Canada Garden: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 will be remembered as the year Mark built a stable for Betsy and her American Girl horse.  We didn't know that she and Kyle would fit into it.  But they did.  Kyle even crawled in thru one of the windows!  As we always do when we're around BK, we had a lot of fun.  We are blessed far beyond amazing.  So grateful for this life and our family. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


My mama grew these little pumpkins this year and I've enjoyed them so much that I just wasn't ready to give them up yet.  So they got a little coat of Olive Bright by Design Master and a few bits of decoration a la The Farm.  They make me happy, so I took one to work for my desk :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Judson, Charles, Isaac, Crafton
It's been a very nice Thanksgiving.  Can't remember when these four brothers were together last!?!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Library Books

I took pictures of this little community library especially for my mama because I knew she would love the idea.  It's on Main Street in Madisonville, right next door to Main Street Jacks where Rachel takes me to shop when we visit.
Mama, last one home is a green pig!  love love :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall Flowers

Last of the fall flowers from the October garden.  
It's been a very nice gardening year. 
Today, we have snow. 

Garden Visitors

 Five deer visited our neighbors yard a couple of weeks ago, no doubt finding a good breakfast.  I wonder when they will jump our little fence?  G dog and Lilla missed the whole visit.  They were inside snoozing!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vacation Report

We're back from the lake.  Had a wonderful time as usual.  Ate good.  Got to spend fun time with our Betsy & Kyle and Rachel.    Lazed around doing not much.  Mark caught some really nice fish and threw them back so he could catch them again next year. 
Pies at Patti's.  I had chess pie both times we went.  I can never get enough of chess pie.  Reminds me of mama and grandma's pies.  And Muny's pies too.  We ate at Dinner Bell a couple of times, which has food just like we grew up with.  Fried chicken and vegetables.
It was sad, but we wanted to go to the cemetary.  So hard to believe that Warren is gone, even though it's been a year.
The happiest times are always when we're with Betsy & Kyle.  They make us laugh and love life.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The. Best. Ever.

I have the best. sister. ever.  She gave me this gorgeous old birdcage and it has to be the best. birdcage. ever.!  I can't remember ever seeing one so nice.  I love it.  Thank you sissy!
Our inspiration picture was a birdcage filled with succulents, but this one turned out even better.  It has our mammy's old birdhouse inside surrounded by pansies, pumpkins, and hen&chicks from mama.  It's a family project :)
Sneaked this little shot of mama and PJ while we were at the Meijer Gardens.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Thank You Photo Note to ISFA

Dear ISFA,
 I just returned from Hitomi's class at Nature's Creative Edge in Michigan.   Thank you so much for the 2013 McKinley Educational Grant that funded my tuition and travel.  It was a fantastic experience and I'd love to share a few scenes from the class with you.
Hitomi brought lots of inspiration from internationally acclaimed architects which was all new information to me. Frank Lloyd Wright--yes, I'm familiar with the Dana Thomas House and can recognize his influence.  But Serra, Gehry, Calatrava, Gaudi, Liebeskind, Piano, Reynolds. . . who are all these people?!?  Amazing artists who have created amazing buildings.
This was my first experience assisting on such a large installation.  Each participant was asked to make 15 solid, strong armatures and then they were all incorporated together.  The tin sheets were recycled from a local newspaper print.  The fire engine red and silver lit up in the afternoon sunshine.  
The woods were absolutely beautiful.  Nature and man-made designs. . . such a contrast.
Here Hitomi is sharing direction for this portion of the design where it was to taper down to a point. Carnations were to be placed throughout the red-painted structure, massed more heavily at the top, gradually decreasing down into individuals blossoms and petals at the bottom, and then uplighted with a spot.
The moss panels were fabulous.  (I think my garden might need one or two of these too!)  Red anthurium were to be placed on the inside of the panels, so that glimpses of the flowers would be viewed from outside and to invite closer inspection of the inside of the structure.
Can't wait to see pictures of the final design with lighting at night!

Overall, this was a great learning experience with theoretical discussion and practical application of line, color, texture and contrast, space and form, balance, asymmetry, scale and proportion, dominance, movement, mechanics. . .  All in the midst of a beautiful setting with great people.  I can't thank you enough for the opportunity.

From the woods,

PS--So many other individuals to thank too!  Hitomi for her commitment to inspiring us all to create, Bob Friese for welcoming us into his home, James Lutcke for the year-round work that he does for this event, the Michigan Floral Association, and all the AIFD designers who attend from all over the country to make this fundraiser a not-to-be missed event. 

I can't wait to go back next year! 


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Madisonville Visit

We celebrated our 25th anniversary this past week with Judson and Rachel and the kids.  Rachel's yellow for the front door turned out so pretty!  Kyle wouldn't let me take his picture with the new door, but he didn't mind bursting in on Betsy's pose.
Now a kindergartner, she's prettier and smarter every time we see her :)
"I don't want you to call me funny."  But he really is so funny and he keeps us laughing all the time. Being able to make people laugh is a talent that I so admire, but Kyle isn't having it. He had to keep correcting us all weekend.
It's been 25 good years.  Love love to Mark, TBHITWWW.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Paleo Breakfast Cookies from PJ

Paleo Breakfast Cookies                                                                        Makes One Dozen Cookies

Place in food processor and stir together:   1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 t salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 Tbls cinnamon.

Add in:  1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened, 6 pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes.
Process mixture in food processor til well combined and dates are fine.

Add in and process til wet dough forms: 3/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 medium eggs, 1 tsp vanilla.

Add in and pulse til all incorporated: 2 Tbls dried unsweetened cherries, 2 Tbls walnuts, 3 Tbls currants.

Use cookie scoop to drop cookies onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly as the cookies will not spread. (I've been flattening them with  the bottom of a glass dipped in coconut sugar.)  Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  Store in freezer.

 They have been mistaken for sausage patties a couple of times, but they really are delicious. Thanks to my sissy PJ for the recipe.  I think of her everytime I make them :) love love

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lilies of the Garden

Mark and I did quite a bit of clean-up in the garden this weekend.  Lots of branches to cut back, lots of spent plants & flowers, lots of weeds.  These white lilies had fallen over and were almost touching the ground so I whacked them all back.  Which resulted in a great pitcher of white lilies for the back porch.  These are a cross between asiatic and oriental, so they don't have the overpowering smell of the orientals.  But still,  fifty blooms or so  would be a little much inside.
Planting bulbs in the fall isn't one of my favorite garden chores.  But this pitcher had me wondering where I put the bulb catalog.  Maybe digging just a few holes wouldn't be too much trouble. . .

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dinner at V's

V went with us last night to look at the house on the lake again.  She said there's a lot of steps.  There are.  She said there are a lot of sticks in the yard.  There are.  She said it's a nice house.  It is. 

Then today, V called and invited us to dinner for salmon patties, green beans, corn, slaw, and cornbread.  With lots of butter :)  It was a great supper and reminded me of  mama and grandma's cooking.  We loved it.

Still no definite decision on the house.  In the meantime, Mark is painting the basement walls and floors.  And I'm responsible for cleaning out the flower area--something that should have been done a while ago! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday Bouquet

Saturday before last, we tromped up and down the steps and over and around six lake homes.  Just looking.  Five of the six weren't it.  The sixth one wasn't exactly it either.  So the next morning, Sunday morning, I went out into the garden and collected gorgeous flowers and made a bouquet.  What else do you do when you've been thinking too much and are indecisive about a life choice?  
 It turned out beautifully.  The bouquet, not the decision.  I posted this picture on facebook and thanked some of the floral designers who have taught me so much and enabled me to put something together that looked this good.  Judi Borah wrote back and said "a garden is a joy to have".  She's so right.  
If we buy the lake house, I will have to give up this garden and move on to another kind of garden.  Maybe we better not. 
I am thankful thankful thankful for all the blessings in my life that I can even think for a second about a house on the lake.  Even if I am going back and forth talking myself into it and out of it every waking minute.  And probably in my sleep too!    In the meantime, it was a glorious Sunday in the garden. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

No, It's Not Paleo

Judson made this fabulous spinach and mushroom risotto when he was here a couple of weeks ago.   It was awesome.  And even more so because he made it for me :)

Debating on buying a house on Lake Springfield. We've been back and forth at least a hundred times. Yes, let's do it. . .   No, we'd better not. . .   But I want to sit on the dock and drink coffee every morning  . . .   Okay, let's do it. . .  But wait, we'll be paying it off in our 80's. . . . Okay, we'd better not. . . . Go for it.  You work hard.  Do it!     (That's Warren's voice.)  . . . Be careful what you wish for, you're sure to get it. (That's from Mammy.)   No, definitely not.  Yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no. . . . Sheesh!  I need a glass of wine and some  more of Judson's risotto :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Listen to Your Mother. . .

. . . when she tells you to grow Magellan zinnias in addition to the Benarys you always plant every year.  She's right.

. . . and when she tells you to watch all the past seasons of Downton Abbey because you will love it and you will want to be ready for Season 4 in January.  She's right about that too :)

Monday, August 05, 2013

August Sunday

We had a grand time on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Vase

As seen in the last post, the hydrangea have been extraordinary this year.  Tonight though, they were so wilted!  Hot and humid and no rain this week has meant water water water.  Hope you have enough rain in your garden.