[Mon] He Likes Pigs

Saturday: Woke up to snow. Mixed up a batch of sourdough bread, now rising. First rise: five hours. This is how it is when using wild yeast starter. The second and final rise, in loaf pans, is at least two hours. There is no need to keep the dough warm and out of drafts, as required when making bread the usual way. It sits out, tough, no coddling.

Will make pancakes with the remainder of the starter. I leave on Thursday for Regina, where Karen and I will board a plane bound for Calgary and transfer to a plane that will take us to Kelowna to see Dad. It’s a bad time to do this, for even though we’ve all had our vaccinations we could still be carrying the virus to others who have not yet been. I’m not proud of our decision, for this reason: it seems irresponsible and hypocritical (of me, who has been so strictly avoiding any contact that wasn’t absolutely necessary [I don’t even visit my friend, my mother-in-law, just down the road; I don’t visit my aunt, who lives alone and has been struggling with the isolation] and who has been so disgusted with people who foolishly refuse to curb their own socializing and travel; don’t even get me started on the idiots who attend anti-mask spreader-events, thinking they’re smarter than everyone else). For us the deciding rationale is that we were unable to be with Dad during his months-long, life-threatening ordeals, as the hospital would not allow us in, and now that he’s home and feeling better is the time to go. He’s improving every day now, and we all assume this will continue. But no one can be sure of the future, and so we will go now. What if we didn’t, and he took another sudden, unexplained turn for the worse? If that should happen now, after all he’s been through, and at his age … no, we can’t risk it. It would be a never-ending regret. We’re going.

Dad’s been on his feet well enough to go out and buy a different car. Karen is buying his “old ” one, which he didn’t like because it has too many fancy bells and whistles he could never figure out (sounds like my experience with this new formatting bullshit WordPress has put in place on this server; I hate it with the heat of a thousand suns because it makes posting ridiculously, ponderously inconvenient and frustrating). The car he bought is actually an older model! Anyway, we’ll be driving back home in the car she’s buying from him.

All that to explain that I used all the starter because there’s no point in leaving it here to be fed and watered daily, and refreshed weekly, and discarded and wasted because Scott won’t do anything with it (although he would maintain it if requested), while I’m away for a couple weeks.

Brought a bag of peeled bananas from the deep freeze to thaw and will make banana loaves. That is the plan so far.


Sunday: I was so busy in the kitchen all day that I never got out of my pyjamas.

Just before supper, Emil decided to write an email to Dennis Lakusta. I got him set up at the laptop here and went back to the kitchen. He called me a few times. “Mom, does ‘doesn’t’ need an apostrophe?” That kind of thing. After a few of these questions, I told him just to write it however he could and I’d look it over before he sent it, if he wanted. In the end he sent it without proofing.

More than 20 years ago, we went to a show at the Northern Lights Folk Club in Edmonton and Dennis was one of the performers. Emil became a fan. When Dennis some years later came out to Wadena to do a house concert, he stayed at our place. At any rate, there’s been a lasting admiration and every once in a while Emil will write an email to Dennis.

I had a peek at it later. The part that made me laugh out loud: I like pigs. He had to throw that in there!

Hi Dennis How are you doing? I would like to see you again sometime. This is the first time I have had a weekend at my moms since october. What have been doing now a days? What foods do you like to eat? I went to mexico In the year 20 20. Did you rite that new song called Emil goes to camp easter seal yet? What songs do you sing now?    Do you have a new car yet? I didnt get to go camp easter seal last year. I watch movies at home. I look at books at home. What do you do at home? I like pigs My mom made banana bread today. And my mom made banana muffins today. What all did you do today?  What did you have for supper tonight? Do you have any cats or dogs at home?      from Emil

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Journal 1999:

What do I want to say? That there are situations that are never resolved, that one has to live with. Strategies that help and strategies that don’t.

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Small griefs are tributaries of the river of loss. – C. Couture

I remembered not to fight or dam my sorrow or my regret.
I remembered not to hurry my way through crying, for unread pages of grief will simply wait until I next lay eyes on them. There is no skipping ahead. – C. Couture

Christa Couture is the mother of two babies who died, and she has written a memoir.

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Kelvington Radio
March 27, 1931
R. A. Kendel, of the Searle Grain
elevator, showed us a sample of whole
wheat flour which was ground three
times in an ordinary feed grinder. It
certainly looks as good as any flour of
this kind you could buy and Roy says
it makes even more palatable bread
than white flour.
-Looking Back, Wadena News

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Duckie March 2021

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[Sat] Before Rain and Snow

evening walk

I hate WordPress so bad right now. Oh sure it’s probably me mucking up somehow. Sure it is. Although you might think that if it was me, I’d’ve been mucking up the same way for the past years too wouldn’t you? Seriously it’s enough to put a girl off her cud. I’ll have to leave you with this old journal excerpt because I can’t be bothered to muck about with WordPress one more moment today. 

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April 1999:

Emil is getting so big! He stands to my shoulders, feels large when I hug him, and still has the flabby belly he grew after his last surgery, when he sat in a wheelchair for so long.

Two of his teeth came out today — one regular and one molar, side by side — so he has put them both into a glass of water and is looking forward to the tooth fairy’s visit.

“I wonder what she’ll leave me,” he said. “Maybe candy, or maybe money.”

“Which do you want more?’ I asked.

“Money” was his firm reply. Then, “Mom, why can’t I see the tooth fairy when she comes?”

“Because she’s imaginary.”

“Well it would be nice to see her.”

I guess he doesn’t know what ‘imaginary’ means, really, He likes to pretend there really is a Santa, though I’ve told him it’s parents who buy the Xmas gifts and that Santa is imaginary.

“But I saw him at the store! He’s real!”

(Emil was 10 years old, turning 11 the following month.)


More that day:

Lately I check my email and go to my favourite journal sites, but nothing much really excites me. It’s slightly disappointing. Maybe the novelty is wearing off, finally, after a year on the internet.

(Ha! This made me laugh out loud.)


What am I writing here, a history book? First it’s 20-some years ago, now it’s 90:

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90 Years Ago
April 1, 1931
MARGO: Miss E. Kinghorn, school
nurse from the department of public
health, made a professional visit
to the various rooms of the Margo
school. The good work of the school
nurses has in the past been largely
nullified because of expensive doctors’
fees. This should no longer prove a
barrier to effective remedy since the
municipal doctor is practically free.
-Looking Back, Wadena News

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[Fri2] One More Wee Testy

“Breathe,” he said. “Breathe in. Now hold it. Now out.”

“I’m all right.”

“Sure you are.”

“I don’t know what’s the matter.”

“The shock,” he said matter-of-factly.

“I’m not like this.”

“Look at the horizon. That helps too.”

Hateship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, by Alice Munro

[Fri] Posting by Email

Slept okay but my arm aches a bit after getting the vaccination yesterday. The nurse inserted the needle, then took it out because I have a “small arm” and poked me with a smaller one. I felt my muscle contract around the tip.

I got tested as well when I saw they had set up a walk-in clinic next door. That was more uncomfortable than the shot, but neither lasted long.

Wadena was really busy, lots of people coming to their appointments, and this pleased me.


10 years ago, a lot more snow

What a difference in snow cover between 10 years ago and today. At the Golden Grain Farm link, the photos show a lot of snow remaining. Today there is very little; the photo here shows the same garden space in our back yard. The farmers are worried, so we all should be. We like to eat.

I dressed warm – tuque covering my ears, dickie protecting my pencil-neck, suede gloves — and still the wind is too cool to be enjoyable. I walked north just past the trees of our yard, when the wind hit. I turned back and passed our driveway entrance but only so far as where the wind struck hard again. Retracing my steps I then veered into the second driveway, the grassy one on the south side of our house, and came in via the backyard, up onto the step and into the peaceful warm porch. I’ll go again later when, I hope, it’s not so cold.

Emil’s coming out today. He requested permission to go to Everett’s again but was refused; we are second choice. This will be his first weekend out here since October.

Now to see how this worked.

[Thurs] Cowlicks, Teeth, and Horses

“Three cowlicks,” said my hairdresser. “You have three cowlicks.”
This explains the stubborn unruliness of my hair when it’s short, as it has been since Emil was a year old and I had it cut into a “long shag,” which is how I should have it done next time.
This morning as I peered at it in the bathroom mirror, deciding whether it was bent and malformed enough to need soaking before I head to town for my vaccination, I wondered what a cowlick actually is.

cow•lick kou′lĭk″►

  • n.A projecting tuft of hair on the head that grows in a different direction from the rest of the hair and will not lie flat.
  • n.A tuft of hair which presents the appearance of hair that has been licked by a cow, as on herself or on a calf, out of its proper position and natural direction. Also called calf-lick.
  • n.plural The snowdrop-tree, Mohrodendron dipterum.

Okay, but what causes them? Apparently they form in utero. Many people have at least one.

That’s about as far as my enquiries go. I have three, a reflection of how stubbornly unruly I can be.

What I’m seeing in the morning mirror can’t be blamed on my cowlicks, though. It’s the fault of my pillow overnight.

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March 1999:
Everett told Mom there was something stuck between her teeth.
“Where?” she said, picking at them.
He pointed.
“Here?” she said, taking her false teeth out.
“EEEEEEEE!” he screamed, running away down the hall.

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This month’s charitable donation, ready to be stamped and dropped into the mailbox. See horseshit.ca if you haven’t heard what it’s all about — the inhumane shipping of Canadian horses to Japan for slaughter.

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