Posts Tagged ‘Home Hardware’

Wednesday, January 11, 2011

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Tuesday was kind of slow going .. lots to do and where to start, was how I began the day.

Spent more time entering details of my gardening books into my excel … again, searching the web for unknown publishers … happy to see that many have continued to this day.

Looking at the little paper pockets at the front of some of the books that I’d purchased at the “Friends of the Library” book sales … remembering how the Gayley Bros., of Syracuse, NY began the use of these, using seed packets for this purpose.  They were clever that is for sure.

Thought about going for a walk at Swan Lake .. but then went outside for just a “minute”.

Hmmmm …. the sun was shining …. so I decided to do a bit of yard work.  And this was a good opportunity to use my newest gardening glove acquisitions.  I chose a pair of glove liners & the yellow waterproof outer gloves .. items purchased from our local Home Hardware on Burnside.

These outer gloves are perfect for gardening especially when working near stinging insects .. aka .. hornets!  And .. .a reminder to me to try out that penny & water hornet deterrent this spring.  Just a few more months and then it will again be time to look out for these critters.

My s/i/law had told me of a waterfront restaurant they had visited … nary a hornet in sight.  The owner had rigged up clear plastic bags, filled with water, placed a penny in each bag .. and somehow, they deterred these mighty insects.

I have the bags, the water and the pennies .. so I’m all set for them.

Anyway, yesterday, I finally clipped the branches from our Christmas tree and placed them beneath our “first” Christmas tree .. in hopes of dissuading cats from using this mulched area as their private litter box.

The tree trunk will be used for some gardening project .. so I dragged that to the back yard.  As I was in the process of doing that … I reminded myself to look up at the sky.   Perhaps I’d see a bird.

So I did just that and then I saw the hawks!  One was sitting atop a tall fir-tree in the next block … and a second was sitting about 100 yards away, on another tree.  I was just trying to focus my camera on the first one .. when they both flew off, flying towards an unsuspecting target.

Aha … a parent is teaching the young one how to hunt, I think.

Shortly afterwards, I saw them soaring overhead …. the mature one had a few ragged feathers … this time there were some crows chasing the hawk.  The hawk, of course, was majestically regal … calmly ignoring the frantic movements of the crows.   Very impressive.  Eventually there was only one crow .. who seemed as if he was flying away, but he was merely changing the angle of his flight and made a series of close passes in front of the hawk.  Eventually the crow admitted defeat by flying away.

Sometime during the afternoon, the crows began their daily migration towards some neighbouring oak trees.   Last summer I’d noticed that they started flying overhead about 5 pm … so they are flying earlier during the winter.    They eventually all roost on a little island near Oak Bay for the night.


Decided it was time to work at the mulch pile .. so I started digging in … moving the leaves from point A to point B.

Darned if I didn’t look up at the sky again!  And now what did I see .. as I ran to collect my camera and shed my gloves.

This time, there were two Bald Eagles flying in graceful circles overhead.  Entranced … that’s what I was .. totally entranced and enthralled by this beauty …seen from our back yard.   I started walking slowly backwards, binoculars following their every movement.   So beautiful.    As they flew farther down the road .. .I ran to the front yard to continue looking at them.

Bumped into a young neighbour who was walking his most lovely little dog, who was recuperating from a doggy cold!    And so we talked about doggy health .. and about the eagles.    Then the eagles had flown farther away than I could see .. so I returned to the back yard.

And I reminisced over the many conversations I’d had  with neighbours, over many years .. as I worked away at the front yard.  Guess I’ve been so busy with the back yard that I haven’t kept in touch.

There used to be a genteel pair of sisters I used to chat with, they had lived in a tiny little house up the street .. then there was a couple who had travelled the world over .. a number of times … she’d bought her hubby a little dog, to help him with his fading memory.. how sad.  She used to race around the neighbourhood in her motorized wheelchair.  Quite an interesting lady she was.

Anyway, I’d met a lot of people and had interesting conversations.  Especially last summer, when I devoted a week to sifting gravel in our front parking area.  Now that was meditative work if there ever was any!

Decided that it was time for tea .. so inside I went, kettle on and soon had a lovely mug of Yorkshire Tea!   Went back to work on listing my gardening books .. but .. hey, the sun was shining and the outdoors beckoned me forth.

Good decision … shoveled some more leaves at the mulch pile .. continuously looking up at the sky for more aerial demonstrations.  Sigh.  Activity ceased for now.  Although now I only rarely  see the young Cooper’s Hawk in the wild and crazy tree.  Now I know that he visits other nearby tall trees.  And when the yard is empty of birds .. then I know that is where he is.

The two hours that I’d spent outside really seemed like 4 or 5 hours.   The total concept of time had disappeared and there only existed a feeling of “now” amidst the wonderment and joy of seeing the beautiful wild life up above me in the sky.

eagles .. hawks … crows. …. seagulls … hummingbirds  .. flying overhead in my own back yard … I didn’t feel so bad, not having visited dear ole Swan Lake.

I question myself sometimes .. do I like gardening because it affords me the opportunity to bird watch .. or do I bird watch in order to be outside gardening?  It’s like a chicken and the egg thing … I guess.

And today .. more of the same!


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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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Saturday, December 10, 2011

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Friday was a beautiful, mostly sunny day!  There were bits that were just overcast and these times were good for indoor chores, as usual.

Me and my little car went out for a bit in the morning … shopping here and there. Picking up items needed and happy to catch some sales.  Bought some lovely organic liquid hand soap, made in Ontario!    Called “Live Clean” and available in two scents, “Sweet Pea” (how could I resist that one?) and another called “Fresh Water”.   The cynical part of me thought, yeah, right, another marketing ploy, use all the correct words and consumers think that the product is all natural.

So I picked up a bottle and read the ingredients.  And you know what?   It is free of a list of things, among which includes: petroleum, phosphates,  araben, DEA, sulfates.  Not tested on animals!!!!  certified organic 99% plant-based, scented with certified organic botanical flower extracts of Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile.

The ingredients are better quality than the food I’ve been buying!

Anyway, with a buy 2 get 1 free and such quality ingredients, how could I pass up this purchase.

Having only intended to buy just a few items, and then wander through Tillicum Mall, I ended up with 2 heavy shopping bags full.  So, off to my little car I go and place them inside.   And .. back to the mall.  I like the layout of this mall, friendly, lots of parking.  Friendly.  Like a small town, really .. as familiar faces meet each other once again.

Yesterday there was entertainment, I discovered.  A young choir from nearby Colquitz School were singing Christmas Carols.  How sweet.   Seems only a few ( ha ha , a few???) years ago I was in such a group.

Stayed for a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful singing.  Enjoyed the atmosphere of happy families proudly taking pictures and videos of their children singing.  Lovely memories.

I’ve not been around such Christmas events for a long time and thus it was a nice surprise to stop and listen.   Happiness and joy .. what is important.

Then it’s away to Home Hardware on Burnside.  I really like this store.  It’s medium to large size.    And they carry everything from the kitchen sink to framed artistic prints.   Yesterday I was looking for black sunflower seeds, the small kind that the birds love.  And along the way I picked up a cute little bird feeder, on sale for $5.99.  Just the right size for a couple of birds to dine.

Over to Michael’s and I discover that my next batch of 40% off coupons aren’t in effect till tomorrow.  So… bye-bye till tomorrow .. which is now today, so I guess I could shop, but, time to finish preparations for friends visiting.

Left the store, nearly at my car when I hear a loud crunching type of noise, oh, oh, I think some one has rear-ended another vehicle on nearby busy Blanshard Street.  Traffic at noon is always happy.

Once I am finally able to exit the parking lot I discover that the lane I’d like to be in is bumper to bumper with traffic, so I decide to veer to the right and onto Blanshard, planning to do a loop-de-loop around the block and then I see the cause of the loud noise.   Bits and pieces of plastic bumper and wheel covers are strewn over the intersection and following this trail I see the result.  A newer type van has been hit by a more solid older van.  The two owners are in discussion, and I wonder what caused the accident.  Bright, bright sun makes it difficult to see clearly against the glare.  Caution is needed in this brilliant day.

Sad way to proceed with the day, though and I’m just glad that no one appears to be injured in any way.

I proceed with my journey, circling the block and head home, via another intersection.  Seeing more cars heading towards my primary path home, I wish there was some way I could let them know not to go there, but not able to do that.

Finally, home sweet home and I remove my purchases.  March them up the steps.  Inside, distribute everything to their proper places.

Now .. ta da .. time to take that new bird feeder outside.  And I mix in a good portion of the oily black sunflower seeds in with the regular bird seed.  Fill up the feeders.

Last year I was watching the birds and noticed the Downy Woodpecker and the sparrows. However, this year, having placed more bird feeders and lots of suet .. I notice a big difference in the variety of backyard visitors. Including the Chestnut-backed Chickadees and the Red-breasted Nuthatches.  (the Chickadees will eat the tent caterpillars, yea). And just found this link, which shows that they travel together.

Oh, there is so much to learn about birds, how exciting is that! http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chestnut-backed_Chickadee/id and you can hear their sweet little songs at this link!!

Wander around the yard, noticing the differences made to the yard by the sun.  The contrasts, the shadows and the light, add such layers of depth to the beauty of everything inside our lovely yard.    Loving this.

Replenish the hummingbird feeder at the front … after thoroughly washing it out.     It has certainly gotten dirty in the last month .. think it must be due to traffic passing by.   Intend to keep checking the cleanliness over the winter months.  Don’t want these lovely little beings to get sick.

Take some time to wander about, looking at the feathered activity.  You know, I could swear that the little Chickadees in the front lilac bushes started chirping away when I started removing the large back of sunflower seeds from the car.   Could be coincidence, but once that bag was sitting on the ground I could hear the excited chatter!

The same chatter that I hear when I start filling up the feeders!

Another thing I’ve noticed, and this is quite sweet, I think.  Watching the Anna’s in the backyard a few days ago.  Trying to follow the lightning fast aerial flights … I noticed that one Anna seemed to be sipping water from the tips of the apples still hanging from the tree branches.  She (or he) would perch on a branch next to an apple, then simply dip its little head towards the apple and drink away.  Nature’s water cooler!

Later, at the kitchen counter, peeling and slicing apples for freezing, putting them in lemon/water mix so they wouldn’t discolour, I spent long minutes gazing out at the plum-tree outside the window.  Enjoying the antics of the birds as they nibbled away at the moss, groomed themselves.  Chatted away.  Chickadees, Juncos, Spotted Towhees.  Sparrows.    I know that I spent way more time watching their antics than I did prepping the apples!

Then, time to arrange the apple slices on a parchment covered tray, pop in the freezer.  Removed the frozen fruit later and into a freezer bag for use later .. to make an open-faced (sides folded in) apple pie .. or something yummy on a cold winter’s day.

And, this being a bumper crop for apples (and first year ever .. that our Macintosh tree bore a crop of any kind!!)  .. there are still some baskets of apples in the basement that need to be prepared also .. applesauce or freezing.   And some more to be given away to friends.

Well …yesterday was busy and fun and today promises more of the same.

So… away I go .. another lovely day


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Wednesday, November 15, 2011

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Yesterday was heavenly .. a tantalizing reminder of our very brief summer!

Outside in the yard, bright and early .. yesterday was a day fully devoted to gardening.  I decided that I would propagate whatever I could.

To start off with, I set up a work area in my garden area and fetched my trusty ole ex-patio table.   Scrubbed and cleaned up .. it will never be pristine again, but it sure works well as a portable working area.  Next I brought over two of those amazing Styrofoam rooting trays.

They are just perfect for long roots to develop.  The cells are deep and tapered, allowing plenty of room for this purpose and the Styrofoam is a good insulator against the cold.

These are what I used last year for the Boxwood cuttings … which rooted very well and today I plan to pot them up.

I had researched how to best propagate Salal and found that cuttings aren’t that effective, neither are seeds from the berries.  Hmpf, I’ll try cuttings in these trays .. and will give it a year to see how they work out (fingers crossed!).

First of all, I had to address the problem of the openings at the bottom of the trays.  They need some kind of a covering so that the soil doesn’t keep falling out.  Previously I’d placed little bits of gravel at the bottom.  Then I tried little pieces of newspaper.  Surely there must be something better that I could use.

Suddenly there was a little flurry of falling leaves from the Cherry tree!  Eureka, those will be perfect, why didn’t I think of the obvious?  So I collected a handful of leaves and started placing a few in each cell, pushing them down with a bamboo stake.

Then I thought, well, the leaves will decompose nicely, so why don’t I put a fair number of them in each cell, these will insulate the bottom better and will add nourishment to the roots.   So I filled up a plant pot with handfuls of leaves and started layering them quite thickly in the bottom of the cells.

Next I prepared some good soil mixture.   Mixed some sea soil with composted soil.  Then I broke open my lovely package of coconut fibre, added water to break up the wafers and combined that with the soil.  Perfect.

I purchased this fibre at Home Hardware.  Looking at the package, I see that the fibre comes from Vietnam and has been packaged for Home Hardware.  Excellent.  I will not use peat moss again … as explained on the package, removing peat moss is very bad for the environment, and it takes 200 years for it to form.   Very very very bad!  Yea for coconut fibre!  Very very very good!!  🙂

It was difficult to keep working as the birds were continually flying around, having little tussles with each other.   Chirping, flying, nibbling on the suet and bird seed.  At one point, hearing a rustle on the ground, I happened to look up and was pleased to see a little V of Geese flying low over the yard .. they hadn’t started honking yet!

Sweet little White Crowned Sparrow joined the Dark Eyed Juncos’, Chestnut Backed Chickadees, Red Breasted Nuthatch and other Sparrows.  Overhead a Starling sang out.  He really is a beautiful looking bird with his variegated markings.

I wondered again .. what has become of the birds that used to live by the lakes and ponds of Babe’s honey farm? Now that they are all filled in.

Those rooting trays must hold about 100 cells .. I filled them with the soil mixture.  Then, what to use to create an opening in the soil filled cell .. I needed something very narrow and pointy.  Ahah!  Those fondue forks that I’ve saved from recycling!  (and one day, I’ll paint the wooden handles a pale colour and will script plant names on them, but just not today) .  They worked perfectly.

Next it was time to trim the Salal, dip them in rooting hormone and insert in the cells.  That certainly took awhile to complete.  After this was done, I decided to propagate some Buddleia.. . so this involved a trip around the yard.  I gathered branches from 3 plants .. white, orange and purple.

Clip, strip, and after a while this duty was finished.

Then there were other cuttings .. from a few plants that were accidentally clipped when I was working on the front yard . .not labelled yet . I’ll call these “surprise” plants.  I’ll be surprised if they root and if they do, I’ll look up the names.

Next, time to pot up rooted ivy (for the fence) and Sweet Woodruff.

By this time, the skies were becoming dark, it was getting difficult to see in the dusk .. Daylight Saving Time!!  So I tidied up my work area … and prepared to call it a day.

But wait .. DH had set aside some landscape ties to use in the front yard.  Now these aren’t needed .. so I can use them, yea!  So I brought these to my garden area.  Think that I’ll use them to make a temporary propagating section.  I’ll form a rectangular section in the yard, fill with lots of leaves and then place the rooting trays in them.  Nice and comfy for winter!

It was a great day … and I think today will be another sunny one ..so out I go to garden again.

Oh joy.


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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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