Beauty in an Alley

You know it’s going to be a great day when you find beauty in an alley. There were fiery scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers blooming along a fence as I cut through the back alley to the homeless shelter. I noticed it earlier when I briefly parked near the back doors to drop off five, perhaps six, large garbage bags full of clothing, purses and shoes donated by a friend. So many people will benefit from the donations.


Lunch today consisted of lentil soup, salmon sandwiches on Italian bread, a rice dish and penne. Flaky croissants were available too. The cook proudly told me he’d taken the plain white rice another person had prepared and “jazzed it up” with a unique Chinese sauce.

I was kept busy with dishes today. Yup. It took over two hours to be initially caught up! Like you’re ever really caught up with a steady input of dishes, right? But, there’s something very satisfying about seeing a heap of dirty dishes all cleaned up and neatly stacked away. It’s nice to have OCD in a kitchen setting.

A news station dropped by to film a short report on the homeless coping with the heat. The shelter is a cooling centre where the homeless can get ice and water and be in an air conditioned environment. It’s interesting because of an incident recently.

One of the folks was commenting about the necessity of finding a helicopter. He kept talking about it. When questioned, he answered he needed a helicopter to get to Winnipeg. When asked further why he needed to get to Winnipeg, the man explained he had to get a helicopter located there. It became apparent the man was suffering from heat exhaustion. He was given plenty of cool fluids and a shower. With no further talk of requiring a helicopter!

Supper tonight was Shepherd’s Pie with plenty of garlic in the mashed potatoes. The shelter smelled wonderful, just like stepping inside an Italian restaurant. Another cook prepared two types of potato salad because he “likes to be creative”. He added green onions, a special Caesar salad seasoning, mayonnaise, Ranch dressing, bacon bits and in one of them, the extra ingredient: cheese! Because really, what is summer without potato salad?




3 thoughts on “Beauty in an Alley

      1. I’ve never heard of this one, so I had to look it up. Here’s what Wiki had to say about Campsis radicans: “The vigor of the trumpet vine should not be underestimated. In warm weather, it puts out huge numbers of tendrils that grab onto every available surface, and eventually expand into heavy woody stems several centimeters in diameter. It grows well on arbors, fences, telephone poles, and trees, although it may dismember them in the process. Ruthless pruning is recommended. Outside of its native range this species has the potential to be highly invasive, even as far north as New England. The trumpet vine thrives in many places in southern Canada as well.”

        Holy vigorous vine, Batman! Grows well on trees and telephone poles although it may dismember them in the process! Definitely wouldn’t grown here in Edmonton though, it’s listed as Zone 4 to 10. But it looks like it’s temptingly beautiful but something gardeners later regret. Look at these comments–even Roundup won’t kill it! (It’s also called Cow Itch Vine since it causes skin rashes so don’t get too close to it in that back alley …)

        On Jun 24, 2016, bobvanhalder from Brooks, OR wrote:

        Trumpet vine is not killed by either Roundup or a broadleaf killer. The most that it will do is burn part of the roots closest to the application. The remaining roots will resurface. Roots however need the sunlight and that is the key. If you can put chickens in that area they will kill the emerging trumpet vine shoots and eventually the entire plant. Without chickens you have no choice but to dig up the new shoots and apply Roundup to the root. Eventually you will win the battle.

        On May 17, 2016, nicholberry from Portland, OR wrote:

        DON’T DO IT!!! This has been a nightmare – I have the “vine from hell” that I inherited when I bought the house. It had been trained up one of the patio pillars to canopy over the top of the deck (and now it holds my patio cover up… if I cut that down, I’d lose the whole patio cover. That part is beautiful, but for more than 10 years now it has been growing IN MY HOME… between sheetrock and window casing… between sheetrock and baseboards, into the kitchen in the vacant areas behind the dishwasher and the range. This kitchen is more than 12 feet from the base of the plant, yet, it goes under my deck, into my foundation and up into the house. So I’m not sure that even the photosynthesis suggestion is completely valid. It travels more than 25 ft into my vegetable raised beds even. It’s an ongoing battle and if anyone ever comes up with something to kill it, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. For now it’s digging everywhere I can and round-upping where I can’t. You have been warned.

        On May 14, 2016, Lorra from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

        Lorra, Indiana Z5a
        I am EXTREMELY disappointed that Dave’s Garden would promote Campsis radicans – it is a THUG. Yes, it is a lovely native plant … but so is poison ivy.
        Note the propagation methods. Birds are great propagators.
        Trumpet Vine can send underground roots for at least 30 (thirty) feet. If it climbs a tree, it will eventually kill it, the same as wild grape vines.


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