Thursday, March 31, 2011

Farmers In The 21st Century

Most of you know that I long to farm.
All things considered, that is never going to happen.
But a girl can dream.
And if I'm dreaming I want to be a farmer like this. . .

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Garden Post

I'm posting over at The Potting Shed today. Drop by and see what I've put under lights this past weekend.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning Something New

I learned how to crochet scarves last winter using one crochet stitch (single crochet).
I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
When I was about nine or ten my Grandma (dad's side) tried to teach me how to crochet. She was the sweetest woman and incredibly patient.
After several hours (at least that's how it felt. . .) she turned to me, shook her head sadly and said " I don't think you are meant to crochet."
So until last year I didn't even bother trying.
Then I came across a challenge on a blog. The blogger said that at the very least every one should know how to knit or crochet a few basics. You know, things that we all use often, like socks, hats, mitts or scarves.
 I was positive that I would never master the first three but thought I might just manage the scarf.
To date I have made five scarves!
While in Michael's a while back I came across a crochet book meant for teens and there was the cutest shawl in there, so I bought the book hoping I would be able to figure it out.
I just couldn't do it!
Somehow looking at illustrations of the stitches just wasn't working for me.
However. . .
Back when the girls were still in elementary Henry's mom used to teach a knitting class to the grade five and six girls so I thought she might be able to help me out.
I'll let you judge for yourself how well she did. This is my test piece. I did over half of it myself. . .

It looks like Oma Terpstra was wrong!
Now I just have to decide what colour to make the full sized one. I brought back some beautiful wool from the States when I went with Lisa a few weeks ago.
Isn't it great that we can always learn something new?
 Who knows. . . Maybe I'll be able to make a hat or mitts after all! 
Socks though. . . not very likely!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unexpected Gifts

While dropping off one of the kids this afternoon, her mom presented my with a little bag holding three homemade chocolate chip cookies.
"Because you had to wait for me this morning" she explained.
Except I was early this morning because of improving road conditions.
Which I explained again.
"Well yes. . . but still. . ."
I assured her I was not going to turn down homemade cookies!
I would have taken a picture (cause that's what bloggers do. . .)
But once I dropped the last kid off they didn't last more than a few minutes.
I do love an unexpected gift!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

African Violets. . . Solace On A Snowy Spring Morning

Peering out of the dining room window early this morning, I sighed as I beheld yet another snowy start to my day.
It's spring. . .
In name only.
But wait!
What's this I see?

African violets
My African violets are finally blooming!

Solace for my flower starved soul.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Refreshing Holiday

Hold on to your hats folks! This is going to be a long one!!!

Last Monday Henry and I came home after a wonderful week in B.C. where we stayed in this bed and breakfast.

We made the trip to attend my niece Stephanie's wedding.

 The last time Henry and I had a chance to get away together  was about two years ago, for my sister Tamara's daughter's wedding, when we were the very first customers at this very bed and breakfast. (Yes, yes, I know we also came out in January for another wedding, but that was just a quick visit.)

We saved for most of last year so we could have five whole days with just the two of us in romantic Fort Langley.

Days before we were about to leave I began to get sick. I panicked. There was no way I would be sick on a holiday I had been waiting so long for!
I drove the bus, came home and went to bed until it was time to get up and drive the afternoon bus run. I did that for three days in a row.
Thankfully that seemed to do the trick and by the time we were ready to leave I felt just fine.

Henry, on the other hand, did not.

For crying out loud!

This meant of course that there was not a whole lot of romantic walks through Fort Langley, but, not to worry, there is always plan B!

Tamara had some free time on the Wednesday and dropped by the B and B with her sweet little granddaughter.
Henry needed a nap so we headed out to see the Fort without him.

Tamara and the Wee One
 We did a bit of shopping with the Wee One

and after her mom picked her up, headed to a cute little shop that also had a small restaurant in it.

Tamara and I decided to indulge a little and ordered the champagne tea. I must say, I drink maybe once or twice a year, but the whole thing sounded so fabulous I decided to be a bit reckless and just go for it.

How awesome is that?! There was even fresh clotted cream!
After a little shopping, we headed back to the Band B  and Tamara (who was not on holidays!) had to go home.

Henry was still sick the next day so I spent it with Lisa and the groom's sister on the other side of the border for a little shopping in the good old USA.

I'm afraid I forgot my camera as I was too intent on looking for good deals! I brought home a sweet little summer dress, a couple of chair cushions ( thankfully only $5 a piece as they are horribly uncomfortable!), lots of beautiful wool and some cute kid's flannel.
 I should have come back with a big block of Monteray Jack cheese which only cost me $5 (I would have paid at least $20 for that same block at home) ,but I forgot in in Lisa's fridge the day we flew home!


 By Friday, Henry was finally starting to feel better, so we drove out to Lisa's. She had lots of wedding things to do that day and  Henry  figured he would spend time with his cousin while I stayed to help out.

Can you believe I started to get sick?!
Good grief!
Henry saved the day and brought me back to the B and B for a nap.

I'd had my nap and was puttzing around for a bit, when I  realized that I hadn't seen Henry for a while. . .
Where was he?

Henry was getting bored.
Our B and B owner's son was putting this walkway in the back yard so Henry decided to help him! (Now if only I could get him to do the same at home. . .)

Saturday was the wedding day for this lovely couple. . .

And if you want to see how the day went you can check it out here . Tamara had an excellent post about it.
Naturally we took another 'sister' picture. . .


Don't you love my new hat? I picked it up in a little hat shop in Fort Langley while on my shopping trip with Tam. I love hats but I have a freakishly small head and can seldom find a pretty one that fits.

We took one last sister picture the next day, while we were over at Lisa's for a big turkey dinner. (Yes indeed, my sister is the real, live, Wonder Woman! She got the wedding together, made the wedding cake

and then had turkey dinner at her house the next day for everybody!

This was a 'hat' sister picture.

Tamara, Lisa, Rosa
 Tamara had bought Lisa this beautiful hat as a birthday present when they were in Spain  last year and Lisa hadn't quite had the courage to wear it yet.
I suggested she wear it to church. I promised to wear mine, as did Tamara. My plan was for us to all sit together so she wouldn't feel so conspicuous.
The plan kind of backfired though.
Three women in hats, obviously sisters, sitting in a row, in a church where no one wears hats. . .
I heard snickering.
I couldn't help snickering!
So much for being inconspicuous.
Sorry Lisa!
All in all, this holiday was truly a blessing. One which won't soon be forgotten.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Walk In The Country

I had planned to bring my bus home today to get every extra minute possible so I could scrub the house from top to bottom, do some laundry (I had to use a dirty towel after my shower!) and maybe get a coffee cake in the oven.
However, my plans changed when Jesse met me at the bus this morning to let me know that two of the teeth he had worked on at the dentist's were really hurting him.
Whoops! I forgot to fill his penicillin prescription!
Went to the pharmacy, picked up Jada and headed back to school so he could take some medicine right away.
Sometimes it's not such a bad thing when plans are changed. . . .

After all, the house can be cleaned anytime. . . right???

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Farmer's Markets

Local Food
 I promised Tamara that I would be posting today and I've been out so much that I hadn't had time to sit with the computer.
This evening though, Ev and I went to a little Farmer's Market on the north end of the city.
It was very tiny, but quite fun because most of the vendors were very happy to chat with you and let you know all about their products.
 At the bakery booth, I had a chance to sample some really nice rye bread made with locally grown rye as well as bringing home a baby brioche.  I've been wanting to try my hand with those but had never actually tasted it, so now I'll know how it's supposed to come out.
I bought some freshly milled wheat from a local farmer who is growing heritage grains (used by the bread baker) and if I like it I'm going to buy a big bag of wheat grains and mill it myself at Ev's house. I do love my bread!
Other local stuff I took home was whipped honey (Yum!) an elk garlic sausage (Henry's going to be sooo happy!) and some cranberry breakfast sausage. Since I'm going to be making deer sausage one day soon I'm looking for ideas.
You'd think I would have stopped there but I also brought home two dozen homemade pirogi, a chicken pot pie and a Cornish pastie (which I'm going to have to share with someone. It's HUGE!!)
 All that should have been more than enough, but I couldn't resist one last thing. Cheddar shortbread with a touch of cayenne pepper. It was quite pricey but I have tried to make cheddar shortbread a few times and it's never quite turned out. I figured this was a good way to find out how it's supposed to taste. You know so mine will be better next time!
Just don't tell Henry, because I'm not going to share!
And now that I've made you all hungry and drooly I'm going to say goodnight.
5:30 comes early. . .

*Hmmmm. . . Looks like I may not have done anything wrong when I made the shortbread. I can't say I like this stuff either. Jesse  tried it and didn't like the taste. Sigh. . . Oh well, you can't win them all. I guess I'll share with Henry now. . .

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What The Beginning Of March Looks Like In Edmonton

For me March is the hardest month of the year.
Not because it is physically difficult, January and February have that distinction.
No, March is mentally my most annoying month.
Every year I think that by the beginning of March I should be seeing real signs of spring. I mean, I know that we will likely get a bit more snow or a short cool spell but overall I'm always positive that spring is right around the corner.
Going back through my blog today to confirm that, yes indeed, spring is in the wings, I discovered that I am totally out to lunch! I have been blogging since January 2008 and spring was never just around the corner in any of those past Marches!
For crying out loud!
I've decided to chronicle what March looks like every year.
 I'm hoping this will lessen my self delusion. (I hold out very little hope for that, but, hey, it's worth a try!)
This year I've made a short movie.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Cold!!

I got a call just after 6 am this morning.
School's cancelled!
It was -37C (-34.6F) at the international airport. In March!
Whoo Hoo!!!
To bad Jesse has a dentist apointment this morning. . .
© A Life of Whimsey