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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Busy Summer

It's been a busy busy summer this year.   So much for the those lazy hazy days of summer.   Our summer here has been on the cool side.  First time I can remember that lettuce has grown all summer ! 

I haven't posted much but have enjoyed reading all the posts from others.   Our daughter and family, along with their dog moved in with us for a couple months in between a big move to the west coast.   Being empty nesters, our house was once again a hub of activity, especially with a toddler.    They have now made their big move to their new home and we are empty nesters again.  Our house is very quiet !

A couple of weeks ago I went on a business trip.   I haven't had the opportunity to travel for the company in many years.   This trip took me to Richmond, Virginia.    Before my flight home I had a couple of hours to spare and drove to Hopewell, Virginia and took in  a little bit of the history there and visited a couple of plantations.

The drive was beautiful and scenery amazing.   I would have liked to spend more time there to do some more exploring.  

The Weston Plantation - built in 1789 overlooking the Appomattox River in Hopewell

  The Appomattox River - view from the Weston Plantation


 
Beautiful Crepe Myrtle trees growing everywhere in full bloom. 
We don't have these in our area. 

The Appomattox Plantation built in 1763.  It served as headquarters for General Grant (1864-65) and is now operated by the National Parks Service.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Knitting for Charity

Manni in my back yard
Our local Knitter's Guild took on a project for the Alzheimer's Society of Peel this year.

For the last 16 years the Alzheimer's Society of Peel's fundraising program has included Teddy Bears - the "Forget-me-not Bears".   They have 450 bears available for sale and the monies raised go towards programs and services offered by Alzheimer Peel.   They sell their bears October through December each year.    Each year a different bear is selected and volunteer knitters are encouraged to knit sweaters for the bear. 

This year's bear is called Manni.   A beautiful soft cuddly medium sized GUND bear. 

                 "Teddy Bears bring a smile to everyone's face and warm the heart".  

Alzheimers / Dementia is a sad fatal degenerative disease that affects the brain.   To learn more about the disease you can go to the Alzheimer's Society web page.

I have knit up a number of sweaters for Manni this summer using up my yarn from my stash.   The pattern was provided by the Alzheimer's Society.   The pattern was easy and allowed knitters to be as creative as they wanted to be by adding cables, buttons, etc.

Here are my sweaters so far ..... 

 









Monday, July 14, 2014

Garden Update - Mid-July 2014

It has been a busy summer so far. The growing season is a couple weeks behind due to one of the harsher winters we've had in a long time.  
However, the garden is slowly coming along nicely.


 Fresh picked greens for dinner  - spinach, baby kale, arugula, three types of lettuce

Garlic is picked and drying.

 I've used as much space as possible this year for growing our own food.  Red/Green lettuce growing in window boxes.

 Savoy cabbage, dinosaur kale and Zinnias, started indoor by seed, growing in planters.
 Mystery yellow blossom, from squash, zucchini, pumpkin?  Most likely planted by the squirrels.  Will soon find out what it is.

 Lemon balm and lemon thyme growing in planter

 Purple pole beans in raised bed

 Mixed greens growing in raised bed : 
Arugula, spinach, tasoi, bok choy, red/green lettuce


 Gold fish are thriving and keeping mosquitos away.  This is their third summer in the rain barrels and are doing very well.   In the winter I bring them inside and keep in a fish tank.



Dinosaur Kale growing in my front flower bed.   
Using every inch of space for growing our own food. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rhubarb Spring 2014

Rhubarb is the first thing that is ready for harvest in my garden.  This year has been a fabulous year for Rhubarb.   We had a bumper crop and have made quite a bit with it as well as put several bags into the freezer too.

Some things I've posted about Rhubarb in the past ......

Some things I've learned about rhubarb  
Rhubarb Muffins
Rhubarb Pie 


and some new recipes to share....

Some new recipes I found over at the Canadian Living Magazine web site are delicious !

A Rhubarb Coffee Cake made with buttermilk.   It has a crunchy nut streusel topping.  I left the nuts out of the recipe as I didn't have any on hand at the time.  This coffee cake is very moist and super delicious.

The coffee cake freezes well and have baked up a couple extra for the freezer. 

Gluten Free Rhubarb-Strawberry crumble.   Recipe called for just strawberries.  However I used mostly Rhubarb and added a quart of sliced fresh strawberries.   I also added some orange zest.   This dessert was served at Father's Day dinner.  Both Fathers (husband and his 90 year old Dad) love rhubarb - especially if it's served with ice cream !



Gluten-Free Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumble

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blue

 My favourite colour is Blue.
   It has been since I was young. 
For me, it's a colour that brings calm.

I did a search on the colour blue and was it interesting to find out a few things about the colour.  Even more interesting, was how a colour can describe your personality.

The color blue is the color of trust and responsibility
This color is one of trust, honesty and loyalty. 
It is sincere, reserved and quiet, and doesn't like to make a fuss or draw attention.  From a color psychology perspective, blue is reliable and responsible. This color exhibits an inner security and confidence. You can rely on it to take control and do the right thing in difficult times. It has a need for order and direction in its life, including its living and work spaces. 


This is a color that seeks peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order - we certainly feel a sense of calm if we lie on our backs and look into a bright blue cloudless sky. It slows the metabolism. The paler the blue the more freedom we feel.  






Blue is conservative and predictable, a safe and non-threatening color, and the most universally liked color of all, probably because it is safe and non-threatening. At the same time blue is persistent and determined to succeed in whichever endeavors it pursues.



Try doing a search on your favourite colour and see what you come up with.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Love of Lace


I have a love for lace and over the years have collected numerous lace doilies.    A number of these were given to me from my mother, grandmother and from friends as they began downsizing their homes.  A number of them I have crocheted myself.   

My collection had grown and I no longer knew what to do with all these doilies and couldn't bear to part with them.  

I had a large open space above our couch in our living room that looked empty and bare.
 
So I decided to create some wall art !  

 

I used two used stretched canvas on 23.5 inch square wood frames.  
The canvases were then primed and painted with an acrylic folk paint found at a craft store in my favourite colour - Blue.   The shade I chose is called "Midnight" by "Folk Art"

 
 The fun part was arranging the doilies on the canvases, deciding which ones to choose and where best to place them. 


After a time of arranging and re-arranging I finally had the pieces in the places where I wanted them. 

I next hot-glued each doily in it's place.


These doilies also have special meaning - there are parts of my grandmother, mother, friends and myself woven into these collages.   
Now I can enjoy the intricate work of these pieces instead of having them 
shut away in a box.

The finished result .......





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