Friday 28 October 2011

Later, Gator!

Hey, everyone -- adventure calls! I'll be back in a month. Giddyup now, horsie!

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Mouse Hotel -- oooo, scary!

Last year we also constructed a Mouse Hotel for the front steps. This is much easier to make than a jack-o'-lantern because you don't need to clean out the pumpkin. Just cut a few holes and stick in some plastic mice from the dollar store. Easy-peasy!

Here's my attempt at an arty photo with witch's hats, candy and rubber rats. Yeah, I know -- "don't give up my day job." The rats' names are Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Fang. They squeak when squeezed and have been with us for a few years now. Her Royal Highness the cat does not care for them. I think it's their little evil red eyes and long ratty tails.

And here's a blurry action shot from the front steps on Halloween night 2010. Scary, eh? LOL!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Jack-o'-Lantern Frenzy!

Every year, My Rare One and I carve two jack-o'-lanterns to sit on our front steps on Halloween night. We try not to make the JOLs too scary because most of our trick or treaters are pretty small kids. Typically, they pay no attention to the pumpkins anyway, being totally focused on candy. But their accompanying parents often comment favourably on our efforts, LOL!

Usually we employ one of those carving kits that come with several patterns, pointy sticks for making the pattern perforations on the pumpkins and little saws for cutting out the design. Actually, it's pretty amazing what a good job you can do with those easy-to-use kits. Last year, however, I designed my own "diabolical vampire cat" pumpkin --

My Rare One used a pattern to spell out this seasonal greeting --

Here they are together --

Not quite so compelling in full light though! Darkness and candlelight work wonders. My Rare One and I find that to be true in other contexts as well.

Monday 24 October 2011

Halloween Week

Is that the sound of a car coming up my driveway?

Yes! My bat alarm has been activated. Fly, my pretties, fly! Warn me of the intruders' approach.

Oh, foolish one! Do you dare to approach my humble abode?

Very well, then. I'll come and open the gates for you . . . . creeeeaaaakkkk . . . . sorry, pay that sound no mind -- it's just my hip joint acting up again.

Hello, brave and foolish visitor. Welcome to Halloween Week at She Who Seeks blog. Come closer . . . if you dare.

I'll lay a big smooch on ya, sweetie! Mwah! Mmmmm . . . tasty!

Come closer and tomorrow I'll show you my . . . *cackle* . . . pumpkins!

[Cat art by Ryan Conner and found here at her Etsy store]

Friday 21 October 2011

HRH Acts Up and Acts Out

Well, Her Royal Highness the cat has been giving me nothing but attitude lately. At 16 years old, she is like an out-of-control teenager -- except that in cat years, being 16 makes her 80 years old. So maybe she's really like an out-of-control senior citizen. Both are impossible to deal with, quite frankly.

I do the best I can to maintain a calm, even keel but I've had to put my foot down about the language she's using. Where she learned to swear like a sailor, I'll never know.

Where did my sweet little kitten go?

Thursday 20 October 2011

Follow-up re Louise McKinney Park Labyrinth

Thanks, everyone, for your questions about yesterday's post. As a result, I did some research and discovered some fascinating things!

The labyrinth at Louise McKinney Park was designed and built in June 2010 by Leah Dorion. She is a Metis artist from Saskatchewan who constructed the labyrinth as part of The Works, Edmonton's annual art and design festival. The labyrinth's official name is Turtle Rock Effigy and here is a description of its significance from the festival program:

Turtle Rock Effigy combines the First Nations turtle rock effigy with a Celtic labyrinth path on its back, a symbolic representation of the bringing together of First Nations and European cultures.

Zing! The lightbulb comes on! Turtle Island is the traditional native name for North America. And so all those rock piles around the edge of the labyrinth must represent the head, limbs and tail of the turtle! I certainly didn't figure that out when I was there, so I must return to walk the labyrinth again sometime in light of this new understanding!

[Photo of Leah Dorion and her turtle labyrinth artwork found on her website. Photo by Debra She Who Seeks.]

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Louise McKinney Park Labyrinth

Louise McKinney Park stretches out alongside the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton's beautiful river valley. I heard that the park has a rock labyrinth so one day this summer, My Rare One and I set out to find it.

We tramped up and down the whole length of the park -- no labyrinth to be seen. We asked passersby -- who were unanimously clueless about what a labyrinth even is. Finally, an older lady said she didn't know about any labyrinth but there was an "aboriginal stone circle or something" near the parking lot. Bingo!

The labyrinth is a small 5-circuit Chartres labyrinth. There's a magnificent view of the river valley as you walk it.

The problem with rock labyrinths on grass is that they're impossible to mow and keep groomed, unless you have a dedicated team of grounds people with whipper-snippers. Consequently, such labyrinths tend to get very overgrown and shaggy looking.

But clearly, many people do walk the Louise McKinney labyrinth on a regular basis because the grass in the circuit paths was quite trodden down.

But, after all is said and done, this labyrinth is still located in a downtown urban core setting. At its sacred centre, the only offerings present were . . .

. . . two crushed Kokanee beer cans.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Ceiling Cat versus the Protestants

Ceiling Cat is coming for the Protestants next.

The pulpits of this land will soon be filled with pastor cats. The pews will all have copies of the LOLcat Bible. And everyone will be praising Ceiling Cat's holy name.

You Protestants may notice a wee change in the basket of bread that gets passed around for Communion . . . .

But you'll get used to the cat hair in no time. After all, it's worth it to get eternal Caturday!

Monday 17 October 2011

Ceiling Cat versus the Catholics

Have you heard? Ceiling Cat has taken over the Catholic Church. Now guess who appears on the balcony of St. Peter's in Rome . . . .

The Vatican's great works of art have all been revised accordingly. Take a look at the new Sistine Chapel ceiling!

The roster of Saints has been slightly amended as well.

Pope Benedict is no fool. He's always been good at adapting himself to whoever is in power at any given time (*cough* Nazis *cough*). He, for one, welcomes his new Feline Overlord.

See? Catholics aren't nicknamed "catlickers" for nothing!

Friday 14 October 2011

CBC Memories: Hymn Sing

My straight-laced grandmother's other favourite CBC program was Hymn Sing, which was on every Sunday afternoon for 30 years. A Manitoba production, the Hymn Sing choir featured lots of wholesome, clean-cut singers from the Mennonite Bible Belt south of Winnipeg. No panty-showing on this program! The choir would sing beloved hymns and other sacred choral works while standing ramrod straight in decorative natural or indoor settings.

The only clip I could find of Hymn Sing is the 30-second promo at the very start of this video (the remaining promos are of other old CBC shows):

A popular part of the show was the "singalong" segment when the hymn's lyrics would scroll by at the bottom of the screen so people at home could join in. Sometimes my grandma and I did. Sometimes we didn't. But we would always belt out "The Old Rugged Cross" if it was the featured singalong because it was my Grandma's favourite hymn.

Thursday 13 October 2011

CBC Memories: Don Messer's Jubilee

When I was a kid, my family never missed an episode of CBC's weekly half-hour show Don Messer's Jubilee. We loved the old-timey music played by the great Maritime fiddler Don Messer and his band The Islanders. The show's cast of regulars included Marg Osburne and Charlie Chamberlain who always sang the show's opening theme, "Goin' to the Barndance Tonight."

The show also featured square dancing. My grandmother loved Don Messer's Jubilee too but was always very shocked whenever the female dancers' skirts and crinolines would twirl up to reveal their panties. "Oh, there's no need for that sort of thing," she would tsk tsk disapprovingly.

Only Hockey Night in Canada was more popular on TV. When the CBC cancelled Don Messer's Jubilee in 1969, there was a nationwide protest and angry questions in the House of Commons.

Don Messer was such a beloved musician in this country that his violin has become a national treasure. Years after his death, his daughter personally chose the next great Maritime fiddler to be given the violin to play -- like a sacred trust -- Frank Leahy.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

CBC Memories: Intro

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our publicly-funded national radio and TV broadcaster.

In the 1960s when I was a kid growing up in a one-horse prairie town in the middle of nowhere, the only TV channel we had was the CBC (in black and white, of course). The CBC was definitely the dominant cultural influence in my life until I was a teenager and a couple more TV channels finally became available to us.

I loved the CBC then and I love the CBC now. So to honour its 75th anniversary, I'm going to explore some of my favourite CBC memories in a series of posts. Canadian readers (especially "those of a certain age") will remember many of the same things too, I'm sure. And as for American and other readers -- well, here's your chance to learn about Canadian culture, LOL!

As usual, this series will appear periodically and randomly over an unknown length of time, i.e., whenever something occurs to me!

Tuesday 11 October 2011

What an Ass-terpiece!

Perhaps I should get a lovely tramp stamp like this, eh? What do you think?

Rather predictably, Her Royal Highness the cat is lobbying for a different design --

You can dry run your own tramp stamp designs over at Image Chef -- click here! Thanks to Copyboy at Not Worth Mentioning for the link.

Monday 10 October 2011

A Thanksgiving Celebration in the Garden of Friendship

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, everyone! Today when we celebrate the bounty of the earth, we should also remember to celebrate the many blessings of friendship.

I hope you'll enjoy this seasonal poem written many years ago by a Unitarian Universalist minister named Rev. Max Coots. This version is slightly revised and condensed.

Let us give thanks for a bounty of friends:

For generous friends with hearts and smiles as bright as their blossoms;

For feisty friends as tart as apples;

For continuous friends who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us that we've had them;

For crotchety friends as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;

For good-looking friends who are as gorgeous as eggplants and elegant as a row of corn, and for other friends who are as plain as potatoes and as good for you;

For funny friends who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and for serious friends who are as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;

For friends who are as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to see us through the winter;

For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening time, and for young friends, coming on as fast as radishes;

For loving friends who wind around us like tendrils and hold us, despite our blights, wilts and witherings;

And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past that have been harvested, and who fed us in their times that we might have life today;

For all these friends, and for those friends of whom we have yet to partake, we give thanks.

Monday 3 October 2011

Big Wheel Keep on Turnin'

Busy week . . . huff, puff . . . won't be posting anything . . . pant, pant . . . see you next week!