I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 31 May 2010


May has been a busy month. We launched into it and from the 9th until yesterday almost constantly had visitors with us. D's folks, my folks, and some friends from Pennsylvania all spent time here at the farm. It was a fun month of reconnecting, being tour guides (and tourists ourselves, exploring the Parliament Buildings with our friends), and enjoying people.

Last week we celebrated M's 10th birthday, as our baby entered into double digits and once again I marveled at how the time flies, and what an amazing young lady she is. No wallflower, this one.

Now I'm sitting here with my coffee and summer stretches ahead. Finishing schooling, working on the farm, concert dates and an east coast trip, driving to the states to pick up the girls from a visit they'll be having there, trying to keep the chickens from attacking the poor little remnants of begonias (what do they have against them, really?).

While it's been busy and it's going to be busy, today I can sit with my coffee. Well, until it's time to leave for archery, take the kids to their last SHEP day, vacuum the pool, catch upon paperwork...

Monday, 24 May 2010


I'm not a great flower gardener. And I know there are garden critics out there.

I know my little pots are nothing to write home about, but every year I put in some annuals that catch my attention, and hope they grow and make things pretty. This year the girls and I hit the garden centre and found lots of nice little plants. We came home and I had a nice time of solitude putting in the begonias on the shady side of my house. Not a lot of variety, just all sorts of little white flowers peeking from their thick green leaves.

Apparently it's just not right. Some of the hens pulled half of them out today. I put them back, and a few minutes later there she was again, eyeing my arrangement, sneering (okay, maybe not. I know you can't sneer without lips. But I bet she was thinking sneering thoughts) before she reached in, plucked out the hapless flower, and dropped it on the deck.

Perhaps this is the year for all hanging baskets?

Thursday, 20 May 2010


I feel like I'm making progress.

Two gardens line the north side (facing the pool) of our house. They were full of the weed-from-hell that is the bane of my gardening existence. While it's not a noxious weed, it goes everywhere and spreads via a network of roots. It comes up first in spring, getting a head start on all the plants I want to see. You'd think it is a nice, lush ground cover ... until it chokes out all the columbines and hostas. I see their little leaves poking through, waving for rescue as they drown. The columbine's flowers look like little rescue flares sent up from a lifeboat.

While D's parents were here they very nicely helped out in the garden, digging and pulling out the weed with the girls. I continued that and while my parents were here after (been a busy month with visitors, and more to come) we tackled the shrubs on the other side.

End result (and I'm wishing I'd taken a 'before' photo) is two gardens that are coming under control. Still much to do, and D still advocates a scorched-earth policy, but it's getting there. Two days ago I moved two plants and added a new cute little shrub that seems happy in its new home. Yesterday the wild roses by the lamppost got a much-needed haircut as R mowed the lawn and the younger girls continued pulling out the roots of that weed. There'll be an ongoing battle against it, but I feel like we've established a beachhead, at least.

Nice thing is, when this is done I can sit out by the pool and not be faced by a garden desperately in need of work and crying "don't sit there, help meeeee!". Well, unless I turn a little to the left... sigh.

Have I mentioned it never ends?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Eight syllables are eluding me.

The song 'Hope' (wanting a better title, not finding one) is done but for eight syllables. I played it for D and realized from his reaction that two little lines in the first verse took the song in a direction I'd not intended.

Ah, the joy/curse of writing something, when your head space is right there. Then someone else hears it and without the context of your head space, it doesn't work. While this can be good - one song having different meanings for different people can be one of those surreal places where the stars line up and all is lovely - it can also lessen the song's strength if the listener sits there, stuck on "huh?"

For the record: but for that, D loved the song.

So now, I repeat lines in my head, trying to find those eight little sounds that will make it complete. If it were prose, I could take my time and set the stage, set the context so that we start from the same place. But it being lyrics, I am tied to a constraints of rhythm and line length that I have set for myself.

da da daa da da da-da da.

How hard can it be?

Hmm ... very.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


'Tis the season where work abounds, but simple pleasures are there to be found.

The chicks are growing nicely and the hens spend their days foraging outside, having found a new hangout at the back of the summer kitchen but sometimes making me laugh as they sprint across the lawn. Why they decide to, I often have no idea. But a running chicken looks pretty funny. The cows haven't arrived yet for the summer but I expect them soon.

The sun rises to birdsong in the morning, and I'm getting up early enough consistently to see it, and take a brisk walk to enjoy it up close and personal. Everything is getting greener by the day. We are busy with gardens, and spring cleaning, and mowing, and planning fixups - but the breeze is sweet and the sun is warm.

I believe I finished another song yesterday. It's got that complete feeling to it with the balance of music and lyrics now; I wrote the lyrics after seeing a video about autism, with interviews with parents talking about the struggles that can be faced with raising these precious children. It was sent to me by sis-in-law JG, whose son is autistic and such a sweet, sweet little boy. I hope the lyric is ... well, right.

I've been writing a few lately that have been an interesting twist for me: writing what I think of as "third-party" lyrics. My writing has always been from my point of view, many of the songs from very personal experiences. And yet I've had a few lyrics through my mind lately that have me standing in someone else's shoes. I'm tossing around the thought in my mind, ruminating on it (moo) as to whether it's having a chance to speak thoughts that someone else wants said, but can't put to words, or whether I'm just posing as something I'm not.
"Poets do not need to go to Niagara to write about the force of falling water" - Robert Frost
It bears thinking.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Today we pulled out the summer clothes. The temperatures are consistently warm enough to have some shorts on hand for the kids to wear. All kinds of great shorts and capris were brought out from last year, ready to see the light of a few more warm summer months. Typically, this is when the girls find old favourites ready to put on again.

Not this time: almost none fit A or M. Most of R's were ready to pass down and they fit A nicely, but the younger two had outgrown absolutely everything. A few comments by the girls on how big they were, including some that had me giggling:
daughter: "my waist is in, but then it goes out"
me: "welcome to being a big girl. It will happen more, trust me"
And some that had me realizing that even at their young ages, the media has started to creep in and suggest that their beautiful selves might be less than perfect:
daughter: "this doesn't fit. Am I getting fat?"
me: "your body is designed to be shaped a certain way. We eat good food and exercise so that it can be healthy with the way it is meant to be, but you won't be exactly the same shape as your sister. And that's fine."
It's all yet another tangible reminder of little girls who are growing into young ladies. And once again I find myself reflecting on the passage of time (so fast!) and being thankful for the time we have together (so precious!).

Apparently, some of that time together will soon involve a shopping trip.