Saturday 30 May 2020
I was chatting with Kate, my eldest granddaughter and she was telling me that she found that using Dawn Platinum ultra power dish soap took out stains in clothes that had been through the dryer. I said I'd have to look for it next time I went shopping but before I had that chance she brought me THREE bottles of it. That's so typical of her generous nature. I haven't had any stains to try it on so far but I'm sure I will. Like Lily pollen once they start blooming. There's never been a year yet where I didn't manage to get those orange stains on my clothes.
I tried a new ( to me) product for my coffee. I usually drink freshly made coffee black but we often make a full pot and warm up a cup later in the microwave. That's when I like to use the Nespresso to whip up some milk and sweetener. This oat-based stuff is okay but I think I'll stick with my usual addition.
Our pole beans are coming up rather sparsely so I'm soaking some old Rattlesnake beans to see if they're still any good. If they sprout we can stick them in the spaces where none have come up.
Rhubarb is ready and so I made a rhubarb cake. Actually I made 2 cakes. The recipe said to use a 9X13 pan but I used two 8X8 instead. The white on the top is just the topping that had less butter mixed into it. We sampled the other cake and it's delicious.
Do you know that you can make a aphid spray by boiling up 3 fresh, chopped rhubarb leaves in 16 cup pot of water ( I don't really measure)? Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil turn off the heat and let it stand overnight. Next day strain out the rhubarb bits. Pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle and label it. Spray plants that have aphids and that should deal with the problem. DO NOT USE ON EDIBLE PLANTS.
This turned into a rather long post. Are you still with me? Thanks for visiting today. I hope all is well at your house.
Thursday 28 May 2020
What fun it was to go to the thrift store this morning after such a long wait for it to be able to open again. The first hour is for seniors so that was great because it limited how many shoppers there were. I found some treasures, of course, and one of them was this pretty teacup and saucer which look like a set but are not. The inside of the cup and the rim of the saucer are the exact shade of blue. The cup and saucer were priced individually and were very inexpensive.
I seem to collect pot holders and these are cute. They were .50. Couldn't resist.
I couldn't resist these lovely tea towels either. They are so thick and don't seem to have been used at all. At a dollar each I bought all 4. The stencilled one I'll hang on my stove handle come Fall. Do you see the merry, dancing reindeer? I hope I remember to hang that one out next December.
I have a confession to make. When I came back from shopping I took all my tea towels out of the drawer in order to get rid of the ones that were not in great shape any more. I was surprised to find I had no less than 35 tea towels. Enough for the rest of my life and more. I better not walk down the kitchen linens aisle at the thrift store any more.
The sun is shining but I won't be doing any gardening.It seems I've been overdoing the bending and weeding and now I have a stiff and sore hip/back. I'll take it easy for a few days and I'm sure it will get better.
Thank you for all the sweet comments left on my last post. A few of you asked if my DH had any brothers still living. Yes, he has 2 that live in nearby and another in our home town in Manitoba. That's also where his sisters live.
Thanks for stopping by today,
Tuesday 26 May 2020
The Bonica roses along the driveway are full of flowers. They're such faithful bloomers and require so little care.
On the weekend we received the sad news that one of my DH's brothers had died in his sleep. It was quite a shock because although he hadn't been in great health for years there was no indication that he was about to die.
Dh came from a family of 6 boys followed by 2 girls. The boys were all very close in age and the brother that now passed away was only 15 months older than my DH who is 77. Due to Covid there will be a small funeral which will be live-streamed ( I think that's the right term). We're 1500 miles away so travel would have been difficult anyway.
The rope that tethers life to eternity
frays when we least expect it.
Friday 22 May 2020
My Iris are starting to bloom. We've had rain and that always makes the large flowers want to bend on their stalks so I've been trying to tie them up. Sometimes it helps and other times it doesn't. I love the almost startling whiteness of this one.
Then there's a clump of light purple ones just beginning to open.
This is one of my favourites....very dark purple. The buds look navy before they open.
In the front garden I have a clump of light blue, extremely scented ones. Every year I tie them up and every year they fall over anyway so I cut them and I take them indoors. They fill the room with their delightful scent.
It's such a chilly day today that I've been spending time wrapped in a blanket and looking at the pretty pictures in this book that I picked up at the thrift store months ago..
Along with the pictures and recipes there are little facts. One of them says this:
"A general rule of thumb for cooking vegetables covered or uncovered is that vegetables grown underground should be cooked covered and vegetables that grow above ground should be cooked uncovered. Cook vegetables with a minimum of water."
What do you think? I've always cooked my peas, broccoli, etc covered just like I cook carrots and potatoes. Never heard of this little tip before. I do agree with the cooking with a minimum of water though. So, how do you cook your vegetables?
Thanks so much for coming by. I hope you're having a lovely day.
Wednesday 20 May 2020
On our morning walks lately I've been struck by how pretty the Creeping Buttercup looks. As you probably know Creeping Buttercup is a very invasive weed but originally it was sold as an ornamental plant. Once it takes a hold in your garden you will be fighting with it endlessly.
The first goose family we saw a couple of weeks ago now has half-grown goslings. They were having a nice nap when we walked by.
Last night we had what must be one of my favourite suppers...crepes filled with cottage cheese with a nice thick blueberry topping. Yum! We picked those berries last July. I still have several bags of them in the freezer and I'm hoping we don't run out before the new season begins.
Thanks for visiting today.
Thanks to those who leave a comment. I love to read them. G.M.
Tuesday 19 May 2020
In the very back of our place is an area where I've put things I didn't know where to put and let the Welsh Poppies, Ferns, and whatever else that wants to grow live in peace. It's messy and I've had offers to "tidy it up" but I like it this way.
In the corner there's a Weigela that makes me happy. I don't know what happened to the birdhouse.
I can't decide what to grow in the big black pot. Something tall maybe and doesn't mind mostly shade. The Hosta was moved from in front of the house because it took up so much space. Does anyone know what it's called? I knew once but have forgotten.
It's a sunny day so far but clouds and showers are in the forecast so I will go and see if the weeds I hoed yesterday are indeed dead .
One last picture. My pink Clematis is blooming but not nearly as full as other years. When it is done we'll have to give it a good pruning and see if next year will bring more flowers. Isn't that what a gardener always says? Next year...
Friday 15 May 2020
At long last we saw a family of ducks. Normally there would be several by this time but not this year. The ducklings were so new and so cute. Also very active as we tried to count how many there were. Maybe 7 or 8, we couldn't be sure.
This pair of Canada Geese had exactly one little one!
As we walked farther away from the lake there were Poppies and Lupines blooming in a raised bed.
My Poppies have big fat buds but so far none have opened. I'm not sure my Lupines came back this year because I still haven't pulled all the Forget-me-nots out. The Lupines could be under all that mess.
We heard Crows making a big racket and went to investigate. There was a raccoon about 20' up in a tree. That was earlier in the week. I'm wondering if I mentioned that already.
We had a lovely day with mostly sunshine. I worked outside for a couple of hours then came in to put my feet up and read more Miss Read . I'm so glad there's leftover vegetable soup for supper. I'll make cheese toast to go with it. I love when I don't have to wonder what to make!
Thanks for visiting, G.M.
Tuesday 12 May 2020
Mothers Day dawned bright and sunny. All 5 of my grown children plus my oldest granddaughter and oldest grandson all came out. We sat in the shade ( it was 30C (86F)) making efforts that were at times rather feeble to maintain any distance between us. The last time we were all together was Boxing Day so it was really lovely to be together.
I wonder if anyone noticed that in my last post I called this topiary Rosemary when it's obviously Spanish Lavender. I did go back and change that.
I received this beautiful card made by my oldest daughter. My photo doesn't capture the details but the little bird cage hangs from a copper wire and the backing has been cut away so you see into the card. The door and the pot of flowers are all separate pieces.
This pretyt jug was another of my gifts. I'm sure I'll find just the right spot for it.
DH has been busy fixing up the landing and stairs that go down from the laundry room into the garage. He was able to use a stack of free laminate boards and even had enough to cover the side of the landing ( you can just see part of it on the lower left corner). Today he painted the walls in the laundry room so tomorrow we can put the room back to rights again.
Everything is growing especially the weeds and enthusiastic self-sowing volunteers such as Forget-me-nots. Each day I pull a few more and hopefully I've pulled them before too many shed seeds.
Thanks for stopping by today, G.M.
Saturday 9 May 2020
I don't have a teacup with lilacs so this one with violets will have to do.
The Grape Hyacinths I bought earlier this week were getting a bit floppy so I tied them up.
Some early Mothers Day flowers.....
...and a Lavender Standard.
Not far along the next street we came upon the little cupboard beside the road with a FREE sign on it. It was in good shape and even has casters.
Needless to say we brought it home, cleaned it up and put it in my walk-in closet where it will replace a much smaller wicker shelf that stood there.
The door to my closet. I found the fake chandelier at a garage sale some years ago. The little child's jacket that I hung on the door knob is so soft and sweet. I like seeing it hang there.
That's it for today. I wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of you. I know it won't be a normal kind of day but hopefully there will be some hours of joy in it.
Friday 8 May 2020
I've done some baking in the past couple of days. Daughter Sheila made lemon scones and I had to try making them too because hers looked so tasty. The directions called for them to be scored before baking and a lemon glaze poured over while they were still warm. They are good but we still prefer the recipe I always use. It's fun to try though.
In the spirit of use-it-up I made plain muffins and used the bottom of a jar of bought raspberry jam to top them. As you can see I didn't remember to use cupcake papers until the last ones. Most of these ended up in the freezer.
I had too much milk so I made another Bisquick type recipe. I had 2 cups of frozen pumpkin that had been there for a long time. I was glad to make use of that too.
One orange, a handful of dried cranberries and 5 stalks of young rhubarb from our garden gave 2 pots of jam plus a bit. It is so delicious on toast!
Still in the kitchen...the old taps were hard to turn on and when the water came it came with a burst that made a big mess so off we went to buy a new one today.
DH installed it with no problems at all. It's a pleasure not to have to deal with that problem any more. In case you're wondering what the little spigot on the right is, that's connected to a water filter.
While I was tidying up after DH went outside I was eating a piece of apple and cleaning the sink with an SOS (steel wool) pad and absentmindedly tried to take a bite of the steel wool instead of my apple. That will teach me to pay attention. Do you make silly goofs like that? I'd love to hear about them.
Thanks for coming by, GM.
Wednesday 6 May 2020
First thing after breakfast we picked up our oldest daughter and off we went to the plant shop. We were there just as it opened ( early, for seniors shopping) and already there were many cars in the parking lot.
Let me show you what I got...
I have often admired and never bought myself a bowl of bulbs like this. The nice thing is that after the grape hyacinths fade I can plant them out and enjoy them for years to come. Although I have many of the dark blue ones I don't have any this shade of blue.
This "Spring Bowl" is jam-packed with various little plants that hopefully will all flourish on my porch.
My lettuce is growing but it will be quite a while until I can actually pick some so I indulged myself with a pot of various kinds. I had a lettuce sandwich on sourdough for my lunch and it tasted like summer. In this basket there are some dark blue Salvia and purple petunias....
and I also found zinnias, snapdragons, coleus and 3 pots of fountain grass ( to replace some grasses in containers which didn't come back this year in spite of being labeled hardy).
We had a great time and once we got back home I had a busy afternoon planting the ones that could go out right away. Some of the annuals will need to go out for the day and in for night for a few days.
That was my day. I'm happy that shopping went well and everyone tried to keep proper distance away. I saw a few people wearing masks. I didn't wear my paper one but have asked my DH's niece to make me a couple. She's an excellent seamstress. I'll model them once she brings them over.
Thanks for visiting,