Monday, May 24, 2010

Victoria Day

Today in Canada we celebrated Queen Victoria's birthday. Well, I think that it's more or less an excuse to have the first "Long Weekend" of the summer. For folks who endure a long winter season, any excuse to get outside, plant the garden, go camping, have a barbecue is most welcome. The long-range forecast for this weekend was awful: very cold with rain or snow. But it turned out quite well. We had sunshine, not too much wind, and the afternoon temperature reached +17ºC (about 63ºF), which compared to the previous three days was absolutely wonderful.

I planted the green beans today. Well, actually, purple beans, since I grow "Royal Burgundy" beans. They are purple when you pick them, and turn green when you boil them. I like them because even when the beans get quite long, they don't get very fat, and don't develop big seeds. Still to plant: scarlet runner beans, for which I need to find about 6 long poles for them to climb.

Was also able to begin cleaning up the asparagus bed, weeding out loads of big dandelions, and clearing away last year's dried up stalks. It's a good idea to let some of the asparagus spears grow tall, as that helps the roots develop. But for now I'll pick pretty much everything. In season we eat asparagus pretty much every other day. And if there are more than we can eat, the extras are frozen for winter meals.

Friday I was able to get into Red Deer and
do some shopping, and came home with this terribly exciting addition to the sewing room: a new Janome 7700. This machine has eleven inches of "throat" space, the distance from the needle to the upright part of the machine. That extra room will make machine quilting so much easier. It also has a built in "walking foot" called an "Accufeed" which moves both layers of material under the pressure foot along at the same rate. It wasn't until this morning that I finally found some time to do some sewing on it.

It's sort of like a new computer: a machine that can do way more than what you're used to. I'm looking forward to later this summer when the garden centre and the garden are not taking up so much time and I can explore what this machine is capable of.

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