Monday, May 22, 2017

Fall Day? Recipe Time and Flower Planting

When I woke up on Victoria Day Monday, May 22 I was not surprised that it was another dull one. Nor was I surprised that I’d slept in until 8 am after the night I had. I didn’t get up but woke several times coughing and turning to find a comfy position. I feel a little better this morning so that is a good thing. Maybe the mullein tea helped after all.
Cleaning up around some plants
Bill was up within 30 minutes but his excuse is his late bedtime yet again. What crazy hours he keeps! He dozes in the evening which enables him to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. When I’m tired, I go to bed, preferring to wake up by 7. At least, retired, we can sleep or rise whenever we want.
I knew I'd planted some corabelle up here on the hill
The Weather Network says only 30% rain today and a teensy peek at sunshine (where? The sky is completely gray). The winds are still going to be the issue, around 20 mph with 30 mph gusts but I should still be able to get my flowers potted today. Is this spring or fall?
The rain from yesterday has almost flooded the turtle log
We had our morning coffee and tea and when I had a coughing fit while reading blogs, Bill suggested a teaspoon of Benylin Cough Syrup. I don’t usually like taking this stuff, not having much faith in them but it seemed to do the trick. Instantly! We each had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast around 10 and were encouraged to get outside since it wasn’t raining.
Adding some colour to The Ridge
Bill is working on putting plexiglass in the screen window of the bunky door. He wants to be able to slide it shut so the outside doors don’t have to be closed if someone chooses to leave them open. The two other windows in there have screens and windows that open as well.
the entrance to the corral
While he did that, I potted my plants. Since my pots were large ones, I planted a red geranium, a white geranium and a yellow daisy-like flower in each pot. The name on it says Yellow Evol but upon searching that flower, it is non-existent. Weird. It closes up overnight which is kind of human.

I had one red geranium left and knew exactly where it would find a bed. I had pulled a stump out of the wood pile after Gerry had a big tree cut down. The tree was at the edge of the Y of the laneway just where we needed to make the turn with our Suite. Because we’d noticed it was a dead tree in the first place and secondly it was on a scary lean. Just enough for us to be concerned about it scraping the fiver.
The Y up our lane
This stump appealed to me because it had a hole in the centre of one end and I wanted to either sit a small pot in there or plant right in the hole. This is what I did and placed it at the V of the corral to welcome guests. Without even planning to I have prepared for Canada’s 150th with the red and white. I chose the yellow flower because it was as close to a sunflower as I could find. For Daddy.
Ellie May and Clemson do the dance

Clemson and I took our daily walk down the lane and into the front field. He still is intrigued by the open gate to the road so I needed to constantly watch him. We raced around a bit and then back up the lane to see Bill. Even though I had put my gardening gloves away, I found myself bending over the garden pulling weeds.
Close up of the ole gal
I hate doing that but was too distracted to go get them again. I checked my fingernails and they were already gathering dirt so carried on for another 45 min before walking away. I sprayed the dandelions and other weeds popping up in the gravel parking area with my vinegar solution. Some pulled out easily with the rain. I was done pulling and came in for my shower.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bill joined me inside for some lunch. He had a sandwich and I nibbled on cheese and yogourt. Time to bake! My two boys slept in the chair and I made 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies from a recipe Donna gave me for convection ovens. So far, I hadn’t had much luck baking this cookie in here.

Apple Crisp
They turned out quite nice actually, I just had to turn the baking sheet half way through cooking since the turntable had to be turned off. For some reason, one side cooks faster than the other. Bill and Clemson taste-tested them and I got a passing grade. 👍

My favourite dessert, besides cheesecake, is Apple Crisp so with a frozen pack of the apples I picked here last fall, I made a pan of that and before putting stuff away, made a pan of Oatmeal Butter Squares, an old 4H recipe I enjoy. While the butter squares were baking, I made a cup of mullein tea and sat down to catch up here.
A 4H recipe from wayyyy back
Oatmeal Butter Squares
Bill and I sat and watched some tv together, we enjoy American Pickers and before I realized, the day was passing and it was time to get supper. I fried up 2 pork chops in bacon fat and made us each a salad. Our dessert was apple crisp and ice cream. Yummy.

The sun has made an appearance a few times but it wasn’t until 6 o’clock that the sky turned blue and the sun took over. By 7 our temperature actually reached 16C. Briefly. I’m surprised to see our flag hanging straight down with barely a wave touching its folds.
Sunday night sunset
I wanted to finish my post up before 8 because the finale of The Voice is on tonight and we have been following it since it started. That didn't happen, it is on and I'm watching it from in front of my laptop. I thought that instead of waiting for today’s sunset, I would leave you with last night’s shot.

However, when I looked outside, I knew I had to capture tonight's as well. Enjoy!
Goodnight Victoria Day weekend from the Ridge
Thank you for reading. All comments are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wet Day, Flowers

When we woke on Sunday, May 21 it was once more to the sound of wind gusts whipping around the Suite. Since this is our first full spring here on The Ridge, we are beginning to think this is probably normal for May. As nice as it is for certain reasons, to keep a humid day cooler and to keep bugs away, we are tiring of its constant force.
This chubby robin is enjoying the rain, it brings out his breakfast, lunch and dinner
I was up at 7:30 and Bill rose an hour later. He is a night owl so stays up at least an hour past my bedtime. The rain hadn’t started until just after Bill got up but it isn’t a really cold day, 10C, which is good. Bill’s first question “Is the shelter still standing?” Not surprisingly, it had shimmied off the wood pads again.
Pretty little tree
I was thinking yesterday that on this rainy Sunday I would go visit Mom. All good intentions, but I have had a dry cough for a day or two that doesn’t seem like much but through the night I was awake a lot clearing a phlegmy throat. Since they had another bout of gastrointestinal infection just this past week and quarantined the place for a couple of days, I will not be going in after all. Mom does not need me giving her a bug.

Down around the corner from us, these seed trucks are waiting for action
We are plugged in, obviously, so it seems like a good day to try out some recipes and I have a bit of sewing to do. Other than that, I might take in a movie and get some more reading done. It doesn’t look it will rain all day either so might even get a walk in.

I'm going to make tea for my gnarly throat and cough
I dried some mullein leaves last fall after my ‘health-nut’ sister (and I say that lovingly) recommended it for tea when we feel a cold coming on. The leaves didn’t dry as well as they should have, but I might try it today anyway. We try the ‘natural’ cure for things as much as we can.

 Around 10 Bill drove over once more to The Acreage to help finish flushing their hot water tank. It involved a vinegar solution that needed to ‘cook’ for 24 hours before flushing it out. It shouldn’t take long. 

Rainy Sunday
While he was gone, I took the steak that we didn’t eat last night and coated them in flour, salt and pepper. I quick-fried them in oil for 6 – 8 minutes until brown on both sides. In the bottom of my 3 qt. crock pot I cut up a large onion, placed the steak on top and added a large cut up potato and 2 carrots. I added seasoning, some vegetable broth and turned it on low for 6 hours.

Bill returned within a half hour and we had a nice bacon and egg brunch before I went into Durham. I knew I could find some flowers for my pots and I wasn't let down. Even in the rain, I found  what I wanted. The gal in the tent said only a true gardener shops in the rain.
I like this Foodland nursery and the two staff are very helpful

Checking it for doneness at 5:00 I realized the carrots were still hard even though most of the potato was cooked. I cranked it up to high for another hour. Carrots take forever and since they aren’t Bill’s favourite veggie anyway, I just nuked them for a few minutes to soften them up. We were hungry and ready to eat.

My purchases today, lots of buds on the geranium

I know it is a little unorthodox to cook steak in a crock pot, but this was our ‘cheap’ steak from Albertson’s in Yuma and it isn’t T-bone quality anyway. We couldn’t bbq in the rain and it turned out quite nice in a one dish meal.
Bill got the big field cut yesterday

I was suffering a bit not only from the throat and coughing but also my right shoulder and bicep were giving me some grief. I knew I’d overdone it yesterday but too late now. Everything strikes at once as I also realized that I got a doozy of a black fly bite last night. Man, it is driving me nuts!  I took a Benadryl and put some Aloe Vera gel on it.
Slow roasted steak, potatoes and carrots
Needless to say, my afternoon involved this gal laying around, on the couch with my book. It was actually cozy inside and the mystery novel kept my mind mostly off my troubles. After dinner, Clemson and I took a walk down the lane. It was spitting very lightly but it felt warm still at 15C and the wind had died down some.
A 25 litre bag of potting soil will be helpful
When we came back, you guessed it, Clemson settled on Bill’s lap and I settled down to finish my book, or at least come close. I’m hoping I can get out and plant my geraniums tomorrow. I don’t think it will be a wash out like today was.

The rain changes the look of our Restroom
I hope you had some relief from the rain today and were able to make the best of it. I had bigger plans for today but the sewing machine remained in the hall closet and the recipe book didn’t out of the cupboard. Some days are like that. Jello.
Clemson hikes to catch up with me
Thank you for reading. All comments are welcome.