Alberta

10,000 Square Feet

We live in a small town in rural Alberta. I love it here. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful.

I love the sound of coyotes at night, the sight of the horses grazing in the field behind us.

It’s a pain in the ass when I have to drive to the next town over for the occasional Starbucks fix. But not enough that I’d want to move.

What I really struggle with, though?

I have a love/hate relationship with our 10,000 sq foot backyard (that’s about a quarter acre if you prefer).

I know. Most people would kill for that sort of space.

For Vista’s first birthday we had several big tents set up, several plastic play structures, and two pony rides and still had a ton of room. The yard is beyond huge.

But I have a black thumb. Blacker than black. I don’t have a single living plant in my house. Plants see me coming in the garden center and start wilting.

The one tree we had in the back yard? Died. I know. I wish I was kidding.

So now the yard is a dead tree, Vista’s playhouse and her slide, and… that’s it. *hangs head in shame*

Well except for the 10,000 sq ft of grass. But don’t worry. That’s dying too.

The only thing that’s not dying, but is thriving? Flourishing in fact? The weeds. *starts banging her head on the fence repeatedly*
Three guesses what I was out in the hot sun TRYING to kill today?

So yeah. Yard = dead, dying, or plastic.

I would desperately LOVE to do something with the yard, but what?

I have a dream of meandering paths, raised beds (with actual live plants in them), and a central fire pit area.
Bil wants a stream or a pond, but I’ve veto’d that idea. I’m realistic enough to know the dogs would just use it as a giant bathtub to play in. And wet dogs smell? *gag*

But it never seems to happen. I just don’t know where to start and I get so overwhelmed at the whole idea, I give up before I begin.

If there’s a bored landscaper out there looking for a great before and after project, this would be it.

Oh, and in case you think I’m joking about the yard:

 10,000 Square Feet

Can you put a price on human life?

Evidently yes.  And in Calgary, the nearest major city to us, that price is $4000.  No I’m not even kidding.

This is something out of the movies.  You never really think it happens.  But it does, and more often than we can imagine I suspect.

Bil and I were talking the other day whether you could put a price on human life after it was revealed that a $600,000 ransom was paid to free kidnapped reporter Amanda Lindhout.

This led to the discussion of ‘how much money is just too much’.  If your family member was kidnapped is there a certain amount of money that would just be too much money to pay in ransom?  And if so, does that mean that human life has an actual price?

It’s a scary concept that becomes even more frightening once you have a child of your own.

Would you pay a ransom?  If you do, what does that say to the kidnappers.  By doing so are you encouraging the possible kidnapping of other people?  Or would you care?  Would your only concern be for your family member?  How much money is too much?  Can you put a price on human life?

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