Chaos in the Garden

This is one of my flower beds. It has been over 20 years in the making. In that time, a small tree grew – casting more and more deep shade. The plants that liked sun weren’t so happy about this. Some died – I thought. So I planted others, only to have the dead sometimes reappear (yes, tulips, I’m talking about you and your splashes of red in a bed that once was yellow, blue and purple!)

This year I gave up on order and accepted plant Chaos. Even chaos will take time, though. There are bare spots where some things, like my bleeding hearts, all died this past winter. As George W. Bush said:

Topaz Studio filter “Ghost Town”

What George Bush actually said was “…And, you know, it’ll take time to restore chaos and order – order out of chaos. But we will.” Some media outlets shortened the quote to “It will take time to restore chaos” which triggered the usual crowd to make fun of him – but I think the shortened quote perfectly describes my new gardening mantra.

Topaz Studio filter “HDR”

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.
– Henry Adams –

Topaz Studio filter “Rock”

Chaos is roving through the system and able to undo, at any point, the best laid plans.
– Terence McKenna –

Topaz Studio filter “3D Sketch”

Chaos is not the lack of order, it is merely the absence of order, that the observer is used to.
– Mamur Mustapha –

Topaz Studio filter “Abstract”

All of these photos were altered with Topaz Studio filters.

What say you – which photo is most chaotic?

A Ghost in Landscape Mode

A Special Report from our ‘Rover’ reporter, Ghost the Dog:

Hi Peoplekind!

This photo shows me thinking. It might look like sleeping, but you can see I have one eye open. I do my best thinking when I’m in ‘landscape mode’ – and what better place to stretch out than on a people couch!

Right now, I’m thinking about what The Gamma Dog (owner of this blog but not owner of me) meant when she told me politicians are sometimes kind of whackadoodle (it’s an election year and The Gamma Dog tells me all sorts of things when we go for a walk. I don’t think anyone else wants to listen to her anymore). A Wackadoodle – all I’ve come up with so far is that it must be a kind of poodle cross that I’ve not seen  at the dog park.

I’m not that impressed with Poodles, really. Our common ancestor was a prehistoric wolf! I see a lot of wolf in me, but a poodle – well let’s just say they developed along a branch that should have been lopped off before it got as far as it did.

The Gamma Dog  tells me that because I am a dog, I don’t see as many colours as some people. (I don’t really remember what issue we were discussing when we got onto this topic.) I’m red-green colour blind. The Car Guy is colour blind too, so we have that in common. When I visit their house, I am The Car Guy’s shop dog. I don’t get to go into the house. I thought when I quit piddling a lot, I might get a house pass. Sadly no. The Gamma Dog says if I could leave my coat outside, she’d let me in. (I shed a lot…) Plus, she says I can’t chew sticks in the house and I can’t knock stuff off shelves with my tail. That would be a lot to give up just to see if her couch is comfortable.

Well, that’s if for now. I really have to go to sleep but if you want to read more about me, just click on Ghost.




It Was a Quick Trip Home

The best laid plans… When we booked our 2 week trip back to Alberta (from our winter abode in Arizona) we were optimistic that the brutal cold would be over by early March. It wasn’t. The last night we were in the chilly north, the wind chill temperature was -40C (-40F.)

Is wind chill something that the weather man warns you about where you live? Did you know there is a rather complicated formula for determining wind chill?

There is an equivalent formula for degrees Fahrenheit, of course.

But, we’re still old school. We don’t need a complicated formula. We look out the window and use a simple If-Then statement:

If the outdoor thermometer says it is pretty cold and the snow is drifting across the back yard and the visible chimney smoke is not going straight up then the wind chill will be greater than the temperature on the thermometer.

So yes, it was cold out. Of course we are hardy Canucks with over six decades of Alberta winters under our belts. We hauled out the really warm clothing and released The Car Guy’s truck from the garage. We were good to go.

Unfortunately, our house was not quite good to go. We live on an acreage, with our own water and septic systems. Water in – water out is our responsibility. The extreme cold, unfortunately, froze the ‘water out’ system. We hadn’t even unpacked our bags before we discovered this problem. We quickly shut down the ‘water in’ system and booked a ‘discovery meeting’ with the plumber for the next day. When ‘nature started to call’ … urgently… and the extreme cold removed the possibility that I was going to squat outside in the snow, we packed up and headed to a motel for the night. (And the next five nights…)

After several thawing attempts by the plumbers, it was decided that the most cost effective course of action for us was to let Mother Nature thaw the system in the spring, and for us to cut our visit down to 6 busy days.

Besides visits with family, we attended a High School performance of  the musical ‘Chicago’. Actually, we went twice. Our Grandson played ‘Amos’ in this production and though I don’t want to brag too much – he was really good! Did I hum along when he was singing Mr. Cellophane? You bet!

Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…

The rest of the cast was awesome too – such a lot of talent in just one High School. Multiply that by all the rest of the High Schools and all the other disciplines and the young plumbers who advised us on our septic system and the lively youngsters who bounced around the motel dining room at breakfast every morning – well you can’t help but feel optimistic about the future of our Province!