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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*

Jan 31, 2011

Garden Time :)

A weekend full of gardening is exactly what I needed  :) The sun was out, breezy and warm. Turned my compost and soil, did some clipping, trimming, prepped my seed trays and picked fresh Broccoli, Onions, Lettuce, Carrots and Cauliflower :)

I can say that despite the loss of some veggies due to the frost I still have enough to keep food on the table. I've made the best tasting salad, now I can steam my Broccoli and Carrots, or get creative and make various Soups.
In my trays I planted Tomatoes, Corn, Beets (for pickling), Garlic, Zucchini, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Peanuts, Beans and Peas. Lots more work ahead but I'm enjoying every moment spent in that garden. I am learning more as I go....or grow  :)
"A garden is never so good as it will be next year."-- Thomas Cooper

Jan 24, 2011

Fresh Carrots!

Well, my Fall crops are mostly done, My Lettuce, Onions and Carrots are delicious! What a difference in taste compared to store-bought :)
Finally the danger of frost has gone, but I worry about my grape vine, since it's dormant and dead-looking. I need to learn about the whole pruning process for it.
I started cleaning out sections of the garden and making room for the next batch  :)  On my list are Melons, Beets, Zucchini,Cucumbers and Tomatoes, just to name a few. I am thinking of growing Peanuts this time.
My composted chicken waste will most definitely help enrich my soil. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty again!

Jan 17, 2011

Busy Weekend

The weather was great this weekend, spent time with my dogs, took some sun while I cleaned out the garden and did some baking. Some of my favorite things to do  :)

My dill plant has grown so much, I trimmed half of it and set it out to dry. I had a cute surprise in my garden too, i could see Cauliflower and Broccoli peeking through their leaves  :)

I made an awesome vinaigrette recipe to go with my garden lettuce and endive. It was the best Salad ever! I also made mini loaves of banana-nut bread, must not waste the over-ripened bananas!

Jan 13, 2011

Some Comfort Food

Ahhhh Soup, what's a better way to keep warm and cheer yourself up.

Now that my Curly Endive are Ready and dying to come out of the garden, what can I do other than tossing it with other types of lettuce for salads?....hmmm. Looked up recipes for Curly Endive and saw Curly Endive and Bean Soup! Never thought about using leafy greans in soup but I HAD to try it. There's only so much salad I can eat!
This is Delicious, Healthy and SO easy!
~You can play around with this recipe, add other types of beans or vegetables and rice. I added roasted tomatoes  :) Very Hearty
* Of course I omitted the Ham. NO Meat Here!

Recipe Here

Jan 6, 2011

While I Wait..

I've been doing a lot of thinking, especially after the holidays, the New Year is here, new projects in line, new beginnings are ahead.
While I wait impatiently for my dad to wake up I try to occupy myself with little projects. Anything to keep me from feeling sad and hopeless.
While looking around my place for something new to do, I came across a few rocks I've collected here throughout the years. That's something I've always liked to do. Everywhere I go I always find a rock. It's not a hobby, I just find them in places that I have visited. Like taking a part of that place with me, Like a souvenir.
As a child I remember going on a classroom field trip and asked my mom for money so I could buy a souvenir. I remember her telling me to take a piece of nature, either a stick, a rock, or some leaves...she said it would last much longer and be more meaningful. Boy was she right :)
Today I have a nice collection of rocks and wood from places I've visited. Some driftwood from California, Lava Rock and Pyrite(fool's gold) from Arizona, Unique ones from various lakes and creeksides from places I have hiked, One from far below in the Grand Canyon, and Red Rocks with soft Sand from Sedona. Mostly rocks that have a special shape to them, or some that simply stand out.
One I especially like, I call it the dinosaur egg. My mom loved this one when she visited. I admit I had many rocks decorating my front yard at the last home, I brought every one of them with me when I moved! They're beautiful and timeless  :)

Jan 3, 2011

Tragedy Strikes my Family

I often write about my mom, and dedicated this blog to her, she inspired me to do what I do, a gentle soul who always saw the brighter side of things. I previously wrote about how I cherish my family, and during the holiday season is when I miss them most.

I haven't mentioned my dad, until now. My dad, he's my hero. My dad looked out for us, and at times seemed negative but he always meant well and wanted us to succeed. It's so much clearer to me that all he wanted was what's best for us.

Life has changed tremendously since our mom passed. Dad moved away to his hometown to start his life over. He has found love and happiness again. I miss him.

This Christmas was going to be the best one for me. My dad wanted to surprise me by flying into AZ with my sister and nephew. They did good since I was clueless that they had been planning this for months. My dad never flew, he was afraid to. But he wanted to do this for me :)

I was so excited to have my sister and her son visit me for a whole week  :) I worked so hard in my home to accommodate them and try to make their stay comfortable. I was counting the days now...

Until I received a phone call early that morning. My sister had to tell me something she dreaded. My dad had been in an accident on the road. Although she told me he survived it I totally lost focus when she told me that he had been on his way to her house so they could take their flight together. To see ME. My dad was coming to surprise me! :( 
I felt like I had been stabbed. I lost my focus and broke down into tears when she told me how seriously hurt he was.

When we were reassured that our dad would survive, but be coma induced for a while, we decided that she take her trip to see me anyways. I needed family with me right NOW. I felt so alone and helpless.

This was not a time of rejoicing or celebration. Our thoughts were somewhere else. I started feeling guilt. All this emotion made me lose track of time too. Despite the circumstances we did try to enjoy our time together and share a few laughs.

But being grateful, THAT, we were. We kept thinking how much worse it could have been. Even his doctors were amazed that he had survived. Counting our blessings. That's what this trip was about. We talked on the phone every night to get updates.

My dad is still heavily sedated,10 days later. Many broken bones and a very long healing journey ahead. I can't believe he was supposed to spend the week here with me. I am grateful, for his life has been spared. I wish him a fast recovery. Life is so fragile. It will be a tough year ahead. But we got a miracle to start us off on the right track this new year.
Wishing him a speedy recovery, I love you Dad.