Jul 31, 2017

Moineau Monday

moineau ~ small flat bastion that protects fortification when being built

You know, these Monday posts were much easier when I didn’t have a separate writing blog. Despite the fact I proudly proclaim myself an author on my banner, I’ve been trying not to talk too much about writing stuff because I have a whole other blog for that and I don’t want to repeat myself (although I do that with the poetry post, which I forgot to do Friday). You can, in fact, find it HERE.

I think to keep everyone from getting confused, I might indulge in a little housekeeping on my blogs during my vacation, which I think is mid-August. That’s right, I’m not sure when my vacation is. Technically, it’s the daughter’s vacation, but it means I’m freed up from babysitting for the week and I’ve already started making a list of things I want to get accomplished.

But in the mean time, I still live in a small town and other than babysitting I don’t get out much. Last week the hubby was on vacation which made my mornings a little easier because I didn’t have to take him to work, but it was a little disconcerting to have him hanging around when I came home from babysitting.

Okay, he wasn’t literally hanging around. He was keeping busy painting inside the house and staining the deck and a bunch of other stuff, but he had a definite presence that kind of threw me off my game. It was just plain weird. LOL

Friday I talked him into coming to the beach with the grandbaby and I, and a good time was had by all:

She was intrigued by a circle someone made of seagull feathers and insisted on playing inside it. Though you can tell one of her favorite things is to dig in the sand, she was very careful not to get any sand on the feathers, and if she accidentally knocked one over she made sure she set back up again.

Most of our time was spent playing on the beach, but she also got pushed on the swing, made Grappy go up in the pirate ship play structure with her, and we had a picnic lunch. Now that’s something I should have taken a picture of - the picnic lunch. It’s been a long time since I packed for a picnic and of course I packed way too much food. But at least no one went away from the table hungry. :-D

I’ve been watching the buds on one of my mini orchids with great anticipation for the last week or two and my patience was finally rewarded:

It’s one of the two orchids I have on my kitchen window sill, and I think it’s the only one that’s not pink and white. I have two orchids in the dining room that are just finishing a bloom run, and as per my neighbor’s advice, I am not cutting the bloom stalks. I did that on the other orchid in the kitchen and it hasn’t bloomed since, but one of the orchids in the dining room not only re-bloomed off the same stalk, it grew another one as well.

And outside my sweet peas are just starting to bloom. Just a couple of blossoms so far, so no pictures yet, but they should be in full colour when it’s time for my August garden update.

I can’t wait!

Jul 24, 2017

Misbeseem Monday

misbeseem ~ to be unsuited or unsuitable to

Last week was a week, I tell you what.

The daughter had a conference in Texas of all places, and since she was going to be in the neighborhood, more or less, decided to spend a few days visiting a friend in San Diego afterwards. This meant that the grandbaby and I got to spend some extra time together last week. Make that a lot of time. ;-)

I knew about this well in advance and made lots of plans ahead of time. But you know me and planning for things ... this was no different. *sigh* The original plan was, the son-in-law would drop the grandbaby off at our house on his way to work (early morning). I had crafts and other activities planned for us to do until we had to take the hubby to work (mid-morning). On Wednesday I was going to have hubby take the day off and we’d take grandbaby to Riverside Park, which is a park and free zoo in a city north of us.

However, that was not what happened.

First of all, I hadn’t planned on the brother-in-law taking last week off (hubby and BIL own their own business jointly). Not only did that put the kybosh on the zoo trip, it kind of screwed up the rest of the week too.

Instead of being at work for 10:30, hubby had to be there for 9:00. So instead of son-in-law dropping baby off, I went and picked her up and we came back here to pick up grappy and take him to work. From there it was pretty much a case of ‘now what?’

Monday the weather was kind of iffy, so we went back to the daughter’s house with a big bag of craft stuff. I had paper, and washable, non-toxic markers, and stickers, and all sorts of wonderful things in my bag of tricks. Grandbaby seemed to enjoy painting Hello Kitty pictures with water the best.

Tuesday we went to the drop-in play group we go to on a regular basis. I thought it would be even more fun to get there early for a change. It wasn’t. It was boring as all get out. Most of the kids we’re familiar with and the regular day care workers were all involved with the Day Camp. After an hour the grandbaby was bored enough that she was asking to leave. So we went shopping instead. :-)

Wednesday we slapped on the sun screen and went down to the beach. The nice thing about going to the beach that early was that we got one of the free parking places. Don’t get me started on residents having to pay for parking at our public park and beach.

Grandbaby got to try out her brand new bathing suit although she didn’t exactly get it wet. She slid down the pirate ship, got pushed on the swing until my arms were ready to fall off, and had a great time playing on the splash pad ... until someone turned on the water. LOL

We went down onto the sand where a couple of lovely ladies told us to help ourselves to the beach toys they’d brought for their grand kids - who were more interested in playing with their body boards in the water. We’ve got about three quarters of our beach back and the water for the first few hundred yards is extremely shallow. I tried to get the grandbaby to at least go wading with me, but she was having none of it.

Thursday the weather was kind of iffy, so we gave the play group another chance. This time we went a little later in the morning and we had a much better time. Friday the son-in-law had the day off, so that meant I did too. But of course Thursday afternoon I noticed my throat was a bit sore and my nose was a bit sniffly. Isn’t that always the way? I took some cold medicine when I got home, but it was too late.

My favourite moment of the week was when I went to leave Wednesday after the son-in-law came home and grandbaby threw her little arms around my legs and said: “No go Grammy! I keep you!”

Is it any wonder she has me wrapped around her little finger?

Jul 21, 2017

Bingo Blues

One of my jobs when I worked in the Municipal Office of our town (many years ago) was to record the bingo results from the weekend games. I was pretty surprised by the number of charities that ran bingos to raise funds. And even more surprising was how little they actually made from it.

But bingo was big business in our town, especially with the seniors. I can’t remember exactly when I visited one of the bingo halls one night - taking a message to someone, picking someone up, I have no idea. I know I wasn’t there long and I wasn’t there to play. The one thing I do remember is walking into the pervading cloud of smoke.

It was shortly after that that legislation was passed banning smoking in public places. It caused a pretty big stir at the time, but despite the artistic license in my poem, nothing stops a die-hard bingo player.

Bingo Blues

The room’s filled with fog
From the chain smoking grannies
Don’t mess with their luck
Or you’ll find yourself
Out on your ear

The concentration is fierce
Daubers flying furiously
Hearing aides at the max
Canes within reach
To snag a new card

It’s Saturday night
At the Bingo Hall
Truck on over
And don’t forget
Your pension cheque.

Then the hammer falls
In the form of a by-law
Banning the cancer sticks
Causing an uprising
Of the blue hair set.

Now it’s Saturday night
And they meet at Timmie’s
Walkers parked outside
While they reminisce
Over a cup of joe.

Jul 17, 2017

Muriform Monday

muriform ~ resembling a mouse or rat

Well folks, you dodged a bullet and don’t even realize it. LOL

When I started writing this post I was fresh from the news about the new doctor on the TV show Doctor Who. I’m not happy about their choice - I’m a die hard fan but they’ve changed the show so much I’m done with it. I was three rather lengthy paragraphs into a rant about it when I realized that in the grand scheme of things, who cares? It’s just a TV show.

So ... I deleted my rant and I’m ready to carry on. You’re welcome. :-)

After an unintended hiatus, my thrift store buddy and I were back shopping on Saturday. I bought things, she bought things, and we both agreed that if we didn’t stop bringing home so much “stuff” (it’s only junk when you’re getting rid of it) our hubbies might stop letting us play together. LOL

One of the things I bought on impulse was an incomplete set of dishes:

This is the Barratts Delphatic White Ironstone Blue Roses dinnerware. I got 33 pieces for $10, including enough dinner plates with cups and saucers to use for my immediate family. It also included a platter and two serving bowls, and a set of fruit nappies.

What makes it so special is pure nostalgia. Back in the sixties, my mother began collecting these dishes. I have a vague memory of her getting them as a free gift whenever she filled up her gas tank, not sure which gas station, but she also might have got them using green stamps. Anyone remember green stamps? Yeah, me neither. ;-)

Anywho, my mother collected these dishes piece by piece until she had a whole set. They weren’t her “good” dishes, but they weren’t every day dishes either. We would use them for Sunday dinner.

After mom died my oldest sister ended up with the entire set. I’m not sure how they’ve fared over the years or even if she uses them. I suspect her set is also incomplete at this point, if it still exists at all.

But I do know that going forward I’ll be using mine on Sundays, keeping the tradition alive.

Jul 14, 2017

Caffeinated Dreams

This is a fairly new poem, written just a few weeks ago. I got the idea for it while, you guessed it, sitting on the pier sipping an iced coffee with a friend. The car was facing towards the beach and I made a comment about how nice it would be to sit under one of those trees to write.

The reality is that it wouldn’t be that all that conducive to writing. It was a weekend and there were hoards of screaming kids everywhere. Plus I’d probably do more people watching and looking at the scenery than actual writing.

But I came home and wrote the following poem:

Caffeinated Dreams

I sit on the pier
sipping my iced coffee
and I have a vision:
I sit in the park
under a tree
back against the rough bark
big floppy hat on my head
doodling, scribbling, writing in
a notebook propped up on my knees
words spilling over
right off of the page
racing away
with a shout of laughter
but I am unaware
that my story is escaping
and I keep writing
until it’s too dark
to see.
Anchored in reality
I take the last sip of my coffee
and with a wistful sigh
go home.

Jul 10, 2017

Mirador Monday

mirador ~ belvedere or watchtower; architectural feature with good view

Some weeks I sit at my lap top on Sunday night, staring at the screen, trying to figure out what I could possibly talk about in my Monday blog post. And some weeks it comes easily. This should have been an easy post to write because it occurred to me last week I’d promised back at the beginning of June to post some updated pictures of my gardens at the beginning of July.

However, as I sat at my lap top last night I realized I didn’t have any current pictures of my garden. I didn’t take any last week because of all the rain, but I’m sorry now that I didn’t at least take a picture of my petunias. They weren’t happy campers with all the rain that had been pounding down on them and had stopped blooming.

So despite it being overcast this morning, I went out to take pictures. Now the race is on to see if I can get them posted before 8 a.m., which is the time I normally schedule these posts for. :-D

Starting at the front, this is what it looked like in June:

So pretty, isn’t it? And here’s the same garden as of this morning:

Not quite as pretty, but the petunias made an amazing come back. A little TLC and a lot less rain and I’m sure they’ll fill the garden the way I intended. And the begonias in the hanging planter on the right are doing great.

Next up is Kelsey Park.

Beautiful, wasn’t it? This garden fared the best of all through the rain because it was protected somewhat by the bowl of the fountain. But remember I mentioned the pleasant surprise of the sweet peas from a couple of years ago coming up? Yeah, they’re kind of trying to take over now.

My poor pansies. I love sweet peas, gathering huge bouquets of them was a favorite occupation when I visited my aunt up in Owen Sound (they grew wild near her house). but seriously, if they don’t start blooming soon I’m pulling them up so they stop choking out everything else.

Next is a reminder of what the herb garden looked like:

While I wouldn’t exactly say it thrived with all the rain, at least it held its own. And my dill is coming up like gang-busters. As you can see, I really need to thin it out some.

In my original post about my gardens I didn’t show the patio planters because there was nothing in them. However, I planted wild flower seeds in them. And while most of the planters did really well:

Some of them didn’t do quite so good:

The difference is drainage. Some of them had plugs in the bottom and some of them the hubby had to drill holes in. I’m not sure which the four planters above had, but they weren’t able to drain fast enough for the amount of water in them. I’m out of wildflower seeds, but I got some poppy seeds from one of my brothers-in-law and I’m going to give them a try.

Last, but not least, is the hubby’s tomato plant.

Poor, sad little tomato plant. It did not like all that rain, but as a reward for hanging in there we re-planted it in a bigger pot. And look, it’s got one ripe tomato and several green ones. Now it just needs a bigger cage and maybe a shot of fertilizer.

And so ends the garden update for July. So tell me. How does your garden grow?

Jul 7, 2017


I remembered again! I must be on some kind of roll. :-D

After much consideration, for this month’s form I chose the Paradelle. This form was invented by Billy Collins (who was the U.S. Poet Laureate at the time) as a parody of the Villanelle. He did it as a joke, claiming it was one of the more demanding French forms. The joke was on him when people took him seriously and began writing their own Paradelles.

This form has four stanzas with six lines each. The first three stanzas have the following format: lines 1 and 2 are the same; lines 3 and 4 are the same; but lines 5 and 6 must contain all the words from the previous lines, using each word only once. And just to make things interesting, the fourth stanza uses all of the words from the previous stanzas, and again uses each word only once. Got that now?

You’d think with all that repetition this would be an easy form, but it’s not. The last two lines of each stanza were bad, but nothing compared to the final stanza. Trying to fit all the words from the previous stanza without leaving any of them out is pretty tricky. If anyone out there would like a poetry challenge, I highly recommend the Paradelle.

And I unashamedly admit that I did not create a new poem as an example, this is the one from my original poetry post.

Vampire Moon

Red moon in the sky, swollen and full
Red moon in the sky, swollen and full
Bathing the world in its ghostly light
Bathing the world in its ghostly light
Swollen in red, the full ghostly world
Bathing the moon and sky in its light

The time has come to embrace the night
The time has come to embrace the night
Rise, take your place in the mortal realm
Rise, take your place in the mortal realm
Take your place in the night rise, mortal.
Embrace the realm, the time has come to.

Soft velvet night of the vampire moon
Soft velvet night of the vampire moon
Awaits you with your heart’s desire
Awaits you with your heart’s desire
Velvet vampire desire. Soft night,
Your heart’s moon awaits with you.

In your sky, has the velvet moon come?
The night awaits with your place in
the world, swollen and full of the light.
You, bathing in its soft ghostly night.
Rise, heart’s desire, take the mortal realm;
Time to embrace the red vampire moon.

If you’d like to learn more about the Paradelle, and maybe even try one for yourself, check out one of the following links:

Shadow Poetry - Paradelle
Writer's Digest - Poetic Asides
Poets Online Archive

Jul 3, 2017

Mandarism Monday

mandarism ~ government with a large bureaucracy

If last week was rather dull, cold and damp, hot and damp, and depressing and damp, the weekend more than made up for it.

First of all ... remember all that flooding we had? Well in an effort to save the beach and/or the tourist season which traditionally kicks off on the Canada Day weekend, the Town of Cobourg had truck loads of sand brought in and dumped on what was left of our beach. After the heavy equipment finished spreading all that sand, we had a partial beach, at least down to the life guard towers.

Then it rained again

This is what the “beach” looked like on June 30 (Friday):

Well, that was certainly worth it, wasn’t it?

Despite the lack of beach, the weather was actually better than predicted. Friday was wet and miserable, but Saturday, which was supposed to be filled with thunderstorms and rain, was pretty hot and humid. Frankly I’d rather have a good honest rain than high humidity, but the sky was clear enough for the fireworks to celebrate Canada Day, and the water had actually receded enough that we could sit on the beach to watch them.

But even better than the fireworks was something we stumbled across on the way home. We passed a small group of people carrying large paper lanterns and torches, headed to a more secluded area of the beach. Once on the shore they fired up the flame sources inside the lanterns and once they were buoyant set them free to drift away.

That’s not an actual picture of what we saw, that’s just to give you an idea. But as awesome as it was to watch, I have to admit we had to wonder about the wisdom of letting the lanterns loose from this narrow stretch of beach. Between the tall trees and the houses so close to the shore, I think it was just dumb luck that nothing else caught fire.

I don’t usually check out the Waterfront Festival that’s held over the holiday weekend, but I did this year. The dampness didn’t seem to discourage attendance, it was pretty crowded when we were down there. And I don’t think the vendors had too much to complain about, business must have been good - even I bought something.

It’s my new writing bag. Big enough to hold note books, pens, and even my Alphasmart Neo. It’s from Guatemala and I was told it was made from material repurposed from native dresses. The embroidery is from the top part of the dress, the rest from the skirt. I’m not sure how much of the sales pitch I believe, but I’m going to enjoy using it.

Belated Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and an early Happy Fourth of July to my American friends. I’ll have to remember to dig out my Independence Day movies to watch on Tuesday in your honour. :-D