Wednesday 28 April 2021



The township dump where my friend Bruce works is only open one or twice a week (depending on the season).  He loves nothing more than wandering around and sorting through the modern debris on his days off.  I've told this story before, but he often takes bits and pieces and creates art with it.  The one piece that really made me laugh was the giant teddy bear sitting in a lawn chair wearing a sombrero. He'd occasionally add to his little art installation and make it more elaborate as the summer wore on.  I drove by once and saw several BMW and Mercedes cars parked by the dump taking photos with Bruce's hilarious creation.  I guess it was perfect for selfies.

This past winter someone dropped off a a huge sign.  It was around 9 or ten feet long, and maybe five feet high.  It just had the word DOUBT printed on it.  I can't imagine why?  It sat up against the dump fence for a while.  Then one day Bruce took a role of black duct tape and tore off some strips and taped over the UBT.  He threw me the tape and said "there fixed that 'effin thing". 

Wednesday 21 April 2021



Someone asked me the other day about my first job.  They were very impressed with my answer: ranch hand.  This was really not such a cool job.  I spent most of my time with a wheelbarrow and a shovel.   I was fifteen and making $100 a week. I thought I was rich.  

French worked there as well and that is where he met April.  He'd get to work early and clean up her horse's stall, and wait around to speak (flirt) with her.  French mostly stuck to two key jokes.  He'd call her Avril and tell everyone that she was French like him...she wasn't.  We'd double over laughing when someone would try to start a conversation with her in French.  She'd give us all a dirty look and ride off.   The second joke was he'd call her April May June.  She actually laughed at the one!

A while back we saw this photo online.  It was a pic of a barrel racer.  She'd just won at a local rodeo. The girl looked familiar, but I couldn't place her.  French said: "That is April's daughter".  Spitting image, and her mother's horsemanship skills to boot.  

Wednesday 14 April 2021


It has been a long year...or so.  My mental health has been up, and really really down over this time.  Amazingly, my friend Rose has stayed positive throughout.  It is hard to fathom how she does it.   Rose and her husband Bruce Fish live in the middle of nowhere.  He operates the township dump, and works for the county doing minor road maintenance, driving the garbage truck, and plowing snow every winter.   They may be the happiest couple I know.

It'll be pouring cold rain, and she'll be helping Bruce sort recycling with a smile on her face.   I've asked her many times: "what's the secret?"  Rose has two standard answers.  Sometimes she'll just say "hope".  Her other answer is the poetic phrase "on eagles wings". 

Last summer we had a rare visit from a bald eagle out at the lake.  Rose smiled bigger than usual when it landed just across the narrows, then took off and flew right over us later in the day.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Holly the Temple Dog

This is Holly the Pug.   She left us in 2017 after 14 years as the Temple Dog.   One early morning we were out in the backyard and I couldn't see her as she'd wandered off into the forest.  I saw something coming out of the underbrush that was about pug sized.  It was waddling along.  I took a swig of coffee, and mid-sip I saw the tall black and white tail.  I did a legit spit take, and looked for Holly.  Out she came from the forest walking parallel to the skunk!  Thankfully she honed in on me and kept walking slowly, and calmly.  The skunk didn't seem to mind at all and veered off to the compost bin.  I rushed Holly in the backdoor.

It was a funny scene.  Growing up my German Shepherd got grazed by skunk spray, and my current dog (a Dutch Sheepdog/Schapendoes) got sprayed in the face two years ago.   That was a lot less funny.