Oh, Happy Day

I get birth-mother, biological/genetic mother, step-mother, and, of course, mother.

Similarly, I understand the difference between father and sperm-donor, as I understand Dr. Phil once referred to a man who had “fathered” a child but had not been, you know, a father to that kid. Or a good father, à la Keanu Reeves in Parenthood (language warning).

I even understand in loco parentis. But while we’re on loco, I don’t get birthing person/people, the latest but I’m sure not the last attempt at inclusive language. Or something. (And that “person” should be “peroffspring,” shouldn’t it? If we’re going down this road, let’s do it.)

So, whether you are a mother (of any variety) or had a mother (ditto), a Happy Day to you this fine second Sunday in May. It’s the first such day that this household has had no living mother to whom to send flowers and I have to say it’s a bit weird.

So, let’s treasure and support all mothers and children of mothers while we have them with us, and let’s worry a little less about the language. And you folks who coined “birthing person”? You go first.

Posted in Feeling Clearly, Language and Communication | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I don’t think I’ve ever worn a pair of gumboots. I’m pretty sure I had no rain boots as a child. I grew up in Edmonton and Calgary, and have no memory of a raincoat. I think my grandmother had a folded-up plastic tie-down hat she carried in her purse, but it was more for the wind (of which there was lots) than the wet (of which there was little).

Continue reading

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Photos of Flora | Tagged , | 6 Comments

It’s the Principale of the Thing

As well, essential travel like going to work, going to school,
returning to a principle residence
and getting health care is exempt from these rules.
CTV News, reporting on new BC travel restrictions

What struck me about this article on the roll-out of new travel restrictions in BC (limiting people to the boundaries of their Health Authority) (well, except for the exemptions) wasn’t the slight strangeness of them (I mean, do *you* know the boundaries of your Health Authority area? I sure don’t), anyway, what struck me was that phrase, “principle residence.”

Continue reading

Posted in Language and Communication, Laughing Frequently | Tagged | 10 Comments

Ode to Old Mag-nole

You know of my trials with my magnolia tree. Of my feeble and broadly ineffective attempts to repel, repulse, fend off, and otherwise discourage the local scurry of squirrels from munching through the emerging flower buds every Spring.

Last week, after I had spilled water-and-cayenne on every available surface near the tree and its adjacent fence, things seemed to be going well. The buds were so close to swelling past the point-of-interest for the local rodents–some milestone of development invisible to the human eye–and turning pink before my eyes. Maybe we were home-free.

2-photo collage of magnolia buds

Then it snowed and the overnight temps dropped into true frost territory, not once but twice. Within a few days those wannabe blooms were littering the ground under the tree. Frost-bit, I assume, and brittle – so brittle that a stupid, sniffing, clumsy, trespassing, obnoxious squirrel would break them off easily. Nay, callously carelessly.

Harsh off-season frost.
Earth blushes with your victims:
flow’ry never-bes.

We’ll see what the second wave brings. I don’t want to despair just yet. Let’s see what another famous poet has to say about it.

If it be now, ’tis not to come.
If it be not to come, it will be now.
If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.

And yet I can’t be quite as sanguine. The magnolia makes a good-faith effort to bloom, but if ’tis thwarted twice, goes straight to leaves, readiness be damned.

The flowers are worth some effort, says me, but I do understand working to schedule.

2-photo collage of full magnolia blooms


Posted in Laughing Frequently, Photos of Flora | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Pleasant to Me?

The matchless theme, is pleasant to me

It could be modern poetry. I don’t understand that either. And punctuation is often optional.

Or it could be an artifact of a slap-happy copy/paste exercise. Those are often impossible to decipher too, with sensible punctuation often collateral damage.

It could be, but it’s not. No, it’s my old friend Blog Spammer working with Phrase Auto-Generate.

We haven’t talked about slap-happy here, so I had to look it up to see if the hyphen was optional. It appears so.

slap•hap•py (adjective, informal):
dazed or stupefied by, or as if by, a series of blows to the head

After a few weeks of head-down proposal work, and a few weeks more to come, slap(-)happy is how I feel.

dazed or stupefied by, or as if by, a series of blows to the head

In my case, happily, “as if by” not “by.” That’s all the happiness on offer right now: that there is no actual slappiness involved in this project.

But I’ve told the Big Guy that if he ever catches me saying “Yes” to a client again, he should slap me. I know it seems extreme, but I’d be happier. Honest.

Posted in Feeling Clearly | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Who Writes This Stuff?

I opened my email absentmindedly, with only half my attention.  I figured it was notification of a regular payment.

No, no it wasn’t.

Mother's Day ad

I didn’t quite gasp but my full attention was engaged now, for sure. I can’t see Mom this Mother’s Day, as it turns out, and I’m damned if I see how I can show up for her either.

Continue reading

Posted in Feeling Clearly, Language and Communication, Mortality | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

An Ode to Survivors

This would be a different post if I hadn’t been working too many hours this week.

There would be a photo illustration, for one. I would have got outside before the warming day melted the snow skiffs that covered our tulips. Snow skiffs on two days. I counted.

There would be a polished haiku, for another. Well, there would be a revised haiku.

It is what it is.

White blankets green stalks;
shiv’ring blooms whisper, “Stay strong,
for this too shall pass.”

If they can stick it, I can. The work and the weather.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Reason to Believe

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says officers will no longer have the right to stop any pedestrian or vehicle to ask why they are out or request their home address.
City News, 2021 Apr 17

It took just a day for Ontario to walk back the two most egregious of the latest “public-health” measures they had just brought in: playground closures and new powers for police. I’m not sure what took them that long. Mind you, even as they moved to correct their misstep, they managed to make it worse.

Continue reading

Posted in Politics and Policy, Thinking Broadly | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Where Are They Now?

The hoovering hordes of redpolls that seemingly inhaled an 8-lb bag of seed in just a few days inspired me to two creative endeavours: a video and another haiku.

Many for the Road

Wings flutter madly.
Eyes shine as seeds disappear.
Feeder sways, empty.

They’re gone for the season I think. It’s nice to think they’re out there somewhere, though, and I guess the same could be said of many things and most people. So here’s a toast to absent-but-not-fallen comrades.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly | Tagged | 6 Comments