a peek inside the fishbowl

18 May, 2017

Spring things, and a bit of news

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I hardly know where to begin this post because there has been a lot going on here at Casa Fishbowl lately.

First, I must take a moment to look back at Mother’s Day. This year, Mother’s Day weekend fell on the same weekend we’d normally celebrate our eldest daughter’s birthday so it was a combo deal. Emma got to pick the menu for dinner (ribs and waffle fries) as well as dessert.

This is what gets written on a cake when celebrating a teenage birthday as well as Mother’s Day:

Happy, er, Birtherday

I was amused. :)
For Mother’s Day we had a lovely breakfast (which always must include bagels from the Bagel Shop and smoked salmon!) and the girls made me lovely cards:

Mother's Day cards and beauty await

The eldest daughter turned 18. 18! I promised myself I wouldn’t write a mushy missive outlining my love and pride, so I’ll leave it there, with OVERWHELMING LOVE AND PRIDE. To celebrate the occasion we took her across the river to Gatineau so she could order a drink with dinner. We went to Les Brasseurs du Temps. Have you been? They have a very good menu and many craft brews on tap (try Le Pommee!). Make sure you don’t miss the beer museum while you’re there.

Let the record show that our newly minted 18-year-old wasn’t asked for ID when she ordered her MELON ROND (Grey Goose, liqueur de melon, ginger ale, limonade & lime fraîche). She says she liked it but I’m not 100% sure.

I was so stuffed, I waddled back to the car. Thankfully, things settled down a bit before we reached our next destination, the new Stella Luna location in Hintonburg. I am not exaggerating when I say it’s probably the best gelato I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.

I will be back! Maybe I should make it a special jogging destination? It’s about 3 km there from our place… hmm. ;)

It was, understandably, pretty big news that the eldest turned 18, but we received even BIGGER news the next day. She was accepted to her university program of choice and will be attending Queen’s in the fall. She got a nice little scholarship too! (A few of you will remember this post about teens, work, and university application. Clearly, I was worried when I wrote it.) As you can imagine, Mark and I are thrilled and excited for her.

What else? This week I’ve been slowly getting back into gardening. I know myself, and I know this enthusiasm typically starts to wear thin the moment gardening becomes another chore that needs to be taken care of around the household. (Say, July.) But for now, I have been planting, dividing, and happily admiring and arranging things in the backyard again.

Surprise tulip in the garden

The girls went to Comicon on Sunday morning so Mark and I checked out a Friends of the Farm plant sale at the Experimental Farm. While we were there we bought a new hosta (one of the most forgiving plants in our yard!) to add to our collection:


We also bought this Primula Marginata from an alpine garden group at the plant sale. I love alpine gardens! The tiny plants! The rocks! Their inherent toughness! I just hope this one is tough enough to survive ME:

Primula marginata

I planted some morning glory seeds today and have decided I going to try my hand at growing garlic this year. I am happy to be happy.

6 Responses to "Spring things, and a bit of news"

1 | joy

May 19th, 2017 at 11:40 am


I am happy you are happy, too! :)

2 | eye aïl

May 19th, 2017 at 1:57 pm


Garlic is planted in the fall.

3 | Ginger

May 19th, 2017 at 2:06 pm


I think, “How can your oldest be 18 all ready?”

And then I think, “Oh yeah…my two will be 9 this summer.”

Congratulations on the next big step!

4 | Brenda A

May 19th, 2017 at 8:41 pm


There is nothing like that fat envelope with your top university choice showing up in your mailbox. Way to go!!

5 | Susan Ovington

May 20th, 2017 at 2:18 am


Happy 18th Birthday to your Daughter. Huge milestone, also Congrats to her on her scholarship for University. Hoping she enjoys her years away, I’m sure it will be hard on you and Mark! Stella Luna is always a good choice. Happy Spring Andrea.

6 | andrea tomkins

May 20th, 2017 at 8:20 am


eye aïl : That’s what I had thought but the package has spring planting instructions too! Hmm.

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. We are so happy she’s embarking on this exciting journey. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.

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Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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