Friday, 17 November 2017


It's been another one of those weeks where things don't go as planned and there are too many nerve-wracking appointments (root canal finale, plus doctor appointment to follow up on my lingering back pain and numb foot, which by the way seems like it should be terribly serious but probably isn't, but I'm having an x-ray at some point to make sure) and it feels like walking through mud up to your knees and all of a sudden it's time to write a post and WHAT???

Well, this is what bookmarks are good for. And today the bookmarks tell me I must inform you about Mermen and a hilarious, catchy, warm-your-heart fundraising calendar being sold in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Here's a picture of Newfoundland and Labrador (abbreviated as NL), in case you're "from away" (as they say in that province, meaning "someone who doesn't live there"):

Newfound and Labrador is outlined in red.

Okay, if I were to do this post the way it deserves to be done, it would take a lot of work. So I'm going to be lazy and just put in a link and a picture, because I am pooped. My apologies.

The link to an article on the Mermen and their fundraiser:  HERE

And a picture to whet your appetite for more:

Can you even stand how much fun that is?? (picture courtesy of The Daily Mail from the link above)

By the way, in case you're as pooped as I am and don't want to follow the link, the money raised from sales of the calendar is going to Spirit Horse NL, a project that uses horses to help young people, adults, families and other groups enhance their mental health and learn new skills.

And plans are already underway for next year's calendar, to benefit a different charity.

The world is full of wonderful people, innit?
* * * * *

Have a good weekend, all!

Question: Would YOU dress up in a mermaid/merman costume for a good cause? Have you ever done anything outrageous (even slightly) for a good cause of any kind? Spill the beans, people!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Poetry Monday: Remembering

We are two days past the official date, but we at Poetry Monday could not let Remembrance Day get too far out of sight without proper recognition.

Don't forget to check out the offerings of Diane (On the Alberta/Montana Border), Delores (Mumblings), and Joan (in the comments on this blog). You can comment, critique, or leave your own poem at any of our blogs, or on your own blog (just make sure we know you've done so and we'll come along and read/encourage). Feel free to choose a different topic if you wish.

First, the background to Remembrance Day, which is familiar territory for many of you. In Canada, as in so many countries around the world, this day is observed on November 11 each year. This is the date on which the armistice which ended World War I was signed in 1918.  In Canada, it is meant as a day to remember the men and women who have served and who continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. This includes the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then in which members of the Canadian Armed Forces have taken part.

Many Canadian families have lost dear ones, especially in the two world wars. While I had some relatives serving, none were lost. I have not suffered the deprivations of war; I have not ever been fearful for myself or anyone I am close to. So my only knowledge of war comes through reading, and I am often drawn to books about wartime. I marvel at the heroic and selfless behavior of not only the armed forces of land, sea, and air, but also of nurses and other medical personnel, of spys, of civilians caught in bombing raids in cities or displaced from the countryside during active engagement, of prisoners of war, of victims of concentration camps. I find myself wondering how I would behave under any of those circumstances.

War and its tentacles have caused enormous loss of life, not just in the military, but in general, and that deserves to be remembered at all times. Remembrance Day is set aside specifically to recognize those who put themselves on the front line, those who gave or are willing to give their own lives so that others may have a chance of peace, of freedom, of life itself. Where would our world be today without the members of the military who turned the tide in each of the world wars? That example alone is a very bleak thought. Those who serve today follow in the footsteps of soldiers before them, willing to risk everything to do the job they signed up for.

Back to the purpose of Poetry Monday. It's difficult to compete with the eloquence of John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields." It's hard to find something original to say. But it is not hard at all to feel gratitude and to write simply and from my heart.

We Remember

At the eleventh hour
Of the eleventh day
Of the eleventh month,
We remember.

In tiny towns,
In large cities,
In each of our hearts,
We remember.

Our army,
Our navy,
Our airforce . . .
We remember.

The very old, with heads and backs bent by time;
The middle-aged and the young, tall and strong, in active duty today;
And those whose ages are frozen in time forever--
We remember.

May we understand and honour their sacrifices.
May we be thankful for their lives.
May we try harder to love our fellow beings.
May we always remember.

courtesy of Pixabay


Thanks for reading, my friends. See you on Friday. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Cooking, Crafts, And Cats

A collection of odds and ends today.

I've literally been out of the house only once since my trip to Emergency about my back. But I've been cooking real food for supper meals, which is good.

Maybe pizza isn't the best example of "real food" . . . but it's the only meal I thought to take a picture of

I worked on a few craft items that I can do while standing, because standing was more comfortable than sitting for quite a few days there, plus I have the chance to enter a couple more sales.

I don't make the vases, just the flowers. They are made with florist wire and buttons. I'm trying to decide if I need to make more flowers or if I'm just as bad at arranging fake flowers as I am real flowers, which is quite awful, really.

More of the same. These are fantasy flowers, so I can make them any colour I want. At least that's what I tell myself.

Vases still waiting for flowers. I admit that I have a thing for vases. And there are several of these I'd like to keep. All of them were bought at thrift stores, top price was $2, cheapest was 50 cents.

Maybe we should get the rest of the craft pictures out of the way while we're at it.


Draft blockers! Pictures requested by Joey! I'd already sold a couple before I remembered to take a picture. I sew the casings, which are fully lined, and stuff them with sliced-up fabric from worn out and out-of-style clothing.

In the process of filling a bag with chopped up old fabric, all cut with a pair of scissors. As always, I got a blister from using the scissors so much. If there's a better way, I haven't found it. I tried one of those rotary cutters, but it was hard to use, and I didn't feel safe. I'll stick with my blisters.

 And more things made with buttons:

. . . and empty wooden thread spools, bits of old Christmas cards, and (I confess) new beads and lace . . .

Closer, but somehow not all that much clearer . . .

Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas trees for your Christmas tree . . . what the? . . . but people buy them



Can you tell that I have a thing for buttons as well as vases??

One last picture, not craft-related! Our cats have been helping me stay mobile and limber as my pain retreats. They've both missed the litter box (which they never do otherwise) and they've both regurgitated their kibble at least twice each. I inch my way to my knees to clean up, and they peer over my shoulder to make sure I'm doing a good job. Then they wander off, apparently satisfied, to find a clean piece of upholstered furniture to sleep on. Meanwhile, I haul myself up using the nearest solid object. Not a cat. Some other solid object. It's a new form of physio, folks!

Not our cat, but the look is familiar. The look says, "You're a bit slow today, human. I hope there won't be any delays in getting my supper." Oh, they care; it's just buried really deeply inside :)

(photo from

Hope you have a good weekend, folks, with lots of good eating, buttons to hold your clothes together, and pets who care :)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Poetry Monday: Brrrrr

It's Poetry Monday and the theme for this week is "cold."
Brought to you gleefully by Diane of On the Alberta/Montana Border.
Joined exuberantly by Delores of Mumblings and Joan (from Devon, who can be found in the comments below).
And me, Jenny O'Donkey, dragging my a- . . . er, never mind.

My inspiration this week came from two sources.

First, the word "cold" kept triggering these lines from T. S. Eliot's poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which we studied in high school and maybe you did too:

"I am old
I am old
I shall wear my trousers rolled"

I kept wanting to write "I am cold, I am cold, In a blanket I am rolled" and eventually since I couldn't get it out of my head, I decided to use it, with some alteration.

Second, our weather has turned cooler. We had a beautiful September and October, but now the days demand warmer clothing and the heat has been turned on.

So, this week's paltry - I mean poetry - offering:

This Weather Will Feel Downright Balmy In January

It's November
I am cold
In a blanket I am rolled

With a scarf
And a hat
And on my lap a cat

On my feet
As I rest
Are my socks (two sets are best)

A beverage
Steamy hot
With a tot* or maybe not

If it's this cold
In November
How'll I manage in December??

*tot - a small amount of a strong alcoholic drink


Short and sweet and to the point this week, while I rest and mend. Thank you for your kind wishes on my last post. I didn't take any pain medication at all yesterday! That is a step forward :)

No socks. Maybe it's hard to find flipper socks.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again

Jenny O'Donkey slipped on the stair
Jenny O'Donkey got hurt landing there
Jenny can't sit and Jenny can't drive
And she cannot lean over but at least she's alive

Jenny O'Donkey

Yes, folks, another example of one blink and life changes. After the trick-or-treating was over on Tuesday night, I was letting one of our cats up from the basement, and went down the steps to bring her food and water dishes upstairs. On the bottom step I slipped and landed on my back on the pointy part of the wooden stair. I haven't hurt that badly since I delivered our babies thirty-odd years ago.

The bad part is that I can't lean over and I can't sit any way except gingerly and very upright on a hard chair for short periods of time. The good news is that standing, walking and prone are all pain-free positions for me.

The good news is also that I'm off work for awhile, so I have loads of free time. The bad news is that I can't accomplish much with all that free time, because I also wrecked two fingers on my dominant hand, and, in addition to not being able to lean over, I can't lift, push or pull.

The bad news is that it took four and a half hours of mostly standing in Emergency the next day to see a doctor for five minutes. The good news is that she told me if I was walking and standing I hadn't broken anything that mattered, in spite of the grinding noises I was hearing in my lower back. The good news is also that Tylenol (acetaminophen) really works to help with the worst of the pain.

Really, there are so many other things I am thankful for. My work deadlines were already met. My craft sale had already taken place. And what I'm most grateful for is that the damage to my body was not worse. When I think of what could have happened, my stomach does a little twirl, and not in a good way.

The thing I still can't get over is how I slipped in the first place. I go up and down those stairs many times every single day, doing laundry, placing and retrieving cat dishes, looking after litter boxes, etc. One moment was all it took.

Anyway, I think that's all the good news/bad news I have.

No, wait. I received this photo from our son, with whom our black cat now lives. This is definitely in the good news category.

Halfway through a yawn with eyes squeezed shut . . .

He (the cat) is getting along really well, and one way I can tell how happy he is now is that his fur has grown in again above his right eye. He had developed a habit of scratching there the last six months or so that he lived with us; seeing how good it looks now makes me realize he must have being doing it from boredom or anxiety. Our son plays with him a lot, every day, and Kitty loves it.

Actually, "he" the Son is getting along really well, too, and loves having Kitty. It's all very good.

What's good/bad in your part of the world today? My back may be rickety but my shoulders are strong and my ears are in "receive" position. Fire away!

Have a great weekend, everyone. And watch those stairs :)