It is late afternoon, the day after the storm. Happy to have some sun off and on during the day. It’s playing peek-a-boo. I’ll take what we can get. I’m feeling a bit deflated and despondent. I’m feeling with the weather. What is out there is in here. We had quite a storm yesterday with wind and snow. I thought the greenhouse held up well considering we had no sun at all yesterday. The sensor showed that we had above 0 temperature till after 2:30 and the lowest temperature was -1.2℃ at 6:48 am. We had survived -6℃ before. So I was surprised to find the scarlet runner beans looking poorly but not the cucumbers. I was sure the tomatoes would be ok. They were under heavier covers. Not so. I lost 3 of the first 4 planted and 3 or 4 of the others. 10 or 11 survived.
On second inspection later in the afternoon, the cucumbers are not looking good any more. It’s a good thing I had moved my 2 trays of seedling into the house. I still have one Gateway cucumber and lots of Long Keeper and Black Krim tomatoes left. Alas I only started 3 Red Alerts, the early variety. Never put all your eggs in one basket.
This was a good learning experience. It showed the ‘cold’ spots in the greenhouse. The sensor was placed under the covers yesterday. It probably didn’t show the true temperature. The buckets of water had thick layer ice in each except the ones that had covers over them. Next spring I will not plant tomatoes, beans and cucumbers till 2nd week of April. The greens were just fine overnight, even the newly seeded and germinated. They just had a crop cover over them. They are a sure bet for early spring along with other cool loving crops like radishes, daikons, carrots, kohlrabi…
It’s a learning experience this year with the greenhouse. It’s trial and error. It is the time to have fun and be daring and try new things. I think you have to fail a little to get wisdom. I’m not at all discouraged. I’m just feeling the end of the day sag. I’m experimenting with making paper pots for transplanting tomatoes. It’s fun and the paper is free. The pots are deep for the roots to grow and they will hold the pot together. You have to give them time to develope before handling them or else they will fall apart.
A beautiful sunny morning. We slept in till almost 8 am. We have no jobs or appointments to rush to. No big deal. It was -1℃ in the greenhouse and -4or 5℃ outside. These days the weather and temperatures are unpredictable. That is the pattern. I’m learning that I have to play it by ear day by day with the greenhouse. It is almost noon and 3℃ outside and 15.2℃ in the greenhouse. It is suppose to be sunny all day. I shall be planting more tomatoes, cucumbers and scarlet beans after lunch. We are almost into April but there are still snow and minus temperatures predicted ahead. Night time coverings are still wise and necessary.
It is afternoon, 4:30 to be exact. How time flies. I’ve planted more cucumbers, scarlet runners and tomatoes in the greenhouse. I always forget to put some crushed egg shells at the bottom before I put the tomatoes in. It helps to prevent bottom rot. I have to be satisfied with scratching them in around each plant. All in all, I’ve planted 8 Long Keeper Tomatoes, 6 Black Krim and 3 Red Alert. Both the Long Keeper and Black Krim are indeterminates which means they will climb like a vine. They will keep growing and produce fruit until frost arrives. They mature in 70-80 days. The Red Alert is a determinate/bush. They mature in 50-55 days. The determinate stop their shoot production once the blossoms form on the ends.
I have 3 cucumbers and 3 scarlet runners in one corner along the wall. I hope they grow and climb up and over the ceiling to provide shade to cool the greenhouse in the heat of summer. How to do that is still in the works. Meanwhile I have germinated 2 bitter melon seeds by soaking them in water overnight. I then clipped a tiny bit off the rounded end of each seed, wrapped them in a wet paper towel and put into a plastic bag. Next I put them into the oven with the light on. They sprouted in two days. Amazing! They are now potted up. I’m waiting for them to burst through the soil. They are also climbers and work as the cukes and runner beans. Exciting times ahead.
Now it is almost 5:30. Time to close shop. The sun is still shining bright. I have closed the vents in the greenhouse to save the heat for the night. It is sitting at 20.5℃. The outside temperature 7℃. The low forecast tonight is -2℃. It is all good.
It’s a cool damp day with gentle snow that melts on the way down. No sun at all. The greenhouse has been able to keep the temperature above 0. It reached the high of 11.5℃ but is now on the decline. Everything there is happy still, each wearing their overnight covers. I made good use of old pots, row covers and old tablecloths from the Dollar Store. The low tonight is -9℃. We’ve survived -18℃, so no worries. Everything is going to be all right, just like Bob Marley sang.
I’ve been languid and listless all day. I did not fight it. I’m still processing the death of my 3rd uncle. He passed on Friday. My cousin’s email in loving memory of her father stirred up many memories and emotions. He was my mother’s older brother. All of her siblies are in NYC. There were 7 of them. Now there’s four. My mother is the only one here in Canada. We have a large extended family. I have a whole slew of cousins from my mother’s side in the U.S. I envied my cousins being in such close proximity to each other.
Though we’ve made only a few trips there over the years, I still feel the strong bond of family and kinship. My mother kept it alive with her many stories. My being the oldest, I heard the most stories and learned the most of our family history. They are good stories to warm the heart and soul on a cool wet and dreary day. Rest in peace, Third Uncle. You would’ve approve and enjoy our greenhouse.
I woke up to snow and -8℃! Happily it was 4.4℃ in the greenhouse. Of course it dropped a bit until the sun rises. There is no sun today. It is almost 10:30 and the greenhouse is sitting at 5.6℃. I hope the sun will make a showing later on. Meanwhile the covers stays on everything for extra warmth. I had brought in my trays of seeding last night. Everything is an experiment this spring. I wonder if the cooler temperatures at night in the greenhouse affect the germination. Will I have to reseed them? Time will tell. I have time.
Meanwhile the world still turns. Covid-19 is still here and still rising. Our province’s stats are not good at all. Despite this, there are still anti-mask people protesting about their freedom. The news from Brazil is alarming. There are more than 2, 200 deaths daily from Covid-19. Then there’s rising Asian hate in the U.S. and Canada. It is very hard to understand and digest all this. I guess it is all right for me to have a blue funk day once in awhile. Life is hard. Now life is harder. But it can be an opportunity to see as we’ve never seen before. We are all captured and captivated by this virus. There is no discrimination, no borders unbound.
Meanwhile, I am happy to see that my blogger friend, Minna from Suddenly Mad is still writing. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer in 2016. It has been progressing, affecting her balance and walking. She started babbling incoherently in 2018. It has not affected her ability to write or draw though, but her posts are coming slower and further apart. I have learned much from them. They are very rich. Minna is an artist and was a professor at a university in New York. Then last summer, her husband/caregiver was diagnosed with lung cancer. They are both carrying on.
We all have our hard spots. My little episodes of blue funk are really nothing but a glitch in the day. They are like the clouds that drift in and out of the sky. Perfects I need them to anchor and remind me of what it is to be alive. I’m fortunate to have the tools of writing and photography to record my highs and lows. I am the weather girl.
The day feels wintry without the sun. I am glad that I had my online class on Mussolini to focus on this morning. It is a cloudy day and the world is full of troubles. It would be easy to fall into the rabbit hole but I think it is already occupied. It seems like we have a resident rabbit in the yard. We’ve seen numerous tracks in the snow over the winter. We had 2 sightings of it yesterday, dashing across the garden in the morning. In the afternoon it was sitting by the pile of woodchips, perfectly still and pretty as you please.
It came to attention when I was taking its picture. The ears perked up and the head turned towards me. I thought it was rather plump so must have had a good winter. Then someone pointed out it could be a she and pregnant. If so, I wonder where the babies would be. On googling I find that rabbits make shallow holes under the ground to make a nest for birthing. I shall have to keep an eye out for bunnies in the yard.
A cool cloudy day calls for comfort food. A stew from a left over beef roast is the perfect answer. A few celery stick, carrots and potatoes thrown in the Instant Pot during the class break and dinner was ready before noon. The sun did make a showing as the day pass. It took awhile for the greenhouse to heat up. It was 4.7℃ there at 7:19 am. Outside it was -4℃. Now it is 4:30 in the afternoon. The sun is still out and it is 7℃. The greenhouse is 25℃. I did not open any vents today. wanting to keep the heat in for the night. I took pleasure standing in its heat and light to brighten my day. Today I needed a little extra help. The Buddhas are sitting on guard outside, waiting patiently for the first showing of garlic.
It’s Sunday morning coming down again. Sundays always remind me of Kris Kristofferson’s song and days of my youth. I’ve never had those kind of mornings, not that I could remember anyways. Wait, there was a time way back in my first year of university. It was on my roommate’s birthday. We decided to celebrate everyone’s birthday. She got hold of a 26 of something and we caught the bus downtown to see the movie, The Best House in London. It really didn’t take too much to put me in a whooze. I don’t remember a thing about the movie. We had to leave as I was feeling sick. We caught the bus back to our boarding house. By then I was feeling better but my roommate had passed out. The bus driver and a guy from my history class carried her off and set her under a tree in front.
A sunnywindy and cooler morning. It was -1℃ when I got up at 6:30. It was about 6.8℃ in the greenhouse. It has warmed to 0 and 9.5℃ respectively. It is a little after 10 am. I won’t uncover things yet. I’m hoping that I haven’t overwatered my seedings yesterday. They might rot instead of sprout. That’s what happens when you watched or read too much about how to seed. I get mixed up. When things are working well enough, leave them alone.
I’ve been paying attention to my talk/tap, my gripe on my chaos and disorganization. I’ve talked about all that forever and a day but have I done anything about it? I have a bit here and there. Then I fall off the wagon and seldom get back on. I did climb back this morning. Now, I have to climb back as soon as I fall off. Failures like everything else can get addictive. I am an addictive person. I have to pay attention that I don’t get hooked. Too much of a good/bad thing is not good for me.
I seem in live in such chaos though I try so hard for order. Maybe it is only so in my head. I was in such a fluster this morning when I couldn’t find my cheque book. Now if I would only get my shit together and take the time and trouble to get organized, I could be more tranquil. Easier said than done though, right? Not really. I recognize my problem, moan and groan about it but I don’t make a physical move to rectify it. But I did find my cheque book, made it out and mailed it. I could learn how to use E-Transfer in the future and dispense with the cheques altogether.
It is afternoon, 4:50 pm to be exact. Not the best time of the day for me. I have prioritize and got the important things done first. Morning walk with the mister to the mall up the street. I got the said cheque mailed, bought soy sauce, yogurt, vitamins and sunblock. I was tired by the time we got home. Walking seemed to use a different set of leg muscles than skiing. I was unpacking my bag and looking forward to my second cup of tea when I noticed I was missing the sunblock. Phoning the store, I learned that I had dropped it near the cashier when I was packing it. Darn!
It seemed like a wasted morning walk but I drove to retrieve it. It was so quick and easy. I could see why people/me opted for the easy solution. Heck with walking. I’ll just drive everywhere. Seriously, I was just tired. Walking is good. It’s never wasted. Driving back, I saw a not so young woman carrying 2 bags of groceries and walking home. That shamed and corrected my thinking. Life is hard. It’s good to see people doing the right things.
It’s another beautiful sunny day. The greenhouse was 9.5℃ at 6 am. I think it was 4℃ outside. No need to cover the plants but I don’t trust the weather yet. I seeded a few more things today – Big Beef Tomato, Roma Tomato, some purple sweet pepper and brokali. Seems like I have so many things to sow. I hope I get to reap what I sow. Now It is after 5pm. I better go and cover and close up the greenhouse. Better early rather than late.
I just came back from our morning walk. We miss our skis in the park dearly. I miss the snow and cold air. They’re all so invigorating. I don’t feel as well physically, therefore also emotionally in hot weather. I will try not to moan too much. But have you noticed how warm this March is? Yesterday the forecast was 8℃ for a high. It went up to 14℃. This morning I woke up to 4℃ outside and 9℃ in the greenhouse at 6 am. Holy cats! No climate change, eh?
It’s not that I’m unhappy spring is here. It could be a slower transition so my body can adjust. It’s such a jolt. One week I’m skiing, the next I feel like it’s bathing suit season. However, it is good for our greenhouse. Already now at 11:30 am the temperature inside is 25℃. I’ve opened up 3 vents to the 2nd notch and the temperature still rose. I can see that we will have some greens for a salad soon. And the possibility of tomatoes in June a reality.
It is after supper now. My afternoon disappeared. I’m returning to close up the conversation. What is there to say? I spent the time away doing a little sewing a quilt square and sowing more seeds. I gave myself a break and a lazy soak in the bath and listening to the podcast White Coat, Black Art. It was on Bill C -7 to expand access to medical assistance in dying. As soon as I stepped out of the tub, I got a message from the 5th uncle in NYC. My third uncle has just passed away. He was 93. Could I tell my mother. He couldn’t get through on the phone.
I feel so sad. We are so far away. It reminded me of when my grandmother died so many years ago. My parents and my brother and sister were living in New York at the time. It was just me alone here in Saskatoon, going to the University of Saskatchewan. I went there for Christmas. It was my 3rd uncle who met me at the airport. He said to me in the car, Your grandmother has passed. I fought back the tears and the lump in my throat. I hate displaying emotions. I was a little angry nobody told me before then. They did not want it to interfere with my studies. The funeral was already done.
March 18th, 2021. I woke at 6 am to 0℃ outside and 4℃ in the greenhouse. Funny how the temperatures dip around 8 to -1℃ and 3.4℃ before going up again. Now they are 2℃ and 5.4℃. I’m still being a weatherman. I find if I don’t record things, they are easily forgotten. I should really do a gardening journal. Maybe soon. Famous last words, eh?
I’ve done a bit of sewing this morning. A little will do me. I find that if I make a start on something, even a teeny one, I have more success of completing it. I do get overwhelmed with the big of everthing. Breaking the big into bits and pieces work. I’ve got most of my flowers seeded yesterday. I had laid out the seed packs the day before. Sometimes I just can’t get to things. Appointments, dates with friends and fatigue interfere. They are important but it is also important to return to the task at hand.
I finally threw out the last of Sheba’s kibbles yesterday. It was still sitting in the pail in the kitchen. It’s 10 months since my fur baby went to dog heaven. Time to let some of this stuff go but I can’t help tearing and choking up a bit. It’s the memories, lost and the realization you can’t hold on forever. Our lives are finite. It is the natural order of things.We each will have our turn. We learn, accept and let go. I had 14 wonderful years with her.
A lot of the snow is gone. The little monk sits exposed in sunshine. He’s been watching over the herb spiral all through the winter. He has done a good job. Most of the herbs have survived – the rosemary, thymes, moss, oregano and chocolate mint. I must also do my duty, walk my walk and live my best life.
March 17th, Wednesday morning. It’s almost 9 am. The sun is weak like tepid tea. I am, too. No get up and go. I sit, sip and tap. There’s no need to rush off to anything. I used to like to sew my quilt blocks in the early morning. It was still in the winter dark. I would turn on my feel good bright lamp, the radio and the fireplace. It was cosy and comforting, stitching up, cutting and ironing. All the while I’m listening to what is happening in Saskatchewan.
Now that the sun is rising earlier I rather sit and bask in its bright or not so bright light. I’ve had my fill of listening to the radio, especially the news. It’s all about the Covid, the vaccines and side effects. Have you noticed that all conversations are about that? It is all so very heavy and fatiguing. And yet we can’t seem to talk about anything else. Our National news is the same. The whole hour mostly focused on that, night after night for a whole year now. Oh, Donald Trump and the U. S. election did break through. But what about the rest of the world, the rest of life?
I am getting rather comfortable in my little bubble. I am happy with sewing my quilt squares, starting seedlings and messing and checking up in the greenhouse. I am reluctant to venture out. A trip to Costco was a major deal in my head. I had to take the guy with me. When we got there, it was no big deal. He was handy in pushing the cart and unloading things into the car. I feel I always struggled with bulky and weighty packages. Even visits with my parents feels big and problematic. I would have to do some head and mind clearing first. What a sad sack I am, heh?
My first vaccine shot is about 2 weeks away. I think I will head back to the gym and pool a couple of weeks after that. I miss the challenge of physical activity. It is the best medicine for my physical and mental health. It’s a-get-out-of-the-house prod. Being dour by nature, I have to work very hard to be in a good mental space. It’s a good thing. I have something to do all the time. I could not very well stay in a puddle or down the rabbit hole. I’m a very slow learner. I’m slow at everything but like the tortoise I can win some races.
Here’s my autobiography by Portia Nelson:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out. II. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I still don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. It isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out. III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there, I still fall in. It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am. I get out immediately. IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. V. I walk down a different street.