Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flowery Mosaics for Monday

Here are a few pictures for Mosaic Monday. I put these together from recent photos, plus a few of my older ones. Thank you for visiting my website. Happy Monday and week ahead. I will be adding more photos and stories this coming week. Please visit my other website "Relics and Tales" where my father-in-law and myself are putting together stories of true events. It is very different than this blog and a little unusual, we have many interesting stories ahead which we will be adding to it.

Please visit the Little Red House for more mosaics from around the world. Thanks again. Michelle

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I love Hellebores

I love hellebores. They are such an interesting and beautiful plant which add a very special touch to the garden. I have a few which I purchased over the years, many from a yearly Spring plant sale held in our community, where the prices were unbeatable - this made it very tempting for me to buy more than one plant! They are hardy and the deer don't bother them.

Here are a couple of close-up pictures. Their colours are truly amazing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lemon Balm - Growing Like a Weed on the West Coast

It is that time of year again where everything in the garden is sprouting like mad. One plant I want to write about here is lemon balm - it is growing everywhere in our back garden. I don't like to yank it out because it is such a special plant, it smells so fresh and makes a healthy tea. I read about this plant, its medicinal and soothing qualities and I am absolutely thrilled to have this growing in abundance. Both Richard and I love teas, we are 'tea toddlers' during the week and usually drink organic herbal teas. I am anxious to make our own from what grows in our own back yard - mints and lemon balm are a good start. There are oodles of websites on herbs and teas - if anyone has recommendations on this subject, I welcome your input. I welcome knowledge and advice from other gardeners, herbalists and organic growers - I am always learning and there is so much more to learn! I will also share with you my 'tea toddling' stories!

Here is one site I found (there are SO many websites on lemon
balm) here to view.
Tomorrow I will venture out to our back garden to add a few photos here. I am off to bed now....feel very sleepy after herbal tea......night! Thank you for visiting Mich's West Coast Journal. Michelle

Lemon Balm

The deer were kind and left us with one tulip!

Lemon Balm Tea

Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • 2 Cups lemon balm leaves, fresh
  • Honey or other sweetener
  • Water

Bring 8 cups water to a boil, and add the leaves. Reduce heat and allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain leaves out, and then add honey or other sweetener to taste. If the tea is too strong, add a bit of water to thin it out. Pour into an ice-filled pitcher and serve. You may want to add a sprig of mint for garnish.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gumboot Mama

This journal entry is a little different than most. I am having some difficulty here as I will not be adding colourful flower photos. There will be more opportunity to add nature's beauty in future postings. I want to write about 'gumboots' - a silly subject but rather delightful too! The other day I was looking at my gumboots and thinking what great companions they are to me. My gumboots, or wellies, are there for me when I need them - I slip into them before heading outside and they keep my feet warm and dry on those nasty wet days. I have even ventured into town wearing them! How can I forget some years ago, my son was horrified to see me wearing gumboots before our trip to town - the look of shock and embarrassment was too funny. My son, Stephen, pleaded with me to change my shoes. I did change them as I did not want to embarrass him. When on my own, I don't worry what others may think - gumboots, big woolly sweater, and wind-tousled hair - call me 'Gumboot Mama'!

Well, I wrote another poem, inspired by my boots of course! I would like to share it with you. Thank you for viewing my website, I really do appreciate it when you pop in to visit. Michelle

"Gumboot Mama"
by Michelle (me)

I’m a gumboot mama

And I am proud to say
I wear my gummies at work or play
With dress or slacks they wear so well
Town folk call me the country belle

My son embarrassed, how can it be
When we travel to town, wellies and me
Oh please Mama, change your shoes
Dressy or casual, I’ll help you choose

I’ll wear a parka, long, past the knee
Don’t feel embarrassed to be seen with me
Please son walk along my side
Not behind or in front to hide

Comfort and warmth is what I seek
For no other shoe can truly beat
These green rubbery boots of mine
Which match my woolly dress just fine

My feet stay warm, my feet stay dry
Through puddled lanes and marsh nearby
On muddy grounds the bottoms stick
They squish through layers of mud so thick

One time my boot it stayed behind
Bare foot slipped out, it felt unkind
On ground so cold, so damp and deep
The oozing mud and dung of sheep

The fields and lanes will soon be dry
Too warm for wellie friends and I
We’ll soon depart, a sorrowful thought
But we’ll meet again, when it’s not so hot

For now let's take a walk to town
In cool morning air of early dawn
Kind gestures and smiles from town folk I see
For the gumboot mama, green wellies…. that’s me !

Gumboot dancing, which originated in South Africa, would be a wonderful dance to learn for us west coast folks that enjoy wearing gumboots. Click here for a small glimpse of 'gumboot dancing'.

For a brief history of gumboots....please click here. Thank you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pastel Lights for Mosaic Monday

Happy Easter everyone! It is a beautiful Monday morning and windy storms are behind us now. I have not posted to Mosaic Monday for a while and thought I should catch up and say hello. We had a lovely dinner with family last night and I would like to express how much I appreciate and love our families. It is a time to reflect on loved ones and dear friends and to be thankful for those near to us. We recently lost a very close friend, like family to us, it has been a very difficult two weeks since his passing. This person was so dear to us all, we will certainly feel a huge void in our lives without him. There is a Native American saying that "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave" (Dakota), and this dear friend left huge tracks in all of our hearts, happy tracks of kindness and sharing. May we all leave happy tracks and be remembered for our good deeds, a smile, helping someone in need or just being there to listen to others. Most of all, take time to be happy with those we love.

Please visit The Little Red House to view beautiful mosaics from around our world. Thank you and happy Easter from the west coast! Michelle

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wind Storm on the West Coast

Our west coast was hit by a big wind storm a couple of days ago and it was very blustery! Fortunately, we had no damage and survived the storm okay, our power did not go out but there were broken branches and debris scattered everywhere. It was a day to be indoors by the fireside, book in hand. My husband asked if I was interested in going out for a walk that day (we live in a rural place with many tall firs and cedars) - I declined the walk! Certain parts on Vancouver Island were not as fortunate and suffered much damage and power outages. My heart goes to the folks in Mill Bay whose boats were destroyed and where looters went in to steal.

There is a stillness in the air now and the trees aren't swaying to and fro. The birds were merrily singing this morning as we sat outside with our coffee. I just hope and pray that bird nests were not disturbed in the violent storm.

Best wishes to everyone! Happy Easter. Thanks for visiting my website. Michelle

The wind it howls, the wind it blows
A mighty outburst it bestows
Through trees, through hilltops
It finds its way
The tempest swept our island today

The cedars creek, the firs they bend
When will this frenzy ever end
Disturbed from quiet upon their sleep
Winged critters take refuge in forests deep

An open rage against the sea
The tug and sail are now set free
Quaint harbours once a pretty sight
Are battered and torn, a woeful plight

This day now past, the tempest gone

Its anger made a show
It now gently whispers
It's time for us to go

- a poem by Michelle (me)

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