20 Jul 2014, 2:47pm
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In Season and Out

I’ve been blogging for enough years to see the pattern that when someone who blogged daily drops back to weekly, or so, the writing’s on (or rather disappearing off) the wall.

That said, the pattern usually happens within the first 2 years of blogging. Most often with someone who blogs under a pseudonym and runs out of classified but not personally identifying things to say.

Typically people who quit (previously, invisible to the audience) wrote to navigate a personal crisis, often offering drama or upbeat pictures until the big reveal where they can go public that they are now in a new country, new career, new marriage. Then they disappear again since the distraction about and use of talking about something else is over. That makes sense. Why wouldn’t a purpose underlie communicating?

But then why wouldn’t communicating be a way of being, shooting the breeze, connecting without a motive past the talking? That works too. Not so crassly-based. Maybe that’s my countryside roots showing. Urban is on the clock and the clock on the money and there has to be a purpose and payoff, a ROI, but countryside is you’re here, I’m here, let us entertain one another. What are you about?

cucumber cling
Why not hang on? Why not quit? In the grand scheme, neither makes a whit of difference.

Quitting happens. It can be a good thing. To stop one thing allows room for something else.

Some of the people who quit sometimes regroup to re-amalgamate all their blogs to one site, often an author site, or for food bloggers, a bookselling site where they slowly erase content until a professional veneer remains that then peters off in a couple years or until the next cookbook.

In contrast since National Capital Freenet days I had a showcase area and a blog area and by the time I had multiple blogs I had an author site. I’m deviating from pattern enough that my blog demise isn’t fated from the signs.

The mushroom of writing is always going with me. Fruiting bodies pop up everywhere but it isn’t crisis-based.

Whether a season of leaf

of of lily, I am still continuing.

Maybe that’s madness.

The biggest laugh I ever had at my in-laws was one Christmas when my brother-in-law apologized for any extra cleaning incurred because of his kids being there and my mother-in-law said, no, no. I clean the kitchen that much whether it is used or not.

I busted some eardrums with my laughter. They looked perplexed.

To me to clean whether need or not struck me as utterly obsessive compulsive. Uncharacteristically comically, uneconomical and useless.

But it makes as much sense as for me to write whether a subject is driving it or not.

There’s always something to say. There’s always something to clean. It’s not what you do but what you’re doing makes you.

OC, I suppose that too is a pathological/illness-based filter. I seem to use that a lot.

What if my model is of flourishing rather than compensating? What would that change in perception?

18 Jul 2014, 1:59pm
Link Dump
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Hey, Lookie there

Skinning Dipping at 50: How An Ordinary Person Lives an Extraordinary Life is a weekly blog of making a bucket list and doing it. She’s in week 40 now. Great thing. If you carpe diem enough, how is there room for regret?

At Living From this Day Forward, a compliment or a tease. When you’ve been teased, that the same thing could be admired isn’t the first thought. Good story.

In Japan Orchid stopped to watch a dragonfly.

Here, Holly was chittering and looking up at a dragonfly then meowing at me to bring it down. She’s convinced we create moths from our fingertips when we point at them, so why couldn’t we bring down a dragonfly, or make the rain stop? Or maybe she was just bellyaching.

Greet the shadows and ask, what’s here right now?

Well, there’s Frogpond in the mail with my senryu in it. That’s a big haiku market. It’s been years since I tried. If you don’t play…

Did you know Charles VIII died from running into a door lintel while playing tennis? Guess I got off lucky if the wild badminton swing is what did in my shoulder for a year or so.

Using her own perisistence, body weight and strength, Kacy Catanzaro did some amazing athletics. I’ve probably watched this half a dozen times already.

Seed and Pearl is a photoblog about light. Simply eye-wateringly gorgeous.

this life is a bottomless blessing“. Even the awkward stuff. For instance?

My cousin, introducing me to another cousin’s girlfriend said, “you are both writers. you should talk. C won an award for short stories and Pearl once wrote a nice poem about our old cat, didn’t you”.

I totally understand how quickly C ducked and made herself scarce.

I remember being 20 and thinking 40-year-olds are indistinguishable from retirees.

60 is rushing up in a few blinks.

Coelho said there,

I understood two very important things. The first is that no matter how famous you may be, you will always have the feeling that you are alone.

The other is that no matter how unknown you may be, you will always be surrounded by friends, even if you have never seen their faces.

first raspberries
Ah, the small chins of ripe raspberries. We had two. Overnight, someone clambered up onto the bench to chew a few more.

Whatever our shrub is, it’s ripening. No one in bird & rodent world seems keen on eating them.

And to close off the read-recently round up, Laughing Housewife has a growth-challenge photo post.

Forget about living on air. How about pure electricity, eating and excreting electrons? Does a bad vibe make them fart or hiccup?

10 Jul 2014, 4:26pm
Farming Gnomes
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Veggie Garden

Milkweed out in the wild verge.

That’d be nice to have planted, to attract some butterflies and because the little boats of pods and silk are fond memories.

I envy the cultivar daisies but I want wild daisies for a sunny spot, and trilliums, dog-tooth violets, all the native forest floor plants to reinstate what was once here a couple centuries ago.

Know what would also be nice? To have peppers survive to our table. The second big one was swiped. Them being eaten at the picnic table is civil of the critters and all, but I’d rather see the pepper turn red.

I suppose gardening is a variation on plant a tree you will never sit under the shade of.

I thought the pole beans didn’t come up but when I look closer I see the ones that did are chewed to the ground. Chicken wire is now around the survivors.

Radishes are coming up. First and second planting are weeks apart but thanks to the heat and rains all coming together this week, they’re the same size.

And some squash that was way past proper planting time but threw in the ground anyway? Three of them coming up.

Such amazing fertility of seed. You could rake and bale the amount of sow weeds and creeping joe and manitoba maple seedlings and crab grass. Where invasive species meets invasive species, that’s a kind of rainforest thriving, except everything is inches tall.

9 Jul 2014, 2:30pm
Glad Game


It’s good to count your blessing while you can remember them. When the neural weather system reverses, they still may be unreachable as something with significance but they might glimmer.

A family reunion was fun. I like having something to do that is needed. So I was in charge of getting people to sign the attendance sheet and write their names on a slip for door prizes, and then going to find the people when they won who had scattered all over, in a circle playing music, or another playing badminton, or kicking a soccer ball,
or gone up to visit the neighbour’s cows, or down to the river to look for snakes, or gone for a walk around the pond, or sitting in the shade.

Got a chance to have a few words with a few. Lowering expectations to dribs and drabs that may accumulate or not, but being present for little bits.

Mom dropped another couple bags of things I left at her house when I moved out, including the best jeans ever. If I ever return to my 8-year-old frame, I would totally wear those red roadrunners again. Also, this:

I do not remember cutting the sleeves off a sweatshirt. Or writing this. Misspelling totally unintentional I’m sure. Did I wear it in public with that written on the back? The past is a mysterious country.

Five social events in 2 weeks. What butterflies we are. And after a sense of well-being. For Canada Day I thought I pulled a muscle in my face from smiling. I haven’t laughed that much in a long while.

Yesterday slow, mellow easy company. Sometimes it feels impossibly hard as such a long pattern and then this. Sometimes one gets the illusion that life might be easy. And/or funny.

Older Ladies by Donnalou Stevens has that wonderful balance of good humour and standing self-assessing as acceptable and self-assured. With 5 million views in a month, seems the world has been waiting for that message.

A time for refusing and reflecting putdowns, not silently shrugging off like that 14-year-old Carleigh. Determine one’s own terms of engagement.

And canning small joys. For almost a month I’ve been planning to try this. (The post at Eaten Up at noon tomorrow.)

It’s a hard sweet spot to hit to want something enough to do it and to not want something so much that it is paralyzing. Stage fright and performance anxiety aren’t just for conversation and presentation. Alone in the kitchen. Until it’s in the thick of it. Then there’s a breakthru in the doing. As with anything else.

To do something concrete. To saw off 4 limbs and have the backyard less overhung with leaves. I have a sap-lust. Is this how lumberjacks start? Or deserts? If only we could eat Manitoba Maple we’d never be able to go hungry.

Sometimes I feel darnright domestic without it seeming pejorative.

Imagine all the funny human tricks I can do — like lift a heady pot, or carry limbs again. Or lift laundry onto the line. Or carry a table. It’s been 14 months or so since I was that normal. Sometimes the shoulder aches if I lift too much for too long, or lie on it for too long, but it is largely normal.

A good normal of wanting the well-being for one another, asking after, the casual walk by with a touch on the back or arm. And the longer time off together, with an excuse of food.

IMG_1436 IMG_1483
The garden is growing. So are plans for the next. Maybe take out that tree, and put a fruit one. Or move such and such. Nice to see a bit of future instead of being in the smaller now.

What a profusion of flowers. Everything is blossoming. Except poetry. I’m writing at probably 1/10 or 1/20 of my normal rate but life in general is a creative outlet.

Sunny days of zig zag hopping all around the yard. I don’t know how we’ll explain winter to her. A rainy day is lament enough. Her ears back and meowing when it’s raining out not just the front door, but at the back door too. She adds an inordinate joy with her curiosity and innocence.

The good life must include watermelon in the shade.

And yesterday the sweetness of standing together under a roof in a white out of downpour, sheets of rain blowing down the water-covered river of a street. Cat at our feet. On other verandas along the street other people out watching the torrential rain. I ran out in it for the cold shock and at my squeak, the cat retreated closer to the door then as the rained eased came back to hunker between our ankles.

It’s rather nice that a being so independent could be anywhere and chooses there. I woke to her sleeping against my ankle. Hubby at the other side. Good way to ease into a day.

Blowing Bubbles that Don’t Pop

During the HintonburgHappening there were all kinds of arts events — try a potter’s wheel, go to women’s drumming circles, make a thankfulness kit, watch (or assist) a magician, watch paintings being painted, be photographed by the LoveOttawaProject. One option was to go to the glass blowers.

It’s the same as pottery, in that you’re shaping the earth, except you’re dealing with melted sand at 2200 freaking degrees or so.

We’ve gone twice before to glassblowers that offered the chance but I wimped out.

I made it myself, kinda. Flo Glass Blowing does the kiln, tools, materials, explanations, guidance, but you get to be involved.

Hubby photographed me picking up my choice of colors.

While we were there there were 4 other pairs where one person photographed the friend doing this.

You could make it and then opt for it to be melted away again or pay and keep it for $15 which is around half the usual price.

My little pile.

Turn it smoothly and fast enough to keep the molten glowing clump on the stick and even in the glory hole.

Blow and stop when Melody says. Sounded a little like lamaze class. It was surprisingly hard to blow. Like a balloon, a lot of blowing to start and push thru the mass then less, in this case to not blow out the end of the bubble as the teacher rolls and shapes the other end.

Some people could blow steady and hard and fast and made a big bubble quickly. Others didn’t have the wind and it had to be taken back and reheated once or twice more. Some ended up with a big, medium or small ball. Mine needed a reheat. Apparently I’m not full of hot air.

Nothing phallic to see here. Moving on.

The instructors, Melody or Stephanie while we were there, cut it off the metal rod, added the molten gob and stretched and twisted it to make the eyelet for a string.

The colors while hot are different than what they’ll return to when cooled. All that padding is round-shaped and keeps the heat safely away before it goes in the fridge. The glass looks cool but they marked your number with chalk. The chalk flashed into fire.

I blew it last week. It cools a little bit quickly but entirely slowly. It takes a controlled slow cooling to not crack.

With that many people coming thru people have to cooperate in a system to keep the place in working order. Case in point:


Pretty tools!

They have a video at their site showing inside the studios. They have several classes to do things from paperweights to oil lanterns and glasses. You can rent studio time as with a pottery place. While you’re there you might notice there’s a stained glass store/studio a couple doors down in the same strip mall. They also do classes.

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