Pretty Thing

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My camera certainly doesn’t do justice to this art piece that is for sale at the store. It’s very pretty though, more than you can tell by looking at this. Marms, I have a camera on my iPhone 4. I didn’t think it was a great camera, but hey maybe it’s hard to go wrong when you have a beautiful big sky like we do here.

Lorna I’m sorry to hear you’re having pain troubles. I hope they’re soon resolved.

I’ve commented on your most recent blog entry, and also on yours, WiseWebWoman, and my comments don’t appear, so … don’t ask me why. But just know I’m reading!

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You know how occasionally we hear stories about how someone who was adopted has found their birth parents and discovered a whole new family? Or they've learned they have siblings and managed to meet them? Or a woman who felt she had to give up her baby has been contacted by and developed a relationship with a grown child she has worried about and longed for ever since? I've always been happy for those people and thought it must be a great feeling for everyone involved who is open to these heartful connections.

Well, it's happened to us. We’ve learned that my brother has a 29-year-old daughter he never knew about. She and her birth mother have reached out to us, and everyone in our extended family has now been informed so I can tell you: I have another niece! She and my brother are planning to meet in early January, and meanwhile Dad and my sisters are connecting with her on Facebook and by text. She and I spoke on the phone this morning, and I am pleased to have another young person addressing me as Auntie Kathy. I phoned my aunts and uncle this afternoon to share the news and we’re all pretty excited.

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Before Work

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This car was parked across the street from the store yesterday. It has ears and a mane; how’s that for detail.

Soon I can spill the beans about the good news. For now I must wait till the appropriate people have first been told.

How often have you or someone you know learned news on Facebook that should’ve been received firsthand or directly or at least with the warning to sit down? People are so anxious to share developments that they don’t think about that and hold off for a day or two. I’ve seen this with announcements of deaths, engagements, and pregnancies, and sometimes it’s really — well — not very nice. Not very considerate. Not very respectful.

So while there is a development in my life that has me bursting with an unexpected happiness and anticipation, there are other people who need to be told about it first. Unfortunately I tortured you and my sisters with my excitement — couldn’t help myself. With permission, I called Joan and Karen last night and told them the news. They both seemed as thrilled as me — no surprise there.

Oh shit, I have to finish this toast and coffee and get ready to go out the door.

Have a fine day! I’ll be alone at the store so the hours may drag for me. However … $$$$.

Feels Like Saturday; Isn’t

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It’s been a week since I’ve gone for a walk. Every time, I ask myself Why Didn’t I Get Out Here Sooner? Even on days when the weather through the windows doesn’t seem appealing, it’s almost always better than it looks.

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It’s gotta be an early night; I’ve  been up since six this morning. No dishes for this chick today; I be relaxin’ this evenin’ and facing the music tomorrow after work. Or maybe before. But tonight I’m tuckered and taking it easy.

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I haven’t been sleeping well for a few nights. What to do? A transfer to the couch sometimes helps. It’s worth a try. I need to be sharp tomorrow. My smartphone will rouse me once more at 6 a.m. to get ready for another day at the store.

The closest I get to attending church is the phone’s alarm, which sounds like churchbells. A rather pleasant way to awaken at an early hour.

See? Still thinking it’s Saturday.

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Ain’t Life Fun!

imageTwice this year I received news that prompted happy tears.

The first time was when I found out Gunnar and Melissa were expecting a baby in September. We were on video-chat and I think I managed to get myself and my snuffling out of the picture. We’d been looking forward to their family growing so this was not unexpected. On the day of their wedding, Melissa had thrown her birth control pills away.

The second time was tonight when a message came in on Facebook that kinda floored me but, then again, not really. I’m not free to share the news yet, but as soon as I am, I surely will. It’s all good! What a Christmas present.

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A Title? I Got Nothin’

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Some days are just so pretty.

The hardest parts of working next to this window all day are keeping my feet flat on the floor in front of me and sitting up straight. I’m constantly reminding myself.

And yawning by 7 o’clock! Apparently these hours of desk work are taxing.

It’s all put away for the night and I’m ready for bed. The dog’s been let out and all there is left to do is brush my teeth. Coming up: continuing my evening dates with Adam Gopnik; he’s written a memoir about living with his wife in New York city. The book’s overdue so I already owe 60 cents to the library.

Cat Chronicles
Two of the small kittens took meat from my hand today, and so did their Little Mama, the scarediest of all chicken-cats. If she ever loses her fear of people it’ll be a miracle.

Emil Chronicles
He phoned tonight to coordinate his weekend plans. Tomorrow he goes bowling. This past weekend he went to an arts council concert in Wadena but couldn’t tell me the name of the performer. He did get to chat with a certain pal who apparently said he’d take Emil out for supper again sometime. “He said it all by himself, Mom. It was his idea.” Going out to a restaurant and having you all to himself is the biggest treat for Emil, as his uncle Gary knows and so do Gunnar and Melissa: they all make a point of it whenever they’re here. The rest of us are not invited.

Where the Smokers Stand

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I was on the back step when this picture was taken, waiting for Mr DoodleDog. Looking north. It’s cooling off out there so he wastes no time getting back to the house.

I’ve been at the computer all day. Not really; that’s just how it feels when you’re not used to it anymore. It’s dark now and I’ve had a short bath to relax and am looking toward a free evening. If I don’t get another hour or two of work done; I’m a serious keener about some things. I like to get my teeth into a task and stay at it till it’s finished.

In other news … there is no other news. Nothing I’ll talk about here anyway, except in general terms to respect his privacy. Someone dear to me has had cancer recur after several years in remission. I’m sick about that.

Minor details: there is a cold sore under my right nostril today – small, irritating and, with luck, already on its way out.

And two of the youngest kittens took meat from my fingers this afternoon.

This is taken from the step too — pretty sure at the same time as the one above — but looking southeast:

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ShooFly, Don’t Bother Me

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There are many benefits to working from a home office. There are some challenges too. This is my first time getting accustomed to an online logging-in and -out system, which tracks my hours (yay!) and gives my stove-timer a break. It’s different because it makes me feel as if I am working in a company office — and so I don’t want to give myself ridiculously long lunch breaks, for example.

I’ll have to create some kind of routine that includes frequent stepping-away from the computer to stretch my neck and shoulders, a trip to the cats and the birds, and a walk in the fresh air. These at least. I’ll also want to get any dishes done, start laundry some days, get a jump on supper and so on, while still putting in a full workday. Wish me luck because it’s more difficult than it sounds. Methinks my lunch breaks will be “executive” ones — more than an hour — but we shall see.

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Friends sent this flower arrangement to the church for us, so after the funeral we tucked it into a large garbage bag and hurried it between vehicle and buildings — three times — before getting it safely home to enjoy in the coming week. Thanks again, Faye and Rick. Love it.

Running with Scissors

I wake to an empty house, except for Duckie Doodle. He’d like me to get up and sit with him. Instead I make coffee and tour the windows, looking out at the hoarfrost on the trees, and fog. Then I pull up at the laptop, which I’ve set on the kitchen table. From here I can see through the dining room window, which is way better than looking at the four walls in the office. I can see the odd cat scooting across the open area between barn and granaries. Birds are an occasional distraction as they flit past.

Scott’s sister and her husband planned to leave at five this morning. When we went to our bedrooms last night I said “Make some noise before you go, otherwise I won’t hear you.” But no one ever does, and I don’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t hear Scott get dressed and leave either. They had beef to load up over at SouthForks, and would have goodbyes to say over there if anyone was up that early. Not likely. But Scott hasn’t returned and you don’t do chores in the dark if you don’t have to, so who knows. It’s 9:30 already.

My plan for today is to work here at the kitchen table, and watch The Christmas Fury tonight at 8 o’clock. The inimitable Mary Walsh has made a movie featuring the Hatching, Matching and Dispatching clan, and if it’s half as funny as the series was … and why wouldn’t it be?

All dressed up yesterday afternoon and right before leaving for the funeral, I went to the barn to feed the cats. One of the three tiny kittens didn’t come to eat so I lingered, calling till I heard its wee meows in a stall. Peeking over the side, I could see that the kitten was unable to move. I found it with twine wrapped tightly — frighteningly — around its neck and one of its forelegs, and ran to the house for scissors.

It was one of the two orange twins that are still a bit fearful of me, but it had no fight left in it as I laid it on its back and cut off the twine. The paw that had been bound was swollen to twice the size of its opposite. I rubbed it and cuddled the poor creature to warm it up, wondering how long it had been stuck there. Thank goodness I’d stayed long enough to discover it. I considered skipping the funeral in order to look after it, but after a few minutes it had made its way to the kibble and was eating, so I determined to check in when we got home.

That was around 9:30 last night. We immediately went to the barn, both of us, and found the three siblings curled up together under a couch cushion on a bale. I caught the two orange ones while they were still in a sleepy stupor and determined that the one no longer freaking out about it was the one I’d rescued hours earlier. It’s likely realized I’m friend, not foe, right? Its paw had returned to normal size so we’re hopeful it’s going to be okay. It’s a good thing because even after going to bed, I lay there remembering the horror I felt when I’d found it and imagining what its condition would’ve been if I’d not searched it out.

I did run with those scissors, but remembered to hold the pointy end in the palm of my hand.

Wine Again

I almost made it out the door early in the afternoon. But then I noticed the porch again. It’s been in bad need of a cleaning for months and I’ve kept looking at it and carrying on with whatever else I was doing. You know how that goes.

Well I finally tackled it. An hour later it was reorganized and vacuumed. Boxes and jugs had been hauled to the basement. Recycling, refundables and garbage were bagged and waiting on the step.

I was ready to go. But then Duckie Doodle “requested” a cuddle — we hadn’t had our usual morning sit-down and I’d be gone several hours. What the heck, it would do us both good to sit together in the easy chair for a few minutes. Through the livingroom window I watched the chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatch and redpolls at the feeders, and began to relax. What was the rush, after all? I had plenty of time. There was nothing in town we couldn’t do without. Hm. Maybe I’d stay home, go another day. Yeah, that’s what I’d do!

Then I remembered those bags on the step. They had to go out to the car anyway. Sigh. I might as well carry on. And so I did. It was four o’clock by the time I drove out of the yard. Six when I got home again with groceries and wine.

Three trips carrying bags from car to house and the first thing I did after the last one was stick the wine into the fridge to chill. It was another two hours before groceries were put away, the dishes were done, the kitchen floor was clean, the guest room was swept and dusted, my pyjamas were on and I was ready for a glass of that wine.

Friday nights have good shows on TVO. In front of the TV I had soup, toast and pie for supper again, then poured the wine. One glass, right? My “usual” — my limit. Yet I was only a few sips in when I started feeling it. I guess that’s what happens when you’re wineless for a couple weeks. But it’s weird. I can’t keep up with the big kids no mo.

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Marms: I started with pencil crayons and found them too slow. Much prefer the markers.

Reta: They didn’t come back here till after 1 a.m. so had a good family visit over at Scott’s mom’s. I have a friend who always hopes to get her brother to herself for a few hours, so when Scott gets a sister over here I try to bow out early and give them a chance to talk turkey.

Ready for That New Job

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Scott has been even busier than usual this week. He spent an afternoon building this box for his grandmother’s ashes, and has been staining and sanding it here in the house. Above, it sits drying on top of the kitchen stove.

The funeral is tomorrow and after the community stuff his immediate family will gather at his sister’s for supper. Their grandma’s favourite pie was lemon, so he ordered five from a lady he knows who bakes good ones. He knew better than to ask me, obviously. He wanted edible pies.

I’m just off the phone from an hour’s orientation with a project manager for my new freelance editing/proofing job. Looks like I’ll be putting in a lot of time over the next five or six months, and I’m more than happy about that. I’ll have to get out of the way so I don’t get crushed by all those dollars rolling in.

And now … a trip to town for groceries. We have company for the weekend and the fridge needs stocking up. Last night’s and tonight’s meals were/are prepared over at SouthForks by Scott’s mom and his sister from Calgary. They are cooking for about a dozen I think, and there will be more tonight. I’ve been off the cooking hook so far and didn’t even go over yesterday. I was too keen on going over the work files I’d just received, to be ready for today’s call and see what I’ll be working on. I skipped choir practice in Margo too.

Scott went to his mom’s of course. My supper was a couple big wedges of head lettuce and a bowl of the tomato soup he made with some of his garden crop. A slice of Aunt Marj’s apple pie was dessert. By 8:30 I was off the computer and into my pyjamas. Now just to get back to my former routine of reading in bed, instead of parking myself in the living room in hopes of finding something worth watching. TV wastes as much time as scrolling through my Facebook feed. I’m so over it. FB, that is. TV still can make me sit there, searching the guide, disbelieving that with so many channels there is nothing I want to see. Fussy eh! And too many commercials.

Not sure I’ll have a chance to post tomorrow, what with the funeral and all up in Kelvington, and company spending the night. And now … to town!