Give Me Suspense Without Fear

Alfred Hitchcock had it right when he said film can provoke suspense without making the viewer fearful for a program’s characters. I don’t like adrenalin rushes or gore and choose my movies and TV shows with that in mind.

One that I like is Heartbeat, a series out of Britain that is about the police in a small place in Yorkshire and its inhabitants. SPOILER ALERT if you too watch this but haven’t seen the most recent episode.

The ending was a sad one, as they killed off one of the regular characters. A tear came to my eye and I had to remind myself that there’d be no other way to write the actor out, because of his character’s love connection in the community. It was a dramatic finish and not the kind one expects from this show. I hope they don’t make a habit of it.


A recipe Karen was following for a catering job on the weekend looked like something I’d like to make here at home:



Not a Compass


Blogging with this phone is a laborious process. Unless you’ve asked a question, for now I’m not going through the process of replying to comments.  I appreciate them just the same. But if I don’t minimize my time on this phone, it may end up in flight across the room.

It was a slow day at the store. I dusted everything though nothing needed it. I took along and read an entire novel, skimming large parts.  It wasn’t a particularly good one: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows. Meh. Next time I’ll take two books with me and hope for better luck.

A Visit to Aurora Beach


After choir practice in Margo last night, I stayed with my sister Karen so we could have a decent visit instead of both running off in different directions right away.

Two of her dogs were on either her lap or mine anytime we sat in the livingroom.

Coffee, toast, lunch over the morning hours, and then she sent me home with a package of sliced ham roast and the meaty bone it had been cut from. She wouldn’t be making soup with it; did I want it?

You bet; I put it into a pot with some beans and water right after filling the bird feeders and running food out to the cats.

It feels as if I’ve just left Mom’s.




Doze Wer Da Daze


On the same hardcover journal there’s Emil, age four. Mom knitted that sweater for him and he had it on backwards in this picture. Mom pointed that out with good humour when she saw it. I’d never noticed.

In my mid-twenties I lived for four years with a gent who had three young children. They spent summers and holidays with us wherever we were: La Ronge or Sandy Bay; up on the mountain above Kelowna; in Denare Beach or Flin Flon. The eldest, Kathy, was 11 when we met — about 12 years younger than me at the time. I’m not sure how old she is in this picture; looks like a high school photo. All these years later I still call her Little Kath and myself Big Kath.

A certain four-legged someone woke me at 4 a.m. to be let outside. I grabbed my jacket and put on the light for him, but watched from behind the open door. The wind was howling blizzard-style through the farmyard and still is, now, approaching noon, but it’s not snowing. That’s good because I have to be out and around tonight.


Tasting It Twice


I have always lived in the now, rarely worrying about or planning for or daydreaming of the future, and just as infrequently recalling or dwelling upon the past.

Maybe that’s one reason why I don’t dive into these old journals with any enthusiasm. “Been there, done that” might as well be my motto. I prefer to read things that are new to me, even as I’m glad there are written mementos in those stacks of old diaries. Some delight or surprise; others bore, or even chagrin as I see myself as others might see me through my words (as if those words were accurate or comprehensive or written in stone).

The photos above are taped onto the cover of a journal that begins in June 1992. You see my sister Karen at a time when she was a teachers’ aide at the Margo School. Her first two children, Marc and Cara, were adorable (and still are, in their thirties now, each with children of their own, all within a half-hour of me).

I was pregnant with Everett and had just moved to a rented acreage near Legal, Alberta, with Emil and his dad. I was nauseated and puking all day every day and it was disheartening.

Emil had just turned four and we’d taken a Sunday drive to a lake resort an hour east of Edmonton. I was nauseated on the return trip but had managed to hold onto my stomach contents.


Blue Sky and Bread

I dreamed I took a bunch of new photos for this blog. It was so realistic that I just checked — but no, nothing there.

You could see another mandala, or I could ask if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to take a picture of. Or I could just take a picture of the fridge:


Life around here is quite the wild ride. Woo Hoo!

Actually it’s a lovely day. Bright and sparkly. I’m standing by the door in T-shirt and undies while the Doodle Dog does what he must outside. I am weary of the sight of dog business, closer and more visible in this weather. Blechhhhh.

I won’t take a photo, because I’d like you to come back.

Inside, whole-wheat raisin-rye bread is on its first rise. A friend is coming for tea and talk. Leftovers are on the stove, warmed up for Hungry Man in case he stops in here at the refueling station for lunch. A few plastic dishes are stacked in the sink for the second run of clean water.

Another day of freedom and plenty.

Time to bundle up and head to the barn. And I hear the truck driving into the yard.








Offa Rex


There’s always gotta be something ‘con,’ and when it comes to cats, it’s their love of bird meat. Damn cats. This is Buster Brown up in one of the three oaks outside our livingroom window. He’s laying in wait. So far I’ve only seen him get a few feathers. I’m told he has had successes.

Perhaps a bell around his neck would help. It’s not as if the rest of the cat colony wouldn’t control the rodent population around the farmyard.


CKUA was playing this morning as I did some stretching in front of the window, on my yoga mat. After 10 neckrolls I lit a candle and took several deep, slow breaths while gazing at the flame. A beautiful voice came on the radio and as I listened I began to weep. SO BEAUTIFUL it made me cry — what is that!

The Gardener, by Offa Rex.

I’m not even sure what the song was about. A gardener, by any chance?

Day of Rest


During all the daylight hours, they flutter about the feeders. But the moment I put fresh seed out, the number of chickadees going back and forth is a sight to behold. It’s thrilling to watch. If I stand nearby, they are almost fearless and will come quite close. How such an experience can fail to lift anyone’s spirit is a mystery to me, except of course in the case of our friend Faye who is afraid of birds (but still bighearted enough to feed them through the winter).

It’s impossible to gauge whether there are two dozen chickadees or one dozen moving real fast. There appears to be only one white-breasted nuthatch – gorgeous plumage – at one time, ever, and it’s probably always the same one. There are hairy woodpeckers and their smaller cousins the downy woodpeckers, and aside from all these regulars there are sometimes purple finches and pine siskins.

I spend $80 a year on bags of sunflower seed, grown by an area farmer, for my winged friends. The pleasure they provide is worth so much more, right outside the livingroom window.

I could sit and watch the busy little creatures all day. Not that I do. But I could.


We're having a lazyish day. Remembrance Day services on TV. Tomatoes chopped and made into tomato soup, His Manliness's culinary contribution to the tomato treats. Tomatoes chopped, bagged and frozen, my contribution to today's tomato processing. Dishes done, kitchen cleaned, cats fed, feeders filled — now a break before I decide to do something else.