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We were talking on the phone tonight, as is usual for us. The conversations help me to feel not quite so alone. He tells me what he has seen that I find interesting – mostly critter stories.

Suddenly he began saying ‘what? What did you say? Where are you? The phone sounds hollow. Have you got it on speaker?’. I laughed out loud. Who ever heard of a speaker phone as a cell phone? I was still laughing as I explained to him that if I had a speaker phone thingey, he was going to have to school me. Again. I tend to forget things quickly and often.

I wandered into the living room, listening to him struggling to hear me. I found it rather amusing. The difficulty is usually the other way around. I was doing the usual thing, holding the phone to my ear. I asked him to wait a minute, laying the phone down for a second – and I stopped right there!

It was easy to see what the difficulty had been. I was holding the phone upside down! I didn’t find it nearly as funny as he seemed to find it. I think he is still laughing. No wonder. I will try to check that little detail next time we speak. sigh.

Small towns can bring surprises. I sometimes forget that. We were discussing the process of making Kosher Dills, me with great animation because I love the sharp bite of them. I failed to notice the other person drawing back, being very serious.

I finally stopped talking, and the other person said slowly. ‘I don’t know. Don’t Jews eat them?’

To see me without words is a rare event. It happened right then. There were many things I wanted to say, so many things. Those cold eyes left me silent and frustrated. I was surprised at my reaction. I always thought of myself as someone with a quick answer, but not that day.

I want to make it clear here. Kosher Pickles are made by a process. That’s it. Wish I had thought to say THAT when I had to opportunity.

Dag nab it! This morning, our little Diamond Back Dove (named Truly in honour of her lovely song) slipped away in my hands. I don’t know what happened to cause illness – she seemed to have a little trouble flying up to her perches yesterday. She wasn’t singing. This morning she waited til I went over to say hello and goodbye to her. Our male Ring Neck Dove, Lovey, is constantly looking into the cage. I suppose I had better remove her from her cage so Lovey will be more composed. They talked often.

Looking out on a froggy snowy morning. I had better check to see how the highways are through the mountains. Haven’t heard from Fuji yet. I am sure he is fine, but when I want comfort, he is the love I reach for. How fortunate am I to have a love like that? I miss him.

Today is work. I have better get moving here. Even my coffee tastes a little flat. Nothing wrong with the coffee. It is me and my taste buds that are a little off.

Haven’t found a positive word to say. I will return when I have something else to contribute to the day or days. Can never tell.

Travel the Rainbow Bridge, little bird. You will be flying free. Be happy.

Truly the Diamond Back Dove

Mammograms have changed since my last one. I must say I like the new ones a lot better. There is a neat trailer travelling the back roads of Alberta giving the life saving tests – a lot less pain, a lot less squishing. Yay! So that is done, results at 7. Actually, 14 days through my dr. No problem. I am sure that won’t be my difficulty this year.

Picked up my cat cage at the vet’s today. Everyone greeted me with smiles and the good news that Sunny Boi has settled into his new home very well. He is very affectionate, as I mentioned, and he is making friends left and right. That makes me happy because it sounds as though he is happy. He is addicted to being petted and kind voices, so all should be well. They commented on how LONG he has become since they saw him six months ago. He was a tiny feline and now is the same length as Ewok.

Speaking of Ewok, her back is healing well. I am a little undecided as to when the meds should stop. Maybe I will call tomorrow to ask some advice.

I am tired so have totally forgotten why I started this blog. There is a topic hovering just out of mental reach so will close with a good night blessing to all and will write again soon.

Quiet October Day

So much has been happening here, I feel a little whirled. John and I have been to Yellowstone Park and area for a week of photography and experiencing a new place in fall. It was so much fun! We are home now. Ewok (little dog) was in for a quick surgery on a sebaceous cyst on her back. Yikes! It was ugly but is healing quickly. Her buddy ISunny Boi) had decided this home didn’t work on a permanent basis. Maybe it was the rest of the family who made the decision. The constant fighting with the other house cat (ShaSha), messing and bird hunting (the ones in the living room cages) was more than we could handle. I had put a harness on our feral darling, taking him outside for a drag a few times a day. His origin as an outside cat had come back with a vengeance and the door was a blockage that frustrated Sunny intensely. These small walks seemed to worsen the situation.

We had been asking around for a farm home for this loving feline. I came close once, but lost out when I was asked ‘he IS intact, right?’ They wanted more breeding done to keep their number of cats high. That didn’t speak to me of health and safety. I was fortunate to find a good home on a farm with heated barns. It was a very hard decision but I am sure he will be happier there than here. All the rules and constrictions here made him unhappy, not to mention the rest of the family. Maybe sometimes it is better not to rescue. Problem is – a person can never be sure til the deed is done. I only hope Kitty understands the new move is not abandonment but is done out of love and home for his best and happiest future.

Today is very quiet. Ewok is recovering from her small surgery. Kitty is living at his new home. Sure hope he is happy there. It snowed today. Hope John is going to enjoy his underwater photography to the skies. I would love to be a functioning fly on his camera so I could see everything. I am spoiled now – staying home feels like being ‘left behind’. And can you imagine taking pics of salmon underwater as they fight their way to finish out their lives? Glorious! Snow or no snow, it has to be a wonderful experience.

I am happy, have no shortage of activities to keep me busy. Above all, I am happy. Life is good, no matter the challenges.

Talk to you soon.

Just finished going over my pics with the Fuji. He is actually teaching me how to capture what I see! It has taken years but I believe I will improve until I am finished on this earth. I truly have the bug – the desire to capture everything I experience for future reflection. How great is that? I ask myself that question as I cruise the back roads, watching for possible shots as I try to steer ON the road and not in the ditches, attractive though they might be. I like the search, the way my breath catches when I spot a possible capture. It catches even more if I get stopped in time to take the picture. I sure do like the search.

Tonight I interacted with two does, in canola fields about 15 miles from each other. I found out that I am glued to wildlife subjects no matter what else is going on. I found out that I am totally unaware of objects crossing my subject, like wires, car mirrors and such like. As I perused one set of one doe during editing, I saw the background for the first time. Too bad I hadn’t noticed it originally – I could have done something with those shapes. I drive too fast when I am on the hunt, and pass things I wanted to work with – about three miles back. It is too much trouble to find a place to turn around, drive back, find another place to turn around only to discover that the fading light has disappeared and, with it, the shot I wanted. Time waster. So I refuse to turn around but it hurts, dang it, it hurts to have missed what I saw the first time in the original light. sigh. Did I mention I love the hunt?

I love that I can hold a subject with my voice, soothing it into stillness until I capture the sweet face, the wonderful eyes that show the soul of the creature. It is like a magnificent dance; how close can I get to capture the best of the scene I love or the lovely critter who trembles with curiosity without damaging the rhythm or losing the shot entirely? I constantly remind myself ‘breath in, hold it, take the shot’. I made up the procedure myself, and it may not be correct. It is an experiment to see if I can control my shaking camera while I remain intently focused on my stance and ability, such as it is. This is the most fun I can remember having in a very long time. I am very happy to be learning now and not when all pictures were shot on film. Seriously.

So the lovely deer and the red sun as it set are gone now. Darkness has fallen and peace reigns in this house. Fuji is home, LD is down in his office with him (she doesn’t leave his side when he is home) and I have managed to chase the cats off the back of my chair. Hair tends to stick to a person when it is hot. Should cool down now, though. It’s all good. Great sigh of contentment. There is a music festival in town all weekend – the temperatures seem destined to allow me out to investigate some of my faves. There is some Blues this year!! Or is that, there ARE some Blues this year? Whichever way that goes, it is going to be a good time. There may be some rain. I have umbrellas. Also it will be interesting to see how I do with people in the lens, don’t you think?

Talk to you soon.

Just coming out of a rough patch. I mixed up my meds and then worked out in the hot sun – the results go on for a while. I am missing my neighbour Ede who is in hospital for hip surgery. All the best to her – can’t wait to chat with her over coffee. I love her lots and lots. Wish I could tell her so.

I am in my office with my little dog asleep at my feet. Cats are cat-napping. We have a large harmless spider in the garage – I am not nearly so eager to go visit the birds and cat there as I have been in the past. The web is head high, and I really work at remembering where it is. I have no desire to walk into the web – spider on my head? No way!  I think this is one of our lovely large Wolf Spiders – they have a picture on the abdomen but don’t do harm. Except to flies. That is one of my favorite things about them. Wherever they are, flies are not!

My Fuji will be home tonight, and that makes this a day of anticipation and small successes. Our temp today is nearing 25 so far, but there is a lovely breeze which makes the house cool, cool, How comfortable it is! I am going out in the sunshine for a few minutes with the LD (Little Dog) and then I PROMISE I am going to do the dishes. Really!!

Much love to all, hope to see you soon,


Little Orange Cat It occurs to me it has been a long time since I mentioned the little orange cat we adopted in the rigors of deep freeze. You may remember it took shelter beneath our porch when the noisy machines were making piles of snow in the midst of our streets. The poor thing was terror stricken and wouldn’t respond to the most gentle of calls. It didn’t investigate smells of food or water. On the third day, it began to venture out for the quickest of snacks and drinks. At first, it was quick to pounce with all claws and away to hide once more. After that, it began to bite. It is laughable now, but we were patient with the little thing. I was sure, for some reason, it was a girl creature, and we named ‘her’ Sunshine. ‘She’ moved in one day when I was waiting for Ewok, the little dog, to come into the house. I do make an excellent door person. You can ask anyone. We made an appt with the vet for the necessary operation. It was when I took the kitty into the vets ofc, and was joking how we weren’t sure of the sex and that had to be a first for me. The vet swooped down, lifted the kitten up and pronounced it a male. Ok, so it was a less expensive operation but it hurt my pride a little. So the name became Sunny Boy. He did not endear himself to the staff at the vet clinic. Soon after he was left alone there, he escaped and the surgery had to be postponed for at least a day because no one could catch him. I wish they had phoned me. He never resisted the sound of my voice calling ‘kitty kitty kitty’. Even now whenever he is in mischief, when he is laying on his back staring into my eyes, the sound of ‘kitty kitty kitty’ draws him out. He is always welcomed with pets while he is carried away from the scene of his mischief. He is a real character and has the loudest purr this side of the Rockies. I haven’t actually tested that last statement, but believe it nonetheless. What most impresses me with this little cat is how he comes to stretch his front paws up and up and up until he can caress my face and beg to be lifted. When big thunder booms come and he is afraid, he runs to one of us to reach up to be rescued. I had not thought that male cats were so loveable. It is a pleasure to see that I was mistaken in more than his name. So that is my update on Little Boy Cat. We have been spending much time taking photographs – he with great skill, me with a real desire to learn the art. I will be back again soon.

Just starting to get my feet under me. A couple of weeks off, taking pills for pneumonia and a week resting up in B.C. makes a person feel better in spades. There is a lot missing in memory, but I know I had a really good time. I am learning how to take pictures – there is much to learn. It is wonderful to have another way to express creativity and getting close to the wildlife is pure joy to me. Fuji gave me one of his cameras and I should know what it is called. I will study up on that later. We spent three or four days in Canmore. We were on the ground floor at a lovely motel with a small kitchen and I could take Ewok for needed walks when necessary. We saw a whole bunch of baby rabbits out for a stroll on newly green grass. They were lovely and evidently came from tame rabbit stock. Some of the residents were not happy with the excessive numbers of rabbits but for a tourist, it was just plain glorious. Ewok was on leash, so she wasn’t even tempted to play ‘chase’. I don’t think the baby rabbits knew we were there. Obviously green grass has fascinating attributes that escaped my attention. We went for a drive up over a mountain and the road was narrow with snow and ice that gave me chills in more ways than one. yikes! There was no problem and we came back ‘home’ with no problem whatsoever. Fuji was driving – good thing! Fuji spent a lot of time taking pictures which made him very happy. I spent an inordinate amount of time resting which would have made the dr very happy. We took pics together some evenings and met some great critters. One elk stays in my mind. She has a collar and has been around for many years, I heard. She made me laugh so hard. She grazed along, minding her own business, until one of us raised a camera – at which point she raised her graceful head and ‘posed’ for us. Picture taken, she went back to grazing until a camera was raised again when she repeated the performance. I laughed loud and long at her antics. We named her ‘Deva’ because she was such a practiced performer. We stayed later at a lovely private property finding ourselves all alone because they were not yet open for the season. We had an indoor fireplace and I loved it to bits. We enjoyed the kitchen so we could cook as much or as little as we desired. Lovely to stroll the trails, looking down on the lake below and searching for the falls that we could hear in the distance. Great fun. The thought of having such extensive trails with such lovely scenes in the distance is almost more than a person can take in. Loved it. I am afraid we used up a great portion of the wood and kindling. When we go back, I want to do some wood chopping of my own. I miss that a lot. Haven’t seen a decent axe in a long while. I think it was here that we took a day off to just catch up to ourselves. We spent a great day in Jasper staying at yet another gracious motel which provided attractive rooms and which accepted pets. Of course, we didn’t leave Ewok alone in the room. She slept in the truck where she seemed to feel secure. Windows open a tetch, treats at hand, blanket in case she wanted it – and we could steal a half hour for shopping or grabbing a bite in a restaurant called ‘The Dead Dog’. Honestly I think that was the name but we can check with Fuji later. Nice folks there. Never met an un-nice person anywhere in that part of the country. Being sure I am missing a lot, which I intend to talk about later if and when I remember it, eventually we got to Edmonton. The drive had been warm and sunny, though highways were closed all around us. We seemed to meander between the storms and that worked for me. Don’t know as a person could meander through the one roaring outside us right now. Hope we don’t have any more broken trees. I might get more practice chopping wood than I care to consider. Sheesh! There are two big elm branches on the front lawn which I hadn’t had time to attend to. I could live with no more than that. We are grateful there are no leaves yet, which would make the brittle branches more likely to break and fall. We got together with my brother Dave and Paula for dinner, going back to their lovely home to have an after dinner treat later. I remember much laughter and conversation. I enjoyed it to bits. That type of socializing is very rare in my life. I could get used to it. We drove home to get settled the next day with no problems. There seemed to be much less opportunity for photography but perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention. Resting and back to work tomorrow. I am sure it will be a very good day. Talk to you again soon.

I have ‘adopted’ friends who work with fur critters  on many levels. Some are just waiting to find permanent homes, while wild ones wish to remain wild. I love them all and have interacted with many on both levels. Because we live in town, we care for less than we might wish. We used to do more work at a nearby rehab center for injured wild life. As might be expected, most injuries are caused by interaction with people or their toys. The joyous heights were always the days of release, when the now healed friend was returned to their previous home or as close as we could come to it.

I have a friend a few provinces away who works with a group which rescues dogs who have been mistreated. It is a wonderful work they all do, collecting the animals, finding foster or forever homes for them to become the happy canines they have always longed to be. I admire that work immensely. It requires great skill, both on computer with communication abilities and in person with the injured ones and the people who are trying to help the injured. Yay for people who care!

The center which rehabs the wild injured ones is a great place to volunteer. I have had great adventures there, experience which I would never have had if I had not ventured to try some things I couldn’t imagine doing. Thanks for trusting my ability and love for the critters, all. Perhaps this summer I will be well enough to go back for more experience. I would love that a lot. I used to do relay with the wild ones to get them to the hospital on time.

There are many people involved in the care and aid for four leggeds just because they care for them. Perhaps I will write further of these people in future. Some work with relay and rescue, some feed the wild ones and some love from afar. We all seem to have purpose in interacting with (as a friend calls them) the fur kids. We share the land together. From the squirrels who come for their daily share of peanuts to the little birds who come for food when the winds blow, this is a world for all of us. It makes me happy.

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