Reading and Watching

Another cold day here, but at least our basement is dry. Praise to the sump pump! It runs every five minutes.

Scott’s been going over to SouthForks early every morning before I’m awake, before he has his coffee, to make sure the heifers are doing okay with their calving. He’s had to pull one calf so far, and one was stillborn.

I got the large perennial bed cleared off yesterday, and found only one wood tick crawling on my neck so far. Considering the great care I took to cover up, to lotion up, and to check my clothing when I came back in the door, I was surprised there was even one. But it seems there is no escape from the damnable creatures. I want to run away screaming, but where would I run to?


I’ve just finished reading Glenn Skeldon’s book Not Just ANY Green Englishman. If biographical stories are what you like best, as I do, and if you too have ancestors and relatives who homesteaded in Saskatchewan, then Skeldon’s account of the hardworking lives of his great-grandfather, grandparents, and family will be as satisfying to you as it was to me. It’s also a reminder of what an easy life I’ve led, in comparison.

The book includes a number of photographs taken in Saskatoon’s early days, and plenty of historical detail about politics and prevailing attitudes of the time.

As you ought to know by now, I don’t tell you about books I’ve read unless I’m recommending them.


I went to the living room last night after closing the windows in the camper and found Scott 15 minutes into the movie Sully, about the American pilot who landed a passenger jet on a river and all 155 people onboard survived.

Now, I’m cautious in water and alittle nervous when flying, so I was tense during the movie action but shocked to find myself weeping — literally — during the landing on the water, the escape from the plane, and the ensuing rescue of the passengers and crew. Did anyone else have that reaction to the show? Is director Clint Eastwood simply that good at eliciting emotion from viewers, and was that his intention for those scenes? I found actual tears on my part to be an extreme response, usually forthcoming from me only when heartbreak, loss and death are depicted in a film.

Maybe if he’d thrown in a plague of woodticks I really would’ve run screaming from the room.


My Task for May

I decided not to complain. Could I go a week without complaining? How about a month? Why not try a month.

Not just verbal complaining either, but complaining thoughts and written complaints.

I started my new journal with a title page, Only the Good.

What will I do, then, with complaints that pop into my head? I’ll observe them and let them go.

What about the ones that spill out of my mouth before I catch them? I’ll forget them and not beat myself up for having them. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to keep trying.

And the written ones that masquerade as frustration or resentment or impatience or confusion or anger or even fear or anxiety? How about those? Will they be more difficult to stop, after years of writing down such thoughts in order to feel “heard” or to articulate my experience? Maybe by imposing this no-complaint parameter, I’ll be forced to transform useless whines into something more effective, more creative, more worthwhile, more meaningful, more haiku.

Now, simply to remember.


A pair of yellow-rumped warblers, myrtle variety, has been in our yard for a week. They are small, about the same size as the black-capped chickadees that are the largest population here all winter.

The male: WARBLER

And the female:

There is also a pair of merlins nesting in our spruce trees for the second summer in a row. They’re making a lot of noise. They kill and eat small birds, but Birds of Saskatchewan says they don’t hunt in their nesting ground. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

The bird life going on outside our door — and there is a lot of it, with ducks and coots delineating their territories in the dugout and sloughs around the yard, and huge flocks of snow geese still in migration — is one of my greatest pleasures.


Karen dropped in yesterday for about an hour. I was to give her lunch. She got bran muffins with butter, oranges cut in wedges, chocolate chip cookies, and tea. We talked non-stop. I fall more in love with my sisters each time I see them. Joan, when you move back home my life will be complete.

This afternoon I’m expecting Bev, who is bringing along a friend. They may stay till the weekend. The friend is here to consult with a local healer.

“You’re my hero,” said Bev, for putting them up. I’m not a hero, though; I’m going to love having them here. Today I’ll be washing sheets, changing bedding, picking up the dog-draggings around the yard (goddamn dog), and making “porcupine” meatballs for supper.

Guess I should get moving.