Happy birthday dad!

Some things never change; still missing you Dad!

LORIEB (Lor-eee-bee)

mom & dad

Today, September 19th, marks the day of my dad’s birthday.  He would have turned 87 today. I often wonder what he would be like at 87.  After my mom died in 1994 at the age of 65, dad’s love of life and will to live seemed to diminish.  He was only 66 at the time, and the quality of his life deteriorated quickly after her death.  He used his advancing age as an excuse preventing him from enjoying his golden years, but we all knew it was the void in his heart that was the culprit.

Happy birthday dad, we are all thinking of you today and hope you  are celebrating with mom and others that left us too soon.

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Cottage wildflower garden

We have a large space on our cottage property that acts as a buffer zone between the road (a major highway in those parts) and the cottage.

A 2-foot strip of vegetation along the road is cut by the township each year.   Adjacent to that there is a flat strip, then the land begins to slope downward for an approximate width of five feet before it levels off.   A row of cedar hedges was planted approximately 40 feet from the road many years ago, but the area between the bottom of the slope and the cedars is rarely maintained, left to grow wild.

Last season we planted several evergreen trees (pine and spruce) at the bottom of the slope.  This season we planted more, spaced throughout the flat area to create (eventually) a forest of evergreen trees as a visual and noise barrier between the road and the cottage.

I have always felt this whole area was wasted space,  What does a gardener do with wasted space?  Turns it into a garden of course, in this case, a wildflower garden.  This season I whippersnipped the flat area around the evergreens, avoiding all of the frogs (there were tons), then sprinkled seeds (pink and white coneflowers, Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susans, pink and red beebalm to name a few) along the slope and flat strip close to the road. These plants are not exactly wildflowers, more hardy and tall perennials, but I mixed all the seeds in one large bag as I was collecting them to achieve a wildflower look.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like next season!

 

Favourite and least favourite perennials

With all the gardens I visit in a season, I am bound to have my favorite and least favorite perennials.

Spiderwort, AKA tradescantia or widow’s tears are my least favorite this year.  They spread like crazy throughout gardens, flop over onto other plants and turn yellow and slimy as soon as the weather gets cool.  The only good things about them are their pretty color (purple) and the fact that they will rebloom if cut back after the first bloom…

 

pictures from Pixabay

 

My favourite perennials this season have been coneflowers, especially the newer colors available.  Due to the cool summer we experienced, the coneflowers have been blooming pretty much all summer.  I have peachy orange, red and a few shades of pink coneflowers that are still stunning in my gardens…

 

 

I am still in love with all of the ornamental grasses; there seem to be more beautiful varieties every year.  Blue oat grass is my favourite this year in my zone 4 to 5 gardens.  I love its steel blue coloring and the fact that it is much hardier, larger and sturdier than the blue fescue I have tried previously…

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What are your favourite and least favourite perennials of the season?

Carter approved: Mum Mums

As I spend a lot of time talking about my grandson, I thought I would post a series called “Carter approved”.  My first Carter approved product is Mum Mums, a rice-based teething biscuit that comes in various flavors…

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Mum Mums are free of the most problematic allergens, (gluten, wheat, eggs, milk, soy, sesame, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish)a as well as verified non-GMO. Mum Mums are baked and contain minimal amounts of salt, sugar, fats and oils.  Rice has always been considered an ideal first solid food for babies as it is easily digestible, yet contains many vitamins and minerals.

 

 

We all know how teething babies want to put everything in their mouths; these biscuits are no exception. They literally melt in the mouths of babies, although their claim to be mess free is suspect…

 

The banana flavor of Mum Mums is Carter approved!  Buy your Mum Mums

 HERE

 

Who was more frightened?

 

We had a scare at our home recently and I’m not sure who was more frightened.  Our son (the youngest one and only one still living at home) had called to say he was staying downtown at a friend’s home for the night.  So, when my husband and I went to bed I turned out all the lights (I usually leave one on when someone is not home yet)  and left our bedroom door opened. (no one but me can sleep through my husband’s snoring)

I’m not sure what woke me up  (I am a very light sleeper) but all of a sudden I sat up in bed.  Our bed faces the door to the hall and I could see flashes of light in the stairwell, reflected in the full-length mirror adjacent to our bedroom door.  Thinking it was an intruder, I nudged my husband and whispered, “there’s someone in the house!”  He bolted out of bed and ran to the door following the flickering light.

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Our son’s room is just around the corner from our doorway; as hubby left our room he could barely make out a figure in the dark of our son’s room.  Hubby banged as hard as he could on the door frame to frighten the person in the room (and others if they were present in the home) who was at that point reaching for the bedside end table.

Well, I’m sure you can figure out, it was our son in his own room, reaching for his phone charger.  He was trying to be quiet as to not wake us, using the flashlight on his cell phone to light the way to his room.

I felt kind of foolish afterward and we even laughed about it, but I’m not sure who was more frightened at the time. I usually hear people come home, (doors opening, toilet flushing etc) even with our door closed.  It didn’t help that recently in the local news we heard of a home invasion in our community where thieves stole credit cards while the residents slept.

My husband is the kind of guy that if someone is threatening him or his family he would go down swinging!  Me?  I’m more of a chicken; I stayed in bed close to the phone where I could call 911 if need be.

Massage Therapy and Reflexology Art

Jerrold Carton was my first cousin.  I knew he was a fantastic artist, but never knew he was into reflexology and massage therapy.  This post is written by his daughter…

Jerrold Carton

In the late 90’s my dad decided he wanted to try to get into massage therapy.  After working all day as an Art Therapist, he went to night school in Kansas City for massage. When he completed that he went more in-depth to become a neuro-muscular therapist. He created these paintings for reference, which hung in his massage office. Eventually he realized that he was too old to be doing two jobs, and wasn’t willing to quit his day-job for massage.  He gave the paintings to a cousin who was also doing massage therapy, and she recently returned them to me.

They have been professionally scanned and are ready to be made into high-quality prints on paper or canvas. If you’re interested, please email me at carrie@jerroldcarton.com

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Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.