Monday, 30 July 2018

Poetry Monday: Houses We Have Loved

It's Poetry Monday, people! The theme this week is "houses we have loved."

Join Diane, Delores and me as we pome up a storm on this topic. (Pome = write a poem) (Yes, that is a made up verb.)

You can pome too! Leave your offerings in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please drop a note in the comments so we can come along and read what you have pomed.

I know, I know. I'm starting to even bother my own self with "pome." But there's a reason for the madness. Keep reading.

*****

I thought and thought and thought about the houses I've known/lived in/visited and, really, I don't get too excited over housing so I was having a bit of trouble choosing one to write about.

Then I thought about the "love" part instead, and realized there was only one "house" worthy of being described as a house I have loved.

One summer when I was about ten years old, I decided to make a place to read up in the branches of the big tree in front of our house. Being a reader, not a carpenter, my "treehouse" consisted of a single board about a foot and a half long nailed to a branch. (Sorry, Mr(s). Tree. I would never put a nail in a tree these days.)

That's it. That's the house I loved the most. A one-plank seat in a tree, where I could read for hours, shaded and hidden by its leaves.

I know it doesn't begin to measure up to a real house in terms of square footage, amenities, or rainproofing, but when it comes to real estate, baby, it's all about "location, location, location" -- and it had the very best.

*****

And What A View!

It wasn't a castle or condo,
A cottage, a beach house, or shack;
It wasn't a cute little bungalow,
Or even an outhouse out back;
It wasn't a houseboat, or boathouse,
And it wasn't a big family home;
It was simply a board on a branch in a tree --
Immortalized now in a pome.


(Now I shall try very hard to never, ever use "pome" in any form again!)



Similar to the view from my one-plank house.

*****

Did you climb trees when you were a kid? Did you have a treehouse, plain or fancy? Did you build it yourself? Is there a house you have loved, and if so, tell me about it if you feel so inclined!

Hope you have a good week, fellow readers and home dwellers and anyone else I may have missed with those categories :)


Update: Next week's theme is "motivation" . . . what moves you?? Thank you, Diane, for continuing to provide thought-provoking topics!






Friday, 27 July 2018

TGIF

Wheeeeeee!! That week went fast. Which is not a bad thing.

I worked more hours than usual, filling in for a co-worker, doing a job which is different from mine. It requires more interaction with the public (difficult for me) and therefore I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed, and happy that the week is nearly over.





It's been extremely hot here, and humid as well, but so many around the world have it worse than we do. Heat records are breaking across the globe this year. I would like to take all the global warming skeptics out of their air-conditioned homes and offices and stick them in the top floor of a high-rise with no way to get cooled off and see how long they cling to their notions. I'd guess . . . "not long."


I was already convinced of the truth of global warming before it got this hot, because SCIENCE.


And so should we all. If more people believed in facts rather than opinion it would be a better world. Now, is that a fact or an opinion? Discuss.


The cosmos I planted a week ago have sprouted, which kind of astounded me because of the heat and the fact that I forgot to water them a couple of days in a row. I like to dig and plant and admire but I'm not good at the watering part.  I would have taken a picture but they're only an inch high.

This is not a cosmos but it's darn cute:




In other news, I read a book last week that was so gripping all the way through and so, so disappointing at the end. I can't remember ever being so upset at an author as I was when I read the last page. I'm not going to identify the book or the famous author because goodness knows I couldn't write a book to save my life but from the little writing I do on this blog I know how hard it must be to put your baby out in public and deal with the negative feedback that would inevitably come along. But inside, DEEP INSIDE, I am still fuming and I refuse (at least for now) to read any more books by that author. Take that, you convenient-ending writer!! P. S. I haven't added it to my sidebar list yet. Maybe after I cool down :)




That's about it for my week. Except the squeak in my car is back. Not as bad as it was, but it's back. Wahhh! The good news is that the air conditioner drowns it out even better than the radio did.

*****

What's up in your part of the world? How's your weather? Read any good books lately?

Hope you have a good weekend!



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.



*****

May

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:


Photo: Pixabay




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.



Update:  Next week's theme is "houses that we've loved" . . .



 

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.

*****

Music.

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 icanhas.cheezburger.com.




. . . 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" . . .





 

Friday, 6 July 2018

What If?

It's been another busy week.

The regular stuff -- work and meals and cat care and laundry and and and.

Plus a holiday which was used for getting some extra chores done.

Plus two funeral home visitations attended.

Plus taking the car to the garage (which will need done all over again next week, because the problem hasn't been fixed).

Plus a heatwave and all the extra manoeuvres made necessary on account of it -- window opening/window shutting, blinds up/blinds down, air exchanger on/air exchanger off, checking on my mom/checking on my adult children, because, let's face it, we always want to be sure we have given them every speck of wisdom we've acquired, on the off chance that it might save their lives someday or more to the point right now in the middle of the heatwave.

Plus chasing the cat who's chasing the bugs and moths and everything that's getting in the house via the air conditioners. Removing all living things to the outdoors, except the cats, who aren't allowed out. Wincing when I don't intervene fast enough and the cat crunches up the living things without even having the decency to kill them first.

It's exhausting looking after everybody.

Some days I dream about only having myself to take care of.

I would eat pizza for lunch and cookies for supper. I would read and browse the thrift stores and read and craft and read and walk and read and, well, mostly read. So, what I do already but more of it, plus the pizza and cookies.

But I know that after a day or two of that, I'd be lonely and wishing I had people to worry about.

Maybe not just to worry about, but to be with and talk with and laugh with and share with and eat with and make meals for and even do laundry for and give tips to and reminisce with and toss around ideas with . . . and also fret over. It's just part of the territory for me.

Anyway.

What would you do if you had nobody dependent on you -- no spouse, no children (young or adult), no pets, no wayward bugs -- and no work you had to do?




Not just for Sundays.


Have a good weekend, people!




Monday, 2 July 2018

Poetry Monday: People We Know

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's theme is "people we know."

Join Diane, Delores and me as we explore this gold mine of possibilities. Read, write, or borrow a poem, and leave it in the comments on any of our blogs. Or post it on your own blog, and leave us a comment to help us find you. Use the theme, or not; the idea is just to strengthen our poetry-writing muscles and have fun.

I knew what I wanted to say this week, but I could not get those words to line up properly for the longest time. I almost gave up, but as they say, success is one part inspiration and ninety-nine parts desperation. No? That's not how the saying goes? Well, it's how the writing process felt this time around :)  In the end, it says what I feel, even if it is one of the shortest pieces I've ever written.

*****

Bloggy People

Within the misty blogosphere
Are folks who live both far and near.
I haven't seen them face-to-face;
We've only met in cyberspace.
And yet to me these folks are friends . . .
Blogging pays high dividends.

*****

Welcome to my blogging world. Just step over the cat.


Have an excellent week, bloggy friends!


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