Thursday, December 25, 2014

A humbug helper for Christmas dinner

Some years ago, when I was new to Alberta, and Dick was new to me, I told him I wasn't feeling well, late one afternoon, and told him I had to lie down.
"Oh." he said. "Well, then, if you're sick, I'll just have an omelet for supper."
"I'm so glad you know how to make an omelet," I replied.
His face dropped. "I...I...I don't know how to make an omelet."
"Well, then who did you suppose...wait a minute. Me. You expect me to get up to make you an omelet!"
"But, they're easy to make, and wouldn't take you very long."
"Look in the fridge," I replied. "Look in the cupboards. Or go out to get something for your supper. And some day, I'll teach you how to make an omelet."
About a year passed while I entertained myself with ideas for my lesson-plan on omelet-teaching. One day, I caught him coming through the kitchen.
"Are you busy?" I asked.
"Not really," he replied.
"Good, it's almost time for supper, so I'll teach you how to make an omelet."
"Oh, okay."
"First, you assemble the ingredients. Eggs, an onion, a green pepper, salt and pepper, and cheese. Here's the cheese grater. Grate about this much. Then cut up half of the green pepper, and chop up half of the onion."
"But I don't like chopping onions!"
"Sweetie," I said, sweetly, "nobody likes chopping onions."
* * *
So here we are, it's Christmas Day in western Canada. Dick had done the shopping, attempting to adhere to my list, and found what the store called a sweet onion. I laughed this afternoon when he ran out of the room, at my suggestion that he might like to chop it for me.
Unfortunately, in the years between the first omelet and this Christmas, I have had cataract surgery on both eyes, requiring the lenses my eyes were born with to be replaced by artificial lenses. I swear those artificial things trapped all of the fumes from that so-called sweet onion, making me weep copiously.
Photo by Richard Schear
I considered calling for help but, in those same said years, Dick lost a lot of his hearing and doesn't like wearing his hearing-aids. I would have called, he would have replied, "I can't hear you!"
I would have had to fall on the floor, moaning with pain and weeping more loudly, in order to get our old blind dog to go fetch him, so I cut the onion in half, chopped half of it, wrapped up the other half and put it in the fridge.
It can stay there until next Christmas, or until it turns greeny-brown and rots, whichever comes first.
Meanwhile, I hope all of my friends in Blogland have had or are having a wonderful holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Returning to Our World Tuesday

I've been a long time gone, as I mentioned in a comment to our birding friend Phil in England, but I hope I'm back to contribute some days of my life to Our World Tuesday.
Today I'm ignoring the snow outside and sharing some photos from a summertime dog picnic. That's right. In the summer, Dick and Lindy and I attended a dogs' picnic party hosted by SOS Senior Dog Rescue. We adopted Lindy from SOS some five years ago, and we're not sure about her age, but we definitely know she is a senior dog these days.
I was concerned about her meeting other dogs now that she has lost her eyesight, but she had a wonderful time.

She enjoyed meeting other Golden Retrievers, shown here with their owners giving them instructions...

Lindy, of course, was the curliest, but the second dog from the left has some curls, also.

As it was a hot summer day, she was delighted to find one of the wading pools the SOS volunteers had placed around Kin Coulee Park for the dogs.

Mmm, this is good...

But not as good as sneaking behind the barbecue table to get a special treat...

A wonderful time was had by all.

Posted for

An old toad poem for Open Link Monday

I wrote this poem some time ago. I don't remember when, but as today is Monday, and Marian has asked us for a poem, any poem, old or new, for Open Link Monday, I'm hoping this might inspire me to write new poems after a long dry spell.

Posted for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

I used to be a Toad
and I was happy
I used to be a Toad
and I was green
with great big yellow warts
on all my toadly parts
the funniest-looking toad
you’ve ever seen.

but then I hibernated
and I waited and I waited
to become a Toad again,
you see.

but waiting did no good
(hibernating, even less)
and I forgot how toadly
I had been.

I forgot my toadly parts
and only could see warts
where once there’d been
a lovely shade of green.

I used to be a poet
of nonsensical verse
but life somehow got worse
’til I lost my sense of verse,
becoming short and shrill and terse
instead of green.

by Kay L. Davies

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lindy returns to visit Bozo in India

"Hi, Bozo," says Lindy. "Guess what! My mom and dad took me for a long, long car ride in our new car. There were so many highways that I had to wear my very own seatbelt. It's red, and kinda pretty.
"It was a fun trip, and when we got home, the paving crew was still working in our neighbourhood, with big, big, noisy machines. They were here for weeks and weeks and weeks.
"I will tell my mom to post some pictures from our road trip as soon as she can. My favourite place was in New Mexico, up in the mountains, where deer came to visit...the same kind of deer as we have at home. That made me happy. I can't see much any more, but I could smell them, and I knew they were our kind of deer. Oh, my mom says they're called "mule deer" because of their big ears."

Posted for Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in India. Lindy misses her other blog friends, too, like Ambrose in Africa, and Yam Aunty in Scotland, so she is very happy to be back.

Lindy hears the road crew outside, and gets onto her window seat,
hoping to see something.

Big machines and big trucks were out on the street.
This big machine gobbled up the pavement and then threw it into a truck. Very exciting.

Late with my homogenia

I'm sharing the art and Wikipedia definition provided by MZ at Words Count with Mama Zen for her recent homophone challenge.
Fewer than 75 words, says Mama Zen...well, I can manage that. Formerly verbose, and happy with it, I have not so much improved as I have actually managed to shrink. Not what I wanted, really, but it means that if I return to verbosity, I will have therefore grown, if only in my own eyes.

homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too.                                                                                                                                                  –Wikipedia

we need to hire the right wright
to write the words for the rite
of marriage
and then—
the two greys who graze
in the field nearby
will wear white bridles 
as they pull the bridal coach

A mere 37 words, submitted late, by Kay Davies, December, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I just had a birthday, so...

I just had a birthday, so
I got to wondering
if there’s a market
for Old Crone porn

(not to be mistaken
 for old cornpone,
 a market for which
 I’m pretty sure there’s not).
No, I was thinking
of wrinkling
in arms and legs and faces,
and many other places
elders got
(but youngsters have not).
Along with 
bellies that bag
and breasts that sag,
and all the hairs
on my chinny-chin-chin.
Do old guys
want to see them?
In living colour yet?
Or do they have
enough of that
Fallen arches
in our feet,
and toenails which
we now can’t reach,
with aches and pains
in places that
we never even
knew we had,
before Time, once our friend,
turned and bit us in the end,
and we can’t fight back,
because we need to nap.

Kay L. Davies, December, 2014                 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The longest song I ever heard

The longest song I ever heard
but I remember every word,
and also I recall the day
the music died.

Over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where I was once a toad myself, Kerry recently asked for poems about iconic people.

Many icons from my youth are said to be mentioned in the song Kerry posted in her challenge: American Pie by Don McLean. However, I've read that McLean hasn't agreed or disagreed with anyone's interpretation of what he calls "just poetry" so perhaps we'll never really know. On the other hand, I've also read online articles claiming they are McLean's explanation of the song.

"The day the music died" is said to refer to the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (JP Richardson) died in a plane crash in 1959. I remember the three so well...

The first 45 rpm record I ever bought for myself was "Oh, Boy!" by Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1958. Oh, boy, how I loved Buddy Holly!

Everyone thought The Big Bopper was a lot of fun and, believe it or not, his song "Chantilly Lace" was considered somewhat risqué, if not downright scandalous, by parents of the young crowd.

Ritchie Valens wasn't even 18 when he died, but his top song "La Bamba" reached a whole new audience when the movie of the same name was released in 1987.

Music is lovely
music is fine—
music is fatal
to fav'rites of mine:
Bobby Darin also died young
and Mama Cass as well.
Sam Cooke was shot
Otis Redding was not—
he died in a plane crash, too.
Accidents and overdoses,
claimed too many lives.
Brian Jones
of the Rolling Stones,
thought to be suicide.
Jim Morrison
and Janis Joplin,
Jimi Hendrix, too,
at twenty-seven
went to heaven,
all three far too soon.
The list goes on,
and on and on,
of singers dying young,
but in all, or many, cases
the music lives today.
The music
did not die,
after all.
Kay Davies, November, 2014                                                                                           

Thursday, September 25, 2014

All I want for Christmas...

There is a book I want for Christmas this year.
That's all, just one book.
In the latest issue of Canada's Maclean's Magazine, copy editor Larissa Liepins has reviewed "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century" by Canadian-born Steven Pinker.
Oh, yes, please. I need a guide to writing in the 21st century. My biggest problem is thinking too much, which makes this book an obvious choice for a thinking person like me.
Pinker also, says Liepins, "applies his considerable expertise in cognitive science and linguistics to crafting a modern-day style guide for, as he puts it, 'people who know how to write and want to write better'."
Oh yes, that would be me. I've been writing since I was six years old, and have had some experience in the craft, as well as some experience as a proofreader and copy editor, and I know quite a few other writers. I know that, deep down, we all want to write better. Many of us also need to know what the 21st century wants of us as writers.
"If you count yourself in that group," Liepins goes on, "you likely own a style bible of old, be it Strunk and White's The Elements of Style or Fowler's Modern English Usage" and you will find them "frequently in Pinker's crosshairs."
Okay, shoot, Mr. Pinker. I'll get over it, even if you malign those treasured tomes and tell us repeatedly that language purists are "sticklers, pedants, peevers, snobs, snoots, nitpickers, traditionalists, language police, usage nannies, grammar Nazis, and the Gotcha Gang"!
Sigh, but I will get over it.
I will get over it because scientist Pinker has convinced editor Liepins "that, not only will we not go to hell for splitting an infinitive, sometimes it's the only way to boldly go."
I like that.
I need someone with "expertise in cognitive science" as well as linguistics, who "mines everything from obituaries to Dear Abby columns for good writing."
Sigh again.
Writers of my advanced age will remember Dear Abby's skill with words, and may have, as I did, demanded of our parents and siblings, "Read this! What a great line!"
Now, just don't tell Steven Pinker that when I grow up I want to be Dave Barry.
I am linking this, quite belatedly, to Open Link Monday at my favourite writers' blog, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Thanks for being there, dear Toads.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get listed: The Art of War

Art? in war?
what’s war for?
the silent sound of children dying
tenderness of mothers crying
futility of fathers trying
to explain duty, alliance, tactics
to ears which now can’t hear.

In the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, this Wednesday’s word list was from a 1910 edition of The Art of War by Sun Tzu. An ancient book, it has been published and republished until the actual identity of the original author is lost in the mists of time.
And here we are, 100 years after “The War to End all Wars” and our world has never seen a prolonged period of peace.

I have chosen a few words from the list of 13 to include in a short poem on a subject that haunts us all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Succinctly Yours in 140 characters

"How low can you go?" asks Grandma, at Grandma's Goulash.
Grandma has been asking that question for 182 weeks now, and I used to respond to it regularly. I've been remiss for some months now, but I'm back, at least for today.

Grandma posts a picture for participants, and asks us to write a short story about it in 140 words or 140 characters. I always like to use 140 characters. It's challenging, and it's fun. This week, my contribution consists of a short conversation in 140 characters.
There's usually a word of the week, too, and I like to fit it in if I can. This week's word is "deal".

"What is that animal doing up there?
Someone get it down! I don't want any animals in here."
"Oh, it's no big deal. He's just a little kid."

Monday, September 8, 2014

An ex-Toad appears for Open Link Monday

This sketch of Warty Bliggens the Toad,
drawn by George Harriman for the book
Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis,
was copyrighted in 1927
by the New York Tribune, Inc.

I used to be a Toad
and I was happy
I used to be a Toad
and I was green
with great big yellow warts
on all my toadly parts
the funniest-looking toad
you’ve ever seen.

but then I hibernated
and I waited and I waited
to become a Toad again,
you see.

but waiting did no good
(hibernating, even less)
and I forgot how toadly
I had been.

I forgot my toadly parts
and only could see warts
where once there’d been
a lovely shade of green.

I used to be a poet
of nonsensicable verse
but life somehow got worse
’til I lost my sense of verse,
becoming short and shrill and terse
instead of green.

by Kay Davies, September 7, 2014

Thanks to all my friends in the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for inviting me to come back to the Garden when possible, with a special thank-you to Kerry, and to those toads who have become my friends on Facebook.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The unfittie returns at long last

Hello world, I'm still alive, and as well as can be.

There are still some final touches to be done on The Great Canadian Home Renovation...but I have almost reached the picture-hanging stage in the living room. Various pictures are on chairs and bookcases around the room, being "tested" as to colour and appropriateness, with only minor attention as yet to subject.
However, it feels good to have something to write about, at long last, along with the desire to say it.
When we bought this house, it was guesstimated by the realtor and the former owners to be approximately my age.
And old houses, built piecemeal in the 1940s, 1950s and onward, as time and money allowed, can prove to be a serious challenge to owners in the 21st century. With said challenge can come a lot of surprises, many additional costs, and some creative cussing.
Now I have to hope Blogger will communicate with my camera when I take photos of the "new" house. Much to my surprise, my two new photos appeared when I connected the camera today. The older picture, taken last week, required much ado on my part to get it from the camera to the computer.
Perhaps...and I'm making no promises...perhaps I'm back to blogging!
Meanwhile, you might be wondering about the photo shown above. Well, our darlin' dog Lindy has pretty much lost her eyesight, and gets confused in the house sometimes because the renovation required considerable moving of furniture, and she bumped her head on the wall a few times when aiming for the doorway between the living room and her food dish.
If you know Lindy, you know food is worth far more to her than a mere bump on the head, but my husband panicked, so I had him take me to an upholstery shop. There I purchased two large pieces of upholstery foam, which I covered with pillowcases intended for a child's body pillow.
Now, when Lindy misses the side of the door, she hits her head on the foam. She has also decided that the pillow helping to keep the foam upright makes a nice place for a nap, and for storing her favourite toy, a bright pink fellow named Biggy Piggy.
And now for the renovation project in all of its glory...make that "part of its glory"...
For years I've had a big, heavy, white-painted, wooden bookcase. I had Dick move it out of the shed, where it was stored during the renovation, onto a large piece of heavy plastic in the yard. I started to spray it black.
That's when I discovered that even spray-painting, as easy as it might sound, still requires bending oneself into awkward shapes, and is also quite painful for a person with chronically sore hands.
Who knew?
So I spray-painted the top and the sides black, re-painted the shelves white (because I did, after all, have to cover up the black where my spray went astray) and am quite delighted with the result.
I somehow haven't managed to fix the hole that appeared gratuitously when the bookcase was removed from the shed, but I'm thinking of remedies somewhat more effective than stick-on mailing labels, which didn't work.
Meanwhile, I'm delighted with our colour choices. Two shades of grey on the walls, with white moulding and baseboards, is very soothing.

Bookcase, complete with hole at left, and grey smears
where the spray paint went too far. (My hands shake.)

Bookcase, with random contents, awaits arrival of more
boxes from the shed. Meanwhile, I'm trying out a couple
of items for the wall around it. The copper picture of Lindy
was made by my husband's youngest daughter, Monica.
The abstract painting is by his daughter Andrea. The small
oil portrait of Lindy was done by Canadian plein air artist
Aleta Karstad. Do check out her work here.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lindy's mom tries to do it herself

I'm sure glad Lindy has been holding the fort for me. I kept looking and looking at my blog and there weren't any new comments. Suddenly, in the middle of the night (or early morning, it is 3:30am) I realized it was my own fault. Of course, I didn't blame Lindy. I found 35 comments, and only one was spam, so now 34 have been posted.
Thanks for being there, my friends.

I'm here because it is time for Fireblossom's Flash 55 at The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where I used to enjoy writing poetry. The following bit of doggerel (all mine, not the dog's) came to me just after 3am, and it has 55 words.
Thanks to my friend Hedgewitch for reminding me about The Garden.

not last night, but the night before
twenty-four robbers came to my door
and one of them said “roll over, roll over”
they all rolled over and one fell out
twenty-three at my door
I don’t know what for
then one of them said
“are we really all dead?”
and I woke up

                                Kay L. Davies, August 3, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hello world, it's Lindy again, with new news

Maybe you can tell this is me...or at least the curliest part of me. I'm lying on the floor in this picture, not suspecting my mom is taking photos of my backside. And that's my new rug, to lie on when the floor is a bit chilly. You can see a bit of my mom's recliner on the right.

This is my dad's new lamp, beside his new window, behind his old recliner. People can look out this window to see our back yard, where I'm usually sleeping under a tree.

Here you can see rain on the front window. Yes, our neighbourhood is so green because the Canadian prairie is getting a lot of rain. My mom calls it "unseasonable" but I don't think that's a real word. Dogs don't use words like that. The wall isn't really black the way it looks here. Mom said something about the flash not going off because of light from the window. Some things dogs don't understand, but I know one thing: I don't like the flash when it does work.

This is the new little red table for phones and the answering machine. The answering machine has a funny voice because it isn't my dad and it isn't my mom. They say it's a computer voice but I don't really believe that. You can see the nice grey walls, and the white trim on the side of the doorway but not below it yet. We're going to have new floor in the hall, too. My mom says the old floor is "plug ugly" but I like it, because my food and water dishes are in the hall.

There will be two of these black stools in the living room, by the table with my dad's chess set, so someone can play with him. I will play with him, but I don't know chess.
Right now you can see the newly-painted wall and the nice new floor which is cool on hot days. My mom says you can also see that the baseboards haven't been done yet but I don't know what a baseboard is.

My mom says to tell you the living room ren-oh (that's short for renovation) has been keeping her busy, but that's not all. I know she went to British Columbia to see her friends and her brothers, and my cousins, too, and now she is very tired because travel is difficult for her.

Also, she says she is trying to get back to writing poetry, and she's thinking about posting more travel photos. I hope she does it soon, because it is extremely difficult for a Golden Retriever to use a keyboard without making all kinds of mistakes.
                             Lots of dog hugs, Lindy

P.S. I forgot to share these pictures of my cat cousins. Mom stayed with them when she was in Langley, B.C.
My new cat-cousin, named Sochi.

My first cat-cousin, Bailey.

I like this picture of Bailey when he was a kitten. Lucky cat to get into a refrigerator! I try and try to get into the fridge in our house but my mom and dad don't let me. I lie down in front of it when they're cooking, but they always push me away. Sigh.

Posted for Pet Pride
hosted by Bozo and his family
at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India. Thanks, Bozo!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hello blog-followers, Lindy here

Hi everyone, here I am, Lindy Davies-Schear, wearing my best smile, to tell you my mom has been having trouble with the relationship between her camera and her computer, and with someone named Blogger. It's too bad, because they used to get along so well, but now the computer is rejecting the camera, while Blogger is rejecting the computer, and they're all breaking my mom's heart.

Plus, Mom says that, as far as poetry is concerned, her muse has abandoned her. I'm not sure what a muse is. I know what a camera is, and know what sound it makes when my mom turns it on, and I know where the computer is, but a muse? I think that should be "amuse" but Mom says no, and I understand what "no" means. It means the same as "Lindy, leave it!"

Wishing all our Canadian friends Happy Canada Day on July 1, and all our American friends Happy Fourth of July, and all our other friends Happy Day!
 — Lindy, Kay and Richard

Photo by Richard Schear

Friday, June 20, 2014

How much is that doggy reflection?

Lindy seems to be staring at her own reflection in the refrigerator, but she's not. Her close-up vision is pretty much nonexistent now, although she can still see objects farther away (yesterday, when walking with Dick while I checked on something, she headed for the wrong red car, and it wasn't even parked near ours).
So, instead of contemplating her lovely self, she is dreaming (as usual) about the contents of the refrigerator. You never can tell when someone is going to take out one of those lovely big cucumbers she so adores.

Posted for Weekend Reflections
hosted by James of  Something Sighted

Thanks, James!

Also posted for Pet Pride, hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India.
Photo by Richard Schear with his smart phone

Monday, June 16, 2014

Galapagotian rhymes for Open Link Monday

I have no idea if that is a computer seems to think it isn't, but it suits me. Our present busy travel schedule all started with a trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2006 and we have been traveling ever since. Round and 'round the world we go, where we'll stop, nobody knows.


A few lines of this came to me the evening of Friday, the 13th of June, and other lines kept coming, so I am saving it all for Open Link Monday at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. I'm hoping I can be back to contributing regularly soon.

I don't believe I have any toad photos from the Galapagos Islands, but I have plenty of other fun creatures.

one foot, two foot
red foot, blue foot
and another one

on the way

marine iguana
land iguana
hadn’t much to say
and nazca booby
turned his head away

sea urchins large

and sea urchins small

they neither lurch nor sway

and penguins

and sea lions

                                                      I love them both

this lonely fellow                       
                                           perhaps the most

hello can your husband come out to play?
no we can look but we cannot stay

moonscape with frigate bird

ship’s mast with more

and then on the shore

birds and animals galore
  lava lizards  

flightless cormorants and more

     and we mustn’t forget
     Darwin’s delight
     a finch upside down
     and one upside right
     about which science
     for long years would fight

and last but not least
no not least at all

the galapagos tortoise
the oldest of all

Photos by
Richard Schear
and Kay L. Davies