Monday, 25 May 2020

Poetry Monday: My Favourite Smells . . . And Funnies, The All Kitteh Edition

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

Are you tired of "favourite" stuff yet? Suggestions for future topics are eagerly welcomed.

As you know, Diane and I take turns providing the topic for Poetry Monday. This week's topic was my suggestion; it came to mind the week before when I was ... hmm ... doing something ... or ... eating something ... or something ... involving good smells. Exactly what that was escapes me at the moment.

And I thought to myself, That's a good idea for a poetry topic (by which I meant: not only do I have a good idea what I'll say, but it will be something everyone else can easily write about, too). I thought to myself, I'll have to remember that when the time comes to set next week's topic.

Self said, Yes! But you know, your memory is crap lately; how do you plan on doing that?

And I said back to myself, Don't get all personal with me; I'll remember this topic because there's only one day until I have to post it, and if you'll just ... unnggh ... let go of my brain for ONE FRIGGING MINUTE I'll put this in storage right up front in the old noggin here, let's see, in this folder marked "CRITICAL", and we should be good.

And Self said (clearly continuing to try to interfere with the "save" function), You know, it's not really "critical", it's more like "sort of important", don't you have a folder for that kind of thing?

And I said, Self, you're treading on thin ice, and Self said ... (indistinguishable mumbling) ...

And now you know what it sounds like inside my brain on an average day all day long.

But, you know, I did remember it, so I guess I won. If winning over your own self counts. 

Anyhoo, please feel welcome to join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me in pondering and creating poems about our favourite smells. 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 find you and your poem. Use the topic or choose another; the idea is to have fun and exercise our minds.

Although ... some weeks I think my brain doesn't need exercise so much as it needs a sleeping pill, or a time out, or maybe both ... but let us move along now.

*****

As I've written about previously, I'm one of those people who falls into the category of being highly sensitive. This might have some good points but overall it has more bad ones, in my opinion. I would rather not be like I am, but what can you do? I've tried for most of my life to change, without success, so I've just kind of given up now.

To reiterate a few examples: My eyes are extremely sensitive to light, so I prefer not-sunny days. My ears are overwhelmed by noise, so I avoid crowds, loud music, road construction, etc. as much as I can. Which, hey, is pretty easy these days. My tastebuds are sensitive so my diet is fairly limited.

And my poor nose is sensitive to things other people don't mind, or even love, like the seashore, coffee shops, perfume, wood fires, garlic, or mint

But.

The up side of having a sensitive nose is that when there's a fragrance or scent or smell in the air that I love, I enjoy the heck out of it.

And this poem is about a few of those things.

*****

Ahhhh, Breathe Deeply

Night air in spring
A freshwater river
A cat's fur
Newly mown grass
The stem or leaf of a tomato
A brand-new book, cracked open
A spruce tree in the warmth of our house at Christmas
And a spruce tree in shady woods in summer
Rain on a warm day
Pizza baking in the oven
Freshly ironed cotton
The first lilac to open in June



Unfortunately, one of our cats has asthma and is sensitive to lilacs. We can't have the windows or doors open when our lilac bush is in bloom because she gets wheezy. But I know how she feels, being asthmatic myself, so I don't mind.

*****

And just because I haven't posted any here in awhile, here are some funnies:

Don't worry, little one, it's all kitty memes today ...



































 *****

Wishing you plenty of your favourite smells as  you go about your week ... What would some of those be? Let me know in the comments, if you like.

Next weeks' topic, courtesy of Diane, is ..... BRIDGES.

Good luck!









Monday, 18 May 2020

Poetry Monday: The Place I Call Home

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ..... PLACES WE CALL HOME.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me as we describe the places each of us calls home. Tell us about your home, too, if you like, by leaving  your poem in the comments or posting on your blog. If you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and cheer you on.

You may use the topic or choose another. We write poetry for the challenge and for the enjoyment, and if you think that sounds like fun, give it a try.

*****

It's been another busy week chez Donkey, and I didn't get started on my poem until the last minute.

It soon became evident that the number of things I wanted to include about my home (my province of Nova Scotia) far exceeded my ability to quickly toss them off in rhyming form, so I settled for a history lesson in the vague shape of a poem.

Actually, I think it's a geography lesson too.

Don't boo. It isn't nice, and it will hurt my wittle fee-wings.


*****

To get us started, here is a map of Canada:

Canada is the part with all the bright colours. Nova Scotia is the dark pink province at the far right.


Zooming in on Nova Scotia, we see this:

Okay, I know it's yellow now, not pink, but trust me, it's the right province. (The green bit on the left is New Brunswick and the peach bit floating above Nova Scotia is Prince Edward Island (wave at Marie!) Mainland Nova Scotia is a peninsula, connected to the rest of Canada by a small and marshy bit of land that will not fare well under climate change's rising ocean levels, and is completed by the beautiful island of Cape Breton on the right.


I think we're ready to begin now.

*****

We Are Also Known As Bluenosers, Because Cold Winters

My home and my heart are inextricably bound
By this land almost surrounded by water
A peninsula with an island at one end

Together, peninsula and island look like
A lady in an old-fashioned bonnet
(The bonnet is Cape Breton Island)
Don't you see it? Squint and try again

Our shores are lapped by waves
And lashed by winds
And our weather is moderated by
The Atlantic Ocean

Our First Nations peoples called it Mi'kma'ki
When France came calling, it was known as Acadia
Under the British and Scots, it became New Scotland
Because it reminded them of home

And starting in 1629
Under three years of Scottish occupation
We became Nova Scotia
The Latin version of New Scotland
Because Prince William wanted to impress King James VI and I

But how do we pronounce it?

Nova ... like the car
Or the Brazilian dance
Or the transient astronomical event

Scotia ... like ....
... well ... "Skoh-sha"
Rhymes with ...
Almost nothing
How about "know Shah"
Although in what sentence that could be used
I can't imagine

Nova Scotia is known for
Its rolling landscape of hills and valleys
Its generosity in times of trouble
By those already struggling to provide for themselves
Our coal mining history
Our coal mining disasters
And our forests and fisheries

Postcard Pictures at the link below ...
"Wish you were here"

*****


Canada's Ocean Playground (our other, other name)

I couldn't find any free photos to use and, embarrassingly, I couldn't find one of my own that I had in mind to put here. Note to self: label photos better. But that link has pictures and virtual tours that are beautiful, more than mine could ever be.

****

Now, tell me something about the place you call home ...


Next week's topic will be ..... FAVOURITE SMELLS .....

Good luck :)


Monday, 11 May 2020

Poetry Monday: My Favourite Flower


It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ..... MY FAVOURITE FLOWER.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me
In Favourite Flower Poetry.
Please leave your poem down below --
Or use your blog, to which we'll go!
And if the theme inspires you not,
Then give a different theme a shot.
Just work your brain and have some fun;
High-five yourself when you are done 😀

*****

They'd Grow No Matter What

My indoor gardening thumb's not green
It's more like midnight black

When people give me indoor plants
I think, please take them back

I think, you don't know what you've done
I'll need to be forgiven

For if, with me, they're forced to dwell
They'll lose their zest for livin'

They'll turn into a wilted mess
Or get so crunchy dry

No matter how I baby them
No matter how I cry

And yet I have much better luck
With plants that grow outside

The ones that grow year after year
They make me swell with pride

The hardy, brave forget-me-nots
And bulbs of every kind

And nearly all perennials --
My black thumb they don't mind

They're dormant in the wintertime
But every spring appear

With garments green and faces bright
For favourite flowers, let's cheer!


*****



forget-me-nots

These might be my *favourite* favourite of all





siberian squill (scilla siberica)

These spread like crazy; the bulbs multiply but they also appear to spread by seed (is that even possible?) because we've found them on the opposite side of the house from the original bed.






iris

Always beautiful.

*****

What's your favourite flower . . . or flowers?

Next week's topic will be ..... the places we call HOME .....

Good luck :)


Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Nests, Old and New

I was unable to create a poem on "birds" two Poetry Mondays ago, so I'm taking it as the theme for this post instead.

Birds make their nests in both leaf-bearing and evergreen trees -- but only the leaf-bearing trees reveal the secrets in their branches each year. What is well-hidden in the summer becomes visible in the other three seasons.

My walking circuit is not a big one, but there are several nests from other years evident along the way.

Nest number one:

Far . . .


. . . and near. It was a breezy day which accounts for both the blurriness and the trailing bits going sideways.



Nest number two:

Far . . .


. . . and near.


Nest number three:


Far . . .


. . . and near.


As for new nests, a crow couple has built one in an evergreen tree that borders the back of our house lot.

It's interesting to watch their comings and goings. Sometimes they're both hidden in the branches where the nest is. Sometimes they're both hanging out nearby. But most of the time when I see them, one is arriving for duty and then the other leaves for a break. The one who's arriving caws to announce his or her presence, after which the one going on break bursts out of the greenery with what I can only describe as visible relief.

I remember feeling like that when we were raising little kids too.

It's not that we don't love our children, or that we are tired of them. It's just that we all need a break now and then.

Here's the happy frazzled couple:





And here's a video of one of them diligently working at the new nest (middle of frame) (warning: all you can see is the crow's tail, but on the bright side, it's a short video):



These were taken about a month ago. It took awhile for the crows to build the nest. At first I could see them breaking twigs off larger branches that had fallen during the winter. They'd hold the branch with their feet and wrench off the twigs, holding a half dozen or so at a time in their beaks. Then they'd fly to our deck railing, rearrange them using the railing as a sort of table top, just like a person squaring a pile of paperwork, then fly into the evergreen to add them to the nest.

They did much the same for grass additions to the nest, plucking dead strands of grass from the lawn until they had a beakfull (is that not a word? autocorrect doesn't like it), then flying to the railing to rearrange it into a better order, then flying to the nest, and -- one presumes -- working it into the sticks.

We had a storm last week that brought wind and slushy snow, and I worried about those crows and their possibly egg-filled nest.

This is how our back yard looked after the snow:



It doesn't look like much snow, does it? It was turning to water as it hit the ground. But, on my car, it piled up so much I had to clear it off repeatedly when going for groceries and to work.

And it was cold enough to form ice on the branches - can you see it below, on the two branches that make a sideways "v" in the middle of the photo?


Far . . .



. . . and near.


So I was a bit worried about Mr. and Mrs. Crow. Would they decide their tree was stuck in winter and move to another tree that might be located in spring instead?

Happily, they did not. I've since see them to-and-fro-ing in the back yard and feel reasonably sure their household is still operating. I'm hoping to hear, and see, baby crows in the fullness of time.

Along with the crows, we've also had some returning finch sightings, along with the chickadees who've stayed through the winter. And the robins have been in full voice with their spring songs.

More signs of spring to come in the next post .......





Monday, 4 May 2020

Poetry Monday: Friends

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

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi and me in exploring 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 here so we can trundle along and find you and your poem.

Use the topic, or choose another. The idea is to work our brains a bit and enjoy doing it.

*****

Before I proceed, thank you once more for your kind and thoughtful comments, and for the poems you contributed last Poetry Monday. I just could not seem to find the mental energy at that time to reply individually, but please know I read them all and appreciated your thoughts so much.

In the same way, I hope that the families of those killed two weeks ago have benefited from the support of folks across Canada and abroad. Our provincial newspaper printed some of the many messages they received for Nova Scotians and the kindness directed toward our province was comforting and uplifting.

Last week our province was hit with more loss. A Canadian Forces helicopter based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, crashed off the coast of Greece, resulting in the deaths of six Forces members. They leave behind children and spouses and parents and friends trying to cope at a time already full of great stress.

It will take a long time for bereft families to begin to look to the future again without their loved ones in their lives, and I wish them strength and peace as they make their journey through grief.

*****

Now for this week's poem.

Although I'm feeling more like myself now, I used the free verse format because it's easier to write, and because I wanted my message to be very clear for you, my friends in Blogland.

*****

Thank You For Being A Friend 
(click link for the song by the same name)

When I was young
I thought a friend
Was someone exactly like me

We'd get along so well
We'd like the same things
We'd think the same way
It would be like finding the twin I never had
The twin I always wanted
The twin I realized eventually
Was impossible to have

I've lived a few years
(Quite a few years, to be honest)
Now I see friendship differently
Some friends are just like me
Some are sort of like me
Some are nothing like me

But the thing that makes them friends
Is that I can always find in them
Something I like
Something I admire
Something I can learn
Something I miss when we're not in touch

A missing piece
Like a jigsaw puzzle piece
One of many who make the picture of me
Complete





Good advice from the kittehs

*****

Next weeks topic is . . . . . OUR FAVOURITE FLOWER.

Good luck :)