Tears of Joy

Here she is — Bev!

She was off and running late Sunday morning but I can look forward to another visit in about two months when she comes again to see her mom.


I get most of my news online these days, because I can choose the stories that interest me and there aren’t three million commercials in between to put me off.

One of the stories this morning is of the Yazidi boy, 12 years old, reunited with his mother in Manitoba after the family had been captured by Isis morons and she had managed to escape to a refugee camp. She knew he was alive only when she saw pictures of him posted on Facebook, which is good for something, then … .

Anyway, there is footage of their reunion at the airport in Winnipeg, and her tears of joy sound like sad wailing, but nevertheless I can imagine how she feels at seeing her boy again and holding him in her arms.

When’s the last time you wept tears of joy?

I’ve occasionally done so when walking down the country road here, because of the plain beauty of the sky and the fields and the scent of the air. But other than that it was 12 years ago, when I learned about a dream Mom had had in the weeks before her death. Her cousin Bev had written it into the eulogy, which I looked over the day before the funeral we held in Margo.

Mom had dreamed she met God and he’d asked her what she’d like to do when she got to heaven. She told him she’d always wanted to be a dancer. He said, “Well, Mrs. Johnson, your legs are too short.” Something like that. Anyway, I laughed and cried at the same time.

Other times I’ve wept tears of joy are in dreams when I find my child who was lost, or once again see my grandfather who has been gone for many years now.


There are a lot of young birds on the sloughs these days. The other evening I counted 45 blue-winged teal in the water north of our driveway.



Bird Down the Way

022Most of the hawks I see around here are red-tailed hawks, but this one was just down the road the other day as I was coming home.

The closest to it in appearance, in my Birds of Saskatchewan book, is the northern goshawk.

I know — a better camera would make a huge difference. But would it be as small and handy as the one I have? Aye but there’s the crust of my biscuit.


Ms Fancy Pants

Kathy 2017 Bev was beautified and ready to go when I remembered to get the camera out and take a picture. I got a close-up of her that I love; bet she won’t let me post it here. We shall see. She’s gone to pick up her mom and drive to the family do, and you’re stuck with pictures of me instead.

What a treat to have some company out on the step. Bev likes to sit in the chair that’s in the sun by mid-morning, and I prefer the shady spot. Poy-fect!

Joan, you’ll recognize these pants, the ones you didn’t remember giving me. Super-comfy.

August 2017

Keepin’ Up With … the Dishes

DSCF9248 Our friends moved to Ontario and their house here sold within weeks, but before they left, Bev brought me a stack of books. I’m going to miss that about Bev, for sure, and I’ll always be grateful that she introduced me to Alan Bradley’s series about the adolescent detective Flavia de Luce. I eagerly await the next one.

The books Bev loaned me are in the first picture below, and the ones I brought from the library this week are in the second. Now is the time to say I’m taking your reading recommendations, but it looks like my eyes will be plenty occupied for the rest of the summer unless some of these don’t hold my interest.












I’m not yet finished the Nancy Mitford bio, Life in a Cold Climate, but dove right into her biography of Louis IV, the Sun King of France.

Last night my other friend Bev arrived from her home in a tiny village outside Regina. She’ll be around for a few nights during a family function, and my place will be convenient to stay, right en route, between helping her mom and visiting with her relatives. Nice for her, nice for me.

Dad left Monday morning but I remembered to get a picture of him with my two sons, Emil and Everett, on the deck of my sister’s house the day before.


Those puffy, untrimmed beards are fugly.
When Everett goes for his haircuts, he gets a shave and then his dimples show and he can’t as easily hide the corners of his mouth that slightly turn up when he smiles.
Emil, when he gets around to it, asks his “primary caregiver” at the group home to shave his beard when she cuts his hair, which he keeps super short.
I try not to comment on my dislike of the wild beards that seem to be the fashion among the younger male set these days, but occasionally I still say so. Once a mom, always a mom, and sometimes the truth slips out — against my better judgment, for it’s not my business how these grown men wear their facial hair and they really don’t care what I think anyway. Probably the opposite: the more I dislike it, the longer they keep it. I should start admiring the beards instead, then they’d shave daily!

MunchyCrunchers and A Family Story


Mom’s mom was 4 ft. 10 as an adult. The year she started school she was still short enough to walk under the kitchen table.

Grandma, on her tiny little legs, won all the races at school until the teachers quit awarding ribbons because no one else got any.

As a very young girl on the farm, there was a mean rooster that always chased her when she was outside.

Finally she’d had enough of its antics. She picked up a board, ran around the corner of a building, and waited. When the rooster appeared on her trail, she smashed it and that was the end of that.

After the Rain


This little chicken was found with some sewing items that were Mom’s. What is it? It opens at the bottom, like a tea cosy, but is too small to be a cosy. I don’t imagine it’s a pincushion, unless maybe one’s meant to slip it over a small ball that one can stick pins into.

Ideas, anyone?

And in other news, we’ve had an inch of rain.
I did my “rain dance” (not really a dance, just a respectful request) and we had rain within the following 48 hours, after experiencing near-drought conditions here, recently. We needed the moisture badly and got a perfect downfall, gentle and lasting.
Someone asked me jokingly to tell more about this rain dance and I joked back that if it got results I’d be hiring out my services, so was keeping my methods secret.

Yesterday was spent in bed till past four o’clock because Neck Thing wasn’t responding to medication. This morning it seemed wise to take a pill again and I am moving slowly, but feeling better so will be able to enjoy the day. It’s good to be alive when one feels normal, and I’m grateful to feel that way most of the time.

When “under the weather,” everything about life seems pointless, a waste of effort, hopeless, shallow, lonely, sad, broken, unfixable. Fortunately for me, times like these don’t last long. They come from fatigue and illness, they are not reality, and there is no choice but to wait them out. Optimistic cheerfulness always comes back, given the chance.

For the Flower Lovers


‘As they say, courage isn’t being fearless, it’s overcoming the fear.’ ~ Bebop, in my email this week.

Poppies like the “hairy” one above have been said to resemble the Muppet drummer.



A link to the article above also came in email; the article is about a friend’s uncle. Interesting that they chose the “without the sex” thing as a pullquote. Kinda misleading; it’s the tiniest sliver of the story.


Dad was to get on the road back to Kelowna today. He came over here a number of times during his visit to our home town, and the boys and I went to Karen’s to see him yesterday afternoon. It was a perfect day for sitting on her wide deck, looking out over the blue water.


Yesterday when I turned onto the correction line, a crow sitting on the road ahead flew up and raced along beside me and side to side in front, occasionally landing and then flying up again as the car caught up. I drove slowly — Uncle Bob speed — and the crow kept it up for a good half mile. Probably a young one. They are often curious and playful, young birds.


‘Yet she rarely invented in her novels: she took the stuff of her life and transmuted it into something that had truth at its heart, the kind of truth that one only understands at a distance.’ –Life in a Cold Climate, bio of author Nancy Mitford by Laura Thompson

Emil & Gang


It was pick-up time at Camp Easter Seal on Thursday morning and I arrived there shortly before 11 o’clock. Emil had had a great time; his biggest news was that he’d ridden a horse by himself, with Ben (far right) walking beside and holding his shirt so he wouldn’t fall.

This photo was taken at Emil’s request. He loves his camp counsellors and they all seem absolutely lovable, every year.

A Young Merlin, A Leaping Lass


It’s not quite a dog and pony show around here but it’s a merlin show, for sure. The young ones are racing like speed demons around the yard, usually chasing each other, and there is a ridiculous amount of shrieking. They are curious too so occasionally they sit still and let you have a look at them.

Then there’s the dog. When you step outside she jumps up from her lazy lounging on the grass and charges off to the farmyard, barking as if warning off hordes of wild animals that suddenly are too close. She’s showing off.

But there is nothing that excites her more than a walk.


Last night she went bounding through the waving grain like a leaping kangaroo. The photo above was taken a week or two ago. The crops are a lot taller now.

Wooden Bears and A Guessing Game

It’s one thing to hook my camera onto a belt loop before going for a walk, but another to go elsewhere and remember to take pictures. “Blog fodder,” I call them.

We managed to snag a photo of this carving as Everett and I were leaving Camp Easter Seal after dropping off Emil.


It was lunchtime then, so we stopped at The Village Perk on the main drag. The prices seemed sky-high, but hey, it’s a resort village; what’re ya gonna do. Because it’s been so hot lately, they haven’t been baking pies — specifically the pecan pie I go there for and haven’t been lucky enough to get for several years now. The owner who used to make it has sold the place but I’m told the pie remains on the menu. Perhaps next year I’ll call ahead.

Everett has been giving me the stink-eye since he was a very young lad. Here we are waiting for his cinnamon bun and my egg, ham and cheese on a bagel.


I’d gone to a garage sale in Wadena the previous afternoon and picked up this tiny six-foot measuring tape to carry in my purse, swapping out the larger model I’ve been carrying around. I’d also bought this wee leather “purse” attached to a key chain, wondering what it’s intended for.


A gal who had been seated at another table came over as she and her companions were leaving. She’d noticed me wondering what the little bag is for, and said she thinks it’s for holding needles.

There was more action on the beach and in the water than I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been taking Emil there. Perhaps it’s because it was a weekend, and often Emil comes and goes on weekdays. Or it could also be because more people are aware of the place since it was featured on Jonny Harris’s Still Standing a week or two ago. I took this picture through the window, from our table.


We drove on to Saskatoon and spent the night at Cathy’s, where we ate a delicious supper and then sat on the patio and after dark had a fire to gaze into as we chatted. Her daughter Cait (Everett’s “betrothed,” we tease, since as small kids they insisted they’d get married someday. She’s a couple years older than him and pronounced that he was her baby the moment she saw him, and they were best of pals ever after) came over for a few hours too and I was particularly glad, since I hadn’t seen her in some years. Everett later insisted he hadn’t noticed her substantial beauty, now that she’s all grown up after he too hadn’t seen her for years; she’s just Cait, he said. Hm. Methinks he’s not admitting something.

Naturally I forgot all about taking pictures. That’s the way it often is. Just taking in the moments without trying to save visual evidence of them.

Cathy doesn’t think the little purse is for needles. Why, she asked, would it be on a keychain? Why would it have a Japanese scene on the leather?

Anyone else care to make a guess?