Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Patience is a Virtue

If patience is a virtue, than I guess I’m not much of a virtuous person! I do love gardening, but sometimes I find the waiting game a little hard to swallow. I’m anxiously awaiting the tender taste of home grown spinach, peas and lettuce from the rich brown soil. Since I just planted these rows a couple of weeks ago, I realize I’ve got a fair wait ahead of me. In light of this fact, and my rather impatient nature, I've been participating in a bit of instant gratification gardening. Ok, the word instant is a slight exaggeration! In gardening terms however, 36 hours from seed to plate is pretty darn instant.

Last year I purchased a little counter top sprouting system. I picked mine up at Eos Fine Foods in Wolfville, but no doubt many other natural food stores carry them. This no fail system is super simple and the results are fast and delicious! For lunch I munched on a tasty salad topped with healthy handful of organic alfalfa and red clover sprouts. My home sprouter proved to be a great source of fresh organic greenery during those bleak and cold winter months. If you share both my love of gardening and my impatient nature, a countertop sprouter may just be what you need! I’m certainly enjoying the daily harvest around here......though I'm still dreaming of my sugar snap peas.

You can see from the photograph, that other creatures have their eyes and hearts set on those peas. The chickens and I are in the midts of a battle of the wits. I'm ashamed to admit that I am losing this fight miserably. We erected a 6 foot high fence around their designated "area" to deter critters from getting in and critters from getting out. Being birds, my feathered friends just fly over my fence. It appears they too love fresh sprouts as they scratch away in my garden plots. I spent a good chunk of time this week erecting various nets and other chicken scare systems. The winner of this battle will earn the prize of the harvest. Who are you betting on?

Friday, 23 April 2010

A Break...Literally!

It has been many moons since I've taken time to visit this space. A much needed break I suppose with the busyness that the month of April brings to our household each spring. With Hubby being a tax accountant, this time of year is always crunch time, the effects of which trickle through to all members of the family. The craziness is soon coming to an end with April 30th fast approaching!

To add a twist to our already hectic month, Chi-Chi took a break of his own, literally. My sweet boy broke his leg a couple of weeks ago. Quite frankly, I'm surprised this has not happened sooner in my house full of gravity-defying, fearless boys (Hubby included in this category). All is well and the fracture is quite minor. The first week was rough, on my aching back in particular. Since he received a walking cast, life is almost back to normal. He's back to playing hockey, tramping around the yard and engaging in other general boy like behavior.

For a short period of time in our house, there was a focus inward. I sought out quiet activities for Chi-Chi to focus on while his movement was very limited. Our quiet days together were filled with the beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder and the wonderful world of Lego. Luckily, he's a very focused little guy and seemed to have no problem shifting gears and sitting still for extended periods of time. With so much time spent indoors, I had a chance to dig into and complete something I've been picking away at for a few months - Chi's-Chi's quilt. Chi-Chi himself was a great little helper, returning the pins carefully to my pincushion while I whirred away on the sewing machine. Both of us are very pleased with the final result. Since I'm new to quilting and had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I decided to go with the tied quilt method. I chose some fun fabrics that my little guy would enjoy examining in detail. It's a bit of a mish-mash, but I like the vibrant, playful effect the combination of colors and prints produced. It was fabricated using both new and re-purposed fabrics from various sources.

I simply must spread word of my new favorite fabric shop where I picked up some great supplies for this project. Many of the prints I chose were 1930's reproduction feed sack prints. I found these at Avonport Discount Fabrics located just off the 101 Highway in Avonport. Has anyone else ever been to this hidden gem? I was literally squealing when I stumbled on them. Some of the antique and vintage quilts in my collection include a few of these prints. The chicken print is my favorite and how appropriate for our family. My squealing continued when the kind ladies introduced me to a lusciously soft wool batting. I wasn't even aware this product existed. How could the Wool Fairy use anything but this for batting?!! I bought enough for three quilts then and there. The highlight of this shop you ask? The playhouse located smack in the middle of the store. The boys were completely occupied while I leisurely browsed through the bolts. During our most recent trip to the Valley, Chi-Chi and Muffy enthusiastically requested a trip to the "Playhouse Fabric Shop". Twist my arm!

Now that Chi-Chi's quilt is complete, my mind is dreaming of a quilt to keep my little Muffy warm and snug. With spring in the air and a fresh load of manure and garden soil in my yard, it's time to take a break from sewing. With his walking cast wrapped in duct tape and plastic bags, Chi-Chi's right at my side these days in the garden. We must take in the sunshine and fresh air while we can and save the sewing for the foggy, rainy days, which are an inevitable part of Spring in our neck of the woods.