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start of the “work staycation”

I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what?? 🙂 

I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.

My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:

Work:

3 documents to develop and/or finalize

2 speeches to finalize

Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )

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Personal life and home:

Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.

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Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.

Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?

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Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).

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I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.

And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? 🙂

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Have a great Friday night everyone!

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looking forward to the long weekend

It is Canada day tomorrow and we have the long weekend with Monday off.

I may be working on Monday but I am so excited for this long weekend! I just feel tired and too strained lately, and I am looking forward to winding down a little bit. This weekend will give me this opportunity 🙂

What are my plans?

Other than the regular stuff (i.e. cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cutting the grass – which I have done this afternoon), I plan to bake an unconventional type of sourdough this week. What could that be? Something that has not been done before…. I do not know really – I will have to really get creative here, or bake a regular sourdough – in any way it will be awesome 🙂

I would like to visit the thrift stores tomorrow and see whether i can find something interesting. I may buy some sewing material.

Sewing… Yes… Why do I not try sewing a blouse again? I have tons of fabric that I hauled last year from thrift stores 🙂 What a great idea – I hope I will not chicken again and do it!

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I may also visit a nearby international food store and get some dry beans and bulghur – these could be excellent choices to prepare office lunch for me. Good idea! 🙂

I also would like to start drying some lilacs from my yard.  I have incredible lilacs that I have been thinking about drying up for some time. I think it is the time…. Once they dry up, I want to hang them on my wall in a frame. The beauty of the flowers and plants in my yard…. How nice is the nature? I have daisies blooming up. They are all so exciting 🙂

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And other than this, I will look ahead my life, and plan and hope for the best. It is time that things change for the better. Now that I appreciate my life, how simple and easy going it is, and how well it works for me, including my budget, increased savings, and investments. There is a lot to be grateful for in my life. This weekend will give me an opportunity to re-think about them and re-feel my appreciation.

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Sunday afternoon musings

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It has been a good day; I have planted a number of seeds and I hope that at least one or two of them will germinate and grow! Please! 🙂

Since my arm is still acting, I take it really easy with the yard. I still have some digging to do, but I guess it will be spread over the summer. I think the main problem is resolved, or almost resolved (which was an uneven surface at the back). I bought some flower seeds today and together with my mom’s seeds I have planted them in the yard. I also planted mint, basil, and parsley seeds today. It was fun to give them water this afternoon, thinking that water will help these little seeds start their lives.

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Did I mention that my potatoes indeed potated!!? Ahem – yes! I think I have 3-4 potato plants growing in the yard 🙂 Also two onions and 6-7 garlic sprung. These are so exciting for me 🙂  I read somewhere that the best time to plant the garlic is fall. I will do that this year. I also would like to plant tulips and other bulb flowers. Next year I hope to have a much decent looking and pretty yard. What an excitement 🙂

Other exciting activities of the day included baking sourdough bread, walking around 1 hour to a shopping mall, and shopping some canned food and other needs. I had not done this kind of shopping in the last 8 weeks or so, so it was the right time. And I was lucky and could catch the bus right on time on the way back, which is always pleasing (who wants to wait 30-40 min for the bus? No one 🙂

I have been eating better lately, which always pleases me. I can see that it has an effect on my scale so I would love to keep eating better (e.g. no peanut or peanut butter, or refined carbs like pasta). i do not know why I feel the need to share this info here – I guess it is just a mental note – so bear with me!

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Have a great Sunday evening and night everyone! 🙂

 

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it may turn out to be exciting if you do not tend to your back yard

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love-me-nots! I did not know that I had so many of them right in front of my yard. They are so beautiful 🙂

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As you know I have been away for over a month and that meant I have had a friend of mine house sitting. Yet, she did not tend to the yard and as a result, when I returned back the grass was half a meter long! 🙂 I started cutting them this afternoon but got tired – I will finish tomorrow.

But the nicest thing was finding out some flowers blooming in the yard. Looks like I was trimming them down while cutting the grass, as I have seen some of them for the first time in my yard! 🙂

Nature…

if we did not modify you, I am sure you would give us more beautiful things to enjoy.

 

random thoughts

It is a warm and humid day – it started raining in the evening and that feels just like the springs I know. One moment warm and the next moment it slightly cools down with the rain. All is welcome 🙂

I am happy with the work I have done today. I came home in the afternoon to work without distraction and it proved to be a good decision.

I have a new flower bloomed in my yard 🙂 it is hidden in between the leaves of a kind of large green plant. I did not plant it there, so I am assuming it somehow got in there. I also see many small plants here and there. As soon as I understand what they are i will either plug them out or let them grow. They are kind of under a tree from next door and I am assuming that they are the seeds from that tree that germinated. But I cannot be sure yet – I am wishfully waiting.

It is official that I have a pest problem…. Disgusting….. I found new poops in my kitchen counter that make me want to puke… I am calling the pest control company tomorrow – hopefully they will be able to give me some baits and this problem will be resolved soon. I am pretty much annoyed but then I know that I am doing okay in terms of taking steps: I have sticky bands everywhere, poison in two places, electronic repellents (which I think are not working as I found the poops close to them….), i placed all food in cabinets into glass jars or in the fridge, and I try to show up in the kitchen time to time to make sure that they know they are not the only thing there and behave maybe. … Maybe… I can only hope 🙂 I know this is not a pleasant topic to write about – bear with me. I just feel better facing the issue, that is all.

In contrast to almost all of the mornings in my life, this morning I have got up feeling good…. You know what I think is the reason? I filled my mind with positive thoughts right before I went to bed by writing my joy journal. I am curious to see whether I can replicate this feeling tomorrow and the days after that. If I can see that is the reason, then, my friends, I may have just found the key to happiness and less crankiness 🙂

That would be just awesome 🙂

 

drying flowers

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photo credit: Nguyenthibeut at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dried_flowers.JPG

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I just needed another project for myself 🙂

I chose to dry flowers from my yard 🙂

I have dried some flowers given to me when my dad died. Miraculously, I could dry them up (within two-three sheets of paper pressed in large heavy books), some of them even retained their colours. They are now cherished a lot and an hung up on my wall. They remind me my dad… May he rest in peace.

I said “miraculously”, because I had tried to dry some yard flowers last year, only to find them have gone bad with mold and everything (moisture looks like a factor). After the success with my dad’s flowers, I checked the internet to get ideas and I will try a couple of them to make sure I can:

a) air drying

b) paper/press drying

c) oven drying

d) water drying

I would love to dry up lilacs, dandelion flowers, white daisy, and hopefully the tiny forget-me-nots, in addition to some green plants 🙂

Wish me success! 🙂

random thoughts

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photo credit: Rude (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forget_me_not.jpg)

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Today is off, but I went to the office nevertheless. It was magical – it reminded me how well I can do without distractions of emails, phones, meetings, and just people around. In 4 hours I have done days of work… I am very grateful.

The day is warm and shinny with a blue sky. I could see all my neighbours out working in their yards, chatting with other neighbours, and having barbecue parties 🙂 It is as if not only the nature has awaken by Spring, but people too.

Honestly we deserved that after our long winter. This winter was not harsh as it was the last two years. But nonetheless, I am sure all residents are cherishing its end 🙂

I am spending the afternoon at home with listening to calming music and reflecting on  the productive work today and the beauty of Spring. My lilacs are blooming and so are the forget-me-nots. Forget-me-not flower has rapidly become my favorite a couple of years ago when I purchased my home. These little blue  flowers are so elegant, so cheerful, and so beautiful. I feel lucky to have them right in my yard.

Wishing everyone a great Spring day 🙂

gifts and treats for myself

Feeling down lately, I found myself missing in my life some of the things that make me excited.

deals: I missed to find a great deal. A nice shirt or a jacket with a great price. Bringing it home and feeling grateful for it. Feeling excited, too. It is so nice to have something that one can love. Mall time?

reading books: Reading mystery books or my “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of books. Man, the second book slowed me down – I have 0 motivation to read it. Why cannot I just go ahead and get the pleasure of reading it? I either will give a serious attempt to read this book, or go buy a nice book this week. I will read it, too.

hair cut? Now that I have a large fun funds at my disposal, I should be finding ways to spend it. For some reason, I have lost my interest in spending, too (go figure). I was supposed to have a hair cut last week, but I was lazy and did not do that. A nice haircut would be awesome – will I try it this week?

buying books: I sometime think that I get the same pleasure by buying a book as reading one. I may walk to the mall this week and look for sales. I may also visit the thrifty stores; they usually have a large used books section. I should be able to find some interesting mystery books, right? I hope.

art work/decorative items: I missed finding a nice art work/decorative item that I can use at home. When was the last time I have tried that? New year? Time to start looking. Who knows? I may be able to find something nice.

flowers: Shall I get a new plant? After the last experience (the plant’s soil turned out to be nest for tiny fruit flies; like 100 of them. I know because I killed them using sticky pads…), honestly I do not wish to get any. But, I have seen some flowers on a blog this evening; They were so nice. I may buy a nice, colorful flower.. Flowers remind me my dad – I guess I would like something. Maybe daisies. Maybe violets. But something colorful. Let’s keep this in my mind.

eating out: I may eat out as I am not spending my weekly allowance, so I have funds. In addition, I am not eating well and eating out may in fact be helpful. I may treat myself to a lunch this weekend. I would like it to be a nice one, not a food court type of food. I had it last week; while I was grateful it did not excite me.

What else?

Maybe I can get inspired by your selection – what gifts/treats you give to yourself?

 

Forget-me-not- the little blue flowers in my yard

When I had seen them for the first time last year in my new yard, I had fallen in love with them. The little blue flowers with yellow center, almost fluorescent colour that can hardly be captured by the camera.

I found their names today on the internet: these beautiful mini flowers are called myosotis or forget-me-not.

Forget-you-not little beauties.

yard update

Okay – the spider-plant like one I planted in the yard completely turned white the next day; I am pretty sure it is not happy; destination = unknown.

But I am seeing at last two different types of small plants; one with delicate yellow flowers and the other with a long headings just showing up at the parts of yard I paid little attention so far. No idea what both are – but I am excited that they are there. This also tells me that they either did not germinate or were too young to show themselves last year.

Alternatively, maybe, just maybe, I am looking at the yard in a little bit more detail this spring. As a matter of fact I believe that is a highly probable possibility; last year my primary interest was to cut the grass (for the first time) without puking (not joking) :).

One of the onions is doing okay but the other two I am not sure. I will see.

I am so anxious to see the seeds (herbs and flowers) coming out. It is only been six days since I planted them, so cannot expect them to show up today or tomorrow. But I am so looking forward to the day I will first meet with them. This is of course possible if the soil and the shade/sunlight conditions are right. I am imagining that one morning I will see many tiny stalks coming out of the soil, like a little army of herbs/plants. And then they will grow, get strong, and conquer the piece of land they have under their leaves. 🙂

random thoughts

It is Sunday and beautiful.

It is a little bit foggy and chilly today yet, we are, those who have been longing for the spring for so long, still hanging in there 🙂

Where I am, this weekend (the Victoria day long weekend) is considered to be the first week of spring (yes, unfortunately we get long winters…). Many of my neighbours were out this weekend, tending their yards and planting stuff.

Cool.

This year is my first time planting plants/seeds and taking care of my yard a little bit (removing clutter; I found another spoon today while digging, in addition to broken glass and china pieces. What is up with these? was this yard a garbage dump?!!). I remove the stuff as much as I can. But I am afraid if I dig deeper, I can find more interesting stuff. 🙂

Ok, so what have I done in my yard today? well, I worked on one part of the yard, which I plan to plant garlic, onion, and potato. I will have to work a little bit better at that place – there are too many rocks and plant roots. Cannot plant anything there yet.

I also worked on another small part and managed to plant seeds of three different flowers. These seeds were given to me by my mom and I cherish them a lot. Will they please, please, and please germinate, bloom, and show themselves sometime?

I planted my first onion (yay!) on a pot outside. When I went thru my onions in the kitchen, I noticed two more onions that were a little bit softer; I planted them too. Mom says garlic and onion do not need to be planted too deep. That is what I have done. Knowing my usual carelessness and the cold climate here, as usual I am hoping for a miracle 🙂

I also planted three small plants, which were indoors since winter. I really love them and I do hope they will survive in the yard. Especially those long ones – imagining how they will dance with the wind makes my heart warm. I should go and get some more.

random thoughts

What a beautiful shiny, and warm day. Today feels like a spring – that is for sure 🙂

Since I was at home since noon, I decided to go to the bank, take care of a transfer I was supposed to do for some time, drank coffee and had a sandwich, and visited my favourite second hand book store. Bought two books I am interested in reading (well I had planned not to buy any books for two months, but today I did well taking care of many things, so I am pampering myself).

When I came back home, it was past 3pm, still early for me to resume daily relaxing routine. So I started working in the yard; I am primarily collecting the debris that do not serve the yard anymore. I have got two big disposal bags filled for now, and I expect another one when I am done, hopefully tomorrow.

I decided to get rid of whatever does not look natural – that includes some ropes and wires left by the previous owners. I also am digging a high part of the yard and trying to even it a little bit and remove the grass. I plan to plant flowers and other stuff in that area. It can look beautiful and and certainly more fresh, more my own.

I have seen a couple of yellow flowers in my yard, which I had not seen last year. They are very delicate,  so nice, so awesome. They reminded me that there is life in my yard and winter I hope is finally over. Nature is amazing in a lot of ways.

I hope to continue tomorrow to make the yard look a little bit better, cleaner, and my own. Considering I show interest in yard-work for the first time, I think I will eventually have a lovely place.

new interest: gardening

I hope I will not lose interest in this newly found interest: gardening.

When I was young, I loved planting beans and see them grow so easily and fast. I just loved it. I have been hardly interested in planting flowers, though.

This summer I planned to have a vegetable garden in a part of my yard. I would like to plant garlic, lettuce, some beans, onion, and potato to start with. Nothing too much; I am not even sure this climate is suitable to grow them. I am experimenting.

When I bought my house, the yard was completely neglected. It is not a big yard; I have 7 small trees, two of them are lilacs. I love lilacs. I used to smell lilacs whenever I saw them prior to buying my house. Last summer when I saw that I had one white and one lilac colour lilacs, I was ecstatic! Other trees I have no idea. They are not in great shape, but I am not interested in throwing them away. Let’s wait a couple of more years and see how they are doing.

After I planted some daffodils, tulips, and some other flowers today, I felt really good. I need to clean my yard and get rid of a lot of debris from previous users. The shed at the end of the yard is disintegrating (it is not mine; belong to the house on the other side of the fence), which looks really uncool. I can plant some long plants to that area to conceal that view. My yard is also not even, which bothers me. I should be digging and fixing it this summer; I am assuming I can buy and plant grass later should I want it.

honestly, I have no interest in grass. I rather would like to have stone paths to cover the majority of my yard. It would help me stop mowing and the yard would look a little bit more civilized. I think I will prioritize the side of the yard for this; I can see myself having pots of flowers and maybe a bird fountain over there. Birds are amazing, too. Trees, birds, and flowers. Nature is amazing 🙂

My feeling is that nowadays is the best time to star digging the yard; the soil is still wet and soft due to recent rains and melting of the snow banks. This makes my job quite easy.

See, me, the person who keeps saying “I am lazy” has now found a new interest that requires time and effort, but still excites her 🙂

I just hope I will continue to have this interest.

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