Thursday, May 28, 2009

Brown Thumbs?

My day is not nearly done in the garden. Everything takes longer than I plan it seems. I don't know if I'm slower, more careful or what. It took me longer than usual to select the plants this morning and the afternoon to plant them. The photo is a sampling of the terra cotta pots I planted today. They have a bit of transplant shock but will be fine in a couple of days. I spent $82. and did not buy tomato plants as planned. I still have so much work to do before planting them so I'll let someone else worry about watering the seedlings. I'll buy them when it's time.

I keep saying this but driving in the countryside at this time of the year is so beautiful and gives one such an uplifting feeling. Spring! By far my favorite season. It just makes everyone and everything wake up and I sure do take notice, being the visually stimulated person I am.

I had music to accompany my planting of course and was groovin' to Gotta Serve Somebody by Mavis Staples. It made my mind wander to the late seventies when the song was first released by Bob Dylan on Long Train Comin' and I was playing it non-stop. To me it's one of his best albums but for lots of people it signified that Dylan had 'gone religious' and thus did not like this period. I love this song and the whole album.

Just a thought. I wonder why planting and gardening is called having a green thumb. As far as I can tell it adds up to brown fingers and thumbs. Could I be doing something wrong?

Back to work tomorrow so I won't be here till Monday unless it turns out I don't have to work on Saturday then - no excuse.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Life

I am bushed, played out and completely tuckered. I've been outside all day gardening intensively and that is the plan for tomorrow as well. I've had my old vegetable garden tilled and am trying to remove couch (or cooch) grass that had completely taken over the spot. If you know this grass you know how hard it is. I got all my terra cotta pots ready for plants as well. I blended soil, peat moss and compost in a wheel barrow and filled the twenty-six pots with the mixture. I am going to a garden center tomorrow for plants and will need a wheel barrow full of money. It takes a lot of plants to fill that many pots and they're expensive! I'll buy the tomato plants for the garden at the same time.

I had an organic vegetable garden for my whole adult life and fed my children with it throughout their lives but gave it up for the last five years for a good reason. That reason is now no longer a factor so I am very happy anticipating fresh vegetables at my back door again. This work is worth it. I'm hoping I can convince my son of this too as I'd like him to give me a hand this evening. When I mention tomato sauces made with fresh tomatoes, he may succumb more easily.

The music today is varied. Winter's Come and Gone is by Gillian Welsh and is of the country/bluegrass style. It's a wonderful song for spring and what I'm experiencing in my yard with the blackbirds and blue birds all around. I still have three resident mallard drakes in the pond but I think I saw a duck this morning. I was upstairs and needed my binoculars to be sure. Scotland's Amy MacDonald brings the music variety I mentioned with the very poppy This Is the Life. It's how I feel being able to have all the gardens I'd ever want or need. Some don't have this luxury.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Country Colour

Prince Edward Island is a beautiful place to be in the spring, during dandelion season specifically. I know that hoards of people consider dandelions to be weeds but I think they are beautiful and fill the countryside with an awe-inspiring bright yellow colour that contrasts with the red soil perfectly. Add to that the subtle green colour changes in the stands of trees in the forests. There are numerous shades of green, several shades of pink and red, and all colours in between.

I felt blessed to drive through this yesterday on my way to town. I hadn't been to town since a dental appointment forced me the day after I arrived home from Ontario a month ago. There is not much to draw me in, away from my home and community. The beauty of the countryside holds more for me. Since I had a Town List a month long, my day in the city was busy. I was successful in all endeavours so can probably stay away for another month.

I am going to be doing lots of gardening for the next while. The garden provides some pretty intense exercise as you get older. The intense gardening I did years ago would not be possible for me these days. It all works out, I suppose. I no longer have a big family to feed.

For years I wanted to know the identity of the singer of this song that I had heard on the radio years before. I loved it immediately but did not catch the nameof the song or singer. A couple of years ago, Kat from Keep the Coffee Coming had the song on her blog and I was so happy to find it and have my questions answered. I have it for you today - The Garden Song by David Mallett. Another to celebrate the beauty I see around PEI's countryside is Dandelion Rain by Dean Fields. I love spring the best

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Dreaming Day

I've had the best kind of day. I felt I needed a day doing nothing in particular but changing my bed and doing laundry. I hung out sheets and blankety things, did all the folding outside, and spent the day doing just light chores but always outside. I only came in for meals and Oprah. What a glorious day! I took photos of dandelions, though they are still in the camera. I made a tiny bouquets of tiny flowers, violets and forget-me-nots, a bleeding heart. I invited a friend for supper but by voicemail. Told her she could come even if she got this at five to six. I always have lots. It's been a perfect day so far.

This song just came to mind - Happy by Martin Sexsmith. He is one of the best performers I've ever seen live so I have a soft spot for him. He was peforming solo and sounded like a whole band. I will never forget him. He has this really telling song, I Thought I Knew You. Happens to us all, eh?

Just got off the phone with my aunt. She and my uncle have just put her beautiful beach home on the market, and are looking for something with one floor. Darn, some of these age related health matters can reduce you to tears. They want to stay in their dream house forever but living on three levels is just too tough for them to manage.

Maybe if they find a lucky feather on the beach...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Any Questions?

I got a card and photos from my grandchildren today. It brought back memories of my visit at Easter thus the photo today of the walk in the woods I took with the grandkids and my son. I had asked my son to take some photos suitable for framing of me and the kids to put in empty frames I had brought to the kids. He got excellent shots. I think he's a born photographer now that I've seen those and the ones he took of my grandson and me that are gracing the masthead of this blog. This is his photo as I'm the subject (along with my grandson).

I took my friend who is in his nineties for a ride today. I had banking to do an a couple of other short stops and insisted he come along though I had some urging to do. It's good for him. I gave him his belated birthday gift, a pint of whiskey, and he was very pleased about that. He gets in a rut and doesn't want to move. Much like the person I had visiting yesterday. I'm trying to do my part in getting people moving.

I had my lawn professionally mowed today. Too long a story. I traded my wonderful roto tiller a few years ago for a summer's professional mowing. It is a wonderful thing to not have to deal with but pricey. My son is paying for it this time as he has been in Chicago since Friday and didn't take care of the lawn so agreed to pay to have it done. It looks great!

Ha, I just did a search on my blog for the song, As Long As I'm Movin'. I had it here not long ago by Ruth Brown but have it by someone else but can't remember who. Anyway, My friend's 92nd birthday that was two years ago came up. It deserves a link just for the picture of him.

"Where Have You Been?" was the first question asked me today when I showed up at his nursing home. Andrea Marcovecci answered.

"Are You Lonely?", I asked. Denison Witmer answered.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stages and Layers

This is a canvas of my aunt's as promised. It hangs in an entryway above a bench. You get lost in the cool green and blues. It's amazing. Again, you have to click to embiggen.

This afternoon I entertained a friend who is feeling very down. I thought I could cheer her up and maybe get into some painting and crafty things with a lot of ideas and an open stocked studio but she's feeling uninspired. Depression is a terrible thing. We both heard a radio program this afternoon on CBC about coming to terms with health problems and problems in general. Just get out there and do it she says. I feel that way now too and I kind of bugged my friend with that 'you can do it' rap. She wasn't buying it. I'm expecting more company any minute so will probably be choosing music late. I will probably publish whenever she comes and add music later.

Oh, definitely more Dan Hicks. How can I not, with a clean slate. We've had a few days of rain which ended today. My friend and I sat outside all afternoon, with sweaters. Garden in the Rain is a fitting song as I was visiting the garden, showing it off and pulling an occasional weed. The afternoon had gorgeous clouds of which I got several photos. Tomorrow, you'll see them.

Back to the music after another visitor. I love Dan Hicks for the right mood. Here's Hummin' to Myself by Dan, a fit as always.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Groovin' and Movin'

It has been a wet Monday and a good excuse to stay in today to do housework. You'd swear a couple of Neanderthals lived here with the mess the house gets in sometimes. A rainy day is just the excuse you need to sort it out.

I just finished making a bouquet with the dregs of last week's flower sale purchases, the last of the daffodils and some forsythia branches. As I was turning the vase to see which side to face out on the table I noticed a hornet crawling around on one of the daffodils. I had brought it in without knowing - for the umpteenth time. I must remember to check more carefully.

Today I am showing another painting by my aunt. This too is done on porcelain. I'll show a canvas next time. I love this. It's not that the girl looks like me but in my grade one photo, my hair is cut much the same and my eyes have the same look so I've always had a soft spot for it. You can see from last week's painting that my aunt does grapes excellently and this week portraits as well. I wish I had half the talent. You have to click to enlarge to give the work justice.

Doing housework today I had some groovin' music blasting to hurry the jobs along and make them more pleasant as well. Here's It Don't Mean a Thing by Club des Belugas. An old favorite that I play so, so often - C'mon a My House by the no one else like him, one of my heros, Mr. Dan Hicks. Thanks, Dan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Down But Not Out

I had a bit of a lazy day today. The photo is taken while lying on the lawn. I'm not feeling A1 as I ate garlic and cheese last night, a double whammy on my sensitive system. I knew what I was getting into but I always hope for a chance that I won''t be affected but that never happens. I needed a quiet day anyway after the intense gardening yesterday. I was exhausted as I thought I might be but got a lot done.

The tulips are blooming now. I lost a lot of them to mice over the winter. It is easy to find the damage. There were tunnels in the garden and many, many empty tulip bulb husks. It worked out well actually. There was a tulip disease in the garden and I was supposed to pull the affected tulips. I really didn't have the heart to do it but I see no sign of the disease this year. The mice possibly ate all the diseased bulbs.

Lay Down ( Candles In the Rain) was an old favorite from the early seventies by Melanie Safka, generally known as Melanie. It was up there on the charts. Hit The Ground by Lizz Wright is not as old but it's as good.

Back to work tomorrow so I'll see you Monday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Floral Heights

My house holds a riot of colour today. Like after Valentines day, the store where I grocery shop had their flowers at half price. I got three bouquets - red carnations, purple mums and dyed green chrysanthemums. I picked marsh marigolds on the way home and have all those vases of daffodils in the house already. You can imagine all the displays I've made. I also have branches from my forsythia in the bouquets.

Since I collect vases I have lots of choices, just not enough surfaces to set them. Quite often I have tall vases on floors, like today. They cover every surface. I sometimes have new vases like the one my sister, Cath, gave me this year. It is egg shaped. I've taken photo of it's first year and can see many years of more cre8ive arrangements for the future. I'm keeping it outside on the deck's very old, on it's last legs, lobster box coffee table. I'll show a photo 0f it soon.

The house with the flowers all through it is like bliss to me. I love the complicated beauty, complicated music and art as well. Could that perhaps indicate I'm a complicated person? I am easily stimulated visually, and with photography, painting, flower arranging, jewelry-making, stained glass and building beaches, allowing me to fulfill my ideas, I feel quite balanced.

Tomorrow I'm gardening so you may not hear from me. It depends on how exhausted I am. It takes so much more out of me now than in the olden days. Even though gardening is a lot of work, gorgeous flowers to make into bouquets for my house are very well worth it.

It's The Waifs today with Sun Dirt Water for even thinking about gardening. It will help me get through all the heavy work. I'll be sure to play it while I'm outside. House By The Sea too, by Iron and Wine will be quick and keep me working at a good pace. I will groan now if I'm not able to come tomorrow. That will be my post - just a long groan for every time I try to move by tomorrow night.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Post From a Great Girl

Ah, Monday. The sun is shining at last after a weekend of rain . Yesterday was downright nasty with fierce winds and a temperature that dipped to zero. On a clear night this would have meant frost but with the wind and rain we were at least spared that. I worked the weekend while it rained and will be off in the sunshine. It worked out pretty good, I must say.

I found out today my car is to cost only $635.00 instead of the $1000.00 I'd expected. It is because the mechanic did not do one of the repairs as it was not deemed vital at this time . It will be vital in a while but for now he said I could skip it.

Yesterday I spoke to my son and grandchildren. My grand-daughter who is three and a half said, "I love you Grandma C cause you're a great girl." How cute is that? My son who lives at home brought lobster that I had last night after work with a nice cold beer. Heaven!

Today's photo is of a china painting done by my aunt. I will show her work from time to time. She's fantastic and I photographed all her work that is hung in her home. Of course, you must click the photo to see the true artistry.

I'm glad to be back at work. I get in great physical shape over the summer which is a great benefit. I miss doing my various art projects but there is always a long winter ahead. In it I satisfy my cre8ive and my gastronomical urges. Summer is better for my body; winter for my cre8ivity.

Everything will Work Out Fine says Joel Plaskett. It's a perfect life, eh? I think A Wonderful Life by The Felice Brothers says it all. This was one of my favorite songs of last year and here it is again. Since all the Putfile files have disappeared, a lot of the favorites have to be replaced.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Just Breathe

What a day! I found out my car needs a whole lot of expensive work. I had to bum a drive home as my car is unsafe to drive. I have no way to get to work tomorrow.

In the two drives my car took while I was away, I received two serious car issues. I took it to the airport on Tuesday. My daughter drove it home from the airport on Thursday, the day she arrived from the west. My son delivered it to the airport for me the night before I was to come home three weeks later. He inadvertently opened the trunk hatch while he was getting gas and forgot to close it. There was a wind storm that night and the trunk slammed and slammed into the back window. The body shop guys showed me two spots on the window where the trunk had hit repeatedly and told me it was a miracle that it had not broken.

From the minute I picked up the car at the airport I knew there was something wrong underneath. My mechanic had just told me of an imminent problem before I went away so I thought it was that. No, a spring has been broken and two struts are leaking. It was another strut I'd had replaced just before I went away and these two weren't leaking then. I have to have all that replaced and the sway bar that he'd already mentioned. It is not safe to drive as the broken spring could blow out the tire if I hit a pothole.

My kids (or one of them) drive like maniacs it seems. Mr. Mechanic said it must have been a hard hit to break all three things. Life costs too darn much I say. It's hard to survive it with an old vehicle.

I had very good news just moments ago. One of my oldest friend had a double mastectomy today and she just called me to tell me she was alright. She said she was returning the favor because I has surprised her so much when I called her personally from my hospital bed after my kidney removal. She was expecting one of the kids and I really surprised her when I called myself. She's great and feeling lighter.

I have four songs or more I'd like to put up now in honour of my breastless and cancer-free friend. I normally do only two a day but will do all of them because I won't be here for a few days. Some extra music to see you through.

I think it will be very difficult to go to morning blogging as I had to do last year when I worked so will only blog here when I have time off or feel like it in the morning. I will still keep up the other blogs as best I can. This one takes the longest and most committment. I like to read blogs in the morning not write them so I'll still be here reading and listening.

Here's more music for Pam who is still frozen and on pain relief drugs for a time. I'm glad she's Breathin'.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Rainy Day

Just realized this photo was snapped three years ago today.

I don't know if this is universal but it is something I've talked to women about from time to time. You wake up with no energy but you will not give yourself permission to take the day off. Even if you have nothing pressing you make an effort at your jobs because you feel guilty for slacking off. You have to get something accomplished, not lie around all day. That's the kind of day I'm having today. I feel exhausted but carried on with chores even though I should have taken a 10 AM nap instead. Even though it is not often I wake up with no energy, I still can't let go of that sense of responsibility for accomplishment in my day.

We've had lovely gentle rain all day. spring is advancing my the minute. The grass is growing and at the next moment of sunshine is going to burst into the stage where it has to be mowed. Oh, joy! For those who know me, I don't tend to swear but mowing adds %&#$'s to my Oh, joy! I will ask my son to take care of it and hope he responds well. Heck he goes to a place called a golf course and worships the grass there.

Wonderful daffodils are filling my house. They bring such pleasure and beauty, I can hardly stand it. I haven't delivered as many bouquets as I usually do each spring. I always give my friend who had the fiftieth birthday a big bouquet and intended to give her fifty yesterday but she had other plans and we didn't make arrangements. I love spreading cheer with them.

You could say daffodils are Sunshine on a Rainy Day. Singer Zoe thinks so too. I have quite a collection of rain songs. Here is one by Dr. John, Come Rain or Come Shine.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Outdoor Work Progresses

I thought I was sore and tired yesterday. Today I'm swollen, sore and tired and had to take Ibuprofen to get back outside after lunch. No one told me middle age hurt this much. Even one of the cats is limping today. They were pretty wild in the trees yesterday and again today, jumping from tree to tree and onto the ground from on high. Kenz went upstairs one foot at a time. I still haven't had a hot bath but opted for showering for the shorter time it required. Tonight for sure!

I got a lot done in these two days but not everything. I haven't even touched one garden. A property this size and established has a lot of upkeep and it's too much alone. My son is not into garden and yard chores so I get no help at all. There is way too much for one person. I love my house and property but would like to find something a lot easier to maintain.

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and I enjoyed that aspect of today. We are expecting a couple of days of rain and drizzle so taking advantage of perfect weather is golden. The rain can do it's job on the gardens now that I've done mine.

A good friend of mine turns fifty today. The music is for her. My friend's name is Heather so Blooming Heather by Kate Rusby is especially for her and Enjoy Yourself by Todd Snider is good advice for your birthday no matter the age.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Springing Golightly on Mother Earth

You have a tired woman at the moment. I have been gardening all day and yesterday walked for about three hours. My body needs immediate rest (and a hot bath) but there is still much to do before I rest. I'm still in the middle of some garden chores that have to be finished before dark, I have to make supper and am expecting company.

The day has been glorious and downright beautiful. I was driving deep in the country this morning getting beautiful shots and accomplishing much on the spring chore list. It is a beautiful season and a photographer's delight.

Mother Earth by Holly Golightly is perfect music for this gorgeous day that I spent working in the soil. Great song and even greater experience. She has yesterday rounded up too with Walk a Mile.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Click to Enlarge

I saw some incredible clouds today. Here's a bit. I'm painting clouds so they came at the right time. I am going to change what I painted this morning as I was given the perfect models. Nice when it's handed to you like that.

My gardening work wasn't handed to me though and I'm feeling it already. I have to get in better shape fast. I'm not done for the day either so am again begging off a longer post because I don't have time. As the summer progresses I may cut the number of posts too, as I'm taken up with a busy work schedule. Work starts this coming week so this is advance notification that things may slow down around here....and that I have to get in better shape fast.

The fact that all my Putfile music files have disappeared saddens me so I hope the new method of bringing music to you continues uneventfully.

Did anyone see Spectacle, Elvis Costello's new TV show last night? Elton John, who is an executive producer with the show, took the interview chair for the night and interviewed the great Diana Krall. I love her. She is playing in the Maritimes at the end of the month but I will be working instead of buying a probably expensive ticket for the show. It is in Moncton which means a bridge ticket to New Brunswick too, and that raises the cost considerabally. I certainly would love to go.

I listened to her new album several times at my aunt and uncle's as they are big fans too. I don't have the album yet so you have to put up with some older ones. I love her styling and great interpretations so much! Here's Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, as always, dedicated to my daughter and Alright, OK You Win, two favorites from my collection of favorite songs.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring Chores

Spring chores are happening everywhere on the Island. Tractors were out in most fields yesterday and the day before. Today has been cloudy with a mist of light rain now and then but not enough to keep farmers off the fields.

I've been cleaning and organizing myself, finishing up the studio from it's glass project month before last. I took the window to it's site last night and tried it in for size. It was perfect for fit and will be installed this weekend. I have some painting to finish so am setting the studio up for paint again. The uncle who I stayed with last week is also an artist and made a suggestion for the painting I painted with my aunt the week before and I want to implement his suggestion. I also want to finish the sunflower that I did in February. The next nice day will be spent in the yard and garden. Rainy days are for inside.

Jann Arden sings the song Looks Like Rain for this weekend's forecast so I'm hoping to get lots of work done inside. There's always so much to do that it's sometimes overwhelming. I am three weeks behind. It's been such a busy winter.

For something a bit more upbeat to help get some of these jobs taken care of, I need something a bit more lively. Here's Ruth Brown with As Long As I'm Movin. It makes me move, anyway.