Friday, October 25, 2013

Sometimes you are just on the wrong track

So I’m practicing my vocals for a solo tomorrow morning.  As I’m singing I’m getting so discouraged because I’m just finding this song so hard to sing.  “What have I got myself into?”  I’m thinking.  “I’m going to sing for the first time at my new church tomorrow and I’m gonna suck.  Lord, you have to help me through this;  You have to give my voice some more strength.”  I even started getting down on myself and asking“Lord, why isn’t my voice as strong as other peoples?  Why does my voice wear out after such a short time of singing?  Would I rather to not be able to sing at all then just sing okay?”  After a little break, I go back to my practicing and the song is coming much more easily, even well.  This is either a miracle or I was singing the song in the wrong key.  Turns out, it was the wrong key, the wrong track!  Sometimes you just have to get back on the right track and everything will be fine.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Juncus Gem continued

And here's the end result!  I realized I had the pot a little too high because unforunately I drilled the root holes a little too high.  It looked better higher out of the ground but to give the plant as much room for root growth as possible I decided to lower it

When I took the pot out, it was obvious from the night's rain that my drain tray idea worked to pool the water.  Now I wondering if maybe it will result in stagnant water but hopefully once the roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot then it will use the pooled water.  Also, as I mentioned, it will be easy to remove the drain tray if I have to.


Here is the garden with it's new perennials.  I've added two fountain grasses on the right in front of a tiger lily my friend gave me.  The juncus spiralis in the middle.  Two new day lilies on the left to accompany the one I already had (one came from my friend again).  I've shown the before and after.

It's still looking pretty bare here but surely but slowly it's growing 

Here I added two small blue fescue to either side of the siberian irises (mid-left).  To the far right by the wall is an ornamental grass again that my friend gave me.  It isn't much right now but hopefully next year it will fill out nicely.


And finally, I removed the asiatic lilies that were awkwardly placed next to the irises and added them to the right side of the sedum (middle) to complement the ones on it's left side.  You can't see them because of the oversized zinnias in the front (plants always seem to grow taller than the package says).  I also added a wormwood in the right hand bottom corner to provide root shade for the clematis and as a complement to the white of the euonymous on the left hand corner.  Another great thing about the city consultant visit was they were able to tell me the names of the perennials that were already growing in my garden.  Otherwise I would have NO idea what a euonymous is, and don't even bother asking me how to pronounce it!

I cut the zinnias for a bouquet so you can't see their blooms here in the front

A Juncus Gem in my Garden

This picture is with the spinach harvested.  The peas have grown up the trellis, and the rest are the nasturtiums.
It's been almost two months since my last garden update so as you can imagine there's been lots of changes.  I certainly haven't been having a bumper vegetable crop but the few peas I have had are so sweet; the lettuce tasty; and the spinach disappointing but the tomatoes, carrots and squash are yet to come.  I don't think the onion and garlic I planted from kitchen scraps have taken although the garlic was sprouting when I first planted it.  I've learned so much and one thing I won't do again is companion plant nasturtiums.  The variety I grew were huge and took over the bed but their multi-colored blooms are really pretty.  I was prepared for the squash:  it's outgrown the trellis I made and is now taking over the fence!

Pretty pathetic looking romaine lettuce :)

Psst scroll over each picture to read more about it.

It was tasty enough though.
Pea pods amid the  plentious nasturtiumsI like growing peas.  The vines are tiny little arms reaching to grab anything.Good thing I raised them off the ground I'd say

My flower garden is still in progress.  The zinnias grew to oversize and are blooming and the marigolds have just started.  I had a rep from the city in for a consult about water-conserving and native plant gardens.  So I've picked up a few perennials as they gone on sale which brings me to the Juncus.

I cut the zinnias for a bouquet so you can't see their blooms here in the front

It's still looking pretty bare here but surely but slowly it's growing

 I saw this gem of a plant with it's crazy curls and when I read the growing instructions which said it needs lots of water I thought "Perfect!  I'll put it in the trouble spot where my neighbours eavetrough overflows and nothing else will grow there."  When I got home I thought "But what about when it's not raining?  It gets really dry there."  That led me to the Internet of course and after combining mine and a few of others' ideas, I've come up with a really cute feature for the garden.

Notice the bare spot whee nothing has grown.

The juncus plant needs tons of water and is best planted in a constantly wet spot, or near (or even in a few inches of) water.  It also spreads it's roots and starts shoots.  I thought that maybe transplanting the juncus to a larger pot and burying the pot in the garden might hold some of the water.  I drilled some large holes in a pot to allow some but not all of the roots to reach the bed.  I dug a hole in the bed just deep enough for the pot to be about 2 inches above the surface.  This was only for the aesthetic appeal.

As I was digging it started to rain and the hole began filling up.  This tells me that once the rain reaches the clay-filled native soil it isn't draining well anyways.  I still wanted to make sure the soil sta
yed wet enough so I came up with the idea to put a plastic plant drain tray underneath the pot.  I hoping this way some of the water will pool.

If it doesn't seem like the plant is thriving and I want to check the drain tray, I can simply pull the pot from the ground, which hopefully will mean less disruption to the plant.  I also made sure that the plant wasn't directly under the leaky eavetrough to prevent damage to the foliage during heavy rains.

Finally, I topped the soil in the pot with white stones and I think the end result is fantastic.  Unfortunately, I lost too much daylight for my flashless cellphone to take a picture so I'll have to post the results plus the new perennials tomorrow!



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mmmm breakfast a la hubby!

Cinnamon french toast topped with strawberries, gooseberry sauce and cream... soooooo good. Oh and of course maple syrup.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Note to Self # 4

Screw cap of liquid medicine bottle on before shaking (Taken from same friend as # 2).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Garden Update #1


I have a little going on in the vegetable garden.  Everything is up and growing except marigolds which were old seeds my Nan had so I guess they were no longer fertile.  I planted new seeds so they should be up in no time.  They only took a few days in my flower garden.  The nasturtiums I planted with the spinach and peas are the tall ones here.




This one above is the carrot, lettuce, and squash bed.  I can only have two squash plants per mound so I transplanted a couple into these hanging planter bags.  You can grow squash hanging so I thought I'd give it a try in these bags I had lying around.  I hang them in a couple of weeks; I guess to let the roots dig in.  I will add a large trellis against the fence later for the squash vines to climb on. I also transplanted a couple of nasturtium because they are squash companions, they trail very nicely and of course they will add a colorful touch.  The seed packet says nasturtiums do not transplant well and indeed they wilted almost immediately but I just added lots of water to them and they came around.




Our first harvest!  I had to do quite a bit of thinning of spinach and lettuce.  The spinach have tiny baby leaves. They were yummy.  My daughter who is a little rabbit gobbled both up.






Here is one of two tomato and basil, and peppers and nasturtiums planters.  I had to move them to the front yard because they were not getting enough sun in the back.

The peppers were not sprouting so I bought more seed and as I was planting I noticed 3 or 4 sprouts in one pot.  I planted new ones anyway and will thin later.



Finally, the flower garden is slowly coming along.  Everything is up and as you can see the hosta is HUGE!  I did add some forget-me-nots as well because the evening primose isn’t coming in as well as I like.  Hopefully it will help to fill in the gaps and the purple and yellow together should be really striking!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My first smartphone and my first "real" garden!

I'm very excited to have my first smartphone. In the past, it was mandatory to have a data plan in order to have a smartphone, at least in my previous province.  I wasn't paying nearly twice as much per month for that, no thank you.  But with the renewal of my contract with Telus (plug here:  Telus has always given me excellent service) I was happy to sign up for the free smartphone with no data plan.  With Wi-fi at home and Tim's and McD's, I'm rocking my smartphone.  And hopefully it will make it easier for me to blog more often.

On to my garden. I've dabbled with gardening for a few years but just had a flower little patch and a few pots.  In our new home we have garden beds already made and a few perennials growing.  I've been obsessed with gardening this past week weeding, digging, dumping fresh soil, raking and seeding.  I've made a vegetable patch in the backyard and put in lots of flowers out front.  Here are a few pics of the "fruits" of my labor.

This is the vegetable garden to the left with spinach, and peas at the top, and carrot, lettuce and squash interspersed with garlic.

his is the vegetable garden to the left with spinach, and peas at the top, and carrot, lettuce and squash interspersed with garlic.















To the right you’ll see the beginnings of lettuce with the taller garlic at the top.  I will clip the leaves of the garlic soon to allow the plant to concentrate on the bulb.




This is a little squash peeking through.



This is essentially the flower garden that came with the house except for a few changes such as the hosta on the right that we transplanted from the backyard.  I’ve planted white and colored zinnias, some pink flowers my Nan gave me (she doesn’t know the name of them but says they are beautiful), snapdragons, marigolds my Nan gave me, evening primrose, and cosmos.  I know a lot!  I hope it turns out as nice as I plan.





A few little zinnias are all that’s up yet.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Get in there!

My oldest daughter needed a picture of her and I together for her… shhh Mother’s Day craft :).  I was sad to find there was only one poorly taken picture of us together since she was a baby.  In fact, all the pictures I found of myself and my kids were just that, pictures of when they were babies and I was carrying them in my arms.  Now that “my baby” is two, and I’ve been made aware of this, I’m gonna make sure that I not only take pictures of my kids but that I am in some of them, with them.  So make sure you get in there, and don’t miss an opportunity to capture those precious moments.  We all know we were there but it would be nice to be seen there sometimes too!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What He’s saying…


“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you …”  Jeremiah  29:13, 14

Friday, February 1, 2013

Goings Ons

Where I’m from there are a couple of different “definitions” so to speak of “going on”…  Below, I will tell you about the recent goings ons in my family.  There’s the “It was some goin’ on over there last night” meaning something unusual or exciting has happened and depending on the tone of voice it could be a scandalous event or if said in a jovial tone, might mean that everyone had a pretty good time.  There could also be “What a goin’ on I had…” (not a question) which is usually describing some difficult or unnecessarily complicated situation that had occurred.  This too could be a negative thing or said in a jovial tone would imply that “it was hard but I had alot of fun trying to fix the situation.”  Anyway, this is not the point of this blog, I just thought about it as I was writing the title.  I’m here to tell you about the goings ons in my life.

We made a BIG move in July which I don’t think I’ve mentioned here.  My husband has a new job which he LOOOVES!  He’s away quite a bit for his job so I’m often home alone with the little ones but I don’t really find it any worse than he worked shift work.  I like that many days he’s home by 3 to pick the kids up from school!  And he’s way more relaxed than he was at his old job.

Of course we have a new home.  A much bigger new home.  In our old home all 6 of us were sharing a 3 bedroom bungalow so our new 2-story, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house is much more comfortable.  The babies are still sharing a room but it’s a really big one and I think they sleep better together.  My 3-year-old was used to sharing a room with her big sister and on the rare nights that my baby won’t go to sleep right away, I take her out of the room and the 3-year-old won’t go to sleep alone.  I like to think of it as a nursery although my baby will be 2 in a few weeks.  And is she ever clinging to baby-hood!  Didn’t stand until 10 months, didn’t walk until 17 months and is taking her time with talking.  Why bother when saying “Mommy” and pointing to what she wants works just fine?  I give her too little credit; in the past few weeks especially she is saying plenty of new words.

My two older ones are settled into school pretty well.  It was a huge surprise to me that my 6-year-old had such a hard time adjusting to the move.  I guess it shouldn’t have been but I never moved as a child so I didn’t really know what to expect.  My easy-going boy had no obvious problems but my little girl is only just now not having weekly outbursts blaming all her problems on the fact that we moved (problems she would have had in our old town as well but that’s 6-year-old logic for ya).  Next week I have to register my 3-year-old for the junior kindergarten program that is here.  I would love to keep her home with me for next year but I don’t want her to be lagging behind her peers.  I think my 1st-grader’s teacher expects a little more out of her than she should considering her peers have a full year more of schooling than she does.

I really like the area we are in.  It can be busy but it still has elements of small-town charm.  I love that fastfood, Wal-Mart and grocery stores are 5 minutes away depending on traffic.  The downtown park is beautiful and it turns into a meandering skating trail in the winter-so cool.  I’m so blessed that we live 5 minutes from my aunt and my Nan.  My aunt has been here for over 30 years and she’s never had family live near her (besides my nan who moved in with her 6 years ago) so she’s very happy we are here.  I don’t get over there as much as I would like but between hustling the kids around and renovating our kitchen, it’s been pretty busy.  Cross my fingers the kitchen will be completely finished by tomorrow.  I’ll post pics of the whole process soon.  Then we have to start on our basement.  Oh did I mention we got this house really cheaply but it needs some upgrading.  We are gonna finish the basement into a functioning laundry room, play-room, and media room (read Man-Cave).  Nah seriously I am so happy about the media room.  My husband has been talking for years about a cool room to set up our seldomly used projector and having a place to show case all his memorabilia.  He’s just a little bit of collector!  A friend recently said that she’s never felt her current house of 3 years was home like her old house.  I feel the opposite.  I feel more at home here at 6 months than I did in my older home of 7 years.  I think it’s because with our growing family I was never comfortable there.

I think that is about it.  At least that’s it for now.  I have to get to bed.  Blessings to you all and thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ezekiel’s Bread

The week I left to go to my home province for Christmas break I was grocery shopping at Fortino’s and as I was walking by the frozen food section I noticed the word Ezekiel.  I was100_3165 delighted to find a bread that is based on a recipe from the Bible in Ezekiel 4:9:  “Take also unto yourself wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make yourself bread of it…”.

It’s made in California by a company called Food for Life which I thought explained why they freeze it to keep it fresh until it arrives to the consumer.  It’s made with each of the above organic sprouted grains, lentils and soybeans and has no flour.  Don’t ask me what sprouted grains are all about because I have no idea.  They make a plain bread specific to the recipe but I thought I would try the added cinnamon and raisin type.  It actually tastes really good for a multigrain bread.

When I came home last week after a month long holiday I was surprised to see a half loaf of Ezekiel bread still up in the cupboard just like I had absentmindedly left it.  At the time I thought that my husband must have bought another loaf (he came home two weeks earlier than me and the kids) or maybe that I hadn’t been so absentminded after all and had put it in the freezer and he had recently taken it out.  Today as I was putting away the mother-load of groceries the hubby picked up at Costco, I again noticed the loaf of Ezekiel bread and asked him about it.  He said that he hadn’t put it there.  As I continued to clean out the cupboard I found another slice of bread that I had made from last month rolled up in a bag and as you would expect it was completely covered in mold  (blech I could barely open the bag)100_3166


I don’t know if it’s the special combination of these amazing grains or the fact that they are sprouted or the technique the bakers use (supposedly preservative free) but not only is it completely mold-free, it’s actually kinda soft and fresh in the middle.  It feels like bread you may have left out on the counter for a couple of hours, hardly dry at all.  Anyways, the remainder of Ezekiel 4:9 says: “and make yourself bread of it, according to the number of the days that you shall lie upon your side, three hundred and ninety days shall you eat of it.”  So maybe it is a special bread and it still has a life shelf of 360 days!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013