Tag Archives: hummingbirds

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

Monday Mishmash…

The Queen of Procrastinators strikes again…I have let several days go by without posting…I apologize for the delay.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. We celebrated Dad’s 73rd birthday on Wednesday night…his actual birthday was the 28th, but not everyone was going to be around on Friday, so we moved it up.  We had lasagna, and German chocolate cake for dessert (I bought the cake – it was good, though!).  Hope gave him a “Grandad” mug she bought with her own money, and Jim and I ordered a set of Ron James DVD’s for him (which haven’t arrived in the mail yet).  For those who don’t know who Ron James is, he is a hilarious Canadian comedian from Nova Scotia, who once visited our store (he collects “Big/Little” books).  He’s kind of a Canadian version of Robin Williams – ADHD on wheels.  Check out his website:  http://ronjames.ca/

The Birthday Boy...

2.  Wednesday night was the first night we saw hummingbirds at our feeders – we have determined that we have at least three of them: a pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds (a male and a female), and possibly a second female, but she has different colouration.  Anna saw all three at the same time once.  Here are some photos Jim took:

Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird...

The Mystery Guest...

Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird...

3. When I went out to water the garden on Wednesday night, I was delighted to discover that some of the seeds I’d planted on the weekend had sprouted…several kinds of lettuce and greens were up!  Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug that has something against my yellow beans – they have been chewed down to the nub in most cases – it started with holes in the leaves, then the leaves disappeared.  I didn’t really like yellow beans anyway…

4.  I spent most of Thursday and Friday at the store assessing books.  We are to the point where I have no idea where we’re going to put the next bunch that walks in the door…my chair is surrounded by boxes now (I have eight boxes to put away!).  We need a room-stretcher (and more shelves).  Hope was off school on Friday, so we had Chinese food for lunch.

5. Saturday morning, Jim and I and the girls got up early and headed out for the Quispamsis Town-Wide Yard Sale (Devin is not a shopper, so he enjoyed some extra hours of sleep).  We had picked up the map at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, and I had carefully mapped out a logical route (which Jim estimated would take in excess of eight hours to complete – we had 4-and-a-half!).  Jim got a palm sander for $10.  I found a beautiful painting of a blonde cocker spaniel that looked like the one my dad had when he was a kid (although Dad said the dog in the painting looked “too intelligent” to be his dog).  I also got a lovely art deco painting for a dollar (I will take it to my friend, Amy, to have it reframed).  The kids picked up a few small things too – Hope was happy to get a karaoke machine for $3 to continue her singing.  About noon, we started smelling something burning – our van had an issue with its brakes, so we dropped it off at home and picked up the car instead.  Our last stop was an estate sale: they had lots of old books, and I bought a boxfull.  I totalled up my finds today – for the $25 I spent, I got over $725 worth of books!  Not a bad haul…

6. We stopped and picked up a new hose and nozzle on Saturday before going home…it made a big difference when I watered my garden on Saturday night!  Talk about “more power!”  A package of cinnamon buns also forced its way into my cart at grocery – have no idea how that happened!  We had pizza and some of last year’s spinach (fresh from the garden!) for supper – nothing tastes as good as just-picked veggies!

7.  I spent Sunday morning trying to get caught up with laundry (which has been badly neglected since I’ve been gardening in the evenings).  I washed and dried five loads, and folded about eight (still some there from last week).  Poor Anna informed me that she didn’t have any shorts that fit (funny…her pile of clothes was bigger than anybody’s…).  In between loads, I made clam chowder and started rereading “The Pilot’s Wife” by Anita Shreve – it is our next book for book club, and since I read it last September, I felt the need to read it again (especially since I’d suggested it – I thought I should at least know the character’s names when we talk about it!).  I loved it the first time!

The Pilot's Wife...

8. Sunday afternoon, Jim and Anna and I went to see the Shrek 4 movie: Shrek Forever After.  I enjoyed the soundtrack, and there were a couple of funny lines, but it didn’t come close to the first one.  One of my friends commented about how “dark” the movie was.  I got some new Mint Crisp M&M’s at the dollar store to eat at the movie…they were yummy!  We saw a double rainbow on the way home…

M&M Mint Crisp...Mmmm...

 9. I was happy to discover last night that I had several more new seedlings in the garden…morning glories, sunflowers, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, brussels sprouts, a few tomatoes, and a couple varieties of winter squash.  I expect the sweet peas and pumpkins to be up soon.  No sign of carrots, peppers, broccoli or cauliflower yet (except for carrots, these are seeds I replanted directly in the garden last weekend after Jake destroyed the ones I planted in the house).  The peas and broad beans are doing well, as are the pole and bush beans.  My weeding last night was interrupted by a brief thunderstorm…I wish it had rained a little longer…it’s been dry.

10. This morning on the way to town, we saw a “fisher” cross the road in front of the car…it’s kind of like a big weasel, and apparently is the only animal able to eat porcupines without suffering any ill effects from the quills (they also eat cats and small dogs, as well as mice, squirrels, and rabbits).  The one we saw was about three feet long…neat to see!

A fisher climbing a tree...don't try to pet this guy...

I continue to enjoy the posts my blogging sisters are writing lately…it amazes me how much we seem to have in common with each other!  They are amazingly gifted writers – each has her own special style.  I look forward to Jane and Nancy’s return to regular posting…I miss you girls!

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Filed under books, family, food, gardening, nature