Playtime in the Woods

16 Apr

You can stay healthy by playing!

Did you know that women who spent 2-4 hours in the woods on 2 consecutive days had a 50% increase in the activity of cancer-fighting white blood cells. Another study showed being among plants produced lower concentrations of cortisol, lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.  I believe it to be true.  There isn’t much in life that is as calming as a walk in the woods or being with nature.  What to do with all that healthy time in the woods? Paint, play, dance, yell?

How about play with your old toys?

I love miniature furniture, barbie toys, food, cups and of course little dwellings made by nature. I could play for hours while waiting for the snow to melt.fairygarden

gardensunshine tree

gardensunshine

gardensunshine2

gardensunshine3

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 2.14.09 PM-marc johns

I have this pinned to my craft room wall.

More: Dwellings

I only like Ceramic Roosters

9 Apr

IMG_4956 Why do we cover our country homes with photos of roosters and printed napkins with roosters on them and water pitchers in the shape of roosters, when roosters are actually SO MEAN?!!! Might as well decorate your home in cute blood sucking vampires or rabid rats.  Every time I see a cute something something made in rooster form I would sigh and say ‘I must have this!’  Now I am second guessing everyone.  ROOSTERS ARE MEAN!   From now on I will only have one ceramic rooster which I already own, and I won’t be buying anymore. The real one in the coop is gone. I can no long stand to be berated and hacked on because I try to deliver clean water and fresh nutrients to my flock and all this without even one measly grand baby of a chick!  Talk about ungrateful. One time… I went out to the flock…. collected the eggs in my rolled up night gown bottoms and the rooster smashed the whole dozen of them to smithereens. Last week he bit my hand so hard I had an instant blood blister.  The next day he beat up my right leg, covered it with bruises and puncture wounds. pet rooster

Just say no to roosters. No good can come of them.

 

Kidnapping Spring

4 Apr

I still have little bits of spring tucked in here and there throughout the house.  What else is a girl to do?

I finished all the winter clean up in the perennial beds before the snow all melted this week in about 4 afternoons including pruning all the ever greens and dismantling several shrubs. I now use a hand saw to hack through all the grasses.  I just do not see another way to get them down to the ground easily.  In another year or two I am going to need a chain saw. Yikes. ha!

forced dogwood

The dogwood has nice roots on it for planting already!

I’ll have to find a spot for them in the back yard.

forced tamarac

Don’t you just love this knitted vessel holding the Tamarack branches?  

They seem like the perfect knobbly match for each other.  

Did you know?
The tamarack is found in every province and territory in Canada.

 

Who Says I’m Not Allowed

19 Mar

What is worse than being told you are not allowed to do something? Ummm, NOTHING! grunt.

I am not really one to listen to that kind of advice anyways, not that I am a rebel by any means, but if someone is trying to stifle my creativity I will not have it! LOL

I made the mistake of telling my husband that I want to move and enlarge my vegetable garden. I know!  I asked for it didn’t I? haha!

When I made my original garden plan for this year I kept everything where it was- easy peasy, but then I got to thinking about what else I would like to have growing in there properly based on the smart gardeners recommendations for the number of people in my household. Apparently I NEED more asparagus and rhubarb and those I feel would do much better in an actual square foot box.  I need more of quite a few other things too.

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(This years plan)

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(Next years plan?)

I am also thinking of moving my garden to get a better view of it from inside the house based on a future renovation, the brown mass is the shape of the house in the drawing. For now it is all just a dream, but it might happen as soon as next spring…while my husband is at work of course and cannot see what I am up to. :)

It would be pretty sweet or should I say vegetablicious.

What are your big plans that you don’t want to tell anyone but us?

PS. Get out your pink boots with flowers on them, tomorrow is the first day of Spring!

Two Unfrozen Years Ago

15 Mar

I saw this online and had to laugh! 

screw it!!

Two years ago today on March 15th it was 22 degrees Celsius and I was planting peas.  

Today there isn’t a hope on earth of doing that. We can’t see the dirt let alone dig in it!

Amazing isn’t it?

 

Fake It Till You Make It

12 Mar

Fake spring until you make it… Happen!!

Every year I mean to take cuttings and start them indoors, this year I had to. Obviously, here in Canada, we are in eternal winter so it was all about adding sunshine to our lives and living in perpetual hope for a long lost season.  YESS I am overdramatic! So what? My vitamin D store is dangerously low. :)

The fastest results come from forsythia.  With the snow up to my knees I hauled my rump out to the woods to take some cuttings and I am glad I did.  Mismatched containers give each collection a unique feel and they have brightened up different rooms in the house just enough that I may hang for yet another day.

forced forsythia vintage jar

forced forsythia

forced forsythia

forced forsythia & cat

How do you rush spring?

Whew! Crafted it.

6 Mar

Finally, after much ado, I have crafted it forward!  I spent a cold February week working on my packages to be sent off to my fellow internet buds. As I only had one new participant the rest of the packages were sent as a little thank you to the chattiest commentors! And I love chatting to you all and seeing what you are up to on your own blogs.

A big thank you to my verbose friends:

LeeAnn @ Sketchbook Adventures  Here is her Craft it Forward post from moi (we are leading double lives as we have the EXACT same cat!)

BoomDee @ BoomDeeAdda (we also have the same cat(s)!)

I have too many cats.

Alys @ Gardening Nirvana  (Alys is torturing us enjoying spring right now where she is and I am living vicariously through her)

Judy @ Grandparents Plus Two (Judy has great advice and always knows what to say– Sorry that you are so cold over there in New England! I am freezing too.)

Jason @ Garden in a City (Jason is very knowledgable, creative and super enthusiastic about his gardens, it’s contagious)

Thanks to every one for humouring me and participating!

Keep Warm!

Diane

Ready, Set, Garden

19 Feb Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.02.19 PM

My garden is all planned out! In fact I even bought all the seeds I need yesterday! YESSSS!!!!!!!!

I AM READY TO RUMBLE!!!

Wait- It’s still snowing.

Anyways, when ever it decides to stop all that crud I am ready to go!

Using SmartGardener again I planned out all the square foot garden beds.  I am super excited for this year because I have increased the plantings using their Smart Squares add on. This add on is based on a square foot model for french intensive gardening, and it allows you to choose from either square foot spacing or the regular spacing for each of the plants commonly grown in square foot gardens.  Last year there were some vegetables that I planted using regular spacing based on their program which wasted a ton of valuable growing space- broccoli being the main one.yellow zucchini

With the Smart Squares you divide your bed into sections of mostly one square foot each areas and then plant vegetables in just the right amount of space they need as in basic square foot gardening. The main advantages of the square foot system are less watering (great for drought areas), easier weeding (no long rows to wander down and less light for weeds), and a greatly reduced overall workload.

60 days in the square ft garden

I have tired to plant mainly using the square foot model on my own but there are discrepancies with how things should be planted when I looked them up.  Having everything spelled out easily with the Smart Gardener plan makes it much simpler to plan ahead and have seeds on hand.  I am also going to do more succession planting as well with thoughtful reminders from you know who!– Smart Gardener.

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The diagram above shows the same # of plants that were planted last year using the smart square add on. You can see just how much left over space there really was.

The yields in the new garden plan are still based on the number of people in my household, 2 adults and 3 children but using the Smart Squares add on.  Already the plan is going to have double the amount of yields than it did last year in the same amount of space.  CRAZY! and Exciting!

New add ons also account for shade in the yard too. I think they have thought of almost everything for me.  If they could email me when my garden was dry we would be all set! They are probably working on that. yellow zucchini

Are you ready to dig in the dirt?

I am!!!!!!- you already knew that didn’t you.  Sorry! :)

Smart Gardener Review

Garden Plan 2013

 

 

Change is Good. Right?

14 Feb logs

Things are looking different around here.  I knew it was going to happen sooner than later but the difference is still shocking and has left us wondering. What do we do now with this blank slate of a yard? And where do we start?

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The house was surrounded by 100+year old spruce trees. The trees were BIG, they were nice enough I guess but super scary in a windstorm with them being so close to the house.  At least two have fallen completely over during a storm in the past few years on a fence or between other trees. Thankfully not on anything important. The trees in the front yard had roots that were heaving what was left of the sidewalks and damaging the septic that has to be replaced this spring.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.06.50 PM

Here is a line of spruce trees in the back yard. One of the trees was hit by lightening.  This line up of trees always drove me nuts because it blocked the view to the rest of the yard and field. Don’t box me in! Am I right? or am I right. Actually I don’t love the two that are remaining but the shade is nice in the summer.

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.06.17 PMSeven trees in total were to be cut down… in the end due to some miss communication between the workers 8 came down (far right). I was convinced by the crew that the 8th tree was on its last legs and very weak anyways. ugg.  At the time even though it was a ‘freebie’ I was rather irritated.  Honestly.  The entire event was quite stressful.  It is a dangerous job that isn’t just for anyone.  We hired a company that has worked for us before but the biggest tree in the front yard kicked his butt quite literally.  In the processes of limbing up with a chainsaw he fell out of the tree and broke his hip.  Talk about a serious mishap.

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Standing away from the house.

 

Two trees in the front yard. An oak that was 70% dead and another Spruce with a toppled top leaning towards the house.

Looking at these pictures a few months later, I don’t have any remorse for removing the trees.  They did look rough and there is much more sunlight shining through the house.  The problem is going to be that a few of my gardens are planted part shade and will now be full sun all of a sudden! SCREAM! But that’s the thing with gardening, you are never done and I for one never have it perfect. OBVIOUSLY! Not with this mess! hahahScreen Shot 2014-02-12 at 2.09.37 PM

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The last two men standing (+Laverne the cat).

I need extra strength this spring.  We didn’t even get all the wood chip cleaned up before it snowed. …Yowzers.

12 years ago today on Valentines Day we toured this house and decided to buy it! ahh to be young and in love… :)

Happy Valentines Day!

The Ghettos New Watering Hole

12 Feb winter bird feeder

Yes, this is the ghetto.  I often joke about that. Weird things have happened out here from time to time.  Like waking up in the middle of the night to a car on fire on your front lawn or someone breaking into your house while you are sleeping. It used to be rough out here.

But it’s always rough on those cute little birdies. The other day a hawk swooped down and grabbed a sparrow while another 3 flew for their lives leaving their feathers smeared all over the window.  :(  Can you blame me for wanting to spoil those little creatures stuck out in the cold?

birds enjoying water in the winter

One of my most wished for christmas presents this year was a bird bath heater.

AND I GOT ONE! YaY!BIRD BATH HEATER

I don’t know when I became such a softie for the birds but I think it was shortly after getting chickens.

I even found myself eyeing the buggies in the pet store the other day- Lord help me! hah!

birds need water in the winter

On a day when it is almost -20 celcius the birds will spend all day bathing and drinking.

This gadget is called a Bird Bath Deicer with an automatic shut off.

It is thermostatically controlled, and costs little to operate keeping the water above 4 degrees C/40 degrees F.

The heater shuts off automatically in 90 seconds when operated out of water.
It is suitable for use in plastic, pottery or concrete birdbaths only.  It can be found at many specialty bird stores or TSC for around $50.00

I used this deicer in a large rubber pail to keep the chickens watered when I was away for a week this winter and it worked wonderfully. I have been looking for something like this for years.  A heated dog water bowl is too small for extended times away and the usual trough or pond de-icer is too large for the small flock.  This is perfect for chickens or small birds.

bird bath sauna

Everyone enjoys watching the birds! Do you?

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