Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We've only been at renovations 2 days and already I'm ready to quit. I think that once we finish the living room we will take a break until after Christmas. The top pictures show that our temporary living room is now in our dining room.

Our dining room is now in our hallway, and our real living room will one day be beautiful again.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some things are too beautiful

Shel had a PED day this week, so I took the afternoon off and decided that we would see something beautiful. We went to the MMFA and saw the Chihuly exhibit before it finishes, which is soon.

Afterward, we went to lunch at Cafe Ferrari and were discussing our favorite pieces. Whereas Shel loved the chandeliers and this exhibit so much he wants to study glass.

 I think my favorite piece was the mille fiori (thousand flowers) that reminds Chihuly of his mother's garden.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Too early for Christmas?

I've been making Christmas ornaments, but it is still warm out and it feels early to be getting ready for Christmas.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The end of summer

Labor Day weekend officially marks the end of summer for me even though the calendar says we have a few weeks left, but school has already started and most people have returned from their summer travels and holidays. It's when I start thinking about when I am going to close up the garden, and if I am going to take any courses this fall. And I even start thinking about Christmas. Not only what I am going to plan for Christmas, but I start putting Christmas items in the shop.

It has been an amazing summer this year, one of the best, and even though I hate to see it end, I like to compartmentalize things and now summer will be put in its compartment and we now work on the fall compartment.

 The end of this summer also saw the husband attending a gasshuku (look it up) which was 4 full days of karate except for an afternoon when he took his nidan exam. Only 40% of exam takers passed the exam and I'm very proud to say that the husband was one of them. He worked hard this summer preparing for this exam and he can say that he received his second dan from the best. It was the first time that he allowed me to watch him take an exam and I'm glad that it was one of the most important that he has taken so far.

Then the following weekend, Shel took his last brown belt exam and also passed. Next exam for him is for the first dan (black belt). I'm really proud of both of them.

Labor Day also sees the official closure of the Saratoga Springs race track for the winter. We usually go down this weekend for a final look at the horses and to try our luck.

(He looks like he's smiling)

 Shel and Seabiscuit

We've been to the Horse Racing Museum several times, but this time I actually took the time to look at everything (much to the husband's chagrin) and they have the actual contract that was signed by Seabiscuit's owner, Charles Howard, and his jockey, Red Pollard. Not to mention the saddle he wore to ride Seabiscuit and Red's St Christopher medal, and much more..

And of course dinner at Hattie's. Upstairs from Hatties is the cafe where Don McLean wrote American Pie. Although now it seems as it is the French Quarter Lounge that is part of Hattie's (is nothing sacred?).

 (Random customer)

Monday, August 12, 2013


I've been away. Vacationing at the Gulf of Mexico. We made our annual pilgrimage to Sanibel Island. It is the one place on earth that I would never leave if given the chance.

Saw this little beauty while driving through Fort Myers.

 Should have put in an offer on this car, what a beauty. Does this color say Florida?

Everything about it was perfect, except for the murky water in the Gulf. There was a lot of rain this year so they drained a lake into the Gulf to prevent flooding. Unfortunately, it makes the water so murky and you are not able to see what is coming at you, which is not a good thing in the Gulf of Mexico as there are many things that could give you a little nip.

So we did a lot of other things such as go on a tour of the Everglades searching for gators and took in a show at Gator Boys. We'd never seen a gator in the wild  before. It was quite exciting.

Later in the day a storm started coming in:

We did manage to get in a show at Gator Boys.

And we did other things:

 I have to say it, purebred cat people are really snobby.

We went boating to the barrier island of Cayo Costa (recently rated one of the 10 best kept secret beaches in Southwest Florida and I do agree). The water was lovely and clear and we did manage to go swimming even though there were a few sharks lurking off the end of the boat. The island itself is a State Park and the only way to access it is by boat, so it is much less groomed than the beaches on the other barrier island like Sanibel and Captiva.

The husband and I have agreed that if we win the lottery we will buy a house on North Captiva which can only be reached by boat.

I also spent a day at the Ford and Edison winter estate and did some gardening and managed to get a tour inside the houses where other mere mortals don't get to go. It is such an incredible place. I plan to go back next year, although this time spend the entire day and not just the morning. I felt a little guilty leaving Shel and the husband on their own, but they did ok and went to the movies.

We ate lots of good food and pigged out on Stone crab (much better than lobster).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nova 7

 My cousin, Lauren, came to visit last weekend and brought me a bottle of Nova 7, a lovely little Nova Scotian wine from Benjamin Bridge winery.When you first taste it you think this is seriously floral with a taste that you can't quite put your finger on. Second taste I thought it had a taste of grapefruit, but according to their web site it is apricot, peaches and key lime with white flowers. It is lightly carbonated which just adds to its intoxication.

My second thought was, just great, how am I going to get more. But fortunately for me they sell it in Ottawa and they have 89 bottles left. I think a trip to Ottawa is in store very shortly.

Love the delicate salmon color of Nova 7

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I planted some calla lily bulbs a few weeks ago and I was surprised to see that they had boomed this morning. Some parts of my garden are ready to deadhead and others are just blooming. Above is the lavender in my garden.

First clippings of the season


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer in Montreal

Just had the best weekend with my cousin Lauren. Loved having lunch downtown during the Carifesta parade.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catnip Culprit

Shel planted a pot of catnip this summer and it has been doing very well. Until 2 mornings ago, when I noticed that some of the branches had been damaged and the pot had.......cat hair. My cat senses were tingling and then last night I caught the culprit red handed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Garden

I haven't been spending tons of time in the garden this spring because all we've had is rain.

Last summer I cut my neighbor's cedars that had spilled onto our garden and were making it very dark. Now it is much lighter, but it looks barren and I have been wondering how to fill it in. Earlier this spring I purchased some Elijah Blue grass and some Japanese blood grass, but then realized that this wasn't a very good choice as it would never grow very high and provide the privacy that I am looking for.

Then while I was looking at this web site, I saw the hydrangeas that were planted 6 years ago and realized that this is exactly what I am looking for. I went to Jardin Jasmin yesterday and purchased some hydrangeas. Hopefully they will take.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I've been working on some banners as gifts lately, and will probably add some to the shop. This one is about 108 cm long.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I am a serious jam fanatic and have wanted to make my own jam for a while. I make a great fruit compote, but haven't been up to making jam with all the preserving and sterilizing, etc. The downside of fruit compote is that it only lasts for a few days.

But I just discovered the jam queen, Christine Ferber, and have sent for her cookbook "Mes Confitures".

I can't wait for it to get here. This year I will attempt to make jam and next year, if I can figure out how to keep the squirrels out of my garden, I will try to grow my own raspberries and strawberries. I did grow strawberries for the last couple of summers, but every morning I would find that some little animal was in my garden the night before and had had a little feast. No strawberries for me.

If anyone has any tips on keeping little critters out of the garden (humanely) please let me know.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm still here

It's been so long since I've posted, but all for good reasons. We've been very busy, and we've recently added a new member to our family. This little pixie face above is our newest family member. She just turned 3 months old and is a mix of Devon Rex and Siamese. We've been calling her Dev and it seems to suit her.