May: It’s a Wrap!


This month I learned an exciting new skill. Sport stacking! I was looking for an activity for a youth program at the library and thought I would try something the teens would remember from their childhoods. I spent about a day learning the drill. I am slow but I can get through it successfully! The program was fun – who knew how many novel things teens would find to do with cups? 🙂

That’s about as sporty as I got, though. Skating is over for the season and I haven’t found anything new to fill the gap. In June I need to find some new fitness stuff to keep my interest. Meanwhile it’s the same-old same-old (elliptical machine, mini trampoline and walking).

I had a few events in May. I invited the family over to do a Mother’s Day brunch for my mom. It was a good change to do a low-stress brunch rather than dinner. As for the house cleaning prior…oh well, it had to be done!

We had a long weekend for Victoria Day. Finally the lawn grew enough to use the new battery mower, and it is making up for lost time. I use the word “lawn” loosely. Pesticides and herbicides are banned here so everyone has more weeds than not. At best you can keep it all green. For the record, I have dandelions, hawkweed, buttercups, wild strawberries, daisies, sorrel, chickweed, forget-me-nots, and small quantities of this pesky weed:


The bees are happy here!

The new mower needs more of a workout, but so far, so good. It is not as strong as a gas mower but it will do the job. As expected, the batteries lasted about 30 minutes, so I ran through both and recharged the first one while the second was in use. The job took less than 90 minutes, about the same as before.

I spent lots of time getting the yard in shape for Spring. I joke that my idea is gardening is keeping everything alive that the former house owner planted. I’m not really kidding, though. She did a great job of selecting and laying out the plantings, and I make an effort to save them all! I have also grouped a few things: bachelor buttons (cornflowers) had self-seeded everywhere and I moved them all to one spot. Likewise there were daisies and violets everywhere, so they have their own new locations, too. I also gave my dad a large clump of Solomon’s Seal. The root systems on those things are amazing!

My favourite plant in May is bluets. The nearby school yard is carpeted with them:


We are still getting ready for our house interior painting. The amount of work to disassemble our house (book cases and stored items) is staggering. I feel like chucking half of my worldly possessions. I am really quite stressed about it. Major decisions have arrived! I cheerfully got rid of all the VHS and cassettes that I embarrassingly still had in the house (but NOT the vinyl records). The painting crew are due later this week.

The James Taylor concert has come and gone. It was a lovely, if expensive, night out which included dinner at a new Tandoor place. James Taylor is comfortable performing for his audience, but he is a quiet guy with a wry sense of humour. The main reason I wanted to see his show is that I have seen a couple of his concerts on TV and he has a large band of musicians and vocalists – very talented – and he really allows them to shine. Well, not to mention that I grew up listening to his songs on AM radio way back when. He kept joking that he would only play a few new songs and “get them over with” so all us geezers could hear the old familiar tunes. The average age of the audience was the highest of any I ever attended: maybe 60? We were laughing because the last show we’d seen at the same venue, in November, was Judas Priest!

Over the past few months I did a small amount of volunteer/volun-told work planning a local library conference. I was just a bit player. This week I am attending and doing various odd jobs there, working at the registration desk, convening sessions and attending a few. It’s been a nice change to get out of the office and meet new people. I have had many good conversations with library students who have asked me about the profession and the job market. All the students and new professionals really inspire me with their energy and commitment.

I even got to wear some of my new Spring vacation clothes at the conference!

It would be great to hear how May went for you.



  1. Fiona

    I showed my 12 yo the cup stacking thing he would be very impressed. But he said, ‘Oh yeah – we learnt that in Library at school, it’s really cool!’ (!)

    I wish we had pesticides/herbicides banned here. It drives me crazy seeing the range available at Bunnings.

    I’d been wondering about the work involved before the painters came. Every time we move house I genuinely want to throw away all my worldly possessions, no matter how attached to them I thought I was. I hope it’s all done soon and I’m sure the results will be well worth it.

    • My “lawn” is a varied ecosystem! I am still working away, clearing out closets and the like. I am filled with loathing and remorse for all the STUFF I own 😦 I know my house is on the small side and we have no garage, but still…

  2. James Taylor is on my bucket list to see. A couple years ago my sister and I went to see Jaskson Browne in Ann Arbor and we were the youngest there – lots of what I call aging hippies in that city 🙂

  3. Margie in Toronto

    No garden work here since I live in an apt. but yes, all kinds of pesticides are banned here as well and everyone seems to cope – it’s lovely and green right now but very hot and humid already. But we are to get some rain off and on this weekend so that will help all the new gardens.
    May was busy at the office but I took a couple of days off as a friend from Kingston (ON) came to town for a few days. We had tickets to the Aquarium and the theatre, plus we had a couple of lovely meals out so it was a good break.
    Now that summer has finally arrived I’ve been able to start wearing all the new clothes that I’ve bought (lost a lot of weight so some spending was required).
    I’ve been thinking about having my place painted (just to freshen it up) but quite frankly the thought of having to empty and move all my bookcases is what stops me! You are very brave – it must have been exhausting. Good luck with it – hope it’s not too chaotic and it will be lovely in the end.

    • I like the sound of your break – and your new wardrobe! I have just finished moving all the furniture and stored items in the whole house and cleaning underneath – great opportunity for a thorough cleaning! So it will feel “new and improved” once it’s all put back together. Of course I am now developing a mental list of items I’d like to add or replace…but they can wait.

  4. I’ve just put stacking on my things to learn. It looks like fun and will keep my mind and coordination agile.

    Funny how you have a day to commentate Queen Victoria.

    I’d worry if I went to a James Taylor concert I’d fall asleep, more because I am often tired and it hits me when I stop rushing around but also because of his soothing voice.

    • Victoria Day is officially the date the Queen’s birthday is celebrated in Canada (even though her real b-day is in April) so it’s all about Elizabeth! But our main activities that weekend are the year’s first camping trips, barbecues and garden planting (none of which I did). I was concerned about falling asleep during the concert, too! Happily, it kept my attention and I was OK.

  5. Jamie

    We had some friends visit a few months ago and they brought us a sport stacking set as a gift. It kept all the kids busy their entire visit!

    I had a busy May. My husband has been working away most weeks so far this year, which has been challenging. May was extra challenging as the final assignment for my uni subject was due. Worth 60% of my mark. Still waiting to get it back. Hopefully I managed to do a reasonable job. I vary between thinking it was quite good to worrying I have completely failed! It would have been an enjoyable subject with fun assignments if only there wasn’t the dread of being judged and marked on our work and the fear of failure! (It was titled “Literature and other resources for children and young adults”. Our first assignment was to interview a reader about their preferences and suggest a book. The second was to prepare a reading guide on a particular topic for a chosen age group).

    James Taylor is great. I take great pleasure in reminding my 13yo daughter that even Taylor Swift references James Taylor in her songs. 🙂

    We are gearing up for the snow season here. They were hoping to open the lifts today, but nearly all the snow that has fallen in the past month has been washed away by rain that followed. I am almost happy, as it gives me a reprieve from facing how unfit I am and how little preparation I have managed to put into improving my fitness before the season! Oh well, the first few weeks will be painful and then I will build up to it.

    I’ve never heard of lawn chemicals being banned in a town. Our lawn here is a strange one. Lots of different types of grasses and weeds. It seems that different ones do better at different times of the year, so we end up with different patches green and faring well at different times, but never all at once! I suspect that at some point turf has been laid to one side of the path to our clothes line, but not on the other(??) That section of the lawn is the only one that is a thick monoculture.

  6. My sincere apologies in the delays in commenting. I now ‘archive’ all blog posts emailed to me. It has reduced any temptation to read them unless I seek them out. But out of sight has meant a little out of mind, particularly when my mind is full of other things.

    I’m surprised it takes you 90 mins to mow – mum’s always mowed our lawn, and the one we have now must be relatively small, can’t imagine it takes her more than 15mins! Some of your weeds seem positively enchanting to me – Australia being not known for snow and cold has different flora. The fact that berries grow wild elsewhere belies belief, it just seems magical!

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