Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Musical Ride

Last week we went to see the RCMP Musical Ride, in Clinton, Ontario. The musical ride was developed by the Northwest Mounted Police in 1874, and combines cavalry drills and intricate precision riding. The combination of the splendid scarlet dress uniforms and the majestic black horses was very moving. My Dad was a Mountie, this chance to see the Ride was very special. When he trained back in the 50's all recruits had to train on horseback, but now it's an option.

This formation is called "the Dome" and an image of it used to be on our $50 bills.

A perfectly aligned march.

An evocative silhouette, I think most Canadians would recognize the iconic hat.
We really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Never Too Old To Learn Something

I'm confessing in public that I didn't know until today what a "Trapper Keeper" was. I heard the term again today, decided I needed to know WTF it meant and googled it. Huh. When I thought of it at all, I had thought it was some kind of dental retainer. Really glad I never used that in a conversation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Ferocious Fox-Chasing Kitty

(Note: Happy ending, ok to read)

We live in a small subdivision but it's very rural, we're right on Lake Huron and there is a lot of wildlife around. This winter we started to see red foxes. Delightful animals...but they are hungry and from what I've read they eat anything. We have a large meadow in the back and frequently see them enjoying tasty snacks, and I figure each mouse they take is one less that comes into the house in November.
We've always allowed our kitty Valentine outside on a leash with a safety release harness; they come undone if, for example, the cat gets tangled in a tree. But this spring, because of the foxes we have been super careful to always just stay with her. She loves it outside, and isn't shy about letting us know she wants to go out (via unbearable loud Siamese ancestral meowing). Though she doesn't do much other than watch birds, doze, eat grass and have a nice refreshing grass barf, she really seems to enjoy it.
Last night I sat on the front porch talking on the phone to a friend with the cat about 4 yards away. We had JUST finished talking about the foxes and how a friend had just lost her entire flock of guinea hens to foxes. I had my eyes right on the cat when I saw her stand up, and start to inflate like a furry puffer fish. She was staring directly to my right. I looked, thinking she was threatening another cat, but it was a fox, just the the front corner of the house, looking at me curiously. Only 10 or so feet away, it might have been attracted by the scent of the cat but stopped, perplexed by the sound of my voice.
The cat was AFTER IT in three mighty bounds, breaking out of her harness like a superhero and promptly gone around the side of the house. My iPhone went flying into the grass, and I took off after her. I'm not sure exactly what I was going to do to a fox with my bare hands...yell at it?...but by the time I was halfway down the back yard the cat was trotting self-importantly back to me, job complete and no sign of the fox.
Cat went back into the house, iPhone and cat harness were retrieved, and I'm afraid Valli will not be spending time outside this summer, unless we can wrap her in chicken wire or find a giant hamster ball for her.

Here's the mighty hero, on my suitcase when I got home from Bead and Button.

Yes, I know it's been a long time. No, I wasn't all right, but I'm getting better now. Love to you.