Saturday 31 July 2021

This and That



 I must admit I'm rather  glad July is over. We had temperatures that broke records for heat, and we're also setting a new record for days with no rain. I believe we're up to 50.

There were good things too. Our family BBQ on July 1st is always lots of fun. Then M turned 12 (he's the youngest of our 5 grands).  We enjoyed our first ripe tomatoes and of course I enjoyed my flowers.

Here is a photo taken I think in 1987 while we were on a road trip with Miss C and our DIL. We were dropping them off in Alberta at her Dad's and we were continuing on to Waterton and Glacier National Parks. I'm not sure why my DH posed on that tree. Must have been some reason or other.  I do remember that poor Miss C got practically eaten alive by mosquitoes. She was such a sweet little girl and I miss those days ( she's still sweet but in a different way of course.)

Here's a picture NOT AT ALL SWEET. Some hooligans thought it  would be fun to light the boardwalk across the lake on fire. It happened in the wee hours of this morning. At one time we had police on bikes patrolling the park but that didn't last.  I wish they'd bring that back.

I didn't have much to blog about today but I did want to do a final July post.  I hope you're all having a pleasant weekend. It's a long one here in Canada but to us who are retired long weekends are not all that special. Every weekend is like a nice long weekend.

Take care,  G.M.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Pie and a Question

It's still hot here and we've now set a new record for consecutive days with no rain ( for our area). 42 days.  I am still doing some baking because the kitchen gets dreadfully hot whether the oven is on or not. I baked this pie last week. Today I have dough rising for cinnamon buns.

The question I have for those of you who make pies is this:  There's always a bit of extra dough so what do you do with it? I don't like to throw it out but don't always know what to make with it. This time I had a bit of extra apricot filling ( home made) so I made a tiny rustic pie.

 * The pie was delicious. Both of them.

Thanks for coming by,  GM

Monday 26 July 2021

Happy Monday




It's another beautiful summer day and it's going to be another hot one. I've been out doing some watering and will do a bit more later.  Keeping the plants that need watering the most alive. I'm thankful for the ones that cope with the drought and bloom in spite of it.  One such is my Lily that I call my Tiger Lily but I'm fairly sure it is a Turk's Cap Lily.  I have no idea how it came to grow where it is, right in the very front of the garden, but it thrives there and I'm not about to try to move it. 

 My Mullein also keeps growing and is now over 8 feet tall.  It looks strange but is so unique that I let it grow.

Thanks for the lovely comments on my tea pots in my last post.

Now I'm going outside and do some puttering before it gets too warm. Thanks for coming by,  GM

Friday 23 July 2021

Tea Pots

 I seem to have a lot of tea pots.  I didn't really mean to collect them; it just sort of happened.

In order to go to the back door of our house you have to walk  beside what was a boring cement block wall. DH built a wood shelf and roof so I could put anything out there to make it more interesting.
I already had some extra tea pots and it seemed a good spot to line them up.

I found them at different times, all at thrift stores. This pretty one is my latest find.

I think I have around 30, some of which are on the porch over my tea cups.

Thanks for visiting; I'd be interested to know which tea pot appeals to you the most ( if any).





Monday 19 July 2021

Clematis and More

  I have just spent a frustrating hour and a half trying to determine what my many Clematis are called. I have various tags which I tried to match up with the blooms that are  on the plants right now but I'm mainly guessing. I'm so disappointed that I didn't take the time originally to make proper sketches of both the front and back flowerbeds.  It doesn't help that several of the first ones we planted have died and been replaced by new varieties. Oh dear. I think I'll have to give up on this effort.

 When I moved the pots of Basil onto the porch it left the windowsill in the sunroom empty. I bought three plants to fill the spot. A Hibiscus, a white Carnation, and a lemon scented Geranium.

I had thought I'd plant the Carnation outside but when I looked more closely at the information on the tag I saw that it isn't winter hardy here. Something I should have checked before buying it.

Oh well, it will do nicely inside too. I have never tried to grow a Hibiscus so if anyone has any tips for me I'll be very glad for them. Already I've learned that each flower lasts only one day.  Luckily it has many buds.

It's another very warm day again. The temperature now at 2:30 is 29C which would be maybe 84 or 85F.  Not the kind of afternoon to be outside so I'm trying to get my gardening journals up-to-date.
Later I have a cake to bake for DH to take to Gleaners tomorrow. If I'm going to have the oven on I might as well make some muffins too.  I think they'll be Orange-Date muffins. I think baking will be less frustrating than sorting my Clematis labels.

Thanks for coming by,  GM

Saturday 17 July 2021

Mainly about Flowers


The sunshine continues and so does the drought. I do some watering every day and am thankful for the flowers that can manage without watering. Like Rudbeckias, Shasta Daisies, and Coneflowers.

Nasturtiums are also fine with not much water although these got a good soak one night when middle son forgot to turn off the sprinkler.  Oops.

The white Clematis cascades down every year right onto the nearest patch of Daisies.

Last but not least the first pole beans are ready. These are the Rattlesnake ones which I like because they're early but I don't like the roughness of the bean itself. It seems all pole beans are 'hairy' but the Rattlesnake are the worst. I've told the story before but will tell it again for new followers. When grandson M was in kindergarten each child got to plant a bean in a cup and bring it home. His thrived and we were able to get enough beans to keep some for seeds for the next year. Every year since we've grown them ( he's now going into grade 7).

Have a good day!!  GM

Thursday 15 July 2021

Blueberries and Apricots


We found lovely blueberries and bought a 20 lb box. They have been sorted and cleaned  ( that's what the people in the second picture are doing.)

This big blueberry harvester makes the need for human pickers unnecessary.

The fields are huge and the rows seem to go on forever.

 The next 3 pictures are in reverse order. I meant to show the lovely apricots we bought before the picture of the jam and scones but blogger loaded them like this.

These apricots are not 100% ripe yet but we were able to buy 2 bags of very ripe ones ready for jam NOW so they were greatly marked down.  We had the jam made within hours and it is delicious. Last year we couldn't find nice apricots anywhere so we started looking early this year and were lucky to find some.

Today was a lovely day, not too hot and with a pleasant breeze. I hope your day was lovely too.

Thanks for coming by,  GM

Tuesday 13 July 2021

On the Porch

I moved my Basil onto the porch. I had it in the sunroom but it was in full sun and needed watering 3 times a day. Here it will be in bright light but not direct sun AND it will be right there on the table for me to pluck leaves when we have our meals outside.


My .50 table on the porch close to the swing where I spend so much time.

Did you know that July 13the is National French Fries Day?  Well, I didn't either but now that I found out that's what we'll have for supper. We'll use the air fryer to make things super easy.

Thanks for visiting,  GM

Monday 12 July 2021


 I've started a little herb garden behind the house. So far I have planted Winter Savoury, Sage, and Rosemary.  There was already several plants of Thyme growing here. Also self-sown lavender which I just cannot make myself remove.  There are tomato plants up against the house and one in that black pot.  A couple of volunteer squash or pumpkin plants are growing near the old fountain in the corner. My daughter made the sign on an old board which I carried home from one of our walks much to the chagrin of DH.

Lavender growing in the cracks.

On the other side of this little path is a now mostly empty bed where the Daylilies grew. The ones that I had to get rid of.  In that bed there are tomatoes growing in the back, against the house and several self-sown Summer Savoury plants as well as 3 clumps of Chives.

This is my gardening journal. I try to keep it up-to-date but often forget to do so. I have a different one which is actually a photo album for 5 X 7 photos. I use that one to keep the tags that come with plants that I buy.

 Another week begins and we're getting close to the middle of the month already.  Don't we all wish Winter would pass as quickly as Summer does?  Or maybe just have Summer slow down.  

Thanks for coming by today. I always like to read any comments so please let me know how your summer is going.  GM

Friday 9 July 2021

A Good Day



What is happening?  I'm posting 3 days in a row!!!  The forecast for today was cooler ( or so I thought) so I planned a baking day.  Hmmm.  I was wrong. Nevertheless I baked 2 carrot cakes ( thank you to my DH who grated the carrots), and an Angel food cake ( just a box mix). We did our weekly grocery shopping first thing this morning and I bought strawberries. I love to put sugared strawberries and Cool Whip on Angel food cake. Yum.

I also put in an hour's work in the flower garden. In spite of the drought weeds still grow. Luckily a bit of hoeing and the sun does the rest.  The Daylilies are loving all the sunshine.  I've noted which varieties are doing the best and may replace the ones not doing great but that will have to wait until next Spring. 

So that was my lovely day. I hope yours was a good one too.

Thanks for coming by. I'll leave you with this old photo taken here in town  back in the days when gas was under 40 cents a Gallon. 


Thursday 8 July 2021

Cleaning Fruit and Vegetables


I've been hearing about different methods of removing bacteria and pesticides from fresh fruit and vegetables.  Many believe that vinegar is effective for this so I did a bit of research and in case this interests you I will try to condense what I learned.

A mixture of 3 parts plain water to 1 part vinegar can be useful although a certain amount of soaking is needed. Plain old water is 98% effective in most cases but make sure your sink (if that's where you're cleaning them ) is very clean.  I normally use a large bowl for washing mine so I can dump the water on any thirsty plant ( I don't use vinegar or I wouldn't do this).

This next part I copied directly from the internet...

If you are going to cool and sanitize your tomatoes you will need to do more than simply run the fruit under cold tap water. In fact, that is the worst thing you can do. You will need to dip or soak your tomatoes in water that is the temperature of the tomatoes that you just picked. So, if it is 85°F outside, the internal temperature of your fruit will be about 85°F. When preparing your cleaning solution, the water must be at the same temperature as the tomato. We realize that this seems odd, but if the water is cooler than the fruit the drastic change in temperature will cause the tomato to actually draw in or suck in through its pores water that surrounds it. It is a great way to get microorganisms into your fruit that will ultimately cause a fruit rot. After you clean and sanitize your fruit, place them in a cool area somewhere around 55°F. With tomatoes, never place them in your refrigerator. It is too cold in there!  

 “In the case of strawberries, blueberries and other berries, generally any wetting or direct contact with water is detrimental and will shorten their shelf-life. You should never place any of these into your sink to soak them.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who might be wondering about cleaning produce especially store-bought. I think I'll stick to washing with plain water but I'll make sure I use tepid water, not cold, as I've been doing.

I hope I haven't bored you.  If you're still here...thanks for popping in.  GM

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Daylilies and Other Blooms


 A number of my early blooming Daylilies were infected by the dreaded Gall Midge and I tried to find every bud that was distorted , sealed them in a plastic baggie then put them in the garbage. Here are some pictures of the ones that are blooming now. Thanks to my DIL for creating this collage.


She also created this collage of pictures I took of other flowers in my garden.

I watched her do it but I can't say that I'm ready to try it on my own. I'd probably manage to erase my entire blog.

It's a bit cooler today thanks to a light cloud cover. We walked early just in case it got warm. Quite a few people must have had the same idea.

Often when we've noticed crows making a fuss we've gone to see what they were upset about. Today they were harassing 2 young raccoons up high in a tree. Of course I didn't have my camera along and with all the leaves I doubt I would have managed to get a clear picture.

Thanks for visiting today,   GM

Sunday 4 July 2021

Woolly Mullein and Blueberries

 Thanks to birds that visit my garden I have a 6' Woolly Mullein growing happily near the Hollyhocks.
 The one I have looks more like the second photo though. A bit straggly.

pictures from the internet

We went looking for blueberries yesterday and were disappointed to find that we had to pick our own if we wanted any. In other years we've always done that but we're at an age now where we happily pay others to pick them.  We did go into the field and began picking but the sun beat down on us and we soon gave up. We'll find some yet because the season has just begun.

 We bought more delicious cherries at Walmart this morning. Cherries are by far my favourite fruit!!
 Our temperatures are staying around 30C which is normal for July. We're so thankful the 40 degree weather moved on.
To all who are celebrating the 4th of July I hope you had a lovely celebration.

Thanks for dropping by,  GM