Tuesday, 19 September 2017


The maple tree on the corner is always the first to go crimson every fall, and this year it's an amazing deep red. I find my head filled with that piano piece "Autumn Leaves" as I shuffle through the crackling fallen leaves...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Bill and Katherine Hunter's Joke

A man went on vacation to Hawaii and left his cat in his neighbour's care. After a week, he phoned the neighbour to see how things were going. The neighbour said, "I'm sorry to tell you your cat died."

"Well, don't say it so abruptly like that!" the man said. "That's no way to break the news. You need to do it gently. First tell me the cat got loose. Then a day later tell me the cat was hurt. Then a day later tell me the cat died!"

A week or so later, the man thought he'd been too harsh so he phoned his neighbour again. "How are things?" he asked.

"Well," the neighbour said. "I'm sorry to tell you your mother got loose."

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Time is flying

It seems I just sat down to write on this blog, but I look at the date and realize it's been nearly a week! Where did the time go? I know this is a busy time of year, but still, I should at least be aware of days passing.

I'm weaving a new set of tea towels, trying to write another book (though the plot is currently elusive, but thankfully I got an extension on the deadline), putting the vegetable garden to bed, coping with the introduction of a new computer program at work (ick), teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, doing small renovations on the house...well, you get the picture. And yet the only thing I really feel like doing is lying on the couch with a novel and a bowl of popcorn, with my dogs curled on my feet.

We went for a drive yesterday out toward Lake Huron, and I was both happy and alarmed at how colourful the maple trees are turning. Autumn is upon us. There is a sense of time running out.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Autumn on its way and the harvest is almost done

Taking stock of the garden this fall, I fear it hasn't been a wildly successful harvest. The weather has been weird, with fluctuating temperatures, and admittedly I have ignored the weeds this year. Got tons of cherry tomatoes and zucchini, and quite a few white cucumbers, but only a handful of peppers, three spaghetti squash, one (!) melon, about five green beans, and no peas or cooking beans at all, thanks to the rabbits. The asparagus did well as always and so did the rhubarb, but the cauliflower failed to form heads, the spinach never surfaced, the cabbages were all the size of tennis balls, the broccoli hasn't done much all summer, and even the kale was half-hearted and ended up buggy. The green onions shot up to four inches tall and then stayed there. The beets didn't even get large enough to eat their greens, much less their roots. We got maybe five raspberries and a cup of blackberries. And the lettuce saw the rabbits coming and bolted straight away before I could pick a leaf. It's a good thing I'm not truly reliant on the garden to sustain us.

That said, I'm sitting here eating lovely lavender cookies with homegrown lavender, and that's the really important thing. I can't complain.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Starting my fall project

Starting some more tea towels. It's been nice having a hobby I can do when the weather doesn't permit gardening. There's a meditative element to weaving that I like, though I'm not very adept at it yet. And I like the fact that the whole process is electricity-free.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Black Donnellys

In my book Desperate Measures, I referred to the massacre of the Black Donnellys in 1880. Today I happened to be in Lucan for a wedding and went walking in the cemetery beside the church. And found the Donnelly family's headstone. (This is the more recent one. The older one was vandalized and removed years ago.) I hadn't realized they'd also recently lost two sons, prior to the massacre. There were little offerings people have left on the stone---pencils, coins, a weathered doll.

I found Lucan a lovely place, but with a soft sort of melancholy about it. If I hadn't known the story of this family, maybe I wouldn't have felt that. I sat for a while on a bench under a tree in the cemetery and knitted and soaked in the peacefulness of the place. Rolling green fields. Beautiful stone and Victorian houses. A light breeze. Perfect sunlight. And the distant howling of dogs as my husband warmed up his bagpipes outside the church.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Eclipse at Riverwood Conservancy

That was a fun afternoon! The eclipse itself was interesting -- the dimming of the sunlight's intensity, the noticeable drop in the temperature -- and to my surprise, the social aspect of it was just as fun. There weren't enough glasses for everyone, so we shared ours with seven other people, all of them from other countries. It was great to get to meet some neighbours, and it was encouraging to see a traffic jam caused by science lovers. We parked far away and walked into the park to avoid the worst of the crush. People were sprawled out with blankets and bags of chips, and everywhere people were chatting and sharing. Such a nice thing to experience. A reminder that we're all just tiny lives, sharing a tiny speck in space together, so we need to get along.