After R comes W: What Came Out of the Woodwork!

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, now at Calagobie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. My own school, originally built in 1845, would have looked like this back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its successor was replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building that remained in use until about 1965.

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, that we enjoyed “playing school” in with our grandson, at Calabogie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. (My school in Wellington County, originally built in 1845, probably looked like this too, back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its concrete successor was condemned, and replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building in use until 1965).

Country bumpkins? Humph!

In response to my previous post about “R” and my one-room country school, it turns out that friends from my progressive District High School in the big town also had attended these quaint elementary schools, not noteworthy to us teenagers then, except that they had just closed. No sugar-coating my early education here, in the stereotyped manner of “old folks”– You want just the facts? They’re confirmed here by reliable witnesses: Continue reading

It Started With an R – and Then There were Three!

It started one morning while I was waking up slowly, groggily. Ruminations about my blog rumbled around in my brain, (i.e. no writing recently, even though the left sidebar claims there’s “writing, picture-making, ruminating” going on here). Ruminating, mostly. Murmurs of R— ruminating, writing, ruminating, writing— kept rippling along my stream of (semi-) consciousness, until this sloshed in: 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

Fault and Default

 

Thinking Hard - Yes, there's a story coming some time this year

Thinking Hard – Yes, there’s a story coming some time this year

Somehow, two months slithered through this blog’s word processor in total silence, and froze there. It’s Febrrruary, and our cold temperatures have reached record lows. Cozy in my house, I’m thawing out some frozen chunks of writing starts, perhaps coming soon to a blog near you…  There’s a little piece describing a sunny flight over snowy southern Ontario in a Cessna 150. Some illustration efforts. Another chunk with fragments of deep thoughts inspired, but more eloquently expressed by other writers, photographers, artists and musicians.

Well, after all that, surely through no fault of its own, my brain simply defaulted to its favourite mindset for “when the going gets tough”: sheer silliness! If you dare, you can read some in the attached pdf below. Continue reading

Making a List

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Decoration: Angel playing a stringed instrument

Dec. 2: “Making a list and checking it twice…”

… a list of things to do, that is.
Honestly, with snowflakes swirling through the frosty gray morning light, (and I snug inside, looking out, still in pyjamas, with a second cup of coffee), making a list is just my easy way to feel “productive” while I procrastinate. I already know what I need to do. Half a dozen things I should have finished last month. Plus all the things December traditionally brings. I should just focus on December. Mmm, this is good coffee… Continue reading

Red is for November

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

It has been one of those “roller-coaster” months for me, seeming a whole lifetime of profound events crammed into thirty days. It’s been a time of grieving, remembering, rejoicing, recoiling, rethinking, refreshing, repenting, reaffirming.
Here are some of my thoughts.

My November calendar has scarlet outlines, squares marking the life-blood throbbing and oozing through our decades–beginnings and transitions, overlapping marked time with eternity: Continue reading

Is it Still Summer?

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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]:

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“…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

Mindset – Reflections En Route is published!

Introducing Mindset – Reflections En Route  – a book of poetry with photographic images:

Book Cover

A personal path travelled: enjoying nature’s beauty in four seasons with reflections on life, treading through dark ravines of adversity (including my personal experience of breast cancer), finally coming to a place of profound Light. 

The positive mindset of hope, patience, and joy underlying all situations emanates from reliance on and thankfulness to God.

The variety of traditional structure, free form, haiku, and tanka poems together form a cohesive “story line” enriched by the skillful blend of images.

Dear friends, the winter was long, the publishing learning curve steep (pretty much straight up),  Continue reading