Friday, 30 March 2018

More About My Journal Journey

Me -- after hitting "Publish" on last Friday's post


Within hours of posting last Friday about empty journals and notebooks, and how I planned to use them all up, I had already retreated in near-panic from my publicly stated position.

However, after reading the very helpful comments on the post, I did some more thinking, and re-planned my plan.

To me, a lovely unused journal or hardcover notebook is something like a piece of beautiful china. The prevailing idea these days is that you should use your nice china whenever you want, not save it for some vaguely defined "tomorrow." But unlike china, which you can wash after using, you can't un-write in a journal. So I have given myself leeway to regard some of my journals as something more akin to pretty ornaments, something I own just because I like to look at them and they bring me joy. It's okay if I never write a single word in them.

But some of them are going to be put to use, and now I know how.

One (or more) will be for poetry. I like to compose poems on the computer because it's easier to make changes, but as a reader pointed out, computers can fail. I'd like to have them on paper as well, but not on letter-sized paper -- something smaller. It will be slow going; carpal tunnel makes my hand go numb quickly. But I'm looking forward to the transcription process.

A second journal will be for my medical history. I've been meaning to do this for ages, and the thought of using a journal has made the work more appealing. It's not an original idea -- during my mom's latest medical issue I discovered she kept a little notebook for doctor visits and so on, although it hadn't been updated in about five years (about the length of time we've been noticing memory loss . . . not a coincidence, I suspect). I'll offer to help update hers (but I doubt she will let me), or keep one myself. It would be very handy when I go with her to outpatients or to her doctor.

A third journal will be for a list of housekeeping jobs, especially infrequent ones, like cleaning the air exchanger or vacuuming the back of the fridge. The way time has been whizzing by the past few years, I'm finding these jobs are being put off for far too long, simply because I keep thinking it's not that long since I just did them. Also, we have a large house and I'm guilty of forgetting things that need done in the rooms we don't use anymore, so I really need reminders at hand. I have an unexciting journal for this purpose, because housekeeping is an unexciting job, but I need it to be sturdier than a notebook which can fall apart.

A fourth journal will make use of my "time travel journal" (remember the one with nonsensical quotes on it?) for -- what else -- keeping track of how I currently spend my time each day. One reader mentioned that he had found it helpful to keep a record of what he did in order to see more clearly where he could make changes to benefit his life, and that's something that I feel would be very useful for me, too. There are a few areas of my life where I feel I am falling short of my goals for "doing better," and they all involve the use of time in some way or another. I figure I have -- if I'm very lucky -- a maximum of twenty years of active life left, and I really, really don't want to continue to always be running late, wasting time, being disorganized, and procrastinating for all of those years.

Several readers said they use utilitarian notebooks instead of fancy ones, especially for lists and other temporary uses. I think this will work well for me, because the question of what to do with a filled journal and how to throw away something that's still attractive on the outside, just because it's filled up inside, has, in the past, kept me from starting at all. I have enough of these kinds of notebooks that I do not need to buy a thing. I'll use these for my decluttering, organizing, and shopping lists.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and encouragement, and for making me feel like I am not, in the end, a bit cracked for having a collection of empty books with nice covers!

Note that I haven't said anything about getting started on these journals yet . . . but now I have A Plan I Can Live With. (And actually I did start the housekeeping list. It's been too busy here this week to do more than that!)


It's exhausting, isn't it, kitty??


I'll be back on Poetry Monday with the theme "Modern Life" -- until then, please attempt to have a good weekend!





Monday, 26 March 2018

Poetry Monday: Favourite Thing

It's Poetry Monday! The theme this week is "your favourite thing to see (or do)" and you can get in on the fun, too! Join Diane, Delores and me (and usually some other folks - check the comments) as we spin our poetic magic and tell you about our favourite things.

I have so many favourite things -- including but not limited to empty journals, chocolate, my little pin dish, my potato scrubber, reading, nature, the colour cobalt blue, the colour indigo, the colour mauve, (okay I'll stop with the colours now but may I just point out how many awesome colours are in the blue/purple families?), dollhouse furniture, my dishwasher, crafting, blogging, folding laundry (yes, really), spring, fall, and kind people. And chocolate. And reading.

Chocolate and reading needed to be mentioned twice.

But while I like to eat chocolate, I can't say I really enjoy seeing it unless I can also eat it, and I can't even start to figure out how to do it. Unless do means make, and that sounds like a lot of work when I can just buy a nice bar of Swiss chocolate for $2.49.

That leaves reading.

I don't even remember learning to read. I just remember reading, from an early age. My older brother recently claimed the credit for teaching me, and since I can't refute his claim, I'll accept that as a true-ish version of events. Our mother read to both of us a great deal when we were little, and I'm sure that also helped me to be an early and competent reader.

I think that the most important skill a person, especially a child, can acquire is the ability to read, because it makes everything else in life so much more accessible. If you can read, you can teach yourself anything. You can make sense of the world. You can learn things that other people have already figured out, so that you are not re-inventing the wheel. You can build on ideas to come up with new ideas. You can experience things through reading that you might not have the means or opportunity to experience first-hand.

I have the feeling I'm preaching to the choir here, so let's just forge ahead and get to the poem now.

*****

Reading Is . . . 

My escape, at the end of a long, monotonous, work-filled day.
My therapy, when life's pressures threaten to take my breath away.
My entertainment, when I have "me" time to spend.
My teacher, for there are things to learn without end.
My comfort, when I am sad or anxious or hurt.
. . . And my downfall, when I should be doing housework . . .




Sarcastic kitty is just jealous of your bond with your book.


(Image courtesy of icanhas.cheezburger.ca)

*****

Thank you all for your helpful comments on last Friday's post about journals. I plan to do an update on that topic this coming Friday. You gave me a lot to think about!

*****

What is YOUR favourite thing to see or do?


Update:  Next week's topic is "Modern Life" . . .



Friday, 23 March 2018

To Use, Or Not To Use -- That Is No Longer The Question

I love journals.

I love the empty pages, the smoothness of the paper, the compact size, the attractive selection of covers, the potential of the empty book just waiting to be filled with wonderful things: thoughts, memories, plans, lists, quotations, sketches . . . anything my heart desires.

Here are ten of the twelve journals currently in my possession:


I forgot to include the other two when I took the picture. And I had two more but I gave them away because I had duplicates and I needed a small emergency gift.



Would you like to know how many of my twelve journals I am currently using?

Two.

Because I can't bear to write in them.

Of the two I've used, one is very plain, specifically because I knew it would be easier for me to actually use it if it wasn't as appealing to me. The other one I've used is one of the pink ones in the left of the photo. I had to force myself to write in it, and only did so because I had three more just like it for backups.

WHAT THE ....???

What is wrong with me? Feel free to analyze me, my friends. I won't be offended.

I don't spend a lot on these little books. They were all bought at the dollar store, which does not mean they cost a dollar each, because our dollar store doesn't live up to its name; however, some cost $1 and the most expensive was $2.50.




I particularly like the pink ones already mentioned (first photo). And the brightly striped one and the oriental looking satin covered one (above). Note that they still have their paper-strip wrappers on them. Pristine. Just the way I like them.

And here's a closer look at why I bought the "Time Notes" journal (above):


It says:" Today should be done not to do tomorrow morning is delayed."

What does that mean, people? WHAT DOES IT MEAN??


This says: "Ordinary people merely think how they spend their time, a man of talent tries to use it."

Okay. I think I understand that one. By this definition, I'd say we are ALL talented.

 





This says: "Abandoned people today there will be no tomorrow" with not a speck of punctuation to help make the meaning more clear.

Once again, I am confused.


But the delightful confusion was part of the reason I HAD to buy it. That, and the fact that there were only two on the shelf. If I didn't buy one, there was a good possibility both would be gone by the time I thought about it and returned to the store. Also, I tend to think that this is a magic book having something to do with time travel, and I didn't want to lose the chance to find out.

So far, the furthest it has travelled is home from the store with me, and from the pantry to the kitchen counter to have its portrait taken, but I still have hope.

Anyway.

Journals aren't the only thing I hoard/collect. Let me just say: NOTEPADS.


The more interesting items in my notepad stash.


Let's have a closer look at that happy face notepad:


Note the plastic wrap is intact. I don't actually use any of my notepads, either. I cut up old computer-printed pages and use those for notes. Gah. I need help.



To be serious for a moment, I've really been stuck in a rut of not getting anything except the necessities done lately. Like for about six months now. Even my crafting in the fall was done because I had made a commitment to my craft group to take part in our annual sale, so my brain saw that as "necessary" and I got it done. But other than that, I've done nothing much toward my loosely defined goals of "organizing and decluttering my life so that my family doesn't have to do it if I should kick the bucket before they do."

So I've been thinking really hard about using my journals as a way of corralling my thoughts on what needs done, using a different journal for each area of my life.

I've been thinking about this for at least a month now, and only yesterday did I take the first step toward doing it. I chose one of my least favourite of my babies (shhhh, don't tell it I said that, and really they are all favourites or I wouldn't have kept them), the pansy-covered one, and opened it, pen in hand, to start listing . . . things.

And I didn't know what to list.

But then, just as I was beginning to panic over my inability to even FREAKING MAKE A LIST OF ANYTHING, JUST WRITE SOMETHING TO GET STARTED ----- I had a brainwave.

THAT book, my friends, is going to be a list of the things I'm going to list in the OTHER books.

That was a good day's work, so I closed the book - still empty - and put it all off for another day.

But now I've got a plan, and I've written it down (exposing myself to public humiliation in the process), and I WILL start that list. Tomorrow.

That's how you put the "procrastinating" in the donkey, people. Wish me luck. Please?

Have you ever been in a morass of undone work, stuck so deeply that you are floundering around being totally ineffective or even (like me) frozen into immobility? Okay, I know it's unlikely, but I thought I'd ask, just in case you have any tips for me.

Wishing you a productive, fulfilling, organized weekend full of clear thinking and level-headed decisions.

I'll be here again on Monday with a poem about "my favourite thing to see (or do)" . . . join me if you like :)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Poetry Monday: A Childhood Lesson

It's Poetry Monday! You can join in by reading, writing or borrowing a poem. The suggested topic this week is "a lesson from childhood." Choose another topic if you wish. Join Diane, Delores, and me (and others - see the comments) as we turn our brain pockets inside out to shake out the memories from our young years and make sense of them at a far-removed point in time known as "now."

If you want to play along, leave a poem in the comments at any of our blogs, or in the comments here, or on your own blog. In the latter case, please leave us your blog address so we can come along and read and enjoy.  Have fun!

*****

The lesson that most stands out from my childhood was one I learned - rather painfully - when I was about eight.

My family and I had attended my cousin's wedding, and we were ready to drive my paternal grandmother home following the reception. As my cousin - the bride - was leaving the hall, she presented my grandmother with a rose from her bouquet. It was a touching moment and the effect was not lost on me. But I was thinking, wouldn't it be even nicer to give her the whole bouquet?

As we sat in the car waiting for traffic to clear, I turned to my mother and stated that when I got married, I wouldn't give my grandmother one rose from my bouquet ----- and at that point was told by my justifiably horrified mother to hush. She wouldn't listen to the rest of my thought, which was that I would want to give Grammy the whole bouquet. Mom just hushed me again, saying "That's enough!" in the voice that I knew meant business.

When we got home I tried to explain, but afterward all she said was, "Well." I felt unjustly accused and injured and misunderstood, and was sad that I had probably hurt my grandmother's feelings and she would never know what I had intended.

But I did learn that there is a good way and a bad way to talk about things.

As a suitably ironic footnote to this story, when I got married many years later, I presented to my grandmother . . . . . . a single rose from my bouquet. As often happens in life, even the best of intentions can be undone by circumstances. My husband's grandmother could not attend the wedding due to ill health, and we delivered the rest of the bouquet to her in the hospital as a way of including her in our day.

I wonder if my grandma remembered then what I had blurted out so many years before.

I did.

And I still do, half a century later.

*****

Half A Thought Is Worse Than None

A happy occasion: a cousin's wedding;
Young and old and every age in between.
Confetti and cake and Sunday clothes and flowers ...
Ah . . . the flowers.
A single rose
Given, with love, to Grammy by the bride;
Noticed, with interest, by a little girl
Who decided her Grammy deserved
Not a single rose
But the entire bouquet.

Lacking, as yet, the facility to think very far ahead,
The little girl began the thought aloud:
"I wouldn't give Grammy one rose --"
She meant she'd give her Grammy every rose instead.

Never had a chance to finish the thought ...
Never had a chance to repair the damage ...
But learned a valuable life lesson --

It's not just the thought that counts.
It's the words, too.



Courtesy of Pixabay


*****

Have you ever have the wrong words slip from your lips, when you  meant something very different? Did you have a chance to correct it?

NOTE: Next week's suggested topic: Your favourite thing to see or do . . .


Friday, 16 March 2018

Friday's Random Thoughts

It's Friday again already?? Crikey. That was fast.

My mom's health problems have eaten up quite a bit of time this week. There was a problem with one of the prescriptions given her by the outpatients doctor, so then she had an appointment with her own doctor. There were many hours spent accompanying her, looking after filling and refilling prescriptions, as well as time spent in person and on the phone with her.

It is frustrating primarily because she has a strong need to understand explanations and instructions, but at the same time she is having real problems understanding them and retaining them, so we spend a lot of time going over and over the same things. It is secondarily frustrating that these conversations are constantly derailed by her wandering train of thought, and I am privy to the same stories I have heard many times many more times.

Occasionally there are new tidbits among the old stories, though, so I try to stay alert for those and am glad when they appear. Unfortunately, my memory isn't what it used to be, either, so now I can't remember the new anecdotes I heard from her this week.

Pot. Kettle. Black. Eeek!

Between my mom's health troubles and the weather, I was unable to go to my monthly craft meeting (which I greatly enjoy) or to visit my daughter and her family (two little grandsons!). Hopefully the visit will happen next week. But I didn't lose any hours at work and we didn't lose power, so those were positive things.



*****

I was looking through old photos and found this item:


 

When is a potato not a potato? When it's a potato-scrubber. This little brush, which came from the dollar store, delights me far far more than anything work-related should.


Why would I take a picture of my potato brush, you ask? It was back in the fall after I slipped on the stairs and hurt my back. I was wandering about the house with my camera, looking for subject matter that wasn't set against a background that needed tidied or cleaned, as I was unable to do either.

Although I did clean the sink before taking this picture.

Honesty. Some days it's all I got.

Do you have a tool or article of household equipment that makes your life happier?


*****

I have come across the word "juddering" in three different authors' book over the past six months. I never saw the word before that. What the what?? First of all, for some reason, I do not like this word. There are some words I just DO NOT LIKE and this is one of them. It's similar to not liking a flavour or a smell or a texture. I can't explain it, it's just . . . urgh . . . in my head. Second of all, I especially do not like it when it is repeated many times in one book. Mr. Writer Person, please Google "synonym judder" or actually explain it.

(I'm sorry, judder, you little descriptive word that shares a first letter with my internet pseudonym and is a useful way to convey "shake and vibrate rapidly and with force (especially of something mechanical)" . . .  It's not you, it's me. I'm sure there's someone out there who will appreciate you. Goodbye! Good luck!)

And I now notice that it's a British word, although the books I read were both North American. So British readers may wonder what on earth I'm going on about.

Do you have a word you react to for no apparent reason?

(definition of "judder" from Google dictionary)


*****

We need a few funnies to go into the weekend. (Thanks, icanhas.cheezburger.com.)











 







Wishing you a happy weekend!

Tune in on Poetry Monday for "a lesson from childhood" . . .





 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Poetry Monday: Spot The Little Lie

It's Poetry Monday! Join Diane, Delores, and maybe Joan (of Devon) in the comments, and me, as we tackle the subject "a story that's mostly true."

Write a poem, borrow a poem (giving credit were credit is due, of course), or just read what we have on offer. It's all good! The objective is to encourage us to write and have fun. Well, that's my objective anyway. You can leave your poem here or at Diane's or Delores's blogs, or if it's on your own blog, let us know where to find you by leaving your blog address in the comments.

"A story that's mostly true" is an intriguing topic, isn't it? I started working on it with great relish as soon as Diane posted it.

And I worked on it.

And worked. And worked. And worked.

I did come up with one title I was proud of: "If You Treat Truth Like An Elastic Band, It Could Snap Back And Hit You In The Face," but there was no poem to go with it because the title was the whole idea in a nutshell.

And then I wrote one extremely awkward, opaque poem with no rhythm or rhyme and only a little reason, comparing the different lies we tell with the different colours in a box of crayons, starting with "little white lie" and progressing through "blue lies" which is when we say we're fine but we're not really, and "green lies" which are like sour grapes "I didn't want that car/house/person anyway", and right down the line to "purple lies with glitter" which are the whoppers that anyone can spot a mile away. It might have been a fairly good idea but the execution stank.

So by Saturday evening, with only a day until my usual posting deadline, I was still struggling. It was like wrestling with a story problem in junior high math class. The kind I could never do because me/math/lack of logical mind. Except writing a poem is WORDS, people. I LIKE words. Me and words get along fine. Why cannot I words find to poem make??? 

Then I had to take my mom to outpatients at the hospital, and that took my mind off poetry writing. She is fine-ish, just so you all know, but I am still on high alert and will be all week, just in case. And this was just after saying on Friday that I had a week without a crisis! I should have knocked on wood. Dang.

Anyway. I decided finally to write a poem about our trip to outpatients, and ask you to guess which part is NOT true. I'm numbering the lines so you can refer to them more easily. The answer is in this post, so it IS possible to get it right. However, outlandish guesses are always welcome :)


Saturday Evening With Mom

1. I was taking a nap
2. When the phone rang
3. It was my mom
4. She wanted to go to outpatients
5. I've done this trip a few times
6. It usually takes five hours of waiting
7. This time it took three
8. The doctor wrote two prescriptions
9. We drove home to my mom's house
10. Then we drove to a drug store that was open late
11. Then we decided she should get the Rx's
12. At her own drug store the next day
13. Because her health insurance wasn't going through properly
14. And they were going to charge her up front
15. And by now she was getting agitated
16. So we drove to my mom's house again
17. And I offered to stay awhile
18. And she said she was fine
19. And I came home
20. And relaxed
21. And wrote this poem
22. And none of it rhymes


***** 




Not our doctor





Not our doctor




Not our doctor





(All pictures courtesy of Pixabay.)

*****

Wishing you as healthy and happy a week as you can manage, all things considered.

Keep your apples handy!

Update: Next week's suggested topic: a lesson from our childhood. Thanks, Diane!



Friday, 9 March 2018

Doldrums And Funnies

It's been a doldrums kind of week, one where you start to question the meaning of life and lie on the couch with a nineteen-point-five-pound cat on your stomach while you read a ten-pound book and worry that you are getting tennis elbow from holding it up. The book, I mean. The cat merely causes breathing problems.

In other - perhaps related - news, there have been no crises in my life this week, no appointments of any kind, no work deadlines, no meetings . . . and I can think of nothing to write about. There is no adrenaline keeping me alert, no embarrassing moments to pass along, no hurdles hurdled, no accomplishments except the usual rounds of meal-making, laundry, and cat care.

So, it must be time for some funnies. I'm starting to forget which ones I've used, so please excuse me if I repeat any. Thanks, as always, to icanhas.cheezburger.com for the memes.

In no particular order . . .



This actually seems like a darn good idea to me.




Twelve might even be overestimating.




For once, the cat is not the one in trouble.




Works every time, no matter what's in the can!



 

That's how I've felt all week all month as long as I can remember.

 


I bet the cat will win every time.




Was "that thing" a large dog, by any chance?




Man, the dogs are not faring well in these funnies, are they?? That wasn't planned. It's just a horrible coincidence.




Neither. It's a head bonk.




That would be AWESOME :)



Wishing you a weekend of safe passwords, unchewed shoes, un-missing game pieces, and warm fuzzy head bonks. See you on Monday :)




Monday, 5 March 2018

Poetry Monday: Winter

Diane is back from vacation, and she's brought Poetry Monday with her, like a big gust of fresh sunny air!

As in the past, Poetry Monday is open to everyone -- leave a poem (your own or any other that appeals to you) in the comments here or at Diane's or Delores' blogs. Or post your poem on your own blog, and leave us a comment to let people know where to find you. 

This week's theme is "winter." Isn't that a nice broad topic, with lots of room to spread out and wiggle your toes? Yes, yes it is, unlike some winter boots I have worn in my day. Er, but that's a story for another post. And if "winter" doesn't inspire you, choose any topic you like. Just enjoy yourself!

This poem will make it sound like we've been having a normal, cold, snowy Atlantic Canadian winter here. The truth is that it has been anything but normal. The temperatures have been mostly mild and we've barely had any snow. I've had to draw on decades of winter experience to write my winter poem. Maybe I should've stuck to describing the strangeness of this year's winter, but my first thought about winter is usually "Oh, no, not all those clothes and boots AGAIN" and I decided to follow that thought.


Does This Outfit Make Me Look Fat?

The part of winter I like least
Is dressing for the cold;
With all the extra clothing, it's
Like being blanket-rolled.

On top of what you always wear,
You must be sure to add
At least one more of everything --
If not, you'll wish you had.

And after that come boots and coat
And scarf and gloves and hat;
And heaven help the one who should
Have peed before all that.

Don't worry if your strangling scarf
Should make it hard to talk,
Or if your Deep Cold heavy boots
Should make it hard to walk --

With all those clothes, you're sure to be
As warm as breakfast toast.
But -- horrors! when you hit the stores,
It's likely that you'll roast!

Your feet will drag, your shoulders sag;
Your scarf will itch your neck.
But worse than that, my friends, your hat
Will leave your hair a wreck.

And when you've finished paying, and
Have left the store, you'll find
You've got all that you went for, but
Your gloves got left behind.

No wonder people run and skip
When spring's warm air abounds --
By leaving winter clothes at home
Our scales are down ten pounds :)


*****


TIPS ON WINTER DRESSING:


FOOTWEAR:


No



Yes!




HEADWEAR: 


No




Yes! . . . and having the match wouldn't hurt either



DOGWEAR:


No




Yes!



IN SUMMARY:


No



Yes! well, the gauzy veil and feather might not be necessary, but the rest is good


*****

Wishing you all a week free from weather-related discomfort, wherever you may be and whatever the weather is dishing out to you. Dress appropriately!!

(All images courtesy of Pixabay.)

UPDATE: Next week's topic, suggested by Diane, is "a story that is 'mostly' true" . . . . ....

Friday, 2 March 2018

Resuming Poetry Monday, Plus Air And Other Things

Poetry Monday will resume on Monday, March 5, for those who are interested. The theme for this week is Winter. Get your brains and fingers limbered up and join in! Everyone can play. It would be interesting to see what our UK people might come up with after experiencing their recent wild winter weather :)



If you have a dog, maybe he or she can help with the poem.



On the other hand, if you have a cat . . . you're probably on your own.




*****

Two days ago, while out for a walk, I noticed how wonderful the air smelled. It smelled like nothing, which is just the way I like it. Cold. Clean. Easy to breathe. In summer, I find the heaviness of over-heated asphalt fumes, dust, humidity and higher air temperature is hard on my bronchial tubes.

I grew up - as many my age did - with a smoker. My father smoked at the table every night after supper, and I recall how the smoke always seemed to curl lazily right toward me, no matter where I sat. I might as well have been smoking too. It was annoying, but at the time I had no breathing issues, and indoor smoking was so common it wouldn't have occurred to me to question my dad's habit.

It's probably no wonder that I have bronchial issues now, even though I was rarely exposed to smoke after I left home forty years ago.

Anyway, air that smells like nothing is one reason that I love walking at this time of the year. Even the Fall can't compete because then someone is always burning something in their wood or pellet stoves. Why they worry so much about staying warm, I don't know! Don't they realize I can't BREATHE when they do that?? (Just joking.)

*****

Some readers might remember that I started feeding the birds last spring. It lasted until I realized we were going to go bankrupt if I didn't stop. Right around the same time, there was also a bird virus that swept through the province, and people were advised to take down their bird feeders anyway.

In February of this year, I noticed some blue jays hanging around, and since the bird experts had given the all clear on feeding, and I still had some birdseed in the closet, I decided to set up shop again. Before long, the bluejays and several chickadee were dining regularly. But they ate so little that the feeder didn't need filled very often, maybe every third or fourth day.

Then all of a sudden, the newly-filled feeder was empty overnight. There was not even one seed left in the tray at the bottom, just a funny white residue which I thought must be from the rain or snow. Oh! I thought. I bet the crows found the seeds. Greedy things. And I filled it again, because I secretly don't mind if crows are greedy or not. Everybody has to eat.

Again, it was completely, utterly emptied overnight. This happened for several nights in a row. I couldn't catch the crows in the act.

Then it came to me - it wasn't crows eating the seed, it was deer. What would be enough seed for all the birds that come around this time of year is only a dainty appetizer for our nocturnal four-footed ruminant friends. And that would explain the funny white residue, too. Deer spit! Well ... everybody has to eat.

However, (according to some people) deer have become a nuisance in our town so we now have a by-law that says Thou Shalt Not Feed Wildlife, Except Birds Are Okay Because Nobody Has Complained About Them Yet. Now I have to figure out how to feed the birds without making the deer feel bad. Or continue to set out feed for the birds which then gets eaten by the deer who then get noticed by the neighbours who then call the authorities who FINE ME MANY DOLLARS.

*****

Speaking of crows, I was lucky enough to see two crows breaking small branches off a tree yesterday. I could hear the branches cracking, and as I watched, one crow flew away with a forked branch as long as he (or she) was. I guess nest-building has begun and baby crows will not be far behind. It seems early to be getting started, but then again crows are probably not procrastinators like some other folks I know (cough*me*cough).

*****

Can you see both crows?


I hope you all have a marvellous weekend, full of clean air and maybe wildlife sightings and poetry writing . . . and definitely NO fines :)