Posts Tagged ‘hot sunny day’

Sunday, October 9, 2011

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A slightly overcast morning quickly turned into a hot sunny day!  We travelled to Dakota Cafe for a late Sunday breakfast.   Arrived at a perfect time, between the crowds.

Noticed the plants are all doing well right now … no trimming needs to be done.  I’ll bring out some lavender paint to colour the cement circles .. one of these days!

Dac was a busy guy today .. not only did he cook the meals, but he brought them to our table .. what a great guy he is!  Not to mention, one terrific chef!   He is offering authentic Vietnamese meals on Tuesdays!!

Wah, DH is working days so we won’t be able to take advantage of these dishes for a while.   We both look forward to trying his authentic meals.

Anyway, homeward bound .. DH and I each start our chosen chores and work away.

I’m so enjoying changing the shape of the veggie / berry / garlic garden.   Spent a few hours in the (lovely) hot sun .. digging away.  Shovelling out some more grassy clay soil .. reclaiming this for the garlic portion of the garden.

Then .. time for me to join DH in shopping for items, renovations being done to the house .. so out we go.   And along the way, I find a good deal on Clematis plants (so I purchase 2) and another perennial hedging plant … name escapes me . .so I’ll have to note this tomorrow.   Anyway, it’s been fun.

Awhile later . .. back home, items unloaded .. we carried them upstairs … DH begins work and I rush to my garden.  Where I spend some time digging, sifting, sorting stones from weeds and lovely free soil to spread around the garden.

I play around with edging the garden bed with my surplus bricks .. and it looks great.  I just need to work on straightening the row .. that will happen.  Rain is predicted for tomorrow, but that won’t stop me from playing outside.

I’m digging up the 10 blueberry plants .. heh heh heh .. I have plans for them.  They will be ( I think) the featured centre of the berry garden.

I hadn’t seen the birds feeding on the sunflower seed heads that I’d left hanging from the tree branches, so I gathered up most of them and interwoven them in the sides of the garden arch.   And noticed that the Anna’s weren’t going to the h/bird feeder that I’d hung from the tree branches, so I moved the feeder to the arch.  Delighted to look out the window this morning and see the Anna’s at the feeder, the chickadees busily picking away at the sunflower seeds.

Kept looking up at the sky … today, couldn’t see any eagles soaring or Turkey Vultures (from yesterday).   Did see some seagulls.

Too soon .. dusk is approaching.  The little Anna buzzes around .. I don’t look up .. I know that he is checking out the territory before approaching the h/bird feeder.  Carefully I lift my head .. and see that he is quietly feeding away.    I’ve mixed up a 3:1 ratio of sugar/water today .. saving this for the cold fall days.  Currently there is a 4:1 ratio mixture in both the front and back feeders.

Time to end my playtime outside.   I’ve made progress.   Digging away at the clay soil, playing around with using bricks as edges for the veggie garden.   Putting the old strawberry planter (belong to my DH’s grandfather!) on a circle of cement that DH had poured for a long-ago garden fence.    Perfect.

I gather all my toys and head inside ..time to start our Thanksgiving supper .. spaghetti!

Soon the water is boiling, the spaghetti is placed in the pot.  Butter is being melted.    Cheese (especially Mazithra) is being shredded.   My lovely (purchased) pesto is awaiting.

And so we plate up our spag .. no turkey or ham for us on this day.   Lovely supper.

A quiet night.

Look forward to tomorrow .. rain .. or ..shine!


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yesterday, hot sunny day…. we drove to Port Alberni . early in the morning.  DH worked hard to earn his sailplane license.

I went for yet another flight .. half an hour this time.  I am so totally addicted to this now.  To hear the magical ever-increasing high pitching musical tones of the variometer, indicating the uplift of thermals.

Soaring along the Beaufort Ridge … seeing ravens flying along the rocky surface.  My pilot Matt noted that there are nests up there and he sees them all the time.

Oh, the magical sensation of soaring through the air.  Watching the world roll by.

We also did a high-speed  low and over and, if anything, that was the icing on the cake.  The glider flew so fast and sounded like a jet over the airstrip.

Too soon (half an hour) we landed.   Wah.

I look forward to another flight today and I’ll be making a HD video and will post it either later today or tomorrow.

I would willingly live in a hut for the rest of my days if I could look forward to many more flights in a sailplane.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.   tops this flying in the sky.

And I have such total respect for the attention to detail and total safety aspect that Andrezj demonstrates.    He is a professional, highly motivated instructor/pilot who pays attention to the tiniest detail of flight and flying.    And he only selects the best pilots for his crew.

I’m more in love with flying today than I have ever been!

And I’ve had a variety, thanks to my DH!  I’ve experienced:

– foot-launched hang gliding flight

– 3 tow-launched hang gliding flights

– flights on the passenger seat of an ultra-light

-sailplane rides in California & Port Alberni (years ago)

– aerobatic flight for my birthday

– dual time flights in Cessna 172’s

– flights in tail-draggers

– rides in Nan-Chang

All of these have been so exciting and filled my life with such joy.

But, I’m sorry .. nothing equals the grace and magic of a sailplane.

So….off we go again.

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Sunday, August 29, 2011

Up early again .. another hot sunny day.

Went downstairs to breakfast in our lovely B & B .. what a feast .. I’ll take a pic tomorrow!

Dainty containers of fresh fruit salad, chilled decanters of a variety of juices, homemade granola, home-baked muffins, scones, yogurt … such a treat!!

Then off to the airport again and a day of flying. 

What a magnificent day.  And I enjoyed it to the hilt!  I’d been working rather industriously at home for the past few weeks and it was such a decadent pleasure to just relax in our gravity chairs beneath our patio umbrella and read.  And chase away wasps!

Did a lot of photo taking and filming!

Watched ants (there are millions here) scurrying to their assortment of ant-homes.   Wondered what place in the evolution chain they adhere to?

Watched a multitude of grasshoppers (or maybe they were crickets?) hopping all over the place.  Maybe there was a convention?

And the wasps!  They were just everywhere.  I couldn’t see any vegetation that they would be interested in .. yet there they were flying low over the ground.  Thankfully sometimes they would be elsewhere and that was a relief!

Spent a lot of time just enjoying the quiet and peaceful surroundings.

Until several people started recounting bear stories.  How there are a lot of them around.  And gave examples.   One account described sighting about 30 turkey vultures, each sitting atop their own fence post .. wings held out to warm in the sun.   Nearby were several bear cubs .. and the mother was sighted gathering up a deer’s carcass and throwing it over the fence … food for the family!

Then I decided to go for a long walk.  During which I heard some noises in nearby brush .. some heavy walking amongst the branches.  Hmmm… bear sprung to mind … I continued on my way and awhile later, finished my walk.  Recounted the noises that I’d heard and was told that there most likely was a bear there.

This was confirmed a few hours later .. when the bear was sighted running across the runway.


So tonight we drove around Port Alberni ..looking for a good stop for supper .. and found a lovely little cafe .. where we enjoyed a delicious old-fashioned meal (the kind with homemade cheese sauce on carrots!) De-lee-shus!!

Great ending to a wonderful day!!!

Looking forward to another one tomorrow!!


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another beautiful hot sunny day!!  Enjoying this summer, short as it is.

Last night I was all fired up to make the won-ton ravioli, having purchased the final ingredient, which was ricotta cheese.  Did the math and figured out that starting to cook at 10:30 pm, considering the prep time, and the cleanup time and decided to wait till today.

So this morning found me mixing up the drained frozen spinach, adding the ricotta, some diced garlic cloves (from the garden!) and lots of grated parmesan.  Plus one of Farmer Ben’s free range eggs.  Mixed well and placed beside the cutting board.  Where I assembled a little bowl of water (for dampening the edges of the won-tons) and some thawed w/ton skins.

Put a large pot of water on to boil … and set to work.

Dropping a spoonful of the mixture into the middle of the squares, dipping my finger-tips into the water and running the moisture along the edges of the w/ton skins, I then folded them over.  Sometimes I was creative and pinched the wing edges together, resulting in those cute little folded ravioli that are sold in stores.

Then I copied an idea from “It’s Just Food” and put a larger amount of filling in the middle of a square, moistened the edges, topped this with another square, pinched the edges closed and thus  made large “designer” style dumplings.  The kinds that are sold as expensive starters, 3 to 4 to a dish, costing way too much.

Finished a plateful and carefully dropped them, one by one into the now-boiling pot of water.

After a few short minutes, the w/tons rose to the surface, I scooped them out.  Cooled them.  Lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper, arranged the tons on the tin.  Put in the freezer.

Later on, removed from the fridge, filled up 3 small freezer bags, each one enough for a meal for one (dh doesn’t like these, so, more for me!)

And of course, I had to test some freshly cooked tons.  Drizzled butter, grated cheese, ground pepper.  MMMMMMM.  Success.

Gee, it is fun being me!!!

Ran out of thawed skins, so have another package thawing out .. who knows, maybe I’ll cook another batch tonight and will take pics of the process.

Playtime over .. time to go outside and do something constructive

Spent a few minutes this morning admiring my recent gravel work .. looking good!  Next, I’m nearly finished moving the balance of my magic mulch mountain from the front yard .. shovelled most of it into my trusty Rubbermaid containers and moved to the driveway .. slowly emptying the contents onto the front flower beds.

Once this mulch is moved, then I’ll start again on my gravel work.

Saw again the huge bee … it zoned in on the mulch …wings buzzing like the blades of a mini-helicopter, I swear!  It seemed to burrow into the shaded sections of the mulch.  I wonder if it is taking some away for a nest?   It only stayed for less than a minute then flew away.  It made a second visit about 10 minutes later.

Curious.  I was able to take a quick photo, not sure if it is clear or not .. will see later.

I’ve discovered that I’m becoming quite the lettuce snob!

It was time for lunch and so I was at the back garden,  picking a basket of the lovely leaves and noticed that I was putting aside the leaves that had tiny insect bites in them .. to go into the compost.

Now, if I was purchasing a head of organic lettuce in a store, I’d welcome these little holes, cause they denote the lack of chemicals and the abundance of natural soil in which they were grown and the freedom of insects to live alongside and occasionally partake of the plants.

So it’s kind of ironic that I’m composting these same leaves!

I’d planted these lettuce plants both in a large pot and in the garden and so I have a wealth of these leaves to choose from.   Way more than enough, it seems.  So we’re piling on the lettuce in the sandwiches and I’ll throw some leafy salads together.

Break over .. time to tackle that gravel!


Spent hours outside this afternoon.  First I shovelled up the balance of my magic mulch . .into containers and distributed quite a lot onto the front flower areas … 4 of them!  Then I took the rest to the side yard .. .where I am in the midst of removing the gravel for the front parking area.  I emptied the Rubbermaid containers of the mulch onto the side garden.

Finally, all mulch is removed from the front .. so I dry out the two large tarps that had been used as the ground cover for this magic mulch ..and fold them as neatly as possible .. ready to be used again.  I promise myself that I can order four more yards .. when the gravel has all been tidied up!

Next I set up my gravel sorting station and set to work .. pickax .. shovel .. sort .. repeating till I had a large section of the gravel cleared out.   Then I raked over the area, smoothing out the surface.   And then shovelled on the gravel .. everything looks lovely.

This has been a scorching hot day, so I’ve worked in timed segments, about 2 hours at a time.   And I really accomplished a lot, far more than I thought would be possible.

Just two medium sized areas to work at and my job will be done.  A passing neighbour commented that he’d like to do the same for his front yard, clearing away the weedy grass and putting gravel down.  Looks tidy.

With a great sense of accomplishment, I tidy up my work area, bring my tools in and decelerate for the day.

I find that I am getting so much done in the yard … just by working on a segment at a time.  Plus, a bonus .. .creative ideas are continuously popping up.   I think that by just letting my conscious mind to relax and just focusing on the grunt work . .that I am freeing up my creative process.

Am so glad that I decided to remove the gravel from the side yard.  Now I picture a little brick path of some sort, with more ground for plantings.  Now that is fun.  I might put a bit of a berry garden in this area .. there is so much morning sun and that is what berries like.

Oh well, I don’t have to decide on that right now.

I searched the web for ideas on won-ton lasagna, as I felt that I had sufficient spinach ravioli in the freezer.  So I found a few recipes and played around with the remainder of my ingredients and made a w/ton lasagna with my ricotta/spinach mixture.

Just removed the dish from the oven . .smells delicious!

I’ve had fun and I’ve discovered a myriad of recipes using won ton wrappers.

What a great day this has been!


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Saturday, August 14, 2011

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Yesterday was such a beautiful, hot, sunny day!  Drove around, enjoying the carefree atmosphere of the day!

Lots going on .. and then homeward bound .. and time to go back digging up the gravel.  Made a lot of progress.  Decided that putting down any kind of weed barrier is not worth the effort right now .. we’ll be “properly” amending the parking area next year.

So, for now, I’ll busy myself with moving the balance of the gravel mountain and the side path to the front and will simply shovel it around on the parking area.  It will look nice and tidy.

Last night, I thought that I’d make up the nutritious sorrel soup.   Gathered all the materials from the fridge.  Sliced onions & potatoes in butter till they were translucent.  Crisped up the bacon in the oven.  Washed and chopped the sorrel.  And the yellow beans.  Added the beans and chicken broth to the frypan .. to let it cook for 20 minutes.

As I was adding the broth, I thought that the colour looked to be quite a bit darker than normal.  Looked at the date on the package and it showed the expiry date to be 2012.  So I ignored my initial feelings of throwing it away and cooked it anyway.  Added the sorrel.

Soup was delicious, the sorrel added a light lemony taste.  Yum, so good that I had a second bowl.  After all, this is 90% broth and veggies.

A few hours later, I started to feel slightly ill .. and then prayed to the porcelain gods on and on through the night and into the morning.

I hadn’t been sick like this for many years and just hated the whole process .. but there is no turning back when the gods get you.

Thought back to the chicken broth and realized that this must have been the culprit.  Everything else was garden fresh and well washed.

And I realized that I “should” have paid attention to my initial doubt about the stock.  Murphy, Murphy, Murphy .. is all I can say.

So now I’m missing out on an all day flying outing that we were going to do today .. but rather safe here at home than taking a chance being ill in the air.  Argh.

Another reminder to pay attention to my initial feelings, trust them.  Ok, ok, I’ve learned another version of this lesson!

On with my day …. am starting to feel so much better .. today is a day to do inside things.   And no shovelling gravel.  But, I will go outside and play in my lovely garden.

Positivity from the sun and happy viewing of the birds flitting about!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Hot, sunny day

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.. surprises seen in the paper .. read through and then time to go outside.

Worked away at the new pathway that I’m extending in the back yard.   Playing around with ideas … nothing permanent.  Therein lies the power and creativity of gardening.

The birds have found the suet in the block and are chattering away .. taking turns, feeding away.   I just stand there and enjoy watching them … they are too quick for me to take posed pictures today.

Went to my little car to load up bottles .. today is the day that I’m bottling my cider, yea!

Got into a conversation with someone who gave me mini-lectures on “how to garden” .. hmmm .. ok, then … suddenly, I’m saved .. with the sight of a gigantic bee.  This, I was told, was a wild bee.  But, I was assured .. that’s a small one .. there are larger wild bees.


This was a gigantic bee.   And I think that one was caught in a wasp trap in the backyard.  Oh, I’m so sorry .. but when I consider the likelihood of being bitten by a wasp and the value of a trap .. I’m going the way of the trap.

Anyway, continued on with my day …. looking at the flowers, smelling the beautiful perfume of the sweet peas growing rampant in the backyard.  Admiring the seed pods… which I will save, to plant next year.

Time to leave my garden …..

And time to return … nice cool breeze in the late afternoon.  I picked up the shovel and played around with an imaginary path.  Placing plants around.

It’s been a great day and looking forward to playing around tomorrow!


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