Thursday – Warmer & Wetter ?

Thursday, February 4th, 2016  § +8˚C / +46˚F — Sunny & Bright in Atlantic Canada @ 3:30 pm § Andrew Millar’s Birthday

Yard Zen Corner Feb 4th, 2016

This was today at about 4:15 pm. I had to move slightly to avoid getting the realy bright sun burning through the centre of this shot.

Yard Zen Corner Feb. 03, 2016 + snowing.

& This was yesterday at about 3:30 pm, while it was still snowing. I think we got about 10 centimeters ( 4 inches) of snow here before the precipitation turned to freezing rain and then rain. Today’s expected high temperature was supposed to be up around 10˚C/50˚F.

— What a difference a day makes? Yesterday started off pretty darned cold and ended up around midnight with freezing rain right around zero degrees Celcius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Today it’s flirting with ten degrees C / fifty degrees F.

Thunder Tree

I found this on a facebook page called “Ancient Celts” along with several other pretty darned nice photos of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and a lot of red-haired kids and ‘grown-ups’ and a couple cute young kids in kilts.

— & some of the photos I found on the facebook page “Ancient Celts” are pretty spooky – The image I carried around in my imagination for years that represented the first chapter in my “Great Un-Amerikan Novel” was a tree ( on a hill ) being hit by lightening. Another photo on that site looks like the north coast of ‘Shamrock Island’ in the game world I’ve been building for years (with a little bit of much appreciated help from my friends). — I tried to use the above photo as the ‘icon’ for this page/blog. It didn’t translate as well as I hoped.

— & Today, I was pretty close to exhausted when I forced myself out of bed to shovel some very wet heavy slush out of our driveway so Cathi could get out and go to work. { She actually thanked me for that? I might have wanted to ‘shoot the messenger’ / grumbled at anybody who did that for me. 😉  }

— And – I’ve got stuff I gotta do – so I better keep this short today — “Aboo Niesh Day!”

~~~~~ Jim

“Winter Today – Springlike Tomorrow”?

Copied & Pasted from “Latest News From Aerendel”

= = = = =

Wednesday, February 3rd  ∞  -9˚C / +16˚F & snowing in Atlantic Canada @ 11:11 am ∴ I think it might be Ian Anderson’s Birthday ψ

Walking Dogs in Snow Photo

The CBC – Canadian Broadcasting Company – encourages regular people to send in photos and videos. I hope this is not to cut down on the number of employees they might otherwise  need to pay to do that.

— It just took me two hours to wade through a lot of beautiful and sometimes disturbing tweets. Eek.

Jefferson versus Corporations.

– Thomas Jefferson – Author of many famous quotes, including “Banking Establishments are more Dangerous than Standing Armies.” Who’d’a thunk an Aries could be so prophetic?

— I was the recording engineer for an interview between Dr John Battista – a Psychiatrist and Green Party Activist in Connecticut – and David Cobb – a Texas Lawyer who was part of a group that had researched the history of corporations in the United States – and that group was fighting against Corporate Fascism – David Cobb, I do believe, ran for President of the USA as the Green Party Candidate in 2004 – After I had followed my heart to Canada and was trying to first become a permanent resident, and later, a dual citizen of the US & Canada. In 2004 I couldn’t leave Canada – unless I wanted to start the long and expensive process of applying for permanent residency all over again.

— & speaking of evil corporations – Canada has ruled that cable teevee providers must offer channels that they currently only offer as part of bundles – and so lower the cost that consumers need to pay to get what they want. Rogers Cable is blitzing the airwaves with propaganda commercials trying to lure customers into falling for their – “Get our packaged bundles now and lock yourself in to wonderful lower prices for three years!” b.s. — And Bell Aliant – who promised us three years of low prices and later informed us that we misinterpreted what they told us – had MTV in our channel line up on Monday, and no MTV was there on Tuesday, when the Shannara  Chronicles air. So I guess that proves that Bell is definitely on the side of the demons that the ‘Druid’ and the three young hero types in that series are trying to defeat. Yup, Bell is probably one of the bad guys.

Michael Moore advertizing his newest movie.

Michael Moore has another movie about to come out. He’s gotta be one of my favourite people.

— The Mouse that Roared? In Reverse?

Ground Hog Against the TPP

– Well, a groundhog with a social conscience? – Hmm – Don’t’cha wish the politicians and oligarchs who want to rule over you and run your life had as much intelligence and compassion as this guy? 😉

— Your government is lying to you. They want you to voluntarily give up every right and privilege you have. They want to say you voted away your rights. They want to be able to point their fingers at you and say, “They made me do it-” & When they get to Hell, they want to show the devils there that they really were on the side of darkness and deceit, so they can get a job as one of the demons torturing the decent folks they deceived into backing policies and programs that drove other good people into despair and economic slavery.

Fredericton Skies this morning.

But New Brunswick had a spectacular sunrise this morning, and this person from Fredericton caught it digitally on her camera.

— Today’s weather report, “Well, this afternoon we will experience Winter and by tomorrow it will feel like Spring.”

Opportunity or obstacle?

And here’s a bit of daily inspiration from Roy Bennett.

— I do like to have at least something positive to add any time I go through the trouble to write up what I see coming at us via the ‘Tweet-Us-Sphere’ and in real life beyond.

Very interesting waterfall.

And if thoughtfully reassuring words can’t inspire you right now, maybe a photo like this can –

— Looks like another place I’d like to visit and stay for a while.

— But I have other real world stuff to attend to, so I better end here – Have a wonderful, spiritually enlightening day –,

~~~~~ Jim

Committee Breakfast, Friday, May 15th, 2015

Friday Morning, May 15th, 2015 -( 9°C / 48°F @ 8:15 am, Sunny & Bright in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Deer on the hill saying good morning and thanks for the oats.

7:30 am – Three deer looking a bit scruffy as they get ready to shed their winter coats. This photo was ‘auto-adjusted’ in PhotoShop. That made the greens looke a bit greener. There still is plastic inside the windows, which shows up more obviously when the photos are full size. At 549 x 412 pixels here, it’s about 1/5th the full size.

3 deer in the foreground while a fourth comes in from behind them.

There are at least two groups that seem to consist of a mother deer and between two and four yearlings, -depending on who comes with them?- Sometimes I only know there are more than one group is when I notice that one of the mothers has a straight line scar on her right flank. -Either a scar or a very weird bit of fur trimming.-

4 deer that almost look like three.

All 4 deer are in this photo. The middle two are pretending to be a Dr Doolittle type ‘PushMe-PullYou’, The one in the back is on guard, looking away from the camera while the one in the front is busy enjoying the oats I tossed out on the hill about an hour before they came around.

— These photos here are the size I usually upload 549 x 412 pixels or pretty close to that. I told the inner workings of WordPress that ‘medium’ sized photos should be 549 pixels wide because anything bigger than that does not fit right if I copy and paste them into a couple other blogs that I sometimes post in every day, sometimes once a month or once a week? But, anyway, it’s the middle of May. The grass is beginning to turn green. Spring is here. I think we survived another nasty winter. The last bits of snow on our property melted just before Mother’s Day again this year. The bad guys might be trying to bluff us into believing most of the world is going bankrupt while they’re “laughing all the way to the bank”. The sun felt warm even through the windows and across the room. & The guy who owns the field the deer are in either came here and cut the tree that fell down last summer in the Storm they named “Arthur” or paid somebody to do that.

— I can’t think of anything clever to finish this off with just now. Still kind of ‘shell shocked’ over the death of a pet. It feels like life goes on – and silly me, after a couple “Near Death Experiences” myself, I’m pretty sure I’ll see those pets again in the ‘next life’ — But that didn’t make it any easier. And every time life drops one of its ‘little surprises’ – all of our priorities seem to come up for review and have themselves reshuffled. You find out again who your real friends are and suddenly you’re locked in an echo chamber where ideas like: “Nobody ever comes back from a near death experience with the Divine message that they should have spent more time at work-” reverberate in your body, mind and spirit as if they’ve been double or triple underlined.

~~~~~ Jim

 

Ouch: Grief and Hope and Remembering

Thursday, May 7th, 2015 -( 14°C / 57°F  & Sunny and warm @10:15 here in Atlantic Canada )-

More perched on round cat furniture thing in Arnprior

Moe in February of 2006 – Hanging out atop the hideout we got for Sasha, who died of a heart attack after being with us for less than three months. Sasha was a bit timid and Domino was much bigger than she was and he played a little too rough for her.

— Yesterday was my cousin-in-law Joe’s birthday.

— Also yesterday, & totally unrelated to Joe’s birthday, my stomach was sore. fter a while I felt a bit like I might be sick if I tried to do too much, and defined ‘too much’ as ‘trying to do any more than I already had, folding up a big tarp and moving it under the section of unfinished plywood roof that had blown off the frame I was building around the steel yard shed. -The plan was to finish building a protective wood shed for our firewood, outside the steel tool shed. Because we couldn’t finish the woodshed before we were inundated with snow last winter, and because the second part of my pension is in orbit somewhere, we couldn’t afford another cord of firewood, so it cost us at least $300 more a month to heat our house which meant we couldn’t pay a couple other bills which meant- anxiety for mon amour fou.

— Last night I dreamed I was doing yoga stomach lifts. I dreamed that I remembered having done stomach lifts the day or night before and I wondered if that was why my stomach hurt. (Probably not- my stomach probably hurt from crying over our cat’s death, crying to the point where I burst into coughing fits, which probably strained my stomach muscles.) Today I wondered if part of the reason I took Domino’s death so hard was I saw him suffering through his last couple days. Maybe that hurt me more than it did him. He complained, meowing mournfully just a little bit louder than he did when he was upset because a door was closed and doors just shouldn’t be closed. That’s part of many cats’ philosophy. Some doors should never be closed. Some doors should always be closed, but some should never be closed. He also meowed fairly loudly and stared at things that maybe he could see and we couldn’t, halfway up the wall in the living room and other spots around the house.

— Last night before we went to bed, Cathi told me she’d found a photo of Moe from 2004, so maybe he was a couple years older than the “8 years old” she’d reported online somewhere a couple days ago. I went digging through old blogs and found evidence back as far as 2005 and she checked out her old bravenet blog and found the passage she’d written there and posted in April of 2004, the day after she brought Moe home from the shelter. -( my stepdaughter, Cathi’s daughter, Erin, had fallen in love with Max a scrappy little British grey cat, partially because he was an older cat and she was worried that nobody would want him. I’m really not sure of all the details, but I think we were in the Ottawa animal shelter to pick up Max when one of us blurted out the fact that Sasha had died of a heart attack shortly after we brought her home. The right person at the shelter heard that and told us she would give us a voucher good for a replacement for Sasha. We brightened, asked about possible replacements who might be there that day, and we were introduced to Moe, who’d been left off outside the shelter, who seemed to like and get along with all the other animals in the shelter, but who had a cough and needed to be ‘fixed’. Before they ‘fixed’ him they carried him around and brought him up to the doors of several other cages, he said hello and didn’t pick any fights with any of the cats there. Cathi remembered that they handed Moe to Erin and he leaned on her shoulder and gave her a hug. Cathi believes we have a photo of that somewhere on her backup drive. Anyway, I’m about to copy and paste the entry that Cathi found last night. )-

I don’t think this will print itself twice here, but I better check to make sure.

Link —> http://cathi_harris.bravejournal.com/archive/04/25/2004

===== Cathi’s blog entry is below this =====

Sunday, April 25th 2004

12:17 AM

Welcome Tigger!

  • Mood:
  • Music: The Chieftains
  • Weather:

The rain has stopped, but it’s a cool cool wind that blows.  Oh well, it was still a lovely day.  Yesterday was also a lovely day, and with it came the happy arrival of Tigger, the cat formerly known as Morris (for lack of a name), now healthy and happy and anxious to be away from cages.  The trip home was fun; he delighted in sticking one red-haired nose out the holes and talking to me the whole way.

At first he was happy to be segregated in the bedroom, lying in front of the windows watching the world go by.  But it wasn’t long before he made the great escape through my legs to rush out and then, with Domino meowing at him through the vent outside, Jim figured we might as well introduce them.  There was no hissing, no howling, just a sniff of noses and Domino going shrug and turning around and going downstairs.  This looked hopefull.  So a few more breakout attempts by Tigger resulted in one very fast cat finally making a break for it and exploring his surroundings.  He loves the windows, and he Domino had some minor “words” when he went down into Domino’s lair in the basement.  So, back to the bedroom.  This wasn’t Tigger’s idea of fun though, so after an hour or so of “scratch scratch scratch knock knock knock!” out he went again.  Domino was waiting for him, belly up in the hall and when he was let out, Domino led him downstairs.

Last night to give Domino a break, Jim stayed with Domino behind a closed door downstairs, Tigger stayed upstairs with me,  walking across my keyboard, knocking down photos off the piano (he learned that is a loud and clunky thing to do, hasn’t been up there since), played with little guy’s puzzle, played the piano, and spent several happy visits on my lap giving me hugs.  He does give good hugs.

And last night, against his will, back behind closed doors in the bedroom.  He was up on the bed, curled up between my legs (exactly the same way one of my other cats used to ), and then, on the pillow above my head, purring purring purring.  That’s how I fell asleep, to the wonderful sounds of cat purring.  Did you know that the frequency of cat purr is supposed to be very healing?

Anyway, that lasted until about 6:30 with Domino outside meowing, Tigger inside knocking on the door, so okay, out again.  I know, you’re supposed to keep them separate, but these fellows like each other, both are up to date on shots, Tigger is healthy again so I wasn’t too worried.  All day today we have had two cats following each other around the house, wrestling (they are so cute doing that, no teeth, no claws, just literally wrestling), sharing Domino’s futon, admiring the birds together, complete with Domino cleaning Tigger.  Yes, I think we have two buddies – Domino is still dominant (he did try his hissing routine and Tigger didn’t bat an eye at it, so Domino is happy), Tigger is so happy-go-lucky and friendly, he’s just happy hanging out and playing.  All is well with the world, and Domino is also a much happier fellow today  .  He really did miss having another cat around.

Other than that, well, we checked out some garage sales, drove over to Galletta (very neat little town), plan to go back and check out the flea market tomorrow.  Jim has been busy building cat perches with carpet reminants (some given free, some pieces 50 cents from a new store here); was a little too cool to work on the yard like I had planned, but maybe later in the week.

And that’s about it for now!

Cathi

=====

~~~~~ Jim

 

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 –

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 -( 20°C / 68°F & we still have that one small patch of snow here in Atlantic Canada at 3:48 pm )-

Orange cat sleeping with his arm on alert Bengal cat on a sleeping bag inside out on a window seat.

Orange Moe and stripey-spotty Domino enjoying their nice sunny window spot in Arnprior, 2007 -ish.

— My sister had a poster in the late 60’s / early 70’s that had several examples of how child development shapes the future of that child. – If a child lives with criticism he learns to be nasty to others. If a child lives with encouragement he learns self esteem.— & so on.

— If a child lives with pets he or she learns something valuable. I forget what that was.

— I can’t find that version, but this appears to be the original: Maybe there was a picture of a child playing with a happy puppy or something.

=====

     Children Learn What They Live (1969)

     BY DOROTHY LAW NOLTE

      If a child lives with criticism,
      He learns to condemn.
      If a child lives with hostility,
      He learns to fight.
      If a child lives with ridicule,
      He learns to be shy.
      If a child lives with shame,
      He learns to feel guilty.
      If a child lives with tolerance,
      He learns to be patient.
      If a child lives with encouragement,
      He learns confidence.
      If a child lives with praise,
      He learns to appreciate.
      If a child lives with fairness,
      He learns justice.
      If a child lives with security,
      He learns to have faith.
      If a child lives with approval,
      He learns to like himself.
      If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
      He learns to find love in the world.

=====

— But pets certainly teach us something, including unconditional love. And right now, in deep mourning for Domino, because the life that used to be here, isn’t any more, it’s hard to understand or believe that this love and joy is worth the pain of separation. And I know through and through that we don’t just stop being when death occurs.

— Dang-

~~~~~ Jim

 

Monday, May 4th, 2015 – Kent State Day

Monday, May 4th, 2015 -(11°C / 52°F deceptively sunny and bright at 10:45 am in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Cat enjoying cat food in a nice bright window.

Not the last photo we ever took of Domino. I didn’t post this one before because it showed how pudgy he became.

— Twice I got to choose a pet. In sixth grade I rode with my father when he drove a friend of his up to the vet in Trumbull to pick up a pet who’d needed extra care there. I asked my father if we could ask if the vet knew of any dogs up for adoption, he’d had a couple drinks earlier and he said, “Sure-” so I did and the vet just happened to have a fairly large young mongrel, white with brown spots, named ‘Reno’ who came ran me all around the parking lot on the end of a rope tied to his collar and then came home with us. We couldn’t let him run wild through our neighborhood so we tied him outside a couple times a day. He learned that a few short loud barking sessions would get him inside in a hurry. One next door neighbor complained. Dad took Reno back to the vet after we’d had him maybe a little more than a week. — I think I was just about 30, back living with my parents again on the advice of a spiritual Yogi. Working evenings in the post office. My sister Sharon and her first husband, Charlie, had puppies and offered me one. I knew that they wouldn’t live very long if I said, “No thanks-” and I wanted them both, but chose a female and named her “Lucky” My mother complained that she didn’t want to be the one who got stuck taking care of another puppy. I told her I was perfectly capable of taking care of her and didn’t mind at all. Another case of within a week, Mom and Dad jumped in the car to go visit my sister and took the puppy back with them. Brother in law Charlie shot both puppies shortly after that and shocked my mother, who didn’t believe me when I’d said that that could happen. Other than that, any time a pet came into my life it came because somebody else wanted it or somebody had to give it away. An undocked Doberman in New York state, Named ‘Rooster’ had scared a kid off a bicycle when he wanted to play with her and the kid’s parents threatened legal actions. I kept Rooster on property I was trying to buy up there and the neighbors made a big stink, I gave Rooster to a future Vet who believed there were ‘papers’ available. The Vet and another friend of mine contacted the woman I’d gotten Rooster from and learned that, yes, somebody had papers, but they weren’t quite legitimate and would have cost real money and a bit of moral quicksand that a future Vet didn’t want to deal with. The dog was a pure bred Doberman who hadn’t been registered at birth and the person with the papers registering phantom pups and charging people with questionable intent an unreasonable amount of money for those papers. And, my friends didn’t think they wanted to try to trust anybody like that. Other friends in New York had to get rid of a cat. I couldn’t have a cat where I was staying, another friend said he would take the cat and keep him for me until I had a place where I could take him back. Okay, well that cat caught feline leukemia very shortly thereafter and wasted away to almost nothing in a couple weeks. My life in New york fell apart shortly after that and my father asked me to move back home and help him out, so I did.

— One stray cat came and found me. She’d been in a fight and the first time I saw her one eye was a mess. I’d never been a cat person before this. But that cat found me every time I was in the depths of teen aged angst and depression. She got killed in the road while I was either in Vermont or away in the Navy. She was special. Every pet has been special. Trixie used to fall asleep in my lap as a wobbly puppy. It nearly killed me to see her in the dog pound after the same neighbor that complained about Reno complained that Trixie was digging up his back yard. A couple weeks after Trixie disappeared from the dog pound that neighbor came over and screamed at me that if we didn’t get rid of that dog he was going to call the cops on us, he’d seen it the day before digging up his back yard again. If I had the power to kill with my mind that guy would have exploded then and there. Thank God I don’t?

— And, other than that, any time a pet came into my life it was somebody else’s idea and somebody else’s choice.  But every one of them has been magical and special. When his doctor told my father he might be allergic to pet hair mom asked Sharon in Vermont when I was staying up there if she could take him. When we conferred with her husband and he reluctantlay agreed, we called back and said, “Yes!” And we were told it was too late. Flipper was gone. Too many pets were ripped out of my life by selfish adults. When Max the gray cat died last November, that was rough. We had seen him gradually wasting away and then in the last couple days he went quickly. Erin, my step daughter who had fallen in love with Max, especially because he was ‘older’ when they saw him in the cage in the animal shelter display at a pet store, thought that nobody would want him because he was an older cat.  So she gotr him and brought him to Mississauga, then Ottawa, then up to Pembroke when she was going to University up there. Then she transferred to WEstern Ontario University in London, Ontario, and Max stayed with us for a while. Then her future husband turned out to be extremely allergic to cats so Max stayed with us until the end. She came here to see him one last time and he went downhill really fast while she was here, he went that night. That was rough. 

— Maybe every time a pet leaves us is going to be rougher.

Young white deer and young normal deer in the foreground another normal deer in the background, blending in under the tree.

April 21st, 2015 – We’d heard that the white deer, the mother, who had been coming around with her mottled white and brown offspring had been hit by a bus and killed last winter. I think we’ve seen her and we’ve also seen this one, a younger deer, seen through the rain on the window here. Life renews itself. Earth abides. Silly people and their silly ideas fade away but love and joy and everything good about life is still here. Sometimes interrupted by brief periods of grief. There’s at least one more deer beneath the treem to the left of these guys.

— Argh! And thank you for the facebook messages of support and sympathy.

~~~~~ Jim

Easter Monday – Cold Holiday in Canada

Easter Monday, 06 April, 2015.  -( -18°C / 0°F with Sparkly snow and ice in the trees @ 8:00 am )-

Sunlight on Lacework branches

I’ve seen more spectacular visions of sunlight hitting ice and snow on the branches of trees, but Eek! I’m not used to 5 and 10 centimeters / 2 to 4 inches of snow at this time of the year. Global Warming? Climate Change? Or Mother Nature fighting back against a species that threatens all life on Earth? (Us?) But it is pretty.

— We had +56°F / +13°C weather on Good Friday. I watched a documentary on how many fish and how much other ocean life is disappearing from our oceans and remembered Edgar Cayce explaining that the dinosaurs had to go because they threatened all other life on the planet, and when a species or group of species threatens all other life on a planet – it has to go – & that triggers an extinction event. Life insurance ain’t gonna help ya, dud, I mean ‘dude’, or maybe I do mean ‘dud’-

Driveway on Easter Monday.

I haven’t shoveled since the last couple inches of snow fell, on – um – Friday into Saturday? First it didn’t look like it might be a rain event, then it looked like it would not amount to anything ‘worth writing home about’ Then it looked like we might get the 8 inches / 20 cm that had been predicted- Then mid afternoon on Sunday / Easter Sunday we were pelted with maybe ten minutes of what looked like a genunine blizzard which, instead of dumping a foot of snow on us, just kind of yawned and wandered off into the depths of questionable memories, feeling like, ‘hey – did that really happen?’ – Shrug –

— I have an insistant orange cat threatening to tear down the office door if I don’t stop everything and feed him right now. I’ll be back-

Snow, Ice, more snow, a couple objects and more snow.

Not my prettiest photo – This was taken from inside our porch. The interesting shapes on the lower left are chunks of ice we pulled down from the roof on Friday, covered with a little bit of snow. The plastic is still up on the windows and has trapped moisture here and there, or just made spots blurry. But almost all of the should-be-horizontal top bit of the lawn swing is visible out there, showing off its lack of horizontal-ness. I think the bar that the awning has pivoted on is about five feet or more above the ground. There is at least four feet of snow out there covering most of the ground.

— So, the cats have been fed, the dog has been out and back in, he lasted about two minutes before he began complaining that he wanted back in, which did not give me enough time to fill his bowl with ‘dry food’ after making sure he had pleanty of clean wet water. Then the cats had to pace back and forth and remind me that I could be shredded for less of a crime against cat-kind than taking too long to feed the cats and give them their favourite treats.

— Did I tell you that Easter Monday is a Holiday up here? Tell the cats I deserve a day off, see how far we can get with that one.

~~~~~ Jim

Good Friday, April 03, 2015 – Cathi’s Birthday

Good Friday, 03 April, 2015 -( +12°C / +54°F & Sunny & Bright @ 3:30 pm in Atlantic Canada )-

~~~~~~~ Happy Birthday, Cathi ~~~~~~~

Lots of snow, dwarfing Cathi and Jassper.

Jassper taking Cathi for a Happy Birthday walk beside what’s left of the great wall of snow three quarters of the way up our street here. 03 April, 2015.

Jassper & Cathi & loads of snowbanked up high.

Jassper being himself at the turn-around up at the end of our street. 03 April, 2015

Beautifu day. Wide shot of Cathi, Jassper and our street.

Cathi and Jassper, maybe halfway up the street. Jassper thought she’d like to meander from side to side while he strained to smell something – interesting? 03 April, 2015

Scenic Landscape, 03 April, 2015

Cathi’s Photo. She took this shot from the ‘turnaround’ at the top end of our street. 03 April, 2015

Jim & Jassper at the turnaround.

Jassper and me, where we watched Cathi get creative with the camera and Jassper was thinking he should roll around in the snow again.

— It was, and still is, a beautiful day up here in the great white north. 54°F / +12°C on this Good Friday. Cathi thought it would be fun to take Jassper for a nice hoof session up the road and back. Our always over enthusiastic Labrador perrenial puppy ( “puppy-horse”?) bounded all around the kitchen when she reached for the leash and then, of course did everything he could to make it difficult for the two of us together to get that leash with it’s nose piece over his head. Then he tried to scrape it off and/or wiggle out of it when he wasn’t trying to pull our arms out of their sockets all the way up and back. He did make it through 2 years of ‘obedience?’ lessons, but then allowed himself to be spoiled wrotten by a house guest. It did not take long for somebody to wipe most of the ‘good dog’ training away.

— Besides allowing ourselves to be dragged up and down the street with various stops along the way to check out interesting smells and roll around in snow and ice, Cathi and I did spend maybe half an hour chopping the last bits of ice from the porch roof over-hang.

Jassper and Cathi in the turnaround.

Birthday girl and stubborn dog, on a beautiful day while the clouds roll in. 03 April, 2015.

— We now have a possible 20 cm / 8 or 9 inches of snow tomorrow and another possible 10 cm / 4 inches? of snow on Monday. —> Easter Monday is a Holiday up here, and so was today.

~~~~~ Jim

Anniversary in the Great White North?

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 -( -9°C / +16°F – With light ‘Snow-Globe’ snow falling at 11:30 am in Atlantic Canada )-

Not a two headed deer

2 young deer seen through plastic from Cathi’s Zen Corner on March 16th.

— This is Cathi’s and my 13th Anniversary – based on our first face to face meeting. Seems impossible that it was thirteen years ago tonight that I caught a glimpse of her before she unchained the hotel door and decided I didn’t look like a serial killer and let me in. That glimpse filled me with “Holy [snar] – On a scale of 1 through 10 – She’s a 15. And I feel like a 5, and that might be stretching it quite a bit.” After driving from Fairfield County, Connecticut, up through and across New York State, crossing at Niagara Falls and finding the right hotel – close to her home territory – close enough to her home so if she took one look at me and wanted to run away screaming, she didn’t have that far to go – And if felt like it took me a whole lot longer than I expected to drive from 34 miles East of New York City to Buffalo and up to Niagara Falls, cross the border – and get a little bit lost in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – I think I felt more like a “2” on the 1 through 10 scale. But, miraculously, she didn’t see it that way – and that one first hug probably saved my life, in more ways than one. I am definitely a lot happier than I imagined I ever could be. — I have this problem — fifteen or twenty minutes after meeting anybody I pretty much ‘know’ all the ‘reasons’ why a close, loving relationship with this or that person could never possibly work, unless I ignore the pain of dealing with intolerable attacks on my most precious sensibilities and sensitivities – or something like that. And I never saw, heard, of felt a hint of any irreconcilable differences between us. This was, and continues to be – magical.

— Today is also my cousin Debi’s Birthday –

— I was up early this morning, doing computer schnarr in my office here. And, glancing a bit to the left as the world outside’s detail emerged from the dark background that was all our ‘deer-cam’ / security camera could see earlier as it was pointed toward the back of the house and more precisely, the hill where the ‘committee’ of deer show up when they’re starving enough to come near humans who have, suspiciously enough, tossed oats or day old bread their way, and don’t smell like gunpowder… The light dusting of snow we got overnight looked like hallmark card material and I thought I better grab my camera and take some photos while wandering around in a reverie about thirteen years zipping by in a land that is not always this white on white – and holy cow, how can this be?

— At 7:30 this morning it was warmer, more like -1°C / +30°F . And Moe, the orange cat and a half, had been driving me nuts trying to scratch down the barrier that keeps him out of the office where he would be driving me even crazier, trying to scratch away any skin on my legs in his campaign to convince me that my job as a human is to serve the cats, which means I have to drop everything and either feed them until they explode or pet them until they let me know they’ve had enough by turning around and shredding my hand with one incredible quick bat of a paw before they bound away and meet and crack jokes about how they drew blood on those stupid humans they keep around for amusement.

Evergreens coated with snow

Hallmark cards? Currier & Ives? Picturesque?

— Either Currier and Ives or the quality control freaks at Hallmark would ‘photoshop’ the slight imperfections out before signing their names to scenes like the one above. It was barely snowing and warm enough this morning so I didn’t get the ‘unreal’ feeling that sometimes approaches ‘suspended animation’. There are times when I look at these trees and the macrocosm around them and feel like I’m looking at something in a terrarium or a museum display.

Snow wall beside our van.

March 18th, my father’s birthday. I was trying to capture the feel of the snow’s texture. – That and the depth it had blown since I’d shoveled it a few hours earlier.

Snow blown beside the van

Almost the exact same shot. I stared at both of these and compared them to see if either one ‘told the story’ any better than the other. I changed my mind several times.

— Last Sunday – ‘during’ -, and Monday – ‘after’ – Sunday’s ‘Ides of March Blizzard’, I was barely able to stand the cold and the whipping wind and felt something like overwhelmed past the breaking point by the task of digging out the driveway. My fingers felt like they’d been hit by hammers and burned with aggravated ‘pins and needles’ for quite a while every time I came in and tried to warm up. — Wednesday’s snowfall was almost a ‘why bother?’ but when I did wake up enough to jump up and check outside, I saw that the delightful snow plows had left us just enough of a ridge – two and a half feet tall? – at the end of the driveway to make it impossible to get out  of the driveway, and they’d also managed to swing by fast enough to throw a pile of snow more like four feet high where I had valiantly struggled to slice into the six foot high mountain along the driveway so we could actually get in and out –  but for whatever reason, I felt a whole lot better on Wednesday than I did on Monday – more like I had sunshine inside my head and could feel love for the whole universe even while digging down and tossing shovel loads of snow up over my head.  — oh, the snow-blower went on strike last week. It’s either frozen or needs a new widget to fix the gizmos that tell it to move after you put the shifter into either ‘Forward’ or ‘Reverse’ with its various gradations of power or speed or whatever those degrees between neutral and ‘all the way’ mean.

Snow Bank?

Yes, the mountain of snow blown and shoveled from the driveway is higher than the van.

— I took almost 40 photos this morning and some of them are more interesting than others. Of course, that’s subjective. Last night’s storm brought rain to Halifax and the southern extremities of New Brunswick. The local news people are warning people with flat roofs – businesses or whatever – to check and clear their roofs of snow before warming temperatures and rain adds weight to the already incredible amounts of snow on many rooftops up here. Several buildings have collapsed this winter, including at least one barn that was nothing like flat –  and that collapse killed several of one farmer’s best milk cows. This is our second winter in this area and people are telling us that this is unusual – and some of the climate change believers are saying, “Get used to it – even worse might be coming in the near future.” And some conspiracy believers are pointing at HAARP and explaining in scientific terms that what HAARP does is block the usual flow of moisture, creates droughts in California and send the ‘weather’ up and over their blockage and exacerbates the polar vortex nonsense that brings these previously unbelievable dumps of snow here in our little corner of reality.

From the road -

This shot was taken from across the road, and maybe five yards or meters to the east- a different angle, but you can see the other side of the mountain here, and maybe recognize the jeep that began to emerge from beneath the snow piled around and on top of it.

— Here’s where the world begins to look like ‘white on white beside white against white’ and you don’t want a white car or a white house, because you might not be able to find it when the definition of snow-blind takes on a few new shades of – white – meaning. I probably should have ‘enhanced’ the above photo, but I don’t know if that would have only tortured PhotoShop – which is a noble enough endeavor – because when all the values are ‘white’ it’s hard to see what you’re doing – or trying to do.

Cedar tree behind roadside moutainous snow bank.

A few steps farther east from the whiteness and this is our local cedar tree, a variation that seems to be really local. We had a hard time identifying it when we first got here.

— As I’ve been wondering if this entry or ‘post’ has gone over the line into ‘overkill’ I think there were a couple more photos here worth ‘sharing’. The above is one of them. Last winter I think a couple deer were able to get under this tree and maybe chew on a couple of evergreen bits – They’re not exactly needles. This year the deer can’t get anywhere near this tree. At least not in the past couple months.

Security Camera aimed toward the deer's hill.

“Deer Cam” – I like the “Q-See” brand, the colours are really good. Most other security cameras are way off. Maybe the idea there was – you should have to pay some geek from the company an extra hundred bucks to invade your privacy, ‘case’ your home for valuables, & then maybe adjust something esoteric to get the colours closer to reality, and make you feel like an idiot in the process. Oh, the black tape is electrical tape mixed in with duct tape. Helps me feel like a real do it yourselfer.

— I took this photo this morning and thought as I took it and again as I uploaded it from the SD card, that it looks like it could have been taken any time during the year.

Broken wood frame around wood shed.

We built this frame around and above the steel shed as a place to store our firewood. Looks like this year’s snow broke the frame, I think the middle and back pieces of wood are both broken. 🙁

— Yeah, you can see the snow that blew in around the shed and covered the last of our firewood before even more snow broke the frame there. 🙁

Orbs? Snow flakes reflecting flash?

Two out of 42 photos this morning had either bits of snow reflecting the flash that I didn’t notice went off or we got our usual dose of ‘orbs’ These are a bit too golden or yellow to feel like reflected flash to me. I don’t know, what do you think?

— There are a lot of birch trees just to the right out of this shot, I actually did take several shots of those birches, and a couple more shots of evergreens looking picturesque or artsy – Maybe I’ll torture you with those some other time.

Cats in Cathi's 'Zen Corner'.

Cats in Cathi’s ‘Zen Corner’ – which is a bit more crowded this winter than usual, with the plant shelves from our mini greenhouse coming inside this year. Domino on the chair is wondering why Moe is inspecting my shoes so closely. Maybe he thinks a mouse might run out? & Oh, my pants on the chair to the left, got really wet while I was shoveling, and here they are almost fully dry.

—  Domino, the stripey – spotty Bengal rescue on the chair – spent the first year and a half since we moved here hiding out in ‘his’ bedroom. Now we’ve been trying to move his food out so he has to get brave and explore the world beyond his self imposed boundaries? And he’s strutting around and pulling stuff out of cradenzas and acting like he owns the place and if we’re nice, he’ll let us stay here with him. I couldn’t finish this monologue without bringing the cats into it. I might have already mentioned the orange guy, but here he is, staring at my running shoes, and I have no idea what he finds so fascinating about my shoes either, but he likes to try to get between my feet and whatever shoes I’m trying to put on, quite often. One of these days I might tell you that he almost looks like he’s grinning after sniffing my feet when they come out of shoes, the sweatier and stinkier the better. One of these days, I just might figure out cats. Then I probably will need a straight jacket.

— Happy Anniversary, Cathi, Traditionally, I’m supposed to give you something made of lace? The modernists think I should give you ‘textile furs’ instead. Last year’s ‘modern’ gift would have been Pearls – If I had any pearls of wisdom, would that count? So would a ‘textile fur’ be a ‘fake fur’? Um, I’m sorry, but I can’t think of any pearls of wisdom to elucidate that with.

~~~~~ Jim

Question: Does the Ides Of March Blizzard of 2015 eclipse the April Fools Day Blizzard of 2014?

Monday, the 16th of March, 2015  -( -3°C / +27°F @ 12:30 pm. The weather app thinks it’s “Mostly Cloudy” out there, but the sun is blindingly brilliant and I don’t see a cloud in the sky. )-

— We hear the word ‘Blizzard’ a lot lately. And I’m not talking about Dairy Queen’s thick, -mostly air anyway- ice cream concoctions.

— Somebody on the local CBC morning news programme up here noticed that too. So I’m not hallucinating. Or, at least, I’m not hallucinating alone.

— Yesterday’s Blizzard: it kept teasing us. it looked like nothing was happening half the time. So either Cathi or I thought it might be a good time to go out and get a jump on shoveling. Somebody, either on the weather network up here or on CBC this morning, reminded everybody that he or she had warned us that the snow was coming down light and fluffy, but it might not stay that way. The wind whipped the snow around so fiercely, there was nothing on the roof of our van, or in front, the windshield was clear, the grill was clear, the roof was clear and the side windows were clear. But there was a solid packed glut of snow beneath the back half of the van and a streaming bit of sculpted weirdness behind the van that was three feet high at the tail gate, more like two and a half feet high along a ridge and then a little bit higher and then dipping and rising again as it combined with other wind whipped snow flakes to rise to about four feet high and then bend around at four feet high and highter – until it leveled off and filled the canyon we dug to walk our deer saving oats to their feeding spot.

— Yesterday afternoon, Cathi went out and began trying to dig her way to the van, which was about halfway between the door and the street. She thought she’d done a fairly good job and reached her distination. I was ‘gearing up’ – locating and climbing into warm enough clothing to venture out into possible death and maybe worse- found a couple vests, put them on the bed, turned around, looked for a nice warm ‘hoody’ to insert between shirts and vests and turned around to discover that I had ‘Cat Help’ Moe- the Orange ‘cat and a half’ found one of the vests and crawled inside it and I don’t think he would call anything ‘the bee’s knees’ but he seemed to be enjoying the heck out of my vest and I didn’t want to argue with him. He’s got me trained, I guess.

Moe Help

Moe thinks it was awfully thoughtful of me to give him the nice fleece vest with “Alaska” over the heart. And he might be the sweetest cat in this world, but don’t forget about the dew claw he drove through my thumbnail when he did not want to have his prized matts messed with, one pass with the brush and whack- blood everywhere. 🙂 ‘And don’t you forget it!” And, yeah, he’s got the right idea, “So – this is how we should deal with any blizzard those global warming geeks can throw at us…” We can quote him on that.

— Jassper, however, wanted to get up close and personal with the howling wind and stinging snow. And then he was just as frantic at the outside of the door as he had been from the inside, and our black Lab ‘puppy horse’ was almost totally white when I opened the door, and in the time it took to find the camera and aim, much of the white had flown around the living room but there was enough left to make a statement:

Boof

“Oh yeah, there’s all this white stuff flying around out there, and- and- but then it felt cold, ya know? really cold- Why are you looking at me like that?” — Jassper.

Jassper Soul-full

And Yes this black Lab was almost all white when he came charging back into the house and didn’t break any legs sliding around corners, – dog legs or people legs – and after I got his face digitized He had enough white stuff still on his flanks here to show up in the photo. This is his, “See? I’m a good dog, I’m sitting nicely, doesn’t this mean I get a treat? Don’t you love me that much?” ‘Mommy’s sweat pants and slippers in the background. & ‘Mommy’ wearing them.

— I really should post two ‘spy cam’ shots here. One just isn’t enough:

Deer Cam 01

12:53:45 am March 16th, 2015- Zinging snow flakes dancing for the “Deer Cam” — Intriguing, hey?

"Deer Cam 02"

12:55:06 am, March 16th, 2015. Look very carefully at the ‘object’ or ‘anomaly’ between the far right window on the porch and the camera. This is a about one fifth the size of the full sized photo. The full sized photo has some intriguing details. What do you think you see?

Moe at the door, "But- but- that's snow!"

Moe thought he’d like to go outside and help me with the snow at about 4 am this morning. This is as far as he got. He turned around and ran the other way so fast I thought I missed this shot. — This is after we shoveled the porch off twice earlier during the storm. That’s a full sized recycling bin to the left of ‘the cat and a half’.

4 am, before attempting to shovel again.

4 am-ish Monday, 16 March, 2015. The wind had died down enough so there was nothing blowing around at this point. The reflector caught the flash- After I dug out to the street, before the *&^&*%^%$$!!! snow plow came along and left a nice ridge for me to re-shovel – Again, This is after we had shoveled twice and saw mother nature drop a not so subtle hint that our efforts went for “naught” – or maybe the drifts would have been eight feet high instead of four?  The snow beneath the van was packed so tightly I decided to wait until I could see what I was doing before I even thought about trying to start the engine. Flirting with danger just shoveling the snow is bad enough. I was not going to tempt fate by not giving the carbon monoxide its due respect.

— I should probably quit here and continue with another batch of photos in a nice fresh new ‘post’.

~~~~~ Jim