Summer Morning

Hello again, everyone. A lovely, sunny morning greets us today, with a fine veil of white cloud in the southern sky and a light wind.  Now that the fire ban has been lifted, I could start a small fire in our outdoor fire-pit — if I cold find anything out there dry enough to burn. One of life’s ironies: when we’re allowed to burn our debris, the branches are too wet to burn.

I woke up this morning feeling like a large branch had fallen on my left big toe. I was starting to feel some pain in it yesterday evening and thought maybe a small vein had burst, but this morning I realize it’s a passing kick from “old Arthur”: gout in my big toe. So I’m hobbling around and will probably stay indoors today and maybe read, write, darn socks, and set up blog posts. I sure hope this doesn’t interfere with my rest-of-the-week activities, though.

I woke up early, got up at 6 am and came out to the kitchen to tend to our cat’s food needs. I opened the door to let Pookie out and scared away a bird from our railing — likely a wren. The daring little mites come close to the house. Later, passing by the hall window I scared an oriole at our hummer feeder. She soon came back to enjoy the fresh juice I put out yesterday evening. Passing by half an hour later I scared away a hummingbird, so I guess it is being used in the morning even if I don’t see much activity there during the day.

It was quite cool this morning so Pookie was ready to come in before long. So why is it that a cat will come dashing to the door as if they can’t wait to be inside, but stop three feet away and consider his options? Is he really ready to come in? He must look around the yard first to see if there might be anything more interesting going on outside. Only after the matter has been well pondered will he decide that, yes, he does after all want to come in. Dogs aren’t like that.

Lately I’ve been reading a interesting series of mild mysteries, the Tess & Tilly series by Kathi Daley. Tess, the main character, is a letter-carrier and helps part-time with dog training and adoptions. Tilly is her very well trained dog who helps with all these projects. Yesterday I finished the third book in this series, The Mother’s Day Mishap, which can be found on Amazon HERE if you’re interested in having a look.

Story-line: A couple of weeks before Mother’s Day Tess delivers a card to her best friend’s address, but they find it was actually meant for the previous owner, Edna. A long-lost son wants to meet and reconcile with his aged mother — who has passed away. If she can find it in her heart to forgive him, she should meet him at their special place. Tess and her friends set out to find this place and this prodigal, to tell him the bad news and also inform him that his mother’s belongings are waiting at a storage unit to be collected. Of course the card has no return address, just a Chicago postmark.

Well, I should hobble along now and see what I can accomplish today besides drinking coffee with my feet up. 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying this day.

A Week in Review

Good morning Everyone,

All my life I’ve thought of Sunday as the last day of the week but the calendar persistently corrects me. How about you? Are you mentally beginning the new week this morning or will you start it tomorrow?

Here where I live, this week is starting out with some of rain and frost. Yesterday we had enough rain to settle the dust and water the lawn; by afternoon the scenery looked a lot greener. A bit more rain fell in the evening — only a shower, we might say, but after a couple of weeks of nothing, we’re glad for whatever comes.

I was up at 5 am this morning and the garage roof was white. I checked the dish of water I’d set outside on the deck for our cats and there was a thin layer of ice on top, so I’m very glad I took in the one bedding plant my daughter gave me a few days ago. It’s a gerbera, rather tender, and would have been limp today if it had stayed out.

Doing a quick recap of LAST week, starting with Monday’s trip to Moose Jaw:

We first dropped in on my husband’s cousin and his wife and had a nice visit with them. They’re into bird-watching as well and have feeders up, so we had that in common to visit about. Also the Family tree info, since they’ve done the DNA test, too. No surprises, as they already have the Goodnough history back to England circa 1620 and records on the Letkeman side go back many generations as well. Bob and his Goodnough cousins share the same genetics, as their fathers were brothers and their mothers sisters.

Seeing my sisters was the main reason for this trip. We took my sister Donna out for dinner and caught up with each other’s lives. It’s been a year since I’ve last talked with her — shame on me!

Two weeks ago I called my sister Rose, who also lives in Moose Jaw, and she told me about her bout with lung cancer last winter. She had chemo and radiation in January; also, her husband was recently diagnosed with cancer and has started chemotherapy. Rose’s husband wasn’t feeling well enough to come, but we met her for afternoon coffee at a Tim Horton’s and did some catching up.

We’d left early in the morning, done our visiting by 5pm, and managed to get home again before dark. I’m so thankful for these long prairie evenings!

Tuesday I made both meals at the Villa, which took up most of my day. Wednesday we went into the city. Among other things I bought a couple of bird houses and hung one up for the tree swallows when we got home. Didn’t take them long to find it and by the next day one pair had claimed it for their own.

We had a pair of barn swallows return to our garage and start to set up house, but something happened to the one. Now I see the other sitting forlornly on the yard light post during the day. He has come to the aid of the tree swallows when they’re being menaced by English sparrows.

Thursday morning found me digging my flowerbed in the front, trying to reclaim it from the ever-encroaching quack grass. The dirt was like powder, a bit of moisture about 6″/15 cm down. I managed to “discover” two of the three peonies, dig out the quackgrass and water them, so they will get the full benefit of yesterday’s rain. In the afternoon I painted a wren house and hung it in the Russian olive out back; the next morning a pair of wrens were busy furnishing it.

Apart from that I’ve done a bit of general housework, some blogging, reread a book, The Face of the Earth, by Deborah Raney. I found it just as great the second time around, well written and the tension maintained throughout. I’ll do a book review in my next post.

Friday evening I was helping a friend to get her life story down on paper for posterity. Yesterday afternoon I wrote and polished the story I posted yesterday, The Abduction. In the evening I had a long visit over the phone with a cousin in Saskatoon, someone I also haven’t connected with for awhile. How does the time slip away?

And now it’s 7:30am and I must get ready for church and whatever else this new day holds. I hope you’re all having an enjoyable day of refreshment and will be ready to face the first day of a new work-week tomorrow. 🙂

Free Book News!

If you want to read a really great book, Dan Walsh’s The Deepest Waters is free as a special promo for a couple of days on Amazon. Here’s the Amazon.com link.

The Deepest Waters by [Walsh, Dan]

In 1857 newlyweds John and Laura Foster sail from San Fransisco en route to New York, where John intends to introduce his beautiful bride to his family. He sent a letter informing them of his arrival, but they have no knowledge of his recent marriage. Nor has he informed Laura of that fact, thinking it will be only a short time he can introduce them all and they’ll be so impressed with his wife that his strained relations will be soothed and they’ll welcome the couple.

When the ship founders and death seems certain, the couple hold hands and prepare for the end. However, the women and children are rescued from the sinking ship and taken to New York where, after a letter from his “prodigal brother”, Joel Foster is expecting John’s ship to dock. He’s shocked to hear that the ship sank and bears the sad news to the family.

It takes several days for the rescue ship to reach port and Walsh has woven some intriguing episodes into this period. The story cuts periodically to John, after their ship sinks and the survivors are clinging to debris, keeping themselves alive and hopeful of rescue as best they can.

Sadly, a watchful, thieving crewman on the rescue ship spies all the pouches of San Fransisco gold the women are carrying and before they reach port he relieves the naive women of their little money pouches. Thus Laura finds herself penniless in a strange city and facing a family that know nothing about her. Of course they suspect her of being an impostor, as John had all the legal proof of their marriage and their trunk of wedding gifts, with him when the ship went down.

This really is a compelling tale, well told, with vivid and believable characters and a Christian perspective.

The Reading Mother

Strickland Gillilan, 1869-1954, was an American poet and humorist, and this is the verse he’s most famous for:

The Reading Mother

I had a Mother who read to me
sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
of ancient and gallant and golden days;
stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
which every boy has a eight to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
of Gêlert the hound of the hills of Wales,
true to his trust till his tragic death,
faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
that wholesome life to the boy heart brings —
stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.

My contribution today to National Poetry Month is taken from The Best Loved Poems of the American People. © 1936 by Doubleday & Company, New York.

I found this book at a second-hand book sale this afternoon. Almost 650 pages for $1 — quite a bargain!

Yet A Little While

This shall be my contribution to National Poetry Month today:

Yet A Little While
by Mary J MacColl

Beyond the clouds smiles the clear blue sky,
and the sun will shine when the storm blows by.

In the frost-bound earth through the winter lay
the flowers that in beauty bloom today,

and soon from the buds on the bare brown trees
will banners of green be unfurled to the breeze.

Cloud, flower, and leaf, ye are teachers three
of the many my Father hath given to me.

The lesson ye teach I can understand;
to me ’tis as rain to the thirsty land.

I know that the sunlight will gild my sky,
in the sweet, mysterious “by-and-by”

and from chilly realms of dark despair
will spring Hope’s blossoms fresh and fair.

Then my heart will thrill like a wind-kissed leaf,
though it fainteth now ‘neath a weight of grief.

Oh, Thou who dost clothe the lilies aye,
in light or in shade may I feel Thee nigh.

May my faith burn bright and my love be strong,
though the tempest rage and the night be long.

Help me to work while ’tis yet today—
ere the twilight falleth cold and gray;

help me with careful hand to sow
good seed from whose germs no tares may grow.

May the Lord of the harvest upon me smile,
when He cometh to reap in “a little while.”

From the book, BIDE A WEE by Mary J MacColl,
published in 1880 by Peter Paul & Brother of Buffalo, NY.

I found this book in a sale somewhere, still in fairly good shape, with gold-trimmed cover edges and letters! And on the first page there are impressive endorsements of Miss MacColl’s poetry from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry W Longfellow, Joaquin Miller, and John G Whittier.