Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Sure Is A Busy Time!

Well, it’s been over a month since I sat down to write a post and, while I have been feeling guilty, I just couldn’t seem to find the time required. So while my cakes are in the oven and because the rain is pouring down outside this afternoon and the wind is pounding the house I guess that my outside chores will have to wait. Let’s catch up.

In my last post I was looking forward to the imminent arrival of spring but winter was still hanging around. We took a drive to the beach to go for a walk and passed this fox out doing the same thing. Well, the walking part that is, a fox would look silly driving don’t you think? We saw him coming towards us as we drove up the road so we pulled off to the side and grabbed the camera. The fox came right over and sat down 10 feet from the car and let us shoot as many pictures as we wanted. After a few minutes he got bored and walked away but we had a nice visit until then.

 This red fox walked over to see if we had any interesting snacks to eat.
This red fox walked over to see if we had any interesting snacks to eat.

 He came right over to the middle of the road. I’m glad there was no other traffic.
He came right over to the middle of the road. I’m glad there was no other traffic.

 Here, get my good profile!
Here, get my good profile!

 Well, if you haven’t got anything to eat I’m not even going to look at you.
Well, if you haven’t got anything to eat I’m not even going to look at you.

And then he was gone.

After the fox left we continued on to the beach but it was very cold and windy. Too cold really to enjoy ourselves so after watching the waves crash onto the shore for a couple of minutes we turned around and went back to the car. The only beach-combing find was this happy looking ball I discovered rolling along the dune. It cheered me right up!

 My new happy sunflower beach ball.
My new happy sunflower beach ball.

A couple of weeks ago we finally held the twice-deferred Games Night and it was a big success. It took me a few days to get the food and the treats ready but it was worth the effort in the end. We had lasagna and Caesar salad for dinner and butter tarts for dessert. We played crokinole, Uno and cribbage and of course I had my trivia/brain teaser contest. The winner of each game got to select a gift package from the “Basket of Goodies”. Some of the prizes were boxes of chocolates, tubes of body wash, a small flashlight, packs of Kleenex, first-aid kits and home-made pickles and relish. They were inexpensive, small items but they were unexpected and a big hit. Surprisingly, the winners were evenly distributed and everybody went home with goodies. I think everyone had a good time, I know I did!

 The day of Games Night was spent baking up a storm. We had the butter tarts for dessert.
The day of Games Night was spent baking up a storm. We had the butter tarts for dessert.

 Only the best is good enough for our guests. Crown Royal and butter tarts, mmm…
Only the best is good enough for our guests. Crown Royal and butter tarts, mmm…

 Game boards, check. Basket of Goodies, check. Let’s play!
Game boards, check. Basket of Goodies, check. Let’s play!

After Games Night came my birthday. Yes, the Witch is another year older and closer to retirement, yahoo! I took the day off work as a present to myself (it was Friday so I got a long weekend) and Hubby surprised me by doing the same thing. We went down to the big city where he took me out to a fancy restaurant for wine and dinner. We both had great meals and then we went home for cake and presents. The best ones were a pair of ceramic toad houses shaped like mushrooms from Hubby and a pair of cowboy boots from my Mom.

 Don’t you just love that moment before you rip into a big pile of presents?
Don’t you just love that moment before you rip into a big pile of presents?

 Toadstool-shaped toad houses.
Toadstool-shaped toad houses.

 My new boots. All I need now are the spurs!
My new boots. All I need now are the spurs!

The weather has been improving by leaps and bounds this past couple of weeks and we have been getting outside to do the yard cleanup in the areas where the snow has melted. It really went down much quicker than I expected and now there are only a few places under the trees where any remains. It left behind the usual mess in the yard. Mouse tracks in the grass, flattened pumpkins in the garden, driveway stones thrown out by the snow blower, leaves, branches and cones from the trees, even the eyes and buttons from our snowman. It all needed to be picked up. Luckily Hubby was able to collect most of it with the tractor and the lawn sweeper but it took 4 hours to do it.

 If you look closely you can see the remains of the snowman laying on the grass.
If you look closely you can see the remains of the snowman laying on the grass.


 This is all that is left of last year’s pumpkins.
This is all that is left of last year’s pumpkins.

We’ve also started working in the gardens. Hubby took the rotiller out of the shed to see if it would start and it fired on the second attempt. While it was running he took it over to the veggie patch to see how dry the soil was and he found that it was in good shape so he gave it a little rip. It sure looks better with the ground freshly turned but now I’m getting anxious to get my starters planted. Yesterday we went to Vesey's and spent over $50 on seeds and starter trays. We bought way more than we need but if you’re a gardener and you see what they have on offer you would probably buy extra, too.

 This year the rotiller started right up and ran strongly.
This year the rotiller started right up and ran strongly.


 The garden soil looks so rich when it is freshly turned.
The garden soil looks so rich when it is freshly turned.


 We went seed shopping on Saturday!
We went seed shopping on Saturday!

We got:
• Rutabaga; York
• Cucumber; Raider
• Tomato; Tomande, ApplauseTiny Tim and Bobcat
• Swiss Chard; Burpee’s Rhubarb
• Radish; Cherry Belle
• Carrots; Neptune
• Thyme; German Winter Thyme
• Beets; First Crop, Rodina and Detroit Dark Red
• Beans; Lewis, Gold Rush and Royal Burgandy
• And Moonflowers!

I think we may need to expand the garden again this year!

Anyway that’s what we have been doing lately. So consider yourself all caught up. Here’s a few more pictures including some busy bees happily pollinating the first flowers to show up in the front garden. Enjoy.

 The gazebo survived its first winter in good shape. Maybe we’ll get it finished this year.
The gazebo survived its first winter in good shape. Maybe we’ll get it finished this year.

 The front garden is finally out from underneath the snow and the perennials are starting to regrow.
The front garden is finally out from underneath the snow and the perennials are starting to regrow.

 My new toadhouses are outside and ready for tenants.
My new toadhouses are outside and ready for tenants.

 This bee was busy working on an early arrival in the front garden.
This bee was busy working on an early arrival in the front garden.

 This little patch of flowers was just swarming with bees and flies.
This little patch of flowers was just swarming with bees and flies.

13 comments:

Canadian Saver said...

Great LONG post!! I miss you when you don't write regularly... Things are looking great at your house!! Almost all of our snow is gone too, but no digging yet. Maybe next weekend :-)

Happy belated Birthday!!

its me, sam said...

Looks like you've been busy! All the goodies I've seen in the blog spots lately makes me want to bake! Fingers crossed that I make some time to bake this week-end.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

HELLO!!! It's so good to see a post from you!! I really enjoyed catching up on your news and seeing your pictures, (I LOVE the fox) all your fun new things, goodies (really cool boots!!) and the arrival of spring in your neck of the woods!

I'm glad you're doing well, and a happy, happy belated birthday!!

Suz said...

What a lovely walk with you throu your day...loved that fox
is that usual behavior for a fox..not here
they run
And is that a heart shaped flowerbed?
shucks your guy must be a romantic

Cottage Tails said...

love th boots!
sounds like an awesome birthday.
Totally unreal seeing a fox on the beach. WOW

Love Leanne NZ where there are no foxes

Sara said...

Looks like spring is off to a great start :) The gazebo looks awesome!

Marguerite said...

So nice to hear what you've been up to. I sure can understand buying up a storm at Veseys, I get their newsletters and am always always tempted. The toadhouses are wonderful, it'll be great to see if you get tenants. I've yet to see a frog or toad here but I suspect our property is too dry.

Sisters of the Blog said...

Happy belated birthday!

I love the photos you shared.

I have just the pile of snow along the driveway left and have started planting my garden. Planting by the moon this year from the start of the season (started it midway last year).

Spring has sprung!

megan

The Witch said...

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Just to be clear, the fox wasn't actually on the beach. We met him about 10 minutes before we actually got there. In fact, if you remember seeing my Happy Fox post last year this could be the same fox as he was very close to where we saw the one last summer.

The front garden isn't actually heart shaped rather it's more like a kidney, although it does look like a heart from that angle.

Jane said...

So nice to catch up with you at long last. It doesn't take long for the bees and flies to show up does it? And what a great host you are - your food looks delicious - I love butter tarts - do you put any nuts in them like walnuts or pecans??? Yum!

Gill - That British Woman said...

enjoyed your catch up..spring is certainly taking its time getting here......

Gill

Austin said...

i love your boots happy birthday from a frend

The Witch said...

Hey Austin,

Come on over for coffee sometime, we haven't seen you for a while.