A New Plan

Good evening, dear readers. It has been my habit to turn on my computer as soon as I get up. First off I check the daily prompts and notifications from blogs I follow. For some reason “just a quick peek” at incoming e-mails ends up taking a good part of my morning. Who’d have guessed?

My energy level isn’t really high these days so, in order to finish my work-in-progress and do some serious housecleaning, I’m trying a new daily plan this coming week. I’ve already scheduled some posts for 8 or 8:30 am but I’m going to leave my internet alone until evening. Going online first thing will be a tough habit to break. Will I succeed or won’t I? But I fear unless I make some drastic change, my important writing may never get finished.

Now for some things more interesting than work habits. It may be -21 C as I type this, and the predicted high tomorrow is -22 C, but we can always dream of spring.

Cherry Trees

Glorious cherry trees!
Blossoms burst  forth in spring
to animate the bees,
inspire a thousand poets,
intoxicate the breeze.
Where would this old world be
without those cherry trees?

Interesting nature note from our yard:
I often toss organic kitchen trash like peelings, limp greens, carrots and such, into the poplar trees on the west side of our driveway. After all, these bits are biodegradable. Yesterday I tossed a sweet potato well past its prime — and flushed out a white rabbit. It didn’t flee in terror, rather hopped into the nearby field and seemed to be waiting. I wonder if this bunny has been dining on the greens I toss?

Canadian rabbit: David Mark — Pixabay

“Yonder Street That Fronts The Sun”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is DISPOSABLE

I haven’t written a story for awhile and today I’m in the mood for fiction, and inspired by this poem. So here goes…

Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone –
a very plain brown stone will do –
that I may call my own;
and close at hand is such a one
in yonder street that fronts the sun.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes

The New Home

“I sure hope you’re going to be happy here, Mom,” Miranda said as she took a couple of suitcases from the trunk. “You’ve brought so few of your things with you. But I guess you don’t have room for much.” She eyed the tiny cottage and sighed.

“Don’t worry,” Alice reassured her. “This will be a cozy nest for me. I’ve brought with me the things I really love and will use every day. Looking around that huge house, I realized just how much of what we had was non-essential. Quite disposable, really.”

Her son-in-law looked up at the sky. “You’ll get the morning sun here. That should be cheering.” He picked up her microwave and Alice hurried to unlock the door for him.

Franz was trying to be upbeat, she knew. They’d questioned her choice of a small cottage on a dingy street, but what could they do? They glimpsed the tip of the iceberg, not the full extent of her penury. Widowed now, she could never afford that huge house, or even a nice senior’s apartment.

Miranda said, “I’m sorry you had to part with your lovely bone china, but I’m sure Chandra will take good care of it.” Chandra was Alice’s granddaughter. “Still, I hope you aren’t planning to live on instant dinners in disposable pouches?”

Alice laughed. “No, my dear, I’ll make myself proper meals now and then.”

Back at the car again, Franz grabbed the cat carrier from the back seat. “Alphonse will have a nice little back yard to prowl.”

“Yes, I have Alphonse to keep me company. We’ll get along quite well here.”

After her things were soon unloaded, her children had kissed her goodbye, and left, Alice let the cat out of his carrier. As he explored their new home, she sat in a chair and surveyed the furnishings she’d chosen. Tears slid down her cheeks. So much was gone; so little left of her old life.

Howard’s investments hadn’t borne much fruit; he’d kept that fact from her. Did the worry over finances cause his heart attack? What she’d sold had covered the debts and paid for this home, left her enough income to live on – she was thankful for that. Her knew her children would help out, but she didn’t want to be a drain on them.

She dried her tears, wandered into the kitchen and stared out the back door. The small fenced yard had a tiny patch dug up for garden, mostly weeds now. Well, she’d plant some flowers there. Maybe some lettuce and a few tomato plants. She went back to the counter and began opening boxes.

Good Old Roast Beef

The Bloganuary question today: “What’s your favorite meal to cook and/or eat?

And my response is:
Roast beef (fork tender), mashed potatoes and gravy, a veggie like peas & carrots.
And for dessert, rice pudding with cinnamon and lots of raisins.

Easy enough to answer. However, I rarely make a full meal like this, so it’s always a treat. 🙂

Chilling Finery

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is MISCHIEF

Image: Anrita170 — Pixabay

I’ve mentioned that we received several heavy snowfalls in December. Some of the drifts across our back yard/garden area, places where wind tunnels go around our tree trunks, would measure maybe 1.5 metres deep. On the open lawn maybe .5m or so. Snow much like we were getting about ten years back. And we’ll gladly take every flake of it.

Old times say prairie weather goes in about ten-year cycles. The worst and most famous of these was the “dirty 30’s” but there have been years of abundant rainfall followed by years of hardly any. Around 2000 folks here were meeting at church to pray for much-needed rain. From about 2005 to 2015 we had enough, sometimes an overdose, of precipitation. Old times said they’d never seen the sloughs so full–half-over the roads in some cases. Since then we’ve been winding down to drier years.

What seems more unusual to me is the fog and frost we’ve been having this past week. Rarely is the weather this mild and this humid for this long–and so wind-less!–in January. Every night the trees capture a new coat of hoary whiteness. We wake up to a newly whitewashed world, and trees are slow to shed this loveliness because of our amazing lack of strong winds.

And what does this have to do with MISCHIEF?

I wasn’t able to fall asleep Sat night, so was up in my recliner about 2:15am when the power went out. the moon was giving enough light that I found my way to the flashlight we keep on the kitchen counter, and went to bed. In the morning we saw that the power had been our for 3.5 hours. It was out for an hour Sunday morning while we were in church, then again Sunday afternoon for several more hours. One town not so far away had no power from about 2-7 pm. The cause: broken branches.

Frost may look delicate, but you can see from the picture below how this gentle coating can weigh down tree branches, which may break and come down on a nearby power line.

Image: Vesa Minkkinen — Pixabay

Power Out That Grease!

Today’s Bloganuary challenge asks What chore do you find the most challenging to do?

My super-quick answer: Clean the oven.

The answer springs readily to mind, having nagged at me for over a week now. A rather juicy casserole ran over in my oven last week and I haven’t gotten around to cleaning it yet. Shame on me! The grease by now is thoroughly baked on — and this oven is an old one, not one of the self-cleaning sorts. Needs serious elbow grease.

Another blogger, Louis Carreras, writes that the most challenging part of a task is getting started. I can agree with that. Few chores are as hard to execute as they are to keep dodging around. As stated in my last blog post. (See Edgar Guest’s poem It Couldn’t Be Done. )

No More Coddling!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CODDLE. We ladies had a little discussion in Sunday school yesterday about “How much to do for your children,” which fuels my response to this prompt.

NO MORE CODDLING!

Jake tapped the corn syrup bottle in disgust. “Mom, I want the maple syrup, not–”

His father interrupted. “If you want maple syrup, get it yourself.”

Mom was already half way out of her seat when Dad grabbed her arm. “Sit down, Nancy.”

She protested. “I can get it for him, Dan. He’s probably tired from all his building yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. I’m exhausted!” Jake added a weary sigh for effect. He looked from one parent to the other, waiting to see how the ball would bounce.

Dad put an arm on Mom’s shoulder. “If you continue to coddle him, he’ll want you fetching and carrying for him when he’s thirty-five. When he and Tim were working on their tree house yesterday, he was carrying wood and pounding nails for an hour. He can manage a syrup bottle now.”

Jake rolled his eyes, got up and shuffled to the fridge. He grabbed the syrup and plunked it on the table, dropping into the chair again with a martyr’s sigh.

Mom watched her eight-year-old boy pour syrup on his pancakes and wolf them down. Tears picked her eyes. Would the time come when he didn’t need her at all – for anything?

A moment later Jake slipped off his chair. “Some of the guys are getting together at the school to play scrub. Is it okay if I go?”

Dad grinned at him. “After you put the syrup back in the fridge, and help your mother clean off the table.”