Garden Musings: On Changes

H-0000038_crop_600

Garden Musings: On Changes

Perennials I planted ‘round the bower
Have sprung up, green, and hasten on to flower,
While bulbs I placed in careful clumps last fall
Now bloom where squirrels rearranged them all!

Continue reading

Sonnet on Time

IMG_9434

They’ve come and gone again, these endless Ides*
That ebb and flow relentlessly as tides!
Thank God they’ve lapped again upon my shore,
Each crash of waves unlike the ones before. Continue reading

Six Fourteenths of a Sonnet

Torture your brain for fun?

clipartpanda-chess-20clip-20art-playing_chess_4

Free, from clipartpanda

We do it all the time, disregarding the danger of acquiring time-consuming, relationship-destroying addictions. (We prefer the euphemism “expert status”). What are we doing so recklessly? Crossword puzzles! Sudoku! Riddles! Cognitive-training games like Lumosity!  Some people even succumb to solving Rubik’s cubes, and playing chess!

It’s all well and good, because the general population seems to have given these types of activity the stamp of “normalcy.” Everyone sticks to the rules to solve the problems.

But what if you’re one of us subversive types whose game is to juggle words, secretly, Continue reading

March: On the Cusp!

Snowmobile and ski trails Lake Kashagawigamog, all quiet in the early light. Photo © Hildegard Lindschinger

Snowmobile and ski trails on Lake Kashagawigamog, all quiet in the early light. Photo © Hildegard Lindschinger

The first week of March – white and cold! We were staying in a second-floor condo in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands.  Lake Kashagawigamog and the white mounds of rolling hills undulating along the opposite shore stretched right across the width of our large picture window and beyond. Kashagawigamog– I love the sound of this aboriginal Anishinaabe name– aptly means “lake of long and winding waters.” Continue reading

First Snowfall

It was inevitable, but of course we were surprised (or just in plain ordinary Canadian denial, having procrastinated in getting snow tires) when we got our first real snowfall during the night of Nov. 21.

Huge snowflakes, floating gently, silently from the dark sky and glistening in the soft glow of street lights, piled in soft mounds on branches and covered the ground. Slick driving conditions notwithstanding, you had to be in awe!   Continue reading

Why Try to Describe Nature?

I love walking around in nature– out in the open or in gardens– breathing fresh air. Well, I mean I love it when there are no mosquitoes, and when it’s not too hot, too humid, or too cold! Under those circumstances, I still love viewing beautiful scenery through a window or from behind a mosquito screen, or barring that, vicariously through poetry, prose, photography, or art.

The Solitary Tree. “Caspar David Friedrich – Der einsame Baum – Google Art Project” by Caspar David Friedrich – VgEo9JDzFjfGGg at Google Cultural Institute. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

It would be easy to leave it at that, but then Continue reading

Ballad of the Old Boots

Hiking_DSC8043First, the Background
     1) My New Boots:

It was 1987, and we were bound for vacation in the French Riviera and Austria. I splurged on a pair of expensive (albeit on half-price sale!) sturdy, yet light and airy hiking boots. Not “my colour,” but the last pair in stock in a difficult-to-find size, they had to be mine. We fast became good buddies on many hikes. Continue reading

Time, Travel, and Trepidation

Timing it Right

A vacation some time ago, across one of the oceans bordering North America:

IMG_9434I’m having a lovely relaxing time, watching a round moon spilling molten silver on the sea. A glass of  wine in hand, I’m in a relaxed frame of mind…
Wow, I wish the kids were here to see this! Why don’t I phone and say hello? Six hours difference… ok, the timing is right, 4 p.m. at home– #1 grandson should be home from school by now.

Rrrring. A low voice croaks “Mom?” Then an intense alertness: “Mom! What’s wrong? Are you guys ok?” Continue reading

Laughter, Seriously

IMG_9678_Laughter_500I accomplished an archaeological dig through the stuff on my desk this week, and found this treasure: “Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of a troubled world.”

My sister had given me this little mini-plaque a long time ago. I had stuck it on the front of the wooden box that holds my scissors and hole punches, handy to look at anytime. No surprise, it’s always there; but suddenly, today, I SAW it! And, with my mind almost as clear as my desk, it got me thinking. Continue reading

To My Homesick Immigrant Mother

You described it well,
That homeland you left behind.
Over and over
          Your words heaved like waves
          That tossed your ship towards us:
          Hopes rose as tears fell.

Describe it once more:
Those hills, their green heads dreaming
In pink haze of dawn,
          Your village snuggling
          In sleepy shadows below,
          Unscathed— yet— by war, Continue reading

O Canada! Fun and Flight

H0018807_crop-Canada_400

Proper Attire on Canada Day!

It’s Canada Day, and our nation is celebrating its 148th “birthday”! Time for a picnic with thousands of festivity attendees in the park! Later on, our national anthem will resound proudly from all those voices before the impatiently awaited fireworks display begins. Children will happily stay up far too late, and everyone will chant “oooh” and “aaah” at every boom and burst of colour in the sky.

We don’t often sing or hear the second verse of our national anthem (English text by Robert Stanley Weir) but for me, today, the beginning lines are special: Continue reading

Maui Ocean Center “Portrait” – Meet Roi!

Meet Cephalopolis Argus, a blue-spotted grouper fish, known in Hawai’i as “Roi”.  His many spots reminded a zoologist of the hundred eyes of the giant Argus in Greek mythology (whose watchful eyes ended up on the plumage of the peacock, thanks to Hera). And that’s how this guy got his legal name, plus argus grouper or peacock grouper, peacock hind and peacock rockcod.

A very serious-looking fish indeed, not to be trifled with. As I was closely watching him hiding out in the aquarium, I suddenly realized:

Cephalopolis Argus,  Blue-spotted Grouper (At Maui Ocean Center)

Cephalopolis Argus, Blue-spotted Grouper (At Maui Ocean Center)

Groping for Words

Groping for Words

Groping for Words (An octopus in Maui Ocean Center)

Or, Checking the Internet to Avoid Duplicating a Clever Title

Here’s what I discovered:

My clever expressions: “clichés”!!
My mind has been mulling for days
        (ideas unshackling,
        my funny-bone crackling!)
just a mundane phrase in a maze…

“Back to the drawing board,” as they all say.

– – – – – – – – – – –

More about where my “writing buddy” (pictured above) lives: Continue reading

Writing Colour on a Yellow Day

Thinking about Yellow

Deep in Thought about Yellow

A beautiful day in May! We’re at our local airport, and Werner is doing the walkabout check of his airplane for another flight to Tillsonburg. (See previous post, Que Sera). Meanwhile, I’m soaking up some spring warmth on the grass alongside the hangar, where bits of sunshine are caught among the grass blades, and darker green shadows slither in between as wispy clouds slide past.

The airplane lifts off, and the verdant meadow beyond the runway sinks below us. Thousands of drops of sunlight are spattered, dandelion-yellow, across the lush green grass.

My mind starts humming along with the motor. How would you accurately describe the colour of dandelions to someone who might never have seen one before? Continue reading

Que sera? – One Last Winter Dream

H0000019_800Saturday Night, March 28 in southern Ontario: the day’s sunny high temperature of -3C was plunging back down to a nightly low of -10C (again/still…)

As I was waltzing dizzily across the dance floor in my hubby’s arms, new lyrics to the familiar Doris Day ditty started spinning in my mind:

When it was cold at minus 10,
I asked the forecaster, “What will it be?
Will it stay winter? Will there be spring?”
Here’s what (s)he said to me:
Que sera, sera! Whatever will be, will be!
The weather’s not ours to see. – Que sera, sera.”

Well, March went out bleating like a lamb after all, and April 1st brought Continue reading

Is it Still Summer?

H0018762_500

A little watercolour sketch of my irises back in June

What a summer! While some Ontarians (those deprived of perfect holiday weather) were complaining about how “not summery” it felt this year– so much rain, our lakes too cold for swimming, etc.– of course I listened sympathetically!

But then a few gardening friends and I gloated privately to one another Continue reading

About (Not) Writing – Blame the Month of May!

(Chaucer did, so why not I?)

Distractions! One of my favourite down-to-earth poets, Geoffrey Chaucer, put it most eloquently in the prologue to his book The Legend of Good Women:  after declaring his fervent devotion to reading books, from which nothing could waylay him, he confessed in lines 34-39 [non-rhyming modernization]:

H-0000038_crop_600

“…except, certainly, when the month of May
Has come, and I hear the birds sing,
And the flowers begin to bloom–
Farewell, my book, and my studiousness!”

Well, like many humans, I do enjoy writing, “except, certainly, when” I also succumb to Chaucer’s distractions.  But it’s not just the birds and flowers. It’s living life! Here in a nutshell, in chronological sequence, are our two main wonderful distractions of May 2014: Continue reading