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

Not Gonna Stub My Toe

I don’t run for the phone anymore.

It rang this morning around seven o’clock, and Scott nearly killed himself leaping out of bed, stumbling around corners, trying to reach it before it quit ringing.

Perhaps it was an important call, one he’d been waiting for, but more likely his urgency was a vestige of the days when we didn’t have call display or an answering machine and if the ringing stopped before you got to the phone, you’d never know who was on the other end of the line unless they called again. The mystery and the missed “opportunity” would be felt as a loss. And so when the phone rang, you dropped whatever you were doing and ran for it.

I don’t bolt from the tub and scamper dripping across the floor to answer the phone. I don’t jump up to answer it when I’m in the middle of something interesting on television or if I’m sitting down to a meal. I try to ignore it if it rings while we have company; I feel it’s rude to be talking to a caller when there are guests in my living room, unless it’s to say a brief “I’ll call you back later.” Sometimes I don’t answer it because my hands are in dishwater or in bread dough. Occasionally I don’t answer it because the call isn’t for me and the answering machine can take a message as well as I can; and sometimes I simply don’t feel like chatting. I never worry that I’m missing an emergency call, for I know that when there is something important to know right now, the caller will either leave a message or call back very soon.

There are those who believe this is arrogant behaviour on my part. And to those people I say, you go ahead and be a slave to whoever feels like calling you whenever they feel like calling you. If you think that what you do with particular moments of your time should be up to someone else, and that you are above reproach only when you are at the beck and call of another who has decided that right this minute they feel like talking to you … I am kind of sorry for you.  Me, I’ll decide when and if I’m answering calls, and why.  It seems to me that no one must be available to whoever, whenever. Choosing not to answer the phone is not tantamount to displaying bad manners or disrespecting a caller; it’s a healthy sign of respecting one’s own right to choose who you will give your attention to and when.


The wrens have returned and are making their usual nest in this little house in the oak tree nearest our picture window. I took these photos through the glass. These tiny birds blend in so well it’s difficult to see them, isn’t it? It may help to click on the photos and enlarge them.

The goldfinches have also arrived from their migration and are particularly excited about the feeders I keep filled with sunflower seed purchased from a local farmer. They seem to have a lot to say. I made a fire in the silver bowl I dragged onto the front lawn last night and sat there for a couple hours just gazing at the flames and listening to the birds. Such an abundance and variety! Along with the perfect temperature, a windless evening, and no mosquitoes to speak of (yet), it was heaven for me. I’d bought wienies to roast, so those and a tossed salad were supper.

To be honest, I didn’t actually sit there the whole time. I picked up a spade and dug up some volunteer delphiniums and moved them to flower pots that are crowded around the foot of the power pole, where they will live or die or be unearthed by Goddamn Dog. I filled an old aluminum pot with water from the rain barrel and gave my rosebushes a drink. I sauntered slowly past one of the perennial beds, considering whether to carry out my plan to remove all the blue flax because when it’s not blooming, when it keeps its flowers closed on cloudy days, it just looks like a weed. I don’t really want it in the front of the flower bed anymore.

But I must take care not to jump the gun and dig too much, for there are many plants that aren’t up yet and I don’t want to damage them by not remembering exactly what’s where. So I held off and perused instead, cold beer in hand.