What I Did On the Last Day of February

1.  Wondered how it got to be the last day of February all of a sudden.

2. Spent seven and a half hours (by the clock) and seventeen hundred hours (in my head) at work. Friday has become the longest day of the week.

fast listener my twisted yet beautiful mind

3.  Listened to cold people complain about being cold, sick people complain about being sick, and people with broken glasses complain about their glasses being broken.  Glasses I can try to fix.  That other stuff, you’re on your own. Now please go away and stop breathing on me.

Brookside-Chocolate

4.  Came home and ate an entire bag of Brookside dark chocolate Goji with Raspberry.  But not the big bag.  Found myself not caring that the small bag might still be a bit piggy for just one person.  (I’ve tried them all.  They’re all delicious, regardless of bag size.)

psych

5.  On the advice of my baby sister, sat down and watched some episodes of Psych on Netflix.  Was happy to discover that even though I was tired, I was not too tired to laugh.

6.  Thought about this fun month doing Cin’s Feb Challenge and felt a bit sad that it’s over.  Today is ‘selfie and brag about your fun month’ day.  I’m too tired to brag, but trust me, it was awesome fun. Thanks Cin. ♥

smoothie
This is not really me, but close enough.

Now I’m going to go to sleep for the rest of this month and tomorrow if all goes well I’m going to wake up in a brand new one.  The one where spring might actually happen.  Yay!  If it doesn’t, there’s always Netflix and chocolate.

In the Cards

tarot deck

Yes!  It’s another self indulgence day!  I know, nothing new here!  Plus a repeat of a favorite day.  Since I always have a terrible time favoring something above something else, I’ll just do whatever I like. Well, yeah, some days it does not suck to be me.

I’ve been ignoring my Tarot Readings lately (and finding that life goes on anyway) but today I will change all that by actually opening up the app, dealing some cards, reading what they have to say and drawing conclusions as I relate them to my real life.

Well, that’s the plan.  No one can predict success or failure in this random hit or miss type of undertaking with no living psychic involved in the endeavor.  It might be fun, though.  We might all learn something.  About pigs flying and that kind of thing.

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This is from the app aptly named Tarot Reading.  Look at me, taking a screen shot on my I-Pad!  It only took a couple of google attempts to find directions I could understand because I couldn’t remember how to do this.  (Why am I admitting such a thing??)  Anyway, on to the readings.

Past – The Fool - This is the beginning and you need to embark on a journey of greater understanding of yourself and life. You cannot remain impulsive and childlike in your beliefs and actions.  Plant a seed and a tree will grow.  (I hate it when somebody tells me I can’t be impulsive and childlike – it makes me want to stamp my feet and pout.) (And cross my arms and roll my eyes and mature stuff like that.)

Unconscious – The Chariot – You can achieve success in any enterprise of your choice by overcoming obstacles which stand in your way. This success comes from making decisions based upon your beliefs and confidence.  Your willpower and diligence will help you emerge from potential adversity as the victor.  Enjoy the moment.  (Even though you just said my beliefs and actions are impulsive and childlike, I guess now I have to forgive you.  Victorious or not, I promise to enjoy the moment.)

Future – The Empress – The richness of your feminine charm and devotion brings the possibility of love or marriage closer to you.  Feelings for love, marriage and family are deepening.  You feel perfect contentment and a desire for a bright future.  This card also means wealth and luck. (That seems to be laying it on a bit thick, but the charm thing certainly makes sense.)

Environment – The Emperor  - Open, clear, honest objectives will win support.  A feeling of energy, motivation and ambition abounds.  There is a sense of purpose and a desire to move forward.  Believe in yourself and your visions and others will follow with confidence and commitment.  This card indicates rules and structure and the ability to think rationally.  (Clearly, the Emperor has mixed me up with somebody else.)

Present – Magician, reversed – Indecision and uncertainty.   A cloud of insecurity has descended over your creative energy.  The card indicates that the power remains but something is holding it back, the energy is blocked.  A project may fall apart and you may lose heart. (No I won’t.  My creative energy is just taking a nap. I will wake it up very soon. I will not lose heart, nothing will fall apart and the magician will be flipped up the right way around very soon.  Just ask the Emperor.)

Solution – Strength – Courage and strength show that you can do what needs to be done.  This card indicates hope and achievement of ones aims.  Willpower, faith, perseverance and trust in ones own ability to do what needs to be done can eventually lead to success.  Take control of your life.  This card is also sometimes the symbol of great passion.  (Except for the great passion addendum, I think that’s pretty much what the Emperor and I just said.) 

Conclusion – Death – End of an old cycle and the beginning of a new one, although it does not always mean the end,  just perhaps a change of direction.  Transformation.  An old cycle must die in order to let a new one begin.  It may be a difficult transition.  However, it will bring new possibilities and vitality if you are prepared to let go of the old and allow for the new in love, work, marriage, or health.  (It’s always a little scary to draw the death card, but whenever it can be linked with work, well, yay for the death card. The countdown to retirement and personal transformation is indeed on.) 

Believe it or not, I drew the cards only once, and not a dozen times.  It seemed like a good omen to have so many of them right side up first try.

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 26 and 27:  indulge yourself, fave day and do it again

Game Quotes

games

“Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.”  
―     Rumi

“Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.”  
―     Dr. Seuss     Oh, the Places You’ll Go!   

“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you’re playing in good company you don’t even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.”  
―    Gary Gygax 

“Much of life is a game. If played skillfully, with an intelligent and fascinating opponent, it can become almost a dance. One challenges and moves, the other teases and skips away, only to dart forward later and strike a telling blow.” ―     Elizabeth Hoyt – The Ice Princess

“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.”  
―     Raph Koster –    A Theory of Fun for Game Design

game over

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 25 – Games

Connect

Maybe this is more of a disconnect from the boring business of acting like an adult, but today I am going to make paper dolls.  Because they are connected to each other and also ridiculously cute.  I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to connect with ones inner child every so often so we’ll just call this artistic therapy and leave it at that.

001This is a long strip of card stock paper in shocking pink. I leave the choice of paper quality and color up to your personal preference.  Nothing is written in stone here.  Fold it in half width-wise three times, and then using the fold lines as guides, fold it back and forth accordion style until your fingers hurt and it looks like this.

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Then fold it up flat again with the four folded edges where you’ll do your cutting.   If you’re very adventurous you can just cut it free hand and see what happens, or you can draw something like this as a guide.

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Find some big sharp heavy-duty scissors and cut this out.  It’s all coming back to you, right?  Now we all remember why we never used heavy card stock paper with those blunt and awkward little-kid scissors.

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Taa Daa!  A normal person might stop now, after admiring this for a sufficient ego-stroking amount of time, but the child in me can’t seem to leave well enough alone.

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There, now we’re done, because we’ve added awesome hair (some of it appears to be facial), big smiles, cute dresses and colorful mary-janes.

Come on, wasn’t this a lot more fun than a post about connecting to some dumb social network like Facebook or Twitter?  Never mind that it will be connected to both of these when I hit the publish button.  That’s completely beside the point.

Did you make these, or some variation of them when you were little?  What have you done today that’s completely silly but insanely fun?

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 24 – Connect

Time to Rest

Rest in Harvest - William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Rest in Harvest – William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Today is excellent timing for a day of rest.  Yesterday was one of those crazy work days that made me bone tired.  Only two of us working, no time for lunch breaks, lots of appointments, the requisite number of idiots to appease, amazing sales, and at the end of the day all I could think was – so what.  That’s tired.

“Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

―     Maya Angelou,     Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

So today I am officially withdrawing from my cares.  Oh well, who am I kidding?  I do this every day possible even without any cares to withdraw from.

It’s also time for our Canadian Olympic athletes to sit back and relax and bask in how proud we are of them.

gold

Here’s to all the medal winners and all the participants.  Just getting there is also amazing.  Apparently bars in some cities opened this morning at 5:00 a.m.  We’re all crazy.

So I imagine this is how many people will be feeling tonight -

“My head aches, my eyes burn, my arms and legs have given up, and my face in the mirror has a grayish cast.  The bed, across the room, calls in its unmistakable lover’s croon, Come to me, come, only I can make you truly happy, oh, how happy I’ll make you, don’t resist, remember how you moan with pleasure the instant we touch…..

Laura Acosta”
―     Lynne Sharon Schwartz,     Fatigue Artist  

Ha – I love it.  Someone else who is madly in love with a bed.

Have a happy Sunday everyone.

Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 23 – Rest. 

Citrus Candles

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Well how incredibly easy does this look?  I use a lemon every day in my breakfast smoothie and tried for days to ‘leave the center core-like stem intact’.  Those things have a death wish.  But eventually I got serious, and was able to leave not only the stem but lots of the veiny section separaters in a pulpy mess in two lemon halves.

I left them sitting on the kitchen counter for several hours, hoping the juice and moisture would evaporate and that W would not throw them in the compost bin.  Neither of these things happened.

Then I lopped off a little piece of the bottom of each half so they’d sit less tipped over on their sides and poured some coconut oil into each one.

A huge dose of dogged determination and half a box of matches later, VOILA!

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We have fire, some spilled oil, and one more to go.  I know, beautiful, right? Actually they look much better in the dark.

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They did burn for hours as promised (at least two, but definitely didn’t make it to three) with a lemony coconut aroma that was only discernible if you got close enough to them to singe your eyebrows.

Would I recommend this craft to everyone who likes crafts?  Of course I would.  Why should I be the only one swearing at gutted lemon halves?

This post is in response to Cin’s Feb Challenge Day 22:  Finger paint/messy craft, written by someone skilled in the art of making even the simplest projects difficult and messy.

A Journal Adventure

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My least successful stab at keeping a journal was in 1998.  I’m going to call it an adventure because way back then I was trying something new, unusual, exciting and fun.  My other reason for this is because yesterday and today the challenges are ‘journal’ and ‘adventure’ and I’m trying to make sense of my decision to combine the two.  I do realize keeping a journal is not everyone’s idea of breathtaking adventure.

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez

Anyway, adventurous or not, I did it because Oprah told me to.  She said everyone should write down three things they are grateful for every day.  I had the perfect book to put it in too, something I purchased on a whim called “Love, A Book of Days.”  It is full of beautiful art work and famous quotes with love as a recurring theme, with six or seven little blank numbered spaces on every other page, the perfect size for recording spurts of gratefulness.

My dedication to this endeavour lasted about fifteen weeks.  However, the last four weeks probably shouldn’t count because all I was writing by then were three strange words a day – words like syzygy, fossiker and ozostomia.  I suppose we can assume I was grateful for those words, but only up to a point, because suddenly I just stopped being grateful for anything at all and the rest of the pages are blank.  Except of course for the painting reproductions and the blurbs about love by famous people.  So it’s still a book worth keeping, despite being scribbled in.

Are you watching the Sochi Olympics this winter?  The reason I ask is because in 1998 the Nagano Olympics were happening.  I would not have remembered this if I hadn’t written that I was thankful for knowing the ice dancing judges were idiots and being grateful for Olympic hockey games and never having to actually watch any of them.

Other less historically significant things on my list included being grateful for -

1.  Weekends and sleeping in

2.  Clumping cat litter

3.  Being able to recognize my boss’s insanity/cope with her mental instability (there are apparently many ways to say this)

4.  How quickly one can make spaghetti

5.  Phone calls that are for me/phone calls that are NOT for me

6. Medical terminology for transcriptionists

7.  Selective memory

8.  Bohemian Rhapsody

9.  Chiropractors and not needing one

10.  Shoelaces

11.  Shopping lists, finding my shopping list while shopping, getting things that are not on my shopping list

12.  Stat Holidays, even when they’re a joke.

I have no idea what that last one means.  One day I wrote meditation, mediation, medication.  And the boss is the one who’s nuts?  Yeah.

Did you ever keep a journal?  Are you going to burn it before you die?

Dancing in Columbia by Fernando Botero

Dancing in Columbia by Fernando Botero

Cin’s Feb Challenge -  Day 20 Journal, Day 21 Adventure

Dress Up

awesome hermit

What do you call a person who makes simple challenges either ridiculously complicated or completely uncomplicated?  Never mind, I don’t want to know.  I fall behind and I catch up.  Or not.  It’s what I do and I am accepting that today.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  If anything changes I will let you know.

I used to dress up long ago when there were things to get dressed up for, like church and weddings and New Years Eve parties.  Now I dress mostly to be inconspicuous and not naked.  And comfortable and warm.  And hopefully not too embarrassing to my children.  I must admit I sometimes catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and wonder what I was thinking and whether or not a monkey might have more fashion sense than I do.  But, you know, what good does it do to dwell on monkey brains stuff like that?

Let’s dwell on this for a moment instead.

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.”
―     Helena Bonham Carter

 

An early childhood trauma may be the cause of my aversion to getting all dressed up, and if that’s not really why I have such a reluctance to do it, at least it gives us something to blame it on.

When I was in grade five or six our school went on some kind of a bus ride/field trip to the big city (probably Toronto) which might have involved some kind of science fair.  Yes, the historical details elude me, but that’s not what’s important here.  What’s important is that I decided to dress up for this excursion in a flouncey pink dress with poofy sleeves and a real honest to goodness crinoline.  If you don’t know what a crinoline is, count yourself lucky.  I remember my mother suggesting I was a tad over dressed, but I would not change my mind.

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This is a picture of an educational ‘ride’ similar to the one we all went on, although it’s a lot more fancy. What I remember is a round wood panelled room where we all stood in a circle against the walls.  The room began to spin and once it got going fast enough the floor dropped out from under us leaving us pinned to the wall by centrifugal force.  There was a lot of screaming.  It was very exciting.  However, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole with an uncooperative dress when the spinning slowed down and we started to slip towards the rising floor.  I went down, the dress and the crinoline went up. There were boys there.  Staring at me while smugly wearing their sensible pants.  centrifugal force 001Stupid boys.  Stupid dress.  And yeah, my hair was pretty much exactly like that.  Growing up is such a distressing experience.

This scatterbrained post was written in response to

Cin’s Feb Challenge Days 17, 18 and 19:  dress up/create/photo walk.

Today it is a balmy minus 5 degrees Celsius here, but it’s still February with bare trees and snow everywhere so I’m not feeling any photo walk motivation.  I am however completely dressed, except for socks. I have created an incredibly awesome picture to teach you all about centrifugal force.

Huh. There you go – challenge met.

Indulge Yourself

good-wife-cast

Whenever the weekend is over I think of that whooshing sound my devices make for a sent e-mail.  Days off do the same thing.  Also days when I take breaks from writing.  There has been a lot of whooshing going on in my life lately.  I got to the place in Cin’s Feb Challenge where it said ‘indulge yourself’ and decided to take that one very seriously.  Not like this is anything new, but sometimes I tend to go overboard.

I would love to say I’ve been doing things that are highly exceptional and utterly extraordinary and extremely creative and intensely fun and important enough to change the world.  And I guess I did just say that, but it would follow that I then feel obligated to expound on the details and I can’t because it’s a big fat lie.

Here’s what actually happened.  I spent my waking hours curled up on the end of the couch with my I-Pad drinking various things (mostly coffee, but last night wine) until the credits rolled on the last episode of Season Four of The Gowuthering heightsod Wife.  Whoosh.  Thank you Netflix.  Now what am I supposed to do while I’m waiting for you to get Season Five?

Well, I immediately thought of something and watched Wuthering Heights from beginning to end, part one and part two.  And finished the wine.  Not sure I could have done it without the wine.

I’m certainly a little more leery now of these multi season shows and getting myself hooked on yet another television series because they seem to have a sort of paralyzing affect on me.  Legal stuff and politics and investigations?  Really??  I could have sworn these things didn’t interest me at all.

I though I was more of an  Emily Bronte/Heathcliff skulking about on the moors kind of girl, but maybe not.