Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring!

Okay, it looks more like a snowstorm at the moment than spring.  However, it is technically spring so I've starting searching blogs to justify my late start to the seed planting.  It makes me feel better if I see that other gardeners are behind too. 

So, with just leeks, parsley and celery started so far (and some poor germination as well), I have to get started with the next serious batch.  These include tomatoes as my primary crop.

I've got no pictures to share this morning of our snowy day, but I did find this interesting seed-starting chart from a fellow Canadian gardener.

When I plugged in our last frost date and first frost date, it calculated a bunch of start dates and harvest dates.  Although I think the seed-starting dates look pretty good and close to what I've done in the past, some of the outdoor planting dates won't work so well here. 

Some of the "move outdoors" dates mean planting in the frosty soil here unless you've warmed the soil with row covers or hoop houses.  Our very short season means the soil goes from frozen to warm very quickly.  Spring is not drawn out over a few months. 

Take them with a grain of salt, but I thought it was still interesting.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My first quilt

 In Alice's blue room it looks almost more American than Canadian, but the maple leaves do give it away.

It's far, far, far from perfect, but my first quilt is done in just over a week.

Actually, it's not quite done.  I left three squares open for the traveling girls to sign their names, and one for the date, and it's held together with safety pins all over the place.  The girls are going to knot-quilt it this week.

My little girl leaves on Friday.  It'll be her first trip on an airplane, and her first trip away from the family.  And I'm sure it will be an awesome experience for all of them.  They are going to have so much fun together, making all of those Bingo evenings and cookie sales and bottle drives worthwhile.

I'm more than just a little envious.  I wonder if she'll be able to reveal what the Dead Scorpion Society is when she comes home?  Even googling that comes up with nothing, so they are pretty serious about their oath of secrecy.  Expect no blog posts about it.  I don't want to be the one who leaks the secrets to the world, but I do want to know what it is.   Are there any Girl Guides out there who can tell us what that's all about?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another birthday

...and this time it was mine.

And I got the gift of life.  I got 5 baby quails!

For some perspective on size, that food dish is a Tupperware hamburger patty maker. 
Laura decided to give me with some tiny quails and they are really cute.  This is how tiny they are beside a 2-day old chicken.  It looks so big and sturdy compared to my little cuties.

 The goal is to get tiny eggs from them, which should happen in about 4-5 weeks.  I personally can't imagine that quite yet.  

They are definitely not the same as chickens.  Besides their size, they are totally flighty and nervous.  And they don't seem to like to peck.  Like the chickens though, they are growing very fast.  This is after one week, so they are now 8 days old.  

So sweet!  Now I have to find a more permanent home for them.  They are currently in a gerbil cage with a heat lamp on them, but that won't last long and I want them outside once spring arrives. 

Thanks, Laura!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Posture in Edmonton

I was walking down a dry, smooth sidewalk for the first time in months the other day, so I looked up.  I realized that as I walk (as do many), I stare at the ground to make sure I don't step on a) ice, b) a pothole or c) stepping in a puddle.  It was interesting to walk upright, unconcerned about hazards in the sidewalk.

So, I was wondering...

Do Californians have better posture than Edmontonians?

And this is why I don't blog daily.  This is the kind of drivel that fills my brain.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A new challenge

One might think the challenge was simply to blog.  It's not that I have no news or nothing going on.  Can't you read the posts I've got written in my head?  Doesn't technology work that way?  That's probably a very good thing, actually.  What goes on in my head is not all publicly interesting.
No, this is the challenge:  To turn 25 painted squares of cloth into a quilt.  

While I've wanted to make a quilt for a while now, I've never done one.  Maybe I needed the challenge to come from someone else and for the challenge to have a short deadline.

In this case, the challenge came from the Girl Guide/Pathfinder troop leaders and the deadline is to have the quilt done in time to take to Mexico and leave at the International Cabana there.  The squares did come with a little note.  "If you don't think you have time, please don't worry about it."  You  could maybe interpret that as "If you don't think you have time, please don't worry about it", but that's not how I read it.  I read it as a personal challenge.  I like people to think I can do anything, that I'm really competent at everything.  (In reality, I like to try things once or twice and then move on to something new, making me an expert in exactly nothing but variety)

Game on!  

On Wednesday night I had the little maple leafs, and yesterday afternoon I had these ideas and was wishing my mother was here or any of my sisters for help.  They've all done this before. 

As an aside, a phrase keeps coming up in my current book that the main character can't figure out.  "Gather the leaves" is repeated often.  What does it mean?  Maybe it actually means "Gather the leaves and make a quilt".  I'll have to keep reading to see if I'm right.

Back to my quilt, I kind of liked the angled leaves, but for my first quilt I thought maybe it would be easier to do one straight.  This morning this is what I have.

I'm quite liking what I have.  Somehow it downplays the somewhat tacky iconic maple leafs and turns it into something nice.  I'm out of leaves, but the idea is to have a bunch of white squares in the bottom corner for the travelling girls to sign their names with fabric pens.  I'm going to put it all together and the girls are going to knot-quilt it. 

The actual deadline is their travel date on March 22, but I'm aiming for next Wednesday's meeting so they have a bit of time to tie the knots. 

I have the sinking feeling that binding this thing will be my undoing, but we'll see.  If all goes well, I'll quickly make something for our own bed!