Monday, 20 January 2020

Poetry Monday: Connections

It's Poetry Monday, and the topic this week is ..... CONNECTIONS.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we connect the dots on this topic. If you'd like, you can leave your poem in the comments here, or you can post on your own blog. If you do the latter, please leave a comment here so we can find your contribution. Use the topic, or choose another -- the aim is to have fun and stretch our brains a little bit.


You might say I have a few family connections. My father was one of eleven siblings and my mother was one of five. All fourteen of my aunts and uncles married at least once and had at least one child, although often they had more -- many had four or five and one had nine.

This means I grew up having a lot of first cousins -- sixty-one in all. I didn't know all of them -- a small number died as infants or children, while some lived so far away I never got to meet them. Others lived nearby or visited from far away every summer and I got to know them quite well.

My children, on the other hand, have only eight first cousins in total.

I've always felt like there are many connections between me and the rest of the world, even though sixty-one first cousins is not many people if you're looking at the world's population. But it was enough to make me feel like there were tendrils of my gene pool that extended into the world at large, far beyond my village.

It makes me feel a bit badly for my kids. Of course, it may be true that you don't miss what you don't have, and they may feel eight cousins is plenty.

Where am I going with all of this and why have I made your brain cells short out and your eyes roll back in your head with all those figures?

Well, I have a poem to write, and wanted to provide some background, of course :)


We've Done Our Bit And It's Too Late To Produce More

My aunties and my uncles
Had lots of baby bundles

They gave me many cousins
I have cousins by the dozens

And though they're all terrific
We've all been less prolific

Our kids have less selection
Re family connections

I feel a wee bit wistful
They haven't cousins by the fistful

But it's really not that strange
Times - and people - always change

A small portion of my family reunion


Wishing you a week of rewarding connections, whether they're family or not.

Next week's topic is ....... DUTY .....

Good luck!


Friday, 17 January 2020

My Answers to the Quiz, and Funnies

This quiz has been circulating among bloggers I read (like kylie and Joey), and, being bored on a stormy Friday evening, I thought I'd play along too.

Feel free to answer some or all of the questions yourself in the comments, or do a post of your own!

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Oh dear. I'm off to a bad start. That would be a lemon creme cookie. Well, actually, TWO lemon creme cookies. But I had a light supper just before that. So I was still hungry.  

2. Pajamas or gown?
Well, pj's make my legs too hot and then they get restless, and then I can't sleep, and if I don't get my sleep . . . let's just say you wouldn't like me when I don't get my sleep.

3. Worst physical pain you've ever been in?
It's a tie between labour and that time I fell down the stairs and hurt my back. In fact, I distinctly remember, after I fell, trying to get myself onto my hands and knees, thinking, "Whoa, this is as bad as labour was . . ." On the plus side, the intense pain passed faster than labour did. On the negative side, it took months for the lingering effects to finally leave, as opposed to labour, which was over in less than twelve hours both times.

4. Favourite place you've ever been?
Plonked in front of the computer reading blogs.

5. How late did you stay up last night?
I'm embarrassed to say.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would you move to?
I like it right where I am. Also, the thought of moving horrifies me for so many reasons, beginning with cleaning and decluttering and staging the house to viewing/choosing a new house to finding new friends to finding a new job . . . so . . . you want me to move, you're going to want a few sticks of dynamite.

7. Christmas or New Year?
Yes. Or maybe no. Could you re-phrase that question, please? Or make it multiple choice or something?

8. When was the last time you cried?
Are we talking slightly blurry vision or ugly-crying?

9. What's the last photo on your phone?
I don't take photos with my phone because I am an unenlightened dinosaur.

10. Two of your favourite movies?
Awakenings, and any of the Pink Panther movies.

11. What's your favourite season?
The season to be jolly, fa la la, la la, la la, la la! And spring, with all its green colours and glorious peeping and cheeping.

12. Which famous person would you like to meet?
I can't think of anyone. Unless you count the arrogant, deceitful politicians who I would - in spite of my basically pacifist nature - like to meet so I could whack them over the head with a shovel.

13. If you could talk to ANYONE right now, who would it be?
My father, who passed away nearly five years ago. I miss his kindness and warmth.

14. Are you a good influence?
No, I'm a terrible influence. I stay up late and eat too many cookies and cry at the drop of a hat and spend all my time on the computer reading blogs and want to whack certain politicians on the head with a shovel.

15. Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
Pineapple belongs in pineapple squares. Mmmmm, pineapple squares. Start with a shortbread cookie crust, cover with icing, finish off with pineapple-whipped-cream-mixture. Wait, what was the question again?

16. You have the remote; what show would you be watching right now?
If I have the remote, then my husband is probably dead or nearly so, and I sure as heck wouldn't be watching TV, I'd be getting help.

17. Three people who you think will play along?
I try not to think; it makes my head hurt.

18. First concert?
Stars of the Music Festival, when I was four, with a group of six other girls (ages four to sixteen). We sang "The Gavotte" at the local festival, and then we got to sing again at the Stars performance. We all wore white blouses and plaid skirts and black shiny shoes. I have a picture as proof if you need it. (I peaked early; it's been all downhill since then.)

19. Favourite food?
You think I'm going to say cookies, don't you? Or pineapple squares? But it's actually homemade pizza, with onion, green pepper, mushrooms, pepperoni, and mixed cheese. Dang it, now I'm hungry again.

20. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A librarian/archeologist/geologist/wife/mother in that chronological order.  I would have been a terrible librarian or archeologist or geologist. I'd read all the books instead of helping people, and I hate getting my hands dirty or being outside in the heat or rain or wind or basically any inclement weather. I got to be a wife and mother, though, and feel they were the most important things I ever did. And now I'm a grandma. I never thought that far ahead when I was growing up, but that's pretty cool too.

I found some funnies about quizzes. Enjoy!

I'll be back on Monday, folks :)

Monday, 13 January 2020

Poetry Monday: Leap Year

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is . . . . LEAP YEAR.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we jump into this topic. You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment to direct us to your blog so we can come along and applaud. Use the topic or choose another; it doesn't matter. The objective is to have fun and give your brain a workout.


I've never delved too deeply into the concept of leap year. Mostly I just rely on the news to tell me whether we are in one or not.

I know, of course, that we need an extra day every so often to make up for the deficiency in our system of time, and that if you can divide the year by the number four then it's a leap year.

But wait! When I googled "leap year" I found additional information that was new to me and made my head feel like it might explode:

          Leap years are any year that can be exactly divided by 4
               except if it can be exactly divided by 100, then it isn't
                    except if it can be exactly divided by 400, then it is

Making sense of that is almost asking too much of my arts-and-crafts brain. Please note that that link goes to a children's website called "Math Is Fun". That tells you most of what you need to know about my math-y skills . . . in spite of the fact that my job is bookkeeping . . . which is a whole other post.


Get Away From Me With That Logical Mathy Stuff

You'd think my line of work would mean I'm awfully good at math
And if, by "good", you mean I never felt a teacher's wrath
Then you'd be right; my marks would make you think that I was smart
But in real life, math trips me up and blows my head apart

It's not the numbers, not the basics: those things are okay
It's logic that's the problem, makes me cry and run away
So give me lots of numbers and I'll do the computations
But give me rules for Leap Year? That will just end in frustration

To me they're like the Tax Act, which delights in "if" and "then"
While "and" and "or" will change the gist completely once again
The same with legal documents, with all their "ifs" and "buts"
They're made to cramp the brains of us who need our facts clear cut

I envy those whose minds can follow all those twists and turns
In fact, a mind that's logical is one for which I yearn
But at my stage of life, I think my talents lie instead
In writing dreadful poetry and living in my head

A different meaning for "leap year"


Over to you now, Diane! What's the topic for next week?

Update:  Diane says ...... CONNECTIONS ......

I hope you have a good week.

And in an effort to help make it so, here are a few random funnies. If the captions are too small to read, just click on the picture to make it larger.

See you next time :)  


Friday, 10 January 2020


By now, many of you will have already read or heard of the airliner that crashed in Iran, killing 176 people, 138 of whom were bound for Canada. Of those, 57* were Canadian citizens, and included professionals, graduate students, students, and children.

Intelligence points strongly toward the crash being caused by a missile strike from Iranian forces, perhaps inadvertent, certainly connected to the latest back-and-forth between Iran and the United States.

Actions have consequences.

I do not know any of the deceased, nor their families, but it has still been a bleak day here.  It feels like such a waste of life and talent and youth and wisdom and hope.

A few days ago I was reminded of the tune Skylark, as sung by Bette Midler, a piece I associate with my university days when homesickness and a lonely heart led me to play it often. It's a beautiful tune with beautiful words but very melancholy, and it has, I believe fittingly, been on continuous play in my head all day today.

* Updated 1/11/2020 to reflect more recent information in the news

Skylark, have you anything to say to me?
Can you tell me where my love may be?
Is there a meadow in the mist
Where he's just waiting to be kissed?
Skylark, have you seen a valley green with spring
Where my heart can go a journeying
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom covered lane?
And in your lonely flight have you heard the music?
In the night, wonderful music.
Faint as a will-o'-the-wisp, crazy as a loon,
Sad as a gypsy serenading the moon.
Oh, skylark, i don't know, i don't know
If you can find these things,
But my heart, my heart is riding on your wings.
So if you see them anywhere
Won't you lead me there?
Oh, won't you lead me there?
Lead me there, lead me there.
Lead me there, skylark, skylark, skylark, there!

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Hoagy Carmichael / Johnny Mercer
Skylark lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Will there ever be peace in the world, I wonder? What will it take?

Monday, 6 January 2020

Poetry Monday: Things That Go Fast

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ... THINGS THAT GO FAST.

Feel free to join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae, and me in posting our poetry on this topic (or any other topic of your choosing). You can leave your poem in the comments, or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can track you down and applaud :)

Have fun and build up your brainpower -- what could be better!

A reader suggested in a comment last week that we use the topic 'leap year' sometime because 2020 is one. It was a great idea, and that will be our topic for next Monday. Thank you, Andrew.

If anyone, at any time, wishes to suggest a topic, I'm all ears (as donkeys are - ha ha). Some weeks it's hard to come up with an original, timely topic and I can use all the help you want to give.


This Is My List; What Would Yours Be?

Some things just never last quite long enough --
Kittenhood full of wide eyes and soft fluff . . .
Holidays, weekends, long-dreamed-of vacations . . .
How lovely if we could extend celebrations . . .
Music that lifts us, our troubles transcend . . .
Books that engross us, beginning to end . . . 
Meaningful talks with the ones we hold dear . . .
Time that flies from us, more quickly each year . . .

So many good things are soon in the past
. . . That's why we have memories, to make good things last

Note: This button really works for our cranky cat. Just thought you'd like to know.


As mentioned in the preamble, next week's topic is . . . LEAP YEAR . . .

Good luck!

Monday, 30 December 2019

Poetry Monday: New Year's Resolutions

It's Poetry Monday, and it's two days away from 2020, and the topic this week -- unsurprisingly -- is NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS .....

Join Diane, MotherOwl. Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we lay our souls bare (or not?) and expound on this topic. You can leave your poem in the comments here, or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please let us know in a comment so we can chase you down and steal your holiday chocolate find your poem and applaud! Use the topic, or choose another; the objective is just to have fun and wear off the holiday chocolate tone up our brain cells.

(If I seem chocolate-obsessed, it's because I had to give up chocolate about six months ago due to the caffeine in it -- caffeine of any kind plays havoc with my innards. Going without didn't bother me at all for the first five months, but it's been harder during the holiday season, when chocolate seems to be everywhere and I can SMELL it -- at the office and in all the stores that carry a lot of it for the holidays. Wahh!)

Anyway, on to the chocolate truffles poetry.


. . . Not That I Couldn't Improve, Mind You

As a child I wrote most earnestly
My yearly resolutions
They lasted three whole days, then died
From lack of execution

I'm really not much better now
I have such good intentions
But as the new year marches in
They die from inattention 

New Year's Resolutions are
So hard for PD Jenny
The thing about resolve, you see
Is that I haven't any

Option B is the kind of thing I could be successful doing


Have you made any resolutions this year?

Happy New Year, friends!

Next week's poetry topic will be .... SOMETHING THAT GOES FAST .....


Good luck!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Poetry Monday: This Time of Year . . . And Funnies

It's Poetry Monday -- just two days before Christmas 2019 -- and the topic is ..... THIS TIME OF YEAR ....

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae and me as we take on this timely topic. You can leave your poem here in the comments, or you can post on your own blog; if the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and your poem. Use the topic, or not; the idea is to have fun and pummel our brains into mush exercise our brain cells.


At the Donkey household, we celebrate Christmas with all its accompanying pressures and joys. We exchange gifts with a circle of close relatives, we are the cooks for the family Christmas dinner, and we put up a Christmas tree ....... so that means shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating.

It is lovely.

And it can get hairy. (No pun intended, although -- as you will see in a moment -- the pun would not go astray ...)

Every year I have the same mental picture of how Christmas will be.

I will make five kinds of cookies and two kinds of pies, I will mail my cards before the deadline, I will find novel and elegant but practical gifts for everyone, I will handcraft new tree ornaments, I will have a sparkling-clean and handsomely decorated home, and I will serve Christmas dinner in a festive yet classy outfit.

In reality, I consider myself lucky if I am not in a store somewhere at closing time on Christmas Eve, if I have remembered to buy pies never mind making them, if I get any cards sent before New Year's Day, if the cats allow the tree to remain upright, if there is no cat hair on the tablecloth, and if I have time to change out of my work T-shirt before company arrives for Christmas dinner.

Can I work this into a nifty Poetry Monday offering?

Hah!! You betcha :)


It's Not As If The Date Changes Every Year, Is It??

The season is upon us and I visualize that everything will be perfection
Gifts will be wrapped and ready by October and I will personally bake every confection
The cats will magically stop shedding two weeks before company comes for dinner
And I will clean from attic to basement so thoroughly I will end up ten pounds thinner
I will do so much ahead of time that on the special day I will not break a sweat
The Christmas tree will be a vision of loveliness, and so will I! ...... and yet .....

The day will be upon us and nothing about it will even approach the edge of perfection
Gifts will only just be wrapped before they are unwrapped and I'll have bought every confection
The cats will shed ten pounds of fur in the two minutes before company comes for dinner
And I'll be stress-eating and as you know that's no way to get thinner
I will be running like a mad thing around the kitchen as I break into a sweat
And the Christmas tree will wear the same ornaments we have used for forty years ..... and yet .....

Somehow, it all gets done
Somehow, we all have fun
Somehow, we're all well fed
Somehow, I've not dropped dead
Somehow, the gifts are fine
And the memories?
Oh, the memories are sublime 💟   

For non-cat-lovers, this is the rear view of a cat


I really think we need a few more Christmas funnies.

I cannot lie; this is my favourite today

What do you know, it's another rear view of a cat!


Cat owners all know what "harked" means . . .


Whatever "this time of year" means for you, I hope it is full of hope and peace, good things to eat, and time with those you hold dear.

Next week's topic will be ... NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS ...

Good luck!

Monday, 16 December 2019

Poetry Monday: Time

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is . . . . TIME.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, Merry Mae, and me as we pass the time writing about time.

You can leave your poem in the comments here or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment here as well so we know where to find you.

Use the topic, or choose another -- the idea is to enjoy the process and work our brains.


Ironically, time was not on my side this week and I am typing this very late on Sunday evening for midnight posting.

So let me just give you a video of Steve Miller's song about time, Fly Like An Eagle, which has been going through my head all week whenever I thought about what I should write:


And now that you've gotten that good and solidly into your head as an earworm, I present my poem, which cannot compare with those lyrics at all, at all, at all:

Time  -- Donkey Version 

Time is like a rubber band:
At times it shrinks; at times, expands.
When in a dentist's chair I sit,
Time drags slowly, bit by bit.
When on vacation, though -- time flies,
Especially under sunny skies.
Waiting makes time elongate,
But time is short when I am late.
Why does it stretch when I am sad?
And then condense when I am glad?
It's odd that time -- though so reliable --
Can also be so bleepin' pliable . . .

This could be my theme song, kitteh . . .


Until next week, please have yourself a good time :)

Next Poetry Monday's topic will be . . . . THIS TIME OF YEAR . . .

Thanks, Diane, and good luck everybody!