Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mercy for Animals

I grew up on a farm where we raised animals to eat, but our animals were well treated.  No one was cooped up, they enjoyed eating bugs and grass in the fields.  Today our supermarket meat comes to us through the suffering of the poor animals.  Even our eggs are laid by abused hens.  I eat more vegan meals and try to buy meat and eggs from local farmers that take care of their animals unlike the massive corporate farms.
abused chicken from an egg producing farm

Above is a picture of a poor hen that has been adopted.  She needs a knitted sweater to keep her warm because she has lost many of her feathers.  The commercial below was produced by a non-profit animal rights group and hopefully helps to educate the public on the treatment of animals destined for our supermarket shelves.  Let us all strive to be vegan at least one day a week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Matter of Taste

Today I had my feelings hurt by a clueless neighbor.  I moved in to my little cottage at the end of last August.  The inside was painted dark grey, dark taupe and dark brownish pumpkin orange!  Even though I work at least 40 hours a week and spend a little more than an hour a day commuting back and forth I painted the whole place myself.  I chose cottage white and daffodil yellow for the walls and a light blue called escarpment for the ceilings (I always like to look up and see the sky).  Since I am in the country and several of my windows are high I chose not to put up curtains.  I have such lovely views, a forest to look onto at the front, lilacs on both sides and a lovely garden at the back.  Today a neighbor from down the road came for a visit.  She looked around and then informed me she had very good taste and would be more than happy to come over and help me decorate.  I said rather sheepishly "I did decorate".  But to her no curtains, off white and light yellow walls, art posters of Van Gogh's sunflowers, sculptures by Fedak and a purple yoga mat permanently in the middle of the living room for my daily yoga amounted to no taste.  Well I have decided I do have taste, my own!  I may add curtains though in the living room like in the pic above.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How To Make Plant Supports


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Busy Bee

The giant bumblebees are busy gathering nectar from the red clover in my yard and I am busy with putting in my first garden in 10 years!      

Patches of red clover came up in my rag tag back lawn and I decided not to pull them out but let them blossom.  It is just lovely and as you can see the bees think so too. 

The pea patch is coming along well.  The first row are early peas and they have little white blossoms already.

This day-lily has buds that should open this week and I tucked some red lettuce and a johnny jump up plants underneath.  If you look closely you can also see a chive blossoms peeking through the lily leaves.

Broccoli, kale, purslane, arugula seedlings

I still have lots of seedlings to pop in here and there.  

sweet pea and morning glory seedlings

The sweet peas are growing in recycled toilet paper rolls.

Tomato and Pepper Patch
Rose Peony

My neighbor has the most beautiful bed of peonies.

Pink Peony

Burgundy Peony

This is only a small part of the peony bed.  My neighbor let me take home a huge bouquet and the intoxicating scent of the flowers fills the house. I am hoping she will give me a good size clump for my yard.

While I work Poonie plays with her big pink ball.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Moment

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize you are exactly where you are supposed to be?  It happened to me this morning at 5:30am.  I was in the kitchen getting my lunch ready to take to work and I was standing in front of the kitchen window.  It had been raining, the air was cool and a breeze blew in through the open window bringing with it the heady scent of Lilacs.  The scent was so strong, I felt so strange and I realized this is where I was meant to be.  I took several deep breaths, I wanted the feeling to last, it was pure joy. 

I called my little house Lilac Cottage because the property is flanked on both sides by lilac bushes.  To my delight the bushes are just loaded with blooms.  I like to think the lilacs are happy I'm here and are putting on their best blooms!

I am not the only one intoxicated by the lilacs.  The bushes are a buzz with hummingbirds and bumblebees.

Another pic of my gorgeous Angelique tulips.

Irene encore.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


It has been a late spring but my tulips are finally blooming!  Most are scented too!

Tulip Irene   

Tulip Angelique

 I planted the bed on the front lawn so when I arrive home the first thing I see are my lovely tulips. Bliss.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poonie in the dandelions

Poonie is so happy that winter is over!  She loves being outside and enjoys frolicking among the dandelions!

King Alfred Daffodil

The crocus were the first to pop their heads out, right through the snow!  There were yellow and lavender but I couldn't manage to get a decent pic of the lavender color.  I think I will buy more for next year, maybe the bigger ones as these were the tiny crocus.  Next came the daffodils which I have to say have been a bit of a disappointment.  I planted 25 and only 13 came up.  They were suppose to be a melange but so far they all look like the King Alfred variety..  There are 4 more to bloom so maybe they will be of a different sort.

These lovely geraniums were on sale for $1.49 each at the local hardware store.  They sit on the deck with the pansies eagerly waiting to be planted.

Rosemary my first herb for my new garden.  I will probably buy a couple more plants.  I just love the smell as it reminds me of my trip to Provence where there was so much rosemary you could smell it everywhere anytime there was a light breeze...

I have planted 3 kinds of peas; an early dwarf, dwarf snow pea and a  mid season dwarf.  I have one more type to plant a tall sugar snap which will go along the deck where it can climb.  I also planted a heritage spinach and a lettuce mixture.  Oh I just can't wait to pull that first pea of the vine.  Fresh peas are my favorite veggie, and they have to be eaten just picked or they don't taste right. Everyone should garden and grow some of their own food because the taste of home grown veg is well, out of this world.

Well here is bed #1, the pea and spinach bed.  Flanked by day lilies, rhubarb and iris which were already here, oh and a pile of rocks that I am slowly getting rid off.  I will perhaps plant some perennial herbs and flowers in the spot.  Please note the gorgeous yard you see beyond the fence belongs to my 77 year old neighbor who spends her entire days pruning and clipping.  My yard is in sad shape because the previous owners did not seem to do any yard work let alone have a garden! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside!

This morning at 07:30 when Pounie had to go do her business outside it was -38 Celsius.  I was afraid to let her go out alone, so I donned my winter cloak and I carried Pounie outside in my arms (she was wearing her sweater but in this weather it is not enough).  I put her down and commanded PEE!  She did.  We quickly went back in and started the morning coffee.  What a cutie!

The old lilac tree with promises of purple blooms to come.

Last Monday it was bitterly cold as well and my car wouldn't start.  Had to have a neighbour boost the old battery.  So this week Poppy the car got a new battery and she started with no trouble today.  I let the car run for about 20 minutes.  I should be good tomorrow to go to work as I need money to buy seeds and plants.

Taking a longing look at where the future garden will be.

I imagine my poor old pot dreaming of the lovely flowers it will be holding in a few months, maybe some blue petunias and yellow nasturtiums.

Last fall I bought a down duvet at 70% off and a duvet cover at 50% off but so far I have kept my old comforter on the bed.  I thought this afternoon I must put my new duvet on the bed since it is so freakin cold.  I think it looks pretty nice.  Hopefully it's cozy too.

I have placed my small Ikea chair in the kitchen to take advantage of the sun, but someone has stolen my spot before I could make a cup of tea and sit down with the new seed catagues that have arrived.

chair hog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Workout and Beaver Balls

I can't say it enough, I love my little house.  I sleep in peace, I have my dog Pounie and when spring comes I will have my own garden in my back AND front yard.  I think lawns are a waste of valuable gardening space.  This weekend we were back to normal -19 Celsius with the wind chill and about 10 cm of snow fell.  So Pounie and I were out cleaning off the driveway.  The air was crisp and clean, a great way to get some exercise.

Poppy my car covered in snow.

The composter still in use but slowly disappearing.

Pounie checking my work.

With the new house I splurged and got a satellite dish for the TV, well really had no choice if I wanted any TV at all up here.  I have been enjoying watching the food network which has inspired me to cook more.  I suffer from Celiac disease and cannot eat most grains.  I haven't had many cravings since I went on my celiac diet but of late I have had the desire for some Chinese food, shrimp balls in particular.  Chinese food is out because some is breaded and the rest has soya sauce that is made with wheat, who knew!  You can find soya sauce made with soya beans but it is more expensive and so the restaurants don't use it.  I have some and do make stir fries but never shrimp balls.  I found a recipe for a  tempura batter using potato starch.  I tried it out and my shrimp balls were amazing!  The batter puffed up beautifully and was tasty.  I had some left over and didn't want to throw it out but I had no shrimp left.  Then I had an epiphany, here in Canada we have a treat called a beaver tail. It is bread dough that is flattened like a beaver tail, deep fried and topped with things like sugar, cinnamon, chocolate.  Just delicious and often eaten after partaking in some kind of winter sport.  Along the famous Rideau Canal in Ottawa there are booths every where selling beaver tails.  So I dropped my left over dough in the oil and since there was no filling they puffed up but stayed a little flat.  I sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon and I thought wow beaver balls!  They were scrumptious, I ate them all.  So much for healthier eating, well they were not that bad except for being cooked in canola oil.

Bon Appetit