Posts Tagged ‘Tools’

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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Friday, September 30, 2011

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Spent a couple of busy days.

Yesterday was my highlight .. Lee Valley was starting day one of the 3 day clearance sale.  So I was out there, bright and early, #2 at the door.  Open. Open. Open.   Soon there were about 10 people, all anxiously awaiting the front doors of the store to open.

Soon enough, the doors were opened and we were guided to the side seminar room (which I hadn’t noticed previously).

Every one was polite . .no pushing or shoving.   Each person was intent on acquiring some woodworking or gardening treasure.

Well, I did well.   Had lots of fun, actually.   And all my purchases were good ones.  There were the tiny LED lights for use in places like dresser drawers, cupboards, that could be attached with adhesive (attached) onto surfaces .. all ready to light up when the drawer, or whatever, was opened.

Then there is the mini folding shovel, in carrying bag .. good for digging up donated plants.    This will go in my purse.  And the long-handled weeder which resembles a golf putter … and I’ve found that this works very well in smoothing freshly installed soil .. as well as superb weeding.

And a stone slinger (what a great price, $5) … also very useful for picking fruit high on a tree.  It works.  I picked some apples today with it.   And I know that it would have been very useful for picking the ripe plums!

Also, the large, aluminum garden scoop … I’ve been using this today, digging out the garden edges around the fence.  Very sturdy item and if it ever wears out, I will have no hesitation at purchasing another one!

There were other long-handled weeding tools available, but, really, I have enough.

The brass watering nozzle set, complete with 4 different heads that simply pop into the nozzle.   Each have adjustable sprays and each is unique.   I couldn’t find it in the catalogue, but this purchase is worth its weight in gold!

The tin watering can is useful and decorative with its copper coloured sprinkler head.

A set of 3 galvanized steel containers, small, medium and large .. all set to hang on a hook, each joined by a chainwork system .. perfect for gardening organization.  This was included with an item that defied description, I think it was a prototype submitted to the store.   There were two round, handled pots, each with circular cutouts along their sides and bottom, with each having a circular grid, separate, to be placed on top.  I’ll be sending pics to Lee Valley, to see what the purpose is .. but for now, they are absolutely perfect for holding my garlic cloves .. soon to be planted!

Also, a set of 3 galvanized steel scones, small, medium and large.  I plan to install these in my gardening room .. perfect for holding .. something!

A unique suede type of carpenter’s hold-all.   I’d been looking at zipped bags, displayed on a table .. playing around with the idea of … one for clippers, one for weeders .. when someone placed this item tantalizingly close to me.   So, I picked it up.   Hmm .. very sturdy, well made.   4 levels of open pocket holders.   Sections for pencils or thin tools.  Clips.  A holder for a coffee cup .. or?  I’ll have to take a pic of this.

So yesterday afternoon, out in the full sunshine, I emptied my garden tote and started organizing my garden tools.  The top pocket of this tough organizer was perfect for all my clippers.  Gosh, I sure have a lot.

I continued on .. filling in the empty pockets of the organizer.   Still room for a few more items.   Very tidy.   There is a sturdy loop at the top and I’m getting used to just picking up this treasure and moving it about the yard, as I work.   Tools well-organized.   A place for everything.

Yes, this had been a very satisfying shopping spree at my first ever Lee Valley Clearance.

So … then I did lots of digging in the yard, finally finished sifting the soil from the uplifted sod sections removed from the backyard sidewalk.

This resulted in 5 Rubbermaid containers full of the fine soil .. and I used this to fill in some low spots on the yard.  Amazing the amount of soil that is sorted from the grassy bits.    Talk about recycling in the garden!

This type of work is strenuous and at the same time, rather relaxing.  And therapeutic.

I found myself lost in thought .. mindlessly emptying container after container of sod & soil onto the surface of my soil sifter station.     Hours of tapping away at the clay soil with one of my garden hand tools, breaking the soil into chunks of manageable grassy soil mixture.   The soil sifting down through the mesh into containers on the tarp.

Repeat and repeat till all the containers and also the wheelbarrow were sorted.   Took 5 containers of grassy/weed sections out to the front, to be taken to the local compost yard.   Way too much for our garden composter.

Next, I carried the containers of soil around the yard … emptying them onto low spots in the yard.   Looking good.

Still thinking about how to go about changing the design of the back part of the yard.   I know by experience that if an idea doesn’t spring forth right away … then just working away on other projects somehow gets my subconscious free rein to think about creative ideas.   They will pop up when ready.  This method has worked well for the rest of the yard …. and I’m always amazed with the results.  I believe that I have an inner artiste!

Took ample time to relax and observe the feathered activity in the yard.     Looked up … saw several crows flying high and in the midst of this activity .. noticed a tough little hummingbird stay the distance as the crows flew by.   Then he zoomed away.

Laughed at the antics of the Chickadees … flying from branches to sunflowers to the ornate swirly designs of the garden arbor and then to the suet filled block on an adjacent tree.

The sparrows were having fun .. .flying everywhere .. including lining up on the branch holding the suet block.  Then playing around on the miracle mulch that is currently resting on a tarp .. awaiting my decision on where to shovel this lovely product.

Didn’t see the woodpecker today, but then I might have missed it .. having gone shopping a little today.

It’s been a great few days.  Now .. the weekend approaches.

And I do need to decide which green tomato/tomatillo  chutney to make!  The tomatoes are fading fast and I need a rainy day to get me going.

That and some canned apple recipes ….. the plums are frozen and can wait for another week or so.  Then there will be room in the freezer, once these many bags of frozen plums are used up.  Yum, plum butter .. chutney .. delicious any time of the year.  But especially good in the winter .. reminder of the (short) hot summer.

It’s been a day … or two, actually.


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