Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family celebrating today…

 

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On a more serious note, be sure to be thankful for what you are celebrating!

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Gray is not my color

Gray is not my color.  My hair started to turn gray when I was just 14 years old, yes 14!  The boys in my classes at school used to fight to sit behind me so they could pull out the strands of gray from my very long hair. Good thing I have always had lots of hair.

By the time I was 30, my hair was very gray. This picture of me and my siblings was taken when I was 34; I’m the sister with the gray hair…

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….even though I am the youngest sister and second youngest sibling.  Very annoying, even though I knew it was hereditary; my father was totally white by 30.

When it was streaky gray (like the picture) people actually asked if I had it colored that way.  It did kind of frame my face I guess.  The straw that broke the camel’s (gray) back came later that year (still 34) when my eldest son started junior kindergarten.  For a Hallowe’en party in his classroom, I dressed up as Snow White.  When I took my wig off at the end of the day, one of the children said “that must be Matthew’s grandmother, she has white hair”   That was when I decided that gray is not my color.

So, for years (twenty some now) I have tried various colors on my hair.   I have always admired red hair on other girls, and because my dark brown hair always had natural reddish highlights in the summer, I have always aimed for reddish brown.  The problem is with so much gray, the reddish brown sometimes comes out orange and I HATE orange.  Even at expensive salons my hair would come out too orangy/coppery for my liking.

The solution?  I finally discovered how to get the color I want by combining two shades.  Yes, DIY haircolor.  I do it myself, saving myself lots of money and the annoyance of paying for the wrong color.  I start with a medium dark brown on the roots, then spread the rest of that color throughout my hair, then add a reddish brown in streaks on top of the medium brown, avoiding the roots.  This phote was taken in the summer when my hair is always lightened by the sun, but you get the picture…

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Over the years I have tried many DIY hair color products too.  My choice these days is Belle Color by Garnier, in shades 50 (medium brown) and 65 (chestnut brown)…

 

 

It reminds me of a commercial (I cannot remember which one) where Penelope Cruz proclaimed (with her sultry, sexy accent) “the color I want is the color is get”

I love these Garnier products because they make my hair silky smooth (others leave it coarse and tangly) even before I condition it.  Each box of hair color includes a pouch of conditioner that contains argan oil, a well-known miraculous treatment for hair…

 

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The Garnier products are creamy (not drippy) and offer 100% gray coverage.  They also have an almost pleasant smell, unlike others that reek.  My color lasts three to four weeks before those returning gray roots are too obvious to hide.  It is so unfair that dark roots look much better than white ones and are even quite fashionable (apparently)

These Garnier products can be purchased online through Amazon here:

CHESTNUT    or   MEDIUM DARK BROWN

 

So, if gray is not your color either, try your hand at your own conconction of color!

 

 

‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season, my other season, (not quite the Christmas season) as Gardens4u is now officially closed for the winter…

 

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Although this past gardening season started off wet and cool, it was extended recently with the most marvelous fall weather.  Unfortunately, that has come to an end, and reality is settling in.

Now my other season is starting, with a growing list (I am a list person for sure) of the things I hope to accomplish this winter…

  • finish the quilt I started for my grandson last winter.
  • start and finish a quilt for my granddaughter.
  • make nursery curtains for my new granddaughter due to arrive the end of February.
  • clean out the few remaining closets I did not get to the past few winters.
  • reorganize the walk-in closet in our master bedroom.
  • post more frequently on this and my other blogs:   WOW  and  LOL
  • spend more time with my grandson and granddaughter (and their parents).
  • visit with friends I never seem to find the time to visit during the gardening season.
  • read more books.  If anyone has suggestions for a good read, please let me know!
  • clean my house.  Although most people do their spring cleaning in the spring, I do mine in the winter (silly me) so when spring arrives I can get out and enjoy my favourite season.
  • update my business website, adding pictures from this past season.  Be sure to check them out and add your comments!
  • reconnect with my freelance writing contacts.
  • exercise.  Planks are my favourite exercise for maintaining muscle tone.  Without gardening to keep me in shape I have to work extra hard in the winter to keep pounds from creeping up on my bathroom scale.

 

Phew, with that list I should be busy until spring when I can start a new garden season!

 

I almost made it to Chicago!

I almost made it to Chicago!  Chicago the musical that is, not the city….

 

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photo credit to the Orillia Opera House

 

I had tickets to Chicago for last night’s performance but had to miss it due to the lousy weather here in Ottawa. I had plans to drive to Barrie from Ottawa to pick up my niece and head to the evening show at the Orillia Opera House.

Environment Canada changed my plans:

Environment Canada is predicting patchy freezing rain across eastern Ontario on Saturday afternoon.  After that ends, another round of freezing rain will develop this evening and persist for much of the night”

Even though I left Ottawa in the morning, with the hope of missing the freezing rain, it started earlier than predicted.  I only got as far as Carleton Place then turned around and came home.  What should have been a 15 minuted drive, turned into close to an hour with too many cars in the ditch.  An ordinarily long drive to Barrie and back would have turned into a nightmare.

“Freezing rain will slowly change to snow overnight as colder temperatures move in. Snowfall accumulation of 5 to 10 cm are possible by Sunday”    This was correct too; I woke up to this vision of beauty out my front door this morning:

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Olivia Lloyd, the daughter of a family friend, played Velma in the show.  Reviews have been awesome; I am so disappointed that I did not get there.

The good news is I was able to transfer the tickets into my niece’s name, so she and a friend were able to enjoy the show.  Lucky for them, the drive from Barrie to Orillia was much quicker (with no freezing rain) than Ottawa to Barrie to Orillia.

That’s Canadian weather for you, unpredictable and frustrating!

Mooooove over greenhouse gas emissions and carbon taxes!

Can changing our cows’ diet lower greenhouse gas emissions?  Wouldn’t that be a better way to deal with greenhouse gas emissions than creating carbon taxes?   Watch this video, courtesy of The National on CBC News, and tell me what you think?

 

 

It has been known for years that the methane gas cows produce (from both ends) is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.  Excessive greenhouse gas emissions (lower in Canada than many other countries, but that’s another beef, pun intended) are to blame for the carbon taxes our government is gouging us with. I call that a bandaid fix, not a proactive solution.  Why not help fix the problem at one of the main sources?

Shelley’s battle to beat lung cancer

This video was created by a dear family friend whose wife died of lung cancer at the (much too) young age of 51…

 

This is a very sad story, but apparently very common.  Dave’s message is clear; please share it.  Get any symptoms checked out and demand answers when you feel something is not quite right with your health.

Be proactive and persistant; early detection is the best way to beat cancer of any kind!

Today was a good day

Today was a good day for applying a fall fertilizer to lawns.  Why?  Because it is still not too cold out, the grass is no longer growing but still green, and it was drizzling.  At least it was as I finished the five lawns I had to fertilize.  It’s raining harder now, which is also ideal because the rain helps water the fertilizer in.  However, try to avoid fertilizing before a downpour, so your hard work is not washed away.

Today’s conditions were ideal for fall lawn fertilizing.  Most experts will tell you that fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawns.  Fertilizer applied at this time of the year is to strengthen (deepen) the roots, repair the lawn from summer drought/stresses and prepare the lawn for winter, so it is important to get the right product.  These are two I frequently use for fertilizing lawns in the fall…

 

 

Both are pet and kid friendly, safe to walk on immediately after application.  They can be purchased at your local garden centers or DIY (Home Depot, Lowes etc) stores.

Apply the fertilizer as instructed on the bags.  I use a push spreader and apply the fertilizer in two directions to avoid patchiness (as pictured below).  For irregularly shaped lawns, block off the lawn (visually) in squares or rectangles to ensure even distribution of the fertilizer.

 

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Remember, a great looking lawn enhances the appearance of your garden.  We all know I appreciate beautiful gardens.  If you miss/forget any fertilizer applications, don’t miss the fall one!