Sharing My World 82

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Share Your World – June 4, 2018

Is there a piece of clothing from your childhood you still remember?

I miss the carefree days of wearing nothing but red, before the notion settled in my brain that red made me look like the broad side of a barn.  Thanks to my dad for that  awesome expression, and thanks to my mom for choosing my all red wardrobe from ages one through six.  I never paid much attention to the clothes I put on, until I got this red corduroy skirt with three appliquéd white teddy bears and straps that crossed in the back and buttoned in the front and slipped off my shoulders a lot.  I imagine I begged to wear it every day, but had to keep it for “good”.  I’m so glad there’s a photo of it.  I loved that thing.

Those socks with strappy sandals are a much foggier memory, quite possibly my own fashion choice at the time.  And I think the white blouse had red buttons.  Best outfit ever.  It’s been all down hill since then.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility, if you could be an athlete what would you do? Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

I have given this question a lot of careful consideration while sitting here on the couch being totally not athletic.  My sport of choice would not include excessive speed or risk or danger or physical exertion.  So that limits the field somewhat. Beach volleyball, pole dancing, weight lifting and archery all crossed my mind.  But my final answer is darts.  It’s a sport which requires a keen eye, good concentration and accuracy, and possibly a great love and appreciation of drinking beer in pubs.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

Well that depends on who’s driving.  Mostly I’m content to sit in the passenger seat and be an annoying navigator, nodding off when things get boring.  But if I don’t trust the abilities of the person behind the wheel it won’t be a pleasant trip for either of us.  I think I’m a pretty good driver and I do like to be in control of the speed and the route and the pit stops.  But I’m also getting old and slow and more absent-minded, so hopefully I will be smart enough to give it up when it’s time.  However if you told me that time has come and it’s today I probably wouldn’t take you seriously.  It’s an old person thing.  We are all stubborn as hell.  Just hide my keys.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

IMG_3301This made me smile because I do almost all of these things!  It’s like a check list for a simple life.  I can’t sleep when it gets light out, so my summer mornings are ridiculously early.  I always make my bed as soon as I get out of it.  I excel at sitting.  I enjoy folding clean, fresh smelling clothes and towels and sheets.  It’s wonderful to wake up to a clean kitchen and empty sinks, so washing everything up before bed is a bit of an obsession with me.  Eat when hungry, sleep when tired – no problem – perks of being retired.

This morning I cut the grass, trimmed a tree and two bushes, watered the flowerbeds, put out the green compost  garbage bin and the recycling and cursed at the bugs.  Like housework, doing these things is a weird kind of pointless because it all has to be done again.  And again, and again.  But it’s also pointless to dwell on that.  So I won’t.

And that’s my very ordinary little old world for another week!  It’s a blessing to be this bored and content you know.  There’s something to appreciate.

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Sharing My World 81

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Baby sister and me at picnic grounds, random uncle in background, and some very cool cars.

Share Your World – May 28, 2018

If you were to pack a basket for a picnic lunch, what would be in your basket?

I have the fondest memories of our Sunday family picnics in a little park beside the beach in Port Elgin.  There were always various aunts and uncles and cousins from my dad’s side of the family, the heady scent of cedar in the hot sun, and picnic tables that the men would round up until there were enough to seat everyone.  There were paper table cloths and paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery, wasps, ants, screeching sea gulls, and so much food we always ended up having to decide who would take what home with them.  Because how boring to take what you brought and how fun to exchange things.  And fight over Aunt Marie’s brownies topped with melted marshmallows and chocolate icing.  Well, maybe that never happened because I can’t imagine there being any of those left.

Something that did happen every picnic day without fail was having the adults warn their children that swimming was absolutely forbidden until two hours after eating. Because to do so meant you would probably get cramps and die.  And the adults would have their after meal chat time seriously reduced too. That bit would be equally tragic.

I do not remember ever having much to do with the picnic food prep, which likely explains my picnic nostalgia.  White bread sandwiches cut in little triangles and jello salads and potato salads and desserts all just magically appeared.  And there was always Freshie.  That’s a Canadian thing from the 1950’s and beyond, an add-your-own-sugar drink mix, in kid flavours called orange, yellow, purple and red.  Purple was the best.

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At this point in my life I have a hard time figuring out what the point of a picnic is when it’s just so much easier to stay home where there is less pollen and fewer bugs.  But if I was forced at gun point to pack for one, I’d fill the basket with potato salad and plastic forks.  And hope somebody else remembers to bring the Freshie.

On a vacation what do you require in any place that you sleep?

A decent mattress, clean sheets, air conditioning, a great shower, towels larger than postage stamps and internet access.  As far as I know there are none of these things in a tent.  Oh, and lots of body lotion.  Some places are very chintzy with the body lotion.  I bring my own, but still, you know, free stuff.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what are the top three items on your wish list?

Funny you should ask because I have been watching design challenges and home purchasing shows and small home documentaries.  It is completely bizarre to me how much space some people think they need.  One woman wanted an extra room just to store her shoes.  Think about why you need such a ridiculous amount of storage space and then get rid of half your crap.  Plus, seriously, if you are one person with four bathrooms, what is going on in that little head of yours?  And more importantly, who is keeping them all clean while you’re out working your ass off to pay your mortgage?

Top three items on my list:  two bedrooms, big shower, no stairs.  The rest of the list?   Kitchen with stools and a counter you can eat at, open to living area, a little patio or balcony, no grass to cut.  A den or office area would be a nice bonus for books and art paraphernalia but if that stuff can fit in the bedrooms, even better.  Something small and easy to keep clean.  If I want to entertain I will rent a hall.  Or take you out to a restaurant.  If you get really drunk and can’t drive home, you can sleep on my floor.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Last summer it would often take me a couple of days to cut the grass, doing the back one day and the front the next.  I’ve done it twice now, front and back easily in a morning, no problem. So I guess those 15 minute senior workouts are doing their magic.  I also found a video that takes you on a mile long walk (1.609 km in Canada) without leaving your home.  So, great for rainy, heavy pollen, or crazy hot days. The ‘walk’ incorporates side to side and back and forth steps, arm and knee raises, kicks, twists, and generally a lot of antics that if you did them out and about in your neighbourhood would draw a lot of attention to yourself.

After all these hot days, last night we had our first real thunder-storm of the season. It was short but lovely.  There’s something about the delightful smell of a rain storm that always makes me smile.   That, plus the fact that if you had a picnic planned you’d have to call it off and eat at your kitchen counter instead.

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Sharing My World 80

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Share Your World – April 30, 2018

Do you use paper money? If so is your money organized sequentially according to denomination?

Well, sort of, in answer to both questions, although the organized part is a bit hit or miss.  A couple of weeks ago I had two five dollar bills, both folded in half and probably right side up and facing forward. If I still had them I would go and check to verify this information, because that is exactly how busy I am.

I like to have some cash on hand, especially if we’re travelling, for small things like coffee or snacks, but that’s just a long ingrained habit, because now everywhere takes cards for everything.  But if they don’t, or their machines are down, it’s good to have an emergency stash of a couple of twenties stuffed into some obscure zippered pocket of your bag so you can rummage around in a panic trying to find them, praying you didn’t use them for something already.  Also a suitcase full of paper money hidden under your floor boards would be nice.

You are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time?

I am comfortable doing nothing for long stretches of time.  Yes I am.  I am also able to sit perfectly still without fidgeting.  Normally I am a very patient and calm person and don’t mind waiting.  I can be relaxed to the point of passing out.  I used to call this severe laziness, but now I’ve decided it’s more like energy efficiency.  I am conserving my power.  Fully charged and on standby.  Except not actually standing if there’s someplace to sit down.

What is your greatest strength?

I honestly don’t know.  I’m pretty ordinary.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciate the weather for finally figuring out what season we’re supposed to be experiencing, although today started out overcast and windy.  It’s not snowing.  Woohoo.  That’s something to smile about.

When the snow finally took a breather W was able to drive east to see his parents and take care of some things for them.  We haven’t communicated much for a couple of weeks but I’m assuming it’s all going well and I expect him home some time tomorrow afternoon.  Our lawns at last look to be dry enough to be raked and poked and prodded and whatever else he plans to do to them.  Apparently he has a system.  He told me that when I offered to help.  So I’m assuming he meant I should just stay out of his way.  Stirring up the grass just stirs up my allergies and I really hate yard work anyway.  I don’t even know why I offered.  Sometimes I carry this trying to be nice thing way too far.

The sun is just now coming out from behind the clouds!  All the green emerging from the greys and browns is a beautiful uplifting sight.  It IS May, after all.  Which means we have about three more weeks before we can put out our bedding plants here.  I wish I was kidding about that, or that I bothered with bedding plants, but I gave that up a long time ago because I got tired of spending money to watch things die.  Maybe that’s my greatest strength, knowing when to give up.  Ha.  Like that one made the list.  Although when you think about it, it is a concept some people can’t grasp.

Give it up.  Let it go.  End this blather.  See how easy that was?

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Sharing My World 79

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Share Your World – April 23, 2018

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Sick.  And very fat.  Assuming I go with my first choice which is chocolate lava cake with real whipped cream.  And the only reason I thought of that is because I saw an Instant Pot recipe for it on Facebook, source of all indispensable information.  Good thing I don’t have a cake pan insert.  Phew.

I also want to say coffee, but that’s not exactly a nutritious staple either, so my final answer is soup.  You can have a mad variety with that one.  I’ve always said I could live quite happily on soup alone forever.  Not sure if it’s true, but it’s a fun thing to say.

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.

It’s a rare thing for me to watch the same movie twice, but I did it with Bridesmaids.  Twice in a movie theatre and at least twice on Netflix after that.  If that one doesn’t make you laugh out loud more than once then I’m thinking you might need more help than a movie can give you to cheer yourself up.

I also can’t think of any book I’ve picked up to re-read in an attempt to improve my mood.  So I guess I’ll take a fail on this question.

Something I do like to watch though is multiple seasons of tv shows, because that’s like a book or movie that never freaking ends and can keep me up until ungodly hours in the interests of finding out what the heck god forsaken thing happens next.  And although I profess to prefer comedies, I watch a LOT of crime shows.  They’re not all that cheery normally, unless they’re badly done and then they’re hilarious and obviously listed in the wrong category.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

Not much.  So little in fact,  I would not be surprised if the mouse rather quickly passed out from boredom, or left altogether in search of a more stimulating environment.    W watches stuff on his computer.  I watch stuff on my IPad.  We yawn a lot.  We go to bed.  For a bit of excitement we might discuss the weather if it’s being its normal shitty self.  But that just puts us in a bad mood so mostly we skip it. Or he goes on and on about it and I don’t listen.  Yeah that sounds more like it.  Important to get this boring shit right.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

There was a question a week or two ago – Been anywhere recently for the first time? – and I’m going to answer it now because I actually did leave my house for an extended period of time.  We are talking hours.  Holy.   Imagine living here for so many years without ever visiting these two places –

Muttart Conservatory and the Art Gallery of Alberta.  I greatly appreciate Son and Daughter-in-law and grandkids who took me to see these places because they were both lovely.  Kind of makes me wonder what else there is that I haven’t been paying attention to in this city.

Then of course there’s my new books which I’ve mentioned already, pictured above.  I had to scrounge up a bedside lamp to start reading ( in bed, my favourite place to read), having forgotten that real books don’t light up in the dark.

Hope your world is also filled with wondrously magical things worth sharing. Oh, did I say “also”?  Okay I did, so I must have meant to, right?  Right.  More equally thrilling stuff to come I have no doubt.  Even though you might.

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Something About Some Things

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Yay for The Daily Post!  And yay for the word “vague” and Savage Chickens being vague.  I don’t know why all of that is inspiring for me today.  I suppose I could dream up some vague reasons, but why, right?  It’s  got me writing.  Good enough.

I had it pointed out to me that my last post was in December.  Well it’s kinda been January ever since, but finally (Finally!) I think the snow is giving up and going away.

So here’s a few things I’ve been up to in this hundred and some days-long month from Hades.

  1.  Crocheting.  It all started with my sudden desire for an old lady shawl.  So I made one.  It looks like half of a giant doily and is not particularly warm.  My attempt at making a “shrug” was somewhat more successful but it was big and bulky and annoying to wear so eventually I took the seams apart and did a border and turned it into a blanket.  I have it on my lap as we speak.  And then the slippers began.  I don’t know if I’m up to fifty pair, but it must be close.  I guess you could call it an experiment gone out of control, but I do love messing about with patterns and sizes and different yarns, and my vague goal at this point is for my immediate family to have slippers for life.  They’ve all been very nice about it so far.  Even W has been wearing shoe box size monstrosities and professing to love how warm they are.  Now I’m working on the last sleeve of a rather interesting sweater and that’s maybe all you need to know about that.
  2. Shopping the yarn sales at Michaels.  Sometimes two and three days a week using coupons and vouchers and going to the checkout getting the same unlucky lady almost every time, who would probably like to ask me WTF I’m doing with all these random colours bought in fits and starts but is too polite to ask.  Or more likely she’s seen it all before and does not even care.
  3. Instant Potting!  Thanks to my son who brought his Instant Pot when they all came for a visit at Spring Break.  My mother was not a fan of pressure cooking and instilled in me a healthy fear of blowing up the kitchen with one of those things.  But a week of watching K use his (and eating all the delicious stuff you can make in it) was enough for me to find the courage to buy one.  I’ve been using it almost every day since.  Yay for more experimenting!  But, you know, on the cautious side.  I sit in another room while it’s working because if it blows I don’t want to go with it.  Childhood fears are really hard to shake.  But the soups are to die for.  Well, not literally.

The sun is shining, the temperature is almost balmy, and it’s getting harder by the day to justify my reluctance to get the hell out of my house and go for a walk.  Ice on the sidewalks has been a powerful deterrent.  Probably wouldn’t be able to find any now.  But I also have a ton of reading to do, many free e-books and three new actual real books from Chapters that I’m saving and savouring and slavering over.  Well that sounds vaguely disgusting.  I don’t even care if they were bad choices and are stupid stories, they are REAL BOOKS.  Yay for real books.

So, am I back to blogging?  Who knows.  Hope so.  Seems possible.  Time will tell. I love being vague.  Kind of the story of my life.  Or not. I don’t know.

Sharing My World 78

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There were no new world sharing questions this week.  Normally this would not be a big deal for me since I am generally clueless about stuff like what day of the week it is at the best of times, and it could be construed as surprising that I even noticed.  But I did.  And consequently I’ve had some remorse about my silence.  I needed my question-answering fix for the week.

So I searched the internet for some random questions that didn’t hurt my brain.  I hope my answers won’t hurt yours too much.

Are you the person now you thought you’d be when you were little?

When I was little I never once imagined myself as anyone’s grandma, that’s for sure.

Now that the grandma thing is happening I realize that all grandmas have a finite number of stories to tell and they just keep on telling them because what the hell else do they have to do?  So if you’ve heard this one before, too bad.  I’m old and I don’t care.

When a teacher asked us to paint a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up, I imagined myself as a brilliant and beautiful blonde singer on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Sadly in real life I had extreme stage fright, a less than stellar singing voice, and what I considered totally the wrong face for blonde hair.  “Brilliant” and  “beautiful” on their own alas turned out to be insufficient traits for this particular ambition.  Plus Ed died before I could get my shit together.

I guess none of it was meant to be.  But the childhood friends who laughed at me when I shared this dream will forever live in my memory as little jerks.  I knew myself it was not realistic, but could you not have humoured me for five minutes?

Have you ever had your heart-broken?  Have you ever broken someone else’s heart?

Heartbreak is such a subjective thing.  Little things break your heart when you’re little, like when your brother pulls the head off your doll and demands money from you for revealing its current whereabouts.  It’s all about loss, and the losses get progressively bigger and more serious as you grow up.  You lose a good friend, you break up with a boyfriend, you have to abandon an unrealistic dream.  But wait, life has way more heartbreaking stuff to throw at you. A lover moves on and leaves you grieving for what might have been, opportunities disappear, a grandparent dies.  Then you lose your parents and a sibling and you wonder what you were so upset about before those things happened.  And then you wonder how much more breaking your heart can actually take.  Or if it will eventually get so hard and calloused that it just rolls with the punches, because you know those hard knocks aren’t going to stop.

If I’ve caused a broken heart I am truly sorry.  But I believe,  because I can’t think of a specific instance off the top of my head of ever doing it deliberately to anyone,  that maybe it hasn’t happened a lot.  Huh. Well, no doubt there’s still time.

When you think of home, what comes to mind?

After W and I first got married we both thought of where we grew up as home.  As in ‘let’s go home for Christmas.’  It took a long time for us to refer to wherever the two of us currently lived together as our REAL home.  Having kids helped with that because it was their home.  Is that weird or normal?  I seem to ask myself that question a lot and rarely know the answer and probably won’t believe yours anyway, so just ignore that bit.

Now I think you just take home with you wherever you go.  It’s a feeling, more than a place. A sense of peace and love and being safe from harm.  It can be as big as a country or as small as a backyard.  And the people who have broken my heart by leaving were simply on their way home.  I need to suck it up and be thankful I got to walk beside them and share so many small parts of their journey.

Name one of your greatest strengths, and one of your greatest weaknesses.

Adaptation is a big strength.  Because everything changes.  Everything!   Might as well get used to it.

Worry is my most crippling weakness, not to mention a royal pain.  Sometimes when something I’ve been fretting about finally happens it’s a colossal relief because then I can just move on and adapt to it.  And yeah, that one is definitely weird.

What did life teach you yesterday?

It taught me that many people who want to cut sugar out of their diets still want to pretend they are eating things that contain sugar.  They post sugarless, wheatless, grain free, gluten-free, dairy free, diabetic friendly recipes for brownies and cookies and cheesecake and bread.  Why don’t you weirdos just stop eating cupcakes and chocolate mousse and bogus donut shaped things that no one in their right mind can be fooled into believing are bagels?  It won’t kill you to cut desserts out of your diet and just eat a completely un-messed with banana or something.

I’m sorry but “bread” made with sixteen eggs and almond flour is not even remotely close to being bread-like.  Do you really need toast that smells like burnt eggs?  I know I can live without it.

I can also live without eating shortbread and butter tarts although I made them both for W because it’s Christmas and I didn’t want him moping around whining about missing them.  Believe me, no one wants that.  I did not attempt to make a pastry-less, raisin and nutless,  no brown sugar, no corn syrup, butter-substitute loaded tart although I’m sure someone in the world has tried it and will be posting the godforsaken recipe on Facebook shortly.  Do not fall for it.  Some things are meant to be coma inducing sugar bombs and we should just accept that and let them be.

Deep down, who are you really?

Well if all this didn’t give you at least a couple of clues and an ill- informed opinion, I don’t know what to say.

I’m pretty ordinary as humans go.  I guess deep down I’m my mothers daughter, least likely person to ever want to break your heart.  My mother did not laugh at my goal to become a famous singer, she simply told me the picture I drew was nice.

It’s not that hard to be kind. We should probably all try it more often.  And if you’re one of those people trying to make the things we eat healthy, I’m sorry I was snarky, and good for you.  My mom tried to make pie shells once with whole wheat flour.  They were disgusting, but we all knew her heart was in the right place.

Sharing My World 77

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Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I half-assed hate all of them.  Vacuuming (and sweeping and washing and polishing) floors is brutally hard on my back.  And even when it isn’t I will complain that it is.  Cleaning bathrooms is puke inducing.  Laundry is just an annoying pain in the ass.  I guess it’s ass day here at Breathing Space headquarters.  Sorry.

Okay, if I absolutely hate it, it’s probably something I never do, like washing walls or cleaning blinds.  It’s insane to ever do something you absolutely hate doing.  Nothing insane about me!  My daughter dusts my blinds.  It’s just one of the many reasons why I love her.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Right after I retired and really, ever since to some degree.  Except I’ve calmed down a tad lately and no longer wake up every morning screaming in my brain OMFG I DONT HAVE TO GO TO WORK TODAY OR TOMORROW OR ANY OTHER DAY EVER UNTIL I DIE!  And not even after that, as far as I know.  I guess going to work was a chore of which I was less than fond.  Not that my job was horrible, it’s just that being the boss of my own time is infinitely better.  I certainly roll my eyes a lot less.

I have passionately pursued my art and redecorating and decluttering since retiring.  Along with sleeping in.  That is a popular one.  Now I believe I’m in a transition phase, although I have no clear vision of where I’m transitioning to.  Hopefully it’s not permanent couch potato status.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

Zero.  We are stuck in a house bound rut.  I just counted on my fingers sixteen different places I’ve lived, but don’t quote me on that because my math skills are less than stellar.  Our next move, should we choose to get off our asses and make one, will be to something smaller with no stairs and minimal yard work.  Preferably self-cleaning.  My mother-in-law, in her nineties, still lives in the two-story, laundry-in-the-basement home W grew up in.  I don’t know whether I should call that amazing or just down-right dangerously nuts.  Well actually I do know, but I try to be polite and mind my own business most of the time.

I hope we both are smart enough to know when it’s time to down size and simplify and give up doing things like cleaning out eaves troughs and trimming trees and driving vehicles and operating machinery and going up and down stairs and cooking eight course gourmet meals.  (Already ditched that last one, if it’s possible to ditch something you’ve never actually done before in your life).

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I love that my grandchildren are growing up and heading ever closer to adulthood and even though every one of them faces difficulties and issues and growing pains, it’s okay.  Because I’m not the one who has to deal with it.  Haha.  Yeah.  That IS a selfish bad grandma attitude despite the fact that of course I’m here if I’m ever asked for help or advice, but I’m also perfectly happy to stay out of it.  Our parents had confidence in us to deal with our kids without interference and I have the same confidence in mine.  So the inspiration for that little rant came from a weekend visit and conversations with my son and with my daughter-in-law.  Yes, kids, we talk about you when you’re not around, but you are in good hands.  Just don’t be assholes.

I’m running out of ways to incorporate the ass word in this revealing share, so I see no point in going on.  Plus I’ve taken the “sitting still” thing to its maximum limit for today.  Oh, who am I kidding.  There is no agreed upon limit for that.

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