Friday, April 29, 2011

Funny Craigslist Posting

I have a brother with a warped sense of humor, just like mine.
He sent this to me from a Craigslist ad and I just had to share it with you.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vertical Gardening

I saw this on Instructables and thought what a cool way to grow vertically for small herbs. I know at one time you could buy these over the door shoe bags rather cheaply. The were made of canvas with a backing of plastic. How perfect is that anyway?
Take a look and if you decide to try this, let me know, please?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What to do with Those Leftover Creme Eggs

That is if you have any left.... send them to the University of Nottingham, where physicists are standing by with a series of physics and impact tests ready to destroy, mutilate, or simply crack even the most resilient chocolate creme egg.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Robin Hatching

Signs of Spring....

New Seedling PIctures

These are the latest pictures of the seedlings under the lights. I spent the past couple of days dividing and transplanting them. I usually plant 2 to 3 seeds per small pot. That way if you don't get 100% germination, at least you'll find one seed out of the two or, three will sprout. But, as luck would have it, I usually have about 99% germination. Therefore I have a lot of little seedlings I just can't kill off and must spend time transplanting. It also means I have a lot of plants for the garden.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter 2011

It seems like every day is an egg hunt ... I really need to clean out my fridge!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

The History of Earth Day

Earth Day

This observance arose from an interest in gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A No Sew Market Bag

In honor of Earth day tomorrow I am posting this link on how to make a market bag without an inch of sewing to do.

Did you know 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags is the number used in the US every hour. And did you know that 2.7 billion plastic bags are used every day worldwide? Staggering.

Here's the link to the market bag. I hope you make a gazillion of them for yourselves and your family and friends. Besides what a cool way to recycle those favorite tees you just can't bear to throw away.

PS - Somehow I pasted the wrong link to this great NO sew bag.
Here it is, try number two:
I hope that works. And, thanks CC for letting me know.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dyeing Eggs Naturally

This chart below I found in several places offering different options of things you can use for various dye colors. You’ll find an additional link at the bottom of this post as well as a great movie I found on YouTube demonstrating a different dying method and some cool effects.

Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea

Violet Blue

Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Hibiscus Tea
Red Wine

Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice


Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll

Greenish Yellow

Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)


Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Green Tea

Golden Brown

Dill Seeds

Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea


Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cooked Carrots
Chili Powder


Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets


Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Pomegranate Juice

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011



See how long you can stand to look at these number just spinning ever upward.

It's staggering what you are seeing!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Updated Seedling Pics

green onions

brussels sprouts

pepper plant

swiss chard

Oh the sweet lil birdies.... foreground, Lucy (white) background, Tiger (green)

And, of course........ Gracie. Or, as the next door neighbor's two year old calls her..... Gway cee.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to Foretell the Weather.

Gus, a man of Swedish descent who lived in this prairie province all of his life, was a weather forecaster. He predicted weather conditions six months in advance, yet his technology required no fancy equipment, no high-tech razzle-dazzle. All Gus needed was a barn and a farmhand or two standing by. . .because he predicted the weather by looking at a pig spleen.

Every 6 months or so, Gus slaughtered a pig, and in the frugal way of farm families, he found a way to use everything but the squeal, as they say. Gus closely scrutinized the spleen, using a method he learned from his father and Harold Pearson, a neighbor.

Gus divided the spleen into six areas, each representing 1 month. The top of the spleen (closest to the pig's head) shows the current month. The bottom indicates the end of the upcoming six-month period. Where the spleen thickens, a change in the weather is indicated, usually pointing to a cold spell. Where there's a pronounced bulge, expect even more inclement weather. Gus could even read wind and rain into the variations in the spleen.

This was said to be very accurate. What do you think? He might be better than Environment Canada has been doing. LOL! ;-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy BirthdayThomas Jefferson - April 13

Born in 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia, Jefferson was the third president of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He began his political career in 1769 in the Virginia House of Burgesses (legislature). Forty years later, he retired as president of the United States. He died on July 4, 1826, at Monticello, his home in Virginia. Jefferson once said, “All my wishes end where I hope my days will end—Monticello.”

The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pockets to pay for it would make of our country one of the happiest on Earth. –Thomas Jefferson

And, on another note..............

April 18—U.S. Tax Day
(April 30 for Canadians)

Did you know: In the U.S., the usual April 15 IRS filing deadline has been extended by 3 days this year, thanks to a weekend and a D.C. holiday called Emancipation Day. We'll take it!

Here’s something to think about while you do your taxes: In the 1730s, all residents paid the same tax. Benjamin Franklin circulated an essay decrying “the inequity of this tax . . . since a poor widow housekeeper . . . paid as much as the wealthiest merchant.”

This led to a reform law with a tax that was proportional to the property. Ben’s proportional tax—the greater the wealth, the higher the percentage assessed—resembles the U.S. federal income tax, enacted in 1913, with its progressive rate.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. –Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stormy Monday

The storm front which created such terrible destruction down in the States brought us high winds, humidity and rain. We were out most of the day and when we returned home it was to find things tipped, tumbled and blown about in our yard. Rain barrels had blown off their stands (they were up but, not working yet - no water equals no weight). Our large (30 foot) ladder had blown over. Chain link gates on the enclosed gardens had blown open. Nothing devastating which couldn't be righted in a short time and no damages were found.

We drove into the big city of Ottawa. Which put us on the road for well over an hour and half. The car was buffeted by the winds (gusting at times to 70kph we later found out) but, being low slung, it wasn't a big problem, we hardly felt the winds at all. Other drivers were not so lucky. I watched one car as it cleared the end of a long line of dense trees... it went scudding off the road when the winds hit it. Kind of scary.

Hard to believe this was happening at home unbeknownst to us as yesterday appeared to be such a nice day. Our temperatures made it up into the 70s. With the humidity we were closer to 80. Wow, eh? We saw a few brief showers but, no torrential downpours.

Today's a calmer day for weather.... gentler winds (15kph) and cooler (50s) temperatures. More like April's weather is supposed to be.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Moon Rings

The moon can produce interesting optical effects when conditions are right. The most common of which are moon rings, moon bows, which are similar to rainbows, moon dogs and moon pillars. A rainbow is produced when sunlight is refracted through water droplets - A similar effect is produced when moon light refracts through ice crystals.
Moon Halo A Ring around the Moon

The ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight (which of course is reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring. Since the ice crystals typically have the same shape, namely a hexagonal shape, the Moon ring is almost always the same size.

Less typical are the halos that may be produced by different angles in the crystals. They can create halos with an angle of 46 degrees.

Moon Ring Weather Folklore
Folklore has it that a ring around the moon signifies bad weather is coming, and in many cases this may be true. So how can rings around the moon be a predictor of weather to come? The ice crystals that cover the halo signify high altitude, thin cirrus clouds that normally precede a warm front by one or two days. Typically, a warm front will be associated with a low pressure system which is commonly referred to as a storm.

It is believed that the number of stars within a moon halo indicate the number days before bad weather will arrive. Give it a try the next time you observe a moon halo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Gutter Garden

Here's a way in pictures to have a garden of lettuces and herbs in a small space made with gutter pieces and parts.

For more detailed instructions go to;

Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And, More Vinegar Uses

Molasses catches more flies than vinegar.

  • Bring a solution of one-cup vinegar and four tablespoons baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.
  • A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.
  • Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.
  • Vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue, leaving baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup of vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.
  • Saturate a cloth with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda, and then use it to clean fiberglass tubs and showers. Rinse well and rub dry for a spotless shine.
  • To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
  • For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
  • Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with white vinegar, then scrub vigorously.
  • Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water. This works for dirty TV screens, too!
  • For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.
  • Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
  • To clean drip coffeemakers, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly by brewing two cycles with water before using.
  • To remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Next, scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed similarly.
  • Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.
  • Apply full strength vinegar to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve the itching. (Caution: Do not do this if the affected area is raw.)
  • To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.
  • To prevent mildew, wipe down surfaces with vinegar.
  • Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.
  • Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
  • To remove salt and water stains from leather boots and shoes, rub with a solution of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 cup water. Wipe over the stained area only, and then polish.
  • To loosen a stuck jar lid, hold the jar upside down and pour warm vinegar around the neck at the joint between the glass and the top.
  • Rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Herb Gardening

I have been wanting to plant and grow more herbs. I have already grown basil... I use it as a companion to my tomatoes. Basil - Probably the most widely used companion for tomatoes as basil attracts bees to aid in pollination, as well as repels whitefly, aphids and spider mites. Basil sprays (organic) are also thought to destroy these same pests, while some gardeners also believe that tomatoes grown near basil will also produce tomatoes with a basil tinged flavor. Though I have never noticed this. And of course, using basil as a companion also provides plenty of this lovely herb for the kitchen.

Garlic chives -
On an interesting note, garlic chives were a popular Chinese herb used medicinally to reduce fatigue and have been used as an antidote for ingested poisons! The leaves and roots are suppose to help bug bites as well, though I have not tried this. Garlic chives are a fascinating, useful and ornamental herb to grow in your garden!

Parsley -
Parsley has many health benefits and has been used as a cure for many ailments. It contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, approximately three times as much as oranges and about the same as blackcurrants. The iron content is exceptional (twice as much as spinach) and the plant is a good source of manganese, calcium and potassium. It also contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants.

Parsley is also rich in vitamin A, well-known for its effects on vision, plus can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Raw parsley cleanses the blood, dissolves sticky deposits in veins, maintains elasticity of blood vessels, facilitates removal of moderately sized kidney and gallstones, treats deafness and ear infections, and benefits the sexual system. Chewing parsley prevents bad breath!

Parsley is also good as a topical remedy for bruises. Next time you have a bruise, crush up some parsley leaves and apply straight to the affected area.

Parsley is one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body. It's like an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year.

I also grow french marigolds. Neither nematodes, nor whiteflies like marigolds, which makes them a wonderful companion for tomatoes, as well as other plants.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All About April

Oh, how fresh the wind is blowing!
See! The sky is bright an clear,
Oh, how green the grass is growing!
April! April! Are you here?

—Dora R. Goodale (1866-1953)

The Latin word aperio, meaning "to open or bud," gives us the name April. Spring festivals around the world often fall in this month, from Easter to Passover to our own Arbor Day.

Folklore for the Season

April showers bring May flowers.

When April blows his horn, It's good for both the hay and corn.

If the first three days in April be foggy, rain in June will make the lanes boggy.

A cold April the barn will fill.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gardening Update

I have spent the past couple of days outside doing a little of everything in the gardens. Prepping for this year vegetables I plan on growing and pruning the small orchard DH and I planted when we first moved into this house, three years ago.

The orchard consists of a total of 10 trees. They are apple, cherry, plum and pear trees. The first year they were young trees and the only fruit we had from them were some plums with the promise of more to come in the following years. But, alas the next year this was not to be. We had a very early Spring last year. Which confused the poor darlings into blooming early. Way too early.

Then as everyone feared we had some late in the season killing frosts with a couple of days of snow. All of my precious trees lost their blooms. Day by cold relentless day. Each and everyday I watched in horror as the trees dropped more and more of their sweet smelling flowers. Scattered under the trees was a field of white, not of snow mind you but of all those fruit blossoms.

This year with fingers crossed, I am hoping we have a normal Spring without an early bloom of fruit blossoms on my precious fruit trees. I am also hopeful one day to have a bench (built by DH) down under one of those fruit trees where I can happily sit, munching on a piece of fruit. Listening to the birds and the bees and watching the world go by.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Great April Fool's Joke

1957: BBC fools the nation
The BBC has received a mixed reaction to a spoof documentary broadcast this evening about spaghetti crops in Switzerland.

The hoax Panorama programme, narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, featured a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest.

It showed women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry.

But some viewers failed to see the funny side of the broadcast and criticised the BBC for airing the item on what is supposed to be a serious factual programme.

Others, however, were so intrigued they wanted to find out where they could purchase their very own spaghetti bush.

Exotic delicacy

Spaghetti is not a widely-eaten food in the UK and is considered by many as an exotic delicacy.

Mr Dimbleby explained how each year the end of March is a very anxious time for Spaghetti harvesters all over Europe as severe frost can impair the flavour of the spaghetti.

He also explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

This is believed to be one of the first times the medium of television has been used to stage an April Fools Day hoax.

Harvesting the spaghetti
The BBC received hundreds of calls from viewers wanting to buy spaghetti bushes.

Panorama's classic April Fool from 1957

Little old me...

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


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