My Garden – Mon Jardin – Mi Jardin – Mein Garten – Daily Adventures & Thoughts

No matter the language, my garden is my paradise. To watch the lovely birds that nest in the trees and bushes. The bees, butterflies are such a joy to see.

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A glimpse into the world of Violins and music ..and I didn’t know that the Zaghareet is a sound of joy (must be why I love it!)

Music is everywhere around us and always has been.  When life is busy as it normally is, then it is challenging to take some decadent time to just stop and listen.  For forever I have loved instrumental music and for forever those magical sounds have transported me away to beautiful places of colour and sound that just didn’t exist in my real surroundings.

I’m trying to remember when I first heard music and how it affected me .. maybe it was just always.  Growing up “way back then” music wasn’t around us as it is nowadays and so I am grateful to be living in these times when it is everywhere.

Mystical Persian type music with the sparkling and tapestry bejewelled notes seems to be the type of music that seemed full of promise and magic.  At least that is how I now remember it.

During the age of the Beatles, we were introduced to the seductive sitar- what a treat! Thanks to George Harrison, who was my most favourite Beatle.  What an age that was.  And Ravi Shankar!!!!!!!!  Just checking my IPod and I have 3 of his cd’s in my library.  I plan to treat myself to a few more in the New Year ..

I’ve been having fiddle lessons now for nearly 5 months, off and on and sometimes I have a little chuckle, checking my notes from the beginning.   Seriously writing where to place my left hand on the strings, how to hold the violin, hours spent trying to bow properly.  I’ve gone through the aches and pains and now, am still learning, but my focus has  moved on and some of those beginning efforts are now ingrained and I don’t even think about them.  That is just progress.  Focus changes.

Anyway, I was trying to tune my fiddle a few nights ago and broke my first string.   It was my D string.   Something I’ve dreaded and did my best to avoid. My heart broke when I looked at my fiddle, only 3 operative strings.  The store was closed so I couldn’t just hop in my car and drive there to buy one.  And .. I was having a great old time practicing, over and over, the tunes that I am learning.  So, picture me sad. 😦

The next day, I’m at Larsen’s Music on Cook Street, buying a new set of strings, having the most wonderful and interesting chat with the young lady, M.   The conversation started with my comments on the beautiful fiddles that were displayed in the glass case in front of me and also the fiddles on the walls.

Which reminds me of Itzak Perlmann’s comment on (I think, The Fiddlers House) that you could tell how many people lived in a house by the number of fiddles on the walls.  I couldn’t fathom at the time how wonderful this would be.   Hmm .. I think that I will treat myself to some more of his cd’s, plus Yo You Mah!!   Such joyous music.

Anyway, I learned that there are Makers/Luthiers who actually make violins locally.  This information is something that I am sure all musicians were fully aware of and so it is nothing new.  But to me, a novice, I found it extremely interesting as I learned of some of these wonderful people.  Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to spend a few hours talking to them!

The violin on the left was made by Laura Wallace (who used to work at Larsen’s)  Laura Wallace


This violin, below, on the right, was created by Galen Hartley, who used to work at Larsen’s and who now lives in France!!  Galen Hartley


For the serious violinist:


More lovingly crafted violins …dec2315

I also learned that there are locally handcrafted violins, bows and guitars by Robert Anderson, of Victoria:    Robert Anderson

Finally, there is a local artist who creates guitars and ukulele’s!!  Steve Doreen


More interesting worlds to delve into!

Formerly, I just thought that these instruments were cellos.  Not so.  Cellos are smaller, the musician is seated .. these Base are much bigger .. the artist stands.  That is it (for the moment) for my knowledge on this subject. – from this brief glimpse on wikipedia (there are many more sites on the subject) I’ve learned that “The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the 16th century.[1] At the time the name of this family of instruments was violas da braccio which was used to distinguish them from the viol family (violas da gamba).[2]The standard modern violin family consists of the violin, viola, cello, and double bass


Sigh much music … so beautiful.


My fiddle is tuned up, I had another lesson yesterday, and am making progress.

A few days ago I was at a house party full of musicians .. it was an annual event and I was happy to go to my first ever Winter Solstice.  Thinking that there would be lights and bells involved, I brought along a few strings of tiny sparkling lights, intending to coil these around my head as I normally do (only at Christmas, mind!).  However, since there weren’t any people (besides the hosts) that I knew, finally decided to keep these in my purse .. it doesn’t do to make one’s personality shine to a house of strangers . .with friends, it’s ok .. but .. sometimes it’s better to just dial down a bit.

I did bring out my zills, though, and my jingly horse sleigh bells and couldn’t resist some zaghareets and folk dance yips.   That part of me was impossible to squelch.  So I was a little bit outragous among strangers, but I figure, they don’t know me and who cares.   My friends know and accept my natural idiosyncrasies .. however .. strangers would just, umm .. perhaps, not understand my silliness.  🙂

And something I just learned about zaghareet is that it is used to express joy and happiness.  I just find it energizing and full of positivity.   Here are some videos that I’ve just found that show a variety of Zaghareets .. I would easily fit in at these gettogethers and feel totally at home!!


Well, now I’ve shared a tiny bit of new information and the day is progressing .. perhaps I will go and practice my fiddle.




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This past week has really been a hodge-podge of weather.  From rain to sun, throw in a bit of snow, bring back a bit of sun and then revert back to rain.

I’ve been searching for alternatives to cow and horse manure, deciding to try Llama manure. And searched Used Victoria .. there were three choices.  The first choice was a very interesting place.  The owners had a lovely farm, many llamas, most of which were mini-Llamas.  And so I purchased a number of bags of manure from them.

The second place I went to on Saturday and what a delight this was!  A young family live here and the atmosphere was very reminiscent of a property in France, and what do you know, this family was from Quebec, and thus the French atmosphere.

What do I mean by that?  Well, for one thing, the property was naturally beautiful.  There were flagstone pathways, natural looking gardens.   And this lovely pond.  The owner turned on the lights and the water feature motor so that I could see how it looked.

1Then he invited me to the back of the property, and I passed through a vine-covered archway, a cloche-covered raised bed and then ….

2I couldn’t help it .. I just started laughing at such an unexpected tableau!  I was expecting to see a few Llamas, but instead, was treated to the sight of these darling little goats!  How very sweet.

There was this magnificent rooster, who strode up to the front and puffed out his feathers … yes, you are handsome, I said.

9Just then (coincidentally???) a female turkey (ok, I don’t know the terminology) flew over the fenced area and, waving her wings .. walked away from where I was standing.  In Turkey language, I think this must translate to “oh, for heaven’s sake” or something like that.

8Then I took a closer look at the goat … who seemed to be thinking .. well, they are at it again .. .so, look at me, aren’t I the clever one!

3Then I noticed some movement at the back of the paddock, and it seemed that the Llamas had noticed my presence.   The owner explained that they were a mix of Llama and Alpaca, same father, different mothers.  I missed the rest of his explanation as I was totally drawn into watching them, watching me, watching them, etc.

4Llamas are naturally curious and they started sauntering over to where I was standing ..’ello, ‘ello, ‘ello … . they seemed to say …

5Ok, by this time I was laughing so hard at their antics that I really didn’t focus the camera that well .. look at their expressions .. so curious, so friendly , so  .. well .. goofy!  How could you not laugh!  If only Llamas didn’t have such a reputation for spitting .. they would be the ultimate therapeutic animal to bring laughter to anyone!  Such a mood elevator they are!

6Then I tried to pet one of them, I was still laughing so hard and wondering if they would bite, that is why I was so hesitant .. I really love these guys, they are so sweet.  So the owner took a picture of me so that I would have a good souvenir, isn’t that great!!

7The owner had built this little shed for holding various items for the care of the animals.  He was also teaching their sons how to build things and I think they had been involved in this structure.   I just loved the look of this building, and would love a larger version for a garden shed.   A gal can dream, eh?

10Oh, by the way, I purchased 5 bags of Llama manure, they each weighed about 50 lbs., quite heavy and they fit quite nicely in my Echo car, on a tarp, neat and tidy.  He assured me that they do not used medications or pastes so that I can use this manure in my food garden.   He also told me that the manure is magic for the garden.  So now, armed with the power of EM and the beneficial Llama Manure .. I will have the best garden yet.

When I arrived back home, parked the car and started to get ready to unload the Llama manure.. my attention was caught by the emergence of the Lupines at the front of the house .. they start off small with accordion-pleated leaves and in just a short while, they grow into plants that are at least 3′ high, with many blossoms for the bees.

11Grow on Lupines!!!  They self-seed and are a lovely addition to the flower garden.