Saturday, November 30, 2013

Camera Critters and Pet Pride this weekend

We're here for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn, who is very busy but is still hosting and posting, and also for Pet Pride, hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India.

In this photo, Lindy is lying on the kitchen floor, where she almost disappears, and she says to tell you it's going to get worse, because her mom bought flooring for the living room and dining room that's Lindy-coloured, too. What Lindy doesn't know is that it doesn't show dog-hair very much, so it doesn't have to be swept three times a day, but Lindy doesn't worry about that. She can sweep it with her tail, and just hopes nobody steps on her tail because they can't see it on the new floors.

Photo by Kay Davies, 2013
"What's that, Bozo? You said you're going away for two weeks? Well, I'll really miss you, but I hope everyone at your holiday home is good to you. Love, Lindy"

Friday, November 29, 2013

Weekend reflections and Sunday shadows

Posted for
Sunday 2

Top: Dick's shadow falls on the road, while the puddles reflect trees and houses.
Center: Lindy looks at her shadow, and not at the reflections in the water beside her.
Right: Dick's daughter Randi and her husband Rob also create reflections and shadows while creating something yummy in their kitchen.
Photos by Richard Schear, 2013

Lou Reed: music with Marian, for Toads

Lou Reed, 1942-2013
appearing in Málaga, Spain, 2008
Wikipedia photo

in Israel
there lives a velvet spider
whose unkempt webs
are spun of
wooly silk.
spider, this one
is named loureedia
          Kay Davies, Nov. 29, 2013

Lou Reed's music spanned six generations and was influential in more ways than I or Wikipedia can count. His late-1960s group The Velvet Underground is considered one of the most influential in the history of rock music despite its lack of commercial success.
A species of velvet spider that lives underground in Israel was named Loureedia in 2012.

Still performing in 2011 and 2012, Lou Reed died of liver disease in October, 2013, at the age of 71. At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, my friend Marian has invited Toads and other contributors to write about Reed, his music, his city (New York), or anything else we can think of in connection with the man, his work, or his life.

The moon in June nearly made us swoon

Oh yes, we've a day or two left for November moons, if there are any, but these early summer skies were pretty spectacular, and deserve to come out before the year is over.
Posted for Skywatch Friday

Photos by
Richard Schear
although I'm sure I remember running to him, squealing, "The moon,  the moon, get your camera!"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

T is for Tall Trees Two years ago

Winter doesn't reach the Oregon Coast as early as it reaches the Canadian prairie. And that has little to do with latitude, but more to do with the warm winds from the Pacific Ocean. 
I took this picture two years ago...well, it will be two years on Sunday...while I was visiting my friend Maryann in Oregon. The sky was blue, the trees were red, orange, yellow, and green. And it was my birthday, the birthday on which I qualified for my old person pension, so I remember.
It's so nice to look at these vibrant colours and remember I've only been legally an old person for two years. Thanks, Maryann!

Posted for the letter T at ABC Wednesday

Kerry's shades of grey challenge for toads


I felt more alive
in black and white
than I ever did in colour:
the hot pinks and purples,
the plaids and the dots,
disguised what was real about me

oh, sure, turquoise
suited my eyes —
my mother was right
about that,
but for the real me
to be treated well
by a camera,
I needed no help

the lens made me smile
the flash made me laugh
the photographer?
only a prop—
I could talk to the camera
while it talked to me
we’d talk
and we’d talk
and we’d talk

now look at these:
the shades of grey,
the shades of black,
and of white,
they’re all of them different
there’s no two the same
a pink grey in the first
a brown tone in the next,
some sharper
than others
but all just as me
as can be

by Kay Davies, November, 2013                      

Today, at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, our boss toad Kerry has asked us to think about black and white, about shades of grey, in life and in art.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our World Tuesday: grateful in France

Two weeks ago, for Remembrance Day, I wrote about my mother's cousin Henry Hector MacKenzie, Jr., a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who was shot down over France in World War II.
A few years ago, the remains of Harry's plane were found in a field north of Paris. They were taken in and restored by local residents, who used serial numbers to link plane and pilot via RCAF archives.
The town of Sacy-le-Grand, France, thereafter decided to name a street in Harry's honour. Mother's cousin Ian and his wife, Audrey, went with other members of the MacKenzie family to France for naming of MacKenzie Street.
After Remembrance Day this year, Ian forwarded me an e-mail he and Audrey received from one of the men who had found the airplane parts.
In France, they take World War II heroes very seriously, as we can see here: This year's e-mail included these colour photos of a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sacy-le-Grand, a place now very much a part of "our world" to the MacKenzie clan.

This photo (right) of Harry can be seen in the picture above, in the weather-protected display with his plane's engine and part of the propellor, cleaned, polished and painted by the people of a grateful nation.

Posted for Our World Tuesday

Reading in bed, for today's Open Link
 Monday came around once again, to find me, as usual, unprepared with a poem for Open Link at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
 However, my husband sent me an e-mail this morning, claiming to have found a word to describe someone such as I.
 Intrigued, I looked it up and found a different with an extra syllable. The definition also applies to said husband, although not as often, and not for as long.

“librocubularist” said he
while “librocubicularist” said I—
now we are left to wondering why
on spelling and counting we cannot agree
 Kay Davies, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lindy lost a bootie. Daddy found it.

It was a beautifully sunny day when Lindy and her daddy went for a walk this afternoon. Temperature just above freezing, and spots of green peeking out of the snow.One of Lindy's famous booties came off, but her daddy picked it up. Too bad he didn't also find the lens cap which fell off his camera. He's hoping it will still be on the path somewhere tomorrow.

Posted for 
Photos by Richard Schear, November 24, 2013
Pet Pride, which is hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India,
and also for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
where we are reminded of the thousands of Filipino people who lost their lives, and thousands more who are living in the wreckage of the world's worst typhoon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The toads' weekend challenge from Susie

I want the job my friend Susie's daughter has. She works at the The Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The center houses the museum and archives for the American folk singer Woody Guthrie.
Susie introduced Woody to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads today, and I think he'd be very comfortable in our garden. Even though his father had been a member of the KKK, Woody was a man of the people, all the people. He didn't just talk about equality, and he didn't just sing about it. He lived it. Many of the songs he wrote became part of the folk song genre almost immediately. Although the lyrics changed over time, as folk song lyrics do, at the heart of each of his many songs is the heart of a man who cared.
Many of you may not recognize his name but you'll recognize the name of his son, Arlo Guthrie, who followed in his father's footsteps. I was fortunate, however, to be raised by a musician who admired Woody and taught me about him before Arlo hit the music scene.

“A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it.”
Woody Guthrie


I wonder what Woody Guthrie would say
if he could see our countries today,
all of Canada, and the whole USA.
He’d be wondering why conservatives say
poor people don’t matter
the rich should get breaks
cut down all the trees
don’t care about spills
from pipelines and fracking
and other new ills.
He’d see we’ve got solar
and wind power, too,
and he’d wonder why
we aren’t using them more.
Why oil? Why gas?
Why take chances with that?
When better’s available
at the drop of a hat?
He’d probably lead us
in a march of protest
'til the RCMP
had us under arrest.
There are border patrols
south and north of the U.S.
while both armies are fighting
in the middle east,
and from the west
the Pacific so blue
is radioactive
for fish, whales and you.
The planet is warming,
which the right wing denies,
and if we talk about it
the government spies
will arrest us tomorrow
just because we despise
the way things are going,
the things that are wrong,
and we simply can’t fix them
with another folk song.
Kay Davies, November, 2013                                  
Woody Guthrie's guitar wore
a sign that said,
"This machine kills fascists."

"I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.
"I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built.
"I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work."
Guthrie on songwriting

Friday, November 22, 2013

Transforming Friday, with Hannah

Hannah has presented us with some beautiful photos for her Transforming Friday prompt at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
I looked at the pictures, read what Hannah had to say about an amazing plant in China which is green most of the year, and which then turns such a bright red it can be seen for miles.
I've been to China, and I like amazing plants as well as the next guy, but what did my recently-dormant brain pick up on? Potash. Apparently the plant is rich in potassium, which, when burnt, becomes potash.
It doesn't even sound pretty: "pot ash"...
And then, thinking about the usefulness of potash in soap production made me think of a blog post I'd read recently about Teresa making delicate and beautiful soaps with the milk from her beloved, beautiful herd of goats.
From there, it was an easy leap of my old brain to Grandma's Lye Soap, which was a song from a 1950s record called It's in the Book by Johnny Standley. If the link works, and takes you to youtube, the song starts at about 3:15 on the video. If you're not in a hurry, by all means listen to the first part, too. It's ridiculous, and hardly even funny now, but in the 1950s, before we had television, my brother and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Images via Google search
potash soap
and potash lye
a well-equipped
soap-making business
have I...
not for me
the pretty things
in eden’s garden
so bright they sing,

the goat-milk soaps
in many hues
which pretty girls
inhale and use
on skin so fresh
and dewey-eyed,
their pink and purple
soaps their pride...

no, I’d rather
scrub my clothes
on washboards old
in water cold
and rinse them at the pump,
then I
hang them up
and let them dry

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Words count with Mama Zen's headache

Poor MZ, sez me. She has a houseful of fifth grade girls who are there for a sleepover, and had to take a few minutes away from riding herd on them to ask us to write a poem of 43 words or less, based on the words of a song the girls have been blasting throughout the house..."What does the fox say?"
Now she is back to the giggling and shrieking of girls, the poor dear, and although she has provided a video of the song, I prefer not to listen to it, because I have a headache of my own.
The least I can do, however, is come up with fewer than 43 words in support of Mama Zen and her headache. I have used 33 words here.

the fox says run
Keulemans kit fox, 1890
Wikimedia Commons
run away from those girls
they can't be fun
even with all their curls
they’ll hurt your head
and they’ll
pound your brain
and then you’ll have
a migraine
Kay Davies, November, 2013     

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Simple to say for ABC day, S=Snowboots

Photos by Richard Schear
November, 2013
Lindy and her dad like to go for walks in almost any weather. Lindy has started to wear her boots some days now, to keep snow from forming ice balls between the pads of her feet. We haven't had a lot of snow yet this year, but it's snowing today.

Posted for

Monday, November 18, 2013

Open Link Monday in the garden again

For Open Link Monday at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, I have nothing original to say. I've been apologizing all over the place to my friends at Real Toads, first for my absence, then for my absence of mind.
My Real Toads friend Sherry asked me if the weather might be contributing to my pain, however, so I checked the humidity today.
Wikimedia Commons
Oh, yes, Sherry, you nailed it. Fibromyalgia and humidity do not mix. I moved away from the wonderful west coast for that very reason, but I forgot to remember. Thanks, my friend.

open link
has come again,
is going fast,
and I can’t think...
my brain
won't last...
I spend all my time
checking symptoms online.
I never want to see
another doctor in my life:
they can have
all my parts
when I depart.
it’s in
my will.

Kay Davies, November, 2013                            

Oh, deer, in Our World Tuesday

Photos by Richard Schear, November, 2013

There's more than one small herd of Mule Deer in our area, and they're all looking for the last of the autumn edibles.

Posted for
Our World

Our World is hosted this week by Lady Fi, who is perhaps best known as the owner of Oscar the Golden Retriever, at least our golden girl Lindy thinks so. I think Fi might agree.

"Wait for me, everyone. Something itched me!"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Someone liked food even more than Lindy does

Here is a picture of Lindy lurking under the table in case anyone might decide to drop some food.
Kay Davies photo
But you might not know that her mom once had two cats, a slim, handsome, friendly fellow named Herman, with white hair and black markings; and also a little fluffy pure white kitten named Ava.
Herman's mom (who is, yes, now Lindy's mom) said to him, "Be a good boy, Hermie, and let the kitten eat first." So he did. That meant that Ava could eat as much as she wanted, because Hermie was very polite. Ava grew up to be big and fat, and quite unfriendly. Teenagers used to dare their friends to walk past her. She looked all white and harmless until she removed their ankles.

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by
Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India.
and for
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!
Copyright Rob Davies, Atomic Cartoons, Vancouver, BC
This picture of Herman and Ava was drawn a number of years ago by Hermie and Ava and Lindy's mom's youngest brother. Lindy's mom loves it, even if it is looking a little the worse for wear, because it's a realistic illustration of dinner time for Herman and Ava.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weekend water reflections in Virginia

Sea grass is reflected in a large puddle beside the road, and a tree is reflected in the sea in Mathews County, Virginia, where I visited with friends in September.

Posted for
hosted by
James, of
Something Sighted

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Skywatch Friday here on the prairie

The sunset sky show is doing fine, but the reflecting-goose photos can't be enlarged. These 'golden' Canada geese were too far away for my intrepid photographer to focus on them properly.
Richard Schear,
November, 2013
Posted for Skywatch Friday

R is for Roamin' in the gloamin'

When the sun has gone tae rest,
That's the time that we love best,
Oh, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'

Written by that imaginative Scottish bard, Sir Harry Lauder.

Hoot mon, kin ye no rrroll yer RRRs?
If ye cannot, ye're no a Scot. 

Posted for the letter R
at ABC Wednesday
started by Denise Nesbitt,
capably administered by
Roger O. Green, and
hosted this week by our dear friend Wil
(Reader Wil) of the Netherlands.
Thanks, team!