Wednesday, 10 July 2013

If you squint you can see it...

 

...it's tiny but it's my first...
 

...I've tried growing them before with no success,  this is my first artichoke.  June was a bit cool, but with the fantastic weather we've had in the past couple of weeks, the garden has exploded...
 
 
...the yellow zucchini...
 
 
...peas...
 
 
...and sweet corn have all taken off.
 
 

...puppy keeping cool.
 


 



 
 
 

 

 
 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Summer



Summer has arrived...


 
...finally after what seemed like a month of cool and rainy weather...
 
 
...summer has arrived...
 

and the temperature hit the mid thirties in Langley today.  The shady trails didn't seem much cooler so Nellie and my run was more like a walk today... 
 
 
 
 
... I plan to spend the rest of day in the shade with a good book and cold beverage or two.  I hope you are enjoying the weekend.  Happy Canada Day.  
 
 


Saturday, 8 June 2013

A Perfect Day...


...sometimes the most unplanned days can turn out to be perfect.  Today was one of them.  We woke early to a warm, sunny day and took our horses to the park for a ride before it got too hot.

We are lucky enough to live in south Langley where there are beautiful parks and countryside on our doorstep...

My horse Bud on the trails
 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Puppy anyone...


...today for the first time in weeks, the sun came out...


 
 
...I was finally able to trade in the wellies for sneakers and  shorts.  I have to admit I have not spent very much time in the garden in the last couple of rainy cold weeks, so today I went out to catch up on weeding and maintenance...

Friday, 31 May 2013

The "Klutz" Gene...


...My mother's side of the family all have it and I certainly inherited it.  Each morning the first thing I do when I get out of bed is go to the barn and feed the horses...


 
 
...in my pyjamas.  Winter or summer.  The weather right now is cold and rainy so this morning I was wearing my boots... 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Potato Experiment


 
Every year I experiment with something new in my veggie garden with varying degrees of success.  This year it was my potato patch.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Snapped from the Bird Blind...


 
 
 
...okay so it's not really a bird blind (or hide) but rather the dilapidated hot tub gazebo we inherited with the house...
 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A new kitchen table...



...our kitchen lacks storage and we have limited counter space...

Thursday, 21 March 2013

It's Spring...


...so my sister and I went on a spring mini-break to her husband's family cabin on an island they own off the coast of West Vancouver...



 
...this cabin was built by his great great uncle at the turn of the last century and was added onto by his grandfather...
 

...it's amazing this was all built by hand...


...so relaxing...no electricity no phones...

                                           Nellie enjoying the view

...100 years of history.  All these signs, afixed to the woodshed, washed up on the shore on the island...



...parts of the island are quite rocky and steep.  My sister using a rope to decend one of the paths...
 

...you'll guess by her clothing that the weather was not spring-like.  A storm blew in and it was very windy and sleety...

 
...Nellie didn't move from the kitchen fire...


 
 
...but it was still an amazing spring break with my sister.
 




 





 


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Home made dog biscuits

 
 
We love our three pooches.  We spoil our animals, all of our animals including our 3 horses. Friends gave us this sign which pretty much says it all...
 
 
 
In early September we lost our 7 year old boy, Tiberius, to cancer.  During his illness I started to research dog diets and food and I was perturbed to learn in Canada there are no governmental regulations pertaining to dog food manufacturing.  The manufacturers do not have to list ingredients on their products. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/consumers/pet-food-law.html.
 
Tiberius
 
 
So I decided to make my own doggie treats.  I've experimented with lots of ingredients and found the one that has the best texture and stores well is liver.
 
 
The Recipe (I use the word recipe loosely):
 
 
Put raw chicken or beef liver into a food processer...
 
 
 
...and puree.  Add a little water,an egg and blend...
 
 
 
 
Pour the liver into a mixer, add flour, a tsp of baking powder, and mix.  Hubbie complains of the smell when these are baking so I put a couple of tbsp of herbs de provence to mask the cooking odor...
 

 
 
Add flour until it's the consistency of cake batter then pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet...
 
 
 
...spread it evenly and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes...
 

It's easier to cut when the dough is still warm, use a pizza cutter to slice it into lenghts...

 
 
...throw the treats back into a low oven, about 200, and bake for another 15 minutes to dry them out.  Treats must be kept in the fridge, I make a large batch and freeze half.
 

 

Your dogs will love them.
 

 

 


 


 
 

 
 
 



Sunday, 10 March 2013

Hubbie's Project, Antique Cart Wheels

 


My husband found these amazing 19th century shipping cart wheels. 

 
 
They were reclaimed from a building that was being demolished in the historic Gastown site of Vancouver.  They were in a cellar that was thought to have collapsed in the 1886 Gastown fire.
 
 
It took a lot of work to buff off the layers of rust...
 
 

 
 
...but they came out looking amazing.
 
 
Aren't they fabulous?
 

These boards, that still have old forged square nails attached, were reclaimed from an old barn in Alberta and will be used to make a cart coffee table.  I can't wait until hubby finished this project.
 

 

 


Saturday, 23 February 2013

In the greenhouse today...


 
 
... a couple of weeks ago I started some seeds indoors and today I took them out to the greenhouse to transplant them.
 
 
 
 
The artichokes and...
 
 
...the leggy leeks.  I've always sown my leeks directly in the ground and the results have not been consistant; last year we had a cold wet spring and my leeks didn t amount to much.  I inherited my love of gardening from my grandfather and I remembered he started his leeks indoors (much to to the protests of my grandmother) then transplanted them out.  I was quite young when we left Scotland so my memory of his gardening tips are somewhat faded.  I do believe he dipped the seedlings in water  before transplanting...
 
 
 
 
 ...the theory is this minimizes the soil that gets trapped inside the leeks.
 
 
 
 Next I poked a small opening in the soil, put in the leek...
 
 
...then poured water in the hole instead of pushing the dirt into the leek.  We'll see if this method makes a difference (to be honest, after a while I became cold and bored so only half my leeks were transplanted like this).  The seedlings are now in the polytunnel under some growing fabric waiting for spring.


 


 



Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A Day in the Garden


 
 
Today was an unexpectantly warm day and as I wandered around the garden I found the first signs that spring is just around the corner.
 
 
 
A couple of weeks ago I started some seeds indoors.  I planted artichokes, leeks, and a couple of different onions.  I have never started onions from seed but I'm hopeful it will all work out; to be honest I have never really had great luck with my onion crops.  If the weather remains mild I might soon be able to put them seedlings in the greenhouse.

 
 And ofcourse Nellie (Nervous Nellie is our rescue dog)  had to get right into the action.
 
 
 
This is the first time I've ventured into the polly tunnel since I dumped some gardening stuff in it last fall. Time to tidy it up for spring.
 
 
Always willing to help, 4 month old Titus was right in the middle of all the action. 
 
 
 
Do not be fooled by the angelic puppy face.  If you look closely you will see the dirt on his nose.  And sure enough when I investigated I found that he was helping me harvest my garlic, unfortunately quite a few months ahead of time.
 
 
A quick make shift fence should keep him out of the garlic bed for now.  Sigh, puppies are not as adorable as one would think.
 
 
 
Back in the polly tunnel...I added some organic composted manure,  curtesy of our three horses, and sewed some raddishes, spinaches, arrugula and lettuce.  Fingers crossed we will be eating our veg in early spring.  And after a hard days work in the garden, what is better that a few minutes sitting in the rare sunshine...
 
 
with a cuppa and a trashy book.  And yes that is a bottle of nail polish, time to do the toe nails, although it will be several months yet before summer sandals.