Posted in Family, Internet, Uncategorized, Weight

Thinking Out Loud

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I was never particularly a girlie-girl, despite my mother’s valiant attempts.
You know the drill, cute, bright dresses and outfits (my Mom sewed), sometimes sleeping with curlers or rags in my long chestnut hair, and of course, hair decorations and thingamabobs (bows, ribbons, and remember that yarn in our pigtails?).
It didn’t take.
I wasn’t exactly a tomboy either.
Just a girl, who grew, slowly, into a woman.
My favourite colour now is black (yes, I’m aware it’s not actually a colour; black objects absorb all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflect none of them to the eyes, but humour me). My hair is a sexy (sure, ok) bob, though enduring the awkward process of growing out decades of hair dye. Not a ribbon or bow in sight.

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My friends were an intriguing mixture of girlie and not-so-girlie, but we all had one thing in common, we were obsessed with one thing: numbers. Bra size. When we got our first period. How long each period was. How many days between periods. Weight. Height. Phone numbers. How many boys you’d kissed, or wanted to kiss, or who wanted to kiss you.
Oh yes, and occasionally grades in school slipped into that all important number cluster. It was all a numbers game.

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From this angle, at this age, those numbers now seem adorable.
Reaching numbers in the 40s or 50s? You might as well have said I’d be driving a flying car, or getting my supper from a food replicator.
Those numbers were Sci-Fi.
Now they’re Non-Fiction.

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For decades I’ve ridden the roller-coaster of confidence.
High up, I throw my hands in the air, tasting the ripe plum of thrills; believing I’d made the right choice…knowing I could do anything I put my mind to.

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Big bro was stylin’ too.

Then racing down, down, down to  uncertain, overwhelmed, unsure.
My brain screaming, even if it never reaches my lips.
The sense that I could achieve being mercilessly pummeled by doubt.
Fear whipping cruelly at my hair.
Procrastination punching relentlessly at my gut.
The bar that should be protecting me from falling instead holds me in.
I chase challenges, but crash, tumble, fail to engage. The risks are too big. Too scary.
What if I disappoint?
What if I impress and can’t do it again?

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Does everyone ride this roller-coaster, or do they ride the Ferris wheel, a perfect circle of confidence, around and around? Maybe they’re just better at faking it.

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Groovy Christmas morning with Mrs. Beasley!

I don’t want to be the heroine or the victim in my story, just the writer. The writer who has snacks. Tasty snacks. Maybe a comfy chair or couch. And the ability to share her story.

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A writer and her tasty snacks.

The internet has helped spread that story. I love the internet, it connects people in ways never, ever imagined. And if you don’t have anyone to argue with, just express an opinion then…wait. And watch some cat videos.

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A feeling of lassitude, tedium, ennui grips me. The usual stuff isn’t doing it for me. I have battled the demons of depression and anxiety, unashamed; their claws rake at me, their teeth snap at me, bloody, but not broken, I go on.

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This seems like something else, could it be boredom? I hope not. Not my best state. It’s destructive. Causing zoning out, not caring, not engaging, or looking for routes to relieve that boredom, usually with negative consequences.

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Boredom doesn’t have to always be bad. It can cause ignition. Spark. My boredom doesn’t feel like a visit from apathy, or its twin, indifference.

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I’m not feeling particularly restrained or confined, no more than usual.

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I feel thoughts wandering to ways to ease this blanket of boredom. So could this be the searching type of boredom? Looking for something. Open to new possibilities, positive changes? Could anticipation, expectation be masquerading as boredom?

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My Grandma would’ve said I should pull up my bootstraps. But what if those straps are so worn, so frayed…just about to snap? She’d probably tell me to dig deeper and pull harder. I’m trying, Grandma.

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First and last time I looked like a bride.

Each person that crosses your path, friend or foe or otherwise, teaches you something. But what? That you should meet fewer people? Or the person that crossed your path, the person that taught you the most, should have been you. Maybe it was. Is. Should be.

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Posted in Autism, Blogs, Canada, Cats, Doctor Who, Internet, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Blog Your Way

1blog47Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
I’m confused.
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?

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I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?

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1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?

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2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).

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3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
And more.
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogSharethe lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.

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4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637

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5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.

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6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.

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7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/

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As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.

Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Cats, Chocolate, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Movies, Music, Uncategorized

There’s A Nap For That

1hate8As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).

I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.

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1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.

2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.

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3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?

4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.

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5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.

6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.

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7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?

8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.

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9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.

10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.

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Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).

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Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant  fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.

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If I said anything wonky during my blog party  https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free  – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.

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Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?

Be brave. Be bold.
Choose love…and naps…and cake
(not necessarily in that order).

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Posted in Blogs, Books, Cats, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Food, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

1age44Dear readers, I admit to being in a bit of a pickle.
In youth, life seemed limitless, infinite.
Writing was the same, I just wrote, not a lot of stopping to think.
Such is the power and joy of youth.

And as we age limitations don’t just come from the outside, but from your own body:

  • Sagging (oh no, those should still be much higher).

  • Weird spots randomly attach themselves to your skin (“Out, Damned Spot!” doesn’t work, believe me, I’ve tried).

  • Eating cake may seem more exciting and less work than other, er, strenuous activities…

  • But if you’re not aging, you’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth (good for you, care to share?), or you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet.

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Sigh, so many things I wish I’d done or not done.
Sweet dreams lost, given up, given away, or stolen…
Sweet dreams fulfilled, waiting in the wings, and yet to come…

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There’s also a certain grace, a wisdom, a knowing that comes with age, even for books. Remember how those new and shiny ebooks were going to destroy the book industry? Make books into relics only viewed in museums? Those dire predictions may have been premature. The texture and weight of a book in your hands tells you so much about the content; ebooks all feel the same.

Deep in our DNA, we’re storytellers, not just those who write, but those who read. We don’t just want to experience the stories, we want to share the stories. It’s about connection.

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Many of those stories are by independent authors, not backed by a marketing budget larger than most of us will earn in a lifetime. Does that make them somehow less? Personally, I never cease to be amazed at the talent, the passion, the wonder never appreciated, just because it isn’t a bestseller.

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1teagan1I’ve reviewed books on and off for 30 years, yet ironically, I’m not always a fan of book reviews. I don’t enjoy a book report disguised as a review (we got it, you read the book, now, why should I?) and being told I should like or dislike a book. That’s silly, no one can tell you if you’ll like or dislike something, just why they liked or disliked it.

I love a story that transports me, takes me with the characters on their journey. I want to be there, a part of the story, which happened when I called upon Atonement, Tennessee…and never wanted to leave.

Teagan Riordain Geneviene kindly and brilliantly invites us to visit a small Southern town where things are not as they seem, but instead, is full of mystery, intrigue, murder, dashes of magic, romance…even a cat naturally more attuned and intelligent than her human counterparts (guess that goes without saying).

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I admit being a tad miffed Atonement, Tennessee didn’t come with a warning label, something like: Don’t start reading if you have anything else you need to do for the next couple of days. Of course, obsessively reading this book also helped me cast the movie and/or TV series, let’s see, how about Ian Somerhalder, Richard Armitage, and David Tennant? Look how cute and cuddly they are…oh, and there’s cats too!

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This is fantasy at its finest, but still left me wanting more…more…more…

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And thanks to technology, we can have more on Teagan’s wonderful blog, including her online serial, and even hints of a sequel, Atonement in Bloom (waiting with bated breath): https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene

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 Maybe I could 100% honest review your books too, just contact me, see, over there to your right – ‘Sending Me Stuff’.

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Age can sure make you restless, even more so than in the bloom of youth, for we have the knowledge of what has been, what never was, and what could be. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter what your age, and the only real limits are those of your courage and your convictions.

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Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

1funny1019I think the internet should come with an instruction manual.

Or at the very least guidelines.

Really.

Have you seen some of the stuff on here?

Maybe start slow, something simple,

like…

  • Don’t feed the trolls or don’t tweet when angry, sad, lonely…drunk, or ill-informed, without verification. For some, maybe just don’t tweet at all. This also applies to posting on Facebook, texting, commenting, etc.

  • If someone unfriends you, relax, then look up the definition of friend and if someone doesn’t agree with your opinion that doesn’t oblige you to start a war. Viva la difference.

  • Watch out for those snap judgements, don’t mistake conversation for honest conversation, and know the difference between flirty and creepy (don’t stand so close to me, even on the internet).

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I sometimes wonder what the world is going to look like after a few more years ‘high’ on social media?
Electoral candidates are constantly apologizing and dropping out of politics for tweets, texts, pictures (the better question might be why those pictures were taken at all)…even if it was years ago. That reminds me, I should check my Twitter feed.

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Social media has given us the freedom to express ourselves, but like anything else, social media brings out the best in some people, the worst in others. Or perhaps this level of wow-super-interesting-but-not-necessarily-in-a-good-way was always there, the internet has just made certain views, er, more available.

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Perhaps some people always thought they were:

  • Being mind-controlled by subterranean lizard people (gee, I hate when that happens).

  • Celebrities who sometimes seem like subterranean lizard people, just not as cool.1funny999

  • Aliens, androids, and other ‘a’ words.

  • Traveling through time and space, wait, wasn’t that on Doctor Who (don’t blink and take me with you).

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  • Immortal (I’m sure that worked great, right up until the moment they died).

  • Fairies, merpeople, wizards, witches, vampires, zombies, werewolves, Donald Trump (sorry, just randomly listing supernatural creatures).

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  • Married to video game characters (hopefully not Sonic the Hedgehog, too, umm, quick).

  • Obsessed by food and cats and cats with food.

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  • Inventors of things they didn’t invent because in some cases they weren’t even born yet or not that bright.

  • Being used in secret government experiments (hey, I watched X-Files too).1funny1001

    Look what the internet has done with this latest refugee crisis. I think we’re all migrants. At birth, we move from our mothers. We wander…first to our knees to crawl, then drift to an upright position to walk. We travel, even a few feet to play. We rove to school. We wander into relationships, friendships. We transition to jobs. Sometimes roam the world. Humans are nomadic; we take journeys through stories, books, movies, TV programs, and now, the internet, even if we never leave our home. One way or another, we like to move it, move it, we like to move it, move it…

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Just like one way or another we’ve all sought refuge, if only in a book, a song, on the shoulder of a friend, in the arms of lover, in a movie, TV program, a story, a walk, a drive, in sleep, cookies, alcohol, hope, and so much more? When a day has kicked your butt up and down the street, who doesn’t want sanctuary?

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We could spend forever judging and bickering over ‘the right thing’, frankly, I admit, I’m not always sure what is the right thing, but clearly, helping in some way can’t be the wrong thing, right?

So, is the internet the last nail in our cultural coffin, or just another way for humans to connect? For me, it’s a great place to make memes…and friends. What about you?

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Posted in Canada, Environment, Family, Food, Internet, Movies, Uncategorized

The Internet Has Spoken

1funny301I feel like I’m drifting away.

Connection is such a tenuous thing, physically or emotionally. You want to connect, to trust, but how do you know when the connection is toxic, or failing, or broken?

Each day, I try to tiptoe around the world for as long as I can, but the internet has made this challenging.

It’s a Catch-22, if I don’t connect to the internet I drift apart from the world, but if I connect to the internet, I’m bombarded with stuff : news, ads, studies, misery and success, and just, well, stuff.

Page after page, link after link of:

  • People with diseases and those pretending to have diseases, really? Pretending to have a disease? Stuns me every time.

  • Finding life on other planets – shouldn’t we concentrate on keeping what little intelligent life we have on Earth first?

  • What’s getting deflated? Definitely not the egos of athletes!

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  • Governments lying to us again…still?

  • Bragging, boasting, whining, complaining, rudeness, trolls and trouble.

  • Turtles and snakes in toilets, transformed food, books, social media, movies, cats, TV, music, royalty, and endless things going viral we won’t remember next week.

  • Riots, wars, conflicts, comets, poverty, abuse, slavery, rape, murder, mutant ants, fires, biker wars, shootings, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions, killer bees, public shaming, teachers having sex with students (in the wise words of Pink Floyd, Hey! teachers! leave the kids alone!)…1funny304

  • Hoaxes, scams, and stunts, aarrgghhh, my head is spinning!

  • NSA, CIA, IRS, CSIS, OMG, ISIS, UFO, LOL, NASA, it might be fun to stay at the YMCA, if we weren’t drowning in abbreviations.

  • Studies explaining things they think I should know, like: food, drinking, sleeping, the environment, politics, parenting. I figured out parenting, at first you’re disoriented, exhausted, scared to say or do the wrong thing, a bit like being abducted by aliens, then you realize, they’re adorable aliens, like ET and then, they have you, you have X-Files Stockholm Syndrome and you can’t get enough…or wait, is that politics, not parenting?

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  • Ads and commercials for things we don’t need, but apparently should want more than breathing.

  • And remember when we only knew a little about celebrities and their lives? I miss that.1funny283

Remember in Poltergeist, where the eldest daughter is standing in the street screaming, “What’s happening?!?”sometimes, that’s me, inside my head.1funny331

Don’t get me wrong, despite my woes, I’m happy to wake up alive every morning, as opposed to waking up dead, which is most inconvenient and usually alters your plans, not only for the day, but the foreseeable future. Yet I’m struggling, dear readers, to find a balance between using technology and being consumed by it. I suppose it’s the same with any relationship, you need boundaries, compromise and…

1. Mutual respect. If you’re feeling bad when using the internet, take some time away, explore other interests.

2. Independence. If you depend on it for everything, it’s likely to let you down one way or another.

3. Dreams. Does it inspire you to write that novel you’ve always talked about writing, talk to an old friend, travel, try new things, explore, take a chance…dream?

Perhaps sometimes you have to drift to make connections; strong connections, not overpowering ones.

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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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