Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Cute and Colorful

On several of the blogs I visited today there were pictures of sweet kitties, so I thought I would share one I took just this morning.
 
 
 
I usually see a lot of great ideas on Pinterest, but rarely do I have to jump right up and get started on something.  These little wood houses were an exception though.  The ones on either end are pretty much copy cats of what I seen online, art by Saskia Obdeijn, but the four in the middle, I came up with myself. My sister commented that I was getting an early start on my Halloween decorations this year, and although they will fit in well with October's décor, I did not have that theme in mind at all. No, these wee houses mean much more to me than a passing season. 
 
All over the countryside where we live, are abandoned houses.  Usually, they are in the middle of a field surrounded by a few trees.  These were the homesteads of 100 plus years ago. I find them both inviting and lonely, and I know they hold many memories for the folks that still run their farms around them.  That generation is nearly gone though, and so many of the houses are being torn down and the old yard sites are being bulldozed.  I will miss these buildings and the stories they conjured in my mind and often in conversation.
 
 
 
Here is another piece of art that is just meant to be fun and to add some color to my garden. It will likely find its way to a fence or garden shed very soon.  I used to doodle vines like these until an entire page would be filled.  Many a dull lecture was spent this way.
 
 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Green Tree Trunks

We've had some rain here lately, and its the kind of rain that thoroughly soaks everything. Now, I've lived near poplars my entire life and I don't ever remember noticing this.  Just look at those trunks! They are the brightest shade of green. As they dried, they turned back to their regular white. I pointed this out to my husband, and he had never noticed this either.  Now every time it rains, I will be checking to see if the trunks are green.
 
I did nothing to these photos.  They are just straight shots, no special filters or enhancements.  Actually, I think the green was a little brighter than this when looking at it, but here you go.
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring 2017 Mug Exchange

It's time for the big reveal!  It seemed like no sooner had I signed up that I received my package in the mail.  Marina was quick! And as it turns out, I had sent her a package back in September for the Fall exchange. I was very eager to see what goodies had been sent my way, but I took my time and savored each little gift, starting with a pretty card - 



Next came the gardening gloves and seeds.  I need new gloves every year and I am looking forward to planting this little mixed packet designed to keep our bees happy and healthy.



Now for the treats!  Marina, how did you know how much I love those cookies?  Maple cookies, specifically Dare maple cookies have been a favourite of my since childhood.  I'm writing this the day of receiving the package on March 23rd, and I'm sure they will be long gone by the time this is published.  There is a lovely selection of chai teas that all sound so delicious, I'm not sure which one to taste first. What's tea time without pretty napkins? These are printed with lovely, bright photos of tulips.



I love to write, so I was very pleased to see this colorful little journal.  It will be perfect for garden planning, or taking along on road trips.  Maybe I need to start a journal on the gardens I visit.  This would be great for that!  See?  Inspired.
Those wee metal frame embellishments have more charm than you can shake a stick at.  I have no idea where I'm going to use them yet, but I will use them!
And then, there is this lovely, mini cookbook.  I love the art throughout and the recipes look very interesting. As I try them, I will write about them here and let you know how they turn out.  They are very different than recipes I am used to and may take some ingenuity on my part to make them work.



And the mug!  Simple. Elegant. Indulgent. I have never owned anything monogrammed with my first initial before, so this is a very special treat. I love it so much.  Thank-you to my new friend Marina!

S


Another very enjoyable exchange and thank-you so much again to Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for putting it together.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Cheer On a Gloomy Day

Today is windy, rainy, cold and all around gloomy. So, I thought I'd focus on the brighter side of things, my indoor Easter décor.

Have a very Happy Easter everyone!






Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Foggy Days

Foggy days can be beautiful, but of course if you're traveling they can be treacherous too. On the day I took these lovely photos, a local 17 year old girl was in a bad accident. For the longest time, the only news we had heard was that her back was broken.  We were terribly worried for her, and I said many a prayer for her and the family.  We found out recently that she is not only going to make a full recovery, but that she is already back at home.  Home of course, is where we do our best healing.  I can't tell you how happy I was to hear this news. Too often, people don't get so lucky. 





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Flowing Water

I took this photo quite awhile ago, and forgot about it.  I really like how it turned out.  The water carved its way through the snow is such a graceful curve, and for a short time I could hear the water babbling along.  It wasn't long before the flow slowed too much to be heard, but it is still nice to have water in the creek.  


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Cheer in the Warm Room

Last year, my husband took a small corner of his shop and converted it to a well insulated room to house my grow lights.  It has a small heater on a thermostat and I am able to keep it at the perfect 21 degrees for germinating. In only three days, I have baby dusty miller and petunias.  Hundreds of them!  This is a seed starter mix that I put together myself, which is a 50/50 blend of peat moss and vermiculite. It holds plenty of moisture and resists mildew.  My germination rate has doubled since I switched to this medium.  The lights are on a timer and I should mention, they are not the expensive grow lights, just 2 different types of regular fluorescents, alternating warm and cool spectrums. They are on for about 14 hours a day, only an inch or two from the plants, and on a timer.
 
When they get a few of their true leaves, I will begin transplanting.  That's where that special mix really comes in handy. Because it is so loose, roots do not get bound up in it, and are easily removed from the tray.  Then they go into soil, and usually just take right off.  They will stay under the lights until my greenhouse is warm enough overnight, usually around the beginning of May.
 
Here are my babies - so very tiny.
 
 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brighter Days

Good Morning Everyone!
 
I just wanted to drop in to say hello and say that the weather is finally looking up here. Sunny and 20C is forecast for this afternoon. And to top it off, the winds are supposed to be low, which will be a great relief from yesterday's very high winds. But that didn't hold me back from doing some major yard work. I spent the day cleaning up my favourite area of the yard which is my fire pit and picnic spot. Raking and gathering leaves when it is gusting up to 60 kph is challenging, but it looks great, and I'm looking forward to sitting around the fire later.
 
There is nothing like beautiful weather to cheer a gal up.  Oh, and did I should mention I've started some seeds.  That helps a lot too.
 
Everything is still very brown here, but this butterfly brought a little colour back and the way the ice formed overnight was quite beautiful.
 
Have a lovely weekend...
 
 

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cheer Up, I Brought You Flowers

I have to admit that I have been a wee bit down lately.  Not terrible, just sort of blah. I know it will pass soon and that it probably has something do with the weather which is hovering somewhere between Winter and Spring. I am so eager to get into my gardens, and in a couple of weeks, I will be starting some seeds, so that will definitely lift my spirits. In the meantime, my wonderful husband has helped by bringing home some cheerful blooms.
 
Now, I doubt you will believe me when I tell you this, but I've had these hydrangea since March 6. They were given to me for free because the florist said they had already been in her shop for a week. So they are over a month old, and they still look fantastic. I figure they must sense my mood and want to stick around to help.  After all, they are my favourite flower in the entire world.
 
 
 
The tulips are such a beautiful color, and Spring is always just around the corner when we see tulips in the stores. Also a sure sign of a change in season are the geese.  They've been returning for about a week now.  I've also spotted a few crows.
 
 
 
These spider mums are white but have been painted a lovely shade of peach.  I've been seeing more and more painted flowers in the stores. Sometimes they're dyed too.  I'm typically not a big fan of the dyeing and painting as they often use gaudy colors, but this peach is alright.
 
 
 
I hope everyone is enjoying a good start to the last week of March. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Change on A Cold Morning

Okay, so how many of you out there enjoy eggs in the morning?  And how many times has your egg tasted like fish? Yep, it's a thing, and no, it wasn't bad.  I mean, it tasted awful, but by way of nutrition, a fishy egg is actually good for you.  It is more than likely due to the chicken's diet being high in Omega 3's.  I'm all for nutrition, but if all my eggs start tasting like the one I choked down this morning, I'm switching brands.

To top off that yucky start to the morning, I went out for a walk, and realized it was way colder than I originally thought.  But Bear was looking forward to the stroll, so I continued on. I also wanted to try the camera on my new phone.  

A few days ago, the camera on my Nokia Lumia Windows phone just up and died. I wasn't due for a new phone until the Fall, and I thought, "Well, no big deal, I can live without a camera on my phone, I have my DSLR." To make a long story extra short. I was wrong.  An hour into the morning, I decided I needed to get a replacement. 

I was very disappointed to learn that no service provider carries any type of Windows phone.  I just love the Windows operating system and interface;.  I could order one from the U.S. for $500, but that seems unreasonable when I could get one free with a relatively short contract of two years. So, I am now the proud owner of an LG G5 Android smartphone.  I try not to compare it to my Windows phone, but it really is rather difficult.  I imagine over time that I will get used to it and forget about my former obsession. We'll see.

However, the camera is wonderful.  It shoots RAW, and I can even process those images right on the phone.  That's amazing!  I'm pretty sure this camera will eventually make up for what I miss about Windows. Did I mention it also has a wide angle lens?  Perfect for all those walks in the country. 

Here are a couple of shots from my chilly morning walk.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In Like A Lion

We have seen every type of weather the seasons have to offer in March.  You just never know what this month will bring.  This year, it began with snow and a roaring wind that lasted 2 days and created some beautiful drifts. Some of them are very impressive.  Once the back roads are cleared, it would be worth a drive out to where there are more trees to see more of Mother Nature's decor.
 
It is still beyond reason how cold it is out there, so I quickly grabbed my phone out of my pocket to take a few photos around my yard. What a big change! The weather never ceases to impress me.






Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday's Critters

I thought I would share a sweet picture of a chickadee I took a couple of days ago and link up with Eileen's "Saturday's Critters."

These little fellows are not shy at all and I can stand there all I want, nothing keeps them from filling their wee bellies with sunflower seeds.  They are so sweet and chipper and make me smile every visit.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Crystals and Shadows

I've been lazy.  I toss my phone in my pocket whenever I go out and leave my DSLR in the closet.  I was glad I decided to pick up the bigger camera and head out as the sun was starting to go down.  The snow started to catch the light in such a way that there looked to be large diamonds everywhere. Even among the shadows, light was gleaming.  A few even tricked me into taking a closer look, but each time I discovered another snow crystal.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March First Magic

I am having a rather sleepy morning.  My body feels like having a wee break at the moment and I am so grateful for my blog friends when I feel like having a cup of tea and a sit down. 

I did go for my usual walk this morning, and even though this photo reflects a usual day, it is anything but.  I failed to capture it in the photograph, but the air is filled with the finest glitter.  It is the prettiest thing to walk in and I just couldn't help but feel like I was surrounded by something magical. Indeed, whenever we stop and truly immerse ourselves in the nature that surrounds us, it does feel magical, but glitter floating around everywhere you look sure helps!

I also took the time to sign up for the tea cup/mug exchange over at The Enchanting Rose. I decided to stick with just the mug this time, as I had an extremely difficult time finding a tea cup last fall and I would hate to disappoint anyone.

I always love the first of the month.  This morning I took my time with my calendars, I have several, and savored the moment of the slight change in decor with the new art as well as lingering on the feeling of time passing. Most of the time, it goes unnoticed, but today I feel it at a level that is both uncomfortable and deeply satisfying at the same time. In many ways I do not want my life to change from where it is today, and yet can hardly wait to see what the future brings.  I read a tidbit recently that stirred something deep within me that said aging is scary, but fascinating. For myself this means the ever expanding perspective.  I think some people call this wisdom, maybe it is, but who can say? One moment, you can be quite certain of something, and another moment will creep up and change your mind, or at least add to it giving you food for thought.

Well, the glitter show continues outside, so I had better go enjoy a little more of that before it's off to the city for groceries this afternoon. 

Happy March Everyone!


Monday, February 27, 2017

Bye Bye February

Hello to you all out there. I hope everyone has been healthier than my household. Nothing to worry about, just colds, but they can sure take a person down.  Life seems exceptionally cruel when we are sick. Hopefully it will all be over soon, and we can enter our Spring feeling awesome!
 
Other than someone in the household being ill on and off since Boxing Day, yup - 2 months, things have been good here.  I've been scrapbooking up a storm, a hobby I've had for 20 years.  I have done many albums and I always look forward to the next one. One of these days, I would like to start one for just my own hobby photography, just the pretty stuff that I only enjoy here on my blog.
 
I'm really looking forward to Stephanie's upcoming teacup exchange in March.  I also celebrate my 41st birthday in March as well as my husband's.  The birthdays along with the possibility of an early Spring, March is a month to look forward to here. 
 
I've still been taking long walks with my puppy down the road, but enough snow melted during some warm weather here lately, that I can get around a lot of my yard easily enough, no snowshoes necessary.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Dead of Winter

If you truly 
love nature
you will find
beauty
everywhere.
                                           
                                                                                  Van Gogh



Friday, February 3, 2017

Escape

Unlike a lot of people, when I crave an escape or a change of pace, I head for a city.  People who do the opposite, visit the country to escape the city, often say they are leaving far too soon.  I have never felt that way about a city. It doesn't take long, and I am eager to go home, to get back to the quiet, the dirt roads and the complete lack of people.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Winter Garden

I'm starting to think about ordering my seeds for the upcoming spring.  I love walking in my garden, even when it is blanketed with snow, imagining the transformation that is soon to come.  I daydream about all the things I might do to change my garden this year.  There are several perennials that will need to be divided this year.  Maybe I will have to build a new garden to accommodate them. We do not plan to travel this year, so I intend on filling many planters with all sorts of annuals and scattering them around the yard.  I have a wonderful collection of blue planters that went completely ignored last year because we went on a long summer vacation.  I cannot wait to get them started! I love starting a lot of things from seeds, but I also love visiting the nurseries and picking up a few of those instant gratification plants as well.  I especially love to collect various coleus plants and arrange them on my covered deck in a mass collection of planters.  There are so many different kinds now. Anyway, there will be plenty of time to talk about all that in a few months.  For now, I get to make a list of seeds as I browse the catalogs that are coming in.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yet Another Walk Under Gorgeous Skies

There's not much to say this morning.  The weather is gorgeous, the timing is right, and the skies have put on an incredible display nearly every morning.  So even in January, I'm feeling energized.

Bear is eager to continue our walk, but he tries to be
patient with me.

Dreamy...

I like this one in B&W too, but the colors were just
to pretty not to show.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Owls

Can one have too many owls?  I'm beginning to think maybe it is possible to go overboard here.  I received two more this Christmas and I have to admit, I gave one as a gift, and no, it wasn't one from my stash.  It was as I tried to find places for the two new additions to the family that I realized I was running out of spaces to stick an owl.  I am already packing up several with the Christmas tree ornaments, but I think a few more may have to get packed up with the winter décor in February.  They certainly do suit my winter woodland décor for the holiday/winter season after all, and I really do enjoy them and do not want to tire of them. 
Here are a few photos I took from around the house.  I realize as I wrote this that I've missed many.  There is an owl vase, owl pitcher, owl picture, owl figurines in, as you'll see many various materials, a milk glass owl, and I even have a large wrought iron owl boot scraper outside on the deck. I just realized that I missed photographing 3 in my entrance alone - a large, meant for the garden statue, a life size wrought iron figure and a paper weight on my desk.  Oh boy. Do I put out the word that I mean to stop collecting them?  Or is my curiosity of what is coming next bigger than my desire to kick the habit?
From my little sister.

From my Dad.

From a garage sale.  They are brass.

From my Dad.

From myself.  I mean c'mon - look at that face!

From my other little sister.

Another one from my littlest sister.

From my daughter.

From my little sister.

Again, from myself. I think...

My favourite one, on a pedestal high, high up keeping an eye on things.