What's happening in your neck of the woods/Summer 2011

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Thought I might move us on over to ..


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Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

We came from here .................. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1174689/


Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Sounds as though everyone in in 'full swing' with their gardens ... I'm off to get mulch today and some soil .. right now I think it might be best to have a few yards of topsoil delivered and work from that.

Rain MIGHT be on the weather agenda .. still remains kinda cool here as well.

Hope everyone has a great week !!!


Victoria Harbour, ON

"M" looks like sunshine all week..today high 70's but humid, tomorrow in the 80's..
Thanks for moving us over...I should also order 1/2 load of topsoil but think for this year I'll go purchase a few container of time release pebbles in hopes it will fertilize.

"M" one of the 3 men who are spending the week at my house re B&B was gabbing and said his mother was from ThunderBay originally, now in Calgara..all her sibblings have passed on but she wants to take a trip home to see their graves before she can no longer do so..said he moved from ThunderBay when he was 4..should ask him him family names..the other two brother both in early 40's were fighter pilots, one brother who lives in Calgary flies for WestJet the other brother for AirCanada..good looking fellows, took a shine to them, so remind me of my boys same age..

I worked most of the weekend in the gardens, can't believe how much time I've spend and still so much to do..thought having a country garden would be less work..NOT!

Weather co-operating in your area girls???? seeing any flowers yet..mine will be late, bet nothing until July...boo hoo

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Back from the Handbell Festival. We had a blast and my group is really PUMPED! Too bad it's the end of the season. Someone asked how we got down there. One of my group has a van and took all the bells. Foam pads were parceled out to others. A lot of people drove on their own because they have family/friends in the Toronto/Hamilton region and wanted to visit.

But that's an issue which will have to be addressed next time in 2 years when the event will be in Guelph because many of us feel it's too much for the person who usually takes the bells and we're all getting older.

I took some pics, but haven't taken them off the camera card yet. For those of you on Facebook, looke me up (Ann Bockes Frederking) as I've posted them there and I'll post a few here next time the card gets near the computer.

Victoria Harbour, ON

Ann, glad you enjoyed your weekend..now why do you say 'end of season' is it not something you do all year round???

I'd say from looking at those bells that I wouldn't want to be the one tugging them around..could each participant be responsible for the bell and equipment they will be using? Bet your are aching..

Hope it's sunshine in your neck of the woods so you can sit out in the gardens and relax.

Must tell you Ann, with all this rain my Hosta's are so huge...will have to take photo,will once the last of the weeds are taken out of the gardens, they too are growing to beat the dickens.


Thing about bells is that they go in a grouping, in a bell case. They each have their own bag perhaps, but the case is meant for bells. Especially transporting them, they need to be in the case. Easily damaged otherwise.

Victoria Harbour, ON

Susan, is there an area called Belle vista in Calgary? that's where one of the men live. How are you feeling???

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

I was wondering how you are as well Susan? Hope your chest pain episode was just 'heart burn' ... have to be vigilant with that type of pain.

Betty .. seems no matter where I go, and I have travelled quite a bit, i ALWAYS meet someone who either knows someone from Thunder Bay, has lived in Thunder Bay, or has friends/relations here :-)
Your 'construction workers' sound like nice fellas.

BRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr .. we are sure having a very cool day today with sporadic rain .. hard to believe that the folks down windsor and Toronto way are looking at 41C tomorrow .. uggggggggggg !!!!!!

Off to rattle some pots and pans !!



Victoria Harbour, ON

they really are not construction workers "M" air pilots for major airlines..purchased triplex and doing upgrades to it as they rent them out!

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Got a link to a video the spouse of one of my ringers took. We are really rocking -

There are a bunch of pics of the group and our bells over on the Coffee thread for today on the Parking Lot. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1185623/

And, for our first three octaves, we have new Port-a-bell cases - on wheels like luggage. They are WONDERFUL! http://www.bellcase.com/pictures.html The largest case of our 4th octave is a factory wooden case but we ordered wheels and call if Fido. When we got the Port-a-bells, we retrofitted one of the smaller wooden cases, added wheels and a pull chain and store our binders in it.

The only things not on wheels are our foams which link together in 3's to carry with one hand, our two cases of chimes, two cases of baby bells, out F3 (in a 5 gallon tub with handle), the C3 which we didn't take and a box of tools and misc. items, a plastic box of sheets for table covers and a small box with our ties.

Susan - the CANADIAN Festival will be held in Calgary soon. http://www.handbell.ca/RingingLink/ You might like to attend their final concert. One of the Ottawa groups is planning to attend it. And you are right that the bells should be in their cases for protection although at Festivals if ringers need to take small bells to a workshop (learning 4IH technique), a lot of them just loop the handles together and carry a string of them. We have some tube socks and we put each bell in a sock if we carry them around like that.

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

I will now be humming and/or singing 'Good Vibrations" for a bit :-)
What a wonderful video .. just outstanding Ann .. thank you for sharing .. I do hope Susan (or any other of the Calgarians on the forum) can make it to the Canadian Festival.

Oh my Betty, talk about getting occupations mixed up .. HEY .. maybe you can get a free flight somewhere LoL
Would imagine they come and go at varying hours ..

Just spent the last 45 minutes looking for a missing sandal!! Piper has a fetish .. and it's SHOES .. he really doesn't destroy them, he just likes to HIDE them .. very upsetting sometimes when your dressed to go out and you reach for your shoes and there is ONE there !!! I have moved the shoe rack into a CLOSED cupboard now ..

Waiting for a thunder storm (or not) .. sure is darkening quickly out there ..

Best get a move on, the kitchen won't tidy itself ^_^



I'm here - keep having "spells" and no, it's not heartburn.
Now, I'm not "borrowing trouble" but I'm not eating anything that causes heartburn, and I googled angina attacks. Couldn't be more "right on". anyway, I will find out, perhaps, when I go to the clinic on Wed 8:00. They might give me the results right away, or not - may have to wait for results.
The Dr will let me know the severity - could be easily treatable, y'know!

ViolaAnn - SAIT, where the handbell concert will be in July, is about 10 min drive from home - straight down 16 Ave where I live! Are you going to go?

Betty - Bella Vista is waaaaaay the other side of the city from us. It's not an area of the city, per se, but it's a Condo Community, in the SW side of the city.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

No, Susan - I'm afraid I won't be there. Too many other things going on. But I sure hope you get there.


Ann - are you the conductor?

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Only of MY group. The conductor of that massed group was Dr. Deborah Carr from Missouri and she had a heck of a time getting to Toronto because of all the weather. When she's not doing bells, she's an educational psychologist. She led a VERY interesting and useful 2-part session for directors.

Victoria Harbour, ON

Hot and muggy today!!! is what we asked for isn't it, well perhaps NOT the humidity..cooler for the rest of the week..

Was up and at it this morning, although they men said they would fend for themselves, I cooked bacon and made homefries, Mike did the scrambled eggs so off they went with a full tummy..wanted to wash pots/pans but I scrammed them away. They had a long day ahead of them..they are hoping if all goes well they will leave Thursday for home..being pilots I guess they can just get on any flight that has a seat..have to ask them about that.

Susan, drats, that is NOT good..glad you don't have a long wait for your next appt. In the meantime be extra vigilant. Hope they realize you aren't well and don't make you run/run all day long..you must almost be at the end of your probation period right?

"M" have you managed to pair up all of your shoes??? lol How is Lorna doing, haven't heard you mention her progress of late?

ViolaAnn, you sure can see that music is your life. So wish I had an ounce of your talent.
Perhaps Susan will be able to attend seeing as she's so close by. Will it be televised so you can watch?

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

WHOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!!!!!! Man is it windy here 60K+/H ... kinda nerve wracking ... hope the mulch stays in place in the tree pits ..

Betty .. nice you made the fellas a breakfast AND, did the dishes .. yer a shweetie ^_^
My shoes are paired, just a matter of discovering which hiding place he was using .. Lorna saw my pink sandal poking out from under the bed .. the other sandal was under the couch !!!

Lorna, what can I say except 'INSPIRATIONAL' .. she works in the gardens daily and has devised ways to make it easier for her to have access .. a strong and determined woman. Her parents arrive for a 2 week visit this Sunday .. looking forward to it ..

BBQing burgers tonight .. sure hope the BBQ stays lit in this wind .. I have heard, and seen, several folks going back to using charcoal briquettes .. may give it a try once again ..

Take care


Victoria Harbour, ON

91f here, no wind, sure wish we did, yikes it's hot and of course Greg can't come to do the a/c..guys were on their way for supper/boating and a swim..said everything went well today and they got much accomplished een in this heat.

I'm on my way out, Ann thought I could come over for supper and t.v. Bing..usually it is here bit she wanted me to visit with her ..would rather be laying in the chesterfield relaxing but when a friend calls you must put your needs 2nd...

Lorna truly is an inspiration...

Got to get a move on, Darlene dropped off 2 white phlox so they should be planted before I go out..

Enjoy your evening all!


Ann- apparently you know Emmy Okazawa-Bortolin - she knows You!
She's the lady in Calgary who taught us handbells when we rented them, for our church.
She told me all about the Festival (really all-day workshops for those who want to learn handbells, or continue learning). She's encouraging me to sign up, along with our Music Minister at church. We were both in the handbell choir a couple of years ago. I can't afford the $$ right now, but sure would be nice to hear the massed choirs in the workshop!

Betty - my probation ends on Monday June 6th...... hardly seems possible that much time has passed.
I need to hear the actuality of it all.

Victoria, BC(Zone 8a)

my Himalayan Blue Poppie turned out purple this year!

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Victoria, BC(Zone 8a)

Enkianthus - which the bees adore so much!

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Victoria, BC(Zone 8a)

My favourite Azalea

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Victoria, BC(Zone 8a)

This is an ultra sound for Whiskers' baby! LOL!

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Susan - I only met Emmy Okazawa-Bortolin at this Festival. She was ringing with the Rideau Park group from Ottawa which took many fewer ringers than usual to Festival. She HAD been at the Festival 2 years ago when it was held in Ottawa, though. I didn't happen to meet her that time.

They ring at Bronze level while my group rings at Copper and the meal times don't always coincide. This time, since I participated in a 2-part workshop for directors which conflicted with Copper lunch, I skipped part of a copper rehearsal and ate lunch with the Bronze people.


Copper/Bronze? I've never heard you mention the levels before.....
How long does it take to get to Copper?

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Nobody assigns you to a level. The first time we went to Festival (10 years ago) we played at the Tin level. 8 years ago, the group wanted to try the music from Copper and I think we will stay there. It's challenging enough without being overly so. The levels, BTW, are taken from the metals which make up the bronze alloy from which the bells are made.

This message was edited Jun 1, 2011 7:43 AM


aaaaaaaaah - gotcha. How very intersting!
If the 1st level is Tin, then I suspect that's all we ever played in our choir!
Bell ringing is very challenging for beginners ^_^

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Tin would be level 1-2 music. Copper 2.5 - some 4. Bronze 4 and above. All the newer music is graded by American Guild of English Handbell Ringers standards although it's not perfect. One of the copper level pieces, a 3, I think, was VERY difficult. http://www.agehr.org/agehr_pub/musicdifflevel.asp

Victoria Harbour, ON

Teresa , your gardens must be spectacular judging by these photo's..could feel my eyes open in awe, look at those colors..enchianthus, will have to go in search of more info, wonder if I could grow it in my region...I planted hundreds of poppy seeds about 3 weeks ago, doubtful anything will come of them this year but i can hope..Azelea color is breathtaking..so glad you sharred with us...we've all been having such unusual weather this year, have you been affected, your gardens any worse for the weather or bonus growth?

Ann, almost like a graduating process..I, who knows nothing about bells is quite impressed by the ability you must have...

Susan you would think they would let you know Friday so you don't fret all weekend...are you nervous about it?

BooHoo, my men will be leaving tomorrow..have enjoyed young blood in the house. Last night when I got home from work they were just leaving, going boating for a few hours..I left, went to Ann's for supper and t.v. bingo, got home 9:30, still no men, by 10pm and being a mother hen I started to worry if they were broken down and stranded on Georgian Bay..had Mike's cel so called and told them they were past their curfew and homeward bound they should be..then laughed, told them I didn't want to go to bed not knowing that they were safe..they were appreciative..got home shortly after and they b.b.q.'d ..not sure what time they went to bed..

Having them stay has been a positive experience! Now to spend my easy made $$$ on garden hangers and plants..lol

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Betty - don't forget, I'm holding the stick more often than not. My actual bell ringing ability is modest, but I have an edge over some in that I read the music fluently.

Victoria Harbour, ON

I have no doubt that your musical ability is highly respected! I would give anything to play an instrument, ie. Guitar or piano and to sing even off key would bring me the biggest joy!

Well my guys have gone to take the boat out of the water as it's much too rough to go out, paid me and said they'd be leaving mid afternoon

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Betty, if you have the wind we have, then for SURE nobody is going to want to be boating .. treacherous to say the least.

I sang in a 'Choral Group', actually being schooled in a Catholic School it was a pre requisite to 'be in the choir' .. and ya know what .. never regretted a moment of it .. I can still remember some of the songs we learned and sang .. must look up 'Flow Gently Sweet Afton' on YouTube.

In high gear with house work and yard work pending the visit of Lorna's parents .. trying to get menus lined up ..

It's after 7pm .. time to run the dishwasher .....



Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Odd weather here today and apparently the next few- cloudy, cooler, sun off and on, supposed to be showers off and on. Sky in the west is dark, just heard some thunder.

With help from a neighbor put together the first part of a little watering system to run thru the beds against the house that are not part of my underground system. Unfortunately the water pressure is such that the last 2 sprinklers dont work very well but I can deal with that!

I have another section to put together going in the other direction but I can do that one myself.I do need to get some different sprinkler heads for a couple of narrow sections so that requires a trip to Lee Valley! It is not difficult but nice to have somebody who has done it at the beginning. Now I wont have to hand water those beds.

I still have one bed out in the back that I have to hand water but no reasonable way to run a system out there.

Fred ( the neighbor) brought his little yorkie ( Dudley) with him. Dudley has met me and the dogs many times but he was a bit intimidated by the big back yard and those big dogs sniffing him!


Betty - no, they won't tell me before the weekend - they're all off to Red Deer for meetings all day.
I have my "regular" meeting with one of them on Monday am, so maybe I'll hear then.
If it were today, I don't think they would be very happy. I think one of 'em is suffering from PMS...... :-(
She wasn't talking to many people today - kept in her office with the door shut, and only came out to go to the Retirement Tea we had for 2 ladies.
If I do say so myself, I organized a pretty nice Tea - brought my antique tea cups and a couple of tea pots.
It was a Potluck as well, and there was a huge amount of food!!!
as of today I am going on a pretty strict diet - need to lose a whole Whack of weight. Will have to pull out my stair climber....... maybe 40lbs by end of the summer?

Thunder Bay Ontario, ON(Zone 3a)

Jeeze Susan .. 40lbs by summer's END!! Whoa .. sounds kinda dangerous to me .. course, since our 'summer' here is only 2 months long, that's probably why.
Wish you all the best, it's tough.

Seem to be smack in the middle of a NEW SEASON here .. calling in 'RINGSUM' .. not unlike Chinese 'DIM SUM' .. a massed variety of types of weatherSpring and Summer weather, cool temps, rain, cloud, spritzed with some moments of glorious sunshine .. I think some of my Nastutium seeds might be poking through, or, it could be weeds ..

Busy days here in preparation for the visitors .. frazzled nerves on my part as I get on my Betty Crocker hat and try to think up meals .. any suggestions humbly accepted ^_^

Take care everyone TGIF


Victoria Harbour, ON

Morning, sunshine day here, in fact was such a pretty morning after walking in the gardens that I had tunes playing in the car, toe tapping, singing off key..life is grand is it not?

Busy weekend as usual, after work I shall stop in the nursery and purchase all the flowers I need for 1 topsyturvey pots, garden pots, deck planters etc. then will edge more of the gardens until the bugs come out..did learn a lesson, no working when they need to be fed, forehead still infected!!!

Tomorrow I'm off at 7am to visit mom at her cottage..taking Cathy along as mom wants to pay her for a days work out in the gardens while I on the other hand will try to install her pond...am sure by the time I get home I'll be exhausted and will need to rest as Kyle's 3rd Cure for Cancer Bike-a-thon is Sunday at 11am... soooo nother weekend that I'll be pleased to come to work for a rest Monday morning..

"M", I sure am NOT the lady to be helping you out with possible meal suggestion, either I forget half the ingredients or I burn everything..glad the 3 men staying with me said they'd do all their cooking..do you think it's common knowledge in town and someone told them about my cooking ability?? No worrying, they keep visiting so you must be doing something right!

Carol, two of the men who were at the house come from Calgary and they were saying how strange the weather has been this season..let's hope it improves..lordy, you've almost got all your
to do's done, what will fill in your days now??? make a new list..lol
Do miss not having a LeeValley in our area..was nice with them being just a block away from our Toronto office.

Susan, it will be a long weekend waiting for the final outcome at work..will be saying prayers that when you do meet on Monday they'll have glowing reports on your ability and up your salary!!! Your tea does sound enjoyable..can't get any better than antique cups..makes one feel like a grand lady!

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Marilynn I know that Carol (fancyvan) has some really good receipes with chicken thigh's. Had it at her house a few years ago and it seemed like she just whipped it up and put it in the oven then visited till it was done. I think it had cream soup ..........chicken........ and it was done, LOL Maybe Carol can enlighten you.
I love to do the crock pot thing and just found out that you don't have to cover your roast with water! Just put 1/2 cup liquid in bottom and flavorings like spices and leave on. At the end of the day the roast is done and some juices are in the bottom for gravey. Very tender meat!
You will think of something I know not too much stops you anywhere including the kitche.
Susan, I will keep everything crossed for Monday and the end of PMS. Summer has come and gone so you are hooped on the 40 lbs, LOL.

We are supposed to have FROST or snow tonight. Some of the folks I know lost plants a couple of nights as go as it seems to hit here and there. My G house still has my stuff in it , I started to do my planters but now will have to get them into protection for the night.
Overcast and rainy here and the temp is dropping like crazy we do need the rain but not the cold.

Supposded to go down to 8 or 9 this afternoon.
Will be a chilly weekend to garden.
Alberta Ann


Victoria Harbour, ON

Alberta Ann, say it isn't so...frost/snow, how can that be in June...surely that is not the norm..from listening to you westerners NOT moving west lol, shaking my head no!! Can't even imagine you having to worry about weather other than rain at this time of year!

You are very lucky to have the greenhouse...

Stopped into Springwater nursery on my way home..doesn't take long to spend $$$ does it..other than 4 more hangers and flowers for 2 large pots and another topsy-turvy pots I'm done..

Going to do work at moms tomorrow, mostly gardening, she wants to clear out a lot of her perennials, just maybe I'll be coming home with a carload...always room for yet another garden. Lol

Still eRly but with all the late nights and changes in my schedule this past week think it wil be an early night!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Marilyn I think this is the one Ann is talking abut- got it from my DB.
I make this for myself and freeze it in portions of two thighs each .


1 Box Uncle Bens long grain and wild rice (4 servings)
2 Tbsp butter
4 chicken breast halves ( I use 8 chicken thighs)
pkg onion soup mix
1 cup sliced mushrooms
cup sweet pepper (any color!) ( cut in inch cubes or strips)
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of water

Place rice in 9x13 pan stir together, dot with butter.

Arrange chicken on top, sprinkle with soup mix

Arrange mushrooms and sweet pepper on top.

Option: add sliced onions on top of pepper and mushrooms

Blend soup and water, heat and pour over all

Seal pan with foil, bake at 350.for 50 mins, remove foil and bake uncovered another 10 mins.


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