Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seed Starting

Started a few seeds today. . .

Gonna start a few more tomorrow. . .

Then it will be time to transplant the perennials I started awhile back into larger pots.
After which, it will be the geranium's turn, followed by the basket stuffers.

I think I may take Henry's advice and get an electric kettle so I can make my tea right in the greenhouse.

There was also some talk of a cot. . .

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Quick Update

It's been awfully busy around here for the last week or two. Things are starting to really ramp up.
The Fling With Spring went very well and I hope everyone who attended had a good time. I would post pictures but I was a little busy at the time and Ev was behind the video camera so. . .
Words will have to do!
I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the greenhouse for the next little while, transplanting things into larger pots, planting up more lilies and starting an astounding ( to me. . ) number of seeds to get ready for this spring's plant sale.
In anticipation of the busy season and to build up some stamina, I am talking advantage of the Wii fit program Morgan bought.
Yes indeed, every morning will find me rhythm boxing, kung foo fighting and hula hooping like a mad woman.(thankfully only the boys are around to see how terrible I am. I do not have the greatest sense of rhythm!)
I've got to say. . . if you have to exercise. . . Wii fit is the fun way to go. Not the easy way, mind you, but fun.
Now I'm off to bed.
I want to hit the ground running tomorrow.
Spring is on the move and it waits for no woman. . .

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Garden Videos

I'm posting today over at {growing} wisdom, my new garden website. . .

Head on over and check out my first ever 'How To' video.

Monday, March 19, 2012

First Ladybug Of The Season

Yesterday I had the first ladybug sighting of the season.

 You might be surprised however, at where I found her. . .

On the bottom of Henry's cowboy boot during yesterday morning's church service!

Yes indeed. . .

Spring is on it's way!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Growing Wisdom's Grand Opening. . . or. . . A Fling With Spring

It's finally here!

After months of planning and dreaming, the time has come to add people to that dream. . .

Plants have been started, goods have been sourced.
Recipes tested and china sought out.
The classroom equipped and the greenhouse scrubbed down.

Business cards?

Deep Breath. . .

It's time to open the doors to {growing} wisdom!

March 22, 23 and 24 (next Thursday, Friday and Saturday) we will be having a Fling with Spring.

Each of those evenings from 7:30 until 9:30, we will immerse ourselves in all things Spring.
Check out the newest trends in gardening and plant introductions through a PowerPoint presentation, enjoy a scrumptious garden tea complete with fresh baked goodies, peruse the vintage and upcycled glass flower vases as well as the baby plants that are growing all over the house then head out into the greenhouse and plant up a Stargazer lily bulb to take home with you (no grow lights required) and enjoy the sharing of garden knowledge and ideas.

Regular {growing} wisdom classes are $30 per person with a minimum of four attending. That also includes of course, the opportunity to e-mail me pictures and questions about your garden ahead of the class which gives me the ability to think about and research your questions before the class.

As our Grand Opening evenings will be a little less formal (not to mention the first events held here!) the cost of attending one of the evenings is $20 regardless of how many people are at any one night.

To mark the Grand Opening in an extra special way, we will hold a draw each night with the lucky winner going home with a small gift.

Interested in attending?
Send me an e-mail at and let me know which evening you would like to attend or
Phone 780-471-5301
Payment can be made when you come.
{growing} wisdom is at 10315 163 st Edmonton (in my home, greenhouse and gardens.)

And in the interest of full disclosure. . .
We have a live in mascot. . .
Jada, {growing} wisdom's mascot.

Her bark is worse than her. . . . Oh wait! She doesn't have a bite. . . but she does have a bark and it's a little (ahem) loud. 

In the interest of full, full disclosure. . .

I hope to make a video of the evenings to use on my new website. But you're not camera shy. . . are you?

I'm so excited to be launching this dream and I hope to see you there.

I'll leave you with a little pre Fling with Spring garden love. . .

In Marlene's greenhouse a few years ago.

This is not my greenhouse but my friend Marlene's a few years back. Mine's a liiiitle  smaller!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tax Time. . .Arghhhhh!

It's that time again and I have spent a very aggravating day trying to get everything together for tax time.

You wouldn't think it would be that hard would you?

Henry certainly doesn't.

All I have to do (he says) is get the info together. The stuff goes to an accountant. It's not like I have to do the taxes myself.

That would be great. . .  if I could stick to filing everything in the same place. 

But I can't.

Every year it's the same thing.
Henry nags me for six weeks about getting the paper work together. I  huffily say "I will!" ( sounding a lot like Jesse when asked about when he might clean his room. )

The thing is, my mind tends to go off on a tangent. I can file every thing in the file box (okay chuck them in the box) for 9 months out of the year and all of a sudden I will get some important paper and for some reason decide I should keep it somewhere safe. (that is. . .not in the filing box.)

Of course three or four months later, when it's time to get everything together for tax time, I have absolutely no idea where that safe place is!

And so begins the annual hunt for missing papers. I get miserable, defensive and very aggravated. It doesn't help when I always end up having to phone someone for another copy of the missing papers.

 Because of course that means I'm not very competent.

Which makes me feel stupid

Which makes me mad.

Which makes me furious with Henry for making me do this in the first place!

That's right. . . it's all his fault!

This year is even worse as I had to spend all afternoon trying to figure out how to use the Excel spreadsheet my brother-in-law Rick made for me to use for my new business.

Still not entirely sure I did it right.When I tried to save it, it said it wasn't compatible with my older Excel program. Sigh. . . Not sure what to do about that.

It's 6:30 pm.

We have a home visit from the elders at 7:30 pm

I'm still wearing half my pajamas and in desperate need of a shower (not quite sure why tax time make me sweat, but it does. . .)

Bathrooms dirty.

 Jada hair all over.

 Dust everywhere.

Oh well. I did bake a very yummy coffee cake and I figure if I dim the lights and take a quick swipe at the toilet,  the elders might not notice the lack of clean (they are men after all. . . . mind you, my dad was a man and dim lights wouldn't  have fooled him for a second!)

Wish me luck!

And a good night's sleep. . .

Monday, March 12, 2012

Something To Watch While We Wait For Spring. . .

I came across this fabulous series on You Tube a couple of weeks ago.
I'm not sure where I came across it but I think it was most likely over at Jenna's.

If you have ever dreamed of the ultimate kitchen garden, you will love The Victorian Kitchen Garden.
It's a BBC production that recreates a walled Victorian kitchen garden, following it through an entire year.

I have always dreamed of growing a kitchen garden (and I have done it in a small way), or even better, a market garden.

When the kids were young Eliot Coleman and his wife Barbara Damrosh had a garden show that covered all sorts of great ways to grow vegetables (and flowers)  organically. I loved how Eliot would come up with ways to work smarter, not harder and I dreamed that one day I would have a market garden just like his.

It took me a long time to figure out where my love for organic, local and 'hippy dippy' things came from.
The light bulb finally went on last year as I realized that I had soaked up more than the brewer's yeast we found beside our breakfast plates at my Aunty Jenny and Uncle Henk's small farm and market garden.

Mind you, if either of them heard that I used the word's 'hippy dippy' in relation to them, they would have a fit! But in my defense. . . Carob instead of chocolate, goat's milk ice cream instead of cow's (I'm pretty sure they noticed that my uneaten cone melted all over my plate), alfalfa sprouts growing in the window, lentils in the soup, homemade brown bread, fresh honey. . . .

'Hippy Dippy'!

At least, that's how Jesse lovingly labels all my efforts and I surely didn't get it from my parents!

Somehow, without realizing it, I have tried to recreate some of that life style.

I love you Aunty Jenny and Uncle Henk! (but I still don't like goat's milk! Or carob. Or brewer's yeast.)

Hmmmm. . . I'm afraid they'll be sadly disappointed in me. . .

(Aunty Nancy and Uncle Ben did a few things in that line too. . . but don't tell them that I still can't eat rabbit!)

Looks like my 'Hippy Dippy' ways may have been inevitable. . .

So, if any of you want to indulge in a little kitchen garden dreaming, check out the first part of The Victorian Kitchen Garden's Introduction video.
The whole series is on You Tube. I'm up to May.

Enjoy. . .!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Still Sick

Spent the day in pajamas, reading, sleeping , drinking ginger ale and eating crackers.
Thought I would give chicken noodle soup a try.
Blech! Campbell's chicken noodle soup does not taste the way it used to!
To be fair, I haven't eaten Campbell's for years. . . maybe my taste buds have changed?
Now I'm off to bed.
Being sick stinks.
Being retired doesn't. . . What a blessing it is not to have to drag myself out of bed tomorrow morning at 5:30!
A rather nice silver lining. . . 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Don't Have Time For This!

Years ago. . . when I first took on running the Ladies Aid, I would get the flu every winter, usually just before our Christmas Bazaar.
Of course I would exclaim in despairing tones "I don't have time for this!" and soldier on, with the end result a flu  that would hang on for months. (And it wasn't only me. My friend and cohort Joyce threw up in a garbage can one year while setting up the bazaar. And soldiered on. . .)

Then I discovered the flu shot.

No more winter long bouts with the flu. It was such a blessing.

I haven't missed a year since. Because I have asthma, all I have to do is go to the doctor and my shot is free.

Something you may not realize about the flu shot however, (and I conveniently ignored) is that you can still get the flu. It generally doesn't last long but. . . you can still get it.

Or to be more accurate, it can get you!

I'm afraid I have been caught.
Jesse has been quite sick with the flu and it's been hanging on for a few weeks now. Yesterday I told Morgan (after he threw up) that I had the flu shot so I wasn't going to get the flu.

So what do you think he said when he came home from work this afternoon and found me sick in bed?

Uh Huh. . .

"I thought you said you had the flu shot mom!"

Such a sensitive boy. . .

The thing is, I still don't have time for this!

Things are starting to get very busy as I plant more and more things, getting ready for my May Long Weekend Plant and Local Goods sale, assorted other sales, my first "Spring Fling" event, work on my new website, keep house (sort of) and learn how to use that spreadsheet my brother-in-law Rick made for me (one day soon. . .I hope!)

But I have learned a few things over the years and one is that soldiering on through the flu isn't always a good thing.  A few quiet days in bed or on the couch with lots of liquids and plenty of sleep is the best way to ensure your flu comes and then goes. . .

Since I don't have time to be sick for months on end, that's where you'll find me for the next few days.

Well. . .

 maybe just tomorrow. . .

 morning. . .

I really, really don't have time for this!

What do you do when you get sick?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Becoming A (cough, cough) Movie Star!

I spent Saturday working on becoming a movie star.

OK, maybe just a short video star.

  Is there such a thing?. . 

Ev's daughter Beth came over to help me video a series of how to videos for my new website and she's also working on editing them.

It was great fun.

Ev dropped by for a bit and did her bit to help out. . .

I'm no where near this yet. . . .

But hey. . .a girl's gotta start somewhere, right??

Monday, March 5, 2012

Something A Little Different To Celebrate A Birthday

It was my friend Nicole's birthday last month.

She and I have been friends for over twenty years, which makes both of us feel old, but is in actual fact a real blessing. We've known each other's kids since they were toddlers and the younger ones from the day they were born. We've camped together as families and one memorable summer (not necessarily in a good way, although we laugh about it now), even camped together with another friend, just as moms and kids.

We don't see each other all that often, but we always pick up right where we left off. . . the way you do with family. . . nothing can take the place of  years of shared history.
 Our kids are the same ages except for our youngest boys (hers and mine) so we've gone through all the stages together and are happily looking forward to the new stage ahead of us. . .

Empty nesters! (one of these days. . . we hope. . .) (no pressure boys. . .)

Over the years Nicole and I have gone to some lovely restaurants for our birthdays.

This year however, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to make something special for her myself. Something that required a little thought and effort.

I broke out my Martha Stewart cook book and found a great recipe for broccoli soup. Made homemade bread and homemade dessert. I went to my 'china' shelves and set the table with my prettiest flowered dishes and took my favorite embroidered table cloth from the linen closet.

I put together my own 'gift basket', wrapping a gardening book that had been signed by the author (Jim Hole),  a packet of sweet pea seeds and a potted pink primula with cellophane and tying it up with a gauzy ribbon.

I had such fun planning, cooking and baking for this celebration and the best part was that we could visit to our hearts content without all kinds of loud music and conversation to bother us.
We visited while I finished off the soup, during lunch and right on through to the baking of the biscuits and whipping of the cream for our strawberry shortcake.

It was one of the nicest birthdays I have been to. . . (if I do say so myself!)

Tomorrow is Ev's birthday and we are doing something else entirely. ( She will, of course, have a blog post of her own. . .)
We are spending the day in search of inspiration , creativity, beauty and the unusual, with high hopes of sampling  some fabulous food as well.

So. . .
To my dear friends. both old and not as old. . .(ahem, cough, cough. . . not that you are old Nicole, our friendship is old. . .)

Happy, Happy, Birthday!
I pray God will grant you many more!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Baby Geraniums

How cute are these. . .?

And I have 60 of them!

It's a good start.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Boys To Men. . . .And Back Again!

When Morgan and Jesse were young, Lego was always at the top of the list when it came to Christmas and birthdays. There was no such thing as too much Lego.
The years passed until one day they realized that the Lego hadn't been out for a few years.

They decided that rather than letting all that Lego languish unused, they would rather pass it on to other boys who would enjoy it the way they had.

A much loved teacher with small boys just the right age was chosen.

I was told that teacher's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw just how much Lego the boys had accumulated. I was also told that the teacher was probably even more excited about the gift than his boys would be!

So here they are, Morgan and Jesse,  no longer boys but young men.

What do you think they brought home last night?

Well Jesse brought home. Morgan had to settle for a puzzle as this purchase was out of his reach. . .

The Millennium Falcon and a Star Wars puzzle

1254 pieces!

From boys. . . to men. . . and back again!

© A Life of Whimsey