(Almost) Wordless Wednesday...he's actually having a bath in the sink, the perfect sized tub for him. Gary is holding him so he doesn't slip while I take pictures. I think he looks so much like Grampy Richard here. Sweet boy!
Last week, we hung Christmas lights outdoors.The weather was unusually warm for late
November, short balmy days still full of heat.Surprising.
The warmth drew us outdoors to begin decorating though we
won’t turn the lights on for a while yet.On the veranda, we placed the bushy evergreen wreath with twinkly white
lights; on the pergola, we spread thirty-six feet of rope lights, all in white,
all securely fastened.At the front
door, we set up two small evergreen trees covered with tiny white lights.On the Fat Albert Blue Spruce, we can see
from our kitchen windows, we spread out five sets of LED lights in red.
But five sets weren’t enough.Fat Albert Blue Spruce has grown; my, how it
has grown.So off we went to the hardware
store in a panic.Would they still have
the same lights this year? They did. We bought two more sets and laid them among
the tree branches, then turned them on to take a look.Hmmm, not quite right, still too many bare
spots.We went off again to buy one last
set.There, finally full and lush with
lights, the tree was looking good.
Today is more like real November weather, cold with bitter
wind and a hint of snow in the air, just a hint.All day the wind has rattled at the windows,
buffeted the walls and sent dry oak leaves shooting straight up the sides of
the house.And the wind has thrashed the
Fat Albert, unsettling the red lights.The
erratic gusts have redecorated the tree; lights now hang like garlands or have
fallen to the branches below forming nests of red bulbs.Not damaged, just different
Tomorrow, if the wind settles, I’ll drag out my small step
stool to extend my height, and my stick with a bent nail on top to extend my
reach.I’ll begin again to nestle the red lights into
the tree and corral the strings which are trying to escape, on wings of wind.
Hanging the Christmas lights outdoors often takes more than
one attempt each year.The winter wind
entices anything that tries to stay put or tied down, whistling and singing “Come
Yet, some years, the twinkling lights are just as wonderful
when they are hung by the wilful wind.
“Yes, it’s a
closed group,” she replied.“For serious
writers,” she added, slowly emphasizing each word.
the concept of a closed writers’ group for writers who have been listening to and
critiquing each other for a period of time, a group whose form and format are
set, a group which is working well.
words “For serious writers” pinched at me.She could just as easily have said, “My group is for real writers like me;
something you are not.”I wondered how she
came to this conclusion.
She knew so
little about me or about any of the others; all of us going down the stairwell with her, after
the weekly writing class we all share.The moment I had admitted to writing a blog, she discounted me and my
writing abilities. A common reaction, it
seems.Not the first time this has
There is no
attempt to read said blog or to discover if any additional writing is
done.It’s simply, “Oh, you write a
blog,” followed by dismissive comments or dead air.Myopic?Condescending?Oh yes!
are bloggers who write about situations of little interest to anyone but
themselves, but aren’t there also many writers doing the same?So what?This doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about writing.Or that they don’t write in other formats
besides the blog, or that they are without talent.
What does it
mean to me to be a serious
I write each
day, usually 3 to 4 hours or more.
and edit constantly.
I share my
writing with others to gain feedback.A
writers’ group is a good place for this.
I take classes,
workshops, courses to learn new skills, to reach an audience, to obtain
feedback, to fuel my creativity.
I publish the work, when I can.
feedback even when it’s uncomfortable.I
listen and pay attention.I take
everything in and don’t defend my writing. I
re-write and re-write.
I chase the
horrible first drafts and work on them until they’re better and occasionally
every day, every day, every day.
I am serious
about writing; about learning everything and anything I can to improve my
work.I consider myself a serious
classmate:Perhaps you could be less
hasty in dismissing what is happening around you and in discounting the other
writers around you, those people who are attending the same classes as
you.And allow a new idea to rise.
You are in a
classroom of serious writers.Otherwise,
why would we be there?
attention:Bloggers are serious writers,
Visitors. We've had visitors. Two of our daughters came to see us, accompanied by portions of their own families.
Over the weekend, we spent time with our youngest grandson (7.5 months) and our oldest grandson (14.75 years). We're fortunate to have eleven grandchildren, six boys and five girls. With their families' busy lives, we don't see any of our grandchildren as much as we would like, so this visit was a special treat for us.
It fascinates me to see the youngest and the oldest grandsons together. Despite their age difference, they have physical and personality traits in common. They share blue eyes, fair hair and skin, large heads and strong hands, healthy appetites and tons of physical energy.
Already evident in the youngest is a propensity for studying the face of the person talking to him, an attentive sensitivity to the environment around him, an easy and frequent smile, and a gentle presence; all of these are characteristics shared with his older cousin.
It is easy to note their differences but it is more fascinating to see their similarities. They are kin; they are family. And it was such delight to see each grandson, to enjoy a visit with some of our family.
Thank you. It was thoughtful and generous of you to come.
It's cold in New Brunswick. Not as cold as it will be later in the winter, but cold enough. The daytime temperatures are just above the freezing point; night times are just below. Yet look at what continues to form new buds, to burst into bloom, in the front garden. Amazing hardiness! Such determined gifts of loveliness, in a landscape that is turning to the greys of November.
We were invited out for Sunday supper. What a wonderful treat it was! The appetizer was created from cooked and pureed fennel, with Pernod and creme fraiche added to lobster. The dish was garnished with lobster oil and fresh tarragon with fennel fronds.
Because I am allergic to shell fish, my appetizer followed the same recipe but had salmon and was garnished with tarragon oil. It was delicious, mouth watering, delicate and decadent.
the main dish was a dry brined organic chicken cooked on a bed of root vegetables, subsequently used for the gravy base. The gravy was extraordinary and will require its own separate post to describe. We had homemade pesto squash gratin, local potatoes enhanced with roasted garlic brown butter and parmesan, dressing with sage and onion, sausage and miche campagne. There were carrots and peas and edible flowers. So beautiful, so utterly delicious.
But wait....then we had molten chocolate lava cakes with homemade caramel sauce, candied pecans and whipped cream, accompanied by chilled Warre's Optima 10 port.
It was a luxurious evening spent with family who are superb cooks. Thank you Kyla and Mark. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we may never need to eat again.
My computer is being finicky and will not download the photo of the molten chocolate lava cakes. They were so good and so pretty, but sorry, no pictures. Photos and words are copyright Carol Steel.
I had an
appointment for today at 2pm to consult with the oncologist…finally.It should have happened two weeks ago but
they “lost my paperwork.”Today at 1:30
pm I received a phone call postponing the appointment until tomorrow
morning.“Sorry for the last minute
cancellation,” she said.
about whether they were doing the markings and set up tomorrow too.“Oh no,” she said, “that will be sometime
next week, if we can find a slot for you.”
“Oh and then I’ll begin the radiation?”
then we’ll have to see when we can fit
you in to begin sometime in the next month.”
why, and felt a little sorry for myself; sorry that obtaining treatment would
take so long and be so vaguely planned.
Then I remembered.
I have a
home, un-burnt and un-flooded.I have
electricity and heat. I can do laundry and can drive where I want to
go.I don’t have two hundred year old
Black Oaks falling on my roof while I wait over a month for a tree company with
a crane to come and cut them down.I have
fresh food.I don’t have to worry about
the temperature dropping outside and my pipes freezing. I have Medicare which will pay for all or
most of my treatments, whenever they happen.