Thursday, December 31, 2009

Photo Finish Friday --Journey to 2010

One year ends, another begins. It's all part of the journey and each year we get to start it anew.
We set out from one shore with the optimistic assumption that we'll set down on the other shore relatively intact.
What we don't know is how the trip will go. Clear sailing? Windy with roiling, frothy waves? Probably a bit of both with a few other surprises thrown in. On the whole, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy 2010 everyone. Enjoy your journey.

The photo is of the ferry crossing at Arrow Lakes, B.C., from Shelter Bay to Galena Bay.

I posted this early because I felt like it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gratitude Monday --Time to Reflect

This is a quiet week, perhaps the quietest of the year, and for that I am grateful.
Nothing much happens in my local world during the last week of the year and that's fine with me.
Back in my reporting days it was almost too quiet. We still had a newspaper to fill though reviewing the year went a long way.
The down side of fresh news is the kind of thing that it might be. No one wants that at any time, least of all during the festive season.
I tend to find this slow time a good time to reflect on what has happened, to think about the possibilities in the future, and to remind myself that my life is good even during those moments when I am convinced otherwise.
Reflection is good. It reminds me of where I've been, what I've done, and what I can do about it if I so choose.
I am glad for the time to think no matter what it brings.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's that time of the year again.

For some of us it'll be a standoff.

Leading to a clear winner.

While others are more flexible and simply take the times as they come.

Whichever you choose, I wish you well.

Happy Holidays.
Season's Greetings.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gratitude Monday -- Bunny Solstice Edition

Where to begin?
I'm still buzzing over finding out my heart's pumping properly. The world is an even better place now.

It's Christmas season, which means baking. It's cold, which means baking. And my husband's work has slowed down, which means he's the one doing the baking.
He's made cake, cookies, lebkuchen (honey cakes) and the above- pictured lemon meringue pie. All are made from scratch and yes, he stood at the stove stirring the cornstarch mix for the body of the pie, and he sifted the flour for the crust. When I say scratch, I mean it.
He had a dollop of meringue left over so he put it on the top for a bunny's tail and then carved a bunny in the meringue. It was tasty.

Today is the Solstice. It's the shortest day of the year and winter is upon us. This is good, because we can't get shed of winter until it starts and now, with the solstice, we are looking toward the light.
Happy Solstice everyone.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday -- Better Days

The home has seen better days, but it's still standing and there are treasures to find on the floor still.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snowbundance - Write that Cheque

Abundance comes in many forms. Currently, we have an abundance of snow.

It’s that time again. Fire up your chequebooks and make out an abundance cheque to yourself.
The new moon is at 5:02 MST. Once you sort out what time that is in your zone you have 24 hours from that moment to get the cheque done.
Ignore the date box.
Make it out to yourself.
Write “Paid in Full” in the amount areas.
Sign it “The Law of Abundance.”
Now put it away and forget about it.
Now if you get distracted and it’s past the 24 hour line, don’t despair. Write it anyway and get back on track next month.
Happy Abundance.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twofer Tuesday – The Second Time is Great

Many long years ago I read The Great Gatsby. It bored me. I could not imagine what all the fuss was about. What was the point?
I could go on, but I think you’ve realized the problem: me.
Of course I didn’t get it. I was stupid and young and had no context. Books like this require someone to have had a life in order to appreciate them.
I had a rescue copy from a sale decorating my TBR pile and a vague notion that I’d get to it again someday. Then I read Lillian Hellman’s memoir and it gets mentioned several times. I don’t recall the words used, but I think at one point Hellman or someone in her circle told F. Scott Fitzgerald it was brilliant and/or his best work.
Obviously, I’d missed the point when I read it in my teens. I can tell you now, on second reading, that I get it. I’m glad I gave it a second go.

Here’s a sample. I’ve sneaked an extra sentence to round out the paragraph.

“Outside the wind was loud and there was a faint flow of thunder along the sound. All the lights were going on in West Egg now; the electric trains, men-carrying, were plunging home through the rain from New York. It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.”
-The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Collier Books, MacMillan Publishing Co. Copyright 1925, Charles Scribner’s Sons.)
I’m still tapping away at Biting The Dust’s obvious errors.
Here’s a sample featuring one of the God-fearing folk in Saintree:

"Roy Hansom went to church to atone for his sins of the week and if he didn’t have sufficient ones, then he’d go to town early to make some. Roy loved the Lord and it was important to him to beg for forgiveness and absolution."
For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
And thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.

It's the Bag Lady's birthday whether she likes it or not.
How about we slip over to her place and make a fuss?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gratitude Monday - The Roof Over My Head

This is my house in summer.

We have snow. More than we need. It is cold. Very cold. The forecast was for -38C overnight.
I have a place to live. I have a roof over my head and a furnace that works and a nice, warm husband.
Not everyone is as fortunate as me to be sheltered when the weather gets nasty.
I have a home. I am grateful.
Edited to add:
We made it uncomfortably close to -40C. That's the same as being uncomfortably close to 40 below F.
Edited to add again:
We did it. -40C .

Friday, December 11, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday --Summer in Kananaskis


A beautiful summer's day in Alberta.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

As of today I get to stop taking rat poison.
I was surprised--pleasantly so and then some-- to learn this morning that according to the assorted tests my heart is pumping normally and the speed is well within normal range.
I'll be on other meds to maintain this and will likely stay on them. Y'know what? So what!
My heart is working and that's what matters.
I can eat more cauliflower and broccoli and can have some sauerkraut. I can start taking ginkgo biloba again. I can have all the green tea and pistachios I want so bring on the baklava.
A few months ago my cardiologist said I needed another ablation. It would appear that has changed.
I intend to celebrate. I'm not sure how, but there'll be garlic involved, lots and lots of garlic as I had to restrict the intake of that, too.
Okay, I am stupideasy to please, I know. But this is good news and I am tickled silly.
In place of the Warfarin I will take a low dose Aspirin (R) every day.
Life is good.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Twofer Tuesday - I’m Afraid I’ve Been Working

I am still reading. I’m so glad. I must confess to a bit of a worry after my reading bug returned. I was afraid it would go again and leave me alone.
It’s still here, it’s still working, and I am enjoying it more than ever.
Along with reading, I’ve knuckled down to, sort of, editing Biting The Dust. I’m doing my best to just fix the obvious errors this round. I still find myself sneaking in a bit of rewriting here and there. I’m fighting the urge to pull on the boots and get after it properly.
They're for after the hard copy reading, I remind me.

These boots were made for writing.

And speaking of being afraid, I segued brilliantly, guess what I’m reading?
Yup, Afraid, by Jack Kilborn. I won this several months back from the wonderful Women of Mystery. It’s been in the TBR pile since about July.
It’s a gripping story, good pacing, and not as gross as I’d feared. Most enjoyable.

Here’s a bit:

“Josh followed Sal’s stare with the flashlight.
It came to rest on the huge man standing next to the window, quietly slow dancing with the naked, mutilated corpse of Maggie Morton.”
- Afraid, Jack Kilborn, Grand Central Publishing, 2009.
From my efforts this week here are two freshly edited sentences from Chapter Two of Biting The Dust.

“Show yourself. I refuse to talk to the disembodied.” Eury’s voice came from her abdomen.
“That might not serve you well someday.”
For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
And thank you for stopping by.

I appreciate it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Front Doors are Good

We had snow and blowing snow the other day. This is what happened when the snow blew around and settled on the back porch.

Drifts built up.

We could not open the back door Saturday morning. Snow had piled up so high we were trapped.
Fortunately, we have a front door. Hardly any snow was left on the front step. It opened easily and for that I am grateful.
Mike went out and shovelled the snow and took these pictures. I hope you enjoyed them. Please click to enlarge. If you dare.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo-Finish Friday -- Still Life

We're slowing down with the cold. Even if we're iced up or snowed in there's still life inside us.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Verify Everything, Even Comments

Verify every adventure. It keeps us safe. Pic is of Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park.

Ah, what a day.
Tiger's transgressions have taken over the news including above the fold on the Edmonton Journal's front and most of page A3, our neighbouring province to the east is looking at banning smoking in vehicles with kids in them, and I've had to turn on word verification.

I do not care about Mr. Woods and his alleged messing around. It is not news.
Saskatchewan can do what it wants, but bans of this nature go too far. As long as smoking is a legal activity one should pursue it in or on one's own property unmolested by government.

As for verification, well, I've had it. Tuesday's post has a good long comment from Anonymous all about making money. Why, Anon even thoughtfully added an address for me to click to in order to read more.
I've suggested a popular vacation hotspot for Anonymous.

I am sorry to have to use the fill in box, but such is the nature of the big world.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Time – Editing Mode

I’ve been a good little writer and kept myself busy with editing and reading last week.
I finished the first edit of The Legend of Shallal on Sunday and it put me at loose ends. I was still in editing mode and wasn’t quite sure what to do beyond wandering around the house bumping into the furniture and apologizing.
That wears thin after a time.
Since I still had my personal editing setting activated I decided to open up the vampire western and do something about the obvious typos. My head’s not really in it, but it keeps me from going back to Shallal.
The weather’s turned suitably nasty, though, so that’s a big help.
It’s good for reading, too. I’ve finally cracked open some Terry Pratchett and am nearly done his first Discworld novel. It’s been out since 1983. Not sure why I haven’t visited Discworld until now, but at least I’ve made it there. It takes me a while, I guess.

From The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, Corgi Books ( copyright 1983)

“ ‘Yar. Well, I’m not sure about it myself, really. It’s a sort of bet, see?’ said the innkeeper nervously. ‘In-sewer-ants, it’s called. It’s like a bet that the Broken Drum won’t get burned down.’”

From The Legend of Shallal here are a few extra lines in the interest of context.

“In the north the Thuliacs high, cracking voices hit a midtone and kept it until their lungs strained. They raised hands and swept them over one another and took another breath of the close air in the tunnel. The tone they loosed was high enough that they had to monitor one another to ensure they were really making a sound.
Beside them at their feet their wolf guard stood at tight-jawed attention. His ears hurt. His mind screamed. His lupine sensibilities were frozen as he did all he could not to howl.”
For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
And thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.

Sidenote: this is my 666th post.
Not sure what to do to observe it, but it must be celebrated.
Maybe this?