Happy November and in three days’ time: happy birthday to me, Carolyn!
This year 2016 has been good. Legends like Doris Roberts (who isn’t mentioned enough), David Bowie, Glen Fry, and Leonard Cohen have departed but personally: like a summer without last year’s horrendous racket from neighbours, has been a gift and relief. Mom is healing from last year’s bypass surgery. I met my infant nephew last month, visiting from Ontario. Our weather was extraordinary all year. A good early spring, plentiful berries and garden produce (our thyme, coriander, and a few carrots still need to be picked), and regular rain. In a forest, that is a Godsend. With a town in Alberta flattened by a forest fire, the way Slave Lake was a few years before and a friend mentioning that North Carolina, USA is in danger; every rainfall made me relieved, never grumbling. Winter is ushering in without snow and with only a few nights of frost all this way into November!
Freezing means a temperature dipping below 0 Celcius; the minimum threshhold before sensitive plants would freeze. To keep our beautiful beaming plants living longer, my spouse & I bring hanging pots and flower boxes inside and cover sections of our flowerbeds with plants that are still going with this sporadic assistance. It has worked again this year and for those who can guess the triumph of what this means: we have living hanging plants and flowerbeds, during November in southern Manitoba! I love them and it makes me smile. We put the hanging pots and flowerboxes back out and uncover those dear flowerbeds, when the forecast indicates it won’t freeze for two nights in a row. Since I love helping everything live as long as it can and the brightness of our flowers and landscape lift my soul, we will repeat this sunset work until winter has arrived to the point of there being no more temperatures above 0 Celcius even in the day.
Most have finished growing and are showing the flower petals they still have. I used to wonder what it would be like to live somewhere that doesn’t take cold breaks for a few months; to see how long flowers and garden plants would keep on going if there was no cold. Since last year we have received the blessing of getting a good look at what that’s like and I am happy about that! Many are fniished but some do seem to keep on propelling themselves in the absence of impediments. This might be my last warm day, so I am enjoying it and giving everything a good drink of water. We will be above 0 Celcius all through this week but those degrees are smaller and low overnight temperatures more frequent. We will enjoy the flowerbeds as long as we can, which are additionally protected by the warmth of our house and library building. If you know me at all: you bet our hanging baskets and flower boxes will come into the house and library.
I am having birthday visitors this Saturday and Sunday so I will arrange them neatly if they are inside on those days. I should share something else that is remarkable and special: there is a flock of Goldfinches that arrived last week and which is still flitting around! If our region’s winter birds, like the Pine Grosbeaks, arrive; it will be a great rarity for these birds to meet! The first snow fell after my birthday at midnight, on November 18th itself last year. Let’s see if this is my first non-Caribbean birthday without snow.
To cherish my birth month inside home as well, I am reading books I am enthralled to choose. I give many genres a chance including classics but November is my dear month, a time to treat myself to the kind of writing I love best. I also love making CDs of uptempo, fun music that create a lively atmosphere for visiting friends… or just dancing around for exercise at home! I don’t make time to walk but dancing, we can do. Britney Spears and Garbage have new albums and my two-year party downloading project has led me to great new artists. Films I am looking forward to seeing in the city are Tom Hanks’s “Inferno” and Eddie Redmayne’s “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them”.
I am excited to see which albums and blu-rays Ron wraps for my Friday birthday and Christmas! Sometimes he labels presents from our cats, even those no longer here; which is poignant by allowing them to still feel near through our special events. I thought it would be fun to share this personal update. I would love to hear from all of you: what you think of our dedicated gardening and birdwatching, or things you treasure as winter nears. Happy winter from a November girl!