Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Weed Control Experiment #2: Smother 'Em

The 'lawn' is full of creeping charlie with a smattering of dandelions and the occsional blade of grass.
Chatting with a co-worker at lunch the other day (the only reason I go to work is to learn new things), I remembered using newspaper to suppress weeds when we moved the sidewalk. So I spread some around in the experiment area.
A little soil thrown on top...
...and a liberal dose of grass seed and water.
I just have to wait a couple of weeks for the grass to grow. And no, I am not going to stand around watching.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

This Makes Me Happy

The raspberries are starting to ripen.
Tomatoes are starting to appear.
And the vinegar treated weeds are starting to die. This is much faster than I expected. I'll have to go and buy a huge vat of vinegar!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Weed Control Experiment # 1: Boiling Vinegar

The parking pad is becoming full of weeds. I have heard from several different sources that boiling vinegar is a good way to permanently kill weeds and prevent their re-growth. Since the parking pad is the only place where we don't want green stuff growing, I figured I would try my experiment there.I poured about one and one half cups of very hot vinegar in a random pattern on these weeds. I'm curious about what will happen.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

We're Home

Freshly laundered clothes and previously soaked backpacks hang on the line to dry.

While we had a great trip, it's good to be home.

Happy Landings

We flew home on an older, really big, plane. I don't know if it was a 737, but something along that line. There were many empty seat, sometimes entire rows.

Anyone know what language this is, and what it says? (Other than the translation given below?)
The plane was struck by lightening on the approach to Winnipeg ( I thought we were farther out). We landed without incident, only a few bumps, but the door of the plane was later found to have been damaged by the strike, and it could not make the return trip.

The bumpy landing did cause the oxygen mask compartment above one seat to open. I'd never seen one open before so I thought it was interesting, tho' the occupant of the seat was thoroughly unnerved.

I'd fly with Iceland Express again. Others weren't so sure.

Bláa Lónið

We were picked up Saturday at 10 and taken to one of the ultra tourist spots in Iceland -The Blue Lagoon.
One huge shallow pool has been carved out of the young (1266) lava and the water temperatures in this pool vary between 37 and 42 C. The pool has reputed therapeutic properties as well. many people take to the waters as a cure for psoriasis.
All I know is it was fun to relax in the water. And the athlete's foot that has been bothering me since we were in Costa Rica? Well, that is pretty much gone, tho' I am sure that is just a coincidence.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

My Kind of Bookstore

I love book stores. In fact my idea of heaven is a place with bookstores everywhere. And cozy places to sit and read. Grocery stores aren't necessary since in my heaven, I don't have to cook-someone else does it for me. But I digress.

The best kind of bookstores are not the modern ones , tho' they have their place.
The best bookstores are places with an assortment of everything.
In other words, a bookstore like....
We found this store when we were walking down Hverfisgata, and were drawn inside.

The proprietor asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I told him, and he led me into a far corner. "Icelandic or English," he asked. "Icelandic," I replied. He reached out to a shelf and pulled off a book. "It was published in the '40s," he said and opened the cover to the appropriate page, pointing to the date. "See?"

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Glacial Lagoon

Monday, on the way back to Reykjavik, we were proper tourists and stopped at anything that looked interesting.
Here we are at Jökulsárlón lagoon. The Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is an arm of the larger Vatnsjökull glacier and regularly calves ice floes into the Jökulsá river.

The colours are amazing and only a small fraction can be captured in pictures.
The floes, or small glaciers tumble around in the lagoon until they are small enough to make it over the lip of the lagoon and down the river to the ocean.
The floes, or small glaciers tumble around in the lagoon until they are small enough to make it over the lip of the lagoon and down the river to the ocean.

Amphibious buggies take tourists out among the floes, but I was impressed enough just standing on shore.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Farms

Pastor Sigurðsson met us early Monday morning to show us the farms where Gram's greatparents were from. Had I known the farms all have signposts on the highway, we could have found them ourselves, but then we would have missed out on the history.

This is Ðórisdalur where Rafnkel Benediktsson, Gram's paternal grandfather was born. The farm was abandoned by the last resident in the 1950s after a dispute with the propery owner.
It is quite a sizeable farm with large areas for grazing and the sheep seen here are owned by Sigurður who owns the hostel.
Hvammur was home to Gudrun Jonsdottir, Rafnkel's future wife. After they were married they moved to Valskogsne, a farm we did not see.
The original buildings may have been over to the left of this picture. The current residents of the farm were not home, so we could not ask questions.
My notes area a little sketchy as to who came from here, but I think it was Gram's maternal grandmother. It has lovely big fields that run down to the sea.
An older man and a younger school age boy live here (the pastor also drives a school bus) but they weren't around either when we visited.

These bottle-lambs didn't care who we were, they just wanted to be fed. They came full tilt across the field when they saw us, only to be stopped dead in their tracks when they hit the fence. I'm amazed it stopped them. Judging by the number of sheep we saw on the roads and in the ditches, fences to very little to keep them penned in.


After we landed we were (eventually) collected by the rental car company and taken to pick up the car, an older VW Polo. When running, it sounded like a diesel engine was under the hood, but the manager assured us that because it was a little engine, it sounded just the way it should. We were sceptical, but because neither of us had ever driven a Polo, we accepted him at his word. This poor little car was in desperate need of a tune-up. It took a great deal of encouragement to get it going and it stalled pretty much everytime we slowed down too much. But it got us where we needed to go, (and back again).
Poor Geek started a cold on the 'plane, and wasn't able to get much sleep on the flight either. She drove for the first hour, and then we both needed a nap. We pulled over to the side of the road and slipped into a coma for about an hour. After trading seats, I drove and the Geek slept some more. I pulled over again a while later and had another little nap, and eventually we reached Höfn where we had supper and fed the car.
The Geek drove from there to Stafafell. We asked a local lass, who was walking down the road in her stockinged feet, where the hostel could be found. She claimed she didn't speak English and directed us to a nearby house where she said the people there did. The couple who answered the door spoke less English than the girl, but they sent us back the way we had come. I knocked and a rather haunted looking fellow answered the door of a rather aromatic house. He directed us to the house beyond the church and said he would meet us there. The Geek wants me to point out that as he took a shortcut across the cemetery, the car stalled for the first time; we had to push-start it.
The hostel itself smelled fine, but the owner, Sigurður, became very anxious when I asked him any questions about the place. The only thing I managed to pry out of him was his grandfather was the last pastor in the church and then stayed to farm the land near the church.
We explored a bit before collapsing into bed.
The church, built in 1868. Services are still held here on special occasions.
Looking toward the uplands.
A view toward the sea.
Sheep, of course.

Land of Ice and Fire

We left for Iceland on June 19. Iceland Express is so new to Winnipeg that they don't even have computer access.
Our boarding passes and luggage tags were hand written.
The sun was setting (or was it rising) as we flew north. Either way, it never got completely dark.
Our first view of Iceland is the town of Keflavik, where the airport is located.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Brought Out by the Rain

The cutting I pinched from K's garden last year when we were visiting there is blooming.
And the asparagus, of which there was no sign yesterday, is very tall today. One of the plants is at least 18 inches high.
Of course the weeds are liking this wet weather too.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Hodge Podge

When the basement flooded all my seeds got wet. Thinking they were ruined, I tossed them in the garden to compost. I should have known better.
This is going to be a real dogs' breakfast.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Looks LIke... Snow

I don't know what all the white fluffy stuff is from. I have been told it is from the poplar trees, but we don't have any around here. Could it be from the cottonwoods?
Whatever the source, the is a great deal of the stuff.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The First Strawberry

The question is, when it is ripe, will we get to eat it before the squirrels do?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Tomatoes and Basil and Bees

I finally managed to plant the tomatoes and basil. The ground was still a little wet, but they couldn't wait any longer.
The bees are busy in the garden too. I wonder what chive-flavoured honey tastes like?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

What a Little Sunshine Will Do

The peony is blooming.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

That's Much Brighter

I bought a new cover for the futon at a rummage sale. It makes the room much brighter than the old cover.