Monday, June 29, 2009

Luscious Lovely Lilacs

If you have no lilacs outside your door, I pity you. Poor baby.

I've got your share. There are two long rows of mature bushes lining the lawn and garden and one single fancy lilac tree next to the back door. The yard is fragrant with them right now, such that I have difficulty tearing myself away when it's time to go to the office. The blooms won't last long. Thank goodness the evenings have been warm enough to open up all the windows and breathe deeply.

This year I didn't get sweetpeas planted. They are another of my favourites so I hope I am able to pick a few in bloom from someone else's patch. They smell divine.

The boys are getting their laundry done in preparation for packing. We'll be heading for Edmonton within the next day or two and they'll spend the month of July with their dad.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Work in Progress

Boys sure know how to make a mess.

They have to keep an eye out for their hammers though, because Puppycakes gets bored with no one to play with.

See that scaffold? It's not very high, but if I had to climb up on it I'd break out in a sweat, and if I had to work on it I'd work with one hand only, as the other hand would be hanging onto something for dear life.

Yesterday Scott and Devon put in a long day and were at it again early this morning. They've got good weather for it— sunshine with breeze, so it's not too hot.

When Devon first came down from the north (Flin Flon area) where they don't have woodticks (yet; we never had them here 40 years ago either), he did quite a bit of that little jig that my sister Joan was doing when she visited. Now he's used to it and takes it in stride; probably because the ticks don't seem to like him anyway. Lucky b__t__d.

Emil is shaving so he can be ready to go with me to the house concert in town this afternoon at three o'clock. I'm going to do some work on the computer and a little kitchen cleanup (neverending) and start a chicken cooking before we leave, so the men will have something ready for supper.

He Who Must Not Be Mentioned on My Blog figures it's time he bought a razor, since his chin is covered with peachfuzz. Cute.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Re-roofing Begins

He looks so sexy when he's working.

What am I talking about...he's always working. And I do find him sexy. (More than you wanted to know, sisters-in-law?)

This morning Scott and Devon started preparing the roof for shingling. They were tearing off the eaves or something when I made a mad dash for Wynyard to pick up a part, before the John Deere dealership closed at noon, for the riding mower.

Was worried I might not make it in time when a local RCMP officer stopped me just north of town to advise detouring around the main street, where the annual country fair parade had just begun. I took the long way through residential streets to the other side of town, and passed groups of people sitting on the grass or parked in lawnchairs in their front yards, waiting for the parade to come by. I waved and smiled royally as I sailed on by.

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Rain, Now Heat - Everything is Growing

We've got bloomage!

I'm about to visit Marilou at her greenhouse down the road and see if she has any portulaca left. The hail pretty much tore mine all up and I doubt it will come back. But I love the bright colours of portulaca and must have some in my garden.

This little one is growing like a weed.

Doesn't she have a pretty face? I don't think she's going to be a small dog either, judging by her paws. Here Chloe lies in the dirt hole left by the back step when it was dragged away from the house. I don't know why the ladder is there because we just use the front door now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cute Calves, Damn Mosquitoes

Cute little jiggers, these twin calves.

It's June 25th, Emil informs me. His teacher and I had a meeting at the school this afternoon and she admits she uses him for a calendar whenever possible, as do I. He's also very handy at telling me how old any of my nieces, nephews, sisters, brother, uncles, aunts or various other people are turning on their birthdays.

His teacher, the best in the west, tells me that when Emil's not at school it's noticed, because he fills up a room. Probably because he's so busy talking to people. Mr Social Butterfly, that boy.

We're getting some heat. The nights, when not windy and cool, are mild and fragrant. Evening-scented stock blooms in the garden outside my window, and the lilac trees have cast their intoxicating aroma upon the warm breezes today. It was hard to tear myself away to come over here to work this morning.

Don't ask me about the mosquitoes. You do not want to know. Little bastards. We're still picking half a dozen ticks off the dogs every day and I'm counting the weeks till tick season supposedly ends. But the mosquitoes— they're even swarming in the middle of a hot, windy day.

Yesterday a female yellow warbler was killed when it slammed into the picture window. Its mate will be doing double time to feed babies, now. An upset and anxious duck woke me at 4 a.m. and was still sqwawking several hours later; something must have been hunting near its nest. That's no surprise, as the cats we took over to the new place after I got the puppy are already fattening up visibly. We feed them dry food of course, but they appear to take their hunting seriously. I hope it's the rodents they're cleaning up on, and not the birds.

Too bad they don't eat mosquitoes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emil, age 21

#1 Son at age 21, with his "Grandpa Benson haircut" for summer.

Emil says "I'm 21. I'm an adult now."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drywall Boy

Scott, having a little refreshment.

I was in town this afternoon for a massage (my turn to be spoiled) and afterward spotted Devon, my fellow "outlaw" (our sweethearts are brother and sister), coming out of the liquor store. So after picking up groceries at the Co-op store I stopped in where the boys are working.

"A ha!" I exclaimed, walking into the house, "so this is what you guys really do all day!"

I stayed long enough to have one beer with them—my limit before driving, and even at that I wonder if I should be getting behind the wheel— and came to the house to deliver the shopping bags and whip up a pot of chili. They were going back to work when I left at nearly 6:00 so they'll be ravenous when they get here.


I recently read The Lincolns, Portrait of a Marriage and have rambled on about it at the Stubblejumpers webpage if you're interested. Link at right.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Northern Lights Frame

Waiting for the northern lights to appear.

I know, I know ... I have to wait for night. This window in the living room faces north and when the northern lights come a-calling, guess who's gonna get a headsup and will know it's time to get outside? Moi! I can hardly wait. Been too long since I've seen the aurora borealis.

This row of mature caragana trees divides the front lawn from the driveway. Right now they are in bloom and buzzing with giant bees, and visited by large yellow butterflies with black borders on their wings.

The lilacs are thinking of blooming, because if they don't get a move on, my flower garden will outshine them. Since the rain, I can almost hear the perennials singing; can almost see them growing. They are as happy as can be. My columbines, a variety of colours, have burst into elegant display across the wide arc of garden, and the oriental poppies, bright orange, have begun to open up one at a time. The painted daisies may be dancing about, by the time I get home this afternoon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Norwegian Whist

An evening's entertainment at the nursing home in Kelvington.

Grandma, on the far left, is playing Norwegian whist with her girlhood friend, Esther, next to her. The lady in the pink sweater is an observer, as was I.

Esther said that it used to be common to get a four-day stretch of rain, but that one never sees that anymore. After the past few days she may be withdrawing that pronouncement. It rained off and on all day yesterday, thundered and rained all night (Casper ripped the screen off the door, trying to get into the house), and is carrying on today. Which is why I'm over here, baking bread. Might as well make hay while the sun shines, or in my case, bake bread while the heavens empty.

The motor for my kneading machine has finally been repaired so it's getting a test run. It saves me huffing and puffing (and giving my pecs a workout) for 15 minutes over a huge hunk of heavy dough comprising 15 cups of whole wheat flour and six cups of oatmeal. I love my kneading machine. In four hours I will be loving fresh, warm oatmeal bread slathered with butter.

Esther reminded Grandma of their schooldays, when together they walked more than three miles to attend the one-room schoolhouse with about 60 other youngsters of all ages. When it was raining, they'd arrive soaked and cold and would stand by a furnace trying to get warm. I asked, "Didn't you take umbrellas to keep dry?" Esther said they wouldn't have been caught dead carrying an umbrella; you had to be tough, in those days.

I can't imagine myself letting my kids out the door in pouring rain to walk three miles without an umbrella. She's right; kids must have been far tougher.


Speaking of kids, Emil turned 21 today. It's still hard to believe that my three-pound baby is now a young man who weighs more than I do. At his request we have a storebought birthday cake and he hopes to go to my sister Karen's this evening to share it with her and Uncle Dick, as Emil calls my brother-in-law. If we can catch them at home and if they're willing. Nothing like waiting till the last minute to plan things, although I ordered the cake on Friday.



Hi Cath,
We've had rain for several days in a row now; thunderstorm so loud and continous last night that old Casper tore the screen off the door, trying to get in. TWO dogs scared shitless of thunder; oh goody. Hope Casper doesn't pass it along to the puppy, who at this point seems to be wondering what all the fuss is about. I need to get to a pet store and buy some kind of sedative to calm these animals when they get into this state of hysteria, before one of them goes into shock and dies on us. Apparently it can happen.
Emil goes to camp on Sunday Aug 16th so that's our night for a sleepover. I haven't booked us a room yet.
I'm over here to bake bread, since it's cooler than we're used to lately. But it's still quite balmy, rain or no rain, and it's thundering again dammit so I suppose I should shut down my computer. I'm about to use the kneading machine but the repair guys didn't fix the break in the electric cord so Scott suggested I wait till he gets back here with some electrical tape. Unfortunately he went to his parents' to put in a load of clothes (told you the washer has been leaking here?) and his sister from Denare Beach is there so obviously he's not hurrying back here, aware that I am w.a.i.t.i.n.g. He's accustomed to making me wait, I guess!
It's Emil's 21st birthday so he likes the idea of me and he being alone here all afternoon, anyway. Still his mama's boy. If he had his way we'd go out for supper and leave Scott and Everett at home. Brat.
Don asked who was with me at the concert; he didn't recognize you. I said I'd tell you that you were looking so much more gorgeous than the first time he met you, if that's possible, that it's understandable he wouldn't be sure who it was. He said yeah, tell you that, and insist that you come out for every house concert from now on. There is one on the 28th, a bluesy band with a female lead. I forget the name at the moment.
Oh here's Scott, will go see if my machine works.
Say hi to Sue-Q for me when you see her,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bare Essentials

Freshly painted cupboards, old windows.

I'm really only half-assed moved over to the new house. I've unpacked my new dishes (when I turned 50 my two sisters spoiled me by gifting a wad of cash, which I used to round out my Princess House collection to my heart's content) and there is only a skeleton kitchen setup, since the stove isn't usable because the electrical outlet isn't ready for it.

I've got an electric kettle, an electric griddle, a plunger-type coffee pot, an electric theatre-popcorn maker and an electric rice/vegetable steamer. Between these and a fridge, what more does a gal really need? I've got two comfy rocking chairs, low to the floor (just the way we average-height women like them), my houseplants, and my bass guitar. I'm as snug as a bug in a rug.

The window to the right of the cupboard in the above photo is the only thing that drives me crazy. When I sit at the kitchen table, the lower window-casing is right at my eye level, so I can't see out. The window that is going in there will be deeper and wider and I can hardly wait. That's the only thing I'm impatient about. Bedframes, couches— who needs 'em? I'm making do just fine. But to be able to see outside when I'm at the kitchen table; that will be a luxury.

It's rainy today so I'm over at the "old" place, baking a giant batch of granola and some chocolate chip banana bran muffins. Gotta use the oven when the weather suits.

On weekdays I come over here to work for several hours and usually pack up another box of dishes and take them back with me. It'll be less to do later on.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The baby is never far from the old one.

In town the other day I was buying a flea and tick collar for the big mutt Casper and decided to get treats for the hounds: a large one for the large one, and a wee one for the wee one. Here they are giving the rawhide bones a gnaw. Doesn't Casper look happy? She's smiling.

None of the tick repellants can be used on a pup that is under three months old, and Chloe is only about 10 weeks, so there was nothing for her and instead I am pulling ticks off with my bare fingertips every day. It is so frigging gross, especially when they're already swollen with blood. But it must be done. The little sweetheart just sits there and lets me do it; she appears to need all the attention and cuddles she can get, as neither Casper nor the cats are letting her snuggle up or play with them. They're still growling and snapping or swiping at her face when she gets too close.

Each day I take my freshly brewed coffee outside to the front step right after doing my Tibetan Rites in the living room. "Good morning, my girls! How's it going?" They mount the steps to be petted and have their ears scratched, and little Chloe puts her head on my lap. She wants to chew my sweater sleeves and bite my fingers with her razor-sharp baby teeth, but is quickly learning what "no" means.

Sometimes the three cats are there, also desiring some human affection, and I am sorely lacking enough hands to satisfy them all. The two year-old kittens have a bad habit of jumping up and digging their claws in; they're learning not to, though. I hope. In the meantime they seem to be excited about all the long grass to hunt in; I've seen two of them eating mice. Ralph, Grandma's big black half-Himalayan that has been with us for three years, has been a bit more scarce. Unfortunately he is a bird-hunting cat that is quite successful, even without front claws.

*** I've always been bored when people ramble on about their pets too often. Now I'm one of those people, eh?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thunder and Lightning, Oh Yeah!

Watching the rain and hail come down, from the bedroom window.

And what a storm it was. Within a half-hour the yard received more than an inch of rain. Hail was the size of marbles and hit the garden so hard that after the first few minutes I, downhearted, couldn't watch anymore. The rain was so heavy that a river rushed through and over my flowers like a raging torrent and I feared they'd be washed away.

This morning I was delighted to discover that damage was minimal. A few annuals are broken and the leaves of some perennials have taken a beating, but overall the plants are looking fairly happy.

The leaves of the three burr oaks next to the front lawn have doubled in size overnight and are a richer green. They took a licking but protected the ferns and hostas beneath them.

Guess I won't have to water for a few days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yesterday Sun, Today Thunder

Yesterday's view from the drive-thru in town, where we celebrated Son #2's raft of recommends.

Today's the last day of school till the end of August.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Little Old Lady from Past Wadena

Go Granny, go Granny, go Granny, go!

Just showing you the deep white crescent under my chin where the sun don't shine. I end up with a pale white patch there, while the rest of my neck and face tans.

When I was a kid, my neck turned almost black, so that Mom would think it was dirty and try to scrub me clean.

Nowadays I cover up and wear a hat, but even the odd 15 minutes in the sun without protection changes my colour pretty fast. It's already begun, and we've hardly had any heat at all before the last couple days. Now it's sweltering and we're crying for rain.

I know, I need to take the camera outside. The above is a webcam photo, all I have.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And We're Off and Running into a New Week

How bad is this? I have to steal a picture from the front of a greeting card. Or maybe it was a magazine.

Quick Notes:
a. I brought Chloe home Friday and as of Saturday morning the old girl Casper did not even think about following the van when I drove out of the yard. Problem solved. Chain may see no action for the next many years.
b. Rosalie you are the second person who has suggested Casper is a Great Pyrenees. Maybe she is crossed with one, as her fur is shorter than what I see in pictures— it sticks up, more like the hair of a husky or shepherd. She also has small dark brown spots on her ears and a curly tail and she's very big-boned. She's also not one of those waggy-tailed friendly dogs if she doesn't know you (and even sometimes when she has met you before). She's standoffish and would (and has, before she came to live here) give me pause if I was thinking about getting out of my vehicle in her yard, with her back-hair up and her looking at you over her shoulder. She's never bitten anyone, to my knowledge, and that's good, but I like this watchdog in her. Especially when I'm staying there alone; not that there's anything to worry about in these parts. After two weeks there I could pretty much be comfortable leaving the doors unlocked all night, although it wouldn't be my habit.

Emil and Everett have just arrived from school so I'll visit with them for a while before heading back "home" where I have had the stupendous good fortune of being able to sleep with the bedroom window open for the past two nights. It's been horribly hot today (not complaining, not complaining) and the sky has just darkened over and a few sprinkles have come down. We need a serious rain.

So far the house at Golden Grain Farm remains cool during the day. Whether that continues once there is more coming and going remains to be seen. Right now it's quiet except for the birds all around the yard and the old dog barking at the young one to tune her in or scare her from Casper's space. Otherwise Chloe would jump on Casper constantly, to play. I haven't turned the radio on once in the two weeks since I started staying there; a rest from news and noise. I could get accustomed to it, though I'd soon miss other bodies in the house. Everett spent the weekend over there with me and it was much appreciated.

He and his classmates made jam at school so he is giving me a sample on toast. Delish.

The boys were over for supper last night but unfortunately the step that had the handrailing has been dragged away from the house, so Emil has to crawl up and down the steps leading to the front door. Hate to see him doing that, at his ripe old age of almost 21, but he's heavy enough now that it's dangerous for me to try to support him as he walks up. We could both end up on the ground.

Yes, he'll be 21 on June 21st. He has only two more days of school for this year. Everett starts exams this week, and is hoping for a couple recommends. I'm glad I don't go to school or take classes anymore. Who has time? Who wants homework, and study? Not this gal.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Starburst Quilt

This handmade quilt was a yard-sale purchase when we spent nearly a year in Kelowna.

Mom nearly had a conniption when I showed her the embroidered dedication on its underside: "To my beloved granddaughter...."

I had asked the seller if she was sure she wanted to part with the quilt, and said that she would regret doing so, one day. She insisted that no, her grandmother gave her quilted items every year.

When I told Mom I thought I'd go back to the house and tell the young woman how to reach me if she ever changed her mind, Mom advised me not to, because "That girl doesn't deserve to have a quilt like this."

Mom knew the hours upon hours of time that went into the making of the quilt, and was incensed that anyone would sell it at all, let alone for $20, which is probably what I paid.

As a bedspread in the master bedroom at Golden Grain Farm, it barely covers the kingsize mattress I had been sleeping on till this weekend, when I ceded the bed to Everett and moved onto a single mattress on the office floor. We'd been considering keeping the kingsize bed in there but this has made me realize that if we did so, I wouldn't be able to use the quilt Mom gave me as a bedspread. So we'll be keeping our queensize.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garden Gnome

He Who Must Not Be Mentioned On My Blog planted his garden last weekend: sunflowers and peas.

Today he'll sow radishes, spinach and green onions, and transplant the lonely canteloupe. He thinks it won't bear fruit without another plant of its own kind though.


Casper didn't even think about following the van when we drove out of the yard a few minutes ago. Looks like the pup for company has done the trick. Fingers crossed.

I put a cardboard box on its side near the house and plumped an old quilted blanket, one used to cover garden vegetables in the fall, inside it, and Chloe was immediately contented and spent the night there. Not far from Casper, but not too close either or Casper growls and barks at her. At first I was a little worried —Casper is scary when she snarls—but she doesn't bite the pup, only gives her fair warning that her chest is not to be jumped upon and her territory is her own.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Coming of Chloe

This is as close as the puppy can get to Casper, so far.

Well, it's her own fault. When we arrived at the farm she herself growled at the big dog first.

What I then had was a baby feeling sorry for herself, howling and whining, and dogging my footsteps. She even yipped and trotted back toward the van, twice, turning to me as if to say "How 'bout taking me back where I came from?"

She's no dummy, but she is younger than I realized because she has been mournfully crying a little.

Karen said that when she and her siblings were picked up, the little girl who lived at their birthplace had names for them all, and this one was Chloe. That seemed a silly name for a dog, but already I find it suits her.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sweet Little Kitten Fish

Cuddles' kittens begin to make their way out into the wide world.

All four of them had their heads in the door opening when I arrived this morning.

Usually I'm almost obsessive about my keys and always check my purse to be sure they're there before I go out and lock the door. Yesterday after working in the garden for an hour-and-a-half I went indoors, got an apple, grabbed my purse off the table and headed for the van after locking the door behind me. Unfortunately the house and van keys were unseen on the table next to my purse rather than inside it.

(Yes, I have had a key made that I could hide in the yard for just such a situation, but the original key is so banged up that the copy wouldn't work in the lock. So much for that plan. We will be changing the doors anyway so I'll just wait.)

Fortunately it was a gorgeous calm day and there were still vegetables and flowers to transplant, so I did that for two-and-a-half more hours until a friend stopped in and gave me a ride over here, where my computer is. I was tired and sore, but had enjoyed sticking those flowers into the ground. That's part of the fun—figuring out where to put them, imagining how they'll look when they bloom, how high they'll get—in a way it's like creating a living painting. You dab the colour onto a certain spot and then the flowers do what they will. They're never exactly the same from year to year. One might almost think the flowers have a mind of their own, but I guess it's the different weather conditions each summer that are partly responsible for the variations.

Tonight Scott and I are off to the community hall to set up for the Grade 12 graduation banquet tomorrow night. Parents of Grade 11's help with the planning and decorating as well as the meal and exercises the next day and the cleanup after the dance, so that the parents of the graduates can relax and celebrate with their kids. Everett, who is in Grade 11, will be working at the banquet tomorrow night.


Alex, I can't watch the Youtube video you left the link to in yesterday's comments, because We.Are.Still.On.Dialup. It would take 45 minutes to download the clip and listen to it. But from what I can see, I agree: The word is the bird.

Update us on your mom's health, would you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Casper Doodle the Dumpling Dog

Can anyone identify this breed?

Miss Casper refuses to remain at Golden Grain Farm when I leave during the day to work at my computer. If I don't let her up into the back seat of my van, she'll walk the mile "home" and then bark to return in the van with me later. Last time she followed me she arrived with a pronounced limp. This morning she waded through a water-filled ditch while I weeded a flower patch at the end of the driveway, so there was no way I was letting her in the vehicle.
Alas, I have to play hardball with her.

She is much more active at Golden Grain Farm than at the old house, where she usually just lies about. At GG Farm she is walking all over the larger, more open yard, exploring or perhaps inspecting. Today she flushed a duck (northern pintail perhaps) from its nest near the wishing well behind her. No hatchlings, just eggs there.

The nest Scott found nearer the water now contains only a couple broken shells. Something must have taken the eggs because the shells from the nine eggs that were there are not around.

There is no owl report from Karen yet today so I offer my own:

At 5:30 yesterday I was standing at the edge of the wet garden, when a small light-brown owl, its body no more than a foot long, made its way past the poplar trees on the south side of our property. It got chased by a small bird or two, or it chased them— I'm not sure who was the aggressor. It floated past the slough and then came past me again and turned back once more to sit on a fencepost, swivelling its head, near the slough. Suddenly it flew up and dove into the long grass beside the water. I thought, "Oh no! I hope it isn't taking baby birds," and watched closely as it came again my way, carrying something in its claws. It flew right over the garden in front of me as if to show off the nice fat mouse it would have for supper in a few moments.
At 9:30 I went out again (the air was totally windless and smelled like heaven; blessed rain) and a small owl with slightly different markings and colouring flew past me a couple times, making me wish I'd taken the binoculars out in order to have a better chance of identifying it. Probably I am seeing a male/female pair hunting to feed their young.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In Keeping With the Bird Theme

Everett holding a hummingbird nest that was found when the raspberry bushes were pruned.

Doesn't he look thrilled? This is his face of choice when anyone looks in his direction lately.

From Karen yesterday:
"The owl seems to be doing o.k., but I don't think he's eaten since I got him. The vet says to feed dog or cat food because he needs the calcium that's in it. He is sitting in a kennel on the table today just to try to get him used to humans, he's still a bit nervous."

The sun's coming out. We've had a grey and rainy couple of days; it smells divine out there. Aunt Shirley says it's not going to freeze again. I want to believe her, and will stick the rest of my bedding plants in the ground as soon as the ground dries up a little.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sister Karen, Rescue Princess of the North

A long-eared owl at my sister's house.

We went to a house concert (transferred to the village hall due to cool rainy weather) yesterday afternoon. The performers were Alison Lickley and Sheena Grobb; fine voices, both.

This morning I received these photos and email from Karen:

"I found the owl on my way out of town. It was caught in a trap so Dick and I removed it but its leg is badly broken so now I have to nurse it back to health...imagine that!"

Knowing you, Karen, that is not remotely difficult to imagine.

My sister's had an extremely soft spot for animals in trouble for as long as I can remember. As well as the above "accidental tourist," she brought back four puppies rescued from the north and has already found homes for a couple; these two are left:
I am tempted by the little sweetheart on the right, but not anxious to raise a puppy, what with all the digging in my flower garden that it might do. I'm thinking an older dog would suit me better.
Unfortunately, our old Casper dog is getting more crippled up every day and I'm starting to worry that she may be suffering.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Let There Be Heat

As well as visiting Mom's grave in the Margo cemetery, Joan, Jordan and I dropped in on other relatives.

Of course none of them were there, but their grave markers were. John and Edna are Dad's parents. Happily, I remember them well, though I was only seven when Grandma died from a heart attack at age 47. Grandpa lived till he was 81. He's the one who taught me as a child to play rummy and whist, and spent many hours playing these card games with me before I reached my teens. What patience he must have had. He kept chocolate ice cream, my favourite, in his deep freeze and was always so good to me. I've been lucky, the family I've had (and have.)


Glory Halleluiah, Golden Grain Farm now has a working furnace and HEAT!
We still need it too. Scott says the thermometer registered 0 degrees at 4:30 this morning.
I was able to have the bedroom window open a crack during the night and the frogs weren't even singing. Too cold.


I was uncovering seedlings and flowers this morning while a male American goldfinch followed me closely all around the garden and talked to me. At one point he nibbled on seed from a dandelion poof on the ground, not three feet from where I stood chatting back to him. Many people mistakenly call these goldfinches 'canaries' because of their bright yellow feathers.


A northern shoveler (duck whose male partner has plumage of similar colour to that of a male mallard) has a nest on the ground between the garden and the slough, or dugout as Scott calls it. When I go near, the female flies into the water and pretends to be injured. No babies yet, just eggs. Scott found the nest last weekend when he discovered himself standing in it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Les Cuz

Emil thinks he and his cousin Marc look alike.

This was taken at my sister Karen's on Saturday. She had a family shindig so that everyone could visit with Joan while she and Jordan were here. We ate like royalty. Grandma was there (wanting to go home an hour after she arrived, but I twisted her arm so she'd stay for supper)(as if she had a choice!) and also our cousin Karla and her family were down from Denare Beach.

Joan cracked us up with her story about the time she was driving along with her friend Brenda and they saw a licence plate bearing the letters SLMDNK.
Joan exclaimed, "Slim Dink! Why would a guy advertise that?"
Brenda cleared it up immediately.
"He's a basketball player; Slam Dunk!"
Our Joanie, a bit of a clown.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Quick 'n Dirty Update

Where have I been? On the go.
Picked up Joan and my niece Jordan in Saskatoon last Thursday.

Some Canadian schoolkids cross the highway through Humboldt.

Got no photo of Joan and Jordan while they were here. What was I thinking?
Went to see niece Danielle in her Grade 12 graduation gown; got snapshot of her with her parents, Karen and Dick.

The leaves are finally out and the horses are in search of green. It looks like summer, but it's not acting like it. We had a freeze several days ago; I lost my basil and peppers. Serves me right for putting them in the ground and not covering them (came home from Saskatoon sick on the day we drove Joan and Jordan to catch their plane, and wasn't up to going over there even though it was damn cold) but it was June already, we had heat, and I couldn't believe it would freeze again.

Scott and his cousin Perry have a quick visit on the road.

This kind of socializing is very common around here. Farmers have been in the fields, seeding, and are in a rush to get everywhere.

I've slept at Golden Grain Farm the last two nights, because I could (even though it is not comfortably warm in the house yet; I wear Mom's heavy green sweater) and because deer ate the tulips. So I take the old dog Casper with me, in hopes that she'll scare the deer off before they do more damage.

I had a reaction to a woodtick bite and am on antibiotics to head off an infection. Will never forget Joan squealing and jigging on Sunday afternoon, scared she had a tick on her -- and she did.

Had two flat tires and a fast leak on my van within two days. Fortunately there was someone there to change the tire both times I was driving, and the day Scott's brother discovered the leak he was in town with the van and able to get the tire patched right away. I've gotta get a new set of four tires ordered and shipped to town here.

That's about it for this update. I come over here to work at my desk on weekdays from 10 to 2:30 and then head back over to GG Farm to hoe and whatnot in the garden. I'm only gradually finding time to tidy up inside the house, which is covered with Scott's tools and construction materials throughout the kitchen and Emil's bedroom, where the fridge and stove are for now.

Local residents, I hope to see you in Margo on Sunday afternoon at the house concert: Alison Lickley and Sheena Grobb. It's at 3 p.m. and there will be signs around town. Bring your lawn chair. Call me for details.