Tag Archives: nature

Macho Deer, Calzones, Aggressive Squirrels, and Fallen Trees…

Here, for your Wednesday reading pleasure, are some random happenings from my weekend:

1. My landlord and I had a fun discussion about our gardens on Friday when he came to collect the rent.  He told me that he had paid $1500 to install a solar-powered electric fence to keep the deer out of his, but that the bucks had recently started breaching security.  “I don’t know if they’re proving their manhood…they twitch a little when they go through, but do it anyway!”  It made me giggle to see his impression of the bucks as they passed through the current.  He said they had taken a bite out of every one of his beloved squash (he told me he was boiling them anyway)…I invited him to come and help himself to some of our “unused” squash!

2. A new bird has joined the flock which comes to feast at Jim’s Bird Feeder Smorgasbord: it’s quite shy, and just flits onto the deck and picks up the seeds the greedy goldfinches spill.  It’s a white-breasted nuthatch.

White-breasted nuthatch...

The Smorgasbord has been closed for the last couple of days as it had been raining most of last week, and the water had gotten into the feeders, causing the bird seed to sprout.  Not wanting to hurt our fine feathered friends, Jim has been washing the feeders out with bleach and soapy water, and will refill them shortly (he buys so much nyger seed at Bulk Barn, I think we should own stock there by now!).

3. It was a gorgeous day on Saturday…who would have thought I’d be sitting on our deck shelling orca beans in a T-shirt and bare feet on October 2nd (in case you’re wondering, I was also wearing jeans!)?

4. I’m liking this “give Mom a break” thing we started with cooking.  On Saturday, Jim made an amazing pot roast with potatoes, onions, carrots, turnip, rutabaga (from our garden), peas, corn, and homemade gravy.  Last night, Anna and Hope made Chinese food…it was awesome!  The kids are cooking again Friday night…can’t wait to see what they have planned!

5. Anna was taking pictures of one of our resident grey squirrels through a window the other day…when it saw her, it started launching itself towards the window!  It did it at least twice…

6. Saturday night, Jim and I went to see the new movie, “The Social Network.”  In case you haven’t heard, it’s about how Facebook got started.  It was quite an interesting social study…Jim liked that the technical parts were accurate!  The writing is very good, but it’s definitely not an “easy” movie…the teenagers talking behind us made it somewhat difficult to follow sometimes!  The way Mark Zuckerburg’s character talked was sometimes reminiscent of “Rain Man.”  Jim had to go for a pit stop in the middle of the movie…while moving my knees out of his way, I managed to dump half my box of Raisinets on the floor (glad I bought them at the Dollar Store and not the theatre – that would have been an expensive accident!).

7.  Sunday morning, I started boiling down tomatoes from the garden for pizza sauce.  Jim wanted me to make calzones similar to what we’d had last week at a local restaurant.  There were quite a few tomatoes, and it took them several hours to get thick enough for sauce.  I added minced onion and garlic, chili powder, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and sugar.  It was delicious!  Then I made the calzones, which while easy, take time to shape and fill (I used pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese, along with the sauce).  We ate late that night, but they were good!  I had a whole bag of pizza sauce left, which I put in the freezer for another time.

Two of the finished calzones...yes, that's a dinner-sized plate! Yummy!

8. In the afternoon, we went over to Jim’s parents to pick up some firewood.  While they were away visiting relatives last week, a big maple tree in their back yard had fallen down during a windstorm, narrowly missing their carport!  They offered us the wood.  We filled up the back of the van…we went back to get the rest last night.  It should be close to a cord…that will save us some money next year!

9. Sunday night, Jim and I went to the Blue Olive to see Rose Cousins, one of our favourite folk singers.  She was her usual, funny, charming self, although she was fighting a cold…she joked that a Canada Goose had gotten into her nose.  Rose introduced us to a couple of other singers who are just starting out: Heather Green and Ria Mae.  We liked them both, and especially enjoyed the end where everyone sang together!   There had been a mixup with our tickets, and our seats had been given to someone else…to compensate, the hostess paid our tab for the night (which would have been higher had we not been drinking pop – Jim did get a nice Greek salad, though).  We sat with our friend, Stephen Webb, from CBC.  Jim grew up with him.

Rose Cousins...

10. I was out picking tomatoes Monday night, and got into a mild disagreement with a doe.  There was a whole group of deer out there, quite close to the fence, and I waved my arms and yelled at them to make them move away (Dad is terrified that they’ll get into the garden some day!).  They did move, but one stubborn female stayed closer than the others…she stomped her foot and snorted at me.  I waved my arms and told her to “Git!”  She stared at me like my kids do when I’ve told them to do something they have no intention of doing…she snorted and stomped again.  We repeated this exchange for about five minutes before she and her posse hightailed it into the woods.  I win!

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Dear Earl…

September 4, 2010

Dear Earl:

I am writing to express my deep disappointment that you chose not to make an appearance today in Hammond River…That imposter you sent was hardly up to your standards!  Do you call that rain?  I can spit harder than that!  And wind?  It barely messed up my hair! 

We worked really hard to get ready for your visit!  I picked everything that was ready in the garden.  The kids took down everything but the frame of the trampoline…

Kids working on the trampoline...

Jim used bungee cords to lash our lawn furniture to a tree…

Our lawn furniture isn't going anywhere...

Jim also brought all the bird feeders in the house, except one, which was buzzing…he decided to leave that one out on the porch.

I had the menu all planned: tuna sandwiches and cheese and crackers (because we assumed that your presence would not have a favourable affect on our electricity).  Instead, we were forced to eat spaghetti sauce made from our garden tomatoes:

Freshly-peeled tomatoes...

Sauce cooking...

The finished product on some radiatori pasta...yummy!

The kids watched a little TV (or a BIG TV, as it turns out), something else we didn’t think we’d be able to do (we had board games on standby).  Deal or No Deal was on.  The contestant was from Alaska.  Hope asked Anna, “Does she live in a snow globe?”  When Anna broke into hysterical fits of laughter, Hope corrected herself…”I meant an igloo!” she said.  Anna assured her that the woman probably lived in a house or an apartment.

Once the rain stopped, Jake had fun with his little friend on the deck, who was helping himself to the formerly buzzing birdfeeder…

Jake watching the chipmunk fill his cheeks...

As you can see, we had a fine time without you.  I think our friendship is over, and we never want to see you again.

Regards,

Wendy

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Waiting for Earl…

Hurricane (or Tropical Storm, hopefully) Earl is scheduled to arrive here early tomorrow morning, and when he gets here, we’ll be ready…

Having spent my early years in Ohio, I have vivid memories of our whole family sitting under a table in the basement waiting for a tornado.  Dad held the staticky transistor radio in his hand as we listened anxiously to the Tornado Warnings being issued.  I remember seeing the sky outside go black at 3 in the afternoon, and seeing hail as big as baseballs!  Luckily, we were never hit with a tornado, but to this day, I am terrified of windstorms!

This transistor looks like ours...

I was never a Girl Scout, so being “prepared” is a state I’m rarely in.  However, since we’ve had lots of advance warning, we decided to do as much as we could to avert potential disaster at our house.

Last night, Jim and I stopped at the grocery store on the way home – we spent almost $150!  Among the essentials were 8 jugs of water, in case the 40-70mm (1 1/2″ to 2 3/4″) of rain we’re supposed to get messes up our well (again, like it did when we got 90mm last year!).  If the power goes out, we’ll break out the Sugar Smacks or the Alpha-Bits we bought.  We also have 4 bags of chips, and about 10 bottles of pop.  If you’re going to die in a storm, you might as well eat what you like…(I did slip some apples, a cantaloupe and a bag of spinach into the cart, though).

We stopped for gas and ice (to keep the pop cold) on the way home. 

After supper, I went out to the garden while Jim put away the lawn furniture (I saw him doing something with bungee cords – I didn’t ask!).  The kids worked together surprisingly well to take down the trampoline.  I picked all the tomatoes that were ready (I’m up to using a BIG mixing bowl now!), and all the beans.  I picked a Red Kuri squash and a Dakota Dessert Squash.  We now have four huge pumpkins about 18″ in diameter.  I wanted to harvest them, but Dad convinced me that the 90kmh (56mph) winds the weatherman is calling for would not send them hurtling across the field (if you see a piece on the 11 o-clock news tomorrow night about “When Pumpkins Kill,” Dad was wrong!).  I sadly said “Goodbye” to the sunflowers…I suspect they will not survive the wind!  I dragged out the hose and watered everything, as I have every night this week.  I rejected Dad’s offer of help putting the hose away…I find that whenever he “helps” me, it just slows me down…

Attack of the Killer Pumpkin...

When I got inside, it was almost 9, and I was exhausted.  Jim talked me into watching an episode of Modern Family (he has the whole first season downloaded).  I asked to see the one where Phil and Jay fly the remote control airplane together…”I was in a plane crash!” (best line ever, spoken by Phil after Jay flies the plane into his face).  After watching half the first episode of a strange sci-fi series called Eureka, I was ready to crash myself…

Phil recovering from the "plane crash"...

We just have to pick up a couple more things tonight, and then…

Bring on the storm!

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Things I Learned on My Summer Staycation…

I’m back at the bookstore today after our first 11 days of vacation…here’s what I learned:

1. Laundry and dirty dishes never take a vacation…in fact, when everybody stays home, their volume increases!  Wishing clothes would fold themselves doesn’t work.

Why can't clothes do this themselves?

2. Cleaning under furniture once in a while is a good thing…on a hunt for the satellite remote (it has to go back to the company in a couple of weeks because we’re changing over to fibre-op TV), we moved our couch.  Lurking underneath were bowls, spoons, forks, plates, assorted food wrappers, pencils, pens, dozens of ponytail holders, and a mystery object, which we later identified as a petrified clementine which resembled an oddly-shaped peach pit.  All together now: EWWW!  Oh, and we didn’t find the remote there either…

3. Our dog hates the vacuum cleaner…I think he thinks it’s some sort of loud animal.  He barks and whines and tries to bite it…we have to put him out on the deck to use it.

Jake's worst enemy...probably because he hasn't seen it enough to get to know it...

4. Sleeping in never makes me feel more rested…it just makes me feel guilty that I’m not accomplishing more (I think I’m the only one in my family who feels this way).

5. Wallpaper is now pretty much obsolete…Jim had to go all over town to find some…it was on sale for $5/roll because the store was selling out of it.  It’s just as frustrating to put up now as it was 25 years ago (which is why I let him do it himself!).

This isn't Jim...

6. I’m grateful for what we have after finishing the book “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls.  This was our Book Club choice…it was a tough read because I was so outraged that no one did anything to help Jeannette and her siblings!  It’s amazing to me that they all survived with their sanity intact.

This book made me furious!

7. Small things excite me – finding out we had a cherry tree and blueberry bushes in our yard after living there a year-and-a-half was the highlight of my week (see https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/surprise-surprise-surprise/)!

8. The number of times Hope has to pee on a road-trip is roughly the number of miles divided by 25.  There’s Gravol for carsickness…I wish they’d come up with something for “travelbladder.”

We always give Hope this when we travel...

9. I’m loving the headphones Jim got me for my birthday…I can plug them into the computer, and listen to CBC “Concerts on Demand” while I work on my blog…Jim and Anna got a kick out of watching me “get down” to Garrett Mason and Colin Linden’s rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” yesterday (I think they were both giggling hysterically) http://bit.ly/c0dJcL .

10. Our hummingbirds are fearless…one buzzed my head while I was picking beans in the garden the other day…they like the nectar from the scarlet runner bean blossoms!

Hummingbirds love these blossoms...

11. Kids “can’t hear” you when you ask them to do chores, but announce that food is ready, and they’ll knock you over getting to the table!

12. I like my regular routine…as much as I love the kids, I really don’t want to be home with them every day!  I was happy to get up at 5:30 this morning and come to the bookstore, even though I have a ton of work to do.

A corner of our store...

Next vacation is in mid-August…

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Filed under books, family, gardening, music, nature, tourism, travel

Gorgeous Greenery…How My Garden Grows…

Fava Bean Blossoms...

Here are the promised photos from my garden, courtesy of one of my resident photographers, Jim.

The fava bean blossoms above are quite unusually-coloured…beans will be light brown when I get them.

Scarlet Runner Bean Blossoms...

These bean plants are supposed to grow 6 – 10 feet high…Dad pounded some poles in for them the other night.

Chinese Cabbage...

 My Chinese cabbage is doing well…regular green cabbage looks good too!

Mennonite Purple Stripe Runner Beans...

 We’re going to have a freezerful of pretty beans this summer!

Pea Blossoms...

My peas are thriving…already a couple of feet high and clinging to the strings Dad installed for them.

Yin-Yang Bean Blossoms...

 Strange…the black and white beans have plain white blossoms…

Blue Jay Bean Blossoms...

 More colourful beans!

Bull's Blood Beet Greens...

These are pretty sparse…luckily, Dad planted beets in his part of the garden too!

Front - Mild Mix Greens, Back - Tat Soi Greens...

If you look closely, you can see the holes in the leaves where the bugs have been munching them…we’ve already had several salads.

Silverbeet Swiss Chard...

 Not much Swiss chard either…Jim loves that!

Mixed Lettuce...

The mixed lettuce is almost ready to start picking…pretty contrast between dark and light…

Tomatoes Planted From Seed in Late May...

I’m hopeful that I’ll have some heirloom tomatoes after all (bought some plants as a backup just in case, but they’re neither heirloom nor organic!

Autumn Beauty Sunflowers...

The pesky critters have been chewing holes in the sunflower leaves too, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.

Pea Pods...

 Today, I was delighted to discover these pea pods on my Sugar Ann peas!

Scarlet Nantes Carrots...

These carrots are smaller than they look (about 3 inches high)…planted them between the pea plants.

Rutabagas?

I think this is rutabaga, but I’m not sure…Jim was snapping so many photos, I kind of lost track!

Cauliflower...

This is definitely cauliflower!

Not pictured: pumpkins, squash, cucumbers (their leaves look like demented doilies – they’ve been ravaged by insects); purple brussels sprouts, broccoli, bunching onions (forgot to photograph them); purchased tomato/pepper/chive plants (cheating!); spinach (last year’s gone to seed).

I’m optimistic that we’ll have good results from our garden this year…we could all benefit from more vegetables in our diets!

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Weekly Wrapup…

Tough to believe it’s Friday already…another week is almost finished…have only posted once this week, but I’ve been BUSY (honest!):

1. On Monday, I took Anna to find a bathing suit top…said bathing suit top had to be UNDERWIRE due to Anna’s genes from her father’s side of the family (let’s just say the women on my side of the family tend more towards pear-shaped).  Finding the perfect one took quite a while…it cost more than the last THREE complete bathing suits I bought for myself (keeping in mind that the kids spend my money so fast, I probably bought those suits over a 15-year period)!  Jim patiently waited on a bench in the mall while we completed our purchase…it took most of my cash (including coins) because the debit/credit machine wasn’t working…Murphy must have bought his bathing suit there just before we arrived…

2. We had Kaylee, Scott and Elise over for supper on Monday night…they had been away on vacation, and I hadn’t seen my “puddin-pop” in more than two weeks.  She is crawling now, and working on pushing her first two teeth through…can’t believe she’s nine months old already! 

Scott, Elise, and Kaylee on vacation...

3. I had a job interview on Tuesday…I felt it went well, but I haven’t heard anything yet…I’m hoping the guy’s as big a procrastinator as I am, and just hasn’t gotten around to calling me yet (I can dream, can’t I?)…

4. As I was coming back from the interview, I saw a woman my age wearing white overalls…apparently she didn’t get the memo that overalls on anyone over the age of 5 is not cute.  Does she have any idea how big her butt looks in those?

5. Tuesday night, I went out to check my garden: my squash plants were covered with cucumber beetles!  I normally like bugs, but not when they’re chewing holes in perfectly good leaves!  I sprayed them with soapy water, but they were back munching away within two hours!  I checked the Internet and found that I need to get some “good bugs” called “beneficial nematodes.”  In the course of my research, I also found that you can get 3 (count ’em) 1/3- cup bags of live ladybugs at Home Depot for $20 (ladybugs won’t help me with my problem, though).

There's about a dozen of these guys on each hill of my squash...

6. The rest of my garden was doing okay…was delighted to find that my new plantings of cucumbers and pumpkins were up, although the cucumber beetles may start on those soon too!  We’ve been eating Dad’s spinach from last year for the last two weeks…yummy!  The peonies and the wild roses have “popped” too.

7. As mentioned in previous posts, people are still bringing us books they want to get rid of faster than we can process them…in the past two weeks, I think I’ve priced more than 3 dozen boxes of books (some good, others a complete waste of time – seriously, have these people seen our store?).  I have 23 boxes of books that I can touch sitting in my chair at my desk (all done – waiting for people to come and pick up their money/rejects, and then the good ones will be processed and put away – wishing the “storage fairy” would do something about our little problem soon).  Dad and I have an appointment to visit a colleague’s warehouse on Sunday…he’s getting out of the business, and trying to unload his stock as quickly as possible (this is at least Dad’s fourth trip to the warehouse and my second – getting some good stuff).

8.  On Wednesday, I walked down to Harbour Station to pick up vouchers for the kids to go to the midway…got a couple of extras for my friend Brad’s kids…they’re coming to visit from Ontario next weekend!  We’ve got a lot of cleaning to do before they get here!

9.  My blogging friend, Jane, got back from her stepson’s wedding on Wednesday…she wrote a beautiful (and hilarious) post about the whole affair (http://planejaner.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/getting-them-married-grab-a-soda-and-a-sandwich-maybe-a-cookie-this-is-a-long-post/), which I greatly enjoyed reading last night.

10.  We stopped at Co-Op garden center last night to look for those “good bugs.”  No luck, but I did get some tomato/pepper/chive plants since I don’t think my inch-high ones are going to grow fast enough to produce anything before our very short growing season is over.  We tried Brunswick Nurseries too…they suggested Halifax Seeds (we’ll go there on the way home).  Brunswick Nurseries has added a couple of new critters to their domestic petting zoo (they made me think of my blogging friend, Nancy, who has 100 of these guys!):

Coffee and Cream - Two Baby Alpacas

Jim and I want to take Elise to see them soon!

11. For supper last night, we barbecued sausages, hot dogs and veggie burgers…I love the Portobello Swiss ones I’ve been getting at Superstore!  We also had our very first salad from the garden – a combo of lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, and tat soi…some of the leaves were a little holey (more bugs!), but it tasted amazing!  Leftovers in our lunches today…

12. I was out in the garden until after nine last night putting in my new plants.  Will have to get some more eggshells out to protect the tomatoes from our huge slug population!  I planted the chives in a broken terracotta pot, which I set between two of the peony bushes.  The fact that there’s dirt spilling out the side doesn’t bother me a bit.  When I was putting my hoe away, I noticed a bird feeder in the garage that Jim hadn’t discovered yet – it’s just like the one he put up a couple of weeks ago.  We’ve lost the suet feeder…it’s dropped into the bushes by our back steps, and despite his best efforts, Jim can’t find it (it is a bit challenging searching through unpruned roses/raspberry canes!).  Here’s a picture Jim took of the new feeder, which has had as many as six goldfinches perched on it at once:

Our Pretty Yellow Birds...

Tomorrow, we’re off to see the New River Beach Sand Sculpture competition…it’s my first time there…we’ll probably stop in Pennfield for blueberry shortcake too.  I haven’t decided what we’re doing for Father’s Day yet…will try to post some new garden photos later.

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Everything’s Coming Up Roses (at least in our yard!)…

I spent the evening in the garden again last night…rain was predicted for the next six days, so I felt the need to get rid of as many weeds as possible.  Dad and I hoed and weeded the entire plot.  His hoeing style and mine differ (is there a right way to hoe?).  He wore gloves, I didn’t…I got a blister, he didn’t.  I’m kind of proud of mine…another “battle scar” from the garden (along with the four wicked bug bites I got the other night – still don’t know what bit me, but the bites were UGLY!).

Here’s the photographic update from one of our resident photographers, Anna:

The broad beans are being left alone by whatever's chowing down on my yellow and green beans...

Tiny little broccoli...hoping we get some - everybody loves it!

The bush beans seem to be doing well...

The replanted cabbage is thriving...

The carrots are just coming up...planted them between the pea plants...

 

The replanted Chinese cabbage looks great...

 

One of the biggest green bean plants...

Lettuce...

Gourmet Lettuce Mix...

Mild Greens Mix...

One of the eight Morning Glory plants that are up so far...

Peas are doing amazingly well...starting to send out little viny tendrils...

These are pole beans...

 

These are going to be Purple Brussels Sprouts...surprising that even the plant has a purple tinge...

Rutabaga (I think)...wondering if someone rearranged my popsicle sticks labelling my rows...

These are my Autumn Beauty sunflowers...the whole row came up beautifully...

These are Tat Soi Greens...doing very well...

Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Winter Squash...

Red Kuri Winter Squash...

I’m still waiting for tomatoes…there are a few, but I don’t have any real hopes for them getting big enough to bear fruit…will probably end up buying plants.  Cucumbers are just poking their heads up out of the soil, and pumpkins should be up soon (only planted 3 pumpkin seeds).  No sign of the sweet peas I planted…seed may have been too old.  There are a few beet greens up, and almost no chard.  I haven’t seen the bunching onions I put in either…

I was muddy and sweaty when I came in last night…stripped off my “holy pants” (see this post for an explanation: https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/getting-down-to-the-nitty-gritty/) and put them in the garbage (after a small ceremony), as I had managed to make a hole on the other side – my finger went right through the worn denim.  I had a bath to get the grit from between my toes, and soak my weary bones…

I slept soundly all night until my alarm at 5:30 a.m. – didn’t even get up to go pee!  I was exhausted.  First stop this morning was the medicine cabinet for ibuprofen…my arthritic hips and feet were protesting.  It felt good though…

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Wackadoo Wednesday…

I’m borrowing the word, “wackadoo” from my friend, Jane, not because she’s “wackadoo”, but because she is the first person I ever heard use this particular word!

I apologize for the long spaces between postings in the past week…we’ve been busy both at home and at the store, so I haven’t had nearly as much computer time (or thinking time) as I would have liked.  I think this posting will be another collection of random items:

1. My middle daughter, Anna, got braces last week…her 12-year molar on the bottom is fused to the bone (she’s almost 16), and needs to be coaxed through, as is one eyetooth on the top.  After the orthodontist explained that leaving things alone could lead to more serious long-term issues, I talked to Anna’s father, and we made the decision to cough up $4000 for braces (his insurance is covering the other $2000 – hooray for orthodontic coverage!).  Unfortunately, Anna grinds her teeth at night.  Braces were put on Tuesday, and by Thursday, she’d ground the little blue rubber cushions at the back of her mouth down to mere nubs (these cushions were to keep her from biting down on her bottom bracket with her top teeth and breaking it)!  Back we went, where the technician installed BIGGER cushions.  Those were totalled by Sunday, and since Monday was a holiday, I had to wait until Tuesday to call the orthodontist again.  Our appointment is tomorrow…maybe they could install stainless steel cushions this time?

They don't look like they cost $6000, do they?

2. As previously mentioned, this past weekend was a holiday weekend (for Americans who are unaware, we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday the third Monday in May).  The weather was amazing – warm but with a nice breeze to keep from getting too sweaty!  I spent all day Saturday in the garden, except for a couple of hours we went grocery shopping and running errands.  I enjoyed listening to two birds having a conversation from two different trees – couldn’t see either of them, but it was fun to listen!  I hoed, pulled weeds, and finished planting (and replanting) all the vegetables.  At the top of the garden, I planted a full row of sunflowers I’m excited about – they only grow about 5 feet tall, but they come in 5 or 6 different colours – they’re called “Autumn Beauty.”  Beside the fence, I planted half a row each of sweet peas and morning glories – I’m hoping they’ll climb on the fence.  The flowers will be visible from our driveway out front too.

I hope my sunflowers are as pretty as these...

3. While I was in the garden, Anna was painting Jim’s big birdhouse on the side porch – it’s absolutely gorgeous!  Will post pictures later…flowers and bugs and leaves, oh my!  There’s a potential for 24 bird homes inside. 

4. When I woke up Sunday morning, I was pretty sore, but put on my “holy pants” (see this post for a better description:  https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/getting-down-to-the-nitty-gritty/) and an old T-shirt, and went back outside to water our garden.  The outside faucet is at the front of the house, and the garden is at the side of the back yard.  This necessitates dragging the hose several hundred feet around the corner and through the gate.  Combine this with a nozzle that definitely isn’t worth the $10 I paid for it (a 3-year-old boy could pee with more force!), and 25 feet of useless “coiled” hose at the end of my 100 feet of heavy duty hose, leaking connectors everywhere…let’s just say I was ready to spit nails after the 45 minutes that exercise took!  I stripped off my sodden clothes, and went to town to pick up Hope at her dad’s, and do a couple more errands.  Saturday was Kaylee’s birthday, and I had invited her and her family over for supper on Sunday- I needed to pick up a gift card for her at the mall.  When I arrived at the agreed-upon store, there were signs up everywhere saying they were closing…after a frantic phone call to Kaylee, she suggested I just get a mall gift card instead.  The “errands” took about three hours, and I still hadn’t made supper yet!  I also wanted to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie for Kaylee’s birthday (cake doesn’t seem to disappear very fast around our house).  Instead of the lasagna I’d promised her, we agreed on BBQ – I tried some portobello mushroom/swiss veggie burgers I bought – they were yummy!  Everybody else had steak, hamburgers, hot dogs or sausage.  I made a huge potato salad too.  With store-bought crust, the pie turned out to be delicious.  My granddaughter was dressed in her new spring dress, which is totally useless for demonstrating her newfound crawling ability, but cute as a button!

Elise - 8 months old...

5.  Jim’s daughter, Brianna, got home late Sunday night after a whirlwind school trip to Quebec City.  She had a great time!  Brianna brought me home some little cheese spreaders with bumblebees on them – the kids were quite amused when I called them “ladybugs” – I was a little tired…

6. Monday was another beautiful day…however, I wanted to make spaghetti sauce.  I watered the garden again, and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen.  We were invited to Jim’s mom’s for his brother-in-law, Chris’ birthday supper…we enjoyed another BBQ with Jim’s whole family and the birthday boy’s parents.  Jim’s mom had made baked beans, which I don’t get to eat at our house because Jim doesn’t like them!  Shirley told me that the recipe had come from an 82-year-old man at their church…it was amazing!  Jim’s dad offered us a raised bed from their back yard, which I’ll use to put my perennials in.  Afterward, Chris’ parents followed us home and got some rhubarb from our yard.  Then I built a lasagna with the spaghetti sauce, and fell, exhuausted, into bed.

Chris and his dog, Bella...

7.  Anna woke me up from a sound sleep about 2 a.m.  Our dog, Jake, had been “acting funny” for about three hours, and had just thrown up.  I went downstairs and discovered that he was completely out of water – I had no idea how long it had been that way.  I curled up on the loveseat, where I dozed for the next 2 1/2 hours.  Jake seemed to settle down after that.  We still don’t know what was wrong with him, although I suspect the part pieces of Popsicle sticks I’ve been finding around the living room have something to do with his discomfort…

8.  Tuesday morning, I went in to the bookstore, photographed three boxes of books, edited and uploaded the photos to the net, and then appraised four more boxes of books.  We have more books than we have space for…I have no idea where we’re going to put them all!  Getting some good stuff though…was fun to see issues of Cosmopolitan magazine from the early 1900’s – nary a mention of sex – it was actually a literary magazine then!

February, 1909 Cosmo...What...no cleavage?

9.  Tuesday was also my mom’s birthday – she died in September, 2007.  I wish she could have met Jim, his kids and especially her first great-granddaughter, Elise!  I miss her every day, although I’m happy she’s not in pain any more!

Mom...

10.  Today, I’m at the store.  I appraised two more boxes of books, and Anna helped me hook up a new printer that I bought.  I have a new project which I’m excited about and will talk more about later.   We’ve had two more people offer us books today – we don’t have room! 

I’ve enjoyed reading my blogging sisters’ work this week – some deep thoughts there – check out the links at the right…I’ll try to get back here on a little more regular basis, but if the weather’s nice, I’ll be outside!

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

Introducing Anna, Guest Photographer…Part 2…

I’m working in my garden again today…here’s what’s happening in my yard:

Herbs and lettuce the squirrel hasn't destroyed yet...

These are my broad beans...I thought they looked like rabbit ears...

This little guy was hanging out in my garden...hope he wasn't contemplating chowing down on my beans...

These are apple blossoms which have blown off the tree...

It won't be long before we have peonies...

Blossom on the flowering crab...

Purple Lilacs at the front of the house...

White lilacs at the back of the house...

I’m coming down the home stretch on finishing the planting…still have to replant the tomatoes and onions that Jake destroyed…may buy some plants for backup!

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Filed under gardening, nature, photos

Introducing Anna…Guest Photographer…

I’ve been really busy the last few days…I apologize for the silence…I hope to be back to normal within the next little while!

In the meantime, here are some photos my 15-year-old daughter took:

Yummy...

Bird Silhouette...

Blossoming Trees...

Blue Jay on the Barbie...

2010 NB Provincial Junior Cheerleading Champions...Harry Miller Middle School Bears...

Love at the Feeder...

Fat and Happy...

Hope in her new dress...

Spectacular Rainbow...

Mr. Innocent...

"I'm not doing anything..."

"Let me off this merry-go-round!"

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Filed under family, nature, photos