Monday, 29 July 2013

A little stitching and lots of gardening

It's almost the end of July. We've had about a month of sunshine non-stop. I've been off work almost two months. Wow, time flies! When my parents first retired, I remembered asking if they got bored. They laughed and said "not at all". I get it now! 

I'll start by showing you my progress on Jane Harris (slow, in my books!).  There is some universal law that the more you are near the end of your stitching, the longer it will take (or at least it will feel like it)!  At least I finished getting the borders to meet up last night.
Remember I mentioned my giant banana plant? Well, it has flowered this month. This is not an annual event. I think it's the hot stretch of weather that has given it this boost this year. First you get the pod (lower right) which feels like a giant corn-on-the-cob. 
Then the pod slowly opens. This is where it's like a movie featuring alien species from outer space...
Over time you see the little bananas starting to form. 

Two years ago, the banana started to flower in September but there wasn't enough heat for it to do much.  Then the cold and rain in October and that was that. This year we will hopefully see how this will work out to the end. We will see whether this is the edible variety or not!

Here is a shot of my son's garden that he started, as an experiment, last year. The artichoke was planted last year and this year we harvested two to eat. One was already starting to flower so we left it to bloom. 

The bees love the artichoke flower. They are buried right inside the bloom so I've learned to not lean in too closely! 
Here is where we've been spending time in the evenings. It's really blissful on the deck. Our neighbourhood is a lot quieter these last couple of years since a lot of the noise-makers have grown up and/or moved away.
 
The cats enjoying a breeze.  I love how Daisy has her paw on Julius.
  Thanks for your lovely comments from my last post. The burning question was about the public pianos - what happens what it rains? I have a link to an article about these public pianos here.  Basically the pianos have only been installed this month and we haven't had any rain (lucky!) but people are asked to help put a rain cover on should it rain. 

How has your summer been? As much as I love sunshine we need some rain here.The forests are getting to be fire hazards so if we get some rain for a few days that would be fine by me.  

Julius says " Mom loves reading your comments, especially the ones about me and the Daze." 
Thanks for your visits. Enjoy your week!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

A Picture Postcard walk

Hello! It was a beautiful day today, amongst many beautiful days we've had in July. For a change of pace, this post will just capture parts of my city, Vancouver. 

A friend I had worked with organized to meet up for a walk and a coffee early this morning.  I have a point-and-shoot camera, nothing fancy at all, but these images just captured a perfect morning. 

My friend drove us to Granville Island (to the left on the photo). From there we walked along the sea wall eastward to the Olympic Village. 
We walked through a neighbourhood called False Creek.  Imagine living there and having this area as your backyard! 
We are walking east towards the Olympic Village. The highrises you see are on the other side of the water and they form the edges of downtown Vancouver. 
This is looking back from where we had walked from (west). 
This is the skyline as we head east once again. 
Further on, turning around, facing west. The water flows out to Burrard Inlet then the Pacific Ocean.  That direction lies various beaches.
Resuming our walk eastward, you see our big sports stadium with the retractable roof, across the water (False Creek).
We came across a couple of funky painted pianos along our walk. The city has installed various pianos around the city for anyone to pull up and play. We passed a guy who was passionately playing a tune. It was wonderful! 
Ahhh, we are almost at our destination - Olympic Village (to the right). The big "golf ball" you see is the Science World building.
Here is part of the Olympic Village which began development as part of the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted by Vancouver. We had breakfast at a cafe (see the yellow awnings?) at the bottom of that building you see. 
The city has grown so much that I can easily play tourist and get amazed at all the things I've missed while in work mode!

I hope you have enjoyed this interlude!  I had a few more photos but I thought this was enough to share! Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Here's Looking at You!

Hello from Forever Summer-land! I think we've had over two weeks of sun and heat which is so unusual for this area so that it feels like you are on holiday even when you are home.

I've been doing some gardening today and feel like legs "a la jelly" at the moment. I'm taking a break before heading out later to do more of the "renovation" - digging up, moving plants, throwing out ones I don't like, especially the aggressive thugs that try to take over the garden, then general weeding and such. Fun! Like playing in the sandbox!

I have been doing some stitching too. This little stitched flower makes me like of a little pansy flower with a happy face! Here we go, stitchy pictures...





You like? I like! It makes me smile. 

I've not shown you any photos of the kitties for awhile! Here they are in their favourite spot! My DH and I joke that we bought the house because of the window seat for the kitties! 

I love the photo where she is looking at him, so cute. He's definitely the ring leader. By the way, do your cats eat flowers? Julius has, in the last year, started to nibble at flowers I bring inside. He adores tulips and roses! *sigh* 

The white hydrangea is toppling over with the weight of the flowers. That's what I mean about renovating the garden!
It is very warm today. Yesterday I worked in the garden and it was ok as there was a lovely breeze. This morning I only did an hour, kept drinking water, but felt very tired. Time to hide inside for awhile! 

Hope you are well and managing to enjoy season where you are. Take care and have a great week!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Lazy Hazy Daze of Summer

Yes, I mean "daze" not "days" as I feel like I am in a daze these days. We have had such a long stretch of sunshine (and some heat) that I feel like I'm just in one long magical summer day. I do a little of this, a little of that, and *poof* don't ask me what day it is! Hence I am posting on a Tuesday. Meh, what can you do? 

Since I left you last, I have filled in the house for Miss Jane Harris and completed the plant on the right hand side.
I added birds all around.  I am holding off on the birds on top of the chimneys as I may put something else up there! We shall see. 
Here's how the bottom third of the sampler is looking. Next I will be doing the band in the middle of the sampler. 
I feel happy just looking at her!  In case you are wondering, I have digressed greatly from the original colours but still keeping with the reds as the predominant eye catcher. 

Here is a rare photo of a Canada Day flag flying nicely (as opposed to limply) at our house. It was a very hot day too! 
Here's me sitting down under our banana tree(s) after a long day gardening. The banana plant started here 9 years ago as one little plant. We now have 5 trunks and even potted up a small baby one that we will likely pass on to a friend. Obviously the mother plant is happy tucked away in this corner of our yard! 
Indoors, a couple of our orchids are re-blooming! I don't know the names of these but I know the first one is very fragrant and easy to grow!

Here we are again, at the bottom of the page, at the bottom of the post. Let's see how quickly I can stitch the middle section of the sampler! What always helps my stitching is if I have a good audio book to listen along to. This was what I had just finished and I definitely wanted to keep listening, and therefore stitching, nonstop!  

Thanks for taking time to visit, and your comments are much appreciated!  By the way, if you have a good book you are reading or listening to, I would love to know what it is!

Have a great week! I hope you are enjoying some lovely weather.