August 21, 2014: Create a bee and butterfly friendly yard

Some people might call my yard a bit of a mess, and the truth is, it is a mess.  There are little trees growing where there shouldn’t be, thanks to the squirrels who bury and lose their nuts and there are weeds and plenty of them.  I like my yard to be natural and wild to attract all sorts of creatures.  We have two chipmunks, a ridiculous amount of squirrels, some raccoons and a myriad of nesting birds. Despite my best efforts to keep things natural, there is still more work to be done to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to my yard.

I have two apple trees that are about six years old and for the first time, this year they did not bare any fruit. This spring was cool and did not bring many bees.  After the harsh winter and ongoing problems with colony collapse disorder (which is now mostly being blamed on the use of pesticides) Ontario is estimated to have lost 60% of it’s bee populations this winter.  For the  plants that require pollination to grow their fruits and vegetables this an increasing problem.  Bees are not the only pollinators, but they are the most efficient ones.  I’m not a bee expert and don’t know the difference between a honeybee, bumblebee or mason bee, but I do know that I need more bees.  I have lots of flowers that attract bees but I could still use more.  I’ll work on expanding my flower varieties next year.They especially love my wild mint:

bee mint

I ordered a little mason bee house online from http://www.masonbeehomes.com/  Look how happy he is with his bee houses!  They are best placed facing morning sun and in a wind protected spot… I did the best I could with that.  Here is my house.  

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I hope that if not this year for hibernation then in the in spring my house will have some new guests. 

Although bees are the most efficient pollinators, butterflies also do their pretty little best to help out. This year I have had quite a few different varieties of butterflies around but absolutely none of the once populous monarch butterfly. The main host plant for monarchs to lay their eggs is the milkweed.  Milkweed is a common sight in rural areas but not urban ones.  I’ve never seen any for sale so I stole some from my parent’s house.  It must have come with an egg on it already because after a couple of weeks, look!

monarch caterpillar

Not much will happen with it this year but in the spring i expect they will grow taller and spread and hopefully they will have some butterflies of their own. 

If I don’t get any apples next year I’m going to be pissed. 

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2014: A very merry un-birthday to me. To me?! To me!!!!!!

Last weekend I was out with some friends and we were talking about Facebook and all of the “friends” we tend to keep.  Over the past couple of years I have done at least two major “friend” purges.  The first began with the removal of about 30 work colleagues because some areas of ones life are best kept with your nearest and dearest colleagues, not all of them. There are some people in this world who will offer you cupcakes and compliments to your face and then stab you in the back the moment you turn around.  I’m okay with that now though, I’ve removed all of that from my life. 

In our topic of Facebook friends we talked about purging and how one decides who to get rid of.  A friend put it very well I think….If you saw someone in real life on your friends list and your reaction would be to hide or avoided having to talk to them for real, you should probably remove them from your “friends” list.  I mentioned that I had removed my birthday from Facebook last year to avoid all the mandatory generic Happy Birthday wishes from people I don’t usually talk to. The conversation veered toward putting a fake birthday on Facebook and using it as a tool to purge, anyone who wishes you a Happy Birthday gets unfriended.  

Today was my unbirthday.  At first I almost felt a little guilty because the people who started wishing me a happy birthday are people that I actually really do like and who legitimately wouldn’t know when my birthday was. Some people messaged me privately and were a little confused and some people just went with it knowing full well it wasn’t my birthday. I was a little surprised by one friend that I’ve known for probably 15 years who’s birthday is the day after mine.  He wished me a Happy Birthday and I’m certain that it wasn’t a joke. We’ve often celebrated our birthdays together, really? Really?! It  doesn’t bother me though.  People have forgotten my birthday before and I’m confident that I have forgotten theirs as well.  It doesn’t mean we’re not good people or good friends..  I think I’ll keep my unfriending to those who I would hide from in public and those who are assholes. 

One thing I am a little disappointed about is that nobody bought me a damn cake.  Birthday or unbirthday, I want some mother fucking cake.

August 17, 2014: watch doctor who

I grew up in a one tv household so if I didn’t like what my dad was watching, I didn’t watch tv. This meant that when I was young I watched a lot of Star Trek, twilight zone, britcoms and doctor who.

I still enjoy Star Trek and britcoms but don’t remember much about doctor who, except the tardis…. At least I think that’s from doctor who.

I’ve decided to watch the new ones, and by new I mean from 2005. Mid way through episode one and it is very ridiculous. I think it’s meant to be ridiculous mind. I am rather fond of London so I’ll at least finish the episode, and MAYBE watch a second one before I decide I don’t like it.

August 16, 2014: complete one of those online customer service questionnaire thingys

I went to the Home Depot earlier this week and had a terrible experience in one department but a great experience with the cashier. The cashier was so great that I complimented her on her work. She said thank you, and would I give that information on the online survey? You know the ones with all the info on the bottom of the receipt that if you fill out you will be entered in a gift card draw? Of course you do. I told her I would and being a woman of my word (for the most part) I filled out the survey tonight. My iphone4 dinosaurusrex did not translate their mobile site well and I ended up having to go on a real computer. I was sure to give them that feedback too. Before I could start I had to answer a math question. I was annoyed but then saw the question and thought, that’s easy no big deal.

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Well I got that fucker wrong and had to try again. It took me longer than it should have to realize that the last number was actually an 8 and not the 6 that for some reason my brain said it was. Is that a thing? To see numbers wrong? I should google it, I probably have a brain disease. Anyway, I gave them what I believe to be very valuable feedback including my hopes that the chipmunk I saw in seasonal should be humanely caught and released into a forest. If I don’t win that $3,000 gift card I’m going to be displeased.

Aside from the math, good day today. I double booked my social engagements for today so I got my fill of interactions for the week. Afternoon at the pub with boyfriends and night with girlfriends doing a potluck AND I managed to squeeze in a nap in between! Tomorrow I am going to pretend I lost my voice so I don’t have to talk to anyone.

Read on the bathroom wall in the pub: a fart is the lonesome cry of an imprisoned turd.
Classic.

August 15, 2014: buy a shit ton of magazines

I like magazines. I like them a lot. I know they’re not Eco friendly and I know I could find all the same stuff online for free but I can’t help what I like. I’m a visual and tactile person and I will always choose paper over excel, books over e-readers and magazines over whatever their online equivalent is.

Here is today’s haul:

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I think you can really tell a lot about a person by the magazines they read. At least I think my magazine selections say a lot about me anyway. I used to have several magazine subscriptions but I haven’t had any in years. As an adult, magazines are some of the best mail you will ever get. You never know exactly what day they will arrive and sometimes you completely forget about them. It’s a gift you buy for yourself and it pays you 12 tiny bursts of happiness. Since I no longer have any subscriptions my happy bursts don’t happen and so today was a magazine orgasm. And they came in at under $100. Yessss!

Nothing to do with magazines but I made myself something for my bedroom today using tissue paper and water. Pretty right?

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In the last two days I’ve been called a control freak, selfish shopper and magazine whore (ok it was something about magazine hoard, I heard what I wanted to) control freak? Me? Maybe, but still, how very dare you!

August 14, 2014: accept imperfection

Just when I think I’m doing really well I have a not so really good day. In the grand scheme of bad days, it’s not particularly horrible though so there’s that.

Remember yesterday when I said how good it was going to feel to get rid of that bin of shit? Well it was picked up this morning but instead of feeling pleased and accomplished all I could think of was what work was left to do. I had become accustomed to my apartment where I didn’t have a lot of stuff and everything I did have had it’s place. It was also brand new so nothing needed updating. While I am definitely pleased to be back with my family in my home, it is an old home with low storage, small closets, updates galore and lots of stuff.

I started to get to work cleaning and organizing this morning. It quickly seemed like a fruitless effort because while I worked in one area, the regular cleaning (dishes, vacuuming etc,) mounted. When I put away some of my laundry I had a ridiculous (in retrospect) meltdown which involved me getting upset because I don’t have enough space to hang all my clothes. I’m sorry (I’m not) but I like my pants and t-shirts hung up not folded in drawers. I am not an animal! I decided that the only solution was to buy a bigger house, and when that solution was shot down I climbed in my bed and under the covers.

I know now it was not just about the clothes, I was feeling overwhelmed. I had too many things to accomplish and my mind was on perfection. I need to work on my own expectations and what is realistic.

This afternoon I am taking a small break with a glass of champagne in my backyard who’s lawn needs to be cut and gardens weeded. I’m trying to let that go. I’m going to stick my hands on my tomato plants and then smell them. Like this!!!!

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Look at that terrible picture quality… Who cares?!! Perfection smurfection.

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I shall now make a to do list to help with the visualization of my accomplishments. Plus, who doesn’t love making lists?!

August 13, 2014: get rid of shit and hold a hedgehog

Over the five years of living at this house (minus my 10 month apartment stint) a lot of junk has amassed. Since I have time off work to get myself better I’ve been wanting to use it as productively and helpfully as possible. I can tell I’m getting a little better each and every day. I know my friends can tell I’m feeling better too because they don’t check in as frequently as they did a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think people are scared or worried for me anymore which is good.

The last three days I’ve been working on ridding the house of all the junk. I rented a bin, and not a small bin either. What junk you ask? Well things like broken doors from when my house was robbed a few years ago, and an ikea lounger that has moved with us through our last three houses and has been peed on more times than I can count by my son who thankfully is now old enough and no longer pees on things. Also about five area rugs that were sentenced to life in the basement due to being peed on by the dog and barfed on by the cats more times than any carpet should have to endure. A dollhouse that my daughter used for her finger painting years ago (we called her poocasso), three broken vacuums…. I could go on but anyway, a lot of shit. Things that cannot go out with the weekly garbage so they just collect. Our basement is not finished, it’s storage only but at least it’s really storage now and not a dumping ground. I’ve found the whole process to be rather therapeutic and satisfying. It’s hard to have a clear and healthy mind when you’re surrounded by clutter. It’s going to be such a release when they come and pick up this bin tomorrow.

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I even cleaned my way over to the bathroom in the basement. We obviously don’t use it and I prefer to avoid that area of the basement altogether so I can pretend it doesn’t exist. But now that all the junk is gone, there it is in all it’s ninja turtle curtains glory.

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There is literally going to be a ton of shit. A shit ton even. Tonight I’m having a fire to burn all the confidential documents found in the basement that are no longer needed. Burning is the new shredding.

On a cuter note, I held my first hedgehog today. She was cuddly and ridiculously adorable. I wanted to take her home with me and now I want one. Look at that little nose. LOOK AT IT!

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