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Happy Spring … Happy Gardening!

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Happy Spring … Happy Gardening!


Well summer is just around the corner, and with that comes the new growing season. But before I get started, I thought I would post a recap from last year. 

With last year being my first year planting a full garden and in a new part of the country … it went fairly well. Had some difficulties, but also learned at least a few things from those mistakes. 

The Spring of 2015 was very late, with 18 feet of snow on the Island it took a LONG time to get it all to melt! Then the ground had to warm up. Needless to say it took a while before we could even prepare our new garden plot. Starting from scratch, removing some bushes, removing sod, tilling it, removing rocks. Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it! Oh and did I mention the black flies apparently love to eat me!! All I can say is, suit up, bug spray, gloves and netting hat saved me. 

I had decided to go with all Heritage/Heirloom seeds. Which I don’t think was a bad idea, just they did not grow as well as I hoped, and some not at all. There was some contributing factors that may have affected things, such as poor soil condition (heavy clay), temperature of soil, weather conditions. There were some winners though, and would grow again. 


Opalka Tomatoes – a sauce or paste tomato. Though the plants looked fragile to start with they grew and produced the best yielding tomatoes. Did not have any problems with any rot or other disease. 

Russian Mamoth Sunflower – they got to around 10 feet tall, full heads, very impressive. Though the sunflower seeds did not quite get to full maturity before the season was done, I think being planted in fuller sun, south exposure would have solved this issue. 

Squash (Zucchini) – grew like crazy, and had a long production period. Generally these type do grow well in most areas. 

Irish Cobbler Potatoes – grew well, nice sized potatoes. Was able to get new/baby potatoes fairly early which was great! A bit of scabbing once they got to full size, but not a big deal if just peeling them. 

Bull’s Blood Beets – one of my best growers. Came in thick and strong. Tops are edible as a green while young to cook or put in salads. My fault was not thinning them out enough. Lesson learned!

I had also tried growing onions from seed, which did not work out. It took a lot of time and once I transplanted into garden they all died. Maybe I will try again, but not any time soon. 

Something we did last year and will be doing again this year is mulching the rows with straw. Really helped keep down the weeds, and will really improve the quality of the soil this year. As our soil is heavy clay it will help lighten it. 

So onto this year, some veggies I will be growing again are Bull’s Blood Beets and Irish Cobbler Potatoes.  Among many new varieties I will be trying this year (more on this will come in a new post).

We will be improving the soil conditions as well by tilling in the straw we used as mulch last year, and chicken manure (from our hens that has composed down). I figure each year the soil should improve in quality. 

I will be trying a few new techniques this year and will try to be better at posting my results as I go along. 

So here’s hoping for a great year of growing!!

Wine Slushie

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There are many Recipes and ways to make wine slushies. For me I like simple and quick! So my recipe is easy with only a few ingredients. 

In blender, add:
– 1 cup wine (white or blush)

– 1.5 cups frozen fruit (any kind you like)

– sweetener (to taste)

– juice of a quarter lemon (or lime)

Blend until smooth. Pour into glass, top off with a little soda for a bit of fizz (also gives a creaminess to it). Add a straw, and there you have it. Depending on size of glass, 2-3 servings. 
  
It will melt, so put in fridge or freezer what is left in blender. You can make bigger batches, but I prefer to make smaller batches, it blends better, and you don’t have to worry about it melting. 
  
Cheers and enjoy on a hot summer day! You can even share if you are feeling so generous!!

White Washing Walls 1.0

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White Washing Walls 1.0

Okay, so picking up from my last post … I am working in my living room. As I’m not in love with all of the ”woodiness”, I’m doing something about it. I contemplated whether to paint a solid color or to White Wash the walls.  I want to go for a farmhouse chic / coastal look when I am all said and done, with an unconventional artistic flair to it.  Not sure what you would call that style, I will have to come up with a name for that.  Any suggestions?

In the end I decided to do a white wash on the wood walls.  This should give the room a much lighter and brighter feel to it. They are raw, no finish on them, so I figure they should take the White Wash quite well.  I also want to do a bit of a color feature in a corner niche by the stairs, just to jazz it up a little.

I also decided to proceed by do the White Washing technique one wall at a time so as to not get too carried away, and in case I get tired of doing it (like I said before, I have a short attention span). That I would not have to keep starring at a half painted wall!  As well I am going to paint one board at a time, so that there are no weird lines that cross each other from it drying too fast, too slow, or from where I last left off.

So, what have I done so far:

  • Bought some paint, just a plain white Satin finish (it is a paint plus primer but not needed), which I will water down to do the white wash with.
  • Decided to start with the smallest wall, which is the North wall, and also has three windows and French doors along it.
  • Taken out any nails, screws, staples, etc (there were all sorts of things in the walls, not exactly sure why).
  • Then I used some wood filler (I used LePage Interior/Exterior wood Filler), and proceeded to fill holes, cracks, and corner joints for the window and door trim. Use a plastic or metal spatula to apply the wood filler. I did not fill every nail hole, as there would be a lot, and I think that since it is a plank style, that it will give it a certain rustic charm.
  • Then I sanded all the spots (I used a palm sander, but you can just do it by hand with a piece of sand paper).

I am taking one part white paint, and two parts water and mixing together (adjust depending on how much or less coverage you want) in a container that you do not care about keeping.  I am just using an old plastic yogurt container.  Make sure to have a lid for it too, so that your paint does not dry out or spill during a break, or breakdown (whichever comes first)!

Also you will need some old rags or paper towel handy in case of spills, splatters, and to dab/wipe some of the paint off.  Something I did not use, but would be good if you don’t like getting paint all over your hands, would be disposable plastic gloves.

White wash supplies

Play around with how much you want to apply to the boards.  It’s always better to use less, and add more later if needed.  As you can see I did one board at a time.  The paint mixture may need to be given a stir every so often as to keep the proper consistency.

The method I used was to apply the mixture with a paint brush going with the wood grain.  I let it sit about 30 seconds and then lightly wiped off some of the paint, again going with the wood grain. It dries fairly quickly, so do not do too big on an area at once.  Depending on the length of the wood boards you may have to do them in two parts.  While wet, it still blends well into the other half of the board.  Also do not forget to paint in the cracks between the boards to get a better more even coverage.  I ended up putting on a second coat, as I did not feel one was enough coverage for me.  Below, you can see with no white wash, one coat and then two coats.  When you are done you can add a coat of clear finish if you want.

Here is a before picture (all of the nail holes have been filled and sanded):

LR Reno Wall filled sanded

And here is a picture of how it looks so far:

LR Reno Wall 2 coats

Well, what do you think?  I think it is turning out pretty fine indeed!  I will still have to paint (and prime) the trim, but that is for another day.  As I proceed to get more done, I will post updates and more pictures.

Wish me luck, I wish you luck if you decide to also try this in your home or cottage.  And remember, it makes you no less a person if in the process you cry a few tears, throw a temper tantrum, or of course “rant like a crazy woman” (or man)!

Welcome to my blog!

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Well here goes, post number one!  I just want to start off by letting you know a bit about myself and what this blog is all about.  As I have a short attention span, it will be a little of everything.

My first topic I will be covering will be the renovation of my house.  I will be starting in my Living Room, and working my way through the rest of my house.

I will also be sharing some of my art, as I enjoy wood carving and water color painting.  I also dabble in many other mediums, and will give some tips and tricks as I go.

Food, who doesn’t like food?!  I do!  Especially baking, yummy chocolate!  Anyways … refocus … I will be sharing my trials and tribulations as they are created and eaten, and share a few recipes too.

This is my confession now, I am no Martha Stewart, and probably will never be.  I do like to have fun, be creative, and of course “rant like a crazy woman”!