Monday, March 31, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chef Emil

Emil making his breakfast this morning.
Which reminds me: it's suppertime.

We had snow today.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers

On the other hand, if it weren't for Facebook, I may never have seen this:

and it may well make all the scrolling past garbage worthwhile.

Watch all the way to the end; they get very athletic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We are back in the deep dark depths of winter.

I am losing interest in blogging, and in Facebook and Twitter, the latter two being mostly time-wasters anyway, with very little substance. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Mild Mists of March

It won't be long till there are wild birds out there and the frogs will be croaking like crazy. 
From a journal handwritten in 1977 north of Arcola, Sask.:

“December Fifteenth.
Walking in the hills, an entire network of paths; they are always on the move. Coyote tracks, fox, rabbit turds, elk shit, squirrel tracks – enchanting… until I thought ‘They’re following each other around…’ "

2:39 p.m.

I am making a big pot of fagioli soup and does it ever smell good, reading Uncle Carl’s manuscript (more than two-thirds through; just finished chapter 42) a second time, sipping on a tea made with spearmint leaves, raspberry leaves, rosehips and a pinch of commercial blueberry tea.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On My Walk

These unused granaries are in a field north of our place. I see them from the road. Never walked in there, though drove past from the other side one day last fall after helping herd some cattle. 

We had a week of melty dripping balmy watery spring weather. Fabulous.
Then we had a weekend of winter days again, and apparently there was complaining.

I hear there is at least one duck back.
And today on the way home we saw a pair of Canada geese.

These things make us happy. All of us.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shortest Walk Ever

At 8:10 a.m. I put on my boots and parka and yes, ski pants, and went outside. Scott hoped to be picking me up at quarter-after so he could be on the job in town at 8:30, and I had to fill the bird feeders first. When his half-ton didn't appear as expected, I walked to the road and back about six times for something to do and for the sake of walking. The dog got bored and waited for me in the middle of the driveway. 

Next thing I knew, it was 3 o'clock, I was at my desk at the office, and it was almost time to come home again. My kinda day.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Four Deer in Jenna's Headlights

Click photo to enlarge

The deer have just stepped out of the bush, crossed the snow-filled ditch, and will turn and trot south to the end of the road. Jenna and I will turn back the other way and head for home.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Office

On mornings I walk to work, I sometimes enter through the front door. 
This painting on the south side of the building is of a cattle drive at Wadena in 1901.

The streets and everywhere you walk are terribly, terribly icy. I could have skated to the office if the ice wasn't so lumpy. The above photo was taken later in the day, when ice on the sidewalk had melted. It really did feel like spring for a while there. Water dripping noisily from roofs and eaves. Jacket open, no gloves, but the wind still blew and you needed to cover your head. After dark the breeze must have slept, and making my way through the streets was relaxed and slow instead of crisp and hurried. A welcome change. Unexpectedly a relief.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Twisted Teapot

image from the web

"The trouble with you staying here on Thursday nights," says my son Everett to me, "is that we stay up too late."

We'd been talking and laughing for hours, and neither of us wanted to call it a night, but it was a "school night" after all, and so around 11:30 we wrapped it up. He ascended to his mattress on the floor upstairs, and I stretched out on the mattress on the living room floor. The lad still doesn't have his house set up in any manner I find comfortable, but he's content and that's what matters.

Yesterday he got a haircut and had his ugly beard shaved off, and now he is a babyface again.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flower Gown

Image from Web; click to enlarge.
We all need a little inspiration.
I put a few seeds into pots this past weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Someone unplugged the Deep Freeze

A most beautiful day, when tea on the back step was called for. 

I had been to town in the morning so Everett would have the car for his driving test. He passed it, and I hopped into Little Green and toodled back on home.

I turned north down the sunny pavement with water laying all over it, and drove like a little old granny through the shiny melty land.

Look at that snow go!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kathy's Roof

Scott swept the snow from the roof on a lovely spring day.
It's snowman-making weather.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wadena of a Morning

It's a 10-minute walk from Everett's place to the news office.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday Already

Faerie door, image from the web
We all have 'em, right? Those dreams wherein you have murdered someone years ago and they are buried underneath a floor somewhere and you shudder to imagine what will happen if they are ever discovered.

When awakening from this dream I have to think about it for more than a few seconds to reassure myself that I have never murdered anyone.

Perhaps I had this dream again last night because of some office talk about Brian Dennehy, the actor who played serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who buried his victims in his basement. Dennehy's portrayal was so chilling that I can't see the actor without remembering it. He scares me.


Here. Have a happier memory:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All too soon it will be gone

Click to enlarge.

I never get tired of snow sculpture. Or should it be called wind sculpture.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Driving Practice

Turning onto mainstreet Wadena

It's coming down to the crunch. My 21-yr-old son has to get his licence, or he stands to lose his job.
He has put it off, put it off, put it off, until now ...
And so, I drove into town on Sunday and sat in the passenger's seat while he drove around for three hours.
I drove in again yesterday after he got off work, and made him drive for an hour.
And will do the same tonight after the News office closes.

He bitches about it. He doesn't want to. It's so boring. He's got better things to do. And so on.

I say, "You think this is my preferred method of spending time?"

Finally he gets it. This is not for my benefit, but for his.

Okay, maybe it IS for me. After all, do I really want him to lose his job and move back in with me?

Love him dearly, but it's best when he's in his own house.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Alisa Burke's Studio

These may be just the ticket for the recycling that clutters up my dwelling before it is taken to the depot.

Is there anything Alisa Burke can't do?

She must be the most fun parent, ever.

Now, I just need ...

* canvas (bet there's a potato sack around here somewhere)
* paint (what kind?)
* brush
* person who sews

What makes the bag hold its shape around the top? A certain stiffness of canvas?

Is there a paint that is washable?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Careful how you place that postage stamp

Click HERE to read a review at the Washington Post.

From To the Letter; a Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing, by Simon Garfield:

In 1938, what may be the most useful manual of all was published in Shanghai. Written by Chen Kwan Yi and Whang Shih, Key to English Letter Writing was a guide that served double duty: it taught the Chinese how to compose personal and business letters in slightly creaky English, and it provided its English readers with invaluable insight into personal and corporate Chinese customs we may not have otherwise been aware of. Unlike Anglo-American guides, these letter templates did not usually concern misfiring sons and their long-suffering fathers, or how best to address a duchess. Instead, the examples were both more mundane and, conceptually, more profound.

Upside down, top right corner = Write no more.
Upside down in line with surname = I am engaged.
Centred on right edge = Write immediately!
At right angle, top left corner = I hate you.

 The stamp-tilting tradition is maintained today in situations where mail is subject to external scrutiny and censorship, in particular in prisons and in the military.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tickle Me Ivy

What? Can't a gal have a fabulously relaxing day?
This one is.
It is super cold out there, 40 or 50 below, but through the window? Bright and crisp and sparkling.