Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell to 2013

It's hard to believe that another year has passed!
My Mom once told me "The older you get, the faster the time goes." As a child, I never really quite understood that statement.  My amazing Mom celebrates her 82nd birthday today, and I can just imagine how quickly the year has passed for her!
Looking back now, on 2013, I will be glad to see it go.
In February, the farmhouse 3 doors down caught fire and burnt to the ground. A husband and wife, as well as several pets lost their lives that night. And although we did not know them, we all felt such a horrifying sense of loss. 
 In March, I fell while skating and hit my head. A quick trip to the ER and 5 staples later I was on my way home. Not too bad of an injury, thankfully, but it was traumatic to Little Country Girl who is still to this day afraid to skate with me.

 Spring didn't want to show it's face in 2013. We had a late frost, May 29th, that killed any plants we had already put out in the garden. Thankfully I had not planted all my seedlings, but I did have to replace several things out in the veggie garden.
June was a bad month too.
I almost lost a good friend in a car accident. Thankfully he is still with us today, but his life has changed forever.
We lost our Papa to Cancer.
We lost another friend to Cancer.
July and August were nice and we were busy with soccer, gardens and summer fun.
September and October were cool.
November was the month of rain, cool and dampness.
Our Opa was in a car accident and the car was totaled. Thankfully Oma wasn't out on this trip or I am not sure she would be here today.
  Losing the car was a big blow and not a good thing for seniors trying to hold onto their independence. So far they are doing OK with public transit.
In December it snowed everyday. And it was COLD!
Christmas Eve was to be spent in Toronto at Oma and Opa's house.
An ice storm a few days before Christmas left them without power for 3 days and so Christmas was moved to my sisters house. On this day, Big Country Girl had to work and Little Country Girl was sick with a stomach bug. We did proceed with the festivities, but it was quick.
Christmas Morning here at home was nice. Everyone was spoiled as usual.
On boxing day, the stomach bug struck again, this time Netty got it. 
And the next day, Country Boy got it.
And then Country Dad.
I feel like I was robbed of Christmas.
Today I will be waving goodbye to 2013.
And good riddance!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From Our Family to Yours




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Welcome December!

December 1st, again I ask where does the time GO?
November was a busy month, and a terrible month for weather.
I don't ever remember such a cold, windy November!
Some places in Ontario received over 70cm of snow last weekend, and thankfully we were not one of them! We did get a light blanket of snow, just enough to cover everything and freshen everything up.

Earlier this month, Country Boy got his drivers license! Here he is after the driving test looking mighty proud of himself!
Little Country Girl has been skating lots and improving lots too! If she passes just one more level she can take off her helmet!
We also had a birthday this month! Big Country Girl turned 19!
And while times whizzes past and we are sometimes left wishing we could turn back the hands of time, we also look forward to the future.
Welcome December!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Have you ever had one of your blog entries completely change direction as you are writing it?
My last entry was going to be about my uncertainty with a new garden addition.  But somehow while looking thru my photos, my post turned into something different.
Then I started thinking about it again, so maybe in this post I will not stray.
I always planned this garden to continue to the edge of this picture, and eventually a gazebo would be added.  While doing fall cleanup, I realized I had a lovely pile of compost!
I decided there was no time like the present and extended that garden.
But then,  my kids voiced their displeasure with what I had done.
"Mom, that is where I like to do cartwheels and play"
"That looks silly!"
"What did you DO?"
And so the seeds of uncertainty were planted.
So here is the new addition, before the shaping is done
I do like the curves on the right, but I'm not really happy with the shape on the left. 
And what am I going to plant there that won't make that space feel crowded and overwhelming?
I guess I have all winter to decide

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The evolution of my garden

I've always had kind of a 'vision' of what my 'finished' garden might look like.
When I came here, there was only one garden, the one right behind the back deck, and it WASN'T pretty!
We moved into the house in August of 2003.
This first year I had an infant, so I didn't get much accomplished in the garden. 
I dug in the 7 small Hosta pieces from the old yard along the front of the garage.
The perennials in the back garden were split and replanted.
The other perennials I brought from the old yard were planted, and I managed to get some bulbs in.
The Hosta's behind the garage have been left untouched since then, and they are HUGE!
Since my Hosta addiction, I have decided to split these and make room for more in 2014.
The back garden 2013
 I dug up some Daylily's and made way for a garden under my bedroom window.
 The following spring (2004), I planted more perennials and some annuals for color.
In 2013
 I discovered the overgrown rocks at the foot of the driveway.
I decided it needed to become a garden!
2013 and I admit, it needs work!
 In 2005, we moved the location of the kids swimming pool.
That left a big circle of soil in the backyard, so I guess you know what happened.
  More on this in a minute
   I also extended the back garden around to the other side of the house
In 2013
 I didn't much like the area by the other door ... it looked NAKED!
 I dug in a small pond and made another new garden.

 2006 an 2007 the gardens were put on the back burner as we worked on the house.
They were still maintained and perennials added, but few photos.
In 2008, I purchased many perennials, roses and shrubs.
The back 'Pool' garden was planted with Roses, perennials, bulbs.
A birdbath appeared.
And the beginnings of the another garden was started with the planting of 3 Bridal Wreath Spiraeas.
The arbor was built.
 And those Spiraea's that started that other garden?
A new fence and Hosta garden!
  In 2013

In the fall of 2008 I also made the island garden behind the house - here it is in the spring of 2009
It really filled in! Here it is 2013

 2009 - 2011 I only made a few small gardens... along the side of the garage, garden shed and fort.
This year they looked like this

 2012 was the new back bed and the Hosta Bed extension

 This year
 Here it is mid first extension. I needed a place to plant those end of season bargains!
Another extension happened after this one, but that's another post!
I think the yard looks completely different, and I like to think much better, than when we came

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another helpful gadget ...

We love pie around here!
Fall time is apple picking time, and also PIE making time.
Country Boy loves apple pie!
Unfortunately, Netty does not like peeling and cutting apples.
Then I found this handy gadget!
 This apple peeler makes peeling and slicing apples so easy.
Simply put an apple on and start cranking that handle
In about 5 seconds you have an apple that is peeled, cored and sliced!

Once slice with a knife and each apple is ready and perfectly sliced for pie!
And since I discovered that Country Boy doesn't like CRUST, I found this simple recipe for a crustless apple pie from Betty Crocker.com
 It is simple to make and tastes great!

Big Country Girl likes to have a slice for breakfast!
Apple peeler available at