Friday, April 30, 2010


Why does an old man plant a tree?
by Robert H Mealey

My friends quite often ask of me,
Why does an old man plant a tree?
It grows so slow it will not pay,
A profit for you anyway.
Then why in storm and winter cold,
Do you plant when you are so old?

The answer seems hard to define,
When muscles ache and they are mine.
But I just cannot stand to see,
A space where there should be a tree.
So that in part as years unfold,
Is why I plant when I'm so old.

I know that animals, bugs and things,
Love trees, and so do such as go on wings.
So creatures wild that benefit,
Is one more reason I can't quit
From planting trees while I can hold,
My planting hoe, though I'm so old.

They say that those retired from labor,
Should fish and play and talk to neighbor.
They say also that folks in leisure,
Should do the things which give them pleasure.
And so the thought on which I'm sold,
I'll plant some trees though I'm so old.

As time goes on my trees will grow.
So tall and clean and row on row.
The furry folk will have a home,
The birds can nest, and kids can roam.
And all of this as I have told,
I planted trees though I'm so old.

And then there is my family,
Young folks who will follow me.
I'd like to leave them with some land,
Stocked with trees and looking grand.
These gifts I value more than gold,
So I plant some trees though I'm so old.

And taxes too for schools and roads,
With jobs and lumber for abodes.
I won't see these things, I won't be here.
But to my mind it's very clear.
The words of some who could be polled,
Might thank a man who is so old.

Man should be proud of what's his own,
And how he's managed what he's grown.
But management must be begun,
By planting seedlings one by one.
And so my pride I shall uphold,
I'll plant some trees though I'm so old.

So when my friends ask of me,
Why does and old man plant a tree?
Perhaps the lines above explain,
How aching back and limbs in pain,
May by commitment be controlled,
To plant my trees though I'm so old.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


New Trees, New Life

April 30—National Arbor Day
As editor of the Nebraska City News, Julius Sterling Morton proposed the first statewide Arbor Day for April 10, 1872. Over one million trees were planted on that day.

Today Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April, although many states alter the date for local growing seasons.

“Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.” –J. Sterling Morton

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have you had your coffee break?

No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive. ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers


Message from Jamie

If you care about the health of your children and the food they eat please sign this petition now.

It will only take 30 seconds.

Please take the time to go to Jamie's website and sign his petition. I did.

Crazy Dog in Snow

Does it not look like Gracie is having fun?
She loves snow.
She is eating the snow fellow who fell and went Boom.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's been a couple of hours now and the snow is still falling. But, oh so slowly now.
The local Doppler radar shows the storm moving off to the east and soon to be leaving our area. Believe it or, not the
temperatures didn't even get below the freezing mark.
Here's a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Flowers in the snow and the snowman DH built which because it's so warm out... didn't live a very long life.
He fell over and went BOOM!

April 27, 2010 and, It's Snowing

This is what it looks like outside right now.
Big fluffy flakes of wet snow. Thankfully,
it's not gone below freezing.

I think I am going back to bed... nope, I know I am going back to bed.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Early Morning Ponderings

As I sit here and eat my breakfast of yogurt made by me from the raw milk (I get it weekly) with peaches I canned last year, I am surprised at how self sufficient we are becoming. Every now and again it hits me how different we are becoming from our neighbors. Doing more for ourselves and relying less and less on society as a whole.

We recently planted blueberry bushes and added a Cortland apple tree to our small orchard we are establishing. This is in the hopes, I will be able in a few years time, have enough fruit to can and/or, freeze for our own consumption.

These thoughts were running through my head as I took today's pictures of the seedlings. I am always so grateful on how well the seedlings do grow. DH says I have a green thumb.... I just think I am lucky. But, I digress....

I was looking at these seedlings and this was the first time this year I thought of them not as seedlings but, as our food for the upcoming year. I am quite excited about this year's growing season as last year's was a not a complete loss but, between the monsoon rains we got and the late blight which destroyed my tomato crop... I am ready for a good year this year. So in keeping with showing you pictures of what's what..... here's the latest pictures of the seedlings.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ah... Beautiful Trees

They came and they are in the ground. Those holes we had in the lawn for the past month are finally filled.

I am oh so happy to have the trees in. They look spectacular too.

The last apple tree (and it's a cortland... again I was wrong... it's not a gala) is filling out our little orchard perfectly. Oh and notice the pile of rocks? That's part of what is called the Canadian shield. Here's some information on those rocks....

The Canadian Shield is Canada’s largest physiographic area as it can be found in at least six provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec plus Newfoundland and Labrador) and two territories (Northwest and Nunavut). It covers about two-thirds of Ontario and contains Precambrian rocks that are more than 570 million years old. The rocks are exposed or are covered by soils, peat, sand, gravel, clay and debris from the glacial activity in the past.

In other words.... anywhere you dig, you'll find this rock. Not easy when you want to plant anything! We have broken shovels, bent pitchforks and swore a blue streak when digging anywhere on this property. I wish this rock field on no one.

And, our sweet curly weeping willow in all it's architectural beauty is looking very beautiful. Especially when viewed against the skyline. It was positioned where it is to block the street light behind us as it grows.

The day is looking wonderful out my window. I am going to go out in it and smell the earth and feel the breeze.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On Seedlings, Holes and Trees in Bloom

This is sort of, kind of, an update on the outdoor growing which is going on.
Pictured are a couple pics of what is up and growing in the garden.
The things which look like grass is the spinach coming up, those are the first leaves of the plants. The other little cute thing is radishes.
I tried to take a picture of the beets which are also up but, it was too blurry to post.
The hole in the lawn, well there are actually two of them. They are for the trees which are arriving today, a gala apple and a weeping willow. Now a weeping willow though they are thought by serious gardeners to be "junk" trees. I love them for their architectural form and the sound the wind makes blowing through the branches. And, there's nothing bad about a gala apple tree.
The beautiful tree all in flowery bloom is one of the two plum trees we planted last year. Isn't it just absolutely stunningly beautiful? I hope every one of those blooms is going to be a piece of fruit for us to enjoy. Fingers crossed here. (The person's shadow you see is... me.)

A Better Darth Vader

Had a look at yesterday's Darth Vader post.
The picture was pretty bad.
Here's another picture taken this morning I think is better.

Friday, April 23, 2010

AH.... Darth Vader I presume?

This is my fabulous purchase for Earth Day this year.
(Well, not counting the two trees arriving tomorrow.)
It was 1/2 price at a local Chamber of Commerce in celebration
of Earth Day.
Cost; $10.
What a steal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Celebrate the Earth

Today is Earth Day. Enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, and companionship with nature. Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss. Go outside, no matter what the weather!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trying To Keep Up

I am trying to keep the blog updated with all that is going on in the garden.

I had a friend (thanks Lisa) who brought me some rhubarb. I was so busy when she came to visit I set the barb aside and almost had it die on me. It's now been transplanted into one of the in-ground gardens.

The other small plants you see.... the single one in the picture is a spinach seedling and the other is the radishes which are coming up like crazy.

Yesterday I rec'd in the mail my onion and potato sets. They'll have to be going in soon now too. DH is going to convert the old horseshoe pits to patches for both the onions and potatoes.

But, for today I am going to be working on getting the peas started. I have to go see how my covering the ground did for killing the grass. If it didn't do well.... that means hand turning the soil. UGH! I'll set the pea seeds to soften over night and (try to) remember to inoculate them before planting. Oh I can taste those yummy morsels already.

Running at the day.... or, maybe I should say slowing moving forward? Boy has Spring sprung in my neck of the woods.

And, don't forget tomorrow is Earth Day. Plant a tree! (We have two trees coming this weekend, a weeping willow and a Gala apple tree.) And, remember, reuse, reduce and recycle!

PS Happy Birthday wishes to my brother today!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bumping The Seedlings

I was a very busy little girl today. I bumped up almost all of the plants (except the peppers) into what will be the last transplant before they go out into the garden.

Speaking of the garden.... I see my beets are starting to germinate out in the SFG box! Woo hoo.... that is so exciting to see the first of the garden growing.

The pictures are of; tomato, basil, onion (the blurry one), morning glories (on steroids!) and the whole garden under lights.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Family

Here are pictures of my animals. Someone asked if I would post pictures of them.

Gracie is part beagle/part boxer. She'll be two years old approx. July 1. She was rescued from the local SPCA here. She's the love of my life. And, she pretty much does get away with things she ought not to. This picture is her on "her" couch.... just chillin' out. Notice the pillow under her head? How many dogs do you know that sleep with a pillow?

The flying duo are Lucy (white/blue colours) and Tiger (green/yellow). Lucy has been a member of the family for well over 6 years. Tiger joined the family less than a year ago. They get along most of the time. Or, is that... most of the time they agree to disagree. Oft times they are louder than the TV, the radio and all the street noises combined.

Just love them all. They add such another dimension to my life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


They are finally in the ground. Weather forecast is for no freezing temps for the next 2 weeks. That will put me within a week and a half to last frost date. So I have my fingers crossed all will be well.

These are small plants, 2 years old direct from a nursery. They are called Chippewa blueberries. They are low-berry bushes which means they will only grow to 4 feet. Easy to pick for lazy me.

The fencing is up for Gracie (the dog) who tends to run thru things as if they don't exist. And, the top rail is to add bird netting to when the bushes start to produce next year. We want to be the ones eating the berries and I don't want the birds stealing the lot of them. This year all the berries will be removed to allow the roots to get well established.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My History of Gardening in Canada

When I first arrived here I had little to no money and lived in a second floor tiny, tiny apartment. I wanted desperately to garden but, with little resources and no space what was I to do? The answer was container gardening. I used the small slightly enclosed porch that was no bigger than 4 x 6 ft. for my gardening space.

Look at the photos to see how it turned out. I grew marigolds, morning glories and nasturtiums. I even had a couple of tomatoes in some 5 gallon containers growing down at the foot of the stairs.

I searched the streets early morning before the garbage trucks were out. I found containers to plant in.... containers with soil...... and containers to hang from the porch. Yes that year was sparse in the flower and veggie dept. but, I had a garden. I even hung wind chimes I bought at the dollar store and stuck a chair out on that porch. What serenity and peace I derived while being out there and for such a little out lay of cash.

Container gardening is a great way to get things growing when you don’t have adequate outdoor space or if the weather isn’t cooperating. Here's a couple of tips...

Soil mix for containers;
1 part peat moss
1 part rich garden soil or potting soil
1 part sand
mix the ingredients in a bucket or wheelbarrow until blended

In addition to providing 5 hours or more of full sun, you must give attention to selecting the proper varieties and choosing the proper container.

Great annuals for pots include: begonia, browallia, dusty miller, fuchsia, lobelia, marigold, morning glory, portulaca, snapdragon, statice, sweet alyssum, and sweet pea.
Great perennials for pots include: astilbe, bee balm, bergenia, bleeding heart, coneflower, evening primrose, hosta, hybrid daylily, Maltese cross, speedwell, and tansy.

Make it fun and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can garden just about anywhere.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting older...

Had a friend complaining about getting older.
Did a bit of research and found this.... again.
Thought I would share it and I sure do hope the link below works.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dumb facts....

Why are toilet handles on the left-hand side?

Most early flush toilets were flushed by pulling a chain above the tank. The chain was usually to the left of the tank, to allow the user to pull with his or her right hand while seated. When the handles came into fashion in the 1940s or so, they were fitted into the existing plumbing mechanisms of the pull-chain toilets on the left side.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Signs of Nature

Signs of Nature

April showers—with their promise of May flowers—and the lengthening days gladden our hearts this month as we plant our gardens.

Look to the signs of nature for planting tips! The method is called phenology, derived from the Greek word “phaino,” which means “to show” or “to appear.”

• Plant peas, beets, and lettuce when the first leaves appear on the lilac bush.
• Plant corn, beans, and squash when the lilac blooms.
• Plant cabbage when the dogwood is in full bloom or when apple blossoms bud.
• Plant corn when oak leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear or elm leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.
• Set out tomato transplants when the first ladybugs appear.

Courtesy of the Old Farmer's Almanac

I guess I better get a move on. The first leaves are out on the lilac bush.
Which means I need to plant the peas, beets and lettuce. Also radishes,
carrots and spinach.
My blueberry bushes arrived yesterday from the nursery (yippee!) and they
need to be put in the ground.
I am starting to feel overwhelmed already.
I see the tulips and day lilies are starting to poke through the earth.
Oh my goodness!
What's next?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I've been MIA

Had some personal stuff going on which made it difficult to sit long enough to blog. Things are better today so, here I am again.

These new pictures are of the finished 12x2 foot Square Foot Boxes we are adding to our already large gardening spaces. Aren't they nice? You can see shade in each of the picture but, don't worry that is shade at 7:30 in the evening. It took DH about 2 days in total to get them situated just right in the yard, leveled and built to his exacting standards. He does amazing work. And, I am very pleased with what he has accomplished.

Now if it was close to our last frost date, I could be planting in them!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Little old me...

My photo
An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.


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