Author: Margy

Looking for Puppy Faces

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne) – Six years ago I wrote a post called A Perfect Storm – The Motorcycle Accident. It was the story of the day (Friday, July 13!) that The Car Guy and the Harley abruptly parted company – both landing in a farmer’s field, both with considerable damage. I reread that post yesterday. I also reread all the comments left on posts then and after the event – words of encouragement, concern and prayers for a speedy recovery! Thanks again, from the bottom of my Canadian heart, to all these kind bloggers who reached out to me during those dark days: The Cvillean Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings Virginia Views Before Morning Breaks Joys of Creating The Other Side of 55 Mark Armstrong Illustration Coming East composerinthegarden Year-Struck Nylon Daze MountainMae From the Drawing Board Fear No Weebles Bless Your Hippie Heart k8edid The Sandwich Lady Winsomebella I Need a Play Date …

Great Horned Owl Update

We haven’t seen the Great Horned Owl Family very often this past month, but I now have a permanent set of Owlet triplets to remind me of how special it was to watch the Owls. I crocheted my own owls from a pattern at Jacquie’s Website. Jacquie says “If you are proficient at crochet you will be able to make one of these sweet little owls in no time at all.” Proficient is the operative word. My crochet skills were rusty, and apparently my counting skills were too. ‘No time at all’ took several weeks. There are many fiddly bits to the project. The hardest part, however, was getting a decent photo of them. Their light weight little bodies didn’t want to sit on the branches of the trees. I finally had to wedge them between branches or skewer them a bit with the poky thorns. As for real owls, two of the owlets were hunting here on July 19. There were several other owls too, but they didn’t land. The original un-retouched photos are …

Mildly Amusing Missives #4 – Twitter

I created a Twitter account a few weeks ago.  I’ve been following and unfollowing people since then. There is a fine line between ‘this is interesting’ and ‘this is depressing’. Here are some of the more amusing and thought provoking things I’ve found. What your Dog is Thinking something. you may not realize you’re allowed to do. is take a snoozle. and then when you wake up. immediately start another one – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Jul 4 – sometimes. i will yawn really big. and soon after. the human will also yawn. i have yet to decide. what to do with my powers – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings – I don’t own or use a virtual assistant – do you? You would think that by now Alexa might be experienced enough in the ways of carbon-based lifeforms to be able to distinguish between a sneeze and the calling out of her name. “Bless you, Stephen” would be a better response than “Hm. I don’t know that one.” – Stephen Fry, @stephenfry Jul 11 – …

Peterson Derangement Syndrome

Someday “Peterson Derangement Syndrome” will be cited in the DSM as a peculiarly virulent social contagion which did not affect ordinary people, but which left-leaning intellectuals, lacking immunity, succumbed to in droves. – Barbara Kay of the National Post – Dr. Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, speaks in Calgary tonight at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Peterson, the author of the book 12 Rules for Life,  made headlines in 2016 when he opposed Bill C-16 (which affords transgender people the freedom from discrimination under the Criminal Code). His opposition was not to the rights of transgender people. He saw the language part of the Bill as an extension of a campus culture that he believes is controlled by “social justice warrior, left-wing radical political activists.”  He saw the potential  of being charged with a hate crime or running afoul of the Ontario Human Rights code if people failed to use a transgender person’s self identified pronoun. Cathy Newman : “You got into trouble for refusing to call trans-men and -women by …

Red Roses in a White Vase

This simple bouquet of two roses and some baby’s breath will last forever (or until it gets so dusty the roses don’t look red any longer) because I dried the roses by hanging them upside down in a cool spot for several months. After I took the photo, I tried a few filters in the Topaz Studio program which is a free download. Roses are angiosperms, Violets are, too. Sugar is C12H22O11 We know this from peer review. – Author Unknown – Roses are red, Violets are blue. Some poems rhyme, Some don’t. – Author Unknown – Roses are red and violets are purple Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple. – Roger Miller – Roses are red. Violets are blue. Please flush the toilet after you’re through. – Author Unknown – Roses are red. Violets are blue. Please don’t kiss me, ‘cuz I have the flu. – Author Unknown –

Unexpected Entertainment in Nelson, British Columbia

We arrived in Nelson on motorcycles, hot and dusty after a long day of riding. We could almost see our hotel, but couldn’t get to it because it was on a parade route. A police officer asked us to pull over and park. That is how we came to be spectators at  the Annual Gay Pride Parade. That evening, after we had wined and dined at a local eatery, we realized that this was a perfect opportunity for people watching. There was a wedding reception in the hall near our hotel (downtown on Baker Street). Guests in fancy dress came and went from the venue, frequently upstaged by the eclectic garb of cross-dressers, marchers from the parade and bikers. The booze evidently flowed. It was an extremely entertaining evening. Nelson has many heritage buildings, but the finest, and most photographed, is the Court House. It was designed by a British architect, Francis Mawson Rattenbury. It was completed in 1909 at a cost of $109,145.88. Francis was also the architect of the province’s Parliament Buildings and …

The Dark Side of Group Loyalty

If you are promoting the value of loyalty, it may be that you need to promote other values at the same time, like fairness and integrity. As effective as loyalty can be in promoting other positive behaviors, Loyalty in isolation can be a dark thing. – Angus Hildreth’s comments, Group Loyalty – The Information Age has given us access to incredible amounts of data and opinion, but also vast numbers of Biased Reports and False Narratives… and an Uncivil Outrage that is triggered when people are unwilling to look beyond the easy facade of their Loyalty and Bias. How culpable are politicians and the media in stirring the flames of anger? What is the role of Social Media?  How do YOU know when mountains of bias are covering a more accurate truth? Here are just a few ideas that could help you to be more informed and less manipulated. Be Cautious of Statistics The Four M’s of Statistics –  they can be Manipulated, Mismanaged, Misrepresented and Massaged by officials and other groups to promote their …

The Quippery

Yikes! We’ve got Americans!

Americans Worried about Russian Interference According to a CNN poll in 2018, nearly 3/4 of Americans are worried about foreign (Russian) interference in United States elections. Ironic, then, that powerful American interests are meddling in Canadian affairs! Yikes We’ve got Americans! Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, recently visited Canada’s eastern province of Ontario, and spoke out on behalf of the Liberal Premier’s ‘Cap and Trade’ system: “I don’t want to interfere in your politics but I have to speak out when I see all of the candidates in the other party proposing to go backwards…” (Ontario’s Liberal Government was defeated in a provincial election on June 7th.) Mr. Gore has also expressed his displeasure with the KM (Kinder Morgan) Transmountain pipeline, which is a Canadian expansion project (from Alberta to the British Columbia coast) that, after a 29-month review, was approved by the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Government (November 29, 2016). (Protests and lawsuits continue to delay the construction). Fossil fuels are subsidized 38x more than renewables globally. Now …

Mildly Amusing Missives #3 – And More Owls

The Owlets Take Flight Part Two of the Great Horned Owl Story is over here: The Owlets Take Flight A Little Bit About Ants I bought an ant farm. I don’t know where I am going to get a tractor that small! – Steven Wright – Ever so Virtuous Virtue signalling: when you express an opinion in public to show your moral superiority and gain approval – without actually taking a significant action. (Isaac) Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion. ― Geoffrey Miller – Gender Neutrality in Canada Gender neutrality is a hot issue is …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

The Robin Welcome Wagon

Two years ago, a pair of American Robins built a nest on top of the electric meter box near our front door. (See this post: The Endless Quest for Food.) Yesterday, a pair of robins were checking out the same location, but almost immediately afterward, a magpie landed on the meter. This seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the robins. They haven’t returned. The Car Guy and I remembered, though, that the previous robins had a great deal of difficulty building a nest on the narrow, smooth surface of the box. It seemed to us that it might be a good idea to mount a platform on top of the box that would make it easier for the robins to anchor their nest. This is what The Car Guy came up with. Just to make it very clear to the magpie that this was for the robins, The Car Guy added the name of the intended occupants. A wall, an electrical meter box, the robin platform – do you see anything else in this photo? …

Your Blog – What Do Your Visitors See?

I give my blog a make-over now and then. (WordPress.com has so many themes to try). When I test drive a new one, I ask a few friends to let me know what their browser thinks of the change. Does my blog load fairly fast on their computer, phone or other device? Can they read the blog easily? Does anything seem to be ‘broken’? Why does speed matter? We might live in a fast paced world, but our internet connections vary from rabbit to turtle. I sometimes have a frog connection – fast leaps alternating with “really, you’ve stopped completely!?” pauses. A fast website loads completely in my browser while my frog is leaping. I can read the site while my frog has stopped to admire the scenery. A slow website doesn’t load completely during the leaps. I often get tired of waiting and abandon the site. Apparently search engines also use load speed as one of the factors in search ranking. You can test the speed of your site with a free tool called …

Right Place, Right Time

Every now and then (but not if I’m in a line-up at the store) I’m in the Right Place at the Right Time! Here are three photos to illustrate what I mean. In 2011, I wrote a post titled Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise in the Ditch. At that time, the orchids were growing in a ditch – about a 5 minute walk from us. Not a great distance, but they were easy to overlook in the tall weeds and their blooming season was short. I only saw them once again after that. A few days ago, I was very surprised to find the pretty yellow orchids again growing in the ditch –  but this time right at the end of our driveway! It would have been easy to miss their yellow flowers, surrounded as they were by clumps of yellow dandelions. But, they must have whispered to me… “It’s your lucky day – we’re your  neighbours now!” I’m a Canadian ‘Snowbird’ who spends part of the winter in the USA. Last winter I went …