Of Bugs & Bucket Lists

I’ve been thinking LOTS but writing little, owing to feeling down in the dumps lately. It’s a type of writer’s block: you know that lingering line: “Why should I bother who cares anyway?”

This started a few days ago as I was reading and admiring a number of online haiku verses. Such talent! A wave of blue (green?) swept over me. I’ll never be able to write meaningful haiku with clever twists of phrase. Here’s a sample of mine:

grasshopper munching
the eye of my daisy
instant mashed

(Historical note: I’ve observed that grasshoppers just love to munch the tender eyes of coneflowers like rudbekia. Justice is dispensed speedily.)

I read a quote by fellow writer “Biff” that made me smile; I think his words will resonate with writers everywhere:

The only item on my bucket list is to someday be satisfied with something I write.

While this quote is part of his reply in the comments, the article itself is something all writers can relate to. Do take a moment to pop over and read his post: A Writer’s Lament.

On the cover of the latest issue of FellowScript Christian writers magazine I read the question, “Should You Write For Free?” And my obvious answer is, “Of course not! I should be getting thousands of dollars for what I write.” Okay, hundreds. I’d even welcome tens.

Do what you love and the money will follow.

Ha!

I’m somewhat cheered today, seeing the haiku I submitted to Troutswirl, the Haiku Foundation’s blog, has been published. Also, I accept that, even though I don’t ever earn a penny, I have the complete freedom to write and post on my blog.

But now that I’ve shared my ups and downs with you, I’d best get back to digging my flower bed in preparation for some pretty blooms.

ducky digging in the flowerbed
trying to win it back
nary a feather to be seen
but sure no lack of quack
🙂

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. 🙂

Taking A Trip

It’s Monday morning and the Victoria Day holiday here in Canada.

Officially the celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday, over the years it’s morphed into the celebration of another long weekend. And here on the prairies, the Victoria Day weekend is considered the unofficial date for planting gardens. There are a few “cool-weather” veggies like peas and radishes that can be seeded at the the end of April, but most seeds won’t do well in the cold ground, so it’s best to wait until after Victoria Day when the ground has warmed up enough to encourage sprouting of “warm weather” seeds like carrots, corn and beans.

We retired folks don’t need a holiday weekend to take a trip, but hubby and I are planning to leave early this morning and go visit family in Moose Jaw. Last week my sister told me of some serious health issues they’ve been facing this year and we decided it’s about time to take that two-and-a-half hour trip down to visit our kin.

Do you feel like taking a trip this morning? A little bird-spotting trip to Michigan? I happened upon a blog post with the inspiring title, Housework Can Wait, so I checked out this blog and am happy to report the sighting of some beautiful birds. If you have a moment, you might enjoy one of this blogger’s Picture Walks.

Uncle Bob’s Medals

His family all knew he had some medals. He’d showed a few to the grandchildren at times, even let them take a medal or two for their classroom “Show & Tell.”

After Uncle Bob passed away his children started sorting through their dad’s things and came across his old army kit bag up in the attic and found about ten medals. Curious as to what these represented, they wrote to the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs asking for information.

One of the medals, the letter said, was awarded to all soldiers who fought in World War II, and another was for those who saw battlefield action; several others were more common, too. But several of them were among the highest honors awarded by Britain, France, and Canada for courage in battle.

All those years and they never knew their dad was a hero! Why hadn’t they probed a bit more? Like most soldiers who fought overseas, Uncle Bob never talked about the War when he got back, so his family knew nothing of the battles he fought, the bravery he showed, his part in victories gained. That part of the family legacy is buried with their Dad.

I’m glad for the ones who did talk about being “overseas.” Our understanding is richer today for those soldiers and civilians who didn’t just forget it all, the people who shared their war experiences and gave us some idea of what they went through.It changed them in ways we who’ve only known years of peace can never understand.

We owe a debt to everyone who fought to make our country the free land it is today. Let’s appreciate what we have.

poppies
LEST WE FORGET

 

A Cordial Welcome

OH, FOR MORE HOURS TO WRITE!

Good morning to everyone reading this post — and I’d like to say a special hello and welcome to my newest Followers. I appreciate everyone who takes time to read my posts and hope I can provide content that interests and inspires you.

As you can see from the Menu above, I am a creature of many moods and hop all over the board with my topics and genres. And since a number of bloggers have stepped into the role of Prompt-provider left vacant when The Daily Post moved out, I’m getting half a dozen new suggestions every morning. (If you’re interested in checking some of these sites, you’ll find the links in my BLOG ROLL under Writing Help.)

Oh, for more hours in a day! — the universal cry of mankind with stuff to do. However, I don’t want to flood my followers’ In-boxes with posts; I suspect most of us don’t have nearly enough time to read blogs as it is. I know I don’t. And summer always adds extra things to my to-do list — including just being out there enjoying it. 🙂

One of the things I have on my plate today is a sewing project. I wish I loved to sew. Think of all the lovely clothes I could make for myself!

OH, FOR MORE FERVOR TO SEW!

I did love to sew years back. Now it’s a very moody thing for me: when I’m in the mood, I enjoy sewing. Otherwise it feels like a mountain I have to — and don’t want to — climb. I’d rather be reading! Do you have any things like that in your day, things you know you MUST do — but then you just hate the task if only because you HAVE TO do it?

Once in a great while, however, the urge to sew comes upon me and I’m enthused, eager to start. So I act upon it, praying I’ll get whatever it is I’m sewing finished before the mood passes. And right now I’m enthused about whipping up a lightweight cotton dress for the summer.

And I’ve been rewarded! First off, because I’m working out a new pattern, designing it on paper first, adjusting it for my particular size — and it’s coming together nicely. When you’ve had breast cancer, it isn’t always easy getting a pattern to fit well.

My second reward came yesterday as I was sitting at my machine pinning pieces together. I’d opened my widow and could hear the twitter – twitter – twitter of the swallows in the nest outside, above and just to the left of the window. It dawned on me that all that noise must be the babies getting active. I looked out and sure enough, two baby swallows were trying to poke their heads out, fussing like siblings do when both want the window seat.

Finally one pulled back and the other took a gander at the big world outside — and saw me through the screen looking up at it. For a moment we both eyed each other, then I went back to my sewing. Soon, soon, these little guys will be out exploring, or lined up along the clothesline just below the nest. I love this time of year!

OH, FOR MORE MOSQUITO-EATING BIRDS!

We actually have three active nests of swallows tacked to the house, and a pair of barn swallows who’ve made their own nest in our yard. We’ve been very hospitable toward swallows, since they eat mosquitoes by the ton every summer. After this summer I’m going to be even more so, because I’m reacting so much to mosquito bites these days. I get huge bumps that itch for almost a week and often leave a scar when they finally subside.

Yes, our welcome mat is out to all swallows. And wrens. I’m really enjoying hearing wren songs from various spots around our yard every morning. And on that note I’d best end this ramble and get back to my sewing before the mood passes again.

🙂

RAGTAG Daily Prompt: HOSPITABLE