garden, Health, life, mental health

Deer Decimation 😣

Well, yesterday was DD day at our house. Apparently, the deer around here read WordPress, and my May Garden Tour post was an invitation. Whoops.

They ate the kale…

They nibbled the potatoes …

And snarfed ALL but two of the bush beans!

And that’s not all…

So when the deer come chomping, the gardener(‘s husband) builds a fence.

Fingers crossed…

But there’s always something positive happening in the garden. I’m thrilled that this method of interplanting worked. I planted radishes and carrots together so the fast-sprouting radishes shade the finicky slow-sprouting carrots until they germinate. Now I’ve pulled the radishes and the carrots are perfectly thinned and ready to keep growing.

Radishes, carrots
There’s always something positive in the garden.


chronic illness, Health, life, mental health, MS

May Garden Tour

Aloha! Since my backyard urban farm in-development has taken up all my focus and energy and I haven’t been writing at all, I thought I’d share photos of how I’ve been staying busy.

Honestly, it has become a full-time job. There are days when the MonSter awakes and I drag myself out of bed hardly able to face the thought of all the tasks calling for attention. But I make myself get out there every day at least for 20 minutes. Usually that ends up with me outside all day.

Besides the obvious advantages of all that vitamin D and fresh air, I know that digging in the dirt is helping rebuild my immune system and my gut microbiota. So even on the toughest days, I rest a lot but I make myself do the lighter tasks. The trick is to not focus on everything that needs to be done but to put the blinders and just do one, small, task.

Anyway, enough of that. Have a wander through our garden.

Food garden, Lavender , buddleias, wallflower, chives, irises, onions, beets,
10 years ago this was a grassy hill.
Chives,   Snapdragons , lilies ,  succulents , irises,lavender , lilac, buddleia
All the boulders, dirt and driftwood were hauled in and set by hand (and occasionally a rickety dolly with flat tires) by my very determined and creative husband. Those are the boots he wore out during the first few years.
Lilac, iris, lupin,  cosmos, daisies, Corsican mint
We obviously don’t play much bocce ball. 😏
Angelica,  alpine blue,  garden steps
One of my favourite statues because I bought it with a gift certificate from one of my grade one classes.
Rockcress, alyssum, lavatera, wallflower, buddleia, lavender ,garlic, kale, lithadora, ornamental  oregano , snapdragons, iris, strawberries, peonies
The oldest part of the garden. We found the sign buried when we moved in. The alyssum(bottom) reseeded itself from last year.
Petunias, onions, rose, garlic
Pallet deck at the top of the garden.
Hopefully one day a greenhouse.
Lemon, blueberry , kiwi,  artichoke, cucumbers, beans, onions, garlic, carrots, dill, nasturtium , leeks, petunias
Top garden – the Mediterranean garden
Lemon tree, artichoke, kiwi vine, blueberries and apple trees in the distance.
Oh, and that pepper in the tub is called a “ring of fire”. 🤣🤣🤣
Artichoke bud, food garden
Here comes an artichoke!
Daphne, Angelica, garlic, peonies, buddleia, Rosemary, lupin
New vegetable bed growing zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, leeks, kale, dill, kohlrabi and buckwheat. Little bird was a Mother’s Day gift from my girls.
New vegetable bed beside the rhubarb and
the Nelly Moser clematis(far left) and anemones (right) finally flowering!
Instead of being chowed down by the deer. 🤞🏻👩🏻‍🌾🤞🏻
Apple tree bed growing onions, beets, potatoes, kohlrabi, radishes and carrots.
View from the apple tree bed
Barbie skinny dipping with a 20 year old bath toy.
Hmmm…that sounds strange… 😳
View from the bottom, the newest part just finished this year. This is where we mostly sit because it’s cool and shady beside the cedar hedge.

I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a yard to garden. But even a small pot on a windowsill can grow parsley, basil and cilantro. Food security is a serious issue that has finally been brought to the forefront of people’s minds because of the Covid-19 situation. Start small and grow your own!

Alright, thanks for joining me. I didn’t even get to the vegetable beds by the house, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Take care, stay calm and stay safe. And garden!

❤️ Amanda

Health, life, mental health

Love. Not Fear.

View at

It has been far too long since I’ve published anything but this article is important enough to share. If you allow your fear to spiral out of control, that lowers your immunity and makes you more susceptible to getting sick.

Stay informed, but focus on connection and gratitude. Turn off the screens and get outside. Wash your hands, and stay home unless it’s essential to go out. Stay safe and healthy out there!

❤️ Amanda

awards, nominations, challenges, chronic illness, Health, life, MS, writing

50 Word Thursday #3: Relapse

I’m trying something different this week, in an effort to kickstart my fiction brain. I’m joining the 50 Word Thursday challenge hosted by Tales From the Mind of Kristian and Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith. Thanks to both of you for hosting this, it was a great simple challenge to stretch my writing muscles. If you haven’t checked out their blogs, head on over for some great stories and writing challenges.

The rules
1) Completed piece must be in multiples of 50 words – maximum of 250 words. Anything is acceptable – poetry, story, anecdote.
2) There will be a photo and a random phrase that I will take from the current book I am reading – you can use either or both
3) Please pingback and tag 50 word Thursday, so I can do a summary on the Thursday morning. You can either put your piece in the comments on this post or do a post of your own.

‘Although it was a simple thing to be doing, something strange was happening.’

– Paulo Coelho – The Valkyries


She stepped into the dark alley for a minute, leaning against the cool shade of the building. She closed her swirling eyes and exhaled heavily, then inhaled a slow, shaky breath. Her legs sagged then collapsed under her, the high-pitched screaming making her moan and stuff her fingers in her ears. Dropping her head on her chest, she squeezed her eyes shut to hold back the tears as the nausea roiled in her empty stomach. The vibrations started from deep within, travelling up her spine then out into her limbs until her teeth chattered. How would she get home?

100 words

❤️ Amanda

chronic illness, Health, life, MS

Tips for staying healthy in cold and flu season

The germs are a-coming!

As we approach colder weather and months spent mainly indoors, all the bacteria are getting ready to party, waiting for those unsuspecting souls who will help spread the news and invite those snot-making, cough-producing little buggers into your home and mine.

Having a chronic illness means that a simple cold can knock you out for weeks, if not months, instead of days. People may consider me a germaphobe now but having suffered from pseudo-exacerbations – not a real relapse but just as much fun – after getting the sniffles makes me wary of those invisible little suckers that are everywhere.

Before The End, my years working in the germ factory, aka an elementary school, honed my skills at preventing the spread of colds and viruses, beyond the obvious of washing your hands well, and frequently. So here are my top five tips for staying healthy and preventing the spread of colds and flu viruses this winter.

1) Don’t touch your face.

This may sound strange but if you start paying attention, you will notice how often you touch your nose or mouth. No matter how meticulous our own hygiene, other humans with filthy habits are everywhere, touching everything. Becoming aware of this will cut down on an enormous amount of germs that you let in without even thinking about it.

2) Change hand towels and dishcloths daily.

Excessive? I don’t think so, not when all the germs that come into the house are being wiped off hands and surfaces by those towels.

3) Don’t shake hands.

Yes, people sometimes react like I’ve offended them when I say “I’m sorry, I don’t shake hands in flu season.” That’s okay, I look at it as a public service announcement. Shaking hands is an outdated practice from a time when humans weren’t quite so crammed together. I don’t need to touch you to tell you that I’m pleased to meet you.

4) Use your sleeve or wear gloves when touching surfaces in public.

When opening doors, pushing elevator buttons, or using stair railings, wear gloves or use your sleeve. Sometimes it’s not possible to use your sleeve and you might feel strange wearing gloves inside, in which case don’t touch your face and wash your hands asap. Ultimately though, who cares really if someone thinks you’re a pretentious nut job if you wear gloves indoors – you won’t be snarfing into tissues and hacking up a lung. Seems like a better deal. Maybe we can start a new trend?

5) Wipe doorknobs and light switches weekly.

Starting in bedrooms and working your way through the public rooms, to the bathroom, the front hall and finally the front door(inside and out), give them all a good wipe every week. You don’t need to use the nasty chemical antibacterial crap either. A solution of 3/4 vinegar, 1/4 water, 20-25 drops of tea tree oil and 10-15 drops of lavender oil will do the trick nicely. There are some ‘green’ products that come in handy wipes and if that makes it easier, then go for it. I always use one to wipe down the shopping cart at the grocery store.

A few other things that help me through a potentially snotty season are:

* Oil Of Oregano – if I feel that I’m getting sick I put 5-10 drops under my tongue and wash it down with LOTS of water. It’s an acquired taste.

* Zinc – a tickle in my throat and I start downing the quick dissolve zinc tablets.

* Infrared sauna – if you haven’t tried one, I highly recommend it. I know lots of MSers can’t stand heat so it’s not an option for everyone. I only stay in for 15-20 minutes but it’s a very different, less oppressive heat than a traditional sauna and I can feel it zapping those nasty buggers while I’m in there.

I am not a health professional in any way but I have found these things have helped me avoid getting sick for the last two years. Of course, it could be that my immune system is on overdrive all the time and addicted to my myelin so other germs never have a chance. Not worth taking the chance.

One final public health announcement: If you do get sick, PLEASE STAY HOME! There is a misguided belief in our capitalistic society that it’s a badge of honour to show up at work even when you’re at death’s door. Or to send your kid to school when they’re dribbling booger snakes. Really you’re being an asshole.

Caveat: Single parents reliant on a single pay check are not assholes in this instance. This is where we need to reconnect as communities and help each other out as family, friends and neighbours. Everyone needs a support system.

Noooo! We need to get over this mentality.

I used to say to my students, there are lots of things we should share with each other, germs are not one of them.

Do you have any good tips to share for staying healthy? Let me know in the comments.

Stay healthy, my friends. Have a wonderful week!

❤️ Amanda