Thrifty Thursday!

Well Hello! I am back again. And the best news has to do with this tall devil.

The Great Tower. It allows us to receive signal from an internet tower miles away. We could not get signal from the house because there are so many trees in the way, but this guy is right next to a farmer’s field so clear sailing!

But on to several weeks of thrifty goodness, I may have to spread it out over a couple of weeks…

This bird feeder is a little dirty, but what a mansion! I’ll have to buy the gourmet birdseed for this one.

I fell in love with this little framed print. the quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap, than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door

Love this pillow too.

This shelf is a little rough. But I am giving it a make-over, so stay tuned.

This is just a simple wooden shelf that has found a new purpose and a whole new look.

Above the stove. Please ignore the not-yet-painted walls. The spices will not stay on the stove, heat is not good for spices, but they are awaiting the other shelf makeover.

Tomorrow we will have a tour of all the bloomin’ things!

I have been missing again

Well Hello there!

I know I disappear for a while every now and then, so much going on, and still no internet at Hedgehog Hill…don’t even get me started! Hopefully we will have some good news about that soon.

My other good news is that I was featured at Brenda’s Cozy Little House blog  (Thanks Brenda!)

Wow I had a ton of people visit my blog because of Brenda and I did not have anything new up. I kind of felt like company arrived and I had crumbs on the counter. I hope that some of you who found your way here from Cozy Little House are still reading and keep coming back.

The other sad news is that my beautiful magnolia tree was frosted. We had several days of summer like weather so hundreds of buds formed, then a killing frost that turned all of the lovely buds brown. I am so sad! I have to wait a full year to see my beautiful tree in bloom….

But not to despair we have lots of other blooms.

I think Fairies live under that tree. The run around under the Myrtle.

We also have had a steady run of visitors on the pond.

I was amazed I got this close before he flew away. Most of the time the mallards arrive in pairs, but this day Mrs Mallard was off doing some shopping I guess, or nesting. One day a flock of wood ducks crashed the party and spent an hour or so splashing around.

They were a very rowdy bunch but very colourful. I was so glad I had my binoculars handy to see them up close.

I have so many plans for the next few weeks I hope I can capture it all in pictures and share with you here. I’ll be back soon! I promise.

Trip to the beach

I had a little time to myself this morning and thought I would take a drive down to the beach. This beach is at Goderich  Ontario and is beautiful any time of the year. There are many sections and lots of different types of beach to walk, or stroll, or swim (just not at this temperature). The sandy cove is busy in the summer but since I had no intentions of going for a dip in the frigid waters of Lake Huron, I opted for the rocky part. I love beach rocks. I aimed for the big rock next to the water and sat for a while.

It was brisk along the water. Way out I could see a whole flotilla of little fishing boats. I have no idea what they fish for at this time of year, I only hope the all had their woolies on! Brrrr.

This is not the swimming part of the beach and even the walking can be treacherous. But if a stroll is what you are after there is a long boardwalk. They do a great job of maintaining this public beachfront. No wonder it is so popular with locals and tourists.

The boardwalk is wide and level, and there are benches along the way. Picnic shelters and a couples of great play areas, wonderful for a family outing. I like to scramble down the rocks and walk along the edge of the water.

Lots of interesting things floated ashore over the winter.

This is how I walk for most of the time, head down looking for interesting rocks. I was very good this time, I did not bring home a pocket full. My feet look small, they are not really.

A couple of ships were in harbour waiting to get loaded with salt. The worlds largest salt mine is under my feet.

After that bracing walk I went home and made a huge breakfast, nothing like fresh air to make you hungry. I timed my drive and was home at Hedgehog Hill in just over 8 minutes. I was lucky with stop lights so it might take longer another day. And in the summer when the beach is full of tourists….

Then I managed to make it to the end of the first colour repeat on the ripple afghan. Now I start back into the black and repeat the stripe pattern. I think 3 or 4 repeats will make a huge and cozy afghan to cuddle under next winter. I am even getting to like the crazy, shocking colour scheme.

A Host of Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

 Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

 Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

W. Wordsworth

And very, very soon magnolias!

It is a large magnolia, I can’t wait to see it in full bloom.

I am battling with rouge juniper and therefore covered with scratches and cuts, but I will win the battle and have a lovely open space for my cottage garden. Pictures before and after very soon.

Spring flower report and Thrifty Thursday

This week I will combine a couple of posts just to save time. The weather has continued to be beyond remarkable, often above 20 c and lots and lots of sun! It changed from winter to summer with no stop at spring. But I think that may change, April can be a fickle month.

But oh the little flowers peeking up everywhere! These teeny little daffys arrived overnight. The hyacinths should not be far behind.

The rows of leaves are turning into cheery stripes of yellow.

These little fellows are blooming outside the walled garden.

The forsythia too!

I did get a few treasures in my fast trip through the local thrift shop. Everything on the table, including the cloth for $14.00. There are 2 books on cd, an enamel bowl with green rim, a cutlery tote, and big green metal tote, little blue and white bowl and the checkered cloth.

Oh the napkins I bought (thrifted) a while ago, and the red handled cutlery was from GT – $4.

Just in time for meals on the patio!

I love this little bowl. Reminds me of Emma Bridgewater crockery.

This metal tote could also carry supplies to the picnic, or tools to the garden.

So many lovely Thrifty finds and my first bouquet from my garden!

Thrifty Thursd….errr Friday!

There is so much going on here at Hedgehog Hill that the days get away on me.

I have been finding lots of plant and garden stuff in my thrifty rambles.

I found them each at different places and none cost me more than $10

I think I need to get some bigger plants for this one. Still not sure if I am going to hang it inside or put it outside for the summer.

The weather here has been remarkably warm, into the high teens everyday. We have cleaned out the fountain and need to figure out how it works.

This picture was before we scooped out all the dead leaves, a smelly job.

This fella came with the fountain. Last fall there was often a real frog sitting on the ledge next to him. The frogs are from the Frog Pond of Camelot. I expect there will be more posts about them later. There were many, many frogs.

Move in day is getting closer. We are here more than not these days. Just one or two more critical issues to solve and we will be full-time residents, along with the birds, squirrels, frogs and jack rabbits. Happy Happy Happy

Spring time walk

All the snow is gone. Yesterday the temperature rose to 14 c ! It was lovely and Mr Murfin and I explored the little woods beside Hedgehog Hill to see if we could find the old bridge that washed away. If you look quickly you can see it from the road, but it is down deep in the boggy land. First we walked along the lovely path.

It would be hard to get here in the summer because the grass grows high and the branches are low.

Can you see it? Down to the left near the bottom, it is covered with dried grass. We could not get any closer as it is very boggy down there. We were told the bridge washed away when the water got really high. It has lodged itself in the bog, I think it is staying there. Maybe a troll lives under it now. It looks like troll country.

They live among the cat-tails.

Back at  the old dam at the end of the pond. We have a lot of work to do. We hope to re-build it and make it functional. Still it was nice to watch and listen to the water flowing over.

Crocus update! They are all in bloom.

Spring is in the air!

Saturday was not as warm as I would have liked, but in the afternoon I did get outside to poke around in the gardens. Yes spring is on the way and wow there are more bulbs here than I thought! I can also start to see the shapes of gardens. Some are obvious, but others are at the end of the huge vegetable garden. There are clearly paths and clump after clump of bulbs.

Look at them bravely rising above the snow.

So MANY bulbs. I can guess at what some are, but have no idea for sure. I even found a whole row that is along the line of the peonies. Since we bought HH in October I have no clue what spring and summer will bring. Well maybe a few hints, and what people have told me, but I feel like it will be a present everyday for a year!  There will be hundreds of blooms.

Still snow under the pine and cedar trees.

A few sweet crocus that should be in full bloom Sunday. The picture is wobbly because I was trying to not fall on my arse in the mud , again….

Oh no! I am so disappointed I just checked the weather network and the predicted high is only 9 c. I hope they are wrong and it goes to double digits. Though really, I should not complain, it could be snowing.

First Post made directly from Hedgehog Hill

Ok so I don’t really have anything to say, except that we have temporary internet at HH.

I am amazed that in this day and age we don’t have cable access here. Our options are limited to a satellite dish or a hub which uses cellular network, They both have their downsides. But what we discovered this week is that all of our lovely tall trees block access for the satellite dish. Even though I can see the blinking tower off in the distance behind the house, we can’t pick up enough to keep a signal. It will only get worse when all of those trees are in full leaf.

Next up a hub that allows us to pick up a cellular signal same as my Iphone. Problems are it will be pay by the usage, and the price rise with the amount you use until it get silly expensive. At least they let us test one first.

I picked up the test unit yesterday and spent several hours trying to get it to work. Even talked to the tech support…no luck, I was grumpy.

Mr Murfin comes home and looks at it and says, “It’s not transmitting.”

How is it the tech guy did not figure this out? Mr Murfin called him and they checked a box somewhere and here we are…trying it out…

The awesome part is sitting in my kitchen looking out through the sun room and typing this. Now that the days are longer it was light when I got up at 6:30. We still have a layer of snow, but tomorrow should be the start of a warm trend. sigh. Soon it will be green again.

A second no recipe cake. In which I don’t follow the instructions anyway…

So another Pinterest cake. You can’t really call it a recipe when it is only 2 things. The idea and picture on Pinterest is for an apple cinnamon cake. I didn’t have apple pie filling in a tin, so I substituted raspberry. And that is it Angel Food cake mix and a tin of pie filling mixed together. I have heard you can also use crushed pineapple instead of the pie filling.

I was getting worried at this stage, would the batter be dry with lumps of pie filling every so often?

But it did mix in and became a pink batter that filled a 9 x 13 greased pan.

The instructions said to bake for 20 minutes or until the top turned golden. I think mine was in for about 30 minutes at 350 F.

It rose above the pan and was kind of ..wobbly. It smelled very good. I could smell almonds, which is weird.

It was not really pretty and almost as soon as I took the picture it kind of deflated. The flavour is good, very strong raspberry. The texture is …sticky and there are the seeds… The whole thing shrunk away from the edges of the pan and it is a bit heavy. So, not the nicest cake to take to a potluck. But I am thinking if you cut it into chunks and made it into a trifle it would be lovely. Anything is improved by the addition of Birds custard. I should have made some. Also I think the apple version would be better, more of a breakfast cake. Should those words even be together?

Mr Murfin liked it enough to have 2 pieces, but then cake and Mr Murfin are best friends.

I’ll wait for the trifle.

Thrifty Thursday will be back next week. I did get some good finds, but failed to take any pictures.

This weekend the weather is to turn to spring. There is a layer of snow this morning but I heard double digits for Sunday, so I hope to have garden pictures. little green sprouts are everywhere. I saw a robin the other day. The size of a small chicken, must be a hardy one.

Ta ta for now!