i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

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seven things on a sunday

Seven Things on a Sunday @ Beyond Elsewhere

1 – I will never get tired of staring at the night sky. A dream goal is to move to a way more rural area (not, like, totally rural, but away from any big cities) and have a skylight in my bedroom. There’s something about staring at the stars, when there are no other lights around, that takes my breath away. I love the sky. So much. (But I love it from the ground, I am way too terrified up in a plane to appreciate the sky while IN the sky. Not for me. Nope.)

2 – I hate wearing shoes. Unless I’m wearing a specific pair of slippers in the house, I would much rather not wear shoes (or socks). I can’t stand having my feet imprisoned! Which is an odd thing for someone who can’t stand feet. (They gross me out. Yucko!) I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much this summer, but I spend way too much time trying to figure out what shoes to wear when I have to go out. Not because of look, but because of how they feel on my feet. I would much rather walk around barefoot if I can. Especially in the back yard, and garden, much to the chagrin of my body, because I’m allergic to the grass and then end up with a rash, or hives on my legs. But it’s worth it to feel grounded. Well, maybe not right before bed. *itch*scratch*itch*GAH!

3 – I have been extremely restless lately. Especially today. I have likened this feeling in the past to a bird rustling its feathers. Nothing holds my attention very long anymore. For example, I thought early this morning that writing this blog post would be a great idea. Five hours later, I’m only just starting the third item on this list – that’s after trying to nap, taking a shower, and playing in the garden (not all in that order.) At lot of this feeling is likely due to the week-long 40C+ weather we’ve had. I’m slowly evolving into a summer season girl, over the winter, but I still cannot stand these humid, no-air, 40C and over days.

4 – I have never known comfort of my soul like I have known with Yoshi. If you follow me on any social media you’ll probably have noticed that 95% of what I post is about Yoshi. I love all my Finnish Lapphunds, past and present, but Yoshi has stood out over them all with how much he helps me with my anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

Life as a hooman pillow

I had a week off of work at the end of July, and every morning, without fail, Yoshi would use my left arm as a pillow. He would stay there for 30-60 minutes, as I drank my coffee and browsed the internet. Sometimes he would cling to my hand as he drooled all over my arm and slept. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t think I have ever felt anything so comforting as with Yoshi sleeping on my arm. He centres me. He calms me. He’s always with me. If I go upstairs, he follows. If I nap, he’s on the bed napping. When I’m down in the shower, he’s outside the door, laying with his face in the bathroom. When I come home from work, he crawls into my lap and tries to merge his body into mine, while giving me kisses. And then he just rests. If I’m crying, he lets me hold him (of course if I happen to sneeze, or cough he gets the heck outta dodge and runs away.) Yoshi is like a real life plush toy. He calms me. He loves me. And he brings me so much joy.

Me and my Best Guy

5 – When I am rich I am going to take care of rescued Capybaras. Well, it’s up there with my dream goal of having a house in the country, with a giant skylight over my bed. Because I’ll also have a nice pool to help my little rescued Capybara swim and enjoy life. I have been in love with these rodents since I first saw one at the Montreal Biodome a billion years ago. And this past summer, two Capys escaped a zoo in Toronto and were on the lam for a month. I love these critters. I follow two of them on Facebook because I am THAT much of a dork. Joejoe the Capybara and Sweetie the Capy. How can you not love them?? I require one. I think Yoshi would like one, too.

6 – I have been listening to the same playlist on my phone for almost two full months. This might not be a big deal to anyone else, but I normal change my music up regularly. I have certain songs I always want to hear, but I love to have my music on shuffle and just see what comes up. I made a playlist of up-beat songs back in June and I have had that playlist on shuffle to and from work, at work, before I fall asleep. Over and over. I’m still not tired of it. Granted, I have removed or added the odd song or two in this time, but for the most part these 23 songs have been my daily soundtrack. I named the playlist Sunshine because it makes me happy. (Artists include: Taylor Swift, DNCE, Justin Timberlake, Walk the Moon, Tegan and Sara, The Lumineers, Fitz & the Tantrums, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Marianas Trench, and many more!)

7 – Obviously there needs to be an update about Jinx’s Garden v2.0! When we last checked in on the garden, it had just been planted. Now it’s a wild beast of a garden!

Jinx's Garden v2.0

I have never seen cherry tomato plants grow so big before. They are entangling themselves into the cucumber and melon vines, too! Maybe I’ll have some fun cross pollinated fruits. šŸ˜‰
Jinx's Garden v2.0 August 2016
We have two melons coming along. One of which you can see in the first image on this post – and that’s from two weeks ago. The melon is much bigger now! I have given away more cucumbers than I have kept for myself, but I do have two on my kitchen counter right now. I am sceptical about the cherry tomatoes though. The plants are HUGE and there are green tomatoes everywhere, but they are certainly taking their time turning red. I have only picked four cherry tomatoes so far this summer. Maybe the plants are just growing TOO much and so they aren’t focusing on ripening the tomatoes they have already grown? Not sure. But this new location for the garden seems to grow plantsĀ very well. Woo!

And so ends my Seven Things on a Sunday for August 14, 2016. I almost ran out of Sunday before I got this posted. Until the next random time I post! Toodles, internet!

jinx’s garden v2.0

Gardening without Jinx around still hurts my heart, though the gardening itself heals me. Last year was the first full summer without Jinx around to help his garden grow. The garden didn’t grow particularly well, and some might say it was the weather; but, I know it was because I didn’t have Jinx looking after it. IĀ did have Yoshi trampling it, and peeing on it. But the coocumbers and tomatoes just didn’t prosper as they had in the past.

A lot of changes happened last summer, one of which was the tearing down of our cabanon (shed) and creating way more space in the yard. The idea I had last year was to move the garden space this year, but we got a very late start (read: this past week) due to weather, and my taking a 6-week class for my publishing certificate which pretty much took up all my weekends between the beginning of May untilĀ mid-June.

Jinx's Garden 2016

Shawn also wanted to be part of the gardening process this year, so he’s been helping me dig and move stuff around. We moved the garden to the far corner of the yard. It’s a better place for it I think. Also I should have to deal with way fewer spiders the size of my head to get to the plants. THANK GOODNESS!

We only planted our plants this weekend. I’m about a month behind where I normally am. Other people have gardens that are already sprouting tomatoes and whatnot, but I just have my little sprouts.

Although, one thing I noticed about 2 weeks ago were the sudden appearance of rogue tomato plants amongst the weeds where the garden USED to be.

Jinx's Garden 2016 - rogue tomato plants

Look carefully amongst the weeds – do you see all those tiny tomato plants? And MINT! So. Much. Mint. Aside from this area being where the garden WAS, we also dump all our pots of plants and herbs there at the end of the season. I guess the ground has been fertilized enough that these things are starting to grow on their own. I repotted 8 different sprouts, and there are still some in the weeds!

Jinx's Garden 2016 - rogue tomatoes

I gave three plants to my neighbour, and replanted four others in the garden. One of the little sprouts didn’t like being dug up and didn’t make it, but that’s ok. I’m the only one in this house (besides Sophie) who eats tomatoes. I don’t know what I would do with 15 or so cherry tomato plants! I am fairly certain that they are all cherry tomatoes because I tend to grow those more often than regular ones. Who knows what will happen though. I might have to set up a tomato stand at the end of my driveway by the end of the summer and sell tomatoes – assuming these all grow and bear fruit!

Jinx's Garden 2016

Now we’ve got the garden pretty much finished. We have coocumbers (right), yellow watermelon (left – and who knows if that will work. Shawn picked that one out!), and four tomato plants in the middle. I still have to plant my radish seeds, and I’ll get to that this week (because: vacation for meeeee!!). I have my little herb bucket again with lemon mint, lemon thyme, and lavender. I replanted a lot of the mint that was growing amongst the weeds, and it seems to be doing well. We’re thinking of adding some pots of flowers around the back of the garden, over the cedar chips. And I need to add a little fencing, or some sort of border to the front and sides of the garden (to keep Mr Bear Paws OUT of the garden. Sigh. YOSHI!!)

Another thing different this year is my attempt at adding flowers to the back yard, too.

flowers!

About 3 weeks ago I tossed (sort of planted) a bunch of flower seeds in front of the deck. Some of them are starting to grow, a lot were eaten by birds. (Alas.) But while we were out buying herbs and coocumber plants, we picked up some flowers – mostly because I fell head-over-heels in love with these:

lantanna lucky sunrise

By golly, these flowers match my HAIR colour (most of the time). And they look like SUNSETS! They are calledĀ Sunrise RoseĀ (so I was close) and they were hanging in a basket over my head at the garden centre and I HAD to know what they were. I bought two plants. One is called Lucious Berry Blend. They look like the sunrise ones, so I don’t know. Either way – gorgeous. I hope they don’t die. I am horrible at keeping plants alive. I need Jinx for that!

I also bought a geranium plant, which is sort of between the flowers and my herb pot. It’s supposed to help keep mosquitos away (ha!), but I also like the scent a lot, and have some essential oil I use and thought, why not have my own plant? Yoshi acts like it’s catnip to him. So we call it Yoshinip.

I don’t know how the garden will fare this summer. We’re late in the game, though the last few autumns have been hot and summer-like, so just maybe we’ll have a nice September harvest. I hope Jinxy is looking down on the garden and sending us his Green Paw magic. I think he’d like this new spot. I think he’d like Yoshi. I think he’d make sure to keep Yoshi OUT of the garden and make sure he doesn’t pee on it. (Sigh, Yoshi.)

My garden will forever be Jinx’s Garden. It will probably always continue to make me both happy and sad. I’d like to add more to the garden next year (raspberry bush!) but this year we were late, so we didn’t make it too fancy. I’ll let you all know when I’m selling my billions of cherry tomatoes though. Say Jinx sent you and I’ll make you a good deal. šŸ˜‰

gardening a la jinx

We got off to a rough start, but I think this little garden of mine- er- Jinx’s is coming along nicely.

Finally.

I have some cherry tomatoes on the plant and some normal tomatoes and the broccoli exploded in size even just between yesterday and today! (Imagine! All the garden wanted was some SUN! Hear that, Nature? SUN! That thunderstorm you’re currently pelting us with is not appreciated. But I’ll get to that later in this post.) I had to try and encourage my cucumber plants to grow in the OTHER direction than they were going (rude little buggers) and one of my broccoli plants fell over and might have broken overnight (I think Sophie jumped on it. She tends to jump from the deck to the garden if it’s raining because she loathes wet grass). So I broke out the twine this afternoon and made some small modifications to the plants. Hopefully this will work.

If you look closely on that top photo of broccoli, you’ll notice there’s a little yellow BUG on it. GAH! I was most distressed as I was looking through my photos (I thought I’d play with my fancy camera and try and get some decent shots of the garden. I’m still completely useless at using it though. Ugh.) So I fretted much of the night (when I wasn’t sleeping) and then I remembered that I had recently read an article on Buzzfeed about products you can make yourself – which I cleverly added to Pinterest (which I rarely, if ever use) and so I checked that out today and found my way to the Sweet Peas and Pumpkins blog and this post on making your own insecticide!

Happily, I had everything I needed in the kitchen to try making this chemical-free (mostly) product. I took out my camera and proceeded to make one hugetastic mess of the kitchen. *cough*

You mix 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes, with 1 head of garlic and 1 cup of water in a blender (or food processor like I did) until it gets all pasty – and somehow manages to leak out all over the place as your mushing it and you have a big mess in your kitchen.

Then you strain the base into a bowl or jar or whatever so that you don’t have any little leftover bits of garlic and red pepper flakes.

To make the insecticide you use 2 Tablespoons of the mixture, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dishsoap and 2 cups of water and mix that together in an empty spray bottle.

Then you go outside and spray both the tops and bottoms of the leaves in your garden to protect them from little critters and creatures. You do this when there is NO rain in the forecast because it will wash it all off.

And it was BRIGHT AND SUNNY when I went out there and fought with the spray bottle to spray every broccoli, cucumber and celery leaf. The bottle kept locking up on me and I was getting cranky, but I was happy when it was all done.

Then what happened? I came inside to transfer and edit photos from my camera to the laptop and A FREAKING THUNDERSTORM CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. Now it’s pouring and all that work was for nothing.

UGH!

Meanwhile, now that the plants are a little bit bigger, Jinx is rediscovering his interest and excitement over the garden. He’s still rather bulldozery when it comes to walking through the broccoli, but with one plant suddenly becoming huge, he’s noticing them a little more. He’s still a big fan of his coocumbers and tomato plants and he loooooves the parsley.

He’s a good little gardener, my Jinx is.

jinx’s garden 2013 edition

Jinx’s Ghetto Garden, 2013

Oh, hello there! I assure you I have not fallen off the face of the earth, nor did the jogging kill me (although I haven’t gone out since the last jogging post). I have been extremely busy and exhausted when I am not working and then away for a long weekend so I haven’t had time to run, blog or do anything. I did get a ton of books read on the train though. Ā I just needed to turn off the internet for a while.

This is a long weekend in Canada and “traditional” planting time if you live on my coast – even so, it’s still a little cold at night and I am not certain how my – er, Jinx’s tomatoes will fare. This morning Shawn and I went out to the farmer’s market and picked up my (Jinx’s) plants for the garden this year. I managed to get it all done before the rain started to pour down. Score!

I already know the tomato plants I get from this vendor at the market turn out splendidly, so I hope they do again. Once more I got one tomato and one cherry tomato plant. Since Shawn doesn’t like tomatoes and my neighbour sold his house, I won’t have as many people to share them with. (Other than my sister, of course!) Last year I bought six little english cucumber sprouts and ended up with cucumber out the wazoo (much to Jinx’s delight! He might hate tomatoes, but he LOVES his coocumbers). I only got one carton of sprouts this year, but there were 4 rather than three. Let’s see how that goes.

Due to the abysmal experience with the sweet peppers last year, I knew I wasn’t going to attempt those again. But I’m still going to try something new – broccoli and celery. I have no idea how these will turn out, but I am determined to grow my own veggies darn-it-all! I don’t like lettuce or cabbage enough to try those (and they attract earwigs. *shudder*) but I do like fresh broccoli and I will eat celery if it’s fresh. So, we’ll see.

This year I really need to make a sign for the garden. I hope Jinx takes as much pleasure from it as he did last year. He was quite excited when I brought the plants through the house. I also hope the garden does well again this year. I don’t have the best planting area – a lot of rocks under that soil. =/

vacation

Tonight marks the start of my 2 (+) week summer holiday from work. I am pretty sure my body is ready for this because I have been feeling extra exhausted. It’s like my soul is tired. Or sad. Sad and tired.

I get to spend the first week of the holiday with Shawn. I wish he could take more than a week off, but at least he’s getting something. We’re both on holiday together, both employed. It’ll be nice to just relax and not worry about anything. A friend offered me her cabin up north for a couple of days. It’s on water. I am very, VERY tempted by this offer. I ran it by Mr. Curmudgeon and I don’t think he seemed all that adverse to it. We’ll see. šŸ˜‰

The second week I plan on doing nothing but sleep and read. Oh! And maybe spend one day doing something fun with my sister and her kiddies. I can drive now so this opens up all sorts ofĀ opportunities!

Tomorrow night Shawn and I are off to see The Muppets at the Just For Laughs gala. It’s the first time the Muppets have ever traveled anywhere for something like this. It is a Big Deal in the entertainment world. I am excited. I hope it’s not poorly done though. Hmm.

Other than that.. I plan on eating nothing but goodies from Jinx’s Garden. This is what I picked tonight after work. My sister has already been over to take some home. Jinx is a very good gardener.

It’s RUFFage, Mummy! Get it? RUFF-age? I’m also a good comedian.