A New Plan

Good evening, dear readers. It has been my habit to turn on my computer as soon as I get up. First off I check the daily prompts and notifications from blogs I follow. For some reason “just a quick peek” at incoming e-mails ends up taking a good part of my morning. Who’d have guessed?

My energy level isn’t really high these days so, in order to finish my work-in-progress and do some serious housecleaning, I’m trying a new daily plan this coming week. I’ve already scheduled some posts for 8 or 8:30 am but I’m going to leave my internet alone until evening. Going online first thing will be a tough habit to break. Will I succeed or won’t I? But I fear unless I make some drastic change, my important writing may never get finished.

Now for some things more interesting than work habits. It may be -21 C as I type this, and the predicted high tomorrow is -22 C, but we can always dream of spring.

Cherry Trees

Glorious cherry trees!
Blossoms burst  forth in spring
to animate the bees,
inspire a thousand poets,
intoxicate the breeze.
Where would this old world be
without those cherry trees?

Interesting nature note from our yard:
I often toss organic kitchen trash like peelings, limp greens, carrots and such, into the poplar trees on the west side of our driveway. After all, these bits are biodegradable. Yesterday I tossed a sweet potato well past its prime — and flushed out a white rabbit. It didn’t flee in terror, rather hopped into the nearby field and seemed to be waiting. I wonder if this bunny has been dining on the greens I toss?

Canadian rabbit: David Mark — Pixabay

Nefarious

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is NEFARIOUS.

Nefarious, flagrantly wicked or evil, has its origins in the Latin nefas, meaning crime, from ne (without) and fas (right, or divine law). Synonyms being wicked, iniquitous, evil, wrong, villainous, and vicious.

Years ago the heroes were the good guys, standing for the right. Editors went for good role models. Villains were nefarious. Driven by greed or on a power trip, these vicious types wanted to dodge the law in order to control, steal, kill, destroy. Times have changed: today’s “flawed heroes” may dodge the law, thwart justice, control, steal, and kill. Think Philip Marlowe. They may be liars, drunks and brawlers; still, we should root for them because they have some ultimate good in mind. But forget the role model angle.

Now for a haiku that has nothing to do with literature, but all to do with a villain. Dedicated to those in my family who lost the battle to smoking-related cancers.

lung cancer
nefarious villain
the ashtray overflows

I Donate A Book

I see five days have past since I last posted. Lost interest in Bloganuary, for one thing: so much self-analysis. And I’m not ill – in fact I’ve been been feeling well enough. I’m rather spending time editing a book I wrote eight years ago. I’d like to get this done just in case the day comes when I feel too blah. I’m not expecting that, but you never know.

When my oldest grandson was in school and enthused about Hardy Boy mysteries, I offered to write one for him. At least along those lines: teens facing a challenge from criminals. However, I’ve chosen to make these young men Christians, which means a different response than chasing after bad guys and a lot of biff-sock-pow. I did one edit in 2018; now I need to polish it.

How times have changed since this series first saw the light! Both Hardy Boys got equal billing, one time you’d hear Joe’s surmising about a suspect, then Frank would be puzzled over a clue. Descriptions were limited and rarely did the writer pen more than a sentence or two about their feelings. Rather a lot of action and dialogue. I used that style; now those critiquing my story are complaining there should be only one main viewpoint/character and half as much dialogue–needs more scenic description. Sigh.

A few days back I read a post from Brian called The Power of a Children’s Book. Take a minute to read this interesting article. It brought to mind my childish effort to get other children to read what I thought was a great book.

Back when I was in Grade One I got THE UGLY DUCKLING as a present and I liked it so much. Today we’d say, “It resonated with me.” I loved how the rejected ugly duckling morphed into a beautiful swan! I wanted every child to be able to read this story, so I told my mom, “I want to give my book to the library where others can read it.”

She probably hid a chuckle and I remember her asking, “Are you sure you want to?” But I was determined, so she took me to the library and I handed my precious book over to the librarian. The lady accepted it graciously–though, come to think of it, she probably had two or three other copies of the same. If she thought I was a queer little girl, she never let on but accepted the book in the spirit with which it was given and did whatever with it to make it a library book.

I went on to make good use of the other picture books in her library–and many other libraries through the years.

Today we were at a used book store in the city and I picked up a Hardy Boys book to refresh my mind on the style. I’ve read this one before, so will donate it to the local library–if they need a copy. Or to my friend who has a Little Library set up in her front yard. Good stories are for sharing, right?

Image: MabelAmber — Pixabay

Good Old Roast Beef

The Bloganuary question today: “What’s your favorite meal to cook and/or eat?

And my response is:
Roast beef (fork tender), mashed potatoes and gravy, a veggie like peas & carrots.
And for dessert, rice pudding with cinnamon and lots of raisins.

Easy enough to answer. However, I rarely make a full meal like this, so it’s always a treat. 🙂

Chilling Finery

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is MISCHIEF

Image: Anrita170 — Pixabay

I’ve mentioned that we received several heavy snowfalls in December. Some of the drifts across our back yard/garden area, places where wind tunnels go around our tree trunks, would measure maybe 1.5 metres deep. On the open lawn maybe .5m or so. Snow much like we were getting about ten years back. And we’ll gladly take every flake of it.

Old times say prairie weather goes in about ten-year cycles. The worst and most famous of these was the “dirty 30’s” but there have been years of abundant rainfall followed by years of hardly any. Around 2000 folks here were meeting at church to pray for much-needed rain. From about 2005 to 2015 we had enough, sometimes an overdose, of precipitation. Old times said they’d never seen the sloughs so full–half-over the roads in some cases. Since then we’ve been winding down to drier years.

What seems more unusual to me is the fog and frost we’ve been having this past week. Rarely is the weather this mild and this humid for this long–and so wind-less!–in January. Every night the trees capture a new coat of hoary whiteness. We wake up to a newly whitewashed world, and trees are slow to shed this loveliness because of our amazing lack of strong winds.

And what does this have to do with MISCHIEF?

I wasn’t able to fall asleep Sat night, so was up in my recliner about 2:15am when the power went out. the moon was giving enough light that I found my way to the flashlight we keep on the kitchen counter, and went to bed. In the morning we saw that the power had been our for 3.5 hours. It was out for an hour Sunday morning while we were in church, then again Sunday afternoon for several more hours. One town not so far away had no power from about 2-7 pm. The cause: broken branches.

Frost may look delicate, but you can see from the picture below how this gentle coating can weigh down tree branches, which may break and come down on a nearby power line.

Image: Vesa Minkkinen — Pixabay

Memory Lane Visits

The Bloganuary question yesterday, which I never got to, was “Do you have a memory that’s linked to a smell?”

The Bloganuary question today is “Describe the happiest day of your life.”

Visits to Memory Lane seem to be immanent in these questions. IMMANENT was the Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning. Not to be confused with IMMINENT, this word immanent means INHERENT or INDWELLING. Synonyms: essential, ingrained, intrinsic. A new word for me!

As to the first question, I thought of Avon Windjammer cologne. When I first met my husband and we were getting to know each other, he had this maroon furry pullover jacket, and he used Windjammer aftershave. I remember laying my head on his shoulder in that fuzzy pile and smelling the faint trace of Windjammer. I think I’d still recognize that scent.

As to the happiest day of my life, it would be hard to pinpoint because there have been many high points of joy along the way. Christmases as a child, carefree summer holidays spent with my siblings. The day our daughter arrived. One red letter event, of course, was our wedding. August 1970. And here’s one little memory snippet from that day.

Are you old enough to remember fluffed facial tissue flowers? We’d cut out a big cardboard heart to put on the front of the best man’s car, and the daughters of friends fluffed Kleenex flowers for days before the big event. In the morning we pasted them onto the cardboard, which our best man attached to the grill of his car. And of course we didn’t have quite enough, so my bridesmaid and I spent an hour or so that morning fluffing more tissue flowers.

We drove away from the church in style! Then sometime after the service but before the reception we got a nice little shower, just enough to water our flowers. 🙂