selfie shtick

IMG_1483Selfie on a post-it note of me sucking on a sore tooth.

The kids are sticking to their routine. They awake and are in bed on time.

***

The city keeps chugging along. I don’t believe I could ever get used to it.

***

I saw a semi hauling a large piece of equipment stuck on a corner. Traffic backed up a mile. It had several pilot vehicles as it weaved the city streets. The equipment probably being transferred to the ring road construction. It looked to me like he was screwed. However, when I returned the same way about a half hour later it was free and on the side of the road. All the men were out of their vehicles looking at the scraped light standard on one side of the road and the demolished tree on the other. What to do?

***

My daughter bought us a Starbucks gift card so we could get coffee. I enjoy the Americano. Today we had one at the bookstore. I bought a New York Times and a copy of Ron Rash’s novel The Risen. It was a hardcover edition regular $33 for $5 on the discount table. It is a good story and quick read as I am almost finished it.

I can certainly see why there is a constant stream of Calgarians into our neck of the woods each weekend. I have noticed at the bookstore and malls that people are not so much there to shop as to hang out.

***

We ran into another set of grandparents at the park the other day. Their grandson was a little older than Cooper, but seemed hesitant. Before long he was tagging after Copper to the highest parts of the play structure.

The grandfather stood in front of me often blocking my valuable sight of my grandkids playing. He wanted to know where I was from. I told him BC. Where he asked. Invermere I said. He laughed, that’s not BC he said that’s just a small part of Alberta. I’d heard this all before.

He went on to tell me ‘we’ fuel your economy. Then he said, Alberta funds the entire Canadian economy and what do they get in return, if it wasn’t for us, yada fucking yada, repeat.

He also went on about kids today. Millennials living in their parents basement, which his son was one. I hoped his grandson didn’t hear his grandfather’s estimation of his father.

He told me about their big house, their vacation house and ‘toys’; 4×4’s, sleds. motorhome etc. Albertans work hard and play hard, he summed up.

I have ran into this type over and over. You can’t avoid them where we live. To have come across this one in his home environment was just bad luck. It always amazes me how such boring, deficient, dimwits have accumulated so much wealth.

***

The forecast calls for snow that will surely green thing up once it melts.

wilderness

DSC_4543Redwing Blackbird.

Lisa and I are in Calgary taking care of our beautiful grandkids while their Mom and Dad are at a wedding in Mexico.

They are such good kids. We have tried to keep them busy and on schedule to keep them from missing their parents to a minimum. So far we have been successful, but it’s only day 3 of 8. The birdhouse project I planned and expected to take all week was completed in a morning. This had a lot to do with Grandma Lisa who believes once you start a project you finish it. The kids had fun putting roofs on the hollow logs, drilling holes and using screws and nails to complete the project. Of course they got to use all the tools, including the power tools (with assistance) themselves. The houses look great and they are very proud of them.

Each morning before the kids awake I take Willow and Gemma for a walk at Fish Creek Park. It runs for miles in the creek bottom. Mostly large poplar and cottonwood trees and plenty of birds. The entrance to the part of the park we normally access is closed, so we go to another entrance further west.

The path goes down a hill to wetlands with cattails and a few ponds. Signs say the pond is storm runoff and to use caution as the pond will rise quickly during wet weather.

The Redwing Blackbirds chirp and protect their nests, the females in the rushes below. They will hunker and show off their colourful shoulders to the dogs if they feel we are getting too close. Yet they are much less afraid then their rural counterparts. They have become used to humans walking by.

DSC_4542Singing!

This evening, once the kids were in bed I went back to see if I could get some photos. Not having brought my camera I took my daughters oldest Nikon. I had planned it during the afternoon, charging the battery and found a memory card.

The first thing I noticed was the paths were much more busy in the evening. Unlike the morning, when the few people I met responded favourably to my, ‘good morning’. Almost nobody responded to my, ‘good evening’. They looked to the edge of the path.  The ones who did respond looked confused.

Perhaps they had reason. I was wearing an old plaid lumber jacket and had a scruffy Willow dog on a leash (I left Gemma home as she pulls too much for taking photos).

I had about 10 minutes of light, the birds hunkered saving their energy, their shrill song only used sparingly.

I closed my ears to the sound of the city, the hiss of the cars on the roads and the voices, everywhere, all wanting to be heard. The Blackbirds amazed me by their resilience. Would they loose their nests during the next storm when the rainwater was all funnelled through underground corridors to their pond?  I wondered if this part of strong wilderness could sustain Willow and I, both of us on a leash?

Tomorrow morning my Grandchildren will greet me with sleepy eyes, tangled hair and big smiles.

mid April

CRW_0011

Lisa and I had breakfast in the mountains this morning. There was an inch of fresh wet snow that squeaked underfoot. Willow ran rampant. Every track was the first of the day.

We heard the drumming of a Piliated Woodpecker. He was kind enough to pose for a photo and even followed us along on our walk. Willow tried to put the run on him without success. Why would he be bothered by a small, seemingly clumsy fur ball stuck on the ground?

CRW_0008

Once the sun started to burn off the cloud the Pine Siskins and Chickadees started singing, jumping from branch to branch faster than my camera could follow.

CRW_00155

The Ospreys are back. It is amazing how quickly they appear after the ice is off Lake Windermere. They are busy on their nests. Platforms are built on poles around the lake so the hawks won’t build nests on power poles. Many years ago, before the platforms, there were plenty of power outages and fried birds.

CRW_0024

I raked the lawn yesterday and it has almost instantly started to green up. The rhubarb is starting to poke through. Soon we will be cursing the heat. But for now the sun feels good on our faces. Very fine day.

 

 

 

neighbour

IMG_1386The Freak Brothers.

Was with the good neighbour last night. He is always interesting. After a couple beer he brought out some adult comix and one magazine, vintage, from the seventies and early eighties. He never ceases to amaze. I’ve known him and we have lived beside each other going on thirty years and this is the first I’ve seen of this. 

One time he hid a Prime Minister Brian Mulroney piggy bank in my garden. Its was released in 1990 when Mulroney implemented the hated Goods and Services Tax. It had the Prime Ministers face on a pigs body. You put the money in his smiling mouth. It was touted as the Great Looney Collector. Collectors of such memorabilia pay upwards of $200 for it. To his supreme disapproval I gave it back to him. I told him it was too valuable to be in the garden. He told me I didn’t appreciate the meaning of a gift.

He also gave me a book of Pierre Elliott Trudeau stamps from 2000, commemorating the Prime Ministers life. These I accepted with much gratitude. It has the Prime Minister posing with a red rose. 

The comix and magazine took the cake. I was instantly 10 years old downstairs in my brothers bedroom. My brother was 8 years older than me. He had the best records, comix and magazines. 

Sometimes I would pretend I was sick so I could have the house to myself and listen to Rod Stewart, Dr. Hook and The Stones while thumbing through those early Penthouse magazines. I swear I learned to read by reading Penthouse Forum. Cunninglingus can be a real tongue twister, let alone trying to spell.

I think the good neighbour could gauge may appreciation. He said, if he goes first he will leave them to me. I was hoping he would leave them in my garden.

Glimmer

IMG_1383

The world will chisel you down to nothing if you let it. First you think it’s making a masterpiece. Then you can see some mistakes, powerless, with the thought it knows what it’s doing, some people call it destiny, it goes on.

Before long all the chips are on the ground.

Ground down, under the wheel.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as there is a glimmer.

***

I saw two Trumpeter Swans fly over today. Giants of the sky. They stay off because they are vulnerable on land and water. My father tried killing one once. Thinking how much meat there must be on the bone. All he got was a whipping for being home late.

****

I guy told me today,

‘That’s the vehicle for you.’

It had just gone by.

Driven by a guy with a long manicured greying beard. A hot disinterested young women riding shotgun.

‘It’s a Mercedes, it goes 160,’ he said.

It was an SUV and looked like a breadbox.

‘Miles an hour’, I said.

‘It costs $160,000.’ he said like he was talking to a dummy.

She went in to inquire about timeshare, we watched her every step. 

The guy with the long manicured beard asked the salesman where he could smoke and went to the designated area.

And that’s where he lost our respect.

***

There is a few bashes we take along the way. Better than not taking any at all.

Early

_LME247smWoke up to the sound of Willow throwing-up the stick she ate the day before. She does that sometimes. It was 2:30am. I put her out and cleaned up the mess. I tried to go back to sleep with no success. Since it was clear, we (Willow and I) decided to go for a walk and look at stars. Willow was happy, it took me awhile to get into it. We opted to stay in the valley bottom. The ice is almost entirely off the lake. The Milky Way stretched the length of the lake and was visible regardless of the artificial light. By 7am it was off to work. The days only guarantee would be an early bedtime.

between seasons

CRW_00144smWhich way to go?

This is spring. Lisa and I had snow during breakfast in the mountains this morning. We huddled while Willow hunted. The thawing winter smells must be wonderful for her. The clouds shine every shade of grey. Birds sing from thick once and awhile they let us see them. Every now and again the sun shines through, warming us up. Still it was chilly enough to put a small fire on to warm the house.

CRW_0014Western Meadowlark letting it’s voice be heard.