Posts by Resident


For Herb’s Sake

For Herb’s Sake


Posted By on Nov 22, 2012

It’s been a dog’s age. This year past has been busy. Perhaps too busy. Getting attention for a region on a shoestring budget is a challenge. A big time consuming challenge. And while it’s been fun, it’s time to pick up other aspects of life again!All of that is not to say that things have remained stagnant around Crowder House. Quite the contrary. Operating two successful businesses, with a growing staff, has kept things hopping. In our spare time, we’ve been gardening and attempting to tame the landscape. The kitchen at Crowder House again looks like a witch’s den, with a variety of herbs hanging from the ceiling and walls. All a growing experiment for where we’d like to take the property. We’ve begun, and by that I mean The Man,  preparing two back fields for production next year. The plan: to grow medicinal herbs. No, not the illegal variant, but all sorts of legal herbs that help people heal. In so doing we’ll be creating aesthetic gardens, with different themes, combining function and form so people can actually visit the gardens as well as enjoy the harvest. We hope to develop products from our herbs, like teas and other drinks, while supplying local naturopaths and businesses, like the Herb Wife. The new business (or rather farm) will be called For Herb’s Sake. To the left here is our mascot, a Russian house spirit or domovoy that we ordinarily call Shisha, but for his day job shall heretofore be known as Herb. Sure, it’s a massive undertaking, but given the economic climate, we can’t help but think that having something that actually produces a tangible product will be necessary. That doesn’t mean we are quitting our own day jobs, but rather diversifying. To that end, below are pictures of the back field in progress. Being a bit swampy and sandy, The Man has been digging a drainage ditch to help with our herbal...

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Re-enactment Corner


Posted By on Mar 19, 2012

I’ll spare you the usual of how busy it is around Crowder House. Surely by now, Dear Readers, if this blog is silent you’ve come to understand we’re up to other things. Spring has apparently arrived early in Spencerville. In our meanderings and laundry hangings yesterday we noticed many flowers already in bloom. These little purple ones were out along with some buttercups in the grass. The daffodils were well sprouted too. I recall some oddly warm March Breaks as a child, but usually they were followed by further winter flashbacks. Yesterday’s weather reached 23 degrees celsius though. While that isn’t the hottest it’s ever been (26.5 in 1946), it still had people talking. Beyond early springs, there have been few changes at Crowder House. One, however, was featured in a new column I’m writing for Sun Media. With the War of 1812 Bicentennial, The Man and I have accumulated a sizeable Regency wardrobe. As you know, Crowder House has very few closets. So The Man created Re-enactment Corner on the landing upstairs. He put up an antique peg hanger I had picked up at the Carp Road Flea Market. I moved the bookshelves into the guest room and took out the beautiful dresser he’d bought me from Gendron Antiques just after we moved to Crowder House. In pairing down our Regency garb to only the finest, we were able to hide most of it in the dresser, hanging the clothes and staging the boots and shoes to make the space look like a little historic boudoir. It’s a cute little space reminiscent of a museum. Below is a picture of The Man as featured in Sun Media:...

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The Mensch and the Mole


Posted By on Feb 19, 2012

This past Wednesday as I was rushing out the door to Kingston, there was an awful scratching sound inside a wall near the pet food. It was so loud and desperate that I let the poor cat and dog wait for The Man to awaken and tempt fate by opening the storage space and sticking his hand in. And let’s face it, even Samson was having none of it when the adjoining closet door was unlocked so that he might end the horrid scratches. It should come as no surprise that a smell soon followed and increased in intensity just as it had our first winter here and a rodent had decided to demise in the office. In a house with few doors this is an intolerable situation. The sweet and sickening stink of rot is enough to turn anyone’s stomach. And this time it was in the kitchen. As we returned home from another visit to the local Legion, the smell hit us like a punch to the gut. Something must be done. Now, people talk about odor eaters, but if this is day four or so, that’s a bet I’m not willing to make. Others living in old houses have shared their woeful tales. No, thank you. Fortunately, The Man is a real mensch. On this Sunday afternoon he took apart the wall and ferreted out the culprit – a mole. More pictures of The Man’s bravery are below....

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Samson versus Delilah


Posted By on Feb 10, 2012

One of the joys of old house living is the mice. Not really, but for one of us (The Man) it makes for a great filming project, particularly when Samson has a rodent in play. Here is a little teaser of the fun at Crowder...

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Award Winning Clothes & New Quilt


Posted By on Jan 29, 2012

Dull moments seldom befall us at Crowder House. The last two months have been no exception. Including a brief foray into the holy land, the Man and I have been galavanting a-plenty. While progress on the house remains in a winter freeze, sewing projects have been many. Pictured to the right is my first truly pieced quilt. I pieced and hand stitched this quilt, using embroidery floss to give it a bit more of a country feel. The undertaking was for two dear friends, namely Lola2 and her husband, who are expecting their first child. For friends that close, a truly original quilt had to be concocted. I refuse to attest to any high quality, but insist that the thought was definitely there. Whether it was laziness or something else, this quilt took me nearly three months to complete. It’s the longest quilting project to date. Concurrently, I was also attempting newer, fancier Regency clothes to wear to a recent ball in Toronto. Much of it without existing patterns, these new outfits were a real challenge for this inexperienced seamstress. You can imagine our surprise when they took the top prize for costumes at this established event. Here we are to the left, pictured in the new garb.  The Man’s jacket was created by combining two existing patterns, thanks to Mistress Mardi. Using copious amounts of interfacing, the velvet was able to stand up just right. Everything of the new pattern was manageable, except the sleeves, from which Mistress Mardi had to rescue me. His new vest is a more tailored version of attempts past, while his breeches and slippers were crafted by my aforementioned tailoring saviour. My gown was inspired by a period fashion plate, pictured here to the right. Much like modern runway fashions, these creations are not exactly realistic. In particular, I had difficulty mirroring the right side of the overdress, which wraps under the arm. Nothing seemed to work in reality. Likewise, fabric just doesn’t seem to fall the same way it does in the illustration. I attempted the reproduction in a cotton silk, and trimmed it with braid and ribbon. Following all of that creation, I’m now out of ideas on what to do next. We brought some fabric back from Jerusalem, but I haven’t a clue as to what it will be come.      ...

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