Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reflections of a Dulled Mind

Every once in a while my usually incisive brilliant razor sharp adequate mind takes itself on a holiday. Good for it.
It leaves a facsimilie behind to carry on with the heavy lifting of getting me out of bed and through the day. Sadly, that's about all it does.
This appears to be the case now as I am currently enjoying the intellectual capacity of a potato. No, I withdraw that. No slagging of spuds here.
In a way it's good. I am not bothered by deeper thoughts. Or any thoughts really.
It's a nice break once I adjust to it.
It's been a few days. I've yet to adjust.
I look at this picture I took a few months ago and know, just know, it deserves something. It's a "no campfire" sign surrounded by lake water.
I got nuthin'.
I take comfort in knowing my mind will return shortly with tall, exciting tales of adventures had without me.
I hope it hurries back. I miss it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gratitude Monday -- Outlook Good

Athabasca Lookout

Yesterday I wore my favourite jeans for while. Well into the afternoon, in fact. These are my pre-heart condition jeans. I've had them for several years and they're comfy, as comfy as anything can be without Spandex.
This bodes well as it means I've lost a whole whack of water weight that I got when my heart messed up.
Even though I'm still in atrial fibrillation, I am considerably better.
The jeans proved it.
Someday soon I'll be able to wear them after lunch and ever after dinner. For now, I am content that they remained comfortable for as long as they did.
The outlook is good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday --Gone Fishing Edition

Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day. It was the kind of day you know in your heart is a gift and if you don't accept it, then you'll kick yourself on all those other days that are less a gift.
My husband had the day off so we escaped. We took a drive out west along the BigHorn Highway, known here as the Forestry Trunk Road, and spent part of the morning fishing at the pond pictured above.
This pond was once a gravel pit. It has long since been reclaimed and is stocked with trout. It's a gorgeous setting and it makes what would have been an eyesore into a relaxing destination spot.
The fish outsmarted us, as fish do, so we let them be and went on our way further down the trunk road. It made for a wonderful day in the West Country.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Acts of Autumn

Welcome to Autumn in the West Country.

Please come through with me.

A fine rhubarb crop rests on my altar.

Four hills of potatoes from my little garden gave me this.

A guest in the yard enjoys a bit of cool in the late afternoon heat.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your visit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

There is a Season

Rosehips in the sandhills at Horseshoe Bend near Fort Assiniboine. Fall comes a bit early there.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1.

And for others among us this may be more familiar:

Either way, enjoy the change.
Happy Autumn, everyone.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday – Renovation

The two sentences I've read recently may not strike other readers quite the same.
That's fine. They sent me in to fits of barely contained laughter, but my sensibilities came warped right out of the original wrapping, and years of reporting made sure they stayed that way.
This will have to be from memory as I didn’t get a supporting photo, but from a sign in a grocery story currently undergoing an expansion:

“Due to renovations our bakery staff will not be visible.
We are sorry for the inconvenience.”
Now that’s one hell of a renovation.


The renovations I’m doing on my first fiction manuscript are nowhere near as extensive. I can still see the original form, but some passages bear little resemblance to their humble beginnings.
This is probably good.

Here’s a bit from The Legend of Shallal:

“Talking now was a way of distancing themselves, of returning to separation, of being their own being after the keenness of the session. The danger and excitement of being intellectual lovers seared through their Joining.”


For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Still Useful

As the summer draws to a close and our local world prepares to shut down for the season of cold sleep we might think that winter and it's slice of death is ugly.
No, it isn't. It's a time of rest and rejuventation for plants and animals and a time for the introspective among us to quieten down and look inside.
It's easy to dismiss dead branches and a blanket of snow as being worthless,but if you look at the photo you'll find the goldfinch uses the tree as a lookout as it waits for a chance to get to the feeder.
What's dead to us is a useful lookout, a meeting place, and a home for assorted critters that birds such as woodpeckers feast on.
Dead? Yes. Useless? No.
I'm sure this goldfinch is grateful for the chance to perch a moment to make sure it is safe to feed and I'm equally sure that the woodpeckers who'll be around later on this season are looking forward to their meals in these branches.
This tree still serves a purpose, death has changed the purpose, but it is still useful.
It's not a perspective all that many of us have. I'm grateful I have it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday -- Welcome Home Edition

This is the house my Granddad Utas built in the mid-1920s. My dad was about six when they moved to the Fort Assiniboine area from the Bashaw area. Dad said they lived for six months in a covered wagon until the house was ready.
My parents lived in it for a few years and I spent my first year here.
It's a bit worse for wear these days and the trees have reclaimed most of it, but the door is open and it's still my first home.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday – Guaranteed

I’ve been guilty of narrow vision in this. I’ve restricted myself to books with the occasional pamphlet thrown in for variety.
Silly me. I’ve been missing out on the rich vein of writing found in full-page newspaper ads.
Such copy is well-structured and a lesson in marketing, selling, and whipping readers into frenzy, or at least a bit of excitement so they’ll buy the icing and not even think about the cake.
I spent a few moments yesterday enjoying an ad for a sublingual human growth hormone spray. I learned it would make me young for a low, low price and the more I bought the more I’d save.
My satisfaction was apparently guaranteed. A little box at the bottom of the ad said so.
The opening line in the box:
“Your absolute satisfaction is Guaranteed.”
The closing line in the box:
“Your absolute satisfaction is ‘Guaranteed.’”

Hmm, I wished they’d made up their minds.
I hope you’ll enjoy mine.
I absolutely guarantee they are words.
In this scene from The Legend of Shallal my two main characters meet after a lengthy absence.
“The diamond shaped orbs in her palms glowed as she held them out to him. His glowed in return and they slowly put the orbs together and closed their eyes.”
For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Blue Sky and Bird Totem Edition

I went for a drive yesterday. It got me outside, and gave me a chance to spend time under the warm, late summer sun. The leaves are beginning to turn though there's still plenty of green.
The mid-afternoon sky seemed a deeper, more intense blue yesterday and it was magnificent to be out in it.
On my way to a local lake I saw a red-tailed hawk. It's is my bird totem. I am always pleased to see one as I consider it a sign that I am being watched over.
I am grateful for that.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday --The Old Home Town Edition

This is Fort Assiniboine, Alberta.

It's where I'm from and this is the sight that greeted me every school day morning of my life. I never tired of it in the 12 years I went to school and I haven't tired of this sight in the 50 years and change I've walked the Earth.
The Athabasca River makes a bend here. It's obscured by the trees on the hillside in the foreground in this photo, but it is there.
The Fort was a hamlet, then it became a village, then it reverted to hamlet in the mid-1990s.
I like that it's a hamlet simply because the title suits the scenery.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My First Vote

Timeu Hall, site of the Timeu community picnic each year, dances, and a local polling station. I voted in my very first election here back in 1980. It was a federal election and the Conservatives under Joe Clark won lost. He was the candidate in my riding so voters like me had the honour of voting either directly for him or directly against him.
That was fun.
It made me feel as though I actually had a say in the matter. Any voter does, of course, but we only vote for the party here. The party selects the leader and you only vote for a party leader if you live in the riding he or she represents.

It could be that time of year again in Canadistan, your politically unstable banana republic at the top of the world.
The Liberals have pledged to bring down the Conservative minority government at their earliest convenience. An opposition party will need to shore up the government to stave off a fall election. That sort of unholy alliance never lasts. We'll get an election sooner or later anyway, but it appears that sooner is going to win.
I don't want one. I believe the majority of us feel the same. It will waste money and will likely render yet another Conservative minority government.
Is there a point?
No, but there's always a chance that the electorate will be so annoyed they'll come out in droves and elect a majority government of some stripe.
I have hope, but I also wonder if the current Devil we know is the better choice, at least for now.
All I can do is sharpen a mental pencil for a potential upcoming ballot mark.

ETA: My memory failed me earlier. I voted in 1980 for what I honestly believe was the first time, and in Clarke's riding. but he was the serving PM and lost that election. Sorry. Should have checked.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Me and My Typos

I'm still resting from my long weekend away so no proper post yet.
I promise.
Meanwhile, I must apologize for my typos. My eyes are not what they used to be, and my typing skills never were. No matter how many times I check, something often gets by me.
I am sorry.
I'll try to do better in the future. Maybe I need to take more time, maybe I should have a second cup of coffee before I attempt any responses. Or maybe I should just accept the fact that stuff'll get by me. Mistakes are easier to find after I've hit publish.
I tell myself it's because I have Type O blood and ergo can't help myself, but even I groan at that lame attempt at humour.
I'll post again. And my comments will have the occasional mistake. It's my nature.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Early Scenic Edition

Along the Glacier Lake hike

I live close to here, about a two hour drive through some of the best scenery in the province. I can get to it under my own steam and get out among it when I get there.

I would hate to live the kind of a life where I didn't realize how good I have it.


This is up early as I am away from the computer on Labour Day and scheduling it to show up at the right time just seems so, well, normal.

Happy Labour Day.

Photo-Finish Friday -- Morning Over Argentina

An early morning view.

Here's the south east edge of Argentina with the Andes rising above the land.
We were on our way back to Argentina from our stopover in the Falklands.
As I've said before, it was wide open with a bracing sea cold. Barren of people for the most part, but filled with the other creatures, those who are kitted out for the life in the water and adapt to it to survive.
It's quiet there. The space lets a mind expand beyond the borders and in the silence you can hear yourself think.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August in Kananaskis

The month was taken from us too quickly.
Here are a few photos from the mountain playground just east of Banff.

I hope you enjoyed the visit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday – Eight Side Shoed Edition

I haven’t done much reading lately. The time goes too quickly and I keep having other things to do first. This must stop.
We still have our bedtime stories though. There’s always time for those.

We’re on book three of Warriors: Forest of Secrets, by Erin Hunter (Avon Books, 2003). The series is largely about warring clans of pussycats.

Two sentences from a recent night’s read:

"Halfway down the hollow she paused, stiffening as she sniffed the air. 'There are Thunderclan cats here!' she hissed."

I recently finished correcting the obvious mistakes in my NaNo novel from last year. I was tempted to use two sentences from it for what I’ve read, but that’s too much like navel gazing from the inside.
I’ve managed a bit of rewriting. Much more awaits.
One mistake was compounded by my use of auto correct during writing. I had to stop and think the other day what “eight side shoed” really meant. I decided it was probably “each side showed,” but now I want to write a story calling for octagonal footwear.

My current opening paragraph from my WIP, The Legend of Shallal:

"Atlal ran her fingers lightly over her breasts confirming they had restructured. The transformation to female from male went swiftly and appeared to be without incident. It usually was, but she still checked each time. "

For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
The photo is of the morning sun peeking through the fog. It reminds me of my writing.