Speaking of Trust

I find myself being given opportunity to think about the strengths of one of my friends. A very dear friend. Why is nobody’s business but hers. She knows, and it is for very good reason indeed.

If given a chance, what would I say about her? What, to be so blunt, is so great about her?

Aside from lots of things, what truly stands her apart from the herd is that she is without guile. And by that I do not mean she is naïve or by any means gullible. That would be a fool’s assumption as ever there was. I mean you’re not going to get any of that hidden agenda garbage from her.

When she speaks her mind she speaks her mind sincerely. She is not going for a reaction. She is not strategizing her social position. Her well considered thoughts are shared with unembellished candor, and because she stands so strongly in that authenticity she can fearlessly offer the respect of genuinely listening to and considering contradicting points and perspectives. And unfailingly does.

And that is why she has my absolute trust.

So as I was thinking all that I was wanting to get an opportunity to say it.  So I made this one to make sure I got one.

And here is a picture of Andy, because he absolutely adores her too.

Trust is all about what you’re not.

Is exactly how it felt out there.

Is probably why we had so much company drop by.

We were studied very carefully and from all angles by an absolutely stunning male pine grosbeak.

And then I was examined up close.

And then and only then were we evidently pronounced safe. At least safe enough.

And then we were visited by a boreal chickadee, which is a very brown bird.

Most of our chickadees are black-capped chickadees, which are more blue and black birds.

Is why that was interesting.

Look, almost everything else in the whole world is mostly frozen and dead. A different coloured chickadee is interesting.

We really do get a bit swarmed when we go out there these days, but for all my dramatization the truth is very simple. It’s not that we are paradigm altering hitchcockian devices or closet disney princesses.

It is simply that we are not cats.

What is the color of your sole?

Thinking about all the places I could be right now if I’d stayed on some of the roads I’ve been on and being glad I’m here. And not just because of all the love and adoration, either.

And not because I had myself on any terrible paths, either. Well, not recently. I have no problem with the options I’ve carved out for myself in life. But I got the news that somebody awesome I know is making another awesome person, and somebody else awesome pointed out that I seem to be really into this whole human growing occupation, so I can’t help but be thinking about the fact that yeah, I am.  I thought it would be awesome and it’s even better than I thought.

So probably I should stop leaving the cats in charge of her upbringing before she if I fits I sits herself into something I can’t get her out of again.

It’s not something you admit to other people much. A lot of people almost seem to downright hate happy parents. You say every day’s a joy and you pretty much always get the exact same response:

“Just you wait.”

Because apparently no matter how awesome she may appear now she’s immutably destined to tell me she hates me and spit in my face and wipe her shoes on my forehead and burn down my house and steal my credit cards and do drugs and kick the dog and break my heart and never say thank you for anything I ever do for her ever.

And then she’s going to turn two.

So okay. So let me enjoy it now. Every day is a joy. And I work my damn ass off to make them a joy. So deal.

I believe the title she’s given this one is the word ‘circle’ repeated until there’s no room left on the title card. At least that was the mantra of invocation used to create it.

This one, however, was clearly christened “Balloons”.

And now she’s colouring her feet so probably I should wrap this up.

If you cut us we bleed pink with sparkles and wear the cutest band-aids.

It was a watercolour washed morning on errand day. Nice driving weather overall, intersections notwithstanding.

We carpooled. Always cool to be a passenger on a route you usually chauffeur.

I’d been thinking about all the memories I don’t have on film. Memories of the everyday stuff that makes up most of our lives. The regular commutes, the non-common areas of homes where I spent so much time but took no photos of anything in. Not with melancholy – it’s kind of cool when things are preserved only in our living minds – but with that in mind I took advantage of the opportunity.

I was also interested to see what kind of shots I could get from moving speed, and I’m pretty impressed with my little phone. Also these folks have the prettiest beehives and I was admittedly kind of pleased with myself for remembering that we were coming up on them and getting my phone out in time.

This is the size of your coffee cups if you’re trying to get my repeat business, which the Uptown Grill in Stony Plain has. I hope they treat their servers well, too, because ours is another big reason we keep going back.

We only had one main goal aside from essentials and that was a surprise success. This was not something I wanted to wrangle through a labyrinthine thrift shop bedecked with beautiful glass displays on beautiful glass shelving units in every direction with a toddler in tow, but it’s been a couple weeks since I spotted it and was able to secure back-up for the mission.

It’s nothing special, but it’s sturdier than most and her cars fit on it perfectly, and how many other kids’ car ramps have pink and purple lights and make pony noises? And this is where she’s been and this is what she’s been doing since we got back with that.

I just wish the marketing for mama’s grown ass woman products didn’t bear such a striking resemblance to it. We don’t collect the wrappers, you marketing tools, nor give fuck one how fabulously you decorate them.  Tell you what. I’ll keep the tampons and use them for their intended purpose, and you can keep the wrappers and shove them up your… oh whatever. Thanks for the free box with purchase.

Aside from that I had something in one of my legs do something it wasn’t supposed to, so I kept my weekend pretty low key to prevent myself from doing whatever the hell it was I’d done again while it fixed itself. Which it seems to be doing. Miscreant #2, on the other hand, discovered the ice bubbles in the bottom of a planter I had used as an impromptu rain catcher and brought inside to thaw. Pretty hard to catch anything when you can only hunt for about two minutes at a time before your feet get too cold.


Powering Down, Charging Up

This is the day we’ve all been waiting for.


It certainly didn’t start out that way.


I don’t know why the starlings haven’t been by for the grapes yet, but I’m thinking it has a lot to do with the local tom’s very successful summer last year. We had a waxwing by to scout them out recently who would be welcome to bring it’s friends back for a feast. They really are such fun drunks.

I saw some of our cows coming in while we were having breakfast and excitedly turned our chairs to the window so we could watch them. Just in time to watch this poor bastard fly head first into the window, directly in front of us.Took a quick shot so I could take a longer look at it while it recovered alone in a dark, quiet closet. Not that I know anything about woodpeckers per say, but I worked with raptors and have a general idea of how bird wings and bits and bobs are supposed to attach and hang. As with most strikes, though, it was okay, and just needed the safe place to shake it off. In about half an hour it was scratching around in the box ready to head off, which it did after landing on my shoulder just briefly enough for me not to get a chance to wig out too badly about having a drilling machine with a head injury right next to my jugular.

Which might sound ridiculous, but if you know me you know “died tragically in a freak woodpecker accident” is an entirely credible sounding obituary for me.

See now this is what I want to see when I go out to the pens at this time of year. Not everybody yet, but our usual suspects with the first and last born of the season with them. Demona’s little guy looks beautifully robust and healthy. He’s going to do fine over the winter.

And Lady’s calf is turning into a fine little mini-me-me-me-me-me.

But she’s got a lot of me-first ahead of her in the heirarchy.

And that’s when the sun broke through and it was like somebody went through the pen and flipped every cow’s off switch.

Seeing my girl Lucky, the little pail bunter we had to work so damn hard to keep alive, strong and glowing with good health, blissed out with the sun shining on her full belly, well, that’s something that always makes my day.

Word must have gotten out that when given a chance to eat a bird I did not eat the bird, because things have gone well past Hitchcock out there. It’s getting downright Disney.


If it doesn’t work for the dog it doesn’t work.

Well there’s beautiful sun out there now that all of our outdoor gear is good and soggy, but earlier today the world was shining in a whole different way.

Cleaned the air just as brilliantly. Nothing left in it but nature. Nothing a body needs more.

Things can get a bit Hitchcockian when you fill feeders in this weather. The hungrier they are the less scary I am, evidently.

Everybody just wanted to get in, fill their bellies, and get back somewhere dry as fast as possible and gave not a damn what I was up to. 

It was coming down pretty hard. Scored buckets of beautiful rainwater for our indoor plants.


It had been supposed to be a town run day, but being able to choose not to travel when it’s not a good idea to travel is one of the freedoms that I have gladly traded so much to gain at such great profit. I don’t get days off, but there’s nothing to really need a day off from when you’re in total control of every day. At pretty much every other point in my adult life I would have been careening around on any kind of roads that this day would have offered, dedicating my time to hitting other peoples’ deadlines and meet other peoples’ expectations. Who knows when that might be my reality again, so disappointed as I was to have plans change it’s all so very good.

Also I really like being with my dog.

Brains and other evolutionary adaptations.

Anybody who is given an opportunity to watch a human brain invent itself is in for one hell of a show. Yesterday everything was business as usual, with usual business being the practice of cramming as many things into another thing as possible.

And then today we’re suddenly in the landscaping business, and we’re completely focused on precision, order and methodology.

Ducks being afforded their appropriate places of distinction with full traditional ceremony, of course.


And the more things stay the same. To her credit she did put it all back where she found it. When she returned. Roughly five minutes later. During which time there had been absolutely nothing whatsoever preventing him from moving. Just as there had been nothing preventing him from moving while she was piling it all on top of him.

Nothing except the awe inspiring tenacity of his natural pug resting state.

Inward Onward

When the clouds parted they let out all that lovely warmed air we’d been hoarding, and by evening they were settling back in again. So back under a blanket again today, but this one is cold.  We are making our amusements inside, and have finally found a use for those just-chuck-em-in-there pieces of random, purposeless toy every kid that ever grew up with a set of second-hand blocks has come across and wondered what the hell they were supposed to do with. 

The colder it gets the more awkward cuddles get tolerated, too.

And productivity continues despite contrarian obstacles.

A whole house of places the damn thing could have gone and it chooses the exact place I would have to move it from.  It’s enjoyed a bit of a respite while I struggled with unrealistic ambitions before accepting that no, it does not make sense to even try and find an appropriate work area let alone toddler-free opportunities to sand and spray indoors. I need to just wipe the cupboards down for now and wait until summer when I can work on them outside.  Meanwhile a town run is happening tonight, so there will be dining area paint tomorrow.

Yes of course she landed on her head.

Arachnofabulousness Warning

The thick blanket of cloud that hung over us for so long did keep the temperatures relatively cozy. Cozy enough for the cows to be able to comfortably eat snow and not need to leave the luscious windrows we’d allowed them access to for water. I was confident they were fine, but there’s obviously an element of a lie in that statement because I missed them and would have felt better if they were at least coming in to the pens occasionally.

And Cllouseau. I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen him come in for his daily grain, but of course I can’t blame the guy for staying in the safety of the herd when he’s got everything he needs out there. But just as I was thinking that.

We ran and got some grain and met him out at the fence line so he wouldn’t have to stray from the cows too far.

And got bonus lucky to find Demona and her calf grazing nearby. I’m always happy to get an opportunity to check on the little guy, and she even came over for a visit.


And a chat, while he stayed safely tucked away.


Proper storage is, after all, the foundation of good parenting.

Saturday bloomed a beautiful lake of pink.The weather remained mild and there were many little things about both in evidence…

…and leaving evidence.

And of course the usual other things about.

But still no cows, so we got investigative. I’d been thinking the light from this side of the property had been looking brighter. 

It sure as hell was a windy summer, and this area was heavily flooded. Poor things didn’t have a chance, really.

Cllouseau had been looking for us. You could see the tracks. He just hadn’t been able to get to us. The gate had sprung shut.

Happy to see you too, buddy.We’ve got a glorious sun shining out there today so we’re going to need to get on that while the getting’s good, and we should probably shut down the studio before her muse needs a bath anyway.


Chasing Greys

Yeah I’m glad we got that down.

And that’s the kind of doing that’s been getting done.

This is about how much daylight we’ve been seeing, and it doesn’t hang around long at this time of year.

Had to finish off by grandma’s old bedroom lamp-light and got very nostalgic.

Looking forward to the final install and then the project that has hung as oppressively over our heads in the figurative as it has literal sense is done. And as my reward I am, for one day, not even going to think about the walls.

Hey nice to finally meet you. I was hoping you weren’t a corpse.

I tried to relocate the sleepy thing to another popcorn ceiling near another warm light, but it really was really, really sleepy. I walked it around a bit hoping it could find itself a good hopping off spot, which it did while I took above mid-launch selfie with it’s butt.

There’s been little other drama.

Been digging out all the fun stuff I was saving for inside weather, and she’s been getting right into all of it. In fact if you have a few minutes, she’d love to discuss her themes and inspirations.

Soft pastels are her clear favorite. That makes me happy because it’s easy for her to keep them the way they come in the package. 

And she’s right, they are fun. Such a great way to explore color mixing, texturing, shading. I’ve been doing studies with color and line work and getting good results with some of the contrasts I’ve been aiming for. And I’m paying attention to her choices, too.  They are of course completely fearless.

It’s my job to help her keep them that way.

Within reason.