Archive for March, 2011

I knew I was approaching middle-age when I started getting excited about new appliances. So what does it mean when I’m thrilled by a garden tool?  Don’t answer please…rhetorical (and uncomfortable) question.

Spoiler Alert:  Family members look away now as you are likely getting one of these for your next birthday, Mother’s Day or other gift-giving occasion.

Telesco Weeder in action

I hunted this down at Garden Works. It is, to be honest, a bit over-priced (35$) when one considers the simplicity of the design and materials.  But the fact is, it works really well. My son used it to gently remove moss from the roof, and it did a good job there too.

Removing moss from the roof

This tool is light, maneuverable and effective.  I wish I could afford to have one at home and another at the cottage. My frugal side is toying with the idea of trying to make one with some of my plentiful bamboo, a bent tuna tin and some duct tape. I don’t really think it would work like this, however. 

Sitting or standing - works like a charm

If you do invest in this item, you can feel very good about the fact that it is Made in Canada – in fact, I think it is manufactured in Powell River, B.C. – another lovely town on the Sunshine Coast!  They also make a hand tool version, the Garden Bandit.

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This old vanity stool has been hanging around our place for years now – a legacy item from my mother-in-law that didn’t seem to hold much promise. Cottager was able to reach way back in his memory to describe – in detail – the pattern on the fabric that’s under this blue velvet. Yes, this has already been remodeled once. Why not again? 

Could this sad old thing have a place at the cottage?

Finally a vision for where it might go coincided with a few rainy hours to make it happen.  I sanded it down, brushed on a coat of primer and then a second coat using the dregs of a can of Benjamin Moore Tealight Green, used in our closet-to-alcove make-over.  A small remnant of an English floral fabric containing a perfect match for this green completed the update.

Yep, this will be useful.

Since I most often spend just a night or two at the cottage, I generally just live out of an overnight bag left on the floor. From now on, my bag will be up off the floor and much easier to get into when resting on this stool. This re-furbished item can also quickly be moved into the living room to act as a foot rest during winter movie nights.

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I promised myself more adventures – and I do plan to deliver – but the truth is that Cottager is the adventurous one, having climbed mountains in far away lands, canoed into the Arctic circle and (recently) ridden the Chemin de St. Jacques in France. Here are his pictures of a recent snow camping trip which he undertook with our littlest urchin (Lu) and about twenty other lovely people whom he really didn’t know at all. 

The setting is Seymour Mountain and the group is the Ecospirit Adventure Club Meet-Up group, which anyone wishing to experience a variety of outdoor adventures – and pub nights – can sign on with.  The goal was to build a few big snow caves and sleep in them. Cottager – having spent quite a few nights in snow caves over the years – took a tent, and it was a good thing, since it takes a lot of time to dig out snow caves to accomodate such a large number of people.

Making 3 snow caves to sleep 20 people

The group began by digging a trench to a depth above their heads, and then they started burrowing into the exposed bank and removing snow. Another group nearby was excavating a giant cave in order to host a Snow Cave Cabaret – a sort of rave party – note the Zebra! – to which the Ecospirit group was invited. 

Inside - At the Snow Cave Cabaret

Advantages of a Snow Cave Cottage:  It’s free, and a bit of a lark.

Disadvantages:  Cold, wet, highly seasonal, claustrophobic, potentially perilous….etc. 

Fergus the dog was not enamoured of the conditions

And where was I while all these snowy revels were taking place?  Sometimes I was in the tub, sometimes reading in bed, sometimes sipping a glass of red.  But at all times, I was warm and dry at home:  My adventurous spirit is carefully timed to coincide with the arrival of spring.

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