My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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Life is so wonderful .. soaring the blue skies, practising the fiddle and discovering that there is a National Two Different Coloured Shoes Day!!! Yippee

Magnificent skies up at Port Alberni last weekend  …on Sunday, the day started off like this .. clouds obscured the Beauforts and then they started to clear away ..July 20, 20

and the clouds lifted .. and lifted … to reveal the mountain range ..I love this happening …

July 20, 21

So, DH says, want to go for a flight?  He knows that he doesn’t have to ask me twice, so I quickly (and oh so carefully) scramble into the back of the PWU-6, being uber careful to only put my feet where there are supposed to go.  I settle in while my harness is connected and soon we are up in the skies where I love to be.July 20, 23

So much fun to be up in the sky .. closer to the clouds as they are slowly rising up from the mountains.  I am one lucky gal, I know!July 20, 22

sigh … I am so HAPPY …July 20, 25

Entering the final glide to the landing strip .. wah .. I want to stay up there, but no thermals up there, save for the tantalizing resident thermal that always pops up on the final glide .. oh you are such a tease, you are!July 20, 24

Flight over and DH continues with his aviation life and I settle in to pursue my loves .. one of which is the fiddle, relaxing here with some of my favourite hats!

July 20, 06

Besides my incredible learning lessons with my fiddle teacher, I have also purchased these books to further my knowledge ..

July 20, 07

I’ve also begun teaching myself the harmonica .. and my pal D has generously given me the “Chromonica” German made harmonica that was her dad’s!!!  So that is part of my musical education that I pursue.  A week ago, the #1 Blues Harmonica player was in Port, but alas I wasn’t able to go to the show.  What are the odds, though, that there would be such an entertainer up there.  Bittersweet that I wasn’t able to go but there will be other times I know.  Love the Blues.

Someone was practicing their chainsaw technique and wouldn’t this look fantastic in a garden!!!!!

July 20, 05Another one .. beautiful!!   I did  take some little wedge sections for my garden .. couldn’t resist doing that.July 20, 04On the way home, little baby girl was so sleepy .. and worn out from pacing back and forth in the car, she finally succumbed to dreamland.  Love her so much.July 20, 09

Back home .. admiring this most delicately flowered plant that I bought, it’s an Australian plant and I need to look up the name .. tiniest little flowers so very pretty.July 20, 13And the great scape escape.  I had a feeling, while I was hanging bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck, that I may have missed a scape or two.  Proof here that I did!!   I could plant the seeds and in a number of years of replanting, I might receive a regular garlic.  Might just do that for the fun of it … but will need to clearly label the container!!July 20, 11

I now know that Clematis vines are not delicate little things.  Discovered this last year when I had to cut back this very vine, as it was getting mildew.  After a hard cutting, it flourished and quickly grew back, the daily growth progress was amazing.  Here the flowers are opening up and tumbling to the ground.  Nature’s beauty is the best.I July 20, 12

I normally do not spend a lot of money on shoes or clothing, preferring to buy plants and gardening things.  However, a few days ago, while out shopping, I stopped in to visit SoftMoc at the Hillside shopping centre.  The staff there are always so positive and friendly and I soon found myself trying on some Converse shoes.  And I fell in love with them.  The lovely clerk who was helping me out was wearing a lovely pair of naturally weathered black Converse shoes and I immediately loved the faded look.  They seemed to be shoes that were well made and worn with love.  I look forward to my shoes becoming weathered little walking shoes.   Anyway, after enquiring if anyone had ever worn two different coloured shoes and no, that hadn’t been done, I decided (with the encouragement of the clerks and a few customers) to wear a green and a lavender.   Confidentally I walked out of the store and everytime I looked at my feet, I felt energized, daring and creative.  This is what it is like to be different and I like that feeling!  I sent a photo to the Canadian arm of the company and I wonder how long it will take for others to wear odd coloured shoes (of the same type, mind you!) together?

July 20, 10

Well, I just did a bit of research, and as creative as this is, it isn’t new!  However, I am over the moon to know that I am not alone in this!!!      two different coloured shoes

ha ha .. .well … on with this day .. things to do and places to go .. at the end of my running around, I plan to play in the garden!  And tomorrow .. I will spend the whole complete day in the garden and not go anywhere else.  Sheer Bliss!!

And lots of Yorkshire Tea!!

🙂


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Surprises and Magic in the garden .. what a fun place to be – all beneath beautiful blue skies ..happy is me!

Tis the season of blue skies and rainy days here.  Like .. yesterday!  The sun was shining brilliantly  in the morning.  I dutifully practiced my singing exercises, followed by my fiddle session.  These are easy to set aside for a later time in the day but I find that, when I do that, procrastination takes over, big time.  So .. I just focus on these 2 lovely sessions.

april 18, 12

When I did finally go outside, a slight rain had occurred and again .. there were blue skies overhead!

So my darling little Lady JaneE came outside with me.  She is my gardening cat.   Born in ’96, the year of the “big snow” here in Victoria, she literally rules the roost in our house.  We love her so much.  Anyway, she is waiting for some treats which I place on the steps beside her.  One of our gardening rituals.april 18, 08 (2)Sipping my mug of Yorkshire tea, I wander around the yard a bit .. this also is a ritual that I follow.  To see all the changes that Spring has brought to the garden.   And enjoy the sweet little songbirds.  Here is a little Golden Crowned Sparrow.. I love their songs and find them very comforting. april 18, 09

The Spotted Towhee .. another lovely bird, very shy but bold in colour.  They have a wide range of sound and sometimes they sound (to me) like the Bewick Wren!   april 18, 05

Sweet little Red-breasted Nuthatch … zooming in for some suet!   The trees in our yard are tall and provide nesting areas for many of the birds that visit our yard.   april 18, 04

The tall Oregon grape is flowering nicely .. cheerful yellow flowers brighten up a bit of the yard.   The leaves on the fruit trees are starting to grow and fill out.   Soon they will be accepted as a normal part of the trees but during this growth period after the winter, they are marvellous bits of magic manifesting in the yard.  I like that.

april 18, 07

Tiny little pink flowers on this perennial which I am pretty sure is an Escallonia …  april 18, 08

Flowers of a fruit tree.  I potted this up last summer, and am not sure if it is plum or cherry.   Guess I’ll find out this year!  More of the magic & a surprise to unfold.  Love the mystery.april 18, 06

I discovered this idea, to cut up (organic) seed potatoes, from a great youtube video of allotment gardening   This guy is just amazing!  Anyway, I have potted these up now and am waiting to see if they will grow and then I’ll plant them.  I have a few ideas as to how I will do that and will post when that is done!    A nice surprise for me last week .. was discovering 2 sprouting garlics!  Last summer I had tied up bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck and these 2 must have fallen down! april 18, 01

I’ll pot these up in containers and look forward to harvesting them at the end of summer!  They are hardnecks, so more scapes for pesto!  Yumm april 18, 02

Last week I visited Russel Nursery in North Saanich, what a wonderful place for a gardener to be!  I was there at least 3 hours, which seemed like 5 minutes.  Everyone there is so knowledgeable and helpful.  This is one of a few wooden structures there that I totally fell in love with.  So much character and beauty.  A portal to the plant world.

april 18, 03

Another sky photo.  Such beauty for us to see.  april 18, 11

Hey, hey, hey!  Have I found the perfect gardening tea mug?????  Yes!   And yesterday I filled it with lovely Yorkshire tea and sat on the front steps to drink it and enjoy the greenery around me.   This lovely hypertufa mini-garden is the perfect place for it to be.

Many, many, years ago, I purchased all the ingredients to make one of these and life just became too hectic for me to accomplish this!   So I bought this one ready-made and love it so much.  Perhaps I will try again, this motivates me to think about that.

april 18, 10

This day is starting out in a gentle fashion.   Cloudy skies, sporadic rain showers.  Birds singing in the yard.

Time to get on with things,  Practicing my two passions.   The fiddle and the singing.  And then on to other things .. like the garden which is calling out to me.

🙂


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Oh I Wonder Where the Bewick Wrens Will Build Their New Nest? And .. Loving the Spring Flowers in the Garden!! Also, Speaking With a Friend is Very Helpful At Times, Don’t You Think???

The darling little Bewick Wrens .. their beautiful nest has been blown out of the hangglider bag twice already … so now they are building another nest somewhere in the yard.

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Last week I walked down to the Compost Center for a workshop .. loved the long walk and enjoyed the blossoms along the way .. here they are on Blanshard Street.  Spring is definitely here.

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And I’d just finished crossing at the lights, passed this and had to walk back and take a photo ..love these graphics!

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Back at home .. wandering around the yard, re-discovering some beautiful plants that I’d purchased last fall .. I’d always wanted a Hellebore and had forgotten this one!   Darling little plant .. I will put this one in a colourful pottery container!

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Muscari flowers .. tiny little bulbs that I’d placed in some pots last year .. flowering away like mad.  Diminutive but powerful in their graceful beauty.

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And the Salmonberry plants are bursting forth in bud and flower!

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Another of the many things that I love in this life .. is imagining that tiny little beings, faeries, dwell in the garden.  If this were so, then these Salmonberry flowers would be perfect for them to use as tiny hats, don’t you think?  Imagination is a fun thing.

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Lovely blue skies with dreamy white clouds gently painted over.  We’ve had some massive skies recently .. gigantic cloud streets of enormous white cumulus entities soaring overhead.  This photo isn’t from one of those days.   I could only look at those skies .. my camera lens isn’t big enough to do justice to those skies.    These I can handle!  🙂P1320071

Tenacity of growing things!  These little plants rested all winter and now are growing up through the burlap-lined pathways in the veggie patch!  The burlap will disintegrate and I have more to place on top of them for this year.

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The rose bush at the side of the house is sporting new growth .. this is a tenacious and lovely rose!

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I’ve been a bit reluctant to get back into my gardening – spending time on practicing my fiddle – it has become my new focus, temporarily replacing my love of gardening, beading, sewing, drumming!   After all .. there are only so many hours in the day.

Time passes so quickly .. I looked at my little music notebook recently .. I’d begun taking lessons in 1996!    Then my violin stayed hidden in its case for many years until I dusted it off last July and began again with a new teacher!

And I’ve been changing a few things about my violin accoutrements.. but more on that tomorrow.

Today I am happy because:

  • procrastination overcome and I’ve blogged again!
  • I’ve just spent a huge chunk of time talking with a friend about priorities so have set some for myself.  It’s a good exercise and I feel energized already.   Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, when things are weighing a bit on your mind and you could really use a friend to talk it over .. that friend appears in your life?
  • Because of this I’ve decided to “step back” a bit and spend more time on what really fills me with joy.  And tomorrow I will blog about that!
  • It is still Saturday morning and I’ve realized that Camosun College is hosting a plant sale at Royal Rhodes so why am I still in my jammies and not in my jeans, in the car, racing to the plant sale?  Just give me 5 minutes and I’m on my happy little way!
  • and finally .. I am happy .. just because  (cause ya don’t really need a reason!)

🙂


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It snowed last night! And the angst of memorizing music!!!

Happy New Year 2017!   Looked out the window today .. it snowed last night!!  Brrrr …

Then I look out at the back yard and see some birds are pecking away at the thistle seed and the bits of suet remaining in their containers.

The darned squirrel(s) have been feasting on the sunflower seeds that I place in the new wooden open feeder .. I plan to purchase a squirrel baffle this week to stop that practice!

Speaking of practice .. I’ve pondered which spelling to use, just searched and found this explanation:  “practice is the noun, and practise is the verb” .. ok, that makes sense.

I’ve been practising my fiddle music and have been hitting a few hurdles.   Searching online I find many theories as to why this happens.  And in my lesson yesterday, I played the beginning section of a song quite well (according to my teacher) and then I floundered for the second half.

The reason?  Well, he was right when he noticed that my 2nd and 3rd fingers were over the A, and my inner critic was saying .. 3rd, no, 2nd, no, 3rd and it all went downhill from there.

Frustation, yes.  Overcome this?  Yes.   And the satisfaction that I will feel when this happens?  Great joy and incentive to learn more.

So now is the time to practice, practice and practice some more .. and this I will do.  The more I practice, the more enjoyable the music is to me.  The songs begin to seem like friends to me, the kind I’d like to know better.

Here .. I’ll share a photo from many years ago .. my pen pal in France sent this to me yesterday.   What a gift.  I used to take my Muscovy Drake, Huggers, my dogs and cat .. to the SPCA Santa photos.  I was thinking about one of these photos and wasn’t sure where to start looking and decided to put this off for one of those thousands of “to do” things in the New Year.

Well .. the photo that he sent gave me such joy .. I’d forgotten how sweet my pets were.  JaneE Kat is still with us, although my Huggers and Muffy had since made their way to the Rainbow Bridge where they frolic with Sam, Sadie and Little Guy.

I loved dressing Huggers up with my red and silver Egyptian scarf, edged with silver bugle beads … he looked quite handsome.  Plus the generous bows that I made for Muffy and JaneE .. very festive.

hugs-muffyjanee-my-violin-and-me-with-santa

How many years ago?  Does it matter?  I was younger and thinner (weren’t we all) and I used to be a bit more stylish in my dress.  There is that inner critic!  Begone you!   Happy memories and I am grateful for these.   And my little violin is there .. happy now that I am really learning how to play it finally!!

If you are reading this, Thierry, thank you .. so much!

Anyway, yesterday at my lesson, I was learning the finer points of bow placement, music timing and feel that I’m making hard won progress, yea!

So we are just getting over really bad winter colds so we are into day 2 of Pyjama Day and binge watching Funny TV shows .. right now it is Fawlty Towers.  It is good to laugh.

Anyway, I must put on my winter outerclothes and go outside to fill up the birdfeeders and put fresh water into the bird baths.

Then .. I plan to brew another mug of Yorkshire Tea and practice for a bit .. the first in the New Year.

🙂


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Walking along Dallas Road on a windy day.

Yesterday I joined some friends for a lively walk around the Ogden Point area – lovely to be outside now that the snow has completely disappeared!  It was a bit of a windy day and the ocean was just rolling in waves, tossing huge logs around with such ease – nice to watch safely from above! dec08Walking along one section of the gravelly beach areas, more logs have been tossed into a pile.  Magnificent to see the waves splashing up and over any barriers in their way.  Can’t stop the power of a wave.dec13There are a number of stairways leading to the beach areas.  The wooden steps were a tad slippery, so it was good to have sturdy rails to hang onto, to catch one’s step. dec02After a cloudy start to the morning, the skies soon cleared and there was beautiful sky art overhead to brighten up our little world.  Seagulls happily flying overhead.  Watching their side-slips and swift turns made me long for the summer and high flights in the glider.  Just a few more months and then that will  happen, oh great joy! dec06Yummy .. yummy … kelp!  Good for forming baskets (keep them out of the rain, haha) or chopping up for the garden.  My pal D and I will go seeking seaweed in the new year.  Lovely for the garden!!  Adding zillions of minerals to the soil. dec-03A couple of seagulls taking a bit of a rest between flights.   Checking out the weather conditions and where is Charlie anyway?  He promised to join us here!  Lots of logs making their way to the beach area.dec-05Another set of stairs, the wood looking lovely and weathered by the salty air.dec01

More people walking along Dallas Road, enjoying the beauty and power of the wind and waves.  Snow covered hills in the background and there, to the left, is the beautiful walkway with (thank heavens) wire railings on both sides.  A safety net for those (like me) who are appreciative of such guides in open spaces! dec07

A closer view and lovely paintings all along the sides to add beauty to the surface of the cement walls.dec09

There were a few Cormorants in the waters – such beautiful birds, I quickly snapped a photo before this one dove down into the cold waters.dec10

A closer view of the wire “walls” or “fencing” that gives us the feeling of safety against the open vista of water.  Now I don’t feel as if I’ll tumble over the sides.  In the past I have encountered people, nervous like myself, as we gingerly passed each other on the walkway.   I didn’t notice any nervous people .. .everyone walked along confidently, happy in their walks.  Smiling as we passed each other.  Felt good.dec12

As we neared the end of the walk, I noticed this gull.  Perhaps this was Charlie and he forgot the rendezvous location and was seeking his two pals?  I wonder. dec11

So, a lovely hour and a half in the fresh air .. what a lovely experience after having had a miserable cold/flu!

And the days are starting to be longer!   Soon I will be outside in my garden.  Tidying up .. as I never did finish doing that in the fall.

I even left all the bean poles up – more places for the birds to perch and hide when necessary.

My garlic has been growing greens (photos tomorrow) due to the warm fall weather.  Some of the greens look pale and weather-beaten I hope that this doesn’t affect the quality of the cloves.

Every year I think that I haven’t planted enough garlic.  You know, lots for home, lots for friends and the largest cloves for planting.  Oh how I long for more property so I can start planting much more garlic.  Soon I hope.

Anyway, about 13 large containers with at least 10 (or more) cloves planted in October.  Instead of planting the various ‘stans of garlic purchased from Richters (love them!) I just planted Elephant (leek family, but, oh my, my Elephant “garlic” is very garlicky!)     And a ‘stan (I think Kazakhstan, from Richters many years ago).  These grow very well for me and the cloves are super easy to pull apart.

Dreaming of the upcoming days when I can be outside, watching the birds, loving the sky art above and perhaps doing some work .. I will enjoy, for now, the luxury of being inside.  Playing and creating with my millions of beads.  Practicing my fiddle.  More decluttering (does it ever end!)

Looking forward to my clogging, practicing dumbeq with a friend, beginning my study of the German language (something I’d started years before).

I find myself delving into interests that I had for so many years … activities put aside on the shelf till a later date.    And the happiness that I feel in doing so just fills me with such joy and satisfaction, that money just can’t buy!

🙂


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It seems to be that time of the year again .. revisiting uncluttering & getting rid of things.

A few years ago I gathered up a great supply of garden items no longer needed and in the process met an energized fellow gardener!  She was happy to collect the items for her gardening business and we spent a happy few hours talking about gardening in general.

At the end of our conversation I mentioned that it was a good time for me to get rid of things no longer needed at which point she said that she is in the space of accumulating things.

Of course, this led me to thinking of the various times that I’d become interested in various hobbies to such an extent that I searched out items pertinent to each interest and the accumulations began!

Sewing .. oh the fabrics I bought!  And although I created many fun items, including draperies, I stockpiled lovely things which I’ve since given away.

I love reading, particularly mysteries and stock up on these at the annual Friends of the Library book sale.  This is a safe hobby, as I donate books, once they are read, to the blue box reading program.  Whew.

Another hobby was making beautiful glass garden totems and so a few years ago I sought out lovely glass items and began making many of these which sold quite well the first year.  Now this hobby no longer interests me and I’ve donated most of my supply to thrift stores.

An ongoing hobby for many years has been gathering a wide variety of beads .. not rare and costly types, just beads which sparkle with many colours!  I’ve made a variety of items with these, garden bling, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, many things.  I used my earnings from sales to pay for my fiddle lessons!   Time to get productive again????

Now I’m wondering if I should continue with this hobby or just package everything up and get rid of it.  But .. the big but .. as I go through my supplies, looking at the vast assortment of tools, findings and beads .. I start to have second thoughts.

So I went searching online for some advice on giving up beading and did find a good blog:

https://unclutterer.com/2008/04/04/saying-farewell-to-a-hobby/

And then I look at some sites that I marked as favourites and thus I know I am hooked on beading and cannot give this up right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-MHCsHUoSI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPifdgbVxAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0be3CH9xdp0

using peyote stitch;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chsbdSIB3T0

peyote and hematite:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pepp-zbklOQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt8PQkRN6hI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS1l41t_W8I

good explanation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7bdJg172X4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gOEYQI0REM

good video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQeaxnPR8Kg

viking knit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvQmDZ89rfg

viking knit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOcTXqBul-g

Beaducation, good, wire weave:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cS_z_tem-I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiNOJGH7

MGs

So I guess I have answered my own question and will keep on beading – for now, anyway.

It is an overcast fall day here in Victoria (I don’t think that winter has officially started yet).

Right now I will take a break from uncluttering and go outside to fill up the bird feeders for my little feathered friends.

I am kind of proud of myself for what I’ve done this week!  3 huge bags of gardening books to donate to 2017 Seedy Saturday!  So now I am down to just one shelf of treasured gardening books and I hope other aspiring gardeners will love the books I’m donating.

Plus, I have gathered a lot of miscellaneous items no longer needed and these will fill my car next week as I take them to a thrift shop.  Slowly creating lots of lovely space in my craft rooms.

Feels good to just dance my fingers across the keyboard and see my thoughts fill the page.  Cathartic and just feels good to do so.   In my declutterings I have found a few short stories that I’d written over the years and they still kind of resonate with me so perhaps I will revive that little hobby.  It doesn’t take much space at all and is very creative and freeing!

🙂