Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Do I Look Like That?!!

My mother recently celebrated her 93rd birthday.

A day or two later, a cartoon artist came to her retirement residence.

So my brother, who was visiting her, booked her for a drawing!

Does my hair really look like that?! she asked, somewhat taken aback by the cartoonist's assessment.

(Well, yes... it does! And it suits you that way!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's a Little Ironic...

Terry loves soccer. So it was a pleasant surprise - a few years back - when the college next door built a soccer field within view of our house.

Terry often wanders over to check on games...

And recently we watched with interest as cameras were set up for the 2012 USL Women's Soccer Championship, involving teams from Canada and the USA.

When game time came, we could hear the cheering through the window...

But we watched the game from closer range...

... at home on TV!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Masterplan? (Some Interesting Questions)

"...Who leads you and me?

"Could providence be true instead of co-incidental? Could it be that the Bible is not bluffing? Could God be a Guide, with his finger crooked at each of us? Do you suppose that before the creation of His big business He did some careful, long-range planning in detail? Did He make each man [and woman] with something special in mind? Might He have a reason for each talent He hands out? Did He send His only Son in the hope that we too would be his sons [and daughters], go into business with Him, take that opening He has for us? Is God merely a hands-off grandfather figure, feebly saying no from the sidelines? An impersonal, futile, cosmic force? Or is He Someone who watches over us, comforts and commands us?"

(Quoted from a book I find interesting every time I read it, David Redding's Before You Call I Will Answer,  p. 89-90)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pizza With Pizzaz

We recently tried out new pizza place: Za Za Za Pizza!

Their pizza is definitely different - as their name suggests!

Thin crusts - unusual toppings - delicious!


... and sweet potato fries served in a tennis shoe!

The decor is interesting...

The lighting: a series of mismatched vintage chandeliers.

A chef you can see (and talk to) working "on stage."

A fun food experience!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sketching Tropical Plants

I was back in the ornamental gardens of Ottawa's Central Experimental Farm a few days ago.


A few of us from our botanical drawing class had come early to draw (in the shade) on a hot day.

For some reason, I am drawn to larger plants (or trees) - like the Scots Pine on the right of the photo above which I sketched last time I was here.

This time the two-tone leaves of this plant fascinated me...

 ... so I began to draw it, not knowing what it was.

A while later, a volunteer wandered by, notebook in hand. She was cataloging the plants for the garden website.

What plant is this? I asked.

A banana tree, she replied. It's kept in the greenhouse all winter and brought out in spring. (That's why it has annuals planted all around it.)

There are tropical plants here, too?! That would also explain the papaya tree (with fruit) we saw when we were leaving!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plants on Vacation

Indoor plants are lovely - but they depend on regular watering. This can be a problem if you need to go on vacation.

Years ago I read that indoor plants can thrive for weeks without watering if they are placed in large plastic bags - creating a temporary terrarium.

Recently I tried it again.

After watering the plants and pouring off excess water, I closed up each plastic bag and left the plants (for several weeks) in a sunny room away from direct sunlight.

But I made a mistake. One of my African violets wasn't looking perfect; however, I thought a few weeks in a humid terrarium might revive it...

But instead, it died - and the moldy condition that was affecting it infected the other plants in the same bag. So the lesson I learned was - if a plant looks less than perfectly healthy, keep it in a separate bag by itself. It may not survive, but at least it won't infect ny plants.

The other two bags of plants did really well! The plants came out looking refreshed - as if they had enjoyed their little greenhouse "vacation"!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Night Table

I was interested to read - in an interview with Ottawa fashion designer, Richard Robinson - that the two of us have something in common...

When asked "What's on your bedside table?" he replied:

"Lots of junk... When I go to sleep at night, I like to go to bed early so I can enjoy reading. I might have 10 different books on my bedside. I read part of one, then switch to another, depending on my mood."

That sounds like my bedside table! (I used to feel guilty about taking so long to finish a book... but no more! I'm in good company.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Drought-Resistant Wild Flowers

The college near our home is as dry as the rest of city.

But wild flowers are cropping up - and thriving - in the dry soil.

(Why can't my flower garden be as drought-resistant as these wild flowers?!)

Ironically, the city of Ottawa is requesting lawns be watered to prevent grass fires.

There have been a number of grass fires in different parts of the city, some of them threatening homes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Counting Gardening Blessings!

One GOOD thing about a hot, dry summer...

 It's easy to see the weeds!

They're the only plants that don't need to be watered to stay green!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Forgive Us For Praying (A Prayer)

Forgive us our Father
for the bad habit of praying
When it doesn't do any good,
Or make any difference to us.

How could we do this
To the fellowship of fire?
Joshua made the sun
Stand still.
Moses split the sea
In two.
One word from Christ and
The fever fled,
The storm died, and
Lazarus got out of his grave
Like getting out of bed.

Forgive us for the way
We bore people to death
Trifling with prayer.

Another prayer by David A. Redding, found in his book, Before You Call I Will Answer, p. 55.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Mother's Autograph Book

 I recently came across my mother's old autograph book.

Most of the entries are dated 1937 to 1939, my mother's final year in high school to her year at "E.N.S", which is assume is "Edmonton Normal School," the teachers' college she attended.

On the front cover page, she wrote invitingly:

"Friends, companions, school mates dear,
All your names are welcome here..."

(Welcome or not, my brother or I also added our preschool marks on the next page!)

Reading it still makes me laugh:

How did they remember so many little verses to write in each others books? (Or did each person memorize one and use it again and again?!)

How many of her class mates did she keep up with? I wonder... (Probably no more than I did after my high school graduation!)

I haven't noticed autograph books around lately. Have they been replaced by school year books? (And now, of course, Facebook  makes it easy for class mates to keep in touch for years!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Curb Service

My mother's dentures needed to be relined.

Can you do it so that she won't be without dentures for very long? I asked on the phone.

If you come to the lab early in the morning, they can be done by lunch...

But my mother can't walk up steps anymore.

Ivan can see her in the parking lot, his assistant replied...

Which is how my mother...

 ... had molds for the new lining done in the car!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Flowers in Bloom

A perennial garden is a place of constant change!

As I walk around the yard clipping off dead daisies...

... I notice that the echinacea cone flowers are now in bloom...

... as is this late-blooming day lily we received as a gift.

Phlox flowers are also appearing here and there in the yard.

The knautia are stubbornly blooming next to the daisies, in spite of the dry soil.

In the back yard, this two-colored day lily is also in bloom. I tend to forget about it, as I don't see it from the window.

The tiger lilies are on their way out... I'll miss them when they're gone.

The wonderful thing about perennials is that they return year after year, appearing as a kind of surprise gift! The sad things about most perennials is that their season is very short. They never stay long enough! Maybe I'll have to add a few annuals to my flower beds - they stay all summer. (But where would I put them?!!)