Sharing My World 66

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In case you slept through the first day of the month.  Not like that would ever happen unless January wore you out completely….

Share Your World – January 30, 2017

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person?

I’ve seen the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Arctic icebergs and glaciers and the Atlantic provinces rocky ocean shores.  I’ve been to Niagara Falls.  Those are all pretty impressive.

Whenever I see a picture of Glencoe Scotland I remember how being there gave me just the weirdest feeling of chills and deja vu and I get those sensations all over again.  In another life maybe I died in battle there.  Maybe I just have a green lumpy hills fetish.

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I’ve seen the vertical sea cliffs of Santorini from the water and from the bus driving up the zig zag road and from various places at the top of the island looking down.  It made me wonder why any sane person living there would ever let their children go outside to play.  They didn’t inspire awe in me as much as a rather anxious fear and dread thinking about how we had to go back down them to leave the place.

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How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order?

I had an older brother who loved his visit to Santorini and was the reason we traveled there, to remember him.  I have two younger sisters.  So three siblings, but now two.  I am one of the middle children, but the oldest daughter.  How to make a simple question complicated, right?  Quite often I make people regret asking me things.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

Oh, probably an old comfy croc.  Because it’s not making much of a fashion statement but it’s really amazingly good for your feet.  And bonus, it can also be crazy colours.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Muktuk, haggis and calamari.  Imagine having those three on your plate all at the same time.  I liked calamari just fine until finding out what it was.  Muktuk was smelly and disgusting.  Haggis was surprisingly not so bad.  But not good enough to want to ever have it again.

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

Hmmm.  Laziness without guilt.  Or more laziness than usual with less quilt than normal.  My knee is fine but I’m still resting it to avoid re-injury.  This could go on for weeks.  I’ve cut back on the news because I think I finally reached my personal disbelief saturation level.  I baked muffins.  Amazingly enough that was less stressful for me than baking normally is.  More proof that the whole world has gone crazy.

I’m looking forward to getting lab work done (because I will be leaving the house to do it), renewing my passport (not going anywhere, it’s just expiring in April) and closing a bank account which has gone defunct from me ignoring it for two years.  If the balance had been higher than sixty seven dollars it might have interested me more.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!  I’ll be watching Netflix and eating muffins.

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Quiet Minds

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Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

[Robert Louis Stevenson]

And here I thought January was going to be such a boring month.  Now I want it to end for a whole different myriad of reasons.

I really miss my complacent quiet mind that didn’t involve itself much in world politics and all the fussing and fighting my friend.  It’s been MIA for almost two weeks now, off somewhere being frightened and perplexed I guess.  The clock during a thunderstorm is beginning to feel like a ticking time bomb.  It seriously needs to yell and scream at somebody.  Reading the news is like watching a friend self destruct and having no idea what you could possibly say to them or do to make things better.  Worried that they’ll destroy you and everything around them in the process.

This is life, though, isn’t it?  Never meant to be easy.  There will always be ignorance and fear and hate right along side all the understanding, compassion and love.  I always thought I knew which one would win in the end.  And then a white Christian male murders people in a mosque.  And the victims are the ones he calls terrorists.  There’s a special place in hell for the perpetrators of such senseless violence, right next to the ones who incite it.

Amidst the shared grief and despair there’s always something we can be grateful for, right?  How long is your list?  I hope it’s longer than mine.

  1. Humour.  Satire.  Political cartoons.  Protest signs.  Because if you don’t laugh you might start to cry and never stop.
  2. People with functioning brains saying intelligent things.  They are a delightful contrast to the ones who believe thinking isn’t really all that important.
  3. Protesters and reporters and journalists who refuse to sit down and shut up.
  4. Social media, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.  The right to ask questions and get truthful answers.  All things that could be taken away from us.  In this day and age.  It boggles the mind. Do I believe everything I hear or read?  Of course not. There is progressively more bullshit to sift through these days, but there is also thoughtful, actually factually backed-up information.  There are insightful gems.  These are well worth the time it takes to find them, and have helped to restore my wavering faith in the basic goodness of humanity.
  5. The love and compassion that’s out there and has always been out there despite all the misguided evil efforts to destroy it.  I am so very thankful that all the rampant stupidity and hate has not lured all of us into stupidly and rampantly hating back.  It is so very tempting to add to the chaos instead of the calm.

Here’s something we can all hang on to.  These mortal men (yes, take heart, one day they will die just like the rest of us) who have had power gifted to them can have that power taken away. They are not Gods. Some of them are not even that smart. Some of them are probably certifiably insane. They can be stopped.  And I know there are good people ceaselessly working on stopping them before going to hell is the least of their worries because they will have all of us living with them in some version of it right here.

Am I taking all this too seriously?  I don’t know.  But better to err on this side of the fence than to regret not getting it before it’s too late to change the downward spiral we’re all being sucked into.

So do not let them beat you down and wear you out and make you want to give up. Never doubt that therein lies the method to their madness in their gleeful rush to keep their so-called promises, one after another after another, so you can’t wrap your head around how little forethought or concern for legality or unhappy consequences has been taken into account before they’re slamming the next thing down on the table.  And the shit that happens after that is SO not their fault.  Wow.  They are counting on everyone to become overwhelmed to the point of weary acceptance, not knowing what is legal and what is truth or which way is up.  Too busy fighting with each other to notice or care any more what’s really going on.  And away they go.

Resist and keep resisting the things you know in your heart to be wrong.  Because to do otherwise is unthinkable.

Sorry I’m not my usual flippant frivolous self these days.  I’m just not ready yet for the world to end.

Phone Phobia

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate answering the phone?  I have that exact cat expression except with a slightly more raised left eyebrow whenever the phone rings.  (Oh crap.  Who is that and what the hell do they want. I’ll just let it go to voicemail.)

I will make an exception of course if I’m expecting a call, or recognize the number and actually feel like talking, but those circumstances are rare.

List of possible reasons for my phone call paranoia:

  1. It might be bad news.  Here’s a weird thing I remember from my childhood. Our phone rang and I said “phone calls used to always mean bad news, like somebody died”.  After that profound announcement my mother took the call and learned that one of our uncles had suffered a heart attack and died.  It was a strange coincidence, I’m not psychic or anything, but I’ve never forgotten it. Maybe this helps to explain the little jolt of anxiety a ringing phone still gives me.
  2. If it’s a telemarketing or solicitation call it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive and rude.  It’s impossible to but in because they never shut up, so I just talk over them and then hang up.  After that I put their number on our  blocked list.
  3. It is really frustrating to have difficulty understanding what is being said, especially if someone talks very quickly or has an accent.  I’m so much better face to face.

Whoa. That last one is the biggest reason.  I stopped after I wrote it and went off to do some research and this resulted in (YAY!) yet another list.  Check out this site for the full version.

When you have a high frequency hearing loss, you may have trouble:

– following conversations (hear but can’t understand).
– talking on the phone.
– understanding TV shows or movies even when you turn the volume up.
– understanding young children’s voices because they tend to be higher in pitch
– enjoying music because it sounds distorted, especially at higher volumes.

Also….

– people think you aren’t listening to them or accuse you of having selective hearing

– you accuse people of mumbling

– you answer questions inappropriately or miss punch lines

– you smile and nod even though you have no clue what the hell is going on

Well that explains a lot. Why I turn the radio off with a sigh of relief.   Why I always have subtitles running across my screen no matter what I’m watching.  Why I can hear some things from rooms away but never the stove timer.  Why my mumbling grandchildren are so hard to understand,  and why they get so exasperated having to repeat themselves for me.

Sorry guys.  It’s not JUST senility.  Maybe I do need to seriously consider that hearing aid I was told I was borderline for needing.  Or I could wait until I can no longer even hear the phone ringing at all.  Decisions, decisions. Meanwhile, practicing that cat face but adding nodding and smiling to it.

Sharing My World 65

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Share Your World – January 23, 2017

Do you prefer juice or fruit?

I take medication (for Type II Diabetes) which helps my body deal with sugar.  I try to make its job easier by ingesting as little sugar as possible.  Fruit juice is deadly.  Natural sugars are still sugars, so I have to be careful with fruit too.  Thankfully I was never a big fan of juice (or all the other ways we mangle fruit) so I don’t miss it.  I do miss sitting down and eating a whole big bowl full of grapes though.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up on a farm.  At the time I professed to not like it much at all.  Now that I’m older and wiser and living in a city I realize what an idyllic place it really was and how lucky we were to spend our childhood there.  But I would never go back.  Farms are a lot of work.  Plus there’s all that manure.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

All the colours.  Every last one of them.  Green trees, red barn, yellow brick house, brown garden dirt, blue skies, black and white cows, orange cats, purple lilacs, grey thunder clouds, pink spring blossoms, indigo nights.  Oatmeal coloured porridge.  Yuck.  Hey, it wasn’t ALL pretty.

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  • sharing my world, because it makes me remember
  • making lists, so I won’t forget
  • playing mindless (non memory) games on my iPad
  • drinking coffee
  • drinking red wine
  • reading books
  • drawing/sketching/painting
  • binge watching whole seasons of tv shows on Netflix
  • concentrating on nothing but breathing
  • drinking more coffee
  • reading myself to sleep

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

Last week I mentioned the bag of marshmallows left over from Christmas baking and my intent to use them up by making Rice Krispy squares. I sent W on a puffed rice hunting expedition and he came home with the biggest box of cereal made anywhere in the world (just a guess, but geez…) so after I made the squares there was half a box of cereal left.  Then I asked him to get me another bag of marshmallows so I could use up the rest of the cereal.  He came home with TWO bags of marshmallows.  And thus we are back to our original state of one unused bag of marshmallows sitting in the cupboard.  I am not starting over.  They can stay there until next Christmas.

That little story really doesn’t have much to do with being grateful except for another interesting fact or two.  I gave most of the first batch of rice krispy squares to my daughter and granddaughter, but the second batch I have almost finished single- handedly consuming all by myself.  Yes I know I am being redundant in that sentence, but seriously, what is wrong with me.  W has ceased to be much help, perhaps feeling he has already done his part by purchasing ingredients.  Although I guess I should give him credit for bravely trying to finish up the brownies I was craving and made and which don’t interest me anymore because they are stale.  I really need to stop making stuff.

I am looking forward to dealing more satisfactorily with my random food cravings in the week coming up.  Or not.  Truthfully it’s something which just now popped in to my head and will no doubt pop out of it again.  Sometimes I think there’s no point in setting goals for myself at this stage of forgetfulness in my life.  I’m looking forward to winging it.  There, that one sounds attainable.

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This Tree

“I read the news today, oh boy” (McCartney/Lennon)

Every morning while we sit drinking our coffee, W and I trade interesting or funny or unbelievable crap we read about on our different news feeds.  Sometimes it’s really entertaining tuning in to the next instalment of the current gong show going on in our neighbouring country.  Sometimes it’s downright frightening.  I’m afraid that all the attention, no matter how negative, simply feeds the beast.  I’m afraid we all might soon be buried alive in alternative facts (a new and improved name for bullshit). I’m afraid there might be some devious method to their madness, piling it on so high and so deep that we lose the will to claw our way out from underneath it.

So in the interests of not feeding the beast (while at the same time not turning my back on him either) here is a slide show of our wintry ice-foggy  backyard.

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I snuck in a couple of shots of my bad hair day to show you how I am becoming one with nature.  By resembling a half dead tree.  Or something way more poetic than that.  This awesome big old tree is the same one in which my sisters grandson discovered an alligator nest last fall.  We had no idea it was harbouring such an amazing thing. Around Christmas time this same grandson explained to his grandma how he could recognize Frosty from the other snowmen by the brown hammer in his mouth. For sure this boy is going places.

I hope gazing at this tree with its magnificent icy alligator nest sheltering branches towering above the other frozen things in our yard on this cold grey January Monday gives you a brief respite from whatever doom and gloom crap is taking up valuable space in your brain.

If not, here’s something completely different.  Not all news is bad.

Family of boy in Justin Trudeau town hall photo to name baby after prime minister

Sharing My World 64

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Share Your World – January 16, 2016

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

My closet door is in the rafters in the garage.  It’s one of those folding in half ones with little wheely things that screech along an overhead runner.  The runner is also gone, along with the lower left hand side holder for the pin that kept it in place at the bottom.  I sincerely hated that thing.  In its place I now have a curtain rod and a curtain flat against the opening, almost flush with the wall.  It’s pretty much always closed because sometimes looking into my closet can be a strange mix of depressing and frightening.  Nothing would want to live in there, so I have no worries about anything popping out from behind the curtain to disturb my sleep.

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?

Yes I do, because they’re just going to throw them out anyway.  They’re the perfect size for travelling to places where I’m not staying in a hotel. And if I don’t go anywhere I eventually throw them out myself, saving hotel staff the trouble. When we had a dog I used to use them on him  when he had a bath.  What a strange thing to remember.

What is your usual bedtime?

Anytime between 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.  Sorry I can’t be more specific.  There’s just too many variables.  What I’m binge watching on Netflix, what I’m reading, how much coffee I drank too late in the day, whether or not I can keep my eyes open. I do aim for ten/ten-thirty but it’s hit and miss.

Do you like to use post-it notes?

OMG post-it notes are the absolute best notes on the planet.  If you ever want to give me something nice, forget the flowers and go for a big package of rainbow coloured post-its instead.  I am so serious about that it’s not even funny.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

Years and years and years ago when there was really no other way to communicate over long distances other than by telephone.  I used to write to my parents sporadically because my mom was so good to write to me,  but my letters were done on the computer in large font and printed, with only the odd hasty p.s. and a scribbled signature added by pen.  I treasure what I saved of her cards and letters but I fear the handwritten note will soon be history.  Cursive writing and beautiful penmanship will be an oddity from the past.  None of us will remember how to spell anything without auto correct.  We will converse in short forms and emoticons with questionable grammar.  One day we will forget how to talk.  Ok now I’m thoroughly bummed.

Any phobias?

I don’t like large deep bodies of water.  Even as I typed that I had to take a big breath of air.  I’m sure in a former life I either drowned or suffocated.  Or fell off a cliff.  Into the ocean.  I also don’t like extreme heights.  I cope with these fears with funny little mind games and try not to dwell on how silly I’m being.

How tall are you?

I used to be 5’4″ but I’ve shrunk an inch apparently according to the people who last measured me at some medical facility or other.  Maybe my posture got worse.  Maybe my younger taller self was delusional.  Anything is possible.  I used to love wearing three-inch heels or wedges or platforms way back in the day and gazing down at the tops of short people’s heads.  My ankles were less than thrilled about that though.  Can’t remember the last time I wore anything with a substantial heel.  Would probably break both my legs at once if I tried it again.

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

The weather is completely bearable!  Hovering around zero Celsius.  There’s a bit of melting and freezing going on so the sidewalks are not exactly safe, but I’m not using them anyway.  They are my latest excuse for staying inside. One of my many varied and far-fetched excuses if you want the truth.  Some of which make very little sense but I stubbornly cling to them anyway.

I am looking forward to making Rice Krispie squares to use up the bag of marshmallows left over from Christmas baking.  But they will have to wait until we finish the brownies I baked yesterday in a serious chocolate craving fit.  They are sweetened with dates and orange juice, no added refined sugar.  So I feel maybe half the normal amount of guilt eating them.

It’s always a bonus when you can cut your guilt in two.  I should make a list of ways to do that…..

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