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.



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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.



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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


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?




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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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