Sharing My World 45


What my kids and I looked like when we lived in Inuvik, although not for the entire time because we were there for four years. We were not always sepia coloured.


Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?

In the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie when Evelyn is asked if she is in a relationship with Douglas she says “Well, we are not NOT together.”  That’s how I feel about aliens.  I do not NOT believe in them. Still, if one were to come up to me in the grocery store and ask me how my day was going, I would be very surprised.  But just because I can’t imagine that happening doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.  I don’t think life as we know it is the only kind of life there is in the universe.  If there is something beyond death as we know it, perhaps we will be astounded at how limited and biased and deluded we were in our beliefs, no matter what they were, one way or the other, before we got there.  And if there’s nothing, there’s nothing.  No point in getting your shorts in a knot about it.

So I try to keep an open mind.  Live and let live.  It would be foolish to believe we are the most intelligent life forms in existence when you consider some of the bizarre things we’ve been up to.

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

  1. Saugeen township farm until age six (Ontario)
  2. Arran township farm until leaving home
  3. Orchard house while attending teachers college in Stratford
  4. Shared 2 bedroom apartment, substitute teaching in St. Catharines
  5. Room and board in private house in St. Catharines while attending Brock U.
  6. Rented garage sized house in Kenora after getting married.
  7. Basement apartment in private house, Dryden
  8. High rise apartment in Guelph when W went back to University
  9. Basement student campus co-op apartment in Guelph – baby daughters first home
  10. Government house in Cambridge Bay, NWT, baby sons first home
  11. Government row housing in Inuvik, NWT.
  12. Government house in Pond Inlet, NWT.
  13. Government house in Yellowknife, NWT.
  14. Current house in Sherwood Park, Alberta.  (Bought and paid for…yay!). It’s nothing fancy but it feels like home.

If you were given $22 million tax free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do?

Put it in the bank and think about it.  I’m sure I would suddenly have lots of advice and suggestions pouring in from all directions filling up this open mind of mine.  I might move to a new house.  It’s been awhile for us nomads.

The Never List: What are things you’ve never done? Or things you know you never will do?

Never say never!  Because you never know!!  I’ve never communicated with extraterrestrial beings.  Or have I?  How would I know for sure?

One thing I feel certain about at this moment in time is that I will NEVER take a trip to the South Pole.  But if I do I will send you a post card saying sorry, I was wrong about that.  Wish I weren’t here.

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

Since I mentioned all the screaming going on in Midsomer Murders whenever a body is discovered (and there can be up to five in a single episode) there has suddenly been a marked lack of it.  I’m grateful for the depiction of other plausible reactions, even though now I could be seen as a sarcastic exaggerator for mentioning it in the first place.  Like that might be the worst thing I’ve ever been called.

I was sad to learn of David Bowies death today, but I’m looking forward to all the tributes and flashbacks of his extraordinary life.

Death is such a funny thing.  We know it happens to every one of us, but no matter how much warning we might get when its imminent, we are never prepared for it.  There’s that ‘never’ word again.  It’s like a hard punch to your heart, ready or not.

So let’s be grateful for the memories.




Second Best

Watched this movie on Netflix last night, because I loved the first one and I love Judi Dench. My daughter said I look a bit like her. Best compliment ever. Can you believe she is eighty years old? If I age half as well I will be smugly happy about it.
Maggie Smith got the best lines.

It’s a fun feel good movie I would watch again.

Sharing My World 14


Share Your World – 2015 Week #1

How do you get rid of pesky phone calls from telemarketers?

By saying as many completely stupid things as it takes.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

Saying completely stupid things.

How often do you get a haircut?

I don’t like to admit this and I certainly don’t brag about it,  but most of the time I cut my hair myself.  It’s only hair, and it’s a pretty simple cut.  I’m familiar with its licks and quirks and how it grows.  It has to be left a little longer on the top where it’s thin and grows slowly,  and thinned out like crazy in the back where its thick and grows fast.  Some hair dressers get this.  Others get it backwards and then wonder why I have a mullet in a couple of weeks.   I have a different definition of a “trim” than they do and it does not include words like “scalping” or “buzz cut”.  I can trim other people’s hair, so why not my own?  I have excellent hair cutting scissors and a trimmer with different attachments.  I do the back with the help of a mirror.  Eventually my trimmed up locks get to the point where a professional needs to deal with them.  Hey, I pay them good money, they should have to work for it, right?

Since I no longer go to work or have to do something with my hair in a hurry every day,  I have been letting it dry naturally and wave and curl and do whatever it wants.  So far, no small children have been traumatized (as far as I know.)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

If you were expecting it might be “saying completely stupid things to telemarketers” you would be wrong. That’s not fun for either one of us, really.   But spending time with family, where the stupid things you’ve said can be repeated and laughed at – that’s fun.   My artwork is fun.  So is blogging and reading and playing word games and staying at home and relaxing.  I’m not very high maintenance, I guess.

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

I am grateful for a quiet New Years Eve, a warm and cozy house that keeps out the bitter cold, new movies on Netflix and my charcoal pencils.  It’s been lovely to watch the magpies coming and going in the big black spruce tree across the road, and to catch a glimpse of the white jack rabbit making fresh footprints in the snow.

I don’t know what I’m looking forward to.  Certainly not calls from telemarketers.  By now they probably have our number on their lost causes list anyway.


Dear Frankie


Last night I watched the movie “Dear Frankie”, a 2004 British drama available on Netflix.  That was the easy part of the “watch a movie” challenge for today – and the hard part is writing about it without giving away the entire plot.  So SPOILER ALERT!  I’m just going to go ahead and give away the entire plot.

Frankie is a 9-year-old deaf and mostly mute boy on the run with his mother (Lizzie) and his grandmother from an abusive father.  Frankie doesn’t know what they’re running from or the truth about his psychotic father (whose physical abuse is what caused Frankie’s hearing loss as a baby) (but we don’t find that out until much later) because his mother has been encouraging him to write letters to his absent da (Davey) and fabricating letters back in which the dad describes his exciting life at sea.

Well, no good can come of this kind of deception in the end, right?   Frankie becomes convinced that his father is taking a break from his exotic adventures and making his way back home to Glasgow, and that he is going to surprise them with a visit.  So Lizzie must make a tough decision: find another way to pacify Frankie’s desire to meet his father or tell him the awful truth.

With the help of a new friend Lizzie concocts a scheme to hire a man to impersonate Davey, and in walks Gerard Butler.  Well.  Who doesn’t love Gerard Butler??  I can’t think of anyone.  Lizzie gives him the letters after he accepts what she can pay him and he agrees to spend a day with Frankie.  Then both of them decide to spend a second day together, this time including Lizzie. It’s awkward, fun, strange, and a little heart wrenching in places.

When Gerard at the end of day two asks her how her husband could ever have left the two of them, Lizzie explains that she is the one who ran away and tells him the reasons why.  Lizzie has all kinds of self doubt about her decisions, saying she has kept up the letter writing thing because it’s a selfish way for her to ‘hear her sons voice’,  but Gerard says he thinks she’s a great mother for protecting her son.  Lizzie and Gerard share a kiss goodbye, and when he walks off down the street (with Frankie waving from an upstairs window) Lizzie discovers he has returned her payment envelopes, slipped into her jacket pocket.

Then Lizzie learns that the real Davey is terminally ill, agrees to visit him, finds out he’s still a complete asshole even though he’s dying and what’s the point, but she has a good enough heart to give him a picture of his son and a note and a picture that Frankie has made for him after being told how ill he is.  The real Davey dies.

Frankie turns out to be a lot smarter than the adults have given him credit for with all their deceit and little white lies.  He writes another letter, this time with the things he says letting his mother know that he has been aware for awhile that the stranger was not his real dad.  He lets them both know he will help his mother to get over her sadness, talks about school and his friends and football, and then closes the letter by saying he hopes the stranger will visit them again sometime.

And that’s how it ends, with Lizzie and Frankie staring off into the sunset.  Well, not really.  They’re sitting at the end of a pier looking out to sea.

Now all you need is a trailer to fill in the blanks and you can say you’ve seen the whole thing since I’ve effectively done it all for you.  You’re welcome.  Watch a movie for me sometime.

For Cin’s Feb Challenge/Witchy Rambles

Making It Better

The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka

The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Prompts for the Promptless, Episode 11:  Remake!  To remake is to make anew or in a different form. 

Here is a short list of things that you can remake.  It’s short because this is Friday and nobody wants to read a long list on a Friday.  (Never mind write one, if you want to know the real reason.)

1.  Your bed.  But don’t remake the beds of your children unless you want to risk scarring their little self-confidence psyches for life.  I read that somewhere, but never worried about it myself and remade my kids beds all the time.  Because seriously, what a mess.

2.  Plans.  Even if they are carved in stone.  Just get yourself a new stone.

3.  Lego and Puzzles.  Although if I had my way I would super glue the pieces together and never put myself through that agony again.

4.  Movies.  When there seems to be nothing new under the sun, movie makers start reminiscing about some classic film or other that was immensely popular back in the day and which made a whole shit load of money.  Then they start to believe that with a few changes, they could update, remake and improve upon it.  Plus rake in another whole shit load of cash.  Sometimes they’re right.  Sometimes they are sadly mistaken.

5.  Songs.  There can be as many versions of a song as there are people to sing it and genres of music to set it to.   If we like the original a lot, chances are we won’t be happy with a remake, simply because it doesn’t sound ‘right.’  If we dislike the original, a remake can turn out to be a happy surprise.

In the sixties I loved the original version of Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka, including every single “down-doobey-do-down-down”.  We were heavily into making up nonsensical gibberish lyrics to go with a beat back then.

Then I grew up a little, and so did Neil I guess.  I love this slower, jazzier version of the song even more.  Remakes can be a beautiful thing.

Saturday Night at the Movies


On the weekend I watched “Rise of the Guardians” with my grandchildren, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think they did too. The popcorn at any rate was a big hit.

When I was a child I believed in Jack Frost.  I had a teacher who told me if I didn’t stop pouting Jack Frost would come along and freeze my “mad” face and I’d never be able to smile again.  You better believe I took that guy seriously.  So I was a little surprised to be watching a movie in which children didn’t believe in him, even though evidence of his existence was everywhere in the magic of their winter fun.

What a great cast of characters!  All apparently chosen by the Man in the Moon.

Nicholas St. North, Guardian of Wonder (aka Santa Claus) has a very strong Russian accent, and Yetis working for him.

E. Aster Bunnymund, Guardian of Hope (aka Easter Bunny) is six feet tall and has an Australian accent.

The Tooth Fairy, Guardian of Memories, collects children’s teeth, which hold their most precious memories.

Sandy, Guardian of Dreams (aka the Sandman) doesn’t speak, but communicates with sand images above his head.

Pitch Black, the Nightmare King (aka the Boogeyman) the essence of fear –  because every story needs at least one villain.

Jack Frost, eventually to become Guardian of Fun, if he can just get somebody to believe in him.

It’s a simple story with a lot of tense situations caused by the Boogeyman, who wants to stop children from believing in anything except him and his nightmares.  It was especially sad when it looked like he destroyed the Sandman, but don’t worry, he came back.  Hope that doesn’t ruin the suspense for you.

And of course there’s a lovely happy ending, with the Boogeyman banished back under the bed.  Kids can still believe in him, but if they don’t fear him, he has no power over them.  And if they believe in the Guardians, they will always be there to protect them.  How totally awesome is that.

At the end we all picked our favourite guardian – Omayja loved the tooth fairy, Corey liked Jack Frost, Madison thought Santa was the best even though he was kind of mean. (Or maybe because he was mean, I’m not sure.)   Kale might have said the big rabbit, because he’s eleven and was playing computer games the whole movie and pretending not to listen and therefore declined to comment so I’ve made that assumption for him.  And I liked the Sandman because he was so lovely and quiet.

So there you go, it’s a movie with something in it for everyone.