Category Archives: Society

The Power of the Internet

I am not even sure where to start with this tale. Not really garden related, but a throw back to earlier posts about dogs etc. As a dog lover and Facebook user, I am a sucker for cute puppy pics, rescue stories and online resources regarding senior dogs, animal rescue, pet therapy, special needs pets and happily ever after stories. That being said I am also a member of a few Facebook groups – including the Grande Prairie Dog Enthusiasts Club. I have never met any of the members in person, but check in often. It’s just a forum to talk about training, dog sitters, debate the pros and cons of raw versus kibble diets. Many cute photos and stories of the members pooches and hi-jinks find their way on the group page!

Last night I was on Facebook checking messages ( I am also a recent online bidding wars participant) for my auction sales. Part of the fledging minimalist living project RC and I have embarked on. Baby steps right? On Sunday RC cleaned out his closet. I debated the bidding wars page, and was wavering between Sally Anne and auction. We set up a photo set, shot everything and ended up with over 30 lots for auction. 27 lots sold!! So, checking messages – I discovered there are actually two inboxes!! Hmmm I see a message from April, 2015 asking how I came to have Diesel. The message sender K – thought he might have come through a rescue she was running 5-6 years ago. I had to reply!

A conversation ensued, and she had indeed rescued him from a woman that had become overwhelmed with her own good intentions – found him a home with a family (this is where he jumped out of a truck and ended up with one less leg). They had him for a little over a year – moved to the city, decided it was too much work to have him in town. They contacted K, and she asked them to hold onto him for a few more days until she could get sorted. They later informed K, they had found a home. In reality they had surrendered him to the GPSPCA (where we found him) see an older post Diesel Dreams.

Understandably upset at hearing she had been duped – K was thrilled to hear he was in an amazing home (mine of course). The best part !! K has puppy pics, and some video!!! He was such a cutie! Diesel is about 5-6 years old, and has been with us for almost 3 of those years. He had a journey to get to us, I hope it was worth it. I had to pause for a moment and reflect on my truth – I doubt I would of been drawn to him as a puppy “not my type” and probably wouldn’t have looked twice if he had four legs ( I like to “rescue” the underdogs…).

Baby D.

Baby D.


K and Baby D. Too cute – trouble maker I am sure!


He never had a tail! Apparently he is a Lab/Rottie/Dane mix – not so sure about that.

If he could talk I am sure he’d fill us in on how he learned to shake a paw, why he talks so much, what drives him to guard, who started his love for being brushed and vacuumed and why he insists on hanging out in the mud bogs!

I am THIRSTY and this is a creek, must lie in it for best water drinking experience!

I am THIRSTY and this is a creek, must lie in it for best water drinking experience!

We love him and I’m pretty sure he loves us! Thank you Facebook!

Bandaged Paws Animal Rescue

Forever Esther Sanctuary

SAINTS Animal Rescue

Train a Dog Save a Warrior

Pet Access League Calgary


Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs, Society

Dust Bowl 

Yesterday I watched episode 1 of The Dust Bowl an amazing documentary mini series on PBS. I feel that in a previous post, I had no idea what I was talking about when I was complaining about the wind and that is what the Dust Bowl must have been like. Well so wrong- yes it’s windy here but nothing to complain about. 

Tonight I’m watching the second episode and they talk about the drought and grasshoppers. It has been dry here, and every step in the garden flushed out hoppers. They haven’t destroyed my garden, but I can see how they could. 

Yesterday I found this guy about an inch long- the biggest one so far. 

Imagine them flying through the sky in swarms so large they blocked out the sun. I can’t. 

If you can take a few hours to watch The Dustbowl. The kosmos and planet earth will show us the way..,

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature, Society, The Garden Project


I was away for six days at the Integral Theory Conference 2015 upon my return the garden had exploded once again!! Home for a few days now, thoughts turn to conference impact & the next phase of the garden. I realize I’m not exactly sure when to harvest certain foods or how I will be able to eat all of it! It is amazing to have fresh vegetables!

 It is also amazing to reflect on the fact the speedy travel to Northern California exists – I think about the Edson Trail and how it could take up to three months to travel from Edmonton to Grande Prairie. This is currently a 4.5 hour drive. This leads me to thinking about transport of food and associated costs. 

Food waste on a personal and commercial levels is a hot topic this month. With France declaring it illegal to throw food out, and Jon Oliver showcasing food waste in the U.S. (I’m sure Canadian waste would compare) and knowing how much work went into my small garden I feel compelled to review and modify my shopping, and waste habits. 

One day last year I decided to only purchase Canadian products with a preference for Alberta grown, then any other province. It was eye opening. My cart had about twelve items and the cost of anything Canadian was considerable higher than produce from California or Seafood from Malaysia or India. What sticks outs is prawns from Asia about $8, white spot prawns from British Columbia $30. Access to food and affordability, a topic for another post. Not to mention production processes, labour standards and factory farming. Front yard gardens should be the norm

Specific Winking Beagle Updates – beans have arrived, peas are crazy and even a single cucumber showed up. My dad was up for a few days and built the best climber for the peas – I’ll admit mine was dismal at best! I’ll be adjusting the pea location next year as well, I have to climb into the box to reach all of them. Oops! 



Hillbilly Pea Climbers (according to dad)





Happy to report that between myself, RC, Milena, Uncle Murray and the dogs everything picked; including pea shells and strawberry tops has been consumed. More picking today!

I almost forgot an amazing surprise (sort of) from Mother Nature was also waiting for to get home – an abundance of Saskatoons! 

Saskatoons waiting for harvest


Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs, Food, Gardening 2015, Society, The Garden Project, Travel


I repeatedly hear my friend DA telling me “slow is fast”. Sometimes I listen sometimes I don’t. This week he couldn’t be more accurate. Reflecting on past garden projects, life pathways, how I end up where I’m at and what if anything it means. Slow is Fast is perfect. 

48 hours in Noerthern California – a year ago I would have never imagined attending thus amazing Integral Theory Conference and meeting so many people that engage, interest, entertain and listen to me! Wow. 

I need a little more time to digest things, but in a fleeting moment yesterday, I saw just a little more clearly. On the subject of wind- and the garden. Persistence, resilience and the potential to apply AQAL to the experience of gardening. Still new to me, the integral approach of all quadrants all lines can clearly become part of my garden, and life in general. I’m not comfortable writing or quoting the theory at this point, but am excited about it. 

Resilience, strength, processes. My garden has been all of this- I noticed last week that the potato plants bent in half during intense winds, all returned to their original form- stronger than ever. Wind helps trees to become strong why would it not have the same impact on plants? 


Kennebec Potatoes w Icelandic Butter

 Another Califirnia observation is how many of my garden annuals grow here year round. I love the realization that I can have a physical representation from anywhere in the world in my garden. Always connected.  


surburban Rooster outside coffee shop


Leave a comment

Filed under Everything, Nature, Society, The Garden Project, Travel

Princess Theory

Happily Ever After? I never identified with the Princess as presented by Disney and fairy tale stories. Don’t get me wrong, I am the queen of my domain, and could be accused of having princess like tendencies, but not a Disney Diva… I will admit to identifying with Daenerys Targaryen more than Snow White. I was raised to take care of myself, and mark of success according to my mother was that her daughters would never NEED a man or anyone for that matter to “rescue” them. I wrote a paper in second year about A Room of One’s Own – by Virginia Woolf. That resonated with me more than anything. What do you think about the contemporary Princess phenomenon? I would love to see a follow up series of photos, where the women have prevailed despite their “tragic” circumstances.

Leave a comment

Filed under Society

Dog Days Take A Backseat

I think I have some of the best traveling dogs out there. For pooches that font get as much car time as others, they are always willing companions on many of our camping excursions and family drives south to visit family. Eight hours seems to go by in a blur.

Pre-trip prep however does include extended activity, food and water. This trip I am testing out a collapsible access ramp. Purchased 1) to prove a point – they aren’t that large, heavy or expensive. That to build our own would be disastrous… 2) test Costco online – they’ve passed the test 3) lifting/assisting my 55lb bulldog just isn’t fun, even less fun is helping our 100lb tripawd in – while both want in desperately neither are very helpful or graceful about it. Needless to say the third dog weighing in at 100lb maybe 96 leaps in and out on her own.

It is inevitable, the second they hear the purr of the diesel engine they have invited themselves along, and no verbal assurance is enough to convince them that they are indeed wanted on the voyage!!

Of course beautiful comfy beds, a/c makes it a nice one. At the same time I’m glad they can’t talk, I am sure that “are we there yet?” would be frequently heard.





Filed under Dogs, Society, Travel

Reblog Post from

Our pets make up such a huge part of our lives. Old age is insidious, and the fact that they never want to let us down, a testament to their love and ability to live in the moment. Take a few minutes to read Carol’s post from the saintsrescue blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs, Nature, Society

Passion – Reykjavik


I know, still on about Iceland. Every now and then you have a life altering experience and it takes a while to assimilate back into your “former” life. Of course, it will never be the same. At the same time, it is always better! Some fellow travellers have been posting photos of our trip on FB, and one was of a beautiful piece of chocolate cake, and  an almond pastry of some sort from the Passion Bakery.

passion victoria Photo by Victoria Y.

Passion was a lifeline for me. Only a couple of blocks from the Scout House where we were roughing it – delicious bread, butter and cheese as well as beautiful coffee. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I am easily impressed by quality bread, butter and water! After a rough first 24 hours, I was riding in a cab back to the House and saw the word Passion out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t even know my street address, let alone where in Reykjavik we were. I thought it’s either a “love shop” or wait there appears to be pastry in the window – googled it immediatly upon getting through the door and was there first thing the next morning!! Salvation!

Passion Staff were also great! So tolerant of my non-existent Icelandic language skills, willing to interpret “to go cup” as “take away” and pick the perfect fresh baked roll, apply the perfect amount of butter, and expertly place the delicious slice of cheese, while preparing my most perfect latte, for five mornings in a row!

passion bread

At Passion they had these beautiful looking merengue cakes in a showcase fridge. I didn’t buy one, as I knew I would eat the whole thing. I did have a slice of something similar at the Bifrost University coffee shop/student lounge though. Delicious. Now I was on a mission! Recreate this dessert. Again, for those that know me, Pavlova (Meregue) and Whipped Cream are two of my weaknesses – combine those ingredients with the challenge of making something new – the gloves were off.

At the National Museum of Iceland I found a small book of recipes in the gift shop. Food and Festivities by Hildur and Anna.

cook book

Note my grams to cups conversion. So, on a wing and a prayer a little imperial to american measurments success was attained!!


MRW Cake cake side

(Chocolate was a fail – doubted my usual ganache making skills, but overall 100% tasty and will be perfected. Baking Merengue in square pans with parchment was also a bit scary – trust in the process haha!)

So find your Passion – travel, food, music, magic, life… It could be right in front of you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Everything, Food, Society, Travel


A teacher I had a few years ago, challenged me with the question of “where do you come from”? I honestly didn’t know, I was convinced that it had to be a very complicated, mind blowing concept that would take me years to find the answer!! DRUMROLL…… The Earth!

 Duh, of course. The human body is definitely from the earth! Everything we have in our daily lives started out as raw materials, from the earth. Every colour we see can be found in nature (from the earth). We go back to the earth. Regardless of how hard we try to deny it, life is a cycle, we are all connected, and we are all attached to the earth.

The recent flooding all over Alberta, especially in the south hit me hard as a very real reminder that we are just visitors here on this planet. While in Iceland, there were magnificent natural wonders everywhere – overwhelming at times in their beauty, and again confirming my status as a visitor here on earth. Iceland inspired to get out into my own backyard more often and enjoy my local natural wonders.Takk Fyrir Island!








Leave a comment

Filed under Everything, Nature, Society, Travel

Is Social Change Possible?

Getting ready to hit the road. Have read the book Dreamland and we will get to meet Andri the author of this article and Dreamland in a few days!! I will never hear a Duran Duran song with the same ears…

1 Comment

Filed under Everything, Society, Travel