Oct 30, 2017

Malloseismic Monday

malloseismic ~ suffering from frequent and severe earthquakes

Like the new blog header? I figured it was time. I keep saying that this blog is for regular stuff and the other one is for writing, so the header proclaiming myself author here didn’t really make sense.

Any other Stranger Things fans out there? Netflix finally made season 2 available on Friday and I lasted all the way until Sunday before starting to binge watch it. And as it was, I only watched the first four episodes, and justified it by doing laundry, and painstakingly cleaning my antique typewriter so I could take some writerly pictures of it posed on my new desk.

Then I watched another couple in the evening while I was writing my blog posts. No easy task, that. Which is why I stopped at just those two - I really needed to get those posts done.

I really wish I’d started earlier in the weekend. The first season only had six episodes, but I think this season has nine. We had to wait a whole year for it, and I heard an ugly rumour that we have to wait until 2019 for season three.

Not a lot of progress was made on the new office last week. One of the bottom drawers of the desk has an insert so I can put hanging file folders in it, which I did, and I discovered the plastic file holder I had on top of one of my filing cabinets fit nicely into the other drawer with room to spare.

So Monday and Tuesday I started on the bottom drawers of the desk, but Wednesday I got nothing done in there. I had the day off from babysitting, but ended up spending the entire day (and night) working on a bunny costume for the grandbaby - I thought she needed it for Saturday (turned out she didn’t).

The daughter had to be in Toronto Thursday and Friday, which meant I was babysitting full time those days and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home at night was work in my office. Which pretty much left the weekend, during which I also managed to get some writing in among other things.

I may not have everything in its place, but at least the office is put together enough that I can work at my desk during NaNo. Just picture a lap top in place of the typewriter. ;-)

Oct 27, 2017

Jack O'Lantern

I thought considering we're so close to the end of the month that a Halloween poem would be fitting. Once upon a time I was a member of a poetry group and as a fun exercise we'd write from prompts. I don't know what the exact prompt was for this poem, but it's one I wrote about five years ago.

And for those of you interested in such things... I did a lot of research before writing this poem and the story about Stingy Jack and his deal with the devil is true, as is the fact that early jack 'o lanterns were carved from turnips.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Jack O'Lantern

Beware ye fool the devil, for the devil has his due
Beware ye lest the devil, should turn the tale on you
Stingy Jack was one who thought the devil he could best
For him his fate was worse than death, he wanders without rest

Now Jack was not a well-liked man, a mean and wretched soul,
He liked his drink, and that's a fact, be it bottle, keg, or bowl.
'Twas on a night that's such as this Jack bade the devil drink,
A guileless smile upon his face, his cheeks a ruddy pink.

They drank a toast to Samhain Eve and all the souls in hell.
Another, then another, till they heard the church bells' knell.
But Stingy Jack had not the coin 'twas needed then to pay,
He had a plan instead and this is what I heard him say:

"Old Scratch, into a coin ye must turn into straight away.
I'll pay our tab and ye'll change back without a long delay"
The fiend agreed not knowing that old Jack had tricked him well,
In a wallet with a cross beside, Jack put the coin to dwell.

The devil seethed, the devil raged, but all to no avail,
He tried to use his power, even knowing he would fail.
They struck a deal, that should Jack die, he'd not go straight to hell,
Instead he had a year of grace in which to say farewell.

Before his year of grace was up, Jack took the plague and died
But Heaven didn't want him, and the devil had his pride.
Because the year was not complete, he would not claim Jack's soul,
But sent him off into the night with just a burning coal.

A coal is just too hot to hold in nothing but your hand,
So Jack, he carved a turnip face to hold the burning brand.
On Samhain Eve he wanders now throughout the chilly night
A sad and lonely figure in the Jack O'Lantern's light.

Beware ye fool the devil, for the devil has his due
Beware ye lest the devil, should turn the tale on you
Stingy Jack was one who thought the devil he could best
For him his fate was worse than death, he wanders without rest

Oct 23, 2017

Muscid Monday

muscid ~ of, like or pertaining to house-flies

This is going to sound strange coming from someone who’s in the midst of moving her office across the hall, but I don’t like change. I’m not talking about change in general, like moving furniture around or the changing seasons, I mean changes that serve no purpose like the renovations our local Wal-Mart is currently undergoing where you can’t find anything, or Doctor Who changing the opening sequence (and just lately changing to a female doctor), and the Weather Network changing its website so it’s incomprehensible now.

I check the weather several times a day - I don’t know why, it’s just some kind of mindless obsession. The temperature has been so up and down lately - I find it comforting to know what to expect, and whether or not it’s safe to wear my suede books or if it’s going to be too wet out. I HATE the new layout of the Weather Network so much that if they keep it, I’m switching to Accuweather.

Progress on the Great Office Shuffle kind of ground to the halt last week. I didn’t really have time to deal with the futon, and I couldn’t really move forward until it was out of there. The hubby and I tossed around a few ideas about the inserts I wanted for the top two desk drawers - they’re not deep enough for files, but they’re too deep to just hold random stuff.

We toyed with the idea of putting a removable piece in that could hold some kind of basket, but I didn’t like the idea of a basket. I saw a wooden cutlery insert that would have been kind of cool with all its little compartments, but it was way too big. And I found a wooden crate-like container that turned out to be just a tad too big. So the hubby made what are basically removable wooden boxes to fit in there which doubles the usefulness of the two drawers.

It’s so nice to have a hubby that can make stuff like that. :-D

Getting rid of the futon took a lot more effort that I was counting on, starting with cleaning the cat hair off.

The cheap “white” blanket that was covering it went straight into the garbage. There was really no point in trying to clean it - not that it would have ever come totally clean. Our vacuum cleaner wasn’t really up to the job so I literally pulled wads of cat hair off the mattress first, then used a lint brush - stopping every couple of strokes to clean it off. What a pain in the butt!

Once I got as much cat hair off as I could I manhandled it from one end of the house, down the hall, and up the stairs, cursing and swearing all the way. It wasn’t that it was heavy, it was just bulky and floppy. Then I discovered that it wouldn’t fit under our bed, where I’d planned to store it. It’s not that there wasn’t room, it was because there’s a leg right smack in the middle of the bed frame. And the guest bed is a super single while the futon is a double, so it couldn’t go under there.

By this time I’m hot, and sweaty, and really, really frustrated, and I’m sitting on the doubled up mattress (I tried folding it over to go under the bed and it was too thick for that) eyeing the closet. The guest room was formerly the daughter’s bedroom and has a closet that is pretty much the width of the room. Inside there’s a few boxes of toys up on shelves, some clothes hanging up for storage, and a chest of drawers. And now, there’s the futon mattress between the chest of drawers and the back wall. Later on the hubby took the frame apart and the pieces are stashed safely under the bed.

That was Saturday. Sunday I should have been able to get things moved around and a start on setting things up, only I took a friend out for a birthday lunch and was gone a LOT longer than I’d intended. Isn’t that always the way?

There’s an area rug in the room that I didn’t want to get rid of but I didn’t want under the desk, and this is where I finally caught a break. I was able to turn the carpet and it fits almost perfectly wall to wall at one end, giving me bare floor in my desk area, and carpet at the other end where Romi’s chair is going to go. Nice!

This week ... setting up the desk and getting organized. God help me.

Oct 20, 2017


The is a fun little poem I came up with from a prompt offered by  Brazen Snake Books. If you’re looking for inspiration, you really should check them out. There are new prompts, both poetry and prose, each Monday. And if you don’t see one you like off the bat, scroll down for heaven’s sake! There’s sure to be one in an earlier post.

This one was from October 9 and said: Write a poem from the perspective of a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter. How cute is that? I just couldn’t resist. :-D

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


Here’s a nut, there’s a nut,
what’s under this big leaf?
Watch out it might be a trap -
it’s not, to my relief.

I’ll put it here, I’ll put it there
then look around for more.
Winter’s coming - hurry, hurry
build up the winter store.

Run and pause, run and pause,
nose twitching in the breeze -
chitter at the cat below -
he’s such fun to tease.

Careful, careful, have a care
upon the wire high -
a better way to cross the street
if you’re brave enough to try.

A trap, a trap, look out a trap!
In that garden there -
that human’s out to get you
though there’s plenty there to share.

Scurry, hurry, careful now
to the feeder just in reach
I see it’s filled with seeds today
oh, won’t those blue jays screech!

Jump and climb, climb and jump
move from tree to tree -
race through leaves and branches,
chirp out loud in glee.

Home again, home again
my nuts are safe inside
the hollow tree I call my home -
this stash a source of pride.

Oct 16, 2017

Morphometry Monday

morphometry ~ measurement of form or shape

Today I am suffering the turkey hangover that I should have had last weekend. I really like turkey leftovers - there’s so much you can do with them - so despite having had the big family Thanksgiving dinner last weekend yesterday I made my own turkey for dinner.

At first glance I thought the turkey I bought was a little small, but it only needed to feed four and a half people, so it turned out it was plenty big enough. As in I have leftovers without even cutting into the second half of it. And the best part is, I didn’t go too crazy with the sides, so I don’t have a whole lot of other leftovers, just turkey. Although I do have an entire pumpkin pie in the freezer. What can I say? The recipe made two. ;-)

Our weather has been...well, you just don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. Hot one minute, so cold the next you need the furnace on - mostly gloomy, sometimes rainy, sometimes windy, sometimes both. Yesterday started out a little cool but a strong wind came up along with torrential rain, and then by late afternoon it was so warm I had the deck door open. Then last night the temperature dropped to 7C (45F). I was wearing a tank top yesterday and a sweater today.

Nevertheless, the grandbaby and I still got to spend some quality time playing outside. One day we walked down to the park where we had a great view of passing trains from on top of the picnic table. Please note the "flowers" she picked for mommy.

And of course the wet weather doesn't bother her one bit - rain means puddles and puddles mean splashing!

The Great Office Shuffle is progressing nicely. Still slowly, but any progress is good progress. Hubby’s electronics have been moved across the hall and his work area has been dismantled. I fixed the drawer on the wooden filing cabinet that held up one end of his “desk” so that I could take both of my metal filing cabinets across the hall with me with a clear conscience.

Which means I’ve also got my metal filing cabinets emptied as well as the two drawers in my old desk. And wow, is that ever a lot of STUFF! At this point everything is in cardboard boxes or plastic storage boxes, stuffed on the shelves in the closet or stacked up in the corners. Even once the futon is gone and the desk is in place it’s going to be a job and a half - there’s no point in just slapping things together again, I want to be organized about it, and hopefully find more stuff to get rid of along the way.

So far I’ve got a big box of books to get rid of, another of junk to donate, and a pile of shredding to do. The big decisions will be what stuff goes in/on my new desk, what goes into the filing cabinets for easy access, and what can be put in the plastic storage boxes in the closet. And where the heck did all these notebooks come from???

I think my biggest accomplishment of the weekend was getting the dining room table cleaned off in time for Sunday dinner. I wish I’d taken a picture so you could be all impressed. :-D

So...there’s not much point in dismantling the futon (and traumatizing the cat who likes to sleep on it with its removal) until the desk is finished and ready to be put in place. I plan on making Romi a cat bed out of an old sweater - definitely not the same, but it’ll have to do. The hubby’s working on the top of the desk but he has no control over how quickly the varathane dries. I’m sure it’ll be done by the end of the week.

I wonder if now would be a good time to remind him about the inserts I want in the desk drawers? ;-)

Oct 9, 2017

Metachrosis Monday

metachrosis ~ ability of animals to change colour

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians and Happy Columbus Day to my American friends.

Despite the fact that today is the actual holiday, like most people we had our big, family dinner yesterday. And the thing I’d like to know is, if I was just a contributor and not the host, how come my fridge is stuffed with leftovers? Mostly stuffing and veggies and fruit. The pie I brought that didn’t even get cut into went into the freezer for when my sisters stop in for a visit in a couple of weeks.

I was totally a bad diabetic too - I indulged in a piece of the daughter’s pecan pie for desert. Man can that girl bake a mean pie! And they’re so pretty too! I wish I could take credit for teaching her that skill, but though I’ll make a pie from scratch I don’t put nearly as much effort into it as she does.

So how are you spending your holiday weekend?

I looked at the three days I had coming and thought it would be the perfect time to at least start moving my office across the hall. Man, I don't know what I was thinking!

Oh, come on. Did you really expect it to be as easy as that?

Day one started with a trip to the city of Peterborough, north of us. And not just there, but to the north side of the city where the Fabricland is. The idea was to pick up the stuff I needed to make the grandbaby’s bunny costume for Halloween. To make a long story short, the fake fur was way too expensive, I wasn’t happy with the textured arctic fleece I ended up with, and they didn’t have a pattern in her size. But there was a giant thrift store in the same plaza where I scored an already made tiger costume in her size. The trick will be convincing her she wants to be a tiger instead of a bunny.

Two more stops in Peterborough, four more stops before home. I started out at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t get back until after 3 p.m. It was crazy out there, both the stores and the traffic. I was fried when I got back home and I’m not ashamed to admit that all I managed to do with the office was cleaning up and refurbishing the kitty litter area, and emptying the white bookcase we want out of there (it was already half empty).

Day two was spent re-organizing closets. Yeah, I know it seems kind of counter productive, but it had to be done. I got rid of a bunch of stuff and have a bunch of stuff set aside to donate. Now my arts and crafts are nicely organized in the workroom closet with room to spare for file storage, and the big closet in the hallway has all my sewing and yarn supplies, maybe not as nicely organized, but definitely easier to get at. And as a bonus there was room in a corner of it for my mops and broom so they don’t fall on me every time I open the linen closet.

Today I get to actually start working on the Great Office Shuffle. How far I’m able to get is anyone’s guess.

Oct 6, 2017


This is exciting for me. It’s not often I come across a new form these days but during a somewhat fruitless search for a different form I stumbled across this one. The Dinggedicht is a German form that means literally: poem of things. Points if you’re able to pronounce it. LOL

It’s similar to the Ekphrasis, which is a poem based on another work of art, but in this case it’s the mood, or inner being of the object that’s being written about. And it is not restricted to works of art, the poem is formed by observation of images in the world around you, expressed symbolically; the subject can be drawn from everyday life or current events.

You’d think, considering there’s no rhyme or syllable count, this would be any easy poem to craft. It’s not. It can be very difficult to capture the mood or inner essence of something, which made settling on a subject even more difficult. I’m hoping the subject of my poem would have been obvious even without the title.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Global Warming
The wind scatters your denials
flinging them back at you
ripping your objections up by the roots
only to crush them into splinters.

The siren call of the sea
becomes strident, irritated,
hurling epithets as it slams the shore,
not stopping there but crawling inward
to reclaim the already saturated land
while ignoring the parched earth elsewhere.
The land shudders, heaves, rips apart -
reconfigures itself with no rhyme nor reason.

Fueled by the hot, dry wind
the inferno devours everything in its path
scouring the surface
abrading the skin of the land
until all that is left is ash.

Deny it though you may
the truth is out there
staring you in the face.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

If you’d like to learn more about the Dinggedicht I suggest one of the following links:
Ada's Poetry Alcove
The Collagist
All Poetry

Oct 2, 2017

Magpiety Monday

magpiety ~ talkativeness, garrulity, especially on religious or moral topics

Can you hear me yet???

So last week I came down with a cold, and as seems to be the habit with me, it soon morphed into the sinus cold from hell. I quickly switched from the home remedy I was taking (which works really great if you start taking it soon enough but in this case the cold got away from me) to an over the counter sinus medication, and it slowly started to get better. By the weekend I thought I’d pretty much had it licked.

I was wrong.

Sunday night, shortly after dinner, my hearing was suddenly muffled. The thing is, my sinuses didn’t feel all that bad, so it was really weird for my hearing to go like that. I immediately popped a couple of sinus pills which only made my head a little muzzy as well.

At any rate, it was a good thing the hubby had to go out for a bit last night, because I had to have the volume on the TV cranked to hear Star Trek: Discovery. After three episodes I’ve decided to give the show a resounding thumbs up, despite what they did to the Klingons. The only other thing that bugs me about it, and it’s really a minor thing, is the technology.

The show is supposed to take place ten years before the original series but the technology they’re using is far more advanced. The ship is more stylish, they use holograms in their communications, and they’re doing site to site transports. That wasn’t a thing until The Next Generation Star Trek.

However, I choose to look at it in the same light as the newer Star Trek movies. The discrepancies there were explained by them being in a alternate reality, caused by a disturbance in the space/time continuum by a time travelling Romulan ship. So if we believe this is also set in that alternate reality, then the tech upgrades make sense. Although it still doesn’t explain the Klingons.

‘Tis the season though. The new TV season that is. My old favourites are back - Scorpion, NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Bull, Criminal Minds - and I’ve caught a few of the new shows. I watched Young Sheldon, the spin-off of The Big Bang Theory, and it was okay, but if I miss an episode it won’t break my heart. David Boreanaz’s new show SEAL Team was pretty good. And believe it or not, I really like The Orville. It’s kind of a cross between Galaxy Quest and Star Trek.

So far there aren’t any conflicts. Well, except last night hubby offered to watch NCIS: LA on On Demand so I could catch The Disappeared. I’m sure when the rest of our shows kick in later on we’ll be doing a lot of taping, but between Netflix and On Demand we don’t do too badly.

We’ve been binge watching The Travelers on Netflix to catch up on season one before season two starts later this month. And I can’t wait until the end of October when Netflix has the second season of Stranger Things available.

Wow. Just looking at the shows I’ve listed it looks like I watch a lot of TV, but don’t forget that’s spread out over seven days (or maybe that should be nights). And I rarely just sit and watch TV. I’ve usually got my lap top going, or I’m reading, or doing a craft.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! ;-)