Monday, December 28, 2015

The Monster Mystery solved

Yesterday, J.P. posted about his excitement. 
A photo he took revealed a "monster" behind our house.

You probably cannot see it right away, 
it is just a pattern the snow created on the trees.
This photo kicked my brain into gear 
and I immediately thought 
"this is not a monster, this is a ghost-dog's face.

It is similar to recognizing "faces" on a social platform. 
You get that question: "Is this XX?", just because their face detection tool 
finds similarities in a photo online.
Could this be Molly's face? 

No, it could not be Molly, she is still alive. 
She is not a ghost.

While I was contemplating the vision 
my brain picked out the right photo.

It must be Peter's Norwegian sled-dog Liisa! 

Liisa was 13 years old when she went to her eternal playgrounds.
J.P. and Liisa (Norway,1984)
Here - I drew a few lines to make it easier for you 
to detect the "face".
Maybe her ghost came to us for a short visit?
Maybe it is just nature playing a trick on us?

Aunties translation

J.P. war gestern ganz aufgeregt weil er auf einem Photo 
ein Monster in unserem Garten entdeckt hatte! 
Mir sah das allerding nicht nach Monster aus, eher nach einem 
Hundegesicht. Es konnte nicht Molly sein, sie ist kein Geist.
Aber vielleicht einer unsere anderen Hunde?
Sogleich viel mir dieses Photo ein: J.P. mit Liisa in Norwegen!
Wenn man die Konturen mit ein paar Linien nachzeichnet kann
man es vielleicht besser sehen.
Vielleicht hat sie uns besuchen wollen?
Oder es ist einfach nur ein Trick der Natur?
Wer weiss das schon.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I wish you a Merry Christmas..

J.P.has been holed up in his "man cave" for a few days in a row 
and I am not allowed to go 
and have a look. 
It is that time of the year, eh?

This morning he came in with an armload of wood. 
No, not to feed the wood-stove. 
He dumped it on the dinner table and looked at me.
Do you want to have a paint job? 
There you go! 
Cans with different paint and 
paintbrushes were ready on the table as well.
Crafted by: unknown
I looked at it and at the old elf we have had sitting outside 
for over 10 years, 
and I decided that he needed a bunch of friends.
That's what everyone needs.
A bunch of good friends!
With that, I also want to thank you for your faithfulness.

Even if it is not "politically correct" ;)

"I wish you a Merry Christmas; 
I wish you a Merry Christmas; 
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

                       ( Bing Crosby)

(clip art:

Aunties's translation

Habe heute ein paar neue Wichtel angefertigt. 
Den Ersten haben wir mal von Irmgard W. geschenkt bekommen. 
Das ist aber schon ein paar Jahre her. 
Heute bekam unser Wichtel ein paar Freunde.
Damit wünsche ich allen treuen Lesern:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

In The Mood

Despite the warm December weather 
we are slowly getting into the mood of Christmas. 
Today, J.P. went into the woods, behind our house, 
to pick out a small spruce tree. 
For the time being we up outside.
This time of the year our Norwegian furniture 
remind me the most of 
our log home we used to live in.
That is the reason I call this  
our "Norwegian" room.

We had coffee and some cookies by candlelight.
The wooden bowl was given to us 
as a wedding gift and the quilt 
was sown by my late mother-in-law.
So many memories
from a time and place
so far away.

Aunties translation

Trotz des warmen Dezemberwetters kommen wir allmählich in
Weihnachtsstimmung. Peter hat heute eine kleine Tanne aus dem Wald geholt und erst einmal draussen aufgestellt.
Die Norwegischen Möbel erinnern mich sehr an unser Blockhaus. Deshalb nenne ich diesen Raum das 
"Norwegische Zimmer".
Zum Kaffe gab es sebstgebackene Schmalzplätzchen. 
Die Holzschale war ein Hochzeitsgeschenk; 
die Quilt-Tischdecke wurde von
meiner verstorbenen Schwiegermutter angefertigt.

Erinnerungen an eine Zeit 
die schon weit zurückliegt.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Today's Magic Sunset

Today's Sunset
December 6

“The sun set, which is everyday magic...” 
― Terry Pratchett

The frosty sky, like a furnace burning,
The keen air, crisp and cold,
And a sunset that splashes the clouds with gold
But my heart to summer turning.

Come back, sweet summer ! come back again !
I hate the snow,
And the icy winds that the north lands blow,
And the fall of the frozen rain.

I hate the iron ground,
And the Christmas roses,
And the sickly day that dies when it closes,
With never a song or a sound.

Come back ! come back ! with your passionate heat
And glowing hazes,
And your sun that shines as a lover gazes,
And your day with the tired feet. 

A Winter Sunset
Lord Alfred Douglas

The Gift of a Pumpkin

There was this big orange pumpkin.

It had been part of fall decoration at a friend's house. 
But as summer had come to an end they had to
close up their summer home for the winter. 
As a farewell the big orange pumpkin was given to us.

I did not carve it, and for quite a while 
it adorned our porch. 
November arrived and all Halloween decorations disappeared
from the houses in our neighbourhood. 
Some threw their pumpkins in the garbage, 
others were trampled on and thrown into the ditch, 
where they, to the days day, 
are rotting. 

Mine was taken inside, because, 
this pumpkin is more than an ornament.

It is good food as well. 

I placed the pumpkin into a cool, dark room 
where it could have stayed until February, maybe even March. 
They store very well.
Today though, the house quiet and undisturbed, I decided 
now was the perfect time to cook it.  
I cut it in half, roasted it in the oven until tender and filled 
half the jars with pumpkin flesh for soups or vegetable stews. 
Another portion was seasoned for pie filling 
and canned as well. 
The seeds were seasoned with salt and herbs and roasted. 
Mixed with nuts and chocolate chips they make a tasty snack.
The leftovers went to my compost bin. 
In due time they will be turned into soil together with all
the other scraps from my kitchen. 
The soil will be used as food for my vegetables.

This way the circle has comes to an end.
Food produced from good soil 
utilized to feed people, and to grow fresh vegetables.

It feels good that nothing got wasted.

Thanks again to the friend who shared
this pumpkin with us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Grey Days, Sunny Days

November, already a thing of the past. 
Its last days were rather on the chilly side, 
down to 15°F (-10°C), 
grey and windy. 
There was no way that I was going to stay outside 
for a prolonged time. 

One of the favourite things we did, when staying in the desert of California,
 was getting together and do a puzzle. 
No desert here, no friends either, that is too bad. 

On the good side: I had a puzzle at hand.
This time it was a 500 piece "Still-life" of flowers and fruit.
The sun had already faded the picture on the container. 
Red had turned to purple, yellow to white and green to a bluish tint.  
It took me two afternoons in deep concentration 
to get it done. There!
Maybe my brain is still working as it should. 
That is good. 
Because, sometimes I am in doubt about it. 
Things seem so easily forgotten 
in a mere moment.
Today, on the first day of December,
the temperatures were on the rise again, 
the sun was out.  
On the windowsill 
another project looks promising.
It was in August when I took cuttings of various petunias. 
Some of them made it until now. 
Pretty flowers. 
Memories of bygone summer days.


Aunties summary

Die letzten Novembertage waren schon ziemlich kalt. Da mochte man nicht aus dem Haus gehen. Aber ich hatte ja ein Puzzle. Ein Stilleben mit Blumen und Obst. Obwohl die Farben auf der Vorlage von der Sonne verblichen waren habe ich es in zwei Nachmittagen geschafft. 
Heute schien die Sonne wieder und auf meiner Fensterbank stehen ein meine Petuniensteckling mit rosa Blüten. 
Erinnerungen an vergangene Sommertage.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

More than 110 years

Recently I found a few really old photos of our house 
that were posted on "Campobello Old Photos".

The house, which sits by its own on top of the field still stands today. 
It is the very house that we are living in today, 
112 years later!
Isn't that amazing! 
After what we learned it was build, like many others in the neighbourhood, by a "C. Mitchell" in 1903 for a young 
"Edward Owen North" and his family.

The next photo I found shows the South side of a house sitting in a hayfield. I recognize it right away. There was no addition, no porch. Just the plain deck at the kitchen door. Cedar shingles on the roof.
At that time no trees or houses obscured the line of view. They must have had a spectacular sight over the water.

The next two photos are from Summer 2009, when we became the new owners, and the Fall of 2015. They show the difference that happened over the years.
A porch was attached and a addition with bathroom/ mud room is visible in the rear. The chimney is shorter and the roof is covered with asphalt shingles.

In 2011 we removed the old porch, because it was partially rotten, and build a wrap-around one instead. It gives lots of shade during the summer and keeps the house nice and cool inside even without A/C.
A different, bit blurry, photo of the old days shows our house from a South-western angle. A remark added told us that it was 1940, at the time when the new, fashionable porch had bee added.
Like this, the house remained nearly unchanged for about 70 years.

More houses have been build and trees grew up all around. 
Farmland turned into a lawn.

I loved the look of it the first moment I laid my eyes on it. 
Red with white trim, like our old log home we use to lived in in Norway. Flowers all around and an old apple tree on the front lawn.

Don't you agree that the sunny, yellow coat 
makes the house look younger. 
Who would think it is more than 110 years old?



And with the deck upstairs I made sure that 
we can enjoy the view over the water towards 
Eastport, ME
despite houses and trees.
Cold November day view, I didn't go outside
to take the shot. 
Too cold, sorry.

Auntie's translation

Letztens habe ich ein paar uralte Photos von unserem Haus gefungen. Das Erste war von einem Boot aus aufgenommen, und zeigt unser Haus oben auf dem Hügel. Das nächste Photo zeigt die Südseite des Hauses, ohne Terrasse und Anbau. Das muß im Jahre 1903, in dem es gebaut worden war, photografiert worden sein.
Ein weiters, etwas verschwommenes Bild, zeigt das Haus schräg von vorne. Da ist die überdeckte Terrasse zu sehen. Die ist, laut Angaben, im Jahr 1940 gebaut worden. 
Solche Terrassen waren damals groß in Mode.

Ich habe unsere Photos (2009/2015) darunter eingefügt um zu zeigen wie sich das Haus über die Jahre verändert hat. 
Mit neuer Terrasse und anderer Farbgebung sieht es doch irgendwie jünger und moderner aus. 
Wer kann sich schon denken dass es 
mehr als 112 Jahre alt ist?
Und vom Balkon in der oberen Etage kann man auch übers Wasser in Richtung Eastport sehen, trotz Häuser und Bäume die mittlerweile drumherum stehen.

Das letzte Photo habe ich heute gemacht (24.Nov) und es war zu kalt um raus zu gehen. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Snow? Not yet.

The weather forecast has predicted 
the first snowfall for our area. 
Arctic temperatures have already reached the Northeastern part 
of New Brunswick 
where winterstorm conditions are reported.
Not so here.
It rained all night but has stopped now. 
I went outside to get a photo 
of strawberry flowers I saw yesterday.

Yes - my pink ornamental strawberry actually produced three flowers! 
Strawberry flower on Nov 23, 2015
That shows how mild our day temperatures have been until now. 
Even a young willow tree is confused 
as to what part of the year we are in. 
There are a few fresh, green leaves on it's twigs.
Willow spouts young, green leaves. Nov 23, 2015

As much as I "hate" winter I think for the benefit of Nature 
we should enter the cold period now. 
Some don't want to go asleep
In the western entrance of our house it looks like this:
Flowers on the African Daisies, Geranium and Impatiens.
With temperatures between 40- 45°F (4-7°C) they just don't want to go asleep.
Impatiens and Shamrock (Oxalis)
Outside we harvested some of the latest apples of this season. I wrote a few years ago about that we found about 5 or so different apple trees on our property. I am still trying to figure out what kind of apples they are. One thing is for sure: they are all old fashioned, heirloom apples.  Some are more sweet and soft, others crisp and tart. They smell and taste way better than any apple you can buy nowadays.
The best thing: these late ones are not worm eaten and taste delicious. The one to the left is the one that will be
best for storage.

Nearly noon now and still no snow, but the Temperatures are falling constantly. The clouds are hanging low and grey, wind gusty out of the North.
Maybe I'll cook some baked apples....


 Auntie's translation

Das Wetter war bisher recht frühlingshaft für die Jahreszeit. Das hat einige meiner Pflanzen verwirrt. 
Meine Ziererdbeere zeigt drei neue, rosa Blüten 
und eine junge Weide produziert neue, grüne Blätter. 
Auch in meinem Eingange wollen die Pflanzen 
nicht zur Ruhe kommen. 
Wir haben die letzten Äpfel vom Baum geerntet. 
Ich weiß nicht welche Sorten es sind, aber sie schmecken hervorragend. Der Apfel auf der linken Seite des Photos scheint mir zum Lagern geeignet. 
Das will ich mal versuchen.
Draussen wird es kälter, aber bis jetzt haben wir den Schnee den sie uns angekündigt haben, noch nicht gesehen.
Vielleicht mache ich nachher gebratene Äpfel.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One more task done

NOV 19th and still blooming! 
I was so tempted to let it go on for ever.
One of my Geranium plants
But the days are getting shorter and darker, 
and for another two month, or more, 
there will be no chance of growth here in my greenhouse. 
Therefore I decided: today is the day.
I manned myself up and took all planters apart. 

The begonia corms are now dry and will be stored on cardboard, 
in a dark cool spot.
Begonia plants are getting prepared for a
slumber in the basement.

All geranium plants are reduced by a third, and placed in our light, cool entrance. 
I forgot to take a photo of that place, but I will bring it up soon. 

Watering is reduced so that the soil is nearly dried out. This, and the 
low temperatures  should start dormancy. 
In a few weeks time these plants will be hung upside down 
in our the cool, dark basement until I can revive them come March. 
The debris was gathered and moved to the compost bin. 
I could have started new plants from the clippings, you could argue, 
but I lack enough window sill and lights to be able to do that. 
Debris destine for the compost bin
I have only one clipping, taken from a geranium with white flowers, 
that is growing roots in water right now. 
I hope to keep it growing throughout the winter season.

It is hard to let go of summer. 
There are still flowers on my Calendulas (Marigolds) outside. 
After I had cleared and organized my greenhouse 
Some hardy Calendula are still showing flowers

I picked some of the flowers and went inside to 
to bake peanut butter cookies.
Comfort food. 
It seems so long until spring will be back again. 

Peanut butter cookies right out of the oven!
Lots of dark, snowy days lay ahead. 
I have to find something positive in that picture.

Auntie's translation
Im Gewächshaus blühten noch immer die Topfblumen. Aber
heute habe ich mich aufgerafft und sie fürs Überwintern 
zurecht gemacht. Geranien und Begonien sind jetzt
so trocken dass ich sie im kühlen, dunklen Keller
lagern kann. Hoffentlich klappt das.
Die Reste wanderten auf den Komposthaufen.

Draussen wachsen immer noch Calendula. Davon habe ich
mir ein paar Blüten mit ins Haus genommen 
und dann zwei Bleche Plätzchen gebacken.
Man muss sich ja irgendwie trösten.
Jetzt kommen nur noch die Monate mit den langen, kalten Tagen.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mulch in a can (container)

Yes, I took a big break from blogging. It is about 3 month since my last posting. I felt like there was not much to write about. Writers block. It is not uncommon I have heard.

It is still everyday stuff, though, but now I feel more in the mood to write about it again.

What am I up to? 
Leaves, lots of leaves. 

That is a sign of fall. Recently I read that people should not longer dump their leaves into the garbage. The leaves clog up the landfills etc. One should rather mulch and re-use it in the garden.

I am fortunate to HAVE a garden. But unfortunately I don't have a shredder, or lawn mower equipped with mulch addition. Hubby tried to use our old mower. 
The upside: it worked fantastic. 
The downside: all the finely shredded leaves disappeared into the lawn. Gone. Not the result I wanted.

I went online and did some research. Several gardeners came up with the idea to use a weed-trimmer and a big container. Totes, garbage can or something like that. 

That sounded like a plan.
Today I tried it myself and I think it worked out quiet well. After a little trial and error I came up with the best method for my purpose. Put on goggles and a dust mask.
Set the (electrical) weed-trimmer into the empty garbage can. Fill the can up to the top with dry leaves. Turn on the motor and shift the machine in a gently circular movement up and down. 
Within seconds I could top up with another batch of leaves. Repeat that until the can is half full. It takes a lot, I tell you! The voluminous heap of raked leaves turns into nearly nothing after it is shredded.

Transfer the shredded stuff to the vegetable beds. Voilà! 
It was a healthy mix of finely shredded leaves, and partly shredded ones. After the 4th can was done I had the outcome perfected to mostly fin shredded particles.
Good food for the earthworms. I hope they are willing to work on this over the winter and transform it into good compost.
For protection against wind the beds were covered with spruce branches. Now I am waiting for a friend to come and deliver some real cow manure. Next will be a turn to the beach to go and harvest dry sea weeds. That shall be good for the soil too, I have heard.
These components will go into the compost heap.

Done with that task, I opened up the plastic cover of the last vegetable 
 and harvested fresh lettuce and carrots for dinner.
November 9, Temp 53F (12C), sunny. 
All in all a good day!

Aunties translation

Nach langer Pause heute mal wieder ein Eintag.

Heute habe ich das Laub geschredded. 
Dazu habe ich einen elektrischen Unkrautmäher in
eine Mülltonne gesteckt und diese mit trockenem
Laub aufgefüllt. Die Maschine hat das Laub im Nu kurz 
und klein gehäckselt. Eine dicke Mulchschicht wurde dann auf
im Gemüsegarten ausgebreitet und mit Zweigen
gegen den Wind abgedeckt.
Danach habe ich noch frischen Salat und Karotten
Heute, am 9. November war es sonnig mit 
einer Tagestemperatur von 12C.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A rare guest at our house

After a foggy day the sun finally decided 
to show itself for a few hours.
We enjoyed sitting on the porch and look at the view.
For a quite a while we sat 
and listened to a flute-like song in the distance.
Suddenly there was a red flutter in our apple tree.
Behold - a Northern Cardinal was visiting us!

I have not been lucky with 
getting a good shot of these shy birds.
Within seconds it took off again.
So beautiful. 
What a treat!
Good to know that they are around.

Auntie's Summary

Nach einem nebligen Tag konnten wir am Nachmittag endlich die Sonne geniessen. Wir lauschten einem flötenähnlichen Vogelgesang.
Plötzlich huschte etwas rotes vorbei. 
Grosse Überraschung - ein Kardinal sass für einige
wenige Sekunden im Apfelbaum.
Glücklicherweise hatte ich die Kamera schussbereit. Es ist nicht leicht diese scheuen Vögel vor die Kamera zu bekommen.
Es klappt eher im Winter wenn man, hinter der Scheibe versteckt, das Vogelhäuschen beobachtet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amazing High/Low Tide

Sorry, for not being more present on my blog. 
Caught up with job, gardening and household 
I just didn't get around to it.

Today though, I thought to share with you 
how different a small harbour looks like 
when the tide goes out and comes back again.
 The first photos are taken at North Road Harbour at low tide, 
near 10AM 0.9ft (0.26m) 
and later in the afternoon at 5PM 22.5ft (6.86m). 
 Sometimes the difference is even more,
 and the boats actually sit on the dry bottom of their berths.
Not so today, 
there was a little water left under the boats.
Another view of Herring Cove Beach with low and high water.
Always amazing to watch.
Aunties summary
Hatte nicht viel Zeit zum Schreiben, aber heute bin ich mal zum Hafen gefahren und habe den Tidenhub fotografiert. Um 10:00 Uhr und später um 17:00 Uhr. Der Unterschied liegt bei fast 7m. Manchmal ist es auch noch mehr und die Boote liegen ganz auf dem Trockenen. Das war heute aber nicht der Fall.
Ein weiters photo vom Herring Cove Strand bei Ebbe und bei Flut. 
Immer wieder interessant anzusehen.