe I should look into a job selling furniture…

I wasn’t impressed with most of what we saw…it all looked the same to me…I think that’s why I like old stuff, because it’s unique.  I did like a couple of accent chairs.  We didn’t buy anything today.

The couches we saw were boring, like this one...

On the way home, Anna called (on Jim’s phone).  She wanted to know where we were – she said the fondant project had been a “huge fail.”  I mentioned that I had predicted that…

When we got home, Anna put frozen pizza in the oven, and I went out to the garden to gather greens for a salad.  Jim made his famous garlic bread.  When everyone had their fill, the girls brought out the cake…I wish I’d thought to take a picture.  The fondant was green, and covered a two-layer white cake, with buttercream frosting under the fondant.  They had spelled Jim’s name in bubble fondant letters on the top.  Anna told me the fondant had stuck to everything…Brianna’s hands were stained green!  We ate the cake anyway…it was good!

As I was getting ready to hit “publish” for this post, a big earwig crawled up onto my mouse hand.

These guys are all over our house...

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!


Filed under family, food, gardening, self-discovery, shopping