Friday’s Fave Five #70

fff-delicate-leavesIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Family time We celebrated daughter # 3’s birthday this week. As we were gathered around the table the topic drifted to hair.

“Do you remember when we were kids and I thought since mom’s razor was just for legs that nothing would happen when I ran it down my arm hair from shoulder to wrist?” “My arm itched like crazy the next day!”

“Yeah, and I wondered what would happen when I swiped it across my forehead and was shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw I was missing an eyebrow, and then tried to arrange my bangs so no one would notice.”

And the time when as a three-year-old, the birthday girl “borrowed” mom’s scissors, opened them widely and, placing the blades flat on her forehead right at her hairline, cut a perfect V in her bangs all the way to the scalp.

When “someone” turned on the gas grill on without opening the lid, waited a few minutes, then opened it and threw in a match. After the “whoosh,” her once straight hair was singed and curly.

Ah, memories! We laughed so hard tears were streaming down our faces.

A new RN Daughter #4 passed her NCLEX nursing exam and is now officially an RN. My father-in-law was a physician and my mother-in-law a nurse and perhaps hoped that some of their children or grandchildren would follow the medical route, but until now, none did. We have plenty of doctors in the family, but none of the medical variety. And now we have a nurse!

Remembrance Day Today is Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans Day in the US.) When we first moved to Canada almost 30 years ago I remember being impressed at how seriously Canadians commemorate Remembrance Day. Red paper poppies are purchased to help support our war veterans and worn in the lapels of young and old. Schools hold assemblies to educate and solemnly recall the sacrifices others have made. Urban, suburban, exurban, and rural communities all suspend normal activities at 11 a.m. on November 11th to reflect, remember and give thanks. Wreaths are laid at cenotaphs throughout the land and those who fought for the freedoms and rights of our country are honored. The poem, “In Flanders Fields” is quoted and the phrase “Lest we forget” is repeated and tweeted throughout the day. (“Lest we forget” is quoted from an 1897 poem, “Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling and was likely inspired by the passages in Deuteronomy 4 and 6.)

Thank you to all who have served. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.

African violets My mom was a gardener par excellence. She loved growing flowers, but especially enjoyed nurturing and growing African violets. We had a small kitchen and no dining room so the table was pushed up against the exterior wall of the kitchen under a very large picture window. My dad built three or four shelves across that north-facing window and there mom tended her many African violet plants.

Until very recently I have been known as the botanical equivalent of the Angel of Death. I love flowers, but my heart would sink when anyone gave me a living plant. I knew they had just passed the death sentence on that lovely bit of nature. My family all joked about it. My husband would shake his head and ask, “How long do you think this one will last?”

But when we moved from Calgary to Edmonton seven years ago something changed. Some might even call it a miracle of sorts; I no longer automatically made plants die! First, my husband built me raised planters and encouraged me to start an herb garden as part of my post-surgical therapy. I was extremely skeptical, but to my absolute shock, not only did my plants survive, they thrived.

Indoor plants were still iffy. But somehow, over these past few years, I have two African violet plants that have done very well. I watched them grow and prosper and I remembered Mom. I remembered Mom transplanting hers when they outgrew the pot. I remember her trimming off the flowers when they wilted, and pinching off broken or damaged leaves. I remember her fertilizing the plants, gently brushing the dust off the leaves, and carefully avoiding getting the leaves wet when she watered her violets. I even remember her talking to her plants, and boy, did we ever tease her about that!

My African violets are outgrowing their latest pots and need something now, and I’m not certain what. Sure, I can google it or call a garden center or ask around, but I really, really, wish I could ask my mom. Not only would she have told me the right thing to do for my plants, she would have been proud and probably amazed that I haven’t killed these violets, and may even be developing a green thumb!


Cards and Photos Here are some more cards I made this week when I had to lay low and be quiet. The photos are from various photography opportunities over the past month.



Lake Louise


Banff National Park elk


Quiet abandon






Canadian Rockies


7 thoughts on “Friday’s Fave Five #70

  1. So, somehow, I know the rules of African Violets!! I remember my mother warning me about getting the leaves wet by saying, “Janet says not to get the leaves wet”!! She had her own little stash of the violets in the “north” window on Hilltop Dr. But, nonetheless, my last one got pitched into the trash yesterday! It was so forlorn. Will have to start over!


  2. Beautiful cards! I bought a stamp today that I’m excited about. It’s a Christmas one and I hope to make a few cards. I’ve attached a picture.


  3. Your talk about african violets had me thinking about my Mum – she grew them too. I think I might look to get one although I’m not great with plants either. Thanks for reminding me. Your cards are lovely.


  4. I’m not good with plants, either, but the outdoor ones somehow do much better than the indoor ones. I think for me the biggest part is that I don’t really want to spend that much time and effort on them. I want to water them every now and then and have that be all I need to do. 🙂 Some plants thrive that way, but others – not so much.

    I like how Canada commemorates Remembrance Day. I wish the US would do more than just have Veteran’s Day sales. We attended a Veteran’s Day parade in one town (when my son had a convertible, he or my husband were asked several times to drive it in a parade. 🙂 ), but it was mostly just cars of city officials (even the undertaker had a car…)

    Congratulations to your new RN!

    Are the designs from the first two cards (the tree/words on the first and the Nativity scene on the second) from stamps?


    • Bud and I were discussing the difference between Canada’s solemn memorializing on Remembrance Day and things we remember from celebrating Memorial Day as kids. Some similarities, but here folks make a specific effort to educate the younger generations and teach them to honor those who have served. I remember marching in a parade on Memorial Day, then heading out for a picnic and fireworks later. It seemed more a celebration of summer coming than something to honor service people.

      The first card is a stamp from Our Daily Bread Designs (They have a lot of nice scripture stamps). The second is a die from Cottage Cutz (nativity) and the scalloped cutting die via e-bay from a seller out of China.


  5. You had a trip to Lake Louise and Banff! Love that gorgeous area! I remember standing outside in freezing cold weather for Remembrance Day as a kid. Now here they have an indoor ceremony and then one by the cenataph. This year a huge army plane flew over.


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