Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seen on the Road

Scott's cousin Darren

There isn’t too much traffic on the road where I walk, but there’s enough, especially at this busy time of year. Here’s what I imagine drivers say to themselves when they pass me out there with my doggy friends:

Former employer, now hired man for local farmer: “That girl hasn’t changed a bit in the last 20 years.” (Ha! Wishful thinking on my part; shut up, it's my blog and I'll dream if I want to.)

Farmer rushing to the field: “Bet I won’t see her out here every day when it’s 30-below.”

Darren: “I’ll stop a minute to stretch my legs and say hello so I don’t seem stuck-up.” (He told me, so I’m not imagining this one.)

Stranger: “Wonder if she needs help changing a flat tire or something.”

Woman who lives in nearest farmyard, has four youngsters and works in town full-time: “Wish I had time to go for a walk once in a while.”

Her husband: “Darn, I’ve gotta slow down. Hope that little dog doesn’t run out in front of my truck again.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Close-up Coyote

Coyote intent on something in the ditch

Having a leisurely scratch
On my way to town yesterday afternoon I noticed a coyote pouncing on something in the ditch. I stopped the van, grabbed the camera and got out, fully expecting the wild dog to be long gone, as they usually are the moment they notice you. This little one just kept right on with its business, while I stood at the back corner of my noisy (something’s happening with the muffler) van, snapped a couple photos, and then changed the camera setting to video. At this point the creature noticed me, stood and stared back as if seeing me standing there was no shock; this is so unusual that I was prepared to bolt to the driver’s door in case it should approach me. You never know; if wild animals are rabid, they might. After a moment of awe I spoke to it. “Shouldn’t you be running away? Hm?”
It watched me for another moment and then apparently saw the wisdom of my suggestion and sauntered off as I recorded this short video:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Letter from Karen

My niece (Karen's daughter) Cara with Bacardi

Cara's dog Bacardi has lived at Karen and Dick's farm for many years, but his hips had given out over the past few weeks so he went to Cara's house in Kelvington for some special care and attention. The final trip to the vet's office was put off until it was clear that Bacardi would not improve and couldn't use his hind legs anymore. Marc is my nephew and Kade is Cara's five-year-old son. I received this email from Karen yesterday:

   Well, it's done. I went with Cara and Bacardi to the clinic this a.m. and watched and cried as Bacardi drew his last breath. Rob was nice enough to administer the two needles outside in the grass where we all felt a little more at ease. We brought Bacardi home to Marc and Michelle's and buried him in a quilt-lined box that Dick had built for him. His grave is covered with flat rocks and there is a small photo of him and Cara sitting on top.
   He was a great dog and Cara and I reminisced about a few things. She told me how Kade had been playing with Ciera (his dog) a few days ago and she growled at him (just playing) but Bacardi dragged himself between them and warned Ciera with a growl that he was not to be hurt. That was my typical Bacardi.
   I'll miss him alot—just him lying under the trampoline is a sight that I won't see again, or the familiar whining "Welcome home!" Well I truly hope he's in a better place, pain free and where the sun is always shining.

✿⊱╮✿⊱╮✿⊱╮******************************************************* ✿⊱╮✿⊱╮✿⊱╮

To see what I've been reading, check out On the Nightstand. - Stubblejumpin' Moi

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How Great Thou Art

If you missed Carrie Underwood's performance of this song on a recent "tribute to women in country music" show, you missed something. Honest to God. Almost makes you want to believe in God, doesn't it? Heh. Maybe I have a soft spot for this song because we sang it as kids in vacation bible school or something, but I can't watch this video without getting all teary and I see that the audience in attendance was equally moved. Oh, and Vince Gill did a fine job too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Church Bells and Field Suppers

My sister got her mitts on a bell from an old church, and it now hangs above the entryway of her new house, which is under construction at the Margo Lake resort development, Aurora Beach.

 When speaking to my brother out in Edmonton a couple weeks ago, I asked if he missed anything about farming, and he said "Yeah. Suppers in the field. Man, they tasted good."

See a traditional harvest field supper in Joanne's entry today. Note how the food is set up on the tailgate of the truck. The workers will stop long enough to gobble it down, and then they'll hop right back into the machinery and carry on. Click here:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nose to the Grindstone

Emil wanted Shelly to see his work station.

Alas, she left yesterday morning and I am doing dishes alone once more .... And working again. It is warm/hot outside — shorts weather — and I am sitting in here with a shawl on. What can I say? Wuss.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finished the Harvest

After a long hard day in the field, Scott brings (l to r) his uncle, cousin and brother in for chickpea stew, baking powder biscuits, chocolate fudge, and beer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Like Sisters

Wildlife: a too-late entry for Joan's photo challenge...
Shelly arrived yesterday and so tonight we did try to get a photo of Old Friends for your current challenge, Joan, but in every picture one or the other of us had closed eyes or the pic was dark or it was always something. We'll try again while she's here.

I worked over the weekend so I could take today off just to spend hanging out with my friend of more than 30 years, and managed to keep her occupied this morning by having a leisurely breakfast, doing dishes, strolling through the flowerbeds to collect seeds for her to sow next spring, and going for a walk.

But by the afternoon she needed a project, and what was it going to be? The porch. The porch needed cleaning out badly, and she was determined to help me do it. It meant moving a bed from one room to another, moving another bed out of the porch, mucho sweeping and rearranging, and hauling of boxes and boards out to the quonset, and vacuuming, and stacking, and so on. But three hours later we were done and the porch is a new room.

Shelly's visits always remind me of Mom because when Mom would come to my house for a few days, she'd pick a room to tackle and she'd slough it out bigtime and I loved it. (Grandma used to do something similar whenever she visited Mom's house, too). It gave me a little motivation, not to mention a lot of help. The best birthday gift I ever got, I'm sure, was one time when Shelly showed up at my house and cleaned out the fridge. 

And now off I go to get rested up for tomorrow. Who knows what she will want to do then! I will need all my energy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's Good for the Goose

From now till June I'll have to buy all my fresh flowers from the store. Loved 'em while they lasted.

Yesterday was Scott's 52nd birthday and I was not prepared. I had no fancy supper or outing planned, no gift purchased, no card, no cake. It had actually slipped my mind for a couple days till Emil said, when he phoned Thursday night to tell me he wanted to come out to the farm this weekend, that he'd bought Scott a birthday card that plays music.

I was feeling a little guilty and trying to rouse myself into doing something special (even if that only meant wearing something sexy!), until it occurred to me to pull out a journal and see how far out of his way Scott had gone on my last birthday. It was a good idea, because I found that he'd handed me a card with $50 in it. There had been no fancy supper, no cake — he hadn't even worn anything sexy.

So I let myself off the hook. I wrote a cheque for $50, stuck it in with Emil's card, added my name, and voila! Birthday taken care of.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bosom Buddies

Maggie, of Serendipity is Everywhere, posted a link to a performance of Sisters, which I enjoyed so thoroughly that I went and found the video above, because when I was in a musical theatre group, I did this song with another gal. I think I sang the Bea Arthur part. It's been more than 11 years, so ....

I would love to be able to sing this kind of stuff around here, but who, who, who I say will sing it with me? Who will play the piano? Who knows these songs? Who?

Julie, your package came in the mail and yesterday I put it into the CD player to listen to and forgot about it till today, when I came home from an outing with my niece and got down to the business of washing dishes. Chic Gamine, you say? I had no idea what was going to come out of the speakers, but in only a moment I was dancing and singing along. Now that is the way to do dishes. It makes them a halfway pleasant pastime. Thanks for the treat.

The headsup about the gospel workshop in Saskatoon also arrived via email. I'll be there, for sure. Hoped to be accompanied by my sister Karen but alas the dates don't work for her this time either.

And now, my farmboy has called with a request that I make a beer run before 6 o'clock and rustle up supper for four hungry men to devour when they get off the combines and out of the grain trucks in a couple hours. So off I go to town for the second time today, racking my brain: What should I make? I could pick up a roasted chicken from the Co-op, he tells me. That feels like cheating! Heh.

Better get a move on and figure it out on the way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From Grandma's Collection of Pitchers (not the ball-playing type)

We awoke this morning to heavy frost on the grass. The brown-eyed susans, portulaca, cosmos and gazanias are toast, but the sweetpeas are still hangin' in there somehow.

It's time it turned cold, isn't it? There seemed to be lots of complaining about it on the program I listen to when my radio alarm comes on at 7. Lord, people, dress for the weather and suck it up! At least today the hellish wind isn't blowing hard, as it had for the previous two days. That nasty biting wind turned me around and kept me in the house, feeling lethargic. I didn't walk yesterday because of it (Dress for it, and suck it up! Practise what I preach!), and the day before I waited till the wind settled down, thus walking at sunset, not the safest time (but quite lovely) as it's difficult for motorists to see me on the gravel road. Yesterday I wondered if I should put long underwear on (couldn't bear the thought of ski pants, which I wear all winter, in September) and didn't, but could've and wouldn't've regretted it. Today I wore the long underwear and was glad, even though it was a warmer day. Long underwear in September! It doesn't seem right. Oh wait— is this complaining?

Note: Goddamn dog (Sara, who visits occasionally in case I'm going for a walk) caught a duck while we were out this afternoon. I hollered till she dropped it, but it was in water and I wasn't wearing rubber boots, so couldn't go see if it needed help. The duck slunk away (as much as ducks can slink) with its neck low over the water but didn't look very good. Goddamn dogs, anyway. I love 'em, but sometimes I hate 'em.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't Look at Me That Way, Johnny*

One last hot summer day, in the swing.

There are a couple notes from Johnny Cash in the most recent posting on Letters of Note. He writes a billet à deux to his wife June, and a to-do (and don't do) list for himself. See them HERE.

*title from lyric of Surabaya, a song Bette Midler embedded in my brain many years ago with her Divine Miss M album. I haven't been able to find a video of her singing it on Youtube, but did find this other version that has me smitten:

Or maybe you'd like to see what Kenny Rogers is up to. He's just been at the Kansas State Fair; it appears that Pondering Patsy is a fan: click here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

My internet provider has had an equipment failure that kept me offline since Wednesday afternoon.

Scott thought I might suffer from withdrawal, but surprisingly, I haven't. Complaints would have started tomorrow though, had it continued, because by then I would have run out of work that could be done offline.

Harvest is in full swing out here in sweltering heat. Things are supposed to start cooling down today, which will be fine with me. I've enjoyed the beautiful summer but am looking forward to using the oven again without concern about heating up the house. With its new windows and insulation and doors it stays nice and cool in here, and I like to keep it that way when the heat outside makes me dizzy.

Everett's first full day of classes in Edmonton was Wednesday and he was feeling a bit overwhelmed and tired when we spoke by phone in the evening; I told him to eat something and have a nap, and things would soon look better. Hope that bit of motherly advice helped. Well, isn't it true that when your kid is cranky, he usually needs food and sleep? And this fact doesn't change much throughout life, either. Thank goodness Everett's well past needing a diaper change.

Speaking of mothers ... we have a new baby in the family. My cousin Nathan's wife Jacquie gave birth to a little boy so Aunt Reta and Uncle Carl are celebrating down in Phoenix.

And speaking of mothers yet again, my mother's cousin Judy (thanks for making me shed tears first thing in the morning, missy!) sent me the video below. I love the way this performer loves and appreciates his mother ... and does he not have the most beautiful, glowing face?

I have been hoping and praying that the three-year-old boy abducted in BC several days ago would be safely returned to his mother and dad, so was relieved this morning to hear on the radio that he's home safe and sound.

And now I'm off to upload Joanne's blog entries.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick & Dirty

-thanks to Maggie at Serendipity is Everywhere, for alerting me to this music video

Uh huh, I'm on the go. How come there are still so many "shoulds" in a nice quiet life like mine?
I've been up since Scott brought me a cup of black coffee in bed and asked me to make lunch and supper for him to grab in a hurry while he's in the field this afternoon and evening. Fortunately I didn't have to rack my brain long to come up with something to make; pork chops baked slowly in canned mushroom soup were already in my plan for supper, and we have a giant zucchini on the kitchen counter alongside a big bag of fresh corn on the cob. I've stuck the dead pig in the oven, tidied the kitchen and stacked the dishes, swept the kitchen and living room floors, done my Tibetan Rites, and eaten breakfast. I've washed and dressed, and as soon as this radio program about the invention of the vibrator is over, I'm off for a walk, and then to feed the cats, and then I'll come in and do the neverending dishes, and then ... sit here at my desk and work all afternoon.

It'll be hot out there already (it's 9:45); we're having fantastic sunny warm days, perfect for harvest. Technically it's still summer, but as far as I'm concerned it's fall. The oak leaves have begun to turn colour. There were three sandhill cranes in the swaths south of our yard the other day. I've filled the bird feeders in the yard with black sunflower seeds but the birds haven't rediscovered them yet.

- Barb&Deb posted this on their blog, The Middle Ages.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Jacks of All Trades

Above, Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto is filled with chalk messages in memory of Jack Layton, a man who died too soon.

Below, Jack Duckworth, longtime native of Coronation Street, leaves this mortal coil via a slow waltz with the spirit of his late wife Vera.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Here Comes Fall

My back yard.

You do not want to know me today. Cranky? Lord t'underin' Jaysus. Might just have to go buy a chocolate bar. That, or hit myself over the head with a hammer. A good brisk walk didn't help. Getting the dishes done didn't do the trick. Bah, humbug.

Friday, September 2, 2011

From Everett's "baby book." Click to enlarge.

He's off and running, into his new life. I sent him on the bus to his dad's yesterday morning with an undramatic farewell at the depot, and had turned away before actually feeling the jarring finality of it: the fact that he won't be home in a month.

This morning I pulled out his "baby book" (some kids have baby books, my kids have bulging binders) and have been reading through it, chuckling, remembering, and shedding a few tears.

Lord, this kid has been a lot of fun to raise and dammit, I AM going to miss having him around.