Wednesday, June 30, 2010

photo of the week...

We've been having great summery days....as a matter of fact, yesterday was more than just a bit summery.  It was darn hot walking around 18 holes of golf..... and humid too after only a few dry days.  Not even a breeze.. and the mosquitoes!!!! oh, wow! .... they were swarming us when we stopped and stood still.  Luckily my Muskol works...but, still...it is annoying when they find a bare patch of skin...or zzzzeeeee in your ear just as you are lining up a putt.

Monday's theme for the photo was "self portrait" .... but, I haven't been in the house long enough to get on here to post ..... so....finally....here's a photo of me....















Hahahahhah.... gotcha.....nah..... it's not really me. I have hair that is straight as sticks.....not a bit of curl to it at all....

......oh, wait!  here's the one I decided to use.... ........ and I will entitle it "Self Paw-trait" .....  'cuz just look at those grubby paws!  Terrible...but, somehow, gloves just end up like a multi coloured trail of size 7 bread crumbs behind me.... I have to retrace my steps several times in an hour to find them ... and ...well, ....after a bit I just give up.  Later in the day I go around picking them all up.... then, go in and scrub.  No wonder my  hands feel like Velcro and look worse... nails? what nails?.... jewellery will not be worn until sometime in November, so as to not draw attention to these hands.
















Okay..'.nuff fooling around. My self portrait on this day is me in my gardener's "hat".....  isn't it surprising how many hats we wear on any given day? .... more figuratively speaking than literally of course .... especially for me.  I only have caps, no hats when it comes right down to it.  And, I wear them golfing, gardening, sitting in the sun or walking...or for going to the dump or to the garden shop.  Monday when I went to the garden centre with my little baggy of clippings from my new Caragana shrub..... this was me.  It was cool enough for my big warm shirt at 8 a.m. .... but, I was stripping down by my second stop... the grocery store.
When I show up like this at the gardening centers, or I'm walking around Burnco looking for the limestone to shovel... or other sod or wood places. I invariably get questioned about where things are kept...or if there is still a sale on mulch or how to plant a certain shrub.  It's handy to know a few things...and I've given up telling folks I don't work there .... they get embarrassed ... now, I just point them in the right direction or tell them what they want to know if I have answers.  If I don't know... I direct them to Maureen for info on any plant .. or one of the girls at the checkout for further directions.....




















... ask that crazy lady in the gardening duds.....

oh, and ps..... apparently my new Caragana has White Powdery Mildew..... which is what I figured it did have from the look of the leaves and what I found on the internet.  It had it when I bought it.  I thought it was just a bit of mineral deposit on leaves from watering.....sigh......   However, what I didn't know was what to do about it because every other write up said something different.....but, Maureen.... she knows and has helped us with several other shrubs and trees over the past 7 years.  And, so... instead of ripping it out ...I'm trying fungicide... and no watering from the top...and no watering late in the day..and ...well,.... you get it.........

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hey, I've got colour now!

It happens so quickly once things get moving doesn't it?  A few weeks ago, nothing.....and now... all sorts of things are blooming.   Lots of rain helped I'm sure.  And...now we need some more sun.  The only bad thing right now is mosquitoes!  And yikes@!  they are reeeelly vicious...and there are millions more than usual (yes, I'm counting!) because we have had more rain than usual for the past few weeks.  Can't win.  Finally get some rain and they love it... but, the plants and grass definitely needed it....

Look what I have in the gardens... in my wild garden area...... the annuals I actually planted in pots and other garden areas are still just babies.... more of them when they get bigger.















This is a type of wild geranium... the leaves are so potent if you touch them at all your hands are almost unbearable.  I was really happy with how the shot turned out .. can't believe I can actually see pollen on the little stamens...















Snow Drop Anemone.... although we call them Wendy's Weeds because a girl named Wendy gave us our first two plants many years ago....and now....they're everywhere!!  I have to pull dozens of them every year as soon as they finish blooming... to try to prevent them taking over.  They re-seed as well as creeping underground and popping up beside the bigger plants.  This one is odd because look how many petals there are... 7 ...   normally they have 5... and a few have 6....but, this is the first I've seen with 7... plus...it is huge!  A mutant....















This is more the normal dude..... 5 petals....and smaller...

One of my favourites.  Wild flax... which is supposed to seed easily, but, up until last year, didn't. This year, all of a sudden... it is popping up all over, which is good because I was trying to transplant some here and there and it just kept dying.  It is so beautiful... fragile and dainty looking but hardy enough....and I love the colour.



















































Wild pansies...or johnny-jump-ups..... I have different colours...but, like these best...with the yellow.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If only I could paint ....

.

Still Life with Pear























Still Life with Pear II

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summery daze.... I felt dazed by the end of two in a row.....

Finally...  some nice days and all of a sudden there is just too much to get done in the hours of the two good ones...but... got did (hahahah...got did....I'm reeellly dazed!) ... did get some annuals planted.  How'zat? Got some lovely composted replenshing dirt dug into two separate garden areas.  What fun that has been.  Remember my bag of dirt?  Who knew a bag of dirt could generate so much interest.  Every single neighbour that drove or walked by had to stop and ask about it.  More talking than working if they caught me back there digging (or trying to dig out) a wheelbarrow full of it.... but, finally, I just had to keep on shovelling whilst yakking... daylight was a'wastin'!

Lunches and suppers were pretty simple.  Although, veeerrry tasty.... and tomorrow... I'm making 'burgers.... with store bought buns cuz I've got no time to bake.  Gotta go hit some golf balls tomorrow... along with pick up ant powder, find something to kill Chinch bugs... before they totally kill my lawn...  get some more plants... groceries... oh, man..too much already!  I'll change my mind and do none of the above...except the hitting of balls.... oh, well... there will be more dry days this week!















I've mentioned this dish before.  It can be a salad or a side dish really.  I doubt I've ever made it the same way twice.... it usually depends on what I have in the 'fridge.  Here is the basic recipe ... I love it.  Found it on Bon Apetit...  a few years ago.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

another fun thing....

it is a rotten, cold, rainy, dark and windy day here ..... middle of summer and a paltry +8C..... pagh.... a perfect day for a great summery photo of Miss PrimRose .... from the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary.  Perks me up no end!



















This was a capture by Gayle... who took plenty of snaps at Sheaffer's birthday and auction .. remember the auction? Otis and Sage flew there? .... well, .... over at 7 MSN ... another blog that has donkeys (among its other fun and funny animal inhabitants) ... and also a clever owner, who is, at the moment, giving lessons on how to "fix" photos... this was one of the chosen few and look what a wonderful job Linda has done with it!

See the original on the blog...it had people and other extraneous "stuff" in it.... things that detracted from sweet PrimRose herself....but, this!!  What a great shot of her now.  Head on over to the Ranch and check out all of the photography.  The photos are AMAZING>>>   And, if you are not.. repeat, "not" as lazy as me... you, too, can get some hints on how to fix your not- so- perfect photos....... I keep threatening to get Photoshop on here...but.... so far...... la la la....la la....... nope..................... I'm lazy, don't have enough time... have many excuses.... have too much to do in our extremely short summer...which seems to be getting shorter each year.  I try to do all the indoor stuff on rainy days and never see the inside of this house on a sunny one.....

Pretty in pink.....it's just the thing for such a dull day... it is soooo dark in here that I've got all the lights on just to see where I'm going....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

finally, a feel good story...

.... even in the midst of tragedy.....















this little guy is so cute ......  here is the story.




Monday, June 14, 2010

photo of the week...




















Do not adjust the colour on your monitor ..... today is retro day.  Well, not really....but, today our theme is "black and white" for our  Monday Photo of the Week group.   I suppose I could have taken a photo of something that is black and white...but, I decided it was a good time to pull out the manual for my little camera and see what it offered.

That was fun.  I had to go to Menu several times.. organize the B & W thingy...find a setting that worked with it...and voila... some B & W pics.  Learned a thing or two and decided that there is plenty more than I will ever use or figure out... but, it seems there are several different settings on which they can be photographed...and I absolutely have no clue what they all mean.  I got a couple I like....one after having to balance on the back of a chair, because the "candle" setting needs to spend time processing... and I couldn't hold the camera still enough..... but... finally got the shot I wanted .... and...here they are.

You may remember seeing the above in living colour from some other theme.... even I can't remember what that theme might have been..... lol......















Some day....this little bicycle will have a bear that is the perfect size to ride it.



















This cookie jar almost fits the time frame of B & W photos.... hahhaha...okay...well, not quite, but it is getting almost to the vintage age.  I bought one for my sister one day.... for some occasion.  And...as is often the case with me and gifts I get for her ...it's always something I would like too ... and, I loved the little elephant so much that I had to go back to get one for myself.  When the lid on hers fell inside the jar and broke .. because it is just the perfect shape and size that it CAN do that! acckkk! ....I put it away safely somewhere.... and didn't use it for years.  Forgot I had it actually.  Then, I noticed it while clearing out some things in a big pantry cupboard and immediately decided to use it again.  Lid be damned!  If it breaks...it breaks.  I'm gonna use it and enjoy it.  She planted some greenery in hers after that and it was a sweet little planter for many years as well. ....  my sister was a recycler long before it became all the rage.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Vikki ...

(that's my sister) ... Please stop already with the rain dances, prayers and chanting.... it's obviously working wonders.... but,.... on the wrong side of the mountains.  I DONT WANT RAIN!  Yes, I know you do and you need it and love it and all of that ...but, can't you at least TRY to set some boundaries?  On the west side of the Rockies would be fine with me.  And... you know it doesn't matter how long or how much it rains over there at your house (which, by the way, I don't begrudge you)  ... it will dry out in two days as soon as your blistering sun pokes out anyway.  Here, on the other hand...... so far this year, there is no blistering...no sun.... and, so very little golf.  Dammit...I'm getting tired of going from window to window hoping for things to change so I can get out there and use my golf lesson time.  At my great (and, now, very green) golf course.  Where, strangely, nobody is willing to show me anything in the pouring rain even if I desperately want to be there to learn something...anything.  They have flatly refused.  As a matter of fact..I think I heard some rather unflattering mumbling about the state of my mental health....

I'm beginning to wonder why we, in this geographic location that must have the shortest golf season in the world.... would want to bother with the stupid game anyway.  We must be nut jobs.  All of us.  Because we seem to also have the highest per capita number of golf courses and golfers on the planet..... just plain weird, that's what it is ...(or maybe that should read...  we are...) ....

I think it's high time I learned to do some dancing of my own.... in opposition to somebody's supplication to the Rain Gods.  I definitely need to learn the Sun Dance.  Fortunately the Canadian Government outlawed the skin piercing and flesh sacrifice portions of Sun Dancing in 1895...so I don't have to worry about totally exposing myself to the elements ... as a matter of fact...I will be wearing my winter parka, a toque and my foam padded bra.... at the very least....

Poor Basil is really fed up with the cold...


































.... the violets love a little moisture, but come on... I bet they're in danger of getting root rot standing around in puddles....















see any tadpoles in there? ...















no bleeding here...just a lot of weeping ...watery tears.....















and, see this?  I got a bag of dirt, I got a bag of dirt...sounds a bit like Johnny in Pirates... but, his was a jar of dirt.  I ordered this two weeks ago. To dig into my depleted garden soil ...and there has been no digging.. NONE...   All I have out there at the moment is mud.  And I ain't standing out in the rain digging in my mud... so... I impatiently wait for a sunny day to whack some balls ... to dig....

Today..... I'm staying warm baking strawberry banana muffins ... making a hearty stew...with "those puffy white things"...
and putting some paint on little dolly.....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Photo a Week...

Get your glasses.... your cuppa ...   and put up your feet my dears..... for this is a long story... made much shorter of course, but...still.... it does have to go on ... and a bit more on yet...   .... in order to get the actual "feel" for things...

Heirloom is the theme for this week.... and I don't have many of those.   I never met my Dad's family...  except one cousin who was older than our Mom..  who came from Quebec to British Columbia (all across Canada) to live with us when Mom was very sick with pneumonia.  She never went back home.  Georgette arrived with plenty of clothes, perfumes, powders, shoes, hair rollers (actually, the most hair stuff you have ever seen in your entire life!) , etc... ... but, that's about it.  Don't get me wrong...we 3 little girls loved it!  But, ...there were no heirlooms.

(of course, I don't have to actually tell you this part..but it's fun to relate and today...I feel like telling a story ... )
When she wasn't home, we tried on her gargantuan Dolly Parton sized bras... clomped around in her lovely pearlized, pastel high heels...and spritzed and puffed ourselves with her wild smelling perfumes and powders.  As if she didn't know...hahahha....with telltale dustings of powder having settled on her otherwise immaculate dresser..    (we learned a lot about housekeeping from her!)  ... but, she never did say anything.  She loved us ... and she loved to play with our hair; try to teach us a bit about some of her feminine ways, (we were such wild tomboys) and in general just be a wonderful friend, confidante and almost a surrogate Mom while ours was unable to even lift her head off the pillow.  We have a couple of photos of my sister with a frizzy perm that Georgette gave her...that was months of fun...  our cousin always wanted to be a hairdresser.  However, she never did take the course, ... made plenty of money as a top notch waitress and that's what she did for many years once our Mom was on the road to recovery.

She lived with us for several years... was such a hard worker at whatever she did and always dressed up beautifully when she went out.  She is now in her nineties... still lives in her own apartment... still looks all "done up" ... and is wishing she had gone into politics ... 'the system needs changing' and 'if she were 30 years younger'...man, I bet she'd be the person to do just that!  Georgette for Prime Minister.  She'd sure as heck get my vote!

On to the other side of the family and the other side of the world.....

Mom's family lived in England, so we never met most of them either.  As a matter of fact , she never saw her parents again once she left home shortly after the war.  Couldn't afford to go ...and even if she could... my Dad would never have allowed it...in case she got smart and didn't come back... hahaha...... well, I laugh now..but, at the time it didn't seem very funny.  Good thing we can put the "fun"ny back in dysfunctional years after the fact, isn't it?

In the 60's, I managed to save enough to get Mom and me on a plane for England... and off we flew. We almost didn't go because her Mom had died only 2 months previously...and her Dad had been gone for several years.  But... she still had a sister ...so we decided we would still make the trip.  We had a month of beautiful weather... did a lot of sightseeing; the sisters got to re-aquiant, and I met a few cousins... along with several people Mom had known in her other life ... the life before meeting my Dad as the dashing Canadian soldier... who later turned out to be not so dashing... or maybe he was the same guy all along, but she just didn't see that.... as is often the case.... love is blind and all that stuff and nonsense ...

My aunt was not in the best of situations either ... uh, oh....  this is getting too long to go into another segue about another unhappy marriage... suffice to say... she came to visit Canada later as part of a tour group which her scheming husband brought here...   only to go home and realize he had duped the group and monies were owing...which she had to help pay..etc, blah, blah.. and on to a few years later when she decided to immigrate ... by herself ... bringing only the youngest of her kids with her. The others were already on their own.  You can't believe the shenanigans a Brit had to go through to immigrate to Canada!  It would have been easier if she had been a refugee with absolutely not a farthing to her name and who would immediately be a burden upon the system.  Anyway... after many months, running to years...she got here.  Loaded down with anything and everything she could carry, box, ship, etc.. which of course, was not much in the scheme of moving your whole life.

She carried in her hands these vases and this tea pot.... for the sole purpose of giving them to me.  Eldest female descendant of the family.  She has all boys....

I love my teapot... silver .. and it tarnishes, but I love the blues and purplies ... yes, I meant to say purplies.... so don't polish it much...
I never use it for tea... just for flowers or to look at behind glass where it usually sits... or to hold in my hands and marvel at the fact that somebody, somewhere, made this pot by hand all those years ago.  It has one small "ding" in it... been there for years...but, in my eyes it is perfect.






















































And.... my two little ancient vases... which she also carried all the way in her big bag slung over a shoulder...  the woman was tough as nails... I wish I had more of the toughness genes in her and in my cousin.





































All the way from England it came... after having lived there for so many years... it is about 200 years old; imagine that..... .. and for all those years it survived intact. One day I found a blind dog wandering around outside and brought it into the house while I tried to track down owners. One wag of its fluffy tail and my dainty little antique vase bounced right off a low table onto the floor...note the one missing "toe".  I do feel I let the side down a bit by not being careful enough in its safekeeping.   I'm very careful with my "stuff" and my "things", but do love to use them... .. missing toes and all....  yes, sometimes they are in the curio...but, they also bring me joy when in use as intended.  Some have said they think this may have been a dainty champagne flute...  I have yet to use it as that..     ..... hmmm...

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm playing copycat ...again...

I don't think I have much imagination ...

These funny/cute/sad dollies attracted my attention when I happened on Black Eyed Suzie's blog a few weeks ago.  I see that she isn't doing many now that she is pregnant...and I'm not sure I would be able to afford one anyway.... so, decided to copy a few of her photos and try a dolly of my own after this style.  It didn't say on her blog not to use her photos...and I hope she won't mind, because I want to do this post today... ...but, here are a few of her dollies...  I wrote her a note..but, her reply won't be here soon enough.  If she wants them removed, of course, I'll take them down and just direct you all to her blog instead.  It's a lot of fun to look at all of her dolls....and she has made LOTS!!  You have to go look.....

UPDATE::  She wrote back already!  Wow. How great was that?  And says it's fine to use her photos.... thank you "Suzie"....

































Every time I look back at the photos...I notice something that is different than I thought it looked the first time I saw it... and, of course, I have no idea how she actually worked with the clay or how she put it into position...so it is hit and miss for me.  I wish there was a tutorial... so I could give it a bit better try....

I used Creative Paper Clay.... again...I think she uses something different...but,...eh...it's all paper clay, how different can it be?  I'll have to look back at her site to see if I can find the name of her clay and then...try to find some of that.



















I've heard from somebody that knows her ...she used glass eyes...and I did read somewhere about her searching out glass eyes to buy....but, I don't have any at the moment.  So....I decided for my initial project...I'd make my own...sort of...

I painted on the iris and pupil...after making the whole eye area somewhat protrusive ....  Then, dabbed on some Glossy Accents...which I think is the same stuff as Crystal Lacquer.  I've never been able to find Crystal Lacquer here.
I think if I do a second one...I will paint a ball of clay for the eye ... let it dry...crystal coat it...  then put it into the wet clay of the eye area of the face.  Of course, there was absolutely no reason to paint the lips just yet...but...I had to do it!! hahahhah....just 'cuz she looks so cute already....















I put on some eyelids...but, then took a closer look at "Suzie's" babes .. and...they are not quite like this...... . so changed them.... had to make them a bit more like...erm...little awnings over the eyes... ....















So....I'm at this stage.....  see that cute little blondie? .... that's the one for me.... of course, the lips are not quite the same...but.... maybe next time ..... and then...on to trying to put as little paint or colour on her and yet somehow getting her to look like something so much more....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

isn't it usually the women who like drama?

I had to laugh at these pics I saw on the 'net.  A rodeo in the next province west of us.  They have been having better weather.  Good thing too.....   this would not have been any fun at all in frosty or rainy conditions... although, having said that, cowboys are pretty tough.  They have to be ...
they fall off all the time.

They even start reeeelly young.  This is called "mutton busting".  It's the kid's version of riding some wild bronc ... and it is hilarious when you see it in real life.  Even funnier than the pig races.. running as fast as their little legs will carry them to the finish line...   where they get a tiny Oreo cookie as their reward!

The "muttons" looks totally unconcerned ... hahahha..... the little guy on the other hand..... !! whoa!













Now... here's a little girl....showing how it's done...
























Guy.....













Guy........ yikes!!  he must belong to the actor's guild!













Girl.........

I'm just sayin'.................................................................

plus, you've got to admit...... it's worth a grin at the very least...................

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sheaffer's Annual Birthday Bash and Auction was held Saturday .... under beautiful sunny skies!  Check out the write up on his blog and also check out some of the pics.  I was a bit envious of the weather.... and of course, wish I could have been there just to pet donkeys.. oh, and....to eat carrot cake!!
But... it is many miles away ...opposite end of this country actually.... so... not feasible.



















They made $4,000 by day's end, and were ecstatic! What a lot of effort and hard work was done by a lot of people to pull it off .... now Sheila can continue on with her efforts to rescue abandoned and abused donkeys...oh, and whatever other creatures have found their way to her small acreage over the years.  She has been heard to mutter that if a purple aardvark showed up it would have a home at her place!

Remember little Sage and Otis?  This was the event for which they were made and sent.  They worked hard for the cause too and managed to fetch $60 and $65 respectively.  I am thrilled they did well.  Thanks to all of you who sent me bids to accompany them on their trek to Ontario .... and.... I'm sorry you were all outbid .... ... but, by the same token, happy that they did so well.















Otis and Sage .....with Scruffy.... cousin of Tuffy who was in last year's auction.  Next year.... I should try for three bears.... oh..hahah....and maybe a Goldilocks...