Sunday, December 25, 2011

Yuletide Blessings!

The light of the growing days to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and goodwill of friends to you,
The love of the Ancestors and the Gods give peace to you.

{a revised Irish Christmas blessing}

We wish our all of our readers warm hearths and hearts, and all of the best for 2012!


Aymi & Laurel

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Shiny People {& Goats!}

Sherry & Yan - Piebird B&B from Patrick Gilbert on Vimeo.

Just a video of awesomeness of the folks of Piebird/Soggy Creek. Also check out an article of Yan's that I posted earlier this year.



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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Once Again

{royalty free photo}

I have tidings for you;
the stag bells,
winter snows,
summer has gone.

Wind high and cold,
the sun low,
short its course,
the sea running high.

Crimson the bracken,
it has lost its shape,
the wild goose has raised
its accustomed cry.

Cold has seized
the birds' wings,
season of ice,
these are my tidings.

~Ninth Century Irish Poem

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Solstice at Newgrange Live Webcast

Thought that this might of interest to some of our readers....

The 2011 Winter Solstice Sunrise Illumination at the Newgrange World Heritage site will be broadcast live by Heritage Ireland on December 21st from about 8:30am.

The Winter Solstice illumination at Newgrange was first was streamed live on the internet in 2007. Victor Reijs has posted a six minute compilation on YouTube of the one hour OPW (Office of Public Works) streamed video.

On the 21st of December the 5000 year old technology worked beautifully, with the winter solstice sunrise beam of golden light filling the Newgrange passage and chamber, however the 21st century webcast streaming technology struggled to cope when the maximum expected number of viewers exceeded 300,000.

You can find out more at Oh, at it starts at 8:30 am Ireland time. ;)



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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guilty Pleasures: Xmas Shows From My Youth

I'll admit it. There are a handful of really, really, really obnoxious Christmas shows that I enjoy watching. They are over-the-top either in the sappy or tacky department {often both!}, but isn't that what this time of year is all about? ;)

Christmas shopping, dinner at the in-laws, and 20 feet of snow not skeery enough for you? Give Gremlins a whirl!

If you want to laugh at other peoples' holiday horrors there is always National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation & A Christmas Story.

Or if you prefer to see villains change their ways you could watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas & Mickey's A Christmas Carol.

There is also the Muppet Christmas Carol,

But my favourite is definitely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer which has an awesome overload of bad music and funny animation! <3




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Monday, December 12, 2011

Woodland Critter Tree

We were hoping to find another potted evergreen tree for this Yuletide that we could eventually replant. All the ones in our area have been sold, so we just decorated the Norfolk Island pine that we purchased last year.

Over the last year we kept "Norbert" as we would any other indoor plant and has done quite well. One thing we noticed with this type of tree is that you have to be pretty careful while decorating it as their branches seem quite delicate. So no crazy heavy ornaments or lights.

Besides pretties such as wee pine cones and acorns, old xmas card cut outs are light enough for the branches. Free, quick & repurposed...what's not to love? ;)



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Thursday, December 8, 2011

...a musical interlude...

Just some luverly music. I hope that you folks enjoy. :)




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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Actually Have Things in Our Etsy Shop

It has been ages since anything has been added to our little Etsy shop. But I have just added a few items and I will hopefully be posting some more tomorrow. All the items so far are just vintage pretties.



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Monday, December 5, 2011

Hand Painted Raven Bodhrán by Brigid Ashwood

A little too pretty to take a tipper too, but if I had an extra $600, this would be hanging on my wall! It's a good thing that she has prints of the gorgeous ravens for a more affordable $15. ;)

There are plenty of other luverlies in Brigid Ashwood's shop as well. Here are just a few:



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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Garden Report for 2011

I think that this is the fourth season we have participated in the Growing Challenge {click here to see reports from other years and other posts on the topic}. I won't be mention every single thing we grew because I that would take more time than I have. All of herbs and perennials did great, which strikes a whole bunch off of the list. Below I think is just about everything else, although being as scattered as I am these days, I wouldn't be surprised if some were forgotten. As with other years I am doing the 1 to 5 rating system {1 lowest, 5 highest}.


4. We enjoyed the New Sun arugula from Soggy Creek Seed Co.!

Beans {Bush & Pole}

5. I am totally in love with the French climbing pole beans that we got from the luverly folks at Plant Trees, It's Self Defense and the Purple Mustache pole beans from Soggy Creek Seed Co! <3 Our Scarlet Runners did well too, the Contender bush beans were great as ever, and I really enjoyed Tanya's Pink Podded and the Blue Jay bush beans as well. Hopefully we will have room for them all next year in our new garden!


5. With our soil finally up to snuff, we could really enjoy beautiful big beets! The ones from Soggy Creek were especially happy. :)


4. Considering all the problems I have had with carrots on this property in the past, 4 might as well be a 10! This year's stars were the Atomic Reds & Cosmic Purples.


1. An epic fail. I am completely wet behind the ears when it comes to growing these. They barely even germinated.


5. Chard is usually reliable, but it was an especially great year for greens!


4. We didn't grow too many but the Lemons were very happy!


5. Both the Dinosaur and Red Russian grew from Spring to final harvest.


5. Our lettuces were especially bountiful this year. The Learn to Dance With from Soggy Creek I think could survive just about everything and the old faithfuls lived up to their station! ;)


2. They eventually grew but had no chance to fruit. Another first try for me. Maybe I'll have better luck in 2012.


4. There were some issues with loppers in late Spring, but were caught in time.


5. We have what seems a life time supply of nasturtium honey and poor man's capers thanks for the wonderful harvest.


4. Average harvest but no problems.


4. Not too shabby!


5. Peas for Peace were plentiful and the Devon peas were so pretty! :D


5. The pride of 2011! We will have tatters for the whole Winter.


3.5 We love our Small Sugars, they are real troopers. Powdery mildew was more of an issue this year, otherwise it would have been a 4 or 5.


4. Come July when everyone else seemed to bolt, our Crop Circles stayed tender and sweet.


4. Some lopper issues but it kept on truckin' all Summer.


5. Real beauties that had an earlier start this year. The Russian Mammoths that our Devon friends sent us stole our hearts. :)


4. This was our first time growing tobacco {wild} so it was a learning experience. They did so much better in the ground than they did in big containers. Duly noted for next year!


5. What can I say? Our tomato plants ended up creating a wee jungle and had so much fruit. The Old Timers gained a spot in next year's garden and the Yellow Pears are still my favourite cherry tomato.


5. Hobo turnips are my favourite turnip ever and they make great Jack-o'-Lanterns. And some of the White Eggs ended up being the size of a baseball. :D

Winter Squash

3. Most of our squashes got hit pretty hard by the powdery mildew which I think declined their fruiting potential. We still got crap loads, but not as much as previous years.


5. The only thing Strange about the Zucchini from Outer Space is how persistent it is. This stuff is darn prolific, darn tasty, and stands up to the nastiest powdery mildew. Next year I will make sure to give it plenty of more space because the plants like to take over!


And there you have it. Now I am off to daydream about Garden 2012.



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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Water, Feathers & Another Jack.

Things at the new stead were messed up for a bit due to a flood we had. The guy who installed the new bathtub forgot to do something with the flood guard {sorry folks, a plumber I am not} and a whole bunch of water ended up going through to the two floors below. Our landlord is great and got on it right away though. The issue was fixed and some more renos had to be done to make sure there would be no mold in the future. Bubble baths are now safe. :D

Speaking of water, our new home is right by the lake and there is a public beach is just around the corner.

Slowly we have been making the yard ours and we have big plans for this small space {a post and photos to come eventually}. There are a lot of trees surrounding us, but not many on our actual property, so we put up our bird feeder in a temporary spot until we get one of those metal poles to put it on. All sorts of feathered and furry critters have been visiting, especially the chickadees.

As busy as these last few weeks were, I have been making sure to take some time every day to make offerings and devotionals to the Ancestors. Below is a picture of our little Ancestral altar with some offerings around the 6th or 7th of November.

This is at the base of the altar. Pictured is last year's Parshell Cross prior to being burnt at our friend's bonfire shindig.

And as promised, another picture of a turnip Jack-o'-Lantern. It is looking rather sad after being on the altar for a few days. :*(

That is all for now. I have some book reviews, the 2011 garden overview and some other news coming down the pipe soon.



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