Sunday, 28 June 2020

Gardening, Stitching, Not a Picture Perfect Cake, Wet Robin

The tools of my trade these days...I fill my pink weed bucket about four times a morning when I'm out in the garden weeding. By then I'm tired or too hot or hungry. This garden, the cultivated almost 1.5 acres, is a real work in progress especially in my very amateur hands. It is also real work but luckily I enjoy it very much.  
Those gloves have been a real find for me. I can feel my fingers in them so am more adept at pulling smaller weeds than the leather gloves which always came off at some point not to be put back on. My fingernails have been thanking me! Bought at Walmart.
I've also been making more use of the small stool with the handy carrying handle so my back is happy too. 
A photo of the flower beds on this side of the wooden house. Sad note about that large goats beard bush with the white flowers. A brief bout of heavy rain and high winds broke the taller branches and bent them over. However, they are still blooming so I'm leaving it for now.
The beds continue down the front walkway and along two sides bordering the driveway. I heavily pruned that rose bush and it's taken right off.  The hydrangeas are just starting to sprout their flowers. 
I have always kept a few flowers but nothing like this before. It is providing endless learning for me which would be wonderful if only I could remember it all from season to season. I need reminders it seems.
Now about that not so picture perfect cake. Remember?
 The cake itself was fine-my problem was with the frosting.  I had a hankering for cream cheese frosting, something decadent considering my overall diet. And I thought it would go well with the orange flavourings.  I made a basic cream cheese frosting and then decided to add a tub of Cool Whip to it.  I can see now that just a cup would have been fine, but the whole tub turned the frosting into a muddy sliding mess.  I scraped as much as I could back onto the top and rushed it to the downstairs freezer to firm it up a bit.  Which fortunately it did.
 So we've been having a piece of cake and an added large spoonful of frosting; no one's complaining! So yummy and the extra crunchy layer- walnuts, brown sugar and graham crackers, is good too. Hopefully I'll remember this bit about the frosting for another time but I probably won't.

My OMG at Elm Street Quilts was to continue making the  Quiltmania Solidarity blocks, as many as I could manage. Many are appliqued or EPP so enjoyable hand stitching. I've now made seven of them so I'm happy with that progress. 
Heads up for embroiderers. Moda is hosting a free Christmas stitch along called Holiday Stitch-A-Long. I've downloaded the first two patterns. 
                           
We are having a little break from the high humidity which makes it enjoyable to sit outside today.
  We are amazed at how much use the bird bath is getting. All kinds of birds have been in it including a female cardinal (a match for that male that visits the feeder, I wonder) and a variety of small sparrows.  But it's been the biggest hit with the robins who line up to use it.  I'll leave you with a photo of one of our baby robins taking a bath.
Not sure he meant to make himself quite that wet!







24 comments :

  1. What a beautiful property you have, Jocelyn - I love seeing your photos of it! It does look like a lot of work, but so worth it. I have a folding stool like yours for gardening and find it very handy! Your Solidarity blocks are such pretty ones- my favorite one is that flower bowl with the heart flowers. And thanks for the link to those embroidery patterns, too!

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  2. Everything sure looks so nice at your place and that wet robin sure looks happy to catch a bath!

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  3. Very pretty Quiltmania blocks! I enjoyed reading about your current nature notes, too!

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  4. Oh, those pesky weeds! It's back breaking work isn't it, but my oh my your garden is looking beautiful. Those hydrangeas lining the path are amazing....so big. They will look a picture when the flowers come into their colour. Your Quiltmania Solidarity blocks are looking lovely. They are such a pretty colour. I did smile at the sweet baby robin. He does have the look of 'uh-oh' about him, doesn't he. AND....as for your frosted cake, it looks delicious.

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  5. Birdbaths can be so popular! That cake makes me laugh... but it still looks delicious. Your gardens are beautiful!

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  6. well your cake looks lovely to eat even if you think you should have had less cool whip in it - now you know for next time. I love your house and the yard. I have gloves that I think I found at wal-mart too that are not cloth but more like a rubber covering over them I guess and they work well but my hands do get warm in them. The dirt stays out though - cloth/leather gloves for some reason the dirt still gets in eventually and my nails get filthy

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  7. Lovely blocks. Great photo of the bird.

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  8. You do have a beautiful display of flowers and shrubs around your home.

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  9. I just read about that weed bucket somewhere. Do you like it. I need to invest in a new one. Poor baby robin looks a little disgruntled. Your gardens look beautiful. My goatsbeard has never gotten that big (the deer helpfully prune it on occasion). Weather is going to get progressively hotter all week until we hit 90 again the the 4th of July.
    Pat

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  10. Thanks for the link for the stitching blocks. Love your little bird in the bird bath, watching the birds take their turn must give you endless joy.

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  11. I liked to read all your news.
    Eva

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  12. Your blocks are beautiful! I admire your persistence in gardening. It's so humid here today that all the windows are fogged up. This has been a good year for our hydrangeas.

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  13. Your garden is fabulous, and that photograph of the robin in the bird bath is AMAZING! How did you get up so close -- or do you have a telephoto lens? He has so much personality!! Your solidarity blocks look fabulous. As for your cake disaster, we've had MUCH worse. One year I took my son's birthday cake out of the oven too soon without realizing it, and when it was cooled, frosted and served, people bit into the cake and discovered icky raw batter inside. :-(. When I mess up a recipe, if it's something I want to try again, I'll write notes on the recipe itself or add a sticky note with what I want to do differently. If I remember that it was a disaster worth writing about, I do a keyword search on my own blog to find the old post and remind myself what went awry!

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  14. I love the glimpses of your home and garden - it all looks so inviting and picturesque. Thanks for the Moda link! Those Quiltmania blocks are beautiful.

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  15. Yummmm and extra frosting.... yummmm

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  16. Lovely blocks. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

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  18. I love your bird bath Jocelyn, it must be fun to sit outside and look at the birds. Your house and garden are beautiful.
    I am sure your cake was delicious, maybe not perfect, but once cut, nobody notice.....

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  19. that robin! He looks like a baby. Wonder what makes it look young... the cake sounds great, and I forgot to get graham cracker crumbs!

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  20. That is a lot of gardening! I'm getting discouraged with mine.

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  21. Your yard and garden are lovely! Do I see a gardening journal in your future? Mt sister, the gardener extraordinaire in our family, always kept a journal,
    Thanks for the link to Modas stitch along.

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  22. Jocelyn - I am always looking for a good pair of gloves for weeding - thin enough to be able to feel through them, but thick enough to protect my nails and to stay dry!!! (I like weeding after a rain because weeds are easier to pull up. It seems I poke a nail through one or two of the fingers almost as soon as I get them.) Your garden looks lovely - well done! (and in my opinion, you can never have too much cream cheese frosting!)

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  23. Some gardeners keep a journal of what is growing when, when to plant, the date something bloomed... where in the yard. The weather conditions that effect the garden... So they can go back and check what it was like last year or 3 years ago. I've been filling in my flowers with perennials, but need to get some greenery in there as well, so it will look good all year.

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  24. I would definitely help you eat that cake, sliding icing or not! You have a beautiful garden...a lot of work I know, but so much pleasure to be had from it. And that baby robin - all wet. So cute!

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