Archive | August 2014

Propagating geraniums (pelargoniums) – My baby geraniums.


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Here are this years baby geraniums. I usually propagate them in August, so that they have a good month or two to get going before I bring them indoors for the winter.  Once indoors, they will stay on the windowsill until April. It’s a long time and I have to nurture them. It’s worth doing because they will be perfect for the borders next summer.

This year I took slips, two from each colour, red, white, pink and peach. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will all take. I don’t use hormone rooting powder. It really is not necessary for these accommodating little plants. They root very easily; you just have to make sure that you take the cutting properly to avoid die back. (see my previous post, link below).

  I’m still on the look-out for a blue one! No luck yet.

Yesterday and the day before were very rainy here in my part of England and the little pots were up to their necks in water. That’s not a good thing because the roots will rot, so I brought them indoors just for one day to dry them out. I think they appreciated it.

The next step will be to bring in the plants which were last year’s babies and pot them up in larger pots ready to store indoors in a frost free environment (my back room).

If you want to read more about how I do it, you can click here and check out last year’s post, which goes into a bit more detail.

Oma

My English Garden – August 2014 – rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb


 

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It’s been a very good year for rhubarb in my English garden this year. Above is a picture of some stalks I picked the other day, and was glad to give away because there is only so much rhubarb you can eat as a family!

The leaves were gigantic as well. Here I am holding up two of them. They look like umbrellas, don’t they.

 

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It has also been a very good year for runner beans:

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and we have been eating them for a couple of weeks now. They are really a colder weather crop and so long as they get plenty of water, they always seem to do just fine. I prepare them as I was taught when I was small.  My mother was very particular about the cutting process and I had to get them just right. The thinner the better. Later on when I got married, I bought a bean slicer, but it never did such a good job. Now I buy a new knife every summer and use it for the first time when the first beans come in from the garden. That way I get the best cut, just so long as it’s not my fingers!!!

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We have lots of tomatoes, but they are not ripening very fast.  We need more sunshine, please?

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Lots of people have been clicking on a post I did last year about propagating geraniums.  I’ll tell you how this year’s babies are doing next time.

I greet you from a very rainy England 🙂

Oma

My grandson Sammy – update.


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Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,

Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,

Tapping at the window and crying through the lock, Are all the children in their beds,

it’s past eight o’clock?

The explanation of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was to teach children to associate every day tasks with their own lives. Before the days of the wireless, television and the Internet great reliance was put upon the Town Crier to pass on the latest news and information. ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ was the children’s version of the Town Crier! The author of the poem was William Miller (1810 – 1872) and the first publication date of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was in 1841.

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This adorable child is my grandson Sammy.

Have a wonderful Sunday everybody.

Oma x

Spotlight on… hagelslag!


This is something I was very familiar with when I was growing up. My mother, being Dutch, used this product a lot and so I thought it was normal. It wasn’t until much later on that I realised that English people didn’t use Hagelslag so much, only really as a cake decoration!
There are lots of different sorts of Hagel including a very delicious aniseed variety. It’s called gestampe muisjes, which translated means little mice stamped on! because the aniseed seeds are crushed into a powder and then spread on bread.
I had to be careful when I was small not to sneeze or blow too hard when eating the gestampe muisjes because otherwise they would blow up my nose and into my eyes.

Dutch Community

If there’s one grocery item that the Dutch simply cannot do without, then it has to be hagelslag – delicious chocolate sprinkles that come in a variety of interesting shapes and tempting flavours, and are typically sprinkled over a slice of fresh bread and butter. But did you know that you can also use this popular Dutch treat as an irresistible ingredient in some of your favourite recipes? You’ll find a few mouth-watering examples below!

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We have a visitor.


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I stop by in front of a pond,
listening to the humble frogs’ songs.
The melody tells of tales,
as I listen, the whole story unveiled.

There’s a story of a boy and his dream,
frivolous, helpless, and all that he seems.
There’s a story of a boy and his shoes,
the path and the destination he is to choose.
There’s a story of a boy and his book,
poems, stories, and all things you can look.
There’s a story of a boy and his hope,
for the Time’s willing, for a while it stops.
There’s a story of a boy and a pond,
tears, smiles, and hopes he lives on.
There’s a story of a frogs’ symphony,
flowing is a memory of the melody and me..

So I am here for the song that they sing,
in this old pond there’s a hope that I cling.
I shall care of nothing more else,
nothing, but myself and this once, childhood place..

poem from PoemHunter.com

 

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We have a new pond in the cottage garden.  Larry has worked very hard this summer, digging a large hole in the dirt and putting in this delightful addition to our surroundings. Already we have had a lot of activity from the wildlife.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

 

Oma

 

Old Age – coping with it, acknowledging it.


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Getting old has its compensations, but also its draw-backs. I am nearly 63 years old and I am learning, slowly. For the last seven years or so I have been in transition and it hasn’t been easy. Far from it. I have had to let go of a lot of things. I no longer kid myself that I look ‘good for my age’. Once I realised that, I embraced the age that I am and went in a different direction. However, that didn’t quite suit me and it still doesn’t, if I’m honest.

A year or so ago I cut my long, auburn (dyed) hair and let it go grey. Not so important maybe, but it was to me. I looked in the mirror and someone else was peeking back at me. The face in the mirror looked sad, apologetic even. Had I done the right thing? Maybe I should have kept on dyeing that hair but what is the point. I didn’t like the grey roots poking through. No, that looked awful. I kept my hair short for a while, fiddling about with curlers to try and keep it looking lively. Then I gave up and had a perm. Looking in the mirror that day, I saw my Auntie Connie looking back. Damn it! Where is me in all this? Where have I gone?

Since then I’ve kept my hair grey and fought off the aches and pains which seem to increase weekly. I feel guilty that I wasn’t more sympathetic to my own mother. She went through this too, I tell myself.

I have stopped using make-up, except for a little lipstick. That does brighten my face up so I keep that; but I can’t wear mascara anymore because my eyelids have drooped and now if I apply mascara, it ends up on the lids as well as the lashes and it’s darned difficult to get off.

With the negative issues comes also a sense of satisfaction, almost a wisdom. I now know what the outcome will be if I do this or that. I know what to avoid doing, which is a big help.

What I do know, I would like to pass on to my children, but they don’t want to know. If they want to know something, they turn to the internet these days. That makes me feel superfluous.

It’s not all bad though. I have more freedom with my time. Freedom to do my crafting, to visit lovely places and time to watch my garden grow. I have time to listen if anyone wants to talk.

I am content.

Read and enjoy this poem, which I found in an old copy of Peoples’ Friend Magazine:

 

Just The Way I Am

by Pam Davies

My face will not be lifted

And my tummy not be tucked.

It’s quite enough to file my nails

And have my eyebrows plucked.

Wrinkles on my face relax,

They know I’m Botox-free;

They know they’re in no danger

And they suit the likes of me.

Bits of me have grown and bulge,

Bits of me recede;

Some bits hint at deprivation,

Others hint at greed.

But every bit can tell a tale.

Is marked by fun or strife;

They’re signs of all the highs and lows

That bless my thankful life.

I shall not seek a surgeon

To return me to my youth,

I’m happy just the way I am,

Contented with the truth!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone. Thank you to my faithful blogging friends for sticking with me. You know who you are! and thank you to my new followers. You are most welcome to journey along with me.

Oma

A finished project – Fanny’s Chemisette


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This is my latest finished project. It’s called’Fanny’s Chemisette’ and it comes from the Fall 2012 edition of Jane Austen Knits magazine.

The pattern is designed by Deborah Adams and can be found on page 112:
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I had some handspun (by me) alpaca/silk yarn, which I used to make up the back of the bolero. It is heavy and hangs really well, caught up by the tie at the bottom. I used a crochet tie not ribbon as stated in the pattern.

I didn’t have enough handspun alpaca/silk yarn to do the whole bolero and I think it would have made it too heavy so the front is worked in a purchased Sirdar yarn called Escape. I used the DK weight.

Here is the magazine with one of the fronts:

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This is the back. I crocheted a picot edging around the sleeves because I felt it looked prettier and I stitched down the collar with large tacking stitches to stop it sticking up and being a nuisance.

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The bolero is very comfortable to wear and gives that extra bit of warmth for the evenings.

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I recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to make a bolero.

Happy Knitting, Oma