tirsdag den 31. december 2019

Grumpy WinterOwl.

   Diane's post on traveling away from snow and winter just made me realize that I live North of WiseWebWoman on Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, and even North of Diane in Canada. We live on the 56th parallel North. According to Wikipedia we are regaled with a measly 6 hours, 57 minutes day during the Winter solstice. Ergo our days are even shorter, but as the Golf current keeps us warm, snow and real winter is a thing, we seldom see.
  And what you cannot see from the numbers, is that the Sun even during those almost 7 hours only clears the horizon by 11 degrees at 12 o clock. The murky, dark and moist thing, Denmark has as a bad substitute for Winter is not one of MotherOwl's favourite things. 
   For my readers on the Southern hemisphere: The 56th parallel South lies in the water just South of Tierra del Fuego, and a healthy bit south of Australia.
   No wonder, I find our days shorter and darker than most of the blog-writers' that I follow.
   Grumpy, murky MotherOwl speaking, sorry.

I put in a Sun in the photo - taken into the Sun this last day of 2019 a little past noon. It is not easy photographing the Sun.

Sunrise at 8.44. Sunset at 15.46
+ 5 minutes already.

... And now it is 4 o'clock. The Sun has set and the Moon is out.

I wish you all ...

The Prompts for Words for Wednesday 2020

  Now we know where all ther prompts for next year are going to allear. Here is the unfolded list. A cpmpact version have already appeared in my sidebar. 
  I hope to be able to continue Susan's story in the year(s) to come. 

January 2020: Mark Koopmans will be providing the prompts, but they will appear at Elephant's Child's blog.

February 2020: River is providing the prompts on her blog.

March 2020: Mark Koopmans again. Elephant's Child is posting again.

April 2020: Elephant's Child will be providing the prompts.

May 2020: Lee will provide the prompts on her blog.

June 2020: Messymimi will provide the prompts on her blog

July 2020:Cindi will be providing the prompts on her blog again.

August 2020: Lissa will be providing the prompts on her blog.

September 2020: River will be providing the prompts again

October 2020: Messymimi again.

November 2020: Margaret Adamson and her friends will be providing the prompts, but they will appear at Elephant's Child's blog.

December 2020: Elephant's Child again.

mandag den 30. december 2019

Poetry Monday :: New Year's Resolutions

   Jenny has decided, that the last Poetry Monday of the year will have New Year's Resolutions as its theme. 
   Also normally participating are: Diane, Mimi, and Merry Mae.

 Why New Year's Resolutions never get made by me.
At New Year everything starts over
New calendar, new month, new numbers,
It's time for a serious makeover
It's time to drop all that encumbers.
Decide to diet, decide to train,
Decide  to run - also in rain.
Decide to clean,
And not be mean
And to say Yes,
Learn to play chess.
Eat you greens,
Enjoy the beans,
Forsake all meats,
And every sweet,
Here, have a beet!
At New Year everything is new,
 It's now we start as it should be!
The only sorry thing, you see.
I cannot buy a fine, new me!

The first theme of the new year is now decided by Diane On the Border. 
This time mysteriously: something that goes fast.

torsdag den 26. december 2019

Words for Wednesday - Traditions but no answer.

Fresh from Cindi: Share a tradition you have at this time of year; when, why or how it became a tradition; and how it makes you feel.

I'm sorry, but this prompt pulls a blank. I / we have lots of traditions, old and nex mixed from many countries and creeds, but none of them makes my brain go into gear. Sorry, and
 Merry Christmas 
once again.

tirsdag den 24. december 2019

Glædelig jul -- Merry Christmas

Dette er et "automatisk" indlæg. Medens det udgiver sig selv, nyder Uglemor julemiddagen sammen med alle Ugleboets indbyggere, Uglemormor, Hvalrossen, Storebror og Trolden, der alle er kommet hjem til jul. 
Vi ser frem til juletræ og gaver, og til at finde barnet i krybben. 

This is an auto-post. While it is posting itself, MotherOwl is eating Christmas dinner with the other inhabitants of the Owlery, GrannyOwl, the Walrus, BigBrother and Trolli who have all come to the Owlery for Christmas.  
We look forward to our christmas tree and all the gifts and to see the baby in the manger.

mandag den 23. december 2019

Poetry Monday :: This Time of Year

  Theme for todays Poetry Monday is This Time of Year from Diane
  Let us hope we all have time to  write a poem. Normally also participating are: Jenny, Mimi, and Merry Mae.

It is this time of year
We meet those we hold dear.
We have a tree,
small as you can see,
But lovely nonetheless.

It is this time of year
Time for holiday cheer.
We'd like some snow,
For that special glow,
But we make do with less.

It is this time of year.
Christmas time, it is near.
He will be born
This early Christmas morn.
I wish you all God bless!

Merry Christmas!

søndag den 22. december 2019

Årets korteste dag - Winter Solstice

     I dag er det vintersolhverv. I dag er det årets korteste dag. Her er et billede af mt sædavnlige På vejen hjem-sted fra klokken lidt i 8 om morgenen.  Solopgang er det først om tre kvarter, nemlig kvart i ni.

-- 🌄 --

  Today marks the winter solstice on the Northern Hemisphere. It is the shortest day of the year. This photo was taken two minutes to eight in the morning. It is still dark. Sunrise will be at a quarter to nine.     

     En af vore med-landsbyboere er, som man her ser, meget glad for lys. De her lys brænder døgnet rundt på den mørke årstid. Uglemor er ikke en fan.

-- 🌄 --

   As you see some of our co-villagers are fond of bright lights, these lamps are lit around the clock during the dark half of the year, much to my dismay.

onsdag den 18. december 2019

No Words for Wednesday - December 18.

  This weeks prompt: Write a diary entry, dated 10 years in the future is brought to us by Cindi

  This is fun. Because  ... I have already some time ago written such an entry. It's dated "A day in the Spring of 2031". Not exactly 10 years, but close enough. It is the day Susan's husband is retiring. That day is going to bring a big change in Susan's and her husband's life.
  And, no, I'm not going to publish it ... I'm not even going to tell you any more. If I ever get my book written and published, I solemnly swear to send all of you, my encouraging WfW writers and prompt givers, a copy each. And should I die before this happens, the epilogue lies ready to be published here, and the how-to is written in my "notes to my family".

Susan as a grown up woman. Or is it me?

tirsdag den 17. december 2019

Busser igen-igen

Yet another bus-related rant: We now have to wait 57 minutes for our train every Sunday because somebody did not do their homework. We just so much hope that it is an error and it will be corrected.

-- 🚌 -- 🚆 --

     Så blev det den 15. december - og der kom nye køreplaner. 
     Men ... upsi, 57 minutters ventetid det meste af lørdagen og søndagen fordi Lokalbanen har fået nye tider, og busserne ikke er fulgt med!
     Vi går nu og håber på at det er en fejl, og at fejlen vil blive rettet!

Fra Movias hjemmeside om R-busser: LINJENS KARAKTERISTIKA - inaktivt link:
R-busser er kendetegnet ved at have faste minuttal og sikre korrespondancer til øvrige konceptbusser samt andre vigtige bus- og togforbindelser. Det tilstræbes, at R-bussen har en så direkte linjeføring som muligt mellem større byer. R-busser kører to gange i timen fra kl. 06-20 på hverdage og timedrift fra kl. 20-24 på hverdage samt kl. 06-24 i weeken-den og helligdage.
Nu skriver de i stedet: R-busser er kendetegnet ved at have faste minuttal og sikre korrespondancer til øvrige konceptbusser samt andre vigtige bus- og togforbindelser. Det tilstræbes, at R-bussen har en så direkte linjeføring som muligt mellem større byer. Med halvtimedrift i dagtimerne og timedrift aften og weekend passer R-bussen godt til passagerernes behov, hvor mange har fleksible arbejdstider og benytter bussen til fritidsaktiviteter og kulturtilbud om aftenen eller i weekenden.

Vi ankommer 9.31 ... toget gik 9.28 og går så først igen 10.28. Stationen er lukket lørdag og søndag. God fornøjelse.

mandag den 16. december 2019

Poetry Monday :: Time

  Once again, I just took all the words that rhymes with our prompt: time - supplied by Jenny. - and wrote a ramling nonsense verse.  
  Also participating are: Diane, Mimi, and Merry Mae.

It is time, time to rhyme
Time to climb, hang the chime
Scrub the grime, spare a dime
Punish crime, spread the lime
Pick the thyme in its prime.
It is time - Christmas time

Next weeks prompt will be supplied by Diane.And it is: This time of year

onsdag den 11. december 2019

Words for Wednesday - The Wand Tells a Tale.

  This week's prompt from Cindi is a bit different from what Words for Wednesday's prompts use to be. 
  "Look around you and choose an object in the room.  Now write something from the point of view of that object."

  The only thing I can think of, is Susan's old wand. The one that broke, when the magic disappeared from the countries of the North.
  It has been lying on my writing- and everything-else-table, all the time I have been telling her story. Now I give the word to the wand:

-- 🌟 --

  In the beginning I was a part of a tree. A wonderful big Japanese cherry tree. I was one of the topmost branches, Life was sweet, I could see the fields around me, changing every year from plowed fields, to greening wheat, to mature crops to being harvested and back to black soil over and over. I saw people harvesting with scythes in my youth, then tractors and combines took over, but the fields looked like they had always done.
  And when my tree was big enough, and the leaves dropped every Autumn, I could see the far away sea.
  The farm all the fields belonged to was built when or maybe even before my tree was planted. It was always there, When I was young, it was teeming with life, people, animals, and children, always lots of children. And horses. Those beautiful creatures, working in the fields all the workable months, and pulling carriages in Summer and sleighs in Winter, oh I remember the bells ...
  Then slowly the teeming life died down, pigs, cows, horses, dogs, cats, and hens, all disappeared. The motor vehicles took over the stables, and of the farmer's couples with children, farmhands and maids and their children, harvest helpers and even more children, only the farmer and his wife remained. They grew old, but no new ones took over. The farm fell into disrepair. And one day it all just stopped. A farmer came plowing, sowing and harvesting with a behemoth machine, but nobody lived nearby any more.
  It was a lonely time, a meditative time. I grew, but more trees grew around me.
  Every year the farm looked a bit more decrepit. I felt sorry for it. Then new houses slowly grew in the far away fields. The wind carried sounds of laughter, sploshing and frolicking from the sea, sometimes even people singing bawdy songs at night, disturbing the birds. The terrifying, yet pleasant smell of smoke was often in the wind.
  Strange people, dressed in black, looking serious and pompous came by car. They put up signs around the house, all the while speaking of demolishing and danger.
  But nothing happened until one day in early spring.  Some even more peculiar-looking people arrived. They re-hinged the doors and gates, they painted the walls, thatched the roofs and weeded the farmyard.
   And then children began arriving, in pairs, in threes, alone or in small groups, Strange things happened, magic was around. I could feel it in my sap. I quivered all over. I felt something was about to happen. And then a girl put her hand on my tree. I felt her calling to me. I yearned to answer the call, but I did not know how to do it. An old lady came and she also placed a hand on the tree. Then she sang. A song of magic, of big deeds and wonders great and small. I was filled by this song, so filled that I burst. It felt like dying. I fell from the tree, broken, more alone that I had ever been. I fell and fell. The green grass came ever closer, but then a small hand, the girl's hand, was there, intercepting me, breaking the fall. I felt her love, and loved her back with all my wooden heart. She took me everywhere with her, all the time caressing my bark, grasping me tightly in her warm little-girl hands.
  That very same evening we had our first taste of magic. She was happy, and so was I. Sparks flew, and we knew we were meant to be together forever.
  We learned the ways of magic together, Susan and I. We brewed potions, transformed clothes pegs into swallows, we even flew. We kept her warm and safe on many travels and through many dire perils and small adventures.
  But then the fateful Summer came. I still shudder when I think of it. The black wizard had arrived from his far away land. Susan and her friends fought hard and brutal, but always fair against him. Susan and I did awesome things that Summer, and even invented a thing or two. Oh, we worked together nicely. But he was strong and sly. He corrupted people's heart and soul. Not my Susan, but so many of her friends. We were afraid. And in the end we made the biggest sacrifice a wizard can make. We renounced our magic, so that the Nordic Countries could remain free and proud.
  That afternoon, as the day turned to evening, all the wizards were gathered. My Susan was so very brave, she was part of a small guerilla group. And they succeeded. Even thought their success was my demise, I was proud of her.
  As they all spoke that one, terrifying word. I felt the magic leave me, I was only an old, dry branch. As Susan fell from the steps of the building, limp as a rag doll, I broke in three pieces, forever beyond repair.

mandag den 9. december 2019

Poetry Monday :: Phones - Updated

  Today it's Monday, Poetry Monday. 
  Diane has set the theme, but dear Diane, Phones ... ? what a theme. Phones are prosaic means of communication - not at all the stuff poems are made of.
  Oh, well, a theme is a theme; and old MotherOwl just rambles along.
  Also participating are: Jenny, Mimi, and Merry Mae. They are all sure to do better than I. 
  I've been improving the poem a bit, corrected some typos (that kind you notice after hitting publish), and added a line or two.

Of course I have a phone,
an old-fashioned one of my own.
Whenever I grasp the bone*
and hear the dial tone,
I'm out of my comfort zone.

I'm known to moan and groan
whenever I pick up the phone.
And the seller, offering loan ...
I'll just put the handset down
With a slam to show off my scone (erm scorn).

Now MotherOwl has flown.
She's leaving computer and phone.
For the crazy winds have blown
Wilted leaves over driveway and stone.

* Danish slang for using a phone, as the old handset looked somewhat like a bone.

Next Monday we'll have Time, courtesy of  Jenny.

torsdag den 5. december 2019

Words for Wednesday -- December 5.

Cindi at Letting the Words Escape has given us these idioms as prompts:
 "Pardon my French."  "My mind is in a fog."  "You are on thin ice."  
I continue my writing of Susan's story, but I have found out that when I write it into a book, many of the chapters will be re-written, moved or even deleted altogether, so don't think that if you have followed the story here, you won't be surprised by reading the book. 

Susan was not the first to return to Unicorn Farm, neither was she the last. The tables in the barn were laden with bread and cold delicacies, and big, steaming pots of tea kept hot by magic.
  Thora and Taavi sat at either side of the doors. And when Susan entered, Taavi told her to place the lantern in one of the crates by the door, eat and drink, get warm and return  to him. She laded a plate and filled up a mug, then she stood by the stove, eating and drinking until she stopped being cold and hungry. She just stood for a few minutes, collecting her thoughts.
  Taavi bade her sit down next to him and tell about what had happened. Susan recounted all of what had happened to her, and ended up by asking if mice really ate candles. "You really listened in on the thoughts of a mouse. That was very good for a second try. Now, please, go and sit somewhere, before talking to anybody else I want you to write down everything you remember. And yes, mice eat candles. It's mostly wax and paraffin after all, not much to live off in that mixture, but totally harmless."
   Susan took her notebook and pencils and sat by a table near the stove. She wrote an account of her meeting with the mouse, and what happened afterwards. This made her remember the stone with a hole, and she pulled it out and looked at it. It was white, but the white was like some sort of rough glazing. Susan tried rubbing and polishing the stone. It did not change. She looked through the hole, and the world seemed just a bit more colourful. Taavi came over to her. "So, you found a lucky stone. What do you know about them?"
  "My aunt hangs them on her house in a string, she collects them. She says they bring luck and keep lightening away. I don't know if it's true or not. I do not remember reading about hem anywhere."
  "Bullshit! Don't people ever teach something useful nowadays? Oh! Pardon my French, Susan," Taavi said when she looked a bit shocked. "I keep forgetting that not all apprentices have wizarding parents."
  Susan smiled at him. "it seems there's more to lucky stones than luck and averting lightening," Susan said. "Could you tell me more. please?"
  "I could, but I do not have the time right now. Either you go to the library and find Stones and their Use by Magical Properties written by   Jasper Flint, or you wait until everyone is back. Or better still, do both. Go to the library, get the book, return here and read. When all green team members have returned, and my duties done, I'll come over and tell you a bit more. I think we can manage before school's out for today."
  "Thank you!" Susan said and ran out through the barn door, over the yard to the old living quarters on the other side. Inside the gate she turned right, opened the small blue door, and ran up two flights of old, hollowed stairs to the second floor of the building. She paused. Where was that library? A long corridor stretched in both directions with lots of doors. The only one she recognized was the one right in front of her. That was the infirmary, more often used as a guest room, and not in use right now. She heard voices coming from the other end of the corridor. Angry voices.
  "You are on thin ice, there!" she recognized Torben's loud voice.
  "Oh, but it is still more white than black, even if a bit grey on the edges." a woman's voice answered. Susan thought it might be Martine or Birgitta.
  "A bit!" Torben said in a loud incredulous voice.
  Susan made a dash for the infirmary door and got inside, not quite closing the door. Quickly and without a sound she pulled a stool behind the curtain in the niche meant for examination of sick people and stood on it.
  The woman's voice answered: "But  you told me to go on and call on him if I wanted."
  "It was a joke for Heaven's sake," Torben pleaded. "I never thought you'd actually do it."
  "Did you hear something? too" the woman asked full of suspicion.
  "No I did not. Old houses like this one are often full of strange noises," Torben answered, "and the door to the infirmary's open. You might have heard it creaking."
  "I'll check," the woman said.
  Susan stood still, clutching the stone. "I just hope she's not going to use magic," Susan thought.
  "No, no-one inside," the woman said and closed the door.
  Susan drew a breath, and realized she had been holding it for a long time. She dared not move until she heard the door to the teachers' rooms close and cutting off the voices. She had only been able to hear a few more words, non e of them meaningful to her. She opened the door and assured herself that nobody was in the corridor any longer. Then she walked away from the teachers' rooms. And on the last door to the left big letters said LIBRARY. Susan went inside, found the book in the section with books on nature and elements, and went down to the barn again with no further mishaps.
  Soon she was immersed in reading about lucky stones.
 "Lucky stones or Holey stones are also known as Holy stones, Wish stones or Witch stones or even Fairy stones. They are often hung by doorways, over beds to refresh your body, mind, and spirit with healing energy, or around the neck of an animal (pet or livestock) to protect from bad luck and to ward off evil spirits."
"Holey stones are know as Eye stones, too and used as truth stones; when looking through the  hole you will know if  another person speaks the truth. You might be lucky and see fairies if looking through the hole at the right time. But remember, fairies are tricky creatures, and do not take kindly to this sort of spying. If the Witch Stone was found in the ocean, looking at the water through the hole may aid you in discovering Sea Spirits, Mermaids and Mermen.  If it was found in a forest, it might help you connect with Dryads (Tree Spirits)."
"They can be used in weather magic for the breaking up of stormy weather. This is done by threading a cord through the hole and swinging it through the air."
"Some sources, especially in German call them Adder Stones or Snake Eggs and say that they offer protection against snake bites."
"Witch Stones are used as anti-magic amulets, because of the common belief that magic cannot work on living water, and since the holes in Witch Stones are made by the force of this element, the stones retain water’s anti-magic properties."

tirsdag den 3. december 2019

Unicorn Farm - Biology Lesson

Perpendicular - Languishing - Virtuous - Pedestrian - Typewriter - Dashing These words are still orphans of last Wednesday. The story continues ... without these words being used.

This biology lesson was strange. Take a lantern with a candle inside. find a place to sit alone, say the appropriate spell, and open up to the wildlife of the Island. The green team spread out, and when Susan no longer could see any of her team mates, she looked for a suitable spot to sit in.
  Susan found an old beech tree in a nice, sunny spot. She placed the lantern on a stump next to the big tree and sat down under the tree. She looked around. No life to be seen, only the leaves moved, not a bird, not a butterfly, not even an ant. But they were asked to restraint themselves to bigger animals, mammals were the best for this first try. Susan tried to open her mind, tried to feel the inhabitants of tree and leaf. She said the spell, carefully articulating the Icelandic syllables, and leaned back against the tree. The sun shone into her eyes, she closed them and listened. The leaves were softly rustling, a branch was rubbing against another with an almost inaudible almost bubbling sound. She considered moving closer to the water, but then again, she did not want to meet the mind of a fish or a crustacean. She would stay here, and hope to meet some sort of animal before she had to light the lantern. Of course she hoped for an owl. She had not forgotten the owls at Granny's clothes line. She had wanted to tell Thora about Granny's owls, but there had not been any opportunity. She wondered what the owls would tell her if they could, how it would be to be an owl, to be able to fly and soar through the air, to see in the dark, sit on the branches of a tree, and have a nest up there. What would owls do in rain, and how did they keep warm in winter? They did not hibernate as the hedgehogs, or fly south as swallows and peewits. 
  The tree she was leaning against had a very rough bark, and her back felt imprinted with marks. She was hungry, so very hungry. "Raisins," she thought, "Oh raisins would be nice. Or cheese. Or sausage. Sausage is better. But here is not any. There's a candle up there. I can eat that." Susan opened her eyes. "Candles? I do not eat candles. What nonsense is this; some kind of dream."
  Then she saw the mouse sitting next to her sandal. "Mouse," she said softly. "Was it your thoughts? Do you want something to eat?"
  The answer was in her brain, a tiny little thing, but very clear: "HUNGRY!" She slowly opened the lantern and pulled out the candle. "Do you really want to eat this?" she said incredulously, and placed the candle on the ground beside her. The mouse smelled the candle, the tiny whiskers twitching with delight. Then it began nibbling. Susan felt the hunger being sated, she leant back once more against the tree and studied the mouse. It was an ordinary house mouse, rather big, brownish, but very thin. She could almost see the ribs under the skin. The whiskers were constantly moving, the beady eyes darting to and fro and the nose was twitching even when the mouse was not eating.
  "What do you smell, little mouse?" Susan asked softly. The answer was a jumble of sensations, warm soil, earthworms, the fatty-brittle feeling of candle on teeth, birds' chirping, mouldy branches, smells of beetles and lizards, Sunshine on hot fur and beechnuts not yet ripe and tongue-curlingly bitter.Susan could only open up to all this, and try to make it meaningful. She tried thinking calming, do not be afraid of me-thoughts at the mouse, but she really had no idea if the mouse understood or not.
  When the mouse had eaten a large bite out of the candle, Susan picked it up again. She broke off the lower half and dropped it to the ground, cramming the upper half back into the holder inside the lantern. "You keep that, little mouse. Now I have to go." Susan said softly.
  And carefully, afraid to scare off the little creature, she got up, took the lantern and made her way to the beach. She walked along the beach, looking for belemnites among the stones on the beach. She did not find any, only a perfect round stone with a hole in it, a lucky stone. She held the stone in one hand and the lantern in the other. She had not wholly understood why the lantern was a necessary prop for calling and listening to animals. Except that it had worked in finding her a hungry mouse.

mandag den 2. december 2019

Poetry Monday :: Humming

 Today is Monday, and Monday means Poetry. 
 Today's theme is Humming from Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey.
 Also participating are:
Diane, Mimi, and Merry Mae.

  The short form and strict rules of haiku speaks to me. But sometimes a haiku seems to serious, too big a form for my petty thoughts. Long ago I was taught that haiku is serious, a polished bauble, a small piece of frozen eternity - like a gem stone. 
  I needed a more flighty kind of short poem with simple rules too. The Elfje is the perfect counterpart.

Gentle sound
Busy bees flying
Pollinating flowers and trees.

Next Monday's theme from Diane At the Border is Phones.

søndag den 1. december 2019

1. søndag i advent

Godt nyt (kirke)år --  Happy New (liturgical) Year

     I dag tænder vi det første lys i adventskransen og finder Jessetræet frem. Hvad Jesetræet er kan man læse lidt om her og mere på min anden blog.

-- 🕯 -- 

 Today we light the first of the four advent candles. We prepare the Jesse tree. What this is, I wrote a bit about  here and some more on my other blog

     Adventstiden er en tid til forberedelse og forventning. Vi nærmer os jul, vi forbereder os til Jesu fødsel. Langsomt gør vi hus og hjerter parate til den store aften.

Der er ingen adventsting i de tilgængelige emojis, så et hvidt lys må gøre det.
 -- 🕯 -- 
 There's no advent thingy in the emojis, we have to use a white candle.

Advent is a time of preparing and of waiting. We're getting cloer to Christmas. We're preparing house and hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus.