Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Like Spring

Through the bedroom window

Apparently the prudent thing to do is to move the snow away from the house, particularly since it's begun to melt. The sun's shining and oh, if winter could only be mild like this for the next six months... mind you, winter whips by quickly nowadays, as does all time.

This morning I awoke from a nightmare: we were buying a house in a city; one that also needed renovations, like the house we're in right now. What a relief to find it was only a dream! And I'm not just talking about the renovations. Cities are places we go for medical appointments with specialists or to purchase goods we can't buy out here, and to visit loved ones who live and work in cities, but the thought of spending any length of time in an urban environment or even a small town is a stomach-turning idea for both of us. We like our space, and lots of it. One day the large yard/lawn to mow may be too much for us and we may not be able to drive, so living in town will look more attractive. But with luck that's a couple decades away.


A reader recently informed me that when she tried to leave a comment, Google responded with the message that she was to "go away" and that she would be reported for "abuse" if she tried again to comment. Thanks for letting me know, Marion. I have no idea what this is all about and have posted a question about it on a user forum, but received no responses as yet. If anyone has info to share, or if this has happened to you, please do speak up.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Looks like winter to me.

And there's more of the white stuff coming down, too.
The trip to Kelowna has been postponed for various reasons, mostly to do with the weather. If this snow melts as predicted and water starts coming into the basement again and the pump down there malfunctions or the pump freezes in the lagoon and that backs up and Everett has to handle it ... and he doesn't know how ... we would be kicking ourselves for leaving.
Ah well. Another week to work ahead so there's less crimp in my cash flow when I'm away. That's smarter anyway.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Keeping warm

The wind howled and stormed so hard last night that I lay awake till 3:30, anxious. Even Ducky awoke, came barking out of his traveling crate in the closet near the foot of our bed, and pawed at the side of the mattress to get my attention. I sat up, gave him a cuddle, took a walk around the house (inside of course) and looked out all the windows to make sure half the yard hadn’t blown away. Fortunately the yard light makes everything visible at night, and it didn’t look half as bad out there as it sounded indoors. Once back in bed, I realized there was no use trying to sleep, because I was hungry. It never fails that if I’m awake at 3 a.m. I find myself hungry. So I got up and ate some granola while looking for something to watch on TV at that time of night. So much for having a hundred channels; nothing much could be found. I caught the last few minutes of a Ron James comedy show before going back to bed. It was 4 before I finally fell asleep.
And yes, there are snowdrifts around the yard. Some of them four feet high. Or deep.

Wed 24 Nov 1997
6:52a.m., from an old handwritten journal, when Everett was five years old:
Still in bed. Have to get up and help Emil dress in eight minutes. Everett’s beside me, pissed off because he can’t get married yet and have a wedding. And he asked me how babies are made (and I gave him an introductory explanation) because he is definite about wanting to be a poppa when he grows up… He got his 8”x10” school picture yesterday and was excited enough to show it around the class (the aide told me) and then all around the café where I took the boys for lunch. “I’m handsome, right?”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning Would...Be Winter

Through the kitchen window
Yesterday's rain turned into blowing snow before I hit the hay last night, and shows no sign of letting up. It'll be a cosy indoor day for some of us. I'll be working here at the computer, and Everett will make bagels. Scott's gone off to do something he shouldn't instead of something he should (heh! that's my opinion) and Emil, who called last night and said he'd walked to his job in the rain yesterday because the handi-van is broken down, will have walked the block this morning through the snow without winter boots on and is probably sitting at his work station with wet shoes right this moment.

This will melt, I'm sure. Although I do remember Halloweens in my teen years when the ditches were full of snow that wasn't going anywhere. I remember because I slogged through snow up to my thighs to escape an irate homeowner whose house we'd just toilet-papered. He thought we'd done worse, but hadn't stopped to find out before starting his chase. He didn't catch us, either. (For those from Margo: It was Elmer who ran hollering after Kim and I, not knowing who he was after: "You rotten little bastards!"); we'd also taped photos of naked women, torn from magazines, onto his and Grandpa's windows. Oh we were evil tricksters. No soap for we two!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Calendar Boy

Spirit of Endurance

This photo, taken by Scott, was chosen to go into the local credit union calendar for 2011. Yeah! They even sent him a cheque. Can't beat that.

I've done nothing but work all day. Work work work. No play. It's been raining; I haven't so much as poked my nose out the door. Shame on me.

It's probably time to get my butt out of this chair.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

End of Weekend

 You'd never know, to look at me.

That I've had a couple paralysers and a couple sambuca shooters, that is. Less than half the dosage my lushy friends imbibed. I'm so pure. Heh. Faye thinks I'll have a headache in the morning. We'll see. We had a fantastic supper and I was careful to sip. Should be all right.

We were home by 9:30, since some of us (not me! hee!) have to get up and go to work in the morning. Scott's snoring out on the couch already, with Ducky lying on his legs, and I'm waiting up till 11, when Weeds comes on. I like that show because it always surprises me. In other words, I couldn't write it better myself, as I believe I could half the series that come on TV. What a lot of garbage there is! Eh?

It's raining, and winter is coming, and none of it is half bad. Smells great. I think I smell winter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Scott had a visit from his old friend, Bud Bridal.
Deep-fried a little bread dough to make "scons" like Mom used to do. Everett loved them.
Picking up the leaves

After talking to my aunt Shirley, quilter extraordinaire, I took my quilt out of the bag

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last shingling job of the year

I keep telling Scott he's getting too old to be up on roofs and ladders. But damn, he does look good up there.
-Moi, fanning self

And then there's Gordon Pinsent on This Hour Has 22 Minutes:
Click here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Anglican Church

Wadena's Anglican church from the stage

Another photo lifted from Doc MacLean's webpage, which he has recently updated with snapshots taken on his cross-country jaunt.
We keep forgetting, when we attend concerts in this church, to take along some cushions for our butts. Those pews are not remotely comfortable.
But the acoustics in there ... nice. No sound system required.


Just got a call from Scott, requesting that I join him in town for lunch. What he really wants is his receipt book so he can bill a client for completed work, but I'm to be rewarded for taking it in.


Reply to Comments
Things are looking up in the group home where Emil lives. He is no longer talking about moving home, as the problem they were dealing with seems to have been solved. As a matter of fact, I can't (without applying pressure; but why do that) get Emil to come home here for even an hour on a weekend afternoon; he prefers to be there. He doesn't want to miss anything. Although when his dad, Gord, was out last weekend for a visit, Emil came here with him a couple times and stayed several hours and said "You're happy I came to visit, right Mom?"
I spoke to a new grouphome supervisor by phone last night, while Emil was gone bowling. She said "He is sweet." How fortunate we are that he weasels his way into the hearts of everyone who works with him.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back in Time

Emil at Bug World at the Provincial Museum in Edmonton, 1997

From my handwritten journal Oct15, 7:30 a.m., 1997:
Just listening to the kitchen chair scrape the floor for one full minute as Emil struggles to situate it perfectly so he can get into it. Positioning himself in a chair is something he has to work at, not like the rest of us, who manoeuvre without thinking.
It’s an everyday, every-meal occurrence around here. My little boy works to do things for himself, he doesn’t complain, he rarely asks for help. He takes his time, eating, washing, dressing.
I wish life could be easier for him, that he didn’t have to work so damn hard at every little thing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Like Mondays Just Fine

Red Rose tea with last fall's rosehips

     Midafternoon tea. Ahhhh... make a habit of it, if you don't already.
     Another sunny day but cool. Frost has finally gotten all the sunflowers that volunteered themselves beneath the oak trees, due to the bird feeder.
    Scott and I are getting closer to making a travel plan. It's almost impossible for him to get away, but I’m putting the screws to him  – I have to know one way or another so I can organize myself for the big trek out west. Fall is the time to visit Kelowna (if you don't like excessive heat, heavy traffic, or snowy mountain roads), so we need to get a move on.
    Last night in bed I read for a while and then put out the light and laid my head on my pillow with the moonlight streaming through the window, onto my face. So peaceful and lovely. I don’t know what thought got me started, or even if there was one (must have been), but I had an intensely sorrowful though brief cry because Mom is gone.
   This is relatively rare and always surprises me, because I haven't seen Mom for FIVE YEARS. I've been expecting to feel the pain of her death only on a more shallow level as the time goes by. But while time may heal the pain of loss in some ways, occasionally it doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things in Trees

Home for a Bird
Finally I found a place to put this thing!

Trusty birdfeeder

Milk-cow owners who couldn't afford a fancy cream separator would pour fresh milk into this pail and in the morning the cream would be sunk to the bottom and would be drained off via the spout.

As you will see from the comments, my mistaken notion that cream is heavier than milk has been corrected. The caption beneath the pail above is a perfect example of my apparently skewed logic, which still doesn't allow me to believe that cream is lighter than milk or, for instance, that buttermilk is less fatty than milk. And yet -- cream rises to the top, so it must be lighter even though it looks thicker and heavier, as does buttermilk. I've never been able to make sense of it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

He Makes Me Laugh

Scott cuddles the baby

Ask any woman what she looks for in a man, and I can almost guarantee that in the top 3 qualities she lists you will find "A sense of humour." Apparently we women expect the poor fellows to entertain us as well as admire and cuddle us, empty the mousetraps and take out the garbage.

Last night our friends Faye and Rick came over for a few drinks and Faye was goodheartedly teasing her husband about the state of his eyes when he's "indulged" a little too much. She pointed out that one eye then appears twice the size of the other.

Scott quipped, "When your eyes look like that, Rick, it means someone is having a sexual fantasy about you right this moment."


Reply to Comments
Cindy – Whole wheat perogies would have to grow on a person, methinks. However, my sister Karen could give you a lesson in basic perogy-making -- she is a pro!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Whole Wheat Perogies

Everett learned to make perogies in home ec class when he was still in school, and had a little "pinching practice" when he helped me and Karen once or twice during perogy-making bees. Earlier this week he started talking about making fresh perogies, just enough for one meal, and yesterday he went for it.

Now, there is a reason most people don't use whole wheat flour to make perogies. It's heavier, and has more flavour, than white flour. But my Everett has "the touch" and although his perogies with their whole wheat casings do not taste like your average perogy, they were still delicious. His cheese/potato filling was divine. I think he could give some of our local Ukrainian babas a run for their money.


The song recording I promised you was uploaded to Youtube for two or three hours yesterday, only to finish off with the message that an error had occurred and I was S.O.L.
What to do? Darned if I know.
First of all, why should it take two or three hours to upload a three-minute recording? I haven't suffered through dialup for a year already!
If you are computer tech whiz, feel free to jump in here with advice. I would like to be able to share the recording. If I'm lucky Scott will spend some time figuring out where I went wrong, and will have better luck with it. He's got a hell of a lot more patience than I do when it comes to computer glitches.


From Love’s Alchemy, Poems from the Sufi Tradition:


Regardless of how much knowledge
You might acquire,
You are still ignorant
Without action —

You would be neither scholar nor learned,
But an animal carrying books.

A donkey doesn’t know
whether it’s carrying books
or firewood.

Sa ‘di


Scott phones for a pickup from the other place and I go out and walk toward the van. It’s dark and it’s raining lightly, and the yardlight is sparkling on the grass, and for a moment I am reminded of snow and disappointed that it’s only rain. I am startled to find myself looking forward to the beauty of winter.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Night Out In Wa-Town

Emil with Doc during the intermission, when we all lumbered down to the church basement for cookies and coffee.

I thought I'd try out my camera's videomaking capabilities, and managed a not-too-bad recording of Mr MacLean onstage, though the lighting wasn't very good. It is presently being uploaded to Youtube but I'll add it here later for your listening pleasure, blues lovers.

Emil says he just might let his beard grow as long as Doc's.

Reply to Comments
What happened to my favourite beach? In 2007 Fishing Lake flooded due to heavier-than-usual rainfall and inadequate drainage. If you're in Canada, you saw it on the national news quite a bit that spring. Homeowners along the shoreline are still dealing with waves, on windy days, breaking up their boat launches and smashing against their back steps. It was a real mess and it still is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Doc is in the House

Photo lifted from Doc's webpage.

Picture this guy without the lifejacket, with a guitar, and — I'm guessing because that's how he stepped on stage last year at this time — wearing a dark suit and a fedora. This is blues musician Doc MacLean, who is performing in Wadena tonight at 7:30 at the Anglican church. Emil's got his tickets (for him and his former aide, Sheila, who is going to take him) and he's so excited.

I asked a couple people if they knew about the show tonight and they responded that they weren't into "churchy" stuff. I thought, but did not say out loud, that I'm pretty sure Doc's got enough of the devil in him to squelch any preconceived notions about what kind of music gets put on in churches. Heh!

I've got to get back to work until it's time to leave, but Doc's webpage is here. Poke around there until you find a link to listen to his music; it's there somewhere. Also, he is touring across Canada and is blogging about it as time permits, so do go check it out. He's a good storyteller and, while I have no desire to traipse across the land myself right now (but I will, Dad and Joan, I will soon!), I sure enjoy reading about all the welcoming people he meets and beautiful places he goes.

He'll be in Saskatoon tomorrow and in Edmonton on the weekend. If you like the blues, don't miss him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My favourite beach is no more. 

Still, we could park along the road and listen to the waves gently caressing the shore and bask in the light reflecting off the water and breathe in the satisfying scent of lake.

My son is one of a kind but it's difficult to describe him. Best to let him speak for himself. Now granted he has heard these words from someone but he has made them his own, mostly by his earnest and repetitive nature:

1. Mom. I'm the best thing that ever happened to you.
2. I'd better listen or else there will be consequences and I won't like them I can guarantee you that.
3. Mom. I'm the one that always likes to give you kisses.
4. I graduated when I was 19 but I went to school till I was 22 because when you work full-time you don't get as many holidays. I'm pretty smart.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shirley's Latest Creation

Aunt Shirley has completed her quilt. I think she said the pattern is "Grandma's Flowers."


I've twisted Joanne Bohl's arm to write a little column for the blog, and she has made a first entry in Out Margo Way. See the link on the left side. Joanne and Mom were very close friends and Mom always loved Joanne's storytelling. Joanne is also a journaller or diarist so there is material to be mined. With luck she will add something new every day! Heeeeeeeeee!!!!! Am I dreaming, Joanne? Nothing like applying a little bit of pressure, eh? I know, I am incorrigible. But you know my motto: If you don't ask, you don't receive.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stop, I Say

When you pull out of our country driveway without stopping to look left, you risk being T-boned by a passing vehicle because the grass in the ditch grows so tall. Now passing vehicles are few and far between, but all it takes is once, so I have been waiting for this stop sign to be mounted on a post and installed properly for visitors leaving our place to see. Unfortunately Manful has had no time for this kind of thing, so over the summer I've leaned the sign against the ugly old John Deere plough (its days are numbered, I tell you; as soon as there is some muscle around to haul the thing out of there, it's gone. I know, I'm a bad, bad farmgirl-- but honestly, farm machinery as a yard decoration does absolutely nothing for me), where it's been blown over onto its face constantly.
Finally I rigged it up to stay, on the back of the old Golden Grain Farm sign. Whose days are also numbered.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

In the Graveyard

Everett and I went for a sunshiny drive this afternoon and stopped at the Margo cemetery to visit Mom's grave. As I gave him the tour of the resting places of his great-great-great grandparents and suchlike, we noticed this tombstone. I like the epitaph. It's not often enough that words on the marker tell us much about the departed other than their birth and death dates, how they were related to us, and sometimes how we felt about them -- our dearly beloved, ever missed, darling ones. This pithy sentence gives me a pretty lively image of the lady herself.

Everett remarked that having a name like "Sunshine" has to be a good thing, for anyone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

TNT Cafe

An unexpected early run to town one morning to deliver a truck for repairs bought me breakfast in one of the local eateries on Main St.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Little Gal

Her Sweetness got all dressed up for a wedding.

I stopped over at Cara's and Trea gave me a smile and showed off her walking. But when Scott came in and squatted down, she ran right into his arms. I swear that man is a baby magnet.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Workin' Men

Poor ol' Shnevy was enlisted to spend the day mucking out a mouldy basement on one of Scott's jobs today..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Finger

How drivers in rural Saskatchewan acknowledge each other when they meet on the road.

Usually it’s men who do this (I think); I’m the only woman I know who does. Speak up, gals, if you do it too. Figure I must have picked this up from Dad.

Do drivers do this where you live? And if not, is there another signal they use?


Grandma enjoyed her drive, and we dined at Scott's grandma's, and then Emil started coughing and ended up horking up his meal, and almost causing me to lose mine, since I have no stomach for hearing the heaves or cleaning up the mess. It must have been quite unpleasant to listen to us both gagging. Strangely, no one offered to help! Heh.

He's fine. Musta had some post-nasal drip or just caught some cookie in the wrong tube. Sounds like he's considering coming home for the long weekend. Maybe. Oy, you'd think he couldn't wait to get out of here or something.

Stopped in to see Cara's new place (Cara's my niece) and admire it and her two adorable children. Oh, and her fella Chris of course. They've bought this house in Kelvington so will be able to put down some roots to raise their kids.

Warm starry night. Gorgeous. I might just go outside and admire the sky for a while too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Routine Weekend

Me 'n' Smartypants

More than a week ago I sat here in front of Photobooth and took a picture to post on the day this page was "Blog of Note" and then, in my usual absentminded way, forgot all about it till just now when I happened to run across it.

Five days in a row without rain. This is the first rainfree stretch longer than four days, since May. Unless I'm mistaken— which I probably am.

Everett and I are just back from town, where he did laundry and I picked up Emil and went for groceries.

That's my day: uneventful, routine, and fine with me.