Jun 19, 2017

Malaxage Monday

malaxage ~ softening of clay by kneading it

It’s Monday. Here we are again.

*Looks around aimlessly*

So...how was your week? What about your weekend?

I have to say, last week was a pretty slow news week in my little corner of the world. So slow in fact I forgot about posting my poem on Friday. Oops!

And yet I made several rather lengthy entries in my journal - mostly mundane stuff about housework and babysitting and taking the grandbaby to play group. And of course there was the requisite whining, mostly about housework and babysitting and taking the grandbaby to play group. LOL

No matter how well or how often you do housework, there’s always more to do. It’s like getting rid of junk that collects in your closet - more junk always seems to take its place. So while I knocked off a few things, like cleaning the corner of the dining room where the cats have been misbehaving and dusting the corner cabinet, there’s always more tasks left to do.

The grandbaby was in full mischief mode last week. Not bad or bratty, just full of energy and getting into things. Like Friday. After play group we went to Walmart to get some cupcakes to take to Grappy at his office, one of her favorite things to do. And because by that time Grammy’s energy was flagging, I picked myself up an iced coffee. Which got dumped all over the floor of the kitchen when I nipped outside to look for my phone.

And there were a couple of completely unrelated journal entries, like the one I made about the daughter’s baby robins. She has a small ornamental tree outside her living room window and every year a robin builds a nest in it. The eggs always hatch, but usually the cat across the street gets the babies before they can fly off. This year, however, the daughter caught the cat in the attempt and chased him away with a broom. I would have paid good money to see a video of that! ;-)



Anyway, I checked the nest last Monday and there was only one baby left. There’d been three altogether and two of them flew away on the weekend. The last one was too scared to leave the nest, poor guy. So after the grandbaby went down for her nap, I stood at the open window and gave him a pep talk.

I guess he must have listened to me because the next time I checked he had left the nest and had made it as far as one of the branches beside it. He looked at me a little accusingly, and I think he was trying to get back into the nest but he couldn’t get turned around. At any rate, he did eventually fly away.

When I thought about it, I realized he was a braver bird than me. I went straight from my father’s house to my husband’s. So technically I never did leave my nest.

Something to think about.

Jun 12, 2017

Misosophy Monday

misosophy ~ hatred of knowledge or wisdom

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a giant light bulb. It’s the apocalypse! No, it’s ... the sun!!

We actually got a couple of days of sun last week. And the temperature rose enough that I was able to have the deck doors open during the day and we could leave the windows open at night. Yesterday we even had dinner out on the patio.

Thanks to all the rain we had earlier in the week, my garden was totally rocking the sunshine and all my seeds are starting to come up - the wildflowers in the planter boxes and even the dill in the top of the herb pot.

And of course along with the nicer weather came the “changing of the closets.” I put away some (not all) of my heavier clothing and brought out the lighter stuff. It’s always fun discovering clothes you forgot you had. Not so much fun trying to make room for them in the closet. LOL

Of course I didn’t start out with the intention of switching the closets over. I went digging through the storage closet looking for what little we kept of the daughter’s old Barbie stuff for the grandbaby. When we were at playgroup on Friday she spent the whole time playing with Barbies and I promised her I’d find her mother’s old stuff. Sadly, I gave most of it away long before the grandbaby was born - her mother didn’t want it and I didn’t want to keep storing it.

While I had the storage closet open I found my summer clothes and filled a couple of boxes with junk to donate. It’s amazing the way junk breeds, isn’t it? No matter how much you get rid of, there’s always more to take its place.

And of course along with the changing of the clothes goes the changing of the shoes. Up until Saturday I was wearing socks and shoes. I’m not sure where all my summer shoes went, I checked the shoe closet and only found one pair of sandals. Obviously I put them somewhere to get them out of the way in the fall. I just have to figure out where. LOL

The daughter and I went to see Wonder Woman on the weekend - it was pretty awesome. I’ve never been a particular fan of this super hero, so I went with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. There are so many ways they could have ruined the movie - turning it into a jiggle-fest, having the man taking charge - but they didn’t.

The casting was perfect (Gal Gadot rocks!) and I loved the back-story of her growing up. And the Amazons were totally bad ass! I’m not going to say too much more because I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t already seen it. And if you haven’t, why not? Go see it!

Right now!

Jun 9, 2017

Poetry Anyone?

A few years ago I used to have a separate poetry blog and I would repeat the weekly post on this blog, just to share my love of poetry. But then I got away from poetry for a while (you can read the story about why HERE.

I’ve written a few poems over the last few years but haven’t shared many until Jamie and I did our poem a day challenge in April. It brought back fond memories of poetry, and gave me the urge to do more with my poetry going forward.

I decided I’d start including a poetry post once a week on Writing Blog and then I thought, why not repeat it here like I was doing before? Therefore, the first Friday of the month (Wednesday on the writing blog) will feature a poetry form, the following Fridays will be just random poems - some new, some old, some of my old favorites.

So... without further ado, I’d like to share this month’s form, the sestina.

The sestina was one of the most challenging forms I’ve ever encountered. It has 39 lines in total, divided into six verses of six lines each, and a three line envoi at the end. Sounds easy enough, right? Especially since it doesn’t have to rhyme. But here’s the thing. You start off by coming up with six words, and each of these words is used as a end word of one line in each of the six verses and the order changes in each verse.

For my sestina, I used the words: truth, grave, life, night, death, and stone.

Night Dweller’s Truth

In every breath there is a truth
that overshadows every grave,
a truth not found within a life
that shines its beacon into night,
a knowledge brought about by death
and graven into hardest stone.

A thought that’s carved in precious stone
contains what we perceive as truth,
unsuppressed by certain death,
as cold and alien as the grave,
deep and dark as empty night
just before it bursts to life.

If I’d but know how sweet is life,
not just a pathway strewn with stone,
perhaps I’d not embraced the night
that fills me with its awful truth
and takes me far beyond the grave
out of reach of even death.

And what is that which we call death?
Perhaps another way of life,
the end is more than just the grave,
a fresh turned mound that’s capped with stone.
Perhaps we’ll never know the truth
before we pass into the night.

Come and share this sweetest night
where we can stand abreast of death,
and we will seek the perfect truth
of what is that which we call life
that gathers round us like a stone
and leads us blindly to the grave.

You look at me with visage grave -
accept my words, accept the night,
accept that fate’s not carved in stone.
Turn away from Lady Death,
her promise of the afterlife,
and know what’s in my heart is truth.

We’ll find our truth without the grave
and make our life within the night,
then vanquish death with shattered stone.



If you’d like to learn more or better yet, try your hand at your own sestina, here are a couple of sites that I’ve found helpful in the past:

Baymoon
The Poetry Foundation
Shmoop

Jun 5, 2017

Monoousian Monday

monoousian ~ having the same substance

Warning: Picture intensive post!

I’ll give you three guesses what I was doing this weekend... Gardening!

We bought our plants on Friday night and I was appalled at how much we paid - to the point where I even suggested to the hubby that we could forget plants in the front garden and just fill it in with decorative wood chips instead. I think I’ll be buying a lot of seeds next year. Maybe some bulbs this fall.

But before I get to my garden pictures, a couple of people asked me about the christening gown I made last weekend. I know it’s kind of hard to picture it from my description (you can click on it to see a bigger version), so here it is in all its glory:



Not bad considering I was working without a pattern, eh? My friend was thrilled, her daughter was thrilled, but I have no idea how the baby boy felt about it. LOL

Now, on to my gardens. First we have the front garden, always a treat because it’s so long.



As you can see, I lost both of my dogwoods and one of my sand cherries over the winter. Not sure how that happened considering the winter wasn’t all that bad and they’re right up next to the house. These are the same shrubs that made it unscathed through the ice storm a few years ago.

Anyway, here’s what the garden looks like now:



I added a pink begonia hanging from the shepherd’s crook yesterday, but didn’t take a new picture because it was raining.

The other major planting I did was in Kelsey Park. Kelsey Park, for those of you who are new, is a small round garden with a fountain in the center, under which our border collie Kelsey is buried. There are also three cats buried in various spots around it - only the hubby knows for sure where, and he also knows where the others will be going when their time comes. Our own little pet cemetery. :-)

This is what it looked like before:



The after picture kind of looks like I just planted my plants amongst the weeds, and in a way that’s exactly what I did. When I bought all those bedding plants, I did not realize that the sweet pea seeds that I planted last year and didn’t come up came up this year. So now as well as pansies, marigolds, and tufted things, I have sweet peas growing around the edge of the garden.



And last but not least, a few years ago I lucked into a terra cotta strawberry pot. That was the same year I found a variety of mint plants - spearmint, chocolate mint, lemon mint, pineapple mint... I can’t remember what store had them, but I thought it would be really cool to do an all mint indoor herb garden in the pot. And I’m sure under the care of someone else it would have been. But for me the plants died rather quickly and the pot has been empty ever since.



So this year I started thinking about what went wrong and I wondered if maybe I should have had the mint garden outside for the summer to let the plants get well established before bringing it in for the winter. This year I only found two kinds of mint, but I found some thyme, chives, and sage for it and I bought some dill seeds to plant in the top. Now it’s sitting on the deck where it will get lots of sun, if the sun every comes out for any length of time.



According to the 14-day forecast on the weather network, it’s going to be another week before we see any significant sun. While I’m sure the plants in my gardens will enjoy the good soaking, I’m not so sure about the wildflower seeds I planted in the boxes bordering the patio.

Guess I’ll have to post more pictures at the beginning of July to show you how my garden is growing. :-D

May 29, 2017

Magirics Monday

magirics ~ art of cookery

A very happy Memorial Day to my U.S. friends. Even though we had our holiday weekend last weekend, I’m still a little jealous that you guys get today off and we don’t. Am I the only one who thinks that all weekends should be three days?

I had a productive weekend, although not in the way I expected. I had planned on buying the bedding plants for the gardens on Friday and then spending a good chunk of my time gardening.

However, Friday was pretty wet, and it was supposed to rain off and on for the rest of the weekend, so I didn`t get my plants Friday evening. Wouldn`t you know that although Saturday started drizzly, by the afternoon things were drying up nicely. And Sunday was so nice I had the deck door open.

But I had no plants to plant, so instead I started working on a christening gown a friend is having me make for her grandson. No pattern, just a couple of pictures to go by. And she ripped out the sleeves from her mother`s wedding gown and could I please somehow include these in the gown? Along with dress sleeves, she gave me some lovely satin material and yards and yards of satin ribbon. Challenge accepted.

Once the sleeves were ripped apart and ironed flat, I had two medium length, oddly wedge shaped pieces of material. A snip here and a snip there gave me two more uniformly wedge shapes. Although they would have been long enough for an ordinary dress, this is a christening gown. So I sewed a 10 inch piece of satin to the bottom of each panel, then cut a piece the entire length for a center panel.

This is where I’d normally post a picture, but despite spending the bulk of my weekend on it, it’s not done yet. I still have the hand sewing - hem, basting down the bodice lining, and buttons - to go. I repurposed the row of buttons and corresponding loops from one of the sleeves for the closure at the back. In retrospect, although it was a nice idea to make further use of the sleeves, eleven buttons is a lot of buttons.

Because the gown is for a baby boy, I didn’t want to make it too froofy, and my friend requested that it be plain, so I used the satin ribbon to trim it at the top and bottom. No bows or flowers. It’s actually turning out better than I expected, I just hope it fits. :-D

Sunday the daughter invited me to go to lunch with them so I took a break from the sewing long enough to celebrate burger day with a Perseus burger from Olympus Burgers. This is from their secret menu, which can only be accessed online - fresh beef patty, crunchy onion rings, aged white cheddar cheese, Olympus bbq sauce, lettuce, tomato.

As part as an art awareness program, there was a gentleman dressed as a Canada goose lurking around and the granddaughter turned out to not be a fan.



Here’s a picture of her hiding behind her milkshake. It was actually a friend of the daughter’s in the goose suit, and it was kind of amusing the way the granddaughter avoided him. She didn’t cry or make a fuss, she just pointedly wouldn’t look at him. It was like, “If I don’t look at him then he can’t hurt me.”

The weather forecast for the week ahead is so up and down I have no idea what to expect, but the only plans I have, other than finishing the christening gown, is for writing, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;-)

May 22, 2017

Myasthenia Monday

myasthenia ~ muscular weakness or debility

It’s the 24th of May
The Queen’s birthday
And if we don’t get a holiday
We’ll all run away

Happy Victoria Day to all my fellow Canadians. I’d wish you Yanks a happy holiday too, but yours isn’t until next weekend. You’d think someone, somewhere, would sync these two holidays up.

Anyway, as per usual when we have a holiday Monday, I kind of forgot that it’s actually Monday and I should have had a blog post up already. Oops! But I’m here now, and that’s what matters, right?

I have to admit, weather-wise this was a waste of a weekend. Saturday was okay, a little on the cool side but at least the sun was mostly out. Yesterday was also cool and rainy to boot. Today looks to be more of the same. Although the weather network, and we all know how accurate they are, is saying that it’s supposed to be sunny and warm this afternoon. I’m not breaking out the sun screen until I actually see the sun.

Traditionally, this is the weekend people open up their cottages and take care of their gardens. We usually try and get our bedding plants in over the holiday, but it’s been such a cold, wet spring that our gardens aren’t ready yet. Hubby spent Saturday uncovering the roses and cleaning out the pond, but the rest of the weekend has been too wet to work outside.

As for myself... I bought three sweet potato vines to go in an indoor planter where I planted the sweet potato I’d been growing in water (the one that promptly died once was in dirt). The idea is to have them grow up a small trellis to block the cats from getting at the other plants in my dining room. And I found a perfect planter for my kitchen window sill for my two English ivies (the ones I’d bought originally to replace the sweet potato before discovering they’re toxic to cats).

And I really have to show you the fairy garden I created from all the great stuff the daughter and granddaughter gave me:



Isn't it cute? And the best part is, the cats haven’t touched the artificial moss! I had so much fun doing it, I immediately wanted to do another. And then I recalled my gnome garden. A couple of years ago, I turned a large aquarium into a terrarium.



Doesn’t it look lovely? It was so green and pretty ... for such a short time. It sits on a bookcase in the upstairs hallway and gets pretty much no light, and is real easy to overlook when it comes to watering the plants. It didn’t take long for it to end up looking like this:



It never occurred to me to use fake plants in it - you’d never know the moss in the fairy garden isn’t real, why not use some in the gnome garden? So I made a trip to the dollar store to see what they had in the way of “stuff” for my garden (which admittedly wasn’t much), then I cleaned all the dead foliage out, broke up the hard dirt, and went to town. And this is what the gnome habitat looks like now:



Admittedly it’s not quite as pretty as the original with the live plants. It could use a few more mushrooms, but the white rocks glow in the dark and are supposed to mimic a stream. It’ll do until I get to make a trip to the craft store.

Have a happy holiday!

May 15, 2017

Moniliform Monday

moniliform ~ shaped like a string of beads

Everyone have a good weekend?

My weekend was pretty action packed. It was the two-day year end bowling tournament for the hubby, which is held in Hamilton. Or, as one of the other bowling wives and I call it, the Shopping Tournament. While our husbands are bowling, we go to Lime Ridge Mall and shop till we drop.

This year, however, I spent the first day with family (I have a sister living in Hamilton). Our aunt and uncle came down from Stoney Creek to have lunch with us and afterwards we went shopping at Costco. Guess I just can’t get away from the shopping. LOL

Here’s a picture of the Sunday sunrise as seen from our hotel window:



That was taken at about 5:30 a.m. What was I doing up at that ungodly hour? Despite the insanely comfortable, king-sized bed, I kept waking up throughout the night. There’s not much to do at 5:30 a.m. There’s a huge mall under the hotel but of course it opens late on Sundays. And although they’ve put in a Starbucks downstairs, it didn’t open until 7 a.m.

While the bowling started early on Sunday, the shopping did not, so my friend and I enjoyed a leisurely coffee while waiting for the stores to open. The mall wasn’t too busy, the big rush was have been the day before for people buying last minute mother’s day presents.

This was the first time since I’ve been a grandmother that I’ve been near a Disney store, but the prices helped me show a lot of restraint. I bought the grandbaby a large, stuffed, Stitch (because he was blue and she likes blue aliens), and that was pretty much it. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $22 on a Star Wars tee-shirt for her. And they had NO GRUMPY TEE-SHIRTS for me. They used to come out with a different one every year.

We got home in time to have mother’s day dinner with our family. And my daughter (and granddaughter) gave me an amazing mother’s day present. My daughter always manages to find the best presents ever!



So you know what I’ll be doing later today. I’m gonna make me a fairy garden!