wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Books for Christmas

As Christmas is only three weeks away, you may be wondering what to do for gifts. If the person you are buying for likes to read, I have the perfect solution for you. My novels are very reasonably priced and will bring hours of pleasure and entertainment.

Three of the six are set on the west coast of Canada. The remote parts of the coast are a rough and tough “man’s world,” but in my novels, the women who live in this environment grow stronger as they face the challenges of coastal life.

A friend of mine painted a portrait that she kindly allowed me to use for the “Marlie” book cover. When I first saw the painting at her house, I knew this was Marlie, the character in my novel.

How did I recognize her? It was in the eyes.

Her left eye has a hint of tears and says, “You’ve hurt me.” But her right eye is hard. It seems to say, “Don’t you ever do that again.” Look at her eyes in the cover of the book. Do you see what I mean?

You can find Marlie on all the Amazon sites. Just go to amazon.com or amazon.ca, or amazon.co.uk and type in Marlie. If you have an e-reader other than Kindle, you can find Marlie on Smashwords.com. It is affordably priced so as not to break the bank.

If you would like to read a review of this book, please click on the link below. The review is near the end of that post.

https://wordsfromanneli.com/2018/09/26/a-great-review-for-marlie/

 

You can find out more about all my novels on my website: http://www.anneli-purchase.com


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The Similkameen River

The Similkameen River flows east a long way from the mountains of E.C. Manning Park in British Columbia, to the *Okanagan fruit growing area in southern BC, where it turns south into the United States to  become the *Okanogan River south of Oroville, and from there to the mighty Columbia River which then flows west again to the Pacific while it forms the border between Oregon and Washington for much of the way between them.

*Okanagan (Canadian spelling)

*Okanogan (American spelling)

It can be a bit of a flood plain  in parts.

Does the river follow the highway, or does the highway follow the river?

 

Every time the highway bends,

And I’ve thought the river ends,

Then I see it once again,

Flowing past the rough terrain.

 

“Faithful follower, that you be,

Following me past rock and tree,

And you have so far to go.”

Says the river, “That I know.”

 

“I will twist and I will turn,

Shores of shrubbery and fern,

Gurgling over rocky places,

Where the little whitefish races.”

 

“Past the mountains and the streams,

Past the vineyards of my dreams,

I will hurry to the states,

Where the huge Columbia waits.”

 

“All together we will flow,

And we’ll put on quite a show.

At the western ocean shore,

You won’t know me anymore.”

 

“In the water system’s grasp,

Plunging in has made me gasp,

Sorry I’m not more specific,

But I’m in the great Pacific.”

 

 

 


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Mystery Building – Church or House?

This church looks so old that it begged to be photographed. It sits on a lonely rise (to call it a hill would be exaggerating) in northern Montana. I don’t think it gets much use anymore, judging from the boarded up windows, but at one time it must have hosted a fair-sized congregation.

In eastern Washington, I saw another old church. I had noticed it on several other trips through this area. This building, too, has seen better days.

But what is different this year is the new structure that has been built beside the old one. At first I assumed that it was a church, because of the steeple and the wide stairs going into the double glass doors. Possibly my thinking was influenced by the wrought iron fencing.

I think now, that I was wrong about it being a new church (just because it was built next to an old one).

My reasoning?

Here is a close up of the sign (a bit blurry) that is attached to the right of the gate.

It can’t be a church and say: Private Property – No Trespassing.

And now I’m even questioning whether the second photo from the top is really of a church.

What do you think?

 


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Endangered Missouri Sturgeon

In the tiny town of Fort Benton, Montana, we like to stay at an RV park that is close to the rodeo grounds beside the Missouri River. Last year, after a long day’s drive, we took a walk to the river. At this point, we are about 200 miles from its headwaters.

The sun was slowly setting, and so was the moon. See the evidence? The cliffs along the riverbank are warmed by the last rays of the sun and if you look hard, you may see the moon sinking  in the sky, amid the branches of the tree.

Geese are honking from the direction of the grassy islands in the river. Later that night we would hear the coyotes howling near the same place.

 

The Missouri is a powerful river in places. It is the longest river in the U. S. flowing for 2,341 miles before joining up with the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, Missouri.

I had been so focused on the geese flying along the river, I hadn’t given much thought to what might be under the water. What a surprise to read on this poster, that there are sturgeon in the Missouri.

If you would like to read about the two kinds of sturgeon and how to tell them apart, you can click on the photo above and it will be easier to read.

I have to confess, I had known nothing about these sturgeon, not even their names (pallid and shovelnose). The pallid sturgeon is endangered and lives mainly in this river system. It grows to a length of five or six feet and can live to be about 40 years old.

On the picture I thought it looked a bit shark-like, but that mouth on its underside is mainly for feeding on the river bottom.  Whew! Otherwise I wouldn’t be putting my toes in that river.

Who knew that these creatures lurk in the depths of the river!?


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In Another Time

In another time, pioneering farmers lived in these houses and kept them cozy and inviting.

Hard times and the elements have changed the sheltering homesteads to cold windswept shells. In some cases, after the original farmers eventually died, their children, having seen their parents’ hard work, opted for an easier life away from this lonely prairie.

On a previous trip to Montana, the Captain and I saw many old homesteads.

“Let’s skedaddle,” the pheasants cluck. “I think these might be hunters. The locals welcome them, but I find them downright annoying, if not dangerous.”

“Did I hear you say the ‘H’ word?” the white-tailed deer asks. Then he shakes his head and goes back to his browsing. “It’s birds they’re after. I don’t think they’re here for me …  are they? Hmm, maybe I’d better run too.”

“You’d do better to be careful, Whitey,” the Harris sparrow warbles. “And by the way, watch your step.”

“The prickly pear isn’t named for its smooth skin. Those spines can really hurt.”

“Oh, what a fuss,” the robin sings. “I was enjoying the last days of autumn sunshine in this Russian olive tree. Why did they have to talk about hunters? They don’t bother me! Mrs. Hunter just wanders around with her camera. I show her my best side, and she goes home happy.”


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Mr. Lonely Pine

On our recent trip to Montana we saw nature at its fiercest; from fog to blizzards, rain and snow, to evidence of raging wildfires.

This region of eastern Washington is normally fairly dry, but a recent fire made it even drier. It may have been last year or longer ago that the fire went through here because the grass has had a chance to grow back.

A lucky few trees were left untouched by the fire. The rest were probably torches until their fuel burnt out.

Here is Mr. Lonely Pine, wondering where his friends have gone. Why, and how, was he spared?

What will happen to these acres of charred logs? It must take many years for them to fulfil the “ashes to ashes” ritual.

And someday the forest will regenerate and once again host insects, rodents, birds, reptiles, and small mammals (and a few big ones like these cattle).

But see how dry and long the grass is. The highway passes close by here. Be aware if you’re a smoker, and don’t toss out your cigarette butt, no matter how sure you are that it’s out.

 

They’ve named me Mr. Lonely Pine

And they are not so wrong,

I pine away and sometimes whine

If wind blows all day long.

 

I’m one of few surviving trees

Untouched by raging fire,

You should have seen it when the breeze

Whipped flames up even higher.

 

I stood in terror, trembling,

Of course I could not run,

So I began dissembling,

And twiddling my thumbs.

 

I squeezed my eyes shut, every branch

Was shivering in fright,

Next thing I knew, upon the ranch

The blaze burnt out that night.

 

And still alive I praised the gods

That spared me yet a while,

I wondered how I’d beat the odds,

I couldn’t help but smile.

 

I whispered like a pine must do

To coax the baby trees,

And soon they sprouted and they grew,

And now they’ve reached my knees.

 

I’m not so lonely anymore

These young ones chat with me,

And contrary to old folklore,

I talk, though I’m a tree.

 

I want to warn you if you drive,

A cigarette can kill,

To throw it out while it’s alive

Can burn the whole dang hill.

 

So let’s all take a bit of care

Bad endings you have seen,

If you are handling fire, beware

To keep our forests green.

 


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The Poor Relation

The West Edmonton Mall is known as the largest shopping mall in North America. I have never seen it, but if I’m ever in Edmonton, Alberta, I will definitely visit it. Knowing that it is famous and amazing, I could not resist taking this picture of its distant poor relation as we passed through the tiny gold mining town of Hedley, BC. Someone had a good sense of humour when they named this run-down building “The West Hedley Mall.”

In fact the  building is so run down that, to the best of my knowledge, it is not there anymore. I took this picture last year after driving for many hours through dust and insects. The windshield tells the story. I thought it fit well with the contents of the photo, so I didn’t try to clean it up. This year I looked in vain for The West Hedley Mall to try for a better photo. It’s gone. Or, I might have blinked and missed it….

You can find wonderful images of the real West Edmonton Mall here.