Jun 25, 2018

Mythogenesis Monday

mythogenesis ~ origin of myths

Did I say summer was here? We’re past the solstice, but it’s still been cool enough that I’m wearing socks and shoes most days. While I’m glad it’s still cool enough to sleep at night, it could stand to be a little warmer during the day.

And I do mean a little. I’ve heard rumors that we’re in for a seriously hot July and August and I don’t do well in excessive heat – especially when I’m trying to sleep. Yes, we have an air conditioner we can use upstairs, and fans, but they’re noisy, so even if I manage to get to sleep with them on it’s not a restful sleep.

But there’s no denying that summer is officially here. And with it comes the long list of things we want to get done – the roof over the front porch, re-designing and re-building the pond garden, and a hundred and one other things on our to-do list.

Once upon a time our pond garden looked like this:

That was taken about eight years ago. As you know, since then we’ve had to have the tree removed and it looks something like this now:

It’s actually not quite that bad looking. Since then the hubby has cleaned it up, dug out any of the plants that could be saved, and he got rid of that wild rose bush along the fence that suddenly appeared one day and has tried to take over that corner ever since.

The pond itself isn’t going to be much bigger, when we re-do this garden, but it will be deeper, maybe even deep enough to have fish in it. The garden itself will be bigger, with a retaining wall in the back. We’ve been tossing around ideas for the wall and right now we’re leaning towards a living wall – a vertical garden of sorts.

The other thing we have planned for the back yard is a vegetable garden, or to be more precise, a series of vegetable gardens. These will be raised beds along the fence between the garden shed (near the back of the house) and the pond garden. We’re thinking three, maybe four of them depending on how big they are. It’s the perfect spot for them, and having them raised will make them easier to take care of.

But one thing I know for sure about the vegetable garden, I’ll be letting the hubby and the grandbaby take care of the planting. They have super green thumbs. Remember the tomato seeds they planted?

Shortly after that picture was taken I transplanted them to a bigger planter box before moving them outside for the summer. And look at them now!

Not only are they blooming, they’ve already got a few tiny green tomatoes hidden in all that foliage. I can’t for the life of me remember if these are supposed to be regular sized tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, I guess we’ll see how big the ones that are started get before they’re done.

One thing for sure, we won’t be lacking for tomatoes this summer!

Jun 18, 2018

Mutagenesis Monday

mutagenesis ~ origin or induction of mutation

Well, summer is definitely here. Flowers are blooming, trees are full of leaves, the grass needs weekly cutting, and oh, did I mention the humidity is on the rise? We had a week or two of warm days and cool nights (which to me is perfect weather), but now we’ve segued into warm day and night.

We were supposed to get thunderstorms and rain today to cool things off, but it only rumbled a little and the rain didn’t amount to much, only made it more humid.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you probably recall past summer posts where I start complaining about the noise from the pool pump around this time of year. However, the hubby was forced to buy a new pump this year and it’s amazingly quiet. Seriously, the filter in Tiddler’s tank makes more noise than the pool.

When I was sitting here last night trying to come up with something to write about for this post, the hubby suggested I should do a garden update because my garden is looking so good, but it’s only the one garden (the rest are pretty sad), although I did notice I have a beautiful purple iris blooming in it today. It’s just unfortunate that it’s kind of hidden by the basket hanging from the shepherd’s crook just over it.

Instead I figured you’d much rather see a picture of my orchids.

There are actually five orchids on that table, but only four of them are blooming right now. Yes, there are five bloomstalks, but two are coming off the same plant. They’ve actually been in bloom for a couple of weeks now, and past experience tells me that barring any accidents (knocking a bloomstalk, forgetting to water them, overwatering them) they’ll keep blooming for weeks.

You can’t really see it, but the yellow and pink orchid on the left has about three more buds that are ready to open even though the rest of the flowers have been open for a couple of weeks now. And please ignore the sansevieria listing towards the right in the background. As soon as I can figure out a way to get it standing upright I’m going to repot it. I’m thinking a tomato cage might work…

I have to confess. I actually pulled that table out to get my picture. And the yellow/pink orchid actually lives on the kitchen window sill. I have plants in most rooms of the main floor of the house, but most of them live either in the dining room, or the kitchen.

There are a lot more plants on the bookcase, but they’re kind of hidden by the orchid table. And on the opposite side of the room there’s a big spider plant on top of a tall bookcase, a…something, Swedish ivy maybe? hanging over a drop leaf table, three insanely tall spindly palms in the same pot, and this guy:

This philodendron is over … um, it’s really old. I bought this for the hubby when we were dating and it lived for at least a year in the basement apartment in his parents’ house where it got not even a speck of light. Periodically I’d trim it back and put the cuttings in water to root them and give the resulting plants away. This time I just let it grow and one of the vines was snaking its way up the corner cabinet and along the drapery rod above the deck door. I finally bought a trellis for it and it seems to be containing it…so far.

Most of my plants are easy to care for, and the ones that need more frequent watering end up in the kitchen where I don’t forget about them.

Here we have a strawberry begonia hanging down, an English ivy on a trellis rising to meet it, and two of my orchids. Not pictured is the philodendron and hearts on a string in my old office, and the wandering jew in my new office.

So, as you can see, my outdoor gardens might not be amounting to much this summer, but my indoor ones are doing just fine.

Jun 11, 2018

Medius Monday

medius ~ the middle finger

I don’t know why I always think that I have more time to do things than I actually do, but it’s a sad fact of my life and I’m just going to have to learn to deal with it. Either that or budget my time better. ;-)

Among other things I didn’t get done last week, I didn’t get my blog page done that was going to be dedicated to my trip to New Brunswick. But as I scrolled through the pictures on my phone I realized that it probably wasn’t worth the effort. While my pictures were okay, they’re not exactly cutting edge. So I downloaded just a few of them to give you the highlights of my trip.

Here’s my first view of New Brunswick, as taken from the plane window as we began our descent into Moncton:

My sister met me at the Moncton airport, which was very small compared to Pearson in Toronto. We had lunch at Tim Horton’s, made a quick trip to Costco, and then met the daughter at the Saint John airport. I wish I’d taken pictures of the two airports because if Moncton was small, then Saint John was tiny. The daughter’s plane was pretty tiny too, like Air Canada’s version of a circus clown car – all these people kept coming out of it and you wondered where they all sat.

The next day my sister took us to the Irvine Nature Park on the Bay of Funday (okay, pretty much everything in New Brunswick is on the Bay of Funday). First we have the beach we followed along the shoreline where we found many interesting rocks:

That green hump of land in the distance is where we started out. And here’s a picture of my sister and I that the daughter took for me:

This is a rare phenomena folks, as neither of us particularly care to have our pictures taken, although I think she cares less for it than me. ;-) After traipsing up and down the beach collecting rocks we went to the top of that green part in the distance, had a picnic lunch, and then hiked along one of the nature trails through the woods up there. It was a LOT of fun!

The next day we did a bunch of touristy stuff. We went to the Reversing Rapids (that I did not get a good picture of) where I bought a stupidly expensive mug in their gift shop, then walked up and down the hills of Saint John, ending up at the Market Square where the Saint John Library was, and the museum. My sister ran into a friend at the museum who got us free passes, which was really cool.

Even cooler was discovering a painting of a ship that had been donated by my Aunt Kay.

The ship’s name was The Vocalist, built in 1856 by John Fisher, who commissioned the painting. Unfortunately it floundered in 1861. After the museum we stopped for lunch in an Irish pub (that’s the daughter and her lunch):

We went to a different indoor market (there seemed to be a lot of them in Saint John), and walked through a couple of the parks in the middle of the city, one of which contained an old cemetery:

It was another fun filled day, despite the fact it was really, really windy and a little on the cool side. Unfortunately, we had to leave the next day, but on our way to the Moncton airport we stopped long enough to watch the tidal bore:

You might need to click on the picture to make it bigger, but that wave you see is the tide coming in, up the river. It was kind of fascinating to watch the water rising, not quite to the top of the banks but then we didn’t have time to stay for the whole thing.

As most vacations tend to be, it was way too short. I’d go again in a heartbeat, but not without a proper camera.

And a sweater. ;-)

Jun 4, 2018

Motile Monday

motile ~ capable of moving spontaneously as a whole

Since you’re reading this post, it’s pretty obvious that neither of the planes I was on were hijacked by terrorists. I think the planes were a little too small to make effective weapons. ;-)

It was late when I got in last night, which is why this post is late, and which is why it’s going to be a short one. My pictures are all still on my phone and I think I’m going to create a “trip” page rather than create a special post, that way I can take my time. I’ll share the link when it’s finished.

Meanwhile, here are 10 things I learned from my trip:

1. Always make a list of clothes you want to take so you can co-ordinate your outfits and cut back on the amount of unnecessary baggage.

2. Ear plane earplugs are essential for anyone with sinus problems who fly – you still need to take your sinus medication, but your hearing comes back much quicker.

3. New Brunswick is cold!

4. Four days (only two full days really) is not enough time for a visit.

5. You can pack a heck of a lot of stuff into four days.

6. Take a real camera, don’t just depend on your phone for pictures (phone batteries tend to run down quickly)

7. Tai chi rocks!

8. New Brunswick is really windy!

9. My sister Nancy is a wonderful hostess – thank you for introducing me to tai chi and that yummy quinoa salad and finding so many awesome sites for us to see!

10. Saying good bye sucks.