Enough Rain!

 

It’s been raining here for several days now – torrential downpours, thunder and lightening, light rain………. the whole gamut.  This morning when I woke up it was 0 degrees celsius (32F) outside.  If fact, not too far away, it snowed!!  So I’m feeling pretty lucky that I was too busy last weekend to get my tender vegetable seedlings planted in the garden or move my few dozen inside plants to their summer home on the back deck.

Squash seedlings

Squash seedlings

 

Fragrant Basil waiting to be planted outside with the Tomatoes

Fragrant Basil waiting to be planted outside with the Tomatoes

I just hope that some of my parsnip seeds don’t wash away in the rain or the Purple Bean seeds don’t rot.  Some weather reports had predicted that it was going to be ‘sunny with cloudy periods’ on several days this week but that never materialized.

Leaf Lettuce in the Kitchen Garden raised bed

Leaf Lettuce in the Kitchen Garden raised bed

A week ago we had a 5.2 earthquake (which surprisingly, I barely felt) but the thunder the other night rocked our house inside and out scaring the dog and the cat.   Right now, my pond is overflowing – and considering the water level was down about 25 cms (10 inches) because we hadn’t had ANY rain up till now, I’m very happy.  My rain barrels were overflowing days ago……..   Those previous record low river levels are a thing of the past – last week I could barely see the dock past the bull rushes and now it’s bobbing nice and high clearly visible from sitting here in my chair in the living room.  On the other hand, the front ditch is full of water and seems to be draining very slow or not at all……   The ostrich ferns are loving this wet weather and they’ve grown several feet tall.   Hostas as well are thriving in the rain.  Luckily, the apple blossoms had a normal spring in full bloom with bees busily going from blossom to blossom.

I’m ready for the rain to stop now.   Just a break.   It can rain again next week, overnight, to water the plants.    Last year we had a drought during the summer so I guess I shouldn’t complain.  And this rain is the tail end of that Oklahoma tornado weather so I really have to be grateful.  I could visualize that I live on the west coast during rainy season like 3 of my sons or my sister Betty…..  But I’ll just continue to get some ‘inside’ work done even although I’d rather be outside.

Here are a few pictures I took in the rain this morning:

I love Bleeding Hearts.   This little bush is a faithful specimen in the traditional ‘cottage garden’ which boast these lovely heart shaped flowers.  Unfortunately, the flowers don’t last long but the leaves are nice.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts

Japanese Maple trees are one of my favourites!  They are supposed to be ‘sensitive’ to harsh winter conditions but all of my 7 different ones do just fine without a lot of fuss.

Japanese Maple tree raindrops

Japanese Maple tree raindrops

Common orange day lillies love any kind of conditions but especially lots of rain at this time in their growth.  I have an large circle around my chimnea wood fireplace (where we used to have our 18 foot pool).

Raindrops on Daylilly

Raindrops on Daylilly

These outside planter impatiens are tucked under the eves next to the window and are spared the worst of the cold rain.  I like the reflection off the window of my back porch and back yard.

Impatiens in outside planter

Impatiens in outside planter

 

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Big Little Bully

 

This is not a happy post.  I’m writing today about bullies.  There has been a lot in the news about how some children have been bullied over the years and how it all ends so badly for the victims.   I can almost guarantee that most of you readers have been bullied at one time or another in your life ……….. right?  How did that make you feel at the time?  How did it impact on your life, now that you’re grown up?   For me, my first bully was in grade 7 – Joe was a school bully to nearly everyone – the kind of guy who had failed at least once and had a ‘following’ of other boys with low self-esteem.  He happened to sit right behind me in English Literature.  He was constantly pulling my hair, poking me, making rude comments, etc. and the teacher either turned a ‘blind eye’ or just didn’t care anymore.   Well one day during a lesson on the ‘7 Years War’ I had enough and I turned around and punched him square in the nose.  I don’t know who was more surprised, him or me!  It was quite unlike me.  He never bothered me again but went on to continue to torment others.  That was almost 50 years ago………….. things have changed today.  I wouldn’t encourage anyone to ‘stand up’ to a bully with physical violence – the victim would likely get into more trouble than the bully!   And cyber-bullying, well that’s a whole new realm……..Fungus On Stump

Many school boards and provinces have taken a stand against bullying as well.  BUT my own 9 year old granddaughter is a victim of a bully at school!  It began several years ago when she was 6 years old…….. 6  Y E A R S   O L D !!!  How is it possible for a child that young to be bullied by another child just as young?   How is it possible for teachers and the principal to be aware of this problem for YEARS and acknowledge that it is STILL happening……… and do little about it?!   Initially my granddaughter was bullied on the school bus and now it has progressed to outright physical attacks in the school playground right in front of parents and teachers!  The bully has been ‘reprimanded’ ……….. to a degree.  In the latest incident during a school track and field event, with teachers and parents milling around,  this bully kicked her in the ribs, pulled her hair, and shoved grass down her shirt!  Punishment:  well, the bully was not expelled!!  I want to add that my grandchildren attend a small school in the country not an inner city public school.

This behaviour is completely unacceptable in today’s society!   An Anti-Bullying policy is in effect in my granddaughters school yet it’s never implemented to the letter.   There is a deep-rooted problem with the system and the bully herself and I worry that if it is not helped NOW then this little bully will grow into a big bully/adult (to others and even her future family).  But most important, what about my granddaughter?  We can support her with loving words, caring encouragement to ignore the bully, and even continual meetings at the school about ‘bully incidents’ ……….. but it breaks my heart knowing that she’s growing up being bullied from such a young age!  😦

All for One and One for All!

All for One and One for All!

What’s a Grammom to do?  Writing this blog post helps.  Getting the word out  helps.  Supporting my granddaughter, my son, and daughter-in-law helps.  But I still feel helpless.  See, that big little bully is also making ME feel helpless!   Shame on that big little bully.  Shame on the school.  Shame on the school board.  Shame on a too-tolerant society.  It’s a real shame.

 

http://www.ocdsb.ca/com/SupportingourYouth/Pages/Anti-Bullying.aspx

http://www.ocdsb.ca/ab-ocdsb/p-n-p/Policies%20and%20Procedures/PR%20659%20SCO.pdf

 

 

 

Mothers’ Day Tribute

Happy Mothers Day to all those readers who are Moms. So far today, I’ve enjoy a beautiful sunny, but windy day. It started off pretty cool so I did what I love to do (after all it IS Mothers Day!) – make a fire in the cookstove. Unfortunately, Nellie started getting sick last evening so today I’m doing what I love and do best: taking care of my children, even when they’re all grown up. Melvin came home on Thursday from his new abode in the city so he could work his weekend shifts. First thing this morning we shared Mothers Day while I drove him to work. Later on this afternoon, we will spend a few hours together before he has to go back to work his split shift today………… We’ve decided that we’ll have our Mothers Day supper (that Nellie is going to cook – pork chops with mushroom soup gravy, mashed potatoes, and corn) tomorrow when she’s feeling better. I guess, a ‘do-over’ you could say.
I want to celebrate this very special day on my blog by reposting the “Mothers Day Tribute” that I wrote last year. It’s about my own dear, sweet Mother …………. so Mom, this is in honour of you:

Grammomsblog

First of all, I’d like to wish all the Mothers a very Happy Mothers’ Day weekend.   I think that it’s nice to honour our Mothers and to remind us of how valuable they are all year long.

My Mother was the best Mom in the world.  She was born at home in 1929 in New Carlisle, Quebec, number 5 in a family of 10 children.  My Mom was honoured to share the same name as HER Mother, Ellen ANNIE, but everyone knew her as Nellie.  She grew up during the Great Depression and would often tell me stories of ‘the olden days’ :  during hard times, they often took sandwiches made from lard, salt, and pepper, to school…..just a sandwich and were glad to have that.   And the year the cow ‘dried up’ was tragic until she was giving milk again, many months later.  I heard stories of when her younger…

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How to Hang Laundry Outside

 

crocusIn my world, there is a right way to hang laundry outside on a line.  I’m not sure where this notion came about but over the years I’ve realized that I have a certain order to hanging out my laundry on the line.  Maybe it’s because my clothesline ends at a tree that the pulley is screwed to or that my line is about 50 feet long or that it holds 2 full loads of laundry.  Anyway, I think I ‘schooled’ most of my kids on the correct order to hang their clothes on the line and expect them to adhere to my high standards.  Hahaha.  There are no ‘one pin’ clothes hanging on MY line or shirts hung sideways , etc.   Nope, at this house a line full of clothes blowing in the wind is a work of art!

When hanging towels, one must first begin with the facecloths.  I suppose that’s because, like I said, the line ends at a tree so I don’t want long towels blowing against the tree getting bark all over them.  Plus there’s that snowball bush that I planted underneath the line a few years ago, that has grown taller than I thought it would.  After facecloths comes hand towels, then regular towels, large bath sheets and finally the kitchen towels followed lastly by the kitchen dish cloths.  I’m nuts, eh?  If there are sheets to be hung at the same time, then they must be put right after the bath sheets.  Blankets and comforters usually get the line all to themselves since they take up so much room.

One load hung, one load to go

One load hung, one load to go

My personal laundry is usually done once a week on a sunny day – wind is nice – but if I see a tiny peak of blue sky amongst the clouds, I declare the day fit for hanging laundry outside!  My children have always done their own laundry by the time they reached their teens – with 7 children, it was a real break for me when even one of them did their own laundry!  I have a similar system for my own laundry with things grouped together like shirts, shorts, jeans, socks, etc.    Clothes are hung near their seams – shirts from the bottom, pants from the waist, socks by the toe.  In the early spring, I usually hang clothes individually with two clothespins, but once it’s warmer outside, I double up, pinning one shirt beside another with the same clothespin.

When it comes to clothes pins, not all of them are alike either.  Cheap small wooden clothespins break easier than the larger wooden clothespins, which are almost impossible to find these days.  When I do find them, I’ll be buying a couple of hundred!  I’ve never used plastic clothespins.   I usually have a roll of extra new clothesline, winches (which join and tighten the line……and can break with no notice, leaving my clothes all over the ground!), and clothespins.  You never know when your line will suddenly break and I just hate driving all the way to town just for a new line.

Left-cheap / Right-good,strong clothespin

Left-cheap / Right-good, strong clothespin

I have to confess that in the winter I use my clothes dryer as well as a drying rack by the wood cook stove.   My youngest daughter always complains about how ‘crusty’ her line-dried clothes are so I’ve offered her a solution:  she’s allowed to put her clothes in the dryer for 15 minutes only to soften them up a bit ……. after they’ve been dried outside on the line.     I kinda think that ‘crusty’ towels are akin to an expensive, exfoliating  luffa sponge anyway.

I have a thing about using a dryer to heat clothes and the house when it’s 30 degrees celsius (86F) outside!  It just seems more sensible to me to use this outside heat to dry clothes………for free.  I makes no sense to me to pour more heat into the house at the same time I’m trying to keep it cool!

One of my top ten smells is the scent of line-dried clothes.  It’s like fresh air.  (BTW, I have ‘top tens’ for all my senses, lol).

My favourite thing to see hanging on a clothesline are cloth diapers – I just absolutely love seeing those square flannelette white diapers flapping in the wind!

Now of course if you’re camping, it’s perfectly acceptable to tie a rope between two trees and throw your towels or wet bathing suits over – no clothespins necessary.

I remember when my mother used to hang our clothes outside year-round, even in the winter.  Those clothes came inside, after a day in the sun, stiff as a board – the pants creepily stood all by themselves lol.  But as if by magic, they would ‘thaw out’ and be ready for ironing.  Yes my dear sweet Mother ironed EVERYTHING, even the facecloths!!  Not me.  Wrinkled clothes are nouveau chic IMHO!   I usually only dig the iron out when I’m sewing something and need to flatten seams or iron interfacing.  I think my daughter Nellie asked for it today to work on a costume – “that hot thingy”.

Now that I’ve shared all my laundry secrets, I hope that you will continue to visit my blog in the future.  Thank you for allowing me to share my passion over hanging laundry!

 

May Day

 

Today is May 1st, May Day.  Today I celebrate spring in all it’s glory.  For the next 6 months, I look forward to warm weather, no snow, gardening, my pond………….everything that goes with spring and summer.

While I was working outside today, I took some pictures to share with you:

The daffodils are finally blooming!

Daffodils are blooming

Daffodils are blooming

And the ostrich fern ‘fiddleheads’ are beginning to unfurl.

Fiddleheads

Fiddleheads

Pond stream

Pond stream

I managed to get the leaf net off the pond and the pump in and running.  It’s nice to see it going with the anticipation of adding the fish, which have overwintered in my cold-room.  There are already some inhabitants who have made a home there:

Bullfrog in the pond

Bullfrog in the pond

The wild ginger is up along the pond’s edge and I noticed some of the hostas have started to poke through the ground.

Wild ginger

Wild ginger

Of course, flies have awakened from their winter slumber. 

Fly

Fly

Yeah, the rhubarb is up!!   That’s a sure sign of spring!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

And the cheerful forsythia is in full bloom.  I bought a cutting of this bush at a local school plant sale several years ago and it has thrived beautifully, faithfully blooming first thing every spring.

Forsythia

Forsythia

A few days ago, I moved the flagpole to the riverside and put up a new Canadian flag.  It helps me see which way the wind is blowing for hanging laundry while being patriotic.  I now have a spring list of chores to do which I hope to accomplish in due time. 

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