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Taking Spring Hostage

Copy of how we easter


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 My terrarium obsession.

It started with this $10 fish bowl I found on a buy & sell app…..

fish bowl

One of the reasons I love shopping for used items online

is the fascinating people I meet and never forget.

The Slovakian woman with swooping vines thumbtacked over her entire ceiling

also sold me a toy truck and some wooden utensils,

gave me a bag of empty glass tincture bottles

and a sprig of a spider plant.

On my way out she said,

“Just phone if you need advice with your new fish!”


I was just planning to make a terrarium with it, but…


As Laura Numeroff would say,

“If you give Gigi a fish bowl, she’s going to want a fish to go with it!”

So I started thinking about fish.

(I, who have never had a pet or wanted a pet!)

I’ll get Maddy a fish for her birthday, I thought.

So I wrapped up the empty fish tank….


And we got our first pet!

Best present ever!

She picked out this beauty and named him Menorah.



Having started down the fish path,

I started thinking about filters and heaters and pebbles and decor and fish food and more…..

I started to think

“this fish deserves a Real Tank.”

So I Kijiji’d fish tanks.

Soon I was also the owner of a 10 gallon aquarium, complete with….


it’s OWN 15 guppies (which soon multiplied), a weird shrimpy dude and a big bottom sucker fellow.


We (the very, very non-pet people)

were the sudden parents of like 20 sea creatures!


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But back to terrariums...I had amassed a nice collection of jars by this time.

Next I called up my friend Nanny Jax

to help us forage for signs of life in the forest…


Moss.  Lichens.  Cool sticks and barely-sprouting bulbs.

Bark and pine needles.


(The end of April and that’s all we’ve got!)

So I bought some succulents too…


For the charcoal layer I thought I may as well experiment with shaving the burnt logs

left from the forest fire from a couple years back.



For the bottom layer, precious rocks from my lifetime of beach-combing the North Saskatchewan River

as well as California shells from my childhood.


Layering the life-support for a little ecosystem is beyond fun.


I would say it’s spiritual,

grounding, meditative,



and addictive.

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“Seeing the sweet little terrariums lined up in the window

and the colourful fish swimming round and round

will remind Gigi that —

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even though she lives in a dreary, drab, frozen wasteland —

Living Things can erupt anywhere

and often do…

when you give Gigi a Kijiji!”



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