wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Two Left Feet

Once again, I was inspired by a post by David Kanigan https://davidkanigan.com/2022/06/28/walking-bring-out-your-dead/ when he wrote about feet and balance. It reminded me that about 8 years ago I had done a post about two left feet. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to re-post it just for a little chuckle. My apologies for followers from that time who have already seen this.

Chapter One

It’s easy to laugh at someone else when they do something silly, forgetful, or just plain stupid. I don’t think there’s any harm in it as long as the “someone” is laughing too. Then you’re laughing “with” them rather than “at” them.

On a weekend fishing trip one summer, the Captain and I had fished for trout on the lake and stopped to stretch our legs on a gravelly beach at the mouth of a creek that fed into the lake.

IMGP0664After a while, a fish jumped and made quite a big splash at the mouth of the creek. The Captain grabbed his flyrod and cast towards the ripples the fish had left.

Fishing [1]

The fish was a tease, jumping repeatedly, just out of reach. No problem, high gumboots meant the Captain could wade into the water and get closer.

But not quite close enough. The Captain is a good flyline caster but still, the fly landed just a little bit short each time.

“Aw…darn,” he said. “My boot has a leak. Oh well, might as well go in a bit farther. I’m already wet. I think I can get close enough. Darn it all! Should’ve brought my waders.”

Wading outfit

Persistence paid off, and the fish was hooked and released. Now for a well-deserved rest on the gravel bed. The rocks warmed the fisherman with the wet pants and sopping wet feet.

As he lay down on the gravel to soak up some warmth, I took his photo and noticed….

Two left feet up close

Not only was there a split in the bottom of one boot — the cause of the leak — but the boots were for two left feet. Somewhere at home in the garage were boots for two right feet.

Chapter Two

This may seem to be a whole other topic, but I assure you the chapters are related.

I have troublesome feet, so I wear orthotic inserts. I also have had trouble finding comfortable shoes, so when I discovered some Brooks runners that fit my feet comfortably, I bought them and wore them happily nearly every day. At last they started to look slightly worn. I went back to the same store and bought exactly the same thing again. Well, they were ever so slightly different in colour, but basically the same shoe. One would be my good pair and the other the “beater” pair. See the “beaters” below.

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For now, until I would get a second pair of orthotic inserts, I put my orthotics into the shoes I wore most often (the beater pair). Last summer I bought a pair of Costco Dr. Scholl inserts as spares for the time being and put them in my new runners.

The other day I put on my shoes to go out. The left one was a bit tight, so I loosened the laces. That was better. I was going to loosen the right shoelace as well, but then I realized that, although it was snugly laced, it was comfortable as it was.

“Hmm…I wonder why that is.” My right foot should be bigger if anything, and a tighter squeeze, so why is that shoe more comfortable?” I put my weight on one shoe and  then the other. Definitely, the right shoe felt better on my feet. I had a closer look. You can take a look too. Do you see what I see?

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When I discovered what I was wearing, I went looking for my other pair of runners. In the garage was a pair of Brooks, as mismatched as the ones on my feet, but my mumbled “OMG” got louder when I discovered that the “odd couple” in the garage had the Costco Dr. Scholl’s inserts in them. Remember, I had bought these inserts months ago, so if there was one Dr. Scholl’s in each of these shoes, they must have been like this since last summer.

Gradually a growing horror dawned on me. I had been wearing mismatched shoes since last summer and this was now almost December. I thought of all the places I had been and the homes where I visited and took my shoes off at the door. I had even been to the doctor to get a referral for new orthotics!  “OMG! OMG! OMG!”

It must be my punishment for laughing at the Captain’s two left feet.

 


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Squirrel Talk

Lately, the squirrels have been noisier when they get fed. I don’t know what they’re saying to each other, but it seems as if they can’t stop talking. Didn’t their mother teach them not to talk with their mouth full? Be sure to have the sound on so you can hear their conversation.

 

It’s a funny spring this year,

Filberts, there are none, I hear.

Even fir cones haven’t grown,

Unlike other years I’ve known.

 

I’m so thankful for these seeds,

They will sure fulfill our needs,

You eat yours and I’ll eat mine,

Then we’ll get along just fine.


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Father’s Day Flowers

One day a year we remember to honour our fathers. You may say, “My dad died years ago. I can forget about Father’s Day.” But don’t we owe it to our fathers to think of them for one day out of 365, even if they are no longer with us?

I understand that there are many unfortunate people out there who had a father that was less than ideal, but if we think hard, there is probably something in all our growing up years that is a good memory of him.

The bottom line is, without them, we would not be here.

Just in time for Father’s Day, my Oriental poppies opened up …

as well as one of my favourite irises …

to keep the old standard blue irises company.

 

Father, so proud of his children each day,

He will protect them in every way.

Sometimes he seems to be quite out of touch,

With things important, that matter so much.

 

Wait a few years and revisit the scene,

Often we see just how wrong we have been.

Fathers have been there and made those mistakes

That now his child out of stubbornness makes.

 

Sometimes old fashioned, and sometimes too stern,

Still he’s insistent that his child must learn,

Grow up with values so decent and right,

Though foolish children put up such a fight.

 

No, it’s not easy to parent a child,

Easier being too meek and too mild,

But it’s the strict laws that Father lays down

That make us thankful with smiles, not a frown.

 

If your dad’s with you, give thanks for his love,

Think how he kept your hand warm in his glove,

Caring, admiring, so proud of his child,

Little he knew just how much you ran wild.

 

Love unconditional, that’s what he gave,

In any danger, your life he would save,

Think of him kindly, and don’t criticize,

You did no wrong in his sweet, doting eyes.

 


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Randolph Raccoon Roots Around

The Captain and I were having an afternoon coffee on our deck when Randolph came to visit. He’d been lurking around the yard late at night and usually disappeared in the wee hours of the morning. But lately he is getting braver about being seen in the glaring daylight hours.

He wasn’t too concerned about anything – even took time to scratch an itch.

He came right out in the open, looking for dandelions in the grass, and this explains his more frequent visits. Our grass is loaded in weeds. Definitely not a Scott’s Turfbuilder lawn. I don’t really mind him digging out the weeds to get at the roots or bugs, but I wish he would refill the holes.

Until now I had been blaming Bonnie and Benny Bunny for all the holes dug in our “lawn,” and they do their fair share of digging, but I saw Randolph in action this day, and knew I had to allow the bunnies some leniency. They are probably only guilty of digging a third of the holes in the yard.


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Log Cabin Quilt

With all the rain we’ve had, I was taking a chance when I hung the freshly washed quilt on the line outside. I was hoping that the trees that form a canopy overhead would save it from any serious raindrops.

As I walked past the quilt, I noticed it for the first time in ages. Sure I’ve seen it on my bed  many times, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. Here, in a different location, I saw it with new eyes. I thought of all the strips of fabric I had cut to their exact lengths, and the way I sorted them out.

The name log cabin quilt is a bit misleading. You don’t have to live in a log cabin to use it. The name is more about how the squares are made.

Each of the strips is meant to look like a log. The “logs” are sewn together to make it look like a log cabin being built. It was a great way to use up small scraps that might otherwise have been thrown out.

I only sorted the pieces very roughly by colour, but other than that, it was just a matter of using up scraps.

Partway through making up the squares, it suddenly hit me how MANY “logs” I had to put together to make the quilt the size I wanted, but eventually it came together.

 


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Oyster Mushrooms

We had a nice surprise today. A friend had been out in the woods picking oyster mushrooms and had a bunch to give us.

I’ve picked chanterelles but I didn’t know much about oyster mushrooms so I’ve never picked them. With mushrooms, you can’t take chances because many kinds of mushrooms have lookalikes and many of those can make you very sick (or worse).

So here is a picture the friend took to show us how they grow. See them there on the trunk of that dead alder tree?

The pictures were all taken by my friend with his phone, except for the two photos in my kitchen.

If you thought mushrooms always grow on the ground, think again. Here they are again, going way up the tree.

They almost look round like a tennis ball, but if you look carefully, you’ll see that they are flat and often seem to grow overlapping each other.

Because they are off the ground, they are much easier to clean than chanterelles.

I just took a pastry brush and cleaned off a few specks of dirt. No need to wash them and make them soggy.  My dryer has five layers so I filled those up with the flat mushrooms and gave my attention to the rest of them which, temporarily, are spread out on a couple of baking sheets. (They are not going to be baked.)

I put a tiny bit of butter in a pan and put the mushroom pieces in it. This is just the start of what I put in the pan. I filled the pan enough so the whole bottom of the pan is filled. One thing I learned is that it is much easier to tear oyster mushrooms than to cut them.

Once they were sauteed just until they were cooked through, I put them in a big bowl to cool off while I cooked the next batch. After the sauteed mushrooms were all cool, I put them into plastic tubs and froze them. The sauteeing ensures that the mushrooms are not rubbery when you thaw them out to add to stir fries or gravy or whatever dish you want them to be in.

A couple of the bigger pieces were perfect for adding to a sandwich. So good!

If you find the energy to go out into the woods to look for mushrooms, you might be rewarded with the sighting of a large animal – at least the sight of its hind end. I’ll spare you the guesswork – it’s an elk.

Paved road, wildlife viewing, and a load of mushrooms for dinner. What could be better?


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Innocence Backfires

When Emma, our English field cocker spaniel, first went pheasant hunting, she just did what she was bred to do. She sniffed and snarfed until she found a pheasant scent, and she did it very well.

Later in the trailer, she found a stray pheasant feather, and another instinct of hers kicked in – that of eating whatever looked good.

She’s not too proud to get her picture taken with a feather stuck to her mouth and one ear flopped back. She’s confident we will love her anyway. Quite a humble innocent.

With most babies, every new item must be sniffed and if possible, eaten. Emma was no exception. She tried to eat the cord of the trailer’s electric heater when it was plugged in (luckily we caught her before she fried herself), she ate one of my brand new Birkenstocks,

and took her time working on a pair of slippers. (She doesn’t chew them now that she is all grown up, but she nibbles and nibbles over a long time, until there’s a substantial accumulation of damage.)

“Who? Me?”” she asks?

She’s not a puppy anymore and she doesn’t chew everything in sight, but she is still very focused on putting things in her mouth.

A friend of ours came over to help us out when our lawnmower broke down. He always brings dog biscuits as a treat for Emma, and this time was no exception. Emma got her dog cookie and followed the friend around the rest of the time he was here (as she always does).

Fast forward to the next morning when I took Emma out. Something reddish-orange caught my eye after she did her business.  Was it the piece of carrot I had given her? Surely she would have chewed it more. Was it blood? OMG! I hope she’s okay.

I got a stick and poked around in the little chocolate wedding cake she had dropped, and brought the reddish-orange thing into the house. I washed it off, and couldn’t believe my eyes.

It wasn’t a dog biscuit, but it was something our friend had brought with him (and apparently lost in the grass as he was trimming the edges). It’s about an inch long and is made of a rubbery foamy material. Yep! You guessed it. It was an earplug.

But what a funny one it was. See the one hair on its head? Then go about a third of the way down on the right-hand side. Do you see the happy face? (I didn’t put that on it.) I think this earplug was happy to see the light of day again after his journey through the bowels of a spaniel innocently looking for another dog biscuit.

I think in this case, the innocent pursuit of dog biscuits backfired on Emma.

 


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Figgy News

“Lookit! Lookit! The baby fig tree has a tiny fig on it. Do you think it tastes good?”

“What fig? Where? You mean that tiny green thing partway down the stem? Our ears are bigger than that fig!”

“Yeah, but it will grow!”

“I don’t want big ears!”

“No! I mean the fig will grow.”

“Oh good. Then can we eat it?”

Baby squirrels see baby figs,

Adding wonder to their digs.

On the tree, the new fruit grew,

Squirrel babes ponder, “Should we chew?”

 

“What if figs are not like nuts,

And don’t sit well in our guts?

Better stick to what we know,

If we want to thrive and grow.”