Happy Discount Candy Day Eve!

Our livestock trailer is haunted by the ghost of a butterfly. Seems harmless. Mostly just hangs around.

I remember so many first snows on Halloween growing up. It is the official date beyond which I no longer begrudge it falling. So I officially can’t complain.

But it is not any of the fun kinds of snow at all. It’s that cold wet slush that melds into an ice shield snow.

Most definitely stay inside and be glad we made it to the library over the weekend snow. We’ve all been experimenting with the oil pastels I picked up and actually wound down after the busy weekend and emotional day with a spontaneous colouring party on Sunday. Captain Combine Repair’s call phone finally gave him an evening off to run his own errands yesterday evening and he picked up a box of soft pastels to try. Something else I’ve never used before. They aren’t kidding about soft.

So a good day for experimenting with those I’m thinking. Provided, of course, my Commander and Overlord approves.



Honestly this one.

And there’s one every year, too. One smart enough to both figure out the timing between the ticks of the electric fence and that for all my yelling and thing waving I’m really not as scary as I try to look.

Friday’s experiment was to determine whether wood is cow food.

Conclusion: they do not know the question is confusing please do not repeat it.

Friday ended with a beautiful blushing sunset.

Saturday opened with a similar sunrise. I snapped a photo and started on my way to the back of the house to get on with my morning routine.

But when I got about halfway down the hall I decided to head back and get the coffee started first.


I think somebody must have heard me saying “gorgeous”.

And naturally assumed.

Our local ravens were being very active. I did make a note of that. One does.

And then off on errands. I decided to pick up a cheap set of oil pastels to play with. Never used them before, but I’m drawn to their superior lifestyle flexibility over paint. The only local option is one of those epic, religious box stores. Apparently there’s a holiday coming up.

I dunno. I think they worship some deity that brings them presents if they invest in enough home decor or something.

The gods of road food did smile upon us, and we did celebrate them in the presence of many geese, doggies, and one very remarkably chill muskrat at the local off leash park.

I really should get one of those whatchamacallems. Car seats.

Yes of course I’m kidding. She did enjoy exploring the wonderland that is the front seat.

And then Sunday was much the same. After a week of overtime Captain Combine Repair was called into action again so we went back into town to tend to the errands from his list. The day was cold, grey and horribly windy. I passed another gathering of ravens on the guardrail alongside our creek system near home. It’s a dangerous crossing area for animals. I wondered what had happened, but it didn’t seem too mysterious.

When we arrived home we were informed that a Fish and Wildlife officer had been by to let us know that a moose had been poached and dumped there.

Just heart sick. And livid. And so very worried.

I’d only seen two of our three moose on my last couple of sightings. I couldn’t stop staring into the field, hoping to see just one. Knowing that the animals were always together and that a hunter without integrity would not concern him or herself about making sure it was a clean shot before firing. Was one of them out there wounded or something? Were any of them even left out there?

We couldn’t have felt more like the day looked.

And then the universe gave us a beautiful gift. All three moose. Beautiful and healthy and scrambling for the treeline to get out of the wind.

Our household includes a former law enforcement officer from a law enforcement family, and the local Fish and Game officer is all over this. We’re an everybody knows each other and everything that goes on kind of community, and we all like our moose, so those poachers made a very bad decision when they decided to engage in their blunt headed destruction round here.

But we did get a gift. To see them and know they’re all there, and they’re all okay. I don’t think I ask a lot in general these days. I haven’t wanted anything that badly for awhile now. I am grateful.


Warm backs and bellies.

We were off in our own little world with explorations and such when I noticed a small dot in the distance. Tiny little thing way out there.

But it quickly grew bigger.

We do enjoy our daily visits.

And velvet kisses.

We of course invited him to follow us back to the yard for grain and enjoyed the walk back with him.

I confess to being a bit infatuated with the guy. He’s always been such a happy presence, and he’s every bit as infatuated as I am. But of course, not with myself. He’s a whole different llama around her. Dials the chill to maximum and just observes with calm amusement as she giggles and squeals and wiggles and waves her arms around in her happiness to see him. I know without testing it that he would tolerate none of that from me.

And he’s damn good at his job. I know the local coyotes see a very different side to his personality than either of us do too.

Just when hands were getting too cold the sun came out and within minutes our resident hand warmer was up to temperature.

New holiday tradition proposal: Halloween trees.

I nominate Elbows.

Later that evening the household debate about who makes the best mashed potatoes was, I daresay it’s safe to conclude, settled.

Thank you, my girl.

Pictured: Loyalty

Ning and I enjoyed an all too uncommon opportunity for some one on one at this morning’s 5am zombie breakfast. I haven’t seen that belly exposed very often since the hurricane of kitten energy that is Diggity hit her home.

Today’s goals include capitalizing on the presence of a warm sun to sort out some winter storage, *personal grooming and fudge. We didn’t manage to get any made the other day, and one has an obligation to follow through on one’s intentions, after all.

*Just ten quick minutes with my head under a tap. That’s all I ask. Come on, universe. Let me have this.

Raise your housepets in the air like you just don’t care.

I mean at some point you have to start speculating about the role parenting skills play.

She didn’t even make it to the skinny, slippery ledge this time. She just so badly miscalculated her initial jump up onto the side that she damn near went straight in head first. Luckily for her I was standing right there.

Because she otherwise went completely unnoticed.

Tub crayons are the best things ever, and two decades past it’s recommended remodel date is the best time to bring a child into a home.

After spending yesterday largely working on things that could be accomplished indoors and sitting down I’d pretty much used up my rest requirements for the night by 4am and enjoyed some toddler unfriendly zombie entertainment during breakfast.

She got an even better show during her breakfast. You could see the pink coming.

And then it was everywhere and on everything.

A person living under these beautiful skies really should get an actual, reasonable quality camera, I suppose, but it took taking on the responsibility for another entire human life before I would reliably carry one piece of tech that takes pictures, I don’t see myself taking on a second. Now that I do always have the phone with me, though, it is becoming something of a habit.

When my hands are free, which is not something I necessarily dictate.

Welcome and Unwelcome Guests

Speaking of unmistakable silhouettes in the morning light. It was good to see them back, and looking in good condition. 

Moose I don’t mind dropping by for breakfast. In no small part because I don’t have to count the chickens when they leave. 

This one, on the other hand.  Everybody gets bolder when it’s colder. It’s as drizzly and grizzly a day as ever drizzled and grizzled. She made her plans for it perfectly clear upfront.

Clear evidence she’s a genius. I think I shall reward her brilliance with fudge.

Missions failed and Accomplished

Filed under inevitability.

Surprisingly, Miscreant #1 is not implicated in the bath time misfortunes of Miscreant #2. She’s actually been entirely respectful of Miscreant #2’s reckless bathside explorations, showing I think quite admirable restraint for a toddler. But there just isn’t actually even room enough on that slippery ledge for so much as a cat’s foot, which she has discovered that she has grown since she last explored it with mere kitten feet.

I think she’s smart enough to know that the safest place in the world is within reach of a protective mama, and since I got her at three weeks old yeah, I guess that’s what I am. Her front end didn’t even get damp before I’d scooped her up, and she just hung limply over my hand, seemingly completely disinterested in the proceedings, while I wrung her back end out. Still, a suitable refuge to sleep off the trauma was sought and found.

I was first one up and enjoyed the light show. Then off to Edmonton with good two and four legged friends to about as Albertan a park as you could ever hope to see.

We enjoyed the bridges, the one crossing the river in particular. Had a name. I’m sure of it. It’ll come to me.
Her favorite part was the wind. Kept slipping my hand and running toward it giggling wildly instead of walking calmly in the middle of the footpath where nothing dangerously fun could possibly ever happen like her mother wanted her to.

I genuinely think her favorite part of the entire day was the wind. It seemed as though she were summoning it at times. 

I fell in love with a tree.

See? They didn’t all wind up down the back of my shirt. But all the ones that did were sure ripe and soft.

But we were actually on a mission – and that’s where our fellow adventurers came into the picture. They were charged with the task of finding us duckies.

By god, they found us duckies.Prime cute, doing adorable things, toddler grade duckies. We were suitably impressed.

A riverside stroll later and the sunshine we’d set out to enjoy was finished. We needed to stay ahead of traffic anyway and were off. By the time we hit country road Edmonton had tucked itself  in under a thick blanket.

It wasn’t so long ago I had a job that took my daytime hours, and every time I drove home I drove through rush hour into dark, stormy skies. It felt damn welcoming to turn onto our dirt roads today.

Popartory Two Groove

Anybody calls my girl a little monster I can just say “of course, she’s been a fan since Gaga: Five Foot Two.”  All respect to one of the hardest working crews in entertainment, but she never gets her groove on this hard for the Wiggles.

popartory two groove

Much better start on the day than Saturday at whatever the hell o’clock this was

when the grass still looked like this
and all the chickens started raising hell. I thought our goshawk was back when I first saw the predator at the heart of the commotion, but I had my first clue of what I was actually dealing with when it seemed as interested in me as I was in it. Interested enough to let me get close enough to see those distinctive tufts rotating on that unmistakable head swiveling in the dim morning light and know we’ve got a great horned owl.

That’s like ten goshawks glued together.

Thankfully our most visible target is also our smartest bird.
I can understand why they’re getting braver. The pastures were painted white long into the morning.

The weekend has been beautiful, though. People we love came out for a visit and Cllouseau is reliably coming in to touch base with us daily now.

And our Lady has been teaching Little Lady the importance of ritual too.

Demona’s younger sister, exploring life’s opportunities on her own, came up to the house for a visit. 

And was promptly uninvited. In other miscreant news it’s getting impossible to get anything out of our linen cabinet without having to first prove our worthiness in battle with the resident kitchen troll.

She who controls the kibble shall rule the land. Deal with it.

If I get a chance to play today I shall play with the colour blue

and with my new favourite thing

but my priority is figuring out what they’re telling her, because I think I’m starting to trail in popularity.


Only one of us was in any hurry to do anything today, but as he was no help getting her dressed either Luka just had to damn well wait to go outside until she was done literally dancing around him so that I could.

I think she’d have been happier just playing inside, but she needs to learn young that we don’t take vitamin D for granted on the 53rd latitude. What there was out there to get today disappeared fast. I think the scientific name for these clouds is lumpitous bumpitous. In fact I’m sure of it. Probably worth making a note of.

Besides the pug needed his exercise. Off you go, boy.

Okay fine, but we did at least need to air out aforementioned long suffering husky.

To his credit the rooster does still maintain a respectful distance, usually on the other side of his girls, when she brings their daily scratch. Which is good, because making a move on her would be a very efficient way to volunteer for dog food duty.

But he’s still a dick and by the way I don’t care how cool it sounds you look like a jerk when you crow. Dick.

And you never know who else is listening. I haven’t seen our goshawk again, but this is the third little sprinkling of blue tail feathers I’ve found since his visit to my window.

We didn’t encounter Cllouseau when we were out today, but after we came in I spotted him through the window butting heads with somebody. Not unusual, seemed friendly, but you watch these things. Then I saw the herd organize and move into a new pasture. Not unusual, but you watch these things.

Then when I was about to make my afternoon cuppa I saw that he had not left the pens with the herd. I grabbed some grain and went out to see what was up.

He was waiting for us was what was up.

And that’s awesome, because we’ve been working hard to make his coming in to touch base with us a ritual. He’s totally on board for rituals that involve eating grain.

And it was awesome that we got some one on one time without me having to wrangle an impetuous toddler on my side of the fence and him having to wrangle an impertinent bovine on his. And also to enjoy the last splash of colour from our resident tamarack pine.

And holy hell the day is all but gone now. Poof.


The other one is in the trees.

Took a little doing to get out the door this morning.

But what a beautiful fall day, and I love fall in the city, and happily that’s where we went.

Even more happily we happened to somehow wind up in the best pizza place in town, which again left me with a calorie packed kid an hour’s drive away from farmland, so we also wound up at Giovanni Caboto park. And best of all we brought a much more experienced parent along who wasn’t afraid to push the swing high enough to achieve maximum giggles.

Never been on a swing in her life. Giggled like a lunatic from the moment it started moving, and the higher it went the wilder her laughter. Meanwhile I stood there trying to focus on the analytical part of my brain that knew damn well it was fine and not on the the mom part of my brain that kept making my leg shake.

I was glad she was equally impressed by her first encounter with a proper, playground sized slide. I was able to be a much braver little soldier about that one.

Paid our respects to Frank Spinelli.

Grabbed some beautiful fresh baking and hit the road. I try to keep away from rush hour – it’s a long enough commute without heavy traffic, never mind not wanting my precious cargo anywhere near that river of gasoline fueled aggression. We also avoid a lot of that by taking the quieter country roads. That takes a little longer too, but taking a little longer to do something is often a great way to make it not suck.

Saw some people still going hard out there. Hopefully the weather will hold just a little longer so everybody can get finished up.
Yeah. Roads where I can safely pull over and take a quick photo of deer are the ones I want to spend the most hours of my life travelling.

Shifting Systems

Ah haha of course. The leaf pile. I’ve been looking for those.

Glad I found them when I did, too. We got out the door and on with our shenanigans early yesterday under threat of a substantial storm building.

And evidently we needed the time, too, because we found a pile of llama poo that needed yelling at for a good five minutes. About what I can not say as the only word I was able to make out was the emphatically repeated word poo itself. To be fair I was doing my best not to listen. I took pictures of these trees.

She and I both submitted worthy contenders, but prize for growing top sunflower this year goes to whichever bird planted the seed for this in my pepper patch. 

By two thirty the storm had taken over the sky. It stayed until dusk and the winds kept howling long into the night.

That called for an early bedtime. I’m getting used to using the inter-regional library system and have been interested in the various ephemera from their various branches, especially in some of the older books. I know nothing about the St. Paul Public Library really, but I think I like the way they do business.

And it called for extra treats today for our poor souls who had to weather all the wind driven rain out there.But mother nature’s gonna have to send something stronger than 90km winds if she wants to mess up my pretty boy’s hair.