What an amazing weekend!

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Sunshine and nature. A sure-fire way to a happy day. I had lots of both this weekend and my soul is overjoyed!

To cap things off, we had an awesome thunderstorm that brought heavy rain, gusty winds and hail. The temperature dropped at least 5 degrees! I am every grateful for bringing my plants in, under the covered portion of the veranda, a half hour before the main event got here. I didn’t even realize it was on the way. We were planning on heading into town and I didn’t want to leave the plants out, in the event a heavy rain came. Phew!

I took a few videos of the storm:

Heavy rain

It was a productive day for me. I decided to take it easy and, in doing so, got crafty! When I ordered my seeds back in the winter, I ordered a package of wood pot labels. At the time I thought they could be reused over and over. But, I was using a sharpie to mark the name of the plant and the date of planting… not so usable now! Not to mention I was going through them pretty quickly. I started cutting up milk cartons and using them as labels. They work well but also are not reusable as they get moist over time and start to breakdown. The good thing with them, though, is they are recyclable.

I saw on YouTube where a woman painted wood sticks with chalkboard paint, then used chalk markers to write on it. The marker didn’t come off in the rain, and it was removable with a “magic” eraser. I decided to give it a try.

Then came the potato containers. I wanted something firmer than the seed bags to grow the potatoes in. I decided to try the cat litter containers. The only litter my cats will use comes in a plastic container. I use them for so many things like storing bird seed and my pine cones! But they’re not food grade so I can’t grow my potatoes in them. But I can put my seed bag, filled with soil, inside. This will make the bag more stable…at least I hope so. I cleaned the containers with vinegar and water, air dried them in the sun, then drilled holes in the bottoms. I then used the chalkboard paint to spruce them up. They look a lot better without the kitty litter label!

I still had lots of energy so decided to get some pots ready for transplanting. I’m running out of pots and have lots of seedlings to transplant.

Seedlings that need to be transplanted

In just one of those little squares, I counted 14 plants… That’s a lot of pots I’m going to need! I started with the beer glasses I picked up at Dollarama. Holes needed to be cut out of the bottoms of each cup. Once that was done, I decided to paint a strip with the chalkboard paint so I can label the cup instead of using a label inside the pot. I finished the red cups, which took up more space that I had, then the wind picked up, blowing them around the veranda. So I left the blue cups as is, but then tried writing on them with the chalk markers and it works fine.

There was a nap and a trip to town in here somewhere which gave me more energy and I was ready to get back to it. My trip to town was a curbside pickup at Canadian Tire. I purchased a Thermacell mosquito repellant and couldn’t wait to try it out. I got it going, put on some tunes and started making paper pots. I wanted small pots so needed a small bottle to roll them with. I found the perfect bottle…a small bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream!

About fifteen paper pots in, I opened the bottle of Baily’s… my sister opened a can of Glutenberg and kept me company via text. It was an enjoyable way to pass a Sunday afternoon. I made 61 paper pots and hardly noticed as I was busy chatting with my sister.

The thing I like best about using paper pots is they go right in the ground, or pot. There’s no more transplanting involved. Some plants, like Bottle House Gourds, like limited contact, so this a great solution. The thing I like least about using paper pots is they get moist when watered and cannot be handled. You’ve got to find a container that will hold them upright and give them support for as long as you have them growing. But, paper pots are free and there’s no waste from them, so for now I’m going to use them.

BTW, I’m very impressed with the mosquito repellant. No mosquitos at all while I had it going!!!

It was a peaceful evening. As the sun set, Robin began it’s nightly serenade. The geese came up from the river with their babies. Looks like there’s six. This is the first time this year they’re showing up with the babies! The turkey’s were visiting too and I saw a bald eagle fly by twice. And the hummingbird is using the new feeder. What a day!

A spring smell I almost didn’t recognize

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

I stepped outside onto the covered veranda. Immediately my nose picked up a scent. Something very familiar that I hadn’t smelled for some time. I searched the recesses of my memories…the smell was comforting, welcome… maybe Mom lit a candle or sprayed perfume? My eyes were drawn to my neighbour’s lawn…the freshly mowed lawn! Ahhhhhh, the smell is fresh mowed grass. I had forgotten how good it smells, so sweet, so nature. What a great smell.

I was hoping to get my seedlings into the sun today for a few hours but it was just too windy for them. So I kept them on the covered portion of the veranda where they saw a little sun for a short time. Hoping tomorrow has less wind!

We had turkeys and geese visiting the yard today. I didn’t realize geese ate dandelions.

I picked some dandelions today to dry for making soap, lotion and maybe tea. Going to start small and see how it goes. This is my first time working with dandelions. Can’t wait to experiment with them. I might try using fresh ones for a salad or tea. We’ll see how it goes!

Happy Mother’s Day 💐🌹

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Happy birthday Jamie 🎉🥳

A beautiful spring day with lots of sunshine for the most part. We had breakfast on the veranda, in the sun, enjoying the birds and the view.

We had our first hummingbird of the season. I was glad I had the feeder up!

Hummingbird at the feeder. ©WQuinn 2021

I’m so grateful I live with my Mom for many reasons but lately it’s because of the pandemic. There’s no one I’d rather be in lock down with!

Breakfast with my amazing Mom. ©WQuinn 2021

I started the hardening off period for my seedlings. An hour outside today, out of the sun. I took the opportunity to sort and count what I have. About ten seedlings didn’t make it but the rest are doing well.

The tomatoes are doing really well

I transplanted some of the peppers. Still more to do.

Broccoli and cauliflower are tall but a little leggy.

Planting time is just around the corner!

Putting an end to procrastination in my life

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Happy May day!

I enjoyed a quiet moment by the river this morning, soaking up the peacefulness and tranquility and would like to share that feeling with you in this video.


Procrastination was the topic of this month’s CreativeMornings Ottawa talk. Procrastination is something I have been very good at and, at the same time, something I’ve been trying to rid myself of. Heck, I even painted a painting a day for 365 days hoping it would end my habit of putting things off. But it didn’t.

During the event, we were launched into breakout groups within Zoom. Talk about a terrifying moment…not knowing who would be in the room…and, as always, it turned out fine. We chatted about what we’ve been procrastinating and it was nice to see others in similar situations. Once we were back in the main Zoom conference, the speaker explained what procrastination means, the misconceptions and ways to overcome.

I didn’t realize how impactful this talk was until I found myself faced with a task I’m not fond of – cleaning the cats’ litter – and was about to walk away from it, telling myself I’ll do it later. But I stopped and asked myself “why later? why not now? It will only take a few minutes and then it’s done and it won’t be weighing me down as something I should be doing.” So I did it, then moved on to something else. I felt like I had more time on my hands, having released that chore I usually put off. I felt light!

One thing I’ve been procrastinating for almost a year is the boat safety course and test. I signed up and paid for the course last year but kept putting it off. I had a year to take it and if I didn’t, then I would lose it. Time was a-ticking! I believe I kept putting it off because it meant a day indoors, glued to my computer, something I do five days a week for work and the last thing I want to be doing on my weekend. Every day a reminder would pop up on my computer and I would hit snooze…every day for almost a year!

Until today. The weather was cold, the ground soaking wet from yesterday’s rain, I’m still recovering from a sore back so gardening and yard work are off the table a little longer. It was a perfect day to take the course. And yet, I procrastinated by going for a walk, cleaning the litter, tidying up, making a big breakfast, doing the dishes… I laughed out loud when I realized what I was doing. I stopped procrastinating once again and finally sat down in front of the computer, logged in and took the course. And then I took the test and… I passed!

I was giddy to have that task finally accomplished. Giddy and light. It feels good!

Morning by the river on this May day. ©WQuinn 2021