Archive for October, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

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 Lovely day today, except for the rain.  And I forgot that I’d left my garden boots outside by the back door.  Oopsie.  Good thing I have another pair.

Yesterday was spent .. for the large part .. driving around town.  Normally I get this done during the week .. just to avoid the weekend traffic, but it really wasn’t that bad.

Funny how the rain poured so heavily in the morning and then we had warm sunshine in the afternoon.   Spent some time just being in the back yard, enthralled with the mixture of birds that are now visiting the yard.  Waiting for the sweet trill of the Spotted Towhee.

Today, rain as usual .. so we head out to Dakota Cafe for breakfast …good as usual.  Plants are doing well.  One Rosemary, in particular, is at the window sill level.  Next summer for sure, there will be lots of blue flowers which will attract the Hummingbirds.  I see that the Red Hot Poker is growing well .. so they should be flowering next year also … and we can watch the sparrows hang upside down on them, sipping the nectar!

Rain on and off today,  with brief periods of bright sunlight!  Oh, how I want to go outside, but today we are doing household duties.

A bit of diligence and now I can again see the surface of my desk.  Oh happy days.

And I’m keeping up the “recycle” habit and have discarded quite a pile of unnecessary paperwork.  That is a good feeling.

Using my new lavender covered lidded storage boxes, I soon have my paperwork sorted and tidily organized.  Oh, la … dee ..da!

Right now I can see the sunlight glinting on the branches of the cedar at the side.   Lovely sight.

I bought a lovely acrylic bird feeder, the kind that is attached to a window with suction cups .. it’s a great little item, the birds can just hop inside and feed away.   And that is what one of the little Chickadee’s did this morning.   He’d been perched in a branch of the apple tree and finally flew over, settled in and started munching in the seeds.   Suddenly he noticed me (I think) and flew away.  Soon there were 2 little Chickadees in the tree, chattering away to each other.  I really thought that they were going to visit the feeder, but they flew away!

This is way better than television, any day.

Well, this is the kind of relaxing Sunday where nothing great need be accomplished.   Just little things, and that’s enough.

And I’m looking forward to November 1 .. when the great writing begins to happen.   NaNoWriMo  I’ve read some posts by those who have entered this and they have some funny comments and positive feedback for everyone.  So, I’ll be doing my best to write something and won’t (or will try not to) worry about the style.  It will develop, I’m sure.

I’ll just label each chapter numerically.   I’m feeling a bit nervous, yet excited at this challenge.

Well. … on with this lovely day!

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

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Rain .. rain .. rain … yesterday .. that meant indoor things to do!   Made a list of shopping and went out on the wet roads to make my rounds.   I love the social aspect of shopping.  A chance to chat with folks, exchange comments on the weather .. there is always something to say, especially in Victoria!

As I drive by mounds of leaves, carefully gathered from yards and awaiting pickup .. I imagine how many leaves I would have if I were able to just stop along the way and gather them up.  Too many!

Besides, I’ve been struck by a cold, so am not really very energized, although the ibuprofen cold remedy tablets really get rid of a majority of the symptoms.  Part of me just wants to lay on the sofa, all covered up and watch tv .. and the active part of me just wants to get going, do things.

So the active part of my wins.   And so I finish my shopping (great sale on Iams tinned cat food at Country Grocer .. so I really stocked up!)   Now that Iams has added vegetables to their recipes, the food is much better for our little kitty kats.

Country Grocer is just a relaxing place to shop.  The staff is all friendly and the shoppers are relaxed, stop to chat .. nice atmosphere.

Yesterday the rain just kept pouring, from early morning to late afternoon.  I noticed that the “pop bottle” feeder was empty, so replenished that with the thistle seed.  After the suet blocks, this is the most popular feeding station in the yard.

I wonder where all the birds go when it’s raining?  I can’t hear them chirping .. so I imagine that they are all nicely tucked away in the trees, waiting for the rain to stop.  I’m glad that we planted so many trees in our yard, many years ago.  The trees are all nice and mature, with plenty of places for our winged friends to nest and play.

Later on .. the rain stops .. the sun comes out from behind the clouds .. and the birds become active again.   I stand for a while, enjoying the little flock of Bushtits that are feeding at the suet block.  They are so tiny.   A few Chickadees visit.  The little Anna is finally able to feed quietly at the hummingbird feeder .. I think the wasps must be gone by now.

The Juncos‘s are everywhere, at the feeders,  in the trees, on the ground.  Good to see them here.  With all these birds in the yard, I believe that there is a very good possibility that there won’t be many tent caterpillars next year.    And this is better than watching tv!

Today the weather looks rainy, so this is an indoor day.  Also, recycling at Reynolds …so I’ll be going there shortly.

Then back home, order out of chaos in my computer room.  Time to use all those decorative containers that I bought a few weeks ago.  There will be a place for everything and everything will be in its place.  Or so I hope.

I’m really enjoying sorting through my treasures.  I have many creative craft items that I plan to play with over the fall and winter days.  Beads.  Tiles. Painting.  Sewing. Creating.  Playing.  Such fun.

Well .. on with this lovely day!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

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Yesterday was an interesting one.  Looked out the window first thing and was shocked to see frost in the back yard!   The sun quickly took care of that and the day unfolded in a pleasant sunny way.

In my first trip to gather some of my cached bagged leaves..  I was able to shove 9 bags into my car …my little Echo was crammed to the gills!   Quickly made my way home, tossed the bags onto the driveway and was soon heading back again.

Suddenly I noticed my neighbour’s husband frantically waving to me .. curious .. I drove into their driveway.   His car battery (a new one!) refused to start so he requested a charge from my car.     Soon, the cables were connected, his car started and he was all set to go to an appointment.

I thought about the timing of things.   How sometimes just being somewhere, randomly, results in the opportunity to help others.   If I had decided to just make the one trip for leaves, I would have been in the back yard and thus he wouldn’t have known to ask for my assistance.

If I’d thought that he was just happily waving “good morning” to me as I was driving away .. I wouldn’t have noticed that his car’s hood was up.

Anyway, my second car load was 8 bags .. so I’m doing ok.

Once home, I then raked up another large orange bag full of leaves.  And slowly began the dance of the moving leaf bags.

From car to driveway.  From sidewalk to the back yard.  Then the little march to the mulch area and I soon had the 18 full bags emptied onto the previous layers.

Ok, now the level  is a bit high and I wonder if I have too much?  (perish that thought).  After a liberal dousing of water and determined stomping on my part, the mulch has again decreased in size.  And I remind myself that it will again diminish over the fall/winter/spring.   As I will keep turning it over and over .. waiting for that lovely heat that will start in the middle as the leaves break down.  Oh happy days.

Ok .. where to start next .. I think I’ve earned a little break, so quickly make Y tea, grab a Sudoku and settle on the back steps.  Sitting in the warmth of the sunshine.  Watching the leaves of the wild and crazy tree fall around the yard like multi-coloured little rain drops, soft silky sounds as they whirl through the air.

And I can take a few pics now .. so I wander around.  Suddenly I see a little bird at the high energy suet block.  It looks like a little Chickadee, with the black stripe across its eyes and face, but his little throat is white and chest is a rosy colour.   The wings look faintly blue/gray.  I quickly take as many photos as I can, and look up in one of my bird books and discover that it is a Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Oh, he is so very darling!  Moves quickly .. as all the small birds must do, in order to survive.

I admire their beauty and am so grateful that there is such a variety of birds in our yard this year.  Quite exciting.   I keep missing the Spotted Towhee ..I know he’s out there.

Well .. now is the time to take some yard cuttings out to the front, to be taken to the local municipal hall.   Passing by my car, I decided that this is a good time to do a clean up.  Try to think of the last time this was done .. hmmmm. … oh well ….

Soon I’m vacuuming up the remaining bits of hay (bags & bales from a few years ago)!  Scrubbing away at all the surfaces, removing mud, bits of leaves.   Spraying the windows inside and out, so now they sparkle (well, not really, but it seemed like a good thing to say!)

Lately I’ve been sorting and decluttering and along the way I’ve been finding things that I’d given up looking for.  Well .. another incidence of finding lost items occurred while I was busy cleaning up the car.

Noticed some bits of metallic wire caught on the carpet behind the driver’s seat .. curious … bent down to untangle whatever it was.  And there .. was a little dragon earring that I’d made a few years ago, on a hot summer’s day – over on Salt Spring island!  There were a group of us .. settled around an outside table .. containers of beads, wires, tiny decorations .. a treasure trove of jewellery making supplies.

So I’d made my first pair of earrings, they looked so pretty, gold coloured wire wrapped around little beads and amber coloured stones.   And a little dragon trailing from each earring.    Later on I’d gone shopping and during the shopping and driving activities, suddenly noticed that one of my earrings was missing.  Looked absolutely everywhere .. and finally gave up.

Had to chuckle, what I thought I’d lost was really with me all the time.   Maybe this little cleaning session will prove as a good reminder to make this into a habit.  Who knows what other treasures I’ll find!  Besides the odd quarter, nickel and pennies!

All done … the car does look nice and tidy.   I’ll really make an effort to keep it like that from now on.   It will be nice to be out driving and not see dust patterns on the dash!

Time to put all my cleaning tools away .. and go to the back yard.   Everything is settling down for the fall and winter seasons.   My garlic is all planted, more than I need and some to give to friends!  I’m really looking forward to next years crop .. now that the bulbs have been planted in the sunny area of the yard and are well mulched.  I plan to layer some of those lovely oak leaves on the surface of the garlic bed one of these days.

Soon the late afternoon takes on a bit of a chill .. so time to head inside, think about what to make for supper.

But first, I go to the back stairs .. and just sit down for a few minutes.  Taking the time to just look around the yard .. to appreciate all the growing things.  The magic of the birds.  The smell of the autumn leaves.   Knowing we have good neighbours all around us.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

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I was feeling a little sluggish this morning, sore throat, impending cold approaching!  So not up at the break of dawn .. thus I felt as if half the day was gone already and it wasn’t yet 8 am.   I much prefer getting up early to start my day.

DH had discovered a new cold remedy, so I had taken two capsules.   And about an hour later, my throat is feeling better and I feel bright and alert.  More back to normal.

Anyway, washing dishes, mentally making a “to do” list for this morning’s activities … bustling about .. pot of tea made.  Milk fetched from the fridge .. poured just the right amount into my most favourite of tea mugs, the bone china one with the picture of a rose-festooned English manor .. I thought that this would brighten up my morning.

ok .. my morning is proceeding nicely, I pick up the milk carton and cat food tin (not for me .. ha ha .. I’d just fed kitty kats!).  Time is proceeding very well and I’ll soon get started on my daily chores.

I was headed towards the fridge when suddenly there was a blur of motion, and all I was a blaze of white as the milk from the spilled mug swiftly covered the kitchen drawers, some on the bottom of the stove .. and the remainder made an abstract design of white on the linoleum of the kitchen floor.

And there lay my lovely little tea mug.  The one that had brightened up my morning.  Lying on the floor … the fragments of its former beauty scattered around in bits.

Suddenly, it didn’t seem to be as important to accomplish my “to do” list.  I felt a momentary pang of sadness as I quietly viewed the remains of my pretty cup.

Is this yet another lesson to be paid attention to?  To just slow down and not try to rush around so much?  I think that it is.

I won’t mourn the loss of my mug .. although it was so pretty.  It served as a reminder to just calm down and do just one thing at a time.  It goes against my whole nature .. but I will give it a try.


Yesterday, the rains started.   My goal at the time was to create order out of chaos in the basement.  I started off with the recycling and when I’d finished sorting that out ..everything in its appropriate category, it was time to tidy up.   Basements are fine and dandy .. but sometimes, they just morph into ugly beings.  Anyway, after a few hours I’d achieved amazing results.

Then I went outside to garden for just a few hours.  Well, the back neighbour was in one of his “chipper” moods .. another marathon of loud noisy chipping .. so there goes my peace and quiet.  I returned inside and resumed my housecleaning duties.  And in the process I found items, long searched for and eventually I’d given up ever finding them.  One of the bonuses of tidying up.

I also found an old Coronation Street magazine .. one from many years ago.  So I spent a few minutes going down memory lane .. looking at photos of a young Gail Platt, before she & Martin became an item.  That’s going back aways.  Read through the newsletter.   Remembered the fun days when I’d started the Victoria CS Fan Club.  We’d held our first ever meeting upstairs in our living room.  It had been a cold and rainy night then also.  But we were such a happy group .. excited to be sharing our love of CS with like-minded people.   We are all still friends after all these years.  And we continue to meet once a month for dinner.  To discuss the show, can you believe it!

Several times I  ventured outside to take photos of the birds .. I’d cleaned out some bird feeders from last winter and replenished them with some great new wild bird seed.  And hung out a fresh suet block.  As I hung the block on a branch, I heard the excited twitter of one of the Brown Backed Chickadees!

Later on I heard the high-pitched cries of the woodpecker and soon he was latched on to the suet block.  When he momentarily flew to a nearby tree branch to peck away . .a little Chickadee flew to the block.  A few seconds later the woodpecker returned and the Chickadee left.  Pecking order, I think.

The winter is predicted to be very cold .. so I’ve stocked up on high energy suet blocks, bird seed & am busy making hummingbird nectar (3:1).   And I notice that the birds prefer to eat the thistle seed from the humble bird feeder that I’d made from a pop bottle (and a little kit from Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary).   The fancy song bird feeder (filled with thistle seed) is not as popular, for some reason .. although there are always birds feeding there.

I plan to ask DH to make a special free-standing bird feeder .. one that squirrels cannot climb on … one that has a large rectangular surface …

Anyway, I’ve calmed down now .. and am over my trauma of spilled milk and it’s time to start my lovely day .. I see the sun is shining and that means I’m heading outside!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day here.  I was up early, prepared to meet the day .. for I had leaves to bag!!

Made my way over to my leaf source .. uh oh … work is ongoing at Saanich and McKenzie!  The much-needed sidewalk is now in place on Saanich Rd and now the beautifying steps, the paving .. is ongoing.  So I patiently waited for the traffic to move.   The left hand lane inching forward as motorists chose to move into the right land and then merge into the left.

Every time I started to feel impatient, on came the positivity hat.  Sometimes I just want to ditch that thing, but it sticks to my head like a magnet.  Oh well .. guess I’ll have to resign myself to a life of positivity.

Finally … traffic moves to a regular pace.   A hot-shot pulls out from behind and speeds along in the next lane.  I can fully empathize, my dear.

Finally, I reach my destination and start bagging the raked piles of leaves.  These “Handy Hands” are just amazing .. I can scoop enough leaves in one grab to partially fill a large garden bag.  The trick is to angle the scoops into the opening of the bag so as not to lose the precious cargo.   I develop the correct knack for doing this and soon have 10 bags plus 5 large Home Hardware bags filled.

Oh no … ran out of garden bags…  grabbed a box of garbage bags from the car and started filling them ..too small, says I and off I go to the local Canadian Tire.

Where I see, at the store’s entrance .. some fantastic long-sleeved cotton pullover t’s .. the kind I’ve been looking for!  Unfortunately, the lime green and bright yellow in my size are all gone, so I select orange, grey, red and a black.  Perfect for my gardening .. my arms will be fully covered.  No more (at least not too many) scratches from branches, thorns, insect bites.

Soon I’m back at my leaf source with another box of garden bags.  Shortly I have 20 more leaf filled bags .. tucked away .. ready to be stuffed into my car.  Speaking of which, I cram 5 large leaf filled garden bags and five plastic garden bags into my little Echo hatchback.  Determination .. thy name is Gardener!   What I won’t do to get lovely leaf mulch for my garden.

Back home, I begin the march of “remove bags from car .. to back yard … to mulch area”.  That dance finished, I now can take a quick-lunch break … and then it’s back to the yard.

First I finish weaving cut branches into my little cordoned leaf mulch area.  The finishing touch (well, now I think this should have been the good base for the fence) is the addition of trimmed bamboo branches.  It was a bit of a challenge to weave these into the fence, but determination and garden twine solved that problem.

Funny .. last year I’d used my precious mulch in this same area ..and had planted my main crop of garlic.  Only to discover that garlic needs full sun (oh, the things one learns along the way!).   Now I’m using half that space for my mulching station.  I stood back to admire the fencing .. how gentle and natural it looks.

And so the dance continues as I march the garden bags over and begin emptying them in that space.  Oh my .. I certainly have a good supply of leaves.  Once all of the bags have been emptied (I think 30 plus bags, I didn’t do a count) I see that the level is just past the top of the new little fence.

So I start the mulching process by watering the pile and the height diminishes.   Then .. here is the fun part .. (and I’m still in my gardening outfit, with my tall gumboots)… I climb onto the pile and step heavily, back and forth and all around.   This is fun .. as I flash back to my childhood days .. hey .. I am an adult and I still can play!! This greatly reduces the pile and soon the height is at the midway mark of the fence.

By the time spring has arrived, I will have turned this pile over many times so it will be much reduced, perhaps to the 1/4 line of the fence.  However, I still have 30 more bags ready to pick up in my car and bring over.  Plus I have another leaf source!!!   And .. there will be a local neighbourhood yard clearing up and I expect to bag more leaves.

Am I being obsessive?  As a Gardener, I think not!  Any true Gardener would go to such lengths in order to have some wonderful material to use in the garden, both veggie and perennial.  I know from experience how quickly the mulch will reduce in size.  And I also  know full well that this beautiful material, when piled thickly onto the garden .. will quickly reduce even further.  So I’ll gather all the leaves that I am able to gather because of that.

Oh well ..look at the time .. 9 am and there is so much to do today.   Outside of course!  I’m on my way to collect some lovely irises from a gardening pal .. and these I will plant today!!

How fun .. and so .. away I go … with my lovely daily life!

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Tuesday, October 25

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What a day I had yesterday!   Picture this .. it was sunny, the skies were clear.  Up early and ready to start my day .. I was looking forward to bagging leaves at my major leaf source.

Garbed in my garden gear, I set forth in my little car.  A supply of clear garden bags all nestled in the back of my car.  Gumboots, orange gardening gloves ( the heavy-duty, waterproof kind, the best for fall weather!) and my kneeling pads for scooping up leaves.

I arrive at my destination, park the car, gather my tools and head over to the first leaf pile.  Soon I’m happily scooping up the leaves and placing them in the first of 11 bags.  Hmm… this is going to be slow going, but well worth the effort.

Soon my hostess pops outside to say hello and we have a good morning conversation.  She leaves momentarily to fetch a gardening item to show me.

OMG .. I see gardening tools that I had seen advertised and scoffed at .. many times.  However, I’m now a believer and I want some .. badly!

She is holding out fully packed leaf scoopers!  Just with one fell swoop, she has gathered up an amount of leaves that would have taken me 5 minutes to gather with my two kneeling pads (I’d taken the cheap way out, using the pads to pick up leaves).

I try the scoops and am so very sold on these magic items.   Using them, I swiftly finish gathering up the first leaf pile.  Quickly go to a second and third.  Within half an hour I have filled up 11 large garden bags!  For a devoted gardener to whom leaf mulch is more valuable than gold (ok, I stretch the value a little, so sue me!).. these are just amazing.   And I send silent thanks to the innovative inventor.

When I think of the times that I’ve seen these things advertised and pooh-poohed them, like “who wants to spend good hard-earned money” etc., etc., etc.,  I am so sold on these things.

Anyway .. she kindly loads up her truck with the majority of the bags, and a few in my little car and we make the trip to my place.   Where I give the grand tour of my work in progress garden.   Chatting about this and that in the garden, I suddenly notice the woodpecker .. relaxed .. pecking away at the suet in the holder .. just a few feet from where we are standing.

But .. he isn’t flying away.  He is totally relaxed and comfortable with our physical proximity.  In fact, he is climbing around the suet holder, seeking choice bits.  And he’s still there.   This isn’t normal.  He always flies away when he senses any movement.  My leaf pal comments that animals accept her .. they always have.  I am just so amazed.  This is very good energy.

And I think to myself .. I aspire to have this energy.  Perhaps it’s time for me to practise calmness and not fret about every little thing.  To accept that I can only do one thing at a time.  Relax.  Not fret about landscaping the complete yard in one day.  Enjoy the journey.   I think about this later on.

I think about going inside for Y tea, but decide to drag the bagged leaves to the back yard.  Once that was accomplished, I decided to scoop up the windblown leaves from the front yard.  So I gather up my kneeling pads, don my gardening gloves and proceed to do that.  After about 10 minutes of scraping up the leaves, and with visions of the recently used leaf scoopers .. they kept flashing through my mind . .and I was thinking back to the morning .. how swiftly I was able to gather up the leaves .. and I couldn’t take it any longer.

Throwing everything to the ground .. I went to the car and decided to drive to our local Canadian Tire in search for these things.   I didn’t even change from my yard gardening outfit of mechanic’s overalls and my gumboots.  Who am I trying to impress, I am a gardener!  (Make that .. I am a Gardener!).

Soon I arrive at CT, look around the gardening section .. no joy!  I seek help from an associate … nope, no such item in the store.  What?  Disbelief!  Canadian Tire usually has everything that I need for gardening (except for, ahem, Lee Valley, that is!)

Exiting the store, I ponder the possibilities.  This is one of those heaven-sent days for working outside in the garden and I don’t want to waste my time driving all over the place.  Time is better spent in the yard.  Ok, I decide to head over to Home Hardware on Burnside.  Once there, I see the flyer proudly proclaiming their first birthday celebration will be happening soon (I think this weekend?)   Cake .. there will be cake!  I plan to attend.

And I remember their summer celebration  … I purchased quite a few annual flowering plants, which turned out to be drought tolerant and are still flowering!

I digress.  Entering the store, I make my way to the gardening section and waaaaah .. cannot see any of those garden thingies.   The cashier is helpful and searches their data base.  No joy.  The manager goes to another machine and makes a bigger search.   She is determined to find what I need.

Soon .. she has an item onscreen and quickly prints a copy for me to see.  Oh, most joyous moment .. there are the leaf scoopers!   However, none in stock.  She makes a quick call .. to an associate store and lo and behold, there are some available at the Oak Bay branch.  What a great lady!!!  She has them reserved for me and so I soon am on my way, making the long drive across town.

Grumbling to myself, what am I doing, spending valuable gardening time out driving .. on an on and on.  Then I think back to this morning .. the woodpecker being calm while in the presence of the good energy.  So I put on a change of attitude hat.  What a lovely beautiful day.  Sunny.  Traffic is sparse.

I think .. wouldn’t it be fun to have some brightly coloured leaf scoops .. orange would be pretty and cheerful and I visualize myself happily gathering up yellow/orange/bronze leaves for mulching.

Nah, there must only be grey scoops .. can’t imagine anyone going to the expense of creating a colour palette to choose from.

Oh, darn .. I’ve ended up driving down Douglas Street .. it’s noon and the streets will be full of traffic.  And so I sit at a series of red lights.  ahem .. a change of attitude hat takes place and soon I’m again enjoying the relaxing, slow drive up Fort Street.  While I’m stopped at each red light, I take a few seconds to glance around at my surroundings.

The street has gone through great changes since the last time I’ve been here.   Little stores have opened up.  Boutiques, funky “must have” objets d’art … and little restaurants.  On my right is an interesting little Lebanese place .. oh, I want to visit that place.

Soon enough, I’m in Oak Bay and parked in the lot behind Home Hardware.  Into the store I go and introduce myself to the cashier.  And .. Ta Da .. she reaches beneath the counter and hands me .. two sets of …. drum roll!

Orange leaf scoops!  Bright cheerful orange!  Oh, my, just really what I wanted!!!  And only $5.95 a pair!  I decide to take both pairs.  One for the yard and one for the car.  Now I’m all set.

Back in my car, I rip open the packaging of one set.   And another bonus, I find two sets of hand straps.  Quickly inserting the straps, I try on the scoops .. hee hee hee .. they fit like a glove and soon I’ll be using them.

Home Hardware .. I Love You!!!

Heading back home, I look forward to continuing on with my leaf collecting.  Then I remember that I promised DH to pick up some building items from Home Depot.   darn.  But, a promise is a promise, so I go home, pick up a sample of the item and in a few minutes I’m driving out towards the store location on Shelbourne.  My grumble hat is just settling in when I flip it away and toss on my change of attitude hat.  A good fit.

Finding a good parking spot, I begin my trek to the front entrance.  And decide to “just have a look” at the plant specials.   Not seeing anything that tugged at my heart, I begin to walk away … when I suddenly notice the most beautiful little pine tree .. it seems to say “I love you .. take me home” .. at least, that’s how I interpreted the feeling that came over me when I touched the sweet blue/green needles.  I felt a kinship with this tree, so headed inside to enquire about the price.

Suddenly noticed someone who looked vaguely familiar.  We did a double take . … you know, the kind of awkward moment when you bump into someone and there is something a little familiar, so you rapidly go through the image bank in your head .. flip, flip, flip.  And  .. recognition!

We hadn’t seen each other for nearly 3 years.  The last time, I was in such a frenzied space, cataloging files for archiving, working alongside a coworker from another location, borrowed for the purpose, with a very short timeline to finish.   So I only made time for a brief “hi” “by”.    And only weeks later I found out that she and her family were moving to a far away country for several years.  Oh, no, if only I’d made the time to stop and chat I would have wished her well on the journey.

Anyway, here she is.  And if I hadn’t promised my DH to pick up materials needed, and then was curious about the price of the tree, I wouldn’t have headed off in this direction and seen her!

We stood and talked for a long time .. during which the amiable sales guy searched for items that she was looking for and told us to just continue our visit, he would help us out.

So he found the price for my little tree (oh, wow, how can I not buy this tree!!) and loaded it up on a cart for me .. smiling all the time and helping us out as  C & I chatted and brought things up to date.  We exchanged e-mails and promised to get in touch!

I love my positive attitude hat!  What a difference it makes!

Life continues .. I return home, quick as a wink, I bag up 2 large bags of leaves from the front yard and start the process of taking them to the back.  After a quick lunch, outside I go.

Seeking a creative way .. still .. to organize my propagating area.   Then I borrow an idea from Swan Lake.  I look at the large pile of recently clipped fruit tree branches, and envision a little fenced area to hold the mulch.  A space where I can easily keep turning the leaves over and over and over again during the fall/winter/spring months.  The mental lightbulb flashes  on.   I search through our stash of aluminum sections, choose as many similar height/thickness little poles.  Space them in an L-shape.   Begin weaving the branches through to form little walls.

This is so cool .. so creative and it looks wonderful.  Soon I’ll go outside and finish the fenced area and will begin emptying the leaves into this space.

Oh happy day.  This is starting off to be a great day already and I haven’t gone outside yet!

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Monday, October 21, 2011

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Up early this morning .. after taking care of little kitty kats, I decide that I can spend some time on this early morning .. tapping away at the keyboard.  So I select my lovely “Chante France” online radio and soon I’m typing away! http://www.chantefrance.com/# listening to lovely music.    I’ve listened to this station for many years … and still love listening to the music.

This weekend has been a mixed bag of weather.  Saturday started out rainy and cloudy and later changed to full sun.

Yesterday the day fared better … bright and sunny all day long.  Early morning we went out to a local lumber place to purchase the final items to finish off our newly finished room at the front .. now our front porch is fully enclosed.

It’s so much fun to finally utilize space that was never ever used.  We’d used the front porch only as a place to pass through .. en route either to the interior of the house or exiting from it.    Now we have a fully enclosed room.  We look forward to finishing the final details.  Paint.  Flooring.

Of course, draperies were needed .. so I made my way over to the local Fabricland.   Only thing was, the store didn’t open till an hour later.  What to do.  Went for a walk around the mall and discovered that all the stores, except for the large drug store … didn’t open till an hour later also!  Hmm….

Met a young mom out with her brood,  turns out they’d arrived an hour too soon for their morning activities also .. so they were setting out for a local restaurant before the hockey games were due to start.  We enjoyed a good conversation, I commented on how well she was managing a little child who was acting up.   He had challenges and they were dealing well with them.  Patience and understanding sure go a long way.

Then I wandered over to the sports complex .. a Home Show was taking place .. however, I decided not to go .. I usually buy something that I never use from these things.  I still have the super fantastic cutting tool that was being demonstrated at the last show I went to.   It’s downstairs somewhere in a box.  Hmm.. perhaps it’s time to dig it out and use it!

I enjoy wandering aimlessly around, with time to spare.   Looked in the windows at the newest library .. closed now, and will open in a few hours.   Check out the exercise programs offered.  Finally ..  meander over to my car, where I solve Sudoku until the fabric store opens.

A steady stream of cars and pedestrians come and go .. I’m not the only one who thinks that the store opens at 10 am!

Finally, the doors open and customers stream inside.  I make my way over to the drapery section, crossing my fingers that the lovely ready-made drapes are still there.

Ok, this is one of those situations where time simply disappears ..a time warp where nothing exists except for the here and now (as Cesar Milan says!).

I visualize the windows that need drapes .. .and determine the number of drapery panels that are needed.  Next, I look around, selecting and cancelling .. a variety of colours.  Some I adore, wild, bold prints.  Nope … a neutral type is more suitable.

Looking for texture .. I put aside some dull gold colour with silver threads running through.  Another pair catch my eye .. a sold colour heading, lovely round rings to hang from the drapery rod.  The lined drapes are a subtle gold colour, with tiny squares of stitched designs.  I do a quick calculation .. even with 50% discount, this will set me back a few hundred.

I make myself do another walk around .. and what do I find .. but 6 panels of drapes that are the twins of my new computer room drapes .. only in a different colour tone .. and omg . .these are truly on sale!!!  So I select the 6 panels (the remaining panels available, lucky me).

Next comes the search for modestly priced drapery rods.   I hunt and hunt through the selection offered .. amazed at the costs, even at 50% off.   Finally I select just the right rods.  Simple, understated, with lovely muted gold leaves set at either end.  Perfect!  And.. they cost more than the panels.  Oh, well, c’est la vie!

I make my way home .. happy with my purchases .. and even though it’s nearly 2 hours since I set out on my shopping adventure .. it’s still early afternoon.

Mugs of Y tea prepared, I chat with my busy DH who is working at full speed to finish all of the work necessary to seal in our “new” room for the winter.   We joke as we make plans for this space … the possibilities .. frivolous .. practical .. fun.

Finally I wander outside .. the sun warms up the yard .. the birds are temporarily absent, visiting other yards I’ll bet.

I look at the pile of bricks where, yesterday, the little Juncos’ were taking turns posing ..  and nearby, the medium-sized plant saucer that was being used as a bath by some of the others.   Early morning on Saturday, I’d looked out the kitchen window and thought that I saw motion in the saucer and at first glance just thought that there was a heavy drop of leaves from the wild and crazy tree.

Looking closer, I soon made out the blurring of wings being flapped about in the water.  OMG, the birds were taking a bath!  Unable to take photos (any outside movement would have caused all birds to fly away) ..I contented myself with just watching and enjoying the living antics of these most wonderous little beings.

Which reminds me .. yesterday, we’d gone to Dakota Cafe for breakfast and on the way out, picked up the latest copy of the newsletter, the Patrician.  Driving away, I opened up this edition and .. was so happy to see a photo of little birds ..printed in the front of the publication!  http://www.flyvfc.com/database/October2011.pdf  This edition is pack full of information on fun trips taken by members.  And the publication is first class .. produced by an amazing designer, Christie Hall.  She’s quite an amazing designer!!

Anyway .. I do go on and the sun is starting to shine.  So I’m off to one of my two leaf sources to fill up several bags of the beautiful leaves.  There are two raked mountains of leaves to be bagged and taken home.

Oh, happy day.

I plan to work away later on … placing newspaper mulch down as a base, starting at the right side of the back yard.  And onto this base I will start shovelling that (magic) Miracle Mulch!

There are still garlic bulbs to plant …. I might just fill some deep pots with soil and bulbs .. and then I can move them about in the full summer sun.

And I plan to propagate some more plants .. like the Santolina .. and then thin out some raspberry canes for placement elsewhere in the yard.

So many fun things to do.   And by occupying myself fully in the yard, I again successfully avoid continuing on the sorting out of my computer room!  Yippee .. that can wait till a rainy day.  Which is also when I’ll be finishing adjusting the drapery panels.  Taking apart the side seams and then pressing, pinning and sewing new seams.    Making two panels out of four.

Boredom?  Not in my life thank you very much.


Now .. on with my lovely daily life.

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