Tuesday September 30th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: October.

The end of September has arrived. That seems... a little quick.

Boxes went quite smoothly today, even with me having to do the remaining work by myself. I finished off the harvest this morning, partly before Kat left for OK Falls and mostly while Max was with his grandparents in the orchard. After bringing him back home to have lunch with me, we played until Kat returned.

At that point we both expected it to be nap time. It was not.

So Kat hung out with him while I went to bring all the produce down to our house in order to put them in their various boxes. As I finished getting it all off the truck and onto the deck I came inside to grab something... just in time to see them disappearing into the bedroom for nap time.

I put all the boxes together, plus a couple of local orders, and then waited for them to be collected.

And now... only one more week to go.



A fine month indeed -
how could it not be? For it's
home to my birthday

*     *     *

Fallen golden leaves
whisper secrets as short ghosts
in sneakers walk by

Monday September 29th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the challenger.

The end of the BC teachers strike also brought about the return of StrongStart, which is where Kat brought Max this morning. While they were there I finally got another haircut and ran a few errands in town.

This afternoon I started the box harvest, collecting zucchini and the bigger (heirloom, beefsteak, roma) tomatoes. Kat also took a turn, taking care of the cherry tomatoes before dinner. That just leaves me carrots, peppers, and arugula for tomorrow morning while Kat works and Max helps his grandparents pick Ambrosia apples.

Or plays nearby while they pick apples.

One of the two.


You set them up,
I'll knock all of 'em down;
All these silly
Challengers to my crown.

I can't be beat,
I don't know why they try.
I will stand tall
Until the day I die.

Who is this chump?
He looks like a puppy!
I'd be more scared
Of a flailing guppy.

I start to laugh
But then hear roaring cars;
I'm on my back,
Counting the pretty stars...

Sunday September 28th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: hidden gems.

Back home safe and sound in Osoyoos. Good to be here.

Little time to waste though. Second to last boxes need to be harvested and put together tomorrow and Tuesday. Tuesday? Ah yes, that's also Kat's first official day of work, as she's going up to OK Falls to check out the learning space with her co-teacher and a group of their students' parents.

Wednesday sees Kat teaching a yoga class in Oliver to cover for someone who is away, Thursday is her first day with the kids, and then Friday... what's on Friday. Oh, right. I suppose we should get ready for this Saturday's farmers market.

I'm about ready to sleep now.


The drive to Vancouver and back is a bit of a different experience now that we have Max with us. Before we'd make one stop for lunch and one more for gas and that was about it. Durations varied by how bad traffic was going into and out of the city, but we generally had a pretty good idea of what time we'd be arriving based on what time we left.

Now? We leave when we're able to get Max ready and into the car. We drive until it becomes obvious that he won't put up with being in the car any longer. If he's napping, we're driving. Always have food at hand in case we need to keep going through planned lunch or snack breaks.

Above all else, let the toddler sleep.

The car is still packed pretty tight, but now a fairly significant portion is devoted to things that could potentially keep him entertained while we're making forward progress. Lego, books, stuffed animals, empty yogurt containers, toys of varying shapes and sizes.

Green space well away from the road is golden. We'll stop and let him run around and find rocks and explore dirt and touch trees until he can be convinced to return to his car seat. Sometimes we'll have an idea of where the next one is, but mostly when it's time to pull over we just drive until we find something that looks like it will be suitable.

This leads to the discovery of places we would otherwise have no reason to visit, as we'd be too focused on getting wherever we're going. On the way home this afternoon we ended up taking a brief tour of the Skagit River Trail. Big beautiful trees, fresh air, water rushing over rocks, mountains reaching for the sky.

It was a break and a place we all needed.

I should mention that this journey was a fairly good one, as I feel like I'm giving the impression it was a bit of a nightmare. Max was basically entertained in the car (or sleeping) for the vast majority of the trip. But when those moments arrived when he'd just had enough, hidden gems like this one were absolute life savers.

Saturday September 27th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the flash.

Went to the Vancouver farmers market this morning (because of course we did) and met up with a friend of Kat's there. They went for lunch afterward while Max and I came back here to eat and hang out and try to convince him to nap.

So he napped when Kat returned.

This afternoon I took a walk down to MEC and picked up a new jacket, pants, and sunglasses, all of which were pretty badly needed. Then we met up with another friend for dinner at The Reef, a very convenient two minute walk away.

We'll be making one more quick stop in the morning to visit another friend at his place before taking to the roads and heading for Osoyoos. This trip has gone by in a hurry.


I didn't really notice
What she was wearing,
Then I caught a flash of red
And now I can't stop staring

Friday September 26th, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: overdoing it.

Went shopping this morning to get Max some new clothes and shoes, because he seems intent on continuing to grow. Also picked up some groceries for ourselves and veggies for this evening's BBQ dinner.

We were going to make a few more stops but by then it was getting toward Max's nap time and everybody was pretty sick of the crowds and general madness of the city.

So we returned to our friends place and recuperated before they came home from work. Shortly after that two more friends arrived and we had a very nice dinner of chicken, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, onions, and garlic done up on the BBQ.

Max seemed to enjoy himself, and everyone else seemed to enjoy him too. Though by the end of the night he was obviously over-tired and overly wound up. Either that or he was drunk, but I'm pretty sure we kept him away from the wine...


"I think that's more than enough, dear."

"One more, just one more, just a little bit more!"

"I think we've gone well beyond overdoing it now, dear. And... well, I should have known better than to let my five year old niece do my makeup."

Thursday September 25th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the premium.

Safe and sound in Vancouver, happy to be with old friends again.

Having trouble staying awake, so I'll save anything more for another day.


"That's the finest wine we carry, sir." The waiter wouldn't meet my eye when he said it, preferring instead to focus on the notepad in his hand. "I highly recommend that you try it."

"Really." I looked at the wine list again. "So you've had some yourself then?"

"Oh, no sir."


"That is correct, sir."

A sigh escaped my lips but I managed to refrain from massaging my temples.

"And why is that?"

"Well, sir," he replied slowly, as though I were the slow one, "I couldn't possibly afford it."

Wednesday September 24th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the leaf.

It is lovely here. We're staying with a family who have a son that is attending the learning center here and the view from upstairs is amazing. They've been very welcoming and I, for one, am reluctant to leave for Vancouver tomorrow.

Kat was in training at the learning center for most of the day, so that meant Max and I had lots of time to play and explore. We went for a walk in the woods before lunch and ended up at a waterfall/fish ladder and he quite enjoyed throwing leaves into the water. I got him to stand still just long enough to get this shot:

This evening we joined Kat and her co-teacher, along with their principal and most of the local staff here, for dinner at the center. It's a beautiful space and everyone was so upbeat and friendly. Hard to imagine attending a regular public school staff dinner and getting that kind of atmosphere.

Anyway, watching Max for most of the day is very tiring. So I shall get this written and get my butt to bed.


Floating on blue water,
In no rush,
No hurry,
A yellow and red leaf
Takes in the
Sights and sounds
Of life along the river -
Where black bears
Eat salmon
And lonely fishermen
Frown at their
Empty hooks.

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: traffic.

I'm scheduling this post Monday night (okay, technically early Tuesday morning) and I should really be in bed, so I'm just going to get to it.

Hopefully have an update for you guys from the island tomorrow night.


Empty roads, just me
and my family - now that's
my kind of traffic

*     *     *

Start, stop. Start, stop. I
begin to wonder if we're
going anywhere...

Monday September 22nd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the bean.

Only two more box days to go! Hurray, hurray, hurray!

Can you tell I'm about ready to be done with them? Just a little? It's that time of year.

We're off for Bowen Island tomorrow morning for two nights. Kat's training is on Wednesday so we're going to take our time getting there, leaving plenty of room for stops for Max to get out and run around if he needs them.

After that we'll be in Vancouver for three nights, staying with some friends and visiting our old haunts. So we'll be back on Sunday, if all goes according to plan.

I'm scheduling a post for tomorrow, as I'm not sure what my internet access will be on Bowen. If there's no post on Wednesday it'll be because I couldn't get online, but things should return to normal on Thursday.

See you guys soon!


I was walking through the orchard the other day with Max, on our way back home from Kat's parents place to have dinner. Kat was with us too initially, but he was more interested in exploring than forward progress so she went on ahead to get food started.

He examined sticks and fallen apples, inspected weeds and leaves. Suddenly he rediscovered the joys of dirt.

"Make sand castle!"

I have no idea when he learned how to say that or what it meant, by the way. But we started making sand castles in the dirt - I'd form the tower, run a moat around it, and he'd destroy it.

"Make sand castle again."

So we did. At some point he was digging around in the dirt and found something interesting.


Now, he calls a lot of things beans. Most of them are not things we want him eating, generally seeds from trees or weeds or what have you. I held out my hand and asked to see it, wanting to make sure he didn't get whatever it was into his mouth before I had a chance to look at it. He obliged, emptying a fistful of dirt along with it.

I opened up my hand to see what he'd found... and then it moved.

I was not expecting that. At all. So I might have freaked out a little bit and dumped it on the ground. It took a second to find it again, but soon we were watching a little black beetle crawling away in a bit of a huff.

"That," I told Max as sternly as I could manage through poorly restrained laughter, "was not a bean."

Sunday September 21st, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the adjustment.

With our harvest boxes being picked up tomorrow afternoon instead of Tuesday, we're having to shift things forward around here. Today that meant only taking the morning off to recover from the market and then going out in the afternoon to start the pick.

We don't have an excessive amount of stuff left to collect tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping for a reasonably manageable day before we hit the road early-ish Tuesday morning.

Still lots to be done before we get to that though.


When the engines began to sputter and the needles on the dashboard started spasming back and forth, I knew time was running away from us. Looking out the cockpit window I saw nothing but rolling ocean waves and circling sharks.

Though I'll admit that the sharks may have been a creation of my overactive imagination.

"What the hell is going on?" Carl, my less than observant co-pilot demanded.

"You know how we were supposed to fly to New York today?" I asked as I began flipping switches and turning dials.

"Of course I do! I'm not an idiot!"

Well, Carl, actually...

"That plan is currently undergoing a minor adjustment."

Saturday September 20th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: goats.

Because Saturday night has become a movie night recently. There are some benefits of Max having to get up super early with us and then only napping on the truck ride home after the market. Early bed times are much appreciated.

Much, much, much better market this week. We arrived with something like 28 crates of our various apples and only brought home 2.5, almost entirely Spartan. People were excited to see the Ambrosia and I guess that spilled over to trying out the Auroras as well.

Either way, that was good stuff. We'll be missing next week's market, as we'll be returning from Vancouver and its environs on Sunday, so it was nice to begin our break on such a positive note.


Shoes, shirts, maps, money,
They'll eat it all -
So let's set them loose
Inside the mall!

Friday September 19th, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: ambrosia.

Ready to roll to the market tomorrow morning with a whole lot of apples (Ambrosia, Aurora, and Spartan), some plums, several pints of cherry tomatoes, and... two pints of raspberries.

If they hadn't been so big and tasty looking, I probably would have ignored them. As is, I felt obligated to bring them along in order to send them off to a good home.

I finished painting the door trim on the front of the house today with two coats of paint. So that's finally done with - now I just need to get the side door and trim painted. Not sure that I'm going to have time to do that before we leave on Tuesday, what with having to do the boxes on Monday, but we'll see how things go.


Come, come, have a taste. Closer now, it's all right, I won't bite back. Promise, promise.

Here my child, have a little sample of immortality.

Thursday September 18th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: out of place.

Had a quick harvest for the bakery this morning before getting some things done around the house. After I got Max down for his nap after lunch I went into town to do the delivery and run a couple errands.

Things are definitely slowing down around here. It's nice.

So, of course, we're going away next Tuesday to the Lower Mainland. Just, you know, to tighten the schedule up around here.

Also for Kat to attend a training session for her new teaching job that she can finally start doing now that the BC teachers strike is over, as of tonight. It's a position with the local learning center (based out of OK Falls) for homeschooled children which, at two days per week, is pretty ideal winter work.

Also, also: it'll be good to visit friends while we're there too.


I don't belong here.

The realization was as true as it was painful. I didn't let it show, or at least I tried not to. Those savages were drawn to weakness like sharks to blood in the water.

But they knew, some of them anyway. They must have sensed it. Maybe I started walking differently, my shoulders hunching without my noticing, my body instinctively drawing in to protect itself. Or it could have been something I said.

Or didn't say, more likely. I remember trying to disappear into silence on more than a few occasions.

Whatever it was, the abuse increased steadily after my gloomy light bulb went on. Verbal, mostly, but of course there was a physical aspect to it as well. There always is, isn't there?

High school has its rules, after all.

Wednesday September 17th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the captain.

Went up to Penticton to run a few errands today. The plan was to grab some lunch there and take it to a park to eat so that Max could get out and run around for a bit to make up for all that car time.

But then he fell asleep just as we pulled up to the lunch place. So Kat got the food and ate hers on the way home. Before we could switch drivers Max, of course, woke up. I parked at a playground in OK Falls and the boys got to eat, and then play on the equipment.

Just before we left a guy I had been staring at on and off the whole time we were there, trying to figure out if I knew him or not, came up to me with his son and asked if I was Marc. I nodded and asked, "Jesse?"

Wouldn't you know it, one of my roommates from university. We hadn't seen each other in years. He was visiting with his family for a week from Vancouver, playing at a park we'd had no intention of stopping at.

Funny little thing, this world we live in.


The station was filled with the low rumble of quiet conversation, pierced occasionally by a sudden burst of laughter. Fingers hammered against keyboards, phones rang, and papers were endlessly shuffled.

The captain was mostly pleased.


"Attention!" It was not quite a shout but it had the effect of a whip crack. All heads turned in his direction, without even a chair daring to creak into the sudden silence. "There will be no more laughter."

"He's joking, right?" It was Riley's first day on the force. After that rookie mistake, it was likely also his last in that department.

"You." The captain's stare found Riley with alarming speed. "I have grown tired of the Pierre Gang. Go find and arrest their leader."

"I... you..."

"By yourself." The captain watched as the young cop gathered his things with shaking hands and headed for the door, bumping into at least a half dozen desks along the way. "Any other questions?"

The silence continued uninterrupted.

The captain was pleased.

Tuesday September 16th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: exhaustion.

I... yeah. Three more box days to go. That's pretty much all I have to say.

Oh, and we have a proper front door again. So that's good.

Sleep now.


Eyelids like anchors,
blinks lengthen until turning
into unplanned sleep

*     *     *

A head filled with glue,
thoughts keep getting stuck and then...
still get lost, somehow

Monday September 15th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the robbery.

After getting the first coat of paint on the door I went to our favourite local coffee shop while Kat hosted playtime for Max and his friend. I managed to get all caught up on comments, yet again. I won't bother making any promises as to how long that will last.

This afternoon I got started on this week's box harvest, collecting melons, squash, and potatoes. That leaves us mostly tomatoes to pick tomorrow morning, so that shouldn't be too bad.

I also got the second coat of paint on, but the full drying time is eight hours for that stuff so it won't be going back to the front of the house until tomorrow. Ah well, at least the nights haven't been getting too cold yet.


Sitting in the van two blocks from the bank, gripping the wheel so hard I was sure I'd leave permanent grooves behind when I eventually (if I) let go, I had never felt so alone and vulnerable in my life. I'd much rather have been inside with Tammy and Crystal but someone had to drive the getaway vehicle.

And that someone, thanks to my pulling the low card out of the deck Crystal had splayed across the coffee table two nights previous, was me.

Stupid bloody three of clubs.

I couldn't even see the front of the building from there. That was part of the deal, to keep suspicious activity (outside of the bank, anyway) to a minimum. Once I got the signal from Tammy I'd drive up, nice and slow and casual, they'd stroll out the doors and into the van, and away we'd go.

They had gone inside carrying enough rope and duct tape to hogtie a dozen football teams, so no alarm would be raised until the next customer arrived. Hopefully, if Crystal's homemade gadget worked like she claimed it would, to find the door locked. The girls had guns too, obviously, but they were more for show than anything.

We had no intention of getting caught but if we did none of us wanted to face a murder charge on top of all the stuff we'd already agreed to do.

That didn't mean they weren't loaded though.

I checked my phone again. Still no text. Tammy had it loaded and ready to go, her phone concealed in her coat pocket where nobody would see it. As long as none of the victims suspected that was how we were communicating the police would have no reason to check with the phone companies to see their logs. One less piece of evidence for the cops to go on.

That was the plan, anyway.

*Beep* *Beep*

I looked down and my heart jumped up. I blinked once, then again. Read the words at least three times before starting the engine and tried to remember how to breathe. One last look down, just to make sure.

Time to go

I shifted the van into drive and hit the gas.

Sunday September 14th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the repairman. Or repairwoman. Whichever.

Kat's dad helped me take the front door off this morning. It is currently residing in their garage, with two coats of primer on it. The plan is to get two coats of paint on there tomorrow and then return it to its rightful place at the front of our house either tomorrow night or Tuesday morning, depending on drying times.

Until then, we have a lovely sheet of plastic for a front door.

We babysat a friend's three year old son this evening so that they could go out for an anniversary dinner. He and Max have hung out before, so it didn't take them long to warm up to each other. Running around the table on the deck, playing with stickers, reading books... it was a pretty fun night for all.


"What seems to be the problem?"

"If you have to ask, I think I'll hire someone else for the job!"

"Touchy, touchy. I'd just like to hear precisely what you'd like taken care of so that I don't go above and beyond and you end up with a bigger bill than you were expecting."

"Oh. I see."

"Fair enough?"

"Well, yes. I suppose so."

"Okay then! So, what seems to be the problem?"

"The gas stove in the downstairs kitchen began leaking late last night."


"And shortly after that... my house blew up."

Saturday September 13th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the eruption.

Well that was certainly a disappointing market. The weather was lovely, though admittedly quite cold first thing, but for whatever reason people just weren't all that interested in what we had to offer. Aurora apples are my personal favorite of all the apples that are grown here, but it's still quite new and not well known.

We offered samples, which in previous years led to a lot of purchases, but they weren't doing the trick this morning.

Ah well, next week is sure to be better, as we'll have the very well known and very popular Ambrosia apples with us for the first time this year.


Black ash chokes the air,
Red lava flows like a boiling river;
Run now, run quick,
Or remain in this place forever.

Friday September 12th, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about a: catchphrase.

The truck is pretty much packed up and ready to go - all of the plums and tomatoes are loaded up, along with the Aurora apples. I just need to pull a crate of McIntosh apples and a few pints of berries out of the cooler, get the tables to fit into a reasonably secure spot, and then it will be time to come back home to pick up Kat and Max.

Obviously it's not going to be a super lucrative market, but hopefully we'll be able to move most of the apples and plums, along with our limited number of berries and cherry tomatoes.

And maybe sell some cards too. That would be nice.


"Never mind all that then," Grandma loved to say, "let's sit down and have some tea."

As far as catchphrases go, it wasn't much. Even Eat my shorts had more to offer when difficult situations arose.

But I'll be damned if it didn't work every single time she used it on me.

Thursday September 11th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the detour.

Tomorrow morning's market harvest will be interesting, as berries are pretty much done and we don't have much else to bring from the garden other than cherry tomatoes (which won't take long to collect).

I'm sure I'll find some way or another to make it take longer than it should though.


Our collection of road maps were still strewn across the double bed in our cramped motel room when we came back from dinner. A part of me had hoped the cleaning lady would have trashed them during her daily visit, like how yesterday she'd tossed the last three pieces of my pepperoni pizza that I'd planned on eating for dinner.

No such luck today.

"We need to make a decision eventually," Crystal said as she flopped onto the atlas bed. "We can't stay here forever."

"We know where we want to go," Tammy pointed out, "we just have to figure out how to get there."

"Without the cops finding us," I added, oh so helpfully.

"So it's either a straight shot, get there as fast as we possibly can," Crystal told the ceiling, "or we take a detour or two or three, make sure nobody is on our trail, and get there a little later."

"Yeah, but how much later is a little later?" I asked, allowing an armchair to catch my fall. "Every extra hour on the road means more chances of something going wrong. Flat tire, engine failure, random police check..."

"Some idiot stealing the van," Tammy said, "and all the money therein."

That gave us all pause. I think that was the moment we knew we would skip the detours and go all out for our destination. The moment that led to all others that would follow it. The cute boys at the gas station outside Lewistown. That horrible waitress in Reno who spilled coffee on Crystal's gun hand.

The moment that sent us on our tired, doomed voyage toward the police roadblock south of Fresno.

Wednesday September 10th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the hobby.

Had a relatively relaxed day, as the bakery didn't need any tomatoes this week and there were hardly any berries leftover after the box pick. So after a quick harvest I did some work in our yard (for the first time in ages) and finally got around to doing a couple things around the house.

Went out after dinner to do some more weeding in the tomatoes but didn't get particularly far since it gets dark so early at this time of year. I'll get back to that tomorrow morning.


Paul pushed his glasses up onto his forehead and let the resume fall from his hands to land on his cluttered desk. It had to be a typo. Not that the properly edited version would have made the candidate appealing, it just would have been less...

"Worthy of a call to the police?" It was never a good sign when Paul started talking to himself. Sooner or later his secretary would overhear him, realize he wasn't on the phone, and spread warning words to the other occupants of the 12th floor.

Surely it was simply a case of poor editing. How many times had he done something as silly as forgetting to place the ers at the end of a word? The work of a moment's distraction or simply thinking a few words ahead as he typed. Countless, really.

"Of course," Paul muttered as he left his plush leather chair and began pacing around his office, "I caught the mistake myself. It didn't take a coworker or potential new employer to uncover my gaffe."

He paused to stare at the resume once more. Maybe he was the mistaken one. Perhaps his eyes had deceived him. He picked up the application and scanned to the section titled Hobbies. No, there it was, plain as day. Right between Gardening and Tennis.

Serial killer.

Tuesday September 9th, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the racetrack.

Four more box days left this year. Almost there. Almost.

Today went pretty smoothly, actually. This afternoon was much less rushed than usual, thanks to my finally accepting that there just isn't enough time between lunch and putting the boxes together for me to have a rest.

So instead of trying to cram some sleep in there once Max was down for his nap, I just took things nice and slow. We ended up having everything ready to be picked up about half an hour early, which might be a record for us.

And good thing we did, since our first customer showed up twenty-five minutes early...


Round and round they go,
their mad scramble for first place
leaving me dizzy

*     *     *

The whip cracks again.
Rider wants faster? Get down
and run it yourself!

Monday September 8th, 2014

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: the roadblock.

Kat has agreed to watch a friend's son two mornings a week for two hours at a time and that began today. So while her and Max played with him I went to a coffee shop for some me time and to write a poem for my niece, who turns three on Friday.

Basically pleased with the end result. There are a couple of rough spots that I'd have liked to have smoothed out, but it needed to get in the mail today so... better luck next time, I guess.

Back to box harvesting tomorrow. It's crazy windy out there right now, so hopefully things settle down before morning.


By the time we saw the police cars blocking the road it was too late to turn back. They'd have been on our tails the instant the wheels of the van crossed the center line. There was really no choice but to keep going and hope for the best.

I mean, it's not like they had pictures of us or anything like that. We wore masks, after all - we weren't stupid about it.

But they knew how many of us there were. Probably had a pretty good idea about how tall each of us was. Maybe even ballparked our ages while they were at it.

That's a lot of information to go on, if you stop to think about it too long.

We'd been so careful though. There were no fingerprints to go on, not a single piece of physical evidence left behind. Right? Nobody made any careless mistakes... right?

Anyway. Like I said, there was no choice in the matter. We had to keep going. Cross our fingers, hope to get through. And if they figured out who we were?

Well, the cops weren't the only ones carrying loaded guns.

Sunday September 7th, 2014

The exercise:

The 7th already? That means two things. One: Max is now two months away from turning two years old.

And two: it's time to get back to Vancouver Irrealis.

Had a pleasant day off. Went for that hike we'd hoped to do last weekend, did a few errands, and had a couple families over for dinner on the deck this evening. Max had a blast running around and playing with the other three kids.

One of whom was also named Max.

And was born two days after our Max.

It's a strange, small world some times.


"Well that was... unexpected." Rewand offered a weak smile and ran his fingers through his thin hair.

"Where did you go?" Tristam asked as Anne-Marie rushed to her grandfather's side. "Do you remember anything?"

"Oh yes, I remember everything. I'm fine dear." He tried to shoo Anne-Marie away but his hands were shaking too badly for the effort to be taken seriously. "As for where I was, I'd say it could best be described as... inbetween."

"What, like limbo?"

"I seemed to be... hovering between this world and yours. I could see your visitor... but I could also see an empty room that looked much like this one. The Icepol are crawling all over this building in our... reality, but in the other almost everyone was asleep in their beds."

"Are they getting close?" Anne-Marie asked, giving the ceiling and walls nervous looks.

"No, no. Terpe is doing a fine job of getting them to inspect the most harmless areas of this structure. I believe we will be safe here until morning, at which point we will need to begin tracking down Nkare... before it is too late."

"Too late?" Tristam swallowed hard. "What else did you see?"

"In your world there is an important gathering of some sort two nights from now. A conference perhaps? I saw newspaper headlines with varying takes on the same theme above the picture of a man. I didn't recognize him... which is no surprise... but an influential international figure it seemed... I believe he is Nkare's target."

"Tristam?" Anne-Marie saw the blood drain from his face and seemed unsure as to whose side she should be at - her grandfather or Tristam's. "Who is he?"

"His death would throw the city... the country... the entire continent into chaos." Tristam felt a tightness in his chest and a clawing at his belly. "A perfect cover for an overtake."

"Who is he?"

"Geoffrey K. Wilkerson." Tristam swallowed again with great difficulty. "The President of the United States."

Saturday September 6th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: peaches.

We brought 17 crates of peaches to the market this morning. We brought home 4.

No, not crates. Peaches.

Pretty ridiculous, especially considering it was the first market after the final long weekend of summer. We also sold out of berries, corn, cherry tomatoes, and McIntosh apples. We came back with a few crates of Gala apples, but a good chunk of those will be going into the boxes on Tuesday.

Kat's mom drove up to help keep Max entertained for most of the morning. It worked out perfectly - they had a great time exploring the market and we were able to run the stall together, without distraction.

Other than, you know, every now and then wondering where our son was.


Millions of peaches,
Peaches for me.
Millions of peach- wait.
Where'd they all go?

Friday September 5th, 2014

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the worm.

Long day of harvesting. Ready for sleepy time go night night now.


It's stuck. I keep trying to get rid of it but it just won't budge. At this point I'm at a complete and utter loss.

This earworm is going to drive me insane.

Thursday September 4th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the bill.

Kat had a pretty bad allergic reaction while she was harvesting cherry tomatoes on Tuesday and we were fairly certain it was due to one of the weeds that has taken up residence in that area of the garden. So I spent some time with those weeds this morning and after dinner. Had a nice long chat. Discussed career possibilities.

But mostly? I yanked them out of the ground.

Hoping that did the trick, as there are more cherry tomatoes ready to be picked tomorrow for the market. Aiming to bring some berries, corn, garlic, apples, peaches, and plums along with them. They're calling for a beautiful couple of days, weather-wise, so here's hoping the forecasters know what they're talking about this time.


"What the hell is this?"

"It's the bill? You know, traditionally delivered at the conclusion of a restaurant meal?"

"Ah yes, I've heard of that. Never actually seen one before."

"I'm not sure how that could be possible."

"And this here, up at the top?"

"That's a smiley face. A little personal touch from our waiter, I suppose."

"Well. At least my suspicions that we were being served by a child have been confirmed. Likely means the food was actually sourced from the local pound as well."

"I... I don't think that would be..."

"Anyway, thank you for showing me it. Pay up and we'll be on our way - I've got more meetings this afternoon than I care to think about. Good thing I don't have to, huh? That's your job!"

"But you don't pay me enough to be able to afford this, Henri..."

Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the outbreak.

We had a wet and very windy morning here, which made harvesting tomatoes for the bakery and coffee shop rather... unpleasant. I got it done, though, before taking a break with Kat and Max to go for coffee in town.

After lunch the weather was slightly better. I managed to finish the rest of the harvest and then make the deliveries as well.

This evening was a quiet one, spent with family. We took Max out to the berry patch to pick some raspberries for ourselves, which is always a nice treat. Sometimes we forget to do that, we're so focused on selling to others.


They appeared out of thin air, or so it seemed. One moment there was peace and quiet, the next they were here. And there. And everywhere.

Now they travel in thick, stomach turning clouds. Perched on walls, counters, tables, they take flight when approached - either on purpose or accidentally. Always an unpleasant surprise, that.

I strike one down and fifty take its place. Thousands are vacuumed away and seconds later it is as though nothing has been done to stem the tide.

The fruit flies are winning this war. My defeat seems inevitable... but I know a secret.

Winter is coming.

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: tomatoes.

One more box day done, leaving just five remaining this season. Have to say I'm pretty ready for that last one to arrive.

The rain held off for most of the day before finally slipping free from the clouds just as I was bringing all the produce down to our place. That meant putting everything inside in order to sort things into the various boxes, instead of on the deck like we usually do. Which meant Max, of course, woke up from his nap before I'd even finished putting one box together.

Pretty sure he thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

"Peppers! 'Matoes!" Each word accompanied by a pointing finger. "Peaches! Blackberries!"

Thankfully he only got one berry in his mouth before we could corral him. Though later on he did manage to grab a pepper and take a bite out of it. Luckily I'd picked a few extras, so that was no big deal to replace.

I think in future weeks I might have to pick extras of everything, just in case.


Red, yellow, orange;
cherry tomatoes are like
snacking on summer

*     *     *

Plump red clusters lurk
in the shadow of green leaves,
waiting to be found

Monday September 1st, 2014

The exercise:

We welcome September by writing something which takes place in: the trading post.

The hike didn't end up happening, as fatigue lingered into a second day. We did meet up with a friend and her three year old son at the park this morning, so at least we managed to do something.

We got a start on the box harvest after dinner, which should leave us with a reasonable amount of work to do tomorrow morning. Hopefully the rain holds off for us.


Jimmy "Squinty" Munroe slid off the side of his horse and approached the trading post with his trademark limp. He nodded to any man who caught his eye, tipped his hat to the ladies. That he received nothing in return didn't appear to bother him in the least.

Stepping up onto the boardwalk in front of the store, he reached for the door and was forced to snatch his hand away as it swung outward with enough force to break bones.

"No!" yelled Caleb Lewis as he stormed out of the building he had built with his own two hands. "No, no, no!"

"What's the problem?" Jimmy asked as he stepped to the side. He tried to maneuver his way inside but found his way blocked by a long, muscular arm. "Closing up early today, Cale? Taking a nice little vacation?"

"I told you a hundred times if I told you once," Caleb yelled, wagging a finger in Jimmy's face. "You ain't allowed in my building no more!"

"Aw, come on now Cale! I thought you were just joking around!"

"Do I look like I'm joking around?"

"Well, no, I can't say that you do. Not unless you've been working on your acting. Have you been -"

"Go away and do not come back, Squinty!"

"Now, now," Jimmy said, offering the palms of both hands as he took several steps back. "There's no need for name calling. Just because you didn't care for those furs I brought in last month -"

"Those were skunk furs!"

"The finest specimens for miles in any direction!"

"And you didn't even bother to wash them after they sprayed their stink all over the place!"