Make Sure It’s Working

beautiful snowbanks 2

Shelly is sewing hats for welders and I’ve set up a webpage for her at, and a Gmail account to forward website mail to her. It just occurred to me that I should make sure it’s working.

Date Today 1:40 pm

No response necessary and besides, if you hit Reply to this, your email will go to blazebeanies@gmail anyway, not to me.

Another gorgeous day here! I decided to make a point of getting outside every day before noon, even if it’s just to fill the birdfeeders and walk only to the end of the driveway. Of course once I’m out there on a day like today, who wants to turn around and come back in? So I got my one mile out of the way already.

Next: making bagels.

Scott’s bringing pizza home for supper, last I heard.

Talk to you later — well okay, maybe just send me a quick text to say you did receive this. Then I know the forwarding function from blazebeanies@gmail is working as it ought.



Beverly King:  Every day I have to take Chodron’s advice to “start where you are.” I’d like to run, but my running days are long over, so I walk instead. I’d like to do a lot of physical things that would only punish my body in the long game. I’m slowly learning it’s much better to listen and respect my body, acknowledging that I am aging and learning to adapt as I go. I don’t want to stop moving, so I’ll just figure out how to do things differently.

I haven’t figured out yet that I’m aging or that this is the reason why my body makes complaints it never has before. I still think it must be something I did “yesterday” without noticing.

Something Pema Chodron said that made so much sense is that we are always trying to escape uncomfortable moments or situations, as if we’re not meant to have them once we’re where we want to be in life.

Wisewebwoman: I run and climb a lot in my dreams. Effortlessly. Remember whens. I did have that foot pain you describe when I ran, could never sort it. Like a burning. Exams couldn’t detect anything. I’d get that look, you know the one women patients get: all in the head, hysteria, crazy lady. Sigh.

I’ve never had that one! I’ve had the “It’s not the medication that’s making you depressed, it’s that you’re lacking something spiritually.” Jesus Christ. I went off the medication without that doctor’s blessing and was back to my normal optimistic self within a month.



Short Week Begins (Tues)

home again

Looking south off the back step

I just read somewhere that as we age, the soles of our feet get thinner and that’s why our feet might hurt when we walk. Could this be true?

It’s different for me every time I go out there. Some days, like today, I walk a mile without noticing any particular parts of my body. Other times, the middle of my back will complain. Another day it might be the bottoms of my feet. Same boots, same road.

Every walk’s a surprise, then. For the rest of February I’m limiting myself to a mile at a time. It’s no fun having your feet or back act up when you’re too far away from home.


Did you hear on Quirks and Quarks (CBC Radio) that benzene, a known carcinogen, is floating around in all our houses, and chloroform (also thought to be carcinogenic) is also in the air. Even trace amounts cause cancer. They’ve discovered that making a GMO addition to devil’s ivy, a house plant, causes it to remove all benzene and chloroform from its environment within a week. Greenhouses are gearing up to massive production of this plant so they can supply the demand they expect once the word’s out .


“The light always returns.” I forget where I read this, but it seemed worth remembering at the time.


Lorna Cunningham-Rushton: It’s a bit challenging but so beautiful here when we have so much snow. I have now spent 12 minutes trying to add a photo to this comment, but crap!

I didn’t know it was possible! Let me know if you figure it out.

Beth: It is amazing how just a few degrees will help the mood, oh and of course sunshine!

Then add shiny things – the glitter on snow – and voila! Magical. Signed, A Crow

Plunked in the Middle of the Map

meringue snow

These snow peaks remind me of the meringue that tops a lemon pie before it’s lightly browned.

It’s warmed up! Yay! My walk yesterday afternoon was heavenly.


Wisewebwoman: You reminded me of dear Joni: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” A song that Grandgirl and I now sing together. We still have loads of wildlife here but that’s only because we are so vast and so uninhabited and unfarmed but climate change may see big changes to that. I love going out on your walks.

Are there other places I might like to go for any length of time, like a month or more, in winter? No … I don’t want to miss any of THIS.

The landscape isn’t as eye-catching as those with hills and valleys and rivers and mountains, but the space and distance and subtleties … it’s as much a feeling as a seeing.


Didn’t Get Run Over

get out of the way

Looks like it’s grain-hauling time in the not-a-valley.

It didn’t seem too windy yesterday afternoon when I went for a walk, but as I heard the loud engine of this semi truck bearing down on me from the north and turned to see what was coming, I realized there was indeed a wind from the west and I’d better move over to the west side of the road if I didn’t want to be buried inside a snowbank.

Fortunately the considerate driver slowed down to pass me so I wasn’t blown off the road. He was the only other living thing I saw out there, which sometimes worries me … shouldn’t there be at least one wild animal? I mean, I can see for half a mile in every direction.

get out of the way 2

And there he goes.

It’s always a reminder that we’ve decimated the wildlife population by — what is it, 70%? It’s horrible, whatever it is. Shame on us.


I have to get back to work, I’ve a deadline to meet today. I’ve taken time to eat a good breakfast and lunch though, and wash some dishes, and put a basket of laundry in, and go downstairs three more times to redistribute the load so it’d quit banging the machine around.

I haven’t made the bed yet though. Some years ago, after years of being wishywashy about bed-making, I began making ours as soon as I got out of it. (Blame this on the Flylady at I liked walking into a bedroom with the bed made, and getting into a made bed at night, so stuck to the habit. Then I read somewhere that there are teeny-tiny invisible-to-the-naked-eye creatures that like the dark damp of a made bed, so that making it as soon as you rise isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. I didn’t think of this often or change my habit, till recently while watching Coronation Street one of the characters said about another, the fastidious Roy, that he “airs” his bed before making it. Well if Roy thinks it’s a good idea, by cracky I’m going to follow suit. Thus our bed is a tangle of sheets now, at 12:25 pm.

I have to get back to work. On my next break it will be time to go out to the barn and see about another walk. It was 39-below when Scott brought me coffee at 7:30 this morning, but surely it’s warmed up 10 degrees or so by now.


wisewebwoman: “Hefty sandwiches for the men” dear goddess I can’t move beyond that sentence.

I know, right? Make sure there’s enough food or the men won’t show up. This was particularly true back in the day when farmers hired threshing crews in the fall and the woman of the house had to feed six or a dozen hungry men. If the food wasn’t tasty and plenty, it was soon known, and the following year the farmer would have trouble finding a crew to help with the harvest.

Beth: Does that mean after a literal death or just the end of a thing or circumstance…or either.

Both. In my case, at this time, it’s the latter — well, basically just change itself or, more specifically, letting go of resistance to what’s in front of me and of attempting to steer it. If I were doing a reading for someone, the meaning of the card would relate to what’s going on in their life — sometimes that IS literal death, but usually it’s just symbolic and has to do with endings and new beginnings.

Secret Agent Woman: That first photo, especially, is drop-dead gorgeous.

Thank you! That scene really caught my eye. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a strong urge to walk into it. And here’s a secret I’ll let out of the bag: I talk out loud to the snowbanks because sometimes they’re so beautiful I can’t help telling them. I stop and take pictures even if it means my fingers get pretty damn cold.

Secret Agent Woman: Special hefty sandwiches. I guess the women got much lighter fare?

Dainty eaters in comparison? Some women. I notice, especially on farms, that everyone thinks it’s more important that the men get enough to eat because they’re considered to be the ones who do the hard labour.

That Scary Death Card


The Tarot Draw

The three naked people are very afraid that whatever’s coming might be as bad as, or worse than, what they’re going through right now. They would give all their worldly treasures to keep things as they are – the status quo, “the devil you know.” They feel powerless against the inevitability of death and change; they beg and pray for mercy and safety in exchange for their faith and worship. Not sure what’s coming, they hedge their bets with offerings and supplication to an unseen entity they imagine is in control.

Look on the other side of that river … the hills are alive and green, the sun’s coming up. I need to remember that the end of one thing doesn’t mean the end of all things; that what comes after change is often much better than what exists right now; and that as uncomfortable as change can be – even when you want it – one soon adjusts to new and different situations and can even be grateful — later — for the lessons and growth brought by our troubles.

If you are reading this, the message of this card is also for you.

Local History

From ‘Looking Back’ in our community paper, the Wadena News

Feb.11, 1949, LINTLAW: A Silver Tea will be held at the home of Mrs. Tom Scott on February 12 from 3 to 6 o’clock, under the auspices of the United Church Ladies Aid. Special hefty sandwiches will be made for the men, so please do not stay away thinking that you might not get a good tuck in, your support is needed.

Feb. 11, 2009, HENDON: Population doubles in Hendon as Black lab gave birth to 13 puppies.


grandmotherwisdomweb: Thanks for the accompanying pictures to your walk

You’re welcome! Anyone who doesn’t follow me on Instagram, by the way, can click on the sidebar (orange on your computer, blue on your phone) to see the photo I’ve posted most mornings. Usually it’s a picture I haven’t and won’t post here.

 Lorna Cunningham-Rushton: Those were beautiful pictures of an entirely different tough winter from ours. It’s been hard here because of the up and downness of the temperature, and because we’ve had snow, melted snow, rain over both and as a result, with the temperature now down around minus 20, we have ice everywhere there isn’t hardy slush. We had our grandkids overnight and they were out first thing this morning, zooming their sleds down every scary or slightly unexciting slide. The wind was high, but it often is here even when it’s calmer around us, for which they were grateful, as they had really great rides in the front of the building. I got to stand in the window with my coffee pretending I wasn’t afraid of a nasty outcome. Yesterday, the wind was so high that when I went out on the drive to meet the kids, it took me 3 bent-forward pushy steps to make one step forward. They were highly amused.

What a picture! In contrast, we’ve had very little wind here, which is unusual for us. It’s not terribly icy, either; I’ve taken those stud-things off my Sorels for now, as they were making tiny dints in our wooden step and I’m told that’s not a good thing. I hadn’t even noticed. Someone else around here couldabin a detective.

wisewebwoman: Thanks for the wonderful walk. I would seriously consider putting that first one on canvas it has an incredible quality.

It’s a nice one, isn’t it! Alas I’m wall-challenged; no place to hang a picture without removing one that’s already there. Maybe I have to start rotating them quarterly or something. Pfft! as if I’d be that on the ball … Meanwhile I’m looking for the place on my phone to change the resolution setting of the camera, and do you think I can find it? Even when I search online, where you can find instructions for doing pretty much anything, they tell me what to do but the place they say to find the setting, when I get there, doesn’t have the option described. Grrrr. I may have to contact Samsung directly, which is cool too. They have that distance-managing feature that is so handy for the mechanically challenged like me.

Teresa:Great pictures. I haven’t been able to get out for a walk in weeks. Just too icy.  I haven’t seen a city truck or any other contractor out cleaning the roads. To top it off another storm is heading our way starting Tuesday with 30+cm. My neighbour texted this morning telling me her water has frozen. Second one in two weeks. The city redid our road a couple of years ago now each winter frozen pipes are a worry. Which we have to fix at our expense. I am so over winter.Hurry up spring.

Spring’s only a month away! Hard to believe. We haven’t had any serious problems from this cold weather — knock on wood — so far. Everett’s had pipes freeze in the old house he rents, but not this year or even last, since he now remembers to keep a fan blowing on the pipes in his basement. I saw your pics on Facebook this morning; looks like you’re having a snow day, like it or not!



A Winter Walk with Kate

I was making my way back from the barn when the row of elm trees looked so enticing I almost went trudging into the deep snow …

under the elms

… but that would be detrimental to my health. Wading through deep snow makes breathing heavy, did you know that? In no time at all, I’d be exhausted. So instead I returned the empty ice-cream pail (cat-food carrier) to the house and headed toward the road.

driveway beckons

You guys must get sick of seeing our driveway.

We’ve had this super-cold weather lately, so I was surprised to find upon reaching the road that it didn’t seem so horrible out there and I wanted to keep going. I hadn’t been for a walk lately as the last two weeks were at a house next to a highway, where I had no inclination to venture; all I’d done was ramble around the large yard, but that’s just not the same.

along the road

It was beautiful out there, with the sky so blue and the glittery snow and the blue shadows and the distance, distance, distance! and again I thanked my lucky stars that I live where I do. No traffic. No houses. Just me and the road and the hope of seeing a moose or coyote or deer or rabbit up close (but not too close, in the case of that first one). The wind has created vast fields of hard, sculptured waves.

windswept field

Having done little walking in recent weeks, and reminding myself that in spite of my comfort it was probably still 25-below, I turned toward home after less than half a mile. Here’s our little pad tucked into the trees:

our pad

Seen from the south

On the south side of our driveway is this solid bush that I’m always powerfully drawn to. The bush on the north side has been hollowed out by flooding, but the south side still has a magical influence on me:

magic forest

I always stop and stand there, feeling its pull. It must be full of fairies.

And finally, the woodshed:


This side of it is south-facing so in spite of the deep freeze we’re in, the sun makes itself felt, creating a lace trim:

woodshed closeup

And that, my fine-feathered friends, brings us to the end of our stroll. There was nowhere else to go but the porch …


… where I was met by a wall of heat and an excited deerhead chihuahua.


I was ambitious after that, but didn’t get farther than making a double batch of lentil-herb soup that we’ll be eating for a week. Here’s the recipe, very simple:



wisewebwoman: You truly have inspired me to write about a dream I had last night.

I’ll be happy to read that!

lily cedar: Blogging reminds me a lot of pen pals I had as a kid. A chance to get to know other people that you would never normally meet.

I had penpals too, found through the youth pages of a newspaper, The Western Producer,  to which I contributed (god knows what) under the pseudonym Fudgehound. I was an avid chocolate-lover and fudge-maker from the age of nine.

Nine of Wands

Mythic the nine of wands

Nine of Wands, Mythic tarot deck 

So many decks to choose from and to discover — thanks again, Sharyn!

I have started with the type that is most familiar to me – tarot, which I’ve been reading since 1984 – and am getting to know each card in the Mythic deck slowly, drawing one each morning, setting it out to be seen repeatedly throughout the day, to give its message many times.

Those on this ship can see their safe destination just ahead, so close they could almost reach out and touch it or even swim there, but they’ve hit another snag and wonder if it’s even worth the effort anymore, if maybe too much damage will be or has already been done, if they might not make it after all their effort, their long travels. But those lit torches next to the welcoming stairs, and the calm waters just past the sharp rocks, give them hope and energy to go on, to keep trying: the goal is in sight.

The Nine of Wands points out that although I must attend to what needs my attention right here and now, holding onto my vision of what’s possible gives me strength to take one more step when I feel I can’t go on. Even though there’s a time to give up and walk away from a situation, being stubborn and persistent isn’t a bad thing!

And remember: if you are reading this, the message is also for you.


Wisewebwoman: i’m with you and Dorothy on that and yes, there’s nothing like mail, real mail, to lift the senses.

Snail mail is probably what started me on the path to blogging, now that I think of it. Writing letters made me write and eventually want to blog; receiving them made me love other people’s blogs. I keep meaning to make an effort to get back into writing and sending “real” letters, but never do it consistently. It’s one of those things I think of and then forget about, like so many of my big ideas.