Saturday October 31st, 2015

The exercise:

In honor of Halloween, write a four line poem about something that is: spooky.

Not that there was anything spooky about my little Bob the Builder:

Though the way he transformed from Happy To Be Trick Or Treating Angel Boy to Give Me Another Sucker Or I'll Lie Face Down On This Floor In Public Demon Child was quite impressive.

I, uh, probably should have kept a closer eye on the clock so as to recognize when lunch time had arrived. Lesson learned for next year!


We left him to guard our stash
And now the candy is all gone.
So I'm thinking that maybe
My Dada is running a con...

Friday October 30th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: forcing the issue.

Took the car in this afternoon to get new winter tires put on. So it's that time of year, I guess.

We're more or less all set for Halloween here. I'm taking Max into town for the annual Trick or Treat Main Street event, which runs from 11 to 3 and is geared toward the littlest of the little kids. It's his first time trick or treating and he's pretty excited. The plan is to meet up with some of his friends and go as a group. We're hoping to have Natalie with us as well but the timing may not work out.

Oh, and don't worry. There will most definitely be pictures to share tomorrow.


"You just couldn't let it go, could you?"

"Come on... you can hardly blame me for this."

"Oh, I can very easily blame you for this, seeing as it's your bloody fault we're in this mess!"

"I'm sure Sarah will change her mind soon; until then, can't we try to enjoy being in jail for the first time in our lives?"

Thursday October 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the donkey.

Feeling very sleepy. Should get this written and my butt to bed before the usual happens.


Richard was not your typical donkey. For starters, he never really seemed to care for hard work. He avoided it whenever possible and on those rare occasions we actually managed to get him to do it he wore an expression of such sheer, pure boredom that it was difficult not to laugh at him.

Play was not really his thing either. While the other donkeys were always keen to goof around with the farm hands, Richard would keep to himself. Usually not even watching the fun. But if he was? That same look of utter disinterest.

Was he smart? I suppose. It's not like we could give him an IQ test to prove it one way or the other. But if he did have any brains he sure did a fine job of keeping them secret.

Friendly? My goodness, no. Now don't get me wrong, it's not like he ever hurt anyone. On purpose. We think. He just clearly preferred his own company over the company of anyone else. I'd never say he was lonesome. Just comfortable and content in solitude.

None of this fully explains how different Richard truly was though. The thing that really marked him as an outsider, that made it clear that he was not, nor could he ever be, just one of the pack, well... you kind of had to see it to believe it.

I mean, honestly, would you just accept it as true if I told you that Richard walked around the farm on two legs?

Wednesday October 28th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: the lumber yard.

This afternoon Becky and I took Natalie and Max to the petting farm that's just north of Oliver (same one we visited back in March... oh man, that picture again). They're doing a Halloween theme this week, which mostly seemed to feature decorations around the farm house. Anyway, Adam was at work and Kat had a counselling client so we took the opportunity to go, seeing as Becky is working as a substitute teacher for the rest of the week.

It was a little rainy and cool, so we had the place to ourselves. We all had fun, though once again the kids were hellbent on playing with the toys and had trouble remaining focused on the, you know, animal portion of the tour.

I did manage to get this picture of the two cousins though:

They had even bigger bunnies but I guess they weren't interested in coming out to see visitors.


"That's uh... that's a mighty big order you're picking up there."

I looked at the teenage boy offering this sage observation and blinked. Slowly. He looked down at the clipboard in his hand again and shifted his weight from foot to foot several times.

"It's just that... um... some of the guys in the yard have been, you know, wondering who put this one in."

"And whether or not I'd actually show up to collect it once it was ready?"

"Yeah, something like that. Just saying stuff like, Is this a prank? You know?"

"Well I'm glad to see my request was taken seriously enough for you fellows to put it together." I returned my attention to the forklifts loading the lumber into the five delivery trucks I'd rented. "If any of my vehicles get so much as a scratch you can expect an invoice before end of day."

"Yes, of course. My boss would have it paid immediately. Not that any of these guys would damage your-"


"Yeah." He cleared his throat and dared a peek up at me. "So, uh... what's all this for? Like, what are you going to build?"

I remained silent as I watched the last of the wood get loaded into the trucks. The boy shifted and grimaced at my side the whole time. If that was torture for him, his curiosity must have been killing him. As the trucks began to drive away I finally relented.

"I am constructing a life-sized replica of King Kong."

Tuesday October 27th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: acceptance.

My day-after-my-birthday celebrations... nah, I'm just messing with you. Party's over for this year.

For me, at least. Max's festivities are right around the corner.

Spent this morning in the garden, pulling out the remaining tomato plant stakes, and harvesting our beets, parsnips, and carrots. The veggies are all in storage now, for us to work our way through over the winter. Well, the remainder of fall and as much of the winter as they'll last.

Now I just need to pull up the remaining row marker stakes and harvest whatever remains of our peppers and we can till the whole thing in for another year.


With all of these flaws
and shortcomings, I just want
to accept myself

*     *     *

The ground rules are clear:
spill an innocent's blood and
you are one of us.

Monday October 26th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: the coffee shop.

Had a quietly pleasant birthday. Max let me sleep in past 7, I had some time to myself this morning, I spent the afternoon with Max, watched some TV with Kat this evening. Throw in some nice birthday wishes from friends and family and it all makes for a very nice day.

Of course, I had to go and cut myself while doing dishes tonight. So typing is a little awkward, what with the band-aid on my right index finger.

I'll just get right to this writing stuff then, shall I?


Max and I had the following conversation whilst at our favorite coffee shop this afternoon:

Max (while holding a carrot vegetable chip out to me): Say 'what's my name'!.

Me (after interpreting what he actually wanted me to say): What's your name?

Max: Carroty Carrot!

Me: Hi, Carroty Carrot. It's very nice to meet you.

Max (still speaking through the carrot chip): What's your name?

Me: I'm Max's Dada.

Max: Hi, Max's Dada.

Me: Hello...

Max puts the carrot chip into his mouth and starts chewing.

Me: Bye...

Max (with his mouth still full, still speaking through the chip): I'm in Max's mouth and I don't like it!

I honestly haven't laughed that loud in a public setting in a very, very long time. Best birthday present ever? Maybe.

Sunday October 25th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in: the brewery.

Had a very pleasant day-before-my-birthday day. Massage this morning (from a friend who we built up a credit with produce over the summer). Afternoon nap while Max was off playing with his cousin. Dinner out with Kat while Max was having dinner with his grandparents. Evening hanging out in front of the fireplace.

Tomorrow is going to have to try pretty hard to be a better day than this one. Although I suppose it does have the fact that it's my actual birthday going for it.


"Mmm, I really like this one."

"More than the last one?"

"Yeah, definitely."

"And the one before that?"

"Um... I think so."

"What about the one before that one?"

"I... don't really remember how that one tasted."

"How about the one before that?"

"There was one before that?"

"There were three."

"Oh man, I think I'm starting to feel these beers."

"That's not a good sign this early, man."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean we've got another thirty-five varieties to taste before they'll let us out of here..."

Saturday October 24th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: improvisation.

After an entertaining Skype chat between myself, Max, and my sister Sue first thing this morning, I drove Kat and Max up to Oliver for a family fall market and swap meet. It was put on by the home schooling group that Kat was a part of last year, so we ran into loads of people we know, which was really nice.

There were also lots of used toys for Max to check out. He played with most of them, I'm pretty sure, but the only thing we actually bought for him was a pair of sunglasses. Kat picked up a couple things as well, while I mostly tried to keep our son from breaking or stealing something.

The nights are hanging out around freezing recently. But that's all right - I've got the fireplace going now. Mmm, it's the comfy cozy time of year.


What happens next?
Your guess is as good as mine!
Because, you see,
I've forgotten my line...

Friday October 23rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose that have something to do with: tingling.

Well, they certainly had their opportunities. Oh well, it was a helluva run. Maybe next year? May it at least not be another 22 years before the next playoff appearance?

Haircut was a success, by the way. No issues and Max now looks like a fine, young, respectable toddler again :P


The sensation, as it always does, begins at the base of my spine. It moves, ever so slowly, upward, taking its time as though making certain that it has my full attention.

Of course it does, for I know exactly what it means.

She has entered the room.

Thursday October 22nd, 2015

The exercise:

It is time, once again, for the Random CD prompt.

So go pick a song as randomly as you can and make use of its first line as your own. Then, after credit goes where it belongs, take it from there. Poetry or prose, whichever you're inspired to write.

I've got Max booked for a haircut appointment tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck. Er, him luck. Us luck?

Yeah, let's go with that last one.


I Found by Amber Run

"I'll use you as a warning sign."

"Sorry, what?" I mean What the hell is that supposed to mean? but I don't need to go there. Yet.

"I'll keep an eye on you," he says with a knowing smile. The one that drives me up the wall crazy. "That way I'll know when it's time to leave." 

"I'm not following." Partially because I don't quite understand what he's talking about. Mostly because I'm fairly certain he's about to walk off a cliff.

"Look. We both know that you hate these dinner parties the Kelly's insist on hosting." I nod because this is as obvious as the stench of air freshener in the house after he uses the toilet in the morning. "You can put up with it for a little while and then... you know."

"I know... what?" Okay, I'm starting to go there now.

"Then your... uh... your disgust starts to show." He licks his lips and his eyes begin to dart around as he seeks an escape from our conversation. Good. "Like, before your face goes red? It starts, at like, your neck?"

"So when my neck begins to turn red...?"

"That's my sign to get out of there!"

"You mean our sign for the both of us to leave?"

"Oh... uh... yes?"

Wednesday October 21st, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the rallying cry.

Here we go again. At least, I hope so. Game six goes Friday night in Kansas City. Game seven will hopefully be the Saturday feature in KC.

My birthday, apparently, is less than a week away. Which means Max turns three in just over two weeks. Squeeze Halloween in between the two and it makes for a crazy time of year.


These recent times have been terribly dark. They have, unquestionably, left their mark. Far from a walk in the park, it has been more like leaking blood while swimming with a shark.

But now, at last, a change is at hand. Can't you feel it sweeping across our land? Sure, it wasn't planned, but our hidden, passionate fires have been fanned. It is time to get up off our knees and stand!

These tyrants will cower in fear when our mighty army draws near. We have no need for bow or spear in order to stand atop the ramparts and cheer. Our time is here, this is our hour, our day, our year. And to think... it all began with a single tear.

Tuesday October 20th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku as written by: fish.

Or just about fish, if you wish. That was my original plan, but then I ended up writing two by fish, so... here we are.

The Jays are now down 3 games to 1, so they need to win 3 straight to advance to the World Series. Also known as the exact same thing they had to do last series to get to this one. At any rate, it's nice to know they have it in them.


Just keep swimming. A
mantra passed down to us by
a cultural god.

*     *     *

A worm on a hook?
Are you serious? Do I
look - ooh, it jiggled!

Monday October 19th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: victory.

Thank you, Canada. Thank you very much.

Oh, and the Blue Jays won tonight as well.

Good day all around.


Free at last, free at last. Oh my goodness does it ever feel good to be free at last.

Listen. I know I'm not going to love everything Trudeau and the Liberals do in office. I know he's going to make mistakes. I know his time as Prime Minister will not go exactly as planned.

But, right now? I am grateful for a change in leadership. I am thankful that my country has given him a chance to see what he can do for us. I am excited about the possibilities. I am proud of the man who is about to become the international face of Canada.

Most of all, though, I am just so friggin' glad to see the end of Harper and his Conservative government. I was going to say 'and the Conservatives' but I'm aware that they're not going anywhere. And I suspect that I will dislike their next leader as much as I did this one (despise is the better word but I'm in a generous mood).

It has been nearly a decade since we've had a different man in this role. That is a long time to not be proud of your country's leader. No, I should be more honest. That is a long time to be embarrassed by my country's leader.

That changed tonight. Not only am I proud, not only am I no longer embarrassed, I am actually excited about the man who is about to become my Prime Minister. What a breath of fresh air his speech was tonight. What a total change in direction from the personality and politics of the man he shall replace. Unity over division, positivity over negativity.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring in Canadian politics. But tonight... tonight I am happy.

Sunday October 18th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the stuntman.

Tomorrow is the big day. The Canadian Federal Election, Version 2015. Please, Canada, get this one right.

Fair warning: if Harper gets re-elected, yet again, tomorrow's post is going to be a very, very grumpy one.


You're probably wondering why I do it. Put up with all the bumps and bruises and broken bones. Danger and death as constant companions, always hanging about the house. Not always keeping to the shadows either.

Is it the money? Yeah, it's all right. It would have to be, wouldn't it? Jobs like this don't attract people because of the glamour or prestige or being of service to others. Sure, it attracts more than its fair share of crazies. But that's not what it's about for me.

At least I don't think it is.

I still haven't answered your question, have I? My apologies. I suppose I needed some time to think about it in order to give you an honest answer. I'd hate to be flippant. Or say something I don't mean and then be unable to take it back. I hate when that happens.

And it happens to me a lot.

You'd think I'd be more careful with my words. Or maybe you wouldn't think that at all. Maybe you think I'm as crazy as the rest of them. But I'm not. It's all about love, nothing more.

So there's your answer, I guess. I married this nutcase of a stuntman because I loved him more than any man I'd ever met and that hasn't changed. That's why I'm still by his side, whether he's standing tall or lying in a hospital bed.

Though, lately, it sure seems like more of the latter, doesn't it?

Saturday October 17th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the next chapter.

Well, the Jays now find themselves in a familiar position: down two games to none. At least this time it's a best of seven. Not that I'm encouraging them to go down three to none.

But, you know, if they did... it wouldn't be all over. Necessarily.

Enjoyed a non-market Saturday with my family today. Even managed to find time to shave again. Insert meaningless promises to keep on top of my facial hair here.


This chapter is finished,
Are you ready for more?
Come, turn the page -
Let's see what's in store...

Friday October 16th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the glitch.

I'm not terribly surprised that the Jays had a letdown after the dramatic events of their victory over Texas on Wednesday. It came in the form of a 5-0 loss in the opening of their best of seven series against Kansas City. Not ideal, but plenty of time and opportunity to right the ship once again.

Speaking of ships, Kat and I watched Pirate Radio this evening. That was a whole lot of fun. Consider it recommended if you've not yet watched it.


"You really shouldn't have left submitting your online application to the last minute."

"More like last second... but you know I work best under pressure."

"More like extreme press... uh oh."

"... please, please tell me that the power did not just go out."

Thursday October 15th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the new kid.

We had our StrongStart group over for a walk around the farm this morning and snack time on our deck. The plan was to take them through the apricot and plum trees to see the fall foliage starting to come in, and swing by the garden just to have a quick look since there's not much left out there.

Instead we spent a whole lot of time with the horses and picked a whole lot of corn for people to take home. We also passed through the apricot trees. 

Snack time featured a whole lot of interest in the walnut trees and finding fallen walnuts and cracking walnuts and eating walnuts (people also brought lots of food to share and we cut up a few apples from the orchard as well).

It was a fun change of pace around here.


There is no hiding here. No sanctuary. No hope for invisibility. Getting lost in a crowd is a lost cause. Forget slipping through the cracks. No word is unheard, no misstep is mistaken for another's.

Everyone knows who I am.

There might as well be a neon sign hovering above me like a scarlet halo. Though I've done nothing to deserve this branding. I have betrayed no trust, committed no crime. I am innocent in all things. Well, nearly all things.

I am guilty of being the new kid, after all.

Even that, though. Even for that I could place the blame on someone else. For all the good it would do me. But doing so would not change my reality. Would leave untouched this daily torture. So there is no point in shifting the responsibility elsewhere. Not at school, at least.

At home, though? At home this is all Dad's fault. This is all because of him and that stupid new job of his. The one that forced us to move halfway across the country.

I bet he doesn't feel like the new kid at work.

Wednesday October 14th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something to do with: compromise.

Sweet mother of mercy, that was quite the game. I'm not really sure what else to say but... bring on the Kansas City Royals and the American League Championship Series. Oh, and maybe I should admit to watching the replay of that Bautista homer a few (dozen) too many times.

I spent the afternoon putting our squash into storage and planting out next year's garlic in the garden. We're doing a lot less this go around, what with baby number two due to arrive in the spring, but it's still a big job. Good thing the Jays won to give me a surge of energy or I would have had trouble getting through the remainder of the day.

Kat had a counselling client right around dinner time so I took Max into town for pizza. What can I say? I was in a celebrating kind of mood. He didn't quite understand the sentiment but he did enjoy the pizza and the rare nighttime outing.


To strike the bargain
Sacrifices were made.
The deal's not perfect,
But a price must be paid.

Only time will tell
If the means were justified.
But what could we do?
Give up, shrug, say that we tried?

They are not happy
Either, I hope you know;
They bent just as far,
As far as they could go.

There is no winner,
But no loser as well.
A deal has been struck!
Let's move on from this hell.

Tuesday October 13th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku around the theme of: unstoppable.

Because, for whatever reason, Max was wired from the moment he woke up (early) this morning until he fell asleep (surprisingly on time) this evening. There was just no stopping him today.

At this point I can only assume that he is siphoning my energy while I sleep and then burning it all off during the day so that he can do it again the next night.


This kid could give the
Energizer Bunny a
run for his money

*     *     *

He was a hot knife;
I should have known better than
to be his butter

Monday October 12th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place at: the polling station.

Today was the final day for those wishing to vote in the advance polls ahead of next Monday's federal election. Kat and I took the opportunity after having lunch in town and Max came with us. I'm quite confident he had no idea what was going on but I was still glad to have a chance to expose him to the process.

The Blue Jays put together another huge game today, this time winning 8-4. This sets up a deciding game five on Wednesday. I suspect I will be watching between my fingers.

Heading up to Penticton tomorrow for an appointment and to run a couple errands. It still feels a little weird to not be going up there on Saturdays.


"So... who are you voting for?"

"Um, what?"

"Who you voting for?"

"I'm pretty sure that's none of your business."

"Ah, come on. I'm just making small talk."

"In fact, I'm pretty sure it's illegal for you to ask me that."

"What are you gonna do girl, call the cops? They got worse folk to worry about than little old me, don't you think?"

"What I think is that this is highly inappropriate."

"I'm just a dude talking to a chick. What's so wrong with that?"

"I am trying to cast my vote..."


"... and you're the one who will be accepting my ballot."

"True. Be a doll, won't you, and make sure you put your number on there too."

Sunday October 11th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: disarray.

With a huge 5-1 win this evening the Blue Jays live to battle another day. That day is tomorrow. Fingers crossed they now have some momentum on their side.

I harvested potatoes this afternoon. Kat's parents were out doing the same in their part of the garden so Max tagged along to help them. It's okay, they had more to do than I did. Plus it let me overhear things like the following:

"This one looks like... Mr. Potato Head!"

I always feel better about laughing at my son when he can't hear me doing it.


"Your organization is in disarray."

I hide a laugh behind a cough. At least ten heads turn in my direction. Maybe I could have done that with a little more subtlety. Though to be fair to myself, the... observation caught me off-guard.

"You need solutions," the consultant tells the managers in the crowded room. Which includes me. I'm the most recent to join this level of our... company. I'm still getting used to the title. "Nothing is off limits. No idea is too crazy. So let's hear it."

The silence in the room is as oppressive as it is unsurprising. Of course nobody is going to stick their neck out. Not now. The executioner's job doesn't need to be made any easier.

"Come on, don't be shy. I'm sure each of you has at least one idea on how to set things right. Just shout it out."

The whiteboard on the wall remains blank as the marker in his grip hovers over it. Glances are exchanged behind his back. Somebody needs to say something, that much is understood. Otherwise we might be stuck in here until starvation starts to claim the weakest of the herd.

"Not speaking up is how you guys ended up in this mess! Let's not k-"

"Yeah, I've got an idea," I call out. I'm pretty sure my resume is up to date. I might need to switch out a reference or two after this though. Oh well.

"Awesome! Hit me. Whatcha got?"

"If we are in, as you say, disarray," I say slowly as I struggle to keep the smile from my face, "perhaps we should stop referring to ourselves as an organization."

Saturday October 10th, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the mercenary.

Max let me sleep in until 7:30 this morning. What a great way to start my first non-market Saturday of the off-season.

I am full of turkey and pumpkin pie and am ready for sleep. So... on with the show.


Whose side am I on?
Who picks my enemy?
I keep it real simple:
Whoever pays me.

Friday October 9th, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something (or someone) that is: dull.

Because this morning I drove past Tom Dull Road on my way to picking up a couple packages that Kat had ordered and it caught my attention. I just kept thinking, "Man, talk about losing the last name lottery."

Anyway. Speaking of losing, the Blue Jays are now down 2-0 after losing in extra innings today. Winning three in a row isn't out of the question by any means, but maybe lets just start with winning the next one.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here, which means Kat's aunt and uncle have arrived from Calgary for their yearly visit. We went up for dinner this evening and we'll be back up there for turkey dinner tomorrow night.

I am very much looking forward to not attending the farmers market tomorrow.


"I'm sorry my love, I just can't do it."

"It's... it's my last name, isn't it?"

"Oh sweetie, you know I can't take your last name... and hyphenating would be just... you know..."

"What would be so terrible about being called Mrs. Dull-Bottoms?"

Thursday October 8th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: hindsight.

The Blue Jays opened their baseball playoffs this afternoon with a 5-3 loss to Texas. Not, obviously, an ideal start to things, but hopefully they'll get things moving in the right direction in game two. Seeing as it's a best of five series, they really better.

Oh, hey, look at that - I'm completely caught up on comments on the blog. First time in... you know what? I don't want to look that up. I'm just going to celebrate being back on track and do my best to keep it that way.




Dylan hated looking back. He wasn't one of those people who believed anything about learning from history or repeating mistakes or any of that junk. Back was gone, unchangeable. Forward to the future, with choices to be made and paths yet to be taken.

Turning to the past only lead to regret. Wishing that more information was available at the instant poor decisions were made. Wanting the impossible - to know the future so as to avoid it - and screaming at the injustice of its elusiveness. It was, as far as Dylan was concerned, the worst kind of futility.

And yet, there he was. Flipping through faded photo albums. Listening to songs that brought him back to moments that should have remained buried beneath hourglass sand. Visiting cafes, parks, museums, beaches that he should have forgotten ever existed.

All while the same thought kept hammering the inside of his skull. Over and over, like the endless crash of waves upon an isolated beach. Eroding, slowly but surely, the rock of his psyche.

I shouldn't have let her go.

Wednesday October 7th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: the costume shop.

Had some time to myself today and managed to get caught up on comments all the way through to the end of September. I am determined to get fully caught up, and remain caught up, on comments on the blog. I'm getting there.

The Vancouver Canucks opened their 2015/16 regular season with an impressive 5-1 win this evening. Expectations are not particularly high for this year's version of the team, but I'm still hopeful for entertaining hockey and at least a few more results like this one.


"Can we hurry this up?" I asked, trying to make myself as small as possible among the endless rows of costumes. "I'm feeling claustrophobic in here."

"Hold on, I've almost got it on," Ryan called back from one of the change rooms (I honestly couldn't figure out which one his voice was coming from - that only added to my dislike of the place). "I'm pretty sure we've got a winner with this one."

"I doubt that," I muttered. Absentmindedly I reached out and ran a finger down the length of a police uniform. I was surprised by how soft the fabric was.

"Okay, you ready?" Ryan asked. I could hear the excitement in his voice. It made me queasy.

"To get out of here? Hell yes."

"Come on, man. This is important."

"All right, all right. Let me see it."

I'll admit it. When Ryan stepped out of the change room he was unrecognizable. I actually hesitated before saying anything, wanting to make sure another door wasn't about to open with my friend in a more obviously Ryan-like form.

"I'm impressed," I said after no other doors opened.

"I know, right? Maggie won't know it's me until I start talking!"

"Yeah... but, you know, maybe dressing up like a psychotic clown isn't the best way to sneak up to your ex-girlfriend in a last ditch attempt to win her back."

Tuesday October 6th, 2015

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the planets.

Kat had another prenatal yoga class in Oliver this morning, so Max and I went along to drop her off and then play in the park for an hour. Lunch afterward again. It's becoming a bit of a weekly ritual.

She's still having a lot of up and down days, especially with her stamina, but I think things continue to trend toward getting over the morning sickness the first trimester uses as its calling card.

Me? It's only Tuesday and I'm already feeling a bit lost knowing that I'm not harvesting on Friday and attending the farmers market on Saturday.


Round and round they go,
dancers performing cosmic

*     *     *

This planet has had
enough of us... but no one
else wants us either

Monday October 5th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that is: black and blue.

Chopped and hauled my first load of firewood this morning. It's not time to start using our fireplace quite yet but I wanted to get a head start on our stockpile.

This afternoon Kat and I made borscht together, using beets, potatoes, garlic, and onions from our garden. It turned out great and it was really nice to have her in the kitchen with me again.


"Well, that doesn't look very good, does it?"

"No, no... I'd say it's rather appalling, in fact."

"I can't believe she'd leave the house looking like that. Doesn't she own a mirror?"

"To be fair, it's not her fault."

"Oh! Of course not, no. No one is saying that it's her fault."

"But you would hope, wouldn't you, that a friend would tell her how horrible an idea that is."

"Is that it, then? Does she not have any friends?"

"Wouldn't be terribly surprising, would it? With the way she dresses?"

"Hey! Idjits!"

"Uh... hello there! My lady..."

"I'm color blind, you wankers, not deaf!"

Sunday October 4th, 2015

The exercise:

Let us see what's happening with The Colony, shall we?

Quiet morning. Natalie came over to play with Max this afternoon, so that was less quiet. But very entertaining.


I get Robbie cleaned up and sit him down on our former commander's bunk while I fetch a glass of water. It feels strange to be here but after what we just witnessed on the monitor I have zero interest in returning to my quarters. I know we'll have to deal with the bodies eventually, but Eventually can wait until Later.

"Thanks," he says when I hand him the water. "And sorry about th-"

"Nothing to apologize for," I interrupt with a shake of my head. "It's a totally normal reaction, I think. Besides, we need to figure out what comes next."

"Oh, no, I'm pretty sure I'm all done now."

"Hah, I hope so. No, I meant we have to decide what we need to do now that our commander has betrayed and abandoned us. Do we go after him and find out who he's working with? Do we just bunker down and wait for the next supply drop?"

"Can we go back home?" The expression on Robbie's face makes my heart hurt.

"That was never going to be an option," I tell him as gently as possible. "This was a one way trip, you know that."

Robbie nods slowly and leaves his head hanging down. I use exploring Vassily's quarters as an excuse to leave him alone for a few moments. I need to clear my head. I need to start making important decisions. Before it's too late. Before Vassily returns and... before...

"Computer? Are there security measures that we can execute?" I shudder slightly at my own choice of words. "You know, some way to secure the compound's perimeter?"

I watch the nearest monitor as it goes blank for a heartbeat and then fills with text.

No such procedure exists. However all external entry points can be locked. Whether that prevents forceful reentry is dependent upon what form of force is exerted.

"So if they've got big enough tools they can huff and puff and blow our walls down. That's... not ideal."

"How many entry points are there?" Robbie asks. I didn't realize he had gotten up and was reading the monitor as well. When the monitor remains blank he quickly adds, "Uh, computer? How many ent-"


"Could we lock three and leave one open?"


"What are you thinking?" I ask, an uneasy feeling gnawing at my belly.

"If Vassily returns, with however many of whoever people he's got out there, he'll know all the ways to get in. If he finds the most obvious entrance locked, he'll check the others. If we make it look like one was accidentally missed when we were securing the compound..."

"Then that's the way they'll come in." I nod as the unrest in my stomach grows. "And if that's the only way..."

"Then we can be ready for them."

Saturday October 3rd, 2015

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the conclusion.

Markets are officially over and done with for this year. They ended on a positive note, despite a rather strong wind that did not let up at all. I didn't bother putting up the tent when I got there as I didn't want to deal with making sure it didn't blow back to Osoyoos. I was also wearing three layers and a toque, but I did manage to stay reasonably warm.

Sold out of the remaining Ambrosia, Salish, and Mutsu apples. Only returned with one of the five crates of Fuji apples I brought. Sold all the cucumbers, zucchini, corn, and strawberries. Moved a few butternut and acorn squash, as well as a couple pumpkins and a smattering of ornamental gourds.

It was strange to be saying goodbyes this early in the year. I think the earliest we've stopped going in previous years was mid-October. But it's been that kind of year - everything's been early.


He knows the answer now that
The facts have all been laid out;
He is utterly wrong though,
Despite his lack of doubt

Friday October 2nd, 2015

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: snack time.

I'm not quite sure how I managed to fill up the truck with produce today. I'd been thinking all week that I wouldn't have all that much to bring to the market this weekend. Then, as I was getting to the end of packing up after dinner, I began to worry I might not have space for everything.

I got it all on there, as I pretty much always do. Hopefully I won't be bringing much of it home.


"All right, it's time to get you ready for snack time."

"Oh, that's okay - I'm not feeling very hungry right now."

"Yeah... it's not time for you to have a snack."

"I don't under... where did you get that lion?"

Thursday October 1st, 2015

The exercise:

Welcome to October, better known as Marc's birthday month. What? That's not what you call it? How strange.

Anyway. Write about: the quack.

Kat had a prenatal yoga class in Oliver again this week, so Max and I went with to drop her off. While she was there I took him to a nearby park, where we played until she was finished. Then we went for lunch and came back to Osoyoos.

Not a bad start to the day.

Back to harvesting and gathering produce tomorrow morning as I prepare for my final farmers market of 2015. I've been doing them by myself for the last couple of months and I'm quite, quite ready to be done.

Plus all the apples are already off the trees and we don't really have enough produce to justify attending any more markets. Not that I'm complaining at this point.


"I'm sorry, what did that quack tell you?"

"I wish you wouldn't call him that, dear."

"Well I'm certainly not going to call him a doctor!"

"You could at least show him a little bit of respect. He does have a degree, you know."

"I'm not sure that completing a psychology course at a community college qualifies him to dole out medical advice, mother."

"It was a little more than a single course, dear."

"So what? Two? Three? It doesn't matter!"

"It matters to me. You know that."

"Why? Why in the world would anyone listen to that quack?"

"I do wish you would show your father a little more respect, dear."