Photos, Hand-mades, Antiques, Gardening and Other Things I Fancy

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With the Old and In With the New ~ My Promises for Change

a new year approaches
not unlike the last I think
one day fading into night and into day again
4:45 alarm shrieks on the bedside table
6:00 bleary eyed lock fumbling
multi-task no time for lunch for this one woman complaint dept.
6:00 home at last and so it goes one day fading into night

a new year approaches
different than the last
as one day fades into night so do opportunities come and go
take a chance
go out on a limb
find the courage to make it different

So there you have my lament for the year past and my resolution for 2010.  Resolutions are hard things to uphold nevermind lay down...but maybe a gridwork of thoughts would be better.  After all is said and done if I don't have any aspirations for 2010 then it might just be a cc of 2009 and I will see it come to a close with these same regrets.  So here frame to build a year on....
1.  Start a hooked rug.  Stop procrastinating and saying I don't have enough time...set aside the time and do it.
2.  Place a seed order and start my own seedlings indoors instead of finding myself in the middle of May kicking my fanny that I didn't do it yet again.
3.  Finish reading Nikon D60 for Dummies and really experiment with photography in the way I want to. 
4.  Read all the books I bought in 2009.
5.  Enroll Garmin in Puppy School.
6. Do a little weeding every day.  It can actually be a relaxing and enjoyable activity if I keep on top of it.
7.  Join the local photography club.
8.  Bake more. (from scratch)
9.  Stop being critical of others...when I find myself going down that road grab my rug hook or start weeding.
10.  (This is the key to all of the above.)  I vow, with this blog as my witness to stop going the extra mile at work.  I am on hours are split shift 6-10:30 and 2-5:30....working 6am 'til 5:30pm only serves to make me bitter and unproductive at home.  Points 1-9 will never transpire if I continue to work crazy one appreciates it is just a job not a career...I am 50 and not getting any younger...I must take care of me because no one else will.

So there you have poem, my rant, my to-do list. OK 2010 lets Gitt-er-done!

Monday, December 28, 2009


It is name is Garmin.
Even if my mom thought it was too soon to get another lab I dazzled her with my good looks and puppy charm and well...what more can I say.  I am "The Cuteness".

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meet The New Addition

I am going to show off my Christmas present.
Santa brought a wee Labrador puppy on Christmas morning.
His momma is a Yellow and his poppa is a Chocolate.

His name is Garmin and he's just 6 wks old.
Really a bit too young...but his mother stopped feeding the puppies at 5 wks and my husband had already picked him home he came.  He spent the week with friends so he was a surprise for me on Christmas morning.  I had no idea my Santa was bringing me a pup and the moment I saw him was both happy and sad.  He will never replace my Hunter but he will weave his way into the fabric of Porcupine Hollow and be a play mate for Willow.

Willow has accepted him and is letting him nap on her bed.  She is such a good girl.
Garmin is hubby's choice for a name....I like Ruger and the girls are undecided. 
For now he's "the pup"....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lean on Me

It has been very quiet around here without Hunter.  I haven't been feeling up to blogging or taking pictures since losing my sweet boy.  Poor Willow is very clingy and confused...I don't know if dogs grieve but I'm sure that she is. 
Wee Remington tried his best to entice her into a game of tag around the kitchen table the other night...but to no avail. 

Sometimes a dog just needs an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on and a toasty woodstove to curl up beside.

It's all good.

Told ya I should be a therapy dog!

Therapy work is rewarding....but sooooo very draining.

I have to work today....but tomorrow we will head out to Porcupine Hollow on our snowshoes and honour Hunter by doing what we all loved so much and take a long trek through the woods taking pics in the snow and chasing squirrels and anything else that may cross our path.

A silly moment when he let my grown kids dress him up.

I am thankful that he owned me for 10 yrs.  That he only knew one home.  That he left this world with Willow and his girls by his side.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The challenge this week is about capturing fins, fur and feathers.  Pretty tough for those of us without aquariums and crystal clear fish ponds.  I was going to haul a frozen salmon out of the freezer for my "fin" portion but came up with another idea last here we go...

Red-breasted Nuthatch
This little guy doesn't know what to make of the dame with the camera...he was skittish but his peanut craving finally got the better of him.

Chickadee enjoying the seed pie.

A whole fish just for me?

Hey...wait a minute...that's not a real fish.

That's better...but I had to rely on summertime photos to meet the requirements.

Two of my girls doing what they do best...out fishing their father.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009



On November 11 Canadians wear poppies and gather at war memorials across Canada to pay tribute to those who died in War.
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the time the Armistice of WWI was signed in 1918, we observe two minutes of silence to remember.
Our $10 bill is dedicated to those who served and who are currently serving our country.
The Sunday Stills Currency Challenge couldn't have come on a better week! 

In addition to the $10 I also happened to have a Remembrance Day 25 cent piece in my wallet.  (and to think I woke up this morning thinking I would have to forego this weeks challenge because I couldn't come up with anything better than dumping my purse onto the kitchen table and taking shots of coins and lint.)
I will leave you with the words of one of Canada's most famous sons...Doctor, Soldier, Poet...John McCrae.

by John McCrae 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sempervivum spp.

To me, nothing in the garden is quite as quaint and old fashioned as a clump of Hens and Chicks.  Maybe it's because I get all sentimental (or just plain old mental) when I look at them.  You see my Nanny had them at her house and I can still remember exactly where they were and I can still see them in my head just like it was yesterday.  Nanny was my Dad's mother, and she had a large rectangular shaped flower garden where all sorts of interesting things grew, the strangest of all being a Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

Hens and Chicks in my front garden that are showing a tinge of red after a couple of heavy frosts.

This Plain Jane variety is the one I remember best.

Another childhood memory that comes to mind when I look at these plants, is of driving out to the country to my grandparents farm with my mom and a couple of her sisters.
They were on their own memory journeys.  They all recalled Grandma had Hens and Chicks growing on a rock near the farmhouse and they were determined to go back and see if they were still there.
I don't know whether they found what they were looking for or not, but the name Sempervivum means 'live forever' so maybe they are still there...somewhere.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Just One More Fall Foliage Post....Maybe

Photography credit for these shots goes to my husband who knows I'm obsessed about taking pics of fall leaves.  How sweet is that?  He took these about 2 weeks ago.   This is the countryside near Peterborough Ontario, very close to our friends farm. 

Homeward bound.

Looks like uninhabited wilderness as far as the eye can see. that a house in a clearing???

Land o'lakes.

Shelter Valley Farms straight ahead.
(aka cows, cows and more cows)
I hope you have enjoyed the colours from a slightly different perspective than I am able to offer you from the ground up.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The black cat with it's back arched and the full moon behind makes for a scary jack-o-lantern.   Hope everyone had a safe and happy Hallowe'en.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I missed out on Sunday Stills this I will post a combo macro Monday/Fall Foliage shot. 

If you want to see the pretty colours now you have to look down.  Our trees are all but bare now...with the exception of the oak tree in our front yard which turns brown and hangs on to it's leaves until the snow finally knocks them off.

Maple leaves resting on a mossy log.

Last Birch Standing.
Go to to see some great photo shots.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Olde Well

"If gardeners will forget a little phrase, 'watering the plants' and think of 'watering the earth' under the plants, keeping up it's moisture content and gauging it's need, the garden will get on very well."
Henry Beston, Herbs and the Earth, 1935

While out on my walk the other day, I took a photo of the old well on the property.  I thought it looked especially pretty with the freshly fallen leaves floating on the surface.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The challenge today is the Letter C. 
I decided to represent the letter C with photos of Comfort.
(Mostly due to the fact that I left my picture taking to the last minute and then I could only think of Campbell #2 daughters cat...and well that wasn't enough....)

Remmington, my daughters 8 wk old Pug finds comfort wrapped in blanket on a chilly fall afternoon.

Campbell knows that true comfort means snoozing on the dog bed. 

Comfort is homemade Potato Soup and Scones hot from the oven served with my own wine.

Comfort is Pumpkin pie for dessert.

Comfort is an evening spent in your Flannel PJ's and woolly slippers.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009


It sure has been one chilly week.  Heavy frost every night...Ottawa weather reported nightime temps of -3 but we are about 25 kms away out in the country so it's always colder here.  Our thermometer outside the kitchen window was registering -5 every morning this week.  I made a valiant attempt to keep my beautiful fushia alive...but even hanging it inside the garage every night couldn't save it from the "end".  Yes is a hanging mass of dark blackened leaves...sad to say but true.
I spent the week cleaning up the garden...still more to do on that front...but I have made a good start.  I like cleaning it up and putting it to bed.  Lots of time to think about what plant is invading where it shouldn't...what is doing poorly and needs to be moved about and a good time to plan and dream for next spring.

I left the wheelbarrow upright in the rained...then after knocking the ice out of it I loaded up.  As you can tell by the photo...I use the "lazy mans load" method. Proud of myself for not upsetting it on the way to the compost pile out back.

I always have help in the garden.  In this shot Willow is inspecting the powdery mildew problem on the phlox.  Hunter is just showing us his "good side".

Okay, proper pose for our adoring public....then can you throw the tennis ball?
Next on my to do list....get those bulbs in while I can still get a shovel in the ground!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Thanksgiving weekend here in Eastern Ontario was just about as perfect weatherwise as one could ever wish for.  We were blessed with sunny skies for the most part and the clouds when they did appear were light and fluffy. Just a perfect weekend to go on a ramble and that is exactly what I did.

Initially the hounds like to bound ahead breaking trail.

However, before long they tire of that job and decide that stick chewing will be the order of the day.
(You will note that we have a severe stick shortage on the property and in order to conserve the few remaining sticks that are there, we ask that all dogs share one stick.) 

 I was surprised to find that most of the maples had lost their leaves already.  A few birch were still putting on a golden display.

Even the small hound enjoyed romping in the leaves.  Well...for a few minutes anyway....he spent most of the outing wrapped in a blanket while being carried by #1 daughter.
A very pleasant ramble it was indeed and I am so happy that we decided to go since today the weather has turned and we awoke to heavy gray skies and rain, rain, rain. 
Take time to enjoy the simple things for you never know what lies ahead.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The sunny day we had here yesterday was perfect for drying out the milkweed pods.  Today they are splitting open and the seeds are taking flight in the breeze.

This lone seed has gotten tangled in the seedheads of some Goldenrod.

Yes....these are growing in my garden...I leave them because every good butterfly garden should have some Milkweed and I really do like their flowers.
(The Goldenrod however, is in the field next door where it will be much loved by the flocks of Goldfinches that will be here soon.)

For more Macro Monday shots visit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SUNDAY STILLS: Photoshop Challenge

I don't have a fancy photoeditor...I just used a couple of the free photoediting sites available online.
This is one of my favourite photographs.  Our old rail fence
with a light dusting of snow.  Above I have had a little fun with it and below is the original.

And now the photo turned pencil sketch.

Now experimenting with a Polaroid look.

For more photo-editing check out