The Victoria Day long weekend took me by surprise this year — I didn't
realize it was a long weekend until last Thursday. However, I had planned to do
the thing that every other Canadian with a yard does this weekend: garden.
Saturday morning Delphine and I had decided to go yard saleing. Our original
plan was to take our bikes, but then I realized that Blake goes spinning on
Saturday morning, so we would have to take Cordelia with us. She still hasn't
learned how to ride a bike (and seems to be in no hurry to) so that meant we
had to walk.
Noramlly that would have been fine because there are usually plenty of yard
sales within walking distance, but of course it's the long weekend. We only
found one sale, and it didn't open until 9:00 (even though everyone knows that
the universal standard yard sale starting time is 8:00). So we walked over to
Bayview instead, where nothing was open except bakeries and cafes.
However, on the way home someone had curbed a small collection of tiny wooden
painted cats — exactly the kind of thing the girls were looking for.
So they got what they wanted, and we got to keep all our money.
Delphine had her piano lesson at 10:00, and then we all went to the
newly-opened Mount Pleasant outpost of Hazel's Diner. We have
been diner-less since Diner 55 on Bayview closed, so we were ridiculously
excited to go to Hazel's. There weren't many people there, what with it being
the long weekend, but we saw two other Cody families — I think this
location will do well. The food was good (not like it's hard to screw up a
diner breakfast, unless you try and make it vegan or something) and I like
the look of their lunch selection, too.
After Hazel's we headed home to do our homeowner penance: gardening. The girls
and I had shopped for soil and plants after school on Friday (on Baba's advice,
to beat the crowds and get the best selection). So while Delphine planted her
planter in the front — some alliums (I think, or something similar),
English daisies and sweet alyssum — Blake trimmed the hedge and I edged
the "lawn". Cordelia did odd jobs like picking up twigs and fetching stuff.
Then Blake mowed and Delphine weeded the strip where the creeping jenny is
supposed to grow.
Then we all moved to the back where Cordelia and I planted our planters. I
bought three fabric
planters for our deck. I much prefer to plant planters than try and grow
things in the garden, which I find anarchic and upsetting. Cordelia was
assigned one fabric planter, Blake was assigned two, and I got the two wooden
planters that match the deck.
Cordelia planted a geranium (red), two miniature roses (red and pink) and a
gerbera daisy (yellow). I added a red geranium and a white callibrachoa to a
planter which is playing host to a sage plant I put in three years ago which
refuses to die and in fact grows bigger and stronger every year. In the other
planter I have two geraniums (fuchsia and red), a yellow callibrachoa, a
firewitch Dianthus ("Feuerhexe", because everything sounds cooler in German)
and some other things which weren't labelled — I think they're also
pinks. I don't believe in colour-coordinated planting.
Blake gets to plant the other two fabric planters — he wants to grow
tomatoes and basil — but he hasn't bought the stuff yet.
That was the easy part. By that time the kids were sick of gardening (okay,
so was I) so they went to Ursa's place to play in the sprinkler while I
tackled the rest of the garden — the anarchic bit —
and Blake made pizza dough.
When we moved in to this house the garden was a standard garden with
recognizable beds and a bit of lawn. Since then the lawn and the beds have
kind of melded together, with lots of weeds to add colour and texture. My
gardening consists of weed whacking twice a year to keep the weeds and
overgrown lawn below knee height.
This time I thought, since it was so early in the year, I would be able to mow
it with the push mower. But we've had such a ridiculously early and warm spring
that the lawn was a foot tall, and just folded over and laughed. I much prefer
violets and creeping charlie to lawn: they only grow a few inches high no
matter how long you leave them, and when you do mow them they send up lovely
purple and green confetti.
So I fought with the grass, cussing and sweating, until I had tackled most of
the yard. It looks at least 78% less hill-billy-ish now. By then Blake, my
very bestest husband ever, had brought me a Frappuccino, so I got to sit on
the deck and enjoy my non-embarrassing back yard.
After a delicious dinner of pizza, made by Blake and Delphine, the kids took a
bath and were off to bed at a reasonable hour.
Sunday morning the girls have swimming lessons at a local high school. The
lessons are an hour, so I get to sit up in the gallery and chill out, or this
week, work on the AOSA website.
After swimming we hit Subway for lunch (having spent almost all our family
fun money at Hazel's) and then went to Boardsports to get Delphine a helmet
to go with her new skateboard. She wanted a pink helmet, but they only had
extra-small in pink so she chose a gorgeous matte grass-green one instead. Then
we walked home; Cordelia was exhausted halfway home — normally she has
energy to spare, but she was sick last week and it's still slowing her down.
So in the afternoon we chilled out on the couch and watched a Mythbusters
— the one with the explosions and shooting. And then Baba and Zaida's
for barbequed steaks and playing in Auntie Morgan's wading pool.
On Monday we went for a hike. I like to take Delphine out in nature sometimes,
because it recharges her (and me, too). Toronto is great for that because
there are little bits of nature all over the place, so you can have, if not
the best of both urban and country life, at least a taste of nature in the city.
We've done the walk down to the Brickworks, and we've walked from Yonge
and Lawrence to Bayview at Sunnybrook Hospital. I wanted to do something new
this time. I thought about Leslie Spit, but that takes too long to get to
— I wanted this to be a morning hike so the girls could play with Ursa in
the afternoon. I thought about Crother's Woods, but
it's a bit of a pain to get to. There are two bus routes which access it, but
neither of them are near our place. So finally we decided to walk from
Sunnybrook Hospital to the Ontario Science Centre.
Sunnybrook is a short bus ride from our house, so we were there before ten.
It was a nice hike, but too much walking on paved paths through parks for me.
I like hikes through the woods. There were some trails through the woods
which ran parallel to the park paths, though, so we got some quality nature
hiking in. I think we went too fast; there are so many interesting things to
look at in the woods if you slow down and pay attention. But as it was we saw a
woodpecker, a nuthatch, baby geese, and a toad, and lots of cool fungus. Also
far too much garlic mustard.
Our destination was the Ontario Science Centre, and I can't think of a better
place to end a hike. We had lunch (fish and chips for the girls, chicken
satay on a pita for me and jerk pork for Blake, then ice creams all 'round)
and checked out the circus exhibit before catching the bus home.
Then we sent the girls off to Ursa's and now Blake's doing I-don't-know-what
while I sit on the deck writing this. Tonight we are going to a local street
party for hot dogs and fireworks. Not bad for a long weekend I didn't even know