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Thursday, 18 May 2017

gardens, blackflies, and new jobs

I've been remiss in my post writing recently. I've been trying to get out every evening after work and supper to tackle something, anything, outside. Our weather has been mild, warm, even sometimes hot and I already losing ground (so to speak) in the gardening department. I really do think that Rudbekia (black eyed Susan) could take over the world, if given the chance. I've been mercilessly ripping it out of a perennial / shrub bed. I've been edging and cleaning up perennial stems and such that I didn't do in the fall. I have barely put a dent in things.

I used my trusty rototiller on the vegetable garden. The area that is available for vegetables is quite small because now I have fully established strawberries in about 2/3 of the space. This year I created some paths (sacrificed some strawberry plants) which is a good thing because last June I was playing a game of Twister every time I went out to pick berries. Now with paths, I won't be stepping on plants or missing out on berries that I didn't even know were there because it was just too dense.

I will rototill again before planting. I am hoping to put in potatoes and lettuce very soon. I'll wait a bit on beans and tomatoes and whatever else I can squeeze into the small space.

Mother's Day was nice. We had my husband's mom over for a lunch (she has dementia, but is physically fit as a fiddle). She loves watching The Crown on Netflix with us, as she lived in England for a few years. Both of my kids were working on Mother's Day (grocery store), but met us at a restaurant when they were done after 6:00. My treat was the wonderful sticky toffee pudding that the restaurant makes. Soooo good and decadent! My gift was a fitbit, which is what I specifically asked for. My daughter also framed a nice photo of the four of us, something I never think to do anymore.

To get back to the great outdoors, I actually had to abandon my rototilling last night before I was done due to the blackflies. I truly have about six bites on one arm, as well as a very scary one on the back of my hand. I swell up terribly from blackfly bites and the itching is ridiculous. I took a benadryl just so I wouldn't scratch my arm off in bed. It amazes me how something so small can be so mighty. They fly at my eyes, nose, any exposed skin... Thank goodness they don't last all summer.

Lastly, our daughter just began a new job today (while off university for the summer). In addition to her job at a grocery store where she has worked part time for about four or five years now, she is part of the "fun squad" for a radio station. She gets to drive around our area of Ontario to attend events and hand out free loot, make draws, promote the events by making recordings which then air on the radio, and just generally be a bubbly, interested human. She is studying Communications in university, so this is right up her ally. She has also enjoyed doing customer relations at the grocery store, always competed in public speaking, and even M.C.ed a school concert by the seat of her pants. Talking with people and being friendly is easy for her. We are very proud of her and she's really excited to be doing this.

And if you care, when you reach 10,000 steps, the fitbit celebrates for you and buzzes against your wrist. If only it could chase away blackflies.




22 comments:

  1. I was just reading on Mary Moon's blog about yellow flies. I think you read her blog. If you don't I recommend her. Great blog.
    We don't really have creatures like that here. We have mosquitos of course. Wasps and the like. But no evil flies.
    It is still so cool here. Not really nice enough to be out gardening. Soon I hope!

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    1. Yes, I do read Mary's blog and enjoy it very much. I'm not sure what her yellow flies are that she writes about (Florida probably has totally different critters than us). I didn't know B.C. doesn't get blackflies. Almost makes me want to move there for that reason alone!!

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  2. Sounds like you are a keen gardener Jenn. Hope to see some photos of your garden here soon.

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    1. Yes, I love gardening, but get overwhelmed at this time of year when I see so much that needs tending to.

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  3. Mr Him tends to use me as the rototill. It's what gave me the back problem :)

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    1. My comment double posted so I removed one. Hazards of reading blogs on the train.

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    2. Rototilling is good for big open areas, but most of my digging and weeding and edging is in tight quarters and gets done by me. I hear you about an aching back!

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  5. Oh- Those blackflies are miserable things. I have a granddaughter that is terribly allergic to any kind of bite and swells immediately and itches like crazy.

    Sounds like you are going to get those gardens tamed eventually. It's a big job. We don't garden here at this house but I hope to do that at the next one--but who knows where life will take us--I may end up living in a concrete jungle somewhere as we retire. lol

    Those strawberries sound delicious-there is nothing like those that are homegrown.

    Hope you have a great weekend. xoDiana

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  6. I haven't seen The Crown yet

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  7. Ouch! Those darn black flies were horrible in Maine. Especially when hiking in the woods or white water rafting. Be careful Jenn. Iknow your gardens must be lovely even though they are demanding! Sounds like summer is on it's way. Have a great weekend love!

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  8. I hate those little black fly buggers. Like you I get horrible reactions & swelling where ever they bite. I don't find the bug sprays helps much with these. Congratulations to your daughter landing that job, sound like she will get to attend lots of fun 150th parties. Cheers to gardening this long weekend .... Mary-Lou =^..^=

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  9. Good on you for your ten thousand steps. Hope you get the buzzzz every day

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  10. This might be my year for a fitbit. It sounds like you're going great guns with your garden and I'm a little jealous of the strawberries. Rick's plants just never made it very well, but I think it was a combo of placement and critters that did it. And the weeds. My space is totally out of control, so I really get it. Hoping to get some plants this weekend -- geraniums for the cemeteries and more herbs for the house. And a hydrangea, perhaps. Try, try and try again!

    I remember us having our own version of the fun squad when I worked at WKAR. They were great. Seems like a perfect summer job!

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  11. I love black-eyed susan and flowers like that. So pretty.

    Love that you created paths and strawberries. Super yum.

    Sorry to read about you MIL. Lovely gift you got, though. Glad you didn't scratch your arm off in bed. Be kind of a bummer waking up with just the one arm left.

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  12. Have you marched on the spot at 11:30 at night, or done laps around the kitchen island yet just because you are sooo close to 10,000 steps? haha

    Also good for your daughter, I always wished I was better at public speaking. Never too late I guess!

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  13. The blackflies are a NIGHTMARE at my place. I was wearing a hat that didn't seem to protect much, but the full net jacket is worth it's weight in gold!

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    1. I am really contemplating getting something like that (shirt and pants), but don't think I can handle a full face thing. They say moose go "crazy" from swarms of blackflies. I think I understand.

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  14. What a GREAT idea, to make paths so you don't have to play Twister picking strawberries! I miss having them in the garden. I've already made several trips to the Amish neighbor's roadside stands this week! We don't have black flies here, but they sure sound nasty. I hope you were able to sleep without going crazy with itching!

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  15. You are so right: Rudbekia would probably take over the world if not controlled. But the flowers are so beautiful, aren't they?

    That is wonderful about your daughter. And my daughter is also studying communications in university! She's the same as yours: friendly and talkative. A people person.

    I laughed out loud with the twister comment. You are very funny!

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    1. Oh Martha, that's so neat that your daughter is in the same programme! Does she know what she wants to do when she is done? My daughter has one more year and isn't totally sure yet.

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    2. She's full of idea but she's not sure yet where she'll settle. I imagine it'll all sort itself out at some point. She has two more years to go, so there's plenty of time.

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