Weathering Challenging Times: My Gardens’ Ups & Downs

Done! Six cups Elderberries, five cups sugar and cloves resulted in six bottles of Elderberry Cordial.

In my corner of the world we’ve been pretty lucky so far. Our weather has had its ups and downs, but nowhere near what’s been happening in other parts of the world. This year has been different: apparently the current drought is the worst since 1959. Weathering challenging times like this will take more serious thought and ingenuity as climate change continues.

(Mis)adventures on the Alderville Prairie

The Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna is Canada’s easternmost pocket of surviving prairie. It’s a beautiful and wondrous place that I discovered shortly after moving here 15 years ago. It inspired me to learn more and begin my own tiny prairie pocket…I’m now looking forward to an autumn visit to capture in my memory (and maybe in photos) the beautiful waving prairie of the russet Indian Grass and the magnificent Bluestem, along with all the native Asters. Then in the Spring…

60 Ideas on How to Live Sustainably

Earth from Space

There are many steps we can each take to reduce our impact on the environment, saving money & our health at the same time. Here are 60 tips: most are free and easy, and they’ll all make you feel good about doing your bit!

Mother Nature Scratches Her Head

Poor Mother Nature!

MOTHER NATURE: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
FRANK: Apparently so. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
MOTHER NATURE: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
FRANK: Apparently not. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

The Cab Ride

The Cab Ride

“After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.”

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~ THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

The Kindness of Strangers…

The kindness of strangers…and the Value of Trust. I recently had problems with my blog. I couldn’t get access to the admin page, which meant I couldn’t add posts or do anything else. I asked for help on the WordPress forum, but the advice given didn’t help until one fellow offered his help if I gave him my password. Would you do it?

The Art of the Pot Luck

When invited to my first pot luck after moving from the city, I asked, “What should I bring?” “Whatever,” was the answer. “No,” I said, “I mean appetizer, main course, salad, dessert?” I really didn’t understand. And there’s another pot luck in the Gore’s Landing Hall tonight — everybody’s invited — really! Just show up with your contribution, dig in and enjoy!

A Social Experiment

Joshua Bell playing in the subway

A man with a violin playing Bach on a cold January morning. Thousands of people hurrying past, most on their way to work. Children hang back, trying to see and hear. In total, six people stopped and listened to the musician for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. When he finished playing, silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
What does it mean?

Rug Hooking: Creativity Meets Simple Frugality

We learn a lot from the early Canadian settlers who were very creative in adapting to life in North America. Log cabin building, while seen as cozy and picturesque now, was a necessity then. And it wasn’t very cozy in the beginning — often no windows and a hole in the roof for the stovepipe — tad chilly and dark that first winter! Women who later had sheep for wool were very lucky. Spinning, knitting, weaving and sewing all started with those sheep. And when the woollen clothing was too worn to patch any more, it could be turned into winter quilts and later, mats to warm the floor.

Is ‘Normal’ What You Really Want?

“‘Normal’ is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and the house that you leave empty all day in order to live in […]