31 December, 2022

December is always a crazy month but this year Grant and I managed a brief escape to Toronto. He attended a conference. I walked and worked on my writing – specifically helping Granny find her blogging groove. (More on Granny later.) After the conference, we allowed ourselves time to visit and dine with family and friends, and relax a bit before returning home to Christmas chaos. And bone-chilling, back-breaking cold and snow. I am forever grateful to have a roof over my head, the ability to prepare a hot meal, and a warm bed to sleep in.

Perhaps it was the weather, or maybe the trip’s distraction, but somehow I managed to contain my inner Grinch a bit better this year. Until it came time to make turkey soup. In this moment, I don’t ever want to lay eyes on a turkey carcass again. And now with the New Year countdown imminent, I’m ready to step into 2023.

The first two months of the new year find me fortunate to have two cataract surgeries scheduled. I find myself trying to picture life without contact lenses after fifty-two-and-a-half years. Extreme myopia has been my nemesis since fourth grade and sheer vanity drove me to purchase my first pair of contacts at the age of seventeen. But now, they’re simply facts-of-my-life.

… Imagine being able to see …

This post brings to a close my 2022 Website Challenge. Despite July’s mere nod-to-a-post and November’s short-cut sketch, I’ll give myself a passing grade on the self-imposed task. So far, my 2023 vision for this web page remains blurry beyond my certainty that it will be different. Maybe in small ways. Maybe in significant ones. I’ll figure it out as I go. What I do know for sure is that I’m in the process of building a brand new second page to share my great grandmother’s story.

Which brings me back to Granny. I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally share my world with her and did promise you an introductory post prior to her blogs that will begin in January. Fortunately, I managed to catch her pondering my request:

Och … she’s a cheeky bism!
At my very deathbed I felt the bairn’s lament reach out from her mother’s womb. Before she drew a single breath. And they’d barely thrown dirt o’er my coffin before th’ wean came along to haunt me. Calls from her cradle nothing more than light tickles, teasing, teasing, teasing …  
Over all those years every photo her grandma showed her and every story her da and mum shared fed her fire. How many times the lassie has pulled me back, her own deid Granny with one toe barely in th’ afterlife, I cannae say. Question after question, trying to worm into my heid:
Why did ye …
How did ye …
What did ye …   ?
Aye, I kept it all. Ship manifest, legal documents, letters, photographs. If her grandma had a lick of sense, she’d have burned ’em once I was deid. But then Jean always was a good daughter. It’s my own fault she cuid ne’er throw anything away, auld or nae. By the time she passed ’em on to her own daughter, any questions Joy had, were drowned out by that muckle-great brood of hers.
Except for Joanne. Joy’s one middle-girl. A mere babe, latching on to me the way she did. Refusing to let go. It was unavoidable my papers would end up in her lap. Maybe if our paths had crossed, that great-granddaughter of mine would nae have spent th’ last twenty years poking me awake with endless archival sleeves, heavy duty binders, and hours ‘n’ hours of scouring for details.
Nearly seventy years I’ve spent in the grave and now she insists I’m needing to share my story.
What story? All I ever did was have a go to survive. But according to the stubborn lassie, my entire life is a story. And it matters.
Och – I cannae picture why!                           
            Except – the title she gives it does have a certain ring:
Immigrant, Widow, Divorcee.
And I suppose – if that’s what it takes to finally rest in peace, I’ll keep my heid and do what I can – for auld lang syne.
Now, I dinnae ken exactly what she means by blog. But it does sound pure deid brilliant.

A. R. Watson


We had enough snow in December to warrant two photos:


Whether you call them snow-cakes, snow-hats or whatever strikes your fancy, the heavy wet flakes touched our yard with magic.

Our front yard fell victim to drifting winds. I do love the upside-down cone caps in the foreground though.


RIP Jazmine

This month, another grand-dog crossed the rainbow bridge. Sweet little Jazmine, Boston Terrier breed, lived in Calgary. Despite the increased attention her brother Gary now receives, I know he feels her absence and misses her terribly.

Thank you Jazmine, for putting up with your Grand-Dogma in the spring. Neither of us knew it would be our final visit, but it was a good one, wasn’t it?  


At the beginning of every month my intentions are sincere for completing a record number of books. Even mid-way, I remain undeterred. But in the last week without fail, I find myself scrambling to finish the one that will make my count respectable.

And so I ask: Does posting my list simply give me a count or does it push me to read more than I would otherwise? Maybe it’s time to reinvent my challenge. Over the next month, what if I reactivate my Good Reads page and go from there? No promises … yet.

Books I did finish (for a modest total of 43 in 2022):

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol (1843)

Karen Gosbee – A Perfect Nightmare (2020)

Anna Camilleri – I Am A Red Dress (2004)

Aimee Wall –  We, Jane (2021)

Arthur Conan  Doyle – The Valley of Fear (1914-15)

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