April 4. Winter seems never ending this year. Just when I think ok, I don’t have to worry about my plants in the greenhouse, I have to – again. The weatherman is forecasting a low of -21℃ tonight and -20℃ tomorrow night. At least it was sunny today and the temperature got up to almost 30℃ with the shade down. The thermal wall and the pails of water will help to moderate the cold tonight. Just to be safe, I threw a row cover over everything. Everything is looking too good to lose now.

Our funky weather is wearing me down. It’s hard to think of the possibility of a garden when I’m faced with high piles of snow and minus temperatures. I really have to push myself but I did seed 5 more kinds of tomatoes this afternoon – Long Keepers, Red Alerts, Sun Rise, Sun Gold, and Red Torch. Where the heck will I plant them all? But that’s a problem to be worked out later. Oh, yes, I do have some bitter melon seeds prepped, wrapped in wet paper towels in a plastic bag. It’s such an easy way to get them germinated that way.

Life is hard. The going is tough. I’m still chugging along though, a few tomatoes at a time, one drawing and one blog post a day. So far, so good.


I hate it that I’m such a clutter bug. I’m always misplacing things. I waste alot of time and get into such a snit searching for the lost. They eventually are found. I’ve made many vows on doing better, getting organized with a place for everything. I don’t vow any more because so far that hasn’t worked. What I want to do is just DO IT! I can succeed if I do it a little, even just an inch at a time.

I had lost the clipper that I use in the greenhouse 2 days ago. I looked high and low. No success. It’s so annoying but I try to let it go after each search. I do try to figure out why it is so irksome when I have 3 other pairs I could use. I searched again this morning with no success. I tried not to mutter my irritation. No success either. The guy heard. He came back in on his way to his workshop to tell me he found my clippers in the greenhouse. They were under my work gloves. Sometimes we just need a different pair of eyes. Now I wish he could spot my root stimulating powder. But I’m not wasting more time in searching. The plant cuttings will have to root or not in water.

It looks like we are heading into some frosty temperatures in a couple of days. I will have to get my ass in gear and plant my bulbs this afternoon. I have to remind myself not to order any more bulbs next year. They know what they are doing when they send out fall seed catalogues in middle of summer. I am enticed with all those flowering bulbs. It seems like a such good idea when it is warm. Come late September when I get my shipment, I’m disgusted with myself. What was I thinking of? I am tired from all that planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and perserving. Then there’s the cleanup of plant material, chopping them up and throwing them into the compost bins. What I dislike the most is gathering up all the plant containers, trays and pots to put away.

No point in wasting time and energy disliking and procrastinating either. I better save them for doing the jobs at hand. I’ve just harvested my cabbage and the rest of the cayenne peppers. I’m defrosting lunch while I’m sipping my cuppa and finishing up here. Have a good day.


It’s a grey cool Monday. I’m feeling the weather again. I’m sipping on a cup of decaf while contemplating what would be my best moves. I hate letting the weather get the better of me. But it might not be a bad idea to just take it easy for the rest of the day. I’ve already stormed out after breakfast and did a whole pile of work before 10. I planted the last 4 squashes between the haskap berries in the backyard and the rest of the celery in the squash bed. Yes, I got a little crazy with the squashes this year. I’m sure I’ve planted 30 for ourselves. Then there’s the giveaways. I will take an inventory of plants and produce in the fall for better planting next spring. It’s what I keep saying. Now I will have to do it.

I am feeling better for having started this tapping out. I sure felt like hell when I came in from the garden. I’ve done some work in the greenhouse, too. It’s nice and warm there, out of the cold and wind – a good place to clean up the pots and trays. I can put them up on the rock wall to dry. I am trying to have a better handle and not let them scatter all over the place. It’s hard to develop good work habits. So easy to just drop things drop wherever they are. But then there’s the hard part later picking them up.

Well, so much for taking it easy. We’ve had lunch and the dishes done. I find the cleaning up part the hardest. My mood drops and my energy deserts me. I have to talk myself through each step. It happens most days. You would think I could overcome this by now. No, I have to battle it every day but I do win every time. I’ve gone out again to the greenhouse to finish cleaning all the little pots and plant trays. The lettuce there are past their prime. It was hard but I’ve pulled them and planted 2 eggplants in their spot. I tend to wait and hang on to things too long, even lettuce. Well, no more of that!

It seems my keyboard is my best tool for working things/my moods out. It doesn’t give me any back talk either. I can talk myself out with no criticism. Sometimes I just need to put it out here on the page, sounding myself out. If I pay attention, I can hear/see wherein my problems and solutions lie. It’s worth it to make the effort of showing up on my self scheduled days.


Here it is after 6 pm Monday. It is a write day. What do I have to say? My #100dayproject is done. Now that I have finished 100 little watercolour paintings, I can clear the dining room table and put all the paints, pens and brushes away. It’s a bit of a relief, freeing up my mind and energy to work on yard and garden. After weeks of cool and cloudy weather, the sun smiled on us today. It’s nice to have a little heat. I’ve been busy puttering in the greenhouse and the yard.

I concentrate on not overdoing, being over zealous and doing myself in. I got a little excited yesterday planting some of my many celery seedlings. Then I thought how much celery can we eat? I already have a bunch in the greenhouse and a dozen or 2 in the raised bed. So I stopped and thought I would seed some more lettuce and spinach instead to have successive crops. The only thing was I couldn’t find my seeds. I looked high and low to no avail. That’s what I get for being scatter brained and not putting things back in their place. I made a note to work on that. I made do by seeding some Chinese broccoli and green onions. They’re good alternatives.

It is Tuesday morning. I didn’t quite finish my post yesterday. That’s how it is. I’m giving myself some slack. My plate is small. I can handle only so much and no more. Otherwise I get into such a tizzy. Then I run around in circles like a chicken without a head. Now I try to stop myself and take a deep breath. I tell myself I can stop – if there’s no life or death emergency. And there isn’t. It is all good. I had a visit with my mom yesterday. I took over a few tomato, kohlrabi, cabbage, squash and celery seedlings for my father to plant. My mother is not strong enough for it any more. My father still likes to putter though mom thinks he kills most of what he plants. No matter, if it keeps him occupied, it is all good.

My mother still likes to tend to her flower beds just outside the house. She didn’t want me to start petunias or anything for her this year. Last year’s snapdragons and marigolds self seeds and that is good enough for her. For once I listened. If it is what she wants, it will also be easier for me. I did have a few petunias left over and she let me plant those for her. Her tulips have finished blooming and she had moved some of them around so that there’s some all around the house. She said that she doesn’t know how much time she has left but she looks forward to enjoy them next year.

She and my father used to do their own groceries before Covid. Now my siblings and I have been doing their shopping for them. They visit with their friends on the phone but no meetings for coffees or lunches. They have talked about meeting for coffee when things are better. Mom says she is not bored at tall. She says life is very good. She is still able to go outside and look at her flowers and yard. She is still able to keep her house spic, span and beautiful. It would be better still if she was stronger and able to do more. I can see that she means what she said and not just trying to make me feel better. I can see it in her face that it is all good.


I’m happy for no reason on this 3rd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. A good night’s sleep and a walk in the park always help. It is a warm sunny day – +10℃ outside and 27.9℃ in the greenhouse with 3 vents opened. The greens are doing very well. So are the 3 Red Alert Tomatoes and the 2 cucumbers. I’m looking forward to happy gardening and fresh salad greens. Maybe there will be a tomato or two at the end of May. Cross my fingers and toes.

Talking about feet, my left heel pain is gone. It’s a good reason to be happy. I’ve had that pain for months, if not for a year. It doesn’t hurt all the time but I sure feel it when I get up from sitting or laying. I would hobble around for it a bit before it would ease. I’ve been doing heel stretches for weeks at a stretch with no result. I’ve lived with this pain for so long that it’s part of me. I hadn’t noticed the exact moment it left. I am sure it was the functional exercise class Friday that did it. It’s such a good class, seemingly easy and simple with no heavy breathing or sweating. This is the set of exercises. We did it for 8 minutes or so.

  • leaning hands on wall for support at an angle, lift heels up 20 times
  • then leaning with back on wall at an angle, lift toes up 20 times
  • walk a straight line on toes x 10 steps then walk backwards on toes
  • walk a straight line on heels x 10 steps then walk backwards on heels

I hope my happiness lasts or is a frequent visitor. My get-with-the-program is going well. I am on my 50th day of #the100dayproject. I’m drawing/painting my memories and history. I am learning and understanding more of myself and life. How’s that for killing a few birds with a pen/pencil and a paint brush?

I think this is enough for today. I have to admit that I am a little distracted and frazzled with my projects. I have to save some time and quiet for myself. I lost on Wordle today. It’s a good thing we can play only once a day. Otherwise, I might not get here having this conversation.


My head is all a-dither now. I should have listened to myself and put down a few words before life messed it up. I’ll just sit back and take a breath. I’ve been chopping vegetables to throw in with the left over roast beef to make a stew for lunch. I was listening to an episode on feeling overwhelmed on Tapestry. It helped me to identify what I was feeling – moral distress. Yes, I do see that there are so many things wrong in this world of ours and those in power with the power are not addressing them. And so I feel helpless and distressed.

I am not sure if the podcast offered any ideas of what we can do to get to a better place. My mind wandered and meandered. It seems like I cannot chop and listen at the same time. I am feeling less distressed knowing and having a name for what I am feeling. Tapping and seeing the letters, words and sentences march across the screen has always ease whatever angst I am feeling. I am feeling the rhythm of the keyboard. It is a soothing dance for me again. My drawing and watercolour do the same for me. I am a little stuck this morning. Not every thing or every day flows quite the same. That’s how it is.

My third order of seeds arrived this morning. I better stick with my program and do a thing or two daily. Every spring I would wonder how those tiny and not so tiny seeds would grow into the vegetables we eat. It is a miracle. I am glad that it is still a wonder to me. It is almost April and I’ve just used the last butternut squash from last year’s harvest. There’s still a spaghetti and 2 Sweet Mama squashes. We have carrots, beets and potatoes yet. We hope to do better this year. There’s always room for improvement. Growing our own food is our way of getting to a better place.

It snowed overnight. The ground is covered in white again. But our passive solar greenhouse is doing well with the help of a little heater at night. It is our second year. I am a little more experienced and organized. This spring I seeded the beds mostly with cool loving greens. We will get an earlier edible harvest. By the time the heat lovers are ready, the raised beds outside will have the salad greens growing in them. That’s how I’m thinking anyways. The weather have a lot to say about what we do. We will have to work with it. Isn’t that how it is with everything in life – co-operation and working together?

CEREMONIES/RITUALS – a season for everything

It is August 13 and day 13th of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. As usual of late, I am having difficulty finding the words. My brain is in a fog and my body slow moving. I am feeling the harbingers of summer leaving and autumn approaching. I felt a sudden twinge of the ‘blues’ and a sense of dread out of nowhere yesterday. Can you feel darkness? That’s what I felt, not seen and not spoken of. I gave myself silent comfort, thinking it is probably the changing of the guard – those forces that are ushering in a new season. Perhaps I should hold a ceremony of a sort.

I believe in ceremonies/rituals. They give me a sense of connection, direction and a reason to be. Every morning this summer I do a walk-about on my property, visiting the greenhouse, the garden and flower beds in the backyard. Then I meandered to the front to see how everything is growing there. This is my morning walking meditation – the greeting and giving of thanks to the gods above and those in the garden.

I’m learning important lessons in the garden this year. We are all familiar with the saying, There’s a season for everything but do we really understand what it really means? For one thing, I have forgotten that the saying came from the Bible, from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every [a]purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

What I take away from it is everything is changing. Nothing is static. I must learn not to hang on to everything so tightly as I have been doing, but to let go when it is time. There’s a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. And so I plucked up the Armenian cucumber vine. It was past its best by due date. It has given me many cucumbers and now its leaves are full of white powdery mildew. Letting go is never easy. After trimming off much of the leaves, it took me another day before I could say goodbye. Now it is chopped up and in a bucket for the garbage as mildew is not suitable for the compost. Everything looks much better now. The bitter melon and peppers said thank you for the extra elbow room and light.


It is day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I better seize the momentum of this newness to get going. I was going to reward myself after writing this post, but I failed the delayed gratification test. I already had my bowl of frozen maple walnut yogurt. It’s hot and I’m sweaty from freezing peas, doing the lunch dishes and watering part of the garden with the grey water. It’s a bit of a chore but well worth my effort. I didn’t realize how much grey water we let go down the drain until I started collecting it. I collect mostly just from washing lunch dishes. It can get labour intensive. I don’t have enough energy and stamina to do more. I have to be prudent with my resources.

Morning seem to be my most energetic self this summer. I try not to squander it away by being slothful and grumpy. I got myself off to an early start by booking an 8 am swim. Life is easier with commitments. Without, I am lost and adrift in the sea of freedom. Today I am rewarded with the pool all to myself. My grumpiness and frown are smoothed away in the water of the pool. There’s no worry of being too slow and having my toes grabbed from behind. I luxuriated in the peace and aloneness of just me and the life guard.

I love these mornings when I can get off to a good start. I can have them every day. It’s really up to me to make it happen. I had time to reflect on how as I swam up and down the lengths of the pool. I can choose to do the things I love, think the thoughts that build me up, spend time with positive people and those who are truly friends. I do have choices and control of many things that affect my well being. Now that I am more cognizant I can do better. I know I am not as grumpy as I used to be. I must be heading in the right direction.

The time after my morning swim is also perfect for heading to our community garden to weed, harvest and water. I am cooled and relaxed, ready to withstand the summer heat. And mornings are generally a bit cooler. It is wonderful to see all the greens of our efforts in the bright summer sun. It is not work but therapy for a gardener’s soul. Since it is a community garden I am happy and honoured to help another gardener water her plot. To be of service to another also adds to my well being. In return she has given me seedlings and apple sauce. Relationships is about reciprocity. Here are some of our happy plots.


It’s June the 2nd. I’ve been missing in action for most of the 2nd half of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Life gets busy. I want time to rest. I can’t do/have it all. I gave some thought as to what matters the most in what I am doing. Taking some time off to breathe, rest and regenerate is top of the list for me. Not that I have that much time to sit idle for long. There’s always something calling me. When you have a greenhouse, a garden, 6 raised garden beds, community garden plot and a city allotment, it keeps us quite busy. It is a very worthwhile busy though, growing our own food. I just have to work smarter and plan better.

It’s beastly hot out today. Heat is not my best friend but the weather is not something I can control. I have to suck it up and deal with it, like it or not. It’s also involves planning and working smarter. It’s probably not the best day to do any transplanting but my red leaf amaranth is getting to a decent size in the greenhouse. I had seeded them for my mother. It’s now or never. I gave them a good watering and scooped them out onto a plastic tray. They’re all planted now in my mother’s garden bed. I hope they take and do well.

The thinking about doing something is more difficult than the task. I’m home now, sweaty but happy I could do something for my mother. I enjoyed the planting and visit with her. I’m learning that it is never a good time to do anything but it is the best time to do something. I just have to work past the thinking into doing.


There’s no point in lamenting over the state of our planet/world. We are as dry as can be. What has happened to our April/May showers? I should rejoice at the warm temperatures but 32℃ and 30℃ forecast for the beginning of next week. Then it’s back down to 17℃ a few days later. I hope the forecast of rain pans out but somehow they have the habit of dissipating. Meanwhile our and U.S. news toots much hope of Covid under control and we can resume life as normal. But listening to news from other parts of the world, I think it is false hope. We are all connected. What affects one, affects all.

Let me not dwell on these things that I cannot control. I have to give myself a shake and ask, What can I do. How can I find hope? This morning I read an article of hope and resilience in the Guardian on the growth of American food forests. It’s what we are attempting to do. Our passion and goal is to grow as much of our own food as we can organically – in our own space and in the community garden.

It does take alot of time, energy and work but it is very rewarding for the soul. I see results for my effort. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours visiting my parents and planting mom’s front flower bed. It’s one of the things I can do for her. I’ve stopped with the gifts for Christmas and other holiday seasons. There’s not much material gifts that my parents need now. So it is Chinese takeout for the holidays and snow shovel in the winter. I start a few flowers and vegetables for them in the spring. My mother still likes to do everything herself. We compromised and split 50/50.

It’s Sunday morning, the 15th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m showing up as best as I can.