Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer Visitors and New Shed Roof

We waited a long time for summer this year as it looked like winter was never going to end and spring was pretty much non-existent. The bugs who love to bite never really left until end of August so we purchased even more bug jackets of all sizes to fit our summer visitors. During the month of July and August we had 25 days of company. First our granddaughter who is four arrived at the airport with her mother. The ten days they visited went by too fast but we packed  a lot of fun into those days, beach, flying kites, swimming, a birthday party for one of her cousins, a fancy tea party, shopping and playing with dolls a LOT. I am now an expert on playing with Barbie dolls and other "babies" of various sizes. All great fun and the conversations with my granddaughter were and are priceless as I continue to play with her on Skype.

Our next visitor from Ontario was my girlfriend who just loves the island. She camped here with her son and husband many years ago so always delights in returning here to visit and explore. We fit in more beach days this year to relax, read, swim and beach comb (me) while she reads. There are so many gorgeous beaches here and I still have many left to explore with my hubby when he retires next year. My girlfriend also stayed for ten days as it is a long, two day drive out here.

Our last visitors and shortest visit was with my son and his partner, but my son also flew out in May for a weeks visit. There was still piles of snow about then and many ice flows at the beach we like to swim at in the summer months. When my son visits we drive to many places as he has his trip well planned as to what he wants to see and where he wants to eat. We saw the Lennie Gallant show for the 2nd time and I think we enjoyed it even more the second time around. It was also the night we celebrated hubbies birthday. After the show we four went out for supper. The next day was a drive up to New Glasgow for the Lobster supper experience. And I'd better not mention all those home-made pies for dessert. Although I will say the coconut cream got my vote!

The renovations at Cranberry Cottage are not 100% finished but we keep knocking things off the list. There is a lovely big new deck across the front of the house which we would have enjoyed much more if the bugs had left us alone. We are still in the discussion stages of how or where to screen part of it in. Hubby and his brother finished putting on a new red steel roof on my shed plus Jim put new shingles on the front. My job will be painting the whole shed hopefully this fall. Right now either because of air-conditioning or tiredness, I've developed a summer cold..blah.

I planted some new bushes this summer and gladioli for the first time. They are so gorgeous. My gardens did well in some things, not so well in others. We had tons of peas, snow peas and beans are doing well. My lettuce was a bust as well as my spinach this year. Carrots are doing splendid and squash came up from seeds thrown in the compost..nice bonus. We had a great crop of rhubarb and the pies were well received. We had lots of blueberries growing on our property this year, a real treat in smoothies, muffins and coffee cake.

Hard to believe it is now September, summer flew by. I continued with my art lessons all summer when I could fit them in and still enjoy them very much. The Seniors luncheons will be starting up again once a month and perhaps I will take another course in rug braiding or change over to making a quilt this year. Always great courses to chose from during the fall and winter months and not expensive. We continue to feed the birds all winter and this summer were rewarded with six hummingbirds at a time at one of our two feeders. Another feeder of Niger seed outside the kitchen window attracts gold and purple finches.

It is wonderful having the dining room finished, painted and a new floor down. We also have the same flooring in the living-room. There are spots of trim work left to do here and there but that will be a winter job. Summer keeps us busy outside, cutting grass and picking up fallen apples at this time of year. We feed them to a pony, lama and goat down the road who love to see us now. Our fields are planted with soy beans by the farmer down the road and look very healthy.

We enjoyed a few dances this year and got to a few rousing Ceilidhs which keep our feet tapping. I felt very brave this spring cooking lobster for the first time with help and instructions from my sister-in-law. We were given a dozen by a fisherman down the road, also received some already cooked from relatives and neighbors. We froze some of it so were able to share with company in the form of lobster rolls. We are adjusting to island life bit by bit and I look forward to hubby's retirement but not more than he does I'm sure. That will be yet another challenge, having him here all day but with 35 acres which keep us busy I'm sure we will have to make an appointment to meet under the willow tree for a snack and cold drink! And if I can't find him, he will probably be hiding down the road at his brothers!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happenings at Cranberry Cottage

Do we have spring yet? No we do not, our front yard and fields are still snow covered....but the good news is, each day we see a little more brown grass appear. Mostly around the house plus around the trees, the circles of grass are growing larger and larger. Can I see any of my spring bulbs yet? No I most definitely cannot. And I'm very curious to see what happened with all the bulbs I planted last year..Very curious and very anxious. Hubby and I are getting spring fever.

We managed to avoid sickness and colds nearly all winter, then two weeks ago, I came down with a heavy cough that over time developed into a cold which I gave to my hubby. He recovers from illness more quickly than I do and I'd say in a few more days I should be back to normal. I found I had no energy, big lack of appetite which also meant I didn't feel like cooking. I wish someone would magically deliver meals each day as cooking is still not high on my list..

Even while not feeling the best Jim managed to finish the last room to be done, the dining room. It was mudded, sanded and painted. Then he and his brother put down a new floor last weekend and put down the new floor in the living-room this past Saturday. That means the inside of this house is finally finished except for trimming of door ways and few odds and ends. But the heaviest, dirtiest jobs are now done, at least inside!

We are looking forward to building our new 8 ft. deck out front this summer and perhaps getting a gazebo built. Wish I could say all the out-door jobs were done and we could just do maintenance, sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. But we have an old garage, a shed (mine) and a huge barn that has to be dealt with.

Once Jim retires, a year from this August, he will be outside all summer working away at projects to his hearts content.  Right now he has to do all these projects on weekends and if he feels up to it, a few hours after work. His brother is a big help to us and work shared gets done more quickly.

Our new TV which we purchased last October died this past week and after phoning the company, we were told we will need a new TV. So we sent away the photos they wanted plus proof of purchase and wait.

My first visitor for 2015 is my son, coming out to watch the boats go out for spring lobster season. We will have a full house again this summer and fall. They will see big changes in the interior all which will make their stay even more comfortable.

I am knitting a blanket for the couch and still going for my weekly art lesson although have missed some because of weather and sickness. Once gardening season get into full swing, I will probably stop my lessons until the fall or go less often. I also spend many hours a week on Skype playing "babies" or dollies with my granddaughter..I'm often the "baby" and she is the mommy. It is a precious time.

We have enjoyed feeding the birds all winter even if we had to use snowshoes to walk across the yard. I love hearing the doves cooing in the morning now, at least two pairs are visiting us. Spring seems so very long coming this year I feel we should have a real spring celebration party once it arrives. Maybe a big lobster supper and a chocolate cake for dessert! Hope springs eternal....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Waiting on Spring!

Outside the windows it's a winter wonderland. The sun is shining brightly making our mood lighter. The birds, Juncos, blue jays, black capped chick-a-dees and pine siskas are cleaning out the bird feeders once again. We can only refill feeders by wearing our snow shoes. We enjoy tramping across the fields for an hour on days such as this but hubby has started the new back-splash in the kitchen and far be it for me to interrupt that major project.

The above picture was taken one spring while walking back into our woods. Often the little stream dries up in the summer but this day was rather magical back there and I took many pictures. I do tend to take a lot of pictures of our property during all the seasons, we are loving this very picturesque property.

My mind is really dwelling on spring now especially after I purchased a large quantity of seeds last weekend. I did get my peas planted last year at the end of April but with all this snow this year it might not be so early. But in my mind lately I've been planning where to dig up more gardens, what bushes and trees I want to plant yet. In other words I'm really itching to get the gardening gloves on and get busy.

Winter time is a busy time here though, I have my art classes and rug braiding class. There is usually a renovating project going on here inside the house and my in-laws often invite me to join them for a shopping trip into the city. Yesterday was one of those days. The 3rd Tuesday of each month is the Senior's luncheon and once in awhile hubby will even take me to a Saturday night dance.

Some boxes are still not unpacked so there is still a lot of sorting going on, which will probably be ongoing until the dining room is finished. Then I can get my two china cabinets organized. I'm getting quite excited about having the last two new floors put down before our friends and family start visiting this year.

Hubby said he would dig out the steps to the deck where I hang up my clothes as I've seen some clothesline being used already and we love the fresh smell of bedding hung outside. Last year the hummingbirds kept me company at the clothesline or while relaxing in a lawn chair.

I'm probably much more excited than hubby with the thoughts of a screened in gazebo this year as he will be doing the building of it with the help of his brother and any of our guests who happen to land in at that time from Ontario. We weren't long in buying bug jackets last year once the black flies arrived.

My favorite color right now is green! Thoughts of green leaves, green grass, fresh rhubarb and little green asparagus shoots peeking up through the earth. I have four nice sized raised gardening beds somewhere out in the white wilderness that I haven't seen for a long time. They will pop up in the spring also.

Everyone I meet up with these days has one favorite topic. They are ready for springs arrival. It will be interesting to see if all my tulips, daffodils, crocus and iris come up where I planted them or the squirrels decided to move them. If it really comes down to it, I don't care where they end up as long as this snow starts melting soon. Enough of boots, heavy coats, hats and gloves. I've got it all planned out..Mother Nature, are you listening?