Sunday, May 26, 2019

Pumpkins, Mint, Corned Beef and Pets!


Hello Friends :)

I hope you're having a nice weekend! The sun finally showed up here in the Laurentians, but only for a few hours on Saturday morning - I took full advantage and spent as much time in the yard as I could before it started to pour rain again!


Alex and I treated ourselves to a nursery visit last week and we got some really nice plants! Since my strawberries didn't grow at all last year, I decided to buy a plant and is it ever beautiful! It's a mix of mint and strawberries, I wish I had smello-net to share the fragrance of this plant, it's intoxicating! Mint is supposed to repel deer and I also read it repels squirrels, so I hope those little critters stay away this year!


I have some mint tea steeping and Alex is going to make us some Mint Juleps! :)


At night it gets really cold still, I bring the strawberry plant in and it sits nicely in my window garden! Alex bought me some geraniums and a begonia plant too - they really brighten up my window!

"The Great Pumpkin" (Prismacolor Pencils)

A little pumpkin challenge is afoot!! :) Many of you know our friend Mama Pea. Well, she and I have a friendly little contest going on this summer to see who can grow bigger pumpkins! (I think she'll win) Does anyone else grow pumpkins? Would you like to join in and compare notes throughout the summer? No pressure, no rigid competition, just a friendly game between friends who love pumpkins and gardening!


I have my seedlings all planted in the pumpkin patches! I have carving pumpkins and sugar pumpkins. Half the patch holds the seedlings I grew in the window and I planted more seeds in the empty side of each patch. Last year I got 4 pumpkins in total, I'm hoping for more this year!


I got some dollar store solar lanterns too, I love them. I may get some more to put all around the yard.


Here's a neat project we're working on - a homemade greenhouse! Last year all of my tomatoes were infected with some kind of spore-generated fungus and I lost all but a few of them. This year I'm going to try to protect them but didn't want to spend too much money. I had an old porch swing frame and there were some bed frames in the basement here when we moved in. Alex set the frames up for me in an "A" shape and the next step is to put row cover around it. The poles are dug into the ground for stability. I'll keep you up to date on this project! I can fit about 12 pots of tomatoes in there!


My tomato seedlings are growing fast so I need to get this done in the next few weeks! I also have another 6 pots that I seeded the other day - last year was my potato year, this year will be my tomato year!!! (fingers crossed!!!)


Breakfast for dinner: Corned Beef Hash with Eggs with fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade bread, yum! Over easy for Alex and scrambled whites for me!


We don't see the phrase "corned beef" here, just "smoked meat"...which I'm told is basically the same thing? Is pastrami the same thing too? I always buy the smoked meat from a restaurant here called Dunn's - one of the best! Montreal definitely does smoked meat right - that and bagels!


Charlie and Oscar the Cat are at it again - so much love between those two besties!!! :)


Shifty-eyed Jack wondering just how many photos I can take of him! :)

Shark (Watercolour) September 2017

If anyone is interested, next Thursday's art theme is Sea Creature (May 30th) - click on the link for ideas and inspiration!

39 comments:

Pam said...

I have a painting that I did that I think I will post on Thursdays Art Date!!I did not do Michaels that much cause it was all art but I wanted to thank you for including photography! I am growing NOTHING this yr. I did tomatoes last yr that did not do good so I am not even doing them this yr. Heck, my flowers are not even doing that great. They NEED LOVE. I need to get out and give them some. Your food always looks so good. I only boil chicken thighs these days. Dogs eat better than me! HOwever I just made baked beans and the bundt cake just came out of the oven. Going to a friends later for a cookout. Hoping you are having a great weekend.

NanaDiana said...

I think you have a pretty good handle on your spring/summer plantings. I have never lived anywhere long enough to develop a strawberry patch. I am only doing a few potted plants this year because we are in a rental and not sure if we will move this fall or not. (trying to decide what to do when we grow up now that we have sold our house).
Have a wonderful Sunday- xo Diana

Anonymous said...

Oh I cannot wait to see how the tomatoes do! And the pumpkins and the strawberries, shifty eye Jack, that’s a good one because he does have a bit of side eye going on doesn’t he lol, that is a gorgeous shark! We have a garden at our property and this year we will be more there so things might not all get eaten by the other land residents ( squirrels, deer, porcupine, Martin, weasel, bear, and lord love us we had a moose on Thursday wander through! I haven’t a hope for any leafy greens lol, even the skunks eat our strawberries! Your meal looks so good, makes me hungry! That photo of where you bring the strawberries in next to your window garden looks like a magazine photo! Beautiful, very Country Living / Martha Stewart with the matching pots on the window shelves! Beautiful

Christine said...

good luck with your pumpkin challenge!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

that window pic is gorgeous! i love the hanging basket.charlie and oscar are spooning...they couldn't be cuter! jack looks sad...is that his normal look just like willie always looks grumpy? i love corned beef hash!

Sandi said...

Your food always looks so good, I'm like the shark in the last picture!

Leigh said...

A greenhouse! What a great project. Dan and I have been discussing building one too. You'll get a lot of use out of yours so far north. Charlie and Oscar are so cute! So nice to have such a good friend.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh my, NO, Montreal smoked meat, corned beef and pastrami are NOT the same thing at all! Yes, they're all deli meats but each one has its own unique taste. I adore corned beef, will eat Montreal smoked meat in a pinch, and dislike pastrami (I find it very slimy). And I will only eat corned beef cold (not hot). It goes best with fresh rye or multigrain bread with hot mustard. Yum!

baili said...

this is great that you enjoyed some sun before it rained again dear Rain!

visit to nursery is always delightful

i thoroughly LOVED your window garden ,hope your pumpkins be the biggest one by the Grace of God :)

best wishes for greenhouse ,sounds interesting idea

and best wishes for your tomatoes too ,hope they grow free of harm this year

your food looks appealing as always !!!

Oh this pumpkin painting took away my heart :))),so cherished and happy :)

but shark gave me fright though lol
more blessings to you dear friend!
hugs!

Rain said...

Hi Pam :) Oh I can't wait to see your painting!! :) I'm happy to see your photography always! I hope you can get some garden therapy! With the cold weather we're having, I'm getting worried that none of my veggies will grow well, mind you it's still May so I should have hope for summer just around the corner! Enjoy your cookout!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Diana :) Some potted plants are nice to grow! Mostly everything I plant is in pots except for the pumpkins. I need something that isn't too permanent, because as you know we rent as well! I dream of a strawberry patch one of these days! :)

Rain said...

Hi Laurie :) Jack ALWAYS has the side-eye going on lol...he's very funny to watch! Oh thank you! I never thought I had the Country Living or Martha Stewart flair in me lol...it does look very nice in that window though! It's my only sunny window, I have one in the kitchen but soon the lilac tree will block the sun, so everything goes there!

Rain said...

Thanks Christine! :) I hope the weather cooperates!!! I'll be happy if I just grow one!

Rain said...

Hi Joyce :) Yes! They are spooning, so cute. Oscar is the only one of the three cats who will go near the dogs and he's so cuddly with all of them. He lets Jack lick his ears lol...Jack has that typical hound dog face. I often say that he looks sad too, but that's his typical look :)

Rain said...

Thanks Sandi! :)

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) Well, it's a small make-shift greenhouse for now! Just really to protect the tomatoes from disease. One of these days though, I dream of a huge heated greenhouse so I can have salad and tomatoes all winter long...one day! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Debra :) I've never tried corned beef or pastrami! Smoked meat was such a regular meal for us growing up, I never stray too far from that one! :) Oh yes, mustard is a necessity! :)

Rain said...

Hi Baili :) Thank you :) I'm hoping for more sun today. It was only 5 C this morning during my dog walk, I had my winter coat and gloves back on, ugh! My shark is pretty scary! It took me a long time to get the eye the way I liked it, hollow and deathly!!! :) I hope my pumpkins grow well too, I'll keep you all posted throughout the summer! xx

wyomingheart said...

Hi Rain! Challenge accepted... pumpkins have not been planted yet, but I will plant this week... some small pie pumpkins and some for Jack-O-Lanterns! I will keep you updated on the progress... your besties are sooo perfect! Our mush-ball Cat wants to cuddle with our Jack Russell all the time... Our Jack Russell wants nothing to do with feline hugs...we can almost hear our cat singing the song "Why can't we be friends...Why can't we be friends!" Lol!

Nicole said...

OMG Charlie and Oscar are the cutest. that picture is too cute.
I don't know if u have ver seen our pumpkins last year. We had sooo many. not all of htem were super big but they were all carvable. I need to show u some pictures. Good luck with your babies this year. I don't have enough space this year for pumpkins. or maybe Ill find a corner somewhere...
your strawberry hanging basket looks beautiful. I can imagine how winderful it smells. We went to the nursery the other day and i told Lil she could pick one plant for herself. she picked peppermint as well. I love peppermint tea from fresh leaves. yummm
Your window looks so pretty every year :)
I can't wait to see how the greenhouse turns out.

Sam I Am...... said...

I guess you're not moving? Did you have to sign another year's lease?
My pumpkins will not be big just medium. Each year they rot and fall off my porch and start growing in my front yard. I usually get 2 or 3. This year I took them to the back before they got 'soft' and threw them in the part next to the woods that I don't mow. We'll see what happens. I haven't gone out there to see if they're up yet.
What a great idea about the greenhouse and a swing set frame! Genius!
Your plants always look so good....you have a green thumb for sure!
Jack has the saddest eyes in the world. I swear you could put him on a street corner with a cup and a sign and I bet you would bring in a lot of money! LOL! He's heart breaker!
I haven't had corned beef hash in years....love it! My grandson would love your shark picture...he loves sharks. Enjoy your Spring...ours is over and gone and has been replaced by heat and humidity! Yuch! Keep up the great gardening!

Cathy Kennedy said...

Rain,

Will growing mint keep critters away, too? I love fresh garden tomatoes but haven't had much success growing them in planters. I'd love to try again but it's not going to happen this year. Maybe 2020 will be a better year for such a project. I love you Peanuts' sketch of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. :) I like the photo of Charlie & Oscar. My daddy's name is Oscar. :) Great sketch of a great white. That's why you won't catch me in the ocean. I saw Jaws and it scared me to death! I hope to play along this week but life has been throwing some hard balls this way. Maybe I'll have a chance to doodle something tomorrow. :)

Susan said...

I've never seen smoked meats of that kind here - I bet it would be delicious! Corned beef and pastrami would be prepared differently - it's usually brined. I used to love a sandwich from a Cleveland deli, many eons ago - it was warm, sliced pastrami and coleslaw on rye bread. I couldn't get enough of it! Love your drawings, as usual!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Rain! I've been vicariously enjoying all your gardening efforts. I've been practicing making homemade tomato soup which Terry and I love. I'll bet tomatoes straight from the garden would make amazing soup. I love the photo of Charlie and Oscar, and Jack is so cute, even if he looks a little woebegone. Terry makes me delicious drinks too, although right now he is in bed with the flu. Have a great day!

Rain said...

Hi Dino :) Oh that's great! Maybe you can send me photos and I can post them on my blog throughout the summer...since you don't have a blog of your own! :) I really laughed at your song, imagining the cat begging your Jack Russel lol! :)

Rain said...

Hey Sis :) No, I didn't see your pumpkins! Send me pics, or maybe post them on your blog, I'd love to see them. We just don't have a big enough growing season in this area to have the big ones, though when we move to the Maritimes, I'm DEFINITELY going for the giant pumpkins! I hope you find a corner for some!

Rain said...

Hi Sam :) Nope, not moving this year! We toss our old pumpkins into the woods too, but so far nothing has grown there. I have to baby my pumpkin patch...I'm hoping the cold weather isn't going to stunt my seeds! Ha ha ha...I didn't think of using Jack as a source of income on a street corner! Lol...that made me laugh!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Cathy :) I'm not sure but I know that mint supposedly keeps the deer away. I read that it will keep chipmunks and squirrels away so I'm testing that theory this summer. Every time I have one or two red strawberries on the plant, the next day they have bite marks in them...last year I even put chicken wire around them and darn if they just didn't grow. I'll let you know! I'm worried about this year for the garden actually. It's never been this cold so late in May...I hope things grow, I think my little greenhouse idea will help the tomatoes. I have memories of hiding under the coffee table when I first saw Jaws on tv in the 80's lol!!

Rain said...

Thanks Susan :) Oh your description of that sandwich made me drool!! I love deli food!!! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Louise :) I hope Terry feels better soon! The best tomato soup I ever made was with roasted tomatoes, I then made it kind of like an onion soup with broiled Gruyere on top! Delicious!!

Mama Pea said...

Arriving late at the party here. I'm in that time of the year when I get panicky because of everything that needs to be done in the garden. And we're STILL having temps dip down near freezing at night. I'm afraid to set any plants out and even any seeds I put in might catch cold and die!

I'm still in on the pumpkin growing contest but I won't be a threat to anyone. I'm lucky if I can get mine to turn orange before Jack Frost bonks them over the head with his frosty wand. I really am cutting down on the garden this year. With our routine of two meals a day, we find we're actually eating less! But I'm sticking different pumpkins in any and all of the spaces I don't use for veggies or fruit so I should have a wide variety of pumpkins . . . even if they aren't large. Or orange!

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) Our temps are dipping to near and below zero too, makes me nervous...I'm mulching and covering with my poly-tarp each night lately. Whatever could die in the cold gets brought in each night though - the benefit of the container garden!!! :) LOL...I got lucky with 3 orange pumpkins last season, but it was a nice hot summer, this year though...we shall see!

Becki said...

Strawberries and Mint! Hanging together! That sounds pretty amazing. What's also amazing is that a week or so you had snow and now you have plants. I admire your energy, Rain. But then you are younger than I. I was younger last year and I had more energy, so there's that. ;^) Love that picture of Charlie and Oscar. The pictures of your pets are pretty heart-melting.

Rain said...

Thanks Becki :) I think once the snow really starts to melt, my super powers return lol...I was younger last year too, sigh... ;)

Jenn Jilks said...

So much to comment on, first the dog and cat together. So sweet.
Good luck with the plantings. I may have pumpkins, but I'm not working too hard on it. The bugs are so bad.
I may have an egg for dinner, too! Hubby is out lunching with a friend and is never hungry after!!!

Rain said...

Hi Jenn :) I'm sure your bugs are intolerable near those marshlands! I can't imagine! So far (fingers crossed) we have no black flies yet...usually they are out beginning of May but it's been so cold, I wonder if they'll skip a year, I should be so lucky! :)

Stefanie said...

I like how you have your plants all lined up there on the shelves in the window.

Martha said...

So many good things happening at your place! I'm hoping to actually get some garden work done this year. We're still in renovation, clean up and organization mode, but by the end of summer we should see some nice changes outside. At least a couple of flower beds will be completed. Fingers crossed!

Montreal's bagels and smoked meat! YES YES YES! I agree they do that very right. I'm due to bring back a few bags of bagels to put in our freezer. Sooooo delicious.

I can't get over the cuteness of Charlie and Oscar. Oh my gosh but that is adorable!

And, of course, Jack. I just want to squeeeeze him! He is really sweet.

Rain said...

Thanks Stefanie :) It's the only sunny window I have so I pack it!! :)

Hi Martha :) I hope you can get some gardening done this year too. It's so much fun and so rewarding. Flower beds are a great start!!! I was going to do flowers this year, but I'm concentrating on the food. I did have some leftover bee/butterfly/bird flower seed mix and I planted that yesterday to encourage the good insects and critters! Oh gosh I miss the fresh Fairmount bagels!! Mont Tremblant actually has a bagel bakery and they deliver them daily to my favourite market, so if I'm in town early enough I can snatch up a few bags! They aren't as good as the Montreal ones though!