Good Morning

Kinda just getting things going here.

We’ve been altering our perceptions.

It appears to have inspired some creative thoughts on livestock keeping practices.

Maybe we’d better get her some goats before she starts implementing them. Of course she’s welcome to experiment on Mr Just Wait Till I Find The Right Recipe Asshole all she wants. I don’t care how pretty he is in the sunshine. He’s a dick.

But we’re of course feeding him well for the cool weather too, and we’ve put out a fall fueling station for the rest of our feathered friends. It’s pretty much down to the chickadees, nuthatches, bluejays and usual assortment of woodpeckers now – the brave little creatures that tough out the winter with us – and we appreciate their company so much over the cold months.  Helps keep things in perspective while you’re standing there in your centrally heated home looking at a tiny little chickadee going about it’s business in something ridiculous degrees below zero and wondering how it’s even alive. 

Another area that was underwater for most of the summer, and often very, very loud. Now hard with frost and still with sleeping frogs.

From the Weekend

Been getting naked.


She is as fascinated with the endings as she was the beginnings.
Our late season beginning is still bounding along, and as the evidence on his extremely black muzzle will attest packing on the calories he needs for the weather.

And we’re of course continuing our contributions to Cllouseau’s winter insulation. As the evidence on his muzzle will attest, grazing has been good. He rubs the patch on top of his nose bare sticking his head shoulder deep into hay bales for the good stuff the cows can’t reach, and it’s been growing back beautifully this year. We were able to open new pasture for them yesterday, so weather providing maybe he can get a little more back before he’s sanding the velvet away again.

Meanwhile. I don’t know. The pug wasn’t talking and I didn’t ask.

Had a library day on Saturday and she was disappointed in the lack of other kids there to play with, so we tried our hands at the game terminals. No matter what I tried the rabbit wouldn’t stop doing this:

I did not like that rabbit and we left.

Besides, she missed her cars. I have purchased her an actual human-baby replica that says mama and everything, but this mama only has room in her heart for her little four wheeled babies.

Overall a happily unremarkable little weekend. Watching fall fade and getting ready for winter.

Regarding the Coolest Thing that Just Happened

Seriously, the coolest thing just happened.

pictured: coolest thing

That was taken from my studio window not thirty feet away, not thirty seconds after it swooped maybe three feet directly in front of my studio window, which I happened to be standing exactly directly in front of looking out of exactly right then, and that is an absolutely gorgeous Northern Goshawk – status uncommon to rare year round.  Bold as it is beautiful, too – sat there while I walked through the length of the house and stood as far away from it again face to face with no glass between us before it made up it’s mind to leave, and it did leave hungry.

Not the first life that grape plant has saved.

Lucky girl. They’re stabbers, Goshawks are.

Not our only cool critter sighting today, either. It was another day in town for appointments and friends and, needing a place for a toddler to run off a substantial lunch before strapping her back into a car seat for another hour we stopped by Borden Park.

Gorgeous little gem of urban landscape design I’ve never had an opportunity to visit before, despite having lived in the area. With off-leash ravine trails equidistant away and my priorities having been more canine than toddler in nature at the time it just never happened. Being close to the ravine as it is makes it wonderful habitat for Edmonton’s famous giant rabbits.

And that’s the best picture of that you get when you travel with a toddler. I’d rank this one somewhere between pug and corgi in size.

and featuring mr happy as grandpa dog

He would so lose that fight.

And then the ship from her home planet landed and she was off.

Seriously, what a beautiful, fun piece of art.

There was much running about and giggling, but mostly I think she just wanted to meld with it. Fitting herself into the legs was a really big deal.

We’ll definitely be coming back to see it in different seasons.

And different lights.

All respect.

Don’t wanna be taught to be no fool.

Crunch ye leaves while ye may, new snow is come a-flying. Milky bread for breakfast for our unimpressed little flock.

Good day to catch up on the classics. I do care about history, Joey, and my kid’s gonna learn it.

rock rock rock rock rock n roll high school

That was one of the great things about growing up with insomnia, and for all the suck there were a few – seeing the cult classics late at night.  I would love to know who was in charge of programming whichever the hell one of our local stations it was that played punk classics like Rock n Roll High School, Times Square, and Urgh a Music War just to remember the few I actually caught the names of. Between that, college radio and Brave New Waves on CBC I have to wonder what my world would look like if I had been able to sleep like a normal child.

Maybe I would paint chicken coloured chickens.

But the world already has those.

New and Improved with Extra And

Just as I was about to bond with the upholstery yesterday some manner of chicken drama lured me outside to discover a perfectly beautiful day. Captain Combine Repair’s call phone had remained blissfully silent over the weekend giving my sleeping daughter another parent nearby, so my hiking partner and I booked it while we had a chance.


Luka nearly caught a thing but he did not catch the thing and we had to sit here for awhile before he was able to accept that he was not going to catch the thing.

He’d have been happy to wait all day in the beautifully warm meadow above the wet lands for the deer who bed down there.

Between the toddler and the flooding I can’t remember the last time we got out to our wetlands. It’s not a strenuous hike, but it’s a far from easy one. I’m so much more used to walking with a toddler now that I kept catching myself advising Luka to watch his footing.

Yeah. I think he’s got this.

Today is as grey and grim as I’d thought yesterday was going to turn out to be so I’m really glad we had an opportunity to enjoy it. Snow’s in the forecast tomorrow.

And these guys won’t be around much longer.

And that’s the best shot of those you get when you travel with a dog.

And then it was time to follow the cloud home.

And then it was already time to offer the llama his entertainments.

And other curiosities.

What kind of parent makes a kid do yard work on a holiday, anyway?

To be fair there was a lot of lying down on the job, but then the view was so beautiful.

So absolutely beautiful.

From the Weekend

Bloody earned it, too.

Gold Star Mother

Definitely my favorite sticker toynbee tile to date.

Days are getting short and shadows are getting long.

The kind of weather that makes everybody contemplative, and she’s been no exception. Instead of scattering their feed for them as usual she just dumped it out and stood there, regarding her little flock as they ate.

Thinking little chicken farmer thoughts, I assume. Everybody is happy to see her coming with her little bucket in this weather.

And yes, of course.

Fall clean up continues and is welcome activity. It’s really nice outside when you keep moving. Even after three hard freezes, though, we have yet life not ready to sleep. I don’t even know how this little sprig of matthiola wound up with my sage, but as I always grow it in remembrance of my grandmother – a woman who lived independently in her own home right up until her final, brief hospitalization at the age of 102 – it makes me grin to see it stubbornly continuing to thrive in the home it made for itself.

And calendula is going to become another tradition. A flower so prolific the ancient Romans named it for first day of every month – the calendae – because it seemed to bloom that often. Certainly doesn’t do too shabbily in modern day Canada, either.

Meanwhile there was much merriment of pugs and toddlers over the hours I was meant to be asleep last night, so I better keep this object in motion so that it stays in motion and doesn’t become an object at rest.

Hello Again

The pinkedy pink pink sunrise was followed immediately by a cool, gunmetal grey day. Much of the household succumbed to their cocooning instincts.

There was a warm sun behind it all, though, and it was comfortable when we went out after lunch to tend to rounds.

And other moral obligations.

C’mon. I’d never neglect my sweetheart.

Then off on shenanigans.

Found somebody I’d been looking for.

Not that I’d been missing all of her.

Poor girl. She, alas, was one of the flood related reasons we could not enjoy the east pasture this year.  Thankfully she’s not attracting any unwanted guests anymore, and we’re fortunate that Luka is a supremely sensitive unwanted guest detector.

I’m glad to see everybody else coming in for fall with all their parts.

But now that we’re all indoors with the door closed firmly behind us for the rest of the day I’m going to go wash my hair, grab a snack and finish the movie that unexpectedly came in at the library yesterday before nap time’s over.

Damn, if that wasn’t an invocation to wake a toddler I don’t know what one looks like.

The things we hold dear. To a maybe weird extent.

We could see Cllouseau through the living room window so we were out the door with grain for him right after breakfast.

Just for him.

Nobody else.

At all.

Pictured: ungracious beast.

Then we went on to have a terrifically productive morning. I got the front garden and containers all cleared out and put to bed for the winter while she occupied herself with the grape plant. Hey how can you tell if those things are fermented?

Well maybe 93% cleared out before she suddenly and with striking determination decided that it was fine swimming weather no matter what any goddamn mommy had to say about it.

She actually got the thing all the way up to the house where I was able to lure her in with the promise of breakfast food and a bath. Just as well, because I had to wait for her nap before I did this:

To this:

I could so comfortably ignore a tantrum. But she makes no protest to me. She just wails and paws at it with helpless sorrow to see it so, I guess, defiled?

Costs me nothing to respect her, I guess, passion, and *naptime happens every day.

And yes, we’ll go back out with a treat for her after dinner. I’m an asshole, not a monster.

*who the hell am I kidding

Adventurers and Wanderers

Doing inside things while we wait for outside things to warm up.

But things are drying out and I’m glad for local farmers. And leaf stompers.

crunch crunch

We haven’t enjoyed the north pasture as much as we usually do for a variety of fallen dominoes related to flooding this year. It was great to get back out there yesterday.

a girl and her dog

Gave them both a chance to run and for her to shout “poo! poo! poo!” at the top of her lungs. And, to her credit, step in absolutely none of it. She already has farm-kid level expert footing, that’s for sure.

Pretty cool suddenly being able to touch all those fluttery things that were hanging off the trees just a few days ago, too. Pretty cool to be able to enjoy this little wooded area of the property at all – it was all but completely submerged for a long time after spring thaw.

Anyway this post has been chipped away at and abandoned to distractions several times now. We’ve had a productive morning and a good but simple lunch keeping our eyes peeled on the hay field for occasional sightings of one of our resident moose.

just look for the hay bale with legs heading to the right

But the lunch is in our stomachs and the moose is safely back in the treeline and the chickens have been casting increasingly pointed looks at the windows, so on with the day.

Guiding Forces and Swinging Sticks

Figured I might as well do this since I’ve lost the battle for her attention to a particularly persistent muse. The putting on our clothes and going outside to play option that was so exciting, like, a minute and a half ago is so, like, a minute and a half ago now.

She’s actually getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine right here in the studio. I enjoyed a wholly unpleasant psychedelic light show for about an hour after unthinkingly holding something up to the window to trace yesterday evening. In defense of my autopilot error there has always been a thick canopy of grape plant over that window at this time of year. Before this summer’s savage aphid attack.

Some years the grapes go into jelly, some years they go into deer, and what doesn’t go into either of those always goes into starlings. Their chattering wave has been washing across the property again this past week and I expect it to descend soon. At least this year there won’t be any purple poop on my window.

Speaking of. He of where poop originates doesn’t sound like a squeaky toy anymore and is back to being chased across the lawn by me and my rooster scaring stick – a nine foot long cardboard tube from a roll of house wrap that bent in the middle and swoops around in the most fantastically terrifyingly erratic manner when you swing it like a scythe.

Reason #1217 why it’s good farmers don’t have close neighbours.

whack a doodle

My daughter brought me these after thoughtfully decorating them. They belonged to my parents:

Those were the good cards, which is something people had for when company came over back when playing a game of cards was a common thing to do when company came over. No media streaming in, no media streaming out, just a deck of cards and each other. I’m glad to still have them.

They’re well used. They also used to serve as building material for the card houses I occupied the most child numbing days of winter constructing to span the entire carpeted main floor of our house.

Behold, the horsie sticker rat king is evidently complete now:

from the ready to wear body art collection

… so perhaps now might be a good opportunity to see if she’s reconsidered her position on wearing pants.