Monday, October 30, 2006

You just never know…

AC and I walked in the sunshine the other day,and crunched quite a few leaves under our feet. What fun!

We set off in a new direction for our walk and made a beeline for a country lane near us that was just too unpleasant to saunter along in the summer months. We tried to explore it a few times, but the bugs kept making us turn back; not on this day though. The cold air, blustery winds and sunshine made for the perfect day to walk to the very end of it if we wanted to and we did!

The river was just beyond the trees to our left, and huge farm fields stretched out to the right. We thought a new sub-division was being built back here, but there wasn't a sign of building anywhere. We walked along the rutted gravely road for quite a way, and didn't see anything but trees and rough rutted fields. I did catch a glimpse of orange here and there in the fields to my right and wondered what it was, but a heron, in the woods to my left, captured my attention and the orange was soon forgotten.

We got to our turn-around point in the road and when we made the turn I suddenly saw the most amazing thing. I blinked my eyes in disbelief - orange markers were lined up like soldiers in the rutted field. Was I really seeing what I thought I was seeing? Blink, blink, blink - a landing strip? Yes, a smooth, well tended, grassy landing strip was stretched out before us in the middle of this muddy, rutted field. Orange markers lined the edges and a big orange wind-sock fluttered in the breeze on one side of it. On the walk in we couldn't see the landing strip, even though we were walking right along the edge of it. It wasn't visible until we turned around and looked back on it. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. If you followed it to the end and kept going for a few hundred yards through some bush and across a road you would probably end up right at my front door! Yikes! How could this landing strip be almost in my front yard and I not know about it? How could I have walked all along the edge of it and not seen it? Why was it here? Who used it?

My imagination started to run wild and I could picture all sorts of interesting possibilities for it. I thought of the Diefenbunker we happened upon about a month ago, in the middle of what looked like a barren field, on one of our jaunts around the county.

What is a Diefenbunker you might ask? Well, it is a four story building built underground in the 60's during the time Diefenbaker was our prime minister. It was to house Dief the Chief during a nuclear attack but now serves as Canada's Cold War Museum. In case of enemy attack, the prime minister could be whisked off to this bunker undergound, and run the country from there. So, can you see where my imagination took me when I saw this hidden landing strip? Seeing as we are only minutes from Parliament Hill it seems like this secret air strip could have many possibilities. It could be the Stephenstrip leading to the Harperhanger. (Our Prime Minister is now Stephen Harper)Yes, I have a wild imagination!

Here I am thinking we live in this sleepy little town but then I discover this secret landing strip right at my doorstep and I begin to wonder. You just never know what is just around the corner from you, or under that grassy hill in the middle of that barren field next door.

Do you know what is in your back yard? Hmmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it?

AC found this image on Google for me and was kind enough to mark in red, our walking path from our house to the landing strip.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Country Craft Shows are a part of life in our area at this time of the year. Christmas is just around the corner, so this is a perfect time for craftsmen to display their wares and make lots of sales. Butterfly and I went to our local show last year and quite enjoyed it. I found unique gifts for people on my Christmas list there, so we planned on going together again this year. Well, life got busy and we just couldn't co-ordinate our schedules to get to the show yesterday. AC, bless his heart, being the trouper that he is agreed to go with me. Shopping is not his favourite thing to do at the best of times, and after the way he has been feeling the past couple of weeks, I am sure traipsing around a craft show was at the bottom of the list of things he would like to do with his paltry energy on this Saturday afternoon. Nonetheless, he came with me, and in good spirits too.

The show seemed smaller than the one last year, and we got there late in the day, so things were kind of slow. I didn't see anything that jumped out at me to buy for anyone on my Christmas list, so we left after a couple of spins around the room and decided to go to Tim's for hot chocolate and take it to the park. Yum!

It was a cold nasty day, and hot chocolate seemed to be the perfect way to warm up and make a little of our own sunshine. The rain was pelting down by the time we got to the park, but we sat in the car and enjoyed the rhythm the rain was beating on the roof while we watched ducks frolic in the river. It was quite nice actually. The hot chocolate was very chocolaty and it made us feel all warm and cozy while the rain did its cold wet windy dance outside. When we set off for home, we looked forward to settling in for the night. We treated ourselves to nachos and dip for an appetizer follow by a steaming bowl of turkey stew for dinner. Not gourmet stuff, but delicious nonetheless. I then curled up under a blanket and read until my eyes were bleary. Around 10pm I made the rounds to change all the clocks in the house, then I toddled off to bed. Mmmm, it was such a nice way to spend a cold rainy evening.

Hope you managed to make your own sunshine yesterday too, and finished off the day in a warm cozy spot.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Falling leaves

The leaves are falling off the trees in the world all around me and my life feels rather scattered just like them right now. Don't quite know where to start to write a blog, so let me just pick up a handful of life leaves laying on the ground by my feet and press a few for my blog scrapbook.

Do you remember doing that for a school project? Leaves flattened between sheets of waxed paper and then pressed with a hot iron to transfer the wax to the leaves. How pretty they looked all flattened and coated with wax ready for the next step of the project.

Well, I have the waxed paper ready and the iron is hot, so let me grab a leaf or two and get them ready for my blog scrap book.


Poor guy has had quite a struggle for the past two weeks, but I think he is on the road to recovery now. Still not back on top of his game yet, but getting there. I don't want him to go near that hospital ever again. He was fine when he went in for the routine procedure, but picked up a dandy bug in the process and it knocked him flat.

A Team Adventures
Oh those girls are giving me more gray hairs everyday. I just finished reading their latest post and this leg of the trip doesn't sound like a fun one at all. I want them to COME HOME!

Book Club
I joined a book club last year as a way to make friends in this new location. I quite like the group of ladies, but I have struggled through some of the books let me tell you. Oh well, I am being exposed to different authors and that is good. I was quite distraught though when I discovered the book for this month. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Groan. I tried to read this book the year Oprah had it on her book club and I gave up about half way through. I couldn't keep the names straight and I was totally confused as to who was talking and what was happening.

The whole time I was reading it I felt like someone was playing a trick on me. I could hear the voices of the reviewers shouting out how wonderful this book was, just like the crowds had oohed and aahed over the emperor's new clothes. They kept raving about the wonderful outfits and I couldn't for the life of me even see a pair of socks, let alone the whole ensemble. He sure looked naked to me!

Sigh, now my own book club wants to tackle this book. Ok, I will give it one more shot. Maybe there is a pair of socks or necktie there after all. Well, I have been polishing my glasses, using eye drops and even resting with cucumber slices on my eyes from time to time, but darned if I can see those robes. Nope, they are just not there. The emperor is still naked.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Can you please explain it to me!! He is naked I tell you. Naked!

Well, time is marching on and I must be out the door in 20 minutes so have to run for now. Will post these leaves now and try to get to a few more later.

The sun is shining, so maybe I will make a detour on my way home today and go to the park to scrunch a few leaves under my feet and maybe pick up a few more pretty ones to press for my album.

Talk to you all later. Enjoy your day.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gale force winds and gales of laughter

I woke up this morning to the sound of wind howling around the house and when I got up to peek out the window I saw storm clouds gathering in the sky, wanting to play a game of tag with the wind. Brrrr, this would be a good morning to make extra coffee to enjoy while I spent some leisure time reading email and blogs whilst still in my pj's and robe. Mmm, yes, that's the ticket for a morning like this.

I made the coffee, poured myself a large mug full of it and settled down in front of my laptop. I was delighted to see a new posting from the A Team and eagerly opened their blog. Oh joy, pictures too. I started to read and pretty soon couldn't drink my coffee because I was gasping with laughter.

Bug's pictures and comments brought back the memories of AC's encounter with the mice and that mixed with the word pictures I was getting from Bug just had me in gales of laughter. If you haven't read Oh No! Not again, and Mouse in the House you can link to them here if you want to.

Oh a good belly laugh is so good for you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What were they thinking???????

I woke up on this rainy morning with a headache. Don't like it at all when that happens. I rolled gingerly out of bed, grabbed my robe, and slogged my way into the den to see what AC was up to. I had a hard time focusing on anything but my pounding head, but after hellos and hugs I asked him if the A TEAM had posted a blog. He checked and oh joy, there was a new blog up. Oh heart palpitations as we read it. They trekked into the jungle and barely made it out alive. Puff's writing was very descriptive and made me laugh out loud – the second time reading it through! After the first reading however, I had to get up and walk away from the computer to catch my breath and calm down. I went to see AC for more hugs and then down we went to the kitchen for morning coffee. My head was pounding worse than ever now and felt like it was about to burst. I stumbled around getting juice and vitamins and fruit out while AC made oatmeal. We kept looking at each other and shaking our heads.

What in the world were they thinking to go into the jungle without a guide, proper maps, shoes that fit, or sleeping bags. Not only that, take the most demanding route to the furthest campsite and not to be registered anywhere. Oh dear, it just makes my stomach knot up. What were they thinking?

I can hardly stand to bowl for half an hour in rented shoes that are my size, let alone trek around in the jungle for three days in rented boots not in my size. Boots with holes in them I might add! What were they thinking?

I take maps when I go into the city with marked streets and lights and help on every corner. They had three scraps of paper, that I wouldn't begin to call "Maps". What were they thinking?

No sleeping bags! No sleeping bags!!! What were they thinking?

AC and I got through breakfast, shared more hugs and a few smiles of relief that at least the girls made it out alive and were writing about it with humour. We then went back to our respective writing nooks and work stations to check email and forge ahead into the rest of our day. AC had a violin lesson to get ready for and I had a "to do" list a mile long to tackle.

First things first though, I had to re-read the blog. This time through I was a bit calmer, and started to laugh out loud at the word pictures Puff drew. What a hoot it must be now for them to look back on it. I spoke to Butterfly after she read the blog and she said she was upset at first and then was caught up in gales of laughter over their antics.

I have to put an emergency call in to my hairdresser today. Order more of my hair dye in and better do it in bulk. I just got a whole new crop of grey hairs today and I have a feeling that more are to come before the girls return home early in December. Help!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Starlings in Winter

Such a busy, up-side-down week is now behind me and it is now time to regroup and move forward again. I am not sure which way is up today, but I will write for a while and try to find it.

It is oh so nice to be treated to a quiet rainy morning at home after all the busy ones we had last week. Two return trips to Montreal were a bit harrowing for these small town drivers let me tell you, but AC did a fine job navigating the highways and byways and got us there and back, and there and back again, safely. Whew!

We had many maps and written directions, but the pace of the drivers, the congestion on the roads and the lack of English road signs, gave us conniptions and caused us to get lost at one point. We shared a few anxious moments when we discovered we were heading north instead of east, on a rather confusing section of highway, but we soon corrected our error and got on the right road, going in the right direction again. I didn't like driving in downtown Montreal AT ALL! Nope, not one little bit, not during rush hour on Wednesday or early morning traffic on Saturday. Both were harrowing!

The highway between Ottawa and Montreal is a treat to drive on though, so we were able to relax and enjoy the ride on this stretch of road. Thank goodness. We had sunshine for our first trip to the big city on Wednesday, but the misty early morning trip on Saturday was by far the most spectacular. As we drove along, we moved from misty cloud to sunshine and back to misty cloud again in the blink of an eye. The trees would be bursting with colour one minute and wrapped in fog the next. The contrast made each phase vivid and etched in remarkable beauty. Oh such a feast for our senses.

AC and I travelled most of the way in silence as we were both in contemplative moods. Funerals tend to do that don't they? Each new one brings back the memories of all the others we have attended in our lives. I pondered life and death and relived the pain of the death of my father, as we went to comfort The Boy in the death of his dad. I thought about the joy of our expected grandchild and the sorrow of the loss of this grandfather. In and out of the sunshine and shadows we drove and in and out of joy and sorrow my spirit went.

At several points along the road I noticed flocks of birds performing aerial ballet routines and I was reminded of this Mary Oliver poem. I hunted it up this morning and it spoke to so many feelings that have been whirling around me this past week. Let me share the poem with you and wish you a day to live as though you had wings.

Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theatre of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city,
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.