Life in Chalk | June 15, 2020

Volume 1 Issue 11 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | #meadowlarkmonday

Opinion | Life | Business | Arts | Health


Chalk Art Contest!

Jae Jae (Jennifer)

There is one more week to enter our first-ever Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest! Open to residents 13 and under with the theme surrounding things that live in our area: plants, bugs, birds, animals, and people. Grace at ATB has generously donated bags of candy for the winners of each category! The five winners will be featured in the June 29, 2020 issue.

To help inspire you, here are some fun interactive chalk art ideas!

Tips on how these were made:

  • I used a ladder to take the pictures from above.
  • Sunglasses for the kids! You can see Wally’s scrunched up face because the sun was so bright in his eyes!
  • I used a photo editing program to up the contrast of the chalk on the sidewalk, but you can create more vibrant, pigment filled strokes by simply wetting your chalk as you draw.
  • This is an important one – Before you draw be mindful of the sun and where it will cast your shadow when you take the picture! I drew a couple of these large scenes and then when I got up on the ladder to take a picture my whole shadow was in it – Oops!  We had to wait until the sun hid behind a cloud and quickly posed the kids for the photo before the sun popped back out!

Email your submission to by Sunday, June 21, 2020.


Grad Celebrations

It was so nice to see the community supporting the graduating class from Beiseker Community School. Here’s a taste of what happened on the weekend. Even the weather cooperated with the sun shining down on the parade!

Video courtesy of the Beiseker Community School’s YouTube channel, where you can also watch the virtual graduation ceremony.


DIY Planters and Baskets

I love filling the garden with colour but it can get very expensive. I love the beautiful, professionally designed flower baskets and pots. The convenience and exotic varieties are appealing, but the price is steep. You can order custom-designed hanging baskets which seem to start around $50. Off the shelf baskets at a greenhouse are $30-$50. It’s true you can get them cheaper at big box stores and during sales, but I’m going to suggest you should try to make your own.

There is emerging scientific evidence that working with soil and coming into contact with soil micro-organisms is beneficial to our health. Here’s a great article from the David Suzuki Foundation on the benefits of getting dirty. The creative process of choosing plants to grow, arranging them in a container and then watching your project develop over the season is a relaxing and mindful activity.

Environmentally, it’s better to buy your own containers (clay pots and coco fiber hanging baskets) and save your soil from year to year (yes, you will need to add slow-release fertilizer before you plant). If you buy your own plants, you can get them locally from a grower and support a local business. Plants that grow on in your yard are more likely to thrive and succeed. Hothouse raised baskets need more water and fertilizer and sometimes they just die from shock (yes, this has happened to me).

You will also save money: take hanging baskets and I’ll use 3 baskets as an example because the math is simple. Let’s use $40 each for pre-made, totalling $120. For DIY, 6-packs of flowering annuals will be $1 each or less. Say 6 per container: 18 plants, $18. The first time you do this there is also the cost of baskets ($15 each, total $45), soil ($10), and fertilizer ($10). In year one it will cost you $83 or less. However, for the next few years, it will just be the plants you need so it will cost you $18 or less. The more baskets, the more you save as the fertilizer and soil go a long way!

Here’s a couple suggestions of affordable, super-easy plants to grow in containers: petunias and marigolds for sunny spots, pansies and lobelia for shade. All but the lobelia will need to be dead-headed to continue flowering all season, but this is a mindful, relaxing chore that brings you back into connection with nature.


What Dogs Teach Us

Ayvree, Irricana Kountry Kennels

You never truly can come to comprehend just how much a dog can teach and how much they have to give, until you’ve had the honour and delight of having one, (or multiple in the case of many fellow dog-lovers), become part of your family. If you ever are fortunate enough to witness or experience the loyalty, companionship and love a dog has to give, you know it’s without a doubt true that it’s something you’ll never regret, and that love stays with you well after they have crossed over the rainbow bridge. Canines teach us in a way that is completely their own, and so different from any traditional style of teaching. They teach without even trying  – they don’t need to prepare hundreds of articles and videos, nor do they need to stay up all hours of the day creating lesson plans. Instead, dogs teach solely by being themselves.

We as humans can learn from dogs every single day, though sometimes they are very subtle about the lessons they are giving and it might take a little bit of interpretation and deduction of the mind for that lesson to come to light. Personally, having had dogs all my life, and having almost three years experience working at the Irricana Kountry Kennel, where I am so fortunate to have the incredible opportunity to care for hundreds of different breeds of dogs, all with their own unique personalities and traits, it would be easy for me to create a list miles long of all I’ve learned from our fellow canines. However, as to fully appreciate the value each lesson holds, my focus will be on one lesson each article, with many to await over the next few months! Today’s is one that our loving companions do with absolute surety and ease, but yet we as humans find at times almost impossible – living life without unnecessary burdens or self pity. Read more.

What’s Going On At The Library

The Irricana and Rural Municipal Library began curbside service on June 10 and they served 12 patrons the first week. This service is available on Wednesdays from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM, by appointment. Here's how to take advantage of the curbside service. 

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