Sharing My World 6

 

A street very close to the street where I live.

A street very close to the street where I live.

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

There’s something magical about getting up before the sun rises.  It’s easy enough to do now that the days are so much shorter.  I don’t have to be up and on the road to work an early shift anymore, but this morning W had to have his truck delivered to an auto body shop a good half hours drive away, by 8 a.m.,  so I followed him there in the car to drive him home.  We headed east, away from the city while it was still dark, and watched dawn break.  I had forgotten how incredibly gorgeous the morning sky can be, with white clouds painted in yellows and pinks against a striking blue sky.  Couldn’t attempt a photo while sailing down the highway at 110 kph, but I imagined the colors I’d mix with a wide brush on white canvas.

Last night I had a strange dream in which I was driving down a dirt and gravel road, going way too fast, narrowly avoiding head on collisions with on coming traffic.  There was something about a school bus, and an old rust coloured chev but that’s all I remember.  Then suddenly I was dispensing glasses wearing just my lab coat, with nothing on underneath.  It was topless Tuesday and we were breaking the rules.  By wearing a top, I guess.  There are always crazy details in my dreams that don’t make sense and thankfully bump me back into the real world where I often have to sit up and shake my head to clear it.  If I try to sleep the morning away, my dreams get increasingly more bizarre until I wake up with a pounding headache.  Lately we’ve been getting up to the early daylight and quiet mornings in which W putters around in the kitchen making breakfast.  He has become quite the breakfast chef, actually.  Bacon and eggs, fried tomatoes, hash browns, orange juice, fresh coffee.  Yum.

Sorry, what was the question again? Oh yeah.  Before dawn will always be my preference.  That way the day is deliciously long.

If you could choose between Wisdom and Luck, which one would you pick?

Well there’s all kinds of luck, isn’t there?  Good, bad, dumb, beginners, that of the Irish.  I’d rather be wise and create my own luck.  Wisdom is supposed to come with age, right?  Well, something good should come of it.  I’d settle for wisdom.

If you were given the opportunity for free skydiving lessons would you take them? Why or why not?

Gawd, NO.  I’ve just discovered recently how afraid I am of heights and realized how I’ve spent a large part of my life avoiding putting myself high above terra firma.  I’ve always been afraid of falling.  When we were young and daring and foolish my siblings and I used to climb up to the high beams in the barn and jump into the hay.  I’ve never forgotten that adrenaline rush and the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach all the way down to the awkward landing.  It happened every time.  I was happy to finally outgrow the need to be just as brave as my older brother and pretend for my sister that I was having fun.   I’ll have to ask her if she thought jumping off into space was fun.  Maybe she was pretending too.

Is the glass half empty or half full? What is in the glass?

The glass is half full of red wine.  Since you don’t ever fill a wine glass to the brim (according to wine etiquette 101) the halfway mark could be misconstrued as full, really.   Because wine should be swirled and sniffed and stuff and you need to leave room to do that.  I am no wine connoisseur or expert and could be making this up for all I know.  I’m sure there’s different rules for different wines.  Anyway, make mine red and not too dry, fill the glass one-third to half way and then endeavour to keep it like that.  Those are my rules.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a visit from our daughter and granddaughter on a sunny warm October Sunday, along with our slightly crazy Jack Russell grand-dog who sits on the back of the couch by the window and warns us of impending doom from passers-by.  Apparently the next door neighbors are especially not to be trusted.  W barbequed some ribs and D made her famous Quinoa Salad.  We drank some red wine and did some artwork while Kenzie worked on making her own Halloween costume from yards and yards of tulle.

This week I’m looking forward to getting a flu shot on Wednesday and seeing my specialist doctor for post op follow-up on Thursday.  How madly exciting is that on a scale of one to ten?  I have also signed up for Blogging 201 here on Word Press, and the first thing they expect me to do is set three goals for my blog.  This made me realize I have been floundering around totally goal-less for a long time.  Perhaps my world is about to change.  Perhaps pigs will take up sky diving.  Who knows what might happen in the next week full of magical pre-dawn hours.

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Share Your World 2014 Week 42

Holy Thursday Walk in the Park

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It used to be extremely important to me, knowing what day of the week I was waking up in.  Now I don’t care; as long as I keep waking up, it’s all good.  And I didn’t suddenly say to myself today “Holy, it’s Thursday!”  in case you were wondering about that title.  This is the origin of my version of Holy Thursday , an old joke from my working days (which ended two weeks ago.)    I noticed there are bloggers out there doing throw-back Thursdays so this is my version of joining in, doing a ping-back to myself.  Weird but fun.  Or maybe fun because it’s weird.

Our poor old tree in the backyard is looking rather bare these days, but on my walk I saw lots of leaves still hanging on, waiting for the next strong north wind to send them flying.  It’s still beautiful weather for us in the middle of October (we often have snow here by Halloween) and on these walks I’m learning to appreciate the benefits of being near-sighted.  Even half dead hedges look good close up.

And then there’s this.

holy thursday 002Yes, it’s a picture of an almost empty 3.78 litre jug of apple juice.  My pre-op instructions advised me to drink three cups of apple juice the night before surgery and 2 cups of it three hours prior to my scheduled surgery time.  So I sent W out to pick up some apple juice.  If I had done a litre to cup calculation I could have let him know that one litre (4.2268 cups) was close enough.  He did pick up a one litre carton, and this jug as insurance I guess.  So if I needed to go for about six more surgeries, we were all set.  We’ve made a good dent in it, in a little over a week, drinking a cup or so each for 8 breakfasts.  I used the last of it in my smoothie this morning and retired the jug to the recycle bin.  My fridge looks empty.

In other ground breaking news (obviously I don’t know the meaning of that phrase) last night I watched the last episode available on Netflix of The 4400.  I’ve started a new book called “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon.  I am in la-la land and loving it.

Hope you’re having a great Thursday too.

On Being Human

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The Humans, by Matt Haig is a book I downloaded because oregana at As I See It  posted a lovely review.  That’s really all you need to read to be enticed, but I was never one for failing to add my two cents worth, so that’s what this is.

What a delightful summation of human life from an aliens point of view.  Well, sometimes not so delightful, since the blunt truth can give us a jolt.

I know these are long quotes, but seriously, I had to stop myself from quoting the entire book.  That’s how good it is.

“Humans were always doing things they didn’t like doing.  In fact, to my best estimate, at any one time only point three per cent of humans were actively doing something they liked doing, and even when they did so, they felt an intense amount of guilt about it and were fervently promising themselves they’d be back doing something horrendously unpleasant very shortly.”

“….they are born, they make some friends, eat a few meals, they get married, or they don’t get married, have a child or two, or not, drink a few thousand glasses of wine, have sexual intercourse a few times, discover a lump somewhere, feel a bit of regret, wonder where all the time went, know they should have done it differently, realise they would have done it the same, and then they die.  Into the great black nothing.  Out of space.  Out of time.  The most trivial of trivial zeroes.  And that’s it, the full caboodle.  All confined to the same mediocre planet.  But at ground level the humans don’t appear to spend their entire lives in a catatonic state.  No.  They do other things.  Things like: washing, listening, gardening, eating, driving, working, yearning, earning, sighing, reading, gaming, sunbathing, complaining, jogging, quibbling, caring, mingling, fantasizing, googling, parenting, renovating, loving, dancing, fucking, regretting, failing, striving, hoping, sleeping.  Oh, and sport.”

“Humans, as a rule, don’t like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead. But the definition of mad, on Earth, seems to be very unclear and inconsistent. What is perfectly sane in one era turns out to be insane in another. The earliest humans walked around naked with no problem. Certain humans, in humid rainforests mainly, still do so. So, we must conclude that madness is sometimes a question of time, and sometimes of postcode.

Basically, the key rule is, if you want to appear sane on Earth you have to be in the right place, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and only stepping on the right kind of grass.”   ― Matt Haig, The Humans

It’s another one of those books that made me laugh out loud on one page and shed tears on the next.  Can’t give it any higher praise than that.

Sharing My World 5

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Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

My dad used to say the only pictures people liked of themselves were the ones that didn’t look anything like them.  Maybe that’s why we can look back at photos from years ago and finally see them objectively because that’s not who we are anymore.  Hey, look at me, I was kind of cute back in the day, who knew?  In real time I have never considered myself photogenic so I’m the one snapping pictures and shying away from being in them.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

I most enjoyed being the recipient of attention and concern as to my well-being.  Who doesn’t enjoy that?  Best to milk it for all its worth when it happens, hey?  I have been filling my “healing time” with lots of reading, sleeping, coffee drinking, drawing, pencil sharpening, pill taking and movie watching.  Maybe I’ve died and gone to heaven.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I am always trying to curb my many excessive and unnecessary expenditures.  It’s hard to decide what exactly the greatest one might be.  You could sell me pretty much anything in a health food store, for instance, even though the same products might cost much less somewhere else.  I’m a sucker for skin care products.  Coffee is hugely important to me.    But for the sake of making myself sound slightly less self-indulgent, let’s say it’s books.  I would like to line every wall in my house with book shelves and fill them all up.  So far I’ve done only a wall and a half.  I could do another wall full if all my e-books were real.  I used to have a library card, but discovered that it was much too stressful having to give books back.  Now I buy them and keep them and cherish them.  I will never be rich as long as people keep writing books.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

I don’t know – M?  It’s the thirteenth letter of the alphabet.  Thirteen has been a significant and even a lucky number in my life.  The top of a horned owls head looks like the letter M  and I like to think I’m at least as wise as some pointy headed bird.  I am a MOM.  I like M & M’s.  “Mmmmmm” is the noise I make when I can’t think of anything intelligent to say.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming?

I’m grateful for not having to make a Thanksgiving dinner.  Is that a selfish thing to be thankful for?  Probably.  I should have said my alphabet letter is Z because it figures prominently in the word LaZy and signifies sleep.   (zzzzzz…..)  I’m also grateful for four seasons of the 4400 on Netflix and a theme song that is now stuck in my head forever.

It drives me a bit crazy every time that bath tub overflows.

Next week I’m looking forward to sharing with you whatever happens next.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 41

The Cats Pajamas

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“We carry our ancestors in our names and sometimes we carry our ancestors through the sliding doors of emergency rooms and either way they are heavy, man, either way we can’t escape.”

“Her father is fastened to his room, with his records and his drugs and his quiet. She crawls under her covers. It is her fault for triggering one of his spells. Normally she can tightrope through his moods. At least it had been brief. Most girls do not have to deal with a father like hers. They would be afraid of the way she lives, lawless in a roachy apartment. They would be scared of his fits. Madeleine would be scared too, she thinks, falling asleep. If she had only experienced finished basements and dads who acted like dads. But Madeleine loves her father, and how can you be scared of someone you love?”

Marie-Helene Bertino, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas 

There is no picture on the cover of this book so I drew my own damn picture.

There is no picture on the cover of this book so I drew my own damned picture.

I don’t know why I included the word “damned”  in that caption.  Maybe because convalescing is dull and I think profanity will jazz up the experience.

Anyway, speaking of profanity and jazz, here’s the blurb about this book from Amazon:

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

I was a bit in love with Madeleine from the first page.  And crazy about her by the last one.  Sometimes the quirky prose in this novel reads like poetry.  It’s a good story, written from several different perspectives, over a time span of just 19 hours.  You’d be surprised at how much can happen to so many people in such a short time.

It’s a book made to be read in one sitting I think, and I might have done that if I hadn’t been so doped up on pain pills and falling asleep so much.  Today I haven’t taken anything, so I guess I can’t blame my sketch on mind altering drugs. This is how my brain sees a bar in the middle of the night.  What can I say.

I hope Marie-Helene Bertino writes another book soon.  I’ll illustrate it for her if she asks.  Huh.  Maybe the drugs aren’t completely out of my system.  But I’m very clear-headed when I say it’s the mark of a great author when she leaves you wanting more.

Really

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Our gigantic tree dropping its leaves in at least four backyards.

Several things yesterday got me saying “really?” or even “REALLY??”  It was really that kind of day.

  • We got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital.  There is construction going on all over this city and we are running out of alternate routes.  Everyone says it will be nice when it’s done, but construction is like housework and will never be done.
  • The nurse at admitting asked me if I hadn’t already checked in because she had me marked off on her list.  Nope, just got here.  So off she went to find my impersonator.
  • Flipping through a home decor magazine I came across instructions for kitchen art. Paint some utensils white, hot glue them (artistically arranged) to a red board, put them in a frame and hang them up. On the same page there was an ad for glass cocktail wands.  So much classier than swivel sticks.  I guess.
  • The many people around me were comparing their various wait times and how far behind things were when a nurse called me to say my doctor was running ahead of schedule.  Do I know how to pick a surgeon or what?
  • Hospital garments confuse the hell out of me.  What goes frontwards and what goes backwards with a gazillion dome fasteners and ties and elastic papery things for gawd knows what.  By the time I got it all figured out we were probably back on schedule.
  • I lost count of how many people with clip boards and check sheets asked me the same questions over and over.  I think they were all planning to meet up in the O.R. later and compare notes.
  • One minute the anesthesiologist was starting my  I.V.  and the next minute it was two or three hours later and I was somewhere else.  This is what time travel must feel like.
  • On a scale of one to ten, one being discomfort and ten being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, how would you rate your pain?  I don’t know.  I hate math.  I had different levels of pain in different places – neck, throat, back, head.  I didn’t want to sound like a wimp or a whiner so I said it was a four.  Wrong answer!  No extra pain meds for you.  Next time they asked I upped it to five.  Still not high enough.  Sigh.
  • After i was declared sane enough to leave, W wheeled me down to the main entrance and left me sitting in front of the hospital directory sign while he went to get the car.  No one asked me for directions.
  • It’s impossible to keep your head still in a moving vehicle even if you hang on to it with both hands.  I suffered a thousand mini whiplashes on the drive home because we kept braking for pedestrians and red lights.  Yes I am being overly dramatic.  I believe most post op patients are.

The pain med prescription bottle says one or two tablets every four hours as needed and they gave me 30 of them.  They are supposed to cause drowsiness but I managed to have a restless night anyway.  I am supposed to leave the steri-strips in place for seven days.  They told me not to have a shower for two days.  REALLY??  That rule is already broken because our shower is hand-held and I kept my neck dry.  Fewer people will die as a result.

Now once again we wait for answers.  Follow up is in two weeks.  By then I should look less like a bus ran over my face.  Another drama queen statement.  Sorry.  I’m drowsy.  Not quite as exhausted as this topic, but close enough.

Sharing My World 4

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You’re given $500,000 dollars tax-free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

Do I have to spend it?  Can’t I just do the typically Canadian thing and sock it away for a rainy day?  I read somewhere that’s what we tend to do.  I can’t remember why.  I also read that we spend much more on food and beverages and alcohol than Americans do.  Perhaps it has something to do with our long winters.  Anyway, I digress.  I’d probably give most of it to my kids who need it more than I do with their growing families.  And sock the rest away for a rainy day.

What’s the finest education?

Ever notice how little kids start off absolutely loving school and then end up hating so many things about it from about grade five on?  Part of the problem is that we don’t focus on having them develop a love of learning.   Their primary motivation is to pass their exams and get to the next level.   The finest things a teacher can teach are the skills needed to find things out for themselves.  How to have an informed opinion.  How to discover and develop whatever their talents are,  so they can spend their lives doing whatever it is that contributes to their day-to-day happiness and well-being.  Little kids know how to live in the moment, and then school teaches them how to live for the future, set goals, dream about the day they can call themselves successful.  We forget to teach them how to be happy and have fun in the process.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

At the moment it’s mixed media.  Taking a blank canvas and making it beautiful with paint and paper, pencils and brushes, glue and markers.  It’s like being six again.  Except for having better developed scissor skills.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

Yes!  Hamlet’s soliloquy.  The first 12 and a half lines of it anyway.

To be, or not to be, that is the question—
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep—
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.

Isn’t that beautiful?  I loved it then, I love it now.  It’s the only bit of Shakespeare I can still recite.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a visit with K and C last week, and an invitation to spend the up-coming Thanksgiving weekend with them and my daughter and all the grandchildren.  However, I don’t think that will be happening because my day surgery has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  There’s a possibility that they may keep me in over night.  I may end up with a temporary Jean Chretien smile if they stretch whatever muscle or nerve in my cheek or jaw controls that .

jean chretienI suppose there are worse fates, and it’s not like it will ruin my modeling career or anything.  I’ve always been able to raise my left eyebrow independently of the right, so last night I tried it out in front of a mirror, while smiling with only the right side of my face.  Cool.  I really am still six in my head.

I’ve talked to the hospital booking people and they’ve gone over all the pre-op rules with me, although I already have them written down on paper.  What to eat and drink, when to stop doing each of those things.  No perfume, no make up, no finger or nail polish.  Surgery is apparently a scent-free beauty-free zone.  No alcohol for 24 hours prior to surgery.  Which means I have approximately 30 minutes left to drink my face off.

However, I think I’ll go for a walk instead and take advantage of our continuing beautiful fall weather.  We’ll be snowed in soon enough.

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Share Your World Week 40