Archive for December, 2010

Thoroughly Thursday

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December 30, 2010

Whoever said “don’t get on the computer first thing in the morning” was smart!  Or not.  It is so easy to spend time searching, downloading updates for various software.  Time passes so swiftly.

I’ve gone from watching the sun rise, seeing the frost sparkle on the deck … to watching birds, squirrels and neighbourhood cats frolicking in the yard .. I try to get the squirrels and other cats out!

Look at the time and see hours have sped by!  This was going to be another recycling morning .. but the brilliant sun in a clear blue sky beckons me outside .. so there I go.  Camera, ipod, hat, scarf, gloves and the full bag of flatted oats for my little pals.


Brrr .. my walk started off in bitter cold weather.  Almost turned back several times, as the cold wind was chilling.  Kept going…. gradually I warmed up enough to go for a long walk.  Busy day at the Sanctuary today.  Passed a couple out walking … noticed some icy patches on the pathway and frost on the weeds and grasses along the way.

Listening to the soft breeze making its way amongst the long graceful stems of the marsh grasses, seeing their gently swaying motions, like a graceful naturalistic impromptu ballet of the plant kind.  Stopping several times just to listen to these peaceful sounds.  Very soothing. My feet make crunchy noises as I make my way along the frozen ground.  At one area along the path, intermingling footsteps and pawprints are frozen , like a brief time capsule, showing the imprinted evidence of a busy pathway.

Finally, to the observatory and, wearing my tougher, non-slip walking shoes, I walk confidently along the frost covered walkway.   I see someone has been there before me and has left some flatted oats on the bench for the ducks, so they have had an earlier feast.

I throw some oats on the water .. and finally, Mr & Mrs and another female  swim along and fly up and over onto the boardwalk.  Mr is very bossy and shoves Mrs & her pal out of the way.  I toss more and more oats around, enough for everyone.  The frosty boards cause little duckies to slip and slide and they just finally lie down and jab at the seeds.    They don’t even bother with a quantity of the seeds, so they must just be husks.  Or they are saving them for later.

A walking group comes along .. turns out there is a ladies group and a mens group.  Today is the mens group and some have brought their wives.  They are picking up others along the way, so ask if I am so and so’s wife .. shaking my head, no, I’m a solitary walker.  Photos were taken and I try to keep to the side.   Today’s visit is the first time to Swan Lake for a number of the group and they were suitably impressed! 

Quiet for a time .. then along come 2 gentlemen, earnestly discussing wordly affairs.  Even though they are looking out at the water and the birds, I doubt that these surroundings have  made any sort of impression on them today.  

As I’m leaving, I see a couple of moms with their energetic kids, out for a walk along the trails.  I think maybe they are trying to walk the chocolate out of the kiddies systems.  I ask if they will be walking out on the boardwalk and mom # 1 shakes her head ”definitely not” … most likely realizes the kiddies have way too much energy for the docile ducks.  I would have given them some oats for the birds.  oh well, save them for my return trip.

On my way to the shops, make some purchases.  Walking in the sun.  Along the trestle, I stop, seeing a bedraggled gray squirrel, awkwardly straddling some branches of a hawthorn tree .. as it ravenously munches away on the berries.  In another tree I see a jolly red robin dining out also!  Took some photos and continued on my way.

Not many people out walking at this midday and traffic seems a little light.  Perhaps many people took time off work to enjoy this weather.

On my way back, stop at the observatory and see many Canada Geese fand seagulls floating by .. first time I’ve seen them so close and wonder why.   The answer is supplied by a happy couple sitting on the bench.  They’ve been feeding them bread and, like kiddies, the geese want more.  Sadly, they have run out of bread.  I offer the couple some of my seed supply and in vain, the hubby tries to get a goose to eat the oats from his hand.  No go. 

Seeing the multigrain loaf of bread in my shopping bag, he asks for a slice for the geese.  I remind him that the Sanctuary prefers oats to bread as bread has empty calories.  I open up the loaf and hand over a slice.  His wife offered to give me $5 for the bread, but I decline and give them the balance of the oats.

They laughed and said that a seagull actually sat on a duck and the duck was submerged in the water.  I really wasn’t amused.   Promise myself to never ever feed bread to the birds in this area.  Seagulls don’t like oats. 

As I walk away, I see Mr & Mrs in the side marshes … looking a little desolate.   Tomorrow I’ll bring over some oats for them.  Not bread.  Oats.

Quick lunch and I actually take my car out for a drive.  I’ve rarely driven in the past few months, having decided to enjoy and talk long long walks.  So it really feels like a treat to get behind the wheel and head out to the highway.

Returning home, I head to Bordens to pick up a 20 kg bag of flatted oats.  Those ducks won’t go hungry this winter.  Only $13 for this gigantic bag, much more economical than buying bulk.

This afternoon I’ve noticed a number of incredibly beautiful bright, shiny, vintage automobiles driving around.  It wasn’t practical to take photos each time I saw one.  There were 2 red vehicles, a bright green and an orange.  Bet the owners just couldn’t let their cas sit in the garage on such a bright shiny day like today.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010.   The threshold of a new year beckons.  Brand new.  New beginnings. Love this.

Watched a bit of tv this morning. a gentleman was talking about weight loss.  About having fewer high calory drinks daily, resulting in a 30 plus weight loss over the year.  I wonder if he was referring to wine?  Surely not!!!  🙂

Yea!!!   Received delivery of 10 more bales of hay.  Glad I ordered these as the supply is rapidly diminishing!  Using one of my travelling tarps, I drag the bales, one by one, into the back yard.   Tomorrow I’ll spread them around the yard.  That makes a total of 21 bales…. just enough.  Found out there is more leaf mulch .. at a park which is too far away for me to economically make a number of trips.  Well .. I’m sufficiently supplied with mulch and hay.  Now I’ll just order a truckload of aged manure and my yard will be all set.  Oh, happy day.


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Whirling Wednesday

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December 29, 2010

Another Wednesday arrives … this one is frosty!  Sun is shining in the cloud streaked blue sky.

There is much excitement at the bird feeder … happy little birds flitting about, nibbling at the seed overflowing from the bottom trays.  They dart in and fly away.  Looking through my birdbook, I’m unable to identify one bird, looks like a robin, but resembles a junko also. 

Where to start today …. hmmm… methinks a long walk is in order .. shake off the cobwebs, breathe in the cool frosty air.  Energize myself for the rest of the day!

The shopping frenzy is over and soon there will be store flyers announcing new and improved electronics, get ready for summer, all that sort of thing.  Time to start getting back into shape for all the gardening ahead. 


Just couldn’t resist the lure to shop today, so I gave in and went over to a local mall, to see what was available in the way of sales.  Picked up a beautiful birding book “The Stokes field Guide to the Birds of N.A.” full colour photographs and complete with a cd of over 600 bird sounds.  That is simply amazing, considering that the last bird book I purchased was the Golden “A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of N.A.  over 10 years ago, no photos, but beautiful detailed coloured drawings of birds.  I’d bought that in the wonderful old Woodwards store for $11.95 .. still has the sticker on the book!   The book I purchased today cost about $4. more .. not much but what a difference.

So that was my little treat.  And in trying to identify the strong looking bird I saw this morning, not sure, but it resembles a Spotted Towhee .. I’ll have to get a closer look at the bird, as the Towhee has red eyes.   This bird had the “dark hood and upperparts, contrasting with the reddish-brown flanks “.. 

I found myself being drawn to sewing magazines, there is such a variety now.  Looking through the articles, rediscovering my enthusiasm to create items from fabric.  This led me to the local fabric store where I wandered through the aisles, imagining once again making clothes, drapes, etc.  A wonderful world full of creativity and  imagination.

Back home, I finally changed into my gardening outfit and out the door to play with the leaf mulch.  Distributed the final containers onto my hay mountain in the back yard .. now I just have to wait for the rain and weather to break down this leaf/hay mixture into lovely lovely soil.

Looked again at the side yard, remembering the transition from an impassable section of wild blackberries, and as a storage area for miscellaneous yard items.   I’d cleared all of that away.   Dragged over many containers of washed gravel, installed a pathway, then took that apart and created a narrower pathway, allowing more growing area.  Placed bricks along the gravel and formed narrow sections along the length of the path, for small ground covers to grow.

Planted some bushes and vines and topped all the growing surfaces with a layer of hay and luscious leaf mulch.  Quite a change in this little area … feels like a vital garden area now.  Look forward to continuing with this section in the summer.  How delicious.

Decided to order more hay .. so 10 bales should be delivered soon.  I’l break the bales open and layer this in a small part of the yard … where it will break down by summer.  Looking forward to the beautiful garden soil for my summer vegetables!

Had a chat with a neighbour who was pruning some fruit trees.  Talked about the various old varieties of apple trees in the neighbourhood.  Learned that the Doukhobors had planted some European apple trees on Piers Island.  (I searched and found that they were actually held there in a sort of penitentiary for a short term).  Interesting.

Enjoyed being out in the sunshine.  Watching the birds scurrying about for the bird seed.  Decided to act on my neighbours’ advice, to put only about a cup of seed in the feeder, in the  morning.  Then the birds will focus on cleaning up the seed that falls on the ground, leaving less for rodents.  Sage advice.  I promptly removed most of the seed from the feeder!


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Tranquil Tuesday

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December 28, 2010

Well .. another day .. to be lazy, do whatever.   Nice to have the opportunity to take a pause.   Have put my years in, working  crazy hours – both job-wise, house-wise, craft-wise, dance-wise.  Not that I’d want to spend every day in idleness, nice to have the opportunity to indulge, though.

Soon enough, I’ll be back to sorting, cleaning, organizing, all the usual .. so that makes these few days of laziness that much sweeter.

We went for a drive today, almost went flying, that didn’t work out .. so we went to Mary’s Bleue Moon!!!  Supper early .. and then home!

Stopped by Dakota Cafe … garden is still thriving.  Many plants are still in good health … snapdragons, thymes, rosemary, sages, Vietnamese coriander .. is a tender perennial .. most of the mature branches are not in good shape, however, a glimmer of hope .. new growth at the base!!   Wonder if the Pineapple Sage will return? 

Happy plants.  Look forward to setting in more plants in the cement circles by the fenced areas.  I’ll be planting heat loving plants in these.  Sages.  Euphorbia. Lots of plants!  Love this!

Weather today is mild, with periods of sun.  Enjoyed watching all the birds flying about, flitting through branches … happy & chirping away to each other.

Watching tv, seeing some comedies, then, viewing Hollywood trivia .. beautiful people with lots of money, still aren’t happy … begs the question:  Does money bring happiness?  Answer depends on where you are.  Money pays the rent/mortgage/utilities/food/car/gas/insurance.  Anything over is gravy.  How much do we really need?  I’m hearing more and more about simplicity, living our lives with the basics and being content.  Less is more.  All that sort of thing.

And when I think about that, I have to agree.  For years, I’ve been buying “things” that I thought I needed, but never used.  Glad that I kept those things, cause now is when I can use them.  Those “things” that I overbought are all crafty items, creative things … fabric, wool, beads, wire, beading kits … so I’m very happy for that.  Now is when I can start using them.

I look forward to a summer filled with creativity.  Both with my small gardening business and also to my other fun activities .. sewing (outside, in the sun!!!) beading (outside, in the sun!!)


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Marvellous Monday

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December 27, 2010

Weather is overcast, some rain, no snow!!!  Not like back East .. terrific snowstorms, brrrrrr …… we are extremely lucky out here.

The past two days were relaxing .. a chance to cook, to dine out, go to dinner at relatives.  Lots of food, and all the good stuff that goes along with that!

My dh surprised me with a Garmin and now I’ll have to work hard at getting lost!  We tried it out last night .. and found that it shows the shortest routes, which weren’t always the routes that we chose originally.  Thinking that these were the best .. so might be time to change our routes, to test the validity of this.  Although, can’t go wrong with gps!

I’m trying out the different voices.  The Garmin defaults to British English .. and today I’m trying Afrikaan … I’m going to try and download some various accents too, that should be fun.

Today, sort of back to reality .. dishes, laundry, the usual humdrum .. trying not to open the Turtles candies … must .. .stop .. must .. stop ….

Looking forward to feeding the little duckies later on.

I like this brief window into being lazy and not feeling bad about it.    Soon enough, I’ll be watching my diet, drinking copious amounts of water, exercising…. however, for now … maybe just one more Turtle ….


Finally .. out for a little walk!  A little brisk when we started out …  and amazing how the air warmed up, once we got going!

Saw some ducks on the lake .. couldn’t entice them with the flatted oats .. they must have had their food quota for the day.  Saw some Canada Geese swimming around in a group.   A beautiful heron was settled in the grasses .. looking for an afternoon snack.  Noticed that the waters had receded, the marsh grasses were more evident, now that the water levels are more or less at their regular levels.

Not many people on the Goose at this time, mid-afternoon.

Saw homing pigeons, settling in for a rest .. most likely had a long afternoon of flying around in circles! 

Enjoying learning how to navigate my gps!  Changing voices ….wondering what the ultimate range of choices will be!

Home, Dh preparing supper .. yum yum . enjoying another relaxing evening .. back to reality soon!

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Festive Friday

December 24, 2010

I’ve really missed my daily walks during these past few days.  Driving around town on errands, shopping have taken up most of the time.   However, it’s also been a very enjoyable few days.

The best part of the time has been talking with people, bumping into old friends.  Revisiting old haunts, places I used to visit, or walk by as a daily habit.  Walking by these areas reminds me of how much I’ve come to love this town with all of its eccentricities, personalities of buildings.  Little pockets of calm, clean little coffee houses, amazingly beautiful furniture stores .. Sagers .. wow .. I’m drawn into their windows .. just to gaze at the lovely furniture within.

The vital shops on Fisgard Street .. and Market Square. I remember when I first moved here .. I happened to venture into the Market S. entrance, had absolutely no idea of the incredible out of time atmosphere that awaited me.   Just stood there … trying to take in the medeival courtyard, the walkways .. the sheer personality of this space.   Timeless.  It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I was and still am, so very glad that this place retains its character.  thank you thank you thank you thank you.

I remember way back, not having any furniture, I obtained some thin walled packing crates from a store in this area.  I upholstered some foam squares, made into fashionable cushions, positioned these on the p/crates and voila, I had an instant sofa.  Was I proud!  Something from nothing and it was beautiful too.

We are blessed with beautiful architectural buildings in our city.  One building I would absolutely love to walk through, before it is remodelled, is the old hotel, by the train station, on Store Street.   I’ve seen pictures in the paper and it seems to be a beautiful building,  Winding staircases, high ceilings.   I seem to have read somewhere that it is going to be remodelled .. that will be interesting to see .. if the public will be allowed there.

Anyway, another thing I’ve noticed, when shopping, either downtown or in the malls … people seem to be more relaxed.  There is always time for a smile or a laugh as we all cross each others paths, in store entrances or in the wide pedestrian walkways.  The hardworking sales staff are doing their best to find all items requested.   Having worked in a department store years ago .. I remember how challenging it was to try and find things for people.   The  minor miracles in finding treasures looked for.  The feeling of satisfaction in helping customers out with their gift wishes. 

Soon I’ll be setting off for a few final gifts ..  one last time!

Here is a recipe for Christmas treats, given to me by my friend, M!!  These are just incredible delicious and were very easy to make .. here goes:

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.  Place salted soda crackers side by side on
the foil until the cookie tray is full.
In a saucepan heat 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of white sugar until boiling
(foamy).  Spread the mixture on the soda crackers and put in the oven @ 350
degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. (watch in the oven as this mixture foams over the surface .. it looks like sponge toffee!)
Sprinkle 1 pkg. Semi-sweet chocolate chips on this as soon as it comes out of
the oven.  Spread as it melts. (I put half chocolate chips, half butterscotch)
Refrigerate until cold and then break apart.
Different levels of sweetness in chocolate can be used, unsweetened, sweetened,
butterscotch or maybe mint?  Also, some salted peanuts or toasted almonds would be good too.  (I sauteed sliced almonds in butter and  then sprinkled over)

omg .. these were just too delicious.  I made a large pan!  If there are any left this afternoon, I’ll take a picture and post.   They are incredibly delicious.  Thank you M!!!

I have another recipe, not sure if I copied this from the paper … spinach balls.  Again, easy, and so delicious:

Spinach Balls

  • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach (defrosted), approx 300 grams each
  • 1 egg  & 2 egg whites  (I just used 2 whole eggs)
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 package chicken stuffing mix, approx 120 grams
  • 1 cup grated light Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F.  Squeeze a small portion of the moisture from defrosted spinach and place in a large mixing bowl.   Add whole egg and egg whites (reserve 1 yolk for the Sweet Hot Mustard).  (I just used the 2 whole eggs)   Finely chop green onions, adding to bowl as you chop.   Add stuffing mix, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Stir ingredients until well combined. Feel free to use your hands.   Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. (I just used parchment paper)   Form mixture into bite size balls and place on baking sheet. Place in hot oven for about 15 minutes 

Sweet Hot Mustard (I didn’t bother with this)

  • 1/4 cup dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Whisk dry mustard and vinegar together in a small stove top pot. Whisk in sugar and egg yolk until combined.   Cook mustard at medium heat until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and let stand to cool. 

I’ve seen recipes for these on cooking sites and some use grated nutmeg .. so there are a variety of versions.


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Thoughtful Thursday

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December 23, 2010

What a difference a day makes!  Yesterday was bright, sunny, warm -like a spring day.  Howling winds last night (just like Tuesday night) brought the rain this morning.  However, I have this funny little feeling that the weather might turn nice this afternoon, so I’ll be trying to get my shopping/chores/some household things done before noon.  If it’s sunny, I’m outside.

We went to see Polar Express last night … every time we watch this film, there is always something different to see.  The lineup started small and quickly escalated as excited families queued up, tickets in hand, awaiting the door to open, open, open.  We had to shift our places often as huge tubs of popcorn moved their way to the front of the line.

I don’t think I could ever get tired of watching this film.  Incredibly magnificent, with superb tiny details.  My favourite part, of course, is the “hot, hot” dancing waiter routine.  Amazing.  Steve Tylor playing the guitar is sweet!  And when I remember to focus on the train as it is wending its way up the moutain, just before entering the North Pole (before the singing bit) for a few seconds I can see the engineer and the red haired guy working away in the locomotive. 

Time to go .. need to get things done so I can fit in another visit to the duckies this morning.

Interesting to see if the sun does come out this afternoon, fingers, toes and eyes crossed!


What a busy day .. driving all over the city today, it seems.  Sure feels different to drive instead of walking … for one thing, its way faster. Although I absolutely love the long long walks in the early morning.

Went to our Chinatown, on Fisgard Street.  Hadn’t really shopped there for years, what with one thing and another.  I’d forgotten how beautiful the buildings, shops and surroundings were.  And me without my camera!  Next sunny day I’ll make a point of strolling down there and take lots of photos.   Colourful exotic vegetables at good prices.   I love the stores which keep the original inner walls, shelves and floors of the stores.  There is an honesty and simplicity there that one could never find anywhere else.

I remember a coworker, years ago, took a small group of us to the upper floors of one building.  On the walls there were older musical instruments .. and from what I understood, if someone knew how to play a particular instrument, then that particular item was taken down from the wall for that use.

There were rows of folding chairs, for the audience to sit on.  Our friend sang a song about the workers who came from China to B.C., to work on the railroads.  It felt like being transported back to another time.

One of my favourite stores on Fisgard starts off with a few rooms in the front,  the next room has a gigantic wok, built into stonework,  it’s genuine and the largest wok I’ve ever seen.  Currently, it’s covered up and just resembles a flat top table and items for sale are gracing the surface.  Then there is a little tiny hallway opening up to more rooms.  In the hallway area itself -both to the right and the left are replica scenarios of every day life.   Entering the next room, I look up to the ceiling, looking for the (pretend) arm that used to be there, gathering up the remnants of a ladder.  I don’t see that today, maybe the new owner has changed that.

There is also a large glass display case, showing many artifacts, a history of the early years of Victoria.  Then there are a few more rooms, all holding a great variety of goods.   Fun.

This store is just an amazing treasure house of beautiful items.  I’ll be returning again to shop and shop and shop.

Then I sought a series of one of our favourite tv programs .. so went to both stores in the chain that sold videos etc.  This involved driving to 2 malls and finding parking spaces, say no more!  Came home with a complete set.  Realized that I’d not chosen the series that I’d meant to buy.  Darn!  Ah well … there is always next year.   I just don’t feel like making the effort to go out and rejoin the traffic.  Maybe later. or tomorrow.  or not.

The weather is very windy today … and I did see some sun in the early afternoon and tiny little patches of blue sky.  Saw a little flock of ducks trying to fly in a particular direction, but the couldn’t penetrate the headwind so gave up and changed their course.

Finally, finally home …. gather up all my various parcels and home sweet home!   Yorkshire tea and a bowl of soup and I feel human again.

One thing I noticed today about drivers …. there was an air of courtesy, letting cars in ahead of them … no mad darting between cars.  Oh, except for a faded red truck, who sort of side hopped into the lane ahead of me, no signals.  Well, there is always one and that was it.

Looking out the window right now, I see the trees waving about, wonder about going outside to move that mulch.   Remembering how very windy it really is .. I decided against that.  I’ll make this a fun afternoon by baking and cooking.  That’s creative.  And I have the ingredients ..

Well, I made the mistake of looking out the window.  I spied with my little eye .. my little Anna hummingbird, flying about, and settling at the top of the plum tree.  To my left I see blue sky.

Reaching for the mouse, and shutting down the machine … to transform into my gardening guise and off I go!!


The wind was howling as I busily shovelled mulch into containers and then took them to the back yard.  At times the tall trees in the neighbourhood were swaying with the strong winds.  Whipping the tarp beneath the mulch, I weighed down the corners with large rocks and then quickly worked away.  Finally, all mulch shovelled up.  The winds assisted me in folding up the huge tarp

So now, in the backyard,   I now have, on a huge tarp, a layer of mulch, thick layer of hay, a layer of mulch a thick layer of hay , followed with … a layer of mulch!  This should make a lovely mix of soil by spring.  Then I’ll distribute this around the circumference of the yard.

And I’ve decided to order about 8 more bales of hay .. and will let them settle for the winter .. again. … lovely soil for the spring.

Light is dimming and it’s not just my eyes!  Nightfall is early, and time to go inside. 

It’s been a great day and now time to relax, prepare supper, bake some treats and that’s it!


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Wayward Wednesday

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December 22, 2010

Early start to the day today!  Up at dawn .. and out the door .. full moon shining .. no camera handy!!

Driving around town in the dark, the streets look so different .. it is like another world!  Travelled on a series of wrong roads, found some no-exit streets, then found myself driving out to Craigflower .. not the right direction, so turned around.  This is one of the busiest stretches of road in the city.  I would never knowingly travel here at the best of times, bumper to bumper.  This time of the morning, early, early, early … hardly any traffic and I get a chance to admire the lovely traffic calming islands that abound here.

Finally driving in the right direction.   I almost start my shopping, look at my watch, still too early.  Home for Yorkshire tea and read the paper.  I’d love to start shovelling the mulch, but don’t want to look like Pig Pen from Charley Brown .. just yet, plenty of time this afternoon for that!

Made up my list and out the door to shop.  With camera.  You just never know what amazing sights remain to be seen this morning!.


 What a brilliant sunny day this has been! I spent time travelling here and there for various shopping reasons.  Travelled at a good time of the day, traffic was light.  Driving on the Pat Bay, I saw a flock of snow geese flying overhead, they were flying low and it appeared as if they were going to settle on some fields nearby.  Wanted to just pull over to the side of the highway and watch them, but this wasn’t the time.

Travelled out to the Stonehouse pub … beautiful grounds and lovely buildings.  I see that the outside seating area is now covered by a large canvas cover, like a crazy umbrella.  There are those lovely outside gas heaters and a large number of tables and chairs are placed neatly under the dome.  This looks like quite the party place.

Went there looking to buy some gift certificates, however, they aren’t set up for these yet.  Perhaps sometime in the future. 

So I ventured down to the water’s edge … by the Piers Island walkway.  Tide was in, so I couldn’t wander the little beach area.   Funny, whenever I used to go for a lunchtime walk, the tide was usually out, so I could pick my way along the sand and rocks, find a place to settle down, eat my lunch and gaze at the water.  Then walk about, looking for any unusual rocks or shells!  Usually had good conversations with kayakers there .. it’s a terrific spot for them to launch.  It felt a bit strange to see the water completely covering the areas where I used to walk – well, tide goes in, tide goes out!

Then I drove around the Peninsula for a bit, enjoying the quiet, winding roads and the verdant countryside.  My oh my, don’t we live in a beautiful part of the country!  Sandy ocean beaches, great forests, lovely woodlands & meadows.  All within a drive, or, now that the Goose extends everywhere, by foot, bicycle or electric bike.

Finally ….. shopping done, I move the groceries, bag by bag, a mixture of paper and cloth bags today .. from the car .. to the steps .. up the stairs to the porch .. to the living room .. down the hall . .to the kitchen!! Then, appropriately . .to the freezer, fridge, cupboard – eventually all is put away.  We are set for awhile!.

Lunch, and then, finally, oh, at long long last … finally .. I change into my gardening outfit and out the door!!!

I start my afternoon with moving mulch to the backyard, covering hay strewn areas with a light covering of my coveted, valuable, treasured leaf mulch.  Take time out to observe the birds.  They have started to be aware of the suet filled mesh bag and it’s so cute to see them go through the process .. .what’s that?  one bird latches on to the suet, nibbles away, particles fall to the ground, other birds zoom in to munch on the fallen grain/suet mixture.

Then I play around with the hay, cutting the binder twine – thump – thwang – and the twine springs away . .. and I then start taking some of the hay slices to various areas in the garden.

I don’t have that much of precious leaf mulch, so decided to stretch the supply that I do have.  I’ve placed a large tarp on part of the yard.  (omg, what would we gardeners do without those valuable tarps, both for moving garden soil/leaves around, protect garden areas as shade, waterproof protectors and other uses)

On top of the tarp, I’ve placed a layer of leaf mulch.   Then  on top of this – I’ve positioned the thick hay tablets and then shovelled a layer of leaf mulch.  I’ll leave this till the spring … by which time the hay should be pretty much soil .. then I can distribute this lovely mixture around the yard.

And .. I think I’ll order more of that wonderful hay .. as I remember Ruth Stout used bales for perimeters for garden areas.

So happy to have had the opportunity to work outside in the sunshine .. fingers crossed we’ll be so lucky tomorrow.  Irregardless of the weather, unless it is snowing, I plan to finish moving the balance of the mulch and play around with the hay.

What a beautiful day this has been.

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