Archive for the ‘Guest Bloggers’ category

A Field in Tilley, Alberta

November 14, 2008

Guest post by Friar’s Mom

I stood motionless in the northeast corner of a field in Tilley, Alberta.  My friends were but small dark dots in the distant southwest corner of this huge acreage.  The early morning April sun felt warm on my dark brown winter coat.  A few small fluffy clouds dotted the blue sky at the horizon.  Tiny blades of green grass peeked through the dry winter stubble beneath me.  Spring had finally arrived in the Prairies.

For a long time I watched the vehicles whiz by me and loom towards me on the Trans Canada.  I saw 18 wheelers, auto transporters, tankers, empty flatbeds, farm equipment, tow trucks, pickups, police cars, vans, cars.  I noticed a blue Honda CRV.  The woman inside turned her head to look at me as she drove by. She continued to stare at me through her rear view mirror.

She was happy that I had taken time to enjoy my day, yet she was also sad for me.  She knew something of my future that I didn’t know.  Earlier in the day she passed an empty cattle transporter truck.  Tufts of hay protruded through the vent holes.  Those vent holes told another story–horizontal streaks of dried cattle dung clung to the outside of the transporter.  She knew one day, I would take a ride in a similar vehicle.  Yet she wouldn’t tell me where I would travel.  She told me to enjoy the present.

My life had been–chew, chew, chew, poo, poo, poo.  I was tired of the monotony, and finally dared to try something different.  The woman was happy that I had found a new interest.  She was proud of me because I had the courage to be different.  She suggested that I share my new-found joy with some of my friends.

This evening I’ll ask a friend to join me in the northwest corner of the field.  We’ll stand motionless and watch the moving vehicles become silhouette specks against the setting sun.  Perhaps tomorrow some more of my friends will join me.

Dancing in the Summer Rain

October 9, 2008

Guest post by Friar’s Mom


It was one of those hot humid muggy July days. I returned from a fast-paced 2.5 hour bike ride in the country side. I made a huge ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce sandwich on multigrain bread. I tossed a small salad, poured a tall glass of iced tea, and enjoyed my late lunch under the shade of the apple tree in the back yard. The dog lay at my feet. After I finished my lunch, my husband joined me to help me finish the crossword puzzle.

I could hear the pitter patter of rain drops on the apple leaves overhead. It began to rain ever so gently at first, and then it grew into a major downpour.  My husband grabbed the crossword puzzle, ran to the house, and stood at the patio door.

I was damp and sweaty from my ride, no need to rush into the house. I decided to seize the moment and do something spontaneous. I removed my clammy cycling jersey and stood barefoot in the middle of the lawn, wearing my cycling shorts and black sports bra.

The warm heavy rain quickly drenched me. Rain was streaming down my sweaty hair, plastering it to my head; it was dripping into my eyes, off my nose, pouring down my back.  I was soaked to the skin. It felt so good. I stretched out my arms; I faced the sky and turned round and round. The warm wet grass squished between my toes. I giggled and laughed out loud. I was dancing in the summer rain, as I once did when I was a little girl, and I felt like that carefree child again.

My husband stood in the doorway and laughed at me, the dog by his side.  I laughed when his digital camera indicated “Battery Exhausted”. There were no photos of my silliness.  Good, it was my personal moment. There was no need to record it; it will forever be tucked away in my Happy Compartment.

My Summer Rain Dance took me back to a time when I was a youngster. During similar summer rains, my sister and I ran out barefoot into the meadow in our bathing suits, and we stomped in warm rain puddles.  Sometimes, we shampooed our hair, and hoped the suds would be rinsed off by the heavy downpour.  Most of the time it was a sudden brief cloud burst and we had to finish rinsing our hair in cold well water.  Ouch — ice cream headache.

The rain quickly subsided. I would be a grandma in a few weeks. I wondered if my grandchild would ever dance with me in the summer rain.

Guest Blogger: Friar’s Mom

September 26, 2008

Okay, I’ve been known to kid around before, and use fake names in my blog. But I assure you, this time I’m serious.  YES, this is ACTUALLY MY MOM!

Mom enjoys writing.   I suggested she try blogging, but she’s not not really interested. (Probably because it would take time away from her socializing, grandkids, and her 80-mile bike rides).

She does lurk around my blog regularly, but she’s too shy to leave comments.    But I have convinced her to write a guest post.

So without any further ado, may I present:  FRIAR’S MOM.

P.S. Be gentle, it’s her first post…EVER!

– Friar


Wee Friar and His Art

Wee Friar was a very active child. However, when he had a Crayola, colouring pencil or felt pen in hand, and a stack of paper, he was quiet for a long period of time.

Children love to draw the typical house, with windows, door, chimney, tree, and sunshine. Some children draw curtains in the window, smoke out of the chimney, a pathway, and clouds in the sky.

Wee Friar did one better. He enjoyed setting the house on fire, with flames shooting out of the windows and roof.

He blew up airplanes in the sky. He crashed cars on the ground. These elaborate collisions showed car tires, steering wheels, car seats, fenders and various car parts flung into the air.

We knew he had some artistic potential and a vivid imagination.

Four-year old Wee Friar lived on a quiet crescent in the suburbs. Mrs. Larch (two houses away) held art classes in her home for preschoolers. We decided to enroll him in his first art class, so he could develop his artistic talent.

I waited anxiously for him to arrive with his first masterpiece.

He came to the front door with outstretched arms holding his first painting.

“Hi Wee Friar. Did you have fun at art class?”


I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw his work of art. It was an 18” x 24” piece of paper, every inch of it covered with black poster paint. Black? Why black? Doesn’t he have any colour sense? What happened to all the creativity he had shown? What’s wrong with my son? Is he depressed?

“Mom, don’t touch it, it’s still wet.”

“Wee Friar, what did you paint?”

“I made Air Pollution.”

Phew! Clever kid! And thus began Wee Friar’s encounter with art.

Dear Olaf…

May 9, 2008


(Olaf ThunderFröck is a Registered Viking who provides family counselling services.  He is certified in Advanced Pillaging, Stabbing and Going Berserk).


Dear Olaf;

My son spends too much time playing video games on the computer.  It’s starting to affect his social life.  He doesn’t go out with friends anymore, and he’s not getting enough exercise.  Whenever I confront him he just shouts “Oh Mom!” and we get into a big argument.  I’m at wits end.  How do I get him to stop?  I wish he’d just go outside and be a kid again.

Concerned Mom


Dear Concerned;

Nyarggh.   I have seen these “games” of which you speak.  With flashing lights and such.  They puzzle me, for they are nothing like our own Viking games where we fight to the death.  It sounds like your son has fallen under the spell of some kind of pagan wizardry.   

I would banish your son into the wilderness, armed with only a broad-sword and the clothes on his back.  If after a year he still survives, then yea, surely he will have earned a name for himself,  and can rejoin your household with Honor.  If not, then the buzzards shall feast on his skin and the Gods will be placated.  


Dear Olaf;

My office mate sits in the cubicle right next to me.  He constantly plays the radio loud and it distracts me from my work.   I’ve repeatedly asked him to turn it down, but he tells me to shut up and ignores me.   I could complain to HR, but I’m afraid that I’ll be branded a “tattle tale”.  What should I do?

Annoyed Worker

Dear Annoyed;

Here is my solution.  Just take your axe and breach the cubicle wall.   It always helps to let out a blood-curdling battle cry:  “AIEEEEEEE! YAHHHHHH!  NYARRRGH!!!!!”  While your co-worker is distracted, take your mace and SMASH his music-box, and set fire to the pieces. 

If he protests, then slit his throat and feed him his own tongue.

End of problem.  


 Dear Olaf;

I’m thinking of buying a puppy for my three year-old.  I know that this may be too young, but I grew up with a dog and I turned out okay.  Plus I’ve heard that giving a child a pet is a good way of teaching them responsibility and building character.   What do you think?

 Dog Lover


Dear Dog Lover;

Aye…animals!  This reminds me of the time we once pillaged a farm off the Saxon coast.   What a glorious day. As the looting fires burned, we smashed down a barn door.  We found livestock, and thought we would amuse ourselves by throwing the piglets in the air, to see if we could catch them on our spears.   HAR!  HAR!  HAR!

My battle companion Krull-Dor threw the first piglet but it missed his spear.  The pig landed on his face, bit his nose, and ran off.  All the piglets escaped.  Krull-Dor lost part of his nose, and Lars Bloödspurten called him Krull-Dor the Noseless.  There was much merriment and laughter about that!  HARR! HARRRR!  HARRRR! GNARRR! 

But I digress.  Now, excuse me, but what was your question again?



“Seek first to Understand…then pillage and burn!”