Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Can't Win Fer Losin

My teeth hadn't been professionally cleaned for just over a year, so in spite of regular brushing and flossing, it was not a pleasant experience. I asked the hygienist, "What more can I do?" to avoid an uncomfortable repeat every time I'm in the dentist's office. I'm willing to go in and have her clean my teeth every six months, but perhaps she could give me some tips.

"Brush more often?" I wondered.

"No," she said. "Brush longer."

It takes only 12 hours for tartar to harden on the teeth, she told me, and there are particular spots that most people tend to spend less time on.

I came home and have been brushing and flossing with a vengeance after every meal. A monster may have been created.

And then when Cathy and I were talking on the phone this morning, she told me she knows someone who is having trouble with her tooth enamel because she brushes too much.

Oh for heaven's sake. You can't win fer losin'! Now what?

That little purple-handled brush is called, the hygienist informs me, an "end-tufted" brush. I have been looking for a new one for more than 10 years and never been fortunate enough to find one even in the big-city drugstores. I got this one from my dentist in Alberta back in the day. My hygienist is going to find a supplier. These little brushes are handy-dandy for getting in behind your furthest-back molars.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Coyote Visit

I was working in my office on the south side of the house when I heard our border collie barking angrily outside, so I got up and went to see what she was so pissed off about. She was looking north, and I watched through a window for a few moments and, seeing nothing out that direction, gave up and came back to my desk.

About 10 minutes later the dog was barking again, only this time she was right beside the south corner of the house and when I peered through the window there was this gorgeous coyote about 25 feet from the back step. Had I any sense I'd have run for the camera first, but no ... I always think of these things after the fact. I was afraid it might attack the dog, so immediately I opened the bedroom window and told the coyote to vamoose. And it did. Not in any big hurry, though.

And above you see it leaving. Oh, it was a beauty. Thick healthy fur coat, and not remotely afraid of Jenna Doodle.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Emil loves going to the store. 

Not wanting to go to bed last night, I sat up alone. Couldn't find anything to watch on TV till midnight when a movie starring Julie Walters came on. A Short Stay in Switzerland is based on a true story about a woman's decision to go to Switzerland, where doctor-assisted suicide is legal, because she was dying of a debilitating disease.

It brought back memories of Mom's final year of life. Putting on lipstick: in the movie, it was in preparation for a filmed interview about the need to legalize assisted suicide. For us, it was Mom putting on her lipstick and a brave face to look as bright as possible for what we all knew was likely our last Christmas with her. In the movie, it was the unbearable goodbye to your loved ones and the regret that your dying is breaking their hearts. Likewise for us. In the movie, the woman's death came swiftly after taking a prescribed barbituate. In our story, the death scene lasted several days, and we did not all collapse in sobs upon Mom's body after she took her last breath. That grief we each kept to ourselves, as I recall.

By the time the movie was over it was nearly 2 a.m. and then I didn't sleep for another couple hours. Had made a batch of kahlua while supper was on the stove, and drank two strong Brown Cows throughout the evening. Forgot kahlua has coffee in it.

So, Switzerland it is, if I am ever faced with prolonged suffering before death.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Visit with Floyd

Floyd and Scott

A visit with Floyd at the nursing home in Yorkton begins with a trip to the lounge for a beverage.

It is followed by a trip down the long hallway to another lounge, where Floyd's laptop is set up and Scott tries to help him get a new browser working properly.

I sit in a chair by the window and text back and forth with Shelly, occasionally jumping up to peek over their shoulders.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

George & Elizabeth, King and Queen

Mom kept this tin box with her sewing things.

Played by Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech

Now I keep it with mine.
Except I've set it on the coffee table this past week to enjoy looking at it. Haven't been doing any sewing.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hot Time on the Old Town Tonight

It was a day spent on the road between visits. There was snow coming down as we rode down the highway to Wynyard and then over to Yorkton this morning. The teeth are crowbarred clean for the next six months, and the cattle are supplied with salt and minerals. And it's Friday night! And here we are, just excited and happy to be home again.

I have found another Saskatchewan blog you will want to visit (speaking of visiting):

g.a.s art

And now, movie time.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back 50, Now, Forward 50

Grandma Johnson's china cabinet with "my" stuff inside.
I say "my" because most of it is inherited and I feel belongs to everyone in the family.

Fifty years ago this china cabinet stood in my grandmother's kitchen in Margo. She never imagined a smartphone sitting atop it, or even a cordless telephone. Although it is possible the lamp was there, because one of my pair belonged to her; and I believe she crocheted the doilies that I use to keep stuff from scratching the wood. I was only a three-year-old girl then, as she dusted and polished her furniture.

I wonder where this china cabinet will be in 50 years and what will be set atop it. Whose house will it be in? Will I have a granddaughter? Maybe one of my nieces will want this piece, or their daughters.
Evidence that I walked yesterday too

"I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
- Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Virginia's Sister Vanessa

“I shall be cheerful, but I shall never be happy again.” 
- Vanessa Bell, after the death of her son 

Vanessa Bell, self portrait

Drive My Blues Away

This CD has been the soundtrack of our lives for the past week.

You can have a listen to it HERE and see if it's your cup of tea. If it isn't ... what's wrong with you?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Star

Even when you don’t see them, the stars are always there.

There is meaning and guidance, but you have to look for it. 
And take care of business while you're looking.

Walk with Kate

I walked to the corner
And turned back at the signs
Back toward our place, way back there in those distant trees on the left
Isn't it beautiful? Sigh.
The grassy driveway into our back yard

Monday, October 22, 2012

Unforgettable Everett

Lately I've been missing my boy. We text and email a bit, and I phone occasionally, but it's not the same as having him here. I'm reduced to watching this old video I took through the living room window a couple winters ago, when he was out refilling the birdfeeders. And how nice to see old Casper again, too.

Enjoy the song. At least, till the camera operator starts warbling along.


Wadena NewsFiddling Sensation Calvin Vollrath concert & dance Oct.26, 7pm, Tuffnell Community Hall


Card for today:
Bask in joy, health & abundance.
How fortunate are you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Hermit

Sunday morning, bedside table

The gal in the pic (it's a business card I use as a bookmark) is Hilary Grist, who came out to Pilger and gave a house concert at Joanne's. Ah, here's the entry I made: go back in time to fall 2010.

Normally I drink my coffee black, but there was some whipping cream in the fridge I want to use up, so ... it's super tasty, but alas, the beverage goes down my throat like a raging river instead of appreciative sips. Too much caffeine too quickly.

I love mornings "off" to indulge in reading and writing. What am I saying? All my mornings are like this!

Sunday morning on the other side of me

Even if I've told you already and am repeating myself, it's worth telling again:

Keeping a whole clove in your mouth in the general vicinity of aching gums or toothache works like magic. 

Wadena is getting a dentist! It's about time. 
According to the Wadena News:

"Dr. Dany Malaxos is opening a practice Tues, Oct.23. Hours of operation: Tues, Wed, Thurs. Call for appointments. 230 Main Street N."

Tarot card for today: the Hermit. 
I still have a lot to learn. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Barbershop Horses

Showed Emil the barbershop horses.
See them for yourself and be sure to click on each one:
Barbershop Horses.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Very Very Very Fine House

This dining room set is about 20 years old, a hand-me-down from Mom and Dad. I had it shipped out from Kelowna after Mom died, when Dad decided to replace much of their furniture. The upholstery is still as good as new, so it seems almost wasteful but ... I want to have them re-covered with a lighter, solid colour. They remain the best kitchen chairs ever; the rollers still work like the dickens. Like I said to Morgan yesterday morning when he sat down in one of them and exclaimed about it: when we get company and sit first at the kitchen table, we rarely make it beyond and into the living room. You can sit in these chairs for hours and be perfectly content.

Something I want to get rid of is the paper fruit! But I refuse to throw it out; it's too cute, with its stems and leaves and all. A bigger challenge is finding a place to store away the veggie-and-dip tray now holding some of the paper fruit (and real fruit). I bought it some years ago and have never used it for its intended purpose. It just takes up space we don't have right now, with the kitchen cupboards full and the basement torn apart. No closet can take it; we need every inch of counter space that we have; it's just in the way and serves no useful function.

We had a rainy day earlier this week and Scott was going to tackle the water pump and replace the toilet, then ended up not doing it, so it still takes half an hour to run enough water for a bath, and to flush the toilet you have to pour a gallon of water, collected from the bathtub spout, into it. We don't find this a hardship, really, as there's just the two of us during the week, but thought Doc and Morgan would be more comfortable in a hotel where they could at least have a shower and sleep on good-quality beds. It seemed to me these things would be important to anyone travelling as much as they are from place to place.

It turned out that the hotel where they ended up (because the better one —we have two in town — was full-up with hunters) was not very welcoming (beds not particularly good, owner making a loud ruckus in the hall because rooms had been rented to them when he had other plans, coffee pots in rooms in such bad shape they couldn't be used)(they weren't complaining, but gave an honest answer when I asked for a report)(have you seen enough brackets yet?) so they might have been better off out here anyway. Next time through, I told them, we will put them up here. Surely by then Scott will have the water problems sorted. Right? It is to dream.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Travelling Minstrels in the House

Morgan Davis with his cigar-box guitar

Only three strings, but the sound he can get out of that thing!

It was an excellent show, as expected. Somewhat embarrassing for a town of 1500 to only manage to get about 11 bums into the the hard wooden pews on a cold rainy night, when the quality of entertainment is so high. Guess there aren't many blues lovers around here.

Or maybe it's less that, than the fact that there seemed to be other things going on in town last night. There's always something, actually; there's a lot of activity in this town.

Anyway, we've invited Doc and Morgan out for breakfast, so when they roll out of their hotel-beds at the late hour (musicians' hours, they tell me) of 9 or so, and find their city-boy way out here, we'll fill them up with coffee and toast, eggs and bacon, and send them on their merry way.

Time for me to get out of my pyjamas I guess.

Doc with one of his fans

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Evening Out

Carsten, Clover, and Cookie have lost their mittens?

Just as I was reminding myself to pick a warmish day and get out there to water-in my perennials  (which won't die; their foliage remains green as can be) for winter, the wee hours of the morning brought rain. And more rain. And rain rain rain. It's been raining all day. This is good. Not that I've been out in it. Spent the day at the computer instead, working.

But I do have to go in 15 minutes, as we're heading to town to pick Emil up and attend a house concert. Doc MacLean and Morgan Davis are on their "Blues Emergency Tour"  (where does Doc come up with these handles? he is a natural promoter) and performing in the Anglican church at 7:30.

Scott is reminding me to get ready. Are you ready? Don't you have to do anything to get ready? He's just out of the tub and putting on clean clothes. Me, I was born ready. Heh. OK, I will brush my teeth and shove some cash into my pocket.

The three remaining kittens ventured all the way to the house yesterday, and the dogs didn't do their job and chase them off. Damn dogs. They'll chase when you don't want them to, though.

Best go make sure nothing green or fuzzy is hanging from my teef.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oh I Am My Mother's Daughter All Right

Go to THIS LINK, click on "Listen," and you will hear Shirley Jones sing "Till There Was You."

How beautiful is her voice. How beautiful is it???

I'm not kidding when I say it brings tears to my eyes.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Bedtime for All Dog's Creatures

I remember the first nights I stayed alone at this house, how the uncurtained windows let the night in and the yardlight illuminated the endless dark space outside. It was a bit unnerving; it spooked me.

Now the yard out there is familiar and I look out at it quite comfortably as I walk from one room to another with the house lights out.

Sometimes in the wee hours I lie on the couch in the living room and watch the shadows of the trees shimmy against the wall, thanks to the yardlight streaming through the picture window. It does have its benefits, although I still believe if we could shut it off we might see the northern lights more often from our living room.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh Deer Me

mother decides to re-trace steps and is followed by fawn

I as thrilled as ever

You’d think / seeing deer so often / it would get old / but it never does

Dog's Heaven

Resting place of Casper Doodle

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicken Lady

One of my all-time favourite Kids in the Hall sketches.

Three Amigos

Only three left of all the kittens born here this spring. They're getting brave, making their way toward the house. Last night I stepped out after dark and found them galloping across the lawn.

I go to the tractor shed every morning, scoop out dry food for them, carry a gallon of water to the electric bowl (there was ice on the water not long ago, so...) and cuddle them all. Not just these three. There are also four adults that insist on their due.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ducky, for Danielle

Ducky Doodle is shivering, but does he want to come in? Hell no. He insists on being outside where he can keep an eye on the yard and the other dog (one of his girlfriends).

He is attached to a cord so that he and the old dog won't gang up on a kitten, and so that the two of them don't go a-wanderin' down the road and get run over. They take turns being tied up when they're out there together and no one is around to keep them in line.

He is wearing his fall jacket.

Sometimes when we've no plan to clip his collar to the cord, he runs over there and sits as if waiting for us to do it. So it doesn't seem as if he minds.

*** This has been a family service announcement for my niece Danielle, who raised Ducky Doodle from a pup.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nuthin at All

And the sun, she is a-shinin'!
I have nothing to say. Nothing! But am looking forward to my walk.
First, to put in an hour's work. Toodle-oo....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Snow on Ground

Since it's snowed, I'd best show you the last of the photos taken on my walks.

Occasionally I venture across the road for a stroll. It's Scott's dad's family's original homestead quarter, and they still farm it, but the old yard remains.

I like it over there, but am also nervous, probably because I've gone off-road into bush and long grass. You'd think I was a deer keeping her senses peeled for the presence of a cougar.

Speaking of which, one was spotted in the farmyard of friends just a few miles from here. I need to start carrying a shilele (sp?) with a spear that pops out of the end if needed. Or a rifle over my shoulder.    Moose don't unnerve me, but the thought of being attacked by a large cat is another story.

Clocks Postcard

Click to Enlarge

The work of F.L. and Jos. Bily, Ridgeway, Iowa, Route No. 2. A collection of clocks which took over twenty years to construct. Some of the clocks stand ten feet high. The clocks are carved in different kinds of wood, some imported. Some of the clocks play chimes and have movable figures carved in wood. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Flannel Shirt

The best thing about ten-dollar flannel shirts (I bought one for Scott when they were on sale at the local hardware store) is that after two washes they don't fit him anymore and I get 'em. This is my latest snuggly warm one. Just in time for snow.

My face is not happy. Since this morning it's missing its last wisdom tooth and is still half-frozen. Feels like a block of plasticine sitting on my neck.

I laid down when we got home but Scott woke me before he left again, as I've an appointment for a haircut in town in a half hour. Thought of cancelling it but hey, why screw up someone else's schedule just because I'm a bit achey? Off I go, over the wild white snow-covered roads.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beautification Station

Saved from the frost and now happily in sunlight streaming through my bedroom window.

This corner of our house also happens to be the prosperity bagua (fengshui-speak), where it is wise to add purple.

It was impossible to resist these guys either, so they are parked in the kitchen for now:

They sure brighten up the place.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Amnesty Merchandise

Amnesty International's quarterly newsletter offered long-sleeved cotton T-shirts for $10 apiece. I stocked up.

To see the merchandise catalogue, CLICK HERE. Your purchases help support Amnesty International's work in the world. It is extremely important work. You want to help in any way you can.

Woman with Flowers in Pots

Another old picture of an unidentified woman. Who is she? Whose house is she kneeling outside of?  Why do I find this photo so striking?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall 2012

I often walk past the ravine.
On the west side of the road, the water has all but disappeared (click image to enlarge). Look at the trees it has drowned in the past few years. Someone left a couple rifle shells on the road yesterday. Probably shooting at a muskrat or maybe even a beaver. 
Oh these colours!!!!!

Sunlight warms a battered pail in the bush near our house.

What is not to love about Fall! We've had a beautiful one.