Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: For the Ladies

Well, the weather forecast has finally called for a little sunshine for the weekend. In anticipation, I picked up some steaks and might even have to grab a few beerskis to enjoy with them. And despite moaning over the cold, rain and lack of solar companionship, I am going to offer you something on ice today. Well, it might be on ice, but man it sure gets HOT!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Stories

“Get your pajamas on NOW please,” I say for the third time. My voice is starting to rise. One is naked. The other is fully clothed. Titters follow me down the hall, as I walk away.

“There she is!” 


And the other, finally done as well.

“Teeth!” I cry.

Now my favourite part. 


"It's Pumpkin Time" by Zoe Hall


What stories can you tell in 55 words? Go tell G-Man and see what he has to say about them.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Showers

river is swollen
sky refuses to stop crying
gray skies match my eyes

Just needed a reminder today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Violet Slumber

pretty purple strewn 
amongst fresh green grasses
just starting to grow

soft carpets alive
singing with growth, rebirth and
promises of Spring

I run across the
lawn breathing sunshine dreams
into tomorrow

violet slumbers
refresh frozen hope and pray
thunders pass over

May rains replenish
and forgive sunshine stolen
by daffodil vase

 Aye, tomorrow will soak
the last of April's promises
for May's bounty

for One Shot Wednesday

Monday, April 25, 2011

An End in Sight

It was over. There would be no recommendations from Kylie. I was not good enough. Not a surprise by any stretch with our formal and distant relationship that never had a chance from the start. It was closure none-the-less though. I was thanked and advised that my services would no longer be necessary. I was not cut out to be an overland truck courier. This news was shared with me in Nairobi, Kenya - the end of the line.
Instead of being depressed by the change in plans, I was oddly pleased. It had been terribly obvious that Kylie and Angus had never thought much of me. While I had tried to make up for my first gaff five weeks earlier, of arriving late on departure day from Harare, I must admit my efforts were never top-notch. I had been a backpacker too long and used to living on my own time-line, with my own agenda. Male attentions at our various stops had led me to too much drink. It had been doomed from the start, and I suspect that I had hastened my demise despite myself. Processing the change in a little take-away over chapati and tea, I managed to find the bright spot in my failure. I was in a new country to explore!
The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. It did me no good to dwell on my dismissal, so instead I looked to the future. I had paid $40US to get a traveller’s visa into Kenya and planned to put that visa to good use.  A little town on the coast by the name of Lamu tickled my fancy, as did a little more exploring of Nairobi. I would need to find alternate accommodations once my former passengers returned from the Serengeti as well. While I still benefitted from a roof over my head compliments of Phoenix, that luxury would be withdrawn post-haste. I would get a chance to say a proper goodbye to the friendly faces that I had got to know over the span of the trip though. While my tour guide trainers had never blossomed into dear friends, I did have the pleasure of having a lot of fun with Di, Tanya, Cathi, Dave, Adrian, Mette and Camille. I was happy to exchange addresses with these passengers that I had felt more comfortable with than any of the overland crew that I worked with or met from Zimbabwe to Kenya. The life of an overland truck courier was just not for me.
With a light and free heart, I wished overlanding adieu and thrilled at the adventures that now sprung forth, as I resumed my life as a backpacker once again. With my birthday mere days away and the knowledge that I would face it alone, I decided that I would celebrate my 23rd birthday in style. Friendly locals planted the seeds of strength in me, and I bought myself a bottle of red wine, a new camera and a ticket on a safari to the Masai Mara. Happy birthday to me!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Was That I Hare I Saw?

Saturday's Email of the Week

Happy Easter Weekend everyone!

While I debated attaching the joke about the man who hits the Easter Bunny that subsequently gets "magically" restored, I thought that this was a little more amusing. 

Watch your coffees folks!

Ahem, are you going to be alright? Good. 

I am dining on our traditional ham dinner with all the trimmings at my sister's house, so might not get back to you today. I hope your Easter dinners are yummy. Pray for this little blogger if you are a church goer, as I can always use all the help I can get. Have a wonderful weekend! 

I will return...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Happy Good Friday!

In Canada it is a Stat holiday, so I shall not be going to work today.  Yippee!


I work from home.

I still have two articles that have to get written before heading out of town.


Anyone got any knowledge about kickboxing? Cucumbers?

Oh well. Back at ‘er, I guess.

If you have anything to say in 55 words, go see G-Man. He is usually a pretty funny guy and doesn't ask for much to play along with his Flash Friday. Try it, its fun! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day's End

The clink of ice
gentle thrum of computer"s hum 
I ease into grace

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snow in April

Thunder rumbles outside my window.
Sheets of rain wash away winter grime.
Scrape the world clean.
I wait for the memories of snow to be washed away with it,
but it is cold outside.
So cold.

I want to wrap myself in Springtime, 
dance nimbly through the crocuses,
they are too chilled
afraid of what might yet unfold 
- certainly no petals today...

So I watch big fat droplets
run down  the window.
Give thanks 
that they are not yesterday's snowflakes
and perhaps will yet bring those promised
May flowers to bloom

'cus Easter is this weekend
and there still ain't no daffodils in my yard
nor leaves unfurling anywhere
but in my dreams
this April
snow - pfft

Monday, April 18, 2011

Working for a Living

Life on the truck was still an uncertainty. I had been shown some paperwork, but wasn’t exactly feeling the love from Kylie and Angus. We were in Dar es Salaam and I had the dubious pleasure of sanding and painting equipment for the truck. All of our passengers had trundled off to Zanzibar. I would have loved to go, but was reminded that this was a working trip. There would be time in the future for fun again, but for right now, I was earning my keep.
Yes, I had the fun pleasure of varnishing a table in Chitemba, while the passengers went to climb Livingstonia. I scraped sand mats with a wire brush in Karonga, and painted truck pieces and stools. While it felt good to actually physically work, it also added to a feeling of loneliness that I couldn’t shake. No matter how much black and white paint I slopped around, I could not forget my former travelling companion Brett’s smiling face. Despite singing a little fast on my beleaguered walkman, Bob Marley’s crooning voice in my ear didn’t help either. My labours  left me  with too much time to reflect.
Before we arrived in Dar es Salaam, we got to see the beauty of the Tanzanian countryside though. As soon as we left the Malawian border behind, the scenery changed. We went from the lush beaches of Lake Malawi, to tea plantations that stretched to mountainous backgrounds. They were generously interspersed with stately banana palms. It made for gorgeous green valleys  that filled my vision as far as I could see.  
Shortly after entering Tanzania, we made our first bush camp of the five-week tour. It was mild enough to sleep outside and I woke to the stars. While it was wondrous to look up at them and watch the sky lighten, I could not stop the tear that slid off my cheek. Brett had been the one to appreciate sunrises. Without him by my side I felt adrift and oh so lonesome. My dream of living and working on the African continent seemed hollow without a friend in the world to share it with. My birthday steadily approached and a tiny flame of hope burned that perhaps I would bump into Brett again. The reality of the path I had taken made it unlikely though.
Our second day on the road in Tanzania, the landscape changed from vibrant green to dry yellow. Mealie patches and dry grasses dominated the landscape now and despite our proximity to the equator, you could tell that it was winter. The changing leaves were nothing in comparison to the brilliance of Canada’s Autumn displays, but we did not have the mud huts that leant the reminder that I was far from home. I was definitely in Africa.
The excitement of reaching Dar es Salaam, while great for the group, was less so for me. Once the gang was gone, we gathered supplies for the truck and ourselves, then set out for a camp outside of town called Silver Sands. Melancholy followed me, as a sad song by UB40 and the loss of a lover of a character in my book, left me in tears. I allowed the tears to come, as I missed friends and family, and even finally allowed some tears for my long-lost relationship from the beginning of my trip. There was no one to talk to about my loneliness though, so I shook it off and returned to the present. The present held more truck maintenance that saw me scraping paint off of cupboards till break time. I was then left to catch up in my journal and read.
The hours became painful though, and intermixed with a desire to explore the city of Dar es Salaam, I wished to see the only friendly faces I knew, that of our passengers. They would return in a few days. Our reunion would be short-lived though, as we would only explore the city for a day, before it would be time to head off to Arusha. From there, they would go to the Serengeti. I would be headed for Nairobi though and the end of my training trip.  The word was that I had a trip lined up for another 5-week Overland from Nairobi to Harare. I still had to get my evaluation though. That would happen in Nairobi. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Dear Grannie...

Saturday's Email of the Week

This one is priceless! Gotta love Grannie.

Happy Saturday all! I will be at the London Artists' Studio Tour today helping out my friends Acme Animal, as they display their artistic talents. Hope you have a fabulous day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I am writing and writing.
The words once stalled
now fly from pen
I try to push
keep the
stream flowing
smoother, finer
more detailed,
I reach for my
glass; Inspiration.
Ruby liquid  poured
down throat onto page
in  poetry and fodder for
and you today...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Tall and strident
you lean into me as strength
I support our days

Mother and child
entwined from our shared roots bound
softly caressed love

lovers dipped in ink
choose shadows from their soul's heart
paint pictures as one

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life of a Courier

Oh, silly girl. Late for my very first day! Not a great way to make a good first impression, but you cannot turn back the hands of time. Ian had convinced me to go out for a last hurrah on my final night in Harare and it would seem that I either forgot to set my alarm, or just plain slept through it. I was lucky that the truck was still there at all, as I choked when I rolled over to see that the time was 50 minutes past when I should have been at our meeting destination.  The truck was loaded and ready to go, when I ran up breathless with tail between my legs. I sheepishly threw all my worldly possessions into the storage bay under the truck and slunk on board praying that I would be able to improve the opinion I was sure Kylie and Angus now held of me. 
By hook or by crook, I was on the road again.
It took a few days, but my training crew slowly began to warm up to me. With a five-week training trip to get to know everything about how to be a courier, I had a lot to learn. I had to be friendly and informative with passengers, able to book day trips, organize grocery shopping, navigate road maps, maintain regular upkeep of the truck, have fun, but still keep some kind of balance in that fun so that I could function the next day. With the history that I had accustomed myself to in Harare, that last one was proving to be the most difficult.
The first week of the trip was a bit of a review for me. We visited a game ranch, where rhino were spied and some ice breaking was in order with a game of polo cross. The guests on the truck then took in the ruins at Great Zimbabwe.  I opted to stay back, as I had previously explored the ruins and the weather was a little too wet and cold for me. Despite it being the dry season, this May was unseasonably wet with more rain falling than had been seen in many years. The gray clouds matched my mood though, as I pined for my old travelling companion Brett. I missed him terribly and wondered if I had made a mistake in separating from him. We didn’t stay put long enough for me to dwell too much on it though, as we were off to Lake Kyle, then Bulawayo, before heading to my old favourite destination of Victoria Falls.
As the days passed, it was questionable if I was in fact sabotaging my goal of working in Africa at all. Every time we came across another overland truck, as we invariably did on a pretty regular basis, I was thrown back into temptation again. My food, transportation and accommodation were paid for by the company, but beer was also included and I seemed not to have enough wherewithal to be the consummate professional that I wished to fashion myself as. 
By the time we got to Victoria Falls, I was hobnobbing with all my old friends and enjoying every minute of it. The first day, I bumped into Nat and Keith while I wandering with a few of the truck’s passengers.The night after that, I was hanging out with Max and Ndaba like they were long-lost friends. My blood-shot eyes stung constantly from lack of sleep and the pax laughed at me for my antics. I was always game for the next adventure though and dug in for white water rafting with relish. I gave my support to the girls who dove off the bridge for beautiful bungi swan dives as well, despite not joining them for that adrenaline thrill. My thrill was to see if I would last as an overland truck courier. The odds were stacked against me. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Three Things About Me

So this week I am going to work my "Saturday's Email of the Week" a little differently. I received this email from two people this week, and thought perhaps I would share it here with you. I am sure you have all seen it in emails, or as a stipulation to accept an award out here in the blogosphere. Well, no awards today, but you get a little snapshot of ME; 

A. Three things I am called - Mommy, Katherine, Kat

B. Three places I have been – Africa, Europe, Costa Rica (or if you want more specific, how about Luxembourg, Zambia & Vancouver Island)

C. Three things I love to watch - the ocean, a stream, my children laughing ( can I get an AWwww!)

D. Three places I have been to today - (I am cheating as I scheduled this. Can't you tell by the time? I am probably still in bed!! Deal with it!) the bathroom, the kitchen, back to bed

E. Three people who regularly email me –  my Mom, Corrie, Melissa

F. Three things I love to eat - lobster, crab, pie (yum, thinking midnight snack now!)

G. Three people I think will respond - I am betting on Brian, Ron and maybe Corrie (but I will try to respond to anyone else that does!)

H: Three things I am looking forward to  - dinner with neighbours tonight,  camping this summer, sleeping in (zzzz...)

I. Three hobbies -gardening, writing poetry, chasing my children to bed

J. Three Favourite animals - cats, dogs, snakes

Here's what you're supposed to do... and please do not spoil the fun. Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to a few good friends or family INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn something about each other.
BE yourself, everyone else is ALREADY taken!!!

Well, as far as the bottom section, I didn't send it along and I don't expect you to go sending off mass emails to everyone you know, but I thought it might be fun to share. If you've got a list of threes, let me know a little bit more about you in your comment, or link up with your own! I am hoping to be outdoors for the better part of the day, as the weather looks like it just might finally decide to relent and allow us some Spring. About time! 

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hot Stuff

He reached out. His eyes sparked with promise. He wanted me. Needed me.  The moment was ours, alone. Would I acquiesce? Would I give myself to him? 

I felt weak in the knees and my heart fluttered .

“Would you like to enter to win an iPad?”

I shook my head, as I walked away.


Whew, that was a close one. My companion at the Home and Garden show remarked that many eyes followed me today. While the promise in the eyes of this young man seemed brazen, it was the 70+ year old that asked me to come back to visit him again. Feeling like hot stuff after that forward approach. 

Oh, and my encounter today just happens to be a scant 55 words for my friend the G-Man. He got my head thinking with his crazy post today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Promises

It is late, but night-time holds the only hours left.
These days are suddenly filled to overflowing.
My hours, requested hither & yon,
fly from me. I offer willingly
knowing that the bills
will now get paid
and I might get
that fresh

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eye Candy

I turned this way and that in front of the mirror. The dress was pretty tight. No, scratch that. The dress was skin tight. A leopard print mini to be exact. With high heels to complete the image. Oh my.
“You look great,” Debbie said.
It was her clothes that I was wearing, so I am not surprised that she felt that way. I was a lot more skeptical though. I had never worn a leopard-print anything before and wasn’t sure if it was really my style. The look in Ian’s eyes told me that I must have been working the outfit pretty good though. He wanted to take me to "The Tube".
“Let’s  do your makeup now,” Debbie gushed.
“Oh Lord, help me through this night!” I prayed to myself.
There was no room for negotiation. Before I could protest the transformation, we were out the door.
Ian’s smile was wide as he waltzed me into the club. I was a prize trophy in my vampy dress. As he strutted around with me on his arm, I tired of the game though. I had a hard time playing Ian’s girlfriend. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but any dreams of a real relationship sparking, were slim to none. He apparently wasn’t willing to take no for an answer though. For my part, I obviously wasn’t doing much of a job of deterring those thoughts for him. Certainly not by allowing myself to play seductive mistress. He was cute and his dogged persistence wore me down. It had been a long time since I had received such flattering attention and there was enough of me liking it to keep the charade going. It wasn’t destined to last.
By the end of the evening, I tired of Ian’s childish antics.  He had become sullen when I left him to talk to Deon and Phil. I could feel other male eyes devouring me as well. It was fun and I relished the attention, but Ian was almost petulant when I refused to go home with him at the end of the night. He felt that I was his date and somehow owed him something, but I refused to give in. I was not his woman.
As the days passed, it only got worse. He was hanging around the hostel constantly and dripping off of me every chance he got. People kept asking me what was going on, but I had my sights set on moving on again. I knew I was hurting him, but questioned how he could have ever thought to put himself into the situation of hooking up with a backpacker. My money belt was forever growing thinner and I had to do something about it. There was no option at any point to stay, and I tried to tell Ian that he shouldn’t get so involved with me. It wasn’t until I got the training trip planned, that he realized all was lost. I was leaving.
A five-week training trip to Nairobi lay ahead of me. I would be leaving behind my adventures in backpacking, and two weeks spent in Harare with friends and weird relationship statuses. Till the end, Ian hoped to win me over, but his struggles were for naught. My Harare boyfriend would become nothing but a memory of fun and frivolity that was tainted by his young dreams of love. The attention buoyed up my ego though, and I looked forward to the new adventure that lay ahead.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Speed Posted - SLOW

Monotone of wiper song
Swish, swish,

Ping, pling
of icy pellets bouncing
their lax suggestions

Jarred back
by tires aloft
that ceased spinning
as I passed

I made it home in one piece from a weekend jaunt to Michigan. The drive home was not fun though. The speed was slow and there were constant reminders in the ditch that slow was the speed to go.  Chilling. I would rather grip the wheel a little tighter for a little longer, than sail spinning wheels through the air in the slush that filled the world and slicked the highways today. The OPP and Michigan Highway Patrol were earning their pay cheques on this sloppy day, pulling people from stuck vehicles galore. I do not relish them their jobs, but am glad that they were making some poor folks days a little better. They deserve accolades on this miserable, wet Sunday.  I am grateful that I am home and get to wish you a Happy Sunday 160. May you all be safe and snug for another day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bloom in Heart

I am in a land
down under, past watchful eyes
to a friend's warm heart

We shall dance and sing
of heart's pain, love and passions
with pure love's embrace

so fare thee well
until I return too soon
to word's daily grind


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