Come along with me

I’ve been blogging here off and on since 2006 and recently decided to move my blog to a new domain.

Here’s my new location: http://www.storygal.ca/

You’ll find the same theme of life, love and gardening. Still me, editor, author and storyteller. Still me who takes pictures wherever I go, enjoying nature, family and friends and music too.

Please come along and join me there.

Carolyn Wilker-photo

 

August 14, 2019 at 1:34 am Leave a comment

Riding the Ion

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If there’s anything that gets people’s dander up, it’s change. And we’ve had massive change in our twin cities over the Ion, the light rail, first whether it should be built and then upheaval on our roads for months and months while tracks and roads were under construction.

Canada Day was the last day for a free ride. Our youngest daughter and her husband were talking their two-year-old son on the Ion, and we decided to join them. I was interested and had thought of doing it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

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close to the universities

The ride was smooth, with nary a bump or shudder on stopping or starting. As the driver of our family vehicle, I don’t have the privilege of just looking around me. I need to focus on my job of driving, watching for lights, pedestrians and other drivers. This ride would offer the opportunity to just look out the windows and enjoy the ride.

We were fortunate to get seats when we boarded and it wasn’t long before there were people standing in the aisle holding on to the straps or a seat.

Apparently the changes are not over (Reality, things never stay the same). More property is being bought along the main street that runs from one city to the next. According to a passenger I spoke with briefly, people in her neighbourhood are not pleased with the additional changes that are coming—tall condos or other buildings that will rise along the main street. They’d even gone to city hall and signed a petition against the change. It got me thinking about low income housing close to that route and how it would affect them. Where will they go?

One the other hand, the Ion will convey a large number of passengers from Point A to Point B, along the main street that has schools, hospital, doctors’ offices and businesses on or close to the route.

As citizens, we’re being encouraged to step out of our cars and take the public transit. Drivers of cars and trucks honour traffic lights, but the Ion doesn’t stop for those things, only at their stations where passengers are waiting.

Thing is from our neighbourhood, we still have to take other transportation to the Ion and park at a lot, or find a bus close to it that connects to the light rail. Not as convenient for people in the outlying areas, but it would definitely be a boon to those living close to the main line, and it could work well for attending a festival uptown.

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clean and quiet ride

Our city is changing, that’s for certain. The powers that be had decided on intensification of the core, and while we are certainly not at the size of TO or Mississauga, it seems our population is growing. The building will go on and people will need to adapt to it, even when there are bumps in the road along the way.

 

 

July 6, 2019 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Another garden

This year we had opportunity to rent another garden space. I called it a plot and my friend Doris laughed at that, thinking quite the opposite of living and gardening. Oh, well.

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how the new space looked a couple of weeks ago

At last our garden looks like one. Most things are emerging from under the soil and some look quite at home. I worry a little though since the promised fence is not yet erected. The hardware and wire are certainly there. It only needs strong backs of available volunteers to get it together. Not a place I can help.

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all the hardware is present

The mulch has been spread around the garden boxes and many of the boxes sport tomato plants and lettuce and beans among other things. There are even some flowers.

Last week when our granddaughters, 7 & 9, were going to be with us overnight, we stopped at the community garden space on our way home. One helped me fill a pail with water and held the watering can while I poured it in. The nozzle on the tank is quite large and water comes out pretty fast. We’re trying our best not to waste water.  Once we’d watered the plants,  we put our own watering can in the car and I retrieved my cell phone for a couple of photos.

Our garden is still quite young here, compared to the others planted earlier, but it took a bit of time to assign boxes and get some of the things in place for the enlarged community garden.

At the church there are two boxes assigned for their community cupboard, which is generous. People from the congregation may be tending those.

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how it looks now

I have back-up help for the time we’ll be away, to make sure the garden is tended, the weeds are pulled and produce harvested. We’ll have beans, onions and cucumbers here. And a few marigolds to help keep bugs away.

Perhaps the girls can come again with me to pick things from this garden as well as our garden at home, which is coming along quite nicely, protected from small animals.

 

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home garden raised beds

 

The rain last evening certainly refreshed the soil. The grass is damp but the sun is shining and that helps the gardens along too.

 

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a mix of herbs, tomatoes and veggies

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parsley and basil in an extra space

June 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

And the fairies welcome a visitor

Last year, we continued our fairy garden, and this year my oldest granddaughter set it up, complete with a sparkly path and the fairies. This is our third season for it.

There was a discussion about which fairy belonged to which girl. The younger one of the two was tired from her weekend of camping with the Brownies and Guides. She wanted to trade fairies. Maybe another day it will go better.

The older girl, aged 9, created a new path among the flowers and stems with coloured stones. They’ll be shaded for sure once the heat comes and the daisies beside them grow even taller. (The fairies reside indoors between play times so no little critter makes off with them.)

 

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Set up on my garden stone, a perfect foundation for the fairy house

Our first fairies, made of clay, didn’t stand up and the process was disappointing. Then it was Grandma’s decision to go looking for these fairies, found at a local craft store. Last summer, we made some extra fairies with wooden clothespins and silk flower petals.

When a third gardener was added to our annual planting event, we needed a new fairy for her. And again a new one was found, this time at a garden centre gift shop. Oh, the interesting things they had. Alas one of that fairy’s wings was broken and we haven’t quite worked out how to fix it. We may need a new fairy and then retire the other one.

And so the fairies we created with clothespins are still hanging around… and one comes to visit. What stories will they tell of tea parties and running through their garden, and playing beside their path?

 

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See the visitor coming with her purple-petaled hat and skirt?

 

Note: Fairies give way to other popular things in the market. Anyone know where we can get a new fairy?

May 31, 2019 at 1:38 pm 2 comments

Gardening with my Grandchildren

 

We have five grandchildren, ages ranging in age from 2-9 years old. The oldest two at 7 and 9 have had opportunity to help me plant my vegetable garden since they were three, and the youngest of our gardeners turned 4 in March. The little boys, currently two, will get to help next year, once they’re three, but if they should happen to visit, they can still help give the plants a drink, with a little help. They can also begin to understand now, that just as they need a drink, the plants also need water to grow.

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Helping with the watering

The oldest two girls know what to do with the plants once I show them where I want the plants arranged. I show them the spot, hand them the plant and they manage very well. One even pops the plants out of their pot and divides the seedlings. All three were excited to help me plant this year again.

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In process, watering as we  go along

 

The four-year-old is learning to dig the hole, put the plant in, fill the space around the plant. She’s learning to pat the soil gently around the stem and knows that the plant needs water right away. We give her the small watering can, for she’s just a small girl herself.

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We do these tasks together, then everyone gets to play awhile afterwards, along with having a little snack and a drink of water too.

The older girls and I talked by Facetime the week before about what we’d plant. We honour their requests in as far as things they like to eat and the available space, so we have a small variety of items. We’ll always have tomatoes and cucumbers, those two are assured, and parsley, but other items may change from year to year. Their Mom requested jalapeno peppers so that’s new this year. We’ve added squash, lettuce and zucchini as well.

 

This year, in addition to our own raised beds at home, I decided to rent a bed at a church that’s expanding their community gardens. I’ll plant some of the extra bean seeds there, carrots, and perhaps a few extra herbs. That garden isn’t ready yet, but it will be very soon. The water tank is waiting and other supplies are already there. It just needs a crew to complete the tasks and put up a fence around it.

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New garden beds being prepared

In time our grandchildren learn about planting and harvest. When veggies and tomatoes are ripe throughout the summer, they’ll have some to eat. They already recognize seasons as a time to ski and make snowmen, a time to plant, and a time for swimming outdoors. The planting season is part of this wonderful creation of which we’re simply caretakers.

 

Photo credits: L. Shaw, L. Wilker and C. Wilker,

 

 

 

May 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm 2 comments

Author Afternoons– I’m on!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be part of Author Afternoons. On Saturday, June 29th, from 1:00-3:30 pm,  I’ll be at the Waterloo Visitor and Heritage Information Centre on 10 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo.

I’ll be giving a workshop titled Begin to Write Your Memories. The workshop will be hands on, as in you get to write, so bring paper and pen or  your laptop and be prepared to participate.

This is a new initiative by the City of Waterloo Arts and Culture to introduce residents and visitors to the authors in the area. It’s exciting to be part of it.

See you there!

https://www.carolynwilker.ca/

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May 17, 2019 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

Harry’s Trees and Les arbres de Harry

Carolyn's Book Front Cover layout

This Saturday, May 18th, I’ll be at The Living Outdoors in Cambridge with my books, especially my picture books, Harry’s Trees and Les arbres de Harry, illustrated by Maja Wizor.

Come and see me there, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring your children or grandchildren and pick up a colouring sheet for the contest. Then bring the coloured page back to the store  by a certain date to be entered in the contest.

The Living Outdoors nursery and gift shop is on 486 Main Street Cambridge, ON N1R 5S7. It’s a busy time for nurseries and could be a full house.

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If you have a child or grandchild in French immersion, you might prefer this edition. Same story, same art, but in our second national language.

 

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a sample of my artist’s work

 

 

May 16, 2019 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

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