Art du Jour 47

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Always thought it would be fun to do a stacked coffee cup picture.  It’s harder than it looks.  Of course if I didn’t tend to overdo things it might have been easier, with fewer cups for instance.  And I’m not a big fan of outlining in black, but in this case it helped to separate the foreground from the background.

You will never find a balancing act like this in real life.

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.

Sharing My World 13

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The names of my grandchildren in scrabble letters! The perfect gift from a gifted grand-daughter.

Share Your World 2014 Week 51

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

You get what you get, depending on where you choose to live I suppose.  When we lived in the Arctic above the tree line, the winters were long and dark and frozen solid.  So living way down south in the middle of Alberta (which is way up north to many people) seems balmy in comparison.  I have never liked the snow and the cold, but a winter without any snow at all would probably seem weird.  So far this year we haven’t had too much of the white stuff, but now that I’ve said that we’ll get royally dumped on.  No worries, I don’t have to go out in it or shovel it or even look at it if I don’t want to.  That’s what spouses with snow blowers are for.  And snow always eventually goes away.  That’s the part about it I like the best.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

Usually my umbrella is in a basket on the shelf above the coats.  If it’s not there, it’s in my car from the last time I used it and didn’t bring it back in to the house.  It used to get left at work all the time if it was raining when I left to go there and not raining at home time.  No matter where it might be, there will be no frantic searching.  Coats are made with hoods for a reason.  I like the rain.  It doesn’t rain enough here.

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together?

I don’t really care.  Either way, it’s purpose is to satisfy hunger and supply nourishment.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Hunger Games city of Panem where food is so plentiful we forget it’s not there purely for our entertainment.  We play with fashion and we play with food while there are people in the world who are going without proper clothes or food or shelter,  and who must look at us and question our priorities and our sanity in the grand scheme of things.  A starving child isn’t concerned about the presentation or the proper utensils.  Or what to do with the annoying cereal dust at the bottom of the Cheerios box.

What is set as the background on your computer?

Well, funny you should ask.  I just changed it yesterday.  I was tired of looking at this elephant.

The-beautiful-elephant-sunsetAnd now I am looking at this, where they should also have mentioned coffee and chocolate.

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

I am grateful for the best Christmas yet (every one is the best ever – funny how they just keep getting better…) with all the grandchildren and sons and daughters and dogs.  It was relaxing and delicious.  I shared a bedroom with W, so I had to either learn how to use ear plugs or live with sleep deprivation.  I chose the former.  When he snores, the walls go in and out, I swear, and you can’t hear planes flying overhead.  Now I know what to expect when what’s left of my hearing finally goes.  It was kind of nice in a way, getting up and wandering around and having no idea at all how much noise I might be making.

This week I’m looking forward to New Years Eve and maybe actually making it to midnight with my eyes open!  That seems like a reasonable goal and one that I won’t be too sorry about if (as usual) I don’t make it.

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Sharing My World 12

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 49

What is your preferred hot drink: coffee, tea, water, hot chocolate, or other?

Coffee addict here.  Start, spend and end my day with some form of it or another.  I love the idea of a cup of tea, or afternoon tea, or a tea party, and I’ve tried to like tea itself,  but I just can’t do it.   Plain hot water would be preferable to any kind of tea, no matter what blend or flavour you try to tempt me with or whatever wonderful things you add to it.  Hot chocolate is okay, but generally too sweet.  I went through a stage at work once drinking nothing but mochas (half coffee and half hot chocolate) but I’m a coffee purist at heart.  Whatever that is.  Probably made it up.

What was your favorite toy as a child . . . and now?

One Christmas I asked for a black baby.  This was in the early 1950’s when I was three or four.  I don’t know where the idea came from, but there was nothing I wanted more and Santa must have known that because he delivered.  Yay!  She was the most beautiful doll I’d ever seen, with her black hair and chocolate face and little red and white checkered dress.  I must have loved her to pieces, because I don’t know what became of her.  All my Christmases have been pretty much down hill since that one.

Now my favourite toy is my I-Pad.  I use it so much that sometimes I have to recharge it during the day if I want to watch NetFlix on it later.  The corners of the cover are starting to fray and the rubbery stuff is peeling off at the edges and the screen is filthy most of the time.  It’s like having a little mini computer permanently attached to my right arm.  It is well-worn and much-loved.  But not quite to pieces yet.

Candy factories of the entire world have become one and will now be making only one kind of candy. Which kind, if you were calling the shots?

Oh gawd, I don’t care.  Something with vegetables in it that tastes disgusting so I won’t be tempted to eat it.  But do you know how sad this world would be without Mars Bars?  Pretty damned sad.

Would you want $100,000 right now or $120,000 in a year (tax Free)?

I’ll take it now, please.  Who knows how many buses I could get run over by in the next 365 days?

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

Last week was a rather lazy one for me, not unlike all the other weeks of my entire life.  However, I am getting things ready and organized for Christmas this week.  We will be travelling north and spending time with kids and grandkids and grand dogs.  I’m grateful for the weather staying less than horrible.  I can’t say it’s good, because it IS winter after all.  It’s less than a week to go to the shortest day of the year.  And before we know it, 2014 will be over and gone.  Just like the remaining hours of this day.  Those gifts are not going to wrap themselves.  Guess what I’m doing next.  If I had that hundred grand I bet I’d seriously consider paying somebody to do it for me.

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Still Sparkling

Before checking my e-mail this morning I made a solemn promise to myself to answer the Daily WordPress Prompt no matter what.  Every day I read it and have good intentions, but we all know the place to which good intentions are paving the road.  This road is also crowded with people who write awkward sentences and take a long time to get to the point.

Sparkling or Still

What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

At the risk of boring you into a coma, here goes.  Hey, it’s not like I’ve duct taped you to a chair in my living room where you feel obligated to choke down a bad cup of coffee and pretend to listen.  Although that’s how you may feel.

I have been successfully retired for fifty days.  That’s almost two months of continuous days off, and that makes me a self-proclaimed expert on the subject.  Quietly relaxing doing nothing is a fun activity for me, so I choose both answers simultaneously.

My typical day starts with coffee consumed while I scroll through all the e-mails I get from the best of the blogs I follow.  This can take a long time, depending on how interesting you all have decided to be on any particular day.  November has been a crazy month with everyone posting like mad.  I’m anticipating less activity in December when we’re all in Christmas mode.  Even if you don’t celebrate it, it’s pretty hard to ignore altogether.

W finishes reading the paper and most mornings wanders off to the kitchen, eventually interrupting me after making breakfast to tell me to come and cook my own eggs.  He just can’t make himself mutilate eggs the way I do.  Broken, flipped and cooked to death should be a choice in all breakfast restaurants.

If either of us has somewhere to go, we get our act together and do that.  If we don’t, the best way to spend an afternoon for me is messing around in my art room.  Messing around is no vague term.  Sometimes I share my mess, sometimes I don’t.  There was this one oil pastel thing I did that was so hideous I threw it out.  Picture an alien with green eyes and hair on fire.

I also read real books or something on my kindle, clean up, play some word games, write some kind of nonsense on my blog, drum up some ambition to make something for dinner, make lists.  Yes, there are days when I don’t leave my house.  I refuse to feel bad about this, although I will admit some form of physical exercise will have to make it on to one of my lists soon.  Up and down the stairs fifteen times a day should count for something in the meantime.

WAKE UP!  I’m still talking to you.  Don’t you want to hear how I spend my evenings??  They’re more or less a repeat of the afternoons, actually.

Some days I wonder if they miss me at work.  Then I read Dilbert on my page a day calendar and think – nope – probably not.

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Today is our anniversary so we will probably go out to eat somewhere.  We also know there’s a bunch of leftovers in the fridge and neither of us would care if we opted for that instead.  It’s quite delightful to have days stretch ahead of me which I can fill with whatever I want.

Okay, duct tape is going in the garbage and you’re free to go.  I’ll finish up the coffee.  Draw a couple of flaming red-haired elves.  Try not to get too stressed out by all the excitement in my mad and crazy life.

I worked hard for this!  I’m going to enjoy every single fun and relaxing minute of it.

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Sharing My World 9

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This is what you get when you ask everybody to smile.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 45

What is your favorite color?

For as long as I can remember it’s been red.  There was a brief period in my life when my mother was going through her “little dark-haired girls should be dressed in red” phase when I wished for my blonde haired sisters blues and browns, but I was just going through my own “jealous sister” phase and got over it.  Now I find myself choosing red for just about everything where red is a choice .  My I-Pad cover and my dinner plates are red.  I have a red wall in my living room.  A lot of my blood cells are red.  (My grandson helped me out with that one.)  I did a quick survey in this house and discovered there’s not a red lover amongst them.  Lime green, light blue, dark blue, purple, brown and yellow.  Maybe if the dog could talk and wasn’t color blind she’d say red.

In what do you find the simplest of joys?

Waking up well rested, that first fresh hot cup of coffee, my breakfast smoothie, a lazy relaxing day with no definite plans, some pleasant conversation, getting motivated to start an exciting new creative endeavor, getting something finished, making and eating a delicious nutritious meal, going to bed with an excellent book, long run on grammatically incorrect sentences which make you wonder if they’re ever going to end.

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

My photography skills are pretty basic and I can read anywhere, but for arts and crafts it’s important to me to have a space big enough to make a colossal mess.  Because the creative process is messy.  Or maybe that’s just me.

What is at least one of your favourite quotes?

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

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

It’s been great visiting with family for over a week, seeing the grandchildren and how they’re changing and growing up.  It’s a bit scary knowing they’ll all be teenagers before we know it.  I’m looking forward to going home, of course, because I always like that part of a trip as much as any other part of it.  Here’s hoping for an uneventful and safe drive.

Next week it’s back to my favourite surgeon for a follow-up/recheck.  And then I guess it’s time to get into Christmas mode.  Time rushes on.

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