Tuesday, June 18, 2019

In Memorium: Betty Sabey 1928 - June 16, 2019

Photo Credit: Bill Sabey

Betty Sabey

Photo Credit: Bill Sabey

A celebration of the life of Betty Sabey was held in her garden, as she wished.

 All of her children and her grandchildren attended as well as many of her Vancouver friends.

Churches on Monday

 Wyona and I weeded our respective gardens this morning, one of us for over an hour. Our collective reward for doing this hard Monday morning work was to go to Salmon Arm and visit our favourite thrift store: Churches of Salmon Arm. We had a discussion as to whether the shop was open, since our friends told us it would be closed. But the internet, that carrier of all truth, said the store was open and it was.

Wyona found two small wicker baskets shaped like garden hanging chairs, but they were sized for a child’s doll.

 She bought both of them.

She is going to hang them from a tree in her yard.

She also found some lovely crystal: one piece to be used for spare earrings and the other just the right size for snacks left on the kitchen table.

... the large red checkered picnic table cloth thrown in for free ...
... plus one set of blue napkins and one set of white cloth napkins ...
I found a wicker picnic basket – not fully equipped, but I didn’t learn that until I got it home.

Still it had a big red checkered table cloth, four blue napkins and a full set of white cutlery plus four plates.

Whatever pieces are missing, I am sure Grandmother will be able to supply for a never ending backup of glasses and bowls.

The whole intent is to use the basket to go into the woods for a picnic.

 Lucky for us, the woods are only 15 feet away.

I also found a copy of Edith Fowke’s Red Rover, Red Rover: Children’s Games Played in Canada. I shall be studying this book during my lunch hours.

For the curious I shall list the Contents:

1. Starting a Game
2. Chasing Games
3. Catching Games
4. Seeking Games
5. Hunting Games
6. Racing Games
7. Duelling Games
8. Exerting Games
9. Daring Games
10. Guessing Games
11. Acting Games
12. Pretending Games
13. Miscellaneous Games 14. Marble Games
15. Word Games

The cost of the book on the internet is $309.00 new and  $27.95 used.

This copy at the Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Store was $2.00.

What if I can find a way to just do one new game a week with the Richard and Miranda's little childen?

 A lovely what if....


Thursday, June 13, 2019

The South Facing Flower Bed

... the view from Arta's bedroom ...
A Spring Sunrise 

You have to be up at 4:13 am
to see something like this
I walk by Miranda’s and Richard's cabin at the Shuswap every day.

I am on my way to water Moiya’s newly planted raspberry canes while she is away.

As I am watering that space and a little more for I can see newly planted grass that needs some water, I look back at Miranda’s iris bed.

One tall iris between 3 and 4 feet high is in the bed.

The rest of the space is irises that aren’t doing that well – they maintain themselves as leaves but they do not flower.

The rest of the bed has the natural look -- meadow.

While I was holding the sprinkler, for I hand water, I decided to just dig that bed up for Miranda since I am walking by there every day.

The dig has not gone as planned.

I thought it would be easy to turn over the soil. And the top four inches were good.  But then there is a fist-sized rock or a boulder that stops the axe every time it hits the earth.

I can’t help thinking of the past when I unearth a buried treasure there. How about the rusty metal U-turn that goes with a plumbing unit?

I found the end of an electrical chord.  I couldn't pull the rest of it out from beneath the house no matter how hard I dug.

I dug out a horseshoe, now three feet deep. I wondered which kids were accused of taking it for their play and ruining the men’s game that was played in the area between the two houses. Now I know the horse shoe was just in the flower bed.

I found second spoon in my dig, while not in a condition to eat with, a perfectly good toy for the sand box. Another generation of children playing the same game of “Dig in the Sand” with the same tool.

I found a white bone, round, a diameter of maybe 1 ½ inches and 2 inches in length, the marrow now gone from the bone. I stopped to consider if this would look good as a necklace. Just a rope of the right kind through it and it would be pretty classy, I thought. I held it in the palm of my hand for a while and then decided, no – too heavy.

My Breakfast
strawberries from Moiya's garden
The hardest pat of the dig were two boulders and one stump. I had to call on David Pilling a few years ago to help me with a boulder I couldn’t bring out of a flower bed (the bed being, supposedly 2 feet deep, but sometimes I cheat with 18 inches or less). David pulled it, rolled it out and then said to me, “You could have done it if you had just believed.”

So I took David’s advice. I started to “believe” with my two boulders and kept working the first one with my axe. Nobody would have been more surprised than me when it first moved enough that I knew I was going to get it all the way out.

“A good case for believing,” I thought.

The stump was hard until I figured ut that I should cut all of the roots and then try to pry the stump out. This turned out to be a good idea.

And that is the end of my journey to the bottom of the flower bed. Tomorrow I shall refill it with the dirt I saved and I will add a little more black compost to it.

I will love that flower bed.


The Poplar Seed

There were small tufts of white poplar seeds float through the air in the evening, and tonight about 7 pm the wind picked up.

 It could have been snowing as that downward wind picked up the small white seeds.

I could see them floating downward from the top of the road where the poplar tree is, to the bottom of the valley.

Floating as the snow does in big tufts in the winter.

Both Glen and David Pilling say to me, "If  you miss Spring here, you miss the best part of the year".

Now I get why they say this.

Wild flowers make meadows where the grass is not mowed.

Today I could see that one of my peony bushes is beginning to fade.

Fifteen unpicked blossoms.

I ran out of vases before I ran out of flowers to put in them.

And then as a rounded the corner tonight I came face to face with another peony bush in full blossom.

One blossom would more than fill the palm of my hand – maybe 2 hands.

Small red roses are blooming at the corner of my porch and the rose bush that we call LaRue had two white buds ready to bloom.

Yes, to miss Spring here is to miss one of nature's miracles.


In Mexico - Moiya and David

David heard thunder this morning. When I looked outside the ground was all wet but the sky was blue.

David and Moiya Wood on The Malecon
We are going to take the bus to Alltown Puerto Vallarta this morning.

I want to get a silver necklace.

Not only that, we have not been into the old town yet and we can get there on the bus for 10 pesos. That is about $.75 Canadian.

It is really fun to be on the buses with the locals.

They have all been so kind.

We have only three more days here in Puerto Vallarta.

Then off to Calgary on Saturday and ride up to Spruce Grove where David will help Adam finish his deck.

Love Moiya

Sent from my iPhone Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What’s the Rush

Photo: Rob Dirk
I am still connected to the habits of my pre-retirement life.

I time every event around here: cooking, cleaning, typing, gardening.

I think I need to make sure I get places when I am supposed to be there.

I think that if I make a meal I have to have it ready when the clock strikes 6 pm.

But really? For me? What is the rush?

So I have my lunch at 3 pm? That just seems to work for me. That feels good to just let my gardening life play itself out and gather up the tools and quit when I wish to.

This was not totally true yesterday when I had the battle of the blackberry bushes. Walking down the nineteen steps from the house to the road has become dangerous. The blackberry vines curve out on the stairs. Some secure themselves to ground close to the stairs and become a new bush full of thorns. Alice and Betty were sometimes afraid to walk up the stairs last year.

In an effort to protect the little girls this year, I put on some green gloves that are meant for working with prickly bushes. I suited up with a fleece hoodie and then put on a heavy-duty jean jacket on over it. I pulled my hat down low on my brow. I laid down a tarp to receive the cuttings. I cut back those bushes as far as I could, gingerly moving them one by one with just the tips of my fingers. I laid them all parallel to one another, just as Glen has taught me to do. This makes transporting any pile of branches easier.

The best thing about dragging the blackberry branches to the burn pile is that when I turned the tarp over and leaned into it to secure the load to the pile, I could feel the vines collapse into one another. I thought of how painful that would be, to lay on a bed of blackberry vines. When I pulled the tarp away, there was no slippage. The vines clung to each other – a bonus since I didn’t have to reach down and throw runaway ones back onto the pile.

I did hear myself say ouch a number of times during the cutting. Those little thorns could reach out and get me when I was least expecting to feel them.  Yes, they got their revenge.  Yes, I made the path safe.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rocket Man at a Theatre near You

David Camps Johnson was having an “electronics / sleep over” party last ni weekend, the emphasis on the party being the former and not the latter.

Bonnie came out to Annis Bay to spend the evening with me.

We began the night with home-made pizza, and in a moment of spontaneous madness, we drove to Salmon Arm for the opening of the Salmon Arm Art Gallery show.

That event ending and being a lot of fun, we drove by the theatre to see if there was anything playing that would interest us. Neither of us were ready to end the night.

“Nope,” I said on looking at the marquee. “Nothing.”

“Hey, Rocketman  is about Elton John and I want to see that,” Bonnie said.
Image from IMDB

With one half hour to the start time and not being ones to waste any minutes together, we knew we could get a small Frosty for $.99 (the new summer price) and still be in time for the movie.

I stayed awake, mostly.  It is hard not to compare Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born and Rocketman, trying to figure out which one I liked best.  Th.e problem is that there are 3 genres here: a biopic, a fiction and a musical fantasy.  Better to view each with its own set of conventions and see if the movie works with those.

Image from IMDB
Bonnie said that Elton John was the first popular culture singer she was aware of as a child – she learned about him in Grade II and she used to practise his lyrics while walking to and from Tracy Appleton’s house.

Apparently she was successful for I could often hear her voice softly chiming in on some of the tunes during the movie. Usually patrons would shush someone who does that, but she wasn’t the only one singing. I could hear the other movie goers seemed singing as well -- the event was a quiet sing-a-long.

I slept in the movie when I needed to. I think I was awake for about 9/10 of it.

On the way back to the lake, we dropped by her house so Bonnie could check on the party there, even though Joaquim was overseeing the event. The snacks, four pizza’s and three 2 quart-bottles of Mountain Dew were gone but the party was still going strong.

Not like parties of people my age where as soon as the food is gone, we go home for our self-set 9 pm curfew.


Monday, June 10, 2019

New Lettuce in Salads

... three lady slippers seen on a walk by the stream ...
Glen invited Greg Bates, David Pilling and me to supper on Sunday night.

“The four bachelors”, he called us. Janet is in Kelowna starting a new job, Shauna is in South Dakota visiting friends and family, and Wyona is somewhere between Texas and Calgary.

We had chicken thighs off of the BBQ and a salad made from new lettuce. Moiya lets one of her bunches of lettuce go to seed and then replants it the next year and that is what we were eating – but from Glen’s garden.

I like to start a meal by saying something I am grateful for. Usually that thing is water. Glen said if we are going that route, he is going to say oxygen. The conversation soon turned to AI and if people have long conversations about artificial intelligence, then I am going to assume some at the table were grateful for that.

I spend my days working in the yard.

I am good with using the roller when seeding new patches of grass – the grass seed needs earth that is compacted so they will have something stable to get their roots into.

After I had trouble getting the roller to work, Glen came over and showed me how to really compact the soil.

At one point he got down on the ground, eyes level with the new soil and checked with for high spots so that I could rake them out before planting the seeds.

As well, Glen taught me how to sharpen my clippers. I bought an 8 inch axe sharpener to do the job. Glen showed me how to put the clippers in the vice and how to get a good edge on the blade with that file. I like having a garage full of equipment that I can learn to use.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Lilium Columbiaum in the Meadow

... one of the twin tiger lily flowers ...
I was so thrilled to see a tiny orange tiger lily in the meadow.  The next time I looked there were 2 flowers there.

And then the next day 7 and one of them had a double flower on it.

I had to ask Glen if the tiger lilies were a rare specious and needed protection since I can’t imagine that the flowers will survive when the children run through that spot.

Then I remembered that the kids have been running through there for years.

What is different is that I have seen the flowers for the first time, and in June.

By July they will be gone and a new species will be blooming.

June is such a wonderful month – so many flowers that are spring flowers.

Friday, June 7, 2019


I don’t think I have the right name for this plant.

But I do know how to control it.

I saw one healthy specimen of it on Wyona’s hill growing with the purple lupines that are in flower. I was with Glen when I saw the plant.

“See that plant. Wyona is not going to like having it there. Too invasive.” If Wyona has one plant, I have 3 – a case study in which more is not better.

I have a strong memory of being with Doral and he had a shovel in his hand. “There is no way to get rid of this except by cutting it off at the root,” and then he took his shovel and with one step cut the root of the plant from the stem. I tried to do the same thing. I had to go around the plant about five times to get deep enough to cut that root off. The largest plant was just by the skunk cabbage that grows by the culvert that takes the water from the Wedding Reach of the stream to the Missionary Reach. When I final had it in my hands, I had to measure it’s height: floor to shoulder counting the root. I could feel the prickles through my gardening gloves and I wondered how long I could stand that irritation. The answer is, long enough to carry it to the burn pile. I loved that feeling of pulling out of my memory the answer to what would Doral do?

This bush is going to be so heavy with flowers
that I will want to cut some and put them in the house.

Now off to find a vase big enough!
I almost heard him laughing, all the way from heaven as I was preparing a stretch of land to be grassed in – the space at the end of my raspberry row. 

For years I have cultivated it.

Glen often says to me – you aren’t going to get much growth here for the flowering dogwood trees is in competition with the raspberry roots and the tree is always going to win.

So I took 5 wheel barrow loads of clay mixed with sand up to that spot and I packed it in with my feet and then I rolled it with the a tool I borrowed from him that packs earth in. A cylinder that you fill with water and then roll on the earth. Why is it that I don’t have names for these tools? At any rate, I rolled two other pieces of ground I have been tending and that worked out. But when I rolled the clay? All it did was pack cow pie sized lumps of clay on the roller. I would scrap it off and try again, but the second rolling was worse than the first. That is when I am sure I could hear Doral laughing, as I said, all the way from heaven.


Another Word for Regret

... meadow of June flowers to the right of Miranda's cabin ...
I told Bonnie Wyora that I am looking for another word for regret since I am not so sad about a loss as I am just wishing that I could have added one thing to my life. “What is that?” “I wish I had spent more time studying about Canada. That doesn’t mean I can’t start now. I just wish I had started earlier. I think I spent too much time studying religion and not enough time looking at my country.”

“Oh?”, she said. “When you have lived in B.C. did you spend time studying about the province.”

“Oh yes, I bought books to study nature – books about the wildlife and the fauna. Sometimes I even ordered books from the British Columbia Provincial Museum like The Figwort Family of British Columbia by T.M.C. Taylor ”.  In the second paragraph of the book it said, "The variability of the flower types is ... great and hard to describe."  I used to wonder how I was going to discover all about the figworts on the land if even the author had trouble.

“Well, how about what you do when you are in Ottawa?”

“I do spend most of my time at the National Gallery when I am there, or over in the Canadian Museum of History.”

"Didn’t you study something about Canada at university?", Bonnie went on.

... close up of Miranda's meadow of flowers ...
“Oh yes, Catherine and I took a course called Women in Canada. That is the course where we sat together and she would hold down my hand so that I wouldn’t signal to the teacher that I would try to answer all of her questions.”

By this time in our conversation I was laughing so hard.

 I do know something about my country. I  think what I  regret is not knowing all of the things about it that I don’t know yet.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

By the Stream

I am weeding by the stream.

The snake grass (esquisetum) rims both sides of the stream and arches itself around the walk overs.

The hedge around the water makes me want to leave the esquisetum there.

But the down side is that I can’t see the water, although I am always conscious of it running when I am working down there. I often think that someone has come to talk to me and I look up from my work. The sound of the water has changed for me as it gurgles on by and that is what has given me the sense that someone is there.

Photo Credit: Arta
A thimble berry from deep in the woods
and only dappled with sunlight on its leaves.
Ron Treleaven built a planter on the Wedding Reach of the Stream.

A group of thimble berry bushes have invaded that space and the flowers of thimble berry vines lean down the hill  lay in the stream.

All the way from the top to the bottom.

I can’t blame the plant. The earth there was better than the silt and rocks that are usually on the side of a stream. Ron had mixed that soil so carefully. Now the rocks have fallen away but the thimble berries there are beautiful as they bend down and into the stream – four feet wide and four feet high.

I dreaded trying to take that stand of plants out. I left it until late in the afternoon while I was really tired. Procrastination works. For some reason, when all of the other josb were done, that is when I could face it. I laid the tarp out on the hill and one by one went after each root, down deep, cutting the gnarled roots of the shrub. The brown curves remind me of someone’s severely arthritic fingers, perhaps because it is mine that were trying to pull it out.

Photo Credit: Arta

Picture taken on walk along the path
that leads to the Shady Beach
I finished 80 % of the work and it began to rain.

I had to quit anyway, for next I have to get on my rubber boots and get into the stream to finish the job.

I have worked as far as I could reach downhill. Now I have to work uphill. I decide to wait until morning when I am more on my game.

On that note, getting up off of the ground is not as easy as it used to be. I have been testing myself, seeing what will happen when I am laid into a position I can’t recover from. I haven’t quite got there, but I have been close. Just testing. Today Mary reminded me that I should be carrying at the very least my nitro when I am making these tests.  I might add, I should also have my phone along with me.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On Writing Every Day

... the white flowers are dogwood tree branches ...
... the purples flowers are wild lupins ...
Ria tells me I should be writing every day.

 “But when would be, that hour in the day?” I ask her.

To me every job seems more important to get done that the following job: the pure love of writing.

She told me that once Toni Morrison gave herself this question: which things in life would you really feel a loss about if you had to give them up.

Morrison found that for her, writing would be that loss and so she stopped her day job and began writing.

And thus Blue Eyes came to be.

A part of me understands that loss.

I think about writing when I have the garden tools in my hands, when I am doing dishes, when I am preparing food, even when I am waking up in the morning.

I laugh at myself and think, “Do I have to write so that I know I exist?”

I can’t think of any other reason.
... Ria brought me a new vase as a gift ...

I told Ria that there is one thing harder than writing.

That is, finding someone who will read what you have written.

She shakes her head in disbelief – I am guessing that the disbelief is how there can be so much written material available that we have become overwhelmed with where to even start reading.

Just backing up, it is still hard to find time to write, even with an audience.

The morning hours are sacred hours in the summer.

They are the long cool hours when I can work on my yard.

Later in the day when the sun is high, I can feel sweat dripping down my forehead and running off of my nose.

wild orange honeysuckle
other unnamed white and yellow flowers
I don’t mind it when I am on all fours.

Then the sweat just drops directly off of my forehead and into the soil.

As an aside, I wonder if the earth knows this is just sweat and not some woman’s tears.

I don’t like having salty sweat roll down my forehead and into my eyes.

I think I found a motion yesterday where I can interrupt that sweat and flick it off of my nose without so much as having to raise my hand to my face.

Just a quick sharp, shake.

I must not have done much sweat-work in the world to have arrived at this idea so late in life.


Seeding the Front Lawn

Spring -- time to use peonies as my centre piece
Seeding two arid looking spots on the lawn shouldn’t be that hard.

But I had to back up and do the preparation which turned out to be weed the long line of raspberries (that got no attention last year), rake this year’s cotton wood seeds and last summer’s crushed brown leaves off of the lawn, pick up the small dried sticks from the winter storms that would interfere with the seeding, and take out the grass from the rock wall that surrounds the clump birch.

Now that was a job that required the careful removal of long pieces of quack grass.

And moving the rocks is difficult.

I don’t want to unearth an ant hill with each move. I think I have been influenced by Ria’s visit – the visit of a Buddhist who just tells a spider to be on its way off of our lunch table, or who picks up a beetle from my kitchen counter and places it outside of the house, giving it well wishes on its life’s journey.

I see that the petals are starting to fall from my clematis
Formerly I would have smashed the spider and given the beetle just a flick that it would never have found its way home.

 I was worried what would happen when Ria came to visit.

I knew this was going to be a story like the one that begins, did you hear about the Catholic, the Protestant and the Jew who were in a boat together? In our case I knew it was going to start with, did you hear about the Mormon and the Buddhist who spent 6 days together? I think that the kindness of her Buddhist practise has rubbed off on me.

That is true, all except for killing mice.

They just have to go.

They are a threat to good health.

One way to get rid of them is to find out how they got into my house and then stop them from entering.

Eating Lunch with Ria
Turkey Ceasar

... day a different twist on the turkey Ria cooked ...
Ria reminds me that there is just one thin wall between my dwelling and theirs. That made me laugh.

I have never set a mouse trap before.

I have done the utube video, learning the difference between the regular trap and the supreme trap.

The latter is meant to be used around heavy machinery that vibrates, I guess so that the vibrations won’t set off the trap.

I am glad I didn’t upgrade to that trap and waste $.50.

I wake up every morning hoping that none of the beasties investigated the peanut butter I have used as bait.

I don’t think that the bait counts as much as placing the trap along the sides of the walls, which is where the mice run.

This morning I got my wish: no mice. But yesterday there were two silver bellied creatures in the traps.

I delivered them to a space outside where some other animal will feast on those little carcasses and I go back to setting traps.


Monday, June 3, 2019

The New Trail

... Glen taking the lid off of his fuel ...
Glen came by one Saturday morning and asked me if I had seen the new trail David Pilling has been working on.

I said I thought I had. I had walked up the west side of the Little Canadian Stream one morning.

But he was carrying his chain saw and the trail I had been on had no trees across it.

 So I hopped into Glen’s Delica and David Pilling followed on his bike.

" ... and why does this top seem to be stuck? ...
... am I just getting old arthritic fingers ..."
And that is how I came to see the work that has been done on the new trail to the Sandy Beach, a trail David Pilling, Shauna and Doobie (their dog) travel so they don’t bother others.

Glen’s chain saw began to run and soon David was behind him, throwing the logs and odd branches off to the side.

We were at the far side of property where the Shady Beach and the Sandy Beach meet. I walked quietly behind them, and we began the ascent.

... adding the fuel to the chain saw ...
“I think this spot is too steep for mountain bikes,” Glen said.

The whirr of the chain saw had stopped.

David concurred – too steep for biking.

Just one place too steep and keeping them away from making this a multiple use trail (people and people on bikes).

Some of the steps at the start of the trail seemed hard for me to take – high steps.

Then the trail began to wind back and forth, the slope was less steep and the forest remained magical with its rust and green beauty.

“Look at this old stand of Douglas fir,” said Glen with a broad stretch of his arm from east to west.

... David Pilling pulling back the brush ...
David and I lifted our heads upward for the branches were reaching the sky and only the beauty of the boles of the trees were straight in front of us, for we couldn’t see that high beauty unless we threw our heads way back.

I reached out to touch someone for stability.

The sun dappled on the barks of the trees.

“There is a lot of money in this stand,” Glen said. “I hope we never take the cash out of this forest,” he went on. David and I nodded our heads, quiet in the graceful beauty around us.

All three of us continued up the path which winds around trees that have had their branches woven back onto each other last year and now those branches still live, encircle each other while the three of us pass by.

There is a small wishing well feature at the top of the climb.

“Where did that come from?” questioned Glen.

"Oh it was in the landfill, and when I saw it I just backed my truck up,” replied David.

... stepping up into the forest,
the first arched branch overhead that will be cut ...
“You could take some moss that has some twinflower vines in it and get them trailing along it if you would just put it here and here,” Glen said, gesturing to the inside of the well.

As we walked along we saw where some of the forest is littered where in the past a family used that spot as their shooting gallery. “I wonder if they are going to come back and clean this up,” Glen said.

 “I will bring a garbage bag and do it next time I am here,” I said, adding, “for others.”

“Wait a bit and give them a chance to work on having the forest look natural again,” he replied. So we left that gift to them – believing as I do that cleaning up after myself is a gift.


Woman at War Movie

Ria and I thought we would be early for the 5:30 pm movie. 

The film started at 5.   We were 15 minutes late.

 “You get in free,” the ticket taker called out as he was sweeping up popcorn in the foyer." “Free, but you came too late for the complimentary ice-cream. 

 Well, I will have to watch for that next time. 

The movie was Woman at War (2018) Benedickt Erlingsson.

I had read a review that said“Nordic countries have a knack for this kind of film – quirky, darkly comedic, slightly surreal, but with underlying serious meaning, and it seems that knack extends to Iceland.”

In a couple of respects, this was true. A band keeps popping playing non-diegetic music (sound that is not said or heard by the characters ). I hear this all of the time in movies and so do you and it seems naturall to hear extra sounds like music swelling when there is  trouble around, etc.  But it is not natural to see the whole band on the film playing the music. I don’t go to the movies often when there is an “on-screen” reminder saying something like “hey wait, this is just a movie”. So the whole movie was a lot of fun in that respect.

As well, if there had been no sound, this movie would have been a smash hit for me.  The cinematography of Iceland was spell-binding.

Bonnie met us at the movie.

She was five minutes later than we were, so no ice cream for her, either.

Still, free though.

She invited us home afterward to see her new guitar – a beauty, purchased 3 days ago when she was in Kelowna.

She gave us her first concert. She has been practising all winter with an online-teacher (Bonnie, in the comments put in his name, for that will make people laugh)  and she is pretty good.

Pretty good to me means anyone who can pick up a guitar and go from chord I to IV, to V and then home. And if the person can sing along that is even better. Bonnie threw in some different picking styles which makes me think she is already at the intermediate guitar-playing level. Tonight she was playing "Freight Train" and now I have the melody in my head and can’t get it out. I went to hear Pete Seeger sing it on UTube and I was working on the falling melody for the 3rd and 4th lines which says “Please don’t say which train I’m on so / They won’t know which route I’ve gone”.   I had to do multiple playings to really hear where the melody went in those last 2 lines.   Now it is in my head and I can't get it out.

Bonnie says it is a good song for children who are about four years old and want to run away from home.


 Children want to run away from home?

I only thought it was me who got that idea occasionally.


Safety on the water

Michael and Alice were in Confederation Park today.

This is the stream between 14th Street and 19th Street.

Richard wondered if the tree limb could take much more weight.

I see that Alice had on her bicycle helmet.

I am so glad to see them practising for the sweet days of summer ahead.


Fortifying the Compost Bin

... the lilies under my deck have started to bloom ...
A badger is getting into my compost.

 A badger?

A raccoon?

A ferret?

 I haven’t seen the animal.

But I shall call the animal badger.

 Badger dug a tunnel under the rocks that surround the compost bin.

 ... so many blossoms on the clematis at the front door ...
 Badger pulled out all of the good stuff – and rejected the onion skins, the match book cover and the watermelon.

 Badger did chew the rind of the watermelon through the pink, and the white, and only left a slim rim of green.

Ria and I decided to fortify the compost bin with rocks on the inside of the bin where badger was digging underneath with a tunnel to get onto the bin.

... a close up of my clematis ...
Not everyone can drop a rock into a compost bin and have the rock drop exactly where they want it to.

 That is what I tried to do.

 “Get you head out of that bin,” I heard Ria say.

Too late.

Half of my body was already in the bin.

 I could swing myself right over and maneuver the rock to a perfect spot. Ria had gone to get a 2 x 4 to do the same thing.

I tried not to mind the smell, telling myself, it is just food returning to earth. Ria was looking for rocks – first big ones, and then apple sized rocks to fill in the chinks. I had never heard anyone call rocks, apple-sized, so I began to look at them in a new way.

I head across the tracks to a huge wild rose bush.
Ria just reaches out and finds one on the trail.
The lid is secured to the top of  the compost bin.

The day is 30 above.

 Blistering heat.

 Good for the contents of the compost bin.

 I can hardly wait until morning to see if we have out maneuvered badger.


Sunday, June 2, 2019


Today is Sunday and David and I got up and took a walk to find out where the dental clinic was.

It was a beautiful walk along the marina and then into the Marina shopping center where we finally found the clinic.

Now we are ready to be there by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning for our first appointment.

On our way back we saw these crocodiles one small and one large on the marina.

I don’t I think we will try to go swimming on the marina.

We will just continue to have our lunch and sit alongside the marina to watch the beautiful boats go by.


Friday, May 31, 2019

The Reed Family Pictures, Part IV

Joanne (Reed) Smith says to Moiya in an email:
I’m finally getting around to sending you the pictures that we scanned from abt 1,100 slides. I even had to get your email—again—from MaryEllen. (Somehow I didn’t save it in my phone so it was looong lost. ) Anyhow, I’m sending the pics in 5 emails due to size. This email has pics from an anniversary dinner that my Mom did for your folks. I believe the YMs quorum was in Waterton. Love, Joanne
LtoR: Wyora and Doral Pilling
LtoR: Miles Platt, Cleo LeBaron, Doug LeBaron
LtoR: Wyora Pilling, Doral Pilling, Ruth Kearl, Mary Platt
LtoR Front Row: Richard, Moiya, Glen Pilling
LtR Second Row: Wyora, Bonnie, Doral, Wyona Pilling
 ... I can't identify any of these Waterton watermelon eaters ...
... Lorne seems to have switched out of the photo and Doral has switched in ...

The Reed Family Pictures, Part III

LtoR" Doral, Wyora, Earl Pilling
LtoR first row: Wyona, Earl, Bonnie Pilling
LtoR second row: Darla, Wyona, Doral Pilling
LroR first row: Bonnie, Earl, Wyona Pilling
LroRi second row: Doral Pilling Wyora PIlling, Darla Pilling
LtoR: Gordon Shepherd, Bart Rassmussen, Dale Tate, Earl Pilling, Gary Tate, ? LeBaron, Greg Bates
... Vernetta Reed, Doral Pilling, Lorne Reed ...