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 | 3 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

Perfect day for cooking & quilting

The only thing worth while doing outside today is clearing snow.  It’s too damp and windy to enjoy the outdoors.  While DH works on the yard and deck, I’ll stay inside nice and warm keeping the home fires burning and the sewing machine humming.  It’s a type of day that calls for comfort food.

When I need such a recipe, I always check  out Marie Rayner’s The English kitchen.  Marie is a Nova Scotian who moved to England in 2000.   Her blog offers incredibly wonderful recipes accompanied by pictures that will  make your mouth water.

If your in my neck of the woods around lunch time today drop on by for sausage and mushroom casserole followed by bread & butter pudding with lemon curd.

After lunch you can help DH shovel the deck, while I bake a batch of granola cookies.   I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon working on the quilt for by soon to be great niece, as this is International Quilting Day!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband, Quilts, Recipes, Sew Mam Sew | 3 Comments

Looking for a bit of green

Thank you Mr. Weatherman for once again being wrong in predicting the weather.  Instead of the flurries and/or sleet, we were blessed with sunny skies this morning.  At a balmy plus 5, we were basking in the sun and the heat.

DH and I ventured into town on the hunt for a bit of green.   We did not find one blade of grass, but we did drop into  the Rockwood Park Interpretation Center  for Seedy Saturday. 

Although we did not bring any seeds to the event, we left with packets of Aster, Dwarf Kale, garlic bulbils and snow white tomato seeds.   We spent a good hour making new friends and talking about gardening and the wonderful spring and summer to come.

So for now the only green we have to enjoy, is the green onions growing in a glass of water in our kitchen.  Green onions will last for months as long as you add more water, and replenish with fresh water every two weeks.

onions

If you like more information on vegetables that will regrow in water, check out this article.

 

 

Posted in Garden, Home Sweet Home | 1 Comment