Top 6 Favorites of 2016

 I wasn't sure I would do a top favorites posts for the year, because I just got back to blogging here the beginning of August. But when I looked at our most popular posts, I discovered an interesting cross section of topics; a garden, a DIY project, crafts, a recipe, and a pictorial essay....an eclectic mix that truly portrays what this blog is about! So, here it is...

Top 6 Favorites Collage


How To Enjoy a Blizzard

  The sun did not shine.
It was too snowy to go away.
So we sat in the house
All that blizzarding day. 
I sat there with Brian.
We sat there, we two
And I said, "I'm so glad there is NOTHING to do!"

Ok, so it's not quite the Cat In the Hat...but I'm no Dr. Seuss!

Snowy scenery

 Being storm stayed on Christmas Day wasn't part of our plans...in fact we had opened our gifts the day before because we didn't plan to be home at all that day! But when a blizzard hits, you just have to make the best of it!


Saturday Snapshot, Merry Christmas From Me To You!

We've had an early start here, and already opened our gifts! I'm enjoying a cup of coffee in my new Tim Horton's cup, watching the weather forecast, and hoping the expected blizzard passes us by, or at least waits until tomorrow night to hit. I hope everyone has a great Christmas, wherever you are!


Christmas Greetings

Manger scene, Isaiah 9:6

 I don't expect many will be around over the next few days, so I thought I'd send out a Christmas greeting today. I want to thank everyone who has supported Manitoba Gardens through commenting and sharing posts, and by following our FB page. Brian, (our main photographer) Danica, (my video creator) and I really do appreciate all of you, and we welcome feedback.

 This past few months has been a hodge podge of topics as we find our way through this blogging world, but we hope you all find something of interest here. We're looking for ward to the new year, especially spring time, when we can get back to touring gardens!

  For now...Stay warm and have a Merry Christmas, making memories and passing down family traditions. Most of all, may you know the one whose birth we celebrate. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6


Christmas Traditions

  With just a few days until Christmas, we've come to the end of our Christmas Craft and Gift Series. I hope you've enjoyed these posts, and perhaps found some that you would like to add to your own family traditions. Today, I'll be sharing one final project, as well as a slideshow.


Manitoba Sky Monday, December 19/16

It was just too cold to go outside and take pictures, 
so this is all I have...warmer temperatures for this week though.



See you next week!


Dad - He Knew That He Knew

For many years, this blog stayed as a tribute to Dad and Mom, and the beautiful garden they created together. This post was written December 18, 2009, two days after Dad passed away. 
Gerald Murray Blair 1927-2009


The Story Of the Candy Cane

Candy Cane story

 This project is a very simple little gift that we've made a few times over the years to hand out to people before Christmas.


Winter Survival Gift Guide

Gifts to warm the heart, nose and ears of someone you love

All of my blogging friends have been posting Christmas gift guides, and after the nasty week of snow storms we've had, I decided to post a gift guide filled with gifts to warm the hearts, toes, and nose of someone you love!

Saturday Snapshot A Cavalier For Christmas


A Christmas Pinate

How to make a pinate

  Are you looking for something different to do this Christmas? 

  One of our many Christmas activities from years gone by has been making a pinate. It's been several years since we've done one, so some of these pictures are from previous Christmas seasons.

  It's a slow process that takes a few days, but the kids have fun making it, and even more fun breaking it open and eating the candy!


First Snowfall

 Our first snowfall arrived late this year; the end of November. Along with it came a lot of icy roads...a good time to stay home and drink hot chocolate and decorate for Christmas! 

Manitoba Sky Monday, December 5/16

Snow on the roof blends with clouds

 This pretty much sums up the week...lots of snow and not much blue sky!
I liked the way the snow hanging off the roof just blended in with the clouds.

Snow on the roof blends with clouds

See you next week!


Winter Greenery Arrangement

 I don't usually do seasonal decorating outside our house, other than some lights during Christmas, but this year I was inspired to do a winter greenery arrangement by our front door.


Homemade Christmas Gift Wrap and tags

  When our older kids were growing up, there were many years that we had to find ways to save money. Making our own wrapping paper was one of them.


Christmas Gift Jars - 3 Ideas

s gift jar ideas

  Are you looking for a simple gift for a friend, teacher, or co-worker? Maybe you want a project that you can do with the kids. Gift jars are a great gift for anyone, and easy enough for kids to make with a little help from an adult. Here's three different ideas to choose from.


Manitoba Sky Monday November 21/16

Super Moon
Not much sky watching this week, but I did try to get another picture of the super moon Monday morning.


Christmas Cookie Gift Trays

Gift wrapped Cookie trays

    This is one of my favorite gift ideas, and one that we've done many times over the years. Some years have been quiet, with just my daughter Nicole and I getting together, while other years the whole family has been home to take part. No matter who is there, it's always a fun time of making memories.



Easy Gingerbread Houses

 Many years ago, baking cookies and making a gingerbread house before Christmas became one of our family traditions. The gingerbread houses didn't happen every year, but at some point, all eight of our kids had a turn at decorating a house with candy. I still have the gingerbread house kit that I made over twenty-five years ago!


"Life Is Better On the Deck"

Painted pallet sign
 Normally, at this time of year, I wouldn't be saying, 
"Life is Better on the Deck"!
  But we had one of the nicest November weekends that I can remember.


Prairie October - Photography by Brian Bolack


  Saturday afternoon, Brian decided to take a drive around the neighbourhood south of where we live. He found some beautiful scenery and an old farm site.


Christmas Button Wreath


  When I was a child, I loved playing with my mom's collection of buttons. Like many ladies of her day, Mom kept the buttons in an old cookie tin. Years later, when my parents were moving from the farm, among their possessions was a huge cookie tin full of buttons. Not the small tin from my childhood, but one that belonged to my great aunt. I'm sure that tin held not only Auntie Bene's button collection, but my grandma's and my mom's as well. I had no idea what I'd do with all those buttons, but I brought the cookie tin home, not willing to leave it behind for someone else to throw away.


Christmas Craft and Gift Series

Christmas Crafts, Gifts, Traditions

  Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Even though we didn't have a lot when I was a child, Christmas was always a special time with family. When our own kids were small, there were many years that we didn't have extra money, so we learned to make do with what we had...sometimes saving money by making gifts. Even when the kids were older we often made our own wrapping paper, and baked cookies to give away to family and friends. With the Christmas season fast approaching, I've decided to share some of our family's Christmas traditions, inexpensive crafts, and homemade gift ideas. 


Manitoba Sky Monday - Oct. 31/16

Monday evening we were driving to Carberry, and there was a beautiful sunset.
 I had to try to get a picture through the rearview mirror.
sunset in rear view mirror


Manitoba Birds

Yellow-headed Blackbird

  I love bird watching, but when it comes to getting photos of them, I just don't have the required photography skills. One of the best things about Facebook, is seeing the photos that my friends post....and then asking them to share them! 
  This post is Part 1 of a three part series of photos by Brent Sharp. You'll find his bio at the bottom of the page.