Morning Pastiche

This post will be a mix of various thoughts and events and, since I love unusual words, I’ve chosen PASTICHE for my title. A pastiche is a collection of sorts, bits from here and there. One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions is: a musical, literary, or artistic composition made up of selections from different works. Synonyms: alphabet soup, assortment, collage, crazy quilt, hodgepodge, patchwork, potpourri, etc.

Activities

I cooked a few meals at the senior’s residence in October. The funeral here three weeks ago, the deceased was the husband of one of the regular Villa cooks, so I filled in a few times for her. And will again this month. Yesterday I got the schedule, with fourteen “open” meals I could choose from.
Last Sunday our congregation was small, with many locals attending a wedding in Alberta. The bride being a teacher here for several years, a number of families with school children attended. This coming Sunday there is to be a wedding in our church – and by all reports it will be huge. The bride was also one of our Villa cooks this fall – until the groom offered her other employment.

Wildlife Chez Nous

I’m still setting out water for the wild things. My basins, full at night, are licked right dry almost every morning. I’ve mentioned seeing deer; early one morning two days ago I even saw a very shaggy coyote around my basins.
Sunday morning I looked out about 9:30 and saw a flock of at least a dozen grouse poking around close to the house, between here and the garage, with some nearer the water basins. These ones headed for the back yard. Looking out the front window a few minutes later I saw another, separate, flock of 8-10 out by the road. When we drove out of the lane to go to church one of these was perched in a tree west of the lane. Of course the magpies and sparrows come for the spread-out seed treats. The lame one is still among us.

Weather

Rained in Saskatoon while we were in the city yesterday. We got just a sprinkle overnight here — sigh! No frost though; our fall weather is holding. Christmas is coming up too fast. Stores have been setting out displays since Sept and Michael’s already has their Christmas trees and decorations for sale at half price!

Books & Writing

NaNoWriMo has started! Writers and wanna-be writers around the world are working hard every day to come up with the 1200 words (the average needed) every day to complete 50k in 30 days. I didn’t plan to do it this year, seeing too many other things on my plate right now.

I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been reading — just finished FOREIGN to FAMILIAR by Sarah A Lanier. This is a book everyone should read! Contains vital info for those interacting with folks of a different culture. She shares personal experiences of living in different parts of the world and observing how cultures relate to each other. Her conclusions about relationship-based cultures versus the (primarily northern) take-oriented cultures are very insightful and would help someone avoid the serious faux pas made because mind-sets are so different.

Last week I finished The Aberdyll Onion by Victor Canning. This is a book of short stories, all with unique twists that send a downhill slide back to an upbeat ending. So if you’re one who enjoys a happy-ever-after ending, you may want to read this one. I once read another of his books, Mr Finchley Discovers His England, and found it rather delightful. More like “escape” reading than realistic historical fiction, but it was enjoyable watching him meeting hoboes and rogues as he adventures his way across part of England.

I’ve just finished Sweet Danger, the action adventure-treasure hunt by Margery Allingham. One reader calls it wildly improbably and melodramatic. Yes, you have to suspend belief at times. The villains are ruthless – yet they politely tie the good folks up and never assault the lovely ladies. (Mind you, the death penalty was hanging in those days, so maybe murders were rare.) Albert is so clever that he manages to switch himself with a good friend without his captor ever noticing. Still, he gets his usual captures, shoot outs and near-drownings.

An article this morning on REEDSY, caught my eye. The subject this morning on this site for writers was the popularity of romance novels. Apparently these are Amazon’s best-sellers. The article explains how to choose a situation, or trope, that will interest readers, create sympathetic characters the reader can identify with, how to publish, etc. If you’re interested, you can read more here.

Art In Many Forms

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is ART

I’ve tended to think of ARTIST primarily as PAINTER…

Ina Hall — Pixabay

or someone who draws…

But ART takes so many forms…

RitaE — Pixabay
conger designs — Pixabay

And there are those who ply their craft with words…

Word artist at work
weaving tales of bright ribbons
gift-wrapped adventures

Homemaking is an art; leadership is an art. Diplomacy — knowing the right thing to say at the right time — is an art. Artists “sweat the small stuff” and usually make the world a brighter, more cheerful place because of their efforts.

Would You Ever?

The Lame Magpie

Would you ever feel
a smidge of sympathy
for a lame magpie?
Yes, one of those
obnoxious pests
greedy pigs,
black & white gangsters!

Sure, it can still fly…
but if you saw it every day
hobbling across your yard
picking at bird seed
scattered for the sparrows,
would your heart be touched
in some small way?

If you’d see its crippled leg
buckle at each step,
see it shunned and shooed
by its own kind,
would you ever feel
just the teensiest bit
sorry for the thing?

Image: OpenClipArt Vectors — Pixabay

For the past month a lame magpie has been hobbling around our yard, and I must confess that I do feel a bit sorry for the bird, in spite of its many generic faults. 🙂

A Birder’s Dream!

Something quite interesting happened today and I thought I’d share it with you, dear readers. If you’re a bird lover like me you’ll wish you’d been here and seen it, too.

Image: Robbi Drake — Pixabay

I don’t recall why I stepped outside not long after dinner, but when I did, I heard the characteristic rusty-hinge croak of sandhill cranes. The sound was far off, so I looked around and spotted a very large flock coming in from the north, flying fairly low. Their course would bring them almost over our yard, so I stood on the open deck and watched them come.

Just before they reached our yard, part of the flock veered off eastward, but then circled back until they, as well as the others, were almost over our mobile home. As I watched them, it seemed like they stopped and just sort of hovered for a couple of minutes – maybe studying this odd creature below?

It seemed rather amazing that I was looking up at them and they were almost stationary, looking down on me. They didn’t get close enough for me to have a really good look, but were flying about the height of our tall poplars. Pausing for a moment before carrying on southward, likely for a stop by the river – the Saskatchewan River is not far south of us as the crane flies. This flock will likely go on to the bird sanctuary near Martha Kennedy’s home in Colorado. She blogs HERE

The snow we got on Sunday is almost gone; just a few patches left here and there. A few warm days ahead and then we’re back to chilly temps, the weather man says.

Tomorrow is our daughter’s birthday. How do the years roll by so fast?! I can’t call myself a spring chicken anymore, if my daughter’s over 50. Maybe I should start wearing purple and join the Red Hat club, if there’s one around. 🙂

I wonder how many of you are doing NanoWrimo this year? It starts in four days, at the stroke of midnight Nov 1st, so you’d best get your pencils sharpened, or keyboard dusted, and your outline completed. Buy a bunch of frozen dinners and pizzas.

First Snow

First snow flakes – angel-feather
innocence falling from heaven –
soften me with their gentleness,
the sincerity of their efforts to erase
the blemishes of my imperfect world.

Part of a poem I wrote long ago. Here's the link, if you wish to read it all.

Good morning everyone! We’ve a white world this morning. After living for months in a dry and thirsty land, all the rain we never got since July arrived yesterday as fine, wet snow. Started falling in the night Saturday and snowed all day yesterday. No angle feathers, this stuff, heavy and wet. Daytime temps hover just above freezing, which means it’s perfect weather for building snowmen. Those of us who grumbled about the dust clouds lingering over all the country roads are cheering now. Our cats are dismayed, disgruntled and depressed.

As I’ve written before, I was putting out water basins for the wild creatures and they were getting emptied — often licked right dry — in the evening or night. I saw a doe and fawn working at one the other morning. Also we’ve had a flock of sharp-tailed grouse scuttle through the yard now and then; one morning I counted twenty. They were circling my small water basins, trying to get a sip, which wasn’t easy for almost a dozen plump birds. Check this site for photos. And the sparrows are always with us.

We’ve had a bit of shadow over our congregation, as one of our senior members passed away Oct 6th. At age 76 I’d call Ralph a senior, but he didn’t see it that way. He was still “in harness” working as a trucker, mostly hauling grain to the Saskatoon AgPro terminal. He was pulling in with his load of grain when he suddenly slumped over behind the wheel and was gone. No previous heart trouble. We had the funeral Oct 12th and it was huge: he was from a large family and had many friends, so there were almost 500 people. Our church isn’t that big so the congregation rented a tent to hold the overflow.

The day after Ralph’s funeral Bob found an obit in the Moose Jaw paper: Ruth N, his cousin and my old school friend, died of cancer. We’d long ago lost touch, but Ruth was barely a year older than I — which was rather depressing. And yet more sadness: Oct 14th a minister and wife from Manitoba (ages 72 + 69) were killed in a car accident. His brother-in-law and two nephews & families from here attended the funeral yesterday. The folks at the senior’s home listened to the streamed service.

I must communicate with the Happiness Engineers at WordPress and see what they can do so that I can freely post again. I’ve left this too long, hoping it’d blow over, but it makes blogging no fun. Yesterday I couldn’t post anything myself. Thankfully my dear hubby discovered a round-about way, but just clicking on my link, my blog still wants to regard me as a visitor. I had to log in this morning to respond to comments — and couldn’t LIKE any of them without using this round-about way. And I don’t have an EDIT button. 😦

Anyway, thanks to each of you for reading my ramblings and following this blog. I wish you all a good week. Hope we can all accomplish some worthy goals before the weekend rolls around again. 🙂

Image by Jill Wellington — Pixabay

Weekend Writing Prompt

The Weekend Writing Prompt on Sammi’s blog is OPPOSITE. Yesterday I decided to give LETHARGY the boot and compose a response. Then I went even further to banish the blahs: I got out my paints, sitting in a closet for a year now, and tried my hand at IMPRESSIONISM. But today WordPress OPPOSED me when I tried to WRITE. It treated me as a stranger! Just a visitor. Guess I’ve been away too long? Anyway, it took a bit of doing to get the WRITE button to appear so I could post this. (And now it won’t give me an EDIT button.) 😦

ADRIFT

Waves of lethargy engulf me! I paddle furiously but they’re sweeping in opposite directions from my dreams: those sewing, writing, painting projects calling from the shores of productivity. Oh, these relaxing waves! So easy to float along – but for those jagged rocks of scruple.

And here’s my attempt at an impressionist landscape. (Tans and yellows look overly bright in this pic.)