Privacy and the peas

I’m growing a garden in a tiny yard in an urban space in Manitoba. We have a very short growing season. I’m trying to grow things in unusual containers that had been laying around the yard and storage shed.

In the springs I planted peas in an old recycling bin.

The peas are now about four feet tall. As you can likely see from this photo, we have a very small yard with little privacy from our neighbours. I’ve now precariously extended the climbing poles using duct tape, with the hope that the peas will get to five feet or higher and create a tiny (wee really) bit of a fence between me and my lovely neighbours.




Another part of our yard faces a (somewhat) busy back lane.In that space I planted some more peas with the hopes of creating a tiny wall providing some privacy from the outside world.

I had a nice red pail and also an old water jug that I found in my mom’s old house. I cut off the top and voila! Now it’s a planter. These peas were planted later that the ones in the recycling bin, so they aren’t quite as tall.


Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to be creative and use things that may be destined for the landfill.

Once we get actual peas, I’ll post another update. We now just have little blossoms where the peas will grow.



All I Want

“All I really really want is our love to do
Is to bring out the best in me and in you too.”

~Joni Mitchell, All I Want

Today I’m in love. I woke up feeling very relaxed next to my favourite guy, who was sleeping late and clearly enjoying it. I’m always torn when he sleeps late on a weekday, because I know he should get to the office but I also feel selfish; I want to keep him beside me all day. He’s hot and I’m cold; we’re the perfect match.

Next year our family will have two weddings. My partner’s baby sister and one of his closest cousins are BOTH planning weddings.IMG_4383 We were discussing our travel plans last night. It looks like we’ll have a trip to China in March 2018 and then another trip to Edmonton in June 2018. None of us have ever been to China so the idea of going there is certainly exciting. I found return tickets that are just over $900 Canadian, so it looks like the flights could be feasible for us.

There has been a lot of talk about marriage, because in my partner’s culture, it seems to be what is expected at a certain age and stage. I actually kind of like it when people ask us when we are getting married because I already treat my man as my King, my everything. He makes me into a better person and encourages me with everything I do. At this time of year, I’m particularly thankful for his support of my gardening pursuits, even though I know he’s really not all that interested in flowers or growing things.

That’s what good partners do for each other–support one another in their hobbies and dreams. I’m so glad I found my match.

“He’s my sunshine in the morning
He’s my fireworks at the end of the day
He’s the warmest chord I ever heard
Play that warm chord, play and stay baby
We don’t need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true, my old man
Keeping away my blues.”

~Joni Mitchell, My Old Man


Gardening progress for June 2017

My garden is getting on quite well. I love seeing the changes. Here is what is planted and recurring in my small, urban garden:


  • Basil
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Kale
  • Lettuce mix
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers: Sweet ones and Jalapeno peppers
  • Spinach
  • Squash: Not sure what kind but I’m hoping for butter squash or zuchinni!
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes: Several varieties including yellow tomatoes, pineapple tomatoes, and regular heirloom tomatoes
  • Watermelon (it’s really on the edge of death right now)
  • Yellow beans


  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Sweet peas
  • Wildflower seed mix

I’m being diligent about watering my seedlings regularly and have even used some fertilizer in the form of sheep and cow manure as well as some tomato fertilizer that you mix with water. My seedlings didn’t do very well so I went and bought some. They are rather pricey and I’m sad that the Swiss chard and watermelon is struggling to stay alive! Ouch!

If you are growing a vegetable garden, don’t forget to ensure you add some flowers into the mix. The flowers are helpful in attracting bees, which your vegetables will need. Some of my favourite flowers are geraniums and marigolds, not so much for their looks, but mainly because they seem pretty hardy.

My garden is mostly just a hobby, but I’m pretty sure it’s my favourite one. I don’t produce TONS of food, but enough to make it satisfying. The best part of the food, however, is knowing that you’re eating something from your own backyard that hasn’t been sprayed or shipped thousands of miles.

Who has time for a job?

I’m quickly approaching my one-month mark of being unemployed. How does it feel, you ask? Let me tell you, it feels GREAT!

I’ve had more time to do all sorts of things, most notably, sleep in late if I feel like it.

I’m doing yoga nearly every day and also almost always have time to cook something healthy, from scratch. One of my favourite things to do is to find a new recipe that can make it’s way into regular rotation at our place if it’s somewhat healthy, delicious, and easy to make.

Sticky, garlicky chicken sounds like one of those recipes, doesn’t it? I’ve tried this recipe twice now in one month, served it at two different family meals, and people were loving them. If you’d like to try making them, the recipe is here.

Honey garlic chicken

My weekends are lovely when I get to just relax and spend time with the two guys I love the most. We have been binge-watching The Office on Netflix and enjoying campfires in our backyard.

Besides my being unemployed, our family usually is pretty busy with a variety of scheduled activities: right now this includes evening classes, flag football games and practices, tackle football uniform fittings and practices, and volunteer work.

Yesterday we joined in the 30th annual Pride parade here in Winnipeg. It’s so amazing to see so many happy people celebrating diversity in the streets. Way to go Winnipeg!

With all of this going on, I’ve asked myself and my partner several times over the last month: “Who has time to work full time?”

Everyone needs a muse

It’s a bit nutty to realize that I started this blog years ago and haven’t added any new posts. I’ve decided to get on with it, mainly because I’m inspired by life and the people surrounding me…. especially a wonderful, magical man (you’ll surely hear more about him later!).

I recently was laid off from what I thought was my “dream job.” I’d been doing it for about 11 months and thought all was going well when I got called into the office one Monday morning. I was told that the non-profit organization was “restructuring” and eliminating my position.

Of course I experienced many emotions, one of them being shock, but I also realized it was probably a blessing because now I have time to reassess what my “dream job” truly looks like. I told my employers I was grateful for the learning experience.

For now, I’m enjoying my newfound “unemployed” status for the first time in 12 years. I’m spending most of my time gardening, writing, and enjoying making memories with my family (including the special fellow).

I’m here to inspire YOU, so check out these peas that I’m growing in a recycling bin. They are a great idea for people who have limited gardening space. I planted the peas in late April and am excited to give you an update in June to show you how they are doing. My son once took hoop dancing and as we were cleaning out the basement (I have time for such activities now), we came across his old hoops. He encouraged me to use them to help me build a pea-climbing structure. I’m pretty happy with the results! What do you think?IMG_3952IMG_3954