Monday, May 31, 2010

My Vege Garden and Grape Vines

These photos of my garden are about two weeks old, so things have grown up much more. This year I planted everything in raised rows and I will see how that works out, with grass clippings in between.

Tink is supervising the potting of flowers. and my grape vines are coming on a treat. Two North American vines, Concord and Niagara the other vine with small leaves is a Montrachet. This year I'm going to make wine. I've made it before it's hard work, but rewarding. The roses are Joseph's Coat a very fragrant climbing rose, I love it.

These postings are a bit late as the computer has been on the fritz with a power charging problem. So will try and catch up.


Pots & Blooms

Every year outside my back door and along the back of the house I have pots of flowers and they are always different. I bought some different varieties of coleus while I was in the Amish Country, also mixed with the seedling flowers I grew.

These are planted in big plastic containers that stand on pedestals, I have four of them. I started off with evergreen trees in them, thinking that would be in there permanently and for several years they did very well, but then eventually look worse and worse and died. Then I tried some different shrubs, thinking they would last from year to year, but no. So now I just plant new flowers in these pots every year, ringing the changes and enjoying the difference of atmosphere it gives to the back every year.

My O
Henrii Clematis


Roses climbing though shrubs at the front of my house.



Joseph's Coat, beautiful climbring rose by my kitchen window. The name explains the rose.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Room Swap

I've had it in mind for a long while to swap the sitting room for the dining room and visa verso. We used to have a round table in the dining room; which we did like and of course made sense in a square room. Then we fell in love with an old set at the thrift and decided to get it. Unfortunately it is an oblong table in a round room, with two extra leaves;which we could never use.

And here I have a very long sitting room; which would easily take a long trestle table. But to do this the boys had to be on board because the table weighs a ton. So yesterday minds were in sink, we got an early start and within one hour it was done.

I had to jettison one item, well set and that is the Chinese table and stools went to the basement, so until next winter, when we will swap it back. Well we have to because of the wood stove.

You might say "why go to all that trouble?" and I'm sure that's what the boys think, but just once I want to see that lovely table set in all it's glory.

So this was the dining room. I love that we can know truly enjoy the blue rose rug, I've always loved it. We are going to add the split hoof arm chair; which we are going to recover the seat. It has a small footprint and will add another seat. We are using the gate leg table, as a breakfast table, that works. Plus my retro rose table, under the chandelier, so nobody bumps their head.

So this is the new dining room. As you can see Tink has already checked it all out. My trestle table without any leaves in. I wish it folded down to a square table, and the leaves slid underneath the top. But that seems to be a European thing, onA merican tables the leaves have to be stored somewhere else, other than being and integral part of the table, it's a shame. And a square table would go nicely in a square room.

Well enough going on and on about the house.

At least I started early enough before all my energy was gone. After which I took Rob to IKEA to pick out a poster frame. But unfortunately they are 1/2" too short and he will not trim his posters as he feels they are, or will become collectors items, so therefore, one was kept to replace a warped poster frame, obviously too cheap and the other one has to go back. So now the search for a larger one. The boy is most particular.

Well that was Saturday. Have a great weekend.


Friday, May 21, 2010

The Wedding Dress I Wore.

I took this photo at Marianne's when we had our girls day out. This is her parent's wedding. When we were all single we would visit with her mum and dad, and I always admired two large wedding photos of her parent in the sitting room. George, we always thought looked like Errol Flynn. Don't you think so?

I just loved her wedding dress, so when I was going to get married I asked if I could borrow Lucy's dress; which I did and loved wearing it. It was typical 1940s heavy satin with a beaded yoke. Pointed long sleeves with covered buttons at the wrist, I got married in October. And covered buttons part way down the back, with a little partial waist zip. It was not overly ornate; which is what I liked. If you remember the early eighties was an era of quite ornate lacework.


Update on The Studio

We took the border down and painted the blue wall white. I chickened out on painting this wall an olive green to pick up a colour in this sixties fabric I have; which I'm going to make blinds out of. I do like the white though, it's so fresh.

Bo's old desk is now in here, along with a chair taken out of my Simla Room; which you already know has tons of stuff in and is not missed at all. I've always loved this chair, it's extra wide, hum! with a wicker seat and the most interesting coyote design on the back center on both sides. We picked it up in a yard sale for $5.00. There was a companion chair a rabbit but one side support was broken, but I wish now I had bought it and glued it. Someone must have made them.

The bits and pieces on the desk come from other parts of the house. The two stained glass panels, the tiles and my Eskimos from Alaska.

We swapped out the bookcases, so Rob has his books in the bookcase near his bed. And I was able to take the books from there and incorporate them in here, along with two piles of books from the Simla Room that were getting on my nerves, just piled on the floor. Every time I go out I say "No More Books" it never works.

I'm able to have up my electric organ; which was packed away. Also we got our at least 20 year old Poem chair from IKEA, out of the basement, where it wasn't fairing too well, cleaned it up and now I'm enjoying a comfortable chair here. I was always glad we got the black leather, as I'm sure it's hiding a lot of wear. Unlike the much lighter leather furniture in the Bedsit room.

These photos do not quite show the completed room with the shelves put back, so will take more photos and update on that. Not sure when I'll get to the blinds, but I just love the old sixties fabric, in pinks, purples, olive greens with these huge subtle butterflies. It's wonderfully retro, about 10 yards bought at the thrift for $5.00.

Well must go, it's a beautiful morning, Friday and it's my day off. Hurrah!!!


Victoria Sandwich with Passion Fruit Jam and Butter Cream Filling

I made this last Sunday, from a recipe that it seems I've just always known. But really it comes from a friend of my childhood, auntie Gladys. My mum asked her why her Victoria Sandwiches just did not rise well, and auntie Gladys said take 4 eggs and weigh them with the shells on and then all the other ingredients are the same weight. Flour, sugar and butter. So if the eggs weigh 8 oz, the flour is 8 oz, the sugar 8 oz, and the butter 8 oz. I add baking powder to plain flour as Self Raising flour is not readily available here in the States for some reason, I don't know why, here we always add the baking powder. And that recipe formula works a treat.

I filled it with passion fruit jam, from Aldi's which is yummy and a butter cream filling. The cake was gone in two days. Cake does not last long around our house. Especially since we are living frugally and not buying extra cookies etc, everything is homemade.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Day Wedenesday

Until I sat down and wrote the date I didn't think of it, Rob is 16 today. Where have the years gone? My dear boy, who I could hug and kiss to death, but can't, although he does allow some.

I'm in the Studio room and I'm just pooped. I've been in the garden all day. Planting the remainder of the vege and flowers, which was only just a bit less than half of what I planted last Saturday, so it was a lot of work. I'm wondering how long it will take to see flowers on all my little delicate plants. They look so fragile out of their little containers planted in the garden. But it needed to be done or nothing would be on it's way. I also planted lettuce seeds straight in the garden, Iceberg, I thought I had more lettuce seeds, but don't seem to.

There is a young tabby male cat, he is soo in love with Tinkerbell, plus there is a ginger and a black cat who visit. Spring is for Amour no doubt.

I love The Studio Room, it's another quiet place to recharge. I'm feeling good because we have accomplished some things in and around the house.

It threatened all day to rain, but didn't so that was good, but now the plants are in, it can rain.

I just finished an unauthorized biography of Agatha Christie, quite interesting, a while ago I read her autobiography. This fills in the time she disappeared and more about her later life.

She wrote 80 books in about 50 years. Wouldn't that be something to read them all in order?

Rob likes his room and keeps it quite tidy, which is a turnaround. Bo and I were sitting on the sofa watching tele and he came out of the bathroom with a wet cloth and wiped all along the back of the sofa. It did make me smile.

I got 'To Serve Them All My Days.' a DVD, by D. F. Delderfield. It does remind me of 'Goodbye Mr. Chips'. But starts towards the end of WWI and not before.

We're still doing pretty good with the frugal food shopping. Bo's on board and reads all the food fliers. So we spin out our money.

I'm also reading 'Life List', a woman's quest for the worlds most amazing birds. I'll have to get going on that as it's due back at the library soo. It's by Olivia Gentile.

I'm sitting here and I've just realized how the evenings are drawing out, and there is a funny light you get before a storm in the evening. The latest it ever stays light to is 9:30 PM, so different to the UK, but we're that much further south here. When we were on the Isle of Sky, even in September, three months past the summer equinox, it was still light until 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM. It's great when you're on holiday.

Oh dear! The male tabby, who I think might be a stray, but he's terribly friendly, seems to be in our garden all the time. He's young and a little thin, I haven't fed him, so he must be eating somewhere. I've taken to calling him 'Cat' like Audrey H. in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. I think he's adopting us, even the girls seem to accept him now and if you knew our Tuppence a true Tiger, he's come quite a way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Bed Sit

This is Rob's room, we call the bed sit. We swapped rooms, his old bedroom is now The Studio.

This is how the room used to look with Bo's speakers and a desk in front of the window.

This is Rob's bed with a continental quilt which I had when I was his age, along with it's original cover and pillow case. It's neat to think of Rob using it now. With Rupert.

Rob likes the idea that he has his own personal access to the bathroom. There is another door into the bathroom from the hall.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Curry Dinner, Tobago Style

We had a lovely Sunday evening at my friends house. They live over 50 miles away, they used to live just around the corner. I know that Rob was happy to be visiting his old mate too. Who doesn't enjoy partaking of good food with friends.

Tamarind dip with deep fried dough, made of crushed dried peas. Delicious. Can't remember the name.

Shrimp, goat and chicken curry, in that order. Goat curry is so good.

Followed with chocolate cake, iced with Nutella and strawberries.

All prepared by my island friend. Well I did help put the cake together.

Everything was so good.



This was Rob's bedroom.

And this is how it looked for a few days, before taking down the old wallpaper boarder and painting.

We decided to do a swaparoo. Rob now has the biggest upstairs room; which we now call The Bedsit and his old bedroom is now The Studio.

It's taken a couple of weeks to accomplish, but I think the results are worth while.

Will be posting more.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spinach greens from the garden

Spinach greens from the garden. These plants made it through the winter and produced some more leaves before they went to seed, which produces a yellow flower.

I cook them up in olive oil and a little sea salt. Very tasty straight from the garden. I'm going to plant more this year.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

No Uniforms

Our boy Rob on the way to High School, Grade 10 here in the USA. This is his wool cardigan we bought for $5.00 in an end of year sale at Urban Outfitters, one of his favourite stores. I like school uniforms, but very few schools have them here.


01 09 10