Garden update and taking a break from electronics.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Happy early birthday Joe!

I’ll start with some happy news: I’ve finished the shingles acupuncture/chiro treatment! I’m symptom free and feeling good. There is still a small rash on my back that is quickly fading, but no pain, no itching anywhere! I feel so good that I’ve rebooked my Covid vaccine for next week – so psyched!

It’s been four weeks yesterday since I started on this crazy shingles journey. During my appointment on Tuesday, my Chiropractor and I were discussing my healing progression. She remarked how quickly I healed and was impressed by all the tools I used to help it along, like making a healing cream. Not having anything to compare it to, I wasn’t sure if it was quick or not but she had clients come to her for help after they’ve had it for six to eight weeks! I’m so grateful I went the natural route and it healed as quickly as it did. Once I’m vaccinated for Covid, the singles vaccine is next on my list…don’t want to go down this road again. 😉

On the garden front, I sowed some seeds in my raised bed during my lunch break. I don’t think there’s a finer way to spend a hot spring day, than out in nature, planting seeds for future salads and smoothies! Lettuce, spinach and parsley are in the ground. I wanted to plant kale but for the life of me, couldn’t find the seeds. I’m sure I had a packet. But apparently I don’t.

After my chiro appointment this evening, I stopped at Home Depot to buy a 100′ garden hose. If only that was all… I’m now the proud owner of more seeds (hello kale!), more flowers (welcome home pansies!), and other things! While waiting in the check out line, I asked Mom – more liked begged – please, this is the last time I am allowed to go in or near a garden centre…except for fertilizer. That’s it. She laughed.

I love seeing a plowed field, especially our old field. My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents farmed this land.

And the last bit of news for today. I need a break. A real break. I’ve decided to take advantage of this three-day weekend by making it an oasis – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. I don’t have an off-grid place to go, so I’m making my home that place. I’m turning off my electronics, which means my phone. My phone that I use as a camera, that is glued to my hand and goes EVERYWHERE with me. I’m putting it in a desk drawer and will see it Tuesday morning. If I feel the need to take pictures, that’s what my camera is for. I intend to spend as much time as I can outside, enjoying the garden – but not overdoing it. Maybe I’ll pitch the tent down by the river and sleep there a couple of nights. Maybe I’ll do a little night photography…maybe a bonfire…

So, until Tuesday, have a great rest of the week and weekend!



First day back to work and I spent my lunch break in nature with my camera

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Being off last week, recovering from shingles, left me with lots of time to reflect on how I ended up here in the first place.


For an entire year, I have been saying that I’m fine. I meant it too. I was lucky enough to still have a job, a roof over my head, an amazing roommate (I’m looking at you Mom 😉 ), a backyard oasis that borders a river, nature a-plenty, and many hobbies that keep me busy.

But as the weeks turned into months, and months into a year, and then a second year, I could feel myself becoming weary, tired and even anxious. I ignored it because, well, because I’m in a pretty good place compared to a lot of other people. I felt like I didn’t deserve to feel these feelings because nothing bad really happened to me. Sure, I had to give up my yearly solo photography trip, and travel of all kind, hanging out with my sister in her hot tub, holidays with the whole family, and the freedom to get in the car, drive to Ottawa to see a movie or go to a restaurant.

Oh, how I miss this place. Lansdowne Park/TD Place, Bank Street, Ottawa. 2021

They don’t seem like big things but, over time, the little things add up.

A week off with blisters popping on my back was enough for me to realize that I was stressed and needed to find a way to de-stress. Imagining I was my client, I would suggest they try a form of meditation – if meditation doesn’t suit you, then try a walking meditation or find something you enjoy that keeps you in the moment, and relaxed. I’d also suggest yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong. Next would be journaling, writing, blogging, getting what’s on your mind out of your mind, by putting it on paper and burning it, or typing it in a document and deleting it. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Get plenty of sleep. Spend time in nature, as much as possible, even in the rain, snow, and cold. Sing, Dance, Laugh, Love and do something you love, every single day.

Thanks to a timely e-newsletter from Connexions Resource Centre, I signed up for a free pocket-Tai Chi series and a free yoga session. Tai Chi was this week and very enjoyable. This afternoon, I found myself lying on the floor, doing a yoga pose. I was there maybe 3 or 4 minutes and in that time I could feel the tension melt from my body and I recognized that familiar Zen moment I used to enjoy when I practiced yoga regularly. All of that from just one pose!

Now that I’m back to work, I realize how important it is for me to allow myself time away from the computer. It’s kind of funny, prior to the pandemic I teleworked three days out of five. Those three days I felt I needed to be tethered to my laptop 8 hours a day and I felt guilty, like I was cheating the system, if I took a break. The two days I was in the office, I had meetings away from my laptop. I had chats with colleagues in the kitchen, the hallway, the elevator…I would go outside for a walk, browse the shops on the main concourse…I wasn’t tethered to my laptop for 8 hours. My manager, who teleworked full-time before the pandemic, reminded us that we aren’t expected to be tethered to our computers all day, it’s not realistic, nor is it healthy. But being a graphic designer, the type of work I do is…tethered to my laptop. This is something I need to work on.

So, now that I’m back at work and the shingles rash is scabbed over and slowly drying up, the occasional itch reminds me that I need to spend my lunch break outside, in nature. Today, I found myself sitting on the lawn taking pictures of tulips and dandelions. I also picked dandelions to dry for tea and balms. It was the most enjoyable time I have had in a while. At least until the black flies swarmed! Not only did I get some nice shots of the tulips, I also had a good amount of dandelions to dry, and I felt energized going back to work.

Baby steps.

Cool clouds

All photos are copyrighted by Wanda Quinn. ©WQuinn 2021

May showers bring June flowers?

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

I’m thinking it might be time to change “April showers bring May flowers” to “May showers bring June flowers”. Seems to be more consistent with the May weather here the past few years.

I transplanted the red peppers this morning. They’re looking pretty good in their new pots and will be ready for the garden in a couple of weeks, as long as the weather cooperates.

Summer red peppers. ©WQuinn 2021

The tulips I bought from the tulip festival last fall are about to bloom. And the cherry blossoms are gorgeous!

On the shingles front, my energy level is increasing and the rash is scabbing over. I wasn’t as itchy today and there’s less pain. There’s still one band of skin that’s sensitive but I feel like I’m almost done with shingles!!!


Monday, 10 May 2021

Happy birthday Nanie!

This is my 500th day, in a row, of posting to this blog. Thanks for tagging along!

On the shingles front, I’ve turned the corner and am on my way to being shingles free soon! The rash is scabbing over and disappearing in spots. New spots have emerged but, so far, they seem harmless.

I had another chiro adjustment and accupuncture session this afternoon. I believe these treatments, along with the lysine, helped clear this virus from my body. I have one more session booked for Thursday and I’m thinking that will be it.

I’m using my homemade chamomile-honey cream on the rash now and it seems to be helping.

Happy this ordeal is almost over!

On the gardening front, today was day two for hardening off my seedlings. I noticed the Zinnias grew about an inch overnight, after being outside for an hour yesterday! Most of the plants look awesome. Tomorrow will be 3 hours outside. I’m hoping to transplant a few things too.

Happy with the progress and can’t wait to get in the garden!