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Welcome To My Back Yard

6937192-green-leaves-wallpaper-hdMy office looks out onto the back deck of my home, where I can turn the slatted blinds and see into my tangled backyard. Tangled because there are things growing there that I did not plant, and yet would not destroy. My yard has fences all around and trees that had to be cut down because of disease. One was a poplar and one was a birch, and when they were gone, I really missed hearing the wind constantly singing through the leaves, watching migrating birds landing for a rest, seeing filtered sunlight through the leaves, and feeling the cool oasis of sheltering branches. It was a long, hot, sad summer without those beautiful trees.

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The following spring, I noticed little saplings growing around the fence lines and instead of cutting them out, I left them, curious to see what was growing there. Today, at the eastern end of my deck I have a beautiful, strapping, strong big-leafed young maple tree shading my deck, with its fingertips starting to brush my bedroom window in the night breezes. I don’t mind the gentle “tap, tap” – it’s my connection to my maple tree.  I still have my beloved lilac tree, which every year gives me sweet fragrance. Now, I also have two wild cherry trees (birds love them), one choke cherry tree (love it too), two small maples, a couple of aspens, and several small leafy trees I’ll have to identify one of these days.The guard the perimeter of the fences, making a moving picture of lush green leaves whenever there is a breeze. They are filled with birds, their nests, their song.

Violets

My lawn is no longer totally a lawn — there is an area where only violets bloom, because I chose to leave them alone.  It is a beautiful surprise every spring when a patch of lawn reflects purple along with the green.  I was told by a horticulturist friend of mine, that there is a grass developed that grows no higher than 3-1/2 to 4 inches tall, very sturdy, needing little upkeep.  I was eager to try it — imagine!  no more lawn mowing!  — but had to consider the one drawback – the colour is purple.  Purple grass?  Well, why not?  Part of my lawn is purple anyway, for at least as long as the violets bloom, and then it sinks back into green again. Wouldn’t it be rather beautiful to have blue sky, green trees and purple grass?  Wonder if I can persuade my neighbours to give it a try…..

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Beside the deck, another gift from the birds is a well-established blackberry bush stand, where I have many times removed a generous cupful of blackberries, and eaten them, one by luscious one, while sitting on my glider swing, under the shade of my sturdy maple, watching a cardinal and its mate flitting around in my trees and bushes.  There is no feeling on this earth quite so incredibly lazy as drifting for an hour or so on a glider swing.  Sitting here today on a cold, brooding day, I am longing to have spring hurry up.
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I have set up some waist-high plant boxes on sturdy tall tiles to decorate the deck, some in partial shade, and some in full-sun, and I have an abundance of plants to experiment with, and some seeds that I have never tried before.  I like to experiment with different colours and types of plants.  I have decided I’d like to experiment with some trailing ivies and sweet peas, and perhaps some thumb-size tomato plants, along with something golden, something blue, something red in flowers.  Maybe a patriotic box with red, white and blue? (But definitely sweet peas, because I remember my Aunt Reggie having a profusion of blooms just outside her back door – and the sweet aroma permeated the house and the yard. It would be a fitting remembrance of a sweet and beautiful lady I loved.
Sweet Peas
If this summer you are looking into my backyard from over the fences, lurking, wondering if you should climb over and join me or not, or enter by the gate, you’re more than welcome.  Let me just say to you, it’s lovely in the sun, it’s refreshing in the shade, it’s delightful on the swing!  The flowers are lovely and the fruit is delicious!  Laughing and playing is definitely permitted.  If my dear little rabbit, Mickey, was not such a coward, I’d invite him outside too.  But he’s definitely not a country rabbit.  He prefers the high-rise second floor of my house.  I correct myself – his house upstairs, my house downstairs, but all-in-all, our house.

The Poetry corner

The poem I have chosen to share with you is entitled “Eagles”.  The magnificent print of a wonderful painting entitled “Wings Of Freedom” is by Mario Fernandez.  I have attempted to reach him on the internet to see if he would like to use my poem along with any future offerings of “Wings Of Freedom”, because to me they just seem to belong together.  The very large and beautiful print shown here was an anniversary present to my husband and me, and it hangs proudly in my office.

eagles

EAGLES

My eagle flies beside me

over rocks jutting from the shore;

Up, up we rise together,

wings spread, we rise and soar.

The air, like silk, flows over us

as we cut through the sky;

Exultantly, we lift or dive,

the air filled with our cry.

We mate for life, and life is good;

our spirits full and free,

Each day filled with each other,

my eagle mate and me.

We’ve flown above the mountains;

we’ve coasted o’er the shore;

We’ve lived each day together,

and we live for evermore.

The memory of two eagles,

as side by side they fly,

Is ever painted on the wind,

the wind that cannot die.

“Eagles” Jan 19, 1999 © E J Finn (Collie)

“Wings of Freedom” print © Mario F Fernandez. ( for more about the artist, visit his website: Mario Fernandez )

 

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Notes To Remember……

I have a love of music that encompasses the whole wonderful world of tonal sound, in every category imaginable:  I just get lost in the joy of it.  Heavy metal?  yep.  Classical?  mmmm!  Country? of course.  Rock? love it.  Rhythm & Blues?  absolutely.  Crooning?  I’m there.  Gospel?  always.  Soul?  melts me.  Celtic? deep in my heart.  Funk?  sure.  Salsa?  cool.  Jazz?  for a long time.  Dance?  lets!  Patriotic? that’s me.  Indie?  yes.  New Wave?  suits me fine. Recently I’ve listened to Dean Brody, Canadian Country singer.   Here’s his picture.
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Wikipedia tells me Dean was born August 12, 1975, in Smithers British Columbia, and grew up in Jaffray BC.  He worked at a sawmill, playing guitar in his spare time. He signed with Broken Bow Records in 2008, and released his debut single “Brothers” late that year.  He and his wife Iris live in Chester, Nova Scotia (where a very close and dear friend of mine is from).  And he’s another good example of our great-looking Canadian singers…….
Here’s a link to Dean Brody’s website Dean Brody Website followed by some YouTube samples for you to enjoy:
His first album “Dean Brody” was released in 2009, debuted at #32 and peaked at #16 on U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart: Here’s “Brothers” (a heart-tugger posted by putzseanthemusic)
From his 2010 Album “Trail In Life” here’s “Little Yellow Blanket” (a love song posted on DeanBrodyTV)
From the 2012 Album “Dirt” here’s Dean Brody’s homage to“Canadian Girls” (Canajun, eh? posted DeanBrodyTV)

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It’s Been Said…..

I believe if you were only allowed one book, a good reference (like Bartlett’s) would fill up your days with reading, and contemplating, and understanding.  It’s a fast track education, but definitely shouldn’t be a fast read.
churchill
Sir Winston Churchill, writer, orator, artist, statesman, historian, is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.  I have tremendous respect and affection for this extraordinary man who was one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century.  He kept up the spirits of the British people (and Canadians) at a time when everything looked dark, and victory uncertain.  He is so well-known for his courage and strength, and tenacity, I thought I would focus today on his humour.  Here’s a sampling:
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;  an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
“Although prepared for martyrdom, I prefer that it be postponed.”
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
“Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”
“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
“I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.”
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.”
“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
“We have always found the Irish a bit odd.  They refuse to be English.”

Paws For Awhile…..

From the title, I guess you’ll surmise that I’m concentrating on favourite four-legged pawsy-type critters, just a little note or a picture that caught my eye passing by.
The Saluki has always fascinated me. Known as the “Gazelle Hound”, “Royal Dog Of Egypt”, “Persian Greyhound”, the Saluki is one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dog, with pictures appearing on the ancient Egyptian tombs of 2134 B.C.  According to Wiki, they have connections both to the Bible and Imperial China.  Modern breeding in the west began in 1895 when Florence Amherst imported a pair from Lower Egypt and began working to popularize the breed. In 1923 the Salukis were recognized by The Kennel Club, and in 1929 by the American Kennel Club.  This beautiful dog is the mascot of southern Illinois University Carbondale. A sighthound, the Saluki historically travelled throughout the Middle East with nomadic desert tribes over an area stretching from the Sahara to the Caspian Sea. They were used to hunt quarry such as gazelles. They come in two varieties, smooth and feathered (more common), with fur on its ears, tail and the back of its leg. They are an independent breed, needing patient training, but are gentle and affectionate with their owners. Typical weight: 40-60 pounds (18-27 kg) height:  23-18 inches (58-71 cm) life span: 12-14 years.
Want a Saluki?

saluki

Pinheaded People

Pinheaded people

are paltry

and pukey

I’d rather have dogs

like the sleek, slim Saluki.

© E Joyce Finn/Collie

Signing off…. ej

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