Sunday, May 15, 2016

Springtime Catch-up

Spring is here in full force - flowers are blooming, fruit and vegetables are growing, home renovations will be starting again...

With the start of spring, I also came across a new opportunity for work - and decided that it really was time for a change.  The change in employers (yes, I left my last employer after 25 years) has me working a whole 2 blocks from home.  I walk to work.  I walk home at lunch.  My total commute is about 3 minutes - and that is if I stop to smell the actual flowers on the way.  With this change I have regained 10 hours a week.  

10 hours!

The work week is two and a half hours shorter, but the biggest change is that I am not in my car for an hour and a half each day.  I get up a little later - yes - but I am still out walking my dog in the early morning hours. I feel more rested and less stressed.  There is the "stress" of learning - oh, and there is some stress in that, for the first time in 25 years I am actually on "probation" for three months and there is the risk that I don't make it through - but the feed-back thus far has been really positive.

Spring has hit in full force, though, and this weekend I finally got to the serious gardening that I needed to complete.  I dug out the other two vegetable beds (pernicious weed removal) and ground layered some heavy-duty landscape cloth.  It is woven cloth covered in plastic and I sure hope that it finally stops the nasty weed that I have been battling for the last few years!

Once dug out, weed-barriered, and then back filled with cleared soil and potting mix, in went the vegetables.  Last weekend I planted the Principe Borghese (cherry) tomatoes - four plants this year - into the same bed I had the two plants in last year.  I generally harvest and dehydrate these ones as they store brilliantly and a handful or two makes a wonderful addition to my soups, stews, rice dishes and so on.  Slightly reconstituted, they make wonderful pesto sauce.

I also potted some Genovese Basil - admittedly, it may be too early to have it out, but I also have some seed that I can start in the house and grow in my garden window in the kitchen.  

This weekend was the lion's share of planting efforts. Two kinds of lettuce.

Pole Beans:

Health Kick tomatoes, Red Onions and Purple Haze Carrots (This will be the colour-filled harvest bed)

And two kinds of corn:

I have also put up some pet-deterrent screening to ensure there is no jaunting through the beds (or digging in them) until everything is well established.

I also have two kinds of squashes planted in the little bed out front.

All in all, a very productive day.

Tomorrow will also need to be a productive day  I will need to get the car in for emergency brake repairs, call repair people about my vacuum (something has disconnected somewhere and while the hose has suction, the chassis does not,) call other repair people about my awning (the metal loop that the pole connects to and then turns to open and close the awning has broken off and I need to get that dealt with ASAP,) Do the requisite laundry and weekly cleaning, and also clean out the front bedroom in advance of the next stage of renovations - the new window.

Yes, more renovations are on my table for this summer - but nothing as big as last year's job!  Additional window installation into the front bedroom (for more natural light) and then a full painting refresh in here.

Other summer projects include finishing the pantry shelving and then tricking it all out (paint and flooring) and MAYBE building a Murphy bed with a floating desk for the front  bedroom. Or it may go into the bedroom I'm currently using and I may move myself into the front bedroom - something I will have to decide after the room has the new window and been painted.  It has more closet space, and I think it is also bigger. I'm still on the fence about that, though.

With love across the waters...