White Lily

Lilium ‘Regale’ (Trumpet Lily)

Topaz Studio Painter filter

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
– John Ruskin –

Lily Stigma and Anther

Botany plants lately?

Stripes on outside of petals

Alexa, water the plants.

Gardening – It comes in handy when you need to hide the bodies.

If a plant is sad, do other plants photo-sympathize with it?

Crochet Scrumble – Whiteout!

Every kid goes through the same process with the white crayon. Pick it up, color for a second, stare at the paper with a confused look. Try it again. Chuck it back in the box. Make a mental note to never use that defective crayon again. I mean, what’s the point of coloring with a crayon when you can’t even see what you’ve colored?
– Story of This Life, blog –

So, OUT with the white – but is that the same as Whiteout? Nope. Whiteout can mean:

– a blizzard that severely reduces visibility
– the correction fluid that was once widely used for fixing mistakes when typing on a typewriter. It is still used by people who do bullet-journaling, hand-lettering, and similar paper crafts.
– the name I gave to a crochet piece (scrumble) that took me all winter to stitch.

The title of this piece is ‘Whiteout’.

Renoir said once that nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting, to paint, as white on white.
-Ambroise Vollard, French Contemporary artist, 1866-1939 –

White. A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities.
– Stephen Sondheim –

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
– Mae West –

As white light contains all the colors of the spectrum, it’s an inclusive, impartial color, favoring no single hue and refusing to take sides.
– Kate Smith –

My Other Scrumbles (no pattern, rhyme, or reason):

Sunny with a Chance of Being Not Sunny

On cable TV they have a weather channel – 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.
– Dan Spencer –

Sometimes I want a broader perspective than what I can see out my window. For example, yesterday we were blanketed in smoke. I didn’t want apocalyptic media reports about forest fires and climate change, so I opened up my favourite site for weather information: windy.com It showed where the fires were and which way the wind was blowing. (Today it is hazy too – but it is fog…)

Fires

Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article on it
– Mark Twain –

When you open the site, you can click on the ‘More layers…‘ item on the right hand toolbar to see dozens of options including:

Temperature

Wearing a hoodie and shorts because you’re confused about the weather.
– Unknown –

Clouds

There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends.
– Arnot Sheppard –

Wind

Just wanted to warn you that tomorrow may set records for people talking about the weather.
– Unknown –

Here is a look at today’s Air Quality in the South Asia, Far East and North America (India and China rank in the top 14 for worst air quality in 2020.)

Air Quality

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
– George Carlin –

For more fun weather quotes, click on my Weather and Seasons Quotations.

Dandelions – Too Many to Love

If you find yourself worrying, go outside, take three breaths, address a tree and quietly say, ‘Thank you.’ If you can’t find a tree, a dandelion will do… Nature is magic.
– Robert Bateman –

“A Dandelion.” Not millions of dandelions that blanket your yard and smother the grass and all other flowers…
A single plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds. The have a deep tap-root, up to 3 feet long (but usually 6-12”), which allows it to survive drought and competition with other weeds.

Photo on the left is one of our ‘dandelion fields’ (in 2011) when there was still more grass than dandelions. Today it is almost solid dandelions.

Dandelion seed head – original Macro Photo

The ability of dandelions to tell the time is somewhat exaggerated, owing to the fact that there is always one seed that refuses to be blown off; the time usually turns out to be 37 o’clock.”
– Miles Kington –

Cluster Filter

Some people need flowers, some people need dandelions. It’s medicine, it’s what you need at that time in your life.
– Sandra Cisneros –

Impasto Filter

Some ideas, like dandelions in lawns, strike tenaciously: you may pull off the top but the root remains, drives down suckers and may even sprout again.”
– Elizabeth Bowen –

Line-ink filter

By the time we left college, I had become my own image: a dandelion in the flower bed of society. Kinda cute, but still a weed.
– Anne Fortier –

Filter by Topaz Studio user Telbarin

Don’t hover around lives that you are supposed to touch only for a brief while. If you don’t know how to drift away, ask a dandelion and it will show you the way!
– Indhumathi –

‘Rona Virus – Goodbye Restrictions, Hello Summer Heat!

Covid Be Gone!
Good News here in Alberta. All Covid restrictions were lifted on July 1, in time for Canada Day! (Some municipalities and businesses will still have mask and/or social distance mandates and masks are still required on public transit, in taxis and in ride-share vehicles.)

Covid Virus – Spike and the Variants
In early May I wrote a post about ‘Spike and the Variants‘, likening them to a really terrible rock group. I’ve used my drawing of Spike and the group to make some thank you cards for the people who have helped us maintain our sanity for over a year now.

I also used the Spike zentangle drawing to make a dimensional paper tole picture. Using four printed copies of the Spike drawing, I cut and pasted successive layers, removing more of the drawing each time.

Here is the picture from an angle, to show the layers.

I mounted the finished paper picture on a glazed ceramic wall tile. The Car Guy built the frame, which I painted a semi-gloss black. I finished this project just a few days before the restrictions were lifted – good timing!

Heat Wave and Canada Day
Our part of the world had a week of unseasonably hot days, with temperatures peaking at 36.3C (97.3F) on Canada Day. Fortunately, our celebration this year was low key compared to Canada Days of the past. Some years we have hosted up to 40 people for a BBQ, but this year we opted for a small brunch with two close friends. Good choice. The temp by brunch was 30C (86F) with winds gusting up to 43 kph (27 mph or ‘umbrellas used with difficulty wind’.) Also, a wasp nest under the deck, directly under the shaded area I planned on dining at, was sending up swarms of attackers. We moved the brunch indoors – much easier to do for a table of four!

That night the city nearest to us had a half hour fireworks display which we could see and hear from our back yard!

The Heat Wave is over
… for now. We’ve had several soaking rains with more in the forecast. My garden is much happier. The Car Guy and I didn’t suffer as much as the plants did. Our 40 year old house was well built to withstand cold and heat. The original owners also installed an air conditioner. We normally only use it for a day or two each year. For the past week it has been kicking on like clock work when the outside temperature peaks at about 3 PM. Kudos to Sears for a reliable workhorse.

Perhaps after the past 14 months, we’ve learned and grown, and now that we’re once again free to do those previously mundane activities coronavirus took from us—hugging one another, crowding into concert venues, fighting a stranger for the armrest on airplanes—we’ll be so grateful to be back to our old ways. We’ll be walking around aglow in appreciation, utterly unwilling to go back to taking such basic everyday freedoms for granted.
– Clay Skipper, msn –

What denied ‘mundane’ activity have you resumed doing with a feeling of freedom and happiness?

Truth and Reconciliation – The Deaths of Residential School Children

If Canadians are only now discovering the deadly legacy of Indian Residential Schools, it’s not due to any lack of available evidence. It was never a secret that the sites of Indian Residential Schools abounded with the graves of dead children. Communities and survivors knew the bodies were there, as did any investigation or government commission that bothered to ask. “Sometimes virtually no cemetery information is readily available within the archival records, but knowledge of the existence and location of cemeteries is locally held,” wrote the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
– Tristin Hopper, Jun 02, 2021, National Post –

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Although the first residential facilities were established in New France, the term usually refers to schools established after 1880. Residential schools were created by Christian churches and the Canadian government as an attempt to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society…

By the 1940s it was obvious to both the government and most missionary bodies that the schools were ineffective, and Indigenous protests helped to secure a change in policy. In 1969, the system was taken over by the Department of Indian Affairs, ending church involvement. The government decided to phase out the schools, but this met with resistance from the Catholic Church, which felt that segregated education was the best approach for Indigenous children. Some Indigenous communities also resisted closure of the schools, arguing either that denominational schools should remain open or that the schools should be transferred to their own control…

In 2005, the federal government established a $1.9 billion compensation package for the survivors of abuse at residential schools. In 2007, the federal government and the churches that had operated the schools agreed to provide financial compensation to former students under the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
The Canadian Encyclopedia

“The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history,” Prime Minister Harper said in a speech in the House of Commons. The apology recognized the profoundly damaging and lasting impact the schools had on Indigenous culture, heritage and language.
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an apology to former students of residential schools, June 2008 –

Report: Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials
A Residential School Missing Children Working Group was formed in 2007 and tasked with finding information and making recommendations on Missing Children and Unmarked Burials in school cemeteries. This report was issued in 2016. It is 273 pages long and is a comprehensive summary of the Residential Schools and includes progress made in establishing a National Residential School Student Death Register. Graphs such as the following establish the time frame of a program that is deservedly described as the ‘tragic legacy of residential schools’.

Report: Where are the Children buried?
Dr. Scott Hamilton (Dept. of Anthropology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario), is the author of one of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation reports, “Where are the Children buried?” He  says he is surprised attempts weren’t made sooner to find residential school graves.

When he heard the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action in 2015, he expected a rush to use his and his colleagues’ findings to locate graves of Indigenous children who died while at Canadian residential schools. That didn’t happen. Story Source: Regina Leader-Post

The introduction to  Dr. Hamilton’s, report:

This report addresses the question where deceased Indian Residential School (IRS) students are buried. This is difficult to answer because of the varying circumstances of death and burial, coupled with the generally sparse information about Residential School cemeteries. It requires a historic understanding of school operations that contextualizes the patterns underlying death and burial. When documentation is insufficient, this historical perspective also aids prediction which former school sites are most likely to be associated with cemeteries. Also important is identifying the locations of the former schools as precisely as possible (an issue complicated by the fact that some schools were rebuilt in various locations under the same name), and then seeking out physical evidence of a nearby cemetery (or cemeteries). In some cases information is readily available, but in others there was little to be found in the available archival documents. In those situations attention shifted to an internet-based search, coupled with examination of maps and satellite images. This report concludes with recommendations how to address the gaps in our current knowledge about school cemeteries, and how best to document, commemorate and protect them.

The Illustrations that accompany the Hamilton Report are here: Report Illustrations.

The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has been transferred to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. A list of all the reports that have been issued is on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports page.