Mount Royal Plum


Oh my goodness! We have enough plums for a lifetime supply of Polish plum butter. There were so many that the tree began to collapse. (That’s not an exaggeration. I had to trim branches as the tree was falling to one side. And, even though the branches were small, I could  barely lift them up.) After collecting five large bowls and making plum crumble and plum butter there were enough bowls left to fill the kitchen counter. Fortunately, my daughter’s friend took some home to her mother’s farm and our neighbour Tina took the rest. She is going to make plum sauce for a 93 year old lady who takes plums as digestive medicine. I am so happy that they have all gone to good homes. It’s almost like raising puppies. 🙂

Bittersweet Vine


In Edmonton we get two kinds of vines: those that take over everything in sight and those that dwindle and die. I have grown plenty of both. For instance, my yellow clematis grew splendidly. It took over the entire balcony and roof, and started to pull the whole structure off the wall. (It has since been declared a banned species.) I then planted a grape vine that went moldy and coated with flies. In a last ditch effort – hope dwindling – I tried this bittersweet vine. It has been an unmitigated success. In fact, a neighbour asked if we wind it around by hand as it spins on railings with the skill of a Russian ballerina.

Pink Begonia


This has not been a good day. My mother with advanced Alzheimer’s has been hitting and kicking the staff as they try to dress her. The mural I am working on looks awful as I picked the wrong colours and it’s another $400 off my small artist fee to change them. My lovely daughter is visiting and I haven’t had enough relaxed time to spend with her. Another daughter is getting shingles as she writes exams. What can I say! Sometimes life sucks. But, in the midst of it all,  the pink begonia in front of my house is glowing in the setting sun.



A song in the Sound of Music gives a long list of all of Maria’s favourite things but not once does it mention balconies. I love balconies. It gives me supreme joy to sit perched above the world and watch it go by.  I am close to the sky and it’s almost always light – even when the garden is shrouded in darkness. Our balcony has the added distinction that it wasn’t built well and wobbles like a rocking chair. It was our builder’s mistake but to me it’s a feature.