Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz,

I wonder where them flowers is?

My father quoted this every year in spring, usually when the snow was still in the process of melting on the ground, no flowers in sight. However, wonder no more. Here are some flowers from around my garden. Can you name them? (the answers are at the end of the post).

The first one is  of daffodils, of course. I thought I’d start you off easy. 🙂 Next is heather. This plant likes less water than most of my garden so it grows on the side of the stairs going up to the driveway, where the irrigation doesn’t reach it. The third one is mahonia, or oregon grape, an extremely prickly bush that grows wild in the pacific northwest. The berries have a strong, slightly unpleasant flavour, but if you mix them with blackberry and a bit of apple, they make the best jelly. Next is hellebores. I have about six such plants in my garden, each a different shade of rose to wine tones–one of the earliest plants in my garden. After that is the trillium, you knew that. I don’t know the name of the following plant, but love the look of the little green buds in the spring. Perhaps you can tell me what it is. The last plant is a cranberry bush. I had one planted when the garden was first developed, but it died last year. I was devastated. the blooms are beautiful, have a lovely scent, and  it is the first bush to flower in the spring, usually in late February. I searched everywhere, no one knew what it was, let alone had one to replace it. Then a tiny bush bloomed last spring, and i realized the dead bush had populated a new branch below it in the garden. It is still small, but I will put some good earth around its roots to encourage it to grow tall like it’s daddy did.

Welcome to the New Year

We have had a dump of snow, huge for this part of the world. My patio table looked like it had a cake on it.

Then the snow melted and the rain began. The combination of melted snow and rain water started the small creeks running madly.

I call these the pop-up creeks, only active in the winter when heavy rains fill them up.

Now I have a cold, my sinuses ache and my teeth ache. I’ve used up boxes of Kleenex. But the good news is, it will likely improve after today and I’ll be on the mend! 🙂


Big Words- but write what you know

Do you ever come across a word that you’ve never heard before? One that sounds imppressive but you aren’t sure of the meaning? Here’s one — ultracrepidarianism. I heard it used on a Ted Talk and just had to look it up. It means ‘the habit of giving advice outside of one’s knowledge or competence.’ Great word, eh? (that ‘eh’ tells you I’m Canadian)

The challenge would be- how to use it? Can you imagine a situation where you might slip it into a casual conversation? For one thing, just pronouncing it means it won’t slip in anywhere.  However, my challenge this week is to use it without stumbling over my tongue. 

This is one thing about writing that I always expound on (but not ad nauseum, of course). Write what you know. That’s my rule and I think a good one. I have a background in business, law, hard work. When I read a book about business and find something silly in it, it means I have to stop reading and put the book down . Don’t speculate about what it might be like to be a business owner, a physician, a cop, a worker in a laundromat. Find out, check  your facts, ask someone with knowledge to help you out. That way you can form your story with confidence. Happy reading!

Belated Birthday Celebration!

I met my sisters for lunch this week. They ambushed me with a wonderful homemade birthday cake and presents. (My birthday is in July)

Blooming sunflowers from their gardens.

Many lovely hand stitched cloth bags to hold whatever I need.

I teased them– asking if this was last year’s birthday celebration or next year’s? The answer– last year’s. If it was for next year, they would have waited a few more months.

How blessed am I, to have such siblings.

Bike ride at Victoria airport

I went for a bike ride around the Victoria airport yesterday. It wasn’t too hot, nor crowded– a perfect day for a ride. I love to go out there once or twice a week and ride the perimeter. Not doing much writing these days, too many distractions and events in our lives at the moment.

This is the small park at the top of the rise across from the airport buildings. Those are copper eagle feathers standing beside the trees, quite lovely. It takes me about 45 minutes to do the ride, I usually stop to drink water and huff and puff. My husband does a longer ride on his bike and meets me partway through this trail.

You can see the mountains on the other side of the water of Patricia Bay. Here is the harbour down below.

Pat Bay is home to a Canadian Coast Guard base as well as a seaplane port known as Victoria Airport Water Aerodrome . The bike path is paved (thank you, Lord) which is much easier for me to navigate, even though there are some significant hills,  than many of the trails near us that are former train routes and covered with gravel and dirt. When the gravel is freshly poured on those trails, it is a real chore to force your bike tires through it.