Monday, December 14, 2009

Yesterday it was mango jam. Most will go as gifts for Christmas with some kind of home made bread. Yeast or, quick breads. Last year it was cookies, cookies and more cookies. And, did I mention the candy I made? Woo boy.
With being diabetic and the unstoppable urge I feel to taste everything... thought this was a saner choice for this year. At least it should make my blood sugars not go skyrocketing.
Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I am.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's been awhile

It has been quite awhile since I was here last.

I have been busy busy busy with this and that and the other thing.

Here's some of the latest canning pictures. Aren't they pretty?
These are Clementine oranges. You know the ones which come about 30 - 35 in a small wooden box? They were on sale at $2.99 a box. Plus, I found information on the Mandarin oranges that come in the small cans to be frightening. They are from China. What is scary is China is still using the BPA to seal the seams in those cans. I want my family to be safe. Every way I can.... so I canned these.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I do more than just can

Cleared the garden of the swiss chard. Decided to freeze what was picked. The pictures tell the story. First it was cleaned and blanched. Then it was allowed to dry before sealing into Foodsaver bags. It will be heavenly to have it during the winter months ahead.
Oh and I went apple picking. Or, I should say with my bad knee I went and bought what the orchard people picked. My sweetie's one request before I start canning the apples as sauce and pie filling was to make a Dutch Apple pie for him. It turned out so good. Especially as I had never made one.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And, here's more canning

Spaghetti sauce, summer squash, pork, tomatoes and peaches. So far no seal failures and this is the first year for me for pressure canning.

What fun.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here I am again

It's been busy here as of late.

Canning. And, more canning.
Gardening and now having the cool weather moving in and worrying about frosts coming.
Beets, a huge zucchini that was hidden somehow, and carrots. I love canning. Learning so much this year. What fun.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I've been bizzy, bizzy, bizzy

I just can't believe how much fun it is to can. Here are pictures of what I did this past week. In order, zucchini pickle relish, summer squash, tomato (spaghetti) sauce and, carrots. All the produce came from my own garden this year. Well, not quite all the tomatoes did as I had a blight hit my tomato crop this year. But, dang.... I am definitely proud of what I have done. Next on the list to can, swiss chard. Hmm.... with added bacon maybe?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Latest canning effort - beautiful beets

The square foot gardening has been prolific this year. Last year's first try at the new concept was not so great. I was hoping last year's semi-failure was due to the weather and I didn't really have a handle on how to grow using the square foot box system. Plus, in the midst of it all..... we had to move out of the place where we were living. Our landlady was coming home 4 months earlier than planned. So this year's bounty has been a real treat for us.
A couple of days ago I cleared out the beet squares. I had an assortment in sizes from really big to medium sized beets. We had been eating the greens and the smaller ones I had pulled to thin the planting beds out for quite awhile. Now it was time to pickle and can them. The above picture shows the result.... beautiful. I know we will be enjoying these throughout the winter.
The tomatoes are not yet ripe.... will post pictures of that canning when it happens.

More rain barrels

Can't say how crazy this weather is without just about everyone agreeing. So in keeping with the weirdness or, in trying to fight it we have installed lots of rain barrels around the house. Then of course there are the 5 Square Foot gardening boxes which measure 14 x 3, the two in-ground veggie gardens and the 41 (yes that is the correct number) of new trees planted since we moved here that need watering. Oh and did I mention the old pump that is working on it's last legs to bring water up from the well? It needs a rest.

The pictures I have posted are along the east side of the music room which at one time was the garage for this house. It's a cement pad to place three more 60 gallon water barrels on. Now of course the day we wanted to do this work the temperature was hovering at 90 with a humidity level of about 100%! But, the work needed doing. We waited till the sun was on the west side and we were in the shade. Helped a bit.... but, it was still a sweaty job.

We are now almost finished setting up all the barrels. When I say all I am talking here of eleven 60 gallon barrels. They are in four different areas to catch the rain. They are quite amazing and I for one am very proud of all the work that has gone into them. Big kudos to Mark for all his hard work and perseverance. He has done an outstanding job on them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cute dog picture

Gracie who I adopted out of the pound is so sweet. It's too bad she and I didn't meet sooner. She has some issues to be sure. Some solvable... some not as I found out just a while ago. One is she was never socialized with other dogs when she was a pup. Therefore she doesn't know how to play well with other dogs or, with humans. But, she tries. Oh, how she tries. The dog trainer whom we took lessons from... and I mean both of us took lessons from her (thanks Judy).... said she will never learn how to play as she is too old now. Now isn't that one of the saddest things you have ever heard? But, the good thing is Gracie passed her beginner's class with flying colours. Her other main problem which is disappearing is she is underweight. She is finally getting to the point where I don't notice her ribs sticking out so much. She eats three meals a day. Which she enjoys wholeheartedly. I think we will be cutting back to two soon as she is starting to fill out. The vet said to be careful and not to make her too heavy to compensate. I won't, I promise. I don't want a fat dog.
The picture of her sitting backwards on the chair and looking out the window.... she's watching the children in the yard next door. It's a day care and the little children there just love her. They pet her through the fencing when we are all out together. They had noticed her watching them (which is when I snapped this picture) and they were all calling to her.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


And, more rain. Will it ever stop? The weather people said July was the wettest month on record. Wonder what August is set to bring us?

My garden loves water but, enough is enough. My onions were starting to turn to mush.... then it stopped raining and I removed all the dead and dying tails from them. They had started regenerating.... now I am not sure what's going to happen.

The tomatoes ended up with the blight from the rain.... asked a tomato expert what to do with that. He advised me to trim and mulch up to my eyebrows around the plants, which I did. They are doing well now. They all have flowers or, little itty bitty baby tomatoes starting to grow. Yippee and a big thank you to Roger!

The zucchini seem to be flourishing in the water soaked environment. So far I have picked 2 beauties. And there are loads and loads of pretty flowers on the plants. Picture courtesy of Mark.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend, without rain if you live near me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I have been busily tending the jungle of garden I have this year. Things are looking fine in there. I did have a bit of blight on some tomato plants but, with some pruning and more mulch applied, they should be fine. Onions are also not doing well. They are rotting in the ground. But, what can you expect with this being the wettest July on record?
The other thing I did this past week was to make some fabulous blueberry jam. Yum, yum. All together I put up 16 pints and 2 1/2 pints. Won't have to make more for about 4 months. I have someone in the family who absolutely devours the stuff.
Peas are coming on strong too. Yesterday I blanched and froze enough for two meals. I know that doesn't sound like much but, can you imagine the taste treat that will be during the dead of winter? Can't wait to do the same with the corn.
Hope all is well in your world....????
It is impossible to describe to someone who does not garden, the sense of intoxication, of absolute delight, brought on by working amongst such green, sweet, growing friends that the garden becomes...." The power of a garden: 1914

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All grown up - take 2

Okay folks trying once again to post these pictures of what those seedlings from way back in late February now look like.

Aren't they beautiful? It's a jungle in there.

The boxes are designed after Mel Bartholmews Square foot garden boxes.

And, I pretty much stick to his methods of growing.

Lots of rain so far this summer.

I am worried about my tomatoes but, only time will tell there.

Hope you enjoy the garden pictures.

My very best friend has come to visit.

Talk about making memories....

I wish she could stay forever but, that's not to be the case.

I will have to start saving up to go and visit her next year.

I love you my sister.

All grown up

The picture of the seedlings I posted back in March.... they now look like this.
Woo hoo they are doing very well. This jungle is my garden as of two days ago.
We have been harvesting lettuce, spinach, beet greens, radishes and hopefully today peas and new potatoes.
Yum, yum.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Trying again

Tiger Lily is the green/yellow colored budgie.

Lucy Loo Loo is the other budgie.

This pictures shows them just starting to get to know each other.

They are sweet together feeding each other.... thinking they are going to make friends.

Hopefully not friends with benefits.

Tiger Lily- not just another pretty face

This is our other new addition to the family.
In all the hoopla with everything else going on.... I forgot to introduce her.
This is Tiger Lily (the green/yellow) our newest budgie. She was brought into our home to keep Lucy Loo Loo (the blue/white budgie) company. Hoping to high heaven she is another female. But, Tiger Lily's cere looks more blue than pink. She's young yet... notice the size difference? Keeping our fingers crossed here as a male would complicate things to no end.

The Mr. and Mrs. Dolittle's menagerie now include;
Harley Beaner - a peach faced lovebird, 9 years old
Lucy Loo Loo - (I believe) an English budgie 6 years old
Tiger Lily - 6 month old budgie.... sex to still be determined
Gracie - 8 month old beagle/boxer mixed breed

GRACIE- newest family member

I have been oh so busy.... and her name is Gracie. Isn't she just so sweet?

She is from a shelter. I have always, always gotten my dogs from shelters. I figure there are already too many dogs and cats in this world and the shelters.... well I wish every dog and cat that goes in these places end up getting adopted into a forever family for them.
Anyway she is a beagle/boxer mix, is 8 months old and so sweet and loving it's hard to believe she's only been part of my life for the last 3 days. It's like she's been here forever.
We have worked hard all day with the house training. The people at the shelter said she was clean. What in heck does that mean? It should have been a clear warning to me but, I was so infatuated with Gracie the day I picked her up.... I just didn't pay attention. Today (woo hoo) we made it outside for each and every poop and pee. No clean ups in the house.... yippee Gracie, what a good girl you are!
So that's part of where I have been. Busy. Busy. Busy. She's tiring me out and I know she's going to help keep me healthy. She's a puppy with a puppy's energy. What fun, eh?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful seedlings

Aren't they just too beautiful for words?

Oh my, oh my, oh my......

The one little peat pot has a couple of baby onions growing.

The long line of little pots contain broccoli.

And, there's more to come.

Today I will be taking toilet paper rolls and turning them into compostable seed pots.

Cabbage will be going in those.

On seedlings and burnt bread

Yup you read that correctly.
Seedlings... yippee got them coming up in spades.
Planted out a couple of days ago onions and broccoli.
They have been in their little greenhouses beside the window sitting on the heating pad.
Wow.... they are already so tall.

And, the burnt bread?
I need a repairman to fix my oven door.
It's off the hinge and for the first time in my life I can't get this one oven door back on!
It screws up the baking and cooking times of just about all that goes in the oven.
Even with two oven thermometers and a stick DH fixed to keep the door wedged shut....
Things are either overcooked (read burnt) or, undercooked.
Where's the repair person when you need them?
Cause I wasted alot of bread dough yesterday and the house stinks to high heaven with the smells of burnt bread.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On being sick and growing old

Here I am back. Man oh man was I sick.
I was out of it for way too long and I was tired of the flu and being sick on day two.
This nasty bastard hung on like there was no tomorrow.
Then as a long last parting shot....
I ended up with a sinusitis and had to take antibiotics.
This today is day 11. Which I can hardly believe.
I still have 2 days of antibis left to take too.
And, as all of you know you are supposed to finish the entire course of those pillies.
I am thinking two more days and I'll be as right as rain.
Hoping anyway.....

Because I was ill I missed most of President Obama's trip to Ottawa.
I saw snippets and clips on the tube.
My man was rec'd with open arms up here.
And, he did the unthinkable and stopped the motorcade and got out and met the people of Canada.
And, had a Beavertail.... a Canadian sweet treat.
Good for you President Obama.
You rock.
And, if you do nothing else.... you will live in the Canadian people's minds as a great man.
(Do you think he read my very first post?)

Bye for now.
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines!

Hate being sick

The trip to the big city did me in. I caught a raging flu/cold. I have even been confined to bed for the past couple of days. Feeling absolutely horrid. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
I am though feeling some better this morning. First time in almost a week. I should celebrate. NOT!!!
It's Valentine's Day today. Wasn't able to do anything for the sweetest DH this side of Canada due to illness. But, I think he'll survive with a hug and a kiss. Maybe if I feel really loads better this afternoon, I'll make him some of his favorite cookies. Lucky man.
Going to go back to bed now. I am exhausted by the little I have just done.
Later, eh?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A night's full moon

Full moon night

It was gorgeous last night looking out the window. It was somewhere between midnight and dawn... I was on one of my too frequent trips to the bathroom. I most always as I pass the big double window in the kitchen, stop and take a look out. Last night's full moon and cloudless night were excellent for trying to see the rabbit I know has been visiting. And, I was right. There he/she was sitting in an area devoid of snow. Guess the bunny wanted a less cold spot to sit. I could see the bunny quite clearly as he/she was outlined in the non-snow area.
Found out from my cyber friend, Vi, I should be feeding the rabbit alfalfa or was that timothy? Whether it's one or, the other.... I don't know where to go to buy that. And, should I? If I plan on a veggie garden this year is it wise to be feeding this rabbit who in all likelihood will eat my garden down to the nubbins. No pun intended but, that's food for thought.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter's morning.

Ah.... a beautiful winter's morning.

This is the view out the back window of our place.

The Ottawa trip

So there we were. In Ottawa, the big city. Oh, oh. It's almost scary now going back there.
Living in the country has gotten to be such a way of life now to us. Hard to believe we used to live in the Big City just under a year ago. Wow... that's amazing.As I am sitting here I am realizing it's been almost a year to today's date since we left the Big City.
Listening to the news from the Big City at night we hear how things are changing.
Lots of crime now. Or, was it there when we lived there and we just chose to ignore it?
I don't think so. The crooks are robbing places where I used to shop. Shop? Yup, they are
robbing the grocery stores now in the Big City. Grocery stores???? Doesn't that strike you
as strange? It does me.
Anyway the trip into the Big City went off okay. Even spent time visiting with the family.
No one fought.... or argued. Think that was a first.
Got our business concluded and came home. It's always tiring to me to make these trips.
Why? I end up doing all the driving. I think the next trip in..... which is this Wednesday,
I need to give up the control and allow the old man to drive. Even if he does drive 10-15 kph under the speed limit. And, gets all nervous when someone follows too close. I know... I need to take a Valium before the trip. (Are Valiums still made?)
That's it from here.
Y'all have a good day, eh?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rainy and warm here

Is it winter still? I guess this is the delayed January thaw we are having. The temperatures yesterday got up to +8 C. Which is about 45 F, I think. I am still not good at changing Celsius to Fahrenheit.

It's rained off and on since yesterday and our snow is about gone. What was hard packed snow yesterday is glare ice this morning. I am thinking I will be sitting on my assets more than once today when I head out the door. The traction sand is ready for the first person who ventures out on the ice. It's sitting right inside the outside door.

This coming week is Winterlude in Ottawa. A week long celebration of winter and all those things you think of winter being. Skating, skiing, tobogganing, hot chocolate and, those delicious beavertails (aka fried bread dough topped with any number of wonderful toppings). It's too bad it's going to coincide with the week of weather which is going to stay above freezing all week long. Those beautiful big ice block sculptures which are being carved and put on display.... I wonder how long they will last in these temps? I also wonder if the Rideau canal will stay frozen enough to safely continue to allow skaters on it for the festival? Now that would be a big bummer.

Okay we are going to be headed into the big city today. Don't worry the roads are wet and clear right now. No ice. But as the temperature drops this afternoon... it will become of some concern for us on our return ride home. A trip of about 80 kms or, about an hour and a half worth of driving if the roads stay clear. Canada's secondary roads have a speed limit of 80kmp (clicks) or, roughly 50mph. Slow going if you are use to the highways and byways in the States of usually 55 to 65mph.

Have a great day. See ya later, eh?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So I have the bug....

Not a cold bug but, the canning bug. On my trip to the BF one of the things I was looking for was blueberries. The old man is out of blueberry jam. Which is his absolute favorite. And, it doesn't hurt it's full of those anti-oxidants vitamins or, whatever it is you call them.
I had to go to a second store as the BF, the discount store had bags of "wild" blueberries for 6.99 a bag. The bags weren't big either.
The second store I went to... one I don't shop often as it's more expensive. They had the same bags of "wild" blueberries but, at $2 less per bag. Who would have thunk that would have been the case. Wow... sure did surprise me.
Traveling to see family tomorrow so don't think I will be making the jam till later.
Now it's time for dinner.
Menu is; baked salmon
couscous with a melange of dried veggies
Dessert.... the best part will be California strawberries. Found those at the BF for 1.77 for a quart container. Now that was a good deal. They are macerating in a little sugar and lemon for some zip as you know California berries at this time of year are pretty tasteless.

Saturday... it's shopping day

And, time to find my way to the BF. That's what I call it. It's a discount grocery store called "Basic Foods". It carries the basics and not alot of brand names. That's what keeps it discounted. I go early morning before the store crowds up. It's much easier to navigate the smaller aisles at this early hour. Plus, with out the crowds I can zip right through.
Have to go to the bank. And, darn it all wouldn't you know they aren't open on Saturday. That means the ATM machine for me this morning.
Then on to Wally world. Just cruising in there. I don't really need anything.
Living rural like I do I take my excitement where I can get it.
Shopping is a big deal now for me.
Ah... come on don't laugh.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Second posting.... and the layout ain't bad either

Well this here is the second posting since I started putting this blog together.
I am thinking it's starting to look okay now that I have added a few things to it.
I guess I will have to wait and see how things progress.

Tonight's treat for Mark was Walnut-raisin bars that I made while washing the kitchen floor.
He's been chomping them down since after dinner.
Tonight's dinner was;
mashed potatoes (from dinner a couple nights ago) turned into potato pancakes
open faced burger on home made bread w/the fixings... tomato, lettuce, onion and mayo
an assortment of pickles canned this past summer
canned coleslaw
Have I said how much I like to cook and bake and can and dehydrate and well anything that has to do with making food?
Because I really do.

Okay this is getting addictive now.
I need to sign off for the evening and close this out.

Starting today....

Starting today is a good day to start a blog. Don't ya think so?

This should be fun and why not try it as so many of my friends are doing so.

I am going to be learning as I go so this may all fall apart before the end comes around.

I am going to try and add gadgets to the blog and links to my friend's blogs.

Let see how I do with just getting this posted.


Doesn't that sound so Canadian?

Oh and just my two cents here....

President Obama.... you have pissed the Canadian folks off big time. Canada is the little brother to the US and your trip to Ottawa that's coming and the thought of your not getting out of the plane is a big slap in the face to your lil bro. You just might want to rethink this.

Later then.

Little old me...

My photo
An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.


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