Sunday 28 May 2017

Three G's - Grandchild, garage sale, and garden

Goodness, time has a way of slipping by on me. I couldn't tell you exactly what has happened over the last couple of weeks but I know I've been busy.

I took this week off work to do my planting and to prepare for a garage sale this weekend.  All that STUFF that was piled high has been sorted and priced with the hopes that the thundering hordes of deal seeking shoppers will find my home in the maze of suburban streets (thank goodness for GPS).  Did I ever tell you, when we first moved here in 2010, I told the realtor I drove around in circles until I found it?

My daughter came by to help out on Thursday evening, bringing the cutest baby in the world with her. (Nah, I'm not the least bit biased).

This smile just melts my heart.  Eli loves to giggle and coo, he's reaching for items and grasping, and loves anything with lights and sound.  

D says he is starting to sleep 5-6 hours at night, which means he's down to one feed at night.  She says that's often just a couple of ounces, a diaper change, and he's back to sleep.  I keep telling her, she's a lucky girl as he is such a good baby.   

Anyway, back to the garage sale... we opened the garage door at 6:30 on Thursday evening.  By 8:30 I had sold absolutely nothing, though had met several of my neighbours out for their evening walks.  I went to bed that evening with high hopes for a better day on Friday.  The morning was mostly chilly so I told my daughter I'd manage on my own.  Most of the morning consisted of the stay-at-home neighbours stopping by on their morning walks.  I've lived here for almost 7 years and this is the first time I've met many of them, maybe I ought to have had a garage sale early on?

My friend K stopped by about 11:30 a.m., by which point I'd earned a $1.  With her arrival things started to pick up though we managed to have a good visit between patrons.  She was kind enough to run out and pick us up some lunch which we enjoyed on the patio.  K left about 2:30 to do her volunteer bar-tending stint at a local senior's residence while I was dealing with, gasp!, several customers.

I closed down just after 5 p.m, with $85 in my pocket.  Most of the items I sold were priced at $5 or less, so I felt pretty good.  I might have done better if I stayed open a little later but I was feeling wind burnt and ready for the Friday night dinner with friends.  Saturday didn't bring much more business, and I ended at 3 p.m. with another $7. Definitely not worth the effort, but as I told a few people, it gave me an excuse to sit outdoors in the sun and fresh air to read a book.  After closing, I packed everything up to send over to my daughter's place later this week.  She and J will hold a yard sale next weekend.  With any luck they'll get rid of most of it - whatever is left is off to Community Living.  AND then I'll do the final purge, I've got some electronics and cardboard to go to recycling and a few items that don't fit into the waste bin so I'll need to call for a haul away.  

The rest of the week was spent gardening, doing a bit of housework (only when I couldn't find something to do outside or if it was cool/raining).  

I took these photos early this morning, so the sun hasn't made its way around from the east.  In the back are several planters containing sunpatience, petunias, and in the container on the deck fence are the leftovers, some petunia, salvia, and geranium.  I always end with one container that is a mishmash.

Not in the photo are the three containers of geranium, dichondra, and verbena, and one of impatience and pink coleus on the upper deck, a hanging basket of verbena and petunias, and one of pansies and pink coleus over by the shed on the right.

In the front flower bed, I have a container of impatience (ext to the sunflower thermometer), a hanging basket of fuschia, and interspersed among the perennials are several nicotiana.  I found a variety this year of pinks, my favorite is the pale pink below.

I love how they provide a fragrance in the evening and if this plant is any indication, they'll provide lots of blooms.

Not pictured are the three containers of sunpatience, salvia and brachycome to the right of the patio, a hanging basket of petunia and verbena and a planter of snapdragons and salvia close in front of the patio table (these block the view from the driveway.)

My patio is one of my favorite spots in the yard  I'm tucked behind the evergreen in front, which provides great privacy.  It gets sunny later in the afternoon and evening, so also provides a cooler spot to sit in the summer.  K and I enjoyed our lunch the other day sitting here.

Out in the front yard, I went lazy again this year, and used two hanging planters I purchased to fill the tall black containers.  There were petunias, calibrocha, and trailing verbena, and I added a ivy to each to trail down the side  

The other container has wave petunias, some pink and some striped pink.  By the end of summer the pot should be overfilled, but I like the look.

I managed to keep my containers to only 21 this year.  Hooray!  We had a bit of a frost scare last week but it looks like that worry is finally past.  I hadn't bothered to cover anything, survival of the fittest and all that, but lost nothing.  

I've really enjoyed this past ten days away from the office.  I've accomplished a fair amount, but had lots of time to rest and relax as well.  I've read a book from cover to cover this week, had some great cuddles with the cats, hung out with the grandson (and daughter), and simply recharged.  I'm sure tomorrow will be a shock to the system. Oh well, I'll survive as there are only 111 days until my next vacation.  :)

Have marvelous week everyone!

Sunday 14 May 2017


My mother, along with many other talents, was a gardener.  During my childhood, she maintained a huge vegetable garden, the produce of which she fed us throughout much of the year.  There bags and bags of potatoes (a staple at almost every dinner), frozen peas, carrots, and canned dill pickles, beets, crabapples, and jams and jellies.  Did I mention she was also a great cook?  It was most often plain fare, meat, potatoes and a veg or two.  (And bread because my dad insisted).  It may have been simple but it always tasted so good!

I think she loved her flowers best.  There was always a row of sweet peas bordering the front of the vegetable garden. Perhaps the border was meant to hide the weeds....though I don't Dad ever let any grow.  Much to mom's chagrin he often mistook new growth, resulting in a scolding and a replanting when possible. 

Several other flower beds in the yard yielded cut flowers for more than one wedding.  When she moved to town, she created flower beds where none existed.  Well, Dad dug them, she planted and cared for them.  One of those beds was filled with a variety of lilies.  She ordered them from seed company catalogues or was given a division from another like-minded gardener.

In the bed closest to the house was a baby's breath she had brought from the farm.  When we sold the house before Dad died, I brought a piece of it with me to Regina and planted in my garden.  When we moved in 2010 I left it there, as this yard has a north exposure.  I was happy to see it growing in the yard for a couple of years before the new owners tore everything out.  

Spring and of course, Mother's Day always brings my memories of mom closer. It has been over 12 years since she passed away.  If I could, as the song says, I would wish for another day with her.

This weekend is also the anniversary of my grandmother's passing.  She was only 65 years old when she passed away in 1972, the day before Mother's Day. I was only 13 years old so my memories of Nan are few.  She taught us to play Canasta, she was smoker (like my Grandpa and my mom), she liked a cold beer on a hot day, and she would often stand at her kitchen sink looking out the window to the back yard (and garden).  She had the counter height raised so she could lean on her elbows without having to bend over to do so.

I have very few photos of either mom or Nan.  I don't think either of them liked their photos taken.  I found this one of Nan in an old photo album of my mom's.  believe it was taken on a trip to the Maritimes (perhaps Nova Scotia).  Nor do I know what year it was taken but would think it was around the mid-1960's so she would have been about 60 years old at time.

Happy Mother's Day mom and Nan.  I hope you are together sharing your special day.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's - including all who mother our fur babies.  

Sunday 7 May 2017

Sunshine makes me happy

What a difference a couple of weeks make.! We had our last dump of snow on the 24th of April....just in time for Grandma D to experience it before she left Regina. :(  It didn't last more than a day or so, thank goodness.

This weekend, the temperatures reached 30C (84F) on both Friday and Saturday.  Today is a bit cooler, but absolutely lovely at 77C (72F).  We're expecting some rain this evening and possibly the first thunderstorm of the spring.  

Last weekend I took my camera and walked through the park.  Signs of spring were everywhere. 

I probably saw at least a dozen bunnies.  I wonder how many more there will be in the next few weeks?

There are geese and ducks everywhere as well.  The mallard and his mate were down at the creek.
They seem to nest there in the spring, and I expect there will be little ducklings splashing about in due time.

It's a thrill to see the birds and bunnies, but more exciting to see are the leaves beginning to bud out on the trees. 

Spring has definitely sprung! 

This weekend, I enjoyed the company of my grandson on Friday and Saturday (my daughter and her b/f too).  D and Eli visited after his two month check-up at the doctor on Friday.

We were going to try to take his photo with the turtle blanket, but he was fussy from his shots on Thursday and wasn't having it, since he had to be on his tummy.

He was quite happy though to play on his mat and look at the sun-shaped light, wave his arms and kick his legs.

He weighed in at 13 lbs. 5 oz. and measures 22 inches in length.  According to the public heath nurse, that puts him at the 85th percentile for weight and 20th percentile for height.  In other words, he is short and fat....just like his G'ma Eileen.  I'm sure he'll grow out of it. :)

All that playing tuckered him out, so that after a bottle he was fast asleep in his mother's arms.  

She passed him over to me and I held for nearly a half-hour.  Is there anything sweeter and more innocent than a sleeping baby?

I dropped by their house on Saturday to drop off a hanging plant for D.  We walked around to the back of the house where J described for me all the work he plans to do.  They've got a couple of raised beds to work with and he wants to put in a proper patio.  It's a bit of shambles now, but it definitely has potential.  He's built a shed in the back for storage, but it still needs a door before they can put anything away.  Some friends gave him a load of bricks that he plans to build a fire pit with.  For now they're using a cut-down 45 gallon drum.  

They invited me for dinner, but I suggested they come over to my house as I have a bbq.  We enjoyed our dinner out on the deck as the sun room blocks the sun from the west and with the breeze it was perfect.  Little Eli cooed and talked to us throughout dinner from his car seat. 

He's just a happy little boy! I often sing to him, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine".  He truly is.  He makes me smile whenever he's around.  I've been seeing him about once a week and I am amazed every time how much he's grown and changed.  His personality is definitely developing.  So far, he's pretty easy going and chill about most everything that goes on around him.  I wonder if that will change when he hits the terrible 2's. 

Today I went shopping for plants. I'd picked up some sun patience on Saturday, as they were on sale at Lowes.  I thought I would wait until next weekend before buying anything more but the bug had bit.  I headed back down to Lowes, then over to Canadian Tire, Rona, and Peavey Mart.  I found everything I wanted (and then some I suspect) with the exception of nicotiania.  I like to plant it in the front flower bed as it will tolerate shade and provides a lovely smell especially in the evening.  

The planters in the back will be transferred to the big containers in the front yard.  I'm lazy and it adds instant height and color to the front.  I'm thinking I'll put the striped petunias in the shorter container out front as well.  

Then there are 9 other containers that I'll fill with geraniums and the sun patience...though I may have bought more than I ought to have (oops).  The impatiences will be planted in the silver container and out back in the small bed in the back yard.  The snapdragons will go into a container as well.  And then the rest will fill in the various containers.  At least that's the plan at this particular moment....we'll see what happens when I plan to the long weekend of May.

So for the next two weeks I'll be moving the plants in and out of the garage. Thankfully I have the little baskets my daughter used when teaching.  They are perfect for managing the plants as I can water them and they are lightweight. While the forecast is for a little rain and a lot of sunshine, I won't plant until I'm sure we're past the risk of frost.  

My thoughts go out to those who are not experiencing the sunshine and warm temperatures these days, but are facing the flooding in various parts of Canada.  With any luck this weather will reach there soon and the reparation can begin.

Have a great week everyone!