Dec 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

The grandbaby asked Santa for snow, and he delivered big time. It’s been snowing off and on for the last few days and it’s looking very Christmasy out there. Just perfect for snuggling under a blanket and watching some Christmas music videos.

I Believe In Father Christmas - Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

Drummer boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby

TSO – Christmas Cannon

TSO – Wizards of Winter

TSO – Christmas Eve in Sarajevo

Dec 22, 2017

Happy Ho Ho Ho

I don’t know about you, but with all the Christmas madness going on I could use a little comic relief. And what better way to get a laugh than a parody. . . or two.

The poems I have for you today don’t really need an explanation, but I’ll give you one anyway. The first one I wrote yesterday morning (and posted on my author’s Facebook page). Let’s just say I was inspired. The second one I wrote about ten years ago, and is my version of A Visit From St. Nicholas.

O Furnace Guy
(to be sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree)

O furnace guy, O furnace guy
I really must apologize
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
I really must apologize
My basement it’s so messy
and maybe smells like kitty pee
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
I really must apologize

O furnace guy, O furnace guy
was that sneezing I just heard
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
was that sneezing I just heard
Did I not mention dry wall dust
or that my furnace is full of rust?
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
here’s some Kleenex, help yourself

O furnace guy, O furnace guy
you sure are taking your sweet time
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
you sure are taking your sweet time
I’ve got so much Christmas stuff to do
Like wrapping presents, baking too
O furnace guy, O furnace guy
At last you’re done, I wave bye-bye.

A Visit From the Computer Tech

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, just the optical mouse;
The cords were all strung to the PC with care
In hopes the technician soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of interwebs danced in their heads;
The wife couldn’t take any more of this crap
So she went to bed while I took a nap.
When there on the screen there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the keyboard I flew like a flash,
Grabbed up the mouse and gave it a bash.
The monitor gleamed with a brilliant blue glow
Seeming to mock me as I loudly moaned, “No!”
And what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a security warning that made my eyes tear.
With an attack on my drivers, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment my computer was sick.
More rapid than eagles the popups they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now Trojan, now Wormy, now BankerFox vixen!
A technician’s coming, my computer he’s fixin’
By installing protection, a router, a wall!
And then he’ll delete you, delete one and all!”
And then, in a twinkling, as I thought to despair,
A van entered my driveway and parked with a flair.
I opened the door with a feeling profound,
And into the house came the tech with a bound.
He was dressed all in blue from his head to his toe
And his jacket was covered with a sprinkling of snow.
A box full of tools was grasped in his hand
And he looked like an angel, come down to land.
His eyes, they were bloodshot, his face was unshaven
From his pocket he pulled a business card graven.
He was balding and old, and he started to sneeze,
Then, spotting the cat said, “I’ve got allergies.”
The stump of a cigar he held tight in his teeth
And he caught his hat on the door, in the wreath.
A squint of his eye and a shake of his head
Soon gave me to know the bill I would dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And in a few moments pulled the plug with a jerk.
“The mother board’s fried,” he said, shaking his head.
“And the rest of your hard drive looks like it’s dead.”
Then he packed up the tower and picked up his tools
“Gotta watch these old ‘puters, they’re stubborn as mules.”
He walked to his van, my computer in hand
I had to admit, this did not go as planned.
And I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, but no more surfing to-night.”

Dec 18, 2017

Magadis Monday

magadis ~ ancient bridged stringed instrument

Woot! We have snow! Not really enough to build a snowman yet, much to the grandbaby’s dismay, but enough that she could help shovel her driveway.

And just so you know, those are my earmuffs the little monkey is wearing. :-D

It’s been a long time since I’ve played in the snow, and I have to admit to a certain reluctance to getting out there with her, but we had fun chasing the dog around the back yard and shoveling off the deck (which pretty much amounted to me shoveling and her sitting on the bottom step so I could shovel the snow on top of her). She even got me to make a snow angel with her. And no, there’s no pictures of that because I didn’t want to risk taking my phone out into the snow. LOL

And then, of course, the temperature took a nose dive and it was far too cold to play outside. Despite the sun shining brightly, it was too cold to do much of anything outside. During the two days of arctic chill I happened to go to the post office ... um ... three times, and the first time I couldn’t help but notice the steam coming off the lake in the rising sun and cursed the fact I didn’t have my phone with me to take a picture of it.

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, I worked in an office that overlooked Lake Ontario. Needless to say, the view was amazing, but no more so than at sunrise on a cold winter’s morning. With the chunks of ice floating in the water and the steam rising, it looked like an alien landscape. And I always told myself I was going to take a picture of it. But I never did.

Fast forward to the present where during my second trip to the post office I took a moment and went down to the beach with my phone. Between the brightness of the sun, the darkness of my glasses (I have transition lenses), and the bitter cold, I had no clue whether I was focused or not. My hands were so cold (couldn’t operate the phone with my gloves on) that I had to soak them in hot water when I got home to get them to work again. But I think it was worth it.

This weekend was only slightly warmer, but I found it very hard to resist accompanying the daughter, her hubby, and the grandbaby to the Primrose Donkey Sanctuary to visit the donkeys and sing Christmas carols.

While it was a nice idea in theory, in reality it was really crowded, people were pushy and rude, and did I mention it was freaking cold?

We managed to get pretty much all of our shopping done this weekend, and my spare time this week will be used for Christmas baking. I might have a recycled poem for you on Friday, but Monday being Christmas you’ll be lucky if I remember to post some videos, let alone write a post. LOL

So I'll take the opportunity now to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 15, 2017

Ho Ho Ha Ha

I missed the Wednesday poetry post, so I’ve got nothing to repeat here today. However, I also made some mention (on one of my blogs) of switching from poetry to Christmas videos seeing as we’re so close to Christmas and all, so that’s what I’m doing today.

Today you get the funny ones, next week the more serious ones. Hope you enjoy. :-D

I'm Climbing Up the Christmas Tree

12 Pains of Christmas

Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire

I Am Santa Claus

Dec 11, 2017

Myology Monday

myology ~ study of muscles

This is supposed to be the Great White North, so where’s our snow?

Oh, I know there are other people complaining about the white stuff already, but so far all we’ve had is a trace amount. A few flakes that could be mistaken for dirt on my glasses. An almost dusting that was quickly blown away by the wind.


Christmas just isn’t Christmas without snow, and we’ve had way too many green Christmases over the last few years. But at least I have the tree up, and that helps (although I can’t help wishing it was a real one).

The daughter had a work thing Thursday night, so before she dropped the grandbaby off, I pulled out our Christmas tree so she could decorate it. Unfortunately, half the lights weren’t working but she didn’t care, she was thrilled anyway.

Notice the decorations only go halfway up, and the precision with which she would put several ornaments on the same branch.

The main thing is she had fun, and it kept her out of trouble for the evening. The tree stayed like that until I got some replacement lights, and then Saturday night I had to un-decorate it to put the new lights on, then decorate it again.

Being just shy of three, I don’t think she really noticed that the tree was not as she’d left it. When she was here for dinner last night her only comment was, “Where are the presents?” LOL

I remember when I was little we always had a real tree. My father’s job was to put the lights on it, my sisters and I would put the paper thin glass balls on it, and Mom was in charge of the icicles. Anyone remember Christmas tree icicles? Thin strips of foil that would fall apart if you looked at them wrong? Mom put them on one at a time and had such a light touch with them we used the same ones year after year.

The ornaments on my tree are all handmade - mostly by the daughter and I when she was little. It was something of a tradition that each year we’d make a new set of ornaments for the tree. I think it started because we have cats and I didn’t want broken ornaments if they knocked the tree over. And strangely enough, I don’t recall this ever happening.

When I was out for coffee with a friend Saturday morning, I made her take me down to the ecology garden to collect milkweed pods. These will be used in the making of this year’s ornament. Just as soon as I find my glue gun and spray paint. ;-)

Is your tree up yet? And is it a real one, or artificial?

Dec 8, 2017

Blackout Poetry

After a month of sketchy posts, I'm finally back on track. Even if it is just a repeat of the weekly poetry post.

I’ve known about blackout poetry for a few years, but for some reason I never got around to trying it.

When I first considered it for the form of the month I thought it would be really easy, maybe even a little fun. Basically, to do a blackout poem you take a page of prose, pick out a few key words, and then black everything else out.

With the holiday season closing in fast, I decided to use a page from one of my favourite Christmas stories, the Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. I actually started out with two pages. The first page I used a yellow highlighter to highlight words that caught my eye. Then I reversed it on the second page, blacking out everything but the words I highlighted on the first page. And this is what I came up with:

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially the blacking out part. I went through seven copies before I got it right. LOL

Meanwhile, here’s another couple of examples of what you can do with blackout poetry:

Smore - Blackout Poetry Challenge

Scholastic Blackout Poetry

For more examples and a better explanation, check these links:

Power Poetry  - 5 Tips For Creating Blackout Poetry
Medium - Creative Deconstruction For Writers: How to Write a Blackout Poem

Dec 4, 2017

Mullock Monday

mullock ~ waste earth or rock from a mine

You may have noticed I missed posting last Monday. Sorry, but I was busy writing. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

If you don’t read My Writing Journal and/or my writer’s page on Facebook, then you won’t have heard the news. Much to my utter astonishment, I completed the NaNo challenge, with words to spare.

If you want to learn more about it, you can check out my post on My Writing Journal.

I’d like to add another advantage to working on the Alphasmart Neo - it doesn’t connect to social media. This meant no Facebooking or obsessive checking of the email and definitely no games.

And now, of course, it’s December and Eek! Christmas is only a few weeks away. Time to start decorating and baking and regretting not starting the crafts sooner.

I need to get out to collect some milkweed pods for one of my Christmas crafts. And somewhere online I saw a really cute idea for painting peanuts for tree decorations - although I think I’d make a garland out of them rather than hang them individually because they’re so small.

I’ve got a few Christmas gifts already, mostly for the grandbaby. And yesterday I went up to Fabricland to get the material for her Christmas dress. I actually have the material for two different dresses - one is satin with netting, the other is a more traditional velveteen. At some point this week I’ll spread the material and the three patterns I’m waffling between on the dining room table and stare at them until I decide which one I like best.

I’d like to think life around here is going to be getting back to normal, but that’s kind of impossible with Christmas on the way. I’d like to try and stick to the writing schedule I developed during NaNo when possible - an hour before babysitting, and hour during, and an hour after. I should be good for 1,000 words a day, but I’ll be happy with even 500.

This will free up my evenings for Christmas crafts and miscellaneous stuff, like baking and finishing the clean up of my office. And I kind of need to put the hubby’s electronic stuff back together too. I was quick to move it all but I’ve been kind of slow sorting it out again.

It all sounds really good in theory; we’ll have to see how well I stick to it during the week ahead.