Monday, 24 July 2017

Poetry Monday

Poetry Monday is brought to us by Diane of On The Alberta/Montana Border (you can find her in my sidebar).  Diane decided Mondays needed jazzing up and she was right.  Why not join us.  You can write, read, critique or share your thoughts.  Poetry doesn’t have to be serious or even rhyme…it’s just a great way to share your thoughts and feelings and it’s fun.  This week Diane gave us a topic “vacation” which you can use or not….I decided to use it.

Owl Goes On Vacation

“Where is Owl?”,
asked the mouse
as he cowered
in his tiny house.

I don’t see him
flying by
against the moon
so pale and high.

I can’t hear
his mournful “Whoooo?”
and so I don’t know
what to do.

Is it safe
or is it not
to go out doors
and leave this spot?

“Oh do come out
Dear mousie, do.”
the fox beguiled
as foxes do.

The mouse peeked out
to see the fox
a dinner bib
tucked under his snout.

“Oh me, Oh my,
I dasn’t try.
I’ll stay inside
and wait him out.”

But what of Owl,
that missing fowl?
He’s lying on
a big beach towel.

He's at the beach,
toes in the sand,
a margeurita
in his hand (er..feathers).

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Thought For The Day

I wish I could say I thought of this, but, I didn't.  A friend sent it to me in an email.  Origin unknown.  Where have I heard that before?

- If you replace "W" with "T" in "What, Where and When", you get the answer to each of them.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Well I'll Be....

I just love words.  No surprise there.  If you've visited here before, you know that.  Some of the words in our language (English in case you weren't sure) leave me scratching my head.  There are colourful and interesting expressions, one word expressions, that have no known origin.  Interplanetary visitors perhaps?
Take for example the following selection:
I mean, who IS Flabber and why is he/she gasted?
The first recorded use of the term was in 1772.  It means to be shocked or amazed.  It's origin is lost in the mists of time.
How about,
I've never said Hi to anyone named Falutin but I've known some folks who WERE (or thought they were) highfalutin.  This term originated in the mid 19th century and might be English in origin.  High English-Fluting equals highfalutin...maybe...
There's always,
an early 19th century expression of unknown origin which means to cheat someone as in, they were hornswoggled.
Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but which gives the appearance of having value.
Much like this post of ridiculous expressions.
Originating in the 1930's from who knows where.
an early 18th century expression of unknown origin meaning, to trick.
If you've read this far, you've been bamboozled into thinking this is actually going somewhere.  It isn't.  I'm just having fun with silly words.  Funny thing, I actually use those words once in a while and never before did I stop to wonder where they came from...and...I STILL don't know.

Friday, 21 July 2017

What's For Dinner?

Wednesday night it was Beef Bourguignon.  

This is everything you need to make it.  Well, and a little water and a whole lot of patience.

5 medium onions sliced
4 tblsp oil
2 pounds lean beef cubed
1 1/2 tblsp flour
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
red wine
1/2 pound mushrooms sliced

cook onions until tender
 I would suggest using half the oil and saving the other half for....
remove onions from pot
put beef in pot (with the left over oil)
sprinkle with flour and seasonings
brown the beef
it's getting there.
add 1/2 cup bouillon and 1 cup red wine
and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Phew.  Adding more bouillon and wine as required to keep meat covered.  The recipe advises 1 part bouillon and 2 parts wine.  That can add up to a LOT of wine so if you don't want it too strong, just use your better judgement.
 Return onions to the pot and add mushrooms.
Top up your liquid if required.  Simmer for another 1/2 to a full hour stirring occasionally and keeping an eye on your liquid levels.  Especially if you are drinking any of that wine.
If you want it a bit thicker, just add some cornstarch mixed with a little water and simmer a tad longer.
Serve in hand thrown pottery bowls.  They make everything look and taste better.
I put it on rice but noodles are just as good.

By this time your kitchen looks like this....

Because you have been cleaning up as you go...right?  And, if your husband is anything like mine he will say, "Now that was a nice easy meal for you to prepare on such a hot day, wasn't it?  Bless them, they haven't a clue.

I'll forgive him because I have lots left over in the fridge for tomorrow night and all I have to do is warm it up.

That beef was so tender.......OMG it was good.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Using Wednesdays Words

Words for Wednesday writing prompt for this week: 
beacon, evening, jealous, slander, dormant, peripheral
mystic, plentiful, splendid, destruction, gratitude and bacon
you can use the phrase "misty mountain melody"

I chose to use the phrase this week.

knee high grasses
mile high skies
clover and dewdrops
fill my eyes

wind in the pine trees
sings a song
birds chirp a melody
all the day long

rattle of the pebbles
in the rushing brook
fish leap and splash
in a shady nook

put these sounds 
and sights together
its a Misty Mountain Melody

Okay, I'll use the words as well..

In my peripheral vision I perceived the beacon that is bacon.  Gratitude filled me for this splendid food of the Gods and I planned my evening feast around this Divine creation.  
A plentiful supply suffused the chilled bunkers and then, I saw THE PRICE.  I became instantly jealous of every shopper with bacon  in their cart as I revised my original menu plan which would now be dormant for the foreseeable future until the prices came down.
Sadly, I whimpered as I watched the total destruction of my happiness.  I'll just stand in the deli and inhale the fragrance of the BLT's being prepared there for the few fortunate....the wonderful, mystical scent of BACON.

for the life of me I couldn't work in 'slander'.  And yes, I'm a bacon fanatic.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Words For Wednesday

Words for Wednesday is a writing prompt designed to fire up our creative juices and get us writing.  The words can be spun together to create a piece or just used as inspiration.  Write fact or fiction, prose or poetry, or simply a stream of thoughts generated by the words.
There are no rules (that's the best part).  Use some, all or none of the words on any day of the week you like.   It really doesn't matter as long as you enjoy the process.  Just always let us know if you are posting your piece on your blog so we can all drop in and visit.

Here are this weeks prompts:

beacon, evening, jealous, slander, dormant, peripheral
mystic, plentiful, splendid, destruction,
gratitude, and bacon
or you could use this phrase

Have fun.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Poetry Monday

Poetry Monday is brought to us by diane of ‘on the alberta montana border’.  You can find her in my sidebar.  Procrastinating Donkey decided to play along (she is in my sidebar too) and that made three of us.  We would love it if you would join in as well.  Read, write, critique, share your thoughts….lots of room on this poetry excursion bus. You don’t have to a published poet…only diane is……you don’t have to rhyme….just put your heart on paper.

Silver tears
                                 upon the pane,
gurgling cascades
down the drain,
patters and spatters
on the street
when it’s done
the air smells sweet.
The roses lift
their happy heads
and sparkling diamonds
do they shed.
The robin finds it
easy toil
to pull the worm
from dampened soil.
So I sit
and scan the view
all fresh and fragrant
clean and new.
When I go to bed
pull down the shade,
turn out the light,
in dreams I will
review the sight
on this lovely

rain washed night.

Diane has also provided a topic for those of us who are having trouble coming up with something this week.  The topic is "nonsense".

is the absence
of common sense

on elfin feet
she trips about
seeking water
in this drought
finds it
in a cowslip bell
takes it home
to 'ne're do well'
her older brother
truth to tell
is not so bold
as sara belle

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Using Wednesday's Words

This weeks writing prompt is:
hornet, hairnet, hover, proximity, clothesline, scent
chilling, drench, dance, damaged, horrifying and chemical
deployed destruction

"It's a lovely day.  I'm going to hang my clothes out on the line.  The scent from the lilacs will still be on the clothes and sheets when I bring them in."
"I wouldn't advise it Maggie.  I saw a hornet nest on the fence by the lilac bushes and I haven't had time yet to drench it in chemicals."
"That's horrifying Ed.  Those poor creatures.  That's their home."
"Maybe so, but the proximity of the hive to your clothesline makes it a very real threat for deployed destruction."
"What nonsense.  I'm going out there."
Ed sighed.  He could see disaster looming as Maggie trudged on out with her basket of wet clothing under her arm.  It wasn't long before Ed saw her waving her arms and doing a strange little dance as she found herself surrounded by hovering, angry insects.  He could hear their chilling hum from where he stood in safety on the porch.
"Don't just stand here."  Maggie screeched.  "Come and murder these horrible little savages.  Use your poisons, damage the nest, I don't care anymore.  And why didn't you warn me to wear a hairnet around a hornet nest?"
Ed waved back at Maggie and turned back into the house.  Danged if he was going to expose himself to those stinging brutes.  Maggie got herself into this mess with her stubbornness...she could get herself out of it.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Words For Wednesday

Words for Wednesday is a writing prompt designed to fire up our creative juices and get us writing.  The words can be spun together to create a piece or just used as inspiration.  Write fact or fiction, prose or poetry, or simply a stream of thoughts generated by the words.
There are no rules (that's the best part).  Use some, all or none of the words on any day of the week you like.   It really doesn't matter as long as you enjoy the process.  Just always let us know if you are posting your piece on your blog so we can all drop in and visit.

Here is this weeks prompt:

hornet, hairnet, hover, proximity, clothesline, scent
chilling, drench, dance, damaged, horrifying, chemical
or you could use this phrase,

Monday, 10 July 2017

Poetry Monday

Poetry Monday comes to us from Diane of On The Alberta Montana Border (you can find her in my sidebar).  Diane thought Monday needed jazzing up.  She was right.  Procrastinating Donkey joined in (she’s in my sidebar too) and then I made the leap before the bus pulled away from the curb.  You can join too...  lots of room on the bus.
Write a poem or read and critique ours.  We’d love to see you here.
This week I seem to have a fixation with words.
Today I pared
a pair
of pears.
I  did spell a word wrong
in a spell
and then sat down to rest a spell.
I craned my neck
to see a crane
that perched upon a builders crane.
On this date
I ate a date
while out with husby on a date.
I made a point
not to point
at people with my pencil point.
I got mixed up with where and were,
their and there,
hair and hare.
I wore a bow
and took a bow
and now, with brain a little dim
I write a poem


and not a very good one at that

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Happy Birthday

Those days of
cake and ice cream,
of giggles
and children's screams
as parents make a special day
for children's birthday dreams.

Miss Gracie is seven today.

Yesterday was the kids party at Mom and Dads, today is the family party at Grandma and Grandpa's know, just to make the special event last a little bit longer.  You can never have too much birthday.  At least, not when you're seven.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Is It Any Wonder

Is it any wonder that newcomers to the English language have problems.  One word can have so many different meanings.  Take the simple little five letter word....draft.....
a gust of air
army recruitment
the first version of a letter or book
beer decanted from a barrel or keg
a large heavy horse used for pulling
a plan or sketch roughed out
bank draft
the depth of water needed to float a boat
making sports players available for hire
to drink or inhale the entire thing at once
ie...she finished the glass in one draft.

Totally confusing isn't it?   No Wonder!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Using Wednesdays Words

This weeks word prompt is:
crashing, valve, spotlight, postage, resonate and spastic
branded, organic, bargain, desperate, amplify and blase
lavender lies

Here goes:

"You seem so blase about the way this store has amplified the prices on the branded organic produce.  I'd have to be desperate before I paid such a price."
"Well," Ann responded, "When you consider the health benefits they're a bargain at any price."
"Oh, come on."  Jill groaned.  "You can't be serious.  Look at these turnips they've turned their high voltage spotlight on.  They are the size of a postage stamp.  There is no way this can resonate with you as a 'good deal'.  You'd need a bushel of them to make one meal and look at the blight on some of these."
Ann was fast losing patience with her friend.  Just then the valve on the produce sprayer came loose and the whole pipe assembly crashed down spraying Jill with cold water and putting an end to her spastic  tirade as she spluttered and gasped from the shock.
Ann smiled sweetly and continued her shopping in peace and quiet.  Avenged by the vegetables.

I didn't fare so well with 'lavender lies'

In that day
of citrus skies
he told me his stories
and lavender lies.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Words For Wednesday

Words for Wednesday is a writing prompt designed to fire up our creative juices and get us writing.  The words can be spun together to create a piece or just used as inspiration.  Write fact or fiction, prose or poetry, or simply a stream of thoughts generated by the words.
There are no rules (that's the best part).  Use some, all or none of the words on any day of the week you like.   It really doesn't matter as long as you enjoy the process.  Just always let us know if you are posting your piece on your blog so we can all drop in and visit.
Here are this weeks prompts:
crashing, valve, spotlight, postage, resonate, spastic
branded, organic, bargain, designate, amplify, blase
you could use this phrase to 'set you off'

Have fun.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Thought For The Day

Are you puzzled over life?  Just when you think you have all the pieces to the picture one goes missing.  You move the pieces around, add some new pieces and fill in the gaps and then, another goes missing.  Perhaps this is one of the border pieces that help to hold the whole picture together.  By the time the door to the great unknown opens for you, the picture you have pieced together bears little to no resemblance to the one you started out with.  This is the picture for which you will be remembered.  The picture of your life.   We are all 'puzzle masters'.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Poetry Monday

Poetry Monday was started by Diane of On The Alberta Montana Border (you can find her in my sidebar.  Procrastinating Donkey joined in (you can find her in my sidebar too) and I leaped on board as well.  There's lots more room on this bus for you ... why not join in.  You can read, write, critique, share your thoughts....have some fun.  Make Monday special.
We've just had a special day here in Canada so my thoughts are still tuned in to that as you can see below.

There were bands and rides
and food
and fun
and just like that,
the day was done.
150 years we waited
and when it came
we celebrated
with fire works
and ooohs and aaahs,
it was more exciting
than Santa Claus.
That much percussion
precludes discussion
but we all knew
what we were there for.
We threw a party for a nation
to celebrate its creation.
Our voices rang out
loud and true,
Happy Birthday Canada
to you.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Happy Birthday Canada

50 years ago I was 19 and our family took their one and only family vacation.  We drove out to Lestock Saskatchewan to visit friends.  50 years ago...a lifetime ago....when I look back on it I can't recognize myself.  It just so happened that 50 years ago, 1967, was Canada's 100th birthday.  It was a centennial family vacation.  I remember tents and rain and bugs an a long flat uninteresting prairie on the Trans Canada Highway.
A lot happened in 50 years.  I grew old.  I didn't grow up.  I have no intention of growing up.  I got married, had a child, got  a job, lost my parents, retired and now...50 years's Canada's 150th birthday.  There will be no travelling vacation.  Every day is a vacation now.  We mark the day with a quiet appreciation for the country we live in, for the peace, the serenity, the health care, the freedom of speech.  About the worst thing that has happened (internally) in this country is a couple of failed referendums when Quebec thought they might like to pull away from Canada.  No civil wars thank goodness, no tanks rolling down our quiet streets, no gun fire in the night, no dictators.  We are blessed.  May we never take our lives here in Canada for granted.  Happy Birthday Canada, here's to 150 more.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Wednesday and the Words

In July the Words for Wednesday will be here.  Just like old times lol.  If, perchance, I run into computer problems (and this miserable thing is acting up) not to worry, I have already pre scheduled the prompts (and then went back and wrote my stories and pre scheduled those as well) so the game will continue.  I hope everyone joins in.  If you are just thinking about joining us..remember...the words are just there to inspire.  There are no rules and no requirements other than sharing your attempt with the rest of us either by leaving your work in comments or letting us know you have posted on your own blog.  This is a great and supportive group of people.  Thanks to EC for her dedication to the cause, she just wrapped up June in style and has the rest of us organised to take our turns.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Using Wednesdays Words

Words for Wednesday is a writing prompt designed to get our creative juices flowing.  Sometimes, like this week, the prompt is a list of words you can use to inspire you, sometimes it can be a picture, or piece of music or phrase.  Use the prompt in any way you like.  This weeks prompt can be found on Elephants Child's blog (you can find her in my sidebar).
Here is this weeks prompt:
fluid, optimum, excitement, bus, forensic, forest
theatre, shoe, passion, dogmatic, prison, visitor

Here we go:
Her movements on stage were flawlessly fluid.  The lights in the old theatre shone on her brilliance.  Her passion for the dance was obvious in every move.  The excitement of the crowd grew as she made optimum use of the stage, interpreted every note.   And then - her shoe came off.  Everything stopped, the music, the movement, the appreciative gasps of the crowd, the plywood enchanted forest stopped in its journey across the stage....everything.....just....stoppppped.  The silence beat in her ears with a pounding, hammering beat..............the dogmatic voice of Sheila the female prison guard cut into her daydream turned nightmare.  "Shelly!    #23!   You have a visitor."
"Shelley," her mom sobbed softly into a sodden handkerchief, "Baby, the forensics work is back honey and they found your prints all over that bus.  It's over honey.  It's all over."

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Communication is a funny thing isn't it?   We know what we mean but what we say doesn't always represent what we mean.   For example, your spouse enters the room rubbing his eyes and you say, "Have a good night dear?" when what you really mean is, why couldn't he stay in bed for another hour and give me a little time to myself.  He responds with, "Oh yes, I had a lovely night.  How about you?"  all the while thinking, thank God she made it through the night or I'd have to make my own coffee.  As I hobble toward the door of the department store a young woman holds the door open for me.  I thank her and she says, "You're quite welcome."  What she really means is, old lady I'd carry you in the store if it meant you'd be out of my way faster.  As the cleaning lady is leaving with your precious dollars in her purse you tell how lovely and clean the place smells but deep down inside you are thinking, "That spider web has been in the downstairs bathroom for two weeks now and you haven't been anywhere near it."  She smiles and says, "Always a pleasure to clean keep it so neat and tidy." while her inner self is saying, "Oh yes, it smells good.  A little liquid cleaner swiped over a counter or two and even a pig pen would smell better and if you think I'm going to stand on a ladder to get that friggin' spider web you've got another think coming. " Your darling child calls just to see how you are and what you have planned for the day.  She really wants to know if you are free to take her somewhere.  You respond with, "Oh gosh...what aren't we doing today?  So many errands to run and jobs to do."  The evil genius on your shoulder grumbles in your ear, "You know darn well what she wants so you'd better have your ducks in a row if you don't want to be in the car all day."
You get the idea.  Say one thing, mean another.  It takes a while of knowing a person before you can decode the correct message.  It's probably best to just take what people say as actual fact and get on with life.  If we knew what their message really was.....

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My Wish For You

Last night the hubs toddled off to bed and left me in the living room watching a show about the wonderful places to eat in Paris, France.   When the show ended I turned off the TV and the light and sat in the dark for a while.  The window was open and the cool air rushing in felt like cool silk against my arms.  Wafting in on the breeze were the night sounds of the city; the murmur of voices, the swish of traffic on a nearby main artery, the rustle of leaves, the sleepy chirp of a bird settling in for the night and the faraway voice of a dog protecting its property from who knows what.  After a bit, I got up and closed the living room windows and checked the door, wandered out into the dark kitchen and watched two young rabbits dash across the yard when I closed the kitchen window.  I stood for a moment enjoying the twinkle of solar lights up and down the street and the warm glow of porch lights.  It was so peaceful.  I felt so comforted.  I wandered off to bed and left my window open so I could go to sleep listening to the city as it settled down for the night.  My wish for you, whoever you are, where ever you that you experience this feeling of peace and serenity in your life and that you take the time to fully appreciate it.  These small moments are a gift to treasure.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Poetry Monday

Poetry Monday was started by Diane of On The Alberta Montana Border.  You can find her in my sidebar.  Diane thought Mondays needed jazzing up and she was right.  We’d love it you would join in and read, write, critique, offer your thoughts….poetry, you know, does NOT have to rhyme or have a rhythem….it just has to express how you feel.
The cold, cruel light
of day
leaves no blemish
No heinous crime,
no lack of human feeling
escapes the spotlight.
Night and sleep
are welcome relief
from the insanity
that is the world
Like a blanket
we draw the darkness
around us
and close our eyes
to the horrors
of the day.
There is a solace
in the silence
of the night;
a peace
in the velvet dark
that soothes our souls.
Oh we know,
we will have to wake up
and face the day

but for now……

Okay, your turn.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

How Many Tomorrows

Strange, the things that touch you, work in your brain, fester and bubble, simmer and boil and grow into something larger....into something you can't forget...something you shouldn't forget.
"Postcards" (you can find her in my sidebar) headed a post today with 'Tomorrow and Tomorrow'.  "The Low Carb Diabetic" (you can find them in my side bar as well) posted the official artists video for Grenfell. While the music was lovely and touchingly rendered, the vision of the weeping fireman is with me still.  What, I wonder, will his tomorrow be like?  How long will he see those horrific visions in his minds eye?  Tomorrow and Tomorrow?  How many tomorrows?  

Friday, 23 June 2017

An Odd Duck


An exclamation indicating disbelief and stunned acceptance of the facts.
origin unknown
but the first recorded use in literature is found in "The Wheel of Fortune" by Louis Tracy.


No one appears to know how or why or when the expression "he (or she) is an 'odd duck"' originated.   Poor duck, being picked on to represent someone who deviates from the norm in appearance, behaviour or beliefs.


I'm just going to 'duck out' of the meeting early.  Originally the term was just, 'duck' with 'out' being added later.  Why?  To give the duck a little class?  Who knows.  The expression came to life in the 1800's.  No one knows why.  Ask a duck.

That's my 'fun with ducks' for the day.  Got any more duck sayings or expressions?  

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Don't Fence Me In

I've been thinking about fences a lot lately.  Ever since our neighbour put a fence up between us where none had existed for the past 31 years that we've lived here.  These folks have been here about four years now...long enough for them to decide that we're Mexico I guess.  We've never set foot on their property and the most intrusive we've been is a friendly wave.  Our yard is neat and tidy so there is nothing warranting screening.  I guess they just like fences.  They put one up on the other side of their property as well.  It wouldn't be quite so bad if they had finished our side of the fence but it is NOT finished and when we step out our side door it looks like the inside of a wooden berry box.  (I hope I'm not the only one old enough to remember those.)  
The back yard is totally enclosed in a mish mosh of fencing put up by various neighbours on either side and behind..there are actually three houses behind us (which tells you how big our yard is).  The back line is also screened by a number of tall cedars.  I know why the folks to the east of us put up a fence...they had dogs as do the people behind us....but again, our neighbour to the west, they of the 'love of fences' have no real reason to fence it off...just an antisocial attitude.  They also have a gazebo in back with black out curtains hanging all around it.  We sit on our deck out back with no protection from neighbours glances and frankly, we seldom look over at any of them.  We just sit and talk, read, knit, look at our gardens and mind our own business.  
Now the folks across the road from us have put up a mile long run of fencing across the back of their property and along one side between them and their neighbours to the west.  Everywhere you look, fences.  High fences, low fences, wood fences, metal fences.....all over the place....fences.  Is it just me or are people starting to withdraw into themselves and this is just the outward sign of it?  
It is not a nice feeling to live all trapped inside these fences.  If I was younger and healthier I would head for the hills and live in the country with just a wire farm fence to keep roaming cattle out.  Or maybe I would just let the cows come through and eat the grass.  It's a dream of mine....these fences, they're a nightmare.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Using Wednesdays Words

Words for Wednesday is a weekly writing prompt designed to get our creative juices flowing.  The prompt can be a list of words, a phrase, a picture or even a piece of music.  This week the prompt is photographic and can be found on Elephant’s Child's blog.  (You can find her in my sidebar.)


There is a tree growing
in the gutter
where once rain
danced and gurgled
on its way to the downspout.
My roof has a sway
like the back
of a saddle sore old nag
and the raccoons have
ripped pieces of it away.
They are now nesting
with the mice and the squirrels
in my attic.
I remember
like it was yesterday
(perhaps it was yesterday, in house years)
the sound of children's laughter,
the playful antics
of a kitten in the yard,
a lush and blooming garden
where now weeds are the only crop
in a dank and sour soil.
Only yesterday,
I’m sure of it…
I looked through
lace covered window panes
into a well manicured lawn.

Only yesterday.
Now I dream in  the sunlight,
shiver in the winter cold
and live in my dreams
when once I was called
the sweetest name
in the human language…

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Rather Crude Saying

"Ah my dear, he's just blowing smoke up your arse."   Ick.   Of course, this refers to an insincere compliment.  A possible origin for this dates to the late 1700's when it was a common practise for doctors to try to resuscitate a drowning victim by ... you guess it .... blowing smoke, yes, there.  Along waterways the equipment for such a procedure was hung at regular intervals and emergency workers were required to know the locations just as now they are required to know the location of the 'defib'.  What I would like to know is who the genius was who decided it would be a helpful thing to do.  Where DO these ideas come from?
Anyway, pretty useless treatment, and insincere compliments are pretty useless as well.