Monday, July 16, 2018

BEST CURE FOR A BAD HEADACHE!

I went to bed with a headache last night, and woke up with an even worse one this morning.  Yesterday the wind was so bad, it blew us apart inside and out... and there is something about strong wind that really unsettles me, for some reason... so I blamed the wind for my headache!

The temperature got down to 10 overnight - the house was so nice and cool and fresh, after such a long time of having the house shut up and AC on - it was such a welcome treat.

But I still had that really bad headache.

I wanted to take advantage of the cool morning to get some much needed work done outside...

But I had that headache.

I ate breakfast, had a cup of coffee and decided bending and working in the garden would only make my headache worse, so I decided to stay indoors.

I went up to my studio... by the time I climbed the stairs my head was pounding even more.  I couldn't do anything, because I had that headache.

I went back down to my rocking chair, watched a video or two, and then decided I really wanted to be outside, so I got dressed and headed out to the garden.

I needed to water everything, so I started there, doing the tomatoes first...

And I still had that headache.

Then the Swiss chard, the kale, the beans...

And I sort of forgot about the headache,

Then the cucumbers, beets, flowers, lettuce, herbs, more flowers, shrubs...

What headache?  It was gone...

I don't know if it was the very fresh fall-like air, or the act of watering all my growing things, but without taking any medications, somehow my pounder of a headache had disappeared.

So I got to work in earnest.  I decided to continue working on the new flower beds I am making at the front of the house.  I completed digging that and started around the corner to the other front of the house on the south side.  By the time I stopped for lunch I was half way through that bed as well.

Now I'm going to start working in the studio for the rest of the day - the windows are open, a very cool breeze is blowing through my work space, the birds are singing out my window - it's a a perfect environment for getting something accomplished.

Better get to it!










Friday, July 13, 2018

IT WILL GIVE YOU GOOSE BUMPS - IT DID ME!

If you didn't read "A Typical Dale Day" post from a couple of days ago, you should go back and read that one before you continue with this post -  this is sort of a continuation of that one...

I spent most of my day on Wednesday sorting through the ribbon, braids and trims that my cousin sent me from my Aunt's home.

She was a Floral Designer by trade and so she always had a lot of ribbons and trims... and she used a lot in the crafts she did.... sewing, quilting, eggery, crocheting... floral arrangements.

I received a lot of ribbon - but truthfully - I know my cousin has not even scratched the surface when in comes to this particular crafting supply.





I use a lot of ribbon as well, so I am very happy to acquire this lot.

 In those boxes are many different colours, and widths of satin ribbons, which I use a lot of when I make my crochet ornaments, but now the ladies of summer will have even more embellishments on their hats!

I mentioned  in my post the other day, that I felt that my Aunt was near when I was going through her stuff.  I know now that my feelings were founded, because I found three things tucked in her ribbon boxes that I know my cousin did not put in there.

The first was this -   it was in one box.



Another box had a bunch of pieces of ribbons in the bottom... and rightly so - you never know when you will need little bits of ribbon, so you don't throw them away.  I cleaned the box out then turned it over and shook it over the trash can to get the really small stuff out - and this fell out of the box... it must have been face down and I didn't see it.





But it was the fourth box that did me in.

Again I was sifting through the dregs on the bottom, there were little plastic bags that maybe once held ribbon, and some cardboard pieces, where maybe ribbon had been wrapped around at one time... and a paper... I almost threw the paper away, thinking it was from a wrapper...

This message went straight to my heart! 





I know my Aunt used her ribbons right out of these boxes that I now have, they were all labelled for colour and size of ribbon... Who knows when she put these objects in her ribbon boxes, and who knows why?

I believe her hand was guided, she didn't know why she put them there either - she was meant to put them there, and I was meant to find them - it is after all, just that simple!

Does that freak you out?

Not me - it gives me so much comfort... you can't even begin to imagine how much!

My Aunt had a very strong faith, and she also believed that throughout her life, she was left signs and directions that guided her through the rough spots - and she had many of those in her 99 years here on earth.

For some it is a very hard concept to grasp a hold of...  but I know what those three items were meant for me to find....

I'm so very happy, that I did.











Thursday, July 12, 2018

RECIPE THURSDAY SORT OF!

My recipe today, is more an idea than a recipe.  I tried something different the other day, and thought I would share it with you.

We were having leftovers one evening for supper, and I didn't really want to eat them, so I let Gary finish them and I decided to fry myself a couple of eggs.  I kind of lose my appetite for meals containing meat when it is so hot outside, so I thought the eggs would be perfect.

Then I remembered that I had some really nice Kale and Swiss Chard ready to be picked in the garden to so I thought I would have that as well.

After I washed the greens, I decided I also didn't feel like washing extra pots from cooking greens in the usual way ( steamed)  so I chopped them up,  and sauteed them in a little bit of butter, salt and pepper in the frying pan for just a couple of minutes...


Then added the eggs in the pan with the greens.  I did not add any more butter just fried the eggs in the juice from the greens and butter...


Pretty instant meal.  You could add fruit, or bacon or ham, whatever you want, but this suited me just fine.  And it was delicious.  I found that the greens had a much richer taste cooked this way.  I am thinking that one could add any number of vegetables to the greens as well and it would be equally as tasty.

So if you are inclined give it a try - I think you will find it quite tasty.






Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ANOTHER PROJECT DONE!

Quite some time ago,  I was visiting with my friend at her Antique shop, and she showed me three walking dolls that a customer had put in the shop.   All three dolls are Canadian made REGAL dolls, and not at all collectable.



They were kind of sad and the more I looked at them the more I just wanted to snatch them up, take them home and give them all a spa day.

When I asked Lou if I could do that, she informed me that she wanted them to be donated as models in our little one room school house, which is part of our town's museum.

I agreed completely.  We had been through the museum last year, and it lacked models of this kind in the school room.  Presently there is just a comatose teacher and a sleeping child.


So I took the dolls home and gave them all a bath. 


Two of the girls got boil perms, and the other doll's hair was so bad I decided to chop it off and turn her into a him.   They got some different clothes and shoes, I made a paper boy-style cap for the boy, and he even has a sling-shot in his front pocket.

Here are the new students for the school, they are ready to start school any day now.



As always, working with dolls is such a fun project for me.  I don't do much with my dolls anymore, as I have so many other activities I am involved in - so this was a nice relaxing treat for me.

Wonder what grade they will be in?





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A TYPICAL "DALE" DAY!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from my cousin in the States, who is the son of my Beloved Aunt Margaret.  As with every conversation with Earl, there is a lot of joking around, but the reason for his call was much more serious.

If you have read my blog over the years, you will already know just how precious my Aunt Margaret was to me, and you will  also know that she was very much my inspiration, and indeed my teacher when it came to the crafts, hobbies and collections that I have always done - even to this very day.

My Aunt Margaret lived in a tiny little house, but unless you ever visited her - you could never imagine what was in that tiny little house.  She wasn't a hoarder, but she did have a lot of collections of different things, she was a creator of beautiful things, and she had all she needed to create, right at her fingertips at all times.

I remember many trips with her to Lee Wards, to buy craft supplies... it was the first time, I had ever seen a craft store larger than a shopping mall!  To be honest, that Lee Wards store remains the largest and best craft stores I have ever been in... but it exists now, only in my memories!

Earl has the task of cleaning out my aunts home.  It's not a task for the faint of heart!  Many many times over the years Aunt Margaret and I discussed just what Earl is facing right now... she said she would get rid of things as she got older ( she was in her 80's when she said that) but she crafted another decade past that day - in her mind, she needed all her supplies.

The serious side of my conversation with Earl was to find out if I could use any of her supplies, and if there was something in particular I wanted from her house.  I answered yes to the first question and there was really only one thing I really wanted, and another item I was concerned about.

The one thing I wanted, was a little cross stitch picture I stitched and gave her for Christmas in 1996.  It is a picture of a little girl dressed in a red coat hanging a quilt on a wash line.   I stitched that piece on every lunch break at work for months, and I loved the finished piece so much I always intended to make one for myself. 

The object I was concerned about was Elizabeth - my Grandmother's china doll.  Elizabeth stood on Aunt Margaret's dresser in her bedroom forever.  Because she had many china heads that looked much like Elizabeth, I was concerned that Elizabeth would be sold off with the rest of the collection, and not passed down through the generations to come, as I believe she should be.   I knew that she was the only china head doll that my aunt had that had a Kidd body, and so I instructed Earl to look for her, based on a picture I had taken 8 yrs ago during my last visit with my aunt.

Yesterday a large box arrived from Earl - thanks to another cousin... Thank You Kelvin for being our messenger! 

It was an emotional experience for me.  As I dived through the stuff Earl had sent, I swear that Aunt Margaret was right there beside me.  I believe she was - I know she was!

Along with lots of braids and ribbons, and craft supplies that Earl somehow knew I would use, there was this sweet little picture....







And there was Elizabeth!





Meet Elizabeth Owens...  she is around 122 yrs old, belonged originally to my Grandmother Mabel Fischer (nee Owens).  Her dress and pinafore are not original, these were made by Aunt Margaret, and I am going to knit an Irish lace shawl for her.  She has had a wash, her clothes have been washed and pressed and she is going to be standing on my dresser in my bedroom for as long as she is with me. 

I will keep her for a time, but eventually I would like to find someone in our very large family who will treasure her and pass her on to the next generations of little descendents of Mabel Owens, and I will make sure she is tagged with all the information needed to keep her in the family.


What an incredible day!  What a typical "Dale" day!  Memories, emotions, and wonderful, beautiful things!

BUT - something was missing.....



Monday, July 9, 2018

SHOULD I GIVE UP?

Am I the only one disappointed with their yard and gardens this year?  I know some areas have had much more rain than us, so perhaps your properties look a lot better than mine - but I really feel like I am beating my head upon a brick wall this year.

Nothings is growing... things that I transplanted that I had grown indoors by early seeding are just about the same size as when I put them in the garden.  Things that I direct sewed into the garden are spotty - some things - like carrots - I have sewn 3 times and still not a sprout.  Other things like beans, maybe half came up, and the things that did come up, are just not progressing.

Once again I have an entire garden filled with portulaca, and I have actually taken the tiller to the garden and tilled all the open spaces.  I have ants everywhere, I have cutworms everywhere, spiders killing my cherry tree and my birch tree, a neighbours cat using my beds as his personal toilet,  dead grass, and straight line winds that have broken most of the tall perennials down in my shed bed.

I have birds that live in my strawberry patch, and some that have set up shop in my Saskatoon tree!

Oh and I forgot, worse of all - I have very few pollinators!

Yes - I am royally fed up.  I am about ready to take the tiller to the whole yard and be done with it.

BUT

Then I come across something like these little beauties...



Beauty in spite of the drought, ants, spiders, wind and lack of bees, choking weeds...  How can I give up, when they haven't?

I can water everything to curb the effects of the drought - but treated water is not the best, and I have a lot of property to water - not sure it's really worth the expense.

I can attract pollinators ( another blog coming up about that)

I can try and kill ants, and I have killed a lot - but you just get one hill down and another forms in another spot.

I can pulls weeds, and I have been doing that every day, but where to start when they are everywhere.  I also could mulch, and that is something I want to do - but without vegetation growing, not much mulch is produced.

I delight in hacking cutworms to bits - if I dig one up - I go into terminator mode.

I could do the same with the neighbours cat - but it is someones pet after all... I have nothing against cats - I like them - just not pooping in MY yard!

I can't do anything about damaging straight line winds, except bawl when I have to cut back plants that should bloom for another 4 weeks or so.

The birds - well to tell the truth, it cracks me up when I go outside and see a head pop up out of the middle of my strawberry patch - and then disappear again, because they are not quite done!  The cheeks!

We netted the Saskatoon bush but the birds  flew up from the bottom and went inside anyway.

I love my birds and I don't really care if they get some fruit - I don't have enough from either source to do anything with anyhow....


My biggest problem is not any of these things.  If I could be outside all day to stick with these tasks, I would gladly be outside all day and get them all done.  But I can't do that with the extreeme heat we have had for the past 6 weeks.   I just can't tolerate the heat, so I work in the early morning, and late evening... or on a breezy day.  But it's not enough.

SO

Should I give up?

You see - I come from a very long line of very stubborn people (on both sides of my family).  At times like this I am very thankful for that fact.

And - if those little beauties up there aren't gonna give up - then I'm not going to either.












Friday, July 6, 2018

A POTAGER ?

Do you know what a Potager Garden is?

I must admit that I have always loved them, even wanted to have one myself, but never knew they actually had a name - before this week that is!

I was watching a video on YouTube from yet another young gardener who lives is Arkansas.  She is a homesteader and her and her husband have started their homestead farm and gardens from basically nothing.

I love her garden - it is beautiful and it is so productive - and I might add - HUGE!  She maintains 10,000 ft of garden, filled with fruits and vegetables, herbs and flowers...hundreds of varieties of plants producing enough food to sustain her very large young family.

So what is a Potager Garden?

It is a garden that combines fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs in one garden designed to be as much a feast to the eye as it is to the tummy.  Potager gardens were invented in France and were considered ornamental kitchen gardens... meaning their purpose was to provide food, but they also had to be a place of beauty, to be enjoyed by the gardener and his guests.

 Potager gardens are informal, romantic, natural.  They are comparable to The English Cottage Garden, except Potager gardens are centered on vegetables and not flowers.

Potager gardens, have paths and beds, and rarely have bare earth showing,  They have as much vertical as horizontal and some have hedges and walls.  They are a myriad of shapes, colours, annual and perennial all intermingling as one.

I am quite sure that traditional vegetable gardeners, such as my Dad was - would detest them.  These gardens lack the clean lines of neatly spaced rows of a traditional garden.  Instead they appear haphazard, even wild... but they produce just as much even sometimes more food as the traditional garden can produce.


So how do I get one?

Well there's the big question that I already know the answer to!   Planning... and sweat equity!

I know what I have to do, and starting this fall as my current garden is removed - I will start building my own version of a Potager garden.

No more sleepless nights of thinking, dreaming and wishing  - the planning stage has now begun!