November 7. November is the hardest month. It seems like we had so many warm golden days in October. I had just gotten used to walking daily again and enjoying it immensely. All of a sudden we are plunged into the cold darkness of November. The snow came and is presently coming down big time. At least it lit up the darkness. I have taken up shoveling now instead of my walk. I have the work cut up for me. I am tired from the day.

Seeing the low temperatures in the forecast, I could not deny that winter is here. November is not remembered for sunny days. It was time to put the greenhouse to sleep till March. We harvested all the tomatoes and bitter melons before we went to bed the night before. We didn’t want to risk losing them. In the morning, the greenhouse temperature read at 1 point something Celsius with the little heater set to keep it about 6℃. After harvesting what was missed and rescuing the potted plants into the house, I unplugged the heater. The trays of plants remained on the basement floor till I can deal with them. I have spread out the tomatoes on trays so they can ripen. The bitter melons, cucumbers, peppers and slipper gourds are bagged and in the fridge.

My next chore was shrink wrapping the windows in the sunroom. It seemed like it was just yesterday that I added the sunroom. It’s been 30 years. The windows are still very good but not as weather proofed as they once were, especially the ones that can open. Shrink wrapping them seemed deceivingly simple to do in my head. They proofed otherwise. It took me all afternoon to do 3 windows – the 2 screened ones and another. Not perfect but good enough. It was an exhausting job. Good thing I’m still nimble enough to climb onto my desk. It was difficult to access one window. I’m thinking of doing 4 more now that I got the hang of it. It will keep the room warmer and save on the energy bill.

November 8. I’m none the worse this morning. I did take a Tylenol before I went to bed last night and had a good sleep. I took another one just now to help me with the day and more shoveling. I missed the lunar eclipse, not knowing there was going to be one. There won’t be another one for a long time. That’s ok. I can look at other people’s experiences and photos. I got boiled milk cooling to make yogurt. Then onward and outward to deal with the snow. I’m finishing my tumeric tea before my morning exercise to loosen and lubricate my joints. Have to keep moving. That’s the plan, adding it onto my already 22 tiny habits. It is the 23rd. I have curried pumpkin chickpea soup defrosting. It will be lunch along with garlic ribs and rice.


All good things, like warm October days, come to an end. It’s the natural order of things. I’m ok with it. I’m prepared. I haven’t hunker down yet. It’s too early. But the most of the garden is prepped for the winter months. The garlic has been planted and mulched. I dug out the rosemary from the herb spiral this afternoon. It’s potted and in the greenhouse along with 4 peppers and a few other plants I want to winter over. They will go inside the house when we close the greenhouse at end of November.There are still 2 Roma Tomatoes inside their Kosy Koats outside as well as 2 pepper plants. They have quite a few fruit on them. They are well covered with extra row covers and table cloths from the Dollar Store. The forecast is for -4C tonight and -3C tomorrow night. I shall see if they can survive those temperatures. It’s worth the sacrifice to find out.

Meanwhile, the greenhouse is still doing very well. It is toasty warm while the high today was only 11℃. I feel so happy stepping into it, seeing all the tomatoes and peppers hanging down. It is our second year and I’ve learned alot being so excited, not being afraid to experiment and try everything. I’ve trimmed off alot of the tomato and cucumber foliage to let in more sun and prevent mildew. I’ve brought in the water buckets as temperatures are dropping below 0 the next 2 days. They will freeze outside whereas in, they will help to moderate the temperature in the greenhouse.


February 3. It is another cold day but quite sunny. It’s been around -25℃ most of the day. The greenhouse got up to 4.7℃ today. It is -3.3℃ now at 5:37. I should start thinking about preparing the beds for seeding some spinach soon. Last spring it was almost too warm for them by late March. I’ve started some pepper and eggplant seeds in wet paper towel. They’re starting to germinate. I can’t remember if it’s a week or more ago that I started them. I have to remember to write these things down.

I was feeling tired and listless but after tapping a paragraph, I’m feeling better. I think I am working too hard on my watercolour class this week. I’m a bit sick of working on the little monk. It’s mostly finished and overworked. I’ve packed it away. I hope I can leave it packed. Sometimes I get obsessed and can’t leave things alone. I shall see what Alison have to say about it on Saturday. I tried to relax by watching Inspector Wexford. I couldn’t find a new episode so it’s not a rest for me. It’s better if I just mutter here. The tapping is unwinding me and helps me problem solve.

Everything looks better in the morning and in summer.

The two cucumber plants I’ve started in the fall are still alive. They are not exactly thriving. I should trot my butt downstairs and transplant them and give them a bit of fertilizer. Who knows. They might thrive and I can plant them in the greenhouse in March. Last year I had cucumbers and tomatoes planted March 9th. Most of them survived without supplement heat but with lots of covers. Last fall we’ve added a little electric heater for those frosty nights. Things should work out much better with less manual labour. The Black Krim tomato I started from a cutting last fall is doing well. It could use a transplant and a feed, too.

February 4. Another cold day at 31℃ this morning. It is almost 9. The greenhouse is sitting at -18.3℃. I don’t expect it to get above 0 as no sun in the forecast. I am feeling fine. My bum ankle and leg are better after I started taking a calcium/magnesium supplement. It could be coincidental or a placebo effect. Whatever the reason, I’m glad for it. Everything does look better in the morning. Sleeping through most of the night also helps . I’ve curbed my fluid intake after supper. Getting up every couple of hours was disturbing my sleep. Last night I only got up once at 5 am. Six hours of uninterrupted zzz is wonderful, even though I couldn’t get more. Sometimes you have to take what you can get.

Nothing cooking in the greenhouse yet.

I did get my cucumbers and tomato repotted yesterday. Now I wait for them to thrive. I will have to start some early tomatoes for the greenhouse. We finished all our longkeeper tomatoes in mid January. It was pretty fantastic to have fresh fried tomatoes with our eggs every morning till then. The goal now is to get some early spring tomatoes. Is May/June too ambitious? We will have to wait and see. Meanwhile I have to dig out my saved Red Alert tomato seeds and get them going. They’re supposed to take 50-55 days to mature from transplanting.



Day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and day 3 of my daily ski and day 2 of my daily cleaning and decluttering. Am I having fun yet? Yes and no. When words come easily off the tips of my fingers, it is fun. Not so much when I have to struggle for every thought and sentence. I don’t care much for proofreading and editing. I force myself because sometimes I can think faster than I can tap. Yesterday I caught a few omissions and errors. Good thing my patience and discipline are improving. Sometimes good enough is not good enough.

Am I having fun yet? I had a wee rest after lunch. I worked steady and early this morning, wasting no time. I stirred my scrap apple vinegar fermenting on the dining room table. It’s my second batch. I quite like it as a substitute for regular vinegar. Mostly I use it for cleaning. I put a bit in a spray bottle with water. I spritz it on my mop to damp mop my hardwood floors. I also use it on my dust cloth for dusting furniture, etc. It leaves everything shiny and with a pleasant scent. Then I fed Oscar, my sourdough starter. I like to get the daily things done and out of the way. When I procrastinate, sometimes they don’t get done at all. It’s no fun falling behind and having catching up.

After breakfast I did a quick dusting in our bedroom followed by damp mopping of the floors. Then we hit the ski trail at the park. I did 3 laps around the park, working up a sweat. Was I having fun yet? Not quite but almost. Not sure if I got my ski legs back yet. I am slow as a tortoise. No kick and glide yet. Have to review techniques on YouTube again. At least I haven’t regressed. I could do double poling. No falling down today. My boots got on and off the skis like a damn. No struggle like last year. I won’t win any races soon but I’m burning calories.

The sun has disappeared. I will have to set out to put the greenhouse to bed soon. Without the heater, the low in there today was -1.8℃ this morning at 8:30. The high 8.6℃ at 3pm. All the greens are doing well. I cover them with row covers for the night and uncover in the morning when sun comes up and temp. above freezing. We’ll see what happens when the temps dip toward 20 and below at night. This is our first winter. I don’t think it will be fun covering and uncovering in the depth of December and January. I might take a break from it till February or March.


Monday morning, September 27,2021 10:17 am. It is sunny and 17℃ outside. It is 19.6℃ in the greenhouse. I am adopting a journal style to chart the days and my progress in life. It is a memory bank since my mind and memory are not functioning at prime in these times. I am working on improving that and a few other things. I hope I don’t get sidetrack and get lost wandering down too many paths. If I do, I hope I have the insight to recognize it and get back on track.

This morning I have already spent some time in the greenhouse as is my routine. I’ve trimmed the tomato and cucumber leaves so that the sun can find its way in. My seeding of radishes and snow peas have germinated. It’s probably still too warm for the radishes in there. They are getting a bit leggy. We are having such an unusual year with climate change. It’s hard to predict how the temperatures will go. I will just have to garden by the seat of my pants. There hasn’t been any failures in growing for me yet. I always get something for my efforts. Even if that something is learning, it’s a huge reward.

My kitchen drain is still a problem. I haven’t given up on unclogging it myself. The plumber can wait. Meanwhile, I’ve developed a systematic of getting the dishes done with minimal effort. I can do a whole day’s load in the dishwasher. I’m hoping the super hot water from the dishwater will eventually dislodge whatever is in its way. Cross your fingers and toes for me, will you? Like I said, this is teaching me patience and delayed gratification. I am also learning how to organize, do things more efficiently, saving time and energy.

Saturday, October 2, 2021 4:17 pm. It is 20℃ outside and 23.3℃ in the greenhouse. Wonderful autumn weather, almost summer like. I’m not kidding myself though. The days are getting shorter, no early morning sun at 6 am and the sun is gone before 6 pm. I am feeling all these weather changes. I am feeling the Covid blues also. It is true. There are no good news these days. It is what is here. I try to put my best foot forward, doing the best I can. So even though I feel no expanse, no flow, I take small flights through my days. I am not my feelings. Inspite of anything and everything, I can get up, dress up and show up.

How quickly a week passes even though I feel slow as a slug. How did I get to Saturday already?Perhaps I am moving faster than I feel. I can be deceived by my emotions. Therefore, I should never give up. Things are not as bad as they seem. So I do a little of this and a little of that. Mornings are always the easiest and hardest. How do I get started? The sun comes out and I have to step out. We went to the farmers market. It was easy. I didn’t have to drive. I get into the truck and away we went and came home with a load of peppers and eggplants. No matter how hard it is for me to go/do, I am always happy that I made the effort.

Now the day is almost done. I am sipping my decaf, waiting for supper. I am not exactly chilled. I am not exactly down. My kitchen drain is not exactly cleared but it is capable of making a sucking sound when it starts to drain – some. It’s progress. That’s what I am always working for – progress in everything. Life is hard.


It’s Saturday morning, September 25th. It’s sunny and warm – 17℃. I should be happy but I am quirky and irritated as hell. I am living in the moment of how it is. I had a restless sleep, waking up every couple of hours. Things creep under my skin, unwelcomed as they are. I am pissed at the ineptitude of our government, the stupidity, ignorance and selfishness of anti-maskers,anti-vacs and conspiracy theorists. How can we go from stringent restrictions for Covid to have them all lifted on July 11th? There was no easing in period to see what would happen. The outcome was quite predictable given that the variant was already in our midst and that it is much more contagious.

It is Sunday morning, September 26th. Another beautiful sunny day at 16℃. It is 20℃ in the greenhouse. It’s pretty fabulous for this time of the year. My cucumbers and bittermelons are thriving. I’ve lost count of how many and which of the little starting cukes I have pollinated. The tomatoes and peppers are still going strong. I am really surprised at all the new growth. This is my therapy room. I feel better the moment I step into it.

I am feeling a tiny bit more cheerful, having gone to bed super early last night. I had a good sleep the first 3 hours. Then it was awake every 2 hours. It’s like my body was on alert, waiting for something to happen. I’m not fretting over it. It is what it is. My kitchen drain is still not free flowing. I will give it till after the weekend and the bottle of enzyme is finished. A professional plumber might be in order. Somethings you can’t be stubborn about.

The other day I noticed how difficult it was for me to focus. I had trouble even looking at a flyer. I see the pictures but the information was not travelling to my brain. I’m buggered! I need to get my mind back. This time I am working on not going down the same old paths. They haven’t been too successful. I’m resisting looking for and reading another self-help book/video. What I need is action and practice. What do I need to do? What is my next step? What comes to mind is first is:

  • I need to clear my mind by: not multi-tasking, doing one thing at a time
  • stop wasting time scrolling through social media, googling for needless information

I think that these two things are enough for me to work on and chart on for this week. I will get better results if I am mindful and not overburdened. These last two mornings I am mindful, noticing that it doesn’t take any more time or energy if I put things back neatly where they belong instead of just tossing them to wherever. In fact it saves time and energy. A light bulb moment. I am a slow learner!


So..I’ve had my first dental checkup and cleaning since Covid disturbed everything. I had been waiting till things got better but things keep getting worse instead. I ended up going when the numbers of positive are at the highest. But I do have both vaccinations. Looking at the news, the number of positives today is under 400, the lowest in over a week. Though I had a few misgivings about my appointment, I am glad I kept it. The hygienist and dentist were masked and had face shields on. We are all as well protected as possible. It is good for my mental and physical health to keep up the activities of daily living. The hygienist and I had good chats about gardening. We were a good fit.

I’m finally able to have my second cup of tea of the day. I had to wait a couple of hours after fluouride varnish was painted on my teeth. I wouldn’t think it’s such a long time except when I have to wait. Oh, but the tea is so good and warming. Just what I need. I’m having a bit of irksome day. I’m trying to work on my concentration and decluttering. It’s hard when the kitchen sink plugs up and the window venetian won’t open. Then there’s those pesky fruit flies. There seems to be swarms of them around the diningroom table. I’ve set out a glass of diluted wine to leer them away from the kitchen area.

I’m trying to be patient and not fret too much about these things. It’s quite unlike me. I think I am getting a little smarter. I want to work for and not against myself. I couldn’t let things be when they aren’t working. I spent the rest of the afternoon pouring kettle after kettle of boiling water down the kitchen sink in the basement. The trouble lies in that both upstairs and downstairs kitchen sinks are on the same drainage pipe. It leads to easily cloggage if we are not careful. We had to call the plumber last year. I’m hoping we can forego that this time. The hot water is helping a little. We need to do another round of enzyme down the drain tonight and cross our fingers and toes.

That was my muttering on Tuesday. Today is Friday. I’m still working on declogging the kitchen drain. We might have to call the plumber but for now I want to give it and my patience a chance. Nothing is easy or simple. Have I said that already? It is a cool but beautiful sunny morning. I’m looking forward to visit a farm with a high tunnel greenhouse this afternoon. Meanwhile, things are still looking good in our greenhouse. The lettuce I’ve transplanted are looking quite at home. There are 6 bitter melons at various growing stages. At long last I have one viable winter melon. They have been difficult to take. I had quite a few little ones started. I have not been successful at hand pollinating them. The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are still being quite productive. My harvest basket overflowth.

And so is my kitchen drain. It is still a problem but it is slowly getting better. It is also teaching me to look at problems in a different way. Problems are also solutions in themselves – if I have patience to wait, observe then try to solve. While I was/am waiting I clear and create a little bit of space in whichever corner I happen to be in.


I like to live up to my words – as much as I can. Yesterday I said that I would like to prove the saying of ‘tomorrow never comes’ wrong. It gives me incentive to show up no matter what. I can always do my best for that day. I was thinking ahead to how to create space for a winter crop in the greenhouse. There is a noticeable difference in the amount and kind of daylight this week.Time is running out. There’s no tomorrows left. It will be September in just a week. The weather has turned cold. I need to act today to get some greens going and get matured enough to survive in the greenhouse hopefully till December.

It is hard to decide where or how to start. Seeing that we no longer need shade in the greenhouse, I took down the Scarlet Runner Beans. I had trimmd them back already but now they are all down. Oh, what a relief! More room and light. I should have done it sooner. But better late than never. It’s a learning curve, this being our first year of growing in a greenhouse.

Next I pruned back the excessive branches and leaves of the Black Krim tomatoes, giving them space for air flow. Now I can see how many of them there are.They’ve been very productive all summer. As you can see, there’s still alot and there’s one right up next to the roof. They are very juicy and sweet. We’ve been eating them since early July.

I’ve cleared up 2 planters of flowers to seed some lettuce and kale. This summer proved to be too hot for nasturtiums and sweet peas in planters so it was not hard to pull them out. I hope that it will not be too cold to germinate the lettuce and kale. They love the cool but I’ve had to turn on the furnace just now. As a precaution I did throw a row cover over them. Tomorrow I will seed more lettuce and spinach in modules inside. Covering all my bases.


August 21 and day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m starting to sound like a broken record. It’s another busy day. I don’t think I can finish this post but I thought starting might give me some inspiration. I’ve been feeling extremely busy and tired. I gave myself a pass from my aerobics class on Wednesday and Friday but I swam this morning. I rarely miss my Saturday morning swim knowing that the water always make me feel better. Most Saturdays I have the pool to myself. I had to share with another today.

Guess what? It is August 22 and day 22 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is raining in Saskatoon. I feel exquisitely tired, achy and grateful. It is not the best timing for rain for the farmers but I am sure we are all thankful for it. It’s not like we have a say in the when. And the yard and plants look beautiful in grey mist.

I like to stand inside the greenhouse (there is no place to sit) and just breathe in the sweet fragrance of the bitter melon. It’s especially restful on a rainy morning. My tiredness, aches and pains seem to ease in the warmth and breath of this living atmosphere.

I have 3 bitter melons on the grow, the third one just a baby. I hope it grows up. I disturbed the petals while trying to pollinate it. A couple of petals fell off.

Autumn is certainly in the air. Winter will be upon us before I am ready for it. The thermal rock wall is almost finished. It is used to moderate the temperature inside. It will absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it at night. I still have lots of growing things inside that’s taking up space – the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants not to mention the cucumbers which are still very productive. I have to think about finding space for and how to start a winter crop. Maybe tomorrow. And you know what they say about tomorrow. Maybe I can prove them wrong.


My days seem so busy now with the greenhouse, seedlings and plantings in the raised beds. It’s difficult to make a regular showing here. It’s best if I do make a concerted effort though. Showing up helps me to prioritize and organize to make best use of my time. It also helps my brain function. So here I am, making an effort and doing the best I can.

It was a cold morning with snow flurries. It continues to be cold with lots of wind but at least the sun made a showing in the afternoon. The greenhouse is toasty warm. All the plants are inhaling and exhaling in ecstasy. I will find a space here to pot up the seedlings when it is cold out. I’m tired of hauling my potting supplies back and forth between the basement and the deck. Yup, the weather is crazily erratic. We can have 3 seasons within a couple of days. I am adapting quickly though.

Only a week and a day till April 30th and Tax Return due date. I shall not worry and fret about it. I will pick a good restful day before then and do it. It’s only worth one day’s worry and work. Then it is done. I will pay my due, feel the hurt and get over with a tap – SENT.

It’s another colder morning. It went down to -12℃ overnight. I’m glad we have the electric heater on a thermostat in the greenhouse. It’s set on low to kick in at 2 or 3℃. Otherwise, everything would be toast. I hope my raised beds are ok. At 8:38 am, it is now -3℃ outside. I’m hopeful. They are under layers. I will check maybe at noon. It will be 2℃ then. Well, our last frost date is June 1-10 according to Vesey’s and May 15 according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It also says that -4.4℃ and colder is considered severe frost with heavy damage to most garden plants. I did add an extra fleece cover over the celery, daikon and brokali last night. Fingers and toes crossed. Hope eternal.