Thursday, September 30, 2010

Will you look at that!

A week ago I took my camera outside and took a bunch of photo's of the fall colors around my house.  We live in an older area of the city, most of the homes are well over a 100 yrs old, and thankfully, we still have many big old Elm trees around us. 

I love the Elms, mainly because the song birds love to sit high on the branches and sing their little hearts out, both early in the morning and again at dusk.  This time of year I love to look out  of my sun room window and see the beautiful golden leaves, but they don't usually last long.  I don't know if it's all Elm trees or just the ones in my neighbourhood, but I have noticed through the years, that the week the leaves change color, is usually the week they fall.  Needless to say, once again the same cycle has occurred.  Last week there was glorious color, and this morning all that color is on the ground and the trees are bare.

I have heard rumors that we are to have an early winter, if my Grandfather were still here, I'd ask him.  He watched nature - the trees and the birds and he could predict when winter would start and what kind of a winter we would have - and he was almost always right. 

I think the trees are saying winter is coming... but then we already know that.  Or maybe they are saying, get off your butt and get outside and do some exercise.  Rake!  That's probably how I should read it!

Whatever it is, it is beautiful and while the temperatures are still pleasant, I plan to be out enjoying it as much as I can.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet my Hope Baby!

I'd like to introduce my readers to a very special child in my life.  Meet Thomas.

Thomas is my hope baby. 

He was born when I had my mastectomy 4 yrs ago, and he was the main focus I clung to all through my recuperation. Thomas had a birthday on Sunday... Happy Birthday Thomas -  and I had yet another
anniversary of my Breast Cancer ordeal (Surgery #2).

Thomas is my great-nephew, and he is special to me.
  I love each and every one of my nieces and nephews and their children, but there is something about Thomas that touches my heart in a special way.  I can't describe to you how a child can change your outlook on life, but he happened to arrive at a time when I really needed something to believe in.  When I was at my lowest and ready to feel sorry for myself, along would come a new batch of pictures of Thomas, and his sweet chubby little face and his wonderful facial expressions, always gave me a lift, just when I so desperately needed it.

I have not yet even met this little guy, because his family live in British Columbia, but some day (soon I hope) I will meet him, and his brother and sister, and his two little cousins... until then I enjoy each and every picture of him and the other little ones that I have yet to meet.

Which brings me to the second part of this post.  Pictures.

My niece, Alanna (Thomas' Mom) is the photographer behind the Thomas pictures.  She is an amazing talent as you'll see if you check out her web site.  She does amazing Children's photography and Wedding Photography and lately has really blossomed into Scenery.  Some of my favorite work of hers is with animals... she has a gift with a camera that surpasses many.

She's a talented photographer, wonderful wife and Mom, and a Dental Hygienist.  Where she finds the time with three young children and two careers, I'll never know, but I do know this... I am very proud of her.

Take a few moments, and give yourself a beautiful treat...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busy? Or Foolish!

I apologize for not being on here daily like I was before.  I find myself being pulled in many directions these days, and often I am frustrated with the lack of "time" I have to do the things I have to do.

First there is the house... will it ever be properly cleaned again??  Sure I manage to do the surface stuff, you know, the bathrooms, dishes, laundry, half of the vacuuming, but seriously that doesn't seem to be near enough given that 3 people, a hair-shedding dog, and a feather shedding cockatiel all inhabit one small little house.

Then there is work - well truthfully we never really get caught up at work, even though lately we have been very close.

My pathetic weed infested garden - not my fault... to wet to weed!
Then there is the garden - which I usually do for relaxation.... Huh!!  This year it has been very relaxing - I just plain have never got in there to do it.  Every time I tried - it rained.  Should I be thankful?  Well at least I have an excuse.  But good grief - you should see it now... what a mess... it now will take quite a few days to right the wrongs of the summer season.

 Just getting started - this is 20 bears and a few other things - I need about 100 bears
Then there is the upcoming craft sale  - did I really need the extra stress of this endeavour?
Well I really thought I did.  It's been a few years since I did a sale, I missed the money!!  But it's not really the sale that has me stressed - it's the picture I have in my mind of my sale table - full, and I mean full of wonderful things for sale - things that keep getting added to the list of unmade articles - things I know I will never have enough time to make no matter how many sleepless nights I spend working.  I am my own worse enemy, after all!

Ah - then there is the other stuff... the things I really WANT to do, but feel I should not, because there is so much  I HAVE to do.  I want to knit a sweater (or two).  Work on my dolls and their new outfits.
Naked dolls everywhere!
  I want to play the piano for hours and hours; practice with Gary for our piano/organ duo Christmas concert.  Play with the dog; play with the bird.  Bake.  Write letters, write a book, write a with Scott, visit friends on numerous sites I belong to, sew, quilt, clean up my itunes files - watch movies with my family, spend time with my family, read a book, listen to music - well this one I do anyway - nothing is gonna stop me from ending my day with my headphones and ipod... it's just what I do... for me.

Whew I'm tired!

And my point?

There is none, except that we make life too darn hectic for ourselves...

And why is that, exactly?

Friday, September 24, 2010

We are gonna miss you...

I have been working full time since 1976.  Except for nine months off when I had my son, and 3 months off when I was treated for Breast Cancer, my career in the medical profession has been a large part of my life.  I started my career as a RN, and as things in my life changed so did my career options.  I have been fortunate to always have a job, and I have done many different things, but it has always been in the medical  profession.   I have been extremely blessed to have worked with wonderful people, no matter what my position.

The past 11 years I have worked at the hospital in a Women's Gyne clinic.  Except for male doctors and medical students, all my co-workers are female.  I work with nurses, clerks, secretaries, Physicians and aides, there are about 12 of us there everyday, and as amazing as it may sound... 12 women really can get along all the time.  Well maybe there is the odd time there will be a squabble or two, but we also seem to be able to rise above it and carry on.

One of my co-workers - a little nurse by the name of Caroline retires today.  Caroline has been a solid fixture in our unit for many years, and I do not say this lightly... the place will not be the same without her.

Caroline is one of those rare people that can spread herself so thin, that you have to wonder how she manages to do all she does.  She is our party planner, our cake baker, our event and celebration decorator, our drug order er, our shoulder to cry on, our source of immense entertainment when she has a story to share, our sale flyer provider, our friend, our Mom, our sister... and soon she is going to be a little baby boy's grandmother.

That is one of the reasons she has chosen to leave us.  Her first grandchild is about to be born, an event that Caroline has been dreaming about since before forever.  And she will be an amazing Grandma, just like she is an amazing everything else.

To say we will miss her, doesn't even come close.   I am sure that the end of this day will see a few tears, many many hugs, some long faces, some smiles, but everyone will be thinking... gosh... we are going to miss her!

Caroline, it's been an honour to know you, to work with you, and to call you friend.  Best wishes in your new career as a Grandmother, please stop by from time to time so we catch up...

I wrote a little poem for her retirement book ...

That's our Caroline

Five foot nothing bundle of joy,
That's our Caroline.
Saving lives one day at a time,
That's our Caroline.

Party planner, cake decorator,
That's our Caroline.
Treats and sweets and one point deals;
That's our Caroline.

Laughter, love, fun and hugs,
That's our Caroline.
Dedicated, loyal, proud and fine,
That's our Caroline.

Soon to be retired and gone,
That's our Caroline.
CPU's loss, her grandson's gain;
That's our Caroline.

Long from now, of her we'll speak,
And praise our Caroline.
We'll miss her sure, but first let's hear - 
Three cheers for Caroline!

Retirement date September 24, 2010.

Be happy dear friend; we love you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What in the world is ENTRELAC?

Just in case you were not significantly challenged with yesterday's post on Moebius knitting, today I have yet another method of knitting called Entrelac for you to try.

Another of my Craft buddy friends has recently mastered this technique, and after watching the video, I must say I applause her determination - for this one seems very complicated to me.  She will be teaching this technique at her local Yarn Barn in October... WTG, Monica... wish I lived nearer to you, I'd be there.

Entrelac is a method of knitting that makes the finished product look like woven triangles.  Monica completed a beautiful baby quilt using this method, and I can only be in awe of the finished project.

So how is it done?  Here are some videos that explain the technique.  To tell the truth, I was lost very quickly but totally amazed at the speed in which this gal knits.  Wow - I always thought I was pretty fast, but I am poky in comparison...

Check this out...

The possibilities for this method of knitting are endless.

This is changing the topic a bit, but this past weekend I missed an opportunity to meet one of my readers in person.  Esther lives in the same province as I do, but we have never met.  She happened upon my blog when someone she knew mentioned I was writing about an Amish settlement in Manitoba.  Esther is a quilter, and has written a book about 3D quilting.  She had a book signing this past weekend at a Grand Opening of a local fabric shop here in Winnipeg.  I had intended to go to her event, mainly to be able to meet her, but also to check out her book and the new shop.  Regretfully, I was under the weather and couldn't make it.  Esther, I so wanted to meet you, and hear about your book.  I hope the signing was a huge success and I wish you much success.  Hopefully we will yet get a chance to meet each other one day soon.

Esther has a website, please take a moment to check out her work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What in the world is MOEBIUS?

Before I write anything today, I would like to say how very sad I am to learn that one of my followers, Erin, lost her father yesterday.  Erin, please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, and I know that my readers here will join me in extending you our heart-felt condolences.

I hope you enjoyed my little story yesterday... I must tell you we really enjoyed the soup.  I served it with a loaf of my home made white bread, and it was the perfect supper for a cool fall evening.  I have to tell you that apparently there is a little more to this story, however.  I let Molly in last evening, and who should be riding on her back but Mrs. Ladybug.... this gal really is desperate to get away, I'm thinking.  But being the responsible one I am, I flicked her back outside....

I want to talk about knitting today.  My Mom was a superb knitter.  She did all kinds of intricate stitches, and beautiful projects for her family and home.  I still have a knit afghan she made me when I was a teenager.  I had seen it in a magazine and loved it, so she ordered the pattern and made it for me.  I use it every winter, and so far it has withstood years and years of wear very well.  She also did many Buffalo Wool sweaters for all her children and grandchildren.  She would have loved this next segment.

Recently a friend of mine from a craft forum I belong to posted a picture of a Cowl she made using the Moebius technique.  I had never heard of this method of knitting so I visited the link she posted and watched the video.  Thank you Charlotte for your inspiration.  I so want to try this, and I will once my craft sale in December is over and done with.  Charlotte made her cowl  from wool she spun herself, which makes me totally green with envy, and the finished product is spectacular.

For those of you who knit, and would like to try this method of knitting, check out the videos and links below.  There are a couple of different ways to cast on for this method, as well as instructions for Icord, which is something I have done in crochet, but never in knit.  I for one cannot wait until I have some time to try this out.  So knitters, challenge yourself... this would make wonderful Christmas Gifts for the upcoming season.

Happy Knitting....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Split Pea, Ham and Ladybug Soup!

I cooked a ham on Sunday, and had a lovely big bone with lots of meat left on it, so decided last night to make a pot of soup for tonight's supper.  I got the bone boiling and when it was time to add the other ingredients, I removed the lid off the pot so I could chuck the ingredients in as they were ready.  In went the chopped onions, shredded carrots, and I turned my back for just a second to go and get my dried spit peas from the cupboard. 

I had the container of them in my hand and was just going to pour them into the broth when I noticed a ladybug sitting on a piece of onion floating in my soup!  I couldn't believe it!  Firstly what was a ladybug doing in my house, and then I thought, who cares if the ladybug is in the house, what's she doing in my soup? Well not IN my soup, but on my soup.  It struck me awfully funny, and right away my imagination went kinda weird.

In my mind came a story of a Mommy ladybug - frazzled beyond frazzled.  The kids are driving her nuts, Daddy Ladybug is all hung up on a new family of moths that have moved in down the street.  They are such a noisy lot - keeping the neighbourhood up all night... "Enough!" she says.  "I have to get away."  But no - she has always been told that Mommy ladybugs shouldn't stray far from home in case the house starts on fire! 
Well I did she she was frazzled, so off she flies out in to the cool fall air.... shiver, shiver... she spies a cute little yellow house, all lit up from inside, the lights beckon, and just as she flies towards the light, the door opens as someone lets some kind of black monster into the house.  She slips inside unnoticed and heads to the warmest spot she can find... Ahhhhhh.... now this is the life.  Warm steamy air, oh that feels sooooooo good under the shell...  She settles back and closes her eyes and dreams of bright flowers, pools of clear blue water and blessed peace and quiet.

I couldn't kill her, after all she does have a family of young ones, and a hubby who loves her, so I scooped her and the onion she rested on, out of my soup, and went to the door and sent her on her way back home to them.

And that's how I happened to make Split Pea Ham and Ladybug soup, last night....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bargello Quilts

I spend much too much time on the internet looking for new things to try (like I need more projects) and everywhere I go I sign up for newsletters (then curse myself when my inbox if plugged full).  Recently I received a newsletter from some quilting site I belong to about Bargello Quilts.  Being new to the quilting scene, I had not heard of this technique - so off I went to good old Google.

Bargello comes up with lot of different things when typed in Google... firstly I learned that it is/was a needlework stich done on canvas where long stitches are used to fill the canvas, and when I happend to glance at the example - well don't you know - I used to do this type of needlework in the 70's.... Who knew?

But I was looking for Bargello Quilts... so back to Google, and Wow, oh Wow... you have to see this to believe it.  Beautiful scrap quilts done the Bargello way.... incredible!  Check this out....

Some helpful advice at:

And you have to see this...

Beautiful doesn't even seem enough....

Now I ask you - doesn't that make you want to quilt?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The wonder of Fall

It's been a couple of days since I posted here, hope you haven't missed me too much.  It is a busy time for everyone it seems.  Those with children in school are just starting to get back into a routine, week night activities of churches and organizations are starting back into full swing, cottages are being readied for closing for the season... so much to do...

But it is fall... I know the calendar doesn't say so officially, but here the leaves are really turning, the geese are heading south - I see them every morning and evening and hear them at night.  It makes me think of days gone by.

When I was a kid we would head out to my uncle's farm every Thanksgiving weekend... it was a great time, lots of interesting things to do out there in fall.  The most exciting thing for us kids was bringing the cows home to the home pasture where they would stay through the winter and calving season until late spring.  They were herded down a small country road about 2 miles, with my uncle in his little red International truck in the lead.  He'd be calling Kabash, Kabash... cow talk, for move your butts.... and they would follow that red truck and his voice all the way home...well sort of...

That's where we came in.  There was 5 of us kids, with sturdy sticks in our hands, waiting along the roadside to shoo strays and misbehaved bovine on the right path.  Every year there would be some young steer who would decide to do his own thing and take off in the opposite direction, and as cows do - the others would follow.  We would run for miles and miles waving our sticks and yelling... now, I'm thinking this was probably not the best course of action!!!

On one of these long weekends I remember waking up early in the morning to a terrible racket.  My Dad hoisted us out of bed and urged us to hurry, and out the door we went.  As we crossed the yard to the north of the property the sound got louder and louder, until we had to shout to be heard over it. 

It turned out it was a complete section of my uncle's grain field, covered with Snow Geese.  These are the big white ones that usually leave the north later than rest, and just before the snow comes.  What a sight - I have never seen anything such as this since, and I'll never forget the noise...  There were thousands of birds on that field, all calling at once, and on that one piece of land, it looked like winter had arrived...for it was solid white for as far as you could see....

Now there is an awesome fall memory....

I have the urge to walk down a country lane and hear the rustle of leaves under my feet, to smell woodsmoke in the air, and to feel the nip of cool air bite my cheeks.... there is no better time to enjoy mother nature than right now.... whatever we are so busy doing, I hope we all take a few moments to stop and look around at the artistry around us.  It will be here for such a short time, and then it will be gone....

Monday, September 13, 2010

This and That

Well this feels funny, not uploading a chapter of Winter Wheat this morning.  I got so used to doing that first thing in the morning that I think I am going to miss it, somewhat.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  We had a beautiful weekend here in Manitoba.  The sun was shining most of the weekend, the temps were just perfect, and instead of taking advantage of the beautiful days by getting out and doing some much needed garden work - I hunkered down and worked in my "studio"(my new name for my craft room).

I made a boob... yes I did say a boob, and what a delightful boob it is too.  I downloaded the free pattern off a site called  Thank you Beryl Tsang, for sharing this special pattern with us all.  If you know someone who has had a mastectomy and has problems fitting a prosthesis, you will want to point them in the direction of this site.

I took a vacation day today as Gary and I have some errands to run that can't be done after work or on weekends.  Actually what we are doing is heading down to the main police building to get him fingerprinted.  Why?

It's the most ridiculous thing...

He has joined a group of volunteer visitors in our church.  They go to hospitals, nursing homes, and private homes to visit the sick, lonely, well anybody who wants or needs a visit.  In order for him to do this he had to have a criminal records check done.  How pathetic is our society that we have come to this!  But here is the real stupid part... he sent in his paperwork for the check to be done, and received back a reply that his results were inconclusive, because they could not find his finger prints anywhere.

You think?  He was born in the USA!  He stated that on the application and sent in copies of his passport, and his citizenship and his birth certificate.  Explain to me how you can immigrate to a country without being finger printed, become a citizen of that country, without being fingerprinted, but you want to visit people in the nursing homes and hospitals and you have to be finger printed!  Well if you can figure that out, let me know!

So today we are off to get him finger printed!  Then we will do some shopping and then if it warms up a bit, I just might take a stab at that gardening..

Have a great day everyone

Friday, September 10, 2010

The End

When I started my blog it was sort of an experiment to see if I could still be disciplined enough to sit down and write everyday, and it was an opportunity for me to share something of myself with a few of my friends.

Who knew blogging would become such an important part of my everyday life!

I just wanted to again, thank each and every one of you who have been following my story every day. I appreciate the time you take to read my work and I appreciate your comments.

I write about what is meaningful to me... I don't write to be popular, rich, famous etc. I have had some publishers tell me my writing is too real. I guess that's a bad thing in today's world of blue-faced aliens, light sabers and web-fingered characters. I'm not knocking this form of writing; it's just not MY style.

I applaud any writer and his/her efforts. Writing anything is hard work. Hours and hours of intensive mind work can be very exhausting, and in novel writing, it can go on for months even years without a writer ever being completely satisfied with their finished product. It's a personal thing; it's a part of you that once down on paper is lost to you forever.

This is why as a writer I so enjoy hearing that some have and do enjoy my work. I don't care if Random House thinks I can write, but it thrills me to pieces to know my readers think that I can.

So thank you, those who have followed and commented so generously on Winter Wheat. Because of your encouragement I'm going to start a sequel to this story. I might even take some liberties and name some characters after some of my fantastic readers... (But I'll ask you first).

Today it ends.....

Christmas came and went in much the same manner as the year before, except there were less gifts under the tree than the year before and with George gone there was one less person to join the festive meal that Annie and Emilie had toiled over for days. The weather was unseasonably mild, so the whole family was able to visit many homes of their friends in the community over the Christmas season. Karl would be returning back to the mountains to work as he had the year before, but this time he would return earlier so he could be home when his and Emilie’s first child was born.

They celebrated New Years Eve with their dear friends Annie and Fredrich, and after yet another glorious feast the two families in entirely spilled out of the house into the mild winter’s night to count down the minutes to the arrival of the New Year. At a minute before midnight, Fredrich loaded his rifle and pointed it towards the sky, and as the count down ended he fired three shots into the night air to signify the start of 1931.

As the group stood silently in reflection, everyone wondered what the New Year would bring.

Emilie’s thoughts focused on her unborn child, and the four months remaining until she would deliver the new little “Wright” into the world. Then her eyes touched on each and every one of her family gathered near, and she silently prayed for their continued good health. She said another special prayer for the safety of her beloved George so very far from them all.

Karl, as was so typical of Karl, worried about the lack of money, and the ever-worsening economy. He thought of all the articles he had been reading in the newspaper about the country’s recession, and the dire predictions that were prophesied for the coming year. He glanced quickly at his wife and was reminded that although the world around them was heading for disaster, here in his own little corner of the world, nothing could be better. He thanked the heavenly stars for that day just over a year ago when he had first laid eyes on his Emilie, and he knew that with her by his side he could weather just about any storm the Good Lord sent his way.

Annie didn’t have time to reflect this night, as she was too busy bustling around making sure her guests were well fed and cared for, anyway she reckoned that no amount of stewing would change anyone’s situation, in the end the Lord above would look after them all.

Fredrich stood as if rooted to the ground; his head tipped way back as he peered up into the night sky and thanked his lucky stars for yet another year come and gone. Life had been good to him so far, and his only wish was that he be given another year in which to carry on his life with Annie and their newly acquired family.

The children were not worried about a thing as the last pop from Fredrich’s rifle echoed through the air, except maybe that the night may be nearing an end and soon they would have to say goodbye and go home to their beds.

A New Year - and with it, new possibilities, new hopes, continued dreams, and a brand new chance to start over once again. A farmer needed that renewed chance every year, now more than ever with the depression worsening all around them.

As a group they turned and retraced their steps back into the house where Annie was waiting to serve one last helping of tea and cakes before this night came to its final close.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The last chapter begins

The leaves were long gone and the bite of winter had started to fill every morning breeze by the time Karl and Emilie received their first letter from George Bell.

My Dear Family,

I hope this letter finds you all well. I know you are wondering where I am and if I am okay, so I thought I’d write to let you know that I am. I have made it all the way to Ontario, and am presently at the Rockcliffe air station.

What a place this is, here at the air station. They fly both land and sea planes in here and do all kinds of things. So far I have only gotten to go for a ride in a Fairchild FC-2 (that’s a plane), and it was really something, you wouldn’t believe what the world looks like from up in the air! I haven’t started to learn how to fly yet, but one of the pilots said that soon he’d start teaching me.

I am working here for free room and board and twenty cents a day, not much I know, but I get to be around planes all day, and I love it. There is a lot to do here, and I am learning an awful lot of things I’m going to have to know for when I fly.

I sure hope everything is okay at home. I really miss you all and I think about you all the time. I promise I’ll write again real soon, and you can write to me here c/o Rockcliffe air station, Ottawa, Ontario.

Love George Bell.

P.S. I’ll send your bag home soon, and the money I took too.

“Well it seems he’s happy enough,” Karl commented as he set the letter aside to read to the children later when they came home from school.

“Can you imagine, Karl – he is so far away! I know how far away Ontario is because Wilhelm and I traveled from Montreal to Winnipeg by train after we arrived in Canada. It’s a long way from here . . .”

“Yes it is, but I think the boy is probably happier there than he ever was here. In a few years once he’s had the time forget all that happened to his family, he’ll come back, and maybe home won’t look so bad to him anymore.”

“Do you think so?”

“Yes I do. George is a good boy, he won’t forget where his family is, and one of these days he’ll be back.”

“I sure hope you’re right,” Emilie sighed and returned to her butter making.

Karl watched her form the butter into the moulds, and thought about how natural the task had become to her. She did so many things so automatically now, that it was hard to believe that she had not always done these things.

“Do you realize that next week, it will be a year since you came to work here?”

She looked up from her work and smiled at him. “Yes, I’ve been thinking about that too. It’s so funny but I feel like I have lived here forever.”

“Are you happy Em? Are you glad you stayed here after all?” he asked the question he had been wanting to ask her for quite some time now.

“Oh Karl, how can you ask? Of course I’m happy - you know that! I think I have been the happiest here with you, than I ever have been before.”

“What about at home in Germany, surely you were happy there?”

Her answer surprised him, even as it warmed his heart, her face sobered and she shook her head. “Things were not good in Germany when we left. My family had just been killed, and nothing was the same after that happened, there was so much sadness everywhere, and it was easier to leave than stay there with the memories.”

“You don’t talk much about that time, or even about your brother Wilhelm. What was he like?”

Her smiled turned melancholy, “Oh Karl, he was such a wonderful person; I wish you could have known him. You and he would have liked each other – he was so kind and considerate, but so funny too. He always had a smile on his face, and was always there to share a joke, but he was one of the kindest people I have ever met. He had such dreams for us both . . .”

“I’m sorry I never got the chance to meet him, Em. Someday though, I would like to take you back to Germany so I can meet your family there. Would you like to do that, Em”?

A solitary tear rolled down her cheek, “You are wonderful too, Karl” she whispered softly and backhanded the tear away from her face. “Nothing would make me more proud than taking you and the children back to Germany and showing you all off to my family back there.”

He rose from his chair and crossed the room to where she stood. As his eyes met hers in a silent promise, his index finger took a swipe of her freshly made butter. With a saucy grin and a wink he casually sucked the butter off his finger. “We’ll go there one day – I promise you, Em.”

She swatted playfully at his hand that was returning for another swipe of butter, “Quit that; you’ll ruin my perfect looking pounds, Karl Wright! I won’t get a penny for them if they are full of holes from your fingers!”

He moved away and bowed respectively. “Okay Madame, I’ll leave you to your work; but I’ll be back in an hour to sample that butter on some of that fine bread you have baking in the oven.” He kissed the tip of her nose, and bent and kissed her abdomen and almost skipped out the door.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

OH where Oh where could my little mind be...

I have 2 computers - I know spoiled, but not really.  Last December my trusty Toshiba Laptop misbehaved and because I had so much of my writing on it, I panicked and decided to get a new machine.  While all this was going on my husband had switched from a PC to a Mac, and all I heard day in and day out was how wonderful the Mac was.  So we went out and bought a Mac for me.

Because I had never used one before I decided to work with it a bit before I moved my documents over.  So instead Gary backed all the files from my PC up on to a portable drive.

Fast forward nine months (nine months of no writing or even thinking about writing).  Last night I decided to fire up the Toshiba and don't you know it ran beautifully - and well it should it has had a good rest!  I went to my documents... empty.  Plunk plunk goes my heart....

I go to the Mac - check My Documents that's not called My Documents, and again, it's empty!  Now my heart is Rattling...plunking doesn't even cut it!  Talk about panic... I'm now thinking( for the first time in 9 months) about the writing I had been doing prior to my computer woes!

Good thing someone in my house has some memory (that would be Gary)  when it comes to computers and files and such he's like an elephant (Thank Goodness).  As I'm flipping out all over the house, he calmly informs me that all "My Documents" are backed up on his portable drive.

So I un-backed "My Documents" on to both computers, and started going through the files.  Well don't you know I have 3 novels in various stages of completion, another one completed and lots and lots of poems and short stories.  And the sequel to Winter Wheat is already started... well, sort of...

Someday I really have to get organized!

Chapter 24 continues...

It was so cold, that one’s breath resembled the smoke stack of a west-bound locomotive, but it was after all the perfect morning to tend to the butchering and processing of Emilie’s seventy well-fed chickens. Annie had arrived early and had already set two drums of water over the fire-pits that Karl had dug that morning. By the time Emilie appeared outside, dressed warmly in her winter clothes, the water in the drums was just coming to a rolling boil.

“Well about time you made it out here, lazy bones,” Annie winked to soften her words, as she bustled around and set up the area where the chickens were to be plucked of their feathers.

“I’m sorry I’m late, but you know I really don’t think I can do this Annie. I’ve raised these birds from chicks – how am I going to be able to see them killed?”

“Well why did you raise them, if not to kill them in the end,” Annie stood with her hands on her hips and waited for Emilie’s answer. When none was heard she continued. “These nice fat chickens and geese are going to fetch you a nice sum of money, and after the harvest we just had, I’d think you’d be more excited about that prospect, young woman!”

Fredrich moved behind his wife, and threw his arms around her shoulders startling her silent. As he watched Emilie spin on her heels and hurry away from the area, he regretted his wife’s ill-spoken words.

“What is wrong with everyone today!” Annie spouted, before turning on her husband.

“Wooha there Annie,” Fredrich took a backward pace, and held his feisty wife at arm’s length. “Before you say anything else that’s going to get you in trouble, you’d better listen to what I have to say first. Karl just told me that Emilie’s expecting, and has been having a pretty sick time of it. That’s why she was so late in getting out here, and probably why she just left running to the house bawling her eyes out!”

“Well why didn’t someone tell me! For heavens’ sake Fred – how was I to know?”

Fredrich threw back his head and laughed at his wife’s troubled expression. “Annie you don’t always give a person time to explain a thing. Now you go on in there and have a talk with that poor girl, and Karl and I will knock some heads off!” He swiveled his wife in the direction and gave her a push.

“Of all the stupid, foolish, women,” Annie berated herself as she hoofed her way to the house. “When are you going to learn to keep your big trap shut, Annie Barnes?” she muttered to herself as she opened the door and entered the house.

Emilie was making herself a cup of tea, and was just sitting to drink it when Annie entered the room.

“There you are…”

Emilie didn’t answer but continued stirring her tea as if she had no time for her visitor.

“Well I wouldn’t blame you if you never spoke to me again – I wouldn’t speak to me if I were you, but how in tarnation am I to know what is going on around here, if no one tells me!” Annie rambled on and on.

Emilie smiled at Annie’s distress and dropped her teaspoon to the table. “I have no idea what you are talking about, Annie.”

Annie pulled the chair beside her friend away from the table and threw herself onto the seat. She sat forward and pinned Emilie to the chair with her eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me that you’re expecting?”

“You never gave me a chance . . .”

“Yeah well, I already said I was sorry about that!” Annie bristled, as her chubby face reddened.

“How far along are you?” Annie leaned close again, and inspected her friend from head to toe. Sure enough, the girl looked mighty peaked if one took the time to look carefully enough. Emilie’s sun-bronzed skin had lost some of its healthy luster and the purple smudges under her eyes made her look like the mamma raccoon that had been plaguing Annie’s storage shed all summer.

“I’m not sure; Karl and I are going to see the doctor next week. I’ve only had one period since we’ve been married, so Karl thinks I’m about two months along.”

“Yep that would be about right. You are having a rough time with morning sickness, are you?”

“Oh am I ever. I can’t keep anything down until dinnertime, and then I eat because I’m so hungry, only to get sick again . . .”

“Some say that will go away after you’re about three months along, I’ve heard it helps to eat dry toast in the morning . . .and tea,” she nodded to Emilie’s steaming cup of tea, “Tea’s good too.”

“I’ll try the toast. . .”

“Awe, come on over here to Annie,” Annie saw the tears gather in her friends eyes and opened her arms to receive the weeping young woman.

“Oh Annie, I can’t seem to stop crying either!”

“Hormones, they say. . . just hormones,” She squeezed Emilie’s shoulders in reassurance and patted her back. In a few weeks you’ll probably be feeling much more like yourself, but right now you should just rest, take it easy and forget about foolish old women like me harping like an old hag. You need anything, anything at all you just let Ole Annie here know, and it’s done!”

Emilie moved out of her friend’s embrace and smiled her thanks. “About those chickens and geese, Annie – I just don’t think I can take that smell right now. I’m sorry but I don’t think I’m going to be much of a help to you today. Do you think we could wait another week? Maybe I’ll be better able to help then.”

Annie gazed out the kitchen window and shook her head negatively. “By the looks of those birds flopping around out on the ground out there without their heads, I’d say it’s too late to change the day now. I’ll just have to get the men to help with the plucking. Don’t worry – they’re both capable of doing a good day’s work. I’ll just have to watch that they don’t ruin the feathers – you’ll want the feather for quilts won’t you?”

“Yes I had planned on making some new pillows and ticks. Are you sure you can do this without me?”

“Don’t give it another thought,” Annie rose from her chair and stretched her round body. “You make us a nice hot lunch, and a decent supper and that’s all we’ll require of you. I’ll send your man to check on you once in awhile, and if you could put Warren down for a nap when Anne-Marie goes, I’d appreciate it.”

“I’ll make sure the kids stay out of your way and don’t worry about Warren – he’ll be fine playing with Anne-Marie. I’ll keep them both busy.”

Annie left the house and returned to the area that had been set up for the plucking. With a voice like a sergeant major she looked up to both the big men who waited for her return, and issued her orders. Neither man thought of disobeying her instructions, or for that matter, wanted to. Both were more than happy to fall into order, knowing that Emilie would be spared the gruesome chore of getting her precious fowl ready for market.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cabbage rolls anyone?

Hope everyone had a great long weekend.  I worked much too hard, but sure did get a lot of cooking done.  I made 7 doz cabbage rolls on Saturday, Sunday I made 4 loaves of banana bread, Yesterday I made 5 doz cabbage buns, or as my Mom used to call them Hunter Buns - so my freezer is in better shape than it was last week!  But I'm not!

Standing on one's feet for long periods of time sure is a killer.  By the end of yesterday, I was sore everywhere... knees, hips, back... guess I'm getting old... or maybe I don't get enough exercise ( more the truth).  I decided this morning that if I'm going to be sore, I might as well have a good reason for it, so tonight after work, I am going to tackle the garden.  I have a lot of moving and replanting to to, and now seems like the perfect time to start.

But first we can read some more Winter Wheat...Chapter 24  contd

Karl entered the quiet house, and wondered where his wife and child had gotten too. It wasn’t like Emilie to go anywhere off the yard without letting him know first, so he knew that she must be somewhere in the house. He pounded up the stairs to the children’s rooms; sure that he would find her there. When she wasn’t he returned to the main floor and peeked into his bedroom. There lay his wife and his small daughter, cuddled close together sleeping soundly as if it were night instead of the middle of the day.

He smiled at the picture they made, and then entered the room as quietly as he could. He carefully disentangled Emilie’s arm from around the child and lifted the little girl into his arms. He carried the sleeping child out into the living room, deposited her on the sofa, and wrapped the heavy blanket that lay across the back of the sofa around the sleeping child’s body.

“Sleep tight my little one,” he whispered as he bent to kiss her forehead. He left her there, and returned to his bedroom, and his sleeping wife. There had to be some advantages in being a newlywed on a rainy day when all the children were either in school or sleeping, he thought with a grin, as he eased his large frame on the bed behind Emilie’s.

“What are you doing?” Emilie’s sleepy voice startled him for a moment.

“I thought you were asleep,” he snuggled up close to her back and draped his arm across her waist.

She turned to face him, “I was, until you moved Anne-Marie. Where is she?”

“She’s sleeping soundly on the couch.”

“What are you doing in the house at this time of the day?”

“It’s raining out. Should I stay out and get wet?” he asked with a chuckle in his voice.

“No of course not, I just wondered that’s all.” Emilie closed her eyes and felt the nausea sweep through her body again.

“Em, are you okay?”

Her eyes sprang open, and immediately tears filled her eyes. “Oh Karl, I feel so awful. I don’t know what can be the matter with me!”

He smiled softly, and gently wiped the tear that ran down her cheek. “I think I may know what is wrong with you.” He continued to caress her face.

Her eyes widened in disbelief, “You do?”

“Um hum. I think you are pregnant with our baby.”

She stared at him without blinking, and then flushed beautifully. Finally her eyes began to move once more, and they roamed his face as if she were seeing him for the first time. A tiny smile started in her glance, and quickly spread to encompass her whole face.

“Oh Karl . . . do you think that could be it?”

“I’d be willing to bet that it is, my love.”

A baby - a baby of her’s and Karl’s - oh why had she not thought of that! Her only excuse for being so dense had to be that she had been so busy with the harvest, and then Charles’ leaving and Raymond’s injury had upset her so – she had thought that all those things had been making her feel so bad.

“I have been snappy with you and the children, Karl. I’m so sorry about that . . .” her eyes sought his forgiveness.

“Oh my sweet Emilie. You don’t have to be sorry for anything,” he drew her close and wrapped her tightly in his embrace. “I love you no matter how snappy you are! So are we going to be parents do you think? You’ve only had one period since we’ve been married, and we have been very busy here in this bed,” his words caused her to blush once more.

She returned his smile, “I thought everything but that, I don’t know how come I’m so stupid!”

“Awe love, don’t say that; you would have figured it out sooner or later,” he plopped a kiss on the tip of her nose and then dropped his lips down to her mouth.

“Can we afford another child?” Emilie asked when their kiss ended, and they moved apart.

“Yes we can. Oh I won’t lie and tell you that tough times aren’t ahead, because they are, Emilie. I made no money on our crop this year; in fact I think I lost money, but we have lots of food, lots of fuel for the stoves, and lots of love in this house – and that is not going to change. We can have all the babies you want; we will always welcome children in this home.”

“You didn’t always have that opinion,” she reminded him, remembering a time not so long ago when he had argued about accepting the extra Bell children.

“Yeah, well that was because I was a stupid lout, back then. One day a beautiful German princess appeared on my doorstep, and taught me how to accept life as it is, and how to love as no one has ever loved before. You opened my eyes to life, my precious Emilie, and I’m a different man than I was before!” he rolled unto his back and took her with him, and held her tightly as she lay atop of his body.

She looked down into his face, grinned and wiggled her body playfully. “I don’t think so, Karl; but thanks for saying so anyhow. I think you are exactly who you have always been, but you just never had the right person beside you.”

“Correction – I never had the right person on top of me,” he grinned suggestively. “Are you feeling better now?”

“Definitely,” she purred, capturing his mouth, before he could utter one more word.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Writing ramblings and future thoughts

Since I started posting this story on this blog my writing mind has emerged and has been pestering me a bunch.  The thing is, I love to write more  than any other craft I do, but I have found over the years that I can write and do other things as well.  When I have a story brewing, I tend not to notice or hear people, conversations, life around me... I kind of get drawn in to whatever is going on in the story inside my head.  I can sew and write, I can crochet and write, and I can walk and write.  Pretty talented eh!

In this case I haven't been writing per Se: instead I have been plotting... Here is what I plot - not one but 3 sequels to Winter Wheat.... (my Mom's fault she always told me to dream BIG)!  I even have titles... Spring (something); Summer(something); Fall Rye!!  The first sequel will feature George and Sue. WWII ? He's a RAF pilot, she is a WREN.  Lots and lots of research here... all the other characters will be present in the story... maybe we loose one or two.  (Sorry)!  Third book - features Raymond and Ann-Marie, and we definitely loose a major character (Sorry again).  Fourth book - Emilie is an old woman, reflecting on her life and family.

So I ask you, how will I ever participate in a intelligent conversation with anyone for quite some time to come with all this going on in my head? 

Today we are finishing chapter 23, it was a short chapter and moving on to the second last chapter of the book....

It's a long weekend, and I'm giving you all a break this weekend... enjoy this last weekend of summer, and I'll meet you back here on Tuesday morning... Be safe everyone!

Karl folded the letter, slipped it back into the envelope and tucked it carefully into his breast pocket. He rose swiftly from the chair, and headed out to the barn as if the devil his self was at his heels. He had to chew on this awhile before he broke the news to the rest of the family.

He was angry as hell with the young lad, but at the same time he thought he understood a bit of what George must be feeling. Seventeen was a difficult age; you were a man in your own heart, but still a boy in the minds of others. George was more man than many his age, Karl realized, as he remembered the way the boy had kept his family safe during the time he had gone to the mountains to work. Even with all the grief and confusion he must have been feeling at the time, he had carried his responsibilities through right up to the day Karl had returned home in spring.

The boy had not let him down – not once, and yet Karl felt like he had let George down terribly. He should have seen how serious George was about his dream to fly; he should have talked more about it with him, maybe he should have even encouraged him to pursue that dream, but not until after he had finished school and at least turned eighteen years of age. Yeah – he’d let him down - he could see that now. Oh he had no doubt that George could take care of himself – he was that type of kid, but Karl reckoned that he could have made things a lot easier on the boy, if only he’d listened more carefully to him.

He sighed deeply as he went about his morning chores, taking more time than usual to complete his morning work. He was putting off returning to the house and his waiting family, but he knew that very soon they would discover that George was gone. He bent over and wearily lifted the two full pails of milk, and knew the time for procrastination had come to an end. He had a story to tell, and he knew he’d need to keep a firm grip on his emotions once his tale was told.

With a heart as heavy as the pails he carried, he slowly made his way to the house, and his awaiting family.


Emilie was so sick, she was sure she was going to die. So much made her upset these days. It had started with Georges’ leaving home, and continued when Raymond had fallen off the horse and broken his arm. She blamed herself for both incidents even though Karl reassured her time and again that both events would most likely still have happened even with her intervention.

She didn’t believe Karl for a moment, if fact he was really starting to irritate her in many ways, she thought with a start. He was constantly haggling her to slow down, to rest, to take a break. She looked exhausted and was snappy, he said. Snappy? What was that? If she was snappy, then he could only be described as irritating!

Her head swam, and her stomach heaved and she cursed everyone and everything as she slowly lowered herself into her little rocking chair and rested her head back and closed her eyes.

“Oh what’s the matter with me?” she sing-songed, as she set the chair in motion, and then wished that she hadn’t.

“Mamma?” Annie-Marie’s softly spoken word startled her, and she guiltily rallied from her misery and reached for the child that waited at her side.

“Oh darling, come here to Mamma,” Emilie crooned as she lifted the small child to her lap, and cuddled her close. “Are you as tired as I am, sweetie? Maybe we should both lie down for a sleep until the other children get home from school.”

Annie-Marie stuck her finger in her mouth and nodded her head as her heavily lidded eyes threatened to close.

Plucking the finger back out of the child’s mouth, Emilie set the child on the floor and then rose from the chair. Hand in hand the pair made their way to Karl and Emilie’s bedroom, where they immediately cuddled together on the bed and fell asleep.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

creamy balsamic-pear salad recipe at

creamy balsamic-pear salad recipe at

Anyone hungry?

All this talk about threshing and food, has put me in a mood to cook - it doesn't happen often, but when it does I usually cave in and go on a cooking or baking extravaganza.  Just as I was thinking about what I felt like cooking ( I'll tell you later), along comes the fall edition of  What's Cooking, a thin little magazine put out 4-6 times a year by Kraft Foods. Check it out at
If you go to the upper right hand corner of the home page click on the what's cooking archive, then 2010, then fall... and enjoy what you will find.

Do you get one in the mail?  If not you should go online and submit your name... it's free and better than that all the recipes in it are made from simple ingredients we all have in our pantries.  Good food made simply.  Anyway a recipe for Creamy Balsamic-Pear salad (pg15) caught my eye.  I have a pot-luck to attend in a couple of weeks, and I'm going to make this... I know it will be a hit.  I'll try it at home first of course, but I know it will be a keeper.  See recipe in the post above this one....

Anyway back to deciding what I feel like cooking.. well since it is the long weekend coming up, and it's fall and Canadian Thanksgiving is 6 weeks away, I decided I would make my cabbage rolls and cabbage buns this weekend.  Labour intensive but sooooooo good.  I usually make 6 or 7 doz cabbage rolls at a time, and then freeze them so we can have a quick meal one evening if we are in a rush.  My cabbage rolls are like my Aunt Olga's... hers of course are the best - but mine are a very close second.  We use ground pork and ground beef in our mixture - lots of onion and garlic and PAPRIKA (that's the magic).  And we cook them on the stove top layered in sour kraut and tomato soup.  Yum.... I can already taste them.  So Saturday's supper will be cabbage rolls, fresh bread and pineapple upside down cake for dessert ( another fall favorite in our house)... BTW - there is also a recipe in the fall edition of the whats cooking magazine that puts a little twist on my dessert.  It is made with pears and dried cranberries, yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding... okay so I just changed dessert to Pear Upside-down Cake!

Well now that I have myself good and hungry I'll get back to the story...

Winter Wheat Chapter 23

George Bell had his whole life already mapped out in his mind and nothing was going to deter him from his mission to become a pilot. He saw himself following in the footsteps of the great Charles Lindberg, the famous American pilot, who only three years earlier had been the first man to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Lindberg had grown up on a farm, just like him, and if Lindberg could see his dream come true, George reckoned he could too.

The world of aviation was an exciting prospect; even women were making names for themselves by winning races, and setting new records for long distance flights. If girls like Amelia Earhart, Amy Johnson, Laura Ingalls and Anne Lindberg, could do it – then so could he.

He could only imagine what the world looked like from hundreds of feet in the air, he had climbed the highest tree he could find to try and get the feel of being in the air, but in the end after all he still had only been in a dumb tree. Well that had been some time ago, but now his dream was going to come true – he’d make it come true.

The loss of his parents had set him back some, because suddenly he was left responsible for his brothers and sisters, but Karl and Emilie, and Fredrich and Annie, had now freed him from his obligation to his siblings. They had made it possible for him to dream again, and for that he would love them always. Since the night of the fire and the destruction of his home, he had thanked God, or whoever had been responsible for directing his family’s path to cross with those of their now beloved Emilie. If it had not been for her love and determination, he knew his whole family’s future would have been much different.

He knew all his family would be well cared for, and he suspected that before long, the younger kids would be calling Emilie and Karl, Ma and Pa. He paused a moment to remember his own parents, and then determinedly pushed them from his mind. He would never forget them, but it would do him no good to dwell on what might have been.

He shifted Karl’s heavy duffel bag on his shoulder, and turned to look back one last time. With tears blurring his vision, his eyes roamed the house that had been home for the past nine months then shifted to the barn where he had first told Karl of his dream to fly. Finally he gazed at the yard where he knew in a few hours time his brothers and sisters would rush to play.

“Goodbye,” he whispered around the sob that caught in his throat, then he turned and continued on his way.

Karl found the envelope propped carelessly against the sugar bowl, as he passed through the kitchen on his way to do his morning chores. He looked around the room, as if that would tell him why there was an envelope sitting there, and then he slowly picked it up. He turned the envelope over in his hands, and seeing that it was addressed to him, slowly peeled the flap open.


I am leaving home for good. You and Emilie have more than enough with the other kids, and I figure that one less mouth to feed this winter might just be a blessing for you.

Good God – the kid had left! Karl stopped reading and reached for a kitchen chair. How in the hell am I going to tell Emilie? Was his very next thought as his eyes returned to the page he gripped tightly in his hand.

Remember I told you that I want to be a pilot? Well I figure now’s as good a time as any to learn. I don’t want you to worry about me – I’ll be fine. I’m sorry to tell you that I stole a little of Emilie’s butter money, and also your duffel bag, but I promise just as soon as I get a job and make some money, I’ll return them both.

Get a Job! Didn’t the damn fool know that no one could get a job these days? Hadn’t he been listening to the conversations of all the men on the threshing gang for the last week?

I know you love us all, and I know that you will take good care of my family. I don’t think I ever thanked you properly for what you have done by taking us all in like you did. Thank you.

Karl’s tears fell to the page he held and the ink on the part he had just read started to run. He hastily wiped the water from the page, which only served to smear the words more.

My plan is to get myself to an airfield somewhere and get any kind of job I can. I’ll even sweep floors, if it will get me close to the planes. Hopefully I will be able to make enough money to pay for flying lessons, and I’ll work at it for however long it takes until I am a pilot.
I don’t want you to worry about me, and especially Emilie – make sure she doesn’t cry.

Stupid kid! Stupid, stupid kid! How can I promise you such a thing when here I sit crying my own eyes out!

I’ll write to let you know where I am once I get settled someplace.
All my love, forever

George Bell

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The end of chapter 22

Emilie stretched tiredly, and longed for the end of this very long day. Once again she was at the sink peeling vegetables, and getting ready for yet one more meal. Anne-Marie played quietly at the table, and the other children were outside playing ball. She could hear their shouts of encouragement to one another, and once in awhile the crack of the wood bat hitting the ball, then the cheers, and whistles, and laughter.

Was there any better sound in all the earth than that of laughing children, she mused, as she returned her thoughts to the last meal of the day. In two hours she would be serving more meat than her entire family consumed in a week, and as she set the vegetables on the stove to boil, she wondered at this practice of hiring threshing gangs to complete the harvest.

Karl had told her that to buy a threshing machine was much too costly for most farmers, and if you were lucky enough to be able to afford one, you could not operate all the machinery by yourself. It took two crews of men to operate the machinery and keep the process moving from field to threshing machine. It sounded complicated to her, but she supposed Karl knew what he was talking about.

She called the children in early from their play, and after washing them spotlessly clean and feeding them their supper, she ushered them upstairs to their beds. She regretted that she had no spare moments to sit and visit with them one by one, as had become her habit every evening. But she kissed them all soundly, and told them she loved them, and promised that very soon things would be back to normal, and by the time the men arrived at eight, she was ready once again to act as hostess to the fourteen hungry men.

“Sure smells good, Mrs. Wright,” the crew boss complimented her as he took his seat at the table that was rapidly filling with hungry workers.

“Well let’s hope tonight you’ll all have enough,” Emilie quipped spiritedly, as she set the steaming bowls of food on the table. “I’m very sorry that last night’s meal was so poor.”

“Oh that’s okay, Mam; you are new at this your husband tells us. We’ve eaten all kinds of meals on this job, but it still beats anything we’d be able to cook for ourselves.”

The men all chuckled in agreement, and as soon as they were seated tucked into their supper. The conversation around the table turned to crops and the weather, and the mounting apprehension about the economy of the country. The depression was affecting many countries and people all over the world were experiencing the same hard times as right here on the Canadian prairie. The tales of hardship to the farmers in the community lasted through the long meal, and while Emilie worked in the background, she learned much about the people of the community around her.

By midnight, all her chores completed, Emilie was ready to retire for the night. Exhaustion had hit her hours before, and now all she longed for was the softness of the mattress beneath her body, and the firmness of Karl’s arm about her waist. He lay behind her and pulled her close, tucking her long strands of hair over her shoulder, as he curled his arm around her waist and lifted her backward until she rested against his groin. He buried his face into her pillow and inhaled her scent deeply into his lungs, and he knew only the joy of a day well completed.

“What a day, eh Em?” he whispered tiredly, and waited for her soft reply. But there was none; for already she slept even before he’d had a chance to wish her a good night, or tell her he loved her.

“I love you, Em,” he closed his eyes and smiled.

 “I love you . . .”