Friday, 30 December 2022

New Year, New Life

Happy New Year!

We have definitely settled in here, become involved in the community and made sooo many new friends.

Unfortunately, we lost our closest friend because she had to leave her husband on Boxing Day. After they spent a fun and fabulous evening here at our place, things went south on the walk home and after returning here for the night, the police escorted her home to get her belongings and she has left town. This, of course, is the super short version.

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas and we feel very welcomed in our new community.

Like pretty much everyone else we will be going on a diet in the New Year. I intend to lose 30 pounds (I'll be happy with 20, but.... that last 5 lbs.... so 30! ) Covid has done one hell of a job on our waist lines. We will be doing the Banting diet (carb free).

Talk will soon begin on how we want to garden this year, greenhouse, raised bed and in ground options are available and need to be sussed out.

I swear I intend to write more often, its just been so damn busy with all the events in town.

We'll talk again next year, we hope you finish this one out on a high note! xxx

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Keep on keeping on

I have renewed the blog.

I will be continuing to post.

I have a tomatoe and a pepper plant growing, local activities about town have been many and we have been quite involved. I was helping a new friend (teacher) today with assembly of backdrops for the Christmas assembly at the local school.

Robbie turned 13 on Dec 1st ( 91 in human years).

The Christmas tree has been put up and lights went up on the outside of the house.

Winter has officially set in, it was damn cold today but warming up tomorrow ( so they say).

Friday, 28 October 2022

What's been going on

Okay, so I know I haven't been writing. It's been so busy I just haven't had time and frankly I'm losing my mojo for it.

I had planned to transplant the tomatoes today but didn't get to it as I am doing a favour for a friend which is taking up a whole lot of time over and above the norm, I think I'm going to call done on that one because it is very time consuming. She has a table at the local craft fair coming up and I offered to help her.

We are settling in pretty good in our new location. Nice, quiet town. Have made a lot of acquaintances and a couple of friends too.

The local gym is very close to home and they are currently renovating so waiting for that to reopen because -- Oh My God have a packed it on the last 2.5 years. I think we'll pick up a treadmill just in case they lock everyone down again this winter.

We have signed up for curling but haven't heard anything back as of yet. I know they just put ice in the skating rink so I assume it is the same for the curling rink, and hope we will hear something sooner than later. 

Brad's Mum is coming to visit next week so that will be a good opportunity to go the other direction from town (we've only been the one general direction) and see what's cooking out there. We've been told there is a lot to see... may be too cold, but we'll see what happens. Plenty of lakes around us and camping is a huge thing here too.

Quite likely over the winter, assuming things slow down - I'll likely post more regularly. Although, I've been told that winter is the busy season around here with all kinds of activities and events.

Pictures of the tomato transplant coming up.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Winter gardening in central Alberta?

I decided just to try to see if I could grow a couple of simple things over the winter. 

Just to see if I could.

We have our January starter racks and lights set up in the basement and so I decided to give it a go.

I made up 2 larger pots of soil and put them in the garage for now, then made up 8 potential starter plant pots... 4 Roma tomatoes and 4 Wonder bell pepper plants... and put them on a shelf with the growing lights and a heat pad. 

Entire setup

Day 1 
Oct 12, 2022

If the seeds crack, I will take periodic pictures of their progress. There is a small window across from this setup and with the lights.... maybe I can get them started. We will see. If I'm able to get 1 of each going I will thaw the pots holding in the garage and try to keep them going with a hope of getting some fresh veg over winter. I have about 10 pots of assorted herbs in the livingroom for the winter also.

The grow lights being on chains allows me to adjust the height of them as the plants (hopefully) get bigger.


Sunday, 9 October 2022

Okay here's a rough update

In our travels lately, I saw this hummingbird flying in the sky.

Okay so we have moved to a 'modest' house in a 'modest' community as we were unable to find a suitable acreage in the time we had - still in central Alberta. Our lease on the acreage expired Sept 30th and we could not wait to get away from that property. The water was absolutely disgusting, the safety of the house was questionable and - lets just say, the landlady wasn't the warm fuzzy type. It was a risk, having rented it sight unseen (except for a short video conference) from our place in the Gulf Islands of BC but it was clear from day 1 that we wouldn't be staying past our lease.

Brad's hammock

Our new place allows Brad to FINALLY hang the hammock we bought about 5 years ago. In all the places we've been, there just wasn't anywhere he could hang it... except the campground but those trees were for paying guests and our spot didn't have 2 trees in it.

Yes FG, there is a garden area in the back also. All things being equal we will put in some raised beds to add more growing space.    

Once the move was completed, we were exhausted and needed a few days to relax. I can't relax at home, there's waaaay too much to do all the time. 

Also, I have a wonky elbow that I injured getting into our old truck last October that I was too 'busy' to let heal and so I am doing that now that the move is done (golfer's elbow AND bursitis). The shoulder on my other arm is also giving me grief, so I'm a hot mess currently.

Off we went to Canmore, AB for 4 days, 3 nights. Canmore is the new Banff, the amount of tourists is just crazy.  But it was still a relaxing few days. Having lived there for 3 years many years ago, we didn't do much of the typical touristy stuff.

Lake Louise

Our beloved Robbie

Returned to the scene of the crime, 14 years on.

Evidence of the crime itself.

My other 'good son'

We had barely got the silverware put away and my youngest son (of 2) messaged to ask if he could stay with us for a few weeks while he did a job local to us. He is a Radiographer, and takes Xray pictures of pipeline welds and the like... this is oil country here in Alberta, after all. So he will be here for a while (gone home to his wife and 3 kids in Saskatchewan for Thanksgiving this weekend, but will return on Monday).

So once again, I apologize for my long absences. It has been a crazy year with the animals on the acreage and the massive garden we planted. Then finding a place to move to and then rehoming the chickens and sending the rabbits to freezer camp. Getting the packing, cleaning and move done with a wonky arm, and then eventually 2 wonky arms... it has been super tiring. We are settled now and I hope to be posting more often... assuming my blog keeps existing... (also, some part of that doesn't expire until spring, so..... no idea).

So the new page SHOULD be: - - at least in theory.

This town has a lot of activities. We had a drive in movie night, ladybug release, rubber duck race... we are hoping to start curling, have already joined the card playing club, there is a gym very close to the house, and I've made a friend already. No Pickleball as yet but one of the locals does play and so we will try to get something going for the winter.

So far, so good!


Friday, 7 October 2022

Blog change possible

Heads up, 

I have just discovered that Squarespace has been charging me $40/month for this blog. I've no idea why...

Anyhoo, I have cancelled that subscription and have absolutely no idea what that means for the blog.

Hopefully it will continue operating and just revert to something else. I have a vague recollection of 'upgrading' it years ago and can't explain why I just discovered this now.

In any event, assuming it still works, I will carry on blogging shortly.

A lot going on here at the moment with the move, we took a little holiday to the mountains, etc.

Hope to give more details soon.


Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Dear Melynda

Yes, its been super busy around here.

We have been harvesting and freeze drying the garden and as you can see below, there isn't much left. 

Today, we took a few more rows down and now only the tomatoes remain.

The garden today

My bouquet

I had a few daisy plants left and Brad picked the remaining flowers from them, wrapped them with some tie cord we had used to hold the peppers up to the cattle panels and surprised me with them while I was working on another project. Imagine my surprise! So romantic!!

Our largest (and last) zucchini
17.5 inches!

The garden is rapidly winding down. 

This past Sunday (11th) was our first frost date. Hence, the tomatoes are covered to protect them from the frost and we hope it will help to warm them when the sun is out and help with ripening... temps are beginning to drop and those who never get it right don't give us long to get them done.

Monday was also 1 year since my Dad passed away.

Monday, 22 August 2022

Rainbows in the garden

This year I chose to add rainbow carrots to our list of garden seeds. The result?

Ginormous carrots in a variety of colours.

They are just huge, compared to our regular orange carrots, 
(there are orange in the rainbow pack also, as above)
with less compacted soil, I can't wait to see how big next years rainbow carrots get.

Inside of a purple carrot

White carrot

It is crazy busy around here with everything that is going on but the garden is growing amazingly well, especially considering the soil. The ground is still very hard and compacted even though we had it tilled and added manure to it in the fall.

Corn ears are growing in nicely

Tomatoes and Peppers are still ripening


Tuesday, 9 August 2022

First harvest and Saskatoon again

Knowing we were heading to Saskatoon to see the family for the weekend, we pulled a few things out of the garden. Kale, Romaine, Zucchini, Carrot and a Green Pepper.

Holy huge

Went to The Berry Barn for brunch

with my Mother

Took the Grandkids to the movies to see SuperPets - a pretty good show, for what it is.

Brad's Mum stylin' some shades

A rare photo of the two of us.

Came across this and thought I'd share for anyone who was interested.


Monday, 8 August 2022

Storm corn

We had a mother of a storm go through here and it dropped most all of our corn plants to the ground.

A quick Google tells us that they will recover in a few days so we quickly set about putting them right with some rope and zip ties. We will remove the zip ties in a few days and we hope the recovery will be smooth.


Thursday, 4 August 2022

Garlic Harvest


400 garlic plants

Well it's that time once again. Bringing in the garlic and hanging it to dry for a few weeks before processing it.

This year I plan to make honey garlic, fermented garlic, freeze dried garlic and of course just eating it fresh.

It's been very busy around here as you might imagine. I am constantly harvesting something whether its herbs, flowers or greens for freeze drying.

Tomatoes are starting to appear.... we have about I'd guess 70 tomatoe plants this year so making sauces as well as fermenting and freeze drying them is going to keep things crazy around here for a few weeks and that will be starting very soon.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Garden update

 Oh how our garden grows...

Still loving the professional weed fabric

Kidney Beans


Corn is about 6 ft tall now

Carrots are 2 ft tall. We planted regular and rainbow carrots this year

Garlic has all been pulled now and is hung to dry

My herbs and spices as well as a bunch of flowers (mostly in the front)

The rabbits were sent to freezer camp and I found a home for the breeding set and all their cages and accessories went with them. The tractors were sold to another person. I loved having rabbits and we may do it again later but right now we are (uncharacteristically, hahahaha) changing things up and do not want to be tied down to livestock.

Homes were found for the chickens several weeks ago and so we now only have the garden to tend to.

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Quick trip to Saskatoon

In early June, Brad's uncle passed away. As soon as we heard, we packed up and shipped out to Saskatoon to spend a few days with Brad's Mum. 

Fred was 93.

Brad with Uncle Fred

Of course, while in Saskatoon we have to see the rest of the family too. We borrowed the grandkids and took them to the Children's festival down at Kinsmen park that weekend. They had never been in a convertible before and they thought that was the coolest thing ever. Unfortunately, our oldest granddaughter wasn't able to join us due to previous commitments. 

Afterwards, we all went for ice cream. According to their mother, they had a fabulous time and kept talking about it incessantly. 

It was a short visit, just 3-4 days but it was so nice to see everyone again. We were also able to re-stain Brad's Mum's front and back decks while we were there so she has a nice spot once again to entertain as she loves to do.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Around the acreage

In typical spring fashion, I have been harvesting all kinds of stuff from the property and drying them in the freeze dryer so I have them available all year long.


White clover

The garden is growing very well. The local organic garlic is now above my waist and heading towards my shoulders... never seen the likes of it in my life!! Will be interesting to see whats happening underground when the time comes, has all its energy been spent on growing the greens or will the garlic bulbs be massive?! 

We sold our truck, long story but suffice to say that I think we'll be vehicle shopping in the fall, if not sooner. We're kind of watching whats available now.


Sunday, 26 June 2022

False pregnancy, kind of...

Gertrude was put in with Peter on May 16th, so she was due between June 13-16th. On June 10th I gave her a nesting box and she set about happily making her nest, all was well with the world.

June 16th came and went, no kits.... I waited and waited, nothing.
June 20th, I removed the nesting box because it was clearly a false pregnancy.

The morning of June 22nd, a single deceased kit appeared in her cage with her. 

Peculiar, none of my rabbit friends have never heard of such a thing and we can only surmise that the kit died before the due date and her body finally removed it.

Very sad and unfortunate.


Friday, 24 June 2022

Haymaker's Punch recipe (aka switchel)

Are you hot? Thirsty?... here's a solution.

Waaaaaaay back in the super crinkly days (Pioneer days), they used to make haymaker's punch as a refreshing, nutritious drink. Here is that recipe, it sounds bad but it is really delicious, quenching and nourishing for your body. Also, it is a probiotic.

In a 1/2 gal (2 litre) jar:

2" Ginger, sliced

1 Lemon, quartered

5 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup (we recommend maple)

1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar (on the lighter side of 1/4C)

Fill the rest of the jar with water 

Shake well, let sit in fridge 24 hours before drinking.

Will last a week or so in the fridge.