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I Concede: Fall is Here

September 2, 2016

The kids are in school and what’s that strange sensation? Oh… time to myself. Delicious.

Things Crossed Off the Summer Bucket List:

  • Throw an over-the-top Amazing Race birthday party for 8-year old boy
  • Repair broken hard drive containing decade of family photos
  • Connect with family
  • Connect with nature
  • Connect with friends
  • Paint Living Room & Ceiling
  • Over-the-top camping trip to multiple National Parks with family of 5 in 15-foot trailer
  • Still like each other after said camping trip
  • Ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster
  • Explore the East Kootenays
  • Grow approx. 6 inches in height
  • Swimming lessons
  • Eye exams
  • Train at 5K run
  • Start a Novel
  • Watch the kids’ sibling relationships grow and flourish when they have nobody to play with but each other

Things that Unexpectedly Arrived on the Summer ToDo List:

  • Flood Remediation
  • Funeral for a mouse
  • Camp next to a badger
  • Bottle feed a baby goat named Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Things Moved onto the Fall Bucket List:

  • Replace 1950’s windows & front door
  • Flood Remediation
  • Annual haircut
  • Declutter
  • Either delete blog or post something there

Things Scribbled off from the Summer Bucket List because they are Unachievable:

  • Date night
  • Find the One Ring to rule them all
  • Invent a word to describe the grief that accompanies a Northern Summer plunging into Fall before you’ve done all you want to do and seen everyone you want to see

sand castle

365 Snaps: a digital story

August 31, 2015

A digital story combines images (moving or still), narration, music and text.  Here’s one I crafted this summer at a digital storytelling workshop in Berkeley:

365 Snaps from Marlene Flurfel on Vimeo.

Baby Whitetail Jackrabbit

May 2, 2015

This photo was taken by our 9-year old daughter in our neighbourhood schoolyard.  Edmonton is populated with Whitetail Jackrabbits which are snow-coloured when there is snow on the ground, and brown forest-floor coloured in the springtime when they are born.  Can you spot it?

Baby Whitetail Jackr

Camouflage is their game — Mother Jackrabbits leave their babies hidden in spots like these all day long so they don’t attract predators to them.  In the city, people who find the babies worry they are abandoned and one of the big dangers is being “rescued.”  The Edmonton Humane Society and Alberta Fish and Wildlife ask us to leave wild animals alone — the mothers know what they are doing.

Urban Wildlife: Great Horned Owl

April 24, 2015


I photographed this Great Horned Owl just across the street from us in Parkallen, Edmonton, Alberta. The crows on our block were upset about this visitor and screaming bloody murder, which drew our attention to this bark-coloured and silent raptor high in a mighty, old blue spruce.

Baby Moose

April 18, 2015

Baby Moose for Web

This photo was taken on a road trip to the Badlands, just outside of Drumheller, Alberta. I’m using a telephoto lens to take the picture from our van window.  I’m saying, from far away, “Hi, Sweetheart,” to the baby moose and s/he is looking to see who said that.

Introducing My Podcast: Tales from the Lilypad

April 17, 2015

I’ve been podcasting at

At the Lilypad, I am a frog, I live in a pond, my name is Lily, and I love to tell stories. That last part is true.

It’s an experiment in storytelling in the 21st century. It’s an experiment in building a digital audience and connecting with them. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I plan to stick with it to the iTune of one story a month for a couple of years. Why?

Well…one reason is that I think kids deserve access to stories that aren’t told by the companies that sell them toys. I believe wholesome, imaginative bedtime stories are a fundamental human need and a right too. Kids need stories.

I’ve also noticed that stories need kids. When I have an audience for stories, the stories come to me. If I don’t have a home for stories, the stories don’t come a’knockin’.  The podcast is a doorway with a welcome mat set out for stories.

It’s quite quickly moved from being “my podcast” to being “our podcast,” as my 5-year old is very keen on contributing, and the older kids are beginning to move from the role of “critic” to “contributor” as well.

My favourite so far is The Polka Dot.