Hello from Sunday night

Well then!
I’m feeling terrifically accomplished and successful and even am getting this post up on Sunday night! πŸ˜€ …although I’m hopelessly behind on commenting, visiting and replying to my comments. Boy, blogging is hard work. And to think that today I told Robbie that he really has to have his own website to showcase his brilliant designs. (What a rotten girl I am making more work for him!)
He said his YouTube and his forums were enough for now…unless I want to write his blog posts! 😯

But it’s been a wonderful weekend round here for us. C and I went climbing on Friday, instead of our usual Wednesday, and I was very pleased that I got to the top of two of the easier routes. (And to think I was doing this on cliffs 30 years ago. Oh well, I’ll work up to it again.)

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Saturday I stopped at my favourite nursery, Southlands, and had to take a photo of these brilliant signs Thomas put out. Yes, that’s my cart, those are my beautiful plants…hands off you pleb! LOL

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There was a plan to go to Costco. You know, that soulless, breathless, black hole of a box store, but neither C nor I could face it and so, citing hunger as our excuse, we drove past it to Ikea…OK, another soulless, breathless, black hole of a box store, but much more fun!

We had a little lunch and then walked thru it sitting on all the furniture, testing it for comfort and exploring all the rooms…(you know you love doing that)…

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…and having a general gigglefest. At one point, we made a video of C riding one of those huge shopping carts and bumping into the stacks of prefab boxes and sent it to R. Made him laugh.

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And then, we drove in exactly the opposite direction from Costco and ended up at the George Reifel bird sanctuary!

I’ve been worried about the world’s bees these past few years, and was so pleased to see the hawthorns, and all other blooms, buzzing with bees.

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We were so happy to see babies at the Reifel! Can you resist the yellow, baby bums? I can’t. So far one pair of Canada geese have three chicks and one pair of wood ducks have five. The breeding cranes lost their first egg clutch to a bastard mink, but they are sitting on a second egg. Fingers crossed.

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While I was up in the observation tower, I heard a strange bird call. No idea what it was, so decided to go investigate. The marsh is wet and boggy and no way to get off the paths, but I met a birder, an older gentleman, who told me it was probably a Virginia Rail. Then, on the way back, we met the sanctuary biologist, (who took a shine to C), who sang the call back to us and told us that the Virginia Rail chicks are much cutter than the Canada geese chicks. Impossible we said. He said, “take the goslings, multiply that by cuteness X 100% and make them a ball of grey-black fluff and give them legs which are miles too long for them.” Oh man! Now I want to find one!

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And then for something completely different! By 4pm, Costco was out of the equation, but groceries still had to be bought, so we had to stop at the store and I found this sexy thing! I took some photos for Robbie and put one up on Instagram. My son commented, “Eewwwww…Plymouth Prowler…C’mon mom!” and tagged me on a “real” rat racer! πŸ˜€ I’m like “what?” πŸ˜€ And had to tag him back on some brilliant photos I took of some rat racer earlier in the year. “Better” he said. πŸ˜€

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Saturday night C and I heard fireworks and ran upstairs to the studio and watched a lovely display on the downtown waterfront. Lucky us!

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Sunday morning I had a decision to make. I stopped at an antique shop on Saturday and found a beautiful journal. Someone who had a laundry business in 1949, then pasted pay stubs over the laundry lists in 1960. I love that waste not want not mentality and thought some of these pages would be wonderful as a canvas for some paintings. So I could paint. On the other hand, there were all the seedlings I still had to plant waiting on the porch…and a whole week of rain ahead and a garden show to get ready for.

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So planting it was, and gardening, and then, because one thing leads to another, then cleaning out the garage and organising the silversmithing bench.

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I had an inspiration.

Last week, I asked my friend Margot, (who has two horses), if I could have some straw for my strawberries. She told me that she has a whole hay bale that her boys won’t touch and I can have it. We made a date for today and I drove over to the stables.

My biggest mistake was bringing C along who immediately ran up to General for a nuzzle.

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And then to Levy. Last time she saw them was in Princeton.

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Margot and I moved all the hay bales off the one General and Levy didn’t want and put it into the back of my Highlander, and I looked around for C.
Where was she? At the end of the paddock making friends with the Clydesdale!

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Oh boy there’s a lot of hay in a bale! But I spread it around my strawberries, arround the raspberries and blueberries…

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…and then around the garlic, kale, peas and potatoes too.

I’ve never gardened with hay but figure it can go two ways, either horribly wrong or brilliantly successful, (or somewhere between). There’s only one way to find out. πŸ˜€

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While I was cleaning out the garage, C came by and found her professional fire hula hoop, (which will never be lit again), and gave it a whirl and left it outside. After spreading out the hay, I had a go with the hula hoop. WHAT FUN!
OK, now I want to hula hoop every day. Very surprised that I can keep it going for longer than two seconds together!

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And as a brilliant finish to this lovely weekend, at the end of the garden, past the strawberries and blueberries, under the Japanese anemones, I found a lovely display of lily of the valley. I collected a small handful and had a search for the perfect vase.

Really, what else could you ever put in this little vintage treasure?

Now on my bedside table for sweet dreams. πŸ˜€

lily of the valley

Sharing with Judith and the mosaic Monday bunch.

Round here, and a little gardening

Oh boy, I’m really having to THINK to pick up my camera these days. But I’m trying to get my garden in some sort of order to look lovely and welcoming for the Art in the Garden show at the end of May.

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The tulips are on their last hurrah, but haven’t they been spectacular this year? I’m so glad for happenstance. Last fall I had to return over 40 blighted red tulips, but all the nursery had in exchange were white ones, so I had them, and planted them all over the garden. They turned out to be so beautiful. I love white flowers and think old Vita definitely was onto a thing or two.

Robert has been sending me photos of the tulips I planted last Sept at our garden at West Cottage, and they look so lovely and colourful. I deliberately chose the brightest colours because R loves big bold and bright flowers. I miss my English garden. I hope your tulips are spectacular where ever you are in the spring-time parts of the old globe.

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Chloe has been promoted from art teacher/in charge of social media to art teacher/course writer/social media maven/branding expert/personal assistant/coffer purchaser, and still is pursuing her own interest, like designing a set of graphics for t-shirts for two upcoming music festivals and is pretty busy round the clock. We all miss her company and some of us in the household have taken to sleeping beside her to get in on some C attention.

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And I’ve hit the garden with vengeance. Just like last year, I figure and hour or two per day should get me to show garden status in the next month.

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But it’s not all work. Our lovely friend Katie came for a visit and a chat. And we spent a lovely couple of hours catching up. Also, I did a little bit of plant buying. The autumn crocuses and spring bulbs, which are in full force just now, will die down in the next month and leave bare patches, so a few annuals are in order. On this year’s plant list are lovely things such as calendula, bee balm, pinks, nicotiana, asters and rocket snapdragons.

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Morgan loves to be in on all the gardening and conversation.

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It’s evening now and the sun is beginning to fade. Rain is forecast and it’s a good thing too, the garden can use it. Chloe is still working and Milo is doing his longest cat in the world impression in a bid to get fed early. My friend Julie asked me about the windows. “How do they stay clean?” she asked. Oh boy, they so don’t, and you should see the nose prints!

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All is calm and lovely round here, and, as the sun sets, I’m looking forward to a couple of hours of climbing with the Clover tomorrow.

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A random roundup for Friday

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There are times when I see something and it’s just so lovely that I have to take a photo. These things are usually everyday ordinary things, like this little escapee/volunteer pansy up against the blue pot, but the everyday things are magic to me…you know, that common magic I sometimes go on about.

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Speaking of magic, who can resist sunlight dried towels and sheets. Oh it’s the best, isn’t it? That fresh smell. I never use fabric softeners or dryer sheets, too toxic, but I always marvel at how companies try to mimic what is easily done freely…and non-toxicly.

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I opened all the windows to air the house out, including the windows in my studio. Downtown looked sparkly across the water.

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Morgan immediately jumped out onto the roof and walked around to the skylight and jumped in thru the skylight onto my drawing desk. Milo ran around like a mad cat in thru the front door and out the back door ad infinitum.

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And on my drawing desk are birds! Birds and more birds. I was so happy that my FB friend Diana suggested I draw a Mockingbird and then Melodye asked to use it to illustrate her writing. Morgan comes around and jumps up for a cuddle and I can’t paint! She knows it and sniggers.

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The other day I found a brand new pair of retro climbing shoes at the thrift for $6! Chloe urged me to buy them. I had a second thought about that because that meant that I was probably committing to climbing! Oh, what the heck, we’re only young….er…as long as we feel like it. πŸ˜€

I’m nowhere near this spider monkey child of mine, but I was pleased with being able to reach the top of the easier routes and very pleased with my muscles!

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I cleaned up the patio table. Time for an alfresco…something!

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In the morning I usually have a couple bed-ferrets invade my bedroom.

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I love it. πŸ˜€

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Hello from Sunday night

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I’m feeling particularly happy this evening and I think it’s got to do with three things.

Thing one: Lilacs!!!

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Unfortunately, these are not mine. They are in a local park and so I can only bury my face in them but not walk away with armfuls.

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In my next life, you know, that organic farm of mine, I’m having absolute hedges of lilacs. White, deep purple and even the lilac ones. Single, double, every variety available.

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Thing two: Beverly the seal!
Oh my goodness! I just bought this signed beauty for an absolute minuscule fraction of the expected two or three grand that an original, signed Inuit soapstone carving should cost.

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Bev, (named after the kind lady who saved it for me at the end of a huge flea market), joins wrestling bears, beluga whale, Jade bear, Nunavut bear, bird, owl, and the iron water dragons, under my stained glass lamp, (which I made years ago), on the dresser in my bedroom, where I can look at them every day. It’s a very private little collections and I can’t believe how lucky I am to own these amazing, original works of art.

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And thing three: my art on ephemera
Loving the cowboy songs and the birds are coming freely and easily these days. There’s so much satisfaction in the work for me.

This is the newest one, an Eastern kingbird mother and young. The Western kingbird is up on FB and Instagram, but i couldn’t get my act together this evening to post a image of him, so just pop over to one of those if you’d like to see the Western beauty. Hopefully kingbird prints in the shop tomorrow.

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Hope your weekend was lovely and restful and you’re all ready for a fabulous week ahead. πŸ˜€

Happy birthday Clover! Our girl turns 23.

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breakfast

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Chloe’s last day of 22, she said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to be 23.” I told her to shut up.

And then it was morning, and my child is no longer 22. πŸ˜€ She had a lovely day. Breakfast with Bryson, a nice walk, off to teach her art class and a surprise cupcake birthday party from her boss and her students, then a shopping trip for her funky new shoes, (a prezzy from me), and her favourite supper she always asks for: my bacon and leek pasta.

Then she went off climbing with Bryson and her friends, while I finished the blackbird on Mendelssohn.

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Hello from Monday night…since it’s a holiday

easter

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shopping
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home

kitchen

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prints

So I just had to wrap my head around this bank holiday weekend.

Easter Monday is no longer a statutory holiday in Canada because it’s been traded for “Family Day” a floating late February holiday. Go figure. Consequently, Monday wasn’t a bank holiday. Do you know how I found out? My bank called me on Sunday advising that I go into my branch Monday and change my pin because I used my bank card at some dodgy place where they are suspected of having some sort of spyware to track my pin. Sheesh! Good think I never have very much money in that account…lol.

But, apart form trying to puzzle out the dodgy place of business, I’ve had a wonderful Easter weekend and completely ignored Monday not being a holiday. Took Clove mooching around in shops for an afternoon, did some gardening, had Jon and Chantal over for Easter supper, and generally slept in, breakfasted in bed, had lovely, long morning talks with Robert, (also late into the night talks where Chloe joined in and we sang old Harry Belefonte songs together), lazy few days holiday weekend. Super nice.

Nevermind that I couldn’t get the lawn mower to work, and nevermind that I have a garden show to prepare for, and nevermind that I should have been doing a million other things. It’s been a wonderful, relaxing long weekend. (Except for the one Costco run which couldn’t be put offΒ any longer!)

And, I’ve come to the decision that I think I would like to put some prints of some of the bird up on Etsy. I keep thinking about it and finally thought that a few archival quality prints for $20 might be nicer than one original for $150. Maybe. I hope that maybe everyone might like that. I’m completely at sea here and would love to know what you all think. πŸ˜€ Please?

Also, Clove changed the theme on her website, (yet again), but loves this one to bits. I love it too. I think she’s really coming along with her photography and am ever so very proud of her. She’s really getting the views these days! So nice for her. Right now she’s in the dining room drawing a design for the Sasquatch Music Festival. Next up is a design for the Shambhala Music Festival. Last year, she was asked to design a T shirt for Shambhala, and she did, asking for only a T shirt as payment. Her design sold over $2000! She’s so talented and the design was so good everyone wanted one. This year I advised a bit more for the design. You go girl!

Sharing (really late) with Judith and the mosaic bunch.

Getting ready for Art in the Garden

Recently I was told the happy news. My garden has been accepted again this year as a show garden for the Art in the Garden tour. (Still waiting to hear about my portfolio, but am hopeful)

So today being a lovely sunny day, and with C’s help, I decided to blow out the winter cobwebs and hit the garden.

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First a brief run thru and we took stock. C wrote a list of things to do and it turned out to be rather a long list!

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A simple thing on the list were our tattered prayer flags on the saved apple tree. Since I freed the ancient apple tree from the confines of the child’s fort and planted a flower garden around it, it has rewarded us with a renewed health and tons of apples. We figured that maybe it didn’t need the prayer flags any more.

We took them down…

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…and hung up seven glass globes.

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Morgan supervised from the cold frame.

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I think the glass globes look fantastic, and some have glow-in-the-dark dots on them. That might look really lovely in the evenings.

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Morgan practised her best skulking from behind the irises.

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Then a little weeding.

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Which Morgan approved of.

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Then some pruning.

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While Morgan claimed the box I brought the globes out in.

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And then, C and I spent a couple of hours fixing and supporting the old fences.

And finally, we stopped for a well earned cup of tea.

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A few items crossed off the list and beautiful show garden here we come. πŸ˜€

Opening up the cabin 2015

It’s time.
It’s time to open the cabin for the year. All winter the cabin sits in a frozen valley 200km from the door of my city house. It’s still chilly up there, but the promise of spring is in the air.
I took a lot of photos, and it’s probably going to be quite boring for all of you who’ve seen the cabin before, but, you know what, mostly I write these posts with Robbie in my heart, (because right now we’re apart.)

So here we go, for Robbie, but also, most definitely, for you! πŸ˜€

Driving in, there was a small, dead birch across the access road. I moved it off to the side.

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Outside the cabin Clover’s and Kers’ bespoke wind chime is still hanging up. They built it from the scrap iron they found along the railroad tracks, which are only about 100 ft behind the cabin.

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The lake, (which is actually a pond, but the previous owner and all the neighbours always referred to it as “The Lake”) has filled up already.

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And the cabin is still standing after the winter!

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I lit a fire to warm the cabin up and invite in the new year.

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Then, a quick check: Kitchen’s fine.

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No mouse droppings on the stoves or counters! A year ago Robbie and I went all over the place sealing up any little hole that a mouse might pop thru, and guess what Robbie, we did a great job!

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Dining area, living room all fine too. I didn’t take the shutters off the bottom windows.

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Fireplace working brilliantly, we’ll need to chop some more wood this year though.
Up the stairs to the sleeping loft…

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…everything’s just fine. No mice, clean linens, fluffy, warm duvets.

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The games are all waiting to be played with.

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It’s lovely to look thru the contents of the vintage medicine cabinet. A photo of my grandfather camping, my aunt’s silly doll from her studio, silver ore, a dried bat, a hummingbird skeleton, dragonfly wings, hand painted Easter eggs, C’s silver baby rattle, love all these treasures.

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Nothing is the worse for winter, nothing got knocked down by the vibrations of the passing trains.

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Everyone is fine…if a little cobwebby.

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On the property, the tool shed is fine. I think some mice snuck in under the door, but, since it’s such a mess there anyway, nothing bad going on.

Odds and Ends, the heritage train workers trailer guest cabin, will need a new roof and the metal chimney toppled off. Must do that this year before something happens to the interior.

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A beaver’s been thru and there are about 10 small trees…

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…and one rather big tree down. There’s our firewood, right there!

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And I think you’re right Robbie, some of the trees need to come down. Perhaps I’ll talk it over with Jon, Kers and Clove and talk to Billy Jr and ask him to harvest that great big cedar right behind the cabin…maybe the one by the side door too. And the blue spruces in the meadow need to be trimmed up, and maybe some of the alders need thinning out too so we can see the meadow and the river from the cabin.

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Apart form that, the porches need rebuilding and the broken window need replacing. (Darn Canada goose)

So that’s on the project list this year: Thinned trees, one small roof, one wrap around porch, and a window.

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But guess what happened as I was locking up and leaving? I got the feeling that I was being watched!

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From up high by the window of the loft. Who’s that? Could it be a great horned owl?

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It is!

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Who is the luckiest girl in the world! That would be me. Who else do you know who has a great horned owl as the guardian of their cabin? πŸ˜€ I need to paint him, don’t I?

Randomness to the max

The other day I bought a lovely basket at the thrift for something ridiculous like $1.99. I imagined all the wonderful picnics I could serve from it, all the stuff in my car I could organise in it, how lovely it would look in the laundry room…Morgan had other thoughts. It now lives under the kitchen table and has a slight smattering of catnip in it…lol.

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With lovely spring flowers appearing in my garden, I’m feeling more like spring cleaning and spring decorating. Fresh green mantle and decluttered, clean house, here we come!

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A generous new friend, Mona, sent me a small envelope of indigo seeds from Denmark. She included a tiny bow dyed with the precious blue dye. I’ve started the seeds and hopefully, come autumn, we’ll be trying out the deepest, richest, bluest dye ever seen!!!

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Speaking of garden, I’m excited to say that I’m making home-grown garden lettuce salads for lunch already.

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And finally, my friend Sara sent me such a beautiful and generous surprise. I can hardly believe it! In a huge box full of packing peanuts were two precious and beautiful tea cups, (which have already been put to proper service), a spectacular glass paper weight, and a guardian angel! The most beautiful, porcelain guardian angel in the gentlest Victorian dress, with white feather wings, pearls and lace. No one has ever given me a guardian angel. I’m so touched Sara. I’m feeling absolutely weepy writing this. Thank you so very much. The angel will be called Sara, and will look after us from now on. Biggest hugs and kisses, and one day in person!

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Sharing with Nancy and hanging out with the random bunch over there. πŸ˜€

Hello from Sunday night

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country home

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City and country, a perfect blend this week.

The sun keeps shining, the daffodils are up, some of the cherry trees are in full bloom, the weeping willow in the country has that bright green flush of new leaves…you know the kind that I mean? I brought some branches home for the vase.

Just a quick mention that Vibeke’s giveaway is still going on, and will continue with a new, wonderful gift to win every day for the whole month, (my turn in on the 10th with three silver stacking rings), and to my snowy friends out East, I do have a guest bedroom. πŸ˜€

Big warm hugs.