Monthly Archives: February 2015

What Happened Yesterday

Random art work unrelated to subject because the alternative was a photo of an actual human colon.  You're welcome.
Random art work unrelated to subject because the alternative was a photo of an actual human colon. You’re welcome.

It’s been a long morning for me, thanks to Lacie, the amazing alarm clock dog.  The neighbours next door let her out in the early morning to do her business and she barks her fool little head off at….I don’t know….snowflakes, fence posts, air.  I wonder why she can’t just go for a quiet pee like a normal dog and let me sleep.  But this morning was better than yesterday morning, so I have forgiven her.

Today is a good day because it’s Friday, it’s snowing, and I have nowhere to go!  And no gigantic four litre jug of vile laxative to consume!  I’m going to tell you my colonoscopy story, so if you’d like to skip on to whatever you were going to do next, now’s your chance.

For the three of you who have decided to stick around because you love old people medical stories, here we go.  I have a family history of bowel cancer, and a colonoscopy is something doctors have strongly advised me to have done to detect any potential problems.  The day before the procedure is spent cleaning out the colon, eating nothing, drinking clear fluids, feeling sorry for yourself and staying close to the bathroom.  Black coffee is allowed.  Thank God for small mercies.  For the last eight hours you can have nothing by mouth, not even water.

The first colonoscopy I had was done in 2003 and I was instructed to come back for another one in ten years.  But because of my superior procrastination skills, I was able to stretch that to twelve.  If the results are fine for this one, I may set a fifteen year goal for the next one.

The procedure was scheduled for 11:45 a.m. yesterday.  I like to be insanely early for things and W likes to be a minimum of five minutes late.  The morning started off with a dead battery in my car.  This was all my fault for not driving it enough.  And we could not take the truck because W was having way too much fun making a big production of recharging the battery and slicing a finger open in the process.  This required much swearing and a bandaid.  Then we took a long convoluted route to our destination, slowing down for green lights in the hope that they would turn red before we got to them.  There is no parking at the hospital.  Well, there is, but every parking lot is always full and we know this, but drive around through all of them just to make sure.  There’s lots of parking spaces at the mall nearby, because it’s better to inconvenience sick people than to piss off shoppers.

W dropped me off at admitting 80 minutes instead of the required 90 minutes ahead of time so that I could check in and fill out a form and sit on my ass for a bit thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong and wondering if he would make it back from wherever he finally managed to park.  I also thought a lot about food and being incredibly thirsty and how much my head was aching.  Eventually I was taken to a prep room where I signed a consent form and donned one of those beautiful back-open hospital gowns I’m so fond of.  The nurse told me to leave my socks on, because just the gown by itself isn’t funny enough.  Then they inserted the IV paraphernalia and told me to lie down and wait.  W had shown up and taken off and come back again while I studied the ceiling tiles.  He told me he went to the hospital cafeteria for soup and a sandwich.  I was going to say “I hate  you” but I didn’t because, although that is a perfectly acceptable thing to say when you’re in labour,  in this case I was faint from hunger and simply didn’t have the energy.

The procedure itself took about fifteen minutes.  The IV is for sedation.  They don’t like to give you too much because it’s a busy place and no one wants you hanging around too long afterwards waking up.  So I was sort of aware of what was going on.  Trust me when I say passing out completely would have been my preferred option.  I was then wheeled to a recovery area where I studied some different ceiling tiles until they removed the tubes and tape and let me get dressed.  Then the doctor popped by to tell me it all went well and although there were a couple of polyps discovered, he wasn’t anticipating they were anything to worry about.

Because you are not allowed to leave on your own, the nurse pointed across the room at W and asked me if that was my ride.  Normally this would not be a funny thing to say, but when you’re coming out of sedation all bets are off.  I imagined introducing him to strangers as “my ride” and thinking that was the most freaking hilarious thing I’d ever heard.  She quickly told me I was free to go.

On the way home “my ride” stopped at Swiss Chalet and watched me eat a huge plate of chicken and ribs and sweet potato fries, washed down with two cups of coffee and three glasses of water.  Then of course I felt sick, but also happy.  It’s hard to explain.

And here you thought nothing interesting or exciting ever happened in my life as a retired person who never starts her car.  I am so glad that today is another day exactly like that.  Even Lacie the yappy wonder dog can’t ruin it.

The Snow Game of Fox and Geese

 

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This is a game of Fox and Geese, played by jungle animals, on holiday somewhere in Canada.  Montreal, maybe.  Or Sudbury.

The Rules:

1.  Tramp out a big wagon wheel shape in the snow.  This can be done with one person holding one end of a rope at the centre of the circle, and another person at the other end of the rope plodding through the deep snow while taking shouted instructions from the rest of the group waiting to play.  Or you can all just get out there and eyeball it until everyone agrees it could work.

2.  Using some random criteria, like who has the meanest looking face, choose a player to be the fox.  For this game, Zebra it is.

3.  The ostrich, monkey, giraffe, lion, hippo and elephant are all geese to start the game.

4.  The geese must run around and across the wagon wheel rim and spokes like mad things,  while the fox chases them.  All players must not take short cuts, but stay on the wheel at all times.  No face plants or snow angel breaks allowed if they can be avoided.

5.  The hub of the wheel is a safe zone where the geese may stop long enough to gasp for air, and then they have to get back to running around in a haphazard fashion.  Except always on the wheel.  Don’t forget that.

6.  If a goose (for example, the elephant) is tagged by the fox (in this case, the zebra), the elephant then becomes the new fox and the zebra is a goose.  Identity crises all around, accompanied by a lot of yelling to inform the other players, who may or may not hear you over the sound of their own laboured breathing.

7.  There are no winners or losers in this game, only enthusiastic participants who don’t mind looking like a bunch of shrieking maniacs cavorting and prancing around in a snow-covered field all afternoon.

The game ends when:

– the wagon wheel is trampled into oblivion

– the fox, unable to catch anyone, becomes frustrated and starts to cry (there is no crying in snow games – tears freeze)

– at least three faces or three sets of toes have turned blue, or some related colour to be determined by the group, because of exposure or frost bite

– the bar opens at the hotel (you’re on holiday, remember?)

– the lion gets hungry.  Time to go.

This bit of nonsense Is in response to

The Second Annual Contest of Whatever

at Evil Squirrels Nest

It’s not too late to submit a game related animal post for this contest;  deadline is Sunday morning.  And it’s never too late to get out in the snow and play a pointless snow game with your family and friends or some jungle animals on holiday.  Stupid snow should be good for something.

Art du Jour 38

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I wonder if I should tell you how many times this portrait came close to being crumpled up and chucked.  Halfway done I began to dislike her intensely.

But today I scrubbed her eyes out and redid them not so wide set,  put her in a window and declared her finished.

Or maybe it’s me that’s finished.

I suppose being critical is a good thing and will make me better.

Happy Sunday!

Well, now it is.  Earlier I wasn’t so sure.  It’s not every day you scrub somebody’s eyes out.

I Have Answers

Yes, I do.  Ask me anything and I will undoubtedly tell you something which may or may not be helpful, or even relevant.  Like posting this random picture of an odd thing I have hanging in my kitchen.

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Here are 15 questions of questionable origin (to me) and I am too lazy to figure out where they came from in the first place.  But they are good questions, and these three awesome blogging people answered them and now I will be a copy cat and do it too.  Thank you to –

Knocked over by a feather

Mental in the Midwest

To Breathe is to Write

15-questions-tag

 

What do you think you can do but can’t?

I think I can save everybody.  I think I know how every person in trouble or distress should think and act and feel and what needs to happen to have everything turn out right.  Too bad nobody will listen or cooperate.  I’m not even very good at listening to myself, so why am I surprised.

What’s a difficult word for you to pronounce?

There is more than one.

deterioration (because of that middle syllable),

barbiturate (because of that middle “r”)

and  remuneration (because there’s no numeration involved)

I also sometimes used to stumble over initial phone greetings at work (good afternoon, blah blah blah, how may I direct your call), but usually nobody listens to those either.

What are your favorite TV shows from your childhood?

We didn’t own a television set until I was nine years old.  Half my childhood was already over.  I remember watching Howdy Doody, I Love Lucy, Bonanza, Ed Sullivan, Father Knows Best, Dragnet, Gunsmoke, and Red Skelton.  We also got only one channel.  But look at that.  They broadcast some high quality TV.

What are your virtues and vices?

Most of the time I am kind and generous and patient.   However, I can also be an unforgiving snob.  I’m a work in progress.

What’s more important: love, fame, power, or money?

If you are famous and powerful and rich but don’t have love, too bad for you.  Love isn’t something you can demand or buy.  And without it, where’s the happiness?  Having never been famous, rich or powerful myself I’m making assumptions, of course.  But, as usual,  I still think I’m right.

If you could live in any era/time period, when would it be and why?

According to my psychic, I’m a very old soul and I’ve lived in all of them.  This would explain why I’m so smart and know so much.  Or maybe it was all that great TV I used to watch as a kid.

If you had to redo your entire wardrobe with 2 stores, what would they be and why?

I honestly have no idea.  Where do they sell yoga pants and sweat shirts?

Can you recall what you were doing a year ago on this day?

No, but I looked in my blog archives and discovered that on February 21st, 2014,  I was looking through an old journal and laughing at some of the strange things I had on my ‘grateful’ list.  The last half of the book is blank.  I don’t believe I suddenly stopped being grateful.  Probably lost my pen.

Do you have recurring dreams? If so, explain?

There’s a house I dream about a lot, in which I am being pursued by something (or someone) bad.  It has many staircases and hallways and doors and rooms.  I’m afraid, but I’m also very confident that I know lots of good hiding places.  Wow.  A psychiatrist would have a heyday with that one.

What’s your horoscope?

I am Taurus.  Generous, dependable, patient, pleasant and down to earth.  Also stubborn, self-indulgent, materialistic and lazy.  Well, nobody’s perfect.

What does your dream bedroom look like?

I don’t care as long as it’s warm and the bed is comfortable.  A large percentage of the time I will have my eyes shut in there.

What position do you sleep in?

I have a queen sized bed and I sleep on my side on the edge with my feet hanging out.  Hot feet are the worst.

What are your all time favorite films?

There’s only a handful of films that I’ve watched more than once.  Probably for the same reason that I don’t want to go back and relive any of my past  lifetimes.  Been there, done that, on to the next adventure.  W, on the other hand, can watch a movie a dozen times and never get tired of it.  I watched Bridesmaids three times.  I don’t know what that says about me, but I’m sure it’s probably something good.

What makeup are you currently wearing?

Foundation to even my skin tones (a nice way of saying cover up the blotches and age spots),  eye shadow because I feel naked without it (although it’s hard to see it under those over the eye bags) and lip gloss because chapped lips are just marginally worse than hot feet.  If I’m going somewhere I will add eyeliner and mascara.  But it would have to be somewhere pretty damned important these days.

Do you have neat handwriting? Show us!

imageThis is a large sample in case you want to submit it to an expert for analysis.  To see if the results are in harmony with my Taurian traits.  I think it’s rather sad that cursive writing is going the way of the dinosaur and Ed Sullivan.

Well, that’s enough enlightening crap for this February Saturday.  Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  If not, you can always answer these questions yourself to liven things up.  But if you’re busy watching I Love Lucy re-runs,  I understand.

 

For Compassion #1000Speak

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“How would your life be different if…

You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter?

Let today be the day…

You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free   

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This is my contribution to the unique global movement called 1000 Voices for Compassion. Today, the 20th February 2015, over 1000 bloggers worldwide are publishing posts about compassion. It is an effort to spread goodness and compassion in a world torn by strife and violence. Spread the love using the hashtag #1000Speak. Join the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion group on Facebook.

 

Sharing My World 19

 

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #7

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

Well, if I had any, it probably would be anally organized, just like that.  I can’t remember the last time I carried cash.  If I need it I find an ATM.  Almost every job I’ve ever had has involved processing payments by cash, credit and debit cards.  I admit it has always annoyed me to have to straighten out the bills in a cash register, turning them all in the same direction.  It’s just so much easier to avoid mistakes when things are all neat and tidy.  Unfortunately, I had a co-worker for years who didn’t understand that concept and spent a lot of her time alternately misplacing and then looking for things.  For a long time I made an attempt at helping her to stay organized, but it wore me out and I gave up.

I’m not saying there aren’t areas of complete chaos in my life.  Like some of my kitchen cupboards for instance.  But that’s why cupboards have doors which close to hold things in place.  Every so often I go on a crusade to sort everything out and add to my garage sale bins.

What is your favorite type of dog?  (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

No favorites here, unless you count all the dogs that are well-behaved and belong to somebody else.  Or the Starbucks dog which sits on a shelf in my bedroom and (with the help of a gargoyle) guards my junk jewelry.  He’s kind of cute and very low maintenance.  So is the gargoyle.  I can’t remember why I have these things.  Would you buy them at a garage sale?

If money was not an issue, would you go on a cruise?  If so where would you go?

Yes, but not an ocean cruise where you can’t see land at all times.  A riverboat cruise on the Rhône river from Switzerland, through France, to the Mediterranean Sea sounds like something I might like.  Especially the part where I have the same room for the entire trip with no packing and unpacking every few days while still going different places and seeing different things.  Or I could just watch a travel show on tv and use the money for something else.   I hear all you travel lovers gasping in disbelief.

Would you dare to sleep in a haunted house overnight?

Sure.  That sounds a lot less scary than being on the ocean.  I’m a very sound sleeper so who knows what might go on around me while I’m oblivious to it all.  Could be a big disappointment for the ghosts.

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 lovely long-weekend visit with kids and grandkids.  There was cake.  Our movie theatre is within grandma-walking-distance so we went to see Paddington Bear.   There weren’t a lot of choices – the other ones playing were inappropriate for young children with violence, crude language, and shades of grey.  I won’t be spending any more money on Christian and Ana.   Sponge Bob was one above that one on my list.

W goes to see the hip surgeon soon and will hopefully be put on a hip replacement list that is not ridiculously long.  Different surgeons have different lists.  What in the world would we do without lists?  All organization would come to a grinding halt.

I’m looking forward to Spring.  Although the chances of it arriving here in the week coming up are slim.  That’s when we’ll have our garage sale, with everything all sequentially organized and right side up and facing in the same direction.

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Sharing My World 18

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #6

What was the last time you went to a new place?

That would be island hopping in Greece, almost a year ago.  Various family members made the trip to remember my brother, who  loved it there but never got the chance to go back.  So we went back for him.  I even drank a beer in his memory.  Funny thing about Santorini,  his favourite spot, was that travelling up and down its cliffs by bus scared the hell out of me.  Never mind the gondola ride on which I faced the side of the hill rather than look at all that water.  How in the world could you raise children that close to a cliff edge?  With donkeys running around?  Plus be surrounded by ocean everywhere you went?  Those Greek people are incredibly brave.  Maybe there’s something in the olives.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels, other?  And what type of genre would you prefer?

I fancy myself a writer, because I write things and always have.  I have never published anything except blog posts, and I don’t think that counts.  Short stories work with my particular attention span.  And whether I’m good at it or not, I love writing poetry.  I have a big sheet of paper with copious notes about many different types of poetry with the mechanics and rhyming information.  One fine day I will get around to actually using it.  Time is running out to write novels, I’m afraid.  A plot would be an excellent start, but I’ve never come up with one.  Maybe I should just stick to Biography/Memoir.  Soon I will be able to throw in some historical fiction based on my actual life.  And that could slowly turn in to Fantasy if I live long enough.

Out of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing) which is your favorite?

I have five incredible grandchildren, and it would be just as mind-boggling to choose my favourite one in that group as in this one.  Seeing and hearing would maybe be missed the most if they were suddenly gone, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  If I didn’t have taste and smell perhaps I might enjoy my own cooking more.  Would losing ones sense of touch mean winter skin wouldn’t feel dry and itchy anymore?  That might be worth a shot.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

My life is 86% satisfying, so the answer is 14.  Well, I had to come up with something using my limited math skills.  But if all of these random one hundred people were asked to write down on a random scrap of paper their definition of a satisfying life, there would be a hundred different sized paper scraps, a hundred different answers, a hundred different regrets, and more than a hundred different reasons for each of them to celebrate the life they were given.  Satisfaction is all in your head.

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

I can’t remember what happened yesterday, never mind last week.  Oh, wait!  My son turned 39 on Saturday.  I also don’t remember what happened when I was that age myself for an entire year.  I’m sure it was a good time.  This weekend I’m looking forward to a visit from the far-away four grandchildren, and the Valentine’s Day birthday of the closer-to-where-I-live one.  She will be fourteen on the fourteenth.  Time is flying by at an alarming rate.  I’d better get going on that memoir.

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Art du Jour 37

imageThis was time-consuming and labour intensive.  But also fun, except maybe for all the glue and paint and paper scraps everywhere.  Now I have a greater appreciation for artistic people who put these things together.  In case you don’t notice it on your own, I would like to point out that the main part of the house is strips of paper in basket weave.  That’s how it started.

Yes, I do have a lot of time on my hands and I’m trying many new things to make a dent in using up all the massive amounts of paper I purchased having very few clues at the time about what I would ever do with all of them.  When I take pictures of these finished products,  I set them on my easel so they are leaning back slightly, and the upper left hand corner always looks blurry.  Although maybe the fact that I used a lot of water on this board and it warped a bit could be a factor as well.  Life is full of mysteries.

So, bonus day.  Here’s how it looks on my yellow wall.  Beside something equally strange and in different light.  Why does my wall not look yellow??

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The paint on my art room walls is called Elephant Grass and in real life is much nicer than this looks.

Before embarking on this project I watched an artist on YouTube put together an art journal page using paint and paper and stencils with a drawing of a partial face looking rather ghostly and emerging from the background.  She had a whole book full of stencils and took half the video choosing the ones she wanted to use.  With all the stopping and starting and talking and pausing and speeding up and waiting for things to dry, it’s a wonder I learned anything, other than knowing I am not ready to make a video of my own any time soon.  Mine would include too much profanity and hand washing.

I’m happy with this result, even though I don’t think it’s something I’d want hanging over my dining room table.  Good thing I don’t have a dining room table.  It might be nice in a kids room.  I don’t have one of those either any more.

Well, for someone who thought she didn’t have anything much to say today, I’ve managed to write a lot of words, as well as post two pictures of the same thing.  This blogging thing is so easy.  And you can do it most days without glue.

Guacamole For Dummies

 

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This morning before I got out of bed I solemnly promised myself that I would answer the WordPress Daily Post prompt, no matter what it might be or how much I didn’t feel like it.  Unfortunately for whoever might be reading this, here it is.

(Your Thing) For Dummies:  Take a complicated subject you know more about than most people, and explain it to a friend who knows nothing about it at all.

So would you really like to hear all about fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses, doing follow-up adjustments and appointments and assessments?  I didn’t think so.  All you need to know about all of that stuff, really, is to take your problems to a professional.  Don’t do your own adjustments.  Don’t put your glasses in a microwave, a dog’s mouth, or under a moving truck.  When your contact lenses are uncomfortable, get them the hell out of your eyes.  If your glasses don’t sit all perfectly balanced on a flat surface, but look okay on your face, ask yourself if your head is a flat surface.  Then just get on with your day.

My second thought was to explain my artistic process, but the big thing there seems to be how I’m very good at ruining a lot of clothes and desk tops and floors with paint and glue.  And you probably know better than I do how to avoid all of these things already.  If you don’t, I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

Guacamole, on the other hand, is something I can talk about and I guarantee you will learn a couple of new things, even if you think you already know absolutely everything there is to know on the subject.  I’m still in the learning stages myself, but I know there is perfect guacamole out there somewhere, just waiting for me to discover it.

Here are the secrets I have uncovered so far.

1.  Three cloves of garlic for three avocados is probably too much garlic.  Just because you peeled that many does not mean you should use all of them at once.  Your first clue would be how your fridge smells after placing the guacamole inside it in a sealed container, and still being knocked over backwards by the overpowering garlic odor whenever you open the fridge door.

2.  When they say roma tomatoes, they mean tomatoes that aren’t excessively juicy.  Ordinary tomatoes will work if you scoop out all the juicy insides and pat what’s left dry on a paper towel before chopping them up.

3.  The fact that you seem to remember the recipe calling for the juice of half a lime may annoy you.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, it always seems like such a waste to squeeze out the juice and throw the rest away.  And then there’s that other half of the lime which slowly shrivels up and dies before you can think of something else to do with it.  I’m talking about big limes.  If the lime is tiny, go ahead and juice the whole thing.  However, if you are ever inclined to just throw the entire gigantic peeled lime into your food processor with the chopped onions and garlic, AVOID THE TEMPTATION.  Yes, I am yelling at you.  This is not a good idea unless you want your guacamole to taste like really bad after shave.

4.  If you ignored my warning and did use the entire lime, throwing a bit of sweetener in after the fact to cut the bitterness of the lime will make your guacamole edible.  That’s it.  Delicious is just not going to happen.

5.  If all else fails (and in my case this is always a possibility) print a recipe off the internet and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.  Now I’m just yelling at myself.

I sincerely hope this has been helpful advice for the guacamole impaired.  Anything else you need to know, just ask.  Or Wikipedia is also helpful.  I’m not pretending to know everything.  Or anything really.  So, yeah.  You may now get on with your day.