Archive for September, 2010

Mulch Moving Morning

September 30,2010

Lucky again .. sunny and bright!  This morning I’ll focus on moving some of the mountain of mulch to the backyard, to place around the yard, starting with the side garden.  And the lovely spoiled hay, just right for adding to the mixture and the composts.  Soil is going to be so enriched next year, the garlic will be growing rampant.

On y va!


So much for mulch moving .. I discovered another gravel path so busy sifting that. 

Finally took a lunch break at 1:30, my dh & I were out on the sundeck and he happened to notice the flight of Turkey Vultures,  at least 45 .. on their migration path.   So we just stood there, watching them .. flying overhead, thermalling .. crossing over from our neighbourhood, to beyond.  So very impressive … nature’s power in action.  No point taking a photo, would just have a series of dark specks in the sky.  If I was still shovelling gravel, would have missed the entire thing!  Must remember to look up every once in awhile.

Last night a flock of geese, in perfect formation, flew overhead, enroute to Swan Lake.  This morning, there was a jolly big red robin in the tree overhead … glad to see him back!  I can just imagine any robin in the neighbourhood will be in the yard, later on this afternoon, when I start bringing in that scrumptious mulch!!

Worked away till 7 pm!  and I still have a path of gravel to sift, wah .!!!  And my favourite sifting box that I’d repaired has given up the ghost.  Will have to figure out a solution tomorrow.

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Another Won Ton Wednesday!

September 29, 2010

Sun shining bright, up early, made my way outside with morning cup of tea.  Watched the sun shine on the area of garden that was freshly raked yesterday afternoon ..wispy clouds of steam as the heat warmed the chilly soil. Birds chirping away in the surrounding bushes and trees as I filled in 2 morning Sudokus, relaxing in the tranquility of the early morning air.

Digging up more comfrey roots, moving soil around.  Mounds of sifted soil needs to be spread around .. area slowly becoming more even.

11:30 .. time to drop tools as dh & I travel to DC for Won Ton Wednesday .. made it just in time, the restaurant quickly filled up, and we have a window seat!!  Yum .. another delicious bowl of chicken won ton … beautiful, looks like a work of art, a colourful & varied assortment of sliced & chopped vegetables .. a surprise each time and all ladled into the beautiful blue/white bowls on matching dishes, served with the decorative soup spoons  ( I love these, each spoon has a different design on the bottom .. today I had the roses).  Dak brought these dishes & spoons back from his last trip to Vietnam. 

These add a value to the delicious won ton.  That he chose these dishes while he was back there, had them all packed up and brought here to his restaurant.   And we can sort of share in the adventure of the trip, with these bowls.   Feels special, to me.

This isn’t just a place to eat .. this is like a second home, relaxing atmosphere, incredible food, friendly, professional service, very reasonable price – sometimes I like just having a pot of tea outside, watching the airport activity.  Just relaxing.  No rushing around. 

Ok, enough reminiscing .. outside .. to the bat cave, Robin. (speaking of robins, we finally saw one this morning, wandering by the hedge, outside DC!)

back later 🙂

Working outside for about 6 hours, shifting soil, digging up plants, finally at the end of the day, discovered more gravel that needs to be sorted, will work on that tomorrow.  Jane E cat outside, discovering her new surroundings.  Sniffing at the grass, looking at the bugs, alert at the bird songs, rediscovering her joy at scratching away at one of my kneel pads!!  Took some photos .. good to see her outside at last!

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Tomorrow .. will I start finally to move the mulch?


  • Bravado (n) a boldness intended to impress
  • Clueless (adj) informal,  clueless, stupid
  • Descent (n) 1. an action of moving downwards; 2. make a sudden attack or unwelcome visit; 3. originate with or derive from ; 4. stoop to something unworthy

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Terrific Tuesday

September 28, 2010

Up early, looked outside and see a gentle rain.  A couple of hot cups of tea and ready to start the day.  Searched online for the W.I.N.’s store on Cook St for hours of operation and along the way found a few blog sites by some “young ‘uns” who were happily listing the best places to go for food and good deals.

Seems like only a “few” years ago I was doing that, although this was during the period before the internet. Hard to imagine that life now.  Although, looking back, it was a calmer time.  Information wasn’t always in your face.  I could go for a walk/bus ride/bike ride – around town and take my time looking through the various stores.  Make my favourites list and then just shop at these places, when I had the time.  And bring my treasures home, update the clothing, the fabrics, the drapes, the various bits of furniture.  Stripping wood, taking a few little sidetables to a local lumber store for help on repair information.  Painting and practising distressed painting techniques.  When I first came to Victoria, I’d stained wooden fruit crates, upholstered square foam pieces and this formed my first couch.  Was I proud of that accomplishment!

Now, there is nothing that is not listed publicly, 24/7.  And I love seeing this information, it makes it easier to decide where I am going to shop.  However, a little of the adventure challenge is missing for me.  The fixer is .. just don’t search online, turn the computer off and just go for a wander myself.

Reading about the enthusiasm for each new treasure found is energizing, though.  Easy to forget how exciting it was to actually buy dishes, utensils, all the items needed to set up house at garage sales and thrift stores, for very little money.  And the great people that you meet there .. the exchange of ideas, the interesting conversations .. I think that is the key.  Also, in this day where many people are going back to a simpler way of life, there is a value in appreciating how to make do, with less.  This is a challenging energy, to not rush out and buy something because it is new, but to think, creatively, how to reuse something, how to bring back the value, as in undoing a sweater and knit or crochet a piece of clothing or afghan to donate to charity.  To pick up an old shovel, without a handle, paint a decorative design and use it in the garden.  Make a clock out of an old plate. 

more later, 🙂

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Worked outside from 1 to 6 pm, no tea break today, hot and sunny .. really pleased with the progress.  Emptied one compost bin into another, played around with location, finally decided to put the 3 in a line perpendicular to the fence.  Then emptied the composter into another so I could move it.  Tried the lattice panels in front of the compost bins, to serve as a divided area, unobstrusive.  Then placed the cedar bench in front of the lattice .. not really sold on the idea.   And not sure where to put the pond liner either.  There will be gravel pathways, and the preformed cement circles .. somewhere, to form a pathway.  And then I’ll play around with establishing perhaps a mini herb garden and perhaps move some of the blueberry plants.  This soil has been so well sifted, that it’s easy to move plants around.

Worked hard at moving the mounds of sifted soil, resembles a range of mountains, highs and lows … the soil had compacted quite a bit, as I’d been walking back and forth, so used my digging fork (from LV) and it worked like a dream.  Loosened the soil, then I just raked the soil bundles back and forth.

A few more hours tomorrow, to sift the remaining soil in this area.   I’ll have to download the beginning photos from my dh’s camera .. that will show a story.   🙂

Checked my squash plants today .. something has been eating at least 8 flowers from the acorn squash, fortunately, there are at least 6 squash formed (and fingers crossed that the remaining flowers will produce squash).  Pumpkin plant has flowers, but no pumpkins (yet); and the mystery squash has flowers, no fruit.

I dream, that next year, at this time, there will be gigantic luffa plants growing rampantly in the yard.

Awaiting my garlic from Richters .. will plant the cloves asap!!! and look forward to next summer.

The magic of gardening ..

  • Affected (adj) artificial and designed to impress. affectedly (adj)
  • Bitmap (n) a representation, e.g. of a computer memory, in which each item is represented by one bit; 2. a graphic display formed by assigning a bit value to each individual pixel.
  • Pixel (n) any of the tiny areas of light on a television or computer screen.
  • Pixie (n) a small fairy, especially with pointed ears and a pointed hat. Pixieish (adj)

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Mountain views, more decluttering

September 27, 2010

Today is a mixed assortment of weather .. from almost sunny, almost cloudy, to rain .. with the promise of a few nearly hot days coming soon.

Today I decided to go downstairs to tackle the decluttering .. and organize my tools (gardening; sewing; hardware; etc.)  Although it really doesn’t feel like it, I am making slow progress.  Trying to put sentiment aside when I look at things I really would like to keep and those I don’t really need (two of) anymore.

I know the basic tenants for this:

  • just take a few minutes every day to get rid of one or 2 things
  • spend half an hour to an hour at a time and go through one container
  • clothes/items that haven’t been used for a year .. are they still needed?
  • rooms do really feel much more energized when superfluous items are removed (I know this, I’ve been going through containers, then going upstairs to make another cup of tea, then go downstairs and feel better and better, so this is true)
  • someone else can use these extra items and I’ll have more space
  • be ruthless .. ruthless .. ruthless!!

Except for my treasured gardening and writing books .. these are keepers.  I find it so relaxing to open one book, then bring another one over to the desk, for reference to a plant, then bring another one over.  Soon I’ll have about 10 books open, going from one to the other, building up details on a certain plant, tree or flower.  I’ve found that no one book ever has all the information.  So this is fun, especially on a rainy day!

Looking through some photos, found some great sky & mountain photos (through Rogers Pass and Golden):

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  •  Amicable (adj) showing or done in a friendly spirit (amicably, [adv])
  • Hocus-Pocus (n) meaningless talk or activity; words uttered by a conjuror when doing a trick
  • Horizon (n) the line at which the earth and sky appear to meet. 2, range or limit of mental perception, experience, interest, etc.; on the horizon (of an event) just imminent or becoming apparent

End of the day results:

2 bags of clothes to be retextiled, one big bag of winter clothes  .. all to WIN.  3 containers of items for the garage sale, a pile of items in “undetermined” status (keep or no).  Not bad .. and I’ll get back to this tomorrow!   Feeling good and going to get better!  🙂

Update… went through more clothes and end result is 4 bags to be retextiled and still the one big bag of winter clothes.  Just a few more clothes to go through, but not bad, thus far!!  Making great progress …feeling good!

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Relaxing Birthday!

 September 26, 2010 

 Wow another birthday, and how I love them!  So much to be grateful for.  My bh greeted me with a bouquet of long stemmed red roses & a yummy cup of tea!  Prezzies too!

 Weather looked inviting so we planned to go for a hike, but first!  To Dakota Cafe for brunch/lunch.  Flowers are doing well, even though the Calendulas have sorta taken over.  The Pineapple Sage ( a tender perennial ) has grown into a plant the size of a hedge!!  Will try to take cuttings for overwintering, just in case it doesn’t survive the winter.  If it does survive, though, this baby will go into it’s own container for next year.

The Rosemary and Sages are doing very well, having more than quadrupled their size .. next year they should be flowering and the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees will be feasting.  The thymes, despite being overshadowed by the Calendula flowers – are doing very well.  the various wild flowers are also growing well.  Next year there should be more and I’ll transplant the Calendula plants to another area.. to give these guys a fighting chance.

 Snapdragons are still blooming .. have saved the seedpods for next year.  The Luffas haven’t fared very well.  I have great plans for next year, will start these seedlings on the heat mat and then baby them in a cold frame and they should be growing rampant on the link fencing.

 The Dracaena are doing well and should be a couple of feet tall next year …. and the Euphorbias will be the same.

 Where would we be without the magic of plants .. I hate to think.

  •  Flamboyant (adj) confident and exciting in a way that attracts attention; bright, colourful, and noticeable.
  • Limitation (n) the action of limiting something; a condition of limited ability; a limiting rule or circumstance.
  •  Umpteen (slang) (adj) indefinitely many; (pron) indefinitely many.

 hmmmm .. looking at most of the words starting with “un” I don’t see many inspiring definitions. 

(prefix) 1. added to adjectives and participles and their derivative nouns and adverbs, meaning a) not;  b) the reverse of. 

2) added to nouns, meaning a “lack of”;

 3) added to verbs, forming verbs denoting: the reversal or cancellation of an action or state; deprivation or separation; c) release from.  verrryyy interesting!!!  🙂

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Sunny Saturday

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September 25, 2010

After a few rainy days how wonderful it is to have a sunny Saturday.   Was out and about, driving across town this morning .. good time to do this, not many cars are out yet.

Plan to spend the day outside and continue on with the digging, etc.  Really feel I will accomplish a great deal today!!! 

Enjoy the sun …:)

  • Truism (n) a self-evident or hackneyed truth.
  • Eloquent (adj) fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing; clearly expressive or indicative.
  • Augment (v) make or become greater; increase

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Comfy Rainy Day here in Victoria

September 24, 2010

It’s a misty, rainy day here in Victoria.  Went for a little walk to the local Save-On.  Met a lovely little dog named Sam, a bundle of  salt and pepper shaggy energy, stylishly wearing a blue plaid doggy rain jacket.  His sparkling eyes were so full of joy, looking at everything in his world, liking what he saw .. sporting a big happy grin – tail wagging, little paws barely touching the road as he danced away with his owner/mom!    Such an energizing cheerful little soul … I continue on to the store, my morning walk made even more enjoyable as a result of this encounter!

Walking is so fun, energizing .. you just never know who you are going to meet, what you are going to see, and learn from your surroundings.   Walking by the homing pigeon coops, I noted that they have chosen to lay low and just settle in for the day. 

I see the kinnikinnick spreading millions of glossy dark green petite leaves by the highway edge, growing rampant, good to see.  Bits of mosses among the grasses on the pedestrian island.  Noticing the shaped hedges surrounding the little business strip across the highway.

Nearing the intersection lights, l look down at the Galloping Goose corridor, a hidden treasure not seen when driving by … seeing the old cement structures, all that is remaining of the former E & N railway that travelled this route in previous years.  This section looks beautifully ancient .. am glad that it has remained unchanged.

It’s a soup day today, brewing up a nice mix of organic chicken broth, ripply cut carrots, diced red and yellow peppers, some sliced onion and a mixture of wild rice.  With a pinch of thyme .. yum yum.

Worked on decluttering again, emptied a large container, most items going to the garage sale container, the balance to recycling.

Found my Sanyo Walkman cassette player .. plunked in some AA batteries and a drum rhythm tape, connected with my ipod speakers and heard again, music from the past!  Recyle or not  .. this is a toughie.

Also found a Sanyo portable radio (doughnut design) from 40 years ago .. to the recyle bin, Robin!

Recovered some costly McPhee skirt fabric/cut from a skirt pattern .. keep or recycle?  Most likely recycle at WINs .. fabric has been cut and is still pinned to the pattern pieces .. from a “few” years ago, when I attended the sewing course downtown!   Possibililty of finishing this project is nil.

  •  Self-confidence (n) self-assurance.
  • Truism (n) a self-evident or hackneyed truth.
  • Hackneyed (adj) (of a phrase, etc.) made trite by overuse
  • Trite (adj) stale through constant use or repetition; characterized by stale or commonplace ideas.

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