Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gorgeous Day

Looking north from the end of our driveway. Yes, some people can combine.

Looking across the road.

Looking south. My usual route for walking.

Looking up, my first sighting of a bald eagle this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heron in Tree

Usually we see the great blue heron either standing on its flamingo legs in a slough, or flapping slowly away, as herons are shy birds. When I startled this one it flew off and landed in a tree, something I've never seen before.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Good Time Was Had

Flooded land on both sides of the highway on my way to the WomenOnlyWeekend.

There are so many dead trees out in the water that it's almost eerie driving past.

Gals chit-chattin on the first night.

Our host hosted a house concert; these two gals from Vancouver have been touring Western Canada and stopped in to give us a show in the sunroom.

Sara Ciantar and Hilary Grist are their names, should you care to check out their music. We were a small audience, only eight or so, but we bought up lots of their CDs so we assume they went away happy. We certainly enjoyed their show, those talented girly-sues.

This was the weekend of the pumpkin fest in the hamlet we were in, so there was a parade — one horse-drawn cart that gave rides that passed by the sunroom during the concert.

While the travelling minstrels packed up, they were serenaded by the house band.

And on Saturday night, there were fireworks so we strolled over to the community centre and enjoyed the show.

Of course we had shooters.

And representing the canine contingent was Ebony, the one-eyed wonder:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog of Note Today

Wooden glasses. Picked up at a garage sale.


Life at Golden Grain Farm is mentioned on the Words of Wisdom webpage (thank you kindly, folks) and I’ve been asked to link to three entries that I consider my best. Heh! Easier said than done, as my entries don’t adhere to themes nor are they given much more thought than what it takes to dash ‘em off and be done with 'em. For readers visiting this page for the first time, I’ve simply chosen three entries that might give a taste of what you’ll find here and that didn't require me to read too far back:

Sneaky Bugger, in which my sweetheart pulls a fast one.

The Corn is as High as an Elephant’s Eye, in which, in spite of loss and change, life seems pretty good.

White Knucklin’, in which I take a drive with Everett, age 17, and offer a glimpse of son Emil, age 21.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Various and Sundry

This ladyhead vase belonged to Aunt Jean, who would be 95 or 96 if she was still living.

I have other treasures to remind me of Aunt Jean, too. I'll show them to you as time permits. Grandma, her youngest sister, remains the last of Aunt Jean's immediate family alive today.

Aunt Jean followed Mom to wherever it is we go when we die, just months after Mom's death in 2005, but not before leaving me her photo albums and a scrapbook made by my great-grandmother, who collected songs, poems and stories published in newspapers of her day, cut out graphics from greeting cards (I assume that's where she got them), and glued them into a scrapbook with wooden front and back covers. It appears that I come honestly by my propensity to save paper and graphics of all sorts and to collage with them or paste them into journals and onto book covers, or just tuck them between the pages of my handwritten notebooks.


I've been reading the Jane Austen mystery series, written by Stephanie Barron. She's written fictional whodunits starring Jane Austen as the sleuth, using facts from Austen's history and times. They are a pleasure to read, particularly since Austen died young and a good many of her personal papers were destroyed by a trusted sister after her death. These mysteries, written in the first person, allow the reader to imagine a deeper look into Austen's personal life, though they are only stories of Barron's wild imagining. Mostly I enjoy them because I love the English manners of Austen's social class: the sophistication with which the characters structure their conversations, and the conventions and niceties that were such a part of how they lived. Must be some of Grandma's English ancestry bleeding through or something.

In the books there are numerous footnotes explaining words and phrases that were in common usage in the early 19th century, but there are also words that I have to look up in my Canadian Oxford Dictionary. For instance, a rest or a certain treatment might "dispel a fit of the megrims" -- megrim being a migraine, or a whim or fancy, or depression and low spirits. Someone might be told "Don't preach fustian," fustian meaning turgid speech or writing; bombast.

Never hurts to learn something new every day. Eh? When I read the characters' words, I realize how paltry my own vocabulary is.


Tomorrow I'm off to spend the weekend with some women friends. There will be fire, food, song and lots of laughing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pitcher Collection

Grandma Benson collected pitchers and these are among several that now grace my china cabinet.

I might as well start showing off some of the family heirlooms that have been passed on to me. Now if only I can figure out how to take a close-up that displays them to advantage.

The sun is shining here today. I wonder if it will last long enough for me to get some clothes on and get out for a walk. We haven't had more than three weeks of summer weather this year, and never more than a couple days of warmth in a row, so now that the forecast is for some fall heat I've got my fingers crossed. The weather man says that October will be dry, which means that just maybe we can leave our wet basements (still have the old house to look after, too) and get out to Kelowna for a visit before snowfall, without worrying about a pump failing in our absence. Maybe. At this point it doesn't look promising; I may have to leave Scottie at home to hold down the fort. Which would be too bad, as he's the one who needs a holiday the most.

He's just phoned home with a request that I make some lunch for him and his cousin Perry, so I'll have to get out of this chair and come up with something. And hope that the sun is still out there by the time I'm through.

There's a young gal coming to do some housecleaning for us this afternoon — yay, I finally found someone who wants to come on a regular basis and knows what she's doing! She's agreed to give me two hours every two weeks, which I pay for without blinking an eye because she does the jobs that I always notice need to be done and never get around to doing -- the bathroom, and washing the floors. I have lived in this house for a year now -- eight months with the kitchen flooring in -- and never mopped the floor, just spot-wiped it. And you don't even want to know what shape the toilet could get into. So I will sit here at my desk while she's scrubbing and I will work for two hours doing a job I like, earning more per hour than I will be paying her to do a job I do not like. Makes sense to me, though most women in my income bracket would never allow themselves this luxury.

To me, it's worth every cent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Who Cook

Sunflower sourdough bagels.

So tasty you can eat them with nothing on them. Not even butter.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seen at My House


And out.

We've had a serious freeze, but a few things keep on blooming. Flocks of snow geese are floating overhead, though I haven't spotted the usual influx of American hunters in town yet.

I've had a last-minute supper invitation so will roust myself from this chair, which I've been in most of the day (work work work), and head off into the wild blue yonder.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Scott-heavy Entry

Rick and Scott. Everett added the cartoon captions.

Scott's birthday.
check ~ (text "Love me like there's no tomorrow ... because tomorrow you might do something that really pisses me off.")
1) wallet ~ ("Will this," he says, grinning, holding up his bulging old wallet in one hand and the new one in the other, "fit into this?")
2) gauch ~ "How big do you think I am?" (I bought Large when apparently they should be Medium. I think everything shrinks.)
3) two packs of Fisherman's Friend lozenges ~ ("Did you know I still have a bunch of these at the other house?" I throw some in with every gift; guess he's set for the rest of the year.)
And the poor lad isn't even getting a cake. We're still working on a pan of brownies Everett made the other day, and the birthday boy isn't feeling so good and hasn't made his request.

Let's see, can I get away with posting this one of Scott and his cousin Perry on their way to work?


Bagels are in the oven, smelling divine. It's great, having Everett home. Too bad he can't stay forever. What's the cutoff date, again?

He and I are off to Humboldt tomorrow, where he will spend the day with a career counselor, trying to figure out what direction to go in now that he's through high school. I hope to spend some time with my friend Joanne, do a little shopping, and maybe wander through the town’s excellent museum. After all, I’ll have the whole day to fill and, as I have no laptop, can't take my work with me.
And Humboldt has a Nutters' store, which means I should be able to buy some fresh organic whole wheat flour and bags of sunflower and sesame seeds and peanuts and raisins and coconut and oatmeal and other things we'll absolutely need the moment I spot them. I usually come out of there with about $200 worth of foodstuff. Healthy foodstuff.


To those on my notify list: the mention on the Words of Wisdom blog is next Friday, not tomorrow. Oops. Meanwhile, if you'd care to visit their site, click here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In Flux

The four seasons.

We are still moving, and still unpacking.
The basement is to be torn apart and fixed, so we were given warning that demolition was about to begin. Everett needed to shift his belongings upstairs. So I needed to empty the upstairs bedroom closet, which held the guts of my china cabinet. Some of them were wrapped in these place mats Mom made many years ago and gave to her aunt Jean. Before that they'd been taken out of circulation due to the certain knowledge that, used on the kitchen table, they would end up stained. I knew that would happen, but wanted them out where I could see them. Thus they're already a little discoloured in places, but oh well. So now here they are, on the wall outside the office door.

Other treasures were unwrapped and set out to await their destined display:

And finally yesterday the He-men hoisted the china cabinet over here for me:

Yes that really is a phone with a cord. When's the last time you saw such a thing? Apparently every household needs one, because cordless phones don't work during a power outage.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Off Toward the Sunset

Church at Hendon, Saskatchewan

The first thing I did when I turned 16 was take my driver's test. I could not wait to be behind the wheel and out of the farmyard.
Most of my friends were exactly that way. My son Everett is the opposite. He could not care less about having the freedom to drive off whenever he chooses. He's happy to stay home, apparently. Where does he get this from? I understand it at my age -- I've turned into a homebody -- but when I was 17 every place looked better than home, for some reason. And there really was no reason, as I was raised in a happy home (except for all the unhappiness I myself caused by being such a snooty kid)(thank goodness I don't have one of those; my karma really is better than I deserve).
So now I insist that Everett and I go for a drive every day, in spite of his apathetic objections. He needs to build his confidence; his stopping, starting and turning are still jerky as hell. We don't always have a destination in mind, and sometimes just head off to wherever we end up. One evening we came off a gravel road and onto the highway near the tiny village or hamlet of Hendon.
He sat in the vehicle while I toured the miniature graveyard. As a child I found cemeteries scary places and wondered how anyone could live next to one; now they are not only comforting to me, but fascinating, and I'd jump at the opportunity to have one for a close neighbour; the words written on tombstones are tragic sometimes, and sad, but also a testament to love and memory.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Can't Complain About the Rain

The Wadena Bakery.

Karen and I met here while she was in town running errands. She's gotten her little hands on an old church bell and is having it refinished to hang above the entry of the new house she and her husband Dick are building.

It was pouring rain yesterday and hasn't let up much.


Gotta go apply pressure to Scott's neck. At his request! don't worry!


Happy Birthday, Bummie!!!!
(Baby Brother turns what ...45?)


Check out Doc Maclean's tour blog -- he's just gotten on the road in his big ol' Lincoln and is an excellent storyteller and writer. Click here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

By My Friend, Julie Paquette

Let’s speak

of the joy of being a mother,
of how we were all about ourselves,
but now we love to feed others,
having become Love.

Let’s speak
of the pain of being a mother,
when our babies come home crying
at whatever age,
torn by the callous disregard
of other people.

Let’s speak openly
of the refining of the human heart
when it’s cut, burned, and twisted,
Its pieces planted skyward as a path of stars,
guiding the heartbroken
through the dark.

Let’s be perfectly clear
that the giving of life
through the womb
knits an umbilical cord
joining us to every other living being.

Pain is the lining of the silk purse of love--
Consider that when you deposit your coin.
And oh, how it burns
When the silk purse turns inside out,
our hearts on the outside--
Like in those old Jesus pictures
A heart bleeding and stabbed with arrows
Yet radiantly alive

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Unusual Hive

These bees (I couldn't get closer without high rubber boots, but that's what I guess they are) are swarming a fencepost at the corner. I've never seen them do this before.

Somehow wasps have managed to build a giant hive right under our noses, about 15 feet from the doorstep, without our noticing. They're not bothering anyone but maybe it's not safe to let them remain, either.

Another grey, wet day. Some local fields have been swathed, but that's about as far as things have gotten lately. I talked to a fellow in the credit union the other day who said he'd been out on his combine around Kelvington. So there remains some hope.

I'm expecting a friend for a card reading any moment so must away ....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Empty Old Bedroom

This is as maudlin as I am going to get.

Everett and I stopped in at Emil's new home yesterday after supper, with things for his new bedroom wall: a whack of plastic hangers, a laundry bag (full of his dirty laundry; god I'm rotten. he will do it himself mind you), and two bags of BC peaches and cherries for the kitchen.

He was spooning out the last of a big bowl of jello, and had been talking the ear off the group-home supervisor. The news he was most excited about was that the house has two showers and so he's been able to shower. We only have a tub on the main floor of our house, and an improper handrail to get to the shower in the basement, so he hasn't been able to use it.

One of Emil's favourite excursions is a trip to the Co-op store, where he can walk the aisles in hopes of running into someone he knows. We were headed there for a few things but he didn't want to come along, since I intended to pick up "only about three things." We wouldn't be there nearly long enough for him, apparently.

It's more likely that he was tuckered out after his first two days of full-time work.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Still Bloomin'

Gorgeous day.
No one wants to be indoors. Warm, calm, sunny heaven.
Everett is raking. I’ve been out pulling weeds, pinching off sweetpeas in bloom; in washing up and dressing (why does this take more than 30 seconds? I'm sick of it; must relax, slow down and enjoy looking after my body), reading email, doing a bit of computer work. Gorgeous day.
Friday, which always makes me want to slack off and play tourist or something. Drive to town for an ice cream. See if there's a garage sale (bet there won't even be one, this weekend).
Best drop in on Emil today; make sure all is going well. I've remade his bed with a quilt Mom made, and am reminded every time I walk by that he is not here. You'd think it was the first time he hasn't been here for a few days or something. What a drama queen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quick 'n' Dirty

All Emil's worldly goods were loaded up yesterday for his move into a group home in town.

He seemed thrilled to finally be there to stay. Here he bids us adieu from the front step.

On Sunday we drove to Kelvington to visit Grandma. On the way we surprised a coyote pup playing on the road. It started, seemed to be about to play with us, then thought better of it and ran into the ditch and peered out through the long grass. By the time I got the camera ready, it had taken off.

In recent months Grandma's taken to lying on her bed a lot, and saying nothing unless she is addressed directly. I swear this time I heard her snore at least twice. Sleeping with her eyes open?
At the end of her hallway these alpacas were trying to see in the windows:

After leaving the lodge we discovered a flat tire. Fortunately the CAA man hadn't put his ribs on the barbecue yet, so he answered our call within a half hour. I had been considering letting my roadside assistance membership lapse, but now I'm thinking -- who else could I have called that would have dropped everything to change my tire in the mud?
I'm glad he was at my service, anyway. He damn near died getting the bolts off; I wouldn't have been able to do it.

I went for a walk with the dogs last night. Wondered why the two old girls were slower than usual; forgot I'd doped them up earlier because it was thundering. We've had more rain. Neverending rain. I haven't had to water my flower garden once this year. Just the pots, and even those not often.
The leaves have begun to turn and drop, overnight.
These are the cattle keeping the pasture around our house shorn. Who says cows aren't pretty? Look at the light-coloured one and tell me that isn't a pretty face:

I make Everett take me for a drive every day. He needs to practise if he hopes to get his licence. Apparently he couldn't care less, but I do.
This hawk was particularly bold, flying up off the road and watching us from a tree nearby. When we got home, Scott described the unusual behaviour of a hawk in the same location, so I guess we all saw him. Our guess is that he's a ferruginous hawk; at least, that's the closest thing to him in our bird book.