Archive for the ‘Retiring’ Category

Sunny Saturday

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October 30, 2010

Yesterday was quite a busy day .. to the Saanich yard with garden cuttings, recycling, dentist and then finally, home, free to garden!

Working away at the side yard … thinking, how to sove the problem of comfrey, blackberry and weeds growing in the gravel path.  Last year I had removed deeply rooted blackberry plants .. we had never used this area of the yard so this was quite a challenge.

It took a few days of hard work and finally, I cleared the area away.  Then I’d spent a few days, working at levelling the ground surface . .using a pickax, shovel, etc.  After this, I carried in a supply of old bricks, to use as edging, laid down a layer of landscape fabric.  In hindsight, several layers of heavier fabric would have been better!  Or perhaps, putting old carpets on the ground first, then a layer of the fabric, would have deterred the weeds from growing.

Then I carried over, one by one, rubbermaid containers of (sorted, sieved, rinsed) gravel and shovelled this on the fabric, and installed round pavers to create a pathway on the gravel walkway.

I was able to install a few plants and place ivy cuttings in pots, before winter set in.   And that was that for this area.  Until a few days ago, when I attacked the weedy growth that was again overtaking all my work.  So now the area is again clear and I was thinking that I should bring more gravel over to make the pathway thicker.

So .. after my running around was done, I came home, donned my gardening gear and escaped outside to relax in the sun, sudoku and mug of tea.  I pondered the energy required to move more gravel to the side area.   While working the Sudoku numbers, thoughts of the side yard kept popping up .. maybe it was the postivity of the conversations that I’d recently had at the dentist’s office combined with the warmth of the sun’s rays .. but I suddenly thought “why did I make the gravel pathway so wide .. it could be narrower and I could plant more plants”!!!

Walked over to the side, visualized “more plants” and thought, yes, this will work!!! I’d mixed up some peat moss/organic soil mixture in my ‘barrow, so quickly planted some bushes and topped up areas around a boxwood (these are tough, tough, plants … survived a year without having been properly planted last year!)

Now, with garden tools, empty ‘barrow, rubbermaid containers & tarp .. I began the task of shifting the gravel.   My plan is to remove the gravel, put in containers and as space becomes available, onto a tarp.   Once this is done, I’ll dig out as much of the weeds as possible, then install a triple layer of l/fabric, creating a slightly curving path.   Then I’ll plant more of the recent sale bushes.

By this time, the mulch should be here, so I’ll be digging, filling containers and bring them, one by one, to install over every plant in the yard.  And look forward to seeing all the new growth next year!

Also, I’ve decided, starting November, to only blog on one page!  Since gardening does occupy most of my life .. it seems silly to go back and forth.  Besides the retirement blip has passed and I’m now in my next stage, of gardening.  And I’ll be focusing on getting my business going.  But I’ll only be writing about my own gardening!!!

These past two months have been so therapeutic . . I’ve been working hard every day, and feeling more energized every day.  My creativity is making a very strong comeback.  Ideas on things I can make for gardens, methods of working, playing around with found materials .. it’s all very exciting.  And ideas grow more ideas, and so on and so forth.

Camera set to “on” .. I walked around, taking pictures of happy flowers .. memories for this summer and points of reference for next summer.  I’d removed the tarp used to shield the interior of my car from soil, when I took more garden stuff to the yard.   Rinsed it off and draped it over one of my pvc arches .. worked well.  Tarp dried and easy to fold up. (photo)


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Fluently Friday

October 29, 2010

Fluent: (adj) (of speech, writing, etc. etc. ) flowing naturally; able to speak a language naturally; articulate; (of movement, etc.) easy and graceful.

This morning was very fluent.  Loaded up 8 rubbermaid containers with garden cuttings, leaves, etc.  Moved them around to the front yard.  Prepared my echo for the trip, large tarp carefully placed around the cargo area (love my hatchback car, it has so much cargo room!) and carefully loaded these into the back.  Also loaded items, bottles & clean plastic to be returned.

Had an enjoyable gardening talk with a neighbour .. then was on my way.  Amazingly enough, made it to the yard with only 2 red lights, that is just stupendous!  Quickly positioned my car into a spot at the yard, parked, pulled out the containers (some were so heavy, but this builds muscles!) and was out of there in less than 10 minutes.

Green lights again .. all the way to the bottle depot.  The whole exercise, leaving home, doing these errands and back again, took less than an hour!

Back home, carried the totes & tarp to the back yard.   Arranged the tarp over one of my incredible pvc arches, hosed it off and it is now drying in the sun!!

One more dentist visit and then I can come home and start planting again!  Oh happy days!


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Whirly Wednesday and Thursday!!

October 27 and 28, 2010

Well, so many things to do that I didn’t make the time to write anything down yesterday, so will make a quick recap and also mention today.

Aren’t we so fortunate to be in a time when we can just go ahead and easily create a blog, thanks to some creative, energizing people!  The discipline of creating some random thoughts, daily, is a boon to me. 

Since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to write, and from time to time, I did do that.  I remember walking around our very quiet neighbourhood when I was about 10 or maybe less.  “Back in the day” .. when kids were allowed to wander freely about, without adults.   We could just leave the house, have lots of adventures, visit our “auntie” neighbours for koolaid, and then return home for supper when we heard our names being yelled out .. from the back yard or kitchen window!

Really, we were so innocently lucky.  Imagine that scenario nowadays .. wouldn’t happen.

Anyhow, piece of lined paper and pencil in hand, I walked the streets, seeking a newsworthy story.  This might have been inspired by my mother recounting tales of a member of my dad’s side of the family, reportedly a reporter in Montreal, there was mention of a signet ring .. this information was very interesting to me.  I always wanted to meet this unknown family member, however, it never happened.

Discipline wise, I haven’t been constant at keeping a journal, or diary.  For years I’ve tried that practice, but haven’t been consistent.  However, this keying in a few sentences every day has become a great tool for me to do that – and I am inspired to key in some daily thoughts and find that this method works for me.

Speaking of discipline, today, while driving to an appointment this morning, I happened to hear a radio reporter recounting her experience at the Cesar Millan audition in Richmond.  She & hubby had their dog behind the stage, went for the interview to see if they qualified to go live on the show there.  Had to laugh, she was recounting how she would introduce a toy to doggy .. shake the toy in his face and then, in a high pitched voice, repeatedly say, higher and higher “what’s this, what’s this, what’s this”  Isn’t this all to familiar!  Well, Cesar has us humans going through transformations and stopping that habit.  He advises putting the toy in front of the dog, walking away, and letting the dog play with it. 

Oh, if I could go back in time and be the better pack leader, I would change so many things.

How fortunate we are to have Cesar, on tv, and now.. so luckily .. in Canada!   To give us a nudge as to how we can interact with our dogs!

btw .. at this point in time, I do not have a dog.   First time in 25 or so years.  That will change.  However, we do have 3 cats, 2 are former feral cats.   When I got home after the Victoria October 26 show, I practiced some of the Pack Leader tips with our cats and they were, well, sort of effective !!!  Cats are a whole other breed.  Wonder if there will be a Cesar Millan for the cat culture happening?

Yesterday, out working in the garden, heard a hummingbird busily chattering away!  Found him and tried to take a photo and/or film, so I could present him here!  Wasn’t very successful, with my Sony Handicam .. no eye view-finder, so very difficult to find this little darling.  However, I did take the time to study this sweet little bird.  He (she) preened the wing and tail feathers, fluttered little wings in the air.   Tilted his sweet little head and the sun glinted sparkly shades of red.   This little bird seemed quite chubby.  Then another hummer flew by and no fights, so maybe they are mates.

Quite a fun day, yesterday and today!


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Terrific Tuesday

October 26, 2010

Today I have so many choices of things/chores “to do” and I can make brilliant arguments to myself as to prioritizing and then proceeding.

Weather is cloudy and overcast.  At first.  Then the sun breaks through the clouds, I hear a flock of geese flying overhead, and the decision is swiftly made … I’m gearing up in my gardeners outfit and heading out side.

Fully garbed, booted and approaching the back door to unlock and go outside to start my day when I hear another flock of geese, flying directly over the yard, low flying.   Did the math and knew if I hadn’t initially delayed my decision, I would have been outside, taking in the beauty and majesty of these magnificent birds flying in formation close up.   Air so still I could hear the rustle of their feathered wings as they worked the texture of the air.  Ok, I wouldn’t have had my little camera out of its case, but still.

Vow to get going outside earlier tomorrow .. fingers crossed the lovely sun will be out, but, even if ….it might be percipitating, I’ll be out there.

And, remembering that tonight is the Cesar Millan show!!!!  Look forward to hear him speak in person and demonstrating effective methods of dog training.  I’d like to thank the sponsors who brought him here to Victoria to start his tour!  And to enjoy being in the midst of many hundreds of other caring people who love and care for their dogs… who have the best interests of their furry friends in mind.

Well, I went to the show and it was simply amazing.   So very informative, there were wonderful dogs there and he demonstrated very clearly (like magic) how subtle changes in human behavour changed behavioural problems.

There was also Monique Anstee, of Naughty Dogs, there, an impressive dog trainer, with her incredible dog (I didn’t write down the details, but am sure they will be in the Times Colonist tomorrow) and together they demonstrated an awesome follow-me (I call dancing) routine.  So impressive.   Words do not do this justice, so I’ll have to research her name and look on the internet, for there surely is lots of information and videos on her training techniques.

Cesar discussed how we interact with dogs and shared some techniques with us.  He is an amazing young guy … in just 20 short years, he has transformed our (dog) world, as we know it.   He has a great sense of humour, so we spent a lot of time laughing!

At the end of the show, there was Q & A.  We wrote questions on cards and submitted them .. they were sorted and the most challenging ones were responded to, and the persons were handed a microphone to voice their question and he would reply.

Cesar answered my question from the stage (not really, but I’d like to think that he did!) My written question was “Do you think that some dogs come into our lives to teach us something (eg strength, patience, etc). as a Spiritual Guide.”   And coincidentally enough, he spoke at some length on this.   Thank you.

So I talked with some fun people tonight, we shared dog photos, talked dog stories, laughed and had a great time.  Talked about the experience of standing in line at Bosleys, yesterday!!  I actually sat beside the 2 young mums whose babies Cesar held and had photos taken of.  They were avid Cesar fans !  I’d first noticed him a year ago and am already a follower. 

I’m very glad that Cesar’s tour started in Victoria and that I attended this show.  We also (the Pack Leader group) received a Cesar Magazine, looking through this I see many interesting articles.

In the segment regarding “how you feed your dog”, there was a little  ginger/white curly dog that reminded me so very much of my little Oreo .. I was glad that I’d brought my binnoculars so I could see this little doggy close up …sigh.  And this segment was a real eye opener .. the lady and dog used for examples in this example were very very good and I could really relate to her behaviour!!  Well done!

Above all, he spoke of peace and love and calmness .. elements that, combined, will really save the world.    And I agree.

Nighty night!  A.M.

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October 23, 2010

This Saturday starts out as nice and sunny.  I couldn’t remember what day it was, so that confirms it, I’m retired!  My first week had started out as shopping and driving around every day … and now I’m at the stage where I realize summer is over and want to spend as much time outside in the yard as dusk descends earlier and earlier.   Now is the time to enjoy the outdoors.

Although, we are lucky here .. there will be more days of sun, it might be a little chill in the air, but still a few days here and there working outside will be heaven.

Getting a bit more adventurous in my cooking!  Yesterday I’d cubed boneless chicken breast, stirfried it  in a flat pan with a little vegetable oil.  Added some crushed garlic, shredded ginger, sliced red onion and cubed yellow and orange peppers.   Poured in some organic chicken broth .. sprinkled on some tumeric, about a tsp., cooked for about 10 – 15 minutes and then sprinkled a little dried thyme near the finishing.  Cooked some organice quinoa (rinsed first!) in the chicken broth.

Spooned the quinoa in bowls and topped with the chicken mixture.

This was such a pretty, colourful, cheerful dish!  And delicious too!

So, today, I had enough of the chicken & peppers that I made the dish again .. and it was again delicious.  There’s hope for me yet in cooking!

What else did I do today, other than gardening …. oh, yes, tonight I saw that terrible racoon on the sundeck again, looking for cat food.  This guy is just too bold, so hopefully it  will tire of looking for any cat food (there won’t be any) and will look for another source of food.  Sure hope it doesn’t like garlic!


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Finally Friday

October 22, 2010

Another Friday and what a beautiful day it is .. sun is shining, birds singing .. etc!

To the dentist specialist first thing this morning .. the reason why I couldn’t sleep and was up before the dawn.  Dentistry specialization has come a long long way since I was a kiddie.  This was such a positive experience, I just am so happy!  One more visit and I’ll be done!!

What a waste of fear that was .. this root canal was totally painless and I got to watch tv!!  

Watched Regis & Kelly for todays show ..  she is so upbeat, friendly as all get out .. like a pal and watching the show was so relaxing as the dental procedure started.  

Then there was a good segment on Shaw Cable, regarding a group of young guys, rowing across the ocean, with some wonderful words of wisdom, from the mouths of babes – to never give up on your dreams;  continue on, even after experiencing failure, success will come.

This brought to mind the recent TC article on Cesar Milan .. how he came to the states as an illegal, dined on hot dogs as a luxury … and I thought, yes, here is a role model for dreams, tenacity, belief in yourself and the confidence and love of dogs.     I’ll remember that as I build my little business.  Hold onto the dream.

Anyway, I shopped for a bit, buying only necessary things .. groceries, landscaping fabric.

Looking so forward to planning next years’ veggie garden.

Also, 4 more days till Cesar Milan is here in Victoria!!!  

Cooked a lovely lunch for bh et moi!  then, guess where .. to the bat cave!!  till the end of the day (except for some tea/sudoku breaks!!)


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Tranquility on a Thursday

October 21, 2010

Today seems to be one of those days when it’s been more fun to plan my activities than to actually start being busy.

I think about time, how we use it and how it sometimes consumes us .. no time for this, no time for that.  And how actually there is enough time .. it’s just how we use it.

Time disappears when I’m focused on a creative activity, say, gardening!   It’s as if the clock gets tucked away into a closet somewhere, it’s unimportant.   All my energy is devoted to the process of the creativity and suddenly I have all sorts of drive to work hard, nothing is too much trouble, unlike housework!

Weather seems a bit damp today, however, I can sense the sun trying to break out from the clouds, so outside I go, to continue digging and creating!! 



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Wow .. another Won Ton Wednesday!!

October 20, 2010

So lucky, another sunny day!  Time to go outside and play in the yard till it’s time to go to Won Ton Wednesday at Dakota Cafe!!!

A whole new day of possibilities …. looking forward to this!   Perfect day for planting garlic later on!!

Have subscribed again to the TC … and find myself catching up on what is going on in the city .. lots of good things, activities.   So many talented people here, it’s amazing.  

And the newspaper will be good for mulching in the garden also, for dry areas .. just dig away the soil, layer on a few sections of newsprint, about 10 pages or so, pile on soil/mulch and the water will be retained much better, ending up in better garden conditions.   I transformed one arid garden area years ago.  Like magic.

Haven’t ever used gardening chemicals in the garden .. bought some roundup years ago, it’s still in the bottle and I will take it for safe destroyal at some point.  Recently looked at some products for sale, for eliminating tree moss and also for tanglefoot .. decided to seek alternative methods instead.  I wonder if vinegar would work well in treating tree moss?   It works wonders for eliminating moss in concrete and wood. 

Having fun seeking alternative ways to garden, naturally!


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Sunny Tuesday

October 19, 2010

Today was another beautiful sunny day!!  Outside early today, worked away at the grass patch!  Again, shovelling the surface soil, sifting and sorting.

Shopping.  Didn’t really want to take time away from gardening .. would have to change into un-gardening clothing, take the car out into traffic, but decided to go ahead and do this!!

Heard some crows screeching away, ran to the front, in time to see a hawk, land on a neighbour’s property, something dangling from its claws … obviously it had hunted something that the crows weren’t happy with (and I don’t want to know!)

Gardening (see garden blog).

Chased away Rocky Racoon!!  Had put the cats food & water dishes out on the sundeck.  When I came in for a tea break, noticed the little racoon scoffing down the dry cat food .. so used my deep “karate” voice to scare it away .. along with banging on the windows!  Saw the little guy on the stairs, so repeated this.  Then, he stubbornly stayed around some fruit trees, so I repeated again.  My neighbours asked what was going on .. so I told them of Rocky!  And they had seen the little guy, running along the top of the fence.

Fully garbed in my gardening outfit, I aimed the hose, set at “jet” .. at the racoon, yelled at him, let the water go .. and soon had him scuttling from the apple tree, running along the fence, and my neighbour saw him running across the road!


Tomorrow is won ton Wednesday, oh boy!!

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Overcast Monday

October 18

Monday promised to be sunny, there are a few more hours left till sunset .. so perhaps that will happen yet.

Working away outside … enjoying the privilege of toiling away at my timetable. 

Up early today, heard a flock of geese flying from Swan Lake area to their area of grazing for the day .. ran to the window, just saw the last few in the formation.  Something to look forward to tomorrow ..  to go outside for a sky view.


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