Lazy, hazy days of summer.

Well, perhaps not so lazy!

After spring planting, there is a short lull at the beginning of the summer, where the garden is busy growing, and just needs to be weeded and watered. That is where we are right now. Since there hasn’t been any rain for a while, watering is taking up a lot of time. Weeding dry earth is a hard go, so Attila tends to leave it until after a rain, when it is easier to pull the weeds out by the roots.

Last weekend was a long weekend, and Attila used this time off work to tackle the wood from the felled dead Ash tree, and the pruned branches from the dying Blue Spruce trees. On Friday night he began at around 7 p.m., and burned branches right through until 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning. After waiting until the embers had cooled on Saturday night, he cleaned out the fire pit, distributed the ashes among our various compost bins. On Sunday evening he began again, finishing up at around 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The fire pit is once again full of ashes! He is about half done the job of burning the small branches from the Ash, and the dead branches from the Blue Spruce.

We are hoping to save the Blue Spruce trees, but that remains to be seen. When the water main leak in our front yard was finally repaired, long before we actually moved here full time, it affected the spruce trees. They had grown tall over the years, with all the water that leaked from the water main, and when that water became unavailable, they experienced stress. The stress left them vulnerable to a canker infection, that we didn’t understand until this year. Although we knew that they were slowly dying, we did not know why. What we have decided to try is to trim all the dead branches, and burn them, then spray the trees with a solution of hydrogen peroxide to kill the canker. Then we hope the trees will rally and recover their health. Attila does not hold out much hope for the one that has suffered the most, but we will still try to save it.

The air quality has been mostly bad since the forest fires developed momentum, and in my lifetime I’ve not experienced such a thing. Often outdoors is seen through a yellow tinted haze, and smells of smoke. We do get periods of time where the air is fresh and clean, and that is when I try to spend as much time as possible out of doors. Luckily, the garden isn’t bothered at all by the atmospheric pollution, and is thriving.

Every day now Attila brings greens in from the garden to make a salad. Lettuce bolts when it gets hot, and the heat waves of summer are beginning, so our salad days are numbered. We are enjoying them to the fullest while we can.

The snow peas are done, they were delicious in salads. The shell peas are doing very well for the moment, yielding about a cup a day. Yesterday I made creamed peas on toast for my breakfast, what a treat, with sweet fresh peas. Today I think I will add the cooked fresh peas to my vegetable soup for lunch, another treat. Of course we eat a lot of them raw, snacking on them as we watch our program in the evening.

The top I made for myself from the vintage tablecloth needed some tweaking. I felt it was too short, so I used what was left of the tablecloth to add a panel at the bottom and now it is a short dress. I will also add pockets to it, using what is left of the tablecloth material. I use pockets, a lot. I find the dress very comfortable, and great in the summer heat, because it fits so loosely there is air flow over my whole body. Cool air enters at the hem, and exits at the neckline. I will probably make another summer dress from this pattern, for next summer.

Another sewing project I am tackling is mending Attila’s old work pants. He has a half a dozen pairs of pants that have worn through at the knee, or the crotch, and cannot be worn. He has kept all these old pairs of pants in a tote in the basement. One pair was selected to be used for patching material, the rest will be mended. The first mended pair turned out very well. Every so often I will mend another pair, until eventually they will all be mended. Since his work pants are costly, over $60 a pair, a lot of money will be saved. Hopefully, with the repaired pants, he will have enough pairs to last him until retirement!

Harvest and canning season will soon begin for us, and I am upping my game when it comes to organization. I watched a video on jar management that had some excellent tips in it, little things that will make the canning season run more smoothly.

One is reducing the number of times each jar will be washed. What I have been doing is washing the jars as they are opened and the food consumed, then storing them upside down in boxes in the basement. But I don’t trust that they are still clean when it is time to use them again, so I wash them again. To eliminate this second washing, I will now put a cleaned used lid and ring, on each washed and dried jar, and set them upside down in the boxes. This way when it is time to use them I won’t need to wash the jars again. Since they are upside down I will know they do not contain food and are empty.

To this end I have been washing cases of jars, brought up from the basement, in the dishwasher, drying them, putting used lids and rings on them, and storing them back in the cases upside down. So far I have processed five dozen jars, a drop in the bucket!

Another tip I took from the video was to open the boxes by creating a top flap, cutting the plastic around three sides of the rectangular box. I have in the past cut them down the middle of the top, which leaves the jars in the centre exposed to dust, and makes accessing the back corner jars challenging. Almost all of my boxes have been cut down the top middle, so I have been closing the slit with packing tape, and cutting around three sides of each box. This is tedious, but only needs to be done once to each box.

Each box is also being reinforced with a band of packing tape around the outside perimeter.

I am hoping that I have enough canning jars now, and eventually all of the boxes will have flaps and be reinforced, and all of the clean empty jars will have used lids and rings on them and be stored in this logical fashion.

Ginger and I are getting along famously. Well, almost all of the time. He is very fussy. There are times when he thinks his litter box needs to be cleaned, way to often as far as I am concerned, but he has his standards. He will first approach me by gently prodding me with his paw when I am sitting down. If I don’t take the hint with that prod, he will saunter over to his food bowl, eat a wee bit, then drink a lot, then saunter over to the carpet near his litter box and vomit on the carpet. This is consistent. He wins on this one, after cleaning up the mess I will clean his litter box.

The other little tug of war we have is that he wants me to refill his food bowl while there is still food in it. I am having none of it. The food bowl gets refilled when it is empty. He whinged and wines, approaches the food bowl and refuses to eat what is there. I ignore him. When I am busy doing other things he will approach me again, and when I check the food bowl is empty, and I fill it up again for him. I win on this one, the episode of winging and whining are now very, very brief, and mostly he just empties the bowl and comes to inform me I have a duty to perform.

We are lucky with Ginger, he does not overeat. He likes his fresh water first thing in the morning, and sits by his water bowl when he hears me arise. It is the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning, clean and refill his water bowl.



Updated on Tue, Jul 4 at 11:05 AM
Wind 3 W km/h
Humidity 56%
Visibility 27 km
Sunrise 5:29 AM
Wind gust 4 km/h
Pressure 101.3 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:54 PM


“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.”

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Joan Lansberry

Nice to see photos of your garden! The echinacea flowers are beautiful! (Ah, patching knees and crotches, I patched so many of these when I worked as a seamstress. Also torn belt loops.)


Love the garden and the echinacea are beautiful! Cats are really little demanding overlords. I have two, one which is very vocal when he wants something. I love them both dearly. We had had a few days of bad air quality here in N.J. due to the fires in Canada. Today was much better until all the firework displays started. Have a wonderful July!


Yikes. We have a field across from my house and people were setting off fireworks there and my daughter said one of the fireworks went sideways!