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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back in the Garden Again!! And a recipe!!

After a long week working at Capital Ex every day, plus 2 days in the previous week (another blog post, I hope), I'm happy to be able to putter in my garden and coddle my flowers again!! Mind you, the ample supply of mosquitos due to the copious and at times Biblical proportions of rainfall, make it more challenging that it was 2 weeks ago. But all one can do is either dress in long pants and long sleeved shirts--which given the high humidity readings every day, is nothing short of  torture--or spray on "Buzz Away" a Citronella Oil containing  insect repellant from Planet Organic. It doesn't say what else is in the spray!!! Well it has to be better than Off and stuff like that! So let's head outdoors, slapping as we go!!
Sweet pepper growing nicely!

My gigantic dill bush/tree!!

Close-up of a florette of dill

Despite seeing a lot of the tiny apples drop on the ground earlier this year, and despite the fact that the tree of my favorite variety is dying, there are some lovely apples up there!!  Apple trees have a life expectancy--bet you didn't know that--of about 40 years.  Several branches are going, but we have been nursing some seedlings to take over, so we won't be appleless.

The raspberries have been outstanding!! I broke a personal record of baskets picked in one session--previously 4 and a little bit.  The new record is 6 baskets!! The combination of heat and rain has really inspired them!!

Beautiful giant dragonfly ( 3 inches long), taking a break from consuming mosquitos!! I have a regular squadron of them flying around the yard and I always encourage them to catch more!!

First bean picking yesterday!!

First tomatoes from the garden--Tiny Tim's--sooooo good!!

And put them together in a Greek Green Bean Salad!

Abelofasoula Salata (Green Bean Salad)

1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut in 1 inch pieces or left whole if they are still slender
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Steam the beans until almost tender
Whisk oil, vinegar, and salt together and pour over the beans.

I've added a couple of things from another recipe. I chop up one medium tomato or several small ones and mix them with the beans.  And I add about 1/2 tsp. of oregano to the oil and vinegar dressing.  I also use a lot less oil and vinegar and find a couple of tablespoons of each is more than enough.  But you might like more. Then I sprinkle some feta cheese on top--sheep feta is best, but goat is fine.  I used to get sheep feta from Planet Organic, but they haven't had any for some time. Then I found some at The Great Canadian Stupor Store, of all places!!

I'm not a big fan of beans--of any kind, despite the fact that I plant too many green beans every year!! But I really like this use of green beans! Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


No puppy for us this year :(  Sabrina had her puppies on Sunday, July 22, but only had 5--4 girls and 1 boy.  He's a rough sable merle, but there was a woman who had paid in full for her male puppy (in fact she wanted 2 from either of the 2 litters that didn't happen) so she took precedence.  I was first for a Callie puppy and had a deposit in, but when she didn't have puppies, I was on Sprite's list, but no longer first. I phoned Dave to tell him and asked him forlornly, "Is Duffy going to be an only dog, just like I'm an only child?" He said no--bless him!!

Cheryl says she's going to breed Smokey (a lovely rough blue merle) and Delilah (a tri smooth) this winter, so I'm staying on the list there.  I also asked Diana of Entais Collies if she could put me on a list for a Cardiff puppy.  I know I could have a puppy tomorrow, if I gave up my principles and beliefs about vaccinations or wanted to deal with drama filled breeders, but I don't. The former is too important to me and the latter is just too exhausting.  I guess sometimes one does have to wait for the best things in life!!

Meanwhile, I'll be able to take the Homeopathic Repertorization course in September.  If we'd have got a puppy, I don't think I could have taken the course because a new puppy is a lot of work.

I'll leave you with some photos from last week's agility class.  Dave was up here, so I asked him to take photos--but he doesn't think in blog terms!! How can that be????
Good shot of 3 butts! Duffy's is the cutest!!!

I think this was a sequence of jump, tunnel, jump, so I was encouraging him along to the jump.

Duffy was watching the pros practise on the full course on the other side of the arena.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm very glad...

That I'm not working at Capital Ex this afternoon!

One of several downpours we are having this afternoon

Almost an inch in  the last 2 hours!! The Edmonton Indy is on this weekend too--kind of wet for the fans and more dangerous for the drivers.

The poor flowers!! But thank goodness it isn't hail!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

If Sabrina doesn't have puppies...

I will cry for at least a week, not just the 2 hours I cried when I learned there were no puppies for Callie :(

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two weeks in the life...

There was the July 1 long weekend--rained Canada Day morning, then cleared off, and Monday was really nice.  Tuesday we were without water all day--water main work down the lane.  I had filled pails and half filled 5 gallon containers, just in case their work went longer--they had warned about that.  Tuesday evening into Wednesday, we had the most amount of rain fall since May--1inch!! Hooray! Wednesday the strong winds knocked out our power for 3 hours.  Not Hooray!
Heat's great for the garden!

And then the heat wave started to build! Thursday was just right--I took my dad for a 'stroll' around the block of the Edmonton General. By Saturday we were in humidity hell--and since then I swear that I'm living on the Mississippi River delta!! Saturday, Duffy and I attended an all day Beginners Agility Workshop put on by the K9 Korruption Dog Sports and Training Club at their facilities at the Beverly Heights Community League.  It's the hockey rink--which is really nice and fenced, but no shade!! There were 6 of us attending--3 had done some agility, 2 of whom had competed in trials, and 3 of us who had no agility experience. The instructor was Dan Roufosse--he had along his 1 1/2 year old smooth sable Collie girl named Ice (bred by Trudy Taphorn, and a Kennedy granddaughter!) and his blue merle Sheltie X-Stream, ranked in AAC with 24 legs earned this year and 4 titles. He going to the Nationals in BC next month, with X.
Bella ( in the foreground) helping Dan lay out another course.
Duffy keeping relatively cool in his camper crate that I had bought at a dog show when Jolene was up here showing Kort. She had this style for her boys, and I thought it was a good investment!

All in all we had a good time.  Duffy had done an A-frame after Conformation classes once, so that was a breeze!  Duffy quickly caught on to the dog walk, the chute, and some of the tunnels--he didn't like the yellow one though!! We all got to run a Standard, Jumpers, Snooker, and Gamblers course--or modified ones depending on the age and experience of the dog.  We didn't do the teeter and the jumps were 10 inches.  This Wednesday evening, we start Agility classes--they are underway already with 3 classes done, but as we had a crash course, so to speak, on Saturday, we'll get some homework at the Agility Drop-In on Friday to catch up and as they are just doing the dog walk tomorrow night, we are okay there. Pretty cool eh?

Thursday is the Capital Ex Kick-off event for volunteers--they give us the low-down on the new events, show us a Rah Rah video, and feed us a meal! Edmonton's summer fair is going to have a new name by the time 'Capital Ex' is over.  When I was a kid, it was known as the Edmonton Exhibition, then in the 1960's it became Klondike Days, and then several years ago some bright spark decided we should sound all trendy and 'X Men' and 'X Factor' like with Capital Ex.  I hate the name and apparently I'm not alone!! Enough people protested, so they began asking for suggestions, then they short-listed 6 names, and people will be able to cast their vote during the 10 days of the exhibition.   A lot of folks want Klondike Days back again. I think the name and the fair should reflect Edmonton's history--First Nations' presence, the fur trade, agriculture, education centre, and capital of the province. Should be interesting to see what happens.
This is from last year--this is the outfit we have to wear.  Dark pants or capris on a hot summer day--thanks! Notice the dressing bandage on my left leg. Just a couple of days before Capital Ex started I tangled with a weed whacker--the cover flew off.
This is what my leg looked like the day of the accident-July 20, 2011.

Not a clear picture, but this was October 2011. It bled and oozed and hurt for months.  It was February of this year before I could leave off a dressing finally.

And this is what it looks like today--bruising now, the last stages of healing. Dave figures the cord cut almost to the bone! Ugh! Good thing I didn't think it was as bad as it really was. It got infected from time to time, but I kept using colloidol silver, topically and orally, and ignored everyone telling me I needed to get to a doctor and get antibiotics. It couldn't be sewn up and antibiotics wouldn't heal it, so what was the point.  I also let Duffy lick it--dogs having an antiseptic saliva.  I didn't tell my antibiotic promoting friends about that!! They would have had a heart attack!!

Next Tuesday, I do my first stint of volunteering at Northlands--pre-Capital Ex-- stuffing bags for 4 hours!!  They keep sending volunteer jobs, but I decided I have to have a limit and some just aren't my cup pf tea either--like entertaining people along the parade route prior to the parade, or carrying big awkward balloons! So starting Friday, the first day of Capital Ex, and for 5 days the following week, I'll either be an Arrival Ambassador (snicker--we were Gate Greeters last year!!) or a Western Gallery Booth Relief person. I don't work the weekends--too many people then!!

So there's my life into August--Agility classes with Duffy, volunteering, doing the usual stuff like I did today--picking a pile of rhubarb, picking the first raspberries of the season, watering the turning brown lawn, and trying to stay cool in the heat.  We broke a record yesterday--it was +33 with the Humidex putting it at +36. That's about 98' and way too hot for us up here in the Frozen North! LOL! Oh yeah, and still waiting to hear if there are any puppies from Duffy's sister Callie.  I'm starting to get a little concerned--her due date was Friday. And last, but not least, we have some undesirable elements on this block, that have been partying it up into the wee hours of the weekend mornings, and playing little tricks on people.  The neighbor's had their propane tank put in a water barrel, boards were moved, and a beer can was left in the wheelbarrow.  Saturday night, my side gate was opened and left that way. Duffy must have barked, but I didn't hear anything as I had the fan going so I could sleep.  Duffy was outside during the night--he likes that as it's way cooler than the house. When I saw the gate at 7:30 Sunday morning, I almost had a heart attack. I just thank God, that apparently Duffy has a strong sense of his property and didn't leave the yard. I went to Canadian Tire and bought a padlock and cable to wrap around the bar.  I think it's time to get a 5 foot fence and proper gate put in there. Oh and I'd like to mount a Gatling Gun on the roof! No, I'm not kidding!!
I hope there's another collie in my future besides Duffy and his pal Duncan!!