Saturday, June 30, 2012

For Real Toads: the Chinese Koan form

Kerry's Sunday challenge for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads this week introduces us to the ancient Chinese poetry form called the Koan, which is written in four lines.
The first line makes a statement about a subject, and the second line progresses to a description of the subject. In the third line, a new subject is introduced with a statement. The fourth line unites the themes of the first three lines.
This evening, I heard from a friend whose infant son has shown he is no longer a helpless infant, and her news made me think of this challenge.

my young friend’s son is no longer a newborn:
he can now roll from his back to his stomach.
the young birds left their nests in the spring.
young men leave home later than young birds, but leave they must.

Photo copyright Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2008

Pet Pride: my man's best friend

Lindy's favorite person is her daddy. Here he is sitting on the floor instead of in his recliner, holding her front paw while she sleeps on her ottoman.

Photo by Kay Davies

Posted for Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India.
Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. This is my daddy. I love him sooooooo much! I love my mom, too, but I love Daddy best."

Shadow Shot Sunday 2: at a garden shop

The last time I was out in the Vancouver, BC, suburbs visiting my family, I went to a garden shop with my niece to watch my grandniece and her pre-school friends taking a tour. There were some lovely shadows to be seen there!

Photos by Kay Davies, May, 2012
Posted for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
To see more shadows from around the world, please click HERE!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Real Toads: Marian's musical challenge

Marian's musical challenge yesterday featured the Jayhawks' song Blue from their 1995 album Tomorrow the Green Grass.
I borrowed some of their lyric, and some of the song's format, in this poem for today, June 29, my mother's birthday. Although it's been five years since she died, and this year will be three since Dad died, it seems like yesterday. So this is for Mom and Dad.
Posted for the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Always thought I’d be someone
Then I thought I was wrong
Never did very much with
What I did all along

But you, you were always there
And I knew that you cared
Now I know I’ve been someone
Someone all along
You never cared very much for
Sketch from Google
What I feared all along
You made me feel so good
And you told me I would
Always, always be someone
Someone all life long
Always, always be someone
Someone your life long.

SkyWatch Friday: another prairie sunset

We get so many lovely sunsets in southeastern Alberta, and most of them are gorgeous. Dick and Lindy often walk over to the coulee before sunset to see what they can see. One evening recently, they saw these fantastic colors.

Posted for

Weekend Reflection, camera critter over water

Photo by Richard Schear, 2012
Sun reflecting on the waters of the Pacific as a pelican flies toward Mexico during our spring trip to San Diego for a cruise to Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada, then returning to San Diego.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections
the reflective meme hosted by James in California
Camera Critters
the critter-fun meme hosted by Misty Dawn.

Thanks, James. And thanks, Misty!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thursday Theme Song...bye bye

Bye bye, birdies

 I'm gonna miss you so

Bye bye, birdies

 Why'd you have to go?

No more sunshine

It's followed you away

I'll cry, birdies

'Til you're back to stay

I'll miss the way you sing

As though it's just for me

And each and every day

I'll listen faithfully

Bye bye, Birdies

I love to see you there

Bye bye, birdies

I guess I'll always care!

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
To hear other songs from other music fans, please click HERE!

For Real Toads: the Shakespeare challenge

Kerry says she's gone "old school" for this challenge, which makes it right up my alley, since most of the old schools I attended have long since been torn down or, possibly, turned into condominiums.
I haven't been able to respond to challenges here at the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for a week or so, due to a headache and some other health issues which plague my life, but I think I'm back.
Please forgive me for not commenting on the poetry of other members, but my poor brain has been in rather bad shape.
When the idea of using something from Shakespeare actually got me thinking "Oh, what fun!" I was just thrilled. I was so sorry to have to pass up Ella's challenge, and Fireblossom's, and so happy to think I could try something here. It isn't wonderful, and "it ain't art" but it might be my chance to sneak back into the Imaginary Garden again.

Shmoop photo

Scene: A basement office in the depths of Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
            In the middle, a model of a singularly unprepossessing prison.
A thunderous drum roll announces the entrance of Prime Minister Harper, along with three of his cabinet minions.
First cabinet minion:     Thrice Mrs. Harper’s cats have mewed.
Second cabinet minion: More than once, the poor have whined.
Third cabinet minion:    Harper decreed — it’s time! it’s time!
First cabinet minion:      Round about the prison go,
                                           In the poor and sickly throw,
                                           And those guilty of internet use,
                                           Heap their heads with much abuse.
Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Second cabinet minion: Throw in all the union members
                                          Roast the lefties in the embers
Third cabinet minion:    All those who against us vote
                                          Throw a noose around each throat
Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
First cabinet minion:     Scientists who dare to claim
                                          There's such a thing as climate change
                                          Imprisonment for them arrange!
Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Second cabinet minion:  And the subject our wives can't speak of
                                           Lest they should begin to think of...

Third cabinet minion:    No, no, don't say it! Not out loud!
                                          The very thought can draw a crowd...

Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.


ABC Wednesday: X is for the birds

Xantus's Murrelet is an interesting seabird. The chicks leave the nest for the ocean when they're only two days old.

Xantus's Murrelet chick
 Photos from Mr. Google

Xantus's Murrelet
The following Siberian fork-tailed gull is called a Xeme.

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus is the formal name of the yellow-headed blackbird shown below. We have actually seen these in southern Alberta.

Posted for
ABC Wednesday,
Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme.
Thanks, Denise and team!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our World Tuesday: green and pink

Our weather was unusually wet this spring, and the humidity is continuing into summer, with thunderstorms in the forecast, even though they don't always materialize. Not exactly the usual desert conditions here on the prairie.
The rains bring beauty, however, such as my Explorer Rose, which is now in full bloom, while the currant bush by the birdbath is bearing fruit, and I haven't had to do any watering at all so far.

Click HERE to see other beautiful sights on
Our World Tuesday

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Succinctly yours: incandescent

Every week, over at the Grandma's Goulash blog, is a meme called
Succinctly Yours.
Grandma publishes a photo prompt, along with these instructions:

How low can you go?
Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words.
Photo provided as prompt

There is also a word of the week, and this time it is incandescent.
Unfortunately, I have a headache which makes it impossible for me to think,
so I wasn't able to use the word of the week right now.
Fortunately, the photo is of a tiny critter we actually saw in Costa Rica,
and it was quite easy to write something about it in 140 characters,
including spaces and punctuation.

When we were visiting Costa Rica, we saw a wonderful little blue-legged fellow called a Blue Jeans Frog. There's nothing like it in Alberta.

Photo by Richard Schear, 2007

Pet Pride: grass is for naps, not nibbles

Photo by Richard Schear, June, 2012

Posted for Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family
in Mumbai, India, at their Pets Forever blog

Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo! My mom says she read that you like nibbling on grass when your tummy is upset. She says lots of dogs do that. I don't, but maybe I should try it, because I like eating green things. I like broccoli (especially the stems, because they're crunchy) and green bell peppers (after my dad removes the seeds) and many other vegetables, but I usually lie down on grass, and wait for my people to feed me a treat."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday 2: at the coulee

On the western Canadian prairie, this coulee is full of shadow.

Looking down into a coulee, we see individual shadows of varying sizes.

Photos by Richard Schear, June, 2012

Posted for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
To see more shadows this Sunday, please click HERE.

Camera Critter...didn't notice Lindy

Dick and Lindy have seen this cat before when they've been out walking, and the cat wasn't impressed by the sight of a short, fat Golden Retriever. This time, however, the cat posed prettily because it didn't see Lindy.

Posted for
the meme hosted
by Misty Dawn.
Photo by Richard Schear, 2012
Thanks, Misty!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Reflections: prairie sunsets

Photos by Richard Schear, June, 2012 

When the sunset reflects off windows, it can look like fire (top photo) or it can bring a tree reflection with it, as in the second shot. My intrepid photographer is on the alert for interesting reflections when he's out walking with our dog Lindy. I often wonder what the owners of these houses think about the man with the camera pointed at them! So far, no one has phoned the Gendarmes about him.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections
hosted by that very talented photographer, James in Californa. Thanks, James!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thursday Theme Song...makes me happy

Sunshine on my shoulders
makes me happy

Posted for
Hootin' Anni's
musical meme


Thanks, Anni!
Thursday Theme Song
almost always
makes me happy,
unless I miss it.

Sunshine in my eyes
can make me cry

I spent most of my adult life living and working in or near Vancouver, British Columbia.
Residents of that beautiful and vibrant city have access to concerts by many of the world's greats.
One such singer was John Denver, who died much too young, and I am grateful I was given the opportunity to see him perform.
My friend Judith had tickets for the press box, and we had to walk across a high catwalk to reach it. I was terrified, and almost didn't get there, believe me. But I'm very glad I did.
This is one of the songs John Denver sang that night, modified only slightly for Thursday Theme Song.

Sunshine on the prairie looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me sigh.
Photos by Richard Schear, southeastern Alberta, June 17, 2012