17 January 2015

Looking Back

2014 was a big year for my family.There have been lots of really good things happening and a few not so good, but all in all it has been a great year. I am grateful and exhausted. Before we dive headlong into 2015, here is a quick look at what went on at Heart's Ease Cottage this past year.

Early in 2014 I had a several month bout with pneumonia, which put me behind on many of my garden tasks. The fact that we had a very long winter and late spring gave me a chance to play catch up once I was feeling some better... So we managed to have a nice spring garden in spite of sickness. Our summer garden suffered when our normally dry hot summer, was wet and cool instead. The tomatoes and peppers drowned in the months or so of non-stop rain, but I planted a second round of both peppers and tomatoes after then rains stopped. Other plantings seemed to cope better with the wet weather, so we still managed to have lots of beautiful fruits and veggies to eat, preserve and share.
We have waited 5 years for a harvest of Hardy Kiwi. There weren't many this year but next year we should have more.

Our Currant Tomatoes never fail to provide us with an abundance of tiny bursts of tomato goodness.They are larger than a pea and smaller than a grape tomato, but are packed with intense tomato flavor. They also provide plenty of volunteers tomato plants to share.
Some of the heirloom tomato varieties we grew.

We added some really nice elements to our homestead this year, and subtracted a few as well. Da's work kept him hopping this year, but he still managed to run several large projects at home. I got a lot of planning and designing done while I was recovering from being sick, so that in May we could proceed to put the plans into action. We are very excited about how things turned out!
The veranda and the gardens were both projects that were finished in May of 2014

I designed the deck rail to reflect the theme of Heart's Ease Cottage

I have finally gotten the bathroom walls finished. This painting is a depiction of a happy memory...maybe I'll tell the story some day if you are interested in hearing it...

A close up of the dragonfly.

In September my husband and I made a 2 week road trip to Hamilton Ontario. On the Trip to Hamilton, we stopped in Niagara Falls, Ontario, stayed in some very unique AirBnB  locations along the way, stopped in Pennsylvania to visit friends and saw a lot of countryside as we drove, both in the USA and Canada. We haven't taken a vacation in years, so this was a highlight for 2014. We had a lot of fun and put a lot of miles on my odometer. Niagara Falls was of course breath taking, but I really enjoyed the beauty and variety of the falls in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls 2014

Da and I at one of the many waterfalls in Hamilton. Photo by Monique Campbell. 

Webster Falls, Hamilton Ontario

We also had a couple of land mark life changes this year. Our youngest son married his sweetheart and the company that both my husband and one of our sons works for was sold and now they are working for a new company. The marriage was reason for much joy, but the business being sold lead to some scary times wondering if the new owners would be laying off current staff. As the dust settled and the shock wore off things stabilized and in the end, the entire staff was kept on the payroll. Whew!

December was full of taking care of medical things, three family members had some kind of surgery. Everyone is doing well and on the slow road to recovery. We have much to be grateful for! Now I just need to get caught up on all my winter garden chores and spend some time perusing the seed catalogs that are coming in daily, so that I will have some seed for my next round of plantings.

I hope that this finds you all well and happy and that you also had a good year. If you want to share some highlights of your 2014, feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!  Until next time!

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