Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Since we live in a small city, we try to walk whenever possible, to the grocery store, the library, the drugstore, and the beach. One of my favorite walks is through what used to be a alley on the walk down to the library. Back to back condos made it possible to turn what once was a boring asphalt driveway into a lush, and colorful brick lined park. I have walked down this pathway for years, and encountered some of the nicest people out tending their little garden patch, or just sitting in the sun, enjoying the peace, the breeze, and birds chirping. The other day I met a new friend, he came right up to me and said hello. He was busy greeting another lady who was walking toward me, but he took some time out of his busy schedule to say welcome to my new neighborhood. In fact he was so friendly, he flopped down in front of me. And he had no intention of moving a inch until I bent down to pet him. As soon as I started to walk away, he would follow me, and flop down again. He loves the camera, and he is the star in a new collage card that I am thinking of adding to the Muddy Boot Dreams card line. I don't know his name since he has just recently moved in, but he adds color and character to a very special part of White Rock. And I will be looking forward to seeing him again the next time I visit the library. I might even have to bring some cat treats.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Have you ever lost touch with old friends, people you used to converse with regularly? Since I forgot my password on Flickr, and started a new account under Muddy Boot Dreams, there are many of my contacts on Flickr that I am still missing updated photos from. I used to use Flickr which is a wonderful photo sharing, and archiving site, exclusively, and while I still use it, time is simply slipping through my fingers most days faster than a earth worm can wiggle from a birds beak. Between gardening, photography, and working, some things get put aside. But when I have a spare moment, I have been posting on Flickr, which is kind of like Facebook for photographers. Take a moment and visit the site, maybe think about joining up. If you do, or you already are, then let me know. I would love to see your photos.
You can find my photos under Muddy Boot Dreams, or even Creative Gardener.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
OK first of all, I have a dilemma. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that I fell in LOVE!!!! and it was not just with Gar. Before you think, oh Jen, you naughty woman, how could you possibly fall in love with another? Well look deep into her cute little eyes, see how adorable she is. When we met last September, she was only as big as Gar's hand. And I wanted so badly to take her home with us, and my Sister, Turf Toter, wanted us to take her, but Cous Cous had a taste of the great outdoors. And I know that she would not be happy living in a tiny little condo. I cried all the way home, well most of the way. And for me, unbelievable as it might sound, that is actually a good thing, because then I know that I am not making a decision that would be good for us. And we did not feel that it was the right decision for this little ball of fluff. She grew up, snuck out one night, in the freezing cold, three feet deep snow of winter, and had, shall we call it a rendezvous. The result, Cous Cous is now a single mom to four adorable kittens. Three boys, who are predominately Manx, they have no tails. And one adorable little black with a caramel striped female, who is absolutely adorable, can you see where I am going with this? We have many reasons still. Of course we have finally won the cat fight, and now cats would be legal. Pffftt. that never stopped most people. We have absolutely no room for a litter box, and don't tell me that they take up just a little room. There is no room! We like to have the doors and windows open most of the year, and living on the ground floor, one open door would equal a missing kitty very quickly. And let's not forget Bootsie, King of the Cat-stle. He owns us, and really doesn't play well with other kitty's, or sleeping bags left on the living room floor, plastic bags on counters, anything that is "out of place," and that includes the numerous guests we have all the time. He needs us, and loves us, he just doesn't need anything out of place. The cat has issues, yes, but we love him. And yes, we realize that he is not ours. So what are we to do with "Lark" or "Willow," as I have already named the little sweetie? Do we say "I do?" Or do we wait, until we can achieve our dream of living in the country, with.....at least 10 cats, one for each year we have had to wait. Weigh in on this "Catty Issue." Let me know what I should do.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I've been working......lots, and I am hard at work today, sigh...... why is it so hard to get up on a work day?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Am I the only person in the world who is bothered by the beep of a low battery smoke alarm going off intermittently every few seconds? And could this be considered not a gripe, but a question? Our condo lives hunched up with other condos, lining the street like participants in a parade. Any noise travels up and down the street faster than the smell of popcorn down the hallways. It travels far, deep inside my always open windows, and through to my consciousness. If you are a neighbor and you don't think that we fellow compartment dwellers know all of your problems, and arguments intimately then you are sadly delusional. We know everything that you have uttered aloud, from your financial woes, to your dislike of doing the dishes. And should you stop arguing long enough for silence to pervade your abode, then you would know ours also. This beep is literally driving me into territory that I had better not go into. I am sitting at my computer, trying to catch up on the multitude of work that I have in front of me. And I find myself waiting for the next beep, somewhat like being half asleep and waiting to hear the next drip from the leaky faucet in the bathroom. Knowing that you are too sleepy to make a effort to get up and do something about it, but not sleepy enough to ignore it. Hoping that the noise is equally annoying to your oblivious husband, asleep deep in his dreams. It is not time well spent, being frustrated by neighbors who are too lazy or indifferent to change a battery. My time is better spent watching and hoping that the house finches who have only recently discovered a new hanging basket on my deck, choose to move in. It has been my biggest envy when visiting "Lots of Pots" balcony garden last year. He had birds nesting in at least two baskets, the chirping of the newly hatched babies, a song of spring so sweet, it made my heart ache. I think of the dryer lint that we regularly scrape up and dispose of, what those little birds could build with that. The bits and pieces of scrap yarn, and ribbon that I have in my closet, and somehow those thoughts, and the peaceful chirps of happy new residents drowns out the beep. It is only a momentarily break, but that will have to be enough for now.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
You sure can catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar. But that is practically the only thing vinegar is not good for, catching flies. Vinegar is a wonderful all around cleaner, deodorizer, disinfectant, and of all things, a great weed killer. Used full strength in a spray bottle, it can cut grease on counter tops, and stoves, or make your windows shine, just use newspaper to dry them, stand back and see the sparkle that rivals diamonds. In the garden vinegar makes a great natural weed killer. And if you have pets or children this should be very important to you. While it definitely works better on a sunny hot day, on small or young weeds, it does a great job practically any dry time of the year. You may need to reapply on mature weeds, but what would you rather use, a dangerous pesticide, or a natural product. I have come across a recipe for a natural weed killer using 4 cups full strength vinegar, 1/2 cup of salt, 2 tbsp. of dish detergent. I have not had a chance to try this out, so please be careful which plants you spray it on. Watch out for your lovelies, since this may damage your other plants. I just use full strength vinegar in a spray bottle, wet the leaves thoroughly, and let the sun do it's work. Got any great vinegar tips? Do you love to add a bit of fresh lemon juice, or a essential oil to your spray bottle to "freshen it up," do you pour a cup full into your washing machine to soften the water? What else do you use vinegar for? If you are wondering who's garden this is, it belongs to Floweriscious Does that blue, not just reach out and grab you?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Last year I posted about finally getting a plot in our Condo community garden, after 30 years of dictatorship the old guys who had monopolized them forever had moved onto the big garden in the sky. So this year we formed a committee, parceled out the plots, did some maintenance, and rock picking. Cleaned up some unruly shrubs, cut down a few eyesores, convinced Council to donate some money for fresh soil, and voila we are gardening. But this climate is tricky, between the break in the cold spring weather, the rain, and the one suddenly warm day we experienced, weeds had sprung up everywhere. Dandelions are only really beautiful when they are the first bit of color in the spring. After they go to seed, they may make great helicopters, but not much else. Since we are completely organic gardeners we don't use chemicals to fight those yellow fuzz balls. One of the other gardeners and I spent a few hours attacking the weeds, and after picking 10 buckets full, and ending up hot, sweaty, and happy, we declared ourselves done for the day. Congratulating ourselves on a job well done, we went back a few days later, and guess what?They're back....the darn things have grown up all around us again.........
Bring on the spray bottle of vinegar.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Go ahead and do something you most likely rarely do. Just be. Who am I to tell you what to do you might ask? I am not the one who is telling you to do this. It is you who will give yourself permission.
Just be yourself. Just be relaxed, just be........happy, alive in the moment, content with life. Put aside everything, your job, your lack of a job, your worries, your stresses, your to do list, the vacuuming, the phone calls and emails that need to be returned. Forget everything, and just be. Just simply be. If now is not the moment, then save this for a time when you really need it. Keep it in a safe place, a special place, and when you find you need it, take it out and use it. Just be.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Forget the room sprays, and synthetic perfumes. Mother Nature has the real spring Scent-sations.
No bottle of fabric softener is ever going to match these. There is nothing on the market, that will even come close.
Friday, May 15, 2009
For intense concentration of fragrance, you can't beat Lily of the Valley, it is also delightfully musky. If you are lucky enough to have some growing in your garden, pick one of the precious blooms, and take it indoors. Take a sniff, and you will know what I mean. Ammendment: I really wanted to tell you that these are some of my favorite flowers, and there is a good reason. My Mom's bridal bouquet was a small bunch of artificial Lily of the Valley, which she still has. Since they were married in May, I always look forward to seeing these flowers bloom, and it reminds me that their wedding anniversary is coming up. The day before our wedding, Mom mentioned that it would be great if my flower girl could carry a small bouquet of Lily of the Valley. I was driving all over town to find Lily of the Valley, and having no success. It was still not in season up in the Okanagan, and I must have gone to every florist, or flower shop in town. At the very last store I finally found some cute looking artificial ones, that my little flower girl carried. Saved.......by Lily of the Valley.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
If you had to be a dog, what better place to grow up, and grow old at, than a farm?
Especially a farm with a creek running through it . A place where as a dog, you can run for miles, encounter squirrels, tease the cats, and eat all the dog food you can tip out of the bag.