The yucca root grows deep

I wanted to do some planting tonight. I managed to put in a few new perennials, Euryopa Margarita, but not where I wanted to put them. As I dug, it became apparent that the Margarita would not work in that place until after I’d dug it out. So I put the margaritas in another place.

A small hand shovel wasn’t working so I got out a bigger shovel with the point on the bottom to really get in there.


Just a bit more than a week ago, you may recall from an earlier post, I decided to uproot the yucca plant since it was getting old and rather gnarly. I thought I might keep one small part of it, but tonight as I was digging around the old spot where the large yucca was, I discovered more of the root. As I dug deeper, there was more and more. It looked like chunks of dog poop, except harder. It went deeper and deeper and I dug up many chunks. The roots are tuberous and there were many tubes.


Finally I think I got to the bottom of the growing space where it’s been for longer than 9 years. It was already a good size when we settled in and started making the place our own. The gardens needed a lot of work and they got a lot of love in that time and the yucca that was there just kept on getting bigger and even bloomed for a few years. But I’d had enough of it looking scraggly and filling up that space.

I filled a 17-litre pail with the roots. In case you’re wondering how big a pail holds 17 litres, it’s the pail that holds driveway sealer—the tarry stuff you apply to the driveway to make it look shiny and new.

Now that the soil is soft and cleaned up (I think) in that place, I will decide on something different to plant in that place.

On our trip to the garden centre next week, my friend Doris and I will decide on something else to plant there for I’ve already found a home for the margarita amarilla.

A new plant will eventually sit next to the euonymus. A plant that loves a lot of sun and well drained soil and brings colour to my flower bed some part of the year. Maybe even annuals  for this year though I prefer to use perennials.

Tomorrow evening my granddaughters will help me plant the vegetable garden. Until then, may your garden grow well and the rain fall soft upon your fields.

May 29, 2015 at 1:20 am Leave a comment

Kairos Reconciliation– our contribution to a national effort

Our Sunday School students and adults of our congregation decorated hearts for a small garden, and the students helped to plant that garden, along with some seeds for flowers we hope will grow and remind us of this act of reconciliation of our own. Thanks to our council co-chair Lynette and fellow Sunday School teacher Darlene and the Sunday School students for planting our garden. One of our flowers will be part of the ceremony in Ottawa and our “planting” event is posted on the national Kairos calendar. See it here.

May 29-June 3rd

From the Kairos site: Reconciliation is in the wind

It’s a wind of change.
Changed attitudes.
Changed behaviour.
Changed policies.
It means finally honouring the contributions
of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.








May 26, 2015 at 1:59 am Leave a comment

A most amazing book–The Art of Work


Today, I just finished reading Jeff Goins‘ newest book, The Art of Work. If you want to learn about how guilds and journeymen started in a trade, read the book. If you want to read about people who found themselves in difficult and challenging places, but who succeeded beyond their expectations—Eric and Garrett Miller, Ginny Phang and others—read this book.

His straight-forward conversational tone is engaging, informative and inviting. It explained so many things for me about how careers can change.

Jeff explores the relationship with apprenticeships, mentors and finding the work you were meant for, even when circumstances change and you need to pivot to some other line of work. How is the work you’ve already done figuring in the work you find yourself doing later?

The Art of Work shows you how to proceed even if you’re not sure where to start. This is a 5-star book and very readable, but don’t read it in one sitting, even if you can. Take time to think about what he writes.

Highly recommended and I’m writing this because I want to tell others about the book.

May 25, 2015 at 2:33 am 2 comments

Am I seeing things? No!

We’re car shopping. Our mechanic feels its time to look for something newer before ours costs us anymore. He does what’s necessary this time and we talk about places that sell cars, places he knows are reputable. It’s time to get something newer—newer to us, anyway. My husband has been checking online. That’s been weeks ago.

This morning after church, my husband asked, “Can we drive by the dealership?”


“We can check what they have,” he said.

And so we drive into the lot in our corner of the city, and I see two cars that look like they’ve been dumped in large bins reserved for hauling things away. My eyes are playing tricks on me, I think. I drive closer to make sure I’m not seeing things.

Yup, I saw it right the first time. It was quite a sight.DSCN1872

“I should take a picture of that.”

“You can,” my husband said. “The camera is in the car.”

“Let’s look at the cars first, then we’ll come back.”

We looked at Hyundais, other Fords besides the kind we’re currently driving, as well as a Matrix. We noted prices and mileage and found several that looked appealing. My husband said the dealer had been advertising that people could upgrade their car to something newer. I guess that’s what the cars in the big bins were all about. It certainly made an impression.

“I’d like to test drive this one,” I said of a car with a sunroof and decent price. It looked good.

On our way out, I stopped our Focus nearer the bins with the cars in them. My husband took the camera out of the glove box and then out of its protective case. I got out of our car and snapped a few pictures. “I’ll choose the best one and delete the others,” I said when I got back in our car. I had Facebook in mind, but decided to put it up on my blog instead. It will go to Facebook anyway.

This week we plan to go out and test drive a couple of cars. And we’ll go on from there. We’ll see what we get.

May 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm 4 comments

We Were So Far Away

Today I blogged over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian about the Kairos Heart Garden project and the upcoming Truth and Reconciliation closing ceremony.

On April 7th, I received a message from Kairos, an ecumenical organization dedicated to social justice, from whom I get occasional email updates. The email told me that the formal Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process is coming to a close in Ottawa from May 31 to June 3, 2015. The celebration is to be a legacy for aboriginal and Inuit children who were taken from their homes and placed in residential schools.

I had not known that Inuit children were also involved, but I knew that aboriginal children had been. Children’s author Jennifer Maruno addresses the residential school issues in her book Totem, and how some children ran away to go back home. That hurtful initial step of placing the children in the residential schools, and all that followed, goes deep in aboriginal history.

The Heart Garden

Kairos invited individuals and churches across Canada to plant ‘heart gardens’ and send one to Ottawa for the special ceremony. Kairos intends TRC and the garden as a healing action.

To read more, go here.

While you’re there, read more from Canadian authors who are Christian. You will be inspired, entertained and encouraged.


May the ceremony at Ottawa be just as colourful.

May 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment

Garden coming to life

Each spring I watch for the narcissus and daffodils and other flowers emerging from the ground.



First the narcissus and those highly aromatic white hyacinths that are lovely in the garden but I don’t dare bring them in the house





DSCF8734a bit closer


But now the narcissus have flowers have had their showing and have faded to be replaced by grape hyacinths and tulips


DSCF8747Tiny grape hyacinths coming up everywhere, even in some parts of the lawn near the flowerbed


DSCF8744one daffodil blooming in that bunch and the red and orange tulips nearby


DSCF8739the tulips up close and more to come



More pictures coming, as my garden changes.


How is your garden growing? Tiny gardens count too.



All photos on this blog © C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

May 8, 2015 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

It does look like him, but he’s green!

Last Thursday at our workshop for church office administrators, Martin Luther showed up. It wasn’t the man himself, for he’s been dead for centuries—1546, to be precise. A green likeness of the man, who made great changes to the way people think about faith, seemed to appear from out of nowhere (though he was carried in by some attendees), stood upon a chair in chapel and presided over the rest of our short worship and communion. We giggled at this green image, just as Bishop Michael started the service. Martin had travelled a great distance to be with us. Even the bishop seemed a little surprised.

Martin Luther in our meeting room

Martin Luther in our meeting room

Then from the group of church admin people, a man named Christian stood up and announced that Martin Luther had come along with them. The man who announced Martin’s presence and his reason for being there is actually the pastor of that congregation.

Christian announced that a particular number of these small statues had been made in various colours and that the red and blue ones had been sold out, and so they had gotten green. Their current practice is to take Martin to as many functions as possible, thus he appeared that day for worship and the early part of our workshop day, before being whisked off to  be interviewed for live television with another staff member of the synod. And before he left us for other illustrious company, I had a photo shoot with the green Martin. Probably the one and only ever photo shoot with Martin Luther.



 Here’s to everyone at Martin Luther Church in Toronto for the enlightenment and chuckles. See Pastor Christian and others in the photo display on their website.

April 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

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