Monday, 23 July 2018

Poetry Monday: Toys And Childhood

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's theme is "toys and childhood."

Join Diane, Delores and me while we tackle this topic. I bet you all have something to say about it, too, so feel free to reminisce in the comments, in poetry or prose. Or if you blog about it, leave us your blog address so we can come along and read.


There was only one possible direction for me to take this theme. Dolls.

Many of my childhood Christmases found a doll from Santa under the tree. Apparently Santa knew I liked dolls, so it was a slam dunk that I was going to be happy with that kind of present.

I had soft dolls with music boxes in them.  I had several baby dolls -- one drink-and-wet, one with a stuffed cloth body that looked almost real, and one tiny baby with three outfits and her own cradle, high chair, and rocking horse. I had matching dolls in fancy dresses who were as tall as I was; my father and my grandfather each bought one at the same little store one year, not knowing that the other had done so. I can see them as clear as day -- one blonde in a red dress, one brunette in an orange dress. We hung them on the wall as decorations to avoid them meeting the same fate as most of my other dolls; i.e., a severe hair cut that is probably the karmic reason I can't get a decent cut at this point in my life.

As I got older I received a nine inch fashion doll with ten outfits including a wedding gown, and later an eleven and a half inch fashion doll -- not a Barbie, probably a knock-off doll, but she was ball-jointed and poseable before Barbie ever even thought of bending her arms or legs. These dolls either uncovered, or ignited, a life-long interest in clothing (not fashion, just clothing) that baffles me entirely because I can't seem to dress myself properly in spite of all the training I had in childhood.

Today's poem is about my baby doll who looked almost real, with her soft body, blonde hair, thumb that could be put in her mouth, and delicate eyelashes. I named her May, diapered her and dressed her, wrapped her in a blanket, and cuddled her.

Is it any surprise that I feel my most important role in life was as a mother? I was thrilled with each of my two real life children, and loved being a stay at home mother.



You were the softest, cuddliest baby doll
You taught me how to care for the helpless
And how to hold an infant snugly in one arm
Thank you for the practice
Thank you for the feelings you created in me
How can cloth and vinyl
Seem so real?

I saw my future children
In your sweet face

And since I don't have a picture of my baby doll, here's another baby and its mama instead:

So, how about you? Did you have a toy that stands out over all others in your memory? Maybe one that hinted at your interests or skills as a grown-up? Maybe just one that you loved for no apparent reason? I'd love to hear about it.

Wishing you a good week, my friends.


Friday, 20 July 2018

Photo Catchup And A Lone Funny

Not having planned a post, I'm going to stick a few pictures on here instead.

It's been awhile since I've taken these.

The irises are now gone, but the photo remains.

 Five mourning doves, well camouflaged

River and trees at dusk

Sunrise over the lilac bush, taken from our deck. Sadly, the lilacs are gone for another year, just like the irises.

A visitor to our yard, taken from a second-floor window.

The mama deer and her two fawns have not been seen again. Instead, two young males have been dining on tree leaves most mornings.

I took down the bird feeders about two weeks ago, as finch disease has been reported in some areas of our province again this year. I miss the birds being nearby. But it's healthier for them to find their own food, which is plentiful this time of year.

It's been hot and humid here. I am so grateful to have window air conditioners. We use them sparingly but they have made the weather bearable.

Yesterday it was cooler and I did not have to work so I transplanted a few dianthus and planted cosmos. Yes, I know it's after the middle of July . . . I am counting on those cosmos to do amazing things, like actually blossom before the first frost. I don't care how tall they get, I just hope they don't die before they bloom. I take my gardening successes where I can get them.

That's it for this Friday. Let's have a funny cat picture to end with, shall we?

Pretty much the toy situation in our house. The favourite things here are a piece of plastic strapping tape under a layer of tissue paper, and a sweat suit waist tie with a knot tied in the end. I tell you, they're going to bankrupt us.

Have a good weekend, bloggy friends! I'm going to take it easy, as next week will be busy at work.

Do you have any plans for the weekend you wish to share?

Monday, 16 July 2018

Poetry Monday: Music

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's theme is "music."

Join Diane, Delores and me in our labours as we write the heck out of this topic. Or, in my case, some lesser degree of writing. That's okay, too. This is not a punishment, it's a fun exercise.

You can join us! Drop a poem in the comments on any of our blogs, or post it on your blog and leave us a note in the comments so we can find you.



Such a small word. Such a broad topic.

So much to say.

So little I'm going to say . . .

. . . partly because I spent so much time listening to YouTube videos like this one, which was a delightful auditory experience and also an excellent reminder of the diversity of birds and the amount of effort that has been put into identifying, recording, cataloguing and publishing their songs. 

Anyhow, after a lot of thought, my feelings on music boil down to this.

Good Fortune

I would trade all the orchestras
And all the voices in the world
For the sound of birds on a summer evening --
But I'm glad the choice
Is not either/or.


In birdy news, I've identified a bird chirp that I've been hearing for the past two months. It sounds like a little laser gun: "PEW! Pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew!"

So finally I Googled "birdsong pew pew pew pew pew" and found this:

We saw a cardinal and his mate in our yard for the first time this spring, but any time I was able to clap eyes on them, they were singing a different tune ("hoo-whittt! hoo-whittt! hoo-whittt!"). So I didn't associate the laser "pews" with them. I'm pretty excited to have found out they are responsible for the mystery song.

Then I looked a little further into cardinal songs, and found out just how many others they also have. How does anybody ever keep any of this stuff straight???

*huge sigh*


That's it for this Poetry Monday! Tell me, if you're so inclined, what's your favourite kind of music?

Update:  Next week's theme is "toys and childhood" . . .

Friday, 13 July 2018

Life Questions, And Funnies

Today I have some life questions for you. I'm not sure they even have answers, or if I would understand the answers if they do, but if you have any information I'd be only too happy to hear it.

Question 1:

Why is it that every time I buy a box of salted top soda crackers that contains four sleeves of crackers, three sleeves are lovely and tan and salty and one sleeve is scorched and salt-less? Do the soda cracker factory people set aside all the beginner bakers' mistakes and package them up and put one sleeve in every box that leaves the building just so they can get rid of them? Is this what happens when shareholders of public companies demand the best rate of return on their investment? My advice, people, is to buy shares in a soda cracker company, because those crackers are still flying off the shelves, bought by people like me, who live in eternal hope that the next package will not have that sleeve of burnt crackers in it and I will finally have gotten my money's worth.

Question 2:

Why do shoppers pick up stuff and then set it down somewhere it doesn't belong? I could understand if it happened once in awhile, say, if they had every intention of buying something and then had a bathroom emergency or a child emergency or suddenly realized they forgot their money at home but I can't understand why ALL the children's clothing at WalMart is all mixed up by size and garment and even at times by gender. Goodness knows it's hard enough deciding whether to buy a Spiderman or a puppy T-shirt for a three-year-old grandson (too scary? too baby-ish? dark enough to hide spaghetti sauce stains? will the vinyl print off-gas into the child's lungs and cause problems down the road?) without having to poke around the whole boys' department to find a pair of shorts in the right size that don't have lace on them because everything is on the wrong rack. You know, I've seriously considered applying for a job at WalMart because I like to sort things and make them tidy, and I know I could do a really good job of it. You wouldn't think that if you saw our house, but that's entirely different. YES. IT IS.

Question 3:

Why is it that when your car is making a really loud squeaky noise you feel compelled to open the windows to listen to it over and over and over? Sure, you close them up after awhile and turn up the radio really loud so you don't have to hear it but eventually the urge to "just see if the squeak is still there" becomes overpowering and there you are, putting the windows down AGAIN. And yes, the squeak is still there. The squeak you've been hearing, albeit at a lesser volume, for two years, but neither the spousal unit nor the mechanics have been able to hear it. Well, they sure hear it now.

Question 4:

And why is it that when you get the squeak removed from your car you feel compelled to open the windows to listen to the lack of squeak over and over and over? Mmmmmmmm . . . humming along so quietly . . . wait, is that a squeak? Yes, but it's in someone else's car . . . aaaahhhhhhh . . . life is good. The windows can go back up now.

Question 5:

Why don't the makers of men's dress shirts make them with short sleeves anymore? Have they not heard about global warming? Hello, things are getting hotter, not colder. Pity the men who have to wear a suit and tie in the summertime to start with, add in long sleeves and you're looking at a lot of heat exhaustion. I've thought about cutting off the sleeves and stitching them up myself, but I'm not sure I could stand the anxiety of cutting into a sixty-dollar shirt in case something goes wrong, and besides, for sixty dollars it should be exactly what you want to begin with. And also, what am I going to do with two half-sleeves from a brand new shirt?? And also, also, clothing manufacturers cut corners every other way, why can't they JUST CUT THE SLEEVES SHORTER?


If you're still with me, thank you for reading; you deserve some chocolate and some funnies. Due to technical difficulties, I am unable to get the chocolate into your hands via the computer at this time, but the funnies are totally doable, thanks to

. . . but feeling MINTY

Heck, kitty, so did I

. . . except if it's exercising my right to be lazy

If you're sensing a theme of fattening food and no exercise in the Donkey house, you might be right. I'll never tell.

. . . Until a month from now, when I'll complain to you all about putting on another five pounds.

Continuing on:

Nothing good ever comes of THIS look, either . . .

And finally, especially for Elephant's Child, regarding her comment on Monday's post :)

Awww, kitty, you're breaking my heart!!


Have a great weekend, people! I hope you get the answers to all your big and little life questions -- if not this weekend, then soon :)

Monday, 9 July 2018

Poetry Monday: Food

It's Poetry Monday, and the theme today is "food." Join Diane, Delores and me in reading and/or writing about this most universal of topics. You can leave a poem in the comments on any of our blogs, or post it on your own blog and leave us a comment to let us know where to find you. Try it! It's fun!


Who doesn't have something to say about food? We all need it. We all have a relationship of some kind with it.

Even my cats have something to say. They both adore their food. They don't have much else in common. The person who coined the phrase "fighting like cats and dogs" clearly never saw cats fighting with cats. It's not pretty. In fact, it can be deadly. That is why we keep our cats separated. One of them is very aggressive, and the other has a gimpy leg. We are sincerely afraid that the aggressive one would injure and possibly kill the one with the gimpy leg. At the very least, she would make life a living nightmare.

But -- just for you and me, just for today -- they have collaborated on a poem.

Introducing the kitties:

First, the cat-hating, person-maiming, food-loving Lulu:

Looks innocent, right? WRONG! She is crochety and would like to bite someone ASAP, please.

And here is her nemesis, the person-adoring, ever-meowing, food-loving Missy:

Looks fierce, right? WRONG! She only looks this way when she sees a bird. The rest of the time she is loving and gentle.

And here is their work of art.


kibble is king

we do not get along so gud
but jus today for donkeys blogg
we kitties say we do agree
on points below frum one to three

one is getting pats and play
two is sleeping all the day
three is kibble -- crunchy fud:
fud is gud! long live the fud!


There you have it. The first ever poem by Donkey's kitties. Something tells me it might not be the last. (Thank you to Martha for inspiring this trip through the kitties' minds! Currently you can find Martha at Miniaturopolis, here.)

Wishing you something extra-pleasing for your palate this week :)

Update: Next week's theme is "music" . . .