Saturday, May 4, 2013


From snowy winter pics to pink blossoms. That's what happens when it takes ages to load a page at and even longer to get to the "create new post" page. My patience online is non-existent.

Meanwhile ... I'm enjoying a new driving experience. Yes, a 2010 Matrix "sporty car" feels nothing like a 1998 RAV4 "truck". VBG. Pity about the extremely slow speed limits around here. I should live near the autobahn. I feel as though I could quickly go from 80 kph to 160 kph but the fine for speeding like that is $10,000! That's 2/3 the cost of my car.

Today's drive to the library sent me past a gorgeous magnolia. Luckily, I was armed with my trusty little camera.

Fresh new spring leaves are opening up this week and the grass in my back yard has turned a lush dark green. Uh oh! It will soon be time for the first mowing of the year (horrors!).

The warmth and sunshine make me feel happy. Talk about a fair weather fiend ;) Here's Terri enjoying a game of catch this week (compare to previous post). This was taken before the grass suddenly sprang to life.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Terri and I played catch and fetch in the front yard today while I did some shovelling. I'm taking my time about moving the snow this week; I don't feel up to trying to do it all at once. The helpful farmer didn't come by to move the bulk of the snow this time.

I wrote a haiku for my experience in the snowfall today:
Interlaced snowflakes
Captured by Earth's gravity
Blanket everything.

Yes, "Earth's" is unnecessary but I needed it to complete the 5/7/5 scheme. Yes, I'm aware that my haiku doesn't follow all the rules mentioned in Wikipedia but I don't care.

Apart from photos of my sweet companions, Terri and Flower, I really have very little to communicate these days. I'm enjoying the warmer weather; I dislike temperatures below -5 °C. True, the colder weather makes us appreciate the "good" weather more but I've never been one to take things for granted. I'm all too aware of history and conditions in other parts of the world to do that.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This wasn't much of a storm and that's good news! The snow isn't as heavy as it was in the previous "real" storm so I will likely be able to shovel the driveway without too much effort.

I haven't been writing for my blog in ages. This is mainly because I have trouble accessing any of the Google blogs. I guess too many people are taking advantage of the free blog space and layouts. Facebook hasn't given me any problems and its interactivity is faster and easier so that's where I've been hanging out.

The reason I'm posting now is that my Shaw Direct TV service isn't functioning. It stopped last night while the snow was getting closer to Ottawa. Usually, I can get a reply when I send a FB message to "Shaw Direct" but so far, no luck. I'll have to return to reading the translated Swedish books I've been enjoying from the library. Authors Camilla Lackberg and Asa Larsson have been keeping me entertained this month with their murder mysteries.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Terri will be 8 years old soon. January 11th, in fact. What you need to know about herding dogs' need for exercise is this: they need to run. If they don't, they become unhappy.

We spent a short Christmas holiday at my sister's and B-I-L's place. They now live in an apartment style condo, 3rd floor. Crazy [because they choose to live in a 4 story building] people with dogs live in the condos on her street and all the dogs must share (on leash) the same yard. This makes for interesting pee-mail for the dogs and Terri enjoyed reading all the messages. Often. That meant frequent trips outside involving getting my hat, coat, scarf and boots on and off each trip. Humbug. The point is: no place for a good long run. Terri was bored and had nothing much to do to spend her energy. A walk to the train station was plenty for me but not worth mentioning for a fast dog. Playing "toss the ball down the hallway" was frowned upon. My sister is definitely not a dog person — the only sister who isn't.

We visited my nephew for Christmas dinner and I finally gave Terri the 45 minute run she'd been wanting at a parking lot across the street from his house. He was taking care of a friend's border collie over Christmas so I copied his method of exercise. Terri was happy, at last. We had to keep the two bitches apart — they snarled at one another but Terri was much calmer there after her run than she had been in the condo.

We got a huge snowfall the day after we returned home — 33 cm by my tape measure. Thanks to my helpful farm neighbour, I didn't have to break my back shovelling 60 feet of driveway. I had to clear around the car, not to mention the car itself, plus a route to the back yard for meter readers. In the course of that work, Terri got her beloved runs with her toys. Day after day, I made progress with snow and more snow and Terri chased her toys. When we had an especially pleasant day of temps around -3°C, Terri wanted to stay out all day long. She became naughty and refused to come inside or even jump into the back of the car. She wanted to run non-stop. I had to trick her into getting into the car because I had shopping to do but after that, I let her out to run some more. We played outside for hours.

Now that it is cold again (-18°C), I much prefer being able to open my back door for her.

P.S. Quote from a friend with Malinois (the short haired Belgian shepherds) Mals resemble "Border Collies on speed that like to bite."


I was in my late teens, hanging out with a friend who liked animals. He took me to his pal's home but nobody was there. Taking the key from its "secret" spot, he let me inside so we could look at some young kittens. Suddenly, a nine foot tall lizard appeared at the kitchen door!

Then I woke up. That nightmare was thanks partly to watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (again) plus reading The Ruins by Scott Smith. Harry Potter books and movies don't normally cause nightmares so I put the blame mainly on The Ruins in which a pleasant beach vacation turns into a horror story. Some friends head to the interior of the country and ignore the the taxi driver's warning: "No good you go this place." ... "I take you new place. Fifteen dollars. Everyone happy." It all goes downhill from there. Not a book to read if you are prone to being frightened, getting depressed or having nightmares. You've been warned.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


The scent of wood smoke from nearby chimneys and honking of geese flying overhead; the beauty of my dog running to grab a thrown toy; the soft hair against my hands when my cat comes close for a snuggle and the warmth of her body keeping me comfortable in the evening; the flavours still favored after childhood: chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry — these are some of the simple pleasures I can be thankful for.

In contrast to this year's hot spring and summer in Ontario, my youth spent in PEI was much cooler and wetter. Spring along the east coast was a windy, rainy change from the large wet snowflakes of winter. I remember standing on the verandah, savoring a rare warm sunny spring day when the bees were buzzing amongst my mother's flowers and the newly opened leaves on tall trees shaded parts of the lawn.

Summer was a time for warm sunshine and walks on the beach. The average highs for June - August were 20°C to 23°C (compared with 23°C to 26.6°C in Casselman). PEI breezes from the ocean moderate temperatures so they are cooler in warm months and milder in cold months than experienced in Ontario. I don't remember any really hot days in summer. In fact, I had to keep blankets over me because the nights were cool.

By tradition, September felt like summer was over; not only because school started but because temperatures dropped enough that swimming in the ocean was no longer tempting — not that the water was warm in the summer!

This year's hot summer in eastern Ontario kept me from taking as many trips as usual. Terri and I normally enjoy walks at weekend outdoor events where dogs are allowed — dog shows, country fairs, camping in parks. This summer seemed too hot to enjoy spending a full or even half day walking under the sun. Many places have very little shade so I lacked any ambition to leave my shade trees.

The 2012 heat has lasted a surpisingly long time. Even the geese seem to be puzzled. They are still flying back and forth (north and south) as if they aren't sure which way to go. I suspect that this long mild autumn is allowing them to feed on many corn fields before their long flight south. I hope they don't get too fat to fly ;-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012