I Want to be a Trifectan

star-crossed lovers

It’s been educational and fun taking some Trifecta Challenges, and now I will attempt to contribute to the community of Trifectans by joining their (at this moment) 248 members, whether they want me or not.  Because really, who would not want to add another two hundred blogs to their daily reading list???  To be a true Trifecta member I think you have to be a little bit nuts, so probably I will fit right in.  All it takes is answering some questions and adding the link here.

  1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?   I submit my links to these challenges in the name of grandmalin.  And in the name of love.
  2. Describe your writing style in three words.  Here, there, everywhere.
  3. How long have you been writing online?  Since 2006, so seven years.  Seven YEARS.  I should be very good at it by now, hey?  Yes, I should be.
  4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in?  Used to do Plinky until they started recycling their questions, try to do some WordPress Daily Prompts, Prompts for the Promptless by Rarasaur (two so far, and the next prompts will no doubt be equally awesome), and a monthly Post for Peace with Bloggers for Peace (and this one I’m very happily committed to, because it’s connected me with so many incredibly beautiful souls.)
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing.  I could leave my house and have some new experiences to write about.   I might even try that one of these days.
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?  Read, read, read.  Read everything. Read the best of it again.
  7. Who is your favorite author? Absolutely impossible to choose, or even to make a list. Maybe my favorite has yet to be discovered.  
  8. How do you make time to write?  By never getting anything else done.
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition.  Canny.   1.  shrewd, astute or wary, knowing.  2.  (Scot, Northeast English)  good or nice, used as a general term of approval.  3.  (Scot) lucky or fortunate  4.  quite, rather:  a canny long while.
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading.  This Star Crossed Lovers  reblog was fun.  However, if you do miss reading it, your life probably won’t suddenly be over.  For something more serious (I do have a sort of half-assed serious side) click on the Posts for Peace category.  And have a perfectly trifectally canny day.

    Cheers..!!

    Cheers..!! (Photo credit: Animesh Singh)

A Spin of Fortunes Wheel

English: The Wheel of Fortune. Musée d'Orsay.

English: The Wheel of Fortune. Musée d’Orsay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s all the interesting and pertinent advice from my tarot cards for today.  (I don’t deal actual cards and make things up, I let my horoscope app do that for me, and then I just pick out the good parts and ignore the rest.)  The reason there’s so much of it is because I ‘re-deal’ until I get something I like.  This is also more or less how I live my real life.  Dwell on the good stuff, turn my back on the crap.

1.  Keep things on a light, even shallow footing and you will be fine. Deep topics can wait for another day.  See how I’ve taken this advice already, writing a post with very little depth or insight?    Okay, I know, it’s certainly not the first time. The rule that says to write about what you know doesn’t give me a lot of scope or options.  I do the best I can with what I’ve got.  Plus steal from the tarot.

2.  At work under the combined auspices of the Devil and The Wheel of Fortune, restlessness and impulsiveness are at a peak.  Don’t act without thought.  Don’t allow yourself to get carried away by your enthusiasm.   OMG, like that last bit has ever happened.  Lately I feel like I’m working for the devil and she spins a giant Wheel of Annoyance to decide on the next area of distress and vexation.  Then when we’ve got the chaos and frustration worked out of that one, it’s time to give the wheel another spin.

3.  You will be able to indulge with great pleasure and good humor in the pleasures that this day has in store for you.  Yay!  Good for me. I hope I’m smart enough to recognize them when they pop up.

4.  Take the occasional pause to breathe.   Wow. That’s probably the best advice anyone could pass along to those of us who are inclined to forget the simplest but most essential things in life.   I’ve seen what happens to people who stop breathing.

5.  Try to find balance and calm in your life today and new encounters will be characterized by sweetness and gentleness.  I am a big fan of balance and calm.  I try to remember that happiness is all around me.  Love is in the air.  Peace begins within.  We are all Gods children.  Even though some of us are brats.

Okay, I’m ready to face my day.  There is light at the end of every tunnel.  The mist will surely clear.  Forget being paralyzed by self-doubt.  I have great inner strength and power and a glorious zest for life!

Gah.  I think maybe it’s time to give the cards a brief rest.

Stupid Spontaneous Outbursts of the Regretable Kind

Ever had one of those knee-jerk, immediate gut reactions to something without knowing where it came from, and made some emotionally charged unthinking response?

Shut up, you have so.  It’s an involuntary impulse we all have.  The words are out of our mouths before we consider their basis or their impact.  It’s what gets politicians and celebrities in big trouble.  When we don’t think before we speak we usually end up saying something we actually truly mean.  And possibly immediately regret.  Usually no amount of embarrassed revising, fumbling with different words, or flustered back-tracking can save us.

So that’s why, once I’ve said some asinine thing out loud without thinking, I like to walk away and pretend it didn’t happen.  That way when someone confronts me with it later I can act all innocent and artless about it.  What?  I don’t think I said that.  Come on.  I’m sorry you got the wrong impression. Poor me, so blameless and misunderstood.  I’m not saying this is the best course of action to take.  Maybe it’s the worst.  Maybe a preventative smacking of myself in the head before I speak would be helpful.

Thinking it Over

Thinking it Over (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started thinking about this because of a rather innocent little thing that happened yesterday.  I was being advised by someone (who, by the way, gives out unwanted and unsolicited advice to everyone, twenty-four/seven) that I should tape an Amsler Grid to my bathroom mirror and look at it every day.  My mother had macular degeneration, and this grid is a test for it.  The CNIB website can tell you everything you ever, or never, wanted to know about it, or you can check out the information on Wikipedia  here.  My immediate reaction was a sudden strong desire to tell her to piss off and leave me the hell alone. Yes, you may well ask, where in the world did that feeling come from with such a vengeance?   I stomped off to the lunch room to wonder about it myself, before I could make some angry idiotic comment.

Normally I don’t try to analyze these things too much, but this time the reasons kept popping randomly into my head, so here they are:

1.  I don’t want to live in fear of something that might never happen. It’s not proven that this condition is hereditary.  If it happens, it happens, and then I’ll deal with it.

2.  I don’t want to tape ANY damned thing to my mirror.  That’s so tacky I can’t even think about it.

3.  Her mother had Alzheimer’s disease.  Have I suggested to her that she should put post it notes asking ‘what is this?’ on every object in her house, so that if one day she can’t remember the name of something she’ll know she’s got the disease?  No, I have not.

4.  I don’t want to be reminded every day of my mother’s struggle with something for which there was no cure.

5.  Anyone who dares to tell me what to do deserves to rot in hell.

Okay, that last one was a bit over the top.  Anyway, it’s done, I didn’t say anything incredibly stupid, and it’s time to get over it.  Don’t give me any advice about all this unless you’d like me to bite your head off for even trying to make me see sense.  Oh God, did I say that out loud?  I’m pretty sure I didn’t mean it.

Letter to Newton

Between my dad and his older brother Newton there was a gap of six years.  Dad wrote this letter in 1937 when he was twenty-three and needed some advice from someone older and wiser, with more life experience.


Port Elgin Ont

Dec. 5, 1937

Dear Newton –

I was informed that you wished I’d write once in a while.  I know for myself that I should but as usual am not prompt at anything.

I was informed also some time ago that Carl Gingrich is figuring on buying lot 8 and I’m keeping clear of it.

While cutting wood we came upon a nice little patch of birch.  What would you charge a cord for it.  It isn’t a very big strip, maybe twenty cords.  There has been several asking me if you would sell poplar by the acre and of course I didn’t know. 

I suppose you heard my old flame Alaine got the knot tied.  It makes me feel old all these kids getting married.

I am sort of contemplating the subject but it sort of frightens me.  What if I get the wrong woman or something?  Of course there have been several applicants but the job has not yet been let.  I’d like to get the advice of someone who has tried it.  There has been a lot of people heard I was getting married.  In fact one man wanted to make a deal with me to take over his farm in the spring.

It’s great weather for cutting wood now if it only lasts another couple of weeks we will have a nice little pile put up.

I suppose you have lots of snow up there.  Do you ever go over to visit Santa Claus?  I’ll bet he’s busy right now.  How’s Marie?  or I mean Mrs. McArthur because I shouldn’t get so familiar with one I haven’t even met.  Anyway, give her a kiss for me, unless it keeps you busy doing yourself justice.

Well I don’t know what else to say so I guess I’d better get ready and go to McConkey’s.  Write soon with information.

Hank

The letter was sent to Northern Ontario where Newton was newly married and teaching school.  McConkey’s refers to his oldest sister May and her husband for whom my dad was working at the time.

Perhaps on one of their family visits during the summer to our farm Aunt Marie or Uncle Newton brought this letter back to my dad.  It was mom who kept it in amongst her precious papers all those years.  I wonder what advice Newton gave my dad so long ago?  It was five years after writing it that he finally decided he was making the right choice and married my mother.

All his life my dad respected and admired and loved his siblings.  They were spread out all over the province, but it never stopped them from being close.

These little snippets of history, showing us who they were, help to keep the memories alive.

When in Doubt, Act Stupid

  • The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.  (Bertrand Russell)

    When in doubt, the person whose advice I seek first of course depends entirely on what I’m in doubt about.  Best to talk to an expert, somebody who knows.  Although great advice can also come from the most unexpected sources.  You only have to listen.

    When I’m uncertain and apprehensive, undecided, all at sea – the people who know me best and care enough to help me muddle through my current dilemma are my family.  Near or far, doesn’t matter.  I trust what they have to say, knowing it comes from the heart.

    Then I have to deal with my cold feet, qualms, second thoughts and skepticism and make the final decision that’s right for me.  All suggestions duly noted and considered, in the end I’m on my own.

    If I’m puzzled and confused about the facts, I google.

    A lot of the time I think we already know the answers, but simply need someone else to validate the way we feel and approve of the action we’ve already decided to take.

    If someone asks me for advice I tell them what I’d do if it were me.  I tell them what I think, and offer some solutions.  Or only one, if I think there’s only one that has a hope in hell of working.

    Nothing irks me more than being told that my advice is faulty, that it will never work, or that some other way is definitely better.  If you’ve asked for my advice and I’ve given it and you don’t like it, I think this conversation is done. Go ask somebody else for the answer you want.  And the next time you want my opinion, I’ll act completely stupid about it and just say I don’t know and save us both the aggravation.

Useful Advice

Over breakfast I asked a couple of four-year-old chicken farmers for some chicken advice.

First off they told me some awesome chicken names; Blastoff, Darth Vader, Hulk, Alien, Dragon, Snake and Ninja were Corey’s top choices. Maddy was much more thoughtful and came up with Blackie, Frog, Balloon, Reindeer and Fox. They assured me that chickens would not get confused having these names.

If you want to raise chickens there’s two things you need to remember. Don’t let them bite your fingers, and don’t ever put eggs in your pockets.

Without a doubt, that’s the most useful advice I’ve received so far today.

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Easy to Give/Hard to Take

Since I rarely take advice from the living, I don’t know why I would suddenly be seeking it from some dead guy.

Most advice is non-specific and therefore useless anyway. Things like

– stop worrying

– quick, think of something!

– be happy

– relax

– find some time

– stop thinking about it

– don’t laugh, don’t cry, don’t fall asleep

– calm down

Hah. Easy for you to say.

But I guess if my arm was being twisted and I HAD to come up with some historical person PLUS think of some kind of recommendation that I might actually pay attention to, my choice for all that would be a chat with Nostradamus.

I would ask him what I should be doing to prepare for the end of the world in December of 2012.

And if his advice was “stop being such a flaming idiot”, I would take that as a good sign.

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