Sunday, 27 October 2019

The Garden About to be Put to Bed

Yesterday I dug the last of the carrots and beets, gathered in the last of the dry beans, and tore out the tomato plants. Stacked the tomato cages (which were useless, by the way. The tomatoes grew so thick and fast they bent the cages and tipped them all over. Ah well, lessons learned). There are only a few onions and some kale left. Then it will be time to top the beds with mulch, pull up the wooden walkways and stack them, and it will be done for another winter.

I love to garden. I love getting messy and smelling the damp soil and fiddling with living plants. I love putting up food at harvest. But I also love wrapping it all up and putting it away, knowing that I have six months of rest ahead of me (well, other than shoveling snow, of course!). There are all kinds of things you can do to extend the growing season, with poly tunnels and whatnot, but really, I'm content to let it all die down in its usual season. We've both worked hard all summer and it's time to rest, myself and the soil.

And to put trays of lettuce and spinach under the grow lights in the kitchen...

Yeah, a gardener can never let go of plants completely.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Thoughts on a stash of yarn

A member of the local weavers' guild passed away recently, and her family is making her yarn stash available to those who want to buy it at a discount. I thought about it and managed to talk myself out of it---I have so much yarn tucked away in bins in the crawlspace already. Really, I shouldn't buy more unless it's for a specific project.

It got me to thinking, though, of all the "stashed" stuff I have that my family will have to clear out when I'm gone. Will any of it mean anything to anyone but me? The old sepia photographs I found of plump women at the beach in about 1940 (not relatives). The mismatched crocheted angels and bells and snowflakes that won't fit on my Christmas tree. The notes I took at the Provincial Archives while researching the McKendry family tree. The stack of antique postcards from Germany. The drawers of recipes enthusiastically copied but rarely tried. The dried-out paints left from that glass-painting hobby. A Dremel and all its parts that I haven't used in a decade. Doodled floorplans and clippings from design magazines. Bottles of self-saved vegetable seeds. Bent spades and dull secateurs. The scrawling drivel of the journal I kept when I was seven.

Is this what my whole life has come down to? Is this what I have to show for it? Well no, obviously there's more to it than that. I have five wonderful direct descendants if nothing else. And a stack of books I've written that I'm proud of. And the journals from my later years have more valuable substance to them. But still...

Some sorting out to do. Some consolidating and discarding to carry out. I always think of myself as a minimalist, generally...and then I remember the crawlspace. Still some work to be done!

Monday, 14 October 2019

Autumn finally comes to Ontario

Last week there were kids in swimsuits playing in the splash pad at the community centre. So NOT normal for Ontario in October! But finally today there's a brisk cold breeze and the maple trees down the street are turning crimson. My tomato plants are still blooming, and there's even a new bloom on the lavender. But there's finally a fall tinge to the air, and I can start anticipating hot chocolate and curling by the fireplace with a book and blanket.

I went for a two-hour stroll along the lake today, just enjoying the breeze and blue sky and sunshine. Need to soak up all I can before the weather goes gray. Lots of people were out (good to see so many like-minded people who couldn't resist this wonderful fall day), but if I kept my eyes on the lovely water and sweeping willows and gracefully dipping swans, I could almost pretend I was by myself. That the beautiful park was my yard that I could walk in and sit in and enjoy but not have to maintain. Really, you don't have to own things, so long as you can enjoy the use of them.

That said, I've been eyeing two beautiful rolling acres on Highway 6 and fantasizing about a little vegetable market garden... Then I remind myself that a) I have a job in downtown Toronto, and b) I don't have the money, and c) one of my favourite passions in life is walking, and it's difficult to do that if you live on a highway with no pedestrian sidewalks. So at least for now, I'll just be content with growing my little boxes of veggies and walking along Lake Ontario. At least until the weather breaks and it's time to retreat indoors for seven months.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

General Conference

A lovely day spent watching the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' General Conference and Women's Broadcast from Salt Lake City. Inspiring messages, and I came away feeling valued, understood, and stronger, like I can tackle anything. And I'm impressed with how musical members of the Church are. Seriously, the Tabernacle Choir is good, but the other (amateur) choirs that sang today, including one made up of girls age 8-11, I enjoyed just as much.

My great-grandmother used to call spiritual experiences her "blood transfusions," because she came away from them strengthened and refreshed. That is just how I would describe today. One of my favourite things ever is to sit and do my needlepoint and listen to prophets and apostles. Timely topics, powerful messages, and an infusion of happiness. I recommend it to anyone!