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.