A Juicy Reward

The very first pressing of our first crop of grapes.

When we planted the vines, we had a lot on our plate.  The house was under construction, we committed ourselves to completing all the interior finishing, the children were young and very busy, and I re-entered the workforce.  So….the timing was not ideal.

And even though our little vineyard graces a nice south-facing slope, we can’t avoid the fact that we are perched on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean.  Our winters are long, our summers are short and spring is all but non-existent.  (Autumns, however, are glorious!) There is no guarantee of the sufficient heat units required to ripen wine grapes.  So…..the climate is not ideal.

For the first 3 – 4 years, the deer (bless them) rejoiced in these new baby plants, chomping off every fresh shoot leaving the vines looking more like bonsai trees.  When we had the resources, we fixed that problem with electric deer fencing (and a concoction of peanut butter and vegetable oil).  The vines grew beautifully. When the grapes were ripe, flocks of birds descended and cleaned us out.  Enter bird netting.  It worked beautifully until the  raccoons figured out how to un-clip the bird netting.  The result was a raccoon party in the vineyard.  So we bought and installed raccoon fencing. Take that!  So……the situation is not ideal.

In spite of all of that, after about 8 or 9 years and a steep learning curve, voila! We were rewarded with (two days of removing fencing, netting and more fencing, back breaking harvesting, sorting and pressing by hand) several gallons of our very own grape juice……ready for fermentation!! 

A very satisfying reward! 



More Rewards!

Lovely Lunenburg Waterfront

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Acrylic (from a photo), 15×30          Janet Rimmington, 2015

My first love has been watercolour painting, working on and off in the medium for many years.  But after some prompting by a couple of painting friends, I’m trying to paint with acrylics.  It has been a bit of a learning curve for me. Seems I can’t quite shake the watercolour painter out of me. But the greatest advantage of acrylics is that they are so forgiving.

This is my most recent piece and it a pretty big one (for me).  And it represents a pretty big commitment of time.  Several weeks.  (I generally complete a watercolour in one sitting).  I feel  pretty happy with it.  That is important because it is already spoken for and will likely hang in a place where I will see it regularly.  It would be nice to be able to enjoy that, and not have it haunt me.  If you know what I mean.

I worked from a photo which explains all the lovely green (not easily found in Lunenburg in February).  And not a snowflake in sight!!  For that reason alone, it has been a lovely diversion…. it feels more like July. Or… as Vincent Van Gogh has been quoted:

I dream my painting, and

Then I paint my dream.

Bleeding Hearts – Rule of Thirds

And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.

It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous. – Rumi

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This bleeding heart plant in my garden is presently and quietly buried under about three or four feet of snow.  It is reassuring to think that “the roots down there (are) riotous” 🙂

The photo was taken last June…. Oh, how I look forward to re-uniting!!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rule of Thirds

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/rule-of-thirds/

Symmetry

IMG_1780Welcome to the Centre Block of the Canada’s Houses of Parliament, in Ottawa, Ontario.  Begun in the mid 19th Century, this Victorian High Gothic structure was was destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt in 1916. The finishing touch was the central tower – The Peace Tower, dedicated to those Canadian who fought in WWI – was completed in 1927.  It is an imposing structure, perched as it is high on Parliament Hill, but I think its’ beautiful symmetry creates  balance, a calm and a kind of confidence.

Photo taken with my iPhone last May.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/symmetry/

The Garage – Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge – Construction

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Two years ago, my husband and son took on a project together.  They built a three-car garage.

It took a little while… that’s for sure! If we (could have afforded to and) hired someone to do the work, the project would have certainly been completed in a few months.  But we’d never had a garage before, so obviously there was not burning rush to have it finished.  They wanted to do it themselves.  So they did.  Every nail.

That makes it more than just a garage, albeit a beautiful one.  Sure, it shelters the cars, mower, canoe, surf boards, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah.  And that’s it intended purpose.

More than that, much more, it represents time spent together – envisioning, planning, building, swearing, solving problems and patting each other on the back.  My husband shared his love of building with his son, who in turn, learned some life skills.  There were struggles – like the time they built the structure around the (borrowed) scaffolding and opted (after a great deal of deliberation) to cut the scaffolding away rather than attempt to remove the beam they had just spend several hours installing. They are not going to live that one down for a while!

It took for-ever!! to build – turning our driveway into a construction zone for a couple of years. Years! I was beginning to wonder if it would ever be finished. (I may have mentioned that to them…. once or twice.)

It’s finished, now (well, mostly).  And I love it!  I love it because it means I don’t have to scrape snow and ice off my car anymore in winter (glory hallelujah!) But mostly, I love it because of the accomplishment it is, and the beautiful shared memories it already holds.

This is my entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Construction

http://ceenphotography.com/2015/02/12/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-construction/