10 Jul 2014, 4:26pm
Farming Gnomes
Comments Off

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.

13 Apr 2014, 6:39pm
Gnomes Photos

Breaking old ground

Irises, yes?

Sun, warm, and rain and the majority of the snowbanks have gone away.

The snow’s vestige.

Kids (of all sizes) were playing hopscotch, skipping rope.

Dogs were promenading in their new haircuts. People on bikes, trikes, longboards, razors, on motorcycles, scooters or in convertibles. Singers were out busking with guitars. People carrying bouquets or sitting on patios inside the new bird song.

Tulips are breaking old ground.

down the street…

in the bank’s planter—
more cigarette butts
than tulip buds

On the sunny side of the street, tulips gone feral.

Hocus crocus.

buddhas, sign of spring?
Even Buddhas are sprouting.

14 Sep 2013, 5:11pm
Glad Game Gnomes Light Photos

On Beauty Duty

Ride bear, ride.

mancala by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Bokeh-dot mancala

peaches by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Peaches wait.

Glad Game: We happened across a friend on the street. I automatically waved. Both of those are good and that I didn’t crumple from sudden shoulder movement. It was more of a salute until the shoulder hit a wall 3/4 lifted, but still, that’s farther than its been for I don’t know how many weeks.

Book was ordered. I shipped it. I didn’t charge enough for postage so griped and then life dropped a toonie at our feet for my troubles. I tell you, it’s hard to keep a good kvetch going sometimes.

Let there be light and there was and it was good: the basement window which was boarded over when we got our place has now been unboarded and it admits light and air. That brightens it up down there.

Halloos received from a few friends. That’s rather nice.

Oh, and

sugary top by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Muffins in the mailbox. That sure never happened in condo life. In a condo it had all the isolation of being a hermit and none of the advantages of quiet or privacy. Being on the ground again has all kinds of unexpected perks like new lovely neighbours.

Sister Teresa of Proces Constituent in Catalan Spain is thinking of bigger boxes that better social policy and more self-determination can fit in.

The Ottawa Public Library has another lineup of poetry workshops

Oh, and I’ve been reminded that not everyone is on twitter or FB and the blogs go where some of them don’t. It’s kind of counterintutive since there’s more interaction at the FB and Twitter but yes, I should mention here as well, a recording of Literary Landscape is archived at my author site.

That caught was thanks to plan C: the recording by Hubby At Home Manoeuvre. Not much of the time, not the majority of the time, but every now and then, intentions turn out. How about that.


I like the sentiment of the quote below, even if it’s kind of right and wrong. Expecting perfection and professional to be synonymous and that there is a place where one’s learning and curiosity stops while skills keep right on going seems misguided and not entirely benign. At the same time, much is lost by giving up too soon, by “good enough” and starting to call it in. And everything is a skill. Learning itself and teaching are skills. All is acquired. Even, I’ve heard, patience.

Quote: “Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong” ~ quote investigator says a variant of it went to 1902 to school superintendent George W. Loomis

8 May 2013, 11:44am
Gnomes Photos Ponderings


Times passes. It seems more digital than analogue sometimes. We’re not at the mid-90s in temperature, yet, but it’s undeniably warm weather. Finally it is starting. I’ve been going through photo albums.

Cape Breton jay walkers
Cape Breton jay walkers, 1995.

graduation, 1995
1995, graduating with a linguistics degree.

near Morell, PEI Sept 6, 1995
Near Morell, PEI September, 1995.

We should totally reenact this, or maybe do it at the local beach in an odd time lapse.

fall tree, 1994
A maple tree, 1994.

honeymoon, mount washington
Honeymooning, on top of Mount Washington. As if in answer to the question, were we ever that young?

There may only ever be this moment of now but there are so very many of them. Egad, already it is Wednesday. Wordless, speechless, it keeps on leaving and coming. More speechless than I mustered this morning.

I’ve got a reading tonight at Venus Envy. I’ll be reading at the Grand Finale Voices of Venus with comedian and story-teller Kalyani Pandya. That’s 7:30pm doors, $5 admission, 8pm Venus Envy at Lisgar and Bank. There’s gonna be cupcakes and celebration.


Every change comes with a complex set of outcomes. For example, by fishing for the big fish, it pressures the advantage of fish coming to sexual maturity while smaller since they won’t live long. Salmon or trout don’t get larger not only because they are killed too soon but because the littler ones aren’t bottlenecked to not survive.

If you give people the freedom from taboos of women being controlled in church, not having the right to speak or preach, mandates on their clothes, such as a Baptist church I grew up in, to leave also leaves the good part of the community where there are people who are not exclusively that box.

There’s no pro without a con. Some things are undeniably better, surely in the whole, a tradeoff that’s un upgrade that opens some better options. Or is it just change being better? To be violently closed, group tribal, in favour of guns and the strongest surviving, pro-bullying as making men from boys and showing girls their proper place, also make for fierce ties that protect in-group as much as they fend off out-group. One is never fully free of being outside a sensibility even when having a foot in different ones. The mind can keep its parallels that would conflict if they mixed. But they don’t mix.

It argues against one’s own experience will to say that life is not progressive. We’ve got our bathroom reno almost done. It moved to more order. Groceries get done. Laundry. This is a domestic progress. It isn’t ambiguous and can’t be called more chaotic or adding cons. Chaos outnumbers pattern. Our pattern recognition is what is salient. Maybe it is only catch less than a percent of anything, seeing the breadcrumb trail and ignoring the forest. There’s a momentum and direction.

Noteable Quoteables:
“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
― George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

“The thing is, it’s very dangerous to have a fixed idea. A person with a fixed idea will always find some way of convincing himself in the end that he is right”
― Atle Selberg

“One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.”
― Eric Hirzel

7 Mar 2013, 7:31am
Gnomes Thirteen Thursday

Moving at Thought Speed

For this Thursday 13,

  1. Part of why I’m doing the 95books in a year challenge is to prioritize time offline. When I pull myself away from the computer, anything can happen, including greater likelihood of going for a walk.
  2. My brain can run hyper and fragments on too much digital text. It’s like the bullet train compared to walking. It’s more speed than the design load of perception.
  3. I stooped over to look at the melt puddles of 4 small snow clumps and – without looking to the side where I expected Brian to be –remarked on how it is a huge dinosaur-sized cat track. Naturally it wasn’t Brian there but some lady walking past who looked back at me with that is-she-dangerous-crazy-or-safe-crazy kind of worried look. Sigh. Sense of play, she lacks it.
  4. a huge list of Oulipo Oulpo techniques
  5. but these day I’m embarking further into the waters of terza rima. it’s kind of like a polar dip.
  6. The internet is a world information economy. Is it information or how you spin it? For example, by being a writer who tweets you can automatically boast being an “internationally published author” on twitter.
  7. There’s fresh way of looking at things, and then there’s just deliberately misleading b.s. or spoofing the jargon and game
  8. Isn’t fake it until you make it a license to deceive for writers not just rogue doctors?
  9. 4th grades have a freshness of language, metaphor and vision that we can lose in trying to relate to one another in standard ways
  10. I know a popular author who abhors the works of John Galsworthy, but something in Galsworthy’s rhythm starts up his own desire to write; he alleges that after a few pages of The Forsyte Saga he can hear an “internal hum” which soon turns into sentences and paragraphs; on the other hand, Wodehouse, whom he considers a past master of modern humorous writing, plunges him into such depths of despond about his own performance that he takes care not to read the latest Wodehouse book until he has finished whatever he has in hand. Watch for a while, and see which authors are your meat and which your poison.
    Dorothea Brande on Becoming a Writer[p.56-57]

  11. Everything we think, perceive, say and do is a time capsule.
  12. Here’s a time capsule of Tennessee Williams and Victor Campbell
  13. All eras end. “I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives from the work I have done.” from the goodnight letter from Stompin’ Tom

Notable Quotable: “Poets of the kind Skaay was have an attention span measured in decades, not in minutes.” ~ Robert Bringhurst via Kim Goldberg

  • RSS Humanyms

  • Archives