My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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It was the first time that I’d seen a warning sign for corn …

Yesterday, driving around town on errands, I decided it was time to go the the Silver Rill Farm to buy some corn!

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They grow quite a variety and I buy corn from them every year.  Yesterday, mid-morning, was a quiet day there so I was able to take some photos.   I usually buy Peaches & Cream corn, but yesterday I noticed the signage for these two types of sweet corn, in bins.  They each had a sign listing that the corn was sweet and crunchy.  The sign on the right, though, had the wording “warning, extremely crunchy”.  After discussing this with a fellow shopper, I sought out a knowledgeable employee for an explanation.  Luckily I was able to find the guy who grew the corn!  He explained that the corn was his favourite and suggested I take a few home!  And so I did.  Cooked some up for DH & myself and it was delicious.  Another shopper at the farm, who used to farm for most of his life, also recommended this corn and commented that Peaches & Cream do not even come close to tasting as delicious as this corn!  People, he snorted, just like the name because it sounds pretty.  Yup.   That is pretty well why I would buy the P & C corn.   It’s all in a name, isn’t it.  But now I know better!  A bit of education on corn doesn’t go amiss.

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I spent a few minutes, taking advantage of the temporary lull in customers, to take a few photos.  Loving the antiques that were displayed on the walls.  Items that had been in daily use years ago .. now proudly placed so all could see them.  Sharing.  Nice.

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On the weekends, you could not get near these displays, there are so many customers.  Great to see locally grown produce, reasonably priced.

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Love the variety and rustic look of these venerable objects, now resting after many years of use on the farm.  Metal watering cans, buckets .. all types of things.

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Funky art .. well done .. I wonder if these creative paintings were done by a family member?  They certainly add to the fun atmosphere of the farm!   Wouldn’t it be fun to be this creative and paint some rooms in your house like this?  I think it would be.

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More corn .. here is the Peaches & Cream.   Lots of it … I expect it will be gone in a day or so.  The nice thing is that corn will be available until Thanksgiving .. yippeeeeeeeeeee!

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In front of the shop.. I think this tractor still has years of life left in it!

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And the goats, peacefully resting in their play area, calmly gaze at all the activity in front of them, enjoying the sunny morning.

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Finished with taking photos, I picked up my fully laden shopping bag of corn and veggies and left the farm.

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Back home, out to the back  yard and spending some relaxing time in my bean forest.  The rain is pouring down right now so I expect there will be more beans to pick tomorrow!

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More bounty yesterday, a mix of Spanish Musica and Blue Lake Bush beans.  Honestly I am just amazed at the quantity of beans available.  I look through the vines so carefully, but a lot of the beans just hide away till they are so big!   All chopped, bagged and in the freezer!  I wonder if it is the good energy of the music that encourages the growth of my plants.  It is proven that plants grow better with music.  The best is Indian music (the tone) and I play lots of that, including “music for plants to grow”, lots of classical, a ton of world music.  And lately, I just cannot get enough of Adam Sutherland’s “Squall” .. such beautiful, loving music ..

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My favourite bean .. already tiny beans are appearing … these are very similar to the shape and texture of the Blue Lake Bush Bean.  Yum.

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Little JaneE Kat finding her kitty crunchies .. before wandering over to the sump-pump water fountain .. to have another outside shower.  What a cat.

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Off to enjoy this lovely rainy day ..and time to  practice my violin.   So happy I’ve begun to learn properly and excited to rediscover my pile of beginner violin books .. within which is a treasure trove of fingering exercises, happy little tunes to play with.

And a time also to play with my wire and beads and create some funky Kumihimo bracelets.   It’s been days since I’ve been able to enter my creative world of beading and I’m looking forward to this good energy!

🙂


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Something new to think about and what to do with all those apples???

Our Red Delicious apple tree has never had such a crop before, the branches are bending nearly to the ground with fruit.  I seem to remember that there is a bumper crop every few years and don’t expect this to happen next year.  It must tire the tree a lot to produce so much.

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I’ve begun harvesting the apples, ripe or not just to try and lighten the load of the branches.  Have been thinking of juicing them and putting the juice in the freezer for later.  Organic, no pesticides (never).   Have been looking at various budget-wise juicing machines to do this.   Where the apples are exposed to the sun, they are nice and red.  And delicious.

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Yesterday I spent some time hunting in my little bean forest.   Noticed the disparity of size in these beans, all on the same stem.  Two tiny little beans growing beyond the two mature beans.    Spanish Musica.  There will be a lot of seeds for next year .. I’ll share these with friends, as always.

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And again, with the tiny beans growing beyond the mature pods.  And see .. blue skies above!

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Growing happily in the bean forest .. I see a squash and think (hope) it is a spaghetti squash (love them).3337

Here again is the Clematis that I’d pruned back a few weeks ago …it grows at least several inches every night .. soon it will be climbing like crazy over the little arbour!  I can see the plant tag still there .. easy to see now that the majority of growth has been removed.

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Don’t be shy little sunflower .. it’s growing in the bean forest and knows where the sun is!  A helpful garden spider is taking a little rest on the leaves.  What adventures must be happening in this place all during the day and the night when I’m not out there to see.

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Loving the difference the sunshine makes and the leaves are soaking up the energy to help the plants grow.  3340

I have a very tall Bay tree in the back yard.  This lovely tree provides privacy, shade and flavouring for food.   Yesterday I just stopped to admire how the sunlight created  a tiny thread of light around the leaves.3341

Sun and shadow create poignant works of art .. fleeting and beautiful .. happy I was standing there at that particular moment of time to see this.

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Oh .. silly little bean .. trying to be art deco or something like that!  Definitely heritage seeds .. I guess there is one in every crowd, eh?  It was delicious, thank you bean!

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After a relaxing chunk of time hunting and picking at all the bean plants around the yard, I came into the house with a fine harvest.  All rinsed, dried, chopped and in the freezer.  Ready for some quick meals.  And I discovered later, as I was doing this preparation, that some of the beans are definitely meant to be saved for drying.  The beans in some of the pods were becoming quite firm.   I’ll pay more attention to my garden labels next time I pick the beans.  I definitely like the Blue Lake Bush Beans and will save some seed for next year.    These beans have long, round pods, quite crunchy and delicious.  Prolific also.

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Sweet and cheerful.  Planted by the birds.  Enjoyed by all.

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How lovely ….gentle skies above ..3346

The birds are spreading this diminutive flower everywhere .. plus it self seeds like crazy.   The insects love it so I’ll let it flower and then pull them out before they start seeding again.  There are many in the yard.  They started appearing a few years ago (those birds!)

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I’ve been looking at a marvellous dance site:  https://balletespressivo.com/    I was entranced with their dancing as it looks very strong and very creative.   They welcome adults, including adults who do not have ballet experience (that would be me!!!)   This type of (to me) folk-dance/ballet attracts me and if I were 3,000 miles closer, I would be very tempted to register with them.

Yesterday, they posted a fb entry which included the term “embodied cognition”.  This seemed quite interesting .. so I had to do some research and love what I found out.

There are quite a number of informative sites with information on this subject and here is a simple explanation that I found on one of them:  “Embodied Cognition is a growing research program in cognitive science that emphasizes the formative role the environment plays in the development of cognitive processes.”

Here is the excerpt from the Ballet Espressivo fb posting:  ”

From Canadian Living, August 2016: “Retrain Your Brain” by Lesley Young

” The Bad Habit – “I slouch.” …psychologists have proven there is a direct link between how tall and proud we stand and how relaxed and in control we are on the inside. It’s called embodied cognition, and it indicates how at peace we are.”

We can help you!

http://www.balletespressivo.com

and here is the link to the Canadian Living magazine article: .. http://contentsmagazine.com/articles/creating-for-the-brain-in-the-body/

 

I found this to be terribly fascinating .

Well .. on with this most marvellous sunny day!

🙂

 

 


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Music in the garden, rain on my plants …

Yesterday (Sunday) the weather was overcast and I was so sure the sun would come out as it usually does when I want a cloudy day.   So it didn’t and the rains came down instead.  I needed to go outside to pick some more beans and at the same time I wanted to listen, yet again, to the most beautiful music in the world – Adam Sutherland’s Squall!  Here is how I did that!   The sound was a teensy bit muffled but my ipod and speaker stayed nice and dry & I could hear the music so that was fine!   Plus, a lid to keep my mug of Yorkshire tea  from being diluted by the rain worked well.  And .. lately .. I’ve been finding things lost and thought I’d never see again.  The most recent is the packet of Irish Shamrock seeds.  I’d located the packet of  Irish soil a few days ago and sort of lamented that I’d misplaced the seeds .. et voila!
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Speaking of finding lost things .. lately I’ve been either finding things or else the things that I want to have are right there for me.   Having written that, I might better explain this by giving some examples.  When I was working on tidying up the stony area beside the house a few days ago, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had some more landscape fabric.  I went beneath the sundeck and there is a folded section of the same that I’d bought last year and hadn’t used!   Right there, waiting for me!  I didn’t have to go searching, it was just there.  Other similarities, wanting string ..oh, there it is.  Looking for a certain container .. oh, there it is. On and on .. other examples don’t spring to mind, but it has been happening quite a bit – enough for me to notice.

Now, what is happening?  Are all these things that I “need” noticed by my unconscious and when my conscious mind thinks ” oh .. I must have this .. or that .. and where is it …?” then my unconscious kicks in and I am able to locate them?  Whatever is happening, I’m quite happy that the end result is that I am able to find what I need.

Out in the rain with little JaneE Kat .. she is having her outdoor shower via the skies above.

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The rain was soft at first and then changed into a steady pour ..

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Loving how the raindrops bejewel the petals of the sunflower ..023

I’m rooting for this squash to grow so I can see what type it is.  It is nearing the end of August and there should be a month plus of growing weather.  I didn’t plant the seeds till July and am not sure if that was late or not.  One more thing to check next year – the fun of gardening.   030

The graceful tendrils of the squash tumble down, lending an aura of decadent beauty.  Utterly beautiful, by Mother Nature!

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Rain droplets on a blueberry plant .. a diverse array of shapes and designs ..

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Cherokee Trail of Tears … the beans turn green when cooked .. they are delicious and crunchy when eaten fresh off the vine.  Yum.

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Beneath the protection of my umbrella, I checked the vines of some Scarlet Red Runner beans.   Yesterday I’d noticed that they had grown back on themselves, seeking a structure to cling to and they were so intertwined that I knew the vines would break if I tried to untangle them.   They were also in the way as they hung down about  5 feet from the ground – I had to move them aside to get anywhere.   I fetched my ladder and simply tied them to a branch of the apple tree and they seem to be settling in quite well.

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Never cease to be amazed by the vigour of this old rose plant .. it just keeps on flowering and reaching up to the sun.  Now, should I use the descriptive “old” or just “mature”?? Either way this plant has grown for many years (I’m guessing 30 when I planted it).  I was younger and so was the plant.  Now .. I’m still “young”in my heart and will stay so.  Maybe we are both “older and wiser” .. tough and durable and still pretty !!

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Red lupins .. love how the rain paints a dainty trim of watery lace around each leaf and then gently drifts down to the centre, creating a silvery pool of water .. very ethereal.

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Spanish Musica, Cherokee Trail of Tears and Blue Bush beans.  I vowed I wouldn’t freeze beans this year, but with such a bounty, have changed my mind.   Found an easy way to treat them .. rinse, dry, chop, freeze.  No water bath.  That’s my kind of winter prep.  Although now that I’ve learned the proper way to prepare beans (big pot of slightly salted water, add beans, cook for 3 minutes) I think all the beans will be happily eaten before winter!  My lovely plants are so generous.

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A few years ago I began my little garden note book and in it I wrote what I planted and when.  This serves as a good reference for me.  However, this year I couldn’t find that little book until I’d planted everything and of course this year I didn’t write down when I planted what.  And later on I found that little book!! I know that I planted the beans in July, and the squash seeds after that.   There is always next year to keep notes so I’ll just relax this year and enjoy the generous bounty of my lovely garden.  We were lucky to have hot sunny summer weather which enabled all the plants (properly watered!) to grow well.

Sunny day today .. time to get on with my daily life …

🙂

 


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Musical Spanish Musica Beans, tasty tomatoes and inspiration from the garden (yet again!)

So here is a photo of one section of the area beside the house that I recently renovated – neat and tidy when I first did this area and over the years overgrown with bluebells, morning glory and fallen leaves & rose petals.   Refreshing, really, to see it tidy once again.   A lot more to go before it is finished, but inspirational to have tidied it up thus far!  And again, motivational and meditational.  05

And you know that good ole saying “stop and smell the roses” .. well I did!  This rose bush is old, I planted it about 30 years ago.  Don’t remember the type, but it does have a faint scent.     Bonus, it grows like crazy and doesn’t need much water at all …. I suppose because the roots are so deep.

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Love surprises in the garden .. yesterday it was this delicious little tomato!

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Kale growing all over the yard and letting the seeds go to ground for more plants for the winter!01

Spanish Musica seeds growing like crazy.  Kinda funny that this one resembles a musical note and I’m learning how to read music!

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I thought these were dry beans until I read what type they are.  Turns out that they will be delicious when harvested young like this.   And, as it is never too late to learn and undo a cooking habit .. yesterday I discovered (online) that beans are best  when placed in a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water and cooked for only 3 minutes, then tossed with butter.

And there are many other ways to finish off the beans but this suits us fine.  Nice and simple.  Although I may toss them with tiny tomatoes & slices of garlic from the garden.  Quite a change from the insipid way I had been preparing them – placing beans in a small pot with cold water which I then brought to a boil .. resulting in all the goodness being cooked out of them.  Never again!

DH loves them the new way which is great as I do not plan on freezing my crops of beans ..just plan to enjoy them every day!

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Tenacity of the squash .. quite pretty and very strong.   I look forward to seeing the squash when they start to appear on the plants!

Absolutely stunning are these plants in the light of the sun .. all from a little seed .. fascinating and humbling …nature has it all ..

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This year has been a bumper crop of fruit.  Here, one of the plum tree’s branches was so heavily laden that it cracked and broke .. I cut away most of the wood but this branch remains and will be removed later.  See the new growth from the branch?   Resilience, strength, renewal.

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Another surprise squash .. seems to be many of them in the garden .. nice one!12

And of course .. the tendrils are reaching out for support, beginning with the surprise sunflower.

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Some flowers on “my favourite bean” .. these grow in a group of four, and each one takes their turn to commence on the next step to create a bean.  A bean a day!

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And finally, the Spanish Musica bean .. online, the length of the vine is purported to be 6 to 7 feet.  These are at least 15 feet and still growing .. reaching out for support.  I’ll climb the ladder this morning to try and train them to grow on a neighbouring tree.  Inspirational?  You betcha!

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Time to finish household stuff, practise my violin, and then will literally run outside to enjoy the day.  It is a bit overcast today so it will be fun to get things done!

 


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Bees, blue skies, the perfect wine glass and relaxing in the garden

With blue skies above and a day full of magnificent sky art above .. I finally finished all my indoor stuff and raced outside!!!

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The Spanish Musica vines are now officially beyond my reach.  Any beans growing higher than this will be dried for next years plants.   I’m going to have lots of seed for that!   Have to be careful as there are tiny little beans growing just beyond these two that I’m plucking from the vine and as each bean is so precious I don’t want to ruin any of them.

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I’ve only grown beans for a few years and am always learning from them.  Each type, it seems, flowers in a different manner.   The S. Musica has the “one bean a day” approach.  That is .. there are two flowers at the join of the vine, one matures first and grows a tiny little bean .. the second one waits a day or so before the bean starts.

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See … the bean on the right is smaller than the one on the right (which I picked and ate!)  Beans are fun to pick .. it is fun to hunt through the  vines to find them!  I like to pick them when they are mid-size .. but  .. sometimes it is challenging to find them all and quite often seem to find the larger ones tucked away out of sight.  Could they be hiding from me?  I wonder …810

My favourite bean!!!  So crunchy and delicious.  The vine is covered in flowers so there will be lots to eat and many seeds to dry for next year.  Always, for gardeners, there is next year.  We love the heck out of this year .. but there are always plans to do things a little differently, perhaps.804

Trying to bring a bit of elegance into the veggie garden .. I put this tri-screen next to the bush beans & squash plants and am training the squash vine to grow up and around the frame.  Soon the frame will be hidden and the squash will be soaking up the sun all day long.

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And day three of the clematis vine shows the rapid growth of this vine!  Yesterday I posted 2 photos taken a day apart and was amazed at the swift growth overnight.  I continue to be amazed.  The vine now is reaching for support and soon will be covering the arbour again in all of its splendour!814 (2)

Having been admired for weeks by me and much visited by the bees, the sunflower is now morphing into a feeding station for the birds.  The transition to forming seeds has begun.

An interesting thing happened just as I clicked this photo.  As I was standing up, I caught my boot in a burlap bag (I use coffee burlap bags on the pathways, to protect the earth from being trampled on).   Somehow I caught the tip of my boot under a layer of a bag and found myself floundering, arms akimbo, mind going ” ????” as I scrambled to grab hold of something.  You know the crazy feeling.  At the same time I didn’t want anything to happen to my precious camera .. so as I (gracefully??) fell to the ground I somehow found a way to gently place my camera on a soft surface.   What a weird experience.   And I vowed to pay attention where I place my feet when traipsing along.  Humbling and a reminder to be focused!807

While standing in the shade of the bean vines, happily listening to the loving music of Adam Sutherland’s music (Squall) I noticed this vigorous squash growing amongst the vines.  Quelle surprise and a nice one at that!  Where did that one come from?  The fun of gardening.  Adding to the fun are the self-seeding plants from compost spread around the yard.  Kale and tomatoes are growing everywhere – what fun!

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More quiet time … again .. standing by the pots of Scarlet Red Runner beans, background noise quiet for a time … I listened to the rustle of the leaves as a gentle breeze swept through the yard ..  the sun shone down and I just basked in the peace and joy of watching the magic of nature.   No matter what technology exists .. this is really where its at.814

On to another flower .. gonna be a busy day for this little bee ..

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A buzzing i will go .. a buzzing I will go .. hi ho the Derry-O .. a buzzing I will go ….

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JaneE sleeping .. smiling ..  happy dreams …I wonder if she is dreaming that I’ll be getting more kitty treats for her?   Cause I did do that later on!!

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Later on, I looked at the little sunflower growing in the midst of another bean patch and liked how the sun shone through the petals ..

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It’s been such a hot summer here and there are so many projects yet unfinished in the yard.  I get lost in the rhythm of watching the plants grow, listening to the birds .. and then end up (as always) getting involved in a project that I had no idea I would be doing.  The one I found myself doing yesterday was beside the house.

A few years ago I’d restructured the back of the yard (photos taken when I started blogging).   Intensive work and I’d sieved the soil from half of the yard – with the result that I ended up with quite a large quantity of stones and pebbles.

These I used along the side of the house … where bluebells and morning glory were ruling that space.  I dug up everything, put down a few layers of  landscape fabric and “artfully” added all these stones and everything looked nice and tidy.

A few years later and the accumulation of falling leaves, rose petals and assorted garden debris took its toll and what was once pretty was looking sad and abandoned.  So yesterday I began the task of changing all that.

I began removing the stones, clearing away the plant debris, repositioning the landscape fabric and replacing the stones .. and what a world of difference.  I’ll take some pics of the before and after, just to give myself a pat on the back!  Once this project is done, I have a feeling my enthusiasm to proceed on my other unfinished projects will return.

With music playing softly in background, mug of Yorkshire Tea nearby on a tree stump, aware that JaneE was sleeping away on the back stairs .. I let myself enjoy the meditational activity of the stones and the transformation of this area.

Later on .. on my trek to Michaels .. I found the perfect wine glass!!  🙂  I didn’t buy it but it was fun to imagine!

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Another fun day  …oh . and the skies were still beautiful as I walked along ..

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🙂

 


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Surprise strawberries, magic growth of the clematis, and thoughts on music

What a difference a day makes!   I did a hard prune on a clematis plant a few weeks ago. I took the photo on the right 2 days ago and it shows the new growth on the Clematis.   Compare that to the photo on the left that I  took yesterday.   All the new growth overnight (that is when plants do their growing!!)   Impressive.   Some days I feel like I’m making that kind of progress as I practice my violin ..not always … just some days and that feels great that I’m making some kind of progress and not slipping backwards.

A lovely flowering plant (whose name tag is somewhere!) in the front yard, flowering away.  I’ll bet the little Annas are visiting this one!

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Some of my garden bounty from yesterday .. all the tomatoes are self-seeded.  The green ones ripen in a day or so and taste very yummy.    A few more Spanish Musica beans .. prolific beans they are!707

 

Little JaneE Kat at her sump pump water fountain!   She likes the water that spills over and I think she really likes having her little outdoor showers in this hot weather.  Once she is sprinkled with millions of sparkly water droplets, she wanders over to the grass to stretch out for a nap or sometimes she snoozes on the back stairs.

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Here she is on the back stairs… she is so precious and sweet!   And she totally runs our household!

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I have always loved faeries .. really and truly … so I have to have them in my house and in my garden.  There are two of these silhouettes and I located one of them yesterday!

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Here is the largest of the garden faeries .. I’ve put in a huge apple that had fallen from the tree .. for the birdies to nibble away at.

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Hey watcha bean doin??    (groan, ha ha )

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What a little compost and water will do to the strawberries .. I’m rewarded with more little berries and the promise of a few more for a treat.  Thank you strawberry plant!    A month ago I was trying to be tidy (ha ha ) in the garden and had piled up containers of these plants, thinking that they were done.    A few days later I was in the process of moving them over to the compost when I noticed some of them were flowering and one had a small berry, all ripe and so I ate it and when I was done, I moved the pots back into the sun.

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Red lupines (I’ve learned) are native plants.    Yesterday I was standing beside this container .. the sun was hot ..and I heard the popping of the pods as the heat caused the casings to burst , leaving the seeds (or most of them) in the container.  Hmmm .. I thought, these are definitely related to broom as that invasive plant does the same thing.   Anyway, I’ll have lots of seeds for future lupines and won’t worry if these plants spread .. they are so pretty and the Annas will have more flowers to sip at.

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While I stood there, watching my little JaneE sleep away .. she must have sensed that I was there …she opened her eyes .. and seeing nothing important was happening (no treats being given) she resumed her sleeping.

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The joy of music as always been a special element to my life, I love the feelings that are raised by the type of music.   If I want to do the dreaded housework then I must listen to energizing drumming, belly dance rhythms, energized world music.  When I am gardening, there needs to be either the same when I need to drown out construction noise or else soothing world music.

I’ve always loved the world of the violin which ranges from passionate soul stirring  rhythms to playful tunes which get my feet dancing and then the loving soothing tunes which make me stop working away and just listen to the magic of the strings and follow the notes as they play out to the wind.

Recently I’ve discovered the world of Adam Sutherland, a Scottish fiddler who has just released “Squall” – I purchased this the second it was available.  This music is just so beautiful and I don’t think that I will ever have listened to the music on this album enough.

Music is very powerful and his music is so very magical .. here is one site which shows some of his music and more about this incredible musician:

https://www.shetlandfolkfestival.com/archive/2014/visiting/adam-sutherland-friends

So .. another world of violin for me to explore.  A little different from the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra that came here to Victoria a number of years ago.

Driving around town one day, months back, I happened to be listening to an interview with Ian Rankin (the famous Scottish author).   I love his books and didn’t know he was Scottish .. but once you hear that voice, there is no mistake.   A gentle Scottish voice is like a song.

Anyway, what he said intrigued me and I totally agree.  He talked about always having music playing when he wrote .. the music created a bubble in  which he could create, write,  think and be.   That isn’t a quote but it is how I remember his explanation.

The analogy of a bubble works for me also as a description .. I visualized a translucent gently rainbow coloured bubble creating a personal world within which I was free to create and enjoy …..

That is exactly what music is for me .. to surround my environment with music for my soul and my spirit.  Whether I am engaged in daily house activities, decluttering, doing laundry, going for a walk or working/playing in the garden.   There is always a mood enhancing bit of music I can play to encourage myself in my endeavours.

And always, as I see/listen to musicians, I think of the many hours/days/weeks/months/years they have worked in order to attain their skill.

And I remind myself of this each time I go to practice my bowing, so that I will not give up.

So .. time to do that and then get going with this day ..

🙂

 

 

 


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JaneE Kat in the sun, learning again how to drum and more about beans.

I have never given JaneE a bath and it seems that she prefers showers, what did I know?  My darling little girl (who will be 22 in December!) loves sitting next to my sump pump washtub fountain and in the process has a little shower.  Perfect in the hot summer days that we are experiencing now.  Not sure if you can see the tiny droplets of water, reflective in the sun .. but she is covered with water!  Cool Cat!

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She is mesmerized with water – outside – here she is sipping at water that overflowed when I was watering some beans …

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Those Portuguese bush dry beans are prolific …very sturdy plants.  I’ll have lots of beans for soups and stews this winter.  Or just boil, mash and put lots of butter on a bowl of them!   (with some stewed tomatoes!)

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Speaking of these Portuguese beans being sturdy, last week one of them, fully laden with flowers, had been nearly snapped off .. whether from an animal at night or perhaps it wasn’t well supported.  I tried to mend it together by wrapping that green adhesive garden tape around it and tying the plant to a stick of bamboo.  Somehow, it worked, the energy continued flowing and the plant flourishes.  I’m so happy.

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I had saved about 30 seeds of the Ram’s Horn bean from last year.  Planted them all and one actually grew!  So I separated it from where it was growing – intertwined along with a Scarlet Red Runner bean and attached it to a separate string and here it grows.   Looking forward to seeing the fruit from this one!

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Some squash growing in a pot.  They are shallow rooted so I knew they would flourish in a container.  Now they are growing, long vines are being trained up some lengths of wood.   Flowering away .. the bees are very attentive to the flowers.

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The magic of a seed morphing into a plant that provides food for the table never loses intrigue for me and it never will – I’ll always be amazed and grateful.

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Last year I noticed a clematis ( Jackmanii ) that grew up a little arbour in the yard was rapidly becoming infested with mildew.  So I simply cut it all down and it regrew.   This year the same thing happened so I cut the plant away and look at all the new growth.  In a week or so, the vine will have crept over the arbour and will start flowering again!

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And now about the drumming!  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

Jordan Hanson started teaching African drumming in Victoria over 15 years ago .. and he has brought in quite a variety of teachers over the years.

I’d begun at that time and life kept interfering with other things so I wasn’t able to commit to steady classes.

Now that I am (happily) retired I can now devote time to things that bring joy and energy into my life.  One of these is drumming.  I’ve been interested in drumming since I was a teen and had my first set of bongos!!   That was in the hippy generation.  I never did learn how to play them but did enjoy just trying to make a good sound.

So last week I enrolled for a series of workshops that involved Balafon – here is a link that explains the instrument: http://www.african-music-safari.com/african-balafon-history.html

I purchased a used balafon and have it set up so that DH & I can just play the soothing musical tones .. it isn’t in tune but sounds great anyway!

And the drums!  There are a variety of them, from Djembe, stick, and it’s fun learning how to play them.  Jordan is a fantastic teacher and is able to show us as a group, how to learn the intricacies.  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

I do love the energy and his drumming notes show that “even just a few minutes of drumming a day can contribute to a feeling of well-being and can really improve playing skills.”   Getting lost in the rhythm is meditational and relaxing.  Time literally flies by.

It is fun returning to drumming after being away for so long.

And soon I’ll be revisiting another interest from years ago .. clogging!  double up — double down .. cloggers know this one!  An Appalachian instructor demonstrated this in a workshop in Duncan years ago and I can still hear his accented voice as he led the group in a routine.  So I’ll be dusting off my tap shoes with the double set of metal clickers and putting them on once again, in a few weeks to relearn the rhythms of the dance.

And more interests being revisited again .. but now it’s time to get on with the day!

🙂