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.

Canada Day Rain

Hello everyone, and Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians.

Fireworks are planned in many communities all across the country this evening, but alas for our area, as there’s a severe thunderstorm watch in effect. Not to mention the dark blue clouds that have been rolling along west of us or the lighter grey ones overhead.

I went for a walk Saturday morning and admired all the toadstools popping up everywhere in our lawn. How can it be that this land, dry-as-dust two weeks ago, is producing such a fine crop of fungi? We were praying for rain and we got it. Clouds and rain almost every day — and again today. Over four inches in June, most of it in the last two weeks.

Crops in the fields are a beautiful green now, and SPROING went the weed seeds lying dormant in my newly dug flowerbed. I was doing some pulling an hour ago. But no one is complaining.

And now the storm is upon us, a heavy rain from the north with a bit of pea-sized hail mixed in; sounds like it will pass over quickly, though.

It was my turn to cook for the seniors yesterday, so I invited company to the Villa, as we usually try to do for a Sunday dinner. It happened this time that I invited Bobs, Bens and Barrys, plus my daughter and three of her children; our son-in-law took the oldest son camping this weekend. Hopefully at this moment they’re somewhere where it’s not pouring rain.

And now I’d best send this off while we still have internet connection. The storm is coming back again. Hope you’re all starting out the month of July with joy and courage, whatever the weather is bringing you.

Wednesday Morning Hello

Good morning dear friends everywhere!

I have neglected my blog for several weeks now, being occupied with digging up roots both literal and figurative. Now it’s time to give this site a fresh look and get back to regular blogging, much as summer days will allow.

Two weeks ago I finished planting my large outdoor pots and they are all abloom now. I also finished digging the quack grass out of my flowerbed and planted most of it. In my digging I discovered a bunch of iris corms surviving in the quack grass; I’ve stuck a few of those back in among the bedding plants. Though I really don’t really want them there, I hate to throw them away. I’d love to have oodles of flowers and bright blossoms everywhere, if only I had the time to look after it all.

The day I finished the main planting we got a nice shower, breaking our long drought, and we’ve been blessed by a few showers and one good rain since. The countryside is a lush green now, so good to see! Tiny weeds are popping up in my newly dug flowerbed — as one might expect.

The birds are singing from the trees all around us and a few have moved into the bird houses we have put up around the place. I really love our location here, right beside the woods! The windbreak trees planted before our time and the ones we planted when we moved here in Oct 2007 have all grown and branched out, giving us a nicely shaded yard.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been digging into family tree roots, discovering a few new things and verifying facts I already knew. Through birth, marriage, and census records I’ve followed the families of several great uncles, brothers of great-grandfather Sam, from Ontario to wherever else they’ve settled. Discovered the roots of great-great grandfather John Falconer and Jemimah Lyons over in Scotland, found out how they both came to Pennsylvania and married there, then went out to “the territories” to farm.

I tell people it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I work each group and section by itself and finally they’ll all come together to make my Vance & Harmon family history.

Sometimes it wants to depress me, seeing all this “born…lived…died.” However, this is life on planet Earth — I’m just travelling through. So I’ve re-resolved to spend my time carefully, choose the activities I enjoy, enjoy the work I must do — and get rid of the clutter.

I was to the Cancer Clinic at the end of May and learned that my white counts are all staying in the normal range, nothing to be alarmed about, no sign of leukemia. Something to be really thankful for!

I hope you are all enjoying the seasons you have, dear readers. If you’re travelling on holidays, I wish you a safe journey. I know some of you are coping with various health issues and wish you courage to cope. And I’m wishing all of you a special touch of God’s grace today.

Bargains, Birds, Blogging

Good morning everyone!

I love the idea of a Monday morning, lots of things to do and a whole week ahead. I always start out with high hopes—and it would be great if I’d have a plan for my week as well. Sadly, time management is a skill I’ve never acquired, but I’ll plod through the week and do my best. I have so many posts I’d like to write and hope to do lots of digging this week as well, both literal and figurative. (Flowerbeds + family tree roots.)

BIRDS

I glance at the calendar and wonder how it can it be that we’re approaching the middle of May already. Looking outside, opening the window, I’m seeing and hearing a lot of different birds in the woods beside us. At noon we saw mourning doves picking their way along under our feeder.

My swallows have come back and are hoping for nests, but those pernicious, malicious English sparrows have claimed at least one of our bird-houses. I sat outside for half an hour this morning where I could watch the goings-on and decide what action to take. I saw the swallows come several time to check out the East-side nest, but the sparrows loitering in the shrubs at the edge of the yard came and drove them away.

Okay for you, guys! I took down the nest and hung it in the shrubs where they hang out. maybe that will keep them occupied and away from the house at least. When the wrens get back, they can fight over it; wrens, for all their midget size, are feisty birds and quite capable of taking over a nest if they want it.

BARGAINS

I stopped in at my daughter’s for a bit Saturday evening and she told me they’d been garage sale-ing. Here in Canada the GARAGE SALE signs start going up soon after our spring birds arrive, and sellers usually pack it in by the end of June. I used to enjoy this sport quite a bit, until my house got too full for any more stuff. But having a garage sale yourself is fun, too.
dear old grandma
clutching a neighbour’s pickle dish
her sale next week

Sometimes you get amazing bargains on something you really need. One day I bought a book for $1 and it helped me so much with a personal problem I was going through. And some folks start special collections from their garage and yard sale finds. I recently visited another blogger via the READER and read an older post she wrote about How A Garage Sale Changed My Life.

Do you plan to do any Garage Sale-ing this spring? Let me know in the comments what your special collections are.

BLOGGING

Speaking of blogs — and blog awards — I see in this morning’s notifications that I’ve been awarded the MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD by Sue over at Crooked Creek.

According to the creator, Okoto Enigma:
The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

Of course the deal is answer some questions about yourself and then to pass the award — and the questions — on to at least ten other bloggers, as with the old fashioned “chain letters.” (Minus the post card and dire consequences if you fail to comply.)

The problem is often to find ten other bloggers who will accept the award and pass it on. Some like doing blog awards and some can’t be bothered. I think I’ll use my one-thing-at-a time approach to this project. Stay tuned.

And with my current involvement in Family tree research, my cousin Linda has asked if I want to do some posting our our Vance-Turner Connect blog again. We started this in Sept 2013, hoping a few other cousins would have some family stories to share, but the idea didn’t pan out.  Still, it’s a good place to record family history. Click here if you’re curious about it.

I hope you all have a great week.

Cleaning Up The Yard

from the earth they came
to earth the trees return
ashes in the wind

Yesterday morning there was no wind and the grass was sparkling with a heavy dew, a perfect morning for a little fire, so I worked for awhile at returning to earth all the dead branches the winter winds dropped around our lawn and all the trimmings we collected last summer and fall.

I enjoy sitting beside a small fire; it feels so cozy. And the idea always intrigues me, as I watch a fire devouring bunches of twigs and logs, how a whole tree can be reduced to such a small pile of ashes. Of course I must write a poem about this. 😉

Last year it was so dry in our area the RM (rural municipality) put on a burning ban all summer. Even at that our menfolks on the volunteer fire department were called out a number of times. This spring it’s been so dry here that we have to be very careful about fires. In fact, if things continue this way, we’ll likely have another all-summer burning ban.  I’ve been raking dead grass and there’s always debris on the lawn in spring, plus we have a pile of dead branches from the broken-off spruce tree. I’m glad for every opportunity to burn this stuff before summer comes and there’s standing crop nearby.

This morning I woke up feeling like I was hit by a truck: arthritis having its say, I guess. Plus I have to cook both meals at the seniors’ home today, so no fire even if we have another perfect morning for one. Some pain pills, toast and a cup of coffee, and I’ll be off to work.

I hope you’re enjoying a lovely day—or evening—and heading into a great weekend.

Clean-Up Time

My contribution today to National Poetry Month, or NaPoWiMo.
Happy the family that can work together to make their home more attractive!

Clean-up Time

When it’s clean-up week in springtime
and the winter’s past and gone;
when the balmy air of evening
signals summer’s coming on;
it is then I love to wander
when my day’s work is complete
through our friendly little village
greeting those I chance to meet.

There are things that strike my fancy
as I move along the way.
The impressions gained in childhood
are still holding good today;
for I love to see the parents
with the children large and small
clearing rubbish that has gathered
’round their home since previous fall.

I love to watch the children
and to hear them run and shout,
gathering sticks and bits of paper
that the wind has blown about.
And the father, too, is busy;
I can here him sing and chant
as he’s spading up the garden
for the seed they’re going to plant.

But there’s one thing holds attraction,
I don’t need to tell you what:
it’s the smudge that’s gently burning
in the corner of the lot
as the children pile fresh armfuls
of the rubbish which they bring.
It makes their home more cheery
after clean-up time in spring.

Written by a fellow Saskatchewan poet, Roy Lobb, born around 1893
Taken from his book PLAIN FOLKS, the second edition of which was published 1961 by Modern Press, Saskatoon, SK.