Thursday, November 27, 2008

local news

In my local newspaper yesterday, I came across a couple of items which made me giggle.  I don't mean to come across as a snob, or to belittle our little town paper (actually there are two), after all, this is a valuable source of information and links us to the community's goings-on.  But.....

Item 1:  an ad for a new spa, hair studio, and wellness centre.  This was actually well done and caught my eye.  The location?  'directly behind Sit 'n Bull gas station'.  (Tee-hee).

Item 2:  LOST:  lower denture plate in either one of the two towns mentioned. (Wouldn't the person have noticed? How will the poor soul eat?).

..wait, in the comment by the editor, it says the county is "compromised of" several areas, instead of 'comprised of'....(hee-hee).

I suppose I'm easily amused, but I've found that our local newspapers are quite entertaining-just maybe not in the way they are intended to be.

And on a totally unrelated note, here is a photo of some found items: shed antlers, and a little nest under glass.  We sometimes find the most amazing nests with our dogs' hair and horses' mane or tail hair intricately woven into them.  You see, little details can sometimes amaze or amuse :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The wind is howling something fierce outside.  I can't decide if the air is assaulting me at high velocity and pushing any remaining warmth out of me, or if it's pulling it out of me at the same time as it's making my hair go horizontal.  The dogs are insisting on being let in, and the horses are obsessed with their feed, and prancing with anticipation when it's feeding time.  If you met my horses on a day like today, you would find them less than charming (especially Sadie, the big Mama).  They seem somewhat greedy and rude, but it's only the windy cold weather that's making them grouchy.

I wish I could say that I retreated indoors today, to polish silver (mostly silver plate, my dears), but alas I did not.  Of all household tasks it's one of my favourites (that and loading the washing machine-not unloading it, or folding laundry, those are less hope-filled activities, don't you find?).  I love the quiet ritual of polishing tarnished silver and bringing it back to a lively sparkle.  No, today was one of those days when I try to tie up loose ends, and tick off necessary but uninspired tasks from my to-do list....and aren't most days like that?

I did have time to take a few snaps of a silver tea (and coffee) service which sits in my dining room.  I don't use it,  except, of course to polish it twice a year (hopefully) and to wonder, when I pass by it, who did use it, when, and wasn't it awfully heavy to carry around when the pots were all filled?

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here's the thing about November: it's a transitional month.  Because it bridges the gap between fall and winter, it can provide you with a real mixed bag of  weather.   I generally think of this month as being all greys and browns and darkness.  But it's not, really.  This weekend we experienced a little of everything.   A few moments of snow-globe swirls:

Some wind-less sunshine, perfect for doing a little training of giant baby horses:

"I don't like to be trained.  Look at the gear they make me wear.  It's positively undignified".

And the proverbial greys and browns.  The farmers who lease our land decided to fertilize and plow.  It looks like a giant fudge cake right now (but smells oddly like salty beef boullion).  I hope you all had a good (and varied ) weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

tea wisdom

"You're not thinking of making me go outside, are you?"

 With the advent of the cold weather, Scout has claimed his spot on the rag rug in the mudroom.  He takes every opportunity he can to barge in, throw himself down, and promptly fall into a  deep snoring sleep.  If he's awake on his rug, he sinks into the floor, and avoids eye contact as if he's thinking, "they probably can't see me if I try to make myself really small".  And for a hundred pound dog, that's quite a feat.  

We all have our winter rituals, things we turn to, to bring a little warmth into our lives.  One of mine is drinking endless cups of tea.  I was inspired by fellow blogger Ladi Fi to try a kind that is new to me: Yogi tea.

I happened upon it at a health food store on a trip to the city, but they didn't have the kind she had written about (chili spice I think).  Anyway, Long story short, I tried it and promptly floated away on a cloud of bliss.  Seriously.  It's that good.  It's spicy, flavourful and warming. Black pepper is one of the ingredients, so it has a nice little kick to it.

And look!  attached to the tea-bag are some words of wisdom:

So you can meditate and ponder while floating in your cloud of gingery warmth.  Try it.  (But only if you want to).  :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

snow is softly falling

 A light, feathery snowfall, just perfect for the first snow of the season.  Everything feels hushed and blanketed.  Peaceful. 

These two (Mama and her giant baby) have already had their breakfast, but I think they wouldn't turn down a pear or two.

See how feathery the snow is?

The bush looks mysterious but inviting at the same time.

Beauty in the everyday.  I hope you find some today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Instant Relatives

These photos could have been so much better with natural light, but I took them in the afternoon when things get (agh!) dark early on.  I obviously need to bone up on how to take good photos using a flash.  Oh well, baby steps.

It's my preference to have original artwork around the house, rather than reproductions.  Most of the paintings we have are original, most of them are old,  and most of them (actually all) are by little-known, or unknown artists.  (And most of them were a real bargoon).
I do like modern art as well, but this old place tells you what it likes and wants.  No, really, it's true.  I once tried to paint the front hallway a pale yellow, and you should have seen it!  It looked all confused and unhappy.  It cringed.  After I painted it a non-descript greyish-putty colour, it took a deep breath and smiled.  It's all about keeping the house content.

So anyway, meet my instant relatives!  Instant relatives are people whose portraits were painted once upon a time, then one hundred years or so later, these same paintings ended up hanging in some out of the way antique store, or leaning against the floor in a corner of the flea market.  When you purchase one of these portraits and drag it home,  you get the dubious honour of pretending that these are your relatives, and you also get to name them.  Really. This is Georgie.  He lives in the dining room.  He seems a little  vain and self-centred.   I don't think I would have liked Georgie too much, had I met him in person.  The (somewhat) formal dining room seems like the perfect place for him.

This next painting is of my fake uncle Nestor.  He's actually my favourite.  He seems like he was a nice and jolly person, and he has kind eyes.  He gets to live in the hallway, where we can see him every day.

Isn't there something kind of gentle about him?

This last fake relative hasn't been named yet.  I'm not so sure what to think of her.

This painting is actually signed, and the artist was Irish (I looked it up).  I wonder what her story was (someone's wife? A widow? A spinster? )  What do you think?  How about a name?  I keep thinking something starting with 'A'...Arabella?  Aurelia?

Help me out here, folks, it's just not right to leave one's fake, instant relatives unnamed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

all is well

I survived (and enjoyed) my 13-year old son's confirmation on Friday.  And because I tend to take things a little far sometimes, I ended up going over-board with the cleaning (I even finished painting my kitchen floor, which I had been meaning to do for the longest time), and of course there was much too much food, but all in all it was a lovely event.  All is well.

My kids laid claim to my computer over the weekend, and between assignments, games and watching of movies (and other high-priority items), I couldn't seem to get near it.  I will be getting back to my regular routine of spending time with my horses and dogs, and taking photos, all the while letting the cobwebs re-establish themselves.  It's as it should be, really.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


(photo by Steve Steel, Flickr).

burning break

First of all, I just wanted to show you that I did not start a forest fire.  See how the wood pile is burning down nicely, and there's lots of ash and glowing embers?

So anyway, back to the beginning.  It's a cold and damp and grey November. I was stuck inside catching up on a monumental amount of housework.  I needed a break.  And what better way to snap out of today's monotony than to have a go at the burning pile outside.  There's not much wind, the ground is damp and we have a burning permit until new year's eve (just covering all the bases, kids, I'm Sally Safety after all).

The pile lit up nice and quickly, it was mostly old dead wood.  It's very cheery.  It smells nice, and is quite mesmerizing to watch.  Much more restorative than a tea break.  And it's also extremely satisfying to get rid of old dead wood piles.

We have a lot of bonfires outside in the winter. And oh, the most wonderful ones are during a thick and heavy snow.  The contrast between the cold and white and the fire is just wonderful.
You see, there's never a dull moment out here in the country.

Some of us with more delicate sensibilities also enjoy a nice fire.  But preferably one we can flick on with a switch.   

Enjoy your November!

Monday, November 10, 2008

the song that never ends

My 13-year old son is having his confirmation on Friday.  This is all fine and lovely and meaningful.  However.  This also means I have to throw a bit of a shindig.  Which means I have to organize and prepare food and drink and flowers.  Which means I have to get the house in order.  Which means I have to clean and vacuum and dust.  Which means I have to attack the dusty chandeliers I have neglected all summer.  My husband has taken the step-ladder.  Which means I have to get a stool.  And several phone books.  And try to balance on them, in order to reach the lights.

Housework is the absolute BANE of my existence.  In fact,  I'm pretty confident that in purgatory, that's what they make you do.  That, and painting endless rooms and woodwork. With smelly oil paint.

But I digress.  I should actually be looking forward to a family gathering to celebrate my son's special day.  Unfortunately, I'm not a big entertaining-type person.  I always seem to get into a huge flap.  The proverbial headless chicken, running around, squawking....But still, look at all those darned crystals.....

Before I get back to my endless list of menial , fussy, neverending, unrewarding tasks, tell me, do you enjoy throwing parties, or would you rather just sit in a comfy corner with your nose buried in a book and a do not disturb sign glued to your forehead (like,

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Have a peaceful one.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

warm weather walk

November is the month of greys and browns.  It's usually quite cold, and so if you're out on a walk, you hurry along, thinking all the while about that hot cup of coffee, of tea or steaming bowl of soup (at least I do, but I think about food all day) that will be waiting for you at home.  

I had a few stolen moments yesterday, so I walked the little trail along the river in the neighbouring town.  And because it was so warm, I was able to just enjoy all the beauty November provides, instead of fixating on a hot drink.

On a colder day, I wouldn't have noticed this little seed pod.

Or this fuzzy guy.

When your camera lens is dirty, you can get some neat light effects.

I think I enjoyed this excursion that much more, because I hear we're in for some soup weather just around the corner.

It was nice while it lasted.


I like fall and winter mornings when everything is hushed and dark, and you (if you are a morning person) can see the day slowly emerging and taking shape.  Here, the moment you stir, Daisy the cat (aka queen of the house) will start her morning meowing song.  She has radar hearing, you see, and the moment you set a foot outside your bedroom door, she will hurl herself at top speed down the stairs.  She keeps up her singing until she is fed, wherein her purr kicks in (and it's a loud, and gratifying one) .  

'Ooh, turn that flash off, will you?'  (morning people don't always take very artistic pictures when it's too early).

Scout the farm dog, who sleeps on the doormat right outside the back door, has his own way of greeting the mornings too.  He likes to sing for his breakfast by letting out his famous 'morning howl'.  He is promptly shushed and fed.  It's his favourite time of day- that, and belly scratching time.

When you step outside, you will see that the horses are already waiting to be fed.  The moment they see you, they will let out their soft nickering sounds.  Such velvety sounds on a foggy morning.

Shane (the other farm dog) always supervises the feeding of the horses, then eats his own breakfast.  It's a carefully choreographed routine, and he wouldn't want to deviate from it.

Scout feels no need to supervise (he likes to delegate most tasks) and tucks in right away. 

Those are the sights and sounds of mornings here (and I'm excluding the human animals, because they are not very melodic in the morning, as you can imagine).  It's nice to be greeted so enthusiastically when I wake up.

Even if it's just a case of 'cupboard love'!

last night

Last night I watched a man make a historic acceptance speech.  He spoke with a great sense of humility and sobriety.  He has stepped into a most challenging time in the world, and so many people have  great hopes that he will shoulder the burden with courage, intelligence and grace. The whole world is watching.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

thank you

To whom it may concern:  thank you for this reprieve from the fast-approaching winter weather.  Such balmy temperatures!!!  Today was supposed to be a day of epic battles with dust bunnies, but now, instead, I am forced (forced!) to go out and enjoy some sweet sun and a soft breeze.  Oh, and another thing....thank you also for the sweet little ladybugs (in November!).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oh, give me a home...........

There are quite a few blogs, some of them highly enjoyable and wildly successful, which feature cattle.  Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy those blogs myself.  I just wanted to point out that here, at this humble little Canadian blog, we sometimes go above and beyond the call of the cattle.  Here, we sometimes give you pictures of:  dunh, dunh, dunh, dah:  Buffalo!!!

That's right, a neighbouring farm just down the road from us has buffalo roaming around its fields.

They appear to be kind of shy, "hey, Mr. Buffalo, I mean you no harm, don't run away!"

They seem to be such placid, content creatures, and  somewhat ungainly and oddly-shaped, to tell the truth.  The buffalo babies have thin legs and huge bodies, but they're very sweet looking.  I hear buffalo meat is very good for you, because it's low in fat.  I don't think I'll be having any soon, though.

Well, now that you've seen these critters, please rest assured that I can also provide you with cattle photos at the drop of a hat.  I'm versatile that way.  Stay tuned.