Monday, January 27, 2014

Shivering and cold.. Herks Beauty is yet to be shown....

A very quick update on Herks progress... I believe that the lack of sunlight is slowing him down a wee bit!
Who can blame him...

This is what he was looking like on Saturday...

Here he is this morning.... each of the red "fingers" will open into its own fireworks of blossom... The smell is very heady. 
I won't show you outside... not even the freaky amount of birds I have in my garden. Its a bit like an Alfred Hitchcock movie!...
Check back and see how Herk is doing by Friday. Hopefully the first bloom will be open to bedazzle us.
Stay warm and safe where ever you are... or at least if your part of the vast majority of North America getting hit with this Polar vortex.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Herks blooming...

So just 10 days ago I shared how I had been given a SIGN  
I thought I should let you see what Herk has done in just 10 days!

 I've turned him so that his stock has to reach towards the sun and hopefully make it stronger rather then it getting so heavy and falling down if left on the window side... I will probably go a head and put in a support though because once he actually starts blooming the head gets very heavy.
 So this morning after getting up and going out and shoveling and plowing a full foot of new snow... I started in on cleaning up the indoor plants... removing dead and dying leaves and cutting back some plants that were just getting to look shabby. I noticed that Herks bloom capsule was already starting to split open... I took this picture... then....
within two hours of the first photo I took this one!...
I will probably take one tonight and then again one tomorrow morning for another update..... 
get ready to see just exactly what Herk looks like when he puts on the shine....

Oh and then is more snow coming... Its been a very fantastic winter if you are a winter person!.... 

Im linking up with my first Fertilizer Friday for 2014...
hope you enjoy...

Fertilizer Friday

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cold. Crabbiness and Courthouse steps

Hows the weather where you are? Ours has been considerably colder then normal with a lot of snow and icy roads.
So to combat the cold I have been enjoying several workouts a week at hot Yoga... Its wonderful! Its like being in Mexico. Not to mention the increase in my strength, improved balance and amazing flexibility. I'm sleeping better at night plus I figure I'm getting daily facials with all that deep sweating going on.
They won't let me just hang out on a mat in the heated room however so I do go home and sit with my full spectrum light shining on me as I quilt.  My way of keeping the winter blues at bay.

 This block is called Court house stairs... I am not going to put the blocks together like this. I just wanted to show you the "scrappiness" of the blocks that I have finished so far.  I figure I will keep making the green blocks until I'm done using up all the scraps I had. then I will probably add in something else.

I've goggled to see some variations of what these blocks could create. Its quite amazing to see all the different options.. So, I'm thinking I might actually make some blocks using these reds... perhaps some with blue! 
If you have some ideas or thoughts to share... I'm willing to listen..
send me a message.. share a picture...  
Quilting is something that usually only happens in the winter months..Or on the odd rainy days...
I'm counting down the days till I'm getting dirt under my fingernails again..Seed catalogs are arriving weekly. The garden centers are showing signs of activity... I am optimistic....

Thanks for stopping in and letting me share the weekends creative results.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Do you believe in "signs"......

I use to have a T-shirt that had a cartoon character on it  I want to say it was Calvin from Calvin & Hobbs...with the saying....
"Everyday I am forced to add another name to the list of people who p&%% me off!."
Well last Friday was certainly one of those days... upon having been bombarded from what felt like every direction I did the only thing I could that wasn't going to get me in trouble..... I went home!
Once I brewed a cup of lavender tea...for calmness... I started to water my indoor plants and this is what I was greeted with....

This is "Herk"  He is a Crinium  Lily...
Literally the weekend before I had spoken quite sternly to him that it was time for him to bloom again... But what a surprise to see he had actually heard me!. Now there are a few of you who are shaking your head right about now. I actually did threaten to get rid of him once a year ago for the not blooming etc and with in a week he had shot out a bud that time too! Its amazing how finding this improved my spirits. I will keep you posted as to his growth and progress but if your in a hurry and are really curious you can click here for my previous post titled Herk2
If any of you have any "Herks" I would love to hear about them. I have cut all the top off when it got totally ratty and destroyed by wind and hail out on the deck during the summer. It was the second time I did this. However this past time I obviously cut the top too far down into the succulent part of the bulb which looks like a leek on steroids.. Its been a learn from experience this journey with Herk. I have removed several of his side shoots and have them growing very nicely in their own pots. It shall be a few years I'm sure before they will bloom. I've tried to give them away. No takers! His shear size is enough that most people do not want to take them. I shall be taking them into my offices and letting them grow there I guess till I do find homes for them. 
I'm not saying that I usually go in for "signs".... but, this kind of made me stop and smile and feel a whole lot better. It was like someone saying.. "Buck up kid... its not all bad!" 

Have a wonderful week. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Winter Chores

I like to regularly clean and maintain my pruners. I found however that it was a chore I somehow missed last fall. My bad!

These are my Pruners of choice. I started using them when I moved to Alberta and met a fellow gardener. She actually gave me my first pair. I've also had clients that have bought them for me. Misplaced them and then found them again. 

I actually very rarely drink pop...But, it works wonders for cleaning the rust off my pruners! Then its a quick sharpening and a spritz of D40.. Next I need to get out and clean and sharpen my shovels etc. 
Disinfect all my planting pots and get ready for starting some seeds in February.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weather outside is frightful... working from home is delightful....

Its winter... so snow and blustery, slippery cold days are expected. When your appointments are cancelled one after one and you really have nothing that requires you physically going into the office. When you can work from home....Why wouldn't you?  I lit a fire in the fireplace... I cranked up the music.. I boiled the kettle... Turned on my laptop so I would be alerted to emails... I stayed in my PJ's and quilted! Im not ready to share what Im actually working on at the moment, so I thought I would share what I have already completed.
 Here's one of the three projects I have managed to complete in the past month. Its a quilt top that I had purchased the fabric for while still living back in Alberta. I had even prepared all the pieces and labelled them in little zip lock bags. I just had never felt comfortable enough to sit and quilt... Weather has kept me indoors and I have been more then willing to be at peace and calm enough to sit and quilt.
 This pattern is called Cooperstown. I had seen it made up and fell in love with it. 
 This is one of the main blocks... a Star within a Star. I choose to make it scrappy. Which means that all the stars would be different. 
One of the things I loved about this is not only the fact it is Stars.. but, that the Stars actually dribble down into the borders from the top left border to the right bottom border. You build the three rows of boarders around them. 
This picture shows the top left corner with the first inside row of triangles making up squares. 
This shows you the use of a lot of orange and purple throughout the quilt. I just felt it would brighten up our bedroom for the New Year. Its a Queen size quilt though so I won't be machine quilting it myself. I will need to find someone to do that for me.. Its one of the pains of moving.. All those trusted contacts such as chiropractors, dentists, quilters and mechanics are all gone!. You have to start over. 
What projects have you finished lately? Have you made yourself a "to do" list for 2014? A wish list?  
Its time to sit down and think about it.. get one made and inspire yourself.
Im off to shovel more snow and feed my birds.
Thanks for dropping in.


Monday, January 6, 2014

FROZEN...The newly released view of an Alternate season in Frog Hollow

I try extremely hard to continue to see the beauty in each and every day...even when that means colder temps, snow and ICE!
After all... I have not figured out how to control the weather quite yet...

I was feeling a bit blue after my youngest went back home December 10th.. It felt like Christmas was over.. So I decided to adjust my attitude and go out into the garden and look for the beauty... To find my joy in what is and where I am rather then sit and feel like "I will be happy when"...  I figured out that by doing that I was wishing my life away rather then grabbing the joy that can be gained from everyday. No matter how small. Perhaps its even just a prayer at night Thanking God for giving me the strength to get through the day.
I found that the ice covering the twigs of the Dogwood are indeed very beautiful with the ice...

 This was a glorious when the sun shone into it... You get a good feel for the exact amount of ice covering every thing.
 Look at how there are literally balls of ice sitting on the tips...

 Your imagination can run rampant in a setting like this. I could picture the characters from the first Narnia showing up at any moment.

 If I had had lights on this tree I think it would of been stunning to see how the balls of ice would of lit up ...
The birds are a welcome addition to the colour of berry's left on some ornamental trees and shrubs...

 I've positioned the bird feeders so that I can be entertained by the birds as I quilt... I am reminded of a dear lady I met over in Farnham England who had an Avery. 
 I seriously thought of putting my skates on and doing a twirl around the pond... It would have to be a very small twirl however for someone who grew up playing hockey on a boys team!
 I do still like to go and sit here and look over the garden. I just do not sit as long!
 Underneath the snow I can picture the seeds of perennials scattered in the fall sleeping snugly... waiting to stretch and push through the soil ...just as soon as it warms up that is.
 But for now the snow cloaked shrubs and trees
 or covered in ice stand watch over the sleeping garden.
 The meadow could have a horse drawn sleigh dashing through it
 Or whimsical fantasy characters coming to life...
Even Bear said he thought this looked like the spiders in the latest Hobbit movie...  Beauty can be found any where if we take the time to actually stop, look and listen for it.   
My imagination took flight..... I felt like someone was watching me...
I turned around to see this Holly bush smiling at me.. The face that is being trimmed into it standing out comically grinning...perhaps welcoming a rare visitor into the garden...
Have you gone out and walked through your garden. Looked to see what it has to offer in an alternate season? 
I hope you enjoyed you winter wonderland walk through Frog Hollow... Did you notice that the Mermaid is missing... She, like me does not like the cold.. She is snuggled up on the hearth by the fire and will not venture out until the first crocus beckons her teasing and coaxing her to come out and take her rightful place as the side of the pond...


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bye bye birdie...

One of the many delights of living in Michigan is its abundance of different birds. I am constantly entertained by the antics of the birds when they come into feed. It also amazes me the amount of food that they do consume!. I remember on one of my first visits three winters ago meeting a man who was buying bird seed commenting that his wife complained about the cost of "feeding his friends". I now understand what he was saying but whole heartily agree that the enjoyment is far healthier then smoking or drinking and well worth the cost.

I use to have some life size Cardinals for decorations. My girls did not like them! On one of my moves they seem to of "disappeared" I'm not sure if it was the girls or Bear who brought on that "disappearance"
The Cardinals actually had nests and did successfully hatch out their eggs. These photos were obviously taken through out the summer. 

Some of the birds do share time at the feeders while some will wait patiently to fly in and eat on their own.

Most of them have actually gotten quite used to me walking around within feet of them and will even fly into the feeder while I'm standing five or six feet away.. I never make any attempt to walk in closer..

I have a few pairs of Morning doves which I love to hear being the morning person that I am. Bear however is just not a fan!

I was crouched down behind a Blue Globe Spruce... not too far away...unfortunately this picture is on my phone!
This little hummingbird was here well into late October...  and on this particularly wet and chilly day he just kept hanging out at the feeder. I could have six to eight hummingbirds hoovering to feed or chasing each other. I think I know where their nest is! I will watch it closer next year and perhaps even put out Bears Critter Cam.

I'm happy to say that they did fly off once the rain cleared and hopefully made the trip South safely. 

 The Cardinals really do look stunning beautiful out with the trees cloaked in snow.
 I tried to get a picture when there was 10 Cardinals and three Blue Jays sitting in this tree but it didn't turn out... Hopefully, they will give me another chance..
 I think this Blue Jay was scolding me for not only running out of suet and the raw peanuts in the shell but this feeder was empty too!... In all fairness they can empty this feeder in a couple days.
These Cardinals were happily waiting their turn in at the feeder...Blue Jays do not wait!... 
 I purposely scatter seeds under the near by trees and on the ground so that the birds can all come on in and eat. I figure the Blue Jays can't scare them away from every where at once. We use to have no less then 15 to 20 Blue Jays come in at once... I do not know what happened to them.. Perhaps some kind neighbour is still putting out the shelled peanuts for them.. At any rate having less Blue Jays has meant more of a variety of the smaller song birds especially in the summer.
 This Red Headed Wood Pecker came in and then was chased off by a Blue Jay... He found something else to start pecking at while he waited though...
Another winter storm warning is in effect here. The birds have been feeding all morning and with the winds kicking up have now disappeared.... Signaling the arrival of the storm. I think they are pretty good at weather predictions.
Each day I just tell myself we are one day closer to starting seedlings indoors.. Plus, there is a couple minutes of additional sunlight each day! For now I'm back off to the latest quilt I'm working on....
Thanks for stopping in... Hope you enjoyed the birds that call Frog Hollow their home.