Thursday, July 31, 2014

A little dab'll do ya

“They say a dab of peanut butter behind your ears will keep mosquitoes from biting,” said Joan, “and the natural p.b., not the stuff with added sugar.”

So yesterday before going out on one of my numerous short (because of the heat) walks, I put a little dab behind each ear. I also slathered my ankles with an essential oil mixture that helps repel those bloodthirsty little bitches.

In spite of the accompanying platoons of dragonflies, I still got a few bites. Sorry, all … there is still no foolproof “natural” guard against mosquitoes.

Later, walking, I remembered the peanut butter and thought “Must remember to wash that off before we go out tonight.”

We had an invitation to join friends for “wing night” at the Hendon pub, and I was looking forward to the outing.

It wasn’t till this morning that I remembered I hadn’t remembered to wash the peanut butter off.

Wonder if anyone happened to notice and think What the hell is that! This woman clearly never scrubs behind her ears!

Broken-stemmed or hidden flowers are brought indoors. These roses, planted in memory of Mom, are in the bathroom.
For today's recipe at Stubblejumpers Café, CLICK HERE --> Everett's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Who Calls?

My hair appointment is at 10:30, and since I like to have at least two hours in the morning before having to go anywhere, I set the bedside alarm to come on at 8. The alarm, that is, not the radio, because I will just listen to the radio and doze off again, whereas the alarm beeping will annoy me enough to sit up and turn it off.

As I set the alarm, I think to myself, “I would like to wake up on my own, shortly before the alarm goes, so I won’t be jarred out of sleep by it.”

And donchaknow, at about 10 to eight I’m awakened by a male voice calling, “Kathy!”

It is an unfamiliar voice, but real enough that I put on my housecoat and go to the door, then through it, to see if anyone is there.

All I find are the busy birds, and the old dog, Jenna, who stirs from her rest when she hears my footstep in the porch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rhubarb Slushies

And oh what a fine afternoon it was, out on Karen's deck.
Neither too hot, nor too cold. 
Just right.

I handed the camera to Joan's daughter Jordan, so for a change I'm in front of the camera. 

Reta, I'm wearing a pair of those sunglasses Carl sent. Karen gets the same migraine things, so she might as well see if these help any. There were two pairs in the box so I'll give her one.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Drinkin' on Decks

Morning coffee
And I'm off to spend the day with both my sisters. Joan is out, from Kelowna. No doubt more coffee will be drank! It's rare to get to be with both my little girlies at the same time. The only thing better would be if Mom was there too.

It's a perfect summer day, and Karen lives on the shore of Margo Lake.

More drinkin' on decks, comin' up.

And in Joan's honour and with thanks to her for sharing it, today's recipe at Stubblejumpers Kitchen Collection is Spinach Salad.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hangin' Out with Shelly

Shelly, one of my Katimavik roomies, on her backyard deck
Oh sure, it looks like all we did was sit around and gab, and drink. And we did do a lot of gabbing. And some drinking, but not overly so. And while we were at Shelly's we also went for numerous walks around Ho Hum Crescent, where she is building her plantation.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Three KCathys Agree

Douglas Catsanova is adored by all.

Cathy R settles into Cathy B's guest room in the basement.

Are these slippers for me? Cathy B thinks of everything. I set my stuff in the other guest room, and leave the slippers be.
Three CKathys Agree: My arms are too short to take selfies.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Aunt Beulah

Beulah Egge Johnson
My great-aunt Beulah is in her nineties and as far as I know has never said an unkind word in her life.
Her daughter Ardyce posted this photo and description to FB:

"Mom had a good day, spent the afternoon relaxing in our backyard, then supper & to really put the icing on the cake... a ride in OJ's Ranchero."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chez nous, woo hoo!

After lugging bags into the house and watering flowers in pots and the perennial beds, I sat down on the back step for a glass of chilled white wine.

As much as I loved spending time with my dear friends, it is a pleasure to come home and be greeted by colour, scent and beauty.

Not that my friends aren't colourful, beautiful and sweet-scented.

I dropped Emil off in town and met Scott going in as I was coming out. He was picking up parts for a haying machine and hadn't been able to reach me by cellphone when I was still in town. Naturally. I'd run into a store to buy a new comforter for Emil, and left the phone in the car. Apparently I need one built into my ear if I hope to catch all calls.

Dropped and smashed the front of my "toughest smartphone ever" on Saturday morning on the pavement of Cathy's driveway before we left Saskatoon. The battery is no good anyway and getting a replacement has been a hassle so far. Time for a new toy? Rzzzl Frrzzzl Grrrrr. I don't like expensive shit that doesn't last two years.

I have ordered takeout pizza and Greek ribs from a restaurant in town and am looking forward to Scott getting home with it.

Guess I should clean off this table:

Monday, July 21, 2014

We are at Shelly's

Last time I was at Shelly's, it was two years ago. Two years already!

Here's an entry from a time I visited her in 2009: click here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Globeflower goes out of its way for GirlySue

This beautiful globeflower parked itself uninvited in the front centre of the large flowerbed and bloomed well ahead of its ancestor plants further back.

I like to imagine, now, that it did this especially for me because I'm leaving for five days and the other globeflowers may bloom and be finished when I return.

This is why I like to stay home in the summer. So I don't miss anything. Not a moment of it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

End of Day Exhale

Tonight the railroad crossing at the south end of Wadena was red-light-flashing and ding-ding-dinging, but nothing was happening and no train was in sight. At the north end, on my way home after picking Emil up, two or three bright orange engines were parked on the track to the left of the highway. And the lights, and the dinging, and all the drivers wondering what the heck, why.

The photo above was taken one evening last week as I headed north out of town after work.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It gets in your eyes

Smoke is coming down from the north. Or so they say. I haven't had a whiff of it yet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Detour through Wadena

Because of flooding and highway damage near Elfros on Highway 16, Yellowhead traffic has been detoured through Wadena for the last couple weeks.

Which means the service stations are just a-hoppin', as are the grocery store, the bakery, and most likely a good number of other businesses in town.

I picked Emil up from Camp Easter Seal down at Manitou Beach late this morning. He had a fine time -- among the things he mentioned on the drive home, he said he rode on a pontoon boat, petted the horse, went to a dance -- oh it's a long story of busyness and fun. "And now I can look forward to going to Poppa's on Saturday."

Onward and upward.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Heart Sinks

May those who loved young Nathan O'Brien and his grandparents draw strength and comfort from somewhere.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quick 'n' Dirty


They stopped in on their way past, just long enough for a cup of tea / glass of wine / cherry pie / toothbrushing.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We've got company. This is Gunnar, the apple of Scott's eye, with his fiancée Melissa and their beast Payton.

They've come from Calgary for a wedding today, where Gunnar is one of the groomsmen.

There is smoke from fires in the north country, and the day so far is cool and windy. It's an outdoor wedding at Rosebud Hall, just a mile straight east of Golden Grain Farm. I hope the bear seen just north of the hall a few days ago doesn't make an appearance. Maybe the wind and smoke will keep the mosquitoes down. They are horrible this year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Saturated but oh so Green

The ditch beside our road is now a slough.

Somehow I forgot to mention that a bear was seen in our neighbours' farmyard, which is not even an eighth of a mile north of our place. I should be nervous, but for some reason am not. I guess it's because I didn't see it myself. Bears are a rare sighting around here; I've never seen one.

Also, I assume the dogs will alert me if a bear is near. I never get down the road without the two of them.

After the rains, I was advised to watch Ducky Doodle closely, as the rushing water could sweep him off his feet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lacking a Lumberjack

Victim of windstorm
Someone (not mentioning any names, but someone resembling a lumberjack more than I do) needs to fire up a chainsaw and get this baby squared away. It's been in the ditch alongside our yard a week or two already. How time flies, doesn't it.

There is a downed tree right along our driveway and I think it's been there since last fall, and someone (not mentioning any names, but resembling a lumberjack) just pushes the snow / mows the grass around it. Maybe there isn't much hope for the tree above, then, either.

I should hang a shiny dangly thing on it!

Monday, July 7, 2014

High Water

There is a lot of water around, I mean more than usual; the creeks are running high and, not far away, some lakes are looking like oceans.

For the first year since we moved to Golden Grain Farm, our basement has remained dry all spring. Hooray for filled-in lagoons, newly installed weeping tile, and power that hasn't gone off, which means the sump pumps, which seem to run every five minutes, keep on working. It was costly but oh so worth it.

The mosquitoes are another story. Remember that Hitchcock movie The Birds? It's like that, only with bloodthirsty stinging insects. Outside in the evening, you hear the hum. Sometimes you have to outrun them.

And because this song is hilarious and true (if your husband has cattle, you know it), and Corb Lund the Alberta songwriter is a smart witty funny man, I give you this:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 1st - how's the weather?

This his how warmly I had to be dressed to go walking on July 1st. 
And sometimes, carrots are your neighbours.
(Do you ever hear things that seem a bit sideways while listening to radio or TV? And you are sure you didn't hear right?)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Eyeball Fatigue

Our windows have been wet in these relentless days of rain.

Working for a newspaper, my errors and oversights are often brought to my attention.

I try not to be embarrassed or ashamed, and take note of where to pay closer attention or take more time, but it still chagrins. It irritates. Irks. Dumbfounds, even.

There is some kind of blindness, where I look right at something and don't see it, or see something different. 

Eyeball fatigue. 


The rain has stopped and there is some blue sky. A breather.

"The secret to getting your home in order is moving your arms and legs." (