garden, life

May Vegetable Tour

I can’t believe it’s the last day of May! I wanted to complete my May Garden Tour with a record of how the vegetable beds closer to the house are looking. It’s a crazy windy day – again, ugh – so I snapped them quickly, but such is life.

Unfortunately, the damn deer got in again last night. We can mostly thank our nature-hating, pavement and power tool-loving neighbour for basically killing the hedge on his side. Okay, vent over. Check out the temporary fence – it’s like living in a junk yard! 😂

On the back deck we have potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, arugula, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and mint. My potatoes have never been this tall before. I’m hoping for a better yield this year, so fingers crossed.

In the raised beds we have potatoes, garlic, radishes, beets, lettuce, peas, carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, peppers, beans and cucumber.

We bought these 20 gallon containers for cheap this year. They’re amazing for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and big enough to stuff in some basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, spinach and lettuce.

Tomatoes are so satisfying to grow. I planted these from seed and was horrified when I broke the first one when transplanting. But I pinched off the bottom leaves and stuck the stem deep into the soil and voilà! I also stuck the root ball into the garden and it’s started sprouting new growth. Life will out. 🥰

Alright, I hope this finds you well. Any gardening tips always appreciated!

Be kind, be calm and stay safe!

❤️ Amanda

MS

Raw

I need to know

Do other MSers feel it too?

A sudden rawness

Burning

Tingling

In the tongue

Lips

Palms of hands

Soles of feet

Eyelids

MS?

Is it the myelin being destroyed

By my own cells?

Most uncomfortable

Anxiety-inducing

Go away now.

life, writing

A new career – finally believing

The questions never stop

Can I teach again?

Should I try it?

Am I just giving up?

The best days are the worst

The doubts eat me alive

Two years I’ve pretended

Waiting to get busted

Who gets to call themselves a writer?

Not me.

And yet, the shift has happened

The genes have shifted

What once needed to teach

Is striving to teach through words

Now

I believe

I have a story to tell

Worth telling

Worth.

gratitude, life, Poetry

West Coast: Unplugged Joy

Paradise.

It’s not the tropics.

I’m bundled up in a blanket with my jacket on,

absorbing vitamin D through my face and hands.

Not a margarita but a BC cider in my hand

No internet

No wifi

Just the wide ocean

The waves

Relentless in their battering of the rocky shore

Their energy

And constant loyal presence

Build inside me

Until the joy wants to burst

The tiny fireworks of the sun

Skittering across the ever-changing surface of the ocean

Blue jays in the pine trees

Flitting about, a never-ending hunt

All the lives under the surface

Their mysterious ways of surviving

Nature is thriving, not just surviving

Despite our best efforts

And it doesn’t, to our knowledge, have the capacity to experience joy

That bubbly lightness that expands your rib cage

That makes you repeat, over and over – wow!

There is no word strong enough,

That adequately describes that feeling

That appreciation for being alive,

For our many blessings,

Despite, or because of, our challenges

Those moments can be fleeting and far between

But what magic to experience them at all

It’s never enough,

No matter how much we try to appreciate each amazing moment

In this miraculous life

But it’s all we can do

And aren’t we lucky?

Check out my gorgeous Mohawk and bright blue tail feathers.

Look at me dance. How can you resist?

Feed me! No. We didn’t, but he was sure cute!

For the right price, I might reveal our secret escape. 😏

Seriously though, the chance to go away for three nights with no distractions and such an inspiring view is why we return as often as we can. We originally came on our honeymoon, but at that point we could only afford one night and spent the rest of our honeymoon in a cabin beside a clearcut. 😳

We are so grateful for every minute we get to spend here. We were more reflective because we were celebrating my husband’s 50th birthday (SAY WHAAAAAT???) and we have a long history to celebrate. We appreciate every single moment.

And yet the time still flies…

❤️ Amanda

life, writing

Bathroom Renovation: Part 1 – It’s a Go!

At the end of February, it will be ten years since we moved into our house. We have been oh so responsible in dealing with the renovations, starting with the very unsexy updates of new gutters, roof and windows. Having three kids and both of us being allergic to debt means we’ve taken things slowly.

Previous owners did some updates in the 90s – sadly, they had a love affair with brass – and a fresh coat of paint before it went on the market made it a nicer house than we ever thought we could afford. Our starter home was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath that we updated ourselves, adding two bedrooms within it’s very small footprint.

We called this house, just a few blocks over, our starter house on steroids. 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

But this is where it gets disgusting. The previous residents were college boys, so you can imagine that maintenance and cleanliness were not of paramount importance. If you own a jacuzzi tub, you know that it requires regular use and cleaning. Otherwise, a whole new world starts to colonize the pipes.

Our old house had a tiny blue bathtub, so I was excited to have a deep soaking tub with jets. But there was no way in hell I was getting in without a decent cleaning.

I had no idea what I was in for.

The sludge that oozed out of the pipes the first time I turned on the jets was reminiscent of the black slime of childhood nightmares. Chunky, glutinous snakes, hibernating and growing for years, spurted into the tub like ogre vomit, over and over again. I had to empty it in buckets so it wouldn’t clog the drain.

My sensitive stomach had an intense workout as I repeated the process 47 times. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. I ran those jets with bleach several times a day for weeks before I could bring myself to get into that tub. Even then, I had to NOT think about it very carefully to be able to relax and enjoy a soak.

MS fatigue and the neck injury that causes me crazy pain and headaches made me overpower my squeamishness and revel in the comfort of Epsom salt baths. Until the damn thing started to leak – in the opposite corner of the house. Water started dripping down through a pot light in the basement.

Awesome.

That was three or four years ago. Luckily it was only the tub that leaked, not the shower. Those slimy snakes must have been so big, they damaged the pipes. Ugh.

For the past couple of years, we’ve tried to find someone that would take on the renovation the way we wanted it to go. Meaning, a separate tub and shower fitting into a minuscule space. Strangely, not one of the six contractors we had in, wanted to take on the job. It may have to do with the fact that we’re not prepared to spend obscene amounts of money to make it happen. So, we’re replacing the current fixtures and calling it good.

Having to clean the tub before having a bath is a first world problem.

So, we hired a designer to deal with the project and I just got word that we’re starting this week. Yeehaw! I love me some demo, so I already started removing some tiles. Years ago, I replaced the sad brass light fixtures and faucets.

A tip for new homeowners: the savings you get from the ‘big box stores’, is not worth it when it comes to quality. They may carry the the same brand names but it’s like buying your fixtures at the dollar store. Renovations cost a lot, time-wise and money-wise. Spend your money wisely and buy quality.

BEFORE PHOTOS

Goodbye brass! The final frontier… Soooo ugly!!!

Hopefully once they get started, it won’t take too long to put things back together. We all know how that goes, though. Fingers crossed for quick and on budget – no surprises. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

I’ll keep you posted…

❤️ Amanda