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neighbours

neigh·bor  [ney-ber]  Show IPA  noun

1. a person who lives near another; 2. a person or thing that is near another; 3. one’s fellow human being: to be generous toward  one’s less fortunate neighbors; 4. a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his other fellow humans: to be a neighbor to someone in distress.

Neighbours can be great, ours are thankfully. They all welcomed us to the neighbourhood which was really nice and have been very friendly ever since! Last week one of our neighbours stopped by since he was trimming their side of the hedge and asked/offered if he could do the top on our side which meant that we would have a bit of cleanup. Naturally I hesitated and then said yes and thank you! Upon trimming the top he offered to do the sides as well…clearly I didn’t want him to feel he needed to do our yard work so I was like ‘oh don’t worry’ but he insisted it wasn’t a big deal. So we suddenly had a nicely trimmed hedge. YAH!

trimmed hedge

After making hoards of strawberry jam I thought it might be a nice gesture to give them a jar of jam as a ‘thank you’. So I attached a little note with twine saying “Thank you for taking the time to trim the hedge! Enjoy, H & R”. I dropped it on their front doorstep before I went to work yesterday. Hopefully their family enjoys our little thank you.

jam (sorry about the bad BB pic)

I greatly appreciate friendly neighbours. They are pleasant to talk to, considerate of our environment and always make sure their children keep the noise level down (even though we keep saying we don’t mind!). Yah for wonderful neighbours.

P.S. we have a plum tree in our front yard!

Happy Friday (TGIF)!

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raspberries

Tonight I came home after work and saw all kinds of beautiful and rich looking raspberries in our backyard.

raspberry bushes

Since R wasn’t home I thought I’d take a few minutes to grab whatever was ripe. Well there was plenty more than I has expected!

yummy raspberries

Moose didn’t understand why she couldn’t eat them!

I thought I would take advantage of the surplus of berries and make some raspberry tarts. Yum. They turned out pretty well; tart, moist and yummy.

Tarts!

Can’t wait to pick more looks like we will have them growing for a while longer!

Happy Wednesday (night)!

rain rain go away

I don’t want to continue the nursery rhyme because we have had enough rain for this “summer” and I don’t want it to come another day! Seriously – for the past 5 weekends we have had rain…and just about every 2 or 3 days (at least) in between. It seems to never end!!

the rain from our front door

water rushing down the road

We live in a desert and we don’t have irrigation for our lawn or gardens. This year we have only had to water our property twice! If you live in a desert and understand how dry it really can get you would realize this is a huge feat.

Unfortunately the rain doesn’t leave me overly motivated even though there is plenty to do around the house and we have company (my sister from across the country! and my brother from 8 hours away) coming to visit in just over a week. All I really know is that I’m hoping the weather isn’t quite so bad when they are here.

Even Moose is tired of it!

I’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks for the rain to stop long enough so the wood window sills and frames would dry so I could finally paint the outside of the house! The weather persons keep saying that we should have high 20s and sun after Canada Day weekend…so now I wait.

so really…rain rain go away

Happy Canada Day Weekend!

what do seeds, sun and rain give you?…strawberries (in our case anyway)

Yesterday my life revolved around strawberries. Two friends and I went to a local Organic U-Pick Farm to get strawberries for jams etc. and we were picking by 9:15am.

              

(please keep in mind I was on a farm picking strawberries so my attire was based upon comfort, easy of movement and weather conditions, I was certainly not going for style)

Two hours and 8lbs + 13.5lbs + 15lbs of strawberries later we were ready to head home. I think our chatting got the better of us before we realize how many berries we had picked!

here is what 36.5 lbs of strawberries looks like!

I spent the rest of the day making strawberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb jam, a strawberry-rhubarb crisp, and washing and freezing almost two ziplock bags full of strawberries! It will be enough to keep us going for a while! Here are some of my in progress shots of cooking and baking (including rhubarb from our back yard!).

           

I was very satisfied with how it all turned out but now hopefully the jams all taste really good! (I also love how in our crawlspace/cellar I have lots of storage space for canning. Let the fun begin!)

     

We are already planning our next outings for blueberries and blackberries!

Happy Sunday!

Veggies!

Sunday was one of the first days in a while that I was home and it wasn’t raining! I figured it was about time to get some veggies growing and use our ‘house warming’ gift cards at the local nursery. Not only did we have gift cards, apparently they were having a ‘Garden Party’ the same day! Which means EVERYTHING was 20% off the regular price! This worked out to $30 in savings + gift cards means it cost us a whole $30 for our veggies + herbs! (oh and a plant and an air plant)

Thankfully my husband weeded the garden a few weeks ago so it gave me a great head start! However, the ground needed a serious hoeing. I used the shovel to churn everything and then raked/hoed it to make everything level and start planting the seeds.

garden ready to be planted

Since we needed to keep Moose out of the garden I grabbed scrap wood from around the garage and an old plant trellis for supports and put up the mesh to keep her out. Hopefully this is enough for her to not dig anything up!

mesh fence to keep Miss. Moose out

I took an Organic Gardening Course that was hosted by our local Urban Agriculture Association a few months ago. Although I didn’t plant everything in the exact ‘organic’ way that was suggested I still learned lots! The one thing I did get based upon their recommendation was a stirrup hoe – it’s so easy to use!

Awesome hoe!

stirrup hoe

We have planted … lettuce, spinach, peppers, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas + a few mystery plants! Most are seeds except the tomato and cucumber plants + a few a friend dropped off; however, we wern’t quite sure what she dropped off! To the south of our garden we have raspberry bushes that are starting to come in!

planted garden

           

  

 

Here is our lovely little herb garden that includes basil, chives, green onion and rosemary.

herb garden

I also picked up this pretty plant + this air plant and glass bulb hanger (which I now need to put up)!

  

night sky

When I was admiring the garden Sunday evening the sky was so beautiful I had to snap a quick photo.

Happy Monday – Here’s to a good week!

rain rain go away…

After five days of rain the sun is finally here! YAH! Not that rain is a bad thing but it does get depressing, especially when it is 5 degrees in the morning and you are yearning for summer to just be here already.

Best part of all the rain though – our lawn is almost totally green again! No more yucky dead yellow-brown grass! This weekend it will need a serious cut though as it’s getting pretty long.

Downside, the rain keeps putting off the painting of our window sills…so it might be a project for next weekend (with something else happening this weekend – like finishing our bathroom).

TGIF! Happy Weekend!

flowers

Here are a few flowers from around our yard, we have no idea what will be popping up where but it’s always fun to see a new flower in bloom. I’m not sure (other than the roses) what is what, so feel free to educate me on what is growing in our yard! Here is my best guess…

roses

clematis flower?

(not sure) flower?

Happy Sunday!