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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dead Trees, new project

When I first moved into my wee abode I immediately embarked on some landscaping as relatively none existed. Having been an apartment dweller for way way too long/aka a closet gardener, I opted for shrubbery and ornamental trees rather than tons of flowers, of which I knew little. Also, I wanted to get the "bones" of the gardens established as quickly as possible, and not knowing the soil conditions, sun disposition etc I felt it prudent to start with the basics. So, in went two Caraganas, several Weigelias, a red Maple, a "Burning" bush and a Lilac.
Above is my first failure! Waaaaaaah. We're well into June and this thing is dead. Ok, there are two, maybe three wee branches which have flowered and not yet leafed, but the main part of the tree is just plain dead! Well actually, if you break off a branch it's still green inside .... so is there hope? Calling for opinions from all you horticulturalists out there!
I can't even chalk it down to a hard winter, or too soggy a spring .... as other Caraganas in the neighbourhood are in full leaf by now - just not mine! As you can see from the pic it was planted in front (but away from) a furnace exhaust pipe. I had hoped that I planted it far enough away, but suspect this is what has killed my poor Caragana!

So, now that my car has eaten all of my extra dollars for this year and all prospects of any kind of vacation away, even for one or two days, has completely and totally vanished, I guess I'll spend some of my precious three weeks off from the daily grind (aka job) digging out this corpse (sound of funereal dirge playing in background). I'm now toying with the idea of some kind of iron or stone sculptural piece to go in it's place. Hmmmm, this will involve shopping in garden centers, architectural salvage yards, antique places. Hmmmm, things might actually be looking up!
Whilst waiting for my friend to complete the quilt top she wants me to hand quilt for her, I have decided to get at this whole cloth pre-stenciled large wall hanging I scooped at the year end auction in my previous quilt guild. And, I only paid $3.00 for the kit! This should keep me out of trouble for the next month-month and 1/2, so this is good. Everything but the batting was included in the kit, so stay tuned!

Summer Tablescape!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend of Firsts !

Well, it was a weekend of firsts! Friday evening Simone, the sweet but untouchable kitty - I believe her new name should be Simone the inscrutable Siamese, came downstairs and played with mummy. Didn't last long, only a few minutes, but none-the-less a really good sign.

Saturday I finally got the Steam mop put together. Nothing like a whole lotta procrastinating .... I've only had the thingee for oh about 4-6 weeks! Anyway, I spent the afternoon searching all over the house for my favourite screwdriver, finally found it right where I last left it ... erggggg, then put the blasted thingee together only to discover the wonders of steam mopping your floors. Woohoo! Try it - you'll like it!
Later that same day whilst decompressing on the wee patio I glimpsed my first butterfly of the season - WooHoo! Oh the joys of having a garden, no matter how small. I also managed to complete mother's birthday present, a door hanging. I spent over a week attempting to find a suitable border fabric, but none of the colours worked - at least in my eyes ... so I chose to go with no border just a binding. Finally finished the hand quilting and got it bound.
Sunday I baked a rhubarb crumble from scratch ... ok, ok, I know that's not something one usually brags about .... but I'm not domestic - never have been. So, this was a milestone! Thanks L for the rhubarb!!!


P.S. Simone the inscrutable Siamese came down for breakfast this morning!!! Another first. Maybe this will be a week of first?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Green Eyed Monster

So, sweetiepie Simone has returned home, and the proverbial green eyed monster has reared it's ugly head. Amazing! She was only gone for a day and a half ... but Iris (not so sweetiepie) decided the house was hers!!! Simone is currently cowering under the bed in the spare room as mommy won't let her in the basement. Perhaps this is a good thing as she needs time to be quiet and heal, and I'd rather have her on a floor I frequent where I can at least talk to her, albeit from another room.
I have a friend coming over tonight to help me with Simone as I need to remove the medication patch from her right shoulder --- update, update - Dinner went off without a hitch, but getting hold of Ms Untouchable was another story .... to be expected mommy now has several puncture wounds/swollen fingers and a sore arm from the necessary Tetanus shot. Friend went home unscathed (luckily) and poor Simone has retired to hiding behind the quilt stand in the spare bedroom. When she eventually re-appears will let blogland know. Here's hoping she doesn't hold permanent grudges!
On the craft front ... I've made major progress on mother's door hanging over the weekend - BTW wasn't it a glorious weekend? Lots of time on the patio stitching and stitching and stitching. I also managed to make it out to one of our local Quilt stores which is closing it's first location in favour of the second, and consequently had a 50% off sale!

Yes ladies, you read correctly I said 50% off!!! Now I know this goes against the grain (pardon the pun) 'cause I vowed to buy no more fabric until all my UFOs were completed (yeah - right) ... but then again, 50 % off! The catch 22 was that you couldn't ask for a fat quarter cut you "had" to buy a meter - oh hardship!! So, with patterns in hand for my next major applique project (see below) I dutifully spent dollars and got myself all supplied up! Wish me luck!!!
Maggie Walker's Cats in the Garden

Monday, June 01, 2009


Ms. Iris in Carrier
So, Simone baby is scheduled to go to the Vet for the big snip snip (spayed and shots) this Thursday - wish me luck getting Ms. "untouchable" into the cat carrier, which is why I dragged it up from the basement last week, re-assembled it and put in her cat bed and favourite blankie .... only to have Ms. Iris sleep in it all day Saturday!!!!
Granted , Simone did played with - or rather taunted Iris most of the morning through the vents in the carrier, so perhaps all was not lost - maybe she has/will get used to the thingee and not get tooooo toooo hysterical when I affix the door, then capture her inside in anticipation of the morning car ride to Dr. Blue Cross. Let's hope so! Now I know some of you out there are against de-clawing cats. Iris, when she came to me was already de-clawed, so I am considering having Simone de-clawed (front only). It makes for a happier mommy, and both furry babies are indoor cats - ALWAYS, or at least until mommy can afford to fence in the back yard! Here's hoping the spaying will calm Simone down and perhaps - just perhaps she'll become touchable, that is IF she ever forgives me for sticking her in the carrier and taking her away!!!

What else did mommy accomplish this past weekend? Well, I made my own version of the Spoonful of Sugar Loyalty Card wallet. Now, as usual my first attempt was just a wee bit too small and my loyalty cards didn't fit ... so I made a second one and watched my seam allowances a bit more carefully - and ta da! Oh boy oh boy - another quilty/fabricy thingee - woohoo! What else? Well, I managed to spend loads on $$$ at the grocery store, and I was somewhat domestic and steamed then froze a whole bunch of Asparagus in prep for next winter. Of course it meant I had to re-arrange the now overfilled freezer - but hey - as Miss Scarlet once said "I'll never be hungry again. ..."!