Monday, December 26, 2011

Bitter Cold but Fluffy White Snow for the Holidays

Another year has just about finished and I truly don't know where it all went. Now my thoughts are turning to spring although that's a long way off. It will be months before I can get in the garden again however, I can dream of what I'm going to do. Soon the seed catalogues will begain to arrive then the planning and excitement will really start.

This month we finally had the bonfire to burn up a lot of wood from when the old extension was torn off the house and the new larger one put on. It was quite a big fire although there is nothing to compare it with in this picture.

The nights have gotten dreadfully cold this past while. Temperatures going down to -14C. Not a big improvement during the day either. There had been no signs of the smaller birds for ages and I was wondering what had happened. This past while though they have arrived at the feeders....chick a dees, and juncos. The evening Grosbeaks are here in a good size flock.

We went to the Goodwill recently as we hadn't been there in a while. I found a few lovely items.
It seems so much is made in China these days so I was delighted to find these salad plates made in France.

And these terracotta sugar containers made in Portugal.

And this little cutie....who could resist!

Xmas Eve we had friends here in the afternoon for drinks and finger food. I had been up since 4:00am cooking and preparing for it so needless to say by late afternoon I felt exhausted. Everyone was gone by 5:30pm and by 7:00 I had my pyjamas on and was settled down to watch a movie. A half an hour into the movie I said to himself "I'm going to bed, I can't keep my eyes open." So that's exactly what I did.

Malachi under the tree.

Snow fell on Friday which made everything look like a Winter Wonderland for the whole weekend.

Part of the garden.

I got lots of great presents. My granddaughter gave me these Fairy Doors which go at the base of tree trunks. Needless to say, I'm charmed with them. She knows that I believe.

Well, that's about it. I hope you all had a wonderful Xmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning to feel a lot like Winter.

Himself arrived home on Thursday. I could tell that he was thrilled with the decorations so I was glad that I had done it all. We were watching the news just after supper and there was an interview with someone from Environment Canada talking about a Weather Bomb that was hitting the maritimes. We didn't give it much thought really until a short time later we heard a roar like a freight train coming at us. We both looked at each other and then realized it was wind. The house shaking at times and the trees (there are many around us, some about 50 ft. high, were literally dancing.) Then we lost the power. I said to himself, "What a terrible first evening home, you're having." We didn't get the power back until about 12:30 the next afternoon. I can tell you, you don't realize how much you would miss electricity until it's gone. Then in the middle of that night I got up for some reason and saw that one of the Xmas trees was flat on the floor. CATS!! Well, I just had to leave it as I wasn't going to try to put that up again with just a flashlight in hand. All is back to normal now.

Then in the middle of the next night the fire alarm went off. The two of us literally flew out of bed. We could smell smoke so searched the house for anything a miss. Nothing! We're pretty sure that there was a back draft in the wood stove and it drove some smoke out into the room. Still it was a scary moment.

We've been having cold temperatures lately with a brush of snow now and then. The Juncos and Chick a Dees are showing up at the feeders now that the cold weather is here. I've not seen a squirrel but hear them chattering over in the woods. I figure they must have quite a store of food otherwise they would be at the feeders.

And so, a few pictures.

The Tree Fairy. She only comes by this time of year.

One of our handsome boys.

Our teddy bear cat. He's a cuddler. I figure this is what bliss looks like.

Jays in some snow flurries.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Old Bones is Back.

Old bones is back! No, I'm not talking about himself. I'm talking about the old bones who always puts in an appearance this time of year.

Yesterday I decided to put up the holiday decorations. A bit early for me as I don't usually do this until at least the middle of December but himself, who will be back from his holiday in Spain in four days, thought maybe the decorating fairy would have all aglow on his return. So...yesterday morning at about 6:00am, I started in. Wasn't much in the mood if the truth were to be told. I decided to put up two trees this year, one, as always in the living room and now one in the new reading/sitting room. I opened the big trunk which contains most of the decorations and also my Santa collection that goes along the mantle each year. By noon I'd just about had it so grabbed a quick bowl of soup, then continued on until early afternoon when I finished. To say I was exhausted is to put it mildly, I had to lie down for half an hour or so. On looking at it all, I can't say that I was pleased. Maybe it was because I was tired because when I got up this morning things looked quite different and I was charmed.

The tree in the living room.

The tree in the sitting room.

Then of course I put a Santa hat on the big cat (we call him, the benevolent king). He never seems too happy with it, note the frown.

Speaking of cats, our cat Frankie has a very loud harsh voice. People are amused by it. If I don't jump and tend to his needs immediately he does things like...knocking over the television, getting up on a high bookshelf and dropping books, smacking one of the other cats particularly Malachi and it goes on. The boy is spoiled rotten because I've been at his beck and call since he was a kitten and he's smart enough to take advantage of it. Now, the poor boy has a cold and is feeling miserable. Consequently, I'm spoiling him even more...sigh!

Well, that's it for now. Only four more days and himself will be back. Gotta go now and plan a special dinner for the old boy.

My Week so Far!

The temperature went down to -10C last night. Bitterly cold this morning. The laundry that I hung out on the line yesterday afternoon and failed to bring in has frozen solid. The sky is clear so looks like it will be a lovely day though maybe a wee bit chilly.

Himself has two weeks of his holiday gone already. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes. It's the curse of old age. Laurie was here for four days and that was wonderful. We had a few glasses of wine and a few laughs that's for sure.

Yesterday when I was taking the laundry to the clothes line, I tripped on something and went sprawling across the ground. I heard what sounded like branches breaking over in the woods and was wondering if I could get myself up fast enough to flee. lol. Still a chance of a bear coming though and wouldn't want to be in the way. I'm a little stiff this morning particularly the shoulder and arm.

A few days ago I hauled the ladder in the house as I wanted to reach the boxes of holiday decorations that were stored on top of the linen closet. Too high to reach on a chair. So there I am up high on the ladder with a fair size box in my arms and trying to figure out a way to get down. I do sometimes get myself into predicaments. I had visions of ending up on the floor with a box of Xmas items on top of me with all the cats staring down at me from the bed. I finally did manage to get the three boxes down with very slow movements. I thought the tree lights were there but they weren't. I've been mulling over every since where I could have put them.

So, that's been my week so far. Here's a few pictures of two of the cats.


Stanley in the new room that was added on this past spring.

Frankie, also in new room.

Frankie on rafters in another part of the house.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Storm Hag and Frost.

I don't know what's wrong with me lately. I haven't been able to get into blogging much. Not much to say really. It's been a rather dull and mostly uneventful autumn. We had a brush of snow one day last week....a sign of what's to come. It melted pretty quickly and ended this jays look of confusion. ......."What's happened to the food??"

Himself has gone off to Spain for a month which gives me some lovely time to myself. I've planned on getting a lot of stuff done. He thinks that I might have all the holiday decorations up when he comes back. I thought it would be a bit too early but on thinking about it, there will just be a couple of weeks until the holidays by the time he arrives back. My daughter will likely be here next week for a few days so I'm looking forward to this. Speaking of which, yesterday, while taking a break from cleaning, I made her this Storm Hag. She's a fierce old girl and will protect the home from storm damage during the winter months.

We had a bit of frost last night so before it warmed up and the frost melted, I took this picture of some moss with ice crystals.

And, a Dragonfly garden ornament.

The last touch of summer/fall. This Phlox is still hanging in there despite the many cold nights.

Last night I noticed that the moon and sky were looking rather witchy like so tried to take a few pictures. I wish I knew more about how my camera worked. This is the best I could do.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Amazing Mom.

My mom is amazing. She's 87 years old and runs an exercise class for other women. She's the one in the middle sitting on the floor with her whistle in her hand. She occasionally says it's time to give it up but the women won't let her. Apparently they have so much fun and laughs together.

She's also on a dart team and involved with committees for one thing and another. Among other things, she has a beautiful garden that she works at, bottles pickles etc. in the fall and much more. Yep, she's amazing!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Again.

I'd made a reservation on the bus to St. John's the day before my trip. I was told to be on the highway at the designated spot between 1:00 and 1:30 pm. Sunday we drove up to the highway and waited. We were about a half an hour too early but that was okay. An hour later the bus still hadn't shown up, it was now 1:30. Fifteen more minutes went by and himself was saying that maybe he had broken down and I should phone to find out. I did and a recording came on saying "If there's no answer, I'm on the road." Okay, then I said that we would wait a few minutes more but after that we were going to head back home. A few minutes went by when we saw the bus coming up the highway pulling a boat behind it. It was one of those "Only in Newfoundland" moments. So, he pulls up to where we were, stops the bus and jumps out to get my luggage to store. When I get up to him he says "Do you want to sit in the boat or in the bus" hahahahahaha! The ride in was uneventful.

The night before coming home there were very high winds and the rain was coming down in torrents. This continued on through the next day but I arrived home safely. The inner archway in the garden had blown down and was flat on the ground. The first time anything like this has happened. This morning both of us managed to get it up again and stabilized.

So, then we decided to go to Glovertown to get a few things that were needed. We dropped into the Goodwill as himself had some clothes to donate. When we were leaving I passed a large toy box. A small voice was coming from way down on the bottom saying "Help me, get me out of here." Well, what could I do??? So, I went back and started digging down through all the toys. There I found this brave little bear who seemed relieved that someone had heard him. I ask him if he's like to come home with me and he said that was the best offer he's had in a long, long, time.
So, he hauled on his little knapsack and came home with me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scenes of Autumn

Autumn is in full force here now. Lovely colours and lots of leaves on the ground. The weather has been quite nice so I've gotten a lot done outside. Garden ornaments put away along with planters. I've cut back about two thirds of the perennials (a massive job really). It saves me work in the spring but unfortunately I couldn't finish the job as I hurt my hip badly and had to quit for this year.

I was disappointed in the amount of bees, butterflies and dragonflies along with other insects in the garden this year. We did have a dreadful summer (if one can call it summer at all) and I suspect this had an effect on these creatures.

I'll be going into the city for a few days tomorrow. I'll spend some time with my parents and also my daughter. Probably do some shopping as well. Our friends from Nova Scotia have been here and gone. I expect that will be the last of the visitors for this year with the exception of family of course.

So, on to a few pictures.

I love the look of these berries on the bitter sweet this time of year.

We've had an unfixed male cat hanging around off and on lately. Little Freya, who has been fixed, was staying outside a lot longer than normal. At one point, checking on her, there she was sitting pretty, staring at this handsome male. I think she's smitten.

The male.

Malachi looking quite fierce. He's really a sweetie.

On our way to do some shopping this morning, I took these pictures.

A few ducks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mabon Blessings

It's the day of the second harvest, Mabon. I did a little decorating outside.

I like fall a lot especially the colours and the scents that autumn brings. For me it's a time to put the garden to bed for the winter and plan what I'll do during the long winter days. I love the smells that seem overwhelming after the leaves start falling when they give off that sweet smell of decay. I see that some of the leaves are changing colour already.

I've started to cut back some of the plants and clear out the greenhouse. Yesterday there was a lovely fat spider in a web just inside the greenhouse door.

A number of years ago I grew some teasel from seed. I'd never seen them before but heard about them so decided to try. They grew well and the bees loved them but I found them just a bit prickly. I never bothered with them again, but this year to my surprise, one grew in front of one of the living room windows. I haven't a clue how it ever got there. When I grew them before it was in a different part of the garden altogether. And, where would it come from after all those years. Could one of the seeds landed there somehow and lay in hiding until this year?

The bees are really enjoying this plant but it scares himself. Yep, he's afraid of it. When he's sitting on the chesterfield and turns his head to the left, it's staring in at him. Says it reminds him of the movie The Day of the Triffids. I of course refused to cut it down as I'm hoping to get some seeds and plant just a few for the bees once again.

This is the beauty. It has more flower heads than I've captured in this picture.

We haven't had another bear visit since early this past week. I now have the camera at the ready just in case.