Friday, June 15, 2018


Well, here we are, another Friday and another week done.  It doesn't have quite the same meaning as it did when I was a working gal - but then, who said I am no longer a working gal!

I have already finished my first month at the Post Office - crazy as that seems!  I have tons of work still to do in the yard - and I always will have - and this week I have spent considerable time working upstairs in the studio!

No wonder the week flew by!

First thing I want to mention is unbeknown to me (until yesterday, later in the day) another friend, a newer one also had a birthday... remember the lady with the sheep farm I wrote about? - so belated Happy Birthday Diana.

Second order of business is the rather amazing discussion I have had this week from some readers about my little rescued painting.

Sue wrote:
Dale, I wanted to comment on your blog post re: the painting but the computer (my Kindle) simply wouldn't let me. (It does have a mind of its own!) I read the date as "1923 " and googled "Oliver Wheeler 1923". Came up in Wikipedia right off. Right time period, Canadian surveyor; Was also a member of the Alpine Club in his later years.

Laurie Wrote:Beautiful picture Dale. It could also say from Wardens cabin. Hope you solve your mystery.

Loretta Wrote:
Hi Dale; I read your blog post about the pretty painting. I was intrigued by Corner Brook Road and Googled it and only came up with NL so I opened Google Maps and put the name of the road in and found a Corner Brook Rd in Harrison OH:

How wonderful that this post struck such interest with my readers.

I have one more thing to add.  Yesterday when I was at Uniques and Antiques, I mentioned to Louise that I need to find a frame for my picture.  Louise then tells me that maybe my painting is of one of the Warden's cabins up on 19.   Hwy 19 is a gravel road just a few miles from here that leads up to the East Gate of the Riding Mountain National Park.  Apparently there are not one, but two old log Warden's cabins on that road.

That would certainly explain why the painting was found in this community, as we are closely associated with the park.

Could it be that in 1953, or 1923, Oliver Wheeler from Ohio was visiting the Riding Mountain National park and came across a quaint little log Warden's cabin and decided to draw it.  He then gifted his painting to the person he was visiting who lived in our around our town.  Perhaps that person has passed and their family were clearing out belongings, and so they donated it to the recycle place in town.

Or Maybe it's Grey Owl's cabin!

Have we solved the mystery?

Maybe, Maybe not - 
Perhaps this mystery is not ours to solve after all.  But it sure has been fun trying!
Thank You for interest in my little mystery!

As the title says, I was going to also introduce you to the "Ladies of Summer",
but I have quite run out of time.  I have jars sterilized waiting for another double batch of Rhubarb marmalade this morning, so I had better get to it.
The Ladies will have to wait until next week!

Have a safe and happy weekend, whatever you may be doing - have fun doing it!

Until next week!

Thursday, June 14, 2018


I have many wonderful friends, but there is nothing quite like having old friends - friends who have been with you for most of your life, friends who know your good side and your bad side, and love you anyway despite what they know about you.

I am blessed to have a few such girlfriends, and one of them has a birthday today.

 Happy Birthday Denise!  Wishing you a day filled with Happiness and another year of Good Health!

 This is for you Dear Friend!

And While Denise is watching the video, I will continue on with my next part of the blog and that is Recipe Thursday!

I had a hard time coming up with today's recipe for some reason - maybe because I have not been spending much time in the kitchen this week.  Truthfully, all my time has been spent working in the studio or garden...

In the end I found the best recipe for this day and for this special woman's birthday.

It is after the cake of choice... or it was... let me tell you a little story first!

My mother was a baker, as a child and young adult, I only ever tasted baking done by her, or one of my Aunts or family members - Until I met Denise!

It was she who first introduced me to the cake I am going to share with you today, and I can't remember what the occasion was - someones birthday for sure, maybe even mine, but I was probably around 16 or 17 yrs old.

Jeanne's Bakery in Winnipeg has been serving up their famous log cake  - "Jeanne's Cake" since the 1930's.  This family run business has catered to Winnipeg locals, celebrities, and even Queen Elizabeth herself.

They make 1500-200 cakes a week, and although they make many varieties of baked goods, their log cake remains their signature and most beloved cake.

The Jeanne's Cake features a Shortbread Cookie crust ( my favourite part of the cake), the cake on top is just as delicious as the crust itself.

Now - I have not made or tasted the recipe below... but I intend to try it out on Denise and John if they ever get out here for a visit...  (sorry D, had to stick that in there...)

I can't believe I actually found it on the Internet, but here it is - Just in time for Denise's Birthday!

The recipe is in the link below.... Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


What?  You'd rather not talk ants?

At some time or another, everyone must deal with ants.  You know the creepy little pesky insects, that are everywhere outside, and maybe for some, even inside your home.

Do you think maybe you got a better understanding of them after watching the Disney movie about them?  Cute movie - but I still don't like the pesky things, especially when them make huge hills and destroy my lawn and gardens.

Okay, so yes - they do have their uses... where would Peonies be without them?  But that's the only tolerance I have for them.

Why all this talk about ants?

Because after struggling to rid my yard of some mighty big hills, one right in the middle of my strawberry bed, for example - I have finally found a way to get rid of them!

I have tried commercial ant sprays - didn't work or if it did, it required many reapplications and necessitated it never rain again.... ever!

I have tried boiling water - Okay, just want to say - that was gross - and it killed my lawn...

The trick is Borax!

Yes Borax.

Here's how you make your trap:

In a disposable plastic water mix 1 part Borax to 5 parts sugar, ( I used a teaspoon) add a tiny bit of water to make a paste.  Shake it all up really well until the Borax and sugar is dissolved!

Cut a tiny hole somewhere on the bottle so the ants can get it.  Set it wherever you see ants, and you will see them in the bottle, and then you won't see them anywhere.

Make sure the hole is small - you don't want it large enough for a Bee or a Hummer to get in it.

When I placed mine on the ground I placed the hole as close to the ground without actually being on the ground.

Here is the trap I placed in my strawberry patch - don't know if you can make it out - but it is pretty much full of dead ants... yuk!  But proof, that it works!  Yeah!

It is the best ant trap ever,  the sugar draws them in, and the Borax finishes them off.

The huge hill is gone from my strawberry patch and now I am working on the other two hills in my yard.

Borax is sold is quite a large box, you can use it in your laundry or for cleaning around the house, but I would advise ask your family or friends if anyone has any before you buy it, and just borrow a bit from them, unless you have use for a whole box.

If you are using this trap inside, as always, be mindful of pets and little children and place the trap where it will not come in contact with either.

So if you have ants - give it a try - of all the remedies I have read about - this one works!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


A very special person in our town has left us.  There is not one person in town, young or old, new or lived here all their lives, who did not know Johnny.

Johnny was the first person we met when we moved into town, in fact, the moving truck hadn't even pulled away from the curb before Johnny walked up the sidewalk, introduced himself and welcomed us to his home town.

Johnny looked just like many old country folk look - he was always dressed in a pair of blue jeans, wore a checkered flannel shirt, work boots, baseball cap with a logo on the front from the local service station, or from a seed company...

His apparel was the same working or dressed for the fair, except for two main elements.  When he dressed up the work boots would be replaced by cowboy boots, and the baseball cap was replaced by a wide brimmed cowboy hat.

That was Johnny!

Johnny's work was cutting grass in the summer.  He had regular customers and could be seen all summer long pushing his lawnmower from place to place with his weed whipper strung over his shoulder and a small Geri can of fuel somehow clutched in his hand.  You see Johnny didn't drive...

Many a hot summer's day we would see him walking past our home in such a manner and ask him to have a seat and something cool to drink - and Johnny would stop, sit on the park bench and tell tale after tale of all the things he loved to do and see.

Here are pictures I took of Gary and Johnny visiting on one such rest stop.  It must have been quite the story being told... You can't see Johnny's face but he was smiling at whatever Gary was saying, because Johnny always had a smile on his face.

Some say Johnny was simple, or that he was slow.  Maybe he was, but he was the kindest sweetest fellow - I think Johnny was just about perfect.

If you ran into Johnny at the store, he would open the door for you, smile and ask how you were.

He collected other residents garbage from their suites and carried it down to the outside bins for those who couldn't do this task themselves.  Johnny lived in assisted living, but he was the one assisting anyone who needed his help.

Johnny picked up trash off the street, collected fliers at the post office that others threw aside and disposed of them correctly.

Johnny was areal country gentlemen, and he was a gentle man.

Johnny was diagnosed with cancer shortly before Christmas, 6 months ago.  He spent several months in the hospital and then was transferred to the personal care home a couple of months later.

And now he's is gone.

Rest in Peace Johnny.... this town will miss you.

Johnny was only 68 yrs old!

Monday, June 11, 2018


I love a good mystery!  Not so much the fictitious type - but a real honest to goodness mystery!

I found one just waiting to be solved last week in our recycle place, here in town.

I have mentioned this place several times here on my blogs, because I often find the neatest things there.

I was in there last week, looking for a wire CD rack to use to hang my herbs to dry on - I didn't find one, but I came across a painting in a beat up frame that caught my eye.  I am not sure if it is water colour or ink, or paint, but it is done on paper, so I am thinking water colour.

The frame was beat up, the glass missing from the frame, the picture itself was nice - restful, in a peaceful sort of way... but after standing and staring at it for awhile, I walked away from it.

Two days later I was back in there checking for a rack, and there was the painting, still sitting there among the children's clothing.

I stood and looked at it for a long time, and then picked it up... I hadn't done that before.

I got the same feeling from it again - peace, quiet...

So I took it home with me.

Take a look...

Do you get that same feeling as I do when you look at it?

artist's signature...
O W Wheeler?
O H Wheeler?

I turned the frame over and this was written on the back.

Ahh... O for Oliver....  now I have a mystery to solve.

So I Google searched Oliver Wheeler - and got not a thing in the time frame that was anywhere near 1953.  I tried to find Corner Brook Road, and I just kept getting taken to Corner Brook Newfoundland.   Well at least we are in the right country!  I even searched for Father Warden... found one, but again, not quite right...

Who is/was Oliver Wheeler?  Who is/was Father Warden?  Where is Corner Brook Road?

More importantly... who had this picture, and why did it land in a recycle place in a tiny town in Western Manitoba?

It's driving me crazy!

I do love the picture, and I am going to take and get it framed and matted with the proper frame and glass that will help to preserve the image, and then I am going to find a special place for it on a wall where I can see it all the time.

Another treasure,  AND.... still a wonderful mystery!

Friday, June 8, 2018


The other day when I was outside at the front of our property picking rhubarb for my second batch of marmalade, the most beautiful thing happened.

The Rhubarb is located right up against a Karaganda hedge that goes along the front of our property.   I walked up to the rhubarb, bent over to start picking it, my head less than a foot from the hedge and all of a sudden I was getting a very gentle lecture from a Mamma Robin.

She startled me somewhat, her chatter from inside the hedge was not loud, but it had an urgency to it.  So I lifted my head slowly and there, right in front of my face was a nest with baby robins sticking out of it, and Mamma Robin standing watch.

The first thing I thought was that she could have attacked me, or flew away screaming - but the birds in my yard know I won't hurt them.  I am always talking to them, throwing worms at them, and they are always close on the ground when I am working in the garden.

So I put my head down, continued my task and told her that I wasn't there to disturb her family, just to get my rhubarb.  I talked softly like I always do to the birds in my yard, and she started clucking away as if she was up for a chat.

I finished what I was doing, straightened slowly, peered in the hedge one more time to remind her to be careful of the cat across the street that likes to walk through the hedge, and I left.

As I walked back to the house I realized that this spring I had removed a Robin's nest from almost the same spot.  The nest I removed wasn't new, probably last years, but I have it on my landing shelf going down to the basement.

I think I smiled the whole rest of the day... what a wonderful treat that was.

The incident reminded me of what I love the most about being in the garden.  I love nature - the bees, the birds, the toads, the worms - even the plants themselves.  There is no censure, there is no stress, no fear, anger, no worries - only peace -  creatures living out their lives in harmony all around me, nature providing life for one more day.  It is after all - just as simple as that  - living a life well,  for one more day!

It's an accomplishment for everything I see in my garden and yard, and it's an accomplishment for me.

Another gardener who is not in any way religious said it so correctly - "Being in the garden is as close to Heaven as one can get." She was so very right... and until I can get to the real place - I will gladly spend my time in my garden.

That same evening I took my camera out to the hedge,  I could hear Mamma Robin and her babies,  I even set up my tripod to take a picture, and then I decided I would not.  Let them have their day, their peace.  Instead I wandered around the yard and snapped pictures of some of the beautiful things growing in my yard.

Here is my little slice of Heaven on Earth!

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, June 7, 2018


Before I share this week's recipe with you, I want to show you what I have been doing in my garden and kitchen.

Already a harvest and  we are barely into June!

 The Rhubarb is ready and I have been picking it for the past couple of days.

I moved my Rhubarb patch from the front garden to the back garden last year, and I thought I had completely dug it from the front bed- but apparently I did not.  Both the front patch and the back patch are giving me lots of fresh rhubarb, and so I have been making Rhubarb/Strawberry/Pineapple Marmalade ( you can find the recipe here on my blog - just look under the label section on the main page).

I ran out of Strawberry Jello for the second batch so used Raspberry jello instead... amazing taste!

While I was at it I made some cutesy little labels, because nothing irritates me more than trying to get sticky labels off of jars!

Hope to get a lot more of this made before the Rhubarb is finished for the season!

So I was thinking about what kind of recipe I should share this week.  I love the Ooey - Gooey desserts just like everyone else, but really I think we as a whole are not doing ourselves any favours indulging in these decadent treats.  And it seems to me they just keep getting more and more so all the time.  Quite frankly the older I get the less I like over-sweet treats.

But still it is very nice to sit outside in the afternoon under the table umbrella or in the shade somewhere quiet and have a cup of tea and something nice to go with it.   Something light, but with a little sweet - something summery... something you could even take on a picnic.

And most likely something that none of us has made or tasted in a very long time, but if we had, we would have thought ... AWE.... I remember that... So Good!

Jelly Roll

3 eggs
1 cup (scant) sugar
2 tablespoons milk
 1 cup flour
 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated rind of 1/2 lemon or orange

jelly or jam ( room temperature)

Sift and measure flour and re-sift it when salt and baking powder added.  Beat eggs until they are very thick and pale yellow. Gradually beat in sugar, milk and flavouring (lemon juice).  Fold into flour mixture, gradually cutting and folding but not beating.

Grease a long shallow pan ( cookie sheet is the best), or line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Pour batter in pan -  batter should not be more than a 1/4 inch deep.

Bake 12 minutes at 325-350 degrees, watching closely as it bakes quickly.

Remove from oven and turn onto a clean cloth/ towel, quickly cut off the side crusts, spread with softened jam or jelly and roll quickly.  Wrap in cloth to keep in shape.

Work quickly or cake will crack.

When cake has cooled, remove wrap and slice thinly...

Brew your favourite tea or coffee, grab your sunhat and your favourite lawn chair, and enjoy!