Spring Morning

Kisses of Spring

Meadowlark singing on fence post,
ducks dabbling on the slough,
the cry of a pair of Canada geese
overhead, as they hurry on through.

The woods beside us now waken
with sound at first morning light;
I spy a flock of some kind of birds
silent and northward their flight

These are the kisses of springtime,
the sights and the sounds that delight.
Oh no! While I’m here rhapsodizing
our landscape is fast turning white.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good Morning from our house. The dawn was rather misty when I first looked out and I saw this flock of birds winging over the field beside us. Small ducks, maybe? I let the cats out and sat back to enjoy the coming of spring.

A pair of Canada geese have been around for a week; the ducks and meadowlark we saw Sunday on the way to church. I could hear small birds twittering in the woods yesterday as I went out for a walk. Sunny days and south winds have melted most of the snow in our yard. Last week the driveway was muddy, but by yesterday it had almost completely dried off. Oh, the joys of warmer weather!

As I enjoyed my morning coffee this morning a poem came to me, so I fired up the computer and started to write. I hadn’t quite decided how to finish off, though — until I looked outside again and saw the air full of snow. Our poor cats huddled on the back step, turning white along with everything else.

A sad surprise indeed. Poor little birds! And no wonder that flock was winging it in such a hurry, probably looking for a place to shelter. Oh, well. I shall carry on with my sewing project, a dress for myself, and forget about taking a long walk in the sunshine.

Sympathies To Humboldt Folks

Another Funeral Today

I haven’t mentioned anything about our provincial tragedy yet, but thought I’d post something today and offer my sympathies to the families and community of Humboldt, SK.

Funerals have been ongoing this week — one is starting as I post this — for the ten Humboldt Broncos hockey team players, their coach, assistant coach, statistician, team therapist, a broadcaster and the bus driver who died as a result of a major road accident. If I have it right, ten other team members are still in hospital, two in critical condition.

Last week Friday the team was on its way to a game in Nipawin, SK. The bus was passing through an intersection when a loaded semi approaching from the side ran the stop sign and crashed into the front of their bus. The photos of the accident scene showed the bus on its side with its whole front end totally destroyed.

This morning we watched to a replay of the vigil held Sunday afternoon in Humboldt, where the Teams chaplain delivered an evangelical message. He spoke about the need to connect with God and walk with Him through this dark valley of death. The Pastor wasn’t glib or full of soothing words. He asked, “Where Wwas God? and where is God now?”

The Pastor had been driving his own kids to watch the hockey game and he arrived at the accident scene a few moments after the crash. He went along to the hospital, seeing first hand the suffering of the dying, the survivors. One sad part that came out in the news was that the injured were so battered, the father of one team member, an ER doctor, couldn’t identify his own son.

When news of the accident hit the media, President Donald Trump sent a message of condolence to Prime Minister Trudeau and the families involved. Anti-Trump media may perhaps find some fault, but we Canadians appreciate the kind gesture. That a US President, with all he has on his plate, would take note of an accident here in western Canada and send a note of sympathy, shows a compassionate side to the man.

The recording camera caught a few shots of Justin Trudeau, sitting in the crowd gathered in the Humboldt arena for the service. A number of prominent Canadians attended this service to pay their respects and show support. Team members who’ve died were between 16 and 21, the youth of the community. This is a major blow, with so many homes suffering a direct loss and ten more where health issues will be ongoing. We feel with them in their loss.

Another Day Dawns

Good morning, Everyone!

I wonder what the weather is like where you are? We had a nice taste of spring last week, but it blew away in a frigid wind yesterday. Sunday the temp got up to 4 C; this morning at 6 am the temp in Saskatoon is -18 C/ 0 F and the predicted high is -5 C or 23 F. Tomorrow is yet worse; the high is supposed to be -13 C or 9 F. Whimper! Pookie, our cat, wanted out first thing this morning but was ready to come back in three minutes later.

My birthday is almost over for another year. Yesterday Bob brought home a dozen roses, then last night our family took us out to Montana’s, a Saskatoon steak house, and we had a feast. I heard a whisper that there’s a little coffee party planned with some ladies this morning at Silverwood Villa, the seniors’ home where I used to work part-time and now occasionally fill in as cook. I think that’ll be the last of the celebrations. So I’ve been well fêted for birthday #65.

And I’m done bombarding you with micro-poems. It looks like my verses pleased some of the people some of the time yesterday. 🙂 Another thing I did was purchase the upgrade for this blog. I hope you won’t be seeing ads anymore.

I’d like to restart my micro-poetry blog again soon — maybe on May 1st. Tree Top Haiku has been dormant since November but I have a lot of new items to post. Last month I was going through my scraps-of-paper scribblings, getting those verses typed into files, categorizing all my files. Next month I hope to schedule a number of posts on Tree Top Haiku so I don’t have to worry about keeping up on a day-to-day basis all through summer.

I woke up before 5am, so should get lots accomplished today, right? Now I’d better get on to my sewing project for today: a new dress for myself. Here’s wishing you all a great day in whatever part of the world you live.

Housekeeping the DropBox

Good morning, World!

I woke up very early this morning — 3:45 to be exact — and finally got up just before 4am. For the past few days I’ve had a cold and have been taking medication to clear up my sinuses. Makes me sleepy in the daytime and I had a couple of long naps yesterday, so I guess it’s fair if I can’t sleep the whole night.

Of course as soon as I was awake, so were the cats, and Pookie wanted to go outside. Yesterday was a milder day, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt him to take a small jaunt outside. But when I opened the door I felt something you don’t want to feel here in February: rain. More like spitting than real rain, but enough to give the roads a nice coating of ice.

The rain has since turned to snow. Checking with Environment Canada I see the temp in Saskatoon is -1C or 30F right now and supposed to drop a couple of degrees during the day, so I’m very glad we don’t have any place we have to be early this morning.

I didn’t get up and start the vacuuming or the laundry, such as one might do. I’ve rather spent the last three hours doing housekeeping in my DropBox files. Over the past six years of blogging I’ve amassed this huge assortment of poems, stories, articles, etc. — and I’ve filed them all by name. Note to new writers and bloggers: this is a NO-NO — unless you don’t write that much or have a fantastic memory.

I’ve spent precious hours searching my thousands of files for a story or poem I once wrote, either to reblog it or to include it in Silver Morning Song — and never could find it. The fact that I have 300-400 haiku mixed in among all the other files hasn’t helped. Maybe a year later I open a file with an unfamiliar name, and here’s the thing I was looking for. Why did I name it that?

So for the past month or so I’ve been renaming all my files — with category first. That way I know if I’m looking for a poem I’ll find it in POEM, the stories I wrote are all in the STORY section, articles in the ART section, etc.

Oh, to have done this all along! As the old saying goes, “Little and often makes a heap in time.” Take a tip from one who’s learning her lesson late in life: when you don’t do that little bit of organizing every day you end up with a big heap to sort through.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” may be an old cliche, but the older I get the more I see the golden glow in this wise advice. I’m battling memory loss now as well as general clutter issues, which means I spend far too much time wandering around the house looking for something I need RIGHT NOW, trying hard to remember where I last used it.

So I consider the past three hours time well spent and I haven’t made a lot of racket to wake my husband up. My next organizing project is to redo our two main bookcases with books placed alphabetically by author’s name instead of loosely by topic. (Yesterday I resolved to get started with this project, as I was looking for a book by Francis Schaeffer and couldn’t spot it on the shelves.)

It’s 8am now and the sky has turned a pale blue. So nice to see our daylight hours getting longer! The snow is fine, but it’s really coming down. Now I’ll go have breakfast and then probably take a long nap before I tackle any more housekeeping. (I did. 🙂 )

Note:
When I went to post this, I discovered we had no internet. 😦 (Heavy clouds often block our internet access!) So, better late than never…

Taking A Deep Breath

Dear Readers,

I see it’s been eight days since my last post. In the past couple of weeks I’ve devoted myself to formatting my book of poems and short stories, Silver Morning Song, for a printed version. And this has been a real learning process!

I’m happy to tell you that, after much trial and error, Silver Morning Song — in a shiny paperback edition — is now available from Amazon.com

Rik Hall at Wild Seas Formatting has also updated the e-book files so readers can order the latest e-version — hopefully with NO typos now — from either Amazon or Kobo. Funny how many times you can go over a book and those little typos and spelling mistakes still slip through. 😦

In addition to my own project, I’ve been doing a quick second edit on the book of a friend. This is an allegory that I expect will be in print before too long.

Here on the prairies this past week we’ve been enjoying a mild spell of weather, together with sunny days that really makes us think of spring. Some evenings and/or mornings have been foggy, so our trees have a glistening hoar-frosted appearance now.

I trust life can get back to normal again, and I’ll be more faithful at blogging for awhile. Although I’m really enthused about getting to work, editing and then publishing my next book. This adventure of publishing your own writing kind of grows on a person. 🙂

Leave a few lines in the comments and let me know how you’ve spent the month of January? For some folks in the East, I gather it’s been a month of shoveling snow.

Sites For Free E-Books

There’s an old joke from back in the days when service stations all had an outside air pump so you could fill your own tires whenever they got low. Maybe most of them still do? I don’t look after tires anymore. 🙂

The joke goes something like, “The first Scotsman who discovered FREE AIR, trying to get as much for free as he could, blew out all four tires.”

Yeah, I know it’s not politically correct to make ethnic jokes anymore, but I thought of it when an e-mail popped into my In-box this afternoon. It said, “65 FREE e-books, various genres.” With all the free novels being offered by various services, being of Scottish ancestry myself I just might blow out the memory in my e-reader. Thankfully that can’t happen.

Anyway, I went to Book Cave Direct and looked over the list. A few might interest me; a lot of the stories aren’t the genres I’d read or recommend. I did see one book that instructs writers on how to format their Word documents for publishing on Kindle. For someone wanting to publish their own e-book, that could be handy. Here’s the link if you want to check out the list yourself.

The second last book on their list, Blue Hydrangeas, is one I have read, really enjoyed and would recommend. This is the story of a senior husband whose wife has Alzheimer’s. He dreads the thought of putting her in a nursing home, so is caring for her at home but he’s finding it an every-minute-all-day job. A poignant and realistic novel. Read my review here.

Two days ago I also got a notice from one of my favorite writers, Dan Walsh, informing his fans that his book, Remembering Dresden, is free on Amazon until tomorrow. I already have this one; it’s on my “To Read Soon” list.

I’ve gotten some really good books from BookBub, too; they send out a new list of free and specially priced books daily or weekly, as you prefer. If you’re interested, you can find them at bookbub.com. There’s also storycartel.com (where you agree to do a review in exchange for a free book), instafreebie.com and half a dozen others.

Do you have a favorite site that offers free e-books? If you’re a writer, have you found these sites really helpful in promoting your book? I understand authors have to pay a small fee to get their books on the lists sent out.

My goal for this winter is to read the books I’ve already downloaded and write reviews for these. The whole idea behind authors giving away their books through these sites is to generate more reviews. Being a writer myself, I want to lend support where I can, so be prepared for a bunch of book review posts in the next couple of months.

Resolutions Upset Already!

happy-new-year-1900587_640

“Life is odd, with its twists and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns…”

Click here to read the whole poem.

Yesterday after supper I was doing some last minute cleaning — and resolving to give the house a thorough going over in the next few weeks. Then I made the bed and, whether something twisted and turned in my knee or whether my gout just decided to boycott my cleaning agenda, my knee started to feel stiff and sore. Within an hour I couldn’t walk. By bedtime I was dealing with pain from hip to mid-calf.

So I’m meeting the New Year with a hobble and one resolution already put on hold. I’m fairly sure this is gout; hopefully this spell won’t last as long as the one I experienced in November, in my right foot. I certainly see now what those old-time authors meant when they wrote about gout-afflicted, limping old geezers.

Thankfully it hasn’t bothered me to sit and do a jigsaw puzzle this afternoon, or to recline and read. Tomorrow will just be another holiday for me — or maybe I’ll work on an easy sewing project. I’m so thankful for pain meds.

So here’s to a brighter tomorrow! Happy New Year, every one. Thanks for reading and following my blog. I appreciate you all.