Monday, 14 March 2016

Spring On The Way

Baby socks for a friend of my sister's, finished this week just a little after the baby made her appearance:

Little people, and now little plants. Several days of mild weather means the snow is retreating, and in its wake, the daffodils in front of the building are coming up already.

And that means I have to get my act together and order seeds. I don't usually do that - it's a small garden, and what I need can usually be assembled from what I save myself plus some extras from my mother, and the occasional purchase at the store or garden center.

This year, however, I got a catalogue from Heritage Harvest Seeds in Manitoba when I was demo-ing at the Farm Show last week, and I couldn't resist. Plus I have a gift certificate from Stokes that should be used. So I've been hemming and hawing over decisions. Flowers from Stokes, veg from Heritage, that was pretty straightforward.

After that...well, there's less varieties for a lot of the veg, but Heritage has something like 200 types of tomato, and I have space for maybe 6 plants, so no point getting more than one type. I settled on Forme de Coeur, a nice multipurpose, productive, Quebec heirloom. But I could have had anything from White Currant (cream colored and half the size of a cherry tomato) to Ferris Wheel (where a slice is bigger than a piece of bread), or Silvery Fir Tree with delicate ferny foliage as well as nice fruit, or red-and-yellow-streaked hollow stuffing tomatoes, or a long-term keeper that ripens from the inside out... Deciding on beans was just as hard, but I ended up with 2 dual-purpose (fresh or dried) ones - Blue Jay, a green bean with navy blue and beige seeds, and Dragon Tongue, a yellow wax bean with purple-streaked pods and purple-striped beige seeds.

And it will be nice to have some pretty annuals to start from seed and pop in gaps in the beds for colour. I'm getting multicoloured zinnias and pink and cream celosia, and multicolored painted tongue (salpiglossis), which I've always liked the look of but never tried. I can hardly wait!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

3 FOs and a 30-Year Photo

My sister and her partner Erik made it down to the parents' to visit this past week, so my brother and I both took time to visit also. First time in over a year I think we've all three been there together. And in chatting over the supper table, somehow the subject of family photos came up, and someone mentioned the time we all went to get one taken at the photography studio in Malone (which, even though it's in a different country, is actually the closest place we had a movie theatre or a large library or chain restaurants or such things). And then the notion of recreating it came up. So we did - kind of. Mom found the old picture, and my sister even managed to find the same little teddy bear she had been holding in that photo, and we all headed for the living room couch with Erik for our photographer.

So this is us, roughly 30 years ago, based on how old us kids look in the picture. (Apologies for the flash).

And now you get this.

Teddy is obviously the one who's changed the least!

Our generation is the one with kids now. My knitting for the visit included two baby sweaters - one for my sister to give to a friend who is expecting, and one in handspun for a cousin's baby. And I finally cast off  the shawl that's been on the needles for a while!