Saturday, May 31, 2008

Checking in once again

Hello all,

I thought I'd check in before things get any busier here. Today is my 50th (!!?!) birthday. I had several surprises: breakfast in bed made by my DDs, a new tote and a wooden sign that says "Be nice or leave" (!) from DDs, an appointment for an hour-long massage at the spa (ahhhh....) from the family, a new printer (mine died) from DH, dinner out tonight, just DH and I, and a birthday cake made by oldest DS's friend. All in all, quite a nice day!

Middle DS doesn't know it, but he gave me a very nice present by doing his science and history exams yesterday. We are done homeschooling except for his math final. Yeeha! He has gotten really good grades on his finals, too--two 94's, 86, 88 and 92 so far. I don't know what he'll get on his math, as that's his most challenging subject, but I'm very pleased with how he has done this year. I am also very pleased to be about done!! I just hope that when he starts high school next year he remembers that he is capable of these good grades!

Ah, summer beckons...

Jean in VT

Furry tailed rats

I had to chuckle at the antics of the furry tailed rats. Up at our cabin, we actually have bushy-tailed wood rats, AKA packrats. In the 15 years we have had the place, we haven't had any try to take up residence in our house, but the neighbor has had several of the little buggers every year. One of our friends had dropped his keys in the drive and found them up on a log on the side of the house, as the little thieves will take anything shiny.

I KNOW I prefer squirrels!


Furry-tailed rats

Heather, I wondered if the black flies had 'gotcha' up there in northern Ontario where they grow them pretty big, including the mosquitoes as well...It's a rainy day here in southern Ontario and knowing of two weddings planned in the area, disappointed brides will be waking up to heavily overcast skys and raindrops. The grass will like it, growing as it is like a weed, which is mainly what our field grass is..we're happy for anything green. People in the area, including ourselves, are experiencing a lot of bare patches due to grubs or something. The skunks dig the grass up to look for grubs so between the two things, whatever is causing it, a friend in town lost her entire backyard of grass this year and will need to reseed or resod it.

The pollen has been bad in California, I gather, from a cyber friend there. Other than sneezing, the pollen doesn't bother me but a lot of people are complaining about it here as well.

And, Sara, the furry-tailed rats you're referring to would be squirrels in our area. I fried some plants earlier this week in wine barrels, having covered them in plastic the night before due to impending frost, then didn't remove them in the morning and the sun and humidity created by the greenhouse effect, meant that I was left with brown and wilting own negligence caused another $64.00 to be spent, if not more, on plantings that have not been put out as yet. But it's the squirrels that one employee of the garden centre to comment as I took the last load of plants home, who said: good luck, I hope the squirrels don't dig them all up. I've countered this problem with putting about 8 " sticks all throughout my pots and wine barrel plantings. It looks odd for now but once the plants take and the squirrels attention to the nice soft soil diminishes, they don't seem to dig in those areas. We also don't have an abundance of oak trees around the house so burying nuts isn't a great problem although they seem to find them somewhere and I have to watch come fall that my flowers aren't tipped over with winter food storage for the squirrels. Can't blame them either; I feel the same way when winter comes on, we have to prepare for it too.

Hard to think of Florida as dry.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Well, Rosey I have to agree with you about the weather.....the much wanted warmth and even a little complaining about the heat has been too long in coming this spring.....we just finally got a perennial bed dug and planted at the new home....a couple of more to go.....but right now mostly everyone's energy has been devoted to the driveway reconstruction and a garage at @ #1 son's house and selling #3 son's seems like all this family does lately is pack and move or dig up the ground! I just keep sitting back and watching the grandson while everyone else is on the move....suits me just fine

Had the grandson this how time seems to fly and how fast he is growing.....lovely that he is at the stage where giggling and recognizing us is thankful we are that we are able to see so much of him!

We are 'sitting' with one of #1 son's dogs.....100lbs of mostly shepherd with a sprained paw....he can't be around the other two large dogs so he is pretending to be a Yorkie for a few days.....not used to the amount of dog hair that seems to be appearing everywhere...oh well that's what vacuums are for! at least with the sprained paw he isn't attempting to jump the fence right soon as he seems to be trying that back home he goes!!

More gardening and knitting going on than quilting these days....struggling to get thru one for the baby's baptism coming up.....should have just forgot about it.....hate deadlines.......

Seems to be a lot of noise going on upstairs so I best be off and check it out.....Toby might have a sprained paw but can still get into mischief!!

Grace, thanks for the emails with the DH is trying to figure out how much the gas will cost to get there !! It might be cheaper to fly !!

Sinus fatigue/furry tail rats

People here in town are complaining about the pollen this year too. We have had dry, windy weather for the last 2 months. Sinus headachs, infections, etc. are the topic of conversations.
My butterfly garden(s) are attracting butterflies already. The catepillars harvested one big plant, and I'm hoping for butterflies in about 2 weeks.
The Lantanas are the best plants here for bright sun, and they are doing great.
As far as the furry tail rats, they dig into everything, antognize the dog, and generally think they run the back yard. Puppy likes to think she can catch them, but all she does is run around the trees and jump up.
I started working on the Quilt of Valor this morning, between laundry.
Got lots of red,white and blue fabric from some friends and will most likely make 2 lap size quilts.
All for now.
Sara in dry Florida

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday, in the country

Grace, welcome back to Ontario but the lack of energy is not exclusive to the Ottawa River's hit southern Ontario, Curves and our 10 acres as well. I have no idea why. People are complaining about the pollen this year and a lack of energy these past few weeks; I'm complaining about the lack of a decent springtime for we had a light frost last night and I covered up my barrels with plastic tents, brought in whatever potted plants that I could and think, we've had a long and hard winter, we deserve some warmer weather here. Mind you, we may be complaining about the heat before long and wish we'd have the more temperate weather that we have right now. The sun is out; that's a good thing.

I've been baking up a storm with fresh rhubarb and have stocked my B&B freezer with loaves made from my one allotted plant from next door. I can't for the life of me grow a rhubarb plant here on our own property. It simply isn't interested in growing here although in 20 years I've certainly tried. Next door, it's happy. I know that once started, rhubarb takes off. Just hasn't happened here.

I am looking out at my flower pot and watching my little red squirrel wagging his tail, eating a nut and contemplating burying it in my flower pot but is sitting on the edge of the pot in the dirt. I have to place small upright sticks throughout the pots until they give up digging in the nice soft dirt. I guess it's hard to understand when the back porch has been their dining hall all winter. why they are not welcome to my flower pots in spring. I wonder why squirrels keep wiggling their tails?

Two more gardens to weed, then, it will start all over again. I'm trying to locate spahgnum peat moss nuggets and called the company in Trois Riviers, Quebec this morning...they are out of it and are just starting to harvest it again. It's fantastic ground cover (mulch). I put it in my beds two years ago and have had few weeds come up since, in those beds.

The squirrel is still sitting in my flower pot, still wagging his tail. Maybe it's reflex. A cat, I'd know was marking its territory...but a squirrel???


Monday, May 26, 2008

hello everyone,

Been home for about a week and a half and still trying to catch up to normal what ever that may mean. It wouldn't be so bad if I had brought my energy with me from out west, but I must have left it there.Must have left it with DDIL who is definitely going to need it.Really I have been told it is the allergy med that are making me so sluggish, so I guess I am just going to have to work around it because mother nature here is very slow this year.
Went to a quilt show last Sat and there is another one this weekend, so hope to go to that one too. Some awesome quilts and there will be a brain overload going on here.
Have not been near a sewing machine yet since coming home but hope to find it later this week.
While out west had a fantastic lunch with Jean, we talked so much we hardly had time to eat. Spend the morning with her sewing group, chatted lots with the ladies, my what a great group, and of course did some damage to the plastic. We talked about some ideas from our retreat and I hope to have some plans in place by the end of this month. I know I have only a week, but since my energy left me maybe pressure will help. LOL
Hope everyone is doing okay. Jane are you doing better now? Jean mentioned about your accident. How terrible. It was a whole lot worse than me plowing into the snow bank. We were really lucky though that the snow bank was there because it prevented us from rolling over.
My car is a lot worse for wear though. They are still working on it.
Oh those of us who live in this kind of weather.
Then again I think it is better that what is happening with all the tornadoes in the states. How terrible must that be.Prayers and thought are with those who are in this terrible pathway.
Now better go and write a note to the retreat participants.
Anyone interested , just drop me a line
Hugs to all