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Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year 2012!!


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Saturday, December 31

 

Yesterday .. I meandered back to Swan Lake …what a beautiful time that was.

Saw the local pair of eagles soaring around ….  met a former neighbour who told me that a duck had been caught by one of them the day before .. and brought up into a tree.  So sad … but that is nature’s way.

That explained why the ducks were keeping a low profile.  I saw a few of them at a little side pond.  Took out my bag of flatted oats .. the ducks in the marsh grass didn’t approach me … however, a few ducks were flying by and quickly changed direction .. landing in the water at the base of the rock I was standing on.

These must be the adults from last year … how sweet.

The long walkway has been repaired.  Lots of work and it looks great.

So happy to be back there.

Back home .. I started digging into my compost pile ..  the leaves are breaking down quite well.  Dug up about 5 wheelbarrow’s full and spread over the garlic bed.

Looking good.

Great day

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Friday, December 30, 2011

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Thursday was a fun shopping experience day!  I was so happy to have received gift cards for some Christmas gifts .. from family that know my deepest desires:  gardening (Lee Valley, Cannor’s Nursery and Chapter’s books!!!)

So I hemmed and hawed on Thursday .. what to do .. what to do.  Outside to fill the bird feeders.   Some mugs of Yorkshire Tea.  Some pondering over what to do and made a list.

Made sure the kitties were all taken care of, breakfast, litters cleaned … that sort of thing.  Then off I went in my little car .. following the list that I had made.

My first visit of the day was to Lee Valley … wanted to go there first, to avoid that horrible Colwood Crunch!

There was an in-store sale on, so I wandered the aisles.   Finally chose a handy portable folding screwdriver set, consisting of 6 screw heads, all fixed on 2 sets of  rotating bars, handy for future use.  Don’t know how much time I’ve wasted looking for a simple bit to fix a gardening implement .. now, for the majestic sum of $2, I’ll have a complete set.

Picked up a few other items, including a catch-saucer to be attached to a bird feeder.  Quite clever, it will contain any seeds dropped from a bird feeder so they won’t fall to the ground.  I plan to set this up tomorrow.  Then a “Creative Gardeners’ Software from “Eden” .. a program that I quite like.  I’ve installed the one-time installation disc and look forward to seeing how well this works out.

Off to PetCetera .. to refill the kitty litter container ..such a deal, $2 less when a pail is refilled!  I quite like this store and am so glad that the original owner was able to re-establish the Tillicum location, once the previous owners had gone bankrupt.  Quite a positive story.  Plus, this chain of stores do their best to have dogs (and cats?) adopted to good homes.  Oh, I really miss having dogs around.

Dear Universe .. I want to have at least 3 or maybe 6 dogs … all rescue and all not puppies.  Although, a mix of ages would be ok.  thank you.  🙂

Then I decided, what the heck, why don’t I travel downtown to Chapters!  I usually save my lovely $$ gift card till later in the year, but yesterday, I just felt like shopping, so decided to visit the book store.

Car nicely parked in the parkade … I’d forgone street parking ( $$$ !!! ) and 2 hour free parking zones .. because, once I’m in a book store .. time just disappears.  Just like in my garden.

So I wandered in the front entrance .. thankfully accepted the whipped cream topped cup of coffee ..yum yum yum .. from a coffee laden tray as it was passing by!   And then  I started seriously browsing the sale tables.   First I sought gardening books .. perused some.  Picked up some terrific Sudoku books .. these are always handy to have, in the car, in my gardening bag, everywhere in the house!

Looked through some terrific gardening books .. I’m always curious to see if I can actually find books that I don’t have at home.   Books were getting heavy .. asked a store associate if there were baskets and she quickly gave me a Chapters bag to put my books in .. while I was shopping.  How nice was that!

Wandered downstairs .. seriously looking through the gardening section.  This store is heaven.   Spent a large chunk of time trying to choose two books from the section here.   Finally  …  I really have no idea how much time I’d spent down there .. I made my way to the stairs to ascend to the main level.  Before I did, though, I just stood there .. looking around me at all the books.  Incredible.   I was almost afraid to walk around… in case I was attracted to more books … time to go, lady!

Upstairs, I gave my heavy bag to a sales associate and asked her to leave it behind the counter, while I went looking for more .. .. oh, dear, my shopping persona is on the hunt now for more gardening books.

I unearthed a “Green  Guides Compost” book .. a marvellous book.  and a Firefly Encyclopedia of Trees (Steve Cafferty).  sigh.  Then I went to the counter, claimed all my books, paid and left.  One very happy gardener.  With more books for my collection.

Other books I purchased from my shopping trip:  “The Practical Gardener’s Encyclopedia (Geoffrey Burnie); Container Gardening (stellar book) from the editors & Contributors of “Fine Gardening”;  the Garden Flower Book (Bay Books);  and, finally, “Gardening, Step by Step (DK Publishing)

I spent a fair bit of time with each book .. went through many pages .. and discovered excellent wisdom and ideas from each one.   So these were excellent purchases and I am so very happy with these additions to my library.

Retrieved my car from the car park, paid .. and soon was on my way .. to .. Cannor’s Nursery!  More gift cards ..  hee hee hee.

Oh, my .. how lucky was I .. to be the only customer to wander the perennial section!!  Heaven!  The personnel were very helpful .. and I took my time to select some wonderful perennials.

Although I love visiting this store .. yesterday was my most favourite experience of all!  Because, as I entered the covered perennial area .. I came face to face with the most beautiful white steed!   Sigh.  From a display that had been at the Bay  centre.  How very beautiful this was.  So I quickly took a photo to share.

Yesterday was so much fun.    And I am so happy with my beautiful new plants .. my lovely new stack of gardening books .. and items for the birds.

Yea … that was the right decision .. to shop and shop all the live long day.

And supper .. well .. that turned out alright too!   According to my lovely DH!

 

🙂

 

 

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

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Ah, sweet Thursday .. an overcast day and one perfect for making the returns of the stores.  Returning and exchanging.

Bought another pair Carhart bib overalls .. so now I have two pairs for my gardening ensembles!  Tough outfits, perfect for working outside.

Didn’t really want to go downtown, but as it turns out, the traffic wasn’t too bad.  Next, I went to Hillside Mall …. wandered through the stores.  Made some exchanges.  Huge sale on leather purses at Sears .. and saw some very stylish items .. but I find that a little backpack purse suits me much better.

Chatted with a fellow shopper about these back pack purses and she proudly showed me the small purse that converts to a back pack.   Originally purchased at BCAA, but she didn’t think that they carried them anymore.  Pity, it was very stylish.  She told me that the purse had done a lot of travelling over the years.  Lots of memories, eh, if that purse could talk.  I like little treasures like this.

Spent some time going through the purse supply .. finally decided on one that was considerably more stylish than the packs that I’ve been using for a number of years ..  they’ve been good packs, but they are decidedly worn …. it feels good to transfer my possessions to my new bag.   Different zipped pockets, here and there.  Time to reorganize and discard unnecessary items.

Even found a surprise change purse that I wasn’t aware of .. in my new purchase.  I don’t often buy things especially for myself, eg. shoes, purses .. being quite content to spend my largess on anything for the garden instead. So it was quite a treat to splurge on this bag.

Quite enjoyed wandering through the mall … no more shopping needed, quite content to just make my way towards the parking lot and search for my car.

Once home, DH suggested “let’s go out for supper ”  … that’s always fine by me!  So out we went to a lovely pub for a burger style dinner .. we haven’t done that for a long time.

I’m really liking this time of the year.

Returned home .. I finished another scarf …. it’s quite long and should be handy for long walks in the cold.

Time to return to the real world very soon.   Back to the chores of the garden, going through surplus items for donation, garage sales, recycling.

But, for now .. let me languish for yet one more day in this lovely haze of purposelessness and no rushing about… too soon I’ll be active again, back to the whirling dervish of the weekday lifestyle.

Sigh.

 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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I’m liking this quiet time of the year.   So do the birds .. I can see the flurry in the back yard as they flit about the yard.  Flying in the trees .. feasting on the fat in the suet holder and the seeds in the bird feeders.

The yard was super quiet when I went outside to refill the containers.  I missed the presence of the birds of all varieties that are usually visiting.  There must be a lookout, though, because as soon I took down one of the feeders and started refilling it .. I heard a cheerful series of chitter chatter break out!

So, despite the rain that was falling, the little guys were watching for the refills.  Such happy sounds fill the air …. I felt so much better.

The yard is getting a little mucky from the rain .. but that’s no big deal .. all will settle down soon enough.

Still enjoying the relaxing bit of the holidays .. and so I spend some time on a variety of things:  knitting on another scarf;  searching StumbleUpon for more creative ideas to follow.  Kinda restless, but I think this is due to a little too much chocolate!

Spent a few minutes on recycling ..  keeping on top of the tremendous amount of material that quickly accumulates.

Looking forward to spending time in my garden area.  This is like an Aladdin’s treasure trove!  Idea-wise, that is.  All excited about the many little projects that I plan to work on.   Things that don’t cost much money, just need to spend time and create things for the garden.

I have lots of flower and veggie seeds to plant.  Some I’ve had for years and I know that they are still good.

Looking forward to my garlic bulbs sprouting.

Books to read .. fiction and gardening.

So very many things to plan for the spring.

One thing I’ve learned during this busy Christmas Season .. and that is the gift of relaxing.  It’s not an activity that I’ve actually focused on before… and I’m finding that a little bit of time spent in the relaxation mode actually makes me more energized and creative.

Go figure.

However, it really makes a difference.  Sort of “slow down and smell the roses” instead of plowing through them, being busy busy busy.

sigh.

🙂
 

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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Just thought that I’d post some blue sky photos from the end of last week.   The weather has been overcast and rainy now for a few days.  Almost thought the sun was going to break through the clouds today, but that didn’t happen.

I quite enjoy having some lazy times right now .. slow down …. relax.   Happy that everyone liked the scarves that I was madly knitting, last-minute, before Christmas!  Somehow, the fervour of the last-minute preparations adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” to the traditional holiday season.  For me, anyway.

Have been busy making silent promised to myself for the new year.  The very first one will be to plan groceries ahead of time.  Work within a budget.  I’d been doing this for  almost two years and this plan had worked out quite well.  Then I got into the habit of using my credit card for points.  Then my debit card cause it was handy.

That was not a habit I will continue, though.  Again, I think of all the possessions that I have .. and this includes my gardening, crafts and sewing items.  I truly have enough.

Except, I did receive some lovely gift cards for Lee Valley and Cannor Nursery and it would be downright rude of me not to use these cards.  So, I plan to make some shopping trips.   I received one of those great Lee Valley rectangular herbal infuser for Christmas … so that was a treat.

And for Cannors, they do have quite a good selection of plants, so perhaps one day soon I’ll meander down there.   Looking for evergreen privets.  I’d planted some variegated Chinese Privets last year and some green Privet (will have to go outside to look at the label.  These have grown phenomenally and I plant to get at least 10 or 20 more.    And I’ll propagate some also.

Looking backwards over the last 1 1/2 years of blogging .. I’m happy that I started this blog.  It’s helped me to trip the light fantastic every day .. letting my thoughts flow.  I find that creativity springs up when I’m outside.  Thoughts flow freely. And the early part of the day seems to work better for me also.

It feels fresh to have a blank screen in front of me .. and then I just look at the skies, the trees, the birds, the plantings .. ideas pop up.  Imagination takes over.  Happiness settles in and time just disappears.

Sometimes I haven’t felt like writing at all .. this usually happens later in the day, times when I’d rather be outside.  However, once I sit down, place my hands on the keyboard and just start typing, then the words just flow.

Finally taking the time to watch those zillions of programs recorded on the pvr over the past months.   Still knitting and taking apart scarves .. using up wool that I’d purchased a few years ago.   Jane E still playing like a kitten and she wants to play with the wool that I’m using .. trying to encourage her to play with a knitted pom-pom .. but she prefers my working yarn.  Cats!

Youbou is still tearing around the house, he’s so very alert and so curious about this whole Christmas thing.  His personality has totally been rejuvenated since his acupuncture treatments.   And he is like a kitten again.  Makes me wonder if he’s been silently putting up with muscular pain for a long time and hadn’t shown any discomfort .. animals are like that.  Now he is pain free and exhibiting his happiness by running and playing.

I almost went shopping today .. with my gift cards . .however, talked myself out of that.  There will always be clearance sales, New Year sales, on and on and on.

This coming year I’ll be watching my pennies, recycling, repurposing and being creative.  Visiting StumbleUpon quite a lot (I love that site).

I’ll be dusting off my Total Gym and my weights.   My running shoes will once again adorn my feet.  Plan to start getting back into a fit gardening shape.

For now though, I’ll be finishing my relaxing day and DH & I will go for a long walk shortly.

Time enough to start my new regime next week!

🙂

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December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

I hope that everyone is having a relaxing, enjoyable day.

Today started out lovely, with a glimmer of blue sky overhead … .however,  I could see the encroaching grey skies.  And with this came the rains.

Doesn’t deter the little birdies, though!  They are chirping away.  Feeding on the freshly filled suet blocks and the bird feeders full of seeds.

Think I’ll brave the rain and go outside soon and refill the seedholders.

Enjoying this lovely day.

Nice to stop the train and just be lazy!

Except for one little bit of cooking .. making a large pot of lovely smashed potatoes, with sour cream, garlic, butter …mmmmmmmmmmmmm  I think that this is my favourite food of all time.  Plus gravy!

This will be our contribution to a family feast in a few hours!

Listening to the most magnificent voice of Andrea Bocelli‘s  “Concerto … One Night in Central Park”.  Recently seen on tv.

I love my DH .. how thoughtful he is to treat me with this cd .. he knows how I love Andrea’s voice.

Lovely …..

tra la la la ….

🙂

Oh, Joy … everyone loved their scarves .. I am so very happy!   It was just so enjoyable, knitting up a storm, working to a deadline.  Working with beautiful wool, brilliant colours.  Outside my comfort zone  .. knitting hasn’t been my forte, so am very happy that everyone was pleased … this is what Christmas is all about, eh?

It’s been a great day ….all around .. birds .. nature .. Christmas dinner .. visiting with relatives .. and now .. home sweet home with DH!

And, of course, listening to the songs of Andrea Bocelli .. does it get much better than this?

sigh.

 

🙂

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

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 Well, Christmas is fast approaching.  Yesterday was such a relaxing day.  The day started out overcast and the sun broke through, a little, in the afternoon.

Spent an enjoyable amount of time finishing my mad knitting regime .. and catching up on pvr’d programs.   Got into the Twilight Zone series .. the really classic shows with Rod Sterling.   He was just the best .. no one better.   Ever.  Enjoyed the catchy theme music and the believable stories.  Sure, some were corny, but the majority of them were quite dramatically eerie.

In the backyard, noticed a Nuthatch that I couldn’t identify  …. maybe I don’t have the right book yet.  This one had a whitish band around the face & eyes and the chest was a light sandy colour, the back was a deeper cinnamon colour.  Quite attractive.

Looking forward to a few days of sheer relaxation.  DH & myself.  Time to spend together and just be.

Around mid-afternoon, I went out for a “few things” and by the time I arrived back home, the back of my car was stuffed with groceries.  Darn those sales.  I find it difficult to pass up some good deals.  For future suppers and the like.  So now our little freezer atop our fridge is full again.   There are lots of packages of peeled and sliced apples, enough for a few pies and crumbles.  Same thing with plums.    Tomatillo’s and green tomatoes.

It’s a good thing that we don’t have a small freezer, else that would be stuffed with special deals also.  Anyway, I don’t think that we need to purchase much more than milk & bread for the next few weeks, anyway.

I really enjoy going out shopping .. opportunities to see what’s new in the stores and interesting conversations with fellow shoppers.

Didn’t meet any harmonica players yesterday, though.  That one shopping trip a few weeks ago was the last time.

It was with a sigh of relief that I arrived home … happy to know that I needn’t venture out for a few days, anyway.  Time to relax and finish a few things before Christmas.

And of course, time to spend outside, after all was put away.  The Chickadees are buzzing around me, perhaps getting used to me … sometimes they light on a branch just a foot or so away.  I feel so happy that they don’t notice me right away .. a chance to view them quietly, up close.

I haven’t seen that little bird (the one with the growth on the right side of his little face) … and wonder if it is faring well.  Maybe I haven’t been outside when it is around.

This is a nice, quiet time of the year.  A time to slow down .. relax .. I quite like it.

🙂

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Friday, December 23, 2011

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Well, time is slip sliding away!  I was up bright and early this morning, meant to write away, but instead chose to spend a few hours finishing up a scarf.  This one was created with a lovely bulky yard and I did a simple knit row after row.   Finally finished mid-morning and another one finished.  One more to go.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, it was such a beautiful day.  I went outside to enjoy the start of the day.  Noticed that the top part of the water in the large garden saucer (that I’m using as a source of water for the birds) was frozen.  So I gently removed it, admiring the frosty beauty of this round section of ice.

I wanted to take an artistic photo with the sun shining through .. so played with different locations.  Finally, decided to pose this on the grass, braced with my lovely garden digger.  Carefully balanced everything together, left everything free-standing and opened up the camera to take a photo.

Murphy’s Law kicked in and the ice fell over, breaking up into a number of pieces.  So I picked up one section, aimed the camera and took a photo.  The beauty is still there.   And the original unbroken section of ice remains in my memory, so really, it does still exist.  Only in a non-physical format.

Looked up at the sky .. such a beautiful shade of blue .. with a pretty scattering of white clouds.  All throughout the day, wherever I was ..my eyes were drawn upwards to this beauty.  So, of course, I just had to take some photos.

It’s funny how the smallest, newest little bird feeder is the most popular one.  I’ve seen Flickers hanging onto the feeder, their large bodies more than twice the size of the feeder.

When I came outside later on in the afternoon, to fill up the feeders, noticed that this little feeder was laying on the ground.  So I guessed that some larger bird .. or perhaps a squirrel .. had been a bit over eager in feeding from this one and perhaps the exuberance caused the feeder to tumble to the ground.

I refilled it and securely attached it to the tree branch.

At one point I made myself put the knitting down and prepare for a walk over to the supermarket.  To accomplish some exercise and to fetch more milk for tea!

It was lovely to go outside in the beautiful sun.  Just a lovely little jaunt in the fresh air.  My feet automatically wandered over to the other side of the highway .. heading towards Swan Lake.  oh, I would have loved to have spent a few  hours over there.   Looking at the birds, checking on the changes in the fields and pathways as winter prepares to settle in.

Time disappears when I’m over there.   However, yesterday was not the day.  Things to do.  Knitting to be done.  Supper to prepare.  I’ll go another day.

So .. returning home, I just had to go to the backyard and visit with the birds.  Wandered around ….oh, and I just had to plant some sprouted garlic bulbs in one of my terrific Styrofoam rooting containers.  First I packed some oak leaves in the bottom, for more insulation.  Then popped in the garlic bulbs and topped off with some Miracle Mulch and more leaves.

Just a few more months and I’ll look forward to sprouting garlic!  It’s been planted quite generously throughout the yard.  In the sunny sections, this time.

DH is quite pleased with my transformation of the back yard.   It’s looking tidier, now that I’ve organized my propagating section (which is right beside my mulch pile).

And … I’ve found some great gardening gloves at Home Hardware!  I thought that the bright orange, heavy, waterproof garden gloves that I’d been using were the best.  Hornets cannot sting through them.  They keep my hands dry.  But, I found some similar and actually better gloves!  These are a dark yellow colour, even sturdier and they are actually a bit longer.   Plus, more cotton gloves for warmth when I’m outside gardening (playing) in the cold weather.

Ooopssss .. time is getting on and I have more rows to knit before calling it a day!

I’ve missed writing gardening terminology today .. will resume tomorrow.

🙂

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

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Wednesday was another gift .. a lovely sunny day! Went outside early to check on the bird feeders .. just had to top some up.

Admired the frosty effects on the grass and leaves .. so very beautiful and all natural.  The  sun  in the sky overhead ( um, where else would it be, anyway?), casting its lovely shadow upon the frosted yard .. changing the intricate frost patterns into a liquid form.

Such delicate designs .. so quickly disappearing .. lucky to have a camera ready to take photos.

The birds were  voraciously feeding at the suet and seed holders.  Happy to see the two Nuthatches flying in and around the yard.

Spent some happy time outside yesterday, felt great just to be outside, wandering around the yard .. as compared to Tuesday, when I spent all that sunny time indoors at the mall.  Being outside is my definite preference, either working away in the garden or just observing the changes in the plants and the activities of the birds!

A few more hours spent knitting . . I’ve turned into a regular knitting machine, it seems. And I blame it all on Michael’s, ha ha ha .. .if I hadn’t gone shopping there, I wouldn’t have wandered into the wool section.  And started a conversation about knitting with a fellow shopper and learned about circle scarves!

Happy as I am to have discovered the benefits of acupuncture on Youbou .. there are many others who have previously discovered the magic!  Spoke with someone yesterday whose wife already has treatments done on their dogs!  And a friend of theirs is already having treatments done on their horse .. all success stories.

Such good news is slowly spreading, it seems.  Well, yea!  That is great!

DH & I out on shopping trips yesterday and somehow our car turned itself into the parking lot of Mary’s Bleue  Moon Cafe.  Pretty trick, I must say!   We wandered in, found a nice quiet table at the back and spent some time looking of the menu.  There is such a variety of good meals, it took us awhile to decide.  For myself, I finally chose the salad in a taco .. it was such a pretty dish, and as DH said, I got to eat the bowl!

Finally, back home, relaxing evening .. enjoying the colourful Christmas lights and decorations on our tree.  Living room filled with the most delightful pine scent.  Kitty Kats lolling about.

Good to be home.

And the scarves keep on being knitted!  Knit on .. knit on!   This latest, bright green item, has only had a few rows undone ( a few times) .. so I’m getting better at this craft!

From Botany for Gardeners:

“For the most part, plants have no definite size toward which they grow.  That is, they display indeterminate growth or, at least their stems and roots do.  When left untouched and growing in an unrestricted volume of soil, a plant’s roots will never reach an “established size”; nor will its branches in the freedom of an open-air space.  Limits of plant growth are proportional to the availability of light, water, minerals and oxygen. Lifespan is genetically determined – one year for annuals, two for biennials and indefinitely in perennials.”

From “Plants, People, and Culture, the Science of Ethnobotany (Michael J. Balick and Paul Alan Cox

“Fishing Implements:  The Vanishing  Art of ‘Enu Weaving; Maori flax is abundant throughout New Zealand,  as are the plants used in New Guinea to weave string skirts.  But what happens when a plant needed for a community becomes scarce? This question is becoming of ever greater concern, as clear-cutting and hunting by outsiders are destroying natural resources at rates never before seen.  O course, indigenous peoples have always had to adapt ot scarcity.  In the case of the vesi trees in Fiji, the scarcity of large trees elsewhere in the region gave tiny Kabara island a political saliency out of proportion to its other natural resources as shipwights from other islands took up residency there.  What is new today is the suddenness and rapidity of change.  In the modern world, the scarcity of a crucial plant can lead not so much to adaptation, but to the loss of a vital part of the culture.  Such threatens to be the case with fish traps (called ‘enu) in Samoa.  In the Manu’a islands of Samoa, the vines used to weave fish traps are disappearing.  With the disappearance of the vine, a rich part of Samoan cultures may vanish.” (more tomorrow)

It’s been a day …..

 

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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 Yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day ..so of course, what was I doing on such a lovely day?  When I really wanted to spend the time outside, anywhere, watching birds and playing in the garden.

Huh .. well .. I was shopping, of course!  What else would one do on such a marvellous day.   I’m being sarcastic, of course!  When I first started my day I’d fully planned to just go to one or two stores, then zip home.

However, along the way I was caught up in a time warp and lost my way.

It all started at Canadian Tire.  I’d gone there to purchase another large container of that amazing laundry liquid “Ecos” … all natural ingredients, I love this soap.  If, that is, one can really love something like this and not be thought of as weird, or anything.  🙂

I found myself slowing down, wandering the aisles.   Spent some time in the gardening section, looking at bird-feeders.  Then through the sale items.  Decided to pass on those great deals on nested Pyrex bows, with lids.  A good deal, but I already have a cupboard full of such items.  They would make a great gift, but my friends and I have discontinued gift giving and instead we spend time going for walks, talking … these are gifts.  The valuable kind .. priceless, really.

So I bypassed these types of deals and went to the cashier.  I guess that I shop at this particular store location a lot .. as the employees and I are getting to know each other .. enough that we can talk about things.  Yesterday’s cashier is a lovely  mother of two growing sons!  Her eyes shine when she talks about them and it’s always a pleasure to see how proud she is of them and I think, how lucky these boys must be!

Heading to my car, I look up to the sky and feel so happy to see the clear blue and  the puffy white clouds.  This is going to be an amazing day .. soon I’ll finish my errands and can run outside to play!

I’d decided to give my first ever Christmas card to a Veterinarian!  I’ve had dogs and cats for most of my life and during this time, I’ve taken them for many vet visits, as one does when one cares for the animals under their care.

However, I have never experienced such professional and friendly rapport between a vet and an animal before our visit with Dr. Chan for acupuncture treatment for Youbou.

To start out with,  at the beginning of November, DH and I were so very concerned about our little Youbou!   We noticed that this poor little guy’s energy was just gone.  His eyes were lusterless, his hind legs were powerless, and he could only move by dragging himself around.  We were so sad.

So thus began a series of vet visits (another vet) .. little Youbou was subjected to x-rays, blood tests, mobility tests .. all to no avail.  He was given a cortisone injection and this seemed to help him move about.   Then a few days later, the symptoms returned.  This time he was given prednisolone (or something like that).  This seemed to help only a little bit.   He seemed to be slipping away from us and we thought that it would only be a matter of time before we would have to say goodbye to him.

Then I remembered our neighbour’s dog .. one day he’d obviously been in great pain, it was evident on his face and the way he slowly, carefully, descended from the seat of their vehicle.  They took him for acupuncture treatment and now he is back to normal.

So I contacted Hillside Veterinary and was able to make an appointment with Dr. Chan.   Not only is she an amazing Veterinarian who truly cares for her patients, but she is also a highly skilled Acupuncturist.

At our first visit, little Youbou was in such terrible shape and simply lay quietly while the Dr. carefully placed a series of fine gold needles over Y’s back and a few in his foot.  We talked and she explained the process.  I noticed that she was very gentle with Y and when the session was over, the needles were removed and she massaged his little back and legs.

What an improvement when we got home.  He slept most of the day.  And was walking .. a little bit.  Now, to date,  Youbou has had 3 treatments.

And you know what!  He’s been pushing doors open, standing on his hind legs, and pushing with all the strength of his little body.  A few days ago, he ran into the living room, racing around the room, onto the sofa and back out to the kitchen.  Oh.  Wow.  We feel that she has given him his life back.  and for that we are so very grateful.

So I just wanted to thank her for this gift of Youbou’s miraculous recovery back to a better than ever active life!   An amazing gift of getting his life back.  We are so happy …. imagine that, we thought we were going to lose him and look at how active he is.

Thank you thank you thank you

As I headed to my car, I thought, ok … so now it’s time to take a little trip to Hillside Mall .. it’s close by and I haven’t been there for a very long time.  Logical, right?

Found a parking space and wandered inside.  Little did I know that I’d be spending most of the day here!

I had a great time, happy shopping experiences .. then, looking up at the skylight overhead .. noticed the sun was shining, so just wanted to go home.  However, my feet had other ideas and soon I was visiting such a variety of shops.  Enjoying conversations with other shoppers and store clerks.

My parcels were getting heavier and heavier as I went from store to store .. and I actually forgot a parcel in one shop, then retraced my steps and found it again!

Stopped in one little shop that sold all kinds of gizmos for cooking .. laughed with a fellow shopper who was choosing gifts for herself, to place under the tree.  “What do you think” she asked me, when we were looking at vegetable peeler’s.  “Do you think that I’ll like this when I unwrap this on Christmas morning?” “hmmm” ..I replied, “I think that you’ll be very surprised and happy for such a thoughtful gift.” …So we talked in this vein for a few minutes .. total fun, being silly.  Perhaps this set the tone for my shopping experience.

Bumped into someone I used to work with, years ago .. we chatted and caught up with each others lives up to now.  She’s been going through a rather challenging time and we talked about that.  Better times ahead.

Finally decided to call it a day and out I went to look for my car.  Oh no .. the sun was setting, the day was done.  Wah.  Oh, well, I reasoned, I did have fun and couldn’t remember the last time that I’d just spent the major part of the day  in a mall.  So, I chalked that up to another gift to myself …. the gift of aimlessly wandering .. ha ha ha

Well, no shopping for me today.  Absolutely none.

So that leaves me with a few good options.  Finishing those gifts.  Playing outside. Enjoying the antics of the cats as they go about their day.

All kinds of things to do.

🙂

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