Friday, October 13, 2017

late bloomer .....

 It's Friday the 13th - I consider it a lucky day - I was born on a Friday the 13th.  

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada - I have much to be thankful for - we celebrated at the cabin - then we closed up the cabin for the winter.   The weather was quite mild - so mild that we hated to close up - I appreciated the warm weather when it was time to take the waterline out of the water.

This little gal was blooming from amongst the leaves piled on her garden - the sweet peas and cosmos are still blooming as well - there's been no frost yet.

At our new home in town I've just planted some tulips, winter onions, garlic and lilies - the weather is still mild although they're threatening us with snowflurries tomorrow.

This cute pumpkin is a design from here.

tomorrow is not promised
and today is short

Saturday, September 30, 2017

owls, worms, and old jars ......

September surely went by quickly!!  The weather just now is quite pleasant and Mom Nature's colour palette is magnificent - there's been no frost yet although a few nights have been a bit nippy.   

I made this owl to celebrate fall.  It's a design by Jennie Rayment.  For the eyes I used two sizes of pompoms which look ok in the photo but are rather bug-eyed in actuality.  It uses two charm squares for the body and the tummy piece should be bigger - it's my prototype.


The wooly worms are out and about - they're so cute.

And I crocheted a cover for this old Nabob jar and filled it
with evergreens - just for something to do - using an ombre cotton yarn.

lead by example

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

did it ...

I actually managed to stitch something this summer - a little something - it was slow going since I could only stitch one letter and then had to let my hand rest for awhile - very frustrating but I did it!  It's a card for a cottage country friend who had surgery.  It's hard to see in the photo but the words are in a shade of pink with the outline and button in grey and mounted on grey-ish cardstock - it was sheer luck that I had a stray grey button at the cabin - it likely was waiting to be sewn back on something - need to make note to self to bring a wee stock of buttons to leave here - must locate them in town first. 

Making this tag was much easier - I suppose it must have used different hand motions than the x-stitch - I had fun with this one - it was for a blogging friend

The photos aren't very good because I'm using the editing program on my laptop rather than on the PC. 

if you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

blowin' in the wind .....

A strong wind has been blowing steadily for 3 days now - it's getting annoying - it's a chilly wind coming right off the water.  The temperature has been in the low 20s C - in the sun it's quite pleasant.  At the cabin we rely on Mother Nature to dry the laundry - this wind dries it quickly and fluffy.  The clotheslines are strung wherever they can catch the sun and wind breeze - two of the lines are at the other end of the property - my fella dug out this wagon from the shed so I could put the laundry basket on it rather than make a few trips carrying the basket.  Believe it or not this wagon belonged to our kids so it's old just like me although it has had a new body  - don't I wish - it's proven indispensible and I am appreciative.  

 This is what else I got up to today - dill pickle relish.  I regularly make sweet relish but had never tried dill pickle - my fella loves it!  Good friend and cottage neighbour, Ed, gave us a few huge, ripe cucumbers that were begging to be made into relish so that's what I did.  I enjoy preserving at the cabin - the windows are all open - I can hear the wind in the trees - there's always a bird singing outside the kitchen window - I can see the water from every window - what's not to like.  I also made some passata this past week - a first for me - it used up quite a few tomatoes - it is delicious - no photo.

Just a few days ago Ed invited us for supper and served moose ribs that were so tender and tasty along with freshly picked new potatoes, beets, beet tops, and carrots - doesn't get any better than that!  For dessert there was an apple tarte - apples were fresh picked that morning by my fella - our contribution to the meal.

autumn is a second spring
where every leaf is a flower

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Labour Day weekend .....

It wasn't supposed to rain on this the last long weekend of the summer ..... so I put the rainy day to good use and made some bread and tried out this recipe for tomato jam - it is delicious - even though I missed one step - obviously I don't multi-task as well as I used to! 

The geraniums are happy just now .....

you are free to choose
but you are not free from the consequence of your choice

Saturday, August 26, 2017


For lunch today we had 'stale bread soup' made with fresh tomatoes and herbs - the tomatoes are plentiful this year and ripening quite nicely - this recipe reminds me why I plant basil every year - I garnished it with fresh parsley and grating of asiago cheese - it's delicious!!

 The recipe is from The Urban Peasant - he used to have his own show on CBC TV many years ago and I'm fortunate to have one of his cookbooks - I've always liked his style of cooking.

Stale Bread Soup - The Urban Peasant
2 T  olive oil
1 onion chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs/1kg fresh tomatoes or 1 large can tomatoes
1 t black pepper
4-5 cups hot water
2 T fresh basil or 1 t dried basil or 1 t dried thyme
2 thick slices stale bread torn into pieces
1 bunch green onions or a handful of fresh basil leaves or parsley for garnish
- Fry onion in oil over medium heat until transparent.  Stir in the pepper and garlic, cook 1 minute, add tomatoes and cook for further 5 minutes.  Stir in the bread, salt and water, simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot with garnish. 

Nigel the squirrel has disappeared and now Chip (the Chipmunk) is entertaining us - actually, there are two of them and they speak to us - they live in harmony with the birds and us, unlike Nigel.  This morning one of them was on the deck at the kitchen door chattering to my fella while he was making breakfast - how special is that!

Regarding the robot/captcha nuisance for commenting, read Anthea's comment in my last post - it works - thanks Anthea. 

you only live once, but if you do it right,
once is enough  


Saturday, August 19, 2017

apparently .....

Apparently I don't know what a car looks like nor a street sign but I seem to be able to recognize a road ..... yessiree, I'm talking about proving I'm not a robot  - what a pain in the arse it has become - I think it has run amok.  The good news is that you no longer have to prove you're not a robot if you'd like to leave a comment here.  Also, since we're dealing with the techie stuff - my blog is secure - you see the 's' after the http and the lock  - that tells you it's secure - just in case you didn't know.

I finished a couple of x-stitch pieces that I stitched over the winter.  The bigger one is "Little Dog" and the smaller one is "Old Dog" - they're both waiting for us on the Rainbow Bridge.  I did the finishing at the cabin with the bits 'n pieces that I could get my hands on.  The bigger one has cord made from braiding three strands of jute twine and the other used a small piece of cording that I had tucked away - rustic finishes but I like rustic.

We're all moved in to/into (?) our new place but if you were to ask if everything was in it's place and there was a place for everything the answer would be NO!   But the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom are set up so we can function - we're not spending much time there.  I finally found the box of kitchen dishes - we had been using the 'open me first kitchen box' - thank goodness for the 'open me first' boxes - they are a lifesaver.  We have all winter to settle in - summer is short so we want to enjoy it at the cabin - life is short at our age so we want to enjoy it at the cabin. 

don't stumble over something behind you

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

pressing time .....

I could try to convince you that this is the iron that I use at the cabin -  methinks you're not that gullable - believe it or not, it's an electric iron - Dulux brand - as heavy as all get out - would make an ideal tailor's clapper if one had a solid surface underneath it - at the cabin it's used for a door stop.

The x-stitch is a sampler I made several years ago and had framed  it - I decided to remove it from the frame and haven't come up with a better idea for it yet.  This photo was taken following a heavy rain that left the petunias looking quite bedraggled - they bounced back quickly and very nicely. 

Just look at how tall these daisies are - I'm most impressed with them! 

My fella added this weathered old window frame (sans glass) and  a window box he made  from odds 'n ends of wood to dress up the garden shed at the cabin - I love it.  I added some wooden tulips that my late dad made many years ago ...

some days you just have to create your own sunshine

Monday, July 24, 2017

Christmas in July .....

It was a squeaker but I did it!  You'll find these peppermint coasters here.

 There has been no stitching this summer but I've managed a bit of crocheting - this is why - don't know what I did - do know how I did it - proof that there's no fool like an old fool!

cupcakes are muffins that believed in miracles

Saturday, July 22, 2017

memory quilt ....

I don't very often share pix of quilts because I don't make them any more - just mini quilts or the occasional baby quilt.... although I still like trying out different quilt blocks.  When I was going through some older photos (as you'll see by the date) looking for something in particular I came across this memory quilt - well, sort of a memory quilt - maybe in memory of my fella's working days.  ^^ I made this from some of his old plaid shirts and there were enough to make a quilt to fit a queen bed for our cabin in the woods in British Columbia.    So I figured why not show you the quilt and voilà!  It now resides at our cabin in Manitoba.
By the way, do you see that lamp on the right - it's marble and belonged to my paternal grandmother - it's old - older than I - I still have it - it's a cherished memory of her.

start each day with a grateful heart

Sunday, July 9, 2017

a gift

This past week flew by - we celebrated Canada's 150th, had visitors from the West Coast, picked up the key to our new place and moved a few things in! 

 This candlemat and card were made for a gift - I hated to part with the candlemat .... isn't that shameful.

This photo was taken in May - they had 4 goslings but only one wanted it's photo taken - the others were tucked up under mom's wings .....

remember that sometimes not getting what you want
is a wonderful stroke of luck

Saturday, June 24, 2017

on the road again ....

Since we're moving into our new place in July we've been quite busy packing up our mini-apt. - I can't believe we squeezed so much junque into this small space - blame it on the ample cabinets.  Basically we've been living at the cabin and coming back every ten days or so to do more packing, pick up mail, do laundry, pick up supplies, etc.  It's no hardship living at the cabin - we love the peace and quiet there.

We've not had tv in the apt. and surprised ourselves by not missing it at all so it was a good exercise for us .  We've been able to entertain ourselves quite well with what is available online.  So we move into our new place knowing that we want neither cable/satellite for tv nor a landline phone that we also don't have in the apt.  We don't have tv or phone at the cabin - there is no cell phone service available.  Interestingly, the phone company cannot give us a working (land) line and yet our next door neighbour has his phone disconnected but it's still a working line even though he isn't paying for it .... go figure.

I've done a wee bit of sewing - some refashioning and mending - made a new summer top that is waiting to be hemmed - and crocheted these market bags to keep my fingers nimble.  I used my cotton yarn odds 'n ends and like the blue one the best - the other one I call my citrus bag.  The pattern can be found here .  I also made a batch of dandelion jelly and a batch of apple peel jelly - I'd like to try some white clover jelly but the clover has been slow to blossom.

We've been kept quite busy at the cabin as well so time never drags by.  The other day we were  enjoying Happy Hour when a black bear yearling appeared - it was so cute, like a bear cub with very long legs - thanks to the weather we were on the verandah and not down by the water although it wasn't interested in us. Sadly, June has been a wet and cool month.  We had 4" of rain in 12 days and if tomatoes like rain they must be very happy.  We were surprised with some marble/mothball size hail the other evening - seriously, it came right out of the blue!!  Fortunately, there was no damage to plants or vehicle. 

you can't have courage
unless you're afraid 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bingo - they fit!!

Do you remember these from this post ?  Are you curious that there are only 3 .... the black on the coasters is paint and on the fourth one it has peeled so I couldn't use it - I need to come up with a plan for redemption - these were going to be a gift but not anymore - the good news is  that these designs actually fit. 

sometimes the best light is from a burning bridge ......


Friday, May 26, 2017


It was such a lovely surprise to come home from the cabin to an 'un-birthday' gift from Claire .   The DMC thread is 'colour variations' and this is the first time I've been able to see this thread in person - the shade changes are ever so gentle - I'm anxious to get stitching.  Doesn't that monster pouch just make you smile!  I'm fond of Robbie Burns - must be my Scottish background - I was delighted to have this lovely card. 
Thank you Claire for your kindness and friendship. 

leave footprints of love and kindness
wherever you go 

Monday, May 15, 2017

this and that ....

Hum (a ruby throated hummingbird) arrived on schedule - May 15th!! And at 10:15 a.m. - we were just heading out to the car to come home to the apt. when he showed up - so pleased that he let us know he'd arrived safe and sound - these little creatures are amazing!

Not much going on in the handwork department these days but this is a rug I started last fall and I usually work on it each evening - it's my current cabin project - I'd forgotten about this over the winter so it was a pleasant surprise.  The large ball of  rag yarn is black although it looks purple in the photo.

This past week I kept busy at the cabin with the annual spring cleaning -  it's amazing how much dust accumulates over the winter - and I discovered that I didn't clean the oven last fall. My time outdoors was spent getting the gardens ready for planting. 

This is Nigel the squirrel's offspring being mischievous - it's the first time we've seen a squirrel in this feeder - soon he'll be too big to squeeze in - the red wing blackbird is patiently awaiting his turn.

  This was dinner one evening when we had a visitor - you'll find the recipe here - the steam is still rising from it - the fellas loved it!

  I love this gnarly looking bread - it's so good toasted!

always help someone - you might be the only one who does

Sunday, May 7, 2017

loving the quiet .....

 We opened the cabin this past week and it was wonderful - the weather even cooperated for a few days - we're loving the quiet.  I was so sure I'd packed all the essentials but somehow I forgot dish detergent and peanut butter - I have dishpan hands from using laundry detergent - the birds and I have coped without peanut butter.   I wasn't able to make bread in our wee apt. all winter so fresh bread was the first thing I made at the cabin.  We've been feeding the birds - seven feeders at last count - and they've been keeping us entertained. 

This is a card for my aunt for her 85th birthday  ...

you're never too old to  learn to do something stupid

Friday, April 21, 2017

experimenting ....

I like the natural/rustic look - burlap, jute, etc. - I tried crocheting with jute twine - here's what I came up with - I like these .....

Did you know that jute has different dye lots - I didn't expect that - the upper pot took an entire ball of jute - it was supposed to be bigger - the second ball of jute was a very poor match and not a good contrast.  The bottom pot has the possibility of being turned into a hanging planter - I haven't decided if that's what I want to do with it - meanwhile I like it as it is.  The coaster started out as a placemat. 
The poinsettia is looking quite ratty but I've been nursing it along so that it can be planted at the cabin.  The geranium is one of five that wintered as stems only - once they were planted in soil and given some water they burst forth in leaf - they are awesome plants.

We've been going to the cabin a couple of times a week - this photo was taken a couple of days ago ...

 see how clear the water is  - it's always clear .....

she believed she could -
so she did

Thursday, April 13, 2017

can't think of a good title ....

This is the Easter card that I made for our sweet neighbour, K - she really liked it - denim blue is her favourite colour - I did remove the marks at the bottom before giving it to her - wasn't bright enough to do so before taking the photo.

We were at the cabin again this week and this shows you how much ice has disappeared - we were able to drive right in ....

The first butterfly of the season posed for the camera .....

It was a balmy 15C (59F)!  On the drive home a blue heron came up out of the ditch and flew alongside us for a short distance - it was quite exciting to see it flying so close.

I also played at 'Suzy Homemaker' this week .....

look at the size of these frog legs - it would be a hoot to show these to kiddies - they look like bare bottoms - and this is how they looked when they were cooked - they are delicious btw ....


and I made some 'Boursin' and tortilla chips/crackers - both are delicious

be kind whenever possible -
it's always possible 

Friday, April 7, 2017

out and about .....

On Wednesday my fella suggested we take a drive and a picnic lunch to Riding Mountain National Park which is about 60 kms. from here - it was a beautiful sunny day.   This year Canada is celebrating her 150th birthday on Canada Day, July 1; for the entire year there is free admission to all of the National Parks in the country!  This park is commonly referred to as Clear Lake with Clear Lake being the largest lake in the park and the coldest - it's spring fed and ice cold even at the height of summer - the townsite, Wasagaming, is on the shore of Clear Lake.  The park has several beautiful lakes and hiking trails, good fishing and lots of wildlife including bison and moose - it's truly a beautiful place.  I grew up about 150 kms south of the park - visited  a lot while growing up  -  it's where I went to summer camp - I have a lot of good memories of this park.  Interestingly, folks who live on the north side of the park refer to it as the mountain - the escarpment is a well defined rise when seen from the north - from the south it's a very gradual climb and the escarpment is not noticeable - the folks from the south side commonly refer to the park as Clear Lake.  These photos were taken in the townsite ....

The townsite is at the south end of the park and when we got to that point we decided to continue south and have a short visit with my aunt who lives in my hometown of Rivers.  Aunt Lou is petite - she's shoulder height to me - lives on her own - does her own cleaning - still wears make up - she is my late mom's only sister.  She's a hoot .... she mentioned while we were there, "I never thought I'd have anything wrong with me at this age"  - she'll be 85 in June.  lol

On Thursday we went to the cabin again - we wanted to see the open river - the white that you see is ice and not snow.

Recently I decided to dress-up my favourite old denim shirt with some flowers .....

he who laughs last, thinks slowest 

Monday, April 3, 2017

the cabin

We made two trips to the cabin this past weekend - it's so nice to be only an hour's drive away.  The snow is quickly disappearing - the wind that blew for 2 days in early March left behind some hefty snowbanks that have disappeared to the point that we had no problem walking in. We were hoping to see the ice go out but that happened overnight last night. 

Nigel the resident squirrel was on the deck to welcome us.....

We had a visit with cottage neighbour and good friend E - 
 discovered some pussy willows that were alongside the road that didn't require rubber boots to access them - 
 made me a happy camper ......

I've been sampling daffodil patterns ....

I like the size of the bottom one and the design of the one on the right -
 I'm working with the yarn that I have on hand.

i've seen it all done -
can't remember most of it