Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Monday, April 2, 2012

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Oh, I am a lucky gal, I am, I am I am!  And I’ll tell you why, in a moment!

But first, yesterday, Sunday, April 1 .. was a brilliantly sunny day, albeit a wee bit chilly!  DH, friends and I met at Dakota Café for a lovely early breakfast.  I saw the most amazing cloud formations and just wanted to run outside to take pics of them, but decided, in my maturity (?) to wait till the meal was finished and then . . I went outside!

Brrrr .. by then the really amazing cloud formations had morphed into other shapes.  Well, really, they had moved on in the sky, but I like the idea of the morphing better.

Rejoined the breakfast table and the conversation!

Later, on the way home, we noticed the new eagle nest .. the old one had succumbed to weathering a few years ago.  Luckily the eagles had built the new nest (it’s actually a few years old) in the same area.  Just for the heck of it, I brought out the camera and clicked away as we drove by .. and luckily, the photos turned out well.

And yesterday was the final day of the Friends of the Library book sale.  I wondered, would I be choosy and perhaps a bit more mature in my book selection this time?  Not sure, but I made sure that I took a good supply of shopping bags with me.  And decided to leave my somewhat bulky backpack/purse at home this time.  Easier to slip between the crowds.

This time I was not at the front of the line but I was at a respected position of number 5, so that was good.  We waited, the line getting longer and longer.  Suddenly, the sound of broken glass broke through the silence of the afternoon, and as one, all of us in the lineup turned to face the direction of the sound.

A gentleman stood at the back of his truck, a look of puzzlement on his face …. While his hand continued to uphold the swing out glass door of his truck’s canopy.  I’d caught the action of the broken glass tumbling to the ground as he’d swung open the door.  And as he started to lower it, more glass continued to crumble and fall to the ground.  No one spoke for a few minutes until suddenly a voice rang out “are you ok?”

It seems he was fine, just in shock over what happened, though.  At this point, the door to the library book sale was opened and everyone trooped in .. so I don’t know the ending to that story.

Well .. I just wandered around .. not sure at which table I should start looking for books.  Couldn’t see any aviation or weather books this time.  That’s ok .. I was able to amass quite a few good ones at the last sale.

It was a fun time, chatting with fellow shoppers, discussing the merits of various authors.   I made my way over to the garden and craft section . .and it was here that I struck gold!

There was a very thin book “Living Earth” by Peter Farb, “The Worlds of Science” .. printed in 1959.  Now, before I took my life changing Organic Master Gardening course (Gaia College, through Royal Roads University) .. I would not have given this book a second glance.  But, my life has changed for the better, so I quickly grabbed this treasure.  And I’ve been reading it carefully, page by page.    In the preface, he notes that, despite mankind’s curiosity about the soil, there “has never been a book for the untutored in science on this subject.”  And he continues that there was no technical study on soil until 1957.

The title of the first chapter is “the Placenta of Life” .. and here he introduces the active life found within the soil.   My new best friends “mycorrhizal fungi” are discussed in this book.  Plus so very much more.

For interest, here are the titles of the chapters, how revealing they are:

Part 1 – The Living Soil: 1) The Placenta of Life; 2) The Story of Soil

Part II – The Forests: 3) The Forest Hive;  4) The World of the Root; 5) Soil Societies

Part III – The Grasslands: 6) Dwellers in Darkness; 7) Triumph of the Seed

Part IV – The Deserts: 8) Adapting to Adversity

Part V – Mutual Survival: 9) Living Together and Living Apart; 10) This Enduring Earth

Needless to say, this science report, Peter Farb had a passion for nature .. sadly he has passed on, but he has left us such gifts, namely this treasure of a book.

And, among the other interesting landscaping and gardening books is this other treasure of a book and how very fitting, since I’m beginning to learn more about native plants and ecosystems!   Again, this book is small, but full of important information about ecosystems “Field Guide to Old-Growth Forests” of the Pacific NorthWest.  Thank you to the forces which guided me to these books, I am so very grateful.

Later, after 3 trips to the car to put book filled shopping bags in the car and deciding that really, I had enough, I made myself leave. Anyway, the sale was over.  And once again I proved that I have no will power when it comes to gathering up books.

What were some other treasures .. oh, yes, a book on the Masterpieces of Tutankhamun, glorious coloured plates therein.   “Prehistoric Art” by T.G.E. Powell .. this interests me and today I’ll be going to a free lecture at U Vic on Shamanism in historic cave art & I’ll share that tomorrow.

“Treasures of Early Irish Art” 1500 BC to 1500 AD .. the artwork on the cover was intriguing.  The book contains photos and history of art “from the collections of the National Museum of Ireland Royal Irish Academy Trinity College, in Dublin.   As I opened the cover of this most fascinating book, leafed through the pages and saw the photos of ancient tools, jewellery, chalice, artifacts, I decided that luck had placed this gift in my path, so I tucked it away in yet another shopping bag.  I’m looking through the pages right now, very happy that I decided to take it with me .. so much history, so much beauty ..

Among the Graphic Art books that I selected, there is one on the art of Renate Ulmer “Mucha”.  Now, I have always loved his art, so inventive, playful .. so now I can peruse at my leisure.  And, no respect to this esteemed book . .but I might be so bold as to clip some of the drawings and try to decoupage them onto some tiles .. or something.

Minoan and Mycenaean Art” by Reynold Higgins .. .ok, I was standing way too long at the art table and after this book, I made myself move away!

But wait, what’s this .. a book on poetry.  And not just any poetry, but poems from the 17th Century.  Come on  now, who, having read some of the lines contained within these pages, could resist??? Not me.   Well, I was just looking through this book, hoping to find a short and cheerful little ditty to share ..but am finding that the dismal tone of these writings have made me decide to put this little book in the “free” pile at our next garage sale.

Oh, well, c’est la vie, as it were!

On and on with this bright new day!

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Thursday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday .. another on and off again rainy day!  No worries about the plants not getting enough water.

I see that the young Cooper’s Hawk seems quite at home, atop the wild and crazy tree.  Yesterday was day two of his residency.   I can tell when he’s arrived as the yard is suddenly quite quiet.

I’ve seen the quick flash of wings as adult hawks have zipped through the yard .. but this is the first time I’ve actually witnessed one sitting quietly in the tree.

The only bird that I’ve seen that is bold enough to be in the same air space is the little Anna!  She darts around, quite the expert flyer, easily able (thus far) to avoid the killer beak.

I saw one of the Anna juveniles on a branch of the wild and crazy tree .. when the hawk wasn’t there.  He (she?) is quite chubby and hasn’t yet attained the brilliant plumage of the adult.  The male flew in and settled on another branch and his silhouette was quite slender in comparison.

Still plodding away, entering details of my gardening books into a document.  Lots of work and it will take many days before I’m finished.   I’m enjoying taking the time to look through the pages of the books .. such a wealth of information there.  And this list will greatly help me in studying and making notes in the upcoming Organic Master Gardening Course.  Quite exciting times for me .. and I’m so happy to finally follow one of my many dreams.  Step one …

I have purchased many books, some have been gifts, some have been from book sales and some from library book sales (very lucky there!) .  As I’ve been trying to remove some plasticized covers from the library books, I’ve been a little curious about the methods of book covers and labels that have been used.

Curiosity won out when I looked at the inside of a paper cover and noted the words “Gaylord No. 12 .. for books 10 1/8″ to 12″ high” .. now .. as a non-library person, this was interesting to me.

I pictured countless library personnel, toiling away in the long days at work in a side room at a library.  Unpacking new arrivals, choosing the proper paper cover, the correct paper pockets that are affixed to the inside page, choosing the variety of library identification labels and identification codes.

Making lists of items to order for the future.  Verifying that all was correct, before placing the books on a cart and onto shelves for library patrons to choose.

So I decided to search for “Gaylord Bros., Syracuse, NY” .. and what a treasure trove I found.   Here I am … toiling away in our chilly, bare basement .. entering the fabulous world of the internet .. and what words greet me .. when I click on this site?  http://www.gaylord.com/page_manager_st_leftnav_no_ewe.asp?page_ID=gaylord_innovations&LeftNav_ID=901

These words caught my attention right away:  “To continue our story… our beloved brothers, Willis and Henry worked eagerly in a cellar workshop after banking hours, designing a gummed paper with which to repair torn currency.”

Straight away, my curiosity was piqued.  Ok, I was working away in a chilly basement .. and here were these two hardworking guys, after a long day at a boring job in a bank .. well, they were working in a basement also.

They had a clever idea and went with it ….gummed paper to repair torn paper bills.  Their success rate was low, however, they continued and on the way, found more markets and worked hard.  Success found them.  They moved onwards and upwards.  Developing, marketing, always working hard.  They are still successful.

I found this story to be such an interesting one .. full of determination, forging ahead, always progressing .. a success story.  An honest one.  I’ll save this site as a favourite.. a source for inspiration.  They never ever gave up and that’s the energy that I like.

I can compare this to my gardening life .. it’s one I’ve always wanted.   And now I have the opportunity and the means to further my dream.  Inspired and energized.

As I wander through other blogs on creativity and gardening, I’m again inspired by the “stick to it” attitude that I read on various sites.   And the sheer creativity that people have towards repurposing everyday items.  And the generosity of those who share their ideas with others.

It’s a great ole life when we can all share our ideas and projects!

Gotta love it.

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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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Saturday, October 29, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well .. on with this lovely day!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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