Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunshine in a Bowl

Isn't soup wonderful? I love it all year round and in an infinite variety of flavours. On Friday night I prepared this warming Carrot Ginger Soup, made with extra ginger to clear sinuses.

I bought a loaf of crusty roasted garlic bread to accompany it. A perfect end-of-the-week dinner.

Regular readers will know that I've been ill this week. My husband was out of town for two nights so I was on my own, which doesn't bother me. After the first night I went downstairs and noticed that the front door wasn't locked. Oh, oh. Then I looked a little closer - the front door wasn't even completely closed. Any gust of wind could have pushed the door open wide. Perhaps an angel stood guard over night while I slept.

Forsythia's blooming. So cheery and a harbinger of things to come. Time to prune the roses! 

Linking with Sunlit Sunday, hosted by Karen. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hello There!

Here's what the lemon tree looks like when it's cold. The Christmas lights come on and keep it toasty warm. I snapped this from the dining room window (bit of blind in the corner) on a frosty morning this past week.

Next to the lemon tree is an apricot tree which also needs 100% rain protection in our climate. In front, raspberry canes. I like our moderately productive little yard.

Those lemons have come in very handy while I've been battling influenza. Lemon tea with raw honey from the Hutterite colony in Alberta is my go-to drink.

Yesterday I returned to work. Bad idea. Teaching means talking and talking is very hard on a throat. After a couple of really ugly coughing fits at school, I booked off the rest of the week. That gives me four more days to recover. It's coming, albeit slowly. 

The person who thought up combining Aloe and tissue should be awarded a medal. The difference to a sore nose is such relief. And isn't that a pretty colored box? It looks like spring and coordinates so well with the UK Country Living March edition. 

This morning I visited my doctor and have had energy to throw in a couple of loads of laundry. I have a few old magazines I'm going through and tore these pages from one, then put them on my fridge door - an idea gleaned from Mary.

Now it's time to put the clean sheets on the bed and clean a bathroom or two. It's good to be feeling better, but as one of my friends said on Facebook, "We just aren't the same Shell (name of town in Ecuador) gals we used to be. We're grammas now!" I guess that means it takes a little longer to recover. Sigh. I won't over do the house cleaning! I'll save some energy for visiting and commenting on blogs.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hellebore in the rain

I honestly can't remember ever being so sick. Shuffling from bed to couch was the extent of my efforts for most of this week. To add insult to injury I developed conjunctivitis in both eyes and we all know how wonderful that is!

Thankfully, I'm on the mend. I made the bed, went with Tim to buy a few groceries (he went on his own earlier in the week), and I plan to do a little sewing this afternoon. 

Not much energy here, so I'll leave you with this image captured last weekend of a Hellebore beaded with raindrops.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This and That

On our walk through the marina last Saturday, we spent some time looking over this old wooden boat. It's in rough shape. We admired the lines of the boat and wondered whose dream it was and what might have happened - illness, old age, changed focus - for someone to have neglected the boat.

The boxwood hedges along the Sidney waterfront were full of webs. The shape of this one reminds me of a pitched tent - a spider tent so intricately beaded with water droplets

Kale from the garden is delicious just now. Soon I'll be pulling it up to make room for spring and summer vegetables.  These photos were all taken last weekend. I've been down with influenza this week and feel like I'd been hit by a Mack truck. I've spent the last two days on the couch with hot tea, advil, and a rice bag. The aches are subsiding and my voice might be returning. I'm glad I still have the weekend to recover. I hope my husband doesn't get it. He gets the flu shot at work, but this year's flu vaccine is useless, he says. 

Hydrangeas are beginning to leaf out and buds of lilac and blueberries are swelling. What a lovely time of year!

I think it's time for another nap!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter Lemons

With all the snow in the east, I'm a little hesitant to show these photos for fear it might look like bragging. I'm not, really, but I'm amazed! For several weeks now I've noticed, from the dining room window, round yellow shapes behind the gardening fabric protecting the lemon tree. 
On Sunday afternoon, a warm, sunny day, we decided to take a peek.

Just look at that harvest! The lemon "farmer" looks happy, doesn't he? These lemons set their fruit in August or September and have been ripening all "winter." There is more fruit that will be picked in a few months. In May we'll remove the gardening fabric and new blooms will form and be pollinated. Lemon trees are amazing!

They smell wonderful and brighten up the kitchen, too. 29 lemons. Grown in Canada! Let's see, shall I make Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Loaf, Lemon Souffle or ...? What would you make with fresh lemons?

On another note, I've sent emails to those who wanted to take part in the magazine swap. If you have not received your email, please let me know.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February Flowers

Monochromatic greys and greens were the view out the window this morning. But inside the tea was hot, the atmosphere convivial, and the food delicious. No need for sunshine.

After breakfast we walked along the sea wall in Sidney. Expansive ocean views to one side and in the gardens lining the pathway wonderful signs of spring. The trees are beginning to bloom, delicate pinks and whites that make a living Valentine. It's so early!

And the crocuses! Well, you can see for yourself how gorgeous they are. Purple, white, striped, and a few yellow ones. Spring seems to be well on the way.

I'm writing this on Saturday evening after a day of doing very little. It's been wonderful. I hope your weekend is equally relaxing.

Linking to Sunlit Sunday and Mosaic Monday

Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple Pleasures

The days are so full as I adapt to these weeks of full-time teaching. My husband leaves the house around 7:30 and I'm out the door by 8 at the latest. Once at school I have no time to think about anything other than classes, students and lesson plans until I get home around 4:00, unless I stop to pick up groceries or run errands. I enjoy being there, but I'm realizing how much freedom I've given up. Five weeks until spring break. Then....? Perhaps the regular teacher will return, perhaps not. 

This is the way millions of women around the world live, and I know that I would get used to it. I don't feel particularly rushed, but I do feel like I have to lay aside, for the time being, some of the things I enjoy doing. As well, I've realized that I need some small delights along the way, so I've created a little list for myself.

* flowers - the current ones in the vase are looking terrible, but they'll be replaced soon (maybe by my husband???)

* he made a breakfast reservation for tomorrow morning at the Sea Glass Bistro - I can sleep in - and have a delicious breakfast with that wonderful man

* a few minutes with my feet up when I get home

* a cup of tea or hot chocolate to sip while indulging in the above

* leaving my sewing out so that I can stitch just a seam or two as time allows

* leafing through a magazine (February's British Country Living)

* a few minutes in the evening with my journal and a pen

What small delights are you enjoying these days?

This year is a light version of Valentine's Day. Cookies may or may not be baked. I purchased a couple of little treats for the grand sweeties and that's about it. It's lovely to see pink hearts and tea parties and romantic decor in blog land. I'm enjoying reading the posts but I'm not commenting as much. As I adjust to this temporary new schedule, that may or may not change.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day whether you are alone or with friends or family - it's a day to celebrate all kinds of love.