Monday, July 30, 2012


and tries to figure out what to do with it. (This happened back in March; I've finally figured out what to do with it.)

In this case, this is the Versatile Blogger Award which comes to Bear from Rubye Jack. She is a fascinating individual living in "Indian Territory," USA. (For those not familiar with the designation, the state is now called Oklahoma.) Please drop by and check her out. She has quite a story to tell. Right now, she's using a community computer. That may change.

Next step. Name 15 other bloggers who deserve the Versatile Blogger Award. Not so easy. There are so many good blogs out there. Bear will have to think about that.

So far, 3 of the key tasks accomplished.
1. I've named the award.
2. I've told you who gave it to me.
3. I've told you that I have to pass this on to 15 folks, naming them, and letting them know they have been thus awarded.

Now, the hard part. The 15 blogs.

1. The big guy himself, The Blog Fodder
2. The half Welsh woman, Tattie Weasle
3. Maggie, Life in the Preseli Hills
4. M Lydia M, Writerquake
5. Domestic Laura, Cleaning House and Baking Cookies
6. Shannon's Faith~Hope~&~Love
7. West-coast Carol, Better Is Possible
8. Shauna, Two Chicks and Their Peeps
9. Long-suffering Dana, Life Is Good (aka Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down)
10. Rachel, the poet, The Waxing Moon
11. A chemist turned writer, Cheshire Wife
12. The Gentleman's Lady, A Funny Old Life
13. Amanda, the Archiologist, Travels with Persephone
14. Paul, Costo
15. The Crow, phantsy that

Peace and joy, friends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


There are times in Bear's life when things get downright peculiar.

There was a comment on my last post before the tornado nonsense in mid-June. My blog had been nominated for the "Inspiring Blog Award." This, from a total stranger.

So I did what I usually do. My "nose for news" got going, and moseyed on over to check out the details.

Jemima Pett works with animals. Guinea Pigs, in fact. (I want you to know that I behaved myself; I didn't eat either of them for a snack.) She turns them into the Princelings of the East in her fiction books. 

But really, anyone who works with animals like that has got to be a good person! (You go check her blog.)

As a recipient of this award, I am required to bore you with tell you seven exciting unique things about the Bear. The problem is, you already know so much about me (way too much, in fact) that it will be hard to say anything new. (Though, to catch a unique Bear, you neek up on him, very quietly.)


1. I lived on Melrose Avenue in North York (right beside the City of Toronto) when I was growing up.
The original Melrose was in the Scottish border area, and had a wonderful abbey, which (I suspect) was demolished during the Suppression or Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII of England. The religious communities were basically sacked by Henry's troops between 1536 and 1541, and their money added to the Royal Treasury. I think he was worried about them being hotbeds of Roman Catholicism, ready to dispute his plans to try Britain's congregations in the Anglican Church.

2. My second favourite colour is green. And the older I get, the more I like green. Green as in trees, and grass, and plants. Particularly Hunter Green for painting.

3. I have a huge amount of trouble keeping my study clean and tidy. There is so much that I am doing that paper and books seems to accumulate here, there, and everywhere. But usually, I know where things are if I want them. Usually. (OK, sometimes.)

4. I have a mixed relationship with baking. I like making scones. But if I make them I'll want to eat them. Never tried donuts. Not much at cakes. Or cookies.
Maybe I just need more practice. Which would mean people to whom I can send my "treats." I wouldn't want to waste good food. Though some may go to waist.

5. I would love to have a motorcycle.
It's a death wish, I think.
Can you imagine a Bear on a motorcycle, outside a circus?
My point exactly. Sigh!

6. I used to be a day person. Now, I've become a night person. I'm not sure how this transition happened. I think it had to do with the amount of pain I have experienced, which sometimes (or more often) keeps me awake at night. 
How many of you are day people? How many night people?

7. I enjoy doing Tai Chi. I understand there are several groups going that in our city. I've tried contacting them, with no response. Have you ever tried that?

Last task. I need to nominate 15 people/blogs for the "Inspiring Blog Award." Herein lies the problem. I don't follow blogs which are un-inspiring. 

So Bear will be creative. And ask you inspiring readers for help with this. You tell me; which blogs do you consider inspiring, and worthy of this aware? Maybe one that I follow already; maybe something I have not seen before. Please let me know.

Blessings and Bear hugs to all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Consider Joni Mitchell's take on things.

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feathered canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all.

I will be back!
I'm not sure when.
Take you pick.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, depending on when you read this).

Sandie, the Chatty Crone, had an interesting bit on her blog about uses for a coffee filter.

My first question, of course, was to know how I could use a filter made out of coffee in my tea pot.

That was also my first mistake of the day.

I've been working on an article for my blog about virtual friends. The people who sign on as "followers" of our blogs.

These are interesting people, rather like "the bright good-morning voice who's heard by never seen," as described by the late Harry Chapin.

Star got me thinking about that, again, today.

You'll have to wait until I'm done in order to read the article.

Congratualations to Laura and Seb on their 20th wedding anniversary. Laura thinks 20 years is a long time. Four children may have added to that feeling. 

She has "Laura's Best Ever" recipes. These are worth noting. Sadly, I cannot find her blog archive, so you'll have to hunt a bit for those treats.

While people in the United States have been struggling because of forest fires, we've been having trouble in Canada too. The situation is so bad that we're getting quite a bit of smoke in our city, which is way south of the fires.

Smoky Sunset
In fact, the smoke was so bad when I was taking pictures last night, that the smoke was catching in my throat. Not fun! 

A lingering question: Why did the quick brown fox jump over the lazy dog? A lot of people write about that, but I'm no closer to an explanation.

I was thinking of going to the Farmers' Market, about 8:00 o'clock this morning. But then I ran into a lazy streak. Could not get through it, under it, or over it. I went back to bed.

And, that's the news. I'm Rob-bear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well. We've been having temperatures around 100°F in the Bear's part of the world. No fires, so far. Thankfully.

But it is so hot that even the air conditioner cannot keep our "cave above the trees" cool. Sigh. Meaning we have trouble sleeping at night.

So this morning, J and I were both awake about 5:00 a.m. (I know some of you regularly get up at that time; my heart goes out to you.) And having nothing better to do at that hour of the day, we hopped in our Volvo and went bird watching for a couple of hours. It was a summer mini-vacation.

J had not seen or heard a Meadowlark this year, and very much wanted to find one. So off we went, along the road which took us to our old home, out at the lake. 

In the end we saw three (count them, three) Western Meadowlarks.
They sing very beautifully. We were both thrilled.

Other critters on the list today included:
Song Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Rudy Duck
Black Tern
Bonaparte's Gull
Black-billed Magpie
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Snipe
Old Squaw Duck, with babies
Canada Goose
(That's all I can remember; usually I write our list, but I didn't this time. If I had, there would be twice as many birds listed.)

We also saw some American Bison. A number of farmers have switched from raising beef cattle to raising bison. The meat is not as fat, and is quite tasty. Recommended for two-legged carnivores and omnivores.

After two hours, we came home. And went back to bed.

BTW, if you have not read my previous post about What Really Matters, place check it out.

Monday, July 9, 2012


(The following was purloined borrowed from ExmoorJane Alexander. I asked if I could use it, and she didn't say I couldn't. Thanks, Jane.)

• Really tough, hard exercise can sort out all manner of nonsense and garbage. 

• Listen to your body.  It really does tell the truth.  Unfortunately most of us are not accustomed to listening. And we suffer from that self-inflicted deafness. 
• Breathing is very hard. 
• Your mind will lead you astray. It may also help you back. 
• Meditation should be obligatory – for the mental health of the world. 
• Never tell anyone what to do.  It is not your business. Unless someone asks for help.
• Contradictions abound. Everywhere. 

• Love your enemies – they have the most to teach you.  Seriously. 
• Unfortunately banks don’t run on quantum principles. 
• When in doubt, play loud rock music. Or some classics.
• Fasting for long periods and driving is not a good combination. 

• Drinking alcohol and driving is not a good combination. 
• Think before you spout out nonsense. 
• Don’t think too much. 
• A sense of humour is the probably the most important character trait you can have. It will get you through all manner of things. 
• If you can’t change your life, change the way you think about it. 
• We are all alone. 
• We get by with a bit of help from our friends. Sometimes a lot of help. 
• You can’t please everyone – don’t even try. 
• Nobody can save you. Unless you ask for help. And even then, it’s questionable. 
• If you love someone, tell them (yes, even if they’re psychic). 
• Try not to judge. 
• Dogs are small gods, that bite. 
• Sugar is sweet evil. 
• Never judge a book by its cover (literally and metaphorically). 
• When something about someone really bugs you, ten to one you have that self-same trait yourself. Which is hugely annoying.  
• Massage restores the whole body and mind — it really does. 
• The truth hurts, sometimes. 
• Use all your senses – all the time. 
• Religion is mystery, metaphor and imagery — treat it with the respect it deserves. And if you choose it, live it. All the time.
• Love really is the bottom line. 
• Open your heart wide. 
• Be kind. Or at least try. 
• All people carry burdens. Some of these will not be visible.
• People are weird. 
• Never make assumptions. 
• Avoid people who drag you down.  
• Sometimes things which seem incredibly meaningful may be incredibly random, but that doesn’t keep them them from being incredibly wonderful. 
• Have no regrets. 
• Give it your best shot. 
• Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
• It’s not always about you. 
• It’s always about you. 
• Oracles are open to misinterpretation. Including this one.
• When dealing with people who seem ridiculous, just smile sweetly and nod. 
• It’s not worth trying to force the universe. The universe will snicker at you from behind its hand. 
• Trying to push a river is similarly pointless. 
• Never give up. 
• Know when you’re in a losing situation and quietly walk out backwards, making small “I’m not really here” hand motions. 
• Never turn down a rain poncho or an umbrella.

That's it. Now, do your own list, or steal borrow this and carry on.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It was on July 1, 1867, that the British North America Act turned Canada from a colony to a semi-independent Dominion in the British Empire. It was pretty much the kind of freedom the Americans wanted in the late 1700s, but we didn't have to fight for ours. 

We heard "O Canada" sung in the Oji-Cree dialect this morning at Worship, then all sang it together in English (and some of us a bit in French, since our country has two official languages).

Two little treats, purloined shamelessly from Da Blog Fodder (ex-patriate Canadian living in the Ukraine). 

"Stompin'" Tom Connors with some music for us.

(Two footnotes. Tom includes bits of our National Anthem in his song, then picks up some bits of an old "patriotic song.")

And a delightful, different flag picture.