Posted in Family, Uncategorized

Goodbye Dearest Friend

Yesterday I woke up to different world.
That happens every day, but some days,
some days the changes are horrible.
My best friend of almost 30 years passed away two nights ago.
Rose was sweet, funny, kind, brave, beautiful,
stubborn, strong, talented,
just a wonderful person.
She was always cool, not just cool,
but never judging or cruel.

scan0009Here are some pictures of Rose (in the pink she’s dressed for Halloween giving me the what, more pictures look – as much as Rose loved taking pictures she didn’t like having them taken of her; I feel the same).
The others are of her and I in photo booths (remember those, the original selfies). We were young and always did the same pose, I’m in the front, trying to look sophisticated and she’s trying to hide from the camera…I think, who knows, it was a long time ago.

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Images courtesy: D. Parker and a photo booth

We had some wild times together.
We had long talks and laughs.
We shared our love of music and fun.
She was Godmother to my son.
Always there, always wonderful.
I can’t imagine a world without Rose.
Though my heart is aching,
she will remain there
because she’ll always be my best friend.
I was very lucky to have known her, as was anyone who knew her.

Those who touch our hearts, stay in them forever. Goodbye Rose, sister-in-my-heart,
I hope you’ve gone to rock’n’roll heaven!

I woke up this morning thinking it had all been a bad dream. Then the pain hit me hard enough to almost knock me off my feet.
These are the days I wish I had a time machine to go back,
to change things, to just have more time with those I’ve lost.

Death seems pointless, but it brings things into sharp focus for those left behind. Or it should. It shows clearly what is important and even more so, what isn’t important. We shouldn’t spend time on petty things, narcissism, fear, worry, and hate. We should be loving, giving, caring, and worry less about the material things, they can all be replaced…people cannot.

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
~Adam Lindsay Gordon

Posted in Autism, Doctor Who, Family, Parenting, Political, Uncategorized

Sharks Do Get Cancer

1life11It amazes me how certain myths stick while others don’t.

We used to believe:

  • Sharks don’t get cancer (they do, anyone volunteering to put on their sunscreen?)
  • Bananas grow on trees (no, they’re berries that grow on the world’s largest perennial herb plant).
  • We only have 5 senses.
  • Need 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Ulcers were caused by stress or eating acidy foods. Nope, a nasty bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
  • Tomatoes are veggies, actually, fruit.
  • Chastity belts were for chastity, actually, puritans wanted people to be Masters of their Domain (yeah, I had a Seinfeld flashback).

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  • Humans use 10% of our brain. My son worried his brain couldn’t hold too much information. I explained his brain is like the TARDIS from Doctor Who (looks like an old blue police box, but inside is unlimited space and astonishing things). Now my son fills his head with as much information as possible.
  • Salted water boils faster.
  • Lemmings run off cliffs to kill themselves, actually they go into the sea to swim to mating area – come on, there’s no one you’d jump and swim for?
  • Poinsettias are poison, no, but why is anyone eating Poinsettias anyway?
  • Milk increases mucus.
  • Shouldn’t swim after you eat.
  • Humans and dinosaurs existed during the same time period (except in Jurassic Park, of course).
  • Dieting myths, endless dieting myths.
  • People with Epilepsy were possessed by demons.
    Just because you believe something doesn’t mean you have to keep believing it.
    Free speech is important, too bad it can also be hurtful or deadly.

The news pumps out stories of measles and other outbreaks; the anti-vaccine and pro-vaccine contingents battle on.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated children get Autism.
Millions get vaccinated and don’t have Autism.
What about genetics? Environmental agents? Epigenetics? Infectious processes? Autoimmume? I don’t know the answer, maybe it’s the Perfect Storm etiology, a predisposition in conjunction with various components.
Or maybe they’re just different or a vanguard of human evolution.

1funny87Calling other parents names and berating them for vaccinating their children isn’t going to find a cause or a cure or help them live good lives. Autism was once known as Childhood Schizophrenia. Now we know better and have broader definitions, better awareness, resources, and statistics.  Jenny McCarthy said her son was a Crystal Child, then had Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a seizure disorder with symptoms similar to Autism). That didn’t sell, so she jumped on the Autism train and rode it all the way to stardom, sort of. Mass hysteria that would make the Salem Witch Trials blush has swept the world, based on one discredited study. McCarthy has since backed off, having made a fortune, but the damage is done.

The myth has outgrown its origins.

If you want me to believe something, don’t use  insults, anecdotal evidence, anger, flawed logic, catastrophic hyperbole, and endless drama. If your point is valid you could debate or even argue it, in a rational and respectful manner. I also don’t understand having a mock funeral when your child is diagnosed with Autism. If only people could unite to help our children, use all that energy, time, money, and passion to promote tolerance, acceptance, support, love, and hope, imagine how much better the world would be.

If you believe, you don’t have to belittle.

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -Edward R. Murrow

Posted in Blogs, Family, Uncategorized, Weight

Revenge of the Nouns

1age11As I age (totally gracefully, of course), I notice an ever-growing Pros and Cons List accumulating in my brain.

I’ve also notice one side of the list is getting much longer than the other.

The Pros (or what we gain as we get older):
Experience
Wisdom
Friends
Family
Knowledge
Cynicism
Wrinkles
Habits
Humour
Weight
Hormones
Self-confidence
Happiness
More candles on your birthday cake

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The Cons (or what we lose as we get older):
Keys and other stuff  – although I prefer to think of them as ‘in a safe place’, er, somewhere
Hair – it’s ok, it just migrates to your nose, ears and chin
Friends
Family
Hormones
Elasticity
Happiness
Ability to ignore distractions
Cells and stem cells lose their luster
Self-confidence
The battle with gravity
Nouns – this one is mysterious, you find yourself able to describe the noun in great detail – the thing you wear, in the winter, to keep warm, two sleeves, zippers up…yet somehow in all that, the word ‘coat’ eludes you. It works somewhat better in writing.

Some things make both lists.

Is there anything some of my more ‘age-enabled’ readers have noticed they’ve gained or lost?

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To me, age is just a number, one that we should be proud of as it gets higher, hint, hint, it means we’re still living.

Is it sad that society worships youth? Definitely, age has so much to offer, even more if you can enjoy the distinctive and sometimes amusing parts of aging.

The truth is, we’re all happier or sadder at different points in our lives for different reasons. Enjoy each moment, as many as there are.

I’ve got to go, to watch that show, where the guy asks the questions. You know, you have to answer in a question form. It’s been on a long time. I’m sure I’ll do really well, answering the, you know, thingies.

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Posted in Blogs, Canada, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Internet, Uncategorized

Blue Monday: Being depressed on schedule

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So the January blahs have set in and you’re feeling blue…now what?

Is it the weather, Christmas excitement gone, holiday bills arriving, resolutions becoming less resolute by the hour, tired of shoveling?

Or because someone told you it’s Blue Monday?

 We only heard about Blue Monday in songs or grumblings until it became an official thing 10 years ago.

But what’s so wrong with being blue anyway?
Cookie monster is blue.
So are:
Blue bonnets
Blueberries
Blue birds
Dory
Blue skies
Blue oceans
Blue Moons
Grover
Gonzo
The Na’vi
Blue eyes
Blue crayons

For X-Files fans...
For X-Files fans…

Blue popsicles
The Blue Room
The Blues
Topaz
Blue suede shoes…
Doesn’t blue symbolize loyalty, trust and confidence?

It can’t be because it’s the most depressing day of the year, surely there are other days in the running?
What about Valentine’s Day, that can be depressing for those without a Valentine.
Tax Day…enough said.
Black Friday, it highlights the rank consumerism of our society.
Election Day…depending.
When your sports team loses.
Birthdays, for some.
A day with bad news.
A day of a funeral.
The day you try on your swimsuit for the summer.1blue6
Come on, some of these days must be more depressing than Blue Monday, especially when Blue Monday coincides with Martin Luther King Jr Day. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/28/is-the-dream-still-alive/

Is Blue Monday just tapping into the epidemic of loneliness that shadows our modern world? Or a First World WhineFest?

If you’re blue, go out today and help someone else.

Take stock of your life, if you don’t like it, make changes.

Be aware. Be caring. Be committed. Be smart. Be kind. Be fun. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be you.

Look around, it’s just another day. 1440 minutes. 24 hours. And it’s not over yet.

And the weirdest part? It’s going to be another day tomorrow.1elves15

Posted in Family, Internet, Political, Uncategorized, Weight

So You’ve Ruined Your Life…Now What?

So You Ruined Your Life...Now What?You ruined my life!
My life is ruined!
They’re ruining my life!
People use the word ruin a lot,
I do not think it means
what they think it means.
Your life can be altered,
sometimes in extremely
negative ways,
perhaps even
screwed up royally,
but your life
can’t be ruined…
technically.

So what if you:

1. Shared a picture, tweet, post, status update etc. that has offended, disturbed, cost you a job, relationship, friendship, and/or caused massive backlash? Learn from it. People are complex, multidimensional, social media tends to be flat, a moment frozen in time which you have no idea how people are viewing or why, what their filter is, what their life experiences are, etc. It’s so easy to offend on social media, if I haven’t done so already, keep reading, odds are someone will be offended by this.

2. Stayed too long and put too much into trying to save a toxic relationship, whether with a partner, friend, family member? ‘Bad’ relationships can lead to low self-esteem, depression, resentment, fatigue – a waste of time and energy. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, that isn’t just in poker.

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3. Ate too much over the holidays? Spent too much over the holidays? Exercised too little? No use beating yourself up, accept responsibility and change.

4. Fell in love and fell hard…with stuff. It’s easy to do, shopping in stores, online, it’s exciting, it’s cool, it’s fun, everyone praises and envies your stuff; like any addiction you can choose what you feed it. Is the gratification worth the consequences?

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5. Believed things you heard or read or watched. We’ve all done it, but there’s a lot of bad or just plain wrong information, especially on the internet. Take things with a hefty truckload of salt.

6. Been complacent. You hoped governments and corporations had your best interests at heart. They don’t. They should. But they don’t.

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7. Forgot gratitude and took things for granted. I’m sure we’ve all done this, you get comfortable with people, things and you forget – they can all disappear. It’s so easy to accept, expect, and forget to be thankful. Broken record here, but learn from it.

8. Worried too much about what you say or do. Being yourself is so last year and what if you offend someone or they don’t like something you said or did? You can’t please everyone, so unless you’re hurting someone, this too shall pass. If they don’t like you when you’re really you, move on.

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9. Gave up on dreams, decided to settle? It may not be too late, at least to have a modified version of those dreams. Keep trying.

10. You’ve fallen and you stayed there…There’s no time limit on getting back up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, you’re back!

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Posted in Cats, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Political

GO HOME CHRISTMAS YOU’RE DRUNK

1christmas53Go home Christmas you’re drunk…
on power.

There’s no escape. Resistance is futile.

Yet what about those who don’t celebrate Christmas?
Or don’t have anyone with whom to celebrate?
Or those for whom it holds bad memories?
Or those who have other beliefs?
Or what if you love the holidays, but don’t like the commercialism and drama of it?
They still have to fight the crowds, listen to incessant carols, and have their world look like Christmas has been sick everywhere.

We’re still hearing abo1christmas52ut the War on Christmas when really, it looks more like Christmas has gone on a bender. Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. Commercialism is still going strong.

Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive, really it’s to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. Offices use these terms because Christmas cheer reduces productivity. Also, Christmas isn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year, how about: Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Chalica, Bodhi Day, Sadeh, Pancha Ganapati, Hogmanay, Yalda and yes, even Feast of Winter Veil and Festivus. Including others, I can’t think of anyone, especially in the Bible who would be for that…oh wait.

I don’t understand how saying Happy Holidays offends. That’s like saying I can’t eat cookies because you’re on a diet. If someone saying Season’s Greetings will shatter a belief in Christ, there’s a problem. Poor Christmas, maybe it needs to stop worrying about what others think of it.

If only we spent more time worrying about peace, kindness, love, hope, and everyone having enough.

Posted in Chocolate, Family, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

12 Hours of CyberMonday

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

In the first hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me a Star Wars Christmas Tree (The Christmas Force Awakens?).

In the second hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 2 Christmas sweaters (or jumpers, either way, not sure I’m that cold just yet).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

 In the third hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 3 motion-activated candy dispensers (it says motion, that burns calories, right?).

In the fourth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 4 boxes of chocolates (aaaand, they’re gone!).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

In the fifth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 5 Lord of the Rings action figures (you had me at action).

In the sixth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 6 personalized mix tape pillows (really, couldn’t even make me a real mixed tape?).

In the seventh hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 7 robotic vacuums (wait, is he saying my house is dirty?).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

In the eighth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 8 paint your own rain boots kits (really, that’s a thing?).

In the ninth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 9 zombie survival kits (be nice, I’ll share).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

In the tenth hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 10 Disney Frozen Sparkle Princess Elsa Dolls (any guesses what my donation to the toy drive will be this year?).

In the eleventh hour of CyberMonday my true love bought for me 11 live video camera drones (I love what you’ve done with your bedroom!).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

In the twelfth hour of CyberMonday my true love…oops, his credit card was declined.

The shopping force is strong in people around this time of year.

Shop wisely, regrets can be expensive…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/12/01/12-hours-of-cyber-monday/

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 Books, Canada, Family, Holidays, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Religion, Politics, and The Great Pumpkin

Halloween19Halloween crawls inexorably toward us, a wild beast about to attack with treats, costumes, and decorations, horror movies and specials.

As I re-watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for like the millionth time (sadly, this may not be as much of an exaggeration as it should be), this time I’m trying to see it through the eyes of a child, today.

So with that in mind, I’m putting aside the symbolic struggle represented for those whose beliefs are in the minority, as with certain religions, theories, or Linus and his Great Pumpkin; also, everything I’ve learned from this, including parts that, at times, seem a bit weird.

Here are a few older posts that look into that.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/27/its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

  • Do children now really like these older classics or are we transferring our fond memories to them, assuming they’ll like them as much as we did? Are they humouring us?

  • Lucy getting dog germs from Snoopy, is that still a thing?

  • How about the sucker getting leaves stuck on it?

  • Does anyone even remember what a Sopwith Camel is?

  • Do they think Schroeder should just use an app to make music?

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  • Do they think the homemade costumes are bizarre?

  • That old-school animation is boring?

  • Do they need more sophisticated animation? Bigger musical numbers? Action? Adventure?

  • Is this show just too slow and too old-fashioned for modern audiences?

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I guess I’m hoping in this frenzied, mixed-up world there’s still a place for the simple joy of Charlie Brown and friends…

Posted in Books, Family, Holidays, Uncategorized

Thankful I know enough to be thankful

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Here in Canada we have Thanksgiving in October, weeks before Halloween…go figure.

A few things I know and things I’m thankful for, including but not limited to:

1. Happiness can be…a smile, a furry friend, snowflakes dancing against the darkness, absorbing books, family, friends, a movie that makes you laugh and cry, a TV show where you can’t wait for the next episode, a cozy bed, chocolate melting on your tongue, a slow dance, walking in the Fall and more.

2. Those who believe in fate or faith should never look both ways or check an expiry date.

3. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than an army.

4. People make choices. How you feel about those choices or the consequences has little or no bearing. Really.

5. The Earth will still be here in one form or another after we’re gone.1thanks106. Everyone has their own window on the world, with it’s own screen. You can’t make someone see through your screen and it’s impossible to see through theirs.

7. You can’t walk away from yourself the way you walk away from other people. If you’re going to stay, play nice.

8. Truth can be painful and can take you places you may not wish to go. Go anyway.

9. Even the most basic beliefs about reality aren’t true alone, our thinking makes them true in our experience. Hopefully this isn’t true about zombies.

10. We forget. Our mind is designed to remember and to forget, but too often we forget when someone has been there for us or not. Don’t forget.

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I’m thankful my son makes me laugh and vice versa.
Thankful for family, friends, and virtual friends.
Thankful for things that keep my weary mind amused.
Thankful for what I’ve had, what I’ve lost, what I might have.
Thankful I know enough to be thankful.

 

Posted in Books, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Televison

I Miss Saturday Morning Cartoons

1bull18I loved Saturday morning cartoons and other programs as a child…yeah, that’s it, only as a child.

I even willingly (more or less) went to bed Friday nights so I could get up early to watch cartoons like:
Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour,

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Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear (hey Boo-Boo!), Space Ghost,
Jabberjaw, The Banana Splits, The Pink Panther Show, The Jetsons, The Flintstones,

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1bull8Josie and the Pussycats (ok, they went to outer space;
smart, getting a bigger audience share), Shazam!,
Superfriends, Batman, Superman, Grape Ape,
Fantastic Four,
various Captain Caveman,
Harlem Globetrotters, Schoolhouse Rock,  
The Addams Family (the ill-fated cartoon version),
Return of the Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost,
The New Shmoo, The New Adventures of Gilligan,

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Godzilla (with Godzooky), Spiderman, Smurfs, Ewoks,
Star Trek (sigh, yes, boldly going into cartoons),
Cucumber Club (I was a member), Blackstar,
Inch High Private Eye, Fat Albert, Speed Racer,
Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Tom and Jerry,
The Banana Splits, Underdog, H.R. Puff’n’Stuff,
Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Droopy Dog,

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Mighty Mouse, Hong Kong Phooey (before political correctness),
and probably more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Just so you understand how sad this is, I can still sing all the words to all these theme songs.

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A graphic novel like Rocky and Bullwinkle takes me back to a simpler time. I know how old that makes me sound, but there it is.

Even as I read Rocky and Bullwinkle #1: The Psychic Sidekick by Roger Langridge (IDW Publishing/Diamond Book Distributors), I marvelled at the blatant anti-Soviet/Russian sentiment and thought, hmmm, I see why it’s making a comeback. Amuse children and adults, but wait, there’s more, also a propaganda tool! While not quite as funny as I remembered, but both R&B and Dudley Do-Right are still amusing in a cheesy way. Sometimes when they recycle these oldies but goodies they ruin them by modernizing or making them too politically correct, but no squirrel and moose are just as old school silly, yahoo!

1bull1So when did Saturday morning cartoons die and why?
VCRs then other recording devices, cable, internet, video games, etc. were the beginning.

Animation changed, more as a business, with little art involved.

Needing children to be ‘busy’ every minute of their day was a big factor. Pushing for more ‘quality’ family time that involved paid activities, traveling, etc. another.

1bull29When I was young, quality time with my parents came later in the day, after they had slept in – their reward for a long work week.
My brother and I foraged for food, cereal or toast, leftover soup or spaghetti, if you were lucky, cold pizza from the night before. There were simple rules to Saturday morning: try to be quiet (I’m sure my brother and I were awesome at this rule) and don’t make a mess (if you do, clean it up). I think it taught my brother and I independence, and we enjoyed the time together.

There have been other changes in society. The divorce rate has increased significantly since then and now many children live between homes.
More recreational sports now. Anything else?

There are still many cartoons, but available anytime…

I kind of miss the days when you saw The Grinch and Charlie Brown’s Christmas once a year at Christmas, and cartoons only on Saturday morning.

Life should have seemed limited, but instead we just felt lucky to see them, not entitled.

charlie-brown-christmas5

Posted in Autism, Cats, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

It’s A Cat’s World…Adjust

It’s World Cat Day and I think that’s a tad unfair, isn’t everyday Cat Day, well, at least they think so.1cat20

I don’t currently share my home with any feline characters unless I count my son who has Asperger’s (see earlier post, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/27/all-cats-have-asperger-syndrome/ ), but I’ve had a lot of experience in their world.

My friend George (loved Curious George) was pure black except for a white bib and apron. George liked to sit on the front porch, even more on Halloween where he got maximum effect. He lost one half of an ear being out in the cold; we lived in Coniston, near Sudbury, it was very cold at times. In those days most cats were outdoor cats, this also led to us calling his name or saying, bad George which got a hearty laugh from my Grandfather because his brother, George lived right across the street.

Other cat friends?

Candace, regrettably insane; eventually needed little kitty pills to keep her calm (those were sooooo much fun to give her). My Mom let my Dad take me to the SPCA to find a kitten. We were two big saps who came home with a tiny runt kitten who needed to be fed with an eye dropper for days and the SPCA said they would replace her when she passed away. I didn’t want her replaced, I loved her. Candace lived 17 years. I don’t think she had many other fans.

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Note how we picked a cat to match the groovy 70s carpet and furniture.

We had Tanis (yes, my Raiders of the Lost Ark phase, which I’m sort of still in) who my Mom (the only one of the family who professes not to be a cat person), saved when someone threw it out of a car. We couldn’t keep her because of Candace, er, aforementioned krazy kitty. We found her a good home.

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There was also Xena and Luna who were lovely. Luna had to find a new home because she decided she wanted to play with my son as a baby, just his head. And Xena, her sister had to find another home when I found out my son had Asthma.

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No cats since.

If you do get a kitten or cat, please, adopt from an animal shelter or rescue; or family or friend.

Our extended family has had so many beautiful cats over the years, we don’t think of them as pets so much as companions.
They think of us as staff.

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Posted in Autism, Books, Christmas, Cooking, Environment, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Holidays, Internet, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight, Zombies

My 1 Year Blogaversary!

1birthday10August 8, 2013 wow, that seems like a lifetime ago.

That blog post was, Fibromyalgia is a  Four Letter Word (it still is).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/08/fibromyalgia-is-a-four-letter-word/

Since then I’ve made a lot of mistakes, did I say a lot I meant a ton, or perhaps a tad more; probably said a lot of things people don’t agree with; and had some wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out moments, no worries, it’s still there, more or less.

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I’ve learned a lot. Had some revelations about people I thought would be supportive, turns they weren’t, and still aren’t.

I’ll take it as a life lesson.

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Plenty more people have been extremely supportive.
Thank you to family and friends, those who have pressed like, or shared, or reblogged, or followed, or subscribed, tweeted and retweeted, given me awards, or a combination. It means more than you’ll ever know, really.

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I have 1birthday6‘virtually’ met some awesome people who are kind, supportive, funny, helpful, generous, hopeful, caring, and have mind-blowing things to say and they share it. Thank you.

This year has opened up new portals for me.

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I’m reading books I might never have read, learned things I didn’t know my brain could learn, but most of all it’s given me hope that maybe I can be more, it’s given me a glimpse of me, a me that I sometimes fear is gone forever.

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So please join me for this virtual celebration of my 1st Blogaversary or Blogversary or maybe it’s a blogbirthday!

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Drop by and say hi, read some of my older posts, apparently there are like 450 of them, hey, I did warn you with the tagline, Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure.

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Have a slice of virtual cake, wear a silly hat and join me for another year of who knows what!!!

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

Building Decks With Dad

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It’s not as though me and my Dad built decks for a living or built lots of decks together.

We built one deck together. It took us a few days. And by us I mean mostly my Dad.

Up front, I’m not sure whether I was more of a help or hindrance.

I recall smashing my thumb with a hammer. Dad said, more or less, “Great, your Mom is going to kill me”, with a laugh. It was a family joke. She understood. I had suffered many injuries in the care of everyone, as well as those that happened while with friends, in school, alone. I was known as clumsy. Turns out I actually had: Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. It’s very possible I’m also clumsy.

Why was I at the camp (some call them cottages or summer home, in Northern Ontario, they’re called camps) helping my Dad with the deck? I seemed an unlikely choice, but my older brother who was actually helpful in building situations was away at university and everyone else was working. My Dad was on vacation and we needed a deck at the camp.

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We’d work during the day and in the evening we’d have supper then ice cream, watch TV, I’d read to my Dad, or we’d both read to ourselves…and we’d talk.

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You may have noticed I refer to my father as Dad, never my father because he’s a Dad, always. Funny, smart, sweet, sometimes annoying, sometimes really annoying, kind, and fun. He loved friends and family, cars, talking about cars, looking at cars, fixing cars, driving cars, watching cars, taking pictures of cars and with cars, also, cats, beer, eating, TV, movies, working, laughing, dancing; he was a gentleman and a gentle man, hopelessly silly…and always a Dad to me and my brother.scan0010

There’s never a picture of him where that mischievous twinkle isn’t in his eye except when he had dark sunglasses on, but we know the twinkle’s still there.

I’m not sure we were always aware of how lucky we were to have a Mom & Dad, not just a Mother & Father. We did always know we were loved. Of course, look at us, we were adorable. I love my Mom & Dad today and every day.

I have lived at least six or seven lifetimes in the past 30 or so years since those days at the camp. I wish my memory was perfect or more robust, but the happiness I felt in that time has never faded in my heart.

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Enjoy the times you have because you never know until later those times were actually treasures.

Happy Dad’s Day to all those men who care enough to be Dads, not just fathers!

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Posted in Autism, Canada, Family, Internet, Parenting, Uncategorized

15 Things I’m Aware of on World Autism Awareness Day

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1. April is Autism Awareness Month.

2. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.

3. Today and all through April there will be more talk, more posts, more ads, more stuff sold, more people arguing about what caused Autism and still the numbers of children with Autism will rise.

4. For me everyday is Autism day. My son is brilliant, funny, clever, handsome, and amazing; he also happens to have Autism.

5. Children are being diagnosed with Autism in record numbers. Businesses, charities, celebrities, etc. are making record profits off the fears and vulnerabilities of parents.

6. Governments may say they’re aware and are doing a lot, but in truth, they just aren’t doing nearly enough.

7. Some parents hold mock funerals when their child is diagnosed with Autism. Is it just me or is that super creepy?

8. There are opautism13en doubters, closet doubters, haters, blamers, whiners, name-callers, bullies, accusers…the list goes on. None of that makes my child better.

9. The many voices for Autism, from whispers of hope to screams of anger to cries of despair can be heard throughout the world, not just today, but everyday.

10. There are plenty of theories and things people blame for Autism, yet to date, no single cause has been proven.

11. My child has Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s on the Autism Spectrum. He doesn’t need saving. He needs to be happy. Live up to his amazing potential. In that way, he’s the same as every other child.

12. Finding out my son had Autism didn’t change anything, I loved him just as much as ever.

13. Some people see my son as someone to be pitied, or mocked, or bullied, or judged, or labelled, or ignored. If some people took off their intolerance goggles they’d see who people really are.autism9

14. Autism used to terrify me, now I see that’s it’s different, not bad or scary or less, just different. Who ever said different was awful? Neurodiversity Now!!!

15. When something or someone is hurting our children we could easily be angry, sad, frustrated, depressed, look for reasons, excuses or someone to blame. Instead we need to focus on helping our children and finding the real cause.

So on this day and others, remember, Autism is just a word, the real story is in each child and who they really are.autism5

 

Posted in Books, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Movies, Music, Parenting, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

War on Christmas

chrisstmas10There’s a War on Christmas? Using terms like Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings suggest that Christmas is being attacked? Wow, I didn’t know Christmas was that insecure or vulnerable. Kind of makes a mockery out of the soldiers who fight in real wars.

I love Christmas. Especially what used to be the spirit of Christmas. People caring about others. Although that seems to have dimmed over the years. Now it’s about rushing and shopping and whining and complaining and First World Problems

Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive. It’s really to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. To sell more.
Christmas decorations in malls, city streets, etc. up before Halloween, before Remembrance Day.
They blast Christmas music into stores for months.
Santa Claus parades block the streets.
More cars congest the streets and highways.
Christmas movies swarming the airwaves for 2-3 months per year.

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Others started using Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings to reflect the Christian holiday wasn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year. Wait, we wouldn’t want to include others in a time of giving.

What about people who don’t celebrate Christmas? Or those who don’t want it extended? Can you imagine Christmas if you weren’t Christian? Or maybe didn’t like Christmas? Or don’t have family and friends to celebrate with?
You can’t go to a store to get a pair of socks without crowds; blaring Christmas songs; people running around like it’s the zombie apocalypse (that might be more fun); low or no stock; and very harried store personnel.

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I suppose some believe the ‘Christ’ part of Christmas is being attacked. Times have changed, people seem to worship their cell phones more than Christ. And I doubt all the scandals that have rocked the various religions have helped.

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Does someone saying Happy Holidays offend you? Does it offend Christ? If you have a strong faith in something, don’t you believe despite the odds?
If you receive a Christmas card that says Season’s Greetings does it make the fact that someone bought a card, wrote in it, addressed it, sent it to you via snail mail mean less?

The term, War on Christmas was popularized by a FOX News host, that should tell you something. Politicians, pundits, celebrities, charities all exploit Christmas to further their agendas just as many corporations, stores, charities, churches, etc exploit it to make money. John Gibson was simply regurgitating the whining with his book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Thought.

Yet Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. The War On Christmas is failing. Commercialism is still going strong.

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If you want Christ in Christmas, he’s there.
If you want the Grinch in Christmas, he’s there. If you want to just enjoy the season…enjoy it.

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Looks like we’re stuck with Christmas three months a year and for me, it’s a bit much, but it doesn’t steal away my love of Christmas…but it does keep me away from shopping.

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Posted in Books, Family, Movies, Uncategorized

THE BOOK THIEF

bookt1To be honest, I picked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because as a book addict I found the title intriguing.

Not the light read I had hoped for that day, with the exception of a few oddly funny moments provided by the Narrator, Death. I can see why it’s been on The New York Times Best Seller list for close to 300 weeks.

I’m guardedly optimistic that the film adaptation, with the talents of Brian Perceival (Downton Abbey, North and South, The Ruby in the Smoke, The Old Curiosity Shop, Shakespeare Retold), Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine, Munich, Shakespeare in Love), Emily Watson (War Horse, Gosford Park), will do this book credit.

Germany, World War II. Liesel, a young Jewish girl whose blonde hair helps her ‘pass’ calls herself, The Book Thief. Splayed among the everyday life with her foster parents are tormenting nightmares of her mother and dead brother, unexpected kindness by some, evil of others, and the looming authority of an excessively engaged Narrator.bookt2

Finishing the book, I sat for several minutes, waiting. I didn’t know for what. Only that I felt I shouldn’t just move on, not to another book or chore or activity. I needed to be in that place.

Then the pure horror and joy assailed me. It has all happened many times before and it will happen again. Humans going after humans, various reasons in various ways. People helping and standing up for others, even when it’s dangerous to do so. We are a drumming paradox stroking and punching through time, an echo of who we should be and are.

I have to agree with Death, “I am haunted by humans”. bookt5

Posted in Canada, Family, Holidays, Poetry, Uncategorized

Lest We Forget

remem1Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.

Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.

All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.

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Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.

As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.

So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.

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Posted in Autism, Family, Holidays, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Edward Scissorhands

1halloween7I sat watching Edward Scissorhands in 1990, mesmerized.

I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I railed against the injustice, and gave my heart to Johnny Depp. No worries, I’d given it before and since; it’s still in good working order. I’m sure he’d reciprocate if he knew I existed…or not.

Themes of bullying, prejudice, isolation, teen angst, self-awareness, hope, pain, betrayal, lies, dignity, honour, and love weave a dazzling web of stunningly brutal tragedy, comedy, and enchantment, in and out, in and out, each thread of this film somehow masses together in utter brilliant film magic.

The castle is gothic and delightful, but a place of secrets and loneliness.

The suburban neighbourhood is weird and flawed, but with creepy optimism and veracity.

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The contrast shows that hope and love can flourish anywhere, as can pain and deceit.

Lauded, loved, mocked, hated, and parodied (best, when Depp reprised his role on Family Guy…you have to see it to believe it). And still it has stunningly stood the test of time.

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Caroline Thompson, Stefan Czapsky, as well as the astonishing cast and crew did a superb task of articulating Tim Burton’s vision of Edward and his challenges and his triumphs. This film is truly a gift.

Vincent Price is categorically flawless in what turned out to be his last performance on film, ending a dramatic and spectacular career as the great gentleman of horror.

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 When Winona Ryder (Kim Boggs) is dancing in the ‘snow’ that Edward creates from the angel ice sculpture, it’s so heart-cutting because their love can never be, but they will always know it really is. Perhaps it’s so poignant because Depp and Ryder were a real-life couple at the time…and not meant to be.

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This is a perfect movie for Halloween, Christmas, or any day of the year.

Love, love, love this movie. Did I mention I love it, not sure if that was clear.

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