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I'm a Canadian now residing in Sunny Arizona since 2002. Although I've been a city girl all of my life, I've always loved the country and the laid back life it offers. My love of the Outdoors, Animals,and Gardening comes from my mom Cecile, who loved her home in the country, but sadly passed away in 2005. I promised her I would grow a garden in her name, And I finally did, five years later. One of my best memories of her is how much she loved her garden. The glow on her face when she would show me something new, always creating a life with things she loved. She loved all animals. She taught me simplicity, to enjoy the small things, and see beauty in everything. Today I find myself doing the same things she did in her garden and in life. This blog was created to keep track of my projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity. I want to share this adventure with those who can appreciate the small things, the trial and errors, the simplicity in it all, but mostly,what my mom knew how to do best,just have FUN! *This blog is dedicated to her*

Dec 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

More daylight hours will soon be noticeable. Yayy! I'm really looking forward to this.
I uncover my garden beds in the morning when it's dark, come back home from work and cover them again, in the dark. I'm living in darkness how depressing...
I've hardly seen my chickens too. By the time I get home they have already gone in the coop. I only spend time with them on weekends, and I know they do appreciate it :)
I look forward to the lengthening days!

Dec 13, 2011

Winter Garden

This is really my Fall garden, but since we are in the winter months, I call it my winter garden. The Lettuce is ready :) My Luffa is also looking good but they should have been planted a month earlier, since much of the stems have froze and they will no longer grow. Luffa looks like some cucumber,and it's really neat to make Luffa Bath Sponges with these. I will have to peel them and let them dry for some time before they can be used. My Beets and Turnips are looking nice too, but there's still a little ways to go before they can be harvested.

Dec 10, 2011

My Creative Itch

I've been feeling very creative lately. I decided to go get some essential tools to start painting again. My first attempt didn't quite work out as planned years ago. Now I am ready to start again, with endless ideas of what I want to creat on canvas. I am using Acrylics, which is pretty easy to work with. So far I have practiced blending methods for making skyscapes and clouds. I have been drawing all of my life, but this is a whole different ball game. However I am surprised at how fast I am learning just by watching tutorials.
Yesterday I threw myself into it and let my brush flow. A wise friend told me that Art comes from the Heart. Those words helped me to just pick up the brush and let my creative juices flow without stressing over the details. Thank you Collette, for your kind, encouraging words  :)
Results will be posted soon  :)

Nov 22, 2011


I harvested my beans  :) odd sizes and wierd shapes. That's what I love about gardening. Nothing is perfect  :)

Nov 18, 2011

Weekend Escape

Well, not the whole weekend, but I will be heading up north to visit a good friend, time to get away for a day and enjoy the Autumn landscapes of Northern Arizona. I will purposely take the long route there, take a stroll in the mountains and stop to enjoy the scenery of the canyons. And certainly take tons of pictures. I am hoping to take a walk in the small surrounding towns,and visit some Antique and Second hand shops, maybe find myself a little treasure to take home. :) The snow will soon take over the mountain tops there, so making the time to go visit this corner of paradise and have lunch in a small cafĂ© with my friend will be enjoyable since I will not return until the Spring.

Nov 16, 2011

Food Prices on the Rise

With the rising cost of food and the holidays around the corner, what a good time it is to stock up on necessities and canned goods. I heard this would be the most expensive Thanksgiving Dinner everyone will know. So taking advantage by cutting coupons and seeking deals is the way to go. There's never enough in the pantry. Food preservation is becoming more and more important in my life.

My vegetables are doing great in the garden, I cannot wait to harvest and start canning and dehydrating :) This season I will make some pickled beets, pickled carrots & parsnips, and tomato sauce. I will also make soup mix with a variety of onions and herbs for my soups and stews. Dehydrating is easy when drying herbs and fruits.
The giant cabbage looks like I will have enough to make plenty of cabbage soup!, a childhood comfort food favorite :)

Nov 7, 2011

A Fine Weekend

Rain made its way into the Valley over the weekend, some much needed moisture cleared the air. I haven't watered my vegetables in days :) I did lots of trimming in the garden; and found little surprises hidden behind the leaves. Some baby tomatoes! The garden is looking great, the soil is so rich and dark. I have a great looking garden this season :)
I almost got 2 more hens for the flock. I was hesitant, this will take some patience and I would have to keep a close watch since there's a pecking order and it may turn ugly. I may do it next weekend, all depending on my willingness to take that chance.

I took the time to visit the State Fairgrounds too. I was brought back in time when me and my mom went to the local fair in the country. This really made me miss her. She enjoyed seeing the farm animals especially. As I walked around and visited the baby goats I couldn't help but hear her laugh. As if she were right there with me. She loved the Country Fairs.

While there I watched a beautiful Native Hoop Dancer from the Hopi Tribe. I was mesmerized by his skills. The sound of the flute nearly brought me to tears.
I also made Pumpkin Cheesecake.Yummy.
It was a great weeekend :)

Oct 31, 2011

Pumpkin Fever

Over the weekend I kept myself busy both in the kitchen and the garden. I love the aromas of pumpkins and spice :) I made pumpkin cupcakes and roasted pumpkin seeds. My chickens love the taste of baked pumpkin, so nothing is going to waste here.

I got myself an herb tree (at least that's what I call it)My herbs were in pots all over the ground,taking up too much space, now this gives me more room in the garden. My chair sits next to this pretty tower, I just love the smell of my herbs :)

Oct 27, 2011

Great Start of the Season

I'm loving the crisp mornings, the vegetables are going through a growth spurt, it's amazing the difference I notice each day. My Yard Long Beans are incredible and very tasty. I have some awesome recipes lined up for those  :) This season I have a colorful blend of lettuce. I should get a good harvest this year. I'm looking forward to feasting!

Oct 17, 2011

Garden Envy

I'm loving the cooler evenings. Very soon I will get the fire pit out and sit by the fire while sipping hot chocolate!
The dogs are happier, You can see a difference, they are much more playful. The chickens also look more comfortable.
The days are getting shorter, the bamboo shading has been removed from the coop, letting in more light.
The garden is doing extremely well, it'll be a successful harvest this year with an abundance of Beans, Lettuce, Onions, Beets and Peppers. My Luffa is growing so fast too.
It is the envy of the neighbors. Over the weekend one of my neighbors popped his head over the fence and asked what I was doing to have such a great looking garden. Compost and Lots of Manure!
The yard long beans are exploding everywhere. These are incredible. So far the stalks have grown up to nearly 7 feet!
I got a surprise while watering and found a pod of about 3 feet long! Didn't snap a photo, I ate it right away  :)
I love sitting in my quiet corner of the garden and admiring the results of my hard work.
I can't wait to make salad!

Sep 29, 2011

And the Garden is ready to Roll!

My baby veggies are showing life everywhere! These cooler temps are doing wonders for them.
A funny discovery though, I have sprouting potatoes; from last year! I must have forgotten some underground and here they are growing among the beets and Broccoli :) Also, some of the Amaranth and Milk Thistle seeds from last season must have blown in the wind and landed in the nearby raised beds. I will leave everything as is, see what comes out of it. Should be an interesting mix!
I love the Fall!

Sep 9, 2011

Visiting Friend

All of my family and friends are far, too far :( And we all try to see each other at least twice a year. In a few weeks a good friend will be visiting for a while. I am looking forward to catching up and spending time with him. This will also give me the opportunity to head out up north and see the beautiful scenery that Arizona has to offer. This is exactly what I need :) I'm thinking the canyons, ghost towns, wineries and old route 66!

Sep 6, 2011


I love this time of year, The fall-like temeratures are just starting to make their way in.

It makes me feel like doing something dramatic, something fun and exciting, like changing the color of my hair! I'm really looking forward to being outside more.
I've kept myself busy during the summer for the most part. I tried new exercise routines and changed some old ways. I feel refreshed and ready to get moving :)
Over this this long weekend I got more canning supplies and cleaned out some clutter, I found a new coffee bean grinder for 2.00$ :) I thought this would be perfect for making my garlic and onion powder.
I also found some tiny colored metal pails. I thought this would work perfectly for planting my seeds, instead of buying seed trays.

I also made order in my recipe scrapbooks.
My garden is prepped and ready to roll too.
It's going to be a fun Fall  :)

Aug 25, 2011

Intense Heat

We've had some record-breaking heat waves lately, and hopefully this is the end of it, with September around the corner, we should be getting some relief really soon :) My chickens will be so thankful. Poor things, it was a tough summer for them, not to mention they lost 2 pals too.
I'm looking forward to doing some outdoor projects this fall. Besides having the best garden I will ever have, I plan on adding some more native plant life in the front yard. I want to create an oasis at the entrance of my home sweet home.
Looking forward to spending more time outside hiking and riding my bicycle too  :)

Aug 22, 2011

Surviving Tough Times

We are all seeing the tough times,it's everywhere. And sadly more uncertain times are still to come.
Some people are learning to live with less. Something I'm rather used to, and grateful for. I have learned a lot about self-reliance. The best I can do is to prepare.
I live for what really matters. My homestead, the food in my garden, my family and my animals.
I do not have cable, no satellite dish, no phone at home, no expensive wireless apparatus or the Internet.
I hang my clothes outside, I save the rain water for my garden, I recycle my furniture and clothes.
I'd much rather cook a good meal than go to a restaurant. I'd rather go on a hike than go to a gym.
I'd rather stay at home and learn a new skill than to go out with people I have nothing in common with.
One very important thing for me is to surround myself with like-minded people.
These are the people who understand your way of living, who encourage you, who help you learn something new, who believe in you, never judge you, who will be there for you regardless of how bad things get.
I am so grateful for my mom, who taught me to keep things simple, always.
Spending quality time with family and trusting friends is the best gift ever. I am grateful for getting up each morning and having a job to go to, to have food on my table, and a roof over my head.
Although thougher times are still ahead, I will be glad I had a head-start in being self-sufficient, prepared and well-surrounded.

Aug 2, 2011

What goes Around comes Around

While picking up more bags of waste at the feed store yesterday  I chatted for a while with the owner. He talked about the huge garden he once had, and how hard he worked at it manually. He gave me some pointers as to how to work the organic matter into the soil.
He thanked me again for recycling his animals's waste.
I told him I will definately offer him some of my produce once it's harvest time, a way to thank him for helping me provide this free good stuff to my garden.
That's what it's about  :)

Aug 1, 2011

What a Fabulous Weekend!

I enjoyed my mornings getting up and riding my bicycle around the neighborhood, and the evening showers with rolling thunder. Lots of much needed rain came into the valley, filling up the rain barrels once more.
The high humidity kept me mostly indoors during the afternoons though, inspiring me to do a little baking. I made tasty raspberry granola bars with jam I had made a while back, also on the menu; vegetable soup to feed a family for months...the house smelled so good. Also, stuffed baked Manicotti with 3 cheeses.
And finally I sorted out my vegetable and herb seedlings and prepped the trays indoors.
I am extremely confident about my garden this season. I look forward to the cooler temps so I can spend some serious time in the garden  :)

Jul 29, 2011

Quote of the Day :)

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. 

Jul 28, 2011

My New Bike :)

well, almost new. Got this great bike for free, all it needed was a good tune up and voilĂ ! My own beach cruiser! I love the color :) Haven't sat on a bicycle in a very long time. Now I'm looking forward to the cooler weather to use it.

Jul 26, 2011

Black Gold

Ahhhh the key to a successful garden. It's all in the SOIL!
This weekend I got a large bag full of semi-dried cow manure,
I picked up five free garbage bags full of chicken waste and cedar chips at the feed store. The owners were more than happy to have someone take them away.
My compost bin is now filled with browns and greens. I spread some of the waste in the garden, tilled it like mad. It was a workout in this heat but very satisfying.
It was a very productive weekend.

My soil will be ready for fall planting. I promised myself that this will be my best season yet. I am better prepared and a little more knowledgeable this time.
I love to show pics with every post but I didn't think taking pictures of waste was necessary.

Jul 15, 2011

A Sprouting Bean!

Made me smile today when I saw this one little bean sprouting!
My mom's old bean sprouted!! :)

Jul 14, 2011

Old Seeds

Some of the things I have that belonged to my mom....her seeds. She had a shoe box full of them. I planted some of them 5 years after her passing. Amazingly they sprouted...until my dogs got into the garden and destroyed every plant. It was devastating, knowing I had a piece of my mom and I so badly wanted to keep her memory alive through these seeds. But I know that she would have found this so funny :) She had such a sense of humor about these things, and she loved my dogs. I can almost hear her say "it's just dogs being dogs"
At the time I didn't have this garden. It wasn't closed in and secured.
Now with what's left of these old seeds I will attempt once more to grow them. It's been a few more years, so I'm not certain of the outcome. If I can get just one plant out of this! :)

Jul 11, 2011

What a weekend, I almost got all I wanted done. Tilling 450 square feet of soil was a lot of work, but rewarding once done. The soil looks fluffy and healthy :) The garden fairies were hard at work!

I found a rusty metal rack which I painted. I thought it would be perfect to place my seed trays on it. I also painted some cans, can't wait to see my herbs in them!

I love finding things and making them new again.

We had some overnight storms, I loved waking up to the rain this morning.

Jul 8, 2011

Very Busy Weekend Ahead

I have a list of things to do this weekend, most importantly emptying my full compost bin and filling it right back up with buckets lined up - full of garden leftovers and chicken waste.
I will be testing my soil and adding much needed nutrients and prep it for my next planting adventure.
This I prefer doing manually, help break it down, till, and fluff it up nicely :)
Something about feeling the dirt on my hands and under my feet :)
No gloves required here  :)
Also, open up my cherished seed box and sort out what I will be growing this time. Will need to see what kind of seed trays I can fabricate, something recycled I imagine.
Then the coop...
Then the cleaning up after the dust storm...
Deep soak my fruit trees...
Mow the lawn...
Clean the dusty, dirty vehicle...
More indoor cleaning...etc
and then... if I have time, sort out my canning recipes and figure out what I want to can next.  sigh. I'll be happy to get half of that done!
I love weekends

The Gutter Garden

Reclaimed Gutters....another project to think about  :)
What a fantastic idea!

Jul 7, 2011

Cool Project on my List

I was inspired by this photo I found a while back. I have been collecting and painting some empty coffee and tomato cans lately and it's looking really pretty. I chose a bright green to liven up the garden walls. This will save me a lot of space in the garden, I'm thinking my herbs will be happy in there :)

On The Menu Last Night...

Vegetable Lasagna!
This was simple to make, and oh so delicious!
next to it you can see a decorative tile which belonged to my mom :)

Monsoon Monster

What an exciting time it is when the monsoon storms roll in!
We had an incredible dust storm take over the city, never seen anything like it. Exciting and eerie at the same time. I have lots of cleaning up to do even though the rains soon followed, there's still dirt and accumulated dust everywhere on the patio.
Sigh.... I thought I was going to be working indoors this weekend....

Jul 5, 2011


The hottest days of the year have arrived, the garden beds, empty.
This is good.
A break. Time for indoor projects.
Also, a time to revise mistakes done in the garden, in life.
Renew the soil. Renew my soul.
A time to sit back and reflect on what’s in my best interest… a time to cleanse.
The older I get the more I am becoming my mother. The secluded person who found joy in little things, the person who adored her time alone in the country; away from people.
I was truly blessed to have built solid friendships in my life. I’ve had to say Farewell many times too, the saddest part of growing up.
I wish to focus on what’s important to me now. My animals, my home, my garden, my well being…sometimes even my sanity.
I’ve been feeling a great need for renewal. Time is slipping me by, now more than ever I feel the need to see some positive changes in my life :)

Jun 29, 2011

My office Window View

I can see for the last week, a bird building her nest right by my office window. Strange thin tree she chose. We can see right through it, there's no protection. I'm feeling bad knowing the Monsoon has arrived, and that one gust of wind will surely knock it to the ground. The sad part, is seeing what is being used to build it. Garbage. There's candy wrappers, cellophane, and odd pieces plastic. Just doesn't seem normal. A nest built of trash  :(
I decided on gathering some of my chicken feathers, dog hair, pine needles from my tree, even some straw from the coop. I placed it under the bush near the tree.
Finally today she decided to go there and pick what she needed to finish her nest. She seems to like the straw.
Makes me feel good knowing there's something a little more comfortable there when she is ready to lay her fragile eggs.

Jun 28, 2011

Things are better....

My chicken coop setup seems to be working nicely. I placed a wet earth bed in there for them to lay in. I'm sure they are wondering what the heck is up with me since I check up on them every 15 minutes. :) and each time I show up more dirt is being thrown out of the box from all sides.
This hot weather is really taking a toll on them.

Jun 27, 2011

What's up with my Chickens?

I lost another one in her nest, and I just don't understand.
Another, found lethargic, near death. I'm thinking this heat is taking a toll on them. I managed to set up a misting system far enough up in their pen, just to cool off the area. Also, will be setting up a fan for proper ventilation. Anything at this point I can't keep losing them like this.
I picked the one getting weaker and brought her indoors to get her cooled off. After a while she perked up. She did manage to find her way back to the coop at night and this morning she seems fine again. Maybe just dehydrated....  :(  poor things
And today it's going to climb to 113 degrees.

Jun 21, 2011

First Day of Summer

The full, open sunflowers remind me that summer is here.
lesson learned never plant sunflowers in my garden again, as they become too big and struggle at the end of their lives.... no room to grow! poor things


It was a sad of my hens passed away.
What happened was shocking to me, as I've never heard of it before, she was egg-bound, meaning she couldn't pass her egg. It counld mean a number of reasons, but it breaks my heart knowing she suffered. It could have been prevented had I been there, but it's difficult to keep an eye on them 24/7.
I don't know if I am ready to bring in new hens to the flock, it's not something I want to deal with in this heat right now.
R.I.P. little chick pea.....

Jun 17, 2011

Little Peach

Only One tiny peach on my tree that's growing so fast  :)

Jun 13, 2011

Unusual Sunflower

I've never seen anything like it. A two-headed mutant sunflower.

Jun 8, 2011

Something New

Crispy carrots!
with a little herbed oil and sea salt, these tasty little things are a nice alternative to oven roasted fries!

Jun 6, 2011

Cooking Fun

I like the sounds of rattling pots and pans in my kitchen, the sizzling of fresh garlic and onions, the smell of something roasting in the oven, or just a few sprigs of fresh cut herbs. I'm always finding something new to cook up in my very favorite place to be. Combining veggies and herbs straight from my doesn't get tastier than that :)

Jun 2, 2011

Teeny-Weeny Eggie

Look at my little surprise I got while visiting the coop!
A little itty-bitty egg! I have never heard of this before, so I looked it up and found that this is not unusual, and one person called it a Fart Egg....another called it a Chicken If it had been fertilized this would have definitely been the runt of the litter!

May 31, 2011

A View from My Kitchen Window

I can see my Chickens and admire my Garden from here :)

Little Potatoes!

It's a treasure hunt when digging for potatoes, and it makes a mess, but well worth all the work! :)
Roasted Potatoes in Olive oil with Chives, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, they were delicious with fresh eggs for breakfast.

More Herbs for Drying

I have had much success in the Herb Garden this season.
Here is Sage and Basil.

Herbed Oil

With a few Rosemary Sprigs and Garlic fresh picked from the garden in a good quality Olive Oil, the end result was increadibly tasty. With some fresh baked french bread and a little Balsamic Vinegar, just heavenly.
With what was left of the loaf I made salad croutons, sprinkled in this delicious oil and it turned out perfect. No Waste  :)
This bottle is emptying pretty fast...

May 20, 2011

Garden Fairies

Looks like my Garden Gnome needed the extra help....and it's working!

May 19, 2011

Fresh Herbs!

One of my main interests In my garden is to gather various herbs for spices and teas. I bought an amazing book on Herbs with all the information I need. Incredible all the things you can do with Herbs; Healing, Culinary, Medicinal and even crafting Soaps and Lotions. Yesterday I picked Sage and Lemon Thyme. It smells so good  :)

May 18, 2011

My Family

It was Way time to be with my loved ones. It's been too long.
What a treat to visit far away old friends and my precious family, catching up and laughing until our stomaches and cheeks ached... therapy at its best :)
Part of my trip was to see once more, all that I left behind when I went away.
But most importantly, my dad. I could see in his weak body, how
his accident took a toll on him. But despite his setback, he made extra efforts to be strong for his daughters's company. He is a real trooper, and made us all proud with his determination and strength.
Experiencing the beauty of the wild outdoors brought peace to me. With the world changing in unpredictable ways, I realize It's where I want to be.
My Family. My heart aches without them.
One day again soon I will be with them again...

Apr 27, 2011

6 years ago Today

...Our world has changed since you have left us.
I miss you every day.
Each time I do something you loved, I so wish that you were here sharing this with me.
Every little moment shared with you, I cherish.
For each new bud, new sprout, passing Butterfly, I see you.
For every mistake, I can hear you laugh. For every struggle, I think of your pain, and how you inspired me. I have my strength because of YOU today.
Despite my efforts, mom, I still miss you deeply. You are so very much missed. I love you.

Apr 25, 2011


I saw a Yellow Rose bush at the nursery over the weekend, it was the last one in that color, calling my name  :)
I've always loved yellow roses but couldn't find a spot for them, until I saw the finished fence. Now It's sitting by the entrance of my garden, and the little bud opened into a big beautiful flower overnight  :)  This really brightened up my day. I don't know why I waited so long to have these around  :)

Apr 22, 2011

More Projects But....

Time to take a step back and enjoy the garden!
I am so happy with the finished results, but especially grateful for a very special person who has put in so much time to build me this little piece of paradise I've wanted for so long.
I have several projects in line, but right now I want to sit, relax and plan....until I get some real time off.
A Vacation!
Yes, this year I decided to painfully leave my house, my chickens, my dogs and my life for a few days... although all will be in good trusting hands there's still a feeling of separation anxiety inside, knowing I will be so far :(
This year I am visiting family and friends I haven't seen for some time. I am really looking forward to re-discovering my home, to feel the air and see the lush vegetation I miss so much, so trying to relax right now is a top priority. Let's see how this goes...

Apr 21, 2011

Beautiful Scallions!

Always puts a smile on my face when I pick some fresh produce!

Apr 14, 2011

Culinary Delights

I’ve never had a culinary passion until I recently started experimenting with food.
I didn’t think I had the talent or patience. And I don’t know what made me believe that for so long.
Maybe because my mother wasn’t a cook. Bologna sandwiches, vegetable stew and spaghetti was the norm growing up.
And as I got older, living on my own, I was unaware of the possibilities with food. For a long time I worked in restaurants and ate what was available there, so cooking was the last thing on my mind.
I lived on the basics for years until I started to grow my own food. I discovered a genuine interest in cooking my own dishes knowing everything I can use is fresh. I got creative in using leftovers too. Food is like art, and I’ve always been creative.
Today I’m constantly trying new recipes. Food seemed like my enemy for so long, but exploring the possibilities makes my cooking experience that much more fun today.


Here’s to experimenting with my culinary delights!

Dinner For One

Apr 11, 2011

Friends are those who bring a happy sparkle in your life

Apr 8, 2011

Apr 6, 2011

Spring Blossoms

Nothing says Renewal like new flowers  :)

Here are my Peach, Apple and Orange blossoms.

Apr 4, 2011

My 6 Canine Kids

I am owned by 6 wonderful rescued dogs. I love them all to pieces. They have their unique characters, and definately special in their own way. I like to consider myself an advocate for them. Our bond is unlike any I experience with humans. My babies depend on me, and I, too, for the unconditional love and joy they bring in my life.
My wish would be to see every single dog in a happy loving home such as mine.
Mine are the lucky ones. I don't know how I could go a day without seeing their happy faces first thing in the morning. They bring me such comfort and peace.
Their names:
 Jezebel the deaf Pitbull, Sidney the Boxer/Pitbull, Rusty the Chow/Lab, Fat Guy the Lab/Newfoundlander, Bubbas the Chihuahua, and Chupacabra the Chiweenie.
I will always surround myself with animals  :)