The Pinch of Winter

Good morning everyone.
My journal entry for today will to be “Cold, Cold, and Dry.”

The moon’s almost full but sadly gives us no warmth. The thermometer reads -27 C at 5:30 am. I woke up early from a silly dream, so decided to get up and feed the cats, finish addressing Christmas cards, and now check out internet world.

The first thing I discovered is that we have no water. Not a drop from our taps. We get our water from a local well, so did the pump freeze up? Is it afflicted with some mechanical failure? I doubt the water line has frozen overnight; that hasn’t happened yet and it’s been colder than this.

Have you ever been without water for some reason? One of the first things I notice is that I get really thirsty. I suddenly want to drink lots. Good thing we always keep a Brita-filtered pitcher of water in the fridge so I can accommodate my thirst. And a Keurig machine to supply my coffee — or hot chicken broth — needs.

It doesn’t help that I have a cold and sore throat. Brought on by my own carelessness, I’m afraid. I’ve had a jigsaw puzzle around for awhile; it’s been at my workplace for a long time and I wanted to do it here at home before passing it on. The picture on the box is really nice, a restaurant-front in some Latin land, with attractive big blue doors and a flowering vine draping over. But the puzzle, when I started it Sunday afternoon, proved to be really difficult. By bedtime we barely had the frame and part of the doors together.

I didn’t smell anything while working on it, but yesterday morning I woke up with sinus trouble and a sore throat, my usual reaction to something that carries a bit of mustiness. Slowly I’m learning that I have to be really careful and air out books, papers, fabrics, anything that could be musty. Fresh air is good for almost everything.

I set it outside awhile yesterday morning and worked on it a bit longer, but it was giving me no pleasure so I tossed it. If I were getting paid by the hour, that would be another matter, but life is too short to spend hours on a pastime project I’m not really enjoying.

So I’d best get prepared to face the day now. Unless the pump problem is fixed pronto, we’ll have to fetch water from somewhere — maybe intrude on our children’s routine.

a pale cold moon
over the frigid prairie
chicken soup morning

Bravery

Good morning everyone. A bright Monday morning, the beginning of another week and also Remembrance Day here in Canada.

Folks who are planning outdoor celebrations this morning will have to be brave to face the chill that’s settled across the prairies. We had a fair bit of snow Saturday, and now it’s seriously cold. At 7 am it was -22̊ C. Add wind gusts up to 28 km/h for a wind-chill factor of -31̊ C.
For our American friends that’s -7̊ F and with wind gusts up to 17 mph, which gives the feel of -24̊ F if you’re outside for very long. I let our cats outside first thing and they were ready to come in about three minutes later.

So it’s the perfect day to stay indoors and work on my sewing projects, but I will be cooking at the Villa today, both meals. Thankfully I can slide my car into the heated garage there. Dear hubby will have to get up and help me open the door of our unheated garage because at this temperature, the mechanism doesn’t want to work.

Like most people who are classed as “brave”, I’m not particularly courageous or eager to face the elements, but I have a job to do and will do it regardless of the externals. I don’t think any soldiers were enthused about facing enemy guns, but they were given the job, the goal was held forth, and they gritted their teeth and complied, hoping to make it out alive.

Ragtag Community’s word prompt for today is BRAVERY, quite understandable considering this special day. At the 11th hour dedicated folks all over the world will pause for a few moments of silence, remembering those lost in war and wishing, praying, violent conflicts will cease forever.

I hopped over to Pixabay and checked out images of ‘Bravery’; it’s very interesting what they all show. From a dandelion daring to bloom in parched clay to bungee jumping to Rosie the Riveter to Super heroes. Here are a few illustrations of bravery:

Fire.skeeze
Skeeze.Pixabay
Soliers.johnrocks888
johnrocks888.Pixabay
Rocket.WikiImages
WikiImages.Pixabay
surgery-1807541_640
Sasin Tipchai.Pixabay

But some things that people think are brave, like death-defying stunts, I’d class in the realm of… well…a lack of good sense. All in one’s perspective of bravery, I suppose? Like, why on earth would you play with a snake or fling yourself off a cliff if you don’t have to? Different strokes for different folks?

Matador.memyselfaneye
memyselfaneye.Pixabay
bungee-jumping-3164249_640
wfff.Pixabay

Anyway, wherever you are today, I hope you can have a day of relative peace and safety. Let’s all take time to appreciate all the folks who have sacrificed—and are working today—to give us security and a better quality of life.

 

Visiting the Home in Haiku

Visiting Grandma at the Nursing Home

I don’t remember, either
I told her
companionably

We play Yahtzee
even though she can’t read the dice
she can shake

holding Grandma’s hands
I should let go — but
her fingers are so cold

“Flower Garden” quilt
walking the winding trails
of her memory

I never told her
it rained last night
Grandma’s somewhere else

She tells me
Prince Charles visited today
bladder infection*

in the twilight
she folds her tired hands
one last time

* She really did. Bladder infection tends to cause nursing home residents to “lose it” temporarily. 😦

What the Splatters Tell

I’ve decided to do a few summer reruns. This anecdote was posted to my original blog back in March of 2013.

One day a young mother I’ll call Betty got sick and had to spend over a week in the hospital. Since her husband had a job away from home, the couple decided it would be best to hire a housekeeper who could look after the house and the children during the day.

As Betty was recovering from her illness she often questioned how things were going at home, how her husband and young family were getting along with someone new in the house. She asked how the housekeeper was managing in her kitchen. Her husband assured her that things were going just fine; the housekeeper was an older woman and quite capable.

Betty was so thankful when discharge day came; gladly she packed up her few things. Her husband and children all came to bring her home. On the way, she asked the children if they were having a good time with the housekeeper and they told her that she was neat. To top it off, she’d been cooking all the meals they liked.

Betty was surprised, then suspicious. “I suppose you told her what she should cook for you?”

“Oh, no. She just knows.”

After she got home and settled in, she visited with the housekeeper and asked how she’d guessed all their favorite foods. “Oh, that was easy,” the housekeeper replied. “I just went through your cookbooks and made the recipes on the pages that were smudged and splattered up.”

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.

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.