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 I appear to have stopped blogging for over a year (because unfinished unpublished posts in the drafts section don’t count) and boy do I ever have a years worth of excuses!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.

 

 

Photo Shop 1960’s Version

imageEasy Step by Step Instructions

  1.  Enter a contest in which the prize is a trophy, and win first place.  (In this case it was a mandatory grade eight public speaking contest.  We picked a topic from a list, wrote a speech, memorized it and delivered it in front of an audience consisting of peers, judges, siblings, parents, teachers, unsuspecting friends and neighbours and people who wandered in from the street by mistake.)
  2. Bring the trophy home and pester members of your family until someone finally agrees to take a picture of you holding it, preferably on your front lawn with the engraved bit showing your name facing forward and yourself squinting into the sun.
  3. When the film is developed, be so dismayed by how the shadows make your face look like that of an angry gorilla that you feel like crying and burning it to destroy the evidence.  Wonder if you might actually look like that in real life.
  4. Decide that although in this photo you definitely look like hell you are still proud of your achievement and are not likely to have any other pictures of it to preserve for posterity.  Carefully tear the head off, although not carefully enough to save the cup and handles portion of the trophy.  Rip it up anyway and throw it away.
  5. Mount touched up photo in album and label it “Headless Public Speaking Contest Winner 1962”.

You might also want to prepare yourself for the following conversation.

“What the hell is this?”

“It’s a picture of the trophy I won for public speaking in grade eight.”

“What happened to your head?”

“Shut up.”

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #10

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?
I have no idea where all the flashlights are in this house, although I know W has lots of them.  Candles are more my thing.  Most of those are on the fireplace mantle along with a box of wooden matches.  We have a barbecue lighter, which I hate, because it takes for flaming ever to fire unless someone besides me is using it.  I also have cigarette lighters which I use for lighting incense sticks.  It appears I am a fan of fire.  My phone is always close by if I need to light things up in a hurry.   Despite all this preparedness, the power rarely ever goes out here during a storm.  I honestly can’t remember the last time it happened.  However, that doesn’t stop me from sitting around with the lights out.  I love candlelight.
You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?
I’m no gambler.  The odds are rarely in my favor.  I went to the horse races once and was thrilled to break even.  So no, I would not make the trade.  I would grab the five grand and run.
What’s your first memory?
I don’t trust that my very early memories are really my own, rather than stories I’ve been told.  I think I remember standing up in the back seat of a car behind my dad and seeing a gigantic animal wander across the road in front of us while the rest of the passengers (mom, brother, grandparents) exclaimed excitedly about it.  Several miles down the road I apparently said “Oh my, that was a very big mouse.”  Moose, mouse, big scary creature – it was all the same to me.  My mother told me I was two years old and couldn’t possibly have a memory of that, and she’s probably right.  But standing in the backseat behind my dad is something I know I did all the time.  It was the best way to travel for a kid who got motion sickness if she sat down and couldn’t see out the windows.  There were no seat belts or booster seats way back then.  There were some really big mice wandering around on the roads though.
What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?
I read.  Until my eyes burn.  But falling asleep is normally easy for me.  If there’s too much going on in my head,  I think about breathing.  Not making myself take slow, deep breaths or anything, just being aware of the breaths I am taking and nothing else.  Inhaling, exhaling, relaxing.  It’s usually the last thing I remember.
Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m glad W had a good visit with his parents.  And yes, I’m glad he went on his own.  I’m glad I had some me time.  Well, who am I kidding, it’s ALL me time.  I’m grateful that I survived the trip to and from the airport in rush hour traffic yesterday.  Through various stretches of construction.  Going just over the speed limit and still being passed on both sides by idiots in a big hurry to die.  This morning I went to see my doctor to have my prescriptions renewed and to discuss the results of my recent tests.  And on the way home I stopped at Michael’s for some retail therapy.
My calendar is blank for next week, except for a notation that our middle granddaughter celebrates her tenth birthday on the 18th.
They’re growing up and we’re growing old.  And I’m grateful for both of those things.
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Artwork courtesy of Middle Granddaughter (it’s nice when granddaughters come in threes) who might one day become famous and then you can say you saw her early work here first.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 44

What is your most vivid memory of the kitchen in your childhood?

We had bright blue cupboards in the shape of a U, and in each angled corner cabinet on the lower half there was a three-tiered lazy susan.  I was six when we moved to that house and had never heard of such things.  To my young impressionable mind everything about them was brilliant, including their bright yellow paint job and how much they could hold, but especially the wonderful name they were known by.  Put it on the lazy susan!  Get it from the lazy susan!  Don’t we have some of that on one of the lazy susans?  I imagine my mother wished she’d never let on that they had a name at all, and was relieved when I got over my initial fascination.  Although there was a little lip on each shelf to keep things in place, if you spun them around too fast stuff would go flying off into the back corners and then one of us kids would have to crawl inside to retrieve whatever would otherwise be lost back there forever.  It was a sad day for me when the old cupboards were replaced with boring brown wooden ones with nary a lazy susan to be found.  See how I still love to say lazy susan? Yeah!  Okay I will stop now.

As a child, who was your favorite relative?

I had so many of them it’s impossible to say.  Aunts and Uncles and cousins galore who came from all over the place to spend time at our farm.  I can truly say there was something to love about every last one of them, and there still is.  Mom had three siblings and Dad had nine.  Grandma was always introducing us to long-lost relatives but I rarely paid attention long enough to figure out who was who.  Of course now I wish I had.  It’s hard to keep big families straight.  Especially when they keep growing up and getting married and having children and splitting up and combining families with somebody else and all the other things families tend to do.  I did like one aunt in particular who had no children of her own.  It was easier to get her undivided attention.  I think we found each other mutually curious and funny and interesting.  Or maybe it was one sided and she had me completely fooled.  I would have liked her anyway.

What did you like or not like most about the first apartment you ever rented?

This is no startling revelation, but I have never lived alone.  I always had room mates when I went away to school, and room mates when I went to work away from home.  Then I got married and had a permanent room-mate.  We lived in a tiny three room house the size of a small garage for several months.  Then we moved to a different town into a basement suite, and when W decided to go back to school we got our first real apartment in a high-rise with an elevator.  Obviously I was impressed with the elevator, otherwise, why mention it?  We had a bedroom, a living/dining area, a little narrow kitchen and a bathroom with two sinks.  Our t.v. sat on the floor and we watched it from two basket chairs.  We had a bed and a table and a couple of kitchen chairs.  That’s it.  The hardwood floor was bare and every sound echoed.  W did most of his school work in the library.  I worked at the University book store.  I bought a long black cloth pea coat at a thrift store for five bucks and wore it until it fell apart.  Good times.

The next year we moved closer to campus in to a married student complex, again living in a one bedroom basement apartment.  There’s nothing I can think of that l loved or hated about any of these places.  They were warm and dry and they were home. And if your friends had to sit on the floor when they dropped over, that was half the fun.

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.

I would ban commercials from every channel except one, which would be called The Annoying Commercial Channel.  It would not be part of any cable package, but strictly optional.  If you were in the market for, say, dish soap, you would be able to select nothing but dish soap commercials and watch them to your heart’s content.  With no program interruptions.  I have many more unworkable ideas for TV if any network people would like to get in touch with me.

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

I am so grateful to be spending some time with my grandchildren.  Last night the three youngest ones each read to me from books of their choice.  It’s part of their daily homework to read aloud to someone.  I love how they tackle the big hard words with no fear and use context clues to figure them out.  But mostly I love that they’re learning a love of reading.  That will serve them well all their lives.

Yesterday W had an in-office procedure done on his right hand to straighten out his ring and little fingers.  I am grateful that our daughter was able to drive him to and from his appointment.  I am grateful that I’m not home to hear first hand how things are going and how much pain and misery he is in with the stitches and the bandages and the splint.  I am eternally grateful that I never once considered it might be a good idea for me to become a nurse.  I would not have been good at it.  He sent me a text which said “I’ll beok”…. W. speak for I’ll be ok.  That’s pretty much all any of us really needs to be.  I’ll be grateful next week just to beok.

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