This past weekend could have turned out differently……

Spring….is such a delightful word that can contain many different meanings. The time of year is my favorite definition for the word, Spring. Especially coming out of a long and cold winter full of shoveling daily to keep up with all of the white stuff.

But, spring also can mean a spring in your step. For me meaning I’m almost skipping outside to visit my yet to be planted garden for this season. Even, my pup appears to have a spring in each of her tired, old four paws. You see she is aging and it is beginning to show in her movements ~ Almost, mirroring my own hobbles around on those certain rainy cold days of spring.

How about that trusty mattress that you bought years ago, and loved every night breaking it in just to your liking. But, as with breaking in a nice new pair of shoes or pair of jeans, just about the time they are broken in to your will, they will begin to fray or become airy as is my old tennis shoes .. Who have by the way never seen a tennis court, since I’ve bought them just for the comfort…Remember that mattress well springs tend to creak and crackle with age same as my pup and I …

This early spring has been unlike most of the 34 other springs I’ve experienced since immigrating up to Canada from Florida. It’s been really early.. by a month or more!

Mother Nature also must have a spring in her step as well with all the the flooding happening in the United States and in Canada. The rains came and someone forgot to turn off the taps. I wonder what type of water bill good old mother nature will owe?

Please enjoy the short video of Mother Nature showing us here who is boss…

Excuse the shaky parts in the beginning of the video, the winds were thrashing so fierce they were throwing stuff at my face.. oops…But, the rest is pretty smooth…

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Blue Jays stay in the North all Winter

It always amazes me the vast number of birds that remain here in the Northern parts of Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jay for one…

I was so excited to see them in my trees that I hurried inside to the pen tablet and started drawing this delightful bird. Although different from what I witnessed in the trees I wanted to try my hand at creating the beauty of these birds. I used a drawing tool called the Pen Tablet and a program called Sketchbook Pro.

This was back on April 5th 2017. Then on April 18th I heard such a racket happening outside I had to jump away from the computer and see what was causing the noise. Once, outside I noticed one of the trees just full of birds all singing or calling out at once. It was a rather high pierced sound along with the road noise from the highway combined, so I added a bit of music instead to the 50 or more Waxwing birds who came for a short visit.

Nature is a glorious thing to witness and these birds lifted my spirits almost as if I were flying there with them as they took off to show their beauty to someone else in the neighborhood, hopefully they took as much delight in the sight as I did..

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What do you do when your Winter is too long?

Well, folks what did I do you ask? I went nuts and began to ring in the brand New Year with sowing seeds in January. You see I won a seed give a way on YouTube from a gardening friend in the United States. She sent me cotton seeds… Well, I was totally over the moon happy about this and so many other seeds as well.

Being over the moon happy is a state of mind most gardeners have, and it really kicks in as the brand new year of possibilities begin to naw at us, while we page through all of our seed catalogs in the dead of winter, dreaming of a grand garden in the spring. Which for me was 5 months away.

Our last frost day here in Northern Ontario, Canada is the 24th of May, but I’ve seen it snow here in June, too. So, with our short growing season and myself having the neighbors trees to contend with giving me lack of sun it is a real challenge deciding just what I can plant and bring all the way to harvest time in the Fall.

I’ve laid out the foundation of building permaculture beds which worked wonderfully last year during the long drought we experienced, and when it did rain it came down in huge buckets. Which usually beats the living tar right out of my plants in the past. But, last year the way the permaculture beds work is they drain off the water if it rains too much, and it retains the water if we have a long drought.

Our city puts us on water meters last year and now charge for every drop of water, so using my hose was out of the question. I didn’t want to wind up paying more money for homegrown vegetables than I can get at the store , even if homegrown is better for you and taste 100% better. When you have to watch every penny, (Which Canada took out of circulation a few years ago) you have to get creative as a gardener.

As it happened my beloved Birch tree died and needed to be cut down before it took out my neighbors shed or even my own fence. I can’t tell you how sad this occurrence made me for months leading up to the removal of this beautiful tree. It actually was the main reason for buying the home I’m in. Strange but true. I’ve always had a kinship with all trees and this one stole my heart.

Moms beloved Birch Tree

So, when it had to be removed the gentleman who cut it down asked if I wanted it taken away or stacked, I said just leave it where the log sections fell. I’ll take care of it. Well , he looked at my aging face and grey hair and asked again was I sure?

July 16th 2015 - Third Permaculture Bed using logs from Birch Tree

The making of my first Permaculture bed, and my beloved tree is still providing goodness for me.

My beloved tree was now going to be handled for the last time by me and only me. It had given me so much joy in the years I’ve lived here in my home, shortly after my husband passed away from a sudden heart attack at the tender age of 46. I’ve always looked at trees in a certain way, growing up in Florida looking up at all the tall pines that could sway beautifully in the winds and even withstand the gale force winds of a hurricane blowing through.

I knew if I were a tree I’d be as strong as this and be able to weather any storm that blew my way. Thinking in this manner has brought me to the place I am in at the moment, aging but weathering each storm and looking back with hindsight knowing I was correct in becoming fascinated with trees as they would help me along the paths I’d be following …

History lesson of me over, thank you for reading…

I’ve been continually striving to animate and this has also helped me get through the long cold winters here in Canada. I’ve lived up North for over 34 years and never regretted a single moment. So, I’ve animated a little short film here pertaining to cotton, the girl in the video is Wilma, Wilson the coconut ~ Plant manager’s girl friend. If, you’ve seen some of my gardening videos which I also strive to make funny, because we all just need to laugh… Wilson the coconut is my sidekick for my indoor gardening throughout the winter.

Enjoy the animation and the update of my cotton growing inside until we get our spring..

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This little picture is actually snow of course, but doesn’t it look like cotton?

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Hello World!! This is my first blog! I hope to blog about all the handy things this grandpa does around the house on a daily basis! Hope you follow me! Stay tuned…

Hello there my dear friends here on WordPress… Can you offer a fine Hello and welcome to one of our newest Blogger.. Please pay a visit to their blog and lets show them how nice a community this place is,,,,I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.. Take care and many hugs to you from Laura

Hello there my dear friends here on WordPress… Can you offer a fine Hello and welcome to one of our newest Blogger.. Please pay a visit to their blog and lets show them how nice a community this place is,,,,I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.. Take care and many hugs to you from Laura

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It’s Time to Show  Off My TALENT!!

Hello there my dearest of friends here on WordPress… Please visit this lovely blogger. He is very busy with his studies and looking forward to a very bright future. Please take a moment to view this talented young mans Art.. It’s amazing and you’ll be glad you did.. Thanking you all kindly from me to you.. Laura

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It took me 5hours to draw this! Don’t forget to leave a like if you like it and if you like it toomuch you may even share it! I mean I won’t mind 😐

Stuff I used: that blue 0.7mm 2B mechanical pencil, those two erasers and cheapst available A4 sheet

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Dreaming of Carrot seeds ~ A gardeners 2 year journey…

Have you ever been surprised while in your garden in springtime? I think each new gardening season never fails to shock and surprise the dickens outta me. You see I’m the hit or miss gardener of sorts. I know just a little ~ enough to get those seeds in the ground and usually spend most of my time fighting off the critters that appear to think I’ve rang the loudest dinner bell.

For me it’s not always the outcome, but rather the journey to arrive into Fall and the glorious bounty at harvest time  ~ that is if I’m lucky enough to have anything left to eat. I have a short video about my journey with the beautiful carrots that always seem to brighten up any plate at dinner time.

I find it’s always nice to learn about vegetables, critters, and nature at its best. So, pull up a chair and sit a spell as I tell you about my 2 year journey toward the beloved Carrot Seeds…

Thank you so much for watching ~ I am blessed to have you all as WordPress followers and friends…

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Until next time

~Laura~

My Garden was Trending and I didn’t even know it !

This year my garden was a bit of a disappointment for me, while I still enjoyed getting outside and playing around in the dirt. But, the problem stemmed (pardon the pun) from last year after finishing up with building my large permaculture bed.

July 16th 2015 - Third Permaculture Bed using logs from Birch Tree

 

After all of the Fall leaves fell last year some went into the compost bin and the rest rested atop the newly made permaculture bed. But, I should have added more soil to the top layer before the snow was predicted to arrive. I think I wore myself out lugging the heavy birch logs into the dug out pit for the bed, then the long days of placing the limbs, sticks, and twigs in place. This took me awhile to prepare as I needed a few days off from laboring and then back to it.

I had a lot of leaves atop the permaculture bed and only three sides up with plastic fencing, the fourth side was to go up in the spring, but didn’t go into place until yesterday. So, without using common sense I covered the bed with a tarp for the long winter months. Hum…smacking myself for that lame move all this past growing season.

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My bed needed the snow cover during the winter and the moisture of the melting snow to slowly provide water to each of the layers for the bed to behave properly. These permaculture beds are really a wonderful way to garden, if you prepare them in the correct fashion. Which I did not, as it turns out.

All of the layers completed ~ Check

Letting the snow add the moisture content to the bed ~ Fail

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I thought I was doing a good thing putting the tarp there since I didn’t have the fourth side up and thought the leaves would blow away in the late Fall when it gets pretty windy here. So, in the spring after everything thawed in my compost bin I added the compost to the top mixing in the leaves like a batter to a cake.

When the permaculture bed is properly constructed it can withstand a drought, which is exactly what we experience here this growing season. I realized my mistake in the spring, but ran a test just the same with only watering it 3 times this season. I wanted to see if the melting snow from the winter around the sides of the bed was enough for the bed to operate somewhat well.

Little Miss Muffet drawing for blog

 

I planted the carrots very close together, expecting to pull out seedlings as they surfaced the top to space them properly and to munch on the tiny micro seedlings for breakfast. They are amazingly tasty, and the flavor is so much better than the proper sized vegetable. Spring time was going to be a joy eating out of my garden, enjoying all of the micro carrots.

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Full Stop

The best laid plans sometimes don’t work out, if you don’t follow through with them….

Since, I was distraught over my blunder by covering the bed all winter I sort of just left the bed alone knowing the growing carrots, beets, multiplying onions, dill, cilantro, lettuce, cucumber (seeds transplanted unknown from the compost bin) and my planted cherry tomatoes from seeds ~ were going to suffer for my lack of common sense this year. But, I do enjoy the journey just the same and it takes skill to mess up gardening this badly.. So, I suppose that’s something to be proud about. How not to garden should be my motto this year….

I’m not beating myself up with a stick over it ~ actually it makes me smile and laugh over these details for this year, because very soon I would find out I was joining a new trend that’s happening all over in restaurants and chefs far and wide are hungry for what I was growing…

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My plan was to just let these things grow and hope for the best. I should have bought extra soil in the spring to top the bed, but I didn’t want to add any more money into it. Why oh why did I plant my red cored Chantenay carrots in there, I pondered.

All of the seeds for those little carrots came up without fail. Many times the carrots fail due to critters chomping away at them or my soil is not loose enough. I added Coconut coir to the compost I added to the top bed, just not enough for the beets to grow large, I have micro beets out there just like I grew micro potatoes this year.

Remember those fingerlings potatoes that I ranted over in the stores, well it appears that they are really, really tasty. I cooked them twice now from my garden and was amazed by the flavor, texture, and the just darn cuteness of them on the plate. The trick is to serve them on small plates along with the other parts of the evening meal.

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Fingerling Potatoes Texture

I have to report that the texture of these micro potatoes is something you must experience. They are similar to a mash potato, but they are a tiny whole spud when going into your mouth for your taste buds to explode with their flavor and somehow a creaminess to them~ I suppose they have not grown into the larger version to become firm in texture.. Alright , I get the price of these little jewels in the grocery stores and at the fancy restaurants.

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So, when I grow potatoes next year I’ll hope for many fingerlings along with the regular sized potatoes when I finally get to harvest them.

There’s a craze happening for Micro Vegetables I didn’t know about and this is why I didn’t show you my carrots, onions, beets, etc after harvesting them. They were the cutest tiny micro vegetables you’ve ever seen, but I thought not worthy of putting up for display unless in a doll house where the dining room table was set for dinner.

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My son asked, “Mom why are they so small?”

I looked up from underneath my straw gardening hat which all gardening folks should wear..

“Because they’re Micro Vegetables…”

I told him, giggling. Even before I actually knew this was a craze in the fancy establishments for dining out.

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Until next time

~Laura~

There’s Lollypops in my Garden…

My little packet of seeds that were gifted to me from my beautiful daughter grew into a wonderful display of mini zinnias.

Mixed Mini Zinnias on background

This morning I woke up to a temperature range of 10 C (50 F) and this marks the time when what’s growing in your garden better hurry up and finish before the frost that’s around the corner for us here arrives. I see in my future covering up my tomatoes or picking them to set on the kitchen counter. Oh my summer flew by much too quickly for this happy gardener.

But, I can visit my YouTube channel and watch this short video of my flowers and that is certainly going to produce a smile or two when I’m outdoors in a jacket wondering if I can wait until Spring arrives again..

Perhaps, there’s crafting in store for those long winter months. I ordered the LED lights for my homemade folding light box and I just have to put them into place. I’ll wait for the Fall to finish that project…

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Until next time

~Laura~

Story

My friends ~ good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you all. This is just to lovely for me not to share with all of my delightful friends, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure to get to know well.. Enjoy as this post is a thumbs up with ease.. Thanking you all kindly and think about following this lovely blogger as well.. Hug to all from Laura 🙂

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wood post photo by Wolfgang Stearns

there are times,
when one small part of a story
is all that really needs to be told

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