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, May 30, 2007

One Is The Loneliest Number!

The first and "only ever" flower on our young horse chestnut tree! Yah! We'll get some chestnuts!

It's really not all that ugly!

Dare to stand alone!


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dr. David Suzuki

Most of us know Dr. David Suzuki from watching him host the television program, "The Nature of Things" for as long as we can remember. He is one of the the best speakers I have ever heard. He sounds like a strong minister delivering a message he is passionate about and indeed he is one of sorts; he has been "Ministering" about the environment for a very long time. If we weren't then, we are certainly listening more intently now to what he has to say.

David Suzuki is a very powerful yet down-to-earth speaker with a great sense of humour. He is a vegetarian who eats fish and when asked about chicken, he quoted someone as saying, "Chickens are just low-flying vegetables"! Guess he eats some the odd time!

Suzuki had many analogies for the terrifying stats and repeatedly made references that it is all "humans" who did this by "buying" into the greed and ever-increasing desire for acquiring "stuff" and that the economists/politicians condone this. (He was appalled when Bush's response to 9/11 was that he told everyone to get shopping to get the economy going.)

He said the increase in living space /human is just a gross misuse of energy and now we have something like one washroom per person in houses. To paraphrase, David said something like,
"I grew up with 4 sisters in a 1000 sq. foot house with just one washroom and he can't remember ever pissing his pants waiting to get in to use it!"

David Suzuki did make us realize the folly of our collective greed and how things have changed in just one generation and you can see it is directly related to the situation now with energy resources and the state of our land, water, and air.

Now I feel guilty! We really have to at least buy a smaller, more fuel efficient SUV next time. (presently we own one car, a '98 Nissan Pathfinder) We only need the space for a few weeks a year and for that, we can devise some other way to take all we have to for trips. Our building is large, but to our credit, we have used it for both living space and an occupational office.

He drove home the fact that we have the brain power that initially made us different from every other species, to give us foresight to see what's ahead and adapt, but we all have to make some very important decisions about the environment now.

Suzuki went on to say that the window of time is very small and our resources; land, air and water, are fixed ... they never grow ... so our use of them must not grow either. Boosting our economy in order to fill our "need and greed for more stuff", simply can not happen and have our earth continue to sustain life.

I'd love to know what it will really be like 30 or 40 years from now. He said to ask our elders about how they lived and learn from it. They passed that world on to us and look what we are handing our's unrecognizable. David said he can't even take his grandson to the same place fishing as his grandfather took him because there are no fish there.

I liked how he was encouraging and optimistic, but I'm not sure we can do what is needed. Our present way of life is just so deeply ingrained. We are too used to our "stuff".

Check the site: and sign up to join the Nature Challenge

These are the 10 basic things he outlines there that we can do for a good start:

1. Reduce home energy use by 10%

2. Choose an energy-efficient home and appliances

3. Replace dangerous pesticides with alternatives

4. Eat meat-free meals one day a week

5. Buy locally grown and produced food

6. Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle

7. Walk, bike, carpool or take transit

8. Choose a home close to work or school

9. Support car-free alternatives

10. Learn more and share with others

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Friday, May 25, 2007

A Simply Lilacy Day!

This is for Mona's Poetry Friday...the word is trip and it's a stretch but I love the Hippie Trippie dresses like this one:

Ode To My Lilacs!

my lilac dress bloomed today

perfectly synchronized

with the huge bushes

that have peaked in my backyard,

that lovely dress would camouflage me

on the branches!

the air is drenched

with the wonderful scent

of these cheerful flowers

I drink it in....

for only two weeks a year

I visit these flowers daily

to tell them how grateful I am

for giving their beauty

so freely

and I think of them all day

as I walk

dressed in lilacs

as the purple joy swirls around my ankles

Mother of Invention, still tripping out in purple, smelling the scent of lilacs drifting in through the screen door on the evening breeze!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Spring BIG Item Pick-up!

I don't dare go out for a walk any time now. I may never make it home. And this has nothing to do with my recent heart condition. You see, it's that time of year again. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and people are sorting their junk for the big item pick-up!! Yes, you can't walk one door down from your own house before coming across a huge pile of items no longer of use to the owners just stacked at the curb free for the taking!

It goes without saying, (hey, but I'm saying it!) that anyone who has a vehicle of any sort is out cruising the streets and shopping for any items they could possibly ever put to use. No one can resist. No one is immune to the magnetic effect. I am completely awestruck and totally at the mercy of the curb this time of year. I innocently start out on my walk, supposedly to get my heart rate up with increased speed, but alas, to no avail! Invariably I have to stop and scout the inventory at each house.

And you can't rush these things. You have to peruse slowly and "savour the flavour",trying to think of a variety ofuses for every item you see. Creative thinking knows no bounds! Most of the time it is well worth a thorough search. There is always perfectly good stuff there and I constantly wonder why it was discarded. More often than not, I just get past a few houses and my hands are full, which necessitates a return trip home to unload. Then, I nicely get a fast walking pace going again when I get pulled in once more a bit further along by some more enticing garbage. And so it goes until my garage and basement are full and I still haven't done my walk!

It is rather exciting though, and gets my adrenaline firing with each stop I make! Toaster ovens, couches, stereos, old window frames....The curb is my oyster and the basement is the world in which these pearls reside for yet another year when I finally put them out on MY curb!!

Mother of Invention, looking forward to her walk today!!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Long Weekend

My sister's cottage.

This weekend was the Queen Victoria Day long weekend, the first for the season. Everyone who has a cottage went there or went camping. They fought the traffic and witnessed the Black Fly Annual Convention in cottage country and are now scratching.

We don't relish any of that so we always stay home for the Initiation of The Planting Festival. The gardens are prepped and the family fortune is spent at The Garden Centre. There has already been two trips made and there will be at least 3 more! This will go on for at least three weekends.

Aching backs and sore muscles will be the souvenirs of this weekend's festival, but it may well be more enjoyable than being swarmed by black flies and traffic!

See my last year's post about this weekend right below this post. I mostly describe a childhood memory of what I thought was the most important aspect of this holiday; Fireworks!

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Queen Victoria Day Weekend is Here!

As a child, I used to think this was called, "Firecracker Day". The best part was that we got the Monday off from school and the last of the fireworks was always, "The Burning of The Old Schoolhouse"!

Back then, you were allowed to have your own display and everyone on our street would pool their fireworks and gather in one neighbour's backyard. Sometimes it was rather cold which necessitated huddling with your friends, sisters, or mothers under your favourite blankies! We'd often already put on our pajamas. Everyone would feel all cuddly and close. Of course, there would be hot chocolate and marshmallows afterwards! And if it was hot, there'd be lemonade and chocolate chip cookies for certain! Oh, and bug spray FOR EARLY BLACK FLIES AND MOSQUITOES!

We would all ooh and ahh after each one was set off, sending colourful stars and sprays high up into the sky. One called, "The Spiral" would be set in our apple tree and make wonderful whirring noises! And then, the finale, the old fashioned pioneer schoolhouse would be lit. We would be silent in our own thoughts of how great the weekend and evening had been, savouring this precious family time of our childhood. Slowly, we'd realize that bedtime was imminent as was school the following day.

Now, as adults without kids or cottage, we seldom even see the fireworks in the next town. It means planting our gardens, hanging baskets, and window boxes full of our favourite colourful flowers. We may take time out to share a bbq dinner with friends. There are several garage sales to visit to open the season. It will be nice to have a long weekend and we shall enjoy it as the Gateway to Summer.

But somewhere in the recesses of my childhood memory, I shall still be huddling under my blankie, quietly watching the glowing embers of The Burning Schoolhouse.

Mother of Invention, picking out which jammies to wear!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Poetry Friday Retro-Repro

Mona deems the theme to be Human Reproduction because Boy-Child is about to embrace this as part of the school curriculum. Poor teachers! They must be ready for either all that snickering or an extremely uncharacteristically quiet classroom!
I've only addressed one small aspect of this huge topic because once I started writing, the memories came "flooding" (hehehe!) back in so much detail, I had to do them justice and devote to them the words they deserved!

Uncovered On The Covered Wagon Trip!

I knew I'd get my period some day. Not that my mom actually talked directly to me about what it was. She had just issued a really lame book about it to my oldest sister,who then passed it on to my next oldest sister, who talked to me and showed me what to do when it happened. And, man did it happen!

I was at Bible Camp the summer of Gr. 7 (12 years old) and I couldn't wait to go on the overnight trip. I had heard all about the covered wagon trip the senior girls got to go on and I was excited. This feeling quickly dissipated when I watched two old roan-coloured nags plod slowly up the road into camp....and the driver was worse.

This ancient-looking geezer was by far the crookedest and skinniest man I'd ever laid eyes on as he somehow got himself down out of the driver's seat. I thought he was going to keel over any minute!
Ed, as he was called, had one long yellow tooth and his brief conversations were punctuated with a staccato of spitting tobacco juice on the path. All the kids jumped out of the way.

We loaded our duffel bags and took hours to ramble and rock over the rough roads to a ramshackle farm where we were to sleep in the hayloft. We actually had a great foil-wrapped meal of chicken, potatoes, onions and carrots cooked over an open fire. After the singsong and the customary s'mores, we all had to pee on the hillside and we were given one tissue each for the process. My cabin mate shone a flashlight for me and I gasped when I saw it! A watery red stain! Crap! Of all the places to get initiated into womanhood! I thought I'd have to use leaves or moss like the Native women.

My counsellor rationed me a few more tissues and somehow I made it back to the camp the next day none too worse for my first experience with The Curse. I immediately went to announce my whole ordeal to my sister whose tent was in the older girls' section. I think I recall her giving me some proper supplies, or maybe it was her counsellor, but I know I was grateful.

That seems like such a distant memory now as I look from the other side of my life, no longer getting The Curse at all. I don't miss it one bit.....but I do think of that episode every time I see a wagon hitched with some old horses and some spit hurling out of someone in the driver's seat!

Mother of Invention, reflecting and smiling at one of my life's pivotal moments!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

7 Things About Me Meme

Lynclay tagged me for this one. Go visit her site and see some great art!

You may or may not know these facts about me.

1. Speech Lessons: I took speech lessons from Gr. 2 -6 for a severe problem with pronouncing my "R's" as my tongue muscles were not fully developed. The first time I heard myself on an old 1950's reel-to-reel tape I said, "That gool talks funny."
I spent hours going over my speech sheets with my mom each night. She'd point to the words and pictures for "bell" and "bear" and they'd sound alike. You should have heard me try to say"whirlpool" and "squirrel"!! My sisters would tease me, telling me to say, "The early bird gets the worm." Of course, I'd comply and they'd break up into fits of laughter! I still have to think about "whirlpool"!

2. Blankie and Thumb: I was a thumb-sucker and carried a blankie named, "Ki-Ki Ni-Ni Williams". I sniffed the silk edging as I drew heavily on my thumb. I actually pushed my teeth inward and needed a bottom plate to push them back out. As always, this was the opposite to what happened with everyone else's buck teeth! Ki-Ki had all kinds of adventures which I should post about sometime. He apparently did some naughty things that my parents accused ME of doing!

3. Bible Camp: Before I became diabetic, I went to a religious camp from age 7-13. The first thing on the camp list was "Bible". We studied the Bible for 20 minutes every morning and night and an hour after breakfast. We had an hour long hymn sing after lunch on Sundays and that was after Chapel! I don't even go to church now but I sure learned some excellent songs at that camp which I constantly used in teaching.

4. Fish: I don't eat fish of any kind! I know, I'm weird but I can't get past the smell. Sometimes, on a particularly fishy day, I eat a tuna fish sandwich but it's got to be Cloverleaf Solid White with mayo on really fresh white bread and real butter!

5. I used to love fairs and exhibitions where I could go on rides and buy candy apples and cotton candy. I can hardly even stomach swings now and fair food has too much sugar for me...darn! I worked at The Food Building of The Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto for 3 summers.

6. As a kid, I was deathly afraid of thunder and lightning and I still don't like it. I was frightened of spiders and I still hate them. I used to have to see proof of their dead bodies BEFORE I watched them being flushed down the toilet. My poor dad! My POOR HUSBAND!

7. I am sorry to say that I am not an avid reader for some reason. I am slow and I always feel that I should be doing something else so the book has to really hook me before I finish it. It even takes me a long time to read blogs! (And to comment because I type very slowly, one finger at a time!)

8. I never had any pets while growing up because my mom was allergic to fur and feathers. My husband had had some so we adopted a black foundling kitten after being married 2 years and I've been a "cat lady" ever since. (I even wear all kinds of clunky funky earrings!)

(Yeah, I know, I can't count! And I'm not tagging anyone!)

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Red-winged Blackbird! (Mother's Day)

I saw you on a
Sunday morn so beautiful,
red and yellow bands
Riot of colour
screams out to me from the black
as I walk by you,
sitting on top of
dead old corn stalks from last fall
I can't help but stop
on this Mother's Day
you were singing just for me
Nature celebrates
It's what you gave me
and I have to honour it
I loved your spring song

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Gauging The Rain!

Mona said to let the rain come tumblin' down on Poetry Friday!

Before I even knew the word, I had taken these shots this afternoon! I was so excited to literally christen my new rain gauge!

I have always been fascinated by rain. When my sister and I were about 6 and 9, we used to hang clear plastic bags out our windows and shut them so we could collect the rain. Then, we'd see whose bag got the most. Our older sister, who was about 15, must have thought we were weird little kids! (She'd be right!) She gave each of us a bonafide raingauge this past Easter as you can see. I bet I beat my sister this time!

Even though we're "all growed up", I still sometimes get the urge to hang a plastic bag out of my window!

I find the sound of rain on the roof soothing, just as I do the sound of waves lapping up on a shore. The sustained steady rhythm lulls me to sleep.

let the rain kiss you
and nature will take its course
quenching your desires
(A Maggie and Mona type poem! I can't make them sizzling hot like you babes, though!)

Mother of Invention,looking for some clear bags and doing my Rain Dance!

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Summer Bedroom in Early Spring!

Welcome to my favourite room in our house! I think of this as my cottage.

We're looking out through our winter bedroom into the beloved summer bedroom. Come on through and have a look!

It is surrounded by windows and you can tell by the brick, it was an addition. The windows are closed at night since it has still been just below freezing temps. We open them as needed.

You can see the door out to the balcony where I took the sunrise pics, and the door we've just come through from the winter bedroom. This is my inner-outer sanctum! I love it because it opens spaces in my mind and puts my whole psyche in a vacation place.

My cats even have a condo where
they can look out onto their territory! There is an electric heater to take off the night chill in April, May, September and October.

This is what it looks like from outside in the back yard.

We are planning an addition onto this back lower floor but they're not touching my favourite room!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The 5 Question Interview Meme

Pauline’s questions for MOI....!

1. Is there an item in your household you could not do without? Name it and tell why.

Well, it's a toss-up between my bed and the washer! I love my bed and without it, or any bed, my back would be a mess. But, we do so much laundry with my husband's chiropractic home business and our own needs, it would be a total drag and time loss to have to take it to the laundry mat! We'd have to lug around heavy towels and gowns..yuck! Washer wins!

2. If you could have a day-long discussion with three people, who would they be and what would you talk about?

This was the most difficult question, Pauline! I purposely did not choose a famous writer, musician or an historical figure as I 'd be too inhibited to discuss things and they would not have a meaningful or personal connection to my life. I'm all about the people who are close to me.

1. My grandmother who lived from 1898 till 1981: I would ask her about all the different phases of her life and what life was like for her as a little girl, a young married woman, mother, and then a widow. I'd ask her about her daily chores, her response to sex and what it was like for her, her strong faith in Jesus, and what she felt were her accomplishments. I'd ask her about her parents, my father as a young kid, her friends, and her greatest joy in her life.

2. My Father: He was born in 1919 and was a pilot in WW II. I'd ask him all about his life as a kid, the war, how he felt about his parents, my mom, us kids, his philosophy of life, his faith, his Guardian Spirits he has heard speak, and his love for the people in his life. I'd ask him questions #3, #4, and #5 of this meme!

3. My mother and her identical mirror image twin sister, my aunt: These girls are fascinating! I always thought I had two moms, they are so much alike! They are both turning 86 next week and have worked all their lives , unusual for women of their generation. I'd ask them what it was like living through the war and having husbands overseas, and how being twins affected them. These gals are very chatty so I'm sure we'd talk about anything and everything!

3. What would you change about the way the world works?

This could never really a perfect ideal world perhaps, but I'd eliminate borders, money /capitalism, and have only one religion. This would allow for more peace because all wars have been rooted in the quest for ownership of land and resources, as well as religious freedom. Everyone would simply share the world and all it has to offer us with faith in the same creator. On a smaller scale, we would not look at each other so differently and be affected by quests for materialistic things and money. We'd be much happier!

4. How do you spend your free time?

An easy one! I lead an extremely simple life and I'm no longer teaching so much of my time is already free! Here's the list:

  • sing in choirs and listen to music, play guitar
  • exercise for 45 minutes most days....Nordic Walking, swimming, canoeing, biking
  • some reading...papers, books, mags, BLOGS!
  • writing and Blogging!
  • volunteer in Gr. 3 reading program 1 morning/week
  • some TV....Grey's Anatomy, Friends, Oprah, Ellen
  • garage sales, flea markets, 2nd hand stores, giftie type shops (I buy a lot for other people and have a whole gift section in my attic!)
  • play with my kitties
  • take photos
  • connect with people! This is a big one and should head the list! The people in my life are THE most important thing to me. (Of course, I don't know how to get a bullet if I go back to the top!) I am constantly e-mailing, phoning, and meeting my family and friends for lunches, dinners and coffee.

5. What do you believe in passionately?

Having just highlighted this in the last answer, I must say that I believe that family and the relationships we form with others in this world are the most important things when the chips are down. It is the special things we do for each other that are truly meaningful. To spin off this, I think that living by the Golden Rule is the ultimate credo that we should all adopt. It is the basis of all religions, even though each one may word it differently. For me, I think we should all strive to treat each other and this earth with a spiritually kind attitude. We should accept others for who they are and realize they are probably doing the best they can. If we have ill feelings towards anyone for whatever reason, we can take a step back, think of acceptance and The Golden Rule, and the bad feelings should dissipate more smoothly and hopefully evaporate. I don't like having jagged edges in my heart.

Bonus question: If you had to give up one of your senses, which would it be?
(Ah, spoken like a true teacher, Pauline! I always put a bonus!)

It would definitely be my taste! It is inconceivable to me to live without sight and next worst would be no sound. I was going to say smell, but 75% of our taste comes from our sense of smell anyway so you might actually not miss it too much if you still had olfactory glands working. It would be just plain weird and horrible to live in a soundless world. I would miss music, people talking, and yes, even and my cat's constant meowing!

Thanks, Pauline! If anyone would like to do this meme, I'm suggesting that you look around at various posts that did this, (some are: Pauline, Barbara, Meno, Old, Old Lady of the Hills) and come up with 5 questions (and maybe a bonus!) that you can answer to reveal some interesting things about you.....

Any regrets in decisions you made in your life? What are they?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

If you could change anything about your childhood, what would it be?

How did you get into blogging?

Who are 3 people you love to spend time with? Tell why and what you do.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tension In The Landscape!

The river is gradually becoming obscured by the foliage.

A Horse Chestnut Tree bud.
This is my rhubarb just starting to grow and turn red!

My artist friend, Clive, (watercolours)
describes this time of early spring as a time when there is "tension in the landscape", with everything waiting to burst forth. This is such an apt expression and today's pictures matched with perfect timing.

I love the way this spring is gently unfolding! It's just like the springs I remember when I was a kid. We had time to savour hopcotch, skipping, biking and ball games before the heat of the summer got a grip on us.


Friday, May 04, 2007

UnPoetry Friday!

The word from Mona is "belly"! I can't say that the word inspired me to write beautiful or serious poetry because I couldn't get past the ugly image of fat bellies hanging out over the edge of low rise jeans, and more specifically, MY belly and MY jeans!

As if aging didn't contribute enough to the demise of a flat stomach, the drug that I am on, (amitryptaline) for some pain issues, has been a rather LARGE factor in this unsavoury and undesirable phenomena! In short, I hate it! (I know you'll understand why I passed on posting a picture!)

On an otherwise long and lanky frame, I think a 9lb-overweight-gut is just magnified all the more. I have never had kids so I don't even qualify to use that as a partial explanation or excuse.

It's enough weight to make a whole size change in the wrong direction! In my hopefulness that this dire situation is temporary, I buy new clothes (pants and shorts) at second hand shops because I refuse to pay full price for something I think I won't be wearing for long.

The stupid thing is that the drug has not relieved any of the pain although, I do get a better sleep while taking it. The other day, while I struggled to get the fly done up on my pre-loved jeans, I knew had had enough! I realized that the muscle pain I have doesn't hold a candle to the pain I have of not being able to do the zipper and button up on my pants!

This discovery necessitated a trip to the pharmacy to find out how I safely wean myself off this enemy of mine. It's almost been a week of and I've already noticed about 2 lb drop. Yahoo!

Now, excuse me while I go out to exercise with my Nordic Walking poles and trek up to my attic to bring down my OLD jeans!


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sunrise Over My Little Town!

These are for Annelisa, who has the best sun and sky shots in the world!

These were all taken at 6:15 a.m. outside my summer bedroom on the outdoor 2nd storey balcony. Sipping coffee, I watched the sun trying to decide whether to come through or to let the day be cloudy. It was pretty indecisive there for a few minutes, but that's the last I saw of it!