Word of the Day: CREST

Word of the Day Challenge – Alternative haven for the Daily Post’s mourners!

I did not know I was one of the mourners of the defunct Daily Post until today when I got smacked with a blast of inspiration on seeing the word “crest”.

Crest! Toothpaste! That delightful standing up thing on a bird’s head! The ridiculous looking standing up thing on top of a knight’s helmet! The top of a hill. The frothy high edge of a wave. A mountain ridge or a roof peak. The high point of an action or a process. Like, my excitement crested when I read the first chapter and it was all downhill from there.

On my desk I have a coaster depicting my old high school crest. It was a gift of a little souvenir from my sister who helped organize and then attended our high school reunion earlier this summer. That was either incredibly brave of her, or insanely stupid, I haven’t decided yet, it could go either way. But I got this coaster, so YAY!

The leafy border represents peace. The torch is for knowledge. Crown, Aladin’s lamp (?) school motto in Latin. My research fell a little short. I studied Latin in high school and I remember translating “Labor Omnia Vincit” as “work will kill us all” but apparently it means “work conquers all”. So slightly more upbeat than my interpretation. SDHS stands for Saugeen District High School, but the name and the building have since changed. High was replaced with Secondary and now the crest banner is SDSS. So my coaster is vintage, hey?

For the picture I propped it up on one of my current classy coasters to show you how my sister attempts in small ways to make me appear more grown up. This is known as amissa causa, or a lost cause.

Summer here has been busy and eventful in spurts with teen grand daughters staying and a visit from my sister, one her daughters and her grand daughter. We haven’t seen much of our respective families through covid, but hopefully that’s changing now. After busyness comes supreme relaxation and I take my down time very seriously. The blog as usual takes a back seat (rursus sedes?) I missed my calling as a latin teacher obviously.

W comes home tomorrow so either I will not write another word until Christmas or he will provide me with endless subject matter. Another situation that could go either way.

Light and love.

Letters to WYA 14

Hiya WYA. This is what happens when you shove the biggest walnut to the back of your beak and then try to pick up smaller ones with a beak that can’t close. So maybe not ALL crows are super smart.

I like to spend time outside in the sunshine, especially when this little guy drops by, but not messing about with plants. For the record (are we keeping records?) I would like everyone to know exactly how much I dislike gardening. Gardening does not like me much either. The only plants I have ever felt inclined to nurture are tomato plants and orange Tiger Lillies. Coincidentally those are also the only plants not inclined to drop dead on me for no good reason other than being choked to death by weeds I ignore, or by a severe lack of water. This is why I cannot ever be a Green Witch. Good thing I never thought seriously about becoming one because it would have been a disastrous career choice.

Before W heads east for the summer he plants a bunch of stuff that he expects me to look after. Then he tells our adult son and daughter who do not live here to look after his garden because “your mother won’t”. Then I baby my tomato plants and admire my independent little lilies and mostly ignore all the other stuff. The kids sometimes drop over and show pretty much no interest at all in what’s growing except maybe for the grass if I’ve been lazier than normal about cutting it. Later in the summer they will harvest a few of the survivors if there are any, like radishes and yellow beans and I will force them to take home about 10 times as many tomatoes as they want or need. Since my one granddaughter no longer has a Guinea Pig I don’t think anyone will want lettuce this time around although I’m not sure where it is yet.

I’m telling you all this partly because I have nothing much going on in my head at the moment, but mostly to brag that I actually went outside today and pulled some weeds. I don’t know what the hell came over me. I also trimmed a scraggly looking bush and pulled some rhubarb. I don’t seem to be able to kill rhubarb either, but I don’t know of anyone who can so I’m not surprised by its crazy will to live. Anyway I quickly got tired and sweaty and started cursing so I had to quit and come inside because no one should subject their neighbours to that kind of negative crap.

W planted about three thousand hills of potatoes behind the garage and I noticed they are thriving so I won’t be disturbing them. I don’t think he left any spaces there at all for weeds. There’s definitely no room to step into that jungle to look. So that’s another job done, right? Perfect. My kind of plant maintenance. I hope we continue to get lovely rain showers as the season progresses. And not just because it means I don’t have to water anything. The air just feels so fresh and clean after a good rain.

My kind of bugs.

Okay that’s all she wrote! After being so industrious I can now sit around with a coffee or two and read without guilt. Just like on the days when I’m not industrious at all.

Letters to WYA 13

Good Morning Sunshine!

I’ve been gone so long I got logged out of this place! How rude. Just a lazy-ass streak, and there’s nothing new about that. So let’s reconnect and carry on, shall we?

I am currently immersed in glorious me time since W drove off across the country to his northern Ontario Island. He got there on the first of June and has already started with long texts and phone calls to me, not because he misses me (although maybe he does a bit, who knows why) but because he is an incredibly social person who hates being alone, loves to talk, extroverted in the extreme. Exhausting, in other words. We are very different. Time apart is very good for us. Especially me.

I have befriended a big black crow who is surprisingly silent. At least I’ve never heard him say anything. If he does start talking to me I will get on some meds right away I promise. I put out some walnuts, peanuts and black currants for him every couple of days and we are now quite comfortable with each other. There is another crow that sits in the nearby trees or on our fence and squawks his little brains out but never comes close when I’m outside. Zen crow swoops down onto the upper back lawn while I sit in my lawn chair drinking coffee, hops over to the steps and down to the driveway and over to the food. He eats some stuff, has a drink of water, and then stuffs his beak full of as many walnuts as he can carry and takes off to stash them somewhere. Or share them with his noisy friends. I don’t know what he does next. Then he comes back and repeats the process, more or less. Inserting this video was a mind boggling process which I may never repeat exactly either.

I’m still not convinced it’s going to work, so here’s a picture of Zen crow as well.

And now I am all crowed out for today. Except to tell you he doesn’t really like the peanuts and often leaves them for the squirrel and the magpies to fight over.

Only a couple more lengthening days to come before they start getting shorter again! All this daylight is lovely. I stay up way too late and get up much too early. And I eat whatever damned thing I want. Like guacamole on veggie burgers. And cut the grass whenever I feel like it and NOT the way I have been instructed ad nauseam by the wandering lawn ranger who would not be impressed if he knew. Whatever disastrous thing it looks like when he returns I will just blame on the weather.

Hope you are enjoying the long lazy days of summer and that all is well. Peace and love WYA.

Letters to WYA 12

Imagine getting vaccinated in one of those skinny little arms and still smiling and waving a wine glass about.

Hello WYA! Just when you think I must have nothing to tell you, here I am again! Making nothing much into many many words. I’ve been writing about this less-than-an-hour-long experience for over a week! Then I thought it’s too bloody boring to publish, and THEN I changed my mind. Not about the boring part, but about the sharing part. Because minds are made to be changed. If you choose to skip to the end now I completely understand.

On Saturday, the very last day of April, W and I had two appointments booked at 10:50 and 11:10 a.m. for our second covid vaccination booster shots. All our other shots were done at a busy health care center and they were super strict there about arrival times and identification and appointment confirmations and new masks which they supplied, even if you had just put on a brand new mask in your car less than five minutes ago. There was a long winding queue with arrows and social distancing lines on the floor, with 3 check-in desks to report to before you finally got to an injection station where you roll up your sleeve and they give you your needle. It’s also the spot where someone has to tell me to take a deep breath and relax because apparently by that point my muscles are all ridiculously tense without me being aware of it. And the needle could bounce right off my arm or break or something. No one has adequately explained to me why relaxing is mandatory but I do my best. After the shot you are directed to the waiting room where they trust you to sit for 20 minutes before you leave the building. If you’re going to faint and knock yourself out they would like you to do it there and not in the parking lot or halfway home. I have never made it past 15 minutes because I’m totally done with the whole procedure by then and no one is paying any attention to me so what the hell. I get up and leave.

I told you all this so it can be added to my incredibly exciting life story, but mostly so it will be super easy for you to appreciate how very different Saturday’s experience was. When you book these appointments on line you are wise to take the first ones they offer, so that’s what I did. They are good to book you as close to where you live as possible. So on the appointment day we drove to a little pharmacy we’d both never heard of before, tucked away in a little strip mall I’ve never noticed, 5 minutes from our house. The store was about the size of our living room/kitchen, including the pharmacy area and the little tiny procedure room. The waiting area was three joined chairs against a wall, the middle chair occupied by the only other customer there when we arrived, five minutes before our first appointment. The pharmacist said hello, please to wait, I will be several many minutes. This was after I said who we were and why we were there and tried to show him my confirmation e-mail on my phone but he really wasn’t too interested. He nodded politely and I’m pretty sure he smiled behind his mask, and then he went back to putting a prescription order together. So, about (several many) (ten or so) minutes later, having taken care of his customer, he gave us clip boards with paper work to complete. Our personal info was already on them so we just needed to check all the boxes and sign them. We sat in two of the waiting area chairs which had just been vacated to do this. Meanwhile he prepared the vaccines. He collected the papers, told us both to come in. He asked us if we had any bad reactions to any of our previous vaccinations and we both said no. There was just his chair and one patient chair, so I sat down and got my shot, then W. sat down and got his shot. Then we all said thank you and have a nice day and we left.

So I was thinking on the drive home (during which time neither one of us passed out or fainted) wow, have we been taking ourselves way too seriously or what? That was as simple as getting a flu shot. We were back home by 11:30. I didn’t even have time to get freaked out and tense. Neither of us had any adverse reaction that day or the next, but on Monday we were both complaining of aching muscles – shoulders, knees, wrists, necks, eyeballs – anywhere muscles exist. It didn’t last long. So for whatever good it does us, we are well and truly vaccinated and boosted to the max.

Family came over today and bought us lunch after they reminded me it’s Mother’s day. I love a laid back relaxing day with no fuss and appreciate so much that they know that. We couldn’t sit outside because the wind is brisk and cold, but the sun is shining and the grass is mostly green. I will probably not have any more vaccination stories to tell you in the future. So all of us have something to be grateful for.

Love and sunshine wherever you may be.

Oh, and this. THIS is worth sharing.


Letters to WYA 11

Holy Thursday WYA! And Holy whatever late date in April it’s suddenly become!

I almost posted a picture of a blackberry mandarin salad (with spinach and bits of feta cheese and other awesome stuff but I don’t remember where I copied it from so you will have to wait for me to make one myself and take my own pic to see that delightful dish. The bunny wins at cute anyway.

Way back in my elementary school days when letter writing was popular (writing with a pen on paper and mailing things in envelopes that didn’t yet require postal codes) I had a teacher who gave us a letter writing assignment. Easy peasy I thought, because I loved to write letters. The only stipulation was that for this letter to a random friend we could not start off with “Dear So and So, How are you? I am fine.” I was stumped. That’s exactly how all my letters began. It was as carved in stone for me as the fact that all good stories began with ”Once upon a time”. Why was she making us change things? I don’t know what I finally came up with, but I know my brain hurt trying to think of something and it definitely wasn’t “Holy Thursday!”

Anyway, I do hope you are well and it is perfectly fine for you to assume that I am also well. All is not necessarily well with the world, but hopefully there are people smarter than us working on that. I’m not sure my letter writing skills have progressed much over the years, but no teacher will scribble all over this effort with a red pen so I don’t care.

Today we got some new outdoor solar lights for the front walkway and whatever other surprising places W decides to put them. There’s just eight of them so he can’t go too crazy.

I got the best news a few days ago about our farm house where we grew up! The sister who lives the closest to it shared with the other two of us that the house is being restored, and she and her family were lucky enough to have the current owner give them a tour of the house to show them what he has done. It sounds absolutely delightful! I think all of us had resigned ourselves to the probability of it going to ruin. The property was put up for sale this last time with the house as a tear-down. We are so happy that someone saw the possibilities and decided to save it. It’s hard to imagine the amount of work it needed right down to the bare bones. The plumbing and heating and wiring would all have had to be modernized. What a huge undertaking. Anyone who takes on this kind of project to preserve a bit of history deserves all the accolades. It’s a lovely quiet spot in the country, surrounded by land that is still farmed but owned by someone else, and the place is no doubt still filled with happy memories. No one can renovate those away, can they? I wish him nothing but the best.

Speaking of bunnies, which we really haven’t been but whatever, we are now, there’s a jack rabbit in our neighbourhood who runs across our front lawn several times a day, both directions, no set schedule that I can discern. On his own bunny time doing rabbity stuff.

I don’t think I retained many of the letter writing rules from that long ago class. Unless one of them was to flit around from subject to subject for no apparent reason.

So I don’t know where this week went or why the month disappeared in such a hurry, but here we are. Salads, solar lights, farm houses, jack rabbits and letters to a friend, all taken care of for this Thursday. Quite possibly forever if we’re lucky. That’s how you sum up all the random unrelated things so it sounds like you had a plan. I hope you’ve been taking notes, although I promise there will be no test later.

Have a good one WYA.

Letters to WYA 10

Hey there WYA, what’s up?

Here’s hoping you don’t feel ignored or anything, it’s just that I’ve become immersed in Neil Gaiman’s ’American Gods’ (the book, following my watching of the t.v. series). Seems kind of a backwards way to go about things, but there’s bound to be differences and various opinions about which one (the book or the series) was better either way. A book can make a character’s thoughts clear by telling you what they are, while an actor must portray a lot of what’s going on inside his head with facial expressions and nuances of speech, both of which a reader has to infer. So it’s a toss up really. They are both telling a story, and stories get boggled about in the telling.

Everybody does it with stories I think. Embellishes or skips over bits depending on their audience. Except for a person I worked with years ago who could tell a story from beginning to end and then repeat it to another co-worker word for word. Nothing added, nothing left out. She was a lovely person except for that. It was exhausting to listen to everything three times over. Once she related an entire heated argument between her daughter and her son-in-law including what both of them said and exactly how they said it. The argument happened in her home while she was at work. So either she had a spy cam or she took her daughter’s version and imagined the rest. I don’t know if that’s a weird talent or a curse.

Anyway, what got me thinking about that ancient history? You bring out the bizarre in me WYA. Speaking of bizarre, I think W loves running lawn mowers more than any other activity on earth. The original Lawn Ranger. It’s a beautiful sunny day, there are still swatches of snow here and there, the grass is still looking brown and dead, but he is OUT THERE going over the yard for the umpteenth time this ”spring”, in between snow dumps of course. Those days are for snow blowing, quick before it melts. The neighbours appear to have given up staring at him and seem to accept that he is just looney toons. He says he is sucking up all the mulch which he already sucked the life out of in the fall. I told him he is disturbing and destroying new insect life and he does not care. Some days he wheels the lawn mowers (YES we have TWO of them) out of the garage and lets them sun themselves in the driveway. You can probably appreciate why I believe I am the more sane half of this partnership.

Last night the little handle broke on the sprayer attachment on our kitchen taps. It didn’t work well anyway, but now it is useless and W has promised to replace it. It must be at least second on his list of priorities for the day. Whereas I don’t even have a list, so one point for W.

I think it’s time for another coffee to be consumed in the sunshine. Didn’t need a list for that important activity. I watched a video of a ’human bird feeder’ where someone held a handful of bird seed and sat completely motionless until a bird landed for a snack. I can sit that still, no problem. Containing my excitement if a bird actually appeared would take some serious skill and concentration, which I probably lack. Plus what if my coffee spilled.

Hope your day, like the one Jazzy and friends are enjoying, is colourful and sweet.

Love from moi.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

These guys are NOT under the stairs. Some of them live in an upstairs closet now.

Having stumbled upon an old post I wrote in 2015 about cleaning my fridge, a delightful new person I have just met ( elliethompson.uk )was so impressed by a job well done that she asked me if I had any inspiration to offer for organizing a cupboard under the stairs. (The post is called ”Some Days Are Like This” in case curiosity gets the better of you) Apparently I am very bad at remembering how to do links.
But I have so many thoughts to share on all of this! None of them are particularly inspirational, but hey, it’s unrealistic to try to be brilliant all the time. A fridge post missed the mark I think. But I digress. Thoughts in random order of importance.

  • Questioning my grip on sanity for ever believing random strangers or more specifically anyone on earth would want to see the inside of my fridge. Most of the time even I don’t want to see it.
  • I don’t have that fridge anymore. It finally died after a couple of months worth of death rattles, and we got a slightly smaller one with the freezer compartment on the bottom. So what was the actual point of doing all that cleaning, right?
  • I feel so sad for people living in houses which don’t have under the stairs cupboards. Although I’m sure they probably have other such storage areas needing Herculean efforts of reorganization. If they don’t then what does that say about their grip on reality. I mean seriously what is a storage cupboard even for if you can’t pack a ton of clutter into it and close the door and eventually erase the fact that it exists from your memory.
  • And finally, I am NOT a reliable source for advice on any kind of cupboard cleaning. I arrange mine for convenience for me and confusion for everyone else. Fridges have an interior light so it’s hard to ignore what’s happening in there. And relatively easy to find what you’re looking for. Most cupboards are dark inside and used primarily for hiding away the junk you don’t really need or use or are tired of looking at, so opening a cupboard could be a colossal waste of time for everyone involved. Not to mention hazardous to all your levels of well being. (If you have never opened a high cupboard door and had things fall out on your head, you probably aren’t maximizing the space.

Our under the stairs storage area is a little cold room filled with so many things, if Harry Potter lived here he would not only have to sleep standing up but also risk freezing to death. Last summer when we revamped the basement the cupboard under the stairs got a thorough rearranging done. All I was trying to accomplish was filling up every square centimetre with basement things to clear the spaces we had to paint. It’s a bit like a Tetris puzzle in there. I would feel bad messing with that. Plus if W asks where something is I tell him it must be in the store room knowing how unlikely it is that he will ever venture inside that hell hole to search for anything.

One of these days I will haul everything out of there and, armed with boxes and garbage bags, begin the great purge. Today is not that day though. Today I have to watch the snow melting in the sunshine. We actually had a snowfall warning yesterday! These Christmas morning simulations are quite tiresome in April. The moisture will be good for the grass I heard some cheery moron remark.

Do you have an under the stairs no mans land? Want to talk about it? I am all ears. Please let me know I am not alone.

Letters to WYA 9

Any Animal Can Rock Some Crazy Stripes

Well WYA, here I am again. Never at a loss for vague randomness put into paragraphs.

I’ve recently finished watching ”American Gods” on Prime. Three seasons no less! Pretty sure it makes my top ten list of bizarre things I’ve binge-watched. It’s based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman, so you know it’s going to be weird in a really good way. I am now compelled to get the book to see what’s different and possibly better explained because holy hell it was a whack of craziness. And didn’t end satisfactorily at all. The series was cancelled after season three but there’s a lot of loose ends and dangling characters left to sort out. I hate it when I know I’m on the last episode and fully expecting everything to resolve and it doesn’t.

In other non exciting news, the neighbours across the street from us had a gigantic tree removed. A branch was broken on it by one of the big snow removal vehicles a couple of months ago. It caught on the top of it somehow as they were going by scraping the road, and the branch came down and blocked a driveway. The tree was right beside the sidewalk, and so big that there was over hang on the road. So the county people had to come and chop up the branch and remove it. Then I guess the neighbours decided to get rid of the whole colossally big tree. It took the better part of a day, and a lot of that when they got down to the stump trying to chainsaw it. I don’t think chainsaw is supposed to be a verb, but they were definitely chainsawing for a long time and still left a monstrous mound of wood for stump grinders to work on next. It’s all a very noisy process because most of the wood is fed into a chipper. Whatever is too big for that they can either haul away or leave for the owner for firewood. Looks like they’ve opted to dispose of it themselves, because it’s all piled up in front of their storage shed. Maybe they’re going to build a log cabin. It looks possible from the amount of lumber. Or make a hundred bazillion toothpicks.

Something has gone wrong with the steering in my car so we are waiting for a couple of weeks for a replacement part for it. I would love to go into ridiculous detail about this but I had a hard time getting all the tree facts straight so not going to attempt a mechanical explanation for anything. The car runs but doesn’t feel right. The professionals can deal with it.

Well I’m off to order a book for my Kindle and actually pay money for it to find out what happens to the American Gods. Normally I order nothing but the freebies through Book Bub or The Fussy Librarian because I’m a cheapskate and feel bad that I have so many real books already that some poor sod is going to have to deal with when I’m gone because I cannot make myself get rid of any of them. Gasp. Out of breath after that run on sentence.

Hope you are enjoying spring weather wherever you are! Still deceptively cold here with a forecast of snow. Excellent book reading weather though, so there’s that.

Letters to WYA 8

Friends on Facebook post lovely steal-able stuff

Hello my friend!

Today I left the house! And it wasn’t just to take some garbage out or shake the carpet runner at the back door. Or bring in a delivered parcel from Amazon. Although that’s just sticking my arm out the door if they haven’t been too creative about where they left it, like in the empty flower pot. That one was a puzzler for a minute or two. It’s a breezy sunshiny day but still bitterly cold. Bone chilling really because it fools you by looking so pleasant that you don’t put on enough clothes before you venture out.

We got e-mails from our accountant this morning to tell us our tax returns are done. He gave us all kinds of links and portals and options to download and view and pay, and then, having obviously dealt with old fogeys before, said if we were not comfortable with all the rigamarole to call his office and arrange to come in and sign things in person. So W gave him a call and said we’d be happy to sign in person so we don’t screw anything up digitally. I don’t know, that made me laugh, because between the two of us we can definitely do digital screw ups.

I put a hoodie over my sweatshirt for the 10 minute drive, instantly froze solid between the back door and the garage, and was just starting to thaw out as we arrived back home. Seriously I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating much. Okay well maybe a smidgen. Probably should get out more so I’m not such a drama queen about it.

In my search for silly questions I believe I have discovered the best one ever. At least it’s going to be pretty hard to top.

If you were a doll, what accessories would you be sold with?

Hahaha! And what would I be called? Pre-dementia Barbie? I would be wearing a sweat shirt and black yoga pants and come with a change of clothes exactly the same as the original outfit! There would be a giant water bottle and an IPad and great huge wooly socks. And several coffee mugs. That could be the item you can buy separately and collect, all shapes and sizes and colours. I cannot imagine why this doll would not immediately become a best seller and make me insanely rich.

I just noticed a pair of mallards flying over our front yard and landing across the street in the neighbour’s yard under their bird feeders! It makes me so happy to see them back again. We had a pair frequent our back yard for a few springs, but I guess the birdseed is tastier across the road. Warmer weather must be on the way.

Until next time, much love.

Letters to WYA 7

Dear WYA

No talk of garbage bins today, I promise! It’s 20 degrees Celsius here and I have opened up a couple of windows and gotten quite light headed with all the fresh air. Or maybe that was caused by my fourth cup of coffee. Whatever, my mood is close to the way I feel at the beach, freaked out by all that water but loving the sand and the sunshine and the squawking of the gulls.

And will you look at this!

Wordle 293 2/6


Magnificent! (That’s what the game said) (it could have said ”you have horse shoes up your ass” and I would have accepted that as well.

I’ve been remiss with the questions lately, so let’s do some catching up.

Did you eat your crusts as a child? Yes, I did. Being kind of a little weirdo, I thought the crusts were the very best part of a sandwich and would ask for the bread ends for super crunchy toast. Dad used to recite this little poem for us:

Last night I left a crust under my plate.

I thought nobody would see it there.

But, when it got dark and late

And I was all snugged in my bed,

I saw that very same old crust

Come creeping over my bed.

“Don’t you ever do that again!”

“I never will” I said.

It did not scare me one little bit.

Are you a fan of musicals? OMG I love them, the cheesier the better. How fun would real life be if you could just suddenly burst into a song and dance number to get your point across without someone calling security?

How do you take your coffee? In a restaurant or getting take-out I like it black. At home I use sugar free french vanilla cream. I have some sugar free syrups to make iced coffee and today would be a perfect day for one of those if I wasn’t already over caffeinated and in danger of spontaneously performing a couple of songs from Grease or Mama Mia, alarming the neighbours. W probably wouldn’t even notice.

I thought about cleaning some windows today. Didn’t even come close to actually doing it. For all we know it could snow tomorrow. This time of year the weather is all over the place. You take it as it comes and make the best of it.

Happy trails ’til we meet again. I could sing that for you if you want….