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Showing posts from March, 2009

Arr, matey!

Well, I thought they were cute kids , until I saw this picture... Ted had it done, I guess when he took them to the Purim party at the BJCC. I have blanked out the name of the photo studio who did it and also fixed Naomi Rivka's demon-eyes. They must have had tons of customers that day, but in addition to the red-eye, they cut out and pasted the kids' bodies really badly. And what is with that background??? I don't know if Ted had a choice (pirate scene or bordello?) but this isn't the most kid-friendly imagery. Between the deadly cannon fire in the background ("somebody get those kids out of there!"), the half-nude "lady" pirate, and the creepy Skull Mountain that looks as if it's drooling on Naomi's head, well... Well. That's all. Oh, also, I just noticed there are people, apparently trapped, in the little hut over Gavriel Zev's head. Cute! Did you notice the pirate skeleton, foundering in the sand? Forget it... it's all

Peeking in, and YES...

The tomatoes are UP! Well, some tomatoes. First: the WINNER of First Tomato Up 2009 - - is a TIE: between Carolina Gold (not visible here) and Children's Garden Roma (second from the back). Weirdly, only the first three rows have sprouted so far. Perhaps because those were the rows directly under the grow-light? Anyway, I have moved the entire propagator back a bit so the light is hitting a little more evenly. In any event, I hope to see progress in the other three rows SOON.

Is this tree doomed?

This was a late-season replacement for the cedar that was stolen... but it doesn't look through it came through the winter all that well. :-(

Got the thyme?!?

The incredible disappearing thyme. Last year, you see it: This year, you don't: Is it gone? Could I have pulled it out, thinking it was a defunct coleus? You can see a million other bits of crud and detritus. (ignore that pink washcloth - it fell off the porch: gaah) Kind of amazing, too, that the fairly thick layer of wood mulch is mostly GONE. But also, where's the ajuga??? Shouldn't it be back by now? And why's the moss looking so mangy? Ahh... the garden in March.


Somebody took Naomi. Like the Lorax, who was "lifted away," it is passive voice - she was lifted. She was taken. And we have no idea by whom; just very, very thankful that it was not for long, and we got her back. הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה כִּי-טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ This morning was a pretty big kiddush, and it was held upstairs - ie a lot of people in a pretty small space. So a bunch of the kids were outside (upstairs, on the 3rd-floor fenced-in roof area) zooming around in little play cars belonging to the daycare (amazingly cute! dozens of them, going wild!). When it was time to leave, Ted took Gavriel Zev, and I took Naomi inside. I'd left some things in the room of kiddush, so I told Naomi to wait (in the small vestibule / elevator waiting area between the door to outside and the stairs heading down) and ducked into the room to grab them (they were right inside the door), and when I turned around and came back, literally seconds later, she was gone . Faster than t

Changing of the seasons...

Here are the tattered old winter activity schedules... ...Replaced by shiny new spring ones! The Friday one got a little mucky because my mother accidentally used it for an arts-and-crafts project with Naomi when she babysat yesterday. It's a secret where I went. See? Even totally uncool gardening mommies can have secrets! It had nothing to do with gardening, or mommying. Oh - and I'm not having a torrid affair. :-) The yellowing paper in behind the schedules, by the way, are last year's Pesach receipts, which I kept for some sentimental reason. Naomi must get her packrat, receipt-grabbing tendencies from my side... Here's one receipt, for the "major" shop I do each year with my mother at the Clark/Hilda Sobey's. Last year, it came to $507.14, one $5 gefilte fish loaf at a time...

Another monument

Borrowed from The Dead Bird , the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon). I have been thinking about this illustration all day, about our primitive need to mark graves and honour them. That's all. Click the link, read the book (from your library if not Amazon - that's okay with me!), share it with your kids!

The Monument

My mother is having the monument made and planning an unveiling for May. We are all know how my father would have referred to this little event. Working hard to avoid phrases like "monumental erection." Unveiling it is! Supper tonight (Thursday): ~ Veggie purée soup - eek, get off bottom, wash dishes, cook soup! ~ Salmon croquettes with lots of veggies mixed in and CREAM CHEESE mixed in - mmm... ~ Quiche - ditto!!! Making the crust from scratch using this recipe because it's so good and so easy - just press it into the pie pan!

Teeny Tiny Sowing

Can't post a picture because I don't want to steal another gardener's photo, but this blog already has the most astounding photo of lobelia seeds, which are easily the tiniest I have ever seen.  I basically rubbed my finger in them so they could fall, like dust, onto the soil.  I found a nice bag of fafard soil in the garage and wetted it with warm chamomile tea.  I hope the coddling pays off!   Sowed tonight: ~ Lobelia "Crystal Palace" (a bit late now but hopefully, they'll grow fast) ~ Celosia mix ~ Sweet pea ~ White Cypress Vine, ipomoea quamoclit - just cuz I like the name!!! ~ "Bouquet" Dwarf Dill ~ Chard, 6x fordhook (free swap seeds)  ~ Chard, 6x bright lights (left over from last year)   Busy, busy!   Bad news tonight:  FUNGUS - THE LEGEND, PART 2   When I went down to leave the now-filled-with-seeds propagator under the lights and shut everything down for the night, I noticed that some lettuces had succumbed to... the... fir

Letter to my City Councillor re Orchard

Another spring, another "Dear Joe [Mihevc]" letter! "----- Original Message ----- Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:01 PM Subject: Concerns re Orchard in Ben Nobleman Park I was the troublemaker tonight who brought up the issue of roadside toxins. I'm emailing just to clarify my views. First of all, that this a great plan that I'd love to be part of somehow, and that ... has worked incredibly hard. It's not my intention to derail the orchard; as a parent in the neighbourhood, I would love to see it happen SOON. However, conversations with ... have led me to have a few reservations about toxins found in roadside areas and in emissions. I should add that I started out skeptical about this pollution issue. My first reaction was, "no big deal - we eat urban produce, like in our backyard, all the time." But with that specific location and the numbers of vehicles idling there every day (eg buses lining up to enter the station, idling whil

Gaah re Eco Lawn

Just remembered I emailed the company that makes Eco Lawn back in September about the blog author's complaint, and they told me "In looking at the photo [on her blog, not my photo], it may also be that she experienced a problem with a turf disease as I can see brown and green together."   I can see brown and green together on my lawn!!! Could it be a... disease ???   :-o

Concerns about our Eco Lawn

So last fall I covered up our existing disaster of a lawn, added topsoil, and seeded the whole thing using Eco-Lawn , a supposedly environmentally-friendly blend of fescues that needs less water and grows longer and thicker than a traditional lawn. Coverage of the whole project is here , or just type lawn in the search box up above. Anyway, I was very excited about the whole endeavour, but then read this negative report from a local garden blogger whose eco-lawn never quite recovered from the winter. And then another comment on another site from a user who says "it has been a major ecological disappointment." Well, when the snow first melted, I was excited to see that the eco-lawn half of our lawn was actually greener and nicer-looking than the other half. In these pictures, taken today, a few weeks now since the snow cover left, you can still see a clear colour distinction between the eco-lawn and the old lawn (though the old-lawn section was half-heartedly over-seeded

OK, slap me. I am officially a Very Bad Girl.

Yes, I should have been in bed HOURS ago. Plus, I'm freezing . This is Jeremy, the older kids' dad. Yeshaya Dov ben Avraham. 28 Tamuz, 5731 - 28 Adar, 5765. From the dates, it looks like he was 34 when he died, but he wasn't. He never got to be 34. We were married for a while, divorced for longer. Just starting to get to know each other again and find some peace in our tumultuous relationship. I was looking for a good picture of him to put on my facebook profile, and found this, which I didn't remember that his dad had sent to me a few years ago. Plus, I found a couple he sent me of his (my father-in-law's) visit here, when we all went to Harbourfront for a Toronto Symphony concert. Here are the two grandpas together - my father and Jerre (my father-in-law). This was the visit I was having such happy memories about a couple of months ago. And here's a blurry shot of my father with the kids. I am shutting down now, I promise!!!

new desktop wallpaper

Borrowed graciously from here , so if you like it, buy the shirt.   Did I mention I was going to bed, like now???    

Dinosaur Comics are a THING - who knew?!

Abigail told me Dinosaur Comics, like the one kind of apropos of Pesach/spring cleaning, which I featured here , is a THING on the Internet.   Apparently every comic features the same five frames with pictures of dinosaurs... only the dialogue changes. Anyway, there's a site for all of them here .  Be warned that the content is not always appropriate.  But we're all adults here, right?

Teeny tiny seedlings

Last post for the night - I promise!!! Just wanted to show off how the astilbe seedlings were coming along, just since Friday . From about 3 seedlings, there are now at least eight, probably more. Not counting chickens before they hatch, but yay! I guess these coleus haven't grown much since Friday . They are sure slow to get started... argh. I agree with everybody who says don't both starting them from seed: I don't even know why they sell packets of seed! Just find one you like, and propagate it from cuttings. It'll come true that way, and quickly. (you'll be happy to know that I resisted "stealing" cuttings from the new University of Guelph 2009 coleus introductions at Canada Blooms yesterday... but - eek! - I couldn't resist two tiny ones at Allan Gardens last week, so I may have a new "mystery" coleus or two in my garden this year...) Here's some salad greens, coming along. And this is an onion DISASTER! I was reaching fo

More growing today - but first, supper

Yes, we still have suppers around here! Tonight (Monday): Ted was working late and I went to an animation workshop with Sara at the NFB, so I ordered pizza. I was going to go pick it up, but Ted was having a quiet evening and offered to pick it up and drop by with it - delivery! Kosher pizza - delivered to your door! What a concept! Also ordered a salad with it, and reheated last week's broccoli soup - NO french fries. Zero. In addition to the tomatoes, I also planted two of my Canada Blooms seeds - the Cutting Celery, which I am getting more and more excited about after having Googled it a bit, and also the Anaheim Chili. I'm a bit worried that the chilis won't have time to get big and strong and do their pepper thing this summer, but knowing peppers can overwinter indoors reassures me that even if they don't make peppers this year, they will survive to do it another season. So what else are we looking at here??? After weeks of "hanging" in suspende

Tomatoes are IN!

Tomatoes planted 3/23/2009 in the Lee Valley Propagator: * = my own saved seed # = SASE seed from (yeah, I ought to be sowing these outdoors, but I did sow some varieties out there, really I did... I admit, I don't trust the wintersowing thing 100%) 4 x * Early Tiny Yummy Cherry 4 x * Children's Garden Roma 4 x # Carolina Gold 4 x # Husky Red Cherry 2 x Opalka (misc SASE seed) 2 x * Children's Garden Question-Mark 2 x * Children's Garden Peach 2 x * Children's Garden Purple Plum = 24 tomato plants... if they all hatch. The stuff that looks like crushed nuts on top (don't these look like Nutty Buddies or some other kind of ice-cream treat, with the sticks and everything???) is vermiculite. Because I used lousy WalMart potting soil (all I had in the house), I decided to top it with a layer of vermiculite to ward off evil spirits and/or the possibility of damping-off or other fungus. Also, I watered it all in with chamomile tea instead of plain

I'm world famous

I know it is almost ridiculously self-conscious, but according to my (highly modest numbers, ie I'm kinda unpopular) blog statistics, one of my more recent visitors actually arrived at my blog via Google by typing the following keywords: MARSHMALLOW NICARAGUA YESHIVA Believe it or not, when you click on those words, I am ranked number one. Now, there are three keywords, so it can't be an attempt at Googlewhacking (does anybody really do that anymore, anyway?). Could it be that someone is actually searching for a yeshiva in Nicaragua... that is somehow connected to marshmallows? In any event, if that's how you yourself arrived here - welcome! We cherish all kinds.

Canada Blooms Swag (but not much)

Before there was Richard & Leah's wedding, there was... Canada Blooms! I actually did make it! I even made it to Sobey's this morning to buy the "advance" ticket to save $2. The trip cost more than $2, but whatever... Anyway, here's what I bought and/or picked up along the way. Sure doesn't look like much when you see it all spread out like this. And I am astonished once again this year that there aren't more giveaways. Honestly, Seedy Saturday was way better for giveaways, even from the commercial tables and booths. I guess that's more the mindset there. Canada Blooms is more the mindset of paying big-time Landscape Architects (God forbid you hire an unauthorized professional to design your garden... who knows what the heck kind of mess you could end up with back there...?) to design a full outdoor retreat, with individual rooms, water features, hardscaping and whatnot. Like I can even afford a fraction of that. Give me three beds full o'

Goin' to the chapel, and we're...

...Goin' to our friends' wedding! Wow - this was truly the Village Shul simcha of the century. Mazel tov, mazel tov to Richard and Leah. I love how Elisheva and I look in this picture. Very happy, very purposeful. And just a little bit similar... hee hee.

Presenting! Naomi's Birthday Present!

Finally got Naomi Rivka to try on the leotard part of the ballet costume present I lovingly, painstakingly handcrafted for her. I feel so sad because she looks like such a little princess, trapped in the dingy plastered-together horror of our kitchen. She really does look like she deserves a better world than this laundry-strewn masking-taped place she's growing up in. But at least she has a homemade ballet dress! I couldn't get her to put on the ballet shoes, by the way. And then I got busy with something else and turned around to see her running around the house in the slippers. Ha! And me without my camera, by that point. Isn't that always the way?

At least there's a word for it now: Ferberizing

Kind of. When I first had babies, the now-well-known child sleep "expert" Dr. (Richard?) Ferber wasn't that well-known yet, so doing what he advocated was just called "crying it out". But then it turned out that sounded kind of cruel. Anyway, I like to think we're doing it in a partial way. With our very old baby. This is not a brand new newborn - he's almost 18 months, and 6 a.m. is too early to get up if he's going to skip his morning nap. With an hour's extra sleep, we (the adults) will be a LOT less grumpy and he will have the vim to get through the entire morning without conking out in the car or wherever we happen to be. And then an early-afternoon nap, around 1 or 2, will get him through the rest of the day without leaving him too wide-awake at bedtime (between 8 and 9). So there it is - the reason. The strategy? This is a variation of what I've been doing to extend his afternoon naps a bit. When he wakes up at 6, on the dot

Forget expensive, power-hungry heat mats!

If you have a lighting rig, you probably already have a great source of warmth for germinating seeds: the top of your fluorescent lights. Here, in case you're interested, is my entire seed-starting and growing setup in the basement this year. The top shelf is mostly coleus. Second shelf is closer to the light, so holds smaller plants, though you can see various helpful orange crates elevating plants of different heights. The tray at the far right is the stuff that is still in peat pucks - mostly portulaca right now, but also some parsley, zinnia, etc. The huge potting table, I admit guiltily, is my kids' train table. I have promised myself I'll clear it off so they can use it for playing SOON. Really soon. Anyway - there, on top of the whole thing, are two containers I've planted with some lettuce (to grow indoors for baby salad) and onions. These are reused containers - one from hydroponic lettuce (that's the onions - confusing, right?) and one from cookies. Fr

Coleus Count: 54!

Not including these guys... growing from a packet of leftover seed from last year. No idea if anything will come of them - last year, I got a big fat nothing starting coleus from seed. But as with the lottery, there is the one in however-many chance that something interesting will sprout. OK, lotteries don't sprout. You know what I mean. Here they all are!!!

My lucky sunglasses!

Worried and worried all morning about my missing sunglasses... $100 to replace and all that... but as usual with my dumbness and losing stuff, they turned up. Maybe the shamrock helped! See, I've written my contact info inside in case I am so thoroughly dumb as to leave them somewhere, they can hopefully come home to me...

The astilbe are up!

After several long weeks of waiting, the astilbe I "stratified" on the cool basement windowsill are up at last! These were the seeds I demonstrated sowing here . So I guess it worked. ;-) First two pictures were taken on Wednesday... the last one was today - there are a few more seedlings now, so maybe there will be even more eventually! Yay! I love these guys! The person who did my garden design last year (yes, I was actually working from a plan - scary stuff) suggested columbines for their season-long foliage, but I think astilbe are even nicer in terms of background foliage. And the leaf miners made the columbine foliage look simply awful, while the astilbe held its own beautifully. I do wish these were white, that's the only thing. I worry that they'll be clashy in the garden, but I suppose with my hodgepodge garden, clashy is the least of my worries.