lørdag den 31. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 28 -- Part 4

Next instalment in the story of Sarah and her children:

1. secret
2. garden
3. walk
4. world
5. abandon
6. magic
7. life
8. forever
9. key
10. spring

Only one more words crossed out this time. I'm afraid this is all for this time around. World and Spring will have to be left out.

The pizzas were good and the children enjoyed the treat. When they were tucked in, Frank brewed a giant pot of tea and they all sat around the table in the garden.

"What about your sister?" Susan asked Frank.
"My sister?" Frank said. "Yes. No. She's what is normally described as an enabler, I think. She pays mother's rent, and all her other expenses. Not her drinking directly, but she enables her drinking by paying almost anything else. She's afraid of my mother. She threatens with killing herself, or us, or my sister. Not that I think she'll do it, but my sister thinks so. We help her economically, but we do not have much to give."
"Frank," Susan continued, "your sister is probably a witch as well. Think back. Did strange things ever happen to you when you were younger?"
 "Yes," Frank said, almost not daring to raise his voice. "We could be think-together as we called it. We always knew where the other was, we were very close that way. And if one of us was in danger, the other one knew. KNEW, not suspected, and knew where as well. She once saved my life, and I saved her from intended robbery. But as we grew, it dwindled. We were told that you could not be think-together like we were, and we stopped trying. But sometimes still, I feel her close."
"Is she married?" Knud asked, "please tell us a bit more about her."
Franks collected his thoughts for a little while, took a sip of his tea and spoke: My sister, Sille, she's 3 years younger than me. She lives in central Copenhagen, close to where we did earlier. She works as an accountant in a bank and is married to Svend, another bank person. They have no children. Svend is reliable, a nice, regular guy; extremely boring, but nice to Sille, and that's what counts. We do not meet often; they do not like going out, and visiting them in their apartment with three lively children is not fun. We talk often on the phone, mostly she's updating me on Sarah's latest stunts. She's a good sort, a considerate sister. She never speaks badly about Freya, the children or me to our mother. She just glides off when mother tries to make her do so."

"Our last reunion was rather a disaster," Freya volunteered. "A Christmas dinner at our old place in Copenhagen. She got drunk, even if we tried to prevent it. She yelled at the children, calling them and me names. Sille tried calming her down, and Svend and Frank too, but she just kept on and on. In the end she threatened with reporting us to the child welfare service again, or killing us or herself. That's one of the reasons we moved here." Freya ended with a sigh.  

Susan looked sad, shook her head and said: "It seems we did right not giving Sarah her magic back. Even if I feel loath to withhold it from anybody. With sister Sille it's not a matter of if, but when. There's no children, she's not in any danger, we can wait a bit, I think, with no ill effects. But not for long. She'll have to be told and given her magic to understand, and maybe better to help Sarah."
Knud nodded "But with you two it's another matter. I suggest you come visit us tomorrow at Birch Manor. We'll have to give you some wands,, and some basic training before the child is born."
"Maybe ..." Susan hesitated, then took courage. "Maybe you could leave Carla, Peter and Janet with us for some days? You would have no trouble over what to do, when the baby arrives, and they could learn about their magic together with our grandkids."
Frank and Freya looked at one another and smiled, Freya sighed a big, heartfelt sigh. "You know what? I've been mostly worrying over that, where to do whit those three. Sille used to babysit, but she has made it no secret that it's not something she likes to do, and Sarah of course is more and more demanding of her time now she knows the birth is imminent."
"A great solution," Frank said. "Can anything at all be done for my mother? I mean with magic and potions and such." He looked and felt a bit sheepish.

Susan looked at Knud, and answered: "I suspect I could heal her from her alcoholism. I never tried, but I know the spells and the theory. I could make her body no longer crave booze, but it wouldn't do any good, I think. Because as I see it, the physical part, the addiction, is not the central part. It is only a symptom.
I can not heal her mind. I can't help her bitterness, her deep, ingrown dissatisfaction with everything, possibly even herself. I can't help the craving for what she perceives as her right. She has for so many years felt cheated out of what she was entitled to, felt left out, left behind, slighted, and so on, that it is the way she is now, inside. Sorry, those were harsh words. Not what you hoped to hear, I'm afraid."
Frank looked up at Susan and sighed deeply. "No, not what I wanted to hear, no. But I feel, deep inside that it's the truth. I always thought magic was a solution for anything like it is in the books. It's not so, I see that now. I appreciate your honesty." He bowed his head, falling silent. After some minutes he emptied his teacup and spoke again: "You have given us more than enough to think about, and a hope for our future, more than we'll know I suspect. I'm bone-tired now, and so is Freya, I suppose." She nodded emphatically. "Let's come to your place tomorrow, around noon. Then we'll have time to prepare, to pack our bags, and you'll have the same."
"That's a deal," Knud said.
"I'll leave the puzzles here for the trip tomorrow," Susan added, "They'll keep the little ones occupied on the trip. It's not that far, but I  remember my childhood's everlasting trips to granny's." She swung her wand and all the brain teasers were scrambled again. And the store bought ones went to her place at the table, where she picked them up and put them in her backpack. "No need frustrating them with those ones," Susan said smiling.
"Neat," Frank said. "Magic takes some getting used to, but it sure makes life easier."
Knud agreed. "Do you want me to put wards on the house and your car? Nothing dangerous, only sounds and a zap, if somebody tries to enter who's not one of you five."
"Yes, please," Freya said. "It's probably totally unnecessary. But I'll sleep much better for knowing that no-one can get to us undiscovered. Thanks for suggesting."
"Tomorrow, at twelve," Susan said.  "We'll be waiting for you."
They all hugged, and as the garden gate closed behind them Knud drew his wand.

fredag den 30. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 28 -- Part 3

Next instalment in the story of Sarah and her children:

1. secret
2. garden
3. walk
4. world
5. abandon
6. magic
7. life
8. forever
9. key
10. spring

Only one more words crossed out this time. A little background and explanation. This is turning into a marathon chapter.

Frank shook his head and looked at Susan: "If my mother is a witch, and my father a wizard, why did I never see them do any magic, and why for Chrissake ... How come they turned into pitiable old drunkards?"
"The magic was taken from them, as from all of us." Susan paused. "Did you ever read the Harry Potter books?" Frank and Freya nodded, and Susan continued: "Well, it seems that the magical societies all over followed very much the same pattern. In Denmark - and Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and the Faroes; we were one realm with one school - a small group of wizards had the idea that we had suffered for long enough. That it was our turn to reign. Only this reign they dreamt of was what you and I would probably call a reign of terror. We defeated them, but to do so, we had to abandon our own magic. Everybody, us apprentices, the teachers and the by then not so small group of would be-despots were poisoned and had their magic taken from them."
Knud continued: "And all the magicians surviving that day, were left with a longing, a hole inside, a missing part you might call it. Many died over the next few years, and of the surviving, a good part went to sects or turned to drinking or drugs."
"I did too," Susan said, "But then I met Knud. Of course I did not recognize him, but I fell in love with him. And love is often a cure-all. And after many years, actually just a couple of months ago now, even if it feels like half a lifetime, we had our magic back. We began looking for the other apprentices, to give them their magic back, and to recruit them and their children for our new school, Birch Manor, the Nordic school of Wizardry."
"This is a high tale," Frank said, "But sometimes you just have to trust, and I trust you. How do we go on from there? I mean ... I'd like to learn, to be able to do magic ... " he stopped, foundering and turned red. Freya patted his hand, looked at Susan and Knud with shining, blue eyes: "So would I , But can I, I mean being pregnant and all?
"As I said, Freya, I believe you're a witch as well," Susan said gently. "Of course you can learn magic pregnant or not, and trust me, having a newborn is so much easier with a touch of magic."
Freya laughed, a short, mirthful sound and said: "I dare bet it is!"
Susan nodded and smiled, but continued with her more serious train of thoughts: "What do you know about your family?"
"Nothing, really" Freya said. "I'm adopted, and I was told, when I finally found out, that my parents had died in an accident, not long after I was born, and that I had no living relatives. What about our unborn child," Freya said patting her belly gently, "will he or she be magic as well?"
"I'd say yes," Susan said, "but of course I can't promise anything. There's non-magical children born where both parents are wizards and magic children born into families with no magic at all like Knud here." Knud and Susan smiled at one another.
 
My mother," Frank said slowly, fear colouring his voice, "You did not give her her magic back, did you?"
"No we did not," Knud said, shaking his head.  "I'm sorry, but I did not dare to. She was so bitter, so ... well I feared for just what she would do to you. I feel terribly sorry for her, but no. I did nor do it."
Frank slowly nodded, then looked at his watch, an old fashioned wrist watch.

"I don't know how you all feel," Frank said. "But I am hungry. And I don't see us cooking or going anywhere. Do you two have a deadline?"
"No," Susan said, "We are free to stay as long as we like, and our home - Birch Manor - is not that far from here. What do you suggest?"
"Pizzas," Frank said. "There's a pizza dude in the nearest town, and he delivers here as well. Let's give ourselves and the kids a treat. Then we can continue talking after tucking in the little ones. I have a million questions at least, and I think Freya has too?" Freya nodded energetically: "I sure do."

To be continued once again.

torsdag den 29. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 28 -- Part 2

Next instalment in the story of Sarah:

1. secret
2. garden
3. walk
4. world
5. abandon
6. magic
7. life
8. forever
9. key
10. spring

Only two more words crossed out (thank you EC for help with naming this). This is going to be one of those marathon chapters again.

They bought one of those mother and child bouquets and Susan copied the daughter-in-law's name and address from the slip of paper Knud had written, deliberately sneaking in a couple of errors.
On they drove, houses becoming farther and farther apart and the suburbs giving way to fields, and then to gardens. Knud guided them to a small, thatched house, surrounded by a wild garden, many weeds and flowers grew everywhere, but the lawn was newly mowed and three children splashed happily in a large baby pool while a visibly pregnant woman watched over them from a porch swing and a man stood on a ladder cleaning the spouts.
As they parked in the gravelled driveway Susan noticed that there were no weeds in the gravel, and that everything else looked nice and clean. As she opened the doors of the car, she saw a multitude of variegated butterflies and bees and other insects alight from the flowers and bushes to both sides of the car. "Oh!" she said, "It's one of these modern, wild, insect-friendly gardens. It looks great. Maybe we should try some of the same at home!"
Knud turned his head a little: "Dearest Susan, we already have a wild garden, maybe not this wild, but anyway ... remember your manners now," he smiled indulgently at her.
The children looked up as they entered the gate. "Mummy, wake up, we have visitors!"  the oldest called. The woman in the porch swing gave a start and sat up. "Thank you Janet," she said and turned to Susan and Knud: "I'm sorry," she said, getting up with care, "as you can see, I'm not as nimble as I used to! But it will pass," She smiled a thin, but happy smile.
"Congratulations!" Susan said, "Please sit down again, we do not want to disturb, but we got these flowers while we were away, and we think they are meant for you." Susan stepped between balls, piles of clothes and plaything left by the children. She handed the flowers to Freya, who looked at the card: "Yes that's my name, but from whom. There's no sender, no nothing but congratulation and my name."
"Somebody know you're expecting a baby, and want to wish you luck, maybe?" Susan asked. Freya smelled the flowers and placed them on the table. "They're pretty. I like them!" she said smiling happily.

"Welcome. My name is Frank, and  I'll be down in a sec," the man on the ladder said. "I'll just get the last of those birds' nests out from up here."
"Mummy, should we get something?" That was Janet, the oldest girl again, she was 9 or maybe 10. She took command of her siblings: "Peter, please clear the mess from the table, while I get two chairs for the guests, and Carla, could you get the lemonade and some glasses?"
Peter picked the playthings and books from the table, putting them in stacks on the edge of the lawn.
And Carla returned shortly carrying a basket with 8 glasses, a bottle of lemonade, a bottle of cold water and a container of straws. She put it on the terrace next to the table, and Knud took the contents of the basket and put them on the table.
"That's a heavy burden for one so small," he said kindly. Carla turned red and said: "I'm 5 years old, mister, and I'm strong and stubborn as a mule. At least daddy says so!" A peal of laughter was heard from above and Frank said "Well out of the mouth of children ... I hate to ask, but could one of you please hold on to the ladder while I get down. It's not as stable as I'd like it to be."
"Of course," Susan said and took the two steps necessary to take her to the ladder. She placed one foot on the lowest rung, and held onto the sides with both hands. "Ready!" she said and Frank began the descent.
Peter put the glasses around and teased Carla: "Can't you count to 7? Here's 8 glasses. That's one too many"
"Of course I can count to seven,"  she protested. "I took a glass for the flowers!"
Freya laughed and put the flowers in the eighth glass. "They do not want lemonade, only water," she told Carla.
Over the deliciously cold lemonade they spoke of flowers, gardens and bees and as the children lost interest and drifted to their books and the pool once again, the conversation turned to pregnancies and childbirths. Frank shook his head and turned to Knud: "Do you care for a tour of the garden while the womenfolk discuss the bloodier details? I get rather wobby-kneed when they begin." Knud grinned and rose, patting Susan on the shoulder.
Frank led Knud through paths and around bushes, everywhere were colours, butterflies and things to see, taste and smell. "What a wonderful place," Knud exhaled. It's like one of those old witches' gardens filled with magical herbs and spices."
"Do you want to see where I work my magic?" Frank asked. Knud nodded, and Frank took a bunch of keys from his pocket and unlocked a door to a large shed near the greenhouse.
Inside was a lathe, and the most wonderful bowls and mugs and vases and plates Knud had ever seen. He stopped and could not speak from sheer surprise. Frank looked at him with a smug face. "Not what you expected, was it?"
"No," Knud said, shaking his head, as much to affirm his words, as to clear it. "No, I don't know what I expected, a plant nursery, something herbal or maybe a home brewery."
"No, nothing alcoholic," Frank said. "You could not know, but my parents; they were alcoholics. My father is dead, and my mother ..." He shook his head. "Let's look at those bowls instead," Frank said in a determined voice. "They give me so much pleasure to make."
"They are absolutely wonderful," Knud said earnestly, running a finger caressingly round the rim of a bowl that was so thin, it was almost translucent. "Susan once took a course in wood turning, but nothing led me to expect wonders like these. She'll have to see this as well. She'll never leave until you show her how."
"Yes, let's get back to the ladies. You've made our day. We moved here recently to get away ... Oh I seem to not be able to escape the subject of my mother ..." Frank shook his head in misery.
"Let's get back, and talk of something else for a short while yet," Knud said. "Do you make toys as well? I have some that might interest you in the car."
"Let me see them," Frank said, closing the door and testing the lock. "I don't want the children in here, they are good sort, but curious, and these tools are sharp."
"Yes and your works are delicate," Knud added.
"That too ..."

The two men walked to the car, where Knud grabbed the bag filled with brain teasers. Susan called from the table: "We're done with the gory details, you may return."
Frank and Knud returned, Knud pulled some of the brain teasers from the bag. Frank picked up the blue one and gave to his wife: "Here you are, Freya. This one's your favourite colour." Frank took a green one for himself.
"They are home-made, aren't they?" he said absentmindedly, intent on solving it. "They are well made, but the finish is  ... not so swell."
"I bow to the master." Knud said. He turned to Susan: "You'll have to visit Frank's workshop, he's a wizard with a lathe." He told her a bit about the garden and the wonders he had seen.  
"And in other ways as well; as is his wife." Susan said under her breath as Frank and Freya solved Martine's brain teasers and reached for another one. Knud gathered up the solved ones and scrambled them again. The children came sneaking, and Knud handed them each a store-bought and some of Martine's. He deftly picked all the home made form the table so that Freya and Frank had to tackle some of the store bougth ones next. "This one is better made, from a craftsman's point of view," Frank said finally, "but I can't solve it."
"I have the same problems with this one. Maybe I'm just tired," Freya added.
"Look at your children," Susan said. All three of them sat deeply concentrated, a solved brain teaser next to each of them. Janet looked up in triumph: "I solved this one too!" she said loudly, holding a green brain teaser over her head.
Freya caught Susan's eyes: "Great, Janet, could you please go into the kitchen and make some more lemonade."
 
"Dear Freya and Frank!" Susan said as soon as Janet was out of earshot, "We have something to tell you ... but  I don't know where to start ..."
"At the beginning!" Frank said, while Carla gave a triumphant yell: "I did it! I did it!"
"I can't solve this one," Peter said, on the verge of tears. He was fighting one of the store bought ones. Knud handed him one of Martine's "You choose the hardest of them all, try this one instead. Most people, even smart ones, can't solve that pink one." He gave a new of Martine's to Carla as well. "This one is hard," he said encouraging.

"The beginning ..." Susan said. "The beginning for me and Knud was many years ago, when we were young. We attended a summer school together with a lot of other children from all of the Nordic countries. Among those were a girl, and we think she is Frank's mother."
"Seems like that subject just can't be avoided," Frank sighed.
"No, probably not," Knud took over. "There's no way to soften the blow, I think."
"Is she dead?" Frank asked, tears threatening to overflow from his eyes.
"No, at least not as far as I know." Knud continued. "To be in the clear, your mother is Sarah, born Poulsen. She lives in Rødovre, and drinks way too much. Is that true?"
Janet returned with new bottles of lemonade and water.
"Thank you, Sweetie-pie," Freya said.
"Oh you're talking about grandma. I don't want to hear about her!" Janet said.
"That's OK, Sweetie-pie," Freya said in a calming voice. "You can take a glass of lemonade and go inside with Peter and Clara. You could watch Children's hour. It begins in a few minutes. No need to listen if you do not want to."
Janet's shoulder fell to their normal position, and she poured herself a generous glass. Whereafter she and her siblings disappeared in direction house.

"To answer your question," Frank said, "yes, that is a fair and not too unkind description of my mother. She is a bitter woman, even more so after my father's death. We moved here to get away from her. She accuses Freya of ... " He broke off. "But you were saying?"
"I met your mother today, or to be precise, I saw her. I was at the pub, and she was there as well with a woman and three male friends. Between them they drank ten beers in about as many minutes, and she said some rather unkind things about both of you." Knud paused to think, and Frank looked suspiciously from him to Susan and back again. His hand found Freya's and gave it a squeeze. "Why did you look for my mother, and why did you come here? Are you spying on us? Did she complain once again that we were unable to take care of our children?"
Susan answered: "No to all of these. She really sounds like a tough nut. But  ... you see the truth is ... Oh darn, it's so difficult. I still do not know where to start." Susan rose and pulled her wand from her bag. She then drew a deep breath and poured forth: "This is, believe it or not a magic wand, the real stuff, not a film prop or a dummy. I'm a witch, and so is Knud - a wizard that is - and so are you, and your children, and your mother and probably your father as well." She stopped, gasping for breath and Frank and Freya stared blankly at her. Then she turned slightly and pointed her wand at the rose bush next to the table. The buds unfolded, bloomed, withered and turned into rose hips that went from green to red in a matter of seconds. Susan stretched out her hand and picked a couple of the rose hips and gave them to Freya and Frank. "Those are not as delicious as the strawberries I was given, but they'll serve their purpose, I hope. We met your mother on a summer school, that's true. But it was not the 4H summer school, she will remember, if she remembers it at all. It was a school for witchcraft and wizardry. It was called the Unicorn Farm and existed as far as we know for a bit over three years."

I'm sorry about this cliffhanger ending ... I promise more and soon as possible.

onsdag den 28. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 28

This is a challenge, where the old saying "The more the merrier" holds true, therefore: Please, remember to go back, read other peoples' stories there or follow their links back. And please place a comment after reading. Challenges like this one thrives on interaction.

In July we'll find the Words for Wednesday at Lissa's blog The Memory Tourist. For July 28th we were given these ten words. I used the ones wiht a line through them (What is this called?):


1. secret
2. garden
3. walk
4. world
5. abandon
6. magic
7. life
8. forever
9. key
10. spring

I continue where I left off last Wednesday, telling the story of Sarah, the old, bitter woman and what happened next. It turned into a longish story, and I'm not done writing it yet; but as there's more words, I promise more story, soon.


As planned Susan went for a walk and some window-shopping, while Knud went into the pub. To his relief they served tea and coffee as well as alcoholic beverages. He ordered an apple crumble and a  Cappuccino and sat at a table with a good view of the door. He drank his coffee slowly, it was passable, and very hot, a good excuse for being slow. The cake was quite good, Knud loved cakes. From time to time he let his gaze wander to the bar, and then back to the entrance again.
The waiter wiped off the tables and noticed Knud watching the entrance with a patient look. "Waiting for your wife to finish shopping?" He asked in a sympathetic tone. Knud nodded and smiled at the waiter. He did not want to get involved in a conversation, but neither did he want to come over as unfriendly. The waiter gave him a complacent smile and continued wiping off the tables. Knud felt like he had been waiting forever, he had almost finished his cappuccino, and was contemplating ordering another one, as a group of people entered the pub. Knud recognized Sarah from her Facebook portrait, but she looked so much older in real life that Knud was shocked. He knew that Sarah was 8 months younger than Susan, but judging from her looks she could easily have been 15 years older. There was only one other woman in the group, somewhat younger looking, but just as worn as Sarah, and three men. All  three had watery blue eyes, paunches, stubble and  receeding hairlines. They could very well have been brothers. The other woman sat down, while Sarah and the men went to the bar. Knud had no problem listening in, for they did not bother keeping their voices low.
After an initial discussion about the appropriateness of drinking a beer or two this time a day, they agreed that today was a good day to do so. To Knud it sounded like they said the same things every day, and the waiter's tired mien let him suspect the same. He carried a tray with ten beer bottles and five glasses to their table.
"When is your birthday, Sarah?" the other woman asked, when they had poured and drunk the first glass in silence.
"Next Sunday, Minnie" Sarah answered her face turning a bit redder, "but I'm not going to celebrate much. That stubborn son of mine is staying with his hussy."
"Well, no wonder," Minnie said. "You told us she was about to have a baby."
"Yeah, almost indecent at her age," Sarah spat. "And then the due date is the day before my birthday. She planned well, that spiteful wench. But I'll show them."
"There's not much you can do about her having a baby," the man sitting to the right of Sarah said in a calming voice. "Babies come as pleases them."
"She's just trying to hold onto him and squeeze as much money as possible from him," Sarah said, her voice raising in both pitch and volume.
One of the other men raised his beer "Cheers, mates! For a happy birthday and a lively baby."
The two other men and Minnie raised their glasses as well, Sarah glowered at him, but raised her glass as well.
Knud emptied his cup, making ready to leave the moment Susan arrived.
He rose, as she entered, meeting her in the door. "I see the primroses were too expensive," he said with a sigh. "Let's get home."

They walked in silence to their car, Knud's facial expression making no secret of the negative result of his visit to the bar.
When they hit the highway home, Knud sighed and said: "There's just no way we can revive her magic. She's old, drunk and excessively bitter."
"Is it that bad?" Susan asked.
Knud retold what he had heard in the pub. Susan nodded and looked worried. "What should we do? I agree she's not to be trusted with magic, but I still feel sorry for her."
"I think we need to find her son," Knud said. "He sounds like he is a good and loving husband, in spite of his mother's needling and bad will towards her."
"And what of the daughter?" Susan asked.
"She was not mentioned," Knud said, "but let's find her her too. I'll phone at once."
And while Susan drove homewards through the steadily increasing traffic, she heard Knud asking, repeating, hemming and hawing over the phone next to her.
Suddenly he said: "Susan, turn left here. Sorry Mike, I did not want us to miss the road, please repeat what you said about that daughter."
Susan did as Knud had asked her, deftly turning onto another main road, not a mean feat in the rush hour traffic. A bit later Knud pointed right, still talking, and Susan left the main road for a smaller one. Knud wrote something on a piece of paper, holding onto his phone with a shoulder. Then he thanked Mike profusely, and Susan slowed down in order to let Knud finish the call before the big crossroads ahead. "Could you pull over for a minute, my dear? I'll have to check that address."
Susan pulled into a parking lot belonging to some company, and now almost deserted. Knud looked at his slip of  paper, tapped his phone and nodded, obviously satisfied with himself.
"Yes, I was right. Now we just need a good excuse to visit Sarah's son and daughter in law," Knud said smiling. They live less than 5 kilometres from here.
"Flowers," Susan said. "We buy some flowers with a greetings card, write their name and address on it and pretend it was delivered to us."
Knud nodded slowly. "Good one Susan. Let's go get those flowers!" More tapping on the phone and he raised his head again. "There's a florist in the next town. Just go on."
Susan turned on the car and left the deserted parking lot for new adventures.

to be continued ...

mandag den 26. juli 2021

Poetry Monday :: Parents' Day

 If you want to read some more, and better  poetry,  Diane - who has taken over the hosting of  this challenge - and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings - who also supplies us with topics - are writing wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is taking a break due to her husband's passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way.

I have something more to ask of you: If you read this and the poetry of others, would you please leave a comment. Half - if not more - the fun of these challenges is receiving the responses of others.


- - - - -

Parents' day ... we sure need a day for parents taken under one hat. I don't care much for Mothers' Day or Fathers' Day, but a Parents' Day, that I can applaud, as parenting is a joint effort.
I am still putting things there and back again hunting for moths, ans I do not feel well those past many days, so I try, I try, let's see what happens. Normally I'm not this explicitly in the faith department, but ... it just happened. 


Mothers and fathers, they are what they are
Because they have children, and they are the star,
Today we will praise and honour and laud
Every one of the parents and make them all proud.

We all have a mother and father you know,
And we were created by them and their love
But they have a Mother and Father above
That helps them and give them a parental shove.

- - - - -

Next Mondays topic: Ice Cream Sandwich Day.


Topics coming up:
Cats (August 9)
Tell a Joke (August 16)
Wind (August 23)
Monsters (August 30)
Shoes (September 6) From Mimi
Defy Superstition Day (September 13) Also from Mimi
Remembering 8-Tracks (September 20) Another Mimi

søndag den 25. juli 2021

Sunday Selections -- 25 July -- Blue

  It's time to link up with Sunday Selections, now hosted by Elephant's Child. Citing her for the rules: "The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to me (Elephant's Child that is, not MotherOwl!)."

  Blue ... I love blue. And blue is the colour, Jude from Life in Colour choose for July. I have been hunting in my archives, looking for blue. It's not a problem of finding, but of choosing.

  The first if many blue glass drops. I found these, and some green and white ones as well, in a second hand shop. Since many other have joined my collection.
  They are - or at least started out as - the left overs from glass works, made for fun by the glass blowers and artists to use up bits and ends.

Blue and repeating patterns - two of my favourite things. (Blue bricks)


A blue glass mug, taken with the funny, colour exclusive setting of my camera. My mug for coffee breaks!

A lion - not a real one, of course, but a giant, stuffed one - hello Henry. It's here because it was the protagonist in a story of my Droplets: Blue Meets a Lion. Unfortunately this story is not online. It's a long and tedious job to prepare those stories for online viewing, and the number of readers are not impressing, to say the least ;)

Blue Umbrella is the work title of a haiku collection of mine. I don't know if I will ever finish it.

I am sorry for the rather downcast version of Sunday Selections/Life in Colour. It's at least partly due to a non-fave blue:
The rest of our summer holidays look like this (rain in varying amounts, but every day and almost no sun).
Graphics courtesy of Bedre Vejr (Better Weather), data by DMI

torsdag den 22. juli 2021

Bonus Blue -- Travel Edition

  This Sunday I was so busy showing off photos from this year's Sand Sculpture Festival in Hundested (Around the World) that I forgot to link up with Jude's Life in Colour challenge.
  This month is BLUE - my favourite colour. And the Venice sand sculpture made me think of our trip to Venice 11 years ago, and a special blue thing, we saw there.


onsdag den 21. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 21

This is a challenge, where the old saying "The more the merrier" holds true, therefore: Please, remember to go back, read other peoples' stories there or follow their links back. And please place a comment after reading. Challenges like this one thrives on interaction.

In July we'll find the Words for Wednesday at Lissa's blog The Memory Tourist. For July 21th we were given these ten words:


Epistle
Welfare
Children
Spirit
Companions
Primroses
Sea
Walk
Faithful
Happiness

  I left Jon, Susan, and some other apprentices on their way to a cave, and I promised a continuation, but ... these words were just too peaceful for a monster in a cave story.
  Instead they were perfect for a start to a story from Birch Manor. The story of the last of the apprentices, Sarah Pedersen from Rødover, the one who was an early retiree and into anti-vaccination and conspiracy networks.
  And I once again used the words in the order they were given. The last two,
Faithful and Happiness did not fit into the story. Maybe a part 2 will come.


"Have you seen the epistle Sarah wrote on Facebook yesterday," Knud asked Susan as the car turned into the larger road outside the small town near Birch Manor.
"No," Susan answered, still intent on the road. "Tell me about it, please."
"She's attacking the welfare system," Knud said, shaking his head. "In short she thinks that for every child a family has, a sum should be subtracted from their general welfare. So that couples having 5 children or more just have to work to earn a living."
"She is a mean spirit," Susan said. "I turn more and more convinced that we should not re-awaken her magical potential. But then I think of her children and change my mind. In short. I don't know what to do."
"The first thing to do is to meet her," Knud said. "We have to. And now we've found out that she and her companions hang out in the Pub each day around noon, this will be easy. You go shopping, I sit and spit into a cup of coffee or a cold beer if necessary," Knud's mouth contorted at the thought of Danish beer, even cold.
"And then I join you after some time," Susan continued, turning into the fast lane. "We'll have to find some sort of code. Not too elaborate. Do we know anything of her children?"
"She has two, as far as I have been able to find out," Knud said. "Friends in the administration is a good thing when looking for people like her. There once was a man, but he died, 15 years ago I think. Cancer or diabetes probably brought on by drinking and smoking excessively.  The children have both left Rødovre for Copenhagen proper, flown the nest, and at fairly young ages both of them."
"OK," Susan said. "If you ask me whether the primroses were too expensive, then we leave her alone. At least for now."
"And if I suggest that we go to the sea for a walk after lunch, then we should approach her," Knud added smiling slyly. "This sounds like one of her stories filled with conspirators and code words and spies with cloaks and daggers."

Susan parked the car some way from the Pub in Rødovre Centrum 
"I need to walk a bit to collect my wits," she said and Knud just nodded.

   ... to be continued

And I need your help. In Danish the standard spy is described as wearing "Beard and blue glasses". What's he wearing in English? I tried false beard and newspaper, but what would you normally say? And now - today November 24 2021, it hit me: Cloak and dagger!




mandag den 19. juli 2021

Poetry Monday :: Raspberry Cake Day

If you want to read some more, and better  poetry,  Diane - who has taken over the hosting of  this challenge - and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings - who also supplies us with topics - are writing wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is taking a break due to her husband's passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way.

I have something more to ask of you: If you read this and the poetry of others, would you please leave a comment. Half - if not more - the fun of these challenges is receiving the responses of others.


- - - - -

Raspberry cake is a worthy subjedt, at least here in the Owlery, where no birthday celebration is perfect without at least one raspberry pie or Swiss roll with raspberry jam. We are celebrating 9 birthdays in a span of 5 weeks (beginning yesterday, but we celebrated Thursday), and I am still watching Le Tour and putting things there and back again hunting for moths, so only a short poem - a Haiku - from me this Monday.


Oh raspberry pie
pleasing and nice to the eye
and palate and nose

- - - - -

Next Mondays topic: Parents Day.


Topics coming up:
Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2)
Cats (August 9)
Tell a Joke (August 16)
Wind (August 23)
Monsters (August 30)
Shoes (September 6) From Mimi
Defy Superstition Day (September 13) Also from Mimi
Remembering 8-Tracks (September 20) Another Mimi

søndag den 18. juli 2021

Sunday Selections -- Around the World

When we can't travel it is great that the theme for this year's Sand Sculpture Festival in Hundested is Around the World.



Oktoberfest in München (Munich).

La Tour Eiffel, Paris.
Today the Tour de France ends here, Id' like to be there ... it remains a dream.

Egypt

This gruff fellow took us to Easter Island

Japan - Temple gates, Fuji-San, cranes and ladies in kimono.

We even went to Australia

We saw New York from a gull's point of view.

Russia in a (nut)shell

Carnival in Venice.

And a trip to Fantasia

lørdag den 17. juli 2021

Klemmepose -- Bag for Clothes Pins

     For ni år siden skrev jeg et indlæg med præcis den samme titel. Det er her. Nu er den nye klemmepose ikke ny længere. Der var huller i, den trængte kort sagt til at blive skiftet ud. Spirillen, der er den, der hænger det meste tøj op, sagde jeævnligt:"Åh, mor, nu har du igen ikke syet en ny klemmepose!"
     Og i går skete det søreme. Først et billede af den ikke længere nye klemmepose:

-- 👕 --

   Nine years ago I made a blog post with the very same title. You can find it  here. Now the nice, new bag is not new and efficine any longer. It's holey and worn out. Marsupilami, whose chore is the hanging of clothes complauined often:"Mum, all the pegs are falling out, please make a new bag!" 
  And yesterday it happened. First a photo of the once new, now old bag
Slidt op! -- Worn out!

     Spirillen har testet og godkendt den nye klemmepose.

  Marsupilami testing and approving the new clothes pin bag.

     Denne gang syede jeg på min nye, gamle symaskine. Det var herligt! Ingen brækkede eller bøjede nåle og det hele gik glat.

-- 🧵 --

This time around I used my new, old sewing mashine. It was wonderful, no broken or bend needles, everything just worked!

fredag den 16. juli 2021

Words for Wednesday -- July 14

This is a challenge, where the old saying "The more the merrier" holds true, therefore: Please, remember to go back, read other peoples' stories there or follow their links back. And please place a comment after reading. Challenges like this one thrives on interaction.

In July we'll find the Words for Wednesday at Lissa's blog The Memory Tourist. For July 14th we were given these ten words:


water
gather
flood
memory
linger
solace
enigmatic
neighbour
cold
destruction

I felt bad about not contributing for two weeks running. I sat down and wrote this. It is not much, even if I took up the additional challenge of using the words in the order they were given.
Sometime during the stay at Unicorn Farm, Susan and her friends meet a baddie in a cave.



The water lapped at the sandy shore, as the apprentices gathered in the early morning of a new week.
"We're in for an adventure," Jon explained. "Tonight, the full moon rose and gave us a spring flood, and it is windy - even stormy from the exact right direction. The water rose higher than it had in living memory. And in half an hour it will go as low as it will ever go. We can make it to the cave and back if we do not linger. And if we do not meet with any unforeseen obstacles."
Susan found meagre solace in the fact that it would be full daylight before they would arrive at the cave. The opening winked in the distance, enigmatic and threatening.
They walked in pairs, with a rope between them and kept a good distance, wands at the ready. Susan noticed, that her neighbour's hand holding her wand shook just as much as her own. The water, still not at its lowest, swirled around their ankles, cold, salty and clear in the slanting rays of the rising sun. They were all set for destruction of the evil being in the cave.

Maybe to be continued, given time and good prompts -- Thanks Lissa for this batch -- I might continue this story.

Just Popping In

I'm still fighting moths ... and celebrating birthdays ... I'm not quitting, only too busy to write coherent posts.
Here's a pretty moth from yesterday.


mandag den 12. juli 2021

Poetry Monday :: Cheer the Lonely

Right now I do not think that the loney ones need to be cheered. It's the families pent up with one another, suffering from cabin fever, who needs cheering. Sorry folks - another bitter poem from a grumpy, old Owl.

When you're lonely you can go to the loo.
No discussions of texture and hue
of your favourite chair

When you're lonely you don't have to look
for your glasses, your pen and your book
they're rigth there.

When you're lonely, you decide what to cook,
Where to sit, where to go, where to look.
How to share.

When you're lonely in short, you're the boss.
You decide on which rivers to cross
to get where.

søndag den 11. juli 2021

Røde nødder -- Red Nuts

Overskriften siger sådan set det hele. Min fine røde hasselbusk har fået nødder på - og de er røde.

-- 🦑 --

The title says it all. My red hazel bush has nuts on it; and they are red.


Og noget blåt til Judes Life in Colour om søndagen? Blandt de planter, jeg havde sat mig for at prøve i fryseposefarvefrosøget, var et par chikorieblomster. De var helt visne, da jeg endelig nåede frem til faktisk at forsøge. Men det bliver de ikke mindre blå af.

-- 💧 --

And somthing blue for Jude's Life in Colour? In between the plants that were meant for the freeeze bag dyeing experiment, were some blue chicories. They had wilted before the bags were finally made. But still they are blue.

lørdag den 10. juli 2021

TUSAL No More

For some years -- since December 2015 to be exact -- MotherOwl has been an erratic participant in the TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long) hosted by Daffycat.
But for the last couple of moons Daffycat has been busy. In short, there's almost no TUSAL posts on her blog any more, everything is happening on Facebook. And as MotherOwl is not a fan of Facebook, she's sadly and reluctantly stopping her participation in this fun Stitch-A-Long.



This is the TUSAL logo and the link will take you to an explanation of what TUSAL is.
If Daffycat resumes her blogging and hosting of this challenge, I promise to return.

fredag den 9. juli 2021

Fryseposeplantefarvning -- Plant Dye in Bags

Mens jeg ser Tour de France, skubber Mark Cavendish over bjergene, og klasker møl kan jeg godt plantefarve lidt.
På Facebook var der én der fortalte, at hun testede planter ved at putte dem i fryseposer sammen med lidt bejdset uld. Det måtte jo afprøves, da det er et mere transportabelt alternativ til mine mange glas i en gryde.

While watching Tour de France, pushing Mark Cavendish up the mountains and exterminating the moths not much else is happening.
But still some small test runs in plant dyeing happen. I read about dyeing several small bundles at once in the same pot using freezer bags. An alternative to my many glasses in a pot. And one more suited for field experiments. I had to try.

Her er poserne så lige hevet op af gryden.
Bags, just plucked from the wonderful pot.
1 Mørke stokroser - Dark red hollyhocks
2 Vild kørvel - Cow parsley
3 Karryplante - Curry plant
4 Løvefod - Lady's mantle
5 Røde bøgeblade - Becch leaves, red


Threads 0 - 5
0 is how it looked before dyeing.
If you embiggen the picture no. 3 Curry plant can be seen to have yellow spots. I think that is where the flowers touched the wool. I'll have to try Eco printing with those.

De farvede forsøgstråde.
Hvis man gør billedet større ved at klikke på det, kan man se, at karryplantegarnet har gule pletter. Det er måske blomsterne, der er skyldige. Jeg må forsøge med noget PlantePrint med dem.

torsdag den 8. juli 2021

No Story -- WfW July 7

This is a challenge, where the old saying "The more the merrier" holds true, therefore: Please, remember to go back, read other peoples' stories there or follow their links back. And please place a comment after reading. Challenges like this one thrives on interaction.

In July we'll find the Words for Wednesday at Lissa's blog The Memory Tourist. For July 7th we were given:


1. orphan
2. island
3. farm
4. brother
5. freckles
6. red-haired
7. imagination
8. friend
9. charm
10. home

And although these words speak to me, very much so even, I have not had the time or ease of mind to write a story. Two reasons at least.
1. MOTHS - the animal that must not be named when wool is around. And in my project room there's lots and lots of wool, whole fleeces, combed or carded wool, batts, plant dyed wool and woollen yarns galore. Sigh. Moth extermination Owl crew to the rescue. I have a crick in the neck for constantly watching for flying moths and my fingers are scorched from taking out crates of wool from the oven. Heat treatment exterminates moths and their eggs.
2. Le Tour. Believe it or not. MotherOwl, who normally does not care for sports; as in she does not even know against whom the Danish team is playing and when in football. That same Owl sits glued to the screen for 3 weeks, watching 184 men climbing mountains and suffering on their bikes ;) When BiggerSis - who shares the passion - still lived at home, we even rented a TV for those 3 weeks.

Now you know why no writing happens. I promise to catch up.

tirsdag den 6. juli 2021

Asagao-festival

Tak til Messymimi for at fortælle os at i dag er det Iriya no Asagao-ichi -- Første dag af Pragtsnerlefesten i Tokyo, Japan (sidste dag er den 8.)

- - 💮 - -

Thanks to Messymimi for telling that today is Iriya no Asagao-ichi -- First day of the Morning glory flower festival in Tokyo, Japan (through the 8th).

- - 🌼 - -

  For nogle år siden foldede jeg en theposekugle, der netop var inspireret af Pragtsnerle (der på japansk hedder アサガオ (asagao), egentlig morgen-ansigt). Jeg kalder for sjov kuglen for morgenfjæs. I dag er altså en god anledning til et gensyn.
  God Iriya no Asagao!

- - 💮 - -

Some years ago, I made a teabag-wrapper bauble called just that - Morning glory (in Japanese アサガオ (asagao), which literally means morning face). A good time for a revisit of this bauble.
Happy Iriya no Asagao

アサガオ, Morgenfjæs, Morning Faces

mandag den 5. juli 2021

Poetry Monday :: Bikinis

If you want to read some more, and better  poetry,  Diane - who has taken over the hosting of  this challenge - and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings - who also supplies us with topics - are writing wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is taking a break due to her husband's passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way.

I have something more to ask of you: If you read this and the poetry of others, would you please leave a comment. Half - if not more - the fun of these challenges is receiving the responses of others.


- - - - -

As it sometimes happen, the topic for the Poetry Monday makes a song make that an earworm - run around my poor brain. I tried chewing gum, singing it out loud (all alone in the bath), listening to it, and so on.
  But each time I see the word bikini this begins: "She was afraid to come out of the locker ..." Can you carry on? I think we all know the opening line to
Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini.
  Are you old enough to remember lockers on the beach? I am. I was small, and remember them as tiny, clammy, and anxiety provoking boxes. The other children always yelled, take care, someone's lurking. I had no idea who was lurking or why they would want to. I was five or under, and on the beach with my grandmother. I preferred undressing on the beach to those damp cubicles.

Bikini ... come on, MotherOwl, you can do this!

Oh, and do you remember the Blue meanies



Itsy bitsy, blue meanie
in a very small bikini.
He's swimming a sea of green notes
because he was late for the boats.

Itsy bitsy blue meanie
In a wet and blue-grey beanie
He's crawling ashore by a crab
Who gives his behind a sound nab.

Itsy bitsy blue meanie
He took off his wet bikini
And walked from the crab and the shore
And then there isn't any more.

Blue Meanies - Thanks Wikipedia.

- - - - - -

Next Mondays topic: Cheer the Lonely

Coming up:
Raspberry Cake Day (July 19)
Parents Day (July 26)
Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2)
Cats (August 9)
Tell a Joke (August 16)
Wind (August 23)
Monsters (August 30)
Shoes (September 6) From Mimi
Defy Superstition Day (September 13) Also from Mimi
Remembering 8-Tracks (September 20) Another Mimi

søndag den 4. juli 2021

Sunday Selection - Blue

MotherOwl suspects that nobody reading her blog for more than a few weeks can be left in doubt as to what is her facourite colour: BLUE. This colour is chosen as the colour of the month at Life in Colour, and is furthermore the favourite colourof Jude, the author of that blog.
A quick visit of my photo folders gave me enough blue photos to ælast me a year of Sundays. Here are some of them.
This also links up with Sunday Selections, hosted by Elephant's Child.

What is more blue than a cornflower - my favourite flower.


This time it's the pot, not the flowers.

Weaving rag rugs - blue of course.

Blue from cabbage boiling - unfortunately not a durable colour.

Tea bag wrappers made into a bowl - mostly blue of course.

And my very own Hashi-bukuro (Chopstick wrapper) called Ame / Rain.


And last, but not least the grumpy GardenOwl.

torsdag den 1. juli 2021

Removing CAPTCHAs and Moderating Old Posts

Sometimes, no often, I give up commenting on blogs where you have to click all fire hydrants, cross walks, bridges, stairs, palm trees or something like it. I can't see well enough to find them all, and invariably have to go through this ordeal four times or more to comment.
Could you please remove them?

But then you say - old posts: people put ads for this and that, bits and bobs, hate speech, Boomer removers, political statements or financial 'aid'.

The solution is to put your older posts on moderation, not your new ones.

Look here. I know it's in Danish - changing the language settings to English  keeps my Blogger in Danish, and makes my mail program unable to find the Trash folder - but why❓
The placement of the selections are the same, and I translated the relevant words.
Now everybody can comment, but if someone comments on an old post, the comment are quarantined, I am notified via e-mail, and can delete or set free the comment.
This works for me. And I hope for my readers as well.