Love letter to my father

My Inheritance

Now that you’re gone
I’m not who I was–
Can never be again.
My history henceforth
To be ever-tinged
With sadness
And visions of you
With your great big smile,
And twinkling eyes–
I yet hear, your laugh–
That came in chokes
And wheezes,
As if …
It could not
Be contained–
Especially in church.

How can I forget
That tale of broken-wind
In a pew
That sent you
And your brothers
Into snorting-fits–
Corked up,
Only to erupt again
After the calm?

True, there were rages too
Of course,
But who
Can hold your temper
Against you, being Irish
After all?
I’m the very same:
Your “father’s daughter”
That’s what they always say–
Always will–
In looks
And character.

You’ve given me
So many gifts
You do know, don’t you?
My vocabulary and voice,
My forthrightness
And my faith
All come from you.

Keep watching me,
Teaching me those lessons,
Calling my name,
“Get up, Kathleen!”
“God love ya, Darling!”

I know you’re there–
my Father, my Friend…
Take care,
And wait for me.


Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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Something is rotten in the state of Denmark! Meow!

This is my all-time favourite YouTube video. I’m not sure why I thought of this today, but it’s as good a day as any to share it. If this doesn’t make you laugh, then you have no funny-bone at all.

What gets me is the way Rosencrantz? Guildenstern? is distracted by butterflies and spiders throughout the scene. Then there’s the Charlton Heston voice of Hamlet. I half expect him to say, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!”

Enjoy – and please let me know if you like this as much as I do.

For your interest, here’s a list of my favourite Shakespeare-related films ( in alpha-order – with links to the Imdb). Please advise me of any of YOUR favourites that I may have missed. I do have the Jeremy Irons /Pacino “Merchant of Venice” in my collection, but have yet to watch it.

Hamlet (Branagh)
Hamlet (Gibson) (thanks, Sandy!)
Hamlet (McLachlan)
Hamlet (Olivier)
Henry V (Branagh)
In The Bleak Midwinter (d. Branagh)
Looking For Richard (Pacino)
Much Ado About Nothing (d. Branagh)
Othello (Fishburne d. Parker)
Richard III (McKellan d. Loncraine)
Romeo and Juliet (d. Zeffirelli)
Shakespeare in Love (d. Madden)
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa)
Titus (Hopkins d. Taymor)
To Be Or Not To Be (Brooks/Bancroft d. Johnson)
Tragedy of Macbeth (d. Polanski)
Twelfth Night, Or What You Will (d. Nunn)

I’m Giving Thanks (off the cuff)

Red, Gilbert & Daisy (from L to R)


I’m thankful for the life I’ve got
The life You’ve given me
For food and health and water-
Streaming forth with purity.

I’m thankful for the folk I know
And ones I’ve yet to meet
Those gentle souls who pass me by
As I stroll down the street.

I’m thankful for my one true love
My heart he holds with care
And trust I him, with all my thoughts
To him, my soul’s laid bare.

I’m thankful for the mom and dad
Who opened up my eyes
With invaluable lessons
Now, I’m grown, I realize.

I’m thankful for the creature-cats
Who populate our home
They snuggle up and keep us warm
Who needs a dog to come?

I’m thankful for the grace of God
Who put me on this earth
And blesses me continually
With mercies and with mirth.

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Thanksgiving Prayer

Father in Heaven,

Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.

Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal–our faith and religious heritage, our food and shelter, our health, the loves we have for one another and our family and friends.

Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year. This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Brother.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful American friends!



*Please note: I did not write this prayer, although it is certainly what I would say, if I had.

The Easy-Bake Oven Mystery

The other day, I was in the parking lot of my local grocery store ( I spend a good deal of time at grocery stores – being not just a lover of food, but also a lover of shopping for food as well). As I made my way into the store, I passed the back of a car where a woman was loading her groceries and I noticed a box tucked in the trunk. It was a new-toy box and it housed a modern-day Easy-Bake Oven. I almost said to her, “Oh, some little girl’s going to be very happy this Christmas!” For some reason, I didn’t, but it did make me think: what little girl wasn’t happy to receive the Kenner Easy-Bake Oven? Or perhaps, what little boy? I mean Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay had to start somewhere, right?

Okay, so maybe they didn’t actually have one, but you know what I mean.

As a child, I loved to fool around in the kitchen, helping my mom with stirring batter and adding garnishes and mixing various dry ingredients, etc. I used to go to the library regularly and often would come home with big kid-sized books filled with fun, easy recipes to help children learn their way around a kitchen.

When the Easy-Bake Oven came out in the late Sixties, I wanted one desperately. I wrote to Santa and asked for one nicely. I pleaded with my mother to make sure that Santa knew I was a good girl and I deserved the shiny, turqoise, tin oven with the silver cake pans and the accompanying cookbooks. I even appealed to my father to put in a good word (little did I know, that he had a real “in” in the Santa department).

When Christmas morning came, I was crushed to discover no EBO! I was incredulous! Still, I put on a brave face and accepted the Barbie doll house and the new doll-clothes and even the target-shooter that Santa (suspiciously) wanted me to have – where the chicken laid the egg whenever I hit the cardboard barnyard with my rubber-tipped missile from the plastic gun.

The most devastating thing about that Christmas, was that my good school-friend, Jane Thompson got the exact Easy-Bake that I wanted. It was turquoise and shiny and chock full of pans and spatulas and recipe books. Jane made no bones about how wonderful Santa had been to her and I was green, er turquoise, with envy.

I was already jealous of Jane because her grandmother was a knitter. She used to knit Jane fantastic doll clothes for her Barbies and even knit a funky bikini bathing suit for Jane, herself, one summer. My grandmother, ironically, was the baker. She baked wonderful rolls, pies, cakes and her specialty was homemade donuts. When she came to visit from Nova Scotia once a year, she would bake up a storm, but she couldn’t knit a stitch.

So, why was I the one with no Easy-Bake Oven? To this day, it still baffles me, but a stint with Jane Thompson’s oven laid all my keen fascination to rest.

One day, I was over at Jane’s house and she suggested we play with her Easy-Bake Oven. I remember how much fun it was for a budding chef, like me, to empty the packets of cake mix in the tin cake-pans and add the water (or milk–I can’t recall), stir it all together and pop them in the two-story oven – it even had a light inside to do the baking. When the cakes came out not long after, we iced them with green frosting and then we had to eat every last morsel.

I’m not sure whether it was all the sugar, the excitement at finally getting to use an EBO, or a combination of both, but when I got home, I spent most of that night barfing up all that Easy-Bake Oven goodness into our toilet. I never mentioned that particular toy ever again and eventually, I taught myself how to knit.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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Here’s a funny little cake-song, I found on YouTube:


Thank you all–I am overcome.

I’ve been sending out thank you e-cards to family, friends and fellow-bloggers, but there are undoubtedly some folks that I have missed. As well, I have no e-mail addresses for a number of you, so, I’m sad to say, you won’t be receiving one. However, I would like to express how much your words of comfort and concern throughout the past weeks have meant to me.

It’s amazing that although we have never met personally, and don’t even know what the other person sounds like (does that sound right?), we have still been brought together as if we do.

Not knowing you in the flesh, so-to-speak, does nothing to detract from the emotion you continued to evoke in me as a result of your sincere and genuine condolences. I am truly blessed to have encountered each and everyone of you in this strange world online.

Thank you, most sincerely. I am grateful.


P.S. I hope to be getting back on track with posting soon. I also have a good idea for a new anecdote on Blasts From the Past.

The Final Stage

I wrote this very early in this year – January or February. It seems fitting to post it again, on this day when it is snowing and I will be burying my own, dear Father.


Snow Upon Snow

There’s a body that’s going into the cold ground
A hooded man hovers beside the new-found
Hole in the earth where the dead one will go,
And silently falls the fresh snow upon snow.

There’s a someone on satin, who won’t really mind
If her dress is in fashion, her hair’s all entwin’d
His mortgage is paid—he’s got enough dough,
And silently falls the fresh snow upon snow.

There’s a corpus delecti descending today
I dream that the Angels are holding at bay
The demons who prey on the newly laid low,
And silently falls the fresh snow upon snow.

Now the hooded one raises his shovel again
To finish the job of the burial of men
Then home to his family, he leaves the barrow,
As silently falls the fresh snow upon snow.

©2008-Kathleen Mortensen

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