Thursday, October 30, 2008

happy haunting

Ghosts and goblins will be roaming the streets tonight, but not around our place.  We have never been visited by any trick-or-treaters, our lane is a bit long and dark, and that is fine by me.  My husband will be taking the kids out to the neighbouring town to gather loot.  I will be sitting at home with my feet up, enjoying a glass of wine (it's as it should be, really).

I didn't think that my daughter would go out this year (she is fifteen after all), but she seems to be the one who is the most excited.  She even sent me out to purchase twenty-six yards of tulle for her ghostly costume (assembled in a free-form, no-sew manner by yours truly).  She makes a very effective ghost, don't you think?

Have a great Halloween, and remember, chocolate is good for you!

time pocket

Sometimes you are unexpectedly gifted with a little slice of time.  You'll be waiting for, let's say, your boy's piano lesson to be finished.  While you wait, you will realize that it's a beautiful day. You'll also realize that you actually brought your camera with you.  You will roam around the town.  You'll snap a few photos.

It will be so still and windless that you will hear the papery leaves falling to the ground.

So still that the river will appear not to be moving at all.

You'll try to take pictures of the falling leaves, but this is very hard to do and you won't quite be able to capture them.  You will instead remember the sound of them falling, and the dusky, earthy smell in the air.

You'll take a last look around, and take a picture of the piano teacher's japanese maple (and hope she thinks you're not a nut for lurking around in her landscaping)

You'll feel the sun on your face and feel peaceful.  And grateful for this sweet little pocket of time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


It's quite blustery out, and so I won't be venturing out with my camera, trying to capture whatever last fall foliage is still stubbornly clinging to the wind-whipped branches.  In the summer, we take every opportunity to be outside.  When the weather grows colder, our attention turns indoors (and oh, Mama, the dust!!!!!).  We appreciate things we haven't noticed in a while.  Like these sweet little dust catchers, er... I mean tea cups.

I have a collection of these 'Occupied Japan' cups and saucers (imported from Japan between 1945-1952, I looked it up).  My favourites are the ones that have a luster finish, and have little feet.

They look like they might just walk away (albeit very slowly, kind of like a corgi with its short legs!).

They are very pretty in a 'funky granny' kind of way, and not too hard to find (and also not very expensive).

Many of the cups have unusually shaped and scalloped edges.  They're fanciful, is all I'm trying to say, and people always enjoy using them .  But not this one, it's my favourite and no one else is allowed to use it (just kidding).

Perhaps I've inspired you to start your own collection of these.  Or not.  Perhaps a collection of these is only the first step towards becoming a crazy cat lady who collects cups and saucers and various other tchotchkes.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

House of the Living Dead

On a hot and humid August day this past summer, a stranger knocked on our door.  The man was scouting properties for a movie to be filmed sometime in the near future.  He left his card and asked us to call him.  When I came home later that day, the kids were full of chatter and excitement about our house being used for a movie.

"Really?....What movie?" I asked.

" won't like's for a zombie movie" said my husband.


Yes, that's right, folks, our property was scouted for a sequel to Night of The Living Dead (apparently a horror classic- I haven't seen it, nor do I plan on doing so).

And, o.k. the grass may have been a bit longer than usual (it was such a rainy summer), and some of the landscaping could have been a little tidier (we were busy, people!) but a horror flick?  What was it about our place that made someone think "yes, zombies!"....

It turns out that my helpful husband gave the man a tour of the property, and let him take pictures, all the while pointing out the features that would make this the perfect setting for zombie-ish goings-on.   

The forested area was declared a perfect place to film the part where the police chase the zombie children through a dark forest, shooting at them all the while.

No attic in which to keep the undead, flesh-eating children locked up?  No problem!  Helpful husband pointed out that we had the perfect spot above the garage (bats and dead flies thrown in for free)!

We haven't heard back from the property scout yet, and I hope we don't.  I'm assuming they found a more zombie-appropriate setting.  I'm trying not to take  too personally the fact that my house puts people in mind of a cult horror B-movie- really not an effect I was going for when making my decorating decisions.

I'm trying to look on the bright side, and how this experience has provided me with an interesting anecdote about the house.  It's funny, actually, Hah hah hah. Hah. Hm.

Would you allow a horror movie to be filmed at your house?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

(rainy) weekend!

Time to get cozy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

on being ridden

Shhhh.....we must be very quiet, Ed is here and today is the second time that my husband attempts to sit on Ollie's back! (Ollie is our little one- and- a- half year old gelding.  Ed is the lovely man who is training him-the horse, that is).  I am very nervous because I know nothing about training horses, but it seems to me that attempting to get on the back of a young horse is best left to experts or absolutely crazy people who are adrenaline junkies.  So I guess my hubby the farmboy fits the bill, and I don't mean in the horse expert department.  Let's tiptoe closer, and make sure the flash is off.... 

I hear some nervous laughter....  Ed is getting Ollie all tacked up and ready....

Hubby gradually puts weight on the saddle and gets on and off a few times.  It's o.k, we can come closer now, but we musn't startle the horse....

Mission accomplished!  Ollie the horse is very very slowly getting used to having someone on his back.  But it's only the beginning, and he's not too sure about this whole procedure!

We are so lucky to have Ed helping us- he's a bit of a horse whisperer, has been around them all his life.  His techniques are based on kindness and patience.  He was pretty disappointed that he would not be the first one riding Ollie, but he's getting on in years (I think he's 78 or so) so it's probably a wise decision, though I don't doubt that he would do it in a pinch- the man rides every day, and training just comes naturally to him.
I myself won't be riding Ollie for a while.  I think in about ten years or so, I'll give it a try.

There, don't you feel better now, with that Dude off your back?  Oh, and look, while you were learning about being sat on, your Mama went to the beauty parlour and had her hair done!

Isn't she purty?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

my glamorous life

How did you spend your afternoon?

Ah well,  at least now it sparkles, my circa 1940's-1950's (?)  Frigidaire by General Motors stove, that I bought ten years ago at a salvage yard for $125.00.

And no, I did not wear pearls and heels while doing this.  Or lipstick.

Monday, October 20, 2008

dear daisy

dear daisy:  
  We have known each other now for five years or thereabouts.  Oh, I'm sorry, did I interrupt your nap in my 'clean laundry' basket?  

Where was I?  Oh yes...I was reflecting upon our relationship.  It has seemed, of late, to be a one-sided thing, a relationship of inequality, where one party (you) takes, and the other party   (me) gives.  I give you food, shelter, warmth, comfort and love, and you take all of the aforementioned from me.  I have grown to accept the ways in which you have made your presence known in our home;  the soiled carpets (three of them, one irretrievably so), the scratched stair treads, the hair, the hairballs, the pulled threads, the 'upchucks', the periodic "gifts" you occasionally leave in abandoned room corners..... the expensive vet visits (one requiring seven enemas), your delicate digestion, how we have to mix metamucil into your smelly wet food (fish flavour only, of course!)....the fact that you won't even sleep in anyone's bed unless it's empty, and how you simply can't tolerate sitting in anyone's lap .  

I have even accepted that I am at your every beck and call, your personal door-person if you will, letting you in and out and in and out throughout the day....Yes, I have accepted that you are basically the ruler of the house.  And on any regular day, this would create within me a certain amount of resentment and thinly-veiled frustration.  But not today.  Today, to my unending amazement you caught a mouse.  Today, you rule!!!  Daisy, I salute you!

                                                                           Your faithful servant, the hayseed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

first frost

We had our first frost on Saturday night.  Any last remaining flowers have been pretty much zapped.  As far as outdoor tasks go, I still have to clean up my perennial beds before winter, and there's also some general leaf sweeping to be done, although the wind seems to do the job for me in the end.  We have a great number of black walnut trees, and the huge nuts are scattered everywhere.  We used to pick them up and toss them into sparsely-treed areas, hoping mother nature would do the planting for us, but we have also let them lie.  The squirrels are very efficient gatherers, and there are rarely any left in the spring.  So you see, my reluctance to pick up the nuts stems from the fact that I would be interfering with the squirrels.  I'm all about equal opportunities for squirrels and squirrel rights (or something like that).

My husband has mown the final bit of grass, and claims his list of tasks is almost complete too.  He'll have more time to monkey around with the kids now, something he truly excels at.

Being part-monkey comes in handy when he's on the (very, very) high roof (I can't look!) cleaning out the eavestroughs.  Perhaps I'll be able to give him my camera for some panoramic shots.  Let's hope we have many more good-weather days before winter makes its appearance.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Have a great one!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the wise oak

On a day when you just don't feel quite centered within yourself, when things are just a little bit off, it's best to go for a walk.  

There is a trail which circles our back field and runs along the bush on the property.  I think it's the old tractor trail for the farm, and a way to enter the different fields without trampling whatever crops are growing there.  We try and cut the grass on it a few times in the summer and keep the brush from growing on it.  It isn't perfect, but we enjoy it, and so do the deer.
This is the best time of year to follow our little trail, because of the fall colours, of course, but more importantly: absence of mosquitoes!   It's best to take a trusty dog along with you.

It soon lets out into the first back side field, which is not to be confused with the second back side field.  I call them that because my creativity knows no bounds.  The first back side field looks pretty nice today, no?

We can't linger too long, though, since there is a purpose to this walk.  We are here to see the 'wise oak'.  In order to do that, we have to go into the bush itself.  In the summer and spring it's not that hospitable, because of the bugs and all the undergrowth and brambles, but today?  It's great.

There's stillness here.  And peace.  And squirrels.

A seasonal stream runs through this part.

And here, with its gnarled roots overhanging the stream, is the wise oak.  I call it that because, like I said before, my creativity knows no bounds.  This is one of the biggest trees close to the house.  It's huge and very old.  I am always drawn to this tree when I'm here.

You can get an idea of its size compared to my (fairly large) german shepherd.

This is a tree to linger over.  You have to step back, see all of its limbs, approach it from different angles, marvel at its height, examine the trunk, admire its leaves......

Touch its velvet moss-covered roots.  Sit awhile.  Think.

When you feel replenished (and it doesn't take that long, this is the wise oak, after all), you can follow a deer trail back to the  main trail.

Deer prints.

We can head back to the house now.  

"Hey, why didn't you take ME along, I'm totally trusty too!"