Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As many of you know ,I started this blog with the idea that it would be all about gardening.
I started out okay, but well, other things started to happen.

Once we began renovating the bathrooms , one thing lead to another and other things needed doing.

Suddenly I was spending more time shopping (shudder!) than I was gardening.

I hardly did anything I had planned.

Plants I had started from seed died waiting to be planted in the spring, due to my lack of a greenhouse and too many nights taking care of other people's plants ( but I love you anyways Tam!)

I had planned to plant sunflowers as I love how they look in fall.

That didn't happen, but, thankfully the birds did it for me!

After spending all of last week cleaning and organizing the house I finally, by Saturday evening was able to say I was done.

I had reached the bottom of the laundry pile( a twice yearly event), scrubbed and vacuumed and rearranged the living room.

The time had come to use the lovely sunflowers in the house.

Here's where they went. . .

The garden room.

By my favorite chair.

In my pretty new bathroom.

In the kitchen.

And then, for something a little different,

Some late flowering clematis paired with a bit of sea lavender.

Fresh flowers from the garden, a clean house and, oh yes, applesauce cake made with our homemade applesauce and butter icing. (yes I use real butter!)

Life is very good.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall on the Prairies

It's well and truly fall here on the prairies.

A prairie fall is gold and brown with small flashes of red. The wind tosses the leaves about and before you know it, the trees are bare, but it's beautiful while it lasts.

I'm very blessed by my bus route as it takes me out of the big city into a neighbouring town well known for it's tree lined streets.

Above you see the country road that leads to our school. Driving down it everyday gives me an opportunity to watch the seasons change and allows me to feel a part of God's natural world.

I don't do poetic very well I'm afraid, but I do love fall.

Holly had her birthday yesterday and fun was had by all.

Crystal dropped by, and my mom came as well.

Holly requested perogies for her birthday meal and although I wanted to make them myself, I knew that wasn't going to happen so, I did the next best thing and bought them at the farmer's market on Saturday morning.

They do take time to make what with the boiling and frying but, we do love them!

Happy 21st Holly!

Oh, and what do you think she did?. . . .

Hmmmm. . . .
I received a lovely gift in the mail late last week.

I was the lucky winner of a give away over at Tollipop. http://www.tollipop.com/

Now what do you think I won?


A painting!

Aren't these girls sweet?

Now where shall I put this?

Oh yes, right up here on my plant shelves. The perfect spot.

Thanks Kirsten, for the lovely prize.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Birthday Post

I want to wish Nola over at alamo north http://alamo-north.blogspot.com/ a happy birthday today.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Nola!

Tommorow is Holly's 21st birthday.

We will be celebrating with homemade pergogies which I just bought at the farmers market and cherry delight instead of cake as Holly doen't like cake.

I'm off now. It's time to scrub some floors and bathrooms. . .

Whoo Hoo!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Cheating!

Well, as you all know it's unbelievably busy over here so. . .
no time to write any of the hundreds of stories running through my head theses days.
So, instead of writing something new I'm giving you a link to something old.
About four years ago my friend Ev and I (okay, mostly Ev) worked on a website for my fledgling garden design company.
To add a little interest I wrote a few 'editorials'
Click on 'What's on Rosa's mind " to see what was going on back then.
November's post is Ev's favorite.
Now. . .
I'm off to drive the bus and this weekend. . .
Henry and I get to work on a very big project.
Stop by tomorrow for a birthday post.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm home!

We got home Monday evening.
I didn't sleep all that well and then. . .
I had it!
That stupid nightmare I've had at the end of every summer since I started bus driving.
The one I didn't have this year.
I dreamt I was late picking kids up. Over a half hour late. But I was blase'(?) about the whole thing. Until I got lost. Very, very lost. At which point I found myself in some stranger's house with Jesse and we were sneaking around in the dark. Now I was five hours late picking up the kids.
And this time it wasn't a dream!
Until I woke up in a cold sweat at 5:30 Tuesday morning.
Ughh! What a way to start the day.
My mom came over that day and made and canned 12 quarts of apple sauce from my apple tree. She had already made 24 small jars (12 she kept) while Henry and I were gone.
Meanwhile I cleaned like mad and baked bread, buns and cinnamon buns in my new oven. Which works like a dream by the way!
Today I have still been cleaning and rearranging my living room, plus I tried out a new stir fry recipe.
I've got to tell you I may have be 'cleaning' for the last 2 days but there is 'stuff' everywhere!
Oh well, there's always tomorrow.
I've got a lot to tell you and we had a great time, but, for now, I'm off to bed.
Hopefully tonight will be dream free!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm still here!

Well, I'm still here although I have had absolutely no time to blog as it's been crazy around here.
A small sample. . .
We leave for Vancouver tomorrow, Henry and I.
Holly's dentist phoned to say they had a cancellation and would she like to have her wisdom teeth removed tomorrow?
Considering how much they've been bothering here for the last few months and the fact that all she can eat these days are soft foods she jumped at the chance.
Which left me to figure the logistics.
Someone must bring her to the dentist where she will go under anesthesia.( This is a girl terrified of needles by the way.) Someone has to stay during the 3 hour procedure.
Someone needs to watch her for 24 hours after surgery.
I still drive the bus tomorrow morning. I will race home, and take her to her appointment.
We will race back home, where I will hopefully have time to throw a few things in my suitcase..
Holly will stay with a neighbour while my mom drives us to the airport.
She will then pick up Holly and keep her overnight.
Holly won't be able to work for the rest of the week and I doubt she'll be feeling that great.
I won't be home with my little girl while she's going through this AND this is the first time we've left the kids on their own for more than one night!
Feeling breathless and dizzy?
I know I am!
It's a good thing I'm going on holidays.
To a bed and breakfast.
For five nights.
Just Henry and I.
Whoo hoo!
See you when I get back.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall renovations. . . In the garden

I'm working as fast as I can to get the garden renovated before the snow flies.

No, I'm not crazy. . .

We may not get snow this early often, but it can get mighty cold more quickly than I care to think about!

I like to garden while it's still warm enough not to need a parka and a toque.

I'm also saying prayers for all those affected by Hurricane Ike.

God be with you all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Remember these?

You remember don't you?

Tamara (http://thegreenhousediaries.blogspot.com/) and the Big Guy were out for a seminar and left behind all the baby plants they used as props for their educational game.

I planted them up and babied them until late spring.

Two of these little guys along with some baby ivy were planted in a rusty metal planter, put under the apple tree and for the most part forgotten.

Oh, I watered them once in a while and picked the odd weed that sprouted, but mostly they went unnoticed.

Until a few weeks ago.

When I saw this. . .

Isn't it pretty?

And the orangey colour fits right in with the fall nesting theme.

I love unexpected gifts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A cozy fall evening

Have you ever gotten the sudden urge for your favorite cookie?

I certainly have, and thanks to a Martha Stewart 'good thing' many years ago, a home baked cookie can be had in no time!

If I've been on a baking binge, you will likely find some of these in my freezer.

I must admit that Smartie cookies are my absolute favorite. (with brown sugar oatmeal a close second.)

If I baked a double batch all at once and froze half the cookies, I would eat them straight out of the freezer in just a few days.

All it take to go from a frozen log of cookie dough to hot, fresh from the oven cookies is this. . .

Cut the log into cookies of fairly equal size.

Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cookies cool on pan for a minute or two.

Transfer to cookie rack.

Enjoy the sight of all those cookies while ignoring all those sesame seeds on the counter.
Then, because this was not about baking, but eating your favorite cookie. . .

Brew your favorite tea, grab a few cookies and a good book, snuggle in a comfy chair and enjoy a cozy fall evening.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall nesting

I was inspired by Fall Nesting week over at the Inspired Room. (http://theinspiredroom.net/)

However, large sums of money have been flying out of here as we renovate and update!

Which means money for frivolous decorating is not available.

What could I find in my decorating cupboard or other places around the house?

Here's what I came up with. . .

This is at the end of my hallway. Last Christmas I filled it with bits of cedar and glass ornaments.

The brown crinkly paper came in a Christmas basket.

It's a little messy. . .

But here is the finished result using fake gourds and a mini pumpkin, purchased from the dollar store last year when we held Thanksgiving at our house.

This is my side entry, which is used most of the time.

I forgot to take before pictures I'm afraid.

The vases came from Morgan's grad.

The tin in the corner held a mix of tulip bulbs, purchased several years ago.

I had hoped to buy some good quality fake sunflowers but. . .
Here's is what I found in the cupboard, also from last year and the dollar store.

The pine cones, however were collected on walks with Jada.

As you can see, I still need a few more to fill the vases to the top.

Well, it's not what I had planned, but. . . you know what?

I still like it.
And it feels like fall.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Look what the delivery man droppped off!

Blessings have be raining down on us in a big way lately!

I've been having trouble with my oven for quite a while.

The repairman came and fixed it.( For a price.)

It worked for a while, but then. . .

I started having trouble with the oven again.

Henry said "It's time for a new one."


Whoo hoo!

It took a bit of convincing on his part to get me to agree to a higher priced model. (I know, I'm weird.)

As you can see, this baby comes with 5 burners, one of them an oval in the center. There is a cast iron griddle that fits over that burner or you can put a grate over it and just plunk a big pot on there.

How amazing is that?!

The best part though (aside from the fact that it's gas) is the convection oven.

That's right ladies. . .

I'm going to be baking/roasting up a storm this fall.

Once I've finished in the garden you will likely find a lot of posts coming out of the kitchen.

I can hardly wait!

*And Jenny?I tried out the original recipe for cinnamon bread last week. It's almost perfect. A little sagging in the center but. . .I think it might be the oven. As soon as I'm hooked up I'll try it again and then I'll post the recipe. If it doesn't come out perfect I'll still post the recipe and let you fiddle with it! Lol.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quiet Sundays

Friday, September 5, 2008

My woodsman

I have always called Henry a mountain man.

I met him shortly after moving to Alberta, joining my mom, two sisters and my brother John.

Lisa's good friend Leona had the "cutest brother!" and I just "had to meet him!"

Well I met him. Couldn't really see the appeal, but hey, to each his own right?

The next time I met him, he crashed Tamara's birthday which we held at a local park.

I did not immediately recognize the huge hairy guy, ( his Afro was big and only his eyes and nose peeked out of his wild beard) who came dressed in short shorts and a cut off t-shirt.

I was rather horrified "Who is that hairy guy?!"

I met up with him again at his older sister's wedding.

I hadn't realized that, not only was he huge (6'5") and hairy, he was also very charming!

Hmmm. . . .

He's a little less hairy these days, and, since mountains are in short supply on the prairies, I've decided that he's more a woodsman than mountain man.

A very happy woodsman in the Kubota with our friend R at the cabin.

You know what he whispered to me as we took a wild ride through the bush in the cool dune buggy?

"I really want one of these one day!"

He hasn't lost the charm. . .
© A Life of Whimsey