Sister, Can You Spare a Dollar for Fort McMurray?

Hello, friends. I’m kind of between computers (getting a new one going, yet doing some essentials here on the ‘old’ one), but I really wanted to share Sue Slaght’s critical post with an overview of the wildfires ravaging Fort McMurray, in Canadian Red Cross-logonorthern Alberta, Canada. If you’re like most Americans, you might not know where in Canada this is taking place, but Sue gives a helpful pinpointed map and details on how the spirit of selflessness and compassion has prevailed. She also tells you how to donate to the Red Cross of Canada, a link that I’m pleased to duplicate here, for helping the survivors of the Alberta Fires.

I’m unable to get Sue’s post reblogged at present, but I wanted to give you all a pointer to it if you haven’t read or seen it yet. Please do give it a read at Sue (and Dave’s) blog, Travel Tales of Life. In happy times, this vivacious Canadian couple cycles, runs, floats, climbs, and walks in lovely locations all over the world.

Also, as a former animal welfare worker-bee who helped with the evacuation of animals in a few situations, I would feel remiss if I didn’t point out all the domestic pets who have lost

Misc.-Nature&Sherman 007

Our beloved Heinz-57 pooch, Sherman, a former shelter dog. RIP, buddy.

their homes and possibly their pet-people, if not their own lives. According to the Alberta SPCA on May 8, 2016, “Peace officers from the Alberta SPCA and the Calgary Humane Society have been working tirelessly in Fort McMurray to help the Wood Buffalo Animal Control Services with the rescue of all the pets that remain there.” Among others, the Alberta SPCA is accepting donations to help with the pet rescue during this terrible time for scores of Fort McMurray’s people and their entire families, including pets.

Thank you for reading, stay safe, and relish your day!

Advertisements

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21 – “Fresh”

Hello, fellow Hugh-go-nauts! Hope I’m not too late for the weekly photo challenge.

Whereas Hugh rustled up a scrumptious and delightful photo of tropical fruit, here’s a different bit of freshness I’ve experienced of late.

A freshly laid (lain? egads, those are hard to remember!) duck egg. Yes, no matter how hard you try, they are never completely clean, when you retrieve them. This one was still warm.

And a luxurious duck-spa visit amid a fresh pool of water. This is what ducks love to do as soon as you fill or refill their pool with tasty, new, cool water.

Not much time to write this morning, but I hope to be back blogging some fiction and/or poetry this week. So stay tuned!fresh splash

 

Fresh Egg

Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge

20151223_203202

Hello, all. I saw Hugh’s photo challenge, and considering that he would kindly make a £1 donation (up to £250) to The Dogs Trust*, I knew I just had to tag along.

And now, the right jolly old elf who perches atop our tree (apologies for the not-so-clear photo).

Thanks, Hugh, and again, happy holidays to you all, wherever you are!


*The UK’s largest dog-welfare charity. They do great things for canine critters (and the peoplekind who love them); check them out!

You Like Me? Really? Wow, Thanks!

2 of Our Ducks

“Do you think she understands what I’m saying?”

Thank you, Dhan’yavāda, Danke schön, Gracias, Merci, Arigatō, xièxie nĭmen, Shukran

Despite that headline and to take tongue out of cheek for a moment, this post is actually about two main things: being thankful and being forthright.

First, I can’t adequately express my gratitude to you all. Regular readers, irregular readers, once-in-a-whilers,  or those for whom this blog has been a one-hit wonder or no-hit blunder. (Oh, and might I also recommend Activia, kefir, or other probiotics? I’ve had kefir, but not the others, though I have heard they work well for sluggish colons. No, not the punctuation type.)

In truth, I began this blog as a “what the heck/why not” experiment, with really zero hypotheses. Scientific method and all that. I was encouraged by a family member to start it — probably to keep me sane and to preserve his last remaining wits that living with me hadn’t yet flayed away! — so I can’t even claim it was an original idea. Never mind all the excellent — many far more so — WordPress writing sites that already existed before Leigh’s Wordsmithery was a glint in this copyeditor’s eye.

I really expected nothing, except that it would be nettlesome. Even painful. To share oneself, even through fiction, as the old saw goes, is easy. Just open a vein at your keyboard. With or without the saw.

And so, I thank you for welcoming me, taking me in like the wordulous and scrappy orphan I am, and giving me the firm roof of friendship. It has been sublime to follow your blogs likewise, to see your comments gleaming in my e-mails like a prism where I can peek at other perspectives, and to learn about you and from you. Even from afar.

In short, you all have helped me grow (no pun intended). So, the sole reward or award that I need from you all is one big heaping helping of being-present, when and if you can. I haven’t always had that in my life. Many of us bloggers haven’t. So, lest I fall into my own pity party, I just want to say. loudly and clearly: I appreciate you all and wish each one of you the best and brightest life has to offer.

Honesty is Not a Lonely Word

Presuming you have read this far — hey, I said I was wordulous! — honesty is not a lonely word, because we’re here together, experiencing these slippery letters, which I think that we craft together (I engineer the form, you make it function; conversely, if I’ve goofed, you let me know). I hope we’re not sharing these moments in the Stephen Crane-heart-in-a-desert sense, mind you.

I owe a lot, just short of everything really, to you, readers and friends. I haven’t been ignoring y’all, but I do have to sheepishly admit that I’ve been nominated for a few awards since I started blogging at WordPress in January (2014), by several kind and generous souls.

In no particular order, these good folks have gobsmackingly nominated me, lo these 10 months of WP blogging: Frankie at Trucker Turning Write, Swoosieque at Cancer is Not Pink,  and the Exquisite Priyanka. I am awed and very grateful that the images and/or writing here have been meaningful to these readers in some way. These bloggers have made me blush, but in a good way. Please do visit these writers whenever you can; I’d be happy to know you did.

Now, I thought it might be fun (and I hope not tedious for you) for me to do a very brief interview with myself, since the requirements of so many of these awards are that you share yourself with your readers. (Gawd, the height of arrogance am I, a Q & A with myself! I have to smile.)

And now, seven “deadly” factoids about me, which you may later wish you’d never read:

Yep, that's me. Post-run.

Yep, that’s me. Post-run.

1. As a kid who was a “tomboy,” one of my early pastimes was baseball. Playing and watching (and collecting). I shared the love with my grandfather, whom I have old audio tapes of when I interviewed him about seeing Babe Ruth play.

2. Our family has 6 ducks as pets. They give us eggs, companionship, and fascinating vocalizations and observations.

3. I was once “arrested” for playing spy at nightime when I was about 9 or 10. The neighbors called the police for, presumably, “strange small person hanging out in a tree near our driveway.”

4. My husband and I took Shaolin kung fu for several years (as adults) and really enjoyed it. I also learned a smidge of Cantonese from Hong Kong cinema, which I still love.

5. I have a weird aversion to styrofoam and, perhaps not so weird, heights and flying. Also, flying in a styrofoam airplane.

6. In college I hoped to someday work as a writer for “The Simpsons” television cartoon/comedy. I have a partial episode or two I wrote still lying around somewhere.

7. T.S. Eliot is (directly/indirectly?) responsible for at least $400 of my lifetime writing income. A flip of the penny for the old guy.

Again, all the best to you. And my deep appreciation to Sally Field, from whom I cadged the headline. Have a great weekend and be kind to each other and our planet. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Trifextra Week 103: Of Heroes Hirsute

Trifecta Tricycle ImageI’m not sure what you’re working on currently, but I’m treading in the realms of realism again these days.

This week’s Trifextra 33-word flash-fiction challenge freights you to the end of the line with this one: “That wasn’t what I meant.”

Being the linguistics-backgrounded word-nerd that I am, I had scads of fabness deciding where to put the accent in the terminal sentence: that, wasn’t, I, or meant. And working backward to form the oyster around the hoped-for pearl. (Hey, can a story be a back formation)?

In any case, I hope I give you an unusual prism to ponder.

*****

Of Heroes Hirsute

Shelter-Misc. 012

Many wonderful companions (like this one, adopted several years ago) await your love at a shelter or rescue group. If you are in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico, please visit Petfinder to learn more about adoption in your area. Photograph ©Leigh Ward-Smith

A sandpaper sensation woke me. Then I tried to whistle for Pep, but my left side wouldn’t move.

Gravel pop-rocked all around. Was I being herded?

My last confused command had been sit-climb-jump.

That wasn’t what I meant.”