Saturday, 22 April 2017

Earth Day Activities

I was outside by about 8:00 this morning, after a decadent morning lying in late and reading a book about the Borgias. Came back in at about 2:30 and it felt as if only a couple of hours had passed. I love being outdoors!

Got the entire garden weeded and raked, the support structure for the peas put in, and the peas planted (Swedish Reds). Also planted beets, onions, lettuce, spinach, kale, and lamb's quarters. (Yes, I know it's a weed. But it's yummy, so I save the seeds and purposely plant it.) Hubby bought dwarf raspberry and blackberry bushes and planted them. Built wooden raised boxes to go around the two existing asparagus beds. Set out paths and stepping stones in the garden. Planted some flowers and sedum in the front yard. Stirred and distributed the compost. Filled the two planters beside the front door and planted them with chives. (Yeah, I know, but they have lovely purple blooms!) Came in to find Son #3 making a delicious cabbage/vegetable/noodle stir fry. Threw in two batches of laundry. Made spaghetti squash and sauce/cheese (the low-carb equivalent of pasta) and put it in the oven. Browsed farmland on the internet for a little while... (Yeah, I know.)

Now it's 7 p.m. and I'm back on the couch with the Borgias again. I wish all days could be like this!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Spring Planting

They say that when the daffodils bloom, it's time to plant chard, spinach, beets, and onions. When the maple trees start to blossom, you plant peas. When the white oak leaves are the size of a cat's ear, you plant potatoes. Beans and cucumbers go in when the apple trees drop their petals. And you set out your tomatoes, melons, and eggplants when the peonies flower (which is always on the Victoria Day weekend, our last-frost date). That's the holiday weekend when gardening centres burst with hopeful shoppers, and everyone is outdoors trimming their grass and spreading mulch. It's as if we all emerge from our cocoons at the same time, and people bask on their front porches, softly fanning new wings.

I've always been impressed with how neat and tidy people keep their yards here. I guess when your summer season is only a couple of months long, you milk it for all it's worth. The sound of lawnmowers revving up is the sure sound of summer. Strangers smile at each other as they pass at the store clutching lawn bags and canvas gloves, as if congratulating each other on surviving yet another winter. There's a collective sigh of relief---and then frenzy to get out into the garden.

To me, the fascinating part of spring is when the hillside at Dundas Street and Mississauga Road suddenly goes from being a non-descript and uniform blah-brown to flaming yellow as the forsythia bursts into blossom. You don't know they are there all year, but for a few exciting weeks in April they make their presence known. It's a brief shout before they fade back into the understory. I planted a forsythia in the backyard and I'm always thrilled at the first shimmer of colour, like a fire about to catch hold of dry twigs. I stand at the kitchen window and let my eyes drink in the colour the same way my skin soaks up the fresh-emerging sun.

Tomorrow is Earth Day and I'm planting... The maple trees are blossoming.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Beautiful Buzzards

As I waited for my bus today, I was enjoying the mild air and soft sunshine, and I looked up to see three enormous birds circling above a nearby condo building. They were far away but still looked huge, and from the shape of their wings I think they were likely vultures. I watched for at least ten minutes as they soared and swirled gently, riding the breeze against the pearl-coloured sky, and not once did any of them flap their wings. They just glided, higher, in lazy swoops, and finally disappeared over the horizon.

There was something lovely about it---even if they were vultures. Something was so calming about their effortless dance. They don't fight the currents, they play with them, and look how high they soar.

I who struggle constantly against all currents can learn a lesson here.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Lots of Planning, No Progress

My husband and I decided to tackle a project today. We're both off work and there was a whole day ahead of us to get a lot done. We went out to the backyard to look it over and decide on one thing we could accomplish. But there's so much to do. Should we focus on the far corner of the yard where a mulberry tree would look good? Should we put up grape trellises or espaliered apple trees? Should we just focus on getting the fountain to work and clean up the winter debris? What about building a box to shore up the asparagus bed?

We ended up driving to the greenhouse to look for a mulberry tree, but they hadn't been delivered yet. So we ended up wandering around looking at jade trees and lemon trees and fantasizing about putting up a greenhouse. Lining our walkway with oleander. Putting a gong out front to act as a doorbell. Talked to the lady about what to feed my orchids. And then we saw an oil painting hanging on the wall of the garden centre that would be perfect for my grand-daughter's bedroom. And today is her birthday. So we bought the painting and then picked up Son #3 and drove to visit the grandkids to deliver the painting and Easter chocolate and stuffed bunnies. Stopped for fish and chips on the way home. Hubby went to take a nap and I retired to the couch to read and doze. And now it's 6 p.m. and we didn't get a thing done today. We didn't even decide on a project, much less do one. And the laundry hasn't been done and the floor needs sweeping. And we'll probably end up curled up watching TV tonight and not do those things either.

A pretty nice day, all in all!

P.S. An hour later -- I went out and took the mulch off the asparagus beds, and my husband got up and went to band practice. So the day's not a complete washout!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Home Day

I stayed home sick today so I wouldn't spread Pink Eye around my office. Spent a peaceful day reading, cooking, writing, walking the dogs, and sitting in the back yard. Then I came in and watched No Reservations. In part of the movie, they are cooking Dover sole. And guess what Son #3 cooked at school today? Dover sole. Ha!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Even More Amazing

I was supposed to babysit my grandkids tonight, but I woke up with pink eye...of course. So Amazing Son #3 is going to babysit them instead. It's noble. It's wonderful. I am blessed.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

My Amazing Son

I came home from work on Friday just beat, to find Son Number Three making leek and potato soup with french bread. And honestly, it was the best soup I've eaten. And I'm not just saying that because he's my kid. The fact that he would think of doing it is just as amazing as the fact that he can do it.