Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coffee Time

What a pleasure it is to have a friend who likes to have coffee outside with me in the morning!

A bit behind on the backyard landscaping, but what can you do -- skip the morning coffee? Methinks not!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friendship of 40 years

Company's coming! Company's coming!
Cathy will arrive from Saskatoon sometime today.
So much water in the past couple years that we now have reeds growing in the ditch outside our driveway.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Odd Coincidence

This morning I posted a recipe at Stubblejumpers Café, one that was given to me by my friend Carolyn. It’s been years since we’ve spoken on the phone and I don’t see much from her on Facebook, so before leaving for work I sent her a message just to say her recipe was up. Just a little shout-out, for fun.

 When I got home, I saw my cousin Karla’s number on the call display and rang her back. “What’s up?”

She is a lab tech assistant up north and was taking a man’s blood today when he said, You’re not from around here, are you. You remind me of someone I used to know. A girl from, where was it now ... Margo. 
By cracky. Karla is from Margo!
No kidding! What was that girl's name, now? He described her to Karla, who said “That sounds like Kathy.”
And sure as shit, he is someone Carolyn and I used to know up north and I, at least, haven’t thought of often for 30 years. And the funny thing is, he is Carolyn’s ex.  
And funnier still – no, stranger – is that he couldn’t explain what reminded him of me. It was the way Karla moves, talks ... He didn’t know why either really. The memory just came into his head, he said, as if he was quite baffled. 
That’s the first I’ve heard of anyone seeing a family resemblance between Karla and me. We are both surprised and amused. But it is kind of nice too.
I said I hope she isn’t too insulted by the comparison, considering I’m 15 or 20 years older than she is. Woot! as they say in blogland.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Well, the sun is out again.
In the summer, the first thing I do is take my cup of coffee and go see if it's warm (and dry: the dew settles on the chairs) enough to sit out there and bask.
Not today. Not quite. Almost.
Were I dressed . . . it might make all the difference.

One morning last week, I literally skipped down the driveway, just happy to be here.
The child has not gone from me. Oh no, she hasn't. 

Speaking of the child, here I was at age four I think, as the flower girl for Mom's cousin Beryl. 

Beside the bride, of course.
One thing I remember from the wedding day is that I wore this thing under the skirt to make it stick out like that. And was there a hoop? Well it was pleasing to me at that age, at any rate. The fabric of the dress was silky-lovely, and I was feeling pretty fancy. Did Mom make the dress, Reta?

And at the dance, a tall man (or was everyone tall to me, then?) plucked me from someone's knee and held me in his arms, prancing away with me. I was both thrilled and terrified, and laughed so hard that I cried at the same time.

I might still do that when I'm frightfully scared in moments of danger. Fortunately it happens rarely.

The last of a set of stationery cards on my bookshelf.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Furnace in August

Yesterday it was 67F in the hallway. I cranked the furnace up to 72 and stayed indoors all day, except for my trip to town to visit Emil for an hour in one of his two livingrooms.
I wore my swanky new leggings (thanks Joan) under my jeans and thought, well, aren't these much slicker than long underwear! No extra bulk, and nice and warm.
Emil insisted that we sit, not in his bedroom or in the living room that was quiet, but in the one with the TV on. 
Conversation was somewhat occasional, and I was often distracted by the television, but we sat there for an hour. And then he heard the house supervisor tell someone it was time to wash up for supper. He was up and out of his chair before I could lift my chin. I don't ever doze off while sitting up, but may have rested my eyes for a moment, a break from the four splashy women chattering on the TV screen.
"WoopWoop! I guess I'd better go wash my hands! It's supper time. Thanks for coming, Mom."
And he was off, and I was of no more interest to him than a gnat.

Earlier I had stopped at the Red Apple store, needing pillowcases. Okay, not "needing." Just "wanting." 
You've heard me pontificate about "discount" or cheap-as-dirt stores, saying that everything you purchase there is sub-standard and will start falling apart in the first washing, if it gets that far. But I had two sets of brand new feather pillows that needed pillowcases —Where have all the pillowcases gone? I guess they don't last forever, and the house elf hid ours for our own good — and there is no place else in town to buy them— or is there? shoulda held off till a weekday and checked the hardware store— and I didn't want to wait till I get to the city because heaven knows when that will happen.
And then, given my druthers, fabric containing polyester is avoided. But that's more when it comes to clothing, because the fabric doesn't breathe; perhaps it doesn't matter as much with a pillow case. Anyway, every bit of bedding at the Red Apple had polyester in it. I threw up my hands and grabbed two sets of pillowcases that were available without matching sheets, thinking at least these will keep the pillows clean till I find some better quality sheet-sets in my travels.
I washed and dried the pillowcases after arriving home and sure enough, while slipping them over the pillows, found a one-inch tear in the seam of one of them. 
And sure I could package them back up and exchange them for a new set, but screw it: it would take less time to stitch up the hole myself (and that's saying something, because I'm all thumbs with a needle after not touching one for perhaps years) than to stand at the counter while they fill out the paperwork. 
This frilly thing is far from my favourite type of poppy, but I'm partial to anything in the red colour spectrum. 

I really must go spend a weekend with Shirley, my industrious gardening, quilting aunt who lives in Margo, and finish the quilt Mom and I started during the year from heaven/hell, her last. Nine years ago. Lordy!
Hell because Mom was dying and that just friggin kills anyone who loves her. Heaven because it was nine months living in the same city with her and my sisters. We spent lots of time together, and not just ordinary time— though there was lots of that— but precious time because for those months we were all wide awake.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Virginia Woolf woodcutter

My literary loves are diaries, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and letters.
I made my first forays into the mind of Virginia Woolf by reading her diaries.
I then read a biography and, at the same time, some of her novels and essays.
Think I’m due to have a look at a collection of her correspondence.
Definitely I’d like to watch The Hours again!

Received this link today in a digest for a Virginia Woolf list:
It’s a great introduction to Virginia Woolf and a pleasing read when she’s an old friend. The writer is also a woodcutter, and has included Virginia Woolf’s likeness.
“Nicely done,” as the man says.
The man being Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC Radio’s weekday-morning flagship. He has used the words so often after a musical guest’s performance that I feel positively plagiaristic saying them myself.

On that same list was a link to this excellent article with photos:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Singalong Saturday

Is there anything not to love about sleeping in on Saturday morning, drinking freshly ground and brewed black coffee, reading and writing at your computer and listening to CBC Radio's weekend programming?
I say not.
Unless it's an early morning walk on a mild day.
I did go out on the step and deadhead a few nicotianas, but it's cold out there. Me and my fluffy green housecoat came back in.
"What are your plans?" Scott asked last night.
"None," said I, "except Emil would like me to go visit him at the group home, so I'll do that. You?"
He'll be in the field all day. Was gone before I got up, and may rush through the house to stuff food down his neck once or twice, but basically is trying to get things done ahead of portended rain.
I admire farmers, but I sure don't want to be one. Too much pressure.

A couple of my favourite CBC radio shows:

Quirks and Quarks

Randy's Vinyl Tap
-A couple hours early Saturday evening, listening to this show together, is my idea of a pretty much perfect date.

And here's Peter Gabriel's lovely song, covered by Pink and John Legend:

Friday, August 22, 2014

I love Fridays

It's turned cold.
Can't say as I don't welcome it.
Though I won't be saying that if my flowers freeze one of these nights.
They are looking splendid just now. In their prime, I suppose.
And they like cooler weather. They perk right up.
Which I need to do this minute. I've only been out of bed half an hour and am not dressed yet, when really I should be walking into the office to get down to business.
It's production day for the paper, which is due at the press by three or four o'clock. We've never managed that since I started the job, but lately we've shaved off the last two hours from the end of the workday, so maybe we'll get there yet.
This week I've put in a few hours practising pagination; that's putting text and photos onto the pages and requires attention to detail as well as a cordial acquaintance with the tools. I need a lot more practice.
I've read through articles and polished 'em up. I've written captions for photos. I've cobbled together a column of bits and bobs. I've written up stickynotes and used them to make a plan for the layout of this week's issue. Fitting the ads, stories and pictures onto each page is like doing a puzzle. And today, once each page is finished and printed, I'll read everything again and try to catch anything that isn't quite right.
And finally, I'll load pictures and text onto a thumb drive to bring home with me for Monday, when I'll add them to the webpage.
So I'd better get a move on. It's the busiest day.
Where I'll sit and sip my wine at the end of the day, if it warms up.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Some may think it's macabre to have a little doll around that is patterned on my mother, who has passed on. But I'm here to tell you that if I clasp Little Grace to my heart and think of Mom ... well, it is a moving experience and quite lovely. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cellphone Racket

The step is wet this morning and that's okay with me.
I like a change.
Summer isn't summer until it's warm enough to sit outside in the evening after dark. We've had a few of those nights now, where not only could I sit on the step and admire the stars, but could leave the bedroom window open all night and wear nothing to bed. That's summer.
But so is rain and the sweet, fresh scent of it.
And the Newfoundlanders have it right; their "old wives" calendar considers Aug. 15 to be the first day of fall. It seems early, but we've already seen sandhill cranes here in recent weeks, which means they're on their migratory path back south. Crows are gathering into murders and yesterday on my way home from work a large flock of Canada geese flew over the road and landed in a farmer's field.
And when I sat out on the step last night, I was overwhelmed by the size of a flock of barn swallows that swooped and dove expertly around me and over the water of the dugout, and held a noisy planning session in the trees. Our own yard/barn has only been home to half a dozen of them this year, so these others have obviously come in from elsewhere. And soon they will all be leaving, together.
I don't mind fall— as a matter of fact, I love it— though I'll be sorry to see summer go. It seems it's just got started.

If you are texting me and getting no reply, this is why. My cellphone, barely two years old, not only has a dead, swollen battery that is not replaceable locally, but has fallen from a car seat onto concrete and had its screen shattered. It still works when plugged into the charger, but I'm told that dropped phones are in danger of exploding and should not be used. Whether it's true, I don't know, but I'm leaving the thing off anyway.
Meanwhile I am struggling with my inclination toward frugality and having trouble with the idea of laying out the kind of cash they want for these apparently throw-away items.
Maybe a few days without using the thing will break me of the habit, and I won't miss it at all. Though texting is a handy tool, which is basically what I use my phone for, it does seem like a bit of a racket when you look at what the phone companies are charging for these bits of circuitry and plastic and how they make them obsolete within a year or two. Maybe I'll opt out completely.
Because dammit, if I'm paying $750 for a new toy, I'd like to believe it might last me for more than two years. And don't get me started on their contract "freebies." You end up paying an extra $250 for your phone over the two years your contract extends. Why don't I just withdraw a couple hundred bucks from my savings account and set a match to it right now?
I'm cheap that way. And I know I'll drop the thing sometimes; it's inevitable. The one above hit the dirt several times; it was the concrete driveway that did it in, and I'm to blame for being careless. Still, less than two years old and the place that sold it to me can't find me a new battery to purchase? Something is wrong with this picture.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mr. Gonna-Get-the-Work-Done

Waiting for Scott to get out of the tractor. This field is about 5 miles northeast of our place and he needs a ride home.

Maybe every field is my favourite, because I love being out at this one, too. Want a ride there or back? Need a meal brought out? I'm your gal. 

Last year I spent a mere hour driving the bale truck around this field on a warm, sunny day in the fall. The cab of the truck is about 10 feet off the ground (OK just feels that way) and you drive super-slow and you bounce all over the seat as you do, and the steering wheel is the size of a tire.

One hour is about right. If only farming were that easy for everyone! These guys put up with a lot of physical discomfort: long hours; heat and no air conditioning; biting horseflies ... I admire their stamina. 
Mr. Gonna-Get-the-Work-Done

Monday, August 18, 2014

Purple Coneflower

A rare summertime treat is the sun shower. You know — when it rains, but the sun continues to shine. We got that yesterday afternoon while I was in the flower patch, and I was able to keep right on deadheading along. The flower patch got its facelift and I only got pleasantly damp.

This photo was taken on Tuesday, when I used the sprinkler to give all the flowers their weekly deep  soak.

Purple coneflowers, a.k.a. echinacea. After years without success, there is finally a population of them in my flower patch.
I don't think of myself as a writer.
Oh, I write.
Competently enough.
But I don't "craft" my writing.
Oh, I tighten and polish it alittle.
But I don't think about structure, colour, action, storytelling and persuasion, as "real" writers do.
I just say what I have to say, as clearly and accurately as I can without labouring.
I don't challenge myself to make an art out of it.
Just sayin'.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Come walk with me

Do you think I will ever remember to take a hammer and nail out there and tack this sign to a tree? I've only been meaning to for about two years.

There. The hammer is out of the desk drawer and onto the bed. Next: find a nail.

When you pull out of our driveway, you barely look, thinking it's safe to go. But long grass in the ditch can surprise you when a speeding vehicle streaks out of it. And if you had pulled out, you'd'a'bin T-boned.
Don't risk it. 

I walked across the road yesterday afternoon and took a very pleasant hike around the perimeter of the field where Scott was making bales.

I am particularly fond of this quarter-section of land; don't ask me why. Maybe because it makes for a very private walk. Maybe because, to my knowledge, it has never, ever had a drop of poison sprayed onto it.

These were my happy and excited companions.

There is just the right amount of open field mixed with bush and sloughs.

Look! Yonder a ship appears on the horizon. The earth is round!!!!
I wonder who has been sleeping here. It looks like a comfy spot.
There are hobo spider webs all over the stubble, in certain areas. Hobo spiders build a funnel web and lie in wait at the bottom of it for their prey. Look closely and you'll see the spider there.

Click to enlarge.

When I got home, I cracked a chilled can of Palm Bay, the vodka/juice cocktail Karen has wafted under my nose and given me a taste for, and plopped down into a chair on the back step.

One reason I don't walk often over my favourite quarter is that I don't have ankle-protecting boots. I need to make a trip to the city to try on the Blundstones I believe will fill the bill.

Meanwhile, these leather shoes Cathy gave me are just about right.
Before long, Scott drove into the back yard and started baling up the swaths behind the house. I went in and got a can of "pop" out of the fridge to take out to him; he'd be thirsty.

Something was up with the baler, though, and when he called it quits and pumped out the last one, it was a baby.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Shy birds Cautious birds Flighty birds

Turkey vultures cleaned up a carcass down the road.

They wouldn't let me close enough for a good picture, but ... it is what it is.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Poppy City

I've never met a poppy I didn't like.
In my yard they are welcome wherever they volunteer themselves, just like violas, which I have learned to respect and leave be.
This year I have backed off my flowerbeds, letting them have their way (just to see what they'll do), being a slacker when it comes to weeding and deadheading. And I never, hard as I try, do enough staking for this fricking windy yard.
Yet these colourful plants give me so much pleasure. In the mornings I literally say a regretful goodbye to them before leaving for work. I'm serious!

It's been such a hot day that it's 76F in the house and that's still cooler than it is outside, now, at 10:30, so we will leave the windows closed a while yet.

It's really summer, I figure, when windows can be wide open all night. Love it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rosebud Hall

This little country hall is one mile from our place, as the crow flies.

It was built in 1937 or so, but is still in use for community events.

We attended a wedding there last month.

When the DJ started playing Nazareth's version of "This Flight Tonight," my dance partner made some remark about the song and I said "Joni wrote it." He thought I was kidding. 
I thought, You've Been My Sweetie for 14 Years and You Think I Am Kidding?! 
I said, Damn Right. 
He gave me that look. You know, the one that means he thinks I am deluded. But dammit, he wouldn't bet me any cash! I proved it the next morning and couldabin 50 bucks richer.

And here's Nazareth:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On the Lake with Karen

And what a lovely afternoon it was!
I found Karen in her kitchen, with a plate of cut saskatoon/raspberry squares (three pieces = lunch) on the counter. We had a cup of coffee and watched pelicans out on the water, then decided to head out in Karen's paddleboat.
I had never been in one and was actually in the thing and being pushed away from shore before I remembered: I do not go into deep water without a lifejacket!
Karen, super swimmer that she is, laughed at me when I got out of the boat and walked back up to the house to find safety gear. But I do NOT fool around when it comes to water. I have a horror of drowning. I don't any better like the idea of watching someone else drown, either, but Karen was having none of that lifejacket business. (But Karen, you have so much to live for! And accidents happen!)
We "bicycled" around Margo Lake for an hour or two, chatting, watching the birds on the water, admiring the private beaches where, were I 30 years younger, I'd've been silly enough to sunbathe and soak up those old cancer rays naked.
Unfortunately my little point-and-shoot camera couldn't zoom in close enough to get a great shot of the pelicans, those humongous, splendid creatures!

Monday, August 11, 2014


It only took me five years to make use of the three-way calling option on my SaskTel phone.
I had to call SaskTel and ask how to use it. Oy!
Fortunately it's very simple, and so at 9 a.m. I dialed both my beautiful ugly sisters, one in BC and one at Margo, and had a nice chat.
Must make a habit of it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No Once and For All

My plates and glasses and bowls and coffee cups were all purchased at garage sales. Nothing matched, and that's the way I liked it. There was variety.

But someday, I thought, someday I am going to find a set of dishes that I fall in love with, and I'll buy them.

I never did fall in love with a set of dishes. At least, not love at first sight.

Instead my mother and sisters gifted me over the years with dishes from Princess House, which I thought so ridiculously expensive that I wouldn't buy them myself. For example, a set of four highball glasses is $50, and shipping them would add another $15 to the bill. Who can afford that? Hmph. I mean, why would you when you could spend 50 cents at a garage sale and take home half a dozen?

However, I ended up with a bit of a collection since my sister Karen was a rep for PH and when there were good sales, I'd look at the catalogues and purchase a set of crystal wine glasses or coffee mugs or something.

When Mom was living with terminal cancer in 2004/5 and I moved with my boys to Kelowna to be with her, we rented a suite that came complete with dishes. However, the first time I poured white wine into the glass provided by the rental kitchen, I was shocked at the difference in quality and esthetics between your everyday wine glass and the crystal goblets I had left back at home. This thing I was drinking out of was no beautiful object; it was functional, but not beautiful, and back home I had grown accustomed to holding something beautiful in my hand.

I had been spoiled.

When I turned 50 my sisters gave me a whack of money to spend, and I used it to purchase two or three sets of matching plates, side dishes, serving bowls and plates, casseroles and so on. Everything I could possibly want and was ordinarily too cheap to buy, I could now afford, and so I did.

Once at a garage sale I picked up and brought home a ceramic cereal bowl that appealed to me. But when I set it in the kitchen cupboard alongside my PH cereal bowls, it looked shabby and ugly in comparison. I gave it to the dog.

We've lived in this house here at Golden Grain Farm for about five years without livingroom or kitchen curtains. They're not really needed when no one can see in your windows, so there was no rush, but I figured someday I'd shop for curtains I really, really liked and then I'd buy them. I watched the Sears catalogues that came out, but never went to the city to look; I don't enjoy shopping and don't do it unless I need to.

And then this winter I thought, if I wait till I make a trip to the city look for curtains I can fall in love with, we will never have any. And you know what, Kathy? I said to myself. It's not brain surgery I'm doing here; mediocre curtains can be replaced. I can hang any old set of curtains up on that picture window and, if one day I come across a pair I love, I can buy them and pass along the old ones. Meanwhile we'll have curtains to close if we want to watch TV in the afternoon or keep the cold out in the winter, and the living room will feel cosy and complete.

I ordered some from the catalogue. They still aren't hung, nor are the rods I ordered to hang them on. But they're here.

Don't wait and wait and wait for that "someday" in order to find that perfect thing. As we all know, that someday may never come.

If you are happy with your eclectic collection of kitchenware, that's okay too. I've been there. It's just that I have inadvertently, without intending to, fallen in love with my Princess House dishes. They are actually a pleasure to wash, dry, and put away, because they are, to my mind, somewhat lovely (as dishes go).

Maybe I'll fall in love with these curtains, if they ever get hung.

It's the same with jewelry. I can rarely find anything fabulous enough to buy, and don't get excited when jewelry is given to me, but after wearing it for a while become quite enamoured of it.

There may be no point to this entry, but I won't wait till it has a perfectly good reason for being. It probably never will. You can have it right now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Some of the most blissful times for me are drives out to the field.

 I may go along with Scott when he goes to check crops, or maybe I'll take him out there and leave him with a piece of machinery that he will drive home later (as in the photo below), but either way, the trips to and fro are happy times. I may be bumping slowly over a rough dirt road at low speed or absentmindedly listening to my farmer remark upon the state of affairs — it's soon time to do this or that, depending on what level of development the plants are at — but I know I'm living the good, good, good life when I'm out there.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What I do at my job

I asked Lorna what she would like to see more of, here.
Her reply: "I haven't quite figured out what you do at your job." Something like that.
I have been thinking, How would I describe my job?

It's been a learning experience.
Not that I haven't worked for newspapers before, but it was in a different capacity, and Wadena News is one of a kind.

It's been around since 1908 and has a readership that spans generations of families.
People move away and still subscribe to it so they can keep up with folks back home. We mail all over the country as well as to 21 communities locally.
Some people drive into town on Mondays just because that's the day the paper will be in the mail.

My job is to relieve the owner and publisher of some of her editing and layout duties so she can concentrate on other essential areas.

I soon offered to manage the Opinions page, where we print commentaries and letters to the editor, and the This and That column, which is a hodgepodge of items too last-minute or too short for an article but of some interest.

Then, I read. And read. And read.

I'm an incorrigible proofreader. If I notice a typo or error, I can't help myself: I have to fix it. I read every article and column that goes in, and everything else there is time to read before the paper goes to press on Friday. I write captions for photos, headlines for articles, and subheads for columns and correspondent news.
Scott parks in the shade of the maple tree when home during the heat of the day.

Then I read. And read. And read. That's what editors do, tightening and polishing as they go, trying not to be too heavy-handed even when they're dying to rewrite something completely. Editors are improvers, clarifyers, and nitpickers.

Coming from a decade as a subject editor with the Canadian Encyclopedia, my editing skills till now have been geared toward the facts, the facts, and nothing but the facts, with vignettes of colour sneaked in whenever possible. One time I edited a biography of a well-known First Nations actor who wanted it to list the names of his dozen grandchildren and his half-dozen great-grandchildren, of whom he was naturally proud and who, he was right to assume, were important life accomplishments of his own as he and his wife were raising some of them. I had to say sorry, but our bios can't include all that detail beyond what you have accomplished in your career.

Here, however, it is just the opposite. Since everybody knows everybody, and knows everybody else's immediate families and cousins, not to mention everybody else's neighbours, and usually their neighbours' dogs' names, too, we want to put names galore into the articles, and mention who the subject's parents and grandparents are, and where they were all raised.

After 10 months in the e-chair I am still learning how to look at community news, what requires more coverage than other things and why, and how, and so on. When they said you can learn something new every day, I think they may have been talking about those of us who work at newspapers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Get back on that horse, giddyup, giddyup

And it's back to the morning scurry for this kid.

Not that I'm complaining. It's good to have a job, and I enjoy the work well enough. But time off is addictive and passes too quickly.

Fortunately, and I remind myself often, most weeks I have more days off than on if you don't count the hours I put in Monday mornings from my home office, putting articles and pictures onto the webpage (Lorna: They don't feel like work so I tend to forget about that.

And now, the oatmeal porridge is down and it's time for a quick dip in the tub, and then I must leave poor Ducky Doodle alone in the porch for the day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Days

"You no bring me coffee, me no clean filter basket!"
Maybe Scott is finally getting the message, because he brought me a mug of the black early this morning, before leaving the house. So I’ve been up for an hour, instead of sleeping till 9 or 10.
Holidays, what are they good for! Sleeping in, that's what I say.
Honest to god, I'm a sleeper. I'm a stay-up-late, sleep-till-the-cows-come-home kinda gal, trying to be an early-to-bed, early-to-rise'er and not being very successful. But it's coming. Slowly. 

Emil was here all weekend, and as usual in the morning when I remember he’s not here, I’m a bit disappointed at finding myself alone in the house. If you don't count my doggy shadow, that is. The Duck has been keeping pretty close since we've had days and nights of thunderation mixed in with the heat and sun. Yesterday there was a five-minute shower that I waited out, stood under the eave outside the door. Lots of gorgeous weather to watch from the chairs on the deck, with my evening glass of wine in hand and my neck and ankles slathered up with an essential oil combination meant to repel mosquitoes and ticks.

The only thing better might be having some company out there once in a while.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Scorpion Alert!

Everett likes to go down to the farmers market in town every second Saturday. He is a fan of homemade jams and, apparently, of iron art. This was on the kitchen table yesterday when I dropped Emil off at his house for a couple hours. Its creator said it took him all evening to make one.

Everett is a Scorpio, so this is fitting. Watch out for those pincers.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vodka and Pink Grapefruit Juice

Yeah, so?

I am on holidays, and it is hot out.

And it's not as if I didn't do anything today. Scott offered me cold cash to sweep up a couple rooms at a construction site, so off I went in my leather sandals and without workgloves. Drywall dust could be wiped off the sandals after, but a blister did start developing on my little finger. Good thing it was done in less than two hours. Thank goodness; I was bored silly anyway, though it was a welcome change from what I've been doing the past week or two.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Damn Dishes

Emil is a repeater. He has heard what you said, and will remember it word for word, and will use it as his own. We all know, from raising children, that it is essential to watch what you say around them because “little pitchers have big ears” and will embarrass you or someone else by saying something that wasn’t meant to be heard outside your own home. Emil, age 26, is like one of those little pitchers.

For instance, one time I hugged Gunnar goodbye and exclaimed, “It’s like hugging a wall!” He is six-foot-four and a big galoot. When they were here, Gunnar and Melissa picked Emil up for lunch one day and he introduced Gunnar to his house supervisor: “This is Gunnar. He’s big, like a wall.”

Another thing about Emil’s particular brain is that if you interrupt him mid-sentence — say, for instance, you want him to clarify a point — he will then start at the first word of the sentence again, and repeat the entire thing verbatim, like a recording. He can’t start in the middle of it, where he left off. It’s the way his brain works; a cerebral palsy thing, I guess.

Everett and I went out for supper last night at a local restaurant and then picked Emil up for the weekend. After we went for an ice cream treat at the local dairy dip, he came home with me. “It’s a long weekend; I get to stay till Monday,” he has said numerous times. He's quite happy about that, apparently, if only because he'll have free range in the kitchen.

Often when he’s here, there are dishes on the counter and he will say something like “We should get those dishes done so it looks nice in here.”

I can’t remember what his exact words are, but they are repeats of something he has heard me say. I am waiting for him to say them today, because maybe he will help me tackle that damn pile of dishes I can’t seem to get to the bottom of!

I said to Scott the other day: Make up your mind what you want for a water treatment system, because it's well past time we got a dishwasher in here.

"We've already got a dishwasher," he retorted, meaning me, "but it makes a lot of noise."

He quite often makes me hoot with laughter, as he's got a uniquely goofy and witty sense of humour, but I might've bitten the inside of my cheek when I grinned at that one: ha ha.

Trees inside the northern block of bush along our driveway are dying, due to flooding. Red-winged blackbirds have moved in. We do live in the middle of a swamp, apparently.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Barrel twins reach destination

to shelly:
subject: finally got my barrell in half

with the bands to hold them together
and the drainage holes in the bottoms
next: as soon as the plywood is under so that they can be mowed around, to make scott happy,
i have a pail of broken concrete to put into each one for help with drainage
then: black dirt into wheelbarrow
and: good to go for next spring, I guess!
there is one on each side of the big perennial bed in the front yard.

to kathy:

For drainage and lightness, I have taken to putting empty cans and plastic bottles in the bottom of pots, less dirt required and depending on the pot.....easier to move about!

Its the long weekend upon us....
Huge thunder lightning and heavy rainfall happened about 2 hrs's blue skies. Such strange weather.

Found a lake lot I hope to go see this weekend, said its a 5 min walk to the lake (Hanmore) would like to see what that would be all about.....cause I want lake front.

to shelly:


Yes it's a bit far for a girl from edmonton to travel, but if the price is right ... OK I admit it, I'm dreaming.
The barrell came home with me two years ago from shelly's brother's, and needed some work, but thanks to my scottie i now have two large planters, woo hoo!

The recipe at Stubblejumpers Café today is a homemade tick repellent for pets: CLICK HERE.