Thursday, March 05, 2015

Spring Sights

My brain is not full of sparkling thoughts these days. I'm back at work, still trying to conserve my voice (hard to do while teaching), and making an effort to catch up on grading.

A recent wander around the backyard (last weekend) revealed that spring is indeed close by (just 16 days!). The lilac tree is beginning to bud out and in the background behind it, bright green moss is overtaking the lawn.

The pot of winter pansies on the patio table is smiling brightly these days - a pretty view from our breakfast table.

The blooms on the apricot tree are a wee bit worrisome. It's so early yet. Are there pollinators flying around? I haven't seen any yet.

Moss grows not only in the grass, but also on the fence.

Tim's sister is visiting from the province next door, where spring has not yet arrived. We're hoping to show off some of our spring sights this weekend. 

Wishing you a day of spring hope even if the views outside your window are white, white, white.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunshine in a Bowl

Isn't soup wonderful? I love it all year round and in an infinite variety of flavours. On Friday night I prepared this warming Carrot Ginger Soup, made with extra ginger to clear sinuses.

I bought a loaf of crusty roasted garlic bread to accompany it. A perfect end-of-the-week dinner.

Regular readers will know that I've been ill this week. My husband was out of town for two nights so I was on my own, which doesn't bother me. After the first night I went downstairs and noticed that the front door wasn't locked. Oh, oh. Then I looked a little closer - the front door wasn't even completely closed. Any gust of wind could have pushed the door open wide. Perhaps an angel stood guard over night while I slept.

Forsythia's blooming. So cheery and a harbinger of things to come. Time to prune the roses! 

Linking with Sunlit Sunday, hosted by Karen. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hello There!

Here's what the lemon tree looks like when it's cold. The Christmas lights come on and keep it toasty warm. I snapped this from the dining room window (bit of blind in the corner) on a frosty morning this past week.

Next to the lemon tree is an apricot tree which also needs 100% rain protection in our climate. In front, raspberry canes. I like our moderately productive little yard.

Those lemons have come in very handy while I've been battling influenza. Lemon tea with raw honey from the Hutterite colony in Alberta is my go-to drink.

Yesterday I returned to work. Bad idea. Teaching means talking and talking is very hard on a throat. After a couple of really ugly coughing fits at school, I booked off the rest of the week. That gives me four more days to recover. It's coming, albeit slowly. 

The person who thought up combining Aloe and tissue should be awarded a medal. The difference to a sore nose is such relief. And isn't that a pretty colored box? It looks like spring and coordinates so well with the UK Country Living March edition. 

This morning I visited my doctor and have had energy to throw in a couple of loads of laundry. I have a few old magazines I'm going through and tore these pages from one, then put them on my fridge door - an idea gleaned from Mary.

Now it's time to put the clean sheets on the bed and clean a bathroom or two. It's good to be feeling better, but as one of my friends said on Facebook, "We just aren't the same Shell (name of town in Ecuador) gals we used to be. We're grammas now!" I guess that means it takes a little longer to recover. Sigh. I won't over do the house cleaning! I'll save some energy for visiting and commenting on blogs.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hellebore in the rain

I honestly can't remember ever being so sick. Shuffling from bed to couch was the extent of my efforts for most of this week. To add insult to injury I developed conjunctivitis in both eyes and we all know how wonderful that is!

Thankfully, I'm on the mend. I made the bed, went with Tim to buy a few groceries (he went on his own earlier in the week), and I plan to do a little sewing this afternoon. 

Not much energy here, so I'll leave you with this image captured last weekend of a Hellebore beaded with raindrops.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This and That

On our walk through the marina last Saturday, we spent some time looking over this old wooden boat. It's in rough shape. We admired the lines of the boat and wondered whose dream it was and what might have happened - illness, old age, changed focus - for someone to have neglected the boat.

The boxwood hedges along the Sidney waterfront were full of webs. The shape of this one reminds me of a pitched tent - a spider tent so intricately beaded with water droplets

Kale from the garden is delicious just now. Soon I'll be pulling it up to make room for spring and summer vegetables.  These photos were all taken last weekend. I've been down with influenza this week and feel like I'd been hit by a Mack truck. I've spent the last two days on the couch with hot tea, advil, and a rice bag. The aches are subsiding and my voice might be returning. I'm glad I still have the weekend to recover. I hope my husband doesn't get it. He gets the flu shot at work, but this year's flu vaccine is useless, he says. 

Hydrangeas are beginning to leaf out and buds of lilac and blueberries are swelling. What a lovely time of year!

I think it's time for another nap!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter Lemons

With all the snow in the east, I'm a little hesitant to show these photos for fear it might look like bragging. I'm not, really, but I'm amazed! For several weeks now I've noticed, from the dining room window, round yellow shapes behind the gardening fabric protecting the lemon tree. 
On Sunday afternoon, a warm, sunny day, we decided to take a peek.

Just look at that harvest! The lemon "farmer" looks happy, doesn't he? These lemons set their fruit in August or September and have been ripening all "winter." There is more fruit that will be picked in a few months. In May we'll remove the gardening fabric and new blooms will form and be pollinated. Lemon trees are amazing!

They smell wonderful and brighten up the kitchen, too. 29 lemons. Grown in Canada! Let's see, shall I make Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Loaf, Lemon Souffle or ...? What would you make with fresh lemons?

On another note, I've sent emails to those who wanted to take part in the magazine swap. If you have not received your email, please let me know.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February Flowers

Monochromatic greys and greens were the view out the window this morning. But inside the tea was hot, the atmosphere convivial, and the food delicious. No need for sunshine.

After breakfast we walked along the sea wall in Sidney. Expansive ocean views to one side and in the gardens lining the pathway wonderful signs of spring. The trees are beginning to bloom, delicate pinks and whites that make a living Valentine. It's so early!

And the crocuses! Well, you can see for yourself how gorgeous they are. Purple, white, striped, and a few yellow ones. Spring seems to be well on the way.

I'm writing this on Saturday evening after a day of doing very little. It's been wonderful. I hope your weekend is equally relaxing.

Linking to Sunlit Sunday and Mosaic Monday