Friday, August 4, 2017

Childhood~L'Enfance~



















There were parts of my childhood I loved..and some I didn't..maybe many of us feel this way..
I do remember being loved unconditionally by my mom and dad although my mom was the rock.
The family.
She held it together so beautifully and gracefully.
So that's a great memory.

A nice memory I have ..was a time in my life between 10-12 I think..
my BFF lol (we didn't say that back then..) was Gwen..
I mentioned her here on my blog..on a post..on a few posts actually..
she was Dutch..her yard bordered on ours..I think 3 yards did..we had small lots..compared to here..
we became friends at that fun age..still all innocent.
This was 50 yrs ago..
I did see her once..briefly..in '77 I think..and we lost touch.
She lived in the Netherlands.Email wasn't a thing etc..no FB..no IG..no US lol.

Anyway to make a long story short..(who am I kidding..short?)..
one day her husband Googled her name for some reason..and my blog post showed up..
she emailed..I emailed back..and forth..

and guess what?
They came to Canada for a visit and dropped by:)
Last week.
It was so nice to see her ..after all these years..
when we were children,her parents were also..so nice to me..
They would bring me back charms when they returned to Holland..
You can see the shoe in one photo and one of the two windmills in the other.
They gave me dropjes..:) And Gouda cheese sliced ever so thinly..oh I wanted to eat it all♥
Ollibollens..OMG..fried on their back balcony.And speculaas..I could eat all the tin windmills I wanted.
I loved everything about them..the family..

Gwen was so lucky..she had a sister:)
Not me:(
When they visited..they brought me dropjes and speculaas spice:)

But not only that..she brought photos I gave her in the 70's..

and she brought me memories..

How she remembered the FIESTA chip tin and how she begged her mom for some because I had some..
How she found me so lucky to have the Barbie Fashion Shop..and all my Barbies:)
How we had our message box out back and would leave secret messages to each other.Modern day Nancy Drews we were:)
She made me have tears:)
How she never remembered I was overweight.
Isn't that funny..she didn't ever even notice.
That's a BFF.

At what age do we start to notice differences and make fun of them?
Not all of us do..
But I had my share of those who did.
Notice.

She didn't!!

So anyway..all this to say..
it was so nice..she and her husband..so nice..Jacques and I loved our time w/ them here albeit short and rainy.
A gardener wants the sun to be shining so we can sit outside and see the blooms and the girls:)
We sat inside:)
They biked over..how neat is that..not from next door either..my friend and her dear husband are tall and fit:) Parents and grandparents like we are.
I am happy to report that every day..since they have been here after that day I think..the weather has been fantastic.


I made cookies the next day:)

I was going to leave the recipe..but although they tasted like speculaas..they were not..too thick ..too chewey..we still ate them..:)
It was found on the net..I'll test again.

The tin was a Varage Sale find:)♥It has a bell♥That was me ..and Gwen's mom handing me cookies:)

So feast or famine here rain wise..famine right now..for our area..anyway..

the Japanese Anemones are blooming..the dahlias..are starting their show in that front bed where my Tuscan hedge is;)

If you plant a Paul Farges clematis  get ready for a spectac show..but almost prohibits entering the archway;)


The Wave petunias..are ohmygosh florabundance!

Every couple of years I seem to have to tackle  removing some of the overgrowth on our many pathways..what a %^$#@^&*( job.

Done..that area is done.

I am addicted to crochet and dishcloths..liking to make sets..of course..

Our darling Lucas turns 12..we took him for his traditional lunch and shop day.
I am sitting with a very fine young gentleman now.
He makes my heart beat...burst..they all do..but when you have a grandson that now opens doors for you..still kisses you..even takes your hand in public..well  ..and he is almost as tall as me...it's a different beat..a teen age beat I guess!

Love those chocolate bars I first saw on Bridgets beautiful blog Bake at 350..I bought some when we went to the USA.
Perfect to add to cards.


That photograph book was mine grade 6..I know because it is written inside..I have 2 pics of Gwen in it:)


 Hello Gwen!.... And  hello Guido!

She was so cute..now she is beautiful..long curly hair..so tall..and slim..and nice.
I wish I still had all that stuff that was in my room..that bénitier..the little angel on the wall held holy water..a first communion gift I guess..pink wings w/ gold accents..the two bambis from when I was born on top I still have..it was a vase..and is:) I am sure that is my girl w/ the parasol in the middle china..and the flowers on her skirt were raised..where the heck is she?..that dresser had 2 sliding glass panels.I put my precious things in there..  my Comtesse de Ségur books and Nancy Drews..an eclectic mix;)
a long drawer..my Prismacolors and paper and pencils were in there..notes and finds etc.. 2 doors at the bottom..my clothes.
I want all that stuff back,
I want to look and touch and hold everything.
If even for a moment.

Have a beautiful weekend..week..etc..hard to post every week..
have to cut down..gardens..chickens..painting..stitching..birthdays...
so many birthdays!














Friday, July 28, 2017

I had left this untitled? Yet so much beauty abounds.Grateful.



It worked..it is SUNNY today!














And the rain pelted for and entire night and day..the gardens were left in disarray..
much to my dismay..

Ok too poetic..

a mess..hosta blooms knocked down..tomatoes engorged with water ..not sun nor warmth..
I communicated w/ my Smurf  seed purveyor and she attests a bad year so far for tomatoes..bounty may be late September..
they need the latter two things to turn..warmth and sun..

A lot of the gardens are finished already:(

Why why why why why..
is this year's summer  Jetsoning by?

Today is nice and I will clean up places..that look tired..Jacques will mow..

The dinner plate dahlias..are definitely not dinner plates..and not really my colors..but that's all they had:(

I cleaned all the garlic yesterday afternoon..quite a sight..
we love it's perfume in the house..
I cut the roots and stem..and gently rub to clean.
End of Oct I will plant..and the cycle starts again as long as I can.

I have saved one basket of 25 bulbs to plant which should give me a little over 100 next yr again God willing.
We eat it ALL.


We had a lovely visit yesterday..
I need time to write about it and not hurry the memory along.
Next post I hope.

We are celebratingAdamo's 18th birthday this weekend and Giuliana's 16th.
I am repeating myself endlessly..but talk about speed of light .
These two are such lovely young adults♥

I made a rolled carrot cake for Jacques..next time I will grate my carrots smaller..I used my mom's hand crank grater that I LOVE:)
But it made the cake extra moist..

You can find the recipe many places..in French at Isa's place and in English here.

Fun instead of a BIG cake:)

Thank you both for inspiring me to make this cake.

Have a lovely weekend!






Thursday, July 20, 2017

Humido~humido..




Endless Summer~


 Don't you love their name?
Dancing With Smurfs♥


Astilbes~



Shasta Daisies,Hostas,Bluebells ,wild and invasive and tall,Geranium Rozanne  somewhere in there;),and sedums..the bleeding hearts and Irises are done..
this is where that small garden is.coming up to the front steps..








Susan's Strawberry~Rhubarb Pie~Delicious~



Frida and Alstromerias..They last so long! Thanks Caroline for the idea~



New addiction..orchids in bloom~



 Pretty Annabelle~



Iced Tea..Tea Forte method.



Goody Woody Cookies:) 5 star seller..♥





Lost in the giant Nicotinas..giants!!

Some sunshine..some humidity..some clouds..



The Earth Does Laugh In Flowers..

Our town is  dotted w/ so many flowers..

The ditch lillies line the streets.. along shore  road..up and down side streets..
the hostas are blooming like crazy..banner yr for Shasta Daisies,Hydrangeas and Astilbes..all water lovers I guess..more than drought:)

It's really just maintenance at this point..like cutting down many Irises..the feverfews..adding chicken manure here and there;)

Painting and Stitching and Baking  in between..

Do try Susan's pie while rhubarb and strawberries are so fresh~
Jacques loved it.

I see all the errors of my ways but what a fun stitching project right here..
I will make again and again..watching her of course..I am visual for crochet..
I started a few Christmas ornaments from a new seller..:(
NOT at all like Alicia's..however they will be gifted..w/ a bit of discomfort..there is no way I could get them to look ok..

one for each recipient..

get ready to laugh:(

I loved the little ritual of making Tea Forte iced tea..and was thrilled to make some for Noah after swimming..I made some for his mom..and his auntie..Noah said ..:"It tastes like pee"..we heard tea and said it is supposed to..he said..no..pee..LOL  and so much for my little feminine ritual.Even my girls weren't enchanted..I think my enchantment meter is very low...I get enchanted easily.
I just love that photo Caro took of me..because in reality I can't stand to see photos of me that are posed for more reasons than one.
I love taking photographs..and am respectful of those who don't want their photo taken..I like spur of the moment when someone doesn't know..and then I show them..well apart from my girls and their friends that can smile so genuinely on demand and cannot take bad photos..
never send family and friends bad photos of themselves..never lol..
I even keep some from J and family if they are not flattering..why?

ok back to the pic.I love it.

Tried painting it and tried thrice..)

Bottom left Artist loft sketchbook..plain paper not watercolor..Van Gogh..watercolors~

Top left a journal I love..watercolor paper  Field 6x6..Daniel Smith watercolors~

bottom right a paper from Sennelier in Paris ♥ ILOVEDTHATSTORE...and the large Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor set I have~



then I tried again..lol..

Stonhenge Aqua watercolor paper (love it)and Sennelier watercolors..



So far it's the third I prefer.

Have I mentioned I love the quietude of painting?:)
Zen..meditation..calm..all in one♥
AS far as paints go..I seem to find qualities in all..and in papers also..
for certain..I feel better w/ a watercolor paper though.
A little old nana playing w/ her paints  and cotton yarn and chickens;)
Gardening and baking in between..reading takes such a back seat in summer..
Today we have Lucas time and I am so looking forward to seeing our big boy♥
Take care..enjoy the coming weekend..


Friday, July 14, 2017

Wishy Washy Summer.















Garlic is hung











Oh what a wishy washy summer it is..

Our skies just opened and it is pouring..

Our days have had rays of hope..but mostly  grey uncertain times..
still ,things are blooming and the gardens are a great source of joy.
For the work they give us and the rewards that come afterwards.

Take for instance those ranunculus blooms up there.. a few cheap corms from  Canadian Tire of all places this Spring and they worked..
I bought two more packages for next year.
I love watching things change..evolve,grow..the ones w/ buds perhaps the most..like hollyhocks and peonies and tulips..clematis also but they are EN MASSE..seing individual plants bloom ..well so exciting to me.
The hydrangeas are crazy though and I will have to try and get help and pull many..maybe Jacques can do it..I'll see..they are overgrown..lush..gorgeous..but I moved lillies..because they were lost amidst a sea of Annabelles..Annabelles are the worst.For spreading.



The girls are well..although one tried to eat my newly planted radish sprouts..I took two small areas where I pulled up the garlic..and am trying radishes..French and Watermelon..time will tell..if they don't grow..I'll have my daughter's attitude..:"It is what is is"  :)  

I made a neat little store ~in~ the~ fridge salad for my lunches.

I had bought a set of 4 Summer Fresh salads at Costco..saved the containers..and have twice now made 4 new ones..I never buy prepped food..I have moods when I am in Costco..I usually bee-line to the clothes,garden,books while Jaceques peruses every food aisle..I never go in the refrigerated parts..I wait for him by the rotisserie chickens..(don't ever tell my girls..)
But sometimes I get curious and throw my routine to the wind..
I love our friendly Costco..
So..the salad..

nothing complicated..

Quinoa
Green Lentils
Black Beans
Cherry Tomatoes
Red onion
Some peppers..orange..red..whatever..chopped
Garlic  ..my Garlic Confit..Google the recipes..pick the one that suits you...a keeper for me now...it adds such an earthy sweetness to everything:)
Herbs.
A dressing of Dijon..srirracha,maple syrup,lemon juice,evoo.s and p..sesame seeds.
Add some edibles and a balsamic glaze.

I love opening the fridge and there's my little lunch.

The bananas ripen at the speed of lighning and the last thing I want are those stupid eeny meenie minie fruit flies..I HATE those as much as SQUIRRELS..not as much as Rose Chafers and Beetles.

so I made a Marie The Great British Baker Chef recipe..a nice different banana bread..we can all use 100 recipes:)

Yum.

I see summer just flying by...by my flowers..the annuals.. they don't tell time here..but my perennials do..I could guage a calendar simply by looking at my blooms..a week or two off..at times..
but still.that's how ell you get to know your gardens.



Bon Weekend..Bonne Semaine~♥

PS if you want a little smile or a tear..my daughter sent me..

Lucas and I later..

I watched it..and cried.