Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What's Up?

Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing great and enjoying whatever season you are currently experiencing. It is spring in my part of the world. It came late and as usual the best part for me, the cherry and apple blossoms, were so very fleeting and I hardly got a chance to appreciate and enjoy them.

I seem to get a shorter chance each season to enjoy them so I'm always grateful for the photos I manage to take of them each year and for the photos others share on their blogs. If you missed some beautiful blossoms you can enjoy a few here.

Much of our spring so far has been cold and rainy. From time to time I hear the weather person saying the temperatures have been seasonal or normal for this time of year with the exception of a few days here and there but in my own recollection it has seemed colder. We had warmer temperatures in January (unseasonably warm) than we did in much of the following months. That should be changing this week as we are supposed to get dry, sunny days with increasing temperatures to the end of the week.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I spent a bit of time in the patio garden because it was sunny as expected. Each day the temperature increased slightly over the day previous.

I'm including the photo below to show you how clear the sky was early Tuesday evening. I also wanted to share the painting on the side of the building. I always stop to admire it from across the street.

I look forward to the sunshine we are having.  But I'll be happier if the temperatures don't soar to high in the coming days and weeks. Today, Wednesday, it already felt very hot.  We have wildfire issues almost every year and so it's best the temperatures do not soar too high too early. Wildfires have become a concern each and every year for some time now. Not only is it devastating to our beautiful forests and private properties,  it is dangerous work to fight the fires and expensive for the governments and taxpayers. The budget for fire fighting is increasing each year as wild fires unfortunately become the norm. I think most of us attribute this state of affairs to climate change.  However I also heard on the news that almost 50% of the fires are caused by humans being careless. In this day and age one would think that people would be more careful.

I'm sharing the photo below because some of you might remember that the high rise (with the tree on the roof top) can be seen from my balcony or patio. It seems like it has been going up for a very long time but at least the past half a year seems to have been spent on the finishing touches. It looks like they are getting very close to occupancy.

Starbucks is on the street level and has been open for a few months already.  Recently, a friend of mine who visited from Toronto, Canada spent every day there studying for the legal bar examinations to qualify as a lawyer in BC. I met him there a few times for coffee.  The second floor of the building will house a grocery market called Nester's. When I look at it from across the street I can see the shelving going in but I'm not sure when they plan to open for business.

On the other side of the Chevron gas station is a new and very popular pub/restaurant. It has replaced a Japanese restaurant which I frequented.  One day it was open and the next day unbeknownst to me it closed it's business. Just beyond the restaurant, a few doors away (at the street corner) a popular produce place has closed. I used to enjoy stopping there for fresh fruit, vegetables and organic products.

I think the taxes for small business are simply too high. Recently the city council raised property taxes twice in 2019 (my property taxes increased first to 4.5 to 6.0 percent this year even though property prices have dropped).  The additional 1.5 percent increase was supposedly to lessen the tax burden on small businesses but some business owners have told me that their landlords had already increased their rents.  This means the tax increase did not achieve it's stated purpose.  It only makes the tax burden heavier on individual owners IMHO.

I feel I am so far behind in various tasks I'd like to do that really need to be done in a timely manner. For example, I haven't planted yet at the community plot. I was hoping to do it earlier this week with the nicer weather we are having but have been tired and also busy with other priorities. I am hoping to get there tomorrow or Friday. I prepared the soil over a month ago and have been waiting for just the right day to plant both gardens.  I see the date on my photo below is almost 2 months ago when I cleaned the garden debris and added fertilizer. But honestly the weather has been either cold or wet since to feel like doing much more. I'm probably the last gardener to get my garden planted at the community plot.

In the patio garden I've put out the furniture (minus the cushions until the rain stops) and covered the outdoor tables with tablecloths.  I've been visited almost every day by my neighbour's new cat. The cat is only a year old and is very pretty, friendly and mostly fearless.  I'm of two minds about her coming to my patio garden so often.  I caught her digging in my garden the other day and I became concerned when I  saw one of the recently planted bulbs laying exposed on the surface of the soil. Not only might she destroy what I've planted but she might also start doing her business in the garden. My neighbour assures me she won't but I suggested she try to train her cat to stay on her side of the patio.  On the other hand, she is very sweet cat and I enjoy seeing her so it is hard to get angry over her visits.  I can tell my neighbour is anxious and wants me to like her new kitty cat so that I won't raise a fuss about it. But I know she is also concerned that her cat might start jumping over the partition to the neighbours beyond. That might prove more problematic.

Back to planting matters.  This year I wasn't able to plant many pansies.  Though I purchased enough of them the delay in planting means that at least half of them died off.  The other half don't look that great but I've planted them anyway and am hoping they will revive with some tender loving care.  This will be the first year I haven't planted many pansies since I first started gardening.  I've also planted fewer petunias this year but they tend to grow quickly so it should be fine.  I love all the colour petunias bring to the garden and the happy faces of pansies in full bloom.  To make up for the lack of pansies and petunias I've planted a lot of red geraniums.  Their brilliant colourful blooms always cheer me when I see them flowering in the garden.  The garden will look much better soon when the flowers and other plants start to mature.  I spotted a pretty little hummingbird last night. Hopefully I will see a lot more of them this summer. Maybe I'll finally be able to catch a photo of one this year if I can spend more time outside relaxing.

As we head into warmer weather it is also a time for better grooming with the hair and nails. I got the hair coloured, highlighted and trimmed. It wasn't the best job my hairdresser did this time around but it is more than adequate. This week or next week I'm hoping to get a massage and foot reflexology session using coupons I purchased 2 months ago already. They will expire in another few weeks so I must make sure to use them.  The nails will have to wait since my fingernails are damaged from the last person who did them. I cannot believe it but they need time to regrow.

This post was longer so I cut out several paragraphs.
I've got lots to keep me busy from now to at least the end of summer and I'm also expecting visitors.
It means I will hopefully spend more time relaxing and enjoying my mornings and evenings out on the patio rather than simply doing things out in the community or indoors.

 I'm determined to sit outdoors this summer and read, enjoy my coffee, crochet or work on my laptop.  Last year I spent little time relaxing in the garden enjoying the fruits of my labour so I'd like to change that.

What about you dear reader?  Do you have some restful summer plans or active and adventurous plans?
Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for stopping by.
Before I go let me wish all the mothers a
Happy Mother's Day.
 Many of us, like me, have lost our mothers and so it is a time to remember them fondly with love and joy for all they did for us.

Joining in with 

I was going to post this week to
Friday Foto Friends
but Debbie says she will not be keeping this linky party going.

It's been fun while it lasted and I've met some wonderful lady bloggers through her efforts. All the best dear Debbie.


Angie said...

The weather forecast for this weekend is in the 70s, and as much as I am looking forward to it, I agree with you that we don't want it to get too warm too fast. We planted about 30 pounds of wild grass/wildflower seed last fall, and it is coming up nicely. But we will need regular rainfall if it is to thrive. I was disappointed that yesterday we did not get the rain that was predicted. So out came the hoses!!! There's always something to do in the garden - it's a good thing I find it restful!

Debbie Harris said...

I so enjoyed reading this posting with all of the details of what is taking place in your life.
Your hair color is quite pretty and your massage and foot reflexology sounds wonderful.
I trained myself in reflexology after going on a missions trip to west Africa and having the missionary preform it on me for a UTI that I was suffering from. I believed that I could use it on family members, friends and in my work with hospice care. My dad enjoyed it when I would look after him.

Your patio pots are lovely and what a view you have.
I bought a beautiful pot of pansies to enjoy on the deck furniture until we leave for Canada, then I will pass it on to a dear friend to enjoy.
I'm not able to do any planting as of yet, but will enjoy that when we get back home in June.
We had snow today! 🤔

Those blossoms are gorgeous!

Take care ♡

Joyful said...

Aw, Debbie, thank you for your kind words and your visit. I absolutely love massage and also foot reflexology. As you know the reflexology is very healing. How wonderful that you were able to experience it for yourself and to practice it on people. That was very kind of you and I'm certain your dad and others really benefitted from it. I appreciated your words about my little garden. It is not so big but it requires a lot of work and I'm grateful this year I seem to have the energy to put more time into it. Now if only the weather had cooperated. I won't complain though there is still time for growing. Enjoy your pansies. They are a favourite little plant of mine and I'm sure your friend will enjoy them too. Take care, happy and safe travels. xx

Joyful said...

Dear Angie, it was lovely to have you visit my little blog. Since you live in the woods you would appreciate the concerns over the fires. You really planted a lot of seed last year and I hope you get the rainfall you need. It is very true that there is always something to do in the garden. Take care, xx

Red said...

You are a very busy lady. there's always lots going on around us.

Rhodesia said...

Our spring is very odd, we have had the wood burner on for the last couple of days!! Our lounge does not get the sun until late afternoon and by then it is too late to heat the room.
Re the cat, how can your neighbour make a statement saying the cat will not do its business in your garden! You say the cat has dug out a bulb, cats only dig for one purpose, not like dogs for fun, or birds that might be looking for worms!
Love your hair.
Take care. Happy Friday, Diane

Joyful said...

Yes it seems I'm always very busy. I'm the kind of person who will create things to do if I have nothing to do! LOL

Joyful said...

Spring has been odd here too, imho. I'm sorry it is so cold where you are. I am afraid I seldom use the electric heat due to the high cost. Even then my bill is quite high and its' going higher with increases. As for the cat, my neighbour says the cat does her business every day in the box at her home so she feels it won't be doing it in the garden. Thanks for the visit Diane. Happy Friday and weekend to you too.

Mari said...

It's been very cold here too - no planting yet as its still been below freezing occasionally. I love the community garden and your patio garden looks so nice. I can see why you are concerned about the cat. They do like to dig.
Your hair is so pretty! For what you think is not a great job, it looks great!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Wow, those are beautiful tree blossoms. It's no wonder you would like them to last longer! Yes, I think it's going to be a rough year for wildfires. Here in CA we have wild mustard plants growing all over the hillsides, and it turns to tinder as things dry out. My, those are steep property tax increases! Makes life difficult, especially those on a fixed income.

Joanne Noragon said...

Are there pine cones of any kind available near you? I hope there are. Put pine cones in the pots. The cat won't dig because it can't get decent footing among the cones.

Joyful said...

Hi Mari, though we've had a few warm days during the past few months the night time temps have been too cold for planting. Thank you for your kind words on my hair.

Joyful said...

Hi Joanne, yes there are various pine cones available here but I am more concerned about the digging in the regular garden, not the pots so much. Thank you the tip though. I'm sure it will be useful at some point to me or one of my readers.

Joyful said...

I can imagine California is in much the same, or worse situation than my province when it comes to threat of wildfire. It is so true that the tax (and other increases) are getting very difficult to manage. Right this minute I'm hearing the news that there is a "shocking scale of money laundering in BC". This has had a significant impact on our property values and taxes. Most residents have known this for some time and have been clamouring for our government to do something. Finally the voters voted out our last premier over this issue and some steps are being taken. I hope we can wrestle this issue to the ground.

Lady Fi said...

Your first shot is glorious! I'm loving your hair colour.

Joyful said...

Thank you Lady Fi!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the blossoms and trees are lovely. We are having chilly weather, I hope it warms up soon. It is sad they increase taxes on the small businesses, they should get a break. I love the mural on the building. Your balcony and plants look pretty. I hope there are no serious wildfires this year. The hair color is beautiful. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great weekend!

Joyful said...

Thank you for the compliment on my hair colour Eileen. It is actually the residential owners that were given a huge tax increase not the small business owners. The idea was to lessen the burden on small business but I don't think that worked.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Our spring has also been cooler than normal here in Colorado--we had some snow a few days ago! Spring snow always melts fasts. through. so it is good moisture. Higher taxes seem to have caused businesses to close. Rents may have also gone up excessively. It is a problem many cities sadly face. Love your hair color and hair style!

carol l mckenna said...

Happy Mother's Day to you and all ~ Lovely tree blossoms and photos ~

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Joyful said...

I keep watch on the weather in Colorado from time to time and I've realized how it can snow in what I consider late Spring season. It makes sense as many places are in the mountains. It is true that the high rents and taxes are facing many cities of the world today. Thanks for the compliment and for your blog visit. Enjoy your Spring.

Joyful said...

Thank you Carol. Happy weekend ahead and Happy Mother's Day to you.

peppylady (Dora) said...

I love tree blooms.
Coffee is on

Snowbrush said...

I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley where a road was closed yesterday due to a wildfire. Yet, this is normally a cool and wet time of year, so I shudder to think what's in store as I watch the grass in my yard turn brown, and my thermometer register what would normally be August temperatures.

Jeanie said...

What a fun, good, catch-up post! Your patio garden is really great. I don't think you need to worry about the cat going in your garden. Pots make it too complicated for the sit-and-pee-or-poop position. I hope the new restaurant is as good as the Japanese one you liked. It's been cold and rainy and cold here and I don't think I'll ever get a garden in in a timely fashion. But we'll try. I do love this post!

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