Another January Day

I know what our next door neighbour did yesterday – pranced around on his front lawn in a t-shirt.  Okay, he wasn’t actually prancing.  More like zipping out to his car for something and then taking his sweet time going back inside because it was relatively sunny and warm here on the first day of the new year.  And by warm I mean around the freezing mark.

Sorry that’s all I’ve got on him.  Just happened to see him briefly from my front window and have no idea how he spent the rest of his day.  Here in the late afternoon we were feasting on an awesome vegetarian lasagna made by my son.  We didn’t have the whole gang because life and work and other priorities take people in different directions.  I’m always happy to see whoever drops in.  Especially when they bring food.

This morning the wind woke me up early and has been blustering away all day, blowing snow off the roof tops and the trees and depositing it in our driveway.  No t-shirts noted anywhere on the block.  Colder weather is forecast for next week.  I wish we could send some of it (minus the wind) to Australia.  Along with a ton of rain.  I fear the devastating disasters in store for all of us if we don’t take the climate crisis seriously.

But I won’t get myself started on that tonight.  I’ll tell you what I’m happy about instead.

– all the Christmas leftovers are gone

– except for some fudge and butter tarts, and W is taking care of those

– all the decorations are boxed up and put away

– except for the outdoor lights, but W is taking care of those too, probably by February at the very latest

– we have had our youngest three grandchildren around sporadically for almost two weeks.  We find them interesting and they find us boring, and that’s how these relationships usually work with the very young and the very old.  I suppose we could try to be less boring.  There’s a thought.

– I love quiet evenings inside where it’s warm, a hot drink before bed, reading until the kindle falls out of my hand and I can’t keep my eyes open.  Simple pleasures.  I’ve already said boring, no reason to repeat it.

This month always seems to go relentlessly on and on until you swear it’s never going to end.  Sort of like a pregnancy in the ninth month.  My doctor told me she’d never heard of a pregnancy that didn’t terminate (how reassuring) and I guess that applies to Januaries as well.

Two days down, eleventy seven to go.

So Where the Hell Have You Been?

There, now you don’t have to ask me that question. I appear to have stopped blogging for over a year (because unfinished unpublished posts in the drafts section don’t count) and boy do I ever have a years worth of excuses!  Want to hear them all?  No, I didn’t think so.

I’ve been right here this whole time, taking a long break from listening to myself, making actual real useful stuff with my hands instead of my head, and resting my brain.

I have made hats and mats and blankets and slippers and shawls.  Dolls and bears and zebras and giraffes.  I’ve made so much stuff it’s getting harder all the time to find anyone willing to take my latest greatest project home with them.  But I’m not finished and will keep going for as long as I’m able and for as long as Michaels has yarn sales.  I had forgotten how much I love to crochet, just like I’ve forgotten for a bit how much I love to write.

The memories that pop up on Facebook for me are getting downright scary.  Nine years ago my two oldest grandkids were nine years old.  Now they’re eighteen;  and the fifteen, fourteen and thirteen year olds are right behind them, with a grandma getting progressively more ancient by the minute.

Time for me to tell more stories while I can still remember things.  Maybe these beautiful young people I’m so happy to have in my life will one day have questions I’m not around to answer.  I mean seriously, look how fast one year, never mind nine years, whizzes right on by.  Maybe I have another nine in me, but you never know.

My grandma started saying “Well, this could be my last Christmas!” when she was in her seventies, and kept it up for almost 30 years.  I’d like to be that lucky.  Plus, the older I get, the greater the possibility of uttering totally bizarre shit that will make my descendants laugh and roll their eyes and wonder if that’s how they’re going to end up.  I like that feeling of power.

 

 

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 54

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Weekend Artwork by Littlest Granddaughter

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 11

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

My brother was born first, followed by me three years later, followed by my sister another three years later, and six years after that, baby sister, spoiled by her siblings.  So I am a middle child, one of three girls, nobody special.  Or incredibly special, I can’t decide.

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

I don’t mind being a passenger, feeling free to let my mind wander or to fall asleep or to give directions or to wonder out loud why we are taking this particularly stupid route.  Well, that’s only when W is behind the wheel.  I don’t mind driving by myself, but I do not like having passengers when I’m driving.  Probably because I’m such a bad passenger/back seat driver myself and also because I like to talk to other drivers on the road without anyone hearing the dumb things I say.  Plus I take wrong turns all the time and nobody needs to know that.

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

All W’s flashlights are downstairs in the dark, but I have candles and matches everywhere.  Some family member asked me once why W has so many flashlights and I didn’t know the answer to that one because, like I said, they’re all downstairs somewhere in the dark and I wouldn’t know where to look for them.  I have a little pen sized flashlight in my makeup bag for some obscure reason, and I used to have a light thing dangling from my keys but I don’t know what happened to it.  I never used it because there’s an interior light in the car and the porch light is always on at our back door and I can’t think of a single time I needed to use my keys in the dark.

I’m not sure why I have this uncanny ability to turn the answer to a simple question into a rambling essay.  I light candles.  We own many.

List at least five of your favorite types of animal (any animal to domestic to wild to marine life)

Lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras.  In a previous life I lived in Africa.  Or a zoo.  Or the circus.

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

This weekend our eldest grandson attended a special wrestling development clinic at the U of A for wrestlers who got medals at the Alberta Winter Games.  We are incredibly proud of him for doing so well in a sport he’s only just started.

Youngest grandson got to go to an Oilers hockey game, and even though his team “got destroyed” as he explained it, he had a great time.

The girls and I went to see the Zootopia movie in 3D.  Because those special glasses are to die for.  You can pop out the lenses and wear them home.  And the movie was great fun!  They were especially giggly about the sloths.

I put a border on the above artwork by Madison and I’m going to put it up somewhere more important than the fridge.  I love that she made it so colourful and happy.

Not sure what I’m looking forward to in particular this week, but in general, spring.  And summer.  And all the snow disappearing.  Just normal every day stuff.  No crazy wishes or expectations.  I’m happy to keep waking up in the morning.

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Picture Stories

Yesterday I took a photo album down from one of my library shelves and flipped through it looking for a picture to scan to my iPad.  (I have recently learned how to do this….so now there may follow a series of these scans complete with my observations and thoughts and general rambling comments.)  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

We have a couple of albums containing photos from my and W’s childhoods, and then the books are for the most part neatly organized chronologically from before we were married up until we had grandchildren growing up.  By that time most pictures were being uploaded from cameras and saved to hard drives and I imagine some photo album manufacturers have gone out of business between then and now.  So these albums will soon be museum worthy. Unless museums cease to exist.  Or the house burns down.

The album I randomly selected is one of the last ones I put together I think.  It is such a hodgepodge of photos it made me think of my mother.  She stuck pictures in books to keep them nice, but in no discernible order whatsoever.  (We did ask her why, and she said it was so that whoever wanted one after she was gone would get a bit of everything in one book.)  This one I put together isn’t that diverse, but it is pretty mixed up.  I guess I am becoming my mother in more ways than I know.

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That’s not a bad thing of course. Here she is in 1936, 19 years old, wearing a pretty dress and sensible shoes.  She was in Teachers College in Stratford, Ontario.  I wonder if this was a professional photo, because it looks like the colours were touched up, or even added later.  That’s a tropical rain forest kind of green.  She was doing something with her life, having adventures, and in no hurry to settle down.  It would be six years before she married my dad, (he was off having his own adventures in the Wild West) and ten years before my older brother was born.  She had her whole life ahead of her.  I think she would tell you now it was a good one.

William Lyon MacKenzie King was Prime Minister of Canada in 1936.  School children would have been singing “God Save the King” because that year there were three of them – George V, Edward VIII and George VI.  The start of the Second World War was just three years away.

It would be fun to pop back in time and let her know that this photo moment would be preserved for the next 90 years and end up on a picture album page shared with a few of her great-grandchildren.  But looking that far into the future might have felt like tempting fate.  And she would have pooh-poohed the whole idea and thought her dress was just this old thing and her hair was a sight and it would be ridiculous to keep anything for that long and that nothing about the picture was really worth saving at all…..

But here it is.  And I’m ridiculously happy to have it.

Sharing My World 33

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SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #33

What are some words that just make you smile?

Hi grandma!  (Those never fail to put a smile on my face.)  However, there are more, but they’re less popular;  skullduggery, skedaddle, brouhaha, mollycoddle, doozy, lollygag, shenanigans, bumbershoot, malarkey, kerfuffle, gonzo, humdinger, fuddy-duddy and gobbledygook.  I also like namby-pamby, but I’m not sure how to use it in everyday conversation.

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

I have everything I need and more.  So I would like to get rid of something.  My debt.  And the debt of my children.  The reason we are all in debt is because we want for nothing.  Except for the cash to pay off everything we owe.  Half a million dollars would be very helpful.  I thought once we had our vehicles and mortgages and credit cards all paid up we would be debt free, but our line of credit does not want to go quietly into the night.  There’s always something.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

Zen.  Although I expect it would just give me a headache.  I have a little book of Zen sayings.  In the introduction Zen is described as “spiritual, uncluttered, calm, mystical, enigmatic – all at the same time.  It might be easier to describe the sound of one hand clapping.”  Many of the parables, haiku and quotes are simply beautiful.  And many confuse the living hell out of me.  Which is probably not a very Zen thing to admit.

Would your rather be stuck in a small plane with bad turbulence for 2 hours or be a passenger in a car racing the Daytona 500?

Seriously, if those are my two choices, just shoot me now.  Small planes bouncing around in high winds have a way of reminding you how fragile life really is.  And racing around in circles at ridiculous speeds is just dumb. That being said, I will admit I admire the people who are good at it.

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 getting to see my grandchildren, at home and away in the last 2 – 3 weeks.  They are all growing older and growing up.  Although their parents may think it’s a slow process, I know better.  I am grateful for a new (some might say time-wasting) game that my son and two grandsons play and now I’m hooked on it too.  Thanks guys.  Of the four games I play religiously, at least one of the old ones must go.  Perhaps two.  My sanity is at risk.  And don’t tell me it’s too late.

The break from blogging has been good, although it wasn’t planned and just happened, and then kept on happening for much longer than any normal kind of break should.  I am a creature of habit, both good and bad.  If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I must be almost there. And feeling like I have nothing but time to do whatever I want is almost as dumb as car racing.

Well all that didn’t sound very grateful.  No worries, I am getting back on a schedule.  Home delivery has ended here and I am walking to the new post boxes daily to get the mail.  Two days now, and no mail yet, but the walks are good.  I will get back to doing my art because now I have a mission!  I have a purpose!  Someone actually asked me for something!

Enough of the gobbledygook and lollygagging, it’s time to skedaddle and make some sense of the kerfuffle in the art room and create a doozy of a humdinger!  Or I could maybe take a break and play my games…..

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