A perfect Saturday

The weather man predicted rain and high winds so we decided to stay  home rather than running the roads today.   With nothing really planned, it turned into the perfect Saturday.

As I searched through the house for autumn decorations Himself was busy in the side yard covering his raised beds with plastic.  Last Sunday he planted kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce, rocket salad, swiss chard and tatosi (an Asian green).   Most of the plants have already peaked through the soil.

He received Nikki Jabbor’s the year round vegetable gardener as a Christmas gift form our grand-daughter Sarah.   This book has become his garden bible.

His only complaint about the book being  while she has written an excellent book, her husband does all the work.    This from the man standing there using a Martha Stewart leaf punch to make paper preforated discs for my autumn banner.

autumn mantle

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband | 1 Comment

Scrappy quilt around the world

Earlier this summer I vowed to finish off my UFOs  (Unfinished Objects).   I waded through numerous unfinished quilt tops, packing each in it’s own container, dutifully labeled.   Quite a few only needed another block or two, or a bit of binding.

My daughter Andrea spent a Saturday with me, sorting fabric, stacking UFOs and bringing lonely blocks to life by sketching the quilts including details on how to finish.   She made me promise not to start another quilt until I had finished at least one of the UFOs.

It was all worth the effort.   This quilt has been only two years in the making, compared to others that have been waiting to be finished since 1999.

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When I finally finished the top I showed it to Himself, who muttered, “too busy for me”.  This past weekend we picked up the finished quilt at Andrea’s.  She worked her magic on the quilting and binding.  She also washed the quilt to make it nice and crinkly.  Himself put claim to it announcing it would make the perfect bed quilt.

He’s right, it is the perfect quilt to snuggle under while napping on the couch.

2014 scrappy indoors

 

Here’s a close up of Andrea’s skillful hand at machine quilting free style.

2014scrappy quilting

And don’t worry about Himself needing a quilt.  There’s still quite a few waiting in the boxes to be finished.

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew, The world's best daughter | 1 Comment

Monarchs and Milkweed

Himself cultivates a good size area of milkweed, both cultivated and wild. He does this for the Monarch butterflies.  The Monarch lays her eggs on the sprouted milkweed.   In five days, the eggs hatch into tiny yellow, black and white banded caterpillars.

monarchs and milkweed

The caterpillars eat enormous quantities  to grow 2,700 times their original size in only two weeks. In three weeks the caterpillar will enter the pupa stage and then an emerald green chrysalis.  Two weeks later the beautiful Monarch appears.

The Monarch milkweed relationship is quite ingenious, as the plant’s “milk” is acidic and poisonous to some animals.   A monarch caterpillar feeds solely on milkweed, absorbing this poison to last its lifetime, making the Monarch foul tasting to most predators.

2013 was a very poor year for Monarchs. Scientist believe it as a result of drought and an absence of milkweed plants. (See Globe and Mail Article)  Not one Monarch graced our milkweed plants.

Last weekend Himself and my son in law spotted a couple of butterflies amongst the milkweed, making us very hopeful.    This weekend our milkweed was a flutter with butterflies.

Help these little guys out by planting or cultivating milkweed in your garden.

monarchs are back

Posted in Garden, Home Sweet Home | 2 Comments

Raspberry Crack

A few summers ago I stumbled across this recipe while looking for an easy way to serve up a basket of raspberries for Sunday dessert.

Recently I served this dessert to my son-in-law and he proclaimed it was the best dish of raspberries he has eaten.  “A perfect blend of the tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the milk. “   And he is right, it is the perfect summer dessert, always a hit and so simple to make.

In our house we call this raspberry crack, as it soon becomes addictive.

This morning I read the reviews on the original recipes and never considered trying it with blueberries or bananas, but I certainly will.

Try the recipe and let me know.

raspberry crack

 

Posted in Recipes | 1 Comment

WWAD

My daughter usually gives very good advice.   On Tuesday she spent the day at our home as her family like thousands of other Frederictonians suffered from a lost of power.

After a good chat about her recent weight lost (well done Andrea), and a delicious supper our talk soon turned to quilting.  I was lamenting on all the unfinished projects sitting in my closet.  Shamefully I admitted I would not be surprised if I had 30 quilt projects in various stages.

In typical Andrea fashion, she wrote me a list to get my quilting projects in order.   Titled Project Sorting, by priority, it goes as follows

1. Completed tops – needs backing, needs quilting

2. Tops – almost done. Sort by how close to done, can work on as you want to.

3. Tops started.  Decide if you want to continue.  For the rest, pile or sort in Ziploc bags or containers.

4. Tops not started yet. If fabric not cut, set aside til ONE quilt done.  Then you can cut

5.  Jelly roll race quilt  (her suggestions to use up a lot of  2.5 inch strips from an uncompleted project) – look it up!

Sure it sounds like tough love, but my daughter has generously agreed to machine quilt my creations.  I just need to provide the top, batting, fabric for the back and the binding.  She even volunteered to cut the bindings for me.   What more could a quilting Mom ask for.

This morning I began sorting through boxes laying the contents out on Himself’s bed.  After spilling the contents of two small boxes, I was overwhelmed.   There were finished blocks, cut squares of various sizes and hst blocks and fabric and quilt patterns  I have not fondled in months.    To motivate myself and resist the urge to start yet another new top, I kept rereading the priority list and chanting WWAD – what would Andrea do!

My daughter does give good advice but as a rebellious Mom, I just need to take it……………… and hide the pattern for the vintage propeller quilt, even though I do have quite a few blocks that will work.

vintage propeller quilt

 

 

 

 

Posted in Quilts, The world's best daughter | 4 Comments

Batten down the hatches and your composter

Tropical storm Arthur is visiting the Point today.  The winds are howling, the trees are bending and the rain is lashing against the windows.  The birds have retreated to the safety of the woods behind our home.

The strong winds lifted our compost barrel straight into the air.  Luckily it landed straight up 10 feet away.

The power has been flickering off and on but we have a generator and thermos of tea and coffee at the ready.

How do you plan to weather the storm?  We will  spend the day reading, napping, fondling fabric and enjoying our first feed of this season’s strawberries.

Now if I could only convince Himself to drive 18 km to pick up the Globe and Mail.strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Sweet Home | 1 Comment

Jack lives here

This is my first spring home full time and we have been busy in the yard.   Over the past week we have planted over 100 flowers and or bushes.   I do mean the editorial “we”,  Himself does the work I do the planning.

Thanks to a new friend we made at the Seedy Sunday in Rockwood Park earlier this year, we are now growing may apples, Daphne, boxwood, forsythia, magnolia, rhododendron,quince, flowering crab, six different rose bushes, double buttercups, Jerusalem artichokes, star of Bethlehem,  Egyptian onions, pink lily of the valley, blue geraniums, pink geraniums, Clementia and lilac.

The rose brushes we planted last year survived the winter and many have tiny little bud waiting to bloom. The neighbour donated Hostas, lilies, and a slew of plants whose names escaped her.  Last Saturday I purchased 44 lilies for a mere $20.

Most of the plants are resting in the nursery Himself started in our lower field.   We will let them grown this year and find the perfect spot for each plant next year.

As magnificent as I know our flowers may be, they pale in comparison to the wild flowers that grow in the woods behind our home.

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Posted in Garden, Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband | 1 Comment

Easter then and now

Himself and I had a great chat this morning about Easter celebrations when we were young.   He could never figure out how God was born at Christmas,  died three or four months later,  and still managed quite a few miracles in between.

When I was a child, Easter meant two full days of church.  Good Friday was a day of darkness and penance,  Easter Sunday a day of celebration.  It was also a time for new shoes and a spring dress. After church the Easter bunny would bring a skipping rope or a bag of marbles.

Growing up my children would receive a chocolate bunny and a few Easter eggs from the Easter bunny.  These days kids are receiving bikes, i-pods and other large tickets items.

My daughter refuses to partake in the commercialism of Easter.   She does however partake in the eating of Easter candy.

Instead of a special cake or pie,  I stuff a basket full of Easter treat for desert.  After dinner, every one is allowed to eat as much candy as this like.   This year I supplied goody bags  to stuff and take home.

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Posted in Grandmothers, Home Sweet Home | 4 Comments

The days are brighter

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. ……….William Wordsworth

Nestled under the snow banks in our fields hundreds of daffodils, crocus and iris struggle to find the spring sun light.    Short of clearing away the blanket of white, it will be a few more weeks before we have any flowers in our yard.

This time of year I crave flowers as much as I crave the smell of wet earth, rhubarb and bird songs.   Thanks to the local volunteers, our kitchen was brightened with daffodils from the April is Cancer month fundraiser.

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I have been blessed with a husband who loves flowers too.   Himself purchased bulbs in December at Halifax Seeds, to make our spring just a little bit brighter.

 

 

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The signs of spring

Last Saturday I enjoyed the first rite of spring.  Two of the local churches held indoor yard sales, which were largely attended.   Mind you I had to wade through a snow bank and tread gingerly across the icy parking lot, but I was greatly awarded for my efforts.  Living in a small house, I need to be very selective with my purchases.   Luckily I enjoy shopping for my extended family.

With three great grand daughters and one great soon to be born niece, I am always on the hunt for girl clothes.   At the great sum of 50 cents per item, I bought two full groceries bags of pretty pink and purple attire.

One of the vendors asked if I was looking for anything in particular.  I answered a microwave and that I did not see one for sale.   Not to worry, she had purchased one for her classroom but was told the Fire Marshall had banned the use of microwaves.  If I did not mind waiting, she would go to the school and pick it up.   A half hour later I was the proud owner of a barely used, new to me microwave for $20.00.

The miserable weather of late doesn’t seem to bother me as much now, I’ll just look for more indoor sales.

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Posted in Shop Mam Shop | 1 Comment