Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Tuesday, January 23, 2011

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So .. yesterday I finished putting away my latest book acquisitions and found another bag that I’d missed!  Here were some treasures!  A few books on glass painting (how timely);  one on stonework and another on brickwork .. in the garden!   And I actually took the time to open them up and look through them.  Excited about the  many ideas now for this spring and summer!

And then today, I was taking little Youbou for his acupuncture treatment, and what did I find tucked away behind the front seat!   Another crafty one “How to Build with Bamboo” .. 19 projects.  Some easy crafts in that one.

The weather has been rather a mixed assortment today.  Already there has been rain, overcast skies!  Sunny skies, followed by overcast.  With a dash of wind thrown in.

Nevertheless .. I’ve gathered an assortment of wood and will shortly go outside to attempt some temporary repairs to our little fence .. the section with the loose and fallen boards.   Really looking forward to new panels replacing the older sections.

I’ve planted rather a large assortment of plants along all of the fence, trying to create a nice deep garden in some areas.   And there are a lot of bulbs intermixed with the perennials, so I’ll have to make some colourful markings so that they won’t be stepped on.

There are some cedars that I planted a few years ago .. .after hand digging a nice deep trench for them .. and placing them a few feet apart, so they will eventually grow into a solid green “fencing”.   When I look at these, I remember my travels, many many years ago .. I was invited to stay at a lady’s home for several days.   And I remember looking out the kitchen window, they had a beautiful tall, solid wall of green cedars totally encircling their yard.  They loved it and so did I.

Such privacy and greenness!  It took quite a few years for the trees to have grown so high and I know that ours will eventually grow and fill out.  I think that they will make a strong growth spurt this year.  And it will be time to trip a few inches off the top so that they will fill out more .. the growth will expand to the side branches.

The joy of gardening lies in the adventures of growing, propagating, and the energizing aspects of all plant life.  Even weeds have their place.  Which reminds me of a CityLine show from last week.  Three Greek sisters were cooking greens (which they highly recommend every day) .. and saying (true) that we don’t eat enough greens.  They even cooked dandelion greens .. ok, that I’ve heard of, but have not tried.  The greens that they cook were huge, they resembled lettuce heads, I swear!   And, no pesticides were used (Ontario) so they were safe to eat.

I must say the few times I’ve prepared greens – chopped & garlic, chopped, quickly cooked in a bit of oil, they were delicious.  Guess it’s time to start doing that again. Easy, quick and nutritious.

I found a good site on trees .. here is a most interesting site:  http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2fZ9bg/listverse.com/2011/07/30/10-magnificent-living-trees/

Lately I’ve been paying more attention to trees, looking through my books, becoming more interested in the types available.   Reading about the incredible job they do in their growth cycle.   When I found the above extremely well written site and read the section 7 about the phenomenal root system from which grew 47,000 Quaking Aspen trees … this added fuel to my desire to learn more.

And .. learn more I shall … because tonight the Organic Master Gardening Course begins!  The snow had cancelled the first two .. so they are scheduled to start tonight.

Yippeeeeeeeeeeee ….more hours of gardening talk and learning, learning, learning.

Lovely, lovely .. lovely!


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

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Friday was a beautiful, mostly sunny day!  There were bits that were just overcast and these times were good for indoor chores, as usual.

Me and my little car went out for a bit in the morning … shopping here and there. Picking up items needed and happy to catch some sales.  Bought some lovely organic liquid hand soap, made in Ontario!    Called “Live Clean” and available in two scents, “Sweet Pea” (how could I resist that one?) and another called “Fresh Water”.   The cynical part of me thought, yeah, right, another marketing ploy, use all the correct words and consumers think that the product is all natural.

So I picked up a bottle and read the ingredients.  And you know what?   It is free of a list of things, among which includes: petroleum, phosphates,  araben, DEA, sulfates.  Not tested on animals!!!!  certified organic 99% plant-based, scented with certified organic botanical flower extracts of Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile.

The ingredients are better quality than the food I’ve been buying!

Anyway, with a buy 2 get 1 free and such quality ingredients, how could I pass up this purchase.

Having only intended to buy just a few items, and then wander through Tillicum Mall, I ended up with 2 heavy shopping bags full.  So, off to my little car I go and place them inside.   And .. back to the mall.  I like the layout of this mall, friendly, lots of parking.  Friendly.  Like a small town, really .. as familiar faces meet each other once again.

Yesterday there was entertainment, I discovered.  A young choir from nearby Colquitz School were singing Christmas Carols.  How sweet.   Seems only a few ( ha ha , a few???) years ago I was in such a group.

Stayed for a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful singing.  Enjoyed the atmosphere of happy families proudly taking pictures and videos of their children singing.  Lovely memories.

I’ve not been around such Christmas events for a long time and thus it was a nice surprise to stop and listen.   Happiness and joy .. what is important.

Then it’s away to Home Hardware on Burnside.  I really like this store.  It’s medium to large size.    And they carry everything from the kitchen sink to framed artistic prints.   Yesterday I was looking for black sunflower seeds, the small kind that the birds love.  And along the way I picked up a cute little bird feeder, on sale for $5.99.  Just the right size for a couple of birds to dine.

Over to Michael’s and I discover that my next batch of 40% off coupons aren’t in effect till tomorrow.  So… bye-bye till tomorrow .. which is now today, so I guess I could shop, but, time to finish preparations for friends visiting.

Left the store, nearly at my car when I hear a loud crunching type of noise, oh, oh, I think some one has rear-ended another vehicle on nearby busy Blanshard Street.  Traffic at noon is always happy.

Once I am finally able to exit the parking lot I discover that the lane I’d like to be in is bumper to bumper with traffic, so I decide to veer to the right and onto Blanshard, planning to do a loop-de-loop around the block and then I see the cause of the loud noise.   Bits and pieces of plastic bumper and wheel covers are strewn over the intersection and following this trail I see the result.  A newer type van has been hit by a more solid older van.  The two owners are in discussion, and I wonder what caused the accident.  Bright, bright sun makes it difficult to see clearly against the glare.  Caution is needed in this brilliant day.

Sad way to proceed with the day, though and I’m just glad that no one appears to be injured in any way.

I proceed with my journey, circling the block and head home, via another intersection.  Seeing more cars heading towards my primary path home, I wish there was some way I could let them know not to go there, but not able to do that.

Finally, home sweet home and I remove my purchases.  March them up the steps.  Inside, distribute everything to their proper places.

Now .. ta da .. time to take that new bird feeder outside.  And I mix in a good portion of the oily black sunflower seeds in with the regular bird seed.  Fill up the feeders.

Last year I was watching the birds and noticed the Downy Woodpecker and the sparrows. However, this year, having placed more bird feeders and lots of suet .. I notice a big difference in the variety of backyard visitors. Including the Chestnut-backed Chickadees and the Red-breasted Nuthatches.  (the Chickadees will eat the tent caterpillars, yea). And just found this link, which shows that they travel together.

Oh, there is so much to learn about birds, how exciting is that! http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chestnut-backed_Chickadee/id and you can hear their sweet little songs at this link!!

Wander around the yard, noticing the differences made to the yard by the sun.  The contrasts, the shadows and the light, add such layers of depth to the beauty of everything inside our lovely yard.    Loving this.

Replenish the hummingbird feeder at the front … after thoroughly washing it out.     It has certainly gotten dirty in the last month .. think it must be due to traffic passing by.   Intend to keep checking the cleanliness over the winter months.  Don’t want these lovely little beings to get sick.

Take some time to wander about, looking at the feathered activity.  You know, I could swear that the little Chickadees in the front lilac bushes started chirping away when I started removing the large back of sunflower seeds from the car.   Could be coincidence, but once that bag was sitting on the ground I could hear the excited chatter!

The same chatter that I hear when I start filling up the feeders!

Another thing I’ve noticed, and this is quite sweet, I think.  Watching the Anna’s in the backyard a few days ago.  Trying to follow the lightning fast aerial flights … I noticed that one Anna seemed to be sipping water from the tips of the apples still hanging from the tree branches.  She (or he) would perch on a branch next to an apple, then simply dip its little head towards the apple and drink away.  Nature’s water cooler!

Later, at the kitchen counter, peeling and slicing apples for freezing, putting them in lemon/water mix so they wouldn’t discolour, I spent long minutes gazing out at the plum-tree outside the window.  Enjoying the antics of the birds as they nibbled away at the moss, groomed themselves.  Chatted away.  Chickadees, Juncos, Spotted Towhees.  Sparrows.    I know that I spent way more time watching their antics than I did prepping the apples!

Then, time to arrange the apple slices on a parchment covered tray, pop in the freezer.  Removed the frozen fruit later and into a freezer bag for use later .. to make an open-faced (sides folded in) apple pie .. or something yummy on a cold winter’s day.

And, this being a bumper crop for apples (and first year ever .. that our Macintosh tree bore a crop of any kind!!)  .. there are still some baskets of apples in the basement that need to be prepared also .. applesauce or freezing.   And some more to be given away to friends.

Well …yesterday was busy and fun and today promises more of the same.

So… away I go .. another lovely day


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