Monthly Archives: August 2012

Once In A Blue Moon

I hope it’s a clear night tonight so that we can all get a good look at that big old blue moon!  Because I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly seen one before.

Here’s a song to watch blue moons by.  It’s also a reminder that they don’t make background singers like they used to.  And a nudge to dig up that old American Graffiti VHS tape and watch it one more time.

Happy blue moon/last day of August everyone.

 

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Fall Is In The Air Too Soon

Shorter days, cooler nights, freezing-my-butt-off mornings because I refuse to close the windows until it’s officially September – all indications that another summer is slowly but surely biting the dust.

September
September (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

Since summer hours are ending, we have been advised of a work schedule change starting next month.  It is just plain weird and gives me all over the place shifts and long tedious mega days in a row interspersed with three and four-day weekends.  Yep.  No one asked me for my input.  But I believe in karma and that the instigator will eventually end up in hell, so it’s all good.

For several days I’ve been moving furniture around, preparing for the delivery of a new bed, which arrives this afternoon.  They promised.  I confirmed.  They will haul it in and set it up.  Good thing, because both my arms are broken.  Last night I moved the present bed to its new location, leaving a big empty space in my bedroom, and myself with the dilemma of where to go for the night.  It’s a big people-empty house with a lot of choices.  I went all the way across the hall.  So much for an adventurous spirit.  I can’t believe how much noisier it is over there where the window faces the street.  And how not firm the mattress is.  And how much brighter it is in the morning facing north-east.  There’s more than one reason why we give that bedroom to guests I guess.

Anyway, W – if you’re reading this – Surprise!  It’s pretty much a done deal and there’s nothing you can do about it now.  Don’t go off and leave me unsupervised for long stretches of time if you expect everything to remain the same.

As if anything stays the same forever.  I’m going to have to see a doctor about my carpel tunnel soon I think.  All this moving stuff about hasn’t done the condition any favors and now my right hand goes tingley and numb more often than I’d like.  Never would be a better option for this symptom.  It’s gone from annoying to just this side of worrisome.  So of course I’m trying to ignore it until the time comes when I drop something really important and breakable.

There are other things happening that are too new to talk about yet.  Some days I feel like one of those Joe Palooka punching dolls that gets knocked around and keeps bobbing back up for more.  This too shall pass.  The strong shall survive.  And probably complete wimps like me will too.

JOE PALOOKA

In the meantime, life goes on, and we all pretend we’re normal.  The sun is still shining, the grass is still green.  I have brand new sheets for my brand new bed, in a color called “toast”.  Frankly I would never eat a piece of toast if it was that color, but for sheets it’s okay.  The lights will be off anyway so it doesn’t matter.

Okay!  Nothing much left to do until the exciting DELIVERY and nowhere to go until it happens.  I’m off to enjoy the last holy Thursday of this disappearing month.

How A Secret Sounds

Weekly Writing Challenge:  The Sound of Blogging

Some days I cannot resist a challenge.  My English teacher in high school drilled iambic pentameter into our heads.  I think perhaps this might have made him proud.

"The Moon is Up"  by Millais
“The Moon is Up” by Millais (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

Sounds of a Secret

Somewhere there’s noise lost deep inside my soul,

A secret sunk and buried far below.

So long ago concealed and left to die

But wishing from the depths to rise and fly,

To split the heavens wide with howling cry.

And though I try to stuff up all the cracks

A train comes rolling fast on trembling tracks

Rattling, clacking, clattering through the dark

It rocks my bones, and shakes the shivering ground

It quakes the earth and thunders all around

To warn at every crossing where it’s bound.

The whistle is staccato, hooting, sharp –

A jangling, jarring blast to pierce my heart.

My fists are clenched, my knees are drawn up tight

Until the sounds are swallowed by the night.

And there my secret still lies bound in chains

Sweet silence in the aftermath remains.

I sleep and wake and sleep again and dream

Of how to smother sounds in shrouds of pain.

A Letter From Rimbey 2

August 24, 1936

Dear Margaret,

What do you suppose would be the best thing to do with me.  I have a notion to get behind a wicked horse and ask him to kindly oblige by giving me partly what I deserve for neglecting to write.  I received your letter about four weeks ago and I certainly was glad to get it.  I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had a  very good opportunity to write but of course that’s no excuse.  I suppose I had better start at the beginning and tell you some of the things that have been happening.  We went to the stampede in Rimbey and it was really good.  I was thinking I’d like to go and ride some of them but I had my good clothes on so I didn’t try it.  It was a good excuse, anyway.

English: Blindman River, near Rimbey, Alberta
English: Blindman River, near Rimbey, Alberta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, kid, how’s it going with you?  Have you got a school, etc.  I hope you don’t have to say no.  I just hired with a dairy farmer here the other day and he wants me to stay all winter.  Should I should, or should I shouldn’t?  I wonder.  If Marg is going to be away from home, I might just as well be.  I haven’t decided yet but you’ll let me know what you think, then I’ll decide whether you’re right or not, eh?Last Saturday morning I got a telephone message there was a wiener roast in Springdale and oh boy did I have fun.  I almost forgot I wasn’t with our own crowd at home.  They’re surely full of fun here and everybody enjoyed themselves.  There is one big trouble with this country and that is the mud roads.  They’re fine when they’re dry but when they’re wet, oh boy, watch out.  The car just goes about where it wants to.  Harold and I were going into town the other night in the rain and we were driving pretty carefully behind another car and that other car took the ditch over the river bank.  Well that gave me a start, and how.  Nobody hurt – pretty lucky.

They all piled in with me and we got to Rimbey and home again safely and was I glad!  I thought I did pretty well to keep on the road when the other fellows couldn’t.  On the way home from the wiener roast the rain came down in torrents and I was alone so I stopped for a while.  When it was over I started on again but the road was so slippery I got square across the road and had to back into the ditch to get going again and nearly didn’t get going.  I was afraid to go down the river hill when it was so slippery in the dark so I stopped and went to sleep in the car until daylight.

Then willy wouldn’t start!  Oh oh!  I got a guy out of bed and he gave me a pull with a team and I got home about ten thirty.  Did I get razzed or did I.  That’s enough of muddy roads for me.  If it gets wet, I stay home.

I think I’ll sign off for tonight and go to bed.  Maybe I’ll think of something more to write before another evening, so Good night kid.   Hank.

****

Smithson Museum in Rimbey, Alberta
Smithson Museum in Rimbey, Alberta (Photo credit: Sherlock77 (James))

And here I go again.  Nothing much out of the ordinary happening, except that I was the object of an accident yesterday while riding the plough.  I was standing on it striking out a land when i hit a stone pretty solid.  I fell forward and hit my face on the iron rigging in front and you should see me now.  I look somewhat different.  It doesn’t hurt anymore but still looks bad.  Of course it isn’t nearly as bad as your accident with your hand last winter.

There is supposed to be a dance in Springdale tonight, so I guess I’ll go.  I don’t know what a person would do in this country if they didn’t dance.  Things would certainly be dull.

I’m going to try another page.  I surely wish I could write letters like you do, kid – they’re great.  The crops aren’t  very good out here, in fact they’re so poor that the boss and I invented a rig to use without twine.  We have a platform fixed on behind the binder and there I ride and fix the stuff into a coil then shove it off.  It was rather hard work the first day but I got used to it and it’s nothing but a day’s work now.

We don’t believe in hard work out here, they even have rigs to put hay on a stack without using the wagon.  It is pulled into the stack by a large rake affair and put on a stacker which throws it about twenty feet high.  All the forking is in making the stack.

Say kid, do you know if Newton is going back to the same school?  I’d like to see him.  I wouldn’t go to see him if I didn’t know for sure he’s there.

I can’t think of anything more to write except I’d like an answer lots sooner than I wrote.  You can send my letters to Rimbey in care of Irwin Budd, or to my farmer address – either one will get me.

I guess there’s no use writing when you’re out of things to write, so signing off for this evening.

With love and kisses, I remain, Hank

Memory Palace Review

The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok is a book I’ve been slogging through for what seems like days and days and days.  It’s interesting and well written, but I’m finding the subject matter thoroughly depressing and after a couple of chapters I have to set it down for a while and go off and do something else.

It’s the story of two sisters and their tormented relationship with a schizophrenic mother. There are breakdowns, suicide attempts, physical attacks, passionate outbursts.  Eventually the craziness and the inability to get help (or for their mother to accept the fact that she needs it) drives the daughters away.  They must physically abandon their mother to survive.  The emotional ties are not so easily severed of course.

Apparently, according to the back cover, there’s an extraordinary reconciliation at the end when the daughters return to be with their mother before she dies. I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Mental illness can be a terrifying thing if it can’t be diagnosed and treated and understood.  All of us are a little bit crazy.  Some of us more than others.  It’s the ones who are completely out of it and have no idea there’s anything wrong who become a danger and a threat to the well-being of everyone around them.

It’s just all too sad for words.  If you think you’re too happy and you want to do something about that, read this book.

You Don’t Become A Hero by Being Normal

Yesterday I went to see the first 3-D movie of my life.  It was one of those spur of the moment things to decide to go at all and a last-minute decision as to which show to see.

So suddenly there we were, crazy glasses on, watching ParaNorman with things jumping off the screen into our faces.

There were some scary gruesome bits, so it might not be suitable for the very young, but kids quickly get to the age where they think it’s fun to be grossed out by ghosts and zombies.  It’s a great bold story with a strong moral lesson.  I don’t think it’s just for kids.

Hit Where One Lives

Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage
Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I was awake at five o’clock and could not go back to sleep.  So I decided to get up and move some furniture around.  Seriously.  This is the kind of thing I find myself doing when I’m home alone.  I vacuumed and did a bunch of bedding laundry and generally spent a lot of time taking things downstairs and bringing different things back upstairs. So basically, putting many things in many different places. Hmm.  Writing it down like this makes it sound easy. It was not. Some of those things were big and awkward and heavy.

Now I’m tired,  I have a sore shoulder, an aching wrist, a few bruises and a crappy attitude.  The timing is perfect to answer an annoying question or two.

What do you find annoying, irritating or unbearable in these categories?

Candy? Chips? We're Not Sure
Candy? Chips? We’re Not Sure (Photo credit: nep)

Candy –  gooey, sticky, messy, chewy, sickeningly sweet.  Does that cover all of it?

Song– constant repetition from outside sources, and even worse, inside my own head

Bad Habit– talking loudly on a cell phone in a public place.

School subject– before an exam, memorizing a bunch of hooey that you will never again need to know in this lifetime.

Personality Trait– refusing to listen to the other side of the story, forming an opinion without getting all the facts

Colour– flourescent lime green

Season– long, cold, dark, stormy, miserable winter

Animal– an annoying, irritating unbearable animal doesn’t really exist.  Perhaps we should ask animals for their opinion of us.

Celebrity– the whole idea of being famous and having your personal life thrown out there to the wolves.

Foods – how we process things to death and then wonder why we’re dying from eating them

Tone of voice– high squeaky little girl baby talk from the mouth of an adult

Style of music– I really, really do not like Rap.

Vehicle– Any vehicle can be annoying given the right irritating driver.

Sound– crying,  when you feel powerless to soothe the hurt

Event– anything that requires ridiculous amounts of money to pull off, when something simple and less lavish gets the same result.

Anything else? Oh, probably, but that’s enough negativity for one day, wouldn’t you say?  I’m going to go ice my shoulder and sulk for a while.  But it won’t be an unbearable sulk, just a mildly annoying one.