Gardening Update #5: Harvests and Other Thoughts

Its been almost a month since the last gardening update. I honestly just got back to do another grass and weed clearing session and it went relatively fast. I’m still frustrated that it seems to be a problem that won’t go away but I am hoping with enough frequent clearings, I will beat this.

Over July, we had more sun and more rain and last week, we had a huge thunderstorm. It was really a mix of both good and bad weather however, it might have been to my advantage. The rain helped me out a lot so I didnt have to worry about watering too much and still we got a ton of harvests. Last time we talked raspberries and they were still the star of July.

Latest update as of a few days ago…

Pineapple Sage has grown up!


If you recall, the last storm knocked out my entire pineapple sage except for a little baby stem. Well, its not a baby anymore and yet again proves what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Eggplant


This eggplant has been growing forever. I am about to harvest it. I really don’t think it will get bigger for the container grown eggplant. Hopefully, we will get another one before the end of the season.

Cucumbers & Zucchini


Zucchinis doing well is almost always a guarantee. My three are doing great. We have harvested two zucchinis so far and three more in the garden.


As for cucumbers, we were a little worried about the in ground ones. It seems that all it needed was time. In fact, it has surpassed the container cucumber and we have had harvests already.

cucumbers

Container Cucumber seems to be doing okay, I guess. I mean, there is this one right now and it looks like we have a few growing right now as well.

Zucchini and Cucumbers

Fresh from the garden yesterday are three cucumbers and one zucchini! We’re set for dinner tonight. 🙂

Ground Cherries are a Success!!

ground cherry

It only looks like foliage on the picture. I should have taken a closer shot. Either way, you can see the harvest below. And we still have a lot on the branches.

Actually this is only part of the batch. At this time, I had already given some to my mom. I’m thinking about making some fun dessert with it although I don’t mind eating these just like that. They are more tart but I enjoy them.

Gardening Thoughts

Thought #1: In terms of gardening, I’ve seemed to have found a good system between container and in ground vegetable and fruit areas. As time goes by, I see that only a section of the vegetable garden will be annual replants. Right now, already there is mint on one end and ground cherries and blueberries along with green onions on the other side which are perennial. I’m slightly worried about the blueberry plants right now because the area should expand however, I’m not quite sure how because the other part is just a grass area now and I use it to put my hose. Maybe I’ll just turn it into tiled grounds to make it easier to put stuff and add more containers there since it gets a lot more sun there. Some research to be done there. My parents had tiled their walkway one year by themselves so I think with the right research and buying stuff myself, I can take care of that small patch of land myself. If not, I’ll hunker down and turn it into a perennial garden or something filled with medicinal plants or herbs. Something to match with the edible garden that is going on right now.

Thought #2: I had wanted to recycle one of the pickup truck tops left by the previous owners and turn it into a flower garden. It would help minimize the weeds in that area since that area really would be near impossible to get it weed-free. Plus, I wanted to plant in some annual flower gardens, targeted mostly towards being a bee and butterfly garden with bee baths and different assortment of flowers appealing to them. I’m excited to get that going. Right now, I’m just waiting for my husband to have a moment to drag out the thing from behind the shed. Its pretty heavy and lots of obstacles to do by myself. Then I can get the soil bought and get cracking on it. I probably won’t start on it this year but I would like to have it set up before the season ends.

Thought #3: This thought has been on my mind ever since the first summer we’ve had the house. Its an ambitious plan and one I haven’t felt like I have the time or abilities to put together yet. However, this summer, one of the houses that I walk by when I get off the bus had done that by themselves. They have it on half of my scale. The idea is that I have a slope on my garden and I want to turn that into a landscape thing. Get some boulders or larger rocks, buy some shade and partial sun required flowers and get a nice landscape going on. Before all that, the most painful part will be getting all the grass out. I’ve been researching here and there on this and its a whole idea of conceptualizing what to plant as well as what to keep and what to remove.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How are your gardens going? Any harvests?

Gardening Update #4: Rain & Harvests!

Welcome back to a long overdue Gardening update! It keeps getting bumped back and finally, now its time to report back after vacation.

Its been a rainy and gloomy summer. We can’t complain much because we live without the luxury of air conditioning in a bungalow so that means, when its hot, its boiling inside most of the time. Compared to last year, this is somewhat a heavenly situation especially on days where I need to record podcasts. However, plants and flowers aren’t like us and most of them need the sun and bees to pollinate in order to bear fruit aside from just water, which it also needs a lot of, of course. With that said, the garden is still doing pretty good. We started to have some harvests and the vegetables and flowers are all coming around.

In-Ground Garden

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

zucchini

No blueberries or asparagus in these pictures as they are waiting for next year to have any harvest. However, they are so far doing quite well.

Here is the in-ground garden. Zucchinis are coming out now. The lettuce is actually doing worse than in the containers. You’ll see later. Cucumbers are also not doing as well as in the container however they are starting to form some cucumbers. Hopefully it’ll work out especially with all the rain. If only, there was more sun. One of the more solid plants are the Ground Cherry. The challenge so far is still actually getting it to ripen before it falls down. I had planted it two times before in containers with that same issue. Now I’m hoping planting it in-ground will do the trick so we can harvest some ground cherries soon. Its definitely looking strong.

Raspberry

On the other side is our trimmed but somehow still overgrowing raspberry shrub. Strawberries had their season and I would have shared the harvest but like a loser, I deleted all my pictures this past weekend off my phone when I was lining up for a Comiccon panel. Long story short, I don’t have it anymore and the season is over. We did have decent harvests but nothing as epic as what raspberry will be. We had two tupperware bowls already in the last two weeks, which is pretty impressive. As you see, there are still raspberries ripening so the rain and sun balance seems to work beautifully for it. Plus, raspberries are great to have as it also helps out the bees, which Canada has been acting on to encourage Canadians to plant more bee gardens. I got my bee garden kit, just trying to get the garden ready as it’ll be a raised garden that I’m trying to get ready.

Flower garden

In my flower patch, the flowers right now is my mini rose shrub and these yellow flowers. I have to remember to keep these in check as they spread really fast although they are super pretty. My cone flowers are also starting to bloom however, they are also super depressed because the rabbits now can’t access the vegetable garden and they decided that they’d snack on the cone flower leaves instead. They looked miserable for the longest time. And now there another one that I moved and suspect will have to move again. The flower garden needs to be restructured and organized. I’m pondering that at the moment.

Container Gardening

Herbs are doing fantastic. We’ve harvested some basil mostly and added it to our recipes. The others we keep fresh in the fridge. It gives us a reason to use fresh basil and make foods with it. As you may notice, my pineapple sage lost the fight with the storm and is not just one stem struggling to stay alive. At least it survived. I almost thought it was a total loss. The kale and cucumbers are doing great here. Pots do cucumbers miracles as they are growing well although, it won’t be successful until we actually get some cucumbers to harvest. Finally, there’s the eggplant. The over excessive rainfall and lack of sun seems to be affecting it the most as it gets more yellow everyday and its not really having anything yet.

Our lettuce harvests were probably the earliest. While they are growing slower now, they are still doing quite well. Especially since we have them in-ground and in two hanging baskets.

Finally, the last thing is our kale. Its been doing fantastic. We’ve really only been making kale chips out of them. I should really post up the recipes for it that we use. I promise I will soon. The kale has been treating us well. As this post goes up, I’ve been thinking of harvesting my next batch this evening and making some more chips.

That’s it for this gardening recap!
How are your gardens doing?

My Weekly Adventures [on hold]: The Ugliness of Being Sick

This week is all about being calm and quiet.  My mind not so much but activities, yes.  Trust me, its a good thing. With a breakdown (physical or mental) feeling like its looming in the background earlier in the week, I tried to take it easy and find some routine back in life so that I can avoid it. But, the title already says it all…I lost that battle in a really really bad way eventually…

Still, lets take a look at this week.

1) Running Update: Week 3

Nike Running App

The rain, my friends! Its been my absolute enemy.  I used to do dragonboat so drizzle, I could work with but its just been downpours. I ended up doing my Tuesday run around my house.  Like I literally ran up and down the stairs then circles around the dining table and my den and my bed then back and forth in the basement, etc then repeat. I was jogging doing chores with one hand because I needed to have the Running App track my movement with the other hand.  It was crazy and I probably looked ridiculous but it was done in the end.

The second thing I’m learning (again) is commitment.  Training is a choice and a dedication.  One that means you trade off certain things and rearrange life to do this because it means something. Just like any goal, right? So with that said, despite the stupid migraine plaguing me on Friday and I eventually just took the night off after starting to feel a little sick.  I actually felt better on Saturday and went for my run, which turned out to be a huge mistake.  You’ll see… especially since I managed to go do groceries and run a few errands before realizing my body was not too happy.

2) Updating the Appearance

I’ve talked about this for two years at least.  My stuff on the side bar was from 2013! 2013!!!! Can you believe that? That’s when I started losing touch with blogging a little but this week, I sat down and took care of it.  Change the header picture last week and then updated a few things and rearranged stuff around.  Now it’s better! I’m not changing the theme since I just changed it last year or something. I’m happy with where this is all going. My indexes are all back up to date and will be updated on a weekly basis as promised and trust me, that Disney baking project! I’ll get that Snow White recipe done! 🙂 I literally have all the ingredients and even a little more for a little baking extra (once my energy level increases).

3) Garden Update

There was a lot of rain in the past week.  I mean, a lot.  So, the good part was my garden was so alive.  Everything grew like crazy.

Gardening

Lettuce after all the rain

Gardening

Cucumber Plant

Gardening

Ground Cherry

We’re starting to harvest the lettuce and its delicious. Both the iceberg and romaine are awesome.  The cucumber plant is having some flowers now so its all good.  And the ground cherries are looking lovely.  My issue is that last year, we had that but it never ripened before it fell.  So I’m hoping to figure out why that happens and fix it.

4) A Little Visitor (who could be my strawberry eater)

Garden

Can you see it?

I went out for a little bit of fresh air and to catch some pics for the garden update.  And who knew that I turned around to look at the mess of moving over a plant to free up space for my raspberry eventually and something brown moved around in my peripheral vision, kind of. Its a little bunny.  I have neighborhood rabbits.  I know that because they hang out right in my garden here.  I’ve been suspecting the rabbits are the ones responsible for eating ALL of my strawberries but I guess I can’t get angry when its a cute little one like that…

5) Being Sick with the Not So Forgotten Gastroentritis

Being sick sucks.  We can all agree with that. Its been a while I haven’t had gastro not to mention one that took a billion years to build up to the actual symptoms resulting in my taking a day off work today (as I write this after sleeping and lounging around the entire day). It has not been easy.  From migraines to realizing I had a minor fever on Saturday and having slept 12 hours but still lasted into Sunday and then the fever tapering off and my date with the bathroom began for hours.  It was memorable and painful and I just couldn’t work up the energy to go to work nor did I want to pass on whatever bug I had to my coworkers because I’m not that evil. Its taken me a whole day with some congee, a good amount of warm water, sitting around lounging in bed and watching Netflix and wondering if it was actually over.

As I write this up, I’m rebuilding my energy and my health because gastro is ridiculously damaging especially since I already have the underlying IBS so my digestive system is already bad.  Either way, I don’t know how regular my posts will be this week.  I have the content.  I just need to write it and that takes energy that I’m not sure I have right now.  So I apologize if things are a little slower here this week.  Bear with me as I work hard to recover.  Perhaps, I’ll take this opportunity to write about vacation since that takes a whole lot less time than reviews.

Upcoming:

  • Orange is the New Black Season 3 TV Binge
  • The Fault in Our Stars Book Review
  • Day in Seattle Vacation posts

That’s it for this weekly adventures! Stay Healthy!! 🙂

Summer Fun Keeps Going On! :)

I can’t think of creative titles for summer anymore.  There’s only so many ways I can say that this summer is totally awesome.  The weather is beautiful and I’ve had some nice activities and some cool stuff coming up.  I’ve been totally loving the festivals and I think the autumn round of festivals in Montreal are the next ones I’m looking at now. Life’s been really treating me nice.  I’ve thought a few things through, set a few priorities straight and learned a whole lot about myself.  Really? That revelation in the last week made me extremely grateful to be alive and breathing. Sure, things don’t go perfect everyday but I also learned that with the bad comes the good and thats how things balance out.  I’m absolutely fine with that because at the end of the day, its the good stuff that sticks in my mind. I think back and I smile before I go to bed to welcome the next day.

Yes, rambling again..I know.  Still, lets check out some nice stuff that happened this week 🙂

1) Planning Weekend Getaways

Quebec roads

On the way to Saguenay Lac St Jean, 2012

I used this picture for last week’s photo challenge but its relevant to what I’m about to say.  I actually have a weekend getaway coming up soon (*ahem* like this weekend).  My boyfriend and I have been obsessing over our house so much that we just thought it would be a good idea to go away for a weekend since this is his last week of vacation this year.  So, we’re heading back to the beautiful and scenic Saguenay Lac St Jean area of Quebec.  Thats the road we probably will be travelling again through a fauna reserve/park. We have some hiking planned and a festival and perhaps some shopping if there are some good deals.  Maybe some waterfront walking.  In general, just time to relax.

I may have another weekend getaway coming up with my girl friends but thats still in discussion 😉

Some people save money for luxury products/makeup/clothes, etc. I like to save it up for my house and going away (and movies).  What can I say? We all have our little pleasures.

2) Sweet Potato Flowers

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato flower

I didn’t really know that sweet potatoes had flowers but apparently this one does and they have this cute light hue of purple.  It was hidden under the crazy amount of leaves but I saw it this past weekend and snapped a quick photo of it.

3) Raspberries!

Raspberry plant

Raspberries growing

They aren’t quite red and ripe yet but my raspberries are quite abundant.  They are drinking water like crazy and I’m actually struggling to keep them hydrated with the intense heat that took over last week.  I filled up two bottles and 24 hours later it was all gone.  Maybe its time for a 3rd bottle or just soak the soil through before inserting another bottle.  I’ll probably have to check that out tonight.

4) Into the Storm Advanced Screening!

Into the storm

If you follow my blog, you already know that I’ve been increasing the whole output of movie reviews and who knows, maybe I’ll change it to Tranquil Dreams Reviews one day. Its definitely something rolling around in my head since I do reviews of movies among other things.  Or I’ll expand it a little.  Whatever it is, I’m passionate about movies and Fantasia Festival this year has given me a few revelations.  One is that I’ve become more confident in my opinion of movies because when I sit in the Q&A and I listen to the questions, I realize that a lot of people actually have similar overanalytical personalities.  Like, although I’m scared to talk about it sometimes like ask about it during Q&A, I secretly have thought that.  Just a few movies have made me feel like, I’m not totally crazy..haha! Thats already pretty good and its a nice feeling.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about that..  My FIRST advanced screening, my friends.  I may have not gotten the special screening of Guardians of the Galaxy but man, this was a completely different experience just being at the advanced screening and for a movie I wanted to see, Into the Storm 🙂

Review for that coming up with the next 24 hours 😉 I’m a tad behind on reviews but I’m trying to write the best I can for them so I’m giving each movie a few days to sink in a little.

5) Shopping spree!

I’ve been really trying to change my wardrobe a little since my style has slightly changed as well and its been a while that I’ve stocked up on summer clothes, especially  not that I’m a tad more comfortable with my physical appearance.  I need to get back to working out and toning but point is, I’ve been more comfortable with everything and well, the initial idea was to go groceries and to look for new shoes for work.  I usually go in running shoes but then when I want to wear summer dresses, I need flats.  I ended up coming home with some wedge sandals which look pretty good and are rather adorable. You can see them up there.  I got the beige ones.  I also got some clothes on sale at Dynamite and for those who don’t know, Jacob is bankrupt so everything is on sale right now 40-60% off and I got that dress which still cost me quite a bit but the quality was worth it 🙂

6) Date Night

The Drownsman

Date Night with my boyfriend is a rarity nowadays, especially when it means moving our butts from our place.  This weekend, it was a date afternoon till night.  I had scheduled in two movies: The Drownsman and Time Lapse and we were out from 4pm till midnight.  The two movies weren’t disappointing and one totally exceeded my expectations.  Plus, both was hosted by people involved in the movie.  The Drownsman, which is the picture you see up there had almost its whole cast there and a bunch of people involved from director, producers, editors, sounds, etc. It filled up the whole stage.  Time Lapse also had it too with their producers and screenwriters.  It was very awesome.

Then we actually discovered in between the movies, a restaurant called Charcos Rotisseries, a chicken place.  We stopped there for dinner.

wpid-20140802_195042.jpg

wpid-20140802_195038.jpg

This place makes some pretty delicious fries.  I found the Chicken fingers a bit dry but the grilled vegetables were done really well. My boyfriend at the chicken burger and he said it was heavenly.  We followed up with iced tea lemonades at Starbucks and then a little bit of arcades in between the two movies.

7) At home Brunch

Brunch

Brunch

My boyfriend started his last week of vacation so on Sunday morning, we went for early groceries and he was super awesome and made us a complete hearty breakfast with scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon.  Yummy! 🙂

8) ONE FINAL REVELATION

quotes

Yup, right on! I made a lot of revelations this year about myself: blogging, movies, analysis, life, work, positive outlook and the final one I had just last night was fully accepting this. I’m completely okay with this but I saw something last night and reminded me that there are some things thats really worth it to let go of. Not a frequent occurrence so I won’t say too much.

Now, before I leave you, how about some music to loosen up the mood a little?

Super fun video for Sam Tsui’s Wildfire.  Love it! 🙂

Now that overtime is over and Fantasia is rolling to its end with one more movie left, I’m all yours…well, until I go on my getaways, that is 😉

Happy Monday my lovelies! 🙂