Turkey Soup

RCE_1698Willow surveys the sticks on shore, carefully picking one to fetch. 

It is a long standing tradition of rotating hosting Christmas dinner among our family. This year it was Lisa’s brother Brent’s family’s turn. There was plenty of great food and wine and lots of good conversation and laughs.

RCE_1679Grey December beside the Columbia.

Brent generously gives me the turkey carcass as he knows I like to make broth from the bones. He always leaves some meat on the bones so I can add it to the soup the next day. Even at this late hour the soup is boiling. I will wait as long as I can before straining the broth. It will be put outside to cool.

Tomorrow I will sauté onions, carrots and onions, add the broth, the left over turkey and a handful of barley. That’s it, supper taken care of.  The kids always loved that soup. Sometimes they would argue over whether I should add barley or pasta noodles. Barley usually won out.

RCE_1689An American Dipper holds down the ice beside the river.

My Mom and Dad used to make the same soup, from turkeys, but also wild chickens we shot. They called it mulligan. It was thick and gamey. They said it was soup that stuck to your ribs. I used to wonder what that saying meant. I thought, maybe the barley acted as glue and stuck to your insides. Later, when I understood a person could go hungry, I realized it could keep hunger away longer than many other foods, some much more expensive.

We are lucky to have so much.

RCE_1660My old path to the fish holes.

good christ

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was calling on you tonight
between the whiskey
and telling tales
shouting
beyond the skunk
dead on the road
the starving coyote
getting in garbage.

she looked me
in the eyes
said
fuck god
what s he
a fuckin’
humorist.

good question
but not an easy one
to answer
so i said
maybe he s just
a cruel
motherfucker.

would have been
in my interest
to stick to the story
but i laughed
for a second there
thought i might be saved
then she said no
he s a joker.

neither one of us
were on his side
so we could
both be
trusted.

my old man
before he died
said never quit using it
and don’t trust a man
with god on his side.

on occasion i’ve
slipped up
on both ends of
the advice
and have lived
to regret it.

she had some weed
which was bound
to make her horny
and me
incompetent.

after doing my best
we headed for the tavern
low and behold
there he was,
christ
dirty hand
wrapped
around a beer.

drunk
one elbow
on the bar
eyes fixed on
a young
waitresses
ass.

we looked at
each other
dumbfounded.

it was time
to settle
all bets
we drew
straws.

she asked
was he a
humourist
he made
her laugh
then they
were off
for the back seat
of whatever
christ drives
maybe a
ranchero.

me
i
still
figure
he’s a
cruel
mother
fucker.

Fall

maddy

It was my little girls birthday today. It is hard to believe she is grown up. I remember her having a hard time breathing after she was born. And later how stubborn she was. She could dig her heals in.

In all this time past she has grown into a beautiful, confident young women, while I’ve stayed the same, still worrying about my children, while they console me, never growing a year older or wiser. That’s time for you.

It’s been steady rain for most of the day. Willow and I walked off the mountain in it. It’s warm not close to snow yet. More summer than winter.

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postcard

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We always saved something for cold harvest. We chipped carrots out of frozen ground. Chewed on seeds come winter. He thought the dill ones could hide whiskey breath from his mother. This on account the birds wouldn’t eat them. He tried to explain it one day, I didn’t get it. He was wrong; about dill masking the smell of whiskey though. We saw his mother chase him out of the house after he’d eaten a bushel of them. He was mostly wrong most of the time. But sometimes he could be dead on. Thats why we liked him, I guess.

mid august

RCE_0886sm
Dean

The turn is underway from summer to fall.  The moon grows, still red, sitting close to mars. It’s been a bloodbath up there this season.

It’s hard to figure what effects us more, the news or stars above. I’ve been taught not to believe what I hear. Would those red stars inspire me in a different day? Does the good news quiet our basest instincts, make us insignificant to each other and the environment?

The mornings are cool finally. That I know and can report with confidence.

it’s story time again

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he blurted it out.

we were talking
about mines
fishing or
forest fires
shit i can’t
remember
exactly
and then
he pipes up
out of nowhere.

celery
makes you
shoot
a bigger
load.

he s about
twenty five
the youngest
in the crew
coming
off a
bad break up
with
a seventeen
year old.

celery
i said
yup he says
it’s what the
porn stars use.

fishing
mining and
stripping logs
were
forgotten.

ole’ denny
weighed in
can it increase
your distance
he was laughing
bits of
sandwich
taking
flight
of his lips.

doctor says my
prostate is
smooth and about
the right
size for
a man my age
but when i wank
it s like stepping
on the end of a
toothpaste tube.

the youngster
was digging in
his lunch kit
for an energy bar.

don’t know about that
he said
just know
eat a bunch of
celery
the night before.

ole’ denny
had sausage
gouda on
buttered bread
and a tin of
beans.

me
a turkey leg
some dressing
and coffee.

next day
ole’ denny was
using a
celery stick
for a spoon
in his beans.

he said
it s not
something
that comes
natural
you have to
work
up to it.

late July wedding

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Smokey skies but nothing like last year at this time. There s a few fires burning close by. The garden is bone dry and I’m up late trying to get some water on it with a hose and antique cast sprinkler. It is low and does a good job.

Lisa and I photographed a wedding today. It has been awhile since we have done one. We used to do a lot. We were very good at it. We both like doing them. Some photographers dislike doing them, thinking they should be shooting for National Geographic instead. I always felt we were documenting the start of the Bride and Grooms family history. Someday the pictures would be looked at by their grandkids. We wanted them to see the day as it was. The love, the awkwardness at times, the heat or cold and their friends and family. We also wanted to show their connection to the land and each other.

Like I said it’s been awhile but it was like riding a bike. Lisa didn’t miss a shot during the ceremony and moved things along during the portraits making sure the kids and elderly were done first so they could seek shade.

It all came back in a hurry. The beautiful couple with their two small kids was dearly in love. We were honoured to document and share their day. The endeared themselves to Lisa and I when they confessed their rings cost $13 each on Etsy.

Talking about being in love. Hunter and Bree are out from Calgary. I cooked a few steaks on the BBQ with fresh potatoes, carrots and squash from the garden. It was a feast. It is good to have them out.

The valley is busy. Plenty of traffic. Crazy drivers. All in a hurry to have fun. Ambulances going out all day and medic helicopters coming in to take the wounded back to Calgary.

I am getting used to it as I get older. There was a time everything about the crowds burned my ass. Now I’m glad they stay shopping in the valley bottom. There is still plenty of room on the backroads.

The moon is bright same as mars. Very fine day.