Monday, May 31, 2010

200 humans have been here....

That's 200 visitors to my mistress' blog!

Garden Goodies Galore

I have included a couple of pictures here.
There's the spinach quiche I made with the first huge harvest
of spinach out of the garden. Then there's the wheelbarrow full of greens. beet greens, spinach and lettuces. One picture is looking under the pole beans down the length of the square foot box, there's a picture of young tomatoes growing with basil as their companions, and that huge white flower is a beautiful smelling peony.
Still waiting on the rain to come. Every time it's on the radar anywhere near.... it disappears when it gets over us.
Happy Memorial day to all my American friends!

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Pretty Lil Birdie - Harley Beaner

This beautiful little peach faced love bird graced my life for almost 10 years. The Harley Beaner. I use his picture as my picture. He was an amazing bird and I was so blessed he was part of my life. I honor his life by including his picture when and where I can. Never a day goes by where I don't remember him. His grave is down in my orchard under the two bird houses DH built for the bluebirds. He has a small monument on his grave, A small Love “d” bird
A large loving spirit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just Wanted to Pass This Along

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one
cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6
Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up
a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that
can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a
cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a
soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a
small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The
chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent
undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to
the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area
for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in
your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility
of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices
before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers
contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential
nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a
hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers
have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders
and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't
have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the
shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only
looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and
rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the
spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the
chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water
and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has
been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during
final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?
Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your
tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill
the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless
steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean,
not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is
won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and
slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and
markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!(Sure wish I had this
information when my daughter was 3.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rain Barrel City

DH got the last of the disconnected rain barrels hooked back up. They had been disconnected for the winter months to protect them from freezing and possibly splitting. He did an amazing job of getting them all set up last year and this year he has tweaked a couple barrels to make them work even better.

This set of three in this picture are right outside the back door. They catch the rain which comes off the converted garage's roof. There are two sets of 3 barrels which are situated under the downspouts of the house and the outbuilding has a set of two to catch it's rain water. This many barrels allows us to collect a lot of rain water. We have 11 barrels in total and each barrel holds 60 gallons. If they all are full, we have a total of 660 gallons of water. That's a lot of good clean water.

Now keep your fingers crossed we get some rain to fill them!

And, If You Haven't Seen Enough Garden Pictures

Here's a few more pictures for your perusal.
Eggplant (or, should that be eggplants?) in a single row.
There's tomatoes (and their companion plants of basil) in the first of the two rows with onions filling the third row.
Small starts of leaf and mescalin lettuces.
Close-up of a single growing radish (just for you Karen!).
And, the different stages of pole beans as they come bursting up out of the ground.

Hope you all enjoy the pictures of my work. Oh and today is the first of the really hot days to come. I am filling the wading pool today!

Have a great Victoria Day all my Canadian followers!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Garden Pictures

The garden has finally come to a close for planting. I am still working on trellises and supports for certain of the plants. The other thing I am doing is mulching everything I can. Went to a local farm and bought 5 bales of hay/straw. What's the difference anyway? I want at least 3 inches of hay around everything. Keeps down the weeds and the water needs

We have had temperatures the last couple of days in the high 70s. The next two to three days we are going to be pushing 90 F (30 - 33 C)! The rain barrel system of (11) 60 gallon barrels are all set up. Thanks to DH.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Okay these items in the garden that are in the boxes or, in the ground gardens.... peas are under the netting. Looking to start climbing the netting to get to the fence and grow. Cucumbers are in the box with nothing showing beside them. And, the long distance shot is of the tomatoes. They are growing with basil in each square and there are some onion sets on the outer row of that box. I can't wait to get the mulch in and start saving on water. And, saving on ourselves and all that work. In fact it's time to go out and water the babies. We have more than a couple of days ahead of us without any rain in site. The rain barrels are almost empty too. We need rain! Soon!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Prettiest Shrub

Graceful and lyrical in it's beauty. Our newest addition to the yard. She's beauty incarnate. An arctic willow.
Picked her up from the nursery yesterday morning about 40 kms away and brought her home to a pre-dug hole. In she went with a good dose of bone meal and some good healthy soil full of worms.
She (notice how I call it "she"?) has developed some curled leaves since transplanting. I believe it's some transplant shock and today I hope to see her unfurling those leaves and settling in.
I will keep you updated on how this pretty lady is doing.
Oh and she is a birthday present from DH to me. Nice guy, eh?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


May Sky Map
This month's highlight: On May 15, look to the west just after sunset to see the very bright planet Venus just above the slender crescent Moon in the constellation Taurus.

As twilight deepens, the Moon and Venus are attended by no fewer than five first-magnitude stars: Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Procyon, Pollux, and Capella.

On succeeding nights, the Moon moves rapidly into Gemini and Cancer, all the while becoming a larger and larger crescent and eventually passing near Mars on the 19th.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Transplanting Tips

For many gardeners, May is the biggest transplanting month. A seedling’s move to the outdoors can be traumatic. Here are some tips to minimize transplant shock:

• Be sure that the plants “harden off.” During the plants’ last week indoors, lower temperatures a bit, withhold fertilizer, and water less often.

• For the last 7 to 10 days, bring seedlings outdoors for increasing periods each day, first placing them in dappled shade, protected from winds, and then gradually moving them into full sun and wind.

• Do not leave outside if there is danger of frost.

• When buying transplants at a nursery, choose stocky plants with deep-green foliage. You’ll need to harden off these transplants, too.

• Ideally, the transplants that you grow or buy are in individual containers so that you do not disturb the roots of neighboring seedlings when you remove each plant.

May is a green as no other,
May is much sun through small leaves,
May is soft earth,
And apple-blossoms,
And windows open to a South Wind.

–Amy Lowell (1874–1925)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Check out this site....

This is from a webgroup I belong to for gardening (what else, eh?)
There was a request to submit pictures of, for, about or, to gardening.
I thought this picture was pretty funny.
So I submitted it.
There is a prize for the best picture. Think it's bulbs of some kind.
That's not why I posted the's funny.
Maybe you will think so too.
Oh and you can post comments on the page.

Stanley's cup

I shouldn't really joke about this but, Canada is trying hard to bring the cup home.

After last night's win against the Pittsburgh Penguins... Montreal can do no wrong.
And, who knows they just might do this and bring the Stanley cup home.
Long live Boom Boom Geoffrion!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend Happenings

The weekend was a busy one and went rushing on by.

With the freeze predicted for overnight had to get in the garden and cover those cold tender blueberries. I was all set with some special ag covers. This cover allows you to leave it on during the day. Which I will be doing for the next couple of days as there are overnight freezes predicted.

I got some cheap strawberries at the store and was able to can 8 pints of preserves. Are they yummy? You bet! Also got some cut up and put in the freezer for later use in smoothies or, over ice cream..... think hot summer days.

The first of the lilacs are in bloom. I couldn't resist going and clipping a couple of sprigs for the house. They smell so wonderful. Did you know you can make lilac jelly? I didn't. If you want a recipe for it... google it. There are plenty on the web.

Oh and that jungle picture.... those are tomatoes. They are getting so big and they need to be planted out. Soon! Come on weather, cooperate.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

An Optical Illusion

A wonderful moving bicycle illusion. (© Akiyoshi Kitaoka: Used with permission.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Day

And, maybe my truck is ready at the shop. She's an old girl (circa 1998) and a little old Chevy S10 4 cylinder and she has been very good to me. She rode out Hurricane Wilma in the Florida Keys in 2005 when 90% of all the vehicles on the island were lost. She's a survivor. I have to take care of her. She's also one of the few vehicles I have ever bought off a dealer's lot brand spanking new.

This trip to the mechanics started out to just get her summer shoes put on and the winter ones put away. And, I, the smart person I am, thought to have the mechanic take a look at the wiring to the speakers as 3 of the 4 were working and the 4th one was fading in and out. Effectively I was looking at no radio/tape deck scenario soon.

She was ready yesterday afternoon at the close of business hours at the shop. I got the call at 5:45 with the shop closure being 6. Well, I didn't want to be rushing in there to pick her up with little to no time to examine things. My girl has a new (used) radio/tape deck and 2 new (used also) speakers.

I stopped in yesterday to see her before she was ready and I was startled because when I opened the door there were no door panelings on the doors and the major portion of the dashboard was off. There were tools of all kinds along with the old radio lying on the front bench seat along with wiring diagrams. Oh no..... wiring diagrams?

Do you understand why I want to do a look see when I pay the bill? Oh and did I mention the mechanic has had my truck for 5 days? Well, I'll let you know how things work out. Though there might be one big catch.... It's Saturday and the shop might not even be open.

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's Only May

And, I am tired, tired, tired. The garden and all the extra things going on in my life are exhausting me. I go to bed early.... 9ish and am up early in the morning... 5 or 6 am.

I start my day with a walk around the yard examining the garden and noting what needs doing that day. I still need to go and buy a mulch of some kind as I don't yet have any grass clippings to use to mulch with. The weather will be warming up soon and I'll be screaming for mulch to conserve water.

But, hey..... let's talk about the weather. We have had some ungodly winds in the past two weeks. Strong blows coming thru with the front lines moving across the area. Yesterday we had winds up to 70 kms. Blew the little car all over the road when we had to go out and drive.

Now we are looking at cool temperatures this weekend. We had been having some daytime highs around 20 or, so. Now today I don't think we broke 14. Nite time temps are coming down too. Tonight were supposed to be at a +1. But, then as the weekend progresses, more coolness. On monday we will see our temperatures down somewhere around - 3. Guess I better be sure to cover the non-hardy plants with the floating row cover. And, I won't be planting anything more outside. Too, too risky.

Okay it's off to bed for me.... in fact I am late.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Plants and More

Swiss chard and a very brave blueberry bush. I say brave as the weather has beaten this poor little bush up. We have had some powerful winds whipping their way thru the property and nothing, I mean nothing is immune to these winds.

Yesterday our new toys came. Well, not really toys as much as needed helpmates. Our ages are getting the better of us and it was time we started giving ourselves a little bit of a break. So we now own a lawn tractor and a cart for it. It should help immensely.

Oh and that is sunrise this morning........ think it was about 6:20 when I snapped the picture. No one was about but, me and the birdies.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seedling update 5/5/10

Tomato, eggplant, basil and an assortment of cukes, zukes, yellow squash and pumpkin. Can you place the right name to the pictured seedlings? Post a comment and let me know.

My hands are getting itchy to get these planted out. But, in two days time they are calling for a frost here overnight. I finally have my floating row cover so, could actually plant them out and cover them. But, after all this time and care.... well, I am not so sure I am that brave. Besides I am thinking the blueberries might need covering that night instead.

Happy gardening to everyone. Hope your gardens are as prolific as mine seem to be.

Cinco de Mayo - May 5th

“The Fifth of May” celebrates the victory by the Mexicans over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Today, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate the outcome of the battle with parades, festivals, and music.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Merry Month of May

May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who ruled over the growth of plants.

Indeed, farmers and gardeners in most of the country try to complete planting by this month. Old-timers get suspicious if the weather in May is too balmy: “A snowstorm in May is worth a wagonload of hay,” they counsel.

The Almanac’s long-term weather forecasts predict a cooler-than-normal spring in the Northeast, in Minnesota, in the Desert Southwest, and along much of the Pacific coast, and a warmer-than-normal one elsewhere.

Rainfall will be above normal from California northeastward to the Upper Midwest and near or below normal in other regions.

Little old me...

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


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