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Skipped Back 20

May 31st, 2009

Ready to flip the calendar to June

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Continuing to check things off my list ~ aibeit slowly, but none the less I am doing it.

~ China cupboard sorted/cleaned/re-arranged.

~ Items from said cabinet that I detest, dislike and/or simply have no interest in ever using (a.k.a. 23 years worth of fugly stuff that I've been gifted with over the years) wrapped in newspaper and boxed up to be given away.

...I think I am starting to grasp the concept of not having to keep everything people give me that I find not to my taste. I just don't have the space or the patience to keep unwanted crap anymore.

I must be turning into a grumpy old woman >D

~ large, seasonal rag runners/rugs washed and hung outside to dry

~ teen dressing room (formerly the sprogs'room) dregs of wallpaper removed, cracks and holes patched and sanded.

~ hanging files cleaned out.

~ had a chat with Xan who gave me a lesson in the new FTP on my system.

~ bathroom cleaned (weekly scrubdown)

~ grass cut / minor weeding done

~ laundry done ~ including washing all livingroom throws/blankets. With a big old Victorian, some rooms have little heating and our livingroom tends to be on the cool side so we have a stack of blankets for anyone sitting there to put over their laps.

~ some floral photography done (and a photoshoot with Tuuli here, standing with the spirea down the street) including shopping n cropping selected images.

...still...didn't get that side strip of yard done, but it's on the list between things that haven't been struck out yet...just below *paint bedroom*.

My father is coming this week to help pour my cement bottom front step.

...okay...My father is coming this week to pour the bottom front step and I'll be helping him ;)

18 days till Vancouver. Tick tick tick wheeee! :)

May 26th, 2009

Bits n bytes

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Well today I scooted out while I had the opportunity to run errands (a.k.a. had access to my own car) and aside from picking up more CD-Rs, a large memory stick and scrutinizing the external HDs... (didn't even know 'til Tam mentioned it, that desktop terabyte units exist...mind still aboggling)... I also found a carry-on, rolly suitcase that I will use for my Vancouver trip to transport the Velvetpaw Siblings and Bonsai Boys. I am toying with the idea of bringing Samual along too *motions to photograph*...as he's such a lovely little urban pirate :3

ANYway ~ I then scooted up the extension ladder outside, and replaced the backyard security light bulbs. I have to do that on the driveway too at some point...*hate heights*

Slowly sifting through the piles of papers that I had in hanging folders behind the pcs and ...stuff...that collected around them. Our computers are on a monster walnut diningroom table with plenty of horizontal surface to heap needful clutter on. Amidst all that crap you'd think I'd have been able to find the power cord for my scanner ~ which has gone AWOL for some inexplicable reason. *0__o?! WHY my scanner would even be unplugged from the battery back-up unit is even MORE of a mystery.

The eldest has been scanning, on her machine, generations of photos she dragged down out of the attic ~ which are currently spread all over the livingroom.

There must be an unwritten rule in this house. ALL ROOMS BUT ONE must look like a hurricane hit them at ALL TIMES.

Since my bedroom is looking mighty spiffy right now that must mean something else had to give ;)

Well off again to take the sprog to tutoring. I'd do the grocery shopping and then can sit back in the car and read uninterupted for an hour *^___^*

Hopefully tonight the Bman and I can watch another episode of TrueBlood on DVD. He's really liking it, and I'm glad for the opportunity to watch it at my leisure instead of freaking out on my family when they'd walk in and talk or call or just run roughshod over us ~ during show when it's broadcast on cable. The husband is only now starting to realize just HOW MUCH we were missing dialogue and storywise when relying on seeing it televised. :P

Yes sir....gobs of backstory.

May 25th, 2009


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Dumped stuff off the hard drive today to make some wiggle room for myself until I can pick-up an external one.

Then I started burning photos off the computer. Like the 1 1/2 years worth I hadn't shuffled off here for some reason...

...and I ran out of discs. Okay...tomorrow I pick-up some more but seriously...11 discs JUST for my Kyoto trip pics from last year.


ANYway...that is what I did today. Can't imagine how hot Tam's machine gets when she's ripping manga. Bet it's smoking XD

paintingdragon gone canadian

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While setting up my pc yesterday ~ my techies and I discovered that I'd missed the renewal of my domain name by ~ 24 hours.

And... it had been poached.


I've had cobaltdragon.com for about 8 years and should, I suppose, be peeved that the company I purchased it through didn't notify me that it was about to expire.

But I'm not.

Seriously it's no big deal ~ since I don't run a business or currently have hobbies that would be affected by a change in the url, besides my journal(s) so it I was pretty blasé about the demise of the dot-com handle. The only real effect is that anything in the live journal doujinshi collection is effectively dead. I haven't looked at that journal is years so *meh*...don't care.

Anyway...as it stands I am now officially paintingdragon.ca...at least for the next 3 years. ;)

It sort of goes with the territory lately. Clearing out the old and starting fresh.

I have a memory stick now too, to snag all those photos my TECH GURU saved off my hard drive, when it keeled over and died last year. *MWAH ~ LOVE YOU MAN!!*

Now to clear the kitchen table again. It's covered with all the stuff that I moved from around the pc area and need to sort through and file correctly (including the garbage can).

May 22nd, 2009

Weed n Read

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Sipping a bit of scotch at the end of the week in a quiet house I am left alone to ponder what has been accomplished and what has yet to be done on the domestic front.

I'm frustrated because I can't really allow myself to work on the dolls until the *real* work is done ~ gardenin has timelines of a sort ~ seasons wait for no one.

However I have no one to blame but myself... since when I did find down time this week, I tended to default to reading Shojo manga scanilations online. In particular a long series of romantic one shots with re-occuring characters called Salad Days by, Shinobu Inokuma. That was triggered by the news that VIZ has cancelled their girl centric magazine, Shojo Beat.

That peeves me in no small way, because I really looked forward to my monthly doses of some very entertaining stories but I'm realistic in acknowledging that the reality of the print medium is changing drastically, and not just because of the economy tanking. Technology is moving forward in leaps and bounds and the new wave of manga is going to be delivered eletronically whether I like it or not. I don't own a PDA but if I want to read my manga someplace other than tied to my kitchen chair in 5 years from now I might have to.

That aside, The universe has been oppressive lately. literally and figuratively... ~ and I am constantly in need of distraction when not physically engaged....hence the mainlining of as much romantic fluff as I can. However I also play the game of waiting on family members so I've got two novels on the go for those *sit in car and read for an hour* moments: One is a real bit romantic + thriller cheese my mother gave me because...well it involves a Japanese assassin. (She assumes I'll like it if it is remotely Japanese oriented) It's titled Ice Blue by Anne Stuart and while it won't win any awards for great writing it sure does race along at a nice clip and well...definately distracts me from the universe and it's wicked, anxiety creating mind tricks.

The other is a volume I picked-up last year by award winning Japanese writer, Ohohiko Kagas A tragic WWII tale Riding the East Wind, this story just makes me drool...because the author has a way of coveying a scene so completely to the reader that it's as if you are watching the drama unfold rather than reading it. I love that about some Japanese authors ~ the way they sketch images in your head. While it's not exclusively the providence of that nations writers, I do find that the way they tell a story is much more visual without being word heavy.

I'm sure that doesn't make sense, but suffice it to say that they do more with less and rarely has a Western storyteller made me pause in awe at way words have created an picture in my mind so vivid that if I close my eyes I can see it as if it was a personal memeory.

The only thing that has me miffed about this author is that this is the only one of his many books that is currently translated into English. Having read the synopisis of his other works I'm howling in anguish that this is IT!

As for the physical labor ~ well except for a bit of vacuuming, the attic is finished. Another dump trip was required and one to a charity store as well. I spent a good portion of the time then working in the yard ~ weeding and once the 2nd wave of weekd was yoinked out, I then proceeded to dig in manure and peat into the front vegetable garden. The tomatos and cucumbers are now planted.

The backyard was re-dug up again ~ this time I was pulling out grass seedlings and ...that 2nd wave of weeds that I missed the first time. I'd decided not to waste the small area on grass and instead of have put in more tomatos, zucchini (yellow) and several kinds of pumpkins ~ including the Cinderalla variety from seeds I'd saved from Hallowe'en and in the freezer since last autumn. This of course after having dug manure and peat into the yard ....making it the 3rd pass over the area with a garden fork.

Tomorrow I was supposed to be driving my Middling to Toronto for hoop, but she's going to go to basketball with her friend ....and since I'll not have a car all day I will take the time to attack narrow strip of yard the side of the house ~ a place where little in the way of grass grows. I'll tear out the weeds and take plants my neighbour across the street wants me to remove from her out of control garden and see if we can't make something low maintenance but hardy as heck take root in that area. ;)

I'd gone to the chiropractor on Tuesday and he was impressed that I wasn't at all bent out of shape. The weird thing is that as I approach 45...I'm probably the strongest and in the best shape I've ever been in my life. Xan has kick-ass timing. >D

May 19th, 2009

Making connections, getting derailed and checking the schedule

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Long weekends mess with my headbound daytimer.

Long weekends when the family is scattered to the winds is worse.

The hubber & teens are enroute back from their little drive to the states (got as far as Terra Huate Indiana last night before pulling off to sleep). They should be home in the early evening and will doubtless shower and then just pass out.

Teh Bob said he's going to nap before going to his Beer League game at the university ....bwahahahah. Riiiight. He's spent the last couple of days driving to southern Kansas/Missouri and back. If I was a betting man, I'd say his head is going to hit his pillow and not get up till Wednesday. XD

Point is ~ I'm having trouble remembering what day of the week it is.

ANYhoo ~ I blindfolded my sentimentality on the weekend and attacked the magazines in the house. I loaded up my Toyota Matrix THREE TIMES to bursting with magazines from my bedroom and the attic, and took them to the paper recycling dumpster (used for fundraising) at Teh Sprogs's school.


I was reading about decluttering one's environment a few weeks ago and it mentioned that if a magazine is 3 months old, toss it out.

I've been thinking about that. Some magazines shouldn't fall into that catagory because they are reference material...but others, the majority do. I've thrown out a LOT of magazinese in the past few months and thought it was a good start ~ but really it was the tip of the iceberg. Ifinally decided it was time to get serious ~ I'm NEVER going to read those Shonen Jumps and Shojo Beat magazines again. Nor the years of NewType USA or DECADES of National Geographics & Traveller issues.

I've started giving the latter two to my parents after we are done reading them. My kids just don't have the interest in cutting them up or hording them like I did...in the pre-internet days. I've read every issue of NG since 1968 and this lifelong habit of keeping them close at hand needs to stop.

I was sheepish about the thigh high piles of magazines in the front hall...until I started bringing 30 YEARS of SI down from the attic. WTF BOB?!

Now at my nephews' birthday party yesterday afternoon, a relative said I could have sold them. SURE I could have...but that means having to keep HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of issues around for goodness knows how many weeks, and I think we are all at the breaking point with the clutter around here. Enough is enough!! I want my horizonal surfaces back....including the floors! I also want what is left of my sanity to remain where it is.

It's just as well that my regularly scheduled chiropractic adjustment is this morning. Boxes & boxes of magazines hauled around a small space, sorted then carried down stairs (three sets of them) to get them to the car, then out of the car has pretty well guarenteed that I need something nudged back into place. =__=

That is immediately after I drop of the sprog at school...then we are back off to the attic and moving over to the side of the small space where the Xmas decorations are. My mission ~ get rid of half of them. Tomorrow the temperatures soar and the attic will become impossible to work in so this is a do or die mission!

*salutes* Wish me luck & Have a good one!

May 16th, 2009

Romantic goth kitten

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I can usually tell I'm PM-sing when I can't contain my exasperation in a forum-setting and no matter how I word an opinion people just don't seem to see what my issue and give me advise that no bearing on the issue that I'm raging about.

At some point I realize I get tired of banging my head against walls & retreat from the source of annoyance, trying not to let the door hit my butt on the way out. I was about to rant about what it was that set me off but realize that it's pointless to keep beating this issue and best to just let it die. I am making a concerted effort to just stay out of the site for a few days and cool my heels and temper elsewhere.

Yesterday my parents came for a visit and a good time was had by all. My mother proudly handed me a foursome of used Barbie dolls she'd picked up and more goodies were added to the stash of clothing and bodies for future art projects ~ much to my fathers' bemusement. One had a nice little kimono on it and while I'm not entirely sure I'll use it as the template for one for other dolls it fist them perfectly, in particular my 2nd Hujoo.

Today was rainy and overcast ~ so no attic work. Not enough natural daylight to even take flower pictures without a flash so I was 3 kinds of frustrated on top of everything!

I did manage to keep busy with small things including the farmers' market, laundry, minding my friends sons (which means constantly shoving food at them and picking up). I tried my hand at tightening Willow's elastic ~ which meant disassembling her a bit. Now that I have a full Dolly-Tool Kit the job is not nearly as daunting as it would have been a year ago.

Here she is wearing her new Guessdoll outfit, that Ariss had requested to see. The fit is spot on for the MSD DZ girls. I am very impressed by the cut and the quality of the items. Instead of the lace that one would add at the throat, I decided to attach her cat bell neckpiece and I think it works very well on her.

I also set the colour, washed and ironed another Guessdoll outfit I'd ordered ages ago ~ it definately won't suit Kohl but I think Samual will look awesome in blue jeans, lightblue longsleeved t-shirt and blue plaid longsleeve over shirt.

I've chatted a few times with Teh Bob, who is on that road-trip to Kansas/Missouri. After mindless hours on the road with two teens plugged into their ipods, asleep in the back he just needs to touchbase with home to here a voice other than the one bouncing around inside his head XD

Much will depend on the weather tomorrow ~ but I hope to get to the gym when the friends take the sprog for the flip-side of the kid minding, after I pick-up a birthday present for the almost 3 nephew (party on Monday)....and maybe there will be sunshine in the morning for a bit of doll photography in the park ....and than later off to the attic!

AND...it's decided. I'm taking Willow to Vancouver with me for some photo opps. :) Xan was the one that had to listen to me whine about a pretty cat doll until she just told me to *BUY it already*...and shoved me over the edge and down this particularly slippery resin slope!!

May 13th, 2009

To the rooftops...or just under them

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Is it just me or does Kohl's hair totally resemble the unfurling Japanese maple leaves?

Anyway ~ flight is booked for Vancouver, so I'll be gone from June 18th 'til the end of the month.

I can's say that I'm going to miss the winding down of the end of the elementary school year. Oddly enough I won't manage to miss the funfair so face painting will still be a go-go *rats*

The eldest sprog and I have decided that this morning we are going to pause in the organizing of the kids' rooms and attack the attic. Up those narrow stairs and working in a confined space ~ that tends to heat up in the summer to sauna temperatures we need to get at it before it becomes a nightmare of a chore.

So it's wiser not to delay this job any longer and just start sorting through and hauling stuff out of there. I want to remove a minimum of 1/3 of the items in the attic if not half. It's not just 12 years worth of packratting that is crammed into that ackward space ~ it's all the stuff that the hubber and I have dragged with us for years and seriously we need to divest ourselves of some of this crap, in particular things we haven't looked at let alone thought of for decades.

The question is ~ can we beat back the creep of sentimentality that comes with handling objects from our past.

I was reading in the newspaper yesterday a story about a man whose apartment had suffered soot damage from a fire and he'd lost most of his posessions. While he could afford to replace them he was enjoying living with a minimum of objects to clutter his home and was in no rush to fill up his living space.

Seriously....I can understand the appeal.

May 12th, 2009


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Continuing on with the doll/flower photos ~ this one is of my tiny Elfdoll Doona, Rose.

It was pointed out to me how these photos all seem to be colour co-ordinated and I had to laugh aloud because I was doing that subconsciously. You'll see what I mean as we progress along with the images over the next little while.

I've been trying hard, every day, to do one artistic thing with the camera ~ forcing myself to work the minds' eyes, so to speak. It's been a battle since my brain has been badly scrambled for some reason. Whether it's due to the allergies, phase of the moon or life in general and the messy conditions I am dwelling in, my ability to concentrate has been plummeting and I need to stop the freefall.

I've also been in a lull domestically and now have to pump up that volume. Xan is moving house/business to a larger space and I'll be flying out to Vancouver in June to help her and hubby move, unpack, organize & set up, as well as sort through rented storage lockers. I'm really looking forward to spending time with her *^___^* ....and pawing her yaoi djs *cough*...when not hanging curtains and such.

Because I'm going to lose 2 weeks here, I need to get my ass in gear on the *inside projects*...meaning re-arranging the kids rooms and sorting through the contents of them, as well as removing wallpaper and repainting of the son's *soon to be former* tiny bedroom and make it a dressingroom for the girls. THEN take on the attic and dump at least 1/3 of the crap we have shoved up there.

Have to do that before the temperatures soar and it becomes an oven!

On top of that I won't be able to go to Anime North in Toronto this coming weekend since the rug has been pulled out from under me. Husband and teens are off to the states for reasons I don't want to get into here, meaning I'm on point for the 9 year old who has *prior commitments*.

This is probably why Teh Bob agreed so readily to allow me to escape to Vancouver in June...*sigh*

May 9th, 2009

So blue

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The provincial tourniment for girls' basketball (high school division) started yesterday & is hosted in our city, so that is where I was for chunks of this day. My daughters' team lost and so they don't advance further. The coach/her father/my hubber ~ sucked it up, and then spent the evening recruiting from the younger rank and file players for next year.

I don't care ~ I'm just happy to bury another season. NOT spending Mother's Day in a gym isn't too shabby either.... (although that probably makes me a bad mum)

The Forget-me-nots are blu-ming. Thought I'd take Azul out for a photo yesterday morning and was reminded that I need to take her brothers apart, wash, restring and face-them-up.

*adds them to the long list of to-dos*

Funny thing with these doll/flower photos. I started taking them just because the vegetation is getting into full glorious swing and makes a perfect backdrop .... and it's a quick *scratch of the creative itch* that I am forcing myself to do every day. So I'm working my way through the bunch.

I can't actually WORK on the dolls until my midling child is finished monopolizing the kitchen table with her school projects. I need that surfact to lay out the...er...body parts, when I am spraying them. Also the weather is still highly changeable, with temperatures dropping & sproratic rain fall, so that's a no go for spraying MSC.

All in good time I guess.

May 5th, 2009

Project: Front Yard 90% done....

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I still have some mulching to do, minor plantings and ...the far end retaining wall to install after I pick up some more flags, but the most important thing (the darn hoop) is in place AND we get our parking spot (under it) back...

...and just in time. Yesterday the powers that be closed a major intersection spitting distance from us for construction, re-routing traffic past our house for the next month. Playing musical cars in the driveway as 4 drivers juggle 2 vehicles has taken on Indiana Jones like qualities.

May 2nd, 2009

When tomorrow comes...

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Last night the hubber and I watched a dvd after the sprog had gone to bed, and I was rather overwhelmed with a wave of *empty nest syndrome*

Earlier in the day I'd driven my eldest to the airport. She was off to visit a friend (her French Exchange partner from a few years back) in NYC for the weekend and the Middling-Spawn was out with girlfriends for the night. She wouldn't be coming home 'til the next day.

Usually I'm thrilled at the chance to have some calm around the house, but for some reason I was really feeling the weight of it last night.

I grew up as an only child of a pair of onlies, so I'm not bothered by a *quiet* household ~ and having married a Serb, I have to learn how to live in a loud one. Everything in this place is done at full-volume. So what happens is that I tend to relish those moments when the place doesn't resemble a three ring circus and in particular ...the clown act.

Yet ~ something about yesterday triggered a sense of melancholgy, that this is what life would be like once the girls were launched into the world. As my 9 year old snuggled up to my side, eyelids drooping and mumbling that maybe he should go to bed, it hit me like a thunderclap that I was not looking forward to the summer, when his energetic sisters are both off on their adventures far from the domestic fold...

My job as a parent is to encourage them to stretch their wings and explore the world by giving them the chance to leave the nest on their own. The eldest is going to visit France with a friend, the other is backpacking in Greece (she'd visited the Iberian penninsula last year). They are fairly humming with excitement and while I smile and help them plot the course of their adventures I'm torn up inside. My heart is like that drama mask. In turns laughing and crying, proud and sad; as my mind jumps ahead to the future...the one where all three are fully independant and living their lives far from my doorstep.

So this is what my mother went through. =__=

Karma is sending me a message. I think there is a P.S. at the bottom of the memo that says *oh and by the way, call your mother more often*

April 29th, 2009


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About two weeks ago the arbourists came to remove some bushes and trees in my tiny backyard. They were old, overgrown and filled with deadwood to the point that it was simpler to just get rid of them and start again.

The 45+ year old lilacs were cut to the ground and their young allowed room to stretch and fill out. An arctic willow that was two stories high and had basically become a trash tree, was just pulled out while the ancient pussywill was cut down to root level. The latter had become dangerous and needed to be dealt with before it hurt anyone.

I was sad though, since I really love pussy willows ~ the irony is that the 3 story high tree only put out pussies on the top and I never had a chance to cut any for display in a vase. In fact...I didn't even know it WAS a pussy willow until a few years after we'd moved here. I'd happened to glance into the backyard at the right time and look up...waaaaay up, and noted the tips of the branches shadowed against the sky were oddly...lumpy.

I forgot to ask the guys taking down the tree for a few branches for rooting. To my dismay, they'd done a very good job cleaning up the yard after their work. But as luck would have it, not a *perfect* job ~ because I found a small twig with 3 pussy paws on it, stuck in the branches of the climbing hydrangea a few days after the tree had come down.

I brought it inside, trimmed the bottom and stuck it into a vase with water, hoping that Mother Nature would be her opportunistic self....and throw off roots.

A week later one of the three catkins fell off. :(

Oh no. I'd been too late. It had dried out!

But...I kept it in the vase, topping off the water in hopes that there was a slight chance that the willow would do her thing. Then a few days ago one of the remaining little bits of fur popped into bloom. Hope was renewed! A few days later, white roots started to sprout from the submerged branch.

HAH! Mother Nature I lurv the way you just don't give up! *^__^*

I will finally get my own eyelevel pussywillow for clippings in the backyard!

April 28th, 2009

Update from the frontlines...I mean yard...

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Sort of fell off the earth.

Well not really....just been rolling around in it, and fighting it, and moving it, and sweeping it and raking it...

...you get the picture.

That bit under the windows hasn't been dug up for over 35 years. It was wedged tight with Daylily bulbs and other assorted roots. I'll be fighting the shoots for years but for the time being there is room for a vegetable garden.

Bricks have been stacked and the area for the basketball hoop dug (f**king WET CLAY! is SO HEAVY I was wrecked for a day) and bricks laid as a foundation. In my brilliance I had them place my bag of soil on the driveway at that very spot ~ so not only did I have to move around it to dig...but now I have to move the bottom half of that soil before I can wheel the hoop into place. ARGH.

Yesterday it was dreadfully hot for so early in the season (27C) and I spent the day weeding out an invasive perennial at the front of the garden...it was into and under everything I wanted to keep. I am not deluding myself that I erradicated it but I did major damage and will be vigilent in the future to make sure any shoots are dug out, since it doesn't just reseed but it sends out runners like mad.

It was cold and pouring rain today (8C), so the eldest spawnling and I decided to wait for tomorrow (and the forecast sun) to go get some flagstones to bolster the soil around the hoop and edges of the garden before I start sculpting the landscape with the remaining soil... and working out what perennials will work best where. Weeding is also on the agenda as things nose their way up out of the ground in what areas are still lawn. After they are yoinked up with my trusty weeder I can start with the mulch and actual sowing of seeds.

I would like to mention that the stone pagoda is 3 VERY HEAVY and ACKWARD pieces of ...well stone. >__<

ANYway...that is some of what I've been doing because my window of opportunity to do this before my yard turns to cement is April & early May.

April 21st, 2009

Spring = Digging like NUTS!

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Got the Rose of Sharon dug out of the front and planted (hard to see it against the fence where the ugly white trellis thing is) and....

...then I dug up the back yard with a garden fork. As deep down as the tines go, turned over, soil broken up, weeds removed at the root level. It wasn't too hard slogging...considering it hasn't been dug up in our 12 years here.

Get this...I actually BENT one tine on a fork...had to go to the shed for my 2nd one. THOSE are NOT easy to bend I tell you!! I have to wonder what I hit to cause it to bend so thoroughly *0__0!

Anyway..I'm leaving it till tomorrow to give my shoulder a chance to rest ~ then it's bringing in soil from the front, turning it over again, raking, seeding and moving on to the next project ~ while keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get some grass growing back here before the season moves into regular warm days and past optimum grass sowing weather.


Spring = squirrely running around

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Greetings from beyond the internets.

It's April and I have a brief window in which to attack the garden while the weather is cool, the ground isn't like cement and the plants haven't taken over the world.

This image is of my backyard what just had a tree removed. I wasn't willing to pay hundreds more for stump removal at this time but will be dealing with the busted fence with my fathers' help at some point...(I am hopeful that it will sucker)....It's really rather the least of my worries ~ now that the insanely old pussy willow is no longer threatening to crash into my bedroom window during a windstorm.

I suddenly have a LOT of sunshine in my backyard...so much so I can actually grow...grass maybe? I had (out of sight to the bottom right) a huge arctic willow removed and the well past their prime, 40+ year old lilacs cut down to allow the youngsters room to stretch and strut their stuff.

So one daughter and I have hand picked out half a garden's worth of *beach rocks* and moved them from one side of the garden to the other (doubling the rocks depth on the right). I dug out endless numbers of small trees and bushes that were worthless and bagged them up. I've dug a hole by that white trellis thing to transplant a Rose of Sharon bush from my front yard and am so grateful I trimmed back the Climbing Hydrengia and the Concord grapes last month or I think I'd have gone mad. We have 4 huge bags of yard waste just from this small patch of ground.

After transplanting the bush I will then dig up that grassless area, bring soil around from the mound sitting on my driveway and after working it in...re-seed the lawn.

The front is a MAJOR undertaking...I haven't a photo but we've finally got to ripping out all the vegetation under the windows and dumping wheelbarrow fulls of fresh soil into a garden that hasn't been worked in over 20 years. I have no less than 4, meter high, SACKS of day lily bulbs going out with the *garden trash* today.

Several plants were replanted elsewhere, but this area is NOW going to be my veggie garden. After 10 YEARS of saying I'm going to do it I HAVE. :)

*I don't like to be rushed you know*

The work that still needs to be done out front is mind boggling and I can only think one day at a time. I have a mental schedule ~ since there is a very logical order to do the work in, because we were given a movable basketball hoop. Now that I have the measurment for the base I need to build (cut out the heavy clay soil & make a base with rocks and brick) the spot in the garden by the driveway where it will stand ~ so the family can play ball on the expanded asphalt.

THEN the retaining wall needs to be built.....that means hauling rocks (flagstones) and of course then it's time to attack the perenial bed in earnest and ...well plant the veggie garden and...and...etc.

Once everything is done I can turn my attention BACK to the backyard and work on the flagstones back there...then back to the front to strip the front porch, repaint it (since the people I hired to do it last year did a HORRIBLE JOB), replace the outdoor carpeting at the top (which is there because some ass put tiles onto the cement 20 years ago and it's a hazard to your health as it ices up in the winter)...

....but that's for June. I don't want to think that far ahead...must concentrate on surviving April and May without breaking any body parts XD

....yeah...been busy ;)

April 11th, 2009

Weeeee can you feel the buzz!

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Today the husband and sprog were going to go with his brother to Toronto for basketball all day long.

I was to have the house mostly to myself, so I could work on the fox ears and tail for a doll and then call Xan for a lovely, long, cross-continent chat about her recent trip to Tokyo.

Dawn broke.

So did my sister-in-laws water. *0__0!!

I've been *on call* all month for AUNTIE duty, while they rush to the hospital to hatch the newest member of the family.

I had to laugh when they arrived early morning and my sis-in-law looks at me sheepishly when I ask if the kiddies had had breakfast. Apparently my brother-in-law...in the dash to get out the door thought just handing the kids chocolate would be good idea. I assured her that I'd remember to return the favour one day when I was watching the pack for *him* while she was away at a conference ;)

Off to find some more caffine so I can keep up with the herd!

April 3rd, 2009

End of teh Sprogs season

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Going out of town for a basketball tournie this weekend. My husband suggested I bring books ....and ear plugs....

... for the hotel. Seems it will be filled with 9/10 year old boys at the provincial play-offs and the way the hotel is built the rooms face an inside atrium with a pool.


April 1st, 2009

Silent comforts

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My habit has been for a few years now, to walk down the street for morning coffee when the cafe opens. Monday to Friday this is at 5:30 a.m.

In the past few weeks I've been going down the street just after 6 a.m., because my domestic schedual has altered slightly. I'm hopeful I can return to the earlier rising as I find a great amount of peace at that time of day and I am of better spirits if I get up at 5.

Having said that ~ Yesterday I was walking home with two coffees in hand when I encountered a gentleman coming the other way, who stopped to chat for a moment.

When I am out earlier I rarely see another soul let alone speak with anyone outside the java joint. A half hour makes a big difference and people are now on the move as the neighbourhood wakes up to start the day.

He looked at my boots and smiled saying, "SO I finally meet the owner of THE boots".

I knew IMMEDIATELY what he was refering to.

When there is a layer of new snow/frost/mud/etc on the ground, mine are usually the first set of human foot prints along this stretch of sidewalk in the morning. Every day I'd break a new trail, and then follow it home again.

He told me that he'd noticed I'd not been going as early and had wondered if my I'd changed jobs.


We chatted a moment and then he was on his way to catch a bus. For my part I was left contemplating how the evidence of my morning walk for coffee had become part of a total strangers' daily rhythm, and acknowledged how the actions of others effect me. The two Taxi drivers waiting in the parking lot at 5:30, windows down gossiping before the morning calls start, the bathroom light in a particular house flicking on when I walk by, the kitchen light on in its' neighbour...in how we take comfort in the small routines of others and the sense of stability it lends us.

People really are much more interconnected than they realize.

March 19th, 2009

Wound up like a toy

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Finished reading that book about the history of MATTEL last weekend and for all of the narssisism and egomania at that company over the years, I am waaaay more accepting of the eccentricities sexual or otherwise than I am of general big business practices that protect the bottom line regardless of cost.

It's quite up to date (commenting upon the Barbie vs Bratz war judgement as of January 2009)...but even that didn't strike a note of anger as loudly as the insider trading scandals and the golden parachutes Mattel executives award themselves, coupled with the fact that upon putting the book down one can read of similar goings on strangling America's faith in Wall Street...every day of the week.

Cruising the headlines of the newspaper (two dailies here) is actually becoming dangerous. My eyes take it, my brain accepts it but it's not till later that the news finally filters deeper into my cranium, so that when I close my eyes at night and I get hit by waves of anxiety....

This has been a source of my off-and-on insomnia as of late. I have been avoiding going to bed early because I need to be too exhausted to think when I close my eyes ~ just pull the night over my brain and force it into neutral. It's interesting though...that even when when I am lying there feeling it surge to the surface and a part of my brain is shouting *Nononononon stop!* and backpedalling as fast as it can to a neutral, thoughtless space in my head that I have another part of my mind sitting back watching with a curious eye to see which side wins this night.

I am disturbed though...that going to bed is something I am learning to dread. That road is going to be nothing but trouble.

Speaking of egos and empty heads ~ I changed out Samuals' eyes yesterday, for a pair of 12mm blue glass ones. It think they look rather striking and might keep this pair in him ~ and I took him outside for a few minutes to try and get some fun shots of the boy and try to figure out his personality.

It wasn't until later when I wound a comfy scarf from [info]iron_dog around his shoulders that he visibly seemed to relax a bit more, allowing more glimpses of his personality behind that resin shell of his. I think he really likes that scarf and other flowy things.

*rolls eyes*....why do I feel as though there will be silk scarves in this ones future?

Here he is with an obi in the livingroom. He didn't want to *co-mingle* yet with the other resins but he also didn't seem happy to be totally on his own ~ so he is centre of attention. Seems to suit him just fine.

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