Muffins to Mooses

This morning I experienced, for the first time, the urge to throw something across the room. I’ve seen others do it upon occasion, and always thought “How silly. Why take a shitty situation and make it worse?” But today, like yesterday, my iPhone would not do anything at all without long delays and other fuckups. Finally I gave up: it seems impossible to upload — or is it download — the photo to go with the entry I wrote yesterday:

Emil had a special request; a particular book that he once had. He hoped his dad could find a copy and bring it when he drove out for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Gord found something even better — four books inside one cover. Emil sat next to me on the couch and read them aloud — and I had better be paying attention, he said — and peering around his shoulder I noticed some things like recipes and pancake-making tips.

Emil didn’t want to leave the book here, so I requested he bring it along this weekend. Corny Corn Muffins have just come out of the oven and have yet to be taste-tested. They are heavy as hell.



Delicious, but filling and difficult to get through. I won’t use this recipe again. Why such heavy dough? So heavy that it isn’t poured or spooned into the muffin cups, but rolled into balls. It must be due to the can of creamed corn that is one of the ingredients.


Birds Really Do

imageYou don’t need an ivory complexion or the voice of an angel. Some wild birds will flit from tree to tree, accompanying your Snow White impersonation as best they can. They seem to be as curious about and appreciative of you as you are of them.




Joie de Vivre – To the End

image.jpeg“And — as her creator had come to believe — she felt that the longer life went on, the better it became.” – Life in a Cold Climate, a biography of writer Nancy Mitford

This goes against the expectation that aging brings so much inevitable decline and loss, we are foolish to hope for much quality of life after a certain birthday has passed. How depressing is that common attitude — one which, if we have the good sense to believe what our elders tell us, can put the fear of the future into us.

Do you think we get what we expect? Or that it is what it is and our attitudes, if positive, only help us get through it?

Winter Arsenal

image.jpegThe rosehips are picked for drying, the spearmint comes up in the flower bed every year, and the wild yarrow grows where it will. These three are my go-to  plants when we need an immunity-boosting tea to fight a cold or flu.

Not that I can remember the last time I had either one of those. Did you know that rinsing your hands destroys only a tiny percentage (10% or less) of bacteria while washing with soap gets rid of nearly 100%?

Yeah. I credit strict handwashing with helping me avoid sniffles and fevers these past few years.

Scary Big Wind

We knew it was coming. It’s alittle frightening to listen to it howling around the house as you try to fall asleep; it sounds like a monster out there.

In the morning there is torn house-wrap (our siding, yet to be installed, has been stacked in an outbuilding for the past three or four years, ignored) flapping against walls and windows.

The loft door of the barn has blown open and the yardlight above it hangs loosely on its wires. The building itself is weak and today even the cattle don’t use it to avoid the wind. In normal weather, they do.

The power clicked off while I checked my email and drank my coffee, but came back on so I could make my breakfast toast.

The most surprising thing is that area farmers were burning stubble all around us yesterday. Does this mean they are not all as forecast-obsessed as A Certain Someone? For we knew this wind was coming … hmmm.

Trains have blown off tracks. Communities at the Saskatchewan/Alberta border are being evacuated due to wildfires. And Gord Downie has died. Maybe this is a goodbye wind.

More Blabber

For no obvious reason, I felt like napping in the sunshine slanted across our bed. Did I do it? Hell no. Instead I putzed through the day, got into bed early with Jonathan Kellerman’s psychological crime thriller Over the Edge, and finally listened to my body after scarcely 15 minutes of being unable to concentrate. I switched off the bedside lamp and was asleep immediately.

It was almost 5:30 a.m. when my neck woke me and insisted, after a barefoot trip down the hallway to the bathroom, that I stay up. It’s the last thing I feel like doing when my neck gives me grief, but I have learned that it only gets worse if I sleep longer. So I propped myself up in bed and skimmed through the rest of Kellerman’s book, finishing it and tucking it into my purse to be donated to the library, where I’d bought it for 20 cents.

Two leisurely cups of black coffee and two slices of buttered toast later, I feel normal. Now, what to do with the rest of the day? Dawn and dusk bring the pops of multiple gunshots in the near distance; goose hunters are set up in fields not far enough away for my liking. In between, high winds are forecast. I may catch a ride to town and pick up Little Green, who spent the weekend at Everett’s so he could drive Emil from the group home on Friday after work and back again Sunday night.

On Friday afternoon we’d gone to Yorkton. I had a headlight assembly to pick up for the car, and went in to meet the man who’d ordered it for me. He laughed and said “You’re the one who doesn’t know her car’s 20 years old!” and I said  “Now you know what absent-minded looks like.” If you don’t laugh at your foibles, you’ll cry.


Hey! I CAN insert a photo!



Snow Geese Above

Don’t stand there with your mouth open, looking up, when the endless flocks of gabbling geese fly over.

That’s the advice, though I’ve yet to hear any tales of bird droppings hitting a person.

I’m told it’s a different story if you’re on a roof, shingling. Then there is evidence of the wisdom of those  words.

Speaking of worDLY wisdom, someone on TV said this recently:

Any fool can tear down a building. It takes a carpenter to build one.

That’s paraphrased, of course. The thought can apply to friendship and marriage, which also benefit from skill. And all that maintenance and repair … !

It’s useful to recall when you get the urge to complain or criticize, too.

I should’ve titled this ‘Something I Learned from TV.’

Words vs Pictures

Eleanor Wachtel’s radio interview with graphic artist Lynda Barry was most entertaining. I ordered Barry’s book, 100 Demons, through my local library. It arrived full of colour, with a rich and exciting feel to it.

I soon found, however, that I was forgetting to look at the drawings as I read. I had to remind myself. That never changed. It was the text that drew my attention, and even that waned. I was only halfway through the book when I returned it through the slot in the library wall.

Maybe someday I’ll give graphic novels another go. But it won’t be any time soon.

Another Day

“Are you still at the paper?”

People ask me this a full year after I last worked there. Guess my efforts didn’t make a noticeable difference! Ah, none of us are indispensible.

“What are you doing now?” is another common question. My answers vary:

“Dishes,” I may say. Or “Living happily ever after” or “never after,” depending on my mood.

As much as my time is easily filled, there are moments when I’m not sure what to do with myself. They don’t last long. I need my brisk walks or even just to get outside and tour the yard and driveway. There is always supper to make, or baking (yesterday I made whole wheat cake-doughnuts), and we have a shitload of ripening tomatoes that I’m dicing, bagging and freezing; two or three small bags a day, so far.

With Bev here this week, mornings are spent in companionable coffee-drinking at the kitchen table with mandalas and markers before she heads to town to while away the afternoons with her mom at the nursing home.

Evenings are similarly peaceable here, but with red wine poured shortly after Bev returns. There is more “colour therapy” or, as Mr Smartypants calls it, “playschool.”

Today the sky is white-grey and the wind is snowcold. I’m alone in the house with Duckie Doodle, who is stretched out on my left leg here in the easy chair. I’m looking through the window at the three burr oaks, soon to be completely leafless. Glad I’m warm and toasty in here.

All my loved ones are well, so I am content and without worries. Does life get any better than this? It may not be exciting at present, but it’s satisfying. There is no drama right now and that’s fine with me. These are good days.