Monday, December 22, 2014

Rejoice the Return of the Sun

It is First Longer Day.  
For me, the most important day of the year.  
Yesterday, winter began, the shortest day of the year.  
From here on out the days get longer.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Heir to Carroll

So, not being wildly shy of that age, which I am told, in China is considered when a woman comes into her power - that lovely time when the movement of the moon is nothing but a beauty to be observed and not a calendar to be counted - and I am faced with the phrase perimenopausal.  I take pleasure in the sound of words and my pleasure in the sound of that is at the level of 'yuck'.  So I decided to make up my own word for the waning of my moon.  Chási̱ is Greek for waning.  So I am in menochási̱(meno-kah-see)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Today's Count: little red dress

I biked today.  I biked yesterday, the first time this entire year.  That little flavour of normalcy. The sun wanders across a blue deep enough to drown in and turns the stones of the campus buildings honey gold and yellow.  After a cold snap we are enjoying fall.  A real fall, all warm and yellow and blue and breezy like a caress.  And red dresses.  I saw the first one as I rounded out from behind the construction site that has been made of the forest near Arts.  White and red, like a dress from the Wizard of Oz, colour come out of the black and white sequences.  Light on the wind, it swayed.  It was hanging from the tall elms of the avenue of elms that lead to the bowl.  Then I saw another, and another.  The first was the only one with white. All the others were red, bright, deep, black, silk, linen, rayon, cotton, smooth, rough, embroidered, beaded, long, short, wide skirted, slim, open backed, high necked.  All adorning hangers strung with fishing wire from the trees and swaying in the breeze.  What do they mean, asked a young co-worker.  What do you think they mean?  She wasn't sure.  We were at an art gallery last week which displayed and explained its display of paper glued together in blocks.  Left me cold.  But red dresses hanging in the daylight, every variation of women:  red, texture, passion, death, bleeding, restriction, beauty, strength, silent, loud, brilliant, flexible, tethered, but moving.  This has meaning.  And through this meaning walked students and profs, the small colourful people from the daycare, the green velveted university choir.  And me.

New Books

Fall brings in the new books again and this week I have a student perennial:  Microwave-Assisted Sample Preparation for Trace Element Determination (Science QD 139.T7M45 2014):  Pizza.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Today's count

Four tiny pink people, will little pink hats.  One tiny green person, with a little pink hat. On the big green lawn.  One big blue person, with no hat. Oh look they have been joined by a teeny tiny blue person with a green hat, and a very tall white and black person - with no hat.  For shame with our big examples.

Yesterday's count:  Waiting for the bus, four houses for sale - if you have 2 mil to loose you can buy all four, one dignified woman in her little go machine with her shirtless male companion standing on the running board and driving, and her little dog, Cleopatra style in the basket.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Today's Count

Five adults, eyes lowered, fascinated, moving slowly, while a tiny creature, just barely surpassing dad's knee and eschewing the carriage on offer, demonstrated it could walk (and vocalize) all on its own: thanks very much.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Just the Right Amount of Strange

Round about March my body decided to alert me that it has just used the last of the iron in my body:  splat.  So I have spent much of the last few months housebound.  Slowly recouping, but still my range of power has only expanded to eight blocks.  But this week I went along to a friend's place in south Saskatchewan and when I came home, my home was just the right amount of strange.  Not a place I had been trapped for months, but, my home.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Delightful Oddities of Mind

Toddling along today, from cab to building, on a mission assigned by my physician, I passed a truck. And several other vehicles.  I didn't really notice it as I passed.  What I did notice was that I was humming.  A tune whose existence I would not even have know of a second earlier.  And a split second later I recognized first the era in which I had learned it, then the possible places I had been when I learned.  I turned, I looked at the truck.  It was a Ford.  The words came back to me in full:

I'm a little piece of tin
Model T  image Barefoot Adventures
Nobody knows where I have bin
Got four wheels and a runnin' board
I'm a Ford, oh I'm a Ford.

Honk, honk, rattle, rattle
Crash, beep, beep

Honk, honk, rattle, rattle
Crash, beep, beep

All the hand movements and actions are still rusty, but there I was, memories of Church camp and Guides abounding, signing quietly to myself.

For those who wish, sing it faster and faster, dropping off the last bit each time.  In a group if you go past what has been dropped, you are 'out'.  First thing to go - beep, beep, then crash, then rattle, rattle, and so on.  You can go all the way back to silence.  I Googled and found four girl guides displaying the actions, but they have different words.  So you can go find them yourself.  :-) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today's count

violets from friends in the season of robins
Housebound for nearly two weeks.  A friend who brought in groceries. A friend who called to cheer me in my captivity.  A friend who resupplied my pile of murder mysteries from the library (I recommend Kerry Greenwood's Corrina Chapman.). A friend who, all unknowing, send me a postcard that arrived today and brightened the afternoon.  A friend who, learning of my state, came with supper and then washed all the dirty dishes in the house. The generosity of caring:  worth more than any gold.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Today's Count

My ball cap, worn for the first time this year.  Rubber boots, the snazzy kind.  My yellow spring jacket, open.  Seven melting snowpeople in the Bowl.  A snow mountaineer, climbing to the top of the snow mountain visible from my office window.  Ah snow mountains.  I walked along the tops of ranges on my way to school as a kid.  Puddles.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Unexpected answers

Just found a castle I have long been wondering the location of.  Saw it on the cover of a travel magazine once years ago, but there was no info as to where it was...Swallow’s nest, Yalta.  In the Crimea – guess where my search today started?  Information on Ukraine. Where the hotel displaying this picture – from which you will be able to sight see the castle – says it is. Or perhaps, Russia?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book of the day

Doing new books again. Get out the deep woods Off and pull your socks up over your jeans:  The Biology of Ticks by Daniel E. Sonenshine and R. Michael Roe. But what really unnerves me?  It is only volume one.  Lucky you, no cover art available.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reading Room Revivial

When I went to University in the late 80s the walls of the stalls were filled with commentary and discussions ranging from philosophy, politics, the environment, religion, and in the those ancient days, women's rights.  There were few personal comments, though many dissenting opinions around the original writing.  When I started working at the University in the mid 90s the writings on the walls of the reading room had devolved into verbiage best left to 12 year old bullies.  And then, by the 00s: silence.  Acres of unmarked bathroom walls.  Not the fresh coat of paint to allow new conversations, but silence.  I thought in this ithingy age that the silence would be everlasting.  But recently, and in more than one building on campus, I have found signs of life again.  Encouraging comments, statements and responses about the environment, women's lives.  Is this some Luddite underground emerging?  Is it digital babies finding a place where they can not be 'Snowdon'ed. What ever it is, I am glad of it.  Anonymous conversation with others of my sex, or those becoming my sex, that can be open and untraced.

The only moment better in the reading room of my educational institution was toilet tennis - which saved my sanity one day of great stress in the mid 90s.  I sat down.  My eyes wandered to the wall where one small sentence was written.  "Toliet tennis: look left", which I did.  "Toilet tennis: look right".  Which I did.  And in a moment, back and forth, I was laughing and my stress fled.

Monday, February 3, 2014

blind book date

apparently second floors are allowed
Pink.  All three books were wrapped in pink.  The public library . . . because a university library would never want to have this much fun . . . has mystery books for patrons to sign out.  In honour of the month of love: Blind book dates. All were wrapped in pink paper with a barcode on the outside and a brief description to give you some guidelines as to what was behind the wrapping.  I got three.  It was so delightful to sit after lunch with my hot chocolate on a snowy Saturday and find out what I'd got.  My 'classic, British, good characters, hopeful' turned out to be Great Expectations sporting the most undickensian cover I have ever seen.  I watched the most recent BBC production last month, so I set that aside and opened the next present:  'plans, making, family fun'.  Wahooooo a book by a dad who makes the coolest stuff out of cardboard and marbles and crayons.  Spent some time dreaming along with that.  But then, oh then, I opened the third package:  'small, cozy'.  I spent the next hour picking out my dream house.  It is on page one hundred and one.  I will be putting the kitchen in the area they have off to the right beyond the stairs and keeping the whole of the great room for living and studio space.  It is 885 square feet and is called Sea Grass.  I will also extend the porch on the back so that you can walk all the way around the glassed in area off the living room. Oh, can't you just see it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Limited Edition

So, yes, I spent the second half of my holiday sorting, filing, and piling.  Three boxes to the goodwill, and seven bags to the recyclers.  I won't frighten you with the story of the fridge.  I know it was a year old, but honestly, there was no mold on it.  Ain't homemade yogurt amazing.  But I will tell you about the bookcases.  I have several in varying sizes, most with doors on, which is good, that way the books are held in place by the latch.  This doesn't stop me from getting more books, especially in the children's section of the library sale room...I can't resist the pictures.  I recommend Wings by Shinsuke Tanaka.  It has no words beyond the title and pictures that make me want to strive for greater skill.

When I have too many books they are piled on the floor under the bookcases...they also have feet as well as doors.  And when the piles get to big I pull everything out, pick out what is ready for a new life and pack the bookcase puzzle back together.  I find all kinds of treasures I have no seen in some time.  The King's choice, retold by K. Shivkumar and illustrated by Yoko Mitsuhashi.  Ah-choo by Mercer Mayer. Many others.  And, a handmade book from Christmas of 1989.  Written, illustrated, printed and assembled on Christmas Eve of that year by my co-workers at the Saskatoon Bookstore.  It is made on the back of index cards used for the then high-tech filing system for the titles.  The Lion who shot Bach, Little White School House, Last Hiding Place, and others. The story is about me trying to make the evening bus to get home for Christmas, and what I had to remember to take with me.  I don't know who was getting a shirt for Christmas, but it figured large in the story.  A very special limited edition.