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 …

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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!

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

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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?

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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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A Few More Pics of the Mineral & Gem Show & Back to the Garden!

So here are the rest of the pics I took on Friday, at the 2nd Annual Victoria Gem & Mineral show at the Pearkes Arena .. when the light shines through this, it is stunning!

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Who knew there was such a diversity of quartz …

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I could have asked how these were shaped – but that would have taken the mystery away.  The skull to the left of the pink quartz was intriguing.

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Purple Haze (reminds me of the Purple Haze lavender farm at Sequim!  I was all set to go there but my passport had expired .. wah .. )302

For some reason, this made me hungry!  It just seemed to be so edible, like a slice of bread or a cookie.

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Lots of love and  $$$$$  tied up in minerals …

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Now these really caught my eye .. at first I thought that these were sculpted metal .. .however, they are created with varying gauges of fine silver and gold wires.  So very beautiful .. I tried to take some closeup photos of several “works in progress” but couldn’t get clear views with my camera.  This young artist is fabulous .. I couldn’t find a web site for Drala Designs … but there is an e-mail if you would like to contact him:  icjakobll@gmail.com  .  Since I’m always curious and always seeking knowledge, I searched for the meaning of “Drala” :  A Tibetan word, “drala” means “without aggression”. When you invoke drala, you begin to experience basic goodness reflected everywhere – in yourself, in others, and in the entire world.

Here is one pic that is clear .. showing some wire in progress.

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Such beauty ..

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Bamboo, Bead & Bling …love that store.  Amazing free jewellery classes: http://www.bamboobeadsandbling.com/

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I’m not into gold but if I was, here is a bargain! 311

Sigh .. and it is back to the garden .. to watch  my beans growing.  These are Spanish Musica – delicious and a “bazillion” beans on each plant.  I plan to just keep serving these up and not freezing them this year!  (well, maybe a few!)

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It’s been a bumper crop of fruit in Victoria .. we have 3 different apple trees and I’ve been freezing chunks of apple (washed, put briefly in a sea salt water mix) spread on parchment paper on a tray in the freezer and then bagging them for tossing in a roast in the winter.  And lots of applesauce, yum, yum!!

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Bzzzzeeeee ….I will look at this photo in the winter and dream of these happy summer days in the garden.

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My s-i-l gave me this Irish dirt years ago and I must use it in a pot .. one of these days .. there was a packet of seeds somewhere .. .I’ll have to have a search for it.   Anyway, just another gardening moment .. Sometimes I have to just stop and look at what I’ve been doing … getting lost in the rhythm that is creativity ..

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My darling little JaneE Kat .. she will be 21 in December!  Little Garden Kat …

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Yesterday was quite a windy day …really strong gusts continuously . . a sky shot to say “salut”

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The joy and magic of a garden is so fun .. it seems that one day I’m planting a seed and just a short time later, as in my lovely beans .. there are 8 foot plus vines growing up to the sky and I’m surrounded by the vital energy that surrounds them.

Speaking of energy, a few years ago I heard about music for plants .. how it helps them grow.  I believe this and think my music (that I always play) in the garden affects everything that grows.   A good subject for tomorrow!

🙂

 

 


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What I have seen in the garden during the past few days!!

The birds are used to the new feeders!  Actually this was sold in a gardening center for placing air ferns inside.  I immediately saw “birdfeeder” and bought about 5 or 6!   One of my many dreams coming true .. seeing the little Chickadee perched there.  Dreams can be about absolutely anything .. I love dreaming and have joy in seeing them come true!

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And then I saw this darling little Anna … busily chatting away to another Anna in a nearby tree.

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 Another opportunity to play with my new Camera .. learning as I go, what the best settings are.  I’ll study the “how to” manual on a rainy day. For now I will just take lots of photos …

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These tiny birds are so lovely to watch .. but they are tough little birds.  My cat once caught one, many years ago.  I’d heard an unusual sound from the yard and on investigation, found a tiny Anna that she had somehow brought to the ground.  Carefully I picked up the stunned little bird, surprised at the solid little weight it made in my hand – They are so small I visualized them as being as light as a feather.  It was an adventure that ended well for her.  I carefully put her in a room, opened the window, shut the door and shortly after that I saw the little bird Anna quietly on the branch of a nearby tree.

I think this Anna is the baby, still learning from the parents …

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ok .. just one more photo .. I love them!

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Strawberries are still flowering, bearing fruit even though it is mid-October.  This is a wild strawberry, the tiny yellow type which will easily invade your yard if planted.  I discovered that this summer.  Thought it would be nice to have a few varieties of wild strawberries planted among the veggies.  I soon found out that they will send out runners “till the cows come home” and ended up putting some in pots and the rest in the compost.  Hmmmmm … I realize that I will be getting a few hundred of these plants next spring from the compost!    Well, I can always share them.

At last, what a treat .. I was able to see the baby Bewick Wren!!!!!  They must be nesting somewhere in the yard …We planted many trees over the years and they have become home to Bush-tits, Chickadees, Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, Sparrows (House, Gold Crowned, White Crowned) Flickers, Nuthatches .. on and on ..

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This was a rare treat to see this baby and I was ecstatic!   I had heard the parents “talking” to the baby over the summer and didn’t dare hope to ever see it.  Yet another one of the million delights in a backyard garden.   Right now, he is looking at the suet block below.  I must have made a little noise because after this photo, he abruptly flew away.

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There are still a few tiny little squash growing along.  I haven’t the heart to dig them up and will just leave them for awhile longer.  They are cheerful looking and brighten up the garden.

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Speaking of beauty it is all around us .. the ever changing skies overhead.

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Another treat from the compost, a surprise squash.  It is only tiny and might just grow a little bit more.

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I so love this plant, everything about it . .. even the name is cheerful “Peppermint Stick”.  I’d acquired it a few years ago and planted in the shade.  This year I moved it into the sun and like magic .. it showed me how happy it was in the new location by growing and growing and growing!   I was admiring the appearance of the raindrops and sunshine scattered along one of the broad leaves.  And here is a most interesting link that I found when looking for the proper name of this grass, I guarantee that you will find this blog most interesting  :http://www.louistheplantgeek.com/a-gardening-journal/491-arundo-donax-peppermint-stick

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Although I’ve harvested and composted the majority of tomatoes in the yard .. this is one of the few remaining and you can see why I’ve left them in place.  They look like cascading jewels, adding yet more beauty to the yard.

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The same reasoning works for these squash plants.  I’ll deal with them after the frost visits the yard .. there are still a number of weeks before that happens.

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And another sky photo …

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It’s been a busy few weeks .. having lots of fun in the yard, getting it ready for winter.   Harvesting the Scarlet Runner Beans, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the tri-colour bush beans.   Surprises every day.

Gardening is so magical, ever changing and satisfying.

🙂


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Enjoying the beauty of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans … and other beautiful growing plants in my little garden

My pals, R & D & I went seaweed collecting last week … we carefully chose the seaweed that was battered and torn up … nothing fresh and growing.  Anyway, part of our ritual is to stop for lunch at the Little Vienna Cafe in Sooke!  Delicious food .. happy atmosphere.  We sat outside and there is the most marvellous water feature there …

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And if you happen to have an old wooden boat handy on your property and are at a loss as to what to do with it .. here is an idea!  Plant a garden!   Hmmm … wouldn’t it be lovely to see garlic growing away in this? (I love garlic!)

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Such magnificent blue skies.  I love blue skies and take a zillion (seriously!) photos .. so many, in fact, that D suggests that I create a “Cloud” blog .. well, that is certainly food for thought.

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A crow flying overhead … just one crow!  Where are his buddies?

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Definitely eye candy overhead on a sunny day …

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And here is eye candy of another sort .. out in the garden …

06There is always one in every crowd .. you know .. the one that stands out and seems to say “it’s me .. see me” .. in a nice way, though!

07Lovely Clematis flower … soon it will be time to sleep and rest during the fall and winter months.  Ready to spring forward and bloom anew in the warmer seasons.  Thank you for adding to the magnificent beauty in my backyard oasis.

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How lucky am I .. strawberries are still growing away and it is the end of September.

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With the promise of more berries to come.  Way to go, strawberries!

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More of Nature’s garden art .. how delicate and sweet ..

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Doesn’t this make you smile?  I don’t cut the sunflowers down .. just let them grow away and provide food for the birds when it is time.

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I love these Cherokee Trail of Tears beans .. they are a very vigorous plant and the vines are super tough ..and talk about fast growing!  I had put out a few tall stakes, however, their rapid growth caught my by surprise.  I was concerned that perhaps their intertwining might mean not so many beans, but as you can see, that is not the case!

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Their diminutive flowers are so gentle and calming .. funny thing for me to say about a flower, but that is the sense I have when I’m outside, admiring them.

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So I’ve learned yet another thing about planting beans!  Planting these Tiger Eyes bush beans next to the Cherokee Trail of Tears was not such a great idea as they quickly became shadowed out.  However, a few pods have grown so I will save them for seed for next year.  When I’ll plant them in their own area!

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See how the Cherokee beans grow right up through the trees!

016Yesterday was a most beautiful sunny Sunday.  And I was able to spend the complete day outdoors!   I spent so much time wandering around .. soaking up the beauty of the flowers, beans, vines, plants.  It was just such a wonderful day.

And I finally spread around the seaweed that my friends and I gathered last week .. it was getting to the stinky stage and I put lots in the compost containers and dug in the rest into the garden soil .. with lots around the pear stock tree!

I dug up a brick path that I’d installed last fall .. to create a pathway in the veggie bed.  Time for change.  My gardens are all about change and moving things about.

Anyway .. time is speeding up and I have my exercise group to join .. so more later!

🙂


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Feels great to be tapping on the keyboard again .. and I’m sharing some of the lovely sights I’ve seen today! Oh, there is more, much more!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Funny how time just flies when life is just rolling along, similar to a nonstop whirling round and round and round and I just want to stop!  🙂

Times were kinda slow at the beginning of the year .. I was focused on getting fit for the summer by going for very long walks and exercising.  Then our lovely tenants had to move and my focus totally changed and I stopped my lovely exercise regime and DH and I began the task of preparing our sunny rental into a home for new tenants. This involved (me) scrubbing and repainting all the rooms and cupboards and DH worked on the hard-scaping and landscaping (a huge job).

The task is slowly nearing the end.  I’ve kept track of our daily adventures and although it seems a very long time ago (beginning of February) as I look over my notes I remember the forgotten tasks.  Selecting and taking home 8 huge cedar trees from the grower’s fields (oh wow they were tremendously heavy).  Together DH & I carefully unloaded one tree at a time from a lovely trailer that a friend lent us.   I love this trailer.  Anyway, we’d carefully put one cedar on a tarp and made a pathway of other tarps so we could (ever so slowly) slide one cedar at a time to the back yard.  Where we’d dug deep holes for them.   Added some magical organic fertilizer to assist the roots in their growth.

And I won’t bore you with the other details.  About how I (ahem) transported one ton of nave-jack from the trailer at the front of the house  by shovelling 7 scoops at a time (this stuff is very very heavy)  into my trusty new yard cart and made a bazillion trips, slowly, walking backwards to the yard and slowly created a mini mountain from which my DH would scoop some with bags of cement into the cement mixer and began the creation of a sidewalk.  Similar with the heavy sand for the base of the sidewalk.

So exhausted I just didn’t have the creative energy to post anything .. so have decided to get back in the habit of that.

We still have a way to go before the yard is finished, but, since we both have other projects on the go .. we have been taking a few days away from yard transformations and I have had the joy of spending a few days in our own yard.

So a few days ago, I was digging out weeds and bluebells from the back side-garden, when what did I see!    This was growing up from under a large rock, which I rolled away so I could get at these precious bulbs, you can see the indentation below.

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Somehow I missed digging up a few garlic bulbs, how on earth could I have missed them!  And  so they grew and so I dug them up.   All planted now amongst the flowers and I will keep a sharp eye on them this summer!

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Really, I haven’t a clue as to what this mystery plant is .. must have planted it last year, no tag, tsk tsk!

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We had sun for a day .. sigh

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So I took some time out and just stood there, staring up at this beautiful sky …

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The manner in which this little leaf was laid ever so carefully on a branch of the tree reminded me of laundry hung out to dry, perhaps one of the wee little garden sprites had been busy and had forgotten to bring in this leaf or .. perhaps I startled them and they disappeared!

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So today .. I went to visit my pal D, for tea in one of her fancy tea cups.  She has quite a beautiful collection of the most dainty beautiful items.  Doesn’t this look so pretty .. and creative?   Well, you are right, it was!

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After a few hours of sipping and nibbling at the cashew mixture and a delicious sourdough sandwich, we decided to go for a walk in the rain.

And thus I began to learn more about the little neighbourhoods of Fernwood and area .. here is a pathway at Bowker Creek (blush, I hadn’t visited this area before!)

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This magnificent and majestic Willow tree rising out of the creek bed was an Avatar moment for me.

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Another surprise was the sight of this Eucalyptus tree, regrowth from the base of the seemingly dead trunk!  Lovely.

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Many many burls on this massive tree ..

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Someone had placed a live tree in the centre of this trunk ..look at the size .. how old this tree must have been …

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Look, D said .. see what joins these houses together!   Solid rock that wasn’t blasted away when the houses were built!  Solid foundations!

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Gigantic Rosemary .. taller than D . . to the left!

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When I saw the size of this Flowering Red Currant (so enamoured by Hummingbirds) I began to rethink where I was going to plant the 3 that I have at home!

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Ha ha .. tucked away in the front yard of one home .. the crow was chilly and so wore his toque and scarf today!

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Two similar houses ..one all prettied up and the other … sadly neglected .. mirror images..

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And some lovely little homes:

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I so totally fell in love with this one!  D told me that new owners had changed the yard from neatly trimmed lawns to this current wildly artistic happy yard.  We saw two cats sleeping on the front porch.  In the back there is another small home plus several little buildings.     This is the most fascinatingly magnificent home and yard I have ever seen.

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Well .. after this most lovely long walk … my first in a long time .. I felt my happy creative energy start to flow .. my goal now is to emulate the happy carefree spirit of this yard above …

Back home .. I found myself creating lovely foods for supper .. it all started as I began to clear out the fridge .. but I’ll share those happy items tomorrow!

Feels great to be back blogging again …. 🙂