Friday, February 26, 2016


Lately it's been hard to focus. I rambled about no snow and what to my wonderous eyes should appear but 2' of the white shite in one day. I've never experienced such downfall. I left work early and it took me an hour to uncover the car and arrive home. Usually it's 10 minutes. Unbelievable!

A few days later, an ice storm. I would rather have snow than ice. It's tippie toe all the way, even wearing cleats, praying I would make it. The downfall is the wretched neck and shoulder muscles are aching. Days later and they still are, mostly due to the nightly shovelling.

There are goblets half full moments. One is the landscape. When sun shines on the glistening trees it becomes a magical world, one filled with crystals dripping from worn down branches. From the waning full moon reflection through the ole maple to sunrises shimmering along the river oak tops, it tis a wonderous site.

The other moment is listening to the ice chimes that tinkle when the wind blows. Ice encrusted branches swing to and fro creating such a symphony that Stravinsky would be proud of. All that is missing are the bells of horse drawn sleighs through the snow.

we will pay for this”
echoes from my mothers mind
for a mild autumn

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feckin' Formality in the Garden

Two years ago I had the old cement slab patio removed and a flagstone one installed. It had always been a dream to have flagstone on the patio area and then on the paths spreading into the garden. I love a wild garden but with structure. Sounds weird eh, but that's me. I like conformity but there's a wildness about me. Much like English secret gardens bordered by brick walls, sheltering perennial beds flopping hither and thither over their edges.

The pergola posts remained and their bottom brackets showed, miserably. It was not what I wanted, at all ! SoI decided to build post bases to finish their brutal looking bottoms. Boy o boy did i learn about lumber.

A 2 x 4 is NOT actually 2” by 4”, it is 1.5” by 3.5” (if you're lucky). I measured using the ole 2 x 4 STANDARD and came up sorely lacking. Evenings were spent in the basement cutting trim with me dads saw on a 60 year old mitre box relying on the 2 x 4 STANDARD. The bases were nailed and glued in place. HA! I thought, this should be easy to complete. Little did I know I was lied to.

Two trips to the lumber yard for trim and it still wasn't finished. Sitting back I wondered what the feck did I do wrong. I work with numbers all day long so it wasn't like me to make these mistakes. Talking it out with me buddy at work I discovered STANDARDS had changed. O really? So there is no such thing as a 2 x 4? Nope was the response. Feckin' wonderful!

I won't say how many trips up and down the stairs I trudged, or the extra journeys to the lumber yard, or the tubes of No Nails, by the way did you know there is Exterior and Interior? I didn't and used Interior for an exterior job. I shall see how they survive the winter.

In the end I was pleased but I'll know more in spring when joints have breathed or split or cracked. In the meantime I'm pondering a class action suit against lumber associations for lying about their standards. After all when they sell you a 2 x 4 you expect a 2 x 4! I have a feeling I won't get too far with that.

Feck' eh

Friday, February 05, 2016

This winter scares me

This winter is scaring me. The warm temps and lack of snow is wrecking havoc in the garden. I walked it this eve and there are daffy's showing; scillias are up 3-4”; and there are buds on the bare hellebores. There is absolutely snow cover in the garden. I can't remember when this last happened.

Winter bird song is absent as they have found homes in the woods. I haven't heard nor seen Chickadee's, Junco's, Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals or Nuthatches. The bird feeder, usually an all night diner for the feeding frenzies of our fine feathered friends, has become a squirrel suck 'm back eatery. Come on guys! Leave some for the birds! But alas there are no birds.

I drive by the Tay every day and it's free, flowing wild without ice. The level is at a typical April level after snow melt. Today the public docks are near road level. I don't like this. If we do receive snow and I'm saying SNOW, 2-3' in the next month or two, what will the level be come spring. Two years ago it flooded the park between me home and the river and that was a once in my lifetime experience.

The one highlight of the walk about was spying maple sap leaking out of a broken branch. It shone in the sun, frozen in time. O how I wanted to snap off a bit and savour the sugar but being of hobbit height I couldn't reach. Perhaps I'll find a ladder in the morrow.

natures sweet syrup
oozes from a broken branch,
squirrels lick their lips