Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The second week away

At the computer in the hotel lobby again, Lindy snoring at my feet again, and my intrepid photographer not so intrepid as he once was.
It's been a week since his surgery and his doctor says he "might" get to go home Thursday. Then again, he might not.
I'm being brave. Lindy is being spoilt by other hotel guests, especially those with children. And our dearly beloved is learning more than he ever wanted to know about life in a hospital.
He's fine. He's making progress, but slowly. The human body heals on its own schedule, not on mine, no matter how many TV shows I want to record Thursday evening.
But, here's hoping, for his sake, and for mine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Unreliable correspondent? Who, me? Yes, me.

Dear friends and unfittie-followers:
I'm not at home right now. I'm in a hotel in Calgary, because my husband had some planned surgery yesterday. Part II of the plan was for me to use his computer in our hotel room, but I can't seem to get it to work, so I'm on the public one in the lobby, with our dog Lindy asleep on the floor beside me.
Lindy and I are fine, and I expect Dick is, too. He asked me to check with the nurses about visiting hours so he would know when he could kick me out. I was amazed. Visiting hours used to be 12 noon to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm when I was younger. Now they're 10am to 9pm. I was ready to leave before he was ready to kick me out!
I won't be doing much posting, due to the computer situation, and probably not a lot of commenting, either, if other hotel guests are lined up behind me for the only lobby computer. Right now, though, there are four children lined up to pet Lindy.
Such a life.
Forgive me, please, if I am an unreliable participant in the blogosphere until we get home.
Luv, K

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Open Link Monday: where I can write what I like

Posted for Kerry's Open Link Monday at the online writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
All the other people in the garden seem to have squillions of poems stashed away, hither and yon, waiting to see the light of day here on Open Link Monday. I had two, count 'em, two, both posted long ago, and since then I write almost nothing except in response to a prompt here on Toads or elsewhere.
Richard Schear photo, 2012 
I'm hopeless. Old and useless. So when I saw this photo my husband took while out with his Naturalist group, it made me think of my poor old self.

a paleolithic creature
struck into stone
and smashed
here on the ground
his giant tusks
to the left of him
his once-flailing tail to the right
“don’t say ‘right’ to me,” he begs
“they used to say ‘might beats right’ 
but they were wrong!
look at me now
in a million pieces
a million years old
and who gives a damn?
“what’s one more pleisto-meistosaurean more or less?
especially now when I’m the only one left
and I’m smashed?
smashed to smithereens
with algae growing on me
“such a comedown—
I who was once really someone,
don’t you know?
“and now they say
‘a pleisto-meisto-whaaat?’
and don’t even care
“well, if this is to be my burial ground,
at least I brought my own stone, har har har”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pet Pride: Lindy loves her daddy

© Photo by Kay Davies, July, 2012

If Lindy's daddy is willing to get down and sit on the floor with her, she's more than willing to cuddle up and go to sleep.

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India. Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. We're going somewhere tomorrow, and I'm going to stay in a pet-friendly hotel again. This will be my third time in a hotel, so I'm becoming an expert."

Real Toads: photos by Scriptor Senex

The blogger known as Scriptor Senex is an excellent Liverpool photographer named John Edwards. He has offered some of his photos for the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to use as inspiration for a poem on Kerry's Sunday Mini-Challenge.

I haven't spent much time in Liverpool, but I liked what I did see, and John's photo called Liverpool Sky spoke to me this weekend.

Liverpool Sky
© John Edwards

by Kay L. Davies, August, 2012
Liverpool sky
I do wonder why
this glorious hue
happens so few
times in one human life...
Liverpool skies
have seen eight hundred years
of human lifetimes...
from the time of King John
through generations
of Liverpudlians.
Yes, fans, Liverpool was there
before the Beatles were,
and is still there today.
From the Atlantic
and the Irish Sea,
up the Mersey
and out again,
shipping has gone on
for hundreds of years.
No one speaks now
of Liverpool’s part
in the slave trade
but isn’t it odd
that it has Britain’s
largest African population?
If my ancestors
had been slaves,
I’d avoid the place
like the plague.
Liverpool sky,
the things it has seen,
we might not want
to dream of.
But Beatlemaniacs
will dream of John and George,
and hope to see Paul or Ringo.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday 2: south central Alberta

Small critters cast shadows, as do small rocks.
© Photos by Richard Schear, August, 2012, while out today with the Grasslands Naturalists.

Shadows of rose hips and rose leaves decorate a lichened rock.

Spiny shadows are cast by cacti in the desert part of the Alberta prairie.
Posted for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
hosted this week by Magical Mystery Teacher.

Camera Critters: a new Naturalist's photos

My husband spent a great many hours with the Grasslands Naturalists today and enjoyed every minute of it, so he has decided to join them.
He came home with more than 200 photos, many of which are great for
Camera Critters, for this week, next week and the next.

© Photos by Richard Schear, August, 2012

A Monarch butterfly or its lookalike cousin? My newly-pledged naturalist doesn't know.

This Upland Sandpiper is almost completely camouflaged.

Western Grebes share a reflective moment.
Posted for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Weekend Reflections: southern Alberta

My husband has decided to join the Grasslands Naturalists, after spending the today with them at the Milk River Natural Area and Kennedy Coulee Ecological Reserve in the very south of central Alberta, at the US border.

Wherever he goes, of course, he brings home photos for me and my memes. He got several good shots for Weekend Reflections, enough for this week and next.

Posted for
hosted by
James in

Thanks, James!

© Photos by
Richard Schear
An Unfittie's Guide
to Adventurous Travel

For Real Toads: our neighborhood


we bought our little hobbit house
because I loved the yard
surrounded by an old white fence
made of painted boards
“just the thing for when we get a dog”

the fence fell down in places
and still no dog arrived
but we had the new fence built
“as if...”
and in the meantime I was planting trees


without a dog we were content
with wildlife in the the 'hood
deer and rabbits
gophers and birds
with antelope not far away

then Lindy came, and life was good,
much better than before
the fence had a purpose
the deer had a friend
and the neighborhood gophers a foe

© Kay L. Davies, August, 2012
Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies

Posted for Mary's Mixed Bag at the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Mary suggested we write about a neighborhood that means something special to us. Thanks, Mary!

This is our neighborhood in southeastern Alberta, Canada, in all seasons. The first photo is of our little house, and I shot the bottom ones of Dick, Lindy, and a snowy day, while standing on the boulevard beside our house.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: Goldfincher

Richard Schear photos © 

He's the bird, the bird with the golden touch 
A finch's touch 
Such a bright color 
Beckons you to join in his pretty song 
Just sing along 

That Mister Gold Fincher!
Pretty bird, beware of his heart of gold 
It might be cold 
He loves only goldfinches 
He loves gold 
He loves only goldfinches
He loves gold

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thanks, Anni!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Real Toads: Atticus thinks about Scout

Kerry's challenge today for the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads is to take a character from history or literature and present that character from the point of view of one of his or her contemporaries. I have chosen a book, a film, and a character, Atticus Finch, who was voted the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.

a 1960 novel by Harper Lee
a 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck and Mary Badham

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the southern US town of Maycomb, is thinking about his daughter Jean Louise, nicknamed Scout, who loves to have adventures just as her brother and his friends have.
oh, that Scout!
will that girl ever learn?
ahh, she probably won’t learn
not to climb trees with boys
but she’ll learn a lot
I know she will
she’s a smart girl, our Jean Louise
and she’ll learn
about human nature
about good and evil
about justice and injustice
and a whole lot more

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

ABC Wednesday: E is for Ensenada

I've driven through Ensenada, Mexico, more than once in the past 40 years, but never recognized it as a large city until we arrived there by ship earlier this year. Obviously, I never strayed far from Highway 1 on my way to or from Highway 3, which crosses the Sierras to Highway 5 and my parents' winter home in San Felipe on the other side of the Baja Peninsula.
It turns out Ensenada stretches far below the spot where it meets Highway 3, and has a population of almost half a million. Who knew? Not I. We saw a great deal more when we took a tour to see La Bufadora (The Blowhole) on the peninsula at the south end of Bahia Todos Los Santos.

Misty mountains: Unfortunately, air pollution still exists in any Mexican city
of more than 100,000 poeple. This photo was taken from our balcony on the Carnival Spirit,
which was docked at the north end of the city, and the north end of Bahia Todos Los Santos.
Villa Marina Hotel, taken from the Carnival Spirit.
Sea lions and seagulls know the cruise ship dock means people, and people mean food.
Can you see the young gull flying above the three sea lions on the left? 
The Carnival Inspiration, older and smaller than the Spirit, was also at the cruise ship dock.
Posted for the letter E on
ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our World Tuesday: neighborhood rabbit

© Richard Schear photos, 2012

We have lots of these cute rabbits running wild in our neighborhood all year. My husband took these photos while walking the dog, who wasn't paying any attention to his camera, and didn't see this rabbit at all. We think she has lost the hunting instinct she used during the time she was living wild, before she was picked up by the SPCA and sent by them to SOS Pet Rescue.
Posted for
Our World Tuesday

Sunday, August 12, 2012

For Real Toads: Cyhydedd Hir

The River Wye, the 1816 road bridge,
and the 
castle at Chepstow, Wales.
The river forms the boundary between
 MonmouthshireWales (left) and GloucestershireEngland (right).
Wikipedia photo

Kerry’s challenge for the online writers’ group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads this weekend has been the Welsh poetry form Cyhydedd Hir (pronounced cu-hée-dedd heer).
Kerry says the basis of Cyhydedd Hir is a single line of 19 syllables, and two rhymes, set out as follows:
x x x x A x x x x A x x x x A x x x B
(where x is a single syllable)
"The final poem should consist of the basic 19-syllable variation repeated four times with new rhymes introduced within each section," she said. So I did it.
As you can see, I had a bit of fun with my 19-syllable lines. Kerry did say we don't have to use 19 syllables per line: we could write couplets, tercets or quatrains of 19 syllables, but I chose to use 19-syllable lines, forming 38-syllable couplets, with a twist. (I seldom do exactly as I'm told.)
VOCABULARY, a Cyhydedd Hir
by Kay L. Davies, August, 2012
equanimity, perspicacity, reciprocity, each a big word
parsimonious, multifarious, impecunious, big as a herd
matriculation, peregrination, corroboration, every word
satisfactory, propitiatory, conciliatory, wants to be heard
antithetical, preternatural, ecumenical, just for the sound
cornucopia, misanthropia, pre-utopia, going around

qualifications, congratulations, to all the nations, every one
contemporary, apothecary, fiduciary, now we are done

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Camera Critters: yummy cookie critters

We went to Calgary recently for an appointment, and stopped for a snack at Cookie Mama—a wonderful bakery in the city's Inglewood district.
We were very good. Dick had coffee and one cookie, I had tea and one cookie. And the cookies were very good, too. Better than we were? Oh, yes.
Cookie Mama specializes in "free" cookies: such as gluten-free and egg-free, lots of specially delicious cookies (but not nut-free).
They also make gluten-free cakes and cupcakes, plus special cookie greetings in all kinds of shapes, like the cookie critters I photographed here:

© Kay Davies photo, August, 2012
Posted for
Camera Critters
a meme that's never critter-free, hosted by Misty Dawn
Thanks, Misty!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo Hunting— trains and planes

Our friend Gattina in Belgium hosts a meme called Saturday's Photo Hunting, with a different theme every week.
It's been a while since I participated, but I couldn't resist this week's theme: trains and planes!

After my parents died, I came close to crossing all of Canada by train, a trip my mother and I
had discussed for decades, intending to leave from Vancouver, but we never made it.
I managed to do most of it, from Edmonton, Alberta, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2010.
© Kay L. Davies photo
My friend Paulette took this photo of me in the train station in Toronto.

Later that year, Dick and I had lunch in San Francisco on our way to Hawaii.
This is a photo of the California coast taken from the air.
© Richard Schear photos, December, 2010
Small planes decorate the ceiling of the San Francisco airport.

Posted for
Saturday's Photo Hunting
hosted by Gattina at Keyhole Pictures
Thanks, Gattina!

Real Toads: Laurie's word is miscreant

© Richard Schear, 2007
A Word with Laurie is a Friday feature for the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Laurie presents us with a word for our inspiration, and today she has chosen the word miscreant, which I always associated with rowdies, punks and hoodlums.
Laurie, however, listed some meanings which surprised me. "People holding incorrect religious beliefs"? Incorrect by whose definition, you ask? Wiktionary's?
No, I think it means incorrect by someone else's definition, a someone who actually believes everyone else wrong. That's what I've chosen as my inspiration for today, along with one of Laurie's photos which she has invited us to use. (Along the way, I have taken it upon myself to invent a verb.)
My apologies to anyone whose religious beliefs differ from mine, including  the pope and his bishops whose names I may be thought to be taking in vain because I am not and never have been a Roman Catholic.

a poem by Kay L. Davies, 2012
there’s billions of those miscreants
who don’t believe as I do
how dare they have the nerve to think
they might be right
© Laurie Kolp, 2012
and I might be mistaken?
I was told by the bishop
and he by the pope
the heathen must be converted
so I’ve decided to lead the charge
in a brand new religious crusade
I’ve armed myself with the sword of right
in order that I some day might
a miscreant, miscreanting, smite!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

SkyWatch Friday: moon in the mist

Mist blurs the horizon in the first photo here, when Dick and Lindy took their early-morning walk a few days ago. The moon, however, was about to set in the west and, as the mist cleared, it was faintly visible, hovering in the sky.

© Photos by Richard Schear, taken with my little camera, August, 2012

Posted for

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thursday Theme and then...

Lindy's photo by Richard Schear, 2012

now and then there’s a pool
such as I am under you
they filled me up
with water, pup,
and you came here to cool
I’m a pool and
I’ll cool you, dog,
until the day I leak
but for now
there’s a pool such as I

Posted for
Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
Thanks, Anni!

Real Toads: Izy's end of world challenge

At the online writer's group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Isadora has given us a special challenge: Armageddon, or the end times.
With TV and movies giving us their take on the end of the world, she asks each of us to describe his or her own view of it.
This is not an easy task for me. I can imagine any amount of horror for myself, but not for those I love, especially the young ones.
I lived most of my life on the west coast of Canada, in a suburb of Vancouver, BC. I clearly remember sitting in my living room with my youngest brother when he was 15. We had just watched a movie about the day after an atomic bomb, so he asked me what I would do if I knew a bomb would hit Vancouver in an hour. I said I would grab him, throw him into my car, and head for the Rocky Mountains.
"But you wouldn't have a chance," he said. "You couldn't get very far in an hour, especially if everyone else is doing the same thing."
"I know," I said, "but I would have to try."
I think he understood what I call my Mother Bear Instinct, because our mom had it, too.
Here is my answer to Izy's challenge:

they say the end is coming
and it’s very close at hand
there is no hope for anyone
on this or any land
I’m begging of the universe
Public domain sketch
from Wikipedia,
artist unknown
blow me to the skies above
but leave a life in Canada
for the children whom I love...
an impossible plea
born of caring
too much, perhaps,
for them,
but what is love
if not daring
to try to save the child?
mother bears
and mother birds
feel the same way in the wild

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ABC Wednesday: D for Dominican Republic

Dick and I have been to the Dominican Republic together, and he has also been there on two other trips, accompanied by a different daughter each time.
Is it a great place for a holiday? Dick thinks so, but he does hope the next time he earns a company trip, it will be in a different location. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, especially when it comes to travel.
Congratulations to Dominican hurdler Felix Sanchez for a fine performance in his heat of the Men's 400m Hurdles at the Olympics on Monday.
Dick and I in 2004
Dick and daughter 2009

Dick doing the limbo 2004

Dinner in Dominican Republic
Dick parasailing in Dominican Republic, 2009
Dancers in Dominican Republic
Duck in Dominican Republic
Dessert in Dominican Republic
Posted for
ABC Wednesday
Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme now directed by Roger O. Green.
To see how other bloggers used the letter D, please click HERE!