Posted in Cats, Christmas, Holidays, Uncategorized

‘Twas the month before Christmas

‘Twas the month before Christmas

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the city,
Not a creature was stirring, er, you find a rhyme…
I’m just not that witty.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Oops, don’t have a chimney, hmmm…
Oh well, Santa’s magic, who cares?

The people were nestled all snug in their beds,
(your business what you’re doing there)
While visions of shopping malls danced
in their wallets and heads.

I in my Soft Kitty PJs and the cat in the hat
Had just settled down to read,
maybe eat some cookies…
How about that?

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed (ok, sprang is an exaggeration),
To see what was the matter.

It was only a drunk guy,
With his nose all aglow,
Shouting and singing,
Let it go, let it snow, let it go…

The moral of this story is plain to see
Please don’t sing outside my house
At Christmas or any other time,
Even on key…

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Posted in Family, Holidays, Poetry, Uncategorized

In the blink of an eye

I wish we could talk again
Like we used to years ago
You should be here right now
I wish you didn’t have to go

The voice whispering in my head
A voice so beloved yet dead
A voice I hear and sometimes hate
Because it’s gone away

What did I last say to you
I don’t even remember
Goodbyes are so frustrating
More if you don’t say them

I miss the things I never had
Though I don’t know what they are
I miss the time and the place
Before we were pulled apart

I’m not myself right now
The air pushed from my lungs
My breath a frightened child
Hiding in the dark, waiting

I wish we could go back
Before we forgot what was real
The voice shattering in my head
A voice so treasured never dead

What did you last say to me
I don’t even remember
I miss the things I always had
I miss the future because it’s past.

Be thankful
In the blink of an eye
Everything changes.

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Posted in Canada, Uncategorized

Night watches beside me in this windy place

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If you are reading this automated post, my large umbrella has finally caught enough wind to sweep me away à la Mary Poppins. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but hopefully they’ll have a library. And towels. Maybe a hot chocolate. Pushing too much for a blanket?

I went outside to check to make sure everything was secure and took some pictures, it was dark but I think the black cats were watching me.

OK, rain and wind, we need to talk, I’ve looked at my emotional budget for today and I can only afford to keep one of you. You can decide which one of you is leaving or I’ll have to make the decision for you.

“No one but Night, with tears on her dark face, watches beside me in this windy place.” ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posted in Cats, Family, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

Dance like everyone is watching

1beyou1Humans want to connect, to be with each other, know each other. From the time there was fire we sat around it talking, laughing, connecting. We want to belong. This is one of the reasons social media has become so popular and can be used for socializing, networking, business, and even scams. There are many joys to be found online and many dangers. by the way, that weird voice is not a relative asking to send money, no one trapped is emailing you, no spies need your help; if anyone is asking for money, information, etc. don’t give it and if you want to know if they’re using a fake image, try Google images (just drag the image and it will tell you where else on the internet that image has been used).

If people only like you because you’re pretending, then they don’t like you, just your acting. They don’t like or love you, they like the role you’re playing. In a world where you’re judged on what you wear, what you drive, what version of a cell phone you carry, who you know, and the size of your house and bank account, being genuine is praised, but not valued. People are going to judge, or complain, or criticize, or disagree, doesn’t mean you should change, be fake, or a knock-off, a wannabe. Think about art, isn’t the original worth a lot more than a replica, a copy?

We should love or respect someone because they’re lovable or worthy of respect and vice versa. Belonging shouldn’t mean not being you.

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People talk about dancing like no one is watching, why?
Dance like everyone is watching.
Love like you’ll be hurt, but enjoy the moment and maybe learn from it.
Sing like everyone is listening.
Write like everyone is reading.
Cook like everyone will be eating your food.
Smile because you want to, not because you should.
Don’t worry about if you’ll be accepted, but accepting.

1beyou4Being yourself is hard. It’s much easier to follow the crowd than be the one to stand up and say why. If you can’t be yourself then what’s the point? I don’t think it’s ever too late to be the real you. That doesn’t mean being the real you should be a real pain for others. Unless being yourself is a murderer, serial killer, a child molester, a rapist, mass murderer, terrorist, or something like that, then be someone completely and utterly different.

Posted in Canada, Cats, Christmas, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

Oh Snow, You Didn’t!

1snow3Looking out my window last night, into the dark, still night as I always do before bed, you know, as everyone does to make sure there are no zombies, aliens, purges, or other issues, I noticed a new menace!

This was a foe I’d met before.
Sneaky and untimely, it had arrived.
On the surface it was bright, sparkly and gave the street a contemporary Currier and Ives appearance, but I knew it for what it was!
Snowmg, this was too soon.
I thought, Oh Hell Snow!
Snow way!

The only dashing I wanted to do was down to the park to play some tennis or to take a long walk, in shoes.
No jingling. No jangling. No turtledoves or French hens.
No lords leaping or otherwise.
No fat man with a hidden address going on my roof. What is with Christmas anyway? Having children sit on some strangers’ lap and tell him the thing they want most in the world so he can break into their house, eat their food, drink their beverages, leave them gifts after watching them sleep. That’s just freaky.

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I don’t want wassail or fruitcake, wait, it’s cold, I’ll take the wassail, but not the wassailers, too early.
4 cups apple cider, or apple juice, or 6 cored apples & 4 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (or a combination depending how sweet a tooth you have)
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups water
4 sticks of cinnamon or 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg (or not)

All the ingredients in a large pot, on low for 6-8 hrs; all day in a slow cooker.
Add wine or brandy or rum for adults.
Orange slices and cranberries for decoration.

Snow is not a signal to start Christmas cheer yet. No shopping and definitely no fa la laing. No singing loud for all the world to hear. Signed, The Grinch.

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I was enjoying other people’s posts on snow, then it got real. How can I originally be from near Sudbury and still be this traumatized by snow? No idea.

Fine. Bring it on.
Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. Snownado. Snowzilla.

Snow wars. Snow conflict. Snowpocalypse.

Quietus snowus. Snow-nihilation.

Snowreaper. The oncoming snowstorm.

Just know that I will grumble. I will say, How about this snow? Brrr, it’s cold and the classic, Is there more snow than last year?

Snow there, Mother Nature, snow there!

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Posted in Books, Canada, Uncategorized

Smart as a whip and ready to crack

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Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking,
Socrates, Bach, da Vinci, Mozart,
Darwin, Tesla, Kepler, Galileo,
Newton, Van Gogh, Pythagoras,
Bell, Homer (obviously not Simpson),
Shakespeare, Hippocrates, Marie Curie,
Gandhi, Edison, Kant, Plato, Banting,
High IQs or gifted in immeasurable ways?
Does a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) =
success, fame, fortune, or happiness?
Does having high IQ matter if you can’t use it effectively?
Traditional definitions of intelligence can be restrictive, but thankfully, that thought process is being widely challenged.

The world is now all about: smartphones, smart cards, smart bombs, smart TVs, smart water, smart cars, hmmm, does this sound like we might be overcompensating? Is our stuff getting smarter than us, and does that matter?1IQ12

I had to know, what is Beyond IQ, so being a nosy parker, I read the book of the same name by Garth Sundem (Three Rivers Press). Countless MacGyver references and quizzes later – I didn’t include my scores, I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad also, I, umm, forgot to keep them, and a dog randomly came into my house and ate them, but I assure you they would’ve made Stephen Hawking so totally jealous. This entertaining and enlightening book vividly highlights how practical intelligence can be even more important than standard or analytical intelligence, but then why are we so obsessed with knowing everyone’s IQ?

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There’s even a new CBC show, Canada’s Smartest Person, loosely based on Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s absorbing 1983 book, Frames of Mind (Fontana Press) where Gardner outlines his theory of multiple intelligences. Obviously they didn’t waste time on politicians, if they’re intelligent most of them are hiding it well. Gardner and others have suggested our abilities, aptitudes, skills, and even quirks make us intelligent in a way that can’t be measured on a standardized test.
We know negative factors can lower our intelligence so can adding positive factors make us smarter? It’s worth a try.

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Still don’t know all the answers, but I’m going with this, intelligence shouldn’t be measured in how smart you can be on a test, but about how you can use your smarts. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!

Posted in Books, Christmas, Food, Holidays, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

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Society is degenerating to a constant state of anxiety and fear, especially the fear of missing out. What if we missed an email, text, post, tweet, party, sale, invitation, night out, gossip, especially about celebrities, trips, trends…what if we just missed something? The only thing we don’t fear missing out on…voting.

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While reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by the stunningly beautiful, talented, and hilarious Mindy Kaling (Three Rivers Press) I had an a-ha moment. The book itself was funny, charming, authentic, very much what you’d expect from the writer and star of The Mindy Project and The Office, she’s a hot mess and makes it work, but I started thinking about why more and more people are more depressed, stressed, anxious, suicidal, homicidal, etc. than ever, even children. I’m sure there are multiple reasons, but being in constant contact, rampant consumerism, extreme inequality, and fear of missing out must be high on the list.

So a bunch of money-grubbing, self-regulating corporations appeal to natural human curiosity, use culturally complex language, jargon, fear of missing out, pop culture references, celebrities, and even bullying to ensure we feel compelled to consume, which leads to wanting and buying and consuming even more which leads to, well, you get the picture. This isn’t just adults, we’re letting our children be groomed, to be exploited, for profit. Isn’t there a name for that?
The good news, there’s no need to stop consuming, or watching TV, or going on the internet…we just slow down and consider the source, who will profit.

Symptoms of  a fear of missing out may include, but are not limited to:

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1. Forgetting those you love or those in need while rushing around trying not to miss out.
2. Rationalizing buying products manufactured under deplorable conditions.
3. Describing wants as needs or worse believing wants are needs.
4. Obsessing about products, services, and activities.
5. Putting items above people.

There is hope. Some people might be doing things you’re not or having things you’re not, that doesn’t mean they’re happier or more content. It’s not a contest. Hopefully this will all level out and people will finally see what’s important instead of what’s advertised.
Since the holiday season is already being forced on us to stretch out the shopping and socializing so we’ll spend more, don’t fear missing out, celebrate what you have.

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