Friday, December 19, 2014

By the Twelfth Day of Christmas

I hate Christmas letters.  

Well, I hate the kind that sugar-coat real life.  Yes, there are awards, graduations and births to share, but every person's life has shitty times, too.

People fib in Christmas letters about how wonderful their past year has been.  It isn't possible to have had a perfect year, a perfect life, or the perfect family.

You know what I mean?  Yes, you do.

In a letter, I want to hear the good things but I also want to hear about the struggles, disasters, challenges and failures--the real stories.

So, here is a tongue-in-cheek ditty about one family's year.  (Any resemblance to real persons or situations is purely coincidence.)

Please sing it to yourself, to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

By the twelfth day of Christmas, the family had endured...

twelve new referrals,
eleven gooey ointments,
ten toes a-throbbing,
nine rashes itching,
eight discs in spasm,
seven bouts of hiccups,
six ribs a-cracking,
five golden scabs,
four kidney stones,
three stiff necks,
two gouty knees
and a surprise colostomy.

Merry Christmas! And keep those letters coming.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Travelling Again

I'm on the road and in the air today, heading to Long Island, New York to visit my daughter and  her family.   I'm looking forward to seeing all of them today.  

Oh yes, today is the day.  

So far, my flights are still on time and going.

Send me off with wishes for good weather, or at least good enough to be able to fly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


After the harvest and before the snow comes, 
November offers soft shades and muted beauty 
everywhere I look.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


When I think I have everything in my life figured out, I discover I have been examining too closely.  

I have looked at minute details, become too serious and forgotten the larger perspectives.  

I step back.  And suddenly, I see how varied, expansive and beautiful the world really is.

Monday, November 24, 2014


When you think you are falling apart, look again.  
You change into another form of your self, 
beautiful and free.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Atlantic Books Today

You know those contests in which you just sign in, sign on, sign up and perhaps you'll win a prize, but never do? Well, I won.

The prize?  A 49th Shelf prize pack of books written by local authors.  What fun! 

Now I have:   how the gods pour tea by Lynn Davies
                       Savage Love by Douglas Glover
                       My White Planet by Mark Anthony Jarman
                       Grist by Linda Little
                       Portrait of Julia by Robert MacNeil
                       an "I Read Local" button
                       a cloth bag for my books

Happy reading for me.  Thank you Atlantic Books Today and 49th Shelf.

Just when you think you'll never win one of those contests...

Words in coloured print will take you to another site with additional information, if you click on them.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We've Got Weasels

Well, not really.  We have ermines, not weasels but the w's went together so much better in the title.  

I posted on facebook this week about my encounter with an ermine; me on one side of the door with a camera and four cats trying to escape and give chase, and the ermine on the other side looking for a place to hide from the blue jays and crows harassing it.

Since then, I've been thinking about this lithe and lovely visitor at my door.  I've lived here for nearly ten years and this is the first time I've seen an ermine.  They are brown in summer and white in winter.  This one was white on a day that the snow had fallen and melted so stood out like a flash of light in a drab landscape.

I've never outgrown my need to know why... about everything.  Just ask my husband.  So why has this critter shown up in my life now? 

Yes, I know.  It was searching for food and our wooded yard provides lots of opportunities to find mice and voles.  There are plenty of squirrel tunnels under the rock walls on the property.

But on another level, why has the ermine shown up in my life and why now?

Ted Andrews in his book Animal Speak suggests that these creatures represent gracefulness, silence and solitariness.  People with this totem "uncover a lot about people in their lives as their ability for silence enables them to go unseen and unheard, even in the company of others.  Powers of silent observation sniff out what is hidden or secretive without anyone being the wiser."

He asks these questions.  "Are you not digging hard enough?  Is there a narrow space you may have to squeeze through?  Are you missing the obvious?  Are others around you being fully honest? Are you trusting your own feelings and senses--regardless of others?"

Something to think about.  And I do like to hang on like a weasel to new ideas.  Ahem, like an ermine.

Words in colour will take you to another site with additional information, if you click on them.  This photo is blurry because both the ermine and I were moving fast.  I feel lucky to have been offered the chance to take this photo.