There is something tangible about memories, especially the ones that last forever, leaving stains in your brain. If I thought to erase a Halloween memory that has haunted me for life, by writing about it last year, I was wrong. Thinking I could wash out those stains, wrong. Memories of a glistening, iridescent hunk of corned beef, with yellow balls of mustard seed embedded in it, the centre piece of every single Halloween dinner I can remember. Briny, stringy, staining my Halloween memory forever. We were never allowed to leave and go trick or treating until we ate all of our cold, congealing corn beef. And I was always sure that I would be the last kid on the block to get out there and run free. Darting in the shadows, scaring the heck out of each other, and ourselves. If I thought that writing about those memories would banish them forever, I was wrong. Halloween still means corned beef, and cold, hard, mashed potatoes to me. Along with the smell of burnt pumpkin lids from a untrimmed candle. Crisp, windy nights, and flashlights, greasy makeup, and the smell of those hard plastic masks, with the elastic that I can still feel digging into my skin. The smooth touch of worn out cotton pillow cases, dragging through the grass on front lawns waiting to be filled with candy. They may be stains in my memory, but they are indelible, and should be cherished. To me, they mean Halloween, and those memories can't be made any more. Have a spooky, and safe Halloween.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Muddy Boot Dreams is pleased to announce a new position opening up in the company as personal doorman to Bootsie. Resident "when he feels like it" cat, and chief executive officer. The suitable applicant will be patient, intuitive, and be willing to work from dawn to late evenings. The applicant must have eyes in the back of their head, and the ability to read cat's minds. Compensation will not be based on a monetary currency, instead payment will be made through brushing against the legs, as a thank you. Or a soft meow, which will indicate immediate need for more food. This full time position, requires the ability to juggle your own life, and the demands of a cat who doesn't know what he wants. The suitable applicant should be able to undo locks on patio doors in mere seconds. And be willing to repeat the gesture many, many, times per day. This position is only open to those who are able to withstand a cold, wet, cat, swirling around their bare legs, early in the morning without screaming, or dancing up and down. Forward resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org attention Bootsie.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Practice random beauty, and senseless acts of love.
AnonymousWednesday Words - To see more participants in Wednesday Words, please look on the side bar. If you wish to join in, just drop me a email, or a comment. wateringcans[at]gmail.com
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I suppose a killing frost is inevitable, and soon. But one last visit to the lovely little garden down the street was needed before the dahlias give up the ghost, and succumb.
With the scarecrow standing guard, the dahlias and the hollyhocks are pretty much the only flowers left in what is always a stunning summer garden. There are a few late autumn roses, but the star of the show are the dahlias. This cooler weather only making them shine even brighter.
This garden deserves a award for it's beauty, it's abundant flowers, and all over tidiness. It makes me wonder if it had anything to do with White Rock winning 5 blooms and being a finalist in the international challenge of the Communities in Bloom contest.
Monday, October 26, 2009
When I was a child, the adults used to speak over my head, and say "she is just going through a phase". As if it was something that would pass, and soon I would be back to normal again. I seem to be going through a phase now that makes me a seasonal gardener. A spring only gardener. It could be that I am just tired after spending 18 years working in nurseries, the seasons flying by, warmth, heat, cold, freezing, in consecutive months. Christmas, spring, summer, and fall, year after years. Maybe I have just lost my hardiness zone. I find myself becoming more of a seasonal gardener. Not able to rouse enough sympathy to water poor parched containers begging for relief. Nor willing to go out in the autumn rain. Forget venturing out in the winter, bare branches, and dead leaves are too depressing. The losses we gardeners suffered last winter hit hard, I seem to have lost my drive. And I don't like that. I love my garden, but I long for spring, when I am still eager and energetic enough to get outside, transplanting, planning, and encouraging. The rewards are greater in this season. Bulbs pushing up blooms, color springing into view, the blossoms, dancing in the sunlight. There is hope in spring, and forgetfulness, of the heat, the cold, and the wet. Now I sit here in comfort, the heat on, the light glowing on the computer keyboard, and I have little urge to go outside. No hankering to clean up what must be done. I have put it off for weeks, and soon, it will be too late to undo the damage. The pots will be frozen to the deck railing, and the residents will be unhappily, solid roots of ice. Might be that I am changing, or maybe I am just going through a phase. How do you deal with it, year after year.....do you have the energy to garden all spring, to summer, and into the fall, or do other things take precedence in your life? Or are you one of those who simply rejoice in the warmth of a fresh picked sun dappled strawberry? All I can say, is I really hope that I am just going through a phase.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Is having a garden like being married? Spring is the courtship, gazing adoringly at each sprouting branch, each mound of frozen soil disturbed by fresh green stalks. Documenting time spent together, with photography, and words. Introducing friends, with a small blush of the cheek to special plants? Hoping that they can see the hidden depths that I see. Summer is the honeymoon, the "do nothing wrong" season. The glow of the warm sunlight, the growth of the plants, everyone looking their best. The plants bask in all the care and attention. Autumn, the golden time, the garden begins to look a little worn, tired, there is some squabbling. Some disagreements on who should grow where, and how. I move plants, trim, and make some changes for next year. A little give and take. We wait, the garden and I, for the winter to set in, for everything to go dormant, for time to spend together, peacefully. Learning to live together harmoniously, and fulfill each others needs. And then we wait together, for spring, to start all over again.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As photographers we strive to catch the essence of our subject, what makes them unique, and who they are. Be it a flower, person, or a animal. It is a skill, one that we strive to improve all the time.
It is also a skill to have the ability to gather ideas, a flash of random thought, and then to create something that reflects the nature of a business, and the person behind it. My web designer, Susan Jensen, definitely has that skill. She took my thoughts, ideas, and visual images from our various conversations, and created something that reflects who I am as a photographer. What my business is, and will be in the future. So today, I would like to announce that Muddy Boot Dreams photography now has it's own website. Part fulfillment of a dream, and certainly a step on the road to bliss. Thank you Susan, I really appreciate all the hard work, and creativity that you have put into this project. I see a bright future for you as a web designer. Check out the new web site here www.muddybootdream.com Take a tour of the website, have a peek at the galleries. There are galleries for the Art Cards, Images, and one for Black & White, and Sepia shots. I have many more images that will be added in the near future.
I choose to link to Picassa Web Albums because that allowed me the greatest flexibility at this time. I am always adding new images to the Art Card line, and this was the simplest way to achieve that creative flexibility.
I still remain, a City Girl waiting to be transplanted to the country, taking one step closer to my dream.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Calling all Canadian Bloggers, eh! Are you a proud Canadian blogger, and you would like all of your readers to know it? Click on this link to Lori's blog, Family Trees May Contain Nuts, and you can get your very own Proud Canadian Blogger badge. It can even come with your province proudly displayed.
And while you are there, if you need to know who Great Uncle Harry really married, or why your Mother's great Aunt's, second cousin once removed, never called back after leaving for a round the world sailing trip, but now has 15 kids, and 53 grandchilden, check out her blog. She is deep into genealogy, and trust me she knows all the skeletons in the family history closets.
Proud Canadian Blogger badge, for your sidebar, now available in two sizes. Because not all Canadians are the same size.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Wednesday Words - To see more participants in Wednesday Words, please look on the side bar. If you wish to join in, just drop me a email, or a comment. wateringcans[at]gmail.com
Monday, October 19, 2009
We are in the middle of a rain break, a few days without the wet stuff, and finding the fall sunshine very delightful.
Crunching through the crimson leaves, crisp autumn air, walking with my sweetie, Gar. We ran across this rose in a planter on the way out of the hospital, after visiting my MIL, Rose, who has Alzheimer's. The rose looks like a miniature, only about 3 feet tall, and has the most delightful ball shaped blooms. It certainly was not blooming in August. If anyone has any idea which variety it might be, please let me know. I love it, and would love to get one. We also saw the greeting committee orange kitty, and although he seemed a little skittish, I did manage to get some shots of him. Any walk where we find a new beautiful flower, and get to see loved ones, is good.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It was a very wet day yesterday, we had more rain in a few days then all of September. But at least now the ground is really wet. Definitely too wet to garden.
These little Colchicums, fall crocus would have been soggy by now, but they are digitally preserved in my archives. Such a pretty pinky purple, and so incongruous a color with all the russets, oranges, and amber's of fall. But pair them with the lovely purple of fall blooming asters, and it really works.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Meet Calico kitty. She lives in the neighborhood, but we don't know who belongs to her. She likes to hang out around our place, and we sometimes see her in the community garden plots beside the garage door. She fairly resembles a new kitty named Cash, that lives on the third floor, with one of our friends. The most visible difference is......oh about 8 pounds. Calico kitty was happily messing up the community gardens one day, when a cat lover exiting the garage, mistook her for the upstairs kitty, Cash. The cat lover frantically tried to catch her, and put her inside their car for safe keeping, until they could notify Cash's owner that she has escaped by falling from the third floor balcony. A definite case of mistaken iden-cat-y. Calico kitty was having no part of the catnapping, and showed her displeasure at the attempt, by leaving some deep scratches. The "would be hero" ran upstairs to raise the alarm, banging on Cash's door. When the door opened up, there was Cash. Safe and sound, and about 8 pounds lighter. Calico kitty, now runs away when anyone approaches her after getting out of a vehicle. And she still messes up the community gardens. Truly a case of mistaken iden-cat-y. And no, it was not me. Meow.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This is a collage/mosaic from one of my favorite places. It has been the home to 2 family photo shoots that I just did recently. Judging from the number of fellow photographers out there, it is a very popular place to be. With a little bit of everything from ducks to playing fields, Crescent Park is a city gem.
Any great parks in your area?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."
C.S. LewisToday's Wednesday Words is for all of you who left those funny comments on yesterdays post. "What you too? Thought I was the only one......LOL. It certainly is nice to hear that I am not the only one. Jen Wednesday Words - To see more participants in Wednesday Words, please look on the side bar. If you wish to join in, just drop me a email, or a comment. wateringcans[at]gmail.com
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I am standing in the middle of my kitchen, holding the toaster in one hand, and the fridge door open wide with the other. I am indecisive, this is not like me, so I move forward. And try to find the space to put the toaster into the fridge. Mission almost accomplished, except the water jug, and the milk are in the wrong space, maybe if I just move those leftovers to the right hand side......whack! That is the sound of my brain going violently into reverse, "what do you think you are doing?" "The toaster belongs in the cupboard, the leftovers are for dinner, and shut the fridge door, you are wasting electricity." Somewhere along the line, the sugar got put into the recycling box, the toilet paper was put into the living room, and the mail, well we can't find it right now. We all have these distracted moments, where we misplace things, life gets a little hectic sometimes. And I am sure they have a name for it....... if I could just remember where I put that medical journal article, on forgetfulness.
Monday, October 12, 2009
My gardening budget has been slashed to shreds, and I have had to take stock of which perennials, and annuals performed the best. It's each plant for themselves this coming spring, and poor performers need not apply for any available positions in my garden
If a perennial died over the winter, due to the elongated stretch of cold, and snow that we are unaccustomed to, then HR, had better not rehire them again. For all around enthusiasm in a small container, Cosmos really stepped up to the challenge. They were easily seeded, loved neglect, and the less I watered them, the more they bloomed. The double flowering Cosmo is such a great performer and I saved lots of seeds. I am hoping to reward them with a promotion to the big pots that line my balcony next summer. Carefree gardening with the large flowered Babies breath, Gypsophilla, is simply amazing. Cascading white flowers on glaucous green leaves, bloomed it's little heart out. Talk about a good hiring decision. The hydrangeas, well, lets just say that some of them were not the best workers in my container garden. Some produced many blooms, and other varieties shirked their duties. One even going so far as to not show up for work at all. I am thinking of firing that one. The Hosta's, will be divided, they have proved to be real workhorses. Since so many of them performed beyond expectation and grew to massive proportions. I am thinking of giving them a management position. So those that worked hard this summer shall remain employed, after all this is a recession, even if the plants don't know it. And if a plant cannot give a high return, then it is going to be out of a job next spring.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sometimes things are just there, in black and white.
Friday, October 9, 2009
There are so many of them, their numbers creeping up, multiplying like aphids on a sick plant. I get rid of a few, and then the next time, there are a few hundred more. I know how many, because when I download them it tells me the total. When I open the organizer the numbers stare at me, menacingly, threatening to slow down my computer, maybe even crash it. That might be a catastrophe since I like to take photos, sometimes hundreds of photos. And I have the aching arm, and the overflowing archives to show for it.
When the computer slowed down, and the total number of photos reached over 18,000, I decided to do something about it. Someone had to.
So I made a pact with Photo shop, each day I would delete 25 no longer needed, blurry, or just plain bad images. Something that I should have been doing when I downloaded them, but didn't get around to. But it is not a simple case of survival of the sharpest. I get caught up in sentiments sometimes, how can I delete that pumpkin shot? There is a glimpse of Bootsie's tail. The blurry shot of my Uncle, he had such a funny look on his face, and I have so few of him. What about that tree in the park? I love that tree. Sidetracked, and sentimental, I think that I am failing "How to delete 101." But aside from the aching arm, having a great time in my archives.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Is it possible to feel homesick for a place that isn't your home? Armstrong is not our home, but it pings my heart. Laugh at me, but when I look at the photos from there, I feel homesick. We belong there. One day.......
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
An optimistic gardener is one who believes that whatever goes down must come up.
I think that I am a true optimist, I was pulling weeds all day, both down, and up.......Wednesday Words - To see more participants in Wednesday Words, please look on the side bar. If you wish to join in, just drop me a email, or a comment. wateringcans[at]gmail.com
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Photo archives are interesting, and informative in ways that you might not think about. Those masses of shots that are stored on your hard drive have valuable information hiding in them. Especially if you are a gardener, lurking in ever blurry, or beautiful shot, is a date, and a record of what size that plant was last year, or the year before, or the years before that. A visual recording of when it bloomed, when it turned color with the changing season, and when it popped out green shoots in spring. Of course this can only happen if you actually take the photos of your garden, and store them in your archives. Plants that didn't make it through the winter will jog your memory next summer when you glance at the previous years photos, and realize that there truly is a blank spot at that end of the garden. Wondering if your pyracantha's brilliant orange berries were more prolific last year? Or did the birds already eat them this year? Check the archives. When did the daffs first come up last spring? Check the archives. What color was the hanging basket at the front door, two years ago? Blue, purple, pink? Make it a habit to record your garden as the seasons change, you might be very glad that you took a few minutes to record the beautiful blossoms in the dead of winter. So grab the camera, and make today, one for next year.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Generally I don't do coffee, the resulting migraines make it not quite worth the risk, and the entire coffee culture is really beyond me anyways. Sorry, or maybe I am not. I'm a "make it at home" green tea drinker. We visited a local Starbucks on Sunday, and it started outside the door, it was obvious that I did not fit in. Wrong clothes, wrong car, wrong attitude, and the wrong language. Felt like high school all over again. The new yuppies are invading our lovely locale. Everyone projecting this insouciant attitude, so unlike mine. This image conscious area of Ocean Park is being overrun lately with yoga pants, expensive runners, and Prada bags that lay cowering under the chairs. It just doesn't make me want to join in the fun. I had a coffee craving to fulfill, and I was on a mission. Turned out I was in the wrong lineup, asked for the wrong size, and didn't know the lingo. They actually put out a brochure explaining how to order your favorite beverage of choice. Maybe I should have studied up first, but all I wanted was a small coffee.
The line that sticks in my head is one from a article years ago touting the new drink lingo, a uninitiated coffee drinkers cheat sheet. A low fat soy latte to go, becomes a "double, dry, skinny soy puppy on a leash. " Make mine a green tea, I'll make it at home, thank you very much.