Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fond 'good-bye' to the "Purple Pig"

In everything, there is a season.

This week, saw the end our our time with the trusty Purple Pig. It was getting beyond the point of putting more $$$ in repairs. So, Peter had to start looking for another truck to take it's place.

After several expeditions to various car lots, and many hours of research on the Internet (yes, by Peter!) a new candidate was found.

Peter tested it to make sure that it would hold a water tank for the all important 'hauling of water' and after some pretty crafty negotiations on his part, the Purple Pig was traded in on a silver 2003 Ford F150 4x4 with a 'short' box.

Welcome to Peter's new toy. It is the same color as our Ford Taurus, so now we have a matching set.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quilting :)

Quilting - it's what I love to do.

I have been quilting for about 10 years now and have lots of quilts. Many have been given as gifts. Many are personal favourites. I have quilts on all the beds; quilts at each sofa and easy chair; quilts on the walls; table runners; place mats; pot holders; hand bags and I keep making more.

I keep looking for new things to learn in the world of quilting and keep trying to get better and better at the craft. In the process I have taken various classes and joined quilt guilds. When we moved to 'the County', I joined the Prince Edward County Quilters' Guild and became involved with the guild.

I helped design the new Membership Brochure. It turned out very well and was put to use at the 2010 Quilt Show. I also assisted with the quilt show by helping with the set up of the show and running the cash desk for quilt sales. I was also encouraged by members of my new guild to put a couple of quilts in the show as well as submit them for judging.

What a scary prospect! I didn't think my work was ready for that. So thinking that I really had nothing to loose, I entered 2 quilts. The first was a queen-size log cabin quilt in a classic barn raising arrangement. It is in wonderful country colors of deep red, dark green and tan for contrast. It was a Christmas gift for Peter, so I had to get his permission to enter it. You can imagine how concerned he was that it would be leaving the house for almost a whole week! I hand quilted it while recovering from foot surgery. It took over 100 hours of quilting time. Imagine my surprise and Peter's delight when I won a big red "First Prize" ribbon in it's category.

The second quilt I entered was really brave of me. It is one I designed myself to fit in our new home here in the County. It is a wall quilt with a center medallion of a pineapple, the international symbol of 'Welcome'. It is surrounded by 'flying geese' blocks to represent all the birds we see here and the four corner stars are in colors representative of the four seasons. Green for spring; yellow for summer; red for autumn and icy blue for winter. It was hand quilted too! I was shocked to see a blue "Second Prize" ribbon on it.

The competition was pretty tough - all very seasoned quilters, so I am still in awe of my prizes. Needless to say - Peter is extraordinarily proud of his 'prize winning' quilt and I doubt he will let it out of the house again soon.

I also displayed my "Death by Chocolate" Quilt. It is a family favourite and especially loved by all our daughters. The guild members also really liked it, so I was persuaded to include it in the show.
I'm still quilting and still having a wonderful time.....and am still involved with the guild.

Just thought you would like to know! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


All the tell tale signs are here. The birds are gathering. The air is crisp. The days are getting shorter. The leaves were first turning and now are falling. It must be autumn!

It is lovely here this time of year. All the farm stands are overflowing with harvests of pumpkins, squash of all kinds, apples, cabbages......

My morning drive to work is very pretty - something different every day. We have had some spectacular sunrises over frosted fields. Even though most of the leaves are down now, the scenery is beautiful and changes daily.

Our little garden has been put to bed. It was fun, but now we will let it rest until spring.

Peter is raking and taking loads of leaves to the 'dump'. Six loads today - with many more to come. One of the down-sides of this many trees. But they are beautiful - glowing gold with the top shining from the last rays of the setting sun.

That's all for today. Enjoy :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Garden

One of the great things about our new home is that we have a large garden. When we moved in, it was VERY big and a bit unruly. There was a row of garlic growing, but it didn't turn out very well. After some research, we found that we didn't really harvest it correctly. Live and learn!

We were very busy getting used to our new neighbourhood. We really didn't spend much time on the garden last year. It did get overgrown with a ton of weeds and when Peter spent a back-breaking day digging them out, found that the garden was also very rocky!!!

Over the winter, Peter formulated a 'plan' and come spring, he followed through and we ended up with a really nice garden and quite a successful harvest!

First the size was a bit much for us. After all, we aren't farmers! So Peter rented a rototiller for the day and loosened up the dirt, including some great compost. Half of the former garden was planted with grass seed and now looks fabulous.

Then three raised beds were constructed and more compost was added. To keep the weeds down, 13 cubic metres (or 7 Purple Pig loads) of red cedar mulch was distributed around the raised beds. It was hard work and the result was fantastic. The cedar mulch is nice to walk on, keeps shoes / boots fairly dirt free and did keep the weeds down.

We transplanted several rhubarb roots and hope to get a harvest next spring. A couple of gooseberry bushes were donated by a friend and they seem to be doing well, though no fruit this year. We planted red peppers, several varieties of tomatoes, green & yellow beans, zucchini, cucumbers and lots of herbs including lovage, chives, garlic chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, dill, basil, arugula and oregano.

The harvest was pretty spectacular for our first attempt. We had many dinners of fresh beans, tomatoes, & cucumbers. The herbs did really well. We had so many zucchini that I made several zucchini loaves and the very popular, chocolate zucchini cake. We even managed to freeze beans and some herbs.

The red peppers didn't do too well, and we have ideas of how to improve the garden to be even better next year! Stay tuned for more updates and happy gardening!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The "Purple Pig"

As you now know, we have moved to the country.

We have an acre of land with mature trees, a "sometime" stream or 'crick' and a fairly big garden. All this comes with quite a bit of maintenance and many trips to the local transfer station, or as more commonly referred to - the dump.

We also have a well, which when the rains don't come, may get pretty low, necessitating the need to 'haul water'.

In order to keep up with all these chores, we bought a pick up truck.

Peter's new pride and joy is a 1992 Ford F150 with 3/4 ton springs. It has over 225,000 kilometres on it and has been painted an interested shade of purple. The truck has been christened with the name: The Purple Pig! It is so old, that in another year, it won't need an emmissions test to get a new license sticker! Amazing! It has some rust, even a few holes in the floor of the cab, but is reasonably sound.

Peter happily cruises the local highways & by-ways, waving at everyone as he goes along. Everyone knows him now. He has become part of 'the county'! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Catching Up!

OK - so I'm not good at this. The intention was good. So let's move forward and try this again.

We have been here over a year now. My what a difference a year makes. I will update some of our achievements over the past year and some before & after photos too!

Peter is a changed man. He loves his little estate and all the work that goes with it. The first time Peter cut the lawn, it took 10 hours!

He had never used a riding lawn mower and we do have a lot of mature trees! I think that he has managed to get it down to 3 hours on the riding mower and another 3 with the push mower and 'weed whacker'.

When the stream bed is dry, it does take a little longer, as we cut that too, to keep down the bug population.

Peter loves keeping the yard looking neat and tidy and has had many comments from neighbours and 'passers by' that it looks great. He waves at everyone as they drive by and is well known in the community now.
Next time - the garden.......stay tuned.