Posts Tagged ‘Toshiba’

Sunday, March 25, 2012

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Oh, argh .. argh .. argh ..I’ve been trying to write every day, to get in the disciplined habit of just writing .. but yesterday was a hurdle.

I’ve been practising adding my blog name to my pictures (thanks Claire!!) and so for each picture I would right-click, choose “Paint” then painstakingly learn the ins and outs about that.  As you can see in the photos, sometimes the font is small, sometimes the colour blends in with the background.  Sometimes it is on the left, then the centre, then the right .. oh, and along the top and middle also.   I tried to go back and change, via the text box, but that wasn’t proving to be too successful, so I just let things be as they were.  Laissez-faire, sort of thing.

Ok, this was sorted out.  So next, I went to my little Toshiba laptop on the kitchen table .. to proudly post my pics.

Well .. I’d add subtitles, go to the next one, add subtitle .. then, the laptop would freeze up and then I’d lose everything.  I lived through this 3 times.   And then I gave up.  sigh.  I’ve discovered that there is not enough energy for the laptop to operate with a) music and b) another website opened up.  So it’s either one or nothing.

And I had all these lovely pictures that I’d taken on Friday that I wanted to share.  So here they go, better late than never.

So, Friday morning starts out a little overcast, then some sun.  Time for a little walk to Swan Lake.   Another little 3 hour walk.

When I arrived there, midmorning, the birds must have been taking a siesta .. I could only hear some far off singing .. and no ducks at the smaller observatory.  Continuing along the long and winding pathway .. I heard the little chirping sounds of a hummingbird, so stopped to watch and listen.

What a lovely little sight .. I saw a little Anna hovering about the delicate moss (or maybe it was a spider web) at the base of a tree along the side of the path.  What a lovely moment of nature .. I watched, motionless, as she tugged away at some tiny material . .then she flew a few centimetres farther, and tug, tug, tug.  She repeated this a number of times then swiftly flew away to the upper branches of a nearby tree.

I decided to wait, no one else was running or walking along the route .. so I opened my camera and prepared to wait.  Several times more, she flew in, hovered around .. and then tugged away repeatedly for more materials to build her next.  Finally, she flew to sit on a branch of a nearby bush and just rested.  She wiped her delicate beak on the surface of the branch, perhaps to remove any sticky residue from the web or moss.

Oh, my this was such a wonderful moment time, such a gift .. to observe the delicate workings of nature in action.   And the timing . . if I hadn’t been there in that particular place at that particular moment in time, I would have missed this precious moment.  All in the tranquility and solitude of Swan Lake Sanctuary.

And that reminds me .. the hummingbird feeders in our yard are being fully utilized right now.  On Saturday, I’d just refilled the feeder for the front yard family and then stood back for some time to watch the activity.  It seemed as if there were about six of them taking turns at the feeder, flying around, but really it must have been four.   And the back yard Anna’s .. I usually only see three.  Ok, something else to learn .. how hummingbirds live and socialize.

So I continued on my way.  Over to the Galloping Goose.  Struck up a conversation with a lady and her dog, Tessa, a beautiful golden girl, very friendly dog.   I’d noticed them walking along the asphalt pathway and Tessa (as I learned her name later) kept looking back at me .. as if she wanted to say “hello”.    As I caught up to them, her doggy mom and I struck up a conversation and chatted of many things.  At the end of the trail, we introduced, shook hands and then went on with our day.    This is just an example of the lovely things that happen when you venture out into the world.  This wouldn’t have happened if I had decided to “not go for a walk”!.  🙂

Over to the Mediterranean store for some goodies, which included some lovely smoked cheddar .. yum, yum .. this is delicious.   And I need to go there again for more!

And now I’ll share with you a story about lasagna.

After I returned home (3 hours later!) from my little walk, I decided to make up a lasagna.   By this time, the weather was sunny, but I just wanted to get this done.

So I prepared all the food.  Chopped up the onions, garlic, added to the pan along with ground chicken.  All sizzling away.  Pot of water on to boil, added a combination of spinach and plain lasagna strips.  Opened up the bottle of hot salsa and added to the chicken mixture.   (I’ve been using this now for lasagna, so delicious.  Thawed out the frozen spinach and drained out the extra moisture.

Brought the food processor down from the top cupboard.  I’d bought this at Eaton’s (when it existed, alas, no more) so the machine is about 20 years old or so.   Grated the mozzarella.    Drained the cooked lasagna strips.

Then the fun began.

I thought that I’d just make a small lasagna, so brought out the 8 x 8 glass pan.  Put some salsa on the bottom, added 3 strips, spooned on a layer of the salsa/chicken mix.  Added some spinach.

Hmmm.  With this one layer, I’m already at the halfway level of the pan.  Perhaps I’ll try the larger pan, it’s not deep  .. that should work.

So, I put more salsa on the bottom, added some strips, scooped off the chicken mixture from the smaller pan, then began the layering again.

Hmm .. this doesn’t seem to be working, again I’m at the halfway level … so perhaps the larger, deeper pan will work.

By this time, I’ve run out of salsa, so opened up a tin of stewed tomatoes, blended the contents with the hand blender.  Spread some on the bottom of this, the largest, pan.  Again with the lasagna strips.  Scooping the chicken mixture et all from the last pan.

Well, I didn’t take any photos of this fiasco to share .. too embarrassing.  Finally, the lasagna was all nicely layered, and covered with sauce and cheese.  The final topping was the smoked cheddar .. a thin layer of delicious cheese on the top.

Cleaned up all the pots and pans, counter and floor.  Stove and sink.  Neatly covered up this most wonderful of lasagna’s and carefully placed in the fridge.

Escaped to the outside back yard where I played with this and that.  So happy to be outside.

Later, DH home and I put the lasagna in the oven .. and you know what!  This was the most delicious lasagna that I ever made!   We each had generous helpings and there was more than enough for supper last night and tonight.

A lot of work and I realize that I am not the type of person to create a small dish of food for supper.  I’m destined to make large servings of food.  I try to  make “just enough” for a meal .. but it just never seems to work out that way.

Oh well.

And tomorrow I’ll share some photos of our recent flying trips!!!


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Friday, March 22, 2012

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Busy, busy, busy .. the last few days have been busy ones for me.

Wednesday morning I was up way early, baking pies.  Sorry, no pics, they were so good, they are nearly gone.  I used the Tenderflake recipe which makes a light flaky crust.  Actually mixed up the pastry a few weeks ago, and froze some portions for future use.    Which turned out to be Wednesday.

I used the single crust method, rolling the pastry into a circle, prepared the filling and then folded the edges up, forming a plate sized open pie!   And the fillings!  I’d frozen apple slices and cherries from last summers’ crops and finally used them.

Still have some more of the above, plus plums, minced green tomato and tomatillos.  Oh, and lots of little jars of jam, applesauce, chutney also.

Then I spent many hours at the little Toshiba laptop at the kitchen table.  Began the arduous task of typing out my hastily scribbled notes taken during the intensive Organic Master Gardening Course, recently completed.   Originally I had the best intentions of doing this in an ongoing manner while the course was taking place .. however, um, I didn’t do that.  Was spending my time studying the course materials, online and from our study book.

As I was typing these pages,  I am time travelling back in time to the classes.   Every detail is clear and I am so glad that I took these notes.  The instructors gave us so much valuable information, sources to research, names to look up .. I’ve reached 9 pages of single line notes so far and scads to go before I’m done … I plan to just spend a few hours a day in this endeavour.    I take little breaks from the tapping of the keys to look up some of the information .. whole new worlds of beneficial natural gardening.

I’ve never ever taken this amount of time  and devoted it to studying and I find this quite satisfying.

Then, time to go outside and play.   I’ve been using DH’s camera a lot lately and discovered that it has the best motor drive for multiple pictures .. so I’ve been utilizing this drive when taking bird pictures.  And the result is so very many clear pictures, when I click from one to the next, it looks like a slow motion picture!

I see that Mr. Downy Woodpecker has taken a wife!  Very striking couple they are.  I’ve seen him in the yard for a few years, very distinguishable with his brilliant red colouring at the back of his head.  At first the female was shy and would fly away, but she is getting used to my presence in the yard, so I’m able to take photos of her.  She is equally striking with her plumage, and lacks the brilliant red, and she is also, I think, a little smaller than her mate.  Welcome additions to the yard!

I’ve been applying that wonderful seaweed/grasses/kelp carefully on the garlic bed .. making sure that the mixture doesn’t cover the garlic and just goes around them.  Mmmmmm .. interesting to see what a difference this mineral laden material will make to the size of the bulbs.   And I’ll be applying EM to them also, either early in the morning or late afternoon, when the weather is a bit cooler.

Finished emptying and then properly layering in the other 2 compost containers, so now all 3 are in better condition.   Layers of green (seaweed/kitchen scraps) and brown (hay/leaves/manure) & cardboard.  Lots of oxygen for the microbes.  Yesterday, remembered that I’d forgotten the glacial rock dust & EM .. so I sprinkled on a handful of the dust and watered each container with about 2 cups of EM liquid.

I’ve mixed up 2 Litres of the EM and they have both reached the final litmus stage of 3.5, so ready to use.  Today I’ll mix up a 2 L batch .. I’m going to spray all plant leaf surfaces in the yard, plus the soil and the lawn, so I’ll need lots of this precious liquid.

Here’s a link which explains what EM is and there is a video showing how to prepare it:


This might be kind of weird, but now that the compost containers are properly layered, there seems to be a different “feel” about them .. before,  these containers were just places where I threw the kitchen and garden wastes.   things “composted” but they were just dark containers that held materials that would simply break down.

But now, they feel like bright happy places, populated with busy worlds of microbes of all kinds, working away to break down the structure of the materials .. transforming it all to healthy compost.  Which I will use throughout the garden.  Sort of like that fairy story, where a princess (me??) wove straw into gold.  🙂

Gardeners are fanciful, aren’t we?

Yesterday, walking around the garlic bed, smelling the lovely tantalizing perfume of the seaweed mixture, I remembered the trek out to Sooke with my walking pal D .. the fun we had .. on that sunny trip.  She would explain the varieties of grasses and seaweed … it was a fun, learning trip.  And I plan to make another one .. cause, I only have 2 containers of this material left!!  It’s going fast.

I then spent some time digging out raspberry and red & black currant canes from around the fence .. I’m creating a berry bed in part of the yard and want them out in the sun more.  Besides, we’ll be replacing some fence panels soon and I don’t want them damaged!

I’ve been learning that ivy is not the best plant to have in the yard and horrors .. what it does in the wilds, suppresses the growth of native lilies.  But, I do think that ivy has its place.  It’s good for privacy.  I’ve seen a nifty inexpensive privacy screen at an outdoor  restaurant.  It was simply a framed lattice  section, anchored in a rectangular planter, with ivy growing rampantly up the lattice.  The unit was free-standing, not connected to a fence or wall, so the ivy was kept neatly trimmed.

So, then, yesterday, I was preparing to fill a few of the bird feeders.  The sun was shining .. and the yard was quite, the birds had disappeared.  Hmm .. wondered if the hawks and eagles were out there somewhere.  Suddenly I saw a seagull soaring lazily up in the sky, crying out in that loud seagull fashion .. so figure there weren’t any of the raptors out there . .otherwise the gull wouldn’t have been so brazen.

Focus brought back to the bird feeders, when I heard the raucous cries of some crows .. looked up and omg, there was the eagle!  Seagull clutched firmly with strong talons, flying low over our yard, just a few hundred feet above the wild and crazy tree.  I simply dropped everything and ran to the middle of the yard, just as the eagle flew overhead.  Wanted to take pics, but no time .. truly amazing.  I seem to remember that the crows were cheering on the eagle, at the time . .there was a little gaggle of bird activity in the sky, but I was focused solely on the eagle.

Had to stop for a few minutes and regain my gardening energy . . it was a bit tough for a few minutes though, having witnessed that surge of raw animal power.

This is Nature’s way .. the birds have to eat.  They don’t go to the supermarket.

So .. back to the garden.   Continuously looking sky-ward.  Saw some eagles chasing a regal raven … they soon tired of the play and the raven elegantly sailed away.

Wow .. so now here it is Friday and lots to do outside .. so that’s where I’m heading soon!


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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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So the week started out full of promise.  Some frost in the early morning .. noticed some flakes of snow on the mulch in the back yard.  Brrr.

Monday was a day totally spent in the yard.  Sheer bliss.   I’d been spending a fair bit of time at the kitchen table, little old Toshiba connected, going through the study materials of the gardening course I’m taking.  I’ve stayed there through some sunny days and thought to myself, well, it’s good to spend the time now so I’ll have the knowledge later.

But, my goodness, how much can a gardener take .. staying indoors all this time, anyway!  So, Monday was my decadent day .. to spend completely outside.   Except for some quick trips inside to make more Yorkshire Tea and a quick-lunch, Monday was devoted to outside things.

I had a mission .. to tidy up the yard so that my gardening class could freely move around the yard.  Thus I moved hundreds of cuttings & potted plants to one area, so nice and tidy, I impressed myself.  Then, time to address the mountain of leaf mulch.  I filled tarp after tarp load with the leafy stuff and dragged them over to the perimeter of the yard, nicely topping up the side gardens, being careful not to cover the emerging bulbs.

This time of the year is such a delight .. so many surprise flowers popping up, awakening from their winter sleep.  Perfuming the air with their scent and delighting the senses with their delicate beauty.

I accomplished quite a lot on Monday .. so on Tuesday, I decided to continue.  Morning was chilly and then the sun fought to come out.  Clouds 1.  Sun 0.   But, a lovely warm mug or two of Yorkshire Tea kept me warmed up.

Our backyard is actually quite large.  Now that I’ve moved the potted cuttings, reduced the size of the leaf mulch pile, removed part of the homemade bamboo/twig fence that encircled it,  bundled the support twigs that comprised the fencing .. the yard is looking quite spacious.

Normally I’m the only person playing out here, so I’ve allowed myself to have some lazy habits.  And now that I’ve been organizing the space, I’ve quite impressed myself with my activity.

Next I moved the loose rocks and boulders to encase some island beds.  Dug in some broken bricks in the back pathway, adding to the rustic charm of a relaxed garden.  Mended some loose boards in the fence.

Stood back, admiring my work from the past few days.  I can feel the lovely fresh energy that now emanates from my garden .. my real living space.

And although the work was for naught, as the location has now been changed for the pruning demonstration and will not take place at our yard .. I feel that all was not done in vain.  For, if not for the push of the upcoming Saturday’s pruning event, I would have dillied and dallied and wouldn’t have been so active.   Much like preparing for an upcoming visit of someone and plans changed at the last-minute.  The result is a tidy space.   And the feeling of pride and joy of discovering that my organizational skills are smoking hot!    Chalk one up for me .. I’ve proved to myself how hard I can work.  Had forgotten that skill .. so this was a good reminder.

Funny .. during the last few days, when I’ve been busy doing something or the other in the yard, suddenly I’d heard some sharp rap-tap-tap noises .. looked up and some (variably) a little Chickadee or Nuthatch.  Nicely settled on an acrylic sided bird feeder.  Noisily tapping away at the clear sides … the bird version of a slot machine.  Expecting the seeds to fall into the trough?  Or, trying to catch my attention?  Either way, I complied to their needs and put some sunflower seeds into the feeder.

The idea that wild birds can communicate to us mere humans was reinforced this winter.   The front Hummingbird feeder had frozen solid, so I took it inside, thawed it out, refilled it .. and placed it by the front door.  Then DH & I would look out the front window and observe the little Anna fly around, checking it out and then settle in for a feed.  After, of course, flying up to the window, flying horizontally and vertically, thoroughly checking us out.  She knew we were there and that I had “fixed” her food source.

One morning, looking out .. I saw that the feeder was again frozen.  This time, little Anna tried to get some nectar.  No joy.  she turned her little head in my direction, looked back at the feeder, then back at me, then back to the feeder.  She acknowledged that I was the “fixer” .. the nectar was frozen .. so  .. “fix it”!  Body language was clear.

So I did fix it … and soon she was happily feeding away.

Yesterday the winds were so wild that the backyard hummingbird feeder went crashing to the ground.  Finally, I picked it up, took it inside, cleaned & added some nectar and then hung it from a little branch at a side cedar tree.  I knew the backyard Anna would find it.   She’s smart.

Well, nature and all of the beauty have been inspiring me with a wonderful gardening energy and today I will return again to the garden.

A brand new lovely day ….

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Well … yesterday, Friday .. was a really rainy day!  I’d promised myself the gift of spending the whole day outdoors .. a reward for recent studying .. but the rain put a kibosh on that.

Ok, I’m not a wimp, I love the outdoors .. witness the many hours spent outside during the recent snowy period in January (but, we don’t want to go there, right?)

But, the type of work that I want to do involves shovelling mulch, moving it from A to B and then relocation the flats of cuttings from last fall.

So the heavy rain and the mucky yard spelled out “stay indoors” so I did that.  And was so thankful that I’d already had my long long walks earlier in the week,

Friday was spent at the kitchen table.   Reading chapters from our textbook for the Organic Master Gardening course … researching terminology … writing explanations on lined index cards.,

A few pots of Yorkshire Tea.

In between .. household chores .. dishes ..cleaning kitty litter boxes .. laundry .. sweeping .. all that exciting stuff that takes up time during the day.

And playing with kitties.  Our three cats are not kittens any longer .. but they are playful so I refer to them as kitties.

I watched out the kitchen window .. seeing the big fat globules of raindrops exploding on the top of the sundeck railing.  Bam .. smash .. quite pretty, actually.

And the variety of birds that came to the acrylic feeder that is attached to the window.  Because we have horizontal blinds at the window, they cannot see us .. so they just behave normally.  Sometimes we see some little beak skirmishes as they scramble for the sunflower seeds.   To be in the interior of the transparent container is a prized piece of real estate for these birds!

And DH has fastened a board beneath, to serve as a ledge so often we’ll look at the antics of the birds as they peck away at the seed.

The rain was quite relaxing.  I think that this is my most favourite place to be right now .. .my old Toshiba laptop plugged in, tuned to Firefox and Gaia College.

Books tumbling over the surface of the table.  Lined index cards in various piles as I look up new meanings.

I’m soon drawn into the world of gardening and all the beauty that this entails .. and I feel quite happy and relaxed.

A good place to be!

And so that was my Friday.   Followed later by … ta da .. spaghetti for supper!   With a glass (or 2??) of dry white!

Today was quite a different kind of day and I’ll share that tomorrow!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday .. overcast, rainy, the kind of day to just relax.

I checked on the seaweed that I was drying for future use .. the Turkish Facecloth and the other rippling seaweed, the type that is a living entity, growing, attached to a rock and which must be cut with scissors.

Another day in which to study, walk, observe, listen, shop … so what did I do?  Well, what I really wanted to do was to flip on my little Toshiba laptop and spend hours exploring the information on the Gaia College web site.  But .. what did I do?

Well, after the initial morning housework chores were done .. I actually had a choice.   I looked longingly at the kitchen table where my notes, textbook, lined index cards, some reference books and the ole Toshiba were placed .. and thought that it would be sheer bliss to just sit down on the chair and pursue the knowledge.

However, I needed to purchase some items for DH’s dinner ..he works such long hours and I love to prepare a hot meal for him at the end of the day.  Tonight was gardening class .. so I would miss out on dinner (till I came home anyway).  So I actually dashed out into the world and did a bit of shopping.

Soon .. home .. and then I’m happily at the table .. doing my “learning”… of which there is a lot to do.

I’m actually very happy .. being in this class, surrounded by others who share the same passion for learning about gardening.  Discovering the existence of the lifeforms that populate the ground beneath us, coexisting with the plants.  Who knew?

For so many years, I, like many others, have toiled away at a job, and then, heaven .. . spending much of my spare time trying to unlock the secrets of the gardening world. 

And now .. yea .. I’m learning the true inner workings of the soil and plants.  It’s taking me awhile and I must remember that .. the joy is in the journey!

I spent some time looking over my treasure of seaweed, kelp and grasses that I gathered from the beach at Whiffen Spit. 

The items that I have carefully arranged in a circular basket and which rests in the basement   .. the  Turkish Facecloth and the rippling seaweed (I’ll have to ask D for the name!) fill the air with such a fresh ocean scent.  Lovely.

In the morning I had woken up from dreams of building compost boxes .. is that a good thing?  For now, I don’t have pallets … my lovely little Echo hatchback is not big enough to hold even one. 

So I imagined creating a compost area, in the section of the yard with the woven curved fenced area that I created last fall, to hold my oak leaf mulch pile.  Not a fancy fence, but one that I’d created .. hammering branch sections into the ground to act as posts. Then I’d interwoven pruned branches and sections of bamboo in and out, to create an airy structure to contain the leaf mulch.

I dream on .. yes .. I can move all that leaf mulch, put that to one side, then layer on the hay (I’ve found a source and will have some delivered soon).  Then .. the kitchen vegetable scraps.  Then the kelp.

Then I wake up .. hey .. this is getting to be bad …don’t you think?  Dreaming of making compost containers instead of dreaming of travelling to France and visiting vineyards?

Anyway … I spent some time studying in the afternoon .. then .. too quickly .. almost time to gather my things together and leave for class.  But first.   Time to prepare a supper of “smashed” garlic potatoes, pan-fried chicken and veggies for my lovely DH.  To enjoy a hot meal after a 10 hour day of working outside in the cold weather.

Then .. ta da .. race out to my lovely little car and head out to the moving parking lot that is the Colwood Crawl!



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Tuesday, January 31, 2011

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  Ah, Monday .. Monday .. where did you go?  I was up early enough .. wanted to go for a quick walk and then buckle down with my garden studies.

But … did I follow through with that?

Heck no!

I dillied and dallied and played with our new computer.   Took care of the feeding, playing and cleaning up of the feline part of our family.

Went outside, filling up bird feeders & suet holders.

Finally .. outside and started my walk.   Or at least, that is what I intended to do.  Then I met a neighbour and so we began a conversation about the neighbourhood . .and the ugly big box building that is going on in the neighbourhood.   And things along that vein.    Another neighbour joined our group.   And the discussion continued.

Finally, shivering .. it was chilly!  I bade goodby and began my trek to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

Promised myself that I would only walk to the short observatory and then return home .. lots of studying to be done.

Well .. once I got there .. I just relaxed and continued walking on the pathways –  looking out for birds.  Then I met up with one of the guardians of this wonderful treasure of nature and we had a chat about the goings-on.    Sad to hear that the eagles had captured a Heron.   At first I was shocked, and then, later on, during my walk,  I remembered hearing that Beacon Hill Park had experienced the same problem .. years ago.  That was a time when I wasn’t tuned in to the majestic beauty of these birds.  Now, this saddens me.  I know .. it’s nature.

So I enjoyed seeing the cheerful appearance of the Robins .. the wrens .. the Mallards.   Didn’t see any eagles during my time there.  Not much happening at the short observatory.   Looked at the marsh grasses .. wondering when these grasses would grow tall enough for the Marsh Wren to build her nest.

The lake was empty of birds ..only a few Coots swimming around.  No Herons.  No Geese.  They must be dining elsewhere.  Funny, last year I used to walk around the Sanctuary nearly every day and I always saw so much activity.  This year I’ve settled into a different pattern of more activity, less walking .. and I don’t see very many birds. (except for today and I’ll write about that tomorrow!!   whoo .. eee .. this was a great day!)

Finally, time to go back home and start my “learnin”!

In the kitchen, I turned on the laptop .. this thing is a workhorse.  It’s a second-hand Toshiba that I purchased last year for $85.  It’s not the fastest laptop in the world, but .. it’s paid for.  And it plods ahead.

I opted to using this instead of our brand spanking new computer because:

a) the new computer is in the side room or “study”

b) the laptop is portable .. and I set it up on the kitchen table.  This way, I can look out the kitchen window and see the birds.

We’ve set up one of those translucent bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups.  The birds love it.  And the aluminum blinds, well, I’ve angled them so that the birds can’t see us .. and so they can relax and feed at will.  So sweet to see them standing on the top of the sundeck fencing area and on a board beneath the window .. nibbling away at birdseed.

They are so very sweet .. tiny little sparkling eyes, fluffy plumage.  And yesterday morning, after I’d opened up the blinds and flung aside the kitchen curtains .. there was a little Red-Breasted Nuthatch.   I love his little nasal chirps.  No mistaking him.

There is so very much information to learn … I just worked away, reading from the course textbook, typing notes .. willing all this information to stick to my consciousness.

Then, later, supper prepared for DH and then it was time for me to go out for a monthly Coronation Street supper … a few hours of talking about the show .. and other things.  Quite a fun evening.  Listening to some friends discussing their travels… and catching up on what’s been going on.  Lots of fun.  There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as a good meal and lively conversation and that’s what we enjoyed last night!

Then, we dissect the life out of the show’s scripts .. sometimes they are so good and other times .. not worth the air time.  There is always a variety of writers so the scripts are sometimes much better than others.

Oh oh .. a reminder that DH & I will see William Roach in just over a month!  yippeee.  I still need to make up a list of questions. A once in a lifetime opportunity to do so.  So the questions need to be good .. and unusual!

Well .. the day is done and so time to end this lengthy rambling.

Tomorrow … I’ll focus on more studying.  I sure love this Organic Master Gardening Course .. a program like no other!!

And .. I just have to visit Swan Lake again .. I’m hooked!


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Thursday, January 26, 2011

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 I actually saw sunshine this morning!   I was typing away in the kitchen, using my sloooooow Toshiba laptop (my desktop computer is still shutting off and on) .. and suddenly, clear as a bell .. (where did that phrase originate anyway?) .. I saw the dust on my keyboard!  Another good reason for cloudy days .. these things just aren’t seen!

I briefly toyed with the idea of running outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays, but decided to soldier on with inside duties.   I plan to spend a few hours again going over the material presented at my first OMG class on Tuesday.

Thoughts kept running through my mind as I thought about the widespread insidious use of pesticides in food.   Things like .. were the sunflowers and seeds that I feed to the backyard birds .. were they affected?   The lettuce that I buy at the supermarket .. the apples .. the bananas .. the almonds .. were pesticides used in these foods?

Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine, many years ago, discussed the use of banned pesticides being shipped to foreign countries.  Is that still happening?

Now that I’ve started becoming more aware of this aspect of gardening .. I appreciate even more hearing good news about gardening.  The organic kind.  And I applaud all those people who work hard to produce foods that are grown in healthy soil, without the use of artificial products of any kind.

I laud allotment gardens, neighbourhood gardens, boulevard gardens.  All of these are steps towards educating people towards the good use of the earth.  Little pockets of green ….raising awareness.  Me included.

I’ve taken just one class in this course and already my horizons have expanded tremendously.  My awareness is heightened.   And I am so incredibly energized.

When we were kids, we were fortunate to visit relatives who farmed and raised beef cattle.   I remember the stack of farming articles that were piled on tables at our aunt & uncle’s dining table.  I used to leaf through them and try to read the articles.  At the time, the words seemed rather dry and stale.  And my uncle would smile when he noticed my interest in them.  I really made an effort to derive some understanding from the articles, but I just couldn’t.

And so this somehow became my understanding of the world of horticulture when I was young.   Dry, scholarly reports and talks on food.

It was only many years later, when DH & I purchased our first home and we had a yard, that I started to feel the draw of the earth and the joy of growing things.   Our first garden was hilarious, when I look back!  We’d encourage a long row of what turned out to be weeds!  I thought the plants looked rather pretty and kept watering them.   When I showed one to a neighbour, she promptly explained that it was a weed!  So … pulled them all up.

We’d tried growing potatoes … but I’d dug them up too soon and they were green!  Then there were the really long rows of carrots and other vegetables …. too many, growing in soil that wasn’t much more than clay.

Then came the years of adding kelp, seaweed, fish heads .. oh, that was a story.  I’d gone to a fishery place close to town and collected a large pail of fish heads, as I’d begun reading Organic Gardening magazines and was learning how to replenish the soil, and fish heads were one of the suggestions.

So I lugged the covered pail home .. it was raining .. so I placed the pail in the basement for “a few minutes”.  Well, weeks later, DH was sorting out the basement, saw the pail (guess I’d forgotten to tell him about that) .. he was curious, so took off the lid.  And promptly stepped back, gagging at the horrific stench.

Uh oh.

So I was prompted to quickly “get that stinky suff” out of the house!   Oopsie.   I grabbed the pail and a shovel and outside I went to the garden.

First I dug a trench and then, when I removed the lid and poured the decomposing fish heads into that .. I was suddenly surrounded by a number of screeching seagulls that had quickly appeared overhead.

Those birds were quickly attracted to the smell!   I hurriedly covered the fish with a thick layer of earth .. then filled the pail with soapy water, to try and remove the odoriferous scent.

Now and again, we’ll laugh about that .. but at the time I was highly embarrassed.

Anyway, flash forward to the present years .. and my gardening skills have improved tremendously.  And I’m so excited to be expanding my horizons with the colourful, informative, organic worlds of gardening that I’m entering.

Well .. .time to stop tapping these keys and get going with this most lovely of days.

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