Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Wealth of Apples!

The new crop of apples is flooding in and I'm crunching away even as I type! I come by it honestly...I'm a gal who was brought up in a place called, "Applewood Acres" outside of Toronto. Applewood Public School...Applewood Church... Applewood Plaza... you get the idea. It was absolutely a "Leave It To Beaver" idyllic and wholesome neighbourhood.

The streets were all named after varieties of apples such as Snow Crescent, Russet Road, Melba Court, Macintosh Way and Tolman Avenue. As the subdivision was originally a huge apple orchard, each house was lucky enough to have at least six healthy trees that actually still bore delicious fruit. As you can imagine, every teacher at Applewood Acres Public School had a desk covered with about 35 apples each day during the month of September!

We had a variety called Wealthy. Of course, I may be biased because I have such fond childhood memories of living there, but these apples are the best! My guess is that you have never heard of them. They are large, red on one side, and taste tart enough to be a great cooking apple, but sweet enough to be a mouthwatering eating apple. (I have to admit that I have also had my share of small, green, unripened apples in the spring too, but these no longer appeal to me! Neither does the stomach ache that accompanied this crazed eating ritual of my youth!) They ripen in late August and they are extremely difficult to find! If you ever come across them, you just have to try them! (And I always maintain that the first bite is the best!)

Imagine my delight when I found a source only 20 minutes away! I have bought myself and my parents a delicious trip down memory lane!

Mother of Invention, still wondering what my teachers ever did with all those apples!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Misted In!

As happens in August, the cool night air is colder than the water temperature, resulting in a beautiful mist. I was drawn to the lake each morning and documented the gradual lifting of the mist.

These pictures I took were just begging for a poem.

See below.

morning mist
magical mysterious
dreamy elusive
swirling slowly
eerily enveloping our canoes
drifting in and out of view
radiant rays
gradually banishing the mist
as the sun
is silently slipping
up over the mountain
like an illusion
we're emerging
and then disappearing
behind the curtain
beholding this beauty
and becoming a part of it -
melded maids of the mist
Mother of Invention, thinking that getting up at 5:30 a.m. was definitely worth it!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Great Memories!

We had a fabulous, albeit low-keyed time in The Quebec Bush, casting our fishing lines at the enthusiastic, feisty bass and paddling up and down the quiet Dumoine River, thinking of when Champlain was doing the same thing!! (Well, maybe he didn't catch as many fish!) It was beauty weather most of the time which allowed us to swim and canoe as much as we wanted. Bugs weren't even that bad! There were tons of trees down from that storm we had a few weeks twisters had ripped through that whole area.

My 2 sisters came in for a few days and were real baiting their own hooks with worms! They'd only do the worms because they had difficulty making eye contact and thus wouldn't bond so much. We told Joannie, who always names everything, even inanimate objects like her clothes, she couldn't name the worms because she had to cut them in half..then she said she'd name the halves like ..."Mary....Ellen, Jo... Anne, etc.!! She's hilarious! I was impressed..I don't do my own bait!! The first picture you see here is my older sister's first cast...and yes, she caught a big other sister's hat!!! We all just howled! Too funny!

They were like kids at camp, wanting to pack as many activities as they could in the 2 full days. And my husband also survived THE THREE SISTERS! He just shakes his head and has to laugh at us! Definitely the winner of our own Survivor show...we couldn't vote him off...he was our way out of the bush!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Song My Paddle Sings (goes with post below this)


Johnson, E. Pauline
1999-01-01: Digitized from an item in the National Library of Canada collection. ~
Poem is in the public domain.. -

West wind, blow from your prairie nest
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
The sail is idle, the sailor too;
O! wind of the west, we wait for you.
Blow, blow!
I have wooed you so,
But never a favour you bestow.
You rock your cradle the hills between,
But scorn to notice my white lateen.
I stow the sail, unship the mast:
I wooed you long but my wooing's past;
My paddle will lull you into rest.
O! drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
Sleep, sleep,
By your mountain steep,
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep!
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
For soft is the song my paddle sings.
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I,
Drift, drift,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
The river rolls in its rocky bed;
My paddle is plying its way ahead;
Dip, dip,
While the waters flip
In foam as over their breast we slip.
And oh, the river runs swifter now;
The eddies circle about my bow.
Swirl, swirl!
How the ripples curl
In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
And forward far the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin for evermore.
Dash, dash,
With a mighty crash,
They seethe, and boil, and bound, and splash.
Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves you must plunge into.
Reel, reel.
On your trembling keel,
But never a fear my craft will feel.
We've raced the rapid, we're far ahead!
The river slips through its silent bed.
Sway, sway,
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby,
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.

This is one of my favourite poems and it is one that I know by heart. Of course, practically every kid in Canada had to learn that one in Grade School! My love of canoeing and my recent vacation in August makes this an appropriate one to share now.
Mother of Invention, singing the song my paddle sings!
More pics below this post.

My Paddle's Singing!

My father (age 87!) and husband love canoeing as much as I do.

I love how you get a perfect full symmetrical reflection of the picture on a day when the water is like glass!

(One of my favourite poems, "The Song My Paddle Sings" is right above this post.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fishing and Canoeing Trip!

These bass are so heavy I can hardly hold them while waiting for the camera to take the picture! My dad taught me the trick of trying to hold them outward so they look bigger. These were about 4 lbs each.
We also caught some pike and pickerel and our bait was mostly frogs but sometimes worms. (And I'm a wuss and just let my husband bait my hook and take off the fish as you can see in the picture!)

I love this pure, clean river. The Dumoine flows into the Ottawa River and is quite fast-flowing. Many white water enthusiasts do canoe trips here. We saw many being flown upriver and then a few days later, we'd see them go by our place.

We have a Chestnut, cedar strip canoe and the model is called, "The Bob" from 1954. It is a beautiful wood craft with some fibreglass covering. I have such a great time canoeing! The rhythm is peaceful and soothing, especially when it is calm and quiet as it was up there.

Well, you can get the lay of the land so to speak and perhaps you can see why we love spending time there!

Mother of Invention, wishing I could instantly be there again! Thank goodness for pictures and your inner mind's camera!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Presenting August!

Just got back from holidays and don't have pics on the computer yet but I'd like to share a poem I wrote up there while just sitting in the screened porch, listening and watching all around me. It struck me that it really does feel like August now.

August Is Announced
The nights are cool
The berries are gone
The lake is colder
There's mist at dawn
Crickets are singing
In the evening still
We're building fires
To take off the chill
The winds of August
Leave tell-tale signs
The gusts and the gales
Sway the lofty pines
The evergreen's laden
Heavy with cones
Some leaves are tinged
In colourful tones
The woodpecker's drumming
His August tattoo
And the raucous bluejay
Is screaming at you
The asters in bloom
Are staking a claim
All down the pathway
They shout their name
The squirrels are chattering
About what's ahead
They eat all they can
Before summer is dead
August's announced
By Nature's call
Lending its voice
To the prelude of Fall
Mother of Invention, savouring these last few weeks of August.
What would you add to this poem?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Felines Feel It!

Poor Socks! She knows something's up. Cats always do. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to sneak something by them. They notice if even one piece of furniture is just a little out of place . Felines feel change and they don't like it!

Socks knows we are going away as soon as she sees the suitcases come down from the attic. I just had to take this shot of her in her usual protest position! I guess she figures if she fills the suitcase, (and she just about does!) then I can't possibly pack my things and I'll have to cancel the trip!

Sorry sweetie, we're really going on this much needed vacation - no cats allowed. You'll be fine! The massage therapist is coming every day to feed you and give you attention. What better person could you ask for to pet you with those magic hands?!

See you all on Aug. 21st!

Mother of Invention, trying to avoid Socks' large mournful eyes!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Place In The Universe (Goes with Picture Post Below)

My love for the place I've been posting pictures of is so strong, it beckoned me to write a poem about it. I was further motivated by a picture on my wall of our canoe at sunset, beached on the shore with the paddle sitting in a position that was just begging me to grab hold and slip out in it! (More pictures can be seen in the post below this one.)
My Place in the Universe

It is here in this valley by the river that I feel most alive.
This place lives in my head and heart.
It has carved its own space there over time and transcended my soul.
Even my canoe, that has travelled widely,
is at home only here on the rocky shores of the Dumoine River.
At the last possible moment before sunset, it beckons me
and I must go quickly
for I can not deny its wish
to slip silently through the still evening waters.
Almost soundlessly, I climb into my canoe,
echoing briefly from the hills along the far shore.
With calm power I cut cleanly the mirrored glass
with the blade of my paddle.
A running line of droplets drips in succession
as I lift its tip between strokes.
An extension of my self,
my canoe and I are propelled as one,
the sun sinking swiftly below the horizon,
a lonely loon crying forlornly for its mate,
and we hear its call.
I do not own this place.
No mortgage, no deed, no legal transaction
binds me to this piece of property.
I have no hold on it - but it has a hold on me.
No surveyed boundaries could ever define my attachment yet,
it has shared its charm with many.
Several have visited this very same spot.
It has had numerous owners,
some who even profess to love it as I do.
They have fished, swam, and canoed its clear cool waters,
hiked the same steep winding trails,
eaten meals at the long cook camp table,
slept in the same cots of the sleep camp cabin,
But I, I sing here!
I gaze with wonder
at the flickering northern lights and shooting stars.
My whole being dances here!
I cry at the pure and simple beauty of it all.
It is only a tiny spot in the universe,
but its spirit is my spirit.
And so powerfully does it connect me to the Creator
and all of Creation,
for the time I am here,
it is mine alone -
My place in the Universe.

Mother of Invention, looking forward to my annual trek, this Saturday!

My Place In The Universe (Goes with Post Above)

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Favourite Cabins! (Goes with the 2 posts below)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pics of Log Cabins

These Pictures are where I'm spending my vacation next week! They go with the post below with more pictures.

Legacy of The Log Cabins

Years ago, the "young" crowd of that era gathered in the main sleep camp around the table, drinking rum and playing a few rounds of poker.

Their small children were snug in their new flannel lined sleeping bags, tired after a long exciting day of swimming, fishing and catching frogs.

The gray wool camp blankets were draped over the log beams to shut out the propane lights, and buffer the constant laughter and chatter of the
adults, enjoying this rare carefree time together. Living the busy lives of young families in the moment, they could not realize how cherished these memories would become.

No one knew what life would bring any one of them, the major part of their stories yet to unfold. They had little time to ponder the future. Would there be more children? Successful careers? New jobs? Happy marriages? New houses? Long healthy retirements? Grandchildren to love and spoil? How many trips to these special cabins would be made? Whose children and grandchildren would spend time here, catch fish and canoe in this peaceful river, and share it all with their own friends? Would there be a family legacy?

Those young spirited comrades, sitting in the same chairs as I do now, simply let the warmth of the cabin embrace them in the moment.
But I reflect upon such things and ponder the common threads that tie us all together as I gaze into the flames of the same fireplace.

Mother of Invention
As etched into the memory of one of those precious children, drifting off to dreamland, in her new sleeping bag on the darkened side of the gray wool blankets!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Poetry Friday! "Fair"

Complete Stream-of-consciousness thoughts about "Fair" as in Exhibitions.

Affair With A Fair!
Dad, a ferriswheel!
A fair!
Please take me?!
A double wheel
with me swinging
and screaming
at the top.
I see my house
a mile away.
Smell the sweetness
in the Fair Air!
Pink fluffy candy floss
(AKA Cotton Candy)
Melt -in-your-mouth
Magical machine.
I love pink!
Disintegrating sugar crystals
Caramel corn for mom,
(she never comes)
Mammoth vanilla ice cream waffle sandwich
chooses dad.
Merry-go-round too tame for me -
Wild Mouse is waiting,
Laugh in the Dark
has me hanging onto dad.
Shamrock necklace,
engraved with my name
for only 50 cents.
I wear it like a diamond!
"Doggie, Doggie!"
cry the men working the booths.
Play a game, dad!
Win me a panda!?!
One more ride?
A deep red, glassy candy apple!
We walk home,
silently savouring the night
and smiling.
I get tucked in with Panda
and I forget to brush my teeth.
Very sweet dreams!
Mother of Invention, reflecting on fond memories of the fair, and suddenly craving some sweet pink fluff on a stick!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gone Electric!

Weird, completely weird weather systems continue to plague us and last night it peaked. It was one of the worst electric and high-powered wind storms I've ever seen. I was actually frightened and ready to call, "Aunty Em!" before I hightailed it down to the basement washroom, the place I deemed the safest in our house.

I was on the computers, (yes, two at once!) and got off the upstairs machine just in time before it was "lights out" as it were! Then we raced around the house, closing some windows as the rain blew in to soak everything in its path, doing attendance and roll call for our cats, Socks and Mookie.

In our summer bedroom,which is totally open windows, we looked out fearfully towards the river in our backyard, when we heard a huge crack followed by the definite sound of a tree slowly falling. Thankfully, it wasn't one of ours but it sure propelled me from our "indoor-outdoor treehouse" to the main part of the house in a fast hurry!

Of course, we were then scrambling to find flashlights that worked once the evening progressed. Why is this always so hard?!! My husband had on his headlamp that he uses for night skiing and when he's putting up Christmas lights in the dark. It's great for the person wearing it, but whenever he looked at me, I got blinded! (Curses here!) I was madly trying to shake the cheapo new LED light that shines in an annoying blue.

Mr. Calm then went out to watch the storm, while holding a metal beer can up to toast Thor and tempt fate at the hands of the God (or Goddess?) of the Light Show! Mookie appeared at the door of the garage, pacing, crying and trying to gather courage to dart out and into the house. She hates getting wet so I had to do a rescue. As you'd expect, just as I ventured out, holding her, the loudest crack of thunder clapped and Mookie's claws responded in kind. She clutched and then scrambled out of my arms, leaving me to bleed for the next half hour! (Darn that Plavix and ASA!)

By this time, people were getting curious and were now venturing out in cars and on foot with umbrellas to survey the situation and compare notes. Some were out trying to buy flashlights (including us!) but of course, all the stores were closed. The power outage was widespread but we noticed there was some action at the local cafe, a "Cheers-like" place three doors down from us. In fact, there was a throng of locals who had been attending the Wednesday night Drum Circle. How cool! Candles, drums, guitars, and coffee! We enjoyed the impromptu happening and joined the group who had gathered outside to watch the fabulous light show.

The power came on sometime during the night and all seems back to business as usual, but it sure was an interesting deviation from the usual "nightbeat" in our small town.

And, best of all, it has chased away the heat!

Mother of Invention, thinking I'll go out to check on that tree by the river! Maybe I'll even join the Drum Circle next Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We're Cookin'!

We're right in the throes of another record heat wave and I'm not likin' it one bit! This is the third one this summer which all adds up to some very weird and spooky weather patterns.

Last night was so hot that we couldn't even stand to be in the summer bedroom with two fans! My husband's Chiropractic office is in the front of our house and luckily, it does have air conditioning. So there we were, dragging a foam mattress from the garage to the front treatment room, hoping no one would know we were in there.

As anyone with cats will know, they can't stand it when the least little thing in their environment changes, even if it's a small rearrangement of furniture. Well, they came in and immediately knew something was up. I could read in their faces words like, "What the heck are you guys doing in this part of the house at night?!" Socks gingerly placed one foot on the foam and quickly retracted it, too afraid to venture onto the unfamiliar spongy carpet! Mooky recognized its smell from the garage and she unhesitatingly commenced to prance all around on it. She probably has napped on it several times and we are lucky she did not decide to mark her territory in the ususal feline fashion!

After their investigation was complete, kitties finally both settled down, one on a table and the other in a chair in our new room. Was a cosy scene. Well guess what girls? We're doin' it again tonight as we have seen the temperature soar to ridiculous readings comparable to 45 degrees Celsius!

We haven't resorted to these sleeping quarters for many years and I don't seem to recall it contributing to such sore back muscles upon awakening back then for some odd reason!!

Mother of Invention, making a mental note to call my Chiropractor FIRST thing in the morning!!