wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Precipitation

Remember the song, “Anticipation” sung by Carly Simon? Well, I couldn’t get the lyrics out of my head with all this rain and flooding. Maybe my brain got waterlogged. But the words came out all twisted:

We can never know how much rain will come
But we put up with it anyway, yay
And I wonder if I really got soaked right now
Or if I’m still wet from the other day

Precipitation, precipitation
Is makin’ me wade
Is keepin’ me wadin’

And I tell you how easily it fills a swimming pool
And how wet your arms feel around me
But I, I cursed that rain ’til late last night
When I was thinkin’ about how dry tonight could be

Precipitation, precipitation
Is makin’ me wade
Is keepin’ me wadin’

And tomorrow we might have stormy weather
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and check the weather forecast now
And stay inside ’cause this is a drier place

(This is a drier place)
And stay right here ’cause this is a drier place
(This is a drier place)
(This is a drier place)
(This is a drier place)
(This is … a drier place)

My sincerest apologies to Carly. I always liked that song (Anticipation). Luckily, the precipitation turned into snow up in the hills and it’s not too bad.

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Later in the evening, the sun came out and shone on the clouds that would bring the next dump of rain/snow on us

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At least we had a break in the weather for a few hours. Now we wait for the next precipitation with anticipation.


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Being Thankful

Susie Lindau has invited fellow bloggers to a hashtag party called the #Blessed Project.

Click on this link to join Susie at her party! https://susielindau.com/2016/11/22/join-the-blessed-project-and-link-up-your-blog/.

My contribution to this blog party is probably much like many other people’s, but it never hurts to say it out loud how thankful we are for our blessings.

I am thankful for:

  1. my husband and our relatively good health. Without it, all the money in the world is worthless.

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2. my wonderful family – both on my side and the Captain’s.

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3. my dogs, Emma and Ruby, who are as much a part of the family as the people are.

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4. readers of my novels. I love writing and it’s great to be able to share my stories.

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5. having enough food to eat and clean water to drink.

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6. The list could go on for miles. Besides the usual family, health, and food and shelter blessings, I am lucky to live near the ocean and yet travel to inland places I love.

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7. I am lucky to be able to see wildlife close to home, especially birds, raccoons, and squirrels. Bears, not so much, although it’s a thrill to see them occasionally.

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8. I feel blessed to have good personal friends and blogging friends.

9. I love living in Canada and visiting the United States.

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10. I should round it off at ten things, but there is too much competition for which blessing should be the last one I’ll mention.

Thank you, Susie, for this great idea. It makes us think of positive things at a time when most of us are getting stressed over the pressures of the upcoming holiday season. It should be a holiday, but someone has to make those cookies, cook those meals, buy those gifts, decorate the house, etc. So when the crush of “have to’s” is getting us down, let’s remember how truly blessed we are.


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Wild and Wonderful

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Wild and wonderful and free

Is how the ocean looks to me.

Foam that flies across the road,

Wind and waves that toss their load

Of logs and seaweed on the land,

Leave them lying on the sand.

 

Imagine standing in those rollers,

Feel the power bowl you over.

No, no, no. I’m not that crazy.

Where’s my camera? I’ll be lazy.

It’s too chilly for such folly,

Best go home and deck with holly.

 

 


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High Boats

The boat that brings in the most fish is “high boat” for the day. But here in this photo, are many high boats. The wharf is in a back eddy of the river near the estuary, in an area locally referred to as the slough.The tide is almost as high as the road and as we drove along beside the floats, the boats seemed to be level with the road. Normally you would only see the masts and trolling poles as you drive by.

I took the picture from inside the car. It was too miserable to step outside.

You can see the long black snake of tubing at the edge of the road. Whatever is in that long bag of something is meant to stop the river from backing up over the road. The area is no stranger to flooding.dscn7555

I have rarely seen the boats so high that they are almost on street level. The Comox Valley has seen a lot of flooding this fall. A combination of high tide, heavy outflow from the flooding river, and gale-force southeast winds backing up the tide are responsible for this odd situation. It’s really unusual to have so much wind and rain so early and so frequent. It’s just one system after another.

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A reminder once again that you have only a few days left to meet the Nov. 30 deadline for the writing contest. It’s fun and easy. Please visit annelisplace for details.

 


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He’s Ba-ack!

Same tree, same kind of bird, and I would wager it’s THE same bird. He was here in July and now he’s back to one of his favourite restaurants, an old maple that has a lot of dying branches. The bark is probably loaded in bugs and grubs that will fill this bird’s belly.

When I did a post about him in July, I had no idea what kind of bird it was, but with the help of my followers, we narrowed it down to a red-breasted sapsucker.

Just like on his previous visit, he was not at all shy and let me take many pictures. I needed to do this because he moved so fast, pecking at the tree bark, that most of my photos were blurry. Here is one from when he held still for a split second.                                           dscn7491It’s hard to tell from the photo but he is about the size of a robin.


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Baby it’s cold outside

The first snowfall of the season has dusted the tops of our local hills at last. This year it’s a welcome sight, not only for the skiers, but for the townspeople who have been under a “Boil Water Advisory” off and on for weeks, due to the heavy rainfall and flooding.

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The sun even came out for a few minutes to highlight the cool hilltops.

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Everyone is talking about it, even the ducks, dscn7445a

 

With all the rain that’s fallen here,

We ducks don’t cry, but rather cheer.

But as the chill turns rain to snow,

We start to wonder where to go.

Maybe we will be in luck

And fields won’t turn to frozen muck.

The corn and grain in farmers’ fields

Is filling for the strength it yields

But if it freezes, in our strife

We’ll have to eat aquatic life.

 


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Playing Annie Oakley

When my sister was small enough to fit into a suitcase, we were all playing with guns. Not real guns, of course, but guns just the same. My hero at the time, because we lived in what we thought of as the Wild West, was Annie Oakley.

My brother and two sisters and I spent hours playing “Cowboys and Indians” out in our backyard and in the backyard of our neighbours who were real Indians. They were Cree and were our best friends in our elementary school days.

We rode our pretend horses around the trails that surrounded our houses. We were on the outskirts of town, a new subdivision going in, developing very, very slowly in our northern town. The hills of excavated soil to be backfilled the next spring provided lookout points and we slapped our thighs  and made clicking noises to spur on our horses, galloping up the hills of dirt, down the gullies of the back alley, and around the sheds and our houses. We stopped behind shrubs to spy on each other, ambushing a careless rider, and killing them with our sixguns.

The irony of our Cowboys and Indians game was that we white folks always wanted to be the Indians and they wanted to be us. Sometimes we took turns. No one ever got hurt, as we were the best of friends, but the goal was to see which team would have “the last man standing” and for the rest of us, who could die the most dramatically. In those days I thought that when you died, no matter what you were doing when you got shot, you had to lie down on your back and spread your arms out (like Jesus on the cross), and close your eyes.

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After all that play with guns, none of us ever had the idea of really shooting someone. We knew it was just a game and that you didn’t play with real guns. We had a healthy respect for guns and never confused pretending to shoot our “Cowboy and Indian” friends in the backyard with shooting anyone with a real gun.

In this picture, my sister was probably about 3 or 4 years old. She was very well adjusted even then, and so she is to this day.

So what has changed in this world that people don’t understand the difference between play and reality anymore?


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Painful Panes

Today I watched as two little chickadees hit the glass pane in my deck railing. I found a candle and went outside to scribble wax all over the pane so the birds could see it better. I had thought the glass was dirty enough after all the storms so the birds could tell it was glass, but unfortunately they couldn’t. I felt just sick when one of the chickadees lay on his side and looked as if he would die shortly. His brother sat on the lower part of the railing waiting for him to come fly away with him. dscn7427

When I came outside with the candle, the chickadee who was not hit as hard flew away, but the other one stayed on the deck, lying on his side. After scribbling on the pane to prevent more casualties, I went over to the little bird. He let me pick him up. He sat in my hand and perked up a tiny bit. I thought maybe keeping him warm might help him recover. Maybe he wouldn’t die after all.

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He made a little mess on my hand but I didn’t mind. I just wanted him to live. I packed him around for about half an hour and he still didn’t want to fly. Sometimes he let his head droop and I worried that this was the end. I tucked my hand inside my vest with the cloth not touching him, so he would be warm and in the dark. Then I came in to continue writing the next chapter of my novel.

Back on the deck, I tried again to get him to fly away, but he seemed to want to cling to my finger. I paced the deck, wondering what to do. Finally I set him down in the place where his brother had waited for him. He sat there for another ten minutes. When I went to pick him up again, he chirped “Goodbye and thank you,” and off he flew. dscn7433

Maybe this winter when it’s really cold, he’ll come eat at the birdfeeder.

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Vintage

Some people love vintage cars. Not me. I’ve had enough old cars and trucks to last me the rest of my days. The only kind of vintage I want in my life now comes in a wine bottle.

This post is a continuation of one I wrote about five years ago. You can find Part One here. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2014/07/31/deflated-2/

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The same vehicle I am talking about in that post, was part of my life for too many years. We were frugal then, by necessity. Here is the truck as it was in the early 80s. My sister Sonja was visiting and as I took her picture, the truck happened to be in the background.

Back in the 70s the Captain bought a 1967 Chev 4 x 4. We drove that truck for years and used it to haul our few belongings to the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1975 and then back to Vancouver Island again six years later. The six years in the Charlottes were hard on the truck. Severe storms are the norm up there and the salty sea air eats metal, but the Captain kept the Chev running.

After moving to Vancouver Island in the early 80s I wanted a newer vehicle so badly, but it was still hard times and we were stuck with the old Chev.

I was driving the truck into town one day. It was summer and I had the window rolled down so I heard it “loud and clear” when the driver  behind me stuck his head out his window and yelled at me, “GET THAT PIECE OF SHIT OFF THE ROAD!”

Still, we drove it for a few more years. One day we were coming down the logging road off our nearby Mount Washington and the truck was rattling rather loudly. I looked out the back cab window into the box of the truck and said to the Captain, “Is the box supposed to be moving separately from the cab of the truck?”

We slapped a “For Sale” sign on it. In no time at all, a young fellow bought it “as is,” and drove it away happily.


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Dog Vest

In certain situations a hunting dog needs a vest to keep it warm. Emma, an English cocker spaniel, is not meant to be a duck hunter. She’s mainly bred for flushing and retrieving upland game birds like pheasants and grouse, but she loves duck hunting, too, and is good at it. We can’t have her getting hypothermic on those wintery days when she has to retrieve ducks from icy water or spend hours out in duck weather – wind and rain.

My sewing skills are better used for making quilts and handbags, but when we couldn’t find just the right “store-bought” vest for Emma, we decided to try making one.

The Captain went a thrift shop and found just the thing –  a shortie wet suit with fairly thin neoprene. I cut it up and began to sew. I had no pattern so it was a piecemeal effort, adding on and taking away, ending up with dozens of pieces – a neoprene patchwork quilt.

At first I was going to incorporate the wet suit’s zipper in the vest but at some point I couldn’t figure out how to get the dog into the vest, and decided that one long velcro closing would be better. The finished vest looks amateur but for a first try, it is good enough to keep her warmer for future duck outings. The next one will be easier to make and should look less patchy.

Ruby looks like she’s wishing she had a vest too.

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Poor Emma! She must have tried the partially finished vest at least 20 times. But she was good about it. Such a biddable little dog she is.

Finally, we got her to model the finished product. For a moment she forgot she is a dog as she fell into the role of a sex kitten, into rubber.dscn7409