The garden is a lot of work at this time of year!

I’ll bet that some of you have been wondering where I disappeared to these last two weeks. Well, I can’t say that I went far! I guess I’ve been in the garden – trimming, tidying and planting, planting, planting!

Oh and recovering from each and every garden outing for a day or two! My back is acting up again and all the bending involved with taking care of a garden is just aggravating things.

It’s so bad today that I can barely get up and walk around. I dreaded taking the dog out a few times today because she tends to pull on the leash … and that makes my back scream!

At least the garden looks fantastic. Almost all of our roses (60 + rose bushes) are in bloom. The lavender is also starting to bloom as is one of our Peony plants and several of our Clematis. Everything looks great.

Our vegetables (well most of them) are planted as well, and with all the hot weather we’ve been having I expect to be eating a lot of salads and using several tomatoes in our meals sometime soon.

Now I have to get to work and do a search for a good price on some Branson tickets for the end of July. Chris’ brother wants to meet us there for a family get together. So we’ll see what I can find.

Ok time to take some Advil and put a heating pad on my back!





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The garden looks superb but my back is shot

I think I’m still recovering from the long weekend. Ok I know I am.

Since we had fantastic weather here in Toronto (seriously 25 C (77 F) is HOT for April here!) I spent a lot of time outside in my garden. My husband and I started tidying up the garden beds on Thursday evening when he came home from work and we continued working on the garden on Friday and Saturday.

14 yard waste bags later and we’re done!

Yes you read that correctly … we managed to collect 14 bags of leaves and uh rose branch trimmings. Yes it’s a little early to trim the roses, but most of them actually have leaf buds or actual leaves now … so I think it’s ok. LOL

My back is done too. Each evening I had to lie down with a heating pad to ease the spasms and ache in my lower back and hips. Luckily my back is a bit better today, but I sure did a number on it.

I’m sure not getting enough sleep over the weekend didn’t help either. My bedside lamp, a really nice one from Ikea that I’ve been using for a few years started humming or buzzing. Why do Ikea lamps buzz? Well, it’s not the actual lamp, it’s the attachment near the end of the plug that buzzes. Grrrr

It bothered me enough last night that I went looking for new lamps online and I found some wall scones at Hinkley lighting that might work if we place them on the wall on either side of the bed. That way my husband will finally have his own light. Not that he needs one … he tends to fall asleep most nights as soon as his head hits the pillow and if he’s not asleep in 5 minutes he thinks he has insomnia. LOL

Anyway … the good weather is over for a few days. We’re back to closer to normal temps and it’s raining raining raining oh and gloomy. Oh well it’s good for my garden (which has plants coming up that I don’t normally see until May!) and it will give my back a few days to get better before the garden lures me out there again.

Did you have a good Easter weekend too? Was the weather great or what?

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I’m trying out my new steam cleaner with mixed results

I know that I keep writing about how we don’t have any money to spare, but there was one purchase that I just couldn’t resist making recently.

On Saturday my husband and I went out and got a Shark Steam Blaster. It was on sale at 50% off it’s regular price at Canadian Tire and I’ve wanted a steam cleaner for ages!

I realized how much I needed something to make cleaning the house easier over the holidays. We have a tiny upstairs bathroom – the tub is along one wall and the sink and toilet are on the opposite wall with only about a foot and a half walking space between the tub and sink/toilet combo … so you can imagine how hard it is to clean the tub! Especially when your back has decided to get worse! You can’t even crouch properly between the sink and tub to do some good scrubbing, instead you have to stand awkwardly bent over to give it a good scrub.

So I figured a steam cleaner would make the job easier, plus I could clean the grout and the stainless steel taps much better than with chemicals and all the hard time consuming scrubbing.

I tried the steamer out yesterday in the kitchen. For some reason the last people that lived in our house not only put tiles behind the sink as a counter splash, but the whole kitchen – all four walls have tiles from the base of the wall up to about 2/3′s of the wall height. You can probably imagine how dirty that grout gets!

Unfortunately the steamer didn’t do the miraculous cleaning job that I’d hoped it would. The grout is going to take a lot of scrubbing with the scrubbing attachment on the steamer … or I might have to use some cleaning chemicals on the grout first, rinse it off and then go to town with the steamer. Either way … I’d hoped that it would instantly clean the grout between the tiles in the kitchen and well … it does look better but it’s not sparkling clean.

where the steamer did live up to it’s name was around our sink and on the outside of our stove and fridge. You know how dirt and grime builds up around the edges of the sink where it meets the counter? Well the steamer just blasted that gunk out of there. It also did a nice job on our semi new Danze faucet that we had to replace sometime last year when Chris broke the old faucet.

I’m hoping that if I use the steam blaster on the tile grout a few times that it will gradually get cleaner and cleaner.

Do any of you have an all purpose steam cleaner? If you do – how do you like it and what brand do you have? Does it work well or do you have hit and miss results like I did on my first use?

One thing that I do like about the steamer is that it has lots of attachments. We can use it to steam mop the floors (and walls), squeegee the windows and other glass clean, clean grout and other dirty grimy areas and I’m sure I’ll find some other uses for the steam cleaner.

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