Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category



September 21, 2011

How many more sleeps? Just 4.

Now with this trip on the doorstep I’m so distracted that I don’t want to even go to work. I just want to pack, drive to the airport, hump my bag to the counter and get the heck gone! Really looking forward to spending time with my kids and their kids. Don’t really care if we do anything special or not…… just be with them.

Sorta wishing I had another day to spend in Vancouver cuz if I did I’d likely arrange with Lea Kelley to meet up in Bellingham over coffee. Looks like it would be just an hours drive each way but there is always that border crossing to consider. That would make two blogbuddies I’d have had face time with since my first and only meeting with Kel and Mr X last New Years eve.

Anyway, at work the strike has been settled and the workers back at their desks, smiling. The contract still has to be voted on and ratified but there aren’t any foreseeable problems. Seems they’d all rather be inside working as opposed to walking the picket line even though they had great weather 95% of the time.

The weather has cooled off somewhat. The crab apple tree and weeping willow’s leaves are thinning – likely because of the extended drought through July and most of August. Grapes are heavy on the vine. Grass has returned to being green and lush. A month ago you could hear it crinkling as you walked on it, it was so dry. We still have a few late blossoms pushing out their last petals.

this morning's bloom

I’ve a couple of loads of laundry to do in preparation for this trip – some warmer clothes – and that’s about it. Pack it up and go. Oh yeah… how to get to the airport? Park & Fly? Works for me.

Latest book – ‘Tales From The Vinyl Cafe’ – Stuart McLean. Very good.

Tunes – Leon Russell & Elton John album ‘The Union’. Very good


Thanks Ma

September 16, 2011

Strange Fruit

Due to the generosity of my mom, Mabel, I’m heading west to visit my kids at the end of the month. First I’ll be staying with Sarah and Zeph in Vancouver for a few days. Then a quick hop over the Rockies to Calgary to meet my new grand-daughter Caitlyn & staying with Russ, Melissa and Madison.

Yeah, a couple of days after Caitlyn was born Mom said, ‘ You really ought to get on a plane and go meet her, you know.’ I just raised my open hands and shrugged… as in, ‘how is that to happen considering my bank balance?’ ‘Hell, I’ll send you; I’ll send you and Lynda, too.’ God, it’s nice to be related to someone who considers family connection to be so important. I’m honouring her offer and going while I can. Lynda won’t leave home and travel anymore so I’m going solo.

While in Vancouver I might try and hook up with an old friend I re-met recently via FaceBook. She was a server in a bar where I was a nightly regular when we were both in our early twenties. It would be good to get some face time and do some catching up over coffee or a meal. My friend is suffering in the mid to late stages of tick-borne Lyme Disease and any plans will have to be later on in the day. She says getting moving in the morning is the hardest thing she faces while waiting for her meds to begin to work.

It’s been a year since the kids and I were together – at Russ and Melissa’s wedding a year ago Labour Day weekend. Sarah and Zeph were there and of course the kids mom Vicki, my best ex-wife. A little earlier last summer Sarah had visited here for about a week on the occasion of my stepson Craig’s funeral. I’m really looking forward to checking out the changes in Zeph and Madison – at their young ages the changes over a year will be huge.

Late Bloomer

Once again, here it is Friday already and I’m glad it’s here. The strike action at my workplace continues and I’m finding that being around a bunch of anxious people for hours at a time is making me just as anxious as them. Osmosis-like. It’ll be nice tonight to see them all out of the building and have the place to myself. Conger up a zen moment or two with a big ‘OMmmm’.

Tomorrow Owen and his father are coming for an overnight visit…. woo-hoo! Now that the weather has cooled off maybe we can go for another of our walking adventures. Something to look forward to. Last time Owen was out Lynda asked him if he knew what that high-pitched sound was. ‘Oh, that’s a cicada.’ “And how do you know that?”, asked Lynda. ‘Pops told me when we were out walking. They only do that once it hits 80 degrees, you know Gramma.” Such a good kid; listens too.

a skywatch for Kel

Gotta go – adios. 




Who decides….

July 14, 2011

… which are weeds and which are flowers?

Queen Anne's Lace


gnarly barley

6 feet tall and about to bloom

 …. and on a completely unrelated note – while I was working last night one of the windows was shot out with a small caliber gun. Thankfully it was a triple glazed one and only the outermost one shattered.

fractured vision


Shades of Green

July 8, 2011

Wandering the yard….






dash of colour

Another wish….. that we could be surrounded by such vivid colour all year long.


Me & Milo; Milo and I

October 3, 2009
I'm doing my best to ignore you

I'm doing my best to ignore you

The other day Milo had just comfortably settled himself into the corner of the couch when I leaned over and whispered in his ear that he needed to ‘get down’. His response? ‘Yo! Talk to the paw, bro!’ He got down – when he was good and ready.


Last of the season's roses

Last of the season's roses

Some areas around here have had their first frost so I’m not holding my breath to see if the last few buds actually bloom or not. Fingers crossed and here’s hoping but….

Next week it’ll be time to trim all the plants back to stubble height, turn the earth and mix in some loam and peat/fertilizer mix. This year I think we’ll get a bale of hay or two to spread over the flower beds. Autumn wind down time.



September 25, 2009
I am plant classification-challenged

I am plant classification-challenged

Bad, bad, bad…. I have a terrible memory where it comes to plant names but these above have leaves that look like they belong to the succulent family. The flowers originally come out green and resemble broccoli before eventually turning pinky-purply red. Nice, eh??

Anyway it has been a quiet week; getting things sorted out here on the homefront, some yard work, helping the brother-in-law move in. Hallelujah! My boarder DID move and I don’t expect to be hearing from him or seeing any of the money he owes. But he is gone, T.G.

Yesterday I had a message relayed to me through an A.A. friend to say that my group’s longest serving member was in hospital and his condition was grave. This fellow, Terry C is one of the primary reasons I joined the group I did – The Grace group. Terry has a long history of diabetes and for the last year has undergone  for cancer. About 6 weeks ago his throat went wierd – like laryngitis – and for the last month was on a soft diet. A few days ago he found he was unable to keep solids or liquids down and his system went kablooey. Sugars off, electrolytes wacky – so he was admitted to hospital. On receiving the call I was immediately full of fear but decided I’d best rest in faith until I had a chance to check in with him myself. Within 2 hours I was there with he and his wife and Terry is being well taken care of and stabilizing. He will be fed for a few days through a nasal tube, then have a permanent feeding tube straight into his abdomen. Terry has been a terrific positive example and influence during my recovery; he’s my mentor (as opposed to A.A. sponsor).

Last night I started in reading Annie Proulx’s ‘The Shipping News’ (Attn: Susan) and from the first couple of chapters don’t know if I’ll be able to get into it. I will persevere and see if I can’t latch onto it.

Happy Friday!


Broken Record

September 23, 2009
red rose

red rose

It finally rained late Monday after 20+ precipitation- free days. That broke a record that had stood for 60+ years!!

Our grass is sparse and sunburnt in patches and some trees are changing colour and dropping their leaves as a reult of the drought.

peachy rose

peachy rose

Most of the garden colour is over and done but we do have some ‘second season’ late blooming roses.

Today is more sorting, stowing and chucking. Oh joy, oh bliss…..


Rambling On

September 15, 2009

First off a flower for a friend:

a rose for Robin

a rose for Robin

If I’m not mistaken you said you liked the peachy coloured ones.

Yesterday was my late father’s birthday; he would have been 83.  Six years gone now. I miss him, too.


I spent Friday helping with Mom’s move from the house to her new condo and everything went incredibly smooth. The movers were done in 6 hours. A girlfriend of Linda’s, along with Linda and I put in a couple more hours getting the necessities put where they needed to be before clearing out so Mom could relax. Brother Dave came down for the weekend and helped unpack and hung a bunch of stuff for them. Speaking on the phone with Mom today she sounds more herself, more rested and less stressed. Their internet is yet to be connected so Mom has me downloading crossword puzzles and printing them off for her to do with her morning coffee.


A couple of enjoyable shows I’ve caught lately – a re-broadcast of ‘Dylanesque’; the in-studio video documenting Bryan Ferry’s project recording a selection of Bob Dylan songs. Highly recommended viewing (and available on DVD). My only complaint is the sound mix isn’t as good on the show as it is on CD; small potatoes whining.

– an art show called Celebrity Portraits. 3 artists are brought in for a sketch / photo session with a celebrity and are given 2 weeks to finish a portrait of them. The episode I saw had Elvis Stojko (Olympic skater) as the subject. It was interesting to see the differing approaches the artists took, the variety of techniques applied and the final results. The time slot could easily have been expanded to a full hour instead of 30 minutes and still held interest.

– less enjoyable but…. I’ve written several times about Elvis Costello’s show ‘Spectacle’ and how I liked the format and various artists he had interviewed and performed with. During the run of the show I missed a few episodes and have just caught a couple in these last couple of weeks. The most recent one, which featured Lou Reed, was a real disappointment. The interview wasn’t at all interesting and the performances were awful. Lou’s voice has gone. In the episode previous to that Elvis had Jakob Dylan on and it was much better – good revealing interview; solid performance. I just found that a DVD of season 1 will be released in November.


I don’t know how but I’ve messed up my back again during these last couple of weeks and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s about time for some anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. The long muscles running up my back feel like slabs of wood and are in constant spasm. Turning certain ways results in sudden gasps and red clouds across my vision. My left leg alternates between shooting pain and numbness. Stretching and rubs provide little relief and it doesn’t last any length of time. Low end pain relievers aren’t cutting it. C’est la vie – time to take it easy for a while. I had forgotten how uncomfortable this can be because it had been in good shape for quite a while.


I’ve had a little mp3 player for 5 or 6 years and used it only for the first year or so. I came across it today, hooked it up to the computer, uploaded about half the playlist and downloaded a bunch of newer material. I don’t know individual tracks from most of the CD’s I have saved so it was a pretty much random selection. These last few hours have been spent listening to some old faves and potential new ones.

Speaking of music – on my most recent trip to the library I borrowed:

Bob Dylan’s latest – ‘Together Through Life’;

Dylan’s 2008 release – ‘Tell Tale Signs; rare and unreleased 1989-2006’;

Jeff Buckley (2000) ‘Mystery White Boy’;

John Mellencamp (2003) ‘Trouble No More’;

Elvis Costello & The Imposter’s ‘The Delivery Man’ and ‘Momofuku’ – (2004 & 2008 respectively)

Books – Almost finished Margaret Atwood’s ‘Moral Disorder’ – loving it! On a recommendation from blog-friend Susan M I picked up ‘The Shipping News’ by Annie Proulx. A reading list circulated by cousin BJ has been printed off for future reference.


Enough rambling, already? Maybe so, but first what else do I have stashed away in the photo library??

another rose for Robin

another rose for Robin

That’ll do. Ciao.



August 29, 2009

cell2 140

It has been a mixed up, muddled up week which has included far too much time on my hands, too many things which are outside my control and as a result a little too much stress. On the other hand, I have had some time to get some things accomplished around the house and stuck my nose in a book from time to time… I’m reading Hunter S Thompson’s novel “The Rum Diary”. Quite good; I’m enjoying it. It differs quite a lot from the writing style in his other books and reportage. I haven’t had the focus or inclination to get my drawing materials out lately.

Last evening I sent a video link to a bunch of American blog friends for one that was mentioned on our national news. It contains some Canadian perspective on the current debate stateside on where the American healthcare system may go in upcoming times. Whether it eventually is modelled on our system or not isn’t important – it will have to be tailored specifically to American needs. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of our system for 40+ years so there may be something contained here that will be thought provoking and engender more discussion.

Freedom update – It is 5 weeks post-surgery (the second one) and she continues to come along slowly (as in; not as quickly as we would like for her). We had her up for a check-up with the surgeon on Thursday and he attributes the lengthy recuperation to Freedom’s age and the fact it is a second surgery. He is unable to find anything wrong with the knee joint….. and so we wait, and exercise her, and do physio, and keep her quiet and still as much as possible.

That’s it for now – enjoy the weekend & I’ll be back Sunday evening for another week of work.


Double Nickels 5-5

August 20, 2009

Woo-Hoo!! Happy Birthday to me!

There’s a card to be opened from Mom. Thanks Ma, couldn’t have been here without’cha. A package arrived today from daughter Sarah – I didn’t open the card as yet but the package contained g’son Zeph’s first attempt at fingerpainting as well as a retro photo album chuck full of recent pics. Lynda and I had our evening out with friends on Saturday so we’re good. I’ll be wakening her, no doubt, when I arrive home come morning but that’ll be it for any face-time today.

I share my birth date with Connie Chung, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, John Hiatt and Robert Plant.

While the transition from year to year is normally pretty smooth I have to admit hitting this birthday has taken up more than it’s share of headspace lately. I’m not sure why exactly; maybe for me it’s one of those lines in the sand that mark a particular passage from one phase of life to another. Official ‘Old Fart’ Club membership registration right over here –>.


Conversely, I was saddened to hear on the weekend of the passing of Les Paul. Besides being the inventor of the electric guitar (thereby impacting the last 50 years of popular music) he was also an accomplished player, composer, inventor and producer. At 94 he was still appearing regularly on stage at his favorite New York jazz club Iridium. Here’s a 10 minute documentary called ‘Chasing Sound’ from 2007 that includes his induction to the Inventor’s Hall of Fame.

R.I.P and God bless you Les.


lilies for a leo

lilies for a leo