Monday, April 21, 2014

Ostrich, Leaks and Cocoons

If you have been following our blogs very long, you have probably figured out that Chris and I are "foodies".  That's right...."foodies".  I never thought I would hear myself say that, but since I have about 3 years of pictures with food in them; I would say we qualify! ha

Now, after our spontaneous date night out of town, we came home from a well recommended Greek restaurant with an enormous amount of leftovers.  Not because we ordered so much, but because the orders were so large.  I didn't mind at all because if saved me from trying to figure out dinner the next day....

Here is a fast forward to dinner...

Now, back to the excitement of the day.  There is nothing more perplexing than being in the bathroom and having the distinct feeling of getting "sprinkled" on from above.  Drip....drip...drip....???  And there it was. Water coming through the ceiling and the person above us no where to be found!  After putting in a call to the Strata, the sent a guy over to check out the situation.

Once he verified..."yep, it's a leak"..someone else had to be sent to take samples of the ceiling to have it tested for asbestos.  WHAT!?  Now, we are wondering if we are going to have to vacate and live in a hotel for several days.  Anyway, test must have been cleared as another guy came the next day and started to tear out the ceiling......

and the whole seemed to be getting bigger once the wall were checked for dampness.

This is going to be a while.  The bad part was that we were just upon Resurrection Sunday and nothing else was going to be done until the following week.....drip, drip.....drip.

 Might as well fix breakfast. I picked this up from the grocery store and had no idea of how to prepare it.  So, I did a bit of research.  This is NOT for the faint of heart! ha


All of the things I had in mind to do in the way of a marinade was what I found in my research.

After setting in the marinade for a few hours, I wrapped it in bacon and pan grilled it.  It is very much like steak in color and texture although it is a bird, but you cannot cook it nearly as long. It has a unique taste.  Don't expect steak or chicken if you decide to try it for yourselves.

I found it to be a bit rare for me and I had to throw it back into the pan for a minute, but afterward it was pretty good.  Not sure I would have it more than once in a while though.

hahaha....I guess he liked it....haha

Meanwhile, the guy in the bathroom finished his work for the day and cleaned up his mess.  We were left with a "stripped" bathroom for the next several days until the work resumes after the Easter Holidays.
drip...drip...drip....There is something about the sound of your neighbors toilet flushing over your head in an open ceiling that is a bit unnerving.

Here is the view from the "throne"......

After two days of wondering if the guy over us was going to actually fall through to us and pay us a visit, I asked Chris to cut me some flowers from my garden....  you know, as a consolation for my calamities....

I'm feeling better already......:-).  Aren't they beautiful!  And the smell good too....:-).

Might as well do something a little less stressful than wondering if the guy upstairs was going to land in your lap while sitting on the throne!  We had harvested our vermicompost the week prior, but still had one more step to take in that process. Final "sifting had to be done in order to remove any babies or cocoons from the compost and put them back in their bin.

Somebody was up for the task....ha

While sifting through the compost, I started finding what I was looking for......there were literally hundreds of are a few.  Tiny as the head of a straight pin and shaped like lemon seeds.

In order to get a close up picture, I had to shoot this shot through my jeweler's loop to get it to magnify.  My camera could not do it clearly.

Whatever did not fit through the fine screen along with the cocoons with into this container to be put back into the bin.

After that, it was time to watch our visitor from Mexico.  We named her "Sweet Pea".  It seems that she is friends with "Sadie" and brought a new friend with her that we named "Thumbelina".....

Now, time for some Jasmine tea and a bit of relaxation for the rest of the day.....

Thanks for sharing my week with me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunch and Flowers and Worms! Oh My!

It's amazing to me how much work it takes just to make a small area look decent.  But since Spring has indeed sprung and I want to like what I see when I look out the front window, somebody had to do it!  But first, lunch with an out of town friend....:-).

We made plans to have lunch with our friend Bob who we had not seen in almost two years because of traveling.  We decided to try a restaurant in our town that Chris and I had not been to before.

Somebody is very happy about the idea...haha

Bob came in right behind us.  We had spent a few minutes outside looking for one of his motorcycles, but learned that he had driven instead.

Bob ordered some tacos.  They looked good, but I'm not sure that they were.

Chris ordered a "slider trio" and a very strange salad which happen to be my favorite part of his lunch...:-).

I ordered a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and mac and cheese.  I shouldn't have....really.  I was NOT good at all.....:-(. I have never heard of a pulled pork sandwich which did not have barbeque sauce on it.  And I don't like cheese sauce that is gritty and graining as though it was not cooked long enough.  Yuck.  I only had a couple of bites and was done with all of it.

It didn't take long before we decided to leave and get some coffee.  We went to this other cafe that we had never been too.  I know, daring aren't we..ha

It's nicely done on the outside and I love to have coffee at a bistro.

 Here is Bob and Chris, chillin...

I snapped this picture of the inside of the cafe.  We later found out that it doubles as a church on Sundays.  Cool......:-)

We had to make another trip to Vancouver after searching high and low for more of the Hibiscus that we had purchased a couple of days earlier.  So, we had to beat feet after lunch and head out again.  We made a short stop and then hit the highway.  We managed to find two more plants and headed straight back to our little town.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get everything we wanted from the one store, so we had to stop at another to pick up two more winter heather.

these are they.....

We got the last two trees in and the heather and was very glad that the rest will be done once the bulbs die back in the flower pots.

The landscapers are supposed to come some time this month and lay some sod.  I think things will be beautiful once everything is done.  We knew from seeing them along the highway to plant them on a slope.

 Afterward, we decided that we needed to harvest some vermicompost for our plants and make more bedding for our worms....:-).  You might remember when we set up the first system in Lawton last year.  We now have one here in Canada too that we have been maintaining for the past 5 months.

It works perfectly for smaller spaces.....

The temperature was perfect for the little guys.....:-)

I could almost hear the little guys cheering because they were about to have a bit more space and fresh bedding.  whoo hoo...ha

The system is called the Worm Factory 360 because the tray constantly rotate and get emptied when it is time for harvest.  Once you are ready to take your compost out for "curing" it needs to be separated from the little guys that are living in it.  We do it by putting the material in small piles and waiting a few minutes for the worms to work their way down to the bottom.  They do not like the light.

You gently pull the compost off of the top of the piles until you reach the bottom of them combining them into less piles as you go.  We then sift out any thing that had not yet been processed and put it back into the system with the worms.

After the separation took place, we were left with 1 1/2 gallons of pure castings for our plants and garden....
It should be rich, range in color from dark brown to almost black, smell like fresh soil and be very slightly moist....:-). By the way, the little tiny white specks are pulverized egg shell that I added early in the process for the purpose of ph level control.

Composting worms like it neutral or the composting food scraps will will burn their delicate skin.  Egg shells is a great way to do that...:-).  It also helps to feed tomato plants, roses and other plants that like calcium.  Not recommended if you want to use it on acid loving plants as the calcium neutralizes the acid.

ahhhhhh, perfect!  Thanks, guys!  Back to work now....:-).

see ya soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Has Sprung -A Dung- Dung!

After a long snowy winter, things are finally starting to turn around a bit.  If you remember from a previous blog post, the Strata (typically called the Home Owners Association in the US), was working on drainage remediation around our complex.  Scootard and I had to make a dash outside to rescue what we could from our little garden area before we lost everything to earth movers and gravel!

Well, the plants; such as they are survived.  Some thrived and some didn't do that well.  I suspect it was due to over crowding in the pots.  But we ran out of pots!  So, oh well.......

Here is a picture of the Hyacinths and Tulips that we salvaged before they were ready to pop open...

And here is after......:-) these are some Hyacinths

These are some Tulips.  This picture was taken through a window that is why it looks a bit cloudy. the tulips don't seem to be doing that well as far as blooms go.

These are the Grape Hyacinths.  When fall comes, I will trim the leaves back and maybe separate the bulbs some.....

More Hyacinths......:-).  These are starting to fade now.  Ass you can see in the background, the landscapers have not come to lay down sod or seed yet.  So, we figured we had better put in the ground whatever we were going to plant this year in a hurry.  Otherwise, we would have to cut through the sod to do it.  I don't think the Strata management company would have been happy with that.

We headed for a nursery out of town that I had never been to before.....yay...!

     They had all manner of "stuff" in this store!  I loved it...

Although, I have no idea what happened at this point...haha

Night lights....very cool....:-)

A fire place/ waterfall, that is really cool!

ok, ok...back to business...  We had loaded up a cart with 4 beautiful Rhododendron and then decided to google the species and see what diseases it was susceptible to.  Well, we had that part under control and then discovered we are living on the WRONG side of the building for proper lighting.....:-(.  We really had our hearts set on those or Hydrangeas.  But both seemed to be quite delicate and we get a LOT of sun for a LONG time in the summer....:-(.  So, we finally settled on some Hibiscus plants.    

These are "double bloom" Hibiscus, so I hope they are as pretty as they sound.  They were all quite a bit cheaper than the Rhodes and the Hydrangeas too.

These didn't have a picture, but the description sounded pretty.  All of them are still in dormancy.  Hopefully in a couple of years they will have filled out and become quite beautiful.....

 After the assistant assured us that the plants we wanted probably would not survive for us, he recommended that we get this stuff for planting our new plants to help them thrive.

 Chris was a trooper getting everything into the car for me.  He's just starting to get his "wind" back after a bout with pneumonia....:-(.  Poor guy....

 After spending almost three hours in the store "ooooowin" and "ahhhhwin", it was time for dinner.  I could not believe it was almost 8:00pm!  We headed for a restaurant that was almost 30 minutes away.  It's called "Fet's" or something like that.  I was starving and so was he.

Chris ordered some Poutine as a starter. For those of you who don't know what Poutine is; it is french fries (or yam fries) smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds.  It was dark in the restaurant.  Sorry about the blurr....

I ordered mushroom stuffed pasta with truffles......(or something like that)..??

Then for a main course he ordered this giant burger thingee.....ha

 I could not believe I ordered more pasta! This was Cajun Cream was SMOKIN HOT...haha

It was a great day and I have a feeling it is going to be a great summer.....:-)

See you soon!!