Landscaping Improvements


This is the north wall of our house.  The picture was taken about 7:00 PM.  We live far enough north that the sun shines on all walls of the house in the course of a single day for most of the summer.  The bed along this wall is under an overhang created by the bay window and was a mess.  It contained a small lilac bush, a small cedar and some other deciduous tree, none of which did very well because of the limited sunlight.  The rest was choked with what my father called Ukrainian bluebells (see last years ‘crop’ on the right), wild weeds,anenomes, a few ferns and Lily of the Valley.  Hubby was fed up with the whole disaster and we tackled it this past weekend.  Up came all the tangle except a clump here and there, a fern that looked promising and some Lily of Valley under the water hose.  Planted were a half dozen various hosta.  We’ll see how it progresses.  It should fill in nicely.






I also managed to get the front yard planters ready.  Another week or so and it will look great.

Garden Update

The second flowers to appear in the garden.  Tulips are one of my favourites, particularly white and mauve and purple.  Surprised?

A little purple faced pansy managed to sneak in there.  So adorable, I love their little faces.

One can never depend on the claims on packages of bulbs.  The light coloured blossoms were supposed to be Shirley tulips, but they are quite a bit more yellow than I hoped.  Still beautiful.

Finally, I am pleased by how well the succulents survived the winter of mild temperatures and very little snow.  There were enough -40 C days that put the perennials at risk.  Many of the others did not fare so well.  I think I will have to replace the Siberian Iris and all the Crane’s Bill.


A New Reality

It was a strange day around the house today.  We worked in the garden most of the afternoon.  Every time I came to the door to get something in the house I felt the urge to call Toby, “Come outside, bud.  It’s a lovely day.”  Only, only I remembered Toby is no longer an element of our reality.  A number of months ago, he began sneezing constantly and violently, to the extend he would smack his muzzle against the floor, and then bleed all over everything.  The vet found a cancerous mass in Toby’s sinuses.  Eventually the tumours began protruding from one of his nostrils, bringing an end to the sneezing, but slowing him down.  Thursday night, Friday morning he did not sleep well, sneezing again (the other sinus cavity?) and whimpering.  Hubby did not sleep at all, and neither did the sweet boy.  The vet agreed it was time, that the pain and quality of life would only get uncomfortably worse.

It’s weird not to have dogs in the house.  The television was turned off all day, no unwavering stare as we eat our meals, no click of nails on the hardwood floor.  We’ll miss him so much, trusting he is frolicking and running amok with Dusty and cousin Cruzor.  The three buddies, reunited.  Joy in peace boys.

Kinuseo Falls – British Columbia

Murray River Valley

We have been told by a few people that taking a trip to view Kinuseo Falls in Monkman Provincial Park is a must.  Yesterday we travelled to Tumbler Ridge, then south on 40 kms of loose gravel roads to the falls.  It was definitely worth the trip. I was surprised by the number of people who took the risk to drive out there.  We learned today that the local tire shop supplies three new tires a day due to people getting flats on that road.  Almost at the falls we passed a Volkswagon on the side of the road, a path of dark oil drenched gravel leading us right to them.  We stopped to offer assistance, but they assured us someone was on the way.  We gave thanks that we made it in and out no worse for wear.


Amazing rock formations on opposite side of Murray River








The first thing that impressed me the most was the crazy rock formations on the opposite side of the river.  The layers of sediment from eons ago were bent like ribbon candy, in some places the angle was greater than 90 degrees!  It is difficult to imagine the forces and pressure that managed to bend rock into pretzels.  Quite incredible.

Kinuseo Falls is slightly higher than Niagara Falls, 197 feet, although not nearly as wide, but just as LOUD.

The falls were beautiful.  They can only be viewed from above, there is no access into the canyon.  We did take a trail that followed along the edge of the cliffs and up to another viewing point that did give a better perspective of the height.  It was a bit of a climb, but more than worth it.

It was a lovely day, slightly overcast.  Unfortunately I did not have my polarizing lens on so the sky in the shots is washed out.

A hint of rainbow

The gray trees devoid of needles are pine trees that have fallen victim to the mountain pine beetle which have decimated the forests in British Columbia.  The devastation of the forests is heartbreaking.  All the dead standing timber is subject to huge wild fires, the evidence of one was passed through on our way into Tumbler Ridge.

On the descent from the upper viewing point I turned my attention to the wooded slope in search of other possible interesting shots.  I am so thrilled that I had!  There, gracing the pine slopes were Calypso Orchids.  It reminded me of the excursions my father took us on about this time of year to look for them in Northwestern Ontario.  Tiny, they are gorgeous gems set in isolation along the forest floor.  I saw at least a half-dozen bright blossoms blushing pink and yellow.  What a blessing!

Calypso Orchid

She Got It!

I’ve had to wait to post these pictures of my recently completed quilt.  Mom finally picked it up at the Post Office this morning.  Now I can post pictures without the worry of spoiling the surprise. 

This project presented nothing but a series of challenges.  The first was finding a tulip pattern that I liked.  When I did it was in an older magazine.  Not surprisingly, the templates for the block was missing.  Having to make my own was a first, with mental gymnastics that relied on grade school mathematics.  See!  Fractions do have practical uses!!!!

In the process of quilting the pebbles my sewing machine seized.  My own negligence, it should have been serviced months earlier.  Taking it to the dealer, an hour away, I got a chip in the truck’s recently replaced windshield (par for the course).

Approximately 3/5ths of the way through the pebbling, I realized I would not have enough thread.  It is a beige/light brown variegated from YLI called Pyramids of Giza.  None of the quilt shops in the Peace River District had it in stock so I had to wait for some to be ordered in – another two week delay.


When the thread finally arrived it required a one hour trip to pick it up.  I rushed home, threaded the machine, turned it on, the light was burned out.  By this time hubby was getting irritated by all the trips east for supplies that he told me under no uncertain terms was I driving an hour there and another back for a $2.50 light bulb.  Another two-week delay until underlayment was needed for the basement floor and a trip to Home Depot was necessary.  It was a serendipitous journey, as I found the butterfly stencil to free motion stitch the border.  Later I found one with tulips on-line., if I would have only known…

The fabric backing was another fortunate discovery.  It was in the sale rack at one of my favourite quilt stores.  It is a Quest for the Cure design, a percentage of the proceeds going to cancer research I think.  I felt mom would appreciate that, since her younger sister died from pancreatic cancer a year earlier.

I am thrilled with this quilt.  It turned out gorgeous.  Now I can turn my attention to the three current WIPs.

Summer Delayed

This is our third May Long Weekend living in the Peace.

In 2010 it snowed.  The trees were much further along in leafing out and many of the poplar trees were permanently bent or snapped in half from the weight of the snow.

Last year nature lulled us into a false security of no more snow until fall with flurries in the beginning of June.

This year, true to form, it has snowed.  The flowers were coming along so well too. 

The bare spots to the left is a result of radiant heat from the house.  That may be the salvation of the delphinium.

The chives were just about ready to bloom. A number of delicious meals have been enhanced with their lovely garlicy flavour.

I knew I should have taken pictures of the white icelandic poppies when they boasted their showy heads yesterday.

Retrospectively, I suppose I shouldn’t have been so eager to pull up the yellow and orange offerings, it would have provided a more interesting picture.

I am a little worried about our flowering shrubs, hopefully it didn’t get cold enough to damage the buds.  I am especially concerned about our crab apple tree, there was indications for a wealth of flowers, increasing the possibility of actually seeing fruit this year.

There is not as much concern for the roses.

Tulips closed to surprise

Wakeup Surprise

I’m on holidays this week, to prepare the vegetable garden, clean up the yard, weed and fertilize the flower beds, sweep the deck.  Basically, get ready to enjoy some summer weather.  This is what we woke up to.  Great.  I am grateful that I brought all the plants into the garage last night.  Sewing machine — here I come.










It’s a lovely day in the neighbourhood.

UFO is Still Three

This project has been waiting patiently for completion for almost 6 months.  I’ve been distracted with other ‘stuff’ and deadlines.  This one is for me, to curl up on the couch with.  I finished the gift and got it in the mail yesterday, so it is back to picking up unfinished objects and making some headway there.  This particular one just has to be quilted and then it will be ~finished~!

One of Three

The sewing machine has been re-illuminated!  Finally I can get back to some patiently waiting projects.  This one is now quilted and is next to be bound.  It is slated for completion for the first Sunday of June.  The block has many names, one being “Fruits of the Spirit.”  I’m going with that name because this is a 36″ x 48″ banner for the church.  I am getting much smoother at stippling, only crossing a half dozen times.  The image shows some loose thread and pins, because the project is on the go.

FotS has a partner, “Garden of Eden” that I will post pictures of once I manage to get it quilted. This couple has eight siblings created by the quilting guild at the church.  They are all green, for ‘Ordinary Time’ and so lovely.  The women did a fantastic job.  I’ll post pictures of them all when they are dedicated the beginning of June.

The third project is a gift, so no pictures or even clues until it is received.  It is going so, so, sew well.  Then, and only then, will I start the next one.  Really.  I really will.

First Bloom

Finally, the first bloom of spring in our garden.  The Icelandic Poppies have spread throughout the beds adjacent to the house.  She is a pretty thing, delicate, vibrant, defying below 0C night-time temperatures, persistent in the her ordained purpose to bloom and reproduce. I rejoice in the first bloom of spring.  She holds a promise of more to come.  She holds the wonder of beauty for no other purposes than to delight the eye and attract the bee.  She cannot hold her head still, nodding and winking to the whims of the wind.  She will not remain, with regrets to the gardener … she is a colour not preferred.  This place is designated for purple, and blue, ranging from white to the darkest, almost black.  There may be allowances made for oranges, as it is a complimentary colour to the favourites. Time and appeal will tell.  Stay tuned for updates.

The second affirmation of spring has also appeared.  There is a wood dove, or something very similar, moaning and cooing in the large tree across the street.  I hear her/him as the sun rises every morning and at various times through the day.  Give thanks to the Creator for spring!

Song of Solomon 2:12
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.