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!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hit The Dirt!

Our renovation is well underway. It's weird to see the old porch torn off in about five minutes and all the bricks piled up in a corner only to expose ugly old tar paper. There will be a lot of rapid change in the next three months!

This house was built in 1921. It had only ever had one owner when we bought it in 1987. It was in fabulous shape. My husband converted the front part and basement to be used as his chiropractic office. Twenty years later and ten years till retirement, we are opening up the first floor towards the back so we have more living space and can can see into our yard. There is also going to be a washroom on the main floor! Yahoo!

The kitchen will be opened up and updated. Nothing much on this floor has been done since the 60's. I'm not kidding! When we moved in, it still had that old grey arborite with the white flecks! We're planning on putting in an island and some new cupboards that slide out to save me from lying on my belly trying to search in the dark for the stir fry pan!

It sure is a mess now, and it'll probably get worse, but I can hardly wait to get it all done and just enjoy it.

For now, my cats will just have fun playing "King of The Castle And The Hole" and I'll have my camera eady to document the whole process.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One Last Kick At Summer!

Today was phenomenal and set a record for this date. It was 32 C in the shade and 38 with humid ex. I actually didn't like it as it took me back to those unbearable heat waves of June and July where you can't function without air con. At least this will be the last day like this...well, I'm fairly certain!

It was a really hot and dry summer and so far, fall has followed the same pattern. We need rain and are supposed to get some tonight. We're sleeping in the summer bedroom with fans on crazy is that? The colours of the leaves aren't going to be that brilliant because many are so dry, they are falling off without even changing colour. What a shame.
I wonder what they're predicting for winter?

Our addition/renovation to the back of our house has finally started and there are holes and piles of dirt everywhere. My cats would love it if they weren't so traumatised with the loud noises and the fact that their porch was taken off and they can no longer fling themselves at the screen door to let us know they want to be on OUR side of the door!

Once these builders start, things can really move along quickly. I'll post pictures of the progress. Meanwhile, my cats will play King of The Dirt Pile! Could be a Mudslide if it rains!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Limitations of The Written Word

Getting It All Wrong

words merely typed
(not even said in a tone
to hint at their true meaning)
can be so misconstrued
by the reader
and are so dependent on
the frame of mind,
that it makes a huge impact
on the spirit with which words are received.
and this is an unfortunate thing indeed...

the light, lively and fun
can become heavy, blind and serious
or ....
it could nail it and elicit a smile,
a response in kind,
a much appreciated
mission accomplished.

extended word counts --
verbiage from the heart,
perhaps well meaning advice,
a new point of view,
can be seen as ridicule
and can spawn defensiveness
where nothing but empathy
and protectiveness
were intended.

short, clipped, and succinct
can be felt as uncaring callousness --
dismissing any highlights
hoped to be treasured
and perhaps even passed back.

openness and honesty,
intended to be a gift,
shared in a nurturing spirit,
-- raw vulnerability,
can become threatening--
with the undue pressure
of expectations
difficult to fulfill.
-- too much room for error
and misjudgment.....

when does one take a step back
and where does one go?
was communication any clearer
before someone created signs
representing words
and marked the cave wall?
perhaps even this prehistoric pictogram
was also misread once too often –

maybe we haven't come such a long way after all......

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Save These Interesting Creatures!

I used this in a Gr. Two classroom when we were learning about owls. They all wanted to recite it "by heart" and they found it really easy to memorise. Of course, this might have something to do with the little prizes I awarded when they knew it all!


Owl perching on your tree,
turn your head so you can see
all around to find your prey,
Mice and birds you’ll find today.
Who who-who who who who!

See your wings spread through the night,
You swoop down on the prey in sight,
Bring it back for baby chick,
Your owlet learns to tear and pick.
Who who-who who who who!

On your face the discs so round
Help you try to catch the sound
Your sight is good, your hearing better
You’re waterproof when it is wetter.
Who who-who who who who!

Take poison out of their living space
Do not cut trees you can’t replace
Conservation is the key
Protect the owl for you and me.
Who who-who who who who!

Mother of Invention, who-who-whoing!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Poetry Friday: Letting Go

Mona says we should be "letting go" today but I can't seem to, Mona! My post is a fun rhyming verse about my difficulty in letting go of summer! This just came out as is in this order, spilling out as I am wont to do as per the title of this blog!

letting go

I still hang on, I can't let go
as summer's end is here, I know
today, I bought some sleeveless tops
the sales are good now at the shops
white pants and skirts still beckon me
with tanned skin, they look good, you see!
my sandals, such scuffed and worn out shoes
to toss them would give me the blues
the weather says UV is high
this sunny day I can't pass by
of vitamin D, I need my dose
so I will keep the summer close
on patio I keep it there
I sit on Adirondack chair
and read my book and soak up rays
I can't give up my summer days!
clouds pass by and it gets cool
and I must look like such a fool
after dinner, there is still light
although at 7:00, it's not that bright
in shorts divine I'm writing this
but it's not exactly summer bliss
tonight, it's going down to 5
the summer bedroom's still alive!
dressed in heavy flannel nightie
I'll defy fall, oh, cripes almighty!
just close some windows and the door
add some blankets, two or more --

what's that? a goose bump on my skin?
excuse me now, I must go in!
(If you've never seen pictures of the summer bedroom, check the link and you will understand why I am so reluctant to give it up! It's just the coolest!)

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Entertaining Stories of Dad's!

We hadn't seen them since Father's Day and my parents never mind us inviting ourselves down for a visit. They had the most delicious tender roast beef, whipped potatoes, and carrots. I thought it must be Sunday as that's what they always have....gosh, what will they have today?! (Sunday)

My parents had just had my sister and her family for a big meal the two nights previous. Both of them sure love to cook for people and even with us, family, they are always such gracious, classy hosts. (Somehow, I didn't get that gene!)

The visit was fun and interesting, and my mom didn't show any memory lapses at all. (She's had a few in the past year which makes us wonder if Alzheimer's is developing.) My dad got into stories of his grandfather and he really got going! Wish I'd had a tape recorder. I've never heard any of these before which is always neat.

His grandfather apparently went fishing and hunting with his best friend, Zane Grey, the famous writer of many westerns. Even I had heard of him and some of the movies too! I think that was a pseudonym and many people thought he was an American, living in the west. My dad doesn't remember his grandfather being terribly fond of him and it's no wonder when my dad revealed some more stories.

Dad's memory is so sharply focused as he was describing antics of his being a young rowdy kid at the General Store up at his cottage. They owned 3 cottages on different lakes, a few being in Quebec, and all were fairly remote! I think they got rid of them and he laments this a great deal.
He spent every summer up at these. No wonder he always wanted to have a cottage and loves the fishing cabins we still have.

He was telling us how people used to buy their meat, bread, milk/cream, from different farmers and trucks. His dad would bring up all the unsold vegetables from the Sat. market after he had counted up the money and put it in the safe, and then drove up in one of the few vehicles people had. Most took the train.
His dad and Uncle owned a huge market garden farm in Ottawa, called, Rideau Gardens, all along that river. (Such prime land which is now a whole street was named after my sister!) They owned 5 teams of work horses (Clydesdale) to haul ice from the river and work the fields. Their vegetable cool storage was a fan blowing over the block of ice! They had 3 different kinds of veggies with each meal, not counting potatoes. My dad's an original Cabbage Patch Kid!

One of his stories about his shenanigans was just a hoot. I can so picture him doing this as a rambunctious 10 year-old! With a friend, he was regularly sneaking out at night from sleeping on the porch, going to the general store where this old shopkeeper who lived there used to sleep under the counter. They'd pussyfoot into the store, take the end of the huge ball of twine they used to use to wrap all packages with, hanging high above the counter, and run down the street with it. The guy would wake up, go after them with a big axe and cut the string since he could never catch them. The poor man could be seen waving this axe at them long after they had disappeared!

I love this story! Isn't it a scene right out of Little House On The Prairie?!

I should really bring a tape recorder next time.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Dichotomy of September

Diana over at Piffle asked us this: How goes it for all of you; the start of the other side of summer?

My answer was that it probably depended on what kind of day it was that I replied. On a beautiful sunny day, I'd think September was glorious and happy, such shades of summer. But on a cool, rainy day, my outlook would be bleak. September is so variable and has such mood swings! That whole idea prompted this two-sided poem.

My sunny happy response.......

sunny warm days
drench us in fresh summer memories
barely formed
neighbour's children dive into the pool
breaking the surface
with carefree laughter
cicadas saw their z's
glad of the chance to announce
the heat of day
huge Black-eyed Susans
blink lazily at us
from their thick clump
throughout the long still day
they do not stir
the red tomatoes bulge in ripeness
begging for a knife
the sweet and sour succulence
of Concord grapes
are bunched in baskets
and tightly wrapped
in their purple skins
the Peaches and Cream corn
crunches its offering of ecstasy
crisp tart red apples
hang down from the branches
like globes waiting to be plucked
a rain shower is welcomed
in the steamy evening
and the ground drinks it in thirstily -
the bounty and vitality
of the summer
suspended at its peak


sadly, the sun's zenith shrinks,
slipping lower than
in high noon June
with its promise
of summer days yet to live
and as its arc diminishes
my spirit responds in kind
listless in its lament -
my favourite months will soon end
so many reminders
of the little time left
to savour them
the drought has dried up all the grass
so lush in July
the dandelion fluffs float
free to seed once again
old pale and dry Bleeding Hearts
still swing from their clotheslines
hanging on desperately
to the garden scene
summer slowly seeps away
northerly winds
blow in from cooler climes
I shiver as I shut some windows,
add a comforter,
curl up and cocoon,
thoughts of soup
simmering in my mind -
chorus of crickets
proclaiming the clock
ticking into fall
So which way do you view September?


Monday, September 03, 2007

Back To Fall Routine

On Tues. after our Labour Day Long Weekend, (one last kick at summer!) most people who are involved in any aspect of school, return after a two month break. For 26 years, I went in for the last week in August to prepare the room and work for the kids I taught in Gr. 3.

This is just the second year I won't be doing that and it only feels a little weird.

I've decided not to go back but to stay on extended full-time medical leave. My health still needs my full-time attention. I hope to branch out and increase my physical activity for optimum heart health and strive to keep my blood sugar levels better than they have been. This Friday, I also have to get a tube put in one ear in which I have had little hearing since March! It has driven me absolutely crazy feeling like it's full of water for that long!

I plan to maintain my membership in two choirs and volunteer to help in a Gr. 3 classroom again. This doesn't sound like much to healthy robust people with normal energy levels, but it's enough for me. I have a lot on the rest of my plate.

I realise now, that I can not handle teaching school and all that goes with it and this is good. I don't lament not going back but actually feel relief. There is a group of retired teachers that I will join tomorrow for the annual first day of school, "To Hell With The Bell!" coffee. We shall toast the years we taught and those who still do, and look forward to new adventures and undertakings for 2007-2008 school year.

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