Saturday 29 July 2023

All Things Nice . . .



A row of onions sticking up their heads,
parsley and dill in their own special beds,
Long rows of carrots . . . cabbages and chard,
Make such a heartsome showing in the yard,
A row of peppergrass and salsify
A clump of rhubarb showing up for pie.

A hill of beans with crisp transparent stalks,
Borders of thyme and sage along the walks,
A row of chives . . . lettuce in leafy clumps,
A bed of cucumbers in rounded humps,
Radishes . . . corn . . . a lovely row of peas,
Asparagus set out beneath the trees.

Tomato plants staked up in tidy rows,
So one can get in handy with the hose,
Long rows of Irish cobblers neat and trim,
For all the world like ladies cool and prim,
Who lift their frilly skirts with modest grace,
To show a lovely petticoat of lace.

For he who tils a garden comes to know,
That there is magic in a tiny row,
Of sprouting beans and  miracles galore,
In one small beet  . . .  and angels  never wore
A fairer garment than a clump of dill
Flowering behind a small potato hill.
~Edna Jacques, Kitchen Garden
Fireside Poems, 1950

This poem reminded me this morning of this old farmhouse that we rented back in the late 1990's in Meaford, Ontario.  It was not much of a house really. It was overrun with mice and ramshackle, heated by an old wood cookstove, but we had a lovely garden plot next to the house in which we grew loads of peas and beans, potatoes, carrots, onions, corn . . . squash and zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes.  It was a lovely garden plot and we sure enjoyed the bounty that we got from it, although I do think that the racoons got more corn from it than we did!

Lovely memories also of blackberry picking with my sister on the banks of the Georgian Bay.  I made up glistening jars of deep purple blackberry jelly.  We watched birds together and made crafts.  Sweet moments in time that I carry in my heart forever.

These are Eileen's medals from the Summer Nova Scotia Special Olympics Games that she competed in a few weeks back. She did ribbon gymnastics and got a gold, two silvers and a bronze. This was the first year for the ribbon gymnastics and Eileen really enjoyed it. I think she did really well and should be very proud of her accomplishments. There was a whole routine to do, including work with a hoop. Training will begin again in September for the next games.

I think the Special Olympics is a wonderful program for challenged people to participate in.  I know that my daughter has always really enjoyed it.  She has participated in bowling and cross country skiing, track and field and many other sports.  Her husband does as well. This program has also helped a great deal to boost their confidence in themselves.  I know they really missed it during the pandemic when everything was shut down.  I don't think that the bowling has started back up again, but hopefully it will in the autumn.  Eileen has always enjoyed the bowling.

We have had a lot of rain this summer so far, hence the floods, after a dry, dry spring and winter. Our grass is lovely and green now and the gardens seem to be flourishing. My window boxes are not doing very well again however.  Last year they did not either.  I think this is the last year I will do window boxes.  I will clear them out and maybe Cindy can use them out at the house. Dan is really good with plants and stuff. I am sure he will be able to get something growing in them.  I am just not a gardener.  

I do miss  my gardens in England. They were always so lush and green and everything grew so well without a lot of effort.  I am not a person who can really get down and garden. Getting on my knees is no longer viable for me.


We took our dad to his Doctor's appointment yesterday and the four of us (Cindy, Eileen, dad and myself) had lunch at Jonny's. It was good as always.  Dad had onion rings and we three had the Newf Poutine, but this time we had chicken on top as well. It was really delicious, but none of us could finish it. We ended up bringing half of it home.  Not sure when it will get eaten, maybe for lunch today.

This morning we are all going together to get dad's shopping in and go to Walmart and pick up a few bits. Its good to get out of the house. Eileen doesn't get to go to many places when she is on her own. They don't have a car and so wherever they go it has to be by bus.  The transport here is not that great. Not like in England where there was a bus every 10 minutes.

But it is a very rural area and we are lucky to have transportation available at all. 

Eileen is enjoying the cats and the cats are really enjoying her. At first they were a bit iffy, not too sure, but they have settled down now.  Eileen and Tim are not allowed to have pets where they are living now, but they are on a waiting list for some low rental housing places very similar to my place, and they hope to get a pet then.  Eileen had her own cat to take care of when she was growing up.  She was a very good cat mother. That cat of hers never lacked for attention or anything else.  Eileen took very good care of it.   I am not sure how responsible Tim would be with a pet, but I am sure that Eileen would make up for any lack on his part. 

The apartment they have now is on the top floor of the building. It is only four stories high, but that is a lot of stairs to cope with when you are getting older and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing when you are trying to carry up groceries. It will be good for them to get into a more accessible place.  I hope that the wait is not too long for them.


The stalks of corn are almost as tall as a man out there now. I noticed yesterday as we were driving by the corn fields. You can really see the difference every time that you go by.  I might pick up a few years today when we are out shopping.

When we were growing up we really used to look forward to corn season.  Every year we would have at least a few feeds of corn.  On those nights that is all we would have for supper, just fresh ears of corn with plenty of butter and salt. It was some delicious!

We used to do the same thing when my children were growing up.  When we lived in Southern Ontario we used to buy the corn fresh each day from the back of a wagon during corn season. They would be set up on the country roads near wherever we were living.  You could get a baker's dozen for very cheap.  We always put the children to work husking it.  They did not mind as they always knew that their reward at the end of it was all you can eat corn on the cob.  

Nothing on earth tastes better than corn fresh picked and cooked on the day, with plenty of butter and salt.


It is hard to believe that we are at the end of July now and almost into August. The summer weeks are passing by so quickly.   I have to admit that I am not so much of a fan of summer with all of its heat and humidity, earwigs and ants.  I am an autumn girl, through and through.  I love the cooler nights for sleeping. And the days can still be lovely and warm without being so humid. I love the changing colors.  I don't even mind Winter all that much.   Perhaps I am an odd duck in that respect.  I am looking forward to having a working heat pump this winter at any rate!  Fingers crossed.

Its been working really well this summer, keeping things nice and cool in here when its hot and sticky outside.   I do not remember it getting really hot and sticky when I was a child, or maybe I just tolerated it a lot better. Perhaps as you age you tolerate things less and less.


I think I will pick up some plums or something like that today. Not a lot, just a few to munch on. My sister picked up Plu-ots the other day, a mix of plum and apricot.   I think, of all the fruits, I am most fond of plums.  They are so lovely and sweet when ripe.   Their skins just a bit tart. I also love nectarines.

I think at this time of year one needs to go to the farm shops every day and just pick up what is ripe and ready as and when you need it.  Everything at the farm shops is at their very best.  Beans, peas, corn, potatoes. Oh, I do so love a plate of buttered new potatoes, tasting all earthy.  I could eat just that and nothing else and be quite happy.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day. I am not sure what time we will be out and about this morning and I want to be ready when my sister calls.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *Family faces are magic mirrors.
Looking at people who belong to us
we are the past, present and future.
~Gail Lumet Buckley•。★★ 。* 。

Do you love the flavors of Lemon & Ginger together?  I think they are perfect partners and so beautifully highlighted in this delicious Lemon & Ginger Snack Cake.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  We are off shopping today and I may take a trip up to mom's grave a bit later on. We will see what happens.  In any case, do have a lovely weekend. Stay safe, be happy and don't forget! 

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And I do too! 


  1. Sounds like you all are having a fine happy for you, Marie!! I am with you so looking forward to Fall!!
    Elizabeth xoxo

    1. I don't like the heat and humidity much Elizabeth! I am glad that I don't live down under in Australia! Or Central America, Texas or Florida! I don't know how people can stand it! xoxo

  2. Well done at the Special Olympics Eileen. That would be lovely if they got a house like yours. Poem is perfect for this time of year when vegges are plentiful. It is much cooler today, and we had rain this morning. I don't like the humidity. We stopped at the library this morning to pick up some books. I had finished the others, so they got returned. Reading in the forecast for me today. Enjoy your outing.

    1. She says thank you very much Linda! It would indeed be lovely if they could get a bungalow. It is hot here today, although not quite as humid. Thank you! Enjoy your reading day! xoxo

  3. It's such a delight to read your blog. Yes our gardens here in UK are green but not so much this summer, we've had a scorching month and everything dried up, even here in S Wales where people think it rains all the time. It has rained now, and our grass is green again. Lovely memories of you and your sister picking blackberries, I did that as a child too.

  4. Bravo Eileen!!!!They are beautiful.So much rain..I preyed for it.I got it.Too much.


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