Ruminations on Past and Present

“Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?” 
“I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.”
“Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, what did you there?”
“I frightened a little mouse under the chair!”
     – English nursery rhyme from the 16th century

Another month has passed too quickly, and I ask myself, “Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?”  (Or more accurately, “What have you done in all this time?”)

Well, I’d say, “I’ve been to London to visit the Queen,” but only in a metaphorical sense! However, Continue reading

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C is for …

C is for Clutter Creativity

Can you have both clutter AND creativity at the same time, or do you have to choose between clutter OR creativity? Drive yourself crazy trying to find consensus in scientific or popular commentaries on the internet, then find out what’s right for you!

Old Mother Hubbard - Detail of Wikipedia image (Public Domain)

Old Mother Hubbard – Detail of Wikipedia image (Public Domain)

I concede that, as much as I cringe at the thought of filing papers, I complete more creative goals when my desks are clutter-free (once I’ve recovered from the awe-inspiring, bright sight of empty work surfaces, with my writing and painting tools handy in tidy containers).

Alluding publicly (on my “About” page, no less) to my lofty intention to “downsize clutter,” I must have wanted, subconsciously, to be held accountable for achieving that goal. (On the other hand, it’s also possible 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

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