The sunrise doesn’t show for hours and hours now, it seems. So dark, so quiet in the morning hours. I wait for the trilling of alarm clocks, some of which are obeyed, others not so much.


At our last stop in Italy, in Camogli, there was a church (where wasn’t there a church!) on the waterfront. The bells would ring every quarter hour; a calming, beautiful sound as I lay in bed in the early morning, waiting to count the chimes.

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10 things for this week


I still feel speechless.

There is a small pencil tree on my kitchen window. The University had a plant give-away day, and the last African violet had been nabbed while she was in line. So a pencil tree it is!

The asters are blooming, and my Emily Carr rose bush still is putting out buds.

The kale will come off the garden this weekend. The cooler weather has resulted in a beautiful crop, and I can’t wait. Today, I wrestled with the horseradish and took off the beets and carrots. I think it’s weird to say that I could live in my garden for the summer, but I love it so much.

I sat in the car this morning, waiting for the post office to open. Elena has put in her application to a theatre program that runs once a month, all school year. She needed to submit the application, a letter about herself, and one teacher reference; and it had to get in the mail today!

This summer, we made three types of pickles, sauerkraut and cabbage rolls. Still to be made are beet and carrot pickles.

I should have cut back the raspberry when I cut back the gooseberry, but the gooseberry was so painful that I still have scratches and mini stab wounds from the thorns.

Chadd and I are taking a holiday soon, the destination being mostly his idea. So we camped this summer at Hecla Island, that destination being my idea. It was good, we would go again. The trails were easy, the scenery beautiful, and the campsite cosy and private. We would bring drinking water next time, though.

My upright freezer stopped freezing a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, that was disruptive.

I’ve discovered that I wish my youngest brother lived closer.

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getting done

There has been so much (there always is) that an update of ginormous proportions is in order. ┬áBut no telling where to start…

I am always happy when strawberry season comes around (earlier than usual this year and with spectacular bounty) and even happier when we easily came home with seven baskets, plus four that made it to my mother-in-law. The most fun part was the huge strawberries (for Sonja) and bringing her best friend along.

The other part of the fun (that I didn’t do last year) was jam. Three different batches; the first regular, the second with liquid pectin and lemon juice, and the third with tequila and Cointreau to make strawberry margarita jam. Christmas presents, again.

The salve was, I think, a success. The essential oil combination of lavender, tea tree, and geranium was very complimentary to the natural scent of the plantain and the red clover. I used the expensive, carbon distilled beeswax to hold it all together. It’s lovely and I can’t wait until it has a bit of curing time. I’m sure the scent will develop even more fully, because it’s quite subtle right now.

There has been some fun knitting, too, keeping me happily engaged with the pattern emerging from the colourwork. I love colourwork, I love mittens, and I love the Lopi pattern. So much so, that the first mitten ended up a tiny bit puckered; likely because it was two different types of yarn, but also I just couldn’t wait to see how the patterning would turn out, so I was rushing through it!

And the garden…the garden has been interesting…with the torrential rains and the washed out carrots, and the bunny and the tomatoes that I am trying to nurture along…I’ve agreed to be part of a garden tour. I’m looking forward to it; not excited, exactly, because the garden “is what it is” but I do want to show it off. Two weeks from now. Not sure what I’ll do with the bassets when it’s going on…


A dog and his garden

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time lapse


JULY 2015

Yes, it is good to take pictures from year to year, even if the thought is that it is not very interesting…because the time lapse will prove to be VERY interesting…


Slightly different angle, but you get the idea…bigger! Much bigger, and just one year ago.

I am loving this process so much!

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they were perfect


My best idea yet, the past fall, was to plant the tulips in clumps in amongst the trees and shrubs. More next year, definitely!

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workshop with weeds


It was a spur of the moment decision to attend a salve making workshop after work on Tuesday. These days are so long and full, that adding one more thing usually takes away from another. (In this case, it was grocery shopping).

So we’ve been without a properly stocked fridge for a week now, (it’s Friday) having shopped on the fly and Chadd picking up a bit of meat from the butcher so at least I could make supper. It hasn’t been all that bad…one night was soup, one night egg-cake (aeggekage), and one night chicken fingers.

And because I decided to go “foraging” for plantain in the vacant lot next door, that meant that I was frantically running the the grocery store, 15 minutes before they closed, just to buy milk, eggs, bread and apples. Lunches have been creative without those key ingredients!

What can I say…time, I h’aint got it.

But the workshop was great. I drove home as quickly as I could through rush hour, picked up Elena and drove to the market where the where workshop was being held. Since it is a natural salve, with plantain and dandelion, we were taught how to find and collect the plants. Then, the instructor went through the process. What can I say, it was great to realize that the only thing I was going to have to buy was vitamin E gel caps. And that since the herbs had to steep in oil for 2 weeks, I had time to buy it!

So, yesterday morning before work, I took a bike ride to the wooded area in the neighborhood to find dandelions. Turns out I was just a bit too late…most having gone to seed. However, red clover is just coming into bloom, so I snagged some of that, instead. And saw my first monarch butterfly of the summer.

Anyway, the plantain is now steeping, and all the buggies were knocked out of the clover, and it will be steeping shortly as well. I have some sweet almond oil (from Costco) but I’m also using canola.

I’m so excited. Salve and soap are the next step in my makings!

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that sweet william


I’m trying to garden. I’m trying…to get this sweet hound to stop eating my garden.

Would you believe he has a taste for my Sooty sweet william that I planted last year? He also thinks my tulips taste great. He’s driving me crazy as I try to deter the munching with some tomato cages.

He also likes eating from the pile of weeds that I’ve just pulled. And he likes the gooseberry bush…with the thorns. Do you think I could start a pot of lettuce and cat grass just for him? Or would that be setting a really bad precedent?

Someone told me to sprinkle all my plants with cayenne pepper. But could you do that to that face? That sweet, tender little muzzle?

Not me!

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