Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s Not Easy Being Green

We sprang forward this past weekend and at Rabbit Hollow that sentiment was taken to heart. We don’t have a particularly hard winter in the Okanagan, certainly not for Canada anyway, but there is still snow and frozen ground and cold winds with which to contend. Every year I marvel as the ground comes to life again; I feel a sense of expansiveness that is not there in winter, as the green shoots grow and the air warms. My admiration for all the new life spurs me on, too. Brighter colours seem the order of the day, so I do my best to participate.

a spring wreath offsets the windwalker hanging at the front entry to the house at Rabbit Hollow

It did my heart good on Sunday to see my first robin of the year as I awoke to Daylight Savings Time. When I walked the dogs I noticed the green shoots in the grass. As I looked closer, I could see tulips poking through the mulch and even a little viola making a brave face in the wind. Every living thing was cheering the coming of spring.

The first Johnny Jump-up to celebrate spring. These violas will re-seed themselves quite happily if you let them.

The icing on the cake was in the back yard. I noticed the forsythia was beginning to show shoots, but the lead cheerleader for the spring cause was the pussy willow. I squealed like a birthday girl with balloons when I saw the fuzzy shoots as big as my thumb, all up the branches. There was certainly more spring in my step as I continued through the orchard on our route.

My shining glory - the pussywillow in "the back 40" at Rabbit Hollow.

I have to remember to take it easy, as spring comes slowly in Canada. I have planted garden seeds in February, to be ahead of the curve. But they can’t go outside until late April and by then they end up being stringy shoots reaching for more sun than I can offer them.

It’s not easy being green, as Kermit said. Those beautiful shoots work so hard to make it through the ground and to keep growing. If they are perennials that survived the winter, they deserve a marching band to announce their return, if you ask me. Once they’re up, they have to make it through spring rains and wind, and possibly even another frost. It’s still a long way till there are rows of green in my veggie garden. In the meantime, I will just have to keep cheering them on.

This is an actual cheerleading garden gnome, wearing the North Carolina Tar Heels colours. It was Michael Jordan's team, and always one of my faves. After all, it is March madness. (I don't have one in the yard, though)

Stay tuned in future weeks as I plan out the heirloom seeds for this year. If you have any favourites you plant in your garden, I would love to hear!

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Cool Things You Might Want to Know

Be prepared for small talk at the office

I realize the topic of this blog does not include world news very often, and the matter of life and death is discussed only in esoteric terms. But there is some importance to having fodder for the water cooler chats at the office, so here is some ammunition for you to start the week…

Did you know that the OREO cookie is one hundred years old? This simple cookie embraces classic form and taste and has been praised by generations of kids and architectural critics alike. It is also the world’s most popular cookie and most-consumed cookie (35 billion were consumed in 2011). It’s no wonder it has inspired artists to create tributes as varied as manhole cover designs and cameos.

Judith G. Klausner's Oreo cameos

Oh, and in case you were wondering, 81% of men like to bite into their OREO’s, while 43% of women like to pull them apart.

Grand Dining Saloon aboard the S.S. Titanic (courtesy of fromoldbooks.org)

Did you know that next month will also be the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic? Well, not only is Mr. Cameron re-releasing the movie in 3D, if you act fast you can be one of the fortunate few who get to re-live the last meal served on the Titanic. The good news is, the chances of hitting an iceberg are slim this time. If you’re interested, check out Dine Titanic. (Really, I’m not kidding –  how cool would this be?!)

Too much caffeine isn't good for you 🙂

Did you know that March is Caffeine Awareness Month? Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking coffee or nibbling on dark chocolate. Here are some tidbits to make you feel more balanced about this guilty pleasure:

– caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine which  activates the part of your brain responsible for alertness and productivity

– moderate consumption is best – for 6 ounce cups, the suggested daily maximum is 3 cups of coffee, 4 cups of tea, or 6 cups of soda drinks (that’s doable, don’t you think?)

– energy drinks can more often have adverse affects than coffee or tea because they contain “suped-up” levels of caffeine, often in combination with other elements such as guarana and taurino, which all combine to boost energy, sometimes more than you might want

So, enjoy your odd cup of joe – just make sure you have time to jot down the good ideas your brain might create as a result!

Well, there you are – ready for another bout of office small talk or the next conversation while you watch the kids at swim class. Here’s to enjoying the lighter moments in life!

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