Oct 15, 2018

Melisma Monday

melisma ~ tune; melodic embellishment; ornamentation

I have a bad case of the dreary wearies.

What are the dreary wearies, you ask? It’s from one of the grandbaby’s books called The Pout Pout Fish. The Pout Pout Fish swims around looking sad and his various fish friends all try and get him to cheer up, but every time he answers with:
“I’m a pout pout fish
With a pout pout face
And I spread the dreary wearies
All over the place.
Glub, glub, glub.”
Finally, at the end of the book he’s drifted to the bottom of the sea where he’s lying upside down on a rock and this beautiful silver fish swims over and gives him a kiss. Pout Pout Fish suddenly realizes he’s not a pout pout fish, but a smooch smooch fish and now he spreads smooches all over the place.

Don’t judge! It’s a cute book. LOL

Anyway, now whenever the grandbaby is in a grumpy mood I tell her she’s being a pout pout fish.

I’m kind of like the weather – in between things these days. I have six books stacked up beside my chair in the living room, all partially read, and I don’t feel like reading any of them. I have two novels on the go and don’t feel like writing. I have a bag of yarn a friend gave me as well as a bag of yarn I put together to do a sweater for the grandbaby and don’t feel like knitting or crocheting.

So what do I want to do? That’s the problem. I don’t know.

This tends to happen to me about this time every year. It’s the season of transition where I don’t know what I want to do so I end up doing nothing and then I get a big case of the guilts for not getting anything accomplished.

All I know is, this too shall pass. Hopefully sooner than later. I wouldn’t want to be a pout pout fish forever.

Oct 8, 2018

Maturescent Monday

maturescent ~ becoming mature

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

As I write this post I am suffering from a turkey coma, which is entirely my own fault. What can I say? The grocery store seduced me with its sale on turkeys and somehow this 23 pound turkey just jumped into my grocery cart.

There were five of us for Thanksgiving dinner. That’s 4 ½ pounds of turkey per person, along with all the other stuff: potatoes, peas, carrots, dressing, rolls, sweet potatoes… and pie. Let’s not forget the pie.

The daughter made a beautiful pumpkin pie.

And I knew she was bringing it, but that still didn’t stop me from buying one at Costco the day before dinner. Again, I was seduced by the sale price. I mean seriously, did you see the size of those Costco pumpkin pies? They were huge! And really cheap.

But I digress…

What I’d like to do today is share a few of the things I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful that I live in Canada where we can enjoy free basic health care, a calmer political landscape, and the changing seasons.

I’m grateful that we have a roof over our head and food on our table.

I’m grateful that I have good health (relatively speaking).

I’m grateful that the hubby is just about finished his chemotherapy after his cancer scare.

I’m grateful for my beautiful daughter and her hubby.

I’m grateful for my amazing granddaughter who grows bigger and brighter each day. She really is my sunshine.

I’m grateful for all my friends and family, both near and far.

And most of all, right now I’m grateful for stretchy pants. :-D

Happy Thanksgiving.

Oct 1, 2018

Mitogenic Monday

mitogenic ~ causing cell division

Once upon a time we had a pretty little pond garden that looked like this:

Then the big old poplar tree in it developed some kind of rot and had to be taken down before it fell down on the new neighbour’s brand new, custom built garden shed. Not only was it expensive to have done, it pretty much toasted the garden.

We kind of liked our little garden back there, and the hubby had put a patio in for us to sit on and enjoy the serenity. We even bought chairs specifically for sitting back there, but there didn’t seem to be much point when this was going to be our view:

So the hubby decided to rebuild the pond garden. He would make it bigger, stronger, better…And that is what he spent his summer doing.

First he built a proper retaining wall out of brick instead of wood. And as you can see, he also decided to repair the fence between us and the neighbour. The fence has been here since before we moved here, and we’ve been here for a very long time, so it was in desperate need of some TLC.

Once the wall was done it was time for a new pond. Our old one was pretty much just a piece of flexible liner sheet that fit over the hole the hubby had dug originally. It wasn’t all that deep, as ponds go, mainly because it was too hard to dig through the roots from the poplar tree. This is why we didn’t keep fish in it. Okay, we did have fish one year—friends gave us a bag of feeder fish, but we took them in for the winter. Then the following year the raccoons discovered them and had a sushi party.

The new pond is not only a proper hard plastic liner, it’s also a little bigger than the old one – both deeper and wider. I’m not sure if it’s quite deep enough for more fish, but it’s something to consider.

After that the pond was in place (ask him about chopping through the still present root system from the tree to make the hole bigger) he had a truckload of dirt dropped off and spent a couple of days back-filling the garden and setting up the pond. This is where you have to use your imagination to picture the garden filled with flowers.

Going forward, the stone patio is going to be expanded, and we’re going to have the firepit (that’s actually on a cement pad off to the right) in the center with the chairs around it.

Nice job, hubby! I’m actually looking forward to next summer. And here’s your reward:

Sep 24, 2018

Monoptote Monday

monoptote ~ word with one form for all cases; indeclinable noun

Yesterday a friend and I made a pilgrimage to Toronto to the 29th annual Word On the Street. This is a festival that celebrates the written word, from publishers to authors and everything in between.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been to this event. In fact, the first time I went it was with the same friend. We drove up to Toronto and parked at the Yorkdale Mall and took the subway to Queens Park where the event was held.

It was a good thing my friend knew her way around Toronto because of the two subway stops closest to it, one was just a bit too soon, and one was just a bit too late. A couple of years later I went again with a different friend and forgot which stop was better, so we just ended up following the crowd. LOL

I don’t know when they switched the venue from Queens Park to Queens Quay, but that’s where we had to go this year. I will say one thing about the move, it’s easier to get to. We drove to Oshawa (about halfway between our town and Toronto) and took the GO train to Union Station. From Union it was just a few blocks worth of a walk to the waterfront – actually, very close to where the hotel the hubby and I stayed at when we had our holiday at the beginning of the summer.

Although we agreed that it wasn’t as nicely laid out as when it was in Queen’s Park, we still had a good time. And I managed to come home with a pile of loot:

You can click on the picture to see a bigger version of it, but basically, the stack of books on the left are ones I paid for (at greatly discounted prices), while the rest of the stuff was freebies.

Several things have changed over the years. One was a greater presence of poetry. There were whole booths devoted to poetry, not just the occasional book, and I received several free poems – one was a tiny little scrap of paper in a tiny envelope, it was really cute (the presentation, not the poem).

Another thing that changed was a greater self publishing presence. It was so long ago when we last went that there was still a stigma attached to self-publishing. This time around there were a lot of micro presses and self publishers, as well as booths advocating self-publishing and offering all kinds of information.

One of the things I liked seeing best was the number of writing groups with booths. Some of these offered classes (with draws to win a spot), some of them had information about meetings, and most of them had writing prompts to give away. There really was something for everyone.

We came away footsore but happy, although we didn’t think it was as big as when it was at Queens Park. After I got home and was looking at my map (which was a freebie that I just stuck in my bag) I discovered the reason why. There was a long building that went from the road to the waterfront – we never went past the building but apparently there was a whole other section of booths on the other side of it. And a lot of stuff inside the building as well.


Oh well, guess that just means we’ll be better prepared next year.

Sep 17, 2018

Mensuration Monday

mensuration ~ measuring to find the dimensions of things

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

No, I’m not talking about back to school, although for any parent with school age children I’m sure this is true. I’m talking about apple season.

We live in apple country. Drive along a country road in any direction and you’re going to find yourself surrounded by apple orchards. And where there’s an orchard, there are road side stands selling apples by the bag or by the bushel.

Apple pie… is there anything that smells better than an apple pie baking in the oven? The sweetness of the apples, the spiciness of the cinnamon… Do you like your pie with a dab of ice cream or a wedge of cheddar?

And let’s not forget all the other uses for apples – apple cider, apple tarts, apple betty, apple crisp, apple bread, apple muffins, baked apples – the list is endless.

My neighbor gave me a bucket (that’s right, a bucket!) of apples at the end of last week and I didn’t get a chance to do anything with them on the weekend, so they’ll be an ongoing project for the week ahead. I’m going to start with apple tarts, then a pie, and figure out what else when I see how many I have left.

The daughter also has a small apple tree and you would not believe the apples she has on it this year. Well, maybe you would. That’s her tree in my picture. ;-)

In honor of apple season I’m going to share one of my favourite apple dishes – fried apples. It goes great as a side with pork chops or over ice cream. Oh, and the reason it’s for one is because the hubby doesn’t like apples. LOL

Fried Apple (for one)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar*
1 large, tart apple – granny smith or mackintosh – cored and sliced
Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
*because I’m diabetic, I use less sugar or sometimes substitute maple syrup
In a non-stick skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar and apple slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until apples are tender.


Sep 10, 2018

Meconology Monday

meconology ~ study of or treatise concerning opium

You know, this being Canada and all, you’d think we’d be used to the extremes in temperature, wouldn’t you? Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but this weekend sure took me by surprise. We went, literally overnight, from stupidly hot and humid to really cold and dreary.

To give you an idea of how much the temperature changed…Friday the hubby went swimming in the pool and the temperature of the water was 78F (roughly 25.5C). Sunday morning I checked the water and it was 65F (about 18.3C). Friday we were wondering why the air conditioner wasn't working better, Saturday we used no a/c, not even the fan, and were forced to shut the deck door because of the cold.

However, if I’m going to complain about anything to do with the weather it’ll be that despite the cooler temperatures we’re still not getting any sun. Saturday it tried, and as I was feeding the cats shortly after 6 a.m. I couldn’t help notice how pretty the dawning light in the sky was. So I picked up my camera and headed down to this point in our neighbourhood that juts out into the lake to take pictures of the sunrise.

So apparently, we live in some weird curvature of the earth where you can’t get a good picture of either the sunset or the sunrise. Last time I tried to get a picture of the sunset I went down to the lake but west was a little further north than was good for taking pictures. In that case, you’d think the sunrise would be a little further south, meaning over the lake, but as you can see it was not. Next time I’ll have to leave a little earlier and go down to that point you see sticking out even further than the one I was on.

I’ll get that sunrise picture yet!

Sep 3, 2018

Maliferous Monday

maliferous ~ harmful; unhealthy

I have to tell you. Being a grandmother is nothing if not an adventure. The best part is the unconditional love, along with unlimited hugs and kisses. But seeing her grow and change – man, it’s awesome!

She’s only 3 1/2, so she doesn’t start kindergarten until next fall, but she will be going to preschool three mornings a week this year. And thank goodness for that because she needs an outlet for all her energy. She sweet and kind, but also stubborn, but she’s also very polite. If you’re trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to, it’s usually, “No thank you,” not just a resounding no.

And this is not just a doting grandma’s opinion, but the kid is smart, too. She knows how to spell her name and can recognize a lot of other letters besides. She can count past ten. And she has a memory like an elephant, so be careful what you promise her.

At the request of my neighbor (who just loves her), I brought her over for a play date with a little girl who was visiting on the weekend. This kid was older, she’s starting school in the fall, and didn’t seem keen on meeting new people. It took her a while to warm up to GB (grandbaby), and then when they were playing with some playdough she seemed a little taken aback when GB was using these blobs of colour to act out little stories. What, did the kid not have any imagination?

I was kind of worried that GB’s feelings might have been hurt with the kind of cool reception she received – she’s insanely friendly and figures everyone else in the world is too – but I needn’t have. As much as GB loves to play with other kids, she makes her own fun wherever she goes.

She loves to sing and dance (she picks up the songs from her favorite Disney movies in a heartbeat) and I’ve never met a kid with as big an imagination. Whether it’s using the coffee table as a bridge between the couch and the love seat because the carpet is water, or lining up chairs to sit her toys on for a bus, or having in-depth conversations with her invisible friends, GB is definitely never boring.

But I have to tell you, the wonders of grandmahood kind of dim in the face of the eternal question “Why?”

“Why can’t I have this (or that)?”

“Why is he doing that?” usually asked about a cartoon character.

“Why do I have to eat my lunch before I get a tiger cookie?”

And the list goes on. But it’s not just the questions, it’s the constant babble. I love my grandbaby dearly, but she never shuts up! And it’s not even just a 3-year-old’s nonsensical babble, this kid actually makes sense. She’s telling a story, or explaining something, or giving you her opinion on something. It’s exhausting!

We were watching cartoons one day and one of the characters was having a quiet time. I asked GB why she couldn’t have a quiet time and she told me, “Because the sun is up, Grammy.”

I guess that answers my question.