Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dandelion and Mud Season Pictures of Stuff Coming Up In My Front Yard

Just so you don't get the impression that its all about the digging out... here are some shots of things COMING out (and up!)



Lilac in Front Garden

Peony in the Front Garden

Coral Bark Maple

More Coral Bark Maple

I Am Re-Naming Spring.

I spent about an hour and a half outside today – most of it on my hands and knees digging up dandelions. 

Funny thing about that – dandelions always remind me of my Grandpa English.  They seemed, in summer, at least, to be the bane of his existence.  He and Grandma had a house and lot in the south end of Nanaimo & in the summer time Grandpa would try all sorts of things to get rid of those damn yellow flowers. When my brother and I would go stay with them, we would pick bouquets of Grandpa’s flowers for Grandma.

I didn’t think much about dandelions until I bought my house in Ontario.  The yards (front and back) had never had much attention, and so dandelions had run rampant.  I bought a hand tool – sort of looked like a very small crow bar – and over the course of the three summers I had the house, I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees digging up dandelions at the root. Hot, dusty, unpleasant work in the middle of summer in Ontario, but still rewarding when, finally, my last summer there rewarded me with a decently green lawn that WASN’T green because of dandelions.

I took possession of my house here in Cumberland BC in late September of 2011, and so, though there were some out, I didn’t think about them much.  To be fair, I was very busy with moving in, writing exams and then just plain trying to settle into a new job and a new home all in one small space of time.

Winter came and the yard fell asleep – dandelions included.

Its spring now and they are awake. 

I’ve seen only one in actual flower, but have spent a few hours outside now, on my hands and knees, thinking about my Grandpa English and digging them up at the roots.  Today’s gleanings removed two full buckets of them from the yard – there are lots more out there that will need to be pulled up...

I also actually pulled out my rotary mower and ran it over the back lawn to help even things out, and then finally took the big fan-shaped garden rake to the yard & put everything into the compost bin.

I’ll need to get my hands on some good quality grass seed (I’m in research-mode there) with which to re-seed and over-seed both the back and front lawns, but for now, the big push is going to be pulling out all of the dandelions as they start to really make their presences known.

One of the big springtime challenges I am having right now is actually dog-related.  I have a very uneven back yard and so, as material is available, I have been spreading out soil to even out the ground.  There are holes and dips and hills.  No big deal, really, but the dog-related challenge is that when it rains (as it tends to do a lot in spring) things become muddy and then Miss Jasmine is outside in it and tracks muddy doggy feet into my house. Muddy Foot prints run a specific line through my kitchen – and though I do wipe them up as much as possible, the challenge is that the floor needs lots of washing.  I’m thinking about maybe getting a Swiffer Wet-Jet – just so I can spot-mop when she comes in… and then do a full wash one a week or so…

A dog door into the utility room is fast becoming a necessity!

That will, of course, require the replacement of THAT door (and frame) and the installation of the aforementioned dog door – but doing that would also allow her to self regulate inside and outside all day when I’m at work.


Maybe the next big house-changing project (after the front door has been replaced, of course) will need to be the mud-room door?

Spring is being officially renamed - it is now Dandelions and Mud.

With love across the waters,

The Hardest Part

I work on a permanent Tuesday to Saturday shift at work – so my weekend is Sunday / Monday. I don’t think I am alone in this… but I have the worst time trying to get myself motivated on Sunday mornings to get anything done. 

There’s usually the attempt at sleeping in – aborted by the dog needing to go outside which is immediately followed by the cat – freed from the dog’s oppressive presence on my bed - who needs to climb up onto my chest, lie there, make bread and tell me all about her hard life with purring and much meowing.

After that, I’m usually having coffee and reading or maybe trying to catch up on computer-related reading of some sort.  Then breakfast or at the very least something to stave off hunger (this morning it was fresh mango with vanilla yogurt – yum!) and some time around 10 or so I start thinking I may need to get dressed and actually try and get something in the house done.

Today the skies are grey and overcast -0 but rain isn’t scheduled to start until this evening, so really and truly, I should be dressed in yard work clothing, with gloves on my hands, kneeling in my grass digging up some of the (what seems to be) hundreds of dandelions that are in my back yard.

The hardest part is actually getting dressed and getting started.  It isn’t that I don’t want to get out there and get something done before the rains start… it isn’t that I’m still tired or sore or anything else that I could use as an excuse to NOT go outside and do something… really and truly, the hardest part is the getting dressed part – it means that my Sunday morning ‘lie around” time is over and that I have decided to Get Things Done.

It’s very nearly 11:00 AM now… I am still in my robe and slippers.  I really need to get dressed and get out there. The rain isn’t going to hold off forever – and I really do want to get out and get at least something outside done… and if I stay inside, in my robe, on the sofa… well, nothing will get done!

OK – it’s time.  I am going to Get Things Done.

With love across the waters,