Posted in Blog posts, COVID-19, Educational, Fibromyalgia, Zoom

Show Me The Money!

Money is still, somehow, one of those weirdly “taboo” subjects.

This horror movie we’re living in, which so far has no credits, just keeps rolling on, but perhaps it can have a tiny silver lining. It can teach us to discuss everything. To be transparent, honest, to see all sides, all possibilities. We need to stop going to “check out that noise” or “check the basement” or “go to the attic”. If we learn nothing else from this nightmare, we should learn to be honest.

Too many people think honesty is scary. It’s the same when it comes to money. They think discussing money is: “scary”, “embarrassing”, “frightening”, “crass”, or “inappropriate”. We all need money, unfortunately (it’s the main reason the world is a mess, simplistic, maybe, but it doesn’t make it untrue).

Money controls our lives. It’s the true reason for most of the world’s problems, yet too many people refuse to talk about it, learn about it, and try to figure out why money’s too tight to mention. Politics, religion, food, vaccines, money, “The Great Pumpkin”…geez, what can we talk about these days without a brawl?

Times are tough, or not, depending which politicians are trying to score which point.

Most people have at least a rudimentary knowledge of budgeting, oh no, I said a dirty word, the “b” word, “budget”. Who knows what I’ll say next? “Economize”. “Reduce”. Or the big “F”, “frugal”. Gasp!

Why are people ashamed of being poor? Or nowadays, using words like “reduced circumstances” (what if you were never, er, “duced”?). Being “poor” isn’t a financially transmitted disease you’ll catch by using coupons, price-matching, or shopping at thrift stores! It’s not an austere version of COVID-19 (but for actual viruses, please wear a mask, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, physical distance, don’t hoard toilet paper, stay home as much as possible and stay connected).

Some folks are the same way about frugality. They seem to think trying to save money, trying not to spend so much, trying not to go into debt is somehow “embarrassing”. That somehow you should be ashamed of: shopping the sales, couponing, getting freebies, price-matching, buying secondhand (gently loved), or just generally living below your means. Yet personally, I love, love, love the Depression Era slogan,

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”

I’m proud of being able to pinch a penny (for those who still have any) till it screams!!! Why? I don’t believe that being “poor” is “bad” just like I don’t believe being “rich” is “good”. It’s not noble to be poor or to be rich. Money should never be a measure of success. Character should be a measure of success. On The Orville they have a system of no money, everyone has what they need and what they want – it’s their reputation, their character that counts. Imagine turning our crazy world upset down and finally using “common” sense/no cents?

Until then, here’s some ways to save…

1… Stay connected. Stay safe. Zoom meetings help you stay connected and a Zoom account is free. For example, Fibromyalgia London Group – all are welcome, not just those with Fibromyalgia, as long as you follow rules of courtesy and kindness – has tons of “Free” (FLG is a volunteer-driven, grassroots group). Zoom meetings every month. They’ll send you a free, safe link after you’ve registered (email: fmgroup.london@gmail.com). They and other groups/organizations have: Virtual Christmas Parties; Sharing Circles (what happens in the Sharing Circles stays in the Sharing Circles); Therapeutic Knitting (and other crafts); Inspire Thursdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions (speakers, videos, Q&As, etc.); Inspire Saturdays: Living Well with Chronic Conditions (speakers, videos, Q&As, etc.); B2C2 (Brown Bag Chat Club) where we talk about anything that distracts us from pain, ie. books, movies, streaming, gardening, podcasts, pets (please bring your pets to any or all Zoom meetings, we love meeting them), hobbies, crafts, TV; Tai Chi/Qigong; Gentle Yoga with Breathwork and Meditation; “Tuesday Trivia Time”; special guests, speakers, and so, so much more – online activities galore!

Other ways to save?

2…Love streaming, but not the cost of streaming? There are someFree” alternatives, when it comes to streaming (but don’t be fooled and keep an eye out, some become decidedly less free and others more free!). Though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here are few, including but not limited to:

  • Tubi (free and fantastic).
  • MUCH – more than music.
  • Food Network
  • Pluto TV
  • YTV
  • Slice
  • Vice
  • TVO
  • TVO Kids
  • CBC/GEM
  • OMNI
  • APTN lumi
  • TDF
  • BET
  • Driving Television
  • The Weather Network
  • CPAC
  • HGTV
  • Food Network
  • BNN
  • Classic Cinema Online
  • ConTV
  • Knowledge: KIds (even has “Paw Patrol”)
  • Roku channel (if you stream on Roku)
  • Kanopy
  • Hoopla
  • PopcornFlix
  • Crackle
  • CTV (timed/limited)
  • Global (timed/limited)
  • and/or you can buy an indoor digital TV antenna or an outdoor antenna…there are so many ways to save and see!

Plus, look for Free Trials (many streaming services are, sadly, removing their “free” trials, for example, Netflix and Disney Plus) of streaming/music/reading services. Again, though we don’t have as many options here in Canada as larger population countries, but times are achangin’, so stay tuned. Here’s a few available now, including but not limited to:

  • Acorn TV
  • Britbox
  • Crave
  • HBO/TMN
  • Spotify
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Audible
  • Apple Music
  • Amazon Music
  • YouTube Premium
  • Sirius Canada
  • PBS
  • Sundance Now
  • Crunchyroll
  • Shudder
  • Smithsonian
  • Funimation
  • Discovery Channel
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Apple TV
  • and more!

Watch and see if they’re right for you. Note the start date of your free trial and cancel if you don’t like them. Cancel a few days before, you’ll still have the preview to the end of the trial. Easy-“stay home”-“stay safe”-“stay connected”-free-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

3… The “C” word, no, not Coronavirus, or cancer, in this case, a good “c” word, coupons! We used to clip these, now, they’re printed, or digital, or sometimes still mailed to us. I save a lot of money with coupons, sometimes even getting items free (what a lovely word, I never get tired of hearing or seeing it). If you’re into it, there’s also lots of free samples, contests, and surveys out there. Savealoonie, Samplesource, Websaver, Save.ca, Lifepoints, Smartcanucks, Pinecone Research, Asking Canadians, Swagbucks, and so, so many more. Sometimes, I get freebies, coupons, samples for items I don’t want or use, but get them anyway so I give them to others. Find more ways to save and places to find savings online through frugality blogs and other websites. If you have suggestions for ways to save, please leave them in the comment box below. I love to learn. I love to save.

4… Get paid to shop! Music to our ears and our wallets (virtual or otherwise). That’s exactly what some apps do, like: Rakuten Canada (formerly Ebates), Caddle, Checkout 51, Airmiles, PC Optimum, Petro-Points, Shopper Army, Swagbucks, Plum Rewards (the free version), The Mission Store, David’s Tea, The Body Shop, and so, so many more – look them up! And don’t forget to add the Honey, an app that checks for online coupons and can save you even more!

5… Happy Birthday! Lots of places give birthday “treats” – free stuff or discounts, etc. Don’t feel comfortable giving your “real” date of birth, make yourself a few years younger. But remember, sometimes age does matters! Specifically with Student Discounts and Senior Discounts (some start as low as 55 – the new 45?). Discounts at stores, restaurants, education, pharmacies, thrift stores, travel, car rentals, banking, hotels, entertainment, museums and so many more! Don’t be afraid to ask, you have nothing to lose and so much to win!

6… Groupon. Make sure you read the fine print (always good advice, for every single thing in life). I’ve found some great deals there, including but not limited to: Costco memberships with Shop cards/products that negate the amount of your membership (really!); pizza (anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, has never paid for a pizza or the makings of a pizza, yes, you can make pizza at home!). Oh, and I paid $4 for a movie w/ popcorn and a drink – I went and saw that movie in a theater, remember those? Back in the good old days when we went to a place, went inside the building, with other people, sat in seats, beside other people, and watched a movie.

8…Price/Ad Matching – you can bring a flyer (not so much now, but “BC” – “Before Covid”, or show an app on a smartphone (ie. Flipp, Reebee, etc.) from one store to another, just show it to clerk and get items cheaper (yahoo!!!). Of course, an easy, amazing way to save is sales. Shop sales!

But wait, there’s more…

9…It doesn’t have to be complicated, look close to home. Look around your place. If you have the time and energy, cooking, canning, preserving, and baking are shockingly easy ways to save money. Find ways to do so that make life easier.

10… Sewing, mending, knitting, DIY, gardening, and so much more. Decluttering. Repurposing – for example, my Mom magically changes T-shirts, pajamas, etc. into fun pillow art/pillow covers.

11…Sort through your “treasures”, you know the ones: collecting dust; being used to hang clothes on; stored; just-in-case; might-fit-me-someday; what-if-I-need-it?; whatever — sell them, donate them, give them away, swap them.

12…Why buy new?

Why pay more? Buy gently loved. Buy previously loved. Buy brand spanking new but never used and given away. In this wildly consumer-driven culture, we too often “Dumpit to Crumpit”. But many people also generously donate. There are treasures to be found at: thrift stores, secondhand stores, mission stores, Salvation Army, Goodwill, eBay, Etsy (some new stuff, handmade) many of these places now are online as well! Don’t let perfectly lovely things go to the trash heap when you can give them new life. I’ve found Alfred Sung, Doc Marten, Derek Alexander and so much more, often w/ tags still on. A quirky wooden box that says library (it’s where I keep library books, how original). I don’t know the fate of “thrift” stores in a new world order, but for now, if you’re careful, we have hope.

13… Look for free things to see and do in your community. Take walks on your streets (actually use the sidewalks, safer and if no sidewalks, remember, walk facing oncoming traffic and pay attention, stay safe). Go for lovely walks in your parks. Parks are an amazing resource, they’re ready for anything: Cycling. Picnics. Tai Chi. Yoga. Boating. Fishing. Photography. Martial arts. Playing. Pausing. I love walking through our Ponds – though I live in a large, very busy city, when I step in here, I’m in the woods

Get out there and discover!

14… Speaking of local, how about your local library? Libraries aren’t just buildings with books (but seriously, books are awesome!!!). And now many libraries are going fine free which is fabulous, but seriously, return the books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and more. Many library resources are online, especially now. You can check out ebooks, e-audio books and they’re returned automatically. You can learn languages, look up your ancestry, and stream movies. Read/enjoy thousands of free magazines and newspapers. Learn from free online courses. Get creative with hundreds of crafts. And so much more!!! Also, most cities allow you to get a non-resident card for a small fee. Go online, check it out, what do you have to lose? Hours and hours of fun and who knows what you’ll learn? Look around your neighbourhood for “Little Free Libraries” or “Swap Boxes” – take a book, leave a book. In these tough times, people also leave: food, household items, coupons, etc. Truly a community spirit exercise. Sharing is caring, in so many ways.

15…Online is filled with free (yes, free, why pay?) courses –

These are just a small sampling. Before you throw money at courses, check out some free ones!

What?!? More?!?

16… Of course, YouTube – the vast universe of stuff at your fingertips!!!
Travel the world (who knew I’d become a
travel blogger during a pandemic?).
Watch “SNL” (especially vintage).
Watch “Graham Norton”.
“Honest Trailers”.
“Stephen Colbert”.
“Seth Meyers”.
“Jimmy Fallon”. Cooking. Baking.

Gaming. Knitting. Sewing. Quilting.
Coding. Household repairs.
Shoe repairs. Car repairs.
Learn languages including:
“Dothraki”, “Klingon”, “Elvish”,
“Nadsat”, “Minionese”, “Na’vi”,
“Parseltongue”, “Huttese”
and
even some “real” languages.
Want to know how to
cut an onion without crying?
Decluttering. Organizing.
Tips and tricks. Life hacks.
Health videos (beware).
Magic tricks. CPR.
Sourdough tricks.
Watch (particpate?!?)
exercise videos (personal fav for Fibromyalgia folks,
https://cocolimefitness.com/ ).
Chess. Poker. Meditation.
How to budget
(oh no, the “b” word again).

Live performance and concerts.
Music videos and events.

Lip Sync Battles. Movies.
How to make masks.
How to sell on eBay.
How to fight a shark.
Find any fix. Find news…from anywhere in the world (galaxy?).
Watch a NASA launch.
Find reviews.
Find things that make you snooze –
am I the only adult that enjoys

listening to celebs reading
bedtime stories to me?
Thank you, Dolly Parton,

Jeff Goldblum (stories, umm, umm, umm, find a way),
Tom Hardy, Sean Astin (I made a promise to read, Mr. Frodo), Ray Romano, Jude Law,
Josh Gad (do you wanna read a story?),
Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Stephen Fry, Lupita Nyong’o, Justin Theroux, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Chrissy Metz, Betty White (thank you for being a friend),
Melissa Gilbert (Little Library on the Prairie?),
David Harbour (Stranger Reads?), Kristen Bell, Allison Janney, Oprah (And you get a story! And you get a story! And you get a story!), Barbara Bain, Michelle Yeoh, Jake Gyllenhaal (I don’t know how to quit you), Chris Pine, Dule Hill, David Schwimmer (I’ll be there for you!),
Chris Evans (er, just don’t read from Instagram, Cap),
Kiernan Shipka, Christian Slater (Pump up the Reading Volume), Amy Adams, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth,
Lily James, Jeff Bridges, James Earl Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Silverman, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Mac Conley, Jimmy Fallon, David Byrne, Billie Piper, David Tennant, Josh Brolin (his reading is inevitable), Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Julie Walters, Eddie Redmayne, Eva Longoria,
Natalie Portman, Iggy Pop,
Rami Malek (we are the reading champions), Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin,
Emma Thompson,
and more, thank you for promoting reading!!! Most are children’s books, some YA and adult books, but whatever they are, thank you for reading to relax me, er, for the children and for charity.
Also, free guided mediation on YouTube (Calm, limited; PureGym; Tara Brach UCLA Reasearch; BoHo beautiful; City of Surry; well, you get the idea, the sky’s the limit or beyond). Thank you Chris Hemsworth for the guided meditation. Thank you to the late, great Maya Angelou for leaving us recordings of her gifts; Neil Gaiman for reading us Dickens and Dr. Suess; Christopher Walken for sharing the horror of Edgar Allan Poe as only Walken can, and so many more. Get online and explore. Of course, for Shakespeare lovers and general sonnet lovers alike: Vincent D’Onofrio, Rufus Sewell, William Sadler, Michael Gaston, Lindy Booth, Sir Patrick Stewart (and more) – thank you for reading me stirring sonnets everyday (make it so).

17... Seasons change, but fun stays all the year long. There are many free or frugal activities for each and every season. Here are just a few.

  • Walking – free.
  • Loyalty – free.
  • Quiet – free.
  • Integrity – free.
  • Common sense – free.
  • Snuggling (the snuggle is real) – free.
  • Do you wanna build a snowman? – free.
  • Gratitude – free.
  • Courage – free.
  • Dancing – free.
  • Talking (words matter) – free.
  • Generosity – free.
  • Comfort – free.
  • Joy – free.
  • Forgiveness – free.
  • Compassion – free.
  • Snow angels – free.
  • Hope – free.
  • Imagination – free.
  • Smiling – free.
  • Games, so many games online, free. Puzzles, card games, board games, video games and so much more – free.
  • Friendship – free.
  • Sunlight – free.
  • Sincerity – free.
  • Perseverance – free.
  • Respect – free.
  • Empathy – free.
  • Moonlight – free.
  • Laughing – free.
  • Truth (not just your truth, the truth) – free.
  • Singing – free.
  • Love – free.
  • Understanding – free.
  • Ambition – free.
  • Fairness – free.
  • Cheer – free.
  • Art – free.
  • Literature (see library information above) – free.
  • Music (your brain is full of it, let it flow) – free.
  • Cookies – rarely free sadly (we need a weather machine that makes it rain cookies, who’s with me?), but you can buy the ingredients on sale or with price matching, etc., frugal.

The Grinch learned that Christmas doesn’t have to come from a store, that Christmas can mean just a little bit more. A timeless and free life lesson. And the same goes for birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, every day. How much you spend doesn’t show how much you care. Caring is free.

Kindness is free! So spread it around. Sprinkle that kindness anywhere and everywhere. Fill the world with it…Kindness is the key, and lucky for us, the free key.

Posted in New Year

Lessons Learned

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/We love new things:
New clothes,
new cars,
new houses,
new furniture,
new phones,
new years,
new friends,
new babies (that seems redundant, they can’t be old babies).
“New” gives us illusions of hope,
a new beginning…there can’t be an old beginning, it’s all new.
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions about: losing weight, learning something different, appreciating others more, working harder, exercising more, etc., you know, the usual, but it rarely worked. Why?https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

1. Goals should be specific.
‘Lose weight’ is too vague, I’m probably losing weight while typing this, but I’ve made certain promises to chocolate and I always keep my word…small, specific, and significant steps (more later).

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

2. Write it down! Or make a visual representation of what you what to happen – pictures out of magazines or books (not the ones from the library), the internet, or if you have the ability, draw your goals yourself. Don’t forget, visit your goals often, revise them if necessary, re-imagine, and see where you want to be.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

3. Watch out for ironic or self-defeating.
You know, trying to do a digital detox with an app on your smartphone (huh?).
Starting your diet by eating all the junk food in your house to avoid future temptations.
In a sense, common sense is the only sense that makes sense.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

4. Prioritize.
One goal at a time. Reaching for all your goals at once puts all out of reach. Whether you start with the easiest or hardest, choose one, then move on to the next.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

5. Don’t try for weird resolutions, like become rich and famous, it’s too broad and if you get it, you might not like it. Being broke and obscure doesn’t make you less, unless you let it. Celebrate yourself.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

 6. New isn’t always better.
New shoes can pinch and cause blisters.
New movies often don’t live up to classics.
Babies keep you awake at night.
New cars smell and get recalled (if they don’t turn into a blazing inferno first).
New friends can’t relive good times with you, like family or old friends can…
Old isn’t always bad.
Make sure you’re not changing good things or fixing something that isn’t broken.
Maybe you don’t need fixing, maybe a few tweaks here and there will do the trick.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

7. Be kind.
It’s easy to find fault, place blame, easy to get cranky and rude with ludicrous or ignorant people, easy to argue, fuss, and fight, but where does it get you?
Why swim in snark infested waters when you can float (they all float)…
Wouldn’t you rather lift someone up than knock them down (it’s better exercise too).
Why break a heart when you can heal it?
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

My resolutions? Don’t worry (it’s passive and gives us excuses not to do!!!). As I say goodbye to another birthday https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/12/15/the-cats-pajamas-birthday-party/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/and another year, my New Year’s Resolutions are simple: Do my best and enjoy; I tried it last year and so far, I like the results https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/01/06/im-not-inclined-to-resign-to-maturity/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a wonder-filled 2018 ! I’ll go back to wondering if it’s ever going to warm up!https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/12/31/lessons-learned-goodbye-2017/

Posted in Cats, Uncategorized

Shock and Awww

 

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“Somewhere,
something
incredible
is waiting
to be known.”
~Carl Sagan

People use the word ‘shock’ a lot. The news keeps telling us how shocked we should be. Politicians are always shocked. Most things they use the word shock for, are not, in fact, shocking.

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Shockingly, we’re still cavepeople. We just happen to be living in a modern world. The modern trend is toward being positive, but there is a reason humans tend to be negative. It kept us alive. It was important to caution your family, friends, even strangers about: the wolves in the forest, the cliff behind the bush, the saber tooth tiger about to jump on their head, the rabid bats in the cave, the poison berries, and so on. We spoke of, then later, wrote about negative things not always to dwell on them, but to often to help others, protect others. And sometimes, other times, it’s just mean.

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Now we warn people about bad restaurants on Yelp, about faulty products, bad apps, terrible service, overcharging, scams, hoaxes, crimes, we even warn people are triggers and spoilers…Constant weather talk, a throwback to warning people about possible dangers. Gossip. Complaining. Oversharing on social media. Maybe it all throws back to this instinct to warn people. And when we feel people aren’t heeding the warnings, more aggressive, provocative, shocking language and images are used.

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Things people are shocked by…but why?

1. It’s not shocking when someone dies. Poor, rich, old, young, famous, unknown…it can be sad, sudden, heartbreaking, but not shocking. To the best of my knowledge, everyone dies, unless there’s something I don’t know.

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2. People make stuff up to get attention, money, power, and all kinds of stuff. People lie for all kinds of reason and sometimes, for no reason. Stupid, but not shocking.

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3.  TV, movies, even most books aren’t supposed to be your moral compass. Shockingly many of them contain questionable moral content. They’re entertainment.

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 4. Adultery and cheating. Why call them shocking? Wouldn’t have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-cowards be more accurate?

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5. News about money, sports, politics that you hear will make no sense whatsoever, sometimes in the same sentence, definitely 5 minutes from now, an hour, day, month, year. Too often confabulation, time-fillers, ratings-getters. When there’s blood in the water, in the race to tell us something, anything there’s little time for facts. Pathetic, pandering, and vacuous, not shocking.

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6. Business is meant to be confusing, so don’t be shocked that Guerrilla Marketing doesn’t involve putting guerillas in adorable outfits while using the latest iPhone apps, and The Fatal 2% Rule has to do with market share, not 2% of main characters on TV shows being killed off, cough, cough, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, cough, cough.

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7. It’s not shocking when fictional characters do bad things, things you don’t agree with, and even when they die (see #6)…it actually makes them less fictional and more realistic.

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8. Relationships are uber complicated, ok, sometimes shockingly so…

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9. Celebrities do weird stuff, say weird stuff, and/or wear weird stuff to get attention, you know, publicity. Shocker.

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10. People do horrible things to each other, and for each other. You don’t have to like it, but it’s not shocking.

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11. Don’t be shocked when people show their true colours and/or let you down, just try not to put yourself in the position where they can do it again.

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 12. It’s not shocking kittens and puppies are cute. Ok, maybe shock and awww.

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We want to warn people of bad things, but it’s also human nature to spread joy, beauty, kindness, happiness and hope…the good. Blogs, books, art, music, poetry, tweets, updates, texts, email, TV, movies – information wants to be shared, given, known, to be free. Don’t be shocked when it does. Be grateful.

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Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Televison, Weight

This Is Not A Toy

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/Remember that label?
This is not a toy?
As a child I used to think, really, or is it a toy? As an adult I think, really, or is it a toy?
Labels continue to amuse me. Remove plastic from pizza before placing in the oven. Are we just stopping natural selection with all these labels? Then again, with the taste of some frozen pizzas, who’d notice? It’s also amazing how many “Do not eat” labels on things you wouldn’t possible even think of eating.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

One of my all-time favourites is: if you can’t read the label, don’t use this. Huh? So basically, don’t spray deodorant in your eyes, sit on an oven door, don’t use a curling iron internally, don’t drink toner, pepper spray can irritate your eyes, hot beverages are indeed hot, and the list goes on. What’s your top weird label, dear readers?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

1. Then again, observing people, I suppose these labels aren’t as weird as you’d think. Like those people who stand uber close to you in line. Do they think it’ll make the line move faster, or I’ll leave, either way, slow down, I’d appreciate dinner before you get that close.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

2. What is with eating while driving? Really, is life that busy that people can’t stop and have a sandwich? Try the ‘o’ word: organization. And those poor little Stop signs, they’re getting a complex from being ignored…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

3. Who writes these TV shows (“Do you have a swab?, “Did you get the swab?” “Are you out of swabs, how can you be out of swabs, we need swabs!”, what you need to get is a Thesaurus and out of Johnson & Johnson’s, ummm, anyway, I digress), books, and/or movies where all characters race around to keep, like, one main character alive? Does this person secretly have the cure for cancer? Other people drop like flies around them. or because of them, or to save them, but as long as they stay alive (more or less), it’s all good.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

4. Money can’t buy happiness, sure, but it can buy food, shelter, security, I’d be way more comfortable crying in a nice house with a pool and not worrying about money all the time. Just sayin’.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

5. No wonder young girls are so confused about body image. Women in music videos wearing clothes that could double as napkins gyrating against, well, anything. Men don’t feel the need to dress or act that way. Imagine the time we’d have for equal rights if we had never been told what shape to be, what to wear…who to be.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

6. If you find politicians horrifying, pretend they’re children (not a big stretch), stop giving them so much attention.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

7. The news keeps taking about how bad the economy is, not news to me, my economy has always been bad.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

8. People who complain that you shouldn’t eat non-traditional foods for breakfast clearly haven’t figured out doughnuts are cake which is just like pancakes and you eat those for breakfast, right?

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

9. People who say they don’t do mornings are doing morning as they say it.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

10. There’s nothing better we can do in this world, no greater kindness than making people feel safe, with food, shelter, comfort, love, and compassion, not fear, hunger, prejudice, poverty, and hatred.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

My last post https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/09/take-on-me/ had all that talk of adulting, this week I put adulting on hold, went to a March Break matinée (yes, alone and isn’t it a weird reflection on society that if I were a man, I would be seen as creepy doing so; a few rotten apples do spoil so much, still got some looks I was there without a child). I thoroughly enjoyed The Peanuts Movie for $3; $1 went to Kids Help Phone and I got coupons (free popcorn and movies) – charity, coupons, childhood, and reclining seats – you can’t see me right now, but I’m The Breakfast Club fist-pumping in the air.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

My point? Labels are just labels (lawsuits aside), common sense is the best label. Hope your weekend (and the First Day of Spring/Spring Equinox) is a warm hug.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/18/this-is-not-a-toy/

Posted in Blogs, Books, Chocolate, Family, Food, Internet, Movies, Music, Parenting, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized

Ex’s and Oh’s

1blogs69Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.

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Let’s start with the Pros:

1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.

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2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?

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3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).

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4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.

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5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance

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6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?

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7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpool and laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.

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The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?

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Posted in Canada, Cats, Movies, Uncategorized

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

1funny898Why is everybody so gosh darn anxious to rule the world?
I guess the pay and benefits would be awesome, but I can’t imagine there’s any time off.
It would be high stress and thankless, well, unless you paid or forced people to thank you.
And look at all the decisions you’d have to make; I don’t always know what I want for breakfast.
Then there’s the meetings, slogans, pillaging, fear-mongering, plans, plots, the overthrowing, and feeling like you had to wear a fancy military-looking outfit and get giant pictures of yourself to hang up everywhere.
Sounds monotonous and a lot of work.
Tears For Fears might have been exaggerating, for effect, but humans do want what we can’t have.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, it’s a yearning that lives deep inside us.
We want what’s beyond our reach.
It’s what makes us magnificent, but can be our Achilles heel.

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Still, the applicants for ruling the world continue to line up:

  • Terrorists, dictators, villains, supervillains, megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, evil scientists, and smarmy government types, admittedly, life could be boring without them, but wow, I’m willing to give it a try.

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  • Corporate types who are working so hard on helping everyone, even the homeless, to give their lives a purpose, maybe as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hybrid car/cellphone recharging unit, or solar panel holder. The sky’s the limit!

  • Pirates and vikings, whom I suspect weren’t keen on hygiene, but apparently look like supermodels when portrayed on-screen.

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  • Supernatural beings and aliens seem to have an unnatural interest in ruling our world, hey, guys, go rule your own worlds!

  • Laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced, oh, wait, that might have just been a cartoon.

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  • Presidential candidates, sure, let’s include Donald Trump. I wonder, will future GOP debates come with a warning label: Watch at own risk, to your brain.

  • Criminals – I finally watched Lucy, unsure if it had a pro or anti-drug message, but there was a certain ‘be careful who you hang around’ feel to it.

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  • Hackers, who, for all we know, have tried to save us from some alien invasion or apocalypse and we’ve been all testy with them.

  • Scammers, who teach us how to weigh pros and cons just by sending us a weird email. Pro, click on it and the subsequent links until all curiosity is satisfied. Con, don’t open it, you’ll always wonder, what if, what if…

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  • Computer software makers who rule the world through versions, chat, and accessories.

  • Leaders in dystopian futures – I just watched Insurgent and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1  – definite everybody wants to rule the world vibes and songs.

  • Cats and they’re doing a purr-fectly fine job.

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  • Vegetarians – unlikely world rulers, but sometimes we just want them to leaf us alone…see what I did there?

  • Hunters, ok, the loss of Cecil the Lion was sad, but humans directly or indirectly kill animals, humans, and other forms of life on this planet everyday, right or wrong.

  • Gamers, but at least they don’t care if it’s the real world.

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Don’t we all rule the world? You know, in that moment, that moment when you make someone’s day with a smile or kind word. Help someone. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Care. Answer that toy phone when a child hands it to you. Grow food instead of a portfolio. Don’t try to control, but to take part. Show patience, compassion, understanding. Offer help, comfort, support, or inspiration. Don’t give in to anger, greed, fear. To be part of something instead of needing to run it.

That’s ruling the world.

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Posted in Blogs, Canada, Internet, Uncategorized

Compassion is the New Extremism

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Each new day, no matter what it brings, I try to face with grace. I’m not always successful. Hopefully I’ll get another chance.

Things creep into your life or leap in, snarling and tearing, either way, they can beat you down so hard you wonder how you will ever get back up…then eventually, you’ll notice you’re standing again.

Those you love will hurt and you can’t always help, but you can always love them.  

People, even good people get lost, if you can, help them find their way. Hopefully, someone will do the same for you.

There will be prejudice and you will think it unfair. It is. Have the courage to denounce it.

You will lose those you love, for many reasons, but you’ll never lose that you loved them.

Kindness can have costs, but you’ll be paid back over and over again.1kindness2Love can hurt, but you’ll keep loving and will want to love again, despite the pain.

If you see someone fall, literally or figuratively, extending a hand feels better than pointing a finger.

There will be dark times, but find people and things that help you through the darkness, not descend into the darkness.
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When another day ends, remember the good, try to understand the bad, be grateful and know that, maybe, just maybe you can try again tomorrow.

On February 20, 2015, the internet is going to be filled with a different form of extremism, compassion. I hope you can join, with a post, a quote, a Tweet, status update, video, photo that means compassion to you…or visit.  I’m not a fan of Slacktivism, but I think we need to remember that compassion, kindness, and hope are better than intolerance, hate, and fear.  #1000Speak

Posted in Canada, Environment, Political, Uncategorized

Random Acts of Kindness

kind11Cold weather inspires a lot of grumbling, whining, and sometimes, random acts of kindness.

In Ottawa and various places where it’s cold, statues started sporting scarves, hats, coats, etc. Attached where notes explaining they weren’t Lost, people could take them to keep warm. This is a lovely random act of kindness.

kind1In the gloom and doom of news we can think there isn’t a lot of kindness left in the world. There is. Although some alleged acts of kindness are for publicity, attention or validation.

A few months ago people were allegedly spending thousands of dollars to buy strangers coffee. Really? People who can afford to buy coffee got free coffee. Sure it got Tim Hortons a lot of publicity. Sadly, there were probably some people who believed it and also followed the trend.

Random Acts of Kindness are about doing nice things for someone who are in need.  A gesture, or some help, giving of your time or yourself, to support people, not corporations.

If you had $500 to give to charitable pursuits why not help someone in need?  If buying people coffee can make their day, imagine what that money could mean to someone with an actual problem?  Thousands of dollars given to a corporate giant who has a poor employee history, hires temporary foreign workers, and causes endless traffic problems, gee, that’s a good idea.  That money could have changed lives, not just given news coverage.

Help in ways that count.  What’s next, buying 500 people a 99-cent app for their smart phones, or Frappucinos, or  free month of Netflix?  Ever thought of paying it forward by helping those in need?  Altruism is amazing, if well-placed.

We seem to have a difficult time telling the difference between wants and needs.

  • You need water; you want coffee.kind10Need shelter; want a 4000 sq foot house.

  • Need food;want to eat at restaurants several times per week.

  • Need air to breathe;want to over-consume fossil fuels.

  • Need medicine to get better; want pills to fix everything.

  • Need clothes; want fast fashion made by basically slave labour under horrible conditions.

  • Need leaders; want lying politicians who govern in their own special interests as long as they tell you pretty lies.

  • Need communication; want endless versions of smartphones and tablets made by slave labour under horrible conditions.

These are all distractions. Don’t look behind the curtain of a news story to see the who’s manipulating reality.

There are more and more people in need, real need, not just needing a caffeine fix.

kind3This seems more about the drama than the do-good.
Kind of like putting stuffed animals and flowers at the sites of tragic events or in Memoriam.

If you really want to honour those who have passed away donate money to help others.

Give those teddy bears to children who are ill, neglected, abused, suffering, and/or sad.
Give those flowers to your elderly neighbour, seniors’ home, etc.

Use some critical thinking. Life is not a reality show.

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Uncategorized

F is For Fibromyalgia

There is nothing in this world like someone who believes in you, who’s there for you and who understands maybe you’re not always 100%, but you’re doing you’re best. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a social networking friend…hopefully you can be there for them too.

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Illness is frustrating. In the case of Fibromyalgia the symptoms are numerous and strange, but people’s reactions to it are even stranger.

1. The Doubters    They doubt you have it, many doubt it even exists. Some tell you outright, others say things like, you look good with an arched brow or you don’t look sick. Or the classics like: everyone gets tired…you are getting older…Snap out of it…and the ultimate, there are people much worse off than you. Thanks, it makes me feel so much better to know there are people suffering, cheers me right up. Huh?

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2. The ItsGoners     If you don’t look like you’re on Death’s door they decide you’re fine. If they see you and you don’t look good or are having a flare or mention you’re not feeling well, they say things like you looked good last time I saw you so I thought you were better. It’s not a cold, it doesn’t just good away (I wish).

3. The TryHarders    These folks love to fix everything by giving you a rousing lecture on what you could be doing (as if you haven’t tried everything short of a Witch Doctor or alien crystals) or explaining what you’re doing wrong. Always good to get advice from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. Maybe if you go out more…I thought you were stronger than that…pull yourself together…fibromyalgia16

4. The Renouncers     They just completely ignore that you’re ill or even ignore you. You get no empathy or support, just stories of their busy life, or their difficult life, etc. Even when you try to do something they’re never there to support you, but they sure get upset if you’re not there to support them.

5. The Carers   A rare breed. They have empathy for your illness, not sympathy. They realize that you’re doing your best and are there for you in the way you need.

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Pick an illness, or a life challenge, hopefully you have some #5s in your life and hope you can be a #5 to someone else.