Friday, September 28, 2012

Real Toads: magical mystery of Poe

For Fireblossom Friday at the online writers' place Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, we're asked to make Poe proud by writing a poem about magic.

I don't know much about magic. However, I know a little bit about Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps not enough to make him proud, but given the restraints under which I write today (ill health; being away from home and dog) I've done my best, Edgar.

edgar allan poe, y’know,
wrote The Raven, never mo’
but for a very real fear-gusher
he wrote The Fall of the House of Usher.
I saw it once on a movie screen
scariest thing I’d ever yet  seen
(and I a most susceptible teen)
it magically made my blue eyes green
so I have sworn off ever more
movies classified as horror

Poe, by the way, was the first American to try to make a living by writing, but not before giving other careers a try. He suffered under restraints far worse than Golden-Retriever-withdrawal, I might add.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For Real Toads: Ella's fashion challenge

My friend Ella, a self-described Ninja Stylist (I love that idea, it terrifies me, but I love it) quoted Coco Chanel to the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads and challenged us to write a poem on one of the many aspects of fashion as we see it.
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." Coco Chanel
(Do check out Ella's explanation of Ninja Stylist on the Real Toads page.)
It's been a while since I've felt up to posting anything, for Real Toads, or for one of my favorite memes, but just this evening I've started to feel a tiny bit better. I could venture the suggestion that Diet Coke cures colds, but I've had this cold for a week, so I suspect that instead it might just be running its course. I hope.
Ella's challenge made me think of something I did quite a few years ago, by way of a fashion statement of my own. Of course, everybody and his/her dog has done it since, and I don't feel I'm any sort of a trendsetter, but it was an adventure at the time.
when I was really no longer young
(but younger then than now)
my hair had started to gather some grey
and I wanted it changed somehow.
one day as my stylist cut my hair
I noticed
different colored dyes
all arrayed before my eyes
and asked her to dye my grey bits
what fun I had for a couple of weeks
with my brown hair violet-streaked
a whole lot better than grey or white!
I realized then that I might
be able to wear only
my purple clothes
and purple shoes,
with purple hose.
I had a friend take a photo of me
and I was all excited to see
how it looked, because by then
I'd had it all dyed brown again,
only to find out, when it was too late

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Camera Critters, Weekend Reflections


I don't know how Judy at Squirrel Queen does it, but she is forever getting wonderful squirrel closeups, and I can't take a squirrel photo for the life of me. They always run in terror when they see ferocious old me. But there is a squirrel (a black one, look very carefully) and there are some nice reflections, too, in these photos I attempted in Calgary last Monday.

Posted for
Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn
Weekend Reflections, hosted by James in California

Kay Davies photos, September, 2012

Succinctly yours: deluge

Every week, a photo is posted on the Grandma's Goulash blog, for the challenge called "Succinctly Yours" wherein Grandma asks us to use the photo as inspiration for a short story of 140 words or a short-short story of 140 characters including spaces and punctuation. Without seeing the photo, Grandma's daughter chooses the optional word of the week, which we can use, or not, as we like. This week's word is deluge.
Photo by Pat and Jerry
Here is my submission of 136 characters, including spaces, punctuation, and the word of the week.

All was peaceful on the beach until, suddenly, clouds rolled in and opened up, dropping a deluge of pelicans on swimmers and sunbathers.
Posted for
Succinctly Yours

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ABC Wednesday: J is for Journey

This is my husband's car, a red Chevy Malibu. The car directly in front of it is my red Chevy Malibu, which I'm very used to driving. I`m less familiar with the newer car (his) but it gets twice the gas mileage mine does, so, of course, we use it for long trips. One of the journeys he undertakes on a regular basis is the 9-hour drive to Fort McMurray, Alberta. I volunteered to accompany him, as co-pilot, on his ``Fort Mac`` journey this month, because his recent surgery (planned preventative surgery, not an emergency) has left him a trifle weaker than he used to be, so he tires more readily, and I`d like to have him come home in one piece. Even I`m not quite as relaxed with his car as I am with mine, I still think two drivers are better than one. I`m sure you agree. We`re spending tonight in Edmonton, heading northeast to the oil sands tomorrow.

Posted for
ABC Wednesday
now brought to us under the skillful direction of Roger O. Green. Thanks, Rog!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pet Pride: lookin' good in a blue sweater

Kay Davies photo, September 2012
It isn't easy to get Lindy to sit still in the kitchen, but it is easy to get her to stand still in the entryway so I can put her "sweater" on her when she comes in wet. She doesn't mind it at all, and it is faster than a towel, wicking the wetness away so we don't have to scrub at her with a towel to dry her off. 
Lindy and I were shopping together at Petland in Calgary while her daddy was in the hospital across the street, and I couldn't resist buying this in spite of the sticker shock. It's worth it, because it actually takes two adults to dry one dog, and the FurDry* saves me a lot of pain in my back when Lindy's daddy can't help me. And she looks so cute in it!
Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's pal Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India, at their Pets Forever blog.
Lindy says: "Hi, Bozo, I think I like this blue color, don't you? At first I thought of brown, to match my eyes, but my mom liked the blue, and I agree it is very slimming."

* unsolicited testimonial

Succinctly yours: harvest

Over at the Grandma's Goulash blog, Grandma herself posts a picture (this one from and asks us to write a short story of 140 words or a short-short story of 140 characters including spaces and punctuation, based on the picture.
There aren't any bonus points (because there aren't any points at all) for using the word of the week, which this week is "harvest" chosen by Grandma's daughter before she saw the picture, but I like to try to fit it in.
Of course, I never read anyone else's submission before I post mine. That just isn't the done thing, don't you know? But I'm wondering if Anthony had "my" idea before I had it. Meanwhile, do take a moment to check out the website where Grandma found the picture. It's very interesting.
Here is my succinct submission of 138 characters including spaces, punctuation, and a derivation of the word of the week.
They imagined children in the year 2000 would learn from books harvested into a hopper and sent to headphones. Scanners and eBooks, maybe?
Posted for
Succinctly Yours
at Grandma's Goulash

For Real Toads...a firefly? Not I.

Kerry and Kenia, serious poets in the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, both keep "firefly jars"...receptacles full of inspirational and/or inspired thoughts they wish to keep for future poetry.
Any inspiration I might have (beyond "time for lunch!") is more likely to be written on envelopes, discount coupons, shreds of paper or, if I can find one, a post-it.
The Sunday challenge this week is for us to post our versions of firefly jars. I guess I'm more a lady bug than I firefly. I can fly, but I don't do it often.

© Kerry O’Connor 
© Kenia Cris

© Kay Davies

I was a poet when I was young
ridden with angst and sturm und drang
words used to fly through my mind
words of the serious kind
change the world
feed the poor
have an occasion? I had a rhyme
of the seriously celebratory kind
poets speak
of birds
and trees
and flowers
when Spring comes
not I —
I love a rock

© Kay Davies

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not Bailey's own blog, but he's the star

©  Maria Davies photo

This is Bailey, my brother and sister-in-law's Siberian Forest Cat (well, kitten). Their truck and fifth-wheel trailer are all fixed up for Bailey to travel with them. Now my brother and his wife have joined Bailey's Auntie Kay in blogland, and I'm sure he'll be the star of their blog. He is a Camera Critter who loves traveling, and who does it in grand style.

Posted for
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Word with Laurie...bottleneck

One of the most unusual challenges I've met up with at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads writing group is today's word provided by poet Laurie Kolp. Bottleneck. Whodathunkit? Not I. But it could be fun.

The photo above is of "bottleneck gourds" and was provided by Laurie as one of a series of inspirational photographs to help us write a bottleneck poem. They look like butternut squashes whose growth was impeded by wide, tight rubber bands, don't they? Poor things.
However, the Wikimedia photo below inspired me to write a haiku based, I must admit, on ancient personal experience.

much fun with bottles
often leads to too much fun
starting with necking

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday Theme Song...they're gone...

Gone fishin'
There's a sign upon your door 
Gone fishin'
You ain't workin' anymore 
There's your hoe
out in the sun 
Where you left a row
half done 
You claim that
hoein' ain't no fun 
You ain't got no ambition 

Gone fishin' by a 
shady wady pool 
I'm wishin' I could
be that kind of fool 
I'd say no more work for mine
On my door I'd hang a sign 
Gone fishin'
instead of just a-wishin' 

Gone fishin'
There's a sign
upon your door 
Gone fishin'
You ain't workin' 
Cows need milkin’ 
in the barn
But you just don’t 
give a darn
You ain’t got no ambition

Gone fishin'
Got your hound dog 
by your side
Gone fishin'
Fleas are bitin' 
at his hide
Folks won’t find us now 
Mr. Satch and Mr. Croz
We gone fishin’ 
instead of just a-wishin’

YouTube video of Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby, posted by Ruthflying
Songwriters: Nick Kenny and Charles Kenny
Photos by my intrepid photographer Richard Schear, at a B&B in Cold Lake, Alberta, Oct. 2, 2010

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme

For Real Toads: the most admirable Jane

a sense of humor
a sense of self
a lack of shyness
above all else
had my heroine Jane

she wrote early,
and well for her age,
volumes of story
and characters
with tongue, perhaps,
in cheek even then
Jane matured
and made the name Austen
a subject of some debate
in Englande Olde
“irony, realism and satire”
agreed critics years later
and the satire
was, I think, the best
decades later
another parson’s poet daughters
hid behind assumed names
and Acton Bell
but when their books came out
did their own names adorn them?
and Anne Bronte?
do you suppose they thought
even for a moment
of Jane Austen
who came before
to pave the way for women who wrote
instead of playing the pianoforte?
probably not, but I'd like to think they did

© Kay L. Davies, 2012

How fortunate we are that we needn't resort to subterfuge in order to get out written work out there. I can't imagine being a writer in the England of Jane Austen or, although it was a little later, the England of the Bronte sisters. It was extremely difficult for female writers to be taken seriously in the 1700s and early to mid 1800s.

This is posted in response to Isadora Gruye's challenge to members and contributors at the online writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Thanks, Izy. It took me a while to get a handle on this, but I enjoyed trying. I'm the kind of Jane Austen fan who reads Pride and Prejudice every couple of years, just to laugh aloud, every time.
Pictures of books from Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happiness IS...the letter I, ABC Wednesday

With the word "happiness" in there because I missed last week, and also the week before, when my husband had surgery. He's fine now. I'm still tired. :-)

But, first, the letter I means one of my favorite places in cyberspace: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, an online writers' group which has taught me "I ain't the poet I useta was" but, if I keep trying, I might get past doggerel and into the "write" headspace for expressing myself in poetry again.

And now, for the letter I, happiness IS...

IT IS wild birds and wild animals near our southeastern Alberta home.
Photos by Kay. L. Davies and Richard Schear

IT IS our favorite tame animal with her favorite toy.

IT IS visiting my old friends and old haunts in
Vancouver, BC.
IT IS children completely absorbed in making art.

IT IS our new kitchen.

IT IS my brother's new cat.

Posted for
Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme
now under the aegis of Roger O. Green.
Thanks, Denise. Thanks Roger and the team.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A big branch, right where Lindy likes to nap

Winds of 50 kilometers per hour knocked a long branch off one of the big trees in our back yard Monday. We're so glad Lindy wasn't there at the time, because she likes to lie down right where it fell, between the Mountain Ash and the tall poplar.

Kay Davies photos, September 10, 2012 
The poplars are at least three times the height of the house, therefore close to 100 feet tall, with many long branches hanging down. I took this shot from a distance of about 45 feet, and couldn't begin to get their full height in the photo. (That's a storage shed seen behind the poplar, and the entrance door to the garage can be seen in the top photo, but the house doesn't really show here.)

Posted for
Our World Tuesday

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pet Pride? Lindy lies down on the job

Walking with her daddy is Lindy's favorite thing to do.

While walking in Calgary with her mom, she decided she didn't want to walk any more, so her mom had to sit down to wait for Lindy to get going. It took quite a while, so both had a rest. See her mom's foot?

Walking in Calgary after dark was pretty exciting, Lindy thought, but she still wanted to lie down for a while, even though her mom urged her to hurry up.
© Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies
Lindy thinks it is her job to take her dad for walks. Sometimes, if her dad isn't available to be walked, she'll take her mom but she says her mom doesn't walk fast enough. Lindy will walk fast, but halfway through the walk, she wants to lie down and rest. In the second picture above, she wanted to lie down for a good long nap, so her mom had to sit down beside her and wait.
Posted for Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family
at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India
Lindy says: "I like to be scratched and tickled, too, Bozo, just like you. I also like to be brushed and combed and petted and patted and, best of all, I like to have my tummy rubbed. My daddy does it best."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Real Toads: featuring Margaret's photos

Photographer and fellow toad, Margaret Bednar, has offered several of her wonderful photos as inspiration for a poem on the theme Around the World, for the Sunday mini-challenge to the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
I looked and I looked, and I thought and I thought, but I couldn't choose just one picture for a topic of such wide scope, so I'm using two photos. Thanks for making them available to us, Margaret.

Around the World with Margaret and Me

the world is a wonderful place
with many a glamorous face,
but I like
the oceans, the rivers, the streams,
the creeks and the rivulets best,
the lakes and the ponds
and the tiniest pools
where the tiniest fishes can rest,
and I like
the lochs, the lagoons, and the tarns,
estuaries, inlets and sounds
the firths and the fjords
where danger abounds
and we put our fears to the test 

© Kay L. Davies, September, 2012

ONE GOOD TERN: a weekend reflection

Not too bad for a drive-by shot, I'd say. My husband was a passenger during his first outing with the
Grassland Naturalists, and couldn't resist trying for these terns on posts reflected in the water.
© Richard Schear, August, 2012
Posted for
Weekend Reflections
Blame my intrepid photographer, he said "one good tern" — I didn't. LOL

Camera captures raptors, Southern Alberta

Merlin Falcon
© Richard Schear, August, 2012

Swainson's Hawk
© Richard Schear, August, 2012

Golden Eagle
© Richard Schear, August, 2012
Posted for
and for

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: you and your...

Pussycat, pussycat,
I've got flowers...

and hours and hours
to watch you sleep...

you and your pussycat nose...

you and your pussycat eyes...
A new pussycat, whoa, whoa, whoa,
a new pussycat, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh!
Photos of my brother and sister-in-law's new cat "Bailey"
by Kay and Clint and Maria Davies, summer, 2012


Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Another for the Toads: internal monologue

Just when I think I should lie down because it's exhausting taking care of a post-surgical husband, an always-hungry Golden Retriever, and my own unfit self, I decide to take a little peek into my favorite garden: the online writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Kerry's challenge for today is too much fun to pass up, even when I'm so tired. She asks members and contributors to write an internal monologue. Kerry says the end result should be a piece of writing which reveals the character of the speaker, as well as the one who caused the problem addressed in the monologue.
So, with the permission of my better half, whom you know as Richard Schear, my intrepid photographer, I've written what he was probably thinking about his doctor after his recent preventative surgery.



the surgeon’s taken out, no doubt,
something I can’t live without!
I fear I’ll never, ever eat
another plate of rare red meat
Photo by Kay Davies, Aug., 2012
or chew a carrot—
I can’t bear it!
I feel so weak
I’m almost meek,
but if that doctor shows his face
I’ll tell him this is a disgrace!
I used to be a big, strong man
but now I know not what I am—
a shadow of my former self—
out to pasture, on the shelf,
tired, retired, retiring!
don’t want to eat a single thing,
especially what the nurses bring,
the whole experience makes me weep
and then it makes me fall asleep
twenty hours of twenty-four
until I fear I’ll wake no more.
can’t find my slippers on the floor:
can’t bend down because I’m sore,
and visitors are such a bore,
flowers they bring but nothing more— ah,
such a dread funereal aura.
I’m tired of thinking, and so, mayhap,
I’ll take another little nap...

Kay L. Davies, September, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Couldn't resist this Real Toads challenge

Yes, we got home  Friday, and yes, today is Sunday. I'm still exhausted, but did want to take a quick peek at what's happening with the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, my favorite garden.
The Sunday Challenge this week features photos by Real Toads member Laurie Kolp, and I just couldn't resist.
Laurie's photo of a family holiday, not your average stand-in-front-and-smile photo, reminded me of something I wrote years ago. It's probably somewhere in the early part of my blog, and I forget where, but this is the updated version, inspired by Laurie's characteristically "different" holiday shot.
First, here's Laurie's photo:

© Laurie Kolp, 2010

And here's my little ditty about travel souvenirs from the not-so-good old days, photographically speaking:

This is us in front of the bus in Paris
This is us in front of the bus in Rome
This is us in front of the bus
Smiling inanely, not looking like us
Standing together front of the bus in London
And this is us in front of the bus at home.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lindy in the city

Photo by Kay Davies, August, 2012

Hi Bozo and other blog-critters:
Here I am last week in the city of Calgary with my mom and dad. We were staying in a hotel. Mom said Dad was going to a hospital, but that can't be true. The only hospital I've ever heard of is the vet clinic, and my dad would only go there if I'm sick. As you can see, I was fine.
I love the hotel, because all the people pet me and tell me I'm beautiful. There's even a mirror in the elevator, so I can look at myself and know that I'm beautiful. It's true, doncha see?
Well, it turned out my mom was right. My dad did go to a great big hospital place, and he only came outside to visit me twice, because he didn't feel well. But when we went to pick him up to come home, he was a lot better.
I hope he never has to go back there. It wasn't as nice as the hotel, but it had lots of pretty nurses coming and going.
Love, Lindy

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India.
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn.

We're home at last

Hi all—
We got home last evening, exhausted and sore (except for Lindy, who slept all the way home).
It was the first time I'd driven the entire distance from Calgary without stopping once, and I was almost as tired as my post-surgical passenger. He is recovering nicely now, after a slow start. The good news is, he is experiencing very little pain.
I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging, whenever that may be. In the meantime, the car needs to be unloaded. Dick can't help me with that, and Lindy isn't the least bit interested. All in its own good time, I guess.
Luv, K