Monday, December 27, 2010
A one year dream does not seem like a long time to keep alive. Everyone knows how fast a year goes by, the older we get, the faster it goes by, like a blink of an eye. A five year dream on the other hand might sound like a very long time and I don't want to wish my life away. So the plans that I have for that dream to come true will be broken up into a year a time. Perhaps even a summer at a time. Our three weeks holidays each year.
My dream as does my husband's dream involves the property and buildings we purchased in Prince Edward Island this past November. In the photo above blissfully running through one of our fields are the two children of my husband's niece from Nova Scotia. Their mother is probably inside the farmhouse at the time, wandering from room to room making plans in her head as to what should go where..her children without a care in the world are having a delightful time running, jumping, falling down and getting back up again to do it all over again.
As I was fortunate enough to be in P.E.I. for three weeks in November I spent many hours at our new place, planning, dreaming, renovation by knocking down walls and later drawing diagram after diagram of room plans, trying to decided what would be best where. Not all of my time was concentrated however on the inside of the house but I also walked the perimeter of the front and back yard thinking where a good spot might be for the vegetable garden, where we will dig in our fish pond from here, planning my iris bed, where masses of daylilies would look good etc. My eye went to the very large field to the left of the house and in my mind's eye I saw a very large, grassed and treed park.
The field is presently planted in winter rye and will be planted with potatoes in the spring, by a farmer down the road we are allowing to use all our fields for potoates. After all we need to keep the fields plowed so the spruce trees wouldn't take over. We have lots of woods and trees on our 35 acres so we really don't need more spruce. Our land is bordered on three sides by trees, blueberry bushes, wild roses, the odd apple tree and it will be my delight to walk around our land in the spring and discover even more species of trees. Being thrilled by the fact different varities of birds will make their homes in them especially after I put up many bird houses that my brother will make for me.
As I looked at the field I could see new trees growing there, red maple, sugar maples, plus many of the types of trees I'd love to plant here in Muskoka but have no room for in our smaller yard. Considering our yard is small I do have forsythia, varigated dogwood, a dwarf lilac, three boxwood, nesting spruce, a red maple and sugar maple plus a mountain ash, several bayberry bushes and an old crabapple tree that was here when we moved here. So you can imagine how many varities I will want to plant where I have lots and lots of room to play with.
My brother-in-law who has lived on the island for at least ten years now and has more acreage than we have likes to keep telling me how long it will take to cut the lawn on such a large portion of land. But I tend not to get discouraged, as I dream big and bold. An important part of that dream is finding a big old tractor with lots of miles left on it to cut the grass around all those many wonderous trees, dappling the grass in the sunshine.
Those delightful children running through that field that sunny but cool day cemented in my mind that I was on the right track. They ran from one side of the field to the other, where they were stopped by our border of trees. They laughed, giggled and played so carefree and happy. Would that I could give that joy to many more children, let them roam and run, resting on little benches my husband will make nestled under the shade of a growing, handsome tree. Under the watchful eyes of parents who might be resting on our porch or deck, whatever we decide to build on that side of the house, or perhaps walking with ease across the dappled lawns themselves. Even better perhaps running along with their children or chasing them here and there among the trees. This is the vision I see with clarity on these cold winter days here in Muskoka. Hoping against hope five years with be just enough time to watch this dream turn into a reality.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I was able to find a nice red one, very light with a much needed hood and as I was looking it all over for stains or little holes I saw a navy tag near the side seam. I looked closely at the tag and it said: "Prince Edward Island", how great is that! I tried other jackets on, some of which also fit but resisted the temptation to buy more than one, also resisted the red purse sister-in-law Caron showed me but bowed to temptation on a pair of six dollar jeans that fit like a glove and a white blouse. Like to have at least two white blouses in good shape to wear downtown with jeans or other slacks. My doctor told me many years ago to wear long sleeves even in summer as my skin is getting thinner..yikes!
I am not posting a picture yet, but when I return home I will post a picture of the reason I am on the island. I guess I'll just wait and post the reason at that time too..Family members already know but I'm sure they will enjoy the new picture which may adorn our Christmas Cards this year. Hubby is back home keeping the home fires burning, working hard and I sure do miss him. I hope to join him again in another couple of weeks. Flying alone again will be easier this time as it will be my third time but I'll still be very grateful when the wheels hit the tarmac. I going now to listen to the weather report, please let them say this rain is going to end!!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
There will not be enough hours in a day next week. I will have to make lists of things to do and check them off as each chore gets done. If all goes well and my husband gets me the airline ticket he found online last week, I'll be flying out to Prince Edward Island again. I know, what a hassle, but someone has to do it. That means my husband will be here alone after work each day and on weekends so I should prepare some extra meals and desserts for him, although my brother-in-law's girlfriend has already promised to make him a pecan pie. That makes me worry about my return ticket! If he delays getting me one, he might end up having lots of pecan pies!
The list will have to include lots of cleaning chores, keeping the laundry done, making yet another trip to the bank, maybe two trips and making sure the house is really tidy before I leave because it sure won't be when I return. When I returned from my last little four day trip away I returned to the most fragant smells coming from the kitchen. Dear hubby had an appetizing stew in the slow-cooker. The reason? If he made me a delicious meal perhaps I wouldn't notice how messy the house was. As if! But it did dull the pain of doing extra cleaning the following week.
I will need to make lists of things hubby needs to do while I'm away too, like watering all the plants I have, last count we had fifteen not counting the herb Rosemary I brought in for the winter. I think I read somewhere it takes fourteen or fifteen plants in your home to keep the air quality healthy. I also need to transplant two violets from a large pot and a spider plant. Did I say I would be very busy?
As I pack for my trip away not knowing how long I'll stay will be a quandry. I tend to always overpack but I want it keep it down to one suitcase. Since I'll be staying with family on the island I can keep my clothes laundered and wear the same things over and over..Boring! That brings me to another problem. My clothes are lasting too long, they are not wearing out and I'm so tired of some of them. Especially some of my sweat-shirts which having a long winter here means we wear them over and over. But I'm on my "not buying anything unless in dire need" so those boring sweat-shirts stay.
Speaking of not buying anything I will force myself to stay away from one of my favorite yearly shopping sprees held here at the Anglican Church in town each October. The Ten Thousand Villages sale event is a wonderful feast for the eyes and a terror on the pocket book. I usually buy bracelets, earrings, maybe a flower pot or lovely basket. Then food items for my son for Christmas and numberous other gifts for family members. Since my son still has coffee left over from last Christmas he and my daughter will get their usual Christmas cash and a book or two instead. This year is leaning towards a real book giving Christmas.
This upcoming Friday night will be my last "party" night in town for awhile, we have tickets to a Halloween Dance and Dinner at the Legion with friends. The big dilemna will be what to wear but I have several ideas swirling around my tired brain. A gypsy costume would be easy, well, okay, that's my only idea so far! This will probably be my last post for awhile on this blog and as I have no return date who knows when I'll be able to write again. Also when I return it will probably be to lots of snow, a real shock to the system as everything is still green here with lots of various flowers still blooming. I'll be in a fluster once I return as Christmas will be fast approaching but let's hope once I enter the house I'm greeted by a wonderful smell of something enticing simmering in the crockpot..oh heck, that signals another messy house.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Last week I spent a very pleasant four days away in Port Perry. Three High School friends and myself spent an enjoyable time shopping, eating and gabbing. We try and get together at least once a year in different locations, trying to find places some of us have never visited. Since one of my friends lives in Port Perry she invited us to stay over at her place.
Now the town of Port Perry can boast of some really interesting stores to browse and shop in, as well as great restaurants. I determined ahead of time how much money I might need for meals knowing there would be occasions we'd eat out. Then I added a few dollars more for an item I wanted to purchase that was under five dollars. Remembering my promise to be thrifty this year I added an extra twenty dollars but hoped very much to bring money home to put in the "Savings" jar. It's a large, old canning jar which will take some time to fill.
As we walked from store to store on Thursday my only purchase was the dish cloth from the Swedish Store that I just love. They soak up water like a sponge. I use them so much I had to throw one out last week, so wanted to replace it. The ladies I was with weren't in a big buying mood either so that helped. We had a tasty supper that night at a Fish and Chip restaurant, but all our other meals that day were eaten at my friend's house. Savings!
Friday as planned after breakfast we drove over to Bobcaygeon where there are some truly awesome clothing stores. I clutched my purse tightly to my side, muttering: "remember your goals, don't fall into a trap and buy clothes you don't need!"..One part of a large store there sells shoes and I love shoes. But I resisted by spending very little time in there while being happy for my friend who did purchase a pair. The clothing section is divided into three sections, the special occasion clothes didn't tempt me as I don't have occasion to wear them much but the last section with jackets, sweaters, new winter coats and blouses was enticing. But I walked away once more.
As we approached yet another clothing store, I saw outside in a box strong plastic hangers for sale, eight for a loonie. I need hangers, what a bargain. Inside the store I spied a rack with a sign "twenty dollars"..upon looking closer I saw turtle and mock neck sweaters in nearly every shade. I quickly thought of my wardrobe back home and realized I was short a black mock neck sweater so bought one in my size. Purchase number two or three if you count the hangers.
We visited another couple of stores there, then drove over to Fenlon Falls. We entered another favorite store there, then stopped for lunch. This was our second meal I had to pay for. I looked into my wallet and saw money to spare. Money to take home and put in the jar. I was beaming. All in all with the temptation all around me for most of the weekend I felt that I passed the test quite well. On our way home we stopped in Bala at the Cranberry Festival and I bought a couple of jars of goodies for Christmas gifts. Never too early to start shopping for bargains.
When I realize all the things I have in my home and clothes that I already have to wear perhaps it wasn't so hard to resist all the temptation around me but it's early days yet on being thrifty. But for now I feel encouraged by last weekend and my ability to keep a tight rein on my wallet. As I poke around the house looking for things for next spring's yard sale I wince at times considering the things I bought that I didn't need, but fell under it's spell..A hard lesson learned.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Or perchance they make allowances for us.
They are so industrious, so constant in search of food.
One stays on guard while their mate goes foraging.
The eggs are ever guarded from foreign marauders.
They keep their nest spotless, even removing their waste.
Soon little squeaky chirps fill the spring air.
How we wish we could see the wee balls of fluff.
As we delight in the parents brisk activity,
We are impressed by their family parity and devotion.
Humans could learn from these pillars of parenthood,
Who warn off feathered prey twice their size.
The wee hatchlings are safely sheltered,
Nurtured to enter the world when ready.
Nature can be a wonderful teacher,
Stay safe little ones, stay safe.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
How wonderful it was to reconnect with former classmates from the two public schools I attended in Burgessville and Norwich as well as the High School. We shared memories as did others in the room, the noise level was very high but then so was the peals of laughter surrounding us all. Many hugs and handshakes were shared amongst old pals. We enjoyed a Pub Night at the Legion in town on Friday night, a tour of the old High School on Saturday looking at memorabilia displayed for the event. We peered at name tags as we walked the hall, some friends from the past being more recognizable than others.
Saturday night my friends and I attended the dinner/dance, the room was packed with eager and joyful partygoers all there to get reacquainted with former classmates. The food was excellant, the party was a huge success. All who attended will go home with many fond memories of three days of renewing friendships, exchanging addresses and being so grateful for an event that brought us all together once again.
After a Sunday morning breakfast back at the Legion my friend and I visited family gravesites, spending a few quite moments with our departed loved ones and leaving flower tributes behind. We had a wonderful visit later with my daughter who was utterly surprised to see us, then headed off home, happy and contented, our heads buzzing with memories from a weekend we'll never forget.
Friday, May 28, 2010
We enjoyed yellow tomatoes last year and a new Heirloom purple tomato that I haven't been able to find yet this year. I always plant one cherry tomato plant and get enough for the whole neighborhood.
I had a bumper crop of turnip last year so we planted them again and tried parsnips for the second time around..they didn't get very large last year. I tried brussel sprouts last year but the growing season was just too short for them to mature to a good size..they were tiny and tasty but I'm not planting them again. We moved our good-sized black composter into the garden last week to get more sun, the maple tree we planted seven years ago has matured to the point it was shading our composter too much.
We hope to harvest green peppers my husband started inside in the early spring from seeds from a pepper we bought and ate. He enjoys doing this, I'd much rather just buy a mature plant.
We planted carrots, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, turnips, green and yellow beans, peas, snow peas and a few potatoes in a garden that isn't very large. We are able to share our produce with others and there is nothing I like better than picking my own lettuce and onions for a fresh salad.
To my dispair I'm not good at growing radishes but have fairly good luck with most everything else we plant.
The flowers in the yard are looking glorious, pansies everywhere, yellow iris, purple ones in various shades, bright orange poppies, lupins and phlox have reseeded this year to the point of nearly taking over, but the butterflies seem to love them. Last year we hardly saw any butterflies but they are numerous this year. We have hummingbirds flitting here and there, gold finches, robins and my favorite, the chickadees making nests and rushing around feeding their offspring. It's a glorious start to summer.
With our garden and many flower beds we have two large rain barrels and two tin washtubs collecting water. I try and remember to scrub vegetables over a big bowl as well as save all rinse water to use on plants. When my husband cleans the pond filter using the garden hose he tries to clean the filters over a small bush or plants, thus serving two purposes. If he cleans them over a pail the water is used on plants. Every drop of water is precious so we try very hard not to waste any. We were so grateful for rain this week, the soil in the flower beds was like powder so the rain barrels should now be refilled. I know the birds enjoyed the showers, they sang their delight as soon as it started.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It's not like me to be afraid. Well, okay, I don't like snakes much but I don't think I'd stand and scream like I did as a child. Now I'd give them a wide berth, maybe even cross the street.
When as a child on my way to school a few small garter snakes would creep out on the sidewalk, screaming was a great way to get my mother's attention. She came running with a corn broom after hearing "snakes, snakes" and whisk them promptly into the ditch from whence they came.
Now being an adult I try not to be afraid, but the munching was nerve wracking. I really didn't want to turn my back on it. I could scare it off but some people had told me they could get aggressive when threatened. He was only a couple of feet tall and here I am a little over five feet, surely no contest.
Waving my hands and yelling as loud as possible trying not to disturb the neighbors', I ran across the back yard, clapping my hands now to make lots of noise. He hunched over his lunch even more, wondering why he couldn't eat in peace. He considered my foliage his banquet table. How can a grown woman be afraid of a ground-hog? He soon lumbered off to one of the holes he had dug, one under my husband's workshop and one under my garden shed. I wonder how much a stick of dynamite costs?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Four perfect blue eggs nestled in twigs
Warmed and nurtured with maternal care.
Mother serene as she shelters her offspring
Father guards the nest from all who would stare.
Built inside our carport, on top of a light
Outside the door we use day and night.
We disturb mom and dad with our comings and goings
Soon we detour out the back door to let sleeping birds lie.
My son ever curious climbs a ladder to behold
Three wee balls of fluff, harboring one last blue egg.
I worry like crazy as if they were my own babies
Long skinny necks crane above the nest begging.
Tiny perfect veined heads rear up at each sound
Mouths expand as wide as they’ll spread.
One bird escapes the nest, now outward bound
Where did it go, what will it catch?
Leaving town for a few days away
Our return is greeted by a nest empty and hollow.
Would that I had wings, my little family I’d follow.