There’s a First Time for Everything!

 

It’s been a very wet and cool, even cold, spring. Last month, we had record amounts of rain with flooding around the area. We’ve had unseasonably below average temperatures barely in the teens at times.

Today, it’s raining again and barely 10C degrees with a forecast high of 14. And I did something that I’ve never done in June before: I made a fire in my cookstove to warm up the house! The wind is blowing at around 35 km/hr. keeping my Canadian flag whipping in the wind.

Christmas 003

Cookstove

 

So what better way to celebrate a cold and rainy day but to make a beef stew (recipe here). I had some grass-fed, local beef left over from Sunday’s roast and added cut-up chunks to the turnip, onion, carrots, and celery and let it simmer all afternoon. This adds to the heat from the dwindling fire in the cookstove, steaming up the windows. The smell is intoxicating. Potatoes are added about an hour before supper as well as the leftover homemade gravy.

 
Beef stew in June. Who’d of thunk!

Flag2WM

Backyard flag at the river

 

Advertisements

I Like A Rainy Day

Today I awoke to the soft pitter-patter of rain outside on my metal roof……it was almost musical.  I have to say that I kinda like a rainy day every now and then.

Raindrops on Daylilly

Rainy days are awesome.  I actually get some things done inside the house.  Every day that it’s not raining, I’m outside doing yardwork like weeding or mulching the raspberries or digging grass out of my perennial flower beds or cutting up our old Christmas tree to mulch around the blueberry plants or still looking for my little hand-shovel that I misplaced somewhere last week or simply just cutting the grass.  On rainy days, I get to spend more time doing what I love:  Reading.   I read articles on my computer but I especially love to read printed magazines and books.  I was lucky enough on the weekend to borrow two of the recent issues of Mother Earth News magazine from my daughter Kristi so I’m excited to delve into those.  While I was at her house on Sunday, I brought back a half dozen books that she borrowed from me, too.  And at a garage sale, someone was giving away old magazines so I snagged a few copies of Cottage Life.   Besides reading, I managed to get my bedroom and the living room carpets vacuumed.  It was imperative that I get my bedroom vacuumed up since there were bits of  drywall and small pieces of insulation in one area from a ceiling leak repair job that my sons Darin and Melvin did for me on the weekend (bathroom ‘vent’ broke from snow/ice on the roof –  needed replacing and re-caulking) – Thanks boys.   THAT night, I wasn’t so crazy about the rain when I went to bed and my pillow was wet and a patch of the ceiling soft and mushy, from the leak!

Green Buoy by Pond

I like to sit in my favourite chair on rainy days – okay, well, every day – and look outside :  the leaves on the maple tree, just past the deck, are getting bigger by the minute, and now thankfully shade  the house.  I remember when my oldest boy Robin planted it for my birthday about 28 years ago:  he dug two little maples out of the woods, brought them home, and planted them for me – one is a Sugar Maple and the big one by the deck is a Norway Maple.   I hung up the hummingbird feeder on one of its branches on the weekend and yesterday Nellie saw our first hummingbird of the year!   From here, I can also see my green buoy by the pond, my gardens, the firepit, and beyond, the river flowing by.

 

Some drizzly days, I can still work outside as long as it’s not pounding rain.  I WON’T get soaking wet outdoors anymore just to get an outside chore accomplished.  In between rain drops, I can still plant and weed with my rubber boots on.  So far this year, we’ve had very little rain, unlike last year when we had torrential downpours during thunderstorms which brought down 5 trees in as many weeks.

2011 Trees down

Why does a person feel SO tired on rainy days?  Sometimes I even have an afternoon nap,  right here in my favourite recliner chair when it’s raining outside.  Yawn…..it’s only 6 p.m. and I already feel sleepy.  It’s supposed to rain alot this week so it looks like I’ll get caught up on my sleep.

 

Rainy Day Walk-about Pictures

Today’s post is simply a visual feast of pictures taken on my walkabout in the rain. The temperature is only going to get to 4 C today and it’s rainy again, so there’s not much for me to do outside today other than admire the beauty.

Stream at my Pond

I started off down by the pond. Everything is coming up SO fast! Ferns that were still asleep in the ground yesterday are now unfurling about 3″ a day!

Ferns unfurling

As I walk beside MY green bouy, I am fondly reminded of the day last summer when Marty and Taylor brought home the green bouy that they had spied for months: it had been caught up along the edge of the river and they struggled to bring it home – with the canoe! The boys told me that it was okay : ‘rules of maritime salvage’ they claimed. Then, after I had decided where exactly I wanted it, Taylor dragged it up from the river and dug a 3-4 foot hole and ‘installed’ it by my pond.

Green Bouy

I walked past my new raspberry bed and felt pleased with it’s progress. My old berry bed was looking abit…..alot bedraggled. I was feeling quite guilty but reminded myself that raspberries get old after 25+ years….. Then I spotted the pile of feathers on the grass and felt sorry for the poor bird that met its fate right there…..perhaps by the feral black cat in the area.

Feathers

As I made my way down towards the river, I paused to inspect the Crabapple tree I planted a few years ago beside the chicken pen. I wanted a crabapple tree since the blossoms are gorgeous in the spring. Our municipality gives homeowners a free tree annually if you apply – they even deliver it to the end of your laneway along with a bag of compost and topsoil!

Crabapple Tree

Down by the firepit, I lamented over the ever growing pile of branches to be burned/made into kindling….

Burn Pile

At the river, I was sad to see my lobster trap falling apart. I got that lobster trap about 15 years ago down home in New Carlisle, Quebec, from a ‘cousin’ who had hundreds of them. Apparently, the lobster fishermen were all going with modern, square traps rather than the handmade hoop traps. Now the poor thing has seen better days….

Lobster Trap

I went on the dock to check things out…..a huge ice flow pushed it over abit so it needs straightening out…..and it’s abit unstable on top of its side post. So I didn’t venture out onto it too far.  The river is SO low!   I think we have a muskrat down there as the ground at the riverside is mushy/hollow feeling – a sure sign of muskrat activity.

Life Under the Dock....low River

A stroll beside the ‘play house’ revealed Bee Balm plants leafing out beautifully. Their scent is amazing if your rub it between your fingers.

Bee Balm

At the corner of the garden beside the big boulder I dug out a few years ago, are the garlic chives ready to eat. Their seed pods are still intact, rising above the plant like a sentry.

Garlic Chives Seeds

And the blueberry plants are beginning to get their leaves.

Blueberries

Finally, up at the house, I noticed one of my Japanese Maple trees beginning to form leaves. It’s debatable whether these delicate trees can survive in our climate and I used to burlap-wrap every single one of my seven trees for the winter. But a few years ago, I realized that they’d better ‘toughen-up’ around here or ‘out they go’ since I wasn’t getting any younger……and they’ve been just fine.

Japanese Maple Tree

Ooooh, that was a damp and chilly walk-about!  I’d better add another log to the fire…..

View from the Dock

Where Meeples Meet

Games you'll want to play

Wilderness Return

My Wilderness Return Return to Nature, bushcraft, scrounge craft, writing

Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness

Practical advice for off-gridders, homesteaders, preppers. 37 years off-grid homesteading experience. Blog, videos, podcasts, book (print, ebook, audio)

Powell River Books Blog

Life, Family, Friends.....

The Radical Homemaker

Warning: Blending authenticity with joy may arouse contempt.

Mother Matters Burlington

Pregnancy, birth and postpartum support. Conscious parenting too!

B&H Your Community Grocer

Supporting Your Community Since 1963

Just another Day on the Farm

Living a step back in time

Natural Life Magazine's

green living blog by Editor Wendy Priesnitz

Vulnerable Watersheds

Life, Family, Friends.....

Pete's Alaska

Pete's Alaska — God, family, country my view out the cabin window.

Tiny House Ontario

To fill this life, with words, art, and maintain a lovely living forest.

Cam Mather

Books • Speaking • Consulting • etc.

Wuppenif

wuppenif...in other words, "what would happen if?"

Lactation Matters

The official blog of the International Lactation Consultant Association