Tuesday, September 27, 2005

skunk and dog

Uh-oh! Molly came in this evening smelling decidedly of skunk. After supper, I let her off her leash and she stayed by me most of the time that I was finishing up the re-potting of tender plants off the deck -- or so I thought.

So. De-skunking the dog solutions? I'll let you know if it works.

Why is it always Molly who seems to get into trouble? Is it because Molly is very sweet, very stubborn and not very bright? Or is it because she is only 1 year old (seven in doggie years)?

It was very nearly Porcupine Episode #7 on Saturday evening. On my walk around the meadows, Molly rousted a porcupine. If she had been quieter (huff, snort, huff, snort) and faster, no doubt the porcupine would have lost the race to the big old maple and I would have been able to add to my collection of quills a la Molly...thank goodness she was a little slow this time!

fall chores and adventures

The rain yesterday knocked down most of the gladioli. Ann cut an armful of them and we have gorgeous flower arrangements in nearly every room! Most of the glads we have are a brilliant salmon colour, some a pale yellow, and a couple a varieagated yellow and pink.

The rain also overran the top of the stairwell to the basement, so we had another little flood. Being a sunny day today, I was able to open windows and doors and try to dry up the basement a bit.

The problem is that in adding gravel to the drive, someone raised the grade such that it pours into the basement via the stairwell at the side of the house. It would really be a simple matter (except for the back-breaking-digging part) to lay a drain--it could even be quite beautiful, like a dry river bed, leading away from the side of the house, to empty out downhill, like at the laneway. Hmnnn...

I spent most of the day cleaning up the greenhouse and bringing in tender plants. I really want the New Zealand flax to survive the winter. It would be nice if the fuschia, geranium, etc. survive too, but I really have my heart set on the flax! The flax, Phormium 'Rainbow Maiden', striped pinkish red, was stunning with Sinningia 'Apricot Bouquet', Helichrysum 'Limelight', and Ipomoea 'Blackie', in a pair of large pots on the back deck this summer. I got all these plants on a very snowy cold day this past spring from Marjorie Mason Hogue, and I have been very pleased.

Yes!! The automated venting system in the greenhouse is working (the electrician fixed the fuse problems way back in July). Now we need someone in to look at the heating.

On Saturday, I went with a new acquaintance, Betty, to Minden, to see the display of tartans. Betty has been weaving and spinning for years. She was our guide. The Haliburton Handweavers and Spinners Guild meet in Pritchard House in Minden. They not only had quite a selection of tartans on display, but several different pieces featuring the Haliburton tartan. There was a very charming piper, who was also very knowledgeable about tartans, and even very sensitive to colour-coordination problems with his particular tartan. Of course they also served shortbread (YUM!!), other pastries, tea and coffee. And I am probably mistaken, here, but I do believe the lovely couple who were the guests of honour, well into their 90's, were Pritchards themselves??

The Haliburton Handweavers and Spinners Guild also maintains a gift shop in the same building, filled with very high-quality hand crafted items, of quite a variety. They were even doing the Red Hats thing and had a few amusing pieces related to that.

Then we went to the Agnes Jamieson Gallery. They were featuring pieces from each of the artists who will be on the Haliburton Studio Tour coming up. There were also several very charming pieces by gallery members, young and old, amateur and very accomplished.

We popped into a small gallery and gift shop off Main St. and then we drove to Kinmount. The craft and artisans shop there did not excite me as much as all the places we stopped in Minden.

Betty took us by "back roads" back to her home where we had left our cars: Pinery Road goes through a re-forested area of pine trees along the Burnt River; then Betty pointed out a creek which goes underground for several hundred feet and resurfaces near(can't recall if it flows into or out of) Four Mile Lake.

Betty has a calico cat and she shared with me a little sex-linked genetic tidbit (that was one of the facts I did remember from highschool--or was it university -- genetics): you can tell the sex of a calico cat from a hundred yards. It's female! Always!

Betty's house is also full of sheep -- the easy-care kind -- knickknacks. Of what I did see of her house, I was jealous. One room was mostly taken up by a big loom, with a vest project in progress. On towels in the sun room which faces the water, gold and greenish yellow bits of fleece dyed with marigold were drying. In a corner there was a spinning wheel and everywhere more fabrics that were obviously handcrafted by Betty herself.

Betty herself is a charming, soft-spoken woman with stories and knowledge of the area that made my day a most pleasant one! Next time, I'll use the notebook I brought along, and write things down! Terrible to rely on such a poor memory for names!

Monday, September 26, 2005

the day before tomorrow

Ann told me a horrible story today of a man in the New Orleans area. He is "camping" at his home, with power from a generator he somehow bought, guarding his home from marauding bands of looters...Is this insanity? I can hardly take this in!

Richard Bell usually allows his charming aware drawings of his natural world do most of the "talking", but here, where he talks about stars, Orangemen, the Book, Heaven and Earth, there is pain in his observations of our human behaviors. I take hope from that, in that the more we talk about these issues and share our concern, perhaps our actions will be more thoughtful.

I wonder, as we wave our precious flags, revere our holy books and fiercely
guard our ancestral rights if we ever really see the wonderful, sustaining world
around us.
I don't think we do, or we wouldn't treat each other like we do
and we wouldn't treat the Earth as we do. It seems as if the natural world is
taken for granted as a stage set for the more interesting things that we humans
get embroiled in.


Here's a quote from Keri Smith over at wish jar journal. It refers to her story about dancing in public and the film that her husband and his friend made about the subject. Read the story!
"We are fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."
-Japanese proverb
*******************added note: the woman who called the
cops (we believe) has approached us every day single day and made a point to
tell us that we are 'making fools of ourselves in Palm Springs'. we think she
really wants to join us deep down.

personality tests

Your Personality Profile
You are funky, outdoorsy, and down to earth.While you may not be a total hippie...You're definitely one of the most free spirited people around.
You are very impulsive - every day is a new adventure.However, you do put some thought behind all your actions.Still, you do tend to shock and offend people from time to time!

Monday, September 19, 2005

happy birthday to me!

I have had a wonderful weekend. Even not finding some of the materials (papers) that I was searching for around town, has given me another excuse for a trip to Toronto! I'm sure I'll find the variety of art papers that I am looking for there.

On Saturday, I went to a Chopin concert in Lindsay. I went with Ann and her mother Beverly, who is visiting from Colorado. The artists, Donna Lee and Thomas Yu, are winners of the Canadian Chopin Piano Competition and are on their way to Poland to compete internationally. I have always loved Chopin anyway, all that colour and emotion, those lyrical, melodious phrases. Mood music! I had to close my eyes not to be distracted by the visual imput of the pianists "at work", so to speak.

And then, to top the evening off, the full moon was rising as we came out of the Academy Theatre!

Yesterday, I went to the Curve Lake Powwow. That was fascinating! The colour, the dress, and the insistent beat of the drums. I do wish I understood more of the languages and the meaning of some of the rituals. Much of it was in English. Things such as "Honour Songs" and a ceremony to honour the death of someone, I did sort of understand.

Being out-of-doors, however, even the saddest ceremonies had a certain down-to-earth aspect to them. The littlest children took part in much of the dance, and were gently directed by adults who modeled for them how to act. Some of the littlest children were more elaborately costumed than the adults!

At one point, a little girl, about two years old, decided that it would be most fun in the middle of a dance to lie down on the ground and look, laughing, up at the sky and the adults looking down at her as they moved past. She was picked up and put on her feet again by the young woman accompanying her. She lay down again, laughing. The young woman picked her up again. She lay down again...and again...and again...There was no scolding, no hitting, no anger. It was the most delightful variation on the dance, any dance, that I had seen for a long time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

conflict of interest

More and more, I find that my paying job is largely in conflict with my beliefs. And as evidence of deaths by allopathy (conventional medicine) continues to leak out, despite serious (and nutbar) attempts by big pharmaceuticals, medical associations and governments, to suppress it, it is amazing to see that "hollywood" is now addressing the issue.
See the movie, The Constant Gardener, reviewed here by Roger Ebert.

on the leading edge of creating = eternally new wanting

This is a haunting drawing.

I wannit too!

Funny, I don't confidently say I'm a good cook, but I do love food. This gorgeous stove is something I want too -- maybe it would transform me into an awsome and fabulous cook??


I see that others have had some spam commenting going on as well. I am glad that google has added the word verification feature. I hope that works. And I hope that in the interim, anyone who had tried to leave comments and couldn't, will not give up and will re-visit me here.

at the gas station

No, this story is not about the high prices of gas. Although I should say my intuition tells me again a lack of leadership in certain places is allowing a few to gouge the population without care for the general interests of the public or care for the environment. Vision is needed to make environmentally friendly energy easily accessible and to ensure that everybody has a fair crack at living a decent life. The gap continues to widen between the rich and the poor.

Sorry, I got distracted. The real story is this.

I go pretty regularly to a gas station manned by several gentlemen from Ethiopia and Eritrea. By their accent etc. I suspected that 's where they were pretty recently from, so we have gotten to talking. I told a couple of them my story about the coyotes and my memories of hyenas, and one of them said there is a man in Ethiopia who feeds hyenas.

Of course I had to look him up. Here it is, a photo of a man feeding a hyena. And here is a story about him.

call of the wild

On Sunday night, a week and a half ago, I was busy in my workroom. Suddenly, I was drawn back to reality from whatever I was absorbed in, by a chorus of yipping and howling coyotes (maybe wolves --I really don't know). Now, I hear them all the time, but they never have been quite this close-sounding.

The dogs! I realized in alarm that they were still outside. There are all sorts of stories about coyotes and wolves luring away pets so I went dashing downstairs to bring the dogs in. Not that I'm sure those stories aren't rural myths. (ok, I'll admit it, I'm a city girl, and some country sounds do make me a little nervous -- not as frightening as many city sounds, however!)

Anyhow, Misty and Tasha are huddled as close to the screen door as they can get, and Misty and Tasha are not noted for enjoying close company. They ran in as soon as I opened the door.

Molly had been tied to "her" apple tree because she is the most obstinate car-chaser of all and my landlords were coming and going all weekend to their homes and cottages along the lakeshore. I went running out into the orchard to untie her.

The yipping and howling sounded even closer. I swear it seemed to be coming right from within the orchard; perhaps they were at the gate behind the weeping willow tree.

I untied Molly and shooed her as fast as I could toward the house. The hair on the back of my neck was standing on end.

Suddenly, I was a four-year old kid in Africa, listening the hyena laughter in the deepest, blackest African night, asking my Mom and Dad if there were sure the hyenas weren't just outside my window. They were sure and even shone a flashlight out into the yard to show me the hyenas were not in the yard. The hyenas were outside the compound fence, they assured me. To me, that fence was very, very far away. I could not believe that the hyenas could make such noise from so far away that they sounded like they were right in the yard. To this day....I'm not sure.

Here is an interesting blogger who rescues wolves and coyotes.

Monday, September 12, 2005


More thoughts on Katrina.
I found this via So Many Books, an article on New Orleans and the Louisiana wetlands in the National Geographic written a year before the hurricane (Oct 2004, to be exact).

And "theodicy", here at Beatrice.

And at Eve's Apple, read about how Katrina is God's punishment for abortion and homosexuality, and an orgy of hilarious comments!

bluejays and hazy Indian summer

Amazing warm days. Haze and heat. The blue jays are migrating through and their noisy raucous cawing fills the trees around my home. Everything is extremely dry.

The Henry Doubleday ResearchAssociation has this suggested list of things to do in the organic garden this month. Although some of the plants they talk about are not hardy here, I find this a most helpful site otherwise.

I am wondering where I put my notes on the dry gardens of Beth Chatto?
There were a lot of ideas there that I might be able to use in our dry gardens. We have a lot of trees but dry sandy soil.

A generous gentleman who brought us apples at my paying job in the city, was just as generous with helpful hints as to what to do with our trees here. Being as averse to spraying as I am, he suggested that pruning would go a long way to opening up our apple trees to helpful breezes which would put a dent in the insect population.

Heather, one of our landlords, said she had indeed heard that apple trees should be pruned so that a bird could fly straight through without hitting a branch, the trees should be that open in the center. Well! If I can screw up my courage for the heights in our trees, I might just tackle them this winter. That is the traditional time to prune, isn't it?

I've been torn. Like almost everyone else, I have been anxious for news about the hurricane, but then also averse to taking in so much sadness and hopelessness. I have really come to believe what you focus on is what you get. Are there any happy reports? I have heard lovely stories of individual heroism and selfless giving. But I have also heard sickening stories of red-tape and petty bickering over whose fiefdom is being trespassed by people trying to help. Of course, all the big fish are being blamed...

I would like to echo Tom Spencer's call for leaders with vision to step forward. See his thoughts on 9/11 and the hurricane here, in his Daily Muse.

I am very thankful that the loss of life appears to be less than we were all afraid it was going to be.

I really enjoyed Chan's suggestion: I went to Music Outfitters and checked out the top 100 tunes (under music resources) for the year I graduated from high school.

Top 100 Hits of 1973 / Top 100 Songs of 1973
1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree, Tony Orlando and Dawn 2. Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce 3. Killing Me Softly With His Song, Roberta Flack 4. Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye 5. My Love, Paul McCartney and Wings 6. Why Me, Kris Kristofferson 7. Crocodile Rock, Elton John 8. Will It Go Round In Circles, Billy Preston 9. You're So Vain, Carly Simon 10. Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross 11. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, Vicki Lawrence 12. Playground In My Mind, Clint Holmes 13. Brother Louie, Stories 14. Delta Dawn, Helen Reddy 15. Me And Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul 16. Frankenstein, Edgar Winter Group 17. Drift Away, Dobie Gray 18. Little Willy, Sweet 19. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Stevie Wonder 20. Half Breed, Cher21. That Lady, Isley Bros. 22. Pillow Talk, Sylvia 23. We're An American Band, Grand Funk Railroad 24. Right Place, Wrong Time, Dr. John 25. Wildflower, Skylark 26. Superstition, Stevie Wonder 27. Loves Me Like A Rock, Paul Simon 28. The Morning After, Maureen McGovern 29. Rocky Mountain High, John Denver 30. Stuck In The Middle With You, Stealers Wheel 31. Shambala, Three Dog Night 32. Love Train, O'Jays 33. I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Barry White 34. Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose, Tony Orlando and Dawn 35. Keep On Truckin' (Pt. 1), Eddie Kendricks 36. Dancing In The Moonlight, King Harvest 37. Danny's Song, Anne Murray 38. Monster Mash, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and The Crypt Kickers 39. Natural High, Bloodstone 40. Diamond Girl, Seals and Crofts41. Long Train Running, Doobie Brothers 42. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth), George Harrison 43. If You Want Me To Stay, Sly and The Family Stone 44. Daddy's Home, Jermaine Jackson 45. Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye), Gladys Knight and The Pips 46. I'm Doing Fine Now, New York City 47. Could It Be I'm Falling In Love, Spinners 48. Daniel, Elton John 49. Midnight Train To Georgia, Gladys Knight and The Pips 50. Smoke On The Water , Deep Purple 51. The Cover Of Rolling Stone, Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show 52. Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich 53. Your Mama Don't Dance, Loggins and Messina 54. Feelin' Stronger Every Day, Chicago 55. The Cisco Kid, War 56. Live And Let Die, Wings 57. Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?, Hurricane Smith 58. I Believe In You, Johnnie Taylor 59. Sing, Carpenters 60. Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got), Four Tops61. Dueling Banjos, Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel 62. Higher Ground, Stevie Wonder 63. Here I Am (Come And Take Me), Al Green 64. My Maria, B.W. Stevenson 65. Superfly, Curtis Mayfield 66. Get Down, Gilbert O'Sullivan 67. Last Song, Edward Bear 68. Reelin' In The Years, Steely Dan 69. Hocus Pocus, Focus 70. Yesterday Once More, Carpenters 71. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Bette Midler 72. Clair, Gilbert O'Sullivan 73. Do It Again, Steely Dan 74. Kodachrome, Paul Simon 75. Why Can't We Live Together, Timmy Thomas 76. So Very Hard To Go, Tower Of Power 77. Do You Want To Dance?, Bette Midler 78. Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu, Johnny Rivers 79. Ramblin' Man, Allman Brothers 80. Masterpiece, Temptations81. Peaceful, Helen Reddy 82. One Of A Kind (Love Affair), Spinners 83. Funny Face, Donna Fargo 84. Funky Worm, Ohio Players 85. Angie, Rolling Stones 86. Jambalaya (On The Bayou), Blue Ridge Rangers 87. Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend, Lobo 88. Break Up To Make Up, Stylistics 89. Daisy A Day, Jud Strunk 90. Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001), Deodato 91. Stir It Up, Johnny Nash 92. Money, Pink Floyd 93. Gypsy Man, War 94. The World Is A Ghetto, War 95. Yes We Can Can, Pointer Sisters 96. Free Ride, Edgar Winter Group 97. Space Oddity, David Bowie 98. It Never Rains In Southern California, Albert Hammond 99. The Twelfth Of Never, Donny Osmond 100. Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Temptations

Reading that list is a weird, weird experience!