DSCF9432I’m off to spend the rest of the day and the night with Jake.

I’ve packed up my overnight bag (housecoat, pyjamas, feather pillow, slippers, clean underwear for tomorrow, toothbrush, flosser, cold cream, migraine pills) and am about to put the laptop into a briefcase. I have some work I can do offline that will keep me busy over there, where there’s no internet, for a few hours. I’ll also take my book of Le Guin essays and a collection of short stories by Carleigh Baker, and some of my own old journals to curate and prepare for a spring bonfire. I didn’t even glance at them while in Margo for three weeks. Maybe this time . . .  but I always take far more reading material than I need (honestly these days I can just sit looking out a window for quite some time and be perfectly content!) and right now my past is the last thing that interests me.

Joan: I was being flip; when did we three sisters ever squabble? Never that I can think of, other than Karen and I when we were kids. Shelly and I have probably had more conflict than we three sisters ever did — but we too were young and foolish then. We’ve gentled considerably.

By the way, Jake is the bloodhound I spent several days with last spring while his people (Vickie and Bart) were outfitting for the fly-in fishing camp they manage.





DSCF9431It was a basically wasted morning, wherein crackers-first-thing didn’t help, nor did the usual pill do its intended job; instead relief came following expulsion of stomach contents and the ensuing sleep.

I missed a phone call from my good friend Shelly, and now that I’m up and around I’m dying to call her back. However, I’m not allowing myself to; not until I’ve gotten some work done.

If you’ve been reading a while, you may remember Shelly as the friend whose husband died a few years ago.  She’s been seeing a new fellow now for more than two years and has just taken a layoff from her job near Edmonton and gone up north to stay with him indefinitely. She’ll be enjoying this first few weeks of freedom, for sure. I hope she’ll continue to call his place her “happy place,” as she has when spending every other weekend up there.

After her husband’s death she was adamant that she’d never live with a man again, or marry. But time and a different sort of relationship (and man) have softened her determination to remain single. “We’re on the phone every night,” she told me, “and we’re both alone and wish we were together, so why not?”

I plan to take a drive this summer and inspect him from the corner of my eye (I expect to love him) while Shelly and I get a proper visit. We haven’t seen each other for several years. She sounds very happy (we check in with each other by text and telephone) and that is all I want for her.

We’ve been friends since we met at age 19. We’ve lived together, travelled together, laughed together, held and cared for each other’s babies, and kept in close touch one way or another for the past 40 years.  I was at her wedding and her husband’s funeral. Like sisters, we’ve occasionally been pissed off at each other too, but we’ve hung in there!


I just don’t want to get moving this morning. Instead I’ve read in bed and then read online at the kitchen table. I’ve been up for an hour and a half. I have to make a casserole to go into the oven at 10:30 so must start ground beef a-fryin’. This should make me move, and it will … eventually.

Normally lunches around here are a touch-n-go thing. They happen, if they do, whenever. But today a fellow is coming out to the SouthForks farm to push snow around the yard, and I’ve offered to provide a midday meal. Thus I have a timetable, of sorts, that will somewhat interfere with my usual working schedule. Fortunately that is flexible and not terribly heavy, so it’s no big deal. My work will still get done.

But first I have to get moving.


81UcifoTfDL Here’s something interesting that I’ve never heard of before.

“Redwood floors have a kind of delayed resilience; compressed by a footfall, they snap back . . . after a while . . . hours perhaps. Once you understand the phenomenon, it is more or less endurable. As an adolescent I rather liked to hang over the deep well of the staircase and listen to the invisible people ascending it, or later, to lie in my small room and listen to myself walking around up in the attic, the floor repeating every step I had taken there that afternoon.”

That’s Ursula Le Guin, writing about the Maybeck-designed house she grew up in. It might explain more than a few ghost stories.

I’ve come late to Le Guin. She died and Eleanor Wachtel replayed an interview with her on “Writers and Company.” During the interview Le Guin read one of her short stories, and I fell in love with Le Guin.

If I didn’t already share this link with you, here it is now: GO LISTEN.

Monday: Countdown to Spring

DSCF9421 One of my aunt’s neighbours claimed we got two feet of snow over the same number of days. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. All I can say for sure is that it now looks like winter “should” and, just as it finally does, we’ve now begun to get some melty days. The first day of spring is coming up, remember!

And that’s about all I have to tell. It barely warrants posting an entry here, unless I want to risk getting out of the habit.

A person who acknowledges his missteps

‘The artistic director of Les Grands Ballets, Ivan Cavallari — who left the Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, France, to join the company last April — said his intention was not to objectify women.

“Exactly the contrary, that is where I wanted to lead,” he told CBC News in an interview. He said he wants to portray “woman as a model of the world and not woman as an object.”

“In that sense, I’ve been completely misunderstood, because my intention has been honest,” said Cavallari.

Of the criticism, he said, “It’s legitimate: it’s possible that I’ve done a mistake, but it was not my intention.”

Instead, Cavallari said, his goal was to open a dialogue and explore how art can portray women.’

Complete Article:


I came back from a walk around Margo yesterday and found my aunt smoking on the step.

This afternoon I’m home.

It was good to be there and it’s good to be home. Am I just living the good life or what?

Do post offices look the same the world over? Here’s Margo’s:


Hairdoooooos and Hoarfrost

Everything’s covered with hoarfrost this morning. I’m just out of bed, coming to the bottom of my first cup of coffee and about to get up and pour the second and last. The cats are busy playing with their toys and the furnace is running; I turn it down at night and back up when I rise, as is my habit.

The next three hours — loosely — of my day will be spent researching and writing text for public school material. Somewhere in there will be a toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. There are a few dishes to do, and I’ll go for a walk later. Karen’s going to stop in on her way home from work; she and hubby are just back from Vegas. I’ll ask her to deal with the cat litter. I’ve been approaching it at least once a day and scooping till I start gagging and sweating and tearing up. I never completely finish the job.

I’m told a lot of people around the area were snowed-in for a couple days early in the week. This wasn’t obvious to me, sitting here in the village where the plow was out first thing Monday morning and has been Johnny-on-the-spot every day. Plus I didn’t have to go anywhere. There was a lot of snow to be moved; we got at least a foot of it. Thankfully, Reta, the only shovelling I had to do was the step, twice, and that was in warm (well not 30-below or windy) weather so it was a pleasant job. Kind of nice to have something to do outside. I swept deep snow off my car twice and Shirley’s truck once; again, almost enjoyable in the sunshine.

WiseWebWoman: You noted your hairdresser saying you don’t have the “face” for what is basically a pixie cut, which is what I may ask for next time. Going back to my childhood — that was always my cut till finally, after much effort, I talked Mom into letting me grow it out.  Occasionally I’ve been tempted toward longish hair again because of its ponytail convenience, but no … I soon remember all my reasons not to do it.

There aren’t many mature women who have the “face” for these super-short cuts. I don’t think I do either. They look fabulous on the young and beautiful … i.e., those without jowls. Hee! I don’t look fabulous no matter what hairstyle, so might as well have something that doesn’t require effort to maintain. A quick run under the tap and I’m ready for the day.

Marms hit the nail on the head when she commented that short cuts aren’t necessarily wash ‘n’ wear. Mine is though. It was a week ago that my longsuffering hairdresser gave me goop and a demonstration of how and where to put it for effect. I did it the next morning and haven’t remembered since.

Jebus, babies soon turn into little girls! Look at little Eva here:


I can’t help smiling back at this chubby little face. (Hey! Maybe that’s a hair-do for me!)


Another Thursday

IMG_1038 The folks around town weren’t wasting any time being snowed-in, nor were their neighbours. The plow’s been down the street and here’s someone clearing the driveway all the way back to Grandpa’s shop and around to the alley. It was still snowing but had to be done. Twice.

It’s beautiful though. I went for a walk around the perimeter streets this afternoon when  sunlight had the snow-covered ground sparked up and twinkly. So pretty. It hasn’t snowed for a few days now but I’m told it was 23-below the other night.

My car had to be shovelled off more than once. We got a good foot of the fluffy stuff. More.


No Business Like Snow Business

There were heavy snowfall warnings all weekend. Picking Emil up in Wadena on Friday posed no problem, but I parked Little Green behind Shirley’s truck when we got back, so the plow can get into the driveway.

Scott spent Saturday night with us and drove Emil home yesterday afternoon before returning to Golden Grain Farm. He had a little trouble getting the truck down our road, he said.

I didn’t venture out at all. As of this morning it looks quite different out there. Lots of snow and it’s still coming down. I’m glad there’s nowhere I need to go for the next five days and can snuggle into my cocoon with the kitties. I might just stay in my housecoat all day!  Nah. The outdoors is already tempting me away, at least temporarily, from the thought of curling up with a book and reading, reading, reading. I have Ursula Le Guin’s Words Are My Matter: Writings about Life and Books 2000-2016. I also brought a pile of old journals along in hopes of getting through some and then assigning them to the burning barrel. It’s been two weeks and they haven’t been touched.

I watched the Oscars with LuckyLou on my lap.

The Oscars were my choice of viewing last night. As usual I sneered at the too-long gowns — the impractical length looks stupid; dresses that are beautiful would look equally so if they were short enough not to be a tripping hazard — and used the mute button on the remote more often than not. I applauded Jodie Foster and Emma Stone’s smart fashion choices. They looked every bit as glamorous as the gals in gowns. More so, to my eye.

Some of the gowns were really ugly, weren’t they? I guess that’s always the case. Different strokes and all that. I watched some of the red carpet footage and laughed out loud at Whoopi Goldberg’s outfit. Why on Earth would you put on such an abomination and wear it in public? LOLOLOL. And the skirt on Rita Moreno’s dress … ay yi yi! There is such a thing as a hoop skirt whose hoop is too big. Puffy skirts may be in vogue lately, but I’m not a fan.

I do like nice clothes. Just not ridiculous ones.

For me, the point of sitting in front of the TV for so long is to see clips of movies. There are always plenty I’ve never heard of and probably never will again, and there are some my attenna will now be alert to: Victoria and Abdul, for one. The Shape of Water, because I will watch Sally Hawkins in anything. She came to my attention in Happy-Go-Lucky back in 2008, and recently starred as Nova Scotia artist Maude Lewis in Maudie.

Beth: I think my nephew and his wife got the name Everley from a baby book. But I await a text in answer to your question… And here it is: I was right (Just say it: “Kate is always right.” Pfft), they saw it in a book of baby names. They added the E before the Y with a thought to making the name look more feminine. They also made the connection to the Everly Brothers. And somewhere it was said that Beverly was the old name, Everly is the new.

Marms: I go for wash ‘n’ wear hair nowadays. I’ve no interest in “doing” it: pinning or waving or putting “product” in it, though the latter seems necessary if I don’t want to look like Moe from “The Three Stooges” and kinda still do anyway, in spite of the valiant efforts of my hairdresser, whose arms are probably still aching from all the thinning and texturizing she has to do do with my mop.

Here, I’ll go soak my head and show you how it looks when it’s not bent out of shape by my pillow and is still wet:


Which isn’t so bad right now, but when it’s dry the hair will lay down hard in some places and stick straight out in others. I’ve got at least two cowlicks too. It’s got a mind of its own, this head! Product or no product. Of course it’s not fair to blame any of this fearfulness on my hair. Look at that face! Ah ha ha ha … hilarity and nightmares, take your pick.

It takes a few days to get used to a new cut and then a couple weeks till it gets to just the way I like it. There oughtta be a liquid you can spray on your hair when it grows into the perfect “do,” as it usually does, so that it stops growing and stays exactly as it is till you’re ready for a change, instead of continuing to lengthen till you’re reduced to holding it back with bobby pins.