Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Final day in which I didn't participate

National Poetry Writing Month has come to a close and I have participated only periodically, once with a ballad challenge, and a couple of times with poems of my own.

For the final day of NaPoWriMo, Grapeling (aka M) has re-introduced (to us oldies) the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book, The Little Prince.

My little contribution does not q-u-i-t-e follow M's instructions to the letter. I think he wanted us to write in the style Saint Exupéry used in The Little Prince.

I did not do that. I did, however, write a little something, and all my fine friends in the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads seem to cut me a little slack when I'm fuzzy or confused or, like tonight, full of a code id by node.

If you are anywhere near my age, you might recognize the two people in the photo I posted below.

pilots and princes
and roses and such
make for a wonderful tale
asteroids, planets,
drunkards and kings
ensure that the plot will not fail

the prince continues along

and still, today,
young children
can be found among
the fans of the prince
and his voyage

Photo via Google
Poem via Kay Davies, April 30, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

These shadows were shot in Iceland

Although my husband went riding while we were in Iceland a few weeks ago, he found it wasn't completely compatible with taking photos. However, he received a Dropbox of photos from the tour guide recently. 
If you haven't seen my previous posts about the Icelandic horse, let me share some adjectives now...friendly, gentle, sweet, huggable and absolutely amazing!
That pretty much sums it up. Larger than a Shetland, smaller than a quarter horse, the horses of Iceland are so special, the country's government has a no-import policy on horses of other breeds which might interfere with the unique qualities of the Icelandics.
Therefore, they always breed true, so the characteristics and personality traits that make them unique are carried through to this day.

TOP PHOTO: my husband and usual photographer, Richard Schear
CENTRE & BOTTOM: shadows of Icelandics and their riders


Reflecting about Iceland

Dick went horseback riding while we were in Iceland. I would have loved to do it, in theory, but in reality I wasn't capable of it. Too bad, because I've met plenty of horses in my life, but the gentle, sweet, huggable Icelandics were the first horses I ever loved.
However, Dick recently received a Dropbox of photos from one of the tour guides. This reflection of a snow patch in water is one of my favourites.

hosted by James of Something Sighted. Thanks, James!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lindy got THIS wet today

This photo was taken before Christmas, and you can see by the hair on Lindy's tummy how wet she got from the snow.
Well, today, April 26, when it really should be Spring, we had more snow. It didn't stick to the roads, but it stuck to gravel and bushes and grass. So, when Lindy wanted to go out to the yard, she got wet again,  just as wet as she did in December.
Posted for Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!
and also for  Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India.
Lindy says, "I really did get wet today, Bozo, and I came into the house with snow all over my back, too. My mom tried to dry me with a towel, but I was hungry and wouldn't stand still. Then she put my dog-drying sweater on me. It was so cuddly and warm that I had to have a nap after my snack, and I woke up all nice and dry."
Note: although it caught Lindy's mom by surprise, today's mixed rain and snow wasn't at all unusual for this area. People who have always lived in Southern Alberta tell us snow can fall during any month of the year. Brrrr.

Photo by Richard Schear, December, 2013

W words challenge Real Toads


Photo by Richard Schear, Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake, British Columbia

worthy words work wonders
whenever weak wills wander
wondering where, when, what
will waft westward with whom

whether waxing or waning,
always beheld with wonder

Wikipedia Photo
willows waiting with greening buds
one day the wonder of the neighbourhood

Posted for
Marian's challenge, "W" words
at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Pick up a book, find a sentence, write a poem

Ella's challenge to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads this Thursday was for members and visitors to pick up a book, look at a sentence, and use that sentence as inspiration for a poem.
Most of my books are packed away due to belated renovations of our house. Said renovations are becoming more belated by the day, I swan, and I have no idea where the best of my books might be.
So the book I picked up happened to be a guide book to the River Danube.
The sentence:
"In 1766, Emperor Joseph II opened up to the citizens of Vienna what until then had been the restricted imperial hunting grounds."
Jesuitenwiese in Prater

from hunting ground
to a place for play
a little yellow train
a football ground
a giant ferris wheel

what would Friedrich I 
have thought of the land
he gave to the Praters
to hunt on as they wished?

and what would
the Prater family have thought
of the land
that slipped
Wiener Riesenrad
in the Wurstelprater
amusement park
from their hands?

Emperor Joseph II  was wise
to share the land with Vienna
—and then a World Exhibition
shared Vienna with the world

Photos from Wikipedia


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ABC Wednesday: O is for Old

No, I don't mean me. Or even my husband, who is 70 and still referees basketball and football. I mean our darling dog, Lindy, who is now blind but is still the ruler of the roost around here.
She uses her memory instead of her nose, so she still gets confused sometimes, but not often. I'm trying to encourage her to smell things instead of "looking" for them, and maybe she'll learn, and maybe she won't.
Nevertheless, we still love her dearly.
We don't know her exact age. We adopted her from SOS, the local dog rescue society, in 2009. At that time, the veterinarian thought she was about four years old. Time has proven that estimate to be incorrect, and we think she might have been five or even six.
It doesn't matter, though. We will continue to treasure every moment we have with her, for whatever length of time that is.
Lindy this week.

First week home...Lindy and her at first sight! 2009
Just a little bit of white hair. 2011

A little more white hair. 2012

Posted for Mrs. Nesbitt's popular meme

Whozits and whatsits challenge, yesterday

the yellow cabinet sits
like a glowing wooden sun
in the midst of subtle greys
and darkest black
illumining the room
when night clouds
hide the moon

Over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, members are posting daily challenges for those among us who are participating in NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month is nearing its close, but dedicated poets in the Imaginary Garden are still writing.
The photo above is from a series of shots taken by Toads member Lolamouse and her Babymouse in a store that is, apparently, beyond eclectic. Ms Mouse calls her challenge Whozits and Whatsits.
I chose this photo because I'm in the midst of a seemingly never-ending remodel of my living room (in fact, it's barely started, after months of planning and packing) and when I saw this intense Chinese yellow, I immediately coveted this cabinet. My colour scheme is grey, black, and white, with red accents. I'd love to have had this gorgeous yellow accent colour instead.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does anybody really know what day it is?

It's Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day to you

Happy Earth Day to you

Happy Earth Day, everybody

Save the planet, recycle, re-use. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ice caves in the Icelandic glacier

In addition to my fear of heights, I'm also claustrophobic. The whole idea of a cave makes me nervous, never mind the fact that it is in a constantly-moving mass of ice and volcanic debris.
Needless to say, my intrepid photographer didn't have me along to help him when his glacier-climbing took him into the depths of an ice cave. He got some good shots of other members of his tour group, though.

Coming up out of the cave looks like science fiction, however, when you're wearing crampons. This young man makes it look easy.

Photos by Richard Schear, March/April, 2014

Sharing via Yamini's Less Speak More Peek

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dick on a glacier in Iceland

I stayed in the tour bus while this nonsense was going on. No climbing for me, not on glaciers, not even on ladders, I'm afraid. (Yes, that's why, plus the fact that I have no strength and no sense of balance.)

Glaciers in volcanic areas like Iceland aren't as pristine as the one at Lake Louise, for instance, and they're receding, as are ours, but people like my intrepid photographer are still climbing them.

Top, the glacier. Above, Dick at the glacier. Note the ice axe.

Dick's feet with crampons on.

Below, the guide demonstrates the use of ice axe and crampons. The ice axe is probably not to be used as demonstrated by the above-mentioned intrepid photographer.

Late March/early April, 2014. Richard Schear photos.
with Our World Tuesday

If a robin sees its shadow, is it still spring?

Well, well, what have we here?
It's food! How nice!
And I can see my shadow! How slim I am!
Photos by Richard Schear
Posted for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Drawing with words: shape poetry

        g                                               e  c         
          i                                            r       o  m  e
          n      a  i  l  b  e  h  i  n  d     e                   s      
           g   t                                i  h  e  r  d  o  g 
         i  t  s                                  t 
        s       w  h  o  i  s  a  d  a  l 
       p        m                           i   p
      o            a                        o    u

     t                t                       n      p

Okay, this is not a poem. It's a test, for me. It goes down, then across, then up and across, and down, and up, and across, and across again, then off to the bottom left, then up and across, and down to the middle left, then the middle right, and the last bit is "pup" — but I usually include process notes, and these are those for my shape attempt. I had to see if Blogger would allow me to transfer a word drawing from my Pages program on my old iMac.

Now, to see if I can do anything directly onto Blogger.

Hmm. Failed.


Okay now, Toads and toadies and roadies, this doesn't go down as Failure To Participate, it goes down as Failure To Manipulate Technology.

Different thing entirely. My bad. Mea culpa and all that, but you should have seen me manipulate computerized typesetting technology in the 70s, when all the things we do today were just twinkles in Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs' eyes.

Posted for
Kerry's Shape Poetry challenge at the
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT                                                 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We'll sing in the sunshine

Posted for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!
and for Pet Pride, hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India. Lindy says, Thanks, Bozo!

For Sam's ee cummings challenge

Real Toads member Sam Edge, who, like me, is only now beginning to feel the effects of spring, challenged members and visitors to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to use, misuse, or abuse the English language á la e.e. cummings.
I'm not in that class (the cummings class) of poets.
I'm not even participating in NaPoWriMo (national poetry writing month) but today as I ate some eggs for lunch, our dog Lindy was lying on the deck in the sunshine, her back up to the sun-hot screen door.
As I brought her in for a drink of water and some refreshing slices of cucumber (her favourite vegetable), the following bit of nonsense came to me. And, as all poets know, if it's in your head for more than two breaths, it must be written down.

love me some sun day

sat her day
while two
were wed
next day
break fast
fry day

their’s days
or two’s days
Wikimedia Commons
saw no
play days
pray days

too, days
you days
me days
and moon days

love me some sun day
morn, no mourning

Friday, April 18, 2014

On a blue-sky day, we had a blue jay

Posted for Skywatch Friday

Photos by Richard Schear

Our best reflections from Iceland

Photos by
Iceland, 2014
May not be
used without

Pictures really do speak a thousand words.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections, hosted by
James of Something Sighted
Thanks, James!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How collections can collect us

This is not a poem, and I'm not participating in NaMoWriMo, but Ella's prompt at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads is "collections" and it set off some bells in my head.
I'm wondering if we ever really start off intending to collect things, or if they just come to us, from friends and family, from trips to interesting stores or faraway places...the how and the why of collections.
For instance, I used to collect owls. It wasn't entirely voluntary. I tend to blame my friend Judith, who now lives in England and isn't here to tell me I'm wrong. I know she gave me my first set of owls, whom she named Manny, Moe and Jack. And I know she gave me, as a giggle, my final set of owls, which, as gifts from Judith generally do, arrived pre-named. I forget exactly what she called them, but I think of them as Mini-Manny-Moe. (Some day I might show you the Toronto Blue Jays build-a-bear she gave me.)
Manny, Moe and Jack
Kay Davies photo
However, back to the owls.
By the early 1980s, I had too many owls. My young brother took it upon himself to count, and told me I had 80-some owls. So I quit, announced my retirement from the owl-collecting gig and told as many friends and family members as I could. Of course, the owls didn't stop coming, witness Mini-Manny-Moe who arrived after we had already changed centuries.
By default, also, I ended up collecting china. I didn't mean to, but my grandmother had four childless sisters, so who inherited the china plates the eldest auntie painted by hand in the early years of the 20th century? I did, as the eldest grandniece.
Auntie Eva's plates are packed away because I'm still living through The World's Slowest House Decorating, but I found online photos to give you an idea of the kind of thing she did.

None more
than this.
Photos via Google
Her hand-painted
plates were mostly
like this.

Meanwhile, my godmother decided I should have some Depression Glass,  so she gave me a green cream and sugar set similar to the one on the left, but with "bumps" as shown on the candleholders to the right.

Then I, in a fit of fondness, and having a good chunk of disposable income, (or so I thought at the time) bought an antique toaster, similar to the ones shown below, and from the same era. For show, not for use.

 Not exactly like
either of these,
but similar.
The time came when I got sick and had no disposable income whatsoever. In fact, for a while, for what seemed an eternity but was more like a year or two or three, I had no income whatsoever, and had sold my house and was living on the proceeds while I applied, again and again, for the federal disability pension into which I had paid for many years. Blah, blah, blah. You know the sort of sordid story that is, so I won't go into it now.
However, when I moved to a small town in the BC interior to save money, I decided to get rid of some of my treasures. I asked one of my brothers (I won't say which one, to protect the innocent) to see how much my antique toaster, and my depression-glass cream and sugar set would fetch at an antique store in Vancouver. I know the toaster is displayed on a shelf in my brother's house, but have no idea where the depression glass is.
So, collecting can be depressing, and some day the whole collection will be toast. (You knew I'd say that, didn't you?)