Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The weather outside is frightful....

No snow but gray skies, cold temps and lots and lots of rain....and it's my one day off, so what should I do?

Pick something to sew?

Pick a fabric?

Clean up my messy office?

Read a book?

Oh to heck with it....I'm having a cup of tea and..

..and think about how much more fun it would be to play in the garden.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Finally...finished my knitting project. I have been knitting for many, many years but I can not read a pattern to save my life. So this year I decided to make knit something from a pattern. I picked this sweet little scarf that I found on a fun blog I have been following for some time now, Said the Hobbit. You can see her scarf here and if you would like to try knitting this scarf, the pattern is here.

The pattern is very easy except for "dividing" which I never did it before, never knew such a thing existed but in this scarf it's very important because that's how the passthrough is made.
So with some help from the hobbit and lots of help from my mother in law I was able to complete it and I really love it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just one dollar

That's all I paid for this Oriental poppy plant at the end of the season two years it's huge with the softest pink petals and dark maroon centre. Really beautiful.

Trying to put together a beautiful garden on a shoestring budget is not hard, here are some of my tricks...

- Be will never get yourself a garden overnight.
- Buy the smallest perennials you can find, they are the cheapest and guess what...they will grow..please see above re patience.
- Buy plants at the end of the season, you may very well get larger perennials very cheaply.
- Attend plant sales at local churches, garden clubs and neighbours.
- Start your plants from seed.
- If you spot your neighbour thinning their perennials just mosey on over with a cup of coffee and ask them for some, don't be shy.
- Trade plants.
- Divide your own plants.
-When possible overwinter some of your plants like dahlias, geraniums and begonias.
-Take cuttings. Believe it or not I took a cutting of a beautiful light pink climbing rose and it worked.

Do you have any other tricks? How did you put your garden together?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beans, beans....

...the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel so lets have beans at every meal...ever heard that little ditty???

Well parts of it are true, beans are good for you, really good and yes they make you toot but the more often you eat them the less you toot.

Normally enzymes break down the food you eat but not beans, they go through to your large intestine where bacteria breaks it down and as they break it down they release gas....soooo it's not you tooting but those darn bacteria.

Beans are, in my opinion, a super food. Cheap, tasty, versatile and most important, extremely healthy.

Anyway, my veggie garden in done, beans were the last to go down. I have three types.

Berlotti Beans

delicious in soups and salads.

Italian flat green beans.

Very much like green beans but flat. These are coated with something pink not sure what or why. The beans I saved from my crop are white.

Black beans.

These are magic beans because one day I found them on my patio table.... I have a suspicion that friends of mine, Marlene and Hugh dropped them off. These are delicious in soups, many Mexican dishes, salads and omelets.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New camera

Well Art bought a new camera a few months ago and I'm having a hard time with it. It's not a point and shoot which is all I know how to use. He tells me he bought it for me but I don't believe it, why???? For the hundredth time man...I just wanted a point and shoot. Anyway, I'm stuck with it so I have to do the best I can. I have lots of interests and hobbies but photography is not one of them.

Well now that I'm on the camera's also heavy and awkward to carry around the garden and on does NOT fit in my pocket. AARRGGHH.

So the other week I was in the garden, nice hot afternoon but a nasty cloud was forming to the North. It was dark, the wind was starting to pick up and it looked beautiful. Took a photo and this is what I ended up with.

The top of the mountain was very bright with the sun shining on it and the dark cloud was just behind it. Unfortunately the two photos above don't do it justice.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Do you grow oregano? If you don't you should really try, it's very easy but be warned it self seeds and you will soon find it everywhere, even in the oddest places, like cement cracks and clear on the other side of your yard. On the bright side it's easy to pull as the roots don't seem to go very deep.

I have a large yard so I let it do it's thing. I like the plant, I like the way it grows into a little bush and the bees love the flowers. A featured gardener I read about last year in Gardens West magazine used oregano to border a path, very clever.

So what to do with your large crop of oregano???? Well I dried it. I read all sorts of articles on how to best dry herbs...pick it mid morning after the dew has dried, just before it flowers, hang it, dry it in a brown paper bag....

Well for me the best time to pick it is before the spit bugs get to it, they gross me out... and I dry it in my dehydrator. I have dried herbs in paper bags but sadly I forget all about them....and find them a year later when I dry the next batch of herbs in paper bags.

And this is the final result, not very much after harvesting a large mound of oregano. But I will pick some more in a few months time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The "float" in float cabin

A floating cabin is only as good as the float it sits on. This is our float cabin on Powell Lake in British Columbia.

The cabin floats on large logs tethered together with steel cables, something like a raft, the float is then held in place with steel cables running from the float to shore. Over time the logs get waterlogged and to help the cabin stay afloat barrels are placed under the float. The barrels are filled with water, then sunk, then the water is pumped out and the barrels are filled with air. One barrel gives about 500 lbs worth of flotation...all the wrong terms I know but hey...I'm just there for the fun....

Over time the barrels loose air and once a year or so the barrels have to be topped up with air, for this a professional diver is needed. And this is where our customer comes into the picture. While talking to our customer about life in Powell River we found out he owns a float cabin and is also a diver. Being the super nice guy that he is...he offered to take a look at our barrels and top them up if needed. And that's exactly what he did, he topped them up. The cabin rose by about 2.5 inches and this will seem strange but it will continue to rise another inch or two over the summer because the part of the log that is now exposed to air will dry out and rise. He also told us that our logs are in great condition with many, many more years of floating life in them. Good news indeed.

And this is my wonderful dog, Seiko, our watchdog...that's my husbands quirky sense of humor...wondering what all those air bubbles are about....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Name? What's your name?

Why oh why can I not remember names? In my previous life I was a travel agent and I can remember hundreds of airport codes, still, to this day....YQB-Quebec City, YVR - Vancouver, SMF - Sacramento, YYG - Charlottetown, FMO - Rome, but buddy accross the street ???? No clue, eventhough we speak all the time, back and forth, he and his wife call me by my first name, really it's very embarrassing.

Regular customers at the diner introduce themselves and I only remember them by burger no mayo, omelet with the works, dry brown toast....

Or even worse...buddy in that red car, or volvo dood, church guy...

There are two people I remember Wayne and Margy and the rest...not a clue, sorry folks, I really appreciate your business and I love speaking with you so pardon my lazy brain but I can not for the life of me remember...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Inspired at half the price

Day off today... sort of. . It's very difficult to process raw meat and not cross-contaminate while the diner is open and with 20lbs of raw chicken breasts to deal with I decided to pound them out and freeze them this morning.

Art was heading to the cabin with a diver to add air to the barrels under our cabin so I was on my own, more on that later.

I was at the diner by 8:00am but I made quick work of the chicken and was out by 9:15 and had a lovely walk to the bank, the mall and a second hand store that's closing out.

The view from the centre of Powell River is stunning with Malespina Straight in front and Vancouver Island mountains in the background. And this is but one of many views....

I ran all my errands and ended up at the antique store that is going out of business. The shop owner is also my egg supplier and it was with a sad heart that I visited her store today. I hate to see anyone go out of business but the recent recession hit her quite hard. The store is offering 50% off bone china and other odds and ends. I was thrilled to put together a mismatched china tea set and can't wait to use it. Just need to wash it up and I'm ready to sip some tea.

Now for the inspiration....50% off these craft books and two linen towels which I will use as doilies. You won't believe all the goodies in these books and I can't wait to get started on some of my favorite projects...but first I have to finish, a dress for Mia, the scarf I started knitting, a rag doll..and right, the garden, can't forget the garden.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In the garden...

I'm still getting the soil in the garden ready but the broad beans I planted about a month ago are up and last week I transplanted broccoli, cauliflower and Brussell sprouts starts.
Broad beans.

Brussel Sprouts.