Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ashram

Finally, here are some pictures of my week of vacation at the Atlantic Christian Ashram. This was my 17th year, and needless to say, I love it there. This was the 40th anniversary!

Here's a picture of "The Twelve". Yeah, yeah, I know; there are more than 12. But these are the people who oversee and organize and serve etc. They get added to or taken away from each year as God leads. What a wonderful group of servants. And one of them has actually been here for all of the 40 years!
This was our evangelist, Pastor Larry Levy. I've known Larry for about 12 years. He spoke on The Kingdom and it was excellent teaching.

Here's most of my Prayer 'n Share group. What a wonderful group of ladies (our token man is missing). I facilitated this group, but no one really leads; we all try to share and bless one another.



Here are just a few of the 400+ people that were there. This is the Tuesday evening meeting. There was a family group that led worship; people worship in whatever way feels comfortable to them. God loves it all.




Here are some of the flag bearers and dancers that come every year. I love seeing them.




This picture shows Terry (in yellow). Terry's been there ever since I can remember. He has severe hearing problems and is extremely shy. But he loves to worship. He brings his own instruments and plays along with whomever is doing worship there -- flute, bongos and various percussion instruments. He also loves to find rocks that remind him of little animals; then he "brings" the animal out with his pen and ink.


There are many Christian Ashrams through the US and Canada as well as other parts of the world. I always come back rejuvenated and refreshed and full of revelation and love. It's a wonderful part of my year.

Monday, July 27, 2009

WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE REWARDED FOR HARD WORK, RIGHT?

On Sunday morning, the sun was shining here in NS, and I had my plans already laid out. We haven't gotten much sunshine this month, so I wanted to take advantage of the day.

While still in my nightie, I prepared a lovely dinner for later in the day -- pasta w/ chickpea salad in an orange poppy seed dressing, a potato/egg salad, and strawberry mousse. Then I changed into what I call my "Egad! You'll never get a man looking like that!" clothes. I went upstairs and put another bead of caulking around the bathtub. Then I took a night table and a full length mirror out to the back deck and primed them. Then I dragged my TV/bookcase stand from my bedroom into the spare room and painted it with oil based paint. (Blue to match my bedroom walls. I like my bookcases to blend in and sort-of become part of the walls. And I dragged it to the spare room because it was calling for rain Monday and, of course, oil paint needs lots of time to dry and cure.) Then I cleaned myself up and picked up my daughter from work. Then I put my icky clothes back on and put a coat of white on the night table and mirror. Then I once again cleaned myself up, put on some comfy clothes and did what I'd been wanting to do all summer ............

I filled a tumbler with ice, poured in an ounce of Tanquery gin, cut a generous slice of lemon, and topped it all off with lots of tonic water. I grabbed my hat and my book and spent a couple of hours here. I even fell asleep for a little while with my hat over my face.

When I was awake, and when I took my eyes off my book to take a drink; I would sit and savor the wonderful blend of flavors, the bird song, and how good my body felt resting this way. This was my view.

Ain't life grand!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MY NEW BABIES

I know I said I wouldn't buy any more plants..... Then yesterday while I was at the Farmer's Market yesterday buying my fresh strawberries and chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing, I added to my garden family.

I didn't go near the plants last Saturday; I was able to avert my eyes. But yesterday, my favorite bread baker wasn't there and there was no fresh bread for Sandy! So with all the disappointment and confusion I was feeling, I somehow ended up in front of a display of beautiful plants! And I somehow had just enough money left in my wallet! (Oh fine then! I admit it! I did go to the bank and come back again because I was $5 short of the total cost!) But look at these beauties! Who could resist?

Here they are together!

Isn't this a beautiful pot of Veronica Red Fox.



And this lily was such a striking color and still has so many buds to open!

This pot of ??? did have an identification marker in it; but the seller must have taken it out for the remaining 2 pots. So, I have to search her down again for the name of this gorgeous plant. (Unless my bloggie friends can help me.)

I think I'll keep them in their containers for a little while before I put them in the garden. I have to do my research to find out their characteristics and where they'd like to go.
You know, I'm not one bit sorry that I succumbed to temptation and emptied my pocket book. I get enormous joy just looking at these new babies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fertilizer Friday


It's Fertilizer Friday so be sure and go over and visit our hostess Tootsie and see what's blooming in everyone's gardens after fertlizing every Friday! In spite of my being away and in spite of the continual rain, the garden is surviving and some parts are thriving. But please Mr Sun; please come and STAY a while!!





False Sunflower





Day lilies in the back shade garden are just beginning.


Please help me -- who am I? What I'd been thinking was Lamb's Ears ain't! But these bright pink blossoms are really pretty.


One of my 99 cent rose bushes continues to charm!



The largest of my hostas is in full bloom (as are all the ones lining the driveway; but the rain has been hard on them and they need a day of sun to be able to stand tall!)


I can't remember what this little low-lying plant is called, but it's full of buds.



Lots of Shasta Daisies in bloom. They're such great old-fashioned flowers.



And here are my 2 new gnomes -- both hard working, as you can see .... as well as a little vacant looking? Maybe it's just lack of sunlight!




HAPPY FRIDAY TO ALL AND LOTS OF WONDERFUL WEEKEND WISHES!

Vacation Yard Sale'in

What's a vacation with the occasional yard sale, thrift store or Farmer's Market. So here are some of my finds last week .... minus all the pastries and chocolates already digested!

My first stop was at the Annapolis Royal Farmer's Market.
I bought these 2 lovely bottles of wine from a local winery - rhubarb and pear. I sampled about 4 different wines, although the rhubarb wasn't one of them; but having sampled rhubarb wine before, I took a gamble. And knowing that I'd be driving on twisty country roads, I made sure to sample the wines at the beginning of my market wanderings. Wine at 9:30 AM??? Why not! It's fruit after all!
I'll let you know the verdict on taste etc when I open these lovely fellows.

I also bought this pretty bracelet there for $4. I love blue!
And this book supported the Friends of Annapolis Royal for $2. (I seem to remember this author's name from somewhere?)

During my week at Ashram, I always visit the Coldbrook Frenchies because it's one of the largest, cleanest and brightest thrift stores in Nova Scotia. Too bad they don't have more change rooms! The blouse and sweaters go for $3.85 each.

This cute little tray (about 10" x 4") was $1 and I loved the garden theme.


And here are the remains of some emergency chocolate. My favorites are the dark chocolate pastilles, but these milk chocolate are purty darned tasty!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My VACATION - What a Lovely Start .....

I began my vacation on Friday morning, July 10th. I packed up my car and headed to Liverpool (about a half hour drive). I parked and strolled the streets, going into little shops and discount stores. (I got a couple of bargains -- shaving cream & Wheatabix!) The highlight of that little visit was lunch at the Woodpile, a lovely little cafe slash wood carving studio. I sat near the window and dined on their Asian Terakki chicken salad (greens, grilled chicken, almonds, Chinese noodles and a delicious Terakki sauce) with a perfectly-portioned Skor cheesecake (it was divine!) and a Chai latte to go. I left feeling very content.

It was a perfect day for driving; clear with sunny breaks and not too hot. I listened to an oldies radio station and sipped my chai in between belting out songs from the 60's and 70's.






I drove from Liverpool to South Brookfield where I stopped briefly on the side of the road at Bear Trap Lodge which was my ex husband's beloved home and where he died peacefully Dec 2007. (I remembered him and his loving, gentle nature and said a little prayer for those he left behind, most importantly his 3 beautiful daughters!) I drove past Kedji National Park, and after about an hour and a half, I reached South Maitland just outside Annapolis Royal where I spent the night at a dear friend's house. This may be one of the last time's I get to visit her here as her husband is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and she may have to close up her country home. But we had a lovely time together, drinking wine, eating junk and playing cards and dice.

I left the next morning with a hug and a kiss, a couple of new-to-me garden gnomes and a lovely new rooster for my sideboard. I made the short drive into historic Annapolis Royal where I visited their Farmer's Market. Mum had recommended I check them out, and I was really glad I did. I spent an hour and a half wandering and taking in the sounds (live Acadian music) and the smells (wonderful breads, sausages, and sweets) and any free samples offered. I bought myself some homemade "White licorice in butter cream" truffles which were surprisingly good; a couple of bottles of local wine -- pear and rhubarb (the samples were delicious); and a new sunhat.


I left Annapolis Royal and took the road over the mountain and along the coastline of the Fundy Shore. I stopped at Hampton Beach (below) and sat by the water while I ate my pear and custard pastry. I was the only one there! Before I left, I made sure to get myself another heart-shaped rock for my garden collection.



I drove back over the mountain into Bridgetown, and wandered through the old shopping district for a little while. Then I drove on the old highway from there to Berwick, stopping at almost every yard sale or Frenchies store I saw. I didn't buy a lot. But I kept reminding myself that because I was alone, it was my duty to myself to indulge in whatever struck my fancy and not to be in a hurry. It was really, really relaxing.

Somehow in my delight at all the yard sales I found, I forgot to stop for lunch until I suddenly realized my fatigue was hunger. By that time, it was 3:30 pm; and I knew that I'd be having a substantial dinner at 5. So I got an iced cappuccino at Tim Horton's to go with the huge, yummy date square from the Market. Not the most nutritious lunch -- but it sure was good!

I arrived at the Ashram in Berwick around 4 pm, found my accomodations, unpacked, parked my car, ate a great supper with some old friends and prepared to enjoy the next 5 days of blessing and relaxation.

But that's another blog!

I'M BACK!




Yes friends -- I have returned. But I'm still trying to recuperate from my vacation. Not that it was a wild time. But when I sleep in another bed for a week, I don't find I get much "quality" rest. We'll catch up later; I'll show you some pics, tell you about my adventures, and take you through the garden.


The kiddies survived without me (DUH! They're 19 and almost 17!). The house survived without me -- they did a good job and other than the floor being a little sticky, it was tidy and there was some food left in the fridge. What more can I ask?

Oh yeah ...... more rest!


Friday, July 10, 2009

FERTILIZER FRIDAY - JULY 11.09


I won't see my garden for almost a week! and I'm trying to hold myself together. But my girls have promised to take pictures of what blooms while I'm gone! Here's what's blooming this morning.

The Evening Primrose continue to flourish.


A very blurry shot of this pretty sedum.


This is one of several begonias that I rescued from a nursery. Beautiful color!

This is the first hosta to flower, and there are several in bud. I'm hoping at least a couple of the many, many others throughout the garden will wait for my return.




Another rescue operation. There were 2 sad little mini rose bushes for 99 cents that I bought and planted just last weekend. Another gardener gave me a huge clump of garlic that looks so pretty in the garden; so I planted some next to each rose to keep the aphids away.



My day lilies are stars of the front bed right now.




The first of the Astilbe to bloom. This is one of my favorite plants; and I've 3 others that I'm praying will wait until I come back to fully bloom. Fingers crossed!



Another lovely lily. And lots more waiting for more sunshine.



This is the first Shasta bud to open; so I had to snap a pic just in case I don't get to see the rest :(



The same with the Tickseed; will they be all finished by next Thursday?

Happy Friday everyone. See you in a week!