Friday, September 23, 2011


I have come to love Portulaca Grandiflora, or Moss Rose.

It's planted all over the front yard but absolutely thrives in hot, dry, sunny locations! This patch is at the end of my walkway, amongst the sedum, allium and Black Velvet petunias.

There's a small chance it'll survive our Zone 3 winter, but only if it gets sufficient cover.


Hens & Chicks, planted in the front yard

Years ago, while Bill was fighting Tina for custody of Emily, he experienced another loss. His ex-wife Susan was struggling with Tina's erratic behaviour. Susan had married Bill a few years earlier, when Bill's plans included a career with the RCMP, and together they'd had a daughter named Betheny. The death of Susan's father, her mother's quick rebound within weeks of his death, and Bill's resignation from the force broke apart the marriage.

Three years later Bill found himself in a custody battle for Em, and Tina began calling Susan. Most of the calls involved accusations against Bill and made the other family very, very uncomfortable.

"She won't leave us alone," Susan explained. "My fiance is in the RCMP and he's a good man. He wants to raise Betheny as his own. She doesn't have to grow up around that, Bill."

When Betheny was four, Bill signed away his parental rights.

Just a few weeks ago, they made contact. Susan has agreed to bring Betheny, 17, to a coffee house to see Bill.

Thirteen years! Bill is so happy and excited to see how she's grown up. We knew this day would come...and we hope things go well when he meets her this month.

Friday, September 9, 2011

alberta reynolds museum

Jamie, Bill and I drove north to Wetaskiwin in June to see Sensei Marr, shop at Liquidation World, and visit the Reynolds Museum, which has both vintage cars and aircraft.
This was one of my favourite cars, because it takes such interesting photos.
I'm so accustomed to plastic/vinyl sterring wheels that I found this one to be stunning! Also, some of the cars felt as though they still carried energy from their previous drivers.

If you're ever near Wetaskiwin, it's worth the trip to see the hundreds of reconditioned cars, trucks and farm equipment.

I've had a camera since last January but to be honest, I wasn't interested in using it. It's not just that I was busy with work, but has more to do with my husband. Bill is the most wonderful man I know, and over the last few years he's gotten better in every single department except one: he has a problem with certain boundaries.

For example, when he gave me the camera, I really wanted it to be mine. I gathered up all the camera related stuff (the disc, the instruction manual, the cords) and put them in the desk where I'd be able to locate it when I had a moment to look it over and figure out how to use it. The next few weeks were busy with work and kids and snowstorms and before I knew it, the camera had been taken out. The manual was lost, as was the disc.

Six months later, I was able to round it all up and start again. I do resent when Bill or the kids just automatically assume that what's mine is theirs - whether it's my laptop, my phone, my camera, or my other gifts. Last Christmas the kids gave me an indoor herb garden and within a few weeks Bill had taken it out, planted it and set it on the window sill. Is it petty that I never even looked at them? They died a few months later.

Obviously, I'm going to have to bring this up again before Christmas, lol.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

house leeks

I really enjoy growing Hens & Chicks. There's something about the way they send out these little babies, easily removed and replanted somewhere else, that makes them so much fun. Three of the ones I removed last year sent up blooms.

Others, like the ones shown here, just cluster a littler tighter. I think I have twenty or so right now and it'll be interesting to see how they fair over the winter. We drop down to -35°C and it always surprises me to see what comes back and what doesn't.