No more March Break

I am feeling old this week as our family reaches another milestone; no more March Break!  This is the first time in 23 years that March Break (spring break in the USA) has not had any effect on my life.  No extra people (kids) at home, no asking for the same week off as everyone else at work and no paying exorbitant prices for vacation packages just because it’s March Break.

Bring on April!

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE


be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at

April is cancer awareness month

Even though cancer is insidious and affects many of us throughout the whole year, April is designated as cancer awareness month here in Canada.  Since my mother and mother-in-law died of cancer in the mid-90s, I have done my part to raise awareness and money for cancer research by canvassing my neighbourhood each April.  My neighbours are so used to me knocking at their doors every April that many of them have the cheque prepared before I get there.  This is a good indicator of just how many people are affected and threatened by cancer.   Although I also get to chat with my neighbours, the fact that cancer is such a huge enemy to us all and needs to be conquered makes my annual trek through the neighbourhood most rewarding.

Canvassing neighbourhoods is just one of the many ways to raise awareness and money for cancer research.  Online donations are accepted around the world.  You can donate as an individual or a corporation, for yourself or in memory of a loved one.  You will receive a charitable receipt making your donations tax deductible. Donations can be one time, or recurring, arranged as monthly deductions from your account.  You can also bequeath a donation in your will.     Here are a few links to facilitate your donation:

Canadian Cancer Society    fights all cancers in Canada

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation  fighting breast cancer in Canada

St Judes  fights childhood cancers

Alberta cancer society   money goes to cancer research, prevention and screening in Alberta

UK Cancer Research   fundraising to beat all cancers in the UK

American Cancer Society   fighting all cancers in the USA

National Breast Cancer  fighting breast cancer in the USA

Australian Cancer Research Foundation  fighting all cancers in Australia




As well as the many charitable organizations to donate money to, there are numerous charitable events you can attend or support to raise both awareness and money for cancer. Donating your time is as valuable as donating your money.

you can WALK:  in the REXAL ONE WALK TO CONQUER CANCER in support of the                                                Princess Margaret Cancer Center,

or the LIGHT THE NIGHT WALK in support of the Leukemia and                                                   Lymphoma Society of Canada.  This takes place in 11 cities throughout                                         Canada including  Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta, Halifax  in Nova Scotia,                             Montreal and Quebec City in Quebec, Winnipeg in Manitoba, Saskatoon in                                 Saskatchewan, Vancouver in British Columbia, and London, Toronto and                                     Ottawa in Ontario.

One of my personal favourites is the 5th annual curling bonspiel entitled  ENDS for an END to CANCER .  My son and his fiancèe are involved in this fundraiser at the Richmond Curling Club, their home club here in the Ottawa area.  Although I do not participate in the curling at this event, I do donate a gift certificate from my gardening company for the silent auction, one of the  many ways they are raising money to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation…


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Please donate money, time or support  to any charity or charitable event supporting cancer research, treatments and care for its victims.  This April or any other month of the year; together we can make a difference in the fight against cancer.

April showers bring May flowers; the advantages of spring rain

The rain in the weather forecast for the next 10 days here in Ottawa brings the saying  “April showers bring May flowers” to mind.  The rain showers will water the spring bulbs and perennials, encouraging their bloom.  A few days of rain makes the lawns so much greener too.  All the rain showers and cool weather forecasted this spring is also good for planting grass seed or fertilizing your lawn and trees.

There are many products available for spring treatment, some with just seed, some with just fertilizer, and some that combine seed and fertilizer.

Some combinations for your lawn even add peat which is beneficial in keeping the soil rich by absorbing moisture.  These combination products can be a good thing for novice landscapers and home owners, as the research is done for you.  The proper type of fertilizer and the amount to use is calculated for you.

Corn gluten is a popular, organic, pre-emergent treatment for crab grass.  Pre-emergent means it should be applied before the crab grass seeds germinate (start to grow) very early in the spring, as soon as the snow is gone from the lawn.  I use corn gluten on my lawn in the fall, after the first frost, but before the first snow fall.  I have found this practice convenient (one less thing to do in the spring) and most effective against crabgrass.

Fertilizer spikes are efficient ways to feed your trees.  Make sure you choose the proper product package for your trees though.  There are packages for evergreens (pine, spruce, cedar etc), ornamental trees (crab apple, lilacs etc) fruit trees (apple, plum etc) and other popular trees (maple, elm etc)    Simply pound the spikes in the ground around the perimeter of your tree’s dripline as specified in the package directions.  Obviously, the larger the perimeter of your tree’s dripline (the outer edge of branches), the more spikes you need.  It is best and easiest to pound these spikes into the ground when the ground is wet and more rain showers are in the forecast.

Make the most of the forecasted rain; your lawn and trees will thank you!