Saturday, April 22, 2017

Adventures of an Earth Day Tree

In celebration of Earth Day 2017, a happy little story of an Earth Day tree.

It started out as a scrawny seedling not much bigger than my thumb.  I was on my way to a meeting when I stumbled upon it nestled amongst its fellow at an Earth Day Expo held in the building's lobby. It didn't look very promising, a miniature Charlie Brown's Christmas tree comes to mind, but it was free so I tucked it into my purse and continued on my way.

It sat on my kitchen counter seemingly content to wait until I found a spot for it.  Given its size I didn't think it would stand a chance in my yard especially with three energetic dogs running around so I procrastinated.

When my parents came for a visit that summer, I gifted it to my mother and so it found its way from Ottawa to Thunder Bay safe in my mom's suitcase.  As my father was a bit "tree adverse" it was then handed over to my Auntie Annie who had the perfect spot for it beside her garden out at camp.

And there it flourished.

For the last 30+ years I have received reports of "my" tree, enjoying life in a place that I think of as heaven on earth.  It must be over 20 feet tall now, happy & healthy, and I continue to wish it a long and prosperous life.

It's been said that:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago
The next best time is today.

So if you've been gifted with an Earth Day tree get planting!  May it bring you as much joy as this little tree has brought me & mine.
Adventures of an Earth Day Tree by  on 2017-04-22 A happy little story of an Earth Day Tree

Images: Full Grown Tree by Cousin Bill; Seedling by Unknown; Graphics by Tatiana Dokuchic

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Love: The Nix:

Not my regular genre, but I absolutely loved The Nix: A novel by Nathan Hill.  I stumbled on it after seeing a tweet from author Stephen King saying how funny he had found the first fifty pages.  Given his background as a teacher I assume that he could definitely relate to Samuel Andresen-Anderson's opening predicament.

Meet Samuel Andresen-Anderson - stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of online video games. He hasn't seen his mother, Faye, in decades, not since she abandoned her family when he was a boy. Now she has suddenly reappeared, having committed an absurd politically-motivated crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain - she's facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel's help.

As Samuel begins to excavate his mother's - and his country's - history, the story moves from the rural Midwest of the 1960s, to New York City during the Great Recession and the Occupy Wall Street movement, and back to the infamous riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. Finally, the trail leads him to wartime Norway, home of the mysterious Nix that his mother told him about as a child, a spirit that can take the shape of a white horse, luring children to their deaths. And in these places, Samuel will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about his mother - a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she has kept hidden from the world.

Well-drawn characters; I was rooting for some and really hoping others would get their just deserts.  Loved the insights, including the guys that play a fictional MMO called Elfscape.  The team leader spends five hours a day just in preparation for "having fun" later in the evening with his crew.  A cautionary tale for sure.

The plot kept me guessing and I ended up binge-reading to get to the conclusion.

Highly recommended!

Book Love: The Nix by  on 2016-11-07 Not my regular genre, but I absolutely loved The Nix!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Step by Step: Walking the Scottish Highlands

There's definitely an extra spring in my step as I set out to walk the Scottish Highlands Way.  This virtual journey will take me just over 200 miles, from Glasgow to Inverness, and I'm looking forward to seeing many interesting & beautiful sights along the way.  I'm also wondering if I'll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Nessy, the Loch Ness monster, as I make my around the shores of her home.

As someone who's already done a virtual Walk to Mordor stranger things have happened!

Now walking in the footsteps of Frodo & Sam was quite a bit of fun, especially at the start, but I found that as I neared Mount Doom my feet started to drag.  It turns out that the thought of entering such desolate wasteland wasn't exactly the best motivator to keep me walking.  Go figure!

I'm certain I won't be experiencing the same buzzkill on this adventure as the creative force behind Walking 4 Fun has done an amazing job re-creating the virtual trails and making the journey most enjoyable.   Encouragement abounds in the maps, pictures. badges & descriptions provided by the site and, as an added bonus, Fitbit fanatics like myself can have their mileage automatically logged.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Potager or Ornamental Kitchen Garden

A Potager at Château de Villandry, France

Designed to feed both body and soul, the potager or ornamental kitchen garden is the ultimate combination of parterre and vegetable patch.

Fruits & vegetables, flowers & herbs, are artfully arranged in symmetrical garden beds that are surrounded by low clipped box hedges.  These individual plots, separated by sand or gravel paths,  are precisely placed to form striking geometric patterns.