Leetle Seesta

I was in Grade 3 and my sister Karen was in Grade 1. Our brother Cameron would have been a toddler of two, and we lived in the teacherage in our small village, as Dad taught at the high school a block away.

In May that year, our little sister was born. Karen and I went to the stores and to the homes of neighbours, announcing that Mom had had a baby. We hoped she would be named Suzie, but were destined to be disappointed; for some reason, they called her Joan. We still don’t really know why, as there was no one in the family with that name and it was not one of the girls’ names that was popular at the time. Our parents had a friend named Joan but that didn’t seem to be the reason. In recent years we learned that one of our 4X great-grandmothers had been called Joan, and with an interest in numerology it occurred to me that perhaps this had been an unconscious influence upon our mother’s choice of names for this last addition to our family.

And what a sweetheart our baby was. She seemed to smile all the time, from the day they brought her home. She was a pink-complexioned gift from heaven, cuter than any button, a darling from the get-go. Nine years my junior, she was never a pest to her older sisters and she was the delight of our mother; she was a kind of creamy whipped topping on the cake of our family. As an infant Joan was a bit afraid of Dad and would cry when he picked her up, but this passed. She and Mom had a relationship that was close and trusting till the day Mom died; they were good friends as well as mother and daughter.

I left home years before Joan did, but when I was there she’d often follow me around, sleep in the same bed, and pick through my belongings laid out on the dresser. “I’m nosy,” she told me, holding some item up for a closer look.

“She just wants you to like her,” Mom said one time when I was home from boarding school for a weekend and had no idea why Joan’s feelings seemed to be hurt. She was only about six years old then.

And I do like her. She is the best: a kind, generous, funny and fun-loving, smart, fair, energetic bundle of joy. Still. And today’s her birthday.

Have a good one, Joanie! Keep on clownin’ around …


Your Big Sis


Deep Sweep

The poplar leaves are out and Bev is here till the end of the month. I’m drinking more coffee and wine than usual. Last time she was here, her friend left some of that International Delight (i.e. plastic), so I’ve been treating myself by adding it to my coffee these days. Just till it’s gone. I’ll never buy it because it’s too tempting, like all bad habits.cropped-coffee

Bev has recently discovered she has the ability to dowse, and has been practising on her friends’ homes. The dowsing rods indicate where there are ley lines going through houses, adversely affecting human health.

We have one going through the top half of our bed, which, according to information about geopathic lines, may explain why we are frequently complaining of neck, head and sinus conditions.


I’ve made another webpage to practise different layouts and designs using free templates. This is fun but time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. Consider yourself alerted: one day you’ll come here and think you’ve landed in the wrong place.


Some routine is good for me. Baking bread on Mondays, doing laundry on Tuesdays, changing bedding on Fridays … that’s about as far as it goes: one “big” job per weekday, accomplished, and my life seems to be in order. All the other daily doings easily fall into place: sweeping the floor, cleaning the kitchen, making supper, feeding the cats at the barn … the walks in spring glory, the birds calling all around the yard.  Thinking I may make Wednesday a bake-something day; Bev came bearing a shitload of pie fillings, knowing I bake but not that my pie crusts aren’t great. Tomorrow I’ll tackle making some pies anyway. My crusts may not be flaky but you can’t go far wrong with a pie, can you? The mess of it is the worst one can do.



When these were handed to me by my knight in shining armour, I felt like a little girl wearing my flounciest dress.


hands coffee cup

Bev’s just finishing her coffee and it’s a beautiful day. Time to get moving.


ps Do you ever get ideas for things to write about and then never write them? I do, all the time. I’ve decided to (when I remember to write them down) use them for blog titles. Today’s is the first one. It came about as I was sweeping the laminate flooring one day. There are cracks between the narrow planks, and when I draw the broom across them horizontally, what I hear reminds me of the sound made high above by sandhill cranes flying over. Don’t ask me how I got to “deep sweep” from there. Probably something to do with telling myself I don’t have to sweep under every damn thing each day. Once a week will have to do.

Trip to Town

“Do you want company?”

It’s late afternoon and there’s some business to attend to in Wadena. It’ll take about an hour and I’ll be content to sit in the truck and read while it gets done. Also, I’m hankering after a drive through the countryside … one of my favourite things.

Our first stop is a mile south at SouthForks, my inlaws’ farmyard, where there are things to load or unload. I wait a couple minutes in the passenger’s seat and we’re off again.

The land is finally dry enough for the farmers to get into the field with their tractors, so there’s one in every direction you look. It’s a “beehive of activity” out there.

tractors in fields

In town, we pull up to a building and I roll down the windows. Enjoying the warm breeze, I pull Paula Fox’s memoir, Borrowed Finery, out of my purse. Wow, what a writer! I’m drawn right in, and only look up when a vehicle drives down the alley we’re parked next to, or kids walk past on their way home from school. The long weekend (Victoria Day here in Canada) has begun, too, which means “Camping!” across the country, and travellers are pulling into the local site to make their evening meals and rest for the night.

camper pulls in

Of course when you live six miles from town, you never do just one thing and come home again. Heck no. We stop at a garage sale and I spend $9.50 on a few small items including a bedside lamp for the spare room. The beer supply is running low so we drive over to the liquor store and replenish our stock. Click to enlarge these photos taken from my vantage point in the half-ton; one to my left, one to my right:

We also get a few bags of groceries at the Co-op; I wait in the truck when a second trip into the store is made for something forgotten.

co-op parking lot

Naturally we have to get the mail too; the photo on the left, below, is taken while parked across the street from the post office. On the right is the highway running east out of Wadena as we hit the dusty trail for Golden Grain Farm, our home, home on the range. Again, click photos to enlarge