Recent Comings & Goings

Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a journal post so I decided I’d do one this morning. We have another bright and sunny morning coming down, one of very many. Yes, we sometimes have clouds, but I can’t remember the last time it rained right here. This is indeed a dry and thirsty land: lawns are brown; roads throw up dust clouds.

Thankfully there was rain in the summer; I’ve heard that the crops have been okay here – and better some other spots in the province that got more rain. We seem to be in a pocket right here; due to the general flow of air currents above us, the rain clouds pass us by. Grasshoppers are growing long and brown this fall.

I suppose this is a common complaint of mankind, but the days seem to fly by and I get so little accomplished! Though my white cell count hasn’t gone up that much in the last few months, my energy level has dropped. I was rather wiped out in July, so I’m thankful the doctors discovered that I’m diabetic. I’m now on pills to treat that, and they definitely help. My oncologist is holding off on treatment my CLL and I’m okay with that.

I finished my casual cooking job at the Villa at the end of August; You could say I’m footloose and fancy free now. Wanting to do more painting. Wanting to do more writing – though you can’t tell from this poor neglected blog! Sadly, wanting isn’t doing. I get pretty depressed about that sometimes; seems my attention deficit syndrome gets worse every day. 😦

I’ve been visiting Critique Circle again and offering my two-cents’-worth to writers who post their stories on that website, hoping for feedback. It often takes a few hours to read a story and leave comments. I’m intrigued at the differences in North American writers and writers from India. Writing “by the book” maybe? Seem much more formal. No, “Hey, you. Whatcha doin’?” And different words: “He was relishing his meal of curried chicken.”

Bob’s taking a writing course and we’re told readers these days “have the attention span of a gnat.” In other words, no patience for a lot of loopy or formal wording. We’re learning to cut out EVERY unnecessary word. No double adjectives, like “an interesting little story.” No unnecessary adverbs like “he jogged slowly down the trail.” “A very good time was had by all” becomes “They all enjoyed themselves.”

Most of my flower pots are still nice, but the temp is supposed to drop to -3 C tomorrow night. According to the weatherman, we’ve come to the end of our mild fall and our nights will be frosty now. I’m still up every morning letting the cats out and filling water basins for the birds. Deer started coming in August and often drink them dry in the night. A lot of our birds have gone, but we still see mourning doves and oodles of sparrows. A flock of grouse have been foraging nearby; I saw them across the field Sunday and yesterday they were in our side yard, a dozen or more of them.

When I cooked at the Villa, I often worked on Sunday and could invite company to join us for dinner. That opportunity is gone so I’ve decided to get with it at home. This past Sunday we invited Ron & Laurie, friends who’ve just moved/retired here from Quebec, as well as Ray & Sandra, whom we’ve known for almost fifty years.

Two Sundays ago we had our children come for dinner. This was right after the terrible hurricane in the Maritimes so we discussed the clean-up work that would be needed after that. Our oldest grandson had to leave for Roblin, MB, soon after dinner; he’s working for a farmer there during harvest. Our oldest granddaughter was missing, too; she’s gone to teach school in Carrot River. You like to see them grow up but they tend to fly away on other adventures and their chairs at the table are empty. 😦 Last weekend the youth group from here, including our youngest granddaughter, went to Cartwright, MB for a youth rally. Since the Roblin youth went, too, she got to see her brother there – if that matters at all to teens. 😉

I’ve just started reading Drawing Near* by John Bevere and am finding the first chapter thought-provoking.

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Maybe this is enough musing. I’ll end by wishing you all a great day.

*Copyright 2004 by John Bevere
Thomas Nelson Publishers

And If It’s Half Broke?

There’s an old saying that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Leave well enough alone.

But what if it’s only a little broke? Still works, sort of? There are folks who fix the leaky faucet before it becomes a flood under the sink. Fix that oil leak in the car before the motor seizes up. If you ask, “Why worry about it when the problem’s so small,” they’ll tell you, “Procrastination only leads to disaster.”

And there are those of us who tend to hobble along with things as they are, hoping for a miracle, until the thing breaks down totally and becomes a real nuisance. When the drain pipe is totally clogged and the sink overflows, it’s time for action. When the tire’s almost flat, it’s time to have the leak repaired. There are those who go to a doctor while the problem is still small, while others have a health issue they hope will resolve itself. When they can hardly drag themselves out of bed in the morning it’s time to see the doctor.

A friend of my folks, a prairie farmer of Scottish birth, was fearful about the odd bulge developing on his hip. He ignored it and carried on, half fearing that if he saw a doctor, he’d hear the dreaded C word. Finally it became so big that he did visit the doctor, who sent him straight to the hospital. “That bulge is an aneurysm! It could burst any moment and you’d be dead in minutes.”

Sadly, we procrastinators are apt do this with relationships too. It’s risky to ask exactly what he/she meant by that comment. They might tells us exactly what they think of our behaviour and their words will likely be painful. So we tell ourselves, “Just let it go.” Yet the comment digs into us and festers. Usually more verbal exchanges happen and finally we’re pussyfooting around each other. The times we brave it and talk the thing over, we find it was only one point they objected to, not our whole personality. Or we completely misunderstood their remark. I can recall times when I’ve said something just as a joke, thinking the other person would get it, only to find out later from a third party that they took my comment seriously and were quite upset with me.

Image: Robin Higgins — Pixabay

What led to my musing this morning is my issue with WordPress. WP isn’t working 100% for me, but it still functions well most of the time. At times, though, the program won’t recognize my e-mail address so I have to give my username and log in anew. Especially for some blogs, while others I can leave Likes and comments no problem. So I just carry on and hope the problem will disappear. Will it, do you think?

Developers with their many “improvements” have made life so complicated for us simple minds! Sometimes I gripe that if the engineers at WordPress didn’t fix things that were working just fine, blogging would be simpler. However, I realize they were trying to accommodate a wide range of bloggers with other interests than mine, so I’ll hush it. I’m still very grateful to have this platform where I can ramble to my heart’s content. 🙂

Senryu Smiles

boy with B-B gun
aiming at the moon
big game hunter

young child
playing checkers with grandpa
bifocals

in the boy’s hand
fascinating frog, nickel a peek
peewee Barnum

half the morning
coffee and crosswords
newly retired

Image: Agata — Pixabay

The Coming Storm – Part 1

In an earlier post I said my husband and I have been following a writing course given by best-selling author Jerry Jenkins. The last lesson I did covers how important the first sentence and the first paragraph are. No time for rambling here; that opening scene has to grab the reader. Even if the story doesn’t start out with a bang (on someone’s head, in some building or some universe) the reader must get a sense of a fascinating storm just ahead.

I’ve tried to do that in my response to this week’s Six Word Story prompt over at GirlieOnTheEdge’s blog, where the prompt word is BAND. I’m cheating on the prompt, though, since this isn’t a complete story. 🙂

BETTER NEVER LATE

Herb glanced out the window, checked his time again, then snapped the band of his watch in frustration.

“If she isn’t here in three minutes, I’m leaving,” he silently vowed. He had an important meeting with one of his shareholders and he dare not be late.

A moment later he heard a knock and rushed to open the door, snarling, “What…!”

“What am I doing here, you were going to ask,” Jonathan said, shoving his way inside. “Can’t you guess, Herb?”

Grad night

Here’s my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word: FLOUNCE

Emily checked the clock again, wondering if her date would be early or just on time. “Please don’t be late,” she thought. “Let’s get on with the show.” She’d looked forward to graduation all through high school; now the day had come and she was jittery as well as eager.

She straightened the many frills on her new dress and wondered what he’d think of it. Would he be embarrassed? As her Dad politely commented half an hour ago, it was a little over the top. Mom had decided to try a new dressmaker and Emily described the type of dress she wanted. On impulse she’d added, “I’d like something with a touch more flounce.”

Yes, she’d definitely said “a touch.” Somehow the concept hadn’t been communicated well. The gown Emily envisioned hadn’t at all corresponded to the dressmaker’s image of “a touch more flounce.” She hoped she’d be able to move around in all these ruffles — and not roast once the action get started. Worse, she was horrified they might make her look fat!

Image by Natalja Danilchenko — Pixabay