The Art of the Jack-o’-lantern

The last few years, the pumpkin has been transformed in ways that it really hadn’t ever been before.  I suppose it started with the sale of special carving tools that went beyond the basic carving knife utilized by our parents.

Just yesterday, I saw one of these contemporary carvings posted by friend, arts educator and artist, Jen Dunne, a depiction of Edgar Allan Poe.  Absolutely fantabulous!  I would guess that the carving happens, much like the process of batik, where you have to think ahead to what general forms you wish to read lightest in value all the way to darkest or black.  The light will glow through the various layers revealing a number of glowing orange values/greys….very coolio!

Photo Credit: Jen Dunne

Photo Credit: Jen Dunne

While the Tell Tale Heart is my favourite, Edgar Allan Poe is most known for his poem, The Raven.

Back to pumpkins.

When I was a child, it was Dad who gathered us around the kitchen table for the carving of the jack-o’-lantern.  Mom was always busy harvesting items in the house that we could use for our home made costumes.  She also salted and placed in the over, a tray of seeds once separated from the heap of yucky pulp.

2006 pumpkin

2006 pumpkin

I’ve carried on the tradition with my children all of these years, but consistently carving the same grinning face that my father carved out for us. I missed my Dad last night…I do every year on Halloween night.  He is and will always remain a part of my memory when I light up the candle in my jack-o’-lantern.



Big Fish Landing in my Bucket List

Big Fish

Poser…42 Market Street, North Bay, Ontario with his 14 pound lake trout!

I’ve always wanted to fish with my Dad.  I remember going out a few times with him and my brothers, trying to bait a hook…that sort of thing, but no HUGE memory of a fishing experience.  Fishing with Cliff, Dad and Cayley in August exceeded all of my dreams.  A beautiful August day and we headed out to Kitty Coleman.

P1180502I highly recommend Cliff’s Chinook Charters for an experience that you will not soon forget.  Bring people you love…it is an awesome experience to share with one another!  And women…make it a ladie’s event.  You can do this thing!


A perfect day!


If you have time, watch this wee video diddy…it was a super nightmare to try to upload.  And yes, I agree…I’d like music on the final bits from the word ‘blessing’ as well…but heck if I could figure out how to do that!  And don’t under ANY circumstances, point out the bracket following the word magic on the final slide!!



I Don’t Know How to Let Go of Her Hands

Autumn leaves under frozen soles,
Hungry hands turning soft and old,
My hero cried as we stood out their in the cold,
Like these autumn leaves I don’t have nothing to hold.

Handsome smiles wearing handsome shoes,
Too young to say, though I swear he knew,
And i hear him singing while he sits there in his chair,
Now these autumn leaves float around everywhere.

And I look at you, and I see me,
Making noise so restlessly,
But now it’s quiet and I can hear you saying,
‘My little fish dont cry, my little fish dont cry.’

Autumn leaves how faded now,
that smile that i’ve lost, well i’ve found some how,
Because you still live on in my fathers eyes,
These autumn leaves, oh these autumn leaves, oh these autumn leaves are yours tonight.

Happy Father’s Day!

My Dad: Moose Jaw Tech

My Dad was the man with the Plan B.  He was the person, in my life, who had backbone when backbone was required and helped me with the BIG decisions along the way.

I remember a time when my Dad  placed his hand on my shoulder in a situation where he was unable to speak.  And, through that gesture, he gave me strength to go forward in acceptance and confidence.

Dad was the one who taught me about being directive in my life…so, I knew I wanted to stay the course and keep my head up.  He taught me to be able to flex for the inevitable surprise and to do so, without fear.

Dad taught me to have opinions and ideas and never was a dull man around a dinner table.  We learned about politics and economics and sports.  We talked about EVERYTHING.  I guess, in part, I owe this blog to him. ;0) 

I love my Dad, for the life he built for his family.  This year, my Dad turned 80 and he writes me E Mail.  I look forward to his little notes.   I couldn’t be prouder of the person he is!  My Father is a wonderful man. 

Backyard Garden: Rhubarb

You’ve Got to Love Rhubarb!

Mom and Dad always gardened!  I suppose that’s where I get the most inspiration to garden.  We just always grew things!  I know that we are very busy people, but a part of the natural flow and ebb of things was to grow things.

Regarding Rhubarb, the thing my father always told me was to rip it out, don’t cut it.  The yield continues throughout the summer in this manner.  I’ve never done it any other way!  The rhubarb that you see right here is ready to be picked!  If you let it go any longer, it will be tough.  I think my favourite combination of fresh flavours from the garden is rhubarb with strawberries.  You just stew the two together for awhile on the top of the stove, add some sugar and serve on toast!  Yummers!