Sunday, May 29, 2016

RAINY DAYS AND RHUBARB MUFFINS!

We have been socked in with rain and cool weather for what seems like forever, although I don't think it has even been a full week.  I wanted a break from having to be outside working in the yard everyday - now that I have had it -I crave sun and heat, so I can once again be outside.

I have managed to make good use of my indoor time.  I have cleaned the house - yeah, I know!  What's with that?  Chip was so excited to see and hear the vacuum cleaner ( he has a thing for it) when I finally got around to vacuuming the area rugs on the main floor!  I was appalled at the dirt and dust on everything, guess that's what happens when you have your windows open all the time in the country!  But that has all been rectified, my house, except for the kitchen floor which still needs a good on your knees wash, is clean!

I had picked up 5 library books a couple of weeks ago - those are all read and ready to go back, all the plants in the sun room have gotten a much needed wash, yesterday I baked 2 dozen Rhubarb Muffins and 2 Banana Bread Loaves, so I think I am doing very well.

I don't do dull weather well.  I really need sun to get me going, so I am quite proud that I have not caved to the feeling that I really could just crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

Meanwhile, outside the grass is starting to resemble a hay meadow.  Even the areas that we recently seeded are growing and long.  It will be a full day of cutting and trimming when the sun finally does come out.  Gary is fretting because the weed whipper that came with the house is finished.  It was hit and miss last year when we tried to use it, and this year it is dead.  It is one piece of lawn equipment that this yard has to have running.  So tomorrow he is walking down to the fix-it fellow at the end of the street to see if there is anything that can be done with it.  This fellow sometimes has rebuilt ones that he will sell, which we are hoping will be the case, otherwise we will have to take a trip to Dauphin and see what Canadian Tire has.

I noticed yesterday that I have 2 potato plants up, and some of my onions are showing green.  I have already replaced 2 of my bush tomatoes, thanks to cutworms, but it looks like the old trick of adding used coffee grounds and egg shells might have worked, as I have not lost any more tomatoes or marigolds.

My five Rhubarb plants are getting away from me already.  I think I will start cutting some and freezing it, or maybe I will just keep baking.  We have a big freezer so I could do that too.  I tried a new recipe for Rhubarb Muffins and I have to share it with you - it is so good.

I cut back the sugar in the recipe to 1 1/4 cup, and because I didn't want all the extra sugar I didn't make the topping.  The muffin doesn't need the topping at all - it is perfect without it.  I never have buttermilk on hand, I just add a shot of vinegar to the milk I do have.

So give this one a try - I'll be winning to bet it will be added to your favourite muffins after one bite!



RHUBARB MUFFINS.














In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients.  Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the rhubarb.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups about half full.  Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle over each muffin.  Bake at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until muffins test done.





Thursday, May 26, 2016

IT'S YOUR CHOICE!

Yesterday it was one year since we came out to the country and looked at the property we now own.  We knew nothing about the town and community, going strictly on what we read on the relator's website.

It was a beautiful warm day, and we really had no expectations of buying a rural property.  We had looked at many rural properties over the years, with hopes and dreams of someday moving out to the country, but we had never found a property we liked enough to make the major life change.

A couple of things were different this time.  I had lost my job, for the second time in three years.  I was disillusioned and burned out from working full time all my life, and I was really looking at finding something completely different from working in the health care field.

What I really wanted to do was retire completely, but we still had a mortgage, loans, commitments.

So we came to look at the home and property thinking it would be just another place to look at after a nice drive, and then we could stop and visit with some extended family on our way home - making it an altogether lovely day!

We arrived in town early, so we drove around town and checked out the area.  We were impressed with how nice everything looked.  We found the house, parked the car and introduced ourselves to the realtor who was waiting for us.

There were some family members of the elderly lady who owned the house working in the yard, cutting grass, trimming trees, planting flowers, and it was nice to see that someone was looking after the property.

We walked through the house three times, and spent almost an hour checking everything out.  We saw the positive and the negative, we talked money, and we decided to leave without making an offer.

On the way home we talked about nothing but the property, and by the time we arrived back home  two hours later we had decided to make an offer on the property.

We surprised many people  - no more than we surprised ourselves.  Our son decided to buy our home, so we didn't even have to list that property.  Six weeks later we were in the car moving to the country for good.

When I look back at the whole experience now, I find that the details are not there.  I have always believed that the whole thing was guided by a hand, not our own.  It was meant to be - and so it was.

I am not one to go on blind faith - most everything I have done in my life has required an abundance of thought and even angst, before I have done it.  Not so this time.  This time I let myself be led through an experience that when I think about it now, should have given me many sleepless nights, but in truth it was the easiest and one of the best decisions ever made.

In 6 weeks time we will have lived here a year.  Are we happy?  Definitely!  Was it a good decision?   The best!  Would we recommend doing this to anyone else?  Only if something like this is what you really want - but what I would recommend is that if you have lived all your life doing something and you want or need a change - if you know what it is you want, and you want it with all you are - then do it!  Have the confidence that you CAN do anything you want to do.  Make it happen - you won't regret it.

We look forward to many many years here.  I know that as long as we have each other, our health, and that loving hand guiding us - we will be fine.

The day after we had seen this property - I received a job offer.  I did have a choice.  I turned the offer down - and chose a new life.  I chose right!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

PICTURE PERFECT - FOR ME!

Last week we went to Neepawa to visit my Aunt who is in hospital there.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we had lots of time before we could go and visit her, so we checked out a few of the local shops in town.

I had been wanting to check out the thrift shop ever since we moved here - you know there might be a doll there waiting for me or something!  There were dolls - nothing I was interested in, and lots of pretty good "stuff" as well.  I couldn't really find anything I needed so we decided to move on to another store.  Just as we were leaving, I looked down, and there on the floor was this really cute picture, in a green frame. $2

I snatched it up not because of the price - well that too - but I really like the country look of it, and it didn't hurt that the green frame would fit perfectly in my kitchen.  What I especially liked was the little sign on the smaller building saying Piano Lessons.  How perfect is that?

Check it out!


I haven't decided where in the kitchen I will hang it yet, but for sure it will hang somewhere in that room... 

In a few days I will start advertising registration for fall piano lessons.  I would like to start off with just a few students this year.  It's been a long time since I taught, and the methods are much different than when I taught years ago, so it might be a bit of a learning curve for me as well, but I am looking forward to starting this new venture in September.

I decided not to worry about my old piano.  It is not perfect, but it still beats an electronic piano any day of the week.  It is a great piano for a student to learn on, and the piano's history is that of a piano teacher's instrument.  It has the kick marks of swinging feet on it's body to prove it.  Piano lessons are about teaching someone to play the piano, not about having a Steinway instrument (Oh how I wish), so my old girl will serve me well.



I will leave you with this insightful gem today...

"Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for, are the true essentials of a happy and meaningful life."

David Goodman  



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

AM I DOING IT RIGHT?

I have been spending some time back in the studio, working on some small applique quilt projects that I had started quite awhile ago.

I will be the first to admit, that when it comes to applique and quilting I am a complete novice.  I am a wanna-be quilter, but in quilting, like every other handiwork I do - I am sure I am not "following the rules".

Like all crafts that have been handed down through the generations - all of a sudden there are rules about the right and the wrong way to quilt.  Who made these rules?  Quilting began hundreds of years ago by women who had no more basic tools than a pair of scissors, a needle and thread, and two hands.  Quilting was a basic as cutting whatever fabric that was still strong and useful enough into pieces, sewing those pieces together putting some sort of filler beneath it and attaching it to a backing.  Some early quilts didn't even have the layer in between - they were only what we would  call a quilt top today.

Women used their imaginations, or used nature to give them inspiration for the patterns for their pieces, and then they used their basic sewing skills to turn those pieces into quilts.  Beautiful quilts too!

That has changed now.  Quilting has become a multimillion dollar business.  I have nothing against the quilters who have developed this craft into such a popular activity, but I do object to the notion that in order to quilt one must be caught up in all popular methods of today's quilter.

I am not interested in becoming one of those type of quilters.  I don't want to take lessons, because I don't believe in order to quilt you have to attend classes.  I don't want to buy expensive quilting machines and every accessory available, or even invest in thousands of dollars of fabric.  I don't even want to join a quilting group.  None of that interests me in the least.

I have one cutting board, one so-so rotary cutter, a couple of rulers, a couple of pairs of scissors, and two sewing machines - one very old, and one newer, but very basic.  My fabric stash consists of scraps given to me, or left over from other projects.  I have no yardage of anything.  I have some batting - again given to me by someone who was throwing it out.

I will buy the occasional pattern, as I do for any work I do - but I almost never use the complete pattern, or use it in the way it is published.  I use it as a guide to start, but I almost always veer off on my own somewhere between start and finish, putting my own imagination and skills to work to make something that often turns out nothing like the pattern I bought.

I have frustrated more crafters than I can count by always changing patterns to suit myself.  It's how I work... I have a very hard time following someone else's mind ( pattern) when my own is in my head screaming to get out!


Here are the projects I am working on.  This one to the left is a pattern I bought.  I think I showed this a couple of months ago,  I had it cut out, but now it is fastened down and I have begun appliqueing the pieces to the background fabric.   This is myself and my two oldest and dearest friends whom I love more than life itself.  This pattern is actually called "Supporting the Girls", by Darla Royal and was created as a Breast Cancer Awareness piece, which is very fitting because two out of three of us have had breast cancer.  This will look a lot different once all the fine details are added.  I actually didn't change a thing about this pattern as it is perfect just as it is!  I just suited the colours of the clothing to match the personalities of the women I had in mind.

I didn't want to applique this piece until I had practiced on something else so I created the barn scene below.   No pattern really - just some pictures from a colouring book I used for ideas and my own pieces I drew by hand.

 I have spent the last few days appliqueing it all on the background, and now it is almost ready to be quilted.


I have to embroider some detail on some of the animals and buildings - yes, by hand... I don't see the need to buy a machine for that either!

And so without any classes or spending a lot of money - I am quilting!  I am starting with small projects such as wall hangings and table runners because I believe when you start something new it is so encouraging to actually be able to finish it.  Small projects help you do that.  But beware - just because these projects are small does not mean they are quick.  It took me quite a few afternoons to cut these pieces, adhere them to the backing, and then quite a few more to applique them... and the projects aren't done yet!

I know there are a lot of people out there who really want to try this craft, but have been led to believe that they need classes and special tools.  You don't - all you need to do, is start.  If you make mistakes - start again.  There is no wrong way or right way to do it... even if the experts say there is.

I am falling in love with this idea of creating pictures with fabric.  I have a whole lot of ideas running around in that empty brain of mine.  Can't wait to finish these, so I can get on to the next ones!

Monday, May 23, 2016

HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!

Happy Victoria Day to my Canadian readers!  I watched the movie The Young Victoria last evening, and I actually learned a few things about this Queen whom's birthday we celebrate every year.  I didn't realize that she still holds the record for the longest reigning Queen in the British Empire.  Our very own Queen Elizabeth has just celebrated her 50th year as a ruling queen, but Queen Victoria actually reigned for 60 yrs.
Did you know that Queen Victoria had 9 children with her husband, Prince Albert?  He died from Typhoid at the age of 42, but she lived and ruled until she died at 81 yrs of age.

The movie was good, if you have the opportunity to watch it - do so.


Gotta tell you - the Rhubarb pie turned out amazing!


I used the recipe I shared here last yesterday and it was delicious, but a bit too sweet for my liking.  If I make it again I will cut back the sugar in the custard to 1 cup or even to 3/4 cup, then I think it would be perfect.  My cousin sent me her mother's recipe which is a little different, so next time I make it I will try my Aunt Hilda's recipe.  

1 cup Rhubarb
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
2 tbsp flour
1C thin cream
1 tsp lemon flavour

mix custard together and pour into a unbaked pie shell, Bake @ 450 for 10 minutes, and then 350 for another 30-40 minutes. 

I think I would use 2 cups of rhubarb however!

I didn't get around to making muffins as yet.  After I made the pie, I got completely lazy.  I sat in my chair, watching the birds outside the window, and the next thing I knew I was doing the nods.  So much for returning to projects in the studio!

I had been waiting all day for the rain that never came, hopefully today will be a better chance for some precipitation.  We really need a nice gentle soaking rain here, the ground is very dry - but then the farmers are all out in the fields seeding and I am sure they would love to be able to finish that before it gets too wet.  Maybe it's a good thing we have no control over such things!


My friend a little Morning Dove, one of a pair - is sitting on the peak of my sunroom roof, right outside my studio window... cooing away.  I could touch the bird if I stuck my hand out the window.  It's song is so peaceful and relaxing.

Well it's a new day and I'd better not waste it.  I am going to take a walking tour around my gardens just to see if anything interesting is going on out there, and then I am going to try and get working on some of those forgotten projects.

Have a Great Day Everyone!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

AND THEN THERE'S THE COLOUR PURPLE!

My senses are overwhelmed with the glorious colours of spring unfolding!  The vivid greens of new grass and leaves, the whites creams and yellows and pinks of blossoms from fruit trees and now the mauve and purples of Lilacs.  Every week a colour is added, along with a different aroma floating through the air on backs of the gentle breezes.

Of course if you suffer from allergies, all these aromas might become a problem, but they are here for such a short time, I am tempted to load up on antihistamines, just so I can enjoy these treasures of spring!

I was out early this morning and this was my Sunday Morning Harvest.


I have a lot of rhubarb growing out in the garden, but this morning I only cut enough to make a pie for supper tonight, and maybe a dozen muffins or so for the week.

I am going to try this Rhubarb Custard Pie that has been floating around FaceBook this week.  Sounds Yummy!

RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE!
1 -9 inch Pie Crust ( unbaked)
Pie filling
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
Topping
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 cup butter
1 pinch salt
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
Stir together the dry ingredients for the filling. Stir in the beaten eggs, then add the chopped rhubarb and mix all together.
Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Topping: Mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl. Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes "crumbly".
Sprinkle topping mixture over the rhubarb filling.
Bake for one hour at 350 degrees F.

I am sorry I have not been around much - but I have been working so hard trying to get my big vegetable garden in before the rains and somewhat cooler weather get here that is predicted for the next few days.

I finally finished planting the last of the garden yesterday, and with that finished, I think I have now completed everything on that first Spring to-do list that I have been stewing about since I first made it in February!



The garden is larger than anything I have ever planted before.  I have planted... Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, corn, three kinds of winter squash, zucchini, carrots, beans, spinach, beets, lettuce, radish, broccoli, pumpkins, asparagus ( which won't be ready to eat for 2 yrs) cucumber, cantaloupe, some sunflowers for the birds, and lots of marigolds and Nasturtiums to keep all the plants happy.  Oh and herbs such as rosemary, lemon grass, parsley, oregano, chives, etc.

I hope it all grows - I will be busy canning and freezing at the end of the summer, if it does.

I also planted a Cherry Tree and still hope to find an apple tree as well.

The plum and Saskatoon trees are finished blooming, so I will be keeping my eyes on them to see if any fruit develops over the next few weeks or so.

So now that we are supposed to have a few rainy days I am looking forward to spending some time in the studio.  I have no idea what I was working on up there - it's been weeks since I spent more than a few minutes there at all.  Looking forward to getting back to some of my projects.

Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend, enjoy the first long weekend of the season!

Friday, May 13, 2016

THE COLOUR WHITE - NOT AS PERFECT AS GREEN!

I wrote todays post last night before I went to bed - serves me right for being so organized!

My world looks and feels a lot different than it did even last night.  We woke up to snow on the ground and snow and blowing snow in the air.  It's cold too - the North Wind is blowing and it feels more like early March than May - But then again Early March this year felt more like May...
Perhaps there is the problem.  The snow stopped for awhile this morning when I took this picture, but it is almost noon now, and it is once again snowing heavily with a sharp cold North wind!


This reminds me of a scene in my most favourite book ever - "Years" by La Vyrle Spencer.  A young schoolteacher in the 1800's heads off to her one room schoolhouse one May morning. The sun is shining, everything is growing - and before the day is out, a blizzard hits the area that buries the little schoolhouse with snow leaving her and her young students stranded there for a couple of days.  One of the residents of the community has taken his horse and wagon out on a trip to town and the blizzard is so severe that he freezes to death out in the Minnesota Prairie, but not before taking his beloved horses' life so he can cut the horse open and crawl inside in a desperate attempt to save his own life.

Well no one is going to have to do that here - but the weather reminds us that we are not in control, as we tend to believe we are.  In Northern USA and Canada, snow and yes severe blizzards can happen in May - and rarely but occasionally in early June.

And now - the post I wrote before retiring to bed last night!



As you can see from my last post,  I have been spending some much loved time with my camera.  At the moment we are sort of fixated on vegetation - not for the lack of other subjects, but just because every day there is a change in my yard that I just don't want to miss.

Happy to say all our heavy landscaping projects are done.  We finished seeding the front yard just before the rains started this week, and now even though the temps are bordering cold, yes - even the threat of frost and snow - will all be good for the growth of new grass.  The existing grass is much greener now as well - which is so nice to see.

What I am really worried about in this cold spell are my fruit trees.  Both my Saskatoon and Plum trees are covered in blossoms ( pictures yesterday are from the Plum tree).  I was so excited to see the tree covered in blossoms, especially since I gave it such a severe haircut early this spring, but it hasn't seemed to affect it at all.  The bees have been busy working in both trees all week - so the prospect for some fruit was high - until this cold weather hit.  We are supposed to get frost the next couple of nights and snow tomorrow.

Darn - I was so looking forward to a big crop of plums this fall to make jams and jellies.

I choose to be stubbornly optimistic about my crop... I AM going to have a good crop... I hope!

In the meantime, while quite a few others have actually planted their vegetable gardens, I have not.  I really am getting quite sick and tired of hauling all my plants in and out of the house every morning and evening, but I will keep it up at least until next weekend if I have to.

I visited my cousin's greenhouse on Tuesday and picked up some annual flowers for some of my beds, some more seed potatoes, and 8 crowns of asparagus roots.  I am excited about the asparagus, even though I know we won't really have much of a crop for a few years.

While we were there I noticed a Cherry Tree for sale - Zone 2 - perfect for our growing season, I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to add it to my little orchard or not - until we got home.  The next morning I was kicking myself for not getting it - so as hard as it is going to be - we will just have to return to the greenhouse on Sunday to get the Cherry Tree!

Next week when the weather warms up hopefully, I can begin to plant my vegetable garden.  I am trying everything this year - and hope for the best.  I have moved 25 strawberry plants into the raised bed at the front of the house - let them try and get away from me there!

Now the vegetable garden is a blank slate so this year I am trying a mixture of wide row and single row planting.  I have never done this before, but it is an easier way to do true companion planting, so I am told, so I will give it a try.

My yard plans are coming along slowly, I am happy with what we have managed to accomplish so far,  but there is still much to do.  I have to remind myself that a yard evolves over the years - but waiting as never been something I have have had much success with.

And so it is, here in my little corner of the world.  Every morning is a new beginning in this awesome yard of mine.  I have two toads this year, quite the handsome ones, I might add.  Maybe they are a Mr and Mrs - who knows, I might have kid toads somewhere hiding in the compost pile!

A seasoned county gardener here in town has caught my Mole for me and my elderly neighbour (because it had tunnelled into her yard, I now was a co-owner of said Mole).

The birds of many varieties are first heard at 5:15 am, right outside our bedroom window.  Such a beautiful chorus of birdsong, briefly wakes us early every morning, but retirement allows us to roll over and go back to sleep until the sun is actually over the horizon!

Now if the weather would smarten up - everything really would be quite perfect!






Thursday, May 12, 2016

THE COLOUR GREEN!



I'll bet a lot of people will be thinking that this post is about money because of the title of my post - but that is not at all what I have in mind.

Do you like the colour green - aside from money?

Green has never been my most favourite colour.  My Dad was always crazy about the colour green, and I could never figure out why the big attraction... till recently.

It hasn't escaped my own notice that since I have lived in the country, all of a sudden green seems to be everywhere around me - starting with my very nice large country kitchen.  Remember what I did to it last year shortly after we moved in...

Ah - you need a reminder...

BEFORE

AFTER
AFTER
               
BEFORE


I would have never picked that colour before - but I absolutely love it in this room!

And now - more green... beautiful amazing green everywhere I look!



 

and then there are the muted shades of green mixed with white and pale yellow... can anything be more lovely than this?


No wonder I am embracing the colour green - and this all before our recent rains.  If it is possible, the greens are even more vibrant now.

I sometimes feel that I fell asleep and woke up in paradise... 

Such beauty everywhere is addicting - so much so, that I cannot fathom enjoying those places where my sight lines are disturbed by concrete brick and mortar, ever again.

Maybe someday I will change my mind - but for now - Green is my new favourite colour!







Saturday, May 7, 2016

A BIT OF A WEEK!

It has been a bit of a week!  For me, it has been a productive one.  We have finished all the landscaping at the front of the house where the trees used to be, and now are just waiting for a chance of rain to seed the area.

I have finished removing all the quack from the two large rose beds and have added 6 inches of well composted soil to the beds, which by now the Roses should really be enjoying.

I have almost finished creating all the flower beds around my barn shed, that should be completed by Monday, and my big old vegetable garden has been tilled and sits waiting and ready to be planted.

We have very little left of the 5 yards of soil, which makes us both very happy...

But what really is topmost on my mind, and I am sure in the mind of all Canadians is the tragic killer fire that is burning up thousands of hectares, towns and communities in Alberta.

We all have seen the pictures, read the stories, heard the video - but none of us can really know what those folks are experiencing first hand.  Personally I can't even imagine it.

Can you?

They show pictures of the miles and miles of traffic evacuating Ft McMurray, those vehicles driving to safety under the most unsafe and terrifying conditions - smoke so dense that there is no visibility, flames close enough to touch them and showers of live burning embers surrounding and landing on vehicles as they sit waiting for the traffic grid-lock to move.

The whole city has been evacuated.  In that scenario are people who have been hospitalized for serious medical conditions - heart patients, cancer patients, children, newborns, elderly.  Nursing homes full of elderly patients who have no way to filter the events as they are happening.

Animals - in the surrounding forests, farms, homes... some taken - some left behind.

There are stories of incredible happenings - a young woman giving birth in the convoy heading out of the city.  Firefighters working around the clock to save burning dwellings, while their own homes burns to the ground.  Good Samaritans from cities miles away filling tanks of gas and driving up and down along the only highway out of the burning area to offer free gasoline to those who are stranded because their vehicles have run out of gas.

It is unthinkable, and yet it is.

Prayers are not enough - but they are needed and they are being given.  So are donations of money, clothes, items of every description from Canadians across the country.

If any good can come from such devastation and tragedy, then it is happening already.  Strangers are reaching out to their neighbours, fellow Canadians and Immigrants alike, they are showing the best side of being human... Love and Compassion.

It's been a bit of a week - for sure!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

SUCH A GOOD LIFE!

What a wonderful weekend we had!   We worked so hard but it didn't matter - we were outside working in our lovely yard just plain enjoying being here in the country and being able to do all we were doing.  If this is all there is to happiness, then I guess we are there!

Friday was an exciting day for me - because it was the day I finally was able to see one of my most longed for change in the yard, finally happen.  Since we moved in the house last year, I have wanted to move our barn shed.  I didn't like where it sat next to the garage.  I don't think anyone really understood this need I had to have it moved - but I kept nagging about it  and finally Friday It was done.  After much thought and wondering how to do it - Kevin came and moved it in about 15 minutes.


getting ready to move....

Moved and levelled
 Now we are going to have a perfect space to build a patio area where we can have our BBQ and table and chairs.  Eventually I would like to build some sort of privacy screen - but that might be another year down the road.
Where are new patio will be.

Kevin also brought us 5 yards of composted top soil, and it will take every bit of it to do all we need to do on this property.

Saturday I started working on the rose bed.  Remember all the rose bushes I thought I had killed by cutting them down last fall?  They are sprouting everywhere, so I cleaned up their bed and added about 5 inches of new soil around them.  I hope they appreciate my loving care, because I am now expecting a real show of colour from all of them.


 Do you remember what this rose garden looked like last year?  Roses that looked pretty sick over-run with Hollyhocks and quack.  I left some Hollyhocks in the very back of the roses, but yanked out all the others - I have other places for Hollyhocks.


I gave my Plum and Saskatoon trees a clean around their trunks and filled them up with new soil as well.

And today I created an new flower bed along one side of my shed, where I plan to have a blue and white and yellow show of colour.


So, yes - a very productive weekend, and looking forward to more of the same this week.

We also met some more neighbours, I applied for a casual position with Canada Post at the Post Office, ( I start my other job and the library tomorrow) and we topped it off tonight with an incredible supper of Crock-pot baked ham, and all the fixings.  

Ahhhh... such is life - such a good life!