Welcom

Here's where I toss out my words - like words in the wind. Sometimes putting stuff out on the internet can feel like that. Hope you can catch the breeze once in awhile.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yield not to Temptation



Must pay bills. Must not succumb to shiny inserts. Must not look . . .
I can't stand it. Every time I get a statement from Sears or The Hudson's Bay Company, or my bank for goodness sakes, they stick that 'sucker' stuff in it. You know what i mean. Those shiny envelope size pieces of paper advertising ladder karts, air beds, personalized Disney books. I always, always flip through them and like a magpie I always, always find something shiny that catches my eye. I'm exactly the kind of person companies are targeting. I'm the kind of person that always looks at the gadgets by the checkout counter. But I'm trying to exercise self-discipline. I only gave the inserts a quick glance this time and with each piece of paper fluttering out of my hands I said no to the fake rings ... no to the shower radio . . . no. . . . my goodness, an egg cooker and toaster in one? Looks interesting. . . .

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nature calls


I read a lovely poem the other day to my husband. It was about a duck sitting peacefully in the middle of a calm lake while the sun set. So peaceful. So serene. My husband raised one eyebrow. "The duck's probably sitting there because if it gets too close to the reeds a coyote or fox will finish it off". My husband. Always the pragmatist. And the trouble is he's turned me into one as well. I used to have a romantic notion about nature and life. As a city girl transplanted to the country I used to see a deer and get excited, now I watch it with a wary eye to make sure the dumb thing doesn't suddenly decide to spin around, jump the fence and hit my vehicle. Which has happened. Too many times. I used to love the sound of coyotes serenading us at night. Until they started eating my chickens and luring my dog into the bush and attacking it. And then there's squirrels. So cute. So fun to watch. Until they chewed a hole in the screen of my kitchen and promptly chewed a chunk out of ten loaves of home made bread cooling on the counter, made merry in the house pooping as they went knocking down ornaments and dragging sundry items to sundry places. Me and the squirrels are now at war. Me and nature have a different understanding now. And while I can still enjoy a sunset, appreciate the changing seasons, revel in a long walk outdoors, I know that deep in the bushes are the coyotes and the deer and the squirrels. And they are watching me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Snow fun


We have snow. Lots of snow. Snow on the ground, snow on the tree branches, snow on my new car/van/suv. Don't quite know what to call it yet but now that all the snow is here I'm glad I got my Subaru Forester. I drove our '92 mini van for mini, mini years determined to eke out every kilometre I could. It got to be a point of honour. When I drove somewhere in the dear vehicle people would frown and say, "you still driving that thing?" I was determined, just out of orneriness to drive it till it quit. But then the snow came and the ice and the snow and the rain and the ice. Oh yes, and snow. I got stuck on my yard on a level spot. So I decided that pride goeth before me hitting the ditch and so I ditched my faithful mini van and bought the Subaru. So far, I love it, though I have to confess I felt a little tug of dislolyalty when I emptied out the glove box from the mini van and took my iPod charger, my phone charger, my sunglasses and my spare toque and mitts and put them in the Subaru. Now the van is parked in the 'vehicles waiting to be sold' part of our yard, joining my son's truck which is also there. I have to drive past the van every time I haul firewood to the house and I'm convinced it's looking very sad. It needs a new home. A place where someone will appreciate it's years of faithful service. So if you're interested in a '92 Chev mini van with 280,000 kilometres on it, no rust, no dents, good inside, few cracks on the windshield and lots of stories to tell if you only take the time to listen . . . . let me know.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

choices

We are not a happy people. We grump around our lives complaining when someone cuts us off in traffic, when the person in front of us takes too long to pay for their groceries, when we can't buy the thing that we need RIGHT now (Sony Playstation anyone?). What is wrong with us? We have the highest standard of living, the most disposable income and yet people seem overall, disastisfied. I think it comes down to choices. We have too many. Every day we have to make too many decisions. Take coffee for instance. Used to be you just had a cup of coffee and you paid your money. Basic. Cream and sugar optional. NOW?Tall, skinny, grande, macchiato, French Vanilla, espresso, Frap-puccino, latte, capuccino and on and on. It dazzles the mind all the choices. Walk into any Staples and you don't just have pens and pencils and papers anymore. There are whole aisles devoted to the simple ball point pen - or rather ball point or gel or fountain pen and many variations of each of those. Maybe you should get a magazine to help you relax. Right. Check out any magazine aisle in any grocery store or drugstore and once again an avalanche of choices awaits you. Groceries, clothing, shoes, computers, phones - too many choices. We get confused and disoriented and then, in spite of the abundance in front of us, we get grumpy because we get afraid that somehow, somewhere a better pen, a tastier cup of coffee, a nicer vehicle awaits us. We might have made the wrong choice!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

biting the apple

So here I sit on my couch in my iving room typing on my new apple laptop. I feel like a bit of traitor - for as long as I've had a computer, it's been a PC. In fact I bought brand new one with a whopping 21 inch screen. Lovely jubbly. Until the monitor quit and I had to unplug it, wait half a minute, then plug it in again. While I was crouched on the floor under my computer desk, counting slowly to thirty, with a plug in my hand, I thought "There has to be a better way". Then the burner of the computer quit. I called up tech support - yes they would send a new one right away. I discovered that 'right away' is a matter of perspective. To date, 'right away' hasn't happened yet. When I had to send eight error reports in the space of twenty minutes, I threw in the towel, hit my computer screen, then packed up the whole business, brought it back and bought an iMac. It's beautiful, runs without a hitch and when I bought a matching, cute, light laptop to go with, all the error reports and freeze ups and moments under my desk became a thing of the past. I guess we'll see how long this 'hitchless' period lasts. This might just be a honeymoo period, but for now, I'm in love.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oh OOOOpera

I like movies. I like the special effects, I like the acting, I like seeing the faces and expressions of the actors right up front. I like being able to hear what the actors are saying and, if that doesn't work, on my DVD player there's always subtitles.
And then my son took me to Phantom of the Opera. We had good seats - first balcony quarter way up - with no one sitting in front of us. I had taken binoculars. I knew, from watching movies of people watching opera, that the tiny binoculars my husband uses for spotting deer, moose and coyotes were just perfect for the Opera, dahling.
I was prepared for a good time. I was dressed up in my Christy Award Banquet dress and my son wore a snazzy suit. But as the curtain rose I had to confess I was a little disappointed that I couldn't see the actors faces like I could on television. I'd heard that the effects were amazing and was wondering how a live play could compete with Lord of the Rings. I knew most of the lines were sung, not spoken and I wondered if I was going to enjoy it a lot.
But at the point in the play when the theme music swelled from the orchestra and the lit chandelier rose from the stage and was drawn up and over the audience I was hooked. How to describe something so amazing and so compelling. All my concerns disappeared. The binoculars were fun to use but not entirely necessary. And as the play progressed and I was drawn into this opera I understood why The Phantom of the Opera is the longest playing production on Broadway. I didn't need subtitles, the special effects were truly heart-stopping and amazing. I'm a writer and I'm still trying to find the right words to wrap around this event, this spectacular event.
All I know is that if I saw it on television it would lose too much in translation and I'd find myself fast-forwarding.
But live? No comparison. I'd see it again.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Special Delivery

"I'm sorry we don't ship to P.O. Boxes. Can you give me your physical address," says the person taking my phone order.
I sigh. "Well, I could give you my physical address, but I know you won't ship to it. I'll give you . . . ."
"Fed Ex will ship anywhere." Heavy emphasis on anywhere. This person has obviously watched CastAway too many tmes.
"They won't ship here," I say full of the knowledge gleaned from approximately 287 such encounters in the past fifteen years.
Sigh from order-taking-person. "Just give me the address and I'll decide that."
"Fine." I rattle off the legal land description - the physcial address of a quarter section of land that is approximately twenty miles from the nearest town of 4,000 and approximately thirteen miles from the nearest hamlet of about 100. Where our post office is. And I hear the pause that I always hear whenever I do this. I wait, letting this sink in. It's petty of me. I know. I just don't like being treated with condescension. I've lived with teenagers. Now that the kids are all grown up condescension is no longer welcome in my home. In all my years of ordering online and over the phone, no delivery company in the entire English speaking world has EVER brought ANYTHING to my door yet. Not UPS, not Canada Post, not Purolator, not FedEx, not DHL. None of these friendly delivery people has ever driven the long miles down our gravel roads to pull up to my house with a smile and a package. Nor will they. I realize that most of these ordering places are located in the city. I understand that many of these ordering people think that the country they drive through to get from one city to another is simply there for their inconvenience. I would like these ordering type people to check out Google Earth and look at the endless amounts of roadway that cut through all the country between cities and realize that people live on those roads. And that delivery companies will most probably NOT go that extra mile to bring a package to my door. I don't have time to educate this person, however, and I'm not patient enough to try to explain that not everyone in the world lives on a paved street with street lights outside their house and that the only way I can get high speed internet is to plunk a satellite dish on the top of my house because cable companies won't drag themselves this far out either. Do you sense some frustration? You are very astute. Trouble is now that I HAVE high speed internet, I can order stuff online even faster. And every time I do I have to explain once again why I'm getting these people to deliver their stuff to the store in our small town. Where, by the way, the post office is located.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Of Tractors and Such

The job was supposed to be simple. Or so my husband assured me before he hied himself off to a very remote place where I won't be able to reach him for a few more days. All I had to do was turn the key and our new tractor would fire up and I could pick up a very large round bale with the bale forks dump it into the feeder and all would be well in my world and the cow's world who are a little short of pasture because we haven't had rain for a number of days and we're giving them hay to supplement their feed. Trouble is when it comes to me and machinery, NOTHING is ever simple. Especially when said husband is gone. Of course the tractor wouldn't start. Of course I couldn't get hold of said husband. Of course I needed to feed the cows TODAY because I put it off for a few days because the forecast called for rain. Of course it didn't rain. A few frantic phone calls and a neighbour came to my rescue, diagnosed the problem, jerry rigged it for now and promised to show up next week with a new fuel line which was the cause of my frustration. Right. I should have known that. (hand smacking forehead). Stupid of me. When in doubt, check the fuel line. So. Of course this is all my husband's fault. (what can I say, I'm petty) Of course I need to formulate suitable revenge. (try really petty) And this is it. A semi-permanent rant. (really, really petty) Of course, what bothers me the most is when my husband comes home and I tell him, he'll laugh. His standard response to any of my frustrations.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The care and feeding of nieces

I've dived back into the land of 'are we there yet' and 'I'm thirsty', reading long bed-time stories and making short phone calls. I'm taking care of my almost-four-year old niece for a couple of days. It's interesting getting back into the routine. I have to remind myself I didn't entertain my children every waking hour and that it's okay if the kids don't finish all the food on their plate but not okay if they walk around with a cup of hot chocolate. At this stage of my life I'm still surprised I did all the sewing/canning/cleaning/preserving I did with three kids at home under the age of four. My life has found a different rhythm since then and it's hard to dance with an almost four year old to the beat of a different drummer. Of course the other benefit of babysitting is that I don't have to discipline or shape and mold behavior. Consequently, darling little niece is now parked in front of the television watching The Lion King, just so her aunty can post to her blog about the adventures of babysitting. There's a lesson here. I just don't know if I have time to puzzle it out. The movie is going to end pretty soon and I'm running out of time.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto - oh no!

I am shocked. Disappointed. Deceived. All these years of thinking Pluto was a planet - over. Gone. Like dust in the wind. Pluto has been demoted. No longer a proud ordinarly planet it is now only a dimming dwarf planet. What puzzles me is this was done at a meeting complete with resolutions and drafts and lobbying. In fact, there was a radical faction that had not only suggested Pluto remain a planet, but that three other celestial bodies, lurking at the outer rim, be also granted entree into our solar system.Now of course we can't let just any old celestial body into our very unique solar system so it was fairly unanimous. Demote Pluto. My goodness, it's high school all over again!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bummed on Benylin

Reading instructions on bottles of cough syrup is always a good thing. Reading dosages on bottles of cough syrup is even better. Do this and you won't end up like me, wide awake at 4:00 in the morning unable to function or think straight. Yesterday my ribs were sore from coughing. I would periodically lurch out of my chair, hacking and choking pawing through my paper-strewn desk for cough candies, my water bottle, Buckleys - anything to stop me from coughing. I had, or have, a cold. I don't know where I am in this 'cold' time-line because I overdosed on Benylin last night. I was tired. My eyes were bleary from staring at a computer screen trying to edit out unneccesary words like 'it' and 'was' and 'were' and 'that' before I sent my manuscript off to my editor. I was tired of reading and tired of coughing so before I went to bed I pulled out the Benylin, scanned the instructions which is hard to do when the print is fine and the head is shaking from coughing - was surprised to read that an adult would need two tablespoons of the stuff - and down the hatch it went. This morning, puzzled at my wakefulness and headache and general feeling that I will never, ever cough again, or even be able to clear my throat, I re-read the instructions.
Not tablespoons. Teaspoons. It's almost 6:00 and I don't think I'm out of the woods for another couple of hours. My husband wanted me to learn how to operate the tractor today but the bottle said do not operate heavy machinery and I would think a tractor would qualify as heavy and seeing as how I just about tripled the recommended dosage, I think the tractor might stay parked for a couple of days. Let my experience be a cautionary tale. Don't Do Drugs. And use a teaspoon for the Benylin.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

filling up space

August and holidays - that's what's been keeping me busy the past month. And, (trumpet blast) deadlines. I've got one galloping toward me as I write this so that's the reason I haven't been posting much here. Actually, this is my first post in August! How sad.

We had our annual Aarsen campout the past month. The aunties set up base camp for five or six days and the kids and husbands come and go. I had three of my kids (and husband) come out to eat pancakes cooked over an open fire, smokies cooked over an open fire, hamburgers cooked over an open fire. And I wonder why my clothes all smell like woodsmoke when we get home! I took my writing along to do some editing - I had to get work done but I didn't want to miss out on the fun especially because the kids were going to be there. Lots of fun and lots of laughs and the discovery of a new obsession game - Blokus.

I discovered a great website that I've been using to help me organize my life. http://www.FlyLady.net . I highly recommend checking this out if you feel as if your house is slowly being taken over by dust, mess and stuff. She recommends 'baby steps' in organization and her tips and hints are practical and, even more important for this slightly chaotic person, doable.

And now, back to work.

Monday, July 24, 2006

These things called words

I’ve been pondering words. Not important words like transubstantion. No. Simple words. Like cushion. At first glance, or first sound, the word creates a picture in your mind. Soft, square, or round, thingy stuffed with foam or fibres. A decorative item carefully selected as accent pieces to enhance the d├ęcor or tie in the Ikea print and the couch, then nicely fluffed and artfully arranged and on couches or beds until some guy comes along and decides he needs every square inch of space that the bed or couch can provide and immediately tosses onto the floor every pretty cushion. Guys, as a rule, don’t treat cushions with respect. And how can they, really. Just say cushion a couple of times and see how you feel about the things afterward. Go ahead. With me now, on three, one, two, three . . . Cushion. Cushion. Cushion. Cushion. Keep saying it and the word loses it meaning. It becomes similar to the noise you would make when you’re trying to chase the neighbor's cat that is using your flower bed as a litter box. Cushion sounds silly and it doesn’t even sound like a word after awhile. I’ve been pondering the word cushion because I’ve been checking out the Ikea web site for said cushions. After navigating through seventeen cushion menu choices the word starts to sound silly. Cushion. Cushion. Cushion. I mean, who decided that those particular letters in that particular order should represent stuffed pieces of material? Of course there is latin antecedents with some Greek and Hebrew and French thrown in, but how did THEY decide? And why the letter U instead of the letter A. And that I and O business? Why didn’t we get to vote on that? Very undiplomatic. Maybe I’ll launch a protest. Maybe I won’t use the word cushion anymore! Maybe I’ll just call it a pillow.

Pillow. Pillow. Pillow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Some Like it Hot

I don't do hot well up here in Northern Alberta. For one thing, very few homes have air conditioning. Usually we get a spell of 32 - 34 degree weather (which is about 98 - 100) for about four days in the mid summer. But this year, we've had two spells and are heading into a third. I'm hoping this isn't going to be an ongoing condition. When I'm hot I'm not motivated. All I do is mope around the house whining about the heat and how it's draining me and I can't sleep and on and on. There's something about cold that energizes. You come in from the cold and you slap your mittens together and ask, with a sparkle in your eye, 'cold enough for you?'. You don't get that kind of energy when it's hot outside. I love the summer and look forward to it but I enjoy the winter as well. I'm thankful for the weather and the changes. The other day I was bringing some stuff away on the quad, wearing shorts and a tank top and sandals, I remembered driving over the self-same terrain five months previous wearing Sorel boots (good to minus 40), fur lined mittens (some beaver sacrificed his life so I could have warm hands), four layers of clothing, a fur lined hat (rabbit this time) and a scarf covering any possible exposed skin on my face, leaving a slit for my eyes. Some contrast. I think it's the variety that keeps us going up here. For now I'm just going to drag myself through these dog days and hope we get a good cracking thunderstorm to break the heat wave. Then I can enjoy summer again.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

ConGradulations

The grad season is over now. We had two nephews graduate - one from Grade Nine the other from Grade Twelve. I attended the Grade Nine grad and got to hear one of the young graduates introduce a fellow classmate by telling us about a poem she had 'wroten'. I'm thinking a few more English classes might be in order. I'm thinking his teachers might either be shaking their heads or squirming. I'm thinking this is funny.

The play by play of Grade Twelve Grad will have to wait until my husband returns from a horse packing slash hiking trip he took to the mountains. I'll find out then because my husband picked up a number of celebrating graduates, including two nephews, at about 4:00 a.m.,the morning after Grad. He and his brother (father of said nephews) packed the boys and assorted friends who were also celebrating, into trucks and headed to the mountains where they would unload the horses, unload the boys, saddle up and head down the trail. No mercy shown to celebrants, I am sure.

But this grad season made me think of my favourite grad story. It has drama, tears, conflict, dilemma's, disasters - and that was just picking out the dress pattern. You see, I made both my daughter's grad dresses. (In Canada, at least western Canada - we call it Grad - Americans would call it Prom). The first one went without a hitch. The second one. . . . cue the drums.

We bought the pattern, measured, decided which size, bought the three layers of material - lining, shiny layer, sparkly layer - I boldy started cutting, then sewed up the lining, then tried said lining on my daughter and - - - the dress was too small. All the material had been cut and sewn. The nearest material shop was 140 klicks away. I sighed, then told my daughter we had two options. Buy a dress, or she could try to lose weight. Being Dutch, she chose the cheaper option. Back to the sewing machine while daughter walked and dieted and was quite proud of her new physique. Then I had to tell her to stop because the dress was now getting too big.

Finally the dress was done, it looked perfectly shiny and spangly and lovely. The day had arrived as days like this usually do. With minor panic. My husband and I were in a hurry, daughter was in a hurry to get to the hairdresser, son was wandering around asking dumb questions like 'where is my shirt?'. Daughter wantd the dress ironed before she left. So I turned on the iron, ran back to the bathroom to deal with my dripping hair, ran back to the ironing board, picked up the iron - can you guess where this is going? - put the iron down on the dress and screamed as the iron melted the dress. Hole 4 x 5 , left flank.

I said some bad words, my daughter's face looked like someone had knocked the wind out of her. Then I cried and my dear daughter who should have been the one crying, put her arm around my shoulder and told me it was all right. I was so proud of her in that moment.

The only saving grace was that I had melted the shiny layer of the three layers. I patched it with trembling fingers as I tried not to let the clock's relentless ticking make me make yet another drastic mistake. The spangly layer went over top and, huge relief. You could only see the patch if you looked very close.

Of course, my daughter, having a sense of humour as well as a sense of grace, had to show her classmates the patch and tell the story. It made a good grad story and she told it with zeal.

And I'm telling it now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Why am I so sad
Why am I so blue
The Oilers lost the cup
To Carolina, true,

This shouldn’t really matter
My deadline is still looming
And it isn’t natural to be playing indoors on ice
While outside the pansies are blooming

Okay, so it isn’t Wordsworth. Or even Seuss, but it’s the cry of my heart and that’s gotta mean something.

And now . . . (Scriptural sigh) it’s over. I haven’t had any stake in the Stanley Cup for many years so the past few weeks have been a wild ride. Probably a good thing the Oilers have been in a bit of a slump in the years since I started writing. I get emotionally involved in the games and the players. When the Oilers win, I write well. When they don’t, I just write. There’s a reason we don’t have television. I would be the one intent on the game, remote in hand, while my husband dawdled around, whining ‘honey, come to bed.’

As a young girl I used to watch television, hands clasped, leaning as close to the television as my vigilant mother would let me, praying (yes, I’m shallow) that my team would win. I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t be rooting for my team. They were the best. They were the deserving ones. And yet, when I would see the dejection of the teams that my guys finished wiping the ice with, I couldn’t help feeling bad for them as well.

So I’m reaching back to those more innocent emotions and trying to be happy for the ‘Canes and the fans who might be as superficial in their intercessory prayers as I was. And happy for the editor of Beckett Hockey Monthly who cavalierly predicted the Hurricanes victory only to cringe when the Oilers made their startling come-back. Being happy for these people is the Christian thing to do. At least I didn’t kick the cooler across the kitchen like my nephew did. (Mind you, my son has my cooler and I was in sock feet. So, no kicking.)

I just wish my dad could have seen his beloved team make their unprecedented run to the cup.

And now it’s time to pay attention to that looming deadline and get back to more important things. Like trying to find emotionally gripping ways to say, “She walked down the hall”.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When I was growing up Saturday was a day indelibly connected to Hockey. Sitting on the 'high stool' in a flanellette nightgown as mother tortured our fresh-from-the-bath hair into pin curls for Sunday - watching Hockey Night in Canada with Foster Hewitt announcing the play by play. Ducking whenever Eddy Shack from the Toronto Maple Leafs decided to get into yet another fight with John Ferguson of the Montreal Canadians (or Habitants) because Mom would be cheering them on, waving the tail comb dangerously close to our heads. We cheered for Toronto because they were the closest team to us out here in Western Canada. Then when Edmonton got their own Oilers, we switched allegiances. Natch. When I got married, my husband and I decided to forego the dubious pleasures of television which meant no more hockey. Then, when our children were younger a friend took pity on us and donated a television to our household just in time for my children to watch the Edmonton Oilers, helmed by Wayne Gretzky, begin a winning streak that, for some reason, made us proud even though the only contribution we made to their wins was to watch them on television and yell 'shoot, shoot'. Important, but, I'm sure, had a minimal impact on their success or lack of.

Now, after a fourteen year dearth of even getting a whiff of the Stanley Cup, here are the Oilers on the brink. Can they pull it off? Why do I still care? I don’t know. I haven't watched hockey for years. I’ve never met these people and will probably never get to. But the colours on their sweaters are familiar and a part of my children’s childhood. My two sons are avid fans and I’m sure they are sending enough ‘positive vibes’ out to their beloved Oilers that mom doesn’t need to join in. My nerves can’t take it anymore. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Life is bad for you


Now what are we supposed to do?

I just read, in my morning newspaper that chemicals used in water bottles cause prostate cancer. SO, that means that bottled water, that elixir of good health, that pinnacle of all that is pure and good, is really bottled evil. Death waiting to happen. They will now have to put a warning sign on the bottled water. (Warning – drinking this pure spring water can and/or may possibly cause some form of cancer)

Why am I not surprised? Daily reading of the newspaper will tell you that overall, living is very bad for you, because living causes death. It’s a tragedy. Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless and chasing after the wind, as the Teacher says in Ecclesiastes. Everything you do, everything you come into contact with is, in one form or another, bad for you. Aspirin is bad for you. Cars are bad for you. Chocolate is bad for you. (though I would dispute the science on that one). We may as well pack it in right now because life is going to end one way or the other.

The trouble is I LIKE life. I like the idea that I can wake up in the morning and do . . . well . . . things. I like being alive. I don’t like stubbing my toe or cutting my finger with my very sharp Cutco knives. (Warning – Cutco knives can cause grave bodily injury when not used correctly) But even as I see the blood flowing into the sink it reminds me that I am alive. That I can look out the window and see the little birds chirping on the branches then see them take off and fly right into my window because I forgot to put a warning sign on my window. (Warning – used improperly this window can cause flying death to any bird who thinks they might be able to go through it)

Life is fraught with dangers. To add bottled water to the list, well, so be it. I’m just thankful I don’t have a prostate.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


anger management

I know that my character is being bandied about some office somewhere in Edmonton and I can't even defend myself.

It all started when I pulled my not-going-to-replace-until-it-dies-out-of-principle mini van up to the entrance of a parkade in downtown Edmonton and slowed down to make sure I could go in. And in those few split seconds a car pulled up behind me horn blasting. Naturally I think something is wrong. Maybe my van is too high? I look again. Looks fine. I go ahead. Car horn starts up again. Obviously something is really wrong. I open my door to check when the man in the car behind me comes storming out of his car angrily throwing words out that I mostly hear in cows-out-of-the-fence situations, demanding to know why I was parking in this private parkade? He threw a few expletive deleted's along with making his prounouncement longer than it needed to be. I remained calm and told him I was directed, by my chiropractor, to go to a reserved spot somewhere in the parkade. He cranked his voice up a few more decibels and suddenly it was my fault that he was going to be late for work never mind that his informing me that he was going to be late for work was in all likelihood . . . . making him late for work.

I was surprised at the volume and intensity of his ire. Surely this wasn't a situation worthy of such dedication? But he seemed to think so, as he waved his arms and added a few more unnecessary words.

So I looked at him and told him that he should maybe go back to his car and have his nervous breakdown there and as for me, I was going to close my door and carry on. Which I did. At my own speed. Of course as soon as he could possibly squeeze past me he did, tires squealing and, I'm sure, more expletives filling the small space of his car.

What a sad situation. The day was a glorious spill of sunshine, welcome after a number of cloudy, rainy days. It was early morning and this poor man had to start his day blaming someone else for his problems. Loudly. And, I'm sure, he is telling his story to his co-workers, shaking his head over this woman who had the audacity to hold him up by actually slowing down to enter a parkade.

So I thought I would tell my side of the story. Just because I can. As for the man, he still makes me laugh. I doubt he can say the same for me. Poor man.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And now a word . . . .

All my life, one of my biggest adventures was opening new scribblers and seeing that blank page waiting for me the first stroke of my pencil or pen. I loved the way some of the pages were still stuck together and I was the first one to peel them apart and put my own mark on the emptiness.

I feel the same way now, starting this blog. I called it Words in the Wind, because I'm a writer. Writers throw words out onto paper, onto computer screens, into the air and then we sit back and see how they feel, how they look, how they sound. On a good day, some will stay where they are. On a bad day, most will disappear. Like Words in the Wind.

I'm not sure what shape this blog will take. I know there are profound blogs out there, blogs that make you think and blogs that make you laugh. Most likely this one will not have that form. Most likely it will be about things that are on my mind or something I came across. Most likely it will be slightly humorous one time and not the next. That's my life. A flash of humour, a dash of profound and a lot of mundane.

Today, the mundaneness of my head cold precludes profound. Today, I'm just starting. Today, this is truly, just words in the wind.