My masterpiece is finished. I started it at Easter when we needed an activity after breakfast and before we left for a wiener roast. Everybody coloured. My granddaughter loves to because she's in kindergarten and the rest of us? It turns out colouring is relaxing. You sit around with other people and as you choose colours, you visit and remark on the progress, or lack of in someone else's work. It was enough fun that my grandson who is almost beyond colouring was drawn in. He could do an adult page and join into the conversation.
Some of us had actual adult colouring books which you can find everywhere. For a while pencil crayons were in short supply in stores because so many people were colouring. Those of us who didn't have the nice books (the paper is thicker and the dark lines add to look) went to the internet. With no searching at all, free printable pictures pop up. Mandalas, patterns, animals, or anything you might be inspired to try. These owls caught my eye and took more time than I care to admit. There's something addicting about the colouring once you have begun. I could have abandoned it, after all. My grandchildren have gone home but there it was and here it is- my first adult colouring project.
Beautiful deer created but my talented and gracious daughter.
Where did you go for Spring Break? For us, not far but it was one of the best Easters ever. The family was home (so we didn't travel) and our "activities" were wiener roasts out in the Sandhills south of town. The grandkids loved it. You helped dig the fire pit and everyone pulled dead wood from the bush. You cooked your own wiener, just how you liked it, when you wanted it. After a prairie winter (even though this winter was too mild), there is nothing like the smell of dry poplar burning. Wieners, as we know, are made of lips and _ _ _ holes, but over an open fire they are ambrosia, especially the first of the season. Add a couple of pilsners, if so inclined or a can of pop. The grandkids went for a quad ride with grandpa. Under his strict supervision, they each drove for a bit (with him and his eagle eye right behind them.) The hills were a challenge. Run right up and the view is great.
Nirvana for the dogs. Run off-leash. Smell the deer scat, sniff the coyote markings, check out the elk droppings. Something for everyone and there are a lot of sticks to play with.
Fresh air and sunshine after the short days of winter. Snow geese flying and honking overhead. A huge bald-headed eagle soared overhead. The best time ever in our own backyard.
If you are Schnoobie, you can make your own fun anywhere. He's kind of a Barkie Barkerton but his general attitude and get up and go more than compensate for minor personality flaws like unrelenting stubbornness. His white face betrays his age. Soon he'll be nine and he has survived a surgery for a herniated disc and two bouts of paralysis for the same reason. He is loyal and happy. Even when he he was
paralyzed, any unfamiliar sound saw him dragging himself across the floor to protect his family. He loves to play and when necessity demanded, he created his own "ball" by chewing the ends from a branched stick. Then he barked and barked until you threw it for him. His walk is wobbly but it doesn't hold him back; he just takes his time and because he's a hound, gives him the time to sniff. Schnoobie just doesn't give up and looks at every day as an opportunity to have fun. He is my fur grandchild and an example of how to live your life!
"People who can, do; people who can't, teach." This lovely bit of folk "wisdom" has always rankled. My entire adult career was spent teaching high school biology and science so I always wondered if there was some truth to it. I found out when I had the chance to act as the elections clerk in 2012 provincial election. Elections Alberta was having trouble filling the position and someone who knew the chief electoral officer put my name forward. Without going into detail, let me just say, "The job made me want to slit my throat." I was competent enough but teaching seemed rosier by comparison. The adage had been
laid to rest, at least for me.
Volunteering was something I had said I'd do after retiring and I am the Chair of the local Library Board, a member of the Adult Learning Board and a worker with the Arts Council. There are frustrations but I have the time and it's good to give a little back.
I'd like to travel more and may in the future. There have been memorable trips and my own vast country waits to be better explored.
I get to read as much as I want. My public library provides best sellers, novels, biographies, true crime and so much more.
Writing is big on the list. I have published a few short stories and have written a couple of unpublished books. I'm still editing and re-writing the mystery. Before I die...
One of the most important things- I want my grand kids to remember fun with Grandma. I love having time to visit and play with them. They will never be off the list.
As I cross something off, I have to add an item to the bottom. The bucket list doesn't end until you do.
Envious? Yes, I have to admit to being a little envious of a couple of my writing friends. One of them, in particular, has published her short stories in a variety of markets. Last year I managed to have one story placed in a print magazine and that was it. When I told my friend, she said, "I suppose that was the first market you sent it to."
I had to admit that it was because as an Aries (haha- now I'm going to blame astrology), I am way better at beginnings than I am at following through to endings. In January, I decided, this year would be different and I got a binder, printed some possible markets from Places for Writers and The Alberta Writers Guild. I am not a patient person and I do enjoy accolades as much as the next guy. The accolades have not poured in. Instead, I have a mounting folder of email rejections! YES, rejections. I can't believe it. All those golden words and they are not wanted.
This brings me to a second truth that I don't want to acknowledge. The first market you send a story to might not want it, for a number of valid reasons, one of which is that it might not be a good story. One of my pieces that is still being considered had been sent out before. When I took a more critical look at it and with some editorial help from a friend, I could feel my face burning. It had been bad when I'd sent it out before and deserved to be rejected. So- I am going to continue to send the stories out AND if they have been refused a number of times, I will retire them.
It's really too early for crocuses, yet. This year it's warm early and the bit of snow we had a couple of days ago is almost gone. I have to be on top of the time. Crocuses bloom and are gone- I might have to make an excuse to visit my friend and her old-time hillside, soon.
Of course, he was cute, he was a puppy. We went back to her place and left him, forlorn in the enclosure. I called Gary my husband and said, "I'm getting a puppy."
His reply? "We don't need another dog."
I said, "We don't NEED a dog." That decided it and the next day I went back and Scruffy was mine. Sometimes, you don't have to think of a name for a pet, you just know who he is. That's how it was with Scruff.
He was three and a half months when I got him and I didn't realize how little he would be. Scruffy is maybe 10 pounds, now that his dental issues have been resolved. He's small but he is a real dog. His favourite thing in the whole world is his walk and he goes at least a couple of miles every day. Magpies, watch out. Crows, be careful. And if he ever saw a gopher...
Our Jack Russell was definitely NOT impressed when Scruffy arrived. Jealousy made her hate him; Gary and I made her tolerate him. After seven years, they are companions. Scruffy was persistent. It only took him five years to convince her to let him into her basket, sometimes.
been attracted to water forever. Did we get wet? Of course we did. It wasn't our fault when we accidentally stepped in a hollow and the deeper water. The field wasn't exactly level.
I'm not actually from the Ozarks and this isn't a picture of the Crick (that's what we called it and I don't know why). It's a couple of kids on my dog walk but you can see the fun they're having in the water that has collected. It reminded me of the long-ago Crick and joyous spring's arrival is
Today is Mum's birthday. Her favourite thing in the whole world were flowers and more particularly her flowers. She would spend hours coaxing them to bloom and waited every spring for the time she could get out and garden. She tried her best to recreate an English country garden in the harsh prairie climate. Tea roses did bloom for her but they never tumbled over her beds like they do in England.
After my Dad died, unless she was on a trip, Mum celebrated her birthday at my house. We would have a roast or something special and cake. When she was younger, she would have a friend come along. Later, in the Lodge, there was a party with coffee and cake.
Mum died 8 years ago when she was almost 85. Until she was 80, she mowed her own lawn, planted way more flowers than was practical and enjoyed every blossom.
Happy Birthday, Mum.
"Mrs. White, don't you mean page 67?"
I looked at the text more closely. With a nonchalance I didn't feel, I said, "Oh, yes. Thank you." I had written 87 on the board and it was happening far too often. My vision was changing and not for the better. I had never worn glasses and despite my creeping age was in denial until I had to admit that reading was becoming difficult and that even the relatively large type in text books sometimes wasn't clear. I had ignored the blurry pages that showed up especially when I was tired. The
the optometrist gave me a prescription for reading glasses that was a very mild adjustment. I had those glasses for quite a while, considering the variety of adventures my glasses. The first pair disappeared and although I searched everywhere, I couldn't find them. In the end, I replaced them with a set from the drug store. They were so good that when those glasses went astray, I got more. The first set did turn up. They had fallen from my head into the laundry hamper when I took off a sweater to be washed but it was much later. My joy in doing laundry is a topic for another day.
Since then I have owned all manner of reading glasses, in various colours and styles. A few pair have even featured lights in the arms for night reading. Not the most practical of ideas. A times, the glasses have had a holiday- at a school where I substitute, at a friend's house, fallen between the couch cushions. The day is approaching when I will need the dreaded bifocals. I better start saving to pay for them and practicing better glasses "awareness."
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.