Wednesday, November 11, 2009

my bags are packed..

...I'm ready to go.

Not really. These are just some vintage suitcases I found, on which I stuck 'famous hotel' stickers. They used to reside in my son's room, but they were really only dust catchers (along with so many other things), so I've decided to put them away, and maybe one day I'll have a garage sale and get rid of them then.

Not really. I'll never have a garage sale, I only pretend I will, because it makes me sound organized and highly functioning. I'm all about impressing people. Well, not really.

On to more serious mattters:

A picture of my poor little remembrance day poppy, which either falls off whatever I'm wearing, or which I forget to pin onto whatever I'm wearing. Anyway, it's just a simple little symbol which prevents us from forgetting to remember. Don't forget to remember today. It's important.

Monday, November 9, 2009


It's really warm here folks! Despite the foggy dreamy morning we had on Sunday, the weather was warm and windless and perfect. No clouds.

We were able to spend time playing with horses and dirtbikes and kids.

Even if you woke up on Sunday determined to be a serious crankpot, you couldn't help but sneak a few smiles (privately, of course).

I hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, November 6, 2009

more november

What is that strange light emanating from the sky....could it be? Yes, sunshine. Had to grab the dogs and head for a cool, foot-soaking, windless walk.

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

something simple

I've been known to post some less-than-stellar photos here, and this one is no exception. I just could not get a good shot for love nor money.

It does serve to illustrate a simple idea, though. I'd been saving pretty soap and candle wrappers, thinking I'd find a good use for them someday. And here it is:

I framed them in inexpensive white Ikea frames and hung them in my newly-painted bathroom. Once you start using nice soaps it's hard to stop, but now you can justify the cost to yourself if you end up using them as artwork.

Must go now, to straighten the slightly wonky frames and read my camera manual. Have a great day.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I always think of the colours of november as being greys and browns.

(Actually that last one was late summer, but it has a novemberish vibe, don't you think?).

Around here, things are taking on a really russet hue. Gone are the blazing colours and vibrant blue skies of October (and those dark mornings, thank goodness).....

Oh well, this guy is always russet, but he whispered to me that he was feeling alittle novemberish today, so I included him. Novemberish. You know, in between, enjoying the fading beauty, while at the same time hunkering down for a long (but mild, please, dear Lord) winter. I have a feeling it will be a great month!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

made to order

Yesterday was tailor-made: a windy, wet, howling day which then settled into a drippy, dreary full-mooned evening.

Fun (and chocolate) was had by all.

Friday, October 30, 2009

red skies in the morning

...mean you must take warning....

....because before you know it, the skies turn grey.....

....and you must hurry to catch the last of the gold.....

.....before it's all gone...

*this post sponsored by the Excessive Use of Certain Types of Punctuation Society........

Thursday, October 29, 2009

oh hi

Hey, where has October gone? Or for that matter, September?

I haven't posted in ages, and I don't really have an explanation for it-(except both my boys had the flu-and both are fine now, thanks).

I thought you would be more receptive to my lack of explanation if I posted a few horse and dog photos.

Because those always make everything better.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Oh, it's not that I'm feeling blue or anything....

I'm just loving all different shades of blue right now.

It must be all of those autumnal skies.

It has to be the right blue'll know it when you see it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

for those with soft hearts

My husband grew up in the country, and as such, he isn't very sentimental about our animals.  To him, they serve a purpose.  Dogs are for guarding the property, and alerting us to anyone coming in the long laneway, and for an overall sense of security in this somewhat remote place.  And also to keep the coyotes away from the horses.  Cats are for rodent control, and other than that, he doesn't really feel they have a purpose.  He does enjoy the horses, but doesn't really spend that much time grooming and fussing over them.

He doesn't talk 'baby talk' to the dogs, doesn't kiss the kitty and carry her around while rubbing her belly, doesn't coo to the horses and tell them how sweet they are.  That's what I do.  He does do one thing, though, which gives away his soft heart.

He is our resident bird and small animal rescuer.  Ma nature is often cruel, and out here there seems to be a steady supply of birds pushed out of nests, and little creatures (mostly bunnies) separated from their mothers (usually because the dogs have nabbed them and carried them away).

My approach is to carry the animal to safety and then let nature take its course.  The animals usually don't make it, and our success rate in the past has been something like 1%.  My husband, however, always takes action, which usually involves intervention in the form of food, water, some sort of cardboard box, towels, and internet research to make sure he's done everything he can (with the enthusiastic assistance of the kids).  He once built a splint for a baby blue jay out of a popsicle stick.  He then called animal control to come and fetch the bird from a town one half-hour away.  I still tease him about it.

Here's his latest rescue.  This birdie made it-I hope it has a long and happy life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a (slightly) different perspective

I know this looks like all of my other 'field' pictures, but actually, it's taken from the end of the back field, looking towards the house.  You know, sometimes it's good to look at things from the other side, to take the long view, get a different perspective...It seems that today is cliche day at H&H....hey, a girl's gotta enjoy her field while she can.  Have a great wednesday :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

field of possibilities

Earlier in the summer, what looked like this:

now looks like this:

The farmers who lease our land (or the FWLOL)  have harvested the grain from the back field.  I don't know what kind it was- not wheat, we had that last year.  I'm hoping that this time they do not plow up the field before winter.  It's so great to have that flat espanse, it feels just like an extension of our lawn.  

Just think, we'll be able to go dirt biking (or trail biking even), ride our horses, maybe even let our dusty old cross-country skis see the light of day.  Or we could just run out really far, and twirl around while looking up at the sky (you know, Julie Andrews-style -like in The Sound of Music)...OR we could get a sleigh and hitch Sadie up to it, and give people rides in the snow while they cozy up under a fur throw (note to self-check craigslist for sleighs and fur throws).

OK, getting a little carried away, but it feels like we've reclaimed the back field for our own use (at least for a while, hopefully longer).

Have a wonderful mellow weekend-I must go, I have the sudden urge to run out in the field, while twirling around with my hands up in the air a la Julie Andrews... before the FWLOL's get to thinking about plowing up this lovely flat field....where did I put that skirt and apron?!   :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

it's for the frogs

I know we're very lucky to have a pool at our place.  It's a 'country' pool, though, and plainer and humbler than its sparkling chlorine-redolent city cousins.  This is the time of year when we wage a losing battle against the leaves,  and it becomes time to close it up for the season.

For some reason, I was in charge of its upkeep this rainy summer, and I can't say I was particularly brilliant at it.  I don't think trying to wrestle it away from mysterious cloudy states with various strange chemicals and growing championship amounts of algae would qualify me as a decent pool caretaker.  I have, however, become an expert at rescuing frogs and toads, and the odd rodent (some were beyond rescue).  And hey, did you know that teeny baby field mice can swim?  well they can.

There have been summers where you would have been able to find us swimming and frolicking at all times of the day.  But in this summer of rain (and algae) it was mostly for the frogs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

back to school

With the yellow leaves fluttering down,  we rush around gathering new shoes, backpacks, supplies, haircuts, hopes.  We note with amazement and pride how tall they have grown.  Time for one last swim, long bike ride, ice cream cone.  It helps, you know, to keep those fluttery back-to-school butterflies calm in the belly.  Bittersweet back-to-school time.  So long summer, hello fresh start.  Everyone's getting straight A's this year, right?  :)  !!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

late summer garden

My daughter is growing gigantic sunflowers in a bid to win the 'biggest head' in the sunflower category at the county fair.  The competition is pretty stiff, and even though she researched giant sunflower seeds, ordered them from some obscure catalogue, planted them early, watered, fed and lovingly cuddled them in her arms while crooning ancient plant-growing ballads,  and transplanted them under a full moon, I don't think she'll win.

The problem is, first they had to grow about seven feet tall.  Then, about two weeks ago, teeny tiny heads began to appear, and so far, they only look to be regular-sized.  Perhaps with sheer luck and a blast of sunshine, they might grow to be gigantic heads.  But I highly doubt it.

My tomatoes, on the other hand, are doing quite well.  There has been a blight which has killed many  local tomatoes, but mine have escaped.  I'd like to think that this was due to my sharply honed and refined gardening skills, but I'd be lying.  Mostly I think it was due to an overabundance of horse manure-which is magical stuff by the way.  But I don't want to be seen as bragging too much about my tomatoes.

Because I mostly want to brag about these:

Never have I  produced such an abundance of large butternut squash.  We'll be eating those 'till we turn orange, I suppose.  Can't wait.

Every summer is a gamble, in terms of vegetable-growing pursuits, isn't it?  Ah well,  it's not about the glory of winning the giant head competition, or the fabulous eight-dollar prize (yes, that's right, eight big ones-and I think cost of admission is twelve).  It's about seeing how much edible stuff you can grow with a minimal amount of effort and and healthy dose of neglect.  I'm surprised every year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

porch paint

Well, we've had a DICKENS of a time trying to paint all of our exterior trim and porches this summer (and by 'we', I mean my husband).  It seems that it rains every day, at least a little.  Nevertheless, things are starting to shape up (slowly) around here.

I do love wooden porches and columns on old houses, especially when they're freshly painted and gleaming, but it's very time-consuming to do all of this maintenance.  It's all fine and good to be a purist about things, but I have decided that synthetic materials are just swell, and that one's time in the summer can be better spent on leisure activities, rather than in the service of keeping this old white elephant of a place looking spiffy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the un-summer

Do you know the writer Alice Hoffman?  She writes in a very lyrical, poetic way and her books usually employ magical realism.  Flowers grow or shrivel at alarming rates, turn colours, etc..., people speak like birds,  sometimes pebbles or fish appear in their pockets-well, you get the idea.  It's quite entrancing.

The summer that wasn't (i.e. THIS summer), has made me feel a little bit like I'm living in an Alice Hoffman novel (or maybe a gentle version of one).  Endless rain and thunderous, dramatic clouds.  Wind storms tearing the roofs off houses in certain parts of the province.  Puny vegetables.  The grass growing so quickly we can almost hear it.  Swarms of insects.  Bats.

And other things too.

My husband was coming home late one evening and saw this unusual phenomenon over the bridge in the neighbouring town.  

There were clouds of insects around the streetlights, and the bridge was covered with piles of bug carcasses, enough to make the bridge slick and slippery, and looking for all the world like snow.  Creepy mysterious summer snow.

Closeup of bug carcasses.  Maybe someone knows what kind these are.

A shadow shot of my intrepid reporters (see how white the pavement appears?). 

Because sometimes we all need a break from flowers, cats and horses.

And now, back to regular programming.

P.S.  If you haven't read Alice Hoffman, give her a try.  You won't regret it.  Her books are not without humour-of the black variety, of course!