Slice of life: October 26th, 2015

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It is 9:31 am on Monday and the rain has just stopped. Last night it has started and I fell asleep listening to it. It was nice but earlier in the day I was amazed at how wonderful and warm the weather has been. A bit cooler than September but a mix of cloud, sun, wind, and that autumn freshness that cannot be beat. My friend who moved to California but grew up here and who I chatted with just yesterday was just longing for seasons like we have here. I would miss them too.

A snapshot of my compost pile rotated. The recently added tomato vines are yet to decay.

A snapshot of my compost pile rotated. The recently added tomato vines are yet to decay.

I spent part of the day today in the garden. I rotated my compost and added kitchen scraps, grass clippings, dry leaves, and a thin layer of soil. Already I can see that I will have lovely dirt by next year. I pulled up most of my original garden as well and have started digging rows where I am planning to add compostable materials so that little plot will also be much richer come spring. It is also a great way to recycle the grass clippings. Gardening has truly been a great experience and an accomplishment that I feel is all mine!

Another exciting development in the backyard is that we added a cement path leading to our shed and along the side of a walkway that needed expansion. It looks great-except the digging up that the labourers did and left in a few piles when they leveled the ground but, I have been assured, they will be back soon to collect it. These paths have been a major improvement which was one of my goals for this year!

So far I have done the following in this space:

  • powerwashed the living area and keep it tidy
  • painted the neglected posts
  • built one garden bed and have a successful garden
  • added a row of flowers along the walkway
  • expanded the walkway with cement
  • added a cement path to the shed
  • maintained the 3 fruit trees
  • planted a lemon tree and strawberries
  • built a second garden bed for next year
  • made compost which put grass and kitchen scraps to good use
  • emptied and cleaned the fire pit
  • cleaned the shed and added paper-faced dry wall to finish it up (husband and brother did this but only due to my harassing them)
  • added cedar tiles to the dog house (again see above about the harassing)
I had to add a large layer of rocks around the lemon tree on top of the 1st layer that have sunk into the ground. Snapshot taken Oct 25, 2015

I had to add a large layer of rocks around the lemon tree on top of the 1st layer that have sunk into the ground. Snapshot taken Oct 25, 2015

That is quite a bit. Next year I will have to assess the space again to see what else I can do. It is quite a big yard and most of it is not used despite the doggy that enjoys living there. So far, I know I want to do the following: add one more fruit tree if possible, use more of the garden perimeter via raised beds or by direct planting of flowers or shrubs, maybe paint fences, add solar lighting perhaps, find a way to add more colour, improve drainage on left side etc. Anyway, we will see what happens and what I come up with. Ideally I would love to add some backyard chickens but the bylaws prohibit this.

On Saturday, I wasted most of the day watching House of Cards in bed due to a horrible headache and general fatigue so today I was determined to be productive on Sunday. I did my grocery shopping, got my car motor oil changed and used an online coupon to save 10$, did work in the garden, found the old Halloween decorations which I topped up with some fresh pieces and hung them up at the front door, vacuumed, wrote out Halloween cards for my niece and nephew in Florida which I will mail today (I promised them I would write letters to them), scrubbed the grout lines in my shower with a brush and bleach to prepare it for re-grouting, and sent heaps of texts back and forth to my husband who is on the road with his first assignment. A good day.

It has been a chaotic few weeks and it is great to get some order back. As noted above, my husband, after 2 weeks of running around and being toyed with by different companies, finally got himself hired at what we hope is a decent company. We will see, though. I had my job interview which I talked about in my last post. It went well but it made me realize I want to stay where I am! Where I am has been very busy these last 2 weeks with some crazy things going on-some crazy disputes I had to get involved in, some tensions with others, some great progress, some delays. The usual October roller-coaster. The good news is that I have had some excellent ideas we have been rolling out and that is always exciting to me.

Some of the Halloween decor I have put out to get ready for this Saturday and the pumpkins we bought at the patch that still need carving.

Some of the Halloween decor I have put out to get ready for this Saturday and the pumpkins we bought at the patch that still need carving.

I am also still living in limbo in the main house (my parent’s home) as my separate flat has not been fully repaired. The leak that I wrote about a month ago that caused us to rip out the floor is still not dealt with. But, this week or next we hope it will be (hence the bleaching for the re-grouting mentioned above). I have been making good progress with general cleaning of my parent’s home, though, since I cannot focus on my own space. My plan is to spend the winter doing a deep clean and de-clutter of their space. So far I have been tackling it room by room or area by area.

As they get older I they are unable to do many of these things well and this is part of the reason I moved here. They were in a panic at the thought of being alone since my brother will be moving out soon (not that he has been much help). He is their baby. My sister, who lives in the nearest large city, is also moving in for a short period of 10 months or so while the new apartment she purchased is under construction. I plan to enlist her help in this clean up but we will need to wait for my brother to move out. His house, also under construction, should be done in November and he has a lot of stuff here I look forward to seeing disappear.

Anyway, this post is a slice of my life right now. Later today after mailing my Halloween cards I will go to work for half a day and then meet a friend for dinner. Not only do I have to keep busy with my husband being off on this new job but I have not seen her in ages and am looking forward to it. I also plan to take a huge bunch of parsley from my garden to work as I do not know what else to do with it. I realize I do not use it much in my usual cooking. Hopefully someone else can. Anyway, we will see what else the day brings! Hope everyone has a great week!

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