Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cupboard love, "C" for ABC Wednesday

All photos
from Google
"Cupboard love" is an English phrase referring to affection that is given purely to gain a reward.
The term derives from the way in which a cat will give the cupboard, which contains its food, superficial "love" (which is not normally exhibited) when it wants to be fed.
The phrase is most often applied to human activity, for example when a child will say "I love you so much" before or after requesting a treat, such as an ice cream.

Our dog Lindy is particularly affectionate when she wants to be fed. This can be quite charming, because an affectionate Lindy is a joy to behold. However, she wants to be fed all the time!

This month I have turned the phrase "Cupboard love" into an obsession with cupboards.
My husband has let me talk to cabinetmakers, and look at sample cabinets, and do online research, and he even holds one end of the measuring tape when I want to check, double-check, and re-check our kitchen.
We have a little old house, with a little old kitchen. It was such a cute little place I didn't even notice there were only two drawers in the kitchen, but I noticed as soon as I moved in. My husband was conveniently out of town on business when the move took place, but my best friend Judith came out from her home on an island off the coast of British Columbia, to help me settle in. Over the course of a very long friendship, she has moved my things so many times she says she could do it with her eyes closed.
Fortunately for Judith, she has escaped to an island much farther away (Great Britain) and my husband is still hoping to be out of town on business if and when this kitchen reno takes place, so the dog and I will be left on our own to supervise the process.

I often think of Denise Nesbitt and her husband, who also live in Britain, and who have just gone through the kitchen renovation process together, so I thought this would be an appropriate topic for the letter "C" in Mrs. Nesbitt's longstanding meme,
ABC Wednesday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

For Real Toads: Open Link, January 30

genetic memory:
is it real?
I went to Scotland
with Mom
and Dad
and the rest of the mob.
no one
felt it
except me, and I did
as soon
as the
we got off the plane.
I’m here,
I said,
I’m in Scotland,
I’m home
and I can feel it
in my bones.
I had nothing for Open Link Monday this week. I’ve been researching a subject dear to my heart—a kitchen renovation—and have therefore been distracted, but I read some submissions by other members of the writers’ group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, so I could at least comment.
Mary (In the Corner of My Eye) wrote of one’s “primal landscape” which some of us, those of us who were fortunate enough to stay in one place for a large part of childhood, are said to possess.
Mary’s memories awakened my own, and, in so doing, reminded me of the way I felt the first and only time I visited Scotland.
I went with my parents, my siblings, and my siblings’ spouses. Mom was born a MacKenzie. Her ancestors were from the western Highlands. Grandma Davies was a Fraser from Aberdeen. Neither Mom nor Dad felt what I felt, although Dad had been very fond of Scotland when he visited relatives during his time there in World War II.
I know the sensation was real. It was the same feeling I’d always felt when I heard bagpipes, the feeling I thought everyone had about the pipes until I learned otherwise: a strong tug at the heartstrings; in the bloodstream, and in the very marrow of my bones.
Carl Jung, whose opinion I respect in certain other areas, called it racial memory, part of a collective unconsciousness.
I don’t intend to research it. I simply know it’s true. I’m not sure yet if the kitchen reno is true or not, so I’m going to keep working at that.

Our World Tuesday: a 6th birthday party

An exciting event this past weekend was the 6th birthday party for grandson Liam.
Dick was fortunate to have had a business meeting in Edmonton on Friday, so he was able to be in Red Deer for our third grandson's birthday.
Yes, January birthdays in Alberta generally involve snow, tobogganing, ice skating, bonfires, and hot drinks as well as balloons and cake.
Congratulations, Liam, only 10 more years until your first car! (Don't tell your mom Nana Kay said that!)
Posted for
Our World Tuesday

Photos by Richard Schear 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday: Costa Rica

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2007

Posted for
Mellow Yellow Monday
hosted each week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see other mellow yellows from around the world, please click HERE!

Magpie Tales: Kandinsky, 1921

Wassily Kandinsky, 1921
Each week, from Willow Manor, comes a picture or photo to inspire us to write.
That's it: to write.
Easier said than done, as a matter of fact. There are no restraints imposed by this meme. That's why I love it sometimes, and hate it other times, depending on my muse, the state of my health, and other factors.
This week is Mag 102, and I'm going to give it my best shot.
I didn't mean to hit her with the hammer. It was just there, beside her red shoe, and I've always hated those red shoes, the way she kicks them off to leave them scattered around the house so I'll trip over them. Her clothing, too — that yellow dress with the blue stripes and black shoulders, how I hate that dress! And her silly black hat with the lace brim. She says she's bothered by the sun! I don't believe it. I've never believed it. And look at those things she left on my chair. On my chair! How dare she? She thinks she owns the whole place, when everyone knows it was my loft first. When I saw the hammer there, beside that stupid red shoe, I just thought I'd pick it up and put it away. That's all I intended to do. She never puts things away. So I put her away.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Succinctly yours: tree, bicycle, hibernate

Each week, a photo is posted at the blog Grandma's Goulash for the Succinctly Yours meme. Grandma's daughter Calico chooses a word of the week before she sees the photo. This week, her word is hibernate, but I couldn't fit it into my 140-character mini-story.
One hundred and forty characters? Yes, including punctuation and spaces! We could also write a short story about the photo, using 140 words, but I managed to end up with exactly 140 characters. So here we have this week's photo, along with my mini-submission.

It would be easier to ride up the other side, where it slants, but to make it on Canada's Got Talent, I'd better learn to ride up this side.

For Real Toads: Daryl's photos

I have long been a fan of Daryl Edelstein's photos of New York. I think one of the things I like most is her sense of perspective. She can give any old thing a new angle: making it shine, making it jump, making it sing.
Fireblossom has offered us not one, not two or three, but fifteen of Daryl's photos and asked us to choose one as inspiration in today's Weekend Photo Challenge at the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Choosing just one of Daryl's photos is the most difficult part of the challenge, so I've chosen two.
© Daryl Edelstein photos
the heat from the sun
and the warmth
of the colors,
the charm of the shapes
and the smiles
of the people,
the traffic,
the bustle,
the city,
the photographer sees it
where others are blind.
from her eye
to her lens
to the
digital pixels,
it all.
Do check out Daryl's photos, either on her own blog or on Real Toads. Both links are here and both will give you a new appreciation for Daryl's New York City.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday Photo Hunting: dark

Very early morning, Kizhi, Russia.

Midnight in Moscow.

Fort McMurray, northern Alberta.

From our back yard, southern Alberta.
Posted for this week's theme "Dark" at
Saturday Photo Hunting 
hosted by our friend Gattina in Belgium. Thanks, Gattina!

© Photos by Richard Schear

Definitions, meanings, ego and confusion

Photo by emdot on Flickr

It seemed to me there had been entirely too much confusion between the words "democracy" and "capitalism" lately, so I decided to look them up, in case I was wrong. After all, I was wrong about something else, earlier today, so I thought I'd check this out.
I chose, for purposes of comparison, definitions from the online Oxford Dictionaries, surely the contemporary version of the time-honored Oxford English Dictionary.
from Oxford Dictionaries
—an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state
from Oxford Dictionaries
—a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives
Now I can see where the ambiguity exists. Capitalism is defined as an economic and political system, whereas the definition of democracy makes no reference to economics.
So I was wrong (according to the English major’s preferred book of reference, the OED) in thinking the two words meant two entirely different things, that one meant a political system, and one an economic system. That means I was wrong twice in one day.
As a famous frog once said, it isn’t easy being green. Yes, I could go back, I could choose instead an online dictionary which defines capitalism as an economic system and leaves out the word "political" but I'll take it with a stiff upper lip and stick with my first choice, the Oxford.
So where do I go from here? The average Canadian has no right to complain about oil pipelines going across Alberta and the Rockies, and then from one side of my home province, British Columbia, to the other. But, somehow, huge mega-corporations have a "right" to large profits. Why?
Now we're getting somewhere. What about the word "right"? Do we want to get into a discussion of right and wrong? Not me. Not today, when my record is already blemished.
After all, I do know two wrongs don't make a right.

Posted for
Writers' Weekend Retreat
hosted by Grandma's Goulash

Wonderful reflections: would you believe... husband got a photo of this sunset...

...reflecting on our dog  as well as on the fence beside her?

Posted for James at
Weekend Reflections
and for
Camera Critters  hosted by Misty Dawn
and also for
Pet Pride  hosted by Lindy's buddy Bozo in Mumbai, India.
Lindy says, "Look at me, Bozo, all lit up like a Christmas tree, but too late."
Lindy's golden curls really shone like gold in the sunset earlier this month, and the shadow of the fence fell on her at the same time. So I am posting this, too, to
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Blurb Friday: pink flower photo

Each week, Lisa Ricard Claro hosts Book Blurb Friday at her blog Writing in the Buff. Lisa posts a photo (this week by the terrifically talented Tammy Goodsell) to inspire writer-bloggers to think of a novel with this photo as the book cover. Then, we are asked to write a "blurb" to sell the book, using no more than 150 words.

Here is my submission of 144 words:

Author Wickie Peidya has outdone herself by enlisting the characteristics of a widespread and many-named plant from the family Apocynaceae in her newest novel, Primarily Plumeria, an apocalyptic mystery of major proportions.
The plumeria problem begins as far south as Brazil, spreads through South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, and then throughout the world’s tropical areas.
Will amateur detective Fran Giapani be able to stop the spread of rumors about ghosts, vampires and demons, egg yolks, sphinx moths, deaths and funerals, in time for medico-botanical science to find a cure for the plague?
Aided by a French botanist, an Italian marquess, Hindu and Buddhist monks and several Tongan lei-makers, Fran uses the power of the internet to spread the truth about the plant.
Will people learn in time that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself?
144 words

SkyWatch Friday: Christmas clouds

As January is fast fading into February, we'll take one nostalgic glance back to Christmas, 2011, with these decorative cloud photos.

© Photos by Richard Schear

Posted for  SkyWatch Friday

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: and they call it...

And they call it
Puppy Love,
just because we're
not just teens.

Tell them all I am so glad
That I now have my puppy one.
I walk each day my walk with you,
Our walks are all such fun.

How can I,
How can I tell them
This is Super Puppy Love?

Posted for Hootin' Anni's
musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
Thanks, Anni!
This is our favorite meme.

© Photos by Kay Davies 

For Real Toads: Nazim Hikmet

Kenia introduces the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to the person and the works of Turkish poet/revolutionary/martyr Nazim Hikmet.

"Hikmet's imprisonment in the 1940s became a cause célèbre among intellectuals worldwide; a 1949 committee that included Pablo Picasso, Paul Robeson, and Jean Paul Sartre campaigned for Hikmet's release.
“On November 22, 1950, the World Council of Peace announced that Nazım Hikmet was among the recipients of the International Peace Prize along with Pablo Picasso, Paul Robeson, Wanda Jakubowska and Pablo Neruda." (Wikipedia)
I'm a lifelong fan of the great American singer Paul Robeson, who was exiled during the McCarthy era. Hikmet's connection to him, and the fact that Robeson sang a translation of Hikmet's poem "The Little Girl" (as did Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and many others) made me feel an instant connection with Hikmet who was unknown to me until now. Thanks for the introduction, Kenia!
Wikipedia photo
"Nazım Hikmet's Davet ("Invitation") is one of his best known poems. Nazım tells what he wants, and what life should be like, in the poem's last lines about living 'alone and free like a tree' and 'in brotherly love like a forest'." (Wikipedia)
I found myself intrigued by the structure of this poem "Invitation" and have here attempted something using that form and borrowing something of the wording. As I wrote, I had in mind the first pioneers to cross Canada from east to west.

Opening up the land toward the far west
Beaver, buffalo, bad weather, to reach perhaps the Pacific 
this land is ours.
Losing oxen, horses, children, wives,
as we continue on toward the wild unknown,
to call this land ours.
High mountains, rocky mountains, impassable,
yet await after we cross the wide prairie,
to make this land ours.
To move like a salmon in a stream, like an eagle on high,
To follow the rivers rushing toward the sea,
to open this land of ours. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ABC Wednesday: B is for Brugge, Belgium

My intrepid photographer and his long lens capturing other tourists in a small boat.

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

Theatrical release photo from Wikipedia.
After seeing the 2008 comedy crime drama In Bruges starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes, we were determined to visit this lovely city in Belgium. We enjoyed the movie but we enjoyed the scenery even more.  It was actually one of the reasons we chose last year's Tulips and Windmills Cruise with Viking River Cruises. The reality did not disappoint, but unfortunately I was very ill the day we visited. Nevertheless, I took more than 150 photos and I don't know how many Dick took. The canals...the medieval architecture...the skies in varying shades of blue...we loved it all.
The English spelling Bruges was used in the movie, but the Belgian spelling is Brugge, which is now more familiar to us. A longtime friend from the Netherlands told me, before we went, about the port city called Zeebrugge, some 15km away. However, river cruise ships don't go to sea, but stop in Antwerp, about 100km distant. The Viking Pride tour-guides took passengers to Brugge by bus. I still think I would have felt better if it hadn't been for that hour or more traveling by bus. Give me water travel any time.

Posted for
Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme, hosted by her capable team.