Monday, June 14, 2010

The Usual Stuff

Minatory: threatening, menacing
Attaché: a person appointed to an ambassador’s staff, usually with a special sphere of activity (also, an attaché case)
Febrile: of or relating to fever; feverish; 2. Nervous or excited, as if by fever
Quinquaginarian: someone in their fifties
Valetudinarian: an invalid or someone always ill

Who’da thunk I didn’t know all these words? The second, I assumed I knew the meaning of, but didn’t. Have been reading a biography of Pauline, the sister of Napoleon, and coming across words I’m not sure of. I love my dictionary. Thanks Joan! One of the best gifts, ever: The Canadian Oxford. I've nearly worn it out. It sits right here on my desk, within easy reach. While reading this biography the other night I kept having to get out of bed and come to the office because there's not enough room on the night table for this heavy tome.

Slept in a bit, but Leonard (Paulson) called for Scott, hoping to borrow a brad nailer, so I’m up and in Mom’s housecoat for warmth. Went out to the step to drink my coffee since it’s sunny, but alas the wind is cool and the step is shady, so I’ve retreated to the office.

Got most of my bedding plants into the ground yesterday. Just a few more to do, with luck tonight. Rain was forecast for tomorrow, dammit. There is still water coming into the basement here although Scott thinks it’s stopped over at the other place. People are having the same problems all around the countryside; this area has been declared a disaster zone due to the water. Also, Karen's husband and son bought a septic-tank-cleaning truck for their lake development and were immediately put to work day and night due to the town of Wadena (and Foam Lake as well, if I'm remembering correctly) not being able to handle all the water. Word was that everyone in town might soon have sewer backup in their basements. Oh, the calamity. My fingers are crossed that doesn't happen. Here, at least it's only water. That other must be terrible.

Saw a beaver in the slough behind the house yesterday, for the second time. Oh oh. If trees start going down, we’ll have to kill it somehow or risk losing our shelterbelt on the south side of the yard. Apparently Violet, the lady of the house before me, shot the last one that was spotted here. I can't see myself out on the deck with a rifle, but ya never know! With luck the water out here is deep enough that the beaver won't feel the need to dam it up. A pair of red-winged blackbirds was making a hell of a fuss at the edge of the water, which is what made me pay closer attention to what was happening over there.

Also, a deer has left its tracks in the garden and its mark on my flowers. It ate the tops of my painted daisies. So much for my guard dog! Scott said he saw a deer come out of the south driveway one day last week and I think I was even out in the yard at the time.

Rick came over yesterday afternoon and he and Scott moved the extremely heavy doghouse to the south side of the house; closer to the garden, and closer to the house so Casper’s more likely to use it. Now she mostly lies under the caraganas on the north edge of the lawn, in the shade. I left Aunt Jean’s little battery-operated radio on in the garden beneath an upside-down pot next to a daylily. Hope it keeps the deer away.

Dad came over Saturday for supper and spent a few hours at the kitchen table visiting with us. He could hardly wait to leave for Kelowna today. Most of his friends are busy working and what’s he supposed to do with himself? I know that feeling of wanting to be home, doing my own thing. Guess I come by it honestly enough; I feel it myself anytime I'm away for more than a day.

Well, office hours have begun so I'd best get to work.


  1. Goodness I hope the weather does improve for you. There's been much info about in on the national news. Wish I could tell you the weather was better here, but it wet as well. The humidity factor is back big time. I don't mind heat, but can't stand humitidy. Lets hope things pick for us weather wise afterall our short summer is almost here.

  2. Ah, the dictionary. I grew up thinking I was not the brightest light because I didn't know the meaning of so many words. I felt one was born to language -- you understood it or you were dumb. Well, lo, the dictionary and all its treasures. And now I know more words than I know what to do with. Huh. (thanks for the news ones -- only knew febrile and attaché)

    As for the weather, sounds challenging. Fingers crossed for all our dear farmers.


  3. A lot of times I grasp the general meaning of a word by the ones around it, and am too lazy to go look it up. But my boys keep asking me for definitions and I realize these words are more specific and more interesting than I was giving them credit for, sometimes. And me an avid reader and writer, and working as an editor! Tsk. Too many words, too little time.

  4. Wow I'm a quinquaginarian! Watch jaws drop when I pop that into a conversation. Golly it's tough trying to work out how to share the world with the wildlife, isn't it? Deer here are feral and thus a pest to be removed, but I've only ever seen beavers in documentaries and they look fabulous, so my reaction was - eek don't shoot the beaver! I can imagine if they are felling trees to make a dam that's not an easy thing to live with. Hope it works out well.

  5. another eclectic post. I like thinking of you with your coffee and your housecoat contemplating the demise of wildlife.

  6. I love my Canadian Oxford too!


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